All Because of the Snow

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“The desire for a strong faith is not the proof of a strong faith, rather the opposite. If one has it one may permit oneself the beautiful luxury of skepticism: one is secure enough, fixed enough for it.” ~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

“Faith is like love: it does not let itself be forced.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

“Faith and love are apt to be spasmodic in the best minds. Men live the brink of mysteries and harmonies into which they never enter, and with their hands on the door-latch they die outside.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everything changes, yet it somehow stays the same. It doesn’t take much, an inch, maybe two. I guess it couldn’t wait till dawn. The blanket of white came down from the dark sky, falling perfectly, and a nearby light revealed the gentle nature of its color. Yeh, it snowed overnight, three inches. I was awake at 4 AM, and it was still coming down then, in subtle waves of powder. Now it has stopped, and what has fallen beckons me: “come out and play”. And I’m like all “You gotta be friggin kiddin’ me, dude!”. I haven’t even finished my coffee yet. That ain’t happenin’ till I do. Never disturb the new fallen snow until it’s time. Mother Nature has made an exquisitely ambiguous statement. It would do you good to listen to it for a while before you go, before you add your footprints, but only as a footnote, for a higher power has spoken, and it would do you a world of good to simply listen. I must repeat myself. Be quiet, get receptive, make sure to listen. Now, moving forward. The crack of dawn, the crack that lets the light in, is only a half hour away. I wonder, at this time, if I will step into my shoes and go out to look at the sheet of clouds that surely will occult the Sun’s arrival. I will remind myself, that which is before my tired eyes somewhat depends on what I put out there. This is where the mystical unity comes in, now I wonder where it came from, knowing full well that I’m the one who thought it had ever been gone. That’s what I get for thinking, right? All because of the snow, and Sunday morning, and nowhere in particular to go.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

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Help Me, Guide Me, Make Me Laugh

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“Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“Art exists to help us recover the sensation of life; it exists to make us feel things, to make the stone stony. The end of art is to give a sensation of the object seen, not as recognized. The technique of art is to make things ‘unfamiliar,’ to make forms obscure, so as to increase the difficulty and the duration of perception. The act of perception in art is an end in itself and must be prolonged. In art, it is our experience of the process of construction that counts, not the finished product.” ~ Viktor Borisovich Shklovsky

“It is the glory of London that it is always ending and beginning anew, and that a visitor, with a good eye and indefatigable feet, will find in her travels all the Londons she has ever met in the pages of books, one atop the other, like the strata of the Earth.” ~ Anna Quindlen 

Help me, guide me, make me laugh.

That third quote, there? Wow. Ms. Quindlen gave me a gift through my finding this quote. The idea that perception of a place or situation is powerfully affected by a person’s previous cultural ingestion, finely articulated here — as she did — sets a lot of puzzle pieces in place for me. I am initially led to how her professed concept applies to my art, which is writing (I really don’t like calling myself an artist, even if writing is an art, which, of course, it is. Now, I don’t mind, at all, calling myself a writer, because I actually do write. But art? That’s up to the reader, or in the case of sculpture, or painting, or photograph, and stuff, to the viewer). And yet beyond expression of how this applies to art, I see how this concept also applies to our perception of what kinda sorta needs to be treated as reality. Let me give you an example, k? Say there’s this president who is well-read, and is is erudite as a result. His or hers, or hers or his, or his and hers, hers and his  .  .  .  aaaaaarrrgh!!  .  .  .  yikes, make me stop! Thanks, yer a pal. I certainly will not belabor that point, but I will give one more example. Say a large number of peeps like to watch Fox New, exclusively, and some are even, effectively addicted to it in all of its mostly fact-free glory. How the fuck are they going to experience what kinda sorta needs to be treated as reality? In their world it apparently makes sense to make millions of people suffer, and some even die, just because some think tank, either a formal group or one comprised of bar patrons, says these peeps don’t work hard enough to deserve government support, and besides, they are  .  .  .  WTF. I think I made my point. I’d best wrap it up here. My writing got diverted here, at least as it diverged from my original plan, which was to write about myself. This self is beholden to the what kinda sorta needs to be treated as reality. There were the dogs barking earlier, outraged by the proximity of intruding coyotes. No, I never heard any peeps from the wild ones, but I do know them doggies real good, and they ain’t the kind to try ta make me think that coyotes are nearby. Whatever. The early morning air is frigid and there is a storm coming. Tonight at midnight the weather underground reports a 100% chance of snow. Bring it on. It’s not particularly hard to feel a coming storm. Nature does what She does, but what we do with her offerings is the art of it. Dance, laugh, whatever. There’s a storm coming, k? Live with it. Help me, guide me, make me laugh.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Aches and Pains and All

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In the center is the canyon leading up to Taos Ski Valley

“Instead of shunning the darkness, we can face straight into it with an open mind. When we do that, the unknown changes. Fearful things become understandable and a truth is suggested: the enigmatic presence of the human mind winks back from the dark.” ~ Whitley Streiber, Communion

“Mandy had the odd thought that one could look on the fairy as a species that had developed a technology of the spiritual world, just as man has developed one of the physical.”  ~ Whitley Streiber, Cat Magic

“The mystical life is the center of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write.” ~ William Butler Yeats

This day began with something I usually find humorous. But not today. I’m talking about waking up. I almost always wake up to aches and pains, when I first move to get out of bed, and there is usually a good chuckle involved, along with a mysterious look from the cat. Friggin cats. This morning’s difference was when I first moved a spontaneous low-grade shout emerged, followed by a distressed OMG. It hurt like the dickens, and continued to do so, even worse, perhaps, as I climbed out of bed. It was easy to pinpoint the cause. It was the massage yesterday afternoon, late. I have, to date, always had the massage in the early morning, or midday. Having it so soon before bedtime was a different story. The masseuse and I had a truly lovely conversation while she worked, so much so that, besides the truly painful spots, I didn’t really vibe in to the work being done; I simply enjoyed the experience and the conversation. I have a shortage of good conversation in my life. I’ll admit it. She and I have a nice harmonic resonance, which makes chatting go a bit further than mere chit chat (What does ‘chit’ mean anyway?). When it was over, as I climbed down from the table, I could feel the same pains that smacked me this morning, only to a lesser degree. I had told her that it was an excellent session, because it was indeed more effective than usual. So there ya have it. A lot of toxins were set free, and I likely did not drink enough water before going to sleep. Also, the various forms of protective tensions usually found were released to a greater degree than usual. I’ve had a lot of trauma to my upper torso, most all of it from bicycle crashes, and the main trauma was from the fall that nearly killed me, back in ’84. That’s the one that snapped my head back, created the slipped disc, and gave birth to the PTSD that hounds me daily – every friggin day, 24/7. So, much looser than usual, I could feel the painful residue in my slightly twisted bones and joints to a much greater degree, especially my neck and the supporting muscles. This neck got seriously bent out of shape and never went back. Ouch. Poor me, right? Right. Well, 600 mg of ibuprofen has made it all significantly less severe. That and two cups of Starbucks Italian Roast. I should mention that the channels of energy flow in my body were also opened up better than usual, so the resulting heighten awareness made me more sensitive to the pain. It sucks, but it was well worth it. Now, I am not going to go into details about the spiritual aspects of the session, other than to say that when I get a massage I call my spirit guide, the goddess, to come help me rise to the level of consciousness that permits the higher levels of healing to occur. There’s no way around it. In such healing the only way out of the fields and lumps of trauma is to come back out the same way you went in. There is no avoiding the pain, nor would I want to. So, in moving forward here I am going to talk about the weather, k? After so many weeks of drought conditions it looks like a true Winter storm is looming, and like totally welcome, dude. It will move in tomorrow evening, and will bring some significant snow, all day Sunday. Sunday is one of my days off, and I always relish a good storm on my days of rest. But since it is coming I should go out for a long drive, before the storm comes, to give my car a workout, to loosen it up like the massage did for me. Soooo, that is exactly what I am going to do. I need it, all loosened up like this. Even my mind got loosened up, by the conversation. There is a lot of available healing energy to be had right now. It is also coming up, quite soon, on the anniversary of the big bicycle accident. It’s going to be a fascinating few weeks to come. I will enjoy it, aches and pains and all.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Where We Keep the Stars

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“It’s lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened.” ~ Mark Twain

“I watched the spinning stars, grateful, sad and proud, as only a man who has outlived his destiny and realizes he might yet forge himself another, can be.” ~ Roger Zelazny

“There are landscapes in which we feel above us not sky but space. Something larger, deeper than sky is sensed, is seen, although in such settings the sky itself is invariably immense. There is a place between the cerebrum and the stars where sky stops and space commences, and should we find ourselves on a particular prairie or mountaintop at a particular hour, our relationship with sky thins and loosens while our connection to space becomes solid as bone.” ~ Tom Robbins

This morning it is all confusion, and I’m not even sure about that. Yesterday I told a young woman that I am much too clever. This morning I’m not feeling that at all. What I am sensing is that I’m kinda sorta slipping into the neutral zone, as per Star Trek: the Next Generation. Klingons on one side and the Federation on the other. That sounds vaguely familiar to me, but maybe that’s just because I have been reading the news, again, and again. But seriously, folks. I am feeling neutral and that’s all there is to it. Today is for doing what needs doing, and the rest of the day is for nothing in . . . oh, never mind. It’s a day for being and feeling ambiguous, and if I can accomplish that then all will be well. You see, that is what this post is really all about. It’s about one of the gnarliest things about depression. Sometimes I just want to scream about the lack of things to scream about. Life is like that sometimes, right? Ummmm, maybe not. I simply feel I am in the deep darkness right now. But I just remembered that darkness is where we keep the stars.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Swimming In the Really Very Scary Ocean

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“The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.”  ~ Christopher Hitchens 

“The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.” ~ A. A. Milne

“Pooh hasn’t much Brain, but he never comes to any harm. He does silly things and they turn out right. There’s Owl. Owl hasn’t exactly got Brain, but he Knows Things. He would know the Right Thing to Do when Surrounded by Water. There’s Rabbit. He hasn’t Learnt in Books, but he can always Think of a Clever Plan. There’s Kanga. She isn’t Clever, Kanga isn’t, but she would be so anxious about Roo that she would do a Good Thing to Do without thinking about it. And then there’s Eeyore. And Eeyore is so miserable anyhow that he wouldn’t mind about this.”  ~ A. A. Milne

First off, consider the third quote there – I’m with Eeyore on this, but I am keeping it to myself. Some days I am likely to feel miserable all day, yet never show it. Today is one of those days. But there is a catch, a conditional, metaphorical twinkle in the eye of Fate. It’s a management technique I employ when the clinical side of depression seeks to put me in the mud and keep me there. Managerially speaking, you can be miserable, but that does not have to preclude all other emotions. Am I making sense here? Misery does not preclude happiness, nor satisfaction, nor fulfillment, nor . . . whatever. Think of misery as a base camp. You can stay in the camp and sit around the fire thinking what’s the use, fuck it, and stuff like that, but you can also go out and climb the mountain, explore the forest, or go for a swim in the really very scary ocean. I mean, the ocean?! You gotta be kidding me. Do you know what’s down there?! Sharks, for one thing; and eels with big fangs, and slimy stuff on the bottom, and friggin barracudas! There was a time, when I still lived in the islands, that I made a practice of taking an occasional swim offshore, about a mile or so, out to a sand bar, where I would slither up out of the water and take a rest on a sand bar; laying on my back, and gazing up into a brilliant sky of blue. I was on Prozac at the time. Prozac works better if you take supplements. This swimming was one such supplement. I never once encountered one of these bad things. I attribute that to the Prozac – says me ironically. Now, moving forward . . . yesterday was a weird day at work. Some days are just like that. I blame it on the president, but that is another story which I won’t get into right now. There was one woman who came in to return a product, which was in part broken. She said that she had tested the durability of the product by dropping it on the ground to see if it would break – which it did. This is a product that, if used properly, stays on the ground at all times. She claimed that the product would not last in the outdoors if it breaks when you drop it. The mind fairly boggles, right? It was fun watching the manager holding his composure while talking to her. He did a good job too. Then at the end of my shift I was walking back to the counting room to count out my drawer for the day. But I stopped to talk to a customer to ask what she was looking for. I probably shouldn’t have been standing there with a drawer full of money but she was a stunningly beautiful young Spanish woman and I just could not help myself. Protocol says to make eye contact with the customer. That was extremely easy to do. I eventually called on the radio for someone else to assist this customer, then I headed back to do what I was supposed to be doing in the first place. It was a nice way to finish off a weird day. I pretty much felt, like Eeyore, miserable the whole day through, but I did not let it shows, which was not so difficult because the day was full of . . . happiness and humor and stuff like that.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Stillness and Mercy

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My footprints to the left, Coyote’s to the right.

“Wishes of one’s old life wither and shrivel like old leaves if they are not replaced with new wishes when the world changes. And the world always changes. Wishes get slimy, and their colors fade, and soon they are just mud, like all the rest of the mud, and not wishes at all, but regrets. The trouble is, not everyone can tell when they ought to launder their wishes.” ~ Catherynne M. Valente

“Now that you’re an adult, you might still feel a pang of guilt when you decline a dinner invitation in favor of a good book. Or maybe you like to eat alone in restaurants and could do without the pitying looks from fellow diners. Or you’re told that you’re “in your head too much”, a phrase that’s often deployed against the quiet and cerebral. Or maybe there’s another word for such people: thinkers.” ~ Susan Cain

“We often confuse what we wish for with what is.”  ~ Neil Gaiman

Wishes for snow are quite common these day, in this part of the world. That’s why I chose the photograph for today. This is what it should look like right now. Not even close, it’s bone dry, which is alarming because a dry Winter means high fire danger in this place that is surrounded by a National Forest. The photograph is my wishful thinking gesture for today. It’s the best I can do, at this time. Such a pretty photo, right? Now, moving forward. I have no lack of stories to tell, but this morning none of them feel right. I’m feeling down. Part of it is personal, and part of it is that the situation with that Trump fella appears to heading toward becoming a national emergency. I’ll not extrapolate on that. Just sayin’. Pulling a coup of rationality I just reminded myself that I often feel down and agitated early in the morning – it is not at all uncommon for me to feel this way. Usually I blow it off and steam ahead. Be strong, they say, and just keep moving forward. But I suspect that continuing to move forward is somewhat of a specious concept at times. Blowing off a spell of depression sometimes just ain’t the strong thing to do. It seems to me that you could be flirting with cowardice by not facing what it is you really should oughtta be facing. So that’s what I am doing today, starting with reminding myself that the dark mood of the day so far is far from the only feature the day will bring. This is not positive thinking. Me thinks that sometimes ya jest gotta stop in place, stand friggin still, and let out a good old healthy WTF. I’m thinking that you best take care of yourself by actually taking care of yourself, not by following a trend, nor by falling into lockstep with a bunch of freedom riders. Soooo . . . now that I likely pissed off some folks by saying what I just said I think I’ll have a brief word with myself before preparing to go to work. And just what might that thing be that I say to myself? That’s easy – have mercy.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Strange Case of Light and Darkness

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“Some dreams tell us what we wish to believe. Some dreams tell us what we fear. Some dreams are of what we know though we may not know we know it. The rarest dream is the dream that tells us what we have not known.” ~ Ursula K. Le Guin

“She tried to worry that something terrible had happened to him, but didn’t believe it for a moment. Nothing terrible ever happened to him, though she was beginning to think that it was time it damn well did. If nothing terrible happened to him soon maybe she’d do it herself. Now there was an idea.” “She tried to worry that something terrible had happened to him, but didn’t believe it for a moment. Nothing terrible ever happened to him, though she was beginning to think that it was time it damn well did. If nothing terrible happened to him soon maybe she’d do it herself. Now there was an idea.” ~ Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

Enough drama for ya yet? I spend a good part of my time seeing it all as drama  . . .  drama-drama, non-drama, pending drama, needed drama. Yeh, some of it is needed. My best guess is that I found this perspective when I returned to this material world after my NDE journey, back in ’84. Many NDE experiencers found that same thing upon return. Many of those other experiencers were fortunate enough to have that perspective active, full time, over the years. Respectable researchers determined that 774 experiences occur in the US every day. Please note that I have come to the practice of using underlining only to signify a link, a “click on this” sorta thing –  any underlined word or phrase is a link. Hopefully relevant or even compelling. A couple of years ago a young woman read my book about my NDE, and shortly afterwards she asked me, “Jesus, Ken, what did you bring back with you? I just got a chill!”. Hmmmm. I consciously chose to not tell her that any spirit, dark or light, will likely raise a chill that scampers across your skin. It kinda sorta goes with the territory. Other people have suggested that I brought a dark spirit back with me on that fateful day back in ’84. I cruelly even believed it myself, on and off through the years. Such a perspective is adverse to the very essence of NDEs. Yes, some people report dark, devilish experiences on the Other Side. I wonder about that. My experience was scary through and through, and I had both dark and light phases over there, but I have come to feel, in my heart, that the dark spirit that stalks me most every day was here to greet me upon my return. What brought this to mind is that the dark spirit came upon yesterday evening, and it scared me, as it usually does. But I could feel the difference between the visit from the dark spirit and a depressive bipolar event. Bipolar disorder is a neurological phenomenon, whereas a spirit is simply a spirit. The two phenomena are incongruous, and for me, I can feel the difference. This explains, in my view, why a piece of music came into my mind yesterday afternoon, when I drove up to the convenience store and parked. At first I couldn’t recollect the composition from which the melody came. It’s a haunting melody, deeply compelling and equally beautiful. Finally it came to me: Fantasia on Greensleeves, by Ralph Vaughan Williams, a British composer. It was one of my mother’s favorite pieces of music. The presence of this visit from her made me feel connected, protected. But why the need for protection? It was the visit from the dark spirit a few hours later. Mom and I forged a close connection during the final 35 days of her life, through hours of conversation. It is hard if not impossible to explain what I felt and why it drew the dark spirit to me, and how it also helped me to push it away before going to bed. The spirit was here briefly again this morning. But the melody came back to me when I felt that shady visitor arrive once again. That spirit is trying to keep me away of a potentially valuable experience in my life, a change in life that I would welcome in both wonder and gratitude. That experience may never come to be, but I’ll be damned if I let it be because of that friggin spirit.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Kick at the Darkness

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“The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.” ~ William Blake

“New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.” ~ John Locke

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” ~ Isaac Asimov

. . . 5:30 AM humid, 16º. The frost is forming early this morning. Or is it just me? I have to admit, my mind is somewhat distracted by the political climate these days. It would be easy for me to drift into political commentary. The president of the United States is a bad man. There, I said it. So sue me, dude. Sigh. Back to the present. I got seven hours of solid sleep – or maybe not so solid, my disheveled hair was epic. What was I dreaming anyway? Anxiety dreams? Yeh. At least I wasn’t in Hawaii yesterday when the incoming ballistic missile attack alerts came through on peoples’ cell phones; I mean, they were shuffling their kids down into storm drains! And the president was playing golf. And he didn’t miss a stroke. Whatever. Anyway, the weather has indeed become somewhat monotonous. Don’t get me wrong, the days have been beautiful and all – but who am I to question Mother Nature? Right? In spite of the scant snow a coupla days ago this valley has had no precipitation, no moisture. It has been so danged dry. We need more moisture. Yeh, I believe in catastrophic climate change, and I firmly believe – oh, never mind. The weather has been too dry here. We need more snowflakes. Hey, maybe I am just reaching terminal cynicism. Or maybe just goofy. I should just get over myself. Today is laundry day. I’ll swing by and get a breakfast burrito from LotaBurger then slip on into the laundromat for a little wash-rinse-dry action. Then fold my clothes. Normal stuff. Likely I will go for a fairly long drive after that. Get some perspective back into my worldview. Dammit! The president is a bad man. As are his friggin congressional enablers. This place has gone dark, and is getting darker. Hey, at least I wasn’t in Hawaii yesterday . . . say, do ya suppose the president didn’t feel compelled to make a statement about the incoming ballistic missile attack alerts because an on-target strike woulda wiped out Obama’s birth records? He was born there, ya know. You do know that, right? I mean, come on now. Kenya?! Do you actually believe that our former president was born in a shithole? If you ask enough questions it all starts to make sense. Sigh. I’d better get my assets in gear here. I feel sad and angry. Outrage is a strong possibility as well. But I can’t let that keep me from doing laundry. Hey . . . ain’t it a shame we can’t hang the president out to dry? Dammit. Yeh, cynical. I told ya I was distracted. But I am still hopeful. Really.

“You’ve got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight” ~ Bruce Cockburn

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Goddess and the Health Insurance

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“When you’re born a light is switched on, a light which shines up through your life. As you get older the light still reaches you, sparkling as it comes up through your memories. And if you’re lucky as you travel forward through time, you’ll bring the whole of yourself along with you, gathering your skirts and leaving nothing behind, nothing to obscure the light. But if a Bad Thing happens part of you is seared into place, and trapped for ever at that time. The rest of you moves onward, dealing with all the todays and tomorrows, but something, some part of you, is left behind. That part blocks the light, colours the rest of your life, but worse than that, it’s alive. Trapped for ever at that moment, and alone in the dark, that part of you is still alive.” ~ Michael Marshall Smith

“But in the dark now and no glow showing and no lights and only the wind and the steady pull of the sail he felt that perhaps he was already dead. He put his two hands together and felt the palms. They were not dead and he could bring the pain of life by simply opening and closing them. He leaned his back against the stern and knew he was not dead. His shoulders told him.” ~ Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

That second quote there? Yeh, I’ve been there done that, and will probably do that again, but likely not today, since I gotta work today, and yet . . . oh, never mind. That Hemingway fella? OMG he sure could write! He’s not one of my major inspirations as a writer but I have learned a few things from him. I love how he applies a sort of staccato rhythm to sentences at times. And his use of commas as well. David Foster Wallace, who is one of my major inspirations, also taught me a lot about usage of commas, as well as the importance of rhythm in conveying a level of expression that words alone cannot provide. All that said – I’m hungry, but food can wait a while. And it’s cold outside. The stars are clear and bright. The wind still. The fake rooster in the chicken coop has been silent so far this morning. He, she, whatever, has not convinced me that it is indeed a rooster I am hearing. Too timid and suppressed. Kinda sorta reminds me of Sean Spicer, who was Trump’s press secretary for a while. He, in spite of efforts to sound commanding, never lived up to the task. But the poor little fella worked for friggin Foghorn Leghorn at the time. That’s gotta hurt. I suspect it hurts all of us to have Trump as a chief executive. By the way, I in no way mean to disparage Foghorn Leghorn. He can’t help it if our chief executive comes across like a cartoon character, whereas Foghorn himself is an actual cartoon character. I’m tempted to slip on in to Rocky and Bullwinkle analogies as well but I won’t, except to point out that Boris Badenov once said “It’s good to be bad”. You do the math. Now, moving forward, the opening photo intrigues me. The photo on the wall is of my mother sitting with her mother. They watch over me in this room. OMG, if you only knew my grandmother. I’ve heard her described as both a card and a stinker. She had a very dry sense of humor. A sly and educated woman. You didn’t even expect to win at Scrabble against her, but you could learn a lot by doing so anyway. That photo on the wall also reminds me to keep focused on the matrilineal side of my self. The Divine Feminine. A man doesn’t have to go out and buy a pink t-shirt to show he’s in touch with that side. No one really needs to know, except by observation and interaction. And even then . . . as I was saying. Ummmm, what was I saying? Whatever. I’m still kinda wrung out from Thursday’s psychotherapy session. So I got plenty of rest yesterday, as planned. I got in a couple of episodes of Star Trek: Next Gen, on Hulu. And I spent about 15 minutes on the phoned talking with a sweet woman named Kaisha about the benefits of my health insurance plan. At first my questions to her seemed to be confusing her, up until a point when she said, “Oh! Oh oh oh oh. I get it now”. She obviously had the revelation that I was mostly clueless about how insurance in general works. I’m not embarrassed about that, BTW. That’s why we ask questions, right? She became quite thorough after that, and in having my questions answered by that representative from my HMO I stand educated and greatly relieved. I got the policy through ObamaCare, which gave me a great deal on this coverage. I had been afraid for my bank account, whereas now I am not. Apparently I had been somewhat influenced by horror stories from . . . you know who. So now I have a new Principle Care Provider, who will conduct a full physical exam come month’s end. I chose a woman from the list of network providers available in Taos, and she is at the same family clinic I have been using for several years now. I always prefer women as my health care facilitators, as healers. Women are better at it than men, for the most part. And nurture too. But I am not embarrassed to note that the goddess of healing, Brighid, pretty much told me to take that into consideration. She never lets me down. Putting up with her giggling is a small price to pay for having Brighid as a spiritual guide. Speaking of that, it’s coming up on the 34th anniversary of the freak bicycle wreck that killed me back in 1984. During the NDE I was met on the Other Side by Brighid. She recommended that I come back to this life. I’ve told the story many times over, even wrote and published a book about it, but there are a coupla new readers here. Soooo  . . . I’d better go feed myself, then have a few minutes for a rinse in the shower. Mmmmm, perhaps I should do a bit of grooming as well. I work in a hardware store. You never know who might show up.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Yesterday’s Shadows

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“If there is a single definition of healing it is to enter with mercy and awareness those pains, mental and physical, from which we have withdrawn in judgment and dismay.” ~ Stephen Levine

“I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

A half inch of snow marks the places where yesterday’s shadows were. Dawn has yet to come, but it won’t be long. This is the second of two days off from work. I have no idea what to do with it. A couple of phone calls need to be made, but the rest of the day remains a mystery. Rest, heating pad, memories. Parts of my mind yak at me, to implore me to do something productive, to get out there and live a little. Ummmm. Apparently those parts don’t know me too well. I am perhaps in too serious a mood to be writing this morning. Yesterday was an emotional wringer, but I did get in a couple of episodes of The Librarians on Hulu, followed by six hours of deep sleep, until the friggin cat woke me up at 2:30 AM, by snagging my scalp lightly with the lovely claws of her right forepaw. I have been awake since that little loving gesture. It’s one of the prices you pay when you allow a cat to come live with you. Rosie has been with me for 13 years now. The emotional wringer aspect yesterday came during therapy. We went deep, and I was drawn by my unconscious into talking about the seven months during which I helped my mother die. There are no words to describe it. One thing I can describe about it in detail is something I don’t want to get into here, except to say that during that Summer the dishonest actions of someone I considered to be a friend impacted my job performance record in quite a negative manner, in a way which eventually cost me my job, after eleven years of employment. I haven’t been the same since. Wound upon wound. The time for healing is at hand. That’s what today and the coming days are all about. To heal a wound like that you have to rip it open unceremoniously then jump right in. Ouch, right? Boy howdy there are other traumas piled on top of that one, although they came . . . oh, never mind. At least I found my heating pad. That and stretching will tide me over until the massage therapist gets her hands on me next Thursday. These tight, inflamed muscles have a lot of stories to tell. Go figure.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.