Posts Tagged ‘art’

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.

open-page-jpg2000

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

 

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

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

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

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

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!!!

 051
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

my hopi indian friend, binky person called yesterday. i’ve spoken of him on lordflea before, about how ironic it is for me, a person who writes and arts, lives in the congested East Coast of America, yet holds true the sacred of all beings in my heart as the most important things to cherish–that binky and i happened to meet.

protector of us All--the Inner Spirit

protector of us All--the Inner Spirit

it was all because of my other indian pal, an acoma from outside albuquerque, named petuuche. petuuche is a very worldly, well-travelled man who is the official historian of his people. i met Petuuche (his name from a sacred rock formation) whom i met years ago while covering an interesting story about how the Acoma were finally able to buy back their tribal lands, taken away by the greedy white men who thought the “savages” ought to be separated from the rest of the new country of America. Finally, after years of poverty, alcoholism, and desperate no-hope isolated living, many indigenous peoples of America, the Acoma included, are now able to accumulate the wealth needed to live like human beings among the others who have taken over their lands. How? the gambling industry, that’s how!

Hooray for the white peoples’ almost universal tendency to become addicted, because with so many gambling addicts afoot, the indigenous are finally able to buy back, bit by bit, piece by piece, the sacred lands of their ancestors that were taken from them, by legal treaties, back in the 18th Century, and divied out to ranchers.

Now petuuche’s tribe, the Acoma of Sky City, who dedicate their intention-based lives to praying for all humanity, have managed to re-appropriate what was theirs to begin with. Kudos to the gambling industry! I think all gambling should belong to the Native Americans. Let the entire city of Las Vegas be owned by them, and the world will finally have a smidgin of karmic justice.

Guardian of the People's Spirit

Guardian of the People's Spirit

So Petuuche is the one who introduced me to Binky Person, who is the opposite of a worldly, sophisticated, well-travelled person. He himself has replaced alcoholism with a deep spiritual practice, as he is a guardian of the old ways that many of his people have forgotten, as they drift through life in the haze of wanting-consumerism and practicing alcoholism, his fellow hopies so isolated and so out of hope, being one of the unfortunate indigineous tribes who have no gambling casinos.

the hopi have no gambling casinos and hardly anything else, but the energy to get up each morning and walk to their corn patch, as Binky does, and watch his plants grow, splash a little water on them to help them along. And splash a little water on his own face to remind him why he’s here.

The hopi have few means to lift themselves up, and many are sunk into an alcoholic miasmi of forlorn isolation, as many Native Americans are prone to alcoholism–a genetic blip perhaps, or the result of their situation? Binky tries to organize the people to do runs, to honor their old ways; but mostly he’s met with resistance, ridicule, and scorn. Why? Because his fellow hopis want what the rest of America has–things! possessions! opportunities! education! possibilities!

Binky and I, when we speak, talk of how we both strive to balance both these things in our own lives–dedicating our lives to serving Great Spirit yet embracing all that’s good about modern ways. After all, I remind Binky, “You are speaking to me on a cell phone, aren’t you?” And we do have many good things that have resulted from people WANTING things. The issue is … balance:

reach for the stars, but stay grounded

reach for the stars, but stay grounded

Petuuche knew of my affinities with the Natives, having native blood mixed in with mine, as a lot of us half-breeds do, being typical “american mutts” as i think even Obama has called himself. Petuuche told me to call Binky, because I wanted to offer my support in the endeavor Binky was trying to get going out in his neck of the woods–out in the villages and scattered groups of hopi who live close to the Black Mesa in Arizona, near where the oldest still-inhabited town of America is–Old Araibi.

When I first spoke to Binky and told him that I support his work, and wanted to send him a small check to show my support in a small way, he actually cried. This grown man wept at the heart-to-heart understanding I was offering him, on the telephone, with him not owning anything but the cell phone we spoke on, and a humble house in which he lived with an adult son who suffers Down Syndrome, no doubt the result of his mother’s rampant alcoholism, who abandoned Binky when the son was age 3 in order to drink alone, away from responsibility, without restraint.

and so binky and i have become recently become friends. we speak on the phone. i share and empathize with his battle, similar to the one i feel i’m in as a dedicated spiritual warrior who arts. i suggest he do some sun salutes for his aching back. to let go of his tormetors, his criticizers. to detach from negativities. i sent him a little book showing how to do a simple Iyengar sun salute. he says his back is much better, thanks. he tells me things i feel i need to here also, to be reminded of. like how we all need to splash a little water on our face, just to remember our connection to water, to the good Earth that brings forth the water. and plant some seeds. and grow some corn, some beans. keep it simple, sweetheart!

you’ll hear me speak of binky every now and then. we all need to know someone like a binky. he keeps us grounded during these times that are so economically difficult for many. because for people like binky, nearly all the indigenous peoples who have had their lands, their honor, their very humanness taken away by the greedy conquerors from far away–they have learned to focus on the connection to what they call the Mystery–Great Spirit–or, God if you will–that force that is the center of our being here. the only thing that matters, in the end.

the JOY of spiritualizing mundane life

the JOY of spiritualizing mundane life

Even if everyone else forgets, which is how binky feels, we must always remember we are One. sadly, binky sees so many of his fellow Hopis lost in alcoholism, lost in the dream, unreachable at the moment, of wanting to be just like the people they see on television, the ones with stuff stuff stuff. and binky needs to hear me when i tell him to not give up on his less zealous (about HIS projects) fellow hopis. perhaps their time will come when they will reawaken to the ancient ways, the rituals, the intentionality, as binky so desires for his people.  myriad possibilities lie ahead for ALL humankind, as we help each other spiritualize, instead of being focused on the material side of life. let’s remember to help each other more, instead of find fault. we need to remember that all of us are warriors, and the fight we are in is about helping humankind remember that Spirit is the only issue of lasting, real importantance in our life.

Join the Army of Love

Join the Army of Love

leave the politics and the economics and all the other way-too-complicated stuff to the leaders that we spent so much energy on getting elected.

LET GO LET OBAMA.

if YOU want to be happy during this hard transition time, please come close to the inner Self, the Spirit of Creation that flows through you, and each and every one of us. aplash a little water on your face, whenever you feel down and out. remember ownership leads to difficulties. whenever people put too much importance on ownership, there is always a disconnect with their relationship with Great Spirit.

if you do own a lot, share it with others. if you aspire to own more than you do, make sure you dedicate the reason you’re acquiring is to help others–keep the ownership thing for the purpose of the entire human family to grow closer to being spiritually fulfilled.

and…for those of you who live in st. augustine, fl, as i do–please remember to correct people when they say our town is “the oldest city in america”–because that just ain’t true. truly, it is the oldest WHITE GUY’S city…but the oldest city in america is the Hopi Pueblos out west, in Old Araibi, where people have been living continuously for thousands of years. let’s give credit to where it belongs. even though today Old Araibi has no indoor plumbing, and each family has their own outhouse (I’ve been there, I know!) and there are no restaurants, no gas stations, no computers even–this is a thriving city where people have great love in their hearts for each other, their land, their country, and the meaning of existence–to honor Great Spirit that flows through all things.

in the Light, lordflea