The Cheap Thrills of Patriarchy

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“I’ve seen how you can’t learn anything when you’re trying to look like the smartest person in the room.” ~ Barbara Kingsolver

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”  ~ Eric Hoffer

“A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it.” ~ Frank Herbert

It’s a little bit overwhelming this morning. The news, that is. Both happy-making and scary. For me anyway. Oh, and by the way, Happy Samhain! Which is, of course, Halloween – as if you haven’t noticed the toxic displays of white sugar and high fructose corn syrup on the store shelves, or the cheesy decorations, or Father Christmas lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce once the monsters and ghouls get out of the way. Do you think I am cynical? Yes, I am today. That’s one thing about my current passage in life, by gazing upon the vast expanse of possibilities as to what my life can be from here on out I have to be open of mind and heart. That’s why I spend so much time in my room, because I have been devoted and steady in keeping my mind and heart open. The thing is, you see, it friggin hurts. A fella needs his rest, distanced from the caustic grit of the town center. But . . . in remaining open it is easier for me to look at and see some of the grander patterns at work in the Trump/Russian scandal. Without going into details I can say that I gleaned a few of the dynamics of the larger players, and did this at this same time last year. These guys were clumsy and arrogant, with a level of cynicism that makes my current cynicism look like wisdom. Watch for Roger Stone and Julian Assange to be hoist upon the limelighted stage before too long – or – as our president, Ambiguous Rex, likes to say: “within a certain period of time”. Friggin moron. I just don’t know, but boy howdy I sure am relieved that this holiday is here! In the archaic realms of history, in the pagan worldview, today, Samhain, is when the old god dies and the new one is born. Does this mean Trump is figuratively dying. Me thinks yes. And we can only hope that the new one is a proponent of a partnership culture, as opposed to our current worldwide dominator culture. Matriarchy instead of the cheap thrills of patriarchy. Helping and nurturing society rather than plundering it for personal gain and malignant power. Whew. I didn’t know that was coming. Well, Mr. Op-ed here oughtta get on to his day. Laundry this morning then a house/dog sitting gig for the rest of the day and evening. I’ll be alternately on the front deck of the house, and the couch. On the deck I will do my best to quiet my mind, to allow me access to the whispers of the Ancestors and gods. On the couch I will plug my brain into the TV, tuned to MSNBC. There’s big trouble a brewin’ in our nation’s capitol. Something’s gonna give. It is truly thrilling to watch it all unfold.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Ripe With Affirmations

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“Crises marked by anxiety, doubt, and despair have always been those periods of personal unrest that occur at the times when a man is sufficiently unsettled to have an opportunity for personal growth. We must always see our own feelings of uneasiness as being our chance for “making the growth choice rather than the fear choice.” ~ Sheldon B. Kopp

“Someone should call him
and see if he can come out.
Try to lose the down that he’s found.”  ~  Neil Young

Twill remain a mystery, I suppose. Part one is that I slept late, perhaps mostly because the cat was uncharacteristically mellow, and partly because I obviously needed the sleep. I actually had a blog post nearly ready but I somehow lost the thing because I didn’t ‘save’ it as I went along. Anger was my first reaction when the unfinished post vanished, but I caught that anger as it spouted and wrestled it down to an essentially noncommittal WTF, the latter being much less dangerous than the former. I’ve been actively endeavoring to cut down on anger. See, reactions are going to happen, but it is where I allow the anger to go once it is out in the open that truly matters. My success rate with all of this is pretty good, pretty healthy. One interesting part of this experiment in conscious growth is that the anger is so often supplanted with humor. Hmmmm. Anyway, after I lost that draft yesterday I felt not inclined to write another, however brief. No apologies, stuff happens. As for this morning the only active feature is my waiting for news on the Mueller Investigation and who’s going to be busted before the public’s eyes today. Should be fun. A lone workday waits me. Yesterday off, tomorrow off. My feelings about it are benign, like whatever. And that is good. Right? Meh. I do love my job, yet passion only comes in some unexpected moments, when everything clicks and the teamwork shines. My main dynamic beyond that is in that some of the people I see make me smile, and stimulate me in needed ways. But for now tis the ending of the old year and the beginning of a new turn around the circle of the year. Plus, the Veil is thin, so I can keep my senses open for communications from the Other Side, maybe even a visit or two. A couple of days ago I felt a pat on the top of my head when no one was nearby. It felt to be a loving touch, ripe with affirmations. I love stuff like that. But no expectations for the day, good buddy. Let ‘er roll.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.


The Sunscreen and the Dark Side

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“The world is on fire, young man. As writers, it is only proper that we do what we can to warn people. But in telling the truth to the world, don’t lie to yourself. Write whatever you want. Tell the truth. Just don’t imagine that you are changing anything.
Like I said, people just want to have a good time.” ~  Mark Russell

“Entertainment is about the way things should be. Art is about the way they are.” ~ Roger Ebert

“You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird… So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing — that’s what counts.”  ~ Richard Feynman

There’s kind of a weird energy flowing through my life these days. It’s not me so much, it rather feels like stuff going on around me. It is easy to attribute a feeling like this to paranoia, of which I have no shortage. To me paranoia is in essence, when not pathological or at least compulsive, simple pattern recognition. Let the ego take credit for the pattern, or let someone else get credit, and that’s where trouble may begin. So, here’s what happened, what put me on this issue. I’ve been taking the foil sunscreen for my car and clamping it down under the windshield wipers to prevent frost from forming on the windshield. Works great. Yesterday morning I went to the car and found the wipers standing erect rather than flush with the glass. The sunscreen was nowhere to be seen, and I searched for it again after work, to no avail. And the driver-side wiper blade was detached and laying on the ground. I went through the possibility of some wind phenomenon causing this display. It’s possible, but taking all of the details and parameters into account the probability of this seems pretty darned small. Which leaves the possibility of pranksters or spirits; once again, unlikely. Following this pattern of thought leads to the conclusion that the whole incident was unlikely. Which it was. My question then is was it the work of a bruja? This possibility carries more weight than the others. I’ve dealt with them before, and they don’t really scare me as such. In a way this low-level dark magic is like gossip on steroids and meth. In my worldview a witch is neither good nor evil. Magick is a force, just like gravity, electromagnetism, or stupidity. It’s not the force, it’s in the way that you use it. A witch who has courage and/or confidence knows well enough to be cautious with the Dark Side, but not to try to banish it, because ya can’t banish it. You can go into the dark side unscathed but not unchanged, as long as you remain consciously aware of where you are and why you are there. Who knows, I may have to go there soon if this incident yesterday begins to look more like meddlesome magick than it already does. I should note that the erect wiper stems and the missing sunscreen, in such a case, would still be set as they are by plain old human hands. The magick flows through the symbolism and semiotics. And never forget that the New Age-y notion that a dark magician can’t hurt you unless you agree to it simply ain’t true. I don’t know, maybe it is just paranoia. That’s a valuable baseline to consider. And with that said I shall get to my workday preps.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Why Did the Fox Cross the Road?


“We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort. And that is why we write.” ~ Neil Gaiman

“Go for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things–childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves–that go on slipping , like sand, through our fingers.”  ~ Salman Rushdie

As I was driving south to work yesterday morning I at one point noticed movement coming from the right shoulder of the road; canid for sure. As the animal ran at high speed in front of my cay, maybe 100 feet ahead, I sensed it to be a young coyote. But then it was too small to be a coyote old enough to be playing in traffic. And then I noticed the size of the tail. Fox! All of this observation and play-by-play analysis, so fast, too fast to be ego stuff. It was survival instinct. A mammal needs to know what is in its path, and my mind was seeking to accomplish fulfillment of that need. If you are lucky, when you come across a wild animal, you are reminded that the deeper levels of mind are never divorced from the natural world. That said . . . geez, what’s up with that? Now, back to the fox. In the 23 years here in Taos I have seen only one other fox. They are known as masters of concealment. No wonder, right? So, needless to say, I got a world-class thrill from the sighting. If you want to know what sighting a fox means symbolically, have at it. I usually would I explain the symbolism but I ain’t goin there this morning. I researched the matter last night, and found profound relevancy to dynamics in my daily earthbound life. Part of Fox medicine tells me to keep it to myself. So, okay, I will, k? Here this morning the only animal I have encountered has been sleeping like a rock, for the most part, since I first awoke. Maybe she is tuckered out from looking out for me. She has my back when bad juju is lurking nearby. Someone inferred to me yesterday that someone was ‘witching’ me at night. Rosie the cat is skilled at protecting me from shit like that. Cats are nocturnal so I don’t feel bad if she stayed awake while I slept, then when I awoke she could get some rest for herself. Of course yesterday’s fox fits into this somehow. All shall be revealed, right? Nope, not all of it. If you ran out of mystery in life you have simply run out of life. I mean . . . come on now . . . did I piss off some bruja again? I’ve still got something to learn from it. Or better yet maybe I will go all Jungian and stuff and say the bad juju has nothing to do with me. It’s not my stuff. In that past I have had no trouble in dealing with this, so I don’t feel much more than irritation. Back in 1985 I had a teaching dream in which I was shown how, in essence, psychic attack occurs, how it moves. The key is vigilance. And don’t get cocky. Yes, there is always something new to learn.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.


Very Nearly Comfortably Numb


“Dear Mister Fantasy play us a tune
Something to make us all happy
Do anything take us out of this gloom
Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy
You are the one who can make us all laugh
But doing that you break out in tears
Please don’t be sad if it was a straight mind you had
We wouldn’t have known you all these years”  ~  Traffic

Spacing out would be just the thing right now, but it’s not an option. I’ve got this weird notion – weird for this time of day anyway – that the best thing that could happen would be a full Italian meal, with red wine. Garlic bread, salad. Sausage, peppers, and meatballs. Since this is my fantasy I would also put a smiling, laughing woman across the table from me. Good conversation, some of it (hopefully) absurd. I could expand on this, of course, but I think I have made my point. This was pretty much my fantasy this time last year when the SS benefits first started up for me. I never made that happen. The plan was to have the dinner in celebrating the fresh benefits. Never happened. There is still time. Life is in session until it’s not. But, moving forward, this is the best I’ve got this morning, blog-wise. I feel very nearly Comfortably Numb. And that’s okay. A good shower and a workday awaits.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

No Daylight to Burn

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“Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.” ~ Mark Twain

Today we’re so rich, we own much more than we need, we have liberties unknown before, even though they are endangered in the current political climate in the US – and we forget how wonderful it nevertheless is, compared to most other political and economic systems. We have a saying that goes: Give a man enough rope and he hangs himself.” ~ David Foster Wallace

“For fast acting relief, try slowing down.” ~ Lily Tomlin

Wow, an existential storm is upon this country. As I look back on yesterday’s news I see that there was some relief from the storm, but maybe things just shifted instead. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that subjectively hogtying the sitting president ain’t gonna come easy. I read a few weeks back that some legal minds have speculated that the president may end up having to be escorted from the Oval Office at gunpoint. Just sayin. But enough about me, right? Wink wink. Yesterday went well for the cat. She had three teeth pulled, her claws clipped, and Dr. Kim was even nice enough to comb out the mats from her fur while the cat was all drugged-out. I’ve been working on the mats, but haven’t made a lot of progress on account of claws and fangs and stuff. Nice kitty. Oh – a long acting antibiotic as well. Rosie the cat is visibly relieved. That’s some weight lifted off of my shoulders, whereas my checking account became quite notably lighter. It’s a worthy investment. Mainly for the cat’s quality of life, but she is also all I’ve got right now, and in the foreseeable future. But don’t get me started, k? I know, I know . . .  choices and movement . . . rah rah for the home team . . . go out and make things happen. Thanks for the encouragement. It means a lot to me. As for the advice and wisdom I pretty much gotta say not today, I have to work. The italicized phrase is meant as irony and should not be read as a sign of resignation or surrender. Sigh. Think I will go outside for a few minutes of sub-freezing fresh October air. Bisy backson.

The morning’s quiet has passed. Once the big rigs hit the highway the noise begins, and the friggin place sounds like a truck stop. As a long time bicycle advocate I do have significant distaste for noisy transportation. Yet the truck stop analogy is a good one in that a truck stop signifies travel, and I am traveling in my heart as we speak. So to speak. Geez, that was awkward. No worries. It’s time to wrap it up anyway. Ain’t no daylight to burn; not yet anyway. But in just one hour there will be.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

On the Way to the Clinic


“Love makes you want to be a better man—right, right. But maybe love, real love, also gives you permission to just be the man you are.” ~ Gillian Flynn

“I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of the Imagination.” ~ John Keats

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” ~ Douglas Adams

28º F. Coffee almost gone. Sleeping cat. Yeh, it’s actually about the cat today. She’s going in to have Dr. Kim clean her teeth. I’ll have the whole day to wait until the groggy beast is allowed to emerge once again. It’s a worry, though I know that worry is not necessary. Let’s not get into psychoanalysis here. What comes of the situation at the moment is that it feels kinda good to have a mundane chore kind of a day. It’s all about the cat. Other things haunt my mind, and a couple of them relate to that sorry ass excuse for a president. There’s no way I would want to be confronted with one of his rabid supporters. I might say something true. The whole crew, electors and elected, and appointed, bear watching. It occurred to me a couple of days ago that a quiet coup may have already succeeded. That’s a disturbing thought, granted, but . . . wellll . . . it’s just too much to go into right now. Gotta think about getting on down to the vet clinic before too long. But boy howdy I had to write something first, on the way to the clinic.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Subliminal Incoming Tide


“We colour and mould according to the wants within us whatever our eyes bring in.” ~ Thomas Hardy

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.” ~ Neil Gaiman

“Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.”  ~ Plato

“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them. ”  ~ Agatha Christie

The low hum of the time of the season washes down deep, the subliminal incoming tide, and for some strange reason it tickles. That’s good, right? It’s a term, cast in a certain light, that my mother used to use to describe a funny moment that continues to make you giggle at odd times as you walk along with the day’s passage. It tickles, yes, at odd times, throughout the day. That’s me in the season this morning. Samhain, Day of the Dead, All Saints Day. Take your pick. I arrived in Taos on All Saint’s Day, in 1994. At the time I had no illusions about the endurance of my stay in this weird town – I was on the run from the worst . . . oh, never mind. That was a long time ago, and I am still here. Now, my preference as to what this coming holiday is called is Samhain. Celtic ways color my view of the world. It’s a matrilineal thing. In the genes of my mother’s side of the family, it is. Goddess stuff for me; I don’t know about others in the family. But that is what I am feeling now, this low hum. I think we should know that the stars hum, the Earth hums, happy people hum as well. Vibrations permeate all that we can experience, that we do experience.

This day is a walk with Spirit. The Beauty Way. As per usual I don’t want to leave home. It’s not quite agoraphobia, but it could go there, if allowed. I don’t want to leave El Prado and drive down to Taos for a day’s investment in gainful employment. But when I get there it all falls into place. I feel happy and I let it show. A day’s work always takes toll on my body. There’s the neck to worry about, and . . . aw, don’t worry. The massage therapist asked the other day “You’re always in pain, aren’t you?”. Yeh, pretty much. My life brought me here, to this day, and chronic physical pain is simply part of the deal. Would Lortabs help? Yes, if I didn’t mind sitting in a chair all day. Ibuprofen with a little bit of gabapentin takes the edge off, takes the burn away. Soooo . . . within this day I will find music. I will drum and sometimes sing, as I go about my appointed duties. I will help people do what they need and/or want to do. A lot of laughter as well – my constituents are funny people; good to work with. All of this, all the time, will find me watching intently for that sweet smile, if she should come around. It could be anybody, but I think not. See, there’s this one . . . it’ll be a good day. No expectations. And as the day comes to an end I shall hum along home, to the cat and the bed. A day at work always leaves me achy and a little stunned. Yet I’m loving this season. That’s the point here.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

In the Name of Balance


“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. What I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness. Enough to eat, enough to go around. The possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyers nor the destroyed. That’s about it. Right now I’m living in that hope, running down its hallway and touching the walls on both sides.”  ~ Barbara Kingsolver

We may seek, too, a relaxing of inhibitions that makes it easier to bond with each other, or transports that make our consciousness of time and mortality easier to bear. We seek a holiday from our inner and outer restrictions, a more intense sense of the here and now, the beauty and value of the world we live in.” ~ Oliver Sacks

As stated yesterday, about yesterday, today is another day when mystery is going to have to be front and center. I’m strongly leaning toward cynicism these days. No, I don’t enjoy it, and I hope to see it pass away into the back of my mind before too long. Yesterday I saw a friend I haven’t seen in a while. In chatting I mentioned that I will have a brief housesitting gig in a few weeks, and that the house has a TV. I don’t have one at home so a little time watching is somewhat of a treat for me. My friend said “You’re not going to watch the news, are you?”. My reply was instant: “I’m a writer. Of course I’m going to watch the news!”. Ya reckon the news is the source of my cynicism? Sure it is. There is no lack of hope here. And having a spell of cynicism is likely good for the writer in me. My current project is fiction. Cynicism must be given it’s due, as should transcendence. As should many other qualities. All in the name of balance.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Time Spent with the Cat


“I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know.” ~ Mark Twain

“The offer of certainty, the offer of complete security, the offer of an impermeable faith that can’t give way, is an offer of something not worth having. I want to live my life taking the risk all the time that I don’t know anything like enough yet; that I haven’t understood enough; that I can’t know enough; that I’m always hungrily operating on the margins of a potentially great harvest of future knowledge and wisdom. I wouldn’t have it any other way.” ~ Christopher Hitchens

“You know a trillion times more about art than me. But I’ve learned that it isn’t necessary to know all that much. You just make what you wanna see, right? It’s a game, right? It’s like being paid for dreaming.” ~ Tom Robbins

It feels kinda refreshing to not feel compelled or obligated to write more than a brief post this morning. That’s the way it is and I like it. Nothing about the coming day seems too pressing, nor exciting. We can’t forget excitement! But I don’t feel a need for excitement either. Today it’s all a road to bring me back to my cat this evening. That’s something I have been noticing lately: I am cherishing time spent with the cat. She symbolizes home for me, and yet she simply is that as well. We all get tired of being around humans once in a while. That’s me today. But I will go to work and have a good time. And sometimes a dispassionate mood such as this lures out mystery and makes it easier to spot. I think that’s it for today. Yeh, mystery.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.