Kinds of Mothers
May 8, 2009
©marty kleva

The word ‘Mother’ is such an emotionally complex word — used with great passion in both the sacred & profane worlds.

We spend more intimate time with our mother before our birth than at any other time in our life, and within the context of that mother-child relationship, the experience of our birth is an extremely traumatic event. Being ripped from the warm, watery, safe environment of Mother’s womb sets up a love-hate relationship between mother and child that may or may not ever be brought to consciousness.

We could spend our entire lifetime exploring the vagaries of our mother-child relationship and not cover the entire field of the emotional hurts and joys. It may be true that we are more likely to forgive others of any disappointments, betrayals, and wounds than we are likely to even consider forgiving our mother. Of course, this may not be how it appears, for on the surface of things we may be very kind and loving toward Mother, while beneath it all we may suppress feelings of anger, and secretly blame her for all our disappointments.

In the context of the collective subconscious our attitude is reflected in the manner in which the word Mother is used to preface one of the most universally insulting profanities known to all.

Usage for ‘Mother’ in the world oscillates between exalting her upon the highest and wisest of the Virginal pedestals to debasing her beneath the lowest rock of sexual occupations. This evidence highly suggests that we have not progressed far in uncovering the depth of the deepest wounding and trauma that occurred during our original birth.

If there is such thing as a god(s), one(s) that we have not made up to make ourselves feel good, then he/they must be having a grand time watching this drama that keeps rotating between the poles of Love and Hatred,
eternally linked between our anger and our guilt.

We have a Real Mother, Natural-born Mother, Adoptive Mother, Foster mother, Biological Mother, Mother-in-law, and Working Mother.

Famous are Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Mother Teresa, Mother Ships Mother Love, Expectant Mothers, and even the Fairy God-Mother.

There’s the Motherboard, and the Mother in vinegar, Mother Magazine, Mother Goose, Mother Mary, Mother Courage, Mater Dolorosa and Mater Lacrymosa, Mother Tongue, and the Mother Lode

We use the expressions 'Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention', and being 'Tied To Mother’s Apron Strings', and refer to 'The Mother Of All Bombs', and the 'Mother of All Battles'.

We alternately elevate and denigrate Mother with the Divine Mother and the Great Devouring Mother, the Great Feminine Mother and the symbolic Dark Mother, Mother Jones and the MOTHER-OF-GOD. The last reference is a
hidden and discreet allusion to the existence of a Mother before the existence of God, something that is highly non-regarded in present paternalistic world civilizations.

Then there’s always Your Mother, My Mother, Our Mother, Earth Mother, and Mother Nature.

Ah, such a wide spectrum of a playing field for us mothers to live and participate in.

Hugs to all you mothers,

~ mek


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The Vacillation of Spring

April 11, 2009

The Vacillation of Spring
©marty kleva

In the western Christian world today is Holy Saturday, and I woke with a fierce longing for my mother’s Hot Cross Buns — those incredibly light and hot-from-the-oven creations she baked exclusively on Holy Saturday morning.

Although I now understand that traditionally they are associated with Good Friday, for my family that was a fast day and my mother’s Hot Cross Buns held no resemblance to a ‘fast’ — they were that decadently delicious!

The ground cardamon that she included in her recipe gave off a distinctive and compelling aroma. The ‘crosses’ she etched across the tops of each bun before baking, now were filled with a painted soft white icing. We couldn’t stay in bed for the inviting aroma wafting its way up from the kitchen.

Strange as it may seem, her ‘crosses’ were more like x’s in a tic-tac-toe game, and the remembrance of the lightly interspersed currents inside the delicately sweet bread, was to be indelibly etched on my olfactory senses for life.

Besides the mouthwatering pleasure, I also associated those delicately sweet yeast rolls, and the traditional Easter bread she baked for the next day, with the rising of Christ’s ascension.

Regardless of one’s persuasion, Easter is Spring, and this year Spring is traveling through the Santa Fe region like someone who does not know how to drive with a clutch, as it advances and retreats, jerks and spits, pushes and pulls through the middle of April. One day it’s warm and in the 50’s, while the next day I awaken to ice in the birdbath — a reminder that the Earth too is waking up from the mantle of Winter.

There are days I can sense the heaving of the ground in the effort to cast off the bonds of a frozen darkness. Tulips push up their green bodies out of the bulb, their timing activated by an innate knowing. Shoots of spring garlic are already showing through the ground, and the parsley and oregano are beginning to produce vibrant green new growth.

Here in the western high desert, Spring weather has always captured my attention as it gallops across the land like a bucking bronco, dispensing its filtered sun through a thin ceiling of clouds while simultaneously delivering fast-moving fronts of rain, sleet, snow, and even hail within any imaginable duration of time, whether the intervals be fives minutes or a half hour — all within the course of one day.

Today, I woke to a combination of a soft rain interspersed with snow that covered the mountain range of the Sangres. The dense overcast that has been ‘socked-in’ over Santa Fe all day is now beginning to lift as the wind begins to blow, swaying the trees whose tips are burgeoned with buds of multiple hues of greens and reds.

Several weeks ago we had a weeklong warm spell and the apricot trees so popular all over this town were in full bloom, along with the usual first flowering forsythia bushes. The warmth also enticed a Mourning Cloak butterfly from its winter cave somewhere beneath the crevice of the bark of a tree. I spotted it lighting on an apricot blossom.

Having never seen a Mourning Cloak butterfly before, it was an occasion for the photo that accompanies this article. Through some research I discovered the name and the fact that this is one of the first butterflies to appear in the Spring, that it over-winters as an adult butterfly. This one looks a bit bedraggled for the experience. Now in the Spring, it literally feeds off rising tree sap as the tree awakens and begins to pump its energy up the trunks toward the branches.

The name Mourning Cloak is intriguing, and some sources say it’s due to the dark wings that resemble the traditional woolen cloak worn to funerals in the 1800’s.

If we were to go back and look at the oldest myths and stories about the seasons we would recall that according to the myths, it is Demeter Mother of Persephone who first mourns the disappearance and abduction of her daughter by Pluto, who takes Persephone into his personal kingdom of the UnderWorld, and the reason we have Spring is due to the negotiation by Jupiter between Demeter and Pluto for the release of Persephone.

The agreement reached stipulates that Persephone will be allowed to move from the deep dark world of Pluto’s reign for half of the year, and when Persephone emerges, Demeter throws off her Mourning Cloak of Winter, and welcomes her daughter once again back to the world of Upper Earth.

All the symbols of Spring — the Earth awakening, the ground-frost heaving, green shoots of plants appearing and rising to new life and growth are reflected in the celebration of the Christian world by Christ’s rising from the dead — just as
in her mother’s mind, Persephone has also risen from the dead.

Both Spring and Easter hold deep, fond memories for me. In my childhood it meant wearing galoshes or boots over my shoes to school as the mountain streams of snowmelt flowed over the sidewalks and streets I had to walk and cross. The difference between the morning and afternoon temperatures meant wearing a raincoat in the morning and carrying it home in the afternoon.

On those walks to school I had a world of Nature to entertain me, like going past the Spring-flowering Dogwood tree at the top of Kane Street that marked the half-way point of my twice daily journey to and from school, and being enthralled by a huge mountain meadow carpet of millions of tiny pale lavender-pink forget-me-nots.

Spring is a welcome change from the dark days of Winter, and perhaps the changeability also reflects the fickleness of Persephone, who although is glad to see her mother, is not quite ready to settle into a different home away from her consort Pluto for a six month stay.

It seems that this year Persephone needs a bit of coaxing. Perhaps she has not been able to release her attachment to her Underworld home.

I much prefer this version of Persephone, the changeable weather with the Dance of Spring as it comes and goes, ebbs and flows.

Summer will come soon enough.

Con Amore,

~ mek

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Shifting Perspectives For The New Year

January 1, 2009

Shifting Perspectives
©marty kleva
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∞ Happy New Year to you all.

To ring in this New Year of 2009, I would like to share a collection of some of my favorite stories and quotes that follow a theme of shifting perspectives. Perhaps these can lend a guide and help us to move through this coming year with a bit of grace.

We so often hear about shifting paradigms, and I have often wondered to myself would we recognize a new paradigm once we are in it?
How can we possibly choose to move into a new paradigm when we are so comfortably set in the old one? Who in their right mind wants to abandon what has worked for so many for so long?

Well it seems that we are witnessing the answers to all these questions. In fact we don’t willingly enter a new paradigm, it gets hoisted upon us and we get thrust into it regardless, and
as we enter 2009, it appears that we are at the crucial intersection between an old and new paradigm.

Many people around the world are in the midst of a most horrendous place of violence, some of it is a result of violent weather, and in other cases the violence is from weapons of war being hurled against neighbors.

Hatred is a violent emotion. After generation upon generation of fostered hatred against perceived enemies, what can be expected to change? What possible remedy will create an opening for a peace to be settled upon numerous adversaries?

Not to be simplistic about this, however, if we are ever to know PEACE in our time, then all the
issues of violence and hatred that seem to have immense meaning to us and our adversaries will need to become like water flowing beneath the bridge, carrying away all those things that stand between us, the stones of violence, the words of hatred, the paper that they are written upon, and the retribution that we seek for all the wrongs that have been done to us for generation upon generation. These are the things that impose invisible barriers between neighbors, family, friends and countries, and eventually they become visible walls of concrete and steel.

Paradigm shifting sometimes (or maybe every-time) is prefaced with a challenge to the status quo, and the status quo is more about clinging to the familiar and less about fearlessly bounding into the unknown.

There are a few very good tools to help us make the switch of changing perspectives. They have names like forgiveness, and love. Their application is non-selective. It is in forgiving anyone and everyone without exception that creates the transcendent forms of Absolute Forgiveness and Absolute Love.
This begins with forgiving ourselves.

In forgiveness, everything is let go of any attachment to keep it in its old and over-worn place. With forgiveness we free ourselves of bonds and shackles that stifle our creativity to love and by releasing these destructive forces that are attached to us we are open to receiving the ability to interact in a constructive way through a new paradigm of our own vision.

Ironically, destructive and violent actions are like an outward desperate cry for help in a distorted attempt to fill wounded and empty hearts with Love.

It is in the achievement of the transcendent function where perspectives suddenly change for no apparent reason that the seemingly impossible transforms to a level where everything is possible, even WORLD PEACE.

My wish for you this New Year of 2009, is to embrace and roll with the waves of changing perspectives that are upon us.

May each of us seed the Love of PEACE
May our neighbors Sow PEACE upon fertile grounds

May our families cultivate and water in the Gardens of PEACE

May our friends reap and rejoice in the Harvest of PEACE

May ALL our adversaries discover the Wonder of PEACE filling their hearts

con molto amore,

~ mek


"To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns,
To surrender to too many demands,
To commit oneself to too many projects,
To want to help everyone with everything Is to succumb to violence."

- Thomas Merton

Here’s a great story that illustrates that sometimes we need to go the long way around to get to the beginning.

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them. "Not very long," answered the Mexican.

"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American. The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family. The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life."

The American interrupted, "I have a MBA from Harvard and I can help you.

You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle-man, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise.

"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.

"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.

"And after that?"

"Afterwards?" That's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really?" "And after that?" asked the fisherman.

"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife, and spend your evenings drinking and playing the guitar with your friends!"

Such Wonders as the ones below should never cease

A group of students were asked to list what they thought were the present "Seven Wonders of the World." Though there were some disagreements, the following received the most votes:

1. Egypt's Great Pyramids

2. Taj Mahal

3. Grand Canyon

4. Panama Canal

5. Empire State Building

6. St. Peter's Basilica
7. China's Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student had not finished her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many."

The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help." The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the 'Seven Wonders of the World' are:

1. To See

2. To Hear

3. To Touch

4. To Taste

5. To Feel

6. To Laugh

7. And to Love.

The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. The things we overlook as simple and ordinary and that we take for granted are truly wondrous! A gentle reminder -- that the most precious things in life cannot be built by hand or bought by man.

Here is a very poignant reminder of our origins

The Wooden Bowl

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess."We must do something about Grandfather," said the son. I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.

When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometime he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?" Just as sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up." The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

Three ways to handle adversity — or if you’re hungry, fill your belly!

A Carrot, An Egg and a Cup of Coffee

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners.

She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.

She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots.

She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it.

After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity ... boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?"

"Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Children are our best teachers when it comes to changing perspectives — of course they have less to give-up, nevertheless, it could be remarkable to remember that we all have a child within us.

First Grade Students’ Answers to Proverbs

A first grade teacher had twenty-five students in her class and she presented each child in her class the first half of a well known proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb.

It's hard to believe these were actually done by first graders. Their insight may surprise you.

1. Don't change horses .......................... until they stop running.
2. Strike while the ....................................... bug is close.
3. It's always darkest before ..................... Daylight Saving Time.
4. Never underestimate the power of ....... termites.
5. You can lead a horse to water but ....... how?
6. Don't bite the hand that ....................... looks dirty!
7. No news is ..................................... impossible.
8. A miss is as good as a ........................... Mr.
9. You can't teach an old dog new ............ math.
10. If you lie down with dogs, you'll ......... stink in the morning.
11. Love all, trust ……………………… me.
12. The pen is mightier than the ……………….. pigs.
13. An idle mind is ............................ the best way to relax.
14. Where there's smoke there's ................ pollution.
15. Happy the bride who ......................... gets all the presents.
16. A penny saved is .................... not much.
17. Two's company, three's ....................... the Musketeers.
18. Don't put off till tomorrow what ........ you put on to go to bed.
19. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and ..... you have to blow your nose.
20. There are none so blind as ................. Stevie Wonder.
21. Children should be seen and not ......... spanked or grounded.
22. If at first you don't succeed ............... get new batteries.
23. You get out of something only what you ..... see in the picture on the box.
24. When the blind lead the blind ............ get out of the way.

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2008 Winter Solstice Greetings

December 19, 2008
2008 Winter Solstice Greetings
©marty kleva
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2008 Winter Solstice Greetings

The Winter Solstice signifies the longest night of the year, that period just before the Earth’s tilt begins to swing back toward light and longer contact with the Sun. Sometimes lost is the significance that the Sun makes it’s move into the Constellation of Capricorn, and depending where you live that occurs between December 21st and 22nd.

Regardless of the holidays associated across the religions of the world these days, it seems that there’s not much left to the consensus reality that’s sacred. The economic meltdown spans everyone across the age factor, and even if some people are not yet feeling the effects, one look at national or local headlines tells the story to come. At least this is what is apparent at first glance.

Although there is much opportunity to point fingers at many who have had their hands in the public till for decades without accountability, I would like to zoom out and address the greater picture, the one that may be difficult to see much less comprehend. Some of this can be viewed from an important astrological perspective that need not demand any foreknowledge of astrology, just a bit of common sense and reasoning powers will do.

Presently, and since the beginning of 2008, January 26th to be exact, the Planet Pluto entered the sign of Capricorn. Capricorn is the sign that represents the hierarchical structure of all those aspects of society that we rely upon for support from government. Things like the infrastructure and workings of Congress, commerce, transportation, finances, lands, borders, political parties, etc. Like it or not, Pluto is the planet of change.

Pluto is a powerhouse of a tiny planet, and moves very slowly, much like a bed of moving lava where nothing in its way lies untouched. Yes I know the scientific community has downgraded Pluto — forget that — they are in a state of total denial.

Called the transformer, Pluto’s characteristic effects on the area it transits are like a dynamo come to clean house. Sometimes it’s a welcomed affair, most times we are not ready for it and it can be downright inconvenient if not painful.

It’s no secret to the world that all of the above mentioned categories have been steeped in corruption for far too long no matter what side of the aisle one sits on. This too will get some scrubbing down by Pluto and before the job is done, we will see just how much of a difference is present when the details behind the scenes of political chicanery are exposed. As it is said, the devil is in the details, and in the end result, Pluto like any ruthless, topnotch editor, will examine and investigate every word.

In what most of us in this country think of as the constitutional republic named the United States of America, Pluto is now directly touching major important points in the astrological chart of both the US and that of the Federal Reserve System.

In fact, the birthday of the Federal Reserve is December 23rd — right on the cusp of the Sun entering Capricorn and conjunct the very powerful Winter Solstice point. Pluto has not been in Capricorn since the birth of the Federal Reserve in 1913, and now is aligned exactly opposite its own natal degree point in the Federal Reserve chart, and simultaneously conjoined with the Sun of the chart. This makes the Fed a Capricorn with Pluto in direct challenge to its original position in the chart. Not inconsequentially Pluto is also about death and taxes, money and power.

By now the bells should be ringing — the one on Wall Street and the banking district has been clanging loudly enough to signal the desperate position banking and business is in to muster the aid of a Congress that has allowed itself to be bullied and blackmailed into giving away the future wealth of the American people. Whether or not this is all a deliberate act to disarm the power of the people is a matter of much speculation and a ripe topic for debate.

So since the beginning of 2008, Pluto has held connection with this position of the Fed Sun and natal Pluto by touching on them in January, then
withdrawing a few points away in the summer, and just recently on November 29th, transiting Pluto made the third direct contact. This connection will have direct impact on these two points for the entire year of 2009 and continue into 2010.

As much as this may be good news to those who have always chafed against this organized banking cartel that was subversively instituted in 1913, there’s also the down side which is that due to the collective impact, the Fed will not suffer the consequences alone. This is already apparent with the financial news.

Like any time we decide to clean house, there are some painful decisions about what to keep and what to toss away. For those in America, along with the collective consequences related to the impact on the Fed, this will also be an integral factor for anyone with an early Capricorn birthday to work through on a personal level.

Adding to the mix, in the natal astrological chart of the United States, Pluto lies in the 2nd house — signifying its relationship with money and values — and transiting Pluto will be slowly moving toward this degree of self-reckoning in the years to come. It will take the next 15 years for Pluto to move all the way through the 30º’s of Capricorn making its presence well known, especially to Americans.

One major point that we as Americans will need to understand and come to grips with is the notion and belief that we are under the rule of law of the Constitution, for presently we are not. There is a lot of railing about the possibility of losing the constitution in the public media. Sorry to say my friends, its already gone, so lets stop this whining and do something about it. Either that or decide that we no longer wish to live under the Constitution, but let's stop pretending it isn't so.

Having schooled myself through several constitutional law groups I’ve learned a lot about the difference between what I believe this country is and what it actually operates as. I would agree that the constitution still remains in its place — but that it has been 'overwritten' with a dummy template called by a similar named 'corporation' that looks like this — the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INC. That corporation only operates as long as the people are hoodwinked by the deception.

The constitution is veiled now, like a 'layered' image in Photoshop — you can see it but you can't get to it because it is the bottom layer of acetate in a merged image, a manipulated image that has been very deftly and covertly switched for the original document. The majority of people still do not even consider this as a possibility let alone a reality. The reality is in plain sight but it is deceiving, due to the same vocalization of the meme 'US'.

When we HEAR ‘US’, we think constitution and democracy. When those who know SAY ‘U.S.’ they are speaking from a position within the CORPORATION named the UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, INC., not the republic of the united States of America.

Reality only hits when a person is so unfortunate to be called to court, and if they base their defense on the constitution, they quickly find out they have no constitutional rights. This is such a shock that people are traumatized by it and don't know what to do. The point is they have no constitutional rights in that court because that court is not a constitutional court, but rather is an administrative CORPORATE COURT.

All courts, including the SUPREME COURT, operate under a corporation name — all are listed as DBA on DUNN & BRADSTREET — I looked up my Santa Fe County Court and found it listed as a CORPORATION. This also applies to all municipal courts. Before you go to court, look to see who you are doing business with before you show up.

Reportedly (have no direct personal proof here) there are actually very few Constitutional Judges left — they must be especially requested in order to have a Constitutional court session.

All this came to fruition in the latter part of the 1900's when towns and cities began to incorporate and people thought it was just grand — not fully understanding that we were being slowly cooked frogs by a covert regime's agenda.

It will take a revolution of both the people’s values and thinking to vote all incumbents out of office over a period of several elections. We were given the chance to do so in this last election and still we could not bring ourselves to see the light.

It will take patriots and constitutionalists to question and educate newly elected congress members BEFORE they are elected. Hate to say it but most of congress is ignorant of the fact that they work under a corporate CEO, meaning the administrative president.

This is also why Mr. Obama can be elected president without needing to prove where he was born. Again this is the sleight of hand — the constitutional 'united States of America' vs. corp. 'UNITED STATES OF AMERICA'. Once this concept is clearly seen, then the veil of confusion will be lifted and it can be seen everywhere.

Regardless of the patriotic words we heard in this past election, neither Mr. McCain nor Mr. Obama ran for president of the constitutional government — they ran to be the CEO of the CORPORATION U.S. therefore all those criteria set down by the Constitution are moot points.

This is the reason Mr. Bush has been able to do what he darn well pleases — his advisors are the Board of Directors — the Congress are merely the shareholders — we the people are the capital assets of the CORPORATION. Take a good look at Mr. Paulsen’s position having complete and total power over the trillions of dollars awarded, without congressional oversight of any consequence, to the banking industry, all of which are private CORPORATIONS. FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN, Mr. Bernanke recently told congress that he would not disclose where several trillions of dollars went to, and it is going to take another CORPORATION, namely BLOOMBERG to challenge the FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD in a CORPORATION COURT to bring the matter to light.

Pluto is now going to shine its light upon this debacle of unscrupulous misuse and abuse of the constitution, the very structure America is originally based upon.

Unfortunately, most of those who are licensed by this system and considered to be the experts, are highly invested in the structure and are not likely to be open to another view, or be willing to explore anything that does not support their status quo. They are on the inside looking out. That is their box of tools that they rely upon to give them their massively overblown ranking within the societal makeup.

All this abusive contamination we presently see operating is based on the manipulation and distortion of a Law that is above any law that mankind writes, and that the majority of us have chosen to ignore. Pluto has arrived upon the scene, and innocent or guilty, the time of reckoning has arrived for everyone concerned.

Where then can we find some peace, and where can we find a source of integrity to support our need to see the truth and carry out our purpose?

Here we return to the original intent for this post — the Winter Solstice. There may not be a more sacred time of the year than this date, one that stands for all, believers and non-believers alike. However, in this time of such great turmoil and challenge, the one place that still holds a sense of sacredness, a place that we can touch and feel, one we can interact with that transcends all the grime of corruption spilling out of the seams and over the top of the container of our lives, is this dear planet that we live on — Earth.

If you want to know sacred, get out and find a tree, a rock, pay attention to the rain and the snow, and listen to the Earth. Tune into her vibrations, and feel her shuddering to loosen the burden she carries. Begin to connect with the ground that is beneath you and that we take for granted will be there when we get up tomorrow. Begin to interact with Earth as if she is as sentient as we are. Seriously consider that Earth is a conscious and breathing body and that our very survival depends upon each other. Breathe with her and find a friend like no other.

Get a relationship with Earth that’s aware of her on a daily basis. It does not matter if you live in the everglades, near the ocean, in the desert, or on a mountaintop, begin to relate to all the idiosyncrasies of being there. When you walk out the door in the morning, stop for a moment and check-in with Earth — say “Good Morning”, and Bless the ground you walk upon.

hayam (love that wanders the earth),

~ mek

for Professional Healing Sessions In Times Of Transition — contact

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New Offering Of Professional Healing Sessions

©marty kleva

New Offering Of Professional Healing Sessions
December 2, 2008
© marty kleva
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Healing In Times Of Transition

During this time of extraordinary WorldWide Transition, for those people who seek assistance to navigate through the daily anxiety of Medical—Emotional/Psychological—&—Spiritual challenges, I am opening time-slots for phone consultations and distant healing sessions for GFA friends and referrals.

Most readers of GFA know me as a writer and photographer. These are merely the outward manifestations that emanate from the rest of my life interests and originate from my lifetime commitment to accomplish a Balance in Wellness and Healthy Living.

My professional and academic credentials include a Bachelor of Science in Health, a Masters in Somatic Psychology and Jungian Theory, and extensive post-graduate studies in Contemplative Psychotherapy within the context of Buddhist psychology.

Additionally I am a registered ordained inter-faith minister through the New Mexico Theological Seminary approved by the Office of New Mexico Higher Education, and an instructor of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, having personally trained with the founder Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Further, I have acquired certifications in many body-therapies including both hands-on/off modalities, and through years of experience have translated those methods to work exclusively in a manner that uses the unseen consciousness of the physical and subtle bodies_including the soul, in a hands-off subtle energy healing methodology. Some use the word Quantum to describe the effects. Sessions can be done in person or distantly by phone, and as my clients attest, each is equally effective. There is no limitation to the opportunity for healing.

psycho/spiritual counsel for those who may be in a Spiritual Emergence(cy)
• resolution of acute/chronic pain and trauma acquired from injuries and Burns.
• practical and emotional support for those who are family breadwinners under financial duress.
• compassionate listening and down-to-earth guidance through times of turmoil, transition, and upheaval.
• guidance and healing through pre/post operative surgeries and procedures.
• Mindfulness-Based Stress reduction instruction both private and in groups.

Healing has many facets. With my clients empowered as partners, we work together toward Self-regulation and integrating All the parts of the Mind_Body_Spirit to manifest the highest degree of wellness and raise the consciousness in a world where the stress of anxiety can be overwhelming.

For further info and/or to arrange for an appointment email:

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RAVEN: The Medicine of Magic

RAVEN: The Medicine of Magic

©marty kleva

November 13, 2008

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Raven appeared to me the other day as I carried my groceries from the car. He flew over my head and noisily landed in the largest elm tree of my neighbor’s yard. I took note and continued on toward my casita — giving him a last look at my door for the great ruckus he put up. Something instinctively reminded me to not ignore this occasion, so I put my bag of groceries down in a chair by the door and went back out to see what this great black avian visitor was up to.

In the elm tree sat the largest raven I have ever seen, and there are a lot of ravens in this town to compare with. He was alone, sitting on a main branch and squawking up a storm with that deep sonorous signature voice. Judging by the size of the tree and branch this raven was well over two feet long and stood about two feet tall — this was a male specimen.

After I greeted him, I moved around to try to see him from a better angle. That’s when he began to change his vocalizations, ranging from ‘mrrroww’ to ‘arc', mimicking a cat and a dog. By this time I was thoroughly amused and enchanted by the magic of this meeting. That’s when he began laughing ‘hahahah’ and jumping around on the branch.

Sanity reappeared shortly after I too began laughing aloud with it — and then, telling Raven to not go away I’d be right back, I quickly ran to get my camera. Fortunately when I came back out he was still there, so I started shooting pics, They were difficult to get due to many smaller branches camouflaging the foreground and a few other obstacles in the way. So I made the settings on the camera as best I could and followed him from different angles. During this time, I spotted a neighborhood cat switching its tail as it walked across the street away from the raven — ha! — must have been flushed out.

According to Bernd Heinrich, ravens have a “greater variety of calls than perhaps any other animal in the world except human beings.” Candace Savage in “Bird Brains” writes, “A raven that heard repeated explosions being set off by a highway crew is reported afterwards to have shouted out, ‘Three, two, one, kaboom!’”

There are numerous stories of ravens being associated with various gods of different cultures, always with the respect for the sacred power that Raven carries between the spiritual realms and the physical world.

By now, and between vocalizations, this Raven was delicately nipping off the drying Fall leaves that were still attached to the tree, deliberately turning its head to drop them to the ground. He did this repeatedly, and then also began to dislodge parts of dead wood on the tree, and dropping that too! Although I could not see the ground behind the neighbor’s adobe wall, I certainly heard the sound when the piece hit the ground.

He continued to practice various other vocalizations like croaking, and puffing up his plumage as he hopped to different parts of the tree for about ten minutes before finally taking off in a westerly direction.

As I took pics I was attempting to really capture the iridescent coloring on its blue-black feathers that are symbolic of its shape-shifting powers; the blue-black only the background for the light to reveal pink and silver.

Raven medicine is Magic, Magic from the deep realms of the Great Mystery that is home to all that is Unknown. Some call it the Void, the place that seems to have No Form, out of which manifests All That Comes To Be, a place that to me represents the Great Creative Feminine, a force that holds the balance to the over-developed, distorted and consequently not-so-Divine Masculine in today’s time. Regardless of gender, all humans contain some of both; it is up to each of us to develop and balance the two.

According to Jamie Sams in ‘Medicine Cards’ when Raven appears “you are about to experience a change in consciousness.”
Presently there are things in my life that could be the avenues powerful enough to shift the whole planet — as I am sure this is the same for everyone who is paying any kind of attention.

Raven has a role in many myths and cultures, such as in the Native culture of the Pacific NorthWest where it is told how Raven stole the light from the one who would have kept the world in darkness, and thereby brought life and order. Raven teaches us how to go into the Darkness and bring forth Light, one thing that most fear to do until one has been there and back, at least a few times. The Darkness/Void, etc. is the Feminine aspect; the manifested light is the corresponding Masculine creation from out of the womb of the Great Divine Feminine.

I suspect that Raven is a TimeTraveler, a symbol of the planet Saturn and the astrological sign of Capricorn. Raven is dark, and when viewed with fear will reflect that fear back to the viewer. The Magic of Raven is when with great respect, the viewer can look into the Creative Darkness and manifest Light.

con Amore,

~ mek


"Animal Magick" — D.J. Conway

"Animal Speak"— Ted Andrews
"Bird Brains" — Candace Savage
"Medicine Cards" — Jamie Sams & David Carson
"Mind of the Raven" — Bernd Heinrich

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The Elusive Present Time — Confluence of Past and Future


The Elusive Present Time
— Confluence of Past and Future

©marty kleva

November 1, 2008

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In Mindfulness practice, we sit with observation of all that’s present, using our breath as the anchor to keep us on center. Those who are practitioners verify that this is not such a simple task. Some days it flows like honey, and others it scatters like flying straw.

Within the deeper aspect of this practice our breath acts like a bellows on the fire inside the kiva that is not only composed of our physical body yet also comprises all of our subtle energy bodies, and as we exhale we stoke up the fire on the coals making it flare so that it continues to both burn off the dross and energize the Kundalini system within our body.

This establishes of a cohesive energy field surrounding our physical body that interacts with our breath awareness. When this cohesive aspect is strong enough to hold the field’s center, a secondary field emerges beyond the first that to my experience is what is also called the LightBody.

With sensate awareness, one can then also direct the energy flow between the two fields using the image of the bellows, so that as the body expands on the in-breath and retreats on the out-breath, the subtle energy bodies also expand and retreat in synchrony with the physical body.

During this process of expansion and retreating the secondary energy field that sets up outside of the physical and subtle bodies, works synergistically so that it is in the expansion phase when the physical body is in the retreat phase and vice versa. It is here at this point that there is an exchange of energies between these two fields.

This transfer process is much like the exchange place of oxygen for carbon dioxide inside the tiny blood vessels of our lungs, and can be likened to the space between breaths. Practicing breath and body awareness, the practitioner will be able to detect this synchronous movement and relationship of exchange.

At this moment of meeting what is no longer needed for life’s lessons can be burned off by the fire of the central crucible, and simultaneously it provides the place where those future possibilities can be purified and fused into a clearer form for our viewing.

Within the confluence of the alchemist’s process in the crucible is where the past and the future merge to become something entirely different called the present moment. Here, where the future and past come together, within the awareness of the in-breath and the out-breath, all things are possible as the the present is created.

From this place of the present moment, the picture of our next step to be taken is revealed and we can then proceed with greater confidence towards right action.

Con Amore,

~ mek

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An Offering In Time

An Offering In Time
©marty kleva

September 14, 2008

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~ An Offering In Time

Time is many things, and in that understanding, it speaks to me of being formless, much as any great sea would appear to be formless if one were sitting and fishing from inside a little red and white wooden dinghy upon it’s surface.

From that perspective perch, the sea of time is immense, powerful, and unpredictable. It is at once and the same a drop of water and an immeasurable container of liquid life.

Although we might not see land, we know it is there somewhere on the horizon of time. Although we try not to think too deeply about how deep the surface of land is beneath us, with great respect, we trust that it is there.

Storms can suddenly appear, the waves might become turbulent and toss us about until we become afraid. The clouds roll in, it gets dark, and rain begins to soak our clothes and blind our way.

It might also happen that a huge oil tanker suddenly looms up out of the fog that had rolled in, to threaten our path.

All these things are possible upon the sea of time as we sit here inside this little tiny dinghy holding onto our fishing rod beneath the sunlit sky and dreaming up all the possibilities of what might happen.

Here, we all are together — sitting, dreaming, thinking, and fishing upon the sea of time.

Con Amore ~ mek

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When A Tomato Creates A Feast of Memories

When A Tomato Creates A Feast of Memories
© marty kleva

August 29, 2008

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Today I picked the first Brandywine heirloom tomato in my garden and could hardly wait to get it to the kitchen for lunch. It looked so good on the vine with its rosy pink toned translucent skin I almost wanted to wait another day, but having lusted for it over a week now — I had to do it.

It was a good thing too, as I was very hungry after an extended morning of research and writing. Into the kitchen it came, and after a bit of a rinse, I pulled out some spontaneous ingredients to go with it.

Cutting into it revealed a soft yet firm flesh that was an even light red all the way through. The tomato essence burst forth and brought forward memories of how a tomato should really smell.

Visions of my parents’ garden jumped into my mind, one of about seven garden plots over an area of several acres that also included an assortment of orchard trees, a strawberry patch, and a small vineyard.

I can see the tomato garden with the rows of plants as high as I was tall when I was eight — the wooden stakes marking each plant that was carefully tied at intervals along the stem, and the times when my mother would take the salt shaker to the garden to feast right from the vine.

Before my father acquired a rototiller, we always dug the gardens by hand each Spring. Of course this means with a shovel — you know — hold it by the handle with the point of the shovel on the ground, put your left foot on the shoulder of the shovel and if you are a child, step up onto it. Adults need only to give a good push with their foot to send the shovel into the ground and then lift it and toss the dirt over on top of the already freshly turned soil.

When it came time to plant the tomatoes, we would go either on a Friday evening or early Saturday morning down to a place that cultivated plants near Hurr’s Dairy. There, in a cold frame they would already have the tomatoes in bunches of six or twelve wrapped in wet newspaper, looking like a burrito, ready to sell.

My father would choose his varieties along with pepper plants and eggplants, and then we would go home to lay out the string lines to mark the rows and dig the holes in the garden.

Inevitably as my father planted the tomatoes, he would mix too much manure into the hole, and my mother, who was the one to teach my father how to garden, would be the one to say,

“Now Anthony, you’re going to burn the roots of the plants — that’s too much manure.”

But he just could not resist and oftentimes the plants would suffer several weeks of setback before taking off with a spurt of growth.

Staking the tomatoes was a daylong affair. The stakes had to be brought out of the storage barn and carried up in bundles to the garden, then sorted through to determine those that could be used. Being of hardwood, and the bottom end hand-hewn with an axe into a sharp point, my father would pound them into the ground next to each plant when it reached about a foot high. Many times I was the trusty helper holding the stake with my two gloved hands, as he would pound the stake in with a sledgehammer.

My parents always tied their tomatoes with garden twine that once it was cut into about ten inch lengths, I got to unravel into the three strands it was made up of. When I was older, then I too was allowed to tie the plants. Usually we tied and suckered the plants at the same time, removing that renegade growth that can leach a lot of growing energy away from the main stem.

When I walked through the tomatoes, the leaves would brush up against the skin of my upper arms and release that wonderful distinct aroma that also left a pollen-like residue and scent on my body.

Watering the plants was a major after-dinner affair that took practically the whole family to carry out. We used well water that we hand-pumped into many five-gallon buckets the night before and that stood out all day to absorb the heat of the sun. We never poured fresh-cold well water on the tomatoes.

We resembled a chain gang carrying the buckets from the back-yard pump to the garden rows where another person using an old coffee-can would dispense the water to each plant. When the empty buckets came back up to the pump it was up to those of us who were pumping to refill them for the next day.

Throughout the season the garden yielded bushels of tomatoes that we preserved for the winter using a hot-water bath method. My mother and sisters and I would go down to the fruit cellar and bring up bushels of empty glass canning jars, wash them in hot sudsy water and check the tops for nicks — those that had a chip out of the rim were put aside as they will not seal properly.

Once we had all the jars clean and assembled on the kitchen table, we filled the kitchen sink with hot water to which we added the tomatoes. This made it easier to peel the tomato that we would then halve or quarter and stuff into the empty jars till they were full to the brim. Press a dinner knife down into the jar in several places to release any air, wipe the rim clean and add a warm lid and screw top, and the jar of red beauty seemed to come alive through the glass.

This was an all-day affair that sometimes went on for several days and was repeated throughout the summer as the crop came ripe. This was our sustenance for the winter’s making of spaghetti sauce for our traditional Sunday mid-day meal, and connected for us the importance of harvesting and preserving the main ingredient.

By the time we were finished canning tomatoes, I didn’t want to see another one — at least not for another few days.

Sometimes, depending on the amount of the crop and variety, my mother would put the whole tomato through a mill producing a puree that she would cook-down to remove much of the water content and then we would bottle that to also put through a hot-water bath. Sometimes she would use the combination of puree and whole tomatoes to make Sunday’s sauce.

When we lifted the ten or so jars out of the steam bath, the tomatoes took on that distinctive vibrant glow reminiscent of the Tuscany sun, and when we transported them back down the stairs to the fruit cellar and stacked them on the shelves, they were a gorgeous sight to behold.

The brilliant sun-kissed red tomatoes next to jars of green and yellow string beans, below the shelf of black currants, and rosy peaches, contrasted against the pale translucent color of pears and apple sauce. Add rows of jars of last year’s purple grape juice and jam, and therein sits a feast for the eyes!

My most favorite way to serve a great fresh tomato is how my mother would make it, and what I call ‘fresca-style’ — rounds of thick sliced tomato on a large platter — add slices of our own homegrown cucumbers and onions, all spritzed with vinegar and olive oil. We always used Bertolli from Tuscany as there was a reported connection between he and my grandfather.

So that’s what I am creating today — a variation on the theme al fresca, adding a peeled and sliced cucumber into a bowl, a few fresh blueberries for contrast and sweetness, slivers of red onion to enhance the taste and color of the tomato — a quick splash of apple cider vinegar and virgin olive oi, and voila! — a salad to feast upon.

My first bite is solely a tomato wedge — mmmm just like those fresh from my parents' garden.

The taste is just as I remember — actually the taste expands into layers of pleasure — adding an irrepressible burst of aroma that collides with the mouth and tongue — delicioso moltissimo!

A feast of memories that brings together the wonderful things from which life is made — beauty, love, and caring — and a special present moment to relive it all.


~ mek

Photo: Brandywine Heirloom Tomato


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Georgia: Another U.S. Patsy Set-Up?

Georgia: Another U.S. Patsy Set-Up?
© marty kleva
August 11, 2008
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Since Thursday evening (8-11-08), I have read over sixty different articles from numerous and assorted sources both western and middle-eastern on the subject of the conflict between Georgia and Russia, and listened to various radio talk-show hosts, who have in some cases regurgitated accusations of Russia being the lone aggressor, accusations that are nothing less than blatant dis-information.

The geographical area of Georgia is one that can be very confusing to Westerners and we can find ourselves at the mercy of MSM who 'seem' to know what they are talking about. Frankly after what I've seen, read, and heard, I would be very skeptical to swallow MSM without a bit of critical thinking first.

Contrary to what we hear via the MSM, Georgia began the entire conflagration by first attacking the capital city of South Ossetia Thursday evening, bombing it's buildings to destruction and killing over 1,000 civilians in what has been characterized as "ethnic cleansing".

South Ossetia does not and never has wanted to be a part of Georgia — neither does the second separatist state Abkhazia, and both look to Russia as their protector. (map below)

It is after that initial destruction of Tskhinvali that the events we read about in the MSM are skewed and twisted placing things that happened on Friday to make it seem that they happened on Sunday and the president of Georgia exercising double-speak by accusing Russia of doing exactly what Georgian troops had just carried out.

This distorted view obscures the fact that both the US & Israel have been 'advising' Georgian military troops on modern warfare aimed at Russia for over the last two years
. Along with this 'advisory' capacity, there has been money sent to Georgia under the guise of aid and in the form of military equipment from the US through Israel to Georgia.

As an interesting side-note—Senator John McCain visited Georgia in that period of time and presented the Georgian president with his own personal bullet-proof vest.

The point here being that the Georgian president, having been wined & dined and wooed by the US and the Israeli Mossad, began to believe that he was invincible, and that he was equipped to take on the big black bear of Russia. After all he had the US, NATO, & Israel on his side — all of whom have left Georgian's mega-dreams in the dust of their rhetoric.

Georgia has mis-stepped the rules of the game by apparently carrying out what they ingenuously believed was true backing of the U.S., and by doing so has "brought the world one major step closer to the ultimate horror of the Cold War era—a thermonuclear war between Russia and the United States—by miscalculation."

In addition, there are very many background factors that we have not been told by MSM, including the news on December of 2007 where Russia preempted Caspian oil & natural gas opportunities from U.S. energy corporations by signing a deal with Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to construct a natural gas pipeline along the Caspian Sea. This is a huge blow to the Western agenda for power and control of the Middle Eastern & Asian energy resources, ala the Trilateral Commission founder Zbigniew Brzezinski's campaign set out in his book
"The Grand Chessboard".

The article below
by Michel Chossudovsky is the best consolidation of information that I have read so far with some overall and sweeping insight into the vast implications of this event. There's so much more than what we know behind the initial provocation by Georgia, reminiscent to me of the events of Sadaam Hussein in the 90's naively believing that he had been given the green light by US's Madeline Albright to attack Kuwait so that he could demand payment for oil that Kuwait was 'stealing from Iraq by the use of 'diagonal' drilling across the border.

Of course we all know that rest of that story.

In the case that you are confused, or that you believe that you know exactly what is going on in Georgia, I invite you to rethink and read the ONE article below by
Michel Chossudovsky of --- it has the entire perspective.

Short list links from assorted sources on the Georgian-Russian conflict:

• Israel backs Georgia in Caspian Oil Pipeline Battle with Russia

• New Pipeline Subverts U.S. Efforts to Diversify Gas Supply
• ATTACK IN THE MOUNTAINS,1518,571079,00.html
• Fighting Escalates in Caucasus
• How the Caucasus Erupted,1518,570875,00.html
• Their Job Is Not to Let Georgians In
• Russia rules out talks before retreat of Georgian forces
• Russia Georgia War - Washington Risks Nuclear War by Miscalculation

My best to all of you ---

~ mek


War in the Caucasus: Towards a Broader Russia-US Military Confrontation?

Global Research, August 10, 2008

During the night of August 7, coinciding with the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, Georgia's president Saakashvili ordered an all-out military attack on Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia.

The aerial bombardments and ground attacks were largely directed against civilian targets including residential areas, hospitals and the university. The provincial capital Tskhinvali was destroyed. The attacks resulted in some 1500 civilian deaths, according to both Russian and Western sources. "The air and artillery bombardment left the provincial capital without water, food, electricity and gas. Horrified civilians crawled out of the basements into the streets as fighting eased, looking for supplies." (AP, August 9, 2008). According to reports, some 34,000 people from South Ossetia have fled to Russia. (Deseret Morning News, Salt Lake City, August 10, 2008)

The importance and timing of this military operation must be carefully analyzed. It has far-reaching implications.

Georgia is an outpost of US and NATO forces, on the immediate border of the Russian Federation and within proximity of the Middle East Central Asian war theater. South Ossetia is also at the crossroads of strategic oil and gas pipeline routes.

Georgia does not act militarily without the assent of Washington. The Georgian head of State is a US proxy and Georgia is a de facto US protectorate.

Who is behind this military agenda? What interests are being served? What is the purpose of the military operation.

There is evidence that the attacks were carefully coordinated by the US military and NATO.

Moscow has accused NATO of "encouraging Georgia". Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov underscored the destabilizing impacts of "foreign" military aid to Georgia: .

“It all confirms our numerous warnings addressed to the international community that it is necessary to pay attention to massive arms purchasing by Georgia during several years. Now we see how these arms and Georgian special troops who had been trained by foreign specialists are used,” he said.(Moscow accuses NATO of having "encouraged Georgia" to attack South Ossetia, Russia Today, August 9, 2008)

Moscow's envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, sent an official note to the representatives of all NATO member countries:

“Russia has already begun consultations with the ambassadors of the NATO countries and consultations with NATO military representatives will be held tomorrow," Rogozin said. "We will caution them against continuing to further support of Saakashvili."

“It is an undisguised aggression accompanied by a mass propaganda war,” he said.

(See Moscow accuses NATO of having "encouraged Georgia" to attack South Ossetia, Russia Today, August 9, 2008)

According to Rogozin, Georgia had initially planned to:

"start military action against Abkhazia, however, 'the Abkhaz fortified region turned out to be unassailable for Georgian armed formations, therefore a different tactic was chosen aimed against South Ossetia', which is more accessible territorially. The envoy has no doubts that Mikheil Saakashvili had agreed his actions with "sponsors", "those with whom he is negotiating Georgia's accession to NATO ". (RIA Novosti, August 8, 2008)

Contrary to what was conveyed by Western media reports, the attacks were anticipated by Moscow. The attacks were timed to coincide with the opening of the Olympics, largely with a view to avoiding frontpage media coverage of the Georgian military operation.

On August 7, Russian forces were in an advanced state readiness. The counterattack was swiftly carried out.

Russian paratroopers were sent in from Russia's Ivanovo, Moscow and Pskov airborne divisions. Tanks, armored vehicles and several thousand ground troops have been deployed. Russian air strikes have largely targeted military facilities inside Georgia including the Gori military base.

The Georgian military attack was repealed with a massive show of strength on the part of the Russian military.

In this image made from television, Russian military vehicles are seen moving towards the capital of South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, on Friday, Aug. 8, 2008. (AP / APTN)

Act of Provocation?

US-NATO military and intelligence planners invariably examine various "scenarios" of a proposed military operation-- i.e. in this case, a limited Georgian attack largely directed against civilian targets, with a view to inflicting civilian casualties.

The examination of scenarios is a routine practice. With limited military capabilities, a Georgian victory and occupation of Tskhinvali, was an impossibility from the outset. And this was known and understood to US-NATO military planners.

A humanitarian disaster rather than a military victory was an integral part of the scenario. The objective was to destroy the provincial capital, while also inflicting a significant loss of human life.

If the objective were to restore Georgian political control over the provincial government, the operation would have been undertaken in a very different fashion, with Special Forces occupying key public buildings, communications networks and provincial institutions, rather than waging an all out bombing raid on residential areas, hospitals, not to mention Tskhinvali's University.

Tskhinvali's University before the bombing

The Russian response was entirely predictable.

Georgia was "encouraged" by NATO and the US. Both Washington and NATO headquarters in Brussels were acutely aware of what would happen in the case of a Russian counterattack.

The question is: was this a deliberate provocation intended to trigger a Russian military response and suck the Russians into a broader military confrontation with Georgia (and allied forces) which could potentially escalate into an all out war?

Georgia has the third largest contingent of coalition forces in Iraq after the US and the UK, with some 2000 troops. According to reports, Georgian troops in Iraq are now being repatriated in US military planes, to fight Russian forces. (See, August 10, 2008)

This US decision to repatriate Georgian servicemen suggests that Washington is intent upon an escalation of the conflict, where Georgian troops are to be used as cannon fodder against a massive deployment of Russian forces.

US-NATO and Israel Involved in the Planning of the Attacks

In mid-July, Georgian and U.S. troops held a joint military exercise entitled "Immediate Response" involving respectively 1,200 US and 800 Georgian troops.

The announcement by the Georgian Ministry of Defense on July 12 stated that they US and Georgian troops were to "train for three weeks at the Vaziani military base" near the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. (AP, July 15, 2008). These exercises, which were completed barely a week before the August 7 attacks, were an obvious dress rehearsal of a military operation, which, in all likelihood, had been planned in close cooperation with the Pentagon.

The war on Southern Ossetia was not meant to be won, leading to the restoration of Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia. It was intended to destabilize the region while also triggering a US-NATO confrontation with Russia.

On July 12, coinciding with the outset of the Georgia-US war games, the Russian Defense Ministry started its own military maneuvers in the North Caucasus region. The usual disclaimer by both Tblisi and Moscow: the military exercises have “nothing to do” with the situation in South Ossetia. (Ibid)

Let us be under no illusions. This is not a civil war. The attacks are an integral part of the broader Middle East Central Asian war, including US-NATO-Israeli war preparations in relation to Iran.

The Role of Israeli Military Advisers

While NATO and US military advisers did not partake in the military operation per se, they were actively involved in the planning and logistics of the attacks. According to Israeli sources (, August 8, 2008), the ground assault on August 7-8, using tanks and artillery was "aided by Israeli military advisers". Israel also supplied Georgia with Hermes-450 and Skylark unmanned aerial vehicles, which were used in the weeks leading up to the August 7 attacks.

Georgia has also acquired, according to a report in Rezonansi (August 6, in Georgian, BBC translation) "some powerful weapons through the upgrade of Su-25 planes and artillery systems in Israel". According to Haaretz (August 10, 2008), Israelis are active in military manufacturing and security consulting in Georgia.

Russian forces are now directly fighting a NATO-US trained Georgian army integrated by US and Israeli advisers. And Russian warplanes have attacked the military jet factory on the outskirts of Tbilisi, which produces the upgraded Su-25 fighter jet, with technical support from Israel. (, August 10, 2008)

When viewed in the broader context of the Middle East war, the crisis in Southern Ossetia could lead to escalation, including a direct confrontation between Russian and NATO forces. If this were to occur, we would be facing the most serious crisis in US-Russian relations since the Cuban Missile crisis in October 1962.

Georgia: NATO-US Outpost

Georgia is part of a NATO military alliance (GUAM) signed in April 1999 at the very outset of the war on Yugoslavia. It also has a bilateral military cooperation agreement with the US. These underlying military agreements have served to protect Anglo-American oil interests in the Caspian sea basin as well as pipeline routes.

Both the US and NATO have a military presence in Georgia and are working closely with the Georgian Armed Forces. Since the signing of the 1999 GUAM agreement, Georgia has been the recipient of extensive US military aid.

Barely a few months ago, in early May, the Russian Ministry of Defense accused Washington, "claiming that [US as well as NATO and Israeli] military assistance to Georgia is destabilizing the region." (Russia Claims Georgia in Arms Buildup, Wired News, May 19, 2008). According to the Russian Defense Ministry

"Georgia has received 206 tanks, of which 175 units were supplied by NATO states, 186 armored vehicles (126 - from NATO) , 79 guns (67 - from NATO) , 25 helicopters (12 - from NATO) , 70 mortars, ten surface-to-air missile systems, eight Israeli-made unmanned aircraft, and other weapons. In addition, NATO countries have supplied four combat aircraft to Georgia. The Russian Defense Ministry said there were plans to deliver to Georgia 145 armored vehicles, 262 guns and mortars, 14 combat aircraft including four Mirazh-2000 destroyers, 25 combat helicopters, 15 American Black Hawk aircraft, six surface-to-air missile systems and other arms." (Interfax News Agency, Moscow, in Russian, Aug 7, 2008)

NATO-US-Israeli assistance under formal military cooperation agreements involves a steady flow of advanced military equipment as well as training and consulting services.

According to US military sources (spokesman for US European Command), the US has more than 100 "military trainers" in Georgia. A Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman "said there were no plans to redeploy the estimated 130 US troops and civilian contractors, who he said were stationed in the area around Tblisi" (AFP, 9 August 2008). In fact, US-NATO military presence in Georgia is on a larger scale to that acknowledged in official statements. The number of NATO personnel in Georgia acting as trainers and military advisers has not been confirmed.

Although not officially a member of NATO, Georgia's military is full integrated into NATO procedures. In 2005, Georgian president proudly announced the inauguration of the first military base, which "fully meets NATO standards". Immediately following the inauguration of the Senakskaya base in west Georgia, Tblisi announced the opening of a second military base at Gori which would also "comply with NATO regulations in terms of military requirements as well as social conditions." (Ria Novosti, 26 May 2006).

The Gori base has been used to train Georgian troops dispatched to fight under US command in the Iraq war theater.

It is worth noting that under a March 31, 2006, agreement between Tblisi and Moscow, Russia's two Soviet-era military bases in Georgia - Akhalkalaki and Batumi have been closed down. (Ibid) The pullout at Batumi commenced in May of last year, 2007. The last remaining Russian troops left the Batumi military facility in early July 2008, barely a week before the commencement of the US-Georgia war games and barely a month prior to the attacks on South Ossetia.

The Israel Connection

Israel is now part of the Anglo-American military axis, which serves the interests of the Western oil giants in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Israel is a partner in the Baku-Tblisi- Ceyhan pipeline which brings oil and gas to the Eastern Mediterranean. More than 20 percent of Israeli oil is imported from Azerbaijan, of which a large share transits through the BTC pipeline. Controlled by British Petroleum, the BTC pipeline has dramatically changed the geopolitics of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Caucusus:

"[The BTC pipeline] considerably changes the status of the region's countries and cements a new pro-West alliance. Having taken the pipeline to the Mediterranean, Washington has practically set up a new bloc with Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Israel, " (Komerzant, Moscow, 14 July 2006)

While the official reports state that the BTC pipeline will "channel oil to Western markets", what is rarely acknowledged is that part of the oil from the Caspian sea would be directly channeled towards Israel, via Georgia. In this regard, a Israeli-Turkish pipeline project has also been envisaged which would link Ceyhan to the Israeli port of Ashkelon and from there through Israel's main pipeline system, to the Red Sea.

The objective of Israel is not only to acquire Caspian sea oil for its own consumption needs but also to play a key role in re-exporting Caspian sea oil back to the Asian markets through the Red Sea port of Eilat. The strategic implications of this re-routing of Caspian sea oil are far-reaching. (For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, The War on Lebanon and the Battle for Oil, Global Research, July 2006)

What is envisaged is to link the BTC pipeline to the Trans-Israel Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, also known as Israel's Tipline, from Ceyhan to the Israeli port of Ashkelon.

"Turkey and Israel are negotiating the construction of a multi-million-dollar energy and water project that will transport water, electricity, natural gas and oil by pipelines to Israel, with the oil to be sent onward from Israel to the Far East,

The new Turkish-Israeli proposal under discussion would see the transfer of water, electricity, natural gas and oil to Israel via four underwater pipelines.

“Baku oil can be transported to Ashkelon via this new pipeline and to India and the Far East.[via the Red sea]"

"Ceyhan and the Mediterranean port of Ashkelon are situated only 400 km apart. Oil can be transported to the city in tankers or via specially constructed under-water pipeline. From Ashkelon the oil can be pumped through already existing pipeline to the port of Eilat at the Red Sea; and from there it can be transported to India and other Asian countries in tankers. (REGNUM)

In this regard, Israel is slated to play a major strategic role in "protecting" the Eastern Mediterranean transport and pipeline corridors out of Ceyhan. Concurrently, it also involved in channeling military aid and training to both Georgia and Azerbaijan.

A far-reaching 1999 bilateral military cooperation agreement between Tblisi and Tel Aviv was reached barely a month before the NATO sponsored GUUAM agreement. It was signed in Tbilisi by President Shevardnadze and Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyu. These various military cooperation arrangements are ultimately intended to undermine Russia's presence and influence in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

In a pro forma declaration, Tel Aviv committed itself, following bilateral discussions with Moscow, on August 5, 2008, to cut back military assistance to Georgia.

Russia's Response

In response to the attacks, Russian forces intervened with conventional ground troops. Tanks and armored vehicles were sent in. The Russian air force was also involved in aerial counter-attacks on Georgian military positions including the military base of Gori.

The Western media has portrayed the Russian as solely responsible for the deaths of civilians, yet at the same time the Western media has acknowledged (confirmed by the BBC) that most of the civilian casualties at the outset were the result of the Georgian ground and air attacks.

Based on Russian and Western sources, the initial death toll in South Ossetia was at least 1,400 (BBC) mostly civilians. "Georgian casualty figures ranged from 82 dead, including 37 civilians, to a figure of around 130 dead.... A Russian air strike on Gori, a Georgian town near South Ossetia, left 60 people dead, many of them civilians, Georgia says." (BBC, August 9, 2008). Russian sources place the number of civilian deaths on South Ossetia at 2000.

A process of escalation and confrontation between Russia and America is unfolding, reminiscent of the Cold War era.

Are we dealing with an act of provocation, with a view to triggering a broader conflict? Supported by media propaganda, the Western military alliance is intent on using this incident to confront Russia, as evidenced by recent NATO statements.


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Requiem For A Flag

Requiem For A Flag

© marty kleva

July 4, 2008

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There are times when images represent an underlying reality of the accepted societal illusion. For me, such is the case with the photo “Requiem”, a sight that I came upon one day while I was on a walk.

I can understand why I had passed it by so many times before without notice. It’s colors are the almost unrecognizable red, white and blue, altered into a dull combination of faded colors and weather-beaten fabric.

Noticeable only by its position of prominence, the wooden dowel of the once brilliantly hued flag of the U.S. stands propped upon a stone wall beneath the portale, and against a hand-hewn pine viga post. Likely it had been carefully placed there on some former Flag Day, Memorial Day, or even some Fourth of July. When I first noticed it, I continued walking on by. I got about ten feet past, and as if something called to me, I looked back and saw the photograph to be taken — not a pretty one — nor even one that might attract a lot of common interest — but to me one that is archetypal and so very symbolic of what I have personally experienced in this country as an American.

To me, this flag expresses how more and more Americans are tired and feel battered; some few very conscious of the reasons why, the great majority not able to explain it, just that they sense that there is something very much amiss in this country. They are so busy complying with all the requirements placed upon them in order to keep a job or two that they have little time to investigate their concerns. They can only rely upon what the system has put in place from which to gather information and trust that they will be told the truth.

While the majority of these Americans have been going about their busy lives other things have been happening:

— the September 11-event that is greatly suspect — with a Commission Report that does not stand up to scrutiny and would not stand a chance in a true court of law.

— a “Patriot Act” that ironically categorizes patriotic Americans to be suspected terrorists.

— a foreign war in Iraq that has been proven to have been initiated for false reasons, those reasons highly suspected to be directly connected across party lines to politicians’ bank accounts.

— Billions of dollars that are admittedly lost by the Pentagon — lost to the military industrial corporations that cannot prove that the expenditures match the payments they have received.

— a President who continually requests more billions to create scores of U.S. military bases and an embassy that resembles a palace — all in Iraq.

— A Congress that continually signs the check for those billions the President asks for.

— A Federal Reserve that under the last and present governors has totally demolished the American Dollar — a currency that is used by the entire world to do business since the Bretton Woods Agreement was signed in 1945.

— A stock market that is not even a Bear Market vs a Bull Market but a totally Manipulated Market that hangs by a thread.

— A banking system that is based on air, having convinced the American people to exist by using “credit”.

— A court system that is no longer run under the Constitution.

— A system that codifies a ‘person’ — like you and me — as a ‘corporation’, not a full live man/woman. Unknowingly, we agree to this when we sign our children’s Birth Certificates and forms to enroll them into Social Security. This then makes us and them the fiduciary to the corporation whose title on the form magically matches our own personal name.

This already too-long list does not even begin to tell the full story of the history of such abuses and treachery against the American Constitution and the American people by some of the elite and major political parties.

However, items similar to those here and others are what finally woke me up sometime in the year 2000 — and like so many of us who are in a deep sleep — it is such a nasty experience to be shaken awake. I wanted to turn over and ignore the screeching alarm.

The once so dearly held so-called American Dream is not just a faded glory, but one that has been literally ripped out from beneath Americans. The disbelief by Americans is almost incomprehensible as I see and hear more and more, “It will never happen in America.” But you see it has already happened, we have just not been able to be awake enough to see it. We have been deluded by the mantra that “America is Safe, America is Free.”

Once this deception is clearly seen, the illusion can never be restored.

For me, it was then a simple matter to understand that what I believed to be a two-party political system is nothing of the sort. It is a conglomerate group of elitists playing their version of Summer Camp Color Wars that convincingly creates a place in the parade for victory to have the common man believe that he/she participates.

When an illusion like this breaks up, it is more than uncomfortable, it is downright devastating and creates an environment that is shaky at best. In this place you try to find others who have also been shaken awake and try to establish some common ground, only to find that even here there are great divisions, and people believing that once they now see clear of the illusion that their main goal is to resist all it stands for and to declare their own personal war upon the illusory beast.

I too struggled with this and more fortunately than many others, realized that resistance is debilitating and can be destructive and dangerous, but learning and further self-education is empowering. I went through a time when I wished more than anything that this country could turn back the clock to the original Constitution, what I mistakenly thought to be idyllic times.

But illusions are not simply cleared nor do they go away quickly. They linger and it's like walking through a deep penetrating fog that begins to shift back and forth and eventually opens into a light mist where the rays of the sun barely shine through. You have to wade through it all to come out on the other side. The important thing to remember is to keep moving and be aware of the many mirrors inside the illusion where one can be mesmerized and unfortunately become frozen and paralyzed by an illusory reality created for our distraction and entertainment by the producers of the carnavale.

I stumbled onto these places — and in some, I battled ethereal windmills, while in others I studied my surroundings very carefully before moving out of the warped maze of mirrors through the one opening that was an aperture to escape the perpetual circle of deceit.

Over and over the lesson was repeated for me. I felt great need to stop and rest and sometimes I did if only from the sheer exhaustion. However, a great internal force of tension kept moving me onward. One thing I was sure about is that when I no longer felt the need to resist then I would have made it through to the edge of the great penetrating fog and no longer under the sole influence of its power.

Once there, it is as if a binding shackle has been shattered. The release from such a force can be extreme and disorienting. This is new territory and the terrain is not familiar. You don’t know what’s what or who’s who and you must figure it all out from scratch.

In between there is a slight window of time when one can step back, back into the deep penetrating fog if one chooses to — and some do.

It is here at this edge of the unknown light before you that all your doubts and demons are summoned to the surface. There is that innate knowing that one more step forward is the one that crosses the Rubicon. I decided to make the crossing and find myself here today knowing that the illusion, the list of distractions and entertainments have not been solely created in my lifetime, but have been steadily added to since before the advent of the birth of this nation.

The difference is in the knowing — knowing that you live in a house of cards and mirrors is entirely different from the one that is lived believing everything is built on safe granite.

Coming to terms with feelings that are thought of as negative greatly adds to the knowing, and as one works through the anger and resentment, rather than insist they do not exist, the journey opens further, and continues to unfold into a clearer understanding of the difference between where you’ve been and where you now stand.

However, much overlooked is the process of grieving, for even the grief felt from leaving an abusive environment is painful. If the pain is buried and never acknowledge, it becomes a festering wound that will eventually show up as a major event in the future.

So I am of the thinking that the process of grieving is a bridge between the past and the unknown future yet to be created — a possible step into a new paradigm. Having come to this place after eighth years of waking up to this situation, and after six months ago coming upon this symbolic scenario that had been created by time and events long past by someone I do not know, a photo resulted, one claiming all the pieces in one click of the shutter that has enabled me to culminate the process of waking up and seeing the illusions I have lived in — at least to this moment of time.

Only here, and after an expression of grief will this country be able to step forward into a new future without the constrictions of the past or the agenda of those who would have us believe in their new illusion of 'one size fits all’ called a ‘one world order.’

To this end, one of a new paradigm, a future yet to be hewn and carved by conscious choice, I offer the following — “Requiem For A Flag.”

“Requiem For A Flag.”

© marty kleva


Lamentably where once this country invited the ‘tired and poor’ onto these great shores

— the tired and poor now rest upon them.

The once noble nation for which this flag gloriously flew in honor of the inalienable rights of freedom

— now decomposes into its elements of corruption and putrefaction.

The once grand and stately flag, shamed and defiled, hangs limp and weathered, unkempt and ragged

— its red and white stripes reduced to sackcloth and ashes.

The once blazoned stars of extraordinary vision no longer rest upon a field of midnight

— poked out of the fabric meant to fuse this country’s ideals.

There is a great and vainglorious rift that has rent the heartland from its moorings

— as it drowns in a flood of tears

The people mourn the loss of a dream once lived

— too short.

The Republic has been beaten and battered into submission

— by the sleight of hand elitists who have duped the world in the aftermath of a blustering silent coup.

Now it is reduced to a dream that has no more substance

— than an ad agency’s shallow hype or the politicians eternally empty promises.

A dream so many have lived and died to experience

— just one more day.

A dream of freedom that is now awash in a sea

— of unprincipled lawlessness and illusion.

Where once there may have been statesmanship

— there is now pernicious political greed.

Where once there may have been integrity

— there is a vast integral of unpardonable criminality.

It is a time of mourning

— for this once greatly esteemed nation has lost its centerboard.

Its sails droop

— for there is no longer a clear breeze to fill their wings.

The captains

— have been intoxicated with demented power.

And the crews

— dare not even turn their mutinous backs upon one another.

Where once this country was a shining light to all

Where once the trumpets blared with symphonious ruffles and flourishes

— there remains only a dim resemblance of such sight and sound.

Now decomposed into a dissonant dirge

— at the hands of those whose watch, the lit lamp is snuffed out and the harmony reduced to a cacophonous Babel.

The Death Song is heard in every land

— across every sea and over every mountain

The procession of plodding and persevering mourners deplore the end

— swaying like willows to lament the loss.

We/They go forth to put the final fist of earthly dirt upon the coffin of our dreams

— to unleash the unseen specter of Retribution upon those who have so miserably betrayed their oaths.

And to finally set free the Spirits of Redemption and Resurrection.

with ‘hayam’ — love that wanders the earth,

~ mek


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Santa Fe Youth Mural Project: SpaceBall—A Pitch To The Stars

Santa Fe Youth Mural Project: SpaceBall—A Pitch To The Stars
marty kleva
April 6, 2008
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Movie — Santa Fe Youth Mural Project: SpaceBall—A Pitch To The Stars
View the entire set of photographs in the Gallery section.

In the high desert country of New Mexico, nestled against the backdrop of Mt. Baldy and the Sangre de Christo Mountains, lays the city of Santa Fe. At an elevation of 7,000 feet, here brilliant blue skies and artistry are de jour against the unusual effects of the Southwestern sun lighting the landscape of pinon pines, cactus, and aspen trees.

The name Santa Fe means “City of Holy Faith” and Santa Feans extend that faith to embrace a heartfelt love of beauty that encompasses artistic expression, group diversity, and the Earth’s wisdom, and where the art gallery mailboxes on Canyon Road are artfully painted.

This place is home to the area of many Native Pueblo tribes who, since before New Mexico was first known as a territory, have integrated the culture and religion of the Spanish Conquistadores as well as the occupying forces of the United States. Today it accepts the mixture of Hispanic, Native American, Mexican, and Anglo descent with a grace seldom found elsewhere. Santa Fe is a city that allows an expression of diversity where each culture has learned how to respect the other. It is not called “The City Different” without reason.

Here one finds lovely gardens, pueblo-style architecture, and the low profile adobe homes for which Santa Fe is renown. The earth-tone adobe is used as a foil for splashes of outrageous colors — turquoise, lavender, pinks, and tangerine that reflect the hues of our legendary Southwestern sunsets.

In town, around the traditional Spanish Plaza is the Atomic Grill, a reminder that Los Alamos is only a crow’s flight across the valley to the northwest in the Jemez Mountains.

During Indian Market Celebration you can spot a Harley on the plaza, children garbed in their native Pueblo-style dress, a “tourista” marketplace replete with bleached out cattle skulls, the traditional red and green chile ristras, and off a side street find the Loretto Chapel with the famed one-piece wooden spiral staircase.

One block from the Plaza is the Basilica of St. Francis; its first Bishop, Lamy, famed as the subject of Willa Cather’s novel “Death Comes To The Archbishop.” These are some examples of the integration of Native Spirituality and the Christianity of the area's Spanish heritage.

New Mexico is famous for its chile crop and here the main cuisine question is not would you like your meal with or without, but “Would you like that red or green?”

On a Spring day in April 2007, from a perch high above the city we can look down and find a group of artists who are meeting for the first time. The artists Luke Aiello, Peter Costas, Clark le Compte, Alana Sandovol, and Sarah Velez are led by professional mural artist Jenn Costas. The team is just forming to create and carry out a public mural project for the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission underwritten by a local organization Warehouse 21 through the direction of Ana Gallegos y Reinhardt. The project’s goal is to reclaim the buildings at Franklin Miles Ball Park from tags and graffiti that have accumulated over time and from those who believe that a blank wall is the equivalent of a bare canvas and an invitation to indulge in their idea of art.

Started in the mid-90’s by the Mayor’s Youth Art Council, the plan is to incorporate young artists to create and carry out such mural projects to prevent visual destruction of the city’s infrastructure. The thinking behind this is that those graffiti artists who are statistically younger will respect the artwork of their contemporaries; a premise that seems to hold true the majority of the time.

Managing director Jenn and the group of artists make a preliminary visit to the Park to survey the condition of the buildings and assess things like the wall surfaces, the number of buildings and walls to include, and the overall visual relationship of the structures to which they will be adding the mural. The main challenge of this site is to integrate numerous outbuildings with the central ball-field and adjoining dugouts.

After a whirlwind of brainstorming creativity that brings their ideas together, the artists agree to meet again, and with Jenn’s unflagging guidance she moves the group through the creative process. She skillfully calls upon the unique skills and background of each artist, utilizing them to the full potential of their talents. Here, Peter Costas also a ball player is used as a model for the athletic movement of a pitcher inspiring the other artists to sketch images to be used later for the mural.

Following weeks of meeting, planning and drawing sketches, the artists arrive at the tongue-in-cheek theme “SpaceBall—A Pitch To The Stars”, and in June they begin to put the paint to the walls of what is now in their view called Spaceball Stadium.

Jenn has gathered all the tools of the artist on the move; assorted brushes, buckets of colorful paint, handiwipes, sunscreen, and a full tank of drinking water — all arranged on the tailgate of her vehicle, while the team has rearranged their work and school schedules to accommodate the project’s fulfillment.

Soon the artists discover the many different obstacles to outdoor painting, where beneath the hot Mew Mexican sun in June paint dries very quickly, almost instantaneously even at nine in the morning. Although there is plenty of water to drink and food to fuel their energy, working without shade has its toll on the artists.

It is not long before the painting schedule changes from starting at eight or nine AM to beginning at six AM. This change is further complicated by the necessity to assure the safety of the artists, and now Jenn must reschedule teams of both male and female to be present at such an early hour, even if the guys are there catching a few z’s in the car.

Soon each artist finds their niche in the project and applies his/her unique style and methods to the murals. Some artists are quiet and methodical, some flamboyant in their expression, and some find they like to work in teams while others prefer to work alone.

With the team members each logging in over 400 man-hours of painting, the project progresses through June into July. This does not include the times they have met to plan and brainstorm. The schedule moves overtime into August when finally the work is done and can be viewed as a cohesive unit meant to humorously convey a baseball game between earthlings and a visiting team of aliens from another planetary civilization.

The vibrant murals appear on the dugouts, the refreshment stand, an equipment shed, and even on an electrical box that sits practically in the middle of all the rest. The colorful murals depict a witty alien play-by-play announcer and worker at the refreshment window with a combination of earth/alien fans lined up outside to buy tickets and snacks. One mural shows a tall skinny fluorescent green alien up to bat, and others actively leading off and sliding into bases. There is a futuristic Earth team pitcher, catcher, in fielders and outfielders, all in dynamic positions of throwing, catching, and diving for the ball.

Inspired by New Mexico’s love-hate relationship with prairie dogs, the artists insert an entirely new perspective by incorporating these little controversial critters in a unique system of snagging outfield balls. The artists paint an underground subway system full of retrieved baseballs making their way back to the home team infield via the assistance of prairie dogs wearing clear bubble-like space helmets. Very ingenious indeed!

The home team dugout is an awesome space ship while the other dugout, consigned to the visiting aliens, is seemingly in the outer limits of the park and is a stand alone mural of the one word “SpaceBall” in all its otherworldly explosion of letters going off in every direction.

Months later into the Fall, the project has met with the approval of the players, fans and local community alike, and has the official recognition of the City when the Mayor hands out “way-to-go” awards to the mural team for their artistic accomplishment of covering the nucleus of walls at the ballpark complex.

The tagging that had continued at the beginning of the project has since stopped — the ultimate goal of the mural projects across the city. This project has brought fresh dynamic dimensions to Franklin Miles Park and adds to the excitement of the players who play ball here.

GemFireAir wishes to thank Jenn Costas and her team for their kind agreement for the author to follow & photo-document this project from its inception to completion. Over 1000 photos were shot and a generous sampling of them can be viewed in the Gallery Section.

Also available is a 10-minute photo-video composition — a first for GemFireAir. Much credit and thanks goes to my friend Robert Hutwohl, MAC tech, not only for his suggestion to use KeyNote software, but also for his extensive assistance in response to my cries for help! Without his expertise and patience this project would likely never have gotten off the ground, much less completed.

I hope you will give it a go and view it — would also love any feedback.

May the beauty of expression make an indelible impression
on the heart of the world.


~ mek

All rights reserved — copywrite of marty kleva & GemFireAir.
Material may be freely distributed with proper credits given. Not to be used otherwise.

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Fear As Ally

Series on Fear-III:
Fear As Ally
marty kleva
February 13, 2008

permanent url

About 10 years ago I read a news account of a very savvy elementary school teacher in Boulder, Colorado who taught a science lesson to his class involving the planets and their place in the galaxy. He had the students make mock-up planets in scale and then took them to a large outside yard to demonstrate the lesson where he had the students set up our heliocentric galaxy and figure where each of the planets would be accordingly located within the parameters of the yard.

When the planet positions were all in place, and the students discussed the different aspects, there was one overwhelming point that came to the forefront. The teacher said that what he could vividly realize by this elementary yet inspired demonstration is how little of our entire galaxy is made up of hard physical matter— both seeable and touchable. The flip side of that is that he, and eventually his students, also realized how much of our galaxy world is made up of something else which seems to be purely non-tangible empty space.

Given this model it could be said that in the entire universe of all matter, the percentage we usually believe to be reality can be represented by a number of infinite (0.00000’s+1%) — I’ll call this Reality #1 — and the remaining reality by the number 99. + an infinite number of 9’s (99.99999+%) which may actually be reality — but regardless of that near unbelievable statement, I’ll call this Reality #2.

Almost the entire amount of the Reality #1 is concentrated upon how one person/group can overpower another and impinge their beliefs and value systems upon the other, including the so-called religious righteous.

Out of Reality #1, in what we now call America, over 85% of the $2.7 trillion 2006 federal budget was allotted to 1) War: $580.5 billion; 2) Disease: $614.1 billion; & 3) Debt held against the American people: 1,115.4 billion.

These three top expenditures make a gigantic statement within the infinitesimal Reality #1; they are all founded upon FEAR—FEAR of other nations and people, FEAR of dying, the FEAR of not being able to make enough money if one is poor or struggling, and in the case of the wealthy, the FEAR is of a) not being able to manage their money, and b) of someone else taking it away.

Not to be simplistic, but this is Reality #1 in a nutshell, and if it is anywhere near the Truth of things, then one must wonder about the make-up of the remaining 99.999+%!

What is Reality #2, the 99.999+% of all that is, in relationship to Reality #1, the infinite number of 0.00000’s+1%? The comparison between the two is startling.

Now think of all that is in Reality #1 that we believe is important; those physical so-called needs we spend the majority of our energy in the form of time, money and worry, trying to acquire, or create. Think of the 2.7 trillion dollars within this context, and think of the FEAR that is related to that 2.7 trillion.

Stop reading and get the entire picture clear in your mind before continuing. Get the galaxy model set up in a large park and cordon it off as if it is the entire galaxy and work within this framework. All that you see of the physical planetary models is the only hard matter that exists. All the rest of the space around and between the planets in three dimension is empty — at least it appears so to our untrained eyes and senses. Science calls this remaining empty space ‘dark matter’. (See article here)

What we are concerned with here for the purposes of this article is what we call Reality #1, and its make-up of FEAR.

In today’s culture we are taught to not be afraid as we bluster through scenarios that appear to be dangerous. We are cosseted and kept safe by laws, ordinances, and decrees that are only the cover for the reality that escapes most of us.

We live in the Piscean Age that has its own repercussions by its Neptunian nature that translates to watery, and at its best, is illusory. This is the reality that we live in and the challenge is to understand that this is what we deal with daily — an illusion of the reality #1—so that even the print on the newspaper can be an illusion, as can the sounds of speech that we hear from those who represent the financial/political scene and those that report for them to us. The problem comes from believing without question that it is all-true.

Those who are familiar with this site know that my one stipulation to bottom-line thinking is that it leads to a quest toward the next one. Perfectly okay to reach bottom lines — it is in believing that they are the end of the road that shuts down all further inquiry.

Certainly we can take rests to enjoy the destination that we have reached, to explore it further and become familiar with the terrain there, but to live out the belief that this is all there is truly bespeaks of fear that is stuck where it first erupted — in the Root Chakra.

We depend on our survival-based root chakra to invoke our fear for good reason. This is an innate system of warning for us to be alert about what endangers our living, which can be anything, to knowing that we cannot simply walk out onto a busy highway, to someone holding a dangerous weapon on us, or that our health is threatened by the misuse of chemicals.

Healthy fear is when we can get angry enough to move the 1st chakra fear into our 2nd chakra and onward to engage our power in the 3rd chakra to action. Then over time, unless we move this raw unconscious knee-jerk reaction into the 4th heart chakra we remain forever on the wheel of karma, perfectly oblivious to everything else that the universe represents except for that one day when we wake up to find that we are powerless to have any say in our lives.

In order to be conscious, Fear moved forward by Anger and engaged in action of our Power center must also be ingested and integrated with the 4th chakra element of Love — the Universal Dispassionate Love for both ourselves and others where decisions are not made based on anger, hatred, etc., but upon an unbiased equanimity simply because we can also see ourselves standing in the other person’s position. We can recognize the hologram that reflects the raw unbiased Truth that we are no more, no less than that person we face, whether it is in an embrace or with a difference of opinion.

The point that our total health may rest upon is the foundation of balance. Fear is an extreme — so is bliss! We are meant to find the point of positive balance between them. They both will become negative influences if we stay on the exponential curve of either one too long without seeking the remedy. The remedy of balance is brought about not by simply tossing aside our fear or bliss, but learning to recognize them and giving them our conscious awareness.

Both fight & flight can be productive as there is a time to engage in each. The key is to know when we are engaged in either one that we are in an exponential curve to pull together and heighten our body’s defenses. It is important to not stay on that exponential curve, for if our body continually stays at full alert we are like a loaded dump truck going down the interstate with the engines at full throttle but in first gear.

The negative aspect is getting stuck in the upward curve and not coming off the mountain. Here is where Mindfulness practice is a way to rock the stressors by using breath awareness — observing the breath as it moves in and out of our body, feeling the air as it rushes past our nostrils, sense its temperature and velocity, then notice how that action coincides with the movement of our chest, how it expands and stretches the spaces between the ribs, and the fact that it also expands the belly as the diaphragm drops to accommodate our expanded lungs. Using these awareness practices allows the body’s wisdom to take over — and it will — to bring the hormones of fight or flight back to a normal reading.

Accumulated stress is a product of our reaction to fear that never finds resolve.

In the Buddha of Fear, in the time before I realized that my black haze was my fear, I was on that curve; so was the year that I spent every Sunday at the Cathedral in the throes of bliss. Once I acknowledged my fear and began to work with it using Mindfulness practice I began to ameliorate the exponential curve of negativity. I used the same practice with my ecstatic experiences in the Cathedral, but I neglected to monitor the amount of time there and thus became addicted to the bliss without realizing the pitfalls and possible dangers to the amount and power of Light I ingested.

Fear is such a complex emotion. I learned that my anger was fueled by my fear and that beneath that fear was also excitement, but most of all impacting upon me was to discover that by slowly walking step-by-step through and with my fear, I walked in to pure Love. Never before in all my life when I walked away from fear, or denied it, or got over it, or put it aside, or conquered it, did I encounter love like I felt and experienced when I walked with my Buddha of Fear.

Fear is out of the base chakra; bliss is from the 7th and beyond. The most powerful use of either is when they meet in the middle 4th, or heart chakra. This is where the most powerful experience of the love orgasm springs from, the union of these two extreme chakras at the heart.

Were we to push away all fear in our lives we would also miss out on excitement and a good healthy adrenalin rush, like that which occurs in the ultimate expression of sexual orgasm where our entire being — all our physical and energy bodies are thoroughly engaged. This does not necessarily need to be experienced with another person or with one of the opposite gender, but I do believe that if solo then we will also have had to do a lot of masculine/feminine integration of our subtle energy bodies.

This brings us closest to what the experience of death can be. Petite mort is simply an experience we achieve with all things in balance at the moment. It is a signpost for us to follow and explore in greater observation. For when a person fully surrenders to their own true self — the will of the soul — then life becomes centered in the heart chakra — not alone by itself, but with the streams of all emotions from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rising up to meet the downward streams from the 5th, 6th, and above chakras. When they meet and mingle in the heart chakra, then a wisdom arises out of the mix to determine our actions, not out of fear alone, nor from bliss alone, but connected and integrated in what we know as Universal Love or Non-Conditional Love.

To reach Love one must also come to know Fear.

Love is the full spectrum of emotions that streams through the center of the apex to merge into the Light. Fear may be the emotional spectrum that mirrors Love, similar to the phenomena of the mirrored light spectrum being reflected in a double rainbow.

I know enough now to not ignore my fear, not to allow my critical ego-self to say “I’ve been there, done that.”, because I’ve also learned that fear is not some linear emotion that picks that same criteria or set of circumstances to express itself — the next time. Fear is not a two-dimensional or even possibly a three dimensional emotion. I find it to be the mother/father of all emotions within the lower three chakras and find it to have a multidimensional spectrum that could appear to be spherical or holographic. It is connected to the root of our very existence and therefore may also be the connection to the transcendent.

Fear is no wimp to ignore or try to put off because being imprinted into our DNA, it is always present, at least for as long as mankind exists. So we must learn to ID it and then to acknowledge that it is ours and not project it onto others. Until we shift our relationship toward fear, it will rule our lives as it now does in this modern world of 2008.

We have devoted all science and technology to creating a world that appears to make us safe and protected from everything under the sun. We have lawyers and insurance to protect us from lawsuits. There is a medical world that has developed ways to artificially alter the body with implants and machines so that we achieve longevity.

We have gone so far in all our developed external technological systems of safety and progress that we are at the ultimate stretch of use/misuse of technology, and it has now turned in on us and instead of protecting us its use has become the very danger it was initially designed to protect us against.

We may in actuality be no further ahead in any form of enlightenment. Instead, we may be in decline since we have signed over all our power out of the 3rd chakra to something that exists outside of ourselves. We are no longer safe. All that which we believe to be in place to keep us safe is an illusion that’s been created and paid for dearly from our own pockets and with our own lives. We have no one else to blame for it as we take the hook every time the issue of safety arises and have given someone else the power to deal with it. We no longer believe that we ourselves can keep us safe. We look to buy our safety on the merits of someone else’s say so.

Fear has become the world’s greatest commodity. The sale of everything from war to identification is based on how much fear can be induced into the public to buy the product that promises protection or security. The irony of it all is that the very thing that was sold as protection has led to a massive invasion of further technology that threatens our safety and ability to lead a private, independent, and self-advised life.

The products that demand us to provide further information and disclose deeper layers of our unique features such as fingerprints and iris scans are the very ones that are now attached to our birth records, work history, medical history, our purchasing preferences, places we have visited and lived, and with the use of cell phones our exact physical location within fifty feet.

These safety features have turned a free country into a prison all under the auspices of wars waged on our multiple fears. As a collective we find ourselves acting out when we buy insurance of all kinds including life insurance, renter’s insurance and travel insurance to name the obvious. Then there are the more subtle products like cell phones for children and our elderly parents. These very systems that we believe and rely upon to keep us safe have failed to do so, and what ensues is that these systems go further to convince us that we now need to inject an ID module under the skin so we can keep track of our children and pets in case they are taken. The move is always to up the ante with the onus on us.

GPS features in the more recent vehicles are commercialized as the latest gadget to acquire, and we are sold the Madison Avenue line that they will also help anyone who is stranded on the road. All you need to do is call the GPS monitoring system and they can tell exactly where you are. Whatever happened to the good Samaritans along the road? Whatever happened to us taking care of us?

Our entire infrastructure of community has been infiltrated by the discount brokering of fear.

The foundation of our entire monetary system is also run on the emotion of fear. The stock market totally exudes fear — watch as moment by moment the NASDAQ & DOW figures go up and down according to what the President, the head of the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Secretary, or CEO of the largest bank and brokerage house happen to mention out loud or write about or hint about to be announced in the next two days time.

Religions of the world — I can speak to the Judeo-Christian religions in particular — are based on the fear of God and all actions are geared toward acting the perfect Christian because if a person does not, he/she will go to hell and Christians are taught to fear hell.

No matter where we go fear is used to sell us on whatever product the commercial world wishes us to buy. Remember too that our government here in America is no longer a republic, nor is it a constitutional democracy; now it is a commercial corporation just like ENRON, HALIBURTON, CITIBANK, MORGAN STANLEY, WALMART, etc.

It is this unconscious collective fear that adds to the collective stress that activates the fight or flight syndrome and refuses to let go. Fear does not need to be eradicated from our life, that’s impossible to do. What needs to happen to turn this entire package of fear that is being sold to an entire culture is for us to shift our perspective and attitudes toward fear itself.

Fear is a true teacher of values. To recognize it in all its subtle aspects demands savage honesty, and to face it demands an intrepid heart. To deny it is like turning our back on a cobra, a position much more dangerous than facing it, even as that might be terrifying.

It was easy for me to relate to my Buddha of Fear after the fact of discovering what it was — but prior to that moment of discovery, I had no idea what I was facing and it was terrifying.

It is never my recommendation to approach fear head on or with hubris. To approach with gentle caution is much more workable and is more likely to produce positive effects. It is also more preferable to approach without the usual ego-driven agenda of specific results; here I could almost guarantee that at its best this will backfire and at the worst it will look like a cure that later manifests to a discovery that our fear has only been buried deeper than before, and down the line apiece it will act up and act out in our personality and even in the form of dis-ease.

All of this I am describing is inside of Reality #1! Can you even fathom what Reality #2 is about? If anything we can use just the comparison of magnitude and size to help us keep a perspective.

Collective Addiction To Hype

In this culture of more is better and best, where our today’s performance is never enough and we are forced in our jobs and thinking to constantly strive for a higher level of everything — we have become addicted to the feeling of hype — the sound media especially bombards us with commercials that are too loud, where overtly brash actors must yell at each other and us at a speed that defies nature, to get it all in a 30 second sound bite.

TV news shows look and sound more like a shouting match in a bar. This is violence at its most subtle execution that serves as a model for collective behavior. These same high profile talk show hosts display abominable behavior denigrating guests who may disagree with the host’s views.

The level of stress on such shows is at the extreme — guests must not only compete with each other for their points of view, they must also compete with the host for the time to speak it. This type of display on public TV bleeds into the collective angst and raises the stress curve around the world. It incites higher levels of stress in both the the participants and the viewers alike. Evidently this is the intent of the producers because it seems that this is what gets the attention of the masses that watch TV. Little do the masses seem to understand what they are participating in and how it ultimately is affecting their health.

Stress: The Phantom Menace

Around my Buddha of fear there was this shroud of darkness. I could have tried to ignore it, wished it to go away, to get over it and get on with life. I decided rather to further investigate it. I knew it was a cloud of energy that had been opened by the accident fracturing my aura — unleashing all the past fears I had so well ignored and gotten over. This time it would have to be different.

Those other times when I have known fear and climbed over it to act fearless, I am aware that my actions were truly fueled by the very fear I denied, and those actions were like a man running from a tiger oblivious to all that is in front of him, only knowing the fear of being hunted, chased, to be outrun and caught by the tiger. That is the purest form of 1st chakra ‘survival’ energy in action.

One of the underlying causes for collective stress is that we do not know how to protect ourselves from those who convince us that they have jurisdiction over us. When we give over personal information to people we are not even acquainted with, it is at great cost to the subtle systems of our physical body. The cost over time may be much greater than the advertised rewards. This is an insidious element in our world today that on one hand promises protection and security, yet on the other erodes the very protection and security we thought we were buying.

The body’s systems when constantly barraged by such attacks go into the exponential stress curve, and without relief begin to break down creating greater number of dis-orders and dis-eases.

What to do about it?

First notice there is always 1) a cost up-front & center — the cost that we pay for our base desires — like the latest car model, latest designer jeans, newest computer, cell-phone electronic gadget, or the bars, clubs and memberships that promise exciting yet impersonal sexual encounters.

Behind all the merchandising of these base products is also 2) a hidden cost to our present and future existence.

We know and feel something is not quite so when “Energy In” is NOT EQUAL to or greater than “Energy Out!”

When we figure out what that cost is, not only in dollars, but also in the decreasing quality of life, then we can see that the disparate equation of energy is a negative cost to us personally and/or our family and community.

It is the complexity of fear that makes it difficult to understand, difficult to distinguish which end of the spectrum one is experiencing and knowing which feature of fear is the true catalyst behind our actions.

Different degrees and layers of fear evoke degrees and intensity of the emotion. There are also the different sources of it that incorporate different degrees of risk and danger with varying degrees of consequences.

All the symptoms of fight or flight can also be evoked by meeting someone of attraction, ratcheting up the pulse & heartbeat with blood rushing through our vessels, or merely by the anticipation of skydiving, preparing to go onstage, or entering into a sporting contest.

Like people, emotions are never what they seem — especially fear. Emotions can be so powerful that we are afraid of experiencing and expressing them. When our emotions are buried we act tired, dull, bored, sophisticated and politically correct. We feel dead and weak inside. We are empty, insensible, feel hopeless, and have no direction from within. Hidden feelings can be described in words such as afraid, scared, terrorized, raw, having a feral need to survive, and find us sucking in air with desperate pants.

Fear can be painful as it forces us to feel something — to feel alive— and gives us purpose. However, if we do not understand what is driving our actions then we are no longer at the reins, but are now in the harness.

What is it like to seize the reins and learn to handle them for our benefit? To do so in the face of fear, we need to get down into the base chakra and root out the information of what is running the fear. We need to learn how to pay attention to the emotions that are in reality in perpetual motion. The executive function of our brain is only the receptor and perceptive identifier of the rush of emotions through this gateway.

Emotions, specifically fear in this context, that initiate from the mind of the body, are the molecules of communication between that and the mind of the brain. They are like the wellspring of a river’s source. It is up to us to investigate, locate and begin to know them for the sustenance they provide.

Like our attention caught upon a colorful, flamboyant silk scarf being drawn out by a sleight-of-hand artist at a magic show — all the while reality is hidden elsewhere.

Sending the LOVE of
'hayam’ to illuminate the way.

Con Amore,

~ mek


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Winter Solstice 2007

Winter Solstice 2007
marty kleva
December 21, 2007
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Winter Solstice Greetings

from Santa Fe, New Mexico

Hello Everyone,

Here we are once again @ the Winter Solstice, today December 21, 2007. In the winter skies the sun has just made its entrance into the constellation of Capricorn, the sign of the Sea-Goat that is under the rule of the planet Saturn. Lots of responsibilities are carried beneath this sign, or I might say upon the shoulders of those who have not only been born with the sun in this sign, but also for those who have a major aspect, such as the ascendant, mid-heaven, and those who may have the moon or a significant planet there.

The Solstice of course marks the point where the sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator, and shining directly over Earth's tropic of Capricorn. What we experience here in the northern hemisphere is the longest night of the year and what we call the beginning of winter.

The origin of the word solstice, comes from Latin solstitium, from sol, “sun” and -stitium, “a stoppage.” Following the winter solstice, the days begin to grow longer and the nights shorter. Personally, I can mark the place that the sun shines into my living room as I have watched it progress across the carpet since the Autumnal Equinox to now where it reaches across almost the entire width of the carpet to hit the sofa on the opposite wall.

With the world in such a state as I see today, it is difficult to only point out the fact that this is the time of Celebrating Light, something which is reflected within the many and various religions of the world. Within my experience, the emergence of light can be many things; light can illuminate that which is hidden by the dark and thusly expose secrets and those parts of ourselves we would not readily wish to look at or see. Light can also be so blinding that we are like the deer caught in the path of the headlights. Here we are blinded and cannot see what the light illuminates.

Many choose to see only what they would refer to as the good that light represents. In today's world, I believe that we cannot be so naive to believe that there is only that, especially when we look around us and see more violence being perpetrated upon so many others beneath the guise of making ourselves feel safe; when, if we look there are more people who are homeless, and more people who have been foreclosed out of their homes.

If we were to truly look, we would find that almost all if not most of the banking world has been playing with fire and have only begun to feel the singe of the heat. If we were to truly look, we would begin to be able to read between the lines of the newsprint and hear the nuances of the spoken words of mainstream radio & TV, and we would know that there's much going on within our own business & government that is not illuminated.

We cannot depend upon others to hold the light on those things which affect us daily. We must learn to hold and direct that beam of light ourselves. Only we are ultimately responsible for the state of our world and our actions, not others.

And so within this day that marks the beginning of the return of Light to our Earth planet, I propose to be aware of the incoming light as it increases each day and to mark the difference it makes. In light of my own inadequate words to mark this time especially, I came across this poem by Yeats that I would like to offer for reflection during this Season of Lights.

•• In memorium to my friend and writing partner Karen Bolander-Claus ••



W. B. Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all convictions, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand.

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

When a vast image of the Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight; somewhere in the sands of the desert

A shape with lion body and the head of a man.

A gaze blank and pityless as the sun,

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again, but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?

With expectations of many things to come — and also pass.

Con Amore,

~ mek


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The Buddha of Fear

Series on Fear-l
l:The Buddha of Fear
marty kleva

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marty is scheduled to present @ the
3rd International Women’s Peace Conference
~ Empowering Peacemakers ~
July 10-15, Dallas Texas

Before I relay the story of the Buddha of Fear, there is some background information important to the context. It has to do with Mindfulness, and how this word is used and heard.

For the purpose of this story, and for that matter of this site, the source of the word Mindfulness is from an ancient Buddhist practice of training the mind to be fully awake to all its activities as a means to know oneself. From this place we can then recognize all thoughts, feelings, sensations, and sounds without the need to overlay additional meaning to them or to deny their source. First hand, with this practice we can discover that most of our reality, if not all, is but a mind construct. Knowing this point can be very helpful as we live in a consensus reality that the collective mind of our modern world has created.

Like the thresher’s screen, the practice of Mindfulness helps to separate the wheat from the chaff. It is not used for us as a means to live in another world—it is used for us to be fully awake to this one and to provide further access to what also lies beyond.

A person need not be a Buddhist to practice Mindfulness. Mindfulness can be applied to everything without distorting the origin. Therefore it can be practiced throughout all religions, philosophies, and belief systems without concession.

In Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, this practice is highly successful in lowering the effects of stress. Medical doctors recommend this to their patients, and research studies show that its use is highly effective in reducing the symptoms of numerous illnesses and conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain, high blood pressure, and anxiety, naming but a few. As this New York Times article reports, Mindfulness has also been instrumental in assisting children to lead a balanced life.

After over ten years of regular Mindfulness practice with the use of additional tools I acquired in the area of subtle energy practices, and given that my training also included the applied psychology of phenomenology and somatics, I felt that this background would allow me to further explore the phenomena around my accident trauma using Mindfulness as a center pole and anchor point.

In all my years of Mindfulness practice and training I learned that no matter what aspects of doubt or fear I experienced, there was one thing that remained true—that being the knowledge that however awful I thought I was or that things were, I understood that none of it was the sum total of my life, but that this too was a mind construct passing on its way through my awareness.

Many times the darker doubts and fears overwhelm the lighter aspects of our being. What I have also learned from my observations is that if I ride only on the light, it can be a very shallow body of energy to surf. For at its edge and below it all resides a depth that by its very nature is dark. The point is to not give a different set of values to either one, but instead to see each as part of the total picture and acknowledge them for the valuable contribution they make to the whole. Simply put, it is the Tao, the yin-yang symbol in real-time.

To further describe the practice of Mindfulness in as clear and concise a way as I can, it consists of sitting quietly and paying acute attention to the breath in all its aspects. Once that is established, then the practitioner moves on to recognize thoughts as thinking, noises as sound, and different inclinations of the body and eruptions of emotions as feelings.

Despite the brevity and apparent simplicity of this explanation, it is a lifetime of work. When a person undertakes this challenge, he/she soon learns that the mind has a will of unbridled energy that resists being trained to pay attention because it believes that it already does pay attention, and that it needs no one else to teach it anything. So this person is surprised to learn that while they believe they are paying attention to their breath, they suddenly discover their mind has wandered off to other pleasant pastures of remembering the party last evening or some item in their appointment book set for next week. In this practice, the training is to then very gently turn the wandering mind back to the attention of the breath and begin all over again.

This is Mindfulness practice, both at its most rudimentary and it highest form. I have often remarked to myself that this practice is fueled by a lot of beginnings!

Armed with these tools I allowed myself to further explore the regions of trauma-induced emotions, taking my lifeline of Mindfulness with me. So there is no misunderstanding, I must also say that some of what I did is counter to the practice of Mindfulness as described above.

By this time, my breath awareness was well ingrained and I used Mindfulness to dwell longer and deeper in these states of emotions that overtook me in order to observe and study them as they swept through my body. In the pure practice of Mindfulness, a person would let go of the emotion on an outbreath and immediately return to pay attention to just the breath, thinking, etc.

As a phenomenologist, I took advantage of my long-term practice to move through the immense amount of trauma my body endured from the accident and to also investigate deeper into the darker realms of the psyche to those places where the most recent trauma event cracks open old wounds that have been scarred over and armored so that we can no longer feel them. Old wounds, for all their armoring continue to effect our lives because regardless of all the armor, they remain unhealed.

If I ever doubted the power of unhealed wounds of the psyche, my encounter with the angel soon dissuaded me of that belief as in one single swipe of the blade the angel unleashed all my past unhealed wounds. It was so apparent that as I saw them come forth I did not need to be given an explanation.

I knew then that if this is what was happening to me then according to the statistics, there were millions of other people who were experiencing similar phenomena in their lives; the difference being that I had a unique set of tools to work with to identify and sort through the terrifying aftermath of such trauma.

This then is what I set out to do; determined to learn the substance and structure of my own trauma, to map it like an explorer maps new territory using the practice of Mindfulness as my compass.

Be forewarned that I am not recommending this for anyone without a well-trained guide in Mindfulness practice, just as I would not even consider going into the dessert without the presence of a seasoned tracker who has not been there before. In my observations, the mindscapes of trauma present difficult ground to navigate. The landscape of the desert, much like the mind is forever changing as the winds shift the sands across the terrain, and illusions appear as myriads of mirages that can fool even the veteran tracker.

In my attempt to map out this environment, I do not profess that all I saw and learned is all there is to learn—it is only my experience of it. I have tried to document it as accurately as I am capable of so that those who come after may recognize themselves and know a way through the desert of the mind.

For a person who has had a recent trauma event, it is important to know that there are both appropriate and inappropriate times in which to initiate the practice of Mindfulness. A person who is in combination both a long-term practitioner and one who is trained in experiential psychology can determine this. This may or may not include credentialed professionals. Not every licensed professional is qualified to undertake the position of guide. The individual who has experienced recent trauma must recognize this and choose as wisely as they can.

I have laid out the criteria for making the choice to begin. This said, I know there is something I have left out—that will come in due time. Let me get on now with the Buddha of Fear.

The Buddha of Fear
marty kleva

written 9-4-05

Beginning the year 2001, six months after my accident, I began to come to terms with the trauma that was buried so deeply that I had yet to truly acknowledge it. Instead, I had hid in the recesses of the safer more palatable thinking that my accident had been an opportunity for spiritual awakening. Society listens more to those who turn a tragedy into an inspiration. It is easier to look only at the successful outcome of a tragic event than to dwell in the agony it took to get there.

Friends, and family seemed to withdraw and not want to be around me if I appeared wounded, sad, and depressed. They acted guarded, as if sadness might be catching. There is some bitterness that comes with the territory, especially once I realized that this would be a lonely path to travel. Except for one friend long distance, I could not count on company. It is not that I blamed anyone for it, it is only that I was not in any position to ask for that kind of steady commitment for support, and that I realized how much others were trying to deal with their own lives and had to appear to be doing so successfully. My senses were very open to detecting others’ emotions.

Reflecting on the accident and the ensuing result I began to recede from the experience of living. I had no verve for it. I was afraid to experience anything that resembled passion, or enjoyment. Not only was I afraid to be alive, I also feared to let it show — terrified that if I were to do so, that it would
again be taken away. The effects of the accident had robbed me of my professional dreams and aspirations just as I was at the take-off mark.

More and more my life reflected the aura of fear. Soon, I could sense and also see a dark cloud around my head. I was reminded of the Charles Schultz character of Linus in the Snoopy cartoon. Linus is always depicted holding onto his security blanket, sucking his thumb, and having what looks like a cloud of dust swirling around his head. My cloud was dark and I desperately wanted a security blanket. I did not appear with my thumb in my mouth — I was too traumatized to put it there. It might have had some benefit.

As I went through my days, I became more and more aware of this dark cloud around me. It went with me everywhere. When I sat in meditation I could feel it more clearly. It became more and more evident to me all the time, not just some of the time. Many days, I pretended that it wasn’t there, but it was not something to be denied.

Finally, I realized that the cloud represented fear, my fear, a dark shadow of myself that was still unknown to me, and that I wanted to keep at bay. Yet it stayed. For months and months, it was my companion. It would not leave me. It would not go away.

Like those acquaintances and friends who withdrew from my sadness, I did not want to get too closely acquainted with this dark presence. It was very intimidating. What terrible secret about myself would I learn if I allowed it to get too close? Just having it hover around me was enough to deal with.

Over time, the dark murkiness began to thin out and I detected a vague form within the dark mist. Positioned in front of me at my forehead level as I sat in meditation, it never moved to threaten me more than to just be there. Using all my previous training, my shifting back and forth in awareness allowed me the freedom to move closer to it; not a lot, by no means, just to the edge of my comfort so that eventually I did not feel quite as fearful of its presence. I began to get used to it and to my feelings about it — after all they were with me twenty-four hours a day. Most comforting was that I could get as close as I wished and it did not move toward me. It seemed to allow me to be as close or as far from it as I chose. This process continued for months.

Then one day, a form began to emerge, and I saw what looked like the shape of a Buddha. It was still vague, but the outline of the body was becoming more defined, the head, shoulders, and apparent figure in a sitting meditation position. Now that I could at least identify what I considered a compassionate being, I did not feel as much fear about it, but I was aware that there was still so much fear present in my life in other ways: fear of going out socially, fear to be with others, fear of being injured again, fear of not knowing who I saw in the morning mirror, fear of having missed the point of my life, and afraid to get too close to the truth of knowing it. Within it all, I began to see the figure as a being willing to embody my fear, to hold my fear for me, and it became my Buddha of Fear.

I was so grateful that something was willing to be with that dark tormented part of me. Whether or not this figure was a made up figment of my tortured mind, I did not care. My observation was that it helped me to relate to my fear and I was not stopping here.

Finally, after almost over a year, one day the darkness cleared, and the Buddha became more and more defined. I began to see the folds of cloth draped across the shoulders and down the still body falling as they did over the bent knees of the meditation posture. I saw hands resting on the thighs, and could feel breath moving in and out of the body with the chest rising and falling. The lips were gently curved and the eyes softly closed against its cheeks.

I explored, getting to know it in greater detail. One day, as if sensing my perusal, it raised its chin a bit higher and slowly opened its eyes. The figure looked at me directly with eyes of infinite love such as I have never felt before. I looked back, our eyes meeting in that way where pure communication is transmitted. Like the refugee rescued from the freezing cold, unabashedly, I soaked up the warmth flowing from those eyes and did not waver from them. We were indelibly linked for an interminable time. Neither of us retracted, there was only an infinite allowing of each other to be as we were without the need to hide anything for fear of being judged or rejected. The mutual acceptance was unequivocal as we were here, now and for all time. There was a mutual exchange of breath and beating of hearts. Its breath was my breath, its heart beat in sync with mine, our thoughts were as one.

Time was not present, it had ended as if a great noise had finally ceased its cacophony. I had stepped into a space that was beyond time, where the figure resided. It had patiently waited for over a year for me to move through my fear, to see through the darkness. Infinite understanding blossomed, and now I realized that the compassion streaming from the Buddha’s heart and love from its eyes was simply a reflection of myself. My Buddha of Fear was not only holding my fear, all my dark shadows as well as the light of me — it was me.

I was overwhelmed by the realization as I looked at myself gazing back at me. The streams of love overtook me as I sobbed in overwhelming comprehension and dawning realization of the infinite love and compassion that some part of myself had for the rest of me.

The fact of how all comfort and security had been wrenched from me by the accident became totally clear. All the repercussions of the absence of feeling loved and secure were made known to me. I had felt like a coward all that time — as I cringed from life and myself. The difference between fear and courage took on new dimensions in my life.

The Buddha of Fear transformed into a benevolent guardian who has stayed with me as a symbolic companion and helped me to advance self-compassion.

Until next time when I will be back with the next part of this series on fear.

May everlasting peace prevail in all our lives.

Con Amore,

~ mek


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Series on Fear-l: Fear & Survival

Series on Fear-l
: Fear & Survival
marty kleva

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(marty is scheduled to present @ this conference)
3rd International Women’s Peace Conference
~ Empowering Peacemakers ~
July 10-15, Dallas Texas


Since the fear of terrorism is so much in the forefront of today’s stressful living, I have decided to publish a series of writings having to do with my experience of fear, especially as it surfaced around the trauma event of my auto accident in July of 2000, the account of which is presented as the first part of my book Soul Dancing.

In the article below, the first depiction of fear as it existed in my life then, comes a full year and a half after the accident. When I wrote this piece I had retreated from the stressed-out city hustle of Santa Fe to a remote place deep within the ponderosa forest of New Mexico. Even as I knew I had felt fear for a long time, it is only here that I could begin to put my fear into any coherent piece of writing.

Fear exists in many forms and can be couched behind things like ‘hoping against hope’ or being ‘afraid of one’s shadow’. Stress is an effect of fear, and along with it comes with the appearance of anxiety, apprehension, lack of confidence, hesitation, restlessness, trepidation, mistrust, palpitations of the heart, a cold sweat, dread, despondency, horror, panic, terror, cowering, quaking, shaking and shrinking.

Honestly, I can attest that I have been visited by all of the above. Learning to work with them in a deliberate choice to not demean them or deny they exist has been a most challenging and yet also most rewarding period of my life. The event of my accident provided further opportunity for me to utilize Mindfulness as a daily practice to promote peace within and to self-manage the effects of stress. That practice, which I strongly relied upon throughout my post-accident recovery also allowed me to go even deeper into the exploration of fear as it invaded my life.

Today, fear in all its shapes and appearances still visits me; the difference being in the way I can now work with this powerful energy. Here is my first written accounting of the fear I lived with.

Fear and Survival

marty kleva
(written: 01-13-02)

It was in the early 90’s when I first became aware of the combination of fear and survival as a backdrop in my life. I mean viscerally aware of them as my constant companions at a time when I was in the extended process of a divorce. Then, much of my attitude and behavior about fear was still sourced in denial, and had it not been for the fact that I had begun to train in Mindfulness practice, I almost missed the underlying foreboding energy that was ever-present.

After all, I was a very intelligent mature woman who at the time also had a secure job and held a degree in science education. It was so strange that I should also be apprehensive about my ability to make it on my own. Now that my access to income had just been diminished by about two thirds, and faced with the fact of living alone for the first time in my life, I had grave concerns about how I was going to survive.

The subject of fear that lingered in the wings of my awareness was a by-product of my survival concerns. I was quite successful keeping it at bay by planning into the future to study for a master’s degree. According to accepted statistics at the time, the level of my potential and future income would raise by virtue of the mere fact of procuring an additional degree. That potential never became a post-degree reality, because just as I was searching for a location to set up a professional practice, I had an auto accident.

Since that accident of July 2000, I have lived in the presence of abject fear [ed-time of writing is 1-13-02]. Each time, as I sit in meditation, this figure of fear sits directly in front of me: face-to-face, knee-to-knee. It does not go away. It is this fear form that I feel forced to finally pay attention to. It manifests internally as an energy that grips my insides, and painfully holds on. In terror, I cling to every semblance of who I am.

I am aware of this nebulous form of fear all the time. It permeates my existence and never lets me off the hook. I have lost the ability to make a living, as I cannot work where I am expected to perform systematically on a regular basis. Due to the concussion and subsequent closed head injury from the accident, I can never rely on the condition I am going to be in when I wake up in the morning. Abject fear is a major factor in my life and I know I have to address it by at least acknowledging it.

It can be a positive step to investigate and know what fear feels like, so that when it shows up it can be recognized. This knowledge can be used to inform me that I am in a circumstance where it is/is not appropriate to feel that there is some danger present, real or perceived. With this understanding in hand, I may move forward and make suitable decisions regarding my safety.

Fear shows up in instances such as today when I again question my decision to have left Santa Fe and come in retreat to the land near Taos and heal. All types of fears are here today, principally in the form of questions such as,

“But how can I leave town for such a period of time? Everybody will be getting ahead of me!”

“ I will lose valuable contacts if I go away.”

“My friends will desert me.”

“People will forget all about me.”

These considerations run through my mind and bring up an immense amount fear about the wisdom of my decision to leave town and retreat to the country. ‘Retreats’ even spiritual ones do not provide points on a professional resume.

As I continue to listen to the messages from my body—the mind of my cells, it is clear that I will have to face this fear provoked by the cultural-based competition of keeping up with the Jones’, and the knowledge that professionally someone may get ahead of me. It is simply peer pressure in another form, and it all comes from within myself, although admittedly my environment has also shaped the standard for my performance. The point at hand asks, “Which am I going to listen to?”

One day back, after living here in the ponderosas, beneath Basket Mountain for about a month, I went into town for a seminar presented by my medical doctor who had last seen me more than three months previous. When she greeted me at the seminar she exclaimed how different I looked: grounded, radiant, complete, whole — she went on and on about how I was hardly recognizable. At the time it was the verification I needed to remind me that I was on the right track.

So what is it exactly that I am afraid of? Am I afraid of dying or am I afraid of living? Dying represents a loss of all that I am and who I have been in the past — who I am now and the promise of who I may become. Fear of losing these identities is directly proportional to the amount of invested interest I have in being known as ‘somebody’. My attachment to those identities is what has me cling to life. The interesting thing is that when I spend more of my time securing what I perceive to be my position in life rather than living my life, I am not happy.

Looking at it in another way, my fear of living is based in the fear of being overwhelmed by the presence of my relationship with my Creator/Creatrix, the one who some might call God, Allah, and other personified names, but which I experience as beyond these connotations. The enormity of being in touch with the orgasmic aspect of ‘union’ with Creator/trix pushes a lot of my Puritan-based buttons that has to do with morality, sexuality, and more. How can I be orgasmic with that awesomeness? How much joy do I have the capacity to experience? How much can I expand to house it?

So momentarily, I am presented with my choice: life or death, and I either experience the fear of surviving, or attempt to fool myself into believing that it does not matter and deny that it does not even exist.

Consciously, I know that I have decided as a professional to allow myself to explore whatever the accident has provoked. Grateful to the Mindfulness practice I have cultivated now for the past ten years, I choose to tune into my breath and the feelings of fear to further discover what it has to teach me.

>>> Until next time, when I relate a discovery of the Buddha of Fear — walk with Peace. <<<

Con molte Amore,

~ mek


Taking A Stance For Peace

Gem Fire Air
Taking A Stance For Peace
marty kleva
June 10, 2007
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“Were it not for the darkness, we would never know light.”

Recently, Bill Moyers interviewed poet, writer, Maxine Hong Kingston, highlighting her work with over 500 veterans from every war since WWII, to honor “all those soldiers who have served our country in war and peace.”

The scope of her work is staggering considering the fact that she chose to use writing workshops for veterans to have them transfer their war experiences to some form of the written word. Experiences that heretofore were too dark to think about much less share.

As both a trauma therapist and one who has experienced a personal trauma through an auto incident, I know that one of the mediums that helps a person to move through and beyond the trauma is to share the deepest expression of the fear, anger, despair, and helplessness one goes through, and which has been compressed into mere seconds of time.

Mostly, in our Western culture, the modus operandi is to “forget about it and move on” not realizing that despite the persona we put on, we still carry the deep wounds within us, and that they show up regardless of how much we wish otherwise and try to bury them, or deny that they exist, saying instead, “Oh, I’m just fine.”

Even many of today’s professional treatment protocols expect the client/patient to push on and to get over some imaginary line that exemplifies outward healing. Treatment is mostly measured by demonstrating behavior that the system considers normal, and anything outside those parameters is considered abnormal. If the client/patient does not ‘get over it’ within the period of time that an insurance company has decided is time enough, then the client/patient is further classified into a system that provides less and less possibility to truly allow healing to occur.

What we as a culture have failed to fully realize, and which some people are now beginning to acknowledge in the face of the overwhelming dis-ease that our Gulf War and Iraq War veterans
have come home with, is that any person who has experienced the field of war is also highly exposed to the trauma that comes with it.

Simply being in a war zone places a person at risk of PTSD. They do not have to actually be on the field of battle to experience the ravages of trauma. Seeing the daily toll that war imprints on the public environment can embed the effects of trauma into the human psyche.

Due to the mindset of military training, a soldier is conditioned to be hardened against such effects — and that is what they believe to be the truth — until some of them experience differently.

But like the
familiar hall closet that we constantly use as a catchall, a place to hide away various and sundry things we prefer not to be seen, sooner or later, we find that it is stuffed to the gills with all the unpleasant looking belongings that we did not want to deal with otherwise — and we find ourselves forced to deal with the explosion that comes tumbling out one day when we try to stuff yet one more unmentionable into it. The psyche does not wait forever for us to decide to deal with this accumulation, and once the saturation point is reached, it acts on its own and forces us to the task at hand, whether or not we are ready to come to terms with all that we have hardened ourselves against. Wilhelm Reich called it ‘armoring’.

With the age of modern communication, and since the Korean War, Americans at home have been more immediately exposed to the stories and pictures of war than ever before. There has been a greater sense of awareness by the American people towards the human costs of war; a difference that can be seen in the manner and way we send our soldiers off to war. We used to wave flags and have bands play martial music in the streets as the soldiers marched to war — their mothers and fathers, wives and girlfriends, and sisters and lovers cheered them on.

Modern communication systems have caused a greater awareness, and although we may not be outwardly vocal against sending our sons, husbands, and lovers to war, now we also send our daughters, sisters, and wives. Mostly we put on a strong, face wrapped up in the flag thinking that we are doing our patriotic duty.

Inwardly we hide those not-to-be-spoken-of feelings of fear, dread, and possibly even dissent. No, we stuff those into our personal hall closet. We stuff those feelings of being chilled to the bone by the knowledge of what our loved ones will be exposed to, and by the cold realization that they may not come back alive, and perhaps even worse, that they will come back — maimed or wounded to such a degree that their life will forever be changed.

In Moyers’ interview, Pauline Laurent, wife of a veteran killed in Vietnam says:

“These men who served in Vietnam even though they came back their lives were forever changed. They weren't the same men."

Maxine Hong Kingston responds:

“I think all these people have come back and they are not the same. But my hope is that through art, through telling their stories, by having people hear what they went through, it changes them again, you know. There's the coming home from war, being broken, feeling losses, but then there is a wholeness that takes place if the person were able to write their story, to write their poem, to have people hear them and listen and understand. Then they are changed again.”

Writing about our trauma experience adds another level of expression to the telling of it via the voice. We can hear the voice yet we do not see it. Sound, although it is powerful and has its own place in the healing process, it is also fleeting and momentary. Writing adds another dimension and also places a permanency to the expression. It gets shared; not only in the telling, but also in the availability to have others read it, both silently and aloud. This adds multiple opportunities for the trauma to ultimately be released from the nervous system and eventually to be forgiven.

Connecting the thoughts and feelings that are embedded in the psyche, with the fine motor act of writing those thoughts and feelings out, acts as the conveyance and helps to release the trauma from the psyche and overall cellular structure of the body. Trauma literally embeds itself in the cellular makeup as emotions that we experienced during the trauma and which are frozen there.

In my own experience both personally and professionally, I also use body and breath awareness, and movement within the context of several different expressions of Mindfulness practice to assist in the release of trauma. The combination provides one of the most powerful means to move through and recover from PTSD.

Unfortunately for the population of the world, and specifically the united States, others have also seen the impact of war trauma, and now use it as a tool of psychological warfare against whole societies—9/11 and the present administration’s official “War on Terror.” Since 2001 the administration and politicians of the country have used the WOT as the basis to remove American rights of privacy and freedom. We are also now insidiously inflicted with constant re-traumatization by association each time the words WOT are used, each time we have to show more and more validation of who we are, and each time the President signs another Executive Order that gives him further power, all at the expense of individual freedoms of the people, not the terrorists.

Another participant interviewed by Bill Moyers is Vietnam veteran Ted Sexaur who has this to say about what he experienced:

“In my particular case, in the case of veterans of my generation, it was very significant the fact that we were shut down so much we were not allowed to speak when we came back - we weren't allowed to talk about it. So the effect of was — it becomes a secret in the back of your head when you can't speak about something traumatic that had happened to you.

So the process of writing them down and completing that circle by - after times gone by and people are ready to hear to reading the writing to citizens not so much other veterans but to people who hadn't been there but were curious to know what it was like, yes, solved the problem that I had had about feeling so isolated. I got to reintegrate into society thru that means.”

Isolation is a huge part of the aftermath of a trauma event that first and foremost separates a person from his/her former self. In their defense, they isolate themselves in varying degrees to help them recover.

America in trauma has also become isolated as a culture. We trust fewer and fewer countries to be our allies, and we are alienated from our neighbors. America has fewer friends and we are no longer openly welcomed abroad. Despite what President Bush has promised, we do not feel safer now, and as news coverage proves, we are suspicious of an old man praying on a plane, and those who may even faintly resemble someone from the Middle East.

Our collective paranoia is merely a mirror-reflection of the fear that we ourselves experience personally. Jung would call it the ‘shadow’ of our psyche — the disowned part of ourselves that is too unspeakable to mention let alone think about. It is the part that we repel, push away, and deny ownership of.

Consequently, everyone else is exactly that which we deny ourselves to be. It is like a huge collective blind spot — so that everyone else is the devil, the evil one, the wrong one, and the one out to get us. We feel stalked, like many Americans who believe all Muslims are the enemy who is out to kill every one of us. This is not to deny that in some cases this is not so, but perhaps no more so than it is also true about our own race and kind — the crime rate in the U.S. is one of the top globally, and we have more people incarcerated in the U.S. than any other country in the world. That statistic alone speaks volumes.

Most importantly is the fact that what we are denying in the mirror-reflection is that, what stalks us is not who we think it is — but rather that it is in fact our own shadow that will not leave us alone, and which follows us everywhere we go — even into our most private of thoughts. However, we never see it for that because we cannot come to terms with our own personal villain; in our extreme naiveté, we believe that we are only goodness itself. Such is the stuff that Americans are made of!

We are a very rigid society that has more laws than any other country. As Reich would say, we are fully armored. Our large versions of armored vehicles for cars to keep us safe is but another outward representation of our invisible personal armoring — as is the acclaimed armoring technology of incorporating depleted uranium (DU) into the Abrams tank while it shoots DU-tipped artillery at the enemy.

We have literally annihilated all that we have stood for as America — individual freedoms — and for what the rest of the world has so admired us for in the past. We have been provided a legacy of freedom, but we have not been good stewards of that freedom. We have frittered it away — have spent the principle long ago and haven’t even known it.

Regardless of how insulated we may feel or believe ourselves to be, our house of freedom has not been built upon solid rock, but rather it sits on a bed of shifting sand — and the tide is oncoming.

Bill Moyers asks Maxine Hong Kingston, “How did you come out of that corner?” — meaning that corner of isolation.

Maxine speaks of founding a community of those who she knew had also been through a “terrible war”, and to “understand loss and - and what our lives are like when we've been through devastation, when we are - when we have participated in events that are inhuman, how do we become human again? How do we re-create ourselves?”

And then finally, Moyers gets to the crux of the matter — to the source of the collective expression of the shadow — the violence of war.

Moyers says to Maxine Hong Kingston:

“Well you make it very clear, as have others to me that art, poetry, fiction can help us come to terms with trauma. It can help us to heal and all that, but it doesn't do anything to stop war in the first place. I mean if a government is determined to go to war, there's almost no way to stop that government, right?”

Kingston replies:

“That is a - such a difficult problem because - here we find methods to - for inner peace, but how do we manifest peace out in the real world? And but -I- maybe -maybe this is the way it works. At first one learns to be a peaceful person, and then - we're able to go into action and - - in action we make good relationships with one person. And there we have a friendship. We would build peaceful, loving communities such as this writing workshop. Okay, so now we have built something in the real world. Made a peace manifest in the real world.”

Here is the one recurring theme that constantly remains present behind my personal Exploration of Peace for 2007.

How much of a difference can I one person make? How do I deal with the ultimate fact that despite all that I have done to make the representatives of my government know how I see the present path of U.S. political policy to be a path of national suicide, they do not have the ears to hear it?

The defining line for me is to know that when I divide myself within a conflicted mind, I do not clearly stand for Peace and thereby am giving power and energy to what I stand against.

It is much clearer and more powerful to stand for something and let all actions be sourced by that stand. Then the action is moving toward something rather than against it — it becomes the ultimate act of Aikido, providing a flow, a blending, rather than a resistance.

In the stance of ever-present Peace,

Con Amore,

~ mek


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In Flanders’ Fields

Gem Fire Air
In Flanders' Fields
marty kleva
May 28, 2007

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In Flanders’ Fields

— Major John McCrae

In Flanders’ Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders’ Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders’ Fields.

Today, May 28th, the last Monday in May, America celebrates Memorial Day as part of the national holiday weekend. It was not always so, as the first Memorial Day came from the original idea in the Spring of 1866 by Henry C. Welles, a druggist in the village of Waterloo, NY who suggested that the patriots who had died in the Civil War should be honored by decorating their graves. From this, Decoration Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan in his General Order No. 11 and was first observed on May 30, 1868.

We presently celebrate Decoration Day as Memorial Day and in May in 1971, it was declared a national holiday to be held on the last Monday .

I have chosen the occasion to be memorialized by the most famous of poems written during a war, In Flanders’ Field, a poem written during the spring of 1915 in WWI by Canadian army surgeon John McCrae after he had endured what he describes as “Seventeen days of Hades!” — seventeen days of treating the wounded brought to his field station on the fields of Flanders, a field that was abundantly strewn with blooming poppies.

For those of you who are not familiar, Flanders is in western Belgium. It is a flat, boggy country where people speak Flemish, a place that holds old and famous cities like Antwerp, Bruges (Brussels) and Ypres. For centuries the fields of Flanders have been soaked with the blood of the English, Europeans, and Prussians alike in such battles as the one between Wellington and Napoleon at Waterloo.

In this muddy churn of soggy soil, Major McCrae witnessed the death of a young friend and former student, Lieut. Alexis Helmer of Ottawa, killed by an 8-inch German shell burst on May 2, 1915. According to reports, his remains were scattered all over the place. Soldiers gathered them, put them in sandbags, and laid them on an army blanket that was closed with safety pins.

This report by Rob Ruggenberg describes the events of McCrae’s inspiration and anguish for In Flanders’ Field.

The burial (of Helmer), in the rapidly growing cemetery (called Essex Farm), just outside McCrae's dressing station, was postponed until late that evening. McCrae performed the funeral ceremony in the absence of the chaplain, reciting from memory some passages from the Church of England's Order of Burial of the Dead. This happened in complete darkness, as for security reasons it was forbidden to make light.

The next evening, sitting on the rear step of an ambulance parked near the dressing station beside the Yser Canal, just a few hundred yards north of Ypres, McCrae vented his anguish by composing a poem. The major was no stranger to writing, having authored several medical texts besides dabbling in poetry.

As McCrae sat there he heard larks singing and he could see the wild poppies that sprang up from the ditches and the graves in front of him (see the drawing right by Edward Morrison, or this picture of the cemetery, made shortly after the war). He spent twenty minutes of precious rest time scribbling fifteen lines of verse in a notebook. A young soldier watched him write it. Cyril Allinson, a twenty-two year old sergeant major, was delivering mail that day when he spotted McCrae. The major looked up as Allinson approached, then went on writing while the sergeant major stood there quietly.

"His face was very tired but calm as he wrote", Allinson recalled. "He looked around from time to time, his eyes straying to Helmer's grave."

When McCrae finished five minutes later, he took his mail from Allinson and, without saying a word, handed his pad to the young NCO. Allinson was moved by what he read:

"The poem was an exact description of the scene in front of us both. He used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene."

Commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Edward Morrison, and a former Ottawa newspaper editor, verifies Allison’s recollections. This is how Morrison describes the scene:

"This poem was literally born of fire and blood during the hottest phase of the second battle of Ypres. My headquarters were in a trench on the top of the bank of the Ypres Canal, and John had his dressing station in a hole dug in the foot of the bank. During periods in the battle men who were shot actually rolled down the bank into his dressing station.

Along from us a few hundred yards was the headquarters of a regiment, and many times during the sixteen days of battle, he and I watched them burying their dead whenever there was a lull. Thus the crosses, row on row, grew into a good-sized cemetery.

Just as he describes, we often heard in the mornings the larks singing high in the air, between the crash of the shell and the reports of the guns in the battery just beside us."

The poem, initially named We Shall Not Sleep, was nearly not published as McCrae being dissatisfied with it tossed the poem away, but Morrison retrieved it and sent it to newspapers in England. The Spectator, in London, rejected it and sent the poem back, but Punch published it on 8 December 1915.

Although in later times, the poppy became associated with Armistice Day in November, the original symbol of the poppy was birthed in McCrae’s poem with the spring breeze blowing across a bloodied battlefield in Flanders.

There are some subtle symbolic references here, especially with those varieties of the poppy whose seedpod is the source of opium — a drug that is a strong painkiller having the additional backdoor hazard of addiction. The modern wars with the Taliban have an incorporated issue with the production of opium from their practice of growing huge quantities of poppy fields in Afghanistan.

Poppy and opium are associated with deep sleep, the poppy being known from the time of Mongol Emperor Genghis Khan as the flower associated with human sacrifice. In the 12th and early 13th centuries, he led warrior hordes south on campaigns for the conquest of India, and west to envelope Russia as far as the shores of the Black Sea.

In today’s time, who is sleeping? What is being sacrificed?

Over 3,430 American military have died in the Iraq war, as well as many thousands more Iraqi civilians and non-military American contractors. In our own Civil War, over a million of Americans died and during Gen. Robert E. Lee's first invasion of the North, at Antietam, Maryland, in one day alone, Sept. 17, 1862, more than 23,000 men were killed, wounded or went missing.

In a recent newsletter, Bob Bauman of the Sovereign Society wrote:

To observe that so many have died in the American cause over so many centuries only accentuates the meaning and importance of the cause for which they gave their last full measure of devotion. They died before their time, with promises unrealized, and in the service of their country. Their very real sacrifice for our liberties makes it all the more important that we guard against diminution of those liberties in our own time -- whether the threat is from abroad, or from within our own government.

Each of us always needs to be prepared for that unexpected hour of death, we know not when. The call to duty and service to country remains distant and unreal for too many Americans. As a nation we need always to be certain that in any war, including the so-called "war on terror," our cause is defensible and just.

None of those men who came home from WWI, WWII, the Korean War, Viet Nam, and now Iraq have come home whole and untouched, even if they have not been physically wounded. The traumas of war are not readily evident when the cry to war is heralded, especially as it is heralded as a duty to fight for freedom, and glorified as an act to bring an end to things like ‘terror’.

In Tibetan Buddhist thought, it is said that our existence is made up of six realms, and that it is only in the human realm that we can get off the Wheel of Suffering, aka Karma. This cannot be accomplished in any of the other realms — not even in the blissful state of ignorance that compels the God realm, nor the agonized yearnings that typifies the Hungry Ghost realm. Only when a person sees the spectrum of reality in toto and realizes his/her place in it is the opportunity available to exit the Wheel of Suffering.

For all the wars fought both in the past and presently by the U.S., including those we have been and are directly and covertly engaged with, all represent the Wheel of Karma and are similar to the treadmill of the familiar hamster wheel — one that goes nowhere and which only suffices to either work off nervous energy and/or embed it more deeply into the psyche — all within the cage of someone else’s construction.

At least since the times of the last Crusades, and most especially in the present, our entire reality is a cage of war, now a disc of digitally engraved fear and hatred burned into the human psyche. The disc is forever in the perpetual motion of pick a target > instigate a conflict > convince the people there is a threat to their security > create an event that triggers mass fear > declare a war and send thousands to their deaths and to a life lived in, as Major John McCrae says, the Hell realm.

When we get off the treadmill that like the poppy, lulls us to sleep, inside a cage constructed by others who manipulate war for their own profits —

When we decide to form an informed conscience and mind about what the conflict is truly about and what political and financial motivations are behind it —

When we can clarify the issues and get the pertinent facts and not be filled by fear, hatred, and prefigured reactions —

Then and only then might we begin to genuinely examine the possibility of establishing peace.

By doing the above, I would think that were we to be able to speak today with those who lie in Flanders, they might know that we do not break faith with their last thoughts and that they might at last sleep more peacefully knowing that we are fully awake.

Con Amore,

~ mek


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Calling Forth A Vision of Peace

Gem Fire Air
Calling Forth A Vision of Peace

marty kleva

May 13, 2007

permanent url

3rd International Women’s Peace Conference

Today on Mother’s Day 2007, there is a Worldwide call for Peace, a call that demonstrates a cry throughout the ages from extraordinary people who have looked for an alternative to warring against brother and neighbor.

The popular notice going around the net today is one about Julia Ward Howe, author of the poem we know better as “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, who also gave root to Mother’s Day for Peace when in 1870 she published a Mother’s Day Proclamation in her call for women to rise up and oppose war. Looking at these two pieces of work by Howe, I am struck by their seemingly divergent cries, one to end war and the other calling forth the wrathful and righteous furies of God as we "die to make men free."

There is an inconsistency between these two great works that I believe is so deeply rooted in our psyche that we hardly realize it. Here might be an example of how violence seems to be embedded in the gene pool as with one voice Howe calls for the end of war, and with the other she portrays a vengeful God steeped in glory marching on to war.

Not knowing the exact timing and process of the two works in Julia Ward Howe’s life, I do not mean here to criticize either of these works, but rather to use them as an example of what I believe may be the exact inner turmoil we personally must deal with. I know that this is what I have been struggling through in my attempt to sort through my feelings and actions around violence, anger, and war.

Today, we consider ourselves at the most evolved and civilized time in history, yet our actions belie the picture of our words. One would think that having the benefit of hundreds of years with war and so much convincing evidence against war that we would automatically reach for peace.

Such is not the case today, nor has it ever been. In the process of my exploration of peace this year, I have consistently bumped up against the discord between my yearning for peace and my opposition to violence. As I see it today, this is the crux of the matter for the individual. Some of us know full well what war is like—that is if we have been paying attention we do.

On the outer level, we have a technology developed expressly for war that is designed to fulfill monetary rewards in the financial market consisting of an affluent population. The greater amount of time and money in the industrial market goes into designing and building more powerful weapons, tanks, planes, surveillance technology, etc., than goes to designing a plan for peace.

Peace is not something that is profitable. As widely reported, in 1961 a Special Study Group was formed through the Kennedy Administration, consisting of 15 experts from various academic disciplines whose mission,
given the economic condition of the world at the time, was to determine whether peace was possible.

Their final document “Report From Iron Mountain On the Possibility and Desirability of Peace”, published by Dell in 1967 stated that peace “would almost certainly not be in the best interest of stable society."

— given that —

"War has provided both ancient and modern societies with a dependable system for stabilizing and controlling national economies. No alternate method of control has yet been tested in a complex modern economy that has shown itself remotely comparable in scope or effectiveness."

— and that —

"'war is virtually synonymous with nationhood. The elimination of war implies the inevitable elimination of national sovereignty and the traditional nation-state."

— is it any wonder that what we have today is war — war — and the promise of more war.

Reportedly, it is said, that when the study was concluded in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson ordered it never to be released to the people. The copy that was published in 1967 is attributed to a member of the study group who wished to remain anonymous. Once published it was hailed as a hoax by the disinformation establishment, yet everything that is in the report can be seen as being the fact of what we are living today within a society that is based on instigating, financing, and sustaining armed conflict throughout the world.

What this study found is exactly the reality of today’s worldwide agenda led by the U.S. and the UK in the proliferation of nuclear weaponry not only for themselves, but as an industrial complex that supplies war weapons to all sides of the conflict, regardless of what diplomatic policies indicate.

Peace as we know it today is something like a tale that gets spun by political war masters as they hold out the carrot of possible peace to keep us interested in national news of their making and manipulation. This keeps us in a constant state of hopefulness as we look for peace to happen by the sleight their hands. And yet when we look at the number of wars that have occurred, not only throughout history but also in the present state of perpetual war on terror we have been manipulated into, we can see that we have never achieved even an iota of resemblance to peace.

In the Iron Mountain study, the report said that,

“No alternate method of control has yet been tested in a complex modern economy that has shown itself remotely comparable in scope or effectiveness."

The first thing to realize is that there is a wide gap between what you and I see and hope for in establishing peace, and what those who presently run the world’s financial establishment, have as an agenda. They are the banking cartel that consists of all the central banks of each of the major nations, starting with the U.S. Federal Reserve and on to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Their agenda is to gain control over all natural resources of the Earth. This is not my imagination, but stated by their emissaries and shown by their policies and actions.

I bring out this point hoping that people will become interested enough to find this out on a day-to-day basis rather than tuning into what the latest celebrity is wearing or who is cheating on whomever. That kind of ‘news’ is pure distraction and it does not offer any ‘with-it’ points toward awareness and understanding.

It is time that we do look at an alternate method that can provide us with what we want to achieve. As I sort through this process of exploring peace, I see that when I focus my attention on being against war, against violence and against this and that, what I am actually doing is giving attention, and therefore a lot of my energy to war, to violence, and anything else I am against.

As an example, if we are being against drought rather than being for enough rain to fulfill our needs, then what we have is a passive state of hoping for something on which we are neither focused nor giving attention.

Relating this to ‘not war but peace’, we are more focused on war, although we call it ‘not war’. Because we are using so much energy to be against war, there is not enough energy left to manifest peace.

In no way do I mean to suggest that we not fulfill our moral obligation to be informed on the reality of war, violence, laws that prostrate the people and elevate large corporate interests. Nor am I suggesting either a limited view that we alone create our reality or that everything is predestined. I do believe we have free will, and that we are challenged to bring that will into alignment with our soul’s intention for this incarnation.

This is the maze that I have struggled through in my explorations since January, trying to find a way to hold peace rather than war in my awareness, so that it is not eclipsed by the armed conflicts in the world that my country is financing and actively engaged in. It’s not as if I live in a country such as Costa Rica that chooses to not have a military, and where I could at least know that my tax dollars are spent for education rather than spent on nuclear tipped munitions designed to kill over and over again.

In my attempt to come to terms with all of this, I believe the point is not to ignore the reality of war and the many armed conflicts that are historically glorified, nor do I seek to be against those who have a loved one who has served, or one who is serving in the military, so that they feel that they must defend their position.

Historically, political leaders have drawn nations into war by claiming the threat of national security, and when the people have shown a reluctance to bite the bait, a catastrophic event has occurred where we have seemingly been defenseless and lost thousands of American lives; events like Pearl Harbor, Gulf of Tonkin, and yes, even the now most despicable attack known as 9-11.

My personal position has finally worked its way through the maze of confusion and come to a place where my focus is — being for peace — that’s it. As a result, what I have come to establish daily is a practice to invite peace, and to allow peace to be the mainstay of my life and surrounding environment.

This is also a time when there is a huge opportunity for mankind to breakthrough and to balance our hemispheric brain as we enter the midpoint of the Fifth Day in the Mayan calendar. Although a quantum leap can create an awareness of unity with our total environment so that balanced relationships will be what results, this balanced relationship must first occur within ourselves before it can possibly be demonstrated toward others or to our earth environmental systems. Once an inner balance is a working practice and part of our personal integrity, then we can also begin to interact with others and EarthMother with integrity.

As we approach the exact midpoint of the Fifth day of the Galactic Underworld, May 22, 2007, there is a great opportunity to join in awareness with hundreds of thousands of others whose agenda is to be and to create peace. The website outlines an extended calendar throughout the rest of May for individuals and groups to support a creative effort to establish peace in all its forms.

Peace is not just one thing. It is something that is so individualistic and simultaneously holographic that it can be established to suit everyone’s needs and desires. Actually, peace already exists as a stream of consciousness. We just have to learn how to tap into it, learn its frequency and ride the stream.

The site Commonpassion is a touch point where you can find a group to join in this adventure, whether it is religious or secular in nature, or if you prefer a more private means, then make a plan to incorporate a privately designed method to align with the already committed hundreds of thousands who will be participating from the May 15-29th.

We are cutting through new territory here so don’t think you must have a map or how-to instructions. You already know how to do this. What remains is carrying out the action of practicing 'being peace'. One of the most basic practices can be to sit quietly with eyes open or closed and tune into your breath. Watch it without having to change it. Then begin to use the breath as a vehicle to add peace, so that you breathe in peace and breathe out peace.

Do this 5 minutes before walking out of your bedroom in the morning, do it at lunchtime sitting in your car, or at your desk, and do it lying down just as you are going to sleep at night. Enroll your family, friends, and coworkers. Whatever you decide to do, one thing to keep in mind is that you are not doing this alone; there are hundreds of thousands of others at any given moment who are also doing it. See and sense them while you are practicing being peace and find the common wave to ride.

Together, let us join that stream of conscious called peace that encompasses the Earth and beyond.

Con Amore,

~ mek

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Women’s Peace Conference|PEACE Mural

Gem Fire Air
3rd International Women’s Peace Conference
marty kleva
April 26, 2007
permanent url

3rd International Women’s Peace Conference

~ Empowering Peacemakers ~


Exploring Peace is the theme of GemFireAir for 2007. My explorations have led me to many places and people who are also involved with Peace in one form or another; some are Waging Peace, others are Keeping Peace. The organization PeaceMakers Inc is Empowering Peacemakers at the 3rd International Women’s Peace Conference July 10-15, 2007 in Dallas Texas.

GemFireAir is pleased to announce that I have been invited to present an interactive workshop at the Conference, titled, If The World Is Our Oyster, Then We Are The Pearl. In this workshop, together we will explore personal perceptions of Peace throughout the Body, Mind, and Spirit and examine the question: As Peacemakers, how can we attract Peace?

It is an honor to be presenting amongst an esteemed group of women speakers such as Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen, author of Urgent Message from Mother: Gather the Women Save the World, and Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams, founding Coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Betty Williams, co-founder of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement, and Rgoberta Menchú Tum, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 for her work promoting social justice for the indigenous people in her native Guatemala.

Coming from all parts of the world, the over 4000 expected women and men attendees will meet, strategize, and share opinions and ideas with keynote speakers, grass roots organizers, elected officials, and expert panelists.

Peacemakers Inc was founded by Texas journalist-author Vivian Castleberry in 1987, and sponsored the first conference held at Southern Methodist University in 1988 that brought together 2,000 women from 57 countries.

It would be wonderful to meet and see some GemFireAir readers at this conference. Come and share your peace skills and be involved to design an action plan for peace. For further information and registration you can go to

In the upcoming time to the 3rd International Women’s Peace Conference, I will be featuring articles on Peace and adding a permanent link to the conference.


My discovery of the mural photo above, PEACE, is one of those occasions that happens like magic in this town, About a year ago, I turned down a street and came face to face with one of the most beautiful murals I’d ever seen—and there are lots of those in Santa Fe.

PEACE is part of the Santa Fe Mayor’s Community Youth Mural Program that was inspired by Mayor Debbie Jaramillo in 1994. The artists in the program vary in ages from teens to early 20’s, and are guided by a lead artist. Together, they plan, design, and carry out mural projects presenting a theme, and paint them on public spaces, such as the metal electrical boxes we all see on street corners and sides of public buildings that are otherwise subjected to tagging or graffiti around the City Different.

The mural PEACE • Santa Fe is on a building that among other things, houses the administrative facility for Santa Fe’s in-service teacher training. The fourteen participating artists were multicultural students led by Santa Fe muralist, Tony Truesdale. This mural is a complementary one of two with an archetypal masculine/feminine gender theme—the other is on a corresponding wall.

PEACE • Santa Fe depicts the feminine archetypal aspect, and the mural is circumscribed by the names of 29 women figures that symbolize Peace throughout history; all chosen and researched by the students. Among the women named are: Chilean Mothers of the Missing, Santa Fe Mothers Against Gang Violence, Lucretia Mott, Maya Angelou, Indira Gandhi, Aung San Sui Kyi, Mother Theresa, White Buffalo Woman, Queen of Peace, Rosa Parks, Mama Pacha, and the very same Guatemalan 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner Rgoberta Menchu who will be speaking at the Third International Women’s Peace Conference in Dallas this July.

There are many of these murals around Santa Fe. Check my photo gallery to see some that I have already posted. I will be writing more about the history of these murals and featuring them in a GemFireAir project.

Such a youth oriented program came out of a concern for the young people of Santa Fe and addresses the absence of peace within the younger community. In 1994, Mayor Debbie Jaramillo called for a meeting with the youth of Santa Fe and put forth her vision to pay them for the use of their talents to work in a group process creating, designing and painting murals on approved sites rather than have them act out their anger and violent feelings by destroying the faces of public buildings with graffiti, or tagging as it is known today.

It is a widely known fact throughout the city that these projects are not just youth oriented, but that they are youth driven, and guided by an adult lead muralist with as light a hand as is possible. Although there is still some tagging that goes on, the youth of the city seem to honor the work of their peers and refrain from defacing or destroying it.

The program, which for the first nine years was under the direction of Rosa Reis, has evolved through the thirteen years since its inception. Presently, I am tracking a mural project in progress that will culminate in June under the leadership of muralist, Jennifer Costas. I will be following this group of artists as they go through the different stages of designing multi-murals for the Franklin Mills Baseball Complex located on the corner of Camino Carlos Rey and Siringo.

Blessed Are the PeaceMakers • They Shall Be Called The Children of God

Con Amore,

~ mek


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