And So I Shall Build A Shrine


“One must always see the humor!!!!!”

December 9, 2015

Bohemian Grace

185 Nogal Canyon Road

Bent, New Mexico


And So I Shall Build A Shrine


“I so I too shall build a shrine to peacefulness.”


My sister and I are sharing a trying time in our lives from two thousand miles apart. Our father, the stubborn man he has always been, is no less as he ages and the challenges are many. We want only for his comfort but he cannot see this nor assist our efforts and he will have his way, as it should be. After all, who are we to meddle with a man’s wishes, or anyone’s for that matter, when we would be the first to resist the same? If I have come to respect this edict so I shall practice it also. If he is making mistakes I will learn from them and make every effort not to repeat them. My children will be better off for that, and so will I.


And so I too shall build a shrine……..just as my sister has, to the peace and serenity which we all require in our lives. Hers sits in her living room, mine in my already infamous Outhouse. If I have shared the insight and comfort the small structure has provided so I will build on them also. Though the walls are yet to be covered and the doorway stands open to the hillside the window is adorned with an elk horn and a crystal, thanks to her! With just a slight effort a small square and a shiny plate of glass have become a window to the world and a doorway to Zen, to remain so for eternity. There shall be wind chimes and other adulations as time goes forward and even the most hardened souls will have to see the humor.


There is another lesson in this also, as deep and as lasting as the first. I too shall build a shrine within myself that I may carry with me everywhere I go. If I have gathered treasures of the simplest things that I might carry them in my pocket or put them on my shelf so I should be a product of the practice. If I am to honor my father’s wishes what of recognizing my own and embracing them fully rather than just a passing glance. Shouldn’t the peace and serenity that reflects in the prisms light also reflect from my person? Of equal or greater value is the gift I will provide for my children as they will learn from my experience and perhaps repeat the same. If I can surround myself with peacefulness I should carry it with me as I go.


If I have yearned for the peacefulness of the wilderness so I have sought it faithfully. I innocently captured it when I recreated the comfort of my Nogal House in a simple effort towards convenience. It is the perfect example of how we can find peace in the simplest things and of how we can, in our efforts to adjust to the things we cannot change, find the serenity required to do so. There will be no magazine rack in the Outhouse, just a crystal in the window and some wind chimes by the door. In my ongoing quest to find the stillness I require in my life I have now provided for it and my daily visits will be a constant reminder of the things I wish not to forget. Sometimes we find the answers in the strangest places! I will thank my father and my sister for the avenue to discovery, even if it only leads to the Outhouse……..


December 10, 2015

Bohemian Grace

185 Nogal Canyon Road

Bent, New Mexico


The Portal Potty


I’m having a rough time, plain and simple. My personal needs seem to have returned to the back burner. Somewhere between my fathers’ stubbornness and my dearest friends’ addiction to alcohol I have again taken on the role of caretaker. Where do I play into this picture? If I am aware of my failings I am still not taking the initiative to assure I am addressing them. Or perhaps in my own subtle way I am. Writing about it is a good start, it is as therapeutic as it is functional. I have also created, albeit unintentionally, a means of surmounting the challenges. I have discovered an altered perspective and it is readily available at a moment’s notice.


I shall dub it the “Portal Potty.” What began as a simple structure for a practical purpose has evolved into a shrine to serenity. The door still gapes open to the hillside but when it is done there will remain a window on the western wall. When I first stepped inside to use the facilities I realized I had recreated a peaceful retreat such as I have found in other places. Outhouses, by the simple merit of their presence, are almost always situated in pretty places and this one is no exception. The moment I sat down and gazed at the hillside I knew there had to be a window to keep the view in sight. The window then became a shrine and the sparkling crystal and the aged elk horn have all but completed the process. The structure has been transformed, even if it still serves a practical purpose.


I stepped through that doorway this morning for the pure pleasure of doing so. There was no necessity at the moment other than taking a moment to return myself to center. Perhaps one might question my judgement but falling short of constructing another shrine for that specific use, something not practical at the moment but to be given future consideration, the Outhouse serves the purpose. There is also the element of humor which, if one is to read the Sufi Masters, is as enlightening as serenity. After all, they go hand in hand. Perhaps if I am to leave any reading material out there it will be that, Hafiz is my favorite. He will open that portal to the less enlightened souls who may wander in from time to time.


That’s it, I could even rephrase some of his poetry. “God and I are like two big fat people in a little bitty Outhouse. We keep bumping into each other and laughing!” Hah, hah, I am laughing my ass off! I am feeling better already!

4 responses to “And So I Shall Build A Shrine”

  1. Jody says :

    😄 Indeed! Indeed! Cathie, you are such a delight! I love your abodes, all of them! So much room to be, feel and exist. Well done! Well done!

    • cathieeisen says :


      It is always good to know you are there reading! I hope you and your family are all well and ready for the holidays. I will be driving to California next week and will be thinking of you…..We are going to build a shrine for Stevens family 🙂


  2. agapejacqui says :

    Oh how I love the many purposes of your shrine! A place to bask in the gratitude of beauty, a place to contemplate and remember the truth, as well as a place to “release and let go” in more way than one! 😉 And yes, a place to return to center!

    I believe that as we age, gain wisdom through experience (our success and our errors) … that these times of contrast can feel somewhat overwhelming. What better way than creating a sacred space/shrine, that we can turn to for a higher perspective?

    I find myself in similar circumstances with family and friends at the moment, yet continue to remind myself that there is an “inner knower” that KNOWS. And I give thanks that I’m able to trust in that part of me…and know when boundaries require reflection. For me, it tends to reflect as dis-ease or pain in the body… just as it has this week…and so I am anchoring the truth, that I am able to return to center in my inner shrine, simply with a thought. And gentle enough with myself to know that I’m closer to a time when my body doesn’t feel the need to gain my attention by creating physical discomfort.

    My best to you (and to me) as the journey continues!

    • cathieeisen says :

      It is with me as it is with and if I don’t manage the stress it find its way into all parts of me as well. Thank you for the affirmation….. Be well and we will talk soon.
      XXXXOOOO Cathie

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