Archive for the ‘books and reviews’ Category

“For the only courage worth calling courage must necessarily mean that the soul passes a breaking point — and does not break.”C.K. Chesterton


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“… it was a grand grand experience. I was a little nervous at times. I remember having a one dollar bill in the top drawer and knowing I would not die as long as that dollar bill was there. And so various things showed up… That was one way of living life, on no money.”  ~from The Hero’s Journey, by Joseph Campbell

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This is what I did this morning. I opened my BRITA water container to pour more water into it, and see what looked like a “fuzz”, so I took a napkin and tried to sweep it out, but the fuzz, was really a balled -up spider, you know, one of those small ones that are a very light tan and that you could easily smash, even with a swipe of a napkin. But no, this spider, instead dropped down in the Brita’s water “tank” , where the water from your faucet gets filtered. So, I had to take the whole thing apart to get this spider out. Which I did. And I turned her loose in the laundry room, where she might find some joy in a cobweb that she can add some of her own silk to. I FULLY expect that this spider will, show herself again to me, crossing my desk as I sit with my laptop in an evening hour. I think I have, in fact, rescued her (or maybe it was her brother or sister)  from various other predicaments that she has gotten herself into, all with the possibility of death if I hadn’t seen her.

BUT WHY?????? WHY, you are asking… are you RESCUING SPIDERS??? Well, first off, they have work to do on this planet too, whatever it is. And who am I to kill her , thereby squashing her life purpose? And, second, SPIDER is the symbol of creativity. But ALSO…. MAGICK: (and here I quote)

” The first is the magic  and energy of creation. It is a symbol of CREATIVE POWER… It is also associated with  keeping the feminine energies of creation alive and strong….. The third predominant magic of the spider is associated with its spiral energy, the links with the past and the future. ”

Also, “spider is the GUARDIAN of the ancient languages and alphabets. ” (this is quoted from ANIMAL SPEAK, The Spiritual and Magical Powers of Creatures Great and Small, by Ted Andrews) See or buy the book here : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0875420281?ie=UTF8&tag=bluettproduk-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=0875420281

And so, does CREATIVITY AND MAGICK and LANGUAGE need to be rescued in today’s world? YES, I do believe so. So the next time you see a spider, be brave. Rescue it, move it to another spot, but refrain from killing it. Then, watch to see what magic and creativity sprout forth in your life.

And if you don’t see any magic or creativity sprout forth, well , then at least you  have an interesting point of conversation for the next time someone asks you what you have been up to; you can say, “Well, today I rescued a spider.” Certainly more fun and intriguing than talking about, say… the weather. Or the economy. Or the sad state of the BEARS. Or all the baseball stars who are now getting caught for being on steroids. (Really, THEY could use some spider magic now, couldn’t they….)

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Tuesday night, i went to see Caroline Myss on the opening leg of her book tour for Defying Gravity:

Her short lecture, made sense of so many things about our world today, it was almost like receiving a shot of “enlightenment”, truly. Her book, is of course, on the list for my next Borders trip, and I hope to write a review and perhaps more about that here.

A few excerpts, direct from Caroline’s lecture are thus:

“Logic keeps the soul at a distance.”

“All changes becomes instant; all change becomes profound. Reason, cannot GRASP the psychic intensity of this. ” (here she was talking about the timelessness of the world we are now living in)

“Time is out of the equation.”

“A reasonable life is driven by unreasonable fear that controls you constantly.”

“Releasing the soul becomes the most reasonable thing to do because you become liberated; your heart and your head are lined up.”

“Healing comes from the congruence of the soul.”

“Disdain for the ordinary is what makes us seek the extraordinary.”

“A crisis in your life is a call to be(come) a mystic.”

“Crisis, shatters our reason.”

“The unreasonable self is the mystical self.”

“In every single every-ness, we are either giving love or taking it away.”

And, thanks to the timelessness of the world we are living in now, you can witness this mystic “live” via Youtube. She has various presentations there on this “Defy Gravity” subject. As the presenter who introduces her at the Omega conference said, if you are not familiar with her, or seen her before, put a seatbelt on, “buckle up”. She is a strong personality and very passionate….some don’t know how to handle this. But, I dare you to take it through all the way to the 11th youtube segment. Just sit, and listen. And then do it again. You can’t absorb her in one take.


It all makes sense now, doesn’t it?
The world is in a state of spiritual crisis, but this topic does not come out in everyday conversation…because too many are afraid, to admit it, to talk about it, to even poke it with a stick. This is not about religion, or faith, or what sort of God you believe in or don’t. This is about our SPIRITS.

My personal enlightenment from this lecture: my walks at Pleasure Lake, were in fact, mystical… (I called them magickal). I know what it feels like to be connected to the beauty of the everything on an intimate, intimate level. Do you?

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This is a snippet about Audrey Niffenenger’s forthcoming book, “Her Fearful Symmetry.” Had to post it here, as she shares how she came up with the title. HINT: see this first: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake.

William Blake was an extraordinary British poet, painter, and printmaker. One of my first graduate school papers was about this man; his “mystic-ness” and mystery, of course, were the draw for me. And his paintings , prints, poems, are worth pondering, and oh, so beautiful.

So, without further ado, here’s Audrey:


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Vote for my Book in the Photography.Book.Now competition.

CLICK on the BADGE here.

Here you are voting for a book I recently published via http://www.blurb.com. If I win, I get to go to http://www.theworkshops.com/ and expand on my photography skills. Sales from this book will also contribute to this art form, as I am in desire of  this : http://www.amazon.com/Canon-50D-Digital-18-200mm-Standard/dp/B001ET6QFO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1248544974&sr=8-3. As majority of the cost of this book as listed on the blurb site go to production costs, not me, sales of about 300 or so books are what is necessary for this to come to fruition.

This book is a small little thing, a 7 x 7 tome with some big ideas. It’s a very personal photo narrative of the place, Pleasure Lake in Palos Hills, that saved my body and spirit this past winter. My intent with this project is to spread the magick, in such a time that we are living where this is so needed and useful. Once you have this book in your hands, the magick will begin to rub off and into your life – (only) providing you are open to letting it in. This book is designed so that you can also use it as a personal journal, if that works for you.

I must here thank one of my blog readers, (Mayah)  who wrote to me saying “…you see magic where people like me only see water vapor. I’m 36 and already cynical and brash and without much magic. I like reading your blog because you still see that world of mystery and magic…”

This is the preface and part of the driving force behind this book.

Thanks in advance for your votes.

(and thanks to ms peppermint patti, julie of http://www.hotcoffeecoaching.com/, all those who made Pleasure Lake a reality, and all those who are my constant cheerleaders. )

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“Friendship. Montaigne said that friendships are the freest of all relationships. And in the open-ended ambience of the creative life, where there are no sure things and career paths are not marked out and the advice of parents and teachers frequently proves useless, the friend with whom to talk to, to see things, to make a community, to invest an audience, to experience the ups and downs, the friend to tell you when you are off track, to celebrate your progress, to give you your chance—this friend can scarcely be done without.”

~fromAntoine’s Alphabet: Watteau and His World

by Jed Perl.

A lovely, lovely little ABCdarium just published that I discovered because I am on the Milwaukee Art Museum’s email list which hosted a lecture by Jed Perl about the book (“Set amidst the glamour and intrigue of eighteenth-century Paris, this “fairy tale” for adults provides a new way to think about art.”) It’s inspiring, and there’s lots of intriguing words to learn and fling about with friends, family, or colleagues, or just to fling at your wall and see how long they stick; such as “adamantine.” Nope, not going to tell you what it means, go lug out your Webster’s.

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