Archive for the ‘storms of life’ Category

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

friends,

last weekend i attended the savannah jazz festival up in savannah, to honor and support our good friend and world renown congo player, mr. Big Black.

in case you’re wondering, Big Black is very big, and yes, he’s very black.

big black calming for the storm ahead, on his congas

big black calming for the storm ahead, on his congas

Black, as he’s known to his friends, has played with most of the “old guard” jazz greats, including Miles, Dizzy, and my personal favorite keyboard artist, McCoy Tyner.  Black’s brother, an eclectic musician (gone for some years now) named Fish Ray, who played a home-made instrument that looked like a cross between a tin washtub and a broomstick-neck bass fiddle, which he jubilantly played with the original Lord Flea’s band, back in the day when calypso was the true voice of the people.  the people i’m speaking of were mostly island-types, but also from all other walks of life (and all races) where, just as today, movement and dance are just as integral with human expression as the sound of instruments, including the soulful one of the human voice, singing the joys of life, as well as its pains.  yet when Lord Flea chose to sing about the pain of life, he sang with great joy, still. 

the dance and the sound of life's celebration...carnival!

the sound of life's joy, life's gratitude...life's dance

Big Black is  practically the only one left of that era, when Lord Flea rocked people’s hearts, and Fish Ray made everyone want to jump up and shout, and Big and Fish’s sister, Becka, that gorgeous nubian princess, caused a sensation with her rendition of the “sand dance,” an erotic slice of rhythm and physical stamina performed, on a patch of sand placed on a shiny stage, to the blood-current-tingling sounds of Lord Flea’s calypso band.

check out you tube’s Lord Flea clip.  you’ll know what i mean when you see it.  the early ones who knew that music was to celebrate the spirit, and uplift the soul.

we're all in it, whether we know IT or not, so enjoy!

the dance of life: we

 black invited us to come and help him celebrate being inducted into the jazz All-Stars, the veritable Hall of Fame for the greats, featured at the savannah jazz festival.  we enjoyed hearing him and all the All Stars Band play, and all the other fabulous musicians, including the jazz band of the university of florida, and simone, nina simone’s sensational daughter (oooh, love those neat coppery coily-dreads!), whose lusty voice was strong and will be heard a lot more, i dare say.

jazz festival attendee...with lots of interesting features

jazz festival attendee...with lots of interesting features

meanwhile, back at the flea ranch, mom has suffered a slight set-back.  i’ve been busy rushing back and forth to doctor and hospital, and we finally determined she’s had a TIA, a transcient ischemic attack, which is sort of like a “mini stroke” but much less severe than that implies.  all of a sudden she couldn’t finish her sentences, was confused, and grew increasingly scared about what was happening to her.  terror set in when she tried to pay her bills and numbers just swam in front of her eyes.

the life of the party at her surprise 90th, mom just two weeks ago

the life of the party at her surprise 90th, mom just two weeks ago

life can change…for all of us…in just the blink of an eye.

mom is fine now, thanks, but … she’s been given a clear warning sign from the Great Beyond, that she has to make some major changes (diet, exercise, mindfulness, calming herSelf into let-go-let-God-ness) if she wants to live to her 91st birthday.  which we’re all sure she will.

she’s a strong, incredibly self-reliant person, and i’m very sure i wouldn’t be half the artist, writer, and spiritual warrior that i am today, if i hadn’t been raised by this particularly unique, lithuanian-descent woman (well versed in all the pagan-catholic fairytales that that culture embraces)–my mom.  i don’t want to lose her, now that i’ve finally found, and accepted her.

thanks, mom.  it’s a pleasure and a delight to be able to give you some loving support in your time of need.  for years, i couldn’t.  now i’m strong enough, well enough, and self-reliant enough, like you, to pay back just a small portion of what you’ve given me all these years.  i love you and i accept that i had to be raised by someone so different from me, in order for me to find out who i really was.

ancestry, from embroynic to the highest possible...and everything in between

a mother-daughter kind of thing: ancestry, from embryonic to the highest possible...and everything in between

i send love and Light, healing and invigorating, and filled with joy…to each and every one of us,

lord flea, your pal

hi everyone,

for a while there we all felt like singing, to the melody of “the twelve days of Christmas”…on the fourth day of Fay-ay, my true love gave to me. but then she (the hurricane that dissipated into a tropical storm) finally inched her way westward. we had mucho precipitation, but thankfully no major damage.

basically, Fay was a snoozer.

even if she had decided to become a tyrannical twister-sister killer of a tempest, this is what i did, as i always do, in face of any hurricane approaching — big or small, fast or slow (these storms are so unpredictable–a tropical storm today can be a killer in the next few hours).

  • fill my bathtub with water (most important of all!)
  • check to make sure i have lots of flashlights, and batts
  • cook until my ass falls off, or the fresh food is used up, so we have nicely prepared, good tasting, healthy food instead of canned stuff
  • lash down or bring in anything that can fly away
  • stay inside to not get my head sliced off by others’ flying debris
  • have a pile of good books, magazines, and a deck of cards close by for all the hours of waiting waiting waiting that any storm demands
  • remember to LAUGH and have fun, even when the winds get crazy (you can always build another house, but staying alive is the point!)

once those preparations are done, i practice the most difficult thing of all, which i spoke of in my last post — let go let God.

storm waters flooding, a challenge for all to remain calm when things get drastic

storm waters flooding, a challenge for all to remain calm when things get drastic

by God of course i mean “Good-Orderly-Direction” not any anthropomorphic bearded deity in the sky, or beyond. another way of saying this is, as one of my yoga teachers says, ‘let go let good.’

i always thought the name God must have come from the word good. but my source book for etymology (study of where words originate), the Chambers dictionary (published in the U.K.) says, “from a Germanic root guth, God, and quite distinct from good.”  so if anyone happens to know more specific origins of this ubiquitous name for the Supreme Being, this name we say in English, God, I’d be very curious. thanks. I’ve tried googling it, but it’s very confusing, this word. it’s just another name, anyway, for an totally incomprehensible thought, a Divine Being such as Jehovah, Yahweh, Allah, Deus, etc. the names given for this concept in all the many tongues of humankind.

a young friend of mine, Marshall, who also practices meditation, and has found guidance in the awareness teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, happened to ask me this question yesterday, which i thought most provocative. i wish i had had the insight to ask this question, when i was first started off on my spiritual journey. but i wasn’t so lucky to find a trusted teacher until much later than Marshall.

as we spoke of living the spiritual life Marshall asked me: “what about doubt?” to which i could only answer that, for me, the decision to embrace the Truth that this life we all live is a spiritual one, and we are all spiritual beings having a human experience, is based on my inner experiences. when i began to sit for meditation it was the first step in taking the most important journey of my life. the places i journey to inwardly are unspeakably beautiful, fulfilling, and blissfully all-encompassing. meditation is the best way i’ve found to plug into the true energy of this existence we call life. we only have our own experiences to rely on, really.

we have all the answers, all the proof, within our own Inner Self

we have all the answers, all the proof, within our own Inner Self

BUT…and i forgot to mention this to Marshall (i hope he reads it here) i am very fortunate to have had another source of reference, that, years ago, put my ever-questioning mind at rest about whether or not this life really is about tuning into the spiritual, psychic, ineffable energy surrounding us. this experience of mine came at the moment of my father’s death, from cancer. i was with him at the end. he had always been a self-proclaimed agnostic, never sure of anything concerning the God-question. when he finally arrived at the end of his disease-destroying struggle, Dad began to leave his body. his consciousness would just … slip away, quite literally. i was there in the room with him to witness his uncanny sojourns into other realms, planes-of-being to which i could not venture, and could hardly fathom.

Dad was swaying as if flying, with his arms out-spread, making coo-ing noises that sounded enjoyable, on his part. i was quite startled, looking at this big, generally down-to-earth man with an oxygen tube hooked up to his nose, all six-feet-five of him, looming over his bed as if he were a gigantic Icarus in earthbound-flight. all i could do was just sit and watch, and make sure Dad didn’t fall and hurt himself. it was quite evident he wasn’t in his “right mind” because his eyes were totally out of focus. he didn’t respond when i called his name. it was as if he were in another realm altogether, from the one we shared, physically, in that little bedroom in St. Augustine, Florida.

after some time, Dad folded his “wings” and gradually sank gently onto the bed. i got him lying prone, and comfortable. then i sat by his head, waiting, watching. slowly, i saw the flicker of consciousness return to his eyes. with his eyes wide opened, and obviously, again “conscious,” he turned to me and firmly but softly said, without the least hint of disbelief:

“it really is true. we are all one. what a shame some people don’t get to know it until too late.”

when dad finally came all the way back into his body, i was there, sitting patiently, waiting. until he recognized me at his side, i was tingling with the sensation that my father had given me such a gift! a gift by virtue of me witnessing his experience. i felt like a journalist who objectively sees, then later reports, a factual event. my heart and mind were filled with bursting energy–call it gratitude, call it an epiphany–whatever it was it was BIG, because my dad, in his pre-death flight plan-check, had inadvertantly shown me PROOF of something i had only suspected all my life. that we are, indeed, all ONE.

Dad finally noticed me sitting by his side. he had spoken no words yet since his uncanny pronouncement. it was as if he were awakening from a long nap. i gently said, “hey dad, do you remember what just happened?” he shook his head no. i said, “well you just went off on some kind of trip. maybe you went scouting, out of your sick body to where you’re headed for next, i don’t know, but you said:”

‘it really is true: we are all one. what a shame some people don’t get to know it until too late.’

Dad’s eyes grew wide. he looked at me, who simply reported what he had himself just said, what he had just witnessed. he believed me. he had to.

my very own father looked at me, amazed beyond belief. “no kidding’ he said. “i said that?” i wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d added, “son of a bitch!” but instead, he remained silent, thinking, wondering …

to this day i accept that experience with my father as a special gift i was given by him, of witnessing his psyche preparing to pass into the next realm (he left his body for good the very next afternoon). for two reasons i believe this experience a benevolent gift: first to give him, my Dad, assurance and comfort, in his quickly approaching passing-over, by the mere fact of my being able to report back to him what he’d told me, what he himself saw and experienced, this ONENESS he spoke of. it was he who had seen IT, felt IT, experienced IT; that fact alone must have given my dad as much comfort as i, a mere reporter, a bystander.

and secondly, i feel that my father gave me the gift of truly believing in something that, up until Dad’s handing me this undeniable PROOF, had been about me having faith that we are all One. true, i’d already suspected as much, from my nothing-less-than-cosmic meditation experiences, but — just like everyone who thinks about these things — you really have to rely upon faith, because Oneness is not scientifically prove-able (not yet! but i hear scientists are closing in on the metaphysics).

for me, i have more than faith. i know beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything is connected, thanks to Dad, thanks to trusting my own inner experiences i continuously have, both in and out of a “formal” meditative state. all of life becomes a higher awareness, when we see, feel, and imbibe the Truth, the Oneness of All. we are all part of the web of life, and everything that happens to One, happens to all.  

in my next post i want to talk about the importance of keeping things LIGHT, how laughter and joy are true signals of right spiritual understanding. with all this information i share with you, i give it with love, with my blessings, but also remind everyone that having spiritual experiences makes one’s life filled with tremendous energy: we have entered the realm of great mysteries, and remarkably genuine joy. that true inner bliss is what all humans have as our birth-rights is part of the Mystery. all we have to do is reach within our own beings to discover we’ve had that joy all along. and then we can laugh and enjoy the play … the Oneness.

the waterfall of life; we are all like drops of water within the Flow of Oneness -- enjoy the ride, and smile with the pleasure of being-cared-for

the waterfall of life; we are all like drops of water within the Flow of Oneness -- enjoy the ride, and smile with the pleasure of being-cared-for

if i don’t get to make another post soon, you’ll know it’s because i leave on tuesday (day after tomorrow) to join friends up in Newfoundland on their 70 foot sailboat. we’ll be exploring the southern coast of that glorious Canadian country, anchoring in isolated coves, backpacking and camping whenever we can safely leave the boat. i’ll bring my camera, but there is no phone service, and no computers where we will be. i’ll let you know how our adventure goes when i return.

meanwhile, know that i send love and Light to each and every one of you, lordflea

singing our song of Oneness

“it really is true. WE ARE ALL ONE. what a shame some people don’t get to know it until too late.” 

we are all ONE

we are all ONE