He Forgot The Dirt

I heard you speak today. Yes that was me in the back. How nice to hear of your great trip to museums and castles. You got to speak French. Oh, how impressive ! You talked about paintings. Oh, my ! You talked about the smart people you met who spoke so finely. Oh, my, my, my ! One thing I didn't hear you talk about was the earth. You went all that way and didn't reach down and take some soil in your hands. Once you were a warrior. Now you are a slave. Gee. I wish I could say that in French. Oh my, oh my, oh my !

Cougar Hot Springs : Sacred Waters, Joyful Communion

Cougar Hot Springs is about an hour from Eugene. There was a time when many people who lived in the forest came down to it early in the morning to bathe. It's more commercialized now though still retains something of the essence of its untouched nature. Hot springs are sacred places for communion with the Earth and with others on the same spiritual journey. 

If you are trying to make a community of people for friendship, a cause, and a spiritual journey, a hot springs is a great place to get started and keep it going.

There are many hot springs one can find online. Don't live a life without enjoying the Earth. 

Life Force at Rest

Kali Images

Kali Protestors

I had an unhappy email from someone who objected to my use of Kali imagery. He wrote that the way I use pictures of Kali was offensive and in particular my posting of modern pictures done by "non-believers'" who had no understanding of the Hindu Goddess. While I understand and sympathize with his protest this is not something new to me. I am not a strict follower of a Hindu Goddess. She is not my religion. But the image and stories about Kali fit this time in my life. They inspire me and motivate me. I know that they inspire and motivate others. While I understand that this person may recoil at a modern representation of Kali done in Photoshop, I see it as something rich and proof of the success of a sacred image in the contemporary mind. The old images have a special beauty. They may seem more timeless. But if the older images and the stories inspire new representations, that process is a real spiritual force. I guess the question is should Kali be restricted only to Hindus. If I agreed with that idea I would have to agree that Mary the Virgin be restricted only for Christians. I don't believe that.  I believe that all humankind, men and woman, are open to all the spiritual imagery of the world.  I am not a Hindu or a Christian. I believe in a broad reverence for Mother Earth and make no apologies for it. I would ask my unhappy friend respectfully to view other blogs.

Back to the Trees

I think I may go back to the trees

I want to be a fighter again
a warrior for the bark
a blood-letting goddess
dancing with the others
the long dance
the circle dance
the sex dance
the fire

I want to see the friends in hiding
so clean 
without computers
and college courses
and sculpted gardens

I lived away once
from death lights
and metaled grids
of flesh- burn humming

back to the trees now
all of us now
back to the trees

More Healthcare Info at Peaceable Thingdom

Peaceable over at his blog Peaceable Thingdom has offered some solid ideas for what we can do to work each day for universal healthcare. He has links for reading and links for doing. One at time. Each of us doing something each day. 

Seeking Affordable Healthcare in Rural Pakistan

Talk about a problem across the world. This link shows efforts to bring affordable healthcare to rural Pakistan through tele-healthcare. Maybe there are important things to be learned here.

Estimating the Numbers of Americans Who Die from Lack of Health Insurance

An estimate for the number of Americans who die each day from lack of health insurance is found in a study from the Urban Institute

Uninsured and Dying Because of It: Updating the Institute of Medicine Analysis on the Impact of Uninsurance on Mortality.

This line of study began in 2002 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Their estimate then was 18,000 Americans had died because they were uninsured in the year 2000. Subsequent studies using the IOM methodology combined with Census Bureau estimates of insurance coverage concluded that 137,000 people died from 2000 through 2006 which included 22,000 in 2006.

A detailed explanation of the IOM methodology and how it is combined with Census Bureau statistics is presented on page 2 of the study mentioned above.  According to its site, the IOM was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences. The IOM provides "independent, objectives, evidence-based advice to policymakers, health professionals, the private sector and the public."

The IOM site is filled with information about the organization-too much to present here. But you can go through the site in great detail to make a judgment about whether or not it is trustworthy. Among the many details that impressed me were the awards the IOM has received. One was the Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health. I wondered about the status of the recipients of this particular award. Notice the medical schools with which the recipients are associated. 

Examine also this page of projects concerning healthcare, also this page concerning education, and this page concerning child health. Here is a complete listing of IOM projects by topic. Clearly, the IOM is not some fly-by-night organization. 

The information presented in this post explains the basic estimate I use. That estimate currently is 22,000 Americans dying from lack of health insurance per year. Divided by 365 days of the year, the number is 60 Americans per day.

To argue this estimate, you would have to debunk two organizations- The Urban Institute and the Institute of Medicine. The IOM is the crucial organization. It is their methodology upon which the 22,000 estimate is based.

One can easily argue the accuracy of the estimate as either too high or too low. If you have the data, please offer it. If you want to attack the estimate, please read the complete report and explore the additional links provided in this post first. 


a battle of egos, 
a soul misshapen, 
a heart turned oddly inward

where is the center 
of what is sure-footed?

Circling as a Shadow

some days I wake
to rustles in the garden
sounds of tiny life moving among the rocks
some days I look out and see the shadow of a hawk
crossing the water of the pond

I breathe
and listen to the rhythms of memory
and songs of the dead 
on those days I cannot rest
on those days I cannot be gentle
on those days I remember another song
the war song I sing for the Mother
on those days I become the hawk
circling as a shadow

Blogging For Healthcare

I have started blogging for healthcare at Talking Points Memo. If you are interested in this type of thing I encourage you to join and express your opinion. I believe that our lives must be a balance of rest and motion. We need motion now to bring health to our planet and our bodies.If you have questions about the steps to join TPM email me and I'll walk you through it. It is very easy. You can blog there as an anonymous person.

Perfect Day in Oregon's Old Growth Forest

Can there be anything more wondrous?

Peeking at My Mother's Garden

I decided to walk over and peek at my mother's old garden yesterday. I wondered how the new people who ended up with the house would deal with it. The fence was still around it. My mother and I painted it with one her friends, a woman named Wren. That was a sunny day. We painted the fence with two colors. The slats were purple and the posts green. But a really deep green. Almost an olive. I thought it would look terrible. But it came out wonderful. My friend Molly likes to describe people like my mother as "into neighborhoods." That would be someone who buys an old house and fixes it but keeps some part of its funky feeling. These houses are usually in poor areas of town. The new people in our old house seemed nice from a distance. I saw a woman and a kid. I'm not sure who else might live there. The garden has a few winter plantings. I'll get a better idea about it in a few months. I don't want to meet the new people. I don't want to tell them that a small part of my mother's ashes are in the garden. I don't want them to know that when they eat their vegetables from the garden they will be eating a Goddess. I just want them to eat forever.