THE FOREST GREEN: Mary and Jane, are you my friends? Smithsonian part 5    
 Mary and Jane, are you my friends? Smithsonian part 56 comments
picture Sunday, August 15th 2004, by Marissa A Spencer

Mary and Jane, are you my friends? Smithsonian part 5

A year went by and life was pretty crazy. Thoughts of odd experiences were not at the top of the list of things to do. Then one quiet evening when I was relaxing, I sensed the thought in my head. It wasn’t a real voice, but a thought formed into words.


”It is time to go to the book store.”

My eyes popped open and I was a bit bemused. So, I was not to be forgotten after all. I was very touched really, but no small amount perplexed as well. I went to the bookstore and gazed at it all. I remembered Mary Cassatt, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember the other woman. Isn’t that deplorable? Well, I had been a bit busy with one domestic mess after another. I would hope that the “Fates” would understand and be patient with me.

I stood in the middle of the store and made a beeline to the art section. I knew Mary Cassatt was a great artist, surely I would find out something here. I looked, and looked; no Mary in sight. I stood up and felt very puzzled. If I was to come here, why can’t I find what I’m looking for?

“Go to the Biography section.” I looked up to heaven. Egads! They are in my head!

I wandered a little more and went over to the Biography section. I looked for Mary there. Nothing. I stared at the collection of books and tried to remember the other woman’s name.

“Go to the middle of the store.”

Sure, sure, I know what you are thinking. I am nuts. Heck, I think I am nuts. Being very curious I did go to the middle of the bookstore. There displayed rather prominently was a book on great American women. I opened it and looked up Hull House ( I had remembered that). There she was! Jane Addams!

“Go back to the Biography section.” This is getting a bit creepy.

I went back to the Biography section; there was a biography on Jane Addams done by her nephew. It was the only one there and it wasn’t very easy to find. Constant prodding by the mentor in my head kept me looking. Nothing seems to be easy if it is important.

I decided to talk back. “Ok, where is Mary then, I looked and she wasn’t anywhere.” I know I can be difficult, but I figure they know it too.

“Go back to the art section.”

“It’s NOT there!” I say impatiently; in my head of course.

“Yes it is.”


I felt like a barely trained puppy dog being led by a frustrated owner. No one is going to believe any of this, I thought. I swiftly went to the Art section and looked. I looked thoroughly. The book was not there.

“Look harder it is on the bottom shelf and it is behind the other books.”

Who am I to argue with the voices in my head? The white coats will arrive soon, I am sure of it and I won’t be a danger to others. Ok. I look. Within seconds I have a biography of Mary Cassatt in my hands. I went so directly to this book an African-American gentleman was intrigued.

He looked at me rather knowingly and said. “You knew what you were looking for.”

The smile on his face and the light in his eyes told me he knew something unusual was going on. I just smiled back and said. “Yes.”

There I stood holding the two books I never thought I would find.


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6 comments

15 Aug 2004 @ 12:07 by ov : Mary and Jane
Me and MaryJane had a committed relationship for over thirty years but I haven't inhaled her heady aroma for a couple of months now, though we did have any a good time. :-)

But seriously, I find myself being drawn right into this story and I'm looking forward to hearing more about it. I've also had communications with bookstores through 'voices' and there is something about the information that comes to light takes on a greater deapth of meaning, sometimes more than the message itself.

When did this happen to you Marissa?  



15 Aug 2004 @ 12:16 by skookum : Four years ago
I think. Life went down the shute abit....

I haven't really addressed it all much.

Please forgive me.. I am one of the apathetic and trivial people around here. ;-P  



16 Aug 2004 @ 11:18 by koravya : Hearing better
There is a trio of novels written by John Nichols, beginning with The Milagro Beanfield War published in 1974. A lady friend and fellow teacher at school introduced me to the movie somewhere between a year and two ago. Something to lift my spirits, she said as she handed me the video and told me to take it home. And so I did, and so it did. Not long thereafter, I found the paperback on the used bookshelf of the nearby Goodwill, one of my favorite places to go to shop for something to read when I get a hankering to.
Then a couple of months ago at the Goodwill, I found The Magic Journey, published in 1978, the second novel in the series known as The New Mexico Trilogy. Mr. Nichols has created an imaginary landscape of mountains and valleys and mesas and rivers and towns and villages, and by far and above all, personalities and characterizations and conversations that reach into the souls of the descendents of people who have been living in the northern New Mexico mountain country since long before the Mexican-American War. The Pueblos, the Spanish, and the Anglos dance through each other’s cultures, attitudes, and lives in a saga which goes to the heart and the root of how the cancer of technological modernization and the self-serving exploitation of the legal and economic engine is gang-raping the humanity out of humanity. Mr. Nichols is a magician with his metaphors, his comparisons, and his insights. Here is the entire contemporary world in a microcosm, and all I need to visit it on any given afternoon is drive north through the hiways and byways of the turning and twisting landscape.
Having finished The Magic Journey, my curiosity is now piqued for the third novel of the trilogy, The Nirvana Blues, published in 1981. Without going out of my way to look for it, I know its on my list, and figure I’ll find it when I’m ready. Time to check out the Goodwill bookshelf again last week. As I was going into the store, I was wondering if there might be a copy of The Nirvana Blues here today. Well, there was, so now I got it, and I’m waiting now for when to turn the first page, for I know that when I do, I will be entering a special world of imaginary yet familiar landscapes and personalities that I will not wish to rush too quickly through, that I will savor with each emerging chapter.
Each of us and every one of we addicted readers has our own little library of historical meandering through the labyrinthine maze of the literary enterprise. It gets to the place where one feels like those books really are talking to you, and that there is some guiding spirit behind it all, giving your voracious quest for the music which resonates with your spirit, nourishment, and a sense that there just might be something a little bit more to these inanimate collections of leaves of pages than meets the eye. I recall a scene from the movie Blackrobe, when the French Jesuit missionary to the Native tribes of the St. Lawrence seaway area, told his Native friends that the books he carried were made of “leaves that speak.” They carry a voice. They carry many voices. They carry the voices we have heard, from everyone whom we have ever known and listened to.
Many years ago, as a younger man on one of my over the road vision quests, I came to a Native reservation in the north where an elderly medicine man and his extended family provided hospitality in the form of permission to sleep on the ground outside and to walk the surrounding land, and to help collect wood to burn for an evening sweat lodge. I was there for three or four days. There was a young Anglo couple there that first night I was there. They had visited here with similar intent, and were leaving in the morning. As they and I and the old man and a few of the other Native men on the grounds sat around the fire after dark near the sweat lodge, the Anglo man pulled out a Mary Jane cigarette, asked if anyone minded, lit it and passed it around, and when it came to the old man, he held it and said, it helps you hear better, and smoked.  



16 Aug 2004 @ 11:35 by skookum : Fascinating koravya
We all pass through this life with guideposts of one kind or another. The awakening that is spoke of in New Age literature is none less than being aware of them and listening to the messages. Altered states of mind are achieved through many means. I, fortunately, do not need any help usually to go there.

It is rather odd, how it all works isn't it? I feel a Native American connection, yet part of me resists. Our own egos can be the biggest stumbling block in our progression. Nonetheless, I cannot deny the things I have been shown, the messages I have been told etc.

If you go to some of my other stories you will find one called the "Reluctant Vistionary" and "When do you believe in yourself". Any insight you can add would be appreciated. These relate to lucid dreams or meditative visions... heck I don't know how to describe them lol.

I feel you have a knowing of things I have yet to learn. I met a Native American traditional dancer. He heard my story of the tree and promptly told me the story of his life. It was an acceptance of me, I was very honored. There was a connection between him and I. He always knew when I would be around, and he would be standing outside his store with a slightly puzzled look when I would walk up. He always knew. He moved and we lost touch, but have we really?

All things in their proper time and context. We are led slowly and softly to those discoveries that will edify and clarify our purpose. Thank you for sharing some of your experiences with me.  



19 Aug 2004 @ 05:26 by koravya : Towards the Source
August eighteenth into the nineteenth. Listening to the people who come to visit me in my dream, or am I going to some place where they (who?) are at (where?) Without looking for it (him/her) and then it/him/her telling you something about who you know you are that very few people in your/my waking world would understand if I told them. Although I don’t feel any compulsion or need to really tell anyone. Because the imagery is almost impossible to put into words even to myself trying to write it down. Like telling someone that the shadows on the walls represent the outside world. And we are inside here, telling each other our stories, enacting our mime show for one another. There in the dream world is where the real stuff happens. And I enjoy not looking for it, for when I do, it rarely comes, and when I least expect them, they bore a hole into my brain, just as when that old man was looking at you. Picture rising from a college classroom. The roof opens like a flower and I rise in the night sky to the furthest star, and when I get there, it becomes a wind chime, itself hanging from a chainlike cord rising into the infinite darkness. And know that in the children’s bedroom where my brothers and sisters and I grew up through all of our years together, in the middle of the ceiling was one of those very old fashioned absolutely simple lightbulbs hanging from a three foot long chain and cord. You are given a pipe and a dress and they are yours to carry and wear for the rest of this life and perhaps even longer, and little by little, every once in a while, you will learn a little bit more about what they mean to you, as you are to yourself, and as you are with others.  


19 Aug 2004 @ 05:37 by skookum : exactly
the seeking finds YOU  


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Other entries in
Friday, October 19th 2007: Mother's Last Gift
Saturday, March 3rd 2007: Parable of the Rock
Saturday, March 5th 2005: My California Childhood
Monday, August 23rd 2004: The Parable of the Mimosa and Crabapple
Saturday, August 14th 2004: Going Into the Past: Smithsonian part 4
Friday, August 13th 2004: More pictures
Friday, August 13th 2004: Natural History Museum:Smithsonian part 3
Tuesday, August 10th 2004: Mary Cassatt, do I know you?:Smithsonian part 2
Wednesday, July 21st 2004: FORD THEATER AND ME: Smithsonian Part 1
Friday, May 7th 2004: Cloudy’s Contribution



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