My Impermanent Mama

Without her dentures, Mom looks like an Appalachian dried-apple doll. I resist recognizing her in the photograph my sister sends. My beautiful mother! I am startled! Sunken cheeks and changed chin steal her dignity. Do they, though? My own fear of impermanence may be the agent of that theft. I take it out on my sister, railing at her as the thief who captures and shares the unbecoming image. The Mom I knew would want only flattering photos shared! But what about the Mom I don’t know. No one knows what Mom, having become nonverbal, would want now. And my own photographic desires influence my convictions. My sister tells me Mom now refuses dentures. Her right. So. Photo dignity no longer feels like the underlying shock I experience.  At the end I understand, it’s my issue, my challenge: making peace with impermanence. My beautiful Mom is becoming— old. Happy 99th Birthday today to My Beautiful Impermanent Mother.


Fruits of Mexico

photography by Susa Silvermarie Since I moved to Ajijic, friends from NOB (north of the border) often ask me about daily life. I put off answering because I wasn’t getting a creative charge out of writing about such things as what I eat, etc. Today’s different. I went crazy over a new fruit I bought at the market, rambutan. photography by Susa Silvermarie

Here’s a bowl of them, and one cut open to reveal the delicious luminous fruit shaped like an egg. The texture in the mouth is like a not-too-juicy plum and the taste packs a sweet, creamy-rich, flowery flavor, very refreshing. Careful not to bite the  pit!

photography by Susa Silvermarie

As for other fruits I’ve tried here, I’ve come to really enjoy the cactus fruit called tuna, both white and red varieties. I sampled the coveted pitaya when they were in season, but couldn’t comprehend the popularity. I  Iike guayaba better in smoothies than fresh. I loved papaya and mango and all the berries before I ever got here, although I never knew raspberries and blueberries could grow this huge. Fresh figs are new for me. And the giant apricots keep me reaching for another.

photography by Susa Silvermarie

It’s all grown in Mexico, regional to where I live. There are lots and lots of fruits I don’t know yet. I like the idea that it will take me the rest of my life, both literally and metaphorically speaking, to sample all the fruits of Mexico,


Alignment at Foco Tonal

The theory says the earth behaves
exactly like a living organism.
The Gaia Hypothesis sees
our individual human minds embedded
in the larger mind of eco-systems,
and the systems, sisters and brothers,
embedded in a planetary mental system.
The Mind of Gaia, science calls it.
And oh how we poets smile,
as visions of science and visions of mystics become one…

from Homeplace by Susa Silvermarie ©1985

Say that Planet Earth is a conscious and vibrant living entity with subtle structures such as magnetic fields, as well as a physical ones. A vortex is an intersection of her electromagnetic meridians, also known as ley lines, which can intersect in different ways and create different types of energy vortices. A vortex can be thought of as an earth chakra on a planetary energy grid, power places believed to be spherical in shape, expanding in all directions in a spiral motion, with a radius extending for hundreds of kilometers, spinning either clockwise or counter-clockwise.

At Focal Tonal in Ocotlán, Mexico, an hour from where I live, I became quieted by standing on the vortex. I moved slowly, kept to myself, felt dreamy and tranced. I felt like a person full of holes that were closing. Forgotten scars that were healing. I felt as if the crossing point were pushing up from the ground to the sky. Standing on that spot, I felt a pulse transforming my molecules. Might I materialize elsewhere, I wondered? Beam me up, Foco Tonal! I seemed to remain in place, oh well.

Or did I? Am I writing this in a parallel dimension where everything is almost the same, but not? My world feels more whole, as if the pieces fit better and the  gaps were gone. As if my center of gravity eased gently down to my pelvic bowl, which now brims with a stability that is very, very quiet.

Despite Foco Tonal being surrounded with the usual gift shops and tour guides, I experienced a subtle energy there that had me grateful. Half of our dopamine and most of our serotonin, hormones associated with good feelings, are produced in the enteric brain in our bellies. Since the womb is adjacent to the small intestine, my gut feeling of serenity at Foco Tonal is likely a delphic (Greek delphys: womb) perception. But perhaps you don’t need to travel to a known vortex to experience Gaia energy pushing up to align you. Maybe you can stand still in your own back yard, and feel her through your own bare feet. Could  she be waiting for you to be ready for her healing?

Alignment at Foco Tonal

At this vortex, one of many,
a rod of living light
aligns me, feet to crown.
None can overturn me.
I feel the earth and stars
meet within my heart.
A thrum of luminosity
both lifts and anchors me.
I stand unscarred, unhurt
in this power place, the light
running its power
through the storage cell I am.
Pulsing through, illumination
roots and buoys me,
restores me whole.
None can tip my being.
And one thing more I know:
The steady, quiet alignment
secures me in a larger light—
I take my place
in the Family of beings.

©Susa Silvermarie 2017

Newmade Desk

photography by Susa Silvermarie
Creation Place photo by Susa

Huanacaxtle tree, you grew for me.
Now your honey grain
makes the desk where I create.
Your feathery leaves
gave majestic shade.
Now to me you give
your blessing and protection.
May your fragrant blossoms
scent my poems.
May I be as steadfast in my art
as this heartwood of your mighty trunk.
Your radiance! It hums
for my attention
Like a lover I am drawn to you.

You call me to my work!
Parota, Guanacaste,
tree of many names,
your seed that grew within a pod
shaped like an elephant’s ear,
sprang to life and came to me.
I sit now at the desk from you
and listen hard for poems.
May the words I craft
on your alluring surface
make me worthy of your splendor.
Following your sterling ways,
oh Huanacaxtle tree,
I pledge to the world my every gift.

©Susa Silvermarie 2017

The desk was made (and delivered yesterday!) by carpenter Jorge Eliosa Franco; the tree, by Mother Earth.