Marla Ruzicka

Let’s talk about war. It’s so cold here that the moon withdrew itself last night. The fur on people’s dogs stopped  shedding for the day. I heard the word “honor” in connection with the memorial I saw from the second world war and I thought why is it honorable to be in a war or to create a war? Why is it considered honorable to be a hero when you kill people. Or why is it considered honorable to be a hero when you’re a leader and you decide to kill even more people? I am going to write this in the simplest way I possibly can. I don’t see any heroism in war. I think this concept should end But what really frightens me is that I think it’s a basic part of human nature. It seems to me it all boils down to the territorial imperative. Even if the  territorial imperative is 1 inch of space somewhere. I’m not a historian and ,in fact, I hated history because I hate precision in any form. I am an artist and a creative person so I don’t like squares, I like circles. I don’t like wars. I don’t like it when leaders stamp their foot and turn on their heel and walk away and send in their giant killing machines.

One of my heroes was a young woman who on her own counted the civilian victims of war in Afghanistan and Irac. Her name was Marla Ruzicka and Senator Patrick Leahy passed a bill in her honor stating that civilian victims of war would now be counted. Why in her honor? Because she was killed before she was 30 by a car bomb.

I had met her in New York one warm night at a friends reception for the Ploughshares Fund. Her blonde hair fell around her face in a kind of charmingly messy mop and she was wearing a tank top and some old pair of jeans and we spent 20 minutes talking about what she did. It was so inspiring to me and a few weeks later when I read on the front page of the Times that she had been killed my heart broke for her. I couldn’t stop crying. In my mind I kept seeing that wonderful, youthful face with her wide smile and a great soft glow about her. She was my hero and always will be.

It’s time for the world to wake up and realize who the real heroes are. It’s not the territorial imperative and the machines of war that are the brave things. It’s a single person who will dare stand up and make a point and risk their life doing so.

Last Night

Kissed in a restaurant


I met you in a restaurant outside and I wore a coat the color of dried blood and when I saw you I knew I had already known you. Sometimes when that happens there’s no denying it. I love this restaurant. All the waiters know my name and they think I’m a lovely lady. But that night when I met you and I was so close to your eyes while we were eating I just felt like I was on a roller coaster and I could shoot down that track right down into your soul. I couldn’t help it when you kissed me there even though I knew Megan, the maître d’, could see the whole thing. I don’t think she could see the depth of it all and may be that’s why I let myself be carried away by a pyre of woodchucks laughing as only they do at my willingness to be carried away. You and I were meant to have a dance. I don’t remember being carried away before but I do remember dreaming about it. There’s something magic that happens when you meet a person and everything about you and that person is the same size. And I’m not talking about our bodies because our bodies are really meaningless but I am talking about something I don’t have to talk about. Self! you think to yourself what in the world is going on? It’s like diving into a pool at night and you have no idea how deep the deep end is but you keep your fingers crossed and go for the gold.But in the end you know you can take care of yourself and that’s the most important thing there is. I’m always tempted to really look into abandonment because I think that’s the real issue in life. It’s like Dr. Dolittle in the push me pull you. Everyone wants to feel safe and in control but if everyone wants that then it’s never gonna happen. Somebody has to just dig in their heels and make a statement. That’s it.



This summer the windows in the house steam up like they used to when there were teenagers inside.

All that glorious passion every morning.

This summer everything is slightly off:

The gaits of the horses, the timing of the stoplights, the phases of the moon, the beat of people’s hearts.

Reports keep coming of various things the vaccine does and continues to do yet they are always coupled with remarks saying of course you should have the vaccine.

Yesterday a newscaster reported that a disease which causes paralysis of the face is a side effect of one of the vaccines.

Tomorrow maybe it will be paralysis of the tongue.

In California there is no water and will not be water for a very long time. Sharing is not common among the western states.

Fires are burning and the police departments are passing out placard’s which state “evacuated” to put on your front gate when you leave.

More people died of a drug overdose in the past year than ever before. Suicide rates are up and the ages of those who kill them selves gets lower and lower.

People wonder if it’s best to keep all of this quiet. The sale of hearing aids has gone down. The news is quieter and quieter as people are turning down their television sets.

The optimists are fading and are becoming almost transparent like the colors in a bubble a child blows.

For a moment the fragrance of summer can blow across your face if you let it. Better make haste. Memories of fragrance are so fleeting.















The Length of Winter

I forgot how long winter is.

It doesn’t extend from November to March

as it should but it’s disobedient and sometimes hides inside a heart and a chamber to the left or to the right and there you are with only a part of your heart functioning because of winter or it’s a fact. You think it will get better but in fact you’re wrong because once something is frozen it’s never the same. Even a hamburger isn’t as flavorful once defrosted. I used to think that people could learn over time that frostbite prevented circulation and thus freedom however experience has taught me that if you let something freeze it can never really be brought back to life appropriately again.

Memorial Day

In honor of Memorial Day I choose the Good Humor: a treat on a wooden stick, vanilla ice cream covered in thin dark chocolate, covered in white shiny paper that was hermetically sealed over it. Teeth were the utensil most often used to open it up!

The good humor arrived in the truck driven by the Good Humor man. The truck had a refrigerator on the back which could be accessed from both sides by opening a door with a stainless steel handle. Sometimes, when I was last in line, I would stand on the stone wall so I could see deep inside the truck. There were pale cardboard boxes in there piled to the brim of the truck like shoe boxes or small coffins but unmarked.

The arrival of the good humor man was akin to the arrival of Santa Claus. In our house there were no treats so ice cream on a stick was a major event.
I don’t know why I seemed to be the only sibling that was able to buy two Good Humors, but I can only assume it was because I have always been a saver.

The good humor man came between three and four on Sunday afternoons but only in the summer months and announced his arrival with a clanging of a sweet sounding bell which reverberated through the neighborhood and into the ears of kids longing for ice cream. The good humor man did not always have a good humor and often seemed slightly frightening to us kids.

We would save our allowances until we could afford to buy at least two so that we could put the one that we didn’t eat right away into the big refrigerator in the back of our garage with our name on it.

From the time I was a little kid my favorite toy was a tiny red cash register that could accept nickels, dimes and quarters and wouldn’t open until you had saved $10. I loved that piggy bank. As a matter fact I think I would still be using it if I knew where it was. It was incredibly gratifying to put in that last coin and see the cash drawer spring open and make the noise “Cha Ching !”

Gratifying, but also somehow sad and disappointing. You had achieved your goal now what would you do with it? Probably most kids wouldn’t really even think like this but I wasn’t looking for happiness, I was looking for safety.

In the 50s families were flush with falsehood: Betty Crocker, Aunt Jemima, Birdseye, Henry Ford, Bass Weejuns and Chryslers. There was a long line of things that people wanted to acquire in order to feel that they didn’t need to eat too many good humors.

Women wore lipstick called “Cherries in the Snow” bought in the Five and Dime and men wore suits and took the train to work and smoked. Everybody smoked. They smoked in the car around the children. They smoked in their office. They smoked in their bathrooms with the windows open. And they smoked late at night while they gazed at the moon and wondered why they were feeling so empty.

You can’t go to war and kill people and then come back home and be happy. It doesn’t matter what people say about defending your country, once you’ve dropped a bomb on a village or shot a man in the chest as he’s coming at you , you can’t ever forget what it felt like. You have those moments when you remember what you did and even though you had to do it it never really sits right with you.

People think soldiers do it out of loyalty to their country and maybe that’s why they do it in the beginning. I don’t think you can stop thinking about war just because the war may be over. In the 1950s the war was over and people were celebrating by buying things and having children.

We were winners. We had won. Everyone knows that once you win a prize you don’t care about the prize after a while. It becomes meaningless and you even forget where or what it was but you keep buying.

On this memorial day I would like to remember the young boys and girls who started out with innocence in their hearts and grew up and went to war believing they were doing the right thing. I would like to remember what they lost by doing this. Some came home with seriously damaged bodies and some came home with seriously damaged minds. Some were addicted to drugs and some became homeless living on the streets with nowhere to go and no one to be with.

Once the war was over and they were sent home there was no follow up or real responsibility on the part of this country to take care of people. None of the vehicles set up to do this really took care of the problem.

It’s been said before. War is not necessary.

Now we are in the midst of a pandemic yet each country takes care of it in their own way. The news reports the number of cases worldwide and how many people have died in each country every day. It’s as if we are watching a horse race and placing bets. Each country owns a different horse and hopes their horse will win. The price will be monumental. Still we don’t work together.

I read the other day that people spend more money on lottery tickets than they do on taking themselves out for dinner, to the movies, beach, a play, an amusement park. It made me really sad to read this. Instead of enjoying life each day, people spend money on the tiny possibility they will win money and believe that winning money will make them overjoyed to be alive. Winning money will take away the pain.

So I’m coming to the end here. On this memorial day I would like to focus on our children and our grandchildren and think about how we can make their lives happy and make them see and feel and understand what it is that happiness is.

I don’t think it’s buying things, and I don’t think it’s going to war and killing people, I don’t think it’s winning a lottery ticket, I don’t think it’s buying a car,I don’t think it’s winning and I don’t think it’s losing.

I think it is having the ability to accomplish a small task for yourself and then be proud.

I think it’s setting a reasonable goal and accomplishing it. I think it is being a kind and loving person and a generous one. I think it is valuing the qualities that make a good citizen in the world: compassion, generosity, and the practice of non-violence.

I am an optimist. I think we have a chance to recognize this now when we’re on the brink of global extinction.Everyone feels like they’re not safe. Everyone feels disconnected. I just keep thinking about the movie, “ET”. If we could all just reach out our fingers and touch someone else and make them feel safe then maybe we would feel safe too. I don’t really think there’s another solution.

Full Moon: A Moment

Map of the Moon engraved by Polish astronom Jo...
Image via Wikipedia

Full Moon: A Moment

It’s a full moon: Let the antics begin.

The spider is dangling from one arm like a performing monkey,

Mist is sweating the Frangipani tree,

A man kissed a woman and then slapped her,

The slow, sweet cat rubs against an ear,

The moon spots the Moorish roof

And the ear hears her chants,

We breath in and the out blows softly against the night

Encouraging her not to blacken too soon.

A moment, a scent, some lips, a noise,

Skin , lichen, lilies,

Rain is sweeter than any .

Rain is sweeter than memory.

Full Moon Tonight: Put on Your Dreaming Shoes!

Venus Jupiter & the new Moon in Harmony
Image by 3D King via Flickr

I am copying my friend, Brenda Brush’s wriing from her website: below as I think it is an important observation. She is a kind of astrological genius as she predicts what happens in the world and I have had some amazing conversations with her.Anyway I think in this piece on the full moon tonight she is very accurate.

Probably most of you have recently felt a shift in our lives. This shift has been on a more positive note than in previous months. Things seem lighter and more lively. There is less effort involved with making things happen. loneliness is lessened and connections have strengthened. The world has needed to fall apart before its inhabitants were able to draw closer to one another.

Relationships that have no meaning are being cast aside and those which have meaning are springing up all the time and without the least bit of effort. If you let this happen around you and allow fear to fall away I think you will find some amazing feelings of joy and peacefulness arise within you.

I had a visit from my wonderful daughter last week and we took a hike in the Bear Valley. I was filled with a profound sense of peace and happiness. It wasn’t a particularly taxing hike or a long one, it was a hike where each piece of nature seemed to call out to us and remind us how lovely she is. The bark on the underside of the trees, the lichen on the large rocks, the sound of the small stream finding its way down the mountain, all reminded us of the moment.

I had forgotten how much I enjoy hiking.

Below is what I think it is very important information.

October 16th, 2010

Dear Friends,

The New Moon in Libra was launched on the 7th of October. The emphasis is on bringing our lives into balance. Getting cooperation where necessary, and to move things along. Opportunities may be coming your way, or you may already be wrestling with some options. Venus, the ruler of Libra, went retrograde in Scorpio on the 8th of October to bring things that have been buried to the surface. This may be a time when you are able to retrieve some part of you that you have lost. Venus will begin a new year and a half cycle, in the middle of her retrograde, on the 28th of October. We are in this deep and intense waiting period. What is next? What kind of feedback will you get during this Venus retrograde that will help shape your future?

This brings me to discuss the Full Moon that will arrive on October 22nd at 9:37 pm EDT at 29 degrees of Aries. A Full Moon brings to fruit what the New Moon promises. This should be a very interesting Full Moon because it is sitting at the last degree of Aries. It is bringing things into your life that you cannot refuse. A new identity is emerging, and there will be the letting go of the role you have been attached to.

There is a feeling of waiting when there is a something activating 29 degrees of a sign. There is also anticipation. There is also a feeling of “It’s about time”. Since Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac and has to do with initiating things, you may begin to initiate something that will demand all of you. Aries is also the sign of identity. You may be encouraged to grow, and learn new things to expand your lifestyle.

Mars is the ruler of the sign Aries, therefore, it is the ruler of this Full Moon, and it is currently in Scorpio. Out of the ashes rises the phoenix. This iS the time of rebirth; or, we are getting a second chance to be. Mars joined Venus retrograde in Scorpio on October 3rd. The message was transmitted. Venus is what we want, and Mars is the action necessary to get it. Mars went ahead and Venus kept retrograding in a deeply searching mode. She is cleaning up the loose ends of the past and preparing for what is to come. This Full Moon, ruled by Mars, will bring things to a head. That happens on the 22nd, and we will feel it until the next Full Moon on November 21st. Change is in the air and it is time to move on. This Full Moon period will include Venus starting her New Cycle on the 28th of October, and Venus going direct on November 18th. A lot will be happening between this Full Moon in Aries and the next one in Taurus.

The rest of the story, as presented by the other Planets at the time of this Full Moon, is quite interesting. This Full Moon takes place in the last of Aries. The last ten degrees of Aries is ruled by the sign Sagittarius. So, the co-ruler of this lunation is Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius. Jupiter is currently in Pisces loosening all the boundaries and limitations. This will enable us to see an unlimited vision of what the future is offering. Jupiter is the planet of knowledge, knowing things, and how we can grow and expand. Jupiter has been keeping company with Uranus for the last 10 months. They joined on June 8th at 00 degrees of Aries planting some seeds for a new beginning. They both went retrograde, and went back into Pisces where they continued to stay together. They are launching a 12 year cycle which will offer us a higher level of awareness to operate from. Jupiter pulls away from Uranus when it re-enters Aries on January 22nd. In the meantime, Uranus is the Planet of awakening. Uranus wants change. Uranus wants us to get out of our comfort zone and do what we do in a new way. Jupiter is all for the expansion and growth. With the two of them united you cannot help but move forward in a new way. Uranus wants us to get over ourselves and open up. Uranus is the Planet of freedom. Do you know how to be free without upsetting what you already have? That is the key.

Now, there is another player in the drama of this Full Moon at 29 degrees of Aries, and that is Neptune. The last two and a half degrees of Aries is ruled by Pisces, therefore, Neptune is a co-ruler. Neptune has been in Aquarius for 13 years. It is due to leave that area over the next year or so. Neptune stays in each sign fourteen years. Neptune dissolves boundaries. Neptune is the energy of letting go and trusting. It is the ability to hear the music of life and move gracefully with that energy. The negative side of Neptune is addiction. Trying to escape from the pressures of life rather than trusting and flowing with the energy. Aquarius is the sign that represents humanity. It is the sign of invention, breaking the mold, and thinking for ourselves. In Aquarius, you get away from self, and expand to help your fellowman. Over the last thirteen years, we have been able to connect with one another, because of the technology that has emerged. Aquarius is responsible for the development of all the social networking sites. Neptune opened all that up, but since Neptune is not about boundaries you have to set your own in order to operate safely in a world that has become wide open. Chiron is keeping company with Neptune. The last time that happened was September, 1945 at 5 degrees of Libra. That was the end of the Second World War. Now, Neptune and Chiron are together again, but this time in Aquarius, and it is time for us to heal one another. It is softening the boundaries that divide us, so we can understand and appreciate one another. We are all one, but each of us brings a unique quality to the world. It is time to enjoy the difference, then, we can grow.

There was a Solar Eclipse July 21st, 2009 at 29 degrees of Cancer. A Solar Eclipse holds the energy in that degree for a couple of years. Cancer is the sign of the Zodiac that has to do with home, family, roots, security, and everything that gives us shelter in life. This has brought those issues up. This Full Moon at 29 degrees of Aries is square to that Solar Eclipse. It is bringing up those challenges. The need to pay attention to what we need and what changes need to be made. Things will begin to show up now that will give you a clue as to what direction to move into. Every Full Moon from now until March will be 29 degrees of a sign. This is the first one and starts the ball rolling in the direction where you want to find yourself by March/April of 2011. Cancer is the sign of the Zodiac that shows what we care about, and what we want to protect. It is those things that are important to us now.

Jupiter moves into Aries on January 22nd, Uranus moves into Aries on March 11th, and so it seems we need to prepare ourselves to take the lead in our lives. This Full Moon, in Aries at 29 degrees, is giving you a heads up. Things are changing, and you need to steer the issues that come up in the way that serves you best. Happy New You that is slowly developing. Allow the energy in.

Blessings, Brenda

 All times are for EST time and when appropriate EDT

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