Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Blazing Star

     Apartment 10 appears nondescript on the outside, but when you step through the door, you smell incense and see paintings on the walls of gods and angels. 

                                                    Open a different door.

The apartment is deeper than you thought, with ten rooms, each with a different color scheme, and each displaying different archetypal symbols. 

                                        Take a different path.

You wander into a room that has a blue color scheme, a painting of an opulent king on a golden throne, and a table with a brilliant white tablecloth, on which is set out a golden plate and chalice, with a golden, equal-armed cross standing in the center. 

                             Open a closet door.

You suddenly feel magnificent, full of harmony and abundance, but then you also begin to develop a sense of superiority. You move to the room across from it and discover a red color scheme, with a painting of a fierce warrior king in a chariot and weapons everywhere, a fire raging in a pit in the center of the room. 

                Open a window.

Suddenly you feel strong, unafraid, full of energy, ready to take on any problem, any foe, but then you become overpowered by cruel, destructive thoughts. 

                                       Take a different path.

Each room, you discover, contains a different subtle energy represented by the images and symbols, and each subtle energy has a positive and negative pole. The longer you stay in a room, the more the subtle forces influence you, and the more you feel the need to discipline your mind. 

                                                        Open a different door.

The key is remaining balanced. Once you have achieved balance in all of the rooms, you finally reach the inner sanctum, where you are impressed by an overwhelming sense of power and eternity. Your personality vanishes: You become a point of pure consciousness, blazing with the invisible light of negative existence.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Tiger Lily

     When you step into the room, you notice a poster of a flower, but you can’t remember the flower’s name.  People who have known each other for years are playing cards at the kitchen table, but they don’t remember anything about each other. 

                                               Open a door.

Suddenly one of them blurts out that her husband had affairs with other women, but she can’t provide any proof. Another woman keeps offering you some ice cream even though you keep telling her that you are allergic to milk.  

                                                          Open a window.

One of them keeps saying that she is waiting for her husband--who died ten years ago. Another claims that the pain in his knee is from a work injury, but you know that he has had arthritis in his knee for at least twenty years. 

                              Open a different door.

Suddenly you are having trouble remembering the names of their children and their children’s children, your memories beginning to slide into oblivion along with all the beliefs and feelings and desires that you once considered so important, yet as gaze at your cards, beginning to panic, you notice the others are mumbling or humming or chirping happily as if something remains even when memory is gone.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Ancient Path

     After many years of hard work, one day you fill the hot air balloons connected to your room and gently lift away from all the other rooms in the city. 

                                                      Find a ladder back down.

Exhilarated by the view, you glide over the valley, a vast quilt of farms with packing sheds and processing plants and towns that develop around each nucleus of malls, fast food restaurants, box stores, and gas stations. 

                                             Open a closet door.

You glide over to the foothills, some regions of which still appear natural. You glimpse a network of trails preserved by cattle, and you amuse yourself by trying to map the paths, realizing that they must form an ancient web connecting Native American village sites all over the range, but the trails keep vanishing in the grass. 

                               Find a different path.

You go higher above the smog and notice all the cultivated and urbanized land where wetlands and lakes used to be, the dams on every river, the clear-cut forests and strip mines. 

                   Open a window.

You go even higher where the oxygen grows thin and see a huge fault and the opening of a volcano, the ocean in the distance. 

        Open a closet door.

Every now and then you hear jets and explosions, and you wonder how high you need to go to escape the wars and ecocides and disasters as, breathing through an oxygen mask, you approach the cold blanket of outer space.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013



     Room 228 contains a model of an amusement park where people watch endless variations of every imaginable entertainment. Crowds of visitors gawk at action heroes who battle with villains while, nearby, gourmet chefs reveal unusual dishes and dinosaurs drink from a pond. Vampires, werewolves and zombies are caught in various stages of descending upon their victims while singers compete with each other, the audience poised to vote. Wrestlers twist and turn into bizarre positions, their muscles straining and rippling while beautiful entertainers nearby have sex in unusual positions. Dead bodies wait for detectives, and the mafia is taking over as aliens and time travelers suddenly appear or disappear. At the edges of the park are battles and mass graves and concentration camps and people starving, which some watch in horror or curiosity or secret amusement. Tired of the murders and corruption, a few wander off alone, perhaps wondering if this is really their life while, here and there, a few people are staring at them.

Room 228 contains four other doors.  Choose one.

Door number one.

Door number two.
Door number three.
Door number four.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Mining Road

     Room 236 contains a scale model revealing a section of the foothills during a drought, with large rocks and all but the most recently fallen trees--oaks, gray pines, sycamores, buckeyes, red-buds--accurately positioned. The reservoir is so low that the river resembles its former self. The slopes of the canyon, however, are stripped of life, except for a rusty crop of cockle-burs, which flourishes underwater, the seeds brought in by the first herds of cattle. If you examine the terrain carefully with a magnifying glass, you can even see ancient Native American trails stretching from one abandoned village site to another, where moss-covered pestles still protrude from the mortars of a few pounding stones. You can also still see in the floodplain the last crumbling asphalt of a road traveled before the dam was built, as well as old abutments where bridges spanned the river and its tributaries. 

Bottom of a Reservoir

     Buried under water for sixty years, a stone chimney still stands erect near pounding stones. Preserved by the cold water, dead trees still tower, stripped bare, almost black. Overgrown mining roads, sometimes built over ancient trails, wind around the hillsides above the denuded slopes, and in some places the collapsed mines can be still be found, often near Native American village sites. Below the dam are canals and ditches that spurred one of the first water wars in the valley, but no obvious signs of conflict remain. Not far from the river is a creek whose water irrigated the first bumper crop of wheat that attracted the railroad. Around the tracks, the city continues to grow. Not far away from the creek new houses are popping up, the city slowly leapfrogging into the foothills. 

There are four other doors in Room 236.  Choose one:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


The 21st Century Apartments

     You wake up in the middle of a room next to a telescope.  After blinking several times, you notice that the floor is larger than the base of the most massive pyramid, and as you stand up inside this huge room, you lose your balance a little.  When you step to your right to regain your balance, the entire floor tilts, just the slightest bit, accompanied by a loud whirring, as if many cogwheels had suddenly begun rapidly turning.  When you return to the exact center of the room, the floor returns to its original flatness. Ridges in the floor extend in each cardinal direction, at first appearing merely decorative. After you grow tired of standing in the middle, you take several steps, and the reason for the ridges becomes immediately clear. The floor tilts no matter which way you step, and the ridges are stairs that enable you to proceed upward or downward.
     Then you notice a large, red button in the middle of each stair step.  When you stamp down on one, the floor locks into position, enabling you to proceed either upward or downward. You find that it is easier and feels more natural to go downward, but the farther down you go, the more you experience the primal instincts and desires of the flesh, and after awhile, as you continue downward, you discover that you are attracting strange, unbalanced forces that become more and more demonic, so you return to the middle of the room.
     You decide to climb upward and discover that you keep heading into brighter light toward ethereal beings that are so highly advanced that you feel like a bug in comparison.  Even so, when you are in their proximity, you take on some of their higher energies, becoming more and more god-like. You find that no matter which way you head, up or down, you enter a different vibration of energies, a different order of existence, the knowledge of which separates you a little more from the rest of humanity, so you again head back to the middle of the room, where, finally, you discover the reason for the telescope:  When you peer out of the massive windows into other rooms, you find that you can't locate any other people who are standing in the middle.

Room 200 has four other doors.  Choose one. 

Friday, November 8, 2013


   A fly hovers above your food as you sit at the kitchen table. Instead of swatting it away, you let it land on your plate. Suddenly, your sight is fragmented into numerous facets, all containing the same image of the kitchen as you buzz around the head of a man sitting at a kitchen table. Shaking your head, you gaze at the flower in the pot on the windowsill, suddenly thirsty, rooted as deeply as possible in the moment, struggling toward light and swaying slightly in the currents of breath. You gaze, unseeing, at the petals, licking your fur, basking in the sunshine, ignoring a cockroach that emerges from the cabinet and the man at the kitchen table, who is breathing as quietly as possible and staring blankly at a cockroach that stares back at him, its antennas flailing. 

Room 222 has four other doors.  Choose one.