When I left San Francisco, I came back to Orange County, and took a small apartment in Santa Ana, in a charming inexpensive neighborhood, the street lined with tall eucalyptus trees. At first I worked in a nightclub behind the bar, but that came to an end. And I searched for work. My neighbor, an agreeable young man, was working in the driveway, mysteriously painting patches of transparent color on old windshields, then smashing the windshield with a loud clatter. In those days…about 1972…windshields broke into thousands of tiny flat diamonds. I told him of my job hunt, and he said I could work for the people he worked for. He held up a small glass bowl, covered with the colored glass diamonds. A candleholder, he declared. It was charming and pretty. He requested extra windshields, and I was hired. I learned to glue the flat bits on the bowl and then grout them like tiny tiles with an intense black grout.
My neighbor was surprising and eccentric. He had a much loved cat, who like himself, was a vegetarian. We chatted as we grouted candleholders. One day he invited me in his place, and I was stunned to see that the entire walls of the apartment were stained pitch black from the black grout. Wow! The grey cat rubbed on my legs purring. Indicating the walls, he said, “that’s why I moved the work outdoors.” Well, kind of too late, I thought.


Working for the MAD DOCTOR

I left Santa Ana and took a room in a shared house in Costa Mesa, another little California beach town. Out of work again, I took a job as housekeeper for a doctors wife in Newport Beach, a very nice house in a very nice neighborhood, for minimum wage, $2.00 an hour in those days. But I was delighted with her. We hit it off. The first thing I learned was they had 11 children. Then I learned she played cello, my favorite instrument. I was contentedly cleaning the kitchen while she played arpeggios and sonorous tunes. She was the most gracious, calm, soft spoken and pretty woman I knew. Half of the kids were grown up and the younger ones were in school, except for the late baby.
It didn’t take long for for her to find out I was intelligent and she sent me to her husbands office to do some filing. It turns out he was the most famous and busy bone surgeon in the Los Angeles area. He did surgeries in Los Angeles hospitals, then returned to his home office in Newport. His secretary recently quit and they were desperate for a replacement. Well, how hard could filing be…I could say the alphabet, right? But when I saw the files, on long open shelves, they were literally upside down and backwards, out of order, and up to 20 years old. I had been pecking at it for a few hours a day when they found a new secretary. I continued to do filing.
The doctor was gone most of the day, at an L.A. Hospital doing surgery. He would come back in the afternoon, tired and cranky. He would nitpick on the new girls work, more rude and irritable all the time. On the third day he burst into the office, agitated, and slammed a paper down under her nose and shouted, WENSDAY! Is that how you spell WEDNESDAY! You dumb little snit! Don’t the train you? They send me idiots! He screeched, on and on. It was unbelievable. I sat there with my mouth hanging open. She burst into tears and ran from the office. Soon I was calling the agency, and we went through two more girls, until they said they wouldn’t send any more. The doctor bent over me, eyes glittering, and said “Can you type?” “Well a little,” I answered nervously.
The next thing I knew I was receptionist, and in charge of billing and insurance. Unfortunately the billing was as bad as the filing- up to 20 years out of date. No one paid this doctor for visits to the home office, no one asked them to. I decided to start with the last two years. At least half had never been paid, except recently, he asked them to pay in advance, and then billed insurance…and never reimbursed the patient, who were calling constantly. It was apparent he never would repay them.
A strange ominous man came in, asking for the doctor. He told me it was urgent, but the doctor was out. When the doctor came in I told him about it and he said if I saw him again, to immediately call him in the back office. He taught me how to recognize a federal license plate on a car, and call him. He would run out the back door when I called. Soon I learned the sinister man was an Internal Revenue Service agent…the doctor did nor pay taxes
I walked into his office one day just as he was stuffing a big bottle of whiskey in a drawer. I pretended not to notice. He always had a half empty glass on his desk. He was such a prim and trim looking man, with spectacles and thinning white hair. He looked every bit as a famous surgeon should. I was still working for his lovely wife…how did she put up with him? One evening I was working late, and he arrived with an attractive lady, blonde hair neatly coiffed, very professional looking, she might have been a doctor herself. They closed themselves in the copy room, there was busy clattering and humming for an hour, when I knocked timidly, I had to leave. He invited me in and introduced me to Clare, and explained they were printing flyers for a tax resistance group.
I stayed on for several more months even though he never paid me more than minimum wage. At one point he got me a nurses uniform so I could help him with the patients. “Of course don’t tell them you’re not a nurse,” he cautioned me.
30 years later, I was watching the evening news, and it caught my attention when his name was mentioned. He had a large home in an upscale Newport neighborhood, and he was being sued by neighbors because of an unsightly yard…stacks of old newspapers, baby carriages, old sinks on the lawn, tires on the roof. So far he had refused to clean up. And that’s the last I heard of him.

Love poem to the infinite

I know you
you are in the rivulets
cascading down the side of the mountain:
adjoining in the streams under the patterned clouds
where filtered light falls upon the rushing waters
yes you are in the whispering stream
in it’s little pools teeming with life
and in the groaning river which finds it way to the sea
which falls into the deeps
where currents sway the strangely colored life
where mysteries lie in the darkness
where flash of scale and fin are barely seen
you rise up in the flickering beams of light
which penetrate the surface;
you are the torrent of sunlight
which falls upon the sea
you are the eyes within the sun
and the fiery angels leaping in it’s corona
and spangling stars in the darkness of space
I know, oh yes, if I could only say.

Ghost..little lady in the hall

II was taking care of my sick mother in her Leisure World condo, and I was sleeping on the couch in her living room. I got up in the middle of the night to check on her, and I entered the long hall in the dark. As I looked down the hall, I was bewildered to see a small figure, a very little woman dressed oddly in mismatched, colorful clothing, like various flowers and prints on a blouse and skirt And she was very distinct, solid looking and glowing, or solid light, if that makes any sense. It was quite clear this was not natural, as there was no one in the house but me and Mom, and Mom was bedridden. It just wasn’t possible, this had to be a spirit. It wasn’t really threatening looking (other than it was a ghost). I was alarmed and wanted to avoid it, so I dodged sideways into the guest bathroom and turned on the very bright light. Then I had the uh-oh feeling it had seen me and was coming up the hall. I was facing a large mirror, and could not see anyone behind me, but I very distinctly could FEEL her run her hand across my back. At this point I was not really frightened, as her touch seemed affectionate. And then she was gone.
I couldn’t think of any females in the family who had died other than my grandmother, and it was said the she was quite crazy. I came to believe it was her.image

Ghosts, Aliens, and the Djinn


imageimageDid you ever wish you were more Intuitive? just let your imagination go, believe your own mind. When I saw the Little Lady in the hall I wondered what she is. My first thought was she is my grandmother, who had serious dementia in the end. But she wasn’t so tiny, and that costume, it’s not even a Swedish historic costume. My second thought was maybe I caught an Alien leaving mothers room, and it quickly disguised itself. That is not unknown, they have appeared as squirrels with big  eyes when caught. And mom had seen a UFO, a golden disk, a little while ago. Or maybe it was both. My grandmother was sitting by my mothers bed, (in spirit) for months, as mom was very ill. Years later, I was drowsing and was imagining a woman with a long white dress at the foot of my bed. Then I wondered why was I imagining that? She was familiar. Who was she? Then I remembered a radio interview I heard about Djinn, genies. Supposedly some people have one. With a jolt I thought she was a Djinn. They can disguise themselves any way they want, maybe she was the Little Lady. That was kind of a jolt, as they can be helpers, or they can be dangerous. 

ORTEGA mystic trees

I like the trees at the mountain camp too. 
 the live oaks 
gracious givers of shade and acorns. 
in the grove beyond the camp, 

I couldn’t sleep for two nights
it’s hard to sleep in the mountain camp
it’s very cold and dusty
laid awake all night annoyed,
before the dawn,
wakefulness pulled aside the layers
I forgot how close to the inferno I am
it’s been covered over lightly
the starry vortex.
My god, I’m full of stars
a comet emerges and
passes invisibly behind my head
with a whooshing sound. 

ETHERIC DOUBLES In Boulder Colorado


I was living in Ann’s house in Boulder, Colorado. She was in a group called Eckankar, or ECK. I never joined the group but I had the opportunity to study a lot of the literature in her house. The group concentrates on astral or spiritual traveling. Some very interesting things happened in that house. One afternoon as I was walking down the hall I thought I saw a woman with long blonde hair sitting in the hallway out of the comer my eye, but when I looked again, there was only a backpack. Well, I hesitated a little to tell Ann, she was a very busy schoolteacher, and I was housekeeper and nanny to her toddler. But since she was in Eck, and spiritually inclined, I decided to tell her about it. And she replied, “Well I’m glad you decided to tell me about that, since something happened to me too. I woke up early one morning, and I saw a woman with long blonde hair walk past my bedroom door and into the bathroom. Naturally I thought it was you. I waited a long time but she never came out again. So I got up and looked in your room, and you were still asleep.”

A few days later I woke up early, went past Ann’s door, noticed she was still in bed asleep, and went into the bathroom. A moment later I came out and the room was empty, the bed was made, and there was no one in the house. She couldn’t have possibly gotten out that fast. A few weeks later, Ann and a friend went out on a rainy night to the grocery store. I heard the car drive up as they returned. I was in my bedroom at the end of the hall, but I heard the front door open, I heard the girls chattering and laughing and the rustle of the grocery bags. Then there was a long profound silence. For ten min-utes I lay there wondering what was going on. Not a single sound. Curious, I got up and went out to look. Just as I reached the living room, the front door opened and in they came, with the grocery bags. “What’s going on?” I asked them, “I thought I heard you drive up ten minutes ago.” “Well,” they said, “we did but we’ve been sitting in the car waiting for the rain to let up.”