“Pardon Me, But Are you Usually So Unusual?”

“Why don’t you take it down a notch. ”  They said. Or, “Pardon me, your slip is hanging down past your ankles and the lace is getting all caught up in that rose bush over there.”

Sometimes we act weird to protect ourselves. And sometimes it’s not an act!

It has always been a little of both for me. Acting weirder to protect an inner weirdo.

When I was younger I would have offered you a purple butterfly, which was an imaginary creature I plucked from midair.

I gave them to people to scare them if they thought I was a witch because I got tired of people thinking that I was witchy. Putting these little butterfly spells on them made them leave me alone.

But sometimes I gave them to people who just needed a boost of magic from the spirit world and I had a way of wishing their well being into something almost palpable. So they got a butterfly with a wave of energy from my hand.

So, I was weird and it was fair that people called me weird.

I read a lot. I thought outside the box. And I had had enough trauma to develop a whopping case of Dissociative Identity Disorder.

I didn’t call it that, of course. I didn’t call it anything. I didn’t even notice it. I thought everyone had big chunks of time missing. It didn’t even occur to me that I was not like everyone else until I was older.

Screeeeeeeeeeeeech. Stop. Hold it right there. First of all, everyone has a little “extra dash” of personality that they don’t show to all the world. It is perfectly normal to have many facets to our personality, and some can be quite different from others. The problem with D.I.D. lies in the lack of communication between different parts of self and lack of consensus. Sometimes the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, and if it did it would be really pissed off!

So when I say I wasn’t like everyone else I only mean that my other classmates were not ending up in neighboring towns without knowing how they got there, nor were they missing whole days of school while thinking only five minutes had passed by.

All I’m saying is that I could have used an app to tell me whether or not I was behaving normally. I would have had less anxiety if I didn’t always have to second guess how to be considered normal and acceptable.

But doesn’t everyone feel awkward anyway? Isn’t that why awkward is a stand-alone word?

If my quirks were all filed down  I’d be a zombie. I’d have no verve. And so would you. If all your oddities were stamped out you’d be like white bread at the bottom of the stairwell of a high school. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need to correct one another from time to time. We need to communicate.

There is this juice that flows through us, and if it flows into all parts of us unimpeded we are like bright lamps. If it flows between us unimpeded, our society is pretty awesome as well.

Let me think….how does electricity work when it flows from point to point? I’m tempted to include an article here about electricity, because it seems I could make a good analogy between how it flows and is used to power a lamp, and how the energy of consensus flows through all the parts of personality to make up a fully functioning, well-rounded person, the kind of person that lights up a room and makes you want to hang around to see what happens next.

The same kind of flow needs to happen between people too. I tell when all is well, or if I step on your toes, I say, “excuse.”

Maybe the article I choose should be about electromagnetic energy and not simply electricity. (Now I am rubbing my nerdy hands together in anticipation of a hunt for an article that would suit my needs. Oh boy!)

I don’t know, maybe there would never be an app that could tell me when to tone it down or how to modulate or moderate or meditate or masticate this food for thought whether I like the taste of it or not.

Maybe the point is that as I grow into myself my light can grow with the flow or diminish.

It is an inside job, but we need each other. As I have said before, we have to do it by ourselves, but we never have to do it alone.

I need to be a part of everyone and everything, but in a natural, organic way, a give and take, breathing way.

If I tell you when your slip is showing and you tell me my collar is crooked we could look after each other without malice. We could say with equal measure how beautiful the other is on any given day, and how utterly unique they are and how completely lucky we are to know them.

One of the best compliments ever paid to me was by my first set of foster parents, Kent and Sharen Anonymous. They said when they met me, “You are an original first edition.” That made me very happy.

What if out quirks were the point after all.

I’m just saying,

sometimes it really sucks to be me,

sometimes I hate who I turned out to be.

But then when the wind bends the Elm branches down to my level and lets me climb in,

I’m happy I’m me, I’m happy to be, I’m perfectly fine with finally being just who I am.

And I would be even happier now if you could you and be here with me too,

Oh, ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo (pronounced u as is ewe cause it’s late and I don’t know a good rhyme for too. Don’t say boo!!!!!) Just love me and let me love you too.

I will develop this further.

Chant, Pray, Work, Play

I may have made it out of the Pit, but that does not mean I am home free. I can tell by the way my world is getting all jittery around the edges, like an analog TV that is losing its picture that I may need to go back into self-rescue mode.

I’m not feeling well, physically I mean. I am having some kind of autoimmune flare. I am on fire only no one can see that I ‘m burning. Even my lips are burning like they do when I have a fever.

Every joint hurts. My skin hurts. My eyes hurt. But the thing that hurts the most is that I am not grounded; I have lost that feeling that I’m moving toward enlightenment. Instead, I am slipping down a steep, muddy slope that leads to obscurity, to the unknowable

I don’t know why I have to lose my mind from time to time, but it seems to be part of the human experience. I don’t know anyone who goes through life feeling all blissed out every single day of their life. Maybe a saint feels that way, but probably, if they are like any of the saints I have read about, they have to have their share of misery just like the rest of us.

There is this song, it’s hilarious. It used to come on some TV show when I was a kid. All I can remember is that they sang, Pain, Despair and Agony on Me in a plaintive twang, and that’s how I feel this morning.

…which is really pretty funny when I think about it.

The birds think it’s funny too. It is barely daylight and they are ecstatic just because the sun is rising again. They wake up in such a good mood every day they would think anything is funny. I like their attitude.

So, I’m not well. That means the first thing I need to do is stop beating myself up for being sick. I have a terrible habit of kicking myself when I’m down. I’d never treat anyone else that way. Why do I do that to me?

I’m going to take care of me the way I would take care of someone else.

I’ve got several projects planned, but I’ll have to see how it goes.

Right now reiki jane wants to snuggle, and when your dog wants to snuggle and the sky is still grey, I say let the day start nice and slow. I kinda like it this way.

Maybe I need to add snuggling to my formula for what do when I feel frazzled instead of clear and serene: Chant, pray, work, play, and snuggle.

Kelvin Measures the Intensity of Color

Kelvin is a unit to measure the intensity of color.

Kelvin is also a pudgy baby brother with a buzz cut and bright parrot-green Hawaiian shirt. But no shirt could match the green of his eyes, not in those days anyway.

The year Kelvin wore that green Hawaiian shirt was a very green year with plenty of yellow and orange days and only a few days that were absent of color, black hole days. It doesn’t take many days like that to drain the green from a little boy’s eyes. But not yet!!

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Kelvin, remember when you and I played in the mud puddle on the corner of North Main and Juniper? In those days all the roads were dirt except for North Main and each had its puddle after a rain.

No not a puddle.

A puddle is what you put your feet in and sink up to the ankles.
We could wade through water all the way up to our knees at least…more sometimes and that was when it got a teeny bit scary.

When the water rushed up to the thigh it was scary because in order to be that high it had to be running pretty fast. So we waited till it stopped running fast but still offered a place to swim.

Not really, we didn’t swim exactly. Man, I am full of lies! We didn’t swim, but we sat down in it and let it rise up to our necks.

Remember how you drank it on a dare and said it tasted like chocolate milk? Your eyes were green green green that day and they laughed at me as a dare-back to you.

I don’t think I was as brave as you because to this day I don’t know what ditch-water chocolate tastes like.

Kelvin: a unit to determine the intensity of color.

We were older when I had a 45 record of Color my World, by Chicago, I played it over and over, mesmerized. You had heard enough. You Frisbee’d it onto the roof, where anything you could throw up there gave its life to the New Mexican sun. The color of those days was red and orange/yellow. There were Indian Blankets everywhere, my favorite wildflower, and sandstorms during which red dirt walls could be seen moving into town, giving everyone enough time to take cover if they were smart enough to do so. There were industrious red and black ants and they were my friends. When I think about that time period it reminds me of Mayan artwork. For some reason, it seems to have ended the day the record died on the roof.

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I was so mad. I chased you with broom ready to beat the mischief out of you.

I don’t remember catching you. I hope I didn’t.

You chased those boys that had ganged up on me at the city park that late night. Why were we there? How crazy to be in such a dangerous place in the middle of the night.

Mom took us there and let me out; I was going to run straight through to the other side but got trapped by a gang of paint sniffers. I was surrounded. They had knives. You came to my rescue. You were younger than anyone there. How did you know to come for me? I don’t remember screaming or calling for help. I was too scared.

But you were Kelvin: you were able to measure the intensity of color even the color of danger in the dark with pinpoints of a dirty-yellow streetlight for exclamation points.

Remember when we were walking as a family along the railroad tracks and you found an unused tear gas thing? You always found the weirdest things. We took it to the police station; I was embarrassed because they knew our whole family by name.
Remember when we went to the same group home organization in Albuquerque? I was in a house called Casa Simpatica and you were in a house across town called? I can’t remember. It was the house where A Big Yellow Submarine ( compliments of local artist/houseparent) splashed in the sunlight off the French Door port .

Of course, you would be placed in a house where artists did the decorating; you were Kelvin: you measured the intensity of color in the world.

My eyes are green too, but not like yours. Mine have the tendency to go yellow and scare people. Remember when those boys were picking on you and I went after them? I don’t know what I did to scare them, but when the air cleared, they were hiding in a closet, huddled together and would not come out till the house parent got there and made them come out.

What I could have done to scare them I cannot say. I don’t have a memory of it. I just know that they never ever bothered you again.

The night in the emergency room, when I thought you were going to die, I asked if we could pray the Our Father. I didn’t know what else to do. You were so out of it. I stood over you, holding your hand and sheltering you with the curve of my shoulders. My tears fell onto your face and I prayed that they could be like the waters of baptism and wash away all your pain.
You died at home a few days later
I miss you with the fierce intensity of all my colors.
Kelvin: September 5, 1962, died May 31, 2012

Gifts of the Spirit

I don’t feel these gifts all the time. In fact, today, I don’t feel them at all. I am drowning in an ocean of tears. I don’t know what to do with my bitterness. I am not sweet. I’m quite horrible it seems. As Ram Dass says if you think you are enlightened just spend time with your family. All the prayers I have ever prayed, all the songs I sing, all the stories, all the art, none of it can purge the hurt that goes from family member to family member. I wish I could sew my mouth shut and never say another harsh word, but then my anger and hurt would pour out of my eyes. If I pluck out my eyes, it will seep out of my pores. I am haunted. Please, God, help me. I can’t cure myself. I don’t know what to do.

Bumfuddley Fool of Tarot

I didn’t mean to stray from the pack. I didn’t even know I was lost till I heard my people talking to one another and realized I had no idea what they were talking about. It sounded like a foreign language; it made me sad and homesick.

I am drunk on too much moonlight.

It’s so hard to close my eyes, even though I know it’s the thing to do. But, come on, have you heard cottonwood trees sing in the evening? Who could sleep after that? It’s like a theater full of performers huddled for the pre-show bonding exercises. You can feel the rush. It runs all the way up from the roots and it twists and swirls, rising, rising, till all at once every limb is shaking joy into every leaf. Tree exhales, we inhale: one breath.

It’s not the kind of thing that makes a fool sleepy. Instead, it is a wake-up call for the avid dreamer.

I’ve been lost for about 30 hours I think. I’ve been a wandering fool.

Once upon a time

When the windows of the world

We’re left open by mistake,

The cosmic wind blew in.

Well, when the wind blew out

It took seeds and seas and bumble bees

And cats with corduroy trousers.

It left the fools to figure things out,

To listen to wolves

And to wander about.

So I have been doing what fools do, quite happily, fully engaged in being the best fool I could be. I listened carefully and played attention when I was talking to butterflies.

Of course, one should always listen when a butterfly talks, so I was only doing as I should.

I play the fool a lot. Only I am not playing. I am serious about living this way and I don’t understand it when people try to change me,

But I digress!

What I am trying to say is that I’ve wandered away from my tribe, from my group and I’m lost. It seems like I have forgotten how to chant and meditate; I’ve become undisciplined. I have become UNACCOUNTABLE. Even if I chanted a few hours ago, in the green chair by the woodpile.

I can’t account for any lessons learned. There were no visions or miracles.

Well, that’s not entirely true. There was a miracle. It is in the early stages. I’ll tell you more very soon.

I guess if I had not wandered I would have missed this miracle altogether. So,

To wander is sometimes serendipitously beneficial. The is the story of my life. I’ve wandered from pillar to post in what seemed like complete chaos, but to the Divine Master, I have danced my danced perfectly well, always being right where I need to be when I am supposed to be there. I might have fallen and spilled my soup, but it fell into the bowl of a man who needed it more than I did. More than once, I stumbled and fell down a flight of stairs and landed in another time or space where the beds were softer or the poetry loftier than that of the world I left behind. I always end up learning the lessons I need to be learning no matter how well planned or how thoroughly chaotic my life has been thanks to the fool in me who can go with the flow.

But sometimes the fool is not so lucky, or at least the benefits are not so easily worked out, like when one gets lost, or even worse, when one loses another.

Oh! I hear them carrying on like a happy wolf family, yipping and howling, texting and chatting, posting those praying, namaste hands and red hearts and smiley faces, talking about some genius thing Ram Dass said.

And by my own fault, I’m lost, sitting on a rock in the woods eating wandaberries, my face stained with purple juice,  an ant farm growing in my abandoned shoes.

I want to come hooooooooooooome. Do you have roooooooooooooom?

Can I bring my butterfly? My ant farm?

Hog Wild!

My son and daughter-in-law in Dallas just got a pig named Paubla. Apparently, she makes them very, very happy. So I had to include her in my manifesto.

My Spirit Guide, Horse Lady told me to paint a poster to remind myself of the things I need to do to stay focused…at least I think that was my assignment. To be completely honest, when she asked me if I remembered the poster, I didn’t lie; I said “Yes.” That was true. I just couldn’t remember what the poster was supposed to have on it. Therefore, I made one with what I think it should be on it. A Manifesto.

So here is my mission statement.

Gonna sleep like a rock, rise like the morning star, work like a dog, pray like Baba Ram Dass, gonna love and meditate, gonna just be me, gonna live to serve till every one of us is free, gonna laugh and dance and play and sing, and like a happy little child, every once in a while I’m gonna go hog wild! Hog wild.

Let me clarify a couple of points.  When I say work like a dog, I am saying that work is good. working dogs are happy dogs. They like to have a job and do it well. So that is what I mean by that. And when I say pray like Baba Ram Dass, well, I aspire to be like him, to learn from him as much as I possibly can and to pray all day, from my heart, the way he does. And to go hog wild? I think we need order, but as Alan Whitehead emphasizes, “Not too much order.”