Perspective

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“Lies are the new truth”  ~  Bill Maher

“Really good fiction could have as dark a worldview as it wished, but it’d find a way both to depict this world and to illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human in it.”  ~ David Foster Wallace

Rain. Not much but I am liking it already, except for the fact that it’s not snow. My disappointment is noted. Another thing I am thankful for is that it is Sunday morning and it feels like Sunday morning as well. I have not been a fan of Sunday’s, not within the constraints of my memory. I have no idea why this is. But the freedom to hunker over the Sunday funnies, or dig my intellect deep into the Sunday Times, Globe, whatever, is a feeling I can relish, if not cherish. I must note that the Times has a pay wall at this point. It used to be that you could read ten articles for free each month, unless you arrived at an article from clicking on a link. The way to bypass that restriction was crystal clear to me. Get the title of the article, google that title, then launch off of that link. But they caught on to my trick. So I rarely read any of their stuff anymore. I haven’t checked with the Boston Globe yet, but they are owned by the Times so I am sure they are already on to my tricks as well. The Washington Post also shot me down. Whatever, right?

Just back from my sunrise perch. All gray today. The cloud ceiling is heading north at a brisk pace. Quite pretty. After days of sunny delight I am always happy to see the clouds roll in. It gives me perspective, which is kinda like what I wanted today’s post to be about, but I ain’t rightly sure it’s gonna end up that way. Drifty is good. But yesterday did give me a perspective shift; quite welcome indeed. In my travels into town I ran into three of my friends from the animal shelter. It always delights me to be reminded that the family feeling remains, and likely always will. One still works at the shelter and the other two have parted ways with the place. Regardless, this was a huge boost mood-wise, for me. Also, it is a reminder of what a big role my time at the shelter plays in the ‘big picture’ of my life. This highlighting began when my cat was diagnosed with diabetes, back around New Years Day. She had been low-maintenence until that point. Suddenly my professional animal caregiver instincts kicked in. Then when the good doctor, the former vet from the shelter, called me a couple of days ago the feeling of life, of purpose, of animal joy, came back up to cruising speed. And then when I ran into three colleagues in one day the cruise control kicked in. I’m having trouble putting this all in words today. It feels clunky and strange. The thing that does feel clear is the integral message that remains clear, that message being that there can be no pretense in that profession. Well, there can, but it ain’t rightly smart. I miss the work, I don’t miss the place. That’s my perspective. Oh, say, did ya see the magpie in the opening photo, speaking of perspective? The mountain is easy to see, but little bird, she’s right there as well. Totemically speaking Magpie is about things which are hidden, things occulted. It’s a good reminder for me, that things can indeed be in plain sight yet can still be most certainly and perfectly hidden. Silly Magpie. It’s kind of, in a strange way, the flip side of the Emperor’s New Clothes. I am here in this life to learn. This new perspective feel about right.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

That Good Old Precious Irony

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“Recounting the strange is like telling one’s dreams: one can communicate the events of a dream, but not the emotional content, the way that a dream can colour one’s entire day.” ~  Neil Gaiman

“When it comes to controlling human beings there is no better instrument than lies. Because, you see, humans live by beliefs. And beliefs can be manipulated. The power to manipulate beliefs is the only thing that counts.” ~  Michael Ende, The Neverending Story

It’s one of those surreal mornings, dreamlike of course, and making me doubt that my brain has anything to do with anything. In today’s world other people’s brains will do all the work if you let them. Depressive talk sometimes holds many tiny kernels of truth, smothered between layers of cream and gelato, like a parfait, and of course the tiny truths get lost in the bold flavors that surround. There’s yer obscure image for ya right there. I’m not even sure what it means. Surreal, I tell you. To give y’all an idea of just how out there I am this morning, I was thinking of the old and crude adage about the shit hitting the fan. The problem with the adage is that there is so much flung and already flying these days that the fan is redundant, if not vestigial. The adage has been wounded, trumped by everyday occurrences. And texting is one of the villains. I’m just saying – people are getting hurt out there. Digital gossip, right? Twitter this, my friends. You will be glad you did.

Another thing about the deep blues this morning is that after a few weeks of medicating my diabetic cat I have noticed the first signs of my wishing it wasn’t needed. But it is. I looked at the cat a short while ago, she sitting at my feet, and me hunched like an old man. “You”, I told her, “Are the only reason I am still here”. No, this was not suicidal ideation. That pretty much requires anger and there ain’t none of that this morning. Not me, not here. But I wasn’t lying to her. Lying to a cat is a waste of time anyway. They read emotions, and intent. It is not that words are useless when communicating with cats, but I am not so sure that what you say has to actually make sense. They just need to see your jaw flapping.

Just came back in from the deck. High humidity, tepid air at 27º. Forecast is for a couple of days of snow afoot. I’d like that. The freshness, the whiteness, the softening of every sound. So, about the cat. She’s doing well. Lower insulin dosage seems to be just fine. I can’t see the blood sugar level, so there is always some worry. Lately I got some good buffering input to lessen the worries when they come. A friend of mine got wind of my cat’s illness and he called me right away. He’s a veterinarian, and yes he is the guy that got wrenched loose from the place I used to work and tossed aside on a rickety wagon of obloquy. Anyway, he gave me what amounts to a college level crash course in the modus operandi of diabetes in cats. He told me how the pancreas works, the kidneys as well. I was inculcated with the physiology of cats, which led into the history of the species, as desert animals. They are no different from big cats. Just smaller. Cats put up with us, but they are still wild. That last part is mine. It is one of the things that endears them crazy critters to me. All of the free education from the good doctor helps me immeasurably, especially considering that without the GoFundMe campaign my cat would very simply go without treatment. Even what has been donated so far is still not enough, although I am forever grateful for it all. But more is needed. So with the money and with the impressive knowledge and willingness to share from my doctor buddy I am able to give sweet baby kitty what she needs. I am a very lucky man, and for many reasons, not just about the cat. I am lucky to have that friggin annoying critter. The thing of it is, I am lucky to have the deep, silent running feelings. I’ve always had them, felt them, but my awareness of them increased from the head trauma those many years ago. Yet even after that they were still pretty inchoate. They were not honed nor readily accessible until I gained the good fortune of working with cats for over a year. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot from the people as well, even though some of it I wish I hadn’t. Just sayin’. I have numerous friends who also became family through the grit and stink of the nature of the job. But it was the cats. The cats taught me. I sit in awe of those beasts. Their capacity for emotion is beyond my ken, so to speak. And honesty, don’t forget honesty. It is quite often hard if not impossible to tell what a cat is thinking, but if you meet them on their level, instead of the cutesy sweetie pie level we use a bit too much, you can maybe find that sweet spot where the understanding doth not play well with thoughts and words. Let that sink in. I think that is what happened to the doctor. It wasn’t about words or thoughts, and most certainly not about understanding, it was about those deep silent running feelings. What those feelings were, their true nature, I have no idea, I can only guess. But I saw the results and I feel that what happened did not need to happen. It feels wrong. That’s the best I can do. Reminds me of that old Billy Crystal schtick from Saturday Night Live: “It’s not the way you feel, it’s the way you look!”. Oh, precious irony, thou dost raise my spirits. Thank you.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

 

Fire and the Hero’s Journey

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“I nest up in the tower that lets the Light in, I fish out on the bay beneath the sun, the young ones wait at home to learn the lesson, how much searching must be done”  ~  Ken Ebert, Osprey

“This is a roadside attraction,’ said Wednesday. ‘One of the finest. Which means it is a place of power.”  ~  Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Too many thoughts, too much input, my poor brain struggles under the load. Not that the coffee helps. Think of the guy in the corner at the Coffee Spot, Elevations, Taos Java, whatever, here in Taos, plugged in to a Mac Book Pro, nipping at his latte once in a while, and he’s taking it in, he’s catching the trending wave, he is fully embracing caffeine, as if some sacrament, which it most certainly is at this date in history. Dude’s stylin’. My Spell Check just tried to substitute “Stalin” for “stylin'” in that last sentence, but I caught it in the nefarious act, vetoed the notion, because that guy in the corner is sitting peacefully, and bothering no one. Leave him be. My point is the busy mind, and how caffeine seems to pull our consciousness further down into the torrents of the magpie chatter in our heads. Mine anyway. But I like my coffee so it is what it is what it is what it is, is it not?

It’s about time to go watch the sun crest the southern rim of Pueblo Canyon. That rim still blatantly shows the burn scars from the Encebado fire back in ’03. I used to sit in my car at lunch break, when I worked at Cid’s, and watch the fire fight while I ate lunch, which was intense, to put it mildly. But it helped me to get deeper into that primal and metaphysical element of Fire, and its mythopoeic implications. Now, when I watch the sun rise over those scars I get that deep down feeling where my primal instinct and intuition lay ready to instruct. Deep places, Collective Unconscious, Hero’s Journey. From this place I can most definitely see my chronic anxiety as the primal Life Force channeled through some very dysfunctional filters. But wait. That’s not fair. One of my goals, as an inquiring science geek type of guy, is to find purpose in this mental illness continuum, so the word “dysfunctional” is really misleading. It is functional, just not within the parameters and reasoning of what is accepted as our normal mental state. I can see it as an artifact born of modern American culture, but that as an only explanation is banal and shallow. I’m going to leave it at that. I could go on for at least a coupla thousand words on that topic. I guess it is on my mind because I am going in for an “skill assessment” as a prerequisite for an interview for the job that I want. Wish me luck, please. I’m saying I am nervous and I want it to be natural nervousness rather than clinical. I don’t want my occasional full left arm spasm to happen and have the guy be reminded of Peter Sellers in Doctor Strangelove! Nah, the guy’s likely not old enough to even know that movie. I’d better go.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

Flying With the Luck Dragon

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“When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into it’s dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment”  ~  Pema Chödrön

“It’s all fine to say, “Time will heal everything, this too shall pass away. People will forget”—and things like that when you are not involved, but when you are there is no passage of time, people do not forget and you are in the middle of something that does not change.”  ~  John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

Two great opening quotes today. As for the first – when I feel the need to resist change I go ahead and use my debit card. Mr. Steinbeck there has it nailed. When you are in the thick of a situation  .  .  .  ummm, things are thick, right? I mean its like of course things will get better, I know that, and you are completely missing the point of my plight. That said, the changes around me and in me have come in so fast and sometimes furious lately that I find myself looking around for Falkor the Luck Dragon. That may be a somewhat obscure reference, but iffin you’ve never seen The Neverending Story you just oughtta. Not exactly a kid’s movie now, is it? My friend Barbara turned me on to the movie. I used to go to her place several times a week, in the morning, to drink coffee and gossip. Barbara was a breathtakingly beautiful woman from Ocala, a true Florida Cracker, which is not a derogatory term iffin ya use it right. I went over one morning and as soon as I walked the the door she handed me a joint and said with a big grin “Spark it up, man”. So I did and she then said  “sit” and pointed to a chair by the window, where I sat and sparked up the joint. Next came coffee, then she slipped a VHS tape into the player.”You gotta see this!”, she said, and so I did. It is a remarkable story, and deep. Case in point, picture a twelve year old boy, Bastion, reading a fantasy book which was given to him by a strange old man in a book store that seemed to have popped up out of nowhere. At one point in the book he finds that the characters in the book are discussing him, just as a sudden storm blows open the window to the attic where he is reading. You see the fear rise up into his face as he says “That’s not possible”. And so it goes. It was, of course, possible. I can tell you this right now, in regards to the story, there is no way to escape The Nothing, but when dealt with it becomes quite manageable. Watch, you’ll see.

This post is number 600 for EyeYotee blog! Woohoo! No, wait, “Woohoo”? I am so sorry. My bad. I began this blog, after spurning Google/blogspot, on the very first day I began working at Stray Hearts animal shelter, back on tax day 2014. I no longer work there but the blog lives on. I think I will leave it at that for today. The shelter has been on my mind a lot lately. Maybe there is something to it, it feels fresh. I’ll just breathe and publish #600 here, then on to the day. Fresh, I tell you.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Any Major Dude Will Tell You

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“I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.”  ~  Hermann Hesse

“Any major dude with half a heart surely will tell you my friend, any minor world that falls apart falls together again”  ~  Steely Dan

It is all about instinct with me these days. Or so it seems. There was a time when my dad was still alive, and I was often contemplating Marcus Aurelius. There was some inspiration that prompted me to mention instinct and its role in our modern lives. Dad replied that maybe I should look back on my old friend back in the Florida Keys, who lived by instinct, and look at them hard, so as to see where instinct led them. That, my friends, was a tall order. I didn’t have to think hard at all. The Keys were and still are etched into my soul, a kind of cultural tattoo, there for both examination and/or gawking. The Keys, back then, were truly laid back, and had no need for declarations about laid-backness. There was a flagrance to the Caribbean laissez faire there, and the striving for excellence in proactive apathy fed the expatriate game, a sumptuous and moveable feast, most every friggin day. So, dad’s prompt, remember? I almost forgot. I’m not so sure it was instinct that made my friends so reckless with life. Instinct was there, a partner in glory, intentional or not. I call it glory now because that is what I called it then. Prodigious hangovers. Playing a part in bringing in a big load of drugs. Hooking up with a huge blue marlin. Growing out a beard like Hemingway. Declaring war on the United States and subsequently seceding, then surrendering and applying for foreign aid. Click on that link; it’s fun. I was there. Anyway, there was a lot of tomfoolery afoot in those days. Looking back, as I did, it didn’t really look much like instinct to me, it looked like a game where the widespread American culture was twisted and used as a toy. I think it was all played out like a video game. Parrot-heads as well, Buffet fed faux pirates. Mimicry, all done with a flourish, and embellished with personal touches. It was fun, but instinct? I think not and I might be wrong.

As for instinct, I am now looking at the Oregon militia catastrophe. There was an ambush by the Feds last evening. A bunch of those guys were arrested, and the guy that openly admitted that he wanted to die did so. There’s your instinct right there. Primate politics. Makes me think about the late great Robert Anton Wilson, of his marvelous book Prometheus Rising. The seizure and occupation of Federal land was kinda like saying “dude I’m taking this because I like say its really mine not yours dude. I plan on populating this with large mammals dude. If you disagree with me and try to take it back dude then yer like a no good shit dude. And I’m doin’ this ’cause I want to take after my daddy. Primate politics. Gets confusing, right? Boys got all puffed up, dressed up like models for Cabela’s, then went in and proceeded to play with computers and heavy equipment. Because freedom. And I’m like huh? Somebody could get hurt. Somebody did, and it was no longer amusing. Primate politics. Luckily we’uns still have our cerebral cortexes to offset the reptilian and mammalian instincts; that is iffin we wanna. Then there’s the neocortex as well, and how it is hardwired down into the heart. Imagine love as not primarily an emotion rather as a force for good, and brotherhood, sisterhood, whatever. Them boys seemed to think they were doing it in the name of love. The Feds as well? Likely so. But there we start getting into justice, and ethics, morality, whatever. It’s a long and endless highway when you set out to return to peace. Primate politics.

I’ll be headed dow into town soon to visit the lovely and helpful women at the veterinary clinic, where I will purchase prescribed meds to address the really very stinky diarrhea Rosie has of late. It’s been a problem for me. Let’s leave it at that. Thank the Goddess the gofundme.com is progressing nicely, and I am feeling secure in having the money to pay for all of this. Tis a blessing. I did not even want to ask for help, for money, but I need it because Rosie’s needs it. We need to keep this old girl in optimum helps for one in her position. The cat is hilarious though. OMG, She has come to yell at me; not catlike, she mimics my vocal expression. I’ve done a bit of expletive yelling during the intestinal issue stuff. There’s an Olde English saying that when a cat reaches ten years old they become able to speak. Maybe I shoulda been watching my words. And she’s like dude you feed me when I say cause Dr. Trish just got it wrong dude. And I’m like go get a mouse, they are carb-free dude.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Right About Now

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“This happened back east of course. I’ve heard that term a lot since coming to this part of the country. But I never think of the term as a marker of geography. It’s a reference to time, a statement about time, about all the densities of being and experience, it’s time disguised, it’s light-up time, shifting smoky time tricked out as some locus of stable arrangement.”  ~  Dom DeLillo

It has been an hour now that I have been searching for an acceptable quote to begin with. You see, I am in the thick of a temporal crisis, temporal fugue, whatever. Let’s just say that my present life situation is unpleasant, so I am often reluctant to stay present, giving sway to the enduring swarm of what-ifs around me, almost as if I at one time used the phrase ” . . . and time after time” and now I am stuck in it. If this is indeed the case it was a stupid thing to do. And if all that makes any kind of sense at all to y’all then have fun with it. It’s hurting my brain. This all started last night during a conversation with a friend, which was actually more like me ranting at the edge of panic than it was a conversation. She at one point said something like the past doesn’t matter, and I was like then why bother making more of it if it is only going to be discarded anyway. My inner red flag popped up immediately as I thought that. I never said it out loud. The thought alone was too much without it being spoken as well. That’s what I get for spurning the conventional wisdom. This too shall pass.

There’s not much to it today. Feeling pretty confused about things, and certainly not up to any kind of profound writing. But the day is a pretty one already, the kind that should give me a good go get ’em walkin’ on sunshine boost. The only necessary errand is to go buy an old fashioned incandescent light bulb. The last one I had, in the overhead lamp, burnt out last night. Now, with all those curlycue modern ones the lighting is like eating a meal that is too small. My brain is like okay where’s the rest of it. I should get two bulbs, one for the overhead and the other to hold over my head until it lights up. I could use a bright idea right about now. Now is all there is.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

Rest Stop in Lantana

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“It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when they have lost their way.”  ~  Rollo May

“What sort of philosophers are we, who know absolutely nothing of the origin and destiny of cats?”  ~  Henry David Thoreau

The cat is fed and the man and the cat are also medicated. These are the first accomplishments of the day, a day that seemed drab at its inception. No problem there. As a depressive I am well used to that sort of thing; the murk, yes, the murk. There has been a lot of reminiscence going on in my thoughts this morning. Not sure why that is. Perhaps looking back for some explanation or other as to why this, the dark spell, continues. It’s a feedback loop really, and I know that. And it is chemicals. Bad chemicals. Imbalance. Is it really? Maybe it is just bad programming, or the simple fact of programming to begin with, stiff residue of culture in general, slathered on and detectable only by the glazed-over look of  .  .  .  now wait just a darned minute there dude. I suppose it is hardly proactive to get a running start on the day by using starting blocks of cynicism. I am most assuredly grateful that I caught myself in time. You may thank me, and I in turn will thank you. Starting blocks, back when I ran track in high school, were really a moot point. I was picture perfect going over hurdles, graceful, a natural, but I couldn’t run fast if my life depended on it. That’s what they told me. I’ve heard that countless times throughout my life as it progressed from there, not just about my running ability, but about my basic job skills as well. But on my bicycle? Few would have stood a chance. Wade and I were riding back from Key Largo to Islamorada one day. For some unfathomable reason I got the uncontrollable urge to sprint, so I did so. Wade’s bike was a custom made $3000 machine and mine was a $200 Schwinn. The simple joy of hearing the whirring and clicking sounds that high speed invokes from a bike overtook me and I went from fast to zoom. At our usual rest stop, at the convenience store at the north end of Tavernier, I pulled in and sat down on the pavement, leaning against the building, to wait for Wade. It was a long wait. When he showed up he took his usual place at my side, huffing admirably, and he turned and looked at me and said “I tried to catch up with you but I finally had to give up. Man you were hauling ass”. I rest my case. Endurance too. At the bar where I worked some of them big boys from the Volunteer Fire Department used to tease me about my age, which was 40. I’d just smirk and say “Let’s take a bike ride up to South Miami and back, in one day, and we’ll see who’s old”. No takers on that one. Actually that was a sweet ride. There were many small alligators to be seen along the 18 mile stretch, which had canals running parallel to the highway, formed of the empty space created when they dredged the muck up and out to create the raised bed for the road. It was the Everglades, don’tcha know. I even saw an otter one day!

Seems I am all over the space/time continuum this morning. There is a very good chance that this stems from the feeling of life in general, which has made me perceptually exhausted, and that perception is sunk down into my muscles and bones, and my mind is just going like ugh dude. Poor me, right? I’m thinking about going to get a professional haircut, today or tomorrow. That should make me look younger if nothing else. And I am not sure whether or not it is cool to be using the donated medical funds from the cat, but it will make me look much more employable. Don’t worry, I won’t tell them how slow I work. What would be the point of that? I probably sound bitter about the speed thing but it is one of the leftover things stuck in my craw from the animal shelter. One of staff actually let the purported speed thingy slip out into public. Again, what would be the point in that? Thoughtlessness I suppose. I’ll run with that theory. But not fast. Wink, wink.

Oh! There was one time when I just didn’t have adequate speed. I’d flown up to Orlando, from Miami, with my bike in the cargo bay. I knew the ride back home, about 320 miles by my reckoning, would be a joy. And it was. At one point, as I was passing through some town just south of West Palm Beach, I was waiting for a stoplight to turn green when a buff and beautiful young woman zoomed past me and right on through the red light. She passed much closer to me than was necessary. But a rider of that skill level had to do something like that on purpose. Why? I took it as a form of high speed flirtation and likely it was. I never saw that light turn green. Spontaneous something or other, hormones, beliefs, whatever, took me from standstill to high speed in just a few seconds. I saw her glance back over her shoulder several times, and each time I pumped it a little harder. Yeah, I was looking pretty buff myself, and maybe even beautiful. Who knows? So the chase was on. I had to adopt some of her rebel riding techniques; ignored stoplights, that sort of thing, all discourtesies to the automobile traffic which we left in the dust. This was an urban area. Traffic was tightly controlled, unless of course it was two crazed youngsters on bikes. We did not care about that. I kept pace, even gaining on her a few times; and she continued to periodically glance back. I was close enough that I could see her beaming smile, framed ‘just so’ by straight blond hair whipped back by self-created wind. What a tease! Then suddenly, after yet another tease of a glance, she hung a right, leaning hard and low into that turn, down a residential street, and she was gone, as if she had never been there at all. I looked at the bike computer, which I’d also had the good fortune of doing just as I launched forth from that red light. Eleven miles, and here I was in downtown Lantana, winded bigtime, ready for a rest stop, and wondering what the heck I would have done with her if I caught her. She simply out-rode me. Ma’am, I thee salute.

Almost sunrise time. I look forward to it. It’s a great show and it doesn’t ever move fast. I wonder where she is today.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

When Schrödinger’s Cat Gnaws

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“Time is a game played beautifully by children.”  ~  Heraclitus, Fragments

“How quickly we grow accustomed to wonders. I am reminded of the Isaac Asimov story “Nightfall,” about the planet where the stars were visible only once in a thousand years. So awesome was the sight that it drove people mad. We who can see the stars every night glance up casually at the cosmos and then quickly down again, searching for a Dairy Queen.”  ~  Roger Ebert

Cousin Roger had a point there, to be sure. Yes, we are likely distant cousins, if not closer; families both came from the same Chicago area base, geographically speaking. But I am not one to neglect the stars or take them for granted. I read voraciously as a kid. Our house was never far from the library, always walking distance, in that small town, Clayton, Missouri, which has since become a friggin big city, yet it still swirls thickly with the memories from my childhood. I liked books about science and paranormal stuff best. I don’t recall it being called paranormal back then. But the science – the more I read, especially physics and astronomy, the more it became rock solid in my worldview that the better part of my world was all out there. I don’t mean better in the sense of quality, although I might think seriously about that at times; maybe later this afternoon would be nice. It is, after all, Sunday. I mean better in the other sense. Larger. Neil Armstrong (first fella to set foot on the Moon, kids; knew how to read and write cursive as well) pointed out that our huge planet looks like a pea from the moon. As a kid I would have been reaching for the pea shooter, right away without a thought. I hold deep respect for the stars. And if I ever do neglect them I find myself glancing up because I can feel them staring at me, and they are like all dude what’s up.

I didn’t mean to go all Garrison Keillor on y’all there. My bad. That’s really his job, not mine. Sunrise was muted, beautiful in that way, and mostly pastoral, except for them goofy ravens. I heard a couple of squawks overhead and looked up to see two of them flying side by side, except one was flying upside down. Ravens are weirdos. Maybe that will set the tone for the day? Could be. I’d be down with that. The thing is that I don’t really want a specific something from the day at all. I’ve got a strong urge to go to some park, Kit Carson, maybe the Eco Park, and walk the paths there. I’ve got to get the writer in me up off of his scrawny sedentary assets and out into the wide-open aerobic spaces. Or I could go to the Historic Plaza and be sedentary there, while taking in the rich people watching potential there. The idea of walking to wake up the writer within actually came to me from a woman named Brenda Ueland, from her elegantly simple book If You Want To Write (that link is the complete book, pdf. I recommend it highly), which is pretty much just what it sounds like. When I first read it I was living in Worcester, Mass., and danged if Ms. Ueland didn’t pry me right up and off of the chair. I liked to leave the triple-deckuh (sic) apartment and walk east on Shrewsbury Street until I came to a copse upon a steep incline leading upside Bell Hill. There wasn’t much of a view up there, not like yonder west on Airport Hill, where panoramic was the word. Hear tell a woman, a cousin of a friend, was driving up near the airport one day and a moose leapt from the hillside, landing square on the hood of her car. The animal just shook itself off and continued on it’s way. Had it been me, after my heart started again, I’d have been looking for the flying squirrel. You just never know, right?

There was something very strange happened to me this morning, and it was so personal that I’d decided to not share it here, and then I changed my mind, and back, and forth, then back again. My dad – I told him once that I had changed my mind and he said “What was wrong with the one you had?”. Anyway  .  .  . I found a seriously beautiful video of Jason Mraz and Daryl Hall doing one of Jason’s tunes (click that link. It is a treat). The song is about a man declaring tenacity and longevity in a relationship. At one point it reminded me of Lori Mellon, who was my soulmate, no doubt, and she died back in ’95, so I carry one of those wounds that will never heal. I started to cry out of longing, with a dash of despair. I almost never cry. And it was nearly a sob-fest. Rosie the cat was on my lap, and when the tears began I closed my eyes, and I felt her slink away from my lap. It was starting to slip beyond my control when I suddenly felt someone patting me on my right forearm, as if to comfort me in my grieving. WTF, I live alone. So I opened my eyes to see if Lori’s ghost had come to call. Nope. The cat had exited stage left, climbed up on the desktop, reversed direction, and began acting out; my crying pissed her off. I opened my eyes to witness her gnawing on my arm, yet the action was cushioned by the thick fleece of my robe, so no fangs. What do I make of this? The feelings were true and purely so. It was as if Lori had really been there. Was she really? I was wide awake so there were no hypnopompic shenanigans going on. Back when I used to participate in the Institute of Noetic Sciences’ early discussion boards I had taken the stance that when Spirit came to call it came through along the path of least action. I learned that concept from hippie/physicist Fred Alan Wolf. He used it in describing one aspect of shamanism (Fred is a shaman as well) as it relates to quantum physics. It is not “the path of least resistance“. It’s pretty much the Law of Conservation of Energy sidled upside the shamanic Toltec virtue of impeccability. Joseph Chilton Pierce described impeccability as – well, basically it means to use as little energy as is possible when performing an action; a lazy man’s means of performing an act of sorcery. What I mean to say here is that I believe that it truly was Lori reaching out to me, when I hot-wired the connection between our souls by listening to that song. And that takes us back to shamanism and physics as well. Quantum entanglement, which has been demonstrated in the lab, says that when two particles connect that connection never goes away, no matter how far away they are in space and/or time, and that goes for the future as well. Stephan Hawking said that according to quantum physics there is no reason that we cannot remember the future! So Lori reached out to comfort me this morning. The feeling that remains from that dreamlike encounter is as good as gold in that my heart is now at ease, and I got a fair amount of purging done through that one small action of opening my eyes to see if she was there; and it is the full moon as well, so the Veil between the Worlds is thin. Either way, spirit visitation or not, the effect is the same. I rest my case. The only thing that really bugs me is what the friggin heck was Rosie doing gnawing on my arm?!!! I have no idea, but she loves me. They both do. True story, mon amigas y amigos. Love knows no bounds.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

A Fair Sense of Freedom

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“The fey wonders of the world only exist while there are those with the sight to see them.”  ~   Charles de Lint

“Do not be a magician – be magic!”  ~  Leonard Cohen

What better way to celebrate the full moon, in Leo, than to open with a quote about the Fey, the Faerie folk. I know it is not a good idea to talk about them too much. I’ve seen their energy, but not their form. It was on a deeply cold Massachusetts night, 5º at 1 AM, and there is no mistaking what I saw. If you are a materialist you probably don’t believe in faeries. We are talking about the imaginal realm here. Belief definitely helps in perceiving this realm, for without belief it would be pretty hard to even begin to understand what you were perceiving; but that is just communion I am talking about here, and without communion you are unlikely to grok when you meet. All I saw was an aurora-like field of lights, but I knew what it was, for their language seeped into my heart, regardless of my inability to understand with my brain. It may sound like nonsense, but upon seeing them, a meeting which I vocally requested, I could see them. It helps to have a keen sense of nonsense, yet I jest not, dear friends.

I had a déjà vu this morning that lasted a fair part of five minutes. There’s always a magical feeling when a déjà vu runs so long, like this one did. It almost had the feel of mystical Unity to it. I’ll not claim that, for I am unemployed, and that might look suspect on the resume. Yesterday was somewhat of a lost day, but it came from intention, because I needed the hermit thing, the solitude, with a lack of expectation; soul stuff, blended ever so carefully with this here material reality. Folks tell me that it’s all, this world, an illusion. Yeah, compared to what? Let’s go no further with that one. But I did put some energy toward my job search. We’ll see. It is on the verge of becoming a necessity. It’ll be good to get back out into the mundane workaday world. I’ve come to realize that the grieving I must bear from losing my job at the animal shelter will never quite end. Some grief has to be that way, if for no other reason than you are not only stuck with it, it is also an outgrowth from the roots you left behind. Beauty makes it so. And, you may ask, what comes next? I don’t know, but I do know that I have a lot of room to move these days, and necessarily so. There’s a fair sense of freedom, before the Fates finally lower the boom, making employment a fact. And maybe even after the Fates have their way. That is the nature of fate. The Spirits at play in fate may do little more than giggle at quantum probability and the collapse of the quantum wave. I think I will leave it at that for today. Must be the full moon done got me a little out of phase here. I keep getting glimpses of magic this morning. It’s a fair way, and a gift from the Fair Folk, and I would be daft to say no. So I will say yes. I am daft enough as it is on the natch.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

The Spider and the Spirits

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“All sanity depends on this: that it should be a delight to feel the roughness of a carpet under smooth soles, a delight to feel heat strike the skin, a delight to stand upright, knowing the bones are moving easily under the flesh.”  ~  Dorris Lessing

 “The weather of depression is unmodulated, its light a brownout.”    ~  William Styron

It seems the moon is reeling me right in. I just stepped outside and found myself glad that she had slipped softly down below the rise leading up to the mesa. The nearly blinding brightness, I suppose, yet again I was not in any way required to stare as I did. The silver light earlier was some of that ineffable beauty, so I should not complain. It’s been a rough morning due to management. Depression thick and sticky, anxiety cranked up, so if you feel you might be disturbed don’t read on. Mom has been on my mind lately. I like to think that this means her spirit is nearby, and she may very well be.

I keep thinking back to those many days when I was helping her in her journey toward passing over. It was a good journey and as ineffable in beauty as the moon was earlier this morning. But hard, so very hard. It’s some of the scars I attained back in those days that ache in me this morning. There is beauty in that as well. Those scars glow with an elegant light; sort of golden, yet not. And the memories glow as well.

We started out that journey, when she was all settled in with healthy resignation as to her plight, with a Harry Potter marathon. It only went so far as “The Goblet of Fire”, but that was enough. It was all there was at that point; 2016 don’tcha know. I slept on the floor during that journey, and I remember the night I went to the kitchen of that old adobe house to get a glass of water, and I used a beer mug just to remind myself that I loved beer but having it would interfere with my caregiving role. When I got back to where I had my bed upon a camping pad there was a giant spider next to my pillow. Yikes! I’ve since identified it as hogna carolinias, a huge jumping wolf spider. Click here if you want to have a looksee. Go ahead, it adds to the story. Imagine a body length of 1.4″, add long legs and go from there. Anyway, our hero, upon seeing the spider and emitting a world-class gasp, chugged the pint of water then tipped the mug upside down and slipped it over the beast. I found a piece of cardboard, slipped it beneath the rim of the mug, then transported the beast outside, where I let it loose under the lilac trees. Talk about shivers! I’d thought I was hallucinating at first, from lack of sleep. I was more often than not getting only 1-2 hours of sleep.

Then there was the night, toward the end, when I reluctantly applied a second Fentanyl patch on her for the intense pain. She soon began to shiver intensely; cold, she said. I got her two blankets, which had no detectable affect at all. But I soon found out why. It was the spirits. The opiate lowered her resistance and the dark spirits swarmed in close, swirling in a very hungry way. It took a lot of focus but I eventually chased them all away. I’m good at that sort of stuff, having spent a fair amount of time, since my NDE, dealing with that other world of spirits. Mom’s house was in Talpa, and most any Taoseño knows how Talpa is. They say it’s the witches there, and La Llorna, but the place is thick with ghosts and other spirits as well. Sometimes I had to tell them all to fuck off before I could get any sleep at all. I hadn’t known, before that time, that spirits are drawn to the dying. Some kind of ghosty entertainment? But now I know. How could I not?

Those two anecdotes should go in my next book, the one that I have been deeply reluctant to write, but now that the beloved Stephen Levine has died I may just have to get on with it. Through his books, and through snail mail notes exchanged with his wife, Ondrea, he has helped me immensely with learning to accept death. But, I guess, sharing these anecdotes here this morning has been a bit of mini-catharsis to vent the bulky inner pressure that a shit storm of active depression creates. Poor me, right? Regardless, I’ll have to take it easy today. This spell is that intense. Many depressive days are easily managed, but sometimes the stuff just makes you sit down and be still. Sitting down and being still is something that, as a spiritual teacher, Stephen Levine recommended. Dude like I just might do that dude. A big green fatty would  .  .  .  oh, never mind that!

The cat is deep asleep next to me. She pigged out then let me poke insulin, and then she nodded off, only after I kept her awake long enough to be sure that she wasn’t in ketoacidosis lethargy. “Simple prudence, Harry”, as Dumbledore might say. Hmmm, maybe he did. So it’s about time to head out to my sunrise observation perch. It is friggin 14º out there, but I am dissociated enough this morning that it shouldn’t bother me none. It’s a moody one, for sure, but it feels to be a beautiful day a comin’ down the pike. Did ya know that it is possible to be depressed and still think positive as well? It is.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.