“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.