Two Mysterious Strangers

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But, all the towns and people seem to fade into a bad dream
And the steel rail still ain’t heard the news
The conductor sings his songs again, the passengers will please refrain
This train got the disappearing railroad blues  ~  Steve Goodman

The recent, days ago, Amtrak railroad crash will haunt me, probably throughout the rest of my life. I’ve racked up literally thousands of miles, far more than 10,000, on Amtrak. Each and every second fed my heart and soul with the vivid beauty of the countryside and cities of this country. This deadly crash, with seven people dead and and more than 200 injured, was followed the very next day with an attempt by House Republicans to further cut subsidies for Amtrak. I know from talking to countless Amtrak workers as we rode the rails, me spending money and they earning their living. They all, with no dissenters, expressed dismay at the sometime looming prospect of losing their jobs because of funding cuts. Of course this issue put me in the WTF continuum. I love train travel. There is nothing like it. I’ve ridden on the route where the tragic crash happened, maybe 5-6 times. It gives me chills. The scenery from Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station on into New Jersey was one of my favorites. That crash happened on that stretch. It gives me chills. What if.

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One of the strangest things, one of the most haunting things, I’ve ever in my whole life seen was on the Southwest Chief westbound from Chicago to Lamy, New Mexico. It was at the Garden City, Kansas stop where early in the morning you can detrain and get a Coke and candy-coated peanuts, maybe a newspaper, and you can have a smoke if you want. As I stood waiting to step down the metal stairs out onto the station platform the guy in front of me caught my attention. It was partly his outfit but the vibes this guy was emanating were dazzling. I kind of gasped. I reckoned from scoping him out that he was from a wealthy family, traveling on trust fund money, doing the Horace Greeley thing 160 years late – go west young man. Now about that outfit. I mean WTF. The garments and accouterments all appeared to be spanking brand new. The hat was vintage Clint Eastwood from his spaghetti western days. Black. His hair, black. His calf-length wool overcoat, black. Goatskin gloves, black. Backpack, black. Nikes, black. I had a flash of feeling that this guy was some sort of Dark Angel come to scope me out, to make sure that my Lightworker proclivities at the time were not interfering with the grand schemes of the Dark Side. Shivering slightly I noticed an object in a pouch on his black backpack, a paperback book. A fat one too. Aha! The title on the cover was showing in full: The Complete works of Ayn Rand. My shivers shifted into overdrive. Ayn Rand . . . Trains . . The disappearing railroad blues . . . westbound dark stranger . . . infrastructure gone ragged . . . Rand fans in Congress cutting funding to railways . . . that stranger on the train kinda sorta pushed me out of time for a few moments . . . this is it . . . just let go. I got some those peanuts when that guy got out of my way and let me step onto the platform.

“I stepped out on the platform/ the man gave me the news/ He said you must be joking son/ Where did you get those shoes?!”  ~  Steely Dan

I dramatized that anecdote only in tone. It really happened to me. This was before the big media and political presence of Ayn Rand began. I have no idea what it means. What does it all mean? Please, someone, tell me. Sheee enough of this silliness. I can hear an adamant magpie out in the yard. It seems he thinks he’s a crow. That’s a waste of his vocabulary, in my opinion. In my totem worldview Magpie speaks of things hidden. Let’s see –  how does that relate to my life? I know of one potential area where things moving in the shadows may be looking at me. Let ’em look. I do pretty good out in the shadows too, but I’m not going there today. The past three days have been enough. Maybe I will do the Lightworker thing today. I had a young woman bathe me in Lightworker craft yesterday. She’s a manager at the new convenience store just south of here about four miles. I was purchasing two pints of ale, and maybe I looked a tad dour. It’s been that way lately. She’s somewhere around 30, quite beautiful in a homespun way. I find her to be quite attractive, but I was not looking at her, instead my focus was on the credit card machine. As I looked down she launched into a soliloquy – she was on a mission for the day, said she. She was singlehandedly going to brighten the world by lifting the spirits of folks with sad face, grumpy faces. I didn’t notice at first that she was referring to me. Transaction over, pleasantries achieved, I turned to exit the store but my membership tag for the store’s bonus point program called me back. The young woman was right back there too. I’d won a free item. She was as excited as I was. Boy howdy, free 24 ounce hot coffee or free 44 once fountain drink. She was right back on it. “You can drop by in the morning to see me about that hot coffee, if you want, or if it’s a hot afternoon you can drop in for a cold one. Heck you can use it right now, hon”. Her smile was precious. “But the coupon is only good for 30 days, sweetie. So make sure to use it soon, hon”. I was just turning to head on out when I decided to have one more of her smiles. She’d walked over to the other checkout spot. I was right there. No smiles at first. Our eyes met, then our gazes locked. Soul to soul, and not in a romantic way. She’s half my age. I mean really? Anyway, that mutual timeless gaze was Lightworker stuff. She was very good at it and I’d told her so back when I was involved with the credit card machine. To look, to really look freely into another’s eyes, a stranger’s eyes, is Lightworker stuff. The eyes are the window to the soul, right? Right. In addition to the soul stuff I noted that her eyes quite resembled Anne Hathaway’s eyes. Same level of rich beauty. I took my ale and headed out. As I reached to open the door she called out, “Remember, sweetie, you’ve only got 30 days. Remember to come back, babe”. It was the babe thing that sealed it for me.

Two anecdotes in one morning’s post. I’m impressed. Good on me. I feel pretty good about it. Nuff said for now.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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Caramelized Information

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“The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.”  ~  Thomas Merton

There’s a lovely cloud show going on over by the big mountain. It’s beyond my powers of description so I won’t bother. This attitude won’t get me very far in creative writing class so I’d best not go. Have another sip of coffee, which goes down good on this morning moist from an overnight rain event, and contemplate where to head with this morning’s post – Taylor Swift? The mysteries of consciousness? Whatever. The body aches this morning are persistent and profound. I had a conversation with a friend recently and this friend also experiences depression, as do I. We spoke of these aches, which I call phantom aches, and we agreed that nobody can understand who hasn’t been there. We discussed other aspects of depression as well, but it is the aches that I am on about this morning. Not that I shall go on about them, because I shan’t. It hurts. Poor me. Ibuprofen, duh.

I went to inquire about partial unemployment yesterday. We’ll see. I had a very nice conversation with the sweet and pretty young woman who does that sort of thing in that office. It occurs to me, this morning, that I felt that when sitting in a cubicle with someone who doesn’t get to leave, and you know you get to leave soon, you are somehow obligated to entertain them before you go. Maybe something from my childhood? I mean, I am in therapy. Why do I feel it is necessary to do that? Mutual humanity? Boy howdy that is it! A revelation like that is vivid balm for a mind wracked by the seemingly boundless numbers of conundrums so generously offered by human interactions. For the past few months confabulation has been one my favorite puzzles. We all do it on occasion, so don’t even start with me, k? To me the definition of the word, as used in psychology, is basically I don’t remember that so I will remember this instead. Of course it is a subconscious process so it is unrecognizable until after the fact. In fact it requires a fact before it can have any meaning whatsoever. By it’s very definition  .  .  .  oh never mind. I’d better stop that before I hurt myself. Silly man. Now, if folks would just keep their confabulations still it might be one thing, but a confabulation in flux is  .  .  .  STOP! Sigh. I’m a storyteller. Forgive me. Delving into the craft of storytelling always hurts my brain. Just write? Just right.

It’s laundry day once again. After that I am not sure I shall do anything of note. Veg out binge-watching Star Trek Voyager again? It’s a thought. The mini-bout of depression I had yesterday kicked me two steps this side of useless. A potential new life change popped into my consciousness a few days ago, like a Jack-in-the-box, thumb to nose, fingers wagging in the winds of change, then bounding off like a fox, giggling like a child over a silly joke, calling out gaily “Just kidding!”. I hate it when that happens. And then I became annoyingly haunted by the memory of Whoopee Goldberg as Guinan in Star Trek Next Generation. The Enterprise had somehow been slurped into some alternate timeline, universe, reality, whatever, where it was all war and stuff instead of the valorous exploration and peace emissary stuff they usually do. Whoopee/Guinan, in her noble role as intimate counselor to Captain Jean Luc Picard, can see through the alternatives of the whole deal, she knows that the war they are immersed in is not business as usual. At one point, when straits turn dour, she goes to the Captain and says, “Jean Luc, it doesn’t have to be this way”, so they go back to where peeps weren’t  fighting so much. I’m seeing that in my life these days. That might explain my fascination with confabulation. It seems to me that feeling stuck in one version of reality is basically a confabulation of rather immense proportions. (It doesn’t have to be this way. Jean Luc? Dude?! Wake the fuck up dude!!!) And I am not the kind of guy who goes around making up something new, working from a memory I just can’t trust, so I kinda sorta hafta rely on that Jack-in-the-box fella, as annoying as he is. He is of course the Trickster of lore and mythos. But he was just the messenger. The message was a smile, with caramelized information, and drizzled with an attaboy glaze. All of this, all this seeing through the stodgy veil of a narrow life, is academic at best. That’s what has me a tad riled. So I gaze beyond the academic viewpoint, on into mythos and places beyond, and suddenly I find myself scruffed like a cat, in the hand of some goddess or other, and she has me up in her face, whispering with ambrosia scented breath, “Wake the fuck up dude. Don’t make me come down there”.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

To Heaven and Back

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“It may help us, in those times of trouble, to remember that love is not only about relationship, it is also an affair of the soul.”   ~  Thomas Moore

Sadness enfolds some truly awesome currents. Saying it contains the currents seems an inaccurate expression to me. Maybe I’m just cranky? From my perspective, that which moves is the interesting part. It’s not that it intimates eventual progress, or freedom from sadness, it is that movement is life. If all of those friggin light-chasers ever succeed in banishing darkness you’re going to find yourself in a well-lit hall of statues. Not that you wouldn’t look good as a statue. Who wouldn’t.

My aren’t we obscure this morning. Deeply sad I am. My current (there’s that word again!) life situation has me bantering around a hefty blob of sadness, and if life were a badminton game I would be shit out of luck. Who wants to play with something called a shuttlecock anyway. Sadness is a sign that we need to slow down. Says me. Another thing I’ve noticed about sadness this morning is that it conjures up allusions. It’s like hey dude do you remember dude like when Lori died dude and you got all messed up and sad and stuff dude? And I’m like yeah, I find myself thinking about Lori today. What’s up with that? I miss her sorely, and I find myself, after all these years, still handling illusions like fragile glass ornaments, admiring the shine, hoping I don’t drop them. Lori died about 20 years ago, nasty car crash on the Interstate in West-central Florida. She died before we could work out the conceptual differences that stood in the way of our stepping fully into a more intimate relationship. The love was there and our souls danced together from the git go. A rose-colored aura enfolded us when we were together. We played a lot of pinball as well, staying up until 3 AM in a smokey pub, smoking ourselves, and drinking beer, and bantering in sparkles, intellectual and deeply emotional untethered conversations. I’d stand behind her when it was her turn at the machine and I would watch her play from as close as I could to her perspective. One time, when her steel ball tanked on down the center, avoiding the flippers on the way, she leaned heavily back into me with a sigh, and then into my arms. There I was with 5′ 10″ of beautiful athletic woman, a woman of genius, with an IQ of 167, in my arms. And we loved each other deeply. That, my friends, was heaven. I’m a lucky man. I found true love. I’ve been to heaven and back.

Our opening photo today is of Wizard the cat. He’s a rather small black recovering feral cat. At first he was all hiss and claws with an ‘I’ll kill you’ demeanor. He’s come around, he has a ways to go, but I have no doubt that he will make a good indoor house cat. Come see.

Something really sweet has come my way. Fifteen months ago I was interviewed, via Skype, by a woman named Debra Diamond, who was referred to me by Penny Sartori PhD, my friend the NDE researcher yonder in Wales. Penny mentioned me and the aftereffects of my NDE in her excellent book The Wisdom of the Near Death Experience. Now Debra has a book on NDEs on the fast track to publication – Life After Near Death, due out on January of 2016. She has include my NDE in her forthcoming book. Yes, I am excited. Having people put you in books is a good way to remember that you are still alive and kicking and capable of  .  .  .  ? Whatever. Geez I’m in a crappy mood today. And about the light at the end of the tunnel? Yeah, don’t worry, I get it.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Raven and the Hawk

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“For those who confuse you, recognize that their confusion is theirs and your clarity is yours.”   ~  Barbara Marciniak

It’s gotten to the point where I am tempted to go all New Age and stuff. It might not hurt, right? My opening quote today is from a New Age writer. Sure, I’ve written here of my spirit guides, my NDE, the general reality of the Other Side, but I don’t consider those issues to be actually New Age, in fact I am not sure what I am missing by just jumping head first into a new personal paradigm. I’ve gone through, without total commitment, the Noetic paradigm and I garnered immense understanding of how our minds relate to and effect (sic) reality. I don’t know exactly why I drifted away from Noetics. I just kinda sorta let it go. That may have set confusion loose upon my mind. And, I am most definitely confused these days. I need a mentor, not just a therapist, but I do have a therapy appointment this afternoon, after a half day at work, which it would be quite disingenuous of me to not admit that I wish it was a full day. Create yer own reality, dude. You did it to yourself. Well, let me tell you, here and now, I’m fixin’ to create a new one, without having the inconvenience of changing the cast of characters. Wish me luck. Of course, we must always consider the acts and needs of others lest we become solipsists or Libertarians.

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”  ~  Elbert Hubbard

It’s a beautiful day. I was just out on the deck and Oscar the turkey was looking at me through the fence that keeps him from stepping up onto the deck, and he showed me the finery of his fully spread tail-feathers. I felt honored. I will enter my public and social day with his example in mind. What example is that? Be yourself, and, oh wait, have you seen my feathers, like this, all spread out and lovely? We were sitting at the break table at work yesterday talking about certain realms of the life we all share. There were five of us. At one point I looked up to the sky and I saw a raven harassing a red-tailed hawk. I’d always seen such behavior as territorial but for some reason I saw it as a dance this time. I pointed it out to friends at the table and the Native American man there said, “They’re just playing”. Play, yes. Dance. It’s all a dance. Soooo – I shall endeavor to dance my way into a more healthy financial state. The one that I have right now sucks. I need improvement, today. Yeah, well, tomorrow would work for me. In the meantime it’s all good. Life is a dance, a beautiful dance. I’d better get dancing right now. It is 6 AM and the cock is crowing his little butt off. Dude rocks.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Wizard and the Cheeseburger

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Wizard the cat

“Detachment means letting go and non-attachment means simply letting be.”  ~  Stephan Levine

“If there is a single definition of healing it is to enter with mercy and awareness those pains, mental and physical, from which we have withdrawn in judgment and dismay.”  ~  Stephan Levine

A rare second pot of coffee has just finished gurgling over there by the wall. Oscar the turkey is out showing his magnificent display by the door of the chicken coop, awaiting his harum. Yes, there is the rooster, Ken Winslow, but Oscar keeps the him under tight control. Clouds are lazily drifting in from the west and piling up against the mountains. It is Sunday morning, usuall my day off, but I may get called in due to a coworker who may not show up. When the manager asked me yesterday if I would fill in today I said I would be delighted, choosing my words very carefully. I need the hours. If I get the chance I will snatch it up faster than a cat going after a helpless toy. Patterns of our minds. I’ve been writing about that lately. Patterns change but the one who plays them out, so they say, is universally and cosmically not-me. Hmmm. I’ll have to think about that. I could really go for a juicy bacon cheeseburger with green chile. That’s where my head and stomach are at. Things cosmic can wait. They are timeless anyway. Cheeseburgers are not. Grab it and growl. That’s what I say. Be here now. Green chile is sooo good.

Our opening photo today, here at EyeYotee, is of Wizard the cat. He is a recovering feral. Betcha didn’t know the cattery is also a rehab. Go figure. It really makes sense if you think about it. Most of the cats don’t need it. But a feral faces life out on the streets as opposed to a comfy home life. Wizard is coming around. He is still skittish but he will let you pet him if you can catch him. And he doesn’t want to kill anyone anymore. Most ferals have murder or maybe just injury in their eyes once in a while, while some just hide and hiss. Nice kitty. Come look. Our cats are beautiful.

“Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.”   ~  Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

It’s been an odd, as in different, sort of week; surreal, scattered focus as sweet as Spring snow showers in the late afternoon. Beauty to be savored during hard times. Hard times, for me, give my mental health issues a playground that I would rather they did not have. Friggin issues. Can’t they just let up? I just went back to the previous choice of words, where I chose ‘didn’t’ instead of ‘did not’. I changed it. ‘Did not’ has the rhythm I want, whereas the other form sucked. I was permanently altered by reading some of the brilliant writer David Foster Wallace’s stuff on writing style. He spoke of cadence and rhythm. The rhythm of the prose is a whole different aspect of communications; “move forward, it’s “new day” just sounds like “hurry up” to me, without rhythm. Move along little fella we’re burnin’ daylight. I mean give me a break, will ya! Dance a little. Dude like chill dude yer not making this any easier dude. Do I have to repeat myself? Making speed a virtue may very well be the chief cause of friggin tailgaters on our roads; and the stress-related, ummm, stress, in our modern business models, most of which were spawned back yonder in the Enron era and were then tweaked into shape during the decade that followed – Think W, or Dubya. I mean give me a break, once again, will ya? As the iconic Foghorn Leghorn said so eloquently, “Boy, I say boy, now don’t get me riled”. Let’s stay positive, k? You won’t regret it dude. And I think it doesn’t look like you think it looks. Positive? Dance a little. I am grateful that I don’t have a corporate job. Nuff said.

Rosie the cat finally went outside. She was driving me crazy with her whining. Then she ceremoniously came back in and continued her mysterious expression. Now she is on my lap. I have no idea what the issue is but at least she is quiet now. I feel circular pulses of anxiety coming from the area of my heart, and I feel easily angered as well, both symptoms of the illness I bear, and what it does during elevated stress. The intensity is probably an analogical backdraft from a job offer I pushed aside recently; I turned it down for now. Open a door to a stale room and the subsequent adrenaline rush might surprise you; fresh air isn’t always passive. Yet loyalty guides me at this time. I’m cool with that. And on that note I shall close this post, which I have had fun writing, and wait for the phone to ring. I’m hoping to work today.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Waiting For a Miracle

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“If by any chance a playwright wishes to express a political opinion or a moral opinion or a philosophy, he must be a good enough craftsman to do it with so much spice of entertainment in it that the public get the message without being aware of it.”  ~  Noel Coward

A writer’s job is not always a breeze, sometimes it is a howling wind. I like to keep it more at the breeze level here at EyeYotee. It plays better that way. Now, the opening photo up yonder really cracks me up. I was trying to get a nice portrait of the lovely Princess Lea when friggin Luke Skywalker snuck in, and sneaky is as sneaky does, so I decided to keep the other cat in the photo, refused to use the cropping tool in the photo edit software, and thus left the intruder open to scrutiny. Why? Because I believe in full disclosure. Friggin cats are sneaky little bastards. But ya gotta love them for it. I know I do, but what the heck, I love just about everybody. Ya jest gotta draw the line somewhere. So there, so says me, whatever.

The morning feels kind of sweet to me. Or maybe it is just me. Our feelings are much maligned in the post post modern world. When I am feeling sweet the whole world feels sweet, except for Rosie the cat’s litter box. Don’t get me started, k? I had enough of the cat thingy in the first paragraph. Yes, I am feeling philosophical these days. Encouraging and cultivating my intellect is a fine tool in the fight against bipolar depression. Encouragement and cultivation, and maybe truth, are stalwart and noble forces. Says me. You can actually nurture growth and refinement with these tools. Try it, you’ll see. I can enrich my soul by lifting it up, or if I can’t achieve that I can at least shackle myself when I try to break it down. Breaking something down is a violent act, for the most part, and if you are looking for accomplishment I’d advise that you very definitely and assuredly go for the lifting up thing. Let’s call it economy, efficiency, common sense. Doh! That last one, common sense, pretty much exists solely in the realm of miracles.

“Somewhere out there is a place that’s cool
Where peace and balance are the rule
Working toward a future like some kind of mystic jewel
And waiting for a miracle”  ~  Bruce Cockburn

Cats and philosophy. What next? Blue shade shoes? Don’t count on it. Rock and roll is indeed an uplifting force as well, especially when the message in the music is powerful and sublime. There is an element of deconstructionist expression a good part of the time. And usually a fair portion of rhyme. But I’m sitting heavy this morning. When the deep down cycle comes you can fight it successfully. I’ve had years of experience and I’ve sharpened my tools to a fine point. I can usually manage the depression. But the sticker here is that depression is a physical disorder as well as a mental one. Fight as I will the body still gets all fatigued and stuff, there is spooky pain, a general buckshot of tiny aches and pains, and the whole big ouch is as sneaky as a cat. Sometimes it is there in your face and the next moment it is gone like a ninja on Red Bull. But I am working in the cattery today, and one of the local radio stations has “the rock and soul morning show”. So maybe I will get a little blue shade shoes action. We are experiencing an influx of cats these days, and there will be a preponderance of kittens in a few short weeks. Yesterday the Town of Taos Animal Control officer brought us two ferals in traps. My boss and the officer were attempting to get the first screamin’ wild cat into a cage while I stood backup with bite gloves on. They almost got it but the cat pulled that shapeshifter trick and squeezed out through the gap above the closing cage door, like toothpaste from a tube, and the chase ensued. Cat chases suck, believe you me. They can fly. Let me repeat that – they can fly. Up the walls and across the ceiling. It’s the darnedest thing! And the adrenaline rush, for all participating mammals, is a real bitch. Woof.

Bright half moon, early morning frost, red finch’s rhyming tune, stolid mountains, I sat in wonder, enfolded in grace. Yes, I was just outside. Now I sit with a groan, because the workday sits before me. I do fine once I get moving, because I love my job and it lifts me up. It’s a state of grace, within which even a soiled litter pan may shine gemlike in the light of Spirit. I am lucky. I have the day off tomorrow and much to contemplate. Call them dreams, if you will, these contemplations.  You’d be correct to do so, because, you see, it takes both.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Upon Beauty’s Shoulders

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“Quantum theory provides us with a striking illustration of the fact that we can fully understand a connection though we can only speak of it in images and parables.”   ~  Werner Heisenberg

“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”  ~  Søren Kierkegaard

My, aren’t I philosophical this morning. I can’t explain, so don’t ask. What do you expect from a guy who herds cats for a living. If I ever succeed in doing so, in herding cats, grab the straight jacket ’cause I’ll need it. Getting them to go where you want, however, is simple – just try to do something and they will be right in the middle of where you are trying to do it; they will get in your way. This appears to be a solitary thing. If you try it with two cats, one will pounce on the other. Determining which cat will pounce is beyond scientific means at the point. There is some kind of quantum physics effect going on there.

I just realized that many of the best quips must go unspoken. This has become painfully apparent to me of late, a natural smart ass am I. Of course it goes for serious matters as well. Maybe it’s just a sensitivity issue? Yeah, maybe. I don’t have anything, any issue, in particular in mind, I’ve just been feeling kind of muzzled these days. One of my upper bosses at work told me that I am quiet. I couldn’t answer him without contradicting him. Talk about frustrating. Yes, I have been rather serious here at EyeYotee blog lately. Yet one of my core issues here is mental health and illness so it is unavoidable at times. I say this from within the deepest down cycle in recent memory. I just don’t feel light. When it gets this deep it gets physical, limp and heavy like a lead sweater. And slow.

First light is rising. There are some gray clouds parading past from the southeast, headed who knows where. Yesterday I was writing about metaphors and patterns of mind. The deepest pattern I know is beauty. You might say that love is deeper but from my worldview love is perched upon beauty’s shoulders, where it is given as a gift the higher perspective we all need to grow. I like that image, I like it a lot. That’s why I am asking the goddess to carry me through this day, piggyback, or at least until lunchtime. I am tired, tired, tired. I’ll likely find some purpose in this fatigue. I always do. I read, from Peter D. Kramer’s awesome book Against Depression, that depression causes a raisin-like shriveling of the hippocampus, one of the organs in the brain. Kramer says that when the organ becomes shriveled like this our resiliency flounders and we have a hard time bouncing back from nearly any hard times. Think of it – some guy asks you “why the long face?”. Is it wise to answer, “Oh, I have a shriveled organ in my brain”? It’s one of those things that is best left unsaid. It is also unwise, when asked that essentially rhetorical question, to say “dude chill”. One thing I can say is it’s time to get on to the day.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Essence of the Patterns of Our Mind

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“I don’t know where my ideas come from. I will admit, however, that one key ingredient is caffeine. I get a couple cups of coffee into me and weird things just start to happen.”  ~  Gary Larsen

Two days in a row I forgot to buy coffee. Pardon me, my bad. Yesterday morning I had none. That is likely the reason I didn’t post. I went back to sleep and then slept till eleven. Lucky me. This morning I am savoring the aroma in this room before I pour a cup. To me, coffee is like garlic. You may say ‘huh?’, and I can’t blame you, but what I mean is that life would not be living without it. Oh, wait a minute, I’ll be right back.

The moon is a lop-sided egg, gentle blue light pours forth as the friggin rooster does his earlier than necessary crow. Startled the heck out of me. As far as I know there is no way to get even with a rooster. Here I sit, frustrated. It makes me want to resort to cartoon violence. But I won’t. Frustration is simply my thing these days.  Money is low, that’s all. When my full-time hours return at work I will not be as frustrated anymore. It’s a delicate situation that has not so delicate conditions at hand. But I simply refuse to give up my good coffee. Kroger coffee sucks, but it is drinkable. Nuff said.

I’ve been reading a science fiction novel, solely at the laundromat, where I sit with my iPad and bask in the ambience. No, really! I love that place. It is owned and operated by Pueblo folks. I am welcomed each week with a smile, recognized as a regular, and they say thank you as well. A nice thank you now and then goes a long way. Life without a thank you now and then is simply tedious. Gratitude is a spiritual virtue. The more it is practiced the better we all get along and the more we grow as a soul. It is also beneficial to turn up your face and say thank you to the sky, even if that sacred moment is violated by the friggin rooster who goes off right by your head. Even then the sky loves you, but it still doesn’t hurt you to say it out loud. But back on topic here, I’m really enjoying book I’m reading, but I won’t do a review here. The storyline is based on NDE research. There are three researchers, one from the psychological point of view, one from the neurological and cognitive angle, and one of them wacky New Age fellas. It’s a humorous and thoughtful story. Anyway, a certain phrase in the book, uttered by a former high school English teacher who is in the thick of Alzheimer’s Disease, kinda sorta smacked me upside the metaphorical head, so much so that I had to stop reading and step outside the laundromat to be with the sky for a few minutes. Here’s the phrase: “metaphors are the essence of the patterns of our mind”. I ended up walking out to the highway, and gazing across the road my eyes locked onto The Coffee Spot, one of our local coffee joints, and I was all, “you can’t get that at Starbucks!”, and I may have been right. I was, of course, when thinking that, referring to the metaphor definition that had come to me from a work of fiction. Life its own self is a metaphor if you ask me. Go ahead, try it, just ask me, I’ll tell ya again.

Soooo – the friggin rooster just crowed again, followed by the cat farting, and now I am all existential and stuff again. Intellectual stuff really holds the depression I live with at bay. I need that. The sky offers me the same gift. It’s one of the essential posers of contemplating exactly just what purpose does clinical depression serve. The mind is ill and the only tool you really have to heal it is the self-same mind. Imagine that! Sure, I have pharmaceuticals to help me manage the wavering illness, to keep it from friggin wavering, but the real work is in seeking acceptance and understanding. Now, iffin any of youse readers are venomously anti-pharmaceutical let me tell you right now: don’t even try it. This stuff has been and still is a gift for me. I mean like  what does it matter where reality comes from?! Huh. tell me. After all it is my brain and my liver, k?! Whew, deep breath – it’s like a good friend you can lean on except the friend is around 24/7, right there, ya don’t need no friggin cell phone, that friend is right there for ya. Metaphors are quite friendly as well. Metaphors tell the sky what to do, metaphors soar with eagles and dance with coyotes. What I am getting at is  .  .  . oh never mind. The point is that metaphors are the essence of the patterns of our mind.

And on that note I am going to go out there and have a word with that noisy rooster. He has never once told me to kick the psych meds, and for that I am grateful. Like dude you rock dude even if its all good dude. I respect that in you dude. Like thanks dude.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Five Women

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“If a man says something in the woods and there are no women there, is he still wrong?”  ~  Steven Wright

This is going to be a long day. A lovely rain last night did the cleansing thing, wielding freshness against a defenseless legion of dust. Some days are just like that. Waking at 2:19 AM, I was privy to the tail-end of the storm. There was a chill, there still is, and I let that into my stale view of the world, where it was met with an ambiguous welcome. That’s why it will be a long days. Ambiguity is holding my mind hostage. Odd feeling, that. Another odd thing is the dream that woke me, and I have no idea if waking me was a good idea, or just a means of casting me asunder into a WTF space, where ponderous feelings make pondering anything a fruitless task. That’s ambiguity for you, always playing with your head. Now, back to the dream. In it I had a close-up view, like in a movie, of a guy lifting the handle from a gas pump, and it was obvious he was about to put gas into a red car. The fill port was open, but some other guy snuck up and closed the door to the fill port. The first guy turned to put gas in and when he saw that the door was closed he bolted and ran toward me, The second guy grabbed the hose and poured gas over the fender. I instinctively knew that some conspiracy was afoot in the land, some vibe like in an X Files episode. I have no idea what it all means.

So here I sit with only one cup of coffee, which I already finished. I forgot to buy coffee on the way home yesterday. Yes, I did get mad at myself, and that is a good sign, because it indicates that I have not slipped on down into a full depressive state. We can surmise, from this sign that our hero has some fight left in him. Fancy that.

On a different note, I work with a crew that has me as the only man on a crew with five women. I sometimes wonder what this does to my precarious mind. I mean   .  .  .  oh, never mind. Carrying this train of thought any further will likely rile someone. What’s the sense in that? So the toll on my mind from a potentially platitudinous situation shall remain in the realm of ambiguity. Some days are just like that. Onward. That’s what I say.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Rattle Me This

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“When you stop thinking about yourself all the time, a certain sense of repose overtakes you.”  ~  Leonard Cohen

Let’s start with the snake. Rattlesnake that is. I did some rock work for my ex yesterday. She’s got concrete patio at the back of the back yard. Rabbits have burrowed under the slab to make a den. Wait – do rabbits makes dens, burrows, nests? Whatever. Furthermore the neighbors’ dogs took to chasing the rabbits, tracking them back to the den, nest, burrow, whatever, and them doggies dug a whole lot of earth out too. That’s where I come in. Whew. I gathered a lot of stones from the surrounding mesa floor, but there were not any big stones so I wandered out to the dirt road in front of the house, where I knew there were larger stones, because – well, ummm – I used to live there. Now keep in mind I was getting paid for this. Regardless, it was a low-level adventure in haphazard stone masonry. Onward, the rabbits must not prevail! Nor did they. But I digress, or was that fast forward? Bear with me, k?

I was coming up onto the driveway with an armful of stones when I sensed something really screwy. It was my animal senses that had kicked in. I discussed this animal stuff in the last paragraph of yesterday’s post so I was all prepared for the rabbits but twarnt  rabbits I had to worry about. I mean, what were they going to do? Send out the killer rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail? A knight’s quest has its hazards. Anyway, I was stopped in my tracks on the driveway and I instinctively, with no apparent sensory trigger, was compelled to look back and to my right. Snake! I didn’t identify the species right away because I was too busy shouting “Holy shit!!!”. I’m not totally certain it was a rattlesnake but it sure did look like one, but no rattle was heard. It was not a bull snake. I know those guys when I see them. This big fella had the requisite diamond pattern all along, and his color was a beautiful shade of burnished tarnished bronze, with pale golden highlights, the kind a hairdresser might admire. So I gazed at the snake. He was somewhat piled up in his posture, so the reckoning was imprecise, but I guessed him to be about five feet long, maybe four; you need, as a man, to respectfully alter the facts to get the most manly value out of the telling when you do tell folks about an encounter of this nature. Like dude you think your fish was big dude but Im’ telling you dude that snake was friggin bigger so take that and stuff it in your trout dude. Stuffed trout sounds good. I’m pretty sure it was a rattler. I had stepped about six inches, maybe four, inches from the thing! I have not had an adrenaline rush like that in a long time. That rush was right up there with my close encounters with a bear and two lions; not both species at the same time, although I’d like to say it was. In the end I hurled a fist-sized stone at the beast, missed, then scurried into the house to tell Carol about my triumph. For her I said the snake was six feet. That’s our little secret, k?  When I went back out to finish him off he was gone. My triumph was golden. I’d never hurt an animal like that. So beautiful!

What, now  I’m a nature writer? Annie Dillard watch out, you’ve got competition. I just finished my first cup of coffee so I think I will step outside for a few minutes before I pour number two.

There are many types of light, although I know – yeah I know, it’s All One. I’ve heard plenty nuff about that. But this morning the dawn casts that lavender light that I love so well. The lavender light gives me the feel of an optical hug. I, for a few moments, feel at home in a dangerous world. You never know when a dangerous, even maybe deadly, being might pop up like Bugs Bunny from his den, nest, whatever. I got that extensive array of holes and ditches all packed full of stones then sealed it all into place with some Quik-crete mortar. Tis woe I feel that I could not have been a better man when I still occupied her house. Ob la di ob la da.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.