Flow

IMG_0216

Uh oh. I’m late for a very important date. Has it happened before? Yes, daily. Contemplate that, if you will. I’m tired of contemplation, of taking hold of mind flow, and of taking when I am giving naught. That happens daily as well. Mind flow is to be fed, not harvested. So says my muse, who may be imaginal rather than real, but I cannot go the prejudicial route this morning; everyone has a right to exist, so the muse stays. Don’t tell me otherwise. I won’t have it. I just won’t.

IMG_5455 - 2009-06-04 at 08-04-43

I’ve been chatting with beautiful young women, young enough to be my granddaughters. Is that allowed? I work with these people, and I have come to learn that everything they say may not be intended to be taken literally. There are aphorisms in their vernacular. It throws me, but they smile brightly, adorned with hardware embedded in their faces, so I go like yeah, oh dude, and marvel at beauty that has yet to mature, or so I assume, expressing so in a run-on sentence, whence I risk being clobbered by my seventh grade English teacher, Ms. Riddle (no, really!), who used to sing, “who will buy this wonderful morning? . . .” spontaneously during class. WTF. http://youtu.be/JD8WqLi4Eew

Your pardon I request, for I have already diverged from today’s theme – flow. I am incommunicado this morning. The ringer on my cell phone is set on medium-low, but I likely will answer any call, if I answer at all, with, “dude, not now, I’ve been around for six decades, so I’m taking a short time out”. By noon I should be crawling back out of my whole(sic). It’s the place I go when I wish to shorten my reach and expand my perspective. Try it, you’ll like it.

Marilyn Bauer PhD, a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, used to give me psychotherapy. Her field was Human Growth and Development but her major interest was in Flow Psychology, back in the early 90’s. I have no idea where Flow went, but I see it daily. It’s probably in the classroom, but I wouldn’t know a classroom from Adam, at this point in my life.

IMG_0217

Perhaps I have gone bananas? A tropical lad like me can go there easily. In my teens I came to know that banana trees can grow some 18 inches overnight. Don’t try that at home, K? People have, and they have become media stars, for which their mere presence in and on the internet friggin nails their form to the medial wall and they must nurture said exposure in lieu of whatever loss may be incurred by not doing so. Does that confuse you? Me too. C’est la vie, non?

I’m up for an early nap and then who knows what. I’ve scoured all sources. The narrow nature of my scouring shines above that which has been scoured. My shine is relegated unto the shine of All That Is. I’m not ready for that. It comes anyway. I’m going to take a nap anyway. Awake or asleep I can make the world a better place, and the spirits sing heartily, “Your dreams are our dreams, your dreams are ours dreams, listen and look, listen and look, oh dude.”

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Hecate’s Gift of Paths

IMG_5704 - 2009-07-27 at 11-50-35

 

In following the self-talk in my mind I often get lost. Not always, but it happens often enough that I expect it to happen every time. “Monkey mind” is what Buddhists call it. I call it my Magpie mind. Both monkeys and magpies are chattery critters so I don’t feel sacrilegious in my choice of nomenclature. Is the fourth sentence in a blog post too early in the post to be using a big word like “nomenclature? Let’s hope not. Although it can be undone, edited out, I am leaving it in there. Yet, imagine using the word in casual conversation. I will not go that far.

Yesterday I started the morning by going to the laundromat, then I started to drive back home, or nearly so. At that point I realized that I forgot to buy coffee, so I drove back into town to buy the stuff. The rest of the day I slept, on up until 7 PM. There was a two hour period of waking, then I went back to sleep for the night. Upon waking this morning I still felt mildly dizzy and mildly shaky. What’s up with that? I don’t rightly know, but I have to live with it. Sleeping later than usual, during the second phase of the sleep-a-thon, I only had a few minutes of star watching before they faded away into the early light of dawn. Then what? I rely on my stars to inspire me before the working day goes to the dogs. I find that I am loving to work with the dogs, regardless of their proclivity to be rambunctious. There are a few that take it easy but few they are. I’d like to list some of the spiritual benefits of handling dogs but I actually find that it is just the dogs themselves that provide me with benefits. Just being there does it for me.

Again I ask myself why I feel so out of sorts. I have slightly over one month before I visit the neurologist to get an assessment of my neurological health. My current discomfort has all of the earmarks of suicidal ideation, that scurrilous symptom of bipolar disorder that really bugs the heck out of me, and when it comes around I am pretty much obliged to tolerate its presence. I’ll tell you right now, it is not pleasant company! I’m just dying to be done with it. Oh woe is me, right?

One of my brightly smiling and faithful readers commented on yesterday’s post here at Eyeyote. Comments seem to happen exclusively on Facebook rather than here on the blog page. That suits me just fine. Anyway, this reader, she wrote of her ‘Inner Rabbit’ in reference to the big and valid Truth that we are responsible for choosing how to view any and all situations in our lives. ‘Rabbit’ is a metaphor of sorts, symbolizing the survival instincts that we all innately possess. I had written of wrestling with rambunctious dogs. In the Totem realm Dog harkens to the great power embedded in self respect and self value. Folks sense that and respect you much more than if you rankle on yourself habitually. The dog that had me down in the dirt, when I was trying to take him out of the holding pen and back inside the shelter was a pit bull mix, probably with a terrier. Most of the pit bull mixes we have in the shelter are blended with terriers. I don’t know what that symbolizes but I love the animal, regardless of the reputation that pit bulls have. I’ve heard that love is all you need. So mote it be.

In the Wiccan tradition dogs barking at night for no discernible reason are telling you that Hecate is passing by. One of the attributes of Hecate is that she is the Goddess of magic and the three-way crossroads, accompanied by her three dogs. That really speaks to my own spirit but I am at a loss to as why that is. Maybe I will soon come  along one path that the offers two paths to choose from? Will the neurologist be the one who unveils the choice? I am scared but I want to know the truth. Yet magic? It can give rise to most any possibility. My muses generally guffaw at that. They know how I am. Magic happens. Magic heals. The soul heals through a process that embraces magic as a powerful tool.

“Once in a vision
I came on some woods
And stood at a fork in the road
My choices were clear
Yet I froze with the fear
Of not knowing which way to go.

One road was simple
Acceptance of life
The other road offered sweet peace
When I made my decision
My vision became my release.”  ~  Dan Fogelberg

There you have it! Just what did Dan mean by that? Either way life choices sound pretty good to me. I will, at this point, call it a mystery and leave it at that. Which brings me to the here and now. Oscar the turkey gobbles outside in his traditional greeting to the sunrise. Turkey Totem says to make sure that one is always in keeping with their spiritual path. This one is – umm – I mean I am. Bring on the dogs! This loyal caregiver is going to the dogs in about one hour. The shakiness and dizziness has been removed by my psych meds. Lucky me, I have bot magic and meds to get me through the day. Huzzah!

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Hecate

 

Rabbit Goes to the Dark Side

IMG_1300 - 2009-11-01 at 17-42-45

“In such ugly times, the only true protest is beauty.” ~ Phil Ochs

 Changing glasses, because I need my readers to clearly see the computer screen, I am thinking about Phil Ochs. Do you know him?

Bob Dylan once threw Ochs out of a limousine, calling him a journalist rather than a songwriter, after Ochs criticized a new song that Dylan had played for Phil. The message in the anecdote is: don’t mess with a legend.

I first learned of this unknown singer/songwriter  after he hung himself, and I felt the primal, instinctual sadness that comes through such a tragedy. This discovery was made for me during the first year of my recovery from a freak bicycle accident, in 1984, a time that also had me just beginning to search for the nature of the near-death experience that the accident had triggered.

Rolling Stone magazine delivered the news to me and I wondered if the place that the near-death experience had shown to me was the same place that Phil went, regardless of the violent way that he died. Celestial punishment for a suicide seemed incongruent with the realm of wonder that met me as I crossed over to the Other Side, which some call Heaven.

Why am I writing about Phil Ochs this morning? Listen to this guy! Click here to do so. Or click here to listen to the wondrous Neil Young sing a song of Phil’s, and talk about Phil with awe and beauty. Both videos are of the same song: “Changes”. I’d cry if I could.

“Moments of magic will glow in the night
All fears of the forest are gone
But when the morning breaks they’re swept away by
golden drops of dawn, of changes.” ~ Phil Ochs

The songs is embedded in my mind as an ohwurm, which is a German words for  ear worm, a song that gets caught in the magical place that we call a mind, but I think it is more than that, it is the vehicle that drives us along the long road to that place called Heaven.

Ochs and Young were inspirations for me, and they, along with others of their craft, were prime influence for my prose. It wasn’t only writers who helped me to hone my craft. It was also songwriters. Neil called Phil “one of the greatest poets that ever lived”. Maybe that was enough.

A pale yet colorful sunrise is happening outside, as I sit at my desk being the wordsmith that I am. It doesn’t hurt much. Don’t worry about that. It actually soothes and calms me to a great extent. It’s my day off, I’ve nothing to do but go to the laundromat and to the store for a can of cheap ground coffee, and sometimes during those tasks I will vividly remember being taken to the ground twice, yesterday, by powerful shelter dogs, who forced me to become a wrestler for a short time. I was rescued from wrestling dogs by a beautiful and tiny  20 year old Spanish woman, who collared the dogs so I could let them go. I was laughing all the while. Wrestling dogs is fun, even though those critters defeated my effort. I like to embrace Nature, and the dogs helped me, by gifting me with intimate knowledge of dirt.

Now about Rabbit, who’s picture opens this post. Rabbit, in its totem version, tells us about how our instincts are not to be taken for granted, and that they must be nurtured and embellished by changes delivered from our own hearts. Standing still can get you killed out in the wilderness. Rabbits will circle around to behind a predator that is stalking them. Safety and vigilance is good. But how can I, as per the title of this post, imagine a rabbit going over to the dark side. I mean, really?! “WTF, dude”, I say to myself, under my breath. Yet when I got the intuition to visualize this possibility, that was driven by artistic license, I found it to be easy, considering one of the symbolic meanings bourn by Rabbit. What if you repress your instincts and turn to a plug-and-play way of being? That is the kind of thing I am talking about. I didn’t know squat about wrestling dogs until I did so: first instinct, then analysis. I was down in the dirt with dogs. Analyze that! To embrace such an animal in performing my job, my instinct guided me flawlessly. Their beauty in proximity, in playful competition, changed me. Touché!

In closing – um, I’m not sure I know what to say next. I’m in a depressive phase of bipolar disorder. Fear is stalking me and I will sneak around behind it to get a look at the dark critter that it is. Fear is an odd thing. I’ve spent my fair share in its grip. A lady friend once told me, “I think you’re enjoying it”, when I confessed to being in the grip of fear. I responded with a soft WTH, in its non-acronymic form.

I simply love that last sentence. One cup of coffee is all I’ve had this morning. I ran out of the stuff.  Maybe I should quit? I should quit a lot of my questionable and caustic behavior, but those are not the kind of changes that I am wrestling with these days, or gracefully allowing to emerge. My animal instincts are still quite present from yesterday’s match. Who am I to disagree? Phil Ochs, dogs, and rabbits. Who knew it would come to this?

“If you’re automatically sure that you know what reality is and who and what is really important – if you want to operate on your default setting – then you, like me, will not consider possibilities that aren’t pointless and annoying. But if you’ve really learned how to think, how to pay attention, then you will know you have other options. It will be within your power to experience a crowded, loud, slow, consumer-hell-type situation as not only meaningful but sacred, on fire with the same force that lit the stars – compassion, love, the sub-surface unity of all things. Not that that mystical stuff’s necessarily true: the only thing that’s capital-T True is that you get to decide how you’re going to try to see it. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship.” ~ David Foster Wallace (RIP).

That’s kinda the thing that I am looking at in writing today’s post. Read David’s masterful “This Is Water”. Click here me hearties.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

IMG_0814

You Get Bigger As You Go

IMG_1554 - 2014-04-25 at 14-03-25

“Life in itself is sufficient, self-explanatory and complete.” ~ Carlos Castenada

It snowed overnight, not much, but this weather, in late April, comes as a welcome friend comes. Have you noticed yet that I sometimes chop up my sentences with numerous commas? Keep with me and I will do it again. On that you may rely.

I’ve been gainfully employed at our local animal shelter for two weeks now. Do I like it? Actually, I love it. Cleaning dog kennels is remarkably unpleasant but the results are good and the service to the dogs is rewarding in that they get a clean and cared for place to live while they are there. It feels good to be a part of it. Feeling good is a nice tool for a depressive such as myself. The opening photo is of – oh, dang it, I forget his name – but the look on his face shows you that he feels good too. There is some mysterious level of joy exposed by seeing animals in captivity display happiness, and often.

Working with the crew is also a ‘feel good’ thing. All are welcomed as family and that seems to be an ongoing dynamic. I especially like working with the younger women who are like all friendly and stuff. Like yeah. I feel it is always a good idea to mingle with youngsters, and to listen to them. Like all happy. There is the temptation to analogize between the captive, sheltered animals and low wage workers, but I’m pretty sure that has been done before, and often.

Yesterday’s post strayed into philosophical territory. Strayed? Like a stray dog? Get it? Oh, I crack myself up sometimes! But seriously – when I look at it all, all of this animal shelter stuff, I can see it on a macro level in which everyone, both humans and animals, are employed at the shelter, and that such employment, in such an enterprise, in these harrowing times, furthers our quest to make the world a better place. About that, I’d just like to say, y’all keep it up now, k?

“enemy anger impotent gun grease
too many thoughts
too dogshit tired
one small step for freedom
from foregone conclusion” ~ Bruce Cockburn

This morning’s sky shines gray, with silver splotches, clouds coming in from the west, sliding through cold air, and it calms me in a way that I would feel hard-pressed to describe, so I won’t. But I just did. I just took my meds, the anti depressant, the anxiety meds, both designed to lessen the chance of seizures, but they clearly do other things as well. Third cup of coffee at my side, on the desk. Cat sleeping on the bed, on my other side, and in her sleep she farts once in a while, giving me a start. These details of a writer’s morning routine, which especially includes pecking out words on an electronic keyboard, are nothing special in themselves. They lay the foundation for meaning. Much good can be built upon such a foundation.  I think of Terence McKenna’s description of time flowing over a topographical landscape comprised of hills and valleys. For me that suggests that we are not living within time, we are moved by time, jostled by it’s eddies, swept swiftly by undertows, and sometimes carried softly onto the beaches of some warm places.

My time is up, kids. My work day calls. I must respond by getting there on time. Yesterday I got so immersed in what I was writing that I thought I was going to arrive late for work. I left the house with fifteen minutes to work with. The shelter is a 20 minutes drive from here. I did not exceed the speed limit, rather I appealed to whatever gods or goddess who had time for a working class fella like me, and asked them to help me bend time, just a tad, so that I could arrive on time, when I did not have enough time to do so. I clocked in right at eight o’clock, right on time. How do you like that?! It’s like all groovy and stuff. Hey! Did you notice what I just did with that last sentence? I connected the youth of one decade with the youth of a decade 50 years later, with just a simple sentence, using the vernacular and proper structure at the same time. Such a method reveals power, my friends. Either don’t try this at home or make yourself at home where ever you are. I prefer the latter. How about you?

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

“You get bigger as you go
News reruns — dawn comes rainbow
Pain takes shape of grimy window
You get bigger as you go” ~ Bruce Cockburn

 

 

Conflict Resolution 101

IMG_1330 - 2009-11-10 at 17-56-51The high haze in the dark morning sky brings me down to earth. Without stars in these early hours I am resigned to making my own points of light, in my own inner sky. I wonder how many do this, and of those that do, how many even notice it. The second cup of coffee ought to quash that vague train of thought, waking me up, lifting me from those celestial fantasies, and nudging me back into line with the coming needs of the day. I can deal with that, but I will miss the morning stars, miss them even though they are where they always are. Why I give such power to the haze will remain a mystery. Even though I accept the physical aspects of the blooming Spring morning my mind must play.

I was on the fringes of a frightening dog fight yesterday. At the animal shelter part of the job is to attend to the needs of the dogs, cleaning their kennels, providing food, and keeping their water bowls fresh, and full. To accomplish this we must remove the dogs from their enclosures, transferring them to outside enclosures where they can wait out our dutiful activity. Usually there is no trouble. The dogs enjoy the change of scene.

Yesterday was a different story for two dogs, then five. I was bringing out a big fella named Marshall, holding tight to the leash as he did his best to smell and see everything within range of his senses. A shelter volunteer was out there in the yard walking another dog. With no apparent notice two other dogs got into a quarrel, going straight into attack mode, without the warning of snarls and growls. It was a fierce fight, mediated only by an eight foot high chain link fence. They managed to get their muzzles through the fence, as much as they could, making it a battle between teeth, noses, and lips.

As I honed in with my eyes I instantly realized that there was nothing I could do, I was restrained by the fact that I had a fifty pound dog on a leash with me, and that dog wanted a piece of the action. I had to pen him in before I could try to break up the fight, but the volunteer either missed the practicality of keeping her dog in hand, or she just acted spontaneously. She dropped the leash and her dog came at mine, latching on with the forces of quickness and agility. No injuries were going on but I had to break up the skirmish, avoid injuries to the animals, before I could attempt to break up the more dangerous fight. My coworker emerged from the building where the dogs are housed, and upon seeing the action ran right into the middle of the mess. As he took action my dog was biting me just above my left knee.

All had gone chaotic by that time. The next contestant was a pit bull mix, as were the two fiercest fighters. She weighed out at about forty pound, a powerful muscle on four legs. She leapt up, grabbed the fence, hurried over, then plunged eight feet down, and ran toward the melee. My coworker got that dog, put her back into the pen, and she came right back out again, up and over the fence.

I have no idea, from there, what transpired, but all was calmed and the fights ended. The only injury even close to serious  was some tearing of the lower lip of one of the initial fighters. My knee was fine, no broken skin, no blood, no bruises. The culprits were removed from their pens and transferred into their usual housing, and from there they were loaded into carrier boxes and hauled off to where the in-house veterinarian could examine them.

Driven by morning coffee , in retrospect, I see that all of us were acting on instinct, five seeking combat and three seeking peace. All were seeking resolution yet there was a difference in just what that resolution would look like. All mammals, all animals, we eight participants won they day and peace was restored. That we humans were working toward peace is a comfort to me. That we prevailed in our aspirations is also a comfort.

Human battles are not even close to finished in these times. It is still mammals against mammals, regardless of our lofty assumptions. Primate against primate, not dog against dog. I think of Julius Caesar, in Shakespeare’s play of the same name:  “Cry Havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!”. Don’t you see it? It’s not rocket science, it’s not even politics. It is as natural as can be: mammals sometimes attack, then fight. Yet some of us humans seek to restrain such action, with aspirations which would take down this tendency toward conflict and combat, and reduce it to minimal occurrence. We aspirants seek peace.

What I am getting at here is that peace seekers  strive toward a creative act. Ideals can drive this hard sought creation just as they can drive what we peacekeepers aspire toward. I repeat – it is a creative act. What we have here is duality. Unity will not wash this away. Unity will likely have to become an overseer that softens one of the powerful forces that Nature herself wove into the fabric of this wondrous world. We cannot overcome Nature. We are within her realm. Look at the corporate destruction, the destructive forces that seek to reign in Nature and profit grandly from that questionable victory.  Here’s what I say about that: it ain’t happinin’. Those power and profit mongers cannot step out of their place within Nature. She is large beyond comprehension.

As usual from me you get a metaphor that takes a small incident and turns it into a quest for meaning and hopefully an engine for transcendence. I don’t believe that we can achieve unity until we get a grip on the fact that nature designed conflict. Nature designed battles. To make peace a predominant force in the world we must create an alternate force that still works within Nature, and we must respect the dogs of war before we can curtail them. Transcendence and spiritual evolution, I believe, can and will prevail. That, to me, cannot be denied by anyone with a heart and mind that work in harmony with instinct. Unity is an internal force that can and will come to oversee destruction. I hope it happens soon, within my lifetime. I’d like that. I’d like the recommendation “now – no fighting kids” to become an unspoken motto. Then we can grow up. That is all that is lacking. Says me. Give a nod of respect to the dogs of war then step on into the Golden Age.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

 

Riding With Robin

IMG_1372 - 2009-11-15 at 11-35-42

Here we go again. Ya ready? Let’s go.

“Like Ponce de Leon speakin’ Spanish in the swamp
I was lookin’ for a fountain, but it’s water that I want
Like Pike at the top and every other freak
I was lookin’ for a mountain, I took a little peak? ~ Ozark Mountain Daredevils

Yes. That’s my positive statement to open today’s post. Yes, I did use a selfie here today. I’m actually about five years younger in the photo, and my hair is no longer anywhere near that long, and the overall ambience of the image really does something, but I ain’t figured out just what it does. There’s always room for growth. Mine shall commence . . . . . now.

Wow, I’m glad that’s over. Yesterday at work three of us were sitting around the break table out back of the kennels at the animal shelter. We got to chatting about what we remembered of the old days, yet none of us deigned to use the phrase “back in the day”. That made the conversation bearable for me. Just before we got into that conversational banter three young woman, also staff members, had been sitting there. One of us senior citizens mentioned something and one of the young women said, “That was like back in the 70’s?”, and I said, like whew. I was tired like an old guy and I knew it, but I kept that vague little expression of relief under my breath. Up until that point I was not even aware that I had some kind of bone to pick with myself for having lived in the 70’s, and so deeply so that I had actual memories of those times. How could I have done such a thing?! I’ll know better next time, not to mention anything of the sort to the nurse who’s changing my diaper in the “home”.

Two ravens flew across the array formed by Venus and the orange, slivered moon in the east. One of the birds squawks as they flew. Such peace comes from moments like that. My feet we’re feeling soothed by the chilled concrete below them. Water heating inside for the second cup of coffee while I stand outside in the sub-freezing air. Another work day ahead of me, after which I shall stop by the supermarket for a few supplies, including coffee, before I head north to the mesa. Oh, did I mention that I need to check with the pharmacy about whether or not I have a new prescription for my anxiety meds on file? Last night I thought that I was running out of the drugs and I got so angry at the thought that I started to turn that anger toward both the pharmacy and Medicaid, until I realized, by putting two and two together, that I had likely just spaced it out. I checked the clinic’s website, which gives me access to my files, and found that there were more drugs where those came from. Cool.

Where am I going? During this difficult time in my life, when debt, both external and internal, haunts me daily, I have developed a deep and seemingly abiding sadness. The common wisdom is to reinvent myself, to take on a new endeavor and ride it like I rode that fish with Pecos Bill just yesterday, and make something of myself by turning shambles into shellfish. Oysters Rockefeller anyone? I’m kidding. To get the most out of life, if you’re not inclined to do it by taking as many classes, or by attending as many seminars as you can, you pretty much have to follow your heart. I’d follow my bliss but that wouldn’t really get me too far socially or academically simply because it would put me right back out on that cold concrete slab, gazing at the moon and Venus, watching ravens fly, and thinking of how sad I feel. My bliss is remarkably easy to find, it is non-specific, free-floating, and it doesn’t really travel all that much. It is almost as if my bliss is a defective product. It won’t take me anywhere. There’s not a lot of wiggle room in a here and now moment.

I was observing the cats in the animal shelter yesterday. Most of them are fairly astute; we treat them well. But a few of them hunker back in corners. Their depression is obvious. And there’s one cat who is feral, with a nasty and stubborn abscess on his right temple, and he will lash out in a very scary manner if you reach too close to him while cleaning his kennel. We have bite-proof gauntlets for guys like him. His name is James. I relate to that ginger cat. Wounded, stuck in place, and bothered by intrusion. My beautiful therapist noted the other day, when I told her about the sad cats, that even animals get depressed. The course of my treatment in therapy is loosely aimed at helping me hone in on my strengths. To me, writing is my strongest point. At least it is the thing that I love and the thing that I want to give to the world in time that I have left. I’m not being dramatic here, I reckon my remaining time is not at all short. Another thing that the therapist said is that she see’s me as a calm person. I told her yes, and that it has been a problem for me for quite some time. I’ve cried over ideas like that in the past. Not now. Not even if it fits like a gauntlet into my current pool of sadness. Sadness is not a negative emotion if used in a mindful manner. Nor is anger. We can move with any emotion, and that puts me back with Pecos Bill and the fish. I love a good tall tale. Even the ones them pinhead conservative faux-outlaws tell. The pinhead variety of tall tales doesn’t get you too far because it nails you fast to the floor.

My tall tale will be a new one, created by me, shiny yet simple, not too clever, not too informed, neither positive nor negative in essence, and fully driven by the fine engine of mindfulness. Of course I will need a 100,000 mile warranty on the drive train, and a blithe spirit to ride shotgun with me as I eventually emerge from the corner I’ve been hunkered in. Robin Goodfellow has always been my favorite blithe spirit. But I’ve been often reminded by other spiritually inclined people that spirits such as Robin Goodfellow are Tricksters, as if that means something worth avoiding. But I think of James the cat, hunkered in his cage bearing a headache that would make Sean Hannity humble. James is worth avoiding. But I don’t. With the proper tools, gauntlets in this case, any spirit can be of precious assistance to us lofty humans as we ride through an all too short corporeal life. Hop aboard Robin, let’s go!

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Pecos Bill and Sean Hannity

IMG_1484

After a warm spell we have the first sub-freezing morning in a few weeks. I found it to be refreshing when I took my first step outside this morning, at 4:30 AM. Slivered moon, scant traces of the Lyrids meteor shower, and fragments of dreams, not often remembered, in this man’s mind. There is a feeling of peace settling in, after three days of severe emotional dives, and I am grateful for the blessed relief. Having a scheduled therapy appointment at the tail end of an episode like that was yet another blessing. And having a therapist who is knock-out gorgeous, along with being admirably skilled at her work, is blessing number three. I find it easier to talk openly with a very beautiful woman, k? Call it idiosyncratic.

I’m going to brew the second cup of coffee – bisy backson.

Admittedly, making coffee and writing is about the full extent of my multi-tasking skills. Does that make me un-American? I don’t know, but these days it doesn’t seem to take much to have your American citizenry put into question. That’s really not something that I usually write about but recent stories of intolerance in this country have got me more riled than Foghorn Leghorn, who is one of my favorite cartoon characters. It seems to me that pundits and politicians (only some of them) have relegated the rest of us to cartoon status. Yet I have the bipolar disorder thing to use as a shield against such inadvertent tomfoolery. What I’m saying is that folks who have enough time to caustically criticize others and maintain a healthy and affluent lifestyle oughtta whittle it back a notch or two. I mean, give it a rest peeps!

Wow, that was vague, huh? I’ve gotta run now. Just kidding.

In this age of plastic facts and disposable relationships it sure is hard to get a grip. That’s one of the things about bipolar disorder – you can’t always get a grip. Life becomes like oily teflon. Grip that! I’m not whining, although I’d like to. Whining would put me in league with such greats as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. I’m sure them fellas are passionate and dedicated to their lucrative jobs but I ain’t seen much of a proactive tone to their mentations. It is what it is, no? No it ain’t. Deception and reception are two different things with similar sounding syllabic structure. Please pardon my alliteration. It won’t happen again.

In the opening photo you are looking at the Rio Grande, nestled down into a respectable gorge, just south of town. I find the river to be a calming sight. It’s that whole “flows down to the sea” effect. I need calming things in my life right now. The prospects of future prosperity for our blogging hero don’t actually look too promising. That said, I simply have to go to work today, and I am assigned to the Cattery. I’ll note, for new readers if there are any, that I work at Stray Hearts, our local Humane Society. Working with the cats is way mellow compared to them doggies. One step at a time. I’ll be with cats. Other considerations are pending but today it’s cats. I have food stamps to apply for, an appointment with the neurologist to look forward to, and a personal budget that needs corralin’. That last one might require me to call in ol’ Pecos Bill, and after we get it under control we can hop aboard a giant golden trout and cruise on down the Rio Grande, on to the glistening and oily Gulf of Mexico. Yup, you guessed it, I’m still living in archetypal territory.

“It is said that Pecos Bill died from laughter. In the story The Death of Pecos Bill, Pecos Bill is in a bar when a so-called city boy walks in with gator-skin shoes and a gator-skin suit, fronting like he is a cowboy outlaw. Pecos Bill found it amusing and laughed himself to death outside.” ~ Wikipedia 

Time to wrap up today’s blog post here at Eyeyotee. Oscar the turkey is gobbling to call up the sun. He lives in the pen just outside my back window. There’s a chicken in that pen as well, and I call her Chickadee. She actually let me pet and massage her yesterday! That’ll look good on my animal care resume: chicken massage. Nice! But seriously now, I am finding that caregiving to animals is gradually soothing my soul. But my beautiful therapist cautioned me to make sure that I give care to myself as a balance, to replenish what I give away to them animals and to the others folks who also give care there. Another caution was to have a plan ready to deal with the internal politics that occur in every workplace. That’s always been a problem for me, especially at that crazy supermarket where I used to work. I mean . . . don’t get me started. Just don’t. Let’s go on and tweak it into a positive note, so we can end on that note, and then I’ll go to work. There, that’s better.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

IMG_1480

Two For One

Woman 22

 

Here I sit writing a blog post in a room that is a fairly big mess. So why am I not cleaning it? Bottom line: it ain’t going nowhere. I’m on the upswing from a bipolar down, and the ‘bummer’ factor on this one was high on the scale of 1-10. No fair telling. Sorry. The reason I keep mentioning this is that the blog serves as a device to help me make it real rather than living within the infernal doubt that rides shotgun with an episode, either high or low. I’m guessing that we all have these times, illness or no illness. Or maybe not? I’d hate to think that mentally healthy people go through this and simply endure it.

I’ve looked for a spiritual source and have as of yet been unable to find one that even remotely resembles an answer. There is the Jungian archetypal and depth enhanced way of re-percieving bipolar to get a little better fix on what’s going on ‘in there’. But when I am not in balance, which happens less as time goes on, I am really too impatient to effectively keep my mind working and focused. It is busy with other things, and anything resembling management is temporarily out the window. I can start reading a paragraph in an article and then find myself just staring, unfocused, at the second sentence, which might as well be a splotch of dried ketchup at that point. It is inconsequential, yet the situation can be cleaned up by either wrestling focus into position or just letting in run free until it comes back home again. At times like that, of which now (as I write this) is included, I’m pretty much reliant on metaphors to keep me going, because linear, recognizable life isn’t actually in session. It looks like peeling paint on a plywood wall, curly, grainy, and in poor taste for those who can afford otherwise.

Likely I should not extensively follow the news of the day, from the internet, when I get like that, but I do anyway. During an active, unbalanced phase it’s not that I don’t know what is right or wrong, it’s simply that I acknowledge the value of that discernment and then go ahead and do it anyway. Right and wrong are roadsigns, not destinations. Control is not recognizable for what it is. Control becomes not so much a menace, it becomes like a horsefly. But I read the news anyway, eyes skimming like pelicans in a gale force wind, in search of something resembling sustenance.

Yup, I’ve got me a therapy session this afternoon at 4 PM. We’re going to look at self-esteem and self-worth issues. Not my idea of a good time but much good can come from such a session. What I am meaning to say is that it is worth the time. If I was courageous I would approach the issue of not wanting to be here on the Taos plateau. It’s a moot point because I do not have the resources to relocate.  Just a year ago I would have said that I had an issue of not wanting to be here, in this life. That’s progress, no?

“Everyone is a moon and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.” ~ Mark Twain

I was just looking at an online slide show of famous people who have struggled with major depression. Mark Twain was one, and I got to look at photos of Gwyneth Paltrow and Anne Hathaway. See, there are ways to brighten up a day.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Hope Hides

IMG_6480 - 2010-02-24 at 12-41-37

Words and ideas are not coming through too well the past couple of days. The photo above is one of my favorites. For me it mirrors some of our relationship with the internet. Online we can be bigger and stronger, yet we are still who we are regardless of how we present ourself online. Since I’ve been going through a deep depressive phase I’d rather not have to pretend it’s not real, because I cannot simply turn it off when it has seized the whole body and mind, leaving my heart to beat hard and fast. Going to work with the animals today will help. It will pass. Yesterday I completely lost hope, but it was back in small  portion when I woke today. I know what I most need now. I will carry it in my mind’s eye and see what happens.

Peace out, y’all.

 

Tighten Up

IMG_2779 - 2010-05-01 at 19-08-29

“Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities, the political, the religious, the educational authorities who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing, forming in our minds their view of reality.” ~ Timothy Leary

Sound’s good to me, dude. Say, does coffee wake you up in the morning? Not me. I wake up before I drink the coffee. It’s Rosie the cat who usually wakes me up, usually at 3 AM, which many people consider to be the “Demon hour”. If you ask me, there are plenty of demons running around in this world, pulling strings and such. We don’t need to be digging up paranormal ones as well. Enough is enough.

A soft chilled rain, falling through air that sports a 44 F temperature reading, an image of hope. But that’s over at the airport, which is 2.5 miles away. Did I tell you that Julia Roberts uses that airport?  Now about the rain . . . I’m the kind of nitwit who goes out and stands in the rain, so I did. It’s yet another part of my program to attain alignment with Nature, then retain it. Shouldn’t be too hard for a natural organism like me. I got the “organism”  thing from the love of my life, Lori Mellon. In one of the papers she wrote for a university course she used the word “organism” to describe us humans, the physical part of our being. One morning her step-father caught her as she was heading out the door toward an opportunity at higher learning. She hadn’t seen him sitting there, so when he spoke she was startled. He said, “And the organism slithers out the door”. Dude, he was a rapscallion! He was also a ukelele playing treasure diver. Really.

It’s about the same scene as yesterday for me, cat at my side, iPad propped up on its official stand on my desk, first cup of coffee rushing through my veins. Soothed by the rain I’m starting to feel a bit alive again, although groggy. I haven’t been feeling truly alive ever since I got fired from the supermarket, and I wonder, perhaps in a moot manner, how we get that way. A loss of hope maybe? Nah, it’s more complex than that. Now, I do have an out in the form of a diagnosis of bipolar 2 disorder. Disorder is usually comforting to me, but not this one. Yet I like to play with the “as above so below” idea, so I tend to relate my personal experiences in the work force as an analogy for the plethora of working folks, and their plight within the blight of modern business practices. When I was fired, when I was unplugged from a belief system that had been my support group for ten years, it was as if I had been severed from myself, as if I had gone crazy and then paid for it with my life. I tend to get philosophical at times like that, perhaps in a pedestrian manner, so when the metaphorical axe hit the fan, or something like that, I ended up gawking a lot.

What I am on about here might make some folks a little unhappy, and if so, I couldn’t blame them, so I’ll move on. Not a one of them would deign to read a blog like this. They don’t have the time for irrelevant information. It doesn’t really relate to them, since they have a set structure that produces results that can be tweaked into compliance with the status quo quid pro quo of commerce. Listen y’all, it ain’t my fault. Period. Did you notice that I said I was going to move on then I didn’t do so? It was done to demonstrate that moving on is in the eye of the beholder. Some see moving on as an abandonment of the issue at hand and some don’t. Carry on. That’s what I say.

Today will be my third day at my new job. Day one was training to handle the dogs at the animal shelter. That was controlled mayhem because of the unruly nature of dogs in protective custody. Don’t get me wrong, they are treated fairly and the custody itself is in their best interest. We can’t have free organisms running all over creation. I approve of animal shelters, 100%, just as I approve of sneaky analogies. Day two I trained with the cats. They were a lot easier to handle. They didn’t try to make a run for it when you opened the door to their pen. Instead, they just lay there with a look in their eyes that spoke volumes: “If you have to come in here don’t make a mess, capiche? And the water bowl? Empty, duh”. That was in the morning, before our employee’s lunch break.

In the afternoon our major duty is to socialize with the cats so that they don’t become depressed. It’s in the manual. I wish they’d had that in the supermarket’s manual. My favorite was sitting in the community kitten pen. None of the kittens were tiny anymore but they retained the rambunctiousness of toddlerism. As I sat in the plastic stackable lawn chair inside their pen I reveled in the attention from a few cats while I observed the others as they plied chaos in a most delightful way. Ya gotta admire that skill level. Dude? Epic. 

Dawn is in its penumbral phase. Birds sing, gray clouds marching in, the resident turkey and chicken stirring, it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. I was going to write abut something compelling. Make lemonade out of lemons, right? Well, I want to find a way to turn the negative nature of bipolar disorder into a positive. Any ideas? Bring ’em on. My favorite questionable method is to visualize depression and mania as noetic field effects in their guise as a dynamic, which takes the knotted up energy of a tight situation out of the business office and into the lower echelon. As above so below again. Everybody lighten up. Now dance!

“Look to your left now
Look to your right
Everybody can do it
But don’t you get too tight” ~ Archie Bell and the Drells

Archie Bell and the Drells?! And they were Texans too. A tip of the hat, boys – 1968, what a year! I heard tell that when the record hit # 1 on the charts, Archie Bell lay in the hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg in Viet Nam, during the war. Talk about plying chaos in a most delightful way!

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously, k?