Cut Short

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“Still write it down, it might be read
Nothing’s better left unsaid
Only sometimes, still no doubt
It’s hard to see, it all works out”  ~  Procol Harum

The cat on my lap, pumping away on my leg, makes it hard to type, and I’ve only just begun to type. She was fighting me for a few moments, trying to push my left arm away from her efforts. This may not bode well for our feline friend. If she does not desist she will get boosted over to the bed. Harsh punishment, I know, but we simply must not give in to a bully. Never.

Yesterday I heard a rumor about myself. That hasn’t happened to me in quite some time. It made me wonder if maybe I should do something about the rumor, considering that it was not only not true it may have a negative effect on me, but then I realized that I already had done something, I had listened and told the messenger that it was not true. That should be enough, right? Maybe. We’ll see.


Shit, I just lost what would have been the next three very cool paragraphs of this post and the loss nearly brought me to tears. Guess it wasn’t meant to be. Very bad state of mind. Maybe tomorrow.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Refracted Light and High Beauty

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“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”  ~  Leonard Cohen, Anthem 

The Big Dipper is the main player in this morning’s dark sky. There is a paling of the stars as the first light of morning slides in on teflon wings. I’m barely into my second cup of coffee and it seems to be doing the trick. The workday awaits. Cats, cats, and more cats. I will serve them as best I can. They deserve it. So do I. Service work serves me well. It’s kind of a circular thing. Service all around. That said I must admit that I have been thinking a lot about the ex-wife. She’s long gone. Last time I saw her was about 22 years ago, at the library in Islamorada, Florida. I was perusing the new arrivals shelf, looking for something fresh to read, when I felt a strong presence. I turned to look, even though I rarely looked up from that shelf, and there she was. She laughed. At me? Probably not, probably just a cosmic coincidence reaction. She looked good, maybe a little heavier. But the light that I had known before was still there. My love was still there. I couldn’t read her at all. Our divorce happened over ten years before that chance meeting among the rows of books. Why did she laugh? My mind slung me back to when she gave the reason for our parting ways: she said that I was not who she thought I was. It was not a memory, that scene was as solid as a crystal chandelier, all refracted light and high beauty. Always remember the beauty. That’s what I say. I miss her, she of the hardcore feminist hippiedom realm. I flew there with her for a time. It was a thrilling ride, my friends. I’m not sure what that means to me now but I know for certain that her presence in my mind this morning, however clouded by confabulation it may be, is a purposeful presence. A muse. A dream walk into something bold and new. I’m nowhere near ready for boldness again, but maybe I can learn boldness from the cats I serve. They teach me magic. That I know. The magic of our love, the ex and I, fades not with the passing years. Come on up to Taos, Shannon, and I’ll buy you a beer. That’s the least I can do. I smile.

Beauty arises from sadness? Who knew. My introduction into the realm of love was forged in a feminist’s dream. She believed strongly in matriarchy, and so do I, but I don’t think it means what she thinks it means. And so on. I’ll get on to prepping for work as soon as I finish this post. A mist of tears will likely be riding the rim of my eyelids, but that ain’t no thing. I have depression and that alone can make me quiver with sadness. I have to face the illness contiguously(sic), and now that I think about it I realize that boldness is all that keeps me from giving in to the illness. Memories get twisted like tiny fiberoptic filaments into miniature roses that shimmer at the damnedest of times. The illness draws back, ears laid flat like a cat in a corner, and hisses at my boldness. It challenges my pluck and I brandish a tiny rose in my own defense. It is not the thorns that keep it at bay, it is the aroma. WTF how did I get so poetic so early in the morning?!  These feelings of light and love will have to ride in my pocket today. I’d like to think they will come in handy.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Where’s the Concierge?

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“Might we begin then to transform our passing illuminations into abiding light?” ~  Huston Smith

Forgive me if I slip into my old Noetic ways. I’m not saying it’s going to happen but the circumstances indicate that it might, could, whatever. That said I am tempted to grumble over my now empty coffee cup and the fact that there is no more so if I want some more I have to make some more. Where’s the concierge?

I’ve been reading, for 2.5 hours, mostly about inequities in the world. The biggest one I came across is the disparity of wealth in the USA. I mean, WTF. It looks like it, Wall Street and big banks,   .  .  .  well it is likely to reach critical mass soon. So will the predomination of bigotry. I’d rather things not go this way. Silly me. Doesn’t anyone see the innate stupidity of this plan? Workers in poverty, unable to get good health care, unable to influence the big picture in a healthy way, will  .  .  .  whatever can we do? The Noetic way is to work toward raising consciousness for all of society. Let’s start right now, k?

I am outright exhausted and am likely to go back to sleep before I wake up and go do laundry. Wash, rinse, and dry. The exhaustion comes from working to clean the cattery, all the while working to get cats adopted, to send them to their forever homes. Six cats went home yesterday, five last Saturday. It is a fulfilling feeling to accomplish this noble goal. Let’s just say that I need, umm, would really really like, a reward. I want pizza. Where’s the concierge? Please have him, her, whatever, text me. Well do lunch.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Serenity Surrounds

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Elvis the cat

“There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.”  ~  G. K. Chesterton

Our featured fella today is Elvis. No! Not that one. I was trying to get a good photo of him and he stuck his tongue out. But he’s not usually a rude guy. Elvis got adopted yesterday, along with Rhianna. Now there’s your tabloid story of the year – Elvis Hooks Up With Rhianna! 

The morning is graced with soft cold air, good coffee (of course) and a cat at my side. It’s been a long week. Tomorrow is my day off. Laundry then a lot of rest. The young dreamer and poet in me is checking out this thumped-up 60 year old body and is like all WTF and stuff and I’m like dude we are so in this together dude. This young dreamer is all about truth, beauty, science, and fantasy, and that fantasy is not the Republican variety. Good fantasy does no harm. Says me. I was just outside looking at the stars and thinking about my state of mind. It’s hard, this struggle. I’ve said it before, depression is not sadness. It is a feeling of powerlessness, deeply suppressed anger, and a shocking lack of hope. And yet I feel happy and content this morning. Shaky and furtive as well, but that goes with the turf. Oh oh oh oh, yeah, there’s the fear as well. Serenity surrounds and imbues me with its good buddy peace. That’s enough for me. That and 17 cats will make a sweetly adequate day for yours truly.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Confronting Hope

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“Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isn’t believing. It’s where belief stops, because it isn’t needed any more.”  ~  Terry Pratchett

It is sometimes difficult to find something fresh to write about, but only if I view each blog post as a separate entity. They most certainly are not. A lot of what goes on here at EyeYotee is silliness, but there is an underlying tone of mental health. Just what exactly is mental health? I’ll let you know just as soon as I find it. I could start whining here. It’s been a tough morning so far and I look forward to sunrise, and then work. I feel like I should be striving toward something but my motivation is tepid at best. The coffee didn’t help but it sure does taste good. It’s just one of those mornings, a fragmented thing containing many shiny things. Yup indeed, I feel depressed. I’ve taken it upon myself lately to begin a more impactful confrontation with this mental illness that tries to call me its own. That entails looking the beast in the eyes, which leads to opening myself to the cavernous hurt that is depression. And then there is the PTSD; always afraid, always anxious, always making generalizations about my state of mental health. It can be amusing but generally it is not. Am I making sense yet? Yesterday I discovered that my psychiatrist is a Harvard graduate. Who knew, right? But her impressive academic credentials obviously do not mean that I should have been better by now. I mean, come on now, this chronic illness may one day simply vanish, but I won’t count on it. Anyway, it was great to chat with her after the compulsories of the visit were done. It’s always good to be in that office where I can look hope in the eyes and urge it to hang around a little longer this time. So what I am doing about that these days is to make every effort to objectify the illness when it is screaming in my face with a force that simply continues in silence, in darkness, if ignored. Wish me luck. Thanks, yer a pal.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

 

 

Spirits of the St. James (Re-post from Pastures of Plenty)

I’ve come back from the other side – from the other side of the mountains, that is. My travels were predicated on two things. The first,  most banal, was the need to get away from the daily routine. As enchanting and seemingly unruly as Taos, New Mexico is, it is also prime proof of Hugh Everett Wheeler’s Many Worlds theory. As a home town Taos is one tough little nugget of a reality bubble. Indeed, here, the jealously protected coffers of freedom demand a narrowing of parameters in what you might call your ‘everyday stuff’. This place is artsy but it’s not liberal. The second thing that led me to travel, across the Rocky Mountains, for a two day stay in a tiny frontier town on the western edge of the Great Plains, was the ghosts of the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico. Taos and its nearby villages are teeming with ghosts, but it seems that angry ghosts rule the astral suburbs in these parts. Whereas the St. James is known for calmer spirits, the only angry one has a huge padlock on his door. I’m not clear on how that stops a ghost but the management of the hotel seem comfortable with the arrangement.
As I arrived at the St. James the rain was just beginning to fall. Some perky thunderstorms roiled into existence, so I just had to imagine that the thunder and lightning was part of the show, there to provide me with a spooky ambience as I checked into the old hotel on the Old Santa Fe Trail. After securing my room key I plodded out to the car on travel-weary legs to get my luggage. A second trip, down the creaking stairway allowed me to bring several bottles of cold ale up the the room. As I reached the front door of the hotel the third time I found that the place had gone dark. The power was off, I was soaked from the chilly rain and sleet, and the desk clerk was chuckling uneasily at the predicament. Climbing the stairs in wet rubber sandals took a level of grace that made me chuckle as well. Those stairs are spooky enough when the lights are on and you are wearing sensible shoes. Have a look at these things. Note the ghost orb that is jetting out from under the doorway opposite the stairs. 
My first hour in the hotel was vividly enhanced by the darkness, the rain, and the thunder. There were emergency lights but the overall place was dark. I even had thoughts of having to spend the night in a hotel without electricity. I would have done it, sure, but the creepy coincidence of having these conditions occur just as I arrived at the St. James had me wound up and lucid. Since I had purchased a bottle of old fashioned rye whisky I set it up on a little marble top table, with two shot glasses, one for me, and one for Mary Lambert. I was in Room #17, where Mary lived and died. That setup, with Mary’s table and the whiskey provided the second ghostly phenomenon, the only other photo to do so. Look at the chair on the right of the photo. Mary’s presence was strong in that room, and it felt intelligent. It is said that the staff of the hotel feel that the ghosts simply live there. Mary is considered to be a protector from any bad spirits that might intrude. Ouija Boards are prohibited in the place, for that very reason. But Mary’s protection afforded me with two nights’ sleep that is unmatched in my age-addled mind. What I mean is: I felt safe. Divine Feminine energy was in control of that place.
As for the reality of ghosts in the St. James. No doubt! I walked the hallway of the second floor at 3 AM, the second night I was there. I felt no malice. But I did feel I was walking among others, brushing shoulders with consciousness that had lost its corporeality. On my way back to my room I hesitated at the door of Room #18, where the ghost of T. J. Wright is said to jealously hold onto his room, where no humans are allowed. As I gazed at the crooked door I heard a low soft growl. So I went back to my room, did another shot of whiskey with Mary and said goodnight.
I plan to follow up on this adventure, to comment on what it means in this modern world, to have actual ghosts among us. I reckon they always have been. I will use more photos from the visit – I got some dandies. I never got to play Crazy 8’s with Jesse James, but I enjoyed the stay at the St. James, and I can empathize with the maids there who refuse to work upstairs, in the daytime, without a partner. The place is thick with spirits. T. J. Wright? I don’t think he is evil, just angry, and jealous. I get the impression that he would make a good CEO for a venture capital firm.

Hiking With Pan

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“Do not lose hope — what you seek will be found. Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn. Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.”    ~  Neil Gaiman

Slow start, coyotes and coffee. Coyotes and coffee are my favorite way to start the day. Yeah, yeah, I know, coyotes are vicious predators, but they ain’t got much of a choice as I see it. That’s a moot point if I ever saw one. Yesterday after work I took the liberty of taking a walk of about four miles out along the west rim trail, which starts at the rest stop by the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. I love it out there. The openness of the place is lovely, a balm to my PTSD ravaged mind, but it is the primal and ancient feel of the place that strikes me, deep and abiding, like an old friend with a really big heart. The pagan in me, who has a large say in how I see the world of today, sees the great god Pan out there, scouting the trail for signs of human life. It’s out there, he’s out there. Upon returning home I eventually came upon an online article about PTSD, a book excerpt actually, and the author hammered home a message that I should keep in my personal toolbox, along side the hammer, every friggin day, for the rest of my life, just in case I should ever need to do some hammerin’ for someone else’s benefit, or to simply remind myself to have a little self-forgiveness, self-compassion, and self-mercy. It’s like all dude s’up wit da denial stuff ain’t ya had ’bout a friggin nuff of the hurt? Listen, that inarticulate inner advocate of mine, the fella that commandeered that last sentence, has a valid point, and he said it in a way that covers a lot more ground than the words alone. I like it when that happens, don’t you? Now, I have an appointment with the pretty doctor lady, my psychiatrist, tomorrow. She’s the one who originally gave me the diagnosis of PTSD. I am forever grateful. This marks a grand conjunction for me – the article, the diagnosis, the great god Pan, and the pathetic fact that I have been denying this for far too long. Haven’t I? Yes. I live with this, for every minute of every day, and now I know that it’s mindfulness of the disorder that can help the most. Awareness is the butter on the toast. Add jam to taste. Perhaps the main thing that has underlined these troubles is the loss of the relationship that should have lasted for the remainder of my life. Big loss, huge. But that is in the past, as they say, be here now, move forward, it’s a brand new day. Whatever. Dammit. Whatever. So, why Pan? He represents the deep primal nature that is one thing that has not only escaped the ravages of PTSD, it has downright been a companion of inestimable value along the way. Valor is one thing and exhausted surrender is another. Pan knows both, and will help you with either one you happen to choose. It’s an old dance, a deep one.

Hey, I almost forgot, the fella in today’s opening photo is Garth, a ginger tabby male. We just moved him into the cattery yesterday. He’s been living in a wire cage in the Executive Director’s office. I personally carried Garth out of there. I’d like to think that I did him a favor. That aside, it’s that time again, but I have tomorrow off. The cats will get by without me, and I honestly don’t know if the staff really wants me there, like the cats do, but I choose to believe they do. I sometimes do optimism, but not always.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

 

A Matter of Perception?

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“Before I came here, I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture, I am still confused — but on a higher level.”   ~  Enrico Fermi

What better opening to this blog post than a quote from a physicist? I am quite fascinated with the new experiment, which will happen next week, in which scientists at the CERN center in Geneva will use their supercollider in an attempt to create a mini-black hole, and to maybe even connect with a parallel universe as a result. Is that cool or what. The thing is that I connect with parallel universes just by having to relate to people who’s approach to life, work, whatever, is so vastly different that we are not only not on the same page we are in different libraries altogether. Yesterday evening I ran into an old acquaintance who called me by the name of one of my bosses at the supermarket where I used to work. This threw me into a state of confusion. What was the guy thinking?! That boss was, and maybe still is, in one of those parallel universes I just mentioned. I hope he just got the name wrong. That’s all I’m saying here. I don’t want to be misunderstood, but I know that being misunderstood often can get you further than can clarity for all concerned, so maybe I’ll leave the anecdote open to all interpretations. There, that’s better.

There is an ongoing situation in my life that has me confused as to what to do. I know that in human relations it is best, in such situations, to try and find common ground, but in this case that option seems to be impossible, or highly unlikely. Nothing is impossible, right? Thus my confusion. So I wait. If I wait too long the hammer may come down. Yet if I make a move to break the ice I may be construed as misusing a hammer. I’ll figure it out. Hopefully in time. In situations such as this I must always consider that my view is maybe a misperception brought on my the mental illnesses I sometimes write about here at EyeYotee. At times I do not even trust my perception at all. Sigh. I am smack in the middle of a conundrum. Wish me luck. Thanks, yer a pal.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

A Shift in Outlook

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“This time to the sky I’ll sing if clouds don’t hear me
To the sun I’ll cry and even if I’m blinded
I’ll try moon gazer because with you I’m stronger”
~  Steve Winwood

Loud and clear, my ears are ringing in a large way. I just finished my morning coffee spree. The cat is at my side. This is my morning. Well, not all of it. Earlier I was reading at disinfo.com where I came across a clip from a film that had a major influence on my life: My Dinner with Andre. It is an odd film where Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory have a conversation over dinner. The conversation drifts of into many New Age places. The major underlying theme is in reference to what it means to unplug from the mechanical deem of the masses. I saw the film in Manhattan during it’s premier showing, at a theater that showed the film for a full year. I was visiting Lisa Gladstone, a friend who had lived in the Keys for a time, and we worked together at the dockside bar at Smuggler’s Cove. Lisa had moved back to New York City, to her home town in Washington Heights. It was Lise who treated me to the film. Our trip there took me through the NYC subway system, a place that haunts me to this day. Back then, in 1981, the trains were still plastered with graffiti. Lisa fell asleep during the film while I sat there entranced while the message of the movie burned my brain into a state of mind that shifted my outlook on life in a big way. When the film was over, as we exited the theater, it was 2 AM, and Lisa casually mentioned that the Dakota apartments, where John Lennon was assassinated, was just a  few blocks away. I insisted that we go there, and I ended up standing on the spot of the murder, praying for Brother John. Here is a link to a youtube complete video of the film. I highly recommend it. And now I’m signing off because I am out of time. As for the murder and the film, I will be in a reflective state today, all day.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Shapeshifter’s Dance

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“On one side of the divide was the luminous memory of celestial wonder, so close, yet untouchable from this material world. That side was the place where the being who could only be a goddess dwelled, an embodiment of light and intelligence, resplendent in both heart and mind. As an elective savior, she had helped me walk back into a life that had reached the borderlands of dissolution. I did not think of her as Brigid in those days, but my reading had indeed revealed to me that the timing of the bike accident had concurred with her day, which was called Candlemas by the Catholic Church, and Imbolc according to old pagan traditions. For me it remained “the day the music died”. But there was no denying the bright one, nor her laughter and love. The evidence was clear: I had nearly died on her day and she was the one who was there to save me.”  ~  Ken Ebert, Theater of Clouds

Nine hours of sleep last night, which is rare for me, have me in a strangely beautiful state of mind, a place of sweet peace, a distant rhythm called home, and lingering fragments of dreams are having their way with me. The quote above is mine, but this is not my random shameless self-promotion post, although you can go look if you like. I sometimes think of how many people have read my book without any feedback coming my way, I know the book is intensely personal, and that can be uncomfortable for some. I cherish the feedback that I do get but it is not necessary. And so it goes. As I was driving home last evening after work a friend who recently passed away popped into my head. I immediately laughed out loud and greeted her spirit, as if she was really with me. In my worldview she was very much with me, but I respect more rational worldviews that are not convinced of the afterlife, nor even particularly prone to believing that NDEs are real journeys, and that we NDEers have been there done that. Regardless, my NDE changed me in unspeakable ways, and although I came out of it with some world-class chronic anxiety, instead of the constant Love and Light gift that other experiencers receive, I am fully cognizant that the unspeakable is just that: unspeakable. Who knows why anxiety became my gift, at least I try to see it as a gift.

I’ve been putting off a trip to the laundromat for several hours now. I’d better get to it. It’s all a celestial journey for me today. And my coffee is all gone. The mundane world is a source of wonder just as it is a draggy place at times. That’s cool. Today I don’t mind either way. Some may say that I am living in the Now. Nah, yeah maybe. It’s a dream. That’s what I say. If I allow the dream to go on unhindered I forfeit the shapeshifter’s dance. Shaping is an art, a gift really, expressed through ancient Celtic spiritual lore. We can change things, mold things, and that still small voice that rings softly within the Now can be experienced from the self as easily, maybe even more so, than in the heart of Now. Says me.

“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self.”  ~  Eben Alexander

Oh shit. What if Eben is right? Hey! Didn’t I say I was going to do my laundry? I’d better take that opportunity to avoid this spiritual dispute. My ego is a stubborn little sucker. And he needs clean clothes. Who can blame him, right?

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously, k?