Monday, December 24

Bringing Good Cheer

May all the merry angels bring love, light and laughter to our weary world. May each of us bring healing, positivity, and purpose to the new year. May 2019 be filled with hopes and successful efforts to unify our world, not in fear but in love. May we all strive to see the good in everyone and everything. And, may we focus on this good and allow it to expand and sustain our human race and our beautiful planet. May all beings know love and peace.

Friday, December 21

Longest Night

copyright Kathy Mackey
Winter Solstice
"In the depth of winter
 I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
- Albert Camus

Sunday, December 2

Cloud Menagerie

Sunbathing Birds

Hummingbird Reflections

Osprey over Woods Canyon Lake

As Clouds Go By

Cloud Menagerie
by Kathy Mackey

Within the cage of silent sky
winds rattle the chem trail bars.
Look inside at white puffs of antelope
tumbling into a colossal tiger’s jaw.

See filmy wisps of fleeing zebras
slip through giant rabbit ears.
A lion’s mane expands and floats
as sleet-grey nimbus clouds appear.

Towering bears and prancing horses
 whirl and plunge chasing sunbeams
into the black and purple storm front,
home of the thunder dragon’s menagerie.

Rain falls. Lightning sizzles the cloud fort walls.
Antelope, tiger, zebra, rabbit, lion, bear and horse
dissolve into the rising air. No impressions anywhere
until the sky clears, winds blow, and clouds pile up once more.

Monday, September 24

Between the Four Sacred Mountains

Old Highway to I-160

Baby Rocks, Arizona

Going West to Kayenta

Today and Every Day

May all beings know love, peace and beauty.

Wednesday, September 12

I Read Something Good Today

“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.”

 – Meister Eckhart

Last May, I gathered with five other people around a table in our town's library conference room. We have met together for years to channel the Natalie Goldberg writing muse and express what's in our minds and hearts. This session, we explored the virtue of willingness and each of us wrote about it in an unrestrained, unconscious manner. Our pens scribbled rapidly across paper for ten minutes and then we looked up, read what came out of this precious free time, and marveled at how coherent and refreshing everyone's efforts turned out to be. 

Today, I remembered May 21st while reading a blog about the 12 Steps of Alcoholic Anonymous - the program that helps me and so many others, but only if we are willing to admit our defects and heal ourselves. His helpful essay reminded me of what our group wrote about and discussed. My scribbles resonate right now.

I am Willing to Let Go

Being willing is one of the most powerful and game-changing concepts I've ever struggled with. This simple word has released me from the insidious and destructive thinking of perfectionism. For years, I feared failure. I avoided criticism by stifling creativity. Instead, lacking  the courage to work on my own creations,  I supported the creative efforts of others, and missed out on the necessary criticism, corrections and do-overs that build knowledge and skill. Living within this cocoon of self-imposed exile masquerading as a comfort zone, is stagnation, even visiting it from time to time drags me down. In time, though, the real world always barges in. Real troubled family and friends ask for help. Real alcoholics, addicts, enablers, and angry co dependents tear down the image I have of myself and teach me humility, compassion, and an acceptance that perfection is irrelevant. Safety and security are temporary gifts. True clarity and purpose will happen if I have a plan with a yardstick and the desire to work hard on it. These teachers are relentless and thorough and once I become willing to do the work, to let go of fear and anxiety, opportunities for creative self expression show up. I'd like to say that I've learned to be willing to relax and be "happy" about all of this, but I have discovered a healthy dose of fear, shame, guilt, and insecurity will always be in my life. The real deciding factor, however, is what I am willing to accept and what I let go. This daily decision making keeps me in the flow of life. Sometimes I swim. Sometimes I float. Most of the time I paddle like hell to get to enjoy another day.

May all beings know love and peace, one day at a time.

Thursday, August 16

Since You've Been Gone

Light Up Heaven, Aretha, Our Glorious Queen of Soul
Ms. Aretha Franklin made joyful music all of her life. Even her heart wrenching sad songs soared above mundane tragedy.  She tenderly tapped the reservoir of our feelings and gave them color, texture, and intensity. She opened my heart and demonstrated a tough bounce-back attitude with an extra helping of solid-gold class. As the interview below indicates, Aretha was always a lady.  

May all beings know love and peace and the divine music of Aretha Franklin.

Saturday, August 4

Cool Water

Main Chute - Slide Rock, AZ

Red Rock Crossing, AZ

Red Rock Crossing - Bird Sanctuary

One thing I like about reading the newspaper is the weather section. Today's temperatures nationwide are in the high 80s and low 90s. Phoenix and Bagdad are suffering the same broiling temperature high of 110 degrees, a life draining swelter-fest especially for desert dwellers without air conditioning. Pretty soon, more cities will reach high temps of 110 degrees. Can't image what Phoenix will be like, though, probably unlivable. Climatologists predict a hotter world with year-round fire seasons and a planet surface like Mars, scorched and lifeless.

With 70% of earth's surface covered in water, it is unlikely that our beautiful, blue, ocean planet will dry up any time soon. All the more reason to cherish and protect this oasis in our sterile universe.

The San Francisco Exploratorium sent out a news release the other day, letting the fortunate Bay Area folk know about the many wonderful exhibits and events planned for it's August Ocean Discovery Month. Maybe I'll wander up that direction and stop by the gorgeous Monterey Bay Acquarium as well.

Friday, July 6

On the Sunny Side of the Street

Sing, Sing, Sing

Sophisticated Lady

Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella

Fly Me to the Moon

I saw your face today
A face I will remember 
In peaceful sleep
Your singing mouth
Your agile mind
Your great beating heart
All fall away in hushed silence
While your joyous soul
Rushes to free spaces
Where falling stars explode
by Kathy Mackey for Betty Tentschert (Oct. 29, 1918 to July 3, 2018)

Betty's advice for a happy life...

Friday, June 22

Summertime and the Livin is Sketchy

Two Faced Liars

 Republicans Don't Care About Us
No Education, No Food Stamps, No Mercy... For Children

Creeping Toward the Sixth Extinction
Sixth Extinction Prequel

No One Knows Which Way the Wind Blows

Summer solstice 2018. The temperatures in the high desert are in the triple digits today, somewhere around 100 and even higher in direct sunlight. Combine the limiting heat with the daily news grind and few of us desert dwellers want to venture out of our air conditioned bubbles. It's a fact that the Trump Effect is causing millions worldwide to start reinforcing these bubbles with underground bunkers and hoarded canned goods. I've even re-read the Cormac McCarthy dirge, The Road, took a stab at The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert, and started wading through  Steven Pinker's latest, Enlightenment Now, a book that sheds a glimmer of light in my increasingly dark world.

The authors of these books point out how humans have changed the paradise known as earth. Lately, tree huggers like me feel real guilt using our air conditioners, plastic straws and toothbrushes. If I could withstand triple digit heat, I'd ditch the AC, instead it's set at 82 degrees, barely tolerable for me. No straws and bamboo toothbrushes help I guess. Fact is, our mother earth is endangered. We worry that she's  on the verge of being nuked, smothered with CO2s and plastics, killed for no rational reason. What good is comfort, religion, ideology, wealth, or power on a sterile planet without viable human life?

Despite the smoke and mirrors erected by the anti-climate change, anti-nuclear disarmament proponents, we all suffer with this crazy weather and worry about 14,000+ nukes in our world.  Even staunch trumpists feel the heat and fear the bomb. So, why don't these supporters and their political party do more to avoid annihilation? It is obvious to me that republicans believe that we can't avoid it, so let's be the nation to strike first. I conclude that republicans believe that the world is a hostile place and America must isolate itself to continue to retain dominance and control. The latest defense authorization bill (H.R. 5515) coming out of the US Congress supports this conclusion. It ramps up missile defense spending and adds funding for "space warfighting" just one among an array of Dr. Strangelovian programs. As far as taking care of mother earth and humans, the US Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Act (S. 1460) is likely to pass and provides a bi partisan glimmer of hope for keeping the status quo and moving forward an inch or two.

The wild card in all of this is President Trump and his arbitrary approvals of his own party's skimpy legislation efforts. His revolving door administration has become a facade for the necessary bureaucracy which is government.  His wife and daughter have more political influence than appointed cabinet members and advisers. His criteria for decision making seems to hinge on what promotes his brand best, and/or how to retaliate against his competitors and detractors. He embraces his "end times" supporters with inappropriate sardonic wit, even when exploiting issues that pave the way toward annihilation. Heads spin, fingers point, frenzy ensues distracting the populous from ways to mitigate or steer clear of disaster. Members of the democratic party are spared Trump's witticisms and are treated to thuggish threats, slander, lies and tantrums. Any planet saving legislation proposed by the dems containing a realistic component of corporate limitation for the common good is doomed. The famous Jimmy Carter advice of "bite the bullet" now for an oil-independent future is toast. No biting bullets for the trumpites - protecting bullets at the expense of public safety is more in line with their bunker mentality.

So. Americans must once again, endure a bat shit crazy President and administration bent on world wide destruction. Sure, we can handle it, but the rest of the world..? What I find almost unendurable is the republican victim-hood pity party going on. These brain washed, Fox News clones piss and moan about winning the election. That's right. They won the prize. They now own it, are breaking it, and crying like babies that the democrats, Obama, Hilary, the media, the NFL,, women, immigrants are not bowing down and bending over far enough. In today's GOP whoever wins owes nothing but contempt for the losers. Conciliation, cooperation and compromise are not tolerated. The losers almost 66 million of us, have become useful scape goats for republican failures. The winners, almost 63 million voters, support a president and congress who lie, break laws, renege on treaties, make enemies of allies, shred safety nets and claim the losers are weak and don't take enough personal responsibility for their lives.  Where is the personal responsibility in shifting blame for their own mess to others, often at the expense of the truth?

There is a special truth going around these days, an untruthful truth. In the "us vs them" world of the far right, America is a free country so they should be able to promote and support white supremacy, freedom of hate speech, slanderous tweets, violent threats and trolling, whatever it takes to protect against the others.  Anything goes now, so long as Dear Leader points his followers in the direction of his enemies. As much of a "strongman" as he says he is, competitors and critics really chap his hide and need to be regulated so he can do gawdz work without interference from the germy, unwashed masses. You know who they are, those degenerate agitators. Trump wants to tear gas those protesters who oppose deporting millions of dreamers; crush those resistors of  environmental destruction; run over the nasty women demanding reproductive rights and equal opportunity; knock the hell out of the people of color tired of harassment and jailing; and completely ignore the majority who want affordable health care, social security and medicare. So, to instill the wingnut brand of personal responsibility into the others, less freedom, fewer choices, and more suffering is what it takes.  Republicans have become the party of accomplices in massive human and planet rights violations - looking the other way while the the Trump administration wages a war on the poor, dispossessed, and vulnerable. His message is to avoid being your brother's keeper - kick him to the curb if he can't find the money and health to dredge up personal responsibility. Trump did it with only a $1,000,000 gift from his good old dad. Isn't he the perfect example of boot strap success? And, let's keep fvcking the planet. We won't be around when it implodes.

 In 2016, this was a puzzling and boring phenomena. Now, the republican party has become a sinister delusion. They fear they are besieged by toddlers and domestic abuse victims from Central America - Oooooh! Nasty! My Gawd! What next- dangerous puppies and kittens, killer "Africanized" bees, swarming monarch butterflies? Get a grip wing nuts.  You are the only dangerous people I see causing extreme harm to America. Wake up. You own America and she needs you to vote out Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, or better yet, don't vote. You screwed it up last time. Sit this one out.

Tuesday, March 20

A Memory of Joy

Spring Equinox Haiku

Drenched Camellia

Periwinkle Blue

Inside the Leaves

I remember standing before the blooming camellia bush at the front of our family home. I was very young and craved the taste of my thumb sometimes. I wore my favorite sundress, yellow with white nubby polka dots. I was watching a bee land on a drop of water which pooled in the center of the shiny, deep green of the camellia leaf. Where was its home? What did it see? I conjured a story about a tiny fairy that loved to ride the furry backs of bees, sprinkling magic and color wherever the bees landed.

It was a Spring Sunday, right after church and I could smell the roast cooking and the coffee brewing and the scent of vanilla. I recall feeling the urge to help my mother in the kitchen where the good smells and hungry family swirled. Instead, I sat in the shade of the nearby dusty oleanders feeling the itch of pollen, and after I settled, I barely opened one eye to see the small particles floating around me, clear, yellow, green. I felt a tiny black ant creep along my bare toes and remember feeling a sleepy panic as I stood up, brushing my dress clean of leaves and ants.

Below the bee's bush, lived periwinkle flowers each with a face of fresh beauty no matter how hot the sun or how strong the wind. A tiny colony of fairies were gathered on this Sunday to worship their fairy god, and their glossy wings sparkled in the sunshine. The blue periwinkles sheltered this fairy kingdom and they shared their space with orange nasturtiums. Some flowers were good to eat, I was told. The orange ones tasted green and sharp. I remember wondering if my brothers told me to eat them to make me look foolish as I spit them out. This day felt lazy and filled with breezes, smells, flowers, and fantasy.

Thursday, March 8