February 27, 2001
It's been a frustrating time of wanting to write to you and not being able to. I've had to content myself with more internal pursuits. The biggest thing I've discovered is how to handle the balance of acceptance and hope.
Acceptance is for now, today. I have to accept what my body is doing right now. Hope is for tomorrow. Going to sleep each night, I hope tomorrow will be better. Awakening, I accept whatever it is I find. The nice part about tomorrow is, there's always one more to look forward to. And, on the day that that proves not to be true, it won't matter anyway.
This has been a time of profound emotional growth. I've always seen myself in many lights, from many different points of view. Often I've appeared to myself as if I was made of glass plates - lots of them. Some of these were clear; some, dark; some smoky and obscure. Now they're all perfectly transparent. Nothing is hidden anymore. What you see is what you get.
I'm sending you a letter from Gary to let you know where things stand on the shaman front. After that, I'd like to share with you another letter I received from a close friend.
* * *
Letter from Gary Gent, 2/11/01
<< Hey Luther,
I was having some work done on myself on Saturday (2/9) and my guides showed up and said some work needed to be done for you.... so, I did an extraction journey for you on Feb 10.
We found you in a sitting position, but your body was composed of metal pieces like [those] found in an erector set. All joints as well as the metal members of your body were frozen solid with rigid, rust-like congestion.
My guides began a process of energetically cleaning/removing the rusted joints. Throughout this process, the rigid metal "body" transformed into a flowing energy body...which I thought was pretty cool. The rigid metal body would be representative of a rigid, inflexible foundation you created in your life.... having this come to the surface is good! Now your foundational structure has energy flowing, which translates into being able to move into your "self" and allowing your body to heal and/or cure. Let me know how you are doing.
* * *
Letter from Chris, 1/30/01
<< True story.
In 1982, I was [sound-man/videotape-machine-operator] on these dumb little soft news pieces with a TV weatherman out of NY named, Storm Phillips. (Kill me now.)
Anyway, we once did a piece up in the West Chester (NY) woods with Red Thunder Cloud (RTC) a Catawba Medicine Man.
We start and everything goes wrong. First, the camera [can't be set up properly]. Then the camera gets this weird moiré pattern going on. I solve both problems by shutting down the camera and powering from the deck. I blow it off. The camera was a Ikegami 79DAL and they were always twitchy.
Now the deck goes bad. Tape end lights. RF lights. Won't take the cassette. Won't eject the cassette. We break, go into a ranger cabin and I start to tear the deck apart. RTC says something like, "Before these woods were protected, the spirits of the woods used to sabotage the machinery of the timbermen. Maybe they think your machines will hurt the trees. We should let them know."
Right, Tonto. I've got a producer up my ass, a cameraman down my throat and you're telling me about the Keebler Elves.
Just then, a blue jay flies in, hops on the table where I'm working, looks at me, shrills, then flies away out the other side of the cabin.
RTC says, "Try it now."
The fucking thing works. Not only did it work, but the light and sound were perfect all day. I mean perfect.
The rest of the day is a lesson in herbs and alternative medicine. The taste of Crest? From a birch (I think) tree. Take a twig, fray the end and brush your teeth.
The piece won a local Emmy
* * *
Then, there's also the balance between the spirit world and the physical world to consider. I offer this
So I had Boing on the bed. Boing is a lop-eared bunny, sable-black, who has come to live with us, much to the flabbergasted astonishment of the beagle. (Be calm: they've never actually met. We're very careful to be sure they never will. None of us knows how to do CPR on a rabbit. But when the dogs return from wherever they've been sequestered, and find bunny-odor everywhere, they all flip out. They dash around the room, their noses clamped to the rabbit's trace. Like tiny locomotives on overdrive, they sniff around in an intricate ballet. Only occasionally do their foreheads crack together with that rich hollow woody sound that concentration brings out in a dog. But while the others tire of this in four or five minutes, lie down and go to sleep, the beagle has been known to keep it up as long as fifteen minutes. Then she goes to a corner and lies there, awake, and grumbles.)
Boing is gentle, thoughtful, and inquisitive He is also the softest-furred creature ever to set foot on Earth. I am always happier when Boing is around.
So, Lynne and Gwen and I were just hanging out. Boing was loping around on the bed, ever thoughtful, ever inquisitive. He sat beside me, and my arm was against his incredible softness. He nosed his way across the waved surface, then came back, and proceeded to bite me, through the sheet, on the pecker.
I swung the hospital bed control strategically over my groin. Boing jumped back,.at first. He returned, chewed on it, and then attempted to push it aside to have a go at the real thing.
This occasioned incredible merriment among those I was trying to enlist to disengage the rabbit from my joint, namely, Gwen and Lynne, who were in the process of trying not to pee themselves.. Eventually, Boing was removed. The bite was not fatal, I hasten to report. In fact, when offered an icepack, I declined, gratefully.
On reflection, I realized I was the only human I had ever heard of to have been bitten on the schwanz-stuker by a bunny. I took the occasion to inform all my friends, one of whom, Bill, responded by sending this card:
Gwen opened the card. All she saw was the bunny, so she read it.
"I don't get it", she said.
"Look harder, honey."
She inspected it minutely for several minutes. I could see her at first, studying it calmly. Then she took it to a window out of my line of sight, for better light.
"Eew," she announced. Then, louder, "Ewww." She brought it back and threw it on the bed.
"He made this. Didn't he?" she said, her face filled with contempt.
Against my will, this launched me onto a fantasy wherein an entire line of Bunny Bite cards was released by Hallmark sometime in the late 60's, owing to the vindictive creativity of a very short-term employee, and that in the dusty back end of a small remote card shop there remained even today one lone card, under a sun-faded sign bearing the legend "Bunny Bites - Intimate", and that Bill was the only one alive who was aware of this.
Bill wants everyone to know that he searched the sex-toy sites exhaustively to find the proper dildo for this illustration. He wants it made clear that he would never sever anyone's genitalia, even in Photoshop. That's what he said.
I hope to write again, real soon.
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