That Gnarly Roadside Gift Shop Stuff

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“I put instant coffee in a microwave oven and almost went back in time.”  ~  Steven Wright

I sometimes praise cats for their wisdom, yet I just noticed that when the cat is in a hurry to get breakfast she walks in front of me to slow me down. It’s like a feline koan or something. I’m not feeling well this morning. So what’s new, right? The point in mentioning it at this time is to preface my desire for as much nonsense as possible today. That is usually not hard to find, but I desire quality nonsense, not that gnarly roadside gift shop stuff; except maybe for rubber alligators, those are kinda cool. Once again it is laundry day. That’s good, on many different levels. Ummm, I guess that levels are always different. That really hurts my brain. Let’s move on. Chances are good that I will get my first smartphone today. My carrier grants $1o credit every time you pay the bill. The nice fella over at their office said I can get a Samsung Galaxy S3. I don’t know what to make of it. We’ll see. I suspect that it will be fun, or at least seriously amusing to my inner 13 year old. He LOVES modern tech. And on that note I will wrap up this sadly short post. I’ve really got to pull myself together if I am going to get anything done. See, I’m scattered all over this little room. Keep your wits about you, my son. And that I shall do.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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Like a Hurricane

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“Everyone can perform magic, everyone can reach his goals, if
he is able to think, if he is able to wait, if he is able to fast.”  Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

All the news sound strange this morning, most of it just a little strange, but some of it is really really out there. In my mind the strangest I’ve encountered so far is a thought of my own, which arose while reading about what the literally and thoroughly appalling Mr. Trump has done this time. And I thought – can’t somebody just make him stop. I don’t know what got into me. My state of mind, after I got home from work yesterday, was as bad as it has been within recent memory. It’s not much better this morning but at least the anger and paranoia I felt has come back down. An early small dose of anxiety meds helped a lot. So did burning some white sage, just in case dark shadows might be real. I can’t say one way or another, but regular readers of this blog should know that I never hesitate to consider the possibility. The point being made, or hopefully being made, is that it’s all calmed down now, so I can give myself a break. That’s one of the tricky parts of mental illness – a bad spell does a bad thing by convincing us to carry it forth long after the trigger or trauma is over, gone, whatever.

I just took pause after the previous paragraph to sneak a glance at Facebook, at my newsfeed. I noticed something that I had simply glanced over before, although it has been there for at least one day now. The annual “Dog Days of Summer” benefit concert for Stray Hearts Animal Shelter, which happens come August, is featuring the old band Firefall as a headliner. I always liked that band. Easy listening. We called it “Adult Contemporary” back then. That in itself is lovely, and I hope that the turnout and proceeds from the concert will be stellar. As much as I have griped about the shelter in these pages I have come to realize that it was all ‘people stuff’, that the shelter as an institution, enterprise, public service, whatever, is deeply important to me. I feel honored to have worked there for the 16 months that I managed to achieve. It always tickles me when I mention that I worked at the shelter I so often hear, “Oh, you got paid?”. Yes I did. It was an enriching experience and I got paid. Pretty good deal. Now, about Firefall, and why this is important for me. Back in 1984, Firefall was the first band to play at the night club where I worked, right after my bicycle crash, which delivered to me a respectable head trauma and a Near Death Experience. In memory I am pretty sure that I did not attend the concert. I can’t say for sure. The scars on my face, from the facial impaction, were still showing traces of the wounds that put them there. And I was still freshly trying to cope with the serious duality hammered into me by the fact that I had seen Cosmic Oneness, first hand, and had come out of that vision to face a world where nobody friggin wanted to hear it. A world, small though it may have been, where people dismissed the severity of my injuries, and they scoffed at my reports of celestial beauty. The night club was pumped up on cocaine and Crown Royal. But I didn’t get support from family or friends either. Not that I remember. What I remember is a feeling of supreme isolation. And I had a headache. Poor me, right/ I was simultaneously enraged at society and dazzled by celestial beauty. So Firefall was simply another bit of flotsam kicked up by hurricane force winds that no one else could see or feel. What I am saying while playing with words here is that seeing the Facebook post about Firefall acted as a PTSD trigger. Boy howdy I am having a flashback. It just tears me up to think about what I went through back then. That accident was the birth of PTSD for me, and I am all like weepy and stuff so I’d better get a shower – oh, feed the cat first – and then feed and dress myself. Functioning in society requires a brave face. I’ve got one of those and it works well. The rest of this stuff is all for me to work out in the privacy of my own mind. As luck would have it I have a therapy session tomorrow. Yeah, whatever.Ya gotta be tough if you have to cry before work. It should be a good day though. I insist.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Deep and Natural Love

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“Because, as we all know, it’s easier to do trivial things that are urgent than it is to do important things that are not urgent, like thinking. And it’s also easier to do little things we know we can do than to start on big things that we’re not so sure about.”  ~  John Cleese

“Great dreamers’ dreams are never fulfilled, they are always transcended.”  ~  Alfred North Whitehead

Softness seems to be the feel of the day. How can something ‘seem to feel’? Let’s just call it an indictment against doubts. Doubts are like the guy who zooms by you in a no passing zone then makes a right hand turn just two blocks down. Let that one sink in, no hurry. I know that there are proactive doubts as well. Prudence and all that happy stuff. On a practical level. But I’ve got creativity and mental illness on my mind and they ain’t likely to take leave before bedtimes comes. That’s cool. Whatever. Speaking of bedtime I awoke to find Rosie the cat laying alongside me this morning. This is very unusual, unless she does it while I am off dreaming somewhere, and I don’t know about it, and wouldn’t that be just like a friggin cat to do something so sneaky. I know she’s got my back on a psychic, astral level. You just never know when some bruja, or chaos magician, a Republican pollster or a   .  .  .  no wait, that sentence was well on the way to becoming unruly, and I was simply trying to portray the way in which my kitty cat protects me from the pigments (sic) of my imagination. These dark shadow phenomena are not imaginary, they are imaginal. There is a lot of difference between the two. And I am gonna leave this meandering train of thought parked in obscurity, as I move on. Now, I awoke with no noticeable anxiety this morning. This is very rare. And I didn’t even snap until just a short while ago when I was sitting out on the deck and I heard what sounded like a muffled shriek from a small mammal; definitely not a cat, I thought. Not 30 seconds later here comes the neighbor’s cat, wandering along the garden path, nonchalantly as they do, sauntering through the shadows. I hissed. The cat turned to look at me. I hissed again, louder. The cat moved on. It was not long before I heard the non-cat sound again. This whole episode stirred me up on a primal brainstem level. That’s when the visceral anxiety kicked in, and I was instantly reminded that adrenaline rushes can trigger the anxiety for me. Long after the adrenaline is gone from my system the anxiety remains. Sometimes for days. Geez, who am I kidding. It most often goes on for days, weeks, months, whatever. That’s why they call it a disorder. Duh. Furthermore, this whole episode brought Tessie to mind, and I then remembered that it is approaching the second anniversary of the day that Tessie chomped down on my right index fingertip. It happened one month, almost to the day, after I began working at the animal shelter. I had started working with dogs, but my goal was to work with the cats exclusively, so I was cross-training that day, working with Amber, who would go on to become one of the – maybe a dozen by now – platonic loves of my life. Anyway, that aside, she and I were cleaning up cat poop and shredded newspaper and stuff. I was on one side of the cattery and she was across the room. Then, suddenly, a scream rang out. Pardon me for the trite expression here but the whole scene was mucho dramatic, k? “A cat got loose!”, Amber yelled. I was off like a shot, going to assist in apprehending the errant cat. I got over to where Amber and I ended up face to face, and I asked where the cat went. But I found out as the cat came zooming beside my left ankle. Instinct gave me a foolish action, but it was all I had. I reflexively reached down to grab Tessie as she rocketed past my foot, a silver gray missile, as fast, at least, and Wiley Coyote. And I got her, back around the rear end of her rib cage. I ratcheted up the pressure and she became almost compliant for a moment. Protocol says to get the animal by the scruff, to achieve control over the animal. I’m mostly a rule-abiding guy, so I went for it, released my already controlling grip aiming to achieve an even better controlling grip. As my right hand moved toward her shoulders her head whipped around to the right, at which point Tessie sunk both fangs into my fingertip, right down to the bone. Oops. What had felt dreamlike became real in an instant. I dropped the cat and began to yell “God damn it” over and over, as I rushed to the utility sink to run the insulted finger under cold water, wherein I fell into a meditation as I watched my blood run down the drain. Amber was yelling as well.

That day I was fully initiated into the animal caregiver biz. Perhaps I should have seen that incident as an omen for the sad ending I would find at the shelter, but I am glad I didn’t. Tessie and I made up within two months. It had been a point of intimacy. It had been the most intense pain of my whole life; we’re talking broken bones, rheumatic fever, and facial impaction head trauma. And through it all, and on into the future, there was an undercurrent of deep and natural love, which remains to this day.

After that long stream of consciousness paragraph I had better got on to prep for the day. Stream of consciousness? I love it when I start the day in a conscious state! It’s like Tessie: she woke me up in an instant, and I love her for it. She went on to be adopted, but only after I initiated a push to get the old-timers out and into good homes, which was quickly accomplished through the efforts of the crew that I didn’t feel too good about. That was all politics, however. The bite, and the adoption push – that was all about love and freedom.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

Mingling Intimately

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“Consciousness creates form. It is not the other way around. All personalities are not physical. It is only because you are so busily concerned with daily matters that you do not realize that there is a portion of you who knows that its own powers are far superior to those shown by the ordinary self.”  ~  Seth, spoken through Jane Roberts

“There are so many unsung heroines and heroes at this broken moment in our collective story, so many courageous persons who, unbeknownst to themselves, are holding together the world by their resolute love or contagious joy. Although I do not know your names, I can feel you out there.” ~ David Abram

As I settled in, got my head out of political journalism, I realized that I am out of friggin coffee, and I want more, so I have to take a break from writing, right up front, to make more of that sumptuous brew that some people, many people, use to make candy drinks. I love that they do that. I also love that I don’t. There’s nothing like a good steamin’ cup of black coffee in front of you while you write writerly stuff. All this coming from a guy who still holds a vivid image of Juan Valdez and his mule smiling at a shopper from down the aisle in the supermarket. If you don’t understand my pop culture reference here, you are young enough to not know what you are missing. I miss those days of innocence. Shit, I can’t remember anything beyond the old Shake and Bake commercials. Or was that Wake and Bake. Whatever dude I don’t remember. Gotta go start a fresh pot. Busy backson.

I’ve been finding that the feature on Facebook that takes you back to “memories” is kinda cool. Because of this blog, which I write nearly daily, I have a journal of sorts, and I find that I like to go back and see where my head was at this time last year. I re-posted one yesterday that talks about mental illness, and how I see it, and relate to it. Boy howdy don’t turn your back on these disorders folks! Just sayin’. Now, this morning I read one of those old posts and found a brief passage  about an intense and gentle bout of spontaneous flirtation. The scene was like something out of a movie. I knew that the woman involved has connections to Hollywood people but I didn’t know until later that day, when I googled, that she is pretty darned famous in her own right, and highly accomplished as well, and I was like wow. Lucky me, right? I ain’t bragging. There are brief and beautiful encounters in life. This was one; one of the best. I should note that I just went back into the archives to find that post, to provide a link for you to click, but that post is simply not there. It’s not there! Then I went to the browser history and it is not there either. Very freakin’ strange. I’m not kidding folks. Seems that the Universe is messing with my head bigtime. I read that post less than an hour ago. I remember the conversation like it happened just yesterday. And when I remembered the conversation I remembered falling in love. Now, the gift of falling in love is that it connects you with the love you have within yourself. It’s not likely she is reading this, but, my dear, if you are let’s do coffee sometime. As for you readers please know that this “missing post” thingy is NOT a literary or comic device. That post really did vanish. But – there really is magick in the world, but I prefer the kind expressed through that conversation to the kind where I lose a friggin post and now it is going to friggin haunt me all day. Hey, maybe that woman buys hardware? It’s a workday. If a guy doesn’t dream he’s a gull danged fool. Imagine that the conversation occurred with us both leaning, face to face, close, our forearms resting atop a cage full of kittens. You’ll never see that in a movie. I got to be there in realtime. Actuality and imagination sometimes mingle intimately. Ssss-weet!

Wow. It’s time to prep for work. The sinus infection is starting to budge under the antibiotic assault, but I still feel like crap. The headache is the worst. No biggie. I have been given the remembrance of magic, as well as a realtime example of magic. I’m nodding my head here, as I write, in the affirmative, noting the illusory nature of time, and the power of love, and I realize that this post may sound contrived. Nope. It ain’t.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

A Cartoonish Look of Outrage

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from left to right – Big Red and Phyllis Diller

“As I have told you before, those who speak to you in terms of guilt; ignore them. Those who tell you that to be spiritual is not to be physical do not understand the great physical-spiritual nature of your being. They have not dreamed in their minds. They have not sparkled in themselves like stars and so experiencing night they think that existence is dark.”  ~  Seth, spoken through Jane Roberts

Oh, good, the space heater just kicked in; now I don’t have to reach over there to turn the thermostat up. I can hear the cat nibbling kibble. And somebody better damn well make some more coffee. Shit. It’s just me and the cat, so the onus is on me. Seems I have a little bit of profanity going this morning. It’s just a social convention that makes it so, a convention that can be fun if you use it the right way. I hope I’m doing it right. Probably just a by-product of my very achy body in conjunction with a hazy mind. Oh, by the way – Happy Easter. Whatever. Ostara has passed, and I’m a neo-pagan, but there is room for everyone. I could say that I have to wait for Beltane, if I want to be festive, but I can bask in the glow from those who do find reverence in the holiday they practice on this day. My old friend, Jimmy the Welder liked to say that every day is a holiday. Let’s leave it at that.

The sinus infection has taken to cycling. Comes and goes as far as my attention and perception is concerned. The Nurse Practitioner gave me a 10-14 day course of doxycycline, and I will stay the course, regardless of pharmaceutical naysayers. They don’t have to deal with this dense rock of a head. I’ve got a headache. As for some deeper and holistic source of my recurrent sinus troubles I could say it is a manifestation from Spirit. Likely so. But I must also consider that the ventilation in my head was long ago compromised when I had my face punched in by my bicycle handlebars. Poor me, right. Why Spirit had me relate to the handlebars in that manner is a question that has haunted me for over three decades. I don’t think that an answer is really the point here. The point is that I keep thinking about it as time goes on. It’s a WTF that keeps on giving. It has bothered me enough that I wrote a book about it. Oh, that reminds me  .  .  .

I finally finished reading Debra Diamond’s wonderful book, Life After Near Death. Debra nailed it. Of course I am endlessly delighted to be one of thirteen principle case studies in the book. That’s not the point. What really moved me – which is like moving a piano, at times – was to feel the energy behind the words, so perfectly crafted, in relation to how NDEs reshape the lives of us experiencers, as time goes on, which is especially poignant when you look at how most of us also got a look at how time ain’t really linear, at all. So many people, at just the mention of NDEs, go all Love and Light and stuff. Yeh, there’s that. But that ain’t the half of it. Listen: don’t try this at home, k? You don’t want to go there. The thing is that our exposure to that extreme level of energy harmonics made a normal daily life, after exposure, about as probable as a wise, complete phrase from Donald Trump. And she speaks of feelings of isolation as well. That’s been a big one for me, and I am deeply grateful for Debra’s descriptions of how those feelings seem to be pretty much permanent for us NDE folks. Some of us. I was ostracized from the very minute I returned to daily, mundane life, maybe because I wanted to talk about the most magical, mind-bending experience I’d ever had, and I wanted folks to know that there is a much higher level to this thing called life, and gosh durn it it’s all about energy and vibrations, and Light, and mind, and body and soul. It was pretty clear that, with all that kind of talk, I had become a weirdo. Whatever. Life After Near Death focuses of the after-effects of NDEs. My after-effects, the ones that Debra wrote about in her book anyway, have to do with enhanced hearing and the occasional disturbances I conjure with electrical and electronic stuff. Some of it has faded over the years. But I still can’t wear a watch, because I kill them just by wearing them. Used to be that I could blow out a light bulb just by moving nearby. The enhanced hearing is the oddest thing.That has faded a tad, but mostly I have learned to manage it, thus keeping it at a dull roar. The thing is, I can sometimes hear a conversation, word for word, from across a large room, even as big as a supermarket. And if somebody is talking about me, at a distance, I can hear it as a clear whisper in my left ear when I am out of earshot. It’s the darndest thing! I’m not real fond of it, but it has proven to be indispensable at times. People get the funniest looks when they get busted for talking behind my back. I remember one woman in my recent past who got a hilarious cartoonish look of outrage on her face when I told her something she had said about me. I hadn’t even been in the room when she said it. “HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT??!!”. But don’t worry. My filters usually keep out this kind of hearing. It only busts through the filters when there is a clear and present threat of some kind. OMG you should have seen her face, made even more comical by the Red Bull jitters she had in the first place. Geez lady, ya didn’t have to say it in the first place.

It’s a peaceful morning, once again. My mental fog is lifting nicely. It is 16º as I write this. It is laundry day, and then if the opinions of my achy bones can be trusted it will likely be a movie for me this afternoon. It’s been fun writing this morning. Thanks for reading. Y’all come back now, y’hear.

Peace out. Goof gloriously.

The Glow of Humanity

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“Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to.”  ~  Alan Watts

There’s not much time. But I did it to myself. I was nearly immersed in reading all about the Presidential election campaigns when I noticed what I was doing and sighed our a big ole WTF. And the world became a safer place, if only by degree. This does not, in any kind of effective way, mean that I detach myself from the bovine feces being flung about so casually. Learn to duck. Pretty basic stuff. I still Support Bernie, but my way is to watch him shine. I’ll not post supportive things on Facebook; dude shines, I mean come on now, he may not win, and I will definitely, without losing a step, support Hillary. I saw her on Jimmy Kimmel recently and it was priceless. He gave her a good demonstration of mansplaining  in regards to her overall activity and expression while giving a speech. Although it was a sketch, comedy, you could see her getting all ruffled and stuff. Her feathers came up like a tom turkey bracing against the cold. It was priceless, but she eventually got the gist and eased into being part of the sketch rather than a victim. Sweet. Jimmy Kimmel is a master.

Our opening photograph is of a dog, wolf, whatever, I came across out on the mesa one day, a couple of years ago, and this animal really gave me cause to pause and wonder. I was walking (hiking seems so formal a word) out on an old cart trail, along slightly rolling sage forest land. I’m up on a rise, moving toward the downhill and I see something hauling ass, coming down the next rise before me. Instinct kicked in so I grabbed my walking stick more firmly and lifted it from the ground, not thinking really, just doing the animal dance. I could see it was canine, but instead of a doggie fast trot this thing was hunkered down near the earth, loping along a shallow sine wave pattern, and hauling ass! I had no time to run, nor any inclination to do so. The point of contact was inevitable, so I eased into the fact that I was huffing alarm and ready for contact. As the dog approached I could finally see his eyes, which locked-in with mine. He did not slow down as he neared me, nor did he as he passed right by me without slowing down at all. He gave me a little glance, full of animal wisdom, as he passed. He was fucking with me. I smiled. Stunned only briefly I removed my camera from the belt pack and turned to watch him run along, hoping maybe to snatch a photo. As I raised the camera to snap a shot he stopped, and turned, and gave me a gift. I gasped as I clicked the button and got the shot, and I thought, “dude shines!”.

Gotta get on to my day. The sinus infection is – oh, did I tell you I have a sinus infection? I went to Urgent Care yesterday. I let it go too long so my head and the good judgement it contains at times is under siege. But reinforcements are fighting back. Doxycycline. The real treasure from my visit with the lovely Nurse Practitioner was that as she headed to the exam room where I waited her laptop gave a prompt that basically said ‘if you don’t plug me in to recharge you will be shit out of luck’. So she did the examination with no computer. I got a realtime one-on-one, just like in the old days. Not some educated person inputting data throughout the whole examination. She actually connected, we connected, and I got more of a healing feeling than I have in a long time. Two people, not just conversing and shuffling data. We were two people addressing an element of reality, which happened to be the beleaguered condition of my sinuses, and the glow of humanity within that tiny exam room was palpable. The more shine the better. And now, I had better go shower. I still feel like shit but I can feel the meds working. And on we go.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

In Search of Actual Rest

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“The task is…not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees.”  ~  Erwin Schrödinger

There’s no telling if it procrastination or not. It’s cold but not too cold. And the morning has been more quiet than usual. I’ve been diagnosed with a sinus infection; red, sore throat and lots of fluid back in the ears. The head is hard-packed and aching. Shooting pains. This has been going on for at least a month albeit at a lower level. The medical provider gave me doxycycline yesterday and so far it has gone only so far as to piss off the bugs that are having their way with me. Give it time. As for procrastination, I kinda doubt that at this point. I just don’t feel good, thus the fogged-out mental capacities. As remiss as I feel about it today’s blog post is going to be a short one, mostly drawn from feeling ill. I’ve had multiple things to write about in the past few days but danged iffin I can remember a one of them. At this point I am simply waiting for it to become light enough outside to let the birds out of the coop and then with the pressure off I will do who knows what. Ever since  .  .  .  well, let’s just say that I haven’t been getting much actual extra rest these days. Save for an obligate mini-journey down to the post office and back I will be doing the hermit, introvert, crowd-burned thing. Restorative personal maintenance.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Today’s Clouds

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“Some people have a way with words, and other people…oh, uh, not have way.”  ~  Steve Martin

It’s all clouds this morning. The sky is clear. It’s just me. Tired, confused, waiting patiently for the next good laugh. It will be a good day. This I know. The turkey just gobbled out a hello and just a few minutes ago the donkey in the pasture across the road brayed magnificently. I’d forgotten how loud those things are. Beautiful sound.

I’m going to be brief today. I woke up with tears in my eyes and I have no memory of my dreams. Maybe just weariness? Soul weary. I think so. It’s been five days since the cat crisis. That is certainly catching up with me. The shock finally lifted yesterday. How much of a daze have I been in anyway? As a spell of PTSD, which it was, it lasted twice as long as such spells usually do. Drink lots of water and eat food. Pretty basic stuff. Get rest, get exercise. Self-maintenence. Even with chronic illness the formula for immediate recovery is always the same. Let’s see how it works. The day must be busier than I would like it to be, but there are obligations. Blood sugar test for the cat then a therapy session for the man. Both needed. I think I will leave it at that.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

In the Aspen Grove at Midsummer

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“How does consciousness ever begin? How could that possibly occur? And is that question any less enigmatic than trying to figure how it might arise at a later date? Is consciousness synonymous with everything?”  ~  Robert Lanza

Consciousness seems like a good place to start this morning. The second cup of coffee has been ingested, so it seems that I do indeed have consciousness, if not only an illusion of it. I’m not sure there is a difference. You tell me. It’s quite windy and moderately cold outside at the moment. The cat, who is quite alive thank you very much, is moaning for food, which shall appear as soon as I have enough copy here to make me feel confident that I have produced an adequate blog post. And boy howdy I was significantly flirtatious yesterday at work. It was fun. I’ll try it again today. Full moon in Libra, don’tcha know. The potential for charm floods through my being like a warm wind through an aspen grove at Midsummer. My lust for life, though somewhat lacking this morning, is like  .  .  .  well, let’s just say that it is in the vicinity of that same aspen grove. With any kind of luck at all it will meander on into that grove, and then who knows what might happen. But, you see, I had better go feed that moaning cat. So mournful, so hungry, and very much alive, and thank you very much. Grateful I am. And the feelings of guilt are slowly fading. Forgiveness of thyself is a wise path to follow. Some things take time.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

Do Be Do Be Do

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“There is a common superstition that “self-respect” is a kind of charm against snakes, something that keeps those who have it locked in some unblighted Eden, out of strange beds, ambivalent conversations, and trouble in general. It does not at all. It has nothing to do with the face of things, but concerns instead a separate peace, a private reconciliation.”  ~  Joan Didion, Slouching Toward Bethlehem

Big dipper, night sky gone pale, cat calling politely for breakfast, and I feel calm and shaky. I remembered to take my meds earlier than I have been lately. Lucky me. They should kick in soon. What is it like to have mental illness? We don’t say “I am mentally ill” we say “I have mental illness”; that makes all the difference. It’s not who I am, it’s what I have to learn to live with. It can be a teachable moment or it can be a demon. I prefer the former, and I most often manage to choose that. It was that way yesterday at work, late in the shift, and I was tired, and I clearly saw, felt the illness creeping in. Good awareness that. I talked myself out of going to the supermarket after work. I spend too much when the illness tricks me down into relinquishing control. I absolutely love that phrase: tricks me down. It says a lot, and it’s not common usage. I’m a writer. Novelty means a lot to me. I can go all Hemingway on you, go with the staccato phrasing and short declarative sentences, or I can go with David Abram, with his sumptuous, sensuous poetics. I can go all Vonnegut, and I can go with the warm scholarship of Christian de Quincey. I met Christian in person, at a conference on Science and Spiritualality, shook his hand. His is an unassuming Irish accent. Priceless. His blue jeans and sport coat are some kind of a fashion statement but I’ll be danged if I know what it is, what it all means. He wrote a book, Radical Science, that is one on my listless list of most impactful books; life-changers, seminal masterpieces. I met Eric Pearl, who wrote The Reconnection. Dude couldn’t connect with me through eye contact. His line of vision quivered instead of focusing. Very, very odd. And I met Gregg Braden, who I already knew. He asked me if I was there to see him, referring to himself in the third-person. Gregg is cute, and I love him for it. I didn’t get to meet Amit Goswami, although I would have liked to. In his seminar he began by talking about the flurry of activity and socializing at the conference in between seminars and workshops, and he used that in reference to the benefits of someone maybe just sitting in a chair and watching the goings on. He was referring to me. Had to be. I was the only one who had done such a thing, as far as I knew. I saw no one else doing it. My ego enjoy the implied praise for non-ego practice. Paradox, right? Well, at least a riddle.

“It is not just do do do. It is not just be be be. It is do be do be do.”  ~  Amit Goswami

Well well well, how deep the rabbit hole, how sweet the treasures in life. I watched an 8 minute video talk by Ondrea Levine this morning. Powerfully moving. Gregg likes to use the word “powerful” in his writing. Ummm, never mind. It’s not about gregg. Ondrea will tell you to “treasure yourself”. She does it all the time. Try it, you’ll like it. That practice helps me deal with the illness. I love Ondrea and she gives great hugs.

I gotta git on ta work, y’all. Feed cat, feed self, go look at the pre-sunrise sky over Pueblo Canyon, feed the chickens, feed and admire/praise the beautiful Oscar the turkey, and stop for coffee on the way. I’m tired and achy, and still chagrined at almost losing my cat to death last Saturday. Life goes on. Treasure yourself, k?

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.