This year for Halloween I embraced my inner St. Nick! I put on my jolly with a pillow under my belt to celebrate the Eve of All Hallows. In my travels throughout the night I got some very important business taken care of, as it is my duty to know who has been bad and good (so be good for goodness sake)!
First I met my cousins, the R-well gals. We were on the phone playing a live game of Where\’s Waldo. They told me to wave so we could find each other. I threw my arm up with a big, \”Ho! Ho! Ho!\” and across the street two young ladies threw their heads back in delight! Found you!
We continued down the cobblestone lane, past all the fruits of the loom, and I came face to face with a double of myself: an identical Claus. The moment was surreal: this other Santa was standing next to a penguin and as soon as I met him head on, another penguin appeared next to me. The four of us stood there across from our carbon copies as if we were standing in a mirror box. We had just frozen time. A seam must have torn apart to sponsor this moment so I sewed myself back into the crowd.
At the Waterfront I happened upon Grandma, who got run over by a reindeer. She was a slightly befuddled in her nightclothes with curlers in her hair, but charming despite the hoof prints. I apologized for the herd\’s clumsiness. \”The team is undergoing a rigorous training regimen to ensure the safety of everyone this Christmas,\” I assured her. \”But since you are so delightful and understanding, I am forwarding your name straight to Nice!\”
At the bar I invited those who wanted a one on one meeting: \”Now who wants to sit on Santa\’s lap?!\” And of course, in came Clark Kent! He was looking quite sharp in his business attire, but perhaps the secret was out because his S emblazoned undershirt was showing. Kent was clearly concerned about Lex Luther. I told him I would see what my reckless reindeer could do about that. Kent\’s next wish was for Lois: some nice lingerie. \”Now that\’s the spirit of giving that I like to see! Bravo Clark! You\’ve made the nice list this year!\”
Just about everyone made the nice list this year because it was such a joyful All Saints Eve! I even spied Grandma breaking it down with Rudolph on the dance floor! Boy was it a heartening sight to see those two together! It made me so Happy about Christmas that all the way home I cheered, \”Merry Halloween!\”
Perhaps you have seen this marble before. It\’s my favorite. (Well, it\’s the only one, but I wouldn\’t want to imply that I\’ve lost all the others.) This is a hand blown amethyst marble.
Bryce (Briz-NICE) is the brilliant one who generously guided me on rock-out(ing)s. He was kneeling over to inspect some stone while I stood over him, focused in the periphery, that is, slightly unfocused. I looked down at my feet and the color, the lines – it stuck out, that perfect little circle, it was probably trash, but then it wasn\’t. It was beautiful! It had been beating around bushes on the North Colorado plain for perhaps one hundred and fifty years! It was waiting to be found. It found me. I\’ve been in love ever since.
Bryce said that this is an artifact from colonial times – i.e. settlers in wagons! It was formed by heating an amethyst cord and cutting off a piece that is allowed to roll down a spiral shoot, thus finding its shape. I think that is lovely and poetic.
I just didn\’t realize how profound my favorite find was until a couple of days ago while ruminating over old scrapbooks. I was reading about my travel adventures on the Big Sur Coast in the summer of 2003. It was there, overlooking the ocean, by the light of a campfire that I hesitantly embarked upon my first vision quest. I was seasoned to go and found my guide: a spider (A spider? [Yeah, that\’s what I said!]) Spider was friendly enough and scuttled off expecting me to follow. Spider led to lands unknown. I hardly knew how real this journey would become, but I took the messages to heart and so of course they are in my presence. While traveling I picked up a stick and a marble.
In 2006, I found that marble. Now, I know. Wow.
Just an FYI: the altar that the marble rests on is my great grandmother Goldie\’s wedding ring. I feel so blessed to be the caretaker of such a remarkable family heirloom. It is so tiny that it only fits on my pinky finger. Engraved on the inside it reads: CEO and CLT Aug 14 1902.
(Charles Elwood Oliver and Caroline Laporte Taylor. When I found the marble I was living on Laporte Avenue. Great Grandma Goldie and I share the same birthday: September 7th. )
GETTING ACQUAINTED WITH SNAKES
My first inspiring experience with snakes was in high school. I was volunteering for a park program called Scales & Tales, which traveled throughout the community introducing people to native reptiles & birds of prey – face to face. We went to summer camps and the state fair handling animals so that people could learn more about their message. We learned a lot in the process. It was wonder-full! By fostering positive encounters with the animals themselves, we helped people understand that humans can
co-exist with wildlife in a healthy manner. This is a much-needed program, and I would pass on the knowledge gained here again and again over the years.
For instance, at the trail-head for Maryland Heights one day, I came across a man jumping up & down and dancing like a monkey all over! He was warding his wife and little girl away from something by the trail, while grabbing stones to hurdle towards it. Now I thought everyone knew that there is no creature in the woods of Maryland that warrants this type of reaction. These techniques may have sufficed in the time of the caveman, but nowadays we should know better! I walked right up to diffuse the situation and found a garter snake hastily climbing the hill. Just like that, crisis was diverted: man and his family went on their way in peace, and so did the snake – Shu!
Just look at the way his tongue flickers! How cute!?
Tonight, as you can see above, Ory has digested last week\’s dinner enough to come out and play. Actually, what we do is more like hanging out. At least, he hangs. Often, I stand. But that is only a technicality. While he hugs my neck, I take the opportunity to clean the tank a bit. We waltz into the bathroom to refill the water bowl. Upon return I stop…
I offer him the bowl.
Poised over the water, Ouroboros\’ nose takes a dive, and without breaking surface tension his jowls swallow like the waves do roll. He slurps down a delightful drink; it was such a precious moment! Now he is back at home under his log and we are playing a breakout game of peek-a-boo!
and so it is
tonight I am given the
image of a Grand Piano
living my grand plan
offered help, in any amount
I need only be here
focusing in presence
giving strength to intuition
making peace, nurturing space
where dreams manifest
(in a way which I could not imagine:
\”Oh, life – you bugger – what a funny surprise!
Never saw that one coming!\”)
do not ask how
just feel it choose it
LET IT BE
Make space make a space
make a space to make a space
play! stay loose stretch
eat bake run! get dressed
go outside catch yourself
improvising. just be
clear your breath
life is sacred all life is sacred
today is not a means to an end
in this moment there is more power
than any earthly accomplishment
I AM LIFE!
except one invisible, but
right before us
it is now it is god it is
The seed takes flight.
In love, deep
with the universe
we are matter
all matter only
matter no matter
why not exist in
this moment\’s peace
you see so much of