Archive for June, 2010

Power Wrap
June 29, 2010

Power wraps can be with almost any material. There are food elements, energy elements and even people elements. The one I noticed recently was a young person behind the wheel of his muscle car. Extending his personality to the car to exemplify who he is or what he wants to show to the world. Some use loud music, some use clothing, some use money and some use an inflated ego. All disguised so as to hide the inside truth. If you can make it past the ‘wrap’ and tap the essence you’ll usually find a person craving love. Somewhere along the line, tangled thinking has created a need to personify the lack of love into a material presence that someone will recognize and give credence to. Some form of love is fulfilled .

Lets make a power wrap. You’ll need an outside material and an inside filling, and, you’ll have to choose your favorite ingredients to make this your very own. Using all fresh materials or experiences layered inside a strong casing that holds it all together and says WOW!

Since we can’t communicate directly, let me choose the information you will need to know. Lets begin with the outside. If this is going to be a power wrap, you’ll need a casing that has the strength of armor, yet be pliable and, flexible enough to withstand the push of internal or external ingredients or influences that will be trying to force their existence. It will have to tolerate hot and cold temperatures and it will have to please, yet fascinate, all the five senses. Choose the materials for the outside wrap so it personifies who you are and what you embody as a human being.

For the filling, you will need an energy source mixed with experiences. This is so it can resonate with the elements around you. You don’t want it to be sticky, gooey, lumpy or tasteless. Layer your filling with structure, strength and stature in purity, transparency and wholesomeness. Add ingredients that make you unique, cherished and humble.

When forming the final wrap , make sure the ingedients are held tightly inside with no leakages or unsealed edges. You want to preserve the best for a long time so you don’t produce a messy outcome when you start to engage the world.

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Gypsies of Seville
June 28, 2010

Gypsy Girl Dancer

1967. I decided to stay at the youth hostel and catch up with my trip diary. Merle headed off for more sight-seeing of Seville. When she returned she was all excited. She had met an actor that was making a film nearby. It was called The Long Duel. I can’t remember the actor’s name whom she met, but he had told Merle about gypsies that lived in caves in the hills and he had made arrangements to see them that evening. He had invited Merle and myself to join him on the escapade.  

When I met the actor (let’s call him Michael, it’s easier), he was mid twenties and had long black shoulder length hair. Charming with a distinct Roman look about him. We met him in downtown Seville that evening and he showed us a few areas we hadn’t seen before. On the street, ahead of us was Yule Brenner with a date doing some window shopping.  

The gypsies didn’t do their dancing and performances until later in the night, so we stopped in at a local cafe and had a tapas or two. Meanwhile, Michael told us all about the movie production and the filming. At one point, the regular scheduled train from Madrid stopped production as it passed through the area where they were filming a battle scene. Everyone had been filmed in a certain position for the battle, so they weren’t allowed to move until filming began again. Some actors had been shot and had blood on them, others were in the process of dying and there were bodies, cannon and costumed actors everywhere. Meanwhile, the Madrid train came through and the people on the train were pressed up against the windows, not knowing what was happening outside. It was like they had been transported back in time with a different history. Michael said it was quite funny to see all the shocked and terrified expressions on everyone’s faces. When the Madrid train finally passed through, they resumed their regular filming.  

Time went by quickly as we asked all about Hollywood and the film industry. We were star stuck. We hung on every word Micheal told us. It was the closest either of us had been to anything like this in our lives, and coming from Canada it seemed so magical. Micheal introduced us to the producer that night also. He had been shopping along one of the streets we happened to be sight-seeing on.  

Michael got a taxi and gave the driver some directions in Spanish. After a while and some precarious roads, we arrived at our destination. The caves were set into the hills and we could see activity everywhere. Our arrival had set in motion a gathering of gypsies and Michel took care of answering their questions. We were led into an area were there were several large round tables draped in very heavy fabric. From somewhere a man approached with a large saucer pan filled with hot coals. The table fabric was raised and the pan of coals was set underneath the table in the center. We were told to put the fabric around our legs to keep us warm. Wine and candles showed up on the tables. They offered us a selection of tapas and Michael choose a few. It was a short time later and someone began to sing and play Spanish guitar. Then, gypsy women dressed in authentic flamenco dresses appeared and began to dance. The performances went on for quite some time, injected with guitar and song. It seemed like we were in a lost place in time. Shadows danced on the cave walls and we joined in with clapping and the general merriment. It finally came to an end, and all of us had a great time and a great memory to cherish.  

We never saw Michael again after that evening, but I wanted to thank him again for taking the time to show us a bit of history I may never be able to experience again.

Un-Opened Male
June 28, 2010

Adonis, The Louvre

His name is Frederick. He’s sitting at the bar. Impeccable in his youth. Adonis in the flesh. Friendly, charming and very open to conversation. European style and candidness in his thinking and speech. A smile to open the Straights of Gibraltar. He’s from Paris, north-east area. Slight accent and  fluent in English. Heart and beaming eyes bursting with child-like acceptance. Has a lover who is elsewhere. Visiting Los Angeles and Palm Srings with his friends. I excuse myself after initial conversation and have a dance or two. Later, I come back to his area and I see others approach him. Time after time he’s approached, but they all leave and he sits alone. He’s leaving for Paris on Monday morning.

I approach him a second time and he smiles again and lights up. He has all the time for conversation with me. I’m not considered a threat. We talk about Europe, Paris and his life. I’m looking at him and thinking, I just want to make love. Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, keeps running through my mind. I harness my mouth, wish him the best for the rest of his holiday and I take a cab back home.

So Who’s Fooling Who?
June 28, 2010

The Fool

 I’m out and about and talking to this young boy. The conversation is all about relationships. Not a wrinkle on his face, he tells me he’s twenty-four, and he’s somewhat embarrassed about the braces on his teeth. He gives me the impression he is out for the evening and he’s single. I’m being as explicatory as possible on the attributes of having someone who loves you and, the meaningfulness that goes with the responsiblity. He seems interested and asks me more about life in general. He’s soaking the information up like a human sponge. This goes on for approximately three-quarters of an hour. He prods me for more and more information on life experiences. I try to fill him in on some basics of life hoping he might take it to heart and save himself a little grief over the coming years. Then……. he tells me he’s already in love with someone and has been in a relationship for two years. His lover is 58 years old. 

Aaaaaaaaah!!! What??? Like I need this? I stop and think. Who’s helping who?  Then I laugh to myself, make a polite short exit and decide it’s time to go home. 

To fill our own personal needs, we use moments of time, which happen to include other peoples time. Our personal quests for safety, security and serenity make us manipulate factors around us so that we can feel comfortable in our allotted space. We fool ourselves by fooling others around us into believing our needs are paramount. When in reality, there’s only fools fooling fools.

Heart and Soul
June 22, 2010

 

I’m watching video clips from Broadway shows at the video bar and I don’t know why. I’m thinking, they’ve never interested me before, but recently they’ve garnered my attention. Specifically, I’m paying a lot of attention to the talent that is expressed from the performers. I’m impressed with their complete devotion to their performing moment.  The performers next to the main attraction are just as engrossed with their performance. They have just as much talent, skill and are a star in their own right. Everyone is giving their ‘all’. Every ounce of their heart and soul is poured into their continuous moments of triumph. But why does the star performer get most of the recognition? It’s obvious that the other performers have put just as much heart and soul into their performance. Maybe even more. Rarely, in any other profession, is there so much appreciation given to someone as there is from Hollywood or a major sport. What defines recognition and appreciation for a job well done? Is it the size of the audience?

Why doesn’t it happen for the average person. Where is their recognition? Doesn’t most everyone put as much heart and soul into their daily performance at their work or in their daily life as a sports or celebrity performer? Does this mean that someone who is considered unsuccessful doesn’t put their heart and soul into being? 

So what makes one performer or person stand out more than the next person? Why does it seem that only a few people can hold that ‘better than all the rest’ title?

I’m just wondering. The average person has heart and soul too.

The Feeling
June 21, 2010

 

Absence and Prescence / Photograph © 2005 Steven Smith

It happened during our nightmare at Signal Hill. I woke up one morning and felt a very strange feeling and presence. It was almost like someone was pressing down on my shoulders. I thought it would go away after my shower, but it didn’t stop from lingering. Maybe I had slept funny during the night, I thought. I mentioned it to Sue. I tried to shake it during the morning hours, but it wouldn’t go away. It made me feel uneasy and I could not determine what or where it was coming from. But, it definitely was a combination of a physical and physiological sensation.

The day continued at work with its usual ups and downs. I mentioned a few times to Sue that the feeling was following me throughout the day. It came time to leave work and we got into the van to head home. It was a long drive from Signal Hill to Sherman Oaks. A good hour or two depending on traffic. We were stopped in traffic on the freeway just by the Van Nuys exit. All of a sudden out of the blue we were rear ended from a SUV at a speed of sixty miles an hour. We were pushed violently forward into an older Ford Bronco which had been stopped in front of us. The force was so strong it sandwiched the van into half its size. The front seats snapped off their bolts and we ended up sliding below the front dashboard. Outside of a large scrape on my leg, both Sue and I were un-hurt. We were more shook-up than anything else.

The person who hit us came running up to the van and asked us if we were okay. He was covered in the dust from his airbag. He started to apologise to us and said he didn’t know what he was thinking. We all moved to the side shoulder and waited for the police and paramedics. As we were waiting, I suddenly realized the feeling I had all day was gone. I told Sue. I told her if I ever had that feeling again, I was staying home until the feeling left me.

It wasn’t a premonition. There was definitely a presence attached to the feeling. I feel lucky now and I felt privileged then.

Thank you.

Early Christmas
June 16, 2010

I must have been six or seven. I know I was going to school, because I remember telling my classmates at the time what I got for Christmas that year.

Mom and Dad had done a good job this year of hiding the gifts from us. We had searched the house many times and we couldn’t find anything. I can’t remember what I wished for, but what I got was a complete surprise. We had all decorated the tree and house, and Mom had made all the Christmas baked goods. She added all her special touches to the decorations, and we all had stockings that were put out. Christmas eve came and there were no presents under the tree yet. Dad was working and Mom said he’d get home late. Mom put out the glass of milk and a plate of her Christmas cookies for Santa. We were shooed off to bed to wait for Christmas morning.

I didn’t fall asleep right away and I heard Dad arrive about two hours later. There was a lot of commotion downstairs (two story house). I thought I’d sneak down the stairs with my brother and see if we could see anything. The stairs were made of wood and they creaked badly. Mom heard us and chased us back up the stairs before we could see anything. We were threatened with “no Christmas at all if we didn’t go to bed right away”. Scared, we obeyed. We must have fallen asleep finally, but we woke early. I could hear a squeaking noise coming from downstairs, but as much as I wanted to see what it was, it frightened me. We tried sneaking past Mom and Dad’s room, but to no avail. Her voice told us it was too early to be up and we had to go back to bed. Not to concede defeat, we tried again in another half hour. We got the same response. The squeaking noise would stop and start. Curiosity was paramount. My brother and I finally decided that we would face our fears about the noise, no matter what, as soon as we were allowed to go and open our gifts.

Finally, Mom said we could go downstairs. We tore down the stairs and plugged in the Christmas tree lights. Mom and Dad were right behind us. There, perched on a wrapped Christmas present was a hamster in a cage, spinning its wheel. Squeaking mystery solved. The hamster was for me. I was so excited. I couldn’t believe that they would think to get me a gift like this. I loved it.

I had the hamster for quite some time. I remember once he got away and went into the wooden floor grate into the heating ducts. I had to wait for Dad to get home so he could get him out. It was quite the ordeal, and I think Dad wished I’d had another gift.

I miss the simplicity of early life. The great joy received from such thoughtful thoughts and most of all I miss a simple, real,  pleasant surprise. If you have children or someone you love, try to give them a surprise, even if it’s not your turn.

Summer Camp Wasn’t A Ranch
June 16, 2010

Dad, and a friend of his, Bonner Bain, the brother to Connor Bain from ‘Different Strokes’ got together and thought it would be a great adventure for his kids, my brother and myself to go to a dude ranch for the summer.

It was located forty miles from Rocky Mountain House, a small town tucked on the side of the Rocky Mountains, half way between Edmonton and Calgary. I was somewhere between twelve and fourteen years of age. It started with an interview with the people who were running the ranch. Their names were Oldacre. Mrs. Oldacre was in her late forties and her husband was in his late sixties. They planned to eventually retire on the ranch. They were taking in kids for the summer, and they offered horseback riding, hiking, swimming in their own creek, camping and great food. She had been a cook in a restaurant for twenty years. Dad booked us for a whole month and the Bain kids were booked for about three weeks. The excitement grew as the date got closer and closer to leaving. The day came and we were dropped off with the Oldacres and they drove a bunch of us out in their station wagon. The trip took about four hours.

I had imagined in my mind that it would be like what I’d seen on TV or the movies. Cowboys tending cattle, beautiful white fences and a long extended ranch house with stables for horses and cattle barns. The odd chuck wagon positioned in the right place, some old barrels with rain water stored in them and a hitching post in front of the house. You know, the Ponderosa.

The last forty miles to the ranch was on a gravel road with a lot of potholes and flying rock. As we turned into the property, we were stopped by a barbed wire gate. The fence was barbed wire also and the gate fell over when it was opened. The gravel stopped at this point and the road to the house was mud. It had been raining. I guess, that’s why they told us to bring rubber boots. We passed a couple of old horses in a corral and a couple of tents that had been set up to house some of us kids. There were also cattle in a field next to the corral and close by, an outhouse.

We got to the house and Mrs. Oldacre’s son came to greet us and help with the luggage. We were taken into the house and given a spot to sleep in the living room. The alternative was camping in one of the tents we saw on the drive in. I chose the living room. There were other kids already here and by the time I got to know my surroundings, I figured there were probably a total of thirty of us altogether.

The first couple of days were fun. Exploring the hillsides, the creek, and we all took turns on riding one of the horses. Mrs. Oldacre cooked well and we were fed regularly. They tried to arrange hiking trips, but they didn’t work out too well. Mr. Oldacre had some lumber shipped in, and he began to build a horse lean-too for protection of the animals. We all ended up helping him build his project each day. There was heavy lifting, heavy beams and lots of hammering.

We were about a week and a half into our stay, when I noticed mid afternoon, very dark clouds forming over the valley below us. Slowly and surely they started to come together and began to rotate slowly at first. I got Mrs. Oldacre to watch as this was happening and she scrambled to get everyone together and into the house. Her daughter had come for a visit and she helped out. Her son and Mr. Oldacre ran about trying to herd the cattle and horses to a safe area. We all went into the basement after we got a glimpse of the tornado forming across the valley from us. It was tearing across the trees and destroying everything in its path. We waited. There was tremendous thunder and we could see lightning light up the top of the stairway. The wind was ferocious and hail began to fall. Not just any hail. It was baseball size hail. All of us were terrified. The sound was deafening as the hail clobbered the roof upstairs on the house. Fifteen minutes later it was over. We went upstairs to check things out and you could see a large swath of land that had been decimated to the south of us. Huge hailstones outside everywhere and the tents outside had been puffed out like over inflated balloons. All the animals were safe, but they had terror in their eyes and were not the same for days. We collected a few hailstones and saved them in the freezer. When you looked at them, you could see that they were made up of thousands of tiny hailstones.

That next weekend, was parents visiting day. Mom and Dad drove out with my sisters to see us. It was a long drive and I was surprised mom had agreed to come out for such a long trip. She never went anywhere. We were excited to see them and we related the story of the tornado first off. No one had ever heard of a tornado in Canada and there was scepticism from the parents. I ran inside the house and produced the hailstones out of the freezer and began to show them to everyone while pointing out the path of destruction the tornado took. By the time visiting day was over we were down to about twelve kids.

The next couple of weeks were uneventful. We continued to build things for Mr. Oldacre and Mrs Oldacre took us into Rocky Mountain House for a shopping trip. She needed supplies and she ended up treating us to lunch there at an old-fashioned cafe. We joked about the curbs on the sidewalks because they were so high. We thought if you wanted to get rid of someone, you’d only have to push them off the curb. We didn’t know at the time it was because of the heavy rains they got and it was to prevent flooding. I returned to Rocky Mountain House years later and found that the curbs weren’t as high as I’d remembered. When you’re small, everything looks big to you.

The last few days seemed like they’d never end.

When it came time to go, we were happy to be leaving and finally be home again.

Blocking
June 15, 2010

Is this a picture of your energy?

We had finished work at B & B and we were still strung out on work energy. It was 2:00am. Doreen and I decided we’d go down the street to the twenty-four hour restaurant for a bite to eat before heading home. 

When you’re younger, time doesn’t seem to carry relevance, and you thrive on the ability to be young. We began our conversation with happenings from the evening, but, as our conversations continued, and as they usually did, we began to talk about spirituality. I can’t remember what stage I was at, but I do remember talking to her about what I saw when I looked at people. I saw them physically as they were, but I also saw an instant transparent picture on them from what they looked like when they were a child. Their childhood memories and feelings would flood my body. I wasn’t really sure how to handle this and I mentioned to Doreen that I had tried to prevent it from happening by blocking out the feelings I was receiving. 

Doreen instantly admonished me for even beginning to think along those lines. She told me it was important that I remained open and let things and life pass through me. Not to create resistance. Not to force my energy against the natural flow. She said I would cut myself off from the source and I would end up being trapped by the ‘mind’. I listened and found she was right. Things in life became easier and after a period of time the faces of the young and their feelings subsided. I still seem them occasionally, but it takes me a lot of effort to open up to the point where I was in the past. This fact alone tells me a lot about where I am. The energy has changed from youthful acceptance to an energy with jaded edges.

I have a lot of jade polishing to do.

War on Riot Night
June 15, 2010

1992. Jorge and I were living on the fifth floor of an apartment building, a block off of Santa Monica Boulevard. From our balcony you could see the fires burning throughout the city and dark smoke plumes rising up from new fires that had been started. Sirens pierced the heated air, but there was no water to be seen anywhere. A constant reminder was on TV and a foreboding sense of hopelessness and loss was everywhere. There were scenes of looting and as we looked out we could verify the truth below. Tensions were high and emotions were uncontrolled.

A friend Brian had been staying with us for a few days. He was visiting from Canada. There was a major clash of personalities between Brian and Jorge. Brian was being protective of me. I was recuperating from a hospital stay and was weak physically.  Seems none of my friends liked my choice of boyfriends. They were correct at the time with their assessments. However, I was unable to see clearly for lack of better judgement. Jorge was insanely jealous of someone else taking up my time. It came to a head one night. The same night of the riots. They stood face to face, one inch apart, neither person backing down. They were shouting at each other and recounting their points of view. A friend of Jorge’s who was there butted in and incensed the argument. Jorge wanted Brian out. I argued that it wasn’t safe to be out anywhere in the city. Jorge didn’t care. Our argument got more boisterous. I told Jorge, Brian could stay. Jorge insisted he had to leave. I was finishing a pot of spaghetti and meat sauce while this argument was taking place. Jorge pushed all my buttons and the pot of pasta flew through the air. Jorge ducked, and it ended up on the front door dribbling down the wall and clumping on the floor in various places. Later, it took a week to clean it up completely. Brian had no where else to stay, but to save any more havoc and mayhem from happening, he offered to leave.

As Jorge and his friend stepped over the spaghetti to leave, Jorge looked back at me and told me he wanted Brian gone by the time he got back. They were going out to see if they could get a TV for themselves.

Brian stayed for a while and we talked. We agreed to get together somehow during the rest of his stay. He left for Canada shortly afterwards.

Jorge came back later that night with a forty-two inch TV.

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