Category Archives: Blog

A Signature Smoothie

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I began this blog with a dilemma: hating coffee, but, loving coffee shops. And I’ve spent the past one-and-a-half years trying to recreate the sparks of thought, reflection, and creativity that coffee shop ambience inspires within me.

Well now, I’ve found a solution to the first half of my polar quandary. Instead of cups of gourmet coffee with frothy hearts atop their steamy ceilings, I’ve developed a recipe for a Mocha Smoothie.

 

An all-natural, caffeine-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan alternative that satisfies the taste buds while nourishing the body and soul.

I drink it after workouts; post-yoga; in-between meals when cravings try to sneak in.

So, now I have the drink to sip. I just need the human company. The live conversation. The tangible infusion of the senses that only a brick-and-mortar shop can provide. That’s my next challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the moment, though, here’s the recipe:

  • 7 – 8 ounces of Water
  • 20 Raw Almonds + 5 Raw Cashews, soaked overnight and then rinsed
  • 1 tsp Maca Powder
  • 1 T Cocoa Powder (My favorite is Just Like Sugar Cocoa Mix)
  • Handful of Fresh Blueberries
  • 1 Scoop of Vegan Protein Powder, Mocha Flavored (My favorite is Vega)
  • 1/2 Banana – Frozen, Fresh, or Pureed (Yes, as in baby food! It offers a sumptuous, custardy texture.)
  • 8 Frozen Cherries

Place in a single-serving blender in this order. Blend for 30 -45 seconds.

 

And may your cup always be filled to the rim.

 

The Art of Slow Cooking

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The day my father retired he threw away every suit he owned save one basic blue.

He also shifted into low, easy gear. A sort of simmering Crock-Pot sense of being.

He walked no farther than the mailbox or the perimeter of his one-acre suburban ranch of weed-less green lawn.

He leisurely patrolled his tiny fiefdom in a new uniform:

  • a mesh baseball cap
  • polo shirt
  • high-waisted, flat-butt jeans
  • a pair of Thom McAn loafers .  .  . with ruptured toe boxes where bunion bouquets emerged.

His days were largely spent on the back porch in the rubber band rocking chair. Reading the local newspaper. Smoking cigarettes. Drinking cans of Old Milwaukee.

By afternoon, he was finished with printed words.

His eyes slightly glazed and dreamy, he’d sink into contemplative silence.

Thoughts simmering like a thin stew.

His body beginning to look like a portly little pot.

And after 8 to 10 hours of back-porch marinating, he’s be ready to uncork a vat of ancient memories and freshly-poached wisdom.

Dad spinning a yarn to my brother.

 

From him, I learned there are two forms of retirement:

  • The Outer: the pride of possessions earned and achievements polished for posterity.
  • The Inner: the reflective retiring.

This last one fascinated me.

Those methodically lazy days. The slow-cookery living. My dad perfected them and gifted them to me as the legacy for his firstborn.

The stride meant for my adoption .  .  . a bit like a monk with an imaginary monastery.

But honestly, I feel rather lost and lonely trying to step in his footprints. I long for the days of his endless stories and jokes, no matter how stale. They gave me a steady sense of place.

 

 

Bully Boy

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Somebody must have treated you real mean before you became a man.

You must’ve painted your pain into the portrait of a man big and brawny with a voice that speaks like a dirty carburetor and tosses its fumes with the fury of a vintage V8. Fast and far your reckless words can be flung.

 

This imaginary man grew up inside his gilt-framed self portrait and inspired you to adopt your dead image of an adult in a future that hasn’t existed yet.

You were dead before you lived in the world of adults.

But you didn’t know you were a frozen corpse of pain and fear.

You just kept on firing your words like bullets – to sting, to injure, to kill the spirit of each person who looked like your enemy.

And enemies were aplenty because nearly every face wore the mask of your childhood tormentor.

Somebody hurt you bad – and – all you know now is hurt-back.

If only you knew how invisible you are.

How your circulatory system of pain is X-rayed and transmitted to those who can see.

And those who can see, do not fear you. For that, you hate them most of all.

You slander and libel those with wisdom, because you fear their power.

You know their power is quiet and invisible and that it will win – always – because it touches eternity.

And you .  .  . you will only die in loud, writhing pain.

While a multitude of your admirers – your dark disciples – will carry on your gospel of hidden pain.

They will spread your disease until one day when one person wakes up and says: “I see inside my skin. I name my pain. I raise my white flag and walk away.”

The husk of a man is then seen crossing the khaki desert. As his bully-boy viscera crumbles into a pile of dry dust.

And so .  .  . one-by-one, the soldiers of hurt fall.

 

 

Killing Faith

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I set up my writing materials on the picnic table at Abó, one of New Mexico’s more obscure Pueblo ruins.

This had been my Sunday ritual for a year or more. I was both seduced and inspired by the crumbling red rocks of the former Spanish Mission church. The rocks that are as red as dried blood; as red as the passion of a savior.

I’d been so enthralled by the tumbling rocks, in fact, that I wandered well off the path several times and was caught, reprimanded, and placed on probation by Officer Lopez, who was protector of the sacred Indian ruins.

It was a humorously embarrassing moment. He wanted to restrict my presence there; I fought for compromise. Eventually we agreed that I must check in with him at the Visitor’s Center each Sunday before entering the grounds.

I wanted a solitary place to pray and seek peace. He wanted to enforce justice. We coexisted for a few weeks with the tension of warriors. But I softened one day and decided to attempt a truce of faith.

As he was making his rounds one Sunday morning, I inwardly willed Officer Lopez to come to the picnic area and talk with me.

I gathered up all the juju and prayer power I could, placed it in a mental bouquet, then set to work typing.  Within thirty minutes, I heard him call out, “Hello Jayni!”

He waved.  Asked how I was.  Faltered a bit.  I coaxed him on with conversation.

We talked for nearly half an hour.

I learned that he was a marine for five years.  Officer Lopez stated that when he was in the Marines, he and his buddies wanted to go to war…wanted to kill.

I have never met anyone who actually wanted to kill people.  Someone who was excited and eager to not just exercise his military training – but wanted to kill.  His body vibrated as he spoke those words.  His face animated.

I am awed.

I crave to crawl behind this man’s militant majesty and find out how it feels to want to kill.

What animal instinct inspires a person to be excited about killing?

What is the thrill within the kill?

Why am I intrigued enough to pursue the conversation further?

Why do I want to learn about raw emotion at this coarse level?

Because it is pure – clean – honest. Untangled from the bullshit psycho-spiritual labyrinth I’ve walked my entire life.

This man knows who he is, what he likes, what he wants, and takes it without apology.

I’ve spent a lifetime apologizing for myself and trying to understand why I exist.

Of course his surefootedness grabs me.

It’s simple and solid.

It offers stability and a point to rebel against.  And rebellion has always empowered me.  I was my father’s little anti-soldier.

 

But now I want to be neutral and understand the operations of my former enemies.

I don’t want enemy lines drawn.  I want lines erased.  But I also want my own truth to emerge.

I listened to Officer Lopez speak with such strong conviction.

I wonder if I will ever be able to stand even half as self-assured and state my beliefs.

I may not agree with his faith, but I admire and envy his rootedness.

His rootedness reminds me of rocks.  Of the rocks he protects.  Of the rock I want to be protected by.  Of some rocks I’ve known and wanted to live under or on the edge of.

He’ll live long in my memory .  .  . as I keep practicing the art of crawling into the light and exposing my lies and my truth.

Daily Déjà Vu

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2001

 

 

One day a plane hit a building

then another plane

then another building.

 

My father sent me a newspaper clipping

a full front-page photograph with a caption

and an enormous bold black headline

as angry as a cold black fist in the pit of my stomach.

 

Since that day the grey tones of life have diminished.

 

Black and white is louder now.

 

Two bold choices scare me.

 

I get terrified when the comfort and safety of colors fade

when poetry can’t take me home

when coffee shops are tense with lying laughter

when the vice of black and white squeezes my crystal soul.

 

 

 

Your Time Here is Limited

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In contrast with the soothsayer‘s warning to Julius Caesar, “Beware the Ides of March,I find no foreboding message in this day. In fact, I celebrate it!

Please join with me and find a bit of wisdom, inspiration and prompting via The Wise Old Owls .  .  . speaking the words of Steve Jobs.

 

 

Diagonal Sleeping

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Whenever I sleep alone, I love to sleep diagonally in large beds.

That slanted position fills the emptiness and stretches the soul in new directions. It’s no longer womb-like, fetal sleeping. It’s an assertive position that enters the world as a vector.

Bold and fearful.

It wants to travel alone.

But needs to fill the hole of motherlessness.

The dark kind of solitude that can haunt when the world is dreary.

And after awakening, I can dress in costume to comfort my panic.

Young beautiful retro lady drinking coffee

 

Pretend I’m young and fearless again.

 

Dance with my fantasies of fear and desire.

 

Try to lock them into balance  and steady myself for a new day.