In Which Rosie Goes For a Ride

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“Blessed be you, mighty matter, irresistible march of evolution, reality ever newborn; you who, by constantly shattering our mental categories, force us to go ever further and further in our pursuit of the truth.”  ~  Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Today is a big day, taking Rosie the cat to see the veterinarian. She’s got a chronic digestive something or other. Without details, it has been troublesome for us both. I did what I could with diet and method, and it did help a lot. But the rest in in the vet’s hands. Rose seems to feel just fine otherwise. Good. So, I am distracted. The ride over to the doctor’s clinic is seven miles. Rose hates riding in the car. I can expect a fair amount of moaning and such. All worth it. On a related note, I had coffee with a friend from the animal shelter yesterday. Great conversation. I found that I was articulating some of the more nuanced ways in which I dealt with the cats; communication, intuition, energy compatibility, and more. Healing work. My greatest success as far as healing goes was in connecting with depressed cats, as well as screamin’ ferals. The latter is mostly a lose/lose situation, but once in a while one came around. Nice.

The morning is quiet, and it is good to see the moonlight waning. More stars to see, and they are perky this morning. I’ve been outside several times. The air temp is 3º, but where I sit is right in the corner of two walls of the house. There’s a fair bit more warmth there. But I need it. Cabin fever can be combated with small doses of fresh air. Common knowledge, right? Whatever. Events and life conditions lately have nudged me toward more attention to my spirit. Maintenance and observation. The mind has it’s moments but it is overall smooth. There was a time in my life when I would have withheld mentioning the meds I take, for fear, yes fear, of somebody coming at me with the anti-pharma stuff. And just now I opened myself to anti-fear commentary. Geez. Moving forward. The meds work. That is my full concern. Well, that and compassion, and mercy, and all that good stuff. A guy’s gotta give himself a break once in a while. Finding a job soon would also be nice. So what I have here is a close and personal blog post. Today, this morning, it’s about the cat. Let’s go.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Runnin’

Here’s a bit of sharing for the New Year, and many old ones; a song of mine from about 1981-82. In this song I hear prescience of the bipolar disorder, 30 years before diagnosis. Fascinating.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

We Learn to Heal Together

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“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”  ~  Carl Sagan

I don’t know what got into me this morning. Mind all over the field, seemingly detached from the cold. I keep this room in the low 60ºs. It’s there now but  .  .  .  I feel the chill but because it is natural it is pretty much alright with me. There’s a mild level of dissociation having its way with me, which is when “I am beside myself” goes clinical. It has been that way for me, on and off, and on and off, and now, and again, ever since the head trauma, 30-some years ago. Dang it. If you ever see me moving just a bit too deliberately you are seeing me like I am this morning. Please do not tell me it is like this for everyone. You will have misunderstood me, and I will probably just walk away. It is best, most kind, to not downplay mental illness when an active episode is in process. This morning I am well aware what triggered this mild spell of what I might call “else-ness”. It’s one of those infernal crowd herding algorithms of theirs. It’s that memories thang. ‘One year ago today’ sorta thang. Geez, I need to step outside and get a blast of really really cold air. Bisy backson.

It’s sweet this morning. I feel flush full of beauty. It is a coping mechanism, for sure, but it is also a fact of life. The Beauty Way. Those memories that Facebook dropped in my lap are from my cattery days, just one year ago. I followed Facebook and ended up reading some of my blog posts from around last New Year. I rarely go back that far to review posts. But what it provided me with is a manner of clarity that I welcomed with open arms. It gave me a sense of continuity. I so often lack that. As Grandma Preston, the maternal granny, sometimes said, “no sense, no feeling”. So, I was able to lay out the period from New Year to when I was discharged from the animal shelter, as if on a workbench, or a photographer’s studio table better, and the images on the light box made the path clear, which it most certainly did not feel at the time, leaving me with verification, veridical confirmation, of the trail that brought me where I am today. That means more than it might seem.

Today’s opening photo, today’s spokesmodel, is Stella. When she was first brought into the shelter, on a Saturday, all I could manage was a sense of wonder and astonishment at having the single most, largest, female cat I have ever seen delivered into my hands. My coworker and I did the compulsory examination then put the cat into an intake cubicle while we decided what to do. Usually, if you can, you do an intake procedure. We were honestly too intimidated to do the procedure. A major rule of caregiving is that if you are uncomfortable handling an animal you get someone else to do it. Cats sense your feelings. This was a 15lb. black cat, with eyes that spoke of things only a cat would know. And she had in her eyes a faint bit of that fibrous growth that some rare cats have from birth. In Stella’s eyes the fibers looked like distant stars. Thus her name. I named her. Memories. Thanks, Facebook.

I’ve included, after the tagline on this post, an excerpt from my book. The passage is written in the third person to emphasize the mythos that runs so deep and strong in this anecdote. Hermes, the cat in this tale, brought out in me one of the seemingly miraculous after effects from my NDE. This tale is from within a year after the NDE. In her amazing book, international bestseller, The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences, Dr. Penny Sartori referred to this tale as an example of the healing powers that came from the NDE. This excerpt was not included in Penny’s book, but she read my book and she told me that this was one of the more impactful things, as it related to her research into the after effects. But back to the cat – Hermes was totally incontinent after his accident. In spite of the stench I had him sleep at my side each and every night, stretched out full and pressed against my body. I was not even one year off a traumatic head injury and Hermes was fresh off of a trauma of his own. I felt compelled to meld with him, to fully engage, to bring us together in symbiosis, so that my internal wisdom toward healing would be fully available to the animal. We had both friggin nearly died. I reckoned it was something we could do together. The point of my telling here is that this incident, this anecdote, displays clearly where my skill with cats came from. Sure, I was born with it, but this event took it up to a whole new level. Hermes was named after the Greek God Trickster and messenger. The cat ended up being true to his namesake. He and I walked into the land of Mythos together. It did us both some good, right? We learned to heal together.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Hermes was born in an oceanfront house trailer that was well on it’s way to rack and ruin. His mother was a young mackerel tabby whose own mother was a truly remarkable cat. The grandma wandered in through the open door of the trailer one oppressively hot August afternoon, no doubt looking for some food and shade. Beyond all doubt she had found the accommodations to be acceptable, up to and including the man who lived there. 

Unlike his mother and aunts Hermes was born with a coat of ginger and white. He had the kind of amber eyes that always looked sleepy. His grandma was the stunner in the family, coat of sleek French blue-gray, green eyes, with a lithe demeanor. And Hermes was the first male in the clutter of cats.

Coming up on his first tom-season at around six months of age Hermes wandered off as some tomcats do. The man didn’t think much of the absence, reckoning that the young tom would return of his own accord when he was damn well good and ready. One day passed. Then two. Then three. The cat did not return.

On the fourth day the man was sitting on the rattan couch inside the trailer, reflectively deep into reading, as was his preference in the heat of the day, when he heard a very strange sound in the distance. It was a faint shuffling sound, reminiscent of  a balloon made of sand paper being blown up, steadily and surely. At first the man thought that he was imagining the sound, or interpreting some run-of-the-mill sound in an odd way, but he soon noticed that the four cats who were lounging about the living room of the trailer all came out of a logey slumber at the exact same moment, clearly aroused to sharp wakefulness by the tiny sound that had pulled the man’s attention away from his book. All four cats turned their head to gaze intently in the exact same direction.

The man was quick to rise to the occasion, having been thoroughly flushed with chills at the cats’ unified awakening. He ran out of the trailer, barefoot, down the ragged wooden steps of the porch and around to the side where the cats were gazing. Something was moving sluggishly through the grass on the other side of the clearing beside the trailer. Of course it was the young tom! Of course!

Hermes was dragging himself through the grass using only his front legs for propulsion. His hind quarters lay like of lump of meat being pulled along by the sheer willpower of the young cat, eyes glazed and vivid with agony, and lungs huffing with power. The man was sickened by the sight but he did not falter as he scooped the cat up into his arms, urine trickling from the tom’s seemingly inert rump, and carried him urgently into the trailer for examination. 

One look deep into the animal’s imploring eyes convinced the man of the gravity of the injuries. The stench became unimportant in light of the expression of the cat which came as a low moan that made it perfectly clear that Hermes was unsure of his own survival, on the edge of death, asking for help. And he got his way. The man took the cat to the veterinarian where he was held overnight for observation.

When the man called the vet’s office the next day to check on the cat’s condition the veterinary assistant said, “Hold on, Mr. Ebert. I think the doctor should talk to you himself”. Was the cat dead?

Soon came the news: “Ken, I had a dream about your cat last night. I rarely dream of an animal so I wanted to tell you myself – your cat will be okay, but it will take him a very, very long time”. 

Somehow, the man took the news as if the doctor was speaking of him, the man, and not the cat.

Weeks later one of Hermes’ aunts took to capturing and killing seagulls which she would then carry back to the trailer from the shoreline, wings spread, over which the cat stepped carefully in dragging the carcass, the body nearly as big as she was. Hermes returned to walking fairly soon but he walked with spastic shivers, a heart-wrenching sight. Still, his nose worked just fine when his aunt brought back the gull. Hermes followed the smell and wandered, jerking and wobbling, to find the dead bird. As the cat approached the carcass, the man watched. Presently, the man realized that he was beholding a miracle! When the cat’s instincts kicked in, as the animal began to cautiously stalk the prey, all signs of spasticity vanished. The cat became graceful in perfect well-managed motion. 

Yes, when instinct kicked in it overrode the effects of the recent traumatic injury, overrode the jerky carriage of an animal that survived being hit by a car, and replaced sad frustration with quintessential grace.

The Fox and the Fog

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“The time is a critical one, for it marks the beginning of the second half of life, when a metanoia, a mental transformation, not infrequently occurs.” ~  Carl Jung

“Analysis does not transform consciousness.”    ~  Jiddu Krishnamurti

No doubt, I will miss the fog, but after several days of almost storms it was sweet to have clear skies and exquisitely honed sunlight yesterday. My mind should be so clear. It was looking like I might skip the blog post today, but I pulled it out after all. Part of the inner fog is that I have been feeling kind of skittish of late, stemming from something a friend said to me the other day, and in essence he seemed to be saying that my experience is no different than anyone’s. I’m sure he did not mean it that way, but I heard it as such. I’ve been criticized for making this blog too personal. Over-sharing. Whatever. I do take that into consideration, and my inner scribe admonishes me to stay the coarse, because deviation from the personal would leave me with no option other than to shut it down. That just would not do.

I’m having a hard time getting warm this morning, but the sun will be up soon, and its light will shift perspective, and warm the air as well. My game these days is stretching my mindfulness, as well as my posture. Something really stunned me the other day. I got a pop up ad while browsing the internet. This ad was exposing the virtues of mindfulness meditation. Funny note, speaking of mindfulness, I just did a quick edit sweep and found that I apparently did the typo thing and the computer did it’s best at guessing what I was trying to type. So instead of “the virtues of mindfulness” we got “the virus of mindfulness”. I really really like that phrase. Anyway, the pop up ad turned out to be for Aetna Health Insurance. I like it. Sure, mindfulness meditation would likely fatten their bottom line, but mainly it would be great if more people practiced mindfulness; that is if they did so without attaching goals to the practice. That’s ego stuff, and yet one could also just observe the ego trying to sneak one in there. There are indeed many layers in spiritual growth. I don’t like the onion analogy – you’d end up in tears each time you peeled away a layer. Tears of joy would be way cool dude but chemical fumes from a veggie? Not so much. Of course when I tried to replace the onion with an avocado I peeled away a layer and found only mush. So I became One with the mush. Guacamole meditation. No wonder some people find guacamole to be comfort food, it has such a warm embracing nature.

There has also been a fair amount of paranoia lately. I’ve got two people from the shelter on my mind and of course my first inclination is to suspect that they are out to get me. It doesn’t really help to know that someone was out to get me. What about now? This is clearly counterproductive leave that friggin messed up thinking to the past stuff. Walk on. Let it go child. There is only the moment. That last sentence is the giggle maker for me. I never really thought otherwise, unless I was doing thought experiments on non-linear time. Simultaneous time. That’s a good one too.

It appears I was hasty in dismissing the fog. It is here, as close and frigid as ever. Raven, hawk, magpie, rabbit, donkey, falcon, fox. Fox?! Yup. I’ve been seeing those tracks in the snow for several days. I finally remembered to look it up. It’s a fox alright. The morning is good with such company. It’s time to get to it, to publish this post and find out what the heck I will do today.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Coyotes and Canoes

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“Almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it.”  ~  David Foster Wallace

Coyotes brought the fog. It manifested right before my eyes, air going to milky blue from sapphire moonlight. All the while the coyotes sang, up over the rise, a vivid song that moved randomly through the rising mist. Celtic lore says that the mist is where the Spirit world and the material world intermingle intimately, where one may be the other, but it is hard to tell, nor is it necessary to do so. That’s how it is this morning. Something, someone, was approaching through the fog. I wondered. Likely an ancient Celtic goddess who just happens to be a friend of mine. Good, I’ve been asking for some major help to get me unstuck from this place in my life that is well into becoming unbearable. It started when I got the notably discourteous boot from the animal shelter, and it has progressed from there, never really showing it’s face until the past few weeks. Friggin winter holidays. I got yer Merry Christmas right here peeps. Your Christian God does not concern me, although His eminence is a beautiful one. Just let Him spread His love through y’all. No need to push. Won’t work with me anyway. On the contrary. But all Gods, and Goddesses, are One; facets of One ginormous jewel. A shiny one at that. This morning it was sapphire. I wish you coulda seen it. Boy howdy it was a sweet fog, moon swaddled in chiffon, and background music from some true masters. And, it is always good to have company. I asked her to walk at my side today. She asked which side. I said lady’s choice.

Now that I’ve got the religion out of the way let’s, well me anyway, move on to politics. You won’t find me mixing the two, but I sometimes bark when I see some big dog doin’ it. Friggin theocrats are plain rude. Heck, I would be offended by someone washing my car without asking, much less having some guy arrange my salvation for me. Don’t even try it. We haven’t the time, my friend. Huckabee is the worst. You can’t make this country a Christian nation dude. Rubio, your references to God’s will just piss me off. I wish I’d run into you in your Miami years. We’d have a drink, single malt, your treat, and we’d have it out. A pagan religion is the fastest growing religion in this nation. Live with it. And you, Mister Trump, are too deep for my taste. With your kind of deepness you’d be well advised to have someone purchase hip boots. Mister Cruz, sir? Same for you. Your Christianity is not the Christianity I know. Where did you get that stuff anyway? Gun show, right? And lose the bacon dude. The sizzling sounds like an angry rattlesnake. Or a lemon shark breaking the surface during a feeding frenzy. Merry Christmas, silly.

I’ve had enough of that, except to give a shoutout to our New Mexico Governor. Would you care for another drink, señora?

A trip to Walmart is in order today. Cat litter. The price is right or I wouldn’t be going. I always feel like I should wear a helmet when I go in there. It’s the oddest feeling. I have no idea what significance it may bear. At least I don’t want a tin foil hat, right? But I shall enjoy walking through the aisles, amongst the merchandise, with  a new perspective forged of old memories. The sad news I’ve been writing about the past two days, about my dad’s legacy, has opened a floodgate of memories. My many years, twenty-three, in the islands left a deep impression on me. The island vibe is a huge part of who I am. Seems it must been buried or something. Its return feels so fresh! I welcome it. It is good to see it back. Barefoot island hippie boy. That’s me. I feel at home in the high desert mountains but it is the lesser part of my soul. A southeast wind, day after day, whispering through the Australian pines, rattling through the palms. I am also remembering me and my good buddy DJ perched twenty foot up in a mangrove forest. We’d paddled a red canoe out and down Snake Creek Channel, launching just across from the Coast Guard Station, and we found a nice tidal flow that had created a tunnel through the trees. We paddled in deep, past a silverback grandfather of a raccoon, stopping and tying off in a domed clearing under many branches. And we climbed, barefoot, THC coursing through our brains, up into the roof of the forest, up with the gulls and the mockingbirds. At the top we wedged ourselves into some comfy crotches and commenced to sway in the southeast wind, sing, “Hey, hey, we’re the Monkees”, proud of our primate and pop culture heritage. Another time I went canoeing with a phenomenally sweet Puerto Rican woman, tripping on blotter acid, out over the golden mud flats, out where the wind and water were one. They were one. I said as much, out loud but in a reverent sonorous near-whisper. She smiled at me and told me I was beautiful. Geez, I have her number in the Contact list in my cell flip phone. She is back in Puerto Rico now. I should call, right?

The memories come along
Older times we’re missing
Spending the hours reminiscing  ~  Little River Band

The following image is the Snake Creek drawbridge, where all canoe adventures would begin.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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Snake Creek Bridge, Windley Key, Islamorada, Florida.

Feed Your Head

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“Be quiet, darling. Let pattern recognition have its way.”  ~  William Gibson, The Peripheral

 The mind is thick with things both banal and richly intellectual, which can also be banal, but this is not. Air temperature 18º, coffee strong and rich. More riches. It’s that kind of morning. Cat at my side. She’s got her own dreams, but I am on about the nature of memories and how they are functionally lodged in the brain. Connections that flash back patterns to reflect with newly seen patterns; recognition and such. It’s heady, yup. This all arose from yesterday’s post. The old bar, the ocean, even older, good times, weirdo happenings and weirdo people. Lots of fishermen. Lots. Ted Williams’ bellowing presence. And a cat who would lay right next to your can of Budweiser. For several years we lucky ones lived within  a reality that cannot be imagined. You had to be there, and even then there was too much to take in. Fun times, many of them drunken times.

It’s not the same these days, not for me. This is a monk’s existence, with lots of spiritual observation, and many, many, dreams; a time so resonant with life that I apply an oxford comma, quite incorrect of form, and I do it with no compunction. It’s an old David Foster Wallace trick. The must be rhythm in the sentence structure. It adds breadth and depth that simply would not be there if you put that comma where it belongs. There is really no harm done. And I cannot even believe that I am actually writing about it. It’s just that kind of day, that kind of morning. They say the snow may yet fall today. All the talk about blizzard conditions didn’t pan out. Pity. Taking a rebel’s stance I say bring it on. But it’s not likely; the gray sky a whisper rather than a roar. I’ll likely follow through with the intellectual vibes throughout the day sporadically.

I spoke with the doctor, quite recently; the shelter vet that got pummeled in controversy. We have a rapport; and friendship. I no longer have the more corrosive feelings about what went down, but the urge to stir things up again remains, an artifact of the puckish grin that drives the Trickster in me. Mythic stuff. Ain’t no friggin way I would actively serve that urge. I get, to this day, a nauseous feeling in looking back. I know the Lot’s wife story, but I like salt. And I like justice more. I am, again to this day, unclear on exactly where the justice ran off to, or where my clear perception ran off to. Drama, drama, drama; and only a few villains, none of which looked villainous to me.

Sunday, snow day. Like I said, tis an intellectual tone to my day, one which I will follow. Talking to Doc yesterday moved me into that head space that finds you suddenly smack in the middle of vastness unbridled. For me that vastness exists all around me, and I am held up like a rag doll, in the hand of the Mother Goddess, and She is showing me that I might could maybe consider being small instead of   .  .  .  I’m not quite sure where that instead was headed. We had a good talk, about life and stuff. I’m still not certain that I want to be small. But I do want to find active compassion in my life; and not “idiot compassion”. That would suck. But hey, it’s Sunday. As the legendary Grace Slick sang, “Feed your head”. That’s what I’m talking about.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Tiki Bar Is Open

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” Thank God, the tiki bar is open
Thank God, the tiki torch still shines
Thank God, the tiki bar is open
Come on in and open up your mind”  ~   John Hiatt

Somebody, please. Give me a Buffet backbeat and a Rumrunner. I need a drink. I know it is 6:12 AM, but I didn’t say I was going to drink it now. Meet me at three and we’ll do this thing. I’m angry. But maybe I should say I feel anger. The friggin bar where I grew up has been bulldozed, flattened to rubble, leaving dreams and memories, and nothing else. They can’t touch those memories, nor the dreams. Hydraulic machines are not designed to deliver in that way. Are you thinking that maybe I didn’t really grow up in a bar? I did. Deal with it. I don’t mean to be snippy here. Some things deserve outrage, besides Donald Trump. What he needs is a Nerf canon and a Supersoaker. I’ll leave the rest to you. Moving forward  .  .  .  backward, whatever  .  .  .

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I was a teenaged bartender. Eighteen. Open-air bar, right near the beach. Salty, sulphuric, aromas. Fish, coconut butter. Alcohol. I didn’t know what I was getting into. I am still to this day unclear on that point. My dad managed and operated the Tiki Bar, at Holiday Isle Resort, along the eastern shore of the Whale Harbor Channel, on Windley Key, Islamorada, Florida. He took charge of the bar not long before Nixon was sent packing. Richard cried. I would have bought him a drink. Dad inherited many cases of booze with the bar. Cases of Banana Liqueur, cases of Blackberry brandy, Hiram Walker’s finest. And grenadine. He endeavored to make use of the stacks of booze. So, a shot of blackberry and a shot of banana. Healthy dose of reconstituted lime juice. A tad of grenadine for color and sweetness. And rum: Lemonheart Demerara 151º. Woof. Good buzz, tasty too. Believe me about the rum. Don’t listen to fucking Bacardi. They had nothing to do with the drink until they commandeered the recipe and tweaked it just so, which would have been in the earliest years of Reagan’s reign: gentrification. What folks are drinking nowadays is what is commonly referred to as a facsimile. Things change. Still a good buzz though. In the early years the bar was a true, pre-Buffet expatriate hangout. Actual church pews and hatch cover tables sealed with polyurethane; not that anyone was worried about stains. The sealant was for pretty. I could fill a whole book with stories and memories, some true, some not, but all of them anecdotes that spread out into mythos. I think my favorite scenes were the times I got Billy Martin and Mickey Mantle shitfaced. I didn’t drink much in those days, and my scientific mind was baffled by the state of oblivion toward which so many people aspired. Now I understand.

I started working there just out of high school; National Honor Society, Pen and Quill, an egghead long-hair kid. What was I thinking? But the tips were great! After a year off from school I remained as a weekend bartender while I enrolled at and attended Florida Atlantic University on their Faculty Scholar Program. This is not about me, right? The point I am trying to make without going all Hunter S. Thompson gonzo on ya is that I was an academically sharp intellectual kid, with a world class education, and I was working in a bar. The thing at the University fell through when I succumbed to the first damaging depressive spell. I don’t regret it. Other things have happened that brought me here today. Sometimes I wonder how much of an impactful effect, affect, whatever, the bar had on me. It is hard for me to articulate what was going on there. It had a Camelot vibe to it. It was a bubble reality of the sort that would have served as a more rustic setting for the kind of prose that Hemingway used to relate his time in Paris with other brilliant people, in his brilliant A Moveable Feast; a book which incidentally began to sell like wildfire in Paris after the most recent ISIS attack. Hemingway would have been right at home in the Tiki Bar. Buffet was there on occasion. Neil Young. Brilliant people, most of them inconspicuous and wanting to stay that way. There were so many people who had moved to the Keys to literally get away from it all, away from the American mainstream, fired by Viet Nam, burned by Nixon, punched by the bullets of MLK, the Kennedys, and Kent State. I remember one customer who claimed to be a Special Ops guy. Name of Rocky. He was from Honduras, a huge barrel of a guy. Loved his piña coladas, which he called “pinche cabrones”. I was his little buddy. We spoke of deep things, both philosophical and sublime. He dressed like a spokesmodel for Banana Republic. I always doubted his Special Ops claim – until the US troops began to be withdrawn from Viet Nam. Rocky stopped showing up for a while. Then when the final troops were being airlifted from the roof of the American Embassy in Viet Nam, there he was. I was watching the Evening News, I think it was CBS, and there stood Rocky, beside the aircraft atop the roof, standing by as men boarded the craft.

Dad eventually got fired. A Mafia group from NYC bought the resort. They wanted to use dad’s image on hats and t-shirts and stuff. Dad refused; too commercial. He had run that bar with zero advertising, taking it, over a 9-10 year period, from $25 a day to $100,000,000 per year. At one point the Chicago Tribune rated the Tiki Bar as one of the top ten bars in the world. With no paid advertising. Imagine that. Dad had invented his Rumrunner drink, I suggested an ice cream machine when we got to making, by blender, 300-400 drinks per night. Big success. That’s what I am saying. After dad left the place went from good to huge. The last time I saw it was back in 2007-8. The place was like going to Disney World for alcoholics. I was bummed then but I am more bummed now, thank you very much.

My brother gave me the news last night. They bulldozed the friggin place; a place that was so integrally a part of my formative years. I cannot stress just how mythic it all seems to me now. But somebody decided to demolish an iconic monument to an old expatriate gathering spot. After more than 40 years. They – whoever they are – ripped a big hole in my heart. Yet I love what they did. In using their hydraulic monster machines to plow it under they succeeded in pushing the place beyond the material realm, and off into the quantum realm of probability, into the mists, just as Avalon was pushed into the mists when Camelot became a destination resort. I may be over-dramatizing it all, but I think not. I don’t know if dad would have been proud or wounded; he left this earthly place long ago. I know how wounded he was when Bacardi ripped him off. Now, here I sit on an icy, frigid morning in the high desert mountains, an old man remembering a younger day, tapping out some prose that lingers a little too close to cheesy, tapping on a device that would have been nearly unimaginable back then. WTF. They plowed the place under. What seeds will grow? There is no time for that now. Things change.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

A Little Something to Tide You Over

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“I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.”  ~  F. Scott Fitzgerald

This post is designed to let regular readers, who come each morning, know that I am working on a post that will take me a while. Geez o’ Peetz I am fired up. Anyway, good morning. Beautiful full moon playing dancer with the clouds. Temperature in the single digits. Sleeping cat, coffee. Bisy backson.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

May the Force Be With You

 

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“We shall find peace. We shall hear angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds.”  ~  Anton Chekhov

“A while ago somewhere
I don’t know when
I was watching
a movie with a friend.
I fell in love with the actress.
She was playing a part
that I could understand.”  ~  Neil Young

Coyotes, two of them, came through for me this morning, at 4 AM. Their barks are so distinct. It’s a sound almost like that Tibetan monk two-tone singing. A bark like a dog overlaid with the higher pitched, more shrill, music of a Trickster’s song. No yips, no howls. Perfect. Fast riding clouds from the south, along a trail awash with vivid moonlight. Once again – perfect. I saw the new Star Wars last evening. Make time for it, it is well worth seeing. I’ll not spoil it. Harrison Ford has taken his Han Solo role to the next level. Carrie Fischer, same. It’s the lead actress that moved me most; besides Chewbacca, of course. That’s what the Neil quote above is all about. She reminded me of the magick that permeates all we do. Moving forward, it seems like this will be a Peace on Earth kind of day. Couldn’t hurt. Center stage, as I see it, is the struggle that “they” call the culture wars. The rich against all us “little” people. There’s none of the 1% reading my blog, and if there is raise your friggin hand dude. Go read Dickens, A Christmas Carol. They made several movie versions, if ya ain’t got the time to read, or if you usually have someone do that for ya. You are treading dangerous ground, my friend, and all the peeps that take the flack from your truly doltish behavior will come to see you by and by. Give a little more, don’t worry, it will come back to you greedhead.

But wait, there’s more. My favorite political scandal of the season is the doltish behavior by New Mexico’s Governor, the Honorable Susana Martinez. I know, she wasn’t so honorable in regards to a drunken incident recently. I’ve felt barky toward her ever since she cut the gas off in Taos County, during a -30º cold spell, and as facts would have it, our County is one of only two (she shut the other one off as well!) that went blue and voted for her opponent. That’ll teach us, right? Anyway, I have some serious schadenfreude in regards to Governor Susana. It wasn’t the booze, sister. It was the power play. What in Guad‘s name were you thinking?! Chill. But party on, Garth. Just chill.

Just back from sunrise viewing. It’s a good one, a showpiece of gold, gray, and pale blue. The golden stripes along the ridges of the Sacred Mountain were the highlight. As usual, I let the chickens out first, before the show. I came back to find most of them, along with the turkey, under the long-needle pine. Nearly always I stop and talk to some of them, the individuals that forego the tree for a little ranging; Blondie, Big Red, Eaglet, and Phyllis Diller. I love these birds. As I sat out with the sunrise I was actually thinking about things like world peace, gratitude, mercy, compassion, and income equality. There is something to it all, I tell ya. Never doubt. Well sometimes. Doubt sometimes. One must be realistic, said the existentialist. I spoke with an old friend recently. She’s one of those positive thinker types. I have my moments. That perspective is hard for me to take at times, unless the person walks the talk. My friend does, and I love to hear her speak of it. We can do more than we know. It’s the old Buddhist thing; right action, right view, speech, livelihood, effort; concentration, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom. They call it the Eight-Fold Path, and it is meant to lead to the end of suffering. There is a scene from the old film “Little Buddha” in which Keanu Reeves is sitting underneath the Baobab tree, slipping into a state of Enlightenment. Keanu Reeves? Yup. Good movie, good message. I am not a Buddhist, but I can dig it; I grok it.

 The other political news these days is that Donald Trump is still running loose. I wish he’d stop that. It’s brain abuse, for both giver and taker. I think he, like any good narcissist, plays both roles. Friggin goober. Anyway, I’ve let the coffee get tepid. The cat is sacked out in one of her four favorite spots. The ceramic space heater just kicked in. I am flushed with anxiety, but what’s new. Meds are kicking in. It ain’t so bad. I sit here inspired by the Force Awakening. I get inspired by Star Wars. I get inspired by the Force, which is akin to Castaneda’s Intent. I dig it. I grok it. And it is Christmas Day. Merry Christmas, to one and all of my readers! Remember, there is no war on Christmas, ‘ceptin’ for those who want to fight. The rest of us just shake our heads, perplexed, wondering about people who really really want such stuff to be true. Don’t they get it?

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

With So Much Love

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“He had an idea that even when beaten he could steal a little victory by laughing at defeat.”  ~  John Steinbeck

Here we go again. Second pot of coffee gurgling to my back. Cat at my side, sleeping skillfully. I had a run-in with the cat last night. She was laying on something I didn’t want her to lay on, and when I went to move her she tensed up with the feral spirit she was born with. Needless to say I got cautious. I played it as such until I could get the thing out from under her without bodily damage. There were a couple of iffy moments there. Yikes. Our opening photo here at EyeYotee blog is of one of my all time favorites: the noble Scraggly. I’ve told his story here before, but the truth of it is that his face and ears pretty much tell the story. Here, his right eye looks as it is; he had some of that respiratory muck that shelter animals get on occasion. I could have dolled that up and made it disappear with software but I wanted the existential punch. Dutiful caregivers get right on it, medicating the eyes and if necessary squirting bubblegum flavored antibiotics down their little throats. Bubblegum?! What is up with that?! I don’t know about you but I would prefer oral antibiotic liquid to taste chalky and bitter. Maybe it’s just an existential thing?

“A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”.  ~  Mary Poppins

Yeh, maybe. Hmmm, seems I am in an existential mood today. I was just out watching the moon, so my mood, to me, feels more mystical. For whatever reason I was focusing on the dark patches and thinking of how some cultures see these patches as a rabbit, whereas the culture I know sees a man’s face. Wow, I just looked it up and the phenomenon of forming mental meanings from natural patterns is called pareidolia. The link will take you to the definition, and I hope it makes you smile and chuckle as it did me. Especially my metaphysically oriented friends. I mean, I see dragons in the clouds and the clear image of Grandfather Mountain. It’s not rocket science. Are they trying to tell me there is nothing there besides an incidental pattern?! Friggin pragmatists. Dude that’s why they make magic mushrooms dude. Get real.

Gladly stated, my moody down cycle is finally on the upswing. It never happens too soon. During my moon watch I was thinking of similes. The bottom of a down cycle is like a weathered brine burned crappy old piece of wood, where the grain of the wood is so chaotic that anything and everything goes against the grain. The beginning of an upswing feels suspect. The brightening is really just a coat of cheap varnish. That shine ain’t real. No way, no how. But  .  . .  sometimes, like this morning, the varnish is a shining organic thing. It enriches and nourishes that crappy piece of wood, instead of simply embellishing, ummm errr, guilding the lily. Geez, friggin spell check just questioned “guilding”. Anyway, a series of synchronicities was what probably raised me up from the funky depths. For that I am grateful. Yesterday’s post speaks of the beginning of this serial cheer-me-up. So, on Monday morning I had a visit from the spirit of dear Lori, who was the one true love of my life, soulmate stuff. I have maybe another dozen loves of my life, but the relationships with them are of various natures. What it boils down to is I love their spirits, their qualities as human beings, and their intelligence. All women. On Tuesday I finally got around to going to the laundromat. I’d planned on stopping by one of the local coffee joints to see one of these women. She works there. But I spaced it out. As I stood folding my laundry I felt a presence, and there she was. She had the day off. Nice hug, that one. She is the youngest of the lot, at 21, a strikingly beautiful tiny Spanish woman. And then last night I phoned another of these women, a friend of over 30 years. We met about a year after my NDE. She lives back east, but I’d hug her if I could. It’s been a nice week. Lucky me.

The moon has just slipped behind the mesa. Air temperature 17º.  The cat is now sleeping at my other side. I look at the day and realize that there aren’t many must-dos. One necessity is to practice gratitude throughout the day. I probably should be visualizing prosperity as well. That one comes harder for me. It’s been a while. If money is energy it ain’t no friggin wonder I’m so tired. I’ll also practice self-compassion, and mercy. That last one is the essence of it all at this point. And the point is to get back to Spirit. My worldview is pretty much shamanic. I love the shapeshifting perspective, and the perspective where material life is not an illusion so much as it is a dream. Anyway, from the overall shamanic perspective, when one is distressed, dispirited, whatever, the spirit has flown. The task is then to call back the spirit. It might take a while but I am on it. With so much love it couldn’t be too hard, right?

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.