Over the week-end I attended the annual Conscious Life Expo that brings together a dynamic and eclectic community of speakers, exhibitors, artists, and visionaries for a four-day exploration on how to transform your life in the areas of health, spirituality and lifestyle. The event is like a kid going to Disneyland. I look forward to it every year and leave on a cloud.
With such an amazing variety of lectures and panels, from luminaries of both the transformational and socially-conscious movements. This year I got to meet Laura Eisenhower, great-grand-daughter of our 34th President whose politics are nothing like her those who came before her. She discussed the Goddess, her symbolism, her death, healing and revival. Stay tuned for that conversation along with my take on futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard, who ran for the Vice-President seat in 1984 under Geraldine Ferraro.
There were film screenings, and special panels on the environment, the future of humanity, spiritual healing techniques, and the afterlife. Sheer Nirvana.
This blog was not intended to address foreign policy, global markets, or climate change. Nor is my desire to write about religion, terrorism, war crimes, abortion, same sex marriage, rising oil prices, depleting natural resources, new cures for cancer, viruses, bacteria and vaccines, test tube babies, obesity, famine or water droughts. Besides, when do people like me have all the answers to end human suffering to save the world?
Writer Kurt Vonnegut once wrote: Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.
Fortunately, that is how I feel.
Unfortunately, I cannot stop innocence and chivalry from dying. Human lives being claimed by floods, earthquakes, bombs. Animal lives sacrificed for the consumption of fur, ivory, steak.
But I can address a number of issues essential not to survival, but to life.
The fading craft of reading and writing. The endangered art of poetry. Playing the harp, cello, accordion, and ukulele. Writing letters and actually sending them in the mail. Holding doors open for strangers. Dreams stifled by fear of judgment, failure, regret. Vanishing Polaroid photographs. The rarity of any commodity or relationship meant to last a life-time.
I was raised on stories and songs and poems and hope in the triumph of good. Foolish as it is, I keep hoping that all poems, songs, and stories with inspiring words and lyrics do come true. I adore fairy tales, and never say never or that something cannot be done. I take pride in doing my best, being humane, and if I make a mistake to correct it, and not let the world make me hard, nor disappointment make me bitter.
Dreamers do not make promises; they make wishes no one hears. Perhaps they are wise in making the distinction between what they can and cannot change.
I believe in investing real time and real emotions in people and causes dear to me. While on this earth, I continue to hope and to dream out loud. To see a bird as a messenger of the Divine, to blow on a dandelion while making a wish, to contribute a verse and sing it with gusto and to not let the child in me disappear.
Sometimes when in a group, it amazes me when asked a “big question” about life or death, or a humanitarian contribution many do not have an answer. With unlimited funds I know what I would support in greater measure. When the sands of time run out and my end is near, I know how I would like to remembered. What I don’t understand is why death would be frightening. To not think of it is frightening. The revelation of truth is liberating and saves time. And time is what we have so little of.
For Christmas I received a little fictional bon bon for the discerning literary palate. As my friend pointed out, Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock is a trilogy of strange and delightful images, and a story-line with a mystery.
The entire set of books are inventive and imaginative and wonderful…especially for someone like me who lives to write letters.
It has beautiful, sometimes disturbing artwork that only adds to the postcard and letters that have been written between a couple. I could spend hours just looking at the artwork, finding something new with each glance. It’s that wonderful.
Throughout the trilogy, there is the slightly guilty thrill of opening an envelope addressed to someone else and reading the letters.
Equal parts Romantic (in the Byron sense), Impressionist and Surrealist, Griffin and Sabine is a memorable experience. I read a book each day, while it rained and took my time savoring each book; wrapping myself up in this charming, intriguing, simple yet incredibly layered piece of art.
Its best feature is that it is a very non-traditional book. As an experiment in artificial “found” literature, the book follows the correspondence of two random people separated by miles and culture who are tied together by an inexplicable link. This book is a window into that connection and their discovery of one another.
Sabine has the gift of second -sight and begins to correspond with Griffin since she can psychically see his artwork. She too is an artist. Griffin feels threatened by her knowledge but eventually out of loneliness and her emotional support forms a friendship. Despite his emotional wall, he falls in love first. She reciprocates his feelings, and we sense they are soul-mates.
In the second volume it’s Sabine’s turn, like a treasure hunt, to find the answer to the ultimate question, or maybe to find the question of self. She travels to meet Griffin. Scared that Sabine isn’t just a figment of his imagination, but a real person, Griffin flees. Now their letters and cards are coming from all around the globe. Is it real? Is it love? Is someone else watching them?
The artistically beautiful poetic declarations of love are worth reading over and over again. And every medium is used to its finest and fullest potential from collage, watercolor, print, to script.
A bit darker than the first in this trilogy. The second book ends with another bit of mystery.
In the final book, Griffin is back in England and Sabine returns home. It looks as though they are back to where they began, but they remain determined to meet one another.
And, we are introduced to a third character, who appears to have something to do with their inability to actually meet, but who he is and what his actual intentions are is somewhat vague.
The writing this time around is a bit more grounded, perhaps because of the very real interference in the physical world. And Sabine’s’ psychic gift is waning. The consideration given to the correspondents’ strange connection is played down, with more emphasis given not only to the danger they’re suspecting in their world(s) but also to the physical longing they both now feel after missing each other in transit.
The art feels similarly placed on solid ground, particularly after the trans-global mysticism that seemed to have gotten in with Griffin’s travels last volume. We see less outright experimentation on both sides,and indeed one of the cards this time is simply a color negative of a previous one.
The series could have ended here, and indeed it appears we have seen the end of the extraordinary correspondence between Griffin and Sabine. But the story’s not quite over. And the ending leaves much to the reader’s imagination as to what happens to the pair.
I’d like to think that they formed a union in some far away land and continued to do their art, living happily ever after.
If you’ve read the books please feel free to comment.
If not, I encourage you to do so, and be stirred by lovely art, wonderful prose, romanticism and the feeling of eternal love.
If you listen to the radio, watch the news, or get on Facebook, we are confronted with the same sad news: violence, crime, wars, disasters and many opinions.
Last week was a very intense week, which I attribute to the moon. In case, you don’t know, full moon names have been used by many cultures to describe the full moon throughout the year. Specifically, Native American tribes used moon phases and cycles to keep track of the seasons by giving a distinctive name to each recurring full moon. In January, amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Native American villages. Thus, the villagers began calling January’s full moon the Wolf Moon.
But the intensity hasn’t stopped. This will be a very powerful week and whether you choose to watch the inauguration or not; there will be a celestial opportunity to release old energy patterns and make way for the new, if you keep centered and remain positive.
Anger plays a major role in our current conflicts. It exasperates the problem. Contrary to belief, it’s not active, nor is it a solution. A solution would be by taking action and doing work for the benefit of everyone to re-shape our institutions.
Rather than joining the uproar that add to the upheaval, you can choose; either acceptance which is love or spend as much time as you can in nature and in silence and allow for the transition.
Ultimately it’s only through compassion that revive our humanitarian values. If we treat whomever we meet as a friend, as someone part of our human family, regardless of what they say or look like, this is true meaning of compassion and we aspire toward peace.
Being the start of the new year, I’ve been thinking about gifts; those that we give and those that we receive.
While living in Las Vegas, I befriended a neighbor. She was an older Russian woman, recently widowed, who had married a Psychiatrist. She was well-off but lonely. Having been a homemaker, she did not have children and had a very small circle of friends. Her only living relative was a sister in Russia. I encouraged her to get involve in the Arts, which she did. And, I invited her to dinner a few times a month. She was an excellent guest and always brought me a box of chocolates or flowers. She took note of my formal table setting (we ate in the dining room) and I wore a pretty apron with slacks, never jeans or a casual dress. She was delighted that I served a small appetizer and began the meal with a homemade soup and ended with a liqueur. One day when I couldn’t get her on the phone, I went to her house and was about to leave a note when she answered the door, puffy eyed. “My darling” she said, “Come in.” I sat there and listened to her, speaking as little as possible, because that was what she needed. After a while she asked me into her bedroom and showed me her enormous jewelry collection; both real and costume. My eyes danced. A costume cuff bracelet caught my eye. She offered it to me. Sensing that it might have come from her husband that she loved so much, I could not accept it.
Months later, on a spring day she had left her french doors open and was burglarized. She called me for moral support when the Police arrived. Later, when the fear died down, she said, “Your bracelet is gone. You see I wanted you to have it, it had to leave me anyway.”
I watched a sense of generosity filled with warmth that echoed a feeling of life, in the spirit of wanting to give. The virtue of generosity is spontaneous and joyful with a reward that is priceless. It enables the giver to know their best self and ultimately their power. And I realized my error. It enabled me to acknowledge how profound life is, to be uplifted in an instant. Lesson learned; allow others to give to you. Don’t block it. Their is grace in receiving.
By giving or receiving, we experience oneness and a wonderful connection with others.
Summer always brings back memories of my father; having fun, outings with friends, dancing, picnics of ham sandwiches and fresh fruit, dining al fresco on fresh lobster, driving in a convertible, and sun drenched skin with trips to the beach. But Winter is my Mother’s season. She symbolizes home and hearth, family, singing, gift giving, Christ consciousness (love) cozy blankets, luxurious sweaters and savoring hot Mexican chocolate. In case you’ve never had it, remember the Aztecs invented chocolate. I recommend Ibarra made in whole milk- I promise you, you’ll never drink anything else again.
Last night when I heard about the incident in Berlin, I recalled browsing through the aisles at the marketplace hot apple cider in hand while choosing a gift for her. Despite the fact that she’s always been and still is fashion-conscious, unlike me she’s easy to shop for. Perhaps it’s her mother gene that appreciates any gesture I or anyone else makes, but her receptivity produces a pleasure in giving her things.
In Macy’s http://www.macys.com/ last week on a hunt to buy her a Christmas gift, I mentioned to the sales clerk that she likes color and described her style; flats, skinny jeans, nautical striped tees, and scarves topped with her bob hair-cut. Despite her youthful appearance she never has looked age inappropriate. In fact when I was growing up I once asked her, “Why don’t you wear shorter dresses,” her response was matter-of-fact, “I can’t show my knees, I’m a mother.” The sales person naturally asked her age. But that’s for me to know and not for others to ask.
When I found this video, Christmas with Love from Mrs. Claus, I thought of her. Perhaps it’s because she lives by the Jane Austen quote; It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.