Monday, September 28, 2009

It truly is elegant

This is one of the most well written novels I've read in a very long time. It may be that I don't read enough novels... but I don't think so. Nope, this is just one of those books that does the magickal onion pealing thing with your senses, your heart and your mind so artfully that you want to just melt into the pages, absorbing it's sweet poetry.

I first heard an interview with Muriel Barbery, the author of The Elegance of the Hedgehog on NPR about a month ago. So when I saw it at Borders, I decided to pick it up. I began enjoying it from the very first page. I planned to continue reading it at Borders while Harley is at school or cheese out and get it at the library, but now that Muriel Barbery has earned my respect and my awe... whether I can afford it or not, she's earned my money too dammit! (Ok, my husband's money, but still)~ Do yourself a favor, give yourself a treat spend the fifteen bucks and meet the Hedgehog. She is exquisite... and yes, elegant.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Am I really crazy? It’s all terribly confusing.”

These are photographs taken of Carl Jung's infamous "Red Book". Contained in it's pages are 16 years of CGJ's journeys through his own unconscious mind, meeting his soul, (a short fat professor!), walking in the land of the dead and more... This has to be a masterpiece, whether or not you are a fan... It is 100 years old and there is nothing else in the world like it. Sixteen years of documenting the unconscious mind. Just being able to access it at will and induce hallucinations to me, is phenomenal... but to think that this man not only did those things, but recorded his adventures.... that is discipline way beyond my feeble ability to comprehend. I just have to love the Swiss.

This quote was found in a self-published book written by one of Jung's former clients, in which she recalls his advice for processing what went on in the deeper and sometimes frightening parts of her mind....

“I should advise you to put it all down as beautifully as you can — in some beautifully bound book,” Jung instructed. “It will seem as if you were making the visions banal — but then you need to do that — then you are freed from the power of them. . . . Then when these things are in some precious book you can go to the book & turn over the pages & for you it will be your church — your cathedral — the silent places of your spirit where you will find renewal. If anyone tells you that it is morbid or neurotic and you listen to them — then you will lose your soul — for in that book is your soul.”

My guess is that it may take generations of study, if ever to get any answers from it... but it will teach volumes none the less. The word is it is going to be published soon. I can hardly wait!

The above quote was taken from a recent NY Times article. To read the full story, click: The Holy Grail of the Unconscious

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lyme, the silent taker of life, hope, money and so much more...

It's curious to me, the sustained interest in imaginary vampires, when we have real ones right here among us reeking all kinds of havoc. There are the emotional vampires, which most of us have run into, as they are not in short supply. You know, the ones ... after you spend a half an hour with them you feel like someone has sucked all your energy, and you're left feeling exhausted and slightly depressed? Yea, you know the ones. But there are other more literal vampires among us. And they are tiny, not as easily noticed. Like the imaginary ones, they are stealthy and sneaky. They are rarely seen, and they not only take your blood, they change your entire life.

If it were just blood, I'd gladly sacrifice gallons of my blood to the tick Gods and give them the nourishment they crave. If only it would ensure a fair trade agreement, my blood for their nourishment, but oh no... It's not like sacrificing a chicken for a good crop next year. Not even close.For many, much more than their blood is sucked... Every aspect of their life is: money, time, energy, health. relationships, hope and faith. This is what you get in return for nourishing these bastards. I'm talking about the Deer Tick. Not very sexy, is she? Her actual size is about the size of a flea... sometimes smaller.

Deer ticks are the most known carriers of Lyme disease bacteria, however, this and other similar bacteria have been found in many other species of tick as well. Also, because of these other harmful bacteria that are thought to be carried by ALL ticks, if you get bitten, you should keep the tick (if possible) and go to a LYME LITERATE PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY. I cannot stress this enough. You may want to try your regular physician, but don't. Chances are your GP follows the guidelines set by the IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America) and these guidelines can kill you.

The raging debate over diagnosis and treatment protocols is very very ugly. It involves the ISDA, insurance companies (surprise surprise) and the ignorance/compliance within medical community. I won't get into all that is going on because A) it is too much B) it will overwhelm you and C) It will likely make me sound like an insane and angry elf. It is akin to trying to tell the staff at at an insane asylum that "really, I'm NOT crazy!" What I will do is provide a couple of links so that you can investigate this yourself:
The Lyme Community
Politics of Lyme (This is what I wish I had written! It's beautiful)

This should be enough to get you started on the road to understanding how convoluted this whole issue has become. To make matters even more confusing, Lyme really should be diagnosed by a Lyme Literate physician because the testing alone, even the good ones are not always enough. It is diagnosed by the use of testing AND more importantly symptoms. Many people who go to their doctors with undiagnosed Lyme because they are having cognitive problems, aches and pains, joint pain, headaches, etc... are given the usual battery of tests and told there is nothing wrong with them. And if they keep coming in for either the same problems or others that should arise, many times they are told they should seek psychiatric treatment because there is nothing physically wrong with them. That is what a girl from Orlando was told who was having FULL ON seizures and could NOT walk or talk. She just "needs some attention"... sigh. She was one of the feature threads in the new expose documentary Under Our Skin ~EVERYBODY NEEDS to see this movie. If not the movie, then at the very least this clip/link (above).

The doctors in this movie are real. One of them helped me develop my own Lyme treatment plan through his sharing of information, Advanced Topics in Lyme Disease. He was railroaded into early retirement because he just couldn't take the constant heat. Another of the doctors I've had personal experience with is Dr. Jones. He is a beautiful, generous and loving soul. He is the foremost Lyme Pediatrician in the country, and possibly the world. You would never know it from his demeanor or how he runs his practice. The reason we'd called Dr Jones was because I had just been diagnosed with Lyme and was still nursing my son. I was scared to death that it could be passed to through the milk. We explained to Dr. Jones that we could not afford to fly out to Connecticut for an appointment, so he agreed to have phone consults with us. He basically guided us through the process of what our options would be if our son tested positive, and what to look for symptomatically since he was still just an infant. He also answered ALL of our questions, but mostly, he calmed our nerves and gave us reassurance that there are people out there treating this correctly. A little side note... I had been off my anti depressant meds for quite some time at this point, so to say that I was big fat mess over this was an understatement. I basically freaked on the poor man, and still , he treated us with nothing but the utmost patience, care, humor and respect. He understood and was THERE for us, and we'd never even met the guy! He has been in legal conflict for over 4 years now due to some woman's asshole ex husband who did not want to pay for his share of his own children's treatment bills...

What is so fucked up about this, is not only that these brilliant caring doctors are being railroaded for helping people and bucking the system, but also the thousands of people (and especially CHILDREN) who had been suffering and dying before having been treated by these men, are just S.O.L. They are just fucked. I know how hard it was for these families to find these courageous men in the first place, and now they are having to start the hunt to keep their kids or themselves alive all over again because of greed ... It is more than shameful. We are going to have to invent a new adjective for the people and institutions behind this kind of evil folks.

If you know anyone with a strange or rare neurological disease or someone who does not have an "age appropriate" condition please send them to a Lyme Literate physician. By not having an age appropriate condition, I mean a child or young adult with rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson's, ALS (Lou Garrik's disease), Chronic fatigue, Fibromyalgia to name just a few. If you cannot afford to travel to a Lyme literate physician, then at least get the proper testing kit and bring it to your doctor's office or a lab in your area. All it takes is getting the blood drawn. If you go that route, the tricky part is getting the results read properly. If you are going to a doctor who is not Lyme literate, he/she may not have the proper training and experience to decipher the test results accurately. However, you may be able to send your results to someone who is an expert. I'm not sure, but it may be possible to fax your results to a Lyme doctors office or even a lab to possibly get the results translated for you. (Again, I'm not sure about this, but it may be worth a try. Since it is not a diagnosis or medical opinion, just an expert reading of the results, you may find someone who will agree to read it for you.) This is the way you have to start thinking if you even suspect you have Lyme... creatively.

Other links for credible Lyme information:
Lyme Info
Lyme Bytes (this is the a testing group)
CT Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease Association, Inc.
Lyme Disease Network

I am going to be posting more about my own personal experience with Lyme disease. You will be amazed at how typical yet scary and frustrating it is. I'm trying to do my part now to raise awareness because had I not run into people who were doing the same, I don't know where I'd be.. or my family for that matter. I was incredibly lucky and we still spent and continue to spend a fortune on doctors and supplements... If not for good friends and good strangers, who are now friends... I may have very well been dead instead of writing this post. Thank you to the Hand family, thank you to Mary Moon, Lisa Doyle-Torrey, Sandi Lanford, and my medical practitioners who shall remain nameless here for obvious reasons. Thanks to you all for your caring, wisdom and diligence. I am still here and my son still has his mother and I am in pretty good health right now.

Thank you is not enough, thank you and eternal blessings.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009


It's enough to keep you up all night spinning your wheels.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What do you see in the magick mirror ball?

Spirituality and Health... An intriguing magazine with a corny name. The name reflects two subjects I have great interest in, but one of my goals in life is to find a word to replace "spirituality". I do not like it. To quote a friend, it's just too "pop psych" sounding for me. I found myself perusing the Sept/Oct. edition of this mag and I found several intriguing and well written articles. The article that really fired me up was on the subject of the Mirror Neuron System or MNS. (Just call me the happy punster!)

I tried to upload a NOVA video which gives the short version of what it is and how it was discovered, but could not figure out how to make it happen. So, here is the link for those of you who are curious: Mirror Neurons, on Nova~PBS

I could try to explain this in my own words, but I'd rather quote Wikipedia:

A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another.[1] Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting. Such neurons have been directly observed in primates, and are believed to occur in humans and other species including birds. In humans, brain activity consistent with that of mirror neurons has been found in the premotor cortex and the inferior parietal cortex.

Some scientists consider mirror neurons one of the most important recent discoveries in neuroscience. Among them is V.S. Ramachandran, who believes they might be very important in imitation and language acquisition.[2] However, despite the popularity of this field, to date no widely accepted neural or computational models have been put forward to describe how mirror neuron activity supports cognitive functions such as imitation.[3]

I find this absolutely incredible!!! It could explain so much about so many things, it makes the head spin! Of course it is being researched with regard to autism, but the possibilities of the influence of this portion of the brain and it's function (or lack thereof) are staggering. Think of the potential... I mean, just being able to understand and actually reach populations that up till now just had to suffer... It's simply mind blowing~ Then there are our own personal challenges and patterns to reconsider. (Maybe we're not "losers at love" or "lazy" or "insert label") Maybe we are merely mirroring unhealthy people... or maybe our mirror mechanism is malfunctioning? More importantly, we can relearn through watching and visualizing and meditating... we can perhaps learn to reprogram or strengthen this part of our brains with practice! Why not?!! I realize that sections of our society have known in some way that the brain has this capacity and how to manipulate it. Some for good, others for profit. (The porn industry has obviously known about this for some time now... but then so have earth based religions just to name a few) BUT... now that there is scientific PROOF...a section of the brain that has been isolated, studied, deduced and identified as being responsible for this skill/gift it will eventually be more accepted by the mainstream... and that is exciting!

The (please pardon the word) spiritual implications are immense as well. The Buddhists have been saying for centuries, and without the aid of fancy equipment, that this life is just an illusion. The more I live and learn, the more I believe this to be true. When I read about how the human eye works and how color is perceived I was absolutely convinced. Seeing is believing my ass! What we see is actually turned upside down and the colors we see are really the lack of that particular pigment being reflected! So what are we REALLY seeing? What would it look like without filters? What the hell is REALLY going on here? I'm not sure anyone can really answer those questions, but I'm sure it has to do with mirrors...however, if we go on the assumption that empathy and connection can be learned and cultivated, I don't think much else matters. Because if that can be achieved for everyone, then we can end war, hatred, greed and suffering. Because if we all have the capacity to feel empathy, when we feel it, there is no more separateness. Then we would all feel the reality that to hurt another is to hurt ourselves, and who wants that? I mean, this could even put an end to involuntary masochism!

To think... all this time, we were taught that the root of evil is money. While there is truth in that, it is only part of the picture. In order for something to be evil, would imply it has power. By itself money does not. We assign it power, all of us collectively. Which means that desire for money, greed, is the real culprit. But while greed may well be evil, that evil is sprung from a deeper well. The well of our perceived separateness. ~The shutting off of our empathy is the root of all that is evil. It is the well from which every other evil is born.

The good news is, if enough of us cultivate our empathic tendencies as a species, we will be unable to knowingly do harm. Or at least less able. I like the sound of that. No, wait...


Thursday, September 3, 2009

If it's good enough for Grandma...

This laminated holy card portrays Jesus with the sheep on the front and a prayer on the back, The Act of Contrition. The cost is 60 cents. There are several versions of this prayer, but I am only familiar with one of them. I am no longer Catholic. I am just me. I believe in a hybrid of Earth type traditions/practices now, but I still love this prayer. It reminds me of my Grandma, and when I say it, it feels right.

Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended thee,
And I detest all my sins because of thy just punishment
But most of all because they've offended thee my God,
Who art all good and deserving of all my love
And I resolve, with the help of thy grace, to sin no more
And to avoid the near occasions of sin

I memorized it when I was 11 or so. Not because I wanted to, but because I was attending Sunday School and church and it was required learning. The reason I was going to Sunday School was for Grandma. She was worried because all my sibs had made their communions and confirmations, etc.. and "why should I be the black sheep?" She was clearly worried not about what color sheep I was, but that my soul would be tarnished and that I may get stuck in purgatory... or worse... God forbid. Our women learned over generations of marrying Italian men that in order to get what you want or need, you had better not tip your hand too soon. I never actually heard my Grandma say she was afraid I'd go to hell, but I didn't have to.

I merely followed her lead. I took this genetic knowledge and made it work for me. For instance, knowing that I didn't believe pretty much anything I was learning about Catholicism, I naturally felt like a hypocrite going through the motions of a believer. At the same time, that Grandma bell couldn't be un-rung... So, to help myself get through it with some shred of self respect while still honoring my grandmother, I prayed to myself. When I recited a prayer, this one in particular, I was saying it not to Jesus, God or the Holy Mother Mary... per se, I was mostly praying to myself, to the highest part of my consciousness. The part that knows when I do wrong. The part that feels badly betrayed by my lapse of consciousness "in the moment" of wrongness, and knows I can do better, really wants to do better and be better. The part that knows all, feels all and is connected to all. The part that knows ultimately, when I act out and/or hurt others, I am also hurting that part of myself, and therefore the rest of me. That is something I can believe in.

This one is for you Ms Moon!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Things that make me say WTF?!!

I've been reading a lot of posts today that are inquiry oriented, which is odd. Odd, because I have been mulling this one around my noggin for days. Maybe the collective unconscious at work?

Anyway, this photo of Captain Jack Sparrow has nothing whatever to do with the content of this post except that, well, he does look confused, no? There were many cool images which came up under the heading: "confusion", but why would I pass up an opportunity to use a picture of Mr. Stud Buzzard himself? Whatever the answer to that is, was not good enough, so here you go. Your welcome. :-)

List of WTF items:

1- Well, this is more of a "Where" TF, rather than "What" TF kind of thing, but it could easily be either I guess. I'd like to know, where on earth Lady Lemon is... Does anyone know? I realize one is not supposed to get too attached to our cyber friends, because they can disappear and what can you do, right? But sue me, I love this woman. Last we all knew she was off to NY for a wedding... did she vanish? Is she lost in NY? Has some terrible fate befallen her? She does not respond to emails.... sigh* I hope you are alright Ms Lemon and just busy as a bee. Your minions miss you.

2- When did people start ignoring sirens?? Do they NOT know what to do? Do they refuse to do what they are supposed to till they are shamed by that loud "Hey dumb ass, move or I'll run your ass over" bull horn? Do they NOT hear it? Are they too inconvenienced or in a hurry to "get there"? Are they on the phone? Texting? Stupid? Or is it because they are totally self involved? Or because they have taken Driver's Ed out of the schools? Whatever is going on here, it's pissing me the fucking hell off! When that siren is sounding, someone's life may damn well be on the line and seconds count. Get off the fucking phone and pull the hell over already!

3- Why do people send sick children to school? Does everyone think that the rules somehow don't apply to them? I mean, Harley is in a program that could not possibly support a working mom. It's only in the mornings, so it's not like..."Well, my kid has a cold, but I can't miss work for that" kind of a thing. I kept Harley home last Friday because his allergies kicked up and he was feeling puny. Also because he sounded sick, with runny nose and coughing. I wasn't positive it was allergies, so he spent the day at home till I was sure. ALSO because we all got this notice about how we aren't to send sick children to school because of all the crazy flu strains going around, and etc... So, I bring Harley back to school on Monday and the first thing I see upon entering his class room. (I am totally serious here) This kid turns around and there is the largest stickiest nastiest looking greenie about to slide from his upper lip into his mouth any minute. I swear this thing was the size of a June bug. I've never seen a larger booger in my entire life! I'm 46, I seen me some boogies. I seemed to be the only one noticing it, so I grabbed some tissues and unfortunately 2 sheets was not quite enough. I got said booger juice on my hands, despite my best effort. That's what I get for using 2 sheets of tissue on a 4 sheet job I guess. The point is I should not have HAD to wipe this kids boogs. His MOTHER should have! He has an infection of some kind and needs to be AWAY from others till it passes.

4-Why do people still fall for the same old scare tactics and BS from politicians? Why do conservatives strike me as bullies on the playground? Only out for themselves, and unashamed to admit it? And to make it ten times worse, they've "claimed" Jesus Christ, and turned him into their bitch. Still, they somehow get away with it... I mean it's talked about some, but not honestly. Everyone is afraid to upset the Christian religious sensibilities, and yet, so many who claim to be Christian seem to not get that there are many ways to live and love and appreciate the higher forces that be... What are we all afraid of?

5- When did questioning authority become unpatriotic? Forget it, I know the answer after all.

6- What the hell is the difference between National Security and Homeland Security? Is that just an Orwellian phrase made up by the Bush admin, proving to us that Big bro is really here? I've noticed a lot more news people using the phrase National Security lately... at least on NPR they do... weird. I still hear HLS, don't get me wrong...I'm just sayin.

7- What is the deal with texting? I think it may come in handy in certain situations, but seems like more of a pain in the ass, expensive way to communicate. Am I missing something?

8-What is the matter with being judgmental? Seriously. If we weren't, we'd still be swinging from trees. Why does EVERYONE seem to miss this? The word they are using is incorrect in my world. What I believe they mean is: "condemning" Why are you so judgemental? Well, because I have a damn brain, and survival instinct... That's why!

9- Can you believe this started out as a happy little post? I think hormones are at play... or at war, one.

10-When will the rain stop. It's been raining non-stop and gray since, well. I can't really remember, but it seems like a really long time.

Despite my list turned rant. I hope you all have a really truly groovy day, and that clarity is your friend... I think this is the weirdest post to date for me.