Clouds and All


“I might just as well have ordered a tree not to sway in the wind.” ~ Joseph Conrad

“Transformation is my favorite game and in my experience, anger and frustration are the result of you not being authentic somewhere in your life or with someone in your life. Being fake about anything creates a block inside of you. Life can’t work for you if you don’t show up as you.” ~ Jason Mraz

“The patriotic or religious bumper stickers always seem to be on the biggest, most disgustingly selfish vehicles driven by the ugliest, most inconsiderate and aggressive drivers, who are usually talking on cell phones as they cut people off in order to get just twenty stupid feet ahead in the traffic jam.” ~ David Foster Wallace

Take note: I’ve pretty much crawled lowly to the composition screen to write this post. It’s not that I don’t want to. I do. I’m impressed with myself at times. It may be an illusion, but I like to think that the daily writing of these posts provide me with a semblance of a notion that order and structure can indeed be found within chaos. But isn’t that Chaos Theory in a nutshell? Yeh, I think it is. My favorite way of watching this in realtime is to watch clouds, especially those towering cumulonimbus that surge upward and outward on a sand-blasted furnace of a late afternoon in August, here in the high mountain desert at the southern tip of the San Luis Valley. Those clouds start out puffy, and tritely so, but they soon pay heed and need to the generous updrafts, and the result is that new cloud-stuff spews forth, upward in . . . . .  geez! It is friggin nearly impossible to describe clouds without using trite terms, or at least without taking into consideration the fact that there ain’t nothin’ small nor cute nor fluffy bunny about clouds. I used the term “fluffy bunny”, instead of that old workhorse “airy fairy”, because I am quite aware that clouds are indeed, pretty much by definition, airy fairy. The elements of air and fairy are not to be trifled with. Especially the fairies. Especially them. Ahem, I know I was just writing about a blasted hot Summer’s afternoon, and somehow fairies show up. You will find fairies just about anywhere you go, if you look in just the right way, or if they simply deem it amusing to reveal themselves to a mere mortal. Humans and fairies have been intricately entangled since long before Hector was a pup . . . like Achilles thought of Hector as a dog, and at one point brave Achilles looked down upon Hector, whom he endeavored to command and control, and said “Heel”, so Hector, grinning, looked back up at Achilles and said “Dude, like that is a great idea, bro!”. Hector grabbed an arrow, and the rest is mythic history . . . yes, I could go on and on. Myths are fun to play with, and all of the pieces are interchangeable. You can’t go wrong either. And the full experience is fully interactive. Imagine that.

Well, that was a fun little riff. I just took a break to walk out to the car to look at the mountains. They definitely look wintry. Clouds and all. It is hovering right about freezing point. A scant rain fell about an hour ago. Little frozen droplets are everywhere. Today is laundry day, the hamper having finally reached critical mass. There I go.

Peace put, y’all. Goof gloriously.


On a Nice Day You Can See Forever


“The world, we are told, was made especially for man — a presumption not supported by all the facts.”  ~ John Muir

“Appearances are not reality; but they often can be a convincing alternative to it. You can control appearances most of the time, but facts are what they are. When the facts are too sharp, you can craft a cheerful version of the situation and cover the facts the way that you can covered a battered old four-slice toaster with a knitted cozy featuring images of kittens.”  ~ Dean Koontz

“The vocabulary of flattery and insult is continually enlarged at the expense of the vocabulary of definition. As old horses go to the knacker’s yard, or old ships to the breakers, so words in their last decay go to swell the enormous list of synonyms for good and bad. And as long as most people are more anxious to express their likes and dislikes than to describe facts, this must remain a universal truth about language.” ~ C. S. Lewis

It looks to be snowing back in Pueblo canyon, then on east, maybe as far as Angelfire. The arc of sunlight slowly reached up to the penumbra and bid that the vast shadow go to sleep for the day. Which it did. I may go to sleep later on this afternoon. Likely so, for tis my 64th birthday and I danged well can do anything I please. Thus the wake and bake. Yesterday, the beautiful young woman working the counter at the dispensary expressed genuine surprise at my age. Talk about flattered. Nice. And she gave me a 15% discount for putting up with 64 years on this crazy planet. Also nice. Whatever. I’m supposta go out and have a meal at a restaurant, but I may blow that off, like I am blowing off the laundry until tomorrow. There is something hopeful hovering around in the plenum, waiting to emerge in that moment when – as Whitehead said – it undergoes the formality of actually occurring. That would be nice as well. I think it’s going to be a nice day. I almost feel I can see forever.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Trauma and Meatballs


“As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.”  ~  Toni Morrison

“This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.”  ~ Susan Polis Schutz

“What good is power when you’re too wise to use it?”  ~ Ursula K. Le Guin

A small bit of snow has fallen, the coffee is all gone, the cat is doing that catnap thing, and I have a hankering for an Italian meal, East coast style. I can almost taste it; and I could go for that catnap thing as well. No more coffee though. The one thing I could do right now and I ain’t gonna do it. Life is like that these days. The Italian meal will likely happen before too long. My brother sent me some money for my birthday. A meal out was his suggestion. Of course I wish there was an Olive Garden in town. That was mom’s favorite restaurant, ever, anywhere, and she had been to some good ones, too. I don’t generally get sentimental about food. It’s a mom thing, I suppose. Now, the opening photo is of the Rail Runner, the commuter train that run between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. I chose the image because it is way cool. That was yesterday, as were the quotes, but I never made time to write. But they do have an Olive Garden in Santa Fe. No, I ain’t drivin’ down there. Santa Fe is a city and I ain’t in no mood for no friggin city right about now, so don’t even try it, k? Just sayin. By going to the local Italian restaurant I can still evoke memories about mom . . . ya know, like, pretend loosely that she is there . . . and perhaps even evoke her presence in spirit. I think I’ll order spaghetti and meatballs. Simply by chance my birthday will fall on my day off. Hopefully the friggin agoraphobic in me will knock off for the day. I’d really like to do something, but sometimes it ain’t so easy to silence the agoraphobic streak. It’s a trauma thing. Hypervigilance, hyperreactivity. Stuff like that. The PTSD might say “there are too many auras in this room!”, thus revealing the New Ager in me. But the aura thing is real. According to the Heartmath Institute, the electromagnetic field generated by our hearts extends about fifteen feet from the body. Ya jest never can tell who you might rub up against in your travels, and it can seriously mess up your vibes. It’s a trauma thing too. For now it is time to get ready for work. I’m like all bummed out dude because Donald Trump Jr. ain’t bin indicted yet, and my inner troubadour is sporting a mild case of melancholy because the other day I saw a certain woman I know. Hear tell the Irish have a saying: happy to meet, sorry to part. Yeh, like that. Bueno, bye. That’s what they say here in Taos. The two phrases can at times mean the same thing.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Are We There Yet?


“I am younger each year at the first snow. When I see it, suddenly, in the air, all little and white and moving; then I am in love again and very young and I believe everything.” ~  Anne Sexton, in a letter to W.D. Snodgrass (November 28, 1958)” 

“Well, I know now. I know a little more how much a simple thing like a snowfall can mean to a person”  ~ Sylvia Plath

“This is my first snow at Smith. It is like any other snow, but from a different window, and there lies the singular charm of it.”  ~ Sylvia Plath

Look at Facebook, look at the sky. Two hours after waking, sleep lingers gently. There’s a workday to go to and they say it might snow soon. Yeh, right. It is so hard to be an optimist when there is only a chance of something nice happening. So, is it? Is it going to snow? To quote Jimmy Buffet (It’s come to this?!): come Monday. Says me. I will fail to be disappointed if it doesn’t, but I’d rather it did. Today is Saturday. Rain would be fine for Sunday morning. But Monday? Oh, never mind that already. On a rainy or snowy Sunday morning I can easily evoke nearly sensual memories from my time in Worcester, Massachusetts, back in the late 20th Century. The lingering taste of tobacco. The nearly exciting aroma of good coffee. The informative smell of newsprint emanating from the Sunday Boston Globe, which is spread out across the table, almost ordered in its appearance. I’d usually walk into the city on Thursday evening, to the Ben Franklin Bookstore, which is right near the library. I’d go there to buy the weekly New York Times Review of Books, which gradually helped me to be a better writer. Anything helps, right? But on Sunday morning I didn’t need no stinkin’ New York Times. It was the Boston Globe or nothing. Now I use the internet. The Times is still good, decades later. As is the Globe. But ya can’t smell ’em. Therein lies the problem: where can I buy air freshener, in a spray can, with a newsprint smell? Just askin. Anyway . . . . they say it might snow soon. Are we there yet?

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Let it Blossom


“Reshaping life! People who can say that have never understood a thing about life—they have never felt its breath, its heartbeat—however much they have seen or done. They look on it as a lump of raw material that needs to be processed by them, to be ennobled by their touch. But life is never a material, a substance to be molded. If you want to know, life is the principle of self-renewal, it is constantly renewing and remaking and changing and transfiguring itself, it is infinitely beyond your or my obtuse theories about it.” ~ Boris Pasternak

“Those of us who are blamed when old for reading childish books were blamed when children for reading books too old for us. No reader worth his salt trots along in obedience to a time-table.”  ~ C. S. Lewis

Weariness is a seductive presence, formidable in it’s tenacity. Little did I know it can be effectively addressed with adequate rest. I did so last week by taking care of a dog. Well, that was the purpose for me taking time off from work, something that most people call a vacation. My being unemployed for six months a few years ago skewed my perception of what “time off from work” really means. Looking back at that time I can see well enough how messed up I was back then, by clinical and situational depression. And anxiety. Don’t forget that. So, when a friend asked me to take care of her dog, at her house, for a week, while she herself took a vacation, in rumination of the stress such a thing would create for me, at this time, I had this flash of insight, stunning in it’s brilliance and immediacy, and that insight was to take a friggin vacation already dude. I did that thing. Much of the time was spent on the couch, propped up by helpful pillows. Of course I watched a lot of news and commentary, but not as much as I had expected. And I watched more shows about ghosts than I had expected as well. Now, please note that anything I look at about ghosts can rightfully be called research for the novel I am writing. I did both reality TV and anecdotal shows. It was educational – no, really. I laid still a good part of the time, especially making time for mindful stillness of of my hands; for the silent voice of Indica revealed to me that they hurt like hell. Any cashiers out there may know what I am talking about. The pain had eluded my awareness until the rest of the body began to loosen up. Then it was like all wow and dammit all at the same time.

Time is short, for I must go to work today. Time is often short with me. And I often wish it were more nuanced, more diplomatic. I’ve just returned from a few minutes outside on the deck. The coffee is all gone, and I really want more, but I remind myself that too much caffeine can blast your spirit asunder like a grenade. I’ll make a pot at work. I can call back my spirit after I get home after my shift. I intended change last week. It manifested right nicely. Now, what to do with it. You don’t gotta do anything with it dude, just watch it. Call it faith if you will. I call it mindfulness. Let it blossom, let it flow.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Levels of Reality in a Pizza Parlor

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“The wounding becomes sacred when we are willing to release our old stories and to become the vehicles through which the new story may emerge into time.” Jean Houston

“Though it may sound paradoxical, identifying our thoughts, emotions, and habitual patterns of behavior is the key to freedom & transformation.” ~ Sharon Salzberg

Something weird happened yesterday. I quite naturally fell into a conversation with a Christian. She sounded to be a true Christian, and not one of these new-fangled angry ones. Here’s the weird part: I sounded like a true Christian as well. Which I am not; I am a pagan (if labels hold any sway). The details of the brief encounter do not matter. The point is that it was not difficult to speak with this Christian covertly. There is something deeper here but it ain’t gonna come to light today. Being on the threshold of vacation (starts at 5 PM today) I am starting to feel heavy and tired, no doubt stuff seeping up, stuff that has to do with world-weariness and exhaustion. I have both, I feel both. And after a couple of errands in the morning I hope to gain some couch time with the dog I will be caring for. I have neither a dog nor a couch, but they seem to go delightfully together so I am gonna take advantage. All other vacation plans are on hold until I get this mind revved down to an appreciable level. There is but one such plan that is already in mind. That is to take a day trip up to Fort Garland, Colorado, to have lunch at the “Cross-time Cafe”, which is actually called All-Gone Pizza. The place is seriously haunted. I had lunch there once, with a friend, and the vibes and perceptions we experienced were among the oddest I have felt in dealing with paranormal stuff. We’ll see. Many levels of reality in a pizza parlor. It might be just the thing.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

A Day Without Coffee


“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”  ~ Franz Kafka

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”  ~ Madeleine L’Engle

“The reason that fiction is more interesting than any other form of literature, to those who really like to study people, is that in fiction the author can really tell the truth without humiliating himself.”  ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

A funny thing happened on the way to Monday – I missed the whole weekend. Well, not really. I worked on Saturday and did nothing all day Sunday. Well, not nothing, per se. It didn’t take me long to realize that, existentially speaking, I pretty much had to do something, so I did. It was actually easy; there was nothing to it. Geez, that was a cheap laugh line, right? Whatever. The odd thing about Sunday was that long about 11 AM or so I realized that I’d totally spaced out on the coffee. I was like all WTF about it, and proceeded to endeavor to make a pot and take it from there. I never got around to that. I never had the coffee. It was a sin, I admit. And, of course, sin is only one step below nationalism on the scale of really really bad ideas. Just sayin’. Now, moving forward, I did indeed make coffee this morning. The second cup is just as good as the first, perhaps even more so, because the drug itself is kicking in, alleviating the chemical withdrawals that had come upon me long about bedtime last night. The funny part is that I stayed awake after bedtime, watching a couple of episodes of Star Trek Next Generation. I cried the truest tears I’ve had in a long many months, years, whatever, as Worf served as mid-wife for Keiko, as she gave birth in 10 Forward, while the ship was crippled after a run-in with a quantum filament, and the Captain was trapped in the turbo-lift with three children, because . . . ummmm, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it: the reason I had no coffee, and did not much all day, was because I had a run-in with a quantum filament. And by all Indica-cations the whole exercise was successful. The key feature of the whole day was that I cried so deeply at the birth of a fictional child, who came into the world with a big old Klingon face right there, first thing! Can you imagine? Who needs coffee at times like that?

There seems to be a shift in the purposes of my writing this blog. Until now it has been on a usually daily basis. It may continue as such. It may not. Here’s the thing: I’ve not had an actual vacation since Summer of 2012, when I drove to the Lake of the Ozarks to visit my Aunt Juanita, who was the last of the elders on my dad’s side of the family, before she passed away, leaving us “kids” as untried elders. Come 4:45 PM on Tuesday I will officially be on vacation. I’ll also begin a week-long housesitting gig. The plan is for the five day vacation to be a kind of extended spa treatment. Detox, rest, dream, unwind the infernal tangles in life that are the residuals from anxiety and all that happy horseshit. I took the time off, concurrently with the housesitting, so that I could spend more time with my cat, instead of leaving her alone for most of the days. Besides, working and taking care of two houses, and two animals, one at each house . . . well, the whole idea of that scared me – avoidable stress, don’tcha know. As a result, my computer time will be considerably reduced. Speaking of which, I gotta groom some before heading into Taos for my day job, so on we go . . . . . .

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.