Friday, January 31, 2014


Barbara Smith Stoff ABOUT WORMHOLES AND BREADCRUMB ABOUT WORMHOLES—AND BREADCRUMBS By Barbara Smith Stoff I am writing this today, July 25, 2013, upon the anniversary of what was termed in the hospital “ a massive stroke,” Now, I write my story which I have assembled from fleeting vignettes of memory from my hospital stay. Like gathering breadcrumbs in the great forest, one might say, as a necessary healing exercise for me. Each of these vignettes is, for me, truly iconic, perhaps like the small ivory cameo one might wear as a lapel pin. These memory cameos are fleeting because I was out of my body most of the time—often with a view from high up of the fields surrounding the hospital. In the hospital, in my body, I remember, not his face, but just his hand holding mine, that constant hand of my husband who, I later am told, stayed with me around the clock the entire time I was there in the hospital—except for one night when my son asked to stay with me instead. I will try to describe briefly below some of these “cameos.” Just after being admitted, I remember being handed a telephone with a call from Shel’s son on the east coast –a doctor and medical researcher—and I remember asking him to give me, from physics, the definition of a wormhole. He did that and I remember saying, “That makes sense.” Months later, I asked him if he remembered that conversation, and he said simply, “Yes.” I remember opening my eyes in the middle of the night, and there sat my son, a deep-ocean researcher, reading Moby Dick aloud to me from his I-phone. I commented on the beauty of the words and he responded that perhaps the best way to read Moby Dick is to read it aloud. These cameos from the hospital stand out as definitely luminous breadcrumbs. At home, difficult months followed. One day, a day when I so much needed encouragement, it happened that a message came to me on Facebook from Nicolya Christi. She told me of her illness and her recovery. Her message brought me hope and gave me a hand up from this deep well of discouragement. And so now, almost exactly to date a year later, after days of looking for my page- magnifying reading glass, I suddenly found find it marking a certain page in a book I had bought, but had not yet read. Page 67 of 2012: A Clarion Call by Nicolya Christi. In a bibliomancy way, my eye falls upon a certain paragraph: “Ancient prophecies speak of a “star gate” opening in 2012. They tell us that there are thirteen of these gates in our galaxy. Star gates are often described as “wormholes” or “portals” and it is prophesied that a great enlightened being or a group of enlightened beings will emerge from one that will open on the winter solstice of 2012. The Maya refer to these openings as “serpent ropes” on which enlightened beings are said to “ride in.” These ropes are linked to the kundalini energy within the human body; which, when they are fully activated, via the heart/mind connection, they open up portals and wormholes within the human system, making it possible for ourselves, as the enlightened beings that we are, to “ride in,” fully anchoring our souls into our bodies and re-aligning our consciousness to elevate our vibration to an exalted state. The profound events of 2012 make it possible for us to turn our faces to the Sun and bathe in the golden dawn of a new age.” (from 2012 A Clarion Call: Your Soul’s Purpose in Conscious Evolution by Nicolya Christi) I remember now—throughout those difficult months and recurring bouts of vertigo—the images of Yeats —and ‘gyres’ coming up in my mind a lot, and remembering also my years of study of myth and cycles of the ages, as in Hesiod, for instance, so the idea of spiraling up again toward a golden age is not new to me. One day, back in the 1980s, William Irwin Thompson’s Time Falling Bodies Take to Light literally fell off the shelf into my hands as I browsed in a bookstore. And, of course, I am fairly familiar with the writings of Arguelles on the Mayan Calendar—and so on. And, as well, my psyche is fairly well furnished, in a Jungian sense, with images from the collective deep consciousness. I have had loving help from the subtle realms. Upon hearing of my experience, I received telephone calls telling me about Jill Bolte Taylor and Eban Alexander. Then I saw them both being interviewed on television. I began to notice, also on television, reviews of new studies of brain function and repair, which I can now research, as I continue to look for more luminous breadcrumbs. We kind of know what a breadcrumb can look like…but a wormhole? In 1935, physicists Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen used the theory of general relativity to propose the existence of “bridges” through space-time. These paths, called Einstein-Rosen bridges or wormholes, connect two different points in space-time, theoretically creating a shortcut that could reduce travel time and distance. ri And, a gyre? <> See notes and images from the above link. The Diamond and the Hourglass Although the double cone dominates the diagrams found in A Vision, the more important representation of the gyres in the Automatic Script was that which was called the ‘Diamond’ and ‘Hourglass’, which is effectively a doubled form of the double cone. The Instructors objected to the term ‘Diamond’, but Yeats retained it anyway. In A Vision this form of representation is most important in the discussion of the Principles, the spiritual constituents of the human being, which come to the fore in the after-life. In this system the axes of the two shapes do not necessarily coincide, and they rotate about a common centre, within a sphere. The Diamond itself represents the original Principle of the Celestial Body, within which the Spirit moves as a single gyre. These together form the Solar element of the system of the Principles, while the Hourglass represents the Lunar element. Both the Passionate Body and the Husk move within this double gyre, one half representing life and the other half the after-life (see the Principles and the After-life). The essay “‘Everywhere that antinomy of the One and the Many’: The Foundations of A Vision,” by Neil Mann in the collection W. B. Yeats’s “A Vision”: Explications and Contexts, edited by Neil Mann, Matthew Gibson, and Claire Nally (Clemson University, 2012), provides useful further exploration of this subject. This title is available for free download from Clemson University Digital Press. Here is a poem which I wrote, sitting on the floor of my living room, one Sunday morning circa 1972: THE BALANCE TURNS ON YES My soul is balancing out there and the balance turns on yes… a light burning through black and white, press printing new patterns (this is only flat paper news) I look down from the horrors of the Sunday paper to this cat (who has become my teacher of late) here on my lap (warm ease and somehow here being) with balance here with balance here seeming on a thin thin wire silver spun from some center… is pure? will hold? the center holds (even to that mountain in the distance there) Yes. Trusting the morning hand for some graceful knot, I look up to bind… up and out and level (even to that distant mountain there) and back to this flat paper news whose power leaps quivering from points of pain dangerously shaking the gossamer line. Almost I hear the fearsome snap: a heartpulse…and the line holds. My soul comes home again from rare space and I stroke the cat and we enjoy fragrant tea with some serenity. –Barbara Smith Stoff (circa 1972) As I wrote, I was thinking of Yeats and the poem below: William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) THE SECOND COMING Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand; A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? By William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) (The Second Coming was written in 1919 in the aftermath of the first World War) I have thought of that poem a lot. I remember a conversation (circa 1992) about ‘the second coming’ with an old friend as we sat having lunch in a cafĂ© in San Diego. I was telling him about my take on meaning in that poem…about how individuals, one by one, would undergo transfiguration, as in Lyall Watson’s “Hundredth Monkey Story” (“Lifetide” by Lyall Watson). He looked at me with surprise on his face and said, “You mean the whole world will become messianic?” I heard myself say, “Yes.” That friend now lies in a hospital in Tel Aviv, recovering from a stroke. He is 91 years old. I think of him and send him good wishes…as I continue my own efforts to navigate the straits of what Ervin Laszlo and ‘system scientists’ call the ‘chaos point.’ I watch the world news on television, and I also think of the writings of Hesiod and William Erwin Thompson…and listen for the chord that lifts us toward the next age of gold. –Barbara Smith Stoff

Monday, December 16, 2013


OH! STAND TOGETHER! THE GREATEST CONSENSUS IS TO LOVE I think of O’Toole and Mandela the amazing roles they played with their very lives here in our planetary drama as if I am watching Loren Eiseley’s “The Judgement of the Birds” —their choosing love and singing together, even in the face of darkness—I ask them to stand with puny little me now, as I try to overcome my own surprising dread of Christmas gathering and pageantry this year, trying to overcome grief and, yes, transform mourning, so as not to shade the light from those I love so much. I think of “writing my way home” I think of “poetry therapy” I think of “saved by a poem” I think of the words of Chekhov: “We shall find peace. We shall hear the angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds.” --Barbara Smith Stoff December 16, 20

Sunday, January 1, 2012



grazing on green violets in spring

we hear with gentle hearts

the soft sounds

of new music

from green gold reeds

as the sun warms a new Dayrose

on slender vines

strong enough to weave new clothes

for the Emperor

born from the breath of the Unicorn.

--Barbara Smith Stoff

Friday, August 12, 2011



The children find me here on the rock—
four girls and one boy, they climb up,
and spread out their towels to sunbathe.
Jenny, April, Autumn, Holly, and Sean.
April says everyone else has gone to chapel.
I tell them Indians used to sit here…
that this is a sacred place.

O Great Rock, balanced here
between setting moon and rising sun,
tell me your name!

I am Grandfather Rock,
grandfather to modern poets too,
young bards who come to dream their dream
in the woods…you hear that jazzbird?
He’s tapping out the base pattern.
jazzbeat on wood
bird chorus swells up
bless you my children
I bequeath you my stone savings
base pattern bones earth bones
marrow of the mother Mother Marrow Mother Mary
Great Goddess come dance on the bones of our good mother
O mother love how can we dance on your bones?
Make us know that we are free
in the trees in the greening

Youngbird flutters joyous wings to waning moon
achieves air and sails into birdsong
turns on homing wind and calls, Jazzbird!
finds his throat liquid warbling riverhood
manheart splits through throatcry, Prometheus!
You old fire lover man lover,
earth water fire earth water fire,
you brought air too, didn’t you

Wind blow gently on liquid heartfire,
Motherbones dance to the base pattern,
Jazzbird, God, blow gently on heartfire.

The children have left, having found and taken
what they needed from this place
quickly and surely as children do.
I am alone on the rock in the trees
in the blue circle of Time,
Grandfather Rock, Open Sky,
Golden Sun, Silver Moon, Myriad Birdcall.
I bow. I offer thanks, and promise to come here again.
--Barbara Smith Stoff

Friday, July 15, 2011



In this classroom.
I wish to compete!
I wish to compete
with what is going on
out there!
Last night…
In color
and in black and white,
you watched
and you listened
as television reassembled
beatings and rapes and…
and murders.

This morning
I want to read to you
a simple story. O Henry,
O! teach us to listen.
Teach us to hear
this small quiet voice.

In this room
there are no guns.
There are no cries
of pain and horror
to snare your attention…
only this small quiet voice
that says, look,
there is this much good
…in one old man…
who is drunk…
most of the time.
(So the teacher said
one last leaf for O Henry)
And I believe…
the students…

--Barbara Smith Stoff

Wednesday, June 22, 2011



At birthing time

one is asked to be a bearer of life—

seeing beyond the shrouds

which cloud clear vision—

carrying seed and symbol

toward and toward…

the birth of the Dayrose

whose power knows

and distills golden fragrance

from mudsludge and dungeon breath—

rendering the pure essence

of all seeing

now then here being

now then here being…

made to live

as long as God lives.

--Barbara Smith Stoff

Sunday, June 5, 2011



Ultimately the voice in the whirlwind says
I am this love
which drips like honey through earthly caverns
…to the high altar…
poetry is the rich conserve—
the talisman for transit
through all comings and goings
moment to moment
aeon to aeon
music from the great organ
always othering to itself
but yet comes home.

--Barbara Smith Stoff