The wolf you feed

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.

shiloh gold eyes

SHILOH 13 months old

I’ve written about wolves once already: Little Red Riding Hood Lied  but these last few days I’ve been letting my wolfdog, Shiloh out of the very large pen he shares with my other, lower content wolfdog, Dakota…

shiloh loves dakota

DAKOTA and SHILOH

I’ve been letting them both out for a while each day into an even larger fenced space. Watching them run and jump and play, especially Shiloh, who seems to almost soar through the air, has been so beautiful… so I took a few pictures which I liked and wanted to put up….

wolf prints

Shiloh’s paw print in the snow

and  I’ve also included some wolf related quotes and 2 films: Never Cry Wolf and a documentary about a couple who lived with a pack of wolves for 6 years.

For a very long time, I’ve been fascinated and entranced by wolves without really knowing why. And I still don’t know why except that I find them to have a wild, untamed spirit [which I kind of have and which I think has allowed me to survive a lot of conditioning/brain washing in a not always friendly environment]. And they have a mischievous, ever present, sense of humor and a great caring for their pack members.  To me they are Sacred Beings.shiloh prowls 2

And so they are to many Native American tribes:

HUMILITY ~ WOLF
It is the wolf that brings the teachings of humbleness. The first thing that the young child sees as he meets the Wolf is that the Wolf will stop and bow its head, which is a reflection of the Wolf showing its humbleness to the presence of the human being.
The teaching of humility is very important in our life. Much of the division we see in today’s world is because people have not understood the spirit of humility: to understand the spirit of humility is to understand that no one is above another human being. No one is greater than another human being in this life; no one is lesser than another human being.
To be humble is to see us equally in the eyes of the Great Spirit through the unconditional love of the Great Spirit. His love is expressed to all of us in the same way that the sun will shine on us. The sun does not choose to shine on any one person alone or any one race of people, it shines on all.

-Anishnabe Elder Dave Courchene from The Seven Sacred Teachings

I was once given a Spirit name, a wolf name by a First Nations Elder in Canada and so my small, vintage trailer is painted with the name I was given and wolf prints and images…..my name:shining:trailerwolf prints:trailer

trailer 7 ts:evergreen

From working with and learning from the First Nations People, I understand that each of us has a guiding spirit around us… to guide us spiritually but we are often so clouded by materialism and hatred that we are unable to hear this guidance which is freely available to us. Our guiding spirit may be an animal presence, an angel, a being of light but the guidance is always there if we will only listen.

For really understanding wolves, this is a great book,  In Praise of Wolves by  RD Lawrence and these 2 movies:  the beautifully filmed, Never CRY WOLF which is based on a true story

 

and this documentary, Living with Wolves about a couple who lived with a wolf pack for 6 years.

farley mowat

 

On a Snowy Winter Evening: 3 Insights

 

Christmas didn’t turn out the way I thought it would this year-maybe it never does. I had some plans but they didn’t happen…tree of gold and so not knowing what to do, I got into my car and I drove for miles…..I drove up the mountain road-518 that winds  through the mountains to Taos. Always a beautiful drive no matter what time of year, Christmas Day, the snow was falling and blowing….  snow filled trees oct 13…the roads were slick but sanded..I passed snow covered cabins with smoke coming from the chimneys, often with several cars and trucks parked in front and I imagined families and friends sitting by the fire, talking, laughing… once it been that way for me too but it had been a long time, another lifetime 219 e 3rd 2and now I wondered if there were others feeling as sad and lonely as I did.

And then I thought about the most unforgettable things that had happened in the past few months

 LISTENING-THE GREATEST GIFT

patrickI thought about a lunch I had had with a man whose 39 year old son had very recently died. It had been a completely unexpected death of a young man, seemingly in perfect health who died suddenly, instantly of a genetic heart problem that no one had been aware of. A terrible shock for his father and his family.

 This father told me how angry it made him when people said “I’m sorry for your loss” He said he wanted to say “You’re sorry? How do you think I feel?”  Being a very kind man however, he  had looked on the internet for advice as to how he could respond in a good way and the suggestion was to say “Thank you for your kind words” And so he had been doing that.

 But I understood: there are very few people who are available to really listen, to be with someone in the sad times, in the difficult times.

Many are ready to give advice, usually unasked for….

But it is listening or helping often in some simple way that is so hoped and wished for…..File_01 lee-hug

 I learned this early in my life when my mother died. I was in 4th grade and when I went back to school after her funeral, the things people said made me lonelier still because I knew they had no idea what they were talking about, no understanding.

The feeling so often is: I’ll say a few words such as sorry for your loss and then please get on with it, cheer up and don’t bother me.

 When listening to another person, don’t just listen with your mind, listen with your whole body. Feel the energy field of your inner body as you listen. That takes attention away from thinking and creates a still space that enables you to truly listen without the mind interfering. You are giving the other person space-space to be. It is the most precious gift you can give

-Eckhart Tolle.

 THE LOAVES AND THE FISHES

milk.stilllife2Then I thought of how I  recently asked for help as my non profit is in serious financial trouble, taking me down with it [RITES OF PASSAGE]. I had written to quite a few people who I thought would help but the people who responded were not at all the people I expected. Almost all were people with the least amount of money or resources.

 And I learned that it wasn’t just the money but the feeling that someone heard and cared:

 A woman in Connecticut who is in a wheel chair and lives in low income housing pledged $25 a month and it was like a million dollars to me.

 And a man who retired as the shipping manager of a university library sent $100 and then  like  in”pay it forward” asked some people he delivered wood to, to send the money to me rather than paying him and I loved that..so much more than the money…

$50.00 USD
Currency: U.S. Dollars
Purpose: Rites of Passage
Message: Dear Ms. Pickard, Bob and Linda Fall from Union, Connecticut referred us to you. They helped my ailing husband (and our household, which includes my 88 y.o. mom) with two deliveries of wood for this upcoming winter’s heating needs. Instead of accepting a $green$ exchange, Bob asked that whatever we had planned to gift him, to redirect it to you and one of your beautiful and powerful projects-from-the-heart. Please advise how best to honor our barter commitment. Thank you for your good work on behalf of the people…...

Another friend sent food: butter, bread, potatoes and eggs and green chili…

And there were others too-a chaplain at a retirement center in Little Rock and friends who bought their Christmas gifts from POOH’S STORE but none of them gave advice..they just listened, they understood and they helped.

“SAINTS ARE HUMAN BEINGS..VERY HUMAN BEINGS”

 And then finally, I thought about a movie my son had sent me for Christmas. St Vincent stars Bill Murray and an amazing little boy and it’s about a real saint. It had a tremendous impact on me and if you watch this film clip, you’ll understand.

So these were my thoughts on a snowy, winter evening, thoughts which are somehow all connected…I think

“That warm, bright, sunny air…seems to be blowing across Turtle Island”

tipi spirits copy“When the ceremony was over, everybody felt a great deal better, for it had been a day of fun. They were better able now to see the greenness of the world, the wideness of the sacred day, the colors of the earth, and to set these in their minds.”

Black Elk  1863 – 1950  Holy man of the Oglala Sioux
― John G. Neihardt, Black Elk Speaks: The Complete Edition

Below is a film clip VERY MUCH worth watching: Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau’s speech to The Assembly of First Nations and their response. Know that this could happen everywhere!.

Maybe the time that Crazy Horse spoke about

smallboy pope 1

Legendary Cree Chief, Robert Smallboy meeting the Pope

when he said “I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree of Life and the whole Earth will become one circle again…is soon coming to pass…

prayer tree

Igniting the Fire Ceremony  Manitoba, Canada

 

 

Featured Image: Anishnabe Elder, Dave Courchene in Israel

For more information:  The Turtle Lodge 

turtlelodgepic copy

THE TURTLE LODGE  Sagkeeng First Nation Manitoba, Canada

THE LONGEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR

This is a beautiful song  by Mary Chapin Carpenter for the longest night of the year …..when for some people like me…things seem the darkest… the longest night of 2015 will be December 22

Longest Night of the Year

Mary Chapin Carpenter

They say that spring will come again–
No one knows exactly when.
Still the suns a long lost friend
On the longest night of the year.

We stare into the firelight
While December beats outside
Where the darkest hearts reside
On the longest night of the year

So keep me safe and hold me tight
Let the candle burn all night
Tomorrow welcome back the night
It was longest night of the year

I used to think the world was small
Bright and shining like a ball
Seems I dont know much at all
On the longest night of the year

We press our faces to the glass
And see our little lives go past
Wave to shadows that we cast
On the longest night of the year

So keep me safe and hold me tight,
Let the candle burn all night,
Tomorrow welcome back the light.
Twas the longest night of the year

Make a vow when Solstice comes:
To find the Light in everyone
Keep the faith and bang the drum
On the longest night of the year

So keep me safe and hold me tight,
Let the candle burn all night,
Tomorrow welcome back the light.
Twas the longest night of the year

So keep me safe and hold me tight,
Let the candle burn all night,
Tomorrow welcome back the light.
After the longest night of the year

*PHOTO CREDIT:  “Candles on the Darkest Night” Philip Pickard

 

Transformation, the Secret Place of Life & POOH’S STORE

File forres rainbow copy

“Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.”

-Viktor E. Frankl

Everything  for the last 35 years of my life has been about transformation or transcendence and I know I’ve been writing about this a lot but then these are the times of transformation.

Anyway, I didn’t learn about transformation early in my life; it wasn’t ever mentioned in the schools I went to though it should have been.

 Rather the status quo was emphasized “Do what you’re told, cross your legs at the ankles in Latin class, don’t question what’s going on around you, wear the right clothes, marry the right person and all will be well…. Actually that’s the slow road to Hell or so it was for me.me 1948 copyMy dad was very fond of saying to me “I wouldn’t rock the boat if I were you.”

Fortunately though, I had so many emotional problems in my 20s  that after an enormous amount of therapy,  I ended up in a Life, Death and Transition  workshop with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross…

File_booksign ekr works

Elisabeth Kubler -Ross signing her book TO LIVE UNTIL WE SAY GOODBYE..for workshops participants

and there I learned about transformation. This was about transforming loss and grief into a blessing……and often, eventually into “good deeds for the living”

There have been many people for whom limitations, failure, loss, or pain in whatever form turned out to be their greatest teacher. It taught them to let go of false self-images and superficial ego-dictated goals and desires. It gave them depth, humility and compassion. It made them more real.

-Eckhart Tolle

I saw many people, participants in that workshop begin to transform their grief

File_01 ekr:khamala

Life, Death and Transition Workshop 1978? Oceanside, Ca

and many went on to create or form helping organizations such as Parents of Murdered Children. I went on to found RITES OF PASSAGE and I learned from the many dying people that we took care of.

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

When my son and I began making documentary films in 1989, they were and are always, in one way or another about transcendence, about going beyond limitations, about finding the light in the darkness. And so, though the subjects we chose were often difficult: AIDS, Aging, Hospice, Loss of a child, Prison Reform etc., every single one of our films brings a message of hope.

In our award winning documentary, Turning Toward the Morning,  a woman with AIDS….

File_01 gerri

Gerri Briggs from our documentary TURNING TOWARD THE MORNING

who lost her baby, her husband and her brother to AIDS wrote:

“IF I COULD RELIVE MY LIFE AND CHOOSE A COMPLETELY NORMAL LIFE  WITH NO ILLNESS OR DEATH, I WOULD STILL CHOOSE MY LIFE TODAY WITHOUT A DOUBT. THE UNDERSTANDING I HAVE GAINED FAR OUTWEIGHS THE OPTION OF LIVING A NORMAL LIFE.”

-Gerri Briggs

The years went by and I moved to northeastern New Mexico. There are a lot of artists in this part of New Mexico and while I was working on a film screening event, I met Taos Pueblo artist, Jonathan Warm Day Coming.Jonathan

I was looking for someone to create a poster for the screening and Jonathan painted the perfect image for the poster  which is called The Awakening.THE AWAKENING He also created designs for t shirts and hoodies….TSHIRT KIDS-NO1LAND-FLOOR

and an image for our documentary film, ON THE LANDon the land poster 2

Over time Jonathan and I became close friends and he told me how he came to be an artist. He told me that his mother, who was a well known artist, died when he was little.

eva-mirabal

EVA MIRABAL

His father abandoned Jonathan and his younger brother and they began getting into trouble. They were drinking at a very early age and the drinking got worse for Jonathan as he got older. He was getting into fights and he was spending a lot of weekends in jail. He tried to get into detox programs but the timing was never right and then he said ” One day I just closed the door to my house and started painting.” The drinking stopped then.

the-song-of-the-meadowlark

“Song of the Meadowlark”  Jonathan Warm Day Coming

“Art has and still continues to brighten away those dark moments that sometimes enter my life.”

-Jonathan Warm Day Coming

A few years later I met Jody Armijo [sometimes known as the Brown Piglet]

jody gate 3:prison filmand I watched him go through a huge personal transformation through his art. He had spent many years of his life in prison and he used art as a way to come out of those dark times. You can read his story here: Light in the Shadow and the the Brown Piglet’s Art

psychedelic cross copy 2

pooh hanky #8

“I want to give back and thank the Creator for my art that takes me to the secret place of life.”

-Jody Armijo

I don’t know exactly what Jody meant when he mentioned ‘the secret place of life’ but I think he meant a place where everything is connected, where he feels spiritually connected. Art can sometimes take people to that place, I believe. It transforms the artist and it can transform those who view it..

ANITA'S PAINTING

LA LLEGADA DE DONA  SEBASTIANA   Anita Rodriqugez

I started this blog/website to offer and share inspirational, positive experiences and I hope POOH’S STORE will be part of that.

POOH’S STORE

From Jody Armijo’s  shimmering crosses to the ANGEL PICTURE to Jonathan Warm Day’s posters of The Seven Sacred Teachings, it’s all about Transformation so visit POOH’S STORE for a mystical, magical, transcendent experience. [I’m adding new things all the time]

This film clip below includes an interview with legendary artist, David Leffel talking about what art can do for people in prison

 

From Murder to Forgiveness:a Father’s Story

“Islam taught that I must turn my grief into good deeds for the living, deeds that would fuel his soul’s journey not hinder it. My spiritual teachers reminded me that the quality of the rest of my life totally depended on my reaction to Tariq’s murder…”

And hold fast,
All together by the rope
Which God stretches out for you
And be not divided among yourselves
And remember with gratitude
God’s favor on you
For ye were enemies
And He joined your hearts In love, so that by His grace
Ye became brethren
Qur’anic Ayat [3:103]

 

 I wasn’t planning to write another post today but unfortunately, I happened to glance at the so called  ‘News’ headlines and see yet another blast of hatred from that man leading the polls who seems to hate everyone!

 It’s shameful and it’s disgusting and in a time when we desperately need to come together, we have these so called ‘leaders’ who manufacture hate continuously…like in the Exorcist, their hatred comes pouring out, infecting and poisoning everyone.
And this has been going on for centuries: the Nazis hated the Jews, the White conquerors hated the Native People, the Rednecks hate the gays…now we’re supposed to hate Mexicans but lately that changed to Muslims. Propaganda is created and the sheep fall for it..never questioning what is truth.

Ask who benefits from hate, ask who it is that creates all the terrorism and it may not be the people you think….probably isn’t. For example, watch the recent interview with Steven Seagal relating to the mass shootings…do the research, wonder why the FEMA Chief did an interview on NPR the day after 911 and said “We arrived in New York on September 10th ready to go to work” and wonder why that interview was immediately cut. Ask who benefits from all this and ask if this is really the way most people want to live.

 Several years ago, I created a photo/oral history exhibit on loss, grief and transcendence called Between Now and Forever and I interviewed several people who had experienced a great loss.File_ article grand rap
 I am part of an international organization called The Giraffe Project which honors those who “stick their necks out for the common good” and from the director of the Giraffe Project, I heard the story of a man named Azim Khamisa.
Azim Khamisa was an international investment banker, living in San Diego and he had a son 20 year old son named Tariq.tariq
Tariq was an art student at a local college and he had a night job delivering pizza.  Answering a last call one night, Tariq was killed by a 14 year old gang member.tony hicks
Azim Khamisa and his family are Muslim.
About Tariq’s death, Azim wrote:

Like so many of us [do] when horror strikes, I turned to my faith [Islam] for wisdom and for strength and it was there waiting for me. My spiritual teachers reminded me that mourning could fill the first 40 days of Tariq’s journey in the next world, but then after we said the prayers that closed the 40 days, excessive grieving would impede his soul’s journey. Islam taught that I must turn my grief into good deeds for the living, deeds that would fuel his soul’s journey not hinder it. My spiritual teachers reminded me that the quality of the rest of my life totally depended on my reaction to Tariq’s murder.  And for life to have quality, it must have purpose.

I decided my purpose would be stopping other children from killing each other. I would become the foe, not of my son’s killer, but of the forces that put a boy a boy on a dark street, holding a handgun….. I founded the Tariq Khamisa Foundation to do this new work in memory of my son, Tariq.File_01 azim ca.

 Through those early days, my thoughts kept going to the family of the other boy, Tony Hicks. What must his family be suffering? …..I asked the city prosecutor to introduce me to Ples Felix, the boy’s grandfather and also his guardian.
He’s a good man, this Ples Felix, a kind, smart, caring man who is a project manager for the city of San Diego. He has a masters degree in urban development, he did two tours of duty in Viet Nam as a Green Beret, and he’s also devoutly spiritual. He dearly loved his grandson and was devastated by what the boy had done on the first night he had ever defied his grandfather and left the house to meet with a gang.File_01 azim-giraffe
When I met Ples, Ples told me of his daily prayers for me and my family and I told him of my concern for him, for Tony and more importantly, for all the other kids who were trying to cope with this violent world….. It was an act of great bravery for him to offer his services to the foundation.ples friendship_03
Since then, which was six years ago, Ples and I have done the work of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation together, saving children’s lives together. Two men who have endured unendurable losses. His grandson, a boy he knew as gentle and loving, was the first juvenile sentenced as an adult in California. He was sent to the maximum security prison in Folsom
.
So we are brothers in grief, Ples and I, brothers in our determination to end the hideous cycle of violence, and I’m proud to say, brother Giraffes, honored together by the Giraffe project which is telling our story far and wide.

“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”

― Rumi

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic

 Last year we presented our anti-violence program to 18,000 San Diego kids in 70 schools. Just 12 days ago, on October 17th, the national day of concern, 148,000 from K-12 in the San Diego Unified School District, heard our message of peace and forgiveness. They are surprised to see us together, these kids. In their world, injury and insult lead to violence in an escalating cycle. But they see us, they hear us speak about the tragedy of violence and they speak, many of them for the first time ever, of the pain that violence has caused in their own lives……..The kids in our program pledge themselves to non violence, violent incidents decrease at their schools, fewer kids join gangs: Our program works.Ples, Tony & Azim
There’s another kid for whom things are now getting better: Tony Hicks. He’s now been moved to Calpatria prison, a far less dangerous place than Folsom. It took me a while, but now I go with Ples to visit Tony. When he was first arrested the boy had no remorse, no understanding of what he had done. But by the time of his trial, he did understand and took responsibility.
He’s no longer the tough talking, unfeeling kid, being macho for his gang. Now he talks to us about his regrets, about his fears and about his hopes. Because people outside the prison system, refused to abandon hope for him, Tony Hicks will be a productive, contributing citizen when he’s at last a free man. And I have told him that when that day comes, there will be a job waiting for him at the Tariq Khamisa Foundation. In my heart of hearts, I believe we will save Tony, and in turn Tony will save thousands of other children.
 The Peacemakers and The Warmakers:
Many years ago, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross said to me in a conversation” In the times that are coming, people will either make their choices out of fear or out of love. There will be no middle ground.  For those who make their choices out of fear, things will get much worse but for those who make their choices out of love, things will get much better.”
 

Something else regarding Islam:

Several years ago, on my way to Greece, I went through Turkey where I visited historical sites, a place where Persian rugs were made and The House of Mary in the city of Ephesus.

I wonder how many people know about the following and have thought about its significance.

In Islam, Jesus is considered a prophet. His mother, Mary is also revered with a chapter in the Qur’an devoted to her. Some believe that after the death and resurrection of Jesus, Mary was taken to the city of Ephesus, in what is now Turkey. Because of this, as well as the travels and writings of the apostle, Ephesus became an important place in early Christendom. A small stone structure called the “House of Mary” stands in Ephesus. Both Christians and Muslims, believe it is the place where Mary lived while in the city.

I wonder how many people know that the mother of Jesus is recognized in the Qur’an. In fact the Qur’an has a whole chapter titled Mary. And there the Immaculate Conception and the virginal birth of Jesus is described.

In the Qur’an Mary is alone when she gives birth, and carrying the child she came to her people who said to her, “Mary, this is indeed a strange thing.” And they do not stop there, but continue with their abuse. Then Mary made a sign to them pointing to the child. But they replied, “How can we speak with a babe in the cradle?” Whereupon the babe spoke and said, “I am the servant of God. He has given me and ordained me a prophet. His blessing is upon me wherever I go. Blessed was I on the day I was born and blessed I shall be on the day of my death and on the day I shall be raised alive.”

from an article titled: Islam’s View of Mary

“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”

― Rumi

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic

And once again, because it’s so relevant to everything, Willy Nelson’s song Whatever Happened to Peace on Earth

IS THERE LIFE BEYOND SELFIES AND TERRORISM

The Prophecy of the 8th Fire

They will come to a fork in the road. One road will lead to Materialism and Destruction…..for almost all living creatures….The other road will lead to a Spiritual Way upon which the Native People will be standing…This path will lead to the lighting of the 8th fire, a period of eternal peace, harmony and a “New Earth” where the destruction of the past will be healed

Anishnabe prophecysnow trees oct 13

Is there a life beyond Selfies and Terrorism? I think so but I think that LIFE in these times will only be found in the very smallest things…the big things are collapsing and they are destined to continue to collapse….this time we are living in has been predicted and seen by every religion from the Bible: “I saw a New Heaven and a New Earth.”  to the Hopis

In 1970, Dan Katchongva, Sun Clan leader from the village of Hotevilla, who died at age 112, spoke about deteriorating conditions of our time:

We have teachings and prophecies informing us that we must be alert for the signs and omens which will come about to give us courage and strength to stand on our beliefs. Blood will flow. Our hair and our clothing will be scattered upon the earth. Nature will speak to us with its mighty breath of wind. There will be earthquakes and floods causing great disasters, changes in the seasons and in the weather, disappearance of wildlife, and famine in different forms. There will be gradual corruption and confusion among the leaders and the people all over the world, and wars will come about like powerful winds. All of this has been planned from the beginning of creation.

The old is going and the caterpillar is coming quickly to the end of its life before the butterfly emerges….File_03 chinese girl

I was thinking about all this last night when I couldn’t sleep..…It’s a hard time now as the old collapses and the new  has not yet come in: so many people I talk to are in some sort of crisis whether it’s a relationship crisis, friends and family dying suddenly, health crisis, financial crisis…..for me it’s financial as it is for some of my friends but last night I realized that even if I had a million dollars, though I would probably sleep better, it would not make that much difference really…not in these times

I thought about a friend I talked with yesterday and how she had said that it’s hard for her to accept that she probably won’t see several of her friends again..

“I would have to fly” she said “and it’s too dangerous to travel”

What would money be spent on now?..on the basics of life I thinkpeaches and hydrangeas 2 .milk.stilllife2

The time for big houses/mcmansions is over and it’s the small house/small spaces that more and more people are moving to. That’s why the tiny hobbit stoves made in England for trailers, cabins, shepherd’s huts etc are in great demand.. PAINTING THE HOBBITI can barely stand this world anymore–maybe it’s worse in the US where there’s a mass shooting every week..maybe there are some peaceful places left…not here though…I can’t stand the news, politicians, the hate, the advertisements for flu shots, selfies and mountains of junk email..

So now, at least for me, I have to focus on the smallest things like a fire in the wood stove in the evening….shimmering woodstove with fire

tomatoes from our greenhouse:more tomatos on steps

candles….

rb altar copy

photo credit: Philip Pickard

getting wood in…jody wood 2

the horses eating in the snow…horses:snow oct 13

 

Watching It’s a Wonderful Life

Listening to the music of LIBERA at Christmastime

and watching  Eckhart Tolle talking about The Current Economy

“I LOVE YOU IF…..”

Real love doesn’t make you suffer. How could it?

-Eckhart Tolle

As I’m writing these posts, I’m remembering many of the things I was taught by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross because without the help she gave me, I wouldn’t be alive today.  And this is true, I’m sure, of many, many others who met with her or went to her workshops.

File_01 ekr & the nuns

Andy Pickard and Elisabeth Kubler-Ross making the peace sign..Cindy Pickard front row left…with the nuns and organizers of Elisabeth’s lecture at University of Houston 1978?

Anyway, I came across this Youtube video of Elisabeth talking to high school about suicide. If you take the time to watch it, it has a deep, unforgettable message ..not just about suicide but about LIFE.

My brother killed himself when he was 16 and his story is similar to that of the 11 year old boy that Elisabeth is talking about. My brother [his name was Flip, short for Philip] was having a lot of difficulty in school and problems adjusting in life so my dad sent him to military school where they “make boys into men”

He got worse there so he was sent to the Devereaux School in Victoria, Texas for emotionally disturbed children.FLIP LAST PHOTO

After a year and a half, Flip was finally allowed to come home for a visit. My dad thought his hair was too long and he hated that he had started smoking cigarettes. My dad could not or would not overlook these 2 small things…

When Flip went back to Devereaux, he took one of my dad’s guns and killed himself in the school gym…and my dad though he lived into his 80s, could never understand  “I love you if..”

It doesn’t have to be that way….maybe it’s just remembering what really matters… chloe-pip-ultra

and overlooking all the little things that don’t..

THE ANGEL PICTURE and messages from beyond…..

For those of us who remember when we were spirits,
Who remember that we are spirits,
We understand we are on this spirit journey,
The circle of life which starts in the spirit world
And which takes us back there.

 -Chief Noel Starblanket

Because there’s so much, ever increasing, death and loss and grief now on a daily basis, I’m putting up this photo that we call THE ANGEL PICTURE and a few messages/drawings from children who died at a young age.

It seems the world is almost drowning in sadness, in darkness and at least for me, these messages, photos and drawings bring some hope, inspiration and comfort.angel picture reborn

This photo is of Jason Briggs, age 2 and his father, Jim Briggs, his mom, Gerri Briggs and his caregiver, Jo Moore [SANTA]

Jason died of AIDS the morning after this photo was taken.

His grandmother took the photo with an Instamatic camera.The film was not developed for a few weeks and Jason’s parents did not see it until after Jason’s funeral.

The tiny, unmistakable wings which had appeared on his back brought them great comfort.

It seems young children who die, often leave messages for their parents. They seem to know where they are going and their messages can bring reassurance to all of us.

Jessica Locke was 8 years old [she had missed having her school photo taken that year and  a company called Last Chance took this photo below]File_01 jessica last ch when she was killed in a car wreck. JESSICA:CARHer parents survived and found this drawing on her bed when they went back to their apartment a few days after the accident. She had drawn it the morning of the accident which happened early in the afternoon.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross would have called this the symbolic language: in a child’s language, the balloon is leaving the earth, floating up into the beyond. Jessica had just turned 8..there are 7 baskets and the little girl represents the number 8….blue is seen as a peaceful color, purple often represents the spiritual…balloon

 

A few days later, they found this note..dear mr god
Cory Enebrad was 9 years oldcory:last photo when he died from a central nervous system relapse of his ALL [acute lymphoblastic leukemia)

“He went out of his body to a heaven he called “Summerland” for a year and a half before he died. Cory’s visits to the other side brought peace and comfort to him and to those he shared his stories with. Cory’s spirit shines on through his drawing of the crystal castle where God lives…..cory's card copy

“Cory drew the bridge to Summerland…a beautiful rainbow. The faceted crystal reflects the colors of the rainbow bridge. There’s a butterfly (to left of rainbow) to represent the “transition of the soul, essence or spirit (Cory’s words) from the earth body to the sparks of light bodies seen on the other side”. (Asterisks, energy circles and atom-looking objects represent these heavenly bodies). The heart represents “unconditional love” and the stars represent happiness.”

Together, Cory and his mom, Shirleyshirley:cory wrote this song the year before he died:

Where are you going my little one, little one?
Where are you going my little one, my son?
I’m going with God to the land of the light,
the light we all shine in our hearts.
And why are you going my little one, little one?
Why are you going without me my son?
I’m going with God to the land of the sun.
My time here on earth is all done.
-from EVERMORE, a song by Shirley and Cory Enebrad

Many people who have come close to dying, have experienced another realm, often a more peaceful, kinder and loving realm and they are not happy when they are sent back to earth.  I have not experienced this  but I do remember a time several years ago when I was taking care of my little grandson for a few hours. He was very sick with bacterial pneumonia and I was very scared. Suddenly I smelled pipe tobacco..I knew it was my dad’s pipe..if there was any scent that would remind me of my dad, it was pipe tobacco.dad-navy copy

My grandson, Philip was named after my dad and my dad had died a few years beforedad & smiling p so it made sense that he would come..and when I smelled the tobacco, I knew everything would be alright…and it was.

Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross was one of the very early researchers of Near Death Experience. Following is an interview with her on this subject:

angel picture rebornBuy Now Button

We have several films related to death, dying, loss, grief and Near Death Experience. They are: Elisabeth Kubler-Ross-We’re Almost Home Now, Turning Toward the Morning and As It Is In Heaven. You can find them under MOVIES