Long Before Actual Dawn

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“A person that started in to carry a cat home by the tail was getting knowledge that was always going to be useful to him, and warn’t ever going to grow dim or doubtful.” ~ Mark Twain

“And then there were cats, thought Dog. He’d surprised the huge ginger cat from next door and had attempted to reduce it to cowering jelly by means of the usual glowing stare and deep-throated growl, which had always worked on the damned in the past. This time they had earned him a whack on the nose that had made his eyes water. Cats, Dog considered, were clearly a lot tougher than lost souls. He was looking forward to a further cat experiment, which he planned would consist of jumping around and yapping excitedly at it. It was a long shot, but it just might work.”

“A cat’s rage is beautiful, burning with pure cat flame, all its hair standing up and crackling blue sparks, eyes blazing and sputtering.” ~ William H. Burroughs

That first quote, from Mark Twain, tickles me, and always will. It was underscored yesterday when I took Rosie over to the veterinarian to get her blood sugar levels checked. She’s never happy going over there – a drive of maybe seven miles one way – but yesterday did not want to go. I managed to get her into the carrier without spilling any of my blood. Rosie did, however, apparently snag the vet tech a good one. When he brought the cat back out from wherever he had her he was sporting a paper towel wrapped around his right hand. All he said was, “This is a feisty one”, then scurried away,  back from whence he came. I felt bad for him and apologized for the wound; overall, no big deal, though I didn’t say so. Sure, I chuckled some after he left, just as I usually did at the animal shelter, when I worked there, most every time some feline snagged me a good one. The humor for me is in the fact that regardless of all the “nice kitty” hype that cats get these little beasties are deadly predators, they are loaded for bear from birth. Everyone gets pissed off once in a while. Years ago I got pissed at the dentist who took an hour to pull one of my wisdom teeth. As the faithful barefoot island hippy boy I was in those days I breathed my way into an alpha state and continued to allow myself to be there throughout the ordeal. When the dentist finished the intrusion he snapped me out of the trance, holding the tooth in front of my face, and said, “I can’t believe you did that without gas!”. It was praise but I still wanted to hit him, like ya know he coulda just given me gas somewhere along the line, after he realized that I might be suffering from the extended time it was taking. But no. I was pissed! There was no actual suffering because in an alpha state the brain is pretty much just taking it all in through the auspices of the mindfulness meditation, in an intentional exercise that resembles the Silva Mind Control Method. I see it as a manifestation of Goddess energy: “Stay calm, child, there is no need for resistance. Everything is going to be okay. It is resistance to the pain that causes suffering “. And she would be right. He went on to point out that the tooth had four roots, which he said is rare, and that all four roots had firmly fixed themselves into my lower jaw bone. Of course I didn’t hit him. But back to the cat. I still have not heard from the vet; come to just now find out that my voicemail box was full, and sometimes calls fail to appear on my call log anyway. So I will have to call at break time from work. Two weeks ago we ceased her daily insulin injections because the glucose test showed a level of 38, which is critically low. My hopes are up. She hasn’t had insulin for two weeks now, and since cats, unlike humans, can actually recover from diabetes, that’s the way I want it to be. Anyway . . . I can hear some coyotes howling in the distance, in the darkness before the dawn. Geez, “the darkness before the dawn”? How trite, how aphoristic, how annoying that I had to use the phrase because it best describes what is happening here and now. I know that the phrase is a subjective consideration, statement, whatever, and not a scientific one, because starting with nautical dawn, the rising of light begins long before actual dawn, and the darkness begins fading long before it vanishes altogether. It’s the dark night of the soul that is key here. I get that on a daily basis, every friggin morning, and it is rarely to any significant degree. Which is the case today. The fake rooster has begun to crow and the coyotes have gone silent. Time to meander out to the side yard and see what the mountains and the Sun are up to.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously

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Positivity and Adventure

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“In our description of nature the purpose is not to disclose the real essence of the phenomena but only to track down, as far as possible, relations between the manifold aspects of our experience.” ~ Neils Bohr

“Modernist manuals of writing often conflate story with conflict. This reductionism reflects a culture that inflates aggression and competition while cultivating ignorance of other behavioral options. No narrative of any complexity can be built on or reduced to a single element. Conflict is one kind of behavior. There are others, equally important in any human life, such as relating, finding, losing, bearing, discovering, parting, changing. Change is the universal aspect of all these sources of story. Story is something moving, something happening, something or somebody changing.” ~ Ursula K. Le Guin

It’s been a strange few days for me, and I am wiped out from the whole adventure. See, I’m working on my positivity, I called it an “adventure”. Hey, and what about the national news? Ain’t it all weird and scary? Yes it is. But I have a cat on my lap and two cups of coffee in my belly. I hate the word “belly”, but what ya gonna do? You only have so much to work with. Anyway, I’m running late again, darn it. It has felt good to ease out for a while before work. I don’t usually do that. I will space out on occasion, but that is usually not restful. Besides, I can space out any time of day. But, alas, it is time to boost the cat and step into a new day. Is it the first day of the rest of my life? I’d best say yes it is, since I am working on my positivity.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

A Symbol of Willingness

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“A writer – and, I believe, generally all persons – must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges

“I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here. I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell.” ~ Richard Feynman

It’s over now, the Full Moon, the emotional intensity, the magic. Well . . . not the magic. That hangs around all the time, as far as I can tell; it’s just that it is pretty much always nearly impossible to see. The thing about that is you don’t see it to connect with it. Faith and perseverance are what it takes. Then you must ask for connection. Or at least that’s what I do. And I have to be willing to remain consciously aware, and metaphorically step back, as a symbol of willingness to accept the reply to your request. I know how to create happiness at most needed and/or voluntary times, but I haven’t reached any significant level of patience and acceptance . . . yet. No worries, there’s still time. As for now, in this moment, it’s nap cat on her paper grocery bag on the floor, the tail end of the coffee, a sweet chill in the dark morning air, and the whispering of Brighid, almost giggling. Whatever. I feel good about the day, although I woke up to fairly intense shoulder pains. A couple of tokes and about a half an hour of moving around and stretching like a cat. The thought I want to carry into the day, as my guide stone, to facilitate the connection to whatever it is that doles out magic. This thing tickles me: the young woman at the dispensary knows me by name. As an old barefoot island hippie boy I find that very amusing. Who knew, right? Cannabis stores? You gotta be yanking my leg! Never happen; no way, no how . . .  says my younger self. No worries.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Just Getting Good

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“Don’t worry. You’ll find your message in your mess.” ~ Richie Norton

“In photographs taken from the sky, cities resembled circuit boards. It was no surprise, really, that there were sparky misfirings, dangerous connections. Even traffic, Alice concluded, set up a kind of static in the air, let loose vibrations and uncontainable agitation. Freighted with more than they could absorb, with city intentions, citizens moved in designs of inexplicable purpose.” ~ Gail Jones

“So when I watch trains, it makes me think about how much movement there is in the world. How every train has dozens of cars and every car has hundreds of parts, and all those parts and cars work day after day. And then there are all these other motions. People are born and die. Seasons change. Rivers flow to the sea. Earth circles the sun and the moon circles Earth. Everything whirring and spinning toward something. And I get to be part of it for a little while, the way I get to watch a train for a minute or two, and then it’s gone.” ~ Jeff Zentner

It’s one of those mornings when writing seems to be a secondary consideration. Like, ya know, I don’t have time to write the crafted stuff I’ve been enjoying so much. This is something new about my writing: I am consciously aware of giving consideration and mindfulness to the way I craft sentences. Whatever. Yeh, sorta, but this is almost like achieving a goal I didn’t know I had. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned this to my massage therapist, and she went silent for a spell, fingers working away at the tortured muscles in my upper back. Stuff hurts. I was face down, of course, which means that I could not see her as we chatted. So, anyway, I’d mentioned my joy at finally consciously crafting sentences instead of spitting out almost channeled material. After the pause she said, verbatim, “Maybe you’re just getting good”. It was one of those ‘moment of reflection’ moments. I didn’t say thank you, but the compliment (she did read my book) was obvious. Of course it would have hit me differently if I had been able to see her face. There are levels of communications going on during conversation that are non-verbal. I wish I could see her as we converse. But there is work to do and she does it well. At the moment, realtime meatspace, I am fixin’ to head out to watch the sunrise over the mountains, for a spell, until I get my self looking presentable, then head on down into town to go to work. The rooster has just begun with his wimpy crowing. Sounds like he’s downed-out by Xanax or something. I remember that feeling, back when Xanax was one of the lifesavers that lifted me up from the worst spell of depression I ever had. My crow was kinda wimpy for a while. But that was yesterday. Today, right now, I’m gonna get my assets in gear and do this thing. I feel happy enough.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Coyote and the Good Stuff

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“One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries.” ~ A. A. Milne

“There’s something liberating about not pretending. Dare to embarrass yourself. Risk.” ~ Drew Barrymore

“A writer is not so much someone who has something to say as he is someone who has found a process that will bring about new things he would not have thought of if he had not started to say them.” ~ William Stafford

I don’t know how many there were, but as I stepped out to the edge of the deck, as soon as the Moon cast her first light on my eyes, a grand chorus of coyotes emerged from the darkness. They were on both sides. The ones to my right sounded to be no more than a quarter mile away. To my left they were much closer. I have not heard a hearty round of Trickster music like that for many a month. Now, I haven’t been aware of the phase of the Moon for much too long. Somewhere in my internet perusal this morning I saw mention of the Full Moon, so I made note of that, and when the time came I remembered having taken note, and that is pretty much it as far as just how I came to be standing at deck’s edge, gazing at the Full Moon like a lover. This is a good one, too. The Veil between our physical world and the Other Side is thinner than usual. There’s no telling what might come through. That’s why the Coyote/Moon thing a while ago is so precious. It had a bit of a spiritual wallop to it. Separation from the energy tides of the natural world is one of the subtler symptoms, side-effects, whatever, of big-D depression. So, when I stepped up to see the Moon, Coyote gave me a swift kick in the ass, saying, “dude like where ya been?”. My relationship with the Trickster Coyote is fairly healthy. Some say that Coyote is not to be trusted, and carries a fair amount of menace as well. Yeh, whatever. I can’t see that that has much of anything to do with it. But Coyote sang as I first looked upon the Moon, the Mother, the Sister, the Crone. The Divine Feminine as she emerges from that grand light. I scanned the darkness, drinking in the sound. All is well, and then there is that one particular smile as well. Yeh, it’s a fantasy or dream or whatever, but that is not relevant to the good stuff, which is what that smile truly is.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

When the Fake Rooster Crows

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“I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“I was a little excited but mostly blorft. “Blorft” is an adjective I just made up that means ‘Completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.’ I have been blorft every day for the past seven years.” ~ Tina Fey

“Right now I’m having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before.” ~ Stephen Wright

The gem of a quote, above, is from comedian Stephen Wright. What he says there, seems to me, is the prime dynamic in psychotherapy. Yeh, mine is going fine, thanks. It is part of why I have been so friggin tired for weeks now. Way back then, after so many long weeks or whatever, we broke through and hit on something deep and powerful. It’s like having that sweet trout hit the bait, you set the hook, and then you set the rod in the rod holder, saying, “I don’t have time to reel it in. I’m too busy being a badass, stoic, crazy-loving, right attitude, kind of spiritual warrior. When that fish shows up on my dinner plate, only THEN will I get to work”. BTW, that’s not what Stoicism is about. Read Marcus Aurelius if you want to learn more. Marcus rocks. One hint: yes it means to stand straight and steady and strong, but that would kinda sorta be a good idea anyway. Capiche? Let’s just say that what I am fighting is an inner thing that has consequences in the physical body, though it is merely subjective, and that thing . . . well, I don’t want to go there right now. I ain’t into that macho-mindfulness. Nor am I into the McMindfulness stuff. These days mindfulness seems more of a maintenance tool more than anything else. Oh . . . but I was talking about the fish on the hook and not reeling it in and stuff. I have chosen to reel that sucker (I mean this word in the literal sense) in, and it turns out that is one honkin’ big fish! Thus I am tired.


I just took a break from writing to go out to sit on the deck for a while. Peaceful thing to do, right? Yeh, buddy. Anyway, another tiring thing has been to follow the national news so closely. Yet, if someone suggested I turn off the tube and read a good book I’d have to say that the national news is a good book. You know how they say that truth is stranger than fiction? Not anymore. Or one of those books where it all takes place in an alternate universe?  Now we have the alternate and the original all at the same time. The Republicans, right on up to their top dog, have sat on their collectively sorry asses and effectively created a reality that you are invited to join if you agree to leave your consciousness at the door. Don’t do it. Say, did you know that they have their own TV channel? As my mother used to say; “Don’t look”. Taylor Swift ’bout nailed my perspective on the whole shit-storm:

“I love the players, and you love the game” ~ Taylor Swift

I still maintain that what these folks have created is the product of the dark side of positive thinking.


The formerly fake (I still have my doubts) rooster is crowing and it’s time for me to get moving. Movement is good. And I need more exercise. Workday, don’tcha know. I’ve had the past three days off. I feel refreshed to some degree. Whatever. They say that the future and the past are illusions. I always have had trouble with the word “illusion”. I mean, if the past and the future aren’t real, why bother with them? Or to be more obscure about my opinion on the matter — if you are so sussed-in to the present moment, why don’t you shut up for a while and let me enjoy mine? It’s a joke, bro. Just chill, k? I’m feeling playfully cranky today. As farmer Hoggett said a few times in the movie “Babe”: “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do”. Farmer Hoggett meant that as praise for a job well done, whereas I prefer my jobs medium rare.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Angels and Clúracháns

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“So you’re an angel, fine, that’s terrific. Now give me back my shadows.” ~ Peter S. Beagle

“They were on the side of the angels, even if the angels weren’t entirely sure that this was a good thing.”~ John Connolly

“Occasionally, there are battles in the sky. One likes to imagine the angels are always triumphant. One does not like to think of the ancient and terrible scales balancing the infernal and divine as wobbling back and forth. Tilting freely, to and fro. One does not like to think that sometimes it is the angel that falls.” ~ Holly Black

“The older I grow the more I become certain that it makes no difference what words we use to tell the same truths.” ~ Marion Zimmer Bradley

It would be easy to go back to sleep, but sleep must be postponed until the afternoon nap, which most certainly will happen. Nothing of great importance will come in the meantime. I’ve got to do a little grocery shopping. Not that I want to put my agoraphobic tendencies smack in the middle of the marketplace on my day off. I don’t want that, but all I have in the pantry and fridge is canned stuff: soup and chili. Yum, right? Nah, it’s just that I need something with more substance. Hey, I might run into a friend to chat with. Small town, don’tcha know. I enjoy many of the aspects of small town living. It’s been 30 years since I lived in a city. I’d moved to Worcester, Massachusetts from Islamorada, Florida, which is nestled about halfway between Miami and Key West. The trail since then has me back in a small town. Now, about the things about small town living that I don’t like? I don’t want to get into that today. My mind is more on angels. Why? That I don’t know. Stuff happens. Of course I knew it would come to this when I decided to take a tack in heading back into New Age territory for a while, maybe longer. Thus the angels. Did you ever meet one? I’m not sure if I have but I met something that might as well have been one, for all practical purposes. Scary stuff. Regardless of what Thomas Jefferson said, I firmly believe that intelligent non-corporeal beings exist. Tom said they were “nothing”. Tom, with all due respect, that is beside the point. Yeh, I believe in faeries as well. What about leprechauns? Ya gotta be careful with those guys, like watch what ya say and stuff. And then you have clúracháns. Some folks say that a clúrachán is simply a leprechaun on a drinking spree, and yet they and their cousins, the leprechauns, are said to be immortal. How the heck can you stay drunk that long? That’s easy. When you are a non-corporeal being you don’t have a liver. Whatever. Other than all that, it’s about the angels today. I’ve felt them whispering about lately. Today the feeling is pretty strong. What do they want? Well, it’s more about what I want. I want to cleanse my doors of perception again, though not to the extent that I did when the NDE happened. That was too much, regardless of my being thankful for it happening. Love and Spirit rule my day. But, please, only in moderate doses. As for romantic love, I don’t text, so that is out of the question. That’s a cynical joke, by the way. It’s all good.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Sinewy Lobster of Karma

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“And then a memory from Avalon surfaced in her mind, something she had not thought of for a decade; one of the Druids, giving instruction in the secret wisdom to the young priestesses, had said, If you would have the message of the Gods to direct your life, look for that which repeats, again and again; for this is the message given you by the Gods, the karmic lesson you must learn for this incarnation. It comes again and again until you have made it part of your soul and your enduring spirit.” ~ Marion Zimmer Bradley

“Our actions are like ships which we may watch set out to sea, and not know when or with what cargo they will return to port.” ~ Iris Murdoch

“Sometimes you get what’s coming around. And sometimes, you are what’s coming around.” ~ Jim Butcher

It’s hard to know where to start with all of this, but then I realize that I am not inclined to comment at length about the serious turn in the Trump scandal show. Suffice it to say that I feel some weight lifted from the turn, and it got me to briefly wonder at karma. That’s where today’s quotes came from. The concept of karma has always mystified me, mostly because so many people seem to go by some measure of not doing something because it would come back, creating bad karma. Or the inverse version, where ya do something to create good karma. I’ve always been like why don’tcha just do it because it is the thing to do, or not do it because it’s not? Of course my attitude toward karma might be a mite skewed compared to most, see’in’s how I got tangled up in a nasty, freak bicycle accident years back and I to this very day have no desire to delve into just what it might all mean on a karmic level. And take the notion, as some suggested, that someone tried to kill me, or maybe just get me out of the way of something which was like totally not on my radar. There is enough weight to that claim . . . well, let’s just say that I tend to believe that that is the case. Not that it matters. But, what sort of karmic flow nearly had me killed? And why? WTF did I do to deserve this? Yeh, and the NDE, what about that? Was the accident merely a vehicle – no pun intended (yeh, right) – to get me to the Other Side? If so, the vehicle that went wrong on me? Just how big was this vehicle? Perhaps you can see how this whole thing tends to drive me buggy, making me itchy every time I try to go rational with it. Or positive. Or to go positive. Don’t even try to tell me it is what it is. I know that. Couldn’t you just say you don’t want to talk about it any further? I mean, what’s with the karmic play-by-play?


Perhaps you have noticed that I am at the threshold of being cranky this morning. Yesterday was a day of intentional, hopefully mindful, rest. More so than usual. The thing is that I have come to tend to view this deep fatigue as more than a current, local phenomenon in my life. It is larger than that. Layer after layer after larger layer, all designed and built to keep my conscious mind from having to confront the many traumas that have hounded me ever since PTSD was born from the initial trauma of the accident. It’s a process that played out over time, but that which it addresses happened outside of the constraints of time, and I’m like “just get this time stuff off of me, it makes me feel all claustrophobic and stuff”. That’s one of the benefits of Indica as a medicine for PTSD: the legal weed tends to loosen up the grip of time to a large degree. One writer said that PTSD is like a photograph of the trauma at first impact. The trauma becomes frozen in the muscles and the endocrine system, and every fresh trauma that comes along after that sets that original photograph to ringing big time. For whom the bell tolls, right? Yeh, whatever, spare me the aphorisms. Without treatment each fresh trauma just wraps one more layer around the whole mess. You don’t want to hack through all of those layers in one fell swoop. What, are ya daft, child? That’s kinda what happened in the first place: my reality was hacked open like a sinewy lobster, the meat dipped in garlic butter, then devoured by Lady Destiny, who said quite calmly, “What ya gonna do now, baby boy?”. I still ain’t rightly figured that out, 34 years later. But days like yesterday are for scraping away at the most accessible layer. It’s an excavation more than a well-drilling exercise. Like yesterdays’ blog post title, the best advice is “take your time“. To that I might add that it might be best to put that time ya just took up on the shelf for a while, with a pink post-it note that says “Do not drive or operate heavy equipment while taking this product. One side-effect is that it may serve as a gateway drug for Red Bull”.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Take Your Time

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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

“We are asleep. Our Life is a dream. But we wake up sometimes, just enough to know that we are dreaming.” ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.” ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

“This is how philosophers should salute each other: ‘Take your time.” ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

 

Poking Back

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“Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.” ~ Neil Gaiman

“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking” ~ Albert Einstein

“Inspiration is always a surprising visitor.” ~ John O’Donohue

It’s ironic, I guess. I choose quotes about inspiration on a morning when I don’t have much of it. Too little sleep, but not too bad. I could easily go on a drab rap about allergies; the itchy skin, that kind of thing. The morning started off quite sweetly, when I awoke to find that Rosie the cat slept at the crown of my head, no doubt to stave away the bruja, who has been poking around a little too much of late. Rosie is good at what she does. Wouldn’t hurt to poke back a little, I suppose. Maybe later, after I wake up a little more effectively. The coffee seems to be slacking.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.