Synchronicity I

Synchronicity has been lacking in my life of late, of recent years. It used to play an important role. Here I want to reflect a bit on it's occurrences in my life. 

Synchronicity is a term coined by the Swiss Psychologist C. G. Jung and described as follow in Wikipedia: "Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events, that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, that are observed to occur together in a meaningful manner."

Seems to me that after I started to doubt the meaning of synchronistic events they seemed no longer to occur. Meaning of course is what we assign and is not inherent, so is very personal.

Jung lived and worked in Zurich a few decades before my arrival, so that by the time I emerged in to adulthood the term synchronicity was well known and used, certainly in the social circles I chose. Dwuno, my mentor in my late teens had introduced me to the I-Ching, the Chinese oracle "... centered on the ideas of the dynamic balance of opposites, the evolution of events as a process, and acceptance of the inevitability of change." Ideas that made perfect sense to me then and now. A foundation that allowed me to embrace principles of Astrology in that same spirit of analogy rather then causality.

While Dwuno used sticks from stalks of plants (Schafgarbe) gathered at the proper, auspicious phase of the lunar cycle, I employed the simpler method of 3 Chinese copper (for it's conductivity) coins. I remember often feeling a sense of awe, and a sense of embracing life anew with reverence, and a strengthening of my belief in hidden forces at work that gave meaning to life in general and mine in particular. 

There was an incident where living communally with several guys I had mixed up our laundry to the hilarity of those involved, giving socks, maybe underwear, to one, not the other. Somehow the I Ching's response to my inquiry was profound, even though so many decades later I no longer can recall the specifics. My reading then enlightened me to some of my underlying, until then unconscious feelings.

In Amsterdam, a few years later, alone, in search of the New Age, a week had passed, I was at a loss, it was a beautiful full moon night as I returned early to the Youth Hostel. I threw an I-Ching, was stunned, slept and my world changed. Next morning for the first time I talked to others at the hostel. As I walked the rainy, dreary streets of Amsterdam again, the sun broke through. While I watched a lovely scene of many cats that enjoyed a brief, warm respite on a romantic looking houseboat, I was invited in, found a new home, a new friend, and a new beginning in this most interesting of cities, Amsterdam. Soon enough I was able to immerse myself in New Age practices like Astrology, Massage Therapy, Tai Chi, Encounter Groups, Vegetarian eating and free form dancing to name only a few. It was the mid-seventies. Times were rich, exciting and full of promise. I credit the I-Ching with my finding my way in to the new age communities of Amsterdam more expediently.

Before leaving Amsterdam again and that time for good, I connected with a Surinam black man, at least a decade older then I was then with a love of alternative theater  similar to mine (he may have had his own company, I no longer can recall with certainty.) We were not lovers, but seemed both to have the same experiences of thinking of one another as we might walk the neighborhood, only to almost immediately bump in to each other. This happened so often, it was uncanny. Probably if I had stayed on, rather then moved on, we might have become lovers, the attraction was powerful, the synchronicities amazing.

In Zuerich, one night as I meandered along the cobblestone streets of old town, I witnessed a gypsy guy playing flamenco style guitar. Suddenly he took off and left his case and cash behind, obviously afraid of the oncoming police. So I sat down next to his case and cash and eventually, after a good long while I was able to return those items to him and so another intense attraction ensued. One in which I could feel his stare on my back, while completely unaware of his proximity.

I did have a boyfriend in Amsterdam, a dutch boy with a wide grin, pink skin and big, today I would say schizoid, crazy eyes. Intensely concerned about his mental health there were times I could hear his thoughts in my head, before he spoke, eerie. In obeyance to the voice of his god, he did jump off a third story balcony. The lack of serious injury seemed to only confirm to his mind his belief in his higher power. He was institutionalized for a while. Sadly I lost touch with him, but often wonder if he is still alive - and well. His life was laced with synchronicity, stories that are not mine to tell.

But synchronistic events did not limit themselves to or with love objects. In Amsterdam I got myself in the middle of line of hitchhikers in need of reaching the place of destination for an exciting workshop I had signed myself on. I was dismayed at the long line of kids seeking a free ride, most to international destinations. Oddly though within moments a car stopped right in front of me, in the middle of that long line, at the outskirt of Amsterdam and I was offered a ride that deposed me right at the proper address in a little nearby village. Sure seemed to me that I was at the right place at the right time. Synchronicity at it's best; practical and very useful.

In New York I remember bending down to tie my shoe laces, only to avoid twice things falling from above, once water and something else (a rock?) the next time. Both times I was outside my lower east side apartment and one might argue a neighbor may not have liked me, although that had not  ever occurred to me then.

In Santa Fe oddly my new home would echo the one prior in Manhattan where I had lived on 717 East 5th Street while in Santa Fe my address was 717 Manhattan Ave. I was never sure about the meaning of this one, but always got a tickle from this fact.

I was working at a progressive psychiatric clinic outside Zurich, I was twenty. My girlfriend had gone to Israel on vacation.  I wondered if she had returned home, she was to bring me back a Bedouin dress chosen especially for me by my friend Shoshi in Israel. Uncharacteristic for me I lingered at lunch time, read the news paper and discovered an article on two Japanese girls that had drowned by accident in the lake the day before. It could not be? Yes, it did happen. My best friend and her sister had drowned by accident for real. I was able to give a tiny bit of comfort to the mother as I recounted her daughter's dreams in which she had repeatedly experienced the terror of drowning. We  had discussed those at great length in the early morning hours, maybe 4 months before the tragedy happened for real.  I had tried to mine the potential psychological meaning of those dreams with my friend, but was deeply humbled and humiliated by the actual true life event that unfolded within only a few months. The world lost a very beautiful, enormously talented, artistic, bright soul that day in my friend. Her sister had suffered from Down Syndrom and was living in a holistic minded community where she had learned more independence and ease of movement. On our very first encounter, Akiko had penetrated my eyes, when all of a sudden she jumped in to my arms, hugged me and kept looking, and looking and looking at, or rather inside of me, through my eyes. Surely this was a meeting of souls, totally non-verbal, but so powerful. I miss those two sisters, so unlike one another, but both having left a profound impression on me and many others no doubt.

Inside Sing-Sing prison one man found his long lost brother by the chance opening of a magazine where he discovered an article his brother had written of the two of them. I had the pleasure to help them reconnect.

Synchronicities surely have the capacity of enriching our lives. We all are familiar with those moments where we think of someone and the phone rings with them on the phone. Some of us dream, like my friend did of me, when in her dream she saw me in trouble, while in real life I was stranded on the side of the road with a blown engine as I considered calling my friend for help. Synchronicities can easily be dismissed as minor occurrences of chance, but sometimes they can change lives. In a funk with Higher Power I have dismissed and doubted their relevance. I am still feeling rebellious, or frustrated, or angry with God-dess, life, or the affairs of the world as they appear to my sensibilities. I do miss though those exhilarating moments of synchronicity as a relevant part of my life.

To be continued
Water Tower
One of my first captures (original) with my new camera, a point and shoot Panasonic Lumix.

I so missed having a camera along on my daily outings with my pups. So I splurged and got myself this one on sale for a reasonable price on line. I am hoping to experience the difference to my one Nikon D40 and two Olympus Stylus, all in need of fixing. I must say I really like to have a little point and shoot in hand at all times. The convenience to me is well worth the lack of quality compared say to my Nikon, one of the smallest DSLR cameras, but still bulky to carry around everywhere. 

As I captured the above image a young guy watched me and wondered why I was playing tourist. He mentioned the addictive quality of owning a camera and seemed to treasure his new found freedom engaged in life again more directly, rather then through a lens. I though love how the lens opens my eyes for everyday beauty that otherwise likely might have escaped me. Here I captured the last rays of the sun just in time as it was sparkling up there on our water tower, an important green feature in our new and greatly improved Railyard. The tower is to collect the roof run-off to be pumped up to the park and community gardens. In ideal light circumstances this camera seems to be quiet capable. 

But it has some quirks I will need to get used to. Every new tool or toy sets the bar higher on one's learning curve. Today's images somehow show a weird yellowish tone that makes the sky look turquoise and the earth orange? I told my 87 year old friend today, and now tell myself and tell you that this idea that we, often women, have no technical sense is a myth, a story we tell ourselves, but one not to be believed! Mostly it takes a willingness to learn, to breath and to engage.

The very best

I have missed our dog park (the best) so badly, I was longingly looking through old photos this morning when I finally gathered myself and my pups and headed over there by bike. The van worries me in sputtering protest on being driven with red lights flashing it is too unnerving to  tolerate, and fixing is not an option for now. I hate crossing that main drag, but Sunday's traffic is light and we managed without falling victim to any of the many of crazy drivers we allow back on the streets.  (Yes New Mexico made headlines recently with one guy having more then 20 DWI and still he had a drivers license and still he harmed others.)

My pups were overjoyed when we finally made it back, first time since Christmas, when so often we would go there even twice a day. So I want to share with you some of the delight this favorite space of ours holds for us.
This is the only space in town, near downtown where dogs are allowed to be off lead. They get ecstatic while I just love that wide open space with the ever changing light and incredible spectacles as weather patterns move across.
The upper trail passes by my 'dream home' mainly because it is right adjacent to the dog park and has a grand view through huge windows to the south, perfect for passive solar gain (low utilities.)
We are afforded a lovely view over to the tail end of the Sangre de Christo here with Mount Baldy still covered in snow in late Spring. Isabella is checking on me only to pounce on Sumo in another second.
American culture is a fantastic mix of awesome vistas, open spaces, incredible nature, like here unmolested, ancient dry river beds and - plastic chairs. Those tend to tumble about in the heavy winds, but we are grateful for opportunities to sit and enjoy the glory.
The ever changing moody sky holds our fascination, while the dry, barren landscape holds plenty surprises as regards colors, shapes and variety.
Even pebbles look great in that golden light, minutes before the sun will set. 
Not to mention my pups, Isabella-girl and Sumo-boy.
Of course the dog park is not all about open gorgeous spaces and views, but play. 
This cute little pug is actually who we came upon today just about 1 1/2 years after I took this image below. Small dogs certainly can have fun at a large dog park. This little tiny one is the cutest Chihuahua/Poodle mix and not at all afraid or in danger here, just being properly submissive giving his size.

Thankfully there are others willing to throw a ball and have my pups compete for running after and catching it. Ball throwing just has not been my thing since my early teens.
For Willa the ball has sadly become something of an obsession, my Isabella-girl does not even care to compete as she does not seem to see the point; a lot more fun going after a real live toy, like our Sumo-boy. Nothing to her can compare with harassing Sumo.
Most often I can not leave until the very last bit of light has disappeared as the sunset spectacle is just too glorious to abandon. I will though keep especially my little guy, Sumo, close by as owls are known to be able to swoop down to pick up little dogs and carry them through the air, a very scary idea and an experience I would not want for anyone, least of all Sumo. At such times Coyotes too are never far, but I have not heard of any calamities at our dog park proper, although I have heard them Coyotes howl.

Thanks to the toxic dump (Methane under ground) we now have this spectacular dog park or else it would no doubt be another subdivision with tightly clustered homes leading to more congested roads. Instead we got the greatest open space, close to downtown for people and pets. I hope you  too have a great space available to you. And I hope that you visit often, even without a dog of your own. Most dogs, like people, love attention. While I heard objections from others to show up without a pet, that seems silly to me and totally unwarranted. Nature is to be enjoyed by us all. 

God-dess bless and protect the wide open spaces of America and the Whole Wide World.


To the rescue!


Eloquence does not make for a good president, or a good husband, but it will lift our spirits and  may appeal to the very best in us, if we let it. Of course it can do the opposite and appeal to the worst, think of Hitler. My Mom, a WW II veteran, knew this and did not ever place her trust in words again, ever, or politicians for that matter. Cynicism can not be the most productive stance in life. 

Thinking back to when I was a child, I remember the Klu Klux Klan making front page on my Mom's weekly magazine. I remember wondering why there could possibly be such hatred for cute looking Negros, or Negerlis as we would call them with no malice. I had a brown doll with red lips and kinky hair. Of course I had no idea then that Oprah, growing up in the south, about my age, had no doll to her likeness and would bemoan the lack of such dolls for black kids for decades yet to come. The fact that I did not care much for any kind of doll did not make matters any better either. I knew what I wanted. I wanted to be with my mom, with real live people, not fake, dead imitations of them. Dolls held little interest for me. Of course this came from a girl that had missed her mom badly for the first few years of her life.

Looking back what I now miss and would have wished for would have been true discussions, explorations and explanations of all the myriad mysterious matters of living life. Like why would God not permit African babies in to heaven if they had died prematurely, without proper baptism? Or how could anyone enjoy heaven, knowing that others were still suffering? Or why would one people want to drop bombs on another? Or why did bridges not collapse, or maybe rather when might they collapse? And what makes buildings stand straight rather then lean like the tower of Pisa?

Yes, young minds have still the ability to wonder. Sadly my Dad thought it a waste of time to ask questions and think out loud, or stare in to the air. And my mom was in to sharing feelings, not so much ideas. With her I would argue if a shade of turquoise was actually the color blue or green. While I did not grow up in the era where children were to be seen, but not heard, my parents did, so I was not met in my puzzlement, which contributed to a profound sense of aloneness and also a lack of comprehension, which left me naive for far too long. What a waste! The best we can do is to relate to kids for real and explain the business of living to the best of our ability in age appropriate terms. We need to promote emotional and intellectual literacy. Kids deserve to be heard, and they deserve our legitimate, not flippant answers to their questions.

Dr. King seemed to have been a compulsive sex addict. I feel for his wife, any wife of such, but will I let this detract from the importance of his message? My mom allowed such gossip to inform her negative opinions of such as Dr. King and President Kennedy. I wish to not become a cynic. President Obama swayed us with his eloquent use of words in to hopes for change that turned out to have no basis in the reality of his political marriage to the middle road. His words now still can ring beautiful, heart felt and true, but knowing the source better, they no longer reverberate in my heart the way they used to.

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was a masterful story teller and joker, his charisma brought him a world wide following. Much of what I read and listened to then still holds water now. That is the words still ring, but the source, now defiled leaves a bad aftertaste. Guns and poison and mind control, how was it possible for such to become part of a peaceful, spiritual community? I still wonder, but reject the notion that the guru was not to blame and knew nothing. So these days when Osho gets quoted, without any qualifiers, I resist, I will not swallow, I will not take it in, I refuse. What else is one to do? We can not ignore for long what we do know? The source does taint that which springs from it.

Eloquence, charisma, Dr. King, President Kennedy, President Obama, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, my mentors, they all had it, but what does it all mean?

For one we can not take their words alone, but have to include their actions in our assessment. For two, we ought to allow for personal failings. Charismatic personalities seem larger then life, but they are still human. We ought to refrain from making them in to the Gods they are not. We ought to use what they contribute, but leave the rest. Most importantly we need not fall from too great heights if we keep it all in perspective. Charismatic personalities are a sign of the times, they fill a need. Hunger can make us blind but for the object of our satisfaction. I propose to keep our eyes wide open, our glasses clear so as to see the world for what it is, rather then what we would like it to be. 

Heroes are not those that are larger then life, but those that participate in life to the best of their abilities. Heros are those that rush by to assist a shooting victim undeterred by concern for their own safety, but driven to do what needs to be done. Heroes are those that manage to do the right thing at the right time, with or without eloquence.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent
about things that matter."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Silver Lining

"But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized -– at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who happen to think differently than we do -– it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds."

"Yes, we have to examine all the facts behind this tragedy.  We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence.  We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of such violence in the future."

"Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let’s use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together."

"All of us -– we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations."

"I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us."

President Barack Obama, Memorial Sermon, 
Tucson, Arizona 1.12.2011

Orchid Misted

Tucson Tragedy

In lieu of the Tuscon Tragedy, we all might do well to recommit ourselves to a civilized discourse that refrains from viciously attacking, bashing, maligning, even slandering people, real human beings, even if they espouse ideas we may disagree with.

My friends in Europe have often shaken their heads on how Americans seem to lack the ability to differentiate policies from people. They abhorred Bush era politics, policies and rhetoric, but would not confuse such in their relating to real live Americans. From where I stand Bush era rhetoric did much to accelerate a culture of violence in the last decade. We all remember the so unfortunate 'hunt-down-and-get-them-cowboy-mentality' of which Bush recently expressed a rare regret in having resorted to. Of course the US has been steeped in violence since it's very beginning with the taking of land from the red nations, the Ku Klux Klan, the shooting of the Kennedy's (check out Robert Kennedy Jr. moving essay) and King.

But I only need to look at on-line comment threads to be shocked at the mean-spiritedness of what are supposed to be discussions, but too often degenerate to uncivilized bashings. I am a 'child of the seventies.' I learned early on, still in my teens, in encounter groups, that expressing feelings is important, but attacking others is not o.k.. We learned to own our feelings and make i-statements. By and large we came from a repressed culture and learned the value of expression, not to be confused with 'acting out.' Self-expression counters the forces of self-repression and serves as a means to mine and know one's Self. We might argue for a wish of the shooter to have exercised more repression of his impulses to harm. Instead, in his isolation he acted out his rage. What we really would want is to  find means of therapeutic expression and increased relatedness.

The first image of this kid (and yes, I oddly have advanced to an age where everyone under 28 years of age, or before their Saturn Return is considered by me still a kid, green behind their ears, with a brain not yet fully formed as science confirmed) struck me with his almost sweet, angelic look so familiar from the sixties or my seventies. My impressions seem confirmed in reading that Kelsy Hawkes considered her high school sweetheart Jared sweet, caring and kind, with an interest in music, not alcohol or drugs. That was 6 years ago.
Consider Jared Lee Loughner born 9/10/88, 22 years old now, was only one day in to his 13th year when 9/11 happened.

Seems that Jared was rather apolitical, not surprising anti-government and in to conspiracy theories. A touching interview with his former friend Zach Olser suggests the Zeitgeist, a documentary that claims the US allowed 9/11 to happen, left a powerful impression. Zach also mentioned his excessive use of Salvia, a natural hallucinogen that made the news only very recently and seems on the rise in use among youth. Zach's tears and obvious regret in not having been more helpful to what used to be his friend are heart breaking to watch and will likely inform this young man's future.

Jaret may not have believed in politics or our social system, may not have read the news or watched TV, but he must have been influenced by the rhetoric, heated and ugly enough to raise concerns even in the Arizona Congress woman Gabrielle Giffords, the main target of his attack, now struggling to survive his bullet that seems to have gone straight through her skull. Oddly Congress woman Gabrielle Gifford, considered a Blue Dog Democrat, resisted gun control and in her charming manner supported the US citizen's right to bear arms.

While today is a day of mourning, tomorrow we will have to reconsider  some hotly defended and liberally funded policies. While guns do not shoot themselves, unhinged people given access to powerful weapons can do a whole lot more harm with then without. 14 wounded, 6 people dead, among them a precocious 9 year old girl born 9/11/01.

When one Walmart did not supply Loughner on demand, he simply got the ammunition for his weapon of choice, a semi-automatic Glock plastic pistol, from the next Walmart. The right to bear arms, I don't understand it, that desire to kill, even questionable in defense. What I do understand is that any right demands responsibility, but with an American culture obviously as immature, this scares me. In Switzerland every man owns a rifle, but resulting violence is unheard of.

We do not exist in a vacuum, trying to connect the dots and to seek understanding should not be labeled a blame game. We live in systems and are influenced by forces all around us. To deny so and put blame simplistically on the shooter alone is psychologically immature. It is a matter of learning to understand the various forces that contributed to this tragedy and then attempting to correct course. Mental illness and health care, or the lack of such, ought to be part of the equation.  We should not dismiss the impact of chart's, like Palin's, that make people and places their literal, visual targets. Palin should be shunned for defending rather then apologizing profusely in the spirit of Keith Olbermann's plea.

Today is a day of mourning. I can not adequately express my horror at this tragedy or my sympathy for the victims and their families who suffer the terrible consequences. The effect must be felt by all Americans jolted out of complacency in hopes that we as a people recognize that we are given an opportunity to reconsider and not take for granted random violence. My sympathy lies even with the kid, the perpetrator, whose days are likely numbered. No doubt they will go for the death penalty a whole other subject matter. But for now the well being of Gabrielle Gifford will be foremost in my mind. Let us hold hands symbolically and wish for nothing short but a miraculous recovery.
All images are of course from the news media.

Hero: Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann's impassioned, powerful repudiation of 
violent speech must be heard and must be shared.

Right Speech

Is it true?
Is it kind? 
Is it benficial?
Is it necessary?

Monday 1.10.11, 11 AM Easter Standard Time
A Moment of silence in honor of the innocent victims 
of the senseless tragedy in Tucson, Arizona
Invoked by President Barack Obama 

Dog Tired

Isabella and Sumo, my two mutts, exhausted (not for long though) after their bi-weekly 12 mile run up on the snow covered mountain. Do not believe for one moment that little Sumo can not keep up. He is the athlete, the one that runs ahead with unstoppable energy and tremendous excitement. I love how sweet and hardy Sumo is and that he never needs any special consideration or protection because of his size. As the Pretty Kitty looks on it gives me a rare chance to capture the three of them together in natural day light. Have you heard of an interesting study by researchers at Wofford College that showes a 5 year old Border Collie to manage, memorize, recognize and categorize more then 1000 words? It just confirms that dog's capacities are woefully underutilized.

New Orchid/New Moon/ New Beginnings

 Happy New Moon! Happy New Beginnings!
Today January 4th, 2:03 AM Mountain Standard time with the Sun and Moon both in 13 degrees Capricorn a new cycle begins and our new year starts in earnest. It is a great time to ring in the new,  for me here with setting my focus on my new Orchid. For us though better yet to renew our intentions and  reconsider our priorities. It is an especially propitious time to take a moment to calm down and intuit what may lie ahead. What may need tweaking or may be in need of a radical overhaul so we can become the person we may want to be. On the practical side today is an excellent day to change the batteries in your fire alarms, to change your water filters if you have not done so yet, to defrost the fridge, to declutter your closets.


Amazing Orchids are now blooming in their 6th month in my home and are still going strong, proliferating with more buds pushing ahead, wanting to fulfill  their destiny. This investment of thirty bucks, that brought on slight guilt about splurging, even, or especially for my own birthday, turned out well worth the investment of 22 weeks of  pure pleasure with more to come.