Stop Now. Remember (Fragments)

Stop Now, remember the dream. Mary A. Was my mother and my best friend. I was at her house for dinner. I was also at my apartment in a city and in a car in Philly and in a classroom.

Of course I was in a classroom. I’m always learning. And it makes sense that Mary would be my mother in the dream because she is sponsoring my development.

She was my sponsor for RCIA and the biggest supporter of my education and even of my yoga classes back in the the day.

Anyway, she was a big part of this dream and kept showing up in different places

Watch “Let’s talk trees” on YouTube

Do you ever wonder what kind of alphabet the bark of a tree might be and what it would tell you once you learned to speak it’s language? Would you have to speak slowly, forming your thoughts over great stretches of time, making deep currents move through the the trunk and branches in a careful and connected way to make your point? Or would you be quick like the wind when it turns the leaves all at once, hundreds of phrase in one breath— imagine. Haha! It makes me giddy. How complex a language it must be, how rich the tones. And still, how simple if we are willing, and I know it’s almost impossible, but how exquisite a composition we encounter with all our senses if we could allow a tree to teach us the heart of true language which has always been simply to listen deeply before making a sound,, then listening deeply again.

Dear Kitten Has Lost Her

Dr. Diepold used to coax the strongest part of me out by saying, “Here kitty, kitty, kitty.” It always made me laugh, which was the whole point.

Cat is the nickname for the part of my personality system that always came so the rescue when things got really bad.

At first there were about 5 separate cats; there was fun cat, sex cat, sun cat, and I can’t remember the others. They were just cat-like helpers.

Like all the different parts, or compartmentalized aspects of personality, Cat was formed in trauma.

If there was trauma, no problem, I knew how to make it all go away. I could find something to fix my attention on till it was a teeny tiny point, a disappearing dot, an imaginary number like the square root of negative one while the rest of my mind did whatever it had to to survive without involving me.

The problem is that solving trauma by splitting, or dissociating only works temporarily. It actually compounds the real problem. Imagine having a blender that you used to chop up a tomato. It works great for the first one. But if one keeps using it over and over, adding tomatoes and carrots and watermelon and never cleaning the blender or actually using the produce more than a spoonful at a time, guess what happens.

I had no control over the chaos, nor could I process everything that was happening; I couldn’t make sense of it. I couldn’t even put it into a story or a picture or a sound that made sense or matched anything my mind had seen in the world that other people accepted as normal, so my brain made the traumatic events unreal; I’d turn them into a cartoon. People got killed and mutilated in cartoons yet the band played on through peals of laughter. How many times had I seen violence in cartoons for which no body blinked an eye? So that is kind of what my brain did because there was nothing else I could do.  I didn’t consciously decide to create a cartoon-like experience, it happened spontaneously.

This is where I think the Fourier Transforms, which act as a sort of centrifuge, might come into action. In my case, it seems as though a switch was flipped and my brain did its magic to whirl apart the components of the experience, but instead of reconstituting it exactly as it was, the experience became something easier for a child to live with and a cartoon land sprang up. Boing.

So, the first Cat was the version I used to call Fun Cat because she was and is strong and has developed past her immediate function into a jokester who loves science and language and is just plain playful. She does not go into cartoon land anymore, but if there are ever any signs of that happening “we,” collectively know to call for help because it means the situation is dangerous.

Sun Cat’s special ability was to close her eyes and bask in warm places. I’m not sure how that started–something to do with the meat locker where stepfather hurt the kitten that day, but I don’t know and I don’t want to know the actual trauma.  All that matters is that cats like to close their eyes and stay warm in sunny places. I could do that. It made me feel far away and dreamy; I could float like a dust moat in a sun beam.

Sex Cat is easy to figure out. Enough said.

These days there is a mostly integrated version of all the different parts. It took a lot of heart work. (Notice I didn’t say hard work.)

Living through the trauma was hard. The kind of work that healed me was tender and loving.

Dr Diepold did what he could, and it was a lot. He brought all the fragments into the open and helped me get a functioning work force together. But it didn’t keep me out of the hospital.

I met Elaine Prendergast Paulson during one of the hospital stays. She made a difference right away and appealed to the yogi in me. I had been doing yoga since I was 12, so at 35 I was more than ready for a therapist who could teach yoga as a part of recovery also.

She used another mind/body modality that was extremely helpful and that was called Focusing, developed by Eugene Gendlen.

There is much to be learned about how the body splits or compartmentalizes traumatic events. One of the things I hope to explore, based on little more than  armchair physics and from my felt sense of what it is like to switch into an altered state,  is Fourier Transforms as a way to explain or to help us discover an organic mechanism within the body/brain that spins our experiences into its component parts and then reconstitutes them to suit our current needs. All this happens at the blink of an eye if my experience holds true

In the early days of therapy, when the switching between mind states was still rather dramatic, I could feel my eyes roll in a hard flutter, up and back as I went from one personality to another and from one set of memories or another. That does not happen now that there is a free flow of information between all the parts of my personality. In fact, there is much less distinction between parts.

Everyone has some distinction between parts of personality. We have the part of us that goes to work and the part that goes to the party afterwards. But as we find peace with ourselves we are spontaneously authentic, wherever we are, finding that we can fit ourselves naturally to any occasion.

 I believe heartfelt mindfulness restores wholeness.

Today I had a minor setback because I thought I had screwed up a really fantastic opportunity to work with two highly talented writers and genuinely cool people. I spiraled in the FT blender but came out laughing with a funny blues song.

It gets easier. If I lose my sense of humor I can just say, “Here kitty, kitty, kitty.”

Meow.

Please look for upcoming post on the Fourier Transforms and the Mind of the Heart as I delve into the phenomenon that makes it possible for human beings to withstand unimaginable trauma in imaginative ways. 

River of Love (or Mercy)

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This is a song for my grandson, for his birthday–and a good song to sing to start your day off on a positive note.

There is a river of love

In my blood in my blood

that flows like thunder from a holy mountain.

I sing gratitude at the break of dawn for my

strong bones, brave heart, to live my life like a work of art;

I sing to the light to the misty bright to the love that makes me mighty.

Gonna walk the walk of mercy

gonna talk the talk of mercy

gonna be be your friend

gonna lend a hand gonna be the one you can count on.

yeah!

Repeat x3 (put your hands on your heart while you sing this part.)

Sure Was Long

That’s what she said.

Ok. This is no joking matter! I worked on a blog post this morning and yes, it was pretty awful. But I could have fixed it. It was self serving, sort of, but not really. It only seemed that way at first glance, like a lot of my stuff. I write about myself because that is all I know. I am not an expert at anything else. So I use myself, usually as the bad example. Then I show how I have learned from my …experiences.

Which is what I am doing now.

I read the (now deleted) post to mom, who had encouraged me to share the Boa Constrictor Story in the first place and all she said was, “It sure was long.”

So. Back to the drawing board. But not till I kick a few cans down the road and feel just a wee bit sorry for myself.

Original Songs

I had not been singing. There were several reasons and none of them worth going into right now. They would all bring you down and that is not the intention of this post.

This morning, after finally getting a good night’s sleep, I woke up feeling like a human being. I took care of the dogs and cat and made coffee. I checked my email, blinked my eyes and did some of Mark Beat’s exercises to create a little space for my soul to stretch out.

And finally, after what seemed like a million years, (but really was only a couple of weeks,) I began to sing. The Hindu mantra Har Haray Hari seemed to well up from the core of my being and spill into musical notes to fill the room, the whole house with happy song. I knew the chant had reached a ripe point when suddenly all the animals were especially quiet and listening. you can tell when someone is really listening. Even if a person, or an animal in this case, is quiet, there is an inaudible noise they make when they are not really listening. Then, when they tune in to what you are saying or singing there is a tangible kinetic difference in the space between singer and listener.

I can’t just say there is a change in the room, because I believe this change can be experienced in any distance as long as a connection has been made. Maybe it occurs in the morphic fields that Rupert Sheldrake speaks of.

The dogs, and Pascal, the cat, seemed to appreciate their morning concert, and I appreciated a receptive audience. I was so happy I baked a crustless pumkin pie and brewed a little more coffee to stretch the morning out a little longer.

I am looking forward to the day ahead in the way I use my eyes to connect to the points of the room in the 8-point anchoring exercise that Mark teaches. I connect with the day ahead: I love the day ahead and create a space of love bewteen where I am now and where I am headed.

May I walk in grace. May I feel true gratitude for everything that crosses my path. May I think before I act and may i act with mindful intention to keep myself in tune and singing so that others may remember that they are music too and that our lives are all original songs.

Mad Energy

She interrupted my morning routine with passive aggressive messages about what I ought to be doing instead, then she interrupted a recording session asking me if I’d cleaned the litter box.

That did it. I was mad–mad enough to stand up, get out of my pajamas, pick up the broom and start cleaning.

I started chanting a mantra to protect me from her bad mood. I almost recognized that I needed protection from my own bad mood too, and I needed to make sure no one was hurt by it as well. So I chanted and cleaned, chanted and cleaned and after a couple of hours started feeling kind of happy.

Then She came home and needed my help. She poked herself with sharp tweezers and was bleeding; she needed a Band-aid.

“Get on the Reiki table.” I said. Put pressure on the wound and I’ll get the Band-aid.”

Anyone could tell I was still a little angry.

“No.” She said. “All that anger will leak out. You are still mad at me.”

I looked at her and smiled. “I am still mad, but I’m putting the energy to good use. I’ve got the Reiki room all cleaned and I’m working on the other. I’m not ready to stop being mad. (I laughed.) I still have work to do. (She laughed.)

She has been bleeding too much.

The day before yesterday she banged on the shower wall and I ran in there to find her standing in a shower of blood that would have outdone any horror flick. She had been washing her face and disturbed a wound. It was horrible. I got her out and applied pressure with a tight towel, put her in bed and told her to stay put and keep the towel on. She usually doesn’t listen, but this time she did.

I was thinking about that during my mad-energy frenzy cleaning.

At some point in the frenzy I switched mantras to one that acknowledged the oneness of God and our relationship to God and to one another. I was diligently reminding myself not to judge because I’ve been in the same head space. I may be there tomorrow.

We all have our demons. We all have parasites to remove. Some are hidden in our bodies, some are bullies at school, some work with us, suck the life out of us, some run governments and corporations, churches and other fear based thought shapers, like media. We all have parasites.

I guess there are different cures.

One thing I am convinced of is this: we cannot get rid of them by hating them or thinking they are useless and disgusting. We have to find the value in them. And even if we can’t find the direct value of, let’s say a fluke or a tapeworm, or a school bully, we can help find a cure by opening ourselves to the idea that all life has some reason for being.

At any rate, we don’t have to take this line of thought very far to realize that we may be someone’s parasite as well.

Kind of an eye opener.

It means I’d have to let go of feeling like I am so special.

I mean, I am special. The life force that manifests as me is wonderful! But when examined closely, so are microscopic creatures, so bizarre in their composition they seem like beings from another planet.

Anything, anyone, when examined through the right lens, has value.

I used my anger for good yesterday. I used it to clean my rooms and the rooms of my mind and heart.

All can be grist for the mill.

There are things in my life that I hate. Grist for the mill. I won’t hate myself for hating, but I will chant and pray for God to change me and to use the energy for some good. And if I feel plagued by any type of clingy parasite, I will find out if there are things in my life that I (myself) might be hanging on to for dear life and ask, can I let that go?

Meanwhile I will stop judging people who stand there and think they are so much better than the girl who gets the head lice from the boy next door who got ’em from so and so and oh! you know how it goes.

It goes on unless we change it.

We can change.

Ek ong kar sat Nam siri Wahe guru.

Seasons

What are the seasons to me? They come and go so quickly now that they are more like the nuance of speech in a story my beloved tells. Yes, he tells the story over and over and I love hearing it and joining in the telling at key points. Like when Spring came and the wind was so fierce we had to hold onto the street lamps to keep from blowing away. We’ll all chime in at “Spring.” Then he talks about summer and we chant “Summer.”
If he were to stop telling the stories there would be no fruit, no leaves to fall, no bare branches to catch the snow and transform it into blossoms.
So what season is this, my love? I can see summer all year long or freeze in August. There is a hum that connects the season’s that seems more noticeable to me now than the changes themselves. I’m drawn to the center, to the teller.

I Knew Him From A Dream


Dreams can be powerful, especially when they inspire or encourage us to act in ways that give meaning and purpose to our lives.

Before I knew that I was pregnant with my first child I had a dream that I was in the delivery room. A baby boy was lying on my belly and we were having a great conversation about how we could help one another during this lifetime. We both agreed that it would be difficult, but that the lessons we could learn from the experience of living this life together would make it worthwhile. We also agreed to forget the details of the conversation in order for the lessons to take hold. Soon after the dream I found out I was pregnant and nine months later, the baby boy in my dream was born.

I could not remember the details of the conversation but I never forgot the dream. And when things got rough I’d always ask him to try to remember why he was here, why we were in this life together and what it was we needed to learn.

His life was plagued with difficulties; he was talented, intelligent, and had a delightful sense of humor, but he had a seizure disorder and mental/emotional illnesses that made his time on earth painful and lonely. He died 4 months ago.

It is remembering that dream that comforts me during this time of terrible grief. If I knew him before he was born then maybe I can know him now that he has passed on. Maybe there is more to life than what we can see, hear, touch, taste and feel.

Otherwise, what’s the point?

That is what I couldn’t figure out. What point was there to living if we were just going to die anyway? What purpose was there to living?

I didn’t feel depressed per se. I was grieving, certainly. I was very, very sad. But I have been clinically depressed before and it was not depression that I was experiencing. Not yet, anyway. Not in full force.

Before Nick died I had quit taking an antidepressant medication that I’d been on for more than 20 years. I quit by accident. It was a matter of running out while I was out of town. A pharmacy was unable to fill the script right away and when all was said and done I had been without it for more than a month. Since I was doing fine at the time, I decided to give it a try on no meds. I cleared it with the doctor and that was that.

The depression didn’t hit until three months after Nick’s death. I went from a grieving mother to a grieving mother with clinical depression.

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I cried all day, every day. I couldn’t get the idea of suicide out of my head. The thought that suicide was the only answer was intrusive and persistent.

I had been this depressed before. I’d attempted suicide (more than once) at other times in my life when I firmly believed that I was bad for people and that my presence in the world caused too much suffering. It wasn’t that I wanted to die. It was that I thought I had to die to rid the world of one of its problems. As soon as I recognized the dark state of mind I’d fallen into I started seeking help.

I tried working with the therapist I had been seeing for two years but she was accusing me of trying to sabotage and retraumatize myself. She wasn’t helping. So I looked elsewhere.

Needless to say, I started taking the medicine again as soon as I realized I was in trouble.

I got workbooks for al-anon and other self-help programs and tried hard to work them, but I could not concentrate.

I talked to my doctor, to my friends, to my 12 step groups.

I talked to my mother and to others who cared about me.

I called a therapist I had seen (and love dearly) who lives 2000 miles away. (You will hear more about her later.)

I called a good friend who said she would be my accountability coach. (You will hear more about her as well. )

And I started an online meditation class with Ram Dass.

All of these things helped.

Also, I had been working very diligently to improve my relationship with Mildred who is like my own mother. I love her so much.

We have a long history of hurt between us but I have made it one of my life’s goals to save the love. It is worth it to me. I am not willing to throw that away. There are many precious and hilarious memories, just as many, if not more than the bad ones and since I am the one living my life I get to choose what is important. My relationship with Mildred is one of the things I choose.

So as the depression worsened I tried to ward it off and I tried to hide the tears, but that only made me feel more desolate and isolated.

I kept working with the tools I had at my disposal. Painting, music, chanting, meditation, prayer, 12-step meetings, phone calls, and the knowledge that the pain I was feeling would surely pass. Knowledge from past experience that suicidal thoughts are a symptom of depression as common as sneezing is a symptom of a cold. I had to wait it out.

Then something shifted.

The day I carried out the trash was a turning point; it was my first day of real hope.

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The night before I had made up my mind. I said to myself: “In the morning, before it gets too hot, I am going to take out the trash.”

The dumpsters are pretty far from our house, and I was recovering from two broken feet and an autoimmune disease. (Another story.) But I’d decided that I would take the trash out no matter how many times I had to stop and rest along the way.

I was beginning to feel focused enough to make a plan and I went into self- rescue mode.

Before I went to sleep I looked up Kundalini yoga exercises to do to treat depression and found one that I was familiar with, one that didn’t seem to hard or too taxing. I planned to do it as soon as I woke up. I had had good results with Kundalini before. I knew it worked and I knew I needed it.

I was doing the Solstice Meditation Renewal class with Ram Dass online, so I looked up the lesson plan for that day. We were into week two and I loved the mantra: “The power of God is within me; the grace of God surrounds me.” I said it over and over until I could feel it in my body.

Processing things through my senses is a skill I learned from Elaine, the therapist that is 2,000 miles away. She trained me in the art of mindfulness and I was using it to absorb as much of the mantra as possible.

The next morning, I sat at my computer, getting into the heartfelt teachings of Ram Dass. Then I switched gears into Kundalini. I was trying to change my body/brain chemistry and energy to that of a person fully engaged with the business of living instead of the zombie I’d become. I’d texted my sponsor, L.A. and told her that I was choosing to look for things to be grateful for. It wasn’t easy because I wasn’t really in the mood, but I had some kind of new force inside of me, a willingness to exercise my will to live. Like any muscle that is not used, my will to live had atrophied and it took gentle effort and loving kindness to bring it back.

Time to carry out the trash.

I had to force myself out there. I complained about it by telling my mother we need to invest in a little trailer for the riding mower so we can haul trash to the dumpster instead of trying to carry it out. But out the door I went.

At the halfway point we have a chair so we can sit if we need to rest before going on. I did need to rest. I was out of breath and my feet hurt. But I was ok after a few minutes. In fact, the birds were singing and the trees were green. There was a very pleasant breeze. “Nice.” I thought.

After taking a few deliberate, deep breaths, I got up and walked out to the dumpster and then back again to the halfway point.

Sitting there, enjoying the shade and sounds of an early morning in summer I began to calculate the distance from the chair to the house as opposed to the chair to my vehicle, which still had not been unpacked since Nick died. I had the wheelbarrow already and the distance was about the same. It was still cool enough. I decided to go to unpack Nick’s paintings, to bring them into the house.

Please understand that all the steps up to this point were monumental and extremely difficult for me! It may seem simple but it was like climbing Mount Everest while wearing a lead coat. Such is the nature of depression.

So the decision to make a detour and go to my vehicle to unpack Nick’s paintings instead of going straight into the house was a significant sign of progress.

But wait, it gets better. It may not sound better at first but bear with me.

When I got inside there was a phone call from a cousin who had just had knee surgery.

Her husband had fallen onto her surgery knee so thdey were both in the emergency room.

Mom and I didn’t hesitate. We went straight to the hospital and then to their house so that we could be of assistance in whatever way we were needed. We cleaned and washed dishes, we cooked and ran errands, we listened and visited. I even got to do a little Reiki. We were there with them for the entire day. (It all turned out well by the way.)

Remember that my feet were just healing from broken bones and I still have an autoimmune disease, but I was able to do all that work and I enjoyed doing it. I felt needed. I was useful. For the first time in a long time, I was able to be of service to someone. That day my depression lifted!

I could hardly wait to tell my doctor, who I was going to see the next day. This was big news. I knew that service was going to have to be part of my recovery.

It was still a struggle to keep my feet on solid ground and If I was going to make it out of the pit of utter despair I knew I’d have to be of service to someone who needed me every single day.

Here is the place in the story where we have to switch to present tense because this is an ongoing process.

I cling to the mantras from the Ram Dass meditation course. I keep in touch with the online group of fellow meditators.

I keep in touch with Elaine, my friend and former therapist from NJ, who taught me so much about how to stay alive, how to thrive in a world where cruelty is the norm. She sees something of value in me. She is teaching me to believe that there is still a reason to be alive. This is Elaine:

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I am glad I stopped seeing the counselor who was holding me back, who was actually causing more harm than good. I’m glad I started seeing someone who wants to work with me in a creative way, honoring the fact that creativity is useful, that using art and music to recover is not a waste of time. It was hard for me to stand up for what I believe and choose a better way; I’m glad I did it.

And every night I call my friend, Wendy, who has agreed to be my accountability coach. She wants to talk to me at the end of every day to hear how I have done my share to make the day a good one, to see how I used my energy for that day. She very gently, but firmly kicks my butt if I fail to see my good qualities or opportunities for growth and progress. What a blessing to have a friend like that!

Of course, I have not told you everything. How could I? I didn’t tell you much about L.A. who is my 12- step sponsor and a bright light in the world. She has helped me in so many ways.

She is also part of a kind of magical thing: the Convergence of Lions, which is a story I will tell you soon, I promise.

First let’s talk about this other thing—this phenomenon that I might understand better if I were a quantum physicist. I’m not sure how to explain it, but I will try.

As I said, I have always had a stormy, painful relationship with Mildred.

Well, I have a similar relationship with a girl named Penny, only the roles are reversed. She can barely tolerate me. She cringes when she sees me coming. Yet we are bound together by love that is deeper than the rage that roils on the surface, but you’d never know it by our interactions. I grovel and she holds me at arms’ length.

The interesting thing is that when I started working on my part of the relationship with Mildred, taking responsibility for my actions and my attitudes without having expectations of her, not only did things get better between us, but things got a little better between Penny and I as well!

These two people never see or speak to one another, but somehow the progress in one is affecting the other! It is kind of like one particle affecting another particle even though they are separated from one another. Einstein called this phenomenon Spooky Action, but is it really so spooky? Think of it more in terms of harmonics. When one tone is active it causes another to be active. I believe that is what is happening with Mildred and Penny. My inner work is the activating force. I’d better not slack off. But I don’t have to go crazy either.

It is wonderful to know that a little bit of honest work in myself goes a long way toward mending things in the world –out there. Progress in the way I relate to my own needs and feelings, hopes and dreams improve the way I relate to others and the goodness goes on from there.

Now, about the Convergence of Lions and the need to be rescued.

I was five years old when I had the lion dream and I was living in Hawaii.

The Lion Dream

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It was the end of the world. The ocean was flooding the streets and pushing the sidewalks up into little pyramids. Everything was falling apart except for the house I was in. I was hiding in a kitchen and had somehow split myself into a bunch of little “me’s.” Each of me was in a different cabinet. Two giant lions were padding through the house. I can still the sound of their pads, soft and strong thrump, thrump, all through the house, checking every room to make sure I was safe. They were checking to see if I was hidden, to see that none of my toes were sticking out.

I love those lions.

Well, one week I wanted to paint a lion for a friend who is a Leo. I was mesmerized with the task of painting this lion and didn’t stop till it was finished and delivered.

L.A. had no idea I’d painted a lion, yet she gave me a little stone lion at a meeting that night with a card about the lion’s strength and courage. I thought it was interesting that two lions had shown up together.

That same night, before I went to sleep, I looked up from a book I was reading to turn off Youtube, and there was a picture on the screen of a kitten looking into a mirror and seeing a majestic lion instead of his own reflection. I said, “OK God! I am listening now!”

The convergence of lions happened before I was feeling suicidal. It was as if they came to warn me that things were going to get bad –that perhaps the end of my world was coming and I needed to have courage.

I have always been blessed with vivid dreams and premonitions and I treasure them. I love to see how they unfold and see what mysteries they hold.

I don’t know how I knew it was the end of the world when I was five, but the message to have courage during a time of great upheaval came through with the convergence of Lions precisely because the Lion Dream had made such an impression on me back then. Those dream lions have walked with me through all these years, only showing up when things were getting really bad.

The world I am living in now is not like the one I lived in before Nick died. It has changed.

I have changed. The world came to an end and nobody saved me.

Here’s the thing:

I have always wanted someone to save me, to rescue me, to discover me, to sweep me off my feet and take me to the magic kingdom where real life happens.

I have wanted that since I was a little girl; it probably has something to do with all those fairy tales and knights on white horses.

When the knight didn’t show up, I wanted a husband. When that didn’t work, I wanted relationships, then doctors and therapists and religion and books and herbs and yoga and this cure and that cure—always something outside of myself.

I was always grasping.

Now I wanted someone to save me from suicide.

But this time I knew that I was the only one who could save me after all because every other thing had been stripped away.

I had to do it myself. But I didn’t have to do it alone.

Let me say it another way. There is no one who can enjoy taking a nice deep breath for me. I have to experience that for myself. In the same way, no one can save my life or give my life meaning and purpose except my innermost self because no one fits in my skin like I do. No one can give a big sigh of relief when I fall into bed at the end of the day—I have to experience that for myself. No one else can make me understand what it feels like to have water on my skin or taste an apple or run or laugh or cry or sing. I have to discover these things first hand. And that is how I have to save myself too.

Step by step, task by task, one experience at a time, grace upon grace.

I am responsible for me. I get to decide what is important to me and what I want my life to be about. I get to decide what is valuable to me, what matters most. And I don’t have to figure it all out at one time. I get to trust my instincts and know as I go. I get to make mistakes and start over as many times as it takes. And I get to include other people in my life, people to cherish and serve, to laugh and play and work with. I get to have a sense of community and to build it up, nurture it with kindness and solidarity.

Yes, I have to save myself, but I never have to do it alone.

And who knows, saving myself just might have a ripple effect.

May there be

Peace

Joy

Love

Hope

Courage

Light

Life

Enough

Laughter

Tranquility

Creativity

And dreams of lions to protect you, to remind you to tuck in your toes.

Now this is where the story ended BEFORE Nick connected with me on his birthday.

What?

That is right.

You see, I had been working on the story for quite some time, trying to save my life, but the story didn’t have a heartbeat. It just didn’t have life. But on July 5th, 2018, Nick’s birthday, I woke up and sat at the computer, fingers flying. All of a sudden, the story came together in a way that made me know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Nick was nearby. I felt his energy. It seemed like he was right there in the room with me. And not in a creepy way at all, but in a wonderful, happy way.

My friend wanted to go to lunch, so we went to La Paz, Nick’s favorite place. I had not been there since he died. But it was a joy to be there. I felt him there too. I tried to tell my friend that it was Nick’s birthday and that as luck would have it I finally finished the story, but I accidently said “breathday” and I thought, “Yes! It is his breath day.!” Because I felt like somehow, somewhere, he was taking a new breath.

L.A. said she felt him too and the energy was good.

When I went home, after lunch, I was finally able to finish unpacking his boxes. I got to the very last box. When I opened it, there on top was a copy of the book Journey of Awakening by Ram Dass!!! I felt the whole universe wink.

I just wanted to let you know that I do feel connected to Nick and I do feel a continuation of life. Life does go on. And that does NOT mean that life goes on without the ones we love, but that it goes on with them. They go on too, with us, but in a different way. And if we are open to their love, they are able to share it with us, and we can certainly share our love and prayers with them.

Nick was born July 5th 1981 and died March 15, 2018. His Breathday was July 5th, 2018.His spirit lives on in light.

Update: This was the first Christmas since Nick’s passing. It was difficult. I have tears in my eyes as I write. I know he is not gone, I know he exists, but I want him to sit down with me and watch some of the new comedians I’ve found since he’s been gone. He would love them.
I need to talk about him more and look at his pictures. We can’t stop talking about our loved ones after they die just because it hurts. We need to say their names. Nicholas Paul Matz, you are as precious to me now as you were the day you were born. You were a familiar soul in my prenatal dream. I can’t wait to meet up with you again. I’m so sorry you are not here now. I miss you terribly awful much more than the world and all the mountains and galaxies and universes’ and black holes and rabbit holes and man! I am so glad we got those last two years together to make dinners and watch comedians. You would love my new friends. They would love you too. I am going to start writing to you.
yours truly,
mom



I Am A Rainbow Warrior. I Fight A Colorful Fight.

I Am A Warrior

No one can hold me down. No one can tell me I am not strong. No can can call me fool. No one has been through what I have been through and come out smiling at the sun shining in a new day. 

Apparently I spoke those words at the end of a struggle. My Reiki II attunement was like that scene in the movie Contact where Jodi Foster is shaken to altered states of reality. Here, let me show you.

https://youtu.be/scBY3cVyeyA

Yeah. It was like that.
My ego took a beating. Or more accurately, I took a beating as the rough edges of ego were stripped away.

It was rough.

But now I feel strong and bright, aglow from the inside, out. My locus of control is shifting from outer to inner and my journey through space and time went from linear to multidimensional and the element of time just bouncy ropes to make things springy..

I still have much to learn. So much to learn! Thank goodness. I love learning. I love having a sharp edge of perception, to see clearly as when something is still new enough to command attention but not so new that it is unrecognizable. I walk that edge and try to balance, glad for all the warrior poses I’ve done to gain strength.

I’m also glad for my crazy pink paper hair and wire frame, paper mache body, because a human being that claims to be as valiant as I am is probably a liar.

Original Songs

I had not been singing. There were several reasons and none of them worth going into right now. They would all bring you down and that is not the intention of this post.

This morning, after finally getting a good night’s sleep, I woke up feeling like a human being. I took care of the dogs and cat and made coffee. I checked my email, blinked my eyes and did some of Mark Beat’s exercises to create a little space for my soul to stretch out.

And finally, after what seemed like a million years, (but really was only a couple of weeks,) I began to sing. The Hindu mantra Har Haray Hari seemed to well up from the core of my being and spill into musical notes to fill the room, the whole house with happy song. I knew the chant had reached a ripe point when suddenly all the animals were especially quiet and listening. you can tell when someone is really listening. Even if a person, or an animal in this case, is quiet, there is an inaudible noise they make when they are not really listening. Then, when they tune in to what you are saying or singing there is a tangible kinetic difference in the space between singer and listener.

I can’t just say there is a change in the room, because I believe this change can be experienced in any distance as long as a connection has been made. Maybe it occurs in the morphic fields that Rupert Sheldrake speaks of.

The dogs, and Pascal, the cat, seemed to appreciate their morning concert, and I appreciated a receptive audience. I was so happy I baked a crustless pumkin pie and brewed a little more coffee to stretch the morning out a little longer.

I am looking forward to the day ahead in the way I use my eyes to connect to the points of the room in the 8-point anchoring exercise that Mark teaches. I connect with the day ahead: I love the day ahead and create a space of love bewteen where I am now and where I am headed.

May I walk in grace. May I feel true gratitude for everything that crosses my path. May I think before I act and may i act with mindful intention to keep myself in tune and singing so that others may remember that they are music too and that our lives are all original songs.

Fourier Transfoms: My Time/ Space Machine, My Love

When I first noticed a glitch in the space time continuum, I was in Jr High school. I went to class early one morning. No one was there yet so I sat on the steps outside the classroom. I waited for what seemed like 5 minutes before going in.

The teacher stood over her desk, packing books into her bag.

“‘Bout time you showed up.” She said. I thought she was joking because I was obviously still too early as no one else was there.

I felt the room spin. By the look on the teacher’s face I began to suspect that the reason no one was in the classroom was because everyone had gone home for the day.

Somehow an entire day had passed by and I had no idea where I had spent it. As far as I knew I was only waiting on the steps for five minutes. If I had been there the whole day someone would have said something. I must have gone somewhere, but I didn’t know where. That time was just gone.

I thought it was odd, but really I didn’t give the missing time that much thought. I didn’t think it was any big deal; I thought it probably happened to everyone. It was normal for me. It made me feel stupid, but it wasn’t so unusual.

Inconsistencies got more dramatic as I got older. For example, I ran away from a foster home once, disappearing in a cloud of road dust and woke up a month later in the top bunk of a camper in Albuquerque. I couldn’t figure out where I was or who I was so I just faded into the black of my mind space and didn’t reappear until somehow I was in my hometown again a year or some time later.

Right before I went into therapy I was in the hospital, recovering from severe depression. I was almost catatonic I guess, because I remember not being able to move.

A nurse put a radio beside my bed and even though the sounds from it didn’t make sense, the vibrations drew me toward it. After a time I was able to reach out and touch it.

I kept my hand on the radio for hours as if linked to a life line. After a day or so I was able to get up with assistance and go into the day room. I remember trying to make sense of the “moving noise”on the screen of the television but it didn’t mean anything to me and unlike the radio and music, the TV noise was uncomfortable.

Let’s fast forward to the year 1990, past many of the most painful, more disturbing years and talk about the good work accomplished with Elaine Prendergast Paulson, from NJ, whom I continue to learn from to this day. She is a treasure, a wealth of information, experience, and wisdom.

One of the most valuable practices she taught me was how to be present in my body with all of my senses. She used a technique of mind/body awareness called Focusing that was developed by Eugene T. Gendlin. With that modality and Metta meditation, she literally helped me learn to make sense of the astonishing array of experiences that had been nothing more than chaos in my life.

I am only beginning to learn what this body/brain can do, what any of us can do. There are experiences that have made me think we don’t have as tight a hold on reality, or at least as objective a hold as we think we do.

For example, I have been in two places at one time. (This is not a unique ability by any means, but since I am the only one I have the right the speak for I will go ahead use myself as the example here.

I was sitting in the cafeteria having lunch with a friend and I didn’t feel fully present. You know how it is when you just feel like you are not all there?
So my lunch companion, Wendy, being the metaphysically playful type, asked, “Well, where are you?”
I looked around with a sort of  inner vision and realized I could see and make “eye contact” (in this other dimension) with people in a place I would later learn was a street in Belize. This will be important later.

I was able to describe, in detail, a street I had never seen nor heard of before.

Later that night, I told my boyfriend about having lunch with Wendy and then told him  I’d had dream the night before. 

Sorry to the powers that be for the little lie; it was to protect him. I was worried he’d think it was just to weird to have the information about the street I saw and the way the sun and breeze felt on my skin if I told him I had experienced it while simultaneously sitting with Wendy in the hospital dining room over a plate of Sloppy Joe’s and green beans. 

 

Years later I stumbled into the world of quantum physics and began a brief, but passionate affair with a formula known as Fourier Transforms.

Let me show you a little picture I carry in my wallet.

Handsome, right? How could I resist? I had the idea that this beautiful formula could explain how a person can slip from one mental state to another, and how one can jump with ease over great wrinkles of time (Madeline l’Engle would be thrilled.) I thought they might also explain how I could have been in two places at once and how I could miss an entire day of school and think that I’d been waiting 5 minutes outside the classroom. I thought FT might unlock the mystery of where I went when I wasn’t where I thought I was or where I was when I thought.

I didn’t have a background in math or science. There was no way I could prove or even form the questions necessary to find out if mind states, especially as related to time and space were using a type of Fourier Transform Mechanism to perform their (seemingly) magic feats, so I just “let myself be curious” as one of my doctors used to invite me to do.

Then I stumbled upon a YouTube video that describes the FT’s as a smoothie in a blender. Apparently, the FT take the ingredients of the smoothie, shall we say, separate each one so that we can see exactly what is in the mix and then whirl it all back together again.

THAT is it, I thought. Now we are getting close. There is something in the brain, in our mind/body system that works like that. I don’t know what it is, but if we could figure it out there is no telling what fun we might have!

There is exciting research being done today that makes me curiouser and curiouser about time and space and the nature of objective reality, about trauma and neuroplasticity of the brain and that makes me wonder if we are really as limited as we think we are to the skin that holds us in.

I intend to find out.

Some Mountains Dance

I woke up ready for yoga. I reminded myself that I am the mountain.

That was all well and good from the waist up. I couldn’t get to my feet. Not yet. So with mantras playing and oxygen concentrator keeping time I began from point zero: the side of the bed.

Hands in prayer position. Breathe. Pray. Sing.

The prayer came to life. It filled my heart. I kept my eyes closed and let it move towards God. Hands in prayer position at first, reaching up, up.

I wanted it to be a yoga pose and tried to make it so. I kept my arms close to my ears and kept shoulders relaxed, but it hurt. I’ve had so much pain in my arms lately. So I let go of the pose but not the prayer. The mantra kept my arms moving in beautiful little spirals, forward and to the sides of my body, slowly, like leaves, floating and falling from a tree.

Soon my entire upper body was involved in the dance, stretching in every direction, gratitude flowing outward, while my heart stayed open and receptive to grace.

I realized that I was in less pain with this gentle dance than I was when I tried to hold even the basic urdhva hastasana. That will be good information when I start teaching again.

So there I am, dancing on the side of the bed, oxygen tubing still attached, Reiki Jane sleeping with one amused eye open.

Two long mantras later I am ready to get up and move on.

This mountain can dance.

I Am The Mountain

I had to let Reiki Jane out to pee one more time before bed. It was so hard to stand at the door. Everything hurt. It felt like all my flesh, all the weight of ME was just going to be too much for my poor bones. The weight of ME was going to rip me apart.

Enough. If I have to stand here and wait for Jane I might as well do it with purpose. So I stood squarely on two feet, building the pose from the bottom, up. Each foot balancing on four points of the sole so that the arch is just right to support the lower legs, adjust knees, thighs, straighten spine, pulling tailbone down, front of body up, top of spine lifts with expansion of chest, shoulders roll up and back, neck adjusted. Then comes all the fine tuning. The mountain is never still. There are always micro movements as muscle and bone dance together, balancing energies in a performance billed as Stillness.

It feels good to stand in Tadasana. It’s been a long, long time since I have done so. Coming back to yoga after being so angry for such a long time is bound to have side effects like stiffness and loss of strength. But I am amazed at what my body does remember.

I am breathing in the pose, through the pose. I feel the breath as it moves through my body as if consciously finding its way to every starved cell, every neglected fiber.

Then all at once I am the breath. I am the mountain. And it’s time for Jane to come inside and go to bed.

That was my first step onto the mat, so to speak, even though there was no mat and it was dark and I was in my PJ’s waiting for my dog to pee in the rain and then come inside. Deciding to stand in mountain pose, to consciously build the pose and breath life into it as I go is the first real yoga-by-choice that I’ve done in a long time.

I should say it’s the first Hatha yoga I’ve done. Because I never stopped chanting. I never stopped learning from my breath. But I had given up on Hatha yoga.

I guess I didn’t recognize that what I did on the mat was affecting my entire life and when I began to try to line things up, the makeshift solutions I had been clinging to fell away like rubble—i blamed yoga for the mess.’

I was angry for 10 years. I was angry at my body for getting Lupus. I was angry at yoga for not saving me form disease and I was angry at God for betraying my confidence in goodness.

But time and grace have helped me and I am not angry anymore–usually.

A friend uses a word instead,of a resolution each NewYear so I’ve been trying to think of a word to contemplate for 2019. I’d thought of the word encourage– maybe because of the wonderful encouragement I’ve been blessed with this year. I thought I’d like to consider how to give the same gift to others.

I thought of the word love. I was in love and then crushed by the loss of it this past year. I was destroyed by it. And now I am coming back to life without the delusion that it was the Other that I was in love with. I have a lot to learn about love. So that is not my word.

Then I thought, what about mountain?

I mean, I Am the mountain. No.

What if I just say that I am for the next year and consider the power and all that is associated with those two words? Whatever I say after I am can change. I like that. But the core stays the same. I am.

Yes. That is as good a place to start as any.

I am encouraged. I am encouraging. I am loved. I am loving. I am love. Or better yet, why not shift the focus away from me to whom and what I love. Let me use the word love as a verb, as something I do.

I love you. And you. And you.

Now.

There is real power in those words.

Storm

In this dteam I am a black woman whose wisdom has brought her to a place where she lives alone to come and go as she pleases. It is any town, USA.

She is not happy with something and she storms around slamming doors and wondering out loud what could possibly be the matter with everyone.

I just smile because I know we can always go talk to mom who knows just about everything about art and I wonder why she hasn’t been called yet. It starts to worry me that the other me hasn’t called her yet. “If I don’t get it right this time I’m going to really screw things up completely.” I thought

The edges of the room are dark. Now I’m only five and the black woman is gone. It’s just me and the shadows and Buck.

I’m tired of this dream. Time to wake up!

I’m tired.

Wake up. Wake up! Come on!

Wake the fuck up.

Reiki Horses

Someone rejected my Reiki treatment! I offered a treatment and the fellow said, “I’d rather not.”

It felt like he was rejecting my very soul. When what one is offering is only goodness and love it is hard to understand how it can be rejected. But I finally understood it this morning when I was talking to my friend, Wendy who owns Abrazos Adventures, a horse riding school outside of Portales, New Mexico.

She and I have been friends for ever and she has loved horses forever, But I have only been on the back of one of those horses one time and it scared me to death. So even though she knows that horseback riding can have huge therapeutic value for a wide variety of people, she does not get upset that I do not want to ride a horse.

For me to get upset when someone does not want a Reiki treatment is like Wendy getting upset if someone does not want to ride a horse. There could be any number of reasons a person does not want to ride a horse and it is always a person’s right to decide for himself or herself to say “I’d rather not.”

So now I understand the neigh sayers. Haha.

Ring the Bell!

What have I done with my broken heart up to now? I GAINED weight, lost control of my blood sugar, lost my creative edge, lost my sense of humor, lost my song. I say enough! He has taken enough of my soul. I have given away enough. I have squandered too much. Let this bell ring for healing and peace.

Foolish Love

I feel like such a fool. It hasn’t been two months since I felt like I was in love and now I can’t even imagine how I could have felt that way. What a fool I have been. How stupid of me to wait to speak to him every day as if it were the highlight of the day. How stupid to wait for him to smile. What an idiot I was. What a fool. What a sorry sop to listen to him sing the chalisa as if he were singing about our own love instead of sita and ram. Stupid me. I am a true fool.

I felt alive and creative. I felt valuable. I felt wanted, not in a sexual way, but in a wholesome, I am so glad you are alive- way.

It felt true but it was all a lie, wasn’t it? How did I not see that? I am the one who is so intuitive! How did I not see through it?

I feel like I never want to speak to him again.

I also feel like I’m not real, not creative, not valuable. I feel like a piece of toilet paper stuck on the bottom of someone’s shoe as they come out of a truck stop bathroom that quickly blows away when they step outside into the New Mexico Wind.

Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram, Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram

Sepia Cows and Kindergarten Pants

The dream was a jumble of garish colors and blocks of geometric shape. There was the rectangular bed of an 18 wheeler with a cow in the front seat and i was trying to pull in to get gas for someone but they only wanted two dollars worth and i thought it was a waste of effort to pull in to such a tight spot for two dollars worth of gas.
There was a girl in the seat and she was pregnant but she was returning the baby for a cup of black truck stop coffee which I thought was horrible. Once again, I was trying to drive the truck from the back seat which made me feel very much out of control.
Then I was in elementary school to drop off a kindergarten boy. He was uncomfortable in his new clothes. The pants were pinstriped and stiff-starched. They were the color of an afternoon in 1942.
Of course, in between the school and the truck stop there were large blocks of strange art and cows and random shapes. Confusion.

I really want to be clear, to be focused. But this is my mind.

This is where I have to start.

Not too long ago I was dreaming of a graduation from school. I said goodbye to a mafia type gang of bad guys. I thought I’d be moving to a school that was a little higher up. But no, here I am in a truck stop parking lot looking for two dollars worth of gas while a pregnant girl returns her baby for a cup of black coffee. Yuck.

There was another scene wedged bewteen the truckstop and school. It was a motel room atop the truck stop. There was a sleezy guy there and I was looking for a clean bathroom. There weren’t any. All the stalls were backed up. There is that 1942 color again…the same sick sepia that says your life is over but you are living it again.

Nightmare! Now do I get to wake up?

Now do I get to wake up?

Now?

Now?

Here?

Yes. Now I can honestly say that I am waking up.

There are others here.

I am not alone.

For Shame!

“How could she write about such shameful things?” 

“Some things are better left unsaid; better to leave THOSE monsters under the bed, dear.”

I guess it is time to examine my motives for writing this blog in the first place. What do I hope to gain? Fame? Validation for my pain? If I write about my experiences will it somehow make them easier to bear, but why the hell would I write about things that would make me look bad? Why would I write about anything that would make me feel ashamed of myself?

It’s because I am writing for Truth because I have been told that the truth will set me free and I believe it.

Shame burns. It feels like I’m a vampire and I’ve walked into the sunlight. The thing I wrote about demons is embarrassing and it takes a great deal of courage to leave it as it is.

If I can sit with the shame and pray while I feel it I can be healed from whatever causes the shame. Exposing the problem to the light is a good thing no matter how uncomfortable it may be.

I learned how to sit with shame when I prayed the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary. When Jesus was stripped of his clothing and shamed for being ‘just a man’ he suffered humiliation. He didnt have to. But there is grace to be found in being able to suffer humiliation for a greater good.

I am willing to suffer the humiliation of people finding out that I am not perfect for the greater good of reaching others who might be suffering in the same way. There may be someone out there who is perfectly delightful and creative and loving and full of hope and joy and good energy but who is also plauged by some secret fear or dark worry, and I want to be a friend to that person.

I am tired of the ‘demons’ making us cower and hide in fear. It is time to throw off the covers and stop being ashamed of who we are and what we have to deal with. Chances are that there are solutions for the problems we face that seem shamefully insurmounatble in secret.

I don’t know what the ‘ugly faces’ were that used to fly at me when I was a little girl. I don’t know if they were memories or parts of myself or what they were. And I don’t know if the parasites that I deal with now are real or not. It doesn’t seem to matter if they are real to anyone else. They are a problem for me and I need a way to deal with them that works for me.

So far, the Reiki that my friend  gave me has worked better than any other treatment I have tried. He gave me Reiki with the instructions to be extra gentle with my skin and kind to myself. He didn’t call me crazy or freak out (in front of me) even when I showed him the video–the proof of parasite.

What have I learned?

  1. That I write for Truth even if it means I have to suffer a little shame because I believe the truth will set me free and I want to be free.
  2. That freedom means I get to use my experiences to help other people know they are not alone—that we are all more alike than not and that we are lovable.

Demons

For years I thought I was being possessed by demons. I’d lie awake till the sun came up, clutching the covers to my chin and watching for the ugly faces that would come flying at me from the dark. Horrbile, bloody faces of girls with matted hair flew at me faster than lightning and vanished before they hit mmy own face. I was terrified.

I thought I was being possessed because the bed shook. When I realized it was the pounding of y own heart that was shaking the bed I began to think maybe I could find a way to get control of the situation.

I don’t know how I knew this, but I decided that the only way to get rid of the ugy faces was to love them. So one night, when they started to fly at me, I held my ground. I looked at them and said over and over, “i love you. I love you.”

They turned into my own face and then disappeared. They have not come back in that way since. But they did come back as parasitic devils that have tortured me for almost 8 years.

I know the parasites are real, but I can’t get anyone to help me. They are hideous; they look like devils or stupid clowns or worms and bugs or hairs that twist and turn and snap.

If I ignore them they fall off of me and I feel like a walking contaminant. If I try to remove them I have a bloody face.

My doctor saw one for herself and she said, “it is exactly as she describes it.” That made me feel good because it meant I wasn’t crazy. She referred me to a doctor in Albuquerque. But now they are saying they wont see me unless my doc can prove I have parasites! She cant prove anythinng and that is why she sending me to the experts! I swear it is fucking stupid1 I am sick of al of it.

I am not even trying to make this a polished piece of writing. I dont have spell check on thhis tablet and i dont have my computer here and i dont have a way to get to a computer till january. But i need to write.

I need to write even if no one reads

My face is a bloody mess It is better after a friend did a reiki treatment. I will ask for another if he wouldnt mind.

My heart is still broken and I dont even know why.

Do I have to love the parasites?

Hold Your Tongue

Omg I did it again.

I told someone I am irritating because I’m smart! Gasp! What an ass! And I didn’t mean it like it sounded.

What I meant was:

I may be high energy and emotional and you can put over there in the cry room and give me paint and let me take naps and have snacks. I’ll grow up and all is well.

But that is not what I said.

I said, we smart people can go do our weird stuff and co m e up with relativity and then we will all be happy.

Messed up!!!

I am sorry-! So very sorry.

Thank you Kali for chopping my ego down!

Sat nam!

Filipendula Ulmaria

She stands beside the medicne Buddha, sipping the sound

of water as it washes against the shore.

Baby birds, making no attempt to be coy,

chirp loud and screech and caw at mother and father for , “More! More! More!”

Filipendula Ulmaria waits for her best friend, the wind,

whose rhythm bewteen visits is dissonant,

like the surprise event that preceeds harmonic thrill;

and she knows he will arrive,

but she never knows just when he will.

End Note: This little poem is for a friend who made an effort to pronounce my name correctly. It caught me by surprize and the pleasant conversation and calm by which he makes his way in the the world is medicine for my aching soul right now. I attempted to paint the flowering herb Meadowsweet or Queen of the Meadow. It grows on tall stalks by the water and it is one of the most useful and sweet smelling herbs known to man. Its leaves are fresh and minty and are used as often as the flowers in many healing rememdies. While you cant really make out what is in the painting, i hope  it leaves a little permeability in your imagination for a calm, fragrant spot by the water where the Medicine Buddha waits with a cure.

The poem was going to be about pandualism and the permeability of elecrtomagnetic energy as it may be useful in healing by people who know how to use such hard to phathom forces. Well, maybe it still is, because when Tom was kind to me, even after I made everyone so uncomfortable with my display of raw hurt and broken humanity, it was as if he brought me to the medicine Buddha himself instantaneously who mixed just the right properties of fresh air and birdsong, water and light into my being so that time could stretch out a little, relax and flow a little slower into another day and then another.

Thank you, Tom.

 Now I see a flaw in this and it scares the he’ll out of me. I’m too expressive. I’m too friendly. It always blows up in my face. Please, God, don’t make a gushing crushing yuck bucket of pluck. Help me curtail my creativity so that no one feels overwhelmed. I apologize a head of tome for being the way I am.

Falling Is Better

I left.

I had enough. The sangha was not helpful anymore. It was pulling me down.

I was beginning to feel ashamed for having something to say.

I was, once again Too Much.

So I left.

I didn’t think I could breathe without them. But I’m doing just fine.

I’m like the kid who thought she was drowning in an in of water. Someone said, ” Lift up your head and stand up.”

(Update: November 16)

Well! That sounded pretty damn crazy!! If you didn’t know the whole story it would sound like a telling interview with someone about to be admitted to a nice soft room with cozy, padded walls. 

The whole sound and vibration thing is about my long time interest in the healing properties of sound. I think that the human voice can be one of the best healing tools we have. I am intrigued by how energy and intent is delivered by sound. The reason I was so upset was that I felt no one would hear what I was trying to say.

The whole issue at Sangha got out of hand because there was some kind of wall between me and the people I tried to talk to…everything came out distorted and no one got the message…or so it seemed.

Somehow I was talking about things one one level. Then, whatever I said was distorted into some other message…IDK!

IDK what kind of shift occurred, but there was some weird shift all the same. I get a mental image of the worm hole scene in the move Contact. I will try to explain it better later on.   https://youtu.be/scBY3cVyeyA

I Love You. I Am Leaving

Breaking up with a sangha is harder than breaking it off with one person.

When you break up with your spiritual community you lose a whole safety net. But that is what I had to do because the net bad become corrupted.

Here is the brief run down. I was deeply hurt when it happened so the writing sucks.

_____

People who are 58 and not looking to fall in love, fall. And guess what, it is just as thrilling and just as devastating as it is when you are are a teenager.

This time it happened to me while I was taking a meditation course online. It was called The Yoga of Relalatioships by Ram Dass.

I didn’t think I wanted to know about relationships because I was certainly finished with romantic fiascos after the last disaster 10 years ago. And I had a blind spot to the other interactions with people, like relatives and friends, I don’t why I sent realize those counted as relationshis too. But I signed up for the class because I was invested in Ram Dass. Has changed my life and I wanted to be learning from him even if it was about something as insignificant as relationships.

I had written a song for him in appreciation for his help in a previous course, but since I can’t play and sing (or walk and chew gum) at the same time, I was always looking for a real musician to sing and play it so I could fade into the background. I am better if you think of me as an invsible ray of warm sunlight. if you shine the light too bright, too close, well, I’m not very pretty.

Sorry. I am feeling pretty horrible right now. I know it will pass, but it still hurts a lot.

I look too manly and it pisses me TF off! And it makes me angry that i even care.

But it was his fault too! he was out of line. He did not respect boundaries. H made a Vulnerable Chalisa with his shirt off for his friend (it was me) who was feeling vulnerable. And he would tell me he thought about me all day and that he felt his entire spine fill up with with energy and so many other things. So it wasnt all my fault. He led me on. Then he changed the game and didnt tell anyone.

He blindsided me. One day he was my best friend. The next day it was likt we didn;t even speak the same language. He accused me of trying to read into him or read his mind. bullshit!

I bought it at first. I blamed myself. But that is stupid. If I intuit something and it is wrong, then fucking tell me! Don:t break me and make me weep and tell me I am messing with your energy and trying to read your your thoughts or whatever bullshit you were spouting that day.

So then I write a song about a dragon and a fish because the fish is the unconcious, emotional and dragon is the thinking, air—the thought and he is a dragon. The song is intense with rich meaning and I will write more when Im not so angry. And it is a good song! Its fun to sing and it would be fun to sing with a sangha bcause it has a meditation and mantra at the end.

So I made the video and sent it but I regretted it instantly. I looked like an ulgy, old witch.

On the inside I am beautiful and graceful and playful and young and it doesn’t hurt when I walk and I can still run and dance and I’m a good Effing dancer! And my legs are long and firm from all the yoga I do and they are not full of crumbling bones like these fucking things I have now. But I saw myself as I looked that day and I was hideous.

And YES i am having an ego crash. nd Yes I am grateful for that. i learned a lot from this course and even from the relationship that ended up hurting so much.

But I digress.

I thought I was beyond the need for a class on relationships but didn’t wast to go through Ram Dass withdrawal, and I’d written a song but couldn’t sing it and along comes a man could could.

I asked if he would look at it and see if he could figure out it it had any value. And he liked it. And he said Ram Dass would love it. But he said Ram Dass would like it with My voice.

That was the think that sunk me. I have always wanted to use my voice to heal and provide comfort for people. that hat been a long time dream. And when he made such a big deal out of it, i felt like it was destiny finally coming to take me by the hand.

We started saying I love you. We use those words a lot around sangha.

This man was way out of my league as they say. He was so full of light. Obviously much more Yoga Fit that I was, especially after I had been fighting an auto immunite disease and had given up of yoga until a few months prior to that class. I was a wreck. But he liked my song. And he liked me, but now I can’t even remember why.

Fuck! It sucks to feel all these things at my age.

Well, he was a dazzle! And he is smart and beautiful and spiritual and funny and I fell in love. I felt like I could share my soul with him!

And, at first I thought he was gay, so I didn’t think we had to worry about sexual tension.!

People always think I am flirting, both men an women because I am very affectionate and enthusiastic. I’m friendly and people can’t figure me out. But with this guy, I thought he was gay because he said he only loved Ram Dass 100 %.

And there was other talk about a life partner and some confusion about other issues and i just thought he was gay.

Maybe he is. I don’t know. But I started having feelings for him that we freaking me TF out.

I was absolutely in love. I didn’t want to build a life with him. Nothing like that…i just couldn’t stop thinking about him. It was like a fever

But things got screwed up. He started acting like I was trying to read his mind and I don’t even know what he meant.

All I know now is that I am afraid to be myself around him. I’m afraid of being too much just like I’ve always been around most people.

I resent him a little and I’ll have to work that out because resentments will kill me. I resent him for allowing me to be wild and free and freaking out. I understand too though, I guess. It just makes me feel like a hideous monster.

Long story short:

I thought I was No one, then I was some one, then I was special, then I was a monster, then I was no one, now I’m just an ugly old woman who fell in love with someone beautiful and realized it was stupid and then had a spiritual breakthrough and some definite interventions from ram dass on the spirit plane and then wrote a pretty cool song about a dragon (the guy) and a fish(the lady)

That’s all I m going to say. Except that I will have more to say.

Somebody

I was looking for a picture to give to someone–a picture of myself, and it became very clear that I am not free of hang-ups. I hate my pictures. They don’t reflect who I am. And my ego doesn’t like them either–they are not flattering. No. I don’t take good pictures. That is because I don’t generally live in the physical realm very much, but its high time I did, because I have to bless my body, i have to become friends with it. There is a lot of talk about not being the body, as if it is some old rag to be thrown off. But this body has seen me through a lifetime! This body was a newborn baby once and someone held me and loved me. This body climbed trees and chased rainbows and fell in love with thunder. This body had babies and grieved when the firstborn died at 37. This body has danced! And walked in rivers and prayed in empty churches. This body has had communion, the Holy Eucharist. When the host touched my tongue for the first time, my life changed. And I didn’t expect it to because i wasn’t Catholic at the time. It was an accidental communion at a friend’s wedding. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to receive. Apparently, God thought the churches’ rule didn’t apply to me.
This body has worked in the fields in summer and felt the rain and made love and been sick and almost died and …so much more.
Yes, we are more than our bodies, but we ought to respect the life our body has carried us into and sustains us and allows us to chant and meditate and smile at the one we love.
It is time to do my yoga: the yoga of releasing shame for my scars and crumbling bones. I Yam what I yam as popeye says
Dear body, Dear Ja-niece Manjeet Amrita Bisset, I breathe. And With this breath, I thee wed, until death do us part.

I Offer It Up, as they say.

I woke up..no, I got up after being awake for hours. My eyes hurt from crying so much yesterday and I’m grumpy.

So the first thing I had to do was to pull some kind of yucky creature off my dog. I don’t know what it was, but it looked like something from outer space and was driving her mad with itchiness.

Then I went to get my coffee cup and mom said, “There’s a dead bird in the yard.”

But it wasn’t completely dead. omg

I couldn’t give it a quicker death…. But I felt so sad watching its last moments. All I could do was pray. I covered him with a blanket and put the little red wagon over him so the cats wouldn’t disturb him.

I pray for his transition.

Then I came in and tried to get that coffee when Jane promptly threw up. So, there was vomit to dispose of.

All this before coffee!

Finally, with coffee in hand, I called my bank to dispute a claim and secure my card since some unknown person seems to be using my bank card.

THEN during the lady’s closing, scripted spiel, I remembered that I might have actually made that purchase, though I am not 100% sure. Yes I am. I did it and now I have to call the bank and say, “Opps.”

Okay! I give it up. I offer this prayer of gratitude for the opportunity to work out this karma, or to be of service to God’s creatures in spite of myself.

I let go with love, for love.

Then mom comes in with a bowl of Dawn dish soapy water and a towel. “We have to give her bath.” She said. “Come own, Jane.” (That is not a typo, she really does say, Own—Come own, and the animals respond.)

Now, may I have a cup of coffee?

Cierra’s Mountain

People do not think of mountains growing tired, but I am weary. I am happy, but sleepy, in that in-between state where one is conscious of her dreams as they begin to play out, like a movie theater darkening for the main event.

Another thing people do not realize about mountains, is that we can sense when a bird, on one side of our vast body, first learns to fly, or has a successful landing upon a branch that looks too thin to hold its own leaf, or when a bird falls to the ground and is no more.

We are aware of everything that lives or dies on our boulders, our trees and grasses, in burrows, in our waters, and I can tell you, we love them all.

And this mountain, in particular, loves you.

I have seen you in the meadows, gathering lemongrass. I’ve felt the joy you absorbed through your skin as my brother, the sun, bathed you in his light.

I have heard you singing to the wind, heard every lovely word and sent your songs echoing as far and wide and I could so that more could hear.

I have listened when you wept. Why do you think my rivers are so full? How could I let one tear disappear without adding it to the healing power of a river that is flowing back to the sea?

I love you.

Come into the silence with me and share my dreams. When we wake up we can discover this world anew.
There is nothing to lose when we surrender our all but every wonder in heaven and on earth to gain.
Now is the time, my friend, to be here as fully as your heart allows.
Mmmmmmmmmmmm.
Settle in.

The House That Walked On Its Nails

Once upon a time, in a little town by the water, a girl and her mother were sleeping side by side in the guest room of a cousin’s cousin’s sister. The house belonged to this relative and had been in the family for generations.

It was dark in the guest room, but not scary, even though there were many new sounds to be wondered about.
 What was that noise?” The girl asked
 That was the wind in the trees.” Mother said.
It was quiet then, except for the sweet sound of the wind whispering through the Aspen.
The girl was almost asleep and so was mother.
“Uhaa! What was that sound?” The girl asked as she snuggled closer to mother.
“Oh, that? Well, that was all the hens scooting over in their roost to make room for the hen that was the last on duty. She finished her chicken chores late and had to slip quietly through the gate and into the roost and that sound is the fluttering feathers of each hen scooting over.”
The girl thought about all the sleepy chickens until she felt sleepy too.
Until a creak creak squeak skip-skwip woke her right up.
“What was that?”
By now mother was so sleepy. She said, “Oh, that’s just the house walking on its nails.” And then she snored. She was fast asleep.
The girl did not know houses could walk, much less walk on nails. She began to imagine all the houses picking up their skirts and walking all about the countryside in the moonlight. She was a little worried that they would not find their way back to the right place by morning.
Soon, the rooster crowed and mother turned over to finish her dream. Then the birds in the trees sang all the morning songs they knew as they darted through the air and swooped low for breakfast bugs.
The girl remembered that the house had been walking on its nails all night so she ran to the window to see if everything was where it should be.
The little pink and yellow and blue bath shacks by the water were where they had been yesterday. Her relative’s house was in the same place too.
At breakfast, she asked her mother how the houses knew how to get back to their own yards after walking on their nails all night.
After a moment of bewilderment, mother realized what her daughter was referring to. She laughed so hard she snortled coffee out her nose.
“Oh sweetie,”she said, when I say a house walks on its nails I mean it just settles in, you know, it wiggles around to get more comfortable. Old houses do that.”
All the relatives laughed and clinked their dishes merrily as they enjoyed their breakfast.
Thank you, Virginia Warren, for the beautiful photo. I have been trying to write a story about the real events that are the crux of the story, but it never came into focus until I saw your picture. That was it! All of a sudden I  imagined all those houses dancing in the moonlight…the story then wrote itself.

Don’t Hit Send!

I am weeping my eyes out.

Well, My eyes are still in, but I did have to stop typing to wipe down my keyboard when I tried to hit a few keys and splashed into pools of my own tears. I should have taken a picture—it looked liked of cool, really. The black keys were all shiny and there were actually little tiny pools of tears on the R and S keys.

But wait. That is the whole problem. That is what I was crying about. I thought that Facebook and Youtube had hijacked my phone and that every single picture on my camera, every stupid, messed up video that I tried to make but rejected for its utter absurdity, was made public.

I have been searching phone settings since 3 am trying to make sure everything is clicked off. I still feel shaken and violated.

This was a wake-up call for me. I could either stop taking stupid pictures of everything, including close-ups of that thing I can’t see on the side of my face, that thing I use the zoom lens of my camera to get a closer look at..I mean, you never know, it might be cancer or a parasite. One has to check. And I could stop making imperfect videos until I get one that is good enough to post on youtube and just be perfect the first time around.

Or I could just disappear off the grid completely.

 

Thank You For My Pain

Sometimes it hurts so much to get out of bed I have to sing the gratitude song before I can do it. “Thank you for this day, Lord, thank you for this day, this healing, this healing, this healing day.” It is a beautiful chant I learned at thanksgiving last year when I moved in with mom. I’ll tell you who wrote it at the end of this post. I am writing on my tablet and it’s too hard to switch around trying to find the song on YouTube. I’m such a caveman on the computer I’ll end up erasing everything or emailing embarrassing pictures to Facebook if I try. For now let me just tell you it is a chant that has served me well; I sing it when I’m happy and when I’m in pain, when I’m scared, grieving, worried, despondent–whatever human experience I happen to be having, I sing that song.

It is possible to be grateful no matter how miserable a person is feeling. In fact, gratitude may  be the very medicine for what is causing the misery.

Sometimes it’s not the stuff that is happening that hurts as much as it is our running away from it. We don’t want to have a headache so when we get one we start freaking out and adding all sorts of worries to it like, “Oh no, how am I going to climb Mount Everest now? Or How will I mow the yard, go to work, feed the masses, wash the dishes.” And so on. So we fight the pain.

Here is what a wolf in a vision taught me to do. I had been having one of those days and I was crying. In my mind’s eye, I saw a black wolf walking in deep, white snow. He was entering a thickly wooded forest. He turned and made eye contact with me, his breath curling blue into the air. I understood that I was to follow him, to walk in the steps he made in the snow. It didn’t matter that he was a wolf and I am human—it was a vision where anything can happen. I understood what he meant. I knew that I was to follow my pain in exactly the same way: carefully, mindfully, each time I take a breath, I need to notice the pain. Where is It? Is it hot? Cold? I try to describe it and ask if it has something to tell me—a message of some sort. Then, when the pain disappears, I am home.

We go out and then we come home again, following our pain or our bliss. Maybe when we realize this we will realize that we never left home at all. Maybe it has all been “home” after all.

It is amazing where the pain leads. I usually worry that pain will prevent me from doing the most important thing, but time and again I have been proven wrong. When I follow where pain leads, I find my life’s sacred path. and It is the same path that I walk when I follow my bliss.

Stay on the path. Let’s go home together. What stories we will tell!

Effing Ripoff

Some of you may have felt cheated when you read the title Silence Is Juicy and instead of getting some sweet tidbit of gossip or mystery you got a poem about a pear.

Do you think that is false advertising?

I’m not sure what I think. It’s fun to make up snappy titles for these posts. And you know words are some of my favorite things. I like them more than whiskers on mittens.

But I’m beginning to feel like I’ve had too much cotton candy at the fair and too many pickles and corndogs too.

I’m hungry for simple.

But will you read what I write if it doesn’t catch your attention?

I guess that is not up to me.

I want you to.

More than anything I wish I could make you a cup of tea and adjust the sun to shine on you just right so you could read to your heart’s content. And when you finish the last word I’d be happy if you felt like the universe winked at you or gave you a hug.

But I don’t want to trick you into that space with a hook title.

So I promise not to do that on purpose. But I can’t help it if the stuff turns out funny sometimes. Words are just like that.

I’m A Creep

Steven Hayes and Russ Harris are the founders of ACT, which stands for Acceptance Commitment Therapy. I’m sure that with a quick search online you can find more information on the work these two men have done than this writer could provide. I am not educated in ACT. All I know is that the methods taught in the ACT program and the exercises I have tried to relieve anxiety and change ways of thinking that are not really helpful to me, work.

One of the exercises is to defuse thoughts that cause harm.

This little video gives you an idea of fusion vs defusion.

 

 

Silence Is Juicy

I wonder if I could write less and say more, or say less because what I say holds more meaning.

Sometimes I just like to play with words, mold them and mix item all up like wet clay to see what kind of pottery it all has in it.

But this time of year I crave more silence. Not complete silence, obviously, but more than usual. I crave something more like a poem and less like an essay.

To see a plowed field,

Or the fruit tree by the gate:

One brown leaf, one pear.

 

Singing Dogs With Bones

I was trying to make a little video with one of my bead dancers and Lucy, my Labrador decided she wanted to help. As soon as she saw me get my little coconut drum out she ran to the back and got her ham bone. Then, well, you can hear the rest on the video. I never finished it—this one was too special to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Emperor Ain’t Got Nothin’ On, But I Ain’t Gonna Tell No one.

I don’t know why it is so hard to tell the truth. It seems like a whole lot of confusion could be eliminated if i would stop trying to make others feel better by telling half truths.

On the other hand, no one appointed me to be the town crier either. It is not my job to go around shouting out the business of those in my community.

What is my responsibility to my family, friends, community? When do I say something and when do I just look away when something doesn’t seem right?

I’m exhausted. I’ve been combing fleas out of Janie’s coat and rubbing coconut oil with peppermint into her skin to keep the nasty, biting pests aw.ay. She goes to be spayed tomorrow. We are having the bug man come while she has gone. Those two obvious problems will be resolved.

As far as the other troubles go, I know the truth is supposed to set me free, but even Jesus’s didn’t give straight answers. He spoke in parables and drew in the sand. Is that because truth was sometimes hard to pin down or did he just not to hurt anyone’s feelings?

I’m tired of trying to figure it out.

All I’m saying is that the emperor is passing by and if you don’t want to be exposed to that Dairy Air then you better close your eyes! Go ahead and close your eyes. We can’t figure it all out in one night anyway.

Say Yes

This was in my Facebook feed this morning and it grabbed my attention.  The guy who posted it has had many close calls with death, so he holds on to his life with a special tenacity. It seems that Life keeps calling him to go deeper into her mystery, and he always says “Yes.”

He is one of the most vivacious men I have ever known, and I only know him a little, I only know him from the posts he has made, and by the friends he associates with. But there is a quality about him that tells me he says Yes to life over and over, whether it is a battle cry or a whisper, he says Yes. He encourages people and gives strength, hope and love, he is compassionate in politics and I don’t think he has ever met a stranger.

His name is Atma Jodha Singh and you can find him on Facebook. He is truly remarkable.

This is a shout out to the resilient. Thank you for your courage and for the way you love this sweet ole world.

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I do not know who to give credit to for this meme. I found it on Facebook.

If Only My Soul Could Be

There is a beautiful chant called The Great Song of God or the Sri Guru Gita. It takes about an hour to sing if one knows the chant well and chants with concentration.

When I heard it I had such a longing for God. It made me feel the way the singer feels in the Starfield song A Cry in my Heart:

There’s a cry in my heart
For Your glory to fall
For Your presence to fill up my senses
There’s a yearning again
A thirst for discipline
A hunger for things that are deeper.

So I decided to borrow the tune to the ancient Sri Guru Gita and make a version of this devotional song that I could memorize and chant from my heart.

I was a practicing Catholic at the time, so there are a lot of references to the divine as the shepherd, and the living water and such. I’m ok with that. But there is zero hellfire and brimstone. Religion has many flaws, but it has value too. Wisdom is to know when to listen to the still small voice while dissolving all the hate that creeps in.

Here are the lyrics to my version. It is nothing as grand as the Shri Guru Gita, but it was my heart’s desire to tell all I knew about about the Beloved.

O my beloved creator, lord of my heart, at your word all things came to be, spiraling stars and swaying trees, I am blessed just to witness these things.

You made me to hunger and thirst for your word, to crave your life-giving drink. Like a mother feeding her baby, so tenderly do you care for me

Like a Shepherd watching over his baby lamb, you are near to me, never far away. Even when I wander and I’m lost and afraid, you know where I am and you rescue me.

Teacher, you lead me from darkness to light, make a way for my journey day and night. Though the path be steep and the Journey long, you strengthen me with your immortal song.

I am not yet as you would have me to be, but by your grace I live day by day, to absorb the water from the rock, to let your holy spirit form me.

Let my very self be transformed. Pour your life into me Messiah. Let my heart of stone become tender flesh, an efferent pulse of your holiness.

Each morning I come to you in prayer and you wash away doubt and worry. Then I wait for you to hire me, to put me to work in your vineyard.

I keep vigil for your counsel Lord, let me listen with an open heart. Put a gatekeeper at my lips, let my understanding deepen.

O grant me discretion and wisdom, respect for the Lord and piety, let courage keep me on the path and quench my thirst with your teaching.

Temper my voice with silence, teach me to listen well. If I listen to your still small voice your endless wonders are revealed.

O God, if only my soul could be like a perfect rose on a perfect morning, my perfume I would offer you, I would live and grow only to please you.

Now today is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. Let us magnify the Lord together; let us praise and exalt him forever.

Amen

Tree Talk

Welcome to Tree Talk.

This tree (which is an uncut post if you think about it, seriously lol) is going to show up now and then and invite you to share your thoughts. I just want to listen to you. Tell me about your day, your dreams, anything.

Or you can open a window wherever you are and just relax, listen to the wind in the leaves if you are near a tree, feel the breeze. My prayers will be with you.

This is a time out. Quiet. Peace and quiet. Right here, right now, there is time enough for this.

Oh The Blog Posts, They Are A Changin’

I am an inexperienced, wishy-washy water sign and I am noticing that I can’t stop myself from posting new stuff as soon as I think I should put it out there. But then I realize it’s crap and I have to go back and change it. Again. And again.

So what I am wondering is this: if you read a post and then I update it, do you get a notification that I have updated or are you left with the last sorry version in your memory to haunt you forever?

Could you let me know, please? I am trying to learn enough self-control to only post after I have gone over the writing a zillion and three times, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

I Am Listening

This is a song that helps prepare one for meditation or prayer. It helps bring about a state of quiet attention and gentle anticipation of goodness.

***

I hear the song of the Holy Dove, I hear You calling, my own true love,

Your song brought daylight to the land, I hear you calling; here I am.

Speak to me, Lord, for I am listening.

The morning stars lean close to hear what you might whisper in my ear.

In the shadow of your wings I’ll stay, your own beating heart will guide my way.

Speak to me, Lord, for I am listening.

The earth sighs deeply responding to the song you sing making all things new. Speak to me Lord, I am listening. I am here.

 

 

You’re Changing My Neurophysiology and I like It.

WordPress, there was one other cyberlove before you, (Facebook doesn’t count count for some scary reason.) It’s true. But I’m getting rewired..

Before I loved you, I Loved Tumblr. I wrote a song for them. But now I want to give it to you.

Now wait a minute! Don’t be upset! It’s not regifting. It’s more like my love for Tumblr has evolved, yeah, that’s it, it has evolved, and now I am smitten by you. Here, you’ll understand once you hear the song. I can’t help it. I’ve been changed in my what do ya call it, my neurophysiology.

Awake My Soul!

Ever since the singing tree experience (when I was eight) during which I heard and felt God singing/living/breathing/laughing/living/loving through every cell of my being, I’ve craved a regular spiritual practice. But wanting something and having it are not the same thing.

There were times when I had trouble convincing myself that getting out of bed would be a good idea. It seemed much safer to hide deep under the covers.

These psalms helped me get past that. I recorded them so that when I didn’t have the strength or motivation to read them, I could just click and listen. Soon I had them memorized and they became part of my flesh and bones. In fact, once my son said something about college that made me happy and I said, “Oh! You have made my heart happier than when grain and wine abound!” And I meant it. Lol.

 

“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 can 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 our 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 –(updated to adjust for tangerine dragons)

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 a 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.

Remember when we were walking as a family along the railroad tracks and you found an unused tear gas? 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 outside of the French doors.

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
But, my brother, you never showed me how to modulate or adapt my own intensity and for that, I have paid a dear price.
I see tangerine dragons when my friends are happy and these cumulous beasts are majestic only because they fly; these dragons are not puffed up with pride or expectations–only a child’s joy.  But it scares people because I can see them. No, it scares people that I tell them about what I have seen.
Kelvin, I need you to help me from wherever you are. Come and find me or tell me how to find you. Because I am still on this earth. Show me how to use the right filters, such as kindness, honesty, generosity, gentleness, fortitude, and all the others so that I will not inadvertently hurt someone with my anger or even with my love.

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.

If My Anguish Had a Sound

Please listen to the video after the anguish because this is what happened: I let myself feel the anguish. I shared it so that others would not feel alone. And this afternoon, I received the message of such peace and comfort I posted it after my own video.

 

Here is a text version of the story:

https://asingingtree.com/2018/08/18/if-my-anguish-had-a-sound/

 

 

 

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.”

Starfishers

This video was a fun challenge. A friend gave me two photos  and I had to come up with a story about them this is what came up. Now this video has tons of mistakes but I can’t find an edit button! So I decided to post it anyway because it has a good message. “If you do or if you don’t  catch  the whole milky way, nothing can make me happier than I am with you today.”    https://youtu.be/lVTV1s_0SWE

Walking Home

I love walking home with you.

Every day I see something new.

Looking into your eyes

when you’re wondering why

Buttercups dance in the sun

like they do,

I see inspired, unanswered questions,

Bloom one by one, into your truth,

Into your love, into your faith.

My world is blessed by your grace.

The whole world is blessed by your grace.

Didn’t Ya Get The Dementia I Sent Ya?

What if dementia and mental illness are just two neighboring states with poorly defined borders?

In Dementia, people work like overly programmed robots: work, work, work, until they break, then they work no more.

The broken brain malfunctions in chaotic, angry, pain, and whoever “you” happen to be,”you” must be the one to blame.

In Mental Illness, one state over, one man’s spirit’s guide him,

to sleep in a box by the river

while his wife feeds the babes bits of rabbit (oh boy!)

with gallons of heavy cream.

And the rhinos play hide and seek underneath the pickle trees.

In both states, it matters not which,

the population is very thick

with folks, I know and I know I love.

And yes, I have some digs there, too, way out in the way out sticks.

It’s an annex, actually, called the Land of Enchantment,

(oolalaoo!)

where the Pronghorn and the Roadrunner run.

we are roasting ragweed over the fire, tonight when the sky turns dark blue.

What fun!

I’m on my way there now. I’m bringing the butter.

See ya there? I hope you’ll come. Sit by the fire, call the talkin’ rock a liar.

No, not really. Ay ¡Carrizo!

Ha ha hoy!

Ha ha, hoy!

hoy.

Why a Red Wagon, Why Now?

Several years ago I had a dream that went into the This Is Important category. In the dream, an adobe, or clay city was crumbling and in its place, golden, shimmering temples were rising up, all by an unseen, but undeniably benevolent power.

All the buildings had fallen except one. It was a tall, lonely tower and there was a demon who lived deep in the cellar. I had to remove the demon before the structure could come down—that was my assignment.

I was terrified because the demon could show up and get in my face in the blink of an eye. I knew it couldn’t kill me; I knew prayer always defeated it, but I had to be diligent, and it was exhausting.

My General in Arms, who happened to be Christ, who also happened to be very muscular and dirty and sweaty like a real working man, was standing on a platform, being congenially in charge of it all. When he saw me he called me up to the platform and said he had something he wanted to show me.

He took me to one side and uncovered a shiny red wagon, the very thing I wanted more than anything in the world. He said it would be mine as soon as I finished my task.

I was happy, but I figured it would be a long time before I’d get to call it my own. I had no idea how to get rid of the demon; it was too powerful for me.

I woke up with memories of the dust rising around beautiful, golden temples.

I’ve thought about the dream a lot over the years. I think the clay city is my body or my family and community. The golden city is the spiritual body and family. It seems both out of reach and already mine, which makes no sense at all.

So, the weird thing is this: mom bought a red wagon for the back of the mower. A shiny red wagon now sits atop the black table that belonged to Nick. We are trying to put it together.

I’ve never told mom about the dream. I just keep looking at it wondering why a red wagon and why now? Is this the red wagon? Does this mean the demon is taken care of? I thought I’d feel a lot better when demon was out.

Somehow I just don’t know if demon is gone, but I must have gained some kind of muscle over it. Why am I getting the wagon, now? I don’t deserve it.

I don’t deserve it but I will use it for good. I’ll haul wood and carry stuff to the barn and back. I’ll do whatever I can to help.

It IS pretty. I could fill it with wild flowers…

Astride the Red Beast!

Yes. I am learning to master the riding lawn mower. It was terrifying to feel that beast lurch forward, knowing that Reiki Jane, my trusty canine was only a bone’s throw away.

I told mom, “Make Jane go inside; I have no control!” But mom said

“She’s alright. She has control. She won’t get too close while that thing’s running.”

And mom was right.

I practiced riding around the back yard. Pretty soon I was doing circles around the tree and some other obstacles in the impromptu course.

Janie stayed several feet away but ran right along with me having a great time picking up sticks and watching out for wandering wildebeesties.

Mom walked alongside me too. (So what if I didn’t go fast?)

Mom instructed me to go around the irises but I protested because a stuffed rabbit was lying helpless in the path.

Without being told, Janie dashed to the rabbit’s rescue and stowed the helpless creature where it would be safe under the iris. (That dog never ceases to amaze me.)

I got so comfortable astride the Red Beast that I let go and used one hand to wave mom.

“Hi, mom! I’m doing it!”

Today I will actually lower the blades and cut grass. Shivers.

My confidence just ran and hid under the covers. That’s okay. We have a couple of hours before daylight.

I will chant and pray for strength and courage.

No, seriously, that’s what I need to do. I’m skeered.

Feel So Different

I went to an AA speaker meeting one night and this man that I already greatly admired for his creativity and intelligence blew me away with the disclosure of his heart of hearts.

After he told his story he sang this song. His version was every bit as moving as Sinead Oconner’s. Of course, I don’t have his video. But here is the original song. Feel the power.https://youtu.be/PU5PwOHJfoA

Horse Lady, Spirit Guide

I met Wendy through metaphysical discussion groups that met at her house, way out in the country where the sky is truly black at night. I don’t think I really believed in stars till I saw the ones that hung over her house. I was 12 and easily mystified.

I was not easily mystified because I was 12; I was primed for that sort of thing by birth. I am a mystical fish, a Pisces with a life path number of 11 and the master number 22. I was bound to be the way I am.

And that is why I believe Wendy was destined to be my Spirit Guide. Now, when most people hear the word Spirit Guide they think of a guide from another realm, from the spirit world. But I don’t mean it exactly that way. Well, I do, but not entirely.

See, Wendy is 100% real and in this world. She owns and operates Abrazos Adventures, a horse ranch on the outskirts of Portales, New Mexico. She is a down to earth cowgirl, as gritty as they come.

And when I say down to earth, I mean way, way down, down to the subatomic particles in fact. Wendy doesn’t just take matter at face value, but delves into the energy of a thing; she observes the energetic reactions of her horses, her students, her environment, herself, everything. She watches the interactions and learns from each situation how to move from grace to grace, even if the “grace” looks like a major problem before it looks like anything positive.

Well, I am not one of her riding students, but she has been my teacher all these years. Our lives have been linked throughout. Sometimes we were further apart than others; our trajectory resembles a strand of DNA and together we are just beginning to see what is growing out of our lifelong friendship.

One thing I am learning from Wendy is that everyone needs a Wendy! A Guru. A Horse Lady. A Teacher. A Mentor. A Counselor. A Librarian. An Editor. An Energy Healer. A Friend. An Accountability Coach.

Ok, Let me break it down a little. I fell in love with Paramahansa Yogananda when I saw his autobiography on her bookshelf that first night of the discussion group. That is when I knew I needed and wanted a guru more than anything in the world.

I spent years and years waiting for one, searching for one and giving up finding one. Then I realized there were little gurus all around and within and that worked for a while, but I still craved a leader.

What? It’s ok to crave a leader.

Anyway. Wendy agreed to be my accountability coach. She said she wanted to hear from me every night. Get that? She WANTED to hear from me every night to see how I had used my energy to make it a good day. She wanted to know what kinds of things I had been able to do to contribute to my own happiness and to the happiness of the world.

That made me feel so well loved and so cared for. And so capable of doing something good in the world.

Little by little I started coming into my own power. (By my own power, I mean I started knowing how to let my higher power work through me.) I started moving from the darkness of helplessness to behaving in a way that made me and the people around me feel lighter and happier(–most the time, anyway. I still have grumpy days–like today—I’m kind of grumpy, but I bet you couldn’t even tell, right??)

And that is what a guru does, leads you from darkness to light.

So I think it is natural to long for a guru and it is also natural to be a guru for someone. Maybe someday, if I continue to cowgirl up, I can be a spirit guide for another person.

I also think it is natural to go to therapy and that we should think of going to therapy the way we think of going to the gym to work out. We need to go to get fit and stay fit. But that is another story.

I am just grateful that I found my own, flesh and blood guru. That she was right here in my own hometown. I still have so much to learn from her.  Do you have a spirit guide disguised as a regular human being in your life?

 

Hearing Voices

When I first started hearing voices my landlord had just installed a new exhaust fan in the bathroom. We live near an airbase and what I heard sounded like a radio transmission. It also could have been radio banter between two feisty newscasters, and there is a public radio station down the road, so I thought that was a possibility too.

No one else could hear it. People started looking at each other in that knowing way when I mentioned it, asking me if I was feeling alright. I stopped telling people about it before long.

I had never heard the voices before the fans were installed.

Finally, years later, I learned about a thing called Apophenia, which is the audio version of Pareidolia, you know, when you see things in random shapes

People with apophenia have very active brains that search for patterns in the random noises of the modern and natural world. That is why people like us hear birds that tweet “Cheater! Cheater!” and washing machines that chum out catchy one-liners during the wash cycle,  like, “The jig is up. The jig is up. The jig is up.”

I can’t tell you how many doctors raised their eyebrows when I told them about the radio transmissions; not one of them mentioned apophenia. I had to find out about that on my own, accidentally.  I am 100% certain it changed my diagnosis and you know, those kinds of things are hard to get off one’s medical records.

Anyway, If you hear interesting things in the world and you can’t quite figure out where the sound is coming from, or if you are fairly certain the bird is really not telling a story about his friend, Monique who was a teacher and a cheater-cheater-cheater, even though it sure sounds like that, you might have apophenia. And no, you don’t need medication for that. However, something to take notes with might come in handy because you might get some pretty wild ideas from the wires in the walls.

Flea Bomb

Today we have to pack up the animals and take them to the park (or somewhere) while the bug man comes to bomb the house. We have fleas. I was on flea patrol all night last night.

I can keep them off Jane if I keep her brushed with Eucalyptus oil spread on a bath brush. I tried diluting it in water and spraying her down but that didn’t work. I tried putting it in her bath water, but that didn’t work. But brushing with it directly on the brush kept them off and kept her calm.

The cat is another story. I have the stuff that goes on her spine applied already but I don’t think it’s working.

I hate fleas.

I know they are life forms and I ought to have respect for them. I am sure they serve some purpose in the scheme of things.

I don’t hate them on a personal level.

But they can not live in my house, or on my dog or on my cat and that is that.

The F Word

The F word is one of my favorite words in the whole world. I use it all the time like I use chili or ginger.

I picked one of my yoga teachers because I was looking for a good yoga video on youtube and I thought I heard this one teacher say “What the fuck.” I had to go back and double check, and yep, that is exactly what she said. I thought, “How fresh and unpretentious is that!” So I started learning from her and I bought one of her books.

I don’t use the word indiscriminately. I don’t say it around my grandkids or to just anyone who happens to knock on my door.

I use it when I need a certain pizazz that only the F-word can give.

Some people don’t care for a spice like that at all, They find it completely distasteful. F—fine. Let ’em eat sassafrass.

Then there are others who use so much of it that it loses its punch.

Like any good chef, there is a skill (or a talent) to using the F-word; There are a few rules I like to abide by.

I don’t like to hurt people with it unless I am extremely angry, and then I am not in my right mind anyway.

So I never say “Fuck you.”

Traffic situations do not count. If I am in a car and windows are rolled up then it’s ok to say “Stupid fucker, ” when someone does something really stupid,. But of course, I follow it up right away with wishing them peace because I don’t want to make any bad karma.

In fact, the car is a great place to let out a whole string of angry “Stupid motherfucking asshole fucking duck breath piss ant!” when I am totally upset at someone as long as I get it out of my system and immediately apologize to the air and say “No, I don’t mean that at all!. What I mean is, May you be at peace…” and so on.

Actually, that is the only rule I can think of: don’t hurt people. Otherwise, it is just a word. But it is a word.

Words have power.

Take the word, Love, for instance. Love has a vibe.

Hmmm. As I say it, love seems to hold a little more power.

Fuck it, I’m choosing LOVE.

 

In My Own Hoop (La La)

Many of us who participated in the Solstice Meditation Renewal Course by Ram Dass stayed and repeated it after the course ended. That is how much we loved it and that is how much we gained by supporting one another in our Facebook group. Tomorrow will be the third week (second time around) and the mantra for that week is GATE GATE PARA GATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA!

Gone, gone, to the farthest shore, I have awakened!

It is known as the Heart Sutra and it is chanted to help let go of attachments to anything that might be keeping us from our bliss or our enlightenment.

I know a lot of people in today’s meditation circles hesitate to say (out loud) that enlightenment is still a goal of meditation. It is more common these days to meditate for peace of mind, lower blood pressure, better concentration and all those health benefits that aren’t so far out there as enlightenment. But not me; I want the who shebang.

Meditation can induce experiences of bliss, spiritual vistas beyond anything we can imagine in ordinary consciousness. But that is not what I am after, either. I want to go beyond even that. I believe we have the potential to do (to be) enormously good for one another. We are the medicine for the heartsick; we cure with our compassion. So I meditate to be more capable of being at the right place, to do whatever is needed at that particular time. But even more than that, I meditate because, as Ram Dass says, “What else would I do?”

I am beginning to think that the beyond I seek is right here, inside my own hoop. So I chant Gate, Gate, and go deeper within, beyond, beyond, to the farthest shore. I’ll see you when I get there.

Cure For Depression

Make sure you tune in with Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo before chanting this mantra. You can find plenty of samples on youtube, or you can use this one.  https://youtu.be/7b3uFK01-u4

This guru guru wahe guru mantra has been a real lifesaver for me. The breathing pattern created by singing the mantra causes a positive shift in mood and energy level. The other, more subtle benefits, well, you’ll have to find out for yourself.

Pardon Me, I’m Parched

Therapy is like water for me and apparently, I am a plant that needs to be watered once a week. I can survive on a two-week watering schedule. But more time between sessions than that and I start to wither.

Let’s clear one thing up, however.

There are different kinds of therapy (and different kinds of therapists to be sure.)

Some do not realize that therapy can be a nurturing, lovely thing that feeds the soul. Some approach it more like a surgeon and will be there only to cut the bad stuff out of a person. That is not what I mean here.

Others, of the bitter pill variety, will give you brine and you’ll wonder why the hell you feel like shit when you leave the office, why all your leaves are turning black and dropping off.

That’s not what I’m talking about either. We don’t need that.

I ‘m talking about the kind of therapy that makes you feel like you can go out into your world and do something good—the kind of encouragement and support that helps you be the best Geranium or Begonia you can be.

A therapist needs to see you for who you are. She can’t think you are a cactus when you are a strawberry plant or she won’t be able to give you the right care.

Someone needs to see the best in you and help bring that about.

They help us see the best in ourselves and in others as well. They open windows and let fresh air and sunshine in and help to make the world a less hostile place.

We tend to put up walls and get all weedy with every negative thought that blows our way; a therapist helps us keep things in order so that we can keep growing.

I’m just saying, I need to be watered once a week. If you water me and keep me in the sun I will grow and I will produce fruit (or nuts! or berries or flowers.)

Don’t think therapy should be reserved for the mentally ill and then only for the illest. We all need it.

Cough. Cough.

 

Exponential Potential

It’s 2:00am and I am wide awake.

I want to talk to someone; I want to talk to you.

How do I know who you are? How do I know you are the one I want to talk to?

I don’t know how to explain it. I just feel a connection.

There has always been you, even though I don’t know exactly who you are. In fact, not knowing exactly who. You are, but knowing you are a benevolent someone who really cares what I might say is what I most need right now.

I mean, I can’t just pick up the phone and call you.

I could.

But if I did then you’d be Mary or Lee Ann or Jimmy or Ron: You’d the the particle instead of the wave.

And don’t get me wrong! I need the particle! I need each individual in my life . I treasure my friends and family. But I need the indiscriminate wave as well.

Does that make sense?

Maybe it’s like writing to Dear Diary.

The thing is, there has to be a connection to someone outside of myself. I don’t want to talk to myself even that is what it seems like I’m doing.

You can need me like that too. Sometimes you need me to be part of a collective, and at other times you may need to connect with the individual me, the me that I happen to be at this particular time and place . You might be feeling quite wavy and. n need of definition so I might be able to help you out with that by being peculiarly myself

But I don’t mind being part of the mist either, part of the primordial possibility.

I know that sometimes we are who we are and sometimes we are exponential potential.

Either way, I love you. Thanks for being here (and there) when I can’t sleep.

Love, me.

Robert Knew He Could Fly

Robert knew he could fly. There was no question about it.

The problem was that no one else was ever around to see it. And that was worse than it would have been, he thought, than if he’d never learned to fly in the first place.

He didn’t fly like a bird or an airplane; he flew like a bright kite, rising above the trees in a determined but almost frantic ascent, his nose, his face, his aqua eyes focused entirely on the sky above the trees, above the voices of liars.

It was so clean up there, the air pure.

And the sky understood him, the clouds welcomed him. In fact, if they saw him coming they’d gather in little groups and decide in a hushed whisper how best to entertain their little companion.

“I’ll be a dancer said one. Look I am on my toes.”

“ That’s nothing said another. I am a warrior.” And he puffed up until a blue-grey shield appeared on his chest, at which point the sun handed him a ray to use for a sword.

But today was no day to fly.

Robert didn’t even look up because it hurt him to know that today, the worst day, the day he had an obligation to the one he would bury, the clouds still moved in the sky and the sun still ruled the day.

The rage had passed, but the hurt would not leave. It bore into his bones and moved through his marrow.

None of this day made sense.

The cars lining up, and people bringing casseroles. The sick smell of lilies.

At one point, Robert felt himself rising above the heads of people dabbing their eyes with Kleenex. He floated there just a moment, barely long enough to be sickened by the irony of this group of people, many without a hint of holiness in them, sitting here, saying goodbye to his son as if they had any right whatsoever to walk into this room where an angel rested.

It made him wretch.

He ran out of the room,  away from the sound of bees and hornets and yellow jackets that buzzed and hissed condolences.

Robert pulled away they and they said, “Sssstay.” But they dared not touch him.

When the door behind him slammed shut the people turned back to themselves.

 In the fresh air, Robert stood tall, taller than any man. His blue/green eyes were the kind that made a person wish they could jump in, and they were focused on something only he could see.

He stood tall so quickly it was as if something inside had been released,  like an accordion that took a sudden breath and was being pulled open and then twisted in the musician’s hands to wring out the most original music. The accordion folded; cries of great love poured out.

“Hold on dad! Catch up!”

Robert held onto the bars of his motorcycle, thundering down the road. Everything was upside down. Thunder rumbled from the highway and there was no sky but a lake where the sky had been.

He heard Nathan calling,

“Hold on dad!”

Robert sat firm,  “I am!” He said.

He was determined to keep the wheels rolling. It was going so fast.

He remembered that he could fly.

But today was no day for flying, was it?

Robert gripped the handlebars

Before long he was knee deep in cumulonimbus. The road beneath him had vanished and there was nothing but sky above and below.

He knew Nathan must be nearby because he could hear him; he looked, but couldn’t see him.

“Hold on, dad!”

“I am.”

What We Keep

 

What Do We Keep?

Most people would have thrown it out because it was almost useless. It wasn’t even pretty. It was just a plain, old bowl with a big crack in it. Mrs. Jaramillo took it out and patted it before she placed it on the table. She gathered flour, salt, lard and a rolling pin. She was preparing to teach my mom how to make tortillas, and mom was ready to learn; she was already knocking at the door, calling, “Hello! Anyone home?”

Ven. Ven. Come in.”

She was friendly the way the ladies at church are friendly after Mass, smiling and pursing her lips a little. But she warmed up quickly to mom and was soon sloshing coffee over to the table. She was laughing at mom’s story about the grasshopper that waved to us when we were gathering left-over peanuts from some farmer’s field.

“I’m telling you the truth! It waved at us! We got down in the dirt and stared real close and it waved one little arm at us when we said ‘Hello’ to it.”

“Mrs. Jaramillo laughed; her toothless mouth was shiny and pink. “Ai, Joyce, you are one crazy lady, I tell you what.”

Her laughter gradually softened and fell quiet like a leaf, falling easy till it rested silently in her lap. She shook her head, still smiling at the thought of mom, with the four of us kids, lying in the middle of a field, talking to a bug.“OK now, Joyce. Let’s make tortillas. Go over to the sink and wash your hands.”

Mom did as she was told and came back to the table.

You get your flour and fill it to here, where this crack is.” Mrs. Jaramillo poured flour into the bowl, up to the crack. Mom said, “But what if I don’t have a bowl with a crack in it?” She was still feeling playful and assumed Mrs. Jaramillo was too. But Mrs. Jaramillo stood up straight and looked tall even though she was barely five feet. She picked up her bowl and put it away. “Well, then you will never learn to make tortillas!”

Mom thought she must be joking, but she was dead serious and after several very uncomfortable moments, she said, “Well, I guess I’ll go home.”

The screen door creaked shut and mom walked back to our house. She never did learn how to make tortillas.

Mom and I love to talk about that story, mainly because we can’t figure it out. What was it that upset this friendly old lady so much that she refused to teach what she’d been happy to teach only minutes before?

We treasure that story because it makes us laugh because we don’t know what to do with it. We hold onto it because it reminds us of a time when grasshoppers enchanted us while we gleaned the fields. We hold on and we talk about it every chance we get, baffled and full of wonder too.

I hold my favorite bowl like I’m holding a baby. Not the way a new mother holds a baby, but in that relaxed way that women develop when they realize the baby won’t break the way fragile china or porcelain breaks.I get out the flour, salt, and olive oil and stand over the empty bowl, looking for that line of cobalt that runs right through the clay like a river running through the mountains. There is one spot where it looks like it’s splashing over its banks. I pour the flour up to there.

 

Reiki Rocks!

I did my first Reiki session using a rock as a helper.

Mom was having intense lower back pain and said she felt as if there were black globs of stuff inside her that if she could get out, her pain would go with them. (She was speaking of energetic globs.)

I needed something to draw the energy out of her back; it wouldn’t move sufficiently just using my hands.

I used a fairly large, comfortable rock on her back and pulled the energy from her back into the stone with both hands in Reiki position over the stone.

When I started to feel the stone pulse, she said she had some relief from at least some of the pain, but she said there were two globs that didn’t want to come out. We will respect the wisdom of her body and wait for the right time to remove the other globs.

I thanked the stone for its help and I am leaving it in the sun today to clear the energy.

It seems like the rock has life. Whoever thinks rocks are dull, inanimate objects have never experienced the …IDK, hidden? energy of rocks. They are truly helpers worthy of my respect and gratitude.

Man, Reiki rocks!

Stay Woke!

White= clean and pure (Don’t worry, this has nothing to do with race.)
Gardens = growing things, life
Terrycloth = serious work

I dreamed I was in the bathroom of the old house on North Abilene. I really had to pee! The room was just like I remembered it and I was a little apprehensive only because the cellar door was behind the bathtub and it always gave me the creeps.
I noticed water gushing out the water faucet in the bathtub so I got up and struggled a little to get it turned off. The water was clear and clean; it was very cold.
When the water was off, I noticed a lady in the bathtub. I didn’t recognize her and thought it was weird to have a stranger bathing in grandma’s tub.
Her bathwater was all milky from having used so much soap.
I headed toward the door (at a casual pace) and she got out of the water and put on a clean, white, terrycloth bathrobe.
I turned and asked her, “Are you a ghost?”
“No.” She said. “But you are.”
Part 2
I walked toward the living room where all my relatives, living and dead, were gathered. 
I was intrigued by the Lady of the Tub and wondered if the whole family were ghosts, like me. I tried to ask her, but she had just slipped through the back door off the kitchen. She was gone. I could not ask a single question. I was bewildered.
Part 3
I tucked the dream away and at the first opportunity, I took it to the Wise Woman, la curandera 
 With both hands I took the dream and placed it in the looking bowl.
“Well,” I said, “What do you think of that?”
La curandera and I let our minds work in the soft, open way, the way of intuition and visions as we examined the dream; we used the mind of scientists when they are first inspired, long before they form a hypothesis, long before they ask questions, while they are still full of wonder. Thedream was intact, safe in the looking bowl and we each had enough curiosity to keep it stirred.
Part 4
Of course, I can’t reveal the dream secrets. To do so would rip it to shreds. But I can tell you, that as we worked with the dream, the dream came back to life. I was able to follow the Lady of the Tub. She’d gone through the kitchen door and into the garden. She was standing in a sunny spot, waving and smiling. She was me, the spirit. She was calling me out of the past. She was real while I had been like a ghost, creeping around in a dusty old house that doesn’t even exist anymore. I was invigorated by the realization that the true me is a spiritual, energetic, empowered and apparently fairly clean being.
At that moment I remembered a line from one of my favorite movies, Bulworth. In the movie, an old, very mysterious man tells the protagonist, “Don’t be no ghost, Bulworth. Ya got to be a spirit! Don’t be no ghost.”
Yes, I say. I got t’ stay woke. I ain’t no ghost.

How Profound The Voice Of Silence

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My son, my firstborn child, the black sheep of the family for so many reasons, just died. He was found lying in his bed. He’d been gone for about a week when they found him.

He was angry at me and told me he couldn’t have me in his life. So when he didn’t answer my calls I didn’t think

I didn’t know he was gone.

I thought he was just trying to keep his distance.

So now there are arrangements to be made that suck. Everything hurts so much. I feel sick I feel like throwing up but instead, I eat the food people bring because that is what the living do, we eat.

soup and bread and all those things.

And I am angry and sad and I can’t breathe sometimes.

And I laugh at all the memories of some of the funniest things he did and said.

I try to pray but God is busy making funeral arrangements while the mourning dove coos in the eaves outside my window.

Sounds like Nick’s voice when he was just about to make a point.

Sounds like Nick’s voice without the words.

When he was a newborn he made those same sounds and I knew, even then, he had something important to say.

I am listening. Now. In the earliest part of the day.

You can hear him too, can’t you?

He never actually wanted to be in your face; he tried to shrink his big bear body, tried to become a point on the horizon, to be the hum that follows the silencing of all living things.