Tag Archives: hungary

Send me questions … a writer’s lament.

I have written many books, ten of them got published, some are still waiting. But at my age, I am very aware of the fact that I have to write my autobiography (AB) as soon as possible.

As I was looking at my 80+ diaries, I realized that I used my diaries to work out my emotional problems, record lovers quarrels, shyly describe love making. I also put there my media appearances, topics of my researches, parties and addresses I had to find.

Sometimes very important things get just a single line as it was with my Tarot arrest. I simply wrote “busted.” Behind that of course was a storm of activity, meetings that followed, friends came forward, money was raised, and given to attorneys, plans were hatched.

Along the way my personal life was changing. My short three weeks vacation had turned into a lifelong residence in California. And every so often I went back to Budapest to refuel.

Even back then I was already writing my AB, in little snippets. I wrote about my parents to purge them, to understand them better and me in relationship with them. The distance has helped me a lot. I was not an abused child, but I was an ignored child. Since I was also the only child for the first 13 years of my life, you would have thought that would afford me more attention from my parents. Not so. I felt that I was always a burden.

During the war when I was a toddler, during the bombings, I caught every childhood disease there was. I remember the whooping cough as the worst. I used to say between fits of coughing, “Oh my god, this sickness is going to kill me.”  It didn’t.

After the war, my parents just farmed me out to peasant families in the countryside where there was food. Here my life got better. I had for the first time seen a goat and her kid, drank warm goat milk, and picked chamomile flowers for teas all day. I felt productive.

These are pictures that do come independently, imprinted deep in my soul.

A lot of important things just fall away if not asked about it.

But now as I am sitting at my computer, Lady Mac, I wonder how can I recall all of it?

I have already decided that the first five years included everything already that was important for the rest of my life.

And feminism that gave birth and gave me my wings, was really churning between ‘65 and ‘75.  Afterwards it was all backlash, which lasted 40 years now. My 1975 included most of my sowing the seeds of my victories. Not harvesting, no, but 1972/73/74/75 are my essential story; if I want to track my life on feminism.

But is that all that gave meaning to my life? How about the magical evenings on top of the Big Rock Mountain in Malibu?

I am excited about writing my AB when I flash on another episode.

But I am alone. No body is stimulating my mind to recall.

I need you to become my muse. This writing is very much harder than the normal magic books I have written. This is all personal. This I have lived. This I like to tell.

Think… ask me questions you would like to read about in my autobiography. Please. I will take those questions and contemplate them and write them.

Otherwise I don’t know how I’ll get through this highly personal job.



Granny Rehab goes back to the hospital

When I had my right hip done in ‘04 in Budapest my brother came into my room seeing me and said, “Good thing you don’t have a third leg!”

Because I had no insurance, I had to go back to Hungary to get both hips done, new prosthesis put in where there was only worn down femur.

The hospital was very poor. After the left hip was done, there was a four days long holyday in Budapest. All the nurses and docs were minimum presence. I was left with a cauterization, some food, the blood thinners, and pain pills until they returned. I enjoyed it, because I was meeting the old country right here in the aging room. Peasants and city gals groaning under the wear and tear of life, and me the “American” mixed in. I could feel the wooden boards underneath my thin foam mattress. I found a position that worked for me, and felt relatively comfortable.

The right hip was different.

The doctors would not touch that for six months, until the left one could carry me. Finally that happened. What a difference six months could make. New beds arrived from Holland. They had real mattresses which were comfortable. Once more, I was I operated on, this time on the right side.

In Budapest, at the Semmelweis Hospital, the doctors have a routine. Each morning the morning nurse comes and inquires how you slept. This is recorded on your chart. Then the floor doctor comes with the morning pills, looking at the wounds to see how they are healing.

On Thursdays, the entire doctor’s cadre come, from all floors with the professor at the had of them and nurses in tow. They looked like fresh scrubbed white angels. They look vigorous and confident. They pause at each patient’s bed and discuss the recovery. The professor orders new bandages, or new pills, the doctor who operated on you speaks up and touches your wound, moves things around.

In the afternoon every day, the operating doctors drop by to check on their patients. There is great joy in this, because it furthers recovery. There was especially one doc who was jovial, and called out to his patients often. “Good Luck!” Because its not only skill, but it takes a lot of luck that to get up from under and start walking on bionic parts.

The “American”, me, was operated on by the Professor Ur himself. This sounded real good, and the operation was real good, but he didn’t come by for five days post-op. His docs did look in on me, but they treated me with distance, not like they treated their own patients.

These post-op five days were very difficult this time. I fell into depression. I felt neglected. I felt jealous of the other docs and their patients, how much attention was showered on them and none on me.

Once again I was a foreigner in my own country. It ripped up my old wounds from my childhood, the war, the revolution, the hardships and lack of protection. I cried openly, demanded that the professor Ur come by and see me. Nothing.

In the meantime, three days post-op I received a fabulous dream. This dream was about 17th century Japan. Marketplace, silks, samurai, fish and ladies shopping. I was so happy, I wanted to walk amongst them, and I walked myself off my bed and fell out of the hospital bed in the middle of the night.

I didn’t feel anything got hurt. They put me back into the bed, and early next morning took me to x-ray to see if I damaged anything. They concluded that all was fine. I paid no attention to it. I moved on.

Sunday the Professor Ur showed up. I felt already better, and I visited an other lady next door, who was my forerunner. She had her left hip done when I had mine, and she was a couple of days ahead of me in recovery with her right hip. Always good to see how it developed for others to raise hope.

Professor Ur felt that he had so many things to do, he didn’t have time to baby me. Teaching at the university, having operations, he had the job once my beloved step-father had in this same hospital. This is why he operated on me; I was special.

Now it’s ‘09, five years after my operation. The left hip is great, the right one however fell apart. That dream and consequent falling out of bed had damaged the fresh operation, and slowly the cement that holds the hip in place has unraveled. I was limping, hurting and finally totally collapsed.

This time, I am old enough to get insurance. I don’t have to go to hungry. I will get it done at Alta Bates, in Berkeley, where the beds are comfy and the drugs are great. Hungarians didn’t give us any morphine. I was taking my own American Ibuprofen.

Tomorrow I enter the hospital for the right hip. A legendary well loved Chinese doctor, Dr. Chen, is my surgeon. He will have to take out the entire prosthesis the Hungarians put in, and give me the American parts. I will be half and half, better technology, better everything.

Still I am feeling scared. Not of the pain, nor the dangers, but the aftermath that no drugs can take away … the rehab part and the searing pain of the first standing up.

I am packing my little grotto of the Lady of the Guadalupe, small and cheerful, hand painted, from Mexico. Also, my nightie, my slippers and my toiletries. One more time!

It appears I didn’t have to have a third leg to get an operation once more.

Granny Rehab is hopeful, but the years now starting to show. The years on crutches hurt my neck, and I wish there was warm water pool nearby to walk in. There is one in Berkeley, but it’s so full of chlorine I get lung burns in it. Plus they have a miserable shower and cold rooms to dress. I wish I knew somebody with a swimming pool and hot tub, who would allow me to use it.

In Hungary they had Hot Springs all over the city. No need to chlorinate, they just have the hot water come in one end and go out the other. Fresh virgin waters from the earth for the first time, such a grace to sit in those.

Today I pack and eat little, and in the morning go under the merciful knife. Good luck!


I like this Holyday. This time the Xians didn’t even bother to hide the old pagan symbols, as they have attempted for xmas for example.

We have the rabbit, a symbol of fertility, and good luck. I used to eat rabbit when I lived in Hungary.

We have the many colored eggs! Eggs are the symbols of new beginnings, and are the rich source of protein. Coloring them however puzzled me. Why make them colored? Or painted? Decorated with magic symbols?

Ah, I get it. We write on eggs like a spell. We want love, we dip them in red paint, green for money etc. The magical symbols that almost every European country is famous for, are all about prayers, via eggs.

But in Hungary there is the no longer appreciated Locsolkodas. This is a custom imitating the act of fertilization, a boy comes to the door, you have never laid eyes on him before, he holds a small bottle of cheap perfume and insists to spray the stuff on you. Women often hate this. You smell like the sewers after a few of these visitors.

The girls give them an egg, and alcohol to drink. The boys get snookered. No wonder this custom still lives. They also get money.
Then they move on and “fertilize” other girls.

How I Met the Sacred Ginkgo Tree

How I Met the Sacred Ginkgo Tree

By Z Budapest

I love trees. Since childhood they were my first trusted friends. I was like an only child, nobody to play with but the trees. They were faithful friends, always there for me.

Today, when I teach the Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries course in my Dianic University (wicca.dianic-wicca.com), I tell my students to get “jiggy” with trees. Just like from my childhood, that’s how I met the sacred trees in my life and how I develop my friendships with them.

I have in Oakland, a special friend … a Golden Poplar tree, or tulip tree as it’s also called. She is tall and happy, and when I come she makes her leaves tremble for me. Today she is naked, as its winter, and I tease her about how pretty she looks without a leaf on.

She has an abandoned hawks nest too, only visible now that she is naked. I saw a returning hawk sitting there last spring contemplating resettling the old homestead, but she changed her mind.

My most beloved mama tree is a Cork Oak tree. She lives in the local cemetery. She branches out like legs opened to the sky, and I nestle my head in her crotch and sing into it. I tell her my troubles, and she gives me new songs. I lay against it to feel how power she is connected to the Earth. I can spend a long time in her presence.

But the most surprising tree friendship happened to me while visiting Budapest.

A friend and I were looking at trees, identifying them from a book I’d just bought. I was sitting on a marble bench, looking at leaves and trying to match them up with the leaves in the book. When just out of nowhere, without a wind, a leaf spiraled down most ceremoniously and landed at my feet.

It was a fan shaped pretty thing. It looked very familiar to me. I had seen it before, often.

What was it?

Then it came to me. It was a Ginkgo leaf!

The tree was very lanky. All tree trunk. Where was the crown?

I picked up this leaf and felt its happy greeting to me. I strained my neck looking up, and there up, up in the high canapé of the treetops, there was a Ginkgo waving down to me. She wanted me to know she was growing here, all the way from China!

I am a great admirer of the Ginkgo. Its gene pool has been unchanged for millions of years. They survived Ice Ages! They got the perfect tree right away, no more evolution needed. She had many healing properties, which all led to longevity. She could regulate life within us. She was taken for millennia by humans for many ailments, and especially for wonderful effects she has on the brain and nerves. But I loved her for her beauty.

So I pressed the leaf into my Tree book. So glad to know it can grow in Hungary too.

I am dreaming of planting more Ginkgoes all over my old country. The old Cork Oak could also make it there, and Poplars already have, but not the Golden variety. I pray to the Tree Goddess to allow me this privilege, money and support to help reforest Europe.