Once upon a never time
Once up an ever time
Once upon whenever time
Dropping all the fairytales
and the dots that end sentences
Dropping the copycats
and pretty pretends
for footsteps dancing across my open, endless mind
my vistas, my silences, my sounds
letting my words
flow into verses
Hey, over here
home is over here
hey, over here I am
free of punctuation
old dresses and barricaded eyes
I see you
through my open door
lost limp eyes
barely a breath
famished to the tip of your toes
wafting left then wafting right
not knowing which way to go
hey, over here
my smile wrapping you in softness
easing your barely breathing
steadying your parched heart
feel the safety first
fresh water is under the autumn tree
slough your crusts and water your skin
sip slowly as you listen to the once upon forever
take your time
by the autumn tree water
shedding that cavalier whatever
and those musty never evers
fallen into no i can’t
it is forbidden
let it all go
under the fresh autumn waters
whispering without endings
forgiving the forgetting
when you feel ready
Gentle butterfly with two feet
Do come in
And share your whispers without endings
Let me listen to your honest tales
It is safe to feel here
It is your time
the once upon forever
time to unwrap the cocoon
shed the chrysalis
and stretch your sinews
inside phrases without endings
now the cavalier whatevers
all those musty nevers
head to toe and fore to aft
even the no
your once upon forever
butterfly with two feet
What do we know about a grain of rice? If you want the nourishment, masticate well. Let the grain be encapsulated by your saliva in order to fully prepare it for digestion in the stomach and assimilation throughout your body.
Chew well. You will biologically connect with the substance of rice and your body will draw from that single grain the maximum potential nourishment it offers. Chew poorly and you miss the good stuff.
No two grains of rice are alike. The resilient, outer ivory covering protects the interior core where the vital elements lie. Take time to allow the external covering to soften -ripen- so your teeth can easily grind down and in to the rich core. Notice the multiple textures. Can you figure out how those textures blend in just the right way to give you the fullness of its potential – to nourish you substantially.
Together. Going the distance. Your saliva and the sequential diffusion of the grain. Allies for life.
Think about how similar we are to grains of rice… share your thoughts… and I’ll come back in a new post to join you in the savoury discovery!
Moses arrived in my office after a nine-hour, train ride looking disheveled and smelling of old cigarettes and undigested food. Nonetheless, his handshake was strong and steady, his eyes straightforward and warm, and Moses had an engaging smile except for his nicotine-coated teeth and puffy red gums. The room began to feel claustrophobic as he spilled his legacy of rotten life stories but what concerned me most was that his breathing became labored and his skin turned a deathly, ashen-gray. He was talking so fast his words ran together and beads of sweat bubbled across his brow. When the pasty white, broken line of pharmaceutical use appeared at the corners of his mouth I put my finger to my lips for silence and Moses stopped mid-word.
We sat, silent, for a couple of minutes. Energies settled.
“Don’t,” Moses said meekly “please don’t.”
“Don’t what?” I asked.
“Please don’t say that you can’t help me,” he replied.
“Your life sounds like a land fill. Where is Moses?”
Tears welled in his eyes as his fist hit his chest.
“Here, “ he said, lips trembling with conviction, “in here. Moses is in here.”
Four months later, Moses had stopped smoking, his skin had cleared, the inflamed gums were healthy pink, his diet had improved and his doctor had lowered the dosage of his anti-depressants. He’d been true to his word and held to our agreements so each session really clarified and strengthened his new leadership role in life.
One day, Moses was riding the stationary bicycle when I noticed his ankles had very little mobility so I instructed him how to pedal differently with his feet and include the ankle. This proved more challenging than expected and Moses grew agitated.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“It’s my mother. She’s telling me not to jump. She looks so scared and she says if I jump I will surely die.”
He was eight and he’d obeyed her. Now, at forty-five the command was so well anchored in his ankles that his feet weren’t capable of a full range of motion. The more he tried to pedal correctly the tighter his ankles became and the stiffness crept up his legs. His calf muscles cramped.
When he remounted I told him to begin by pedaling backward. That wasn’t much better but his mother had stopped ranting. I wondered how many ways her remark had shaped the choices and outcomes in his life. As I watched him shift back to pedaling forward and wrestle with the fear and prohibition in his ankles I had an idea.
First I opened the double doors of my studio and then repositioned the bike facing the doors. Telling Moses that I wasn’t interested in how he pedaled, I asked him to take his hands off the bike and spread his arms wide.
“Look through the open doors to the world outside, and say, ‘Hello, world!’”
It was a tender sight to watch Moses’ struggle to coordinate speaking, pedaling and keeping his balance. Everything in the way he moved told me this was Moses, the eight-year old, learning to ride hands-free, his mother in the background telling him to be careful, watch out, slow down. Such angst. ‘Hello, world’ would be the last thing she’d expect to hear from his lips. Most likely, she saw the world was a dangerous place with threat lurking in the shadows, and she’d probably learned it from one of her parents, and they from theirs.
Sweat was making puddles around the bike as Moses teeter-tottered between ‘Hello, world!’ and a landslide of curse words as he searched for the magic combination of sound and motion that would free him.
“Tell eight-year old Moses you’ve got his back, you won’t let anything happen to him. Tell him you’re safe, you know what you’re doing,” I prompted.
Tears streamed down his face. His breath was short. He told little Moses everything was going to be okay. His ankles now moved freely every seventh or tenth turn, that gave him hope.
“Push through her,” I suggested as I raised the resistance enough that he’d have to use his entire body to move the pedals. He looked terrified. “She’s a thought,” I reminded him, “not your real mother.”
With growls and groans through gritted teeth, Moses gave everything he had to claim his physical freedom.
“Hello. Hello. Hello.” Over and over again, hunting for the right sound and connection, clearing the voices and pictures out of his head, totally invested in exorcising the specter forces holding him back, Moses literally transformed into a remarkable instrument of one, and in the blink of an eye, his ankles released giving the diaphragm freedom to release the rib cage by at least half a measure and his shoulders spread. His whole body moved as one seamless whole and his voice changed to baritone as he ushered the words, ‘Hello, world!’ out through the French doors to spacious skies and streets for everyone to hear. Any signs of fatigue had completely disappeared and, to my surprise and delight, Moses then burst into spontaneous song, and spilled a passionate, Italian aria into the streets.
Early Sunday morning I set out to walk to Benalmadena pueblo for fresh bread. Winds were strong; I love how they briskly sweep my energy field clean and refresh my cells. To fight the cold my pace was swift and clipped a good ten minutes off the forty-minute walk.
I discovered this panaderia (bakery) during my early explorations of this area when I arrived. The bread is savory, and I was caught off guard when they added a small bun the first time.
“No, no, thank you, I don’t need that,” I said.
“For your child,” she suggested. I shook my head. “What about the birds?” she asked.
“Oh, okay,” I said thinking about the wonderful birds I watched riding the afternoon winds. I could squash it into breadcrumbs they’d enjoy eating. Yes, that idea delighted me.
After that, it became my official bread store. There were other bakers and bread store in town but I felt partial to this one and, as time went on, I’d discover they sold fresh eggs and garden-fresh, local veggies.
This time I entered the store after a long absence and that immediately responded to the sense of welcoming. The server was chatting with a customer about a series of misfortunes that had befallen mutual friends and I noticed she was trying to ease out of the conversation and take my order but I signaled her to take her time. I wasn’t in a rush; in fact, I was just happy to be there. As the stories found their natural ending, I reached into the pouch of my knapsack for my coin purse only to find it wasn’t there. How could I have forgotten to put it in when I’d counted my coins that very morning?
“What’s wrong?” she asked watching me grope the knapsack in case I’d put it in another spot.
“I forgot my purse,” I answered.
“Tranquilla,” she said, “no problem. I’ll make a note. You pay next time.”
She opened her hands. Duh. “Of course,” she said.
“Thank you, so much,” I said, loading the loaves in my knapsack. “How much?”
“Three euros and seventy-five cents. I’ll put the receipt here,” she pointed to the register,” and when you come back it’s here.”
I’ll come tomorrow.”
“No hurry. Next time you come for bread is okay,” she said with an easiness I knew to mean she trusted me.
I left the store feeling light as a feather. My mind raced. My heart soared. People-to-people trust, that was so cool. Her world did not live or die around three loaves of bread. I wasn’t told ‘it’ll be here waiting’ and sent off empty-handed. This woman trusted me – and I wasn’t even a daily customer. She understood, things happens, an oversight isn’t the end of the world, we stitch it in to the fabric of life. God, it felt good; no, better, it felt human and I realized how much I missed that simple daily kindness although, like Pavlov’s puppy, I vowed to repay her the very next day.
“No hurry,” she said again. I heard her but I was already running interference on the listening.
I was far too well trained in the virtuous, honorable – and politically correct thing to do - to glean the message in her words.
There is no hurry. I hurried anyway. Making sure I had my coin purse I walked back to town to pay my debt. The panaderia must be empty, I thought, seeing the server leaning against the door with folded arms. And, when our eyes met, she looked tired, or was it peeved?
“You must be thinking only of the money,” she queried as we entered. Her eyes looked sad. Her voice was disappointed. “I said it was okay.”
“I know,” I said, unzipping my coin purse, “your willingness to trust me meant more than you can know,” I said in pigeon Spanish. “That doesn’t happen every day. I really appreciated it.”
“But you are here today,” she said with a disappointed shrug.”You think only about the money.”
I didn’t know what to say so I slid the four euros a few centimeters closer to her. She counted it and asked if it was exact. That’s when I realized there was no receipt.
“Yes, exact,” I lied. And, as I left, I wondered why I didn’t tell the truth. For twenty-five cents? Did it matter? Or was I ashamed?
You think only about the money… only about the money… As I wandered home, I wondered why I didn’t wait to pay until I went back for bread, why rush it? My head spun circles around her generous act. Why had I cut that generosity short?
Quite innocently, I’d missed the point. I’d overlooked the depth of gesture. It wasn’t ever about money. It had never been about the money, my purchase had never been recorded, there was no receipt. The fact I’d forgotten my coin purse proved to be her opportunity… to teach me what?
What had she learned about me in the days I visited their store?
When I was ten I had a Cinderella dream. You see, word was out that Ringo Starr was looking for a wife and he was coming to my home town. I adored Ringo, his huge nose, his fingers covered in rings, and his unkempt, motley look. My young heart told me he was good and kind, and the papers said he wasn’t looking for just anyone, he wanted someone real, someone who could be loyal and true. That opened the doors of opportunity to me.
Well, women lined the streets – and I was among them. I’d never known women came in so many different shapes and sizes and ages, the competition was terrifying, but at the end of the day, around 5pm he stood in front of me. Our eyes met. I blushed. He looked surprised to see me, I remember that, and we didn’t speak. Ringo sort of pawed a foot against the pavement as he tried to figure out what he was going to to. We didn’t say a word. People said, “Don’t.” Some said, “She’s too young!” and my mind shot them dead. I wasn’t too young, ten was just a human number, and I wanted to be loved as much as they did. Ringo heard the voices and he looked back across the line of beautiful women wondering what this man would do. And then he took my hand and asked my name. I told him. His large lips parted with an awkward smile. He’s shy, that was somehow a huge relief, I saw his vulnerability and smiled inside.
“You’re the one,” he said in his sexy, cockney accent.
“Will you have me, luv?”
I swallowed hard. “Are you sure it’s me you want?”
“Aye,” he answered, “you.”
And, then he took my hand and walked me past all those other women no longer as beautiful as before, perfumed with anger and disdain, how could he be such a fool, what a moron! The ugly jealousy felt like disease hung in the air. I was scared. He sensed it and put his arm around me. I wondered what my parents would say.
“No! You absolutely will not marry him! Now, go to your room, scat!” That’s what they said.
“No,” I cried.
“They have a point,” Ringo said softly, “it’s really not a pretty life. Another time, luv, another time.” And, then he slipped away.
I crawled to my room and cried and cried and cried. How could they deny me love and deprive me of my dream? Why didn’t they give me acting lessons? Why wouldn’t they let me sing and set me free? And so, I climbed down the holly tree outside my window and ran to Ringo.
“Please,” I cried, “take me with you, I’ll be good, I promise, I’ll make you proud.”
He smiled so sweetly. I knew he understood and my heart soared. Then, he shook his tussled head and lifted my chin with his ring clad fingers. Our eyes met.
“Don’t go and push the river,luv, it might just overflow. Stay safe, take time to grow, there’s plenty of time for the rest of us, trust me.”
I watched the limo pull away. I watched the limo become a dot and then a memory. I had no idea what his words meant. Only time would explain it all.
I climbed back up the holly tree and pulled the princess-pink, satin coverlet over me as I snuggled my teddy bear.
“I don’t understand this world,” I said. “I don’t even know for sure if I like it.”
in gentle reflection of P S Hoffman’s death
MY FOOD BUZZ
The food crazies are driving me nuts. Vegan. Macrobiotic. Vegetarian. Raw. Slow. Carnivore. Light. What ever happened to natural hunger and simple eating?
Let’s get practical for a minute. Our bodies require nutrition and we need to eat what nurtures us, gives us energy, makes us healthy, and allows us to sustain activity. Your body is not my body but we all need a food supply that satisfies our physical organism and NOT our indoctrinated minds.
Everyone knows that fast food isn’t nourishing although it may be TEMPORARILY cost-effective for the pocket-book. Down the road you find that crap has adversely affected your body and now you’ve got life-threatening issues like high cholesterol and trans fats, heart disease, obesity, digestive problems, depression, and pain. Once that roller coaster begins fast food ceases to be cost-effective and instead becomes a DEADLY threat.
Yes, I am aware of the financial crisis. I am also aware that the FDA certifies substances into the mainstream that ‘inadvertently’ kill us, slowly and faultlessly, so they are never legally to blame. So, we need to pay attention and get kick-ass smart. More on that in a moment …
First, I need to address the meat vs. veggies war. When vegans, in all their glorified, disgust for meat, end up producing fast foods and selling facsimile hamburgers, hot dogs, and cheeses both their ranting and their ratings take a dive. My vegan friends tell me it’s only a name and a shape but it helps sell product. Isn’t that deceptive advertising? Aren’t they conning people? Not really, I’m told, it’s for the greater good, all the ingredients are organic. So, a vegan can eat a vegan hamburger, hot dog, or cheese pizza but I cannot eat a grass-fed, open field cow’s hamburger? Does that seem fair?
Ever heard a plant sing? http://youtu.be/SNr_JNvO_f8
Ever seen evidence that plants fear humans? http://youtu.be/V7V6D33HGt8
Sure, you can question the validity of Damanhur or Backster, skepticism is vital because everything in our world is shadowed in pros and cons, and scientific bias, just consider how many statistics are time sensitive yet remain in our culture for months, years, even decades later as strategic beliefs and influences in our lives.
However, I remember lying in the tall grasses as a child listening to the sounds they made with the wind, feeling my body safely supported by the warm earth, and quickly falling asleep, fearless, timeless, just me and them, and when I awoke I was conscious that I’d been nudged awake. When I was feeling alone and misunderstood, I always lie in the grass and talk to one blade in particular; it would identify itself to me because I was ‘listening’ for it. And, many years later, I was out walking and I heard a tulip tell me I needed to contact a client – urgently. Although skeptical, I made the call and found I was just in time to prevent a threatening situation from escalating. Today, I am aware my plants indicate where they wish to be located in my home and which other plants they prefer nearby. Much the same way, I thank the fish, chicken, or bovine, for sharing their nutrition with me, I also thank the vegetables I relish, even the plants I’m taking my herbs from.
Did you ever stop to think that your face gets exercise when you let your lips, teeth, tongue, and jaw, masticate thoroughly? Teeth are born to chew and it’s a sensual pleasure for the gums and soft tissues as well. The more you chew the more your saliva prepares the food properly for digestion in the stomach and more effective disbursement of the nutritional values to your whole body. THIS is where we can become kick-ass smart. The more you chew your food the more satisfaction you guarantee your body AND that creates this cost effective equation:
LESS food + THOROUGHLY masticated = EXPEDIENT nutrition.
You really do want to take time to take care of your self. You are important. Your body is a vibrant, intelligent organism that speaks – if you will listen. Society isn’t going to properly train you to listen. It’s going to give you fads and beliefs and statistics, it’s going to berate you and then furnish solutions to build you back up – but your body, OMG, your body knows EXACTLY what you need and will point out what’s best. Unlike society, best is not necessarily big, costly, or chic but it’ll be vital and useful and yummy. Guaranteed.
Follow my lead:
- RIPE. Buy fruits and vegetables that look alive. Choose wisely.
- SAVORY. Buy grass-fed meats WITHOUT steroids. Remember, not too much gristle but a few lines of fat mean flavorful and tender.
- TIME SENSITIVE. If you don’t stock the fridge you won’t stalk the fridge. Buy for 1- 3 days. No extras or excesses. Take what you need and make sure it uplifts and inspires you.
- NO SWEETS. Don’t set yourself up for trouble. If you want a sweet, or dessert, then you really want that sweet NOW, not tomorrow. Put it to the test. If you really want a sweet then treat yourself to it, make it a special occasion and find the pastry store where you can get EXACTLY what you desire. Savor it rather than devour it. Enjoy eating it without shame or self-deprecation. In this way, when you are through eating so is the need for sweets.
- LISTEN. Eat what your intelligent body asks for. Listen. Usually, it’s not what you’ve been trained to eat, or want.
- CHEW. Discover the sensual art of mastication and take eating to a whole new – organic – dimension. No more cravings. No more picking in-between meals. No more hungers.
- PREPARE your own foods. The more active you are in the preparation of your food the more your whole organism is conscious of what it will ingest and can efficiently prepare all interactive systems to fully enjoy the upcoming meal.
- SAY THANK YOU. When we think of dying we consider offering useful organs in our body to serve others. We know we’ve got a living value to pass on. Well, so do the plants and animals we devour. They provide us with the fuel of life. We’d hope our donation was appreciated so let’s reciprocate and thank them for what they donate to us.
Spindly fingers moved like spider legs to find the perfect grasp of his cappuccino. His lonely eyes prohibited the slightest wriggle in the still, foam mountaintop as he brought the cup toward his lips at a snails pace. His nostrils flared. Oh, how he wanted to ravage this prissy, sexy beast. Desperately. But he’d trained himself to wait knowing how much better it tasted after deprivation.
The tip of his tongue quietly licked just below the white foam while the aroma teased his senses. Pulling back with the tiniest smile, he puckered his lips for a kiss and white mustache.
This morning my email box delivered me a post from Business Insider:
THE GLOBAL 20: Twenty Huge Trends That Will Define The World For Decades to Come.
That is one huge and heavy title, and these kinds of infomercials are the flashy foods that have become the new breakfast of champions. This is how we nourish ourselves. This is the protein drink that revs our engines and turns us into go-getters with modified scruples – or no scruples at all. What a life-altering meal: trends that will decide DECADES of our professional and personal lives.
Holy shit! Your index finger raps the arrow key so the visuals can fill your brain. Focus. We ravenously gulp each byte. Grasp. We swallow fast. Time is of the essence. Memorize. We capture the 3 top essentials. Configure. We’re already excreting the due diligence of 5-10 ways we will turn this information into money, power, prestige, importance for us, the boss, and the enterprise.
That’s the power of a great title! You could be drinking piss and you wouldn’t know it. We aren’t even through the first month of 2014 but a POWER-POINT of pics and news clips and statistics has forewarned, instructed, and coerced us to think – and dream – and design – our lives according to a social script that has never fulfilled its promise…
Stop. Think. Isn’t this the same social scripting that has brought us to the brink of global disaster and self-annihilation? What is the core message of these 20 trends?
Each power point is a separate trend but in life these trends are synchronized and simultaneous, one without the other will not exist, and any single, small change in one will completely alter the others. So, please, put this information in a blender and tell me, what do you get?
Mr. Wile isn’t the only trendista. He’s doing ‘the job’ he has been asked to do, using standard formats he has learned work in today’s time-sensitive, bullet-point mind rake for the trendsetting entrepreneurs. Numbers. 20 is manageable. Drama. The roller coaster of markets, gambling on countries weaknesses, changing lanes on emerging markets, etc. Knowledge. New clips. As you read, your mind is being entrained to function in bytes. Numbers. Mr. Wile pulls in the numbers, builds identity and earns a living. He outsources bundled information to power a trend-setting scenario – for whom?
We don’t like being thought of as a number yet we identify ourselves with numbers. We are either the 1% or the 99%. We need numbers to be visible online. We need numbers of followers to build credibility. We are numbers for others. And, trends are set with numbers. Look at book titles. Numbers. A MANAGEABLE NUMBER of STEPS TO ACHIEVE … Top ranking SEO? Best seller status? Perfect figure? Wrinkle-less faces? Seduce and keep the man (or women) of your dreams? Become the next billionaire? Turn into a Barbie? Live forever? Unleash your genius? Become a guru? Change the world? Just like kindergarten: use the correct color with the right number and you end up with the pretty picture.
If these steps are real, if what they promise is a certainty, why is there a 1%? And, why do we believe the 1% hold the right reins to create, guide and guard life? Is it possible the 1% is holding the wrong reins? We are, after all, on the edge of extinction thanks to the social formatting that has led to civil decline and unrest. So, why are we adapting this illegitimate, contentious, and harmful formatting?
Why are we allowing this social/virtual formatting to drive our choices, short circuit our genius, and keep us addicted to the wrong pair of reins?
Every day I take a portion of my bread and save it for the birds that fly free in the skies outside my home, gliding, soaring, diving, holding their own against the fierce winds and showing me the detailed dynamics of ‘flying’. I experience it as a breathtaking performance of freedom with accountability; that is, the birds are masters of the infinite variations in air dynamics and hence they have the freedom to ride the waves, even play the waves – without harm to themselves or others. And, now when I walk in the fierce winds, I do not brace, I bend… my body aligns and responds to the multitude of pulses. In the most magnificent way, my whole body is exercised and I am free. The versatility of my humanity, the richness of my senses-ability, the extraordinary ability of innate intelligence to know – beyond all doubt – how to cooperate with wind and be refreshed by it, how wind negotiates my humanity and how my humanity negotiates wind.
I’ve spent years sharing, teaching, practicing, cultivating the genius within our humanity, nurturing how to listen mindfully, through our entire faculty of intelligence, allowing our bodies to move with the flawless grace inherent to our anatomical design, our living architecture… and yet… in spite of the insights gleaned, the immense calm and joy a well-integrated human being experiences, very few people trust the lightness of ease, or the inner voice, or instinct beyond the experiential moment. Except in crisis. Yes, a crisis overrides everything we have learned because we are in the tipping point – life or death – so our natural intelligence takes back its power and directs our sense and sensibility. In a fraction of the time it takes us to ‘think’ something through, our natural intelligence has already initiated the correct channels of communication and action so we have the highest possibility of success. Life calls to life and intelligent life proves time and time again it knows exactly what to do – much more efficiently and effectively than our everyday mind.
And yet, our everyday mind is so thoroughly indoctrinated that we no longer guard its sanctity.
A friend and I were meandering through the small calle of Fuengirola after a delightful walk along the beach. Sunny day. Warm breeze. Mindless. Glancing around. Deciding which calle to take simply because we felt like it. I saw a storefront with a large picture window, bigger than the others. Toys. The store was closed but I skipped across the street anyway hoping I might find some stuffed bear or an odd toy. Instead, I came face to face with four babies.
My eyes looked at the sign above the store. JUGUETES. TOYS. I looked again. Toys? I wouldn’t call that a toy. I can’t call that a toy.
“What’s she doing in a toy store?” I pleaded with my friend. That’s when I saw the other three. They’d been cleverly woven into the world of make-believe toys whereas this little girl lay there at the center of the picture window looking very much ‘alive’ except for her eyes.
Did someone think I’d buy her?
Despite the fact I knew she was a fake – well, sort of – I mean she was an exact ‘replica’ of what was once – or still is – ( I shudder at the very thought) a living being and my maternal instinct – to protect – raged within like a high fever. I was ready to crash the picture window and move these little creatures out of the harsh, cold spotlight to safety. Has humanity gone mad?