Saturday, December 27, 2014


This year’s Christmas was perfect for a reflective mood. Just a small gathering of close friends at a sweet intimate, casual dinner and the rest of the evening spent listening to music and now and then looking through the window at progressively bigger flakes of snow. The last two hours of Christmas in Santa Fe were white.

For us the approaching New Year will focus on new perceptions of healing. PQ’s illness keeps this topic close to our skin. However, I’m not talking about research breakthroughs or new drugs for Pulmonary Fibrosis. In the Old Testament, prophets often enacted their own prophesies. The state of the Hebrew nation became the prophet’s personal and/or physical affliction that he then interpreted to the people. For everyone now, the indigenous soul is confined within a story told by oppressors.  I don’t mean this only in a generalized form. We are as oppressed as those we oppress.  This includes the way we interact with the natural world including our own bodies. The door of time is opening for a multidimensional experience of healing.  
Christmas Morning from the Bedroom Window
This morning PQ and I were talking about some recent insights brought forward by a healer we have been working with for the dissolution of some of our personal trip-ups when the subject flowed over to our involvement in the Mabel Dodge and Tony Lujan story. I somehow broke through an old difficulty with expressing my personal calling to participate in this story. I have never fully expressed this because of fear of talking out of my place or for thinking that my ideas are of limited importance since I am not the film’s producer or directly connected to the subjects of this story.

Mabel’s soul healing revelation was the experience of her personal introduction to a way of being human that penetrated deeply into the beating heart of Mother Earth, the natural rhythms of the Universe and an organic unselfconscious spirituality.  This was her medicine and Tony was the conduit of this medicine. Tony may not have consciously understood the importance of their connection either but he had faith in the source of his own guidance. His culture also needed a bridge to communicating with the dominating presence of Western European culture. This was something that both sides needed. Mabel finally after “looking for love in all the wrong places” connected to a meaningful source beyond her habitually narcissistic hunger for significance.

Native people are the subjects of much historical abuse and recently subjects of hoped for healing powers but they have remained passive subjects of outside interest. I personally believe that the “us and them,”  sensitivity must be transcended for cultural healing on all sides to take place.  
PQ singing for Miles' and Gail's Italian friends

Recently while sitting in a room with a group of upper middle class, politically correct, well read, well-intentioned and highly educated people in the home of one of the supporters of Mark Gordon’s film, “Awakening in Taos” I suddenly became aware that they were missing the heart of the project.  In fact, maybe we were all missing it.  I wanted to jump up and say, “Here is the real significance of this project. It is to help you, not as a charitable tax-deductible contribution but as a guide to what you need that you are missing. I want you to understand that this isn’t about you helping the project, it is about the project helping you and you need to do what you are able to do to bring it into your lives and into the world.”
What is unique about this project isn't something historically interesting that happened in New Mexico. This isn’t about an Eastern born cosmopolitan patroness of the arts who happened to be forward thinking and brave enough to marry an Indian man and bring a host of cultural icons to New Mexico. This is about an evolutionary process that is of profound significance for the future of the world and must be given life in the present and you now have the opportunity to awaken as Mabel awakened.

Mabel and Tony long ago passed from this dimension, but the consciousness that flowed into their lives and outward into the world is still looking for bodies to carry it forward. Mark Gordon picked it up and because of this, he found Standing Deer.

 This is a process that must and will continue whether or not we “get it.” But, if we get it, we will greatly increase the creation/healing process of the earth beneath our feet the air we breathe and an infinity of fractal connections radiating out into the universe. We are destined to dance among the stars, and I mean it literally although not necessarily technologically.

To attack or not attack, that is the question.
When I came to Taos, I was looking for the same thing that Mabel was looking for, with a few variances. It was 1992, “coincidentally” the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ questionable discovery of the Americas.  I had recently become aware of indigenous peoples and of my own indigenous relationship with Mother Earth. It was a revelation and at first, sent me into mourning.  I felt a strange sadness that had nothing to do with my personal problems of which at that time there were many. Yet, this was different. It had no focus in my personal sphere and nothing personal moved it away. I became very interested in indigenous peoples everywhere on the planet and began to study what I could find about their modern circumstances. Although I have always been interested in Anthropology and psychology, this was not the same. Now I saw my own kind and myself as the focus of need rather than as observers and recorders. The sadness was about how far away we have drifted from what it means to participate in the organic forces of creation.

Although Awakening in Taos is the Mabel Dodge and Tony Lujan story, Tony represents the transformative essence of the story.  I am so happy that Mark has decided to put Tony’s voice in the film with subtitles. When viewed only from an American/English perspective, Tony has nothing to say even though he was Mabel’s direct source for the balancing truths that inspired her. That balance is an awakening available to everyone.  That’s why the story is important.

Many years ago, PQ’s father told him that his medicine was for the world rather than just his Pueblo people and yet some of his Pueblo people resent that spark he shares with everyone. It occurs to me that healing is about making whole, and is also the way to “holy”. There is nothing exclusive about wholeness.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


I sense something new moving in through the outer edges of my aura. It is definitely an expanding energy or more accurately the details of an expanding picture that isn’t yet transferable to words. I trust that it will eventually take on an identifiable form.
PQ in Heart of Sedona Coffee Shop

It was with relief and gratitude that we arrived in Cottonwood on Tuesday, November 25, our first visit for over a year and yet as soon as we arrived it was as if we had never been away and time had stopped to wait for us. Yes, some businesses have changed, landscaping changes altered a few pieces of real estate but the feeling is timeless for us. PQ immediately notices that it is easier to breathe but I believe there is more to this than the lower altitude. It is a nurturing, healing environment away from the challenges in Taos. It’s not that we don’t love Taos and its unique beauty, but it is not a relaxing energy. It rearranges your head, stirs problems to the surface and brings infections to a head. In Cottonwood, we can relax and reassemble ourselves. 

PQ’s son Corey stayed at our Taos house and took care of the cats while we were gone, so everything came together to make this micro vacation work. His dog Mini, a pit bull, lab and maybe something else mix somehow worked out an arrangement with the cats so that they mostly ignored each other.

Our place of healing is Cottonwood and that space between Cottonwood and Sedona. Taos is a place of challenge and testing. It reveals and holds whatever needs rebalancing, and although we love it and honor it as our place of origin, our life is out of balance without what we receive in Cottonwood. There is an active polarity between the two places that I can’t explain but palpably experience. 

Sedona Rain lasted all the way to Taos.
Of course, on a practical level it is almost 4,000 feet lower in altitude than Taos, which makes it more comfortable for PQ. He is still having difficulty re-acclimating to Taos since we returned, spending a lot of time between couch and bed. He has a commission waiting but each time he begins work on it he gets severe stomach cramps. His doctor says this is due to not taking in enough oxygen to engage in both activity and digestion. 

I confess that I’ve been standing on the bank of the river of time hoping for a solution to drift by. There are a number of considerations such as coordinating a trip and place to stay in Denver to consult with the Lung doctors about the new trial drug Pirfenidone, organizing the practical steps to move to Arizona, finding a place to move to, and simultaneously finding someone to rent our house in Taos. We need to be able to return to this house in Taos from time to time, so the ideal would be a housesitting arrangement with us leaving most of our furniture here and our names on the utility accounts. Past moves have always been exceedingly stressful life challenging procedures that I felt fortunate to survive. I really don’t want more drama and trauma right now. However, intuition says that I may not have a choice. Perhaps I need some insight about why all my previous moves have been so depleting in money and energy.

George,happy to have the computer back home.
Now that we are back in Taos, it is clear that we must get off the fence about the decision to live most of our time in Arizona and do whatever is necessary to make it happen. It is another opportunity to be up front with what I believe and what is most important in my life at this time, which is PQ’s health. This isn’t PQ’s issue. He is sometimes too impulsive.  I on the other hand can put off a decision for a long time but still act too impulsively hoping that fate and luck will fill in any gaps in the plan.The process continues.

Sunday, November 2, 2014


After Embudo before the canyon ends

We went to a new doctor in Espanola Wednesday. Dr. Narayanan seems very sharp, and he curses at his computer when he loses data from a bad internet connection, just the way PQ swears at bad drivers, and would do if he used the internet. Our reason for going was to learn about a new trial drug for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. However, we discovered we would have to do an update on PQ’s condition.

The new doctor considers PQ a lucky man to still be alive and to have made it for over seven years with minimal problems. He also informed us of some facts about lung transplants that were new information, and warned us that any medication has risks that must be weighed against the risk of doing nothing.  So, no miracles but more information and the opinion that having lived so long since being diagnosed is remarkable in itself. Also, few transplant patients make it beyond five years and the medications for suppressing the immune system and yet cope with the communal oxygen source we all share are very toxic to the body, extremely expensive and would involve living near the transplant center. This option is beyond our capabilities, even if we wanted to go that route, and now it doesn’t seem very attractive. By this reckoning, if PQ had a lung transplant when it was originally proposed it might have killed him by this time. Besides his life’s purpose and our shared life is not merely to survive while attached to a treatment center.

Dr. Lakshmi-Narayanan is very sharp and personable and in addition to giving us some new information, told us the story of his coming to Espanola. While working in New York, he researched for available positions in places that had an Indian community. He discovered an available opening at the hospital in Espanola New Mexico and decided to take it. He and his wife arrived in New Mexico and as they approached Espanola, they thought they had accidentally crossed the border and were alarmed that they didn’t have their passports with them. Then after arriving in Espanola, they discovered that there was in fact a large Indian community but made up of Native American Indians.  He thought he would work in Espanola for a year, possibly two and then move somewhere else, but that was either five or seven years ago (memory lapse on my part). Consequently, the Land of Enchantment snagged another victim!
Rio Grande Gold

We know there is some meaning to this disease. It has certainly changed our life and our expectation about life. For me it is an uncomfortable irony that after all the years I waited for PQ he would have a potentially deadly illness hanging over every life decision when finally we got together. The other side of this is that it probably has changed his entire outlook on life. 

As a type A person he is a much more patient (except in traffic) and compassionate person than he was earlier in life. I find my own hopes and expectations in life also changing radically. We are elders now, and to me that indicates it is time to filter the essential possibilities from many hopes and dreams that crowded our attention in earlier times.

We both feel there is much to be learned from this disease while learning about it and I have a sense that there is something just over the next hill that will come into view. It is easy to be discouraged and worry about the future as the path narrows and the climb becomes more challenging. Just when we are barely getting one foot in front of another, it seems that more unexpected expenses are ambushing us from behind each hidden stone and shrub along our path making the journey more challenging. I can only accept that I’m in training to have more trust in a power that nevertheless seems to provide us with just what we need to keep going. Learning a Medicine Path seems to require a personal process of failure or disease in order to reveal its essence and power. I’m gradually waking to the recognition that life is about this Medicine Path. Healing holds and then gradually reveals the mysteries of life. Although time by its nature diminishes our range, it provides us with the necessary stage for each act in our cosmic journey.

Tonight is All Souls Night at the Pueblo. PQ is feeling a bit guilty that we aren’t formally acknowledging it and yet I noticed that it intruded on my thoughts all day as it did his. I just finished Reading Mabel Dodge Lujan’s autobiography and the past and its people seem unusually present. My grandparents came through very clearly as more than a memory and it seemed very strange that all the people who make up our ancestors generations past are people that we will never know on this dimension and they will never know us.  However, I feel that the consciousness that they represented continues to circulate through each generation. And yet, I would still like to time travel and meet them personally.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


In the early 80’s I worked for Atlantic Richfield in Denver during the oil boom. Every day I walked the mile and a half to work from my apartment in Capital Hill.  Work began at 7:30 am two and a half hours too early for my metabolism.  I was sleep deprived the entire five years of my employment but the walk downtown was precious time to meditate and visualize before I had to walk through the door of a skyscraper into the manufactured environment of 17th street. One day I remember the skyscrapers and asphalt  gradually becoming transparent and I could see and smell the dirt, buffalo grass and chamisa underneath.  It was like a double exposure. It made me feel freer and I held that vision for a long time.

So what does this have to do with Columbus Day? Well that artificial world concealing the dirt and grass that supports it would never have existed if Christopher Columbus had been unsuccessful. It was the extension of a disease that was beginning to overtake Europe. He never made it to the mainland of the new world and always believed he found a new route to Asia. I guess we credit another Italian, Amerigo Vespucci with that but there is no doubt that he was the first symptom of an unstoppable disease.   I sometimes wonder if the sci-fi movies about alien invasions and catastrophic epidemics of incurable viruses from other planets isn’t about the deeply buried guilt of the vanquishers. 
Typical Idyllic Image of the Arrival of Columbus

In real life, there is no one-way victory. The defeated have a special power over the victors that will never go away until acknowledged, or if in denial eventually to worm its way through the body of the apparent victors until it consumes their vitality.

Some in the Italian community were very upset by Seattle’s decision to rename October 13, 2014 Indigenous People’s Day. However, the Norse discovered North American almost 500 years before Columbus. I wouldn’t be surprised if other discoverers are awaiting discovery.  Of course, people have been here a long time and unless someone discovers that inhabitants of the Americas discovered Asia instead of the other way around, then ancient Asians are probably the true discoverers of the Americas.

Italian-Americans are deeply offended," Lisa Marchese, a lawyer affiliated with the Order Sons of Italy in America, told The Seattle Times. By this resolution, you say to all Italian-Americans that the city of Seattle no longer deems your heritage or your community worthy of recognition.

From the other side

Councilmember Kshama Sawant was clear about why activists pushed for the city to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the same date as Columbus Day.

The 15th-century explorer “played such a pivotal role in the worst genocide humankind has ever known,” Sawant said, referring to the decimation of the Native American population in the decades after Columbus.

When I was a schoolchild Columbus was unquestionably a hero. Also, it was another day off and that was the most important thing. I’m glad that the hero status of Columbus is under reevaluation although I must say it was in many ways braver for him and his men to take off across the sea in 1492 than for today’s astronauts to travel to the moon and beyond now. But, it worries me that the mentality has not changed that much and bravery isn’t good enough. I do believe humans need to evolve to another level beyond cosmic thugs before colonizing any other planets. The lessons are beneath our feet in the earth and sky we hide with our big buildings, contraptions and smog. I do pray and hope that humanity begins another level of discovery, the discovery of respectful and balanced relationship between our neighbors and us.