Archive for February, 2010

Wall-Eyed Miss Green 

Rennie and I went to our first “public” school in Orange Park, Florida for junior and senior years of high school.   Our two-room schoolhouse on Wadmalaw Island for grades 4 – 7 was public, yet it was the strictest, most pristine and most academic of all the varied learning experiences in my career.   One dared not screw up.  Miss Merle or Miss Mary’s wrath was not to be ignited, nor were the many tomes of literature, mathematics, mythology, Greek or Latin through which we were forced to plunder, ignored.   Johnny Whaley, Punky Seabrook, Chrystal Epps, Rennie and me comprised fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh grades.  My Mom cooked hot lunches, I set the tables, and at recess we adjourned under the oak tree with the tire swing and watched Johnny fart on his hand and smell it.


Anyway, more about Miss Merle and Miss Mary later.  This is about Miss Green, the dean of Students at Orange Park High School, where Rennie and I were fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to be expelled our Senior year, for the unpleasant crime of cutting the testicles off our formaldehyde- preserved cat in biology lab and placing these jewels in the top drawer of our English teacher’s desk.  She subsequently screamed, had a heart attack, and ended up –  not dead –  where she deserved to be (so hideous was her language and grammar in this tacky, uncredentialed latrinae which tried to pass for a hall of academia); but she left the school, and good ole OP was sans an English teacher, and for that, we were expelled.


And the funniest part was not that Miss Green, whose right eye often faced the right wall with such tenacity that one could glimpse only a small whitish orb of what may have been left of a full brownish, blue or greenish pupil, but her left eye faced the left wall with the same grasping.  This left the unfortunate persons in her presence clamping down hard on their lips and anus when forced to be face to face with this gargoyle.  The laughter which invariably erupted at some point was going to be not only thunderous – it could also become gaseous.  Because when one twin tooted, the other twin’s toot wasn’t far behind.  And remember, we called them rootie toot toots in my family.  And rootie toot toots are not an average fart.  They are well – rootie toot toots.


When Miss Green sat Mothuh down in that way she had, we knew we were in for it.  Mothuh knew nothing about the wall-eyed bit, so Rennie and I waited primly, hands in our laps, legs crossed at the ankles, me to the right of our matriarch, Rennie somewhat behind the Green Lady. We waited for those eyeballs to begin traveling.


When Miss Green got going – parlance-wise, that is –  describing what we had done, forgetting that I had been the only student in the biology lab’s history to extract the brain  in one piece as we dissected these cats, Helen pursed her lips and started in on “Well, I told you not to put the twins together, especially as lab partners, blah blah blah,…” but suddenly, Miss Green’s left eye traveled in its socket a complete half-orbit.  We heard Helen gasp.  Then she swallowed.  Then she bit down hard on her bottom lip.  Rennie used this opportunity to titter.  This got Helen started somewhat.


I was always more serious, so I did not titter at this point.  I was to titter and guffaw a little later, because Rennie, once Miss Green’s right eye began its wandering also, started to mock-scoop God knows what from her vagina and into her mouth, eyeing our mother and trying, very successfully, to get her to laugh.


Mothuh, the great Helen, started to laugh.  She tried to stop, but the more she tried, the worse Rennie got.  Now Rennie started to mutter “panty puddin’” under her breath and scooped imaginary detritus with even broader strokes.  And this is when she let loose a rootie toot toot to rival the greatest rootie toot toot of all time.  She let loose a rip roaring fart unlike any I have heard now or since.  And we all lost it.  Miss Green had no eyeballs now.  Her eyes were rolled sideways into her head, and she was huffing and gasping and making astonished noises while we continued our ways.


What I do remember is that Mothuh asked, trying sincerely to stop laughing, that Miss Green NOT, whatever punishment she handed down to us bad, bad girls, NOT SEND US HOME.  ‘PLEASE, PLEASE, MISS GREEN, WHATEVER YOU DECIDE, DO NOT SEND THE GIRLS HOME.  HAVE THEM STAY AT SCHOOL AND DO DETENTION, OR SOMETHING.  PLEASE, DO NOT SEND THEM HOME.”


But, home we went, and we did not literally graduate from High School.  However, we both had already been accepted to colleges, both got graduate degrees, and both continued to mock -scoop panty puddin’ from our crotches and rip many rootie toot toots at inopportune, or opportune moments.


And Rennie and I both, I think, garnered extreme respect for our mother after that. 

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I am a fool for love.  I have been in love with God for a long, long time.  This is a most mixed and confusing blessing, it seems.

I don’t recommend this love.  It is coupled with a grief quite profound.  If truly examined, who in their right mind would want the Divine?   No one would want to go the distance, never knowing what the “distance” meant.  It would be insane to want to be the Beloved.   It could mean we would have to give up our right to whine.   It might also mean we might have to give up our cherished right to play the victim.  Another traitor to collective misery. 

I am told I burn through everyone’s “story” and defenses and for that, I am hated.  After all, who likes to be called out?  Who likes to be, as they indelicately say, “called on their shit?”  And I am certainly not one who does this on purpose, but I am one who detests dishonesty.  I also detest phoniness and people pleasing.  Who has the time for it? 

To find a clear ‘yes’ and a clear ‘no’ is the very definition of integrity.  How few have this integrity!  It is not conditional.  It is not negotiable.  It is not for sale.  And it makes our friends and family feel very safe since they know where they begin and where we end.  They know who we are and where they stand with us.  And if they have the capacity to be honest, they know they are loved.   And we are free to express the essence of Who We Are, which is Love.

It is never enough to put together a few days of facile forgiveness, where the heart sails high and the breath comes effortlessly like the breeze.  But couple the days with a string of open days, vulnerable moments and hours, when the very mystery of life leaves one speechless and dumbfounded in its wonder, unable to conjure in pictures or words the awe inspiring enlivenment of one breath breathed in this way….These moments transform and alchemize; they are the face of Love.

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Energy Medicine

Vibrational Medicine, Dr. Richard Gerber, MD.

Touch For Health, John Thie, D.C.

Energy Medicine, Donna Eden and David Feinstein, PhD.,

Energy Medicine for Women, Donna Eden and David Feinstein, PhD.

Chinese Medicine

Between Heaven and Earth,  Harriet Beinfield, L.Ac., & Efrem Korngold, L.Ac., O.M.D.

 The Web that Has No Weaver, Ted Kaptchuk, O.M.D. 

Five Elements Six Conditions, Gilles Marin 

PMS, Its Cause, Diagnosis and Treatment According to Traditional Chinese Medicine,  Bob Flaws 

Wood Becomes Water:  Chinese Medicine in Everyday Life, Gail Reichstein



Food and Healing, Annemarie Colbin

The Macrobiotic Way, Michio Kushi

Your Body Never Lies, Michio Kushi


Play of Consciousness, Baba Muktananda

Course in Miracles, Foundation for Inner Peace

Loving What Is, Byron Katie

The Heart of Meditation, Swami Durgananda 

Disappearance of the Universe, Gary Renard

Power V Force, David Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.,


Women Who Run with the Wolves, Clarissa Estes Pinkola 

Western Body, Eastern Mind, Anodea Judith

Sacred Psychology, Jean Houston

Embracing the Beloved, Stephen Levine

The Tao of Lau Tzu, Translated by Stephen Mitchell

When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron

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