Beyond the Ordinary

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“Valentino” December 1998 – October 2014

our precious Valentino, “Tino” or “Mr Winchester,” died on October 11, 2014. he was sweet, funny to the end, obnoxious and a real lover. his name couldn’t have been more suited to who he was. he was happiest on someones lap or sleeping next to them.


puppy Tino

puppy Tino


puppy Tino










i miss him every single day.  the house is so quiet now, there’s no little guy to take care of, to make sure he’s comfortable and free of distress. he couldn’t see you until you were a few inches away and his tail would wag for a second or two, after he flinched from the surprise.

his body may be gone, but his consciousness has become one with the universe and i hope to meet him again one day. the vessel that was Valentino is buried under our pear tree and i say good morning and remember him each day, looking out at the tree from our kitchen window. next year we will have and enjoy Valentino pears.

we have so many pictures of him it’s ridiculous. here are just a few.

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Physically Manifested Fears

throughout my years of spiritual work, i’ve discovered many ways fear plays into our lives. it can be subtle and it can be overt, it can be psychological, emotional and physical. fear arises in:

-  worrying about what might happen, fearing the worst

-  letting our thoughts take us immediately into fear and reacting unconsciously

-  phobias, rational or irrational, that constrain our living

-  anxiety about a situation or circumstance we feel is unavoidable or out of our hands

-  the unknown, fear of what the future may bring

-  our own mortality


the past seven months, i’ve been dealing with a fear that presented itself as a physical impingement. at its origin, i had no idea fear was the culprit. it began as a strain in my left biceps to the point where it hurt to use it. and so i didn’t which then lead to “frozen shoulder” or adhesive capsulitis

when a joint remains immobile for a period of time, it starts to develop adhesions, like scar tissue. these adhesions inhibit/prohibit the normal movement and mobility of the joint. the shoulder, in particular, becomes inflamed, swollen and any movement is quite painful. night time is especially difficult, as it disturbs sleep and seems to be at its worse.

i decided to see a hypnotist to lessen the pain. it was my first visit to a hypnotist and i was, needless to say, nervous. what i discovered during the session was much more than i had imagined. she guided me through visual imagery where i created my own source of bringing the pain level down and then she had me look at my shoulder from outside of myself to see why it this impingement was there.

i saw myself reach out with that arm, in the hope of having a loved one take my hand. my husband, specifically, and he wasn’t there. and then when i reached out again to be held close, again he was absent.

fear. it was fear.

fear of not having support in daily life. fear of being alone when love is desired. fear of asking for help and finding none or hearing the word, “no.”

this was both a shock and an unconscious understanding. that it showed itself in such an emotionally heart wrenching way made it very clear to me that it was true. and now that i see clearly, my pain has mostly subsided and i’m the road to recovery. i surrender to what is and i:

-  accept what might happenimages-1

- accept  thoughts of fear

-  accept the rational and irrational

-  accept the unavoidable

-  accept the unknown, the unknowable

-  accept the mortality of my spouse and those i love

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Ruth L. Ozeki


If we can’t act on knowledge, then we can’t survive without ignorance. So we cultivate the ignorance, go to great lengths to celebrate it, even. The faux - dumb aesthetic that dominates TV and Hollywood must be about this. Fed on a media diet of really bad news, we live in a perpetual state of repressed panic. We are paralyzed by bad knowledge, from which the only escape is playing dumb. Ignorance becomes empowering because it enables people to live. Stupidity becomes proactive, a political statement. Our collective norm.

from My Year of Meats

by Ruth L. Ozeki

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Diana Beltran Herrera

wow, Diana Beltran Herrera. that’s all i have to say…



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In the Time of Water

Siobhan McClures’ “In the Time of Water” exhibit in Los Angeles.

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Hillary Fayle

Stitched leaves by Hillary Fayle


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