Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: December 2005

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Good News for the New Year

Happy New Year!

I won't be on-line again until the calendar has turned a page on the new year, so I thought it best to wish everyone Godspeed a few days early than not at all.

I've just gotten news that one of my closest friends in Seattle is pregnant! Oh happy day! I'll be an auntie again. Foxie Roxie is going to be a mommie. I can't believe it. She'll be fabulous! And so will Iain, once he picks his jaw up off the floor. (Rox is the redhead in the middle.)

Oh, to be purely and perfectly happy for my friends--without contaminating it with my own "what about me?" feelings. But, alas, I'm still human and so, I hear the news and I'm so excited! While at the same time I think, wow, that's probably not going to happen for me. I've processed and grieved whatever loss I feel over not having children. In fact, I thought I had thorougly gotten over it--until I heard Roxanne was pregnant. It's like a tender point--it doesn't really hurt until you press on it.

The idea of children I can let go of, but I'm holding out for love. I still keep my head up and heart open for love.

So here's to the new year. May it bear all the many blessings your heart has been dreaming of--and a few surprises!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Adventures in Friendship

I've returned from my first road trip with a new friend. I always leave on these trips with no small amount of fear and trepidation--I've lost more than one friend to a road trip and a new friend is still more tenuous. We made it back alive and still friends. Alive being the operative word; somehow I always manage to befriend adventurers. I think my personality leaves people with the impression that I'm a risk-taker. And in some ways I am, socially--I'll say anything to anyone (to a point). But, I feel a personal responsibility to God, my maker, to keep this vehicle intact and not do anything overly stupid. My friends over the years have had a different take on things. They don't feel alive until they are on the edge. I've made it out alive so far. And this weekend was no exception. But, I think I need to get a bit clearer with my companions about my interest in death-defying feats, which is little to none.

We went for a little day hike on Treasure Mountain. The sign clearly read: Please do not go beyond this point. Dangerous! But my friend was curious and I'll admit, so was I. It began by simply getting off the trail to hike up toward the frozen waterfall--which was an amazing sight--then it became a completely vertical, hand over hand snow climb. The entire time I'm thinking, How the hell are we going to get down? (It's always easier to monkey your way up something; it's an entirely different story coming down!) We weren't the first to go off-trail, so there were clear foot holds, nevertheless, at one point in the climb I had to 'fess up to my fears and shout up to my friend, This is the last turn we make, I'm scared. In reality, I was about to panic and possibly throw up, which would not have made the return trip any easier. We scuttled over to a sunny spot and sat down to rest and not think about how we were going to get down--at least for a moment. And as any good city girls will do, we found a compact and put on a little refresher eye tint and lip gloss. The better to face our imminent demise on the return trip. Ha! Long story short, we made it down and declared ourselves Queens of Treasure Mountain. And yes, it did make me feel very alive, confident, and capable. The essential ingredients for feeling sexy at 37!

Pagosa Springs is beautiful, especially if you stay at the hotel. I had the entire place to myself late into the night--just me and the stars and the river. Beautiful.

During the day it's quite a different scene--Japanese tourists; obese, middle Americans; loud, inebriated twenty-somethings; and packs and packs of children. So you take a deep breath and repeat to yourself, everyone's just here to have a good time, and you get in the pool and say Hi and make small talk. Not my forte, but nevertheless, I enjoyed my time in the soak and steam of the Hot Springs.

We returned yesterday still smiling--even through our hypoglycemic moments--and a new friendship was sealed. I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas present.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Scrooge No Longer


Well, it took becoming a Sikh for me to get the Christmas Spirit. I've generally been a scrooge for years. I'm surprised my nieces and nephews still talk to me as infrequently as I send them any gifts. But this year, somehow I contracted the Jingle Bell Rock--Christmas music in stores doesn't even bother me. I've enjoyed going to the mall. I know, this is scary. But I promise, nothing more serious can come of it.

However, it did inspire me and my friends to do a little Santa's Helper action last weekend. I bought a tree and some construction paper and popped some popcorn and we all sat around making paper garlands and popcorn and cranberry strands. We hung candy canes and made gummy candy garlands. We watched a not-so-classic Christmas movie, Bride and Prejudice, and put together the cutest little tree you've ever seen! (I hope to have pictures eventually.) Then, singing "we wish you a Merry Christmas", we carried the tree across the street to my neighbor's little girls and plugged it in....What a delight! I highly recommend espionage gift giving this Christmas and any time of the year.

Let Your Light Shine!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Seen at the Cinema

Or should I say Scene at the Cinema...we avoided an altercation, but evidently, we Americans are not as polite as Canadians in the movie theater. There's nothing more frustrating that someone talking behind you in the movies. I was lucky to be there with someone who was affected more than me, so I didn't have to get so upset--someone else was there to be upset for me :-)

Anyway, it's been a good week at the movies so far. And I'm looking forward to a few more holiday delights in the next week or two.


I don't know if as a vehicle it was successful. Was it important? Yes. Was it compelling? Yes. Was it disturbing? A Resounding Yes! But as a movie, did it do it's job. I'm not sure I'm convinced, unless you're into the Post Post-modern: no plot, no climax, no denoument, no clear sides, and hard-to-hear soundtrack. Sounds a little like life, huh? Nevertheless, if you've been resistant to conspiracy theories and still want to live in Mayberry, it will be a shocking wake-up call and you'll be on those websites quicker than you can say corruption.

The one reason to see it: the monologue by the oil trader/lawyer/whatever-he-was character who goes off on the benefits and necessities of corruption within the economic/bureaucratic structure we currently reside in--this is not a democracy, if you hadn't noticed yet. I don't mean to spoil your Christmas but, there it is.

Should you go see it? Yes.

The Family Stone

The title is a play on words--the family jewel and the family name. The movie in general is a play on your emotions. I laughed, I cried. I remember when that was the test of a good movie to me. Those days are over. I felt a tad manipulated by this film. I'm a big believer in love at first sight, but two, in the same family. Even hard for me to swallow--and I clicked my heels before I went into the theater, I promise.

Nevertheless, it was a pleasure to watch Diane Keaton and Sarah Jessica Parker in their roles as the matriarch and the up-and-comer--the wise and witty and the uptight and natty. I missed a lot of the dialogue in the beginning because I had to play the cultural interpreter to my companions. (No the deaf guy is not dating the young sassy (mean) one--they are siblings. The handsome black man is not an adopted son; he is the deaf character's lover.) Sigh. Anyway, as a tale of what people do to compensate for their families, their feelings, and their own desires, it is a complex and poignant picture of people's lives and how well we know one another: brother to brother, mother to son, and all the permutations in-between.

And, as every good love story should, the moral of this story was: follow your heart.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Peace, Light, and Love

Happy Holidays!

May the holidays bring you and yours all the joys of fellowship, friendship, grace, and kindness. And may the One light within us all unite us in peace.

I'll be here in New Mexico for the first time during the holidays. A friend and I are driving up to Colorado for Christmas day to spend it soaking in the natural springs at Pagosa. May wherever you find yourself on Christmas day be as relaxing as I hope mine will be (smile). Whether it's sunny and warm or cold and crisp and snowing, enjoy it for what it's worth, which is everything.

This is a piece of art from my fabuloso friend in Vancouver, BC, Bachan Kaur, aka Madeleine.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Trying something new

Well, this weekend was the weekend of new things.

1. Went to an African Dance class for the first time here. Great fun. My legs were like jello by the end of the class, but it was exactly what I needed to get moving.

2. Took our dog for a walk in the hills. Faced my fear about getting lost and went for it. It was great to be out there by myself with Bear (aka Vinnie) and the sky and the undulating land. You can really feel and see the world as O'keefe saw it when you're out there alone. As if the land were a warm, verdant, human being lying down for a nap.

3. Went to a Solstice gathering at a local Kiva. Amazing space. Amazing ceremony. I want to build one of my own. You really feel like you're in the womb of the world. The beginning of creation. As the different dancers came up and down the ladder, I imagined them as the beings ascending and descending on the stair of life. There was the goddess holding the two-feathered fan representing the duality that is the world. There were the "coyote" medicine men who made tiny noises like fenches that spoke of the world before language. There were the great masked dancers--dancing the world into being. My only regret is not staying until the end. But still, a blessing to have been in the space.

Lovely weekend and a welcome portent to the coming new year.

Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow

There's nothing like waking up to a fresh bed of snow on the ground. So refreshing. And the afternoon turned out to be one of the most gorgeous, clear, crisp days I've experienced since being here.

Lovely. Happy Holidays everyone!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

More Movie Reviews

Bee Season

I've been putting off reviewing this one because it's been difficult for me to separate what was the movie and what was my memory of the book. So, first let me recommend the book--one of the best reads in the past 10 years. Fascinating, compelling, surprising, intelligent--you won't want to put it down.

The film was so colored by my memory of the book that I don't know how well it stands on its own. My companions enjoyed it--and none of them had read the book. So that bodes well for it. I believe the film did show quite well how a family, run from its core by someone who does everything well, perfect, who loves life, can so twist the rest of the family into their own universes and worlds of depression/psychosis, approval-seeking, god-seeking, seeking anything outside themselves to impress, suppress, get out of the orbit of or sink further into the "perfect" one. I had compassion for each of the characters. It's too easy to villify the father; yes, he's a bit of a narcissist and full of himself, but he' s also passionate and dedicated and devoted.

Some flowers are too delicate to thrive under such a brilliant sun. That is ultimately what I believe the film expresses--with the hope that the child, the brilliant star-child, is smart enough and compassionate enough to become the moon and heal the family in the process.

Pride and Prejudice

Well, I've watched two versions in the past week. The 5-hour BBC teleplay with Colin Firth as the proud and misunderstood Darcy and the new release in the theatres with Keira Knightly as the whip-smart and delightful Elizabeth. I have to say I enjoyed the BBC version best. But the recent Pride & Prejudice covers all the necessary territory to understand the characters and the relationships. In fact, I felt it showed the line of longing a bit better between the two. There was a raw feeling to the cinematography in this newest version. Everything was a bit dirtier. The farm animals in tight quarters with the Bennet family. The gowns at the ball so simple.The town so plain; not the idyllic village in the BBC production or the high fashion in the BBC version either. I found this compelling actually and appreciated the difference. However, as Jane Austen adaptations go, it was not my favorite and you can wait for it to come out on video.

Friday, December 02, 2005


I went to a collage party last evening and I am amazed yet again at the beauty inherent in the process of making a collage. I discover so much about myself and where I am now by doing them. First, I empty myself of any agenda, which is challenging. You want this and that. You want to manifest something specific. But, for me, it's best if I let all those ideas go and just allow my eye to fall on what it will, without editing. Once I reach a critical mass, I just begin putting images to the paper. And even here, I try to avoid planning or manipulating too much. Instead I allow my hands and my eye to translate the unkown within me. It's always such a surprise! Last night's collage turned out so beautiful, so full of strength, and so full of me. My inner child, my sophisticated woman, my openness, my passion, my stillness, my love of words and food and color and shape. Everything. And so I am shown once again that it is all within me. I lack nothing.

Try it for yourself. Grab some old/new magazines, some scissors, and some glue and get going. Discover something new within you.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Vocabulary Lesson

Main Entry: 1sub·li·mate
Pronunciation: 's&-bl&-"mAt
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): -mat·ed; -mat·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Medieval Latin sublimatus, past participle of sublimare
1 a : SUBLIME 1 b archaic : to improve or refine as if by subliming
2 : to divert the expression of (an instinctual desire or impulse) from its primitive form to one that is considered more socially or culturally acceptable
- sub·li·ma·tion /"s&-bl&-'mA-sh&n/ noun

I am particularly concerned with the second definition--the more common variety--as it pertains to the replacement of one of my more basic instincts with food.

I know I'm not alone in this particular behavior, nevertheless it's beginning to disturb me. However, I still cannot express the "primitive" forms that I am endeavoring to replace, so what to do? Mastery of instincts is what yoga is all about. So I should be able to master this without supression, subjugation, shame or sublimation.

I'll let you know how it all works out. Smile.