RIP Marie Colvin!

If I had not watched Anderson Cooper's 360 last night, I would not have noticed the reporter with the eye patch. The sensitive lead in to a horrific story of a 2 year old child dying from injuries in Homs, Syria, allowed me to overcome my aversion of violence, especially the kind shown on TV that captures innocent victims in the midst of traumatic events. I hate being inundated with images of brutality. I hate being made in to a casual spectator of real suffering. Yet, I do believe in the prime importance of facts, untarnished, unsanitized truth, the kind those in power do not want us to know. We can no longer close our eyes, not for long, we do have to bear witness, it is a moral imperative I am afraid. Meanwhile a few go the extra length to travel to those hot spots, expose themselves to great danger, so as to report back to us, to bear witness for us, to be our ears and to be our eyes, so the world may know. Rest In Peace Marie Colvin! 

Anderson's well wishes rang in my ears for a while longer. He said something like 'while it is impossible, stay safe.' The impossible caught my attention, because the report made the dangers so obvious yet TV has made me (us) such cynics, I tend to disbelieve and distance myself from much that I watch. So, even while I watch the heart breaking report of an innocent child dying by the forces of a government that denies the brutalization of their own citizens, while I listened to the reporter call  on the Syrian government's lies, I did not want to believe that this reporter was truly in life threatening danger. My mind did flash though already last night on the risk of such a revealing report from within Syria. Was Marie Colvin targeted as a foreign journalist and killed on purpose by snipers? 

"Our mission is to speak the truth to power," she said. "We send home that first rough draft of history. We can and do make a difference in exposing the horrors of war and especially the atrocities that befall civilians."

This is as close as it gets for my experience of the atrocities of war. A report on TV one night and a dead reporter the next morning, shocking, yes, but so removed from the horrors of war nevertheless. I happen to be of the same age as Marie Colvin. I am proud of the fact that there are women of an advanced age that manage to make a difference in the world.

"So, was I stupid? Stupid I would feel writing a column about the dinner party I went to last night," she wrote in the Sunday Times after the attack. "Equally, I'd rather be in that middle ground between a desk job and getting shot, no offense to desk jobs."

Marie Colvin among Misrata Fighters
photos off twitter - photo bucket

How many will still have to die before the world will step in and say enough? Is it not time for the UN, for a united world body, to take action and take the Syrian government to task? Is there not an intervention possible that is other then arming the opposition forces of which supposedly lacks leadership? Check Amy Goodman's report on Democracy Now.

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon and Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby appointed Ban's predecessor Kofi Annan as joint special envoy on the Syrian crisis. Annan "will provide good offices aimed at bringing an end to all violence and human rights violations, and promoting a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis," a UN statement said."

International Red Cross is now in Homs, so good to know.

Tale of Tail

How to stay trim and slim?
Go the extra mile.
Cross boundaries.
Take risks.
The rewards may be many,
some unexpected.

Beatle Mania

The Beatles Pottery For People
P.O.Box 388, Ribera NM 87560

The Shuffle

A bunch of kids (maybe 20) some with weird, slicked hairdos, showed off the Shuffle (fancy foot work, even flips through the air) on the plaza, accompanied to some wild, caned (break?) music - fun. 
No camera - no photos, so sorry.

Beware - Black Cat!

Beware - Black Cat!

There goes my 'hood

Today, as I walked my pups past (as I do so often, although not in snow like we had in 2007, thank God-dess) I watched as the business sign was being carried away and the place what obviously in process of closing up. Another victim to the economy, very sad as this was a gallery that showed mainly local talent and exceptional work at that, unusual and very interesting exhibits were to be experienced there. It made me actually forget that the ground breaking Mothering Magazine (distributed nation wide as it spear headed midwifery, home births and breast feeding, an invaluable resource to any new mother) had made it's home in that building for a number of years. The Box Gallery though was one of the earliest galleries to move to the then still developing, new and improved Railyard district, that now holds some of our top notch galleries.
This shoe box of a rental was rumored to go for $4000/month but stood empty until a cutesy artsy and craftsy one of a kind boutique took it over, but not for very long, maybe a year or two. I did not mourn their demise and rather welcome the new bric a brac outlet for all, or some things French. Those french folks were in, then out, then I watched them move back in again the other day.
Shocking that the seemingly very popular and long standing Cafe Paris suddenly disappeared. It was so charming in Burro Alley with outdoor seating, not far from the plaza. They had moved to a much less fortunate location, probably considerably cheaper, the lovely, but hidden local of the former Mission Cafe. Now they are back on the corner of Burro Alley with another lovely courtyard. They bake the best croissants in town and are frequently sold out already late in the mornings.
The Palace Tea House, located right adjacent to the cathedral allowed dogs in and had low tables and seating. The service was very negligent. Dreadlocked folks preferred to hang out rather then attend to potential customers, still the place had atmosphere, while the replacement has none.
The Aztec Cafe used to allow dogs inside and for a while became a favorite spot to hang out with my then new dog, my Isabella-girl. For decades they were known for good coffee and a hang out for street folks. They tried to upgrade, discourage hanging out too long for too little, offered farm to table fresh produce meals and folded within a few months. Such a shame. I liked the idea and certainly their new shingle. They reverted to the older version, but had to give up. It has been closed of late.
Ah, Cloud Cliff bakery, restaurant and art space, gone now for years, had been a main stay for decades. The place had atmosphere, served great bread baskets, but could not boast of attentive service. Still hard to grasp that it is no more, although Wilem, the Dutch guy still brings his breads to the market.
Saint Francis Hotel seems busy as ever, but the lovely lace curtains that gave such a sense of spaciousness are gone, the interior redone along monastic lines of solid, but barren aesthetics.s

The above are only a few of so many changes, especially of late, that leave me feeling strangely unsettled. The economy and last summer's fires have been rough on the businesses for tourists. Never thought I would hanker for some predictability, for a sense of permanence. But too much change feels like the rug is pulled from beneath. Well, who cares about rugs, not me, it is o.k. to stand on terra firma, to feel the earth without any part of culture getting in between. Some good may come from change, yes, they do say when one door closes another might open. One new open door I discovered only today is the one to the Swiss, yes, Swiss Bakery in what used to be Corazon, our former Blues club that had opened only in 2004. But I am all for sweets and already put in a bid for Gateaux Bullois, a specialty of Bulle, Switzerland, made from walnuts and honey covered in rich dark chocolate - divine. Consoled with a bite of sweets I may very well face the inevitable changes yet to come.

I Will Always Love You

Whitney Houston, Live in Chile, 1994 
  -2.11.2012, 3:55 p. m. Beverly Hills CA

2.15.12: Afterthoughts
I do agree with Piers Morgan in objecting to Whitney's friends seeming complacency in their partying with Whitney, thinking nothing of her drinking alcohol when she had struggled for years with drug abuse. To think that an addict can drink normal, to think that one is an addict one year, but not the next is a display of great psychological naiveté.


The color of love, sex and romance, here in the season of fall, because Valentine's Day is just around the corner.

Excitement Of One Afternoon

Enough excitement for one afternoon. Yesterday, about 3 p.m. the sound of one helicopter that hovered over our heads, circled over and over, alerted me to the breaking news of the day. A meth lab suspected in my 'hood, in a lot just adjacent to ours!
Eyewitness news parked right in our driveway, next to my van. Nice guys, with very nice equipment.
An offensive odor had caused some folks to call 911. 
Two officers had to be brought to the hospital 
for symptoms of headaches and stomach upsets
after they had entered the premises. 
Two people, a man and a woman, were held for questioning. 
One dog was taken from the home.
The area was off limits until about 9 p.m..
Police, firemen with their red truck, reporters
even one Red Cross disaster relief person mingled.
False Alarm!
The chemicals were intended for home renovations.
Thank God-dess!
Damn, as a community we pride ourselves for our greening life style. What were my neighbors thinking bringing home such toxic maters? A lot away, down wind, I stood for about 10 minutes as I tried to learn more from those directly involved as I started to feel nauseous unexpectedly. There are alternatives to toxic materials, albeit usually a lot more expensive. Still a lot more education needed to make our community and the world at large a safer place. Follow up on this story in The New Mexican or Eyewitness News KOB TV.

Fence Sitting

 Most sit on one side or another of a fence.
My kitty though is a firm believer in crossing boundaries.
So am I.

Books, Books, Books

 Reading my blog of late, it may appear that I hold a passion for politics in my bosom. I don't.

So I offer a peek at my bookshelves, my interests are varied. But don't be deceived, I never read Fat Flush, I bought it not because I could not stand to lose weight, but because I believe I ought to know the latest on an issue that concerns most of my female clients. I do have an interest in health and do believe that diet plays a major role and periodic cleanses are beneficial. Now Pattern Of Language is a book I truly love. I was pleased to discover that many of the suggestions on making a comfortable and practical home I had already implemented naturally. I would recommend this book to anyone that seeks to create a home of their own, either by building from scratch or by redesign.

On the left here are books more then 30 years old, dating back to my studies in massage therapy at the Swedish Institute in New York. I took great pride in my meticulous coloring inside the anatomy book and no doubt spent more time with crayons then with the analytical study of anatomy. Learning all those Latin names in an English speaking school, a language I then barely knew how to pronounce, much less write in, was a serious challenge.

Moving on to the study of structural bodywork and essential books to my trade such as Postural Integeration by Jack Painter, a variation of Rolfing, a method of structural integration by Ida Rolf. Listen To Your Body is a great resource for athletes and therapists alike.

Arny Mindell's books were a revelation more than two decades ago. I found the first one in a bookstore right across my street and soon found myself back in my home town in Zuerich for an intensive with an international body of students and teachers. It was a fantastic experience that changed my approach from a somewhat goal oriented approach in massage therapy to a process oriented approach in bodywork. The study of Hakomi mind/body therapy gave me the additional skills and confidence needed for a unique approach I named Uomi Bodywork.

My process (of Jungian individuation if you will) really got its start with engaging in the expressive arts while still a teen. I discovered painting from within, painting in colors and shapes that expressed my inner states rather than attempts at imitation of an outer reality, so very similar to what Cassou described in Life, Paint and Passion. Given permission and tools to express feelings, I would sit and cry and cry, not knowing why, but I felt a deep and liberating effect.

Julia Cameron, the famous author of The Artist Way, has moved back to Santa Fe. A local now she currently teaches her method of creativity within my walking distance. I love her generous spirit, her availability, and her principled approach to process.

Astrology has held a fascination for me since I am 17. Liz Green's book of Saturn was maybe the first truly psychologically oriented book on Astrology I got introduced to when I lived in Amsterdam and studied astrology with Richard Lamm, an English astrologer and painter at the meditation center "Het Cosmos". There this smiling, gray-bearded man sat on the floor with his blackboard where he discussed charts in great depth with anyone that happened to walk into the room. He helped me to understand and accept my trouble in fitting in as an Aquarian tinged personality into a Virgo type Swiss society, epitomized in Zurich. I am forever grateful to Richard for having opened my eyes to the rightness of things, above as below, and their processes.

My interest has always been in a psychological rather then predictive approach to astrology. In the last ten years though I felt a need to step back. It is so easy to spin astrological or political material in to a desired message. How to separate the seed from the chaff?

On to Literature, where Shantaram has been by far the most gripping book I have read in years. I opened it at Borders and never stopped reading, right from the middle, to the end and back to my beginning. Will it ever be made into a movie with Johny Depp as promised?

Ahab's Wife surprised me, was a style of book I would not usually read, but it's rich language absolutely enchanted me. Ursula Hegi resurrected my Mom for me in her masterly crafted writing that depicts Germanic culture in style of speaking, thinking and being. I discovered her by chance, house sitting in California where "In The Palm Of My Hand" (still my favorite) caught my attention. I have since read most of her novels. I loved Poitier's The Measure Of A Man, what a beautiful spirit. The expression of kindness is irresistible in a man.

An invisible layer of old pocket books in the back, stacked against the wall, funky, are classics worth holding on to. I used to love Gogol, got introduced to the Russian writer by my New York buddy, a writer and waiter at my favorite coffee shop. We had a trade going where I would work his body and he would work my mind. Nathan introduced me to literature in an effort to improve my English language skills and grasp of culture. I have it in mind to read Gogol again as his humorous insights of the characters of everyday working people and their bureaucratic minds were something to behold.

Finally an illustration out of my Mom's book, Don Camillo and Peppone by Guareshi, a book I must have first opened 6 years old while alone at home I peered through my Mom's small library. This was one of a two of her books that contained illustrations. I vaguely remember how I peered, how I tried to make sense of all those letters. As an adult this book never fails to lift my spirits and to make me laugh, so funny the struggles between god's servant, the priest Don Camillo and Peppone, the major, a public servant, placed in northern Italy.

Impossible to talk about books and not bookstores. Santa Fe is blessed with quite a few independent ones of which Collected Works Bookstore and Coffeehouse is my favorite as regards ambiance and events of interest such as book signings, poetry readings, but also meetings of progressive groups such as the Coffee Party, or homely ones such as a small group of knitting women and not to forget the occasional musical performance. 

Ever since Collected Works moved into their larger space that allowed for comfortable sofas situated around a fireplace, good espresso along with tempting treats in the company of canine companions (yes, the owner Dorothee welcomes well-behaved dogs - heaven) I harbored a desire to manage their coffeeshop. I would like to contribute to the friendly atmosphere, to welcome tourists and locals alike,  to be sociable and helpful while I would enjoy once again a regular job. I would be a punctual, honest and dedicated employee that would go the extra length to be accommodating - if appreciated.

Spotted outside Collected Works Bookstore.
I must say that in the last decade I have not read very much. Too often literature leaves me at a loss, stories seem too removed from my life to hold my interest, authors would not convince me why I should care. I would love to discover more contemporary writing that really would resonate with my life experience. So my question to you, what books do you love and what would you recommend for me? Your answers will be appreciated, thanks for reading and considering.