MEMOIR LOGO CONCEPT: The aleph and a Sufi mystic inspired my creation and design of the syzygy logo, which I initially based on the symbolism of the yin and yang.



But the concept expanded when I first saw the aleph in Judith Cornell’s    
Mandala Healing Kit, My inexplicable attraction to it led me to incorporate it into my logo before I knew what it meant. 

I later read that the “Aleph (the first letter of the sacred Hebrew alphabet) embodies the primordial, divine potential of the universe. ... Aleph contains all the universe’s potential and all of its emptiness   simultaneously. Aleph represents a dynamic process of movement from unity to diversity and back to unity,” Jennifer Judelsohn, Songs of Creation.

And the  mystic poet Rumi inspired me to use the fire and water concept after I read The  Question.  Here is an excerpt:  

“The presence is there in front of me. A fire on the left, a lovely stream on the right.

One group walks toward the fire, into the fire. Another toward the sweet flowing water.

No one knows which are blessed and which are not.

Whoever walks into the fire appears suddenly in the stream. 

A head goes under water, and that head pokes out of the fire.”

LOGO ART: Cropped fire and water images from Free Images

LOTUS LOGO: In spiritual and religious literature, “the lotus is a symbol for the macrocosm and the microcosm, the universe and man. The lotus represents the divinity of the cosmos as well as the divinity of man. 





The lotus is the center of the infinite, omnipresent consciousness which connects with the consciousness of the universe. Through the intuition, one of man’s divine gifts, the spiritual student can see the infinite, omnipresent consciousness as the lotus flower within himself.” 

LOTUS ART: Courtesy 
Homestead, my website service provider. (Temporary art while I design of my own lotus logo.)


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THE MEMOIR
CROSSING THE BRIDGE TO SELF
THE JOURNEY

Tongue-lashing, tongue-biting best describe the experiences of my mother’s painting of the cover art for my memoir in the year 2000—when much of this work was still germinating in the recesses of my soul—yet she somehow managed to capture the imagery in the landscape of my dreams, with its menacing skies above a body of murky water as a champagne-colored Topaz, its driver haunted by demons, makes its way across a bridge. 

If you look closely you can see the windshield wipers on the Mercury frantically swishing back and forth and the dim light streaming from its headlights. Anxiety and fear gripped the steering wheel. I couldn’t see where I was going. As if with me in the darkroom of my dream, my mother captured my first stab at consciousness. 

But God knows, even in broad daylight, I often found myself groping around in the dark, like when I was a kid with pink eye, my eyelashes stuck together with icky yellow gunk, my arms outstretched, stubbing my toes, hobbling on one foot, and cussing out the linoleum under my breath. My mother would take me by the hand and steer me to a kitchen chair and pat my eyes with warmed tea bags and let them rest a bit. By the time she wiped my eyes with a clean cloth, I could see again—an apt metaphor for many memories of my mother, who was my favorite person on the planet since I could remember. 

But when I was 30, my mother ceased to exist as I knew her. A seizure erased about 15 years of her most recent life, and then some. The Scrabble champ and crossword buff and nurse and amateur painter had to learn how write and spell and mix colors all over again. The nurse, who spent her life nurturing others, had to learn how to nurse her own leg, ravaged by gangarene, for the remainder of her life so that she would not lose it. And it was this mother, the woman I was just getting to know all over again, who painted the cover, this beautiful, heart-wrenching, soul-searching cover that damn near killed us both.

I am forever grateful that my Mom and I shared that time together, as difficult as it was at times, because little did I know that she would die the next year, and that her painting would be the only concrete piece of her I would have and that I could share with others as part of her legacy. The following is an excerpt from that experience, from Chapter 32, titled “Growing Pains” ... 
Painting memoir cover ripped off old scabs
... And that was just the first layer of paint! 

It was far from picture-perfect, but the distressing process of painting the cover art for my memoir during an extended visit to my parent’s house that spring of 2000 taught me unforeseen lessons about anger and unconditional love that I will always cherish. I had hoped that the process of my mother painting the cover of my memoir as I wrote it would bring us closer, and it did, believe it or not, and I am forever grateful that we shared those memories, the good and the bad, before it was too late. ♂ ♀
EXCERPT
 CHAPTER 33, Growing Pains

    “Gabby-doll,” he said, filling a bowl with water. “It’s a full moon out tonight. And I can hear your stones crying, ‘Energize me. Energize me.’”
    That night, while Dad and I sat outside, talking about all the things we regretted, wishing upon the stars that all mean things said and done could be unsaid, undone, Ma painted the sky, not my sky, but some sky that evolved from her own mental landscape.
    “Yeah, I see,” she had said, when I showed her two samples of skies she could choose from. Then she sat for an hour just studying them, one sky, a swirl of blue and white with a galactic effect; the other kind of a grayish-blue with streaks of gray and pink. 
    “Either one,” I had said. “The main idea is to make it look mystical like in my dream of crossing the bridge.”
    “I love the blending,” she said, when Dad and I returned to the kitchen. 
    She had set the easel up on the kitchen counter and sat at the table admiring it from across the room. Aghast, I searched for words as I blinked at a fiery sky with black patches.
    “Well, actually, you know, I don’t remember the sky being any particular color. I guess it was foggy and overcast, really. Maybe your sky better captures the dream than those pictures I showed you.”
    “Yes, that’s what I was thinking,” she said, gloating. “I really love that sky. Now what colors do you think for the water? I know you said you wanted the water green but all I have is this shade,” she said, holding up a tube of St. Patrick’s Day green.
    “I think you can get the effect I’m looking for if you mix it with black,” I said, pointing to the television set on the kitchen counter. “There. About the color of the television screen when it’s turned off, almost colorless. Then you can put the fog over it after the paint dries.”
    I went to my room to get some writing done, and when I returned to the kitchen a few hours later, she had painted the water beautiful shades of blue and aqua.
    “Wow,” I said. “But, um. I don’t know. I thought we agreed that the water would be dark green, almost colorless.” 
    “I don’t know,” she said. 
    “Look,” I said, getting annoyed. 
    I turned on the water faucet. 
    “See. What color is the water? It’s not blue. Water’s not blue. It’s colorless. When have you ever seen blue water?” 
    “I don’t know,” she said, massaging her scalp with her finger tips. “We had blue water in the crick I used to swim in as a child.”
    “The blue was just a reflection of the sky. Anyway, that was a hundred years ago back before we polluted it. Besides, how can you have such radiant water under an overcast sky?”
    “Well, I can paint over it again once it dries,” she sighed. “That’s enough for tonight.”
I sighed. 
    “No, actually, that’s all right, Ma,” I said.     Maybe if you can just tone down some of the blue. I really like the effect you’ve got going on, that dark blue patchy look in the water. So, it’s fine. Just tone down the brightest greens and blues and I think it’ll be great.” 
    When I went back to my desk, I thought she was going to bed. 
    But an hour later I could still hear the TV. When I went out to the kitchen, I was horrified. She had repainted the water, every last drop of it, with puke green. 
    “Ma! What did you do? I told you I liked the dark blue patches. You didn’t need to cover the whole thing.” 
    “You wanted green water. There’s green water.”
    “What are you, colorblind? That’s not the color of the TV screen. That looks like—”
    Don’t say puke. Don’t say shit.
    She grabbed a rag and began scrubbing all the green paint off. I stood by helplessly, feeling guilty about frustrating her. By the time she finished, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It looked perfect. 
    “That’ll work! I love it. Now when you add the fog, it’ll be exactly what I had in mind.”
    “I won’t add the fog until I finish the bridge cables,” Ma said.
    “That’s a good idea,” I said, holding in my sigh until I was out of hearing range.
On an ordinary day in late fall of 1985 my mom works a crossword puzzle. She’s sharp. No one imagines how all our lives will change forever in just a few months. 
My mother, a nurse who dabbled in paint, created the above painting for the cover art of my memoir—after her miraculous recovery from a seizure that deprived her brain of oxygen for more than an hour, causing brain damage that erased from her memory 15 years of our family’s joys and heartaches. Read about her terrible but miraculous recovery in chapters 32 and 33.
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                     narrative of this                         memoir is                          brought to life through 
the lenses of hundreds of different 
dreams, fairy tales, myths, news clips, fiction, scripture, songs, and poems, including quotes from numerous scholarly journals, spiritual works, and psychology textbooks. 

With about 300 links to more than 100 sources and Internet resources, including dozens of YouTube videos, this memoir doesn’t just tell you a story, it invites you to live it. 

Of course, links to YouTube videos and other websites and resources frequently change. Therefore, I will update the links periodically and send you an updated version of the file if you would like. 

All versions will be dated, for example, the filename of the first version released is Syzygy-Crossing the Bridge to Self v. 3.20.15 and the one now available is Syzygy-Crossing the Bridge to Self v. 8.15.15. 

A pdf of Syzygy: The Memoir will be sent to the e-mail address you provide within 24 hours of purchase. ♂ ♀​ 


“To gain an understanding of religious matters, probably all that is left us today is the psychological approach. That is why I take these thought-forms that have become historically fixed, try to melt them down again and pour them into moulds of immediate experience.”  
Carl 
Gustav 
Jung
(1875–1961) 

Founder of 
analytical psychology.


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