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

following your passion … whichever way the wind blows ya

hello friend,

i’ve been sailing and motoring the inways, byways and channels around st. augustine this week!  in between nursing others in my family, and attending to bizness as usual, i had to do something to blow out the steam, and … sailing, being on the water, is one of my passions, as well as laughing, dancing, being with great groovy people, traveling, learning new things, writing stories and making art. whew! so many passions.

st. augustine lighthouse seen from the Ace Lady, a friend's sailboat

st. augustine lighthouse seen from sailboat Ace Lady

my passions are many.  some have more.  some…only politics, it seems these days.  whatever yours are, i hope you enjoy pursuing them.  and if you haven’t, or haven’t made time to pursue them, i urge you to do that … like now!

take the owner of Ace Lady, for instance:

Captain Priscilla of Ace Lady at the helm

Captain Priscilla of Ace Lady at the helm

Priscilla is a single woman, an expert solo sailor, self confident and extremely capable, who is following her dream.  priscilla puts everything she has into making sure that dream of hers comes true: owning and operating a sturdy, ocean-going sailboat.  it’s not easy, what priscilla is doing, because the maintenance alone (not to mention the sailing) of such a vessel is … well, beyond comprehension to most landlubbers, such as we.  but priscilla finds the time (in between a successful massage therapy business) to maintain her boat, sail it near and far, chartering it out as much as possible (see www.aceladysails.com for more info).  i greatly admire people like priscilla.  they defy the odds, and make sure their dreams become reality.  bravo priscilla!!

this anchored boat, with its mast under repair, represents another sailor’s passion: as demonstrated by the bedazzling woodworking you see everywhere onboard, representing hundreds of hours of labor-intensive savvy!

every scrap of wood is passionately cared for

every scrap of wood is passionately cared for

even this boat owner’s dingys are exquisitely varnished.  he was down below, no doubt, sanding or applying his loving craft to another woody surface, whistling, happy.  following his passion.

and you?  what’s your passion?  are you at least thinking of how you’ll be able to honor that passion today?  even if, like myself, some days you just can’t.  but no matter how stresed or strained we are, at least we can plan on how our passions will evolve some other day, if we’re busy with other things.  because, as we all know, the unfolding of our realities all start with the thoughts we hold continuously in our minds.

as for my passions:  this week i’ve had to put my love (honestly, it’s an out-and-out obsession) of writing and arting to one side to make space to care-take my mom (still recovering from her T.I.A.), and also husband Carter, who didn’t do what i did when i felt “the bug” invade my body last week (we both got it).  i rested, he didn’t.  i’m not as sick, he’s dog-dead-in-the-ditch sick.  i chose to not do as much and he’s paying the price, poor baby (guys! what is it about guys?!).  for a few days i had to put my passions on hold, to heal myself.  and here i am now, nurse lordflea, nursing others, making sure mom takes her meds; making chamomile tea with honey and lemon in the middle of the night for carter, and yesterday,  a big pot of chicken soup bubbling on the stove, with lots of homeopathic remedies at the bedside of the sick co-captain of our ship, called relation.  for the moment at least, my passion for arting (which most definitely includes writing) is put aside for the good of the bigger picture.

but…my passion of being one with the Divine…is never put on hold.  THAT i can do, whether i’m busy, sick, traveling, or involved with others’ passions, projects, or peculiar personalities:

Sufi Bird...flying as high as he can, as i try

Sufi Bird...flying as high as he can, as i try

here’s another shot of the gorgeous st. augustine lighthouse, which has always been one of my passions in life, and also, in my art:

the lighthouse, in reality

the lighthouse, in reality

and here you can see how my passion evokes another way of “seeing” st. augustine’s lighthouse:

Buddha's Foot; from the lighthouse series

Buddha's Foot, from the lighthouse series

in this series, i take the st. augustine lighthouse, which has always been a personal icon of mine, representing a tower of strength and courage, and use it here to remind me to follow my passion, to do whatever i have to do to take my journey of searching for Truth to the next level.  i use the lighthouse along with other universal, recognizable archetypes (painted in the small squares, surrounded by the matrix of space, time, and matter) as focus.  these paintins are reminders, meant to evoke humankind’s aspiring to a greater good (this is MY political activism, folks!).  just as we awake from a profound, prescient dream and only remember an image, a fragment of it here and there throughout the day, i attempt to portray in this series the remnants of a very real, very tangible inner remembrace: the images hint of who we really are, and where our spiritual journey (of the entire human race, mean) is taking us.  we run into these reminders, always, but do we stop to notice them?  bits and pieces of startling landscape, a word from a stranger, an angelic message on a bus ad, a glistening majestic river, a long road beckoning us to follow.  this series is about our path.  other places, other states of being-ness yet to explore.  here’s another of my lighthouse series, this one depicting an altogether different landscape. 

Moon Beach

Moon Beach

for years i used to run along st. augustine beach, and watch the lighthouse as it grew steadily more prominent.  i was always eager to see it rising over the sandy, sea oats-strewn dunes.  the closer i came to the lighthouse, the more excited i got.  my body would shiver, my breath felt sharper.  i was sure i felt the same as, and fully understood the significance of being “guided” that desperate sailors out at sea must have felt, whenever they sighted a lighthouse with the surrounding seas rough, the night dark, and the way, treacherous.  that’s my inspiration behind making this series.  i chose the lighthouse as my main motif, along with more recognizable totems of great impact, both spiritual and cultural, to convey a strong a message of hope to others.  this particular lighthouse, the one at st. augustine, has always been a beacon of inner strength in my own life.  here’s another of the series.

Shiva's Dance

Shiva's Dance

today, on blog lordflea, it seems to be: honor the Light Within Day!!  yes, that’s a passion of mine!  maybe you’ll feel the excitement i carry in my heart for the unseen Light we all carry within, by gazing at my lighthouse series.  i hope you enjoy them.  here’s the final in the series, as i wish you adieu, a very groovy day, enjoying whatever passion you happen to be engaged in at this very moment!

love from your pal, lord flea

Ghost Tree

Ghost Tree

Dare to be Spiritually Correct … huh?

Hi Friend,

Just back from Boston where we spent a pleasantly gentile weekend attending a gathering of old college friends. 

bridge to nowhere ... crossing the Charles River

bridge to nowhere ... crossing the Charles River

we got to share stimulating thoughts, discussions, symposiums, dances, exhibits, and most importantly, the sharing of life’s sweet laughter.

as i’d mentioned in an earlier post, i’m starting a new awareness about all of us catching ourselves in our tendencies to over-intellectualize and/or over-politicize, and become, more and more, aware of each opportunity to practice, and finally arrive at BEING … more and more … with practice, with joy, even … being SPIRITUALLY CORRECT

instead of being p.c. i suggest we all try to be, and help each other to remember to be … “S.C.” — spiritually correct.

you may laugh, but once you get the hang of this new movement, you’ll enjoy this carefree, “all for others” attitude, even in midst of the worst financial crisis, the most confusing and challenging of political climes.

take our pal Bob, here, showing off his new tattoo.  bob chose the ancient hebrew phrase honoring “Logos”… the “word” of Spirit … in his humble way of proclaiming his own brand of reminding himself to be spiritually correct.  a former businessman, now an ordained minister, bob has branded his love of Spirit into his very flesh.  i kept calling him “reverand biker bob” but … we just laughed, because surely he is not that.  bob’s tat is his own private reminder of his dedication to this new way of being:

Reverand Bob showing his new "logos" tattoo to Carter

Reverand Bob showing his new "Logos" tattoo

so, for the moment, my journey with you that my blog records, documenting my personal lust for art, nature, and adventure, is taking an inward turn as i report more about my most cherished discovery … that among all things people like to share about, the most important journey of all, and perhaps the most unbelievalbe … is a person’s discovering, and then embracing, the Inner Light within.

being Spiritually Correct, s.c., is to acknowledge this Truth (of Spirit) as not only real — but really important to remember.  to call yourself s.c. is to remind yourSelf to keep a heightened awareness ever at the center of all actions, all thoughts, in the rest of all our daily living, whatever that might entail.  being “spiritual” doesn’t mean just now and then.  being s.c. means to live with awakened recognition that we are all ONE.   being s.c. takes precedent over being any other kind of “correct,” be it social, political, intellectual, environmental, groovy, hip, religious, anti-religious, cultural or quaint, material or non-consuming, or … any other ways of being fashionably or unfashionably human.

try something new — be s.c. 

being s.c. means … letting go and letting Spirit into the scene.

Dive into living In Spirit, being s.c.

Dive into living In Spirit, being s.c.

fly from your restraints and you, too, can learn to fly, In Spirit!  let your own Inner Spirit be one with the knowledge that we are all connected, we are all One.  there is a discernible energy that connects us all.  as Chief Joseph said, “we are all connected, in the web of life.”

right now, everywhere i go and you, too, people are buzzing, ranting, non-sequituring, going off the wall (but not jumping out windows–yet!), being passionate about politics, the financial fiasco, the mess our environment is in.  on everyone’s minds is the need for climate change; we’re desperate for conscious, compassionate leadership.  and so it should be, all of us being passionate — right now — at this election time.  because we all must fight for what we believe in, and that includes stating, even fighting for our choices.  each of us must discern from the political pile the best of what is offered.

but come the evening of november 4th, we must all come together as One, no matter what the results of the u.s. presidential election is.

i won’t go into politics here.  this blog is not about that subject.  my thoughts are about art, nature, the environment, and the more important subjects (hey! it’s MY blog, right!) of finding the universal Truth that hides in the heart of all members of the human race, of all living beings, too.  we are all tiny cells in the body of what some call “God” but … it doesn’t matter what you call “IT.”  IT is a mysterious, mystical, but very real, very tappable energy.  IT is a force that is unseen, yet IT connects us all, in more ways than science has yet to discover, but they are quickly on the trail of pinpointing and proving: cellular knowledge, quantum physics, string theory.  stay tuned: michio kaku will explain it all, in all good time.

the IT of plants is the same as ...

the IT of plants is the same as ...

the IT within all … spiritual energy … a person’s chi, also called the kundalini, qi, tao, Great and Holy Spirit … whatever name we choose to call the Divine … is the only reality there is, the alpha, the omega, and … the Logos:

the Force within i call Noname

the Force within i call Noname

this is not serious, no-fun business i’m talking about here. i hope you realize i am reporting on the absolute certain joyousness i feel in my heart, and soul, based on my own experiences of discovering we are all One, all connected.  if you don’t think this is fun stuff–lighten up!  don’t get me wrong or put me in some box marked “weirdo serioso.”  no sirree.  when i speak of living a life based on being s.c. i’m conveying the choice to embrace an attitude, based on personal experience.  but don’t just scoff.   put this s.c. business into practice for yourself, and see your face light up, the smiles barge into your life, and others! 

a person whose life is based on being s.c. is much more prone to laughing and doing silly things like … being in an elevator with or without friends (as happened this past weekend up in Boston) and, for the hell of it, when the doors close and the strangers stuck with you refuse to look you in the eye, or even crack a smile … gently, mellowly start to Ooooooommmmmmmmmmmm.  you’ll feel the energy change, BIG TIME!!!  boy!  you’ll see, as we did, uptight strangers rush out of an elevator so fast you’re practically knocked down!  we laugh and we laugh, and we continue to Oooommmm in the most unlikely places, with or without friends.  this is all good, all great, all unbelievable loosening action:

BE A SPIRITUAL ACTIVIST … be s.c.

help others rid themselves of stiff, old, doesn’t-work, irrepressibly stuffy and unfun thinking that needs to be unwound from the human collective soul.  

let go let Spirit into your heart, and learn to fly!

let go let Spirit into your heart, and learn to fly!

so come on, i dare you!  do something totally whacked-out remindful of Spirit today, and forget being “proper” or “polite” or “afraid to offend”…. just spread the word, of IT, of God, of Spirit, however you sing that song of bliss, whatever the Name is, whatever IT means to you.  

IT may be nature.

allow yourself to become calm, secure enough, just for today, somewhere a wild bird might easily choose to come and rest upon your head.  sit still, and thoughtful, breathe, become filled with s.c. … in your yard, by your window, on a park bench … in a golden autumn meadow.

just allow yourself to feel the goodness of being in tune with the earth, this glorious earth that we are ever-more-consciously stewards of.  your activism starts with remembering the beating of your heart, of listening to your own breath.  your entire life will feel so much better if you invite your busy mind to just stop — for a little while — and merge with your natural surroundings. become safe enough for a wild bird to trust its life to, to alight upon the top of your head.  feel the tender feet of the bird believing you and IT are indeed, the same.

breathe deeply in, pushing your belly out with the in-breath… breathe gently and long out, contracting your belly with the out-breath.  merge with your breath.  why not?  what have you got to lose?

that is what i mean by being “spirituall correct.”

each of us can sit easily by the river of our lives ... in close connection ... being s.c. by just noticing how we breathe

each of us can sit easily by the river of our lives ... in close connection ... being s.c. by just noticing how we breathe

wishing you all a fun, shimmering, serene day, even in the midst of the most tumultuous firey tempest,

in the Light, lord flea

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

passionate politics

dear friend,

the election is fast approaching and with it, passions are flaring, tempers heating, and this is great! NOW is the time for people to express themselves, actively promote their choice, say what they want to say, and defend the position of whatever candidate they’ve chosen to support.

it’s talking heads everywhere!

opinions, passions, choices--everywhere!

opinions, passions, choices--everywhere!

 for someone like me, who basically doesn’t trust ANY politician, but feels by the very nature of politics one who has entered that realm of public life has to be a magician, of sorts, to persuade the masses to believe their views–i can only pray that the choices we all make will serve the highest good for all.

and that when the dust settles, in the late evening of November 7, whoever is the winner will be the most enlightened choice of the people’s collective will.  yes, NOW is the time to voice our passions about which candidate is ours — but after the election, i hope the country of America will enjoy a period of healing, and rally around the new chief.  in other words, i hope whoever wins, does so by a landslide.  otherwise, i’m afraid, there’s going to be more back-biting and bitterness from the opposing political parties.  and quite frankly, i’m sick of it!

i don’t trust any politician.  but i will vote.  who i vote for is my own business.  how i believe in a universal force of such magnitude that politics is a mere ant’s footprint in its shadow, is my business here.

that’s why you’ll not be hearing any more political talk from me, lord flea.

so voice your choice loud and clear, my friend!  be active!  get connected, get out there and talk, argue, and make your point — but after Nov. 8th, please be kind and support whomever is chosen to lead this country.  we have some tough times ahead of us.  we need to be united in order to grow as a nation, as a people, as individuals.

be well, be loving, be kind to one another.

we are ONE -- a united family of humankind

we are ONE -- a united family of humankind

i spoke to my hopi native american friend, binky person, today.  he and i laughed and cried and shared our frustrations, and were amazed at how similar we are.  he, who has tried to teach his fellow indians to uphold the sacredness of the “old ways” feels ineffectual, even despised by his people.  binky feels no one wants to remember the sacredness of life here on earth.  i told him he has affected me deeply, and that counts.  i’ll write more of my new friendship with hopi binky in future posts.

in the Light, lord flea

global mala

dear One,

yesterday we met on St. Augustine beach and formed a human mala; a rosary bead of intent.  the focus of our 108 sun salutes, followed by 108 chants of Om was global peace.  sending out our prayers as action (hatha yoga asanas) and sound (the seed mantra, Om) was a glorious way to be active, to participate in being part of the solution, instead of remaining part of the problem.

the sound of peace, the sound of God consciousness … the sound of Om:

visualizing the power of Om as its vibrations resonate throughout the atmosphere

visualizing the power of Om as its vibrations resonate throughout the atmosphere

 

try it yourself.  why not now?  or soon.  find a quiet place, all by yourself or with a like-minded friend.  get quiet.  breathe deeply.  set your intention that this sound of Om, this ancient sound that the sages say was the sound of creation that was first heard by those who sought answers to such things, intend to send out your tone with this ancient note.  send it out to the world.  help heal the world with your sound.  forget politics for this moment.  forget the strife.  forget the confusion.  focus on sending out the positive vibrations that are here, for all of us, at any given moment.  all we have to do is listen, and then join in with our voices.

breathe out long.  breathe in long … now make this beautiful sound with your own tone.  make this sound over and over until you feel you have sounded and become One with Truth It-Self.

what an expansive, rewarding feeling.  enjoy!  over and over!  whenever you can.

i send you my loving sound also, Om with me, lordflea

up up and away—-goin’ sailing!

greetings,

the biggest enjoyment in my life is to be at sea. i simply adore the roar and the pulse and the movement, the flow of the ocean. the sea was my first spiritual teacher. i am at one with the sea when i am near Her, on Her, in Her.

being a sailor of the seven seas, here’s one of the ways i’ve expressed that nearness to the sea:

benevolent sea, benevolent storm

benevolent sea, benevolent storm

 

we’re off on another sailing adventure, this time to Newfoundland! we’ll be aboard a sturdy 70 footer, with our dear friends who gypsy around on this planet’s true medium, the Sea. they’ll be meeting us at the Deer Lake airport. hopefully we’ll find some nice isolated coves that will be a safe anchorage for our boat, and we’ll have opportunities to hike and camp, and get to know the “Newfies” as they call themselves.

be well, blog-friends, i’ll be back in two weeks! ship ahoy!

in the Light, lordflea

need a little neem?

Hi friend,

equipoise, a term used to denote being in balance, also called "the middle way" in buddhism, or serenity, or ... peace. not too much this, not too much that; perfectly with earth, air, water, and fire. om shanti shanti shanti

"equipoise," a yogic term used to denote being in balance, also called "the middle way" in buddhism, or "serenity," or ... peace, contentment, and other words. equipoise is an inner state achieved by learning to not respond to too much this, too much that; to be perfectly aligned with Nature and Her elements: earth, air, water, and fire. om shanti shanti shanti

a new friend came into my life on saturday night, when we had a satsang at our house. “satsang” is a sanskrit term for “being in company of Truth.” it is what you call the time when seekers of all sorts get together purposefully for the opportunity to be as One, to honor the Inner Self, to honor the teachers, disseminate the teachers’ and scriptural wisdom, and to do things like chant, contemplate great words, and meditate, and…to socialize with like-minded individuals. we had cake (someone’s birthday! happy leos! and herb tea afterwards.)

this new friend of mine grows herbs. she knew i was a fan of nature because in our emailing back and forth preceding the satsang, i mentioned my love of ripping out lawns (which i do wherever i can) and replanting them with zero-scape (or is it xeroscape?) gardens, designed free-style with meandering paths, little areas of interests, and as much rock-work and sculpture as i can possibly fit into the space. i’ve done lots of this kind of arting-with-earth-moving-and-painting-with-living plants creation, in both cities and in rural areas.

in an email to her i mentioned how i’ve been trying to germinate “tulsi,” a variety of basil, which is considered both medicinal and sacred in India, where it’s from. so when Dora the herb lady (her business is www.maggiesherbfarm.com ) came to satsang, she brought bunches of cut neem, and…magic of all magic, a tulsi plant!

the neem was especially interesting to me, as i’ve been staring at a jar of neem oil, afraid to use it, timid to try something so foreignly sticky and yukky smelling, and generally being the kind of slouch and narrow-minded fool that i often ridicule. so isn’t it perfect, me thinks to meself, that Dora has brought me some neem as a gift.

nature's gifts...worn as jewelry, cool necklace, eh?

nature's gifts worn as jewelry; cool necklace, eh?

plants are truly gifts from the gods. how often has mankind been rewarded, even “saved” by a natural plant or mineral? a cure for leprosy; the fungus growing on bread that became penicillin; barley and hops that became mankind’s favorite intoxicant: mead then beer; juniper berries in gin; little unopened flowers that are capers; and let’s not forget all the great cures of cancer, AIDS and every other disease that is sure to be contained in the “right plant”…when the scientists discover them. 

a little treat for you, on this thought:

through the gate of seeking, all Truth is found. this is a work by my friend, tomas sanchez, of costa rica. his work is filled with the kind of exciting, gorgeous discoveries that make being alive so magical as i feel, as tomas does too. and you? we hope so; if not, keep looking deeper into this painting. you will find the invitation to discover what you need, right there, in the Light.

through the gate of seeking, all Truth is found. this is a work by my friend, tomas sanchez, of costa rica. his work is filled with the kind of exciting, gorgeous discoveries that make being alive so magical as i feel, as tomas does too. and you? we hope so; if not, keep looking deeper into this painting. you will find the invitation to discover what you need, right there, in the Light.

 

…so…what is neem, you ask.

www.neemfoundation.org

it is a deep-green, delicated-leaved tree used for any type of ailment besieging a plant grower or gardener. writing this, i’m working up to trying an infusion of its leaves on an infestation of white flies attacking my young papaya trees. i’ll also be glad to share my other stash (a jar of neem oil from Dyna-Gro) with my friend, Isabel, who has an epidemic of microscopic black flies (or is it scale?) attacking hers. i’ll put some of this neem oil into my sprayer, diluted with water and liquid dish soap (1 tsp. per gal) and spray it on early in morning or late in afternoon. meanwhile, i’m cooking up the leaves of the neem branches that Dora brought, to make my own brew. the leftover naked woody stems i’ve put in a pot of water with the prospect of their sending out roots and then, voila! i’ll have little neem trees of my own to plant in my St. Augustine, Florida garden.  

when i kill lawns i always plant as many native species of “wild grass” from the area, and as many big timber species of bamboo as i can fit into a property.

lord flea with a giant timber bamboo, in costa rica

lord flea with a giant timber bamboo, in costa rica

here, at the garden i’m creating at our new home (which I’ve named “Veritas Shambho”…veritas is latin for “the Truth” and shambho, sanskrit for “the abode of bliss”), i’ve planted over 7 different clumping species (old hamii, minor amoenus, buddha belly, dragon’s nest, etc.), and wow, this place will look like that fighting scene from “Crouching Tiger” in just a few years. be sure to always plant clumpers, not spreaders, for those of you who are thinking of going natural, and planting bamboo. BIG difference. you will regret it if you accidentally plant a bamboo that spreads, rather than clumps. so be careful.

the conundrum of plants

the conundrum of plants

which brings me to the thought of how nature is so well balanced, so much in fact that if we could just learn how to live from observing nature, how much happier, healthier, and prosperous we’d all be.

years ago i drew this illustration for Tim Plowman, a great botanist who succumbed early on to the AIDS pandemic. but before timoteo left us he studied the use of, spread of, and in general, good effects humanity has derived from the plant known as coca.

coca erythroxylum, the bush that has caused such havoc when humans distill its alkaloid, "cocaine" but which also has great beneficial qualities, known to the ancients and to modern dwellers of the high Andes and Altiplano of South America
coca erythroxylum, the bush that has caused such havoc when humans distill its alkaloid, “cocaine” but which also has great beneficial qualities, known to the ancients and to modern dwellers of the high Andes and Altiplano of South America

it has occurred to me on several occasions, about the mystery of how nature has encrypted both a blessing and a curse in each of her byproducts. certainly, the human species is the best example of that, as we can be either the very best example of cosmic consciousness or…the very most slug-minded beast who slaves at dispersing evil and dismay for him/her-self and others.

but with coca, mother nature has outwitted us brainy humans by implanting in this particularly favored of her plant-children, many remarkable attributes, attesting for its being one of the great plants that both boosts the human experience, and seriously challenges it.

the delicate tropical bush named coca erythroxylum is still cultivated for its unique flavor (and exported to Coca Cola factories throughout the world, minus the alkaloid cocaine which is distilled from the leaf in its native growing countries of Peru, Bolivia, Columbia); used still for its medicinal qualities by indigenous and acculturated people throughout the Andes, for warding off everything from altitude sickness, stomach ailments, to a child’s misbehavior, and even malnutrition. best known, though, is coca’s malicious, much maligned cousin, the alkaloid cocaine, which is familiar to plain old recreational drug users everywhere, for an energized thrill-seeking high preferred by those seeking to escape so-called reality (coke users, crack-heads, and their danger-loving drug-dealing suppliers).

when Nature bestowed on us earth dwellers the plant coca, She intended for the plant to be worshipped as a Goddess. the ancient Incans did so, and all was well. the ancient Incans used the plant sparingly, to fuel themselves on long treks through the mountains where taking food and water would be difficult, if not impossible. every Incan who was mummified has been found with his/her coca pouch for their trek to the Great Hereafter, as they believed chewing coca made them more in touch with the divine.

even modern-day descendants of the Incans have lost the divine connection to Mama Coca. to this day, the indigenous Kogi people of Columbia still chew (although, to my mind, way too excessively), but certainly more than any westerner i ever met either snorts, smokes or swallows drugs, chews gum or smokes cigarettes, for these so-called “pure” indigenous people to be labeled anything other than intoxicated. certainly these guys don’t need to so addictively be poking their sticks into their lime gourds, constantly constantly constantly activating the alkaloid in the leaves as they habitually do. whereas the other Altiplano indigenous people, for instance, the Ayamarra in Bolivia, just let their coca wads set and trickle their juices in their puffed-out cheeks, adding the lime activater (a catalyst substance, like ground-up seashell, or fire ash) to the cheek wad only occasionally.

truly, the world is witnessing the degradation and murdurous violence, the downgrading of humanity through the spread of drug use, and cocaine is one of the strongest, most addictive, next to heroin. within all so-called “beneficial” plants Nature has, in the balance of existence She is, activated the “encoded” curse within everything. with coca it goes something like this (lord flea sings!):

when the spaniards came to invade the new world, they wiped out the indigenous people, the Incans, calling them heathens and savages. they didn’t honor the gods of the Incans. they didn’t recognize Mama Coca, and called Her, instead, a false god. the spaniards wanted the savages to stop chewing Her coca leaves, to stop revering Mama Coca. but the native people did not, and thus, they were eradicated. now…centuries later…the conquerors, those descended from the spaniards, the english, the dutch, etc. have themselves come under the evil scourge of what coca does when it’s been altered by “human distillation” … in the form of cocaine. people everywhere are suffering from the prevalence of cocaine. gone are the days when coca was considered a valuable medicine, when Coca Cola had it in their drink (the alkaloid addition halted after narcotics were regulated by Federal Law in 1927, but the distinguishing extracted flavor of coca still is used). gone are the elixirs, the coca-laced wines and other coca-enhanced pick-me-uppers, the refreshing, nourishing potions sold everywhere after the discovery of coca in the new world.

now the world thinks of “coca” and (if they don’t confuse it with cacao, the tree that is the source of chocolate) they think of drug-addled crazies. This is the way Nature, or i should say, Mother Nature, our Mother Earth, our dear Planet, beloved Gaia, has encoded into all her being-ness her all-knowing, always sensing, self-protecting feature, in each and every one of her cells of existence. Including you, all other humans, and me.

In other words: addiction to cocaine is Mother Nature’s way of getting back on the guys, the so-called “civilized conquerors” who wiped out the Incans, just because they were different than they were. Heed this warning, all good people of the Earth. Mother Nature always balances the scales when there are injustices against any part of herself.

We are One.

the dance ... We are One

the dance ... We are One

we cannot hurt one part of Her without another part of Her hurting us. this is the law of cause and effect: of Mother Earth’s Mystery, the balancing act of Nature. 

so…i boil my neem leaves and prepare to make my own insect-killer, bacteria-negater, infestation-preventing potion: not by buying the latest chemical (which might do ME in by accident…it happens!) but by finding out what Nature has given us to counteract negatives. There is always a positive out there, to balance out the negative.

oh, and did i mention i’m suffering from poison ivy this week? jewelweed, the natural antidote for poison ivy (rhus toxicedron) doesn’t grow around here, in northern Florida. but i found a good poison-ivy soap from www.Burtsbees.com  that contains jewelweed, and also other good things from our Mother.

here’s another of my early botanical works for you. this study done for Tom E. Lockwood’s dissertation on Brugmansia (Harvard University, 1968). brugmansia is the tree form of datura, which is popularly called Devil’s Weed, Angel’s Trumpet, and many other weird, counter-indicating names that don’t make much sense, except they are quite sensational, as the plant is.

enjoy the moment, yours in singing Truth, lord flea

brugmansia sanguinea

brugmansia sanguinea

ps. if you want to know more about “Plants of the Gods” check out that eponymously named book by Schultes, Hofmann and Ratsch, Healing Arts Press.