More Bermuda Triangle weirdness

It seems that the infamous Bermuda Triangle is still working its weird effects around people associated with it. I just finished co-authoring my second B.T. book with Bruce Gernon, a pilot who flew into the heart of the B.T. phenomenon and survived. One of the outcomes of Bruce’s mysterious flight, in which he and his two passengers were instantly shifted about 90 miles from near Bimini to Miami Beach, was a development of psychic abilities – specifically an ability to ocassionally glimpse future events. We wrote about Bruce’s visions in THE FOG and include more in the upcoming book, Beyond the Bermuda Triangle (New Page Books, July, 2017).

But there is much more in the way of peculiar and synchronisitic events that have taken place  recently related to the Bermuda Triangle. For example, on March 1, I was contacted by a TV producer about plans for a new TV series on the Bermuda Triangle. On March 3, I was contacted by a second producer from another production company who said the same thing. She wanted to talk to me about plans for a new TV series on the Triangle. Of course, my first thought was that it must be the same people, even though the names of the production companies were different. I figured they must be working together. So I wrote the first producer and he said, nope, his company was working independently and he had no knowledge about what the other company was doing. It was a surprise to him.

So a couple weeks passed, and I decided to see if there was anything new with the two projects. Both production companies had asked if I wanted to be involved, possibly as one of the on-air investigators. One producer told me she would probably know more in a week. When I talked to the first producer who had contacted me, he told me they needed to fill out their team of investigators with a younger B.T. expert, someone between 35 and 40, and he asked me if I knew anyone.

After thinking about it, I remembered a guy from India who is very enthusiastic about the Bermuda Triangle, had his own theory, and had produced a  YouTube video about it. He appears to be in his early 30s. I looked him up on FB, since I hadn’t heard from him in a couple of years and couldn’t remember his name. Then I went back to my email to write the producer about Manoj Rai. (How they were going to deal with the fact that the ‘young’ BT expert lived in India was not my problem!)

Meanwhile, a new e-mail had just arrived from Bruce Gernon. So before writing the producer, I opened it and to my astonishment it contained a forward e-mail message from…guess who?

Here’s the message:

Hello sir,

I am Manoj Rai from India. I hope you had remember me. I wrote you regarding my theory based on your flight at Bermuda triangle. sir I am again writing you because last week one of the leading Indian news channel has broadcast my show on their channel. last year also one on the local Indian news paper has published my research on its paper.

Sir I want to tell you that Indian people having the interest in your experience and they want more. Indian people like my theory which explain your journey at Bermuda triangle and I am talking with one more leading news channel and if you give me the permission, we will make one show together.

With regards
Manoj Rai,

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Seriously, Dudes?

Today on Huffington Post, I saw a photo and headline that really made me seethe.

The headline: Room Full Of Men Decides Fate Of Women’s Health Care. And here are the boys who want it to happen, a photo tweeted by a proud Mike Pence:

 

Granted, it’s easier to seethe now during this trump era, but this headline triggered scenarios from how life used to be for women 40, 50, and 60 years ago. Think about this for a moment:

Until 1978, when the Pregnancy Discriminaiton Act was passed, women could be fired from their jobs for being pregnant.

Until 1974, with the passage of the Equal Opportunity Act, women couldn’t apply for credit.

The first time that a court recognized sexual harassment in the workplace was in 1977 and it wasn’t until 1980 that sexual harassment was officially defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Before the 1970s, a woman couldn’t refuse to have sex with her husband. Yeah, you read that correctly. By the mid-1970s, most states recognize marital rape, but it wasn’t until 1993 that it actually became criminalized in all 50 states.

 Then there’s Roe v Wade in 1973, which protected a woman’s right to abortion until viability in most states.

And that era of prohibitions on women’s rights is where that roomful of men hope to take us back to. As the Huffington Post points out, the Affordable Care Act created a list of “ 10 essential health benefits that all health insurance plans must cover. Pregnancy, newborn, and maternity care are on that list.” Before Obamacare in 2010, women had to pay more than men for the same health coverage, only 12 percent of plans offered maternity coverage, and it was legal for insurance companies to refuse coverage to women who were pregnant or might become pregnant in the future.

“But many Republicans argue that this pre-2010 system was better, because men shouldn’t have to pay for things like maternity care.”

As House House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, the GOP health care bill could end up “making being a woman a pre-existing condition.”

So, okay, dudes. Why should your insurance cover vasectomies and Viagra? Or prostaste problems and checkups? Let’s strip these things from your insurance and have the government pass some legislation about your bodies. One Texas state representative – Jessica Farrar – has introduced legislation that would fine men for mastubating and require them to undergo counseling before obtaining a prescription for Viagra. Her bill, according to The Hill, is an effort to highlight anti-abortion laws that place restrictions on women. It would “impose a $100 civil penalty for “masturbatory emissions” that take place outside of a woman’s vagina or a hospital. Each incident would be “considered an act against an unborn child, and failing to preserve the sanctity of life,” the bill reads.

“Her bill would allow doctors to refuse to conduct vasectomies, write prescriptions for Viagra or perform a colonoscopy if those actions violate the doctor’s personal, moral or religious beliefs. Patients would be required to wait 24 hours before a procedure is performed, and doctors would be made to read a state-printed booklet, “A Man’s Right To Know,” to the patient.

“Doctors would also be required to perform a “medically-unnecessary digital rectal exam” and an MRI before performing vasectomies or colonoscopies or before prescribing Viagra.”

All those self-righteous men in that photo? Get real, guys. As much as you would like to take women back 50 years, it ain’t gonna happen, and here’s why. Women aren’t your toys, consorts, fuck buddies. They are your equals.

The dudes  in that proud Mike Pence twitter pic  believe they own you,  ladies. Let’s show them otherwise.

And I can’t believe any of this is an issue all  these decades later.

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The Tarot on Trump

This evening, Rob and I asked if trump would be gone by June. This spread is called The Ladle and is from Power Tarot, the book I co-authored with Phyllis Vega. The deck is Tarot of the Cloisters.

The first position, starting from the left, is the issue, the second is what’s hidden, then what’s emerging, what’s visible, what is scooped out, and the resolution.

He asserts his point of view.  If he sticks with the status quo – lying – he could attract disaster.  3rd position –  the 8 of pentacles. Messages, rapid communication – i.e., more tweet distractions. 4th card,  trump as king. 5th card –  3 of wands – the ship comes in…the truth? 6th card, the resolution…he is gone.

My next question for the tarot is going to be whether, when he leaves, we can dump the entire administration.

 

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Ghostwriting and Impulses

ghostwriter

Most of us experience this at some point in our lives – a tightening in our guts, the sense that we better pay attention to what our emotions are telegraphing. So we try to take it in, understand it, decipher it, and come up with – well, zero. But impulses are another facet of this and I tend to act on them when I experience them.  This happened to me recently with a ghostwriting project.

Ghostwriting projects usually have their own level of weirdness, depending on the name attached to the actual project. The arrangement is one in which a writer is hired to write someone else’s novel, memoir, self-help book, or whatever. The writer usually gets no credit, no share of the royalties, and because of that is paid more to write the book.

Our first experience with this was with a Mafia woman in New York. Our second experience was with an actor in a popular movie who wanted to come to our house and sit with us as we wrote the book. In the love scene we’d written, he said, we hadn’t depicted how he made love to his wife.

We turned that project down.

Ghostwriting is a peculiar relationship. Your client has a particular vision for novel or nonfiction book and your vision, as the writer, may be leagues removed. One client, for instance, wanted her novel to begin with the last chapter of the book.

“Why there?” I asked.

So that her protagonist’s story could be shown to come full circle. Well, it was good she knew the end of her story, but it didn’t belong at the beginning of the book. Every novel, every story, has a beginning, a middle, an end. Jerzy Kosinski used to write his endings first, a process that actually makes sense, even if the ending changes. You have a beginning, an end, and what lies in between is the mystery, the weirdness, the clues, the character and plot development.

With this particular project, I don’t hear from the client for long stretches of time. It slows things down considerably – the writing and my payment. One day I had the impulse to  just write her and ask if she was still on board with the project. This got an immediate response. Yes, she was. Then, another long period of silence. Once again, I had the impulse to email and ask if she was in or out of the project. And I got another quick response. Yes, she’d been traveling and had some notes to send me. Once the notes are integrated into the story, she would be ready to move into the next phase of the project.

So now, because I acted on an impulse, I know this is just her MO. But it’s not MY M.O. Novels have a momentum all their own. If too much time passes from page to page, that momentum lags or dies altogether. It’s now been more than 3 months since this project began. We have an outline and 5,000 words. In this same time frame, I’ve written 200 pages- about 50,000 words –  on a new novel.That’s my M.O. Get the first draft down fast. Then revise.

My sense is that the ghostwriting project is headed for the graveyard called, Done, Unfinished, & Buried. No viewing, no funeral. Please don’t send flowers!

 

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Impeachara

I’m putting this up because it made me laugh – and many of us probably do need this drug!

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Lights Out

lights-out

 

I’m reading Lights Out  by long-time journalist Ted Koppel, about how vulnerable our electrical grid is to hacking. Considering the current news, I think Koppel has really hit on something.

When you measure people’s feelings and intuitions about 2017 and a Trump presidency, they’re all over the map. Facebook, the dog park, emails, neighborhood conversations: no collective consensus.

On Facebook, one woman said she felt it might spell the end of humanity. An Aussie commenter on our blog, Darren, said he didn’t feel humanity would end, but that the volume of dissent so prevalent during 2016 would get really loud. At the dog park, I half-jokingly do a countdown to Armageddon (which was the the inauguration, now 8 weeks past).   I speak to former Sanders supporters who reluctantly voted for Clinton and they say the Democratic party needs to move toward a more progressive platform.

So where are we as a country, a nation, a society?

Well, sadly, we seem to be caught in a nightmare. You know the kind of nightmare I mean. The dark cellar you can’t escape, the place where monsters are breathing hard but you can’t see them, the grave where the dead whisper, If you don’t learn from history, then history repeats itself. We are in the midst of a Stephen King novel where the monsters are larger and more powerful than even King imagined.

We have a president  who tweets his foreign policy stuff, pisses off countries like China and North Korea, and then has his blonde Barbie doll, Kellyanne Conway, go on TV talk shows to spin whatever he says. We have a racist- Jeff Sessions – who  for attorney general – and a VP who tried to mandate funerals for every aborted fetus, a climate change denier and CEO of Exxon as Secretary of State. We have billionaires and millionaires as the guys who will dictate policy at every level.

If Trump lasts for four years, we may be wearing oxygen masks like they do in Bejing just to get through the day. But since Trump dismisses the intelligence community, we may be facing something even more dire: a blackout that lasts weeks or months because the electrical grid is hacked – by the Russians, the Chinese, the North Koreans, Iran, who knows? Trump has made a lot of enemies already.

Koppel argues that it’s not a matter of if the grid goes down, but when. Think about it. No running water, no sewage, no heat or AC, no gasoline, grocery store shelves go empty, no internet, email, facebook, instagram, twitter. Social media goes as dead as everything else. Koppel‘s sources estimate that one in ten Americans would be dead within the first year.

Given the recent headlines, the president and his policies, his  cabinet, Lights Out may be the ultimate Dystopian novel – except that the book is non-fiction. My question is what can we do collectively and individually, within our own lives, to minimize this man’s influence? Can we collectively imagine and set intentions for a saner government? Is that enough?

 

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Edgar Cayce & Astrology

This post came about as a result of an astrology proposal on astrology’s WOW factor – the planet Jupiter.

Edgar Cayce was born on March 18, 1877, at 3:03 p.m. in Hopkinsville, Kentucky – 140 years ago. He had a Pisces sun and his Jupiter- that fancily shaped 4 in house 5  was in Capricorn. That’s his chart in the illustration. You can see Jupiter in his fifth house of romance, children, and creativity.

At its most base expression, a sun in Pisces – a mutable water sign – can indicate a propensity for addiction, escapism, and ambivalence that makes everyone around them nuts. But at its highest expression, a Pisces sun exemplifies everything that Cayce was – a humble man with an extraordinary gift that touched thousands when he was alive and millions more since his death in 1945.

Cayce was conventionally religious, also in keeping with the Pisces archetype. In the many biographies written about him over the years, his religious beliefs are depicted as the bedrock of who he was. They sustained him, kept him whole, grounded. The beliefs also collided several times with the expanded worldview that his psychic readings eventually gave him. This conflict in beliefs may explain why Cayce was able to read for people only while in a trance so deep it was like sleep. After the publication of Jess Stearn’s biography about Cayce, he became known as “the sleeping prophet,” the title of Stearn’s book, an apt nickname.

His diagnostic abilities surfaced when he was 23 and had lost his voice. He was newly engaged to Gertrude, who would become his wife, and the loss of his voice delayed the marriage. It also delayed his work, particularly when the voice condition, despite expert help, persisted month after month.

Al Layne, a hypnosis enthusiast, finally hypnotized Cayce and asked him to explain the problem. Cayce, in a voice that was resonant and normal, explained there was partial paralysis of the muscles around the vocal cords and directed Layne to give him a hypnotic suggestion that would increase the blood circulation around the vocal cords for twenty minutes. Cayce’s voice returned.

Layne was so blown away that he offered himself as Cayce’s next subject. While Cayce was “asleep,” he gave Layne a full medical diagnosis of his condition and within several months, his vocal cords improved dramatically. Cayce was astonished and terrified at what he’d done and didn’t wasn’t to continue. But when his voice began to fade again, he turned to Layne once more.

Eventually, Layne was having Cayce diagnose other people. This is where his Jupiter in Capricorn started kicking in – a slow, steady rise toward his calling, his true north, his grail. Capricorn, a cardinal earth sign, is symbolized by the goat, that intrepid critter that keeps climbing and climbing to reach the summit. When the goat comes up against a barrier, it either finds a way around it – or rams its way through it. One way or another, it gets to where it wants and needs to be. It reaches its goal.

Cayce was surprised by what was happening, but didn’t attach any spiritual meaning to it. He just wanted to forget about what he was doing when he was in trance and didn’t even want to discuss it with his family. But word got around town and the reaction was mixed. Some people made fun of him, skeptics chided him, but others marveled at the young Cayce’s ability.

The first case that convinced Cayce about his life’s work was that of a six-year-old girl who lived in Hopkinsville, the daughter of a former superintendent of schools. For two years, she’d had as many as twenty convulsions a day and was basically a vegetable. She had seen numerous experts, but the consensus was that her parents should keep her comfortable until she died. Hardly the sort of thing a parent wants to hear.

While Cayce was in trance, he said her ailment was due to congestion at the base of the brain. He prescribed a treatment, followed up as needed, and within three months, the girl was in perfect health.

Over the course of Cayce’s life, there were many healings like this one, unconventional treatments for that time that worked. In A Seer Out of Season: the Life of Edgar Cayce, author Harmon Hartzell Bro, who knew Cayce, said he couldn’t use his ability to exploit others or to help others gain advantage over other people. If he tried, his ability abandoned him. “Instead, he had to use it for those with real needs, who would invest themselves and grow personally as they explored and applied his counsel.”

In the 40 plus years that Cayce worked as the sleeping prophet, he gave 14,306 readings on 10,000 different topics that are housed at the Edgar Cayce Association for Research and Development – A.R. E – in Virginia Beach. There are nearly 8,000 indexed references to astrology and five broader categories in the database of information: 1) health-related information 2) philosophy and reincarnation 3) dreams and dream interpretation 4) ESP and psychic phenomena 5) spiritual growth, meditation, and prayer.

During the decades that his reputation and fame grew, Cayce found his grail by doing what the Capricorn goat does – moving steadily and inexorably toward the summit, and building his skills and talents as he climbed. If his quest can be summarized simply, it’s that despite financial problems and profound skepticism from the society and time in which he lived, Cayce ultimately embraced his abilities. And this fact enabled him to develop those abilities fully, and use them to help whoever came to him. What he found, his grail, was that he was of service to thousands of people who needed answers and help.

On March 19, 1919, when Cayce was 42, he did a reading on his own birth chart. His wife, Gertrude, and a stenographer were present. Gertrude asked the questions. One of the most interesting facets of this reading concerned astrology/the planets.

Gertrude: Do the planets have anything to do with the ruling of the destiny of men? If so, what? And what do they have to do with this body?

 From Cayce in trance: They do. In the beginning, as our own planet, Earth, was set in motion, the placing of other planets began the ruling of the destiny of all matter as created…

 The strongest power in the destiny of man is the Sun… then the closer planets, or those that are coming in ascendency at the time of the birth of the individual. But let it be understood here, no action of any planet or any of the phases of the Sun, Moon, or any of the heavenly bodies surpass the rule of Man’s individual will power – the power given by the Creator of man in the beginning, when he became a living soul, with the power of choosing for himself.

These two sections are particularly interesting. According to Cayce’s clairvoyance, the sun rules the “destiny” of man, but no planet or celestial body surpasses our own free will, the power to choose for ourselves.   

The inclination of man is ruled by the planets under which he is born. In this far the destiny of man lies within the sphere or scope of the planets. With the given position of the solar system at the time of the birth of an individual, it can be worked out – that is, the inclinations and actions without the will power taken into consideration.

 As in this body here [Edgar Cayce] born March 18, 1877, three minutes past three o’clock, with the Sun descending, on the wane, the Moon in the opposite side of the Earth (old moon), Uranus at its zenith, hence the body is ultra in its actions. Neptune closest in conjunction… in the ninth house; Jupiter, the higher force of all the planets, save the Sun, in descendency…

Here, Jupiter is identified as “the higher force” of all the planets except for the sun.

Hence the inclination as the body is controlled by the astrological survey at the time of the birth of this body, either (no middle ground for this body) very good or very bad, very religious or very wicked, very rich or always losing, very much in love or hate, very much given to good works or always doing wrong, governed entirely by the will of the body.

 

 

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Chill Pills

Lavender

I had a minor manifestation this evening at my yoga class. I was getting ready to start when I noticed a small aromatherapy bottle on the shelf as I was setting up my music. I picked it and saw that it was called Chill Pill. So I turned to one of students, who’s a doctor’s wife, and showed it to her. I said to her, jokingly: “Your husband should prescribe this for his patients.”

She looked at it closer than I did and said, “Oh, lavender and chamomile. I used to put lavender on my son’s pillow to help him sleep.” She went on to say she grows it in her backyard, and I asked about how easy it was to grow.

Then I went to the front room to see if any other students had arrived and what did I see…but a bouquet of lavender on the counter by the computer where I check people in. It probably had been there, but I hadn’t noticed it until I’d gotten into a conversation about it. So I consider that a minor manifestation. Sai Baba I am not. But that impressed me.

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A FAVORITE JUNG STORY

COSMOS AND PSYCHE

Synchronicity, even when it doesn’t entail spirit communication, is a kind of kind of alchemy that transforms us or a decision we’re making in an essential way. The alchemy occurs because of what the synchronicity says to you, its impact on you. This was certainly the case for Carl Jung during a visit in the 1950s with Henry Fierz, a chemistry professor with whom he had become friends over the years.

Friez had dropped by at five o’clock one afternoon to talk with Jung about a manuscript by a scientist who had recently died. Friez felt the manuscript should be published, but Jung, who had read it, thought otherwise.  Their debate about the manuscript apparently became somewhat heated and at one point, Jung glanced at his watch, as if he were about to dismiss Friez.  Then he seemed puzzled by the time and explained that his watch had just been returned from the repair shop, but it read five o’clock, the time that Friez had arrived.

Jung asked Friez the time; it was 5:35. As Richard Tarnas recounted the incident in Psyche and Cosmos, Jung apparently said, “So you have the right time, and I have the wrong time. Let us discuss the thing again.”

In the ensuing discussion, Friez convinced Jung the manuscript should be published. “Here, the synchronistic event is of interest not because of its intrinsic coincidental force,” Tarnas wrote,  “but because of the meaning Jung drew from it, essentially using it as a basis for challenging and redirecting his own conscious attitude.”

Many of us might not draw a correlation between a stopped watch and a discussion. But synchronicity, by definition, is the coming together of similar inner and outer events in a way that is meaningful to the individual and can’t be explained by cause and effect. This means that the outer world – and all of nature and our surroundings – can carry meaning just as the inner world does. Jung, who was accustomed to perceiving and thinking symbolically, recognized the synchronicity and changed his thinking accordingly.

Tarnas noted that Jung recognized all events as “sources of potential and spiritual significance.” It didn’t matter to him whether they originated from human consciousness or from the “larger matrix of the world” because he saw nature and a person’s surrounding environment as a living template of “potential synchronistic meaning that could illuminate the human sphere. He attended to sudden or unusual movements or appearances of animals, flocks of birds, the wind, storms, the sudden louder lapping of the lake outside his the window of his consulting room…as possible symbolic relevance for the parallel unfolding of interior psychological realities.”

In other words, Jung used everything in his environment as potential signs and symbols. It seems that once you recognize coincidence as meaningful, once you’re in the flow of it, the inner self and the larger outer matrix chatter constantly to each other. We only have to listen.

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Creating Reality Trump-style

By achieving the presidency, Donald Trump proved that you can create your own reality through an internal belief system, even if it contradicts with the ‘outer reality.’ This is what channelers such as Jane Roberts (Seth) and Esther Hicks (Abraham) have been saying for decades.

But mainstream psychologists–at least in the case of Trump–call it insanity. Many Trump detractors of all stripes say the same. Take a read right here.

In Trump’s case, his belief in his inherent ability to become president and the most powerful person in the world resulted in a split in realities between those who see him as insane and those who see him as saving us from the insanity of the world. So we now have the phenomenon of ‘alternate facts’ creating the basis of an alternate reality.

However, the two realities cannot exist side-by-side indefinitely. There will come a breaking point – a shattering of one and probably both realities that will create a new reality out of the two. That’s why Trump supporters are so insistent that Democrats forget about the election and their right to protest and come on board. In other words, they are urging the merger of the two realities with the winning side, of course, dominating.

The bottom line is that if events result in a continued growth of the anti-Trump movement, a reckoning is coming our way. But don’t expect the results to be a win by the Democratic Party and the old ways of politics.  That will be over and the new reality will probably result in an unexpected future that neither side will find particularly accommodating to their conscious beliefs. But it will be one that  we’ve collectively created from the unconscious…just as the current dizzying dual reality has also been collectively assembled. Trump came along with his beliefs and is playing the role we’ve all jointly created. That’s the only way it could have happened. In terms of synchronicity, it also fulfills Trump’s own delusional aspirations.

The ultimate results are yet to be seen, but they are certain to be both mind-boggling and earth-shaking as we collectively move on our evolutionary path.

 

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Exploring Viñales, Cuba, Part 3

Our Cuban wall is taking shape!

Now, for the trip…

We had decided that our third day in Cuba, a Saturday, would be for a trip outside of Havana. We chose the area of Viñales, in eastern Cuba. Our host, Jose, arranged for us to rent a driver and here’s the 1955 Chevy in which we rode for 3 hours.

Viñales is rural and beautiful, filled with tobacco and coffee plantations, rice fields, and and is hilly. Here’s one of the typical modes of transportation in the area: a horse and buggy!

Our driver, Ari, was a Cuban/Venezuela who had recently moved to Cuban because the situation in Venezuela is so desperate. He and I had plenty to talk about, including politics. I found that the Cuban people are eager to talk about American politics and are horrified that trump is president. They loved Obama.

We stopped for lunch at this wonderful place where we could eat outdoors, facing a field and some hills in the distance. Our meals were typical Cuban food – rice and beans, plantains, chicken, cold beers and mojitos. The bill came to about 10 bucks apiece.

After lunch, we drove on to Cueva del Indio  – an impressive network of caves with stalagmites and stalactites like I’ve never seen before.At one time, it was an ancient indigenous swelling, and was rediscovered in 1920. It cost us 5 CUCs- about $5 – to get in.  There were way too many people inside and at times, the line came to a full stop. But it was like being in another world.

The path we followed eventually ended up at an underground river, where we waited our turns to board boats that took us even deeper into the caves. The most stunning rock formations were lit up.

Here’s the cave showing an opening where sunlight shone through.

When we left the cave, vendors had stalls set up to sell their wares. The masks and art were exquisite. Cuba is all about color!

From here, we drove to a tobacco plantation. This place was fascinating.

The plantation has been in the same family for generations and the young man now in charge gave us a tour, explaining what happens to the tobacco once it’s picked. We ended in a room where another man showed us how cigars are made. We were each treated to a cigar whose end had been dipped in honey. We bought both cigars and honey!

The cigar maker loves his job. With each leaf he rolled, his smile grew wider and wider.

The plantation is private and the government buys 90 percent of the tobacco and cigars they produce. The rest is sold to hotels and outlets all over the island. Each cigar supposedly sells for $40.

Then all but two of us mounted up for a horseback riding excursion into the countryside.

Jessie and I stayed behind to explore the plantation and talk to the people who live and work there. Jess is a vegan and was horrified to learn that most of the  animals that live on the property are raised for food. I eat chicken and fish and confess to being equally horrified to discover that the beautiful rabbits we saw, the big ole pig named Macho,  and the ducks were also raised for food.

The house lacks plumbing and the bathroom is in a wooden structure, with a hole in the floor.

But standing out there at dusk, in the cooling evening air, the sky open and huge around us, I felt utter and complete peace.

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Indy Strikes Again…

Among Megan’s friends in Orlando, is a young woman named Jesse, who recently graduated from law school with an emphasis on environmental law. She joined us with Megan and a couple other friends on our recent trip to Cuba.

I would’ve never guessed that Jesse was a huge Indiana Jones fan. She never mentioned it, because she had no idea who she was traveling with. It wasn’t until a week later, when Megan visited Jesse at her home for the first time that she saw a corner of her room dedicated to Indy and it includes a collection of my novels, a photo of Harrison Ford, a nasty looking golden snake and other trinkets.

First Megan was surprised and said, “I think you’ve got one of my dad’s novels.” She looked closer, and said: ‘No, you’ve got all of them!”

“What! I was traveling with the Indiana Jones author and I didn’t know it?! I love The Seven Veils and Dance and the Giants, my two favorites.”

The only one of my Indiana Jones books that she didn’t have was The Last Crusade so I’m giving Megan a signed copy to pass on to her. I’ll include a comment about about Cuba, of course. Our latest adventure!

 

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Findhorn: A New Story

With the trump administration planning to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency by December 31, 2018, sustainable communities like Findhorn still thrive and remind us to honor the planet. I first came across this film on artist Lauren Raine’s beautiful blog.

 

Watch the New Story Film

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Books, Books, Books

A  brief break in the Cuba travelogue to mention something about books. From today, March 5 through March 11, Smashwords, one of the distributors for Crossroad, is celebrating read an ebook week and has discounted their books by 50 percent. So now you can read any of our novels and books for 50 percent off. Here’s the code. Just enter the title of the book or our names. Some of the books appear on the right side of the blog and many excerpts can be found in the masthead.

Happy reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Exploring Havana!

We quickly learned that if you plan 8 things to do on a given day in Cuba, chances are you’ll get to only two or three of them. Part of this is due to the fact that everything takes time. Exchanging currency isn’t just a matter of walking in a casa de cambio or a bank. It means you spend time in line, waiting for your turn into the bank, which usually is just one or two people at a time. Finding your way around this labyrinthine city also takes time. We had a map, but until you get oriented to Havana, a map isn’t much use.

So our first night there, to get to a restaurant – El Biky – we used the GPS on my phone. I had bought a $40 passport for Cuba before leaving the U.S., which was supposed to entitle me to free texting and a certain amount of data. The next morning, I received a text message that I’d used $111 worth of data! When I called the international ATT, I was told the passport wasn’t active yet in Cuba, so the charge had been removed. Lesson 1: take nothing for granted in Cuba!

The GPS, though, got us to our restaurant and what a perfect intro it was to Cuba. It was mojito night – and Cuban cigar night for Rob, who looks like the Mad Hatter here!

The restaurant walls were decorated with old photographs like this one of an early theater.

It’s a pleasure to walk anywhere in this city. Everything is old and historic, although you also see semi-modern buses alongside a 1950s car.

We returned to our apartment – a casa particular – owned by Jose and his brother. They live downstairs, we had the entire second floor with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a kitchen and a rooftop porch festooned with plants.

Jose offered to fix us breakfast the next morning – for 5 CUCs apiece – and what a feast it was!

Once Nick arrived at around 10 a.m., the eight of us set out to find a currency exchange place for Nick and to explore Havana and Havana Vieja – the old town.

Historic hotel – used to be the Hilton in pre-Castro days.

concert in old town – full orchestra

The bar Hemingway made famous

Rob chatting with Hemingway

We loved old Havana so much we returned on Sunday. But on Saturday, we drove to Vinales, an area three hours outside Havana. That’s the next post.

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