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.

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