Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2009 Highlights

It seems from many folks I have heard from that the year 2009 was a strong one for most people. It certainly was a strong one for Ellika and me. At the very end of 2008 we had an ice storm which felled almost all the beloved birch trees around our house, and I promptly got felled with a fever lasting into the beginning of last year. In January I journeyed alone to New Mexico meeting many old friends: Damacio Lopez, that solitary warrior-hero against depleted uranium, who drove me to meet old colleague and writer Steven McFadden, author of Profiles in Wisdom, with his partner Dawn in Santa Fe, and up to beloved Jaya Bear who arranged a circle for me at her house in Taos, then to one of my oldest friends, Garrick Beck, whom I have known (as the son of Julian Beck and Judith Molina of the Living Theater) since he was four in the 1950s in New York, and who later was a founder and inspiration for the Rainbow Gatherings which I joined at their beginning in 1972. Garrick joined us for a large and wonderful circle that Steven had arranged for me in Santa Fe. There I met more old friends and made many new ones while reading from my new book of poem, Grandfather Speaks.

In February Ellika and I flew to Hawaii, where we made circles in Maui for a week plus a panel of elders that included Alex Grey and his wife and a delightful native auntie and which was moderated by old Rainbow friend and musician Fantuzzi. (Ram Dass was supposed to be with us, ut I missed re-connecting with him because he was ill.) Then we made a camp for a week on the Hilo coast of the big island, with many Swedes (organized by our Swedish friends Camilla and Kalle) four Germans and a handful of Americans. Beautiful Hawaii – I long to return….aloha!

It was a year of transition marking my 80th birthday, which I celebrated with many old friends at the Rainbow Gathering in New Mexico, again with my tribe on our reservation also with members of our prison circles, and in my home town of Salem, Massachusetts courtesy of the Universalist Church, which had a couple of members living in the house I was born in – I got to have tea in the very room where I first saw the light of day! The big celebration was on my actual birthday at the Mundekulla camp in Sweden with 150 people from all over Europe. After that we had a conference on sustainable living where I got to meet old and new friends from some of my favorite eco-villages: The Farm in Tennessee where my son Tokeem was born, Findhorn in Scotland, Sieben Linden and ZEGG in Germany, Solborg in Norway, Tamera in Portugal, and Damanhur in Italy.

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