Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Radha, Vaju, and Libbett from left to right!

A Satsang before Vaju Returned to India

We had fun! We were just a small group singing bhajans and we got a little crazy because we were a bit sad about Vaju moving back to India (she is happy and of course, we are happy for her!)after 12 years of being our anchor, and our connection to Amma, and teaching us music, and being our friend. So, Libbett, Radha, and Vaju started dancing and we got a little was just one of those spontaneous moments that make life wonderful in the moment.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Will Sarah Palin please go away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know I may seem all over the place. Sometimes I'm all about the peace and love and other times annoyed and even pissed as hell - oh well, that's me. I can go from 0 to 10,000 in an instant (it’s my reptilian brain). I just cannot figure out how Sarah Palin has managed to earn any credibility whatsoever in the political arena and why in “god’s name” so many people love her and think she is competent to run anything. other than perhaps, a moose hunting expedition? Her speaking is barely comprehensible, and her lack of knowledge frightening. Are so many Americans really that dumbed down or desperate to put in office a Christian who believes Adam and Eve were the first human beings? And the “pro- life” label touted by those who love war, guns, the death penalty, and want to cut funding to actually help real children who are poor and marginalized, is pretty incongruous. Sarah Palin represents the wave of anti-intellectual, fundamentalists that seems locked into the reptilian level of consciousness that feeds on fear, hate, and division but clothes itself in slogans of righteousness – the same reptilian brain that makes me pissed as hell at them…

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Amma in her Early Years!

"Love is what fills life constantly with newness." —Amma
"With a child's innocence, enthusiasm and optimistic faith, we will be able to create heaven on earth." —Amma

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Celebration Day!

Needless to say, I am thrilled about the results of the election. Let me hear your thoughts! We have come a long way since the Iowa caucus. I was so happy to meet Barack Obama went he came to Iowa, to shake his hand and ask him a question. He has the ability to make people feel listened to and respected - he made me feel that way. Since that time, I have seen how gracious, stable, intelligent, and righteous he is as he fought his way through the primary, and then, against the attacks by a vicious power structure that has held our country captive for eight long years. I feel freer and more hopeful than I have for a long time. I feel like hope is finally an option. I am also proud of Iowa! We finally went blue.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day Thoughts

Today is finally the day of reckoning. Which way will we go, I wonder. We are at the crossroads. Will we go for hope and change, or the status quo? Are we as a nation, ready to grow and change? Will we keep this great momentum Barack Obama has begun going strong, and move forward toward creating a more compassionate and sane world - a world based on caring for each other and the environment, on lifting all people up to be able to fulfill their potential? Will the voting machines be fixed, and people disenfranchised as they were in the last two elections? Or will it be different this time? Will the people finally get to choose? Will people's voices be counted? I have hope, but am also afraid. I think about moving somewhere else if we are going to have more of the same, but there is really no where to go. America has a great opportunity here - will Americans grab that opportunity? Today is finally the day of reckoning. Which way will we go, I wonder.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

New Dream Series

I've been having lot of fun making handmade tiles and combining them with made tiles and other materials to create my own alter-like pieces!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Do you ever feel caught between worlds? Like you are confined in a world that is made up with rules written by crazy people? And, then I watch Amma bringing love to the world, and it's the only thing that make sense.

A Place of Peace

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell. - Buddha

Friday, October 3, 2008

Palin - I expected her to start baton twirling - more evidence of the dumbing down of America!

WOW - she winks, she's hot, she's just like Joe 6-pack ("Joe Six Pack" is a reference in the reality based universe to the guy who comes home from work and downs a six pack of beer - in other words an alcoholic!)- she's a maverick (like John McCain who has voted with Bush 95% of the time) - she's tolerant (tried to get books banned in her city library as Mayor and opposes Roe v. Wade, and she can shoot wolves from a helicopter! She wants to expand the powers of the VP position just like Dick Cheney (will that make government smaller?), and she thinks America is that city on a shining hill described by Ronald Regan (that god of the Republican party whose deregulation policies began the Wall Street gone wild era!) Her pastor is a witch- hunter and she thinks Alaska is the state destined to welcome the 2nd coming of the Lord. Oh, and she also has disdain for anyone who is really smart, brilliant, educated, thoughtful, well traveled, complex, and has a grasp of the facts, or is in any way actually qualified to hold the highest office in the land.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dennis Kucinich is so right on as usual!

While Wall Street and the Bush Administration try to blackmail Congress into a $700 billion bailout for corporations that have shown zero concern about the plight of the American people through the last decade, I have been working on a comprehensive alternative. Today, I am releasing a plan for economic recovery that will provide not only economic stimulus, but also fairness for everyday people on every "Main Street" in America. The plan is detailed below, and it will also be available on the campaign website

My take on this is that as usual, when it comes to the rich on wall street, Americans are expected to pay through the nose with checks and golden parachutes while the people struggle with lack of health insurance, out of site oil prices, growing unemployment, a war that has put us all in the hole, and myriads of other problems! We all need to take action and contact our congressmen and tell them ENOUGH!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The World According to Bush, McCain, and Palin

A picture worth a thousand words...
John Cusack wrote in the Huffington Post: "McCain and the neocon ideologues won't "reform" government, they will gut government and privatize everything in sight in the name of responding to the crises they helped engineer through Bush and Cheney. Their view of government is the reverse of the Hippocratic Oath: do harm and then when the patient is sick, give the wrong medicine, watch him die, and sell off the body parts."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Panda at 4 months old

This made me happy so I wanted to share it!

FYI - Today, the giant panda's future remains uncertain. This peaceful, bamboo-eating member of the bear family faces a number of threats. Its forest habitat, in the mountainous areas of southwest China, is fragmented and giant panda populations are small and isolated from each other. Meanwhile, poaching remains an ever-present threat.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barack Obama brought it on!

Oh my God! I just watched his speech at the DNC - who is this man, how does he do this - this was the most stunning speech I have heard in my lifetime. I believe if anyone votes for McCain after hearing what Obama has to say, they are brain dead - he nailed it emotionally, intellectually, and I might add, spiritually. I am proud to say I shook his hand when he visited Iowa - he definitely moved me very much when he spoke in Fairfield. Michele looked radiant and so full of love and pride, and their kids are adorable.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Amazing Dennis Kucinich Once Again Tells the Truth

If you missed his speech at the DNC go to:
Kucinich calls out Americans - Wake UP! Wake UP! Wake UP America! I loved it, he rocks, and as usual tells the inconvenient truth!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Making Art is an Act of Faith - says Julia Cameron

If you have not read Julia Cameron's books, The Artist's Way, Finding Water, and more, and you love making art or want to get started making art, go for it - love her work - she is so inspiring and it helps me unblock those anoying obstacles to the Muse...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Studio

"It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance...And I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process."
Henry James

Monday, August 18, 2008

McCain's Mansions

McCain has many mansions here on earth - at least 10 and they are all worth over $800,000. Why is it that the people who are served least by the corrupt Republicans love them most? Read this from Eric Alterman:

"John McCain's stances on the issues, while consistent with the desires of his party's base, are at odds with the professed wishes of the American people. Second, while he bills himself as a man of principle, he has in fact changed his position--"flip-flopped"--repeatedly on fundamental issues such as immigration, taxes, campaign finance, reproductive choice, etc. (See "Loving McCain," July 7.)

Third, owing to the inheritances of the woman with whom he conducted an adulterous affair before leaving his disabled first wife, the Republican enjoys eight separate residences across the country as well as the corporate jets she puts at his disposal, and he ambles around in shoes costing more than $500 a pair. At 71, he would be the oldest first-term President in US history if elected; and on the campaign trail he frequently becomes confused, loses his temper and sings songs about bombing Iran. He has engaged in discussion with supporters about that "bitch" Hillary Clinton. On one occasion in 1998, he joked that Attorney General Janet Reno was the "father" of the "ugly" teenager Chelsea Clinton.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The John Edward's Affair

I really don't care about people's sex live, but John Edwards did not just have an affair. If he had just had an affair, that would have been his business and the business of his wife and family. But John Edwards decided to run for the Democratic nomination for President and that is a different story. John Edwards (and I caucused for him in Iowa) put the Democratic party in jeopardy by seeking the nomination knowing it would be likely his affair would become public and could and probably would cost him the election in the fall. This colossal lack of judgment could have meant a shoe-in for McCain in the fall and led to at least 4 more years of the nightmare that has become the U.S. government and its frightening mistakes. I met both John Edwards and his wife in Iowa and respected them both. Elizabeth Edwards was my hero. I loved her down to earth personality and her commitment to justice. But she also knew of his affair and encouraged him to run - major error in the judgment department. Their decision to run is inexcusable given the stakes.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My First Show at Revelations!

This is one of the pieces I displayed at Revelations - had my first show with lots of great feedback! My awesome friend and wonderful artist, Jeri Felix, who has had many of her own shows nationwide helped me hang it. It was so much fun to be surrounded by wonderful, supportive friends who loved the show.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Deviant Art

Deviant art rotating in my virtual space—an iconoclastic fuck you to the matrix

Bronzed and purple masks with spitfire and bird nests shooting from their heads saying fuck you to the man—it’s all the art of love because I’m a visionary stalker

I’m a closet iconoclastic rebel, hiding behind a smile and feminine frame

It’s incidental art, a product of get me outta here angst and existential pain at being held captive in a pain body sequestered by time

It’s the overwhelming desire to go AWOL that leads me to the easel—the path of the artists way

The world is saying I dare you to love so I’m taking up the challenge

The world is saying I dare you to be, I dare you to stop, I dare you…

And I am saying I will tattoo myself from head to toe.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Paul Brown's Photography

Paul Brown is an artist who lives in San Francisco and teaches meditation. He is a dear friend whose work takes my breath away...
You must visit: to see some of the most beautiful photography ever!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nancy Pelosi says Bush has not broken any laws - Shame on America - our government endorses torture

Go to utube to hear Bruce Fein speak to congress on how Bush has abused and exceeded his executuve power:

Nancy Pelosi says Bush has not broken any laws? Violating the Constitution and the Geneva Convention, Bush has redefined torture in an attempt to make it palatable or "legal." Our country has always taken the high ground and denounced torture as barbaric and illegal. Then came Bush and his cronies--they entered the scene and became the evil doers they were supposedly fighting; they turned us into the henchmen, no better than Saddam Hussein and the torturers they denounce. Bush needs to be impeached!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My back door

Buddha in my backyard

I love my Buddha who sits in my backyard throughout all the seasons, never changing. He sits in the snow and remains calm during storms and tornado watches; he doesn't mind the humidity or the scorching heat. My Buddha watches my back door and allows the birds and butterflies to land on his head.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Amy Goodman will be coming to Fairfield this Saturday!

Amy Goodman: It's being described as the most significant revision of the nation's surveillance law in three decades. The Senate is preparing to vote on rewriting the nation's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and giving immunity to phone companies involved in President Bush's secret domestic spy program. On Friday, the Democratic-controlled House approved the measure by a vote of 293-129. The legislation gives the government new powers to eavesdrop on both domestic and international communications. The American Civil Liberties Union has warned it would allow for the mass, untargeted and unwarranted surveillance of all communications coming into and out of the United States.

While Democratic leaders in Congress, as well as Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, have hailed the bill as a "compromise," Democratic Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin describes it as a "capitulation." Senator Feingold has been the leading congressional voice against the Bush administration's warrantless spy program since it was exposed nearly three years ago. Today, the Wisconsin senator joins us from Washington, D.C.

Welcome to Democracy Now!, Senator Feingold.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Obama's FISA Cave In: A Reverse "Souljah" Moment

I must say my jaw hit the floor when I learned Obama voted for FISA - This bill allows the President to grab all incoming and outgoing international communications without a warrant.

The ACLU says it represents “an unprecedented extension of governmental surveillance over Americans.” It's hard for me to express my disappointment in the candidate I always tell people gave me darshan when he came to Iowa.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Letter to Michelle Obama

Dear Michelle:

Gee, Cindy McCain is "always" proud of our country. What is the matter with you? Weren't you proud when State laws had black folks sitting in the back of the bus? Why weren't you proud that several hundred of thousand soldiers in the gulf war were disabled with Anthrax vaccines given to them by our government?
And hey...are you not proud that we have riddled the middle east with depleted uranium and the children are being born with horrendous disfigurations? What's the matter with you, girl. How could you say that you are not proud, every second, of our Cindy?

Do you have a problem with being black in this country? When I was in the fourth grade in public school in the Bronx (circa 1956. I sat in front of Zenobia Pouncie, I was in the first row. She was behind me in the second row. We were in the middle section directly in front of the teacher. I remember to this day...the male teacher, his chalky face contrasted by his dark hair; black glasses. He asked Zenobia a question which she did not know the answer to.(By the way...Zenobia was the sweetest girl). He looked at her as if I were transparent, and with a voice that thundered through my little body, he yelled, "Why don't you go back to Afrika were you came from?"

We all have been more or less proud of some of the good deeds of our country especially as it concerns the liberties contained in the constitution and the bill of rights. I absolutely agree with you: "Really" proud does come under the heading of a black man becoming president. I am "really" proud too. Perhaps Cindy is "always" proud, but you are "really" proud! (emphasis on "real")

Eileen Dannemann
Director, National Coalition of Organized Women

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Karma is Better than Your Karma

In past lives I must have done amazing things, earning an abundance of spiritual brownie points. Perhaps I was an Egyptian high priestess – that seems to be popular one, according to many who access the akasha, and I have numerous friends convinced they lived lives in Egypt as caretakers of esoteric knowledge. I could also have been a Native American shaman. Many of my peers were Native American medicine men or women. I’m sure I must have been some type of royalty, or at least, in many lives, a member of the upper classes. It seems very likely I’ve been a martyr – one of the women burned as a witch for being a midwife who used mysterious herbs or something, and while I burned, I remained true to my cause and died with a saintly expression on my face. And, as one past-life reader mentioned, my soul did originate from Venus, the planet of love, beauty, and art appreciation. And, of course, I am here to be a spiritual teacher, a light worker in the wilderness of maya (the illusion that matter is real and all that).
I’m certain I was never a washer- woman from northern England whose husband worked as an iron molder coming home soot covered, coughing phlegm, bone tired, with three kids whose teeth were becoming rotten and bellies were often empty. That is what my ancestors on my mother’s side did, molded iron in Rotheram, England for several generations. Of course, I discovered that on, not from my brother who always gives the impression we are from a line of blue blood, starting its course in England, and making its way to Plymouth where our grandfather was an international trader. According to, my father’s father, John Damon (originally Daemon), who lived in Plymouth, was a bookkeeper, and his wife, Fanny Mae Stevenson came from Rotheram where her mother was a housekeeper in Scotland. There is a lot of steel in our history - steel molding, blacksmithing, filthy lower class work that gave my ancestors backs of steel. It would be nice if that translated to a genetic predisposition to buns of steel. Of course, my brother never talked much about the Gatenby’s, or my mother’s father, Grandpa Gatenby, who came from England in the late 1800’s whose father molded steel. Grandpa Gatenby worked as a steam-engineering in the Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota.
That is the region where whites stole the land from the Lakota Indians after discovering gold in the Black Hills. Philip always spoke of the Gatenby’s with a somewhat dismissive air as if our mother’s family were not a part of us, as if we were Damons, and being a Damon from Plymouth is how we defined ourselves. And I grew up feeling like a Damon, feeling the privilege in my blood that gave me an air of confidence even though I was an orphan and floated unanchored through life moving into land mines that kept exploding my existence into incoherent pieces. Even though I now realized some of the families I would land in were actually a step up from trailer trash by the standards of any self-respecting blue blood. Still I was gifted with that false sense of one-upmanship that lives just under the skin, that sense of entitlement that privileged Anglos have over everyone else – perhaps earned by good karma generated from past lives, I would later rationalize this sense of privilege, as I tried to put these disparate influences into perspective. Now, I am hip to the fact that all of this is an illusion, of course, so we really cannot quantify good karma, versus bad in that simplistic and formulaic way designed to stack the cards in our favor, making us believe our history is a pristine slate of good deeds spotted with periods of politically correct martyrdom and grandiose roles that compare to Russell Crow in the Gladiator.
That being said, and ego aside, the very fact that I am hip to the perils of karmic grandstanding puts me in the category of someone who must have learned some pretty heavy lessons in past lives, and most likely done something right or I certainly would not be able to discern the complexity of cause and effect, bringing me back full circle to “in my past lives I must have done some good things being as spiritually savy as I am in this one.”

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Good Hair Day

I am now working on a series of masks within mixed media on board - will post soon - It is very exciting and seems to reflect some feelings about the feminine and the aspects of nature. This one is just a picture from a shampoo ad surrounded with paint, a couple of feathers, shells, fabric, and stuff - it has the feeling I am going for now.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

God Bless Dennis Kucinich--he keeps doing the right thing!

I called my senators today, asking them to support the impeachment of Bush.

"Since war with Iran is an option of this Administration and since such war is patently illegal, then impeachment may well be the only remedy which remains to stop a war of aggression against Iran," Kucinich said.

My First Mask for Icon Fundraiser

Two years ago, my friend grabbed me off the street while I was on my way to the coffee house, "Do you want to make masks for the ICON Art Gallery Fund raiser?" I said, sure, and went inside to a room full of glitter, glue guns, paint, feathers, and colored puff balls, started in and 4 hours later was hooked. WOW I commented, this is what they mean by art therapy - it's like the world is a nut-house and this is now a therapeutic necessity (and, it is free, and, I am doing community service). So I noticed time is disappearing and I can easily spend 2 hours putting some feather on a face, and it seems like five minutes - in other words--timelessness at last. Since then, I am exhausted and exhilarated by pasting, painting, gluing all manner of broken stuff on clay pots, and other activities requiring lots of on-line ordering from Dick Blick (I swear Dick is like a pusher!), at all kinds of weird hours. I know if you are reading this, you get it!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

One of the Wonders of Iowa

They are made beautiful by years of standing in the weather,
bearing storms and scorching sun--only that can produce beautiful barn wood.

My Lipstick is Bleeding

My Lipstick is Bleeding

It is not as if my lips are on fire or anything extraordinary is happening. It’s not as if I need to be rushed to some emergency room for immediate lip surgery because some collagen injection caused an extreme allergic reaction threatening to blow off my face. It is not as if I’ve had an injection of botox that has frozen my lips making it impossible to display any kind of emotion. It is simply that now when I apply lip color, there is a spot where a trace of rose bleeds outside my lip line. This is not a tragedy, yet considering I need glasses to see the details of any make-up application, it can be aggravating. When I put on my reading glasses, the kind I only needed after forty, I see small hairs under my brows that need to be tweezed and the small line at the top of my lip where the rose bleeds. I see other things I chose not to report that remind me of inevitable and unforgiving time. My outsides have changed and my insides, too.
One thing I notice is when a certain man calls me to have lunch, I cringe. I decline, saying I have other plans even though I may not. I don’t feel like making small talk with someone new. I don’t feel like trying to look a certain way. I don’t want to be forced to look down at my midriff and regret the scones I have consumed on days when I was convinced I would never have to look down at my midriff and consider a guy looking at the roll that shows under my tee shirt. In other words, I don’t have the energy to market myself. The hormones that once drove me like some completely mad, mindless woman have diminished. I once did sit ups so my midriff would be taught under a tee shirt, and thought a great deal about what I looked like first in the morning.
I believed lip gloss should look like I had not actually put anything on my lips, when in actuality, I had spent quite a bit of time choosing a gloss that would look like I had not spent any time at all on making my lips look pale peach. The goal was to appear not to have spent much time on making myself look attractive. The reality was, like many women, my life was filled with such enhancements as: perms to achieve that naturally wavy look, blush and face powder to make my face appear naturally smooth and glowing, and trips to the tanning booth (in the early 80's before learning about the dangers) to achieve a naturally, sun-kissed glow. I considered undergarments very carefully, and embarked on a program of daily Jane Fonda (she has since resorted to surgery) exercises.
The question is, at fifty seven, has laziness made me overweight and am I simply making excuses for not caring so much, or have I reached some exulted state of wisdom, where I have transcended superficiality and the trivial concerns of youth? Or could I be rapidly vacillating between the two states at the speed of light and thus, am caught between laziness and enlightenment. Am I declining lunch because of disinterest, or because of fear the man will notice my midriff? When I encountered a man the other day with whom I had had a brief romance ten years ago, I noticed he looked old. He had a belly and his hair had lots of gray. The skin on his face looked looser. I turned to him and said, “A blast from the past,” and we talked and I remembered how slim I was and how fit he was when we lay together on my bed, not actually making love but kissing until six in the morning. As we stood in the art gallery, we talked as if we didn’t notice each other’s changes. It happens to them, too, I thought.
When a woman my age and her husband enter I restaurant where I am having lunch with a friend, and she is thin and in great shape, and her husband looks happy and they are smiling, am I being cynical concluding that she swallows. I imagine she lives for him the way I could never live for the men I believed I loved. She smiles, serves, and swallows as naturally as she breathes; she doesn’t mind that he always gets the channel changer. I wonder, is she naturally a good listener who finds her man genuinely interesting, perhaps more interesting than she finds herself?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Annie Gauger's Book now on her blog!
View this Blog The Sad Guru & Other Stories

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Leanne with Fish

Leanne is a sacred cat who will put her head in your face while you are trying to eat. Those are my feet at the end of the couch.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Diane's Fairies

My friend, Diane Naylor, is so gifted - I especially love her fairy sculptures - go to favorite links for more!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Will the real Hillary please drop out?

Michael Moore summed it up on the Larry King interview - Hillary has demeaned herself by the Karl Rove tactics, the Bill O’Reilly appearances, and the pandering - the remarks about "the pastor" and the references to Hamas and Farrakhan have also helped put her over the edge, and I hope soon, "out to pasture."

Friday, May 2, 2008

I Love Arugula and Lattes and Barack Obama!

I guess I am an elitist - I love arugula in salad - yummy - and lattes are tasty too! Hilliary probably drinks lots of lattes and Chelsea is probably addicted to them, and the whole Clinton family probably eats tons of arugula in their spare time, and so they are closet elitists - not because they have many mansions and a dynasty, but because they like arugula and lattes as well as beer and shooting. Now Hilliary is warm and fuzzy with Bill O Reilly who probably drinks a latte now and then. I think the subject deserves lots more attention - and the Reverend Wright Issue has deflected from this conversation considerably. Is there a direct correlation between arugula and elitism even if you cannot spell the word? I wonder why this matter has never been raised in the debates. It is far more relevant than the flag pin issue.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's Not the Economy Stupid - It's that You Don't Wear a Flag Pin!

Thank you Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos for focusing on substance. Two very important questions were directed at Barack Obama - Why don't you wear a flag pin and do you love the United States more than Reverend Wright does? And of course, Hilliary jumped on board ( she is apparently still drinking) - taking every opportunity to spin the truth and facts to paint Obama as a supporter of the defunct Weathermen or an elitist who hates anyone who doesn't drink lattes - she seemed so in her element! I think Gibson and Stephanopoulos are afraid of losing their tax cuts, or are they really that stupid?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hilliary , please stop drinking!

Hilliary, stop drinking! You simply can't afford to lose anymore brain cells - you have already lost most of your mind - I mean really, stories about your father taking you out back when you were just a little girl and teaching you how to shoot - like that story makes me want to see you in the white house. And calling out Barack Obama for being out of touch and elitist. You own how many multi million dollar homes? Are people really buying this "retoric"?

Collage Assemblage by Kartika

It's All Spiritual by Kartika

A Good Hair Day...Collage/Mixed Media

Breath of Life

Friday, April 11, 2008

Beardog and Fuzzy

My Beardog on the left is playing with his girlfriend, Fuzzy. He is the perfect Chow mix - both gentle and well-behaved. A psychic once told me he has everything I had always wanted in a husband and even our aura colors are compatible - Violet and Yellow - we like to have fun and love art and are the dreamers and visionaries of this world - That's him all right! Om Shanti!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Leanne Radiating Chi
Add Image
I found this wonderful Birman cat at the local animal shelter. She hid for months, but finally learned to trust and is now my companion and great friend.

The Birman cat is believed to have originated in Burma, where it was considered sacred, the companion cat of the Kittah priests. There is a legend as to how the Birmans developed the colors they are today: “Originally, the guardians of the Temple of LaoTsun were yellow-eyed white cats with long hair. The golden goddess of the temple, Tsun-Kyan-Kse, had deep blue eyes. The head priest, Mun-Ha, had as his companion a beautiful cat named Sinh. One day the temple was attacked and Mun-Ha was killed. At the moment of his death, Sinh placed his feet on his master and faced the goddess. The cat’s white fur took on a golden cast, his eyes turned as blue as the eyes of the goddess, and his face, legs and tail became the color of earth. However, his paws, where they touched the priest, remained white as a symbol of purity. All the other temple cats became similarly colored. Seven days later, Sinh died, taking the soul of Mun-Ha to paradise.”

The modern history of the Birman is almost as shrouded in mystery as its legendary origin. What is known for certain is that, probably around 1919, a pair of Birman cats were clandestinely shipped from Burma to France. The male cat did not survive the arduous conditions of the long voyage, but the female, Sita, did survive, and happily, was pregnant.

I Love Barack Obama

Am reading Dreams of my Father - a must read for all Americans who read, however small the number. It is so honest and deep and inspiring. Also, could we give the Reverend Wright drama a rest (he actually made some good points), and talk about important things like how to exit Iraq, stop the torture and the madness, and perhaps be a bit more loving and compassionate to each other. Barack has pretty much managed to stay on the high road in spite of Hillary's rabid attacks. My 28 year old son actually used him as an example when we were fighting. He said - think about Barack Obama, how he stays calm when Hillary is attacking him - from the mouth of babes!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Organic Indian Fundraising Dinner

Vaju is saying prayers before our fund raising dinner - all proceeds have gone to raise money to bring Amma to Iowa this summer. It was successful and very fun. We served over 90 people!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Shadow on the Olgas by Maggie Lawrence

For more photos of Australia:

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Lady Ophelia Austen Featherbrew - Now a Movie Star!

My Dear Lady Betsy,
I am most excited to tell you that I have become a move star! I am now featured on that You tube thingey. I did change my name slightly. I thought I should have a nom de plume.
If you click here
You can go to the spot where you will find yours truly in a little film called 'PROPER TEA'.
I would be most happy for you to put this on that BLOG thingey you have. And talking of that, would you mind, Dear lady, sending me the link to that as I seem to have misplaced it.
Also I took the liberty of mentioning you too on Youtube. So my dear we will be famous soon. Make sure you tell your friends to watch it too and keep that link somewhere handy. It will always find me on Youtube.
I do hope this finds you well and drinking plenty of tea.
Your excited Movie Star friend.
Lady O.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Cry for the Ocean - short film by Maggie Lawrence

> - U-tube link

Maggie is a film-maker and comedy writer who currently resides in Sydney, Australia, who sometimes goes by the name of her alter-ego, Lady Ophelia, a genius in the art of proper tea making. This film is about our dear friends, the dolphins.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dear Lady O - put on the kettle!

Dear Lady O,
I so appreciate your concern. As usual, you have shown your deep affection and concern for my circumstances. I must confide something to you of a very personal nature. I have recently visited my doctor here in America who has informed me he is most concerned I am suffering from some rare type of personality disorder (I am shocked and, of course, a bit put off by his tone. He feels my condition has given rise to confusion regarding my actually identity. It seems, my dear, at times I get myself confused with that aggravating Kartika woman, and somehow, my life has become intertwined, if you will, with hers. It seems from your recent letter that you may share my doctor's concern. Yes, it is true, some woman named Michele is residing at my small cottage, and has forced me to put my art studio in my dining room. She brings home Dove bars (quite tasty, I must admit)at night, and we watch Netflick videos about a serial killer named Dexter (quite engrossing if I do say so!) Now, my dear, I know this does not sound like me at all. As you know, my taste is extremely refined, and my doctor is quite concerned. Also, I have found myself sending e-cards to that Maggie person (I think she's a communist - aren't all film-makers these days? And, I have only made tea once in the last week. I know, my dear, you will be most shocked to hear this, and I warn you to put your kettle on and get your china out before pressing on.
In addition to these horrors, Libbett has been showing up again (I do seem to remember some problems with her in the distant past regarding peanut butter and sunflower seeds, oh well!) During times such as these, we always rely on our closest and dearest of friends, and I remain confident you will not forsake me. Would you mind dropping everything to come quickly to my rescue. The Michele person will soon be returning to her dismal abode, and your room will be ready and waiting.

In the service of our Beloved Queen,
Lady Betsy

Dear Lady Ophilia has written

Hello my dear lady Betsy, I am most concerned that you might be communicating with that Maggie woman. Please send me a note in your best quill pen and put my mind at rest that you have not succumbed to her persistent cards and emails. I heard that she might be trying to persuade you to go on line and speak to her over the internet. Oh dear. Has it really come to this? I also heard that you may have some woman living with you called Michelle? Dear you must be firm with these vagrants and not allow them to take over your life and your living space.
First it was the dog, and then that frightful Maggie woman who just would not leave. I mean you had to pack up an entire house and move to a smaller one just to get rid of her and still she was hanging around. I ask you. Some people just cannot take a hint. Thank heavens she moved back to Australia where they have no idea how to make a proper cup of tea. Mind you they have a slightly better idea than the Americans who cannot even boil the water properly. I mean how hard is it to boil water? No wonder they have got that silly George Bush running the country. I bet he can't boil water but he makes me boiling mad listening to his idiotic voice prattling on about his war in Iraq. I am certain the silly little man doesn't even know where Iraq is. He probably thinks it's a state of America.
Well I hear the kettle boiling now and the tea pot is ready so I must go.
I do miss you dear Lady. We had some lovely walks in the park even though you had that wretched hound with you.
Yours every truly,
Lady OSC.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mother Named Me

A kartika is a small, symbolic crescent knife or 'chopper', used in Buddhist ceremony. It symbolizes the severance of all material and worldly bonds and is crowned with a vajra or dorje, which is said to destroy ignorance, and leads to enlightenment. In Buddhist teachings, this tool is held in the right hand of Yama, the conqueror of death. It is also used in Feng Shui.


I was 20 years old and majoring in recreational chemicals at the University of Iowa; I was sad, disappointed by love and the fact that pot failed to deliver. I smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day and could not stop lighting one off the other. I was already burned out and ripe for a non-addictive high. I started TM and regularly practiced for 30 years. I stopped drinking, taking drugs, and eating red meat. What did I learn from Maharishi? I learned about a different paradigm called consciousness, and that it is possible for human beings to experience a bit of peace by stopping.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Drug Town

At first I didn’t know what to say to that lady I met in the back of Drug Town while waiting for my friend get her blood pressure measured. The lady looked half-dead, but told me she is not eligible for disability because she is still able to stand. I doubted she could stand for more than five minutes. She told me she is over 62 and has had aneurisms and blot clots and trouble breathing, yet they are not going to hand over the checks until the hospital in Iowa City puts the pressure on. You have to be nuts to get government money these days. If you slash your wrists you can get it more quickly. They want you to put a gun to your head first, and then they will talk to you about sending the checks.

She and I talked while my friend had her arm in the cuff, and as I listened to this lady's story, I could hear my inner voice trembling, “She’s some form of a future me. She is every woman of a certain age with support-hose straining to hold in her varicose veins, sitting on a chair in the back of a drugstore waiting for them to fill four prescriptions she cannot afford.” Suddenly the twinges of discomfort I get in my lower back became a crippling form of arthritis and I was wheelchair bound. I am her a few years or a stroke away. I say, “I know what you are feeling. They always make you wait—they try to run you down with bureaucracy so you will wither up and blow away and forget your brain is about to burst.”

As this lady tells me her story, I want to scream. I imagine thousands of older women with aneurisms who can no longer stand for their eight hour shifts at Wal-Mart because their backs are breaking and the veins in their legs are popping. I imagine a sea of them sitting at kitchen tables long into the night, filling out forms for disability, knowing their efforts are futile, and certain they will be denied assistance because they can still manage to stand. I imagine them giving up, too tired to try, as they finish Diet Cokes head toward sofas where they curl up in fetal positions with TVs on until the pictures turns to fuzz. I imagine they refuse to get up for any reason other than to use the bathroom for the most basic of necessities, or to quickly grab some Fritos from a peeling kitchen cupboard before resuming fetal positions on warn and stained sofas. They lay with cats whose litter boxes are full, but who devotedly curl next to them as they refuse to open mail or answer the occasional ring of their phones.

And, I wonder, is it the pop tarts, the insidious infiltration on a massive scale of sugar and salt laden foods that causes popping veins and aneurisms? If they had only juiced and eaten organic, like good people should, and jogged and enrolled in Pilates classes, would they now be curled up on sofas watching television screens turn fuzzy? Will I, who do not practice Pilates, be punished, forced to join this mass movement of sofa-ridden aged women? Will I, with a rarely used juicer sitting on my counter and several pounds of organic apples sitting uneaten in my refrigerator, succumb to popping veins? Is being too lazy to cut up a few apples and carrots and put them in a juicer on a regular basis (especially when I possess these resources), grounds for that prison sentence called aging?

When my friend checks the results of her blood pressure, she looks relieved. Her pressure is lower than it was a few days ago when it was so alarmingly high it threatened to burst the vessels in her eyes causing an inconvenient state of blindness. We had been to the University of Iowa Hospitals earlier in the week, and the specialist told her that her vision was not permanently impaired and would improve if she increased the dosage of the dugs she was taking. She had waited to see the doctor because she was in-between insurance having just left a job and started as an independent contractor. Thank god, I said, now you won’t go blind. My friend walked to the counter and picked up her new prescription. I noticed her new JJill tee shirt looked tight around her midriff and tummy. I remembered when we were both more slender.

“Do we need anything while we are here?” I ask. After all, they do have a small health food section. “How about some Ben and Jerry’s fhish?” she answers. “Yeah,” I say, “We deserve it.”

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Exhausted by Art

I’m exhausted from trying to be artistic – in my art studio past the comfort zone of bedtime – an already challenged time when reading or television always compete to keep me from much needed rest, but my art teacher, guru of sorts – a creative director and wizard of artistic transcendence – directed me to set up a designated space in my house allocated to art only, where paints, paper, brushes, glitter, glue, markers, magazines, gesso, and all manner of artsy material are arranged in baskets on the table, strewn across the guest bed, poke from under the guest bed in plastic containers. I am now officially obligated to create that illusive product – art. Art – that category of mystic and mythic proportions that cannot be defined, and continues to be the subject of argument, awe, fear, and reverence. I am now on permanent assignment to be creative, in tune with the right hemisphere of my brain, and on alert to notice all opportunities to move spirit into matter. I, who cannot draw a straight line or anything that remotely resembles subject matter, am suddenly required to produce the true and the beautiful. I am overwhelmed by the magnitude of this spiritual assignment springing from the depths of my being and progressing under the guidance of my mentor.

It started out simply, when one day, two years ago, while I walked by the art gallery, a friend pulled me in to the art studio, and asked me to sit down and start decorating paper mask molds to be auctioned as an art gallery fund-raiser. I had not glued much since kindergarten, when I typically threw my own attempts at making flowers look like flowers across rooms. Yet while mask-making, it seemed the gluing and painting process became instantly addictive, and the right brainwave activity leading to suspension of time and space, had the profound effect of creating a yearning for a repeat experience of the out-of-the-box mode of operating, leading to a discussion with fully-credentialed- art-gallery-owner-and-art-instructor-par-excellence who recommended continuing art education at his gallery/studio on a regular basis to enliven that field where the creative so easily go, and, in some cases, never return. And now, just a few weeks into the exploration of this new terrain, with a few collages under my belt, and lots of time spent with Dick Blick, and a designated art studio on my premises, I am exhausted by the demands of the creative life and the expectations I have put upon myself to be “an artist.” There – I have finally uttered the A-word and now must suffer under the mantle of expectation and the realization I know nothing about art, and do not know anything about making it other than cutting out magazine pictures and pasting them on masonite. I am a fraud in a field where absolute truth and honesty are required for any modicum of success. And so, I often stay up past ten or eleven, and sitting on a chair in front of the easel purchased on e-bay even before my decision to embark on formal but actually informal training, I stare at my board, gesso-ed and painted, with scraps of cut paper, renderings of skulls, pictures of lipstick tubes, and words lightly glued (still in process). I stare, worrying that I suck and that I am a wanna-be, and fuck the "process only" preachers who are adamant that product is not where it is at, while they stick cool looking product on the pages of their books that claim process is the only thing that matters. And sometimes when in process, I feel that flow, that sugary rush of time suspended, and that light headed no-fly zone when I know that picture of the Goth girl is perfect for that spot directly underneath the orange torn paper in the right corner. I just know it, and all is well.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dog family

Can you guess which one is different?