April 29, 2004

Out my Window at a Strange Angle

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Whenever I photograph this scene, it comes out at a cockeyed angle that spoils the aesthetic for me. For those of you with Meniere's Syndrome, skip this. The reason for the angle, is that the window is on the stairway landing, and I can't back up far enough to photograph it straight on. Too bad, because the view is often so pretty. In addition, one of the more interesting aspects of the yard is the trellis and its shadows. I have to squeeze way over to the left in the stairwell to capture the trellis, increasing the angle all the more. The rest of the windows that face the backyard, are without fancy glass.

What are these photographs trying to tell me, from a clairphotgeneric point of view? The way I see things is cockeyed since I have to squeeze myself into a corner because I feel it's necessary too look through pretty glass. Or perhaps the message is to simply abandon an impossible subject.

Posted by Dakota at 06:08 AM

April 27, 2004

Speaking of Goddesses


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Woke this morning to vastly improved Web Server Statistics . The last time my readership jumped like this was the introduction of the Dakota Digital Disposable Camera . This time folks were searching for the triple goddess herself, Padma Parvati Lakshmi , who wed Salman Rushdie on Sunday. Sadly there was only one inquiry that included Salman, a particular favorite of mine before I spent all my free time blogging.

There were a few folks that showed interest in the Jack Welch/Suzy Wetlaufer event too, but nothing compared to the triple goddess. I guess this flurry of activity is reason enough for my wedding section frivolities.

Photo note: This green goddess was shot outside of the jewelry store where we bought our rings . I just knew I would need her for something. I can't tell whether that's a torch or an ice cream cone she's holding.

Posted by Dakota at 02:13 PM

The Wave


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This is the third runner-up in the narcissism entry photo contest. It has that Ayn Rand , Howard Roark , Fountainhead feeling.

That last clickie was a Cliff Note. I find it a comfort that Cliff Notes are not only still around, but available on line. That makes it so easy to seem erudite - not like in the old days, when you had to go to the bookstore to buy that little black and yellow striped savior, and maybe even read it.

Posted by Dakota at 02:08 PM

Bloggish Narcissism


My nettie friend, Gary of Inkmusings , told me about a serial novel on Thinking Out Loud , That Girl's Blog, in which one, if one had the talent and inclination, could participate.

On my way to the novel, I discovered that Annette had an entry about blogging as a narcissistic activity. It probably is a narcisisstic activity for fifteen-year-olds, but then again, so is everything else when you're fifteen. After all they are "finding themselves". Would that more of us would have done that much earlier. It's very important.

What happens when you put the power of a blog in the hands of someone who is somewhat more developmentally mature? (Unfortunatelyy there are approximately the same number of bloggers over 22 , as there are navel piercers .) Blogging just happens to be a better idea.

Today a friend told me about a blog discussion at a dinner party on Saturday with a group of black and white lesbian and straight artists and shrinks. They all thought blogging was a narcissistic activity. Though they have never read one, they have read about them.

Of course it's a narcissistic activity . Here's what John Perry Barlow has to say about that in his blog. It is part of an entry honoring the disappearance of his friend, Spaulding Gray. I found it solid justification for participation in the narcissistic exercise that is blogging.

" Among the beliefs that he [Spaulding Gray] and I shared was a conviction that making public the intimately personal is a revolutionary act in an atomized society where many feel compelled to play so close to the chest that they can't read their own cards. Being emotionally naked before strangers extends to them a permission for self-revelation they badly need if they are to loosen the shackles of their own quiet desperations. It is a blow against the pursuit of loneliness."

Most important of all, the political blog is the voice of truth, in the era of media distortion and fiction. If you have been looking for the Liberal Press in the newspapers, you might as well be looking for The Holy Grail. Atrios , Pandagon and Daily KOS still wonder where George W. was for that whole year when he wasn't in the National Guard. Meanwhile ABC is picking on Kerry because he threw away his ribbons, rather than his medals when he returned from Viet Nam, not to mention the horror of his hairstyle. Why after three shocking books by former colleagues and the 9/11 Hearings damning this administration in their bullying unconsciousness, do the Group that Runs W's ratings go up?

It's as if we stand by, and, rather than chasing the mugger, we admire his ability to run like a gazelle. The Political Blogs are the only ones chasing the mugger.

Who are the heroes and who are the traitors, and who are the disinterested who drive by in their SUVs?

Ah, but the clowns-- many of whom have blogs--are doing their job. It's getting to the point that the clowns the only ones who can stand up to the monarchy. Gary Trudeau , Howard Stern, Al Franken , Dave Letterman , Michael Moore and Dave Barry are following in the footsteps of Lenny Bruce and Wavy Gravy .

All the best blogs

Photo note: There we are, the bloggers, just blatantly staring back at you.

Posted by Dakota at 02:02 PM

After idealization


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All this bridal talk has inspired me to comment on what happens after the cake is consumed --the cake being idealization . What comes next in a developing relationship is differentiation. Although rewarding in its own right, differentiation isn't nearly the fun of idealization. It also takes a long time, and there is a risk of complete polarization along the way, sometimes leading to divorce, and with schizms continuing beyond.

Differentiation can be observed at various stages of development - it is almost adorable at age 2, somewhat less appealing during adolescence and often quite excruciating in adult intimate relationships.

The amount of tumult created in a marriage during the differentiation process seems to depend on how well the couple has managed prior tasks of this sort. (For example, one could view the proverbial mother-in-law problem as one in which the married child has not sufficiently differentiated from his or her family of origin.)

Differention is quite a shock to idealizers, who think that the person that they have married or procreated, is exactly like them. Sometimes the shock is so great, and they are so angered by this discovery, that bonds are broken -- although we are generally expected to stay in relationship with our children.

As a society, in many of our myth making activities, we endlessly focus on the idealization stage, falling in love, probably because it's so much fun. We need more stories of the rewards of working through differences and coming back into connection.

There are those who marry many times and wonder what happens to all the initial passion. It all goes into differentiation, transforming itself into less attractive forms, ferociously giving us the opportunity to see all the aspects of ourselves, develop new ones and work with all of them.

Here are the rewards of good differentiaion in connection. When you have a conflict in a committed intimate relationship you have an opportunity to learn lots of things. If your partner is into contemplation, you can look together at differences, learn new ways to cope and create, identify with feelings you may never have had or wish to have, and get in touch with the dissociated parts of yourself. Usually when something really upsets you, it is a "trail head" to an unintegrated, traumatized aspect of self, that is providing unconscious guidance with poor outcome. In a committed relationship, one is required to work on some of the more difficult parts of self , because the heat generated by rubbing one's partner the wrong way, is transformative.

Partners are IMAX screens for the projection of one's own foibles. Usually it's not a pretty sight. When we can find the aspect of ourself that is resonating with our partner's hideous obnoxiousness, we then have a chance to change ourselves, and therefore the relationship.

This is what we're going for here -- connection and differentiation. And then there's always couples therapy .

Photo note: The cakes multiplied and flattened out quite a bit. Added were two cars, a house, bushes to be trimmed and much reflection. Let's hear it for differentiation and mature love. What is that cross doing there? Martyrdom? And how about that pole in the middle. Polarization? I am becoming clairphotogenerant. It sure beats being clairgustiant .

Posted by Dakota at 01:51 PM

April 26, 2004

Pergola #3, Dwarfed


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Now that you know
a pergola
when you
see one,
can you locate

Posted by Dakota at 08:52 PM

Pergola #2


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Posted by Dakota at 01:06 PM

Sign in the Jewelry Store


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Even though we are all feminists, and certainly spent our own hard earned cash on our jewels, we didn't confront the owner and take a baseball bat to the sign. We are, after all, a ladies group. I believe that we have mellowed enough to think ithe sign was funny.

Photo note: Another fragmented self portrait; see green elbow on the right.

Posted by Dakota at 12:43 PM

The Rings


Yesterday my Abraham-Hicks Discussion and Manifestation Group met. It was a lovely spring day and we walked while talking. On our walkabout, we visited an adorable funky jewelry store. In honor of the "crucible" of intimate relationship, which we had been discussing, there was a flurry of "diamond" ring purchasing. I bought a watch. Then we discovered that everyone (except me, since I am not much of a jewelry person) had a similar ring - some phoney, some not. I made the group stop for a group diamond band photo, in spite of complaints about the chilly breezes.

An hour later on our way home in the car, I was digging in the bottom of my purse for change, and guess what I fished out, a diamond encrusted band. The diamonds are strung on elastic, so that one size fits all. I had purchased several before Christmas as stocking stuffers for $3 apiece. One must have slipped out of the bag, months ago, and chose that fine moment to reappear.

Ah synchronicity.

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My elastic and diamond band with strawberries and my new watch

Posted by Dakota at 12:39 PM



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what that means

Posted by Dakota at 08:10 AM

Pergola #1


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The themes of my photos yesterday were pergolas, arches, dragons, and signs on the street. I will just throw up a few without commentary. Do I hear sighs of relief?

This entry would not be complete without a definition and instructions on how to build a pergola of your very own. I picked out a simplified version. .

Posted by Dakota at 07:08 AM

April 25, 2004

Today's Weddings


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Why I feel compelled to write about this, we will never know. Avoiding sadistic rage, no doubt.

Today's New York Times Wedding Section had one or two interesting foufous, which, as it's chronicler, I must reponsibly pass on.

First, Salman Rushdie married for the fourth time, an Indian actress, model, Italian TV host and lowfat Indian cookbook author, Padma Parvati Lakshmi. We should only count this as his third marriage, since living in hiding due to the fatwah must have strained his prior relationship significantly.

He has chosen a beauty this time. "Miss Lakshmi wore a two-piece purple sari that left her torso bared from the sternum to well below her navel." [I don't think they mean bare breasted , but one never knows] "So dazzling was her appearance that it caused an explosion of cheers and wolf whistles...Nearly convulsed with laughter as she walked down the aisle, the bride swatted the heads of several guests with her hyacinth bouquet." The photo also shows sequined eyebrows, hennaed palms (another tattooed bride ) and his-and-her leis.

ppl.jpg Padma P Lakshmi

"The bridegroom noted that each of his new wife's three names was shared by powerful Hindu dieties. 'Three godesses in one', he concluded 'How could I pass this up, even if I am an aethist?'"

A seafood curry, from the bride's lowfat cookbook, was served.

More conventionally, Jack Welch and Suzy Wetlaufer also tied the knot. Big time May-December. The Times says "The bride and bridgroom met in October 2001. That year Ms. Wetlaufer interviewed Mr. Welch for her magazine [The Harvard Business Review]. The relationship that developed from that collaboration resluted (my cute typo), resulted in Ms. Wetlaufer's resignation from the business review and became an issue in his subsequent divorce." This is Wedding Section coverage at it's finest.

This week there were only two brides in their veil regalia. The rest were couples snuggling cheek to cheek, with and without the breeze in their hair. Only one gay couple -- just wait until May 17. When there is a photo of a gay couple, the parties are always identified by name and placement -- Mr. Green (right). Sometimes they need to do that with the straight couples too.

Photo note: Just another excuse to post a wedding cake. Someone mentioned that a wedding cake was as impermanent as the idealization period of a marriage, as well as symbolic cannibalism what with that little bride and groom on top. It's too late in the evening to hypertext, forgive me.

Posted by Dakota at 10:59 AM

Finishing off Providence

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Dinner with the Traveling Grandmothers (that's what I irreverently call Trail Head's colleagues wives --another set altogether, with whom I feel most avante garde), who, in their retirement, have been researching and journeying to foreign countries, collecting passport stamps and five star hotels for recommendation, revealed the latest trends in children's names. Family/airport names used as first names as in MacKensie and Logan, and back to the ghetto names with Bella, Sophie, Max and Rose. The waspier Edna, Florence, Elmer and Irma have not surfaced yet.

A more disturbing trend on the nursery school cubby labels are that all the hyphenated of the seventies, with barely tolerable surnames like Greenstein-Feinstein, are marrying and having little Sophie Greenstein-Feinstein-Goldfarb-McNamaras. Where will this madness end?

Photo note: Some Providence buildings against a blue sky. Absolutely not connectin to the content, just the end of Providence for now.

Posted by Dakota at 08:22 AM

Real Auras and Clairgustiance


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This is what the gifted aura reader/photographer sees. It could be a little distracting in traffic. It almost makes me glad that I am clairgustiant.

I haven't found a good description of this "gift" on the web yet, so I may be becoming the the cyberauthority before your very eyes, after I describe what it's like. The wonderful part of the gift of clairgustiance is that I can "clear" for others in my Ladies Group and, I am assured by our leader, for the earth .

Here's what I experience when I am being clairgustiant. During a meeting where we will be going full tilt, I will often get terrible heartburn. In fact, I gustianced alot for my Ladies Group on Friday and I have had energetic heartburn all weekend. I first noticed it at dinner Friday night and I thought I had acid reflux. Stuck chi can be very painful.

Heartburn is the least of it. A little clairgusitant checklist by order of appearance:

1. Heartburn, sudden onslaught

2.. The dry cough, a bit light and windy, somehat longer in duration than the usual cough.

3.. The cough from the bottom of the soul, which, (although not as painful), like labor and hot flashes, has that "what-is-happening-in-my-body-that-I-know-I'm-not-initiating quality. Beginning in the root chakra and leaving the body through the throat chakra, it is a volcanic rumble of a cough. It sounds like a man, a man in the end stages of whooping cough. It is also moist, rather than dry, moist like lava. Really, it could scare a girl if she didn't know what was happening.

4. And, most attractive of all, there is gagging. Often a mouthful of flem accompanies this part of the gift, (which we are careful not to swallow) letting us know that we have done a very good job. We always clap the air after a gagging success to break up the energy that has been released, a bit like popping soap bubbles. It's good to take a shower after completing step three or four, but that's not always possible.

Photo note: A pretty little Providence clothing boutique which caters neither to the matron nor the clairgustiant. It was meant as a distraction from the rather unattractive entry.

Addendum May Day: After further discussion with my sweet shaman, I must add two more features to my list of the pleasures of clairgustiance.

5. Taste and Smell. Since I have never experienced either in the clairgustiant state, I can't tell you much more. I'll just bet it's not all lavender and chocolate cake though. My nose is strictly for ornamentation , so even if I do smell clairgustiantly, I am unlikely to do so in this lifetime.

Posted by Dakota at 06:44 AM

April 24, 2004



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The street speaks to me again.

Bumper sticker on a dated Toyota:
Come the Rapture
can I have your car?

Bumper sticker on a caravan:
Don't die wondering

License plate in front of me yesterday.
Jan 16 (my mother's birthday)

Photo note: This is an aerial view of Providence from fifteenth floor of the Biltmore. Note the Capital in the far left. The same view that can be enjoyed from the Buddy Cianci Suite . Known fondly as "The Prince of Providence", its beloved mayor,Buddy Cianci lived atop the Biltmore. He moved there after being asked to leave his house for shooting his wife's lover. That last clickie contains his astrological charts, a fascinating web find for a girl who just spent the weekend in wowo immersion.

Posted by Dakota at 07:53 AM

April 23, 2004

The Bride with the Tattoo


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With a welcome nudge from Underlying Reality, I remembered that I was going to write about the bride with the tatoo. I just threw away her New York Times Wedding Section yesterday, and thought I would be able to find it for direct quotes before it hit recycling, I am sorry to report, a thorough search through the paper bin, has left me empty handed. I guess I was meant to write this myself.

(AN UNINVITED MESSAGE FROM THE UNIVERSE JUST FLASHED ACROSS MY SCREEN ENTITLED "ATTACHMENT" What did I do? read it? Of course not. I got annoyed by the interruption and ERASED it. Perhaps the headline was enough of a message, nonetheless.)

But I digress (this system is working, I haven't said that in a long time) --back to the bride. The bride had been engaged before. Her former fiance was one of the firefighters killed in 9/11. The bridgegroom (a slip worth revealing) was to have been their best man. The featured couple gave back-to-back eulogies at Fiance #1's funeral, and while supporting one another in their grief, began to do more than just support one another.

Here's the tatoo part. Last year, maybe on the anniversary of 9/11, definitely after the featured couple was engaged, the bride got a tattoo on her back. It says (what precisely does a tattoo do? display, depict, advertise?) the dead fiance's name under a Celtic cross. Now she is imprinted by her first love in more ways than one.

Imprinting, (as in duckling) is the reason that so many high school sweetheats, oops, sweethearts, are reuniting in their advanced age. Imprinting probably takes place in the in the more instinctual parts of the brain, while "mature love" also involves the frontal cortex and the limbic system. I bet those with "attachment disorders" from homes where the maternal/child bond is flawed, are more susceptible to imprinting on their first lovers. That imprinted kind of primitive attachment is a ferocious thing. It's primal, instinctual and latches onto the beloved object like a pitbull. Pitbulls are not easily shaken off. The movie "Fatal Attraction" depicts a good example of this kind of attachment.

Back to the featured couple. The bridegroom was supportive about the tatoo-- (it doesn't say whether he knew in advance). He seems to accept that there is another presence in their relationship. Maybe he even finds it an appealing part of the package. It may take the heat off him in some ways --fewer intimacy requirements, a chance to stay in relationship to his dead friend, perhaps the satisfaction of some homoerotic impulses.

In the movie, "Madly, Truly, Deeply", (which is not in evidence on the web, maybe it's at the video store) the heroine lost her lover suddenly in an accident. Their relationship is severed while they were falling in love , mid-idealization. She is so bereft that her unrelenting tears project horizontally. The dead lover sees from above that he has unfinished business. He returns as a ghost, bringing a few friends, and, by being his most obnoxious self, hustles her quickly through her idealization. As a consequence, she is able to move on. Maybe that's what happened to our bride. She lost her lover during the idealization period.

In any case, although the tatoo was not visible in the Times photo, the bride wore a strapless wedding gown. The tattoo must have been visible to all the guests as she walked down the aisle.

Photo note: Another gorgeous Providence wedding cake. Sorry for the ill placed reflections. If I were a Photoshop whiz, and a patient person, I could get rid of them, but you get the idea without all that.

Posted by Dakota at 06:23 AM

The Biltmore Lobby


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I was forced to stay at the Providence Biltmore because there was no room at the Holiday Inn -- some of us have all the bad luck. It is a city landmark, newly renovated, highly recommended and houses the only Starbucks in downtown Providence in it's lobby. Just in case you have been inspired to visit Providence sometime in the near future.

The Biltmore is the choice of rock bands who play in the area. Although I did not ride the elevator with any of them (I probably went to bed too early, though they may have been rolling in when I woke up. I didn't even think of that until now, darn) I did see two Humvee Limos , one was white, and the other ala American flag. Gee, all these missed photo opportunities. We would never have seen the interior if I had shot the ones on the street. Are those napkins paper?


My junior suite

Posted by Dakota at 06:12 AM

Pineapple arch


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The pineapple is the symbol for hospitality. This particular pineapple adorns an arch at the entrance to the Federal Hill Section of Providence, a yummy neighborhood filled with great Italian restaurants, piercing and tatoo parlors (3 in four blocks), parking lots manned by large, bald, ominous looking men smoking cigars (3 in four blocks --I was scared to take their picture) and a piazza.

I think the presence of multiple tatoo parlors is due to the proximity of RISD. You can probably get a fabulous tatoo from a graduate, and the undergraduates provide an unending supply of blank skin. I passed because I was pressed for time. (The featured bride in the NY Times Wedding Section this week had a tatoo). More about that later.

Posted by Dakota at 06:01 AM

April 21, 2004

Scoops with auras


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Another exercise for which I displayed underdeveloped talent in the extreme (you will notice the hopeful, positive tone in this) was the drawing of the aura . The feeling of the aura was equally challenging.

There is a chart for the sensing of the aura and a set of instructions provided in the workshop booklet. Etheric Body: up to 1 inch from the physical body, Astral Body;: up to 5 Inches from the physical body, Mental Body: up to 2 feet from the physical body, Soul Body: up to five feet from the physical body. (in the illustration provided, sorry no scanner) there are two more bodies beyond the Soul Body, the Spiritual Body and the Universal Cosmic Body (no indication is given just how far out that is , I'm assuming a few miles at the very least). The practitioner essentially frisks the subject and then reports to the subject where he or she feels heat, tingling, cold and pressure. Then what? Don't ask. Must be Level II. When searching the net for more information on this subject, guess who I ran into again, the theosophists. etheric body is one of their big items, taken of course from the Hindus.

In any case, I frisked my partner and she frisked me, we shared tingles and warm spots and that was about it. Not unpleasant, not edifying.

Ah...h... h but the drawing of the aura. For this, we needed colored pencils. We worked in groups of three. I was with a social worker/coach from Chicago and a gay dentist from San Diego whose specialty is dental phobia. He is also an international trainer for the Mankind Project .

I can't remember how I drew their auras, but, suffice it to say, I saw nothing and made the whole thing up. I'm sure they both had lovely auras though.

I will share their drawings of me, since I will surely be able to do so and retain my anonymity. The question here is, were they looking at the same person?

Hers showed me with worry in blue wrinkles across my forehead, a big blue throat chakra, with the note "willingness to speak, some things". My heart chakra is warm and "wants to shine through" . My root chakra is red and disconnected and my legs are blue and weary, my hands efficient (my improved typing skills?) Over all is a thin gray film. At least it's thin.

His says "fills the space fully", and he takes up the whole page with his drawing. My third eye is "powerful, experienced and wise" represented by a big black and purple triangle, I have "laughing eyes" and a blue throat chakra labeled "speaking and throat chakra congruence" . Moving right along to my heart chakra "big heart radiating" "sweet emotion" Note: while I was posing for my auraportrait, I was watching a dad feed his baby a cookie on the couch behind us, perhaps thinking to evoke some sweetness in my emissions. Then I have a nice sienna spring from my heart to my crotch labeled "strong integration" and sienna lines down both legs to my feet labeled "solid".

As my friend said, in true Abraham-Hicks form, take the one you like better. Guess which one that is.

Then I thought, maybe they're just drawing different bodies, ie one is a picture of my Astral Body and one is a picture of my Etheric Body. Could be, but I really can't sort out which is which.

Then I thought maybe they made it all up, just like me.

Photo note: In keeping with both the clown theme and the layered theme

Posted by Dakota at 07:20 AM



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This is Robert on the Piazza della Providence with strawberries. We thought he looked like a movie star. Robert de Niro ?

Posted by Dakota at 06:35 AM

April 20, 2004

The Purloined Picture


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This is the inside of Constantino's, an astonishing Italian deli in Providence. Had I not been thwarted, I would have absolutely fabulous photos to show you. However, just after I shot a couple and was honing in on a close up of rainbow scoops in a display case, I was tapped on the shoulder and told that I was not allowed to take photographs on the premises. Disappointing. Even the local organic market won't let me take pictures of their tidily stacked fruit. What did I expect?

We were exploring the deli, while we waited for a table (they said it would be forty five minutes) when I was apprehended. I found my buddies in the stunning Italian canned goods department, and one of them wanted to plead my case to the manager. Overt disobedience, and assertiveness are not my strong suits yet, so I was discouraging her proposal, when Robert, the debonnaire tapper, approached us. He apologized for his limit, and said that so much work had gone into creating the unique ambience, that they did not want it copied. (If you look at this picture, you have to promise not to replicate it -- it's the least I can do -- Robert forgot to confiscate my film).

Remember that this is my Abraham-Hicks Group and we practice manifestation, and making the best of situations. We chatted with Robert about his many trips to Milan, and the designing of the store. Although he was unyielding in the no photo area, when we told him that we were on a short lunch break from the conference, he arranged to have us seated immediately. He agreed to pose for a picture outside when we were finished.

I hope that publishing this photo is not an act of ingratitude.

Posted by Dakota at 06:46 AM

April 19, 2004

Here Come the Clowns


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So, one of the ideas that Christine Page gave us to try durng the training, was to ask for the answer to a simple question over lunch.

Our clump of fabulous energy went off to Constantino's in search of Robert, the debonnaire, and a great dining experience -- more about that later.

My luncheon question was "What's next?"

One of us received a definitive answer on the way back from an exquisite al fresco meal. The answer was. "Keep exercising."

The part of me that had been chanting "You can't do this" like a Motown back up singer , had the volume turned up loud by then.

We were late, rushing to get back before the afternoon session began, especially since we were seated front row center (all four days). I had to stop to take this picture on the way, even though I thought I would be tardy. When I downloaded it yesterday, I didn't think it was particularly great. It was, however, my answer. The clowns are next.

Wasn't I just carrying on to Margaret Gunning about her church hiring clowns to do the Good Friday service?

Also my friend mentioned the article in the New York Times Magazine about "Billionaires for Bush" , which I had somehow missed. I thought that it was a fabuolous approach to deal with contrast.

From a Boston Globe article:

"The Billionaires for Bush group is among several activist organizations sprouting up in recent years whose main tactics include humor and irony. "Reverend Billy" and his "Church of Stop Shopping," an anticonsumerism organization, stages church-revival-type rallies with a preacher. Then there is a group that purports to be made up of "housewives" from Bush's hometown of Crawford, Texas, with proverbs such as "A bomb, in time, saves 9" and "A country bribed is an ally earned." The "housewives" have made appearances at Times Square in New York, where they dressed up in red, white, and blue, and straddled plastic missiles."

Clowns are ancient figures, often the "only courtiers who enjoyed free speech who could speak their minds to the monarch. .. usually"

Photo note: Clown showing an SUV where to go, not to mention yours truly.


Posted by Dakota at 08:32 PM

Luminous building


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I am suffering from a case of inarticulitis -- stiffening of the swollen blog mind, so that nothing flows. Christine Page would say in her perky British accent, "Well then, just go do something else."

I took a nap for an hour. It didn't help. Thank goodness I'm shamanistically scheduled this afternoon.

Part of the problem is that I am trying to describe with language and logic, what I learned with the mushier parts of my brain.

Here's something important. Lots of us developed our abilities to "read" situations out of fear -- in order to stay safe in dysfunctional families. These messages are generally picked up by the chakra in the solar plexus. Gut feelings. This is not intuituion. Intuition is a gut feeling that is passed through the heart chakra for compassion and then considered by the third eye, higher wisdom.

Those of us who have a solar plexes that have been conditoned by trauma, have to do quite a bit of checking, as well as healing split off parts of ourselves, before we rush off to follow our gut feelings, let alone share them with others.

Here's another fact that stuck. It is intrusive to "read" another person without first asking their permission.

Photo note: Providence is filled with turn of the century architecture.

Posted by Dakota at 06:56 AM

April 18, 2004

A Little Treat


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Hi there, I'm back, but I'm a bit burned out from sitting in hot energy fields for four days, laughing hysterically, and sleeping the Sleep of the Crone. Therefore, I shall just post an adorable picture from window shopping in Providence and save my adventures and learnings until I am fully landed and intellectually discerning. Of course, that may never happen.

Suffice it to say that the gustatory experiences in the City of Providence were superior. I think it can be attributed to the combined influences of Rhode Island School of Design , Johnson and Wales University , the Italian peoples and proximity to the sea.

Photo note: This is a invitation to those who have never felt the impulse to lick their computer screens. Feel free -- it's guaranteed low cal and low carb.

Posted by Dakota at 07:53 PM

April 15, 2004

TTFN (tata for now)


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I'm off to experience the transit of Uranus through Pisces with a like minded group. I will be back on Monday, if I don't transit too far. I fully expect to stay on the material plain (plane?) After all, I have a blog to maintain.

Photo note: Just another in the "follow the red berries" series.

Posted by Dakota at 06:43 AM

April 14, 2004

What I ran into on Christine Page's Newsletter


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Here's something from Christine Page's January Newlsetter that I just copied. My commentary is in CAPITALS.

Uranus In Pisces - The Veil Is Lifting
By Govinda

Uranus will transit the sign of Pisces from March 10th, 2003 through March 12th, 2011. Uranus brings energies that stimulate and support the evolution of the Collective Consciousness and Humanity. It brings inspiration and the unexpected, unusual, unconventional and radical events that catalyze change. Uranian energies always act to stimulate the evolution of consciousness. Uranian experiences break through the boundaries of our conceptual reality and transform our lives. These catalytic experiences often come when you least expect them.

Pisces energies are deep feeling, compassionate, visionary, psychic, mystical, spiritual and subtle. Pisces energies bring awareness of new possibilities and are connected with our unconscious emotions. The higher octave of Pisces is Divine Compassion, which streams from the Divine Feminine energies of the Universe. When Humanity realizes and expresses the Divine Feminine we will heal our world. Uranus in Pisces will link the Collective Consciousness of Humanity with these sensitive, feminine and mystical energies. I CAN HARDLY WAIT!

Over the past seven years Uranus has been in Aquarius, giving birth to the Information Age. It brought forth a revolution in communication, including global communication through the Internet, mobile phones and digital technologies. We are deluged with data! While we were being distracted with all the mental processing of knowledge, our unconscious, emotional nature was ignored, and our emotions were repressed. Uranus in Pisces increases the awareness of our unconscious realms. This is a cycle of emerging feelings that will likely bring intense, unpredictable waves of emotional upheavals in our lives! However, humans are also more likely to develop meaningful, emotional and spiritual connections with each other during Uranus in Pisces.

Uranus and Neptune in Mutual Reception
Probably the most significant and profound effect of the Uranus in Pisces cycle will be the combined impact of this cycle with the Neptune in Aquarius cycle. Uranus and Neptune are in a "Mutual Reception" - a rare combination where Uranus is in the sign (Pisces) that Neptune rules while Neptune is simultaneously in the sign (Aquarius) that Uranus rules. This creates an infinity "figure 8" flow of cosmic energies from Uranus to the constellation Pisces, to Neptune, to Aquarius and back to Uranus. Since both of these planets give access to the mystical dimensions, the spiritual impact on the collective consciousness of humanity will be profound.

A Spiritual Revolution
The veil between the physical and spiritual dimension is dissolving. Ordinary people THAT'S ME will have direct, profound, personal spiritual experiences and revelations. There will be major breakthroughs in spirituality for Humanity. Spirit will liberate itself from limited beliefs, causing many people to reject and rebel against traditional religions THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS GOOD FOR STARTERS. Spiritual organizations and churches will be forced to change their doctrines in order to satisfy the natural evolution of consciousness of their members. Limiting doctrines that call for devotional dependence on the church and religious leaders will be replaced by doctrines that honor the individuals and their personal connections with God. Churches will naturally evolve from doctrine orientation to individuals sharing their personal spiritual experiences. BLOGGING AS CHURCH?

Virtually every human being on Earth will have mystical experiences - including empathic and clairvoyant awareness, telepathic communications, past life flashbacks and sensing what others (humans and animals) are feeling and thinking. These experiences will cause most humans confusion and/or denial. Some may feel as though they are losing their sanity, or, perhaps they may believe that demonic forces possess them. As people become more sensitive and open to their deep emotional and mystical energies, many will turn to drugs and alcohol to dull their senses and escape from their emotional pain. PERSONALLY, I CAN'T WAIT

It is important to stay focused on positive and ascending thoughts. ABRAHAM-HICKS . It is good to practice formal meditation - one that connects you with the Divine Source within you - daily. CENTERPOINTE This will help you to attract and create positive and beneficial experiences with the spirit realms. It is not good to be too analytical during this time. NO PROBLEM The logical mind will not be able to comprehend these psychic experiences. Get together with other like-minded, spiritual people and groups to get the support you need. ARE FOURTEEN GROUPS ENOUGH? Also, spiritual revelations happen when two or more are gathered in the name of Spiritual Truth and Love.

The boundaries between people, factions, religions and countries will begin to dissolve. As people become increasingly aware of the feelings, thoughts and emotions of others, the belief in separation from one another will break down. This may feel uncomfortable and confusing at first, but will naturally lead to a greater willingness to know and accept one another, and, eventually, to sympathy and compassion for each other.

As the psyche opens and unconscious emotions become conscious, many people will seek wise counsel. This will benefit those who are having intense emotions coming up and those having spiritual/psychic experiences. Emotional and spiritual counselors and healers will be in great demand! I WILL HAVE COMPLETED SEVERAL TRAININGS, LEVEL I LEVEL II AND LEVEL III, BY THEN

Science Meets Spirituality
New drugs will be developed that will offer new hope for healing previously incurable conditions, but the side affects may be detrimental. Inspirations for new healing modalities will lead to the development of powerful, effective, unconventional healing methods. These will include subtle healing modalities involving light, sound, breath, water, visualization, vibrational and spiritual healing. Powerful spiritual healers will be acknowledged and become more accepted by the masses. EMDR , TONING , SOUND HEALING BELLERUTH NAPARSTEK , CHI MACHINES , THOUGHT FIELD THERAPY , YOGIC BREATHING

Computer / Human Psyche Interfacings
Technologies will expand to include mind, body and computer infusion. Computers will be able to receive and interpret mental impulses, and redesign their patterns to improve the human's ability to create the reality he/she truly desires. Virtual Reality programs for healing mental and emotional disorders will be designed and made available to the public. Some of these will be a kind of lucid dream therapy. JOURNEY TO THE WILD DIVINE

Instruments of communication with the spirit realms will be developed and perfected. These may include computer and etheric realm interfacing. I'M GETTING MESSAGES FROM UNDERLYING REALITY ALREADY

Dream Wisdom
We may be inundated with spiritual truth and healing wisdom, including images and messages from the spiritual realms through our dreams. Solutions to major problems may come through messages from Divine guides while we dream. It would be good to keep a dream journal by your bed and write in it when these dreams occur. IT WOULD BE GOOD TO BE ABLE TO SLEEP ENOUGH TO DREAM

New Art Forms
There will emerge new genres of music, poetry, photography and other arts that refer to and illuminate the Oneness of all creation. Unique new colors, textures, modalities and combinations will catalyze higher awareness and transport those who experience these art forms to another place and time. Motion pictures will undergo major transformations as a result of advances in visual and sound reproduction technologies. THE BLOG, PERHAPS?

Pollution Solutions
Toxins in the water, food and air will likely become a greater threat to health. New technologies for neutralizing pollution will be developed and made available. New forms of inexpensive, sustainable, non-polluting sources of energy will be invented and become available to the public. The technologies, sciences and spiritual abilities of ancient and advanced civilizations - e.g. Atlantis (a Uranian culture) and Lemuria (a Neptunian culture) - will be remembered and developed. These instructions may come through psychic mediums, psychic scientists, visionaries and Extra Terrestrials. Important and helpful individual and mass communications from Extra Terrestrials are very likely. This information will teach us ways to heal our environment and our relationships with each other. They will teach us technologies for cleaning up our oceans, lakes, streams, air and Earth.

Collective Thinking Creates Our World
Problems with air pollution and the ozone layer will cause major changes in the weather. The melting of icecaps will likely cause the flooding of many islands and coastal areas throughout the world. High winds, hurricanes and tornados will become more frequent and show up in unexpected places. The combined thoughts of the Collective Consciousness of Humanity are creating our world reality, including the weather and the earth changes. If we can collectively shift our thinking from fear-based thinking to love, trust and faith in goodness, we can change everything. It is our faith that bridges us with the power of Creation.

Ascension Is A Choice
It is our responsibility to consciously choose to evolve. To do this is to live in integrity. Living in integrity is behaving as though we are an integral part of All That Is. As we develop integrity, we support our personal ascension and the ascension of the Collective Consciousness. Ascension is "To rise above limited ways of thinking and creating reality." When we choose praise, gratitude and love as our way of life, we ascend. When we express unconditional love and compassion for others, we help those people and ourselves as well.

In Conclusion We must learn to work in harmony with our natural environment and with each other. It is important that we use our Earth's resources responsibly, and relate to each other with compassion. Uranus and Neptune (in mutual reception) are bringing us opportunities to discover innovative and inspired solutions to our personal, environmental and sociological crises. The infusion of spirit into matter brings hope. If we will develop compassion in our hearts and use our minds to serve our hearts, we can heal our world and live in harmony with each other and Nature.



Photo note: Deep and ominous picture, when made larger, is almost cheerful, OR, just more red berries

Posted by Dakota at 06:45 AM

Another Conference and the red berries


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Once again I am taking my blog and and rushing off to a conference for the next few days. I shall be reporting back, so stay tuned. In the meantime, check the archives for important information you cannot do without, you didn't even know you needed, and visuals that will leave you licking your computer screen.

The conference is, guess what, a Level One Training , called "Navigating the Soul's Journey". It is presented by Christine Page MD . The price for Level Two Training doubles, and for Level Three Training, multiplies by ten. Guess they want to be sure that you're motivated. I have already been told by the sponsor that Level Two slots are going fast. I might be saying "Thank god it's for sale" after Level I, we'll see.

From Christine Pages's book "Spiritual Alchemy" :

"And that is why we need to re-member, to draw back into our being those parts of the self which have become separated or from which we have become disassociated through fear, ignorance or shame. Only by reuniting these various frequencies into a force of accord and acceptance will we organize and strengthen our own inner light until it becomes a laser-like, coherent power. Then we will become alchemists of spirit, capable of transforming undifferentiated collective energy into matter and then back into the collective again and hence establish our rightful place in the Universe's greater plan."

Re-membering sounds just like what I learned in Mexico in my Internal Family Systems training.

I will do a quick run through here just to keep in shape. There is a part of me that is very excited because I will be learning something quite new, and I will be with my dear and close personal friends for the weekend. There is another part of me that is scared that I won't be very good at this. All of who I am says that there are a number of synchronicities that tell me that I am doing what I should be doing.

The synchronicities: Over a year ago, I sat with someone, whom I adore, an accupuncturist, who described an evening lecture by Christine Page, which moved her. At that time, I thought I would like to go to a training, but the next one was in Vermont -- too inconvenient. I then received a brochure in the mail. On the front of the brochure, is a photo of a winter path with a bush, bare, except for a few red berries. I have been taking bunches of red berry pictures - drawn to them. I'll post a few.

A year passed. Recently my fellow Abraham-Hicks Discussion and Manifestation Group buddy asked me if I wanted to go to a conference with her -- Christine Page. It 's closeby and 3/4 of our D&M group is attending. Kind of fell in my lap. It's a good thing that the universe is more unrelenting than newspapers when it's trying to get a message across.

While I was looking up Christine Page I came upon Christine Lavin's webpage. She's fun. Here's one of her latest.

April 13, 2004

Top Ten reasons not to blog


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Lifting the idea from my nettie friend Gary at Inkmusings , who in turn lifted it from David Letterman, I have compiled a list of the ten top reasons not to blog.

10. It takes up all your spare time and all extra memory you may have left in your brain.

9. You could easily gain weight if you blog near a refrigerator.

8. Your friends can no longer trust you not to blog about them, thus carving their foibles into the granite of Google, not to mention your own.

7. You cannot exercise while you blog.

6. It is dangerous to ride a bike, drive a car or talk on your cellie when blogging.

5. You cannot meditate while you blog

4. Unless you have a laptop, and sit in a vacant lot next to a Starbucks, you cannot blog in the great outdoors.

3. You think people read what you write and thus inhibit yourself (haven't you noticed?).

2. Sometimes you delude yourself into thinking you have something important to say and you feel pressed to write about it, and sometimes you have absolutely nothing important to say and you write about it anyway.

1. You stop printing photographs and the ink gets all gummed up in your color printer, and then you can't print anymore. Any chances you ever had of becoming a famous photographer are ruined.

Photo note: I resisted the temptation to delete the Fed Ex package in photoshop, because I felt it lent a flavor of the times and location to this shot. Otherwise, you might think it was taken in the south of France at the turn of the century.

Posted by Dakota at 06:18 AM

April 12, 2004



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I have been wanting to photograph the delicate, burgeoning forsythia in spring . The dilemma has always been finding a bush beginning to bloom against a background that does not obfiscate its tiny yellow budlettes. Just look at what this snitzy restaurant planted in its on-street window boxes against tinted glass, especially for yours truly.

The question is, is this entry long enough to keep the lions out of the forsythia, or will I be forced to write some additional snide commentary about my favorite object of derision?

I'm sure it's long enough now, and I can comfortably return to thoughts of spring - thank you Esther Hicks .

Posted by Dakota at 03:36 PM

More Pitbulls Please


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Read or heard somewhere yesterday that newspapers often publish something only once, (like the title of the "memo" Doctor Rice claims to be full of "historicial" information), and then never publish it again, if it doesn't catch the public fancy, like oral sex, for instance. That memo was on the front page of the New York Times several months ago. Oral sex, on the other hand, isn't a very complex issue, or perhaps we have been studying it on the internet more intently than we have our Constitution.

The press is just beginning to do its job again, by pursuing stories relentlessly. This administration lies shamelessly, and then expects that the story will just go away, if they stonewall. Guess what -- it usually does.

By the way, perpetrators count on this kind of behavior from bystanders. It is sooooo much easier to do nothing when witnessing abuse or injustice than to intervene.

I am reminded of the relentless pursuit of sexual abuse coverup in the Catholic Church by the Boston Globe . Those reporters just kept plugging, for years, against massive resistance and obfiscation by church leadership, exposing a small piece at a time, until the full extent of the corruption in the heirarchy became apparent. Patriarchies that are insular breed the abuse of power.

John Dean , no stranger to malevalent presidential coverups, must be cleaning up his karma. He has written a book entitled "Worse Than Watergate" in which he exposes the move toward secrecy in government of The Group that Runs George W. More documents have been classified during this administration than in any other. Public access to records has been blocked, under the guise of protecting an administration "at war". I think they are hoping that we won't notice that they have their hands in the cookie jar containing our social security, our federal school subsidies, our intrastructure, our judicial system, and our Constitution. And, what a surprize, we haven't.

A few weeks ago General Tommy Franks said that our Consititution is out the window, if there is another terrorist attack on the US. Perhaps that's where we're going folks. Who needed that old rag anyway.

Here's another fact that was only published once. Guess who got the federal contract to help preserve the institution of marriage in the US. It was a substantial amount of cash, say 1.5 billion. Halliburton -- the company that is always ready to serve America's needs, here and abroad,

Oops forgot this is supposed to be a photo blog. Grrr...rr..rr

Posted by Dakota at 06:02 AM

April 10, 2004

The dress; the dilemma; the dialectic


What would you do if your four year old son pleaded for a Cinderella ballgown so convincingly that his devoted aunt bought one for him? And when it arrived he was so completely excited by the dress , in seventh heaven , that he wanted to wear it to the family seder.? What would you do if you saw his eyes shine with connection to life force energy when he asked?

It was a terrific dilemma for the lesbian soccer mom who grew up feeling that her desires were too much, and, therefore, wrong. As a child, she tried to quell her passionate yearnings as best she could, with food. As a result, she is, and was obese, all too familiar with the distain and disapproval heaped upon children who are different.

She negotiated with her son, allowing him to take his Cinderella ballgown to the seder, and change after dinner - secretly hoping he would forget about it. Of course, he couldn't wait to show everyone, especially his five year old cousin-to-be, who was also attending.

When he appeared in his ballgown, he was met with massive disapproval. His cousin-to-be, who had been happily playing with him for hours, recoiled in horror, refusing to be anywhere near him. The cousin's parents, who are teachers, rather than seizing the opportunity to help their child develop tolerance and overcome fear of difference, talked, instead, about putting a stop to this deviant behavior, clear in their disgust. The cousin's father-to-be said he would never want to play with a boy dressed up as Cinderella either, spewing his own homophobic vitriol all over a devastated Cinderella..

Cinderella's mom was shocked. As she said, although she and her partner are very different than her family, neither her crew cut, her weight, her wardrobe nor her sexual orientation has ever been openly criticized by her relatives. People have kept their opinions politely to themselves. This was not the case with the Cinderella ballgown. They shamed her son. She asked "Couldn't they see the light in his eyes, how much he loves this dress and being in it? How could they hurt a four year old like that?"

Her son's penchant for ballgowns is of concern to his mother. She worries not about his gender identification, but about the vast potential for spirit squashing his heartfelt passion opens.

At preschool everyone knows that he loves to "dress up" and it is, at least for now, accepted as a developmental phase. He had been so excited about wearing his Cinderella dress to school. After the seder, he told his mom that he would probably just bring a picture. She saw the effect of the shaming on his little spirit so clearly, it broke her heart.

It is my emerging opinion (here folks, you are witnessing formulation on the spot) that when there are aspects of self that have to go underground in response to shame and fear--parts of self that aren't held by loving and containing figures -- those parts become become non relational. They do not develop (that's why we have "inner children") and in the darkness of non contact, non consciousness they grow into in addictions, perversions obsessions, demons if you will.

When a child is connected to life force energy and then is frightened or shamed in that state, the passion for returning to that state is powerful. The child begins to associate the "shamed" act with feeling full of self and looks for that state again, sometimes compulsively. Of course it doesn't work that way. Often the road back renders the seeker unconscious like drugs and alcohol, or repeats the trauma with shame and fear like fundamentalist religion or prostitution. A person can spend their whole lives looking for lost spirit in all the wrong places.

So the treatment for finding and healing all the lost parts of self, probably the ones with most connection to life force energy, is developing a loving relationship with those parts-- bringing them to the light for empathy and contact, so that they can reconnect to life force energy. This is a hard thing to do alone. The cure?

RELATIONSHIP. A person who has lost their spirit needs others. Empathic connection provides the antidote to shame felt about the behavior split off parts. When released the split off parts are released to pursue life force energy again in more enlightened ways. Psychotherapy, relationship; AA, relationship (when asked what worked in AA someone said GOD Group of Drunks); Personal trainer, relationship; Shamanic teacher, relationship; body worker, relationship.

Thank god it's for sale.

Posted by Dakota at 07:03 AM

April 09, 2004

But I Digress


William Grimes, the food critic for the New York Times reviewed Robert Sullivan's new book "Rats; Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants" for the book section last Sunday. If we want to read it, we will have to pay for it. But we don't usually read the clickies that thoroughly anyway, do we?

Sullivan sat out in a local alley, somewhere in Manhattan, for many moons and observed rats. He wrote about his observations of rat life, which was fine with Grimes. He also included some interesting rat facts, like 25% of all electrical cable breaks are due to rats chewing, which Grimes also welcomed. Grimes' big complaint about this book is that Sullivan's content is primarily digression, --philosophical riffs and free associations that he had while at his post in the alley, rat watching. A man after my own heart.

I thought to myself, he should have written a blog.

Photo note: I consider this a thaw picture. It has a monolithic quality, with a smidgeon of delight provided by the perky snow cap on the vent. A fruity oaken flavor. A complete digression, or can you see the rat shape?

Posted by Dakota at 04:03 PM

April 08, 2004

Dialectical Thinking


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Please read "Some Reflections on Post-Formal Thought.", it's a bit of a scroll down.

Done? Or are you are like me? You just skipped over that part, and now await my second hand misinformation on this weighty topic.

Let me start with my first introduction to the concept. I was in a dissertation research group (group, of course --you will be pleased to hear that I was not in this group for twenty two years) in which a more scholarly colleague was studying "post-formal" thought development for a thesis on peace and disarmament. This was probably before the dissolution of the USSR. Do I date myself?

At the same time, her adult daughter chose to marry a young man who my colleague felt to be a beer swilling, uncouth, undereducated, redneck, TV addict. Having read Michael Basseches book, "Dialectical Thinking and Adult Development" , for her dissertation, she set about using it to work up some enthusiasm for her new son-in-law. A practical application always gets my attention, so I, in turn, worked up a little enthusiam on the subject too. But that was awhile ago.

So you can see why writing about my faux-in-laws reminded me of dialectical thinking, although I did not have to do very much of it to engage with them. I think my colleague is still working on building a dialectically based acceptance of her son-in-law. So far, she is able to appreciate his knowledge of sports.

BID*. Post formal thought refers to any extension of the four stages of thought development that Jean Piaget , a Swiss scientist, psychologist, scholar observed while studying his own three children as they grew. He eventually wrote extensively on the subject. Fact dump alert !!!: The four stages are (for the concrete operations gang out there) the sensorimotor stage (ages 0-2), the preoperational stage (2-7), the concrete operations stage (7-11) and the formal operations stage (12 and up).

As you can see,"Formal operations" is Piaget's final stage of development. It is the ability to think logically, reason and solve problems - "adult" thinking. Piaget was quite convinced that "formal operations" was just about it. fini. "Post formal operations" refers to those theories that have build upon, and go beyond, Piaget's. Dialectical thinking is one flavor of post formal thinking.

Going dialectical means that you can hold and synthesize contradictory information. In fact, you welcome contradictions that come to your attention, as an opportunity to expand understanding. You are looking for problems to solve, rather than solving problems. Creating new underlying principles based on continuous change. You understand that there are multiple realities, and that knowledge and truth are relative. You embrace the notion that opposites are necessary for contrast, and definition. We would be unable to conceptualize light without darkness, for example.

(Goodness, this is beginning to sound a little right brain/left brain, male/female to me.)

Identification with "the other" seems like a great way to develop dialectical thinking skills. Using the concept, you could even try understand things like why certain groups might feel righteously angry at the US. You might not condone their actions, but you would not think them completely insane because they don't agree with recent policies, or have reason to think that we are bad or evil. You might try to understand their stance against consumerism and materialism, and use that input to develop in areas other than collectibles.

Esther Hicks , channeling Abraham, cautions us not to "paste a happy face on an empty gas gauge, and think we've taken care of the problem". Same thing with dialectical thinking. You have to welcome difference and contradiction as a vehicle for change and expanded awareness.

Esther is quite the dialectical thinker, actually. She is most enthusiastic about "contrasts" - all those things we do not want-- the opposites of our desire - that manifest and, consequently, help us formulate what we really want.

I think that Bill and Hilary were big on the cultivation of dialectical thinking. That's why they were accused of "waffling"; they kept trying to incorporate opposing views. I imagine it's very big on those Renaissance Weekends in Hilton Head they attend every New Year.

Right now Condi, I mean Dr. Rice , isn't thinking dialectically. You did notice that she isn't all that interested in finding "the problems" that lead up to 9/11, except to say that it isn't her fault. The White House is classifying documents right and left to block "contradiction" from emerging.

Oh dear, I have spent my entire afternoon on this most unjuicy subject. To quote Belle de Jour , after the flurry over her book contract and her identity, "I want to write about the usual things again. Let us return to the suck/fuck/sleep/gossip, shall we?"

*but I digress

Posted by Dakota at 08:52 PM

It's National Poetry Month


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This morning as I was stopped at a usual stop light where panhandlers patrol, a man held this sign:

Visions of Cheeseburger
Dance in my head

That was definitely worth my dollar. Actually I think he should change his sign everyday to something adorable like this ---then people would pay him for being a writer.

It was suggested to Dakota that she compose a new sign everyday and stand there on the traffic island with a cup -- I could quit my day job, and people would pay me for being a writer. Truth be known, my planar flexed forefeet couldn't take it. Well, maybe just rush hour.

Photo note: You may wonder, since this was a real life experience that was photo worthy, why there is no accompanying picture. I took too much time getting the dollar out of my purse, and then the light changed before I could shoot. Instead, I offer a shot of someone who seems to have been carried away with more than just visions of cheeseburgers. He is one of a collection of cookie jars owned by a frequent contributer to this blog who will remain nameless.

Note: If you have cookies jars for sale, I will gladly disclose his or her identity to you privately.

Posted by Dakota at 07:44 PM



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Last night Dakota and the Trail Head had a lovely evening at Hamid Karzai's sister's place, (a charming Afghani restaurant) with a biographer, an ambassador, a painter, a landscape photographer, and two fledgling writers. Four ninetish grandmas (good longevity genes), as well as brothers on both sides and their exotic partners were missing, but it was a great turnout from up and down the east coast. We are faux-in-laws, biological and step, sharing children for quite some time now, however informally. Heaven only knows what we have heard about one another. For my part, I am more than pleased to be associated with such and interesting and genteel group. Not a right wing fascist or borderline personality disorder among them.

Conversations ranged from military strategy in Iraq, to birthweight, to indexing a finished tome, to the disadvantages of living in Africa as one ages, to lousy photography on the internet (that's me, but I'm anonymous). We feasted on lamb, freshly baked bread, pulled from the working adobe oven before us, roasted pumpkin and pomegranate cake.

When asked how he thought it went, one of the lovers replied, "Swimmingly." I thought so too.

Photo note: The poppy, in honor of Afghanistan and it's cuisine.

Posted by Dakota at 06:28 AM

April 07, 2004

Chartreuse spring flower


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This time, I am keeping my word. You have no idea how long I will be able to go on doing this flower thing, should it prove necessary. I have inhaled more pollen shooting stamen and pistils than a queen bee (It was lean pickings in queen beedom on the web. Asian porn sites, breeders and Joan Crawford movies -- I did the best I could).

Posted by Dakota at 09:32 AM

April 06, 2004



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Big promises re information about Roger Pitman's study involving intervention with propranalol, a beta blocker, right after a traumatic event to prevent the development of PTSD. Do I really have to discuss this? I don't feel like it. I can just hypertext. The great thing about hypertext is how little one has to know in order to provide information with some authority. Of course, scholarship and deep thinking have never been my forte, due to my miniscule attention span.

Just a small thought. There is an ethical dilemma posed by some who say that trauma develops empathy, and to erase it, as it occurs, is to erase the complexity of character development in the context of human experience. On the other hand, I have also seen trauma foment rage, precipitate perpetration, kill the soul and ruin generations of lives. Without it, however, we could all be in danger of becoming Dan Quayle (where is he now, and why isn't he serving in this administration?)

Well folks, I have definitely lost my edge. I have been rambling, fact dumping , and groping around in the dark for a few days now. Perhaps it's viral. I tried to meditate this morning. Thought I'd thought-watch for a few minutes and see what happened. I was not amused. I realized that it takes me a full hour to get to theta; more time than I had available.

I shall just post pretty pictures of flowers, while I wait for inspiration or spring, whichever comes first.

Blogging is Booming Blogging is Blooming

Posted by Dakota at 11:09 PM



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Thought it might be kinda fun to publish this list. It's from my "statistics" yesterday and tells me what some people were searching for when they happened upon yours truly.

1: "mexican signs"
1: "staying in the now"
1: god's pencil
1: scratched cornea
1: masai and cellulite and sneakers
1: chakra bowls emdr

2: dakota digital camera

4: abraham-hicks
1: babies and attention deficeit
1: elephant drawing
1: scratched cornea
1: jungian synchronicity audio archives

"Elephant drawing" is always a big seller for some reason. My elephant drawing will be a disappointment to the fourth grade report writing set. I assume that they are the primary searchers on this topic. Notice that "Abraham-Hicks" has four hits, and "Esther Hicks channeling Abraham", which is what I foolishly slather throughout my ruminations, has none. Time to get smart and lure the manifesters.

Did you really need to know this? I am avoiding writing about post traumatic stress disorder, Roger Pitman's new psychopharmacological intervention, and the theraputic use of EMDR . Perhaps I should read this Sunday's NY Times Magazine article, before I begin.

Photo note: This is the famous tree in spring, for which we are all hoping.

Posted by Dakota at 06:10 AM

April 05, 2004



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Wanna see chartreuse ? That was the work of artist/glassblower Dale Chihuly. I just spent about fifteen minutes ambling through his breathtaking website. It's hard to imagine just how he is able to construct such monumental pieces, given the limitations of the pipe . Oops, I seem to have stumbled upon a contraversy known only to glassblowers. This is what they're talking about. One never knows what one will come across on the web. BID* I didn't mean to --I meant the glassblower's pipe . I cannot imagine that glassblowers would be able to do any of their work in an altered state, given the dangers of working with molten materials. I also cannot imagine why John Ashcroft is wasting his valuable time going after glassblowers. It's such a comfort to have him in charge.

Talk about absolutely no denoument. Sorry

Photo note: This is a railing in Montreal. It was chosen to replace the rather garish photograph below.

Posted by Dakota at 11:09 AM

This and that


Since I was stricken, I did not have an opportunity to report about my hair properly. You were probably waiting for my on line hissy fit. Perhaps it is my weakened conditon, but my hair seems to be fine. The color is somewhat short of albinism . The operating word is "bright" -- I wll remember to ask for bright in the future.

I was quarantined for the Passover seder , thus missing not only the ceremony but a ton of work. I cannot accurately report on the new Haggadah except to say that was very long and the tones were serious.

I received an e-mail from my friend who is spending three months in Uganda, working in a program that provides porridge to AIDS orphans. She was actually going to a seder in a town called Mbale, three hours from her village where there is a Ugandan Jewish Community .

Photo note: Chartreuse theme continued.

Posted by Dakota at 08:28 AM

April 04, 2004

Struck down


Late yesterday afternoon my nose began to run like the River Jordan, and, lest it run into the chicken soup, I am banned from the kitchen. I am forbidden to touch the silverware or to do just about anything that I had left to do before the Passover ceremony. Oh well. I will enjoy my dispensation (do Jews give dispensation?).

The table is shockingly chartreuse, rather than refreshing spring green. Let's hope that it gets dark before the party. Just remembered that we are supposed to set our clocks ahead today for daylight savings time. Chartreuse it will be, in broad daylight.

Last night I took a cold pill and decided that I would be well enough to attend "My Architect" , a film by Nathaniel Kahn, the illegitimate son of Louis Kahn. He sets out to discover the buildings, inexplicable charisma and idiosynchrocies of his mostly absent father. I fear I infected the intelligentia with my floogy droplets (that's really what they are called technically, but I can't find the reference anywhere), since the pill I took was evidently not of the drying variety, and the theater was packed.

2 Blowhards tells it all so much better than I ever could. I set off on a web adventure in and out of their blog, the kind that leaves me wondering what it is, exactly, that I think I have to say. Be sure to scroll down enough to see the photos of Kahn' buildings.

Photo note: Just so that you can see the color. Yuck. One of those situations where the swatch looks very different than the larger mass. I once painted my house Alaska Canned Salmon . Fortunately, I stopped the painters halfway through the front, but had thirty gallons of the hideous color in my garage for years, trying to find a way to dispose of it. No charitable organizaton would touch it.

Posted by Dakota at 07:50 AM

April 02, 2004

Get Ready


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I thought this was funny. The owners of the house in which I rent my sitting room have a lovely garden. I take lots of pictures in it. They went to Vietnam and Cambodia recently (leaving me in charge of their tempermental new furnace, and their monumental piles of mail -- the same mail I get at my house, mostly unsolicited -- it must be our zip codes.) The furnace, to my relief didn't blow up, but it needed a fresh infusion of water daily. I am such a sport when I put my mind to it.

One day, on my way to the garbage can, I bumped into this guy guarding the
goldfish pond
. I think he was a souvenir from their trip. I like him especially, covered with snow. You click him to large, in order to fullyappreciate his fangs.

I thought the photo particularly prescient, since I am having my hair done tomorrow.

Posted by Dakota at 08:25 PM

The Feast of the Overpass


Today I will spend blogtime preparing for the celebration. Guess what? You probably have already. I belong to a group established for the purpose of celebrating the Jewish holidays. I call it the Havari, but I know the spelling is all wrong. As is our custom, we are celebrating at our convenience, Sunday, rather than smack dab on the holiday. Chanukkah happened on January 25 -- that was the brunch which launched my appendectomy .

Some of us are Jewish and some of us aren't, but all of us participate as best we can for the sake of the children and their cultural comprehension. Let me clarify that the children despise the group. Not so many years ago whole families arrived two hours late (one hour late is de rigeuor), tear streaked and flush faced with adolescents in a hammer locks. But we persisted.

The group has been meeting for twenty three years, three times a year on the biggies, and more often when circumstances warrant. Passover is always at my
house due to an architectural feature which allows three long tables to be strung together, so that twenty five of us (now fourteen) could all sit down for the proceedings. The spirit of irreverance is with us always; more since our most knowlegeable Judaic scholar moved to D.C.

Although our stated purpose is to eat, sing and speak Hebrew, we have been through quite alot together. Originally there were six families with two kids apiece. We lost one father to a heart attack, then another in a plane crash. We have had two bouts of cancer, one of which is cured and the other under tenuous control. We have had an adoption and an adoption reunion, two lavish weddings (one a remarriage), two more this summer, and are expecting our first grandchild in June. We have been there for one another in ways we never expected to be when we started.

We haven't had the children casting their ill humor over our ritual for a number of years, since they are disbursed around the country, but they seem to be returning. The married child, will join us this year, bringing with her a spouse and a new Chagada. A Chagada is the script from which the ceremony proceeds. It tells us what to say, when to sip n' sing, when to throw locusts and eat hard boiled eggs, as we retell the story of freedom. Our current Chagada is quick and to the point. It was written for kindergarteners. The real ones take many hours. Some of us are suspicious that our new document might result in a religious takeover. If it lasts too long, the hilarity level at the table will undoubtedly rise, discouraging those who sought to reform us.

I must now ritually clear all of the past month's junk mail from the diningroom table in preparation. Some observant folk have to change all their dishes, clean all their cupboards, and spit shine their houses for Passover. Just thinking of that makes me glad I'm a shiksa.

Posted by Dakota at 06:41 AM

April 01, 2004

Same sale with big boat


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There were quite a few kayaks in this end of summer inventory sale, prettily displayed, I might add.

I left before the prices were marked. This was one bargain I could pass up. No regrets, after all I have my BodyFlex Bow without the arrow, to condition my biceps, and I don't have to trip over it in the basement all winter long either.

The big boat was not for sale. (I just said that for aesthetic spacing concerns.)

Posted by Dakota at 09:04 PM

More Kayak Sale


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Here's the story of this photograph. I was up and about, hanging around for the sunrise, as is my wont on summer weekends. Usually the crowd down at the dock is thin, but the trucks started pulling in, and a handsome crew began to unload an entire flotilla of kayaks from the local kayak store onto the beach. It was an end of the summer inventory sale, and I just happened along to catch it on film. Lucky me.

That weekend, photo opportunities presented themselves like baboons in heat. (That was crude; it must have been channeled.) I was waiting for the results of a needle biopsy, and I figured that the universe was trying to tell me not to worry.

Posted by Dakota at 08:28 PM