Monday, July 27, 2009

My Shadow - 3rd Poem

My Shadow

My shadow is a grey cat who makes lizards drop their tails
Who makes grown men bring her food and napkins to clean her whiskers

She naps into the afternoon
calling it meditation
Visioning the next service the loving waitron can perform for her

She fluffs up her tail
refining her finery
and steps boldly into the night
Regal and proud as a peacock
in a furry cat suit

She believes she is the center of the Universe

but we know better


Shakura Cathryn /
"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." ~Robert A. Heinlein

Eclipse 2009 Pictures!

Eclipse Photos

A red crescent of sun is visible during a total solar eclipse seen above Varanasi, India on Wednesday, July 22, 2009.
(AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

More photos at:

Shakura Cathryn
"Reality is not only stranger than we suppose but stranger than we can suppose." ~J. B. S. Haldane

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
Yellow Self-Existing Seed

I define in order to target
Measuring awareness
I seal the input of flowering
With the self-existing tone of form
I am guided by the power of universal fire

This is the first day of the new year on the Mayan Calendar, and it is the beginning of a Yellow Self-Existing Seed year.

Self-Existing is related to tone 4. It is about stability -- being able to stand alone, on it's own strong base. Seed is a new beginning -- planting a seed of a new idea or creation, targeting the flowering of that idea or creation into the physical plane.

This is a year of creating a solid and stable foundation in which a new seed can grow and flower.

What will you seed for your new year? What is our collective consciousness seeding for our familial, communal, national and global realities?

Blessings for a profound and beneficial new creation for all of us!
Shakura Cathryn /
"The future is composed of thoughts not yet materialized." ~Raymon Grace


Greetings Family & Friends,

Never a dull moment when you live in the desert, it seems….

First there was a solar eclipse in Cancer..... Then we had our own "solar eclipse."

Thursday afternoon (July 23rd) while my husband Tim and I were out there was a rip-roaring storm and our house was struck by lightning!

The solar eclipse was in Cancer, which is all about home, and my husband Tim is a Cancer. And our home's solar power system was blown out!

Hmmm. Interesting synchronicity.

We are on solar power – or we WERE – and now the charge controller is fried. So now we only have power when we run the generator. And some of our electrical appliances and equipment is also fried – like the main phone into our house, and perhaps the modem for our computer. The computer itself actually booted up (Yahoo!) but we couldn’t get online.

We now have a new modem, so we can get online for short periods of time, whenever we run the generator. The answering machine is fried, so you can't leave us a message on the home phone, so if you need to get in touch with us, call our cell phones:

Cathryn Swann 928 301 9686
Tim Pye 928 300 9278

There’s no way we can know the extent of the damage for awhile, so I have no idea how long we will be mostly offline.

In a fit of cosmic humor, when we booted up the computer this morning the first time after the storm this picture of a massive lightning storm was on the computer's wallpaper!

See ya in the funny papers!

"There is much that cannot be explained, but nothing that cannot happen." ~Bruno Gröning
"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...' " ~Isaac Asimov

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Blooming Into Wonder

Here is the second poem I wrote at the Dance Camp poetry workshop...

Blooming into Wonder

Looking back now I have to laugh
at the broken bones of my past.
Self-righteous woman
now dissolved into curiosity

Blooming into wonder

I wonder who is that shadow
that stares back at me from the mirror?

I hear her cry
but it is now an echo
no longer real

I laugh even as I cry

It’s all so funny – how can you not be laughing?

Shakura Cathryn
Wisdom begins in wonder.” ~Socrates
"Laughter is the most inexpensive and the most effective wonder drug. Laughter is a universal medicine." ~Bertrand Russell

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

July 25, 2009 - Love & Thanks to Water / Mayan Day Out of Time

The work of Dr. Masuro Emoto:
The effect of prayer upon water:
Day Out of Time: (and many other websites)
Video about the Day Out of Time:
Shakura Cathryn


Longest Solar Eclipse in the 21st Century!


One one-thousand, 2 one-thousand, 3 one-thousand, 4 one-thousand...

Continue counting and don't stop until you reach 399 one-thousand.

Did that feel like a long time? Six minutes and 39 seconds to be exact. That's the duration of this week's total solar eclipse--the longest of the 21st century.

The event begins at the crack of dawn on Wednesday, July 22nd, in the Gulf of Khambhat just east of India. Morning fishermen will experience a sunrise like nothing they've ever seen before. Rising out of the waves in place of the usual sun will be an inky-black hole surrounded by pale streamers splayed across the sky. Sea birds will stop squawking, unsure if the day is beginning or not, as a strange shadow pushes back the dawn and stirs up a breeze of unaccustomed chill. Read more…

National Geographic has a video:

From the newsletter of

To clarify, the partial eclipse begins at 4:58 PM pacific time and the moment of greatest eclipse occurs at 7:35 PM pacific time, so there is a whole window in which to cast our new moon prayers and intentions! Apparently normally a new moon impacts us for 2 weeks, but with the addition of the eclipse, its affects will ripple for about 6 months!

This alignment of the Sun and Moon can represent the connection between our Conscious and our Unconscious, as well as our Masculine/Yang and Feminine/Yin qualities. There is a link-up of people meditating starting at 7:35pm Pacific Time for the 6 1/2 minutes of totality, with the intention of balancing the Masculine and Feminine. Find out more at

It is being called the Solar Eclipse of the Century!

Shakura Cathryn

"When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with all other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty." ~John Muir

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I'm Baaaaaaack!

It was a wonderful trip -- as I expected it to be!

On the way home I stopped at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.... A fabulous no-kill animal shelter on 3000 acres of incredibly beautiful canyon country just outside Kanab UT. This is the koi pond outside the Visitor's Center.

One of the things we did at the Dance Camp was a Poetry Workshop, led by Adrianna Heideman. It proved to be more fun and more illuminating for me than I expected. She had us read the first lines of poems from several books she had brought, and to use those lines to inspire us to write.... each time we would have 5 minutes to write whatever came to us, unedited. I wrote three poems and was surprised to find that I actually liked them -- as I had never been a poet or creative writer before.

Here is the first one...

Invisible Work

On the best days I offer this invisible work:

dreaming the deep
sifting the sands of my subconscious
for nuggets of truth
A beautiful jewel of truth
or a kernel of pain and distress

And there is a lifeline between me and the Beloved
the Me in Thee
the He in She
the We in Me

And Angels rollerskate on this road
this lifeline
carrying those jewels and kernels
The jewels go to the Beloved
The kernels go to the cosmic boneyard

for purification

for healing

for Re-Union

Shakura Cathryn

"Enlightenment is not what you think." ~Ivan M. Granger

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dancing on Outta Here!

I'm Outta Here!

Right now I’m taking a little break from packing for my favorite summer R&R – the Baking in Beauty Dance Camp in Capitol Reef National Park, UT. Dancing under the shade trees, cooling down in the Fremont River in the afternoons, and spending time with some beloved friends in a beautiful place!

Music waiting to happen...

A very cool place~!
I hope you will all be enjoying yourselves as much as I will be while I’m gone!
Life is Good!

Shakura Cathryn
"The urge... to dance outdoors, to mock the powerful and embrace perfect strangers is not easy to suppress... The capacity for collective joy is encoded into us... Why not reclaim our distinctively human heritage as creatures who generate their own ecstatic pleasures out of music, color, feasting, and dance... just the chance, which we need much more of on this crowded planet, to acknowledge the miracle of our simultaneous existence with some sort of celebration." ~Barbara Ehrenreich, *Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July.... A Gift of Music

Another offering for the 4th of July...

This really touched my heart – it is by real people (that is, not professional musicians), from all over the country. Thank you Kate, for sending this one! I love the feeling of Unity in this video.

Give it a look and a listen!

About the Video
Our founder, TV producer and philanthropist Norman Lear, was talking with Academy Award-winning songwriter Keith Carradine one night, and the Born Again American video was, well, born. It took the efforts of Director Mark Johnson of Playing for Change, Producer Brent Miller, and 16 performers and two choruses to bring Keith’s song to life in 14 iconic locations around the USA. The singers and musicians, non-professionals all, were chosen because they are living the lyrics in these troubled times, not just performing them.

Shakura Cathryn
"Let's peace together our world." ~Itah Banda, age 8.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Psalm for the 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!

Photo from

Psalm for the 4th of July

I rejoiced when I heard them announce,
“The time of warfare is past.
No more will brother hate brother
or violence have its way.
No more will they drown out God’s silence
and shut their hearts to his song.”

Pray for peace in the cities
and harmony among the races.
May peace come to live on our streets
and justice within our walls.
With all my heart I will pray
that peace comes to live among us.
For the sake of all earth’s people,
I will do my utmost for peace.

(Psalm 122, trans. by Stephen Mitchell)

I enjoy the 4th of July. Although my level of “patriotism” has waxed and waned a lot with various presidential administrations, I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the original vision of the founding fathers (and mothers!) of this country. I admire the wisdom of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. And I am happy to live in this country – especially since the last Presidential election. Although we have a lot of problems to solve, I am hopeful and grateful.

The city of Cottonwood does a nice job of fireworks each year. I will go to a nice place I know, up on a hill overlooking the town, and I will sit with friends in the evening breeze, enjoying the mild summer night weather, the lights of Cottonwood and Jerome, and the beauty of the fireworks.

Life is good!

Wishing you a day of appreciation and enjoyment~

Shakura Cathryn
“Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.” ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick, 1878 – 1969

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

An Act of Kindness

I've seen this before, but every time I do, it touches my heart. Thanks to my friend John for sending it this time!

This is one of the kindest things you may ever see. It is not known who replied, but there is a beautiful soul working in the dead letter office of the US postal service.

Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog Abbey? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her You will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, 'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet Dies..' Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey &Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away.

Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you.

I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.

By the way, I'm easy to find, I am wherever there is love.


Shakura Cathryn
"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself." ~Josh Billings