Tags: april

Rolling along...

Here's the view from my place--two months ago, one month ago and now--here I am living in a retirement community in a Milwaukee suburb. So I am admitting, finally, I've retired--fully not "semi," like I'd been saying for a while. Really, I retired gradually from most freelancing as the needs of the seniors I've been helping have increased, gradually and steadily. But writing about these self-educational experiences must wait because of agreements I made.

In the meanwhile:

The shamanic circle church has shifted into a "faithful remnant" phase, and the known members have spread far and wide along the webs of life, connecting their shamanizing over the Internet and within our imaginations. My closest shamanic companions circle around where they live, shifting for the better what each values in space, time, matter and energy--not aiming to transcend, not reaching beyond the physical, reveling (and revealing) in the material.

After beginning that mission to study original and innovate new shamanic ways--meaning (as broadly as possible) to investigate any methods, techniques and systems that any shamans anywhere use and/or have ever used, from nowadays back through history and prehistory, to shift reality towards better and best, I shifted into skepticism.

Because: As much fun as I was having at workshops and circles, though waxing ecstatic seeing new possibilities for self-help and amazing ways to do mind-changing, heart-openng, gut-boosting rituals and ceremonies without getting bogged in beliefs or dwellng on dogma, quickly my enthusiasm waned into skepticism with reason. I soon came to doubt the efficacy, and even the harmelessness, of most all non-evidence-based practices I was adventuring so blithely.

So, I began doubting the practices that were benefiting me--because I was experimenting in fun, without believing or seriousness, like a child, while many seemed enthralled and co-opted.

Then I began debunking as a mission, questioning: The effectiveness, and even the harmlessness, of most all Complimentary and Alternative Medicines (CAMs); as well as the helpfulness, versus the harmfulness, of traditional and new religions alike, organized or not (including "spiritual paths" and "spiritualities" and similar euphemisms, circumlocutions and alternative verbiages substituted to avoid the word religion); alongside most all advertised faith- and energy- healing methods; and alongside supposedly occult, so-called magical (using any trendy spellings-with-a-k) reality-changing (or subjugation by willpower) schemes; and including popularized or copyrighted shamanisms.

For me, just attending lots of shamanic workshops, while watching and listening closely, did more debunking of supernatural beliefs, psychic powers, and pseudoscience than reading skeptical and science-based writers.

Throughout and since childhood, I've grown more and more fascinated and impressed by the beneficial world transforming possibilities of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (nowadays called STEM). Lately I've been saying "I'm a STEM optimist!"

Still: Undeniably, I find art-play; new storying; wondering and wonder; purposeful wishing, hoping and dreaming; and everyday jesting for fun-restoration; and more, all health-boosting, serenity-inducing and life-shifting towards better and best--for me, these are beneficial and freeing ways to shamanize, without any need for overlying superstitons, underlying esoteric babble or mystifying scary lore.

My understanding lately: Shamanic ways shift for the better naturally by inspiring and encouraging new patterns and possibilitiies and/or by enhancing and expanding placebo effects intentionally, through active imagining and intense pretending--fun acting out as art-play, shifting inner self first, allowing changes to ripple outward through all directions and dimensions of body, earth and universe--conscious to unconscious and back. It's psyching-up: re-creative (nano- to micro- to macro-) choice (by choice, by choice, by choice...to be and live fun here now) all-spiraling-interconnecting, into immediately obvious to long-hidden ways and means, that is, into physical, material beneficial butterfly effects anywhere and everywhere.

This emerging, never final interpretation is centered around and based upon hope (forward-peering grace), faith (past-scanning grace) and ongoing experience (LIFE in each here now crossroads moment of power, wherever two or three or more gather in fun, to rattle, drum, sing and dance all things new, the greatest grace of all). Art and science interconnect, interact and overlap in such improv, yet purposeful, frolics, then some of the best results only appear supernatural.

Disclaimer: I've written this for me--I'm still sorting many notions out.


While I'm commuting between here and Madison, Wisconsin, words, sentences, even paragraphs brain-wave along for the ride. Why not dictate more frequent blog updates as I drive--about real, interesting topics, instead of why don't I blog more? Or, I could add increments to my "longterm project" book drafts.

Updated late June: Oops--I didn't post this before flying to California's Central Valley and back, helping those folks on their annual summer-early fall visit.

jester, shamanic jester, Jester Me

Turned out caregiving gig here is a full-time hand-full, but it pays enough

So earning a living writing content online has been pushed off my to-do and how-to list for some seasons.


So has other freelance writing and odd-jobbing locally. Certainly, this job is odd-enough.Still, I will freelance write anyway -- blogging here, on the shamanic blog and on Digital Journal (though it is hard with the ultra-basic tools), where I will contribute news occasionally also.


The tree-tops dancing in the breeses entrance and transport. Gold and silver shimmer in my visions!


Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

jester, shamanic jester, Jester Me

Unusual -- I'm craving hours of uninterrupted rest

I am not sleepy or tired, but I find myself wanting a safe while of rest, and needing a spacetime sanctuary of two to three cushioning hours for uninterrupted re-creative dreaming. I keep my several daily prayer-shifting periods, but a wary stressful vigilance has persisted lately.

Maybe the day after tomorrow...? Trees and sky calm now.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

jester, shamanic jester, Jester Me

This caregiving gig frustrating

Here I am in Dane County, Wisconsin...visiting a vital, beautiful place. But my work here brings unpredictable challenges every day, so constant self-reminding to express gratitude and other self-helping thoughts, words and acts must push and pull me on and through.

I keep looking up and out; I imagine better and best happening next; and I speak, do and BE dynamic harmony as often and as much as possible, every here and now.


Specific how-tos present surprising openings, moment by moment.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

Jester me, Blogger

Our April at Blog-City

Tortoise Cat's sunny spot

I will post a blog here every day from now on. Uh oh. April Fools Resolution!

Tortoise Cat and I uncovered and re-created the rock garden in back. It will be a work in progress (play) until late autumn.

A full day of freelancing is scheduled for tomorrow, but today (and tonight) we fool around.

Saint Paul's garden (in the 900 block of East Knapp Street) is ready for edging and planting...and continuous weeding. Of course, perennials have been popping up since late March.

Saint Paul's garden after my cutting and cleaning session

Rock garden in back during cloudy dusk, April 2, 2010


I weeded wild violets  and wrote rough drafts. Tortoise Cat nibbled cat grass, hunted bugs and basked. According to Tortoise Cat, most grass is cat grass.

During dusk I played with the rock garden in back. So far, I have not been able to snap a pretty picture of it.

The picture above was taken after sunset and the layout has changed already. I have added a few pieces of urban driftwood, also. 

The bamboo will be up in a week, I expect. (There are no rocks or pottery bits where the shoots are poking up.)

As soon as possible, I will add some rock garden plants. Hardly any sunlight falls on the place during the darker months because it's surrounded close up by walls. 

Woodpecker drilled all afternoon. Owl hooted a while after dark. 


The Blog-City blogging platform is so feature-rich and easy to use that I am re-considering (seriously) how to more and better make use of this weblog.

Here is a close-up of part of my (skinny) rock garden boundary, after a light rain. 

Rock garden in back after rain, April 3, 2010 

West boundary rock garden after early April showers


I celebrated Passover and revel on Easter today, re-living and renewing decades of memories and ritual with shifting awareness. But, weeks ago, mind, heart and gut began sensing, tuning into and understanding the holy spirit of Mother Earth marching through our neighborhood, purifying and recycling, then rolling away winter's stone tomb-doors and springing open nature's wombs.

These lighter days and warmer nights, Tortoise Cat watches over our territory, awaiting visitors and trespassers vigilantly, while (between freelance gardening, odd job and writing gigs) I art-play in the skinny rock garden of rejected stones and broken stuff from around the dumpster that serves as a west boundary.

The boundary's message: "This place is cared for." 

Moved outdoors finally, that gaunt geranium might perk up, now that April showers and sunlight can bless it. 

Here is a sunny picture.

Sunny, skinny rock garden, April 4, 2010

Puddled reflections open possibilities between walls next to the dumpster, April 6, 2010.


I sense thunderstorms rolling in across southeastern Wisconsin.


A visit distracted me and I forgot about pictures, writing and publishing until after midnight.

At mid-day I snapped pictures of puddles, not a new subject at all. 

Again, playing a favorite brainstorming daydream, I imagined these puddles on the narrow passage to the dumpster were temporary holes in ordinary reality's familiar walks and walls, opening shimmering, momentary access to extraordinary alternatives, unlikely reversals and wondrous inversions.

Tortoise Cat hid from the thunder and lightning all night, but savored many flavors of raindrop-cooled cat-grass, during a much longer-than-usual neighborhood and garden stroll this afternoon.

Tortoise Cat, ready for a long stroll after April thunderstorms have rolled along


Today Tortoise Cat naps and dreams through this chill snap. 


Sidewalk puddle reflection window

Gardening is out of the question — too muddy and puddly. 


Tortoise Cat and Chameleon finally updated their blog.


I uprooted wild violets and maple seedlings. 


I pretended the sidewalk was the seashore and city-beachcombed, a favorite imagination and body stretching exercise. 

Tortoise Cat tied into her own patch of cat-grass.

Tortoise Cat next to her own cat-grass patch, April 11, 2010

I might start a new page next. 

Tortoise Cat, rock garden, bamboo sprouting


Tortoise Cat ran up three tree trunks and caught a claw on the bark of the third. I've been growing even serener, pulling up wild violets, maple seedlings, and dandelions. 

Sunshiny and calm around noon, the clouds and breezes returned for the rest of the afternoon. The bamboo in the rock garden has been slowed in sprouting, because of the recent several near-freezing nights.


I wrote, then ran errands and then returned to gardening, with the Tortoise Cat keeping me company. I "just pulled weeds" and forgot to snap any flower pictures. Chill winds blew up at 5 p.m. and Tortoise Cat meowed to go home. 


Companions Circle's Shamanic Shift Center project update:

A circle of shamanizers, called Companions Circle, prayer-shift anonymously (or pseudonymously) daily and flexibly through non-ordinary dreaming and journeying, in a cycle of one to seven shamanic meditation periods, though they live spread out over ordinary space-time. Our circle's single purpose is shamanic shifting our selves and worlds towards the better and best, each in our own ways, as contemporary and innovative neighborhood and universal shamans — spelled with a lower-case s on purpose — and shamanic shift centers.   

Chickadee and other bird buddies are sounding off

Daffodils! (April 14, 2010)


Tortoise Cat in the rock garden, April 17, 2010


I helped celebrated a 91-year-old guy's birthday today. I brought the cake and he took the cake! But I couldn't take any pictures of the occasion. 


As usual, Tortoise Cat watched for trespassers for hours. But she can't catch all of them. 

The rock garden bamboo is growing slowly, noticeably. I have added more urban driftwood. More plants (besides wild violets and bamboo) inhabit my latest vision of this narrow, backyard power-place.

But my gardening mentor has informed me this "bamboo" I've been describing is NOT. It is Fallopia japonica (a.k.a. Japanese knotweed) and not even closely related, though they share a few salient characteristics. 


Dandelion detail. The goal is preventing thousands of dandelions (growing instead grass in large patches) from going to seed. So I pull hundreds of them up and fall back to snipping off the flowers when it gets close to quitting time. The customer did not and does not want to use poison.

Dandelions are pretty and edible. There are still plenty out there, enough to make vats of wine and salad.

Dandelion on 1300 block of N. Marshall Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 19, 2010

Tulips before sunset on 900 block of E. Knapp Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53202, April 19, 2010


I was outside in chill, windy sunlight pulling dandelions near the tulips in the picture. Do I really prefer gardening to writing?

I updated my Sustainable-Green lens for Earth Day, then headed back out there. 


An associate made use of my space all day, keeping the Tortoise Cat company, while I worked with my gardening-mentor for customers in a charming, quiet Mequon subdivision.

Tortoise Cat has been watching her knotweed jungle grow in our rock-garden. It has been fun for me to note when and where more sunlight hits this narrow space between buildings each day.  

Tortoise Cat, knotweed, rock-garden

I left the woody, bamboo-like tubes from last season's knotweed standing next to the new growth, hoping to discourage neighbors and intruders from stomping over the place.

The knotweed-free space filled with rocks, driftwood and other stuff is where the building management company managed to (somehow?) eradicate one section of the resilient plant before we moved in. After they lost interest in that project, the knotweed grew back, but never filled that gap. 

Rock-garden at 0830, April 23, 2010

I began this rock garden folly several years ago after I noticed this balcony-sized area near the steps to our back door had suffered the "tragedy of the commons," and was serving, I was dismayed and disgusted to realize, as a smoking lounge, make-out (and drug deal) nexus, garbage dump and outdoor toilet. Folks must have figured nobody cared about the place, perhaps because this property is an office building (except for my mixed-use space with an apartment).


Online this has been an unproductive spell. I am entranced by every kind of being living in the gardens I work in to earn most of my living.

And this is becoming a high-tide of local contacts and consultations.

I am almost ready to blog a review of the book "Awakening to the Spirit World" by Sandra Ingerman and Hank Wessleman on the shamanic blog. On Facebook, I have been playing with pages. There will be a FB page for ECP-Writes too.

I was disappointed to discover that FB's new profile connectivity links to hastily invented, keyword generated "community pages" (bogus in the case of Shamanic Shift Center and my other names) instead of my (official, authorized) pages (even when I used the exact name). So I have fixed that by (going back to) leaving most of profile personal information blank. The FB community page for Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin are just OK. 

A tornado watch is in effect until 8:00 p.m. but there has been no severe weather to see.