Tags: may

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

Shades of relief under trees on the way to anywhere

Shady wild patches and garden beds refresh all along all the ways to errands around this neighborhood.

Today's weather forecast warns of gusts up to 40 mph beginning near noon and lasting though dusk, but now the air is mild and calm, so I am challenged, imagining even breezes.

Anyway, I hope the strong winds will blow in, shake up this situation and stay longer, energizing my dreams unpredictably all night.

jester, shamanic jester, Jester Me

Peoney overflow and rosey fading

What a fun riot!

Peony (or peonious?) overflow in pink, white and fuchsia is happening on this dead-end block now. Occasionally in the past, I've heard folks express dislike or even hatred for peonies, perhaps because they are projecting repressed personality traits onto these early, exhuberant upstart flowers that flaunt so blatently, then fall apart so sloppily, so soon.

Coincidentally and oblivioulsly across the parking lot, yellow and red roses, strictly confined to a walled-off garden bed, are blooming brightly and fading rapidly.

jester, shamanic jester, Jester Me

This yard is a weed sanctuary

This property presents a self-educational project: learning which plants are "native" and which -- if any -- are (termed) invasive or "noxious" in south-central Wisconsin. I've been instructed to let the contractor they hired deal with the yard.

But it appears that company hasn't been hired to do much, so the property looks unkempt -- to me, so far.

If I got to know these plants better, achieved a scientific understanding of how and why they are growing together around here, where many yards feature weeds allowed to propagate wildly, maybe I could fully appreciate the creative chaos of these scenes.

Jester me, Blogger

Our May at Blog-City

Sun lighting tree blossoms in the courtyard garden


I celebrated the 1st of May in many ways, but not by blogging it. But I will blog about this holiday late, as I do with most holy days.

Tortoise Cat has let me know the mice have returned to the property.

A young raccoon passes our back door often. 


Rain cleared into fresher-feeling breezes.

As I walk the neighborhood I am as likely to smell blossoms as cigarette smoke!

I'm getting ready to plant more greenery in the rock garden. Clay pots are in place. The knotweed/polygonum is flourishing.

More weeds are offering gardening job security. 



Errands and visits.


It's off to the gardens for a while, while a colleague works here with the Tortoise Cat. 


A mystery critter visited during the night and bounded away before I could get a clear look. The distant silhouette seemed foxy.


A new visitor is expected.

Before and after gardening tomorrow, I will be writing.


Today's weeding plans washed out in gentle, steady rain. Today's writing drifted into free verse. 

My first attempts to get pics of Tortoise Cat play-fighting with me from inside the tub (a new favorite game) were partially successful.

Tortoise cat play-fighting in the tub

Tortoise Cat play-fighting inside the tub with me outside, looking down

My next notes will start a new page.

Knotweed (Polygonum), back door steps, blue mug, late afternoon, May 18, 2010


Now what? Tortoise Cat has been around the block and inspected the gardens and I have re-planted some weeds I was paid to pull — a kind of mint, stray strands of onion grass and a mystery ground cover — back here in the flower pots I had prepared for the rock garden. Now, it's a rock and weed garden.

The knotweed (a.k.a. Polygonum) is thriving and the wild violets I planted weeks ago are flourishing.

The heat in this building has been kicking on in the early am, probably because someone left the day-time thermostat near the second floor front offices turned up (it must be, because the one in our space is turned way down). Consequently, most of the shrinks here have been experiencing heat-shrinkage.

The landlord's HVAC guy arrived to turn on the three air conditioning units that loom over our back door area on an out-jutting second floor roof surface. I welcome the drone, rumble and wind-rushing sounds the AC units make because their combined, mighty din, masks many silly, seemingly unnecessary conversations that would otherwise burble down into my outdoor refuge, from this building's and the nearest next door neighboring windows.

As my good, green deed of the day, I reminded the maintenance guy to shut down the boiler. This will be the first year the heat and AC don't keep running together for weeks and weeks (until I can get someone to come back and fix that).


Today shifted into a play-day. 

Some Nineteenth of May Flowers on our block

After a garden stroll, Tortoise Cat was happy to sit on the back steps in the warm afternoon breezes, bird watching. 

Tortoise Cat restfully alert on our back steps on May 19, 2010