When Hawks Dance With Ravens

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“Nothing comes unannounced, but many can miss the announcement. So it’s very important to actually listen to your own intuition rather than driving through it.”  ~  Terence McKenna

“Cease trying to work everything out with your mind. It will get you nowhere. Live by intuition and inspiration and let your whole life be a Revelation.”  ~  Eileen Cady

A Blessed Samhain to you, one and all. I see it as the Celtic New Year, a time when the Veil between the worlds in thin, if not completely open, a time for communing with the Ancestors, listening to them, and learning still in their physical absence. It’s not so much to ask, right? A time of liminality, a time for reverence and peace. Never mind all those costumes and demons and nasty woman witches. That stuff is fun for many, but it is Halloween, not Samhain. Tomorrow will be the 22nd anniversary of my arrival in Taos. I don’t know what to think of it. I came here without planning, without even a smidgen of knowledge that I might do so. Hmmm, it’s a mixed bag. As it turns out I came to help my parents die, dad first, then mom. Cancer. And now what? I am at a low point, without a view of where life may go from here; a hermit of sorts, waiting, not knowing what it is I am waiting for. I stay home most of the time when I am not at work. Silly me. I’m sure it will change. But it feels right, regardless of the common wisdom, with a taboo toward solitude and slowness. Both are serving me well. And it is only days away from the 10th anniversary of my mother’s passing. I was right there at her side when she moseyed along, right on through the Veil. Her final words were unintelligible so I take liberty in believing that she said something like “farewell, and see you down the road a ways”. Let me tell you right now, straight on and solid, there is no end to the grieving. There is no need for an end to the grieving. Tis natural, you see. For all of the pain and sorrow it evokes it also injects a potential for immense joy into life. But ya gotta take initiative and use the joy, experience the joy. Ya let it sit in the closet on the shelf and yer shit out of luck, and it is of your own choosing as well. I get my joy from Nature these days. And also from the rush of connecting with a beautiful woman; that most recent dazzling and flirtatious smile being the dominant feeling right now, of the joy of being human, a blessed tool in fighting the treachery of PTSD, and I am here to tell you so. I hope she comes back soon. For regular readers I will simply say that she is the one with the hands, the one I wrote briefly about recently. No, I won’t divulge her identity. That would spoil the magick. I’m all about magick these days because the practical, materialistic side of me is as dormant as a dormouse. That mouse will wake up before too long, my friend. I know, I know, I am rambling here. It’s a stream of consciousness thing. It’s the best I’ve got today. Boy howdy is it ever! It is better than it sounds. A giant cottonwood releasing spent leave unto the wind, two hawks dancing with two ravens against the azure sky with its sharp Autumn brilliance, dreams that linger on out throughout the day, and the feeling of community expressed through the customers I serve at the hardware store, where practically all of us are doing some form of winterizing. And that smile. No, I am not obsessing, there is just much of that troubadour-y romantic adolescent left in me. Her smile was given freely. It is mine to use as I please in my current solitude. Am I making sense? Hmmm, I don’t really need to make sense, nor do I intend to. It is simply that kind of day.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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To Speak a Truth

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“A truth that’s told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.”  ~  William Blake

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

It seems I am not going to write more than a simple note here this morning. Too much shit lately, especially on the National stage, but not all. Plus I had to speak a truth yesterday, which I did not want to do, but it would have caused me avoidable harm, both subjective and objective, to not do so, and so I did. That sort of thing always takes a lot out of me.

The following I share lovingly – an exquisitely crafted paragraph from David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

“Past the flannel plains and blacktop graphs and skylines of canted rust, and past the tobacco-brown river overhung with weeping trees and coins of sunlight through them on the water downriver, to the place beyond the windbreak, where untilled fields simmer shrilly in the A.M. heat: shattercane, lambsquarter, cutgrass, saw brier, nutgrass, jimson-weed, wild mint, dandelion, foxtail, spinecabbage, goldenrod, creeping Charlie, butterprint, nightshade, ragweed, wild oat, vetch, butcher grass, invaginate volunteer beans, all heads nodding in a soft morning breeze like a mother’s hand on your check. An arrow of starlings fired from the windbreak’s thatch. The glitter of dew that stays where it is and steams all day. A Sunflower, four more one bowed, and horses in the distance standing rigid as toys. All nodding. Electric sounds of insects at their business. Ale-colored sunshine and pale sky and whorls of cirrus so high they cast no shadow. Insects all business all the time. Quartz and chert and schist and chondrite iron scabs in granite. Very old land. Look around you. The horizon trembling, shapeless. We are all of us brothers.”

The Healing Effect

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“Sometimes a pessimist is only an optimist with extra information.”   ~  Idries Shah

“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.”  ~ Carl Sagan

“Folks, it’s time to evolve. That’s why we’re troubled. You know why our institutions are failing us, the church, the state, everything’s failing? It’s because, um – they’re no longer relevant. We’re supposed to keep evolving. Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right?”  ~  Bill Hicks

Our current political season, this carnival ride of immense intensity, has me lodged somewhere between outrage and sadness. When things get this chaotic it cannot in any way be anything less than evolution emerging from cultural habit. Novelty. Novelties can be seen as trivial things, little things you might use for entertainment purposes only. I’m not talking about those. Not today. Listen, I am a Clinton supporter. I like her. I’ll vote for her. Other than that I feel like crap this morning. Something respiratory, conspiring to make my body ache and my mind go all mushy and stuff. Ugh. Rosie the cat is as per usual at my side, to the right, asleep on the bed. I could go back to bed as well but I have to go back to work in three hours. Two days off await me when the time clock strikes bye bye. In my imagination I would begin tomorrow with a fat green chile cheese omelet, three eggs please, followed by a steaming cup of bitter strong Cafe Bustello, with a short snifter of brandy along side. A nice green fatty wouldn’t hurt. And a sunrise. That is essential. Then a long morning nap, followed by some kind soul who stops by with a bowl of chicken soup, a DVD of some absorbing movie, and then they wish me a good day as they go away. I don’t ask too much, do I? Imagination is fun, and even the brief exercise in imagination I just presented can have a healing effect. That’s all I really want today: the healing effect.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

The Sounds of the Wild World In My Heart

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“I have hardly anything in common with myself and should stand very quietly in a corner, content that I can breathe.”  ~  Franz Kafka

“There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.”  ~  George Carlin

And so, in conclusion I  .  .  .  oh, wait. I’ve hardly even begun this post and I am already on about some conclusion or other. My bad. I don’t know what got into me. Geez, is this the way I live my life? It’s a short post kind of morning. Awake at 3 AM. When I first stepped outside the room, only minutes later, the beautiful sounds of a coyote hunt graced my weary mind. They were off in the distance to the north, and I listened further as they came south. I knew that whatever they were chasing was in for it. My day began with the sounds of the wild world in my heart, called forth by those I heard out in the world. One in the same, if you ask me. One thing – and then I will wrap this up – that got me into this brevity mode was seeing a DVD on the shelf at Video Casa yesterday; a film about some guy spending time with Hemingway in Havana. I got to thinking about a writer’s world, and would I ever be a great writer. That made me feel dizzy, and I got all cocky, and then I drove home and it went away. Weird. I blog therefor I am, right? Yeh, that works. My psychotherapy session yesterday took me into talking about my neurological issues. The tiny seizure, almost three years ago, was such a profound and impactful event in my life. Why? Come to realize that the ER doctor who told me no way no how did I have a seizure went on, not long after, to commit suicide. I had seen him as an arrogant prick in the way he patronized me. But something else was going on there. Life is painfully interesting some times. This is a revelation about the doctor. Other professionals confirmed that it was indeed a seizure. And so my day begins. It will be a good one.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

The Spare Change in Hope

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A powerful snow storm beginning to let loose in Taos.

“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”  ~  John Lennon

“Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.”  ~  J. K. Rowling

“Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect, as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.”  ~  Albert Einstein

There seems to be an overall presence of a sense of travel, of movement, this morning. Throughout the hours I have been awake it is traffic noise from the highways that predominates. No coyotes, no dogs, no barking or howling at all. Yes, the humidity is high, which facilitates the movement of sound. It just keeps coming. The traffic is continuous and explicitly present. So mote it be. Somehow my heart finds peace in the racket. Yet the racket also yanks memories forth from wherever it is that memories hide; if there is indeed a “wherever” involved at all. I view memory as a holographic phenomenon, a concept I first came to consider through the work of Karl Pribram. It basically means that the memory is everywhere if anywhere at all. Puzzling, right? Yeh, right. One memory is of the train yard viewed at 3 AM from the window on the top floor of a triple-decker on Plum Street in the Italian neighborhood in Worcester, Massachusetts. The triple-decker was right next door to another triple-decker, which was owned by the Moonies, who only came to bother me once in all the time I lived there. I saw to that. I am prone to shut down a missionary’s pitch in short order, leaving them scratching their head. That’s just me. Another memory comes from a train trip, headed north, at a stop near DC. Standing at a urinal, doing that thing, and a young man in the mini-stall next to me explaining how he had been deployed to the Falkland Islands. A soldier. A war was going on. US troops were being sent to observe the hostilities. There is something surreal about that scene, and it shall always be that way for me. Plenty of other travel memories come here as well. A man tossing me a ‘spare change’ quarter as I sat in the deck in front of a convenience store in Hope, Arkansas. I asked him what it was for. I’d caught the coin on the fly. He said I looked like I needed it. I tossed it back to him, explaining that I did not need it. I’d bicycled about 1300 miles at that point, to get to that point, starting in Miami. I thanked him for is consideration and generosity. Did ya know that President Bill Clinton was born in Hope, Arkansas? He was. It really has nothing to do with my story, but it does add some nice color to the tale. Which brings me back to the chair, this desk, this iMac. The cat is fed and medicated. The chickens are out of the coop and foraging in the yard. I’ve got a day ahead of me and I don’t know what to do with it. I’ve got a deep feeling of destiny this morning. Yeh, yeh, yeh, ya makes yer own reality and all that stuff. Sometimes it is nice to sit back and just let the whispering winds of change blow as they will. But that’s just me. I’ve no use for platitudes today. I create my own reality you say? How nice of you to think of me like that. I’ll send you a post card in the future, k? From Hope.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

At The Edge of Sweetness

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“Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself. This leaf has jagged edges. This rock looks loose. From this place the snow is less visible, even though closer. These are things you should notice anyway. To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow.”  ~  Robert Pirsig

Finally some chill again. And coyote songs, soft but nearby. The cat woke me quite early, more so than usual, and she wanted a snack, so I came out of bed angry and gave it to her, but not without clearly expressing my ruffled feelings. This morning’s mood is one not unlike serenity; close, but there is an edge to it that feels nearly sweet. I feel a hunger for ambiguity. Woa! A chorus of manic coyotes just rose up nearby, just up the hill. Brought my spine right up into precise posture. Instincts are cool. They can serve as a reliable reminder when the mind gets all confused and stuff. Instincts provide default. Something to fall back on, with faultless accuracy. I’m still halfway in the Dreamtime, and it may stay that way for a few days. I don’t mind. Things get done either way, there is just so much more to experience in Dreamtime. It should be an interesting day, either way. I work with fun peeps. That’s enough for now.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

That Hand Thing Again

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“I tried to make everything breathe in this painting: faith, quiet suffering, religious and primitive style, and great nature with its scream.”  ~  Paul Gauguin

“After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn’t it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked—as I am surprisingly often—why I bother to get up in the mornings.”  ~  Richard Dawkins

In mere minutes the rain faded and was gone. It is a sweet surprise, during a dry spell in the high desert mountains, when you discover upon stepping outside that there is a rain shower in progress, at 3:33 AM; a ‘rain event’, I think they used to call it toward the end of the last century. Hey, listen, the 3:33 thing was just a coincidence. I gave up my New Age ways after two years on the online discussion board of the Institute for Noetic Sciences. Wink, wink. Yeh, I still have my times. Those online discussions happened 15 years ago. There were a lot of deeply beautiful dialogues, and not infrequent pop ups of the WTF variety. It was fun, and challenging. I can’t say for sure but it seemed to me that the Noetic Cafe drove me deeper into life, deeper into my animal nature, into my soul. Takes one to know one. Cryptic, right? Yeh. Now, right after the rain shower abated I sat, just sat. Kinda Zen-like, if y’all know what I mean. And soon it happened. There were a couple of neighbor dogs, just up the hill, who started boofing a bit, and I wondered if maybe there was a coyote afoot in the ‘hood. Within minutes my suspicion was affirmed. One single bark, on its way to a howl, rose out of the early morning darkness. The critter was just outside of the fence, which put it no more than 20 yards from where I sat. The tone of the animal’s expression was rich and soulful, like David Gilmour’s gently wailing Stratocaster playing “Comfortably Numb”. I was tempted to allow myself to be drawn into the shamanic realm, but I gotta work today, and getting all mystical and stuff before breakfast on a workday is not exactly what I would call wise. Is it dude? I dunno. I was tempted. Let’s leave it at that, shall we? Truth be told the shamanic realm reached out to me. I can now feel the sumptuous and brilliant orange fire of the goddess warming the cold spots in my vast array of attitudes. It is not as complicated as it seems, she reminds me. Yeh, the Divine Feminine, she kinda sorta talks to me, k? She saved me from a world of shit back in 1984, by gracing me with a spiritual framework for a traumatic head injury that likely woulda left me a tad disabled without that goddess-y perspective. Meanwhile, back here at the edge of the mesa just north of Taos  .  .  .  I had no earthly idea I would write what I just wrote this morning. The Veil is thin as Samhain, only six days away, approaches. That orange fire that glows within me this morning also nudges me repeatedly to remember that smile a few weeks ago. That dazzling smile and those eyes. Those hands. About a year after the traumatic head injury I became fascinated with hands. I worked in a 3 star oceanfront hotel in the islands and that job afforded me a view of a broad variety of hands. But the hotel is not the point. Why hands? Those hands a few weeks ago showed strong and aged beauty. I can’t explain it. There was something  .  .  .  am I like getting all into the hand thing again dude? I never knew what it was about the first time. I just had to look      .  .  .  having read the book  .  .  .  Cryptic, right? Yeh, tis.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Life Beyond the Storyboard

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“Sometimes I’m so deeply buried under self-reproaches that I long for a word of comfort to help me dig myself out again.”  ~  Anne Frank

“He left the drapes open, watched the lights of the cars and of the fast food joints through the window glass, comforted to know there was another world out there, one he could walk to anytime he wanted.”  ~  Neil Gaiman

“The river was very real; it held him comfortably and gave him the time at last, the leisure, to consider this month, this year, and a lifetime of years.”  ~  Ray Bradbury

“With participation the ethereal mist permeates the old. It’s mere presence slowly, beyond common perception, transmutes the old at a rate that is burgeoning instead of corrosive. Nothing is lost and nothing new needs be brought forth, for all that is new is a direct transformative residue of the way in which the mist interacts with that which is already here. It’s a novel form of revolution, a form of revolution that beckons forth instead of pushing forward. Gentle yet profound. And the mist may well be analogous to the cloud of quantum probability, where the quantum wave has not yet collapsed simply because there are not enough observers who truly know what they are looking at.”  ~  Ken Ebert

When I post a quote from myself, below the opening photo, you know I must be tired. Not too tired, however, to remember to put a needed comma to two in the first sentence. Just, ummmm, well, no matter how edgy I feel I also feel a baseline sense of comfort this morning. The cat is down on the floor in front of the space heater. It’s that kind of comfort I suppose. The kind of comfort that may lead to a spontaneous nap, or at least a nap that may be uncustomary in its timing. Laundry day today, and I do not recall ever seeing anyone sleep in there, yet I did once see and hear a guy practicing his mandolin in there, and I’d wished he were sleeping instead. At least that is how I remember it. It’s a good story. Usually I’d be hip to a good story but today I simply feel indifferent. Maybe the indifference was spawned through watching “Captain America: Civil War” yesterday. It was my first brush with a Marvel film. I was also tempted to get “X-Men: Armageddon” but I chose Captain America to cultivate common ground with a young man I know. Perhaps X-Men today. Or “Alice Through the Looking Glass”. But yesterday’s film really irritated me in many ways. It seems to me in retrospect that somebody forgot that a storyline needs to evolve somewhere betwixt storyboard and presentation. The same can be said about real life, right? Silly peeps. I did enjoy Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, not because I am an Iron Man fan, but because Robert Downey Jr. is – well – Robert Downey Jr. Regardless of the irritation and stuff I had fun watching. Now, I can’t decide whether to snooze then feed the cat or to feed the cat then snooze. If I snooze first the cat will insure that I not sleep too long; although I’d like to. Best go with the nap first plan. I am deep into a spiritual (and in several other venues) transformation. I’ve also just begun to actively seek some sorely needed weight gain – at least 10 lb. yet 15 is preferred. Beyond those aspirations I still have those blue eyes and bright smile in mind and I still have a hankerin’ for the first snow, or at least the first day where it does not break the 40º mark. Soon come mon, soon come.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Of Freedom and Slime Mold

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“Both destiny’s kisses and its dope-slaps illustrate an individual person’s basic personal powerlessness over the really meaningful events in his life: i.e. almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it. Destiny has no beeper; destiny always leans trenchcoated out of an alley with some sort of Psst that you usually can’t even hear because you’re in such a rush to or from something important you’ve tried to engineer.”  ~  David Foster Wallace

Somehow it feels colder this morning although it is actually warmer; some kind of subjective, physiological, whatever, sensation. It feels pretty good. That’s what I’m sayin. As I sat out on the observation deck at the end of the Wetlands Trail at lunch yesterday I heard that whisper, that nearly breathless shared secret that Nature shuffled my way, like a note slid across the table in the high school lunchroom: snow is on the way. Not soon, but the feel is shimmering in the fast-changing light of Autumn. The air smelled funny too, like a seductive partner in the secret of the light. Made me feel all poetic. Sweet. Now, it’s getting to be a Sunday pattern, wherein I am slowly easing into awareness of the fact that I can laze all I want, all day, if I want, and/or I can be active – if I want. A Sunday movie sounds like a recurring theme as well. I don’t treat myself too kindly too often and that is one of my Samhain resolutions: to be more kind to myself, to treat myself like I would a treasured friend. I view it as a cautious open-mindedness, cautious because with an open mind there is always someone, sinister or nitwit, who is ready to pounce and fill it up for you. I ain’t going there. I could touch on both compassion and mercy for oneself. It fits. I will elaborate no further than that. What I am getting down to, with, whatever, is that sometimes ya jest gotta let them thoughts and silly notions scurry about as they will while the heart gets to beat freely so as to once again become a conduit for peace and love and all that good old hippie stuff. Speaking of open minds, or lack thereof, I read a curious article this morning about a class on anthropology at some University down yonder in Texas. Seems that when the professor noted that all humans originated in Africa several students got up and flat walked out of the room in protest, accompanied by a chant from others: Black Lives Matter. This blows my mind. Good thing he didn’t tell them that we evolved from slime mold. That is not true, is not a fact, but it is about as viable a claim as the thought that different races didn’t all come from common ancestors, if you go far enough back. Of course Donald Trump may have descended from slime mold. There is a lot of subjective evidence to suggest it may be so. Friggin doofus. A dangerous doofus, but a doofus nonetheless. Soooo  .  .  .  moving forward, I feel pretty darned free this morning. That’s two days in a row. I’m not used to this. I’m a worry wart and a scaredy cat. It’s not supposed to be this way. Transformation is underway, or maybe even transmutation. Either one is good.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Navigation

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“He was becoming something the world had never seen before – a dream animal – living at least partially within a secret universe of his own creation and sharing that secret universe in his head with other, similar heads. Symbolic communication had begun. Man had escaped out of the eternal present of the animal world into a knowledge of past and future. The unseen gods, the powers behind the world of phenomenal appearance, began to stalk through his dreams.”  ~  Loren Eiseley

There was a brief and raucous coyote chorus an hour ago. They’ve been all too rare these past few weeks, and I suspect it is a conspiracy at some level. They know what I like, and I expect them to give it to me, and by denying me these moments of pleasure they clearly mean to manipulate me. Just kidding. No, really. Their prey is probably more present elsewhere. And the kicker is that this very likely has absolutely nothing to do with me. That’s the story I’m running with today. It’s due to exhaustion. That’s why I am taking the easy way out. Do I have Election Season Overload Syndrome? Yeh, why not. The space heater just kicked in, the cat is curled up on the bed beside me, the final cup of coffee awaits my next sip, and I find myself sighing fairly frequently. This mood is mostly born of physical stuff. The Nurse Practitioner the other day gave me a couple of things to do and watch for then we will look at the next current state of my physical health again in ten days. Tests? Yeh, maybe. As my mom’s oncologist told her “You’ve got a case of the miseries”. I’ve got a feeling that there ain’t nothin’ too serious going on. Call that a positive attitude, if you will. My version of positive attitude is to seek the truth. We shall see. My greatest fear these past few days is that  .  .  .  oh, never mind. Wikileaks will make the world all righteous again. None of the stuff they publish is made up. Why would they do that? Why would they  .  .  .  oh, never mind. I can’t give up on observing the political firestorm that abides, so I will have to bear the brunt of whatever brunt-making thing comes along the pike. I think I’ll start shifting gears here and begin to get ready for work. I find myself fearing running into Trump supporters, which simply reminds me of the power of bully tactics. My way or the highway. Today I will walk the Beauty Way. Too much ugly out there; like the friggin tailgater I just know is waiting for me to drive into town so that they can get their jollies through  .  .  .  .  oh well. It’s not about me. Eyes on the road, straight forward into the dawn. Second star from the left. Navigate son, that’s what I’m sayin’. Chin up, you know the drill. Hmmmph. There are an awful lot of realities floating around these days. Navigation sounds like just the right thing. Headed toward the light. Yes.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.