Psalm 91


I always wonder about the meaning behind dreams.

I once heard Dr. Phil McGraw (yeah, the Oprah guy) say that dreams are your unfulfilled desires or unresolved issues.

Uh oh. Hmmmm, now THAT'S interesting.

Last night I watched "Amazing Race", then I switched channels to watch the end of a cute old movie on TBS entitled, "Can't Buy Me Love".

From there I went to CNN, MSNBC and FoxNEWS for the latest updates before retiring for the night.

I do not recall what the last images were before I switched off the teevee but my dreams were bizarre and totally skewed towards things in my odd and often oh-so-weird life.

Without going into the boring, tedious play-by-play of the sleep episode, I can tell you that my dream involved the following:

A fast moving luxury train
Afghan rebels shooting neon blue bullets at me
Art lessons
A hand held mortar launcher
Cool Whip
An old favorite swimsuit
Italian antique furniture
Leg wrestling (at the Olympics)
A sandwich stuffed with meat & veggies
Narrow stairways
And hiding from the police in an outdoor cafe

So, now Dr. Phil ... what am I unresolved in or working to fulfill?

Wait, don't tell me. I do NOT wanna know.


When I was a small child, I lived with a group of children in an abandoned rail car.  We had little to eat but were ingenious in ways to find food and keep it safe.  I remember that we put some food that needed to be kept cold in the brisk running water of a nearby stream.  We kept our living situation secret because we were so afraid that the adults would break us up.

I had a friend named Henry.  He had a great dog named Ribsy. Henry was an adventurous sort and he took me on all kinds of travels and introduced me to his friends Beezus and Ramona. Henry had a way of making me laugh out loud and I wanted to be just like him.

Later, when I was a bit older ... I moved to Atlanta.  I lived on a large plantation in a huge mansion.  The ladies of the house were a bit eccentric, as so many southern women are, but strong willed, determined and feisty.  Together we watched Atlanta burn, babies being born and strong men come and go through our lives.

Time marched on.

As I grew older, I wandered in and out of life's adventures.  I sailed on giant ships ... navigating both the Seven Seas and the celestial skies.  I lived in the Old West and ancient Rome.  I even traveled with the Shoshone guide, Sakajawea, in aiding with the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

I had the unique opportunity of flying in a small plane that, unfortunately, had to make a quite unexpected landing on a deserted island.  I watched my friends interact and choose roles.  The human dynamic that occurred on that island was thought provoking and frightening.  I watched those people I had come to know and trust kill an innocent young boy out of fear ... and out of the need for power.

Yes, my life as a young woman was full. Remarkably enriched.

Today my life remains an adventure.  I still sail on open seas, climb high mountains, and fly into the night sky.   Now, I cure epidemic diseases, solve forensic mysteries and find romance on distant islands.  I work in the world of espionage and politics.  I am glamorous and yet, I am earthy enough to live with lions and gorillas.

And how have I accomplished so much in my 40+ years?

I read.

The world I knew as a child and still know as an adult has been an adventure that is truly irreplaceable. An adventure and an education through books.

Today marks the beginning of "Banned Books Week".

Please, do not take the unlimited adventures of a lifetime from your children.  Please do not allow this to happen.

Books provide the dreams for today.

Books provide the thinkers of tomorrow.

Banned Books Week

The specific books referred to above include Gertrude Chandler Warner's "The Boxcar Children", Beverly Cleary's "Henry Huggins", Margaret Mitchell's "Gone With The Wind", and William Golding's "Lord of the Flies".


Sitting alone in the quiet of darkness, I watched the sun rise this morning over the desert mountains.

Just as that bright ball of fire, energy and light crested the craggy silhouette ... I felt the warm breeze that dawn elicits.

It was as if the sun was pushing against the air and taunting it to brush against my cheek.

Summer still plagues us here in the desert southwest. Our days are hot and dry. Our days are hot and humid. Our days are simply hot. Very hot.

Oh, I do so long for the respite of a cool autumn night. The winds of Fall still escape the arid desert but my memory aches for their return.

Somehow my mind is associating the return of cool nights, temperate days and the breezes scented with autumn ... with renewal.

Right now, in this moment in space and time, I need to start over: the rethinking of my place in this world.

Perhaps it is just the longing for renewal? Or perhaps it is just longing.

I know that change is on the horizon. It is dancing out there beyond the mountains with that rising sun.

Still alone, now in the quiet of the dawn, I accept what I know ... I wait upon that which eludes me.

I wait for the cool breeze of peace.


I am numb.

No wait. Not numb.

I think I am actually feeling things that I can honestly say that I have never felt before. Or at least I have never felt them with this intensity.

The feeling of complete and total helplessness. This is the loss of empowerment.

The feeling of despair. The challenge of my hope.

The feeling of heartbreak. My overwhelming grief for the victims ... the families, friends and associates.

The feeling of anger. How dare they take my innocence?

The feeling of fear. Loss of my security ... my trust.

Yes, I am feeling many things.

Perhaps the most disturbing is the dark sense of hatred that seems to be welling up inside of me.


Because no man ... no cause ... no organization ... no politics ... no religion ... has the right to make me feel this way.

God help me. God help us all.


Words will never convey the fear, sadness, anger, disbelief, and heartbreak that today has wrought.

Dear God, bless those who need You most.


In the 1998 movie, "Hope Floats" with Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick Jr., Sandra Bullock's character (Birdee Calvert) returns to her mother's home in Smithville, Texas after being humiliated on a "Jerry Springer" type TV show when learning that her husband was having an affair with her best friend.

Birdee was formerly the small town's beauty queen and cheerleader; returning to Smithville was extremely difficult for her. As such, the situation caused her to doubt herself, her skills, and who she was as a woman, daughter and mother.

Along comes old classmate Justin Matisse (the sexy Harry Connick Jr.) to remind her of who she once was.

In one scene ... that sticks in my mind and I flash back to almost every day ... Birdie is angry, frustrated, depressed and ready to just quit trying.

Justin (in that smooth, syrupy Harry Connick Jr. drawl) turns to an almost broken Birdie and says something like, "Birdie, I remember when you used to be bodacious. Nothing stopped you. People used to say, There goes that Birdee Calvert".

That scene hit me like a ton of bricks.


Well, it seems that in my old age ...

I have become timid in ways I was never timid. I have become reluctant when undertaking new things. I doubt myself when I used to be so very confidant. New technology did not phase me; now I shudder when I realize so much is passing me by. Learning was an adventure, not a chore.

Perhaps I was even once bodacious.

As you get older, you get wiser. Right?

Then why has fear crept into my everyday life? Why do I doubt my ability to undertake new things? Why do I struggle with change when I mentally love the concept of change?

So where is this all heading?

Well, I wonder if I could get Harry Connick Jr. to come here and convince me that I can indeed open the freakin' box to the new camera?


: : : : :

AORTAL Link of the Week:
Robb Debenport, Photographer

Taking the human form to linear and structural form,
Mr. Debenport sculpts the human body with light and angle. Beautiful and mesmerizing.
[[ Parental warning: this site contains nudity.]]


"The best-laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley (often go wrong)." - - Scots poet Robert Burns - -

And so they do. Often go wrong.

Last week, amidst all the toil and turmoil of my personal life, I was interviewed by the New York Times.

Yep, me.

Because I can quote Robert Burns?

No sirree.

Because I take a stance on artists' rights. Copyrights.

How? Through an online copyright education website entitled, R.I.G.H.T.S.

However, the New York Times went for a lame quote. Hidden, second page. Almost not there.

But they did mention R.I.G.H.T.S.   No link.   But what the hey, a mention is better than a sharp stick in the eye, right?

The article itself is about the activity of search engines gleaning images at random through the use of "spiders". Then making these images available without credit or revenue to the creator.

The creator usually means the copyright holder.

This is where R.I.G.H.T.S comes in.

Interested? Go take a look.


An odd compilation of tunes are playing in my head:

Calendar Girl by Neil Sedaka : "... Yeah, yeah, my heart's in a whirl   I love, I love, I love my little calendar girl    Every day (every day), every day (every day) of the year ..."

Then my brain shifts to:

Constant Craving by k.d. lang: "...Maybe a great magnet pulls All souls towards truth   Or maybe it is life itself   That feeds wisdom   To its youth    Constant craving   Has always been ..." 

Bizarre eh?  Perhaps the drugs (see post below) did long term damage? *grin*

And speaking of compilations, here are some credits and observations:

This little doglette came to me all the way from Caluire, France!

The international canine jetsetter is built to sit perfectly on my computer monitor ... and so Ms. Becky, thank you for "Spike"... he is a precious addition to the cast of critters that adorn my office.

The image of "Spike" was created in my flatbed scanner because I do not own a camera.

Meet Spike

Wait, I am wrong.   I own one ... now.

It is just not in my possession. Yet.

Last week, in my joyous moments of recovery, I cyber-slipped over to and purchased a wonderful and oh-so-delicious 35mm SLR.

It has just enough bells-n-whistles to keep this goofy blondie confused for awhile.

I cannot wait for the camera and accessories to get here.  I just want to hold it. Cuddle it. Coax it into creating magical images.


Ugh, I just re-read my entry of 8/30 (archives) and realize now how dramatic and angst-filled it sounds.

My apologies to those of you who read it and became worried.

My veiled attempts at speaking volumes through minimal wordage affected the exact opposite of my intent.

I am a private person. That sounds somewhat oxymoronic considering I am making the statement in a public venue on a journal that is read by others.

None the less, it is true.

Attempting privacy through hints and wordsmithing is simply not fair.

So here's the bottom line:

In an effort to control some health related issues, I began a new regimen of medications. Lots of pills all at once. These were a new introduction of meds into a body that does not deal well with drugs of any kind including simple aspirin, alcohol (I have not consumed a drink in decades) and all pain relievers.

Well, to say that my body reacted poorly to these new medications is a bit of an understatement. Like saying the Grand Canyon is a bit of a hole in the ground.

I developed a severe-severe-severe headache, tremor, blurred vision, dementia, dizziness, reflex impairment, motor impairment, and blacking out.

It was frightening. I was terrified as was my family and those who love me.

To add to the fear factor, my docs were not "sure" that these symptoms were drug related.

Without going into the long and rather tedious story, I will tell you that I refused to go to the hospital (3-7 days for diagnostic testing) against medical advice, attempted but did not have the M.R.I. brain scan, and instead decided to discontinue the new medications (safely and using discretion).

After a second consultation with my doc and with minimal improvement, she concurred that it was "most possibly" the meds.

After dc'ing the meds and increasing this magic enzyme I must take ... whoa Nellie, I was healed!

Well, that is an exaggeration ... but within three hours of the change in meds, the headache released its merciless grip on my cranium and the majority of the symptoms subsided.

Each subsequent day (2.5 days and counting) ... and I am steadily getting back to my ol' feisty self.

I am fatigued and weak from nine days of sheer Hell. But so very grateful for the merciful God who gave me just enough clarity to make the decision about stopping the meds.

So, to those of you who knew what I was going through and offered up prayers to your own God/Goddess ... to those of you who worried ... I thank you for your loving concern and remarkable expression of caring.

And I promise to make a concerted efforted to return to the prose, poetic observations and perhaps, even an upbeat and humorous entry every now and then.

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