Monday, April 29, 2013
nature's beauty

I have nothing to contribute here at the moment. I'm struggling with some really severe physical problems that have laid me low.
Maybe I should just post some lovely flower pictures.
They always give me a lift.....
I hope they will do the same for you.
Do click on these to make them bigger......
Bougainvillea......such a beautiful amazing plant.
And this one has so many beautiful colors.
Everything about this plant is exquisite!

And I love to get in close to see all the beauty, in detail.....
Even the veins of the leaves are beautiful........
A Flower within a Flower.....
Amazing!
And there is is----in all it's many shades of  beauty......


More To Come.......


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Monday, April 22, 2013
teeny

Given my last post, I wanted to write about my cat Teeny. He was a funny and feisty orange Tabby---one of my cat Baby's kittens from her 2nd litter.......He was a darling boy and he became the Alpha Cat, even though he was the 'baby' of the family. 

At that point, including Teeny, I had four cats.
Baby, and her brother Sugar, the sweetest and dearest of cats; And Silky, who was not related to them but had a spiritual presence that was quite extraordinary.
Everyone loved Sugar because he was so needy---they all said he was like a dog....And he was an adorable incredibly hugable beautiful orange tabby.....
Baby was a six toed sweetheart. And I mated her to a very laid back handsome male who also had six toes.  She had 5 adorable kittens and I found homes for all of them. In fact...Betty G. and her dear husband Larry, took two of them---"Marmalade" and "Bibsy". 

When Baby had her second litter, I had no intention of keeping any of the kittens---there were four. But.....the best laid plans---Teeny was irresistible. And he was adorable, too. And, very quickly Teeny became so very bonded to me that we would sleep together like spoons. Or, he would stretch out and we would sleep back-to-back---spine against spine. Within a year or two , my dear Sugar died.  He was only five years old.....It broke my heart. This was my first loss of a cat and it just about did me in.....Thank God for the others---particularly Teeny. We became even closer after Sugar died.
I tell you all of this background so you will understand what took place with Teeny, soon after that.
I had been in Primal Therapy for a couple of years---this was the early 1970's----and often, I would have my "feelings" right there in my den. This is a process of re-living early experiences that held pain in your body---and often actually going through in minute detail these things that you had 'felt', but had buried, once again.  Many people would re-live their Birth and earlier memories, too. The experiences are all coded in your body and it is just a matter of feeling safe enough to re-live these things, a little bit at a time. It can be quite physical.
I wasn't really aware of where my cats would be when I was doing this---it was a very intense experience each time I would do this, and I was completely immersed in what I was going through.

One day, during that time.....Teeny had what looked like a seizure.....It was very very scary....His little paws where moving very very fast and he was foaming at the mouth---this happened while he was in the cat pan, which was over sized since I had so many cats.....He was lying on his side and what drew  my attention was this kind of repetitive beating scratching noise against the sides of the pan----that turned out to be his little legs and paws, flailing....
I ran to where the pan was and found him in the middle of this---what I thought was a seizure. It scared the living daylights out of me and frightened me for him.  I was crying and so upset---I didn't know what to do.
He stopped after what seemed like hours---but, in fact, it was just a minute.....


I took him to my Vet, Tony Shipp---(above, in 2004),  and tried to explain what it looked like.....Tony said I should leave him and he would do some tests and also hoped Teeny would have another seizure so he, the Vet, could see what it looked like.
Teeny was not happy at all about being there in the Hospital, so Tony, the Vet, decided to let Teeny roam free in this small building, so he could calm down and feel comfortable there....How smart Tony was to do that.....
After a few days, I brought Teeny home. Tony's tests showed nothing.....And he did not have a seizure while he was there at the Vet's., but he continued to have these seizures at home on occasion. They seemed to come out of nowhere. 

The only other person who ever saw him have one of these seizure type fits was a lovely woman from Primal Therapy, who used to 'sit' with me when I had my feelings.  That time when Julienne saw him in the middle of it,  (it was in my living room), she said, "Naomi, it looks like he is having a Primal....!"
That had never occurred to me, but, indeed, as I watched him, it did look like he was having a Primal.
I thought, that would be just too weird.

To me, he looked like he was having an epileptic seizure.
Tony Shipp, the Vet, said he thought we should send Teeny up to Davis, California, to the Veterinary School up there at UC Davis. It was the finest Veterinary School in the United States, at that time, and probably still is....

And Tony felt that they would be able to figure out exactly what was wrong with him, especially because they had the most sophisticated diagnostic equipment available at that time.

He figured that Teeny would be up there for about a week.

So, everything was arranged---the plane ticket for Teeny and the Pick-up at the Airport up there in Davis, etc., etc.
I drove Teeny to Tony Shipp's Hospital and he gave him a shot of something like Valium to keep him very calm and then we, Teeny and I,  drove to the Airport.
We had to go to a special "Baggage" area from where Teeny would be taken on to the plane. 

He was in a carrier, of course, and when the baggage guy took the carrier and put it on the conveyor belt, I started to cry. Teeny looked so forlorn, all drugged up on Valium, moving further and further away from me.
I told myself, he will be alright.
They will take good care of him.
They called me from Davis, when he arrived, to tell me that he was safe and sound.
It was a very long week.

I had been thinking a great deal about the fact that I needed a special room for my therapy. Many people built special areas in their homes---using a good sized closet---and sound proofing the walls, floor, and ceiling, plus using thick Foam Rubber to line the walls and the floor so that you wouldn't hurt yourself if you need to bang the walls really hard while getting out lots of anger and rage....
 I had a walk-in closet which I used for all sorts of storage---China, Glassware, etc. I had some filing cabinets in there, too, and in truth, I just felt I couldn't give it up.
I had to find another space.
I had to find another solution.

It occurred to me that there was a huge amount of empty space underneath me house, and it was accessible. It occurred to me that maybe I could have a room built there, underneath the house.
I had a very nice gentleman named Ray, who cleaned my house at that time, and he was very handy, too.
I talked to Ray about building this room.
I told him everything that would be required, including the fact that it needed to be built like a tank!  Strong and solid and secure, as well as safe and soundproofed.

It was definitely something I knew I needed to do because I really didn't feel that safe on the floor of my den, and, I was afraid to really scream as loud as I needed, for fear that someone walking by outside my house could hear me and they might think I was in deep trouble.

After a week of Teeny being under observation in Davis, the woman in charge of his case there in Davis, called me to tell me the results of all the tests.
She described all the tests in detail, and said they couldn't find anything physically wrong with him. I was relieved but puzzled, too. 
I asked her if he had had one of those fits while he was there in Davis, and she said, "No.". And then she went on to say that the conclusion they came to about these seizures was that whatever this was, it was 'behavioral'.

Oh, my.


The only thing I could surmise from this is that Teeny was, indeed, having what looked like 'a primal'; the more I thought about it, the more I realized that when Teeny had this seizure-type-fit, it did really look exactly like what I did myself, when I was having my old 'feelings---that is, re-living certain very important things that had happened to me in my early early pre-verbal life, including the foaming at the mouth.....

I told Ray to start building the room, that day. 

It took Ray about about ten days to two weeks to get it all done and finished.  It was not fancy in any way, but it was exactly what I asked him to do.
It was fantastic! 
It made such a difference for me in terms of everything. Safety and privacy and I could beat the walls and the floor without hurting myself. And, I could scream bloody murder with no fear of anyone hearing it and thinking I was being killed or murdered!

The incredible result to all of this was that from the day I started using my room below to have my 'feelings' instead of the floor of my den upstairs.....Teeny never ever had another seizure.
Talk about a sensitive soul. Talk about an animal being so bonded to you that he actually picked up and took on your old early pain.

That was my Teeny!

Amazing!


More To Come.......


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Monday, April 15, 2013
my children.....

This is a post I wrote one day before my 75th Birthday. I am re-posting it because I am going to write something about "Teeny", that kind of relates to my last post.....'the stain in the dish'.
Enjoy!

This was my first child. My longest most lasting, most enduring intimate relationship. This was "Baby". She lived to be 20 1/2 years old and along with her dear sweet brother Sugar, they were my first children. As you all most likely know I never married and I never had any children-children. So...when these two kitty's came into my life---and they were just kittens---I knew a love that I had not known before.


Here is Baby with her dear dear brother, "Sugar". Sugar was such a very special little kitty...he was so very needy that he used to suck Baby's toes as if he were nursing...somehow the loss of his mama too early effected him in a way it didn't effect Baby...and maybe he picked up her female vibe and knew that she would 'take good care' of him. Eventually she got bored with the toe sucking routine and being the amazing kitty that he was, Sugar discovered he could suck his own back toes and be very satisfied with the comfort he provided himself. People loved Sugar and because he would go to anyone, some people would say..."He's just like a dog!". This very dear cat was only 5 years old when he died. And even though I had gone through many deaths of people that were incredibly important to me including my mother---this loss taught me what the word "heartbreak" really meant.



Next came Silky.

Ahhhh Silky, the most Spiritual and Peaceful of all my cats, ever. He rarely used his voice. He really didn't have to. He didn't seem to 'need' the way Sugar and/or even Baby did...when he did use his voice it was for something very very important. Otherwise, he just "was". The most Mysterious and Egyptiany of all my feline children. A fine fine person, was he....Steady. There. Loving. In his quiet deep way he was very very wise. He lived to be 17 1/2 and the day he died he spoke. I knew that meant something important had happened. And it had. For the first and only time in his life he had peed in the closet and he wanted to let me know...always the gentle soft spoken person that he was...he wanted me to know that his kidneys and his bladder were failing. I held him and soothed him for the next 5 hours, until he died in my arms. Another Heartbreak...but one, though it carried with it great grief, I was okay with. He had lived a good long life and then he became an 'old man'. It was his time, but still, it was very very sad....it makes me cry right now to think about how very dear he was.




Then came Teeny....(yes I love all these diminutive names...).

Teeny was one of Baby's children from her second litter. (And what a 'Queen' she was with her little one's!). He was the cat that took over the household. He was the cat that became the Alpha Cat---if there is such a thing---Baby, Sugar & Silky taking a back seat to this little darling feisty boy! And that's what he was, a boy. He ran all over the place and had to be first in everything and 'into' everything, too...I think if a cat could be a "sports nut" that is what Teeny would have been....he was a real Macho boy! He slept with me, Spoon Style up against my back or against my chest...just like the little boy that he was. He loved being cuddled in the bed and I loved cuddling him. And like his Momma, he was a six toed cat. I loved those big paws....talk about dear....

He died too young, too. He was only 9 years old but he packed a lot into those nine years and I missed him terribly after he died...but Baby & Silky were very very comforting and moved into spots that there had been no room for them to take up while Teeny was alive.


After Silky died, it was just Baby & me. I think she really loved having me all to herself and got closer than ever to me. She was one happy cat. Like Silky...Baby became a little old woman...She wasn't ill. She just got old. I had these cushions for her so she could get up on the bed more easily...they were like steps going up to the bed and her favorite place on the bed was right next to my pillows near my head. That is where she would spend most of her time...especially the last year of her life. On the bed, right next to me and sometimes in the crook of my arm. I knew that her time was drawing near when I could see that she was no longer washing around her mouth...her whiskers and all had a brown tinge to them...the color of the food she ate...poor dear sweetheart. That is how she looked when Pierce Brosnan, who was my next door neighbor at that time, came over to meet her...talk about a sweet man. It was ten days after his visit that Baby died...and as with Silky, I held her in my arms cradling her like the 'baby' she was and watched her take her very last breath...This cat had given me so very much in those 20 1/2 years...what she brought to my life---what she taught me about love----was incalculable.


The evening of the day Baby died, the two older Brosnan children, and they were just children then....rang my doorbell and brought me this dear little ball of fur---this wonderful kitten. I named her Mooney. She looked up at me with these moony eyes...Her formal name was Moon Feather Caryl...of all my cats Mooney made me laugh more than any other. She was one independent little street cat---she had been a stray that the Brosnan's had found down in Malibu. I missed the physical closeness that I had had with all my other cats. But this was her. Mooney was yet again another country heard from...! Eventually she came round...but she was never a lap cat. That just wasn't her personality.

But she sure was a lot of fun...! She lifted my spirits and it was fun to have a kitten in the house again. Her death at 12 years old haunted me for a long time. And because of that, I wasn't ready to bring another cat into my life for a while. It actually took me a year and a half before I could and would contemplate finding another little feline presence. Miss Moon had broken my heart, once again, and it and I needed time to mend.

And mend I did. So seven years ago this white ball of fur with gorgeous blue eyes entered by heart, crawling in there and making my life very full again...Most all of you have met him...he is Sweetie. The Dearest Of The Dear! "The Mister"..."The Sweetster"..."Old Blue Eyes", "Mr. Sweetie", etc., etc...There couldn't be a more wonderful cat for me, especially at this time in my life...he seems to combine elements of each one of my children who came before him, and he is definitely a one-person cat, very very bonded to me, I'm happy to say. As many of you already know, Sweetie has his own blog, too...If you are reading this, which one can only assume you are...Sweetie is on my blogroll...go say 'Hi' to him if you have the time. He loves visitors and comments, too!

He was about 6 months old here...and still growing into himself....If you go visit him you will see many many photographs of him...
So there you have it....today I have shared the rest of my family with you...tomorrow is 'The Big Day'...and I almost cannot believe it is finally here. You all probably feel the same way...! (lol)

12:01am, June 27th...Party Time, Here In The Hills...See you then, my dear dears....or whenever you can come on by....
(First posted June 26th, 2006)

As most of you know....my dear "Sweetie" is gone now, too....Bless all these darling little souls. They gave me so very much joy over these many many years....I will always be deeply grateful for their unconditional love...... 




 More To Come......


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Tuesday, April 09, 2013
the stain in the dish



The next film that Greer Garson made that was important to me, was

"Madame Curie".
By the way, TCM showed "Mrs. Miniver", "Random Harvest" and "Madame Curie", on March 11th, each film----one right after the other----what a feast this was for me and all fans of Greer Garson......!
"Madame Curie"was, of course, based on a real person....It is the story of Marie Curie and her dear husband, Pierre Curie, and their fantastic discovery of the then new element "Radium". I loved it when I first saw it as a kid in the 1940's, and there was something.....something mysterious and personal to me that I could not even have expressed at that time.
And when I saw it again, in the early 1970's, this film had a profound effect on me.
Sometimes there are things in films that tap into primal memories----important and life changing memories----"Madame Curie" is one of those profound films, for me. And that profoundness was brought to life by the performances of Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon---who played the two main characters.
The Curies spent a major portion of their of lives attempting to prove that there was this new element they called Radium. 

They knew that this fantastic force was found in Pitchblende. And for years and years and years, they rendered Pitchblende down and down and down till there was, finally, almost nothing left. After all of this back breaking work, there was nothing.
The rendering down of hundreds and thousands of pounds of Pitchblende left them with what looked like nothing, because there was nothing left but a stain in a dish. 
They were heartsick at this result. How could it be? That night they went back to the shed where they had worked through horrific winters and even more horrific summers, to look once more at what was left of all the years of this back breaking work----to look, once again, at the stain in the dish.
Upon arriving at their work-shed.....what they found was a miraculous glow. There, in the dark, the stain in the dish glowed with an energy that was visible and viable, and was fantastic.
They knew then, that all their work was not for naught.  They knew that it took that much Pitchblende to uncover this 'element'. 
I found this so very very moving.
Somewhere, deep inside me, I identified with the "life" in this glow of the stain in the dish.
Somehow, that was me.

I cannot explain how I know this next thing----but, trust me, I do know this to be true.

And I'm not sure I can express this in a way that will have meaning to anyone else but me.

My mother tried to abort me....maybe only in thought----though I "feel" it was in "fact".....And here is what it "felt" like: This cellular entity, me, was clinging to the side of my mothers uterus. 

It felt like pieces of me were falling away from the side of her uterus----and as these pieces got sluffed off from the life-giving side of my mothers uterus--it felt like I could no longer hold on and so the pieces of me fell away; it felt like my life was slipping away, and, finally, the little bit of me that was left-----the little bit that was still able to cling on, yet still barely had life---was like the stain in the dish. And I glowed deep inside with this little bit of life.....
I was like the stain in the dish.

I did a whole series of paintings during that period----depicting, in an abstract way....this clinging on and this falling away.....

In these paintings, the center of these abstract things had this red glow of life, and the outside part of these roundish cellular looking entities had a brownish look---as if dying.....And the further away they got from the life force, (the lining of my mothers uterus), the less that glow existed. The less "life" existed in these fallen away pieces. They were dying and being sluffed off.
 I was dying and being sluffed off.

After this revelation, I wrote a paragraph or two about this and at my Art Show that year, I posted these paragraphs to explain a little something about the paintings that were hanging in that particular show, and how the film "Madame Curie" was the catalyst for all that I felt and expressed through these paintings.  And how I identified with the glowing stain in the dish.

Those paintings were created in 1971-72.
I don't have any other images of those paintings that I can post at this time, because they are slides and I haven't been able to scan them on to my computer at this point----when I finally can scan them, I will post them......

That I survived at all is some kind of miracle, just like that stain in the dish..



More To Come........







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Monday, April 01, 2013
going to the movies

I watch a lot of movies and I always have. As a kid, the highlight of any week was going to the movies. I truly feel that the movies saved my life.  Well, films, theatre, music, etc., etc., have saved my life....So that would of course now 
 include television because that is the only way I can watch films these days.....
Turner Classic Movies, a true treasure of a TV Film Channel, plays old 'classic' films 24 hours a day---without commercial interruption----a gift if there ever was one to all of us who love film. And each month they honor a different film star from the past, featuring many many films of that star, one day each week, and this March that just ended, the star that they honored was the very beautiful and talented Greer Garson.
Some of you have probably never even heard of Greer Garson or if you have, it might have been about the fact that she gave the longest acceptance speech ever, in the history of The Academy Awards.
It was, in actuality only 5 1/2 minutes...but as always happens with these kinds of things, it is often referred to as the speech that went on for 25 minutes.....
Not True.
What was truly remarkable about Greer Garson was that during the early 1940's she was nominated for an Oscar five years in a row. (The only other person who shares that distinction to this day, is Bette Davis....)
All in all Greer Garson was nominated for an Academy Award seven times in her career. There are many other incredible things about Garson's career----not the least of which is how many of her films played Radio City Music Hall....(probably the most beautiful Movie Theatre ever built and where I spent a lot of time as a young child and as a teenager, having grown up in New York....)....This magnificent 6,200 seat Art Deco movie Palace played 14 of Greer Garson's films for a total of 83 weeks---a record that no other actress has ever equalled; in fact, Garson was named "Queen of New York City's Radio City Music Hall...."!
Plus she was ranked the number one box office draw of dramatic actresses during the years 1942-1945.....the 'war' years. Another incredible thing about Ms. Garson's film career is that it didn't begin until she was well into her 30's. Louis B. Mayer himself, saw her in a play in London and signed her to a contract on the spot. 
During those early MGM days, she made one Wonderful Spectacular film after another---Starting with "Goodbye Mr. Chips", with Robert Donat....
A lovely film, in which she received the first of those seven Oscar Nominations.
The next film of hers that had special meaning for me was the beautiful and memorable
"Mrs. Miniver".....
It was an important film in so very many ways. It took place during WW2 in England----and concentrated on how one family was living through, and was deeply effected by, the war!  The film honored the people of Britain who fought the good fight, and survived. This film holds up today because of the wonderful performances of all the actors (Teresa Wright, Dame Mae Whitty and Henry Travers, to name just a few...) and especially the great performances of Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon, with whom she made 8 films!



Incidentally, for all you "Downton Abbey" addicts, the whole Flower Show section in season one was lifted directly from "Mrs. Miniver". I remember watching that first season of 'DA' and when it came to that story-line, I was quite shocked, and realized immediately that it was taken from "Mrs. Miniver". In those first two pictures....that is the great Dame May Whitty playing Lady Beldon , with Henry Travers on the left--the Station Master who created The Miniver Rose. And of course the bottom picture is Maggie Smith as Lady Grantham of "Downton Abbey" giving out the Floral Award 70 years later....
"Mrs. Miniver" was nominated for 12 Academy awards---winning 6 all together, including Best Actress for Greer Garson, Best Supporting Actress for Teresa Wright, (above with Garson...) and the Oscar for Best Picture and one for Best Director to William Wyler. It also won for Best Cinematography (Black & White); and Best Screenplay. A blockbuster of a film in 1942! 


The next important film of Greer Garson's for me personally was"Random Harvest". It is a beautiful love story adapted from the book by James Hilton...
A really special Film in which Garson starred with Ronald Coleman....
Another name that is probably unfamiliar....

These people were HUGE Stars....
What I would call, the real Movie Stars.
They were Talented and Beautiful and had something that almost none of today's so called 'stars' have.
A true charisma.
And they had a truth in their acting that was really quite stunning!
They touched your heart in ways that went so very very deep. And seeing these films today---all these years later---they still touch one deeply.
Well, let me speak for myself---they still touch me deeply!

It was a simpler time in what films were about back then---certainly at MGM---And the studios ruled with an iron hand, and the films that were made usually were escapist---feel-good-in-the-end, films. That's what the public needed and wanted during the long depression years----Of course there were exceptions, and in some ways WW2 changed all that....but not right away. So many of these films are looked on today as unreal and sentimental---in a bad way----But, the public didn't feel that way about these films back in the day, nor did the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, nor did I....

In my view, these are all films to be cherished.  It's why I love Turner Classic Movies so much---they truly do cherish all the film history that came before.....
Next time I will talk about the third film of Greer Garson's that meant so very much to me......


More To Come.......



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