Got Dizzy?

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“Dizzy used to tell me that I am playing too hard. He used to say to not give everything. Miles used to tell me that too.” ~ Freddie Hubbard

Let’s all overcome a potentially debilitating challenge today, k? Don’t leave me alone with this. Just don’t. Everyone needs peers. Even me, Mister . . . ummm, what was that word? Never mind.

My habitual early morning step outside the apartment (if you can call it an apartment. It’s really just a room) provided me with a moment of magical intensity. You see, I step outside when I first wake up, usually about 3:33 AM. Sitting in a sloppy Lotus position, on the wooden deck outside my door, I heard a horse whinny in the distance. I’ve not heard any horses around here before, so the novelty of the moment snapped my attention and my eyes toward the source direction, and exactly as my eyes locked in position a tiny and fast moving falling star graced the sky, on down to the western horizon. I love things like that! I was a science buff as a kid, especially astronomy. When I turned 50 years old I ceased to be a kid. On the threshold of 60 I am going back. The other way hurt too much, and there were no horses.

Our opening photo, in today’s EyeYotee blog post, is of the most remarkable cat I have ever known: Dizzy. You armchair animal activist? Feel free to focus on the bars of the cage. The auto-focus mode, on my Canon Power Shot SX150IS, focused on the cage bars rather than the cat, which is no surprise since the friggin rascally cat almost never stands still. Dude rocks, makes Eddie Van Halen look like a tortoise. Dizzy, as a young and tiny kitten, suffered the amoebic abuse of toxoplasmosis. Other kinds of abuse at the shelter are essentially apocryphal. Our staff veterinarian examined the kitten almost immediately. We found Dizzy (who was named before the onset of the illness), one day, with his head all tilted to the left, and obviously in a state of acute distress. Doc’s treatment was applied and the cat got better, rather quickly to boot, but the disease left him with what seems to be a chronic tilt of the head, and if my theory is correct he also was left with an acute case of comic ADHD. He’s kinda the Robin Williams of the cat world. I bow in praise to the spirit of the great Mr. Williams. He is missed. He is loved.

Is this a sales pitch toward the adoption of this dynamo of a cat, this juggernaut of a cat? Duh. Come on over and have a look at the rascal. If he doesn’t commandeer your heart you likely ain’t got one. I know several of my regular readers don’t live in Taos. I’m so sorry you can’t see him. I really, really am. And the fella who lives in Australia? Chris, I miss seeing your blip on my blog stats page.

My usual red-eyed bleary-eyed early morning state predominates today. I don’t mind. I’m trying to cultivate myself to expand that not minding thing to other aspects of my life. Personal growth doesn’t stop at 60. At least I hope it doesn’t. I’ll see. It’s less than a month away. Instead of quaking in my boots I am lounging in my ragged old sandals. But that’s just me. No biggie, k? This sort of attitude will likely pass unnoticed a qui en Taos simply because it ain’t all that unusual.

I know that this here EyeYotee blog sometimes drifts toward seriousness, even to the point of moroseness at times, but today I am using humor to calm the edges from the mental illness that has been hounding me for the past few months. I’m clinical and I ain’t ashamed to admit it. Bipolar disorder is not uncommon in America, nor anywhere else. I’m pretty sure that anxiety is simply a condition exacerbated by society its own self. But this bipolar thing goes deeper than that. 2.6% of the adult population in this country alone suffer from bipolar disorder. 82.9% of us are classified as severe. Let’s call it emotional dizziness. Just for today. I’d like to feel the joy that Dizzy the cat displays on a regular basis. Wish me luck.

I have to head off to my gainful employment and service work at the animal shelter in just over two hours, so I am going to post this and get on to psyching myself up for today’s gig. Once I get into the presence of cats and dogs my fear of being out in public shall abate. You can take that to the bank. Oh! And while you are at the bank pull out a little cash and hand it over to Stray Hearts animal shelter. Tell ’em Ken sent you. And while you are there let me show what Dizzy is like. He’s always good for a laugh.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously, k?

 

 

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Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

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I hear the footsteps of one of twelve chickens, passing across the gravel beneath the window that looks out beyond the iMac, and I am wondering why the term “Hedge Fund” sounds like the price of a ticket on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. That’s where my head is at this morning. Is it nonsense?  I’m sorry to say that I am short on words this morning, but I’m not sorry to say that I am sorry to say that. It is what it is, no?

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Asters and Timelessness

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“If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but deteriorate the cat.” ~ Mark Twain

Once again the coffee is good. Eight O’Clock French Roast. I am pleased. For some strange reason I am sitting here wondering why I am a creature instead of a star. I love that concept but I am also aware that it might stir up some WTFs when it is let outside of my mind to play. Whatever. And . . . our opening photo today is a software processed version of one of my photos portrayed as imitated Impressionism.  I’ll attribute it to Emile Bernhard, although he did not create it. A librarian where I used to live, in Islamorada, Florida, said that I looked like Bernhard. This was 25 years ago, and this was the painting that made her think so. The guy in the foreground is Paul Gauguin – it is his self-portrait. Bernhard is the guy on the wall:

Oh, Asters. Our opening photo is of asters. They were my mom’s favorite flower; wild asters. Asters are one of the features of late summer in these parts. Asters let sunflowers lead the way then come in with the allergen-laden chamisa blossoms. Both chamisa and sunflowers are yellow. The asters are violet. Look at the color wheel, like the one painters sometimes use, and you’ll notice that yellow and violet are opposites. I guess that opposites can sometimes get along? Vast arrays of violet and yellow blossoms create broad gestural strokes across the landscape of this northern high desert valley. That’s what I’m sayin’ – communion.

I watched a movie yesterday evening. I don’t have a TV or a DVD player so I slipped it into my Mac and was subsequently slung into the vast realms of wonder. Hyperbole is appropriate here; the movie blew my mind. The movie is “Winter’s Tale”, based on the book by the same name, written by Mark Helprin. I read the book back in 1983, the same year it was published. It entered my personal favorites list. This was just before my NDE, so I entered the NDE vision with the fresh taste of wonder, adventure, and true star cast love. The crux of the story, both book and movie, is that we are each born with a miracle, which is to be delivered to the one to whom the miracle is meant for. I recommend the movie to anyone who likes a good fantasy, fairy tale story, especially one that is set in New York City. The visuals are incredible. The cast live their roles: Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, William Hurt, Jessica Brown Findlay, Will Smith. Wow.

It’s cats today at work. Whatever it is about cats, whatever they do for me by just being there, it is balm for my soul, which has been singed a tad too much in the inconclusive past. Poor me. In writing, I sit here with rushes of anxiety, or life force, flashing within my body. Yeah, I know, the coffee doesn’t help. In theory. But it does! It serves a purpose much like Ritalin, easing the friggin annoying speed my mind adopts in reaction to the anxiety. My task is to attempt to prevent my mind from jumping to conclusions, especially when those conclusions lead to adamancy, to blossoming ignorance, or anything other quality that sticks a wrench into the works. If I am ever to achieve peace, replete with a form of honesty that I can live with, I’ll have to settle for the version of peace that I now have. Peace and love are old hippie platitudes. They aren’t for sure platitudes. Not even close. But them hippies did adopt them as way cool far out foundational given. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. They did.

Rosie the cat is lounging on my lap right now. It is as if she knows that I am going into the thick aggregation of feline love at the shelter. Her spirit whispers to mine, this is how it goes; remember this. I like a cat that gives good advice. By going to my job as a caregiver for cats in an animal shelter I am blessed. The pay ain’t great. It’s the service aspect that draws me forth from my hermitage, five days a week. Sure, there is the cloud of controversy that lays smack upon the Stray Hearts shelter. I get riled at times. Justice is not served by shots across the bow. Nor is it served by taking a bow. Sometimes the animals slip a tad, as the quicksand of human politics slurps beneath them, threatening. I could even play off of an old Pink Floyd lyric: ‘Teacher, leave them cats alone!’. Doh!

I stepped outside after the last paragraph. The morning is fresh, even if the air is dry, and the moon is a smile within the sky. I got to thinking about my old and dear friend, Lady Di. Not the one you’re thinking of. A guy was hitting on Di one night at the bar where I worked. He asked her, “Why do they call you Lady Di”. Di gave the fella her best smile and said, “Because I carry a dagger”. Not long after my official diagnosis of depression Di and I were sitting, deep in conversation, at the bar. We came to concur that depressive folks might well have an advantage over those who are not depressive. Di said that depressives lack the filters that keep non-depressives in the dark about certain aspects of human experience, distasteful aspects that mar, if viewed honestly, a perfectly good storyline, which is perfect only if cloistered from objectivity. Nice theory, that. Di was bipolar. I told people I was. Di had a diagnosis, while I had an assumption. My assumption turned out to be correct. Di had passed up a scholarship to MIT, in applied mathematics, to follow the Grateful Dead. Our love for each other was real, so it gave us a clarity about each other that sang praise to the efficacy of existence. One night I was sitting at that same bar, deep in conversation with the true love of my life, Lori. Lori was all squirmy and stuff about our age difference, a life’s slice of 17 years that made her youth seem to be irrelevant. I was rarely shy about my feelings toward her. I’d found my true love, and in all honesty I could not ignore it, nor could I hold back at the behest of conventional mores. After Lori left, that night, Di came over to me and immediately said, “You two were bathed in an aura of pink light. The light of love. I don’t know how she can deny that”. A few years later, Lori died in a second fatal car crash. I say second because the first one should have killed her. It was a miracle that she lived through it. The second crash nailed her. But I gained a lot of traction after the first.

The time has come for me to prep for work. Cats, cats, cats. It is all about the animals. Palpable love is pervasive there at the shelter. The previous paragraph nudges me gently then bids me to ask why Lori left me by ending her life on a highway. I’ll get back to ya on that. I ain’t rightly figured it out, and iffin I do get a definitive, objective answer then I will know that I have missed it, missed the very heart of the whole love story. Timelessness, don’tcha know. Love is like that.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Monday, Monday

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“Subjectivity-1: “Experienced interiority.” In the first case, subjectivity means, essentially, a capacity for feeling that is intrinsic, or interior, to the entity under consideration-a what-it-feels-like-from-within. The key notion here is “experienced interiority” as distinct from vacuous (i.e., without experience) external relations. A subject is constituted by internal relations, and these are felt or experienced. Without experience there could be no subjectivity (and vice versa; in fact, the two words are virtually synonymous); and experience is always internal or intrinsic to the subject-that is to say, experience doesn’t “happen to” a subject, it is constitutive of the subject.” ~ Christian de Quincey

Good morning, y’all. And a good morning it is, but I cannot prove it. Nobody can. In my neighborhood nobody wants to. Anyway, my cat is very happy to have me back home after a three day house sitting gig. I face a Monday morning sunrise which will likely see me going back to sleep for a while or more. The more important aspects of life lie yonder where I will not look at them today. A lot of those aspects, frankly, piss me off. I wallow in the pitiful pool of subjectivity. Go figure. The objective world out yonder will have no chance at getting it’s talons into me today.

Today’s photo is of Cooper, an Anatolian shepherd mix who plies his regal bearing simply because that is what he does. That he lives in a shelter does not seem to phase him much. Those of us humans who instead work in a shelter may or may not feel and act the same way. I could go on with a soft analysis of the comparison between real . . .   I really don’t want to, k? What’s the friggin use. What I am on about here, this morning, is that I am still peeved about two women recently telling me that my writing is infected with the subjective instead of being exalted with the objective. Uh huh. And . . . ? That simply baffles me and it always will.

Well, it’s a beautiful morning, so I think I’ll take a nap. This is my day off from work. I need sleep. I will do so because I can. I see the Light and it guides me.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

 

The Lay Mystic Speaks

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The filter is dense and intractable this morning, but not without perks. Stepping outside when I first woke up, at 4AM, I was honored by the intense proximity of many coyotes. Because of the fluff from a head cold my brain was already on standby when the wild animals went all exuberant on me. They were no more than 30 yards away. I got nervous for a brief moment then let that cautionary feeling go, and just sat. That’s right. You read me right. I went all Zen and stuff with a close-knit pack of exuberent coyotes within striking range. Who wouldn’t?! This house out on open mesa land is a far cry from my own place of safety, yet it is only a mile away. As a lay mystic I cherish such moments. They are serendipitous moments, moments not sought, yet welcomed in the grand spirit of reunion. The opening photo is of two sets of divergent tracks in the snow, one mine and the other some coyote or other. When Coyote the Trickster comes to visit magic is afoot in the land, and it’s Trickster guise predominates. And all is well.

I must go back home tonight after work, to my cat and my messy room. This hiatus in a clean and mostly organized house has been a boggler of major proportions for my weary mind. Summer is in process of biting the dust and the snow of winter calls my name. I’m down again, a sense of what I lost by letting my own behavior truncate a relationship has called depression back. The new day awaits.

Peace out, y’ll. Goof gloriously.

 

 

Cold Morning Blues

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I’m pretty sure I’ve used this photo before, which would serve to indicate that I’ve felt . . . Ummm, lost my train of thought, right out of the gate. It’s gonna hafta do. Day two of house sitting and I awoke to the first full-blown head and chest cold in memory. It reminds me of childhood, but that is way too Freudian for me right now. It now approaches one year since the breakup that tore me asunder from this home. Since then I’ve been propped up and put-off on a continuous basis. To seek long continuance of this state may not be too wise. There are always coyote songs in the background of my day. They play, on a real basis, right now, within a moisty low overcast of a morning. It is not yet light. The temperature is 47F. My mind has been all over the field already today. I don’t expect it will stop soon.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Sitter

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Here we we go again, another day another blog. How does that happen? I keep going, it’s as simple as that. House-sitting for my ex is proving to, again, be challenging. I lived here for over six years. I have memories, and I realize that choosing the positive over the negative is basically a knucklehead kind of thing to do.  Oh! Did I mention that I am house-sitting for my ex? Yup. How’s it going?  It’s a rocky road. Am I contemplating the prospect of reconciliation then reunion? Yup. Is that realistic? Likely not. Am I asking too many questions? Who wouldn’t?

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Out of the Blue

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“The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency — the belief that the here and now is all there is.”  ~ Alan Bloom; The Closing of the American Mind

Hunkered down alongside of the cage where we are observing Clinton, a beautiful silver gray cat, I have a moment where I reach over and grab hold of the wires of the cage. I’d felt unsteady. Why? The cage is fairly spacious, as if you can call any cage holding animals away from their freedom ‘spacious’. Only one other cat is in the cage with Clinton, a pure black cat named Tammy. She’s a scrawny one, small for an adult cat, and her demeanor shows skittishness, along with the craving for attention and affection that overrides her instinctual urge to draw back and away. She doesn’t seem adoptable to me, too bland, too ordinary, but you never know. I don’t even know if she is spayed or not, but we have no veterinarian these days, his tenure having been torn away rather forcefully by a group of people who seem to think he is some kind of minor monster, so Tammy’s adoptability is even more so in question. My attention is not on Tammy. She is merely a minor feature of the moment. Clinton is being observed, a volunteer, an RN from the Coumadin clinic at the hospital, is also part of the moment, and she is plying a sales pitch for Clinton, I having dropped the ball and am remaining in a silence marked by the sudden and snapping call of mystery.

The woman who hunkers beside me is providing the symbolic snap. Blond, dark blue eyes, somewhere in her late 40s, maybe early 50s, and I’ve been rendered speechless, still not actually knowing what’s come over me. In my momentary ignorance I steal glance after glance, instinctual attention swirls throughout my body, energy envelopes me as well, and the archtypal mystery of sacrifice, death, and rebirth grows stronger, like an impatient clock ticking off before the soon to come arrival of longing, thus realization is also a stranger to the tableau vivant that we five inhabit. The stillness is mine. Inner peace has become a bother. This woman has thrown enchantment my way. She’s pretty, maybe even beautiful. I can’t bring myself to replace the glances with a fresh gaze. We both rise to go on to look at other cats. At the tenuous border of breathlessness my heart rate jumps a few notch’s. ‘Smitten’ is not the right word. We go on with the walk-through and I get several chances to gaze into that intense, nearly indigo gaze that locks in with mine. Such moments as these put aside the here and now. Such moments as these borrow richly from the archetypal realm. I hope to see her again. As I sit here writing out a story of the encounter I don’t know if I will see her again. Two days have passed. She said she’d be back. Today? I sigh then go for another cup of coffee.

That cup of coffee sent me outside to look at the waning moon. The moon was full when it happened. As we parted ways in the lobby of the animal shelter our eyes locked for one brief moment. There were only eyes and souls. I don’t know if she felt that as well, but that was the moment when I saw how rich the blueness of her eyes really was. And now I tend to my coffee. That woman busted open a harsh shell sculpted from attitude alone. I’ve not been far-seeing for a long time now. The future has been gray. But something has shifted in me, phased left or right, and I can see, clear skies have returned. This is my blog. This personal story, in its transparency and vulnerability, is my choice to share. I’m not saying that any more will come from this one encounter. I may never see her again. The point is that I want to emphasize that change can come out of the blue. That’s what I’m sayin’.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

“I can see clearly now the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Here’s the rainbow I’ve been praying for.
It’s gonna be a bright (bright) bright (bright) sunshinin’ day.” ~ Jimmy Cliff

 

Becalmed and Open

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“There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Day off. Sweet. Y’all come back now y’hear.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

That Autumn Feeling

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“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.” ~ John Donne

Beyond doubt, autumn is my favorite season, and it is coming in on the wind this morning, bringing a smile with it, to calm my heebie-jeebies.  Chronic anxiety is my game of late, giving me a continuity that seems to run contrary to grace, but I know it doesn’t. I don’t aspire to grace but I know its gifting ways. Patience is the same way. It gives, providing treasures at a moment’s notice. This morning is a tad warmer than in recent days, yet there is a coolness that has not been here until today. Sitting on the cast iron chair outside, just a while ago, I felt this new airy feeling as the wind caressed my bare feet. Calm down, child. I’m only now learning to do so, a task that I have been performing for years, and too many times at that. A good, nourishing sigh is in order. My literary pretensions wither, giving rise to a poetic bent, which I hope will do the trick, because the trick is in the eyes of peace. With that I must gaze, and hold that gaze each and every day. Can I do it? I’ll get back to you on that.

I’ve been writing lately about the ongoing controversy at the Stray Hearts Animal Shelter, where I am employed as a caregiver to cats. The odd thing, at least to me, is that these controversy-laden posts get more attention than the other kind, more readers, more page views. I enjoy looking at the stats my blog provides. Someone is reading, listening. Surely some of these someones are opponents of my viewpoint. I don’t mind that. Especially in autumn. Ruffled feathers give way to rustling leaves, and the bright colors they carry about on the wind. Granted, there is a pensive air to my words today. I am feeling that weariness that comes from waiting for the times to change from my old ways into something that fits a little more snug. All else is loose from wear.

That’s about it for this morning. This post seems sparse to me, yet thick with the subjective nature that my recent opponents so readily disdain. Without subjectivity we would not even begin to know how it feels to be here. What kind of life is that? Even if we have to lie about it. Our feelings come first, like butter to jam. My heavy, puffy eyes see well enough this morning, and my inner vision is intact. Yes, I’ve seen recently that which looks like injustice and tomfoolery to me. Maybe it’s just me? Why do you care what other people think? I’m smiling.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously, k?