Flute Circle Cake

Flute Circle Cake

The organizers of the Native American Flute Circle were celebrating five years of it’s existence. They meet on the afternoon of the third Sunday at San Luis Rey Restaurant and Bakery, where wonderful Mexican food is served free to the participants in the flute circle. Jim and I had salads with nopal cactus and beans. I forgot to request no cheese when I ordered and our food, and it arrived with a light sprinkling of cheese which I scrapped off of mine. The restaurant is a great venue for recovery events as the food is excellent, the pastries are popular (although they don’t meet my standards), and no alcohol is served.

 I had brought a song sheet with a composition I had composed and written out called, All My Relations, inspired by the Sioux Prayer. I brought it up to the front encased in a clear zip lock bag. At the last flute circle the previous month, I had won a pair of silver and turquoise earrings in the raffle. I had asked myself, how can I contribute? I don’t seem do  crafts anymore, but I still compose music.

Me playing my American Indian Flute at the flute circle

A husband and wife team, Rob and Marge, have been doing an excellent job of keeping the flute circle going for five years. They both lead White Bison Wellbriety Recovery groups as well. When I made my offering for the raffle, Rob and pointed to something brown on a platter saying, “Look at our five-year cake!” I was thinking something along the lines of, what asshole did that shit come out of? But I tried to keep my expression pleasant and not reveal my deep aversion for cake. I probably didn’t quite succeed.

I love recovery people! They are not going to put liquor or dope in your face, and of that I am deeply grateful. But cake? How sad to switch one addiction for another.

I got seduced into eating cake for the last time twenty something years ago. I was hanging out with a mother and daughter from Romania, I think it was. They were really sweet people. I was telling them a little about the religion I had recently discovered, the Baha’i Faith. They made an elaborately decorated cake and urged me to have a piece. I had cleaned up my diet quite a bit and was fairly sensitive to some of the ingredients in cake, such as wheat and sugar, but I didn’t want to be viewed as a food snob.

Oh did I get sick! I spent several miserable days in bed. I never get sick unless I eat something that has been refined, adulterated, or sourced from a factory farmed animal. I had already known that, and I learned it again. But that was the last time for me for cake, unless I have reason to believe it was whole foods and vegan — or the dairy component was grass-fed and humanely cared for.

The cake was cut and practically everyone in the restaurant had a piece. Even my husband accepted a piece and stirred it up with his fork but didn’t eat it. A woman later told me she regretted missing out when she had gone out temporarily during the time the cake was cut.

My song sheet was the last raffle gift chosen. Why would a person want to struggle ro learn to read and play composed notes when you can improvise something just as good or better? 

Kangaroo Court Revisited

Dear Toni

More painful even, than the abuse I suffered as a child at the hands of my parents, was the subsequent denial, on their parts, that any abuse happened to me while under their care.

Fourteen years ago, right after Mom got out of the hospital, no longer lucid, never again independent, you arranged an ambush for me, right before I was to leave for a water park with my children and grandchildren. You directed the seating in what was, at the time, my residence, for what you called a “visit”.

Why didn’t you inform me that you wanted to discuss Mom’s estate with me and find a time that would have worked for me? Because you wanted to stun me, hurt me and humiliate me. Why? 

These kinds of wounds don’t heal. The nonrelationship you and I still have is your doing. I realize you don’t care, but if you were to care, this hateful bullying on your part would need to be addressed. Telling me it was all Mom is a lie that I am not buying. 

Mom’s mouth was still crooked from the brain accident she had just had. She walked unsteadily, she said nothing, except when you handed her something and asked her to read it, which she did without expression. Telling me Mom is the one who wanted to hurt and humiliate me is preposterous. Even if that were true, why did you, not only go along with it, but take the initiative to set it up, and why did you lie to me that this was to be a “visit”?

This little kangaroo court, set up and presided over by you, was about my need for some acknowledgement from my parents that I had been physically and emotionally abused by them during my childhood, and for some empathy for that. It was also about what an affront it was to my parents for me to have such a need. Toni, have you no knowlege of what your older siblings endured, and have you no empathy for those childhood scars?

I know things were playing out real well as far as you were concerned. You obviously value money and property over relationships. Is your lack of ability to show empathy a problem in other situations, or am I the only one who notices?

Toni, I am going to wait to send you this letter. For now, I’ll just post it on my blog, using names for you and me that you won’t recognize, should you happen to run across it. There is still a deal in the works that I don’t want to ruin, although I am not holding my breath.

Oh and by the way, Happy 59th Birthday! (I’ll be celebrating my 69th later this year.)

Your sister,

Jersema

The Chariot and You

I wake up, think of my home and the relaxed way my spirit feels to belong there. I remember the horrible heist of my property and I recoil.  I want this crime witnessed, and there You are in Your chariot and there I am beside You. Your arm is around my shoulder pulling me close to you. We are hovering in mid air where the roof of the house would have been had we not been occupying the space it would have occupied.

There is Alex. I am learning Your thoughts. You look to see what glimmer of soul, what virtue, what spark of spirit there is in him, ignoring the dross. The way he is animated by new technology, before the pride comes thinking he is better and can do it better than others. There is the desire to be a nice person, before it turns into merely appearing to be a nice person with the attendent necessity of slandering others.

There is Toni. When she considers the sorrow of her sister, she has a moment of empathy, before the excuses start coming, and she finds ways to distract herself. There is a nobility of soul, and the struggle of pride.

I know that we are noble in ourselves, but not in the exclusion of others. I think people that exclude will be excluded. “Yes,” my Lord says with a twinkle in His eye, “See that you don’t exclude others.”

Opinion and Judgment

This. morning I realized that there is a difference between having an opinion and making a judgment. If I have an opinion, I am still willing to talk to you about your opinion, even if it’s different from mine. Once I’ve made a judgment, I’m no longer open to discussion about differing opinions. I’m right, and, If you don’t agree with me, you’re wrong.

Now I understand why the holy books say, “Don’t judge.” Obviously we can still have an opinion. When other people become judgmental we might feel emotionally battered. They are trying to take away our right to have an opinion that is different from theirs. 

Blas

At my mother’s memorial Blas was wearing a fancy blue shirt that reminded me of a mariachi band uniform. As my mother’s friends and relatives were gathering, in what used to be my parents’ lake picnic area, for the service, Blas seemed to be following me trying to get my attention. I walked the other way trying to ignore him.

There had been a lot of prayer and meditation on my part in which I had surrounded Blas with holy witnesses to observe what he had done. I had prayed and meditated in this way in order to heal people close to me who had been hurt by him, and in order to dissipate my own anger.

It was no use, in the small crowd there was no way I could avoid him. My anger melted away when our eyes met. I had the feeling that he had confessed his sins directly to God and been cleansed. We were like two friends who had known each other for a long time, like two actors, one the villain, who shake hands once the play is over.

Mindfulness

I’m 40% through the book, “Confessions of a Prayer Slacker,” by Diane Moody. Last night I enjoyed reading about the excuses we sometimes give for not spending time in meditation and prayer. 

Although the book is Christian orientated, I translate it to my more inclusive outlook. The writer gave an example of a Christian teenager having a meeting with Jesus, then telling Him, “You stay here, I’m going to a party by myself.” I thought, “How sad, I want to have mindfulness of Spirit with me all the time.” Sometime before, during or after my meditation session this morning, I realized that I  have a lot of grief and pain within myself that I am not being mindful of, or sharing with my spirit guide. After what I call “reporting to headquarters” for half an hour or so (assuming my meditation position), I continued to meditate lying down for an hour or so more. 

I have had valuable things taken from me with no attempt to compensate me in any way. This has been extremely painful. I had thought that I was working through the pain honestly. But somehow I was keeping God out of it, thinking this is just my wound. I have to work through this myself! 

I put melody and chords to Baha’u’llah’s healing prayer. The melody I chose was mostly based on an Iranian scale that uses a lot of semi-tones. It is very challenging to me, both to sing, and to find and play chords on the guitar for it. This kept me chanting the prayer over and over. (I still don’t have it well enough to share with anyone, so I’ll do it more.) The poster above is an except from the prayer, “Remembrance of Thee is my remedy,” mindfulness again.

Communion


Let me worship at your altar
While you’re worshipping at mine.
We will share a sweet communion
Tasting flesh and sipping wine.

In my arms a fine Adonis
In your arms an Aphrodite
God and goddess joined together
Taking of the sacred rite.

In this holy place together
Knowing mystic unity;
Priest and priestess to each other,
We are serving ecstasy.

We will hold this reality:
Worshipping in love as one.
When life’s details come together,
Let this moment overcome.

The above song lyric was written for Brian, a man I dated for 8 months, prior to his sudden and unexpected death 22 years ago at the age of 45.