Interview with Zeora Sage & Jeffery Shirley
The Yachats Gazette interviewed Zeora and Jeffery, part of a group putting on the Midsummer Masquerade Ball on June 21 in the Commons, a benefit for View of the Future, a local conservancy group. More information can be found on the website, www.yachatsmm.com.
TYG: What exactly is the Midsummer Masquerade Ball?
Zeora: The Midsummer Masquerade Ball is a fabulously fun, magical event that is a fundraiser for View of the Future [http://viewthefuture.org/], which is a local charity that’s helping to protect our coastal forests. It’s going to be a really fun-filled night for all ages.
TYG: I’ll go!
Zeora: Yay! We’re teaming with the Yachats Youth and Family Activities Program (YYFAP) for the first two hours, from five to seven. There will be kids’ activities and fun things all night, but they are going to be joining us from five to seven. In the main room, we have musicians coming from Portland, Eugene, and Washington, and a DJ [DJ Talisman and Luminara]. So we have a lot of wonderful entertainment coming, donating their time and talents because of this important cause.
TYG-Graphic Design: So where is it taking place?
Zeora: It’s taking place at the Commons, right here in Yachats!
|Dean Schrock Flower Sculpture|
TYG-GD: You said “the main room”—so are things going to be taking place in several rooms?
Zeora: Yes! The main room is the auditorium, which we’re going to transform for the evening into a fairy realm—you won’t recognize it! There’s going to be a 10-foot tall mushroom, and all kinds of wonderful surprises. There’s also going to be theatrical performances! We have a couple of very talented actors who are going to be playing two parts from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They’re going to be doing some little snippets, some modified snippets, some verbatim.
TYG: I’ve been reading some Shakespeare recently—I have a nice book that has Henry IV, Henry V, Richard III, Julius Caesar, and Antony and Cleopatra, in story form.
Zeora: Do you like Shakespeare?
Zeora: […] So we’ve got all kinds of fun entertainment, dancing, music… Food is going to be just finger foods by the Yachats Farm Store and Bread & Roses. […] I don’t know the exact menu, but they’ll be serving from seven to eleven.
|Sarah Quayle Plourde|
TYG: I’m pretty sure there are going to be fries. It’s the quintessential finger food.
TYG-GD: [laughing] Well, that’s true, but there’s no fryer in the Commons. I imagine bread and cheese will be there!
TYG: [still hopeful] Yeah… probably plain white bread, as well.
Zeora: I think it’ll be really fun. They’re trying to do fairy-themed food, so there’s going to be some fun things on the menu.
TYG: I’m guessing there will be a lot of food coloring involved.
Zeora: Oh, I don’t think so. Both the Farm Store and Bread & Roses are pretty natural, healthy places. […]
TYG-GD: Is there a fixed cost for the whole event? How does that work?
Zeora: Tickets are available as of now from the Yachats Farm Store, or online. Adults are $10, from ages six to 16 $5, and under age 6, free. Wine and beer will be served, but is not the focus of the event and will be monitored and secure, with strict ID-ing and a designated area.
TYG: You’ll probably make a lot of money! […]
Zeora: Our goal is to raise some good funds—this is to protect our forests, the view you see out of this window [we were sitting at Ona Restaurant and Lounge]. This is in danger to be clear-cut! We want to raise awareness. We’re not expecting to raise enough to purchase the land through this event—it’s going to cost more than that. But if we can show, with the funds that we raise, that the community cares, then the people with the big money…
|One of Senitilia McKinley's banners|
TYG: … will be more likely to donate.
Zeora: Exactly. There are a lot of people from outside of Yachats that care about this community. Of course we’re reaching to the Yachats community, but we’re reaching far out, up and down the coast, inland to Eugene and Portland…
Jeffery: Anyone who’s ever been here!
TYG-GD: How are you reaching those folks who are not in the village?
Zeora: Internet, mostly. And we have fliers out for the event in Eugene, Portland, Corvallis and surrounding areas, and of course online.
TYG: How are you building that [mushroom]: plywood? Foam?
Jeffery: We made a mold, first, that’s cement and steel. It’s about eight feet wide and three and a half, four feet tall. For the cap.
Zeora: It weighs 500 pounds.
Jeffery: And then we covered that with papier mâché. When it was dry, we lifted the cap off and turned it over. Now I’m putting gills in it.
|Krista Sappington, Raychel McCabe, and Heather Taylor|
TYG: So the steel was in the mold?
Jeffery: Yes, and it had a one inch thick layer of concrete over it, to reinforce the metal and smooth it out.
TYG: So what’s going in the mold?
Jeffery: Papier mâché. Then when the papier mâché is dry, we’re coating it with polystyrene. […]
TYG-GD: It sounds like the mold is a huge construction, just for papier mâché!
Zeora: Eventually we’re going to turn the mold into a gazebo, too. Some day. Not for the event. […] But another nice thing about this is that we can make more mushrooms, if people see this and want one.
Jeffery: The advantage to doing it this way is that the finished mushroom can be carried in by two people. It’ll look huge, but the cap will probably only weigh about 100 pounds.
TYG-GD: What is polystyrene?
Jeffery: It’s the kind of plastic that’s used for Styrofoam, but it’s not puffed up. So we spray it on, and it makes a hard coating.
Zeora: [The mushroom] is going to light up underneath—we’re going to have fun with this. [laughter]
TYG-GD: So who is paying for all this?
Jeffery: Mostly Zeora and I, but Ken Spencer at Newport Signs has volunteered the use of his shop, and he’s been helping a lot with the construction.
Jeffery: He did all the welding, too.
TYG-GD: What else?
Zeora: The art! Especially here at Ona where we can see all the pretty banners!
TYG-GD: What about the art auction?
Zeora: The art auction has already started. It’s one of the ways we’re raising funds and it’s nice, because it’s open to people who can’t come here for the event. They can be anywhere in the world because you can bid online [http://www.yachatsmm.com/art-auction/]! As soon as we get the banners in, we add them to the auction page on the website, and then people can bid online, and then it will go live at the event.
TYG: I have a question. What happens if you get someone from another country who is using a different currency?
Jeffery: They can pay through Paypal, and they’ll convert it.
Zeora: I don’t know if we’ll reach anybody from another country, but that would be fun!
|Judy Richter Quilt|
TYG-GD: How many banners are you anticipating?
Zeora: There are about 20 art pieces altogether. Some of them are banners…
TYG-GD: There’s a huge quilt out there [in the Ona entryway]!
Zeora: A quilt, yes. There’s going to be at least one sculpture, possibly a couple more. And the rest are the art banners. […]
Jeffery: The first sculpture is a giant flower made out of driftwood.
TYG-GD: So, can you tell us more about the actual events of the night?
Zeora: Well the door will open, and the first two hours of the night will be led by YYFAP, as I said. It will be much more family-oriented. The DJ is going to play some nice family-friendly music. […]
TYG: If the YYFAP kids are going to be involved, you might have to account for some unexpected things. […] I’m serious, you should leave a space clear for running around!
Zeora: There’s going to be a dance floor…
TYG: When will the dance start?
TYG-GD: Well, we only got to the first two hours—what will happen after that?
Zeora: Dancing, and live music, and more dancing. The theatrical performance will be woven in between the first live acts and the DJ music, so it will all flow together. So it will be one performance, into another performance, into dancing, story-telling… There will be the kids’ room—actually, two different kids’ rooms. While YYFAP is there, there will be the kids’ room right off the hall [where the preschool is], and then after YYFAP leaves, it will be around the corner.
TYG: I definitely want to be there at five, because in the preschool room, they have wooden trains.
Zeora: And there will be some fun surprises for the kids, too. […] We’ve got a book that is going to be read, around seven o’clock, called Come One, Come All To the Fairy Ball. It’s written by our friend Sarah Gayle Plourde [co-owner of Solaluna Gallery in Toledo, with her husband Wayne].
Jeffery: Also, Blue Dot Productions volunteered to make a trailer for View of the Future. [They’re] a video company that does all sorts of documentaries [http://www.bluedotproductions.com/].
TYG: What day is this Midsummer Masquerade?
Zeora: It’s June 21, summer solstice!
TYG: I’m going!
Zeora: I hope so!
TYG-GD: It sounds amazing—I saw some of the costumes on the website! Are costumes required?
Zeora: No! I don’t want anybody not to come because they don’t want to wear a costume. You can just wear your normal clothes and just get a mask! […]
Ok, so let’s see: First two hours partnering with YYFAP, then DJ music, live music, theatrical bits, dancing… it goes until eleven pm.
TYG-GD: What kind of live music is there?
Zeora: Two different bands: A band from Eugene called Barefoot Leroy—they’re going to perform first—then a local group called Past Forward. They play dance music from the 20’s to 60’s. And then we’ve got a couple solo performers: a violinist called Jimmy Be Free; he does a lot of looping with his violin, so it’s very rhythmic and ethereal—just really fills the room. […] And then we have Alexa Wildish. She’s got a beautiful voice—celtic/folk blend. You can hear samples of all these musicians on the website.
At ten there will be the art auction, and a silent auction with donated items [such as] a vacation rental combined with a massage, little packages, some more art items, jewelry, a lot of healing services, gift baskets, some wine, that kind of thing.
And then… then we’re going outside! Towards the end, a little after ten, we’ll be going outside. There will be a fire dance theater—Kindled Spirit Fire Theater. And then a closing ceremony for solstice by Wake & Kinlen.
Jeffery: I think that’s about it!
TYG: Thank you so much!
Jeffery: You’re welcome!
Zeora: Thank you, Allen!
Interview with KE Edmisten, Acupuncturist at Yachats Health Care
TYG: When did you join Jai Tomlin’s Clinic [Yachats Health Care]?
KE: Well, I’m Dr. KE Edmisten. I’m a naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist. Last Thursday, May 1st—May Day—was my first day down here at Yachats Health Care, and I am very grateful that Dr. Jai asked me to join!
TYG-Graphic Design: Do you work in her Newport office too?
KE: You know, we’re in the same building. I have a little office downstairs, and she’s upstairs, so we work in the same building.
TYG: So that works out perfectly! What is your background in medicine?
KE: I have been practicing for 22 years, in Newport, and I went to naturopathic and acupuncture colleges in Portland, and started practicing on the coast in 1991.
TYG: When did you get the idea to start acupuncture?
KE: Well, I have been practicing acupuncture the whole time!
TYG-GD: What led you to study it?
KE: Gosh… A gift from God, a person might say. I actually read this very cool book called All Sickness is Homesickness [by Dr. Dianne M. Connelly]. It propelled me to start acupuncture school, in Portland.
TYG-GD: What did this book say that made you think you needed [acupuncture] added to your medical arsenal?
KE: I was just starting my medical journey at that time, so basically it kind of intertwined with the naturopathic! So I and a couple of my classmates were the only ones allowed to do naturopathic and acupuncture schools at the same time. It’s actually just too much, to tell you the honest truth. But the way the Chinese look at medicine is broad. It encompasses the mind, the body, and the spirit. Naturopathic medicine looks at that same approach toward health and disease, and it was a perfect match!
TYG-GD: Can you say a little more about naturopathic medicine? I don’t really know anything about it.
KE: Naturopathic medicine is basically practicing with the healing power of nature. So we use, let’s say, natural approaches: nutrition, hydration, herbal medicine, bark of trees, flowers… gifts from God.
TYG: The kind of things people used before there were drugs.
KE: That’s right! And many of the drugs are from plants originally.
TYG: They’re probably even less concentrated in the drugs form, because they’re diluted with other things, multiple other things.
KE: Lots of other things, that’s right.
TYG: If you had, say, a willow bark injection, it’s probably a lot less concentrated than eating a willow bark with, say, a salad.
KE: [laughter] Very true. Very true!
TYG: Can you please explain some of the traditional acupuncture terminology, such as qi [chi] and meridians?
KE: I will give it a try. Qi is a word that the Chinese use for vital energy. There’s really not an English word for that, besides “vital energy.”
TYG: Or spirit? It’s kind of like the Roman word dignitas, in the sense that it has multiple meanings. Literally. In my ancient history course it was like: fame, clout, all those things, except it doesn’t really translate into any of them. It’s more like all of them wrapped into one. So really, the only way to put it is dignitas, and you just have to know what it means.
KE: You just sort of figure out what it means… and that’s sort of what qi is. Qi is your spirit, your energy, your stamina, your vitality… all of that. […]
TYG-GD: So naturopathic medicine has to do with […] redistributing qi so that it flows more naturally?
KE: Well, you know, since I’m a naturopathic physician and an acupuncturist, I just intertwine them together. So, yes, it’s all about balance. The Chinese are all about balance. Mind, body, and spirit. Naturopathic medicine is all about balance: mind, body, and spirit. So it’s really just the approach that I take. When someone comes in and has some sort of imbalances, what approach are we going to take? We’re going to first look at their nutrition, as much as we can; look at their hydration, look at their stress levels, look at their hormonal balance… You know, see what we can tweak in terms of helping their system help itself. We believe in the body’s innate healing wisdom. How can we tap into that in the best way possible?
TYG: I can understand that… […] For example, the body can fight off disease. It can fight off a cold.
KE: It can heal a cut. […] Especially when your system is strong enough to do that.
KE: Meridians are invisible—yet, they can be tracked with modern vibrational assessment methods—lines, channels, that go on the outside and the inside of the body, where the acupuncture points are that are associated with various conditions.
TYG: I read a Wikipedia article that mentions that they can use laser light now, as well [for acupuncture].
KE: Light, yes. I use needles mostly, but you can even press on a point, like acupressure. It is very effective. […]
TYG: Do you practice the TCM (Traditional Chinese Method) or the modern way?
KE: I practice the TCM way. I learned the traditional Chinese medicine approach, and I still use that. They’ve been using that for thousands of years. I quite frankly don’t know what they mean by “modern way,” because we learn to practice medicine the way the Chinese practice it. […]
TYG-GD: Can you walk us through a case in which you would use acupuncture, and what you visualize at the onset, and how the case ends up?
KE: Let’s do it this way. This is how I practice medicine: I like to talk to my patients first—obviously, that would make sense—we want to find out their history, we want to find out what they’ve tried, we want to find out who they are, we want to try and understand what their life is like. The most common reason that I practice acupuncture is that people have pain. People have back pain. People have knee pain. People have pain. So traditionally, we use acupuncture to help treat pain. […] It works on all ages; it works for everyone. So, after we talk, and get some more background or foundation, let’s say, we usually go into another room, the acupuncture room. We have a nice table in there, and it’s nice and cozy and warm. Let’s say, for instance, that we have a sore knee. We do acupuncture on the whole body. The way Chinese look at pain is that it’s “stuck qi,” stuck energy. So we’re trying to move that qi and help it move smoothly. So even if a person has a sore knee, I might put some needles in the ankle, in the hand, in the head, maybe in the ears. […] If it’s their first time, if they’re a little nervous about needles, I might go a little lighter.
TYG: I’m nervous about needles.
KE: Most people are!
TYG: I don’t think I could take needles in my ears, my hands, and my head!
KE: You wouldn’t believe how thin they are. You can barely see them.
TYG: So do they not hurt very much?
KE: I would say that usually you can feel a little something.
TYG: I’m very sensitive to pain.
KE: Some people would experience it as pain, but some people would experience it more as warmth, or pressure, or vibration—it’s a very interesting experience. […] When people come to me, they don’t always know what they want, so I tell them: “We can do acupuncture, but I also do homeopathic injections; or maybe I’d send them to someone like Dr. Jai, for some chiropractic or some body work—things like that.
TYG-GD: Do you do diagnosis with the needles, or is it just a way of treatment? […] Is there any feedback, in terms of the needles, from the patient to you?
KE: [long pause] That is such an interesting question! We do some assessing with the pulse, and the tongue, and the history, obviously.
TYG-GD: What do you do with the tongue?
KE: Look at it. [laughter] You can tell if there’s a coat on it, what color it is, the size, the shape… all kinds of stuff goes on the tongue! And we feel three pulses on each hand instead of the regular pulse that doctors do. So that’s kind of how we assess. In modern-day healthcare, sometimes there’s no diagnosis. Sometimes a person is out of whack. Sometimes people want to know: “I have tendonitis. I have the flu, or something.” But the thing is: sometimes people are out of balance. We’re just helping the system get back into balance. Sometimes that’s a big job, and sometimes that’s a smaller job.
TYG: The flu, you can probably recognize that.
KE: Yes! You can recognize that. We have herbs, we have homeopathics, that just help people’s systems be able to fight things off easier.
TYG: How do you find that acupuncture most helps your customers?
KE: [in hushed tones] Acupuncture is so amazing. I love it so much. It helps with so many different things, from pain—like we were talking about—to sleep, to mood, to energy level, to immune system—helping people stay strong. There are some people who come to see me just on a regular basis to stay healthy. So we get people healthy, and we help them stay healthy.
TYG: What about acupressure?
KE: It definitely works well! I do not do it, because I do acupuncture. If somebody wanted me… For instance, you came in and said “Hey, I’ve got something going on. Which acupuncture points would you use, and please don’t use needles.” Then of course I would just show you and we would just press on an acupuncture point.
TYG: The nice thing about doing it with pressure is that if you know the exact point, you can do it yourself.
KE: Exactly. […]
TYG: Last question: Do you have any family in Yachats?
KE: I don’t! But love makes a family, so… I know people here, and I do come down here for different events, but I don’t have any actual family members here.
TYG-GD: Where are you from originally?
KE: Originally, I’m from Oklahoma. […] I moved to Oregon in 1981, from Kansas. I went to KU (Go Jayhawks!), moved out here, did other stuff for a while, then started naturopathic school.
TYG-GD: How did you come out to the Coast?
KE: I know some people who grew up in Toledo. And so there’s no naturopathic physician out here, or acupuncturist (well, at the time), and so it sounded like a perfect spot. No one moves to the coast to get rich quick. But I love it here. The people are wonderful, the scenery is wonderful, the climate is extraordinary [it was raining buckets at the time]…
TYG: How has business been going? […]
KE: Oh, thank you for mentioning it—we’re going to have an Open House here, sort of “KE Edmisten is joining the practice” sort of thing. It’s going to be Friday, June 13th, from 5 pm to 7 pm, at Yachats Health Care. We’re hoping that even though people came before [to the Grand Opening], they might feel comfortable to come again.
TYG: Let’s hope it goes OK, because it’s Friday the 13th!
KE: I know! Our lucky day! […] It’s also the full moon, so it’s very auspicious!