Monday, December 13, 2010

Love One Another, A Christmas Meditation

The gospel of Christ can be told in seven words: Love God, Love Others, Love Your Self. If we love God, we will love the self. If we love the self, we will love others. But how do we love God?

We love God by loving Good. (God is Good.) By loving Truth. By loving Beauty. By loving Love. (God is Love.)

How do we love ourselves? By loving the goodness in us. By cultivating the truth, beauty, love, and light in us.

When we love ourselves we will naturally love the goodness, truth, beauty, love, light, and worth in others.

We learn by practice. Practice loving something small. A cat, a dog, a flower, a child. It is easy to love things that are lovable and beautiful.

We are lovable and beautiful.

Have a lovely and meaningful Christmas.
Peace and love, Angel-Star

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reaching For The Light

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty..." (Keats).

I bought some little pots of herbs and put them in my kitchen, where they promptly began to die. (I have wanted an herb garden for some time, though I have never done well keeping plants alive.) I kept watering them, but they got sicker and sicker. I realized they were not getting enough light.

The chives were a goner, but I sat the basil and the parsley outside on the porch. The parsley turned yellow. The basil became brown sticks. It was too late. Then I left on a trip.

When I returned, the basil, miraculously, had one green stem surviving. And then this one green stem got leaves. It now bends itself outward, almost horizontal, reaching for the light.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oprah and The Talk - Are There Angels?

The day after her amazing Streisand tribute, Oprah featured "John of God," the man who has been healing people for fifty-some years in Brazil.

Dr. Jeff Rediger, ( who went to observe John of God at work, came away from his encounter radically changed. He said he now realizes our lives, and our selves, matter more than we can ever imagine. That the human alive on earth contains more dignity and purpose than we ever believed possible. What a beautiful reminder. I too believe this. But I usually forget.

Dr. Rediger also said we may feel alone, but we are not. We are surrounded by beings, always.

The following day, On "The Talk" (a new talk show), the subject was guardian angels, and whether they exist. I found it intriguing, even amazing, that these shows had such spiritual themes. Is it because we are approaching Hanukkah and Christmas? Is it a sign of the troubled times?

I believe in angels. Do you? Have you seen one? Been helped by one?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Winter Writer Blues and Streisand on Oprah

The latest person to view my novel ( a publicist I met by phone, serendipitously) gave it thumbs up. Granted, I heard this second hand through her cousin, my unofficial agent, my novel's champion! (No actual agent, yet.) So should I follow his advice to self publish? Should I make an e-book?

I am confused, tired, bemused, annoyed, perhaps depressed. I have an urge to burn all my old diaries.

In other, better news, Oprah pays tribute to the great Barbra Streisand today. In a previous Oprah interview, Streisand revealed she forgot the words once and did not perform publicly again for twenty-seven years . I was shocked, and oddly comforted. Maybe there is yet hope for my twelve year old unfinished first novel. And the fifty-odd old songs of mine hiding in a folder. And the current, four years in process, novel? Maybe in time these hidden talents will see the light of day.

I keep thinking too much time has passed. During those twenty-seven years I wonder if Streisand obsessed over not performing like I obsess over not publishing.

Eventually though, she stood on a stage again and let her voice rise up.

How do we find the courage, the heart, to keep putting our voices out there?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Oprah always asks, What's one thing you know for sure?

What I know, as said once before, is that "No one can tell you your fingerprints are made wrong."
But what I meant was - You are unique in all of time. No one will ever have your same voice-print, fingerprint, DNA, brainwave patterns, or heart.

When you make a work of art, or a poem, it has never been seen before. It is something new under the sun.

No one can say you, or your art, is made wrong. (If they do, here is a handy retort: Up Yours. Feel free to use it often as may be necessary.)

So, what is one thing YOU know for sure?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Paradise Lost (again)

(I visited Taos last week. In Taos, the mountain speaks.
It tells us where we have been and where we are now.
It enlightens us. We have only to listen...)


In the beginning LOVE
created the heavens and earth

LOVE created light
LOVE created
everything that moves

and LOVE said,
let us make children
in the image of LOVE

so LOVE made a woman
and LOVE made a man

and LOVE told them
to love the earth
and to make more children
in the image of LOVE

LOVE also said
do not choose knowledge
over love
or you will lose paradise


(and so it was, and so it is...)

Star St. Claire
1o/25/2010 Taos, NM

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Writing as an Art Form

Walk to the park and stand under a tree. The wind will come. When the sound of the wind in the leaves obscures the whine of traffic on the freeway, you will know bliss.

When we write, we distill to essence what we have received from nature, from experience, the sweetest and most bitter times of our lives.

When our writing takes the reader to that place where the sound of words obscures the noise of society and worry, they will know bliss.

In this way is our writing a sacred practice and an art.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Be Still And Know Good

A small meditation:

Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know
I am Good

If Good
Speaks in a still, small voice
and we are created in the image of good,

we too must have a still, small voice
a wise soul
that, when we are still,
will speak to us and tell us what to do...

Is this the conscience, intuition, self?
How do you hear it and what does it say?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Poem for Autumn Equinox

The Last Time
(for Shelley)

The last time I walked over the bridge
a Tibetan prayer flag had broken
free of its mooring
and drifted
into the gutter

I lifted it and tied it to the rail
and when I raised my head a hummingbird
fifty feet above the canyon hovered
inches from my face

Today a huge bird of prey
waits in a distant tree
across the bay a fighter plane
disappears before the sound
of war can reach me

The bird unclasps the branch
and dives
body lit by sun
black- shadowed wings
a span of greatness

I pray it will
and will it to
come closer
so I can name it
falcon, eagle, condor, hawk
as with so many things
I pray and will
it only flies further from me

(Lately I don't know
who or what I am
may /be
be /cause
I am trying too hard to be
who I thought I was)

Ten years from now I will
be saying
that I would give the world to have
what I have

--Star St.Claire, 2010, San Diego

Monday, September 20, 2010

Be On Oprah

My Nashville Singer Girl sent me a link to be on Oprah. I filled it out thinking only of being invited to be in the audience. It asked how an episode of Oprah might have changed your life.

I told the same story to them (the producers) as I've told here (see Blog entries 1-5.)

Then after I hit send I realized it was a link to appear as a guest. Ayeee!
(Not that she will call, she won't. And even so, I don't want to tell it on TV.)
But what if???

Oprah has a habit of asking people, "What do you know for sure?"
What I know is:

Oprah always says, "Dream your biggest dream."
My biggest dream, currently, is:
(the song is called "Believe in Me.")

(Strangely, I did not know I had this dream until I imagined being on Oprah, and what if she asked me about my biggest dream...)

What is your biggest dream?

Monday, September 13, 2010

In Memoriam (Taos Mountain Speaks)

Taos Mountain Speaks

Come to me, Remember
in Silence there is Power
In Stillness there is Peace
You are made of Earth and Stars
You are Free

Face the Sky
Trust the Seasons
Endure Suffering, Keep Giving
Be the Truth
You are Nature

Let Healing Rivers flow from You
Let the Sunset Light your face
Whisper in the Children's Dreams
May your Strength Increase
May your Beauty Increase

When the Wind blows, Sing
When the Storm comes, Stand

-----star saint claire, taos nm, 2003

In Memoriam
Robert Quintana
age 29

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Self Preservation

One day last spring I walked to Inspiration point to be alone with the birds and trees and view. A man was there. I thought about self defense.

I thought about the part of me that stayed in my marriage. I have always castigated and denigrated her.

Suddenly she rose up. She would kill anyone who tried to hurt me. It was a lie that kept me in my marriage, she said. It was the ego. It was not her, the self I had long blamed.

I left and walked across the bridge as if it were a pilgrimage.

When I arrived home, this self, this strong survivor, wrote down these words:

Extreme self-preservation involves making those choices which most closely align life with the heart's trajectory.

This is the truth I am trying to live in now.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Late Bloomers

The rows of Jacaranda trees have mostly lost their blooms. But one stood out today, in the mist, fully fragrant, covered in flowers, alone. A late bloomer.

Sometimes the ones you never notice are the ones who finally burst forth beautiful.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Vacation Driven Life

Once we lived in nature, in a huge abundant playground. Then we lived on farms. Then in cities, in apartments and offices. Now we live inside little boxes, in computers and cell phones. We live inside small boxes and wonder why we don't feel free.

There was a best selling book called The Purpose Driven Life. I'd like to write one called The Vacation Driven Life.

On vacation, we look around, we explore, we relax and wander, forget our worries, and everything seems beautiful, wonderful, new. Because we notice. We are paying attention.

A certain mystic said if we align our bodies with the seasons, we are wise. Summer begins today. The season of vacation. While it's true that inside this box I have found true friends of the heart, I'm considering taking a holiday from posting and email in order to live in the larger world.

I will return in season, if the season so declares.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ordinary Thoughts While Walking

The longer I live the more I realize (make real) my purpose. My purpose is the apprehension of beauty. No more, no less. The rhythm of nature is so slow, so in tune with the beat of the heart, and the sound of breath. I know this when I am walking in the park. I feel the breath of Eden, sustaining. I slow down.

The rhythm of nature is not out of time with the heart of God in full measure, but it is slow compared to the way that mankind has chosen to measure time...the speed at which society goes. True peace is measured in breath. In this moment, there is stillness.

To apprehend means to understand with the senses, to become conscious of, to grasp. When I apprehend beauty, especially through nature, I feel complete.

Thomas Merton said there is a wisdom in becoming content to live ordinary lives. Who wants that? I thought. But as long as we are grasping for some future thing we think will make our life complete, there is disorder and disharmony. Maybe I am, years after I read it, beginning to grasp what he meant.

There is something ordinary, and also extraordinary about a walk in the park.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Meaning of Life

About once a year, one or more of my closest friends will get a call from me in which I say, "I have discovered the meaning of LIFE!" Last year it was simply, "ENJOY LIFE."


My lovely insights are so true and liberating, and last about a day. Until the inner critic, false self, ego, bad angel, whatever you wish to call it, takes over again in my head to eclipse what is in my heart. Sigh.

The knowledge of evil is what stole Eden from us. The more that we can keep our minds in stillness, and innocence, and the more we focus on the beauty of the earth, rather than the pain of the world, the more we will allow life to bring us enjoyment, happiness and peace.

It's simple. But it's not easy. Could it be that happiness is a spiritual discipline?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Perpetual Motion

Wind chimes got me thinking. When I was growing up there was a lot of talk about people trying to invent perpetual motion machines. Maybe they have, now. Or maybe it is impossible, like trying to stop this oil spill. (The wisdom of men is foolishness to God.)

Maybe only God can create perpetual motion. He breathes the universe out...when will he breathe it back in?

It must be very amusing, or at least interesting, to watch all the drama unfolding on these worlds that he created. Is he detached, or intimately involved? (I used to think he watched us like an experiment, like ants.)

One holy book says he sees every sparrow that falls to the ground. Another holy book says there is an angel for every blade of grass.

There is a concept called something like Electro-magnetic-resonance. It says once two particles of matter have interacted, they will continue to be drawn together, perpetually.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Thing You Most Long For

Another Morning Poem

the thing you most long for
and the thing you most fear
the same, God

she is a bird
winging above the autostrade
a road in Italy that curves
into heaven

the smell of mint
recalls childhood
shadows on a wall
grandmother is visiting
already a ghost

she brings pennies
she lands on your ear like a moth
leaving dust

Monday, May 24, 2010


I have a badly injured thumb - right hand - and feel limited, anxious. My ego is very uncomfortable with this scenario. However, it is what is. It is what is present.

Whatever presents is The Present...

I listened to my soul and she the bottom of my fears is:
the fear of not being enough.
the fear of not having enough.

In our being, we are enough.
In our being we have enough.

What we don't have doesn't matter.

This insight scares my ego, who likes to have something to do.
("Then what do I do now?" the ego cries.)

And the soul says
Let your self be...
Let life be.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Truth Is

The truth is I never did know the real reason for this journal. It began in a dream, as all my writing does. (The dreamtime is the time before time. The dreamtime provides maps of the soul's landscape.)

Then I told a little of my story, faltering and hesitant - wishing to hide rather than be exposed. (My totem animal is the rabbit - we love to remain hidden and safe in our warm leafy burrows. But we also love the twilight and magic time when mystical fairies are about.)

And now all I wish is to emerge into clear light saying, to all you other writers in the darkness of the dreamtime: Come out! (The world is waiting for you to live and breathe again. To tell us how your soul was saved and what sustains you.)

The truth is you are a testimony to life, an anthem, a poem, a song.
Without you, your unique fingerprint and voice, we can't go on.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Third Poem of Morning (or Mourning)

the devil is a familiar chap
his voice like silk
Christ's voice is wood
and both can warm you
set afire
(siren song, jazz on the radio)

a small boy walks bundled
in a coat toward the well in morning
a fictional town
spun by Wendell Berry
(part nostalgia, part poetry)
if nostalgia is the devil
is poetry the Christ?

when the small boy is me
or a past self
the news comes on, a woman
poised to jump from a bridge
since one-thirty this morning
(seven hours suspended
between her death, our life)

water shines below
yet comes to her the smell of wood-smoke
both ephermeral, both vital
(which to embrace?)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fever in Childhood (A Poem)

before the fall
i was someplace else
i remember eating starlight
the communion-wafer moon
burning through the center of me
i was microscopic

what i would not give
to feel grandmother's cool hand
the place is earth
the year is 1963
"you are not old enough to remember"
before she was born,
I am

know this, in fever, the leaves of
morning stirring
birdsong - a quilt of white ferns
a quiet burn
the night gone like invisible silk

her hand is pierced with moon
that's why so cool and white
an owl in the tree now
the day gone, like slow honey

"save your breath," they said
but she is my child again
in another time

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Dear Grandmother (A Tribute)

My maternal grandmother - the anniversary of her death - just passed. Now it's Mother's Day and gray, rainy. A bit sad. She died when I was twenty. I had not paid too much attention to her illness, and I did not attend her funeral. It was in another state and I had a newborn. I regret so much...on her "Saint's Day" I wrote:

Dear Grandmother,

You meant so much to everyone. I wish you could have comprehended how much you were loved. I'm sorry I took you for granted and just expected you to always "be there." I'm sorry that I had no language for grief, and could not feel and could not share.

I think this was your day - the day you left. I'm sorry that you made it through the winter only to die in the spring. I'm glad you left when the earth is most beautiful, though.

Thank you for the painting lessons. I will light a candle today in front of the small painting I have of yours. It is of tiny houses - maybe the edge of an Irish village - with a tree and a fence...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Heavenly Market

I have been in a funk, as explained in my sister blog

So yesterday I thought I could clean my way out of it, but needed supplies. I felt tired of my same old neighborhood markets, and vaguely remembered there was a tiny charming market, a bit further afield. I wandered a bit haphazardly for several blocks until I recalled the way and came around the corner and through a courtyard. On the sign it said Heavenly Market.

Since I was feeling badly, I put a package of tiny chocolate donuts in my bag first off - those kind with the lovely waxy frosting. Then I found bleach, cleaning rags, trash bags. When I sat it on the counter, the check- out lady said, "Cleaning day, huh?"

"You know how you run out of cleaning supplies all at once and then need donuts?" I replied. She laughed. "You're funny," she said. She told me she didn't take debit cards, only cash. Honestly, I felt like crying. To walk to my bank was several more blocks, and I've been unutterably exhausted lately. She said I could have the stuff and come back and pay the next day. When I thanked her for her kindness, she said, "I'm blessed. I've been here in this store twenty five years."

Who would have thought in this day and age a complete stranger would trust a first time shopper enough to run a tab? I walked home and proceeded to eat the entire package of tiny donuts with a glass of milk and felt immensely cheered. Thank Goodness for the Heavenly Market and the angel named Helen.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Communication Community

Are we? I mean really. Communicating?

I dreamed a feeding tube was stuck in my chest. An old friend of mine has been sick. I so wanted to heal her. To feed her something from my heart.

My friend K (in response to my last post) said the part of us that creates is already healed,
and communicates with the part in others that likewise needs no already whole.

I put a poem for you fellow travelers to the side of this post. Thank you for being part of my communication community. (Community means "with unity")

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Awakened

When I dream you, I dream you whole

I dream that out of wholeness, you create.

We have been artists attempting to heal by making art...

Is it possible instead to be a whole person creating art (or merely living life) rather than putting on art the burden to heal us?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Every Day We Awaken

The heart the heart the heart.

What does the heart wish to say?
All we have is today.
This moment and this breath.

If you woke with breath you woke in grace.
Every day we awaken.
That is something mysterious and grand.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Famous Last Words

What is it you wish to say? What is the heart of the matter? (The blog 27 days asks what you would write on a sick bag on a plane going down...)

Today I petted a cat, watched koi fish swim in a front yard fountain, saw a hummingbird and a swarm of bees, some ants. A hawk and a hillside terraced with wildflowers. We can learn everything we need to know about how to live from animals, creatures, nature. I know you know that. But maybe, like me, have forgotten.

Another blog stresses that writers must know their audience - whom are they writing to? As I walked, thinking of my post today, this question stymied me.

Then I realized.

I am writing to one person. And that person is the one who will most take my words to heart. I am writing to your heart.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Ego, and Oprah

Hoped to be feeling more hope as moon started waxing...but then Mercury went retrograde! Damn.

And my idea about doing unto others as one would do unto Oprah is proving beyond my capabilities! I have not the energy to treat everyone as royalty. (She is royalty here in U.S.)

(I did get my manuscript to my friend as promised, finally.)

I so wanted to inspire. But I feel about as qualified to teach others as a fish. A flopping, gasping fish. And what is up with these earthquakes and volcanoes? Is it nature, the world soul, the collective unconscious, or the collective ego that is so disturbing the minds of every sensitive soul I know...?

I laid in the grass in Balboa Park yesterday, listening to wind in leaves and birdsong, staring up into the leaf shaped light. It calmed me for a moment.

How bout the rest of you? Are you feeling frantic or serene?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Knotty (yet graceful) Problem

Yesterday I was meditating about how to solve a situation...what is my part, and what is God's part? Maybe its like a knot in a rope. We can pull frantically on the ends, all the while praying/worrying/forcing, and the knot just gets tighter.

Or we can do nothing, let go, and ask God to untangle it. Barring a miracle, the knot stays tied.

Or we can do our best with our patient hands and wise hearts, and God's given breath and strength, to unravel the twists, and work them loose, gently. THEN we can let go, after we have done our part.

If we do our best, Grace does the rest.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Do Unto Others as You Would Do Unto Oprah

The other day I hung up from a call and realized I had been rather flippant to a friend of mine. There had been, in the guise of teasing, just a tiny hint of condescension in my voice. So slight she did not seem to notice...but I did.

Then I thought, if Oprah called me I would never speak to her that way!

A few days later another friend asked how the book was coming. I had once promised him a copy. Not only had I failed to deliver, I had completely forgotten the promise! I bet if Oprah requested my manuscript, I'd see to it immediately.

So I've been thinking...what if we treated people with more respect and value, including ourselves?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

War and Peace

This Sunday we went to view the traveling wall from the Vietnam war memorial. I wondered what I would feel if I knew anyone of the 58,000 named on the black wall. I decided to choose an unknown man to honor. At the base of the fifth panel sat a bouquet of yellow daisies, a black and white photo of a mother and child, and a picture of a young man in uniform, Jesus F. Ortega.

As I glanced up the panel to try and find his name among five hundred others, I immediately saw one name clearly, Jesus F. Ortega. A small miracle.

Yesterday, I found a site called "flashy fiction" that gives writing prompts...this is a poem I wrote in response to a quote that contained the phrase "strange territory." (I guess war was still on my mind...)

A Photo Caption:
We went strangely into territory smoothed by other's blood,
though we did not know it at the time,
we were making our own flesh dance,
we were photographing our own bones.

In the desert, in the dry rain,
we lit the fuse of Hiroshima on our knees.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Not Just About Oprah

If you have read from the beginning you know this blog began with a dream about Oprah and how she saved my life.

If you came along recently, you will see that it is, of course, the Spirit, the soul, nature, intuition and dreams, art and poems, that save my life.

So this blog is really not so much about Oprah, as it is about saving graces, the things that come into our lives, remind of us ourselves, and return us to our own souls.

When I was five I peeked over a garden wall outside a green velvet yard in Seattle and saw a beautiful Asian Lady walking up the sidewalk as if floating. She was wearing a silk kimono which flowed around like colored water and had painted sticks in her upswept hair. Her beauty arrested me, and her image imprinted on my heart.

When I was ten I had a beautiful teacher who loved my poems. When I was eleven I wrote my first song. When I was seventeen I started painting. These things have come along over and over, and made me want to live...

Think about your saving graces. What are they?

Monday, April 12, 2010

What is Truth?

To try too hard to grasp the truth and pin it down
is to squeeze the life out of it.
Let truth be carried on the breath,
as butterflies are carried on the wind,
gently and beautiful...

What is the most truthful, the most beautiful,
the most inspirational thing I can write?

Only what has already been said...
Love Good, love one another, love your self.

Write what comes as naturally as breath,
and leave the alchemy to God...

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Earthquake On Easter

Earthquake yesterday - 7.2 - in Mexico. We felt it in San Diego, for forty seconds - scary - stood in closet - enough time to think about top floor falling - to be afraid - to pray.

An earthquake in Seattle when I was four. It shows up in my writing over and over. (Ray Bradbury says writer's should mine their loves, hates, fears and obsessions from childhood.) The Seattle earthquake becomes a metaphor in my novel - the child's world shaking apart...

(An earthquake on Easter, God rising, the stone rolling away.)

Well it shook me - literally and emotionally. When we are confronted with shaking, with things falling down, we wonder what the hell we are doing with the time we have left.

And to tell the truth, I never know if what I'm doing is the most valuable use of my time, or the best contribution I could be making. For instance, this. Should I not be working on my novel? On publishing? I got a rejection slip yesterday. It depressed me.

What I like about writing in this way is that I know people will see it. It's not just in a drawer waiting for some publishing god or angelic agent to rescue it and deem it worthy. I am a part of a community of writers. So yes, this is what I wish to be doing with the time I have left - writing, communicating, connecting. Thanks for being in my world.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Want It

I have been trying to eliminate the word "want" from my vocabulary, because to want is to be in want...

At the same time it is dishonest not to admit what we desire in our hearts and lives...

Fierce self-protection involves going for those choices that bring life into alignment with the heart's trajectory.

Monday, March 29, 2010

What Writers Do

We get up. We sit at a desk or table, and we write. We drink tea or coffee or gin and write. We listen to jazz and write. We smoke a cigarette and write.

While we are writing we do not think critically. Or worry. Or judge, or hate, or fear, or doubt, or preach. We write.

If we do any of these latter things while writing, we are not writing. The ego is writing. If the ego is writing, it's not true writing. It may appeal to other's egos, but not to another's soul.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Writers are givers - we hope to influence, uplift, encourage, entertain, beautify. Yet we must also learn to receive.

We assume we know what the words we use mean, but often words have fuller, deeper meanings than we suspect. I wished to understand more about receiving, so I looked up the word receive in my trusty, thick, vintage Webster's Encyclopedia of Dictionaries.

The scientific meaning of receive is "a vessel in which spirits are distilled to essence." Fantastic, right?

As writers we are receiving the spirit, distilling it to essence, and passing it on. When our readers receive our words, they are doing much the same. It is beautiful to contemplate.

So, is the spirit the muse? Is nature the muse? Where does inspiration (meaning, literally, breath) come from?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Diary of a Soul

While walking down Second Avenue a fragment of a dream passed through me.

I was sitting at an outdoor cafe at night - some warm place - maybe tropical or European - and I had truly been there. The blueberries and pink flowers bloomed along my path in the daytime in San Diego and a song played on my mind. Light speared the palms.

It was like entering Theta state and reverie, just the sense of myself, instantaneous, somewhere else - a parallel life. I have never believed in reincarnation to this point. But it may have been the future, I don't know.

My fingers smelled of rosemary - I had pinched some and kept walking. I would start a perfume store, I thought, and this pungency would underlie each scent, because people love beauty. Yet we are called to different things. Some to make perfumes, and some to dream.

It could be that in our dreams we are alive in other places, other times.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


It is the season of Lent in the church calendar. The season of self examination and repentance. Someone once told me we feel it whether we're Catholic or not. Maybe that explains why I've been feeling so much regret lately, and an urge to change my ways.

One thing I realized is that by praying for what I want, I actually create "more want."

Another is that I spend way to much time trying to figure life out (and asking God to help me figure it out) instead of celebrating life (as the Spirit wishes.)

I get trapped in my mind and it's such a small space.

The other day when one of my friends was feeling bad I told her to take a walk and to look as far as she could. (The far view restores the soul.)

From the newly reopened bridge in my neighborhood I can see almost to Mexico. I just have to find the right angle to get the highest view.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

More Seeds Begin to Bloom

Speaking to Taos Pottery Princess just now on phone about timing. Why do good things take so long to happen to good people? But the Spirit whispers, Be happy now. (Then, when we get the stuff we want, we'll be even happier...)

My dream of following O'keeffe and living in New Mexico didn't happen for fourteen years after the writing down of the vision. The seeds of dreams bloomed in their own time. I had things I had to do first.

I had to go back to Colorado. I went back to school. One way I healed my life was to take two years of Psychology classes.

(We worked on finding the disowned selves, learned to remain calm, and explored dream objects and landscapes with teachers who had been at Menninger in the bio-feedback heyday - a very rich education.)

During that time a friend talked me into taking a creative writing class with her. Poetry came back into my life before painting did. I would not have thought it, or dreamed it that way, but the seeds were underground, and hidden.

Poetry saved my life. It saved my creative spirit, informed my intellect, lifted me somewhere I had never been, or knew existed. Pablo Neruda was the angel, and my teacher his messenger.

Now there was an open window, a quince tree outside in bloom, an attic room looking out into stars and moonlit blossoms. All I needed was a pen and a notebook and the muse. The muse returned to me much as my soul had. Maybe they were the same being.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Oprah is Everywhere

Today Oprah had on Diane Sawyer and they briefly discussed Chelsea King, the girl I wrote about a few days ago, who was found murdered near my friend's house. (The perpetrator's parents live in her neighborhood. Scary)

I went on Oprah's site to post a comment and start a discussion, to try and spread my idea that self-defense should be taught to girls in PE classes at school.

So far, no one has responded and it occurs to me that the chances of anyone finding your words, even on Oprah's site, are slim to none. I still don't know what happened to all our blogs that disappeared. (God forbid Google should ever decide to off us all in one fell swoop!)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Woman Walking Her God

Grief shuts us down, makes us unable, ironically, to receive comfort.(Irony is a tool of the bad angel - paradox a tool of the good.)

Anyway, on the way to the newly opened First Avenue Bridge I passed a garden. Raindrops on the roses leaves. Diamonds, if viewed in the right light.

("The beauty of the world/ breaks through/ my brokenness...")

I walked on to the bridge. A million diamonds multiplying in the trees, the shadow of a woman walking her dog (a woman walking her God?) and from halfway across, the whole of San Diego Bay. Then further, at the end, green and gold trees with small glimpses of water between the leaves.

The whole vista is beautiful, as is the tiny glimpse. Perspective is everything.

Sometimes the Spirit gives a garden - sometimes a bridge.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Self Defense

Friday I took the train up north along the coast. The ocean, and some hillsides that look like Africa - lion colored grass and red dirt - native plants - like San Diego looked before people came.

My college friend picked me up in Oceanside, then we drove inland, toward blue mountains. Near her new house, we passed a park surrounded by hiking trails and shallow waterways. She told me a teenage girl had disappeared from there the day before.

The next day her daughter had a birthday party. I have known her since she was born. She is now sixteen. The theme was "I don't wanna to grow up." There was a pink castle jumping gym, a play dough station, dress up clothes, a taco bar. About twenty kids came. All so polite and sweet and gorgeous.

I couldn't help but think of the family of the missing girl. And the earthquake in Chile. All the suffering going on while we were having fun. A poignant contrast, which somehow, to me, made the time sweeter.

Yesterday police found the body of the girl. A repeat sex offender is in custody. My heart hammers whenever I think about it. I have no idea what to do besides pray. Normally, I avoid the news, as it steals my equalibrium. But this is so close to home.

I am not an activist, but an artist. By choice.

Yet what I wish is that all girls in every P.E. class from first grade on would be taught self defense. These perpetrators should not be on the streets, but they are. Men in power, obviously, aren't going to fix this for us. Women and girls are going to have to get strong on their own.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Seeds of Dreams

When the soul comes back she has seeds in her hands. They are the forgotten dreams. But not everything blooms at once. It is slow. The picture has to fill in. I didn't start painting again for a few years. Or writing poems. I did write songs.

One of my songs said "Like an angel flying close to the ground/ reaching out to scatter/ stars like seeds falling from her hands..."

I had to do some things. I was on my own for the first time. I had my own apartment. I was raising my son, alone. I was the sole breadwinner.

I spent the long hot summer in Nebraska, working for my aunt, renting from my uncle. They too helped save me. (Note that Heaven provided this plan as soon as I made the decision to leave my marriage.)

Even though I was free I sometimes felt the deepest loneliness imaginable. I felt as if I had become Loneliness.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Following O'Keeffe

My Grandmother decided to take up painting at 70. She signed up for a watercolor workshop. On the second day, she wasn't feeling well, so she sent me. I was seventeen. I had always drawn, but never painted. I learned to paint snow - cabins, fences, and trees in the snow. I learned to paint shadows.

Later, I took another class, in the evening, at the firehouse. (This was during the one year we lived in Kansas, in the same small town as the grandmother and aunts - wonderful, vibrant, funny, sisters. It would have been good for me had I not been completely preoccupied by teenage angst.)

In the second class, I painted with acrylics, copying a photo in a travel magazine - the gold sun sinking into brackish marshland beneath a yellow sky.

Aunt Alice asked if she could hang it in her gallery. I said sure. A few days later she handed me forty bucks. A man had begged her to sell it and she did. I had not given her permission to sell it. It was my first betrayal in the art world. But I didn't say anything. I had already learned it was useless to try to communicate with adults.

So over the years I would paint these small scenes, but only if someone had a birthday, only as gifts. And by the time I envisioned my new life, of following O'Keeffe to New Mexico I wasn't painting at all.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The O'Keeffe Effect

Beauty is like medicine to the heart. Art is a flower planted in the soul.

When my soul came back into my self, I began keeping a journal again. In it, I wrote a vision for my life.

Right before I left Colorado, I'd read an article about the legendary artist, Georgia O'Keeffe. It captured my imagination - her solitary loveliness, her fierce aesthetic, her independence.

She inspired my vision. Someday I would live in an adobe house in New Mexico. And I would be a painter.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Jade Buddha Sun Miracle

My friend Annie went to see the giant jade Buddha that is traveling the world. During the chants, the sun started to pulse - it turned green in the center and pink and yellow rays came out. She showed me a video on her phone. It is amazing.

There are videos on youtube of other sun miracles, in fact, I am the one who originally turned her on to them. Long ago some friends of mine visited Medjugorjie and came home with stories about the sun - that they could look straight at it - that it pulsed and spun.

Their enthusiasm for the Virgin Mary's appearances there are what started me painting Mary, angels, and saints.

And now we've had a miracle of the sun right here in San Diego.

Annie will soon be publishing her blog ("Sarah Vision") and I hope she puts in the video. I will link to it so all of you can see it too!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Starlight Deprivation

Yesterday my new friend K told me that a certain psychologist diagnoses patients with "starlight deprivation." He advises they go out away from the city and look at the stars. It makes sense that if we were originally placed in a garden, out under the sky, we are meant to have the starlight and the moonlight on our skin, as well as sunlight.

She also said that she dreamed of Oprah two days before she knew about my project. Hmm.

Then last night my New Jersey Girl wrote that I must be channeling my inner Oprah.

Then my Taos Painter friend wrote (in response to my writing that joy is a yellow door) that she had once painted a yellow door.

Maybe we are all weaving in and out of one another's stories and dreams, even if we have never met. Maybe there are NO degrees of separation. Maybe we are all writing on one another's skin.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Key to Happiness

On my walk today to Inspiration Point (my own name for a spot overlooking Maple Canyon), I had an inspiration. Or the Spirit whispered in my ear.

"The key to finding happiness is to allow your self to be happy."

Sometimes we have to give ourselves permission to be happy. It's that simple, yet that profound.

On my walk back, at the corner of the beautiful community garden on Juniper Street, an older gentleman leaned down to pick something up from the walk. I guessed he had found a lucky penny.

He said, "Did you lose a key?" and showed me the shiny silver key he'd found. I said no, but it looks important. He laid it on a mailbox. It seemed symbolic. Maybe we have all lost a key. And maybe the above saying can help us open a door again.

* * *

A long time ago I wrote:
Joy is a little room with a door - Your name is written on that door.

(I always see the door as yellow...what color is your door?)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Halleluia, Halleluia

Last night the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, K D Lang's haunting version of Leonard Cohen's most beautiful song filling the dome and falling all around.

Wednesday on Oprah the four tenors from Canada, the same song, and Celine Dion surprising them, joining the chorus, Halleluia, Halleluia...

A song that gets in my head and I don't mind having it there, for days on end. It seems that the Spirit will always get her word out, no matter what we humans are doing, good and bad and sad upon the earth.

She will insist on Halleluia.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Synchronicity is Ethereal

I keep hearing and seeing the word "ether" everywhere, now. I looked it up, because I knew it didn't have to mean emptiness or nothingness. And I found that ether is the invisible celestial medium thought by physicists to transmit waves of light...

Wow, that sounds like God.

I've gone on the Living Oprah site a few times now. I read some entries from the beginning, middle, and end. I think she is brave and honest. Her name is Robyn, I saw, and she is a Capricorn. The main character in the novel I just completed is named Robin, and I am a Capricorn. In one of her entries, she mentioned the word ether.

I love synchronicities. They make me feel happy, as if the angels really are watching over us and our paths in life.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Ether has been on my mind lately. After I went on Oprah's site the other night and saw my blog, The Bottle Tree, had disappeared, I thought it was a message - a clear indication I should not start this project. I wrote in my journal - "It was a sign - don't waste time on ethereal things..." In my dream Oprah did not give me her blessing, and now my blog had been kicked off her site. I decided not to proceed.

But a few mornings later I walked up to my neighborhood coffee shop to see the barista who is a friend of mine, a young, very cool, girl drummer who had once posed for one of my portraits. She introduced me to a guy, Sam.

We all got to talking about businesses we'd love to start, as there are a lot of empty storefronts in our area of downtown. I said I would love to start a gallery, but only if I absolutely KNEW it would be successful.

Sam said, "Yeah, like if Oprah supported it!"

I figured that was a message from the angels, as I had never even met him and there is no way he could know about my Oprah obsession. I began this blog the next day.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Swinging On A Star

"Would you like to swing on a star/ carry moonbeams home in a jar..."

Same song, different day, on my mind. The reason being, perhaps, this "Oprah Saved My Life" idea that keeps going around in my head. Monday night, flipping through channels, saw an actual show called "The Oprah Effect." It featured the girl, among others, who wrote the blog "Living Oprah." Now she can write "How To Handle Sudden Success!"

I am still unsure about this idea. The artist Agnes Martin said, "I try never to have ideas - they are almost always wrong." Besides, who can do all their ideas? Some creative people may have upwards of ten a day. Maybe twenty. Or one-hundred. I'll bet if one were to count one's ideas in a day it would be a lot.

Where the song and the idea meet is the concept of "hitching your wagon to a star." I do not know the difference, at times, between ideas of the ego and inspirations of the soul. It seems false, now that so many others have done it, to hitch onto Oprah's star.

Or maybe what is false is I abandoned that path. I used to be a devotee of Oprah. I used to bore my friends with her advice. I always felt a little silly that I took Oprah so seriously. And I always felt I shouldn't talk about her so much - that it might put people off.

Yet it also occurs to me I had a daydream/vision once of visiting God (who somehow looked liked Oprah, or I was visiting God with Oprah, or just visiting Oprah - it was a long time ago), and asking for the magic formula to step out of the desert and into the river - out of black and white into color.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Riding Shotgun With Oprah

I dreamed that I was telling someone I had once met Oprah in the doorway coming out of the Governor's ball in New Mexico. She was wearing a beautiful coat with a fur collar. (Fake fur, I am sure!) When she hugged me, my face brushed against her collar. She told me to go into the lobby and write something down. It was brief, but if I ever met her again, I would mention our meeting.

The next thing I knew, I was riding in a car with Oprah. We were talking. She was driving. (As if!) We were driving the wrong way, downhill, on an empty one-way street. But she remained unflappable and looked for a place to turn around.

I was telling her my idea for a blog (and book) called "Oprah saved my life." I mentioned (looking for her blessing) that I already had a blog on her site. She said, "Lots of people do." I told her it was an episode of her show, in 1988, that gave me the courage and permission to radically alter the course of my life.

I mused that there are many ways to save a life - mentally, emotionally, not just physically, but yes - even physically, as maybe a woman would watch her show and get one of the medical tests she recommended. Oprah said, very matter-of-factly, "I have probably saved a lot of lives."

We then turned north, the right way, uphill.

(In waking life I see north as a direction of abundance. Onward and upward, follow the north star, and so on.)