Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for June, 2008

Collective Soul at 2008 Taos Solar Music Festival
Collective Bliss, Collective Soul at the Tenth Annual Taos Solar Music Festival, June 28, 2008, photos © 2008 by Jim. All rights reserved.



Here are my souvenirs from Taos — numbness in my right ear and sore calves. Plus, that good kind of exhaustion you get from a night of dancing outdoors, near the stage, to the beat of your favorite band.

We spent the weekend at the Tenth Annual Taos Solar Music Festival. It’s a three-day, multi-band, two-stage event held in Kit Carson Park. Dee and Em’s first concert, not counting local gigs where no one would even think of lighting up a joint. No, Taos caused me pause — Do I even mention what that smell is?


Ed Roland from Collective SoulI didn’t. Instead, I danced to the fabulous band who in the mid-1990s gave us “December,” the song I swear I wanted to record so I could play it on continuous loop during labor.

Soulful. That’s a good way to describe lead singer Ed Gould’s voice. He hails from Stockbridge, GA, son of a Southern Baptist minister. And I couldn’t believe I finally got to hear him in person. Twelve years I’ve been carrying around those lyrics, buying up CDs, and belting tunes in my car.






Define bliss: (outside-of-ten-years-if-they’re-lucky) middle-aged singers reaming strings and throwing microphone stands, wearing tight jeans and blowing kisses to their (assuming-we’re-all-destined-to-be-centenarian) middle-aged fans.

I danced my socks off, shook like I was possessed, rattled my arms in the air, whooped, hollered, whistled myself and everyone around me temporarily deaf, and caused my children to wonder, Is this what they mean when they say someone is speaking in tongues?

My one saving grace? I wasn’t wearing a leather halter top.



Sweet Nectar

It was only natural that Jim, the Hummingbird Whisperer, would be mesmerized two bands earlier by the liquid flute of native son Robert Mirabal, who hails from Taos Pueblo. A man with a message, Mirabal thanked us for bringing our children. Not me and Jim directly, but all of us Glad-Bag-for-raincoats parents and grandparents.

Kids need music. “They hold the future in their hands,” he said. I shivered, stared up at the sky and wondered if the rest of the bands would get rained out.

Then he sang a Circle Song and laughed away the wind, bringing us a still night.


Robert Mirabal   Robert Mirabal
Circle Song, Robert Mirabal at the Tenth Annual Taos Solar Music Festival, June 28, 2008, photos © 2008 by Jim. All rights reserved.



Neither Jim nor I (nor anyone in the audience) could keep our eyes off of Silvana Kane, the Peruvian-born singer of Canadian band Pacifika. This woman was pure beauty, inside and out.

“Qué linda las mujeres de Taos,” she cooed. “How beautiful the women of Taos are, dancing in their skirts.”

We chanted back: “Qué linda!”



 

    
Beautiful Spirit, Pacifika at the Tenth Annual Taos Solar Music Festival, June 28, 2008, photos © 2008 by Jim. All rights reserved.



Swimming Down Morada Lane

We stayed at Casa Benavides — the Mabel Dodge Luhan House was full — and what a delight! Homemade granola, yogurt, and fruit as first course at breakfast, along with coffee so strong that even half-and-half couldn’t tame it. Baked goods, French toast, waffles, an egg quiche smothered in red or green.

And another round of baked anything-you-crave from 3-6 pm. Afternoon tea, Taos-style.

From our patio we could hear the music almost as well as if we were at the concert, so we took many walks down Morada Lane, from the park to the inn and back again.

The girls rested, played cards, watched cable, ate lemon bars and pecan pie. Jim and I walked, rested, rocked, rested. Besides the bands mentioned here, we saw or heard Latino sounds, reggae, hip hop, and more.

If you asked my daughters what they loved the most, they might not mention the music. They might say, instead, that they liked shopping the best. Window shopping during our many rounds back and forth, but even better were the Fair Trade vendors at the festival. Tye-dye and sterling silver earrings and beads. Girls love beads.

So in between ice cream and burritos and roasted corn — festival food — not to mention tea, my daughters visited all the vendors many times. Each round, Dee and Em would return bearing bracelets or rings, bought with their own money. I helped Dee pick out her first two single earrings, which is to say, earrings worn without a partner. As in a third piercing, perhaps. Hmmm.



                



I loved being with my family doing something we all enjoyed, together and individually. Jim danced his Grateful-Dead-inspired shuffle and it was as if our pre-children lives suddenly merged with our post-children lives. Why hadn’t we thought of this before?

My favorite moment? Me in the mosh pit (well, Taos-style) swaying and shaking with friends and strangers; Jim and the girls a safe distance, watching and doing bopping of their own.



        
Folk Mandala, yarn laid into intricate pattern, seen at the Tenth Annual Taos Solar Music Festival, June 28, 2008, photo © 2008 by Jim. All rights reserved.



“I love Collective Soul, Mom,” Dee tells me as we make our way back to our room.

“You dance like this, Mom,” Em giggles and wiggles her little body as she navigates the sidewalk, throwing her arms this way and that.

I can tell the girls see me anew. For once I’m not just Mom. I’m one with the music, one night in Taos.

That and shin splints.


Read Full Post »

Ode To A Crab, mandala created from a blank circle, June 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Ode To A Crab, mandala created from a blank circle, June 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.







 

ocean moondancers
sidewinding, hiding in shells
crabs are people, too











  Hello, Cancer!, detail of Ode To A Crab mandala created from a blank circle, June 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.      Hello, Cancer!, detail of Ode To A Crab mandala created from a blank circle, June 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Hello, Cancer!, detail of Ode To A Crab mandala created from a blank circle, oil pastels, black Sharpie, Crayola markers, June 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, June 29th, 2008

-related to posts: haiku (one-a-day), Target — May Mandalas, inspired by post, Good-Bye Gemini

Read Full Post »

scratch paper haiku, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Summer Solstice 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

scratch paper haiku, written with the shaft of a feather,
Minneapolis, Minnesota, Summer Solstice 2008, all photos © 2008
by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.





               Fire Ring & Birch, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Summer Solstice 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

ONE        1 frog + 1 toad =
                2 reams of good luck

Saw two frogs last weekend. One was this size (a toad). And one looked like this (a frog). The tree frog hopped out of the pond at Summer Solstice and spent some time with us on dry land. I now know the difference between a frog and a toad.

 

 

               At The Table Of Light, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Summer Solstice 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

TWO       2 insurance adjusters + 1 friendly couple + 1 smiling contractor =
               1 new roof

The toad appeared right as our contractor and two insurance adjusters (a husband and wife team from Kansas) arrived on the scene to inspect the roof. I saw that as a good omen. The toad’s skin looked like the bark of a tree. I thought it was a moth and brushed it off the deck table. It jumped. That’s when I knew it wasn’t a moth. I slid the slick, 4-color binder with the roof estimate under her belly and moved her down under the garden day lilies. She had bright orange skin where the leg meets the body, the same color as the day lilies.

 

 

 Grounded, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Summer Solstice 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

THREE    12 hours + 1 summer storm + 1 green tree frog =
               13 moons + 100 rocks + 1 gargantuan chorus

The second frog was a single green tree frog. She strolled proudly by the Solstice fire ring near a tumbled pile of birch, calling back and forth to her friends in the pond. One frog sang out. A few thousand returned the favor. This continued long into the night.

 

 

 Solstice Skies, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Summer Solstice 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

FOUR      1 summer solstice here =
                1 winter solstice there

Self-explanatory. We are one world.

 

 

 Curls Of Fire, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Summer Solstice 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

FIVE       1 fireside story from 2 shaman lips =
               4 Tibetan nagas

Nagas are snake spirits, cobras. They live in or near water — deities of the primal ocean and of mountain springs; also spirits of earth and the realm beneath it — dragons of lakes, ponds, and oceans. They protect the Buddha and like to come up through the feet. Buddha took his sword and cut a valley into 4 parts = 4 Great Nagas. Nagas eat frogs.

 

 

 Drumming, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Summer Solstice 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved

SIX          1 drumbeat in the rain =
                10 drums in dry heat

It poured in the middle of Solstice. We stood under a cluster of cedars, watched sheets of rain crest over the pond, and kept drumming. The skin of a hand-stretched drum changes tone with the humidity. When the air is saturated with water, one beat can resonate deeply and hang in the air. Close to the fire again, the skin pulls hard at the wood frame. The mallet bounces off hide in short bursts of sound.

 

 

 Tools Of The Trade, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Summer Solstice 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

SEVEN     shedding 1 old skin =
                much harder than you think

 

 

 Goddess Takes A Leap (Of Faith), Minneapolis, Minnesota, Summer Solstice 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

EIGHT    4 marshmallows + a 2-pronged stick =
               3 marshmallows splat on the ground + 1 mean S’more

 

Hershey’s S’mores (Indoors or Outdoors)

4 graham crackers, broken into halves
2 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars (1.55 oz), broken into halves
4 marshmallows

Outdoors: Place chocolate bar half on graham cracker half. Toast marshmallow over grill or campfire (supervise kids if they’re doing this); place over chocolate. Top with second graham cracker half. Gently press together. (Recipe from the cardboard on the inside of a Hershey bar)

Indoors: Place graham cracker half on paper towel; top with chocolate bar half and marshmallow. Microwave at Medium (50%) in 10 second intervals until marshmallow puffs. Immediately top with remaining graham cracker half. Gently press together. Repeat, serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

 

 

               Drawing Down The Moon, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Summer Solstice 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

NINE      1 alligator + 1 panther =
               get along just fine ;)

 

 

               Solstice Goddess, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Summer Solstice 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

TEN        25,000 humans + stones aged at 3000 years B.C. + 1 Salisbury Plain =
               Summer Solstice at Stonehenge 

Some people’s Solstices are way wilder than mine! Stonehenge, on the Salisbury Plain about 90 miles southwest of London, was built over three phases between 3,000 B.C. and 1,600 B.C.  Cremated remains and burials continued for at least 500 years. It is estimated that at least 240 people were buried at Stonehenge. More than 750,000 people visit every year.

 

 

Incubate Magic, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Summer Solstice 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.                  Tree Frame, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Summer Solstice 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.                Feather & Wand, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Summer Solstice 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 

 BONUS:  Incubate magic

 

scratch paper haiku

train whistle marshes
summer solstice grabs the light
and turns it to dark

 

 

 

-posted on red Ravine, Friday, June 27th, 2008

Read Full Post »

By Linda Weissinger Lupowitz

For Noah, breech at 37 weeks



Lifted Up, photo © 2002-2008 by Kim Donald. All rights reserved.
Lifted Up, photo © 2002-2008 by Kim Donald.
All rights reserved.



“This could feel a little cold,”
the ultrasound technician warns,
warming the electrodes—or something
more benign—to place upon my daughter’s
swelling belly, bringing life to the idea
of her yet unborn child, at twelve weeks
now revealed—

A nimble gymnast, flexing, leaping, kicking
in a dark internal sea…sound waves coursing
tides within the muscular gymnasium,
and There,

Upon the screen, a face appears—
the Face You Wore Before You Were Born.

Cold waves, heavier than light, unveil
the secret sac in which you float and dance:
a private glimpse through some impossible
mystery-technology—

Your face swims into view—an upturned nose
and certain gaze, before your Soul has met
its match in union with such princely flesh;
a clay-vessel bobbing briefly in a red river,
soon to be caught in the rushes and rescued
to our world, this side of deliverance.

“…I’m not saying what you see,” she says,
“but if it looks like a turtle, it’s a boy;
a girl looks like a hamburger…”


Tiny turtle, cozy in the confines of your high-
flying mama, here you find a steady balance
in the sky, pushing with your heels toward earth,

gripping toes and sturdy soles, locked knees and elbows,
navel-numbing with your bony head, competing for her
breath—riding the ups and downs face forward
with the gravity of your purpose.

At thirty-seven weeks, frankly Noah,
you are breech, stubbornly maintaining
your position, firmly planted in the face
of sheer adversity, despite threat of a cesarean
—scheduled now for Tuesday. Doctors
with their knives are sharpening
their plans to take you out.

Ana tells me of a birth-emergency, wherein
a paramedic reached within to check the cervix
of a laboring mother, when a tiny hand
reached down to grip his finger….


Turn, turn, little turtle, nudges your father,
his strong hands circling your home;
airplanes crash into buildings, cities fall,
people leap and bombs are dropping, dropping.

Leaves flee the trees in a Mississippi breeze,
you’ve borne tornado warnings, still you
hold this space.

Your distant grandfather penetrates his healing
message through the ethers, through the density
of matter, to meet you in that space we share,
born and unborn, on higher ground.
“He’ll turn,” he says with certainty.

Ana anticipates a simpler birth, more antiseptic,
less messy than this rush of unpredicted fury…
as suddenly, surprising her, on Saturday

You flip, breaking the womb-waters,
wedging head and shoulders in the pink canal,
diving your unheralded descent towards light,
or from it.





Mamababe, photo © 2002-2008 by Kim Donald.
Mamababe, photo © 2002-2008 by Kim Donald.
All rights reserved.




Birthing the Poem

Poetry is a birth process, conceived in love – a glimmer in the eye, a spark, a word that won’t let go lodges deep inside the mind, takes form, gathers strength.

The geometric nucleus, nurtured in silence, swells until it shows, until it is a little embarrassing. It can get out of control, morph into something you might be ashamed of.

Then you must labor to deliver pen to paper, and push the poem out. This transition is exquisite, private, no epidural needed. There may be tears. Waters have broken.

Look at it now, wrinkly and raw. Count the words and listen, arrange and rearrange. Deep breath, let it down, now swaddle and share a newborn with the world, perfect or not.

Like human progeny, rarely do live poems manifest intact from the Source. As I age, few will endure. I don’t know how many might still be left in me, from seeds long dormant.



Mom Asleep, photo © 2002-2008 by Linda Weissinger Lupowitz. All rights reserved.
Mom Asleep, photo © 2002-2008 by Linda
Weissinger Lupowitz. All rights reserved.



Noah Charles Strong was born soon after 9/11 – and he made us grandparents, a great blessing. Twenty-three years before, Ariana Faith made me a mother, and we had become a family.

Born in a tumble-down farmhouse on a back road in South Carolina, she emerged in full voice and power three days after Christmas 1977, caught by her father. We were caught by surprise at the impact such a small being had upon our world. The birthing kit was fifteen dollars, for two midwives attending a then-illegal home birth.

It cost many thousands of dollars for Noah’s arrival in Mississippi, and he pulled off a surprise as well. He was breech and supposed to be c-section, but changed his mind.

My view of technological intervention in birthing is dim, so I was relieved by the choice he made. Robert does distant healing work, and he was confident that Noah would turn, as he turned him across time and space.

The conceptual spark that started a fire in my soul was an ultrasound image, a little black- and-white glossy print of what was inside my pregnant daughter. I was privileged to see within the mystery, to witness the secret face of my unborn grandson.

This stunning vision persisted through post-partum gestation, until one day I sat on the pebbly beach of the Rio Grande, and wrote this poem on the back of a folded shopping list.

Like Noah, it came to light in one sudden rush. Then, as we got to know each other, the features became as familiar as the face of one you have known since before you were born.



Mom Asleep Gold, photo © 2002-2008 by Linda Weissinger Lupowitz. All rights reserved.  Mom Asleep Gold, photo © 2002-2008 by Linda Weissinger Lupowitz. All rights reserved.



The Zen Koan

The Monk Mayo asked this question of the Sixth Patriarch: “What is Zen?”

The Patriarch replied that, “when your mind is not dwelling on the dualism of good and evil, what is your original face before you were born?”

This question seems nonsensical, but this is only so when measured against the linear logical requirements of society. The question is intended to open the initiated mind to possibilities beyond the rational. It is also designed so as to waken the student to the possibility that spiritual answers require a different mode of thought.

Zen master Dogen had a saying that is appropriate in the present context. He said that in order to perceive reality we must “drop mind and body.” In other words, it is essential to drop all habits of thought and preconceptions in order to understand the truth.

The Koan forces the student to face this type of thinking. The answer to the question What is your original face before you were born? cannot be answered on the level of rational logic. It points towards the possibility of knowing or understanding without the constructs of reason and habitual response.

The question suggests we have to approach spiritual reality as if we had knowledge of things before we were taught the ways of thinking of this world; in other words, ” before we were born.”

In trying to answer the Koan, the student will come to a mental “precipice,” as it were, where all the methods and procedures of accepted thinking no longer function. The purpose of the Koan is to shove the student over this precipice into an area of experience that is completely new. This is the spiritual reality that the Zen master is attempting to guide the student towards.



Mom Asleep Gold, photo © 2002-2008 by Linda Weissinger Lupowitz. All rights reserved.  Mom Asleep Gold, photo © 2002-2008 by Linda Weissinger Lupowitz. All rights reserved.



Linda Weissinger Lupowitz was born in Philadelphia, moved way out west with Robert to New Mexico, home-birthed and homeschooled three children. She runs a chiropractic practice and a virtual staffing agency, Connect2Pro. A graduate of Smith College, she has been Associate Editor of Taos Magazine, Rio Grande, and Mothering Magazine. The online journal of poetry and photography, C. Little, No Less, was started in March 2003, as a plea for peace.

Read Full Post »

Wonder X 7, November 2007, Central Pennsylvania, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Wonder X 7, November 2007, somewhere in Central Pennsylvania, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.






 

Otto’s bread cutter
invention holds mystery
a slice of wonder








             Wonder, November 2007, Central Pennsylvania, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Wonder, November 2007, Central Pennsylvania, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Wonder, November 2007, Central Pennsylvania, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

                               

                                            



-posted on red Ravine, Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

-related to posts: haiku (one-a-day), White Bread Revival, WRITING TOPIC – BAND-AIDS® & OTHER 1920’s INVENTIONS

Read Full Post »



Baby Box Turtle and Spring Rabbit, critters in the Rio Grande Valley, photos © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.


 


Tortoise or Hare, which one are you?
Fifteen minutes, write.




Read Full Post »

I love Q-Tips, love the way they swab the entire ear. I come dangerously close to sticking them too far inside the ear canal, each time pushing the little stick and its cotton puff a tiny bit deeper.

I’ve never had a Q-Tip mishap, never had to be rushed to the emergency room to get the cotton out from inside my eardrum. But it’s like playing with fire, stretching to scratch that itch. I know if I go too far, the pain, magnified by the chambers of my waxy inner ear, will be crazy-making unbearable.

I’ve known people whose ears produced so much earwax they have to take monthly trips to the doctor’s office to get big chunks removed. I can imagine the relief they must feel, like being brought up after an ear-bending dive, or brought down from the milky heavens, ears popping their way to normalcy until finally, ah, stillness.

A co-worker once told me how he almost fainted from getting his earwax removed. He described a firehose-like contraption, jets of water so strong I imagined the wax being blown from inside one ear out the other. As he talked, flopped in his chair like a ragdoll, I pictured torture contraptions, the doctor a balding man with an eye monocle. I felt grateful that on a scale of zero to mucho waxo, I rated average.

Ears have always been part of our family lore. The big Dumbo floppy ears of Sandy. Narciso was said to have the biggest ears among Sandy’s brothers. All of them had stiff hairs growing out from the inside and blackheads on the backs of their ears.

Mom had Maniere’s Disease when I was a kid, and I can still recall the onset of an episode. How she’d panic, behind the wheel of the Caprice or in the check-out line at Safeway’s. I remember the two of us fleeing the store without our groceries, peeling off in the big blue Caprice down Griegos Road for home. Mom’s eyes wild, and me, meek and scared in the front seat. I knew once we ran through the front door she’d fling herself into the entryway bathroom and puke her guts into the green toilet. Later, after crawling down to the bathroom off her bedroom, she’d spend the rest of the day curled on the bathroom rug, calling for help — water, a wet cloth — while I crouched in my closet, crying.

Mom says the reason she got Maniere’s was because Grandma used to treat ear aches by having Robert pee into a cup and pouring the hot urine down the offending ear. Can you imagine? Mom told us later, when we were adults. Yeah, but isn’t pee antiseptic, I always said, trying to be helpful.

I never remember Q-Tips in the house as a kid. Mom used Bobby pins to clean her ears. I can still see her circling the pin inside her ear, round and round, as if she were a wind-up doll. She used the curved end of the Bobby pin, and she pushed hard, much harder than one would expect. She always mined plenty of wax, cleaned out the pin and put it in the drawer for next time.

I wonder if ear cleaning, like manners or a person’s voice, the color of eyes, gets passed on through DNA. I bet if I took a poll, I’d find that every one of my siblings loves the feel of a good ear cleaning with a sturdy Q-Tip. We might eschew Bobby pins; unlike Mom we’re willing to spend money on equipment made for the job. But I know we all probably inherited the kinds of ears that pop while flying and carry an almost constant, faint tinnitus.

 

-related to Topic post, WRITING TOPIC – BAND-AIDS® & OTHER 1920’s INVENTIONS

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,587 other followers