Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's Time to Go Beyond Time and Space, Reya

In a couple of weeks, I'll be going to Vail, Colorado to spend a week with my guru, Sai Maa Lakshmi Devi. In the states, people often have a knee jerk reaction to the word "guru." They assume you belong to a cult and are quite suspect. But "guru" simply means teacher. If I wanted to learn to dance, I would go to the best dance instructor I could find. If I wanted to paint, I would seek out a skilled painter. So it is with spiritual studies.

And if I am considered to belong to a cult, then I want it known that I belong to a cult that believes in total and unconditional love. That is the driving principle of our work and study and I don't see how that could ever possibly do any harm. A guru will never turn their back on you, even if you do so to them. Gurus also have a guru. I don't want to come across as an expert...because I am not. I have only been studying this path for a couple of years. I am just relating what I have learned.

A guru is a Master, as are we all. A Master is one who has broken the bonds of slavery to low frequency actions, thoughts, energy, vibration and emotions. They no longer resist the idea of a limitless existence. A guru does not control or brainwash you. They have just worked hard and are further up the karmic spiral than most of us. Jesus is an example of an Ascended Master (one who is so evolved, he can choose to move to other realms).

A Master helps students get through work that is often advanced, confusing and difficult--just like any other educational system. They can do this from any place on, or in the case of an Ascended Master, off the planet. So it was that I was awakened Wednesday morning by a sharp, psychic rap on the ol' noggin serving notice that school was already in session. As Reya so astutely noted, school is always in session so what is the difference?

Well the difference is that a guru works with your energetic field preparing your mind and body for the work you are to do. Because a Master is constantly in touch with the subtle realms, they can quickly open and clear gateways for you. When they come to you, you know it. There is no mistaking that they are working with you. Maa usually comes to me in my sleep...but not always. Even though Vail is a couple of weeks away, we are already working further into the 5th Dimension than we have gone before. The 5th Dimension is:

*The unlimited possibilities happening now within parallel universes.
*The door to the Source of the Universe as ourselves.
*The exquisite dimension of Spirit

It is here right now, vibrating at a higher vibratory frequency. We will be continuing our awareness and experience of living in this creative, subtle, graceful, gentle realm of unlimited freedom.

Many people are experiencing chaos and travails right now. There are reasons for this that I will explore in later posts but, for now, just know that Mother Earth is changing and there are new energies evolving due to her changes. The poles are shifting, Ley Lines are changing, the Earth's chakras (energy centers) and electromagnetic fields are different and therefore exerting different life forces on the planet. It is hard for us to keep up and, whether we consciously realize this or not, our bodies and minds do at unconscious and subconscious levels. And unless we have someone, like a Master, help and explain things to us, it can be very overwhelming.

Apparently, my mystical journey beyond the fabric of space and time, as most of us know it, has already begun. Talk about more bang for your buck!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cold Revenge

Graphic used with the express permission of Christina of the amazing Christina's Outlet.. Stop by and say "Hi."

Here in, you will find an original story in 10 parts by 10 different authors. This is Part IV written by me, Ronda. For anyone who hasn't been following the story and wants to catch up, I've included the first three parts with a link to each author's blog. If you have been following, scroll down to the new chapter. As the story is getting complex and to keep myself oriented, I started a Story and Character Key which appears at the bottom. Hope this helps the next author. It would be kind if you updated the Key before you pass it off to the next writer. Who would like to take a stab at the next chapter? Do I have any takers or will I have to assign someone homework?

Otin sez: This is a long one, folks. It's another story meme. Here's how it goes:

And now for something completely different: a story in ten parts( hopefully ). Begun by Otin and continued by Subtorp,

I'm going to tag someone with continuing on with the story. The two simple rules follow:

1). At the end, tag only one person to write the next part. If the
tagged individual does not want to participate, they can pass it along to
another person.
2). The 10th person must end the story, so numbers 8 and
9 need to think about the end game also!

Take it wherever you like!

Part I

Jim Datillo is an ex cop, living on disability from an injury sustained in the line of duty. He is a single father of a ten year old girl named Kylie. Kylie's mother left her and Jim almost 6 years ago and has never been heard from since. Jim and his daughter live on a large piece of land in upstate New York, having little or no contact with neighbors, overall a very isolated existence.

A few mornings ago, Jim woke up and went to check on his daughter, finding only an empty bed, it was not like Kylie to get up early during the summer months. He checked the house, checked the yard and found nothing. Now panicking, Jim went to the phone, ready to call the police, that is when he saw the note, it read:

We have your daughter, do not call anyone, or she will suffer! All that you need to do to get her back is to complete two tasks. The first task is that you must kill a person of your choice by midnight tonight. The next task will be given to you after you complete number one. Failure to comply will result in the death of your daughter, as will you making contact with anyone!

Jim turned white and almost passed out. What were his options? He did not have one, Kylie's life depended on him becoming a murderer. Who could he possibly kill? He would have to locate a sex offender, or a person with a terminal illness, someone that did not have a long and prosperous future. It was not justification, but just limiting his guilt. He only had 13 hours to do it, and could not even try to look for a suspected kidnapper. He got out his hunting rifle, went to his truck and started driving toward town, not really having a plan. While driving, he began to gather his senses, and narrowed it down to either going to the library and searching for a local sex offender on the computer databases, or slipping into the ICU of the local hospital and putting someone out of their misery. The second option was far riskier than assassinating a pedophile.

Part II
(by Subtorp)

But after driving for about ten minutes, Jim pulled over and shut off the engine. He had to think. Something didn't feel right. Taking the bunched up note out of his shirt pocket, he( very carefully ) smoothed it out on top of the centre console, between the seats. For a few seconds he just stared at the note, mouthing the words to himself. Then Jim stared a bit harder. Rubbing his still sleep-tired eyes, it hit him. The handwriting...it was the handwriting! In his panicked haste, Jim's distraught mind wasn't even thinking about that part of the note. Just the haunting words. Linda. It couldn't be, could it? Why now? Why this? It's been almost six years and not a word from her. There's no way Linda would pull a stunt like this.....or would she? Was she capable?

Jim thought back. He thought the divorce had been amicable enough. Maybe not, on second thought. Linda had asked for nothing, wanted nothing. Not even their daughter, Kylie. The girl was barely four, when Linda walked out of their lives. Jim now recalled the day the divorce papers were signed...Linda seemed okay with it all; like a burden had just been lifted from her shoulders. But as she walked out of the courthouse, Jim further recalls her parting words; "You'll never know when or where but you'll know why." Damn! What did it mean? Sure, he and Linda had fought while they were married, but nothing serious enough to warrant this...this...nightmare come true! Or is it?

Meanwhile, 600 miles away, a young girl sits quietly in the back of a Greyhound bus, heading southwest. She's perhaps ten years old, has auburn hair and blue-green eyes and appears to be travelling alone. And she is just a bit nervous. After all, she hasn't seen her mother in a long time; barely remembers her at all. After a while, the bus pulls over to take on more passengers and let others off. While the driver is stowing the baggage underneath, the new-comers are getting settled in. One of them(a kindly older man; at least from outside appearances ), sits just across from the young girl. He's in his early '70's. Looking at the girl, he offers up a, "Howdy ma'am, travellin' far?", with a slight smile. Somewhat apprehensive, the girl's barely audible reply is, "I'm not sure..." "Well then," replied the man, "looks like that makes two of us!", as he let out a small laugh. "What's your name, kiddo? Mine's 'Morley' but most folks just call me 'Gramps'." Opening up a little more, the girl replied, "My name is...."

Part III
(by Megan)

Linda paced the hotel room. She knew every inch of it. Ten paces from the door to the window. Stop. Look at the panorama that was Las Vegas. It sparkled back at her, but she didn't even see it any more. Turn. Eight paces from the window to the mirror. A brief glance at the anxious lines that had appeared in seemingly every corner of her face over the last few weeks. Turn.

The sound of Stretch using his key card stopped her. He came in quickly, but without stealth. She noticed he didn't even glance back, this time. He smiled. "The package is on its way, baby."

She didn't return the smile. The lines around her mouth deepened. "I still think we could have found a better way," she snapped. Her voice was thin as a wire. "How can you be so sure what Jim is going to do? It's been six years. He could be a complete mental case by now. He could have taken a gun to the first person to cross his tracks, for chrissakes. I don't like it, Stretch."

His smile widened, and a tinge of mockery came into his voice. "That's right Linda. Six years. And you left the kid with him, all that time, not a care in the world. But now you worry about Datillo's sanity? I told you. I've got a guy there. I've got a guy waiting at the next stop. Jesus, Linda, I've got a guy right there on the god damn bus with her.

I've told you this before, but I'll tell you one more time to see if it penetrates that pretty skull of yours. Datillo's sharp. Just because he took a bullet and had to retire doesn't mean he's gotten duller. We had to leave a trail that he could find, and follow. Because while he's busy doing that, he won't be calling anyone else, see? He always preferred to work on his own if he could. Trust me."

Stretch flipped the key card onto the nightstand with a practiced gesture, and turned away from her. His tall frame filled the doorway. "I'm gonna take a shower. Call down for some dinner, will you? Lobster, eh? I feel like celebrating a little."

Linda sank down on the corner of the bed, her head in her hands. She still wasn't convinced. She had no real fears for the girl. She knew most of Stretch's men, and none of them would harm her. But she also knew it wasn't going to be that easy, trapping Big Jim Datillo.

Part IV
(by Ronda)

Big Jim Datillo. Yep, that's me. A cop in a long, long line of cops. Like my father, Marv, and his father before him, and his father before him going as far back as any Datillo can remember. Being a cop was all I'd ever wanted. And I was good. Damn good. It was in my blood. In my DNA.


All that ended 7 years ago when that bullet obliterated my shoulder during a bank robbery. To this day, I can still remember the coppery taste of my blood as it splattered my mouth in tandem with shrieking, shredding pain. After that, my right arm never worked the same. Even with extensive rehab. Not reliable...render your partner defenseless in a back up situation...disability...medical retirement...retrain...desk job. Words. Just words. How can invisible vibrations destroy a man's world? Send him scampering into a bottle...whimpering and crying like a baby? Shit. I'll admit it. It was more than one bottle. I had a friggin' closet full of them.

Pills for the shoulder pain...they were the beginning. Vicodin. Norco. Oxycontin. Long after my shoulder healed, I found a reason to use them and found people to sell what the doctors didn't give me. Liquid Oxy. Morphine: suckers, pills and patches. I had them all. I used them all. I used them to numb my brain. Then came the alcohol and cocaine. It seems that things "do" go better with coke. It makes the pills go better. I created a first class, A1, self-medication program worthy of any professional pill jockey. Yeah, numb and blacked out...that's what feels good. Now, being in the real world, that's painful and ugly. The real world cost me my life and my wife.

Linda. Linda Martelli was a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Hell, let's face it, Linda was pretty much the wrong everything. Wrong religion. She's Italian and Catholic and if I were any more WASP, I'd have a stinger. Wrong political affiliations. Datillo's are Republicans. Martelli's are Democrats. She came from a poor, uncultured family. The Martelli's had a reputation for being thief's, robbers and bookies. Education? Drop out. Left school when she was 16 to work at the local bowling alley restaurant. Had to. She had to pay the rent and take care of her alcoholic mother. She had never known her father. The story goes that her mother had been bedded by an older man who left her when she turned up underage and pregnant. There had always been talk that her father was connected to the mob. No one new for sure except her mother and she wasn't talkin.' Couldn't. Most of the time you could find her passed out and slobbering on the table of some local bar.

Christ, Linda and I had sure been something good...once upon a time. We'd gone to grade school together but, we'd never been friends. She kept to herself, kinda quiet like, but real pretty. I got to know her during my junior year of high school. Pops had made detective and started spending a lot of time working cases late into the night.

Me and Pops. Life for me was lonely after mom was killed in that car crash. I guess it was for Pops too. We didn't really have any family other than the guys on the force. They took me under their wing and looked out for me as best they could. They helped fill in the gaps when Pops had to pick up those extra hours. After school, I would drop by the precinct house and they'd help me with my homework. They got me working out with them in the gym. They raised me from runt to ripped.

They were brothers. Comrades. But they rarely had time to feed me so I'd taken to stopping by the Bowl for dinner. They had great food in the restaurant and, best of all, I got to visit with Linda. After she served my dinner, she would talk to me while she cleaned in between taking care of her other customers. Eventually, I began to wait for her shift to end and walk her home. She lived in a crappy neighborhood and her mother was never home. There was never anyone to watch out for her. Besides, I liked having a friend and the fact that this friend was female and pretty, counted a lot in her favor. I got to know her real well over that year.

No one came to see me graduate. Pops had to work. Early that morning, he woke me up and gave me the watch that his father had given him when he'd graduated. He told me how proud he was of me. When I walked up to get my diploma, I couldn't help but imagine that my mom was in that crowd of people, silently cheering for me as I flipped my tassel to the other side. While all the other kids were out partying, I went to the Bowl to celebrate with a chocolate shake and Linda. As I sat down and ordered, she was happy and giddy and telling me how excited she was for me. Neither one of us mentioned the fact that she should have been graduating too. Somewhat shyly, she reached below the counter and lifted up a beautiful, golden crusted, baked apple pie. She'd made it for me, she said, because she knew how much I loved it and how much it reminded me of mom. She warmed up the pie, put it into two bowls, topped it with quickly melting, vanilla ice cream and took her break. We ate in sweet silence.

On the walk home, she held my hand. On the porch, the summer breeze whipped the cinnamon and vanilla out of her hair. She looked up at me from her five foot nothin' view point...and I was lost. Pulling her to me, our lips met, first tender and awkward, then hungry and selfish. Taking what we each wanted. Giving. Taking. Sharing. Moving. Moving to her bed. We lie together, her mahogany hair spilling like waves over my pale, WASP skin. Her Bambi brown eyes locked onto mine. Her bronze skin, burnished gold, in the full moon light casting through the window, shivered at my touch. Breast to chest. Loin to loin. Rising. Falling. Mixing. Molding. Melding in the smoldering undulation of this ancient primal dance of lust, she took me into her with a spreading invitation. I accepted. We rode the swells of pleasure til they sprayed against the shore. Receding--like our loneliness--for that moment.

One month later, tears in her eyes, she tells me of the baby. Two months later, we marry in a quiet ceremony. Just the two of us. Pops showed up just as we were signing the papers. He took us to dinner at Omar's Steak House. Later, we heard that her mom had bought a round for the house at the bar where she was drinking. Pops let us move into my bedroom at his house. I started the Police Academy the same week Kylie was born. She had my eyes and hair color. She had Linda's olive skin and smile.

I graduated top in my class from the Academy. We bought a house and moved out on our own after I was hired on at the department. Hell, our marriage wasn't perfect. No one's is, right? But we'd loved each other. Being sued for divorce was a surprise to me. It shouldn't have been. All the signs were there. If I hadn't been blind drunk and stoned, I probably would have seen it coming. Linda said she couldn't watch me live like this anymore. Said it reminded her too much of her mother.

I wish I could say that I stopped using when she left me. I wish I could say I stepped up to the plate with Kylie and became the parent she deserved. If wishes were dollars, I'd be a billionaire. Instead, I'm spending thousands of dollars poppin' a billion pills. It was Pops who stepped up and hit the homer. He took early retirement from the force. He started his own detective agency so he could take care of Kylie. For that, I'll always be grateful.

My Gran Pops. I love him. I miss him, Kylie thinks as she looks over at the man sitting across the aisle of the bus. He reminds me of my Gran Pops, even though he's a bit older. I can't ever remember being away from him. We have fun together. We always play games. When I was really little, he would lay a few of my toys on the floor and ask me to look at them. After a bit, he would hide them in the box and ask me to name them. Over time, the number of toys he laid out increased. I got to where I could easily remember 20 to 30 things. Our games always ended with us eating ice cream.

When I was old enough to walk for a while, he would take me to work with him. When I could read, we would work puzzles and word games together. I loved finding the secret words, solving the puzzles, and figuring out the little codes he made up for me. We would play "Spy." He would point out someone and let me watch them for a bit and then ask me to describe what I remembered. One of my favorite games was called "Follow." The point was for us to stay close to the person we were following, but not close enough to be seen. When I got older still, we would dress in costumes and play "Chase the Rabbit." Sometimes he would even let me chase the rabbit and he would chase me. And when the game was over and we would sit down to eat our ice cream, Gran Pops would always tell me that this was "our" little secret. That I was a chip off the ol' block and that father didn't need to know, he had enough on his mind. I sure do miss my Gran Pops.

So, last night, I saw and heard those men outside my bedroom window long before they saw me. I saw the short man give the tall man a package which he tucked into the pocket of his leather jacket. I heard them say they wanted to take me to my mother. I barely remember her. But I know that she smells like apple pie and ice cream 'cause that's what my father says. And that's how she smelled when she made us that for our birthdays. Yeah, I want to see my mother. So I climbed back into my bed again and pretended to be asleep when the short man came into my room. He woke me up, gestured for me to stay quiet, and asked me if I wanted to see my mother. Acting scared, I nodded "yes." Quickly, he help me get a few clothes. He said it would be a long trip and grabbed a couple of books, my portable DVD player and a couple of DVDs. And we slipped quietly back out the window and walked down the road a ways to a car that was waiting.

The car took us to the bus depot. The tall man got my stuff and helped me find a seat on the bus across from a man a little older than Gran Pops. The tall man says something quietly to the older man and takes his jacket off and hands it to him. Before he leaves, he whispers in my ear that if I am good and stay with this man, I'll get taken to my mother. The older man asks me if I'm traveling far. He asks me my name and tells me that his is "Morley" and that most folks call him "Gramps."

I must have fallen asleep for a little while even though I was trying to stay awake. It's light outside now. Shivering, I tell Morley that I'm cold and ask if I can sit next to him. Moving me across the aisle, he lay his jacket over me. I ask him when I will see my mom because it seems to be taking a long time to reach her. He tells me it will be quite a while yet and puts a DVD into my player for me. I like this movie. Hotel for Dogs is one of my favorites and it's nice to have something to do. I'd like to have a dog someday.

Finally! The bus is slowing. The driver tells us we'll stop for a breakfast break. He says to be back in 40 minutes and that the bus will not wait. I saw him leave a man at the last stop. He means it. Morley tells me to stay put while he goes into the truck stop. He asks me if I want something to eat and I sure do. I'm getting hungry! I just hope he gets me something kids like. I watch him until the door of the restaurant closes.

I'd begun to think he was never going to leave me alone. I keep one eye on the door. Feeling around in the pocket of Morley's leather jacket for the package, I pull it out. The package is a flat, cardboard envelope. Carefully, I lift the tab of the envelope and tip out its contents. It is a silver disk. CD? DVD? I quickly eject the one I am watching and slip in this new one. For what seems like forever, the screen is black. Just as I start to take the disk out thinking that it is blank, 1's and 0's start scrolling down the screen. I don't know what it means. It doesn't make sense. I check out the window for Morley. Oh, shoot! He's coming back! Quickly ejecting the disk, I put it back in the envelope and get it back in his jacket pocket just as he steps into the bus.

Morley gives me half of his turkey sandwich and shares his bag of chips. Feeling full and sleepy again, I snuggle up to him. He lets me lean against him and tells me I'll be with my mother soon. I may not know what all of those 1's and 0's mean, I think, but I do know that they are some kind of code. Just as I am about to fall asleep, I look up at Morley, real sad like, and ask him if I can call him Gramps, because he reminds me of my Gran Pops. I want him to like me. I want to see my mom. I don't want him to hurt me. And even though I know that my sad look is an act, the tears I feel stinging my eyes are real. I DO miss my Gran Pops!


Big Jim awoke with a start! How long have I been asleep? It's getting dark. All of the apprehension and anxiety from before returns as I remember the note and Kylie. Kylie! I have less than four hours to find someone to kill. Someone's death earns me the chance to learn what I need to do to save my daughter. I have to make that decision quickly. Should I commit a random murder? Take out someone I know who is ill? Make a kill in the name of vigilante justice? God knows...I know plenty of scum bags who deserve to die. If Linda wrote this note, how will she know that I've actually done what she requires of me? For that matter, how will anyone know? Shit! I have a closet full of pills. What if I just took myself out? Lord knows, I've already thought about it many, many times. That'd teach the bitch, once and for all, not to f**k with Big Jim Datillo!

Story and Character Key

Jim Datillo aka Big Jim Datillo: approx. 28 years old, smart, sharp, likes to work alone, auburn hair, blue-green eyes, ripped bod, addict: pills, booze, cocaine, morphine, mentally unstable, ex-cop, retired 7 years ago with an on the job disability, divorced from Linda Martelli 6 years ago--she split and he hasn't seen her since, they had one child together, of whom he has custody: Kylie (Kylie calls him "father"), lives in upstate New York on a large, isolated piece of property, calls his mother: "mom"-she was killed in a car crash when he was young, calls his father: "Pops," Pops raised him--no other family around, drives a truck, has a rifle, found Kylie missing on a summer morning, ransom note left stating he had to kill someone by midnight in order to find out what else he had to do to save Kylie.

Linda Martelli: Approx. 28 years old, Jim's ex-wife--divorced (amicabbly as far as we know)and left him 6 years ago--her parting words were "You'll never know when or where, but you'll know why, Kylie's mother, Marv's ex-daughter-in-law, her mother (who doesn't have a name yet) is an alcoholic, we don't know about any of her other family execpt they are thieves, robbers, and bookies, Kylie calls her "Mother," hasn't seen or contacted her daughter in 6 years, wanted nothing in divorce, possibly wrote ransom note, wanted nothing in divorce-not even her daughter, knows it's not going to be easy to trap Big Jim, Irish Catholic, from the wrong side of the tracks, mahogany colored hair, bronzy olive skin, nice smile, pretty, knows Stretch somehow, smelled like vanilla and cinnamon when she was young.

Kylie: auburn hair, blue-green eyes, was around 4 when Linda left, is 10 now, lives with her father (Big Jim) and Gran Pops (Marv), Marv is raising, doesn't spend much time with her father, riding south west in a Greyhound bus, abducted (knowingly) by a short man and a tall man, riding on bus with an older man around 70 who goes by "Morley" and "Gramps," is very observant.

Marv: approx. 55, goes by "Pops," "Gran Pops," father to Big Jim, grandfather to Kylie, father-in-law to Linda, a cop who made detective, retired and started his own agency so he could take care of Kylie, his granddaughter, likes ice cream, has trained his granddaughter to be sleuthy and observant.

Stretch: is somehow associated with Linda in Las Vegas, tall, likes lobster and showers, not stealthy, has "men" working for him, knows Big Jim is smart, purposely left a trail for him to follow, knows Jim likes to work alone.

Short Man: Helped abduct Kylie, he went into her room and snuck her out, gave the tall man a package, one of Stretch's men.

Tall Man: Helped abduct Kylie, took package from short man, put it in leather jacket, put Kylie on bus with Morley, gave Morley jacket one of Stretch's men.

Morley aka Gramps: Riding south west on Greyhound bus with Kylie, takes leather jacket from tall man, apparently one of Stretch's men, about 70.

Linda's mom: pregnant and underage with Linda, has never divulged father's name, comes from a family of thievs, robbers, bookies, alcoholic, has some income because she can buy a round of drinks for the house.

Linda's dad: Unknown.

Other cops on the force: worked with Marv, helped raise Big Jim.

Code: 1's and zeros: binary code

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Summer of '70

Somehow we came up just shy of having much autonomy in the Summer of '69. But we'd made a pact to make up for it in the Summer of '70. This is OUR season in the sun. This is one of OUR stories.

My girlfriend, Tina, pulls up in front of my house. I yell to my mom that I'm leaving. She yells back my curfew. I pretend not to hear. This summer, Tina's driving a turquoise, '63 Comet convertible from her father's used car lot. Every summer she gets a different car. We are two seventeen year old chicks heading out on a Saturday night. As my butt hits the seat, its black vinyl spanks me with searing heat. My hand, singed by the metal door frame, wincingly pulls it closed. It's nearly 7 p.m. and still crazy hot. But we look cool. We know it.

Our long, blond, ironed-straight-parted-in-the-middle hair, blazing in the sun, flying in the wind, we hit the freeway. It just opened and it is our playground. If we take the cloverleaf on-ramps in just the right order, we can circle all of them and shoot off the fourth one headed west and for town. Our cotton, paisley dresses, rippling as we cruise, fan short, hot, Coppertoned thighs. We head downtown to the AC. The good ol' Artic Circle. The burger joint of choice along the weekend cruise. Too early for much action--only a few people are hanging out. After ordering a couple of Cokes and hopping back into the convertible, we make a quick lap around town. Too quiet yet to command our attention so we head due west toward Whiskeytown Lake.

On the radio, KRDG's blasting Grand Funk Railroad's, I'm your Captain. The song lasts most of the way to the lake. The sun, like a giant, orange, one-eyed ogre, moves lower in the sky. Our round, John Lennon sunglasses protect us from its blinding assault. Turning left off the highway, we spin toward the back side of the lake. Parking, peeling our sweaty thighs off the plastic seat, we get out of the car. We make a quick hike of getting down to our favorite, hidden spot by the water. The sun loses its fight with the rise of the mountains. The mountains grace us with the relief of their shade. Sitting on large, sun warmed rocks, we flip our leather sandals to the sand. Feet dangle in the water. Wheat Straw rolling papers are pulled out. Seeds and stems are picked out of the baggie of Mexican weed and saved for leaner times. A big fattie gets rolled.

Sitting in silence, we finish sipping the harsh smoke of the yellow bomber. The copper wire and beaded roach clip, ceremoniously affixed to the last, wee bit of paper wrapped herb, gives us a few more hits. We witness the day flashing its last, green-gold ray of death. Extinguished as completely as the joint. What now? Find a party? Go to the drags? Find some music? The drive-in? Yeah, tonight we'll go to the drive-in. The Woodstock movie's out. We were too young and lived too far away to go to the festival last year. But even out here, on the west coast, we had felt the ripples of excitement and were stoked to see the movie.

Sandals get put back on feet. Feet head for the convertible. We make the ride back to town under the shadow of the mountains while taking in the Fresh Air of Quicksilver Messenger Service. Just in time to make the show, we head for the silver screened giant. Making a snail's roll through the line to the neon lit, moth swarmed ticket booth, we pull out our $1.50 per car load and find a place to park. Once giving the metal speaker on the post a home on the Comet's partially rolled up window, we head off to the snack bar. A munchie run is the first priority. Abba Zaba's, popcorn, Junior Mints, red licorice and a couple of fruit punches later, we head back to the car. Second priority...a potty stop.

We are ready for the movie and what a movie it is! Jimi Hendrix, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and Country Joe McDonald among many, many others. The Bum Trip Centers, set up by Abbie Hoffman, are filled with victims of the "not so good, brown acid" floating around. After the movie, riding high on its excitement, we head back out to the lake. Talking all the way. We had never seen that many musicians at one event. We had never seen crowds that big, stages that big, nor towers and speakers that big. No one had. And in the nearly 100-degrees-at-midnight heat, we pull those summer dresses off over our heads and kick off our sandals...again. Skinny dipping our bodies into the cool-warm layers of water, we melt grainy, salty, dried sweat from our skin. Gliding over the glassy layer of moonlit water and bouncing off of the surrounding mountains back at us, come our cheers: "Give me an 'F'." "Give me a 'U'." Give me a 'C'." "Give me a..."

The last day of summer in the northern hemisphere, has just given way to Autumn. As we poise in the balance of the dark and light of this equinox, in Redding, our temperatures are still rising above triple digit marks. It is hard to believe that we have crossed an invisible line marking a new chapter of the year. In thinking about the last days of summer, this memory keeps rising like a blurry, heat wave covered image. Memories of spending summers with my friend, Tina. For several years, our every Saturday night started and ended this same way. It makes me feel good to remember her when she was young and happy. She is dead now and her ending was not so fun or pretty. But that is a story for a darker part of the year.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Los Lonely Boys

Outside the Cascade Theatre..the evening was young

We took the nephew to the Los Lonely Boys performance at the Cascade Theatre in honor of his 22nd birthday. The Cascade Theatre is an Art Deco style theatre that opened in 1935 in the downtown area and has been beautifully restored. It was done with community effort and donations. The acoustics are great and you can see well from every seat.

Oh, so lonely waiting for the Los Lonely Boys to come on stage...they took their time...no shi* but it was worth it.

The Los Lonely Boys are a band of Hispanic brothers. The Garza brothers, to be exact. Henry on guitar, Jojo on bass and Ringo on drums. Their father was a musician too but wasn't able to pursue music as a career as he had babies instead. He often tours with the boys and gets choked up when he talks about how proud he is that his babies grew up to find success in doing what he was unable. If they had a fourth brother, it would be a lot easier on them to make all that music. But the way they sound, they really don't need one.

Still waiting...this family left four songs into LLB...I think man on right was with a disability.

The first time I heard the band was in 2003. The husband turned me on to them. They were the official band of the PGA, Professional Golf Association, tour that year and their music was featured during tour telecasts. That year they released their first Grammy winning, debut album that included the hit single, Heaven. Their style sounds like what you would get if you put a Mariachi band, Jimi Hendrix and Chuck Berry in a blender and hit frappe.

Los Lonely Boy's Bus

This is the second time they have played in Redding in two years. Tonight they gave us the honor of being among the first people in the world to hear songs from their new album that will be released next month. The album, 1969, covers songs from that year. The music was wild, driving and the brothers had a great time. I've rarely seen musicians have so much fun playing...last night it was more than a job...that was clear. They tossed picks they had used into the audience. Ringo passed out drum sticks. And one lucky sucker in the front row took home a guitar Jojo gave him. Sheesh! A flippin' guitar!

Los Lonely Boys recently returned from Iraq where they entertained our troops. The boys (men) were truly humbled by what they saw of every day life...on both sides...during war time. They have videos on You-Tube chronicling their trip and invite you to view them. Blessed are we to live the life we do--is their motto upon return. The way the Garza brothers conduct themselves always touches me. It is clear that they truly honor the higher power that graces their music and gives them their fans and their zest for life. It was a great way to end hump day! It was Heaven!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rock My World

With all of the Beatles programs on lately promoting The Beatles: Rock Band, I couldn't help but think back to days that The Beatles changed my world forever. Like the first time I heard I Wanna Hold Your Hand. In January of 1964, I was two weeks shy of being 11 years old. I was with my older cousin, Delinda. In her friend's bedroom, we were playing records on the phonograph. Terri, with a smugness that, in retrospect, was entirely appropriate, whipped out a new, 45 rpm single. Ever so carefully, she slid the record out of its paper sleeve and onto the silver spindle. Even after hearing that song, at least 20 times that day, I still couldn't believe what I was hearing.

Over the years, The Beatles continued to keep re-writing musical expectations. It became normal to expect innovation from the band. But they changed my world again in the summer of 1967 when they released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. I was with my girlfriend, Gaylene. We'd spent the weekend beating the Reno team on our Junior Tennis tour. That night, a team of sunburned, happy-tired, 14 year old girls, were having a sleepover. Sitting on our sleeping bags, Gaylene, whipped out the most amazing album cover I had ever seen.With a smugness that, in retrospect, was entirely appropriate, she slipped the album carefully out of its cover. After putting it on the silver spindle of the hi-fi stereo, she changed the setting from 45 to LP, and spun us into the future.

The husband remembers that day too. He, being several years older than I, was at a high school party out in the hills at the home of a wealthy doctor/rancher. There were about a 100 kids there and someone brought the new Sgt. Pepper's album. Every one wanted to hear the music but the problem was there was only one stereo with one set of headphones. No speakers. It took all night, but they all got to hear the album--one at a time. Each kid passed the headphones to the next in line with glazed eyes, a shaking of the head and a "Man...you gotta HEAR this!!"

All I know is one day music looked and sounded like this:

And the next it looked and sounded like this:

And this:

My world was rocked...changed forever that day...again.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Communication Breakdown

Another Mercury retrograde is upon us. It began on September 7th and its effects will continue to be felt until around mid-October when things will straigten out. Mercury usually goes retrograde three times a year but, this year, it will turn four times. This seems to be an unusual year all the way around. This summer, we also had three eclipses in two months instead of the usual two.

Areas of communication, Internet, travel, mail and appointments can get tricky to negotiate. This retrograde is in Libra, so it is a time of introspection and an opportunity to work on relationships, harmony and style. As I am still dealing with some of the gliches from the retrograde in May, I have some trepiditon about this one. But retrogrades also give us the chance to revisit old patterns or problems. I am going to take this to mean this is a good time to further workout ongoing snafus. Yeah, that's how I'm going to look at it.

So far, I notice communication issues rising. Last night I got home after 9 p.m. The husband tells me that Muffy called and wants me to sub on the pool team at the local sports bar on Wednesday night. I tell him I don't know a Muffy and I certainly don't play pool well enough to be on their team. He tells me he didn't think so but, maybe I had a secret life he didn't know about. After nearly 35 years of marriage, I tell him I don't think I have any secrets left but, if I did, I would make sure they were more notorious than alcohol fueld, covert pool playing.

Meanwhile, he is having communication issues of his own. He got a new cell phone in July. The number, apparently, previously belonged to a very popular, teenage cheerleader. Every Saturday night, the darn thing starts chirping like a hungry baby bird. He gets voice mails and text messages wanting to know when he is going to be ready to go out? Does he want to go to the party? They tell him what time to arrive at the movies.

I think he gets more action now than he did in his heyday. Oops, incoming text message: he's just been informed of the time for cheerleading practice. I ask him if he's going. He tells me that the thought of a pre-60 year old man showing up to cheerleading practice with a bunch of young girls in short skirts just plain creeps him out. While feeling grateful for this, I look at him with my squinty-eye and try to imagine him, wearing a baseball cap, pocket T-shirt, pleated skirt topping square-kneed, hairy legs, white crew socks and Birkentstock's, shaking pom-poms. Nahhh...shudder, shudder.

I look over at him and he's asleep in his chair. That's my man! I think: Hey, husband, wake up! The party hasn't even started yet. Shoot, we only have 6 more weeks of this stuff. This retrograde is over just as football season is ending and just in time for you to start basketball cheerleading practice. Rah, rah, sis boom ba.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


With The Beatles: Rock Band set for release tomorrow, 9-9-09, there has been a flurry o' Beatles programs on the telly geared to fluff 'n fleece the wallets of eager rock star wannabes. And the husband has had me watching, or listening, to them all week. Usually he only gets this jacked up over golf tournaments, the poker tours, and when the Milwaukee Brewers turn a triple play like they did on Sunday. But, suddenly, he grabs his magic wand, no, not that one, silly. I'm talking about the remote control device and, "plink," he slams us 40 years back in time. He turns to me and smiles as if to say, see, we don't need a stinkin' DeLorean...like he'd turn one down if it came his way...anyway~

We've watched: The Beatles: A Video Collection, The Beatles Anthology, The Beatles Retrospective and more. I have to admit, that while hiding behind my yes-that's-nice-dear-condescending-smile, I have enjoyed reliving history. I find it particularly intriguing how each of the Beatles remember specific events differently. For instance, when they met the Queen Mother. One said they were so nervous that they went to the bathroom and smoked a cigarette to calm down. In a separate interview with another Beatle, the cig became a joint. And Ringo, he said he was so stoned he couldn't remember what they did. Now that I think about it, that was pretty much his response to many questions. Hmm...anyway~

I was happy to learn that, after 40 years of wondering what the snark the song, I am the Walrus, is about, I had an answer. It is about absolutely nothing! The Beatles decided to write a song with completely nonsensical lyrics in response to hearing that school teachers were having students analyze their songs. Apparently, the song is a big, fat ANALYZE-THIS-you-over-thinkers! And, boy, am I relieved. I don't know about the rest of you but, although I heard many people say: it-means-this-or-that-or-the-other-thing, it made no sense to me...anyway~

(Big sigh of relief) Closure...at long last.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Fortune cookie reads:

A shooting star tonight will bring you good luck tomorrow.

Tomorrow the moon is full again. So many practices have been created around celestial comings and goings, bringing the night sky to life, illuminating the human civilization. Once upon a time, as a part of "life hood," we were taught to study the stars. It was an element of survival passed down to us by our elders. We collected information from other cultures and traditions in order to know the spirit of water, stones, plants, trees, animals and insects, male, female and even how to rest. Many of us have forgotten how these celestial events influence the tides, the planting seasons and women's cycles. We have forgotten that they influence us physically.

There are few things that are literally as universal as the day sky and the night sky. We are star people. The remnants of that star dust is evidenced in our bodies, specifically our blood. The mineral levels that doctors check in our bloodwork, such as calcium, got there because ancient, exploding stars jetisoned massive amounts of star splatter out into the universes. And the creator's hand used these elements to form life. Every moment, every movement of our Earth spinning on its big axis as we look out to the stars, shows us a map. A map provided by our distant relatives who are guiding us back to our home.

We are stardust, we are
we are billion year old carbon,
And we got to get ourselves back to
the garden.

- Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ghost Town

Last night we watched the movie "Ghost Town" starring Greg Kinnear, Tea Leoni, and Ricky Gervais. This comedy was about a dentist, Bertram Pincus, who has a Near Death Experience during a medical procedure. After he is revived, he discovers that he has the ability to see and hear ghosts. The ghosts all want something from him and pester him incessantly. The story is summed up with the premise that we, the living, are the ones that hold them here. That they can't leave until they take care of whatever it is we need.

That has not always been my experience with ghosts. I consider them more spirits or souls than ghosts and I have encountered a number of them through out my life. I know many healers, like Reya, who work with vast numbers of spirits at a time. By this I mean, they work in areas where many people have died, like battle grounds or cataclysmic event locations. Most of the time, my work is on a one-to-one basis.

I have practiced, what most people call, hypnosis since I was 12 years old. I think of it more as relaxed focus because, well, that is an apt description. When we relax, our brain waves slow from Beta, our normal waking state, to Alpha or Theta and our state of consciousness alters. An example of an Alpha wave state would be how you feel right before you go to sleep or upon waking. Although we look asleep, we are hyper-aware. We are able to bypass our logical, or conscious, mind and tap into vast amounts of information stored in our subconscious mind.

During Past Life Regression sessions, I have encountered beings that have died but not yet crossed over. I dialogue with these souls through the person with whom I am working. It is pretty easy to tell who is who. I'll be talking to my client when all of a sudden, a different tone of voice and pattern of speech will appear. The first time I encountered this, I was quite unsure of how to proceed. Finally, I asked who I was talking to and discovered that I was dialoguing with a different being. This is not just a different personality of the same person. This is an energetic being of its own.

They are, usually, quite willing to give information as in most cases, they haven't had a voice or anyone to communicate with for a long time. Most are not malevolent in nature. The person, with whom they have the relationship, is rarely aware of their presence. Doing the work of allowing the spirits to leave this plane is relatively simple. It is generally a kind of negotiation between the two parties. Sometimes the person isn't ready to let go of the deceased. Sometimes the soul needs to be assured that the person will be alright after they go. Sometimes they just died in a position or a place where they didn't see the Light.

Being involved in solving the problem of what these souls need in order to return home is very rewarding and interesting work. It is work I don't speak about often...for the obvious reasons. But I am not a loony and my friends would probably say that I am a very intelligent, solid and grounded individual, albeit with esoteric curiosities. This movie wasn't a Movie of the Year, but it was light, interesting and had a ring of truth to it that I don't often see. And although I thought the premise that ALL spirits are held here by the living a bit too pat, I really want to know who the author is and what incident sparked this story.