Saturday, November 12, 2022


It has been losing leaves and branches since my next-door neighbor Julie abandoned it three years ago. It was on her property but most of the branches leaned over the fence and sheltered my house from the midday sun. It was once magnificent, but the drought and neglect of recent years were gradually killing it. I hoped it could be saved and ran water to it several times this summer yet feared it would never return to its former beauty. The renters paid no attention to plant life.

Julie passed away last year a few days before my husband PQ (Pba-Quen-Nee-ee) left his body to journey into a mystery I couldn’t share. My reality was already reeling. How could this be! She was beautiful, young, and kind. She left her house when she remarried, and although she had grown children, she recently gave birth to an infant. She was my next-door neighbor when I moved here sixteen years ago, and her landscaping inspired me. However, as the years went by, it became apparent that there were too many trees competing for space. Two aspens near the weeping willow died from overwhelm. In the back yard were two globe willows and a plumb tree. It was like a small forest and the magpies loved it as did the neighborhood cats.  At one time Julie had several free-range chickens who talked to us in the morning when we had coffee on the patio. The green view outside the living room window took my imagination to the realm of nature spirits. How many places in Taos can one experience the protective umbrella of a deciduous forest? In the early days, Julie also had a small fishpond near the Latia fence between our houses and its fountain burbled like a mountain stream. Then she left and the whole property fell into depression.

Julie’s grown children put the house on the market a year ago, and a new owner moved in last week. She is a friendly, talkative woman who got right to work getting improvements under way.  Of course, she has no history with the house or neighborhood. We talked a bit about its history. She had experts come in to repair the roof, and fix cracks in the stucco, then three mornings ago I heard power saws during my meditation and journal time.  My heart sank and I ran out to see if what I feared was true.

Two young men were taking down one of the globe willows. “Well, that one was too many.” I hoped it would end there, but soon the most athletic guy was climbing the other larger tree, taking down the top branches. I kept hoping it was just a pruning, but within forty minutes both trees were down to the ground and the property looked naked. Then they started on the big weeping willow in the front. I felt stunned with sorrow tinged with rage. But all this time I knew the tree was doomed. My world was being redesigned, and I could do nothing about it, and besides I had no right to feel the way I did. My rights and preferences stopped at the fence and no amount of sentimental attachment mattered. I was identifying with those trees. Did it bring back the primal struggle between me and my dad about the great Cottonwood in our backyard? That tree was my source of solace. In the evening, when I couldn’t hold the tension in our house, I would go to the far end of our property where the cottonwood stood beside an old cinder block chicken coop, repurposed for storage. It was quiet and I would climb atop the cinder block building, lay with my back on the roof and stare up through the cottonwood’s branches, its leaves softly flickered with moonlight shimmers. Peace returned! 

Dad and I had a complicated relationship. Mom tried to mediate, but ultimately, she took Dad’s side. If I loved something, Dad automatically wanted to kill it or remove it. That included trees, cats, and toys. I got to keep my wagon because it was useful for gardening. I had many dreams of defending the Cottonwood tree from dad’s determination to destroy it. As soon as I left home, he cut it down.

As an adult, I learned that dad had been his mother’s mule while his older sister and brothers were treated like show horses. Such an unfairness cuts deep for generations, and life rips the scab off an old wound again and again.

I moved into my present home in August 2006. The next spring, I bought a baby aspen tree and planted it. I had to be careful with money, so planned to buy another one the next year and plant them near each other, as aspens often grow in clusters. When I went to pick up the new aspen, PQ dropped by and offered his help and his pickup truck. We went to the garden store where I’d left my new aspen, but he thought I could do better. He’d seen a more robust one in another row. That was okay by me, so we went with his choice since they were the same price. I planted it near the first one and all was well until another year went by. At that point I noticed that something was wrong. Sure enough, it wasn’t an aspen at all, it was a cottonwood. As seedlings, they look much alike.  I decided to keep it. Cottonwoods grow very large, but it was in a good location and thus the Cottonwood spirit found me again via my hayoka medicine carrier boyfriend.

The two species tolerated each other for eight years. The aspen grew faster at first, but then sadly the Cottonwood found its spirit and surged upward. One year, I noticed the aspen’s leaves were turning brown and falling off. By the end of summer, it was dead, and sadly we had to remove it. That was one of the last physical things PQ and I did together before his lungs became too weak. Meanwhile, the Cottonwood shot up to meet the sky over the next three years. It was magnificent and I loved it.

Then the year before PQ began his exit dance, the Cottonwood’s lower branches began to drop their leaves. I cut off the dead branches and hoped for the best. But this was just the first sign of trouble. I researched tree diseases and learned that it had succumbed to disease because it was too close to the aspen. The aspen had the same disease but died first. I felt cursed by God for always taking away what and whom I loved most. Next came self-doubt.  Maybe I’m too flawed to get anything right. Life works only if I’m not invested.  I’m a good gardener, and a good caretaker of humans and animals, but the ones I love most die young. I’m now remembering a beautiful, spirited, intelligent cat we named George because he was so curious, and he died from a heart defect before he was three years old. PQ took it outwardly even harder than I did. I was used to such losses.

I’m grateful that our Cottonwood tree still had some of its beauty last year, and our flowers, especially the purple one’s, PQ’s favorite color, were at their best while he was still able to see them. This second year without him has been more difficult than the first year. For most of that first year, I lived in a simulation of our life. Everything seemed to be a fragile image about to fade away. The Town of Taos, the grocery stores, the streets and especially our home, seemed fake. There was no sequential time, and I couldn’t remember the places and streets I’ve known for years. I didn’t understand then, but my identity was set to Taos with PQ. That role had ended and there was not yet a replacement.

I’ve been challenged to learn that reincarnation can happen at any time, and you don’t always have to trade in the old body. Renovation will do.  However, until last week, I didn’t want a new life. I was still floating on the waning vision that brought me to Taos. I will always love PQ, I’ve loved him in lives and times both past and future, but I’m now on a steep learning curve. One of the most important lessons is that we are more than we know, and we would be scared and thrilled if we knew what is possible. Our higher self keeps the lessons light until we get to high school or maybe beyond. Some make it to graduate school. Maybe they can consciously choose what happens after that.

The more challenging the situation, the more my higher- self must trust that I will grok it.  When I drove up to my house yesterday after a trip to the store and post office, I was surprised to see that my neighbor’s house looks much fresher and more alive without the dying tree and consequently, my house looks better also. It was hard to admit.  Now I can see a new life and I’m assimilating the thought that the life of that once beautiful tree was honored more by its removal than by grieving over its sad decline.  After putting away the groceries, I walked to the back of my house where the dying cottonwood stands. There were several small shoots nearby, but I doubt they’ll survive. Then I saw a new tree encircled with a wire guard through a crack in the fence shared with my other neighbor, to the south. I was happy they’d planted one, and then noticed with amazement, that it was really another shoot from my Cottonwood, and was already nearly six feet tall. I gave it my blessing. I don’t have enough money now to have its dying mother taken down, but I know that must come.

Death and its follow-ups bring a revelation that I’m still reeling with.  However, after the internal storm subsided, my house began to look and feel real again. PQ has been so far away, that I wondered if he was glad to be free of me, even though he was always on my mind, and I talked to him everywhere I went. But was he ever listening? I couldn’t tell. Today he feels much closer. I can hear his voice and feel his presence in the house. Then perhaps, he visited many times, but I was hanging onto our old relationship.

The Lakota, have the saying, “We are all related.” That is undeniable common sense, although the leaders of most modern nations don’t believe it applies to them. Yet the entanglement of the cosmos takes this up a notch, “life and death events are all related.” We are all a spark chipped from our big star and a cell in the body of Gaia. While the parts that make our form wear out and are replaced or upgraded, the spark within remembers its source, and Source knows each of us as a work of creation in process. Changes must come. That’s life!


Friday, October 14, 2022


I remember family get togethers when I was a kid. After dinner, the women would go to the kitchen and the guys would be in the living room. Since I wasn't interested in babies, relationships, and recipes, I would find an inconspicuous place to listen to the men. Uncle Bob would usually kick things off by bringing up some controversial topic, then ask the other guys what they thought about it and when it started getting really hot, he would lean back in his chair with a bemused smile as faces turned red and voices got louder. It was obvious that he was getting a charge out of the heat.

Occasionally, I receive email links by far-right conspiracy theorists with all the details of how the demonic Democrats are manipulating we the people to control our wealth and our lives (or lack thereof) if we allow them to stay in power. The Democrats email their constituents for support to prevent extremist takeovers from the far right that will send us back to the stone age socially and make America a dictatorship whose ruler will assuage their followers’ fears with seductive promises.

However, the Democratic party seems frozen in its insecure idealism about the state of American distrust concerning what is really happening in government. They function oblivious to growing distrust and seem to believe that there are enough reasonable people that democracy with its business-as-usual habits will prevail. But what is that business. Most of it is hidden from people who don’t have time or connections for extensive research. I’ve observed the effects of group fear on even well-educated good-hearted people and noticed that it is quite literally a hypnotic process. The so called, but I believe false patriots have wedged themselves into the cracks of fear. Fear is an out of balance, vulnerable state of mind, that shatters reason and distorts perspective, until only a bitter cocktail of imagined ingredients leading to a dreaded outcome are ingested.

The truth is, very few of us really do know what is going on in Washington under the radar, and our politicians tell us what they want us to believe while they ask us for monetary assistance to beat the “bad guy” opponent in the next election. It seems to those of us on the outside that money has become the only factor of control and therefore determines the value of any concern. I’ve noticed that the “experts” who always claim to be on the side of their targeted audience while stirring up fear on YouTube, are speaking to people’s financial vulnerability while making loads of money on the sale of their books exposing the evil agenda of the opposition.

But is any party really in control? It seems to me that politics has become a diversion to keep “us” focused on the dreaded “them”. I suspect that the rhetoric, demonstrations, YouTube revelations and promises are distractions from the things we have no control over, nor do the politicians who seem to have themselves become distractions. While the political parties are wrestling and promising, the rich keep getting richer, the poor get poorer, inflation soars, and corporate entities move us wherever they want us to go.

I’m sick of hearing “left” and “right”. Left of what, and right of what? If right is conservative and left is progressive, I’m totally confused about what is being conserved from the past or envisioned as progress for the future. If the system was working properly, I would think that there would be a flow from past to future, and that conservatives would be preserving something of value to be used in the future and liberals would be augmenting past values and updating them in real time to survive and meet a common future. Instead of genuinely addressing the problems of real people, it seems that politics is about manipulating the people’s hopes and fears to help candidates get to a platform where they can work for powerful forces of which we, the people have little or no awareness. We are like fish biting at skillfully artificed flies at the end of a transparent line.

When people don’t have a realistic view of the powers that are playing them, they have a sense of vulnerability that is easily stirred into fear, paranoia and then rage looking for an outlet. No one can live with fear and a state of helplessness very long. It must have a target and possible correction or broils internally until it becomes sick, or mad. Thus, unstable young men go on killing sprees in places where large numbers of people come together. The people they kill, and wound are usually random targets, not enemies but unspecified victims, just as the shooter is often lacking a sense of identity, place, or purpose. In a sense, the victims are icons of the one who victimizes them, sacrificial victims of the shadowy perpetrator. In this way, it’s a hopeless religious act.

Our modern world, with Scientific Materialism as its orthodoxy, leaves a huge gaping hole where the Great Creative Power of our cosmos once was. According to this material canon, we should be happy to be free of the horror of religion past with its inquisitions, holy wars, hatred of physical pleasure and dread of eternal damnation to an endless fire for those who choose to disagree, or even dislike the terms.  The European and mid-eastern god is certainly a terrifier. Something had to be done to take the sting out of this maniacal psychopathic deity. However, the replacement has not satisfied. Even the hope of artificial intelligence to find a way for us to live forever without any spiritual assistance, leaves us unsatisfied. Smart and proud perhaps but empty. I can’t avoid thinking of the billions of beings behind us and the unfortunate victims of fate and war who won’t be able to enjoy life as a forever bot. To me it is an unsatisfactory answer to an unfulfilled problem.

I’ve come to look at earth life as a school, and earth and its siblings cycling around our life source, the Sun, as one family in an incomprehensible mega-verse of trans-cosmic families. I can’t imagine us ever knowing its truth only from the outside. But I believe as participants, we are wired to experience its essence by penetrating to the inner core of our membership—a heart to heart connection.  

I wonder how many times humankind has been in this position in history, or more likely pre-history, since I believe Plato’s story of Atlantis, and the increasing evidence that we have had influence from other more advanced life forms from other parts of the cosmos. There are few indigenous peoples that don’t have stories about beings from other realities, either dimensional or planetary who seeded them or guided them in the deep past. Mainstream science doesn’t yet acknowledge any evidence of this hidden past, and there is plenty.  Science has become another orthodoxy which causes me to believe the doctrinal barriers will eventually collapse. They are already struggling to maintain their crumbling walls against the blows of unwanted evidence. As with any other belief system, careers and hard-won reputations are at risk.

However, my greatest concern is the compartmentalization that seems to be endemic with information overload. There are so many narratives about reality to choose from that in reaction people are becoming more narrowly focused rather than better informed. YouTube and social media are a free for all, and the various opinions all have their followers, depending on whatever gives some sense of emotional satisfaction be it thrills, safety, or the desire to have a special heads-up. It’s endless! You can learn a foreign language, practice yoga, listen to great music, follow history, your favorite rock stars, or choose your favorite conspiracy theory. But there is no way to know the validity of theories and unvetted ideas flying around for anyone who is hooked on a flavor to catch and pass along. COVID19 augmented the menu. The mystery surrounding its origins and the controversy over vaccination which with its quick development and enrichment of big pharma made it a perfect topic for conspiracy theorists and political rhetoric. However, it seems to fit the uncertainty of the times. Ironically, the bigger the choice of subjects and opinions, the narrower the focus has become. There is loads of fear but little critical thinking involved.

Maybe nature is threatening to give us another hard restart, as happened with the meteor that killed the dinosaurs, or the destruction of Atlantis, and the great flood. Humanity has had several wipeouts. It would be splendid if we could avoid another restart from zero.

I have this suspicion now and then that there may be parties hidden behind the curtain of our simulated earth drama that are giving us a nudge toward the precipice by encouraging our discord and escalating wars. They wait in the background for us to self-destruct with the expectation of replacing us or molding our remains to their purpose. But no one can victimize us if we don’t cooperate.

We’ll never make it through this dark tunnel to the light at the other end without the wisdom of the heart which is humbler than the mind because it knows that we are all related.  We are all in this together and when we forget that we are on the way of becoming another extinct species or slaves to our robots. Then the earth experiment will die, because we will have fallen victim to the reversal of cosmic energy. In a world powered by an artificial simulation of life, creation is turned against itself. All because we forgot that machines are made in our image rather than the opposite, and we are made in the image of the Universal Intelligence. How tragically ironic, but also symbolic that our species in its arrogance and pride will have doomed itself by its own inventiveness.

My hope is that the necessary percentage of souls enlightened by faith, love and courage will make the current crisis propel us to a higher level where our petty struggles will resolve to the awareness that we are all in this together as world citizens.