Thursday, March 31, 2011


I withdrew $30 of my last $37 from my "sharebuilders" account, the last of the money I made last fall, managing a temporary Halloween store. Spent about $25 of that the last two days, sitting in a coffee shop paging through Halloween catalogs, as I recently agreed to manage the next incarnation of that store. I had nearly given up on my house, with the intention of putting it up for sale, planting the garden, and in the fall paddling south on the Mississippi with my veggies. I peddled my bike to the edge of a bluff overlooking the flooded confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Tuesday, wistfully imagining the trek. Alas, I am to stay, as the Goddess has called me to stay.

I have a $100 dollar check from my two performances at Patrick's Cabaret, about $85 of which is dedicated to the phone bill. I have maybe $10 in change scattered throughout the house. There's a $45 check, which I found while organizing my sun room, money I earned last July doing yard work for a friend and his family. I probably had about equal the money then, that I have now; how it didn't occur to me that I hadn't cashed the check, I don't know. It's a nice find. I'll call them tomorrow to ask if I can still cash it.

I've been putting off doing my taxes because I worked as a contractor at the Halloween store, and no income taxes were taken out. Though I made only $12,077, I expect my State and Federal governments will expect me to pay considerably more than GE's obligation.

I've set up about $12,000 in orders for Halloween merch the past two days. Before the weekend, that number will climb to $15,000 or more. I'm on the payroll again, though I expect most of what I will earn preparing these orders will go to my $360 water bill. Of the $3100 dollars I owed the city for my new stop box, I broke the $2000 barrier last month. If I don't continue to pay, the city will condemn my house.

Yesterday I organised orders for antique replica guns, prosthetics, makeup and fangs: Parris, Cinema Secrets and Scarecrow. Checked in about some plastic pumpkin teeth, and some gel hair-coloring, with two small family businesses, PumpkinTeeth LLC and Zack's Wax. Today I paged through six inches of catalogs, from Fun World, Underwraps and Forum. Tomorrow I address the imposing Disguise, with their abundance of licenced costumes and their relative indifference to the small retailer. I'm inclined not to order much of anything from them, especially not the costumes for this summer's Hollywood blockbusters, as there is no guarantee they will be well received, and even if they are, things are moving so fast pop-culturally, I expect the costumes will be mostly obsolete by October. Superman always sells, though.

It feels good to start working again on something other than myself, though I'm feeling a bit disconnected from myself tonight, after two days staring at page after page of costumes and novelties and accessories and myriad grotesquerie. Perhaps I'll take a bath, and pull some cards, meditate.

I was telling myself too that it might be a good idea to take a break from the bud. (Glimmers of awakening on that issue all over HuffPost of late.) I tell myself that it suppresses my sleeping dreams. It's been awhile since I had a real break, maybe last summer. I puffed anyway. As I was doing bath yoga last night, I called out, that if I am indeed an old soul, it is time to become conscious in my dream state. I dreamt a detailed dream last night, woke and wrote it out, went back to sleep and resumed the dream. It was very much gray-scale, and though it was detailed, I seem not to be able to awaken to myself in my dreams. Though not long ago, I leapt off a cliff, fell thousands of feet, and landed standing knee deep in a river. That was nice. More of that.

I've been feeling a certain mastery over material matters lately. Which is good, because my house is a disaster, after this winters dark night of the soul. I sang tonight with more intensity than I ever have before. Visions of a stage, and a band, though that is about as far outside my experience as direct counsel with ancients in my dreams - and as seemingly unlikely.

The mastery I speak of however is the faith I have that what I need will come to me. Hard earned. And worth every difficult, every irrational, every intuitive step.

**** a friend sent this to me. It has flaws, but it brought tears to my eyes, and hope radiating throughout. Blessings, ****

Monday, March 28, 2011

Imenz -The Black Rock Star

I've been spending time each week with my sister, my niece and nephew, and my nephew's father, Troy. They live only a mile away, so I walk or bike, I take my niece to the park, and sometimes I stay up late with my sister and Troy. I enjoy their company immensely, which is something I'm not accustomed to saying about family. They are doing very well, the four of them: My niece is happy, she is one of the brightest students in her class; My nephew is a strong child, only three months old, but clear eyed and growing fast, just about ready to get going somewhere; My sister has a new job managing two nights at a dance club downtown, Insomnia (a fitting name, as my nephew rarely sleeps more than two hours at a time), a gift that arose shortly after my nephew was born, from an old client who remembered my sister from her time as a bartender at a different location.

My brother-in-law is Imenz, otherwise known as The Black Rock Star. He is a Gemini, more than any Gemini I have ever known. He has music in his blood; his grandfather was the blues man Tommie Lee McClellan. When the old man met my sister, he said to her, "Girl, I been waitin' for you," by which he meant, you are the woman to look after my grandson. He died not long after. Troy has the same birthday as my mother.

His music is primarily club porn. I have watched him make his music, downloading a beat from the Internet, finding a picture, rapping and singing impromptu, and uploading it to YouTube, in as little as fifteen minutes. He will make as many as ten songs a night, and he is making it a point to upload one song to Facebook every day this year.

As for the music, I will say that he does a good job selecting beats, and his verbal skills are surprising. He exudes a passion and energy that is unusual in the world, where many a brother is trying to be cooler and tougher than every other brother, until many end up looking and sounding more-or-less like every other bad ass. He has also shown a certain genius for promoting himself. I fully expect a song to go viral. There is one, which he calls Ass Clap, which is showing potential for the viral bell curve. I am mentoring him, to prepare him for that day, should it come.

I try not to give him much advice about his music. It is without question some of the dirtiest music ever made, that you can actually listen to. Dave Ryan of the KDWB morning show spent an entire four minutes critiquing The Black Rock Star one morning last year, clearly intrigued despite himself; but then divulging information unnecessarily, costing Troy his job with one of our more famous local Fortune 500's.

As far as the music is concerned, I tell Troy only, leave the violence. He was raised in the city, and he has a tendency to project violence in his music as a defense. I keep telling him he doesn't need it, his music is strong enough without it. He's only 25, and violence has worn deep channels in the psyche of our species.

When I first heard the music of The Black Rock Star, I was repulsed. Troy has improved considerably since, in a short period of time, and while I still don't like much of his music, some of his songs make me laugh, and some of those without violence I find myself dancing to. I am certain at least, the men and women of the free-market like to make a great deal of risk, and Troy is risking more than any man I know. He is tapping into some very powerful mercurial energies, and I'm training him how to think about that, to best channel it, and not fall prey to it, destroying his life and the life of those around him. In a way he is like a satirist; he is taking America's weird, twisted sexual shadows and propping them up for us to look at. It is sure to make people uncomfortable. And look.

We talk about energy. I've been telling him the universe has a sense of humor, that we don't realize it because we're all too busy taking ourselves so damn seriously. As evidence, I pointed to the fact that he and I are now related. Me, Sir Vis, Devotee of the Goddess, of the "We are all unique, astonishing and utterly beautiful manifestations of the Spirit, Divine Beings, Children of the Earth, Children of the Sun. Homo sapien sapien. Sacred." And Troy, Imenz, The Black Rock Star, club-porn hip-hop-star(?). He may be about to go viral, while I am preparing to publish two books - which now seem somehow mercurially connected to the rise of The Black Rock Star.

The Black Rock Star will be accused of all manner of misogynistic ugliness. I looked inside. I find that sex is one of the many issues in America that has become twisted and rigid and backwards, used as a primary marketing tool to the same degree the topic is taboo, one of the many beautiful things we as a culture are most dishonest about. Everyone is a judge for everyone else, few training that eye on themselves, and fewer still in a healing way.

Which is the mercurial, geminiacal genius about Troy, as he is otherwise a genuinely good, soft-spoken, gracious, caring person. Imenz, The Black Rock Star, is but a small part of the greater Troy. He is a true partner to my sister, and a devoted, nurturing and grounding presence for my niece and nephew. Whatever issue people have with The Black Rock Star, it will have more to do with themselves than it does with Troy, or the rainbow tribe he and I are a part of. In fact, though I am a dozen years older, he is a model in many ways for me, of the focus and determination of the artist. And a reminder that this universe is a mysterious, magical place, and I have yet to fully embrace my presence in it.

***If you want to hear his music, or the portion of the KDWB Morning Show during which he is critiqued, go to YouTube and type Imenz***.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Equinox 2011

Last Friday morning, I woke at six-thirty to bike across South Minneapolis, to the school my niece attends, to watch her receive two awards, for her generosity to others, and for her focus in class. Through much of the ceremony, my stomach was reeling though empty, as I'd not been able to eat anything since waking, but a little kefir. I hadn't felt physically nervous prior to that, in anticipation of dancing at Patrick's Cabaret, mostly just the occasional foray into visions of utter failure. My niece didn't seem to notice. She was very proud to have her family there, including her mother, her step-father, and her infant brother.

I calmed down through the day, arriving at the venue early, setting up shop in the back dressing room, attempting to maintain a kind of meditative state. My rehearsal went poorly, as I hadn't warmed up properly, and my timing was disturbingly off in all three dances. Watching the women rehearse, all of them technically trained, life long dancers, I began to question the thinking that led me to that place, if perhaps I had once again slipped into delusion. I got over it, resolving to be the pole opposite their feminine, while balancing that polarity in myself.

I started the show, dancing with my wood swords to Ha Dias, by Luca Mundaca. I followed that with a dance I call Sun Worship, to Ali Farka Toure's N'Jarou. Anat Shinar, with three other dancers, followed me, in contrasting black to my white, quite impressively. A band, The Shakin' Babies, closed out the first half with a fun update of sock-hop oldies. I closed out the second half, after a frisky story by a beautiful old crone named Joan Calof; and a tribal trinity, one on guitar, one on djembe and a wood flute, led by the dancing of Laura Kirkeby, all three singing. I came out wearing costume animal pants, my upper-body bare painted green, dancing with deer horns in hand, to Rokia Traore's Kana Neni.

I felt good about my performance, and it was clear the dancing had moved people. Ten of the most important people in my life were in attendance, and I think I surprised them. It's not everyday you see someone channel the green man woodland god, consort to the Goddess. I thanked them all, honored that they had come. I introduced them to my niece, who didn't think the green man was me, and then I chased her around the building, wanting to model a bit more of the sacred masculine. Afterward, I went to Merlin's Rest with my good friend Keith, where we drank dark beers, ate appetizers and talked about the divine nature of existence.

Saturday I meditated in the sun, a little hung-over but feeling strong. The cards had been helpful the first night, so I sought their council again. I was warned I was expending an extreme amount of personal energy - I hadn't eaten much but those appetizers, in the previous 36 hours - but assured that the Goddess was present, that unity was at hand. I was reminded to dive in, by loving myself.

I opened again the second night, the moon in perigee, closer to the Earth than it has been in eighteen years. Half-way through the first dance, my consciousness intruded, whining, and I stabbed myself in the leg. I smiled, and let go. I was exceptionally happy with Sun Worship. As I raised the horns above my head, half-way through the third dance, I could feel myself teetering on the edge of blackout. I opened my eyes slightly to regain my bearings, and finished well. The applause was tepid, either stunned or indifferent, but it seemed everyone I talked to after was impressed with what I'd done.

Sunday afternoon, I took my niece to the park. I was at a low ebb, sitting down awhile, exhausted, unable to stand up. I started feeling like, while maybe the performance had been a kind of personal triumph, the response had been underwhelming in ways, and maybe I hadn't really made any impact at all, and maybe nothing would come of it, as I hoped something external would. I reminded myself to quit whining, it was only Sunday. I walked with my niece back to her house, where I slowly recovered my strength until I danced with her in a circle, holding hands in the living room, at 8:21, which the Farmer's Almanac said was the moment of the shift from winter to spring, singing, "Equinox! Equinox! It's Spring! It's Spring."

Later I was dancing again, for my sister and brother-in-law, in the kitchen, showing them what I'd done impromptu, in an upscale bowling alley, to the Black Eyed Peas Dirty Bit, on an empty dance floor in front of a bunch of drunk corporate white people. My sister said, "swear to me on Dad's life that you did that." I did, and she gave me a big hug and said she loved me, and that watching me dance Friday had been "a big deal" for her; which was a big deal for me.

Slowly as the night progressed, a path as clear as any I have ever seen was revealed, so perfect in so many ways, it could not be anything but a gift from the Divine, a gift from the Goddess. A path that would require me to let go of my desire to put my canoe in the Mississippi and paddle to the gulf, to sail to South America, but instead to make a long-term familial investment, to unite two clans so-to-speak, to make a deep and abiding commitment to community; and I realized, it was exactly what I wanted; and yet, it would not require me to forfeit the shamanic path I have chosen.

Today, the first day of Spring, feeling blessed, I planted the first vegetable and flower seeds of the season, prostrated on my knees in humility, before the soil flats sitting on the back step, smiling, thinking about family, calling out in service. The flats are in my living room now, in front of the vent; tomorrow I'll build the stand above the vent, so the seeds in their beds will be warm, and germinate well.

A new cycle begins.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I'm coming to the end of a cycle. I'm almost out of money, and I have no prospect of any employment. Not really looking, actually. I have a book nearly ready, another two in progress. The end of March and April are likely to be the hungry time, but that's the way it always was, in this part of the continent. I'm not worried about it. I'm twenty pounds heavier than I was this time last year. I'll start seeds next week, maybe Sunday. After my performance this weekend, at Patrick's Cabaret.

It's not just me performing. Also, three young women dancing, an old crone telling stories, a man with a short film and a funky band. I'm bringing wood swords, a diamond willow stave, deer horns, animal pants and some green paint. It should be fun.

So if you want to see the crazy guy who writes about other dimensions, lost civilizations, sky gods, serpents and growing things, dancing, here's a chance. Have fun this weekend. It's going to be warmer here than it's been since October. Blessings.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Exasperated, is how you might describe my last post. Guilty. In my defense, I'm right. But that doesn't call for exasperation, really. The emotion was the result of what I did all afternoon, yesterday. I took the train to the mega-mall, the Mall of America, and traversed that insane spiral. It was kids day, or something, which was great, with hordes of beautiful, crazy, goofy kids running all over the place. The area outside Rainforest Cafe was like a stroller parking lot. I'm thinking now, however, I might have soaked up some of the exasperation of parents, hauling their kids around that grand retail vortex at the center of the continent.

My exasperation stemmed from a lot more than that, though.

So many people. Even after most of the kids and parents left, there were still so many people. What are so many people doing, shopping on a Tuesday afternoon in March? Of course, I had to be there to observe so many people shopping. I console myself that I was there as a pirate, on a mission looking for clothes to make me look vaguely pirate-like for one of my dances, this coming Friday and Saturday night at Patrick's Cabaret. I found what I was looking for, sort of, at Old Navy of all places, making that shirt and pants the first and likely last items I ever purchase from Old Navy.

More than exasperation, watching people walking around the spiral, so many of them carrying multiple bags from multiple retailers, wearing clothes advertising brands, I couldn't help but think how many people define themselves with stuff. So much so, it's the foundation of our economy. Seventy percent of our economy is consumer spending, they say, which is a little like saying "continue to define yourselves by your stuff or the economy will collapse." Tying our insecurity to the health of the economy. Like the national debt, held over our heads like a bludgeon, keeping us on the path of insatiability for fear that the whole thing will come tumbling down.

I often feel like time is speeding up, like we are in the midst of a vortex, a whirlpool of Time, and everything is spinning that much faster as we spiral closer to the bottom. The bottom? The bottom of Time? What can that possibly mean, and how close are we to this bottom?

Nowhere near, if you ask the hordes of shoppers, who are doing their patriotic duty, buying stuff they don't need, elaborating on their masks, as thoughtless about the grand ramifications of their lifestyle beyond the tending of the personal ego and the nation's economic growth. Because as far as the mainstream is concerned, America is eternal. If anything, people believe we are spiraling upward into a kind of techno-domestic-paradise where everything we want will be provided for us whenever we want it, as long as we are alive. At least we did, until 2008, when sky gods stole about 3 trillion public dollars, ten million or so lost their jobs, and a few million households fell into dissolution, in the midst of endless war, and disaster piling on disaster all around the globe.

I got to feeling pretty empty myself, by the time I left that grand retail vortex, like my faith in humanity got sucked down into Underwater World to become food for the fishes. And then I came home, to learn more about the spiraling disaster in Japan, and I let loose about Nuclear Energy on this blog.

Then I calmed down, and went back to studying consciousness. Because, increasingly, I have the sense that the vortex of Time spirals to some kind of end - and beginning - on the Winter Solstice of 2012. I hesitate saying so, but then, I'm so far off-the-grid, outside the mainstream at this point, it doesn't matter. It's what I feel, like the end of Time is coming, that it will mean the utter destruction of almost everything we know, but that it will also be a change in global consciousness that will return us to Eden, with the ability and guidance to explore the Tree of Life through the consciousness of dreams, traversing dimensions of consciousness, to bring back information to make this world and this life again, like Eden. Time, after all, does not exist, not at least in the way we perceive it. Quantum physics tells us there are many dimensions, and there is plenty of information out there suggesting consciousness is the only tool we need to explore those dimensions. Unfortunately, to reinforce the rule of sky gods and the path of insatiability, mainstream science tells a story that opening oneself to that realm is the definition of psychosis - mental illness. Never mind Carl Jung spent the bulk of his adult life exploring those realms. Never mind it is the foundation of indigenous belief all over the world. Never mind that virtually every one of us who is open at all has had profound dreams that altered our consciousness in distinct ways, at some point in life.

All across the globe, people are awakening to the realization that this civilization we have built is leading us toward epic collapse. We could prevent that, by dismantling the culture deliberately, but I'm not optimistic. The only thing one can do really, is dismantle the culture within oneself, to open one's self to synchronicity, to let the universe direct your consciousness in the direction you need to expand your consciousness. Immersion in the mainstream is like blindness reinforcing blindness. The Earth, indeed, the whole solar system, even the center of the galaxy, is calling to us now to wake up, to open our eyes - all three of them. And if enough of us do that, who knows, maybe we will dismantle this civilization, before it comes crashing down around us.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Do we really need another problem with nuclear power after Japan, to acknowledge the inherent problem with nuclear power? Do you really think we can trust our leadership to tell the truth, to know what the truth is, after Japan's leadership has proven they really don't understand the danger? Even if the situation continues to get worse, to the point of being perhaps a greater disaster than Chernobyl, do you think we are going to say, "let's pull back on nuclear"? Not likely. Why? Because we will say, "That's Japan; it can't happen here," or, "If it does happen here, it will only happen once, and we'll keep it under control." To hear our leadership now, nothing bad could ever possibly happen with nuclear in America.

Here is an issue few are likely to address. While Japan's issue is forcing us to look at the safety of our nuclear facilities, it won't cause us to address the most important issue. In fact, that issue is not even on the radar of our Government or the private enterprises that control nuclear energy, or the media, or the people. What is that issue?

Social breakdown.

But that will never happen here, right? Sorry, but it will. Someday. And when it does, every single nuclear facility in America will collapse. Because a nuclear power plant is a product of a highly complicated civilization. How do you control or undo a nuclear facility, without a highly functional civilization? You don't. Civilizations collapse; it is the way of civilization. When the West does, so will it's nuclear power facilities. Most of Germany and France will become uninhabitable. Most of the eastern half of the USA as well. There are so many nuclear power plants in the Mississippi watershed, that river won't be able to be crossed for about a million years or so.

Of course, there is a way to avoid this nightmare: dismantle every single one. But we aren't likely to do that, because that would require us to address our use of energy, and the only aspect of energy use in America that is taboo to discuss, is using less. Is anyone going to take this argument seriously? Well, the only thing more taboo to discuss than using less energy, is the collapse of civilization, the collapse of America. So no, I expect to be ignored. But you can't say I didn't warn you.

I can hear it now - "If America collapses, it won't matter anyway. And even if it does, it won't happen in my lifetime." That I even have to call that out is a sign that America is doomed.

Sorry about the harshness of this post. But somebody has to say it.

(And while we're on the topic, how about all those thousands of off-shore oil drilling platforms?)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Complexity and Wonder

I've been reading about DNA in Jeremy Narby's The Cosmic Serpent. We are all familiar with DNA on some level, in that we know it carries the genetic code that makes all life what it is, that it is shaped like a spiral. I was not aware of the wonder of the DNA molecule, however. There are about 50-100 trillion cells in a human being. In each cell, there are two strands of DNA, one from the mother, one from the father. Each strand has three billion chemical base pairs, like rungs in a ladder, which are arranged in the "language" or "text" required to build the cell. If you remove a strand of DNA from a human cell, it is six feet long, but only ten atoms wide. To put this in perspective, if you were only ten atoms wide shoulder to shoulder, and you were to climb a strand of your DNA like a ladder, one rung, or base pair, per second, it would take you more than 93 years to climb bottom to top - assuming you didn't stop to rest at any point in the journey.

All the DNA in your body is about 125 billion miles long. The distance from the Earth to the Sun is 93 million miles. That's a little more than 134 times, to the sun and back.

DNA is the code at the foundation of all life. The code is found in genes, which are sections of the DNA strand where the base pairs form in specific ways, and in chromosomes, which are portions of the DNA strand tightly woven together. The translation mechanism is found in ribosomes, which pull amino acids together to form proteins, which become the structure of the body. Cells are like little factories, taking in energy, transforming it into something else, manufacturing at times exact copies of itself. As Narby points out, it tips to absurdity to suggest that both the language (DNA), and the translation mechanism (ribosomes) could arise by chance together, by accident, out of any random primordial soup.

It's also worth noting, for fun, that the DNA in your cells is not inert, but endlessly writhing within the nucleus of the cell like a snake, wrapping around itself and the companion strand, in myriad ways. One hundred and twenty five billion miles of DNA in tens of trillions of cells, writhing like snakes.

Of the DNA strand, only about 3% is dedicated to information directly attributable to the creation of cells and proteins. In other words, we do not know what 97% of the DNA in our body does, if it does anything at all. Science calls this bulk of our DNA "junk", or "detritus" left from our evolution from specie to specie. As Narby points out, this pejorative description is more a reflexive action of the Scientific ego, which would rather denigrate a thing than admit ignorance, or allow for mystery. It goes directly to Materialist Rationalism, which is the notion that there is no intent behind existence, that life is an accident arising out of some primordial soup, purely by chance. In other words, nature is inanimate, which idea is at the root of our treatment of the Earth and each other: inanimate matter can be plundered, manipulated and abused, including the matter that is people.

Francis Crick himself, one of the discoverers of DNA, a profound proponent of scientific rationalism, elaborated on the notion that DNA is too complicated to arise by chance, in great detail. Narby, in The Cosmic Serpent, connects the mythology of the cosmic serpent, expounded by shaman worldwide, with the biology of the DNA strand. He is suggesting that through the use of hallucinatory plants such as psilocybin and soma (mushrooms), iboga and specifically ayahuasca, but also through dreaming, and trance states induced by repetitive dancing and fasting, that the shaman comes in contact with information directly relational to molecular biology, that shaman worldwide have been describing the DNA structure and its transformative ability for thousands of years, mythologically, long before modern science proved the existence of DNA. Suggesting as a hypothesis, "that DNA in particular, and nature in general, are minded."

This of course is inherently contradictory to scientific orthodoxy, which is itself largely a reflexive action in opposition to the notion of God. Currently, Darwinism is in the ascendant, and has been since the discovery of DNA in the 1950's. We are just finally getting used to the idea, as a culture. Unfortunately, Darwinian evolution offers no real explanation as to how life came to be, or how it was that 543 million years ago, in a relatively short period of time, species of extraordinary complexity and variety simply came to be, without antecedent. Most scientists ignore this argument in favor of Darwinian orthodoxy, because it seems to play right into the hands of those who preach "irreducible complexity," otherwise known as Intelligent Design, which is very much associated with Christianity.

Quantum Physics, however, saves us from both extremes, insofar as it reveals that there are a great number of dimensions beyond what we perceive, that existence is far more than it appears to be, and there can be no separation. That electrons can be in more than one place at a time, that they can appear on the other side of objects without passing through them, that these seemingly separate manifestations can be divided by great distances, and yet a reaction in one is observed simultaneously in the other. All this lends credence to Narby's hypothesis, and the stories told by indigenous Shaman everywhere. Leaving the door open to an Author of the DNA text, but opening existence to realms far more vast than anything either Science or Religion has conceived.

I know this is all very complicated. Don't worry. It's all part of awakening. Take it slow, do your own research. I certainly have my own work to do, in understanding it. Best of luck, and I'll continue to address these topics, hopefully in a way that is increasingly easy to comprehend.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Winter Wonder Blast

Last Friday I attended the first annual Winter Wonder Blast, a benefit for MN Special Olympics, held at the Calhoun Beach Club. I had called a friend to ask if he knew any talented, reliable body painters (I'm looking to hire one for my Mar. 18-19 Patrick's Cabaret performance), and it turned out he was organizing the performers for the WWB gala. There would be body painters there, he assured me. Despite the cold I rode my bike across town, a long ride but almost entirely bike path, along Minnehaha Creek and Harriet and Calhoun lakes.

When I talked to Brandt at 1:30, the show was only 60% sold. When I arrived, it was sold out. Luckily, Brandt showed up just after I did, and I slipped in among his entourage of fabulously, elaborately dressed show performers.

Next thing I knew, I was in the performer dressing room, eating their food, drinking their booze, chatting with body painters and hoola-hoopers and fire dancers, among models and cabaret dancers, the latter in various stages of dress. A fun crowd, relaxed, friendly, joyous, open and accepting.

A mildly hedonistic affair, on the whole. A celebration of the body, really. Entirely appropriate, for the cause. There was a runway show, not of clothes but of abs, the gala in part supported by a body-building program/company called Contour. The runway stars had agreed to follow the program for a period of time, before the show, then to be part of this scantily clad runway show, to be voted on and auctioned after. Bidding started at fifty bucks for a date. Few in the room were, or wanted to admit they were single.

A talented duo of brothers and their band, Buckets and Tap Shoes, split the stage between the models and the cabaret dancers. Hoola-hoopers finished it off, before the runway was transformed into stages for three teams of body painters, and their half-naked models. The floor cleared, the dancing commenced, with a DJ and a man on Congo drums.

I wove my may throughout the venue, rarely stopping, a mercurial dancing spirit welling up inside, letting it loose three times, once in the secondary hall, twice in front of the DJ and drums. After the second dance a couple approached me to tell me how great they thought I was, asking if my dancing was therapeutic. I let them know there are few things more healthy than dancing, and if they were at all self-conscious, just learn to allow yourself to close the door to the world, let go and dance. Another woman stopped me to ask if I had thought about teaching a class. It was very loud, and in the mercurial space I was in, I couldn't really hear her, or didn't want to. But indeed, I have been thinking about a class for some time. I hope to hear from her again.

Beautiful women aplenty: models, dancers, and moneyed beach-club culturati. As usual, the guys mostly hung back and watched, though in many I saw the suppressed urge to dance. A Tree of Life seemed to beckon to me, and I thought about taking aim with my bow at the apple atop her head, but I hesitated, settling for the metaphor. I admired the dancing of another, but danced for her and not with her, and vaguely insulted her to drive a wedge between her and my attraction. Hindus call this Aeon the Kali Yuga, an age of degeneracy and degradation, and I have become wary of the destructive aspect of Kali as it manifests in women, in sex and relationships, wary of how it manifests in me as a will to dominate and possess. When it comes to sex, I'm wondering about sex that is based on trust, generosity and love, and an exploration of un-accessed energies, as a flowering extension of consciousness, which I don't know the first thing about. Besides, I was wearing long underwear, and after dancing three times I had begun to stink. I meant to bring another shirt, my best shirt, but it's rare the encounters I have with the cultured class, and I forget to be glamorous, and I don't really care. With a long bike ride ahead, on a winter night, I cut out at about 11pm.

The Spring Equinox approaches. Winter is coming to an end. It has indeed been a long winter-wander through my personal underworld, a long wading-period through humanity's accumulated understanding. I'm still alive. Glad to be here. Thrilled, really. With gratitude and thanks.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


The basis of our economic system depends on the idea that energy supplies are always stable, and always will be. Reality periodically reminds us that our economy is entirely dependent on cheap and abundant energy; a harsh lesson now evident, as to how much we Americans depend on Middle Eastern despots. Indeed, it offends the finer senses to acknowledge that the supposed beacon of democratic light is fired by Saudi Arabian monarchy, but there it is. No use lamenting it. It is. Moving on.

Our assumptions toward stable energies extend as far as the sun, 93 million miles away: the sun is, it was, it always will be. Some part of us, remembering something from elementary school, agrees that billions of years from now the sun will expand, eventually swallowing the Earth. Or something like that. It is irrelevant. We will all be long dead by then. Live the life you lead. The sun matters, but not really.

Oh, but living in this accelerating age can be unsettling. As it turns out, the sun is not stable at all. It is a roiling mass of superheated liquid and gas that periodically belches radiation outward into the heliosphere, sometimes in a direct line with the planets. We got hammered with just such an outburst recently. Known as Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), this solar wind rushes out, slamming into the planet's magnetosphere at up to speeds of 3000 km/sec. The immense energy contained in these CMEs funnels to the poles and into the Earth and atmosphere. In 1859, a CME known as the "Carrington Event", turned the sky in the middle of the night a bright blood red, as far south as Cuba. Telegraph operations around the world went haywire, to the point of writing incomprehensible messages without human intervention. There was so much electricity in the air a telegraph machine could be "unplugged" and messages could still be sent.

That event was four times stronger than anything we have seen since the advent of the space age. As dependent as we are on electronic everything, it doesn't stretch the imagination much, to recognize how vulnerable our infrastructure has become to such a mass infusion of energy. In fact, because of the efficiency of sending mass amounts of electricity over long distances on the grid, we have actually made the grid increasingly more vulnerable to such events. An excellent reminder, and one we hopefully will not have to learn the hard way, that the free-market does not always lead in a good direction. Comparing our modern information infrastructure with the intervention of a CME like that of the Carrington Event, the National Academy of Science stated in 2008 that an historically large but perfectly plausible solar storm could damage the power grid, with costs exceeding $1 Trillion to $2 Trillion in the first year, with a 4-10 year period of repair. It's no stretch to say that that would be the end of the United States as we know it.

We are entering into the peak of the eleven year, solar sunspot cycle. We are likely to see more upheaval on the sun, just as we saw a recent, extraordinary solar flare not long after last weeks CME. This would not be unusual, in the grand scheme of the sun and the heliosphere, but for two factors: one, that it may be the heliosphere has entered a highly energetic, interstellar portion of the galaxy, on its elliptical revolution around the center, which is feeding energy into the Heliosphere and all the bodies in it; and two, that in less than two years, the Earth, the Sun and the center of the Galaxy will be in alignment, for the first time in 26,000 years.

It begins to feel like a key fitting into a lock and slowly turning. What will be revealed? What energies emanating from the center of the galaxy will be amplified by the sun, and what affect will that have on life? Honestly, I'm hoping for a kind of divine intervention. By that I mean, a transformation of all life as we know it, at the cellular level, at the level of DNA, spontaneously, over a short period of time. An increased awareness of the grand multiplicity of dimensions. A Great Awakening.

I could be wrong. If I am, and there is no Great Awakening, if there is no lock and no key, and all this synchronicity is just fantastical connective imagining, and we slip through the end of 2012 as event-less as we did Y2K, then I expect everything will continue as it is, until we have consumed ourselves out of house and home, facing another 500, or a 1,000, or 10,000 years of tyranny and violence, on a planet we have made increasingly less hospitable, where no generation can expect to have it any better than the last.

I don't believe that is our fate. There is more to this existence than we comprehend, as mere humans. I no longer believe in apocalypse. I believe in Awakening, though I suspect, the sun is going to make it seem, in the next two years, like apocalypse, to those who have closed themselves off to the divine, who default to violence in times of stress, stress exacerbated by the bursting of the illusion of stability, and ever increasing economic progress.