Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Road from Ruin: Part XII


Jaye Beldo

The dog had a large plastic bag in his mouth, taking some amount of effort on my part to pry it away. I put what appeared to be some herbs on the kitchen counter and wondered why Arial held on to anything this long. It immediately triggered a recollection:

Odd how I put a plastic egg with a Silly Putty womb and a tiny baby jammed inside into an ornamental nest crowning a pine tree near the front door of her house.  It had been given to me by an ex- girlfriend. Arial took what was meant as an innocent joke back then as gravid foreshadowing instead, stating that an astrologer's prognosis of my natal chart in which he saw a pending child, as the very proof of her own pregnancy. When confronted if she bought a test kit to make sure, I was rebuked that a consultation with her favorite psychic  was all she needed for a positive reading.

I placed the bag of Pennyroyal the dog brought me back in a cardboard box, unsure which one it was pulled out of and reflected some more. One other flare up occurred around that time, shortly after Arial got her period thus proving either the abortive herb had worked or the psychic and astrologer were dead wrong. I had enrolled in her acupressure class. Somehow I got partnered up with a slender, suntanned cutey of blonde persuasion and when I saw a serpentine scar on her stomach while she was laying flat, she explained to me that all her organs had been removed, set on a surgical table and then replaced, prior to being sewn up.

I complimented my partner on her abilities to read meridian pulses as well as fully healing from the gastrointestinal surgery. Big mistake. Scorpion poison shot through Arial's eyes. And the lashing I received afterward when I shared what I had said made me drop out of the class. I had to putt around town to kill an evening every Wednesday. Too bad.  I wanted to become an acupressure therapist at the time but after that incident, couldn't bring myself to pursue it.

So now the decade long circle has been completed thanks to the dog and I'm still left wondering. The Chocolate Lab is now snoring by my side as I write this, dreaming of other reminder finds amidst Arial's boxes. Maybe, while I'm sleeping on the floor of the therapy room tonight, the pooch will drop on my stomach an unremembered declaration of love, unconditionally inscribed on some tincture bottle that can be taken under the tongue, inspiring a remedial forgiveness and letting go and healing of wounds, surgical and otherwise.

Part XIII:


(C) 2012-Jaye Beldo

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Road from Ruin: Part XI


Jaye Beldo

I sat alone with Evita at the lodge table. She would not make eye contact with me. The tray of  brownies she brought for us all lay untouched.

"So you used psychic development to overcome alcoholism?"

Still no eye contact.

"Yes. Over twelve years now on the wagon."

"Well.." She blurted. "... would you consider teaching a class here?" She continued to look out a window at the steam rising from one of the springs.

Her proposal took me by surprise as our weekend at the Hollywood in the mountains ski resort was nothing short of disastrous.

A drunk woman sat on the edge of my futon at Evita's condo  there, compelled to give me the graphic details of how she and her partner's son was conceived.  During the rather sordid narration, I imagined the turkey baster delivery implement bronzed, resting on the mantle of their fireplace somewhere in Idaho Falls next to a pic of the shadowy, trench coated donor father.

She burst out crying. Apparently lesbianism was frowned upon by the state and she was dead sure some Mormon goons from CPS wanted to take their son away from them. In attempt to recompense this after midnight room intrusion and the mandatory dinner party evening with the samizdat crème de la crème of Sun Valley as well, I busily sketched an apotropaic mandala in a notebook I recently burned in the fireplace of my now foreclosed home.

The gay astrologer sitting across from the dyke did his best to one up her conception tragedy with a story of his own. I had heard his spiel about his Catholic upbringing several times that weekend in between our workshops at the holistic convention- the sudden rainstorm, subsequent flood and he down on his twelve year old  knees in some Boston church in front of a thunder cracked glass Madonna. All alone, of course.

Evita didn't bother to tell us that there was no furniture in her condo prior to our arrival there. Nor did she inform us that we would have  nowhere to sit at her booth, since selling all her unicorn, crystals and incense crap from her bookstore was more important to her. The tuning fork healer woman got offended and eventually we all ended up outside too, communing with some swans near a pond and doing readings for a few stragglers that our hostess commandant sent our way.

On the trip back to her resort late Sunday, we were all silent. Then, after about an hour of driving, Evita brought up the phenomena of the 13th moon calendar and its harmonic frequency, contrasting it with the more discordant Gregorian calendar, baiting the astrologer to chime in, looking in the rear view mirror at us, before she burst into tears.

"None of you were there for me." She sobbed.

"You didn't show up for my dream workshop." I said coldly, after ten miles of thinking about it.

 "I was meeting with a realtor." She explained as we neared Pocatello.  I did my best to clear the Mormon miasms out of her aura, sensing the programming most likely  first occurred during her baptism. It could have been the Planet X source of the Mormon code at work in her, though I wasn't too sure at the time.

Our little side trip to Craters of the Moon park pissed Evita off as well and she made sure to bring it up again as we drove on. Apparently her leash wasn't long enough to allow that.  While there, the place where moon landings where supposedly practiced, the astrologer swabbed Young Living essential oil on his nose and contemplated the lava spread. The tuning fork lady was menstruating according to him and refused to get out of the car Evita had lent us.

How we upset our hostess's plans, in the metaphysical scheme of things, I'll never  know even with the guiding light of a baker's dozen of  lunations to help me.

I stared at the brownies, wondering what would ensue if I ate one of them.  They looked dried, made in haste from some store bought mix.

"I'll have to think about it." I said, for such a sobering proposal had put me on guard and rightly so.

Part XII:


(C)2012-Jaye Beldo

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Road from Ruin: Part X


Jaye Beldo

The other day I saw an SUV with a "Cowboys for Jesus" and an NRA bumper sticker on the back window. Either I would have been branded on the butt with a red hot crucifix or my attempt to liberally dialogue with the driver of this vehicle would most likely have been snuffed by a 9mm report.

"I learned everything I need to know about Islam on 9-11" proclaimed an enormous decal I saw on the back of a pick-up truck, graphically back dropped by the burning Twin Towers. There would be no inside job talk with that guy, unless I wanted to get lynched in a 4WD kind of way.

"I speak English and am proud of it." Was another bumper sticker I saw while walking through a Safeway  parking lot. I would have told the woman driver, in Spanish, that I was proud too, but the desert dust had tattooed her skin with menacing designs and I backed away from what could have been an ugly scene indeed.

However, acclimating to the full metal paranoia has been a relative breeze since I get my daily dose of gunfire every time I walk out in the desert with the dogs. Spray painted swastikas on milepost rocks are a common sight as well. I'm provided with all sorts of detritus clues that I  interpret as warnings when instead they could very well be guideposts to some future promise one should chase after in a Timothy McVeigh kind of way.

It would take more exposure to the state inclemency, a sun hardening of the arteries before I would sufficiently constrict and take up any cause though.  But who knows, maybe if I'm interred long enough in this crack redneck prison, I'll be advocating a shoot- illegals- on- sight policy, mandatory flat tax implementation and become a secessionist as well, not with the intent to split from the United States, God forbid, but from any resemblance of humaneness, civility and residual intelligence hiding deep in the shadows here, desperately trying to survive like the coyotes and tortoises, javelina, wild burros and other assorted target fodder at large.

Part XI:


(C)2012-Jaye Beldo

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Road from Ruin: Part IX


Jaye Beldo

The poet Rilke got Princess Marie von Thurn und Taxis-Hohenlohe as his patroness during the time he wrote the Duino Elegies. I got an Idaho potato yokel with vaguely oriental literary aspirations . Hard to bridge such a gap, even with my expectations lowered to the bottom line. Nearly a month later, here in a desert library, I review the mineral inspirations I penned in my journal after soaking, prior to safely getting out of her state:

-These are living waters. Perhaps there were hot springs in the time of Christ that he used for healing-maybe even the hotsprings of Gadara. I could alchemically tie this pilgramage place with the Geothermal Super Volcano connections in Yellowstone. Fire and water converging both within the body and without.  Only soaking in my host's hotsprings would evoke this awareness and sufficiently open the chakras.

-I sense that Snow monkeys in Japan are picking up on the deeply esoteric link between volcano and the lava heated springs here. Balneotherapy. Baleneology. Ecstacy by any other name. Harkening inward, with the circulation of the hot springs light through the body. Water is light! The monkeys already know this and try to chatter this to a world which does not listen!

-Prior to entering the water, one must be receptive to its healing properties, doing so will encourage the waters to go deeply within. Not in a way that would drown have you, but rather enlighten instead.

-"Highest good is like water, pure and spotless"   -Lao Tzu

That one would have made my patroness wet if she hadn't gone south on me.God, she would have given me a replica Duino castle that she probably owned on the Kootenay river, radioactivity and all.

-Chladni patterns in the water. One no longer needs a violin bow on a metal plate. One's pure and spotless awareness will be sufficient enough to generate the patterns of healing in the living waters here. Photographs could be taken of the patterns and posted on FB so others are healed as well and eventually drawn to book a stay at the resort.

-In my possession is a giant geo- acupuncture needle. I know the precise earth meridian to stimulate in order to cause the Super volcano to instantly erupt, causing global devastation. I plan on calling a press conference at the site in the park and then hold the world's super powers hostage. If they don't meet my demands......(hot springs water smeared the rest of this entry into illegibility.)

-I dreamed that I was in the cottage next to the hot springs my invisible host put me in. It is jammed with people. I climb up a window ledge and shout, "Do whatever you can for people less fortunate than yourselves." But no one hears me or cares. I try to exit through window but can't.

If only I could have put all of the above in flowing verse for my rude patroness, including the plummet down the stairway as a punctuation point. Seducing with an iambic pentameter only she could reciprocate, I wouldn't have to put up with the riff raff hacking at the computer table next to mine and now threatening me with their airborne pestilence.

Part X:


(C)2012-Jaye Beldo

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Road from Ruin: Part VIII

Jaye Beldo

A desert desperation pushes me even further south. The bottom of my stomach falls out as I defy the warning and I try to grasp the co-ordinates: News at Night reports of Mariachi bands gunned down in border bars, Phoenix kidnappings and more decapitations. Scrying the dashboard compass which defies its own directive, a truth of great import is conveyed. Palpitating hearts held up to the All Seeing Eye, the blood of corruption running down the pyramid as it has always done. I’ll take this as a hint to listen to my Spanish CDs. Soon, I'll be able to fluently describe the machinations of Coatlicue, Chicomecoatl  and other starving gods and goddesses plugged into current gang brains, demanding even more sacrifice than before. Would the drug thugs understand my slang rendering, a revelatory mural of Queen Elizabeth masquerading as the Virgin of Guadalupe?  Perhaps they’d be awed by the royal Marian vision, see who they are really working for and the guns pointed at me would be dropped. The Mexican police would be the ones giving me money as I worked my way to the heart of Zeta headquarters. I’d continue to tug on their corazón strings in hopes of becoming a cartel bard or at least a jester taunting the profit launderers from some kingpin stronghold affording me peninsular invisibility.

Anticipating the bliss that only danger can provide, I head for a beckoning corona, an alluringly grave terminus in the direction of Acapulco. One to be slain for, earmarked only with my own unmooring.  A medallion pinned to my AC vent comes to life and the same old serpent struggles to break free of the archangel's stomp as we cross the border at Los Olgodones.

Mesmerizing glare of the highway aside, I'm sure all this has already happened, even with the gear shift still in Park.



(C)2015-Jaye Beldo

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Road from Ruin: Part VII


Jaye Beldo

Really my friends, the ruinous road trip started even further back, in 2008 to be exact, when a Unitarian attempted to match make me with an artist. Her award winning work was stunning in a Gothic kind of way: pencil renderings of staggering brilliance which she tucked behind sofas in her mother's home as if she was ashamed of them. One work in particular, a bat and butterfly mating was the most eerie and brilliant of all. Yet, it hung nowhere.

She gave me a tour of the backyard where several bird houses adorned the trees, far too close together, territorially speaking. Apparently the mother grew frustrated with the lack of feathered tenants and jammed each hole shut with wooden dowels and other similarly shaped items. Refraining from psychoanalyzing the obvious, I followed my date out front and watched a sailboat come closer and closer to shore. She waved to someone in a dinghy after the boat was anchored . A rather stout man climbed up some steps after docking across the street. Barely greeting me, he dragged a long, snakelike metal cable around a corner, apparently some part that prevented him from sailing sufficiently enough. It didn't take much to sum up the situation. He had been to Antarctica once, for no apparent reason according to my friend. Perhaps some polar vacuity he took on there contributed to his asocial behavior.

One night, the artist and I agreed to meet. Upon her arrival near a lake and a transplanted grove of pine trees, I rolled down the window to greet her. She said nothing and handed me a pickle cut in half. In it were embedded three flower stems with the rutilant, fragrant blossoms fully intact.  The pickle could have been one her mother shoved into a birdhouse hole from what I could gather of it. The flowers seemed fresh enough though, perhaps plucked from the backyard garden. The security lights made the unusual gift glow in bleached neon.

I placed the flowers in the drink holder in my Malibu and we headed for the shore of the lake only a few yards away. Alone together, with only the wind to accompany us.  The pine trees, she intuited , were sad because they were not native. An inexplicable bleakness descended around us. Weighing only 90 lbs, my date contracted in response. Now the bleakness became isolation, a kind of disconnect  I'd never before experienced. Even while alone. Waves lapped the roots of Basswood tree but even that could not make us speak.

"I'm miserable." I said, standing up and brushing the grass off my jacket and pants. It felt like some kind of alien presence surrounded us, a cold monitoring, perhaps using the pickle as some kind of GPS device. Most likely, it was bleed through from the Anthroposophy she was so deeply involved with or more likely Human Design of which she used to determine that I had no emotional center. It could have even been the Gene Key workshops she so faithfully attended and which enabled her to nail the spiritual purpose encrypted in her own DNA. Or the channelings she went to in Fargo. Or the Adderall  she was on. But most likely it was the Unitarian whose father once owned the park land, thousand upon thousand of acres of it, that caused the disturbance we both felt.

She gathered up her blanket and followed me sheepishly to the car.  She looked as if she were blaming herself, like what we experienced was something straight out of her artwork. I got in and rolled down the passenger window intending to throw the pickle bouquet out onto the parking lot, but instead handed it back to her and sped away. I had never done 75 mph on the curvy park roads before but felt I needed to before I  morphed into the progeny of her bat and butterfly, never to be hung in a gallery have you, but forever stashed away somewhere dark.

Part VIII:


(C)2012-Jaye Beldo

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Road from Ruin: Part VI


Jaye Beldo

Aura Soma Lava

My hot springs host missed out on some truculent witticisms I penned while soaking. They were intended to supplement  the prospective project she wanted me to work on and which I snidely titled : Book of the Elixir.  Yet, if I had stayed any longer to share my cornucopia of elixir insights with her,  I'd have been rendered neo-natal, like the guy she endowed with her brand new Mini-Humvee, a bit of Mormon nepotism from what I could read of the situation. Somethng Mitt Romney would approve of no doubt, in an expectant kind of way.  I wouldn't even put it past her to flaunt her stagecraft philanthropy by supplying a virgin polygamist with a dozen blow up dolls and a chapel to marry  them in, air cushion wives adorned in day-glo spandex prairie dresses and bonnets.

While cooling off from the 111 degree water, I continued to pray the blood of Jesus over the labyrinth near the river, one once travailed by lesbian Buddhists, envisioning the terra cotta gargoyles in the center smashing to shards, later to be plucked up in a distant epoch by forlorn archaeologists. 

The vision I had of the cellulite donut encircling Evita's waist instantly disappearing in the alchemical springs, is something else I withheld, after she gave me her tough love marching orders. Not that I'm a selfish visionary, I just thought it might offend her, considering she once claimed she was a poster girl for some holistic diet program she was on, but permanently stuck in the 'before' photo from what I could gather.

Also penned in my journal was a lofty epitaph, replete with directions to all the booze bottles hidden throughout her property, like the very terma the Tibetan's looked for in unexplored Himalayan mountain caves, beckoning to be discovered by wannabe lamas. It would have been futile however, the blue ruin secret known by all throughout the savage gossip town.  

"You like misery." She stated at the restaurant as a part of her damage control and her declarative statement still echoes resoundly in my cranium nearly two weeks later.

"Is that why I'm sitting here with you?"  I should have responded but I hesitated too long. She was already grilling me as to what spiritual experiences I had while in the hot springs, then told me that said experiences were sufficient enough to cover my gas, food and lodging costs en route to her resort.

Now, here in the desert expanse of Arizona,  I can more adequately reflect on the eviction. Chalk the Flower Child harridan up as another human potential movement casualty? A cemetery en par with Arlington awaits at Esalen for such ilk.  I should have patronized more suavely, divining all the wrinkles in her desert weathered visage, interpreting them as some kind of sign of a golden age emergence her resort customers could bask in, even after she jacked up the room and massage rates. Or perhaps some varicose prophecy could have poured from my lips that would have turned the tables to my favor and I'd be the one scooting around in a Mini-Humvee, with a dozen inflatable wives to boot.

(C)2012-Jaye Beldo

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Road from Ruin: Part V

Jaye Beldo

We heard the blast while sitting at the kitchen table. One of the kids emerged from the garage, clutching his head. The previous night I had warned he and his brother that the seals probably wouldn't hold but that did't stop them. The two young ladies sitting near the workbench constantly eyeing the duo as they sawed the PVC may have been the reason for them bumptiously venturing forth with their ballistic project.

"The older you get, the more you think about the consequences of your actions." I sage imparted to the younger brother when he showed me all the drunken driving dents in the car, proud like a tribal warrior is of his initiatory facial scars.

"That's what alchohol is for." He sneered and then ventured to brag about taking on a high school football player at a party and ending up beaten unconscious in a cacti ridden wash the previous fourth of July.  

"The ringing isn't stopping." The blast victim said, walking in circles, ears still cupped in his hands, one of his eyes swollen shut. His brother showed me the chillingly deep dent the pipe cap made in his car door. It had pneumatically richocheted several hundred feet across the street. 

A reluctant parent phone call to California to check up on insurance coverage as an ER visit seemed inevitable revealed that there was none for the imperiled lad.  My friend started doing energy work on him. Intermittant doses of homeopathic Arnica and Ledum Palustre seemed to calm him down even more and he was able to get off the massage table and walk around with more stability after she did some accu-pressure points.

Maybe it was all the Homeland Security amidst the wrought iron crucifixes and framed and quilted bible quotes adorning the stucco walls throughout the home that made the family photos dispersed throughout the palatial spread seem so patently sad and lacking.  There were even door monitors that registered the quota of openings and closings that the parents could check on their computers from their luxury digs four hours away.  One would assume that such monitoring constriction would be anomalous amidst the peaceful, expansive desert views of the Mojave mountains beyond the swimming pool out back here. Sadly,the infiltraton of domestic reconaissance apparently has become commonplace amongst the rich, a policing that has infiltrated into the intricate matrices of familly relationships in very insidious and undermining ways.  None of it however managed to hamper the full bore partying in the absent dad's man cave that weekend though, 80 proof debauchery censored via electrician's tape plastered over the camera lens according to the brothers who pleaded with us not to tell.

The blast victim, his sad silhoutte crowned by a shadow of palm fronds outside the sliding door,  blurted in subdued fashion:  "I doubt my mother even loves me." The spud gun memento mori having unmoored this confession deep from his heart somehow. One locked in for a very long time considering how pained, remote and removed his words sounded to us prior to him leaving for home later that day.

(C)2012-Jaye Beldo

The Road from Ruin: Part IV


Jaye Beldo

Aura Soma Lava

Greetings Friends,

Spending a night in an RV with a Mormon is a rather unique experience, esp. in the duplicity department. The amiability was most welcome however considering that I had been ejected from a cottage  next to a hot springs by my host who avoided me for three days after my arrival , until I ran into her at the restaurant across the street. "You can't stay here." She bomb dropped me at the table, her dragonfly brouche surrounded by dribble stains she made a futile attempt to brush away, when she noticed me checking them out.  "I'll put you up in the bookstore. You can sleep on the floor. Go chat with customers, socialize." She delivered her finishing punch. Trying to process what she just said, I waited and remained silent. "Go to Pocotello for the day-go watch a movie." She then suggested as an alternative.

Sitting with my makeshift friend in the 'living room' in a comfortable swivel chair, I did my best to relax. After telling him what had happened, he conveyed to me some rather revealing news: "He was walking down some stairs carrying a tea cup when his camera strap snagged on something. Couldn't get his hands in front of him to break the fall. Hit his head and died." It then dawned on me that he was referring to my host's husband. Apparently the fateful plunge took place only a month prior.

We watched some Polanski movie about a ghost wrtier on his high def flat screen t.v. mounted above the driver and passenger seats. I managed to sleep on the fold out bed fairly well,thinking that Moroni was going to hand deliver me some angelic communiques indelibly etched into Tupperware bowls as I fell asleep. During the evening visit, my RV emcee suggested I go to Temple Square in Salt Lake City and check out the Mormon Tabernacle Choir who then chorused in my head, unbeknownst to him, a sublimely polyphonic red flag about the invite.

The next morning, at the same restaurant,  I confronted my host. "When did you change your mind about me coming here?"

"Oh...about the second day of your driving. I didn't think you had a phone so I didn't try calling."

Originally, she had given me an assignment to write about her hot springs from a 'Secret of the Golden Flower' perspective-i.e. Taoist alchemy. So as I was soaking in the splendid springs, I conjured up all sorts of oriental niceties about aquatic hexagrams one could contemplate in the ripples of the springs amongst other tidbits of rarefied spiritual bullshit that even Lao Tzu would fall for.  But she changed her mind about that project and said she was no longer interested. Perhaps my proprietarian bumpkin host was still offended by what I said to one of her employees about the eviction stunt she pulled on me.

Prior to me leaving Minnesota, she was going to let me stay downstairs at her house and help her get the place ready to put on the market.  Instead she replaced this invite with telling me my job would be to write about the springs, mystically speaking. When I reminded her of this while leaving the restaurant, she said rather shrilly, "I could never have you live upstairs."  But I tactfully refrained from telling her that what I was seeing at the moment, walking directlly behind her, that that would never be possible, even in one of my most steatopygously mashochistic moments.

 She then launched into a peculiar bit of damage control to cover her fuck up. Shifting into crone wisdom phase, she told me that I needed to face reality, suggested I get my hair cut and work at McDonalds. She handed me a meagre hundred dollars to cover my gas costs and suggested I go to St. George Utah to start a new life.  I made her put me up in one of her motel rooms and left the next day, braving it through ice and snow until I hit the desert burg that evening. 

Camping in Snow Canyon helped me unwind a bit from my host's dysfunctional little circus in southern Idaho. A doe eyed park ranger showed me some Anasazi petroglyphs behind my site and I found a piece of pottery shard and could sense the utter oneness in which the potter had with the pot while making it. She seemed to be receptive to my experience and watched me hide the find under some sand. Hiking in the canyons beyond the resort town was the bit of ambulatory therapy I needed, considering.

Part V:


(C)2012-Jaye Beldo

The Road from Ruin: Part III


Jaye Beldo

Epochal, insane driving weather en route across the northern plains and range country last week. Trucks and buses pulled off a wind torn freeway in Montana. Orange, looming dust clouds closed I-15 down north of Idaho Falls, thus detouring us to side roads, both desolate and eerily far removed from the main current. I expected to crash into the Four Horsemen Stables, exploding hay bales with my Malibu as a kind of end time fanfare.   SUVs passed me going 80 mph on ice/snow packed roads while status updating their assumed immortality to their Facebook friends. The snowless mountains groaned, while I white knuckled it over the passes en route, perhaps agonizing that they'll be inundated  and forgotten until another geologic recycling brings them to light again and the locals, fretting over the loss of tourist dollars can thus rejoice.

People wear heartbreak on their sleeves here in Idaho, hoping it will somehow pass off as mere weathering from the elements to the tourists and nothing more. This is how people back home would appear sans the Minnesota nice, thus the telling visages are most welcome, even if they cause the casual outsider to think that there is something nuclear at the core of the sadness and the peculiar and pervasive amnesia found here.

Long haired guy at a spa  in Lava Hot Springs: saw him in back earlier in the day after I tried entering the coffee shop section, but door was locked w/ sign in window: Massage in session until 11:30.

“Understaffed.” I grumbled, ambling back to my car over icy asphalt, sight unseen I had hoped. Saw him again at night, but in front this time, a kind of spiritual shiftiness about him as he leaned on a doorway, back drop enhanced by the glowing orange Ganesh tapestry in the store window. It was as if he had some other business in mind and couldn’t help looking suspect, fists jammed tight in dungaree pockets, scanning the street like he did the alley earlier, perhaps in search of better camouflage or a tactful way out. 

As I drove on by, the business card his girlfriend gave me two years prior, glazed over with his own sprawled artwork, came to mind. With the spa partner in absentia , she crossed the embossed e-mail address out and penned hers on the back, prior to handing it to me, a gesture I more fully appreciate now, having better grasped the import of the situation at hand and most thankful I never pursued the lead.

 The couple at the Thai restaurant up the street donned their smugness so nonchalantly, self consciousness giving hint to an impalpable insecurity, one the woman tried covering with her pink, mouse eared ski hat, a contrivance designed to alienate the uninitiated. The bearded hubby guy in black North Face duds sneered at me peripherally, leaned over the table and shared some Android secret with his wife,to further insure their distance from me. Bragging about their California travel itinerary to a weary looking kid waiter, they laughed in unison over the greasy spring rolls, unaware of the self parodying pun they were making, mere icing on the cake of their nuptial conceit.

I'll post some more later. For now, back to soaking in the hot springs and unwinding from the world if at all possible :-).


Jaye Beldo

Part IV:


(C)2012-Jaye Beldo

The Road from Ruin: Part II


Jaye Beldo

The SUV pulled into the driveway on eviction day as I sat in the garage on a plastic pail, the only object left after a year and half of emptying out the house. In tears, I shook the hand of the Realtor and took her inside for the inspection.

“I’m doing fifty to sixty of these a year now.” She tried to assuage me, forgetting to take the mandatory pictures as I led her from room to room.

After the thumbs up, she got back in her SUV and phoned the lawyers in St. Paul and then told me the promised ‘re-location’ fee was to be out in the mail that very day. After she left, I walked around back and said goodbye to the squirrels, Blue jays and crows, realizing that no 11th hour rescue occurred whatsoever with this one. None.

The house transformed into an equity amulet, a vacant caricature that took on an even more deserted hue as I drove away. Having nowhere to go, I headed for the state park to book a couple of nights for winter camping. The park ranger felt sorry for me and offered me free firewood, so I was able to stay sufficiently warm and managed to set up camp and reflect on what had happened without getting frostbitten.

Staring into the flames and listening to the ice crack on the lake, I recalled what I had failed to tell the Realtor, what really led up to the loss of the house in the first place. It was a different kind of default, one she would not remotely understand, even with her mortgage calculator. It involved me believing the lie that evil is an illusion, something within ourselves that we have to work through by doing good karma. If I would have known the truth of the matter I wouldn’t have set myself up for such a fall. Space does not allow me to go into the details, but read between the lies of the pregnant implication above if you can.

Laying under several blankets in my tent on a full moon night accented by yipping coyotes to the west, I contemplated the contrary truth of the matter: that evil is real and objective and outside of ourselves and what it took for me to come to accept it. It nearly cost me everything. It nearly cost me my soul.

The next night, I received an unexpected confirmation, quite timely indeed, as I was truly losing faith. As I sat on my pail by the fire,  I heard a disembodied  voice tell me to put a gold plated cross I had bought at Hurley's Religious supply store in Fargo directly upon the coals. Without hesitation, I did so. Glowing red hot, it refused to melt, no matter how much I blew on the coals and stoked the fire with kindling. The next day it was still intact, chain and all, dangling from a log defiantly. As I put the charred evidence in my palm, the same voice informed me, "You survived a trial by fire." 

My survival pride was kept in check however in an icy kind of way. On Monday morning, my car wouldn't turn over. I had cheated and used the heated seats to warm up a few times, thus draining the battery. Flipping through contacts on my I-Phone, I tapped on one. After an hour of waiting, Beth, my one lunged Indian friend came with her dog. Chewing me out as she hobbled to get her jumper cables out of the trunk, she managed to get the Malibu to start.  We made quite a pair in the empty park that morning fighting with one another, while her pooch cavorted in the snow. She asked me if I needed money after refusing my offer of buying her a year pass to Minnesota State parks. Then she started to cry and asked me if I really did have coyotes trained to bury me after I did myself in with a .380 Taurus west of Sunset Lake. I apologized and told her I was a writer and never knew how my audience would respond to something I've stated. She even called me afterward to tell me how hurt she was when I said the thing about the coyotes.  I was quite touched,since no one else seemed to care.

So my friends, as I buy time here for a sufficiently unifying apostrophe to end this wayward confession, a bit discombobulated because of my utter physical exhaustion, I'm compelled to share the following from Philippians 2:12:

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

And don't buy into the lie. Please.

The Road from Ruin


Jaye Beldo

On this New Year’s Eve, I reflect on a year that surely was most challenging for many. For me the apocalypse happened in its entirety. Not in the Four Horsemen kind of way as many have come to expect, but rather a silent and invisible neutron bomb has globally detonated, killing people’s souls en masse while preserving their bodies intact like real estate property to be occupied in the future by God knows what. 

Most evident for me of the success of this devastating report was when I sat across from my pudgy, balding insurance agent as he scrutinized changes in my car policy.  Squinting at a computer screen, he asked about my family. I responded to the obviously wooden inquiry and told him how tough it was burying my mother the previous winter. Dead silence. He then turned to face me and asked about the status of the house. I told him that it had sold but refrained from filling him in on how a warm and amiable guy named Freddie Mac had bought it sight unseen. I guess his hopes of selling me another policy were dashed, although he didn’t show it when he handed me a complimentary 2012 calendar on my way out.

 The revelry of my fair weather friend Christmas was deafening. During one particularly dismal day, an Anishanabe woman with one lung arrived at my door with her 120 lb. dog named Taz, a cross between a Pit Bull and a Great Dane from what I could gather of its uniquely overbearing pedigree.  We sat together in the cold, empty house by the cracked fireplace, on folding chairs, chewing on some pizza. With the two inch wide scar that arced over her right shoulder visible, she confided to me that her doctors claimed all her medical records had somehow vanished when she asked about them.  She told me how a group of 'student' doctors were in front of her when her gown was ripped off in some basement in a hospital in Anoka and pictures taken. Afraid of another bout of steroid psychosis and a trip to the psych ward, she grew nervous.  

She then started crying when I asked her if there was anyone sober in the Pine Marten clan she was a part of to give her support.

My friend Beth Sweere. Died on 1-8-14
RIP you dear and beautiful soul. I love you so much.

“I just want to have a happy Christmas.” She sobbed, crossing her arms to prevent me from hugging her and looking away. I guess my empathy in response to her unfathomable plight was about as contrived as that of the three stooges found in the Book of Job who offer Job such bad advice, primarily because of the shallowness of their hearts. 

I tried to rectify things by giving her pooch some Rib Eye steak, but I haven’t seen my Indian friend with the unbelievably thick, beautiful hair since then, nor has she returned my calls. Maybe the ambulance siren I heard the other day was for her. Maybe it was DOA for real this time. Perhaps I should have burned the Frankincense she so dearly wanted to smell and remained silent during the visit like indigenous people usually do when together. After she left I was quite sadden but  re-read the bible passage on the Christmas card she had bothered to  give me:

I have come into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me will not remain in the darkness.
John 12:46

Why I couldn't fully appreciate my friend's light that day, I'll never know. Maybe my heart too has gone dead, seared by the neutron bomb.

And now on the cusp of 2012,  we are left with nothing but ruin and loss and total disillusionment. At least for me anyway. Matthew 24:12 comes to mind: 

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold

Yet, we should respond to such wickedness with love and not acclimate to it by shutting down-especially  to each other.  That surely is the most disheartening thing of all considering just how pervasive this kind of heart closure has become and the profound division it has caused.

Please do what you can for others less fortunate than yourselves in the New Year-in a very down to earth and tangible way. Lose the  perennial idealism you keep stored up in the stars.  Forget about your Facebook 'friends'. And most of all, chuck all of your salvational assumptions in regards to the 2012 hype for there will be no delivering transformation whatsoever.  No collapse of the crypto-fascist corporate system whatsoever.  

If any transformation is to take place, it will come from whatever humaneness, empathy and compassion we have left within ourselves as individuals and not something 'activated' by some global meditation during the next winter solstice. Most of all, during these perilous times, be wise as serpents and harmless as the beautiful Mourning dove I saw  this afternoon during a very rare winter encounter, which fluttered away into the snowy, bright sky as a reminder of good things to come :).