Wendy Zake – Editor

Publisher – Author – Photographer – Poet


Beneath the sala tree at Kusinagara, in his last words to his disciples, the Buddha said:

Make yourself a Light. Rely upon yourself: do not depend on anyone else. Make my teachings your light. Rely upon them: do not depend upon any other teaching.

My life has taken many turns and twists, it has made it a lot more interesting. A Photographer, writer, poet, magazine editor, hotel owner and a massage therapist. I am currently a special education teacher. it seems to fit quite well. I specialize in assisting children who are exceptional and in need a bit of help adjusting to our planet known as Earth. I don’t believe in DISABILITIES or LABELS. I teach a Restructuring of Education, we all learn in different ways and who is to say one way is better than the other. Welcome we say, but do we listen to what they have to say, when they hand you a flower or their angels wings and you can’t see them. Many of these children are gifted beyond what most us can comprehend.

I have taken the past few years to restructure my own life, by simply moving away from the mainstream for awhile. I have been writing several books and I am working on a screenplay, which seems to be a lot easier for me. My work has taken me around the globe and I have experienced many cultures and thrive in an environment of learning new things. I spent seven years living in Mexico running a wellness center and Inn and 10 years as a Publisher/Editor of a Dive Travel Magazine.

I think this poem will explain who and what I am.

Stranger in a Strange Land
The Wanderer
from the I Ching

I was on my way to Kenya Africa, the other day,
to work for a Safari Company
as a photojournalist.

I left behind my family, friends and my land,
to find out who I am.

Struggling inside with my desire to be creative,
a paradoxical situation was at hand.

This was the poetry of my undertaking,
deciding my contraries,
without contraries, there is no progression,
attraction and repulsion, reason and energy,
love and hate, all are necessary to human existence.

For a year I worked at a job,
listening to those who loved me, telling me what I should do with my life.
Telling me I should give up my dreams,
it wasn’t important to know who I am,
it was all a scam.

I dislike being told what to do, cops, authority, being restricted.
I like an unstructured environment, free from rules and regulation,
Where I can respond to the needs of the moment.
I like to work in solitude, I am intuitive,
my mind works in a non linear fashion,
Sudden insights and flashes of inspiration come to me,
out of the blue, Who Knew!

So I decided to go on a journey,
a detour from my life, that had become restrictive,
to see if I was who I thought,
I am.

Releasing all of my attachments to people, things and thoughts,
from the past, to follow my dreams.
As I have said before,
Merrily, Merrily, we drift down this stream
and life is not what is seems.

I packed up my house and belongings to be stored safely for a time,
to follow my dreams, to let go and not follow a plan.
Clothes, cats and dogs jammed into my car,
leaving behind the safety of my land.
I set out on this journey, a homeless creature,
to figure out who I am.

Listening to my guides, trusting the Universe and my instinct,
to experience life, joy, freedom, gratitude, with out fear of the unknown,
to observe life without a plan,
to try and understand why, what and where I am.
A Stranger in a Strange Land.

Feeling the pull of the benevolent arms of the Universe reaching out to me,
to find myself, without money or a place to live,
I could hear them say,
You may not get want you want, but you will have what you need.

Searching my heart and hearing my soul speak to me,
to gain the knowledge I was seeking,
To be free to discover who I am.

I have been a photojournalist, massage therapist, hotel owner, magazine publisher, a writer, a poet, a lover, a wife, a mother and a friend, but never a beggar or a thief.

My past life experiences have taught me who I was,
My question was where do I belong, to whom, to where,
who am I now.

Some people think I am crazy, disorganized, scattered, selfish, mean, cruel, a risk taker and lazy.
Others think I am a creative genius, strong, loving, kind, gentle,
organized and adventurous.

Some people hate me, others love me, few understand me,
most don’t know me, I am merely just misunderstood,
about who I really am.

A rolling stone, wandering through experiencing my life.
It’s the only way I know to learn to grow,
to be the person, I really am.

Who are we anyway, flesh and bones and blood,
or light that shines through our souls,
transcending back from where we come.
To gain the freedom to remember why we came here,
to reach out, to be the person,
that says, I am

To grow and learn, to teach others to remember,
who we are and the soul that says,
I am.

So I stopped in Kern County on my way to LA
to catch a flight, to see a family friend,
while using the computer at Mama Hilly Beans,
I met a clan, my life took a detour, not part of the plan.

I decided to stay another day,
to find out who I am.

I have traveled all over the world looking for a place,
I thought was the promised land, but sometime ago,
I realized the promised land was already in my hand.

Its not a place, but lives inside,
that’s who, I am.

I”m not sure if I will stay in Tehachapi,
I could leave for Africa any day,
that was the plan.

I was in Mama Hilly Beans, last Wednesday Night,
to listen to what you had to say. Holly reminded me, that if
you do not share who you are, no one, will ever know you.

So, I wrote this poem, so I wouldn’t be a Stranger in a Strange land.
My name is Wendy, I know who I am,
that’s what I wanted to say,
and Africa can wait another day,

You know, there never really was a plan.

Wendy Zake
May 9, 2008
Tehachapi, California