In a Wondrous Place

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“The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma.”  ~ Judith Lewis Herman

“Even in times of trauma, we try to maintain a sense of normality until we no longer can. That, my friends, is called surviving. Not healing. We never become whole again … we are survivors. If you are here today… you are a survivor. But those of us who have made it thru hell and are still standing? We bare a different name: warriors.”  ~ Lori Godwin

“Trauma is personal. It does not disappear if it is not validated. When it is ignored or invalidated the silent screams continue internally heard only by the one held captive. When someone enters the pain and hears the screams healing can begin.”  ~ Danielle Burnock

Times like these are enough to make me curse like a bartender. Ha! I bet you think that to curse like a sailor would be a more appropriate choice of words. Nah. I disdain being a conformist. Listen, I am in the thick of a PTSD anxiety episode. It’s been five days now, and it was a silent attack. Like a silent heart attack: you don’t consciously know it at the time, you just feel like shit. I got pulled over by a rightly professional Taos County cop last Wednesday, when a meeting I was at ran an hour late. It was the right headlight, and I knew it was kaput. At one point I had to dig in my bag for the flashlight, because my insurance card fell out of the envelope when I pulled it out of the glove compartment. When the cop reached down and seemed to put his hand on his gun I stopped searching, then looked down and saw the card at last. He was courteous., and let me go with only a verbal warning. Nice. I never drive at night, so I was waiting to get the light replaced. The silent attack occurred when the cop reached for his gun. I admire his work, but geez mister it was just an equipment violation dude. Dude you and other cops like have and deserve my compassion, dude. Anyway . . . meds are kicking in and I gotta go to work. Cat fed and medicated. BTW, my house and dog sitting gig got extend two days, because my friends travel companion had an appendicitis attack, and after surgery had to wait two days to be cleared for the flight back from the New Orleans Jazz Festival. I’ve got two needy animals to look after and take care of, a job to go to for gainful employment. I took a long drive up to the Colorado border in search of wild hoses, yesterday. Dag nab it, I didn’t see any. But what a drive! I live in a wondrous place.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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Magic Doth Abide

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“To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.”  ~ Fedorico García Lorca

“But he did not understand the price. Mortals never do. They only see the prize, their heart’s desire, their dream. But the price of getting what you want, is getting what you once wanted.” ~ Neil Gaiman

“Our frustration is greater when we have much and want more than when we have nothing and want some. We are less dissatisfied when we lack many things than when we seem to lack but one thing.” ~ Eric Hoffer

“Perhaps that is why desire causes men calamity. By identifying with our desires and taking them too seriously, we not only increase our susceptibility to disappointment, we actually create a climate inhospitable to the free and easy fulfillment of those desires.”  ~ Tom Robbins

I’m not sure why I am on this topic. Perhaps it is because I had a dream a few nights ago in which a beautiful woman asked me a question. I rarely remember my dreams, much less the dialogue. The statement, her statement, seems like a Zen koan to me; mysterious and deeply personal;  alluring and beckoning. I know who the woman looked like without the precious filters of the Dreamtime, but I have no clue as to why that woman was in my dreams, asking that question. Perhaps next time I see her? Yeh, I have, for years, found her to be mysterious, perhaps even a strega. Look it up. I’m not old fashioned nor prejudiced against or about stregas. Much remains to be seen. Or not. It’s the Full Moon in scorpio, and magic doth abide. Hmmmm . . .

Peace out, y’all.

 

 

An Earthly Pleasure

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“And so man, as existing transcendence abounding in and surpassing toward possibilities, is a creature of distance. Only through the primordial distances he establishes toward all being in his transcendence does a true nearness to things flourish in him.” ~ Martin Heidegger 

A day with a chance of rain. How odd. It has been so dry that even a chance does indeed seem distant and somewhat abstract in the moisture’s absence. Okay, I’m being a bit puffed up. I had a compliment on my long hair yesterday; it having grown out and looking like it did when I was 25 years old and playing in a rock band. She was an exceptionally beautiful woman, and she caught me by surprise. Dressed all in black, looking good, light flowing through a doorway behind her; a mesmerizing silhouette. It brings memories of my time in the NDE world of light. Goddess stuff, yeh. On my way to work. Just stopped by to say howdy, and boy howdy, it’s a pleasure to do so. Not lofty, that’s not the point. The point is that sometimes a more earthly pleasure is the need thing. Says me.

Peace out. Goof Gloriously.

In the Interim

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“I go dreaming into the future, where I see nothing, nothing. I have no plans, no idea, no project, and, what is worse, no ambition. Something – the eternal ‘what’s the use?’ – sets its bronze barrier across every avenue that I open up in the realm of hypothesis.”  ~ Gustave Flaubert

Just dropped in to put down a few words. It’s a sad feeling to see how readership drops off when I take a few days off; down to one faithful reader now. There are hundreds of other posts here. Tis exactly what it is, right? Yeh. I’m gonna give it a few weeks, then maybe stop daily posting. Maybe yes, and maybe no. I have know way of knowing what will come. Meanwhile, out of time; time to get to work at my day job. Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Letting Go of Eternity

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“I think that modern medicine has become like a prophet offering a life free of pain. It is nonsense. The only thing I know that truly heals people is unconditional love.” ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D

“Nonsense has taken up residence in the heart of public debate and also in the academy. This nonsense is part of the huge fund of unreason on which the plans and schemes of optimists draw for their vitality. Nonsense confiscates meaning. It thereby puts truth and falsehood, reason and unreason, light and darkness on an equal footing. It is a blow cast in defence of intellectual freedom, as the optimists construe it, namely the freedom to believe anything at all, provided you feel better for it.” ~ Roger Scruton, The Uses of Pessimism: And the Dangers of False Hope

There she was, and I had no clue. Driving to work, almost there; at the corner of Valverde and Camino de la Placita, and she was crossing the street in the crosswalk. Dressed impeccably. Black, knee-length overcoat. Hair styled just right. Pretty lady, indeed. I’m a careful driver but I like to look at a pretty lady should she appear along the way, as long as my driving is not impaired. This was the case with this woman. She had already crossed and turned left to follow the sidewalk to wherever it was she was going. It was safe. I was just rolling to a stop. So I turned to watch her as I came to a stop, with no cars behind me. I have to giggle a little bit here because she beat me to it. Our eyes met. She was already looking at me as I swiveled my always stiff neck to the left. It was the smile that left me stunned, then delighted. Her smile conjured my own; jaw dropped slightly, eyes widened. Then breathless. It was all natural. I could tell because my DNA was ringing like a brass bell. As well it should. Our eyes locked and our smiles were maxed out. She was young, and I was like “geez, does she even know how old I am?!”, which of course was a moot point. Two people, woman and man, sharing brilliant smiles, only for a few seconds, although eternity had a hand in it as well. I’d been looking for a sign for a few days, spurred on by a common bout of depression and existential angst; life hurt and I had deeply yearned for the pain to abate. Up until that moment with the pretty lady. She was my sign from the goddess. If you look just right you can see the goddess looking back at you through the eyes of a woman. Yeh, buddy! It woke me up. My spirit soared as I found my left foot depressing the clutch pedal. My head snapped around to face the road before me, but I didn’t want to let go of the sight of her smile. As you can tell, I haven’t let go. I’m not gonna let that memory fade.


I just stepped outside to witness the faint penumbral glow in the overcast sky. It’s a workday, and I just got myself all worked up in writing the opening passage. Passage is a good word for it, as far as time goes. It was a timeless cluster of moments that she and I shared, and I hope she knew that too. Regular readers of this blog will already know that I am a romantic and a dreamer. Case in point: those qualities came in handy yesterday. Maybe I was a troubadour in a past life, and maybe that troubadour is saying “maybe I am a cashier in a hardware store in my future life”. I don’t know, but the metaphysics of . . . hey, I gotta get ready for work. Burnin’ daylight when daylight ain’t even here yet. It’s okay. That smile. I’m a lucky man. I’d best watch out because if I get any luckier Taylor Swift will accept my lunch invitation, and I’m not sure I am ready for that  –  but the offer still stands, m’lady.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

With Herculean Strength

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“There is a shock that comes so quickly and strikes so deep that the blow is internalised even before then skin feels it. The strike must first reach bone marrow, then ascend slowly to the brain where the slowpoke intellect records the deed.” ~ Maya Angelou 

“After a traumatic experience, the human system of self-preservation seems to go onto permanent alert, as if the danger might return at any moment.” ~ Judith Lewis Herman

“Unlike other forms of psychological disorders, the core issue in trauma is reality.” ~ Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D

The issue of PTSD came to me by accident, just about an hour ago. It was an article on Alternet.org that did it. No need for details about the piece, it simply laid the PTSD thing smack on my lap; and, of course, I tried to shove it away to make room for the cat. That wasn’t happening so I let the cat up on my lap anyway. It helped. That purring thing they do? It seems to be, by design, an inducer of some gamma wave space; Zen satori, the Tao, the Great What If. But maybe not. Maybe when they do that, climb up for a lap, they are simply, in their own language, saying dude, chill. I wouldn’t put it past ’em. I’ve never known a cat to mince their words. But back to PTSD. As I read the article it became all too clear that I live in fear nearly 24/7. No praise, no blame. I’ve known this for years now, but I am usually not cognizant of the fact when the anxiety skirmishes come barging in. It’s a disconnect. My rational mind is all hip with the knowledge. And that knowledge can be reconnected at will. I’ve used the rational mind, paired with the silent observer, to develop alerts that notify me that something I am perceiving to be a threat is not a threat. The fear is always there, free-floating. The PTSD is there to connect the fear with the perceived threat, and there is no need for that. The fear will still be there long after the ‘threat’ has passed. You can use the rational mind to sooth the disturbance, but that can sometimes require Herculean strength. It is hard to see clearly when the storm pops in. Anyway, I am feeling quite writer-ly as I put this in words. I realize that this issue is one I could go on for a couples thousand words this morning. Nope. Ain’t happenin’. Too little time.  It’s a workday, best get to it.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Spiritual Vibes Upfront

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“It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and gives you a deeper meaning.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

“The main problem with this great obsession for saving time is very simple: you can’t save time. You can only spend it. But you can spend it wisely or foolishly.” ~ Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?” That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.” ~ Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

I’ve been looking back at a few of the posts from around this time last year and the year before. I was much more loquacious back then. The reason for this is no mystery. Things were more unsettled, especially two or three years ago. Writing is a great way of puffing out some of the acrid residue that results from frustration and anxiety. Not sayin’ there’s none now. There is. It is just not as toxic this year. Which may come in handy after a while, but meanwhile that’s not the way. I know I enjoyed those lengthy posts. Another thing that weighs in is that the political scandals this year are so intense that watching video clips and reading articles seems almost necessary. We are in danger of losing our country to a friggin robber baron and his accomplices. I doubt it will come to that, but as one who remembers Watergate and Iran-Contra I can’t bear to stop learning as much as possible about the progress of wickedness that avails today. Shit. It is hard to absorb the stupidity that abounds. But who would want to absorb stupidity? My bad. But back to my point. All this reading and watching takes up more of my time as well. I’ve got that petsitting gig starting Thursday. Five nights. Once again, I may not write everyday, and if/when I post it may be brief in passing. That last time I did this I lost a few readers who never came back. Whatever. I write to write, although I do get little ego tickles when peeps read here. I should mention that the other thing that comes on Thursday is back to back therapy sessions; first physical, then psychotherapy. Thirty minute gap between the two. It doesn’t happen often. Of course I will keep the spiritual vibes upfront as well. Both therapists know how I am. For now, it is time out of time, which is a really sketchy way of saying that I must bid you adieu for now.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Cab Driver and the Laundromat

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 “Everything takes time. Bees have to move very fast to stay still.”  ~ David Foster Wallace

“Whenever there is stillness there is the still small voice, God’s speaking from the whirlwind, nature’s old song, and dance.” ~ Annie Dillard

“If, then, I were asked for the most important advice I could give, that which I considered to be the most useful to the men of our century, I should simply say: in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

It would be a cinch to go all negative in today’s post, but I won’t. At least as far as I know. Perhaps I can break that urge by feeding the cat and giving water to the chickens. My friend, Joe, said that back home in Louisiana they call chickens “yard birds”. I like that name, although to me they seem more like dinosaurs. Velociraptors? Hmmmm, have you really watched them run. Just sayin. And . . . so, Mr. Ebert, why so negative; potentially, that is? The national news, the uncivilized president. Or maybe I should say uncouth. I mean the guy lives in a golden tower. That’s gotta count for something, right? Best go feed the cat. Bisy backson.


The other day a woman told me that I am so weird. How do you respond to a statement  like that? I told her that all those years of effort have finally payed off. Whatever. Ya gotta be yourself, right? To thine own self be true. I could launch off and write a complete, full length book of motivational, aphoristic, self-help fluff right now. I ain’t goin there, k? I’ve, a few times, considered writing a slim volume about my journey, and my spiritual worldview. I think Wayne Dyer would like that were, he still alive. Wayne was the one who inspired me to pare down my writing to a level where a cab driver can get it. I don’t do this in this blog, BTW. That attitude toward writing helped me in writing my first book, because the stuff I experienced was so far beyond words. It wasn’t easy. It took 17 years of reading and research before I was comfortable beginning the manuscript, then another eight years before I edited and published the work. That’s just kind of a fact. The whole thing, from the NDE forward, baffles and mystifies the bejeezes outta me. It might be easier if I were a Christian, but I can’t go there. I love the man and his teachings very much, but I don’t do religion. Period. I don’t feel any need for it personally. It’s all good. Now, moving forward . . . I sorta hit the wall as far as this day’s blog post, so I am gonna go ahead and tap out my tagline and kick back to rest for a while before I head down to do the laundry. The laundromat is truly a spiritual place for me. Everybody is focused, peaceful, and stuff is coming clean. I rest my case.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Occasional Stabbing Joys

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“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.”  ~ Leonardo da Vinci

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”  ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.”  ~ Fredrick Nietzsche

“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.” ~ Vincent van Gogh

It’s been 2.5 hours, the headline on the Huffington Post hasn’t changed, so I think it’s safe to start writing. Rachel Maddow tried to pull me away from it, from the writing, with a 21 minute clip from last night’s show, but I managed to pull myself the other way, just in time. I was beginning to grok that Roger Stone’s presence at both Watergate and Russia-Gate is no coincidence. I knew it 18 months ago. Now I grok it. Thanks, Rachel, bud. Yer a pal, and you have my sincere, immense respect. I just love to watch your mind at work; Chris Hayes’ too; you guys are the bomb. Say, do Evangelical Republicans even know what grok means? Just sayin. Now, enough of that. Moving forward . . . I’m pretty sure that I experienced enlightenment during psychotherapy a coupla days ago. I can’t really say I achieved it, and I suspect this is because, in my understanding, if you had to actually achieve it, it ain’t real. But what is? So was it a dream? That would be moving in the right direction. It was some sort of tremor, during therapy. We were exploring my relationship with a woman I am very fond of. I won’t say whether she is past, present, or future, in my life. Love transcends time, k? I have felt true fondness toward maybe two dozen women in my 63 years. With most of them I have a good understanding as to how she fit/fits into my life. The one we were talking about the other day, not so much. I was doubting myself, my feelings, by trying to believe it is all a fantasy for me. But, no. The therapist said just that; she said no. She said, “No, you two obviously have a deep connection”. That’s when the tremor hit me, overriding my weak posture by taking me full upright in an instant. Wow. It wasn’t a flash, more of a gentle nudge, yet enfolded in the gentleness was an unmistakeable  –  what Madeleine L’Engle called  –  “occasional stabbing joy”. I saw, felt, whatever, the connection in full, and my . . . never mind. I asked the therapist. “Did you just see me tremor?”. Well, yes she did. I then told her that what I had seen upon that big, sweet, tremor, was that milady and I are here to teach each other something that can be learned through no one else. That kind of ambiguity would usually just piss me off, unless I was in a more expansive, spiritual state. But I ain’t pissed off this time dude. I’m like stoked from within dude. I just experienced the goddess, and she seemed to be saying “doesn’t this make you happy?”. At least she didn’t say to leave all this Love and Light stuff and get back to work. Oh! Speaking of getting back to work. I showed up at work right on time yesterday . . . and I had the day off. That made three days off in a row. Three in a row is not ideal for me, because my body and mind seem to think it is a vacation, then WHAM it’s like Lucy pulling back the football just as Charlie Brown’s foot takes a swing at it. Usually that third day would go to the writer in me, but the writer is usually overcome by serial sighing, and feeling so profoundly melancholy and existential and stuff, the writer starts to go in search of Rachel Maddow clips on the internet. Sigh.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

 

The Tender Roar of Chaos

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“I made mistakes in drama. I thought drama was when actors cried. But drama is when the audience cries.”  ~ Frank Capra

“The artist cannot hold back; it is impossible, because writing, or any other discipline of art, involves participation in suffering, in the ills and the occasional stabbing joys that come from being part of the human drama.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle

“Every culture that has lost myth has lost, by the same token, its natural healthy creativity. Only a horizon ringed about with myths can unify a culture. The forces of imagination and the Apollonian dream are saved only by myth from indiscriminate rambling. The images of myth must be the daemonic guardians, ubiquitous but unnoticed, presiding over the growth of the child’s mind and interpreting to the mature man his life and struggles.”  ~ Fredrick Nietzsche

A tender roar, soft yet persuasive, arises from chaos as the wind violates its curfew. This stuff was supposed to be over at 3 AM. Somebody messed up. You can’t tell Mother Nature what to do. Nature is where drama resides, and I try to remember that Nature is not outside of us. I mean, really? Just who do you think you are? I’m not a detractor of drama, like “How can I get shit done when I am surrounded by drama?”. Ummmm . . . I’m sensing a disconnect here, almost a case of dissociation. Soooo . . . let’s move on. It’s not about me. The cat is lounging on the bed, loose and graceful, poised for the inevitable arrival of feeding time. They sleep with one eye open. It’s the strangest thing, I tell you. Anyway, I already talked about the wind. Chaotic stuff, the stuff of myth. Beyond chaos lies peace, or entropy, and I suppose you can have both concurrently . . . but let’s not philosophize, k? It’s a workday after two days off. It’s been a long two days, and I got extra sleep in the duration, but I did not get enough. It’s that rascal hypomania. I did a little (and I do mean a little; I looked at one website) research and found that one characteristic symptom of hypomania is, for me, not applicable. That symptom is decreased need for sleep. Au contraire, mon ami! This stuff knocks the stuffing out of me, through my efforts at management. No praise, no blame. Last night was pretty good, maybe seven hours. I did a little habitual pattern tweaking and swiveled my sleep position around to where my head now points north instead of south. I don’t know if it is a New Agey thing, but I heard that head pointing north aligns, in a positive way, with the planet’s geomagnetic field. I do feel less anxious this morning. Hopefully this is not a placebo effect. That would suck. I’m tired from effort. Period. And also out of writing time for the morning. One thing of note before I go: I rarely remember my dreams, even snippets. This morning I awoke from a dream, and the last remaining image from that dream was of a folded umbrella pointing at me. On the tip of the umbrella was a glowing green, ember-like light, which I somehow knew to be a polonium injector. Oh, great, now what? I’ve got friggin Russians in my dreams. Hack thisscoundrels! You can hack your way into DNC servers but you got no business dude hacking into my dreams. I am not as Liberal as you may think dude. Boy howdy I am more so, k? Keep y’all’s focus on our carbuncle of a president. Leave me in peace. Wait, what? Carbuncle? Isn’t that a bit extreme . . .  and mean? Not really; have you looked at his staph (sic) lately. Just sayin’. I’d best get to my day before the snark monster takes hold. One thing I like about my day job is that I get to be sweet, charming, and focused, for eight hours . . . and get paid for it. Tis a good exercise for me. Indeed, captain.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.