My dear Alicia,

It has been a year since I met you, and I have finally gotten in touch with you!
I don't know if you remember me, Lauren (Sage) Maurer, from the Herbal Conference?
I was hoping to find a way to contact you, and get your address to send that zine of mine (a new issue just came out) that had some of your book pages in it. It has been hard to get a copy of it because I only make copies for friends...but I have one and I want to send it to you!

I am in Jamaica Plain, working at a health food store called Cambridge Naturals, and studying herbalism at two schools. They both will be finished soon, and I am forming a school of my own called The Gaia School of WiseCraft to teach herbal healing, magic, and energywork. The class starts in March, and I would love to send you a brochure for it so that you can see what I'm up to. I'd also love to send you the latest issue of my zine. I will have to go out and make another copy for you! :)

I hope that life is beautiful and full for you, wherever you may be right now!
Drop me an email with your mailing address if you get the chance.
It was so wonderful to meet you when you came to the conference last year.
I have always treasured your book.

Green goddess love and blessings
(lauren m.)

Sage is in her early twenties and has been publishing for some years a 'zine focussed
on Goddess-centered spirituality and herbs. It is called "And She Walks On."--ABL


As founder of Star Mountain I guess in a sense I have you to thank for
helping to activate my inner musician--that's where I started playing
shakuhachi (through Dan's tutelage) and some other world instruments.
It also was my first real experience of country living and gave me the
awareness of how therapeutic it is to live closer to nature.

aloha chi nui,  Steve

    <*(((><  <(**)>  ><)))*>

   "Expect nothing, expect everything"

Dear  Alicia,
So nice  to hear from you.  I have been listening to the CD that I bought
from you last year quite a lot lately in the car while driving.  Then i find
myself singing songs from it. So I have been feeling close to you even
though you are so far away.  Autumn is definitely here in NY.  The chilly nights are here.
Went to the 13th annual Green Nations Gathering the weekend after the
attacks.   It was such a healing place to be.  Sad to see you weren't there. I continue
to teach herb related classes at libraries and other places and have started
a garden design business.
I'll check out the new cd.  Sounds good.  

                                            Love, Ann Marie
Ann Marie O'Neill teaches aromatherapy and herbalism.

Dear Darling Alicia,
I was enjoying your CD yesterday. Thank you for taking me directly to Hawaii
with your wonderful music. Alicia's Hawaii through your unique eyes.

Have a nice Hawaiian week
Shari Elf in Missouri

Shari Elf is an artist/songwriter/musician with an amazing web site at

I love it Alicia, real music..I wanted to wait until I could hear it
twice but I just got through "From Hawai'i To You" and "Moonlight and
Shadows/Blue Lei" the second time (my favorites!!) and I cried. The closest thing in sentiment I knew before was "A
Lei of Stars". Your singing is sweet pure and polished, wow...What a
fantastic relation you have with Sam...It was intensly bittersweet the
first time as I was looking at the pictures of people around the world,
many different countries, lighting candles and placing flowers for the
people who lost their lives September 11 while listening to your CD in
the computer with headphones. The fragile subtlety of the exquisite
contrasting the infinite grief of the irreversible. I'll never try that
at home alone again.

Love and aloha,

PS. I heard you smiling in one of the last choruses of "Moonlight and
Shadows", "I belong to you, you belong to me" and it made me smile too.

(Joel Goldfarb is a jazz pianist living and working on Maui.)

  Letter to Ayala Talpai at

Hi, I love your website and all the pics by Alicia Bay Laurel. It was
like coming home to my hippy roots........Living on the Earth was a
bible and is still right here in the bookcase by my modern computer!
Your book is on the table! There are a whole bunch of us felters and
needlefelters here, surrounding Marty and Pete's farm at Peace Fleece
(  We would love to have you do a workshop here in
Maine.  Sheepfest is the saturday around April 15, that would be nice!
We shear the local sheep at the Denmark Art Center, which really looks
like a grange hall to me. I play fiddle tunes with the younger ones and
we all jig.  There's spinners and weavers and Baaas everywhere.  Another
link up for workshop would be Halcyon in Bath. and there's more for your
$ circuit.  It would surely be fun if you'd consider it. And you and
Richard and whomever are welcome top stay at my farm.  It's a thought.
I'm a potter, and love to felt'n'fiddle too.  love to hear from you if
you get time. warmness to you, Sanna

  Got a new copy of Living on the Earth when I was in Mendocino last year.  It
was just a little more wonderful the second time around.

All Love, Safety, and Joy to you,

  i got your book this weekend! i love it
thank you so much alicia...what a sweet inscription :-)
love you

  Dear Tracy,

I just received your very cool package - mahalo nui loa - that was quite
neat. Alicia plays excellent slack key guitar! I enjoyed her cd. Shari
Elf is so refreshingly bizarre - her cd was just too fun! Thank you!

Love & Aloha,

Voice of the Goddess: Wildflower Revolution
I just have been listening to Living on the Earth cd and wanted to hear
your new's beautiful.     Your website is amazing...
i expect nothing less from you!

Much Love

beloved alicia
Your mail come to me when I just write e-mail for you . yesterday your10cds
reached for me. I will bring cds yoko's shop,tomorrow.
I went miyako island,about1hour from here by plane. there is small than
okinawa. there is incredible clear sea same as beautifull. and this
island have storong spiritual enagy. many sharman lives there,they can contact
anothr world and an ancestor usually.
I will send uminosati cd for you . iam so happy,couse you &your friend love
it. also i listen your cd today.
cdbaby open amana site. <>  simply bio & discribe up there.
they are so cool! system is perfect! please write review on it. thanks a lot.
this is 1st step for international marketing.this is one of my dream.
lust thuesday,i went hula halau in near from here,uncle george naope slept
upstair. i suprize!
i wanna meet him,and ask about pele,but he is still sleep......i will try next chance!
my big plesure when i meet you.
mahalo nui roa.

Sachiho Kudomi

  Quicksilver Messenger Service and  Open Communications and Mass
Sightings with the Ships. Those were the days. Yes they were.
It's a great thing we have such back up!

Remember Quicksilver's "Pride of Man"?
Check out the lyrics:

Pride Of Man
 Turn around, go back down, back the way you came,
Can't you see that flash of fire ten times brighter than the day?
And behold a mighty city broken in the dust again,
Oh God, Pride of Man, broken in the dust again.
Turn around, go back down, back the way you came,
Babylon is laid to waste, Egypt's buried in her shame,
The mighty men are all beaten down, their kings are fallen in the
Oh God, Pride of Man, broken in the dust again.
Turn around, go back down, back the way you came,
Terror is on every side, lo our leaders are dismayed.
For theose who place their faith in fire, their faith in fire shall
be repayed,
Oh God, Pride of Man, broken in the dust again.
Turn around, go back down, back the way you came,
And shout a warning unto the nation that the sword of God is raised.
Yes, Babylon, that mighty city, rich in treasures, wide in fame,
Oh God, Pride of Man, broken in the dust again.
The meek shall cause your tower to fall, make a new pyre of flame,
Oh you who dwell on many waters, rich in treasures, wide in fame.
you bow unto your God of gold, your pride of might shall be a shame,
For only God can lead His people back unto the Earth again.
Oh God, Pride of Man, broken in the dust again.
A Holy mountain be restored, and mercy on that people, that people.

Light, Char ~*

beloved alicia
george naope is kahuna. he is maybe ordinary ancient hawaiian. somebady says <menehune>.
i started hula lesson since this spring. my kumu(japanese) is naope's haumana.
sometime he came okinawa. i amnot wanna be dancer,but i wanna access hawaiian
culture deeply.hula is must. and dance is so pleasant,but little bit hard........
my partner donto loves george naope. when we stay hawaii,we looking for his
concert,but not found it.
however i saw him in okinawa ,nov  last year. he came for king kamehameha hula
competision in okinawa. i told him donto's story. he taught me his telephone
number. i met him june this year when i stay big island. he gave me maile
lei(most holy lei) for donto's 1year memorial ceremony. reality is most
miracle......also you&me.
couse i brought your book when we (donto&me)start before last trip for hawaii.
 from okinawa with big love.

Sachiho Kudomi
(Sachiho is a bass player, vocalist and multi-instumentalist. Her CDs are available
at Check out Amara, by the group Amara, and Rainbow Island by
the group Umi No Sachi.)
  My entire way of being today,was formed from my Wheeler
experience. I was given more love than I had ever
received in my life, learned about mother nature,
family/tribe and a sense of belonging and
responsibility, taught how to cook, chop wood, carry
water, survive, give birth, raise babies, make love to
men,garden, meditate, practice yoga, eat and prepare
healthy wholesome foods, take care of my body and
psyche, taught about Ahimsa and spirituality and
resisting /questioning authority etc. etc.

I have been rereading my original(!) copy of Living On the
. it gives me strength and solace in hard times.
I still believe in the original premise of that book.
I do not see it as naive or outdated, but as a lesson
plan and guide for sane living even today.Thanks for
that gift and your kind words.

Although I have few possessions, live very simply and
give everything away periodically (a practice I learned
and began at Wheeler's), I still have my original copy
of Living On the Earth. It is yellowed,
tattered and torn and is like an old friend to me. It
is still completely relevant, a bible, a lesson plan
and guide for sane and healthy living even/especially
today. I have to admit I have not yet seen the newer
release, I am still so attached to the original
version. As a surprise going away gift, when I left
North Carolina recently, the Director of the very tiny,
rural library (Pittsboro Memorial Library) that I
lived near gave me the library's original copy which
was still on its shelves(she purchased the newer
version). It is in pretty primo condition and intact
and even better has it's original library stamps and
date due card.
                LIVING ON THE EARTH

I still am amazed that Alicia came up with such a
concept way back in the day!? I don't know how she
managed to have the focus, foresight to put such a
thing together and share it with the world, a living
testimony and document way back then!?  

This book gave me much solace after I was forced (by
the cosmos) to leave Wheeler's and return home to my
parents in WVA. And I am returning to it again for

A life long gift from Alicia and my friends at
Wheeler's. Thank you.


Jodi Mitchell

Tea masters describe Wabi-Sabi as--"an irregular or rough beauty behind
which lurks a hidden beauty.  The beauty of the imperfect and the beauty
that deliberately rejects the perfect."

Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.
It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional.

Jack Brigstock

  Dear Jodi, Jack and Tribe,

Many thanks for your generous words about Living On The Earth. My intention when I created the manuscript was to make something for the people living at Wheeler's Ranch, a pamphlet to share on the land. I could see that, like me, most of us had never lived without electricity, running water, and telephones. Each of us had a piece of the information that all of us could use. So, I went around to people on the land, asked questions, took notes, and then I drew pictures. Later, seeing there was more we might want to know, I did research in the library and from other people elsewhere. By the time I finished doing that, I had over two hundred pages of notes, and I had to find some way to get it printed for free, since I didn't have any money. Ramon sent me to see Stewart Brand at the Whole Earth Catalog, and Stewart sent me to Book People in Oakland (his distributor), offering to put a review in the catalog if it got published. Book People had just started their own publishing company, the Bookworks, and my book was the second book they published. They printed ten thousand copies, which sold out within two weeks. No one was more surprised than I was. Then, without being approached by an agent (I had none), Random House bought the rights, gave it a lot of publicity, and sold 350,000 of them, including a lot of library copies. How did this happen? If I knew, I would have done it again!

The creation of the book did not come out of a vacuum. At nineteen, when I began work on it, I had already made three (unpublished) handwritten, illustrated books, worked as a graphic artist at the LA Free Press, took a semester of fashion design and pattern drafting at Pacific Fashion Institute in San Francisco, briefly studied lettering at California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, studied life drawing with Charles White III at Otis Art Institute, worked out of my own art studio at the Industrial Center Building at Gate 5, Sausalito, was mentored by artist Jean Varda, and was home-schooled in art by my mother, a sculptor who has had gallery shows and taught at universities.

Jack is right about Wabi-sabi. That idea, that drawings don't have to imitate photographs, that less is more, guides my aesthetic. I love raku-ware tea bowls for this.

I wish I could get rid of things regularly as Jodi does. Between art I've made and collected (art and recordings by friends, folk art, favorite books, many by friends), materials and tools for art, music and writing, business papers ('way too many of these), a ten foot rack of homemade and second hand clothes (mostly purple, Paula), and the usual housewares, I hardly feel like the girl who lived in a quonsethut with one guitar, one dress, a Rapidograph, and one sleeping bag in 1969.

Still, I am blessed to be able to go out of the house and be surrounded by the forest, with its symphony of birds, frogs, insects, and white noise.

Bright blessings to you all,


 I remember meeting you in front of the CO-OP, on Shattuck Ave. in
Berkeley, a few days after the first printing of "Living..." You were trying
to sell some, from under your arm, to get enough money to eat. Seems you
were flat broke and crashing with friends in Berkeley. I can't recall if I
gave you some change or if I was broke too, at the time. You looked very
worried. I thumbed through the book and saw that it was a 'How To,' and they
never interested me much, so I didn't take it very seriously. I read,
recently, that 'Gone With the Wind' received 13 rejections from different
publishers. Just think,....if the right person hadn't seen your book it
could have become a forgotten project from the hippie days. But
Goddesses/Gods planned it differently, eh?
 Thanks for the history, and the work, that led up to your masterpiece.
It's a better world, for it. Into a folder, goes your story, for the friends
who might ask.


Hi Alicia,
Me and Jennifer are looking at your amazing web site.
She is a fan! she knows of your books and will email you.
she wants to go to Hawaii.

she's an artist here and goes to our arts meeting

She loves your photos on your travel pages! She loves all the pictures
of your beautiful and healthy friends but thinks you are the healthiest
and most radiant looking.

Wow, I was on the phone and we were looking together over the phone
both on our computers.

Did you do your web site yourself?
It's amazing and your pictures are amazing.
I would love to have a place on my web site for shari's travels like
you do.

I have to take a web design class I guess.

any who,
I  hope she emails you, she was real inspired

love Shari Elf

Hello Alicia--
I have enjoyed your books for many years and now today I have mightily
enjoyed your web site. Each and every picture is lovely and I have looked at
them all, feeling like I've had a marvelous trip myself...I'm ready for a
nap just browsing! I am wishing to come to Hawaii maybe in december or so,
and I had phoned Shari Elf, asking her for any tips on visiting Hawaii's
hippie world--she told me to email you to ask and when I arrived at your web
site in search of said address, I recognized your familiar drawings. How
fortunate the world is to have had you chronicalling (sp?) it's growing.
I am a shamanic arts/ artist person myself, and am
intersted in visiting whatever homes of alternative culture are flourishing
there in the islands. If you could please give me some tips at your
convience I would be so appreciative.

Best blessings, jennifer Field :)

  Heavenly days, there you are again, Alicia

I logged onto your website, put some ice in a glass, forgot to pour the
water . . .two hours later went back to find the ice had melted (and, in
Kula at night, that's not always easy; ti's cold up here). In other words,
i got sucked into your delightful website big time. Jeez. I couldn't
believe it . . i wanted to read your whole diary. But, being a terribly
responsible Capricorn, i couldn't help but feel guilty that i wasn't
getting my own work done while reading your work!

Wow, sounds as if your tour was terrific. Hope you sold tons of books, and
i will buy one, but this note is not about buying right now. . . i'll do
that next time cuz i do want one.

Keep being Alicia,

MJ Harden
(She's the author of
Voices of Wisdom: Hawaiian Elders Speak, a totally
enjoyable and inspiring work. --ABL

The other day,  my world stress grief body was occupying too much room in my
own body so, I sang and swayed myself free, to your most soothing voice and music.
Also, we are babysitting a very bitty kitty.  To help her adjust to this
strange new environment, I played  your CD. Almost immediately she crawled
into her little bed and...basically, blissed out! Your music soothes both "man and beast"!

Susan Helfond