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THE FAST LANE: BREAK FROM FOOD GIVES BODY A CHANCE TO CLEAN OUT

by  on October 28, 2013 in Fall 2013Online Magazine
 By Teal Rowe
Recently I was looking at childhood photos. There are rifles and fishing poles leaning against the trees in the background. As a family, we focused on food: hunting it, fishing it, preparing it.
We had chickens as well as a vegetable garden and fruit orchard. I can hear my dad’s enthusiastic chime, “Two fistfuls, Teal. Eat up—you need your ‘go power,’” a persuasion directed toward me to eat the cooked meat, freshly skinned and slaughtered in our front yard. But after staring into the dead black eyes of the deer hanging from our oak tree, I wasn’t too eager.
At 13, I mustered up the nerve to declare myself vegetarian. It was truly going against the habits of my household, though it wasn’t completely out of the blue, since my mother’s parents had been lifelong vegetarians.
Although the culture was also changing at that time (remember Solar Winds, the Ojai health food store?) I still became the target of constant chiding and “vegetarian” jokes—barbs that I had previ­ously watched my grandmother turn her head and ignore.
In my 20s, my lifestyle was that of party hardy. I drank. I smoked. And my “go power” was a vegetarian diet of carbohydrates drenched in cheese. It was around that time, I clearly remember, that my stomach started to ache. I became concerned when the pain wouldn’t go away.
A friend recommended that I see a colon hydrotherapist and “get cleaned out.” Elimination isn’t something that I really wanted to even think about, much less share with someone else. So I was the most surprised, and terrified, when I actually made an appoint­ment. My first colonic led to a seven-day juice fast, which became a yearly ritual that to this day I gratefully continue.
If my mind were running the show, I would never be able to fast. It is my body that knows how great it feels to give it a rest. A few weeks before a fast, I prepare. I notice my relationship to food at a deeper level. I lighten up my schedule. I lighten up my meals. I’ve been known, upon thinking about what is to come, to change my mind and postpone the time and effort for a later date. At times, I’ll fast for a few days and then stop, though I absolutely love to spend at least a full seven days allowing my body a com­plete hiatus from the job of digesting.
Colon hydrotherapist Bobbye Rotello has explained to me that digestion begins in the mouth. We eat food, we absorb the nutrients, we eliminate. Even when we brush our teeth regularly, we still periodically have our teeth professionally cleaned to remove the built-up plaque, which can cause bacteria, which can lead to disease.
The colon, at the other end of this same digestive tract, builds up too. The colon houses both good and bad bacteria, and a buildup of the bad bacteria can prevent absorption of the nutrients we need to sustain a healthy balanced system. A hydrotherapist uses water to “wash” the inside of the colon and help move out stagnation and debris. Along with an alkaline juice diet in the system, the old stuff gets the chance to let go. We soak up nutri­ents easier, and the “go power” becomes readily available to the bloodstream.
For me, each cleanse has been different—yet there is a similar underlying structure. The first couple of days are usually the most difficult. I miss my food! Once I overcome the sensation of want­ing to eat, I am home free. Time to let the mind, body, emotions and spirit roll. And that, they do! I am referring to the many ups and downs of a detox. Anger, sadness, the gamut of emotions as well as headaches, rashes, irritability, a spectrum of physical symp­toms that can go on for minutes, hours or days.
As the negative symptoms subside, I begin to see and feel clarity around life. Life in general becomes so incredibly beautiful. Juicing fresh veggies and simply breathing more deeply become revered events. Being led to insights, answers to unresolved questions and nudges to change are some of the benefits, as well as an ultra-keen­ing of the senses. And gratitude. The utmost feeling of gratitude is probably the most treasured reason why I go through the trouble to cleanse.
While coming out of a fast, I allow my body to show me the way. Usually it steers me toward a raw vegetable and nut diet, sometimes for months. Then, bit by bit, cooked food. Over the past 22 years, I have slowly omitted things from my diet that I never thought I could live without on a daily basis. The dairy that I depended on for protein, I’ve replaced with nuts. The ever-present sugar and wheat no longer appeal.
In recent years, I have had the fortune to serve as a guide to others as they venture into their first cleanse. My passion around this ritual doesn’t exactly rub off, say, around the third day of not eating, as they scowl at me with a look that begs, “Exactly why did I want to do this?” That is when I hand them a fresh green juice, clink the edge of their glass with mine and remind them that the only way out is through.
Teal Rowe was born in Ojai and raised with ranchers on one side of the family and mystics on the other. Today she can be found making and selling her artwork at 1623 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura; 805-660-4605 TealRowe.com

The Grace Card

My grandmother grew, dried, and cut the top of a gourd to make a lidded vessel. This is where I keep my Angel Cards, 52 little cards with 52 different words and tiny paintings illustrating that word.  Today I choose the “Grace” card.  The smudges of paint and fingerprints that cover it take me back to “the halls”.
Back to a time when I guided 15 different artists in Juvenile Hall at a time.  There seemed to be a revolving door that constantly shook up the flow of attendance, so I would meet many new faces, as well as re unite with the recidivists, while trying to keep some kind of continuity for the guys who were really into what I was offering through the class.   Essentially it was 2 hours, twice a week, space to express whatever spoke, sans sex/violence, on huge pieces of paper with brushes, a full spectrum of colored pencils and liquid paint.  Truly a privilege if you are locked up and the usual is 6 colors of pencil and an 8 &1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. 
We finished class with a ritual of choosing an Angel Card from the gourd.  Many of the guys recognized a gourd saying that their grandma had grown them as well.  A connection in the garden, nature so far removed from the cinder block and heavy mechanically locked doors we were sitting behind. 
Typically someone would choose a card and look at me with question.  What does it mean?  This one word pulling past the “Dawwwg” and “Hommie” climate we were accustomed, into a place of inquiry.
As the card they chose became personal, things got serious.  “But WHAT does it meeeeaaaaan?”  looking straight into my eyes, an intent forehead furrowed.
I remember this question coming up once with the Grace card.  I asked what does it mean to you?   Amazing Grace, the song, grace at the table, a ballerina is graceful, etc.  Exactly, now, leave those great ideas there in your head, and take the feeling that you feel from them and somehow in your very own way, look into your heart.  Feel what grace feels like to you, without the words, and we will talk about it next week.
There were many more “next weeks”.  Though we never talked about “grace” again, the atmosphere became soft….kind of like a whisper….well…..it was grace.  The energy of the class surged with quiet enthusiasm.  And regardless of the revolving door, there was usually someone who eagerly requested “the gourd”.

.

Again, I am so grateful to the guys in Wheeler One for reminding me of what I need to know.

THE UPDATE

HELLO EVERYONE!  

I WILL BE SELLING MY VASEs, SCULPTURE, EARRINGS, ETC….which include the Glass Paint Brushes, Assemblage, Anchovy Can Altars, Bath Salts (the kind you soak in), Etc. OH yeah!…. I have making these bitchen crowns that everyone loves….know any royalty you want to make official?
CROWN THEM!

THROUGH NOVEMBER 24, 2013….Please note this, as I still have people wanting to come to the studio to watch me blow glass……and I haven’t been there since 2009!  The calendar pages continue to blow in the wind as graceful as the sycamore leaf!

Location: 1623 E. Thompson Blvd. Ventura
Hours:  Thursday-Saturday 12-5 
             Sunday 12-4
                          By appointment  805-660-4605

SHOP EARLY as you know……all is one of a kind, and the stock is abundant.

Tall Vase, Earrings, Fluid Vase

All the best,
Teal

Cindy

“I’ll give you a sign” Cindy said.  At the time she was well and we walked Shelf Rd. together most days.  The sign she referred to would come after her death.  Something she could relay to me to say that all is well.  I think we had the space to talk about death of the physical because I was in a grand delusion.  Until the day Cindy died, I never believed that she would. 
She and I had a routine.  We would walk Shelf Rd. in the morning, then go to Bates beach to search the shore, collecting glass, eating bag lunches, soaking up the sun, and talking into the afternoon until we wrapped it up to get ready to go to work.  We worked in the same place.  Cindy was manager, I a food server.  When I think back on the stress of that job, I realize that the mountain walking and searching for beach glass was a needed remedy.  It was a way to unwind, to vent.  I don’t remember doing much else for those years that we worked together.  We were bonded by the stress and the de regulating of the stress.
The foundation of our conversation was astrology.  Cindy lived by the stars.  That is how I met her.  She did my astrology chart.  We have many ties in our charts.  We both have roots in Dutch Indonesia and Theosophy.   And we both are really into our relationships, gardens, and houses.  I could listen to her go on about astrology, her husband Milton, and country music till the cows came home.  She showed me manifestation as I watched her happily trade out her much loved Carmen Ghia for the Cadillac that she had talked and dreamed about getting for years.  Her car was always a big thing for her.  My favorite Cindy quote: “Clean car, clean life”.  She had an incredible garden and a house that welcomed everyone.  She shared her truth with those she met.  And she was fuuuunny.  Her sense of humor was a blast.
Somewhere along the way, for Christmas or a Birthday, Cindy gave me a rose bush.  I remember reading the name of the rose on the little metal tag, “Fragrant Memory”, and then giving her a glaring look.  No words, just shooting her my vibe of denial, “You are not going to die!” and I went out and planted the bare root.  
She had a tumor in her arm.  The rare diagnosis was a huge long word that I could never conjure up.  I’ve never been that great at death.  I don’t like it, much less, repeating a diagnosis.  I can go to the dark side with the best of them and when it comes to actual death, I am usually not around. 
I remember visiting Cindy in the hospital just before I was leaving on a trip.  She had been in and out of the hospital frequently by this time.  That night she was pretty drugged up and talking about keeping the kitchen counters clean and the fresh tomatoes out in the yard.  She didn’t make sense.  I told her I’d see her when I got back.
A few nights later in a hotel in Santa Fe, NM I was having a dream.  In the dream, a North American Indian man and I were pounding an infinity symbol out of silver.  The symbol of an 8 on it’s side.  We weren’t just making a jewelry piece, it was a much deeper thing that he was showing me at a feeling level.  I don’t have words for it.  As we were working at his jewelry bench Cindy was in the background, she didn’t want to bother us.  The man and I were so focused on what we were making, I couldn’t take my attention off of the task to acknowledge Cindy, though I knew she was there, I could feel her intensity, she was keenly watching us work.  Then in the dream, our mutual friend, Sharon came up to me grabbed me by my arms and started shaking me, “Wake up!  Cindy died!” she screamed in my face.  By the time I felt and heard Sharon, I looked up, and Cindy was walking away.  In real life, I opened my eyes and the clock displayed the time that she had died. 
That morning, I called Sharon in CA.  I just said, “It’s Teal” she said the exact same words, though this time sad, “Cindy died at 10:22 last night”. (the time maybe different, I have forgotten the exact numbers)
Before I had left for NM there was not one bud on the Fragrant Memory rose.  It was essentially a bush of leaves, it had not previously bloomed.  When I got back 5 days later the plant was in full bloom, covered with beautiful pink, smelly roses.  I took the bounty of roses as the “sign”.
Then each time Cindy’s sister Dottie came to visit me, we would go up to sit in the garden and low and behold there would be two buds on the rose.  One for Dot and one for me.  At Cindy’s memorial, as to her wishes, all of her friends received a vase from her vintage collection.  So for months after her death, I had a bloom from that Fragrant Memory rose in my vase, one sign at a time.
Today is hard for me to see a hawk , Cindy’s declared totem, and not think of her.  Once sitting on the shore of a San Juan Island noticing a hawk on an updraft, at the same time combing a perfect, beautiful, rose colored arrow head out of the sand with my fingers.  This year on my birthday there was the hawk perched on a car in the middle of my urban landscape.  
Sign after sign.
Today marks 21 years since her death.  I write this for Cindy’s sisters and brother, Erik, Milton, Nita, Sharon, Hattie, Jan, Rain, Heather, Martin, Alan, and everyone in the world that loves Cindy…there are many of us!

Elenore Ellie Cindy Goudriaan Heise Kelley (my spelling may be off) thank you for beautiful photo Erik  

Question/Answer

How long does it take?
To come up with the idea
To learn how
To get it all together
Until it will be ready
To allow it a life
To let it go
A lifetime I say, a lifetime.

EVERYONE INVITED!

Austin and Her Art

Update on “Austin and Her Art”-  Austin has just published her own blog.  

http://www.austinbrayfieldpaintings.wordpress.com

 

This is Austin in her dining room…..


This is her art:

 

Most of these pieces are large oils.   Some are collage.

I DO have some great stories to tell about my travels with Austin and I WILL.  O.K.  I’ll tell you now.  

Of the time, 
when, 
it was June of 2007.
I met Austin’s plane at the Malpensa Airport.  
We had a plan to meet so that she could fulfill her lifetime dream to buy an entire wardrobe in Milan.  She had saved her hard earned pennies in order to make it happen.    I was the translator.

We had a week.

We spent each day filled to the brim.  From train to trolly. From the flea markets to Prada.  We scrounged around basement bargain shops.  We ate great food.  With strangers and interesting conversations.  We spoke Italian.  We wandered the streets through the night into the wee hours. We LAUGHED!  We laughed so hard!  And piece, by piece the wardrobe evolved. 

Into a busting at the zipper bag….as Austin continued on her way to Sienna.

This weekend!

The Painter and the Pose Part 2

I just received this hot off the press work produced by Austin Brayfield from the posing session in Ashland.  If you no idea what I am talking about you can read the previous post from March 9, 2013 titled The Painter and the Pose.  These are LARGE oils.
The work of Austin Brayfield
The work of Austin Brayfield
The End!  

The Painter and The Pose

I had been an artist’s model once before.  When I was in the energetic heights of being an art student at Ventura College. The day the model didn’t show up for our life drawing class, I volunteered.  This was back in the 80’s.  It was one of the best exercises for me as an artist.  To sit still and hold a pose.  30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, then the finale of 20 minutes.  It was a more difficult feat than I thought.  I gleaned a new respect for our models.  

While I was in Ashland,OR last month, Austin asked me to pose. 

Painting is her passion.  

She originally wanted me there so she could work off of Donna Granata’s photo of me in the “glass dress”.   When I arrived and saw that she had started with a painstaking accuracy of the laying out a grid in order to get proportions correct in relation to the photo, I asked if that is how she usually works.  

“No” was her answer.

I didn’t think so.

I see her paintings as spontaneous splashes of soulful color and shape, not the “thought out”, “get it right” type of work she was approaching.  I asked her if she would consider painting me in her new bath tub which is cradled in a beautiful arched window.  

Her eyes lit up.
It would be fresh.  
For me, for her.  
A scene of the moment, not from a photo.  
With easel, canvas, and paints we hustled into the bathroom.

The college experience came back to me.  I could just feel the scratch, scratch, grr, grr, of the brush on Austin’s canvas as she dove into the start of her painting.  I had to laugh out loud as I heard the sound of her passion gnawing away.  It is contagious, passion is.  

The smell of paint, quiet concentration, and me in my model mind, forced into the moment of full attention by not wanting my foot to sag, my leg to drift out of it’s original position, or my body to slide in any way, all the while, wanting to relax enough and not be worried about moving. It is quite an experience.  

The art of staying still. 

As my time in Oregon was coming to an end, Austin wanted to make sure she had details to work from, so I agreed to do some modeling for her to shoot photographically.  Getting in and out of the bath tub, drying off, close ups of feet, hands, face, water, etc.  


While we were doing this, it occurred to me that Austin could model and I shoot images of her.  A bit hesitant, she finally agreed,  saying that she could use the photos to work from for a self portrait or two.  

So off go her clothes and the classic, stepping out of the bath, gazing out the window poses continued until the finale of a serious Vitruvian Man pose that was beautifully framed in the window.  Right at that moment, through the window, up on the very scarcely trafficked  road, I saw a cop car, going super slow. “Austin, the cops” she jumped for the towel and we both looked at each other and just about died laughing. 

Crying. 
Laughing.  

Later, while looking over the photos on the computer screen, up pops the image of Austin, arms and legs spread out, beautifully back lit, the front of the cop car to the left of her head and the back of the cop car to the right.  I didn’t realize I got the cops in the shot and I’m glad I did.

op Car