Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Metaphor

Shadowman amid ruins, Andalucia, Spain
A metaphor of my life of the last few months might be a traveler who is on a journey with a close
partner and along the way, the partner decides to permanently go in a different direction alone. Suddenly the journeyman feels abandoned in a foreign land, and laments his separation. The landscape becomes tangled and even threatening. He is in a jungle of snares and brambles that cut his flesh and at night he is assailed by ghosts and mosquitos. He does not fear death, but is perplexed at being so anxious of his predicament. Meanwhile, his partner is completely vanished.

The difficulties usurp his appetite so that he does not eat. He wonders at his plight and how his life has changed so drastically. Occasionally sunlight filters through the dense coverage of brambles and vines, and he hears bird songs, but it all seems abstract and without meaning because he is ensnared by sorrow. He notices that his cuts heal, so his body is working . . .

He finds an abandoned house—the occupants left it long ago and it is in shambles. He takes shelter, but it reminds him of loss—the walls are crumbling, the roof caved in, furniture broken.
Abandoned home, Andalucia, Spain

The outer world has no charm. He turns inward to find inspiration when Spirit comes to take his hand and sit with him. He receives grace, and sees everything that has happened is really a gift to bring him to the sacred place of his true self that is beyond time and space. The terrain was all meant for him, the journey ordained to make him master of his destiny. He is shown his inner compass to his destination in the higher realm. The spirits rejoice that the soul, fearful of being lost without help, is knowing his true path and can call on higher power anytime. His troubles have led him to greater freedom and made him more powerful.

The wanderer sets out from the broken home, compass firmly in hand, and listening to spirit, feels jubilant and knows he is well with good fortune ahead. He begins receiving gifts from strangers . . . the terrain becomes unencumbered and beautiful. He finds palaces that are welcoming, and hosts who are happy to greet him. He has many tales to tell of life. A physician examines him thoroughly and announces that he is as fit as a man twenty years younger. 

The traveler is thankful and gives praise to the Creator and spirit for always being with him. He knows he would still be lost if not for the compass and power that comes from invisible guides and allies. He prays never to forget his true life and destiny in Spirit.
My living room. (The big painting sold recently.)
Gardens, Kashmir, India

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Suddenly Vanished

The most difficult experience in life is separation. At birth, it is the baby being forced apart from the mother, coming from the womb and the umbilical cord being cut. Then the weaning from the breast, and if it is too sudden there is much crying. Later, the first steps away from mother and father, going off to school for the first time. As the child grows, new bonds of affection form with friends, and eventually, another separation unfolds with the leaving of home and family to start a new life of independence.

All the while, special care is taken to maintain the all-important bond of spirit. This way, a certain safety and security is assured. Even when there is great distance, the bond of spirit is beyond time and space doing its work.
That bond depends on trust. If trust is broken, then the bond breaks. This is worse than physical separation.

When my teen-aged daughter died at the age of nineteen, it felt as though my best partner in life had suddenly vanished. As if we had been hiking together on a wondrous and difficult mountain, helping each other along, crying and laughing together, in awe and also some fear, holding to one another and absolutely bonded, when of a sudden, she vanished—as if from a ledge she leapt into thin air, leaving me alone on the mountainside . . . taking some of my joy with her. We both knew in advance the perils, and she spoke of her uncertainty that she would remain by my side; not that she did not want to, but the hand of fate had written to her. If she spoke of this, I would respond that we could overcome even the hand of fate. But the higher powers wanted her and my love could not keep her from going to a realm even more high and mighty than the feeble mountain I clung to. Now, I found myself on the same wonderful and difficult mountain, but without my dearest friend, and nothing looked the same.

And so here I am fifteen years later in the same situation. Through a physical, mental and
emotional bond, in marriage to Heidi of the Mountains, we had been exploring the heights of our existence, gaining perspective from our vantage on a mountainside, seeing the low places below us, and dreaming of higher places, when the journey became more strenuous and suddenly tiresome. She doubted, and began longing to go back down. I held her hand to convince her of the most beautiful places we had been and just ahead, more sublimity and our lofty goal within reach. We must be loyal, and patient, to give each other strength to get there. I worried she was abandoning me, reminded of my experience with my daughter. I pleaded, but she turned away . . . I could not go with her, and though heartbroken, kept to the mountain.

It has secrets and charms that speak to me every day—bringing healing. The angelic winds play all around, with lofty, wondrous songs, the air is clear and bright, the path strewn with wildflowers. I will travel on, and deal with my loneliness. I trust that the longer I stay on course, the stronger I will become and more wise. The mountain will offer up its joy to me because I do not leave it, but remain faithful.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Imagine Love

Imagine love between a man and a woman in the strongest terms. William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616), regarded as the greatest writer in the English language wrote of such love in his plays. The Merchant Of Venice, written between 1596 and 1598, includes a subplot where a beautiful young woman of noble heritage, Portia, is to be wed, but her wealthy father sets a test to determine who will win his prized daughter. A handsome noble Venetian, Bassanio, wishes her hand and makes considerable effort to arrive at her side.
“Her father left a will stipulating each of her suitors must choose correctly from one of three caskets – one each of gold, silver and lead. If he picks the right casket, he gets Portia. The first suitor, the Prince of Morocco, chooses the gold casket, interpreting its slogan, "Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire," as referring to Portia. The second suitor, the conceited Prince of Arragon, chooses the silver casket, which proclaims, "Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves", as he believes he is full of merit. Both suitors leave empty-handed, having rejected the lead casket because of the baseness of its material and the uninviting nature of its slogan, "Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath." The last suitor is Bassanio, whom Portia wishes to succeed, having met him before. Bassanio chooses the lead casket and wins Portia's hand.” (From Wikipedia:}
When Bassiano wins her, Portia almost swoons with delight since he is her true love, and here are her words of devotion:
    “You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand,
    Such as I am. Though for myself alone
    I would not be ambitious in my wish
    To wish myself much better, yet for you
    I would be trebled twenty times myself,
    A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times more rich,
    That only to stand high in your account
    I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends,
    Exceed account. But the full sum of me
    Is sum of something which, to term in gross,
    Is an unlesson'd girl, unschool'd, unpractis'd;
    Happy in this, she is not yet so old
    But she may learn; happier than this,
    She is not bred so dull but she can learn;
    Happiest of all is that her gentle spirit
    Commits itself to yours to be directed,
    As from her lord, her governor, her king.
    Myself and what is mine to you and yours
    Is now converted. But now I was the lord
    Of this fair mansion, master of my servants,
    Queen o'er myself; and even now, but now,
    This house, these servants, and this same myself,
    Are yours- my lord's. I give them with this ring,
    Which when you part from, lose, or give away,
    Let it presage the ruin of your love,
    And be my vantage to exclaim on you.
Then replies Bassiano: 
    Madam, you have bereft me of all words;
    Only my blood speaks to you in my veins;
    And there is such confusion in my powers
    As, after some oration fairly spoke
    By a beloved prince, there doth appear
    Among the buzzing pleased multitude,
    Where every something, being blent together,
    Turns to a wild of nothing, save of joy
    Express'd and not express'd. But when this ring
    Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence;
    O, then be bold to say Bassanio's dead!”

If one can delve into the early English language and get the import of these sweet words, Portia is opening her full heart to her love Bassiano, and telling him she feels unworthy, (though she is beautiful and with great riches), and that she gives to him her all, and if she could, would give herself a thousand times more. Though of higher rank than him, she bows and asserts that he is her lord, her governor, her king. That she is now happily converted to him. Then she gives him the ring that won her hand and exclaims that if he ever loses it that he must also lose his life.
Bassiano replies that she has left him speechless—so full of love and joy, and that if the ring were to ever leave his finger than may his life depart as well.
Such prose!

Sunday, March 08, 2015


The marriage of Heidi of the Mountains and Steven the Artist is ending. It is agreed that love exists, yet various problems plagued the relationship from the beginning. The two never lived together full time, since Heidi owns a home in another town forty minutes away, where her teen-aged son lives with her half time. Steven resides in the city of his work and where he feels he belongs—Santa Fe, the art capital of the United States. The town where Heidi lives is a suburb of Los Alamos, the birthplace of the atomic bomb—all the homes are the same and the brainy-headed science people are more or less the same too. Of all the places on earth, it is on the list of impossible places for Steven to live. But he tried for awhile. He always anticipated the day her boy would graduate and Heidi and Steven could buy a home together.

Before Steven met Heidi, he had spent over a year living abroad without home or car—like the wind that is free, full and strong, blowing over mountain and ocean, through metropolis and village. He was as comfortable on a camel as he was in a limousine. Happy in a tent amidst lions and water buffalo in the Serengeti or in a marbled palace in Bangkok, Thailand. When he arrived back to Santa Fe, his life had broadened from so many profound experiences gained living in a multitude of cities and traveling over all the continents.

When the two first met, Heidi was modeling nude and Steven was drawing her. The two struck up a business relationship with Heidi acting as an art broker, and affection developed then marriage. The two shared wonderful intimacies and especially love of nature—relishing places such as the sandy beaches of Hawaii, the vastness of the Grand Canyon, the mountains of New Mexico and Colorado, and the excitement of Paris and London and Marrakesh. During this time, Heidi had quit a job she did not like and went to work for Steven in a gallery he opened. Steven had thought initially to work alone in his gallery, painting and selling. Heidi at first said, “maybe we should not work together.” But Steven naturally trusted, and so they became a team. The costs were extraordinarily high, since the rent alone was $5,500.00 per month, and then there was Heidi's salary and other expenses. Steven struggled and Heidi became unhappy to see that the business took all the resources. The gallery closed, Heidi took her former job, and Steven found another gallery to show his paintings.

From the beginning, Heidi insisted that Steven draw inward with her into a very private world. She always suspected that he wanted to go off without her and resume his travels. Steven could not understand why Heidi insisted that he must cut off the loving thread that went from his life out into relations he had with the world at large. He remained by her side, anticipating an eventual fuller life together when they lived as one. Yet, eventually, the two felt unhappiness intruding into their love. It became apparent the marriage—meant to be a fortress of well being for the two to enjoy, had indeed become divided. Heidi built an emotional wall that was more distant than the miles between their homes and said, “I am more comfortable this way.” Steven said, but we can't live like this, you must be hot or cold or it is nothing at all. Heidi shrugged and said she could not change. The two separated on a trial basis—not sharing nights or fond times. Heidi felt more peace; but not Steven. He pleaded that the issues were not insurmountable because love is stronger than mountains. Changes were near, opportunities abounded, happiness just a heart beat away. Heidi admitted as much but said, “I am too weak, and it is unfair to you.” Then she said, "Maybe someday we will get back together, who knows?"

And this is what it has come to. She is keeping my artwork and I am planning to sell off all my possessions and follow spirit where ever it takes me. Probably Europe first. And Heidi, she is planning to sell her home and buy one where I always had hoped that we would live together—in Santa Fe. She will have my art to remind her of me.