Thursday, September 25, 2014

California Portraitures: Nathan


Jaye Beldo

First rain here since early spring. I retreated to my trailer as the clouds rolled in and prayed for everyone on the mountain. My head lamp went out and it was dark. Listening to the stochastic patter of  the drops on the roof helped me focus more on my heart. Even though my blood pressure had returned to normal (116/65) I was glad Nathan was up here with me in case something in me seized up and took me down. I looked through the window and could see the doorway of his RV about 30 yards away dimly lit in the evening and some movement with in. His arm was visible and it looked like he was holding a can of beer. The arm remained still for quite some time and I wondered what freeze framed the image.

In the year and a half that I've known him, he has shared nothing with me about himself and I still don't know his last name. I drove him to So. Cal around the 4th of July. We pulled into his parent's up scale house in some suburb north of L.A. around 3 A.M. and I slept in the car while he went inside to shower up and put clean clothes on for his girl friend in San Diego.

When we got back on the freeway, he opened up a bit around dawn.

"The expression on that guy's face. He backed over his own daughter in the driveway." He was looking in the direction of Compton. "She was only four years old."

"One night, we got a crash call. Guy's skull was cracked open . Brains were showing. Still alive. I thought I was looking into a pumpkin." He matter of fact stated, like a combat vet trying to piece together his time on the front line for a field report.

"Sometimes the blood squirts a few yards from the wounds."  He said about a half hour later. I still didn't know what was triggering the memories. Maybe the exit signs we passed by.

"The crack and meth calls are the sketchiest. One guy kept jumping up and down so hard that he smashed his head through the ceiling of his house." He finally K.O.'d on a stud in the wall and we got him on the stretcher."

When we stopped for some gas, I asked him how he coped.

"You learn to bury the memories." He said, took his hat off and lowered his head, revealing about six or seven worm like scars on his freshly shaven scalp. He had told me about the drifting accident that happened a few months before I met him. He was a passenger and survived when the driver smashed into a bridge abutment. I suggested cranial sacral therapy as it seemed a substantial piece of him went AWOL upon impact.

"How long did you last?"

"Five years. That's the burn out point for most paramedics."

 I spent his 30th birthday with him back in April. Nathan fished for Salmon down at the river and I kept a look out for potential trouble on the road. There was no one else around and I hoped that he'd get a Steelhead for dinner but all he pulled out of the water in the few hours he casted was a pike. He had run over a rattle snake earlier in the day and scooped it up in the container we use to recycle oil with and we ended up tossing both the snake and the wormy fish into the Chaparral down the road so the dogs couldn't get into them. I thought it was some natal omen, but said nothing about it as we looked over the valley below.

"Thanks for spending my birthday with me." He said and I felt my heart rend.

Now, as I sit in the darkness and cold, silhouette still in the doorway holding the can of beer, I'm left wondering if I'll ever adequately fathom who my friend really is.

(C)2014-Jaye Beldo

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ocean in a Bucket: Part III


Jaye Beldo

Grant is gone. He got fired as I dutifully recorded all his lunatic errancies in a notebook which I presented to my employer. Entire days off the mountain with the work truck and not returning until after midnight. He carelessly slipped to me that he went to Vichy Springs one day.  I wonder what the proprietarian class thought of him when he pulled into the parking lot with the dirty truck and parked amidst the Lexuses and BMWs. No doubt though,that his oleaginousness charmed the Botoxed cougars from Napa that he soaked amidst that day.

As a result of his countless trips off the hill, the tires on the truck are worn to almost nothing as they were never meant for long miles on asphalt.   We guessed he was going to Santa Rosa in the truck in quest of Happy Endings and he most likely cried his Texas heart out to some Latino succubus. He probably hit Howling Coyote Casino afterwards on the rez, pouring his soul out to the slot machines and ending up so monotonously empty handed.

One day a baby quail got separated from its brood and when I tried to herd it back out of the garage, it skeedaddled into Grant's room, darting under a wool blanket he had used for a door. I went in for the first time and was overwhelmed by the dust and mold. He had been gone for well over a month.
As the little chick cheeped in distress, caught in some cobwebs, I took a look at the cache he had left behind, damning evidence that he had been masturbating his mid-life crisis all along. Empty bottles of Testosterone Booster littered one shelf. One bottle had a couple pills left in it which I took. They did nothing. On his mess of a bed were a pair of Tibetan bells attached with a leather cord, amidst dozens of scratch off lottery tickets and spent Powerball tickets as well.

On the top of his supplement shelf was a bottle of organic wine, covered with dust. I remember him downing some of the vintage Vin Maudlin one night, crying into his wine glass over another young woman he conned into having a relationship with him the year before. Next to him was a yoga magazine opened to an article entitled,  The Sacred Orgasm. He stared off into space with the most contorted expression on his face, pining for Stephanie who dumped him and now heads a vegan retreat south of Fort Bragg. He didn't get up until noon the next day and I recorded that as well in my notebook.

Up in the attic, his inversion machine remains and if he comes back I most likely won't help him get it downstairs. I tried it out and nearly pulled my back muscles as I couldn't get it to right itself.  Maybe he was crying as he hung on the thing in an inverse, auto-erotic moment and his tears rusted the pivot mechanism out.

I also tried riding the bicycle and quickly discovered that it only had a front brake and nearly crashed careening down the road, barely missing a Douglas Fir. I parked it next to the
Weber grill in which I placed the cracked slabs of agate I scraped up off the clay it was stuck to. It is taking me quite awhile to pile up the refuse of his failed Hedonia and I'm hoping that he will come soon and pick it all up as this place needs an energy clearing bad.

The trampoline, now in the back of Stephanie's pick up truck that she loaned him and parked up in the woods, he never bothered to assemble during his time here. Why he brought it is a mystery as the only patch of level ground it could be set up on is deep in the woods up top. This cellular body activating implement was going to be a part of the holistic retreat center he envisioned the mountain property becoming and which he would of course would manage. He had the expertise and seniority, claiming he had over a hundred employees under him when he worked for Texas Instruments back in his six digit glory days. He was busy daily, trying to manifest his utopic vision-using EFT and tapping ultra long on the heel of his hand and the top of his head as well. He was quite willing to show me the technique but I declined, wisely so I'm guessing as said retreat was still unmanifest in his metaphysically addled head.

"What's wrong with Grant?" A woman I know who lives down the road asked me after he stopped and said hello to her on his way out.

I just shook my head. Alien abduction? A stroke?

"Demon possessed." I finally concluded. "The Louisiana girls who were up here last year, put a curse on him."

But it most likely wasn't something so exotic.  Rather it was the result of some covert medication Grant had been gobbling all along, although I didn't find any empty Prozac or Oxycontin bottles in his room. If I continue to sweep up his debris field, perhaps then I'll find the clues I've been looking for. In the meantime, I may haul his trampoline up into the woods, slap it together and bounce with the bears in hopes that it gives me adequate insights into his indelibly whacked condition.

(C)2014-Jaye Beldo

Sunday, August 31, 2014

California Portraitures: Alekos Discoupolous


Jaye Beldo

The sound of the motorcycle coming up the hill has me off hiding usually, but this day, he saw me and I was rendered captive down in the garage. What compelled him to rattle in litany fashion for over two hours, I'll never know. He never sat down once.

He told me about the Bay Area rave scene in the early nineties as if this was some salvational point in the time line of history and played some Doc Martin for me. He used my computer to play it on You Tube and put it on the large, flat screen TV on the wall. I must admit that the DJ influenced my guitar playing with his sophisticated rhythms and modal transitions.  Alekos tried selling the scene to me like I had really missed out on something-generation wise. Glad I missed it though-the brain perforation that the drug Ecstacy causes most of all and what it does to people as evidenced by the guy still talking before me.

 Alekos Discoupolous told me he used to be a newspaper salesman until downsizing forced him up into the mountains a few years ago. Was making 80K a year he claimed. And pitched away he did as I sat there, with no where to go. He had the P.S.I. of dog biting capacity memorized and rattled off the names of the breeds that could break your arm off with a bite and worse. Obscure breeds I never heard of nor would ever want to meet, even in a kennel. He knew more about dogs than anyone I had met. Yet, he had a pair of puppy mill casualty German Shepards: one that chased its own shadow, flashlight beams, bit moving tires and carried logs and the other that would hide the moment you tried approaching her.

I have fond memories of Alekos rooting for his dog, blunt in hand, as it tried to tear our Doberman to shreds. 
"Go! Go!" He screamed as if he were Michael Vick.

It was then that I began distancing myself as much as possible from Alekos.

Discoupolous nearly killed himself in his Craigs List Audi which does 100 plus mph in third gear, too stoned to realize that the road down in the valley one took to get here, ended in a T. Through some miracolous drifting ability or angel intervention he survived however, barely missing a left turning car, using a cattle guard as a berm to avoid smashing into some trees. Why the deprivation of his end disappointed me I don't know and had to scold myself for such a wish.

Prior to this, he crashed his 450cc KTM rounding a corner and meeting a truck and had a knot the size of a baseball on his purple shin for over a month. I gave him some Helichrysum essential oil to put on it and the next day he came back, limped over to my trailer and said, "That hippy shit works!"

Shaking myself back to the present, I then listened to him rattle off all the times he had been arrested and thrown in jail-because of a D.U.I. he failed to address down in Oakland.   He described in detail each booking. I think it was eight times or thereabouts. Apparently prison wasn't all that bad. He seemed to have liked it and was on a first name basis with most of the inmates. Amazing how the cops down in town let him off the hook after finding open bottles and stash in his truck late one night. They were after bigger game, i.e., the lucrative hijacking of mega pounds of Marijuana which they would take and sell on their own. Oldest racket in the backcountry books.

This Saturday night around 2:00 AM, a buddy of mine knocked on my door.

"Alekos rolled his truck. Killed his dog. He can't find his girlfriend. Do you want to come with?"

 I declined, went back to bed but couldn't sleep. I prayed and could see the 'Ugly Spirit' that had taken hold of Alekos, one that roams about this mountain because of an Indian curse put on this land. I prayed some more.

The next day I got the field report:

"Claims a deer ran in front of him and he spun out, hit an embankment and rolled the Expedition. He and his girlfriend climbed out the back and walked home. We found the dog, she wasn't dead after all."

Again, a familiar feeling of disappointment overcame me.

I told my friend how I had to clear Aleko's property last winter, where a murder had taken place about four years prior and how the further you go down the mountain, the denser and darker the energy gets. He seemed to understand much better why I avoided the guy and his girlfriend, whose name I still don't know, as much as possible.

"Alcohol lowers your vibration and it is easier for dark forces to take hold." I told him and he agreed, knowing full well Alekos's M.O. I then alerted him to the curse on this land and what it can do to unaware/unevolved people:

Overall, I couldn't fault Alekos for his cooking abilities though as he proved to be a grill whiz, rendering mountain food basics of meat and potatoes into something bordering a culinary celebration. He was a great gardener too, eyeing up some eggplants I rescued from Grant's garden after he left and telling them exactly what nutrients they needed. He even had a scholarly bent to him and filled me in on what the Spartans, et. al ancient Greeks did in their spare time.

Regardless of his errant talents, there will be no celebrating until the day I finally get my terminus wish, not the death of my would be friend have you, but the death of whatever took Alekos Discopolous over so long ago during one of his prolonged Ecstasy binges, time in jail or one of the dog fights he most likely aided and abetted on.

(C)2014-Jaye Beldo


Sunday, August 24, 2014

I Am (Not) Doing Well


Jaye Beldo

For the last 2.5 years I've been dutifully beginning each and every journal entry, upon awakening, with:

I am doing well. I am strong, healthy, happy, harmonious, prosperous and successful.
Why? Because the sub- conscious mind takes everything we say, think and write literally and responds accordingly. So says the book The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy-which is pretty much the cornerstone of the 'Law of Attraction' phenomena currently en vogue around the world. After reading the thing, I thought I'd give it a try, considering the nihilistic tone of many of my previous journal entries over the last thirty years or so and the persistence of bad things in my life.

One day however, as I was writing the above for the 900th time or thereabouts, something in me caused me to jam my pen into the paper, press down as hard as I could and tear several pages into shreds. I was not well that day or harmonious or feeling all too successful or prosperous.

Staring at the shredded pages in my hands, I couldn't help but think of Yazidi refugees being buried alive or Palestinian children's lives destroyed by a bomb hurled into one of their schools or babies in Iraq deformed by depleted uranium. Or Fukushima and the en masse death of the Pacific ocean. Ferguson Missouri boiled over into my awareness as well and the total gutting of our constitution. A psychopathic lawyer who screwed me out of money in 2013 after I saved his life also came to mind. I had forgiven him and let go of it but he was taking advantage of other people I heard through the grape vine after he got out of the hospital. Why I bothered to save his life, I'll never know. But maybe my sub-conscious does and hasn't told me yet. Nor has all the positive thinking I've done changed my personal reality of being exploited by some rather bloodless people who I will forgive eventually.  I tossed the journal into the trash and still have not rescued it even with a pending dump run this week.

The subconscious may take things literally and respond accordingly-but what about the so called ' collective unconscious' as that crypto-fascist occultist Carl Jung called it after he concocted it? If  the CU at all exists, it seems to be retaliating against the very idealism behind positive thinking by making our world a very horrible place in attempts to wake us up to the blindness that said delusional idealism causes. I wonder what the collective unconscious of  our world thought when I burned my entire library of Jung books in the backyard back in Minnesota, in a leaf burner I borrowed from my redneck neighbor prior to the house foreclosure. I simply could not individuate any more.

August 22nd: I am dissociated and angry and frustrated beyond measure and at a total loss at what to do. I do my best not to harden my heart and not care in order to cope. Should I swallow some spiritual Prozac?Or maybe some real Prozac?  Start drinking again? Listen to the fascist loving Dalai Lama giggle so deceptively while he kotows to neo-Nazis and is funneled millions of dollars from the CIA?

I wonder how my subconscious mind takes this-for it true and I'm not lying. What is your response sub conscious mind?

 It answers via a very real pain in my heart. I have already made a doctor appointment. It's that bad. My fingernails are white and my left arm tingles. I must acknowledge this pain and not deny it via some poisonous idealism or by anticipating some upcoming astrological alignment or ascension assistance by the Luciferic evil that poses as Ashtar Command, The Great White Brotherhood, Nesara and other assorted cryptic bullshit.

The human psyche is rife with paradox, contradictions, indelible dualism and the like. When we focus too much on what is 'positive' it causes what Freud called 'The return of the repressed.' and the return can be utterly ferocious and savage as evidenced by what is playing out on the world stage and in our personal lives. Hearts are indeed hardening and waxing cold.

Oddly or not, I have benefited from some of the techniques in the book such as when I forget something. I say: Subconscious mind, please help me recall what I have forgotten. And sure enough what had been 'lost' surfaces in my mind when I least expect it. I then make sure to thank the sub-conscious mind. It has worked with forgotten dreams as well. The affirmations seem to have done relative wonders, for the most part for my health and well being and depression until existential reality broadsides me time and time again and I take the plunge.

August 23rd: I am doing horribly today. I am not well.My blood pressure is up. Stage three. 180/120.

If I wrote otherwise that morning, I would have been lying. Fortunately, I'm a bit better on this the 24th but I still could not start my new journal with another: I am doing well.....

What will I write in my journal tomorrow? Hard to call it now. A 6.1 earthquake to the south has me a bit worried and whether or not the West Coast is getting fried from radiation.  At present I'm resorting to making drawings in red ink of a knife going through a heart in a sketchbook. The one that the pretty young girl made a Flower of Life drawing in:

And what to do with Murphy's book. Should I burn it too?

Sub-conscious mind, I'm waiting for the answer.

(C)2014-Jaye Beldo

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Optimism Gestapo


Jaye Beldo

(editor's note: I originally wrote the following for Mysteries Magazine and it has gotten considerable internet airplay since then. Why is it that the world seems to be getting worst the more 'optimistic' people are becoming? The 'return of the repressed' most likely is the answer.)


Zen fascists will control you
100% natural
You will jog for the master race

And always wear the happy face

California Uber Alles, Dead Kennedys

Why has there not been a mass transformation of consciousness, culminating in peace on earth, as so many promised back in the early days of the New Age movement? The answer is that there may be a metaphysical COINTELPRO at work, all under the cover of love and light.
Most people remember COINTELPRO from the days of the Black Panthers, Yippies, and other revolutionary groups who threatened our government during the civil rights movement and the Vietnam war. Sensing that these groups might incite American citizens into radical action, the FBI sent in agents to agitate members of these various groups, often pitting them against each other through various forms of subterfuge, such as blackmail.

It appears that the CIA, FBI, and NSA are now sending their goons into the metaphysical marketplace, making sure that people who think they are aspiring to higher and positively transformative things are, in reality, only becoming more self-indulgent, disconnected, and confused.
The biggest influx of these agents occurred during the blossoming of the “human potential” movement in the early ‘70s, through such institutions as Esalen. Legions of people threw away their protest banners and followed their bliss during a time when directly addressing the socio-political problems of the day was imperative.

Since then, the emphasis on personal development—and more recently, the You Create Your Own Reality movement—a significant segment of the population has been brainwashed into disdaining all socio-political issues. For what better way to disempower people than to have them focus on their personal evolution at the expense of their families, communities, and the countries they live in?

Metaphysical Double-Speak

Probably the most flagrant examples of New Age COINTELPRO are channelers who convey disturbing messages from supposedly highly evolved discarnate entities. For example, when the war in Iraq first started in 2003, a well-known channeler in Santa Fe, NM, who channels the ancient Egyptian goddess Sekhmet, allegedly claimed that the war was an “ultimate expression of [Sekhmet’s] compassion for the human race.” It would take a considerable amount of gullibility to swallow this kind of nonsense, but swallow it the New Agers did.

With such multidimensional “logic” at hand, practically any injustice, whether torture, environmental destruction, or manipulation of the economy by global powers, can be justified as an act of compassion. This is no different from the theocratic stance of George W. Bush when he said that God told him to invade Iraq!

Such metaphysical double-speak is dangerous, yet is nevertheless seeping into popular culture.
Of course, not all channelers are working for the shadow government. Rather, we should use much discernment in regard to channeled information. If channeled information through predictions of global cataclysm, for instance, creates fear and makes us feel ungrounded, unsure, and mistrusting, then it probably is coming from a COINTELPRO source and should be taken with an immense grain of salt.

The Optimism Gestapo

However, perhaps the most insidious aspect of the New Age movement is what I call the Optimism Gestapo, or those who regulate and insist on positive thinking by any means necessary, where any criticism or expression of negative or painful emotions are disdained.

I once brought up to an Ashtar Command “ascencionist” (i.e. someone who believes that extraterrestrials will come and save her), the fact that democratic senator Paul Wellstone may have been murdered in order to get republican Norm Coleman elected. Before I could elaborate, she cut me off by saying, “It was just his time.”

She was intolerant of the fact that I dared interfere with the reality she was creating, free of conspiracy, cutthroat politicians, and skullduggery. And the more I have played devil’s advocate with New Agers, the more I have discovered that such intolerance is the norm. For there currently is a belief amongst New Agers that anything negative that one expresses will only further magnetize negativity. However, those who pursue this line of thinking just end up repressing their negative emotions, only to have them burst forth in uncontrollable ways.

As an example, I once was in a massage therapist’s office proofreading a manuscript for him. I was reading how he had a deep respect for his Japanese ancestors who originated the massage techniques he used in his practice. The phone rang and I heard him say, “Just dial 911,” then slammed the phone down. He then turned to me and explained, “That was my wife. My kid just fell down some stairs. I can’t deal with it.”

On the surface, the  massage therapist conveyed an aura of humaneness and caring, all the while repressing his shadow side, as evidenced by his coldness towards his wife and child. Dr. Carl Jung recognized the danger of such repression and recommended confronting the nether-regions of our psyches—primarily through dream work—as a way of achieving healthy psychological equilibrium.
Anyone seeking a supportive metaphysical community should first ask themselves if their ability to think independently is being compromised. For keeping one’s metaphysical radar functioning is most important in a world crawling with “forced cheer” gurus, COINTELPRO channelers, and self-help authors.

Jaye Beldo
Mysteries Magazine
Fall 2007

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ocean in a Bucket: Part II


Jaye Beldo

Out in the blast of morning sun, I thwanged some power chords on my travel guitar in hopes to stimulate some growth, using the Layover tuning. Walking down the dirt path, I intended to play for the cabbage and lettuce as well, but stopped short of the orange bucket that had been moved from in front of my trailer and down to the garden about a month prior. There was Grant, hovering over some hot mix, wearing a dust mask and Ironman sunglasses that had a perversely blue, petroleum sheen on the lenses. I had nowhere to escape and he saw me before I could backtrack. He dropped his shovel and came over to me.

"I'm sorry." He said, dust mask still on. "It's been Sandra all this time. And I think I'm over it now."

I refrained from telling him that the young lovely bared her inner thigh to me in my trailer when it was cold and rainy a few months ago and told me that she loved me.

"Apology accepted." I said and did my best to hug him. He then showed me the results of applying the prescribed 30:1 ratio of freshwater/ ocean water to his plants. Most breathtaking was the intricately veined Chard, looking very exuberant and healthy. It truly was stunning. The corn too looked robust, but I wondered how any ears would manifest since he planted it all in two gallon pots, along with everything else. Looking at the beautiful array of starts, I then said, "In the mountains one has to open their heart as wide as possible. Then open it again, even wider." Some advice I myself have had to follow in order to survive here.

He looked so tormented even though his mouth and eyes were still hidden by his mask. In an attempt to disambiguate himself, he told me he had no earth whatsoever in his astrology chart. After musing on his planetary dilemma, I slung my guitar over my shoulder and hiked back up top and surveyed all of his puer aeternus apparatus: a rusted trampoline he got at a garage sale, still unassembled,an inversion machine to stretch the spine, a beaten up mountain bike he must have plucked from some alley in the rez below-useless in such demanding terrain and the Weber grill cradled in a hub that hadn't moved since he got it. The camper top he spent an entire work day acquiring leaned against a tree covered with spider webs next to it. They all morphed on me into toddler toys in a crib.

Outside the garage was a Christmas cookie tin filled with compost, unopened since the holidays. Next to this was a cracked slab of agate about an inch thick and of which I once spun the back tire of the 125 over when I was mad at him. His Course in Miracles book lay on the dirty couch in the garage that one of the dogs vomited on, the page edges soiled black. He was on day 90 or thereabouts of his "I am God." affirmations he had told me down below during the heartfelt apology. I then opened the fridge, looking for a snack: a  large bottle of acidophilous, kombucha tea in canning jars topped with some odd mold, raw goat milk cheese, hand made bread he had gotten from the farmer's market and other holistic oddities abound. There was little room for the other workers's food and anything non-organic/non-vegan got inevitably got stuffed into the vegetable bins at the bottom so as not to contaminate his cache.

I then drove the motorcycle to the top near the house and surveyed what was supposed to be our garden. The protective fence was never put up and the deer and wild hogs annihilated everything. They even ate the roses, thorns and all. Only the onions were left untouched. And some hot peppers too. The leaves on the tomato plants that got the ocean water treatment were all shriveled up but had some exuberant yellow fruits bursting forth from the branches. Sighing, I cracked the hose open and watered the things and sampled the flavorful wonders of Grant's erratic labor. I even watered the eggplants, still in two gallon pots, most likely root bound like everything else he planted.  A neighbor suggested I put fertilizer on them but so far I haven't, Grant's talk of an imminent eco-utopia which still echoed in my head managed put a damper on that. Apparently his visionary abilities would be enough to sustain such a thing but my garden patience had been used up long ago.

That night I dreamed about the septic tanks. The p.o.v. of the dream ego was that of a camera pan from left to right. A dis-embodied voice informed me succinctly that "They are full." Of what? No one lived up there and there was no running water. Perhaps they were full of money. I grabbed some hex wrenches out of my tool box and went up there the next morning to open the lid of on one of them but alas, the size of wrench required to do so was missing from my kit. Some dream irony, I suppose, that had come forth in my waking state reality and which I had no choice but to eat.
How would we survive a societal collapse under such conditions? I wondered and went back down to base camp.

When I got there, Grant was gone. He left a note saying he'd be in L.A. for a couple of weeks for some 'treatments' he chose to remain vague about. So far, he still has not returned.

To each his OM is the mantra du jour here in California, but I still manage to get around to watering what's left of the victory garden, often wondering if the septic tanks up top really are empty. Perhaps I'll find the wrench I need to open them after all, someday soon.

(C)2014-Jaye Beldo

Monday, May 5, 2014

California Portraitures: Woodstock


Jaye Beldo

Exiting the Dollar Store, I tried to pass by a man sitting on the ground with some jewelry for sale. A cane lay by his side.

"A donation will get you one of these." He said, gesturing towards his display. "Trying to raise money for a motel tonight. Otherwise me and my wife will have to sleep outside."

Sitting on the sidewalk  with him, I listened to his story:

"I've had four strokes. I don't even exist. They took my Social Security number away from me when I was in Ohio. They send my checks back to me when I try to pay my taxes. The strokes were a good thing though. They have wiped out nearly all of my memory. The beatings mostly."

I told him about this blog and how I've been writing about the en masse loss of compassion and empathy. He had tears in his eyes.

"I know. I have the light of truth in me and they don't like it."

The light really was in his eyes. I dug a meager ten spot out of my pocket and gave it to him. I just couldn't fork out more. People walked by us and wouldn't even respond when he asked them to look at his handicraft. Some of the pieces were pretty intricate and involved.

 "I lost over a million dollars. Produced a girl  punk band and they were going to appear on T.V. When it fell through, I was charged for the advertising slots that were supposed to air. Mafia guy threatened to break my bones. I walked into his office with a check and he already had the contract drafted to cut me loose. I could have split to the Bahamas instead."

I told him how I lost everything back in Minnesota and how a wealthy woman told me to get my hair cut and work at a McDonald's after I drove 1600 miles out to Idaho to write a book about her hot springs resort.

Another man approached and we got into a discussion about who is on the lowest rung of the ladder. He said musicians were, but I disagreed and said that writers have been occupying that coveted nadir the longest. Woodstock said that artists were the lowest and looked at his unsold jewelry.

About an hour later, still no sales although someone gave my new friend some scissor hash. It was getting a bit cold and I had to leave. When driving away, I went over many of his spiritual observations he shared and thought he was quite right on. Such as his admonition not to climb up into the mountains in Big Sur as many whites have never returned from there. He said only native peoples could sufficiently navigate the terrain, spiritually and otherwise.

Then it hit me. The dream I had in 2010 when I was about to head out to the coast to meet with a would be writer who hired me to edit his book. He invited me to his 380 acre spread on the ocean in Big Sur and was going to let me stay there to work on his manuscript. In the dream I was riding up a chairlift from the ocean to his place and when I got there it was filled with mentally retarded, elderly and very ill people requiring much care. A native American man looked at me as I was about to get off the chairlift and said, "You take care of yourself." With such urgency and import that I woke up crying, something that has never happened in all of my dream life.

With dollar signs in my eyes, I ignored the warning and headed across the plains and down into Moab, Utah where I stayed for awhile, proofing the guy's mediocre writing. The day before leaving for Big Sur, I had another premonitory dream: The 'author' and I were wading across a stream filled with beer cans. He slipped and fell down this concrete embankment and smashed his head clear open on some rocks. Waking up, I signed on only to find an e-mail from him which stated that he had to cancel because his 'partner' was going to be there and I couldn't come out to the coast. Nothing like telling me that before leaving from Minnesota.

I was out about 20K with that one and refused to refund the money he had already sent me. But Woodstock confirmed something and it has given me some peace of mind, that if I had gone out there, I very well may have gotten lost myself, in the mountains of the author's own delusions or perhaps my own. With no sufficient bearings, it could have been an inevitable terminus indeed without some indigenous help. Re-reading my dream, I vowed never to ignore such warnings again.

Unable to sleep, wondering if my new friend and his wife were left out in the cold, images of other down and out, broken hearted people I've met in California paraded through my mind: The elderly man in Crescent City that had to take care of his four grandchildren, an artist I met in Trinidad who was left out on the street in a wheelchair by his girlfriend, the woman outside a Wal Mart near Joshua Tree asking for money for her 24 year old daughter who had non-Hodgkin lymphoma , the meth addict breast feeding her baby outside a post office in Willits, their only commonality being that they were both toothless.

Waking up the next morning in my motel room, an image from the dream, lingered. I was on the chairlift at the summit of the Big Sur retreat. The Native American man was silent and looked at me expectantly, along with all of the downtrodden denizens of that particular lift station.

Unable to disembark, all of my friends waited for me to decide. The piece of polished quartz Woodstock gave me lay on the bedside table. Putting it in my palm, I tried using it to scry  my own heart and somehow prepare for what lay ahead.

(C)2014-Jaye Beldo

Jaye Beldo is the author of A Stab in the Light,
 a New Age Murder Mystery available @: