Saturday, April 15, 2017

Armageddon, Inc

Vision Poster

End of the World Meme

Today being Easter-Even in the Western liturgical calendar, in the midst of an apparent lock-ward eruption of warmongering... let's visit the natural response to systems not working, mega-stress, and apocalyptic expectation.

Some years ago I watched a moving German flick, "Vision," filmed in ancient locations about the life and times of Hildegard von Bingen. A  Dark Ages nun and Abbess, she is remembered as a visionary, composer, scholar, as a Renaissance-woman. 

The film opens with Hildegard as a little girl, in the year of our Lord, 1,000 AD. The Church and many "prophets" had foretold the millennial end of the world and Christ's return in glory. 

Much penance, terror, hair shirts, and flagellation preceded the night of reckoning.

The child awakens to New Year's morning among family and neighbors huddled asleep on the church floor, and it's a life-changer. The wee timing discrepancy was never adequately explained by Holy Mother Church, the overarching power of the era.

Am I mocking the Book of Revelation? No, absolutely not. But history is of interest, as is the redundant human condition, subject to fear-mongering and manipulation.

St. John's horrific end-of-everything clairvoyance in the cave on Patmos has had many reruns through the Christian era.

A few years back a charismatic local pastor of a fundamentalist church announced to his faithful that the Rapture was nigh. A burly parishioner carried a huge wooden cross in the long procession toward destiny. 

(One wit left a pair of high-topped sneakers by the wayside, with dry ice inside wafting foggy vapor.)

The faithful were not beamed up that day, but it's an expectation of many re-treads.

A Priest friend in ecumenical mode visited a huge wealthy Baptist church in the US Deep South. Chatting with the Pastor, they stopped below a hole through ceiling and roof. The Priest asked if it, uh, leaked? 

Not an issue the Pastor replied. He and all his congregation would be whisked upward through the heavenly portal when the last trumpet sounds.
Our own times are waxing stressful following an era of make-believe, mal-investment and me-me-me-ness. Viscerally we feel reckoning, inchoate and monstrous, waiting in the wings.

Do we plunge with the daily news of bombs and  bankruptcies into darkness, adding our individual alarums to apocalyptic thought form? Is that the only option and conclusion among us, the long-gullible?

As an aside, historical, impending economic reckoning is strictly avoided by the perpetrators, who traditionally devise an external enemy, and launch diversionary war.

Away from flat screens, am watching butterflies, golden clouds of them, among spring blossoms. Life permitting, what a year for planting a butterfly garden.

Meanwhile, much of the world is celebrating light risen from the dead. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

On the Mountain of Blessed-Be's, Update 22/2/17

I stood on the Mount of Beatitudes, and I "saw a thing", which is the family understatement for !WOW!, beyond the ordinary.

It might be a hawk, a hummingbird, a wild night of lightning, a dawn.

I had travelled to the Holy Land, land of Uzis, Crusader battlements, gold- and jewel-encrusted churches, footprints of saints and armies. A portal of blazing transformation and of darkness.

A curious journey, I'd accompanied a group of people who move through life aware of more than surfaces and present time.

Sturctures, land, sacred sites can pulse with energies of long ago, a saturation of intensities, whether awe-filled stillness, or cruelty.

Castle dungeons feel radically different than Chartres, Stonehenge, the high Himalayas or the Dome of the Rock.

We saturate places and doings with our thoughts, frenetic energies or our quietude. We, here and now...

Saints and avatars, Light of the World, have cleaned their own houses; looked darkness in the face, their own and the world's. They've gone still, a beneficence of wide radius and beyond time.

On the Mount of Beatitudes, I fell through time.

The Pastor who led us eyed my wafting self and handed me the Blessed Be's to read aloud. My eyes begged him, no. He looked unblinking at my free-fall.

Standing in the garden, by yet another huge church, I read aloud. Light opened on the mountain.

I seemed to glimpse otherwhere, far away in time, when the slopes were terraced with vineyards, olive groves, figs and pomegranates.

The Sea of Galilee shimmered with intense desert light. At further distance to the right, arid mountain wilderness led far into mystery.

A vast gathering of families, fishermen, craftsmen filled all the nooks to far below the summit. Children made mischief; the people waited, shuffled feet and looked up.

Just to the left of the garden where I seemed to waver in and out, a blinding light reached out and settled to all gathered there long ago. Blinding but kindly, a golden white nimbus on the mountain.

Though the teacher spoke in a normal voice, each could hear him as though chatting together alone. The air quaked and shimmered a great communal heart attack. Armored hearts burst their bounds, an inrush of love.

"Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God..."

I have often wondered how the Beatitudes morphed into power structures and domination. It seems to be the human condition.

In the centuries which followed simple, luminous teaching, second sons who could not inherit Robber Baron lands, instead became Princes of the Church.

Bean-counter mentality contrived ever more convoluted impositions on illiterate peoples.

In a history of infinite reprise, the greed of the priestly class led to Borgia Popes and finally the Reformation, wars upon wars and self-righteous violence.

And yet, time is not fixed, nor outcomes. We still meet simplicity and mercy among like-minds and quiet doings.

Though perhaps not in mind-manipulation of wide radius and not benign.

A reading aloud:

Google-gorilla note to readers: 

Given the pro bono nature of these stories and the feastandfamine.blogspot articles, I went with free, with the google template.

1) For quite some time google has been messing with stats
2) It's become difficult to access the sites. 
3) It's been rendered impossible to post free pix. 
4) Here at wayfaringtraveler, the font was suddenly made so small as to be nearly Illegible. 
5) Hack-attacks prevail when I'm trying to post new wellness info or do wayfar storytelling.

With these apparent interference patterns, the standing body of work is still freely given, with thank you to readers for a grand adventure. If ever you read the Wayfaring Traveler books, big high-five to one and all.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Fathers & Snowflakes, Update

Growing up

We learn by doing, by walking our own labyrinths, an often solitary trek though inter-generational.

As to Fathers on our journeys, we imagine, we hope that they protect their children, teach skills, integrity, boundary, and most of all consequences... or that has been the archetype.  

Friends who attend to the introspection of winter's long nights are reporting big pain-release of old family stuff.

Indeed, the legacy of Fathers pulses highly charged at our time in the world.  Not all of us make it through to healing:

We're a few generations into broken families, societally: Daddy's gone missing in the welfare state, and Daddy's MIA as both parents frenetically hold down high-stress jobs and commutes. 
That is, if they can find jobs.

With many Daddy's missing in custody-fight divorce, we are hearth and home uprooted. Some of us are homeless altogether.

Am wondering about the hysterical emoting and violence, encouraged and funded---toward a President-Elect who vows adult-consequences---to government corruption and rape of the economy.

The guy's a dramatically imperfect, in-yo-face Alpha Male. 

Segments of the US seem to be acting out, as though catharting a Borderline-magnitude "abandonment rage."
Our Millennial "snowflakes" raised by daycare, by indulgent guilty absent parents and government schools, come to pieces if not rewarded/never thwarted.

It's a striking failure of reality-check on the spectre of growing up. 

It is many generations and long time since the belt-tightening and shocks of the Great Depression.

8 April 2017, Update:

This winter, a Pueblo man died gently in his sleep after celebration of his hundred years on earth

Just a boy gone to war long ago, he was the last local survivor who had walked the Bataan Death March, its brutality, degradation and staggering loss of life.

Liberated from that hell at war's end, he returned emaciated to his ancient Pueblo community. 

He was fed the "Three Sisters" foods of maize, beans and orange-meat squash. Buffalo and elk were hunted for him. Ceremonies of healing were performed. 

He recovered and did service to his Tiwa heritage and mentored their struggling youth. 

As an Elder and Father, he lived and worked to heal relations among all those who love the land.

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
a rift valley

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Mentor on Skates

My Godfather taught me to partner-skate on the icy pond back of their place, ringed with alders, orange bittersweet and cattails. It wasn't just kind of him; it was transformative.

I was shy as a colt and awkward. How does an eleven year old girl manage six sudden inches of growth in one year? I was nearly as tall as my Godfather, and stumbling over my own feet.

He didn't seem to notice.

He held my hands and wrists as we crossed arms. He knew I was a madcap solitary skater, but partnered? (Would I tangle my skates in his and bring us both down?)

"I won't let you fall," he said "Push off with your left blade... Here we go."

The man taught me to waltz on ice! I, Miss Pratfall in motion, who bumped into table corners and knocked over the salt and pepper.

I still didn't quite know where my elongations ended, but thanks to him, I never felt awkward again.

He and my Godmother lost their first two baby boys to SIDS. I loved my second parents in an agony over their pain. I've wondered since as an adult if their doing everything by the book included vaccines en masse.

They continued to be my boon companions. When I stayed with them, my Godmother taught me about the garden and sent me to harvest fresh spinach and onions, for the best salad I'd ever put in my mouth.

Away moored on Long Island Sound, they kept a sailboat. And on a glory day in spring we rode in their square-front MG, British racing green, to sparkling water.  He taught me to duck when the boom swooped across and let me handle the tiller.

All my life their mentoring has stayed with me. Their kindness taught competence. It doesn't take much really, to steady the course of a child.

That said, they were also outrageous. When my dad announced that I would be sent far north to summer camp, my Godfather eyed my unease and counter-offered:

"No, no, we have thrilling activities at Camp Long Hill. You can weed, paint trim, stack firewood, dig clams, shuck corn, pick grapes, eat three strawberries for every one that lands in the bowl...!"

My dad gave his friend a withering look, and I got on the bus with my forest green camp uniform. I did have a fab time, galloping through the woods, sleeping to loons crying on the lake. But the Brigadoon of Camp Long Hill lives on.

Chores can be an adventure and, uh, thrilling!

Happy New Year to us all everywhere, and to quote Tiny Tim, "God bless us every one."

Wayfarer reads aloud:

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Standing Rock Christmas Card

In a Time of

Readers near and far,

Most of us in the Northern Hemisphere are not sleeping homeless in alleyways or cardboard boxes. Nor do we sleep huddled in doorways

In the UK, neighbors are growing so aggravated at messy/smelly intrusions of the desperate, as to set spikes in their threshholds. Or they drench the homeless with water on a winter's night.

Most of us by contrast are fairly snug and warm. 

In the Rocky Mountain west, people are sleeping in teepees and tents in the snow. I assure you from personal experience, this is not cozy.

A friend is just back from Standing Rock, North Dakota where the daytime temperature was -2 F (-19 C) in blizzard conditions. 

Taos Pueblo...

and locals have been raising money and foodstuffs for the Dakota Sioux and water protectors, peacefully protesting an oil pipeline across sacred ground.

N. Dakota is already producing oil-spill into river elsewhere.
North Dakota oil pipeline spill estimated at 176,000 gallons

People do notice, and the Sioux and allies have finally drawn an effective line (in the snow.) 

In a reminder of Gandhi's non-reactive protestors, lines of them, clubbed by the British Raj, the Sioux were attacked by water cannon and tear gas in the freezing night:

Truckloads of food, blankets, warm clothes, water jugs, etc. are being hauled north to help. 

We are not geographically close but people have the 4-wheel drive vehicles and know-how to hazard wintertime mountain conditions. Lord have mercy.
Brown Buffalo Calf Woman: She believed the time had come for people to stand up and protect the water.

It's snowing here, fine powder beloved of the ski valleys. Am just back from town and driving home, could not see the mountains for snow cloud way down into the valleys, like dense engulfing fog.

I've brought in more armloads of firewood to the sunroom stack as first chore on reaching home. Arctic cold conditions are headed this way.

Bless the do-ers, the trail-blazers. Standing Rock casts the whining of this country in a bleak light, but might mentor real change.
And there is so much good-heartedness round about. Unreported, at that!

Despite a haunting and gloomy sky... red beeswax candles in the Advent wreath... blazing fire in the woodstove... am sending warm greetings from a Christmas-card setting.

Merry Christmas and Feast of Light to us all in the dark of the year, across the miles, kilometers and seas.

  Storyteller at Christmas: