The Wild Within and the Bridge Across Forever

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“Waking consciousness is dreaming – but dreaming constrained by external reality” ~ Oliver Sacks

“It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their destiny… It’s a force that appears to be negative, but actually shows you how to realize your destiny. It prepares your spirit and you will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.” ~ Paolo Coelho

“There are only two lives we might live: our dream or our destiny. Sometimes they are one in the same, and sometimes they’re not. Often our dreams are just a path to our destinies.” ~ Glennon Melton

One of the best sounds of Summer, one that I have been sorely missing, came this morning around 3:30 AM: coyotes on the hunt! That’s enough to make my whole day – but I am in no way adverse to more. And yet I will enter my workday as I almost always do, by putting on my best Taoist monk approximation and walking in like I know what I am doing. The coyotes remind me of the wild within – and a good reminder at that. Do you ever get that thing where a quiet and unexpected sound comes from nearby and your ear twitches momentarily? That’s the wild within. Our bodies remember what we used to be, and can make use of that knowledge should the need arise. That ear was trying to pivot to identify the source of the sound. They probably have an app for that now. I haven’t gotten that far with my smartphone, because my smartphone is kind of a moron as far as that goes.

Ya know, today would be a good day to find a nice quiet tree somewhere, park my body, have a puff, and begin re-reading Richard Bach’s Bridge Across Forever. Fine piece of writing, and a heady tale at that. But, no. I am actually looking forward to work today. It’s my whole social life, and I do get to see people I like to see, and several I love to see. There ya have it. It’s time for me to go have a look at the mountains before I take a shower. Ciao.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

That Ol’ Precocious Summer Sun

“What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.” ~ Werner Herzog

“I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary.” ~ Margaret Atwood

“I’ve dreamed a lot. I’m tired now from dreaming but not tired of dreaming. No one tires of dreaming, because to dream is to forget, and forgetting does not weigh on us, it is a dreamless sleep throughout which we remain awake. In dreams I have achieved everything.” ~ Fernando Pessoa

A turtledove just hooted a soft sunrise song. A kestrel flashed across my vision as I gazed at the morning star, about a half hour ago. Dawn is fading lavender making room for the colors of the day, which promises to be a beauty, with the oppressive sunlight, sometimes batted away by truly spectacular summertime clouds. And there ya have it. I’ve finished my second cuppa coffee and I want another but I’ve had enough caffeine for now. It might keep me awake all afternoon, a nap having become, for me, a luxury that’s well worth indulging, and don’t think for a second that I won’t. Now, my fresh scar – the one just over my left eyebrow – is itchy this morning. This thing keeps me remembering the fall and the meeting of face and highway. I’ve done that two times too many now. The cloistered fear is beginning to emerge. It’s been a struggle to write my own narrative about just what happened. I think that’s an important part of PTSD: like, dude, why am I afraid of something that already happened, dude? Whatever. The fear is all stuck down in my bones and muscles and posture and stuff. I’ve found myself slouching like a fretful teenager lately. Yada, yada, yadda. It’s a sweet day off for me, during which I will park body, mind, and soul, in the chair and rewatch The Librarians on Hulu. I could doze off right now, but I gotta feed the cat and go out to look at the mountains before the Sun crests the ridge and washes out the whole scene with light. That ol’ Summer Sun in Nuevo Mexico del Norte is quite precocious. Ya gotta be careful.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

The Convenience of Rest

“When you get too tired to fly, glide. It can get you pretty far with a good wind under your wings.” ~ Scaylen Renvac

“You ask me if an ordinary person—by studying hard—would get to be able to imagine these things like I imagine. Of course. I was an ordinary person who studied hard. There’s no miracle people. It just happens they got interested in this thing, and they learned all this stuff. They’re just people. There’s no talent or special miracle ability to understand quantum mechanics or a miracle ability to imagine electromagnetic fields that comes without practice and reading and learning and study. So if you take an ordinary person who’s willing to devote a great deal of time and study and work and thinking and mathematics, then he’s become a scientist.” ~ Richard Feynman

Sleep has been nearly forceful in prolonging duration, which is a fancy way of saying I could sleep long hours lately. I suspect this is a leftover from the head injury a coupla weeks ago. Yesterday I slept for eleven hours; could have done so last night as well if Rosie had not awakened me at 5 AM, with a meow fest that dazzled with it’s perseverance. Yeh, I woke up cranky because of the interruption, and had to apologize to my persistant old cat. And no, I don’t feel this merits a phone chat with the doctor. I can sleep in tomorrow and have my wake and bake as well. There is convenience in a day of profound rest. Needless to say the stress levels out in the retail space are daunting and hard to tolerate, but I must. No time at the moment to delve into a tough situation. Gotta put on my clothes and personality, then go to work. Later, y’all. I’ve got tomorrow to write a longer post, becauseI think I need to. Later, y’all.

Wild Horses and a Stunning Realization

“Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences” ~ Sylvia Plath

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” ~ Toni Morrison

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ~ Sylvia Plath

Sunday’s are bad enough without it being a rare workday. Dag nab it. But I will survive. Time is short but I feel the need to write anyway. The cat’s breakfast is late and I didn’t even make coffee until being awake for three hours. I’m not sure, but I think that’s a sin. Now done, the pot is perfect. Now . . . no wake and bake either. That’s been a Sunday tradition for me ever since I had the stunning realization, before my medical card, that I could make the gorgeous drive up to San Luis, Colorado to visit the dispensary in the oldest part of town. And there are wild horses just north of the border. One day they were feeding along side the highway and there was no traffic at all. I stopped the car and the animals surrounded my car. Up close. Wow. Some people say they look just like domestic horse. No, not even. I can’t explain it. You’ll have to see it with your own eyes. One of these days I will have to drag myself away from the house and make the drive up to San Luis, which I have not done since I got my medical card. Soon come, mon, soon come. I reckon wild horses could drag me away.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

A ‘Deer in the Headlights’ Groove

“It’s like playing an instrument. It’s like dancing,” she says simply. Her house looks like the aftermath of a personalized earthquake visited by a vengeful god, but even here, amid such disturbing chaos, what Kim has elegantly just confirmed is the profound power of sequence; the beauty of order. Heartbeat, breath, ebb tide, flood tide, the movements of the earth, the phases of the moon, seasons, ritual, call and response, notes in a scale, words in a sentence. Human connection and security lie here.” ~ Sarah Krasnostein

“The thing about embracing your own chaos is that it never becomes clear when you need to stop.” ~ Trista Mateer

“Some people walk calmly into your chaos and you know they’re there to stay. I always let them.” ~ Nitya Prakash

It’s all about the morning star. Stopped me in my tracks with her brilliance. Now I can get on with my day, a fine harbinger at hand. What does it mean? Love, in some manner or other. I’ll hafta wait and see. Meanwhile it is a workday – short shift. It’s been three straight days off in a row; lots of sleep, a fair amount of groaning, and a sense of wonder at all of the darkness swirling and attempting to do one of those sinister maniacal laughs. Ain’t no genius at work here in our nation. There’s nothing genius about intending to hurt people. Nuff said on that. I’ve got a ‘deer in the headlights’ groove happening this morning. The news can be all too much. Lots of ugliness, lots of beauty. major chaos. Sigh. And how’s my head? Manageable. The laceration healed up beautifully – looks like an old scar already, after only three weeks. Whatever the blow did to my brain and mind and stuff remains unclear so far. Something changed, that’s for sure. Maybe I emerged with a new super power: patience. Yup, I don’t have it yet but I know how to wait. It’s a start. So now I must take this headache out into the world, an act which requires a shower first. I’ll let a sharp stream of hot water wash over my head. There’s a feeling of vastness about all of this.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Déjà Vu and Curly Time

“Déjà vu is more than just that fleeting moment of surprise, instantly forgotten because we never bother with things that make no sense. It shows that time doesn’t pass. It’s a leap into something we have already experienced and that is being repeated.” ~ Paolo Coelho

“I am now 33 years old, and it feels like much time has passed and is passing faster and faster every day. Day to day I have to make all sorts of choices about what is good and important and fun, and then I have to live with the forfeiture of all the other options those choices foreclose. And I’m starting to see how as time gains momentum my choices will narrow and their foreclosures multiply exponentially until I arrive at some point on some branch of all life’s sumptuous branching complexity at which I am finally locked in and stuck on one path and time speeds me through stages of stasis and atrophy and decay until I go down for the third time, all struggle for naught, drowned by time. It is dreadful. But since it’s my own choices that’ll lock me in, it seems unavoidable — if I want to be any kind of grownup, I have to make choices and regret foreclosures and try to live with them.” ~ David Foster Wallace

Okay, that’s enough. My mind is being yanked about by various stimuli on the internet. Nothing really wrong with that, it is just out of place on a work day, on Monday morning. Sundays? Yes. Monday has a built in deadline: mouse-click at 7:45. I’ve been thinking a lot about healing, which is easy since I’ve been as immersed as possible in the healing of the friggin head injury from two weeks ago. The scar, the physical former laceration, has faded remarkably well. You’d hardly know it was there. The psych aspects, not so much. In this realm . . . it’s an ongoing sort of thing. I mean dude it ain’t goin’ away without first a hug from my heart then patience then whatever, dude. I’ve also got the image and feeling from a certain smile, and I know full well that the goddess aspect in healing, the forces of nurture, is symbolized by this woman. It’s one of the things that drew me to her in the first place. Plus she’s really pretty and funny. Who knew right? Yeh, right. At the moment it is time to get the Monday morning work prep goin’. The woman can wait until . . . boy howdy it’s a beautiful day, and I ain’t gonna ruin it by starting out with rules and time tables and stuff. Refer to Paolo’s quote above . . . time curls back on itself. How many times do I have to say it?!

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Snacks for Lunch and Other Poor Excuses

“Real liberation comes not from glossing over or repressing painful states of feeling, but only from experiencing them to the full.” ~ Carl Jung

“There is no shame in what you are feeling, Harry,’ said Dumbledore’s voice. ‘On the contrary… the fact that you can feel pain like this is your greatest strength.” ~ J. K. Rowling

“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

Deep and long sleep, cat still asleep, coffee all gone, and I have once again let time run short. I was out a short while ago. To my delight the ground in moist and there are some nice gray clouds drifting about. My brain feels just about as cloudy – partly so, but most of the brain is caught up in “whatever”. Is that clarity? Probably. Not that it matters. I feel trepidation, a bit stronger than usual, about going in to town for work this morning. Town was super busy yesterday. I went out for my lunch hour, drove around looking for some place I might be able to get in and out of in reasonable time, but I ended up at a convenience store and had snack stuff for lunch. The number of out of state plates was – to say the least – alarming. Texas, Oklahoma, Florida. Those are the most prevalent. Plague states. Right? Does it matter? Yes. Not much to do about it regardless. I see the cat is now upright yet she seems to be still asleep. Odd. But then cats are odd anyway. Tis time for me to wrap up this poor excuse for a blog post and get myself gussied up for work. Soooo . . . I think I can, I think I can, I . . .

All is well. Goof gloriously.

The Man in Gray Camo Pants

“There is a shock that comes so quickly and strikes so deep that the blow is internalized even before the skin feels it. The strike must first reach bone marrow, then ascend slowly to the brain where the slowpoke intellect records the deed.” ~ Maya Angelou

“The disappearance of medial prefrontal activation could explain why so many traumatized people lose their sense of purpose and direction. I used to be surprised by how often my patients asked me for advice about the most ordinary things, and then by how rarely they followed it. Now I understood that their relationship with their own inner reality was impaired. How could they make decisions, or put any plan into action, if they couldn’t define what they wanted or, to be more precise, what the sensations in their bodies, the basis of all emotions, were trying to tell them?” ~ Bessel A. van der Kolk

“While trauma keeps us dumbfounded, the path out of it is paved with words, carefully assembled, piece by piece, until the whole story can be revealed.” ~ Bessel A. van der Kolk

These past few months . . . there are days when I feel intimidated by the bizarre happenings in our nation. Today is such a day. I’ve got to head down toward town to visit the natural foods supermarket for some incense, chlorophyl, and black walnut hull extract. Then it’s back home like the Roadrunner teasing Wile Y. Coyote. FYI, a coyote can outrun a roadrunner easily in real life. No contest. Just sayin’. But I ain’t goin’ there today. Today is a take it easy get in touch with bodily sensations while watching the Librarians on Hulu kind of day. Olfactory balm and internal herbal treatment of the guts. Lap time with Rosie the cat. Yesterday was more difficult than I expected. Turns out the young PA who plucked out the nine stitches out of my brow was a man. I found his attire to be oddly refreshing. Never before have I had a practitioner wearing gray camo tactical pants and a plain black t-shirt. When I told him about the 200 stitches I had in my face back in ’84, he told me that one of his medical mentors had done his residency at Jackson Memorial, at the University of Miami, where my face was reconstructed those many years ago. Coincidence, yeh, maybe. But it meant a lot to me. I think I will leave it at that. The phone session with my psychotherapist in the afternoon got quite emotional for me. Sometimes trauma feels banal, and sometimes it feels as profound as it is terrifying. Yesterday was the latter. Ciao.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Adventures in Trauma

“In contrast to ordinary memories both good and bad, which are mutable and dynamically changing over time, traumatic memories are fixed and static. They’re imprints, engrams from past overwhelming experiences. Deep impressions carved into the sufferer’s brain body and psyche. These harsh and frozen imprints do not yield to change, nor do they readily update with current information. The fixity of imprints prevents us from forming new strategies and extracting new meanings. There is no fresh ever-changing now, and no real flow in life. In this way, the past lives on in the present.” ~ Peter Levine

“Animals do not view freezing as a sign of inadequacy or weakness, nor should we.” ~ Peter Levine

“Some things must be dealt with at the roots. Trauma is one of these things.” ~ Peter Levine

I hope it’s not like Lucy and Charlie Brown and the football – according to the National Weather Service forecast, we look to be on the threshold of monsoons. Good grief. Really? It’s about time. There was a pervasive pale gray overcast yesterday, until about 1 PM. I didn’t hear anyone complain. But that’s all weather, which is kinda like emotions: it stirs things up, be it with a rousing storm or a flat stillness. I’m feeling pretty still this morning, face hanging loose on my skull, dreams shimmering and distant. The opening photo is of me right around my 30th birthday. Man, dig that mop on my noggin! I have a lot of my mom in me, and she had a lot of Irish in her. You can see the sense of mysterious abandon on my face. I was barely six months into my adventures in trauma, my near-fatal bicycle crash having occurred around six months earlier. There was a lot of deep thinking, thick philosophizing, and a persistant thirst for reading, but my relationship with the world around me was tenuous and brutally painful. What brought this up was the triggering of my PTSD from the fall I took on the highway last week. After dabbing the blood from my face, one of my first thoughts was that I would need to talk to my psychotherapist ASAP. That happens this afternoon at 3 PM, and I’m going to Urgent Care this morning to get these nine stitches out. It would be ever so lovely if Dr. Sanchez does the honors. She’s a gem – one of my favorite healers. One time I asked her “How are you today?”, to which she replied “Perky, as always”. No lie there, folks She’s as perky as they come. As I sit at the moment I am feeling a tad weepy, as the fading wound is stirring a sense of helplessness like the one in the photo. Back then the feelings of helplessness lasted about three years. This time they seem to be fading right along with the wound. But my face is still hanging heavy, my brain suppressed by memories frozen and static in time. Trauma does that, and because of that, now is always then when the trigger gets tripped. But there is gratitude for life and a touch of anger that I chose to return to this life from the Near Death Experience. It’s always like this when the trigger is pulled, along with a descent into depression. I’m on the downhill of that cycle right now, but I can deal with it. Right now I’d best pour a second cup of coffee, have a smoke, then feed the cat. Ciao.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

The Color Scheme of Injury

“But he won’t let the pain blot out the humor no more’n he’ll let the humor blot out the pain.” ~ Ken Kesey

“The first step to the knowledge of the wonder and mystery of life is the recognition of the monstrous nature of the earthly human realm as well as its glory, the realization that this is just how it is and that it cannot and will not be changed. Those who think they know how the universe could have been had they created it, without pain, without sorrow, without time, without death, are unfit for illumination.” ~ Joseph Campbell

“Trauma is personal. It does not disappear if it is not validated. When it is ignored or invalidated the silent screams continue internally heard only by the one held captive. When someone enters the pain and hears the screams healing can begin.” ~ Danielle Burnock

Ack. I forgot to wear my neck brace overnight. My bad. The payment is under way. Ouch. Poor me, right? Yeh, I suppose. It is a prime opportunity to practice mindfulness throughout the day. This being a work day makes the mindfulness necessary, and there is always the hope that I might even find myself in Flow, the Zone, whatever. Whatever the case, I will have fun. Laughter is the best medicine. Say, does Reader’s Digest even exist anymore? Family Circle? Boy’s Life? Whatever. The truth is I could easily go back to sleep, even after two cups of delicious black coffee. Strong, dark, and bitter – I call it Ex-Wife coffee. Yes, I’d enjoy seeing her again. There are no romantic feelings; those left 40 years ago. But my inner Hopeful Romantic has been quite active lately, sometimes to an annoying degree. I do have a flesh and blood muse, but I have only seen her once since the stay at home stuff began. Though I may flirt with obsession at times . . . well, now is not one of those times. Now, it is time to get an early start at getting ready for work. I think I will wear my red paisley mask today. It will highlight both the t-shirt I will wear, and the lovely bluish purple bruises that encircle my left eye. Is there any reason that color scheme should not include a black eye? No, of course not.

All is well. Goof gloriously.