The Malleable Texture of Perception

“Magic doesn’t sweep you away; it gathers you up into the body of the present moment so thoroughly that all your explanations fall away: the ordinary, in all its plain and simple outrageousness, begins to shine — to become luminously, impossibly so. Every facet of the world is awake, and you within it.” ~ David Abram

“In her novel Regeneration, Pat Barker writes of a doctor who knew only too well how often the early stages of change or cure may mimic deterioration. Cut a chrysalis open, and you will find a rotting caterpillar. What you will never find is that mythical creature, half caterpillar, half butterfly, a fit emblem of the human soul, for those whose cast of mind leads them to seek such emblems. No, the process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay.” ~ Rebecca Solnit

“For magicians — whether modern entertainers or indigenous, tribal sorcerers — have in common the fact that they work with the malleable texture of perception.” ~ David Abram

Perception Management

Yesterday was a lost day; so lost, in all actuality, that no coffee was made in the morning, nor at all throughout the day. Drifty, nappy, diffident. Sometimes I get overwhelmed. There’s no telling what that was all about. No, wait, that’s not right.

It’s all about story-telling. All of it. I try to remind myself that we live in a story, and if we relinquish control of the narrative someone, or some system of belief, will deftly narrate for you. That’s what my inner disturbance was about.

I’d been watching tens of thousands of people taking to the streets, throughout the country, rising up in the midst of a gnarly global pandemic, to change the narrative. How profound is that?! I admit, it got to me. It was a helluva use of a good Saturday night buzz.

Yes, I’ve always settled for the basics here at EyeYotee blog, but this software platform offers a lot more. I don’t know what got into me this morning, but I found myself curious as to what else is offered. This post is me doing what I do as a blogger. It’s play and exploration. Today’s format may seem whacky or unaccountably random, but that’s just me in a nutshell. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. Sometimes I crack myself up. When ya have a nut and ya wanna to get to the meat ya hafta grab the hammer, dude. Period. Full stop. I prefer a velveteen hammer. That’s what I used yesterday.


Cloud-Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown

The compelling silhouette of the ruins of an old adobe well-housing against the pale light in the northwestern sky. The eerie stillness and silence. Especially the silence. No birds singing. No traffic on the highway. It is Monday morning, and I would do well to keep in mind that it is an explosive world out there. I awoke with a sore throat yesterday. Trauma Boy, my darkside Trickster, immediately went all Corvid-19 on me, yet I knew that the soreness was a combination of awkward neck posture, gnarled by fatigue, and working behind a mask, re-breathing my own exhaust for the better part of all friggin day long. Not enough water. Talking loud behind clear vinyl sheeting around my work station. Eye strain. Brain strain. It is actually, on some deep level, humorous. I have to look at it that way. As much as the national disturbances and disruptions pull me down into my personal shadow . . . well, let’s just say it’s time to start pumping Light. Find a video of firemen putting out some of the fires over the weekend, pan in on the hose nozzle. Just like that. Pumping Light. It’s Monday. A workday. I’m still aching from Saturday’s workday. Cortisol, don’tcha know. The struggle is real. The danger as well. Trauma resonates with other trauma. Regardless – I feel fine, and I plan on having some fun today, k? Don’t try to stop me. Tis the malleable texture of perception that is my palette and canvas.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Dissociating In the Shower

“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.” ~ Terence McKenna

“Chaos is what we’ve lost touch with. This is why it is given a bad name. It is feared by the dominant archetype of our world, which is Ego, which clenches because its existence is defined in terms of control.” ~ Terence McKenna

Sunrise – or almost anyway. 49º F, fresh. Earlier the stars were flirting with brilliance, as they sometimes do when Summer comes. Clear skies? Drive out to some remote place in the dark. No lights. The sight will turn you humble on the spot. I did this down in the Everglades one night. Stopped the Cadillac Fleetwood convertible, dropped the top, and turned off the car. My buddy D. J. was with me. The sight terrified him; out in the middle of the great swamps. I was thrilled deeply. I still am. We hiked through the Everglades on a Full Moon night, tripping on shrooms. No words. But that’s not today. Today I am a much older man. Have I aged well? The question is meaningless, k? Don’t even go there. Tools at hand, dude. Ya gotta go from where you are ’cause y’all ain’t got a choice, my friend. Tools at hand. I think we have an incomplete image of what memory is and how to use it. They say it ain’t accurate, and is open to interpretation. We’ll, yeh. Duh. Those memories of a Magical Mystery Tour in the wash of a Full Moon Everglades mystical wonderland are fresh and will feed me and nurture me throughout the day today. It’s a workday. The cat has been mercifully quiet this morning. The bruja has been poking around lately, and be she metaphorical, archetypal, liminal, imaginal . . . it just don’t matter none to me. Anyone who’s lived ’round these parts know how real a bruja or brujo can be. Anyway . . . the cat protects me from such intrusions into my Dreamland access. That’s how I know she didn’t come around, so the cat had the night off. I just had three days off, and got ample rest. I certainly am grateful to see that my nocturnal friend gets some of the same. But my mind and heart are all about transformation. I encountered two snakes by the gate from the deck yesterday. I like how they say hey by slowly wiggling their little tongues. Totem-wise they told me to get ready to shed my skin. So in the big picture I am turning to Jung and McKenna, Jean Houston, Braden, Lipton, Raymond Moody, and others. The world has changed. Some say it is ending. Yeh, well . . . ? How would you know? These days ya jest gotta look ’round to see that it ain’t never gonna be the same. The question is what is it gonna lead to. Transformation. I’ve got work to do. Yesterday I was reading from Peter Levine: “Waking the Tiger”. It’s about trauma and whatcha gonna do about that PTSD, dude. Levine gave an exercise in somatic reconnection. It is way easy for me to go all dissociated and stuff. Use the shower to touch every inch. Shower? Ooops. it’s time. Big day ahead. Thick with Mythos and promise. There I go.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Laundry and Intellectual Comfort Food

“The wild nature has a vast integrity to it. It means to establish one’s territory, to find one’s pack, to be in one’s body with certainty and pride regardless of the body’s gifts and limitations, to speak and act in one’s own behalf, to be aware, alert, to draw on the innate feminine powers of intuition and sensing, to come into one’s cycles, to find what one belongs to, to rise with dignity, to retain as much consciousness as possible.” ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés

“Share your voice and your heart. Listen to how it falls in with the cosmic symphony. Let it be imperfect, incomplete, unrefined. The masterpiece is coming.” ~ Amy McTear

“When setting out on an unknown course for your authentic life, expect fog.” ~ Amy McTear

This is a rare morning in which, during my morning perusal of quotes, I found little urge to argue with any of them. To each his own. That sort of thing. Can’t be bothered. I’d better nip that train of thought right here and now, lest I slip into a sermon on codependency. That I am definitely not in the mood for. Whatever. Day three of effective self-isolation here. Feeling old, sure, but not in any harmful way. Of course, I was up late binging on episodes of “The Librarians”. That certainly explains some of it. Some of what? What am I talking about anyway? The world has become so very weird. Anymore, I can’t bring myself to call it surreal or Orwellian. That got old fast for me. I’m more into the “comfort food” stories on Star Trek NextGen, or “The Librarians”. I want to be entertained but I want inspiration and fascination as well . . . intellectual comfort food, if you will. Today is laundry day. Then rest up for the next two workdays. Plain and simple. Chop wood, carry water, watch Netflix.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Be Kind to Flying Cats

“It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling…” ~ Aldous Huxley

“A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one; it comes as sincerely from the author’s soul.” ~ Aldous Huxley

“It’s a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and to find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than “try to be a little kinder.” ~ Aldous Huxley

Yesterday was a day of pattern-breaking, some intentional, some not. It was also a day of too tired to move much at all. The four day holiday weekend took a lot out of me, retail-wise, which means it took a lot out of me altogether. Period. Full stop. When things get so intense on the job it reaches a point where it don’t matter a lick iffin yer working to live or living to work. It’s all life, after all. Patterns of work and play get set in symbolic stone. Ya jest gotta break ’em up on occasion. Today will be about stillness and breathing. And friggin allergies! I have no idea what is making my eyes puff, burn, and water, but here it is. Here and now, boys. Here and now. Late last night I was sitting here watching an episode of “The Librarians” on Hulu when I heard a mild commotion in the little hallway beyond the room. I paused the show to listen. The noise did not abate. I looked over at one point to see the cat had also taken keen notice. Finally, I got up to check it out, to see what the racket was all about. I gently opened the door. A big ginger tomcat tried to rush into the room, so I shut the door again to assess the situation. After catching my breath I eased the door open and stepped out, closing it again behind me. The cat came out of hiding and began banging his head against the cat door, which he had somehow unlocked and it was stuck so that it would not open out. Dude was stuck in there with me. I’ve had more than my share of cat chases, from my days at the animal shelter. I felt panic stirring but it didn’t take. If you have never seen a cat fly, or climb the walls, or tear across the ceiling, you don’t know what you are missing. Little suckers are fast too! The bottom line is to out wait the beast, knowing that you are either going to have to capture it or corral it where you need it to go – all the while avoiding bloodshed on the part of all concerned. In a small space like that it is crucial that when the cat goes up you make sure you are not the venue of his ascension. As the cat was going up the wall I managed to get the door to outside open, then turned to marvel at the beast clinging to the ceiling. It was the darnedest thing. I could see how he had anchored himself up there, but the sight of it just didn’t make much sense. After perhaps 15 seconds he let loose, fell straight to the floor, and slipped out through the opened door. I closed it and went back to the chair. At no point had I felt fear. I had done this before. The kindest thing you can do for the beast is to get him on his way and let him sort out the trauma later. It all reminds me of the time a feral tom got loose in the tiny intake room at the shelter. There were two of us there, but I had to run out to the cattery proper to fetch the bite gloves. As I was ready to go back in and join the capture I saw the shelter manager, who was not too familiar with cat care. I stopped and told her she really needed to see this. So we stepped into the room and the games began. We, of course, succeeded in capturing the tom. But that manager, that poor woman, likely had some trauma of her own to sort out later. She had gone into total stasis, eyes wide in terror, and though she was of no practical help, I like to think that the experience was one she needed, to give her a broader view of her job. It was a Trickster thing I did. Sorry, Cassie, it was meant to be. All that aside, I think I’ll slide into the morning. Onward.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Going with Donkey & Raven

“I won’t tell you that the world matters nothing, or the world’s voice, or the voice of society. They matter a good deal. They matter far too much. But there are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely—or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. You have that moment now. Choose!” ~ Oscar Wilde

“You can never know about about your own destiny: are the people you meet there to play a part on your own destiny, or do you exist just to play a role in theirs?” ~ Libba Bray

“What is right is often forgotten by what is convenient.” ~ Bodie Thoene

Awwww, mom, do I hafta go?! Pleeeeaaassse.

Wow. I needed a tantrum. Workday today. Again. We’ve been way busy since the stay at home mandate began. This being Memorial Day weekend, it’s about over the top. I’m all groans, stretches, sighs, and silent whispers. I want my mom as well. I never reckoned I could be 65 years old and still want my mom on occasion. Seems healthy to me. Luckily I believe in the truth of the Ancestors. Mom can walk with me as she wishes. Now would be a good time, mom. All wrung out, tired to the bone. Driven by admiration for my coworkers, who work as hard as I do to make things work. And they do work. I need a feather bed and a 36″ flat screen on the ceiling. And my massage therapist, who I have not seen in over 2 months. Poor me, right? Yeh, right. Okay, I’m done whining. For now. Period. Full stop. I reserve the right to . . . wear a mask. The anti-mask crowd is stirring a giant WTF in my heart. I don’t have to ask what’s wrong with them. They cannot keep their ignorance to themselves. They ooze ignorance. And my nose is chapped from wearing the mask all day at work. Sigh. Groan. Hmmmm, there’s a robin in the apple tree outside the window, where the feeders hang. Last time I was out by my car, the neighbor’s donkey made a sudden honking sound that gave me an instant smile. Then a raven flew over head, croaking away without a care in the world. I think I’ll go with the birds and donkeys today. And caffeine.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Harry Potter and the Sadness Upon Shoulders

Anxiety, that furtive and ghastly presence, cannot hide from beauty” ~ Ken Ebert

“Happiness does not lie in amusement; it would be strange if one were to take trouble and suffer hardship all one’s life in order to amuse oneself” ~ Aristotle

“Mathematics expresses values that reflect the cosmos, including orderliness, balance, harmony, logic, and abstract beauty.” ~ Deepak Chopra

“The search for meaning is really the search for the lost chord. When the lost chord is discovered by humankind, the discord in the world will be healed and the symphony of the universe will come into complete harmony with itself.” ~ John O’Donohue

There is no difficulty for me in admitting trepidation toward a holiday weekend at work. Retail, don’tcha know. Hopefully the kindness of camaraderie is running high these next few days. It does most days. There are two situations in my life that are stirring up sadness for me. Both will ease with time, as these things always do. Actually there is a third one as well, but it ranks above the others in that it has now been 14 years to the day since I picked up mom at St. Vincent’s in Santa Fe, to begin her seven month dance with death. I staged a Harry Potter movie marathon the very next night. We had a blast. She was enrolled in hospice about six weeks later. I will always remember, vividly, mom’s statement to the oncologist: “Just give me a nurse and some morphine”. I’m gonna forego Harry Potter this time. Anniversary noted. I gotta go shower for work. Until the next time, friends.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

The Beauty of Artful Rage

“A cat’s rage is beautiful, burning with pure cat flame, all its hair standing up and crackling blue sparks, eyes blazing and sputtering.” ~ William S. Borroughs

“Ignorant people think it is the noise which fighting cats make that is so aggravating, but it ain’t so; it is the sickening grammar that they use.” ~ Mark Twain

“A person that started in to carry a cat home by the tail was getting knowledge that was always going to be useful to him, and warn’t ever going to grow dim or doubtful.” ~ Mark Twain

I have to commend Mr. Borroughs on his lovely imagery in today’s opening quote. Yessir, I can see the beauty in it. Kinda on the same scale as when the Archangel Michael smites a few demons on the battlefield. Trust me, you don’t want to piss him off. A seriously pissed off cat is psychosis in full view of anyone in the room. And that’s just with a seven pound cat. Kick it up to 100 lbs, or take it all the way to 600 lbs; they are indeed artful in their rage. Might be best iffin I feed the cat within the next hour or so. Just sayin. This is one of those mornings when I can’t pull my thoughts together. A depressive cycle feels to be kicking in. I stand advised. These cycles carry moods that must be pampered and kept out in the open to observe them a tad. Don’t let em slip away. It is best you know a bit about what you are dealing with. Get a look at how it moves. That’s what I say. I don’t foresee any problematic danger here. The pandemic and the president present quite enough danger on their own. But I have my lap cat at ready. Her purr is a balm for the darkness. And she has my back when some gnarly spirit or bruja comes along. That bruja has been at me lately. It’s all I can do to not hit back. All that’s really needed is to learn a little kindness for a change. Yeh. Onward. Respect rage, cultivate kindness.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

Kindness, Laughter, & Revolution

“Along with the other animals, the stones, the trees, and the clouds, we ourselves are characters within a huge story that is visibly unfolding all around us, participants within the vast imagination, or Dreaming, of the world.” ~ David Abram

“Our surmises regarding the subtle functions of neural processes within the brain are profoundly constrained by the fact that the brain did not evolve in order to understand itself. The complex organization of the brain evolved as a consequence of our sensorial and muscled engagement with the landscapes that surround us.” ~ David Abram

“If we speak of things as inert or inanimate objects, we deny their ability to actively engage and interact with us—we foreclose their capacity to reciprocate our attentions, to draw us into silent dialogue, to inform and instruct us.” ~ David Abram

There’s no sense in looking back now. The existential force of the pandemic is starting to sink in for me. Things changed. They are not going back. Personally, I’m working harder than I care to, but the benefits are clear. In my mind the cost/benefit ratio looks very much like a yin/yang. Just sayin. I’m cool with it. It’s fun, fulfilling, pays pretty good, and I have the added benefit of being reminded of my age when I get out of bed each morning. Ouch. It was some serious pain this morning. No, I’m not whining. The late great Umberto Eco said that a writer’s duty is simply to observe and report. That’s what I like to think I am doing.

“To survive, you must tell stories.” ~ Umberto Eco

You want the dramatic story, I feel like Indiana Jones when he tumbles down a rock slide in a cave while reaching for the Grail. Thump. Like dude put your hat back on dude and persevere. Perseverance furthers. Indy seemed pretty much of a Parsifal Holy Fool. I prefer Coyote when I need a model in playing the Fool. I’ve been listen to a recorded Keynote speech given by the amazing Jean Houston. She talks about how myth gives birth to the world. I totally get that. I attended that speech in person. Awesome stuff. The main thing I got out of it is the concept of subjective time, but I haven’t time to discuss that right now. Gotta get into the flow of the Essential Pandemic Warrior of Kindness. That’s the existential thing for me. I reckon with all the the scary shit in the world, it would be best if we all endeavor to be more kind more often. That and laughter are a slow-burn revolution that cannot be stopped.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

The Secret of Manic Monday

“When I like people immensely I never tell their names to anyone. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvelous to us” ~ Oscar Wilde

“I know now that human beings are creatures of awareness, involved in an evolutionary journey of awareness, beings indeed unknown to themselves, filled to the brim with incredible resources that are never used.” ~ Carlos Castaneda

Where to start? Coffee all gone. Cat in deep sleep. Dawn beginning. I feel groggy but not groggy. I guess I could go either way with it. But it is Monday, and on Mondays I am nearly always obliged to be essential to society. Mask on, gloves on. Good humor on, compassion on – as much as possible. I guess I feel some compassion for folks all knotted up in conspiracy theories. But mostly it just pisses me off. Makes me want to launch into a tsunami of pedantic persuasion, whether or not said persuasion is successful or not. And sometimes I struggle to not see these theorists as holding on to blankies and teddy bears. It’s a scary world out there – today more than ever. Yeh, I feel powerless and insecure at times as well. But I do not want it to be all the time. That just ain’t logical, nor does it make self-love likely. Nuff said. Business has been very busy at my venue of gainful employment. Exhaustingly so. But it’s all life. Isn’t it? Yeh, that’s what I say. Yesterday I wrote of tharn, that deer in the headlights phenom. It’s humming along not far below the surface today. I guess I could blame it on the Chinese or the Bilderbergs, or even David Ickes. But not today. Think of the artist sometimes known as Prince, and the Bangles, singing “Manic Monday”, then note that that is Manic Monday at the dispensary, which means 15% off . I’ve got a Manic Monday of my own to deal with. Sometimes things just all blend together. My blend is just like Mr. Wilde’s opening quote. My secret is not The Secret. Just sayin’, k? Onward.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

The Art of Tharn

“The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life’s meaning. We long for a Parent to care for us, to forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes. But knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable. If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal.” ~ Carl Sagan

“A priest once quoted to me the Roman saying that a religion is dead when the priests laugh at each other across the altar. I always laugh at the altar, be it Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist, because real religion is the transformation of anxiety into laughter.” ~ Alan Watts

“Isn’t it sad how some people’s grip on their lives is so precarious that they’ll embrace any preposterous delusion rather than face an occasional bleak truth?” ~ Bill Watterson

There’s a made-up word – from Watership Down – for that thing rabbits sometimes do where they see you coming and freeze on the spot. A little bunny out by the car just reminded me of that. She also made me harken back to the book I’m reading on a kinesthetic approach to healing trauma. A sudden shock may trigger a fight or flight response but it can also give you a serious case of Tharn. That’s how what I call “micro-triggers” for panic attacks operate. When a trigger trips some people seem to think I am more than a wee bit daft; which may be true, but that’s not the point, k? Thanks, yer a pal. These attacks are brief yet powerful, and they come all day every day, friggin 24/7. And boy howdy it sure do wring me out. I seem to have had one in my sleep a couple of nights a go as well. There seems to be a 1-2 punch (punch is not a metaphor). Or at least I did not plan it that way. involved 1) I’ve been delving into the mindset I need as a foundational template for the new book 2) the pandemic and working out on the front lines. I need money to buy cat food. This is in my own best interest, of course. She’s sitting over there all whiny and stuff. After 16.5 years I have yet to feel okay with being bossed around by someone 1/20th of my size. It’s sometimes not so fun living with a superior being. Wow, that was some tangent! So tharn it is, and believe you me, it is what it is. At, in, whatever, the moment it is a golden Sunday morning. The light cast on the trees beyond this window. That’s what’s golden. Me, I’m probably golden somewhere in my subconscious, but heck if I can feel it at the moment. In the words of the great Ozark Mountain Daredevils: “It’ll shine when it shines you might think I’m wastin’ time, but I’m just a good old boy who’s learned to wait”.

All is well. Goof gloriously.