Romance and Darkness Proper

“At the beginning of all love there is a private treaty each of the lovers make with himself or herself, an agreement to set aside what is wrong with the other for the sake of what is right. Love is spring after winter. It comes to heal life’s wounds, inflicted by the unloving cold. When that warmth is born in the heart the imperfections of the beloved are as nothing, less than nothing, and the secret treaty with oneself is easy to sign. The voice of doubt is stilled. Later, when love fades, the secret treaty looks like folly, but if so, it’s a necessary folly, born of lovers’ belief in beauty, which is to say, in the possibility of the impossible thing, true love.” ~ Salman Rushdie

“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you’re going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends – they’ll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything – they’re your true best friends. Don’t let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they’ll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them – actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can’t give up because if you give up, you’ll never find your soulmate. You’ll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.” ~ Marilyn Monroe

Friends, a Blessed Samhain to you. May the Ancestors bless you at least as much as they do me. You have no idea. As bad as I feel a good part of the time, as persistant as the darkness proper washes against me like the ocean surf, these blessings never fade or exit stage left. I say “darkness properbecause darkness is pretty much half of everything, and ya ain’t doin’ yer self any favors, good, whatever, by turning away from half of existence. This issue is something that I could go on at length about did I not have to get ready for work, and it is friggin 8º outside, and the Veil is thin, and as a result I am hearing a silent yet powerful voice, and I don’t know who it is – and it is a message of Love. Note the opening quotes. I am feeling romantic these days. Since the Spirits are facilitating this message I can let them shine their lights around and around, like a search light. Is it a woman I know? Yeh, maybe, there is this one, and she holds my attention as time passes month to month instead of year to year, as it usta back in the old days. Onward. She awaits me as much I await her.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Imagine a Huffy Universe

“Scraps of memory: this is not how a climax should be written. A climax should surge towards its Himalayan peak; but I am left with shreds, and must jerk towards my crisis like a puppet with broken strings. This is not what I had planned; but perhaps the story you finish is never the one you begin.” ~ Salman Rushdie

“Nuclear weapons and TV have simply intensified the consequences of our tendencies.” ~ David Foster Wallace

“Writing, which was both painful and palliative for me, turned out to be my own way of giving blood in a crisis. I can only hope this unit of words will have a longer shelf life than the forty-two days of a unit of blood, as this critical time blends seamlessly into the next one.” ~ Barbara Kingsolver

Three writers whom I highly respect open today’s post, maybe because I subconsciously know I ain’t got it in me this morning, or maybe not, maybe I do? This is a faux-issue actually. I write here for practice, play, exploration, and the occasional tidbit of fresh self-knowledge that pops up from time to time. These tidbits, way too often, remind me of prairie dogs in that they pop right back down the hole if you approach them. I could easily get rankled when they do this, only 65 years of life experience have whittled down this rankling into more manageable exasperated huffs. I get a lot of those these days, and it don’t bother me much anymore. As too often happens I let time get away from me, so I’ve already used up what time I have. This deep cold weather pretty much demands an earlier start to the day. That too breeds exasperated huffs. But I’ve got the next two days off, and I expect to make at least a few hours as huff-free as the Universe allows. No, wait! The Universe produces the huffs too! Sheesh, I’d best not get into that. I’m not sure if the Universe gets huffy, but I ain’t a gonna press the issue, through imagination, or anything else for that matter. Time to get ready for work. Take that as a metaphor, double entendre, whatever. I do.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

The Desire for Silence and Gratitude

“Myths have a way of bringing what is unconscious to the surface and putting a face on what we cannot see.” ~ Terry Tempest Williams

“Intimacy requires courage because risk is inescapable. We cannot know at the outset how the relationship will affect us. Like a chemical mixture, if one of us is changed, both of us will be. Will we grow in self-actualization, or will it destroy us? The one thing we can be certain of is that if we let ourselves fully into the relationship for good or evil, we will not come out unaffected.” ~ Rollo May

“Only the moon’s smile can cure the unseen scars of darkness” ~ Munia Khan

Anticipation. Snow. Stretching and sleepy, all but untouched by the excellent coffee, possessed by the instinctual need for hibernation. That’s me in a nutshell this morning. I marvel at the advances in weather forecasting. What used to be ‘snow sometime in the AM’ is now ‘snow stars at 9:15 AM’. We shall see, right? Yeh buddy, we surely will. Whatever. It’s a workday and a Monday. I used to have a job where I actually had the weekend off. Now I don’t. Usually Sunday off, so I get half the pleasure, even though I am actually pretty much a mildly trembling lump of flesh and bones with great potential, all day long. The trembling is the underlying buzz of chronic anxiety. The rest is the innate soul desire for silence and gratitude. Gratitude isn’t an issue for me. Ever since my fatal (so to speak) accident in 1984 I have pretty much lived with gratitude walking at my side as a casual yet deeply true friend. I learned that death can arrive and finish you off in less than one second. That fast! I like the image from Castaneda where Death walks to your left, slightly behind you. It can strike at any moment, so you take it on as an advisor, and when it finally does strike, you dance with Death. You don’t just lay back and take it, if you don’t have to, if you no longer have it in you. You dance. Which is what I am going to do right now – dance into the shower, dance out the door, and dance again upon entering the workplace. There I go.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

The Moose and the Credit Card

“It looked as though the leaves of the autumn forest had taken flight, and were pouring down the valley like a waterfall, like a tidal wave, all the leaves of the hardwoods from here to Hudson’s Bay. It was as if the season’s colors were draining away like lifeblood, as if the year were molting and shedding. The year was rolling down, and a vital curve had been reached, the tilt that gives way to headlong rush. And when the monarch butterflies had passed and were gone, the skies were vacant, the air poised. The dark night into which the year was plunging was not a sleep but an awakening, a new and necessary austerity, the sparer climate for which I longed. The shed trees were brittle and still, the creek light and cold, and my spirit holding its breath.” ~ Annie Dillard

“Socrates told us, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” I think he’s calling for curiosity, more than knowledge. In every human society at all times and at all levels, the curious are at the leading edge.” ~ Roger Ebert

There seems to be no innate drive to write this morning. Being a natural born writer I have found the need to let that characteristic fall loose on occasion, like pushing in the clutch. It seems to have fallen loose this morning, and that’s okay. That happens fairly often but I write a fresh blog post anyway. That is what you are reading right now. I could easily have blown off writing today, but I was spurred along after seeing a truly silly video on Facebook – a moose munching away on a jack O’ lantern. See, Facebook does have at least some redemptive value.

I just stepped outside, then came back in and got caught up in a Facebook scrolling loop. I snapped out of it when I got to the video of the moose again. It suddenly occurs to me that my attraction to the moose is akin to my affection for Bullwinkle J. Moose. It’s all just silly. The whole world may look silly to me today. Or not. I’m in depression, yesterday and today. Finding seemingly frivolous entertainment is a good way to assuage depression like this. To cope. That’s the key. Like yesterday at work. I could have gone all grouchy and stuff, so I kept pretty quiet beyond the demands of my job as a cashier. It is kind of a negative manner of entertainment, but I somehow found comfort in being totally baffled by how much trouble so many people have working a credit card reading terminal. “They’re all different” is the usual comment. For me, that explains nothing. I sigh and move on, knowing full well that it matters not. And on that note I must be moving along to pull myself up out of this hole and get ready for work.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

The Strangeness of Peace and Love

“Why did they believe? Because they saw miracles. Things one man took as chance, a man of faith took as a sign. A loved one recovering from disease, a fortunate business deal, a chance meeting with a long lost friend. It wasn’t the grand doctrines or the sweeping ideals that seemed to make believers out of men. It was the simple magic in the world around them.” ~ Brandon Sanderson

“While the impostor draws his identity from past achievements and the adulation of others, the true self claims identity in its belovedness. We encounter God in the ordinariness of life: not in the search for spiritual highs and extraordinary, mystical experiences but in our simple presence in life.” ~ Brennan Manning

Today’s goal is to keep it simple. It’s a workday after two days off. Errands after work. Come on back home. Lap cat, good coffee, a little mindfulness against the chill. Yeh, it’s friggin cold out there. Maybe 20º. I don’t know what got me onto the idea of simplicity this morning, but after perusing many quotes on simplicity I have become convinced it’s the only way through these trying times I have going. Patience, non-attachment to outcome, or judgement, or needless explanation. And don’t nap every time sleepiness comes. I could nap right now. That’s a fact. But I reckon the are some uses for sleepiness that aren’t so understandable to our rational minds. Our rational mind gets us into trouble when we seek irrational goals using rational methods . . . no, wait. I’m not going deep today. I might even put on my best simpleton attitude and wear it proudly throughout the day. Just an aging Flower Child am I. Peace and Love ain’t all that strange in this world. And it’s easier to see where it is absent than it is to see where it is present. Gosh darn it all. I think I’ll go groom and shower. Baby steps.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Of Those Who Play on the Wind

“Fate. As a child, that word was often my only companion. It whispered to me from dark corners during lonely nights. It was the song of the birds in spring and the call of the wind through bare branches on a cold winter afternoon. Fate. Both my anguish and my solace. My escort and my cage.” ~ Leslye Walton

“When a dog is tied to a cart, if it wants to follow, it is pulled and follows, making its spontaneous act coincide with necessity. But if the dog does not follow, it will be compelled in any case. So it is with men too: even if they don’t want to, they will be compelled to follow what is destined.” ~ Zeno of Citium

“When an inner situation is not made conscious it appears outside as fate.” ~ Carl Jung

Blustery. I love that word. The wind has been going strong and swirly all night it seems. I’ve been in and out of sleep for 24 hours now. It feels good and it feels healthy. Today holds a little more structure than did yesterday. It’s doable, and one of the main little errands is to visit the dispensary, where medicine is dispensed, and that medicine can sometimes be indispensable at the same time. It’s a puzzle of words. Both annoying and giggle-making. At the same time. Life is funny, folks. Get used to it. I seem to be channeling the Trickster a tad today. This time he came as Raven, and I know exactly why; the strong early winter wind is of the sort that ravens love to play in, on, whatever. I will enjoy every minute of it when I go into town. I will enjoy every minute of the wind’s antics outside the walls when I get home. This wind, this morning, has every indication that the forecast is correct, and it’s a gonna snow. Maybe not much. I’ve gotta go back out at 4 PM – therapy, don’tcha know. It’s been one month since the last session, after several years of weekly sessions. Insurance companies seem to regard psychotherapy as preventative medicine. Yeh, that’s part of it. My therapist is not covered by Medicare, so there is a sizable adjustment going on, inside and out. That’s a lot of preventative medicine just suddenly gone, like poof, dude. To that add the loss of facilitation in the inner work of the Dreamtime; the imaginal work; the shimmering presence of Archetypes and Ancestors. But that is also something that can be done anytime, anywhere, for whatever reason. That is one of the goals in therapy. Ya kinda want the Observance, analysis, and periodic immersion, to become instilled, ingrained. In effect regardless of the state of consciousness – not sleeping, nor waking, nor gloom of night . . . there is alway a message on the way.

Just back in from outside. The wind has picked up, the sky all gray and white. Snow is swirling up on the high slopes to the northeast, and pretty solid to the north. As usual. The drive into town will be an adventure, after which a nice nap will be in order. I feel the need to dream, even though none of it is showing in my waking consciousness. I ain’t rememberin’ a danged thing! But I do know the goddess is afoot in the land. She has been showing herself through random women, and I am quite enjoying the spectacle. But that one in particular, whether dream fragment or real down home sweetheart, hums in my heart. She could be mere hours away, or days. Or months. It matters not. The Veil is quite thin these days and getting more so. These are tricky times. Perhaps it would be best to walk all smiley and stuff for a while. And her smile is a sight for sore eyes. Today, for now, I shall see that smile through the eyes of those who play on the wind.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Escaping the Discourtesy Fee

“Happiness is a garden walled with glass: there’s no way in or out. In Paradise there are no stories, because there are no journeys. It’s loss and regret and misery and yearning that drive the story forward, along its twisted road.” ~ Margaret Atwood

“Because conflict-avoidant Emily would never “bite” or even hiss unless Greg had done something truly horrible, on some level she processes his bite to mean that she’s terribly guilty—of something, anything, who knows what?” ~ Susan Cain

“In a reverse way, sharing my mother’s long, slow dying consumes my creative energy. I manage one angry and bitter story, and feel better for it, but most of me is involved in Mother’s battle. Watching her slowly being snuffed out is the opposite of pregnancy, depleting instead of fulfilling: I am exhausted by conflict.” ~ Madeliene L’Engle

Here I sit, awaiting snow and impeachment. It looks like the snow will come first. Thursday? So they say. I’m not attached; it can go one way or another; I’ll wait and see. The impeachment? Just watch. You’ll see. The next two days will be mine to do as I please. For a coupla months I have been relishing then cherishing these days off, and I continue to do so. Not so much for the temporary freedom from the workaday world. It’s the silence and stillness I can muster throughout the idle time. That’s the treasure. But not today. Today this introvert must exercise tolerence and endurance. Already five days in to the 66th year of my life and I am wondering when the wisdom begins. No time soon, it seems. But it’s a workday. Wisdom can wait, or it can operate on it’s own, whether I like it or not. Yeh, I’m feeling a little grumpy today, but I did have a good mind to have my laundry done so I can have the idle time to myself. I love the laundromat experience, just not this week. When I stopped by the laundromat to pick up my laundry yesterday evening I noticed a little sign they had behind the counter. It basically said that if you are grouchy, irritable, or just plain mean, there will be a $10.00 surcharge – but I was courteous and cheerful, so I got off with the standard fee, thus escaping the discourtesy fee. Courtesy is way too uncommon for my taste. And smartphones are way too common. More on that some other time, perhaps. Right now I am craving a shower, and so I shall do that thing.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

The Magic in the Mundane

“Reality can be entered through the main door or it can be slipped into through a window, which is much more fun.” ~ Gianni Rodari

“Our dreams prove that to imagine – to dream about things that have not happened – is among mankind’s deepest needs.” ~ Milan Kundera

“We live in condensations of our imagination” ~ Terence McKenna

Perhaps the greatest birthday gift I received was the realization that after all these years I finally have a lap cat who purrs at length upon my lap: a thing of immeasurable value. I just wanted to mention that. To expound at any length upon the purr and the cat and stuff would be to deny the true magic of a cat’s purr. Some things are best left a mystery. It’s just me and her here. That’s enough. Now, the morning is colder than I expected. I know I saw it coming, I knew that the strong winds of Sunday would lock-in the chill. It is here. With the turning of the season Mother Nature has made her point. Sunday’s strong winds blew away the vestiges of Summer. It was a glorious day. Crisp, angular light, boisterous wind, blowing leaves. I made one brief trip to the convenience store for a couple of pints. The rest of the day was all home and creature comfort. Friday’s workday was exceptionally rigorous, as my partner called in sick and I had to carry the majority of the flow myself. And Saturday was rigorous as well. It all wiped me out. Apparently my attempts at resting were fruitful. I woke up cheerful and peaceful this morning. All mundane stuff here. Right? Not really. There is always an element of the mundane; such as the fact that I have to go to work today. And it’s getting late. And I must do some minor grooming, And shower. And remember to go out and turn the car around so the windshield faces the rising Sun – so the determined moisture doesn’t . . . oh, never mind. I feel the magic today. That’ll do. Part of the key that brought me back to this new wave of seasonal magic was me connecting with a softly flirtatious woman on Saturday. Like the cat’s purr, some things are best left a mystery. Among all of the stress the past few days that series of moments on Saturday, with that woman, opened up some neural pathways that have been pretty mucked up for a while now. But not just neural pathways. Never forget that Spirit plays a hand in such things. Well, there’s the endrocine system as well, but that’s another story. Gotta go, bueno bye.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Altruism and Leftover Cake

“Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet.” ~ Barbara Kingsolver

“After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn’t it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked—as I am surprisingly often—why I bother to get up in the mornings.” ~ Richard Dawkins

“It is impossible to discourage the real writers – they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write.” ~ Sinclair Lewis

Yesterday was a challenging day. I was able to step into Flow for most of it. Good on me. No way do I consider it to be an accomplishment. It was simply needed, as the situation demanded. Today may be the same, who knows? Right? Yeh, right. It is simply a matter of employment in the retail world. Employment being the operative word. So, yeh, I’m tired this morning. I could go on, whining like a . . . oh, never mind. I’m feeling kinda sorta . . . dag nab it, I’m trying to find a word here, but it is hovering just out of reach, and I fear it may drive me to distraction to sit here like a lump until it reveals itself. Ha! I suspected that the word would reveal itself if I started writing about trying to remember it. Altruism. That’s the word. It would be fun to play with it for a while – i. e. , altruism, alt-truism. But I won’t go there except to say that the definition of the term might suggest a truth that is not so evident. Like – how did the Federal government become such a wasteland of altruism. Or lack thereof. I suspect that goes way back. Maybe the Ancient Greeks? I don’t know. I’m just playing here. And I’m hungry. I so rarely feel hungry in the morning, until I get to work and moving. So I’m gonna publish this post and eat some of the leftover birthday cake.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Bitter Ale at Summer’s End

“Miracles… seem to me to rest not so much upon healing power coming suddenly near us from afar but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that, for a moment, our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there around us always.” ~ Willa Cather

“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

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

To shaky add boldly ringing ears. These ears have been quiet for a few weeks. Hardly even noticed during that time. Why is it back, this annoyingly musical sound? Yeh, I understand that there is a neurological component. Some New Agers say that the ringing is subliminal access to the vibes, frequencies, whatever, of the Astral plane. I think there is something to that, though I have no interest in the astral realms. The collective unconscious is where I like to hang out when I have the time and need to ease off from the mundane world. In that realm are archetypes, gods, goddesses, monsters; a cornucopia of shadow stuff and universal Oneness. You ease off like you would ease off from a period of mild overindulgence of IPA and stuff like that. The physical plane is somewhat of a necessary addiction – we are so much more than that. An interesting thing – two days ago I noticed something, nearly ironic, about one of my coping strategies as an introvert and an empath. I get through with a day of gainful employment, during which I deal up close with dozens of humans. It’s a big drain at the best of times. I finish the day, usually with a bitter taste in my mouth, and I go home and pour bitter ale into a blue glass goblet, and savor each sip or slug. I treat the bitter taste in my mouth by pouring bitter ale in there. It’s darned near homeopathic medicine.

Celtic mystics consider Halloween as a sabbat to honor Summer’s end. The old god dies and is reborn just around Christmas time. Hmmmm, where have I heard that story before? The ancient Christians coopted pagan sabbats. I strongly relate to Celtic mysticism. The Mother Goddess, Brighid’s, sabbat falls on February 1st. The Christians call that St. Brigit’s Day. Yeh, whatever. But the Celts call Halloween Samhain (pronounced “sow-in”). It is two weeks away, as of yesterday. The world is in tumult, which thins the Veil, but Samhain thins it even more. I look forward to it, though it may be a rocky passage for me. No biggie – I’ve got more than a few of those coming. But I feel relaxed and mostly peaceful this morning. Yesterday’s massage was exceptional, and the conversation was rich – nurturing dynamics, both. The synergy of therapeutic massage is a delight to me. I needed it and I got it. Today is a workday; a whole other world than the one I have inhabited the past two days. I use my home as a sanctuary, where I can withdraw from the mundane world when the need arises. So it was the birthday thing, the 65 years old thing, for the past two days. I just laid back and lived. Living is something I have appreciated much more since my fatal/near-fatal bicycle accident in 1984. Brain trauma, temporary facial disfigurement, and about 6-7 years of recovery of my brain. I never planned for the future, rather stumbled along quite successfully. Now things have changed. I have but one actual desire at this time of transformation. It makes me smile, however unlikely it is to happen. Yeh, it’s not realistic – granted. It’s like comfort food. The feeling comes not from the actual food, it comes from the soul. Green chile mac and cheese casserole sounds good right about now. That is unrealistic as well, at this time. But I gotta get ready for work – and that is real. Ciao.

All is well. Goof gloriously.