Monday, January 2, 2017

Carrie Fisher: In Memoriam

Carrie Fisher at the NYFF to discuss Fisher Stevens' documentary Bright Lights about Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. (photo courtesy of the NYFF)
I saw Carrie Fisher on Broadway in Wishful Drinking and was impressed by her mental acuity and self-effacing humor. It is no small feat to look squarely at one's painful weaknesses, and with searing irony, cauterize bleeding soul wounds, then publicly feed oneself and others from the kernels of wisdom produced by the process.
Carrie Fisher's Broadway show Wishful Drinking (photo courtesy of the site)
Part of my surprise and admiration at Carrie Fisher's entertainment was how quickly she reverted to fun though no one would think slamming oneself could be much fun, even though fame, publicity and money were some of the side effects. Too honest, too "in-your-face," too bloody real to laugh at oneself. But Carrie laughed and made us laugh with her.
Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia of Star Wars (photo courtesy of the film)
Nightly on Broadway and in her shows in LA, with light-saber humor, she slashed regrets and self-victimization with truth and grace. I and those around me with smiles on our faces just feasted. She punctured our every "Hollywoodland" balloon fantasy, and the ridiculous notions we harbored about Princess Leia and being a film icon. She offered herself up with a wide-armed embrace as our mentor as if proclaiming, "Yes, we have all experienced the shit storm and we can weather it without swallowing too much crap or dying of E. coli poisoning."
Carrie Fisher after Star Wars came out (photo from the site)
Carrie, you've moved from being Star Wars' two-dimensional princess to an infinitely dimensional Queen. I imagine your consciousness in free flight soaring and communing in health and wholeness thrilled that one element of your purpose on this planet has been fulfilled. R.I.P. We are the finer for having had your presence with us for a short time.

                                       Carrie Fisher

You sliced your pride with swords of truth and light
With honesty and grace so singular,
With soulful generosity to spite
Your perfect image; T'was overthrown! You stirred
Us to accept ourselves, love and forgive,
Because there's health if faults you learn to share
With others, so you're not afraid to live
And turn from ego darkness and despair.
The process moved you to a grander place
Within our hearts, and we did empathize
With all that you encountered and did face.
Truth burned the roots of all that you despised.
Remembered always Carrie you will be,
Your strength, your joy, your soul's dear majesty.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Heavenly Validation: Inspired by a Workshop With Dr. Eben Alexander and Karen Newell at Omega Institute

Dr. Eben Alexander. Photo courtesy of his website.
I read Proof of Heaven, Dr. Eben Alexander's  book about his N.D.E. (near death experience) a few years ago. Usually words come easily to me, but I find it difficult to describe the book's impact, except to say that its truths resonated and its life affirmations elucidating realms in the afterlife comforted me. It was a confirmation of my faith in God, the Spiritual realms of reality, Christ's unconditional love. If that doesn't work for you, then imagine feelings of intense relief and safety, warmth, love, joy and the sense that everything you thought might be good and true and positive, actually is.

Another way to relate it to you is imagine someone of great authority and wisdom comes to you, someone you trust. Imagine they look you in the eyes deeply and with all sincerity they say, "Hey. Everything is OK. All is well. Don't fear anything because ultimately, you are loved, love yourself. There are beautiful unseen forces around you which are holding you up and shepherding you to the next level in your growth spiral. Just because science cannot adequately explain what happens to consciousness, the soul/life cycle doesn't mean you, your being will end just because in materialism, physical bodies grow cold. There is much more to being and it is more incredible than you can possibly imagine."
Karen Newell of Sacred Acoustics. Photo from site.
You already know this. In fact, there have been glimpses of this eternity of infinite spirit throughout your entire life. If you stop to think about it, think about the strange coincidences, the weird happenings, the dreams or intuitions that came true, you will remember. There is something tugging at you. It is drawing you and letting you know...there's more to reality than what your 5 senses apprehend...there is much more and it's great.

So when I had the opportunity to take the workshop with Dr. Eben Alexander and Karen Newel of Sacred Acoustics (there are frequencies of sound that can facilitate your stepping past the veil of materialism) at Omega Institute in upstate NY, I jumped at the chance. This sonnet inspired by their work is something I started in the class and finished when I returned home.

                   Heavenly Validation

The pulsing flames of Light within soul life
Are solid waves of love, health and well being.
Consciousness sublime of pure insight,
Transforms with unconditional love and spiritual seeing.

The material world and all that it imbues
Its social trends, its values we obey,
Our belief in science, empiricism's views,
Occludes our inner sight, our soul, betrays.

The powerful spiritual realms can't be obtained
Through fleshly sight and fleshly ego's pride:
Material things pervert our thoughts and stain
The truth by misdirection's stately lies.

Eternity is real can be embraced,
Within our consciousness through love and grace.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Women's Right to Choose, Christ's Untrap Law of Love

This is a sonnet dedicated to all the women who have sacrificed their lives and died giving themselves an illegal abortion. They made a decision to choose to take possession of their souls and bodies regardless of the punishing culture's wicked laws denying them safe healthcare with a medical doctor. God truly has granted 10 commandments and Christ said all are encompassed in the first two commandments:

1)Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength (the joy of the Lord is your strength)
2)Love your neighbor as yourself.

God does NOT contravene His own word. Anyone who kills a doctor who gives an abortion or attempts to kill the doctor is contravening God's commandment to LOVE and forgive. That is murder. God does not condone murder because that is not loving. Such individuals cannot lie and say they are doing God's will. They are doing man's will. Pro-lifers are being used by conservatives to obtain power for the conservative wealthy. There is nothing Christian about such politically conservative arguments. In fact they go against God's scriptures and the conservatives have been blaspheming the Holy Spirit and lying on His word.

If a woman decides to abort, that is between her and God. She has free will and is an independent person. Exodus 21: 22-23.  The scripture makes it clear that a dependent life (fetus) is not the same as an independent life. If they were the same, all the women who do not carry their children to term, but who have lost their children through natural abortions (for example ectopic pregnancy), deserve to be tried for murdering their fetus. Either the woman and fetus are separate independent beings, or one is an independent being and one is a dependent being.  Exodus 21: 22-23 clearly indicates the fetus is dependent and the mother's life is independent of it. That is why according to that scripture, if a man causes a pregnant woman to miscarry and the child dies, he is fined, but only if the woman lives. If he causes her to miscarry and she dies with the fetus, then he is charged with murder.

Because you're born a woman you are trapped
Inside a female body. You're oppressed
By those who hate. Your power they would sap
To dominate what God has truly blessed.
The patriarchy spirit is a lie
That masquerades as truth, a fearful threat.
It harms and maims and kills those who would try
To overthrow its legion of regrets. 
Conservatives, mountebanks-quotidian whores,
These hypocrites use "Christian" politics.
In shadows they belie Christ is the door.
They practice not His love, but devilish tricks.
Women's souls are free, their choices, rights,
That Christ has granted with His sacrifice.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Soul of Alzheimer's

Photo courtesy of Science Alert

Fury braced the soul cannot take rest.
Bound in bitterness it does retreat
Within a world of woe and great distress
And sorrows which the mind cannot defeat.
And like a ship that crashed upon a reef
Wave battered, smashed and torn til nothing's left
The mind does lose its sanctity through grief.
What of health and wholeness? All's bereft.
While doctors search for answers chemical
And soberly discuss the neuron clumps
The soul's a ghost an empty shell, a hull,
Abyss-lost, disappeared, a black hole dump.
Oh God! Have mercy on this darkened state.
Dear God! Shine love and light upon this fate.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Edgar Allan Poe, the Mysteries of the World Writ Large

1849 "Annie" daguerrotype of Poe courtesy of site
 Edgar Allan Poe married his cousin Virginia Clemm when she was 13 and he was 27; the dichotomy was legion-his experience to her youthful and naive innocence. Whether her immune system was weakened from the stresses of the marriage and Poe's rumored philanderings which devastated her, Virginia Eliza Clemm contracted tuberculosis and withered for 5 years until she died. On her deathbed, she accused the woman with whom Poe allegedly had an affair as being indirectly responsible for her death. Poe never forgave himself and was wracked by guilt, though he attempted to expiate this through his writings and poems like Annabel Lee, The Raven and others.

The stress and burden of this guilt as well as the anxiety of attempting to make a successful writing career for himself and potentially effect a marriage with various women eventually consumed him along with alcoholic binges and mysterious illnesses. He was found lying in a Baltimore gutter delirious and under great duress. Poe was transported to Washington Medical College where he died four days later. His cause of death was occluded; the truth has yet to materialize. Indeed, the mysteries that he had confronted during his lifetime brought him to an early and lonely end. To this day, his death is steeped in speculation and one author has posited that Poe was a diabetic and was in a diabetic coma when he was found. Along with his brilliant unparalleled poems, criticisms, novels and short stories, this mystery infuses his ethos as romantic and adds to the mystique of one of the grandest and most globally beloved American writers.

The mysteries of the world writ large
Upon your soul as deep as darkness' sea.
Your prescient being over wrought and charged
With quantifying consciousness. To free
Your loving cousin to communicate
In ethers, time warps stretching toward the stars,
Bending spirits within altered states,
You'd bring her close to you who was so far.
The gulf of death you crossed; scorned mortal shores.
Alone upon the waves of time and light
You drove your words and thoughts and hope restored
Continued through life's hellish days and nights.
And then your soul's cruel wanderings did cease.
Joined with your love eternal in Christ's peace.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Mike Nichols, In Memoriam

Mike Nichols in later years. Courtesy of website.
I remember Mike Nichols and Elaine May as a kid. They were a hysterical, witty, vibrant comedy team. I missed Nichols' Barefoot in the Park on Broadway, his first outing. The production helped to put Robert Redford on the map and was the first of his truly innovative and memorable collaborations with Neil Simon. I saw Catch-22, years later and appreciated its sardonic humor and great acting. After his prior two film successes (see the next sentences), critics were unkind to Catch-22, though it holds up to time, especially in the currency of our government's war travesties. But it was Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and The Graduate that put Nichols on the map as an incredible film director. The rest is nearly one success after another with What Planet Are You From? (yes he probably did it as a favor), as perhaps the only really dire exception. I have seen most of his films and much of his most recent work on Broadway, including his fabulous Death of a Salesman. He never lost his humor, genius, humanity and quiet wisdom in all of his work; if he did, he fooled us.

I had the opportunity to speak to Nichols at a performance of Betrayal which he directed. I was compelled as if by ordination to go over to him and repeatedly state, "God Bless you for your work and what you have contributed." If I sounded like an idiot stating that he had "made a difference" in my life and I was so appreciative for it, I don't care. It was an unction that I am glad took over me. I saw him again at a performance of Richard III with Mark Rylance or was it Twelfth Night? It was right after Philip Seymour Hoffman died. Mark Rylance spoke and there was a moment of silence for Hoffman, and it was just awful. Nichols was obviously suffering as were all in the theatre and film community. Then, I did not feel compelled to speak to him again, though as we walked out of the theater we glanced into each other's eyes. He, I am sure, did NOT recognize me as "the woman who said he made a difference in her life." I am sure he received such compliments so often, he filtered them into his vast storage capacity of memory as he charged ahead to his next project. I was glad that I told him what I did, however effusively "infantile."

Nichols! He was an amazing talent and genius who sparked us to life and made us forget the monsters we were...for an hour or two or three as we laughed at his comedies (The Birdcage), or cried/mourned/grieved for ourselves (Death of a Salesman). He made his art look easy and reminded us of what could be accomplished, despite economic woes and the grumblings of the profit-hungry about barely breaking even. Nichols your value is beyond measure. Thanks for the truth and hope and energy of self. We're better for your having been in the world.

Of platinum character and brilliant mind
You forged a path no one but you could make:
Courageous artistry one-of-a-kind,
A determined will no studio could break.
Elucidating themes of life for us
Reflecting hope, highlighting human flaws
With wisdom, clarity, acumen's trust.
Your films and plays and works? You gave us pause.
Your legacy's a beacon: we turn away
From vapid, puerile, soulless media fare
That Philistines present; the empty arts-
Are lacking substance, draining truth and care.
Your spiritual gifts and talents do inspire
Us to rekindle ancient drama's fires.    

Monday, December 29, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman: In Memoriam

Philip Seymour Hoffman (courtesy of this site)

You traveled to the depths of our despair,
And mined the gold of human tragedy.
Cloaked your being with our traits, prepared
Such complex characters, in empathy.
Unique, unparalleled and fearless too,
You searched your soul for evil and disgrace,
Immersed, inhabited that hellish truth,
Translated it; in you we saw our face.
Through you we saw, we're all the same within.
Black hearts, dark holes of boundless emptiness
Unrequited vacuum, self-hate's "sin,"
The endless pain, the horror, the distress.
With heavenly artistry you touched our souls.
May joyous spiritual grace now make you whole.

PSH speaking at the 92nd Street Y about the film Capote.