Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: February 2006

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Upside Down and Turned Around

I was at the coffee shop this morning talking about my recent favorite video Hustle and Flow (reviewed earlier) and this kid walks up and says, Yeah, that movie is sick! With real excitement on his face. And although I knew what he meant, I asked, Does that mean "good"? In a world where nothing is as it seems, the hip-hop culture has created a language to express that duplicity--everything means the opposite. Bad is good. Sick is excellent. Bent is straight.

So how are we to agree on terms or communicate in this cultural construct? Do any of us really know what the other means anymore? And what does it say about our culture that an entire group of people have had to generate a means of communicating to each other to the exclusion of those in power. Sounds familiar doesn't it? An entire genre of martial arts came from the same need--capoeira. An entire genre of music came from the same--the Spiritual, which led to blues, which led to rock n' roll. A new expression in quilting, too, which communicated safe houses, the underground railroad, and directions to runaway slaves.

Communicating under the radar. In this aquarian age, when all will be known, what happens to the way we communicate? Maybe it has already happened. The people in power just haven't caught on yet--the jig is up and has been up for a while. But as long as war means peace, and talks mean coercion, and love means control, the underground will continue to reflect it back. And language may forever change course: Bad will mean good. Cool will mean hot. It may takes years, but just like the great Mississippi, the course can and will change.

On Video

Two of my favorite movies in the past few years are now available on video:

Station Agent

A charming movie about three strangers who become friends through an the alchemy of l0neliness and loss. It's a movie about being an outsider; about allowing people into your lives, whether you want to or not; about being loved for who you are--not what you're supposed to be or what people make think you are.

I love this movie and I know you will too.

Hustle & Flow

Terrance deserves an Oscar for this moving film about a pimp/dealer in Memphis. This movie is about dreaming in the face of absolute despair and bankruptcy of every kind. In some ways it's disturbing to watch the womem in the movie support and love this man despite years of abuse. But again, life is bigger than its stereotypes and this movie portrays all the wide and diverse human emotion that can allow a woman to love, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

It also shows the heart of a man that can rise up out of emptiness and desire something greater. Desire is the seed of every change--good and bad. Desire is the fire. And Terrance so beautifully shows the conflict, the courage, the will of such a man. A man most of us would dismiss without a second look.

But in the words of the director, this movie is about how much a man needs the support of a woman. It's made me examine my past relationships and how much criticism I brought to the table, instead of support. Doubt instead of hope. This movie challenges me and uplifts me on so many levels. And the music tears it up!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Valentine's Day

a valentine's wish for you:

May your heart be opened to love.
May you receive love knowing that it was yours all along.
And may it come to you soon, with Godspeed, and lightness of foot!

It's another year without a Valentine for me. I don't want to count how many it's been. Besides, I still have a terrible habit of falling in love with people who don't return the feeling; so, until that little habit finds the exit door, I'm sure I'll have a few more single Valentines' days...sigh.

I made a delicious dinner for friends last night. I don't do it often, so it's good to know I can still cook! They are my new family here. Good friends that you can tell anything in that way, maybe better than family (smile).

Movie review: Woody Allen's new flick, Matchpoint

Okay, it's good. You can't deny he made a good film, but overall, I was disappointed. I didn't find the character's that believable....that a tennis pro turned pet to a rich, Brahmin British family could turn to murder to keep his newfound position and status. I don't know. I didn't feel it. And then, the insipid scene where the victims of the murder return to "haunt" him. Please. Given this description, you're wondering, what was good? Well, it did have you on the edge of your seat--waiting for him to get caught, waiting for something to go wrong, waiting, waiting. So, in that sense, it was a perfect film. It captured you. But in the end, I walked out shrugging my shoulders.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Seahawks & Sickness & Political Ineptness

Well, I'm not surprised that Seattle lost the Superbowl, which is part of the whole problem with Seattle and professional sports. The entire fan consciousness is too suspect, too erudite, and too cynical to be blindly devoted and supportive of their home team. Until we, the fans, change, professional sports in Seattle are doomed to fail.

I'm happy for the "bus" though. To win a ring in front of your old neighborhood in your last professional game--what a way to go!

On other news, the entire office has had one thing or another for the past 2 weeks. And I keep fighting it off, but not quite feeling well either. Limbo land. So, no movies to review, no news to tell, only a wish to feel better so that I can come up with something a bit more exciting to write about.

This week we have lost two of our matriarchs--Coretta and Betty. Both held a space for women in politics in their own way and both brought strength and stamina to the face of America. Meanwhile, the men in charge continue to lie under oath and accept half-assed answers. It's unbelievable that a Senator of the United States can say, Well, I know that's not the whole story, but I guess I have to accept your answer. Why does he have to accept an answer that he knows is a lie. Whatever happened to grilling someone until they broke? Whatever happened to demanding the truth? I'm a Watergate baby; I grew up with the hearings as background noise; I grew up actually getting to see real war on tv, not some cleaned-up rated "g" version; I grew up expecting lies to be covered up--not displayed out in the open expecting everyone to just swallow it. So when I see these half-witted efforts going on right now, I'm apalled.

As my mother would say, Where is your sense of indignance?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


My teacher left town Monday evening, after a viewing of her biographical documentary, Chasing Buddha, which will be showing again this coming evening if any of you want to see it. CinemaCafe, Santa Fe, NM. I drove home crying all the way.

It felt like like the many times I've left a spiritual retreat or a great hiking trip and on the way down from the mountain I've cried the whole way.

She is my mountain.

The great compassion she shows. I'm mesmerized. I'm sure Yogiji was much the same, although I never met him.

I'm still crying, over a myriad of things. I'm homesick--for Seattle and for family; I'm watching my anger and the suffering I generate for myself because of it (which feels like a 6th step all over again); and I'm finishing up a 40-day meditation which is challenging my projection for love, for relationship, and my ability to let go of the results.

It's always interesting at this stage in my "spiritual life" to sit in the middle of my living room, a grown woman, crying over who knows what. I feel like this outside observer, looking down on this crumpled, sobbing flesh, knowing it will pass. That this same woman will get up and make herself dinner, and do the dishes, and read for an hour, then do her meditations and go to bed. A step in the right direction away from identifying with the feeling and wallowing for days and weeks, which is what used to happen in my 20s. Still, a strange phenomenon to inhabit this body, this mind and watch all its machinations of moving through life.

So, here's to a good cry. May it wash your sould clean and may you rise in the morning with the sun and a smile.