It Ain’t What It Ain’t

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This may be the quietest morning in quite some time. Warm as well. These starts to the day often fall by the wayside when the work day comes around, as it always does. But this is the time when the day is born, when the hours and minutes, before Father Sun breaks the night’s mold, linger hauntingly upon strands of fading  dreams. This is the time when I like to write. I’m doing that right now. The coffee is just now ready but I have not poured the first cup because I want to finish the paragraph first. This should be easy, but it is not. I wasn’t sure where this paragraph was headed, so I don’t know how it will end. Once again, caught in the moment.

There’s a tiny bit of self-pity trying to hound me this morning, but it can’t, only because it is so small. I’m already looking forward to going to work with the animals today. Sure, I have to work with people as well. We all do it together. That’s what makes it work. There are systems that keep the whole operation on the same page. I sometimes get so wrapped up in the system that I forget, only momentarily, that these are people I am working with, they are not the system. Smiles are the surest way to back down out of such blunders. We all do it, right? I cringe at a stock phrase like that. It’s the same for everybody? I cringe again. We are all one? That goes without saying. At the animal shelter the animals almost always make me smile. The people? Not so much. That shows where I have work to do. Something that goes without saying can also easily go without hearing. Then what? It falls on deaf ears, that’s what it does.

Our opening photograph in today’s post is of a pit bull mix named Clarabelle. She is one of my favorite animals in the shelter. I can’t exactly say why that is, except to say that I like her vibe. You can tell that she likes mine too, her willingness to trust the camera betrays the reputation of her breed. Yes, she can be aggressive. Can’t we all.

My second cup of coffee is the best one I have had in a while. I’m back to the cheap stuff again, but the Starbuck’s I bought recently lasted for longer than I would have expected, so the cheap stuff somehow tastes better. It’s a head game, a mind game, perpetrated by the guy who sits before you now. Truth be told, I am feeling that endgame feeling, where at almost 60 years of age I am working at a low wage job, facing a potential health crisis, and also feeling that I don’t have much to show for it all. It’s not a great conversation lubricant to say “Oh, me? I’m just waiting to find out if I have brain damage”, but that waiting has been going on for three decades now. A little longer won’t hurt. Will it? Not likely. It’s all good.

This gray and quiet morning has finally failed to instill me with my habitual low-grade panic and fear. None of the issues, nor the somatic tendencies, belong to this particular morning. No, I am not going to try to break into that place they so fondly call “Now”. It can wait. That’s simple logic. Mine, my way, is to start out walking and then keep walking. I used to think about stuff like that a lot, spiritual stuff, philosophical stuff. That was back when the fog laid low upon me was still thick and likely to embrace me at any given time. I’d smile and walk, smile and walk. I could hold down a job, I could keep a simple home, and looking back at the nearly deadly bicycle accident was easy, because of the near death vision I’d experienced while laying calmly on the tarmac, where unconsciousness held me at bay, kept me from waking up from what some may called a dream. It had me pinned down against the planet. I was was hurt and injured, what did I know? They didn’t have MRIs back then. And now, when I am finally on the verge of having my electrons jiggled by an MRI machine, I find that thirty years of suppressed fear, grief, and plain old garden variety angst, all haunt me once again, except this time there is no veil laid across them all. This time I will offer and receive an image of my brain. If it shows damage, or if it shows none, either way it shows that something . . . ummm, I don’t know where I was headed with that train of thought. I’m supposed to be walking mindfully through this earthly life. Yes, the coffee is good, better than usual, and my lovely cat is making a stink in her litter box, and irony offers itself on a silver platter, giving to a man the taste of freedom that is available at each and every moment in life. Not bad. If you tell me it is what it is I am gonna scream. It ain’t what it ain’t. How’d ya like them apples?!

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Overload

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Tiredness from fear, from worry, pulsing with anxiety, and a ringing in my ears that persists boldly, I sit here wondering what to write. Since I don’t know what to write I just write anyway. You are reading the results. It’s been a strange morning, ever since the cat woke me up by walking on the computer keyboard and triggering a shortcut command that pulled up a song on iTunes. The song was from an album of Solfeggio frequencies. Not only that, she also cued a shortcut which brought up a feature called “Visualizer”, which creates complex images of swirling lines, colors, and patterns, all generated from the music playing. I described it as best I can. Weird! I thought I was having a New Age spiritual experience, and I was.

It’s probably just overload. The controversy about the animal shelter, which I have been writing about for the past week, both here and in the local newspaper, was the first pulse of stress, brought on because I put myself out there and made myself nervous as a result. Then came the trip to Santa Fe, to plug into an EEG device, which had a close look at what my brain is up to these days. I wonder what they saw. I wonder. A cool break from all of this inner turmoil was having to help a big orange tomcat pull out of what looked like a nervous breakdown. My two coworkers and I gave that poor cat loving attention throughout the day. It was clear that he felt better at the end of the day, but he still had some of the deep muscular tremors that I had detected earlier. The shelter’s executive director, the medical director, and the kennel manager came to the cattery as I was cradling the cat, ready to put him back in his cage. We all smiled and cooed over the animal. I will watch him closely today.

This mind is a tad untethered this morning so I will cut it short and have a shower now.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

While I Was Sleeping

IMG_1747 - 2014-07-28 at 14-32-46   They ask me to deprive myself of sleep, no more than five hours, then ask me to drive two hours to get to the hospital, no coffee allowed for 24 hours before the test, then they ask me to drive back home after the testing, the EEG all done, all because they want to find out how my brain is doing? I’m just sayin’. But seriously now . . . How was your day yesterday? I drove down to the State Capitol with my consciousness somewhat loosened from its moorings. I must say it was likely well worth the drive. Electrodes pasted to my scalp, all over, extracted the doings of my brain, which lay safely ensconced in my thick skull. These are electrical doings we are talking about. And I got nearly an hour’s nap after very little sleep the night before. With perks like that who needs gloom? That which the EEG tech was seeking was more easily seen, said she, while I slept, and so I did. Somehow I’d expected the tech to be male. I guess my extensive inculcation toward feminism has some holes in it. I’ll have to work on that.

This morning is calm, quiet, no rain, no thunder. When I was awakened by that raucous thunder yesterday it was as if a shamanic ritual had begun. Likely it had. But today I have no medical tests so maybe, just maybe, a day of calm productivity will grace my path. Upon waking and heading to the bathroom I was greeted by a mouse carcass which was laid precisely in the path I habitually take when going to urinate first thing in the morning. She does this on a regular basis, the cat does, and so far I have avoided stepping on the carcass each and every time. Let it be noted that my perfect record may not last. Cats, and mine in particular, are wily critters. And smart. They would not waste their time on pranks that don’t work. I wouldn’t, would you? The thing on my mind this morning is pretty much a hangover from the past five days of contemplating the great Taos animal shelter debate. I brought this on myself. I know that. Yesterday’s email from one of those who support the “opposing side” was in email inbox when I got home from the hospital, so of course I was in a dandy mood, but that mood was because of the world-class spectacular and automotively challenging drive back up through the canyon from the Española Valley, on through the Rio Grande Gorge, then entering Taos Valley through the gate of dizzy-making beauty as you are suddenly greeted with a breathtaking vista wherein the Rio Grande Gorge is now before you instead of around you. Take another look at today’s opening photo. Click on it, get the full enchilada. Point is that it always feels good to be home again. But a front door that makes you go “wow” is a plus.

So about that email. Ya gotta expect opposition when it comes to opinions, and in today’s world, where political correctness still somewhat resembles codependence, you’ll get it, cordiality in tact. I’m not being sarcastic here so don’t even go there, k? I’m all for anything that can pry open the friggin rusty-hinged door that makes communications no more tham a peek through the cracks in the wall. We all stand to be educated further. As Albert Einstein so savvily noted, “no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it”. Think of feet and new shoes – ya gotta break it down before ya build it up. That’s why your feet hurt. I even got that when I first got Birkenstocks. But work boots are even worse. There is opposition between foot and sole. It takes work. I’d kind of hoped that I wouldn’t go back to the animal shelter controversy today but it is pretty much all around me right now. I feel delighted to actually get direct communications from the “other side”. Flow is good. But I am an animal caregiver, no mas. Iffin ya want some results from your hard fought opinions go straight to the lawyers. Since lawsuits have already been filed it is highly likely that the lawyers will have the last word. It’s like taking things to a meta level. You can’t do it without one upping yourself. No way, no how. And there’s just one more issue that I would like to address before wrapping up this paragraph. One thing addressed in the statements by those who would have the shelter be different and better is that former employees feel that they were dismissed or led to quit through skeevy or just inappropriate means, so maybe when the dust settles they could get their jobs back? I’m rather against that, as it would mean that I would be out of a job, so I would have to file a lawsuit for being wrongly laid off. That’s not a merry-go-round it’s a grumpy-go-round. Go figure. It’s a small crew to begin with. Not much has changed since those people left.

“I have these moments, all steady and strong
I’m feeling so holy and humble
The next thing I know, I’m all worried and weak
And I feel myself starting to crumble” ~ Dan Fogelberg

I was just outside on the deck, where I got to witness two meteors. Now I am back inside with the cat at my side. She did a bit of grooming and now she is snoozing. My mind keeps going back to my health issues, the EEG yesterday, the MRI on Saturday. The EEG test was fascinating. I did some research before I went so I had a good idea of what was happening while I slept. Upon my waking the tech put a strobe lamp over my eyes. There were maybe 10 different, sequential frequencies of flashes before it was over. Then she had me hyperventilate for two minutes. What the computer monitor was showing, I guess, will be shared with me later, after they also get a look at the MRI. Why worry, huh?

That’s it for today, folks. In a couple of hours I shall be amongst the cats. Lucky me, I get to spend my whole day with cats. Tis an honor.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Incidents and Accidents

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I awoke to rumbling walls. It was one of those times when a long time wasn’t really so long at all. It was, of course, thunder, and it had the wall behind my bed shaking until it made sounds of its own. Lightning crackling nearby, time stretched out, seconds to minutes, I pulled myself together, after having dreams ripped out of a deep sleep with me attached, and I looked at the iPad to find the time: 12:15 AM. The dreams were whisked away when time came into play. I’m still not sure that was such a good idea, yet we are all equipped to deal with such things.

The fine fellow in today’s opening photo is Creamsickle. He came into the Taos Stray Hearts Humane Society Shelter as a feral cat. In that status, as feral, he would be neutered then released into one of the feral colonies around this area. That didn’t happen. The cat softened, over weeks, until we came to realize that this cat was giving up his designation and choosing socialization instead. Because of the change he was blood-tested and then moved into the cattery, where he is available for adoption. Come see the guy. He’s not only sweet, he is also very funny. Meanwhile, I have been researching a tad deeper into the controversy surrounding the shelter, where some people see it as a loving facility, where service to the animals is paramount, and others seem to see a colony of Blue Meanies. In case  the allusion escaped you, the Blue Meanies were the bad guys in the Beatles’ animated feature, “Yellow Submarine”. Watch it if you haven’t. Good stuff. And yes, I have carried yesterday’s cartoons into today’s post. I do so in an effort to soften my own view of the simmering dispute that lays upon the shelter like a blanket wet with tears. Listen, it’s all about the animals. All of it. We caregivers work on the front lines in the daily care for the animals. Of course there is also management and an executive level as well. But the operation is really pretty small. Everybody is right up close with these dogs and cats, cats and dogs, whatever. The staff veterinarian included. Wafting through the challenging smells that you might expect in such a place is the silent aroma of love. If you think it’s not there, or that it lacking in places and times, just get over it. Here is where I should probably be sticking in a sweet story of how one animal in particular fell under the grace of the operation and blossomed as a result. That sort of promotional rhetoric is all fine and good in its own place, but this place is mine, this is my blog, and I ain’t goin’ there this morning.

“There were incidents and accidents
There were hints and allegations” ~ Paul Simon, You Can Call Me Al

Turns out this post is going to be on the short side. I’ve been up since 2 AM, by design, since I am supposed to show up for my EEG exam in a state of mild sleep deprivation. No coffee allowed. That’s what really hurts. I’m feeling some trepidation about all of this, along with the MRI on Saturday, but the apprehension comes from how much my life could change if these fine folks, and my neurologist, find something significant. Whatever it is it will be okay with me. It’s not that I am worrying. I’m not. This is a deep visceral feeling I have. Thirty years ago I bumped my head. Now this. What next? The main thing is that my brain is actually getting some attention for a change.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Across the Bridge of Hope

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Walking into the house to the smell of strong coffee brewing may be the highlight of my whole day. I’d rather it not be that way. I’d rather there be more highlights throughout the day. I’m in the mood for some new energy in my life. But the coffee smells wonderful and it tastes the same. The past three days have been real wringers emotionally. It started when I had the article printed in the Taos News. That’s nineteen of nineteen, articles and letters to the editor, a good record if I ever saw one, including the world class Miami Herald. Pretty cool. Positive pride is what I feel regarding that record. It gives me impetus, it oils some rusty gears, it reminds me that I do write pretty well after all. I tend to have a furled brow when I think of my writing. The brow thing keeps me ever striving to better my writing. I paraphrase  now, Corwin of Amber, from Roger Zelazney’s “Amber” series, said that “striving is growth toward hidden potential”. Ya want easy ya gets easy. Says me. So on Thursday I opened myself to some doubt, and by Saturday that doubt had morphed into self-directed anger, things like “Oh I should never have sent that in, and now they’ve published it!”. Stuff like that. Ouch. Yes, it comes to me as an artifact of my depressive proclivities. Anyway, I moved through it. Today is a new day. One step at a time. All that happy stuff.

Our opening picture today is a reminder to me, that I must cross a metaphorical bridge now and then, into the rising sun, again, all that happy stuff. I’m not dissing positive thinking, although I have been known to make fun of it at times. Admittedly I was smacked sideways from reading Barbara Ehrenreich’s wonderful book, Bright-Sided, which I am in no way going to review here, but her book really gave me some enlightenment as to how my years long bad attitude could actually have produced some ideas that were legitimately open to critical thinking. I’m rather fond of critical thinking, and I like to do it on occasion, even if only to remind myself how fun it can be. So on Thursday I crossed a bridge. Yadda, yadda, yadda. The crossing tossed me into the maelstrom of personal evolution that I so deeply adore. I realized that the animal shelter business wasn’t all puppies and kittens. No, I’m not that naive. I didn’t think it was all puppies and kittens. Realization is sometimes reiteration. As Mark Twain said, “History rhymes”. Don’t worry none,  y’all is still crossin’ that metaphorical bridge with me. We’uns got a long way to go when we get there. Or at least I do. Don’t worry, I’ll write. My realization was triggered by a note I received that was critical of the shelter, and that note offered an example of an incident at the shelter which was construed as being negligence and/or malfeasance, and maybe even abuse. The thing of it is I was involved directly with the incident, I knew exactly what happened,  and I suddenly found myself outraged at the inference of wrong-doing. There was no wrong-doing at all. Which made me wonder how much of the expressions from avid critics of the shelter are based on other events that were likely as natural and innocent as the one I was involved in. I’m just sayin’.

Yup, I’m hoping for a peaceful solution. I’ll regain my own inner peace before too long. My inner resolve, as per the thrust of my newspaper article, is strengthened by falseness just as it is by truth. This ain’t no “one or the other” situation, and I’ve gotta go work at that place today, and I’ve gotta work alongside someone who seems to be a snitch, and I don’t friggin know who that someone is, and . . . and . . . and . . . dag nab it! Don’t some things just piss you off? Please know that I am smiling as I write this paragraph. It’s cosmic humor that has me doing that. I’m hearing Peter Lorre’s voice saying something like “eh, eh, eh, maybe you might want to think again before you touch that animal. You never know who might be watching”. And Bogey replies, “Things are never so bad that they can’t be made worse. Don’t go there, my friend. You’ll regret it for longer than you know”.

On that note I’m taking a shower, right now, as soon as I sign off here. I am only partially sorry for using two such fine actors in a cartoonish way. I would rather have used Rocky and Bullwinkle but they are for sure animals and my use of them might be construed as abuse. I’m for arbitration, I’m for mediation, and I am all for seeking the truth in all corners, not just in the ones that further ambitions of any stripe.

“Hey, Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat” ~ Bullwinkle J. Moose

“Aw, Bullwinkle, that trick never works”  ~ Rocket J. Squirrel

Uh oh, now I’m really gonna be in trouble. What’s Bullwinkle doing to that rabbit anyway? Let’s all smile. There’s a way to make things right again. I promise.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously, k?

Is This A Fable?

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It’s 5 AM and I will be going out to listen for coyotes in just a few minutes. They were here before, about a half hour ago, or at least one was. It was wailing cautiously and came close enough to the gate in the coyote-proof fence to trip the motion sensor light. That’s close, 25 feet, give or take. A source of wonder came close and I was aware enough to detect it and experience the beauty of the moment. Why does such a thing lead me to open this post with perfunctory prose? I can’t rightly say. Maybe we can fix that later. Right now I need to step outside.

Back. The lavender phase of sunrise is just beginning to kick in, no coyotes to be heard, and I am thinking about how much I have to learn. It’s early in the morning. I can think what I want. No one is around to hear me, and if they could they would be a mind reader. That would be fun. If they were into light reading, that is. Bad joke. My bad.

It seems I have taken a stand. There is, to say the very least, a heated controversy concerning the Taos Stray Hearts Humane Society animal shelter, where I am a paid employee. I jumped into the rather rocky dialog by submitting a piece to the Taos News’ “My Turn” feature, which is a space on the editorial page that is reserved for citizens’ commentary. They published it. Cool. In researching the issue this morning I got a little better picture of what is being discussed and how it is being discussed. Seems that euthanasia is at or somewhere near the center, such as it is. But there are additional  issues concerning ex-employees who are, as they say, disgruntled. This is where it gets messy. Someone was quoted as saying that the shelter was being run like “a Nazi Death Camp”. Yes, I have heard some of the scuttlebutt about and from said disgruntled ones. I’ve been gently confronted by some volunteers who seemed to want something more than casual conversation from me, and as I was hired to care for the cats I tossed up a few shields in prudence toward the goal of keeping my eye on my job description, but also in keeping my eyes out of the line of fire. Having to deal with the many pointy protrusions that cats have at their disposal is enough to deal with at any given time. I’ve even been bitten, rather severely, on the job. I went to Urgent Care, I did not hire a lawyer. This the extent of my ignorance. To this day I still put out effort to befriend the cat who bit me. But she remembers, she cannot hide the fear in her eyes, and yet she still allows me to get my finger within a few inches of her on rare occasion. There is hope yet. That’s cat stuff, which I do on a regular basis. It’s the people stuff that at times turns me to using that poor cat as a metaphor for my time on the job. Honest! She was out of her cage and it was therefor imperative that I capture her and put her back. I caught her, she bit me. We were each doing what we had to do. The rest was circumstantial. I hold no grudge against the cat, who’s name is Tessie. She’s a beautiful all gray cat and she is quite sweet with people. Most people. Come adopt her, k? It’s not so easy with the human interactions, when you don’t know who to trust, who will take what you say to the naysayers, who will go away and then come back as a ghost. Wait: a ghost is someone who is not there yet is there, right? Did I get that right? I’m confused now. I think I may have been talking to the wrong people. You know what? Before I submitted my article to the Taos News I wondered if I would be in danger should it be published, considering that a car had already been torched in relation to the controversy. Actually, my car was sitting right next to that one the very morning before the arson. My car was broken down and was parked there waiting for me to have the money to get it fixed. My car was finally in the shop that afternoon. If it had stayed where it was it would have gone up in flames with the other. Luckily I had a paying job and was therefor able to have it be otherwise. This was weeks before I had my article published so I was not involved in the controversy then. Yet the friggin arson is what inspired me to enter the fray. I hope I did not make a mistake. Oops.

Wow, that last paragraph had to be terminated; it was way too long. That’s what the ‘oops’ was all about. You were probably thinking that this blogger thought he was David Foster Wallace or something. No. My paragraph was long but my sentences were not nearly so elegant as his. And his purposeful obscurity was strategic, dazzlingly so, while my obscurity is of the garden variety, which is maybe why I am so plucky. Doh!

So where does that leave us? I’m way tired this morning. The past three days have been like being wrung through the proverbial wringer. I love proverbs, don’t you? They are kind of like truncated fables. I love fables as well.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously, k?

 

 

 

 

Things Both Challenging and Fun

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It’s going to be strong coffee and a short blog post this morning. Yesterday was an eventful day for me. I had an article published in the Taos News and I had to participate in a cat chase which was directed at five large and very frightened kittens. The article addressed the controversy that has been hounding Stray Hearts Animal Shelter for much too long now. Lawsuits, a car in the shelter parking lot torched in the deep side of night, a concerted effort to get our veterinarian’s license yanked, all basically horseshit as far as I can tell.

And the kittens? Well I once again learned the great value in bite-proof gloves. Those little critters are strong! They have my respect. I was working with a young woman who usually works with dogs but she was cross-trainig so she got to see just how fun cats can be. We managed to get all five cats into cages. The final cat was high up on a shelf. That one I captured with a net that was designed for exactly that sort of thing. Those five cats will have some PTSD for a few days. Likely I will too. That sort of thing is never fun, and it takes a lot out of me because of the high adrenaline rush.

I truly wish that I could write about the controversy in greater length and detail. It would actually be a challenging and fun journalistic exercise, like chasing kittens. One of the underlying themes in the whole thing is how some of our behavioral levels are stuck solid at a junior high school level. Gossip is another one. Some devour malicious gossip as if it is popcorn at a movie theater, where, of course, some of it ends up on the floor. Don’t ask me where I was headed with that metaphor. It’s just that, for some reason, I get the image of a sticky sugar stain dappled with spilled popcorn. Yucky stuff. Th detractor who rail against the shelter deal in icky stuff. I mean, they are going to help animals by making our work harder to do? Really? Dude, really?!

Friggin pisses me way off. But I’ve got that out now. It will be interesting to see how much, if any,  blowback I will get in return. We’ve all seen how meanness can be dressed up as righteousness, and that’s just in this morning’s news. Ob la di ob la da. I’ll try and be in a higher mode tomorrow, k?

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously

Brain Scans and Flying Cats

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“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

A quiet morning here. It’s changing, with sounds from the highway starting to step on and dominate the peace. Good enough. It happens every single day. Are there any days that aren’t single? I’ll get back to you on that.

I feel kind of stuck this morning. There’s a lot going on but not too much to talk about, so I am, as I said, stuck. But I did finally get my medical tests scheduled, after a long wait consisting of getting a visit to a very busy neurologist, then waiting for approval from Medicaid for two tests that the very busy neurologist requested. We’re talking MRI and EEG. I’ve waited this long and all I get is two acronyms? Yup, I did. But here’s the thing: I’ve been wondering if I had brain damage from my bicycle accident in 1984, waiting 30 years. That the opportunity to verify my suspicions comes via two tiny seizures since New Years – well, it feels kinda strange. I go for the EEG next Monday, then Saturday is the day for the MRI. Driving down to Santa Fe twice in one week is actually a blessing. The scenery along the way is spectacular. I can barely afford the gas for the drive at this point, but I want to get this done. My mental health counselor asked what the two tests address. I told her that the MRI addresses the structure of my brain, and the EEG addresses the process, the activity. Will they find scarring in the temporal lobe? Raisin appearance in the hippocampus? Prefrontal misbehavior? I’m at a loss when I think of what is going on these days. I had a bike accident way back when and now I am looking at it again, very closely. Go figure. Yes, I am nervous, curious, and scared. My major problem is that I am allowed NO coffee on the day of the EEG! That seems kind of cruel to me.

I have cats to tend to this morning. They like me to be freshly showered, my hair to be tidy, and my attitude to be solidly sweet. The surrealistic feeling in my life right now probably won’t interest them, especially the cat that came in yesterday via Animal Control. Big orange tabby, very feral. The scene in the intake area was classic. It’s a small room, maybe even tiny. There are about 15 cages in that room and we were attempting to put this big terrified tomcat into one of those cages. My supervisor was there, by my request, to offer backup, even if it was simply moral support. Our other companion was the Animal Control officer, who was all duded up in his sharp black Taos County Sheriff’s Department uniform. The cat was in a humane trap and we had to get him into the cage. We almost had him but he made a lunge and squeezed out just above the cage door like toothpaste from the tube. The tom then proceeded to fly all about the room, even rattling the ceiling tiles from their frame. The cop went to his truck and came back with a device that was designed to capture cats. I already had the capture net. My boss had no tool. I didn’t look at her but I suspect that her face was rather smitten with wonder. Long story short, the cop and I fell into synch. He managed to finally pin the cat to the wall and I placed the net beneath the poor thing. The cop released his tool and the cat fell into the net. I did what you do at that point, and the animal was then secured within the cage. A person could get hurt by one of those feral cats, but no one was, not even the cat. The word of the day was “adrenaline”.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

Cougar Purrs

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The animal at my side is making tiny burbling noises that are laced with purring as well. The translation to English is roughly, “It’s past 4:30 AM and you haven’t written a single word. Dude, s’up?”. Of course I listen and comply. She’s rarely wrong.

This day started nicely, two meteors, razor thin flashes of distant light, fifteen minutes apart, one north to south and one east to west, cutting through the roughshod defenses on my heart and mind, straight to my soul, and each time I greeted them with a simple smile. It was easy. Now the little cat is lounging on my lap. My right arm, due to the typing, was in her way as she laid down, so she pushed it out of the way by patting it until I moved it. It’s the small things. She is purring, the American dark gray tabby shorthair, and stopping me from getting another cup of good, strong, coffee.

Unbeknownst to me I slipped into a mystical state of consciousness as I sat at the break table during lunch at work yesterday. The table, a somewhat raggedy thing with chairs that match the raggedy table, sits outside next to the window of the ‘dog kitchen’, where food is portioned and dishes are washed. The indoor kennels are awash with barking from the resident dogs, but the sound this time acted as a shamanic carrier wave, sending me flying into an altered state, giving me the clouds against an azure sky, as they swept in slowly, over the high summits of the Picuris range and the Pecos wilderness, all bearing witness to a spaced out man who in turn bore witness to them. That’s one of the nice aspects of a shamanic view of this magnificent world. It’s easy to find once you find it. Rationality then falters.

“Please please me, oh yeah, like I please you” ~ Lennon and McCartney

Cougars purr, both the corporeal animal and the archetypal being. When I first moved to Taos I was convinced that I could approach and make contact with the gods that walk these mountains, mesas and prairies, and I could do it without the assistance of a human guide. Turns out I was right. Six months after my arrival I rode my mountain bike up into a high place of alpine splendor. As I was headed back down the steep road I was confronted with a pair of the magnificent big cats, a rare sighting, sweet in its appearance, and although dangerous it was one of the high points of this man’s life. Danger and beauty, when combined, rip the veils of modern complacency, exposing the true connection we share with a prodigious matrix of connectivity, Natures gift to all who sit within this circle of life. It is vastly more than a Disney movie in 3D.

The second time I met Cougar in Taos was during a Divine Matrix Reconnection session with the talented Raiden Leigh Knight. That session carried me out into the cosmos, out to a place where the scope of cosmic beauty is both terrifying and edifying. As I stood at the brink of eternity Cougar came and curled up around me, protecting me from any harm that I might add to the moment. Then the Divine Mother took us both in her shimmering hands and thrust us out into the center of it all. She is the One I know as Brigid, a Celtic goddess who acts to bring this unspeakable beauty down to Earth. The red fire of her hair intimated what all ies before us. That connection is with me still. Raiden has offered more and deeper connections, but I have enough for now. Having enough, of anything, is a good place to be.

Back to the break table at work . . . I was alone at that table, with the world before me, and it was lit up with the inner light of peace, a light that allows its glow out into open space, where we can smell it, feel it, see it, and, if we are lucky we can cherish it. If I were to tell my coworkers that I had a mystical experience for lunch I may be taking it a bit too far. I also had a salami sandwich, ‘Fiery Hot Cheetos’, and a pint of iced tea with ginseng. Nourishment comes in many guises.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Night Moves Toward Action

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“For a warrior, to be inaccessible means that he touches the world around him sparingly. And above all, he deliberately avoids exhausting himself and others. He doesn’t use and squeeze people until they have shriveled to nothing, especially the people he loves.” ~ Carlos Castenada

“Never mistake motion for action.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

Restless, I follow the cat out the door. She has her own door, cut out at the bottom of my door. In the 3 AM darkness I hunker down just outside of the door, just as I almost always do. It has nearly a ritual feel to it, this action. And 3 AM is my time to vibe in to the world. This morning I can hear a few dogs barking, and from the tone in their voices I sense that coyotes are afoot in the neighborhood. I saw one yesterday, a coyote. I was nearly home after a drive down to WalMart. As I was turning onto the road that leads to my house I saw an animal run across US 64, from left to right, and it ran up the fairly steep embankment, stopping near the top, looking in my direction. It could have been looking at anything but I felt it was looking directly at me. Such is magic; it often looks like some mundane activity or thing, yet it carries the weight of the light that begins to shine when it kicks in. In my pagan view light has weight, it has substance, and you can feel it, like a swatch of fine velvet drawn slowly across the brain. These moments feel brilliant, and they are.

Another part of this morning is that I heard what sounded to be the Taos Hum. It has been years since I’ve heard it. For me the only thing eerie about it is that it seems to have no discernible source. But as I was hunkering outside I heard that low sound like a diesel engine idling in the distance.

Just as I was finishing writing that last sentence I heard the soft call of a coyote. That seals it for me. Magic is here and I welcome its arrival. In all of the self-pity I’ve been scattering away lately, magic keeps its distance. I can’t blame it really. Depression, bipolar or not, nearly demands that other things, other forces, and other people leave the suffering mind alone. Mine is bipolar. Poor me. I have bipolar type 2 so I don’t get the intermittent euphoria that type 1 folks get. The benefit of even having a diagnosis of the disorder is the knowing that when things look darkest the proverbial dawn will come. It’s not so much a ‘dark night of the soul’,  its a twilight roller coaster of the mind. And I am of the opinion that people with this disorder somehow have an in with the magic, one that most people don’t have. Lucky me.

“I Am Walking Through The Silver Morning
And I Feel The Music Inside Me, Yeah
What Did I Find
Was It Peace Of Mind
Gonna Bring It Home To You” ~ Kenny Rankin

Speaking of luck, as luck would have it, I am again feeling around for her, the woman who at this point in my life is hypothetical. This is a hard concept to describe, but I do it anyway. She came to me several times, in the flesh, and the magic that I felt in all of those moments was profound. But I don’t know if it was her, or if I was simply feeling a more amorphous thing. Am I obsessing? Maybe. Obsession makes its way unimpeded until it runs smack into the wall of manifestation. That’s what I’m saying, k? That’s what I am ready for. The consequences could be sweet, baffling, or bland. I’m going for sweet. If you subscribe to the concept of quantum entanglement, which I do, there is a connection to future events that looks a lot like premonition. You can see the future because the future is there. If I truly see her there it means that the magic I felt in those few times that we shared bright smiles . . . well, it means it was real. Obsession goes by the wayside. If you dear readers would silently cheer me on I would be most grateful. I may be depressed but the clinical nature of these deep blues need not prevent me from finding love once more, in a life that is self-described as approaching the perfunctory level of unfeathered fear. I’d rather not be that way. It would be a disservice to her.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.