• Sarah West • Composer, Performer • Celestial Mystical Opera, Psychic Healer
Book Review, Books

The Search for the Beloved

Search for the Beloved

My Book & CD, the NEW 15 Year Anniversary Edition, The Search for the Beloved  is NOW available!

Pick up a copy or two of this keepsake book for your bedside table. Open its lovely pages each night before slumber to read to yourself or your loved one in person or over the phone.

Snuggle up close to your heart and soul and be soothed the sounds of Sarah’s voice on the page and on this luxurious CD.

Bring your loved ones close by reading the inspirational text with those you care about. And, read it aloud to yourself.

Touch the whole heart and soul of your being – the open wide self and the forlorn self. Heal any broken places that longs for love.

Exponentialize the heart of you into further rapture awaking to the ever-present magnanimous soul of your being.

Purchase now directly on Amazon! Click here to order. For all of Sarah’s other work, click here.

Book Reviews:”Divine!” – Wayne Dyer

“Sarah’s music and words will heal and inspire anyone who listens!”
– Larry Dossey, M.D. Healing Words author

“I can only handle your prose one dose at a time. Your words – your wisdom is so shocking! Your book cures me!”
– Ginny Floss

The Search for the Beloved by Sarah West… left me speechless and spellbound with goose bumps that will never subside. We are all Searching for the Beloved within ourselves. It is not an external person we are searching for but ourselves in all of our tangles and chaos within this world.

We are endlessly searching for ourselves that we have lost and are bound to forever search for, until we find the peace within ourselves. We will forever be in The Search for the Beloved until we find that tiny particle of love for ourselves that we need to nurture and grow. Until that time we will be forever in “The Search for the Beloved.”

Sarah, you have left me with much to consider with your beautiful music and soul. I am in The Search for the Beloved myself and will probably be for all time. Nevertheless, you have brought me much closer than I have ever been before. Thank you and I love you immensely.”
– Lola Perkins

“Sarah – your spoken word is as powerful as your musical CDs. AMAZED! Love it! SO, SO, SO beautiful!!! Thank you!”
– Deb Childs

“Inspiring and uplifting while exquisitely touching! Sarah West’s new book & Cd release, The Search for the Beloved is a mystical rapture unveiling the journey inward as one searches for love outwardly. Hailed a modern Rumi utterance, The Search for the Beloved carries you palpably into a hypnotic state undulating your heart, your soul, your spirit and even your body to pulse alive again in ways you have longed to awaken.”
– Evan Soul, reviewer

The Search for the Beloved, Sarah West’s book and CD release is an ecstatic delivery on the scale of Rumi and beyond! So sublime, you are sure to be wafting in the rafters by the first line, and by the end, so immersed in your own sweet vulernability that you’ll be vibrating in bliss. You’ll want it go on forever….

Listening to Sarah’s voice and reading her mystic illumination are a rare treat to be enjoyed for all for lifetimes!”
– Ellara Randolf

Pick up a copy or two of this keepsake book for your bedside table:

• Open its lovely pages each night before slumber to read to yourself or your loved one in person or over the phone.

• Snuggle up close to your heart and soul and be soothed the sounds of Sarah’s voice on the page and on this luxurious CD.

• Bring your loved ones close by reading the inspirational text with those you care about. And, read it aloud to yourself. Touch the whole heart and soul of your being – the open wide self and the forlorn self.

• Heal any broken places that longs for love.

• Exponentialize the heart of you into further rapture awaking to the ever-present magnanimous soul of your being.


beloved-book-the-offering beloved-book-live-love beloved-book-forever beloved-book-aurora  The Search for the Beloved by Sarah Westthekla n beloved book back

Movie Review

Infinitely Polar Bear: Decidedly Luke-Warm ‘Till the End  Author of The Search for the Beloved

“The movie Infinitely Polar Bear is a script-rewrite of the past with acts of emancipation!” – Sarah West, review

Movie starring Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana
Movie starring Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana

I’m writing in my underwear drawer. What once was my underwear drawer. Its one of those old dressers with a first drawer that is not a drawer but whose face unhinges laying flat to provide a writing desk. It has cubbyholes I imagine for tiny letters, stamps, petite envelops and type A, blank cards for the very well organized and for one who has not much to do otherwise. Can you imagine? A desk covering all your needs that has a depth just over that of your laptop and cubbies for everything available from the 19th century? No space for 12 external hard drives. No card readers. No myriad USB cables…

But I digress.

I am here to talk about a movie.

I just saw Infinitely Polar Bear – I must admit, the title captured me. I have a thing for Polar Bears – no need to go into it now – well, just a hint: I like white a lot and I LOVE animals. Its about a “bi-polar”/depressed/manic polar bear. Well, actually, its about a man, Cam, played by Mark Ruffalo, who calls himself a polar bear to his kids. That’s how Cam names his mental illness. Infinitely Polar Bear is a great storyline, brilliant concept, in fact – on the lines of Running With Scissors, I’d say. Running is utterly riveting and compact with ripe emotional and genius psychological content, Polar Bear not so much. I’m reminded of Michael Keaten’s Birdman but Ruffalo carries none of the striking conviction and weighty understanding that Keaten unequivocally carries in his Oscar winning, emotionally captivating and transformative, transcendent film.

Something’s redeeming about Polar Bear, though, and here’s why:

Its the 70’s and mental illness was as common as in any era and still misunderstood – like now – and, the main character, Cam, is a classic white, “blue-blood”, Harvard-expelled husband to a beautiful black wife played by the exquisite Zoe Saldana. The only thing is, the best actors, for the most part, are their two beautiful children in the film. They are as natural as natural can be. Potent in the right moments and easy to forget you’re watching a movie in others. Graceful and unaffected. The two leads on the other hand… I’ll pick up that theme in a bit.

Mental illness is a complicated thing and living with a mentally ill person is just as complicated. In this production, all the elements are there for a great movie except the element of emotional torment.

You see the time-stamp of 60’s and 70’s style 8mm scratchy, orange-hued film interspersed for character and a jumpy style camera capturing the era’s vibe. Unforgettable is the finest in vintage cars including a just gorgeous china blue Bentley from some bygone era gifted to the male lead from his certifiably looney grand-mah whose illness includes stereotypical blue-blood, tight-wadding turned control freak psychopath. You just get a taste of her enough to clearly spell out the source of things or at least that long line of cogs in a discrepant wheel, that distorted bead on the chain of fore-bearering tyrannical / victim swingers.

Mental illness is hereditary and denial of love is more the cause, in truth, but the psychiatrists have never been great lovers, perhaps, and that’s why they write all the books on the matter and name all the illnesses and never find a cure to boot leaving the “cure” to megalomaniacal pharmaceutical oligarchs.

For me, the movie fails in so many ways but then wins in the end. Can i say my ending review at the beginning – I’ve added to this so we’re maybe in the middle? I feel a little jumpy in the head and insecure. Not that I already wasn’t to some degree, after watching an actor attempt to be bi-polar, I’m enjoying acting out, too. Hopefully, I’ll have something worthy of your time and energy even in my state of slight taking-on-of-the-protagonist along with my lack of an editor – my grammar not so perfect. I do like typing though.

Living with some level of mentally ill family members and the coping mechanisms that all develop in order to survive is something a high percentage of people have in common though many never talk about – “high” is just a guess, an assumption, an experiential, scientific observation. I wear the glasses I put on, ay?

The level of mental illness here in this movie is, I’d say, on the medium level (whatever that means. I’m only trying to clarify the content not be an “expert”. Working with my clumsy access to words). He’s not violent to the degree of actually hurting them. Cam just acts out a certain level of severity with disjointed emotions, words, screaming, doing destructive things, etc. – if you look at just story-line – just the script so to speak – and, compare it to the experience of the movie, of the action, the emotional content isn’t there, its in the story-line and the visuals but not embodied in the acting. This is what I miss.

Such serious manifestations such as in this movie, really, would incite terror, deep grief, profound confusion, outright unhealthy detachment to life itself, and others, and a pressure-cooker rage all utterly untouched in this film by, especially, the main two actors, Saldana and Ruffalo.

The beginning of the film’s scenes are filled with explicitly distraught scenes but the actors barely scratch the surface of the fear and rage and sheer hopelessness that these would incite. Zoe’s character, the mom (I can’t remember her name – Maggie. I looked it up), is trying to get away from Cam to keep her and two young children, about 8 and 12, because he’s expressing a frightening episode. They’re in the car rushing to drive away. You think she wants to get away for good. As they’re about to back out out of the driveway, Cam comes running from behind them dressed only in the reddest of tighty-whities or cheapest of Speedo knock-off’s, screaming not to go and promising he’ll get better. As she puts the car in reverse, he grips the hood forcing it open and smashes about with his bare hands in the engine compartment to pull out anything that will come with his force (think The Hulk. I know, but I couldn’t help it), closing off their escape hatch, he brings his arm out in defiance and victory showing her his miniature, medusa’s head of mangled, tangled engine hoses and wires.

She’s frozen. Then, we see her in the back seat with her kids just holding on, trusting the locked doors hoping they’ll survive his insane possession. Now, this is just the opening scene. You’d think you’d be gripped with terror. I wasn’t. I should have been. All I did was let my mind wander to when my own brothers did similar things – different but similar, some much scarier. There was no emotional charge in witnessing this scene. Either I’ve been healed by some miraculous therapy and detached from the insanity of humanity and can observe now without emotion or, the actors failed to feel. The fourth wall was broken throughout the film. The realm of being lost in the movie took more than half-way through to get me there. It was a lonnnng and superficial foreplay.

As great as Ruffalo is hailed to be, he failed in this one, pretty much for the whole movie. He’s a cute drunk and quirky quack who rages at times but my skin never bristles. Not even once! when he raises his voice as he hits his emotional wall. This should be an emotional roller-coaster ride for everybody who’s in their seats and on the screen in the scene! But, its not. Its flat. Even keeled, almost, with plenty of color and that scratchy vintage film surface to convince you where they want you to be.

All the set decorations are there. The scenes with the crazy rearranging of furniture, of anything and everything for that matter. His disrobing the 1970’s dial telephone for no apparent reason except being compelled to unravel things. Unscrew every box, detach every wire in the phone ‘till its a-jumble, again, like the neurons in his head. He wants the world to mimic his chaotic mind, his lost synaptic groove. He’s more comfortable in disorder. Like attracts like. He’s ungrounded, untethered and unspoken interspersed by seemingly perfect, content moments of domestic cooking-bliss except for the clean-up.

The family lineage of pain wreaks havoc and he’s the bearer of the good / bad news: The final expose of truth, hidden no longer. This should be astounding to witness – a revelation as we go along about humanity’s fragility in the face of cold, fierce, manipulative uncaring witches and warlords to say the least. In his continuation of episodic fits into the middle of the movie, we go deeper. He returns to dismantling everything he can get his hands on: the bicycle comes apart even the spokes of the wheels are splayed in a frenzy worthy of high art Duchamp would most certainly appreciate and both he and Warhol would put a high price on.

At different moments, you see the hoarding factor of his illness. Boxes upon boxes frantically piled up filled with discombobulated items mirroring more of his mania for mangling. Electronics of all sorts packed like sardines anywhere and everywhere. Unlivable disorder. Keeping the crazy going: projects he can toy with, tinker with. Fix. Unfix. Maybe one day he can sort out all these things and he’ll sort out all the craziness of his family-upbringing along with it.

He is good at fixing things on the flip side. He can flip. He can bring order. He can be mechanically inclined not just to leave something unusable and whacked. He can cook, too. That’s his main gift. Back to fixing the mechanicals, for instance, he puts a solid dead-bolt lock on the apartment door to keep his kids safe while he goes out on one of his rampages leaving them terrified and alone. The thin, gold colored sliding chain just doesn’t cut it when he arrives home one night from an binger, alcoholic and all, to find himself locked out, again, by his own kids too scared to let dad in in that state. Rightly so. The first time he came home like that he was kind about asking them to open the sliding latch manipulating them with apparent kindness. The next time not so nice destroying the chain’s existence with one heavy shoulder shove into the door.

He’s sorry as many times as he’s episodic. An addict is an addict is an addict. Though the kind of mental illnesses many suffer from from, most addicts can recover with an intervention and perpetual persistence. This level of mental illness is mostly a mystery to this day (I have my suggestions. Stay tuned and see my website: and often is left untreated to the core and simply masked by something to be addicted to – some medications quell the seemingly untamable fierce dragon. At one point Cam is asked by his wife if he’s been taking his meds. He replies, paraphrasing, ‘You know, Lithium has not been confirmed to work,’ gazing into the 3 quite large, translucent capsules he’s poured from the large, bulky bottle he keeps in the medicine cabinet.

Are the size of those tablets and bottle a metaphor for something? They both just looked monstrously large to me – Just saying.

“What works?” we might ask ourselves in the quiet of the night when we have time to ponder the things in the day – and the night that haunt us. What does work? Certainly not this movie. Till the very end. The culmination leaves you feeling complete, resolved, happy even. That’s quite a pill after all I’ve said. Quite an accomplishment. Some kind of healing happened here. Through a perseverance shown but not felt in the movie till the very, very end.

This movie is disney-fied version of something very deep and a story so needed to be told and felt in our era – in every era. Its definitely worth-while and for some, possibly quite satiating, I think, if you’ve never lived through it and know better.

We need to see the roots of insanity and we need to see those who survive and how. I say roots because even these children raised by the insane will have something to tackle. As healthy as they are portrayed in this movie, I’d say it would be a rare child not scared out of their wits and retreating to the closet, under the bed and anywhere else for that matter by this whole scenario or, the opposite of acting out through violence and dominance to compensate for the uncontrolable by trying to control the situation, themselves and outsiders. Though the eldest girl (I can’t remember her name, either, or, the other one for that matter. It just didn’t stick. I don’t even recall hearing it. What does that say? Names aren’t important anyway) is shown with her hair moving toward a fine, respectable bird’s nest, there’s no emotional equivalent in her character for this physical manifestation of distortion / suffering at the hand of a somewhat severely unstable father and often absent mother.

She, actually, is the most confident and outspoken and sane one of the bunch, well, the younger girl is very confident as well and equally sane though more quiet. No child would have this kind of confidence growing up in this environment. I get it that confidence can be a coping mechanism masking the fear of vulnerability and the need to organize the unorganized. Parent the parent which is what they are doing – something of which I know all too well. But, still, there is no real tugging hint of either child’s severe pain only mild annoyances to barely bared frustrations.

The thing they did, the writer’s, is trace a potent, authentic story-line and add a visual which cues in all the depth and on top, light it with strings of resolutions and stances of power that we all wish we had the state-of-mind to say way back when when we were in these hell-filled, demonic scenarios.

The film is really a healing in that way and that’s why it resolves neatly. Finally, someone, everyone, a few, speak up. Stand their ground. Say their truth – even with their fear nipping quite strongly at more than their toes.

Mental illness is rampant, takes many insidious forms and infects our lives on a daily basis. Maybe its our boss. Maybe its our co-worker. Maybe its our underling. Maybe its ourselves. Maybe its all of us. Or, some of us. Politics. Racism. Rape. Pedophilia. Slavery. Trafficking. Poverty. Starvation. War. All the variations on the insanity theme often condoned by the dominant force.

I’ve heard of those who tell tale of their beautiful lives, their happy, unscathed childhoods filled with happy birthdays, meaningful “I love you’s” and supportive words who’s energy would fuel New York City. But, for the rest of us, we are remnants, shards of our real selves and we have to re-collect ourselves back into a semblance of wholeness that will never look like those that were never torn in the first place. We’re patchwork Sally’s and coat-of-many colored Bob’s at best, and worn eyeless, nose-buttonedless, unstuffed animals left by children who are left themselves. We pick ourselves up and sew ourselves back together with a thread and needle in one crippled hand, maybe even a sewing machine with a peddle to boot, if we’re lucky and uber blessed, and weave our tapestry back together better, richer than before, we hope, we pray, we do.

That’s what this screenwriter does. She wove a true tale back into life. Retelling the horrors of her family’s upbringing while she sprinkled it with liberating, healing counter offers. Ones she never could say when she was young. But, hey, we create our reality, right? And, we embody what we obsess over so why not recreate the past? Use our obsessiveness to unshackle ourselves? Polar Bear is a reenactment, a script-rewrite of the past with acts of emancipation!

I guess he’s not that severe. He’s not that severely ill. All his acting-out seems pretty crazy-making but, again, there’s so much niceness, sweetness, happy-go-lucky, candy feeling to this whole film coating the set-dressing of the crazy-lives-here house that I just don’t get it. I’m confused but decide to go along with the disney-esqueness and just be happy. The foreplay was long and oddly shallow and though the finale was short, it still feels good.

© 2015 Sarah West  •  2015-08-01

Movie starring Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana
Movie starring Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana
Book Review, Reviews

To Kill A Watchman, Author of “The Search for the Beloved”
“Shutting away of a story because of not wanting a character to change and become seen in a very, very human light (funny antonym) with the flaws they most fear is a true denial from which this whole problem of racism is born.” – Sarah West, review

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

Originally published July 7th, 2015 a few days before the book release.

My commentary on the buzz of Harper Lee’s new soon–to–be released book Go Set A Watchman

To Kill a Watchman or Not To Kill A Watchman. This is the question!

I love how direct a commentator is discussing one of the Great Controversies of 2015 over Harper Lee’s new book Go Set A Watchman set to be released globally this Tuesday, July 14. The strictest security has been in place to preserve secrecy till then. Passions, still, are mounting with polarization abounding having not even read the book! Defendants of the one–and–only To Kill A Mockingbird are a plenty with many a viewpoints lashing about online with every reader chomping at the bit to commit murder themselves on this very new, old book of Lee’s, her original story Go Set A Watchmen – the parent to To Kill a Mockingbird!

Some already have at once closed the book forever before even before opening it simply by reading the opinion of the New York Times front page online review by Michiko Kakutani.  One commentator unabashedly acclaims they will never, ever read Watchman. Another exalts defiantly their clinging to the “old” Atticus and nothing will tarnish his godly perfection.

Is a hero ever perfect? What hero was ever perfect? I guess Atticus was – at least in their minds –  these barnacles of idealism. What world do they live in? The infamous “they”?

But, how deeply do these idealists read Harper Lee’s second generation uber revised, utterly altered expression:  her second book, To Kill A Mockingbird? First published but second creation. First child to survive birth with many operations. But, who was this child before its ginormous make–over rivaling those plastic surgeries in Hollywood today? Made archetypal, sculpted into an epic tale, stripped of its complex humanity and messy real opinions. Smoothed like a well–oiled machine. A perfect story. Not like a perfect storm. Not like an imperfect humanity: messy, coiled and rampant with contradiction.

In To Kill A Mockingbird, published in 1960, her one and only until now, where she does more than hint at the deep seeded inconsistencies of character of our so–called hero? Is a hero a hero when one is simply, he says, “doing what’s right” by the way? Colored by prejudices so rampant in the human mind. What are the underlying motivations? But, I digress. That’s a whole other question…!

I believe – and I LOVE how this new release is building all of these opinions from every direction and pointing out the amazing diversity in human opinion! Reading the New York Times “review” – its waaaaayyyy too revealing by the way – a major spoiler alert it is.

SUGGESTION: Go straight to the comments if you like, and read the review part after you read Watchman.

The COMMENTS are extraordinary! I’m telling you. The comments are such an exquisite cross–section of American and some global weigh–ins. You see wondrous intelligence, deep perceptivity and in my humble or arrogant opinion, you see a lot of judgment and radical denial – head–in–the sand at its best.

I have read many people stating, shockingly in my opinion, that they are refusing to read this new release of Lee’s because it destroys the “perfect hero” of their dreams! I’m serious! There are quite a few comments where people flat–out are trashing the book before they even read it just from reading this New York Times Book review set in bold letters on the front page today! Now, THAT’S obscene to me. This kind of shutting away of a story because of not wanting a character to change and become seen in a very, very human light (funny antonym) with the flaws they most fear is a true denial from which this whole problem of racism is born.

There I said it.

I’m scared of the lash–back from saying that but I don’t see any of those kind of blinders on in other comments so I feel safe that all we humans do have an openness in us for hearing and seeing from varying opinions. And, there is safety in numbers…?

I’m tempted to say it’s as if some are burning the great Library of Alexandria all over again!!!

There is more than one opinion in this world and this is the beauty of our existence. Diversity. Its what creates this exceptional ball spinning in space. How enlightening to have a forum where people feel free to comment though. I find people’s opinions/comments as fascinating as the books themselves… I LOVE that we have the opportunity to hear/read the inner workings of others psyches through the miracle of the internet.

For good or for bad, we humans are filled with a great variety, a great complexity that is at the same time a cookie cutter of one another. We’re a funny blend of unique and seemingly unchanged repeating forms… this magnificent mystery of contradiction is only superseded by the profound mystery of our Love.

Capote or Not Capote

To veer off taking a sharp right – or left turn, thank goodness someone has the genius sense to speak up about the authorship controversy over To Kill A Mockingbird!

There have been rumors abounding for decades about how much Truman Capote, Lee’s childhood friend and character in Mockingbird, may have contributed to its final revelation. Some surmise on the extreme, that only through Capote’s efforts did Mockingbird become the masterpiece now voted as the greatest book of the 20th Century.

A commentator who brings to light this issue quotes succinctly about Capote’s well–known character as a braggart to say the least. I never met Capote – do I even need to say? (but how we judge don’t we!) – but, I have listened to him in interviews and through documentaries. Arrogant or not, I think this commentator I’m referring to is quite right that just about anybody would, finally, burst at the seams to report and reveal their contribution to such a liberally acclaimed work of art! And, their description of his character certainly hits this point home through and through.

One thing we do know, Capote had no shame at all about revealing all the secrets of others he knew like those of the high–society folk who saddled up to him after his fame from In Cold Blood. Look for the infamous roman à clef Esquire Magazine article from 1975: “La Côte Basque 1965.”

At rest in his New York Apartment
At rest in his New York Apartment

I don’t believe he could keep a secret of someone else’s though he closeted away many of his own hording more and more, confounding those that dropped away one by one like flies to a foul light more clever than instinct to run from that which can kill leaving those former devotees and prideful clinger–on’ers wondering which secrets were lies and which were truths.

I love, too, that a commentator, honors the truth of Harper Lee’s essential contribution to Truman Capote’s own greatest novel, In Cold Blood. A very real, identifiable, inarguable fact, that it is her research, her personality that so gracefully acclimated to those she interviewed for Capote’s book (those same people who completely rejected Capote on the other hand), etc.  without which, there would be no In Cold Blood as we know it.

And, I must mention, Lee edited In Cold Blood and some say contributed greatly to its writing. So which is it?

Many people are prone to gossip exposing of other’s deep, dark frailties/crimes while they themselves shy away from their fears sealing from sight their own pain. Who wants to look at themselves when they can while away the time being a shill for their own seeming good at the cost of trusting, naïve, arrogant and mournful and not–so–mournful souls. How much did Capote (I just, finally, let myself be conscious of a disturbing similarity of words in his name) create a foil for his own pain with the horrible betrayal of, in–fact, false friends by exposing those deepest held secrets of people who he had let think were his closest friends.

Out of revenge for feeling used himself by those high–society epps, for feeling like a dog–n–pony show was he motivated? Yet, how did he use them? begs the question.

And, too, I have to ask, how did his psyche fair to bear four years of immersion into the minds and entire lives of two… known, ultimately convicted horrendous murderers? I’m scared just to write that word especially in association with the facts that we know from his book. Can you imagine being him? He who delved so deeply into these two’s lives for the benefit, entertainment, education, demonstration, enlightenment of the public, the curious – ever curious at any cost public – the reader?

He who became so close to these two to have ingested, digested, gestated and birthed this baby of a book – his greatest novel? At what cost to him was this fruit of his loins? This named Frankensteinian by–product? He chose it. And, still, I ask, “At what cost?”

What did he think, decide to do in the aftermath of everything? Of the culmination of witnessing the inhumane murdering of two murderers he had come to know so deeply. Twisted. Intimacy with the devil? All for the good of a great story ever told?

Was this his To Kill A Mockingbird? Was this his version of the tyranny of the Deep South’s patriarchal prejudice? Was he commenting on the horrors of two humans or the society which birthed what they became? Was it satire in the end? Was it all a commentary on the horrors of abandoning children? Of neglect and abuse turning into greater abuse, incomprehensible terminal abuse?

How much could Capote bear? How much could he who suffered ridicule and harsher, still, ostracization?

Was he trying to heal a wound, correct a social imbalance, point out the insane hypocrisy of the ruling class who rule and out–weigh others even in their true minority? Was he trying to balance the scales through opening the secret door to the slave owners’ windowless, lightless basement bed–chamber filled with sharp, metal devises of torture?

Is this what Harper Lee efforted to do in her first novel? What some call a first draft? Is the core of Watchman? A “first draft” or the first and final story? It is the final story now? It is the one we will be left with. Indelibly. Like it or not. Read it or not. Watchman is in the air and in our consciousness, utterly, already. Here to stay it is. She has done her work. Prepared the way. For this time. For this work. For our minds to receive her final mission, her first transmission.

Who is this hero? Who is this bigot? Who is this slave owner? Who is this tyrant? Who is this father? Who is this murderer? Who is this policeman, police state? Who is this protector? Who is this betrayer? Who is this Watchman?

She is the opposite of Truman. She kept all the secrets…. other’s and hers… until now.

And, she has opened her door… after all these years.

We may walk in… or not.

We decide.

PART III:  Hers or Not Hers

PS: I can’t wait to read Go Set A Watchman! I’m just – to quote myself – “bursting at the seams” to read it!

Who will ever know what this book was when she first submitted it and how much of it is revision of hers, suggestion from editors, publishers, etc. and how much of it is those business builders fingers plying at her original creation;  we’ll never, never, ever know.

But, what rings true for me, is this book’s worth on its own along with its inseparable off–spring Mockingbird. And, Watchman may, even – actually, bear the fruit of a deeper, long called for conscious transformation that Mockingbird only hinted at. Who was distracted by that “heroism?”

I say “hinted” because I am talking about the quieter truth in Mockingbird that has not been trampled upon and all but washed out (pun intended –––) in this new release of what’s old and original – the Watchman who observes. She observes. Is the Watchman a judger? Is the Watchman a notator. Is the Watchman a Judas? Is the Watchman a savior? It this Watchman a reporter to offer us the change gazing in the shiny looking glass to see what we will see? Are we the Watchman?


This author is a woman. She is a daughter born in the south in an era wrought with injustice long held strong by the male dominated domain called This World. Bigger, broader than the South but, colloquial or global, tyranny of all sorts breeds its poisons and engenders its mutants – malformed, aberrant to create something new and beneficial or, torturing and evil all depending on that unique thing called free-will and the strength there of.

SHE wrote this book. This pair – two sides of the same coin. SHE wrote this dueling effort that flanks her past and future as she stands in the center gazing from her perspective in adulthood turning back to her fears, confusions and will to survive her own childhood as she saw other humans NOT survive.

SHE gazes forward to her future by looking at the man who helped make her:  her father. The man whom she idolized as a god, a man who she feared and loathed as she discovered his fallibility and inability to be the hero of her own dreams. A man whose hand bound others and broke them.

Is the dominator always the one who wins? Can he change? Can he open to humility?

PART IV:  To Grow Up or Not to Grow Up / To Speak or Not To Speak

Reckoning ones own flaws is something we all must do to grow up and move on in life fulfilling the destinies toward which our hearts and souls propel us. As we do this, we inevitably face the perceptions and misperceptions of the humanity of our parents.

Because of their imperfections, we may blame for our own or, we may see them, react and grow with awareness and acceptance using it all for fodder in addition to inspiration for the fulfillment of our own lives. Its up to us from moment to moment.

This, to me, is the purpose of Watchman. Though there are many levels, of course, this is one of them.

And, another, to ultimately – simultaneously – call out the horrors of the inhumanity of humanity. Racism is but one. One that has fueled the greatest of crimes. These crimes honed rich and passed on and on until we cannot live in denial and as a product of the sickness of brainwashing whether our own hand is used or we turn away from the truth.

“Don’t Turn Away” this book says, to me. “Don’t turn away.”

Harper Lee says, “Look, now. Look!”

“Look deeper! Take a second look! I cannot die without this truth of mine that is yours being seen… heard.”


“Listen to me, my story that is YOUR story! This is OUR story!”

“Listen, finally.”

“We must.”

“I cannot die without trying. I cannot die without you listening.”

“Please, listen….”

“Please listen to my story. Please listen to me!”

“Please listen to your story. Please listen to you.”

“Please listen to each of you!”

PART V:  To Save or To Kill

Racism which burns at the very soul of those who suffered for millennia to etch fear into those who remain… to sear powerlessness into the fabric of consciousness like a psychic branding more effective than any chains or iron bars could be.

My prayer is that “Go Set A Watchman” is an ever deeper eye–opener to the truth of our dualistic nature of goodness/greatness/heroism and selfish/small–minded/cruelty/vile violence–beyond–belief that lies in the potential of the human psyche.

What group mentality can engender in those whom we like to see as good. But, turn the corner and what do they do when you are not looking? What power/dominion/dominance/control do “they” still hold over those they see as their progeny?

Is slavery of a race any different from slavery of women? Slavery of children? Slavery of all kinds? Slavery of other? Slavery of ourselves?

Our desperate need to control?

“SPEAK OUT” is what Watchman is SAYING.

Harper Lee is speaking out.

And, THIS is why she was “rejected”. SHE was rejected. HER voice. HER words. HER perspective. HER ORIGINAL STORY was disallowed. HER true story.

I believe Watchman is a true story. It is what she intended to share. It is personal. Deeply personal. It is her perspective on the environment she grew up in. The contradiction of life and of death. The POWER TO SAVE and the POWER TO KILL.

The contradiction of a man saving her life and a man killed out of racism. The contradiction of a man who raised her and a man who dominated others. A contradiction of black and of white. The contradiction of men vs. woman, children vs. adults, humans vs. all others.

Of witnessing the human fight over what is yours and mine. Of what is perceived as pure and impure. Over what is bigotry and hatred, and fear and reprisal, and shame and guilt, and a cycle that cannot free itself without being seen for what it is and then for what it isn’t and then… for what it is again… What it really is… What we all really are….

And this is how the book ends…. opening us, the reader, again, as we were before, but in a new way, to a deeper truth, to look within… to really see. And, hopefully, prayerfully, beggingly and, so too, it is a detached offering, part hopeless, despondent at this point and containing that grain of faith, planting that seed, yet again – This is the hope of all writers, isn’t it? – that, perhaps, we are to really, really change, finally.  We have this opportunity.

What will we choose now?


Sarah West is a composer & presenter of Celestial Mystical Opera and has performed and taught throughout the world for over 15 years. She has 9 CD’s available and numerous transformational books including her newest release, the 15 Year Anniversary Edition of “The Search for the Beloved”.

inspiration, poems

Grace Ushering Out from the Deep Deafening Darkness

Grace ushering out from the deep deafening darkness
overtakes the awkward wayward organ of hopelessness

Demise in his eyes
he rose
unmet by full remorse
they couldn’t stop him
he went on anyway
finding so many reasons to abandon the mystic ship
but no one said to
no one said to turn a corner on the truth
no one suggested to keep the rudder to the port of fear

Its what they want
its what they need
to be right
but is it the only choice?
i don’t think so
i trying to recommend other things to him
he’s listening
turning the starboard way

Life is showing better – good things
life is increasing its dosage
thank goodness
he can’t compete with the evils in the world
he can’t stand up to darkness
there’s no use trying when all the world’s black veil hinders all sight in the first place

So, come, my friend, wake in the dark of night to the light of day
and enjoy what’s beneath your breath
they can’t take that away from you
as much as they’ve tried, they can’t

Just breathe and turn toward your heart that your soul imbibes
you are freedom’s name
you are future’s remnant’s that tear across the sky stripped of the night by stardust’s glory ride

Come, be yourself
come, emblazon your name on mine
come, rest in the rejoicing of ecstatic living for today is now alive in you

For today is now love in you
for today is now forever more fulfilling than in any other choice

Come, be you with me
and I’ll see you too

As I see me
above and

I am
you are




© 2014 sarah west • 10:30 pm Tuesday August 26th 2014

Pure Prosperity - Healing Mandalas by Sarah West
Pure Prosperity – Healing Mandalas by Sarah West
Healing Our Consciousness, World Politics

Healing the Victim / Tyrant Within

cartoon karl

Joseph Hugh O’Brien: “a lie is a lie no matter how many times it is repeated …”

My response to Joseph & the above cartoon:


The only thing about the lie, though, still a “lie” – is its one that people BELIEVE….when repeated enough. Sold enough. And, bought enough!

its hard not to feel hopeless…

Spin Doctors who’ve sold their Soul to the “Devil” – to whatever you wanna call it, so to speak – WHAT do we DO about it???

My heart is breaking RIGHT NOW!!!

I’m living AMIDST these Spin Doctors…I’m living amidst serious betrayal of justice… I’m living amidst the ones being slowly murdered by real liars / heroes of the dark side…

What do I do? What do any of us do?

There are many days I can’t go on… Somehow, I do…

I watch them murder, cut and burn their victims…

What do I do?

I am afraid of them. I have spoken up sought help everywhere… still seek help… all to NO AVAIL.

The “Helpers” are crooked too. They are parasites of the broken and seek only checks to accommodate their gluttonous appetite for their bulging pocketbooks and swollen mouths. They may be trying to compensate for “smaller things”; they might, in fact, be spurned by their self-righteous and uncheckable, unaccountable, perpetual hard-ons, turned on by their freeway as untouchable users – for taking whatever they want as the go-betweens of Hell and Heaven forever keeping the Space Between Injustice and Justice ne’re’d the twain shall be met….

Lawyers, yes, lawyers… the in between Evils who win at every turn. The only ones never to go to JAIL themselves for THEIR crimes! Having permanent protection in the ultimate system no matter their deceit against the “rights” of humanity much less the morals of Life itself. They think they are safe amidst the thievery and high-jacking of people’s lives to be the permanent go-between’s and who always get off scot-free no matter their client’s (clients’) and seeming foe’s fate. Their fate, they think, is always secure. They never really have opponents. For one minute each lawyer stands opposite and another moment, they stand together.

Who stands for the raped?

Who stands for the elderly?

Who stands for the children who carry guns to pay for school?

Who stands for the children held at gun point to hold others at gun point? Paid missionaries and now under 10 years old. And, enslaved missionaries, too, are now under 10 years old?

How do we EVER stop this?

How do we EVER stop these maddening Madness?

Because even if we do, if “we” ever “do” anything, there is always another birth… another child, to be born, somewhere… abandoned by his mother, rejected by her father, who lays waste the whole of humanity when they rise to adulthood to avenge the unhealed nature of their avoided, denied real torment…..

What now?

We keep healing ourselves…

We keep healing our own disowned selves…

We keep healing our own tragedies… our own maladies… if we can… if we have the mind to… if we have the prescience of our own shadow’s effects and conceive, by Grace, or, by the sweat and blood of pure-heart, fierce intention, to wake up and Evolve, Heal our wounds hell bent on destruction at any cost for the rewards of any amount, raping a child, a woman, a man, a college student, a grandmother…, poisoning our earth as the CEO’s of corporations of the world, drivers of logging machines and owners of logging companies alike who destroy the rainforest to plant soy and “grow” cattle…,



     “Yes, I could be a Hilter. Yes, I want to be a Hilter.”

     “But, I want to stop.”

“I want to get off this megalomania and heal my unconscious pain and not take another victim but Heal the Victim Within.”

“I want to awaken out of my own sickness – whatever it may be –
and recover my Soul, integrate my sick selves and find wholeness instead of carry out another human holocaust only to die in the end as all good evil doers do.”


We – as a race – might survive, not just to survive for the benefit of our Narcissistic, self-preserving egos along with our motivations for our natural, genetically built-in desire to thrive as well as our Awake, Aware Soul Conscience / Consciousness which seeks/Loves the GOOD FOR ALL!

Is this even POSSIBLE? Like, collectively?

This AWARENESS of our SHADOW Unconscious Consciousness is our ONLY hope!!

Let’s take heart, TOGETHER, and support – not CONDEMN – one another to OWN OUR SHADOWS!

Let us TAKE OWNERSHIP & HEAL, together!

Its the ONLY HOPE for this world!

We cannot continue to say, only, “The BAD GUY is OUT THERE!”

Its simply just not true.

You, We want someone to own some shit, own their shit, own yours, own ours, own mine!

Plus, we cannot FIND all the “BAD!”

BUT, we CAN ALWAYS find OURSELVES & GO WITHIN to HEAL what appears outside…

Can we now teach our children by showing, demonstrating self-awareness of our Shadow self?

Can we demonstrate to one another, stranger, friend and foe alike, that we see our Unconscious aspects? That we are looking within to heal and transform and integrate the disparate, disowned, traumatized parts? That we seek/choose healing?

This is our Hope.

Yes, we still call the external world on its dark side. We still call a Spade A Spade. A rapist a rapist – though for millennia no one seemed to care who could stop them but that’s another story….

We can still write the tale of overturned wills, shackled by Greed Gone Wild, Jealously Gone Berserk and Control Gone Outta Control to expose the fiendishly forlorn folks.

Public shaming is ancient of correction. Though does it really work on the clinically insane? Are they retrievable? Retractable?

That is the question. This is the million dollar 7 Billion People Question.

Is Humanity able to change/evolve – in time – to save our world from destruction of all kinds?

The earth will go but humans… extinction is a Very Real Reality Show Episode coming to our nearest and dearest TV stations called Before Our Very Own Eyes.

With 50% of creatures already extinct just in the last 100 years?!

We justify poisoning our very resources for LIFE at every turn: Nuclear Power Plants & Pretty little Nuclear Bombs housed with shiny nice red buttons that are our most attractive color making us say, “Yes, yes, yes… I wahn eeet! (drooling now) Yes, yes, YES, I wahn eeett NOW!”

How do we abstain from the sex appeal of the Shiny Red Button… of Destruction?????


When everything in our brains, says, “YES! Go toward the RED Target!”

Can we help ourselves?

Can we even help ourselves?

This is the question.

.:. But Maya Angelou “Say simply, very, very simply:
With Hope, Good Morning”.:.

.::::: I say, “Yes… Please keep inspiring us from the Beyond the Beyond….” ::::::.

PS Thank you,
Suzette Sommer for posting this cartoon & starting this thread & for all your awesome threads!! ❤

Cultural Norms, Healing Our Consciousness, Rape

A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA & How Are We To Be Outspoken & Empowered

Illustration by John Ritter
Illustration by John Ritter

I am posting my response to a quote on my Facebook page commenting on the now infamous article published November 19th, 2014, in Rolling Stone Magazine by Sabrina Rubin Erdely entitled “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA.”

I wrote it before I actually read Sabrina’s Rolling Stone article. I knew what the article was about because I know what’s going on at UVA in regards to search for Hannah Graham, the missing UVA student, now found and a known victim of a brutal rape and murder and other related murders by the same suspect.

Also, particularly, because I am from Virginia and am now living in Virginia. I frequently am in Charlottesville and the recent tragic rape and murder of a young female UVA student has been all over the media here lately.

The cult of silence around all victims that the schools encourage through subtle and not so subtle means. And, the article culminates in the most current news that went national maybe even international. (I read the entire Rolling Stone article after I wrote the following)

This article Rolling Stone article by Sabrina Rubin Erdely is for EVERYONE. We ALL read this in its ENTIRETY…. Down to the very last word… and share it… with everybody… its a matter of life and death and a matter of everything in between… for all of us….

To read the Rolling Stone Article, A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA, click here.

An outspoken, empowered human being @Stargatez posted the above article on FB tonight with the words:

“If we just loved one another and acted with kindness and compassion and true “finesse” things like this wouldn’t happen! Respect one another and you gain respect, conduct the opposite, you reap what you sow…”

           The above 2 sentence quote was written in the comment area above the article.

The Inconsolable Effects of Rape
The Inconsolable Effects of Rape

Here’s my reply:

Sarah West Let’s see… we’re a Consciousness that is raised on the perpetual abuse of Coyote and Roadrunner and Square Bob Sponge Pants and other abuse demonstrated in supposed comedy – and tragedy – scenarios fed to children – and adults (sorry, i’m simplifying. I’m writing this on my cell phone keypad with my thumbs… inspires brevity, assumes YOU KNOW what I mean … when I don’t furnish what seems obvious to me… plus, its past 5 am and I still haven’t gone to sleep so… )  – of all ages in film and TV all our lives if we watch film and TV… we listen to dialog of people around us i.e. parents etc. Who express their dissatisfaction and dominance simultaneously all the while pretending its love through sarcasm.

We’ve grown up with domestic violence and no one is aloud to speak about it. The shame of outing the abuser is so strong that we don’t even let ourselves KNOW that label applies to us – as in that the label “domestic violence” describes the environment that we, ourselves, grew up in.

Who in their mind has said, “Oh, that’s awful. Its so tragic what people are raised in. Yes, I grew up with difficult things… but, when does it dawn on us, when does the tyranny of force-fed denial and keeping the secret “or else” come tumbling down crashing in on us that – we, too, lived, were raised with what is termed “domestic violence”.

Yes, many have but no matter the numbers, no matter the normalcy, it still leaves a scare – a SCAR! Typo was unconscious. Not surprised those words are so close…


We’ve heard the words all our lives and – suddenly, it clicks – the words are like a gun cocking that we heard so many times and now we know those words aren’t just for others, but for us, too….


Why do some who are victims of abuse become abusers and why do others become healers & advocates for transformation? Why do some effort to grow and evolve and see our faults and see help, educate ourselves and change and others continue the abuse through denial and multiple-personality traits of coping and worse yet, become psychopaths, megalomaniacs and sociopaths?

Why do some choose compassion and others choose violence and perpetuate their pain by punishing others?


I’ve seen all my life since I could first see and hear, the terror in the hearts of those who choose to abuse others instead of have understanding of themselves and others.

I’ve witnessed violence since I could first hear that tore at the fabric of psyches which did not make it thru the battleground unscathed or at all. They became more and more tormented until they self-destructed.

Why do some terrorists make it and some don’t?

Why do some abusers seem to thrive and continue to abuse while their victims wait in vain for them to awaken and then die or painfully continue to acquiesce only to protest in silence or at least out of fear of the terrifying tyrant.

How bullies and terrifying tyrants control their victims through long term programing…. is a wild thing to witness… whether in another or  within oneself….

Soooooo, the question is:

HOW DO WE STAND UP FOR OURSELVES, each other, Mother Earth, our water, innocent animals going extinct, tribes going extinct, air quality now labeled poison i.e. China’s biggest cities, the earth fracked to death, stealing water from aquifers for coal mining, molybdenum mining etc…. moving in on people’s land, killing them by any means, and Taking over…

I mean, we don’t exactly have it in our jeans, or genes, to be compassionate, altruistic much if the time… because if we DID, why the Heaven AREN’T we????

PS I’m sooooo grateful this reality of RAPE CULTURE is coming out…. being exposed at UVA.

Rape has been rampant in campuses (anywhere, everywhere since I don’t know when the first case of rape in creatures was… but, there certainly has been complicit agreement to let it continue all over this world) since campuses began….

And now, just now, after all the victims over so many years who spoke out and who didn’t speak out… the number of voices are making ‘the system’ listen… finally…. it’s a new time…

Perhaps, some tides are actually changing.

The day RAPE is addressed and dealt with as it should, is the day EVERYTHING changes…

For this behavior of “RAPE and ESCAPE”, as I call it, is the same in all these other areas of life… I grew up witnessing rape…

I swore two things when I was 11.

One of them them was I swore I would never get married. I saw marriage as legalized prostitution and a man’s ownership and right to abuse a woman. I wanted no part of that system. Sadly, it’s an interesting journey to take back a vow but that’s another story…

How complicit are all or us, are any of us, who witness RAPE on any level and of any kind? At what age are we accountable to our fellow humans, our fellow creatures, our fellow creation?

How do we even stop the abuse when we have been so trained to be complicit? Really?

We can’t even SEE ourselves? We can’t even HEAR our own pain?


Where, when do we have compassion for oursleves?

That’s where it begins. If we have not it there, here. If we have no compassion for ourselves – if we have no experience with how to give ourselves compassion…. then, we cannot GIVE it to anyone else!!

We cannot!

It is the double bind of well-planned psychosis for the masses
to be bit by an instinct that is not born out of survival
but turned and twisted and connived in on itself
to never fully thrive, to never fully fly,
and to make darn sure no one else does.

Is there ever justice?

Like in the movie Erin Brokovich?

What about all those that already died? There was no justice.

What about all the firemen who went in to the towers to save people, and now, those that lived can’t breath… or pay for their “drugs” prescribed by the allopathy…

Or, Native People’s who’ve been slowly murdered by interlopers who want the land to breed cows and soybeans to feed the overpopulated world no matter what the consequences to the lungs of our earth and the people who’ve lived their for forever….

So, RAPE is an institution. It is a status quo like cowboy hats in the south, like big hair in Texas and tinsel in tinsel town.

And, greed in lawyers… my brain isn’t smart enough right now to say another analogy… you’ve got a smarter one… (its now after 6 am and I’m brief on what’s obvious to me cuz I’m tired and still compelled to express this…)

RAPE isn’t going anywhere as long as we have a closed door, a forest, a curtain AND more precisely:

“It” – RAPE – can happen RIGHT IN FRONT OF US and we will do nothing!


If we doubt, just think… just let our mind wonder… in the privacy OF one’s own mind, choose honesty, and then, SEE… see what you SEE….

It will come to us…

ALL the things that we have seen and DENIED…. all the things that we have HEARD and silenced… any rebuttal…

All the things that we have been SOLD as TRUTH that we BOUGHT without remorse that were, ARE LIES and perpetuate the abusers liberations and lacerations.

JUST to maintain our own STATUS QUO within… and without.

… To not shake up the rattling cage too much to waking the sleeping giant who will one day have enough and will rage like Kali at the lies we’ve all lived as the earth goes on without the humans any longer lying their way into eternity’s safe bosom.

© 2014 Sarah West

For more, Visit:

For a PEACEFUL experience 24/7, ENJOY:

Sarah West Music – Celestial Healing Music

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

The above is an article I just finished writing….

PS i think this is a good Thanksgiving article if there ever was/is one come to think of it.It might seem odd at first but really, who can’t relate to the topic?

Who on this earth isn’t connected, touched by this topic. This is the perfect topic for us because in order to change our reality, we have to be aware of it and share together what our concerns are and experience has been.

We have to come out of the proverbial closet and speak, share, emote, effulge, effervesce, unfurl and bond through the unity of our shared experiences, hidden or out in the open, to connect and experience the one true desire we all have: true intimacy. And, that’s worth having Thanksgiving for!

For instance, as a human in this wild world full of contradictions, trials and tribulations, difficult childhoods to say the least – God bless those of you who don’t know what I mean!!
I mean, if I can wrap my conditioned afraid consciousness so bullied and blind as to walk sheepishly and huddled as close to the tar pit as possible to one day CHANGE and WAKE out of my denial-stupr and welll-trained victim consciousness, I’d be the most grateful soul on (h)eart(h)… along with the rest of those who’ve woken from fear.

Which, who isn’t?


Who isn’t paralyzed by fear?

Of something?

In some manner?

Of course, that’s not all any of us are, hopefully, but we each carry some level of fear.. some level of devive that we have to hurl ourselves away from, integrate, grow through, learn from and learn to live with, understand and, hopefully, “transform”.

Don’t we all need to wake up, rise up, empower ourselves to speak our minds more often, more clearly, more honestly?

My article I just wrote: finished editing it just now… wrote it tonight on my cell phone!


I’d LOVE your opinion if I should post this directly on my blog on my webiste or if i should keep this kind of thing separate:
I am torn… do I connect these parts of me or keep it segregated as to not ruffle the scared feathers of somebody?? i dunno…. i dunnoooo… mix politics with “peace”? 
To me, its all the same. But, I’ve had people tell me not to mix them and yet it is all sides of myself… The human and the … what shall we call it? The part that’s not a “part”.
The part that’s not subject to the whims of this earth. The part that’s illuminated by the fragrance of eternity. The part that hums the hymn of Timelessness…. 
So, we all have the “human” and the “divine” so to speak… The human: the frail, imperfect, riddled as a yo-yo, a see-saw, driven by duality, addicted to polarity, existing because of fragmentation… and so… there we have it: 
Can we MIX the two that are really two at all? That are just reflections of the prism separated as a rainbow or the light unified and integrated to be itself as white light. 
The colors on the palate splayed out for an artist to create her masterpiece or them all squished together in a great soup of blackness rich and infinite: The Happy All Encompassing Blissful Void!
i don’t know? Can I? Will it ruin something? I don’t know.. 
I’d love your opinion of the article and about reposting directly on
giant hugs to you n HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!
LOVE from thekla n moi!!!
sarah n thekla at thai ginger cary town jul 2014
Sarah and Thekla West • Sarah West • Composer, Performer • Celestial Mystical Opera, Psychic Healer
inspiration, poems

Fly Free!

In order for the soul to be free, it has to let go…
to abandon the goal…
to reach and relax…

and disappear within the world of opening…
to step from the branch which is clung to…
to rise with the wind….

to be carried by simplicity…
joy everlasting…
and full… love itself incarnate…
passion buoyed up by sheer ecstasy for life….

welcome to the timeless state…
harken back to nothingness…
spread your wings…

and FLY!

© Sarah West 2013 Sept 14

Visit: Prayer

ancient history, Art Reviews, photography, Reviews

Life On Earth


: Opening of “This Heavy Veil” exhibition of Photographs by William Wylie at Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, Virginia :

Thank you, William, for your inspiring talk on your profound work of photographs of Pompeii, Italy, and for sharing your adventure in creating your work shown currently at the Page Bond Gallery.

Your story of how you felt when you received a call out-of-the blue from Yale University offering you a creative paid stint in southern Italy  seems almost as epic as the volcanic eruption which made Pompeii famous. You honor the passion of your project and the lasting weight of effect by the eponymous expression of your exhibit’s title: “This Heavy Veil”.

I’m still stunned by the visual feast and the heart within each piece that carries you back and back and back again into the past where I still, even in this moment so many hours later, feel like I’ve entered a mirrored chamber being infinitely layered through time and space like the perfectly spaced wrought iron bars in your video expressing the passage of perfect time that goes on and on and on past the frame of the TV screen.

There’s a presence there, in your work, that carries you into time like you have a scroll bar with which to travel, not just seeing an ancient object, a stone edifice erected millenniums ago withstanding the aeons of strife and who knows how many renaissances before “The Heavy Veil” hit hard and long, but your images also are a corridor to see through into the past and the future.

I can still see your still images and the one film, emanating a moving story that continues to play in such silence, such reverence, in black and white in my mind’s eye even now:

We humans have and will ever come and go so quickly as grains of sand, worn from our looming mountains, passing through the doors of our creations again and again till we rest and pass on the keys to life to the next ones, over and over again… infinitely – till something stops. Till something stops it. It – Life. The cycle of life – The veil drops to change the course. The stopping of time in its place and bringing space into a forever place. That is Pompeii.

You give testimony to history; you are a record keeper of ancient architecture by humans or by Creator. Chronicling a still standing, regal Greek column or the exquisitely variegated colors of nature’s building blocks, fallen, left solo, like an altar to the Gods and Goddesses at Stonehenge. The elements dismantle the walls of ancient homes to reveal a mythical tree, a sacred spring, a yonic shrine created collaboratively with mother nature, time & humanity.

Those fierce monuments forged by 1000’s of heated hearts extending their efforting hand to place the molded bricks and chiseled stones continue to stand long past our fleshy existence.

Stone lasts longer… though not forever either;  rubble, too, all things, eventually, whether its a giant rock formed by molten lava or that human made construction to glorify oration, games and battles for sport, transition into smaller and smaller bits of existence.

You honor the earth; while at the same time, you respect the art of the humanity that makes the edifices from the Earth. A grain of dirt, seen so exquisitely through your 8 x 10 Deardorff camera, and a monument are equally glorious.

We see the bones of those honored arches, tiered glory striated by 3 shadows – horizontal juxtapositions of aliveness – trees! What a visual revelation!

The foreground is as much as a monument as the amphitheater itself. I found such tender harmony in the equipoise in the Amphitheater of Pompeii. The vast earthen passageway striated by shadowed stepping-stones carry the viewer into the grand finale, the triumphant architecture. I’m still haunted, in a good way by a trinity of sheer splendor!

The precious bits of straw, plant debri scattered along the ocean of dirt leading up to those epic arches speak volumes from a  time of vitality through the times since its ever increasing skeletal slumber.

The tens of 1000’s of days that have gone by with feet of every size and color, trodding along that vast expanse to and from that monument, during its aliveness so long ago and, up to its tourist’s revival:  those rushing past it to go where?

I can’t help but ask: “And, now where?”

“Where are we to go now?”

“With the triumphs and troubles we see and feel, where do we go?”

Where do we place our attention, our skills, our energy for construction, our energy for art, for poetry, for discourse, for oration, for relationship with one and with the world? With our neighbors and with other countries? With intellectual resources and with nature’s resources?

Where are we going?

What still stands in our future?

What dance will we do with mother nature for which we can be responsible?

Thank you, William Wylie, for carrying us back through time and into the Present to be more present. Thank you for showing us the past in such a quiet reveal to show us the future. Thank you for showing us nature’s magnificence through the beauty of the setting sun and through entropy on matter itself. Thank you for blending Grace with transformation and demise and rebirth again and again and again…

Perspective is everything:

Is the grandness in our creation as we feel so small standing at the gates of our stone amphitheaters;  on the other hand, do we feel so great that we created it. Or, do we stand in awe of nature’s wielding powers and live beneath a volcano protected by her and also at the foot of her potential to decimate?

Life on Earth.

Change is constant : Our companion in this mysterious thing called Life.

© 2013 Sarah West

October 4, 2013 | Opening of This Heavy Veil exhibition at Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA   (Oct 4 – Oct 30, 2013)







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