Monday, June 27, 2011

Mandatory Evacuation

Event: Monday, June 27, 2011; Updated:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

And then came the FIRE--Again!

Event: 26 June 11; Updated: 30 June 2011

On Sunday, June 26, 2011, the Las Conchas fire was only hours old.

In White Rock at about 3:00 p.m.

On way to Los Alamos from White Rock 3:05 p.m.

Approaching Los Alamos about 3:10 p.m.

The Fire began on Sunday morning in the Las Conchas campground in nearby Jemez mountains and rapidly spread, becoming several times larger in one day than the previous Cerro Grande fire had grown in two weeks 11 years ago.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dreaming Parents of Dreaming Children

Event: 25 June 2011; Updated: June 27 2011

After attending the Eldering Group in the morning, Birgitta and I met with two young families with young children in the afternoon for a first dreamwork session. All except the littlest, age 2, offered a dream for CREEI scoring and discussion. The two-hour session exceeded our expectations.

More later.

Memo to Oprah & Tavis

Posted: 25 June 2011; Updated: 

Oprah at White House 2010

Tavis Smiley
On June 23, I sent a memo to Oprah Winfrey and Tavis Smiley, after having seen a documentary on Oprah's new "OWN" TV network and reading Tavis's newest book Failing Up. I have no idea if this memo will ever come to their attention. It will depend, I'm sure, on whether their email screeners will find it interesting enough. Time and Providence will tell. I have the greatest admiration for both these remarkable Black people and their respective journeys in defending the disenfranchised.

23 June 2011
Memo to: Oprah Winfrey and Tavis Smiley
From: Eugene Kovalenko
Subject: Blacks and Grace

Dear Oprah and Tavis,
On January 3, 1976, while living in Los Angeles, I awoke from a dream in which I answer the telephone and hear a clear, commanding male voice say to me,"It is time to wake up and begin a grace-filled ministry!" This launched my development of a 1976 university course in dreamwork. [Click here.]

The first person I told this dream to later in that day in 1976 was my friend, the Rev. Brother (never learned his first name) Taylor, pastor of The Greater Grace Memorial Church of God in Christ on Crenshaw Blvd. in South Central Los Angeles. He thought the dream was meant for him and perhaps it was--as well as for me.

I first met "Brother" six weeks earlier on my 42nd birthday the afternoon of November 17, 1975, after having had a transformative dream that morning. The dream transformed my fear of Blacks, which I had been raised with in growing up in segregated Phoenix, Arizona, in a devoutly conservative Republican Mormon family. The only Black I had ever met previously was in basic training at Fort Ord, California, shortly after enlisting in the US Army during the height of the Korean War in spring 1953. That young Black soldier beat me up after I took exception to his calling me a "Motherf---er". I remained afraid of Blacks until the 1975 dream. Here it is:

11/17/75, 0500 Am being driven down the street by Diane K [of the Los Angeles Times, my then fiancee] in her VW beetle. Passing by, going the other way, a young Negro man in a truck or car grabs my left(?) hand and holds on. I tell Diane to keep going and not get pulled off center. Am pleased to continue as the young man and I disengage…

Later, while in a men's locker room with my briefcase and small overnight case, a small Negro boy comes up to me and grabs hold of my right leg. Alarmed, I look down and try to peel him off of me, but he won't let go. I push on his head with the heel of my right hand with all my strength, but he is tenacious and I am not strong enough to dislodge him. Suddenly I realize that I'm not being attacked! and that this is just a child wanting attention. My compassion is now evoked and I reach down to pick him up to hug him. He now seems happy just to be in my arms and never says a ["mumblin'"] word.

Later that same day Diane introduces me to Rev. Brother Taylor, who invites me to sing for him. I sing a Capella my favorite Negro Spiritual,"Steal Away to Jesus", and he hires me on the spot to sing Spirituals on his regular Sunday radio program.  He and I become friends and after a few months of Sunday singing, Brother chuckles to me one day and says, "You know, Brother Z, I get a big kick out of the radio audience not knowing it's been a White guy singin'!"

A little later [weeks?] Brother sends me with his "Queen Mother" to represent his church at a Gospel songfest in Richmond, California, a gathering of over 1400 Black Pentecostal singers. Wow! I'm the only white guy in the place. When it's my turn to sing, I get on stage, close my eyes, and sing Deep RiverIt is a prayer this time and I never sang it better. When I open my eyes after the last long soft note, all in the audience are on their feet silently waving their arms with palms open in my direction. I feel my transformation re-enforced.

Oprah, after viewing your recent program on OWN called "Sons of Perdition", about the reality of Fundamentalist Mormons, I knew I had to send you something.

Tavis, after just finishing your Fail Up and reading "…when you stand up for the disenfranchised, the dispossessed, and discarded, you may stand alone", I knew I had to send you something.

I hope to interest you both in [supporting] our LADDOF project. [Click here]

Sincerely in "the faith",

Eugene Kovalenko, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Los Alamos Deep Democracy of Open Forums, Inc.
Los Alamos, New Mexico
For further information, see:

Eldering Group potluck breakfast

Event: 25 June 2011; Updated: 27 Jun 2011

Eugene & Birgitta on 26 June 2011

On Saturday morning Birgitta and I attended our first monthly meeting with the local Eldering Group in a potluck breakfast, which group was initiated by Rick Light over a decade ago. It is an open forum for seniors and the topic for each meeting is decided beforehand. The topic this time was humor and laughter, presented by Chris Hazard, a Los Alamos public school psychologist, in her home.

Next month I have the opportunity to present the subject of dreams.