The Amiability of Convenience

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“Other animals, in a constant and mostly unmediated relation with their sensory surroundings, think with the whole of their bodies.” ~ David Abram

“Other animals, in a constant and mostly unmediated relation with their sensory surroundings, think with the whole of their bodies.” ~ David Abram

“We are too frightened of shadows. We cannot abide our vulnerability, our utter dependence upon a world that can eat us. Vast in its analytic and inventive power, modern humanity is crippled by a fear of its own animality, and of the animate earth that sustains us.” ~ David Abram

Wow, I either slept too long or slept enough. When I awoke at 3 AM to mindlessly turn off the alarm I laid right back down into a web of dreams. I think all dreams are webs, spun by Clotho, one of the Three Fates, to give us access to our subliminal and subconscious (and unconscious mind) mind. Then . . . . I awoke at 4:45 AM and got up into this waking dream. I call this waking world a dream. It’s a shamanic thing: my NDE in 1984 served as a kind of shamanic initiation. So, if it’s a dream . . . just how is it different from the ineffable dreams? The differences are legion, but one I find to be of crucial importance is that our waking reality contains the force, and gift, of convenience. Our task is to pass through the convenience as if it is a mere chance at taking a breather from our spiritual journey. Hmmmm, don’t think about that too much, k? So why so lofty today, Mr, Ebert? Well, it is partially last night’s dreams, which seemed to be sourced in the future. I don’t remember details. But yesterday’s massage was better than usual. My struggle to prioritize convenience way down the list from the top, and keep it there, had me all knotted up from another struggle to escape from the strands that are no longer viable in my life. Lachesis’s web. Lacheis is one of the Fates as well. She does the spinning. Sometimes we get trapped. Then in therapy we drifted into a discussion of Lori, who was the love of my life. She died in a car crash, in 1995, dammit. That knotted me up good. Yesterday I nearly cried out loud during therapy, yet I inexplicably held it back, folded it, and put it back in the drawer where it belongs. It’s an excellent sign. I am becoming freed from the convenience of thinking and living as if Lori were gone. She’s not, not really. Love like that has a long shelf life. Her spirit is with me right now. She taught me more about love than any other woman. I would like to apply that knowledge with a new woman. There is nothing convenient about striving for that goal. I gotta remember that on a daily basis. Convenience may often appear amiable, but it not your friend.

addendum: the novel I am writing is titled The Final Convenience. I will be playing here with the whole idea of convenience — so you can expect more.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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The Personal Care Day

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“To me, at least in retrospect, the really interesting question is why dullness proves to be such a powerful impediment to attention. Why we recoil from the dull. Maybe it’s because dullness is intrinsically painful; maybe that’s where phrases like ‘deadly dull’ or ‘excruciatingly dull’ come from. But there might be more to it. Maybe dullness is associated with psychic pain because something that’s dull or opaque fails to provide enough stimulation to distract people from some other, deeper type of pain that is always there, if only in an ambient low-level way, and which most of us spend nearly all our time and energy trying to distract ourselves from feeling, or at least from feeling directly or with our full attention. Admittedly, the whole thing’s pretty confusing, and hard to talk about abstractly…but surely something must lie behind not just Muzak in dull or tedious places anymore but now also actual TV in waiting rooms, supermarkets’ checkouts, airports’ gates, SUVs’ backseats. Walkmen, iPods, BlackBerries, cell phones that attach to your head. The terror of silence with nothing diverting to do. I can’t think anyone really believes that today’s so-called ‘information society’ is just about information. Everyone knows it’s about something else, way down.”  ~ David Foster Wallace

Lavender hour: the slice of twilight when a faint hue of lavender takes hold for a few minutes. That’s happening right now. 60º. Last sips of coffee sit, hot in the cup. I can’t shake the sleepiness so far. Lots of stretching, lots of yawning. Geez, I think I may be grumpy this morning! I’m good with that. My grumpiness almost always manifests with a vein of humor running through it. That’ll do. For some strange reason I am feeling philosophical today. Was it from dreams? In part, I think. Just past the tail-end of three consecutive workdays, my thoughts are still racing — lightning-fast, indiscriminate, ghostly. No worries, I’ll calm down. Today will be an intensive in that respect. Massage in the morning and psychotherapy at noon. Then a nap. There must be a nap. I was briefly talking with a friend the other day, and I mentioned how I’ve been in such a down-time mode for weeks now — a hermit’s gig, snatching a doze here and there when the chance unfolds. He said he gets that three times a year. Sleep, sleep.


The Sun is up but it will not crest the mountains for another hour yet. Honestly I’d like to curl up and sleep until massage time, but I can’t. Gotta feed and medicate the cat, then spend another hour or so reading. Today’s shower will be epic. I look forward to the copious hot water. And, ummmm . . . what else? I don’t know. It’s a personal care day. It’s something to do. When you get the chance. Grumpy or not.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Snow in July

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“Now, what’s stirring in this murky sea of complexity and foolishness is an almost suffocating need to breathe fresh history.” ~ Lauri Perez

“Memory, when it juts, retreats, recovers, shows us how to hold the darkness, how to breathe.” ~ Drew Myron

“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.” ~ Albert Einstein

“I would feel infinitely more comfortable in your presence if you would agree to treat gravity as a law, rather than one of a number of suggested options.” ~ Neil Gaiman

It’s one of those routine mornings when you don’t even realize it’s routine until you stop to think about it. Who does that? I just did. But my thoughts are cottony things today, so no harm is likely to come from them. I may just disengage them altogether, like Zen, or Flow, or absent-mindedness. Likely the latter, but I can do the others if I put my mind to it then look the other way. Which is not easy. Whatever. So, what about the weather? Just two mornings ago there was a large snow cap up on Jicarilla Peak (12,494 feet in elevation). It was gone by day’s end, melted away because it is the middle of July and it was, after all, snow. The sight conjured up my sense of wonder. Snow in July; who knew. Lately I’ve been exercising my sense of wonder, in spite of the fact that such exercise makes me sometimes laugh at seemingly inappropriate times. Seein’s how I cut myself short on writing time again . . . well, I do that a lot lately . . . I’ll leave you with a sighting I had yesterday. It was the kind of thing that sparks people to say ‘only in Taos’. I was sitting in my car, by the highway, during my afternoon break from work. I heard a soft whistling sound and looked over toward Mickey D’s to see what it was. Here comes this slim young guy, walking alongside the road; aqua hair, authentic Scottish kilt, belt pouch hanging low over his crotch, and a fashionably faded plaid hipster flannel shirt. The lad had an Irish tin whistle held at attention against his lips, playing the tune as he marched along: “You take the high road and I’ll take the low road”. You know the song. I couldn’t make this stuff up. And there I was, sitting there, wondering what the kid does for work. Now, moving forward, enough of that. Time to go have a look at the mountains before I prep for work.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Released to the Sky

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“So don’t be frightened, dear friend, if a sadness confronts you larger than any you have ever known, casting its shadow over all you do. You must think that something is happening within you, and remember that life has not forgotten you; it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall. Why would you want to exclude from your life any uneasiness, any pain, any depression, since you don’t know what work they are accomplishing within you?” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

“As long as you keep secrets and suppress information, you are fundamentally at war with yourself…The critical issue is allowing yourself to know what you know. That takes an enormous amount of courage.” ~ Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D.

“When you suppress your darkness you also suppress your light.” ~ Bryant McGill

A lot of things are likely to annoy me today. I’m experiencing an ‘annoyance alert’, which I shall heed. It’s the Trump treason thing that has me all riled. I even started to cry earlier over the whole thing. I find myself advised by myself to refuse to be astonished. Ir’s what they want. Don’t give it to them. As for the annoyance, it is likely basic psychological transference: there’s no way in the world I can face a traitor and scream like a banshee, so I stand advised that my subconscious mind will be looking everywhere for ways to vent off a little steam to keep the pressure down to a boil. The president is a boil. Just sayin. Anyway, the hour is early. The morning sky is lightening as the mountains to the east prepare to release the orb of the Sun into the fresh morning sky. Yeh, I gotta go to work. It will be fascinating to observe as I work, to look for signs of a disturbance in the Force — and boy howdy there is indeed a doozy of a disturbance in the Force. Such thing reveal themselves in the marketplace in subtle, subliminal ways. Whatever. I’d better get my assets out to look at the mountains before they set the Sun free into the sky. That’s good, though, we need all the Light we can muster right now. Let it shine, and don’t stop. And don’t hide from Shadows.

The hour is early
The whole world is quiet
A beautiful morning’s about to ignite
I’m ready for danger
I’m ready for fire
I’m ready for something to lift me up higher” ~ Rodney Crowell

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Or the Antics of a Raven

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“Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way.” ~ Kingsley Amis

“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” ~ Carl Jung

“You are an explorer, and you represent our species, and the greatest good you can do is to bring back a new idea, because our world is endangered by the absence of good ideas. Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness.” ~ Terence McKenna

“To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.” ~ James P. Carse

As you can see by the photo, I have been tinkering with a photo this morning. It was kind of a spontaneous thing. Just came to me. What I am thinking is that I must have needed it. This writing is indeed creative; I strive for that. But playing with images is something else, while still being creative. Now, the image is kinda psychedelic. Through that I get drawn down into my mind, then further. I think that’s the point. You don’t need drugs to go all psychedelic. I didn’t intend to go there, but I did. That’s what makes it magick. It is the Celtic spiritual concept of shaping. I didn’t intend to go there — mmmm, there is always intent. With intent I shape my perception of the world. A few months ago I started a somewhat concerted effort to begin to develop the psychic faculties that were gifted to me upon my NDE back in ‘1984. I suppressed them back then, and then for a coupla decades more, because they scared me, sure. But it was that they were scaring other people. I couldn’t take it. I mean it’s one thing to be all loopy from head trauma and quite another thing to be knowing what people are going to say, or to have a light bulb burn-out in a flash as you reach to turn off a lamp, yet you did not actually touch the lamp. Kinda freaks people out, right? That’s the kind of stuff I had to live with back then. It is a long story, and is not for the telling here, today. Anyway, with my new quest to start developing these faculties . . .  well, I inadvertently took a few weeks’ break from the quest so I lost the sense of magick. Now to get it back. I feel it pretty good this morning. As I go through my workday I will notch myself up through bright smiles from beautiful woman, or the antics of a raven, or the way a cloud rolls just so, or a clever quip from a customer. There are lots of ways to magick. Best get to it. Bueno bye.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

A Hypnopompic Adventure

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“You have wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number of the grains of sand. The path that you are to take is endless, and you will die before you have truly awakened.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges

“You know a trillion times more about art than me. But I’ve learned that it isn’t necessary to know all that much. You just make what you wanna see, right? It’s a game, right? It’s like being paid for dreaming.” ~ Tom Robbins, Skinny Legs and All

“For he realized at last that the spiritual balm he had always found in silent things was simply the assurance that the passions and agonies of man were without meaning, roots, or duration — no more part of the permanent background of the world than the curls of blue smoke that from time to time were wafted through the valley from the autumn bonfires of weeds and rubbish, and that he could see winding like blue wraiths in and out of the foliage of the trees.” ~ Hope Mirrlees, Lud-in-the-Mist

The chicken coop was filled with chatter a few minutes ago. Now it is again quiet. I feel grateful to the yard birds, for they snapped me out of the half-dream state I was in. That state was in part the tail-end of hypnopompic adventure, carelessly refined by the day’s first exposure to the internet. Don’t worry, I’ll get over it, I’ve got all day. Boy howdy I have no obligations or compulsory activity at all on the slate. Sweet. Now, if I can only get the muscles around my skull to friggin calm down.


Just back from my sunrise break. I enjoyed watching the intense light from the Sun climbing up the sloping ridge of Taos Mountain, until the star popped up and into view, right around the summit. Brilliant. Great show. And thus the day begins. There are still filaments of dream stuff wafting about my head, where all of the major tension is nearly crystallized. A massage is scheduled for Thursday. It has been months since I was so acutely in need of her skills. Poor me, right? Yeh, I guess so.


I did it again; another writing break. This one I can blame on the cat. She will get a few more minutes of my time shortly, when I follow up her breakfast with a swift poke of insulin through the scruff of her neck. Poor kitty. Then it’s seed and water for the chickens and the rooster. I’ve given up on calling the rooster fake. My guess is he was so highly intimidated by the presence of Oscar the turkey that his hormones kinda slunk back in some corner somewhere. And now that the big bird is gone the hormones are starting to flow again. Good boy. This theory is a comfort, for I am hesitant to consider the existence of transgender chickens. I ain’t sayin it ain’t so, I’m just sayin, like ya know? Trust me on this one. Whatever the case I’m cool with the bird regardless of the actual circumstances. As for me, the cat has finished eating and is remarking on the fact that it is now time for her injection. I think I’ll mosey along after that, and call it a day, writing-wise. Hours later and the dreams are still hovering close. Apparently the hypnopompic adventure is not quite over.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

A Micro-dose of Comeuppance

“I have a brother. They say, you put us together, we are like one person, you know? When we are young, his hair, it is very blond, very light, and people say, he is the good one. And my hair it is very dark, darker than yours even, and people say I am the rogue, you know? I am the bad one. And now time passes, and my hair is gray. His hair too, I think, is gray. And you look at us, you would not know who was light, who was dark.” ~ Neil Gaiman, American Gods

“Dawn is breaking everywhere
Light a candle, curse the glare
Draw the curtains, I don’t care
‘Cause it’s alright” ~ The Grateful Dead

As novelist Tom Robbins once so deftly wrote, “And the world situation was grim, as usual”. I can pretty much agree with that this morning. There are enough subjective tectonic rumbles going on to suggest that a massive shift in history is underway, and it ain’t yer father’s history. Whatever. No analysis here. Just coffee. I made it just about right this morning. That means a lot. Other than the coffee, so far, the only thing of note is the tinnitus, which is attempting to make me feel claustrophobic, or so it seems. I’m not sure a medical condition can attempt anything. But I do so love to anthropomorphize on occasion. I’m feeling a little wacky so far today. Does it show? The news has been taking me some unusual places of late. I can’t seem to muster any respectable level of pessimism about it all. Optimism? Yes. Of course. I’ve said it before: I am an optimist, but I am not a positive thinker. See, for me optimism is the ground state. Perhaps this perspective arose from my many years of learning to rationally override the irrational fears that depression delivers, often via Overnight Express. You can’t just ignore all that irrational stuff. I almost wrote “shit” instead of “stuff”. But iffin ya go on and treat the rampant irrationality of depression like shit you are effectively feeding the beast. What it takes is patience, assurance . . .  and in no friggin way should you ever say to a depressive in a bout of active darkness that everything is going to be okay, and/or to lighten up, or to focus their thoughts to create a new reality. Just listen, just be there with them. Nothing else works better, except maybe a micro-dose of Indica. That last I say in jest. It’s been many months since I had a truly virulent down-cycle, so I haven’t tried to low-dose depression. I reckon it will work, if the situation should ever arise, and I will try it if the lowdown ever comes to require comeuppance. I am grateful that the need hasn’t arisen for a long time. Now — I guess what got me on this optimism tack is that tis truly what I feel behind all of the bullshit that Trump is slathering upon human civilization. Go figure; I can’t explain it. All for now.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Simply Because I Have Ears to Hear

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“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” ~ Albert Einstein

“A scene should be selected by the writer for haunted-ness-of-mind interest.
If you’re not haunted by something, as by a dream, a vision, or a memory, which are involuntary, you’re not interested or even involved.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I think the mystery of art lies in this, that artists’ relationship is essentially with their work — not with power, not with profit, not with themselves, not even with their audience.” ~ Ursula K. Le Guin

It’s Friday the 13th. Go figure. Falls right smack dab in the middle of the presidential fiasco that is underway in Britain. Personally I would rather see him try to negotiate with the Irish. At least there would be some shits and giggles there. Tis but a day off from work for me. No grand plans, no aspiration other than remaining in “downtime mode” for yet another day. I won’t get into the processing behind this all, but rest assured that all of this “downtime” is symbolically refreshing/repurposing the losses through attrition that now comes from years of unattended fatigue. In deep healing you can’t go around making stuff up then saying it’s real. You have to do the work, which consists, in good part, of not working at all. Sometimes the only work required is to grab hold of the rope that extends back from the future, yet it will pull you forth into the future. Question is: who’s doing the pulling? Well, I am, silly. I pull from a place that is good, that is better. The mental imagery necessary to visualize this future me doing this future stuff suggests that we can act in more than one timeline at a time — which, of course, is true. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. I plan on hitting the pipe in a minute, then going out to feed and water the chickens, but only after doing the same for the cat. The cat comes first simply because I have ears to hear. Reckon? Yeh. Bisy backson.


Unless something comes up, that is about the extent of compulsory chores for the day. I have to go into town to get some food for me and kitty cat but I don’t see that as a chore, seein’s how we all hafta eat. Then this afternoon it will be some more of my current Netflix series, “Haven”. Admittedly it has a few too many cheesy aspects, but it entertains, and I get the side-benefit of having my internal storyteller exercised without so much as an effort. That the storyline is paranormal in tone and content makes it relevant to my novel. Sounds like a healthy way to spend an afternoon. Let’s leave it at that for now. My tabla rasa just got all filled up.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

As Edgy as it Takes

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“Magic doesn’t sweep you away; it gathers you up into the body of the present moment so thoroughly that all your explanations fall away: the ordinary, in all its plain and simple outrageousness, begins to shine — to become luminously, impossibly so. Every facet of the world is awake, and you within it.” ~ David Abram

“For too long we’ve closed ourselves to the participatory life of our senses, inured ourselves to the felt intelligence of our muscled flesh and its manifold solidarities. We’ve taken our primary truths from technologies that hold the world at a distance. Such tools can be mighty useful, and beneficial as well, as long as the insights that they yield are carried carefully back to the lived world, and placed in service to the more-than-human matrix of corporeal encounter and experience. But technology can also, and easily, be used as a way to avoid direct encounter, as a shield—etched” ~ David Abram

Too groggy for words. Almost. The ceiling fan is kicked up a notch and the window lifted a bit higher, both to help suck in some cool air before the heat of the day ensues. The Sun has not quite crested the high mountain ridges. The coffee is all gone. Details of the morning. Sure, the cat is threatening to get annoying, but as we both age (Rosie is 14.5 years old) it becomes harder and harder to tell who’s annoying who. Yeh, there’s a dance to it all. But I am the one with opposable thumbs and a labor skill-set. I am the one with a water spray bottle. I’m the one in charge. Yet circumstances quite often suggest otherwise. Well, maybe I’m not in charge after all, but I refuse to give up the spray bottle. All of this, of course, is significantly hyperbolic. Times of friction between the two of us are not as frequent as I like to think. It shows I am going through a deep healing phase. Conflict is held steady, and at bay. If I am to make the most of the healing I must allow myself to be as edgy as it takes. And yet, if I put too much of that vibe onto the cat she will give me a hearty love pat then say, “and when you’re done with that I’ll give you something else to heal”. You can’t argue with logic like that.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Mosey Forth

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“At the heart of any language, then, is the poetic productivity of expressive speech. A living language is continually being made and remade, woven out of the silence by those who speak.… And this silence is that of our wordless participations, of our perceptual immersion in the depths of an animate, expressive world.” ~ David Abram

“Along with the other animals, the stones, the trees, and the clouds, we ourselves are characters within a huge story that is visibly unfolding all around us, participants within the vast imagination, or Dreaming, of the world.” ~ David Abram

Wow, I could go any direction this morning; I feel overwhelmed. Had some good and precious lap time with the cat. Good and precious coffee. Perused the low rumble of insidious happenings in the nation’s capital. There is a powerful shift going on, a historic shift. The forces of Trump and Putin are making a big play, as I write here — and try to garner the focus I will need, to be a retail cashier today. I mean, you have no idea, if you haven’t had the pleasure. I know that you know, Suzanne. I find the intersubjective exchanges throughout the day to be enervating. I look for that still small voice expressed through other. And I hear it well sometimes. A beautiful woman’s smile almost always shows it: the Goddess plays well with her human counterparts. We are all counterparts of the gods and goddesses; evangelical forces would do well to heed this as well. For Christ’s sake people, you are doing God’s work!!! What the fuck are you thinking?!! Do you want your God to be seen as hateful and mean? I mean: get a grip, peeps: we’uns are all in this together. Lately I have been drawn to 40-something women. It changes. The sweetest rush is to turn my head, only to find myself eye-locked with a teenager, a young woman who is smiling provocatively, brimming with curiosity. Ya think not, dude? It happens, dude, and it is soooo sweet . . . . and there’s no downside either. The rush for me is a DNA thing. Her smile generally makes the neurobiological systems hum. 40-something woman also offer this, but the hum and music carries wisdom as well. That’s the turn-on for me. The resonance is deep abiding music. Thank you m’am — much obliged. And on that note I must mosey forth into the day. I think it is going to rain today. If she smiles there will be cleansing today. A lot of it. Life is good.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.