Trauma in the Mullet Latitudes

“We absolutely must leave room for doubt or there is no progress and there is no learning. There is no learning without having to pose a question. And a question requires doubt. People search for certainty. But there is no certainty. People are terrified — how can you live and not know? It is not odd at all. You only think you know, as a matter of fact. And most of your actions are based on incomplete knowledge and you really don’t know what it is all about, or what the purpose of the world is, or know a great deal of other things. It is possible to live and not know.” ~ Richard Feynman

“The spiraling flights of moths appear haphazard only because of the mechanisms of olfactory tracking are so different from our own. Using binocular vision, we judge the location of an object by comparing the images from two eyes and tracking directly toward the stimulus. But for species relying on the sense of smell, the organism compares points in space, moves in the direction of the greater concentration, then compares two more points successively, moving in zigzags toward the source. Using olfactory navigation the moth detects currents of scent in the air and, by small increments, discovers how to move upstream.” ~ Barbara Kingsolver

A gentle rain has been going in and out for three hours now. Clouds coming steady from due south. Sunday morning. Wake and bake has commenced, though mildly so; just something to get the gut anxiety to simmer down a tad. Seems to be working. Joke about cannabis all you want. Goddess knows I do. But my consumption has tapered off notably in the past month. There’s been no intention from me. It just happened. But enough of all that. I’ll enjoy the day, even if it is solely because the sunrise had the good graces to come on through the rain, however sparse it may be. Perhaps it will stay cloudy most of the day. The perpetual Floridian in me jest don’t take a likin’ to brilliant sunlight, day after friggin day. Other than the Everglades, I wonder how much of the old South Florida actually remains. The South Florida that Al Burt, a fine journalist of yore from the Miami Herald, called “the Mullet Latitudes”. Steadily as I age my appreciation for my good fortune in living in the Keys grows. Sure I miss the ocean down to my weary soul. And yet I’ve found marine fossils up in the high country, roundabout 9000 ft or so. So there’s that. I can’t help wondering once in a while about how my last 10 years there I spent in various stages of recovery from head trauma, and the mysterious after-effects of the Near-Death experienced all with it, or perhaps because of it. Whatever. PTSD was a relatively new diagnosis back then, having been born in 1980. That was a long time ago. The trauma fades in and out to this very day, but with an always heavy hand.

So now the rain has ceased. I’m so sorry, but I’ll take it in stride. Writing about early recovery from head trauma nearly triggered said trauma. Old Lady Sorrow started creeping in for a minute there. I’ll just leave it at that, k? Thanks, yer a pal.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Gorilla and the Muses

“To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation—is that good for the world?” ~ Christopher Hitchens

“Some people insist that ‘mediocre’ is better than ‘best.’ They delight in clipping wings because they themselves can’t fly. They despise brains because they have none.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

“I was very afraid at the beginning, until Master told me that pain isn’t the truth; it’s what you have to get through in order to find the truth.” ~ Deepak Chopra

A tip of the hat to Ozzie the gorilla. At 60, Ozzie is the oldest gorilla in captivity. Ozzie lives at Zoo Atlanta and is recovering from a mild case of Covid 19. Reading about Ozzie, just a few minutes ago, I felt my heart swell toward my craving to mess up the hovering tedium that can so easily make one weary and prone to cynicism. Sigh. Wouldn’t it be fun to skip work and sit here writing all day!? See, Ozzie has stirred that up in me. A tickle from the Muses, a sumptuous wave of Inspiration, whatever. Actually I’m not even sure that I am scheduled for work today, but I decided to go in anyway, regardless of my ignorance. If I have to work . . . I’m cool with that. Sounds like fun. If not, I likely should follow the gift that Ozzie has given me and just friggin write. Stranger things have happened. My current, much neglected, project has to do with trauma. Likely, if I actually take the queue from a gorilla, and get down to it, it’ll flow . . . like molasses in January. As a side note, Ozzie is nearly as old as me. I turn 67 in 5 weeks. My dad died at 67, just a week past his birthday. Sure, mortality and all those other existential do dads tend to pop up a lot these days. I mean, I’ve never been 67 before, and am afraid I won’t do it right. That’s trauma for you: a ready and willing generator of dark humor. Onward.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Seamy is As Insalubrious Does

“I should explain that I really did travel, but everything smacks to me of merely telling myself that I travelled, although I didn’t. I carried back and forth, from north to south and east to west, the weariness of having had a past, the disquiet of living a present, and the tedium of having to have a future. And yet I struggle so hard to remain entirely in the present, killing inside me the past and the future.” ~ Fernando Pessoa

“A work is never completed except by some accident such as weariness, satisfaction, the need to deliver, or death: for, in relation to who or what is making it, it can only be one stage in a series of inner transformations.” ~ Paul Valéry

Watching fascists on the news each and every friggin day is finally, not only getting on my nerves, it is finally starting to make me laugh, at the repugnant level of adolescence swaddled in their banal brake from reality. No, really. What’s up with these people? I don’t know. I see them, serve them every workday, and they seem like such nice people. But seamy is as insalubrious does. Right? Boy howdy is it ever. Now let’s just leave it at that, k? Thanks, yer a pal. Now . . . I simply Must get on to the shower. Workday, don’tcha know. But I feel up to it, regardless of the weariness that has drenched world these day. Ciao.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Wild Horses At the Border

“A flower does not use words to announce its arrival to the world; it just blooms.” ~ Matshona Dhliwayo

“Extraordinary magic is woven through ordinary life. Look around!” ~ Amy Leigh Mercree

“Life is large and messy, that nothing is black and white, there is no such thing as a linear trajectory, and at the end of the day it is a miracle just to wake up in the morning.” ~ Chanel Miller

Well, I put off writing for so long that the cat is now awake and ready to pester. I will resist as long as I can, which is likely to be soon. Tis Labor Day morning. Good coffee gone cold. Aches and (some) really gnarly pains have subsided to an acceptable level. Boy howdy ya shoulda heard me when I first moved upon waking up at 4:30 AM. It wasn’t a loud one but it most definitely was a shout. Ouch. Poor me. Whatever. Structural upper torso stuff, nothing to see here. I know, I know . . . what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but often you wish you weren’t. Why people believe that stale old bromide is beyond me. That bicycle accident back in 1984 nearly killed me, yet it took me 27 years to gain access to that strength. Sigh. Nuff said. Second of four consecutive days off under way.

My shot at the stale old bromide reminds me of Barbara Erhenreich’s book Bright-Sided, and how she portrayed positive thinkers as potential bullies; like, “You are just not thinking right. If you were you would be getting better!”. Her bout with breast cancer led to her outlook. It’s like me in the days, weeks, and months, after my near-fatal freak accident. “Oh, it wasn’t so bad”. “Get over it”. “Time heals all wounds”. Luckily this was nearly 40 years ago, back when you rarely if ever heard “It is what it is”. I remember one guy who went the ‘not so bad’ route. He shut the fuck up when I calmly and politely replied, “Now you’ve hurt my feelings; you have no idea what I went through”. But enough of that. Today’s photo is of the tiny lake at a rest stop just south of San Luis, Colorado, taken back when I used to travel up to that town to purchase my cannabis flower. Sometimes I would meet wild horses just north of the border. Of course, now with a New Mexico medical card I don’t have to go up there. I miss the horses most.

I am feeling profound this morning. Not sure why, but I know that the 10’s of millions of Americans, who seem ( he says generously) to have gone collectively bugfuck have something to do with it. But they can all bugger off. I will be 95% incommunicado today. In that spirit I will bid you lovelies adieu. It’s a beautiful Morning. That is enough for me.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Pirate’s Stepdaughter

“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” ~ Tom Robbins

“Stories you read when you’re the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you’ll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit.” ~ Neil Gaiman

“When you’re young, you think everything you do is disposable. You move from now to now, crumpling time up in your hands, tossing it away. You’re your own speeding car. You think you can get rid of things, and people too—leave them behind. You don’t yet know about the habit they have, of coming back. Time in dreams is frozen. You can never get away from where you’ve been.” ~ Margaret Atwood

Once upon a time I fell in love with the pirate’s step-daughter. No, really. It’s a long story without a happy ending. At least not yet. She is gone now. As is the pirate and his ukulele. I’ve no idea what became of all his gold. No, I am not feeling morose today. Undergoing a major existential challenge may allow me the luxury of melancholy. Granted. But morose? Don’t count on it. I miss her sorely. She came to mind last night while I sat on the deck, in the dark, having a smoke. At last it – her absence – felt okay. It still does this morning. Curious. I have fond memories of playing onstage with the pirate, he with his ukulele and me on the kazoo, along with a full band. Playing pirate music at the dockside bar across the channel from the Coast Guard Station. You can’t make this stuff up. So that visit from Lori and Henry last night is a gift. Something in my soul shifted. It’s a workday. And I have a headache. Onward.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Odd Position of Not Remembering Much of Anything in Particular

“Your life is your practice. Your spiritual practice does not occur someplace other than in your life right now, and your life is nowhere other than where you are. You are looking for answers, insight, and wisdom that you already possess. Live the life in front of you, be the life you are, and see what you find out for yourself.” ~ Karen Maezen Miller

“Why do we think love is a magician? Because the whole power of magic consists in love. The work of magic is the attraction of one thing by another because of a certain affinity of nature.” ~ Marsilio Ficino

“Saying spirituality cannot exist without religion is like saying hamburgers cannot exist without McDonald’s.” ~ Steven Barnes

These three quotes make me giggle, chuckle, whatever. That’s it – I’m in a “whatever” head space this morning. Being as such I realize that the concept of “whatever” can go either way. Rather than apathy or boredom, it can also be acceptance. Now, don’t go saying “it is what it is” in my presence. Iffin ya don’t wanna talk about it jest say so, k? Thanks, yer a pal. Yet there is also magic afoot in the world. That’s important to remember if you find yourself in the odd position of not remembering much of anything in particular. Memory is not, as it is generally assumed, about the recall, to any degree, of past events, although it would be great fun to think so. Memory is rather given to inform the present point and place in time. That’s me this morning as I psych myself up for a day at work in the retail wonderland I so enjoy. After three days off, three days of mostly solitude, here with Rosie the cat. At 17.5 years old she is a wonder. At 6 months old she was a friggin pain in the ass. All young cats are energetic. Rosie was off the charts – and I’ve known a lot of cats. Now she is content with a lap, or a spot on the window sill to watch the birds at the feeder. What will today bring? I’d like to go all Buddhist with it, but I cannot. No way, no how. Ciao.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Love Like a Hurricane

“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 any more but now also actual TV in waiting rooms, supermarkets’ checkouts, airport gates, SUVs’ backseats. Walkman, iPods, BlackBerries, cell phones that attach to your head. This 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

Sweet, quiet morning. It would be a great day for a wake and bake but no can do. Workday, don’tcha know. After five lovely days off I was challenged by going back to a slammin’ busy day at work. At least there were no troublemakers as far as masks were concerned. Yeh, the mask mandate has returned, thanks to our badass Governor. I’m all for it. Wow, I could get all newsy here this morning. But that’s just because I’m feeling, analogically speaking, like I did when I crawled out the window then stood on the centerline of US 1 and put my face into the winds of Hurricane Andrew back yonder in the 20th Century. There’s something wordlessly profound in perception at this end of life. I think Love has a lot to do with it. If you’ve been paying attention and cultivating yourself, the amount subtle changes induced from Love accumulate, and the tolerence against the weight of the world becomes the closest I can get to putting words to this profound perception. Lucky me, right? Boy howdy am I ever. I’m pretty sure that this train of thought arose from seeing, after more than a year, one of the women I love most. She is one of my best, as Brother Phil usta say. Another woman, who stands a step above the rest of the best, is facing another hurricane this morning. She called me at 3 AM during Hurricane Andrew, telling me it was time to be scared. That’s love for ya. Carla, the one I saw yesterday, silently reminded me how essentially painful it can be to courteously avoid a bear hug during the Age of Covid. So, to Carla and Sharon, I’ve got yer virtual bear hugs, right here. It’ll hafta do.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Path Out of Darkness

A blast from the past. I am reposting to have it handy for my current writing project. Raven, don’tcha know.


Trail Out of Darkness.jpeg

“Hey,” said Shadow. “Huginn or Muninn, or whoever you are.” 

The bird turned, head tipped, suspiciously, on one side, and it stared at him with bright eyes.

“Say ‘Nevermore,'” said Shadow.

“Fuck you,” said the raven.”    ~     Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Here at Eyeyote blog  .  .  .  well, once in a while we go dark here, all in the name of the Light. Make sense? Yeh, it does. And once in a while I refer to myself in the second person. That’s when we get confused and return to a proper first person point of view, where I regain my senses and carry on as if nothing has happened. And, yes, I play with words and grammar as well. It’s not like I have anything better to do. Poor me. As a recap for new readers, I have both Bipolar 2 disorder and PTSD. That’s where the…

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Heckle and Jeckle Visit Dystopia

“Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space. If you can bend space you can bend time also, and if you knew enough and could move faster than light you could travel backward in time and exist in two places at once.” ~ Margaret Atwood

“One of the great disadvantages of hurry is that it takes such a long time.”  ~ G. K. Chesterton

“One of the great disadvantages of hurry is that it takes such a long time.”  ~ G. K. Chesterton

After more than week of no posting, upfront I am going to report to you that the cat is freshly fed, the wood smoke from wild fires out west is once again rising in intensity after several clear days, and my Apple wireless keyboard is about worn out after years in dedicated use; coffee stains, ale stains, and a general borderline failure of the spring mechanisms that give bounce-back to the keys. Well used indeed. This is why I have not been writing – or at least at first – tiredness of life. Active depression and anxiety. Was it last week that I was driving to work in the thick smoke, fresh bad news in my head, thinking that things have indeed come to look like the true end of the world, or at least the nascent stages of true dystopia. I just used the the word ‘true’ twice in a row. On purpose, k? Truth seems to be under siege from the forces of Darkness. I can no longer use any other description of the rabid Right Wingers. They are still nurturing their cause, caws, whatever. Heckle and Jeckle, over and over and over again. Ad nauseum. Friggin magpie wannabes.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously

The Meanings of Smoke

“You can’t stop time. You can’t capture light. You can only turn your face up and let it rain down.” ~ Kim Edwards

“Why had he assumed time was some sort of infinite resource? Now the hourglass had busted open, and what he’d always assumed was just a bunch of sand turned out to be a million tiny diamonds.” ~ Tommy Wallach

“The future is foretold from the past and the future is only possible because of the past. Without past and future, the present is partial. All time is eternally present and so all time is ours. There is no sense in forgetting and every sense in dreaming. Thus the present is made rich.” ~ Jeannette Winterson

Straight up 6 AM. The sky is looking better, the red cast fainter. But the Sun is not up yet. There was a time, back 40 years ago, when “smoke from California” meant something totally different than it does now, and we were better for it. Now marijuana is legal, and Northern California is on fire. The smoke from that fire is bathing the Upper Rio Grande Valley with noxious guck. I am not amused. In fact I have a headache, a bitter taste in the back of my throat, puffy eyes, and my lungs ain’t none to happy either. C’est la vie, non? But it is time for work. No more time to write. Ciao.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.