DOLORES 63rd MEMORIAL BIRTHDAY
A chapter from "Til Death Do Us Part?: How Death Taught Us Some of Life's Most Important Lesson," by Nyerges, available on Kindle, or from the Store at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com, for less than you usually give a tip at a local restaurant.
I planned a gathering to commemorate what would have been Dolores’ 63 birthday. It was for Saturday October 3, 2009, the day after her birthday. The full moon was Saturday night – it was the “harvest moon.” It may have seemed like a casual event, but a lot of planning and preparation went into our small gathering.
Michael and I cleaned up the area around the two trees where we buried Dolores’ ashes earlier in the year, and we made sure that the many steps leading down into the Island orchard were safe and not slippery. We set down strips of carpeting on the terraces so that guests would have a place to sit. Plus, I’d noticed that a raccoon had been coming and digging around Dolores’ two Meyer lemon trees, so the layer of special rocks and quartz and handstones that I’d carefully placed under the trees was now tumbled and jumbled. So I re-aligned these specially-placed stones as best I could.
This is Dolores’ gravesite, I kept realizing. This is where I go to commune with Dolores. Though I often feel Dolores with me while walking, driving, or typing at home, the grave site is still that one unique spot where her final physical remains are buried, where “she” could overlook the burial site of our three beloved dogs, Ramah, Lulu, Cassius Clay.
Our mentor Revve Weisz was also preparing a reading from Thinking and Destiny about the process that one goes through in the afterdeath states. His editing of this passage took considerable work in the editing and retyping until we had a final draft.
Finally, I did much research into corn and the mythology of corn in Native American traditions. This was my way of continuing Dolores’ work, since Corn (and several related topics, like Bread, and Grass) was one of her ongoing research topics. I began by finding all that I could on corn in her notes, and then following up with some of our books.
On the Thursday before, I met with RW after I had spent the day at the farmers market in Glendale. He told me that a major Occult Correspondence with the Dolores birthday commemoration and the tie-in to corn was that this year there would be a spectacular rising of the Harvest Moon shortly after the sunset. The Harvest Moon was the full moon that occurred during that time of each year, which enabled farmers and Native Americans to harvest their corn (and wheat and other crops) nearly all night long because that moonlight was so bright. Plus, after what was often a day of wiltingly-hot heat, it would be comfortable to spend the night outside.
I invited 50 friends to join us for the October 3 event, and by Friday – Dolores’ actual birthday – I felt pretty prepared for the gathering.
The weather on Friday was remarkably cooler than it had been, with a cloud cover and light wind that made the day not only pleasant but mysterious. I was working on the roof that day with Robert Johnson, and we both commented on the remarkable weather. Later, while speaking briefly with Revve Weisz, he told me that, yes, the “cloudy coolth” [his words] did in fact have something to do with The Lady Dolores. I was overwhelmed to hear this, and found it difficult to hold back tears. I very much felt the presence of Dolores, as if she was curiously observing the goings-on in her honor.
Revve Weisz further told me that the unusual, remarkable weather was an honoration of the unique kind of Real Love that “best friend Christopher” exhibited towards Dolores’ memory. He further explained who or what that honoration was from, and though that is a topic unto itself, it had to do with the higher Spiritual Powers or Entities who “watch over” this earth. Revve Weisz added that that LOVEPOWER which was exhibited and felt – he emphasized the word “felt” – by my “higher Self” had been broadcast worldwide since I’d arrived that day. I felt overwhelmed, and felt good that I had been able to rise to this occasion. But mostly, I still felt so much regret and sadness for all my past failures with Dolores, and all the things I should have done better. So while I felt uplifted, I inwardly just went on with my needed preparation, knowing how much more I needed to do to get back to zero, in my own mind.
Around 5 p.m., I got to the site of the commemoration and was greeted by both Racina and Nicole, who’d arrived before me. Nicole practiced her violin while I set out pictures and burned white sage. Prudence arrived. Francisco Loaiza arrived. Francisco never met Dolores but seemed to know her through her writings, and through me. Helena arrived. It made me happy to see Helena, since she, Dolores, and I were partners 15 years earlier producing maybe a half-million pencils for gift shops. We had a good several-year run of the business and became close friends.
We began with a toast. We filled our cups, and as we touched them, I read the Shining Bear work called “Herbs and Meat,” which Dolores orated at the closing ceremony of the 1989 commemoration of the Trail of Tears in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. I pointed to a photo that I set up by Dolores’ tree. It was Dolores reading “Herbs and Meat” in the Cherokee amphitheatre in Tahlequah.
The sun was low and it was cool, and I felt an aliveness of the spirit of Dolores as we touched our cups in that act of communion.
I then began the prepared Thinking and Destiny reading, which described each afterlife stage, and compared each lifetime to a day in our life, and compared the death stage to the sleep and dream stage each night. After looking at some photos of Dolores, I told everyone how I intended to continue some of Dolores’ life’s work, such as the corn research I’d be sharing that day.
We all then added some more quartz stones to Dolores’s grave site, and then we planted a little corn patch. For this planting, Francisco Loaiza gifted an ear of blue corn that his father had raised for several generations. I had soaked the corn in water for some time, and then we each made little holes in the patch with sticks and planted our corn.
Prudence asked me if Dolores had ever worn long robes and beads. In response, I read a paper Dolores had written about how she made and sold clothes when she lived in Hawaii. Prudence said that she “saw” The Lady Dolores there with us, adorned in what appeared to be blue and maybe tan long garments and beads – like braided with her hair and falling on either side of her face. It was as if the beads were part of her hair. It looked just right.
That made me happy that someone else “felt” and “saw” Dolores presence. I couldn’t remember Dolores dressing like that though, except maybe when she did a SerpentDove reading on the Island and dressed the part like an older Native American woman.
Everyone was quiet as Nicole played beautiful sounds on her violin.
As it was getting dark, we all gathered up the hill around Dolores’ redwood table by lamps, and shared her favorite brand of pie, by Fabes, which had no processed sugar. It was a pumpkin pie, along with coffee-elixir, water, and fruit juice.
I shared some of the details about corn, and how the Hopi and others believed that humans were created way back in time from corn kernels. Plus botanists do not know the exact origins of corn, adding to its mystery.
Despina showed up and we read more from Thinking and Destiny.
At the same time, Racina and Nicole glanced at each other. Nicole looked at Racina and said, “You know Dolores is present right now?” Racina nodded knowingly. A very loving and sweet Dolores proceeded to give Nicole a beautiful “soul hug” and whispered very kind thoughts about her and Christopher right into her ear. Racina then looked at Nicole and said, “Oh my gosh! Dolores is here and she is making me smile!! I just can’t stop smiling….” The next moment Dolores’ spirit lovingly moved around the table…a light and loving presence was shared by many of the guests.
And towards the end, even Mel showed up and joined in our conversation. I also read some corn-related selections from the book by Dolores’ mother, Shiyowin Miller, entitled The Winds Erase Your Footprints, a true story of Shiyo’s friend, a white woman, who married a Navajo man and moved to the Navajo reservation during the 1930s. The section I read pertained to the ma-itso, or wolf clan, which used corn pollen to “cast spells” in what was referred to as “Navajo witchcraft.”
Here is what I read, from Chapter 7, The Sing:
And then Shimah was telling him about the yellow pollen. Juanita could almost follow the story by her mother-in-law's excited gestures. Shimah's face was strong and tense, no room for gentleness, and her voice carried a new undertone--like fear. Only her hands seemed natural, although excited, as she gestured. Strange that Shimah should tell about the yellow pollen, rather than ask the rider about himself, about news which he was surely carrying. Of what interest could the yellow pollen be to him?
But he was interested. He leaned forward as though better to hear her words; his eyes narrowed and his face looked very grave. He asked many questions. Shimah answered and sometimes Yee-ke-nes-bah. Through their conversation one word seemed to repeat itself until it began to echo and re-echo in Juanita's mind: ma-itso . . . ma-itso.
...And then Lorencito began to talk seriously to Luciano; Juanita heard the work ma-itso repeated again and again. Shimah sat nodding her head as her oldest son talked, occasionally adding a word to what he was saying. Luciano turned to Juanita; his face was marked with gravity as was his older brother's. "Lorencito says that it is not safe to keep this from you any longer; I should tell you now."
Juanita waited. Her mouth and throat felt suddenly dry. She could not have spoken. Her thoughts raced: this is in some way connected, ma-itso and yellow pollen. Perhaps it's all connected, all of the puzzling and unexplained things that have happened. And somehow, the looks on their faces, Shimah's and Lu's, Yee-ke-nes-bah's and Lorencito's, are a little bit frightening.
"Before we came here," her husband began, "when I tried to tell you about everything which might seem strange to you, I didn't tell you about ma-itso--the wolf clan. One reason, it no longer seemed as believable to me as it once had; perhaps all the years in school did that; anyhow, in Hollywood I seldom thought of it. When we came here, my mother told me the wolf clan was still strong in Cañoncito. I didn't tell you then because I could see no reason why they would try to harm us. But to be sure you were safe, my mother and sisters watched you every minute.
"There were times when I almost told you, those times when you were upset about things you didn't understand. And yet I hated to frighten you needlessly. Already there was so much for you to worry about. It seemed better to wait until I had a job, until we were living in town and then tell you. "But now two things have happened which make me sure the ma-itso is for some reason after us. I found yellow pollen in an X mark on my hat brim, and today my mother found pollen on our clothes. That is their warning. Lorencito thinks you will be safer if you know about this evil thing." A hundred questions sprang to Juanita's lips, but her husband went on talking, interrupted now and then by Lorencito or his mother.
"The wolf clan is as old as the Navajo tribe. From the beginning some men turned certain powers, which should have been used for good, toward evil things. Corn pollen, used for blessing, is used by the ma-itso as a warning to a person marked for death. And death does not come in a usual manner; it comes in a round-about way which cannot be easily traced. The victim sickens suddenly; sometimes his mind leaves him. No Medicine Man can cure him. Sometimes the victim meets with a mysterious and fatal accident.
It was dark outside as I was reading this, all of us seated around Dolores redwood table, with a single electric light for illumination. Everyone listened intently to the story.
Prudence said that while I was reading this, she could “see” Dolores shielding her face with her arm, as if protecting herself from this dangerous information. I shared it to point out that all things have a “positive” and a “negative,” and the passage from The Winds Erase Your Footprints described how corn pollen was used for evil purposes.
It was a wonderful gathering to commemorate the special being of Dolores, and to recognize how she affected each of us.
When Prudence, and I, and Revve Weisz further discussed the event the following day, we recognized the positive influence that Dolores was now playing in our lives.
RW pointed out something that both stunned me and made me feel uplifted. He said that there was something I should HOLD in my forethought. It was my (The Christopher’s) miraculously Loving interaction with Dolores (The Lady Dolores, as he referred to her Doer, her Divinity) that totally altered The Lady Dolores’ Doer.
We discussed that for a bit. It was obvious that my interaction with Dolores during her last days changed me, but I had not considered how I had changed her. Prudence and I both witnessed an incredible new being arise within Dolores in those last weeks.
RW added that this radical alteration of The Lady Dolores’ Doer will never be known by anyone else, because I (The Christopher) did it all alone, at a huge personal sacrifice, only to benefit The Lady Dolores and not at all “for show” to anyone else. I cried as I re-lived and re-membered those days.
It was late Sunday, and we were ready to depart. RW then shared what was a final “farewell” message from The Lady Dolores, something that Dolores conveyed psychically to him. It was her URGING for how all of us should begin interacting with each other. But it was also such a universal message that is needed by all people, that I share it here:
FARE WELL SONG TOO-SELDOM SUNG
This could be the last time that I see you;
either you or I could die before we meet again;
so please know that I deep-admire your admirable traits
and laud your ceaseless efforts to perfect your soul
and elevate your character (and that of everyone you interact with).
I hope we interact again (in this life or the next);
but if we don’t
I want that you should know
my heart has been enriched by having had you in my life
and hereby do I wish you Godspeed
in your up-and-onward sojourn through Eternity.