my book: the true journey of a blended family

My Life Purpose … Playful as a Porpoise in the Sea

Today I’m feeling particularly grateful to be alive.

Prepare for the Unexpected

Prepare for the Unexpected

Having come as close to dying as I can remember getting … on Monday I walked away from being blindsided T-boned with just a bump on the noggin’, when the super-tank-sized white Bookmobile (of All things!) crashed into my driver’s door after I’d not seen it, somehow … I consider myself not only fortunate to be alive, but am more than ever aware of how much more there is for me to put out there before it’s “my time” to leave this earthly realm. Just in case, I gave instructions to my consort Carter to finish my work for me. Before my time … is up.

Time is relative anyway. Sometimes it stands still. Other instances it rushes away from us like a never-ending spin on a glass-splinter-strewn highway. The road after our impact, this Monday. When that big white metal wall came crashing into me, metallic jaws wanting to eat my life, my head bouncing into and shattering side windows, Yes, I thought, This is It. I’m dead. Hit squarely on the side of my head, shoulders, hips—just as the recurring, eerie premonition of being T-boned I’d had for the past year or so.

But I didn’t die. So easily I could have. I iced the goose bump on the window-side of my head, and the next day there was hardly a trace of the bruise. Truth is: If it weren’t for the strong bent metal frame of my trusty old Chevy Tracker, I’m absolutely sure I would have sustained much more grievous injuries than being shook up, which I am.

Crappy Death Almost Got Me

Crappy Death Almost Got Me

For the past few days I’ve kept still. Lots of quiet time. Feeling my life, pleased I’m still here. Not much thinking, just feeling. What about?

chest-expanding awe at being alive!

heart-pumping gratitude to be breathing, still!

spine-tingling sensations of what I’ve been saved (entrusted, really) to do …

to share with as many as I can, about the magic of being alive.

I’ve felt it since childhood, yet that feeling keeps intensifying with each passing season, moon phase, setting sun and changing tide.

When a person has both experiences of the interior and exterior sorts, and the ability to translate it into a form where it might be meaningful to others as well (visually, musically, through art of some nature) this is my life’s purpose, for which I’ve been spared.

LordFlea, for over seven years I’ve been writing and sharing art with you, I’ve given snippets of what my work has been about. Many drawings, paintings, and sculptures (click here if you want a glimpse), a feature film with my beloved consort (click here for LithiumSprings, the movie), and a mention here and there about the book(s) I’ve created, awaiting publication.

For years I’ve been writing books. So why has it taken this long to get any of them into print? Five completed story-driven books are already done, some nonfiction narratives; somewhere in-between novels and memoir. Regulars at LordFlea have heard mention of a few and seen an excerpt or two from titles such as Angels Anonymous, Illusions of Love, Dharma Brat, Global Bliss NOW, and Heart Island, the trilogy.

the bridge tender

the bridge tender

Now the first publicly available (tree or e) full-length book will soon be ready, and not just in blog-tease form. Allow me to proudly present my soon-to-be-available illustrated book:

Zen Love: the true journey of a blended family

The very last stages–of line-editing (catching obvious flaws) and polishing, giving the story a sheen of careful presentation–is almost complete. Now I begin the stage of presentation. As soon as I finish this post I’m back to working on a chapter-summary (it’s much harder to make one after a book’s been completed, trust me) so I can submit this book to a major spiritual publishing house. I’m not going to count on the smaller, indie publisher who asked me to submit based on a much earlier version of Zen Love. I’m going to “fish” for whatever bite I can get, out there in the Ocean of Marvelous Literature

So–what’s my thought after the great crash up on our hysterically-crowded US1 South where I almost died, but didn’t?

Simply: It was not my time. This is what nearly all NDEs (Near Death Experience) I’ve ever heard of say they experienced, and then instantly their soul/spirit returns back to life from the state they call dead. I didn’t die in my crash three days ago. But a part of me is hyper-aware how very fragile my existence, all our existences, are here on earth.

"It is not your time, go back," the Voice said.

“It is not your time, go back,” the Voice said.

It’s time for me to do what I know I must, further sharing my writing and arting with as many people as I can. After all, that’s the reason I’ve been blogging and milking other forms of social media all along. For this day that has finally arrived. At last: a book.

This is why it’s so funny and ironic that I was smashed into by a flippin’ garbage-truck sized Bookmobile, on its way to some school somewhere, the front bumper and its admonition “READ” not even dented from my little vehicle’s demise.

Life! Ain’t it grand. Funnier than fiction, more intensely real than any reality show could do justice to.

I’ll keep you posted about the adventures of Zen Love‘s publication. If no bites on my hook, I’ll publish it myself, have no fear.

In the Light, shining bright and breathing appreciatively,

Lord Flea, aka teZa Lord

The Magical Dream of Three Bulls

the marvel of Nature

the marvel of Nature

We are the Tunnel, mixed media, 54“x42”We were walking along the edge of his Florida pasture one day, Bill, my father-in-law and I, taking advantage of another opportunity to talk about life and share each other’s company. I surprised myself that day when, after a young and rambunctious bull hopped the fence right in front of us, I instinctively approached it, not so much from bravery as an automatic reflex. Bill was already in his eighties and I, a mere forty-year-old then, wanted to protect the enfeebled old man, whom I was uncommonly fond of, and would have taken a bullet for, if truth were known.

“Watch out,” Bill said in his droll manner, cautioning me, alert to the unpredictable ways of livestock, especially a young upstart like this rowdy yearling-bull. “He’ll butt you hard if you don’t watch out.”

Wouldn’t you know just as Bill said this, the young bull charged me. But I, propelled by guardian mode, met the chest-high head of cowhide over steel with a double whammy fist right in the middle of the young animal’s eyes. Dazed almost as much as I, the bull shook his head and jumped right back over the fence, joining his four-legged family who stood bedazzled by the young daredevil’s adventure.

~

From the moment we met I loved Bill. I knew I wanted to marry his son the instant I heard Bill say to his elegant wife, “I must be in heaven, I thought I saw an angel,” when my future mother-in-law waltzed into the room to greet me that day. And it wasn’t he who objected to my bare feet, like she did, nor the fact that I was an artist and an adventurer of sorts. He wasn’t dubious about my mothering skills either, when it came down to whether I had what it takes to raise Carter’s two youngsters he had full custody of after a vicious divorce. This was a blended family we were a-brewing, creating a new dream of different backgrounds and faiths, cultural influences, even politics.

~

Grampa Bill, after his angel passed on, wasn’t one to let dust settle. Within nine months, at eighty-seven he married an acquaintance, a woman everybody hoped would be a great companion for his golden years. Sadly, she turned out to be an alcoholic and within five years the old man was not only divorced, but taken closer to the poor house by her shiftiness. Instead of finding another angel, Bill had been cornered by a succubus.

I sat with him as he sorted that one out. The trauma sent his mind to the farthest regions of awareness as he dove into the haze of senility.

In the numb twilight of Bill’s recovering from spousal abuse, he awoke one day to feel terribly sad, upset about our son’s debilitating football accident that would leave the seventeen year-old permanently handicapped.

“The worse thing that’s ever happened to our family,” the old man moaned loudly.

He wept that day I sat beside him, quietly talking of our son’s recent injury. Bill then reached into his pocket to grab what he thought was his linen handkerchief, always there. He didn’t realize it, and I said nothing to upset him further, but instead of the hanky he dabbed his flowing tears with a soft, used one-dollar bill.

I remembered hearing one of his daughters insist to the caretaker that he always had to have one in his pocket. “So daddy has some money and still feels he has some control over his life; just a token to help his self esteem,” she’d instructed.

~

Now, nearing ninety-nine, Bill was waiting for me as I caught the next plane from out west where Carter and I had gone camping. Bill knew – somehow, even at that final stage of the bumpy ride, filled with both joys and ravages that life brings us all – exactly who he wanted at his bedside. Of his four grown children and their spouses, I was the only in-law requested to be present. That’s because Bill was always more to me than just my husband’s dad.

Carter and I had driven out west on a month’s-long celebratory camping jaunt in honor of having successfully raised our kids. The minute the youngest joined his sister, safe and secure in college, we took off cross-country, driving to a new campsite every night, bicycling everywhere we could, cooking delicious food on wood campfires right outside our roomy tent. We were in Montana riding our bikes on the golden hills of the plains where the buffalo used to roam so abundantly, with the endless and eponymous Big Sky above, when we received word that our own old buffalo chief, Bill was on his death bed.

~

Three days before, Carter and I had ridden our bikes around southwestern South Dakota at Wounded Knee, close to the Lakota Indian Reservation. We were infatuated by the landscape, as foreign to us as if we’d landed on Mars. I leaned my bike against a rock and wandered away on foot from where Carter was intently observing a small animal or chasing some reptile between the hilly mounds and scrubby brush of that arid place.

A few quick strides and I came upon a jaw-dropping sight: an old grey buffalo, lying peacefully in a patch of sunlight. He must have gone off by himself, too, and was enjoying the last of the day’s fading sun. He paid me no attention as I came within ten yards of him and stayed that distance, half hidden by a hilly outcrop. I stood watching, fascinated to get so close to so magnificent a wild beast. He blinked and gazed toward me. I froze and met his eyes. He lifted his massive head back to catch the sun’s warmth, and serenely closed his lids, accepting my closeness.

He was at total rest, as if waiting, willing to embrace the inevitable shadow of the day’s end that was quickly approaching. I couldn’t help but think he might be getting close to pulling his last breath, by how resigned yet expectant he appeared. Immediately I thought of Bill, back home, and how he too, might be savoring his last moments in the gentle sun of life. The buffalo’s strong neck held his proud head high, feeling every morsel of warmth, absorbing it, yet at the same time he seemed to be honoring the disappearance of the bright disk above.

At my respectful distance I stood stick still, fascinated by such regality and noble strength that even in old age, was evidence of this huge animal having been a great leader in his day. As I watched the old buffalo I sensed he was preparing to die. What else could explain how this giant old rogue, now so feeble, so incapable, couldn’t keep up with the rest of his herd? Or why he had found this sunny, isolated spot to nestle in, between craggy rocks, so well hidden that Carter and I hadn’t noticed him when we approached the area earlier on our bikes.

While watching the old bull, his wet and flaring snout held high, his eyes occasionally roaming the horizon – totally aware of me – I saw how solemnly, how bravely he faced the last strong rays of the resting sun. Again, I thought of Bill, our family’s Grampa, and wondered if this ancient bison – not in distress but oblivious, and ready to leave behind that which no longer served his noble pursuits – was a sign that our own family’s chief, back home, was soon to leave his earthly body.

A few days later, in Montana then, we received the call.

Bill waited for Carter to arrive first, and then for me to come the next day, because there was only one seat out of Missoula the day we got the expected news. When Bill saw I had made it, he right away sat up in bed, agile as a trapeze artist, and said, “Oh, you’re here!” and immediately fell back down. Within an hour he lapsed into the in-between shadows of not-here, not-there of his approaching, last sunset.

~

Our kids were away in college as their Grampa rested in these waning hours of his life’s shine, while Carter, his brother and sisters and I gathered around our family’s old bull, being present for the head of our family’s comfort and ease in this, his glorious and final passage.

I wouldn’t have missed this most important event in Bill’s life, his last rite of passage, just as momentous as his earlier ones must have been. His four children and I stood around his bed, we who loved him so, witnessing Bill’s last breath as we joined hands around our favorite old bull, saying prayers, whispering comforts, saying our good-byes, offering heart-quaking thank yous.

Moments after, there was only stillness from Bill’s suddenly empty form, lying nobly and chief-like, surrounded by his tribe.

~

Later, alone with the love of my life, the man who shared his father’s great capacity to nurture, to love, I asked Carter in a small voice, “Why do you think Bill wanted me here?”

My own father, with whom I’d had a strained relationship, died twenty years before with me by his side also. Since marrying Carter, Bill had become my surrogate father, my pal, a role model for parenting: an unmatched spiritual mentor. He filled in the chinks of my broken faith in paternal strength, making up for all the misunderstandings and shortcomings of my own father, a troubled man. I could talk to Bill in private about my dreams, and he’d help me understand myself better. His wisdom affirmed how the subconscious affects us all so deeply. Dreams, you see, were Bill’s passion, and while he was a successful businessman, he was also an expert dream interpreter. He encouraged everyone he met to follow their dreams.

Now Carter looked at me and said simply, “Because dad loves you, teZa.”

My heart grew like a balloon pushing against my chest, realizing I was included in this inner circle not by chance, but by life’s many choices that had led us all together.

Staring at my feet

Friends,

the importance of what i spend my time doing the most of has been central in my thinking of late. y’know: you are what you eat, and you certainly become what you think. that’s why i haven’t been bloggin’ as of late. wanted to keep centered in my heart, and not just spew, at least for the sake of spewing.

i do this occasionally. withdraw and feel life living me, instead of trying to be so active, so concerned, so consumed with “other” that i forget this experience of life itself. here’s another way of looking at it:

the interconnectedness of All

the interconnectedness of All

all i have is my self, and my Self–the little me that squirms with responsibilities and worries, and the big Me that knows there is more to this life than i’ll ever know…and to feel the majesty, the magic, the wonder of it all is more than enough for me to be concerned about. certainly enough upon which to base my creative energies’ pursuits–my arting, as i call it, whether i paint, draw, make a garden, a cake, or sew a sail, write a book–or blog.

this feeling of being connected to all came to me as a child. then i lost it. then i rediscovered it later, mostly through working on getting rid of the garbage that my mind collected over the years. now i have trained myself to stay as much as possible in that simple place, that inner place, where the breath connects with even the movement of faraway galaxies, and the knowledge, the Truth of feeling connected is real–this is my daily experience.

the drawing i use as an example shows us all in our “Higher Self”… our so-called “angelic” bodies…that part of our nature that is connected to the Highest good for all. yes–we all have that in our nature, whether you are aware of it or not, whether you exercise that birthright, that ownership of your highest nature, or not.

living in the moment; accepting our sacredness, our divine nature–our Higher Self: this is the way of living i want to share with you, not because of any other reason but my humble offering to help make the world a better place to live in.

we are not all just scrambling around trying to get something to eat, or make happen, or elect, or conquer, or succeed, or even be good at. but yes, we all exisit as individual cells within the larger “thing” that makes up this known reality…what is called the Universe (and some call, simply, “God”).

we're all a part of a whole

we are all One, breathe, and feel: Truth

many other things have passed my mind, and of course i’ve been doing many (many!) other things since my last entry here. don’t worry. some of you who read my blog might think i’m just a holy-roller who only sits around contemplating my navel. but no—-i have a family, a job, lots of social duties, and creatively i’m consumed by writing a nonfiction narrative, illustrated, naturally, which i am debating about uploading here, so i can let you, friends on my web, read as i write, day by day. but…i haven’t decided to or not. ha ha! all i can say for now is…writing this book is certainly my immediate, and main creative focus, not this blog.

my garden has been covered with an entire truckload of mulch, delivered free by a tree-man who took down a big One over at my mother’s place. Carter and i’ve been doing lots of HOT HOT yoga, in our little yoga shed, which i call the santosa shack (santosa being contentment in Sanskrit). we chant, we meditate, we even attend his church, ahhweeee, diversity in God-liness! lots of cooking (made dosas twice this past couple weeks…a lentil and rice fermented east Indian flat bread, terribly exotic tasting, and terribly nutritious because of the legume and grain mixture). what else? oh so much biking, hiking, rehabing my knee, still injured from dancing too fiercely at daughter’s wedding way back in June. injuries take energy. life takes care. time is precious. do i use it wisely? i try to. when i lay my head down on my pillow, i feel rewarded by deep, comforting, beautiful sleep. what a gift, life is.

i will do a page next, i promise, on a subject i’ve been thinking a lot about: what to say to someone who is really, truly, either physically, spiritually, or mentally suffering.  because recently i ran into an old acquaintance, who has all the world at her feet: she’s rich, successful, socially powerful and consciously humanitarian beyond measure—but—she’s absolutely miserable.  the only outer proof, however, is that of her uncontrollable, mind-numbing, self-pitying drinking.  of course she’s in denial about having a drinking problem. and i simply can’t share with her my own experience in that matter (being in alcohol and drug addiction recovery now for my third decade)…but i can post a page here. perhaps one day a chink will open in her tightly-bricked-up facade, and what a person formerly-miserable (me) has to share with another who still is (her), will make a difference.

a little light in the well of darkness, that’s all i attempt to do…with my art, with my words, and now with this public web-spew.

so look on the right hand side in a day or say and you’ll see a new page. those pages stay up, where this post side changes when i enter a new one.

whew! i finally figured that out! now, if only i can find my beautiful color paintings. let me see, let me try again. a treat for you, perhaps?

plants, animals, mineral--we are all One

plants, animals, mineral--we are all One

i love each and every one of you, truly! lord flea

makin’ do with what you’ve got

excuse me while i chuckle.

just got an email from my friend terry, who has just moved to moloki, hawaii, to caretake a 2,000 acre health/wellness/meditation complex with her hub, om-tom. she was writing me how hard it is, how things are just not running right, equipment breaking down, computer stolen when they went in a rented car to the main island–oh, what else, oh yeah, the makeshift computer doesn’t work, and on top of that, there’s no phone reception.

life is rough.

my partner is having a hard time, too–life is challenging these days. it seems to me we’re having not just an economic crisis, but a spiritual one as well. here’s one way of looking at it, a la art:

keeping mind-ful in the midst of hell

keeping mind-ful in the midst of hell

after a decade of living on islands in the “third-world” i can empathize  with you, terry, perhaps more than others…and know that you are just living the life that happens, when you’re not on “the continent.” it’s just the way it is on islands. but the “pros” you will experience, and have, and continue to, will FAR outway the “cons”… believe me. living separate from “all that is” is sooooo spiritually fulfilling, and fun! just write me whenever you get down, and i’ll jump up and dance with you, my friend, and share with you my experience of developing patience, tolerance, and … quite a snotty attitude, actually, that “i’ve learned to do better” than ordinary continentals, as we call them. Because once you get used to adversity being the way it is, always! and learn to adapt to “what is,” … a person changes. we become so much more an “in the flow” kind of person. and that’s really where the Self resides. being in constant contact with true Inner Peace takes hard work. but the rewards? living a good life, even in the midst of unprecedented adversity.
 
who needs things to flow smoothly all the time? that’s so…predictable! ha ha! look at me, miss positive. but i’m not there, where you are, terry, right? but … if i wasn’t here, taking care of mom, you bet that’s where i’d be. i can’t wait to pack my bags and leave “ever-reliable, oh so abundantly efficient” america (or any continental place)…and go to live with the simpler, more “don’t care” kind of folks—the islanders.
 
sorry about losing your mac, though. that’s a bummer. we get spoiled, don’t we? i still use a dinosaur p.c., but i’m happy.

here’s a little cheer-up for my pals terry and om-tom out there in molokai. when life gets tough, when our nerves start to shout! ouch! here’s one solution—retreat into your ever-abundant imagination…yes, just float away in a story. even if you haven’t got bread to eat, you still have your imagination and you that can fill a person right up to the top!

this character sitting in the middle is my good pal Cleozed. he’s a composite, as you can see: man, plant, fish, and –what else?

Cleozed and Hummin'womb-an

Cleozed and Hummin

walk in the unlimited-ness of your being…expand your possibilities, and come fly with me! how, you ask? just breathe…long breath in…long breath out…ahhhhhh-men, and ahhhhhhh-women, too!

in the Light, lord flea

time to come together & unite as ONE

hello friend,

politics, religion, nations–why can’t we just stop the separation among ourselves. i don’t know about you but i’m so tired of all the bickering, whining, blame and anger over not just these things, and want to interject some positive focus, by introducing new currency for ALL countries who celebrate life on planet Here and Now. 

that’s something to think about, ain’t it? so let’s go for it!

i know i know you’re asking who asked me, lordflea, to design this new currency? you may think the U.N., or he, our new leader-elect:

guided by his counselors, the Great Man ...

guided by his counselors, the Great Man ...

but no, i must admit i have not yet received “the commission.” but when i do, i’ve got the design all figured out, which i’m giving a sneak preview to you, here. just a few little details to work out, like the color of the ink (soy based of course), the dimension (how ’bout the sacred geometry rectangle ratio?), the paper quality (look to Crane Paper for the magic formula that the USA uses…high cotton content).

whatever we use to exchange our energy with, be it money, friendship, sports, entertainment, politics or religion…keep it focused on the highest good. please. as we think, so we become.

focus on the solution, not the problem

focus on the solution, not the problem

 

enjoy the day! lordflea singin’ for you–we as ONE

change…the only constant in the Universe

i’m off to cambridge, mass for a fun-filled, information-packed reunion at the revered alma mater of my spouse, and to celebrate life and all its changes with our good friends of many years.

change…the only thing you can count on …

the cycle of life ... consistently changing

the cycle of life ... consistently changing

i’m thinking how i change … my body … where i am … my moods

and i’m thinking of how the world changes … seemingly so unstable, so vulnerable to outside influences.

and then i think of the one constant, besides change, that i’ve found that gives me great comfort in my journey here:

my deep contact with the Oneness of All — that force some call God, but i prefer Great Spirit.

i am a big fan of the I Ching, called the Book of Change, and written down by Confucious about 4,000 yrs. ago.  change has been a familiar comforting essence in my search for Truth.  i trust change.  i honor change.  but i also know that if i’m not flexible, like a young bamboo shoot, and allow change to happen, naturally — i am doomed for diaster.

i don’t know, i just felt like sharing that today.

mom is having a hard time adapting to the change that’s affecting her body.  her state of thinking has been altered by this tiny tiny TIA that hasn’t even registered in a CAT Scan.  but…change is not her comfort zone.

many people are freaking because of the unprecedently change in our financial world.  this is the time for all good people to rely upon nothing but their own Higher Selves.  that is the change we’re all challenged to accept.

the steadiness of eternity's change ... you and i, we are One

the steadiness of eternity

in case you’re wondering, this “down-ward dog” person i’m representing here, in sculpture and in black and white penstrokes, is the ancient egyptian goddess named Nut.  she represented the passage of the sun across the sky.  like the sun, Nut is symbolic of eternal life.  always changing, but always constant, and never ending.

i am here with you, and i wish you all a pleasant change, each and every moment of your lives.

now i change places, from st. augustine to boston!  always something.

in the Light, lordflea

no time no time, well…let’s make some anyway

hi friend,

why does it seems like there’s never enough time to do the things we want?  instead, there are so many things we have to do that just fill up the hours of each day.  i’m starting a new club:

make time for the things we need to do,

find time for the things we want to do!

wanna join?  just follow the spirals, and come on in!

fly with me from here ...

fly with me from here ...

to here …

earth energy with you-and-you-and all of we too R 1

earth energy with you-and-you-and all of we too R 1

how? you ask.

breathe.  deep and long in, long and slow out.  breathe from the belly.  learn to be a buddha belly, breathing from the belly (belly pushes out gently when you take air in, and as you breathe out the belly contracts and tightens, going flat).

have fun, make time for you!

in the Light, much love, lordflea