Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Away 11/13 Glenndala lay on her tiny trundle bed, her luminescence fast fading. Aunt Winnie cried "It's the only chance we have - Away! To Shadow Mountain before the sun's last rays - to Aunt Isabella's. An herb that grows there alone - it's the only thing that will revive Grandmother." I hopped on my pony and left at speed, soon picking up the trail at the foot of the mountain. Shimmer shied when we reached the flimsy rope bridge as it swayed in the wind between two promontories. I bent forward and whispered into her furry ear. She stepped gently forward as I sang a quiet tune, softly urging her on. We hopped happily onto the living stone - Away! ascending again the narrow, rocky path as it traversed the mountain. The sun was fast sliding behind the mountain and the blue jays shrieked, the chill gusty wind set the dark pines swaying. I finally spied the lights of the little cottage just as the trail faded to black. I made out Aunt Isabella, silhouetted on the porch, waving me in. We swept into the golden room, flames licking up in the fireplace. A gleaming copper cauldron steamed on its hook. Twinkle, Bella's familiar, curled nearby, the white tip of her tail covering her foxy nose. "Child, there's just time for you to have a taste of this," Isabella said as she dipped something hot and spicy into an old earthenware cup. "The wind sent me word of Glendie's distress." She reached above the fireplace for a wisp of herbs hanging there tied in a purple ribbon. Sipping, I warmed myself by the fire. "The full moon has just risen, tonight is clear - Away! my Precious. Take this - " she slipped a green, faintly glowing wishing stone into my palm - "it's magic will protect you on your return home." She tied a lamb's fleece around my shoulders. Kissing me on the forehead she whispered "Goddess speed." Away! The Moon shone and the mountain paths glowed sliver, lighting our way. At the promontory I gasped. The wicked wind had worked it's rage on the bridge. It was twisted and un-passable. The green stone! I pulled it out of my pocket. Holding it high and offering it to the Moonlight I breathed deep and spoke the magic words. I focused my mind's eye on the opposite side. In a twinkling Shimmer's hooves rang out as we landed securely on the other side. Away!

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Anti-Charmer

Fortune in my cookie: "A beauty is someone you notice, a charmer is someone who notices you." charm - to delight or captivate, from charme - Middle English, a magic spell Charming was an adjective sometimes applied to me back in the day. Perhaps charm has no expiration date? Once upon a time, on a Thursday night at a popular east side club, I sat at the bar surveying the crowd. The blues band was on a break. He sidled up to the empty bar stool on my left. He was not someone I noticed, but apparently someone who noticed me, an ordinary looking guy, tall and seemingly self-possessed. He opened with some predictable small talk. Then, apropos of nothing, said, "Prove to me how creative you are in three minutes." I am known by my friends for my wit and the ability to think on my feet, or in this case on my shapely behind. I found myself nearly speechless - for once. Happily I kept my jaw from dropping. Any charm I possessed was vaporized on the spot. The logical thing to say, "Why not prove to me how creative you are," unfortunately never entered my head. I continued speaking, proving nothing and struggling to swallow the cocktail of surprise, disgust and indignation in the back of my throat. What registered on my face? I can't imagine. Having been a teacher I must have manged to keep my expression somewhat neutral, practiced at saying one thing while thinking or feeling another.[You jerk, why should I be in the position of impressing you?] Mr Charmer was not proving to be charmed by my stream of consciousness remarks on the topic of me, and happily decamped to try this on another unsuspecting female. He'd probably come up with this line reading an Esquire advice column - how to pick up girls. Perhaps this was an improvement on (and quicker than) him launching into proof of how creative he could be in three minutes? And maybe slightly less annoying. The band returned and I soon hopped back onto the dance floor displaying some spontaneous, free-spirited dancing. Let him who hath eyes to see...

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pie from the Sky

Pie from the Sky One job I had to be new to America was to learn - what is pie. Gary and me walked on Main Street. We saw a sign, "The Lefty Cafe." He said "Let's eat here! The pie is to die for." What food for to die? Inside we sat on a fat long thing at a shiny table. Gary said "This is a diner." I said "But it is dinner, not diner." He said "Well,it's really lunch." "What will you have boys?" a pretty girl asked. "What's good?" Gary asked. "Get the special - hot beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy." "Great!" I said, "I love special food!" We waited for our American lunch drinking very hot coffee in fat cups that Gary said are called - mugs. "What is pie?" I asked. "Don't worry, let it be a surprise and we'll go out back and have pie in the sky for desert." Now I knew something about what is pie, and I love desert, but how could it come from the sky? I heard the Bible said Moses fed the Hebrews manna that showed up in the morning when they walked in the desert for 40 years. It didn't say where the manna came from, maybe it came from the sky? We were still waiting because there were a lot of people for the - lunch. There was a funny little machine at the table. Gary said "Lets put some money in the juke box." What's juke? He did and then pushed some little buttons on there and music came on. Juke - a new word for music. A song said "Work and pray, live on hay, you'll get pie in the sky when you die." What is hay? And I really hoped I wouldn't have to die for pie from the sky. I hoped it was a joke from the juke box. We started eating a very wet plate of bread and meat with brown sauce that Gary said was called gravy. Gary said "Be sure to save some room for desert." A special room for desert! I said "Gary, I don't want to die for what is pie or for anything else. I'm only 25 and I came here so I wouldn't have to die. You know what it was like there." Gary said "Don't worry, die is just a word that rhymes with pie. You don't have to die, it is just an expression. What is rhymes, what is expression? We paid for our lunch and Gary took us out the back door. We went up some yellow stairs. At the top was a sign "Pie in the Sky Cafe." Inside the top of the room was blue with clouds and there were a lot of glass boxes with deserts inside. We walked over to one of them and Gary said "Welcome to America - this is PIE!" He pointed to lemon pie, - cherry, apple, chocolate pie and some other kinds, I pointed to the cherry pie that looked pretty. A nice lady said why not sit outside? A young girl brought pie to us. I found out I love pie. And it is great to get it from the Sky - Cafe.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The New Jerusalem or "Beam me up Scotty"

The New Jerusalem or "Beam me up Scotty" (The Post Non-Apocalypse) January 2013 The predicted end of the world didn't worry me too much. I was expecting one of two scenarios. Either The New Jerusalem right here on good old Terra Firma - Revelations 21: "At the end of the world the earth together with the celestial bodies will be gloriously transformed into a part of the dwelling place of the blessed." Or an instantaneous "Beam me up Scotty" to a heavenly realm. Either way you might look like your high school graduation picture. I could handle that. For the tired old world, how wonderful to transcend war, hunger, sickness and * old age *. There are a lot of things I'd miss in my humble world, I thought. But maybe the Biblical end of the world as we know it would mean transformation of our immediate surroundings into a place where perfect people inhabited uncluttered spaces that never had to be dusted (I hate vacuuming). I remembered what Geshe Sopa told my Buddhism class about the seven levels of Deva Heaven. When you die your soul is struck like a bell, he said, and the tone produced determines your goodness level, as the soul registers all Earthly deeds. Kind of like St Peter at the Pearly Gates. Then you are beamed up to the appropriate Deva Realm where you work. Yes, he said, there is work in heaven. If your tone is of a low vibration you go to the Hungry Ghost realm, kind of like Purgatory, where there is probably even more work to do and maybe takes longer (don't ask about the Hell Realm). After working out your Karma you will eventually be reincarnated into another human body where you will be motivated through suffering to figure things out (enlightenment) - or rinse and repeat. If you were really bad you might come back as an animal. Being a cat would be OK - but a warthog? Without Gaya where would you end up? Revelations does mention celestial bodies, so The New Jerusalem might still be a possibility, even if it was the end of the world. I didn't make any preparations for the end of the world as we know it, tho there are a few things I kind of wanted to hang onto. Alas, as everyone knows - You can't take it with you.