The World is my Sermon

The World is my Sermon.

Sandra knew she was “wierd”. She stood between the two trunks of one ascending oak tree and looked up into the spiraling branches becoming smaller and smaller and closer and closer to “heaven”; five fingers on one hand spreadeagled on  the bark of the trunk in front of her, the other hand resting on the trunk behind her.
i am tree consciousness, i am human,  all humans dead and in my head can see their five fingers splayed before their eyes seeing through mine; we are “god’s” five finger exercise; we live forever in the present awareness. We get this awareness when we are in this body; or disembodied, through the awareness of the living who are aware; or when our divine consciousness is embodied anew.
She took the comfort offered by this rational story of irrational ie spirit based awareness. The Consolations of Philosophy , she had never forgotten the title of the ancient manuscript by Boethius. The title alone was sufficient – reading it was more than enough.
Walking on, her arms rising and falling and creating shadows on the path, she recalled Mitch whose arms reached up to “heaven”, lifting his torso slightly, an expression of delight on his face as he exhaled for the very last time. You can enjoy this lovely day with me, Mitch, I’m so glad to have you here in my head.
“If thine eye be not single, pluck it out.’  the words came unbidden. What can that mean? Does it mean to see through the third eye?  that seems to be a rational description of an “irrational” ie immeasurable, or spirit experience. Does it mean I am one with all human thought when I think thoughts all humans could have thought, or see things all humans have seen, or feel emotions all humans feel? And as for being cast into the fires of hell if mine eye be not single – this world is hell, oh hell, for so many. Aleppo dies, people starve, there is no work for the poor who resort to stealing, so often they are non white. Oh hateful skin color that is associated with greed and wealth and defines others by its insistence on its purity. Dang there is a non singleness right there. The focus on duality, the privileging of one pole of a duality  – white over “black” , male over female, rich over poor, work over play, human over every other life form, oh yes we assuredly have created a hell here on earth.
The ecstasy she had felt earlier, evaporated in waves of helpless sorrow, her steps veered off the path into the trees. Adjusting her spine into the comfort of the trunk where it exactly supported her, and letting her hands move like spiders into a comfortable hold on the bark, she looked up into the branches.  Tears rolled down her face, her  heart hurt heavy in her chest. The tree communed,
A crooked smile began to play on Sandra’s lips. That word “without” :  a green hill without a city wall?  outside the city wall or lacking a city wall?  Without her ? outside of her or when she no longer existed?  The greater unity that lay behind all language was her bliss.


Yoga Class

The room had a  dark wooden floor, there was a Christmas cactus on the table in one corner of the room and a small round couch covered in leopard print in the other corner. Books loaded the shelves to either side of the fireplace which was concealed by art materials and two framed pictures – one hanging from the mantlepiece and one on the floor below it.  Across from the fireplace, a studio table filled a large portion of the room beyond a wide opening which could have had sliding doors but didn’t. In the other half of the twenties bungalow living room, through an arch that divided the two 15” spaces as is the style of these houses, some more built in bookshelves and drawers  lined the walls, and beside the round table with the Christmas Cactus, another doorway opened into a kitchen and beyond the kitchen to another small space with double doors leading to a deck and a garden. A breeze came in from the open front door and fans swirled overhead from the thirteen foot ceilings.

Savanah, a full bodied red head with curls like Annie Oakley, came in, laid her mat down in her usual place, and settled herself upon it. Marissa, slender with straight, short, full grey hair carefully took her position on her mat; the teacher having finished setting the tone of the ambient music, settled quietly into her space.

‘Sit straight and  feel the space between your vertebrae…… “ the teacher breathed audible ujayii breath, reminding the students to focus their breath awareness in the body.
“Lift your ribcage off your lungs”; this reminder made Savanah think of Indian sunworshippers pinning the skin of their chest to ropes leading up towards the heavens. It was a connection of physical to cosmic.
“Angel wings, scapulae, sink down towards the central spine, loosening the shoulders…”
“Be aware of energy flows up and down your spine, connecting earth to sky, sky to earth through you, the rainbow bridge.”

“I universe am.”
As they breathed, bringing their consciousness home to the moment and the body, Savanah recalled the interesting linguistic information the teacher had shared: in Japanese “I see the dog”,  is rendered, “I  dog seeing.” In English there is a separation of subject and an objectification of the subject’s experience. In Japanese the reciprocal and transactional nature of experience is expressed as mutual process, rather than agent and that acted upon. Dog and I are both seeing and seen.

As they stretched and moved, Savanah tried out this new way of seeing the world –
“I leg stretching” she thought to herself and felt a connection to the life in her body as herself, in a way that was new. It could be called coming home, she thought.

“I universe am”, she thought as they held the forward bend. “I universe am trump and dying children, babies being born, all people in this moment now. I am aware that I universe am.” She remembered that she was supposed to be being aware of her muscles and finding the edge – the boundary of comfort and discomfort. “ I forward bend am” , she thought, and smiled to herself feeling the process that had been experienced by so many bodies just like hers and not just like hers. Not only the same but also different.  Not only … but also…that was another verbiage the teacher had shared, and it was so helpful for resolving conflicts of the mind.

Paradox. Contradictory perceptions CAN co-exist, but only one can be observed at a time by any one observer.

“Savanah?” , Marissa’s voice broke her reverie. “Oh gosh” , Savanah thought, “ i have to try to observe my thoughts without getting swept away by them”. The teacher had moved on to the counter stretch, Savanah had completely missed the instruction.

It was a physical and intellectual pleasure to attend yoga class  with a teacher whose mind so answered the questions Savanah had hardly even formulated.
The Christmas cactus flowers glowed warmly in the soft light. Savanah breathed, stretched and flowed. Yoga class was good.


The bathwater is hot and shallow. The air is cold. her little butt and feet are warm in the water and steam arises around her. She can just see over the edge of the tub. She is alone. There are some towel rails and clothes hooks on the  cream wooden walls of the large and fairly empty bathroom at her grandparent’s farm and there is a toilet in the corner.

This delicious sensation of time alone, timeless time,  has stayed with her.
As third child of three under three, taking her time was not a usual experience.

Billy doesn’t want to HAVE to do ANYTHING.  Her whole life seems to have been mostly having to do things. Her friend cried the other day that her whole life seemed to be earning money at a horrible job to pay for her house. “i’m working for my house!” she wailed.

Billy had cleaned house for a 98 year old woman who was crotchety and irritable. This elder was determined not to be told what to do, and got  positively ratty when contradicted. This was to be avoided with much backtracking and apology and agreement that the elder was completely in charge of everything. The elder felt that her whole life had been working for others; in her retirement she had determined she would do ONLY what she wanted to do.

In the Cypress Swamp.

The tall Cypress trees arose above their buttressed trunks with knots from lost branches or dead remnants projecting like alien limbs, at the lower levels, and lightly leaved branches way up high. It was coming on winter and the Cypress were losing their leaves.  Shallow water the color of burnt umber flowed in a winding bed between the Cypress mounds and many many Cypress knees projected  everywhere around the base of the trees. The Cypress knees looked like people or bodies or hands – they had great personality and attitude. It seemed to Billy that they were spirits, that maybe we become a Cypress knee when we die, and get to express in wooden effigy our favorite moment of being human.  Billy thought of this and looked for a knee that might represent her. “But I want to be the TREE”, she realised.

She was not a performer because she had not believed in herself as such.
She was not a writer because she had not disciplined herself to write, in an organized manner.

She liked the expressions – an “artist manque”, or an “artist faute de mieux.” That was what she had become, an artist missing something, or an artist for lack of a better choice.   Choice – that was indeed her issue. She knew what she didn’t want – more of the same.  It was very hard to see what she did want, and a long long struggle to get it.

She called her life a quality drift. It was certainly  a fine looking life in many respects from the outside, but it certainly was a drift, adrift. It was past time for Billy to wake up.

And the best thing that is helping with this is a timer. A yellow plastic timer from the 60’s, with a white flowershaped face and black numbers, a black turn handle and a self winding mechanism that busily ticks off the hour or minutes before ringing loudly. Billy uses it to help her focus and get things done – an hour of this and an hour of that. She is prioritising those things she always wanted to do but never felt there was enough time to do.  She is waking up.

A Question of Justice

A Question of Justice.

His tears flowed, large liquid crystal drops from his five year old eyes. “But I didn’t do it” , he wailed.
“Just say sorry!” , she repeated in frustration. His little sister  wailed mournfully from where she had landed on the grass.
“But she pushed in!” , he insisted.
The father from next door growled ,
“that is not the correct way to treat your sister”;  his boy looked on with interest.
“Apologize or we’re going inside and that’s it for playtime”.

Apology was not forthcoming. Inside,  the weeping and wailing intensified from both children and the baby joined in. Eventually peace was restored and snacks were distributed. The boy  was able to give his side of the story, and the tears were dried.

Granny explained that even if it was wrong to push in, and even if his sister had made a  good job of  falling even tho she was not pushed, she was smaller, he was bigger, and sometimes apologizing is simply the easiest way to get things sorted, especially seeing he was bigger. Sometimes its easier to let a little thing go, in the interests of keeping the game going.

“ So it’s better to apologize” , he said thoughtfully later, after eating his peanut butter sandwich for a while in silence. “Mmm hmmm”  came the affirmation.

But is this the lesson to teach an impressionable mind – that it is politic to accept injustice? That standing up for a fair application of rules across the board is unwise?

I guess so.  And thus the process of adult-eration begins.


Billy was walking in the moonlight and looking up at the great beautiful bowl of the heavens, as dusk glowed its final warm red light at the horizon. Towards the lemon quarter shaped gumdrop moon, three lights moved speedily at a level suggesting civil aviation. Suddenly, as though having come in reach of a mirror, another set of three lights was moving towards the first, set on a collision course. The lights met, seemed to dance and one lot went out, then both sets reappeared a little further  away from the collision point and continued in both directions  and then disappeared in a way which was neither sudden nor gradual. It was uncanny.

Billy thought she should write about it, then she felt glum at the  non progress of any book or blog or even organization of what she had already written. Her mood became dejected and heavy. Her feet dragged and she walked with less enjoyment and a heavy weight of disappointed expectations.

She sought the reliable comfort of a tree and put her hands on its warm bark, asking it to take the entity from her – this bundle of defeatist conditioning which seemed impossible to permanently shake. After a while she walked on and stood again under the beautiful moon, and Moon’s indigo sky showing through silhouetted branches. She felt able to sense a different entity, as she stood, planted, feet wide apart and pulled her short hair into some sort of gathering for a queue at the base of her skull. She felt like a Chinaman with a pigtail and loose short trousers, her own pants were gaucho length. Loki. His name was in her head. The trickster in Norse mythology.  Lo Qi  in Chinese . Mixing Energy.
Lo Qi seemed to symbolize a state for Billy in which she was able to handle both Linear and non-Linear thought, paradox, web mind, and  still be able to communicate.

Her phone pinged with a  message about a friend’s elderly father dying. Billy texted the mutual friend who had sent the news –
“ I salute him in the sky, where in the Bardo, he watches the play,
’til all those he knew and all those who knew him, fade away.”
The bardo is a realm souls go through after death and before reincarnating, in the Tibetan attempt to explain Life and Death.
It consoled Billy to imagine the Bardo or Heaven, as in her head. So her parents could both “watch her from above” – to describe it imaginatively, or be found in her head, to express it prosaically. When she thought of one of her dead, she allowed herself to feel that they were happy to be remembered. She was sure they were only Love; They had done their very best.

Letter to Recipients of Silk Painting Gift Certificate

Elizabeth Mitchell Studio Silk Painting and Art Experiences

At ElizabethMitchellStudio – aka Inspiration Zone – participants are given freedom to direct their inquiry into their own self expression.

Inspiration Zone — Silk Painting. Silk can be obtained in lengths of 300 yards and widths of 36 -60 inches. Large Scale projects are possible. At Inspiration Zone the methods of Painting Silk without resist – Zuni Bear

d'apres Zuni bear

– or with resist – Stained Glass or Serti technique – Sunflower – are taught.

Nietsche's Sunflower 2.5

Inspiration Zone teaching covers the  process for using Fibre Reactive  Dyes that require mixing and steaming, and for using Dye Paints which are a finely milled acrylic and ready to go when dry.

Mounting and Framing silk is also taught; and the location of supplies.  Classes are designed to suit the participant’s needs and wishes.

Gift Certificates Available. One class $75, series of three classes $180. Location Tampa. Contact via info[at]


Cheers, LIB.  Creative Genius at Inspiration Zone.

writings; philosophical meanderings