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Welcome to my blog, a quasi-weekly column on topics and issues that have my attention, or that are intended to inform or inspire--including the following reminder:

"Realize why you're here, and be about it!"

Catching up with myself

I finally caught up with myself for last Friday night’s vision quest.  The conflict raging inside my head had quieted; I no longer cared whether I saw a Sasquatch, a spaceship, or nothing but a sky filled with stars.  It was a relief simply to be present—sitting out at Pipestone Canyon, one of the world’s sacred power spots, on a clear, warm, star-studded evening.  No expectations, only gratitude. 

(The photo is of the new sweat lodge we built down by the creek...Not of Pipestone. Still, don't you think it looks magical? Journeys through inner space right inside this door!)

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Not Carmageddon but Carmaheaven

A little good news from—of all places—Los Angeles, where they shut down the 11-lane 405 for a weekend—and instead of chaos, heard the birds sing for the first time in decades.  Now they want to do it more often J



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My Pipestone vision quest

Folks have been asking about last Friday night’s vision quest to Pipestone Canyon and I’ve been slow to respond because I’ve been processing.  I still am, actually, but here's what I can tell you.

Weatherwise, it was a spectacular night: temperate, mostly clear, with a full moon rising to our right just as we settled in.  We faced the canyon wall, where Se Olum had seen spirits dancing upon our arrival. 

Looking up was actually quite difficult with that lunar spotlight stage right. The bright light made me want to close my eyes, which soon had me drifting towards sleep, only to be startled back to wakefulness each time I thought I heard something.  By “startled” I don’t mean fearful; I simply didn’t want to miss anything.  Se Olum may have nothing against sleeping through a vision quest, because the logical mind is more easily breached while sleeping, I wasn’t out there to sleep, but to experience.

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10 Things the GOP does not want you to know about the debt

In other news, the GOP is hell-bent on bringing down Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid by holding the government hostage over the debt ceiling.  Five days of negotations have broken down with the President finally finding a line he will not cross.  Meanwhile, despite their posturing, here are 10 things the GOP doesn't want you to know about the debt (from http://www.perrspectives.com/blog/archives/002215.htm):

  • Republican Leaders Agree U.S. Default Would Be a "Financial Disaster"
  • Ronald Reagan Tripled the National Debt
  • George W. Bush Doubled the National Debt
  • Republicans Voted Seven Times to Raise Debt Ceiling for President Bush
  • Federal Taxes Are Now at a 60 Year Low
  • Bush Tax Cuts Didn't Pay for Themselves or Spur "Job Creators"
  • Ryan Budget Delivers Another Tax Cut Windfall for Wealthy
  • Ryan Budget Will Require Raising Debt Ceiling - Repeatedly
  • Tax Cuts Drive the Next Decade of Debt
  • $3 Trillion Tab for Unfunded Wars Remains Unpaid

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    Back in the Methow to complete my vision quest

    I’m back in the magnificent Methow (clear, lush and gorgeous) and excited about returning to Pipestone Canyon with Se Olum, Debbie, and another friend, Dirk, to complete my vision quest.

    My two weeks away were stressful, even while I loved being back in California with my family.  (Ask me sometime about karaoke with my sister Jackie.  We rocked the house to “I got the music in me!”  Sister Beth made it up onstage for the first time, too.  It was a "Landslide."  Look out, Santa Barbara:  The genie is OUT of the bottle!  We used to joke that if the three of us formed a rock band we could call ourselves Buns and Noses.  But now so much time has passed our name will have to be GUMS and Noses!  Flap-flap.)

    But I digress.

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    Running out of grass, water...and common sense

    My friend Cosmic Rose sent the following article to the Yipdoggies list...The article lists drought-related losses to wheat and corn, as well as cattle.  And yet we continue to participate in systems that are demonstrating their unsustainability at every turn.  How long until we connect the dots?  How long until we humble ourselves, consume less, respect and appreciate more?  Rose titled her email: Running out of grass...water...and common sense.

    Texas cattle ranchers feel burn of record drought
    by Staff Writers
    San Antonio, Texas (AFP) July 14, 2011

    A record drought is forcing Texas cattle ranchers to send their cows to slaughter because it's too costly to keep buying feed for herds finding little forage in parched pastures.

    "If I knew it would rain in the next two months, we'd buy hay or feed and carry these cows on," said Pete Bonds, who raises about 7,000 cows on his nearly 4,000-acre (1,600-hectare) ranch near Fort Worth.

    The problem for ranchers like Bonds is that "only God knows when it's going to rain."

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