Friday, March 23, 2007

Refresh and Advise

I will be away from Pantelleria making some work in Bolgna, in central Italy. It is also a chance to refresh some supplies, buy some DVD movies, eat Chinese food, MAYBE have access to DSL internet (here on Pantelleria I have only a dial-up modem).

There is a big open street market on the weekends in Bolgna that is amazing. People come from all over the world to shop in this gigantic market. Clothes, food, shoes, more shoes, accessories, odds and ends, kitchen things, etc etc....everything at astonishing prices. which is to say very cheap...but very good things (if you pay attention) at very good prices. So far I have been buying all my clothes there. I got a great carry bag for my Macbook Pro 17 inch computer there for $25 (easily a $70 bag retail). Excuse me for being so domestic. There are also great art supply stores, book shops, every kind of advanced european shopping nearby. So it is a chance to upgrade the tools and supplies, within the budget mind you.

Near to the house in Bologna there is an Asian fusion cafe which actually offers pretty good sushi and other Asian dishes. On Pantelleria there is only Italian food. We have a small population of Chinese people here actually and they have shops. These shops do not sell food, only cheap clothes and shoes for work, for the kids. I have made the suggestion to several of them that a Chinese cafe here would be just great by me.

I have taught a few of the cooks how to make southern cornbread, but otherwise it is Italian Food in this Italian Island.

In the event that I do not have internet access in Bologna, it may be 3 or 4 April before the next posting. I have posted the painting I am working on right now, it is not finished but this is where it is at now. It started out to be a painting of the lunar eclipse we had recently but now has also come to represent an ancient petroglyph called "corn pollen". Maybe the painting is corn pollen eclipse.

If he asks where I have gone, please tell President George Bush to kiss my ass. Otherwise Ciao and Kisses.

Turtle Heart

Monday, March 19, 2007

Asking For Nothing

Equinox 21 March 1:07 am (CET)

(An extension of the Gray Antelope Rule)

What you have before you now is more than you could have ever imagined.

If you weight it against how much time you spend thinking about what you do not have......what bitterness and rage shall replace itself in your mind!

Your desire for what you do not have may become like a light blinding you as you stumble about in want inside the palace of your dreams, completely unaware of the treasures you have made inside your soul.

"Want nothing when you come in here",
is what the old man said to me as I crawled on four legs,
back into the womb of mother earth,
ma-doo-dis e wan; (my dear sacred water)
you shall hold me while the wind carries me.

"I am here already.
Yes, I am everywhere around myself."
And so we sang inside the sweat lodge so many years ago.

Everything has been provided, you need only understand how to see what is in front of you.

It is very easy to become a victim of your own desire for something you think you do not have. In modern life we focus more on what is missing rather than understanding what is present. It is both compelling and tragic how modern life ensnares us in hunger and want so somebody we will never know can make money or be put into an influential position over others. It as if the desire for what we want is a shark feeding in dark waters. This desire has churned up the seas and disappeared the sacred trees and put every animal on the earth into fear and hiding.

The true nature of abundance can only be revealed when desire becomes silent.

We argue and fight with abundance by giving so much power to getting what we want rather than understanding properly what it is that we have.

As a painter, an artist, I live on a small island where it is very difficult to find pigments and other art supplies. Many times I have visions of paintings I want to make, sculptures I want to carve, but have not the colors or tools to make what I see in the desires of my imagination. I love my artristic imagination. In it I have learned how to make paintings with the pigments I have, learned how to carve stones with the tools that I have. The work is different, and very often better than what I could do if I had whatever tool or color my desire can show to me. Learning to make paintings with the colors that I have has been one of the strongest revelations of my life.

The old indians taught me that the truth is almost always simple, simple, simple. They have taught me that whatever I need is near to my hand.

They have taught me to strive to want nothing.

When I look at the history of this world, I do not rely on Hollywood or Governments to inform me. My reliance is upon the lens of the Sacred Pipe. The history of the world as seen by an old pipe passed from generation to generation. If I need to know what is going on I need only look in the ashes of the fire.

When the old indians asked me to carry the sacred pipe around the world, I understood immediately that this would be the work of a diamond cutter. You know the stone is tapped and tapped again in very specific ways to make the diamond jewel? I felt immediately that this is what is going on with the idea of the old indians to have this ceremony. A circle around the earth. Like the diamond cutter, at each place I stop there is a tap-tap-tap with the little morning fire, with the standing stones, with an eagle feather. A circle around this earth is a very mathematical, precise act which will change 10,000 things. Step by step, in each country the ceremony will be woven in with those ceremonies which have gone before. The ceremony is the people and also it is the land.

The day they asked me to do this (25 years ago) I said OK. I wanted nothing at that moment. Everything sweet and meaningful and possible arrived in my arms at that moment.

People will find out. They will arrive to help. People in Japan or Australia or Siberia will ask the sacred pipe to visit their lands and tap-tap-tap on the hearts of the waiting dreamers, onto the keepers of the ancient future.

Soon on the main web site for the World Journey of the Sacred Pipe I will post a map of the world showing the places we have made the ceremonies.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Spiral Spirit

Breaking the boundaries of your normal life.

Above, Apache Dream Society Shield, and below, Women gather in Pantelleria for the first ceremony of the Womens Circle.

Art (Life) as a Revelation (The Spiral Spirit)

It is possible.

You have to take a chance.

You have to understand that the moments you have of pure light, even if for only a single heartbeat, contains all the information your spirit needs to awaken into a life of walking in beauty. Every person has a moment of light. Sometimes the light is like thunder, and so you can become frightened. Every seed of light which reaches inside your soul, so that the dreamer within is excited and open, even for the briefest moment, this is the real treasure of god.

Sometimes I guess I think I tend to ramble on, tend to repeat myself. I have found myself struggling at many times in my life. To move my life into a new culture, into taking my little bundle wrapped around an old red sacred pipe is a little breathtaking at times. Where will the means come to go step by step around this earth? Will people come forward to believe in the work of one old indian man? Will people help me or must I go alone, the old pipe strapped to a sack on my back?

Maybe I will make a painting of that. That idea, that image....

The Elk Dancer is shown in the ancient picture writing doing the work all alone. The Elk Dancer is one who carries something sacred.

Am I to go and stand with the thunder beings inside my own skin right there around the world. Stand there and make my song, feel the earth and make a little mark on the ground with a fire or a stone? It seems like such a good idea, something exciting.....something that might make a difference.

The Sacred Fire of Saint Antonio blazes inside my eye
awake in the floating world
i see and feel some light
like the way a wind blows through a crack under the door,
I sing my song between the shadows
of time
even of hope and fear
in between
my heartbeats
I believe in the promise I made
in its beauty and in the power to do right
to do the right thing
at the right time and in the right way
so i burn
burning here, right on this earth
......................................................................a spiral spirit


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Using the Rule of Silence

Above, Red Shirt Master Drum Maker of Taos Pueblo (New Mexico). Below, one of his drums and some of the associates of this drum inside the mystery life. Copyright 2007 Turtle Heart.

To the old Indians, the people who are in fact, the people of the sacred pipe; spoken language had and has its problems. When people discuss their ideas the result is religion, politics, lies, exaggerations, oppositions, hidden meanings and on and on....language is a problem when it comes to speaking and understanding the truth.

As Kurt Vonnegot has argued, the big gigantic brain seems to be the problem. In the ceremonial moment with the Sacred Fire, with the Sweat Lodge, with the Sacred Pipe, every effort is made to bypass the dominance and self-absorption of the big brain. Silence is used inside the ceremony and this behavior immediately awakens other senses. Breathing is used, and this sends strong energies throughout the body.

In my work we use the Rattle, or Shaker (zhiishiigwan-an in ojibwe). We use the energy of the drum. My big old drum was made for me by Red Shirt, a great old drum-maker from Taos Pueblo. He was a gifted and popular and very highly paid machinist yet halfway through his fancy professional life he gave it all back and became a drum-maker for the people of the world.

Stand still upon the earth. Let the big brain rest, become like a baby for a moment and know nothing at all but believe in everything. Feel the drum. look into the ancient fire and see the eyes of an old indian and imagine that deep inside your most treasured dream you have awakened. When does the earth begin to speak to the bottom of your feet? What is it saying? Is it possible to listen without thinking?

A moment with the sacred fire, the rattles, breathing, emptied for a heart-beat, something may change.

This is much more than just a moment of learning. We do it every day. On the side of an old volcano. We call this practice using the rule of silence to speak the truth.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Gray Antelope Rule

Digital Revelation of Eclipse Photo (above)
Below, New sculpture today "emergence"

05 March

The Gray Antelope Rule

In these days we make the fire each day. The Sacred Fire, sometimes called the Morning Fire, also the Tobacco Fire.
If you make the fire every day you will change things. From now until the Spring Equinox (21 March, 1 am cet) we make the fire each day.

The wood is Olive, Lemon and Eucalyptus. The 3 sacred wood and plants of this island. The Lemon tree is very happy on this island. It grows typically in what is called an "Arabic Garden". This is a very tall circular shaped in stone, a large house really, and inside you grow the lemon tree. The shape captures the condensation and so conserves water and also protects the tree from the formidable winds.

The Tobacco Fire is an opening, a kind of mouth through which the earth can speak to you....but also an ear so you can hear yourself when you talk to the earth. Does the earth listen as well as speak?It depends entirely on the subject.

On the Equinox I will make a Ceremony For the Passito, the magical and unique in all the world wine of Pantelleria. In
ancient times these ceremonies for the wine were very long and very intense. Today things are different, more quiet. The emrgence from Winter into Spring however is very intense. You can feel the earth hum and buzz hear on Pantelleria, a very particular sound. We will gather for a feast and then make a circle around one fire and at the end pour the Passito into the fire. There will be a long old Indian Song, possily the water drum.

I want to pile the stones up to make a gigantic Turtle that can be seen from outer space and y the NATO jet fighters that sometimes practice in our skies. I had this idea when I first came to this island.

The Gray Antelope Rule is very simple: What You Want Is Nearby, Within 10 Feet. Whatever it may be. That You Think. You Need.

On the night of the Eclipse 10 of us gathered around the fire in the night. The red moon was over us, a little to the north. Red and sweet. For a moment each phase of the moon was made by the progressing shadow. The shadow was as spectacular as the red light. Sometimes we call the moon The Changing Woman.

Gray Antelope was a Master of the Mystery Life. A man who understood why water is sacred, why Blue Corn needs to feel the dancing of the women coming up from the earth into her roots. Life should feel very good.

Inside the circle of the little fire, we have the mountain to the left of us, the sea to the right of us, the village in front of us, the valley of the volcano behind us, the sky above us and the open heart of the earth below us. We sing softly and the sounds of life are like the sails of the sea being moved by the wind of the sea.

Each day the fire says something, each day the meditation is the same but also different. 8 things become true all at once. Inside the fire we put our tobacco, we put in nothing, shadows of light and root sprinkled into the void, asking for nothing. Everything we need. Is 10 feet away at most. Nearby. Your life is just nearby. Right were you are.

I think about the little fire and the circle of people singing an old indian song as I fall into sleep.

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