The Here and Now of Memory

“I love the story of a thing. I love a thing for what it means a thousand times more than for what it’s worth.” ~ Elizabeth Wein

“Looking from the window at the fantastic light and colour of my glittering fairy-world of fact that holds no tenderness, no quietude, I long suddenly for peace, for understanding.” ~ Daphne du Maurier

“You travel certainly, in every sense of the word. But you take with you everything that you have been, just as the landscape stores up its own past. Because you were once at home somewhere, you are never an alien anywhere.” ~ John O’Donohue

Unfortunately the skunk is back, but I don’t want to get into that. Dammit, I was enjoying his being elsewhere. Might be time to buy more mothballs. Whatever. The temperature sits at 30º. Last day in May. Go figure. The nighttime cold and the daytime heat, together, are one of my favorite things about living in the high mountain desert. Not like 70-80º at 3 AM, back in the islands where I lived for so long. But did I really? Did I really live there? Yup. It just feels different when I look at it now. No need to look back to see and feel those memories. That’s just not how I roll. Those memories are here and now; fluid, sometimes capricious, always, to some degree, deceptive, and even a little manipulative at times. The unaddressed pains and faux-longings of the Shadow do indeed drive us, if we are not up on conscious awareness. Yeh, memories can instruct, or evoke longing, laughter, sorrow, but the Shadow is timeless. It can kick your ass, right here and now. There is a lovely and funny scene from one of the Carlos Castaneda books in which Carlos is running at top speed, round and round the campfire, with a terrifying monster in hot pursuit. Don Juan, Carlos’ benefactor and teacher, sits a short ways off in the chaparral, laughing his ass off at Carlos’ plight. Carlos finally gets tired, and angry at the monster, so he turns to face it, then embraces it and wrestles the thing to the ground. Thereafter the monster became his Ally. I read the first four of the Castaneda books during the first two years of my recovery from head trauma – though I’m not right sure I actually recovered. Just changed. Just adapted. Turned a serial expression of non-verbal WTFs into something more viable. I don’t know. I feel the longing this morning, as I sometimes do, for a world in which I did not smash my face against the handlebars of the bicycle. People say I drank too much back then, but the minor disorientation I felt at all times was there with or without the beer. No. That’s what those who would speak of it told me: no. But were it not for the trauma I would not have lived in Massachusetts for 13 months – met Cheryl, met Lori. Sigh. To quote Calvin from the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes”: “If life throws lemons at you just chunk them right back!”. That’s my kind of Calvinism. I am not meant to suffer, like in the other Calvinism. Not today, and hopefully not tomorrow. That’s enough for now.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Fear As a Ground State

“Impeccability is to act to the very best of your ability upon whatever knowledge happens to be available to you at any given moment.” ~ Théun Mares

“Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.” ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

“The ninety degree shift does not cancel the effects of old age upon the physical body, but it does enable warriors to retain control of all their faculties, their knowledge, sobriety, and power, right up to and even beyond the moment of physical death. This is every warrior’s reward for having been willing to fight impeccably right up until the final breath.” ~ Théun Mares

A few days ago a friend asked me to consider if, maybe, one can be addicted to fear, and I was like “Ha! I think not”. No, I didn’t actually say that, but I could have. It was not an oversight; I am capable of at least some decorum. So, what about PTSD? Just askin’. I’ve no answer, of course. This is one of those questions – ar least for me – that are best pondered, not answered. But don’t think about it too much, lest it becomes ponderous. I did give it some thought, and intuition, and still came up nebulous, diffuse, whatever – but here’s the thing, my friends: my heart tells me no, it is not possible to be addicted to fear, even if only because fear is a natural, innate part of our tools as a species. For me it is a ground state – this thing called fear. Ground state is a term lifted from quantum physics, so I run the risk of being all trendy and stuff by using pop-science in the attempt to describe something so profound. That’s why I said “for me”. Here is a definition of “ground state”, from Wikipedia: “The ground state of a quantum-mechanical system is its lowest-energy-state; the energy of the ground state is known as the zero-point energy of the system. An excited state is any state with energy greater than the ground state. In the quantum field theory, the ground state is usually called the vacuum state or the vacuum“. I’m afraid (!) this may be hard to wrap your head around, but it excites me. See, I have PTSD – I’ve lived with abiding fear since February, 3rd, 1984, long about sunset. And I’ve had bipolar type 2 disorder since that very same day. This disorder manifests primarily as depression, and there is no true mania, only hypomania, which differs from mania . . . well, hypomania is . . . oh, never mind; you don’t get the high that comes with mania. And there is no friggin euphoria involved. Yet both are excited states. Excitement is what lifts me up from a ground state, up where both depression and hypomania emerge, nearly demonic in their terrier-like existence. And fear? As a ground state it just kinda sits there like a lump, being the lowest of the low. So, fear cannot be addictive because it is a function of our primate survival instinct as a species. It is natural, in a nearly delicious sort of way. Without fear there could be no courage. And courage is a driving force in life – so why isn’t fear a driving force? Me thinks it is; it is a driving force; it is what it is, so don’t even try it, k? Don’t get all plucky with me, dude. I feel, in my heart, that addiction need not be proffered as an answer for every friggin thing that makes it audaciously difficult for you to simply shake it off. Click on those underlined words if you wanna listen to Taylor Swift for four minutes. I recommend it – the woman’s got the groove goin’. Alas, parting is such sweet sorrow, yet I must go to the diner for a bite, then on to the laundromat. And sorrow is not depression. Sorrow is to depression as the common cold is to cancer. Sorry about that momentary non sequitur. Fear made me do it – fear that I have not adequately explained myself here. If you are one of those types who profess to have conquered and disposed of fear, don’t go shaking off your Shadow around me. I like to shake it off – don’t get me wrong – but your shadow is yours. I’ve got one of my own. And, besides, Taylor Swift makes me happy, in more ways than one. Capiche? Yeh, buddy.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The River of Life

“The average man is either victorious or defeated and, depending on that, he becomes a persecutor or a victim. These two conditions are prevalent as long as one does not see. Seeing dispels the illusion of victory, or defeat, or suffering.” ~ Carlos Castaneda

“Life always bursts the boundaries of formulas. Defeat may prove to have been the only path to resurrection, despite its ugliness. I take it for granted that to create a tree I condemn a seed to rot. If the first act of resistance comes too late it is doomed to defeat. But it is, nevertheless, the awakening of resistance. Life may grow from it as from a seed.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat.” ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Just checking in, here. The past few weeks have been way intense. It’s been hard to get myself motivated to write a daily post. No biggie in the long run. I’ll get my positivity back before too long, I suppose, but in the meantime I shall still aspire to a daily post anyway. Hmmph. I could get grouchy today but I don’t care to. Let’s do the Hallmark approach: tis but a rocky patch in the river of life. Sounds kinda sorta Taoist to me as well. Yeh, I’ll go the Taoist way today. Sounds like a plan.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously

The Semiotics of Trickster Fox

“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.” ~ Charles de Lint

“All of us, whether or not we are warriors, have a cubic centimeter of chance that pops out in front of our eyes from time to time. The difference between an average man and a warrior is that the warrior is aware of this, and one of his tasks is to be alert, deliberately waiting, so that when his cubic centimeter pops out he has the necessary speed, the prowess, to pick it up.” ~ Carlos Castaneda

In the point of rest at the center of our being, we encounter a world where all things are at rest in the same way. Then a tree becomes a mystery, a cloud a revelation, each man a cosmos of whose riches we can only catch glimpses. The life of simplicity is simple, but it opens to us a book in which we never get beyond the first syllable.” ~ Dag Hammarskjöld

Hope comes and goes. Day to day kind of stuff. That’s what I get out of my daily consumption of news. Yet overall I have a feeling, beyond hope, that in spite of the nasty habits US citizens are picking up, or just plain revealing, from our cringe-worthy chief executive, things are going to work out okay. I’m waiting for that day when Trump will be like a cat clinging to the curtain when you try to remove her. Sure, the at home remedy for such behavior is a water bottle equipped with a sprayer. The cat may look at you like you are the biggest asshole ever, but it will let go of the curtains. Now, for a fella as big as Trump, it may be best to use a water canon instead. Just sayin’. Whatever. This morning I have the fox on my mind. On my way home from work yesterday evening I was headed north on US64, just south of the two Mexican import stores in El Prado, which some folks call “Little Juarez’. Traffic was pretty heavy, mostly peopled by folks who are into group tailgating. Friggin science deniers seem to think the laws of physics don’t apply to them. Newton’s First Law of Motion, duh. Anyway, from the right shoulder of the highway came a little animal, hauling ass at near-light speed, arrow straight, long fluffy tail parallel to the tarmac. The sight evoked a little gasp as I instantly recognized the plight of the beastie. But my worries were unfounded; the animal narrowly avoided oncoming traffic in both lanes. I knew what it was. Too small to be a coyote, yet still moving sorta like a canine. Well, almost. To me it seems . . . oh, never mind. It was a red fox. So this morning I am savoring the meaning of Fox totem medicine, and from what I read I like it a lot, and it is definitely apropos to my current life. Good on me, right? Yeh. Of course, I am inclined to go straight to the semiotics of the sighting, like this (what I read) is what it means, so what am I going to do with the knowledge of the symbolism. That kind of thing. It’s not so much what you know, it’s how you use it, and what’s in it for me. Turns out Fox is a Trickster, and I have an affinity for the Trickster. Most of the neopagans of my acquaintance seem to disdain and mistrust the Trickster. But, sure, what good is a Trickster if you actually trust them? I admire and respect the Trickster. But trust? No. To trust the Trickster pretty much exempts you from any lessons he may bring. I will not discuss the actual symbols here. Fox is quite a magical creature as well, and can act as a guide into the Faery Realm. I’d be up for that – there’s a lot in that realm besides faeries. The bottom line here is that the fox made it across the road. Maybe he was chasing that chicken everybody always talks about.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

At the Edge of Things

“I am a dreamer. I know so little of real life that I just can’t help re-living such moments as these in my dreams, for such moments are something I have very rarely experienced. I am going to dream about you the whole night, the whole week, the whole year.” ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“And the moral of the story is that you don’t remember what happened. What you remember becomes what happened.” ~ John Green

“Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.” ~ Saul Bellow

“Memories were waiting at the edges of things, beckoning to me.” ~ Neil Gaiman

Were it not for the cat I would have my second cup of coffee by now. She tends to control things, to a large extent, at times. It’s okay, I suppose, but I want that coffee, and I can invest no more than a few minutes before I boost the cat and go to get it. It will be worth it for both of us, right? Likely so, for I feel to be on the edge of things, and that requires a course-change before work. I hesitate to claim that I have learned how to write around the cat. This skill has been . . . well, let’s just say that a fair amount of grumbles and huffs have been involved, to find the determination, to adapt, to bear in mind that the lovely beast on my lap has daggers on her feet. This is how it would go – she’s be like all “Dude, sorry about the drop of blood. I just woke up and found you moving, dude. You moved; it’s that simple. I know it hurt – it is supposed to hurt. Other wise how would you comply and learn?”. Sigh. I’m gonna hafta sorta boost her right after this sentence, without resorting to a run-on sentence. Wish me luck. Here goes . . .

Maybe a half hour ago I was reading some tips about writing a novel. My attitude has been like “I don’t need no stinkin’ tips!”, but it can’t hurt. Perhaps by necessity I will read some more tips each day for a while. I mean, I wrote a novel years ago. I was about halfway through when I had the NDE. So what had been magical became even more so. It was unavoidable. NDEs are high magic, but you wouldn’t want to go through the experience if you don’t have to. Trust me on that. That novel, Paradise Mind Games, was actually pretty good. Back in the 90s it likely woulda been classified as urban fantasy. When I began writing – longhand, no less – it was definitely going to be psychedelic, and elements of that remained throughout the finished first draft. These days it likely would be classified as paranormal fiction. What is it with these genre labels anyway? Whatever. Two of my all-time favorite novels are strongly driven by elements of the paranormal: American Gods, by Neil Gaiman, and The Onion Girl, by Charles de Lint. I consider both to be masterworks. The protagonists are charming and deep characters. Both authors waver into truly lyrical prose, then back. But I have no time for analysis at this point. It’s a workday and grooming is needed, so I don’t want to go to work looking like Snuffy Smith. You younger readers will just have to google it if Snuffy Smith is not on your youthful radar. If you can’t be bother with Google then bear in mind that Snuffy has something essential in common with Foghorn Leghorn. If you don’t know who he is you are on your own. That said, I must be off. The second cup of coffee is about a swallow away from being gone. The cat has retired to her bed. And I will go out to take a gander at the sunrise. What is it with sunrise coming before 6 AM? Can’t something be done about that? Yeh, I prefer the long, drawn out dark mornings of winter.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Role of the Trickster in Self-Created Reality

“One need not be a chamber to be haunted.” ~ Emily Dickenson

“Any fool can be happy. It takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep.” ~ Clive Barker

“Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced. It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it’s a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different.” ~ J. K. Rowling

“Tears are words that need to be written.” ~ Paulo Coelho

There is something trepidatious for me about Federal holiday three-day weekends. I worked in the resort industry for many years: you work while everyone else plays. And visa versa. This is Memorial Day weekend. I’ll be on the backroads, for sure. Likely even metaphorically. I’d like that. I’ll be like William Least Heat-Moon, who, after a grueling divorce, hit the road to travel about in these here United States. Citing old fashioned roadmaps he hit the “Blue Highways” (the title of the book he wrote about it – great book, by the way) to shake off the grief. Blue highways are the secondary roads while red highways are the primary highways. Stick to the back roads and you get to see the down home stuff. No truck stops or travel centers. The last time I did that was in 2014, when I traveled from Taos, back east to Pensacola. You can’t do the complete trip on the back roads, so I did when I could. My trip was due to the sudden death of my brother’s wife, so my state of mind, which was already addled from a truly scary and extended depressive down cycle, teetered right on the edge of shutdown. Only two scenes remain in clarity. One was at a service station/convenience store, where I witnessed the stunning racial abuse hurled by a young white woman at a young black man. I had never witnessed such blatant racism. That was deep on the backroads in the State of Mississippi. The other scene came because I felt so much fear over the prospect of having to drive through Memphis, Tennessee, just to get across the wide Mississippi River. The iPad and I sat down on a motel bed, cold bottle of IPA on the night stand, and found a blue highway passage across the river, into Arkansas. Quaint old steel-arced bridge, no traffic. The river reminded me of Mark Twain. But enough of all of that. The reason I will be sticking to the back roads this weekend is to avoid the copious motorcycles that show up every Memorial Day weekend, and also to avoid having to lumber through the DUI checkpoint, which will be in El Prado; not because I drink and drive, simply because I want to make it home without tearing my hair out. It’s a form of hiding.

It’s just about sunrise. No way do I want to go into town to work. But I will, and I will have fun. The depression is running high enough to garner my attention. It is not always this strong; there is a threshold below which it’s all pretty much dullness on steroids. But I also feel an unidentifiable sadness. I have no idea what that is about, although I do know what triggered it. But it is simply good to feel such a healthy thing as sadness. Depression is not profound sadness. As Barbara Kingsolver once wrote (I paraphrase): sadness is to depression as the common cold is to cancer. If you tell a sad person to cheer up, they just might. They might even smile a little Mona Lisa smile. But if you tell a depressed person to cheer up you are only making it worse. Depression only moves when it is damned well ready to move. Sadness knows movement as essence, because it is a natural part of life. It feeds the soul while Depression sucks the soul dry. So what? So I will find a good movie on Netflix tomorrow and ease myself out of my own head. That can get tricky because depression is a Trickster disease. The Trickster is the one who really tortures you by way of your own epistemological awareness. Depression is real but it ain’t. Depression will friggin grind you under the heel of it’s shiny black jackboots while remaining inscrutable. Yet sadness flows; step on it and it moves out of the way. I can imagine some New Agey person asking me why I am creating the reality of depression, and I would respond by asking, “If this is my self-created reality then why are you here asking that rather rude question?”. I can be so snarky at times. That said, I must be moving on; on to the shower, on to work. It will be a good day unless it ain’t. That’s all I’ve got to work with. Yesterday I saw one of my old employers. Over the course of my employment with him he and I grew to become adversaries. But I no longer feel that way. Dude triggered my PTSD numerous times, and a few of those times I let him know, in no uncertain terms. I’d used the term “PTSD” as a rhetorical device, just to get to him, but two years later I ended up at the clinic being assessed by my lovely psychiatrist for the first time. Damned if I wasn’t right about the PTSD! I knew without knowing I knew. Trickster stuff, yeh, but the Light side of the Trickster, not the Dark. Some people choose to see only the Dark side of the Trickster. But there is a Light side as well, and woe be to him who doesn’t keep that in mind at all times. Depression is real but it ain’t. Trickster stuff. Healing comes through integration. Yeh.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Nature of Happiness

“I paint what I see and not what others like to see.”~ Édouard Manet

“Why harrow oneself by looking on the worst side? Because it is sometimes necessary.” ~ Agatha Christie

“Given its old-fashioned means and limited subject matter, realism is quite incapable of describing the complexity of contemporary experience.” ~ Ursula K. Le Guin

“I took to fantasy like a duckling to water. Unfortunately for me, there was nobody around then to tell me that fantasy was the most realistic of arts, expressing as it does the contents of the human soul directly.” ~ Joanna Russ

There is frost on the windows of my car. 26º. I love it. Then again, I like to think the weather is not a PR stunt, that Mother Nature doesn’t make mistakes. So it’s nearly the end of May. So what? Baby, it’s cold outside. I like to be a realist, though not so much in my writing. I agree with what Ms. Le Guin wrote in the quote above. Rigid reality just freaks me out, likely because it has such a “man behind the curtain” potential. Okay, so I don’t like rigid reality. And I reckon it’s okay that I don’t like it. Nor do I care for a bright-sided view of the world and how we approach it. Nor do . . . now wait just a darned minute here. I am in no mood to discuss the nature of reality. The nurturance of the soul would be a more appropriate venue for my current mood. Would that I could, if I had the time. And you know what? I have a mood disorder, so what do I know anyway. My dear friend, Lady Di, and I – over a beer and a smoke -liked to say that depressives actually have a more realistic view of the world. She had a mood disorder as well. But what does that mean, anyway? Were we just rationalizing our medical conditions? Yeh, whatever. Diane passed up on a full scholarship to MIT, in applied mathematics, to follow the Grateful Dead. What’s up with that, right? I was not diagnosed back then, but I knew what was happening with me. I intuited the bipolar disorder, and I knew it only remotely resembled the vernacular use of the term “bipolar”. That was back in the early 1990s. By 2000 I’d come to intuit the PTSD as well. The diagnosis came in 2014. Having an actual psychiatrist agree with my assessment was no comfort at all, though the subsequently prescribed meds were indeed a comfort, and I have no notion of stopping them for now. Go figure. I’d already tried numerous natural remedies before 2014 and my body was like all “Awww, dude, really?”. And no, my meds don’t make me all dopey and stuff. Why I am on about this this morning is a mystery, and it shall remain so. It’s time to shower and head out into the world. I’m not too concerned about what manner of reality I will find out there today, because I know how to conjure up authentic happiness, and that doesn’t mean I am always cheerful. I’m not. Geez Louise, now I’m on the verge of discussing the nature of happiness. Best get going. Tally ho!

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Watching and Feeling the Wind Dance

“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

“The Portuguese call it saudade: a longing for something so indefinite as to be indefinable. Love affairs, miseries of life, the way things were, people already dead, those who left and the ocean that tossed them on the shores of a different land — all things born of the soul that can only be felt.” ~ Anthony De Sa

“It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are still alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger for them.” ~ George Elliot

A northeast canyon wind blows, hard, unrelenting – yes, hard, fierce enough to make even the ravens look unsteady in their flight. The ravens are among the best up there on the wind. The wind is pushing through, down through Pueblo Canyon out on the Rez. If I didn’t have to go out today, I wouldn’t go. But it is massage day; always needed, always welcomed, where I am always ripe with gratitude. Lucky me. So there ya have it – the trees must dance on a day like this. The forecast is for 25-35 mph winds, gusting over 40 on occasion. That is already achieved. Things look crazy and chaotic outside my window. No wonder, gale warnings should be posted.That commotion matches some portion of my mind. That portion is where trauma, depression, and hypomania, dance a dance. So do I, hopping around side to side, like a racquetball player, constantly and somewhat urgently shuffling into the optimum position, to keep the game going, to maybe bring peace to the place where the fires of anxiety incessantly burn, and that for which I yearn, a place where I can catch my breath on the way to calming my soul beckons, with curled finger pointed toward the morning sky. It seems like only last week that I was thinking about writing a book about dealing with trauma and depression. That idea kinda floated away to some degree. And then my nurse practitioner said that I should be a therapist. Silly woman. That’s not why I was there, but a yearly checkup includes mental health as well, by necessity. I had told her how I cope with the struggle because she said that my score on the little survey they give you at the beginning of the examination was a matter of concern. The depression has been a matter of concern, for me, since sometime last fall. Yet I remind myself that at any given time, there are some 300,000,000 people who suffer from depression. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide so I am not alone in this challenge. But I have no desire to be a one on one therapist, and, dag nab it, I could write a book, a slim volume, to share what I know, have learned about, and have forged into viable tools for survival. So now two out of my three of my medical professionals have gently coaxed the idea of writing a book into my conscious awareness. So now I gotta deal with it, this potential book. Sigh. I think I’ll go out into the wind for a few minutes, then groom and shower, to look and feel presentable for my massage at 10:15. I’ll bring up the potential book so that she has not a chance of slipping it in unannounced. Yeh, I’ll think about it; I mean, there was a synchronicity involved. One should approach the meaning of a synchronicity openly. That’s the part that always flushes me with trepidation. Time to go watch and feel the wind dance. Bueno bye.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Evolution and Results

“But when you talk about Nabokov and Coover, you’re talking about real geniuses, the writers who weathered real shock and invented this stuff in contemporary fiction. But after the pioneers always come the crank turners, the little gray people who take the machines others have built and just turn the crank, and little pellets of metafiction come out the other end. The crank-turners capitalize for a while on sheer fashion, and they get their plaudits and grants and buy their IRAs and retire to the Hamptons well out of range of the eventual blast radius. There are some interesting parallels between postmodern crank-turners and what’s happened since post-structural theory took off here in the U.S., why there’s such a big backlash against post-structuralism going on now. It’s the crank-turners fault. I think the crank-turners replaced the critic as the real angel of death as far as literary movements are concerned, now. You get some bona fide artists who come along and really divide by zero and weather some serious shit-storms of shock and ridicule in order to promulgate some really important ideas. Once they triumph, though, and their ideas become legitimate and accepted, the crank-turners and wannabes come running to the machine, and out pour the gray pellets and now the whole thing’s become a hollow form, just another institution of fashion. Take a look at some of the critical-theory Ph.D. dissertations being written now. They’re like de Man and Foucault in the mouth of a dull child. Academia and commercial culture have somehow become these gigantic mechanisms of commodification that drain the weight and color out of even the most radical new advances. It’s a surreal inversion of the death-by-neglect that used to kill off prescient art. Now prescient art suffers death-by acceptance. We love things to death, now. Then we retire to the Hamptons.” ~ David Foster Wallace

The truth is it’s hard to get moving this morning, but there’s no hurry. Kind of a sweet situation, now that I think about it. My hands feel like lead balloons. but the usual morning stiffness and pain are down in the modest range of mild. More sweetness. These hands are moving steadily, perhaps 80% of the time during my work shift. The jawbone probably maxes out at about 60%. As such, silence and stillness become more than mere spiritual concepts, much more. No, let me tweak that a tad. Silence and stillness become yet another boulevard for expansion and evolution above and beyond spiritual values. So, can something timeless and infinite actually evolve? I mean, what would that even look like? The answers are yes and how the heck would I know. Now, I know my view of what is considered to be a perennial philosophy would be considered ludicrous by more traditional spiritual practitioners. I mean, think about it. Something unchanging suddenly, or maybe slowly, changes. And then what? Your guess is as good as mine. I think by definition evolution is inscrutable when it comes to results. In fact, I’m pretty sure results are simply none of our business, until they are. Yet, even if I am wrong about this, by giving considerable thought to this view I am performing a thought experiment that can brew nothing but good results. Whatever. The tone in my writing this morning reveals the inner inexplicable peace in my heart. I can live with it, I suppose. Everyone needs a getaway from anxiety once in a while.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

A Single Glorious Thing

“But what we call our despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope.” ~ George Elliot

“My first feeling was that there was no way to continue. Writing isn’t like math; in math, two plus two always equals four no matter what your mood is like. With writing, the way you feel changes everything.” ~ Stephanie Meyers

“In my own worst seasons I’ve come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon. Until I learned to be in love with my life again. Like a stroke victim retraining new parts of the brain to grasp lost skills, I have taught myself joy, over and over again” ~ Barbara Kingsolver

It’s funny; I find all three of today’s quotes to be delicious. Funny as in peculiar. And why peculiar? Things change, and it is fun to watch and experience the changes at the same time. Everything comes to look and feel refreshing, in a most peculiar way. Yesterday’s visit to the doctor was an eye opener. The occasion was my annual yearly checkup. We will discuss the results of the blood work in a few weeks. Seems I am in good physical shape. Go figure. The mental state, not so much. But that can be worked with. I knew this week would be a life-shift on some level and in some way. Like, how vague is that?! I think I will leave it at that for now. Besides the checkup there were multiple synchronicities as well. One of those was that my favorite song, Dire Straits “Walk of Life”, followed me around, playing in the background at three different places I stopped. Just weird. But it serves to remind me that there is a contributing intelligence operating in the background of life. I can’t get it clearly today, so I will embrace the ambiguity. Like go with the flow dude. Yeh, there was the medical checkup, but something else happened, a seemingly chance encounter, lots of smiles. Magic. Sometimes you can just forego explanations and definitions, following whatever it is that will pull you through. That’s where my head is at this morning. Not pushing, just pulling. Upon the occasion of my nearly doing myself in back in 1984, in a freak bicycle crash, I came to watch for magic in my life. It comes and goes. Magic shone through my personal clouds yesterday. That’s what I’m saying. Time to savor, and forego any need for explanation or meaning. Magic doesn’t work like that. Not in my experience. Magic sometimes thrives on vagueness and ambiguity. Sometimes just paying attention is all y’all need to get along. If some single glorious thing pops up, by all means keep paying attention. And don’t be astonished. That spoils the magic.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.