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Every so often I find myself confronted by a person who carries an energy that has been appropriately called “crazymaker.”

A Crazymaker has numerous characteristics, all of which support the effort to create and maintain chaos in order to achieve power. S/He generates and feeds off negative energy, and thrives on high drama. There’s a full list of Crazymaker characteristics on the Mostly Risible blog.

Crazymakers mostly stay away from me, and that’s a good thing since I had a parent who could throw a really good tantrum on occasion and I guess I had my fill at an early age. Still, every once in a while they appear. In my professional position as consultant, it’s easy to see when these types have hold on an office. And in my personal life, they are instantly recognizable; their communication dynamics are unmistakable. In the past three days, I’ve been exposed to three Crazymakers, more than I met in all of last year. What’s going on??! I feel like I’m going crazy!

When things happen multiple times to me in a short period of time, I try to learn the lesson. For instance, let’s say I keep cutting my finger while chopping veggies because the knife is slipping. Gee, maybe it’s time to sharpen the knife so it cuts the veggies and not my flesh. Easy lesson.

Crazymakers are most often drawn to people operating out of a victim consciousness. We all fall in and out of that perspective, but maybe it’s time for me to do a check on where my head’s at this week. I may need some fine-tuning under the hood. You never know.

Creating a storm center is the opposite of spiritual power. Authentic, spiritual power invites love and loyalty, cooperation, consistency, clarity and peace into every situation. Its core is not confusion but tranquility.

Amen to that.



wow. I just had a great weekend. My daughter and I drove up to Portland, Maine, to visit two dear friends for a morning of conversation. One of these friends started first grade with me in 1967, so we always have plenty to talk about. When we’ve caught up on current life events, we move to family members. A few hours was hardly enough time, but we did get to go the yard sale of an artist friend who may be willing to teach me some stained glass techniques later this fall. I got some really cool drinking glasses labeled with images from major metropli around the world, 1950s colors + plenty of gold. My favorite glass: Rome.

Then I got to visit my other friend in Connecticut, watch a movie and fall asleep during it, win a scrabble game, show off my new guitar skills (thanks to two lessons from my middle child), and sit on the beach.

All this to say that my spirit feels somewhat restored. At rest. Replenished. Thanks, all you friends who have reached out and helped me during the last two weeks. I truly felt and appreciated your support.

Lucky for me, I signed up for an eleven week course in Qigong about 3 weeks ago. The first class was last week, and last night I had the second class. Every so often you wind up in a situation knowing that you have just met your next best teacher, and that’s the way I feel about Master Wu, founder of The Way of the Dragon school.

Qigong is a traditional Chinese medicine and therapy. It is essentially the practice of balancing Qi, the universal life force and energy field that is generated and maintained by the breath. Breathing patterns are combined with body postures to optimize circulation, prevent illness, and maintain health and fitness.

Thousands of years old, Qigong is based on the idea that physical illness, pain, and disease are direct results of imbalances in the body’s energy system and that correcting imbalance helps to optimize health and wellbeing.

The classes this week have come at a time when I’m “having a lot of big energies thrown at me” according to one friend. Teenage death, chance encounters and planned visits with exwives and exhusbands, and the discovery of a bong in my daughter’s closet are a lot to handle in 10 days (though by no means equal in weight). Master Wu’s methods to decrease heat around the heart and centralize fragmented energies have been useful tools in meeting the demands of a sort of crazy chaos that’s currently resident on Noble Avenue.

Now I’m off to practice some normal abdominal breathing and massage my face. If I have time, I’ll do some Rhino Looking at the Moon.

Why does so much happen so quickly? It’s interesting the way the mind relates events that occur in adjacent spaces. In the last 24 hours, numerous things are awake in my consciousness that are mixed forever together:

– the printer staff for the memorial service program are unbelievable caregivers, and this means a lot to me because i work with printers as part of my professional work.They make it easy today, and I so appreciate that.
-i’ve been wearing a hose clamp on my finger as a ring for over 24 hours, and it’s really cool. maybe i should produce them in silver, thought the norton stainless is really unbeatable.
-my son finishes the soundtrack cd for the memorial service, and it’s perfect.
– my exhusband and daughter and i spend most of the morning at the Italian consulate in Boston getting the paperwork approved for the final visas they need to live in Italy during the next year. Amazingly, it goes smoothly through the crazen bureaucracy and now it’s just a matter of getting on the plane in a week and a half. Weird that he’s back in the house for this memorial service for the kid he knew so well too.
– 8 people call me to get on the meal list today, or stopped by with food in bags, tears in their eyes, and a desire to speak somehow of the loss they feel this week.

Life and death side by side is a truth. It’s a mix that has taken me out of the usual linear perception of days and months and years, but reminds me of the other times I’ve been up against similar truths. More of that later.

One week ago today, my 17-year-old neighbor ran out through the kitchen doorway after a month away with his family, intent on meeting friends for an afternoon of fun on the water. He didn’t come back, and it’s been a hard week for everyone. I’ve been trying to help organize food deliveries by the community, manage some of the service details, and offer personal support to these people who make up my neighborhood family. The work keeps hands busy, but yesterday I had my first long drive to Boston since he was pulled from the water, and the solitude in my car gave me lots of space for emotional release.

My hospice training has been helpful, but still, the suddenness of the death, and the personal connection, have shaken me. Someone who was offering food today said “let me know if there’s anything I can do when it’s all over.” For many people in the community the memorial service will bring closure of sorts. But for those of us living together on this small dead-end street, I don’t think it will ever be over in that sense.

Fifty hours ago, life was normal. Forty-eight hours ago I learned that my 17-year-old neighbor had just disappeared on the river while boating. The sound of a mother wailing, legs buckling against you while you hold her up, is something you never forget. Thirty-one hours ago the search and rescue team recovered his body. This beautiful boy is gone. This child who was part of our fabric. This mischievous boy with a grin. Oh, this grief.

Remember rock paper scissors? This week I read an article in Utne Reader about RPS and its current position in the world of sports, and I’ve been thinking about the game all week. Especially the move my sister always played, banned by official game rules, but brought out when the going got tough: dynamite. That girl loved to blow up a good game, so sometimes she’d play it even if she was winning. Coincidentally, I also came across this image this week, which opens a host of possibilities!


By the way, readers, I wish you would stick a comment in now and then to make things more interesting. Here, for instance, you could comment about which play(rock, paper, or scissors) you have an affinity for, and why. Or make a comment about the picture. Or something. Cheerio.

A funny interruption last night: at 1 am I woke to sounds of shrieks and laughter. Our 15-year-old neighbor Polly is back from England after many weeks away, and came over to surprise my Grace. Peyton, the third of the longtime trio, came running across neighbors’ sleeping yards to join in the welcome home. Peyton’s mom invited them to come back to her house for an overnight together, so off they went in the darkness, happy voices trailing behind them and wafting through my bedroom window in the middle of the night. Sweet lullaby.

For years I’ve thought the morning doves that often wake me with their incessant woo hoo hoo sounded too sad to be early risers. I just discovered that they are actually mourning doves. Thanks for clearing up my confused state, Wikipedia.

In other news, Shaking Like A Mountain (SLAM), a new online literary journal dedicated to contemporary music, has published its debut issue. If you are interested in writing poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction inspired by the music of your life, check out the submission guidelines. New writers and established writers welcome.

From one of the eds:
“if you or any of your cronies do take the time to look at it, read it, like it and so forth, let us know by writing to we’re not going respond to comments (on the site, at least), but since we have a page called speak, we will post the ebullient and also well-written ones.”

Not sure if any of you readers count as my cronies, but take a look and write a note if you feel shaken…and try to be ebullient, OK?

Why do drivers slow down when they see a patrol car that has pulled over a speeding vehicle??? The policeman is OCCUPIED! He’s busy! He’s not looking at traffic. He’s not going to get you. Keep moving. In fact, go faster so you can get as far ahead of him as possible. OK, now that’s off my chest…


"If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?" -Hillel
all the entries are found early in the march 2007 archive...