Hybrid Vigor — an Amazed and Astounded Me

In the eighties I took all my earlier, darker attempts of visually documenting my life-discoveries to the dump, where I watched the scavengers come and take my “old” works. These people, poor and without any outside semblance of artistic taste, looked like pack rats scurrying off with leftover crumbs. The crumbs that were paintings made by my own blood, sweat, and tears.

That day at the dump in East Hampton, New York, symbolized the day I was ready to say “No” to the old, useless, no-longer needed part of me, and to say hello and “Yes” to the new, improved, better version of myself.

When I committed to living a sober life I wanted to start all over. A fresh start. It took awhile, but finally I was ready to do it. I loaded my car with all my pre-sober art — feeble attempts (some of them astounding really, and because I’ve always kept photographic records of my art work, none are forever lost) — to the public dump in the fancy East Hampton where I was living at the time. I hid behind some big bulging objects and watched as the gray-faced human scavengers came, and grabbed my brightly colored, weirdly surreal depictions of … dare I say … fear trying to beat up trust. What an exciting subject, eh? Not! If I had to describe what the theme of my “old, pre-sober” work was, it depicted the inner battle between me and my demons. For a subject. boring; but art work astounds without having to benefit the viewer. Nonetheless, I never regretted throwing the crap away, not for a minute.

That day, a new “me” was born: that part of myself I like to call my own Hybrid Vigor. Back when I was a botanical illustrator and assisting with Phd studies, my friend Tim Plowman — then the world’s most renowned authority on coca, the plant from which cocaine was made and the subject of the US Federa; study Harvard was involved in at the time — taught me what a hybrid vigor is, in biological terms.

“If you take two plants of a species which exhibit far superior qualities than any others, and breed them — their offspring is a new, better, vastly improved version of what their parents were. This new plant, a unique sub-species, is a hybrid vigor.”

That day at the dump — getting rid of what didn’t work for me any more, things I didn’t need — I felt reborn. My commitment to living according to a higher code of ethics became my reality. No longer would I abuse myself, nor would I allow anyone else to. I sealed that new reality by sending all my “babies,” my old art, representing years of hard work, learning, experimenting, yet unfortunately also delving in the dimensions of fear and despair, but beautifully, I’d like to think — sent it all far far away from me. By “dumping” these old works I let myself be free, be reborn. Ironically, East Hampton’s dump happens to be in one of the most affluent and fashionable towns in America, so you might be seeing some of these early works on mine as an anonymous collector’s “find” one day.

By ridding myself of what I didn’t need (about my own work, part of my own being) I willed myself to become a hybrid version of myself. I did this without having to physically die and be reborn, to my great good fortune!

I know, I know, this all sounds very fantastical, but this is the way I prefer to see life, as magical, and ever-changing. All things possible, and all that. Technicalities aside, I did become a better, improved version of myself that day.

And so I put to each and every person I can communicate with: you too can become a hybrid vigor version of your old former, no longer needed self, and give birth to your new Self, just by wanting to

When the day arrived, in 1984, when I was ready to get real, get honest, and put down the two decades of trying to self-annihilate the innate sense of connectedness I’d had since childhood (and which I’m sure all children are born with, before losing it due to life’s outside circumstances) — the time had arrived, two years before the dump episode, when I finally decided to get sober. It took that long for me to get clear enough, in my mind, that letting go of old stuff was what I needed to do. Finally, when I took my old “babies” to the dump and gave them to perfect strangers, that’s when I really started living for my true life’s purpose. This what I mean by the “hybrid vigor” version of myself. Not the old, blaming, shamed, victim-one I’d been for thirty-six years previously.

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Something similar as what happened to me goes on all the time with the rest of the world. Demons abound. In people and in governments, but like my own former demons (the subjects of my old work), they’re all illusions.

When stress or crisis strikes, we humans have to let our fears out. We have to watch ourselves scream, demand change, prepare to battle the demons, and make known to everyone that evil does not deserve to reside on earth without a damn good fight. We who have conquered our own demons must help others to not hide theirs within their hearts.  Or blame others for what every person alive has the power to change within themselves.

My hybrid vigor self says this: Express the fear, speak about it, share with others. And in that the Light of consciousness will dissipate whatever demon you have, whatever mask fear wears, simply by no longer allowing it to be hidden within your stony, hopeless heart.

Do not pretend fear doesn’t exist. Let our society, our trusted leaders and elected officials know that each and every one of us is responsible for the state our social climate has sunk to. If we see, hear, or feel someone to be mentally in a fragile, dangerous state of murderous rage, it’s our responsibility to get involved. To ask that person who’s in distress if they want help, then go for help. Hybrid vigors speak our fears aloud, because then, because they are not real, the ugly demons inside us run and hide and disappear from the Light of awareness being pointed at them by our own inner Light.

Our job as human beans is not to be paranoid, or worse, pretend fear doesn’t happen. Our job as hybrid vigors is to celebrate great and glorious things, yes! but also to face the evil shadow that lurks beneath the fabric of everyday life and call it what it is — demonic. And then prepare to do battle to slay the demons, one by one, until they are all gone.

I sometimes like to think of we awakened hybrid vigors as “the Army of Love” and I’m one of its active lieutenants. This images makes me smile. So I’ll keep working with that idea.

When more of us (the Army of Love increasing every day with the awakening of humankind happening in vast numbers) can all admit that yes, there is a shadow of hatred in some hearts, we can lovingly help each other heal from this breach, this tear in the fabric of our toxic, fear-filled world. With each unfortunate, next violent senseless action, another rip happens in the fabric of our human civilization, as if our Oneness is a gigantic weaving of humanity. We are all One. We can help each other heal, re-build trust, mend our brokenness, but only when we’re able to admit that fear must be spoken about, in order to eradicate it. Only then we’ll come to trust that love is much much stronger than hate.

Fear remains in our hearts when we haven’t owned how we are all responsible for helping each other to climb higher, let go of mistrust and embrace a higher way of living. Hybrid vigors helping others to peel off their lesser shells, and step out into the Light of their new, better, higher Selves.

Together, we will get over our individual and collective fears. As hybrid vigors we will all thrive on the same level of awareness — of openness to our highest potential. We must trust that Universal Love, also called Compassion, and Oneness. Love in its most expansive, inclusive form is bringing us together for a reason.

We must never pretend that all is well when it’s so obvious that our society is sick. Every bit of energy we spend to help heal our human condition is worth the endeavor.

First, we must firmly believe our world, its environment, humankind’s fear-based structures, are completely heal-able. This fact of our toxicity is proven each times a person, or a leader, goes off, gets unkind, does scarry and unreasonable things with others’ trust. When life’s evil and darkness is revealed, like it is during a mass shooting, or a bizarre politic event as have occurred in recent time, we must trust that the worst, most depraved individual can be mended. And if one person can change themself into a hybrid vigor, so can all of us.

Every person who has ever put down a negative, addictive way of thinking, for instance, is proof of that.

When the world comes together by means of our combined, positively-focused minds, focused on fostering healing energies instead of endless manifestations of fear — our world will take the giant leap to our next step in spiritual evolution.

Send healing wherever it’s needed. Even to the most deranged, hopeless individual. Even to a scary leader whose volatile nature nobody trusts.

The group is much greater than any individual. We are all connected.

We can heal anything. We can spread the balm of love as surely as some try to deny its existence.

How can I say these things?

Because it is my reality. It is how I have chosen to see life. After experiencing the other side, I have the authority to speak like this. I no longer care what others think of me. Fear leads nowhere but to self-destruction and I no longer choose that. People kill other people because they want the ultimate control over whether they live or die. Control and and Kindness are antithetical. If a controller can’t control others by simpler means, they sometimes do simply because they don’t have the courage to end their own lives, the ultimate control one has over themselves: taking themselves out. Suicide.

We can heal any darkness by focusing on the Light. Speak uplifting, kind words to one another. Spread joy and hope; say no to fear, blame, and anger. It takes practice, but changing fear into trust is the way I have sworn to live. There is no other choice for me. And I’m willing to take whatever consequences may arise, as a result of my being so sure that allowing ourselves to become a hybrid vigor, right in this lifetime, is the saving grace, the future of humankind’s survival.

Call me crazy, but I’d rather be crazy within infinitely expanding love than frozen with constricting fear. That former life of mine sucked.

Q&As For Every Artist & Writer

3-copy

Love Your Mother, image from WE ARE ONE

WE ARE ONE—my new coffee-table book—is getting some press! I was sent the following questions by a local reporter who’s doing a book review for my hometown newspaper. Here are my answers.

1) What inspired you to write this book?

WE ARE ONE is the culmination of decades of hard work, both in the visual arts and in writing nonfiction. This 84-page, linen hardcover coffee-table book was first put together in dummy fashion over 15 years ago. Last winter, I brought out the loose-leafed, stapled black-and-white mock-up (forgotten about, truthfully) to show my 98-year-old mother, a local fisherwoman here in St. Augustine who passed away shortly afterward. At that point my husband Carter Lord and I decided to self-publish this book. We enlisted the technical services of talented locals: Leeann Kendall (a photographer, the book’s editor), Erin Fitzpatrick (a graphic designer, our technical editor), and Imagine Fine Art (superb digitalization). It’s all our professional belief that we have created something beautiful to behold. It is also my personal hope that the more people who see and read WE ARE ONE, the more will experience what it documents: that truly, we are all One, linked by the energy of consciousness. I’m speaking metaphorically, yes, but also energy-wise. This has been proven by quantum physicists’ recent discovery of the Higgs bosun. This book takes us on a journey, using visuals and words, that helps us sense that our ordinary day-to-day world can be extraordinarily felt—perceived that is—if not seen. As an artist and down-to-earth person (one of my passions is to make deep-water voyages on small sailboats) I believe this interpretation of life—that we’re all interconnected—makes for a better, safer, and more all-inclusive place for us all to grow and thrive in.

2) What type of research was involved?

My research was to learn how to be hyper-conscious.

Heal Psychic Wounds

I got better by healing my baggage (we all have)

The images and text within this book document my own true experiences. As a teen I began the earnest quest of adventuring, inwardly and outwardly. Doing yoga poses (initially for a bad back) naturally led to exploring spiritual issues (the true purpose of their invention by ancient sages). Gradually, I found answers to my seeking-quest in Native American ways, and mystical traditions from other cultures. I have worked with indigenous shamans during years of illustrating for Ph.D. botanists at Harvard University (Plants of the Gods, by R.E. Schultes contains a few of my illustrations). For decades, I have studied yoga of all varieties, and deeply explored meditation with one scripture-based teacher. What intrigues me most is investigating how various people around the world reach their own truth, whether through an ancestral path, a person’s own inward journey, outward rituals, a defined philosophy, religion, or simply by connecting with Spirit through Nature anywhere on the globe. I stay away from politic statements, although a hero of mine is Daw Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma (Myanmar today). I certainly will vote in the upcoming Presidential election, using my conscience as guide.

3) Who is your target audience?

My audience is anyone who’s interested in something other than reality-TV or who wants to know more about the Mystery of Life. I prefer to call my visual works Dreamtimes but when I used to exhibit in galleries in New York City, Santa Fe, New Orleans and Monterrey, Mexico, critics called my work visionary. Today I have another book, an illustrated nonfiction narrative, being represented by a literary agent, who regards my audience mainstream. The world is changing!

4) How would you describe your (writing) process?

 a- making the visuals

we are one JPEG

cover of WE ARE ONE

Each image of WE ARE ONE was composed like this:

First, I photographed my own work (a painting or sculpture). Then I painted upon that photo. Next, I re-photographed that now-enhanced original image; adding Xeroxing, cut-outs, then re-photographing and scanning that finished image, most of which are 3-generational. Then came lots of fiddling in PhotoShop before sending the final file to the printers. This book is a collection of multi-media images that combine recognizable and symbolic gestures.

 b-the writing

open-book-page-2

The AYES have it, from WE ARE ONE

 

The writing process for WE ARE ONE (except for the text-only introductory four pages) is simple poetry-prose. A few words set the tone for the story told within each image. Some call this type of art, narrative. After creating a work of art first (see above) I wrote a few words to offer the viewer help to jump into the experience of each image. My writing is 90% editing, so every word is fine-tuned down to each punctuation mark, or using none where one is expected. Making and appreciating this kind of art (whether written or visual) is like being in a trance—it necessitates opening to the same deep inner place that meditation takes a person to.

5) What do you hope readers get out of the book?

My hope is that my viewers/readers have a deeper experience of being connected to ALL in existence upon journeying through WE ARE ONE.

Humankind’s thoughtful traditions often describe the Mystery of Life as there’s more to life than what appears to be. If I can help people feel the Mystery, perhaps just a little bit more, with the aid of this book, I am thrilled! In all my work I try to shatter mapped-out boundaries, preconceived notions, cultural guidelines, and other kinds of artistic renditions of separators that might keep us from recognizing WE ARE ONE. I hope my efforts help pry open, just a hair more, a person’s ever-widening doors of perception.

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Cellular Vision, from WE ARE ONE

6) Who is your favorite author?

Too many GREATS to have one! My favorite author/artists (because my medium is words and images) are Hundertwasser and Elaine deKooning, both now gone but important mentors of mine. I also read anything by Russell Banks, Barbara Kingsolver, Louise Erdrich, Edwidge Danticat, Eckhart Tolle, Carl Hiaasin, Wade Davis, Andrew Weil, etc. My tastes are wildly eclectic. In my local book club we read/listened to Hamilton, the hip-hop hit play. Next might be Jane Austen.

7) Why do you spell your name with a capital Z?

The very fist thing I offer on my website tezalord.me (where links to my years-long blog Lord Flea and art gallery are, and my book can be purchased, as well as at Amazon) is to explain the origin of the big Z. Here’s a hint: bell hooks is a dearly loved Buddhist writer and teacher who inspired my humble use of no caps. The upshot, though, is to ensure correct pronunciation. teZa is not my Christian name but one I gave myself 40 years ago.

For readers of this post, Lord Flea is my, teZa Lord’s nom de blog

Aummmmmm

the alpha and omega … Aummm … Ommmm

 

LordFlea’s Views on Some Great AhRT

Here’s a Magritte from recent exhibition at MOMA in NYC

yoga a la magritte

yoga a la magritte

This image from recent Chagall show in Paris, not seen in NYC

France Chagall Exhibit

Dear Jane,

Your letter was amazing, considering you were sitting in a bathtub nearly asleep. I’m impressed. I hope these electronic devices don’t shock you in such circumstances.

Because you asked I’ll briefly describe my feelings about the recent Chagall and Magritte shows I saw while in New York City.

Chagall’s use of color is mind blowing to me, and the brush strokes he uses are very spontaneous, like he’s breathing the painting process (as opposed to Magritte’s, which is almost minimal, controlled, and real thin, like a watercolor wash at times).

The imagery Marc C started using early in his life was from his dreams, or imagination, which at that time was very risky. He was brave. He painted bravely with his colors juxtapositioning the real-unreal, and he was extremely courageous depicting “life” in the Russian shetl of his youth as an imaginary flight of fancy. I’m sure he took a LOT of slack from his peers, rabbi, etc. in his little village for doing so. This is brave art.

Also, his use of Christ on the Cross was a real surprise, one that Carter and I both weren’t expecting. I thought I knew about Chagall’s work (in my mind he is a surrealist, always, and a colorist) but neither of us knew about his “hidden messages” conveyed through the use of the “icon” Jesus. There he is, the Jew of Jews (at least the Romans said so on the sign above his criminal’s cross: INRI, king of Jews, mocking him). I believe, from seeing the way he used the crucifixion scene, over and over, even with “baby blue Jesus” in one, more abstracted work, that he felt Jesus epitomized the suffering of the Jews during the nazi regime. With the black and white shawl across Jesus’s loins (I forget what the Jewish prayer shawl is called) he isn’t depicting Jesus as an emblem of Christianity, but as the height of Jews being misunderstood, stigmatized, ostracized … and killed in the nazi world that Chagall knew all too well (he fled Europe to escape them, remember).

Speaking of Jews and nazis, I highly recommend the book i just finished, Edmund de Waal’s “The Hare with Amber Eyes.” It’s a scholarly memoir, an inside view of what it was like to be Jewish … for about 100 years before and after the nazis. follows a family of bankers, from Vienna, who lost everything during the nazi occupation. The read was not crushingly sad so much as very informative, and shockingly real. A collection of Japanese netsukes is the theme, as the collection of these small sculptures passed from family member to family member from Paris, to Vienna, to Hong Kong, to the UK.

As for Magritte’s show:

So funny, but I was standing (yes, it was very crowded, both shows!) staring at one of the early pieces and this funny little man, about 45, balding, working class, wearing a black T-shirt with motorcycle logos on it, comes up to me and says, so sweetly emboldened wanting to know about ahrt, I suppose) … “So … what’s all this mean????” And thus began my humorously fueled rapport all throughout the next hour of viewing stunning Magrittes, describing what they meant to me to Johnny. He was all aglow, and soon “got it” and was able to pick out the different motifs (people represented by weird cut-outs reed-like paper, the rounded columns, his mistrust of words, the mix of dream and reality, etc.) so by the time Carter found us, the three of us continued amid the tidal wave of people, standing and discussing different works that stood out to each of us. We had a blast! Especially seeing the Light! go on in Johnny’s eyes as he began to make sense of what before, to him, was incomprehensible hog-wash. Ahrt. Now he began to sense the power of what Art, good art, can convey.

Carter, my consort’s favorite Magritte was the ham with an eyeball in the middle, very simple composition: a bottle of wine, a glass, a fork and knife. We all agreed it was “you are what you eat” … the way Carter is NOW living. So he was drawn to that one. Here’s a bad shot of it from my iphone (yes, I illegally took photos, bad Lordflea!) But you can’t really “see” the human eyeball in the middle of that hamsteak, can you? dern.

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My fav?: well, the famous one where he paints a pipe and says: “Ceci ne c’est pas un pipe.” Of course! This means how words are so fickle, and as a writer and artist, who has always had a hard time trying to decide WHICH of these two mediums I ought to trust to communicate the important stuff i have in my mind and heart, I can relate. But I love Magritte’s MIND. The way he analyses life. It’s all a big puzzle to him, and his paintings are like clue in a murder mystery, sending out little messages for his viewer to “get it” whatever “it” is that Magritte gets turned on by. And apparently, I like puzzles, and I like to try to figure out what Magritte’s “message’ it. Most of his works, I could, but only a few left me scratching my head.

My new friend Mick Stevens is a NYorker cartoonist, and I find trying to figure out his (and other NYorker toons) the same as looking at a Magritte. They’re puzzles in images. Here’s one of Mick’s I’ve borrowed from his website.

Jackhammer-copy

The painting style of Magritte is pretty flat, like I said, but he does what he needs to do, paints fast, with little paint, no extra brush stroke and gets the hell out of painting as soon as he supplies the clues he wants to share about whatever subject, or dream, or news item he’s focused on. Minimalism, for sure. He must be the Grandpappy of it, although REAL minimalism, I would say, didn’t start for another thirty-forty years after Magritte’s first use of minimal painting.

that’s my art lesson  aka LordFlea

love ya, teZa

High in the Sky

drawings, scanned 11.08

Hi friends … Just back from a week of hiking, biking, playing music, swimming rivers (everything–but blogging! no email either! no TV, no news!), making new and hanging with old friends in Moab, Utah! What a great treat, and i’ll upload my pics asap, but for now, take my WORD for it–this is my song of “what a glorious planet we have.” How blessed are we, anyway, here in America? We have such diversity in our land, our people, and the sense of freedom, expansiveness is so impressive to me whenever I travel anywhere in our great country.

from our cities, filled with excitement and intrigue...always exciting!

from our cities, filled with excitement and intrigue...always tantalizing!

to the most inaccessible wilderness … our great country is magnificent!

nature fills me with awe, and ... understanding of so much ...

nature fills me with awe, and ... understanding of so much ...

Of course so much happened on our travels: my consort Carter and I met new friends that touched our hearts and made us sing—literally and figuratively. And we were blessed to have been invited by a dear friend, Dori the incredible acupuncturist from St. Augustine, and her Pan-like dad, Senor Frog (who brings “non-competitive” sports to the world, more of that later)—two of the most heart-centered creatures you can imagine, which no fiction could ever reproduce. People, combined with Nature: ahhh, now that’s magic! Throw in a little drummin’, a little flute, some cool clear water — ahhhhhhh, that’s a hug of the heart!

Good times, Good people, Good Earth! Let's make sure to thank Mother for giving us a Great Playground and a Bounteous Garden in which to thrive! Thanks, Mother Earth, we Love YOU

Good times, Good people, Good Earth! Let's make sure to thank Mother for giving us a Great Playground and a Bounteous Garden in which to thrive! Thanks, Mother Earth, we Love YOU

 You can tell I’m not a fanatic blogger, you probably have already noticed. I care not about “current events.” What concerns this blogger is the song of Oneness, and that Alone, which happens eternally, and in every moment of the present, the here and now. The “need” to share is not an obsession for lordflea, but a gift from the heart, this heart to yours.

Our Hearts Connected---energized, in Love and Light

Our Hearts Connected---energized, in Love and Light

I’ll be traveling for the next couple weeks, but will post when I can, and hopefully, get some recent snaps up as well. Until next time, be well, and please remember to be aware of the many gifts we all are blessed with each day, in so many ways—even those times we call “hard times,” the difficulties, the tight economics  . . . . they are blessings in disguise. Trust.

T-tolerance (of all, including worldwide situations, not just your little bro)

R-respect (for Self, and yoh-Self)

U-universal (we are all ONE)

S-Spiritualize your LIFE—otherwise you’ll be hurting more!

T-come to the “T” in the road, your life, and make the right choice—go with your Heart! follow the BLISS.

trust your Inner Voice...go with Love, not fear

trust your Inner Voice...go with Love, not fear

in the Light, your pal lordflea

ahhh, the moment, the Only Thing Worth Mentioning

Mama Coca, the Incan goddess

Mama Coca, the Incan goddess

hi friends,

we’re packing. off to South America tomorrow! wheeeee! I’m excited. Another chance to practice my speak-like-four-year-old Spanish, visit another exotic place on this planet i’ve not been to, and learn more from others. New culture, new food, new music–everything will be new, except for the similarity found around the world–we’re all in the family of man.

when i wanted to be an artist, back in the Dark Ages of my discovering i wanted to become one, I decided to apply to THE most prestigeous art school at that time, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston (believe it or not, that is its formal name: quite a mouthful, eh?). I had already fallen in love with art. Like some people fall in love with a person, or a style, or anything else, I was totally consumed by what art meant. So to prepare a compulsary admissions portfolio for the Musum School, I set about copying the photographs contained in the marvelous collection put out by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, also called “The Family of Man.” All I knew how to do, in those days, was copy. When it came time for me to try my hand at something truly original, as I thought what kind of art-school applicant was I, to not have anything but copies–it turned out to be the MOST difficult thing I’d ever done in my life, up to that 18-year old’s juncture in time.

When I discovered it, Art, was about all of humankind, since the earliest cave paintings right up to the most incongruous modern rip-off contemporary art (Damien Hirst, anyone?). Making and looking and feeling art–mostly, the feeling part–made me imagine i was connected to the rest of humanity more than anything I’d ever discovered.

by the way, i was accepted at the Museum School, and had never had an art lesson either.

Here, from my archives is the oldest piece of my art I have to share with you (that is, scanned; and believe me, you don’t want to see the learning-how attempts at my early art-making, except to see how, with this artist, everything came from repetition, not an innate talent). You can see for yourself how I’ve always been on this track–praising Nature–and thereby Spirit also–through art, including the art of word-smithing.

brunfelsia, an informal study

brunfelsia, an informal study

Right from the start i’ve been a devotee of all things natural.  A friend of mine at the time, Tim Plowman, was working on his Ph.D. at Harvard, asked me to be his illustrator. The drawing above was my “test”…to see if I could handle the subtleties of being a portrait artist of such delicate, nuanced creatures as our green growing friends. And i guess i passed, because Tim asked me to illustrate his doctorate thesis on brunfelsia; plus another botanist did as well, Tom E. Lockwood, for the species brugmansia, whose common name is “angel’s trumpet,” and is the tree form of the datura bush, which ironically, is commonly called “devil’s weed.”  Life, ain’t it weird. Names, aren’t they strange?

Don’t forget…lord flea, in case you never clicked on my “who is lord flea?” on this blog, or googled Lord Flea. This is the name of a now-passed-over calypso singer, which i’ve taken to honor and signify how we can all, together, sing the song of Oneness. If we do, the world will become a better place little by little. And getting better is something that gives each and every one of us an “itch”…(as in “flea” ha ha!) to raise ourselves up Up UP!!

 

botanicals-019-small

two examples of brugmansia

two examples of brugmansia

why am I reminiscing about my past, my “other life” as a botanical illustrator, when, at the culmination of that career, I was honored to have been given the task of illustrating the coca bush, the very plant that has caused such havoc among modern culture, from poverty-stricken farmers who rely upon it as a cash-crop, to armed cartels that kill to keep their profits, to squads of government agencies determined to stop the flow of its processed product, cocaine? Why am I thinking so much of this plant, coca erthyroxulum, here, on the eve of my journey to South America?

coca, revered as Mama Coca, the goddess, by the Inca

coca, revered as Mama Coca, the goddess, by the Inca

Because—to me South America is the land of magic realism (Gabriel Garcia Marquez-land!). What starts off as something “real” can easily twist and turn, and … end up being a thing of myth, of magic, of surreal interractions with our own lives. I love putting myself into situations that challenge my sense of “what is.” What really IS life about anyway? We think we’re looking at a plant…but really, to someone else’s perceptions–we’re looking at a goddess.

things are never what they appear to be

things are never what they appear to be

i try to live each moment as if it’s my last…but i plan as if i’ll live forever. and I hope to catch a lot of magical moments in between.

Friends, live and laugh and sing the song of Oneness. Please! DANCE, enjoy! It’s much more fun living this way, thinking how joyously interconnected we all are. I will blog wherever I can from internet cafes along our route…going to Argentina and Chile, high in the Andes, besides the ocean and rivers, in cities, mountains, villages, footpaths–in others’ homes. Maybe we’ll discover some good trails for mountain biking, or just plain hiking. Lots of looking, talking and editing my book at sidewalk cafes, watching people pass by. Sigh. The world turns…right here! before us! I know i’ll be able to catch a little magic along the way to share with you, my friends.

in the Light, lordflea

Damage Control!

it never ceases to amaze me how, when you go public, you are apt to either offend, or appear stupid, or both. as long as i can maintain a sense of humor about rattling other people’s cages, i’ll be okay. but boy, was i tested today.

tested by the boxload!

tested by the boxload! which "hat" shall i wear today? spiritual? material? hedonist? do-gooder? fun-lover? nose-to-the-grindstone? SO MANY HATS to choose from!!

apparently someone whom i’ve been speaking very highly about in my sharing, mentioning how this person loves Spirit, loves nature, turns out to be–hold onto your hats here folks!–a sexual predator! i won’t mention the name of the person, but i’ve just spent the better part of an hour removing the person’s name from the several posts on my blog where the name appears. horror struck i am, to discover something so ugly, so unthinkable about a person i’ve never actually met, but with whom i’ve developed an interesting long-distance relationship, one that has focused on only things of Spirit, Nature, respecting and living close to the Earth. imagine how dumb i feel to discover this person has a wretched, selfishly deviant personality trait, one that even as recently as this past week caused misery and trouble for many others. 

Just shows–even someone who thinks they are, or who aspires to be “natural” can have, still, some very “unnatural” tendencies that need to be worked out. being in denial is a human trait. we all have it, in some way or another.

we’re all human.

the family of man--we all have faults, and we all are perfect, too

the family of man--we all have faults, and we all are perfect in our imperfections, which, in working on, bring us closer to the Light

surely i won’t be using the offensive name of a predator anymore, but i will, however, talk to this person if the occasion arises, in hopes that offering my friendship might help the person face the darkness that torments. it’s easy to walk away from negativity. it takes more courage, more energy certainly, to attempt to combat negativity with positive vibes.

a family puzzle...love heals wounds

a family puzzle...love heals wounds

i had a similar situation with the children i raised. their biological mother was a very negative person, i might even say a sick one, who caused nothing but hell and hardship for the stepparent who took over raising her kids, as she was not given that privilege by the state of Florida. instead of being bitter, or talking badly about the bio-mom, carter and i just showered the kids with love love love, and never spoke badly of their mother (at least not in front of them!). by fighting something negative with equal, or greater amounts of positive energy, we managed to sustain a loving, nurturing atmosphere, one in which kids and adults alike can thrive, and grow into becoming the best human beings they want to be.

so i take this opportunity to thank, again, the person who wrote a comment here on lordflea, informing me of the shocking news of the person i’d been using almost metaphorically, to represent the “natural person.” and if i have offended any others by mentioning this person’s name, referring to the spirituality of Oneness i felt we shared (look at me, even lordflea gets taken to the cleaners, you bet!), i apologize sincerely. i hope this sick person gets better, and i hope i will too.

sometimes we mistake a person’s intent to BE spiritual, with how they work out their earthly karma. i know for myself, and that’s the only person i speak for, i had a LOT of darkness to work out of my aura, system, karma–whatever you want to call it when you’re f—ed up. anyway, i had a big black hole in my heart chambers, being one damaged cookie from what had happened to me too-early in life. the only way i could express the disgust-with-myself that ruled my black heart, was to act out. i had decades of addiction to prove how badly i once embraced the un-enlightened side of my humanity. but now, with 24 years of recovery under my belt, i am a totally different person than i was, in those dark-hole days. i hope i’m a little less driven to commit atrocities, which I did, all because I was angry at the world, and more truthly, angry at having been born.

i will send healing white Light to the person i’ve been informed is living darkly, untruthfully, far from the Light–but who still tries to fool others into thinking he or she (remember, i’m not naming the person!) carries the banner of Great Spirit.

on another subject, carter and i prepare for a long journey, this time to south america. i am very excited, as i’m looking forward to practicing my meager spanish, and learning as much as i can about two new countries, Argentina and Chile. It’s a business trip for my consort, but i will be his bag carrier, hitching a ride with him and his assistant, as i take a break from all this hard book-writing i’ve been doing all winter (oh my aching butt!).

traveling the world--loving the entirety of our globe!

traveling the world--loving the entirety of our globe!

you’ll hear from me whenever i can get to an internet cafe, and i’ll do my best to load up some pics, but…in case i can’t figure that out, at least you’l be able to read about our adventures. maybe i’ll have time to do another post before we’re off.

we leave this friday…anticipation! i love it! the excitment of readying for a major adventure. more than anything, now that our kids are grown and well settled in their chosen fields (both still studying, but focused and grounded, whew!) my favorite thing in the world is to travel. maybe i’ll learn some cooking tricks from my new friends? maybe i’ll find some good bike trails to wipe out on (no no!), maybe i’ll just relax and absorb what this gorgeous earth has to offer. and i accept, humbly, looking forward to having fun!

in the Light, lordflea

Goin’ to the Source

my dear friend
…life is often filled with shocks!
i know it must bring up so much for you, too, having lost your bro who’s only a few years older. guess we have to be prepared…at any minute…for the big shalambha (?) in the sky to take us up. my heartfelt condolences to you, and feel my hugs, my love, my caring.
 
so much going on in life, for all of us. i wonder how much stress has to do with the surge in youthful cancers and too-soon deaths, like your bro’ from a heart attack barely even 60. I think stress is tantamount to early health problems! fortunately, carter and i have good health–so far! but believe me, i guard mine like crazy, doing as much yoga as i can, meditating and thinking good thoughts, and of course, eating as well as we can. dropping the drugs and alcohol sure helped, too.
 
but we just never know, do we? our turn could be next. to be taken back to the Source. the thing about yoga, the philosophy-side i mean (not the poses) is we are preparing for death by actually experiencing a “mini death” each time we meditate. in other words, we go into that state of “nothingness”…and become familiar with it, and learn to trust it. it’s one of the “side-effects” of meditation, that we become trusting of that state, so when we actually do die (this is theoretical, of course) that state of non-being, of “nothingness”, well, it has become a familiar state to us, one we actually look forward to (those of us who are regular meditators, visitors of this gloriously peace-filled, infinitely joyous state of mind, where nothing happens except—everything!–plugging into the center of the Universe, the “energy” of existence).  because this state of nothingness is so gloriously peaceful, filled with love and light…really…it is a state that feels like a reward for having gone through life’s difficulties. and i personally think this is what death must “feel” like–a total nothingness, that is our reward for having shouldered this difficult life on earth.
the tiny figure in the wave--is you! Trust the Great Source of all. "It" protects us, keeping us snug in the middle of its tremendous potential energy--never crushing us unless we fail to trust its magnificence. Ride the wave of power...and watch where it takes you

the tiny figure in the wave--is you! Trust the Great Source of all. "It" protects us, keeping us snug in the middle of its tremendous potential energy--never crushing us unless we fail to trust its magnificence. Ride the wave of power...and watch where it takes you

 i love you, dear friend. call or write me anytime if you want to talk. the best thing to do when you’re grieving is to allow it to happen. just sit with the pain–of loss, anger, sadness, or any other emotion as it comes up–and let it ripple over you like a bitter-sweet waterfall. get it out of your heart and into your awareness. but once your grieving lessens, and the pain subsides–let it go. don’t get stuck in the grief. get on with the living. embrace the joy and partake of the dance! let the laughter fill your heart with joy once again, and say fare-thee-well to your beloved lost one. live your life as if you’re going to live forever…but be prepared, because today may be your last on Earth. so–DANCE!!!

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and congrats on your new granddaughter. how cute she is, baby Scarlet. how perfectly balanced this life is: someone dies. someone is born. ahhhh, the magic of life.
 
in the Light, lordflea