April 20, 2006Elicia is Brave. Elicia is Wise. Elicia is kind, and loving, and so incredibly generous with her Love. Elicia is drop-alive Gorgeous, if you haven't noticed yet...and such a mild flirt you might miss it if you're not paying close attention (Pay attention! It's so worth it!) . Elicia is probably smarter than you. Elicia is a High Priestess of massive Transformative Shifting, and still going strong. I have watched Elicia rise up out of muck of her own making and fly into the highest reaches of sky and stars, alighting on this earth again (thank you) to Teach Us All How. To be Human. To Be Divine. She's going through it all to bring back the Gifts..a Shamaness I honor for her persistence and willingness to really *go there* even if all seems dark. She loves so deep. I am so grateful to have this Queen of the Fey here to laugh with, dance with, learn with, and *ENJOY it ALL* with....Elicia amazes me and reminds me to be True...
December 3, 2005She's the best thing to happen to lake county since, umm... yea. Suffice to say, Elicia is one of the bright stars that make life on earth the beautiful thing it is.
February 24, 2005Alicia is a Goddess incarnate
Brilliant and sweet and full of love
I am dedicated to being of service to this nobel
being of light
July 30, 2004oh the beauty of...
<AYYA>, "*LoveFlow WorldUnityTribe*", (((Ambient Groove Temple))), (the real) spiritual enlightenment, ** Art Of Loving **, *mysteryschool*2013*, .:A Call 2 Council:., 7th Mystery School, =Elysian Fleet=, A Guide to The Great Outdoors, Aerious/YewWood, Alex Grey, an-ten-nae Presents, Arete, art of union, Awaken Cafe, Ayahuasca, Balkan Byways, bassnectar, Bay Area Software Developers, ...
tried not to get too caught up in the election, my natural caution telling me to avoid overblown hopes for salvation. Like many progressives I doubted real change could come in a two-party system, I and believed that elections were a distraction from the crumbling of civilization.Wed, November 5, 2008 - 7:23 PM permalink - 1 comment
But it was Saturday Night Live that reeled me in! I was excited that once again it could be a force in the world, criticizing politics as only comedy can. Satire and reality blurred as Tiny Fey spoofed Sarah Palin and we were unable to tell the difference between them. We dragged the old TV out of the closet on Monday night to watch Heroes, the only one TV show we watch, to find Heroes had pre-empted by SNL. But laughed our asses off at the show. Those comedians had every nuance of character down pat for those politicians, satirizing their hand gestures, tics, favorite words. But they couldn’t find much to ridicule about Obama! When the real Palin got on stage to say she would shut SNL down for making fun of her, I was stunned. Was this a joke, or was this real?!?
That Monday night there was also a documentary on PBS about the real candidates, following their story. While it pretended to be unbiased, it’s hard for any educated person to present McCain in a flattering light next to Obama. McCain’s only education was to graduate 894th out of 899 students at a naval academy, and his only claim to fame was that he was captured by an enemy in war. Obama had the best education in the land and is the most elegant, articulate candidate of our lifetime. His goosebump-inducing speeches invoke the old-time stirring rhetoric of Martin Luther King, while his quiet dignity recalls Abraham Lincoln. He seems for all the world a sincere, reverent being. He never stumbles, even as he stays humble. He has ancestors from Europe and Africa, and even speaks an Asian language. Truly the global leader. He writes his own speeches!
The documentary showed President Bush officially endorsing McCain. How awkward! McCain stood fidgeting like a little boy … he made Bush look presidential! It was a cringe-worthy moment. Obama didn’t need anyone’s stinking endorsement!
So we left the TV out of the closet for Tuesday and were unabashedly glued to the tube all night. I haven’t watched that much TV since Tom and Jerry. I’ll confess that my innocent hope trounced my cynicism and my heart swelled as they announced the victory. Even the blond newslady looked as if she had been crying, bless her.
Even if Obama does end up being the anti-Christ, the point is that for a golden moment, I was proud to be American. We can use this moment of transformation to wreak hope, manifest miracles.
I was floored by the decency and humanity of the Obama and Biden families as they took the stage during the acceptance speech. No balloons, confetti or bullshit. It was like a real royal family, unselfconscious, handsome and real. Calm and collected. Even the Kennedys paled in comparison.
On twitter.com, (where one-line comments scroll by in real time from people all over the world), I watched Europe wake up to good news and admire America again. What if we could believe hope was possible? It made the world realize, now that we dared to hope, how hopeless we had been! And in watching all the comments on twitter, I realized how many sane and reverent and funny people there are in the world. The world seemed a fine place for the first time since Reagan. Twitter was a way to connect with the world in the present moment … I had a felt sense of how alike we all are, despite how alone we feel. Twitter is like the firing of all these human neurons in the huge hive mind matrix that we are.
And then .. Ralph Nader came on the TV. His denouncing Obama as an “Uncle Tom” was too much even for Fox News, whose quirky news-anchor attacked Nader. It’s too bad, because Nader has a point. We need to heed his message: Obama’s campaign was financed by corporations; he is not a progressive; we are slaves to the two-party system. If only Nader wasn’t such a sourpuss, such a total partypooper, his message would better received. Let’s hope he stays active as a citizen activist to keep us fighting for what matters. But why couldn’t he let us have our jubilation .. at least for 48 hours, 48 hours of believing in miracles, of smiling at strangers on the subway?
And if Obama should, Goddess forbid, turn out to be just another Democrat in the pocket of our corporate masters, as Nader insists, then at least We the People can be sure that the two-party system is hopeless, and turn our hopeful enthusiasm to fight for a third party that can truly bring justice!
Well, if you have been following my life story these last 3 blogs, about my near-death experience and hospital adventure: here is the epilogue.Wed, July 9, 2008 - 3:48 PM permalink - 2 comments
I can say, now that I am almost healed, that I am grateful for the experience.
No one would ever willingly request such an experience, but it is an opportunity to begin again, to put yourself back together again piece by piece, consciously. I burned off fat and karma. I shed layers and rebuilt my muscles and organs one by one. And I gained patience and focus, thanks to the precious weeks of doing nothing. The quality of my awareness feels more lucid and grounded. I feel more observant, more able to approach each activity with a beginner mind. And my butt looks great.
Thank you to my partner Andres and my community ...
So, due to my near-death experience recently (see 2 blogs back), I've been thinking about death. Not a very polite topic, especially in America, where people just don't talk about death. I think it's important to talk about ...Wed, June 25, 2008 - 7:08 PM permalink - 4 comments
When I was thinking I was going to die, I just couldn't accept it would be so random, so meaningless to just drop dead over my morning coffee. Just like that. I was wondering if my life was going to flash before my eyes or something. Or would it just be utterly mundane?
When I got home from the hospital, I watched the movie Into the Void, about two guys who nearly die climbing an never-before climbed peak in the Andes. True story. One of the guys shattered his leg and got separated from his partner. He had to pull himself out of a crevasse, and then hop for miles on slippery rocks, each hop causing excruciating pain in his leg, falling down often. His fingers were frostbitten and he had been without food or water for days. At one point, he became utterly delirious and started hearing a song in his head. It was a pop song he disliked, stupid and fatuous. It played in his head for hours at full blast. He thought to himself, am I going to die to this song?
I so related to that. Amazingly, he made it down to base camp and his friends were still there. They couldn't believe he was still alive. I wondered if I had that much determination to stay alive, that much grit. I remembered when I was bleeding internally, and felt myself slipping into unconsciousness. I felt resigned. I tried to talk my partner out of carrying me to the hospital, because it seemed like too much trouble. Maybe I'm lazy! Although I did come around, and agreed to go .. I'm glad I did.
Two weeks after surgery, I am feeling much better. The bruises on my arms from the IVs are gone. The incision is healing nicely. The nerves in my lower abdomen have yet to come back -- which, sadly, deprives me of my orgasm. I have faith it'll come back -- but then, of course, I'm terrified of sex. It nearly killed me. Why did Goddess make it so horribly terribly dangerous? For women, that is. It shakes my faith that there's anything sensible about the universe. And what about birth control? There is no method that is acceptable. I refuse to subject myself to hormones cooked up by men in a lab for profit. Spermicide burns. That IUD thing? What IS it and how does it work? I don't want it in there!Wed, June 18, 2008 - 10:07 PM permalink - 5 comments
The answer to all this is menstrual extraction -- a method for painlessly flushing the womb. It's illegal, but that's bullshit. IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE DOING THIS, AND WANT TO FORM A WOMENS COUNCIL TO SPREAD THE KNOWLEDGE, PLEASE CONTACT ME.
And so, I'm monstrously depressed. Usually I cure depression by dancing, running, sweat, exercise -- but I can't do any of that stuff for another month, not even yoga. And I can't drive so I'm helpless. I'm afraid to go to a party in case somebody bumps into me or hugs me too hard. So -- for the first time in my life, I'm not busy. I'm making friends with the not-knowing. I'm making the best of it. Nurturing myself. Allowing myself to be nurtured. Utterly determined that this whole thing will make me stronger, more compassionate, and better than before. Fervently seeking reasons to have any faith in magic and goodness.
I went to the Berkeley oak grove today, to see the showdown between the tree-sitters and the dementors of doom, seeking faith. Are there any progressives still in Berkeley? It cheered me. There was a big crowd, 300 or so people, cheering the tree sitters. A few cursed the cops, but most were mellow and peaceful. Of course, there wasn't a student to be seen, most were old Berkeley regulars, aging hippies, so what does that say for the future .. but today there was a victory. The ruling says they can't build the facility over the sacred oaks .. yet. I got interviewed, maybe I'll be on the news.
Please .. give me a shout out ... give me a reason to believe that goodness can triumph over evil .. I am being overrun by the forces of evil in the legal system .. please.
Have you ever had a moment where you really think, this is it -- I'm dying?Fri, June 13, 2008 - 4:34 PM permalink - 9 comments
Were you scared? Resigned? Courageous?
In my dreams, when I die .. I am fearless . But when it just happened in real life, I was terrified.
Did I feel like I was missing out, hadn't had a full life? No. Totally satisfied with my life. No, the horror was that I would leave the world like that-- in pain and shock. I was afraid I would go to a bad place. I wouldn't be spiritually alert, I would be scattered, dazed, HORRIFIED that it could end so unexpectedly, pointlessly!
I had an ectopic pregnancy and my fallopian tube ruptured. What amazes me is how utterly common ectopic pregnancy is, and that nobody talks about it. It seems like everyone and her aunt has had an ectopic. Of course, if you catch it early, it's minor surgery. If not, it can be fatal. You bleed to death internally within minutes.
My cell phone saved my life. I went to get a cup of coffee, and grabbed my phone out of the kitchen to make some phone calls while I drank my coffee. Then suddenly came the most extruciating pain of my life. I though, oh, this is what they mean by pain. I never really knew. I kept trying to get to the bathroom, and would find myself with my face on the cold bathroom floor, throbbing. Some part of me understood that I had passed out, and that I kept passing out whenever I stood up. Another part didn't care. Just let me rest. This will pass.
The part of me that understood that I was about to die crawled to the phone and text messaged my partner, HELP. He came with friends. He got socks on me and a robe on (clothes too horribly painful) ,picked me up, put me in the car. I remember the drive to Alta Bates. I remember looking at the trees and wondering if I would see one again. I don't remember getting into the wheelchair or throwing up all over when he wheeled me into the ER. It's a good thing I did throw up, because someone saw and didn't make us take a number. They waved us straight into the room. By this time I was gulping for air and not getting any. That was .. the worst feeling the world. Oxygen mask. Ah.
A few things I remember from the next few hours. Heavily sedated while they drilled a huge hole from my neck to my heart. My friend Bronwyn held my hand but I didn't even feel that. I dimly remember the cool feeling of the thick plastic sheet that covered my face. (Bronwyn said later it was to prevent the enormous amounts of blood from going all over). And I remember hearing a doctor say that if I was lucky the surgery scar would be small. But if there was damage to other organs, they would have to open up the whole abdomen. Dully I thought, so much for belly dancing. My blood pressure was so low I was barely alive. They told me later I was yellow and freezing cold to the touch. I remember hearing a psychotic person, who was in the hallway, ranting and abusing everyone who walked by. I listened to his rants while I was getting the hole drilled. Later, when they rolled me past him on a gurney, I was the one person he didn't insult. Is she ok? he asked.
I remember the CT scan. Later, I remember shivering mightily as they clamped down my legs getting ready for surgery. Then nothing. Of the 4 days I spent in the ICU, almost nothing. The amazing nurses -- Amy and Carmen. My amazing partner, pacing, on 30 hour vigil. Lots and lots of blood transfusions. Eyes so swollen I couldn't open them. My throat aching and parched from the throat catheter, but not allowed to drink. (I could sponge off my throat with a tiny sponge.)They took my vital signs every 15 minutes.
I got lucky! They didn't have to split me open. My surgeon was a tiny Indian woman, Dr. Sandhu .. with the smallest fist in the world. She only made a 2 inch incision to get her slim little fingers in there. The incision is already now getting covered over with hair. As a woman she understood that not only life, but beauty is important. :)
When my vital signs started to stabilize I was moved out of the ICU. My first roommate was a nasty woman who screamed at the nurse for being late with her pain shot. My energy started to drop and thank Goddess my partner got me moved to another room. A bright sunny window spot with a great view. Alta Bates is as good as it gets as far as hospitals go. They even have Dr. Iwamoto's water molecules on their wall. Still, it's toxic like all hospitals. No fresh air. Stench. I couldn't believe what enormous bags of antibiotics they dumped into my veins. I was nauseous 24/7 -- worse than the pain. It had been a week since I had eaten but it was nearly impossible. By this time, my Mom had flown out from the east coast. She forced me to eat. Blecch.
I felt like a child. First bites of food. First steps. First trips to the bathroom. First shower. The first shower was where I lost it -- I saw myself in the mirror. They had given me too much fluid so my body was swelled up like a tiny obese person (I weighed almost 150 pounds!) I had a black bruise that covered half my midsection (from the internal bleeding). I ended up sobbing then, feeling sorry for myself. I had missed my flight for my 3 month research trip to Greece and Turkey. Instead, I was in the underworld, feeling horrible. That feeling like you will NEVER feel good again.
Zorica, the Yugoslavian nurse's assistant who kindly changed my sheets more than once a day when I would sweat through them, set me straight. She kindly reminded me how fortunate I was to be alive, with my family, in my own country. When she was in the hospital, and her bladder burst due to a misplaced catheter (OW!!!!), she was alone, without a friend in the world, her family and friends dead, her county gone. My situation -- a piece of cake.
Goddess, I was lucky. I thought about all the times I had driven by Alta Bates. Right there on Ashby by Whole Foods. It had only dimly occured to me that it was a hospital. Or what a hospital really entailed. So many women and men working there tirelessly. (Alta Bates seemed to me like a matriarchy -- all the doctors I saw were women. I was surprised also by how many of the nurses were men). Such an enormous organization of beds, charts, medicines. So many suffering people.
The worst suffering was definitely the blood-taking. All the IVs in my arms and neck were collapsing and my veins were tapped out but they kept needing to take blood -- to check potassium levels, or some such inane protocol. They went after any vein they could find. It was when they dug into the tiny little ones in my wrist that I couldn't help screaming. No blood could be coaxed. Finally they had to bring in the specialist to dig the special tunnel, the "pic" line. Things were better after that.
Then it was the lungs. Since they gave me too much fluid, my lungs filled with fluid and I couldn't breathe. I had to sleep with the oxygen tube that made my nose bloody. Of course, I don't mean "sleep" literally. There is no sleep in the hospital. They come in every 2 hours to prod and poke you. And of course there's the noise. The clanging of carts in the hall. The constant beeping. The moaning and sobbing. I remember one night when it became rhythmic: the snoring of my roommate, the beeping of the IV machine, the hydraulic hiss of the blood pressure machine: snore snore, beep beep, hiss hiss. Snore snore, beep beep, hiss hiss. I listened to this for hours.
Then I started to feel a little better. And I wanted to give back. Thank Goddess for the pink roses of loving kindness that grow from the compost of suffering! All I wanted was to help my roommate who was worse off than me, to get her blankets, make her laugh. We lay in the dark talking for hours. Two people who never would have met otherwise. I feel so grateful for how my heart was broken, for all the people I met there I never would have even seen in Berkeley, the brave nurses, brave patients, ordinary amazing people. The one nurse who shared her story about how things you don't plan can end up being so much richer than the things you planned. (I had been planning our trip to Turkey for months .. ). The nurse who came in and gushed about how good the energy was in our little room and how honored she was to know us. The big kind male nurse from Cote d'Ivoire. And Zorica, the Yugoslavian nurse whose old-world wisdom reminded me of what I already knew.
I was in there for 8 endless days. Finally, with all my breathing exercises, my lungs were filling back up. (I was so grateful for my yoga and pranayama training. My roommate, when they gave her the breathing exercise, didn't even know the difference between an inhale and an exhale). We finally survived the endless protocol (3 doctors had to sign me out which took half a day) and I was free!
I walked blinking into the hot sunlight, my legs rubbery. I asked Andres to take me straight to the Berkeley Marina. I needed lungfuls of fresh air . I sobbed ardently. We went home, that miraculous place. I can't even describe the deliciousness of a real bed -- of real food, eaten without nausea -- of being able to lie on my side, without 10 feet of tubes running through my arm -- of quiet, precious peace and quiet, and air, real air.
For 3 days I was high on emptiness. Each breathe into my healthy lungs was bliss. Each bite of homemade food (my wonderful partner made for us) a revelation. It felt so good to be clear, sober, off all the pain medication, that I didn't even want to take Advil. Ah, to focus the eyes!!! I didn't bother to fill my Vikodin prescription.
And I seem to have broken any attachment to eating food in any non-nourishing ways. I've been eating small healthy meals, without any snacking or sugar.
Inevitably, the amnesia. Taking for granted the cool smoothness of a real bed. Forgetting, The breath. I got a bad cold, and the racking cough was torture on my wounded belly. The spacious emptiness turns to the void. I'm fearing the BILL from the hosptial. And the epic obstacle in my life -- the horror of the legal system that has trapped me -- overwhelms me.
For moments, I can still weave it in -- the bliss of existence. But why is it so difficult to breathe blissfully and consciously, to REMEMBER??? Ah, the body, so dumb and wise, so simple yet infinite, so resilient and fragile.