Aloka –Dog Soul Partner –Excerpt from Chapter 9 of Turquoise Interlude 1969

Early in spring, when the green was starting to come out of the earth again … I reached in and pulled out the shorthaired, golden brown one, as if I already knew and loved her. Aloka’s warm body fit in my hand. I held her close to my heart and tears came to my eyes welcoming this important new family…

 Aloka … almost died. On the worst night, holding her in my arms next to my heart, I stayed up with her constantly, giving her drops of liquids when I could. Near the dawn I sensed a quickening in her body and could finally feel her decide to live instead of die. From that day on, bonded, we spoke to each other with telepathy and became inseparable until she died fifteen years later. 

Aloka was my first child as well as my companion. We had unconditional love and acceptance. Telepathically she let me know with a look, or sometimes the slightest sound if I wasn’t paying attention, that she had to go outside or wanted water or food. When she sensed danger Aloka transformed into a fierce watchdog, her hair raising along her back, barking, snarling and growling, scaring the perceived intruder and impressing the New Mexico locals, who then wanted her puppies. 

Throughout her lifetime, Aloka was always well behaved and extremely sensitive. If I commanded, “Stay,” she stayed for hours, waiting until I called, “Come.” She slept with me in my tipi that spring and summer. But when I used her as a pillow she would often jump up in the middle of the night, barking, and scare away whatever predator she sensed outside. So usually we just slept curled up next to each other. 

During the days we went for many walks together, exploring and enjoying. I picked up sticks so she could carry them in her mouth. That was easier than trying to run with her, with my hand in her mouth. She was definitely a retriever. Aloka would lope along in front of me, through the high desert and through the forest, smiling, circling back to me when she got too far ahead, her eyes connecting, always with a stick in between her teeth. Her short golden fur was smooth and warm, thickening in winter to ward off the cold, and slightly shedding as the weather got warmer. When I visited friends, Aloka was always with me. At that time, in New Mexico, Aloka met my needs more than any human could have. Love between us flowed easily.

Aloka had become an ally on my adventure. Wherever it led, we were together. Looking back on that time, I wonder how many of my needs were taken care of, satisfied by the dog soul partner who brought me light. 

©2020

Remembering A Time Past – The Fairy Tale Conflict – When I First Met Jack Excerpt from Part I When the Moon Dances, Becoming the Oldest Generation

… How different Jack was when I met him, at Mom’s house in Venice, during the Fairy Tale conflict, back in the early 70’s.

The year before, Mom had given me our old fairy tale books, their rain spotted covers wrapping the yellowed pages that survived a flood in Mom’s childhood basement. Gnarled twisting trees that were people, bears who were princes, the wild bright hair of the moon escaping her dark cape to light up the swamp, a barefoot maiden picking miraculous strawberries from the snow of a winter forest –these ornate illustrations by Arthur Rackham and Edmond Dulac remained indelible in my psyche.

Oh how Lainey and I loved those precious books! They infused our childhood with their wisdom. One night, I burst into tears when a banished princess picked the forbidden rose. I was so distraught that my mother stopped reading to us, closing the book, her coiffed blond hair hardly moving above her puzzled face. She could not comfort me –did not know how.

Later I studied Jung, and knew deep inside these stories were pagan teachings gone underground. They shaped my view of life –love would find me if I overcame the right obstacles, I must suffer loss in life’s journey, being true to myself, magic. In that chaos called childhood, I tried so hard to be perfect, to be accepted by her, my mother. I forgot the lesson that disobedient mistakes can fuel growth. My imperfect tears gathered inside me as I grew.

At Black Bear Ranch, I kept the books safely locked in our medicine room inside the Gold Rush-era main house. I retrieved them to read to our commune children in the soft glow of the many kerosene lamps, and then I methodically replaced them, gently laying each sacred book on the dark wooden shelf, before I turned the long metal key. No one else was allowed to touch them.

Shortly after Elun was born, to celebrate Passover, I drove 700 miles from the isolated mountains of Northern California, to my Mom’s house in Venice, overlooking the edge of the ocean.

Tired, I walked through the door carrying Elun in a beaded Indian cradleboard. My long, patchouli scented, handmade velvet skirt felt shabby in the light of civilization, and my dusty mountain boots seemed out of place. But a warm glow covered my face as I greeted my family. The smells of roast lamb and matzo ball soup drifted in from the well-lit kitchen. My hungry stomach tightened in anticipation. At the commune, we ate deer when we could, but not nearly enough meat or eggs for my protein cravings. Here my mother’s comforts fed my material yearnings.

Mom presented her new boyfriend, Jack, whose eyes sparkled when he shook my hand, and then they both returned to the kitchen for the meal’s final preparations. Mom’s mahogany dining room table was already set with the bird patterned china plates, candles, a ceremonial Passover platter and Haggadahs, the book we all read from during the Passover service.

With a brief knock at the door…

© 2018

Georges & Mom –A Memory of When Mom Was Vital – 1970 – Excerpt from Part II, When the Moon Dances –Becoming the Oldest Generation, A Memoir

“Marianna.”

I was asleep in our summer campsite in the tall oaks. The night was late and still as I rubbed my eyes and realized that I wasn’t dreaming.

“Andy?” I asked in disbelief. How could an ex-boyfriend from New Mexico find me in this isolated commune, surrounded by national forest in the mountains of Northern California? Even people who lived here on the commune had a hard time finding our campsite.

“Your Mom and Georges are across the creek,” said Andy, his unexpected voice waking my new boyfriend. “I’ll bring them over.”

Zshorje? From Paris?” I mumbled

Marc and I sat up in the outdoor wooden bed he had built earlier that year. His beard and long brown hair were still tangled from sleep and his face looked at me with questions. Through the dark trees, my Mom and her former French lover emerged into our clearing with Andy, their flashlight making circles along the rocky path. “How did you find us?” I asked Andy, “especially with no daylight?”

“I know mountains,” was all he said. It felt like a strange dream.

“Mom, Georges, welcome!” I paused for a second, “This is Marc.” After sitting on the bed and breathing in the fresh forest scent for a few minutes, my short haired, dyed-blonde Mom proceeded to pull a bag of pot from her jeans pocket and all of us, except Georges, puffed on the joint that Andy rolled. But Georges smiled and his eyes danced under his white hair shining in the moonlight. The pungent, skunky smoke floated and dissolved into the night air as we talked and laughed and heard the story of how they decided to make this surprise visit.

Georges, a Parisian Marxist, Bohemian sculptor in his 60’s, had come to San Francisco for the first time, so Mom called Andy, who had moved back to San Francisco, to be his guide. And Georges, when asked what he wanted to see, had said that he wanted to visit me. Andy told him that I lived in the remote mountains, hours from the nearest tiny town and an eight-hour car ride from the city. But that is what Georges wanted.

I had met Georges, who always wore the traditional black beret and smoked strong, French Gauloises, when I visited Paris in 1962. George had taken me to all the old hangouts on the Left Bank that he had frequented with my mother when she had lived there and attended the Sorbonne. We sat at wooden tables with sawdust on the floor, bathed in a fog of tobacco smoke, arguing politics, Georges disagreeing with my idealistic stance –non-violent pro-revolution. At seventeen, I was caught up in how romantic it felt envisioning my mother’s and Georges’ relationship that had flourished in the late thirties.

In 1970, as the conversation faded and the frogs’ incessant nocturnal croaking took over, Marc helped everyone set up their sleeping bags, so they also could sleep under the bright stars and rise with the birds.

In the morning, when daylight finally filtered through the trees and our dusty roads began to bake in the sun, we walked up to the “Main House,” where everyone gathered, cooked, and ate as a group. During the day, most of us wore little or no clothes, but our nudity did not seem to bother Mom or George. I was raised as a nudist; Mom had taught Lainey and me from an early age to believe in the sanctity of the human body. In France, nudity was a part of art, and Georges prided himself on being unconventional.

Georges spent his few days here at Black Bear Ranch engaged, yet again, in lively arguments about politics with anyone in our commune who spoke French. As I sit writing this in the night of Herzlia, shuttered from the street outside the window, I see an old image –a pimply, intellectual commune resident, his round wire framed glasses topping his gangly body, speaking fluent French with Georges in the afternoon heat. They wave their arms as their voices rise and fall with emotion, oblivious, in a corner of the peeling wood veranda.

Mom and her escorts camped in our dusty, mountain haven for several days, enjoying the politically radical and innovative community of those long-haired renegades who were called hippies. I didn’t think of my mother as adventurous or unusual then, but looking back, I see her reflected in a different light.

 

©2017 Marianna Mejia