A Blessing for the New Year

Omi tutu, Ona tutu, Ashe tutu, Tutu ile, Tutu egun, Tutu Laroye, Tutu ariku Baba iwa

Maferefun Eleggua, mi papa!

To hearald the coming of a new cycle, and a new year, may all those who dearly need it have the patience, reassurance, love, health and prosperity that will release them from fear, loneliness, exhaustion and pain.

My New Year’s Resolution is to choose to send out positive thought and intention in all things – to be the change I wish to see in the world.

May the coming year heal your hurts, your worries and all the social antagonism and strife that has been rampant throughout the various social online networks in the past year. May we all come to an understanding that we are more than simply a singular thought, belief or activity, and may we learn to truly listen instead of simply waiting for our turn to speak.

May we all choose to be a part of the healthy conversations that need to take place in order to heal us as a nation as well.

May the coming wave of change carry you and your families comfortably within it, lifting you all and bringing you to a place of understanding and peace.


The Georgia Guidestones

The Georgia Guidestones

The Georgia Guidestones

Saturday morning, during my trek from New Orleans to Virginia, I realized that I was quite near to the Georgia Guidestones – a rather impressive stone monument out in Elbert County, GA. Several friends had mentioned that I should really check this out during my trip around the country, and since I was close enough, I went ahead and made a detour, now immensely curious. I was not disappointed.

In the middle of a cow pasture, seemingly in the middle of nowhere just outside the town of Newberg, Georgia, stand four enormous granite stones, each 19ft tall. Each side of the stones is inscribed with ten principles for a new Age of Reason, each in a different language English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian.

1 – Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
2 – Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
3 – Unite humanity with a living new language.
4 – Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
5 – Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
6 – Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
7 – Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
8 – Balance personal rights with social duties.
9 – Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
10 – Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.

On the edges of the capstone on top of these monolithic slabs is written the equivalent of ‘Let these be guidestones to an Age of Reason’ in Babylonian cuneiform script, Classical Greek, Sanskrit and Egyptian hieroglyphs.

According to the granite stone flush with the grass to the west of the stones, the center cluster was dedicated on March 22, 1980 at the behest of a mysterious man who called himself “R.C. Christian”. According to Roadside America, Mr Christian “reportedly left $50,000 in a local bank, told the locals that they would never see him again, and vanished forever” – after providing extensive details on how the monument was to be constructed.

The story of the ordering of the guidestones, as defined by the Georgia Guidestones Guidebook itself, is:

“What started out as a usual Friday afternoon in mid-summer has ended in the production and erection of one of the world’s most unusual monuments, produced under the most unusual conditions. Joe Fendley, president of Elbert Granite Finishing Company, Inc. in Elberton, Georgia,was spending this Friday afternoon in June 1979 like he spends most Friday afternoons … studying his weekly reports and generally closing up shop for a weekend … and then it all started.

A neatly dressed man walked into Fendley’s Tate Street office and said he wanted to buy a monument. Since everyone else in the office was busy, Fendley decided to talk to the stranger himself and explained that his company does not sell directly to the public, but only on a wholesale basis.

Not to be discouraged, the middle-aged man who identified himself only as Mr. Robert C. Christian, said he wanted to know the cost of building a monument to the conservation of mankind and began telling Fendley what type of monument he wanted. With this he outlined the size in metric measurements.

Fendley admitted that his first reaction to Mr. Christian was not very good, but after listening for about 20 minutes and learning the massive size of the monument he wished to purchase and have erected, Fendley decided he should take this man seriously.”

While the mysterious R.C. Christian seems to have intenteded the monument as a message of conservation, opponents of the structure have labeled the principles as the “Ten Commandments of the Antichrist”, or according to the Vigilant Citizen website, “the work of an occult secret society”, naming the Rosicrucian Order as a possibility.

If, however, this R.C. Christian intended it as an art installation that would mess with people’s heads and cause wildly ridiculous definitions as to the ‘true intened meaning’ – I’d say he succeeded beyond his wildest imaginings and applaud his efforts.

My reaction to the overall message of this monument was particularly strong. It apparently brings out fairly strong reactions in many other people that visit it as well, as it’s been vandalized numerous times throughout the years.

I find myself further intrigued after my visit, and I think I’m going to go ahead and pick up the Georgia Guidestones book at some point. I’m quite fond of the fact that it’s published by The Disinformation Company.

You can see the author, Raymond Wiley, giving a talk about the stones here – with video of the site.

A day at Tiki Zip Line in Denham Springs, LA

Today, for the second half of my birthday present, I finally went on a zipline extravaganza. I’ve wanted to get on a zipline run through the forest for almost twenty years now. This year, I got to live the dream.

The Tiki Zipline tour was completely fantastic. With platforms at varying heights, and lines of various lengths, the network of cables throughout the property is really well maintained, safe and hugely fun. You’ll zip far above canopies of trees, sometimes going through them. It’s a complete blast – and this is coming from somebody that has a fear of heights.

Some of the towers swayed a bit when we got to the top, adding to my accelerated heartrate, but it kinda kicked up the fun as well.

The guides are spectacular people. They know what they’re doing, and work hard to ensure that everybody is safe and having a great time.

The group of folks I went with were fantastic as well, very friendly and gregarious. Lots of laughter and racing hearts. Everybody else bravely went upside down as they zipped through the forest, but hell, it was plenty exciting for me just to be on the line in the first place. Maybe next time I’ll go upside down.

Should you find yourself down in southern Louisiana at any point in the near future, GO. It’s well worth it!


Cities of the Dead

I strolled around Metairie yesterday, and there are quite a lot of cemeteries to choose from in the area. 8 Separate cemeteries take up quite a bit of space where Canal St and City Park Ave meet. Lakelawn cemetery seems to be the largest, across the the interstate from Greenwood cemetery. The grounds of Lakelawn cemetery take up an area much bigger than the surrounding residential areas. There is a three quarters quadrant around the Ponchartrain Expressway that is filled with cities of the dead; the fourth quadrant is the New Orleans Country Club – which is still smaller than Lakelawn cemetery.

It’s a veritable mecca of ancestor remembrance, and quite visually stunning.

Odd Fellows was closed, and the gates on City Park Ave for Greenwood were locked as well, so I spent most of my time in St. Patrick cemetery No 1.

There’s something romantic about the cemeteries down south – bleached white houses for the dead that stand out in stark relief against the city around them. Even in the more rural regions, you’ll see the same small collection of white and brick buildings that are the only remaining remembrances of those beloved who have now crossed the river to the other side.

I walked through St. Patrick cemetery No 1., checking out the dates of people who had passed, feeling a little sad whenever I came across a crypt that was in disrepair, or without a headstone. It made me wonder if those surviving either didn’t remember that person anymore, or if they didn’t have any family left to come tend the house of their ancestor.

Several cairns were open and exposed to the elements, the bricks in their faces slowly falling away or eroding with age and weather.

Of particular note was a shattered headstone at the foot of one of the concrete houses. It lay in jagged pieces, now a puzzle of remembrance to try to put back together.

After my walk through St. Patrick cemetery No 1., I went back to Matilda and did a quick spiritual cleaning before hopping back in and heading back out onto the highway.

Maferefun Egun. Modupue.