You Have to Befriend the Dragon

“I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud. ~ C. G. Jung

“Maybe all the people who say ghosts don’t exist are just afraid to admit that they do.” ~ Michael Ende

“The terms we use for what is considered supernatural are woefully inadequate. Beyond such terms as ghost, specter, poltergeist, angel, devil, or spirit, might there not be something more our purposeful blindness has prevented us from understanding? We accept the fact that there may be other worlds out in space, but might there not be other worlds here? Other worlds, in other dimensions, coexistent with this? If there are other worlds parallel to ours, are all the doors closed? Or does one, here or there, stand ajar?” ~ Louis L’Amour

Monday morning. Good coffee, almost gone. Cat sound asleep on her bed next to my desk. Scant noise from the highway. High partial overcast, committing the morning to temporary grayness. I wish I could remember my dreams. It surely has been easy for me to sleep these days. No worries on that. There are memories being disturbed that would have been easier just kept down, like the dragon slathered across his pile of gold. But it’s that gold, that pay dirt. It’s an apt metaphor for the ages. As Stephen and Ondrea Levine were so fond of noting, we should treasure ourselves. I know full well the value of digging deep, rousing the dragon, then getting a look at the treasure beneath him. Tricky business, that. Those memories are locked up for a reason. The trick is to find that moment of grace when the reason starts to resemble a purpose. For that, to begin to find that purpose, or even a ghost of it, you have to befriend the dragon. I won’t milk that metaphor this morning. It’s friggin Monday and I gotta go to work. OMG town is crawling with tourists! A good many of whom are not wearing masks. I will don my mask and gloves, suit up – vest, walkie talkie, knife, pen, pocket notebook – I may even wear my company hat. Then it is step into the vinyl fishbowl I work within these days. I’m aiming for the Tao thing today. The walking prayer thing. The Beauty Way. There’s that one smile I hope to see, always first, no need to wonder or know why. There’s that one quip, blip of jest, nugget of wisdom. Then there’s the dragon . . . onward.

Hey! Check out the orb shooting out from beneath the door in the opening photo. Zoom in, it’s very interesting.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

That Night I Met Mary and Tom

“The dream was haunting me: standing behind me, present and yet invisible, like the back of my head, simultaneously there and not there.” Neil Gaiman

“Here and there and not just in books we catch glimpses of a world of once upon a time and they lived happily ever after, of a world where there is a wizard to give courage and a heart, an angel with a white stone that has written on it our true and secret name, and it is so easy to dismiss it all that it is hardly worth bothering to do. … But if the world of the fairy tale and our glimpses of it here and there are only a dream, they are one of the most haunting and powerful dreams that the world has ever dreamed…” ~ Frederick Buechner

“Ghosts could walk freely tonight, without fear of the disbelief of men; for this night was haunted, and it would be an insensitive man who did not know it.” ~ John Steinbeck

Haunting comes in many forms, right? The photo is of the upstairs hallway in the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico; one of the most haunted places in the State, and country. I spent two nights there back in 2012; slept in Room #17, which is known as The Mary Lambert Room. Mary is said to haunt that room, as a protector of the hotel, and of the people who go there. I had one major experience of her presense there. She seemed nice. And there were whispers on and off throughout the night. The dark spirit of the place is Thomas James Wright, who was shot in the back after winning the rights to the hotel in a poker game. I don’t know if Tom and Mary are pals, since I have no idea how that works in the Spirit world. But the dude was murdered by her husband, so they might have a lot to at least discuss. There have been times when I questioned the wisdom of spending those nights there. I was in the early stages of severe psychological disturbance at the time; some major PTSD stuff going on. The healing is slow, in fact I have yet to emerge from that spell, nor to find the proactivity in it. Whatever. PTSD is in my estimation a form of haunting.

Here this morning it is a splendid day. The scene through the window is of green, gray, gold, and blue. The birds are done with the feeder for now, but earlier there were some bold and sweet songs going on out in the apple tree. After ten hours of sleep and two cups of Green Mountain Dark Magic Coffee I remain groggy. It’s a wake and bake day as well. Sunday. I may well end up watching some episodes of Ghost Adventures this afternoon. I love those guys – a bunch of goofballs, but they do good work. They did an episode that was an investigation at the St. James. The very idea of haunting is haunting me. I just came up with the notion of the connection between PTSD and haunting this morning, so said notion shall be placed in my Inner Cauldron to brew for now.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Friday’s Flower Child

“The key to flow is to pursue an activity for its own sake, not for the rewards it brings.” ~ Susan Cain

“I believe that each person has a favorite place, a tree, a mountain, or a beach which they want to come back to, even if the return can only take place in the boundaries of their imagination.” ~ Sana Szewczyk

“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

At 4 AM the sounds of Johnny Ray were emerging from somewhere in the night. No complaints here, it was just somehow out of context. I mean, when is the last time you heard of, much less from Johnny Ray? Be that as it may, it is otherwise a peaceful morning. Good coffee, sleeping cat. Workday, Friday. Been three consecutive days off in a row, two weeks in a row. It will feel good to get moving again. Work is hard, for reasons that I may have mentioned sporadically over the past two months. There is no doubt that people are stressed; some scared, some worried, some oblivious, some clueless. Pandemic stuff. Nothing to see here. Move along. I can see my sarcasm is functional this morning. That’s not always true. Sometimes I start my day in a sweet mood which betrays the old Flower Child that I surely am. Yes, I hung out with hippies back in the day, but hippies are not by default the same thing as Flower Children. Nor are the two mutually exclusive. Just sayin’. I know a woman who gets creeped out (her term) by hippies and Flower Children. Go figure. We ain’t so bad. Do ya reckon her perspective is a product of upbringing? Duh. Regardless, I am not offended. I’ve got bigger fish to fry. Mmmm, fish and chips sound good right about now.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

The Canceled Century

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

“The voice that says, “That’s the way I am,” is the voice of knowledge. It’s the voice of the liar living in the Tree of Knowledge in your head. The Toltec consider it a mental disease that is highly contagious because it’s transmitted from human to human through knowledge. The symptoms of the disease are fear, anger, hatred, sadness, jealousy, conflict, and separation between humans. Again, these lies are controlling the dream of our life. I think this is obvious.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz

As of yet a quiet morning. The thing tickling my intellect on this fine morning is the odd notion that science is just another opinion. I’ll not get snarky over this. I tend to tread lightly on things like this, because I have friends who are anti-vaxxers, chem-trail followers, as well as any number of others, including the idea that the One World Government is trying to put microchips in our sugar-laden fizzy drinks from . . . ooops, that was a tad snarky, now, wasn’t it? I only know a couple who believe that tRump is a good man. I’m not inclined to try and dispute their beliefs, though I could put up a good show of it if pushed too hard. In these purportedly final days of the 21st century it’s easy to say “what’s the use”. No . . . wait . . . final days? Well, it seems may cancel the rest of the century because some aids have warned him that bigotry, cruelty, and violence-as- remedy . . . well, the 21st century will deal a near-decisive blow to such ideas, knocking them down to size. Easy fix there: just cancel this rest of the century! What gave me this daft and satirical notion was some nitwit woman’s warning that Christianity is in dark danger of being canceled.

But enough of all that. The heat of the day is hours away, but it sure has a good start. This is laundry day. My usual maladies, both physical and mental, are running in the moderate range. But the cat is happy. That means a lot to me. In my darker cycles I strongly feel that I am here for the cat, and that’s all. There is no commenting on that really, except to make the admission and let it go on its way. There is no true or false to such mental/physical states. The idea is to acknowledge them and see what kind of processing can be done. And that is that. I’m feeling pretty okay today. And the cat is happy. That’ll do for now.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Things That Make You Go Meh

“Never have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.” ~ Mark Twain

“Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict — alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.” ~ Dorothy Thompson

“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

This morning I am a clever mix of OMG, WTF, and NASA. Nice, right? I’d love to take my soul out for a spin, maybe go take a low pass over the ice mountains of Pluto, go dance with a dust devil on Mars, or simply go lounge on the Moon, in a gravity chair, with a tankard of ale, a beer bong, and contemplate the little bright blue dot before me. Sounds good to me. I had the rare blessing, this morning, of witnessing a battle of the gods, between a magpie and a mockingbird. Their fierceness was off the scale. Only cats can match the pride and stubbornness of these two birds. Twice I saw them tangle and go down to the ground to tussle there. It was truly shocking. This was not play, it was rage. The last I saw, the magpie was headed south with the mockingbird hot on his tail. Wow. Just wow. Took my breath away at first. Speaking of that, I’ve been wearing that friggin mask for eight hours a day, four days in a row. Exhausted I am. Today I am the living embodiment of that old joke: “Do you know the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don’t know and I don’t care”. Meh. Time to rest, recharge, and heal? Not today, thanks. Today I’m going to the Moon. Hope ta see ya there.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

A Smile on a Dog

“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

“An old Celtic proverb boldly places death right at the center of life. ‘Death is the middle of a long life,’ they used to say. Ancient people did things like that; they put death at the center instead of casting it out of sight and leaving such an important subject until the last possible moment. Of course, they lived close to nature and couldn’t help but see how the forest grew from fallen trees and how death seemed to replenish life from fallen members. Only the unwise and the overly fearful think that death is the blind enemy of life.” ~ Michael Meade

“Why couldn’t two unhappy people refresh each other on their way through this dusty business of life by a little talk—real, natural talk, about what they felt, what they would have liked, what they still tried to hope?” ~ Elizabeth von Arnim

Seeing that Basset hound honking the car horn repeatedly yesterday really set my “meaning of life” musings on their ear. I mean, really?! Her furless dad was heading into the store. She was in the driver’s seat, feet up on the steering wheel, honking away. The man turned around to look, then told the man next to him, “That’s odd, she usually just bays”. It’s the little things, right? Not only was the man’s deadpan humor perfectly delivered, the wild look of joy in the dog’s smile simply blew me away.

“Philosophy is the talk on a cereal box . . . religion is a smile on a dog” ~ Edie Brickell

There is so much I could write about today, but I like to mostly steer away from politics. Mostly. It’s an unusual Sunday in that I have to work today. No biggie. Work has been great fun these days. Hard, yes, but fun. The benefits of working with funny people are incalculable. Lucky me. I just took my neck brace off after having it on since I got home from work last evening. Ouch. The aching is slowing me down. And making me groan and sigh a lot. I ordered a professional cervical collar to see if that might provide more relief than the brace I have, by immobilizing the vertebrae for an hour or two after work. We shall see. I have to keep reminding myself that this neck stuff is one price I paid for the NDE journey that happened when I had the bike accident; it gave me not only neck issues, it gave me PTSD as well. So, I am achingly grateful for the whole thing. Sigh. And afraid all the time. When I question why I tell myself to hold the question and don’t expect an answer, because the answer is simply me sitting here asking why. And my Guardian Spirit just softly giggles.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Masks and Magic

“When you have two people who love each other, are happy and gay and really good work is being done by one or both of them, people are drawn to them as surely as migrating birds are drawn at night to a powerful beacon. If the two people were as solidly constructed as the beacon there would be little damage except to the birds. Those who attract people by their happiness and their performance are usually inexperienced. They do not know how not to be overrun and how to go away. They do not always learn about the good, the attractive, the charming, the soon-beloved, the generous, the understanding rich who have no bad qualities and who give each day the quality of a festival and who, when they have passed and taken the nourishment they needed, leave everything deader than the roots of any grass Attila’s horses’ hooves have ever scoured.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

“It is strange, is it not, how an accident of a millimeter here, a millimeter there, makes one face so important. Think about it Elliot, She has two eyes, a nose, a mouth, just like everyone else. It’s all in tiny degrees of placement, such small area of magic to make such a big difference ~ Judith Krantz

Tinnitus is definitely one of the great mysteries of life. Were it not for this mystery I would know the sound of silence. The highway is quiet, the cat sound asleep, no birds singing. As luck would have it the smoke in the air has cleared considerably from the past three days. But the ringing and hissing in my ears ranks high on the WTF scale. I never get used to this stuff. Oh, there! I just heard the first birdsong of the morning: a finch of some sort out the window, at the feeder. Finches provide some of the sweeter sounds you’re gonna hear from the bird world. Tis a workday for me; one of four consecutive days. And tomorrow is Father’s Day to boot. Then Monday is the birthday of someone I hold dear. And I guess I should mention that tomorrow is the Summer Solstice. There is a lot of magic in the air. That’s what I am all about these days. I’ve got to remember the Magic. This beat up body is aching and providing some breathtaking twinges on occasion. No worries, while I am moving constantly at work it all runs smooth. The sore toe. The sore thumb. The crunched up shoulders, kyphotic cervical spine, arthritis, headache . . . am I whining here? Yeh, maybe. But it doesn’t matter. Time to go have fun playing in public. I’ve said before that I work with a great crew. Funny people, happy people. I try not to get sucked too far into that proverbial rabbit hole. First of all, if I am going to go into some dream world I want to have adequate psychedelics in play. No, just kidding. Tis a surreal world we live in now. Who needs drugs?! That was me standing in line at the dispensary yesterday evening. Three people in front of me, respectfully donning masks, six feet apart, that sort of thing. They only allow two patients at a time into the dispensary. When one walks out, when the door to the place opens, that heady aroma wafts out. It’s surreal alright. With the heavy towering clouds and the pervasive smoke, the ambience of cannabis from the building, I could easily have gone apocalyptic. The masks. I could go on, but I must go on to work. It’s all about masks and Magic. Onward.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Yet Another Smokey Day

“The ideal art, the noblest of art: working with the complexities of life, refusing to simplify, to “overcome” doubt.” ~ Joyce Carol Oates

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” ~ Gilda Radner

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Sunrise with snow . . . a little allusion to beat the heat, or at least to pretend it does . . . and at least it’s not as smokey as yesterday. Being a Floridian, I can easily handle the heat; I’m just being cranky. Ummmm, I gotta take that back. I just went outside. It is smokier than yesterday. Dag nab it! The stuff is so thick you can taste it. Regardless, I have to go into town to get some first aid stuff. There’s a loose toenail needs tending, which forces me to go into town when I don’t want to. It’s just a mundane day, and I appreciate that greatly.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

On a Smokey Morning

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

“But some things, no matter how unlikely, are just supposed to happen. You know what I mean. Some things just smack of the future and feel part of an overarching rightness. ” ~ Marisa de los Santos

“The ancients believed in Fate because they recognized how hard it is for anyone to change anything. The pull of past and future is so strong that the present is crushed by it. We lie helpless in the force of patterns inherited and patterns re-enacted by our own behavior. The burden is intolerable.” ~ Jeanette Winterson

The valley is thick with smoke this morning. When the heat of the day hits, this is going to get nasty. Good afternoon to spend indoors, windows closed, without guilt. Hopefully I keep my head out of politics more than usual. Sounds doable. We shall see. It’s all so outrageous anymore. I am sure there is some new tRump Fatigue Syndrome, or whatever. I haven’t the clarity to track that down right now. This old body feels way run down. Stress, stress. I’m keeping this short this morning, but I didn’t want to go two days without posting: a post on a smokey morning.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

The Borderlands of Dreamtime

“Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“People think dreams aren’t real just because they aren’t made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.” ~ Neil Gaiman

Monday morning. Cat, graciously overcoming her desire for my lap, is now sleeping in her bed. I’m sitting here nursing a cup of nearly perfect coffee. The morning is quiet. And filled with dreams. That’s been the thing lately: sleep and dreams. After years, longer than I can remember, I am beginning to remember some dreams. They have become frequent enough that they are spilling over into waking consciousness. I kinda like that. The last time this blending of waking and Dreamtime was active was when I was taking care of mom 24/7 to help her as she died from esophageal cancer. It was the only way I could achieve the task, and I nearly lost my job anyway, thanks to the jerk . . . ooops; be nice, Ken. But simply remembering parts of dreams is a pleasure in itself. I even had a very sweet kiss with a lass I would be right pleased to kiss in waking life. Not likely to happen, pandemic and all, because I am out on the front lines doing retail, serving 100+ consumers a day. That’s my excuse anyway. And it’s a good and wise one indeed. Of the bruja – well, this is gonna make it harder for her to tinker with me, and not nearly as fulfilling, because in remembering dreams I am now ready to fight. I hope I don’t need to. A couple of “Boo!”s would be preferable. Anyway, whatever. I’m running late because my better senses let me sleep two hours beyond the alarm. Best get this show on the road. Work day, don’tcha know. Ta, ta. Tally ho! Whatever.

All is well. Goof gloriously.