TRIUMPH OF SPIRIT IN LOVE, NATURE & ART

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The Spirit of Snow

The Spirit of snow

highlights the love of line

the loving grace of trees in winter

bare and spiritual

the horses a gift of color

in otherwise black and white


What the Trees Say

Feather trees whisper a blessed new year to you all!


Christmas Wish

“The Cloud of Unknowing”

 

A beautiful Christmas to you all!

Peace Love Joy


Image

Nearly Gone

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Apologies to My Readers, Christine Blasey Ford and Good Men

I am so sorry for my post of self pity of last week about sexual abuse. To those of you who responded in spite of it,  you are very special, giving people.  I rewrote the post, addressing the second half to Christine Blasey Ford.  It has been a very rough time of disappointment upon disappointment… politically,  with friends, and even with my male psychiatrist.  But one person and one person alone HAS been there– as always… my devoted husband. He understood where most men have shockingly not. Some of you who responded to the post last week are men, and I regard you as most special, too.

When Kavanaugh was confirmed yesterday, my husband held me and let me sob the pain out of experiences from long ago.  His care, his love is so pure, I think of it as sacred.  It brings me to God and gratitude. I am profoundly grateful to, and for, him. These are very dark times and it is hard to see God in the current state of the country.  But love surpasseth all.  It is my husband’s birthday tomorrow and I will strive to give back to him, in my own imperfect way, all he has given and whatever I can add of my own.

Meantime, apologies.  I am sorry my gut spoke out.  And to those of you who wrote in despite that, a most profound thank you.


Christine Blasey Ford You are Still a Hero

Yes, I am Bipolar. But as well I was sexually abused as a child from age 3 to age 6 or 7, and, at that time as well, emotionally abused. The sexual abuse was incest with my “upstanding and outstanding” grandfather. I adored him.  I idolized him.  Everyone in my family did.  No one knew my secret.   Along with everyone else I worshipped him all my life.  I listened to Grandma say, after Grandpa died, how he had always been faithful to her.  I bit my tongue because he had been unfaithful to her with me.  Grandpa wanted me to tell his story.   Not THIS story.  A story about all the good things he did in his life.  He worked as a lawyer for a VA hospital and helped many veterans.  I have no doubt that he did.  He carved the Lincoln Gettysburg address at the Lincoln Memorial when he first came over from Sicily.  He was written about in a psychology textbook as an example of motivation.

Grandpa didn’t rape me but he did sexual things with me.  Things I knew were wrong.  Things that damaged me for life.  I tried to tell my grandmother but she didn’t understand what a child was talking about, asking her if she was jealous.  She laughed.  I realized to tell her would hurt her.  I never told anyone until later, when a woman in a gay bar told me she was abused.  Then I realized I had blocked it out of my memory for years.  All my life I lived as a doormat, letting everyone hurt me and walk all over me and I said nothing.  Just like with Grandpa.

With Dr. Christine Blasey Ford coming forward I am struggling, like many women abused in all sorts of ways, with an anger coming out that I never felt I had.  I loved Grandpa very much.  I thought that love could forgive what he did. That is until now.  Until I heard Christine Blasey Ford speak. Now I am furious. Fortunately I have a very understanding husband who worked as a therapist. with mentally ill medicaid clients.   He totally supports me.  I should be happy with that.  I am. But I am struggling with people who do not understand.   And the profound injustice of Ford’s case.

As things progress, anger is morphing into despair and the deepest disappointment with our country.  My doctor, a male psychiatrist,  was caring, went overtime with our recent session and said my anger was justifiable.  But he tried to make excuses for my grandfather.  This was, and is, devastating to me.  As are glib, dismissive statements, like “we have all been abused.”  I am sick at heart and in my gut.  I can’t eat.  I can’t sleep.  I would venture to say that these two weeks have been traumatic for all sexual crime survivors, and, as I learned from a younger friend, for survivors of emotional abuse as well.  It has taught me a lot.  It has taught me to treasure my husband even more.  I always did,  but now it is profoundly visceral and flows through every vein in my body.  My husband is the only one who “gets” the whole story.

I hope Christine Blasey Ford’s husband can help her.  I feel SO badly for her. She was a hero and look at what it got her.  A sham investigation.  A probable Kavanaugh confirmation.  A Trump parody of her answers, perhaps his most perverse remarks ever.  That same friend of mine, who suffered emotional abuse, tells me there is a silver lining to this.  That women will use their power and mobilize.  That young people will see the horror of mistreatment of an innocent victim of a sexual predator, a sexual predator like our president.  Not being the most optimistic of people, I only hope she is right.

And THANK YOU Christine Blasey Ford!   Take pride in your moving bravery.  You have helped countless women.  You are a hero for all of us.  My heart goes out to you.


Through the Blur of Maya

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

Bible verse from the King James version of the Bible, 1 Corinthians Chap 13 verse 12

 

And the guru who is my eyes right now is Kamlesh Patel, known as “Daaji,” and his disciple, Joshua Pollock in their book “The Heartfulness Way.”  See below.  I have read it twice and will reread it again.  It is the No. 1 Bestseller in India right now and it is chock full of insights and directions to follow the path of “Heartfulness.”  It is the path of love and the heart.  The path of Raja Yoga.  How could I resist?  Daaji does not charge for his teaching.  He has a network of trainers available on the Internet.   The key to Raja Yoga is the transmission you receive from the guru, from the trainers.  The path of Heartfulness is leading me to peace.  And as I am in the midst of withdrawing from a major tranquilizer STILL (a long process that will continue for months), peace is MAJOR.  I am not there yet but I see light at the end of the tunnel of Maya.  “I see now through a glass darkly…”


The Breath of Love

 

Until I can connect with my Muse again and develop a New York City aesthetic that connects with Spirit I rely on revising old writing and photographs…

I awaken to moonlight– it is at that particular slant that lights up the front yard at 3 AM.  What really has awakened me is my husband’s breathing.  It is labored like he has just run up a flight of stairs.  At times I awaken because I do not hear his breath and some alarm goes off in my head to check him.  And if I can not hear him breathing I put my hand lightly on his chest so as not to wake him to see if I can feel the his heart beating.  Feeling it pulsing in my hand I am reassured once more.  I am not alone in this.  My sister-in-law confides in me that she wakes up at night to listen to my brother to see if he is still breathing.  My first-grade friend says much the same.  She does a breathing check on her husband.  Our husbands are relatively well.  They have diabetes, heavy smoking and drinking, a delicate frame among them, but they are not on death’s door so far as we know.  And yet we are plagued by morbid fears.

In the wee hours of morning fears loom large.  My husband’s heartbeat, a mere flutter, seems so delicate.  I am reassured that it is beating just as I am reassured that he is breathing.  But the breath itself is so fragile.  It scares me awe-fully– the fragility of the breath, the fine line between breathing and cessation of breath.

I prowl the house.  Through the skylight the stars beam brightly along with a shining half moon.  A clear day tomorrow.  But it is already tomorrow.  It is so still my ears hum.  My husband, who knows so many interesting things, tells me the humming I hear is the sound of the nervous system.  Our bodies hold such mystery.

I look out the window, now hearing my neighbor’s dogs barking quietly.  I look for coyote thinking that is what they are barking at, but see nothing.  The moonlit grass on the lawn is whitish silver, looking almost as if it had snowed, and the water in the marsh sparkles in the moonlight.  The deep woods behind are pitch dark, the home of many a creature. Nothing stirs.  It is too early for the birds.  The house across the way is always dark; it is up for sale.  And in the other direction, at this hour, no lights shine in the driveway of the house down the road.

I am reminded of a line from a poem by Tagore “Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.”  I am at my most faithless at 3 AM.

Along with the supreme beauty of Tagore’s thoughts, a frivolous line from an old song runs through my head: “There ought to be a moonlight savings time…” and the line continues so there would be more time for loving.  But moonlight in the middle of the night also brings with it intense dreads.

Now chilled I finally go back to bed. An owl hoots in the distance– a reassuring sound.  My husband is breathing freely now.  His body is warm in the bed and I am filled with love for him as he lays in a heap, so trustingly in the arms of sleep.  Our marriage a wonder.  Unexpected.  An endless source of ever increasing love brimming not only with joy but also the dread of loss.  Perhaps all wives check their husbands for breathing.  Perhaps there is an army of women out there prowling the wee hours of the night, at times by moonlight, checking on their husbands, their children, their animals to see that they all have that breath of life flowing.

“There is one way of breathing that is shameful and constricted. Then, there’s another way: a breath of love that takes you all the way to infinity.”  Rumi said that.  And it is breath of love that I must master.

 

 


Last Snows/Millbrook/New York City

 


We are not the doers…

Didis Art Design

we-are-not-the-doers

The shadow thinks:
It is moving
But it is the light
That makes it moving…

DidiArtist, 20.12.2016

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The Light Within

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December is my favorite time of year.  In this month of darkness, in this the darkest month, the light of the human spirit shines forth in a fullness shown by so many, in so many ways.  As the days grow shorter, houses and trees are decorated, and snow falls.  In the hushed silence of the nights, lights shine in windows, and the beauty is shared by all.  For this season of giving brings the festivals of lights: Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza.  Each tradition incorporates light in its ceremonies and decorations.

In December’s darkness we light lights.  For we are beings of light.  A light glows within each one of us.  And, at the most basic level, we are beings of light because we are made from stardust.  Perhaps that is why the stars hold such majesty for us– we are made from star material.

Einstein said: “A human being is part of the whole, called by us the ‘Universe”– a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings, as something separated from the rest– a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”  We are all cut from the same cloth and our inner light unites us.

And in this holiday season we behold the night sky as shepherds did two thousand years ago on the birth of the holy infant, in a stable like the one down the road where my donkey friend lives.  That night a star lit the whole sky to guide the shepherds, and on these deep, long, silent nights as we light our houses, our candles, our trees, let us look inside ourselves and find the glow that may guide us to The Light

A holy Hanukkah, a magical Christmas and the ecstasy of Sadhguru to all for the New Year!  May we awaken from Maya and realize the wonders we are… for inside each of us burns the Sacred Light of the Universe.


Sadhguru’s Cure for a Spiritual Lobotomy

Another invisible illness silently
sapping quality of life
vertigo and acute nausea
now join
constant migraines
and, with Aspergers, I am
more of a recluse than ever
But my beloved stands by me
A few weeks ago
I wanted to die
Bipolar, too, you see
too sick to sleep
too long a wait
to see a doctor
My beloved, my savior
keeps me going.
But I must fight on my own
and have enlisted Sadhguru
an Indian mystic and Yogi and guru
who promises bliss.

Meditating and chanting every day
with my beautiful husband
whose love
pulls me through
My husband the healer
who worked
with the poorest of the poor
the dejected and rejected
the condemned
My husband who married me
despite my mental illness.

Sadhguru says my mind
can poison my body
Sadhguru, my last best hope
I meditate and chant Aum
with him daily
living the life of a hermit
in a 3 room box in New York City
rather than in a cave in the Himalayas
Desperately seeking
the spirituality of years ago
before antipsychotic medication
gave me a spiritual lobotomy
A trade off
it offered me
some sort of stability
to have a quasi normal life
with my devoted husband
of 28 years.

Why can’t you have
pharmacological sanity
that allows you to love
AND spirituality???
I am going to try…
With Sadhguru.


Flitting and Flirting on a Flower

Butterflies mating
on a flower petal bed
The perfume of love
in a plethora of hues
Fleeting moments
of life
of the present
past in a blink
of the eye
or the flutter
of a butterfly wing.


Stormy Weather

 

Taking a break from blogging for awhile.  Following a class with the famous yogi, Sadhguru, on Inner Engineering which is quite wonderful and I plan on spending lots of time on.  A sample of his way of thinking is below.


Messages from God

Sue at Silent Eye recently posted a discussion of bibliomancy on her blog…

https://thesilenteye.co.uk/2017/06/04/divination-by-the-book/

As a former librarian, I had an experience of bibliomancy with an encyclopedia. It was at a time in my life when I was in a sort of parallel universe. In any case, I had the distinct feeling of a prickly scalp and I wanted to do what I called “readings” which meant basically opening a book randomly to anything looking for messages from God. So I did just that and opened to a page with a picture of Christ and His crown of thorns. I can’t remember how I interpreted it but I knew I was “connected” to something way bigger than my mind.

I had many such experiences and they are delineated in my book, Eye-locks and Other Fearsome Things.


Spirit Animals

Running Elk has provided such a clear exposition of a subject about which I know so little. Bravo, RE!

Stepping Stones

This post is based on the outline of an exploration session presented at The Silent Eye  (a modern mystery school) “Leaf and Flame: the Foliate Man” weekend in 2016. Whilst I have attempted to retain some of the flavour, and changes in direction, of the actual talk, the interactive elements of the exploration are absent, and since most of it was done “on  the hoof”, it is not really a true reflection of the session. Many of the sections are expanded considerably from that presented on the day…

~~~

Sourced from internet. Artist unknown.

Whether we recognise it or not, we receive guidance, often in areas in which we have no direct experience, from what can only be considered an “external” source. This “subconscious” guidance may be considered to emanate from many sources, including “spirit animals“.

Belief in spirit, and spirit guidance, is firmly…

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R.I.P. “Rabbit” with Love, Mouse

My friend
My friend with cancer
My friend
My friend who had chemo
Three runs of chemo
Radiation
Two surgeries
My friend who was cured
Whose cancer had gone
My friend who was cured
Who wanted to write a book
Who wrote to me often
Who listened to me with Heart
My friend
Where did he go?
Why did he die?
Why when he was starting anew
With his wife who stood by him
Helped him when he was sick
Why did he die?
I want to know
Where did he go?
I want to know if the chemo
Killed him
Chemo
It did not help my father,
My mother, my brother
My best friend
I thought I was wrong
I thought this time it helped my friend
Yes, it helped him alright
It killed him!
Why did he have to die?
Why?
My friend, “Rabbit,” Rest in Peace
Love forever, Mouse

 

 


Love beautifies Love beautifies everything and if we learn to love everyone, all our imperfections can be washed away, especially by loving kind words. Sant Kirpal Singh (BooK excerpt from: Spiritual Elexir)

via Love beautifies — Didis Art Design


On Portraiture

Steve McCurry Curated

Portraits reveal a desire for human connection;
a desire so strong that people who know they will never see me again
open themselves to the camera,  all in the hope that at the other end
someone will be watching,

someone who will laugh or suffer with them.

Kashmir Kashmir

Yemen Yemen

Afghanistan Afghanistan

What could be more simple and more complex,
more obvious and more profound than a portrait.

– Charles Baudelaire

Kashmir Kashmir

Yemen Yemen

Baluchistan, Pakistan Baluchistan, Pakistan

A good portrait is one that says something about the person.
We usually see parts of ourselves in others, so the

good portrait should also say something about the human condition.

Afghanistan Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan Kabul, Afghanistan

The most difficult thing for me is a portrait.
You have to try to put your camera between the
skin of a person and his shirt.

– Henri Cartier-Bresson

Philippines Philippines

Pokhara, Nepal Pokhara, Nepal

Lambari, Brazil Lambari, Brazil

Madhya Pradesh, India Madhya Pradesh, India

Dubrovnik, Croatia Dubrovnik, Croatia

Photography and the genre…

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Visions of Summer in Winter

Apparition

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Temporarily immortal

Sue Vincent’s magnificent piece on her Daily Echo is an amazingly beautiful set of visual and verbal truths…


finding suññatā in Lucknow

dhamma footsteps

16maya3POSTCARD #249: Lucknow, North India: A short flight from Delhi brought us here, hired car to the Ambedkar Memorial Park. A vast space of nothing but polished marble flooring – no trees, no earth left uncovered. Two and a half acres of marble paving rising in a gentle slope, with some monuments and an avenue with hundreds of life size elephants carved in stone.

The panorama of it, an oasis-mirror-like flatness as far as the eye can see; a heaven realm… hold that thought, from two thousand five hundred years back in the distant past, comes rushing towards us now, into present time, 2017, the Buddha’s First Noble Truth – as valid as it was all these centuries ago.

‘The Noble Truth of Suffering’, yes, I was wondering what that bad feeling is, gnawing away at the innards… the urgency of the human condition applies to everything I can possibly…

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A Barn in Winter

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Bare branches
yearning towards
turquoise sky
with fast floating
sunlit white clouds
white above
white below
the snow
hides the land
of insects
and mice
and moles
and snakes
and in the vernal pool
next door
turtles sleep
in their hernaculum
while frogs lay
dormant in the mud
I sit in sleepy
surrender
glad to be
in our little hideaway
in the woods
of our young dreams
wondering
if we will all
awaken
to another Spring.

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A Procedure

 

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A brown bag
so fragrant
full of presents
and the smells
of India
crammed full
with treasures
fills me
with such desire
I inhale deeply
and go “under”
falling into the ether
of the subcontinent

Machines beeping
the anesthesiologist
himself an Indian
calms me down
speaking softly
plumping my pillow
a routine exam
so much kindness
as he pumps
anesthesia
through my veins

I awaken
fresh from the arms
of Mother India
in the land
of Morpheus
as I lie before
a wide expanse
of grey sky
over the Hudson
and see God
as boats drift by

Beep… Beep…

Oh to always
see the sky
and the river
and God
and to breathe
the intoxicating
smells of
the India
of my dreams.