Life and Death Then Coffee

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I hardly know where to begin, but this is as good a place to start as any, k? Boy howdy, any time I can begin a post with an aphoristic type phrase is a cause for celebration. Such figures of speech are fun and easy to use, and they can lead to a level of peace that . . . ummm, I forgot what I was going to say. Let’s start there.

I’m in a very strange head space this morning. I could blame it on having forgotten to buy coffee yesterday after work, thus relegating myself to a single cup, but that’s a cop out. So let’s skip the attributions and get on past the silliness.

I’m pretty sure that my oversight concerning the coffee was because of the kind of day I had at work. It started out with clocking in, where someone had left a note on the time clock saying that two cats had escaped their enclosures in the cattery. My partner and I headed right over to see what was up with them kitties. The question was answered as soon as we walked in. It was Clinton and Cody, two semi-feral brothers that have always been somewhat of a pain in the ass to deal with. And so the effort to capture them had begun. Cody turned out to be the easy one. We had him corralled and to effect his escape from our presence he ran right back into the cage that he and his brother inhabit, thus incarcerating himself by his own paw. His brother was a different story. We had to chase him for about forty minutes before we finally got him. This required me to walk across the shelter yard, to the cat intake room, where I obtained the capture net and bite-proof gauntlets, then taking them back over to refine the focus of our efforts. When you’ve got a cat loose the best way to effect capture is to wear the poor kitty out to the point where resignation kicks in. We had the screen door to the “catio”, a spacious playroom where we can let cats run around and stuff like that, opened in case we had a chance to corral the critter into there. Our efforts were successful and I finally was able to net the poor fella and return him to the good company of his brother.

When we began our initial work in the cat intake room, after the great escape and capture, I noticed that one kitten looked bad. It wasn’t just the physical appearance of the kitten, I could clearly see with my psychic senses that it was near death. I said out loud, “That cat will die before the end of the day”. It was turned over to the med staff, who later verified that the animal was suffering from panleukopenia, a serious and deadly disease. This was the second case of the disease we have had this season. The first was with a tomcat who obviously carried the virus into the shelter when he was delivered into our hands, only days before. I had helped the veterinarian restrain the tom while Doc tried to save it’s life. This was the first time I had ever been privy to a veterinary medical procedure. The geek in me would usually have been gleeful in such a situation, but the effects from the disease were purely awful to see. The cat was clearly suffering deeply. He had to be put down the next day; the suffering was just too much and he had no chance of recovery. The sadness chokes me up still.

The mortality rate of panleukopenia is nearly 100% in kittens, so we lost that one too. In cases like this it is hard to keep a focus. Death is death. These things happen in animal shelters, just as they happen in the wild, or in the home. It does not mean that neglect or abuse is lurking within the walls of the institution, yet there is often the token nitwit who calls foul, then word spreads, based on a false assessment of the situation. This sad occurrence is not uncommon enough, it should not happen at all, since it only serves to make our jobs even more difficult, which in turn places even more stress on the animals. And round and round. But, a nitwit is a nitwit. These things happen. I have previously seen the passion and heart-felt dedication of my fellow caregivers. Now I have also been privileged to witness the truly awesome passion that Doc has for animals, for the fight that is sometimes necessary to save an animal’s life, and his deft skills, applied under duress, were plain to see. Anyone who disparages his work will get a offer from me to sell them a bridge in Brooklyn. A fool is a fool.

Now, back to my day. Y’all know by now, if you read EyeYotee on a regular basis, that I research death and dying, as a writer. It interests me. But the presence of death is no easier to bear because of that. Yet I know that kitties are conscious being and that this little kitten’s spirit, and that of the big ginger tom, has not relinquished its light.

I think that’s all I have in me this morning. Think I’ll go purchase a cup of gas station coffee and drive on over to the Gorge Bridge for some contemplation under the vast New Mexico sky. For those of you who deign to wonder why I settle for gas station coffee when I could have some heavenly brew – don’t even try it. In the first place, the nearest coffee boutique is 3-4 miles away. In the second place, I happen to enjoy gas station coffee. Oh! Something I almost forgot to weave into today’s complimentary prose is that I am not unaware of the value that witnessing death twice in the past week will have toward the PTSD therapy I have put off for the past 30 years. Any procrastinators wanna try and beat that one?! But I procrastinate no longer. My own dance with death will soon be probed by myself, facilitated by yet another passionate and dedicated medical professional.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously, my friends.

addendum:   say, does anyone know that Pink Floyd song The Wall? What the heck does that one line mean: “Teachers, leave those cats alone”?

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Speak Now

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 “Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.” ~ John Lennon

“It’s the stupid questions that have some of the most surprising and interesting answers. Most people never think to ask the stupid questions.” ~ Cory Doctorow

Chasing rainbows at 4 AM is like chasing rainbows in general. I just want to make that clear upfront. I really wanted the fruitless task to be variable in relation to the time of day. Turns out it’s not. The proverbial guy who won’t give you the time of day might as well be chasing rainbows, for all that’s worth. Shun the shunner, that’s what I say. They will never see the irony in that.

I’ve been awake since 1:30 AM. It is now 4 AM, and I have about run through most of my habitual fears enough times to allow me to move on, even if only for a while. That puts me here in front of the computer. I did hear a brief coyote pronouncement a while ago, which was a comfort because I have not heard from any of them critters in quite some time. Yet I also heard some guy, somewhere up on the little ridge behind the apartment, prattling on in Spanish. There’s a barking dog over in a different direction. The sounds of the night come to my tired ears.

I have to admit I was watching a Taylor Swift DVD last night, her “Speak Now” world tour recording in front of a Chicago audience. This young woman is the real thing. I used to call her my guilty pleasure, but the time has come for me to openly express my admiration for her talents. At the beginning of the DVD she speaks of how if you have something to say, or to show, do it now; speak now and I’m like dude I’m already doing that! Yet it is good to be reminded, especially on a sweet morning such as this, when my efforts at writing are slightly stilted and rudderless. Yes, Taylor Swift’s sincerity pushed my button.

“It’s supposed to be automatic, but actually you have to push this button. ” ~ John Brunner, Stand on Zanzibar

Tomorrow is my day off from work. There is that therapy session I’ve been writing about recently. Considering that we’re going to be going into the PTSD from my bicycle accident back in ’84 I am actually and admittedly more than a tad apprehensive, but that is likely a very good thing because the something bad that can happen already happened thirty years ago. Let’s call it reverse-apprehension and get on with it. I’d really enjoy feeling better. My past method of dealing with the PTSD has been to be flippant, and to peruse the research and statistics relating to the disorder. The research is extensive. I get a lot of milage out of that distraction.

I can’t seem to get going with this blog post so I will call it a morning.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

A Single Shade of Gray

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“Thrown like a star in my vast sleep
I opened my eyes to take a peek
To find that I was by the sea
Gazing with tranquility” ~ Donovan Leitch

The song was in my head when I woke up. I’ve no explanation. There is a good likelihood that it is some kind of latent Summer Solstice phenomenon. Sweet. I mean, I can imagine Donovan, singing among the Standing Stones at Stonehenge. Yet he wrote it for the Maharishi. Devotion is devotion. It matters not where you aim that stuff, lessin’ of course ya aim it toward some dark and sinister place. Even then ya done did it your own self. I wouldn’t recommend it. The reason I am talking about dark devotion, other than doing it to avoid scratching my head too much in considering the Tea Party in general, is that my google search for Donovan included an article from Slate Magazine online that discussed the use of “Hurdy Gurdy Man” in some really creepy movies, and therefor the song is creepy. There ya have it. A few film directors chose a piece of music and the song itself becomes creepy as a result. That’s the kind of logic that puts nitwits into political office. WELL, I don’t remember the song that way. I remember smiling and getting all blissed up by singing along with the tune. That tune and also Donovan’s “Atlantis”. Dude, thanks, from the bottom of my heart.

“People used to spend an hour making tea
Easy easy was the rule
People used to pause to think and contemplate
He who hurried was the fool” ~ Donovan Leitch

All this from one simple song in the head of a simple man on a morning in early summer high up in the Sangre de Cristo Range in Nuevo Mexico del Norte? Really? Really? Yup. Deal with it. The cool part is that it linked me, through quantum entanglement, to my teenaged self. That in itself may sound like a rather shaky thing to do, but look at it this way: at least I didn’t carry that self same teenaged self on through to this day without ever at least giving maturity a try. So, back to the bridge of quantum entanglement. I think I found the best example of this concept, and the subsequent application thereof, in a powerful book by Richard Bach (he of the famed Jonathan Livingston Seagull)Running From Safety. You can also find it in a cutely entertaining film from Disney, “The Kid”, in which Bruce Willis is confronted with his childhood self. But back to the book. There is a powerful scene in Richard’s book where he is searching for the youngster he was, and is led to a closet, in which his younger self is hiding. Richard opens the door, expecting a sweet reunion. Nothing sweet comes forth. Little Dickie is indeed there, and he comes out with a flamethrower blazing.  Ouch.

Mine is not so dramatic. My travel across that bridge, through the wormhole, whatever, takes me to a slim teen on the roof of a house on Lower Matecumbe Key in the Florida Keys. It is dark, but not Tea Party dark. The somber teen is gazing upon the stars. In another scene, the same teen is floating on a cheap blowup plastic raft, drifting along with the gentle currents that flow in the channel of a dead-end canal, which is the focal point for a small community of houses. The teen’s dad has a nearly state of the art stereo system in the living room of the house, which sidles up to the canal, just as the teen sidles up to life its own self. The boy has the stereo cranked up, not to ten but nearly so. No one is home; the music is his own. So as he drifts in the dead-end canal, upon a bed of plastic, he hums along with the brilliant Neil Young to the song “After the Gold Rush”. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

I’ll come up for air now. Dawn is happening. The cat is on the bed at my side. Second up of coffee right here and now. Here and now is a sweet concept that is all so popular these days, a sanctuary from the Red Bull rush of modern life. You see that rush even in a small mountain town such as Taos, New Mexico, which is a few miles south of where I sit at the edge of the north mesa. Here and now simply means being in the moment. One of it’s greatest proponents is Ram Dass. He has been known to visit Taos. When I was still working at the upscale natural foods supermarket, it was on a Saturday morning that rumors of Ram Dass’ presence in town were in circulation. At one point a coworker, who thought that she had seen the man enter the store, came up to me with an air of excitement. She asked, “Would you know Ram Dass if you saw him?”. Smart ass that I am I replied, “Why? Is he here now?”. Doh! Such tomfoolery at such a sacred moment. I hardly know what to say. That, at least, explains the edgy quips, k?

Today is another work day, and the cats at the animal shelter will receive as much care as I can deliver in the midst of a crew that is operating with a shortage of manpower, womanpower, whatever. Cats are wise, in my estimation. I’ve even been known to declare them to be harbingers of mystical powers that we humans could also have. Friggin eerie critters they be. Mystical powers and love. They are really good at love. Even that cat who bit me so severely a couple of months ago is good at love. Just not with me. But I swear, I was just following protocol when I grabbed her in seeking to curtail the limited freedom she had attained by escaping her cage, and she responded in a powerful display of instinct by sinking two finely crafted fangs into and amongst the copious array of nerve endings that converge within my right index finger. You’ve got ’em too. Protect them from harm or feel the pain. But about the love – hers, Tessie’s, attitude toward me is not for lack of love, nor for lack of forgiveness. Do cats even have forgiveness in their bag of tricks? I don’t know. Hers is a natural shielding designed to prevent further trauma where trauma did indeed once occur. That, my friends, is wisdom. Which reminds me, I have an appointment, Monday at 11 AM, with a psychotherapist who will hopefully help me regain the wisdom that so naturally exists within the thickly inflamed enclosure we humans develop from incidents similar to what happened to Tess.  Tess is a pure gray cat in a world of color. Boy howdy DO NOT get me started on a fresh metaphor. I got to go to work in two hours. It’s been fun.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously, k?

 

Gilligan and Quantum Entanglement

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“Perhaps there is more sense in our nonsense and more nonsense in our ‘sense’ than we would care to believe.” ~ David Bohm

It took me a full hour to get around to making my first cup of coffee. That doesn’t seem right to me. Some kind of self abuse? Likely so.  Yesterday’s blog post never came to be as well. What is it all about? I’m tired and just about to, on a grand scale, crawl out of the nutshell I have been living in for the past eight months. That’s a good explanation but I can’t, as far as I know, clarify it much. The ending of a nearly seven year relationship smacked me two steps this side of danger. Self abuse is only a part of it, part of the shriveled feeling I have known in the interim, in the time since the breakup. Ouch. I’m fine when at work at the animal shelter. At my previous job I was not even close to fine; too much solitude. Too much solitude, too much wrangled habitual thought. I can’t get much clearer than that.

“I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There’s more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.” ~ the Indigo Girls

Today’s weather is sweet, an emotional balm that was not even needed until it was, which happened when I noticed that I felt better in some nondescript way. The air feels thick but that is an illusion, with the humidity at only 22%. And the chill in the air is also an illusion. That’s two illusions with which to start the day. I like illusions as much as the next guy, it’s just that I feel no fear this time, and I suspect that a transition is brewing these deceptive feelings. In addition to that is the sensation brought on by a dour feeling hovering close, and trying to step up to the helm of this metaphorical  boat. The boat is being guided by Gilligan. The Skipper is not in sight, and the Professor is tied up below, wallowing in the brig, incarcerated for being too rational on an annoyingly steady basis. Where’s Mary Ann? Yer just a dreamin’ there sailor. Curiously, there are dark clouds to the west. Go figure. How’s that for a nice addition from the special effects department. Thanks guys, yer all pals. Make note of that. I don’t say it that enough.

I’ve got an appointment with a new therapist on Monday; new to me. Finally I will go straight to the trauma from my nearly deadly bicycle accident back in ’84. I’ve since carried the idea that most all of my restive behavior since then has been a continuation of how I have been all of my life. This view sucks in that it cannot be true. I’ve been in denial since ’84, regardless of the fact that my chosen cover story was a pretty danged good one, well crafted, and malleable in that it changes with the times. The perfect foil.

There’s no going long today. I feel a deep sadness, and have noticed that tears have been sporadically gracing my eyes lately, as welcome messengers whispering of things to come. That mysterious feeling of prescience, I know, is because of quantum entanglement, from myself to myself, across a short chunk of time. Is it happiness coming down the pike. No can tell. I feel something. That’s all I know. Just the fact that I am now beginning to look at conscious evolution as a realm of study in preparing myself to grow, perhaps in spurts, but growth is to be encouraged, now and forever. I’ll get there, but right now I need to embrace the sadness that has me anchored just off shore. I got Gilligan to cease his shenanigans. That’s a good start.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

Calling Cats “Dude”

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“There are so many unsung heroines and heroes at this broken moment in our collective story, so many courageous persons who, unbeknownst to themselves, are holding together the world by their resolute love or contagious joy. Although I do not know your names, I can feel you out there.” ~ David Abram

There’s a pretty heavy wind for 5 AM. I cherish that. Libra, air sign here; I’m a child of the wind from way back. Plus, it’s a good way to start my day. I was just reading a tad about how language separates us from the living world. Go figure. At 60 years of age, after having spent all of this time, as a writer and as a pedestrian philosopher, learning the language of my tribe, come to find that this language stuff might be somewhat bad for my health. Personally, I have my ways of dealing with this faux-problem. I go outside in the morning and vibe in to said morning; the planet showing in the sky to the NNE, the wind in the trees, cries from the cat that my cat just got into a shrieking match with, and the wordless beauty of the story we all share as higher primates in a magnificent world, accompanied by these lower animals that ain’t really lower at all. So – how do you like them Wheaties? I like it a lot.

I was hangin’ with three folks from different cultures, yesterday after work. Two were also young adults, which actually adds yet another culture to the mix. While trying to push my analytical proclivities aside a bit I still found that I loved the vernacular these kids used. Now, I am friggin 60 years old, I can call young adult “kids”
it’s allowed, k? Don’t even try it. When I say “kids” I mean it, with respect and a nod to their being beside me as I go through this life. And it was like dude, ya gotta deal, ya gotta roll when it blazes. It was fun.

Today’s opening photo is another regarding the senior dogs at the animal shelter. That’s Meeka in the front, Betty immediately behind her, and Apollo in the rear. These guys stand around all day smiling. It don’t get no better than that. When’s the last time you smiled all day long? That’s a deep question, and deep questions makes my day, make me smile. More of that, more smiles, make the noosphere grow toward the joy of being. The noosphere was lovingly articulated and postulated by the late Teilhard de Chardin. My dad had me read some of Chardin’s stuff when I was a kid. Interesting. My dad also warned me against reading any Henry David Thoreau because “it is so depressing”. I read it anyway, of course. I did not find depressive stuff in the book. He was exposing freedom. I don’t find that to be depressive. Do you? If you do, could we maybe talk for a bit?

If you are wondering WTF is with all the questions popping up in this blog these days I must confess to running an experiment. One, I find that asking questions necessarily takes me out of myself, which is an adventure, the likes of which harken back to Indiana Jones, way back in retro time. Two, I get the opportunity to learn,  and I didn’t used to be like that. I, throughout my adult life, was strictly and bashfully on the fringes of the sharing of linguists communications; I was like all shy and stuff. Capiche? Good. It was a depressive lad’s aversion that took him hither and yon in the quest for avoidance and a “leave me alone” version of peace. I did get a lot of peace that way, but I got a lot of pain as well. Here I sit on the summit of my actions, wondering where to go from here.

“Nonconformists travel as a rule in bunches. You rarely find a nonconformist who goes it alone. And woe to him inside a nonconformist clique who does not conform with nonconformity.” ~ Eric Hoffer

I’ve got my second cup of morning coffee here, strong and good. I have been hesitant to go into a shaky topic this morning, yet I can deal. Intellectualism in a working man is, in my experience, not your usual thing, unless you are Eric Hoffer, who remained a longshoreman while writing magnificent treatises ripe with philosophical vision. I wish I could do that. Maybe next year? Maybe. My aspirations as a writer are largely crafted to portray, without hounding the reader with nostalgia, the values that finally emerged hard fought from the 60s and the boomer experience at large. How am I doing so far?

“To hell with facts! We need stories!” ~ Ken Kesey

Now, excuse me while I make another cup of coffee. I just wanted to share that with you because it changes the tack of what I am on about here. That’s yer story value right there. It’s for you, no more no less.

I stepped outside as well, to listen to the sumptuous wind and to let the chickens and the lone turkey out of their pen. They were grateful and followed me around at first. My mind continues on in it’s musings while I vibe into Nature for a while. This mind does not know when to quit. It goes on and on and on, but that does not prevent me from stepping out of the sway of its insistent chatter. Psyche! I don’t let it forget who is in charge here. That’s the way it goes, which reminds me of the New Agey stuff I comment on at times, and it is indeed a new paradigm that was begun high up in the air of reason and has now settled down into a comfy chair where reason is more at home and story-like. Listen to them folks. They are the real thing. Yes.

I could be in the yard with them senior doggies but I think I’ll pass on that one, even though I know how to get in. I will go to work today. Cats will receive the care they need, and I will talk to them while I  do that thing. I find that I often call cats “dude”. It settles my intent down into a  useable vibe. I must fight with some of the cats to keep them from achieving freedom while I clean their cage. Those critters are wily and adept at escape. Try that on your own time, in a metaphorical way of course. The beauty of cats really strokes my heart so vividly. This is good for my soul, which is in turn good for my general well-being. Let’s give it up for cats! Thanks, yer a pal.

Peace out, y’all.

 

 

It Is What It Is As Such

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Hmmm, this sounds like it could also apply to employee handbooks in many businesses. But I can’t write about that kind of stuff. Nor about myself. It’s not allowed. Look on page seventeen, paragraph fifteen. Line . . . oh, never mind.

It’s been a somewhat nerve-wracking few days for me. Is Mercury still retrograde? Did somebody slip something into my coffee to make me believe incorrectly on any number of topics? Is Obama still President? It could be a lot of things, all at once, I suppose. Whatever it is it has not prevented the cat from bringing another mouse into the house.  She’s stalking it as I write, at this very moment, and what I am writing is being published as truth in the very near future. Well, not really truth. It’s just me spouting a few ideas. I’ve lost track of how many times I have misperceived things and situations during the past few days. It gets frustrating, I wring my hands, and then I reach for the quotes from some person of note.

“Strange how paranoia can link up with reality now and then.” ~ Philip K. Dick

I’ve been feeling pretty paranoid lately. I’m used to that because it happens all the time. I was told by a past therapist of mine that “nobody does anything to anybody else”. Seems to me that this means that there is a vast conspiracy of exclusion. But it can also be seen as a euphemism, or so it seems to me.

As you may be able to tell, I am in a rotten mood. My life could end today and I would be no less for the loss. I know – I know – count my blessing. K, I will. Promise. Soon, really really soon. In the meantime I will expand my consciousness. There, that feels better. I had no idea it was so easy.

I thought I just heard a television on next door. I went closer to listen and heard nothing. Then I realized that it was a bird outside, and my perceptions were skewed, as they so often are. But who watches television outside? I guess wild birds are pretty much locked in to that, yet I was unaware that wild birds even watch television  I tell ya, they are messing with my head!

Well, this post oughtta knock my reader stats down to nothing. I deserve it, I know. Who wants to listen to gripes from a grump. But I’m not, per se, a grump, I’m a curmudgeon’s apprentice. There’s a big difference, but I forgot what it is – obviously.

Depression is an awful thing. Do I use it as a crutch, or as an excuse to get people to expect less from me? How would I know? Doesn’t the answer to that depend on how others perceive my behavior? Why am I asking so many questions? Does that mean . . . oh, never mind. I’m just making this stuff up.

“I just think that fiction that isn’t exploring what it means to be human today isn’t art.”  ~ David Foster Wallace

Maybe I’m just tired. Soul tired. Then again, maybe I’m simply a pessimist. Either explanation might fit. I’m not really concerned about that except as an example of ironic proportions. I’m certainly capable of that; irony, that is.

“Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. Since the present moment is Life itself, it is an insane way to live.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Oh great. Now I’m crazy too. Might as well accept it. Get into the Now, where I am not I. It’s not that I disagree with brother Tolle – I happen to agree with him on many levels – it’s just I’m stuck in my ego today. Then I remind myself that seeking to be beyond the ego is rather egoic in itself. Not my cup of tea.

And here, and now, I begin the final paragraph of this post. I haven’t actually made myself feel better. Have you? No, wait. That doesn’t make sense, so never mind. Yes, I did hear the distant shrieks of coyotes this morning in the dark. And I am going to work with animals today. I’ll watch a raven fly should it happen by.  All of those things that are so important to me I will do. So the rest of this post – the whole first part – well . . . please forget I even said it all at all et al. It’s like totally messed up and stuff, bro. No, not really. I feel sad and angry and as if nothing can ever be better ever again. That’s the real truth. Such as it is and it is what it is as such. Go figure.

Peace out, y’all.

And You And I

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“Sad preacher nailed upon the colored door of time
Insane teacher be there reminded of the rhyme
There’ll be no mutant enemy we shall certify
Political ends, as sad remains, will die
Reach out as forward tastes begin to enter you” ~ Yes, from Close to the Edge

Sometimes I wish I had a cuter writing style. Maybe some people think I do. Honestly? I worry about those people. They’re like totally ripe. About to pop a blossom. Hey, why not? I’m down with that. Never mind.

Fresh air meanders through the window behind my desk. The ceiling fan, set on low, gives it some direction and purpose. Would that I could, I would  be like that, but spinning just makes me dizzy, a state of mind that renders me unto unstable curiosity. What doI find there? Well, some of what others have called wisdom comes from there. Go figure. Comes and goes; that’s the ticket. Maybe unstableness is a stingy cornucopia of sorts, spitting out sporadic apples or kiwis. The idea of a sporadic kiwi tickles me. Must be the fuzz on the fruit. Or the deep digging semiotics it has in its pockets. A kiwi with pockets? Please stop me now. No good can come of this; I’ve already passed that point.

 I spent a fair amount of time viewing Yes videos on You Tube last night. They were, of course, awesome. From Rick Wakeman’s skill at forcefully drawing magnificence out of any number of keyboards, there in his wizard robe, to Steve Howe’s always startling prodigious guitar magic, to Chris Squire’s strutting foundation of melodic bass punches, Alan White’s drums at his behest, topped off with a strange and beautiful man, Jon Anderson, with a voice like a kestrel in flight, with a sheer and uplifting poetic skill, or maybe a kiwi. No one stopped me, I’ll have to do it myself. The band of brothers work magic, they call up spirit with rock and roll transcendent wonder. They first give you a lift then kick that lift and you up into the stratosphere, or something like it. You must look at the video at the end of this post. Made my head go quiet so I could hear the wonder, and I did that thing.

The fella in today’s opening photo is Apollo. He’s ten years old, and the photo was taken in the senior’s yard at the animal shelter, where them good old dogs congregates away from the rowdy younger bunch throughout the shelter. Apollo, Betty, Meeka and Cooper get to while away the time on a sunny day. I sometimes think I should grab a chair and join them. In four months I will qualify for a senior’s discount at the movie theater. Six decades. My mind and heart are beyond that. They don’t seem to notice. It’s good, that faux deference: respect the many years by heeding them not. I could say that it has all been dreamlike, and in many respects this is true, but the Dreamtime is also beyond all that, giving open range to the underlying magic that is so hard, for many, to see at even the briefest of moments. I once wrote, “Everyday magic is all wrapped up in the forgotten dreams of the common man”. Them uncommon men got a thing or two comin’, reckon? Reckon! Boy howdy let’s let ’em flap in the breeze with a “Don’t tread on me” banner clipped to the their belt buckles and the knots of their ties. I know – I know –  there are many other kinds of uncommon men, and women, but we can tell the difference, n’est pas? I’m speaking in a metaphor here, my friends. Ain’t nobody gonna be run up no pole, myself included.

I’ve got some readily noticeable anxiety waves this morning, coming up from my second chakra and radiating up to the fifth after stumbling over the fourth. My right foot is twitching; it wants to wag while perched upon a jittery knees. Puffy eyes, heart beat slower than usual. Breath needs to be called up consciously on occasion because the residuals of trauma kinda have me sitting there like a clump of ripe kiwis. Perhaps you have, by now, noticed that I am using Monty Python-esque techniques in today’s prose. Their bit about the dead parrot – irrelevant, eh? I’ll get on with it then. I saw my pretty doctor lady psychiatrist last week. She was gathering info on just what I would like to work on in talk therapy. I pulled a couple of candidates out my – ummm – out of the air. My beautiful former therapist gone, she was trying to place me with a new one. When she finished with the data input on her computer she looked up and said, “You sure you don’t want to work on the trauma?”. She was referring to the bike accident in ’84, and she was quite obviously leading me to what I needed the most. I’ve written at length about the spiritual aspects of the crash, but I haven’t even begun to approach the emotional aspects, nor the physiological after-effects, nor the psychological lurking riffraff that threaten to blacken the soul, although they do not have the means, they are full of horseshit. I was reading Dr. Penny Sartori magnificent book, The Wisdom of the Near-Death Experience (I’m on page 45!) the other day at the laundromat, between loads. (That’s the way I see my NDE, it happened between loads. Obscure that 😉 ) Penny talks about the trauma after an NDE that often comes from many different angles, one of which is the shunning brought on by the sharing of a transcendent and preternatural occurrence. I’m well aware of that. It haunts me to this day. But what I have never really and deeply examined is that I am covertly disturbed by having had my face punched in by the handlebars and gear shift levers of a Raleigh bicycle. Then 27 years later I find out that I also had nearly broken my neck, literally. Makes me misty-eyed to casually look at it, and the perpetual butterflies in my abdomen turn into kiwis – ummm – I meant to say lightning bugs, and hornets, big yellow hornets.

After that David Foster Wallace-esque paragraph I am rather unsure of where to go in closing. Yes, I am going to see Yes in a few weeks. Yes, I am soon gonna work on psychological trauma. No, I really don’t  care for Kiwis, they are rather like apricots to me, edible, that’s all. No more than that. Flavor? Meh. Whatever. I’ll be going to a staff meeting at work today, even though it is my day off, and they will have free coffee which will push me over the edge in my coffee consumption, because I am out of the stuff so I am going over to the convenience store to buy a cup to take yonder  to the Gorge Bridge with me, I’ll need the shot of Nature’s grandeur before I get the full dose of rigmarole.  Video below. Watch it. Prodigious, flawless mastery, with transience woven in as well.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

“And you and I climb over the sea to the valley
And you and I reached out for reasons to call” ~ Jon Anderson

Anxiety, Pan, and Psyche

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It’s a soft morning, by my reckoning, and my reckoning shall rule, because this is my blog. End of story. The morning is soft for two reasons: the air is almost still, cautiously moving as if to avoid detection, and it is nearly warm, although there is enough of a chill to allow me to wear my plush gray fleece robe. I prefer this robe to that other crappy one from WalMart. Ya think it’s from China? I ain’t tellin’. But back to the morning. The sky to the east, where the sun is fixin’ to rise, is electric blue, a tad pale for a strong blue like that, and a silver cast, a patina, makes it all better. Pasted against the silvery stuff is the banana moon. It’s not yellow like a banana should be, but the shape is impeccable, banana-wise.

Yesterday’s puffy prose was no mistake. Phrases that become burgeoning floral stuff recede again, making the whole style sound like a mix of poetic aspirations and vernacular silliness. Vernacular IS silly, but it is, OMG, like totally fun. Oh yeah. Another benefit, perhaps for me alone, is that vernacular is a great analgesic for anxiety. I occasionally write about anxiety. Hear tell that 40, 000,00 people in the US alone deal with anxiety and/or panic disorders. I’ve been know to panic on occasion. It is never voluntary so don’t even ask me to calm down. I will when I am good and ready, k? And I’ve known a dog or two who have the same disorder. A panicked dog ought maybe be avoided until it calms down, ya think? I know I would.

While I was just waiting for my Melita mini-cone filter to empty into my cup I noticed that the ground coffee comes with instructions. How odd. And it says something about piping hot, as if I should play a Pan pipe while waiting, instead of reading instructions. I say that because the great god Pan is the source of the word “pan-ic”. Furthermore, I basically and philosophically adhere to the worldview of panpsychism, meaning, in one interpretation, that I see myself as a mind in a world of minds. Now, think about that for a second then look at this image of the great god Pan patting Psyche on the head, like she is a good girl, which she likely is. I believe in Pan, in fact I have felt his powerful presence up in the mountains. Psyche is our mind. Oh! I was gonna paste an image. Sorry, my bad. Here it is –

Cool, huh? I’ve gotta keep it short, and hopefully sweet today. I’m starting full time cats at work. I intend to learn from these superior critters. It should be quite educational, like meow dude.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

River and Roses

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Seven miles from the house, to the northeast, takes me into the mountains. All of my compulsory chores for the day were done, the day off from work wrapped around me like a plush moment in time. Spontaneity arose from daydreams and the quiet brought on by the heat of a brilliant summer afternoon. I got into my car and took the drive, on through the tiny village of Arroyo Seco and into the steeply inclined valley that leads up to Taos Ski Valley. There is no precise way to describe the place, but it is worth trying, worth the contemplation required in giving respect to an alluring place on this planet. At another time the drive might take me into a cooler realm, but it is just starting to get into full summer, and the heat is pervasive, it sets as a reminder that we are subject to the whims and visions that Nature gives us, we children of her grandeur. My rather puffy prose, as I write on the cusp of yet another hot day, comes out freely, although it is slow in emerging, and awkward before the spellcheck kicks in. I can live with that and I do.

Mine is a rather messy and simple life these days, it doesn’t take much novelty to amuse me. As a sat on the bank of the Rio Hondo, which was full and fast from the still melting snowpack up on the summits, I slowly slipped my lower legs, up to my knees, into the rushing water. It was cold, but not the startling cold I had expected. I felt the chill bring my whole body down, away from the anxiety I live with in a seemingly perpetual way. The water made the anxiety less critical, less bold, and fully present in a lost chord of music that shifts back and forth between major and minor chords. It was my mother’s favorite kind of inspirational music. Back and forth, major and minor, stirring the heart and the soul, taking it all away for a time, this unease that living tows along on its path in time. Anxiety, that furtive and ghastly presence, cannot hide from beauty. Although it may be dogged in its own way, it can and will bow down to the winsome grace that resides just beyond the borders of reason. Even if only for a time.

Pretty cool, huh?! I am listening to the intermittent cooing of a turtle dove as I write here at dawn. The resident chickens and turkey are ranging in the yard. Cat sleeping on the bed. It’s a workday, dogs today and tomorrow, then cats all next weak. The animal shelter holds my happiness these day. Giving service and getting paid for it seems rather diverting to me, like the music of Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Greensleeves. That’s the way I like it, first beauty, then hard work, the stirred not shaken to blend it all into a life that must evolved beyond this messy and simple phase. If the simplicity remains beyond the shift I would be better for its presence. Oh, did I mention that the wild roses are in bloom along the river banks? They are, both pink and white. Uh huh. Beauty again.

Peace out y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

Olivia and the Dancing Pit Bulls

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“I think fearless is having fears but jumping anyway.” ~ Taylor Swift

I awoke this morning at 4 AM. Checked the vibes in general, talked to the cat because she was talking to me. Hit the bathroom. Stepped outside to see the Milky Way in all of it’s splendor, made only more so by the crystalline clarity of the sky over the New Mexico high  desert mountains. Then I came to this computer, roused it from ‘sleep’ mode, and I was greeted by a really very lovely photo of Olivia Munn. Immediately I thanked the Goddess. I know I wasn’t looking at this photo before going to sleep. This another friggin mystery in my life. I downloaded the photo for my desktop image. Nice. How’d it get in my browser? No complaints, I’m just sayin’, k?

Rosie the cat is on my lap and she doesn’t seem to like me typing while she attempts to rest so I boost her up onto the bed. That works for her. Good.

Today is a day off from work. Also good. Laundry must be done, a tad of shopping as well. I feel like I am writing a letter home. Likely so. The past week has been a horror because of anxiety, which feeds the high energy fire of depression, which takes me down and out, and makes it hard to talk to my friends without stumbling over my words and having enough volume to have them heard in the first place. Not good, or maybe it is good. I’m hurtin’. Might as well let it show.

My friends? Stray Hearts animal shelter in Taos, New Mexico has the best crew of caregivers that anybody could ask for – tri-cultural and fiercely united, the kind of friends who can wave or nod with meaning. We love the animals and we love each other. We are family. We had a new guy added to our crew yesterday and he slipped right in to the love and caring. That is the way it is. And the animals are with us too. Sorry, Mr. Lennon, but love is not all we need – it is what  we need. We can make a pit bull terrier smile. They are pretty good dancers as well.

Wordy dude is not active this morning. I tapped out this post good enough, yo. I’ve got a post-dawn nap to see to, then a day of – what? I don’t friggin care this morning, and I nod to the great Dana Carvey, who nailed this kind of headspace as “the fuck its”. Dude! Works, man. Come to my workplace and walk a dog, k? Olivia? You can do that too, sweetie! Thanks, yer a pal. Taylor? Yeh, you too.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.