Tree

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She is sixty-three years old this morning , dressed in blue jeans and a grey tee shirt , barefooted . Someone who talked with her earlier described her as having a mystics face , sultry eyed and secretive like a cryptic message , and it’s easy to believe .  This story , based on many independent interviews , is an attempt to take a closer look and to explain how a seemingly quiet and socially awkward grandmother , an artist , from a conservative city built on a river in Michigan , found herself in possession of civilizations most carefully guarded secret , being found in the northern woods where mighty owls fly in and out of this scene like leaves blowing in the wind , a tint of blue noir in the air . Her mother once described her as a gentle child of exceptional intellect  ( unknown to others ) born before her time . I saw a last photo after her disappearance , a self-portrait dancing in the mirror , a mirror of cloudy reflection where we see her winter fur coat , a copy of Vanity Fair , her Mexican Bag , a pair of glasses and a copy of a drawing done by Rembrandt .

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Look now , I want to show you something . Look at this , this best drawing in the world , there’s none better . Rembrandt does it with the tip of a rod dipped in ink . It’s a masterpiece with no pretention of being a masterpiece . Observe the tenderness of the scene . The position of the child’s arms enables you to feel its footsteps , it’s insecurity and doubt . And even though you don’t see his little face , you can feel his joy , his first steps . Look at this figure now , at the young girls arm drawn in haste and little attention to detail but who cares ? What matters is the love she feels for the child . She holds the baby and notice how she is about to let it go . But look carefully , even though her back is turned , from the angle of her back and head you can feel her attention focused on the child who laughs , laughs excitedly before he begins to walk . How is such wisdom possible to draw ? And this here is his mother . She’s use to this . This isn’t her first time . She’s standing nearby to intervene if necessary . Notice her heavy clothing , it’s course , dirty perhaps . And this is the father . He just got home from working in the fields and they want him to see the baby take his first steps . And this , who is she ? Perhaps a neighbor who happens to be passing and observes the scene . Do you feel the weight of the bucket she carries judging from the position of her left arm ? Rembrandt uses her to recreate that instant , to capture a slice of life , something as simple as life . It’s almost a photograph , a snapshot but time doesn’t matter here , it’s the idea , he had the idea !

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What is her idea in leaving this last photo we have of her ? Her brother tells me she had phoned him and spoke of the hours in that day , that last day before her resurrection . She goes to her childhood neighborhood , takes photos . Look , here is the rusty sewer grate of her memory , she is once again here and looks where the sewer rat lives , water drips and still scares her like an old nightmare .

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Here begins this day of roaming reminiscence in front of her old house . And look , here is the tree , the Supreme Being Tree she climbs as a young girl and teenager where she watches the world change as her little dog sits below and barks devotedly at anyone passing by .

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She tells her brother she walks ,suddenly aware , and feels her ten year old self with braids wrapped round her head with one loose that swings slow like a pendulum , holding her now aged hand . They walk together down the streets past her playmates homes , past their old grade school now boarded up with graffiti that changes it into a canvas of mayhem like the bell that sounds at closing time , past the YMCA where they cry sitting on the steps after President Kennedy is assassinated , waiting for her mother to come . They walk past the house where she spies on her teenage cousin and boyfriend kissing and past her aunt and uncles house where life is more raw and free .

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I don’t know why she returns to the streets of her childhood . Sometimes you do things without knowing why . Is she traveling , is she alive ? Is she living now with only the essential things … air , sleep , dreams , the sea , the sky ? Many months have passed since beginning this story and I can barely see her image now as I have come to a barrier like crashing waves immersing me under a beautiful sunset , cherished soft in my mind . And what about her secret possession found that day . I think she leaves clues for us to find in nature , in the animals , in the music , in museums , in life , your life , my life , something as simple as life !  And I can hear her voice sometimes , “Can you write , can you talk truthfully , can you grow your own food , can you raise consciousness , can you sing , write poetry , paint art . Can you tend to the forests and plant trees , can you listen for the truth , can you silence the wrong ? Can you meditate , can you teach , can you be a light bearer for the world ? Can you wake your heart and will you open your eyes now “?

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Look once more at the tree she climbs . It bears the stars themselves in the realm of everlasting life , and see , see it’s roots forever pure , forever immortal , forever true . And look now , look closer , there is a poem hanging on the tree .  I see her of my story young, I see her old and now I too know the carefully guarded secret ( no longer guarded )she holds so dear … I see myself , my Love self , my Divine self …. Life, simple Life …..aaahhhhhhhh

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Above photograph mailed to me after article was published … signed with her signature and postmarked , Planet Jupiter

Breath

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Remember the dream of the green dress made of glass that shattered quite awhile ago and begins the metamorphosis of improbability  ?Are you ready to hear more because I want you to pay attention … attention to the beginning of something special where the black and white muffled sound of conversation swirls itself around us as a ring of opals , like a sacred scroll , appears in living color , a color that shines with the precision from astral light beams over a crowd of celebrating guests . Breathe deep in … it is a wedding scene and something more , a ring from a grandmothers grave and a Blue Dream buttery chocolate flower floating towards us from the masterpiece canvas of Leonardos , Leda and the Swan . And look too at the eyes of the pretty bonsai baby with the amber necklace  , her watery black eyes talking to us , ” I told you that we could fly cause we all have wings but some of us don’t know why “.

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This time everyone diverse is connecting to a deep belief of strength from within. They exit and enter the wedding scene like actors in an opera with a confidence in their voices soon to be singing as the velvet curtain slowly opens , everyone on their mark . But look , the sequence has turned around and tears are shed that turn into wine , shed at the rehearsal as if it were already the excitement of opening night . And the wine stains the audience red like the blush covering the actors cheeks . Standing now , we hear light traffic , no talking , wondering if some vessel has broken , some supernatural vessel , a masterpiece of a vessel from Florence or Sofia or perhaps even from this magical city here , this American city of historic significance  , a city standing alone in its anthem of “set me free why don’t you babe” . Yes , look , a new freedom , its past anger relinquished by love . Breathe , breathe in the colliding renaissance man now aligned with the age of technology like the last commissioned work of Da Vinci , a great mechanical lion that walks and opens its chest to reveal a bouquet of lilies … its creators heavenly spirit returned exactly five hundred years later to the scene in front of us .

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And feeling like she just swallowed a bag of butterflies , she slides in a new dress to the dance floor where shyness and introversion express itself in movement and gets lost in the musical atmosphere like little red riding hood in the forest of frightened beauty . A new place of higher vibration where blood rushes your cells into rhythms of blowing stardust and flowing silks . A place where hair is let free from its braids held tight under a woolen hood . And look , others now enter into the dance , all wishing it would last many days and nights while the folds of the dancing dresses make waves like glistening ripples of sun over ocean faces .

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Pay attention , look , the ring appears once again , a bolt of silver blue lightning escaping golden from a grandmothers grave , a shard of sparkle from that broken green glass dress we began with . The wedding guests look at one another in recognition , the recognition of only one moment , this momentous moment like those high on marijuana do in airports passing each other in happiness . And look , see the dream apparition exiting and entering and speaking once more from those black opal eyes of the love child , ” don’t ask him what she knows is true , you don’t have to tell her that he loves her precious heart , he was standing , she was there , two worlds collided and they could never tear them apart “.

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Seize it now , seize the moment that makes you see life the way its suppose to be … beautiful with breathtaking mystery and clarity beating to the divine collective dance . Breathe …..

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The Paradise Poet

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This is the story of a man who never felt better about himself , a man who radiates happiness from every pore , a man in love about to become married , a man who just bought his first house of magnificence . Does he see the future , his future , her future ? He walks thru the field following the mountains , she walks this field too and follows the sky . Morning , noon and night clinging to his wedding dream he sees her standing soft , hears the music majestic , a symbol , a symbol of mythical love greater than mankind , stronger than life .

He once threw his golf clubs after a bad shot and the following day pitched the winning game for his junior high all stars team . And once he asked his mother with his round innocent eyes after her abandonment as she secretly tucked his six year old self into his twin bed under the moonlight from the window , ” please mom , come back home now ” . He never likes riding in the car and as a little boy , cries feeling dizzy and sick , his straight blond hair sticking like warm melting licorice on his forehead wetting his tender eyebrows .  He teaches himself to play golf at age 12 when he is driven to the community course in the early summer mornings and picked up just before dusk , sometimes being invited to play the back nine with the Wednesday group of kindly old ladies . His mother reads “Golf in the Kingdom ” and smiles as the game teaches him about himself , his beautiful self , his athletic self , his Spirit self . He inhabits the green under his feet , a sanctuary , a wide sanctuary of balance and harmony and he grows green in nurture too as a natural peacemaker . One day he tournament caddies for his aunt with a silent spoken dance waltzing between them as he removes the blowing flag and the ball makes it path to the hole . He braves his cousin to go skinny dipping and embraces like a protective wilderness bear the birth of his new baby brother . He flips out sports statistics like a TV announcer , always a loyal Michigan fan and puts up with his three older sisters ownership of the bathroom . Graduating , he jumps from an airplane wearing a navy suit , travels by sea to Japan , has a broken heart , a tender and courageous  and open heart like the smooth and rolling fairway on hole number 3 where he spins a break dance as he shots a hole in one , overlooking the wide expanse of Lake Michigan blue ,  reflected in the golden aura of his light brown eyes . The sand trap he has learned to escape from looks calm in its smoothness as the ball floats over it and he watches the white ball drop with a Ping like the sound of a jewel on glass .

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Celebrating his younger brothers fatherhood , he rescues his older sister from despair , a despair she nearly drowns in like an injured starfish whose color nearly evaporates . And with each new birth of his sisters children he becomes the most favored uncle of happiness . Compassionate and sad over the deaths of his step dad and grandparents , his love soars for others who are broken , shoulders strong , a place of refuge like a warm nest in the storm of the wild , the buds on the tree the red of the beating heart . He watches cooking shows but doesn’t cook …. a clue to the arrival of his true love who bakes for him a sumptuous peach pie with a decorated crust of pure butter that must come from the table of the gods . Pathways of trampled branches , branches that poke him in the ribs , and planets out of orbit bring him here now to the place of promise , the place of gods perfect sequence , a sequence of astonishing nature like the seeds of the sunflower . And with their eyes like luminous moons circling rings of diamonds and gold they travel together . It sounds smooth , the soul , welcome to Cafe Paradise ……

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In loving honor of first born son Patrick and his love Jessica ….

 

 

 

 

 

Return to America

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First photo on arrival … walk with Casey in Ypsilanti

 

She was gone a long time , a long five months and on that last night in that haunting country , that medieval country , that thundering earth of a country , she has a dream and sees a new vision .

 

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Her journal is already packed away like a wrapped deli sandwich to be opened when she arrives home but now her trusted instinct causes her to search her suitcase and find it , to find and add another condiment of a new and fresh taste . She quickly sketches with an inch long pencil , more life in it now at the end of its existence than when it was brand new . She draws the dream , remembers the scene  and remembers too the similarity of the dream and reality . She had stopped at this place two summers ago having passed it hundreds of times knowing it from childhood . She remembers her curiosity , a curiosity like an appetizer for the whole picture . This place , this amazing place laying under the dark April moon of pure potential … a studio or cabin or home of some simple sort with an open loft , an oversized paned window and a long broken stoned path way to the front door . It stands on a hill above the intersection of three roads , one leading east to Traverse City , one to the back roads thru Thompsonville  and one rolling north thru the thickly wooded country of Michigan where she comes from leaving Glen Arbor . It stands alone with no neighbors , remembered as a Native American or Mexican trading post . Now it is abandoned , abandoned like the flowered teacup traveling with her from the complete set arranged on the china cupboard of her rented out house .

 

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Weeds and bushes overgrow on all sides of the structure and the wood is weathered from sun , rain and windstorms and a door loose on its hinge like a broken butterfly wing sighs in the breeze . Ever since her mother and father died this abandonment reveals itself to her on all the pathways of earth like the whole of the moon , bright in its luminosity , inescapable from its theme . She had asked about this place that lays under tall shadows but no one knows much other than it was once for sale and the owner lives a few miles away .

 

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And now the dream and another clue hold hands . Clues she trusts , clues she never fails to be astonished by , clues everywhere , clues that rise like exotic incense , clues inhaled . She stays in London the following night , sleeping under the eternal essence of love from someone else who had too , once been there . He appears again on the following night when she finally arrives back to America , when she sleeps at their sons house . The clue comes forth in the missing painting on the wall that she stares at like a person with a sparkling halo manifested . This painting , his signature , the date and place , London 1970 ….! It is he sending the dream , 44 years from the multiverse . She takes a photo and in it his shadow appears and a wavering scent of vanilla replaces the cow pastures musk of the country left behind . Behold , a new fresh scent and she smiles , smiles and looks at her journal drawing with excitement , quiet excitement like the velvet feel of a catipillar crawling on the warmth of her neck in early spring . She is his muse and he is hers . Déjà vie finds itself in their sons bedroom , so like his dad’s with arrangements of odd and beautiful found objects , cut outs , drawings , photographs and paintings . And in the painting called “Dreamscapes from London ” … she dwells .

 

 

“Once you have flown you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward for there you have been , there you long to return ”

Leonardo Da Vinci Image

 

An OPEN sign painted bright says , Studio Poet , cafe of possibilities …

always coffee , chai and chocolate

imports

vintage wear … and sometimes other things

artist residence

 

postscript : into her drawing she adds a garden , a donkey , and an accordion . She calls the real estate agent for an appointment to put her house up for sale in May !