Lullaby to Freedom

ChinaValley ponies

Who am I?

I am you looking back at me.

We-loo, we-loo yu-a.

Who are you?

You are me

 looking back at you.

We-loo, we-loo, yu-a

Who are we?

We are a mirror.

We-loo, we-loo, yu-a

Who is the mirror?

The mirror is illusion.

We-loo, we-loo, yu-a.

Who is the illusion?

The illusion is nothing.

We-loo, we-loo, yu-a.


copyright © 2013 Martha Fawcett

Crossing Borders: Fear Verses Community

Our world has changed since 1968. In the mad rush of technical advancements we easily forget that freedom once was a state of mind, the ability to move from place to place without suspicion in our hearts. Freedom is confidence in our innate right to explore and communicate with others. If we listen to those who profit from the dissemination of fear, we will become fear itself. Freedom cannot exist within the armor of fear. 

In 1968, crossing into Mexico through Big Bend National Park in Texas was a simple affair. Visitors to the park drove down a hard-packed dirt road where a man awaited with his rowboat. On the side of the boat were painted the words, “La Poderosa,Turistas Bien Vendidoes a Mexico.” For a few coins the man would row the visitor across the Rio Grande. On the Mexican side was a small village called Santa Elena where visitors could walk around and visit a tiny Mexican general store. When finished, the man would row visitors back across the river.


Hands like oarlocks, arms cables of steel...

Hands like oarlocks, arms cables of steel…


On the side of the boat it said, "La Poderosa, turistas bien vendidoes a Mexico."

On the side of the boat it said, “La Poderosa, turistas bien vendidoes a Mexico.”

This is what a visit to Big Bend National Park entail in 2013:

This following message is on the website of the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, regarding Big Bend National Park.

Big Bend National Park shares the border with Mexico for 118 miles, and therefore can be a chance to learn about our neighbors to the south, and preserve the larger Big Bend ecosystem together. Being on the border, however, does come with its own challenges and concerns.

Occasional drug smuggling and border crossings occur within the park. If you see anything that looks illegal, suspicious, or out of place, please do not stop or intervene, but note the location, and call 911 or report it to a ranger as quickly as possible.

Be Aware, Be Safe

  • Remember that cell phone service is very limited.
  • Do not pick up hitch-hikers.
  • Keep valuables (including spare change) out of sight, and lock your vehicle.
  • Use common sense, especially in remote areas.
  • People in distress may ask for food, water, or other assistance. It is recommended that you do not make contact with them, but note the location, and immediately notify Park Rangers. Lack of water is a life-threatening emergency in the desert.
  • Report any suspicious behavior to park staff or Border Patrol.

Border Merchants

Mexican Nationals have approached visitors to sell souvenir items such as walking sticks, bracelets, and Mexican crafts. If you purchase their items or make a donation, you are encouraging them to cross the river, which may result in their arrest and deportation through Presidio (100 miles away). Additionally, they may be fined or incarcerated.

Items purchased are considered contraband and can be seized by officers. Rocks, minerals, archaeological items, etc. cannot be purchased, imported, or possessed in the national park.

In addition, illegal trade damages natural resources, including the creation of social trails, cutting of river cane, erosion of river banks, and an increased amount of garbage along the Rio Grande. Supporting this illegal activity contributes to continued damage.

You may legally purchase crafts made in Boquillas, Mexico, at camp stores in the park. These items are purchased directly from Mexican artisans and are processed through a legal Port of Entry before being brought to the park. All wholesale proceeds go to the artisans.

Border Patrol Checkpoints

Checkpoints operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection are located on all north/south highways leading from the Big Bend area, and are staffed at all times. Each vehicle traveling north is stopped at one of these checkpoints for a visual inspection and brief questions by a Border Patrol agent. This process is routine.

Foreign nationals planning to visit Big Bend should carry the appropriate documentation to avoid unnecessary delays, as Border Patrol agents are required to determine the immigration status of every traveler.


Any questions?

Leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.


copyright © 2014 Martha Fawcett


Winged Victory: Paris

Winged Victory, Louvre, Paris3I did not seek out Winged Victory,
she reached out and took me in me.
Waiting for me in that stone room
at the top of the stairs,
her envoy and I became one.

Only after that December night did she reveal her true glory.
I saw her as needles of light, peeking out between two sharp mountain-peaks.
In one hand she held a green-speckled apple and in the other a radiant star.
Mornings, she would drop yellow sunlight upon my tabletops.
Afternoons, I held her cup of rose-infused tea.
Toward evening, I’d glimpse her skirting the kitchen floor with a breadcrumb in her mouth (food for the hive).
One apocalyptic midnight, she draped along a dank gutter
showing me that she was pregnant in those who turned away.

For years, she flirted with me behind this self-embroidered veil
Flowing and ebbing into the quiet sanctuaries of my mind.
Now, through nights as thick and dark as heartwood
I see her cushioned upon an ocean of her own tears.
Ancient hair, like wisdom, is a steady flame around her face.
Last night, I saw her clearly again when her doves flushed and scattered.
White wings opened as she rose from her pedestal and took flight around the world in humble prayer.

copyright © 2013 Martha Fawcett

The Psychic Mirrors of Sheesh Mahal

Amber, Rajastan, India: The Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Glass), considered to be one of the world’s best Chambers of Mirrors. Built by King Man Singh Ji in the 16th Century for his queen.

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The queen loved the stars by was not allowed to sleep outside at night, so the king directed his architects to create a chamber for her that would mimic the nighttime sky. They say that the light of only two candles will reflect and magnify in this chamber until it is drowning in the light of a thousands stars.

ceiling 03

 I marvel over the millions of people who must have gazed into those thousands of tiny mirrors since the 16th Century. The mirrors seemed like sirens, peddling their visions to any random passerby. “Come see!” they each beckoned. “Tell us what you see of yourself in me.”

That night, I experienced a vivid dream. The dream spirits exercised their sense of humor with me, in more ways than one. They toyed with my silly vanity. They mocked me and remind me that I still am The Fool who enjoyed the easy path.

Sheel Mahal

The dream opens and I’m standing on a balcony at the Sheesh Mahal. I look through the viewfinder of my camera, trying to focus the lens on the monkeys swinging from tree limb to tree limb. I hear music drifting out of the jungle and stop what I’m doing and look at the scene directly for the first time. It’s organic and now I smell the earth and vegetation. The scene is a breathtaking sight of vivid jungle greens, scarlet flowers, and happy creatures. I never question the incongruity that the Steve Miller Band is singing, The Window, somewhere out there in the jungle among the frolicking animals.


Ask my baby what she wants to be.
She’ll say a monkey swinging in a tree.
Ask my baby what she thinking of,
She’ll say there’s nothing greater than love.

Look through the window.
Tell me what do you see?
A beautiful planet, peace and harmony . . ..

Another person stops for a moment and tells me that it is time to move on. I’m not ready, I think. I remember that I left some personal belongings behind in the hotel room but now it’s too late to retrieve them.

I now go inside to the Chamber of Mirrors for the express purpose to have a look at my face.  I feel tired and think, I probably look terrible. However, when I look in the mirror, I see that I look better than I’ve ever looked before. Then something starts happening to me as  I gaze in the mirror. In the mirror,  I see a tiny white light in the center of my forehead.  As I watch the light, it grows brighter until it obliterates my physical face, but I can still see the light is starting to extend down my body, like a sword. When it reaches my feet, it flashes outward until it consumes me.

The following day I leave for Jaipur and discover I have forgotten my magnifying mirror in the hotel in Amber. Now I can no longer look at myself closely or put on my eye makeup. Instead, my attention goes outward where my empathy is put to the test.

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copyright © 2013 Martha Fawcett