Wednesday, June 27, 2012


At the hotel gift shop in San Antonio, Texas, we found this hilarious tin of “Machismo Manly Mints.”  We thought it was so funny we couldn’t stop laughing and every time we thought about it later, we’d break out into another laughing fit.  “Machismo” has now become our code for “Time to laugh your ass off.”

We immediately bought a dozen tins to take back as gifts to Phil’s friends – or anyone else for that matter, male or female, who we think might benefit from a dose of “Machismo Manliness.”

Then yesterday Phil and I both happened to have appointments with our dentist, Dr. R.  We like him a lot, so Phil grabbed a tin of Machismo Manly Mints to present to him at the end of our treatments.  I went in first and Phil made himself comfortable in the waiting room by spreading out the reading material he had brought with him. 

While Dr. R was working on me, his phone rang.

Rochelle, his dental assistant, puzzled:
“Whose phone is that?”

Dr. R.:
“That’s my phone.”

“You’re kidding. Really? Pocketful of Sunshine is your ringtone?” 

Dr. R.:
“Yeah, I like it. Natasha Bedingfield. Why, what’s wrong with it?”

“Nothing. It’s just… you know… it doesn’t sound very manly.”

Hearing the word “manly” just about made me spit all their instruments out my mouth.  I wanted to yell, “Phil, come! Now! This is the perfect moment to present your Machismo MANLY Mints!!!”

Instead I waited, but as soon as Dr. R. finished with my teeth, I jumped out of the chair and ran into the waiting room to get Phil.  When Phil presented the mints to Dr. R. with great ceremony, we all had a big laugh.  Honestly, how often does anyone use the word “manly”?  So is this a coincidence or is it something we somehow magically manifested?

Phil doing his version of Machismo Manliness

Saturday, June 23, 2012


"Sleeping with Snakes" by Bali painter Yamil
Oil on canvas, 16" x 47"

“What does it mean when you dream about snakes?” I ask Richard Wolf*, a noted dream psychic.  It’s spring 1982 and we’re sitting on the front porch of the spacious house Phil and I occupy in the historic tree-lined Montrose neighborhood of Houston, TX. 

A large, handsome and thoughtful man, Richard comes over once a month from Golden, Colorado to teach imagery work at our Wellness Center, located just around the corner on Audubon Place.  Even though Richard is physically imposing, there’s something ethereal and untouchable about him, as if he lives in deep silence between the worlds and appears in bodily form only when needed and then just for a short while.  When he speaks, his hands form soft circles in the air and his words come out rolling slightly as if they’re being washed.  You have to pay close attention if you want to understand what he says.

“I have recurrent dreams of snakes.” I continue. “Sometimes they slide all over me, hissing and glistening in iridescent hues. They're scary but utterly fascinating. Other times they just slither around blindly on the floor, all muddy brown and wrinkled, and it's impossible to find a spot that's clear where I can step and get away from them. I wake up in a panic.”

A passing car revs up its engine and backfires, startling me.  Richard is undisturbed. 

“Your snakes show you your relationship to power.” he explains. “Your power to mesmerize, to hide, devour, destroy, to bring your deepest darkness up to the light, the power to renew yourself over and over. Find a way to get comfortable with them. ”   

He pauses, then advises: “Eat your snakes.”

What?!  I burst into laughter.  But then, well, why not?  My Chinese horoscope sign is the Snake.  Why not be that mystical ravenous snake, Ouroboros, who devours its own tail, shedding everything, returning time and again, improvising, reinventing each new journey. 

Just ask Phil.  He has learned to shed his skin along with me, letting go of everything: Leave Houston, move to Hawaii.  Leave Hawaii, move to Bali.  Leave Bali, circle back to Hawaii.  Always shedding, stripping bare.  And now?  Again we’re at a crossroads.

Who knows what will happen on December 21, 2012 when we’ll be part of the 800-voice choir to sing the ancient Lemurian tones that have not been heard on Earth for 26,000 years.**  It will be a signal from Earth to the Universe.  Of what?  That we’re ready for change?  That we remember who we are? 

I know for me it will be first of all a signal of gratitude to Richard Wolf and to the multitude of my other teachers, embodied and in spirit, for showing me the immense power of dreaming; for encouraging, even pushing me, to shed old fears; to dream myself awake. 

Lastly, my message will be to my fellow Snake Sisters and Snake Brothers through time and space.  I want you to know that...

I remember
I remember you of old
We have done this before

 Houston Wellness Center Clinical Staff 1988
Richard Wolf (center, 5th from left)
Phil and I (1st and 2nd from left)

* After losing touch with Richard Wolf in 1989, I have tried numerous times to find him, unfortunately without success.  If anyone recognizes him, knows where he is, and how to reach him, please contact me at halfplot at gmail dot com.  It would mean the world to me.

** See Lemurian Choir