Haunted by Scooby Doo

“It’s regrets that make painful memories. When I was crazy I did everything just right.” ~ Mark Vonnegut

“Who we are in the present includes who we were in the past.” ~ Mister Rogers

“As I have pointed out before, characters are not born like people, of woman; they are born of a situation, a sentence, a metaphor containing in a nutshell a basic human possibility that the author thinks no one else has discovered or said something essential about. But isn’t it true that an author can write only about himself?” ~ Milan Kundera

Here is one of those mornings when my body just laughs at me for expecting the coffee will wake me up. Ain’t happenin’. I seem to have certain cognitive skills available to me, however. Sunday morning, Full Moon dropping down toward the horizon beyond the window in front of me, over this messy desk. And I could easily doze off right now. My precarious procrastination has run its course and I must do laundry today. Chop wood, carry water. For some reason the first Scooby Doo live-action movie is haunting me these past few weeks. I may end up giving in to the urge to watch it again. I got more laughs out of that movie than I have from any other film. It’s just a chit chatty kind of energy today, though I will likely do little of that. Ya never know though, don’tcha know. My sense of time is kind of loose today. I’ve had a few memories of things I haven’t thought of in a long time. Feels kind of good; a reminder that I’m loosening up the grip of old ways on my longing for movement. Tally ho!

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Five Bones and a Couch

“A further sign of health is that we don’t become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it’s time to stop struggling and look directly at what’s threatening us.” ~ Pema Chodron

“The existential psychiatrist R. D. Laing–a radical critic, like Brown, of received wisdom, and similarly inclined to see mental illness as a sane response to an insane world, even as a form of “shamanic” journey–described in one of his early books what he called the “ontologically secure” person.” ~ William Finnegan

“In the culture people talk about trauma as an event that happened a long time ago. But what trauma is, is the imprints that event has left on your mind and in your sensations… the discomfort you feel and the agitation you feel and the rage and the helplessness you feel right now.” ~ Bessel van der Kolk

Early to bed, early to rise. Too early to rise, actually, but I did anyway. If I hadn’t I would have missed the smile-evoking squabble between coyotes and the neighborhood dogs. That’s enough to make my day right there. I don’t even need to remember it later, it is the sheer resonance it strikes with my personal “wild within”. That resonance soothes the soul. Sometimes it’s just that easy. What that says about the rest of the day is unclear. It’s a workday. Most of the time I don’t feel actual fear around people in the marketplace. Oh, it’s there, it just doesn’t usually rise to the surface. You can’t let that stuff out in public, right? Yeh, it’s best not to, not when you work in retail, especially. I’m not concerned with that today. I got a lot of sleep over the past three days, and today feels like Sunday to me – or Monday. Dude, it’s Friday. Admittedly, I’m feeling mildly yet deeply messed up and over from the politics of the week. I found myself nearly furious a couple of times, and garden variety anger was no stranger either. When I was petsitting I had the luxury of falling asleep on the couch during “All In” with Chris Hayes, on MSNBC. I greatly enjoy Chris’ show. But I don’t have a couch or a TV at home. Priorities, not passing up opportunities. The dog curled up on the floor below where my head was situated on the pillow. When I awoke I found that she had retrieved five beef bones from her toy basket, and had arranged then down there where she lay. This is another soul soother. Soooo . . . I feel a lot of anxiety this morning, but it’s doable. As Pema Chodron said in the opening quote, sometimes ya jest gotta quit struggling, then turn to face the monster that chases you. Yeh, sometimes there is real danger there, so you’d best be running along. Although nothing is chasing me today I really must be running along anyway, but in a good way. There I go.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Better Off in Rio

“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be” ~ Abraham Maslow

“Sometimes it takes a good fall to really know where you stand” ~ Haley Williams

“Writing is really just a matter of writing a lot, writing consistently and having faith that you’ll continue to get better and better. Sometimes, people think that if they don’t display great talent and have some success right away, they won’t succeed. But writing is about struggling through and learning and finding out what it is about writing itself that you really love.” ~ Laura Kasischke

Stunning, almost surreal. I was dog-sitting last night. Usually, when the dog’s mom gets home we will sit and chat over a glass of red wine. She had poured me a small glass while I was asleep on the couch, then let me sleep on. When I awoke it was past 1 AM. The air temp was down to -2º, and I still had to drive home, so I started the car and let it run for 30 minutes. When I finally left, the reality of the cold struck me. Yeh, stunning and surreal. Literally breathtaking. As for today, it will be Tiger Balm, humidifier, lap blanket, and rest. My lungs are tired of this friggin deep cold. A few days ago I was discussing the cold winter with my friend from Rio de Janeiro. As I am from the Florida Keys, we are both tropical people, tropical souls. On occasion she will mention the prospect of being on the beach in Rio, where we would be better off. Why do we do this to ourselves?! Anyway. I’m feeling pretty random this morning. Day off from work, coffee all gone, cat in her little padded cat cave. I set the tiny ceramic space heater where it blows in her direction, which lets me in on some of the warmth as well. Good on me. As for national politics, stunning and surreal as well. Nuff said, for now. (BTW, that’s my mom and grandma in the photo)

All is well. Goof gloriously.

A Note on a Focused Day

“If there is a single definition of healing it is to enter with mercy and awareness those pains, mental and physical, from which we have withdrawn in judgment and dismay.” ~ Stephen Levine

“Consider the holiness of your hands. They are how you do your work on this earth; they are a microcosm of the hands of the Goddess, and can change the world as easily as hers can.” ~ Dianne Sylvan

“When we ignore these quintessential dimensions of humanity, we deprive people of ways to heal from trauma and restore their autonomy. Being a patient, rather than a participant in one’s healing process, separates suffering people from their community and alienates them from an inner sense of self.” ~ Bessel van der Koch

Consider the second quote. For the first year after my Near Death Experience I found myself fascinated by peoples’ hands. There’s not a lot to say about that, because I still am baffled by it, and said bafflement seems like it might be appropriate. It just felt so interesting for me to consider what people might do with their hands and that led to amazement that they could do anything at all. Those mindsets back then seem fairly odd to me now. I can still feel them as memories, but the content is still simply odd. It’s just not something I want to spend time thinking about this morning. It’s going to be a focused day, what with the weather and all. Forecast is for substancial snow. Then sub-zero temps tonight. Workday. If the snow is too much work will be slow this afternoon. If given the option of going home early I will be glad to do so. Get some extra rest to address this respiratory muck I have going on. I realized this morning that these are the same symptoms I had this time last year. I stand forewarned, to not let it go so far this time. Yeh, I’ve got Medicare this year but I still would rather not have to seek treatment. Yup, self-care. The next two days are days off. Plenty of time to work at healing this muck, and the bulk of the work is to let it process and run the course.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

36 Years Later

“Trauma is a time traveller, an ouroboros that reaches back and devours everything that came before.” ~ Junot Diaz

“If haunting is anything, perhaps that’s what it is; time in the wrong place.” ~ Jeanette Winterson

“I can’t interfere with my own past! Because that would mean I’d be interfering with my own past- to stop myself from interfering with my own past! THEN where would we be?!” ~ Doctor Who

“Patience is a byproduct of growth – we can bide our time when it is the time of our growth. There is no patience in acquisition or in the pursuit of power and fame. Nothing is so impatient as the pursuit of a substitute for growth.” ~ Eric Hoffer

While pouring the morning’s second cup of coffee I suddenly realized today is the 36th anniversary of my bicycle accident and NDE. “Oh, that’s today!”. The words just slid from my mouth. What that means is anybody’s guess, but I know that some sort of meaning will pop up before the day is over. It was a freak bicycle accident, at sunset, on Windley Key, in the Florida Keys. The front wheel of the bike came loose and took off on it’s own. I face-planted on the yoke of the handlebars, where the gear shift levers were mounted. Tore me up pretty good: 200 stitches to put my face back together, at a world-class trauma center at the University of Miami. The NDE is not so easy to describe, nor should it be. I’m not one of those folks who came back from an NDE all ‘Love & Light’ and stuff. I came back dazed, a condition that faded slowly yet lasted six years before I felt any kind of true clarity of belonging in this world, and when that clarity appeared it was only after the worst spell of depression in my whole life. It took another 25 years before a medical diagnosis was made of the PTSD that was born on that day. To top it all off, the Light Being I met during the NDE – she who helped me through (and still does on occasion) – turned out to be the Celtic Mother Goddess, Brighid. As I write this it is within the cusp of Imbolc, which is the Celtic sabbat honoring Brighid, and also the Celt’s beginning of Spring. Soooo, here I sit, feeling the effects of that accident within my shoulders and neck. It was 27 years before they discovered the slipped disc in my cervical spine. It was repaired, but the rest of my upper spine is a wreck. I don’t physically feel good today, but no complaint’s here. I do feel the squirmy trepidation that is part of PTSD as I experience it. And the presence of the goddess. I feel a lot. But tis a workday and I’d best get my assets in gear. If I did not feel so heavy at times I would not know what it is to feel light. That’s comes later, apparently.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Better is as Good as It Gets

“Reading enables me to maintain a sense of something substantive – my ethical integrity, my intellectual integrity.” ~ Jonathan Franzen

“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” ~ William James

“Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won’t cheat, then you know he never will. Integrity is not a search for the rewards of integrity. Maybe all you ever get for it is the largest kick in the ass the world can provide. It is not supposed to be a productive asset.” ~ John D. MacDonald

Really?! We’re in the Bizarro World, right? Of course I am talking about the impeachment of Donald J. Trump. Seems the United States Senate republicans are comfortable with being all bugfuck and stuff. I feel anger: stunning, disturbing, earthshaking, whatever. I think it’s time for the massive motherships to come hover over the White house and Mar a Lago. Just sayin. Enough of this metaphorical gut punch to the country. At least for today. I gotta get to work.

The morning sky has gone to deep charcoal gray. There were stars earlier, and quite brilliant they were. I was gonna go look at weather.com but I already know it’s overcast and friggin cold. What more do I need to know? That’s a rhetorical question, so just relax, k? Thanks, yer a pal. Tis indeed a workday and I gotta git myself all sunny and courteous for 8 hours. Can do. Heck, I might even shave what little there is marring the intended growth of whiskers on my face. My health is on the mend after several days of me playing Mr. Denial – I was under the impression, spell, whatever, that the weakness I was feeling was a weakness of will, a moral failing, if you will. It’s not bad enough that I got sick, I had to conjure up my inner Calvinist, or Evangelical, as well. Respiratory, don’tcha know. Chest got right sore there for a coupla days. Tight too. Wasn’t much coughing, but I did have an occasional brief violent sneezing fit. Might do a hot toddy before bed tonight? Yeh, I might. I’m being descriptive here, and I hope it don’t sound all whiney. Generally, throughout my adult life I stay anywhere from mellow to goofy when sick. They tell me that after the spinal surgery, on the way to the recovery room, that I had everybody laughing. How would I know, they had good drugs at St. Vincent’s. An interesting and painful phenomenon came over me for hours the past three days, during which I had some grasping memories about the time after the big bicycle accident and head trauma. I had changed in a fundamental, foundational way, and people thought I had gone crazy. Friggin PTSD, folks. Don’t ask me why I did that to myself or you will face a barrage of nerf balls the likes of which you have never seen! This is not a ‘feel sorry’ thing. Part of deep healing is coming to terms with having been out of control and feeling powerless for a time. My time lasted for six years before the whole thing blew up to reveal just how friggin disturbed I had been and still was: I had depressive episode, the likes of which I had never seen, in 1990. Poor me, right? Yeh, whatever. This is all on my mind because Monday is the 36th anniversary of the accident, and we are on the cusp of Imbolc, the advent of Spring, the festival of Brighid. The goddess Brighid helped me through those trying time, and she still maintains propinquity when I need it. Lucky me. Best get ready for the workday now. Yes, I am feeling a little better, and better is as good as it gets. Bueno bye.

All is well. Goof gloriously.