Drop a Pebble in the Water /Pay it Forward..it works!

chloe holding o

*I write these blog posts from my heart..about my work with the First Nations People, about my teachers such as Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, about my time spent with terminally ill patients, about life off the grid in northern New Mexico. Though in some ways, I write for myself, I try always to share information and experiences that may be helpful to others, that are universal.

If you would like to contribute to to the continuation of these posts, there are 3 ways: the donate button on the side of this post, my gofund me page or poohsstore where we offer sacred and visionary art for these times of transition and transcendence

Drop an unkind word, or careless:
in a minute you forget;
But there’s little waves a-flowing,
and there’s ripples circling yet,
And perhaps in some sad heart
a mighty wave of tears you’ve stirred,
And disturbed a life was happy
ere you dropped that unkind word.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness:
just a flash and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples
circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort
on each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn’t believe the volume
of the one kind word you gave.

                                           ~By James W. Foley~

File_01 bunny birthday

I know I’ve kind of written about this once already but just kind of…

Ever since I was a small child,me:red coat spending time with my grandparents, I have felt happiest if  I could give something to someone. I guess I grew up that way because at Christmas, my greatest happiness always came from finding the perfect gift for someone in our family. My cousins and I spent hours upon hours finding exactly the right present; it was what made our Christmases so wonderful. Contrary to the way things are in the world today, the presents we received were not nearly as meaningful as the ones we gave.

What I wrote before was about the movie, Pay it Forward, how I loved it and loved the concept. And it seems to me that NOW is a Great Time to put this into practice as our world has become so unbelievably selfish, materialistic and Cold: A few weeks ago, I read about something that happened in Chicago on Lake Shore Drive: a man committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree and all day, thousands of people-walking, jogging, biking passed by right by him and never noticed..

The stories in the so called ‘news’ bombard us constantly with tales of horror and unbelievable cruelty as if that’s all there is to life and this is all done/orchestrated for a purpose: to make people, fearful, weak and POWERLESS.

BUT WE CAN CHANGE THIS. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY. I know that we can all make a difference, a big difference but I think this has to be done one person at a time as it happened in Pay it Forward. One little boy helped one other person and that person went on to help another and like ripples in the water and one by one, hundreds of people felt the benefit.

            “Drop a Word of Cheer and Kindness”

scotsman! copy

I took this photo on a train in Scotland. I had been visiting the island of Iona and I was walking as there were almost no cars on the island. I didn’t realize my backpack had a hole in it and that one of my pink, sequined flip flops had fallen out.. until this Scotsman came up behind me holding my flip flop and saying with a perfect Scottish accent, “Would this be yours?”  “Yes it is.” I said, and he said ” Then you must be Cinderella!”  I never knew his name, though I saw him again on the train back to Glasgow but I will always remember, though it’s been years, his humor and cheerfulness, making me feel at home in a strange place and I still laugh every time I think of that day…

Drop a word of cheer and kindness:

in a minute you forget;

But there’s gladness still a-swelling,

and there’s joy circling yet,

And you’ve rolled a wave of comfort

whose sweet music can be heard

Over miles and miles of water

just by dropping one kind word.

 I think we all have experienced this….MotherGrampon_and_Piglets.jpg and then its opposite… File_01 chloe pondering copywhen someone is cruel or hurts our feelings

Words can be ‘Rays of Sunshine’ as someone just wrote to me.

My stepbrother, Lewis is very sick, he’s had countless operations and continues to experience unbearable pain…he’s been suffering for a long, long time following a kidney transplant.marsha I’ve never been very close to him–our family was pretty disconnected- but recently  I remembered something that happened a few years ago and I wanted him to know about it.

It happened at my stepmother’s memorial service in Houston. It was a very formal service in a very formal churchst j inside and I felt extremely uncomfortable as if I didn’t belong there at all. My son and his family and I were late and at the last minute I  discovered that I had a large hole in my skirt.

But as we walked by the pew where Lewis was sitting, he smiled and reached out his hand to me and suddenly I felt as if I belonged. It was that simple.

So I wrote to his wife and asked her to please pass on this message to Lewis and this is what she wrote back:

“When I told Lewis he smiled and it made him really happy. That is huge because he has been so sick. Lots of pain and operations and his health is not at all good. Really, tonight when I told him your message it was the first genuine smile I have seen in a long time.”


“Paying it forward is a third-party beneficiary concept that involves doing something good for someone in response to a good deed done on your behalf or a gift you received. When you pay it forward, however, you don’t repay the person who did something nice for you. Instead, you do something nice for someone else. For example, if someone changes your tire while you are stranded on the highway, you might shovel your elderly neighbor’s walkway after a snow has fallen.”

Here in my own world, I have started a pay it forward movement which works in this way:

When someone makes a contribution to this blog , I in turn, will contribute something to an individual or organization [hospice, hospital, bereavement center etc]. This  contribution can be one of our *DVDS… [see OUR FILMS] *Many of our DVDS have won awards and are used throughout the US and Canada by hospices, nursing schools, universities, libraries etc. Also check out POOH’S STORE for what’s currently availableangels cover  or maybe a cross as a memorial.. 2 crosses:drum:brenda's

or remembrance….  

gold cross red roses:hydrangea

it can be a poster…..

11x17vertangel picture reborn

or a t-shirt with a message: “The Earth will bring people from all walks of life together” -Jonathan Warm Day Coming, Taos Pueblo Artistland-tshirtwallMaybe this isn’t the purest form of pay it forward but it is a way of making a difference, a way I can make a difference by sharing a message of comfort, hope, inspiration, transcendence and it is just beginning to work.

Most recently, as a pay it forward contribution, I  have sent copies of our documentary, Turning Toward the Morning [on parents who have lost a child] to UVA Children’s Hospital in Richmond, Va. 

turning front cover

 and to a woman who has experienced tremendous loss in her life. Here is what she wrote back in response:

Just watched Turning Toward the Morning. Tears were flowing….As kindred spirits, we lift each other up, sharing reminders of the guiding sparks of hope and visions of impossible things made possible, in the miracle of life”

So you can be part of this pay it forward movement if you wish. We have lots that we want to share: our award winning DVDS [see OUR FILMS], posters, hand made crosses and retablos, Native American designed t-shirts and hoodies, pillows and prayer flags etc..prayer flags far outretabloEverything is original, handmade with great care and is what might be called sacred or visionary art. Each piece carries a message of beauty, comfort, hope, transcendence and whoever receives it, will hopefully continue paying it forward by contributing to someone else in some form or another…..like  dropping a pebble in the water. So if you would like to participate, you can contribute here and in turn, I will pay it forward…

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And you can also start paying it forward in your own way..it’s so simple really as in this film clip below.

I also included the entire poem, Drop a Pebble in the Water and a more detailed explanation of the Pay it Forward concept.


Drop a pebble in the water:
just a splash, and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples
Circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center,
flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling
where the end is going to be.Drop a pebble in the water:
in a minute you forget,
But there’s little waves a-flowing,
and there’s ripples circling yet,
And those little waves a-flowing
to a great big wave have grown;
You’ve disturbed a mighty river
just by dropping in a stone.Drop an unkind word, or careless:
in a minute it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples
circling on and on and on.
They keep spreading, spreading, spreading
from the center as they go,
And there is no way to stop them,
once you’ve started them to flow.Drop an unkind word, or careless:
in a minute you forget;
But there’s little waves a-flowing,
and there’s ripples circling yet,
And perhaps in some sad heart
a mighty wave of tears you’ve stirred,
And disturbed a life was happy
ere you dropped that unkind word.Drop a word of cheer and kindness:
just a flash and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples
circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort
on each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn’t believe the volume
of the one kind word you gave.Drop a word of cheer and kindness:
in a minute you forget;
But there’s gladness still a-swelling,
and there’s joy circling yet,
And you’ve rolled a wave of comfort
whose sweet music can be heard
Over miles and miles of water
just by dropping one kind word.

~By James W. Foley


The concept was popularized in modern times by a 2000 movie Pay It Forward, starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt. In this movie, a young boy, played by Haley Joel Osment, is given a school assignment that requires him to find some way to change the world. He develops the pay it forward concept, setting forth a chain reaction of good deeds.

One of the most important things that people should remember about this concept is that it should be done with a selfless spirit. This means that one person helps another without hoping for repayment or good deeds in return. In fact, there are some organizations that allow people to pay it forward anonymously, donating money or performing good deeds without hoping for recognition. As far as the receiver of the money, gift, or good deed is concerned, he or she is told only to do something good for someone else.


The concept has a firm foundation in history. Ben Franklin described it in a letter he wrote to Benjamin Webb in 1784, in which he wrote about his intention to help Webb by lending him some money. He did not want to be repaid directly, however. Instead, Franklin hoped that Webb would at some point meet an honest man in need of financial help and pass the money along to him.

Paying it forward doesn’t have to mean giving a large some of money or expending a lot of effort. It could be as simple as holding the door for someone laden with bags or giving up a place in line to someone who appears in a rush. It could even mean spending a little cash on coffee for the person behind you in line at a coffee house. For those who have money they can afford to give, there are always people in need, but even the smallest, free gestures can make a difference.

MACLOVIA’S Funeral/Why Not Pray

A prayer is just a waste of breath,
Unless we speak with love,
The truth cannot be hidden,
From that searchlight up above,
And every precious moment here,
Is always on review,
We must hold ourselves accountable,
For all we say & all we do

-Elaine Marie Kolb from WHY NOT PRAY

Yesterday there was a funeral in the tiny, Hispanic community that I live in. Maclovia Fernandez, 93 years old and the oldest member of the community, died last Sunday.

Maclovia had 22 children and lived several years of her life without electricity or running water…..

MACLOVIA-LOVE-JESUSand she was was the beloved grandmother of my partner, Jody Armijo. So from a distance, I experienced the process which began a few days before she died, when she started calling all her family to come..and they did. When she took her last breath, there must have been at least 30 people in her hospital room.mac tshirtThere are only a few Anglos in this community -I’m one- and so when I went to the burial service yesterday, there were at most 5 of us and probably 200 friends and family.church:san juan bautistaCars and trucks filled the whole area around the church and there were very old people and tiny babies and everyone in between..many of them speaking Spanish.. [sorry Donald Trump..there’s a whole world out there, a better one that you can’t possibly conceive of]

I thought about the funerals in my family..so cold and impersonal. When my father died there was a memorial service at an Episcopal church in Houston…st j the dThe church was full–lots of people came but it was very formal and everyone controlled their emotions as we had all been taught to do. At one point during the service, the priest forgot my dad’s name.

Maclovia’s burial service had a warmth, a close to the earth feeling.  Many of the men, who look so tough, with shaved heads and covered in tattoos, cried openly, little children laughed and cried, 2 white doves were released as the casket was put into the ground and many, including the children, threw dirt on the grave.mac's grave:virgin close

Afterwards everyone went to the little community center in the tiny village of Ocate,post office cows and there the mood seemed to change for most, to one of to celebration. There was a huge amount of delicious food: enchiladas, Spanish rice, fresh tomatoes and a table filled with all kinds of desserts and everyone was laughing and talking and remembering Maclovia.

Again I thought back to an experience in my family : the day when my 16 year old brother killed himself.



Our family was in Dallas when the phone call came and we drove back to Houston where we found our house filled with people..and food but what I remember most was that no one even mentioned my brother’s name. It was a big drunken party of denial and phoney baloney [as Elisabeth Kubler-Ross would say]. I was 19 and I remember feeling totally disgusted.

So there are many reasons I’m thankful to live in this part of New Mexico which is mostly made up of three primary cultures-Native American, Hispanic and Anglo, and one of them is the opportunity to experience ceremonies like this one. As I’ve said before, I could never live in an all Anglo culture again…life would seem so poor no matter how rich in a material way, one might be..

Below is another poem/song I love from my friend Elaine Kolb which I think is relevant to all of this….an everyday remembrance.

And also 2 clips from one of most favorite movies, The Milagro Beanfield War because yesterday when I was waiting for the burial service to begin and cars and trucks were pulling up with families of old people and children, I thought of the last scene in ‘Milagro’. It’s a ceremony/celebration…not the same kind but much of the same feeling, the essence of this culture. [This  particular scene is not in these film clips..you’ll have to watch the whole film to see it.]

mac's grave:poster closeWHY NOT PRAY?
by Elaine Marie Kolb
September 13, 1984

1) A prayer is just a waste of breath,
Unless we speak with love,
The truth cannot be hidden,
From that searchlight up above,
And every precious moment here,
Is always on review,
We must hold ourselves accountable,
For all we say & all we do.

Chorus: Do it now, if it’s worth doing,
For, tomorrow may not come,
Don’t waste your time by worrying,
You know, what’s done is done,
Now, if you really do your best,
You can make it a better day,
Just stop for awhile & share a smile,
While you’re at it– stop & think–
And why not pray?

2) Now, some folks say religion,
Is an age-old, tricky game,
A business full of hypocrites,
A low-down, dirty shame,
Pretending to be kind & pure,
Yet, often preaching hate,
Just taking money from the poor,
While telling them, they’ll have to wait.

Chorus: Do it now, if you can help someone,
It’s dangerous to wait,
A crisis is a crisis,
And tomorrow could be too late,
Although the world is full of lies,
And cruel, self-righteous games,
Just don’t give in, don’t let them win,
So, why not love– & love & love,
Then, love again?

3) If we knock, the door might open,
If we seek, we just might find,
Without love’s inner vision,
Well, we all are truly blind,
Yet, when we learn to listen,
To that gentle, inner voice,
We’ll hear eternal harmonies,
We’ll all join hands & rejoice.

Chorus: Yes, we can choose to be honest,
And decide that we will try,
To do our best, whatever comes,
By always aiming high,
We can honor one another,
And be thankful for every day,
Just open your heart & do your part,
While you’re at it– when it gets hard,
Why not pray?


Final Chorus:

Do it now, if it’s worth doing,
For, tomorrow may not come,
Don’t waste your time by worrying,
You know, what’s done is done,
Now, if we really do our best,
We can make it a better day,
Let’s stop for awhile & share a smile–
Just don’t give in, don’t let them win–
Let’s open our heart & do our part–
And while we’re at it–
–hold on to faith, hope, & love,
And while we’re at it–
–believe the power of love,
And while we’re at it–
–stop & think–
–it just might help–
–it couldn’t hurt,
And when we try to find some peace,
And when we want to share some joy,
Why not– reach out with love?
Why not– reach out to love?
And why– oh, why– why not pray?


One true friend/If you build it, he will come [It’s about dreams, faith and friendship]

We’re just three or four pay checks,
Away from the street,
And if we don’t pay that gas bill,
They’ll cut off the heat,
If this old car breaks down,
We’ll be stranded again,
So, whatever you have,
You’d better have one true friend

-from One True Friend by Elaine Marie Kolb

“If you build it, he will come..go the distance”

-The Voice from Field of Dreams

I pretty much decided the other night I wasn’t going to do any more blog posts…feeling  no inspiration, things getting more and more difficult, too many obstacles to continue, too discouraged…. but here I am again because I had a few thoughts, things I wanted to write about and some film clips too…

I really try not to write out of anger but it’s difficult in this world of continuous violence, hatred, ugliness…watching people destroy everything that’s good and beautiful-nature, animals, children..it’s really hard….CHEMTRAILS!But whatever I write, it’s from my heart and what I’m feeling and experiencing and hopefully if my own  words aren’t helpful, other things that I share are.

I don’t do that ritual where someone says “How are you today?” [they usually don’t care and don’t want to know] and I say “I’m fine thank you” [which often isn’t true]

So as things have grown more difficult for me, I have held on to  just a very few things: a few friends and family members [there are very, very few  who are there for the tough times just as when someone close to you dies…maybe there will be one or two who will go through that with you *if you haven’t found that out yet, you will in time], the spiritual teachings of Eckhart Tolle and 2 movies in particular for inspiration and courage.: Places in the Heart and Field of Dreams.

Last night I watched Field of Dreams for probably the 5th time this month because it’s about following your dreams, your intuition..it’s about when almost no one else believes in you, having the courage to continue. I watched the scene where the Kevin Costner character hears a voice telling him he has to take James Earl Jones to a baseball game and he gets rejected over and over. He knows what he’s supposed to do but everything is telling him he’s wrong and that’s pretty much where I’m at.

So today as I’m looking for a sign, hoping I have the strength and courage to keep on keeping and feeling thankful for those who have stood by me, I don’t really have much to share except these film clips from Field of Dreams and Stand by Me and this poem/song below written by my friend, Elaine Kolb.


by Elaine Marie Kolb
Nov. 5, 1987- Jan. 14, 1988

1) We’re just three or four pay checks,
Away from the street,
And if we don’t pay that gas bill,
They’ll cut off the heat,
If this old car breaks down,
We’ll be stranded again,
So, whatever you have,
You’d better have one true friend.

2) We all want a place of our own,
That is warm, safe and dry,
And then, we want someone to hold us,
When we break down and cry,
Oh, yes, it’s a cold, cruel world,
And it’s a long, hard road,
We need at least one true friend,
To help us carry the load.

3) We’re just a breath or a heartbeat,
Away from the grave,
Remember that time can be squandered,
But, it cannot be saved,
We’ve got to use it or lose it,
That’s part of the plan,
And since we can’t do it all,
We’d better just do what we can.

4) Friendship begins when,
We’re willing to share,
The bad times, the good times,
Anytime, anywhere,
And it will grow when we’re faithful,
And loyal and true,
Let’s begin it together,
Here and now, me and you.

5) Love is the answer,
Whatever we ask,
Love is the guideline,
For every big and little task,
Love gives us courage,
Reminding us all,
That our purpose in living,
Is to answer love’s call.

6) Remember, love is the lifesblood,
Of our spiritual heart,
Love keeps us together,
When our world falls apart,
We know that love keeps us going,
And reveals where we’ve been,
For love is the name,
Of our one true friend.

(repeat 1)
‘Cause we’re just three or four pay checks,
Away from the street,
And if we don’t pay that gas bill,
They’ll cut off the heat,
And if this old car breaks down,
We’ll be stranded again,
So, whatever you have,
You’d better have one true friend…

…I want you to know,
I’ll be true to the end,
I’m counting on you,
And your love, my friend,
We’ll never break,
If we just learn to bend,
For love is the name of every…
Every true friend.

Waitin’ for the bus All day/FOOD STAMPED

Have mercy, been waitin’ for the bus all day.
Have mercy, been waitin’ for the bus all day.
I got my brown paper bag and my take-home pay.

Have mercy, old bus be packed up tight.
Have mercy, old bus be packed up tight.
Well, I’m glad just to get on and home tonight.

-from Waitin’ for the Bus All Day by ZZ TOP

When I was growing up in Dallas and then Houston, every family that I knew of, had a maid or maids. Usually they were black and often they lived with the families they worked for..in the servants quarters which were a BIG step down from the houses the families lived in.

In my family’s case, along with a few maids, we had a cook named Katy…she lived in a room in the garage in Dallas and I can’t remember where she lived in our Houston house but I think it was the garage again. My stepmother did not treat her kindly and neither did some other members of the family.

Katy had one day off a week and like the song says, she waited for the bus with her brown paper bag. [Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top was dating my cousin in those days and he was often around. He came from the same sort of family and no doubt wrote “Waitin’ for the Bus”  because that’s the way it was and probably still is]

I felt bad for Katy, especially when my stepmother was mean to her but my stepmother was mean to me too, my life was overwhelming and I shut a lot of things out of my mind then. It was the way we lived, the way everyone I knew lived.

Later in my life, my parents moved into a condominium designed for the wealthy upper class Houstonians…. houstonianand the same story continued: there you couldn’t even park your own car. As soon as you drove into the entrance, someone, usually a black man would rush over to help you out of your car and hand you a card which said: “Please do not tip me. I am here to serve you.”

So that’s how I grew up…much of the time, it was uncomfortable for me, but in order to survive, I shut off all my feelings. Even though what I saw hurt me, I was part of the upper middle class and I couldn’t relate really.

I went through many stages in my life..almost like different lifetimes…sometimes I had money..I married a doctor following my parents wishes…me:wedding..sometimes I was poor..I got a divorce disappointing my parents as I lost my statusFile_01 hippie family copyI went to school to be an Occupational Therapy Assistant, worked for hospice me:ot:hospice artand then founded a non profit called RITES OF PASSAGE to provide care for terminally ill people.  Still, in my social life, I was mostly surrounded by the same kind of people I had grown up with.

A few years ago, I moved to northern New Mexico….I found the perfect place in a tiny Hispanic, very rural community.church los huerosMACLOVIA-LOVE-JESUS

Many of the people I live around are poor, though they don’t complain…they live very simply and they don’t complain about that either. It’s the way they’ve always lived.

When I moved,  I continued doing the work of RITES OF PASSAGE which I had founded in 1988: I made 3 documentary films, gave some presentations for drug and alcohol rehab centers and retirement centers, taosnewsput on several film screening events etc. etc. I followed my intuition, always took the highest choice, I helped the people in my life whenever I could. I had not a lot of money but plenty to live on.

And then suddenly and shockingly everything changed dramatically: RITES OF PASSAGE lost all, every bit of the funding that had kept us going for 26 years and though for a year now, I’ve tried in every way I know how to keep things going, I can’t any longer and so I find myself in a place I never thought I would be…struggling just to survive, having to declare bankruptcy, wondering if I’ll lose my home and how will I feed my animals who are my family.

For years, I’ve always gone to the nicer grocery stores  which are filled with organic vegetables, all sorts of meat and fish, flowers for every occasion, the perfect lighting, the perfect displays…smithsI took all that for granted….

But the stores I looked down on, would never go to…that’s where I go now. I go to the poorer grocery stores and I buy beans and tortillas and a bag of potatoes. There are no beautiful displays at these stores, no flowers or organic vegetables…just beans, rice and  lots of canned food…. the choice of meat is usually pork or ground beef.

Don’t ever imagine that the poor people of this world we live in are poor because they haven’t worked. Many of the people I have known in northern New Mexico have worked way harder than most can ever imagine: in mines, on ranches, in construction. From what I’ve observed throughout my life, it’s the poor people who keep everything going. In the case of our family, the maids, the cook, the gardener did all the work. My stepmother went to the country club, went shopping and played bridge and this was true of all of her friends.

What have I learned from all this? Well for one thing, I’ve learned that the things that you thought could never happen, can and do and they will sooner or later.

I’ve learned too, that a lot of people look down on you when you’re poor. There’s a lot of judgement and they don’t call you anymore as if they might catch the poverty disease themselves. If you happen to mention your situation, they look away and quickly change the subject.

I’ve learned that it’s a very good time to find out who your friends are because you may be surprised. There are a few loyal people who will stand by you but they may not always be the ones you had thought of as your closest friends. They will usually be those who have themselves, been humbled in one way or another and can understand.

And I hope I’ve learned never to judge or look down on anyone.  “Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his moccasins.”

Below is a trailer of a film called FOOD STAMPED. Our film, ON THE LAND~Together with the Earth is part a *food and film festival this weekend in Toledo, Iowa. FOOD STAMPED is also one of the films being screened.

And below that, ZZ TOP performing “Waitin’ for the Bus”




Meskwaki Food Film Festival on at Wieting
February 13, 2016
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald
Save | Post a comment |

Watch the newspaper and stay tuned to the Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Facebook page for detailed showing time for the 4th annual Food Film Festival coming Feb. 20 at the Wieting theatre in Toledo.

Showing will be short films and there will be door prizes after the feature films! You are invited to join in for a full day of films, shorts and great discussion.

“Gifts from the Elders” follows five Anishinaabe youth on a summer research project with their Elders, whose stories guide them on a journey back to preceding generations that lived a healthy lifestyle off the land.

“Food Stamped” is an informative and humorous documentary film following a couple as they attempt to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet on a food stamp budget.

Award-winning documentary “The Harvest/La Cosecha” provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of these children who struggle to dream while working 12-14 hours a day, 7 days a week to feed America.

Featuring the three primary cultures of Northern New Mexico in seven stories of a land that heals and provides all that is needed to live the good life, “On the Land, Together with the Earth” is interspersed with humor and the teachings of the elders.

“Seeds of Time” features agriculture pioneer Cary Fowler as he races against time to protect the future of our food. With little time to waste, both Fowler and the farmers embark on passionate and personal journeys that may save the one resources we cannot live without: our seeds.
– See more at: http://www.tamatoledonews.com/…/Meskwaki-Food-Film-Festival…





The Acequias of Northern New Mexico/the old Traditions and the New Earth

The elders, the viejitos talk about “la sabiduria del agua,” (the inherent knowledge of water) and the “juicio de la tierra” (the wisdom of the earth) -Estevan Arellano

New Mexico has a spiritual power emanating from the landscape—its rios, mesas, llanos, sierras—that informs our traditional cultures.

Native Americans live each day in a vibrant relationship with everything around them. For them, New Mexico is not just a place to live. It is a way to live.


OVEN BAKED BREAD Jonathan Warm Day Coming

Similarly, Indo-Hispanos have created an intimate relationship with the landscape over the past three or four centuries.el aqua..

They built acequias—communal irrigation systems—not only to sustain an agricultural lifestyle, but also to caress and sustain the Earth and its natural creatures.

When I was still in Texas, and looking for a place to live in northern New Mexico, several people said to me “Be careful, you can’t own your own water in New Mexico.”

They were talking about the acequias which run through much of the land in northern New Mexico and which belong to the community and not to individuals. Or maybe, better said, the acequias belong to the Earth itself.sunset acequiaAcequias evolved over 10,000 years in the deserts of the Middle East ….. Spanish colonizers took acequias to the New World.

Acequias included specific governance over water distribution, water scarcity plans, and all other matters pertaining to what was viewed as a communal resource.acequias workers

In the spring, every able-bodied male was required to show up on the appointed day and time to clean and repair the acequia madre—the mother ditch from which each individual plot received irrigation water.

This model of cooperation and communal ownership can be a guide as we enter a time when climate change, lack of oil, or economic turmoil will require deep change in the way we live.

  • everything in italics is from an article titled

    Ancient Traditions Keep Desert Waters Flowing by

Nobody knows what the next few years will bring as far as change but it must be obvious to everyone that the old world is dying, the Titanic is sinking very fast…we can all see this on the ‘news’ everyday.

The New is coming in, the caterpillar cannot crawl any further..it must become the butterfly. It seems to me that is the choice for all of us: we can become the butterfly or die as a caterpillar. *There are people running for president here in the US who, if elected, will cause many to die as caterpillars and maybe another who might help us evolve into the next stage..

The ancient traditions and cultures can show us how to live in balance again..with Nature, with the Earth, with the each other and there is no one who can “make America great again” without recognizing and respecting these ancient, universal truths.  And without acknowledging that Columbus most definitely did not discover America.

FIREThe 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 prophecy

Below is a very beautiful, short film which not only explains the acequias but LIFE and living in balance.


The Emperor’s New Clothes/Rearranging chairs on the Titanic

“How splendid his Majesty looks in his new clothes, and how well they fit!” everyone said

So now the Emperor walked under his high canopy in the midst of the procession, through the streets of his capital; and all the people standing by, and those at the windows, cried out, “Oh! How beautiful are our Emperor’s new clothes! What a magnificent train there is to the mantle; and how gracefully the scarf hangs!” in short, no one would allow that he could not see these much-admired clothes; because, in doing so, he would have declared himself either a simpleton or unfit for his office. Certainly, none of the Emperor’s various suits, had ever made so great an impression, as these invisible ones

But the Emperor has nothing at all on!” said a little child.


illustration by Edmund Dulac

“Listen to the voice of innocence!” exclaimed his father; and what the child had said was whispered from one to another.

“But he has nothing at all on!” at last cried out all the people.

-Hans Christian Anderson.

I usually try to write something positive, hopeful and inspirational, something related to my work with terminally ill people, with Native American People or to my life here in the mountains of northern New Mexico. I hope to write about people and experiences that may be inspiring to others, that may sometimes point to a better, more meaningful way of living.

But there are some things I’ve noticed lately and I am going to write about them because the Titanic is sinking fast. These things are not so positive but thinking and then doing something about them could be very positive and enlightening.

In my mind, I have seen that image of the Titanic sinking so many times lately and I have felt it. In my own life I have sometimes felt as if I’m in a tiny lifeboat, surrounded by darkness on a rough sea and sometimes, like in one of the final scenes in the movie, Titanic I have felt like the people clinging on to the floating boards, just hoping to survive.

And everyone, unless they’re completely blind, can see that on a national and probably world level, the Titanic is sinking FAST. Or maybe there are those who don’t want to see who are, as I’ve heard it said, “rearranging chairs on the Titanic.”



I was interested to see this morning, that in the skit Bernie Sanders appeared in on SNL last night, the theme was the sinking Titanic. It’s a powerful image.

Last week, I posted a before and after photo on Facebook, of the New Mexico morning sky: a clear bright blue and then a half hour later, the sky completely fogged by chemtrails. When you live off the grid, you depend on the sun for your electricity. When there is no sun, as on a rainy day, you may have to run the generator. This is not good for the batteries and of course you have to spend money on gas to run the generator.

So when you learn that is the military spraying chemicals [you can easily do the research..there are several whistle blowers], trying to control the weather, destroying the earth, causing disease, blocking the sun..it makes you Very angry! Unless you prefer to pretend that you don’t see what you do see…the emperor’s new clothes.


A beautiful New Mexico sky before chemrails appeared


a half hour later during the chemtrail spraying

These are the photos that I put on Facebook and no one said anything except one friend who wrote: “TOTALLY agree. But good luck trying to find people who see that that’s not from a regular passenger plane.

But why is this?….why pretend?..why not be part of something positive?..I’m listing some alternatives below and there are a lot of them-I’ve only posted a few.

In the meantime, yesterday my companion/partner got his medical cannabis ID card which means he can buy marijuana and I will soon be getting my growers license so I can grow a limited number of plants for him.

jody:legalAfter he got the card, I did a little research and looked up the states where medical marijuana is legal and there are quite a few… but in the process, I read something that I thought was hilarious!..I had a vision of “Young Frankenstein”.  I read that in Texas, medical marijuana is only approved for epilepsy and can only be used “after everything else has been tried” [BIG PHARMA…as in who gets the MONEY…always look there first]. And then the doctor who will administer the oil must take a course on administering the oil…a comedy!…imagine a course for an herb, a plant that has been used for thousands of years for healing!  no courses necessary though for prescribing all the prescription drugs-pain killers, anti depressants ….BIG PHARMA…..follow the MONEY trail…

And then today is the Super Bowl and people will be getting drunk and getting into fights no doubt over whose team won, totally oblivious to the sinking Titanic, and some will be driving drunk and that’s all OK..because there’s big MONEY in alcohol and so many become powerless under its influence..MONEY and POWER over the people…always look there first.sheeple

And there’s so much more…more to pay attention to, more to research…when I go into the Walgreens in the nearby town of Las Vegas, NM, there are repeating, irritating announcements over the loudspeaker for shingles vaccines…because supposedly, everyone after a certain age [not that old] may get shingles…do most people even know anyone with shingles?….but there’s MONEY in the vaccines

So the Titanic is sinking but there are many positive things happening if you look for them.

Below I’ve posted some youtubes of projects and people that been helpful to me:

The first is about The Giraffe Project. In 1988, I founded RITES OF PASSAGE [AIDS Care and Assistance], a non profit organization with a mission to provide care for people with AIDS and other terminal illnesses and I was so proud to receive the Giraffe Commendation. The Giraffe Project honors people internationally who stick their necks out for the common good.

Next is Eckhart Tolle talking about the Current Economy…about how the ego based systems are beginning to collapse [that’s for sure no matter how many chairs they try to rearrange on the Titanic!] and how this is necessary for the planet to survive and the New to come in : ” I saw a New Heaven and a New Earth”

And last is a video clip I found just a few days ago…called Dear America..I find to be absolutely and refreshingly true


Seven Sacred Teachings for the time of Rebirth

“This was the way of our people long ago—to follow the stars…to be influenced by the stars and they say in the teachings of our people that  the ancestors sit at nighttime in the stars watching over all of us and they say during this time of rebirth and this time of challenge that the spirit of our ancestors would be allowed to be lowered within our presence to help lead us out of this darkness that we find ourselves living today and many of you will feel the presence of those ancestors…. “

-Anishnabe Elder, Dave Courchene from MANITOU API~Where the Sun Rises


Eagle Petroform  Whiteshell Provincial Park Manitoba

dave 13--blue skyBack in 2008, I was having dinner with Dave Courchene, an Anishnabe Elder from the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba. We were having dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico as Dave had come down for a special screening of our documentary, The 8th Fire.rainbow flyer santa fe copy

We had very recently finished The 8th Fire which features Dave and his visions and before that, Dave had done the voice over for our award winning documentary, Starblanket A Spirit Journeystar cover38

Filming and then editing these documentaries is exhausting and anyone who has not experienced the making of a film, cannot appreciate the enormous amount of work that goes into them. When my son and I went to Saskatchewan to film Starblanket, we had only enough money to get there and until we got there, we didn’t even have a camera. Fortunately we were able to borrow one at the last minute from a small film company. A test of faith to say the least, nevertheless we won Best Short Documentary at the highly acclaimed American Indian Film Festival held every year in San Francisco.aiff award

Anyway, needless to say, I was not ready to make another film, at least not for a while.

Dave, however, had an idea he wanted to talk about. I remember I was sitting across from him and he was not feeling well at all—he had pneumonia and a high fever but he had not wanted to miss the screening.

dave-banquet copy He began telling me his idea and I started  to think he was crazy… maybe it was the high fever because he didn’t seem to be making sense.

He kept talking about the Manitoba Legislative Building and a mystery that he and some architectural historian named Frank had uncovered.

Though I didn’t understand, I could feel that he really wanted to tell this story, that it was somehow very significant, and so after consulting with my son,who does much of the editing and sometimes the filming, I agreed to do one more film.

The result, a few years later was MANITOU API~Where the Sun Rises, a most amazing, true story that is somewhat similar to The Da Vinci Code or The Lost Symbol.

In order to tell the story the way it needed to be told, we filmed in Winnipeg MB

light:dave's car

Dave Corchene and Frank Albo arriving at The Manitoba Legislative Building

dave.frank star

Black Star – Manitoba Legislative Building Winnipeg, MB

                   at the Bannock Point Sacred Site

petroform drummers -eagle  2

Red Shadow drummers at Eagle Petroform Bannock Point, Whiteshell Provincial Park Manitoba

at the Turtle Lodge

red shadow:turtle lodge

The Turtle Lodge Sagkeeng First Nation Manitoba

and at Cambridge and Glastonbury in the UKdave-frank-film crew

glastonbury arch etc.jpgandy and graham--light film

It was a huge undertaking and there have been times I’ve wondered why we did it. But very often, the answer to why we made a film, comes much later, sometimes years later.

At the heart of MANITOU API are The Seven Sacred Teachings, teachings which Dave had received several years before. They may sound familiar: Love, Respect, Honesty etc. and we have all heard these words over and over but they are usually just words, overused and meaningless.

The Seven Sacred Teachings go far beyond words.  They are a deep re-connection to the truths found in Nature and each teaching is represented by an animal and carries the essence of that animal. COURAGE  for example is represented by the BEARbear_flag copy and the teaching is:

It takes a lot of courage to listen to your heart and to your spirit as it’s telling you what to do even when your mind tells you something else… it takes a lot of courage and that’s why the Bear is there.

The Bear, they say, goes out and hibernates in the winter— but our people don’t understand it that way. The Bear goes to fast. It’s fasting all winter and this is important for us as a people… the Bear taught us how to fast… how to go on a Vision Quest.. that’s where we got the Vision Quest from.

The Bear fasts for Mother Earth and he fasts all winter because he’s fasting for the Earth. He represents the love and the courage that is needed to show that love of the land and of life.”

 WISDOM is represented by the BEAVERbeaver_flagwith this message:

Wisdom is to know that each of us has a gift, a special gift, a unique gift. That gift is to be used to serve life, to serve humanity.

One of the gifts the Beaver has is 2 sharp teeth that he uses to create and build the dams and change the landscape. If that Beaver chose not to use his gift and to lay on the shore while the other beavers were working, his teeth would grow so long that he would not be able to use them and he would die, physically die. If we do not use our gift we will also die or we will become sick, mentally, emotionally or physically.

A few nights ago I had a dream about sharing these teachings in a blog post. They’ve always made sense to me but because of the dream, I have this feeling that their time is NOW and that they should be shared on a much wider level. As the world grows darker, increasingly violent and insane, these teaching offer meaning and hope and light in the darkness- for adults of all ages and most definitely for young children.
The dream that I had began with a sort of threatening voice that told me I didn’t have the right to share these teachings. This happened twice-it was as if the voice came from the dark side which doesn’t want the truth to be told. I ignored the voice and then I was at an event with a First Nations women who explained the teachings in a very profound and beautiful way and we ended by showing  MANITOU API.

“Manitou API – Where the Sun Rises is by far the best Native American film I have ever seen.  A MUST see!”

Diego Mulligan, KSFR Santa Fe Public Radio  Host of “The Journey Home”


dead sea ceremony “All around us is the spirit that our great Creator has put there to help us in our individual life..spiritually…one can have the presence of the bear beside them, one can have the presence of the eagle, one can have an angel beside them, one can have the spirit of light which comes to guide and  to give that individual inspiration in their spirit and their heart to guide them toward their own greatness in life…. but we don’t hear it because we’re so fogged with materialism, we’re so clouded by hatred and fear and anger that that is in total opposition of the reality of the essence of spirit…in order to attract that spirit, you must become the essence of the spirit you want to attract..if you want to attract the spirit of love from the eagle, you must be of that love…”

-Anishnabe Elder, Dave Courchene from Manitou Api~Where the Sun Rises

There are many prophecies which point to this time when the First Nations People will be recognized as the Teachers and their original way of life revered. Watch the film clips below: Manitou Api and The 8th Fire……


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A sideline: As I was looking back on my editing notes for ‘MANITOU‘, I found these 2  sacred writings, one from the Essene Gospel of Peace and one from the Qur’an, both acknowledging our oneness with nature and Mother Earth:

I tell you in very truth, Man is the Son of the Earthly Mother…I tell you truly you are one with the Earth Mother; she is in you and you are in her. Of her you were born, in her do you live and to her you shall return again.

Keep therefore her laws, for none can live long, neither be happy but he who honors the Earthly Mother and does her laws.”

-Essene Gospel of Peace


Behold, in the heavens as well as on earth there are indeed messages for all who are willing to believe …….And in your own nature, and in all the animals which He scatters [over the earth] there are messages for people for people who are endowed with inner certainty.  …….And in the succession of night and day, and in the means of subsistence [rain] which God sends down from the skies….and in the change of the winds:  [in all this] there are messages……