The Red Door

Portland Oregon is blessed with a unique educational resource–The Red Door Project, inspired by the life and writings of August Wilson. Its mission is to change racial ecology through the arts, starting here, in Portland’s complex racial climate. The Red Door project is a nest of creative genius. Cop Out is a success manual for American communities advancing national Police Reform. (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WFqP_Yb3yI

Here is a poem you will not like, about my Hands Up, Don’t Shoot experience–in the shoes of the other person. Read it or not, and please educate yourself from the best source in town, The August Wilson Red Door Project. https://reddoorproject.org/ourmission

WE GET IT!

Last efforts after rage-filled surrender to helplessness;
slipping, one arm, then the other, slowly into the black vest
hanging from the single stage prop–a strait-backed dinning chair.

The weight of the vest opens, closes in waves, inhibiting
speed, exhibiting pockets of bombs wrapping his upper body.
Zipping, bit by bit, he sees us, talks to us, understands our terror.

He is in charge. We, his captivated audience are with him now,
surrendering to our helplessness. The moment heightens blood pressure,
temperature, quickens heartbeats. He patrols among us with ultimate control.

He talks to us as if this is the end. We know it could be the
end. We’ve seen it over and over in our decades, wars, our lives,
cities, streets. This time, we know bombs when we see them–threat, death.

There is no way out here. Enough bombs in that vest for
blowing the whole room, the whole building, this small town. I
want to go home. I want mama, daddy, help, don’t let this happen.

It didn’t happen.

Later, another actor, shouts, HANDS UP, HIGHER! throwing
his angered, baritone voice far out to the back of the old school gym.
We are ordered to shout, DON’T SHOOT, arms held high–in pain if we’re old.

Eye to eye with each one of us, he repeats and repeats his
orders. Hands up, keep ’em up. Do as I say. Louder and louder;
longer and longer knowing we are scared to death by the gun we face.

The bomb, the gun, a rape, death are here, among us. Innocence
dashed. No excuse forgives us. All our human senses exposed when
teachers teach with bombs, guns, threats; education wins, we understand.

Norma Edythe Heyser 7/13/20

Color

Color is a word. Who made it up? What was his name? What was he thinking?
What did he mean? What was color before it had a name? Is there a word for
color that means more than the word, color? Black? White? Not us, you or me.

You’re not black. I’m not white. We never have been black and white. That’s
a name made up by someone, sometime, thinking something. We are what
we see in our environment–hue, value, texture, mass, form, range, light, dark.

We feel and sense each other like other earthly animals. Ignoring that, we think
each other up. We make images in our minds about each other. Only true when
we relate, talk, tell each other our truth and, ah, there’s the rub, we use the word.

Words make us stumble around boundaries and limitations. They keep us
from really knowing our truths. Hug is word too, meaning what? Touch, feel,
warmth, texture, breath, movement? Is it also color? Does color hug me?

Words are getting old, worn out, slowing down, losing meaning. Look at Love,
It only means what you or I have experienced. You, Black, think it’s God. I,
White, think its Life. And then, there’s Hate–it, too is what we have experienced.

Terror, Mr Floyd ruthlessly killed before our eyes; Beauty, Portland Police,
kneeling before an outraged crowd. Was that Compassion? Would that be it?
Black is not Black, White is not White. It is more for which there are no words.

(Surely you have something to say about this, please send it to Readers Write
link above)

Norma Edythe Heyser 7/11/20

GUN

(Published again)

Looking for Something Special?
Did you know there are thousands of firearms, let alone
all types of outdoor gear available for special order?
Stop by the sporting goods counter at your local Bi Mart!

He, sandy-haired, clean-cut white man–mmm, early 40s.
Precedes her at Bi Mart’s check stand.
She, white-hair, white woman looking for the
right battery to lock and unlock her car door.

His cart holds four, empty, kaki, canvas rifle cases,
four dark, heavy, steel boxes, and oodles of ammunition.

She, in characteristic, visual acuity, notices two more carts of
firearm gear steered by clean-cut men to other checkout stands.

What is this? she thinks, then taps the young man’s shoulder.
He swings around alertly, making stern, pale blue, wide-eyed, contact,
eased by her geriatric demeanor.

“Are you going to kill somebody? She asks, wishing they could talk.
“Oh no.” he says, after a thoughtful moment, “This is for my father.”

She remains confused, as they move on, thinks about standing with the
Christmas bell ringer, watching for gun gear, asking the question,

“Are you going to kill somebody?”

The Christmas bell-ringer will say, “Careful, gal, you’ll get yourself killed,
and maybe me too.

”Curious, she still wants to know the answers to that question.

Norma Heyser 12/19/19

Poem

Morning, Day 39

Breakfast wants me.“Come get me, from the breadbox
your favorite Rye, sliced; slather me with butter all
the way to the edge. Let me be your crisp, succulent,
crunch, one more morsel, another daily “yum”.

Music wants me. Let me swoon your spirit.
Watch this violinist lay his head on his ear
over his vibrating strings. His left arm drags his whole
body onto the bow giving you the Sibelius you crave .

Unmown grass wants me,“Stop, lie here in me,
look up, see me brush blue sky, my fresh scent
invades you. Be quiet, still, wait for the moment tiny
legs of a small, live creature tickles your bare ankle.

My Blog wants me.
Never mind, Norma, this is certainly not what I had in mind.
I apologize. Remember you’re just a stream of consciousness.
No, you’re a stream of consciousness I’m a blog.
What does that mean?
This should all make sense

OKAY, how about a Recipe?
Go for it.

ORANGE CHOCOLATE:
In a pretty, cereal bowl, crumple one Essential Everyday
Graham Cracker, Made With Real Honey.
Cut up one Giant, Sweet, Juicy Orange into drippy pieces.
Dig out three spoons full from a TJ’s Super Premium Ultra
Chocolate Ice Cream carton. Sprinkle With Natural Grocer’s GMO
Walnut Combo Halves & Pieces. Let sit for 10, 5 minutes. YUM!

Norma Edythe H. 6/5/20

Little Body Book

Little Body Book available at normaheyser@gmail.com

Little Body Book

Now, when distancing is mandated, it seems an appropriate time to post the essay and experience of Touch and Feel from my Little Body Book. The book is testimony to 30 + years. as a body therapist studying anatomy/physiology and its similarity and difference in human form. Safe, compassionate touch is essential to the security and confidence of children. Learning the language of one’s own body is essential to recognize and realize therapeutic Self healing.

Touch & Feel

Dictionaries use the words touch and feel to define each other.
Touchto put the hand, finger, or some other part of the body on, so as to feel.
Feel…to touch or handle, in order to become aware of.

Touch is a gift, an art arising from the desire for connection. The quality of touch determines the quality of connection and influences the quality of our relationships, health, environment and life.

Feeling is the language of the body. The touch and feel of a hot stove is instant. However, when we touch something in order to feel it, presence of mind is essential, presence of body, mind and spirit is grace-filled–both take silence and time to collect.

Focusing the mind on how touch feels can either enhance or disrupt the experience. When the experience of touch has been respectful and healthy, the touch of another person is welcomed and appreciated. Have you ever noticed how a gentle, or firm, touch on your arm, back or shoulders can evoke a grateful yum. Some touch is not safe and can be painful or frightening causing recoil which is likely to be a reminder of a traumatic touch experience.

I have a memory of ugly touch that I don’t like to think or talk about but it is relevant. Many years ago, when I was an uninformed 11 year old child, an ophthalmologist put my chubby body against the wall to use his Ophthalmoscope (the little white light), leaning against me heavily and breathing hard for what seemed like an eternity. I felt discomfort, confusion and fear, knowing something was wrong but was silenced by ignorance and the secrets surrounding social and sexual behavior of the times. Don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel, was part of my childhood experience. Unlocking secrets is a vital source of healing information.

Feeling touch requires mental focus. As a body therapist, tracing muscle stress patterns requires my full concentration. Invariably, unrelated thoughts or conversation disconnects touching from feeling. Successful healing and balance is consistently effective when the body, mind and spirit become equal partners in the process.

In order to learn how to touch another with grace,
it helps to learn to touch one’s Self with curiosity,
kindness and compassion.

Guided Experience

Read each suggestion, then give yourself quiet time to respond– to touch, to feel and then to identify the feeling. At the end take time to record it in some way for your Self.

Sitting in a relaxed place and position, inhaling/exhaling,
I relax my shoulders downward.
Resting my hands–heels, palms and fingers, on my thighs.
I take a moment to notice the temperature and weight of each hand on each thigh.
Feel the temperature and weight of each hand and thigh?
Is there a difference?
Moving my hands over my thighs, slowly, a few inches forward and back.
Feeling the texture of my clothes and the sensation of the movement.

Do I feel my touch?
Lifting my hands off my thighs; I put them together–fingers to fingers, palm to palm.
Feeling the temperature and pressure of my hands together.
Sliding them up, down, I feel the shapes, contours of each hand.
Now, I hold my hands–hand in hand, feeling them touch each other.
What parts of my hands touch?
Are they touching lightly or firmly?
Do they feel each other?
Are they supporting each other?
I squeeze them noticing how it feels.

Do I feel my touch?
I explore my face and head with my hands and fingers, noticing contours, temperature, texture, touching my mouth, nose, eyes and eyebrows, ears, hair scalp, the shape of my head.

I feel my touch.
If I were to choose to play music now, what would it be? If I were to write a poem about this touch experience, what would I say?
If I were to draw a picture of touch what colors, shapes, lines, spaces would I use?

Do I have permission to consciously touch and feel my Self often?

COLE AND GRANDMA NORMA, 1993

Norma Edythe Heyser revised from 2008

Update ll: Olive ‘n Ole

This title means there are two pet snails in Best Food’s Park. Readers who don’t know about Olive, my pet snail, will have missed her childhood stories by now. If interested, Olive’s history can be read by scrolling way down to the bottom in the first blog. I intend to learn how to categorize my blogs when my WordPress care-givers come back to work–in the meantime, trying to get blog-smart all by myself. Please don’t give up and go way unless you are bored.

This is Best Food’s Park growing all over the dinning room table. Olive ‘n Ole take treks here every night.

OLIVE ‘n OLE

In this Spring’s garden clean up, I found a quart, Jarden Jar laying under the Andromeda; it’s falling blossoms and rain droplets. The jar held a bouquet of sticks last summer. Now, slimy, slippery, dirty, I picked it up keeping my hand and most of my fingers from the ooze. An in- breath ceased me when I saw a baby snail looking almost exactly like Olive three weeks after I adopted her.

Lacking proper preparation for this unexpected discovery I said to anyone listening, What should I do now?” I ran to Olive’s Best Foods Park residence on the dining room table, expecting a response. As usual she didn’t care a bit. After a slight emotional struggled, I impulsively anointed him a He and called him Ole. (I like the oval sounds of Olive ‘n Ole–think I’ll make a song of it.)

Olive ‘n Ole live together now–it’s been three weeks. He bonded first. As usual, she doesn’t care a bit. I’ve added two helpings of cabbage, lettuce and a half egg shell to share for protein. Then worry from one day to the next about Olives emotional health.

Olive taught me there is a Snail Nowhere, into which she disappears frequently. I spent my days and nights alarmed by worst case scenarios until I decide to take it easy. It has happened two times since Ole’s arrival. Last Friday, it took about a half hour to find Olive in the half egg shell–I always worry she is suffering but this is too cute, so I didn’t disturb her. She stayed there until Sunday.

I leave the park gate open because snails engage in their important activities at night. Outside the jar is a forest of winter sticks with lichen, dried autumn leaves and a tiny pool of water for the trek I don’t know yet if they travel together but I know they’ve been by tracing their lovely, silver linear patterns.

One more thing. I checked the Jarden Jar yesterday and guess what, the rest of Ole’s siblings live there, now. They have all grown from pinkie-finger-nail size to thumb-nail size. I fret some–If I invited them in, the park will overpopulate; the forest would have to expand into the kitchen; if friends knew about it I would never see them again. No, no, resist Norma, resist.

Norma Edythe, 5/8/20

Olive ‘n Ole’s bottoms as seen through their glass house. Ole bonded first, wonder if he is maternally attracted to Olive. Olive still hides out occasionally.

May Day, 2020

HAPPY MAY DAY, 2020!
Happy 120th Birthday, Mama.
May you make paper baskets and fill them with Dandelions!

Spring Seed Planting Along the Morning Path, 2020

Distancing

As usual I am curious, thinking, wondering about how things are with
you. Knowing you as I do, assuming you are used to having people,
relationships and support for whom others assume you to be. 

There have always been friends, strangers on the street, the bus, 
restaurants, stores, highways/driveways, those things you watched
with your grandmother long ago.  

What happens when the world to which you gave your self, is no longer
your reality? Who were the people in your life for one reason or another.
Are you distancing from yourself or coming home?

Who are you now, inside What does your mind and body hear, see,
think and say to you? Are they secret thoughts, comfortable/alarming, 
shame-filled or beautiful? Are you curious–wondering about me?

Whose life am I in now?

Norma Edythe Heyser, May Day, 2020

Today Again

Hi!

This month I’ve been trying hard to get my friend Dale’s beautiful coronavirus poem into Readers Write. It’s there now–hope you see it.

Otherwise, I’ve been lost in change. Real life is like those dreams of high school; hurrying through dim hallways looking for Home Room–it’s gone; haven’t studied for the test, I’m late, lost. Opening doors, stepping into wrong places.

Today is different, like yesterday. Waiting to spend time with Olive, my pet snail and her new friend. While working on that, here’s last year’s Spring pet episode.

Marmalade, the Cat

So far, Marmalade’s name is Grumpy, the cat from nowhere, who has been using the cement wall curb, adjacent to my front door, to slither from wherever he lives to his bird-hunting grounds, including my potted garden. I’ve seen him almost daily, certainly weekly, in my four-year residence.

He was unwelcome, a threat to my winged friends, so I shewed him away with loud noises. Rarely did we engaged eye to eye. To my toothy grin and ear-thumbing, he consistently glared back. At some point, I realized I was enjoying the game. When he didn’t show up, now and then, I worried.

Today, on our fifth anniversary, we had a true encounter. The sun came out. I decided to clean up Winter, opening the rumbling, porch door leading to the clipper, rake and garden gloves, Grumpy and I surprised the heck out of each other. There he was, inside a fortress of walls over which he easily fled to unconditional safety. I surprised myself with sweet kitty sounds, Hi kitty, kitty, kitty, its okay, you can be here–here kitty kitty… and so on–a safe distance away, he preened. If he’d had a nose and thumb like mine, I’m pretty sure he would have thumbed it.

I went about my business, exiting the front door, confronting the wall, upon which he was again meandering, as if he owns the place. I went close to him, sweetly, but in my attempt to reach out I learned what it’s like to be a bird with a cat. He hissed, showing his teeth. I imagine him saying, “Not me, lady, you had your chance. You’re no friend of mine. Keep yourself out of my boundaries!”

So, I called him Grumpy to his face. Truth is, I’m inspired to spend the effort trying to sweeten him from Grumpy to Marmalade. Wish me luck!

Norma Heyser, 3/9/19

Wall, Bird, no Marmalade!

Today

New Age, New Gods

Today, I believe in many androgynous Gods. A committee, living high up in an ethereal think-tank watching over us all, benevolently planning what is best for our own good.

They were born in a valley and trained to be Gods by each other, trusting dreaming, climbing into heaven together.

Lately, they tackled an overdue issue–how to manage and train eight billion human people to metamorphose from one global Age into the next. Ecologically, culturally, humanely–not easy, even for new Gods.

Research and testing is in progress now, creating a new, world order immediately, if not sooner (as mother used to say). We humans are drafted into research and development. Marketing begins after correcting our kinks.

First test questions; Are human emotions and feelings sustainable? Is logic and reason important? Who on Earth wants to bother with it all? Creating and living a new world order is a tough job.

So far, most of us in this country are nearly convinced testing is happening–that we are volunteer subjects. Institutions and infrastructures upon which America relied for the last  250 years, are crumbling in front, behind and all around us.

World population is correcting itself with the help of an old virus who woke up when our planet’s polar ice melted and is killing us, as it claims it extinguished our dinosaur predecessors 66 million years ago.

Dying people off the planet omits barriers preventing the creation of the perfect world order. Ignorance of the new God’s plans is mass-producing confusion, distraction, madness and death.

Politics as usual is done. Democratic, constitutional government order, Out of Order. Socialism, a word too bad to mention, out of the question. The new order will have a new name, perhaps a contest is in order so someone can win something.

Norma Edythe Heyser, 4/22/20

Another Day in The Life

It is 15 days now since a momentous decision to mind my Governor by following her instructions; letting go of control; allowing a friend to leave groceries at the door; exerting enough paranoia to disinfect everything I am and do.

On the other hand, daily, I am falling more in love with life–the rhythm of breath and heartbeats inside; the color of thoughts, images, ideas, visions of what is and isn’t. Senses heighten to rapture at the taste of a tiny Fuji apple.

In the last So I See post, I questioned the validity or worthiness of indulgent public output. This week, So I See is a friend–like a pet, something always “there for me”. Something to talk at with another end. Sometimes it talks back, asking me to feed it, grow it until it becomes itself. So, here is more So I See.

This is something I took pleasure in finding in old, 1980’s files, inspired by Bioenergetic therapy classes. It makes me giggled. Here it is…

Vacuum Therapy

At 40, a career in psychotherapy looked good. Life took a curve around which I chose to swerve, rather than ignore brutal change. My children and their father made it perfectly clear our truths were not compatible. I could no longer direct nor influence their chosen paths.

Believing I had helped others untangle their lives, a psychotherapy career sounded good for picking up the pieces and moving on. I intently engaged in courses at reputable institutions, taught by good-looking, flirtatious men from whom it was possible to become blind to human wholeness. My unique self found discrepancy in teacher’s truth and my own.

I am gratified to have stopped there, before branding myself professional. However, I still take pride in my thesis, the original development of the powerfully effective, Vacuum Therapy. (see flyer, below)

To Blog or Not

To Blog or not to Blog

This morning, while reviewing wrongs and rights, I realize my blogging practice is wrong. Pretending a perceived rightness, “teaching” what I know. Assuming my private views or thoughts can help another person’s emptiness. I’m so full of it. Inner Voice, please help me run away from these thoughts.

Right, you are wrong. Most blog readers feel desperate these days, just like you–searching for comfort, meaning, the “word” from anyone who knows it. Attempting to teach others what you know is not the point. It’s piling more unnecessary thoughts onto your reader.

Now is a perfect time for people to be alone with themselves; waking up to their true nature. Finding their character and spirit in emptiness where those essentials live until given permission, by their soul owner, to be tested, trusted and freed. Your blogging is a form of control. Let go.

Oh no, it makes me happy, it’s fun. I feel useful, wanted, admired. When people say, “Wow” or something nice, I puff up. It tickles my heart. It’s my ego isn’t it? It tickles my ego, doesn’t it? Should I close the blog, now?

I don’t know, can’t advise. Imagine kneading all wrongs and rights together into a ball, of bright, white light. Toss it into a bowl as big as the planet and let it rise.

Norma Edythe Heyser, 3/2/2020

Virus Talk

Viral Landscape, NEH, 3/15/20
This pastel, pencil and collage picture is inspired by a photo of SARS-CoV
credit NAID-RML

I exhibit a consistent propensity to connect with, and study, whatever I fear. I noticed it first during the 9/11 attack in New York when almost immediately, I reached out for understanding Islam and developing friendship with Portland Muslim families. Coronavirus is different, of course, but my fear feels the same. I am learning to adjust from terror into peace with curiosity, openness, experience, acceptance. Here is the most recent process with Coronavirus.

Dialog with Corona Virus

Talking heads say there’s a virus killing us, Hmm. It could be an Asteroid, Earthquake, Hurricane, or a GU-43 BMO Air Blast Bomb. At least Corona is organic with short strands of
RNA, DNA in a protein shell. Right now, he or she needs a host cell, like ours, to grow in. Otherwise they’ll just die away. I wonder if they make us sick and die, wishing they could shoot us like we shoot each other? I’ll check in…
Hi Corona, how are you?
Who me?
Yes.
Why are you talking to me?
Because I want to know what you are.
Haven’t you heard enough about me on social media?
Yes, I sure have, but it’s all about how bad you are.
Right, what can I say?
Are you that bad?
I don’t think so.
How bad are you?
I’m good at what I do and, according microphotos, I’m good-looking.
Oh? But you kill people, you know that, don’t you?
Yes. That’s not all I can do, but that’s what I’m good at right now.
Why do you kill people?
Well, I didn’t have anything else to do and some guy who loves you humans, suggested this is a good time for you to find out you have no control over your life, your world or each other–and you certainly have no control over your death.
Why should we know that?
Because you have to grow up, get real; give up your materialism, your toys, your gross entertainment. Gather yourself unto yourself; wake yourself up to who you’ve been, who you are, where you are, what you have and if you are worthy of Life.
Do you have sense?
Ask your scientist, maybe she’ knows. Maybe that’s all I have. Now get out of here or I might kill you.

Norma E. Heyser, 3/5/20

Another Day

Hi Virus
Oh, it’s you.
You still killing people?
You bet your boots, that’s what I do–having trouble finding people, I think they’re playing hide ‘n seek. Can hardly wait to get on those cruise ships
Any other complaints?
Yes, I hate this air.
What’s wrong with the air?
It’s getting clean, loosing the pollution I need to keep killing you guys. All because those
government fools are making senseless rules.

Do you think we’ve found our cure?
Don’t be naive, that’s way too simple. You produce, get rich, by killing your planet.
Fact is, you produce me, you’re killing yourselves with me.
Do you expect us to believe that?
No, unfortunately. You’d all end up in Utopia with no money–what then?
Looks like nature and I can win this battle with you humans. The only way out for you is to change your ways.
How so? Give it all up. Divvy up your assets, resources Let go of what you’ve got, want, desire. Conserve, preserve, equalize, sustain. Uncover ground, giving water it’s reason to rain; soil, it’s properties to grow its needs and yours. For those of you too scared or mad to relax, go pollute some other planet. For your God’s sake, help this one recover.
Eat weeds, blossoms and so will I.

Norma E. Heyser 3/22/20

Another Day at Home

Virus, here I am again.
I told you to get out of here once. I’m loosing patience.
Hang out, just a little bit, it’s curiosity, I have questions-about you and death and other things.
Oh, that’s your trouble.You know what happens to curiosity!
Yes, I learn a lot. Tell me what you think about death.
I don’t think about death.
I sure do. After my Daddy died, when I was eight, it made me feel super sad and scared until I grew up. Then, in my sixties, I started thinking about it, listening to it, and now in my eighties, I don’t think it scares me anymore, just makes me sad. I really love life and don’t want it to die.
That’s dumb, life is half and half. I’m half life and half death all the time. It’s all the same. Oh, never mind, you don’t get it, you’re not like me.
Where do you come from?
I have no fossil record but it’s possible I’ve left traces throughout the history of life. There’s a rumor the extinction of dinosaurs was my accomplishment.
You want to know what I think?
No, I don’t care what you think.
Nevertheless, I think, maybe you recently woke up where the polar ice has melted. The Arctic North Pole. Some people think the ice up here is 700,000, or 3 – 15 million, years old. Maybe you went to sleep, tired, after you got rid of the dinosaurs and froze yourself stiff–you could have been asleep a long time.
Nonsense. Logical nonsense.
Were you born?
No. Replicated. I contain key elements that make up all living organisms, DNA or RNA–one or the other. I am a parasite without the capacity to
control my own replication.– needing a host cell, and that could be you.
Do you like me?
No.
Aw, come on, just a little?
No.
Can I come back? Can we talk some more?
No. You are an impudent upstart, your bore me, go away. Take your curiosity and good luck!

Norma E. Heyser, 3/24/20

(S/He won’t get rid of me that easy, I’ve got more to say!)