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IRON JANE: Tales of Awakening A Wild Heart, Vol. 1

Available here online, are several chapters culled from my first memoir. IRON JANE: Tales of Awakening A Wild Heart, Vol.1. This collection offers some of my most compelling teaching stories, personal accounts of times of great heartache, and moments of awakening.

I request that they not be downloaded and copied, but you are welcome to read them –please consider purchasing the book!

Awakening A Wild Heart

It was a cool October evening in the Anza Borrego desert. Wrapped in three thin layers of clothing and an old Mexican blanket, I attempted to stroke Kristol, my beloved doggy companion, stretched out beside me. Nestled on a large, flat granite boulder, Kris lay motionless, as I swayed rhythmically to an invisible drum, rocking myself against the breeze. A zillion stars were loosed in the heavens, scattered everywhere. Venus, my special planet shone brightly overhead, wrapped in a halo. Overcome suddenly with emotion, I burst into song, appeals of "Amazing Grace" rushing out into the night. To my surprised delight, the ends of my phrases echoed back at me, boomeranging loudly off the rocky hills that surrounded us. I stood up, dropping my wraps and howled long and high into the moonless sky. Miles away, a chorus of coyotes answered me. I picked up two rocks and began clacking them together like claves while I improvised a chant and simple dance step to go along with it. Following some inner pull, moving in each of four directions, I watched myself making this art prayer from some deep intuitive and instinctual part of my being. Wild, innocent, primal love-in-the-making was me and was happening between me and the all around and through me. I knew that I would sleep soundly and that I was safe here all alone in this desert place, in the dark, star filled night. With my city self stowed away in the shadows, tonight I was Iron Jane, my wildish self. I had learned to trust her, maybe more than any other part of me. And it had taken nearly everything I had to reclaim her. I had been to hell and back more than once: but the gift of the reclamation of my primal, soulful deep feminine self was the grail, and worth all the hardship. I crawled into my star covered tent and fell fast asleep.

Morning came swiftly as the warm sun spilled down on my face through the tent roof. After a languid half hour of coming back from the dreamtime, I maneuvered one last long stretch, got up and unzipped the door. Kris bounded up barking in a whirl of play, teasing me to join her. Laughing, moving much more slowly, I managed a brief romp, growling in mock seriousness. Not bad for two older females: Kris nearly twelve and me, fifty-three.

Although it was late October, the arid desert highs were still around ninety, and I knew my furry friend and I would be confined to rocky shade if we stayed on. I figured I could buy another hour of comfort, however, enough time to do some journaling and drawing. I had come to Glorietta Canyon specifically to listen inside for direction for my life. I had just completed an exodus from a house in north county San Diego that would never be home for me, putting all my belongings into storage, ostensibly freeing me to focus on making a new life for myself. Over the past few months, I had been making trips to the San Francisco Bay Area and to Sonoma county, considering a relocation, drawn to the area's freer thinking, creative and healing edge. Was I foolishly expecting the grass to be simply greener there? Foolishness and illusion I didn't need any more of in my life. It was time for practicality and "realism." Yet, I knew deep within, that practicality without magic was against my basic nature.

I sat down and attempted to make two drawings. Something was wrong. I felt disconnected, distracted from my usual facility at improvising. "Make a picture of your frustration then," offered my Inner Voice.

Good idea. I began to scribble and in half a minute an image of a very leonine face with gleaming, almost angry eyes and a wide open mouth appeared. Yes. This was indeed how I felt. Fierce and stymied and intense!

"Make a picture of home, the "hohm" you want," my Voice urged next. "I'll make it of Iron Jane at hohm," I returned.

Making use of a profuse range of artforms to solve dilemmas, to call forth soulful answers is one of my gifts in this life. I even create or amalgamate artforms as I need them for myself or my clients and friends for healing and waking up wisdom. As I drew a picture of the home I was seeking to land, I reflected on the notion of "Iron Jane." The idea had come to me in 1991 after reading an article about "Iron John" and author/poet John Bly in Esquire Mag. It occurred to me that there was a wild woman archetype as well. I tried to sell the idea to three national women's journals, but they were having none of it. Three months later Clarissa Pinkola Estes' history-making classic, Women Who Run With The Wolves appeared on the scene. When it did, I realized two things: that I had much to learn personally about La Chispa, La Loba, the soulskin of the wildish one inside me, and at the same time, that it was She I longed to express above all in this life.

My drawing was nearing completion as the sun rose higher and hotter. A house with long, spiraling roots moving down to the earth's core had appeared on the page. A snaky, winged quetzlcotal spiraled up out of the chimney, a cross and a star of David in its wake. I was resurrecting, and remembering "as above, so below." Desert rocks framed the bottom of the page and a pair of loving hands reached out and up to bless the house. Grass and trees, all with their own rooted welfare systems spun off down the hillside, giving off loving vibrations. An angel appeared with giant feathery wings to embrace the scene. Last of all, I drew in a moon and sun overhead left and right for balance, beauty and fullness, and a pair of feet descending from the cosmos assuring that I would embody, "ground" any cronish wisdoms gleaned.

"You forgot to put yourself in the picture," cautioned my Guidance. Oops. I quickly drew in me and Kris, and then decided I had better draw in the loving partner I also intend to manifest yet in my life. Since I hadn't left enough room on the page for him to be at my side, I put him on the other side of the house, building a rainbow overhead to connect us. Leo that I am, I had drawn myself on the sunny side of the page, my man on the moonish half. It was fitting: I had quite a legacy of Cancerian men behind me.

There now. This surely was a picture of my hohm. I quietly scanned my work, the work of my subconscious fleshed out before me. "Your thoughts have become conscious in-FORM-ation," quipped my Voice.

I sat quietly with my drawing, musing over it, proud of myself for having learned this wild, primal, sacred artist's way of bringing healing and guidance in. I would have to make some time this week to work more on the Iron Jane cartoons and the book manuscript edits... I wondered if my new life would take me away from my efforts to get published. Again, my inner Wise One spoke: "The issue is to let go of attachment to the publishing, or to the works, or believing in any way that these are your Source of well being. Your path now must be free from those illusions. Rest in Creator. Creation. Focus on Being Impressed with loving truths, and Expressing them back out in all the ways you can experience. Indeed, it is All There Is."

My thoughts drifted. I wondered what it would take to accomplish this. Just finding, facing and embracing my Wild Woman Within had required coming all apart at the seams -at the "seems." It had once seemed that I could succeed at Life without Her. Workoholism, bulimia, suicidal depressions, self loathing and distrust, sexual mutilation nightmares and failed relationships were evidence to the contrary. Eight very conscious years already were notched into my belt of coming back together again, including five years in the menopausal initiatory cauldron, and still I was just awakening my wild heart. Yet I had succeeded in identifying her and in naming the "civilized" handicaps brought on by wildish banishment or submergence, by the loss of the authenticity that Iron Jane brings me. For authentic expression is spontaneous, honest, uncensored and whole. It comes from my core, my woman's heart, and it's essence is juicy and alive whether expressing pain or joy. "Iron Jane" becomes another way to speak of the strength and grace of an organic moment, a moment of awareness, an intimate brush with the mysterious. Living this way might be the closest I can get to the body of enlightenment.

The dry desert sun was climbing for a closer look at me and my musings. I put down my drawing materials and grabbed the blanket, shaking it down onto the sandy ground. I would stretch my backside before tackling another ride in the car. A slow and supine, delicious dance moved through me, using my naked and catlike body. My eyes closed, letting the solar warmth melt into me. Like a dreamy, hazy collage, my Iron Jane history spread out before me, and I drifted back to innocent beginnings, a muddied, injured childhood and adolescence, and going into hiding for most of the next thirty-five years.

It would be a long journey back to fuller Selfhood, healing the rage, fear and grief around losing my trust of myself, making up for all the times I was trained into unnatural expressions and rewarded for not seeing, hearing, feeling, showing and telling my truths. For so long I had been ashamed of who I was, afraid to be too open or closed, too truthful, too sensitive, vulnerable or powerful. My soulful recovery was AnyWoman's: rediscovering my instinctual, wild body, my intuitive, wild mind, and taking down walls around my wild, loving, knowing heart.

I turned over onto my stomach and murmured out loud how far I had come, how much courage I had mustered. But Iron Jane was a real presence in my life now, and never again could I lose her. She is my unadulterated soulful impression and expression, my primal motion. Her organic presence in me brings art, healing, teaching and loving into my daily life. My works become "heARTworks."

As I packed up my drawing pad, pens and blanket, I paused to give thanks that I am alive again. I can live, love, grow, heal what has been hurt within me and in others. I am a BeautyMaker. My wild, awakening heart whispers that Beauty is the name we give to perceiving the essential radiance in anything, and about creating from this knowledge. I am grateful for this teaching, and the opportunity to pass it on.


In the early 90s, I had seriously begun to take on a healer's path, and a shamanic one at that. I had long been fascinated with dreams, and as with most other things, I experienced dreams as symbolic, as metaphors for Life: life at large, and for my own little life. I was at a time in my life when questions about how to be a good, powerful healer were prominent in my mind and heart, as were concerns about how to take care of myself. I had heard plenty from more experienced colleagues about the perils of "taking on negative energies" from clients. About getting sick, or feeling angry, depressed, or otherwise out of sorts. My own experience seemed to be proving them accurate. In fact, it was after getting angry and having my back go out on me after attending to a particularly ill tempered and pained client that I received an unforgetable teaching about being an empath.

My path as urban shaman had brought with it numerous extra sensory experiences; they became familiar, commonplace, yet always mysterious, awesome. On this particular day a vision overcame me, strong and powerful, perhaps a past life recall or a memory stirred from my own collective unconscious -or perhaps from the collective unconscious of Mankind.

Regardless of how I'd gotten there, I'd entered an "altar"ed, sacred trance state, watching a scene in Africa. I was a pygmy, an ebony, almost blue-black-skinned, smallish man. I was the tribal shaman, a maker of great medicine. As with my present life, here too I had a proclivity for show business and performance arts. Decked out in an enormous painted mask with exotic bird feathers wildly spiking out in all directions, blood ritually painted onto my chest, hands and feet, I sang loudly and danced with rattles, chanting and making ferocious animal sounds for the benefit of setting the stage for healing. For the medicine to work, a medicine man must grab the attention of the afflicted ones. He must also create sacred space, and pay appropriate homage to ancestral gods: nothing must be omitted, or the results could be disastrous.

On this particular sweltering savannah day, I was given the task of curing a man deathly ill with some disease, with malaria-like symptoms, and delerium. The man was brought to my hut on a stretcher made of palm leaves and branches, and set in the shade. After calling in Help and Protection, I set about half scaring my patient to death with my wild sounds and hopping around, trance dancing. The man had to put total faith in me, in my connection to the gods of curing. In return, I had to put total faith in them. However much I faltered in my ability to surrender my human will to their infinitely greater Will and to the Truth they represented, to that extent I might become ill myself -even fatally, dying as a result of my failures, not to mention dooming my patient to torment and possible death as well. These were my beliefs.

In trance, I watched this other me, a noble 'savage,' writhing on the ground. I had 'agreed' to take the sickness into myself, the stronger and more adept of the two. I hoped to take on the condition for the patient in order that it might leave him, enter and pass through me without harming me, and let the spirits involved speak to us. They would tell us about the nature of that illness, and how the man's soul had been afflicted. Taking on the condition was the most sure and direct way to know its 'medicine,' both its poison and its healing benefits. It was the purest -and most compelling medicine path.

"Empath," I whispered to myself in present lifetime. "I'm being shown the actual nature of being an empath, and the risks involved. It's this path I'm seeking to embrace--perhaps to perfect--that's caused me to have this 'memory' vision."

Fascinated, I returned to watch the scene, simultaneously in two places at once. My shaman self was writhing, moaning, sweating and convulsing on the ground as a living prayer for healing. I realize there are two choices with two lines of possibility for me. I can surrender completely and allow the movements of life force energies coursing through me to create a state of ecstatic being. Or, I can fail to trust surrendering and become the illness, become stuck. The teaching is about the power of surrender.

The scene dissolved, leaving me with only with myself in earth time. Gratitude filled me for the power of this teaching, and its potential for my life.

Today, years later, the lesson of surrender is one I must constantly practice. My pygmy self lives in the heart of my awareness, and has become another story in my collection of teaching tales. Whether with a particularly difficult client or toxic situation in my life, I always have the choice to surrender in faith, or to resist, and try to control it all myself. I may choose to 'die' into the deeper truths of the situation -or avoid and hide, reaping those inevitably painful, immediate consequences instead. I may acquire wisdom -or retreat into a socially more acceptable insanity. I may be healed and know I am blessed, or wind up feeling sick and cursed.

I have this choice, and as an empath who can feel what others are feeling, it is vital that I am awake as often as possible, and that I choose with love and faith.

Today a colleague asked me if I thought it was possible to get ill from working with disturbed patients. As I recounted my pygmy story, again, I am reminded that surrender is always possible, with the wisdom and freedom it brings us.


A hawk flew suddenly out of a nearby clump of bushes, settling high in a neighboring tree. It was my birthday, and except for the bird, I was by myself this morning, feeling lonesome. This would be the first time in nearly sixteen years that I would spend my birthday without Kristol, my dog who had died nearly a year ago. Making matters more strained, I was not presently in a "relationship" with a special human companion either.

Startled perhaps by my approach, the large red-tailed hawk sat nearby observing me. I looked back, shading my eyes from the brightness and heat of the August sun. "It's my birthday, Hawk, and I am feeling all alone," I toned, feeling quite sorry for myself.

As if on cue, the raptor opened her wings wide and faced me full on. She remained motionless in this position for quite a while. I felt her embracing me with her wingspan, her bird arms. "Spread your own wings, " I heard her tell me, from a mysterious place inside myself.

I sniffled wistfully: "I wish I could fly, soar like you, beautiful friend, " I lamented, feeling sorry for myself. . The hawk replied by closing her wings, and shuffling about a bit on her perch. I closed my eyes, my heart struggling to find room for a happier birthday.

When I opened my eyes again, my hawk advisor was still sitting strongly in front of me. Facing west, her wings were wide open, commanding my attention. "Your heart will also open as you spread your wings," I clearly heard her say.

Mimicking my teacher, I spread my arms out to my sides, making awkward, hawkish sounds, as if to reply to the creature in her own language. She turned slightly counterclockwise, and began dropping her head and beak into the branches, up and down, up and down. Was there a nest there, I wondered, that I hadn't noticed?

The bobbing movements continued, and I felt quite certain that this was indeed a great mother bird. Apparently she had taken a brief time out from feeding her young to nurture me. I was very touched by our interspecies communication, her kindness to me, and her wisdom.

Leaving my birthday hawk to her mothering agenda, I resumed my hike. With thanks in my heart and a lift in my step, I was ready for a new beginning.


A Vision Quest Tale by Marcia Singer

Southern Anza Borrego painted herself onto my back in thick grey-green and sticky yellowish-brown, with liberal sprinkles of fiery red and a dash of hot pink for good measure. I soaked it all in. It was Easter Sunday, a perfect day for vision questing in the desert wilderness. I was ready for a resounding rebirth, following the longest, hardest winter of my fifty years.

My sense of identity and sanity had taken a beating in the past year as one by one, like dominoes, I lost my lover and best friend, my dream home, my health and by default, a reliable income, and energy for my work -or almost anything else. Instinct now dragged me back to my friend the desert to resurrect my flagging faith in life.

As it was also the Passover season, I planned to invoke Jewish ancestors as well in my plea for help, summoning those who had made it across the Red Sea, escaping the shadow of death more than once. All in all, it was a good time to confer with the gods -and goddesses.

It was already hot outdoors, maybe in the high 80s. A brief glance at my watch revealed that it was only 9:30 a.m. Kristol, my very furry, four legged, very best collie friend, crouched under an umbrella of shade formed by the high pillars of eggshell rock all around us. If necessary, we would go for cover in one of the several rocky caves we knew about, and wait out the heat until sunset brought cool relief.

With mild distaste, I contemplated the possibility of a long day sitting around avoiding UV rays. I don't idle well; therefore, one of the challenges I'd brought along with me was to quiet down my internal chaos sufficiently to hear my angels again, or to enable a winged hawk to teach me about soaring , or the wind to remind me that the hawk can't fly without her. I was starving for these reminders, and the desert promised to conjure up a serving or two for this pilgrim with enough good intention and faith in the undertaking.

-And sufficient daring. I was alone here with my docile, elderly pal, destining to spend the night outdoors all by ourselves under a nearly moonless sky, and me without the comfort of a tent. My warrior genes insisted that I face my fears once and for all and "make peace with the dark." And any creepy crawly things that go bump in the shadows.

I hiked over to a wedge of sloping rocks that formed a petite apartment of sorts. It was a refuge I had laid claim to a year before when I first discovered this remarkable desert site just outside the one horse town of Jacumba, California. It felt oddly familiar, like I'd lived in it before. The caves, the dry, pebbly stream bed, the rounded cone hill that jutted out from the flat sands and chaparral felt like a homecoming.

Unfortunately, last year, I hadn't had time to stay and explore. Driving on into town an hour later, I wound up in the local thrift store pouring my heart out to the manager, a old Native American woman who strangely seemed to be there waiting for me in her thread bare rocking chair. I told "Ruby" I was seeking a Big Vision and a healing to match. She told me there was an "ancient Hopi holy place" not far away. She knew it from "a former lifetime" and wanted to take me there the following morning. Lo and behold, it was the very same site I had stumbled onto the day before.

Now, fifteen moons later I had returned, more in need of healing than ever. I stood on the huge flat back of the smooth, shiny white rock that had pulled me towards this holy place and Ruby last year. Bushes of silvery green sage poked heads up all around sending scented breaths into the air. Riding an impulse I sang out. Surprised and delighted, spirits of the ancient village echoed my offering right back at me; I seemed to be in a sort of natural stone amphitheater. I opened up and indulged another series of deep, throaty tones as the surrounding hills hid and insulated me from any intruders.

Moved, inspired, I acknowledged the powers that dwelled here: "Thank you for lending me your power. Can you help me to be quieter and regain my own powers?"

"Power is in the heart and mind of the beholder," came my answering Benefactor. "We can give you nothing that doesn't already live within the whole of You. A power place is anywhere you are willing to be powerful, and just to Be."

I wanted to Be in my little rocky apartment just a few tangly yards of sagebrush away and to put my things safely inside before sundown. Dragging my sleeping gear, water, journal, candle and Kristol's food into the shady interior, I remembered my first time walking into the site, how I'd made a beeline for this apartment as if remembering it from a former rock dweller lifetime. "It's soooo familiar!" I noted again as I hunkered down so as not to bump my head on the boulder ceiling. Forgetting my cares momentarily, I whistled a soft tune as I smoothed and carded the clean white sand floor filling the enclosure, just as I may have done long ago, preparing my bed for later.

Gratitude filled my heart, much in need of it. I constructed a small altar of varied rock pieces, a snaky stick and stray feather. "Thank you for this holy place," I offered to my unseen Benefactors. -"You are welcome," came the reply, "well come. Any place is holy where you bring your Self, where you have come to be well, to Be."

The voice of my Guidance lingered in and tempered the air as I prepared simple meals for Kris and myself, watching Brother Sun soon disappear over a peach and lavender horizon through a crack in my stone house. I went out to sit into the darkness not far from Kris who lay reposed nearby on our flat, slick, white rocky platform.

The light disappeared, taking my peaceful mood along with it. Rats. It was getting spooky out here. I coaxed my reluctant dog to leave her prized spot and come sit closer, just as strange blobs of misty clouds descended from somewhere and closed in around me. Shrouded in gloom, my imagination had a heyday. Was that a bobcat standing just over there?! What was that shadow moving behind me? How stupid of me to do this, without even a tent to run to for cover. Rats.

I began to cry, my inner dams giving way, loosening a sea of self-pitying tears. Pouring out of me from no longer hidden depths came sorrows accumulated from a lifetime of hurts that people I loved had caused me. And for all the hurts I had caused them as well. I sobbed, allowing myself to really feel it all. Surrendering deeper, held in the stillness of this inky wombplace, I felt the river of my own pain begin to merge with the sorrows and ignorance of all of humanity. This suffering was unbearable. Worse, I felt my powerlessness to change it. In full drama, I wailed and railed at my Creator.

Again, a Voice, calm, Knowing,, reassuring, entered and spoke to my grief: "That's what you have compassion and forgiveness for. Use them," It said simply.

Some relief melted onto my grief, easing the tide of tears. I blew my nose on several pieces of nearby sage, remembering to thank them. I was understanding more as I stared at stars peeking thru patches of clouds. A song was coming up inside me. A former professional vocalist, I had stopped singing years before, but now phrases were escaping from the painful tight places inside my heart. "Let it be, let it be...There will be an Answer, let it be," came the cherished Beatles tune. What an incredible gift; my own voice was returning.

I cried for joy now, as pieces of "Bridge over Troubled Waters" found their way out of me, too. Next, I called out to the Spirits of "Jacumbaya," singing the old prayer song, "Kumbaya" with a new twist. "This is the holiest place on earth!" I yelled at the top of my lungs to any wildcats, ghosts or scorpions passing by.

Again, an unexpected Response touched into the core of me from my spirited angels: "The holiest place on earth is your Heart. Keep its wisdom in mind, and you will sing life's praises more often. Blessings, little one."

I sang well into the night, my beloved pooch by my side. I intoned forgiveness for myself, for the people in my life, for humankind, for us all. And I gave thanks: for now I knew that I myself was a holy place.


A Wee Shamanic "Mirroring" Tale By Marcia Singer

It was a pristine morning, unusual for Los Angeles. Following three days of heavy rainfall, the brisk air was wondrously clear, the pale morning sun aglow, warming my older bones in a most auspicious manner. I was, in short, feeling unusually well.

I had not been feeling so great the day before however, so I had elected to spend this particular morning visiting one of my favorite canyons in the San Fernando Valley. My plan was to walkabout, exercise, drink in the delicious fresh air, perhaps have a wee adventure before starting my work day.

El Escorpion Canyon was newly carpeted in green. It was a bit startling to see the hills so verdant in January, perhaps a sign of worrisome climate change. But ah, well, why not enjoy the beauty presenting itself to me in such a luxurious manner?

I had the place all to myself. How wonderful, I thought, acknowledging my penchant for sonorous howling in the direction of "the big cave," The Scorpion's best kept secret. Stumbling onto it one day a few years ago, it's the tallest cave I have ever discovered hiking locally - maybe a hundred feet high? And no doubt the deepest too, extending way back into the dark recesses of the hillside. If my legs were longer, and my arms stronger, I would venture climbing inside more often. For now, I'd settle for its awesome echo capability.

Sweetly content, I meandered along the path, listening to bush birdies, the squawk of an occasional red tail hawk, and a buzzy winter bee or two. Adding a song of my own, I joined in with a little medicine tune that I brought through many years ago: "Father, I honor you. Father, I love you, in all I am and do, I honor you…" Lulling the world around me, I made sure that "Father" landed on the beat of my right foot meeting the ground. Soon, for balance, I would sing to Mother Goddess as well, my left foot –my feminine side - now touching the earth.

Feeling a pull to more officially meditate, I cast my eyes north, up hill, looking for a flat enough place to stand on to pray. Easing up the slope, my ears were struck by the unanticipated sound of hundreds (?!) of frogs, all croaking at once: How splendid! My very own froggy serenade coming from a new pond formed by torrents of recent rain. A small forest of short sycamores stuck their necks out from the water, greeting me while providing hiding places for amphibian natives. I sat down on an ample cold rock, grinning ear to ear, to enjoy nature's symphony.

Several minutes passed. The friendly but decidedly noisy songs reminded me that I had been wending my way to meditate, towards quietude. And, not having actually seen a single frog –much to my chagrin –I got up and continued my climb to higher ground, diminishing the din of froggy crescendos below.

Finding a lovely green knoll, I stopped to claim the turf, stretching my arms out, readying to let my body pray me. Moving slowly, I felt the silent rhythms of earth, sky, the All Around Me. Swaying, bending, I began my dance to the four directions, adapted from an ancient Inca invocation. In this way of meditation, holy questions arise, healings are invited, Answers arise as my heart comes open again. Body prayer in the canyon: my private heaven.

I felt such gentle joy as I faced south. Beckoning its soft breezes, I grew very silent within. In the quiet of the moment, I became aware again of the multitude of frog voices nearby, going at it. With my full being, Still, I Listened.

Impossibly, without warning, the frogs stopped singing. In no more than three seconds, their mad music had ceased altogether, as if a conductor frog had ordered an entire orchestra to shush, and all had willingly complied, conspiring to trick me.

Caught in this "conspiracy of improbabilities" (Deepak Chopra's term for synchronicity), my quiet mind boggled, beginning of its own accord to review immediate events and to question them: Had this happened in relation to me?! Or - what?!

More chicanery unfolded. No sooner had I begun to ruminate, to stir the pot of plausible reasons, than did the froggy chorale start up again. Within two or three seconds of the activation of my thought processes, as if on cue, frog croaks were activated again too, in full force. I imagined a conductor in a spotty green tux signaling, "OK gang, everybody jump in again –all together now. Let's really get her attention!"

Implausible! Their sounds had perfectly mirrored the movement of my inner state, fore and aft, from noisy to still to noisy again.

As I retell the tale to you, in the air hovers the breath, the presence of my teacher Coyote. Disguised as a bunch of frogs, S/He stole upon me by surprise from the realm of the unexpected, a master Trickster, presenting me with the gift of perfect Mirroring, hinting at the Mysterious powers that be, and that I Am.