FireCat! The Legend of Amazon Sage©

Sage is a quirky girl who always loved wild animals, funny people, adventure and indigenous music. She still does.

What no one knows is that every night in her dreams, Sage

transforms into a woman of power and wisdom, called

Amazon Sage.

Unlimited by the confines of newtonian physics, she is fierce and full of compassion, traveling where ever she is needed to help relieve suffering in the world.

Only problem is,

Amazon Sage© only lives while Sage is dreaming.

Once Sage awakens, Amazon Sage © disappears. These blogs are written by Sage, telling what happens in this most secret life...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Good morning, friends. Today I see the world differently. A new style of writing captures my imagination. Flash Fiction. Dismissing convention it seeks authenticity. Here's a sample:

I taste rum soaked strawberry shortcake and don't remember how old I was the first time I climbed a tree.I remember going to the hospital. I remember seering pain, unable to move or even breathe, determined to make it through.

I don't remember where I was when my father died, but I remember the smell of my dogs when I lifted the cover from their cold crate.

I don't even remember where I stayed the first night when I left home forever. A tornado swirled around. And I don't remember the name of the town where my best friend was buried but I see her being placed in the ground, again and again.

Last night, as Amazon Sage, I dream travelled to South America in an aeroplane. I remember flying high over the Andes, listening to engines sputtering, wondering if I would survive. Air filtration system hums, a person coughs, another cries, someone taps a pen on paper.

I hear my computer stroking keys while billions of neurons roar through my mind.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

amazon sage©: “Sage Memories from 9-11-01”

amazon sage©: “Sage Memories from 9-11-01”: Good morning, friends. Last night, Amazon Sage dream travelled to a different time... It was 2001, a cool September 11, morning as one Flori...

Good morning, friends. Last night, Amazon Sage dream travelled to...

“Sage Memories from 9-11-01”

Good morning, friends. Last night, Amazon Sage dream travelled to a different time... It was 2001, a cool September 11, morning as one Florida college professor prepared for the day’s classes. A call interrupted her reverie as a young man inquired if she’d like to refinance her home at a lower rate. Those were the days when mortgages were affordable and property was valuable so she started to respond. That's when she heard the young man gasp.

“What?” she asked. “Are you okay?” The young man’s voice quivered, his attention riveted elsewhere. In a voice more automaton than human he replied “They’ve flown into the World Trade Center. It’s on TV.” He hung up.

The television scenes were surreal. Billows of smoke and debris, falling bodies, people screaming; the words “terror attack”, Flight 93, the Pentagon, second tower; all crowded the screen for attention. Any one of them could easily have filled up the 24/7 news for weeks. By the time a second plane flew into New York’s other monolithic building, the professor, I’ll call her Professor Sage, sprang into action.

Having grown up during the cold war when school children were regularly practiced in how to “take cover and tuck”, she feared the worst. Immediately, she emailed each of her grown children, instructing them to fill up their bathtubs with water, gather batteries for their electronics, and stay inside “until we know more about what is happening.” A more contemporary version of “Take cover and tuck”.

Then she sat down to decide what to do about her classes. That day was already cancelled, but what about tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow? How long would we stay in hiding and at what cost to the psyches of our most vulnerable citizens, our students? As a psychology professor she was well acquainted with the personal stories of many of hers.

One young woman, here from Japan and living alone, had no one to turn to for comfort in these terrifying times. Other students, on their own for the first time, wanted to be brave but would need the company of others to keep them strong. Then there were the descendants of southern rebels; still angry that the old South lost the war; ready to take up arms at a moment’s notice. “...and this time, we will not lose!” They had heard that some of the terrorists  trained to fly at a Florida flight school so they knew where they wanted to go. Yet, if any of these young people decided to take matters into their own hands, not only would they hurt innocents and spread panic, they would ruin their own lives, as well.

The decision wasn’t easy but it was clear; classes would continue as scheduled unless or until we were unable to do so any more. Emailing her students to stay safe today and tomorrow, “come to class if you choose, with no penalty if you choose not to”,  Professor Sage prepared a very different lesson plan.

The next day, when she arrived on campus, it was eerily empty. Brave custodians who made the classrooms available were nowhere to be seen.  Professor Sage wondered if she had made a mistake asking her students to attend. She rounded the corner next to the entrance to her class room, noticing all was deathly quiet. Suspecting that her invitation to attend class and discuss the events of yesterday was indeed premature, she sadly entered the room wondering how long she should wait before making the long drive home. To her amazement, everyone of her students was sitting there... as quiet as prayer.

In the three hours that followed, students shared all manner of concerns. All listened to each other and reached out when anyone felt overwhelmed by sadness or despair. They also reached through anger, to those who wanted revenge, who wanted to revert to the tactics of their forefathers, don white sheets and issue fiery messages. With absolute respect for the feelings of fury, students encouraged non violence as a way they could be of real assistance to the families who lost so much.

By the end of the three hour class, a transformation had occurred that not even Professor Sage expected. Some might call it a miracle. Gone was the innocence of those fresh-faced students who arrived only a few weeks before, caring only about grades and social intrigue. These courageous students had battled their worst nightmares and entered the ranks of maturity by letting go of preconceived notions of payback and embracing a new reality: A world where every person’s voice is important and where reaching out is the true path to peace.

That night as Amazon Sage left the side of her professor friend, they shared a smile in the cool light of a new world. As it turns out, today is a good day to live.

Monday, August 22, 2011

08/22/11 “Gathering in the Face of Instability: A Parable for our Time” 
Last night’s dreams were filled with awakenings, both physical and perceptual.  The physical ones were easily remedied with another pillow or a trip to the loo. The perceptual ones were less easily ignored. One dream caught my attention as I, in my dream persona of Amazon Sage, found myself transported to a small cafe in anytown USA. 
There, young adults gather to talk, text, and jumpstart their day with a cup of java.  The scene is reminiscent of a much earlier time (I’ve heard tales),  when people who worked downtown gathered at a central square or farmers’ market before surrendering to the day’s work. In fact, this cafe sits directly across from some of those very same buildings where earlier city dwellers discussed the state of their lives. Only the facades have changed.
As I gaze at nearby tables, I see young hikers, apparently rock climbers, freshly arrived from parts unknown. As they push back disheveled hair and tighten efficient backpacks one quietly speaks with the team about their day’s events. Nodding toward a structure, directly across the street, all smile mischievously. My gaze follows their own and I am taken in by the beauty of an old building standing not more than 30 feet away.  In the early light of day, she stands tall, an elegant lady of by-gone years, still quite beautiful in her twilight years.

I know she has recently been given a facelift of multi-shaped bricks, because they are more colorful than those originally stacked. I suppose it was in an attempt to enhance her natural beauty, and ironically, to make her look more historic. I wonder why the renovators of this wonderful old structure didn’t simply peel off the worn out stucco that, since the 1960s,  has so rudely blotted out her original grandeur. As I ponder this question, I am startled by the climbers. Almost magically, they are now standing directly in front of that grande dame, preparing to scale her heights! 

A few climbers are already digging their fingers into the fresh sutures of her recent facelift. Others are hoisting heavy ropes across her shoulders and around her neck. Immediately, I am filled with consternation. Do these climbers not know of her delicate condition? Do they not even care that her true strength lies buried behind these seductive layers of false fronts? Before I have time to warn them, the climbers are 30, then 40 feet in the air.
The grand lady, so long ignored behind the facade of other men’s opinions has finally had enough. First, one brick, then another, she begins throwing off these new additions that have attracted the young skalywags. This seductive packaging has not made her stronger, it only serves to hide what is truly worth keeping. Along with the bricks, the young climbers begin to fall. Head over heels they fall, losing everything in an instant.What they did not know is that behind all the fancy packaging lives a soul of grace and honor. That is where the real strength lies. The outside glitz of others’ imaginations is only for show and profit, eventually toppling from the weight of its own lies. 

Suddenly, I awake and wonder, “Is this what is happening in our society at large? To our financial institutions, to political parties, and to our ability to get things done in our government? Have we become so enamored with what is new and fast and easy, that we have forsaken the foundation on which this country was once built? Hmmm. Time to wake up.

Friday, August 19, 2011

“Lost Souls of the Virtual World”

Good morning, friends.
After writing “The Case of the Disappearing Minds,” I decided to travel deeper into the virtual world of social networking in search of other lost souls. I  discovered more than a few… people living in semi darkened rooms, faces virtually glued to a bright screen, losing sight and losing touch with their own humanity.  I asked Amazon Sage if she might dream travel to the homes of some of these good people to see what creats such angst.
From Australia, to Russia, Western Africa, to the Americas, Amazon Sage appeared where ever people were suffering. She visited the homes of tsunami survivors, homeless folks, working stiffs, and the disabled. She even peeked into the sweat lodges of a few Indigenous people, the bedrooms of the depressed, the cubicles of customer service reps, and the bathroom stalls of... (Uh, on this blog, I won’t go there.) What she discovered may surprise the uninitiated. 
Paradoxically, she found that those who had been most devastated by Tsunami, tornado, and war, were most fully engaged in living life… outside the machine. Fighting daily to survive, they had no time for what many referred to as the “the giant time suck”. That is because so many of these courageous people continue to experience their own personal tsunami long after the news reporters leave. Most have no time for the frivolity or dramas of unknown others. With a smile, Amazon Sage left them to their good works.
Next, Amazon Sage dream traveled to the alleyways, cars, and cheap hotels that have become home to the homeless. When possible, some of these folks valiantly try to get online, through their local library or shelter, to find jobs or reconnect with relatives. However, most are so confronted by their tragic plight, that simply existing from one day to the next takes up all their energies. These folks must daily hunker down and focus on getting out of extreme weather and finding enough to eat.
People who were gainfully employed, especially if they had families to care for, were another group unlikely to get caught in the web of virtuality for endless hours each day. When asked about their life online, most looked blankly, as if to say “And when am I supposed to do that?” Uh, okay… But it was also  here, that Amazon Sage managed to pick up the trail of other secret groups of net dwellers. For example, some of these working people are not put off by the necessity of regularly checking what FB friends are saying or Twitter followers are tweeting. These are people who regularly forego precious hours of sleep or vital communion with family and friends, in favor of the virtual world. Wow. 

As the old childhood game used to say, “We’re getting warm… and where there’s warmth, there’s likely to be a fire somewhere out there.” So, one might ask, who does spend the most time chatting, farming, complaining, or championing. Amazon Sage sniffed the air and it wasn’t long before the fire found its way to her site. 

Almost without warning, she entered places where some of the hottest sites flamed… and when I say hot, I don’t mean as in physically attractive. Some of these sites appear to transcend all other life circumstances as they gather forces -- for good, and in some cases,  for evil. Some sites use code or other strange ways to avoid detection by the powers that be.  Others speak outright with outrage and fierce courage. All call out to a world of seeming complacency to do something. In most cases the person who yells the most forcefully is the one who internally, believes he or she suffers most. That is a place where Amazon Sage stopped for awhile since many lost souls of the internet seem to live there.

Another place of suffering was found in sites encouraging spirituality. While many of these people work hard and struggle valiantly to transcend their limitations, reaching out in today’s world; others continue to fight for a return to a time that never was… where everyone gets along and no one insults their neighbor.  Good luck with that, my friends.
Perhaps the saddest sites were the ones where the people who congregated, have been disabled by the vagaries of life. Trying to understand their plight, they cry “Why me?”  To that I simply respond, “Why not?” 
For it matters not how one defines one’s spirituality (or lack thereof), life happens to us all. With seeming reckless abandon, some good people are hit with death, others with disease, some suffer divorce, while others suffer rejection. Just ask the people who recently suffered some of the worst natural disasters in modern history. Being human, subjects every one of us to life’s contingencies. 

It is the belief of those most wise that is not what happens to us that matters so much as how we choose to perceive it and then how we choose to live with it.  Yes, we choose how we want to live by inviting in hope and joy or by embracing despair and dread. It is our conscious choices that make the difference between whether we continue needless suffering or begin to heal. 

Those among us who are least likely to experience healing are the “Why me?” group.  Indeed, most major teachings and spiritual traditions tell us that it is our ability to travel beyond the hopelessness and helplessness of the moment that determines our future. Beyond the confines of our feelings of betrayal and hurt, we must reach out in hope and we will be blessed. Today, I want to say to all of my brothers and sisters, I send you hope and the belief that together we can create peace in our hearts. Aho.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

amazon sage©: Last night, as I slept, Amazon Sage took me to a p...

amazon sage©: Last night, as I slept, Amazon Sage took me to a p...: "Last night, as I slept, Amazon Sage took me to a place that could have been any town. It was a public area where others were sitting, too. A..."

Good morning, friends. Last night, Amazon Sage dream travelled to...
Last night, as I slept, Amazon Sage took me to a place that could have been any town. It was a public area where others were sitting, too. A tough looking boy came up and demanded my money. I had a small string purse that contained only enough for me to get home so I refused to turn it over. I held onto it even as the boy tried to take it from me. He was only about 14 so I figured it was a fair fight. I know, it could have been the last thing I ever did. Then something miraculous occurred.
For some reason, I began to look at this boy as if he were my own brother or friend. With as much respect and caring as I could muster I spoke to him, not from a place of fear, but from a place of genuine concern for him. You see, as I peered into his face, I noticed that his teeth were rotted. His clothes were also in need of cleaning and his hair had probably not been washed for quite awhile. Too young to be living on his own, there was little doubt that he was. This boy was stealing because he was in pure survival mode.
What came out of my mouth surprised even me. I spoke in an even voice, from a place of genuine caring and said, “You may have my purse. Please let me give it to you; not because you are demanding it. I want to give it to you because you need it more than I do.” 
The boy hesitated. Clearly, he was not familiar with this type of response. He was prepared to deny whatever I requested, but the last thing in his mind was that he might agree with me. In these seconds of reflection, his grip on my purse loosened. I had a choice, I could pull it from his grip or.… With a soft smile, I offered it to him, freely. Hesitating briefly he took it, although I could see that he felt embarrassed. Neither of us needed to say more, but as he started to turn before sprinting off, I quietly spoke. 
“Please listen to your heart, my friend. Do not allow this to be who you become in life.”  Almost invisibly, the boy nodded his head and the hint of a smile escaped his lips before he disappeared into the crowd. 
My focus had been so completely on this boy that after he was gone and I looked around, I saw others staring at me. I didn’t know whether they were going to yell at me or shake their heads in bewilderment.
Much to my surprise, after a moment of unknowing (not unlike the boy’s when I freely offered him my purse), one old man began to clap. Then a woman placed her hands together and another man. Before long, all around me people were applauding my spontaneous gesture of grace. When all was again quiet and people were on their way, the old man came up to me and said something I’ll never forget.
“Young lady, I don’t know who you are or how you are here at this moment, but if it wasn’t for you, 60 years ago, I would not be here today. You see, when I confronted a similar young lady a very long time ago, she too changed my life.”
I listened not knowing whether to run or laugh. He continued.
“For the first time, I felt ‘known’ by another and that was worth more than all the money I could have stolen in a lifetime. Then when she said those very words, ‘Please listen to your heart, my friend. Do not allow this to be who you become only who you are in life’,” I knew she was sent by God.”
Feeling tears well up in my eyes, I briefly looked away. When I returned my gaze to respond to the old man, he was gone; disappeared into thin air. It was then I knew, he was my father. 

Happy Fathers’ Day.

PS: Fathers were sons once. How are we treating our nations’ future fathers? Are we encouraging them to honor the mothers of their children by becoming an integral part of the family? Are we ignoring their lapses in judgement with phrases like “boys will be boys?” Are we treating the boys we do not know as if they are always suspect, when what they really need to learn is how to earn our trust? When was the last time you sat down and talked with a boy about how he will protect his family and the world...?