Managing the Monster

“Burnout is nature’s way of telling you, you’ve been going through the motions your soul has departed; you’re a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker. False optimism is like administrating stimulants to an exhausted nervous system.”  ~ Sam Keen

“It is human nature to invent reasons for why the mind shatters, hope plummets, or the will to live dies. Scientific explanations are complicated and, for many, less humanly satisfying than visionary or religious ones. ~  Kay Redfield Jamison

“So instead of giving in to despair I chose active melancholy, in so far as I was capable of activity, in other words I chose the kind of melancholy that hopes, that strives and that seeks, in preference to the melancholy that despairs numbly and in distress.”  ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Once in a while I like to write about depression, which is something I kinda wrestle with most every day. Sometimes it does like steroids or something, and it goes all 24/7 on me for much too long a spell. No worries here, please. I’ve been fielding some pretty severe depression for a while now. I’ve been successful at managing this spell . . . well, let’s say that I’m about 75% successful. That’s good, right? Yeh buddy. This has been one of those spells where fear dresses up as apathy. That’s a tough one indeed. Where suppressed emotions dress up like shyness. A little tougher. Where natural human drives and desires dress up like languid cat on a window seat. Oh, man, I have to admit that last one is the kicker. And it keeps on kicking until you step back inside, close the front door, then take a nap, which doesn’t help much. Sigh. It has taken me years to learn to manage this monster of a mental disorder. That management in no way stops these things from being, from happening. You may as well try and catch the wind. But most importantly management allows me to sing and laugh and smile at pretty women just because.

I just stepped outside for a few minutes. It’s a balmy 22º. No wind. The snow on the deck has not melted much at all. It may not do so for quite some time to come. Whatever. It’s a workday. I don’t wanna go but I’ll have fun. No one will know I have an active depressive cycle going on. Unless I tell. Then what? I don’t know. Whatever. Then the weekend off. Don’t know what that will bring. No worries. Listen, I’d like this post to be longer, but I gotta go. One of these days I’ll roll out a longer post. Not today.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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Suspended Reality and a Big Chicken

“There are two kinds of people in the world: those who are dreamers and those who are being dreamed.”  ~ Alberto Villoldo

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”  ~ Henry David Thoreau

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”  ~ William Faulkner

Change, unbidden and unwanted, at 3 AM, is not what I had in mind to start the day. Cat and coffee would have sufficed just fine . . . thank you very much. The change in the formatting of my writing here is what I am on about. That and the fact that I had no friggin idea that Google owns, or maybe just sponsors, WordPress, which is obviously the platform . . . oh, whatever. I stopped using blogger.com because Google had me jumping through too many hoops in trying to prove . . . oh, never mind. Yeh, I am pissed at Google, but best not say too much or maybe the Russians will come after me. They’ve been known to do that, just as they have been known to install a poor facsimile of Foghorn Leghorn in the White House. I think we all know by now that this was a bad idea. Even his followers know that it was a mistake to suspend reality, without also suspending it for everybody. I don’t want to harp on that. I could say something crude, but I won’t, regardless of the fact that I am in one of those moods. Allergies have my head all in a physiological tizzy. Between that and getting to cope with the new version . . . oh, never mind. I’ll get used to it.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Self-Compassion and Vernacular

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“We don’t value craftsmanship anymore! All we value is ruthless efficiency, and I say we deny our own humanity that way! Without appreciation for grace and beauty, there’s no pleasure in creating things and no pleasure in having them! Our lives are made drearier, rather than richer! How can a person take pride in his work when skill and care are considered luxuries! We’re not machines! We have a human need for craftsmanship!”  ~ Bill Watterson

“Quality … you know what it is, yet you don’t know what it is. But that’s self-contradictory. But some things are better than others, that is, they have more quality. But when you try to say what the quality is, apart from the things that have it, it all goes poof! There’s nothing to talk about. But if you can’t say what Quality is, how do you know what it is, or how do you know that it even exists? If no one knows what it is, then for all practical purposes it doesn’t exist at all. But for all practical purposes it really does exist. What else are the grades based on? Why else would people pay fortunes for some things and throw others in the trash pile? Obviously some things are better than others … but what’s the betterness? So round and round you go, spinning mental wheels and nowhere finding anyplace to get traction. What the hell is Quality? What is it?”  ~ Robert Pirsig

The temperature is holding steady at 10º. Coffee half gone. Cat’s in her bed. And I have a distinct feeling of simple down-home weariness. It feels natural, organic. Which is to say that it’s not bothering me all that much. Right thinking, right? Yesterday I aimed my quote pointer at equanimity. That’s a quality that comes in quite handy. Equanimity is many levels above “It’s all good”, but the principle is pretty much the same. It’s not easy to learn. Let’s just say that achieving it is not all that hard. It is the holding on that’s hard because iffin ya gotta hold on to it ya ain’t got the real thing so what the heck you think yer doin’ . . . oh, never mind. Sigh. Think I’ll mosey on into pre-dawn darkness and grab a shower so my hair will dry completely before I go out in that frigid air. I know, I know, you can’t grab a shower. It’s the old thing about grabbing a fistful of water. Ain’t happenin’. The hot water will feel good though, and it will feel exquisite on the back of my neck, which takes the greatest strain from the physical reality that it’s usually pretty danged hard to hold my head up and not hang so much. The sensation of hot water on the back of my neck has been known to raise gentle tears, when self-compassion says it’s alright, child, there is nothing wrong. It just hurts, right dude? Geez, even my self-compassion is starting to talk in the vernacular. . . and that says a lot. Boy howdy does it ever.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Equanimity

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After the storm; Monday morning, 11/12/2018

“The true philosopher is a man who says “All right,” and goes to sleep in his armchair.”  ~  P. G. Wodehouse

“A truly brave man is ever serene; he is never taken by surprise; nothing ruffles the equanimity of his spirit. In the heat of battle he remains cool; in the midst of catastrophes he keeps level his mind. Earthquakes do not shake him, he laughs at storms. We admire him as truly great, who, in the menacing presence of danger or death, retains his self-possession; who, for instance, can compose a poem under impending peril or hum a strain in the face of death. Such indulgence betraying no tremor in the writing or in the voice, is taken as an infallible index of a large nature—of what we call a capacious mind (Yoyū), which, far from being pressed or crowded, has always room for something more.”  ~  Inazo Nitobe

“If it be well weighed, to say that a man lieth, is as much to say, as that he is brave towards God and a coward towards men.” ~  Michel de Montaigne

“Equanimity can be hard to talk about.”  ~  Sharon Salzberg

 

The Tao of Apathy

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My artist’s conception of but a small length in the NDE tunnel. However celestial that trip was for me, it was significantly more about terror. I still get trepidation to this day, when I think about it. Just looking at this doctored photo makes me want to run.

“Well, I know now. I know a little more how much a simple thing like a snowfall can mean to a person”  ~  Sylvia Plath

“It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my memory, is white as Lapland, though there were no reindeers. But there were cats.”   ~  Dylan Thomas, A Child’s Christmas in Wales

“The hollowness was in his arms and the world was snowing.”  ~  William Goldman, The Princess Bride

Snow. Sweet powder swirling in some truly prodigious winds. I slept through four hours of it in the afternoon. That was also sweet. Up for a coupla hours then back to sleep. The wind and snow continued to swirl; perhaps 4-5 inches, though some of those snow banks are considerably deeper. Sun is out, looks okay. I read that the Taos County schools are closed due to there being not enough snow plows to go around, and not enough of a crew to work what trucks they do have. I guess they got lazy after last winter, when snow was but a dream.


Just back from a trip out to the car for a smoke, and strategic removal of snow, to facilitate the Sun’s melting of the stuff. When I got back in it was a quick phone call to a friend, and then I got sucked in to more MSNBC videos. I just feel mundane today. It is kinda refreshing for a change. I guess what may have triggered the mood was reading an article on how to relate to folks with TBI. Put simply, they got smacked upside the head in a critical way. I had a TBI back in ’84. One of the side effects the writer noted is one that I was not aware of as connected to TBI: apathy. Boy howdy does that ever explain a lot! Reading that was a slow-blooming revelation, not an ‘aha’ moment. And it will continue to reshape my inner landscape and I’m like all dude how cool is that dude?! Now that I know that a sizable portion of the apathy is clinical I can be more careful with my not caring. Careful, mindful, whatever. Today is a down day, the kind of day when I drop any anxious resistance to the Tao. Or any other kind of resistance as well, come to think of it. The term down day I learned from my masseuse. It stuck. I owe her for that one. Now . . . I’m a jest a gonna post this-y here blog post then git me back to the Tao, which, of course, I never done left in the first place, right?

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Raven Dance and Fireball

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“Try to learn to let what is unfair teach you.”  ~ David Foster Wallace

“What the really great artists do is they’re entirely themselves. They’re entirely themselves, they’ve got their own vision, they have their own way of fracturing reality, and if it’s authentic and true, you will feel it in your nerve endings.”  ~ David Foster Wallace

“That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That it is possible to fall asleep during an anxiety attack. That concentrating on anything is very hard work.”  ~ David Foster Wallace

Sad to say the danged coffee is too weak again this morning, but there are also faint coyote calls in this dark end of morning. The neighbor dogs have been making a minor sporadic fuss for a while now, no doubt inspired by the whispering howls of their canine cousins. But back to the coffee . . . I might have to start measuring the stuff when I heap it into the filter basket. I don’t actually measure stuff like that. I mean . . . I didn’t. Sigh. Another comforting old habit flutters off into the past . . . when I’m 64. That’s right now, right here: I’m 64. Does that make any kind of sense at all? Really? If I sit stock still in this chair I am like 22 or something. But when I move it’s suddenly 64. Something to do with the theory of relativity, I think. I don’t know. I’ve got the full nine yards this morning. Four solid-impact bicycle crashes come to haunt me. Slouching, head hanging more than usual. No complaints really. That’s one of the medicinal benefits of cannabis Indica, it seems to create a kind of benevolent and beneficent apathy. I’ve grown to appreciate a little wake and bake each Sunday morning. What I am saying is that I’m one big ‘ouch’, but I took something for it, and that’s starting to kick in, and I’m like all dude, thanks, dude. Now, it’s about 45 minutes before sunrise, which I plan to attend. Me and my camera. Then it’s feed the cat and maybe a nap. The forecast calls for heavy weather drifting in, noonish. I’ve got two days off here so I will be able to fully appreciate the snow. If it comes . . . . nah, it will. I think I’ll try some positive thinking today, see if it works any better than it usually does, which is not much. Waxing Moon, no longer a sliver, there is magic in the air. Lots and lots of magic. One sign I witnessed was a slow-moving golden fireball this morning, making it’s way down, out west somewhere. Yesterday morning, as I sat in my car, waiting for the boss to come and unlock the door, so we could get on with the workday, I was honored with a breathtakingly prodigious display of aerial acrobatics, by two magnificent ravens, wings tip-to-tip, tearing back the air with their sharp turns and climbs and dizzying descents. Raven dance. Wow, just wow. And then there was that thing that happened yesterday, where I seemed to consciously experience retrocausality, precognition, whatever. I won’t go into the boring details; it was just something with the online time clock at work. I don’t care to draw any conclusions, nor proffer any theories, but what happened reminded me that it’s all real. All of it. And that time doesn’t actually work like we think it does. The incident really set me to thinking, but only after I savored a sweet WTF. When time starts playing tricks on me it means that the faeries may be messing with me again. I don’t know if you believe in faeries, but they don’t care if you do or not. I do. I believe. They are part of all of it.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously

Perhaps Too Obscure

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Upstairs hallway in the (very)haunted St. James Hotel, in Cimarron, New Mexico.

“The faerie represent the beauty we don’t see, or even choose to ignore. That’s why I’ll paint them in junkyards, or fluttering around a sleeping wino. No place or person is immune to spirit. Look hard enough, and everything has a story. Everybody is important.”- Jilly Coppercorn”  ~ Charles de Lint

“Age has no reality except in the physical world. The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time. Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom. Think of love as a state of grace, not the means to anything, but the alpha and omega. An end in itself.” ~ Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“Everything science has taught me strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death. I believe in an immortal soul. Science has proved that nothing disintegrates into nothingness. Life and soul, therefore, cannot disintegrate into nothingness, and so are immortal.”  ~ Werner Von Braun

The coffee wasn’t strong enough. And who’s fault is that? Yeh, whatever. Luckily I don’t feel the need, at this time, to crank up my body, and scrunch my kidneys, so I’ve been drinking it nice and slow. That comes later. I find that the general public seems to be in a perpetual hurry. I admit to naivety here. Folks been cranked up since back in the day, when Juan Valdez graced our TVs in Folger’s ads, and his mule was still in diapers. Then Starbuck’s stepped in and kinda said . . . well, never mind. I like Starbucks, and especially because their logo depicts a goddess. You don’t get that everywhere. Regardless, the goddess is everywhere anyway, logo or not. Or was that ‘logos or not’? Is that perhaps too obscure? Yeh, maybe, but I gotta run along, so don’t even try it. My father, throughout my life, made it known to me that I am too obscure. Say what, dad? I’m used to it. Yeh, whatever.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Healing and Magic

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“Karma means always wanting more of what won’t get you anywhere in the first place.”  ~ Deepak Chopra

“Situations seem to happen to people, but in reality, they unfold from deeper karmic causes. The universe unfolds to itself, bringing to bear any cause that needs to be included. Don’t take this process personally. The working out of cause and effect is eternal. You are part of this rising and falling that never ends, and only by riding the wave can you ensure that the waves don’t drown you. The ego takes everything personally, leaving no room for higher guidance or purpose. If you can, realize that a cosmic plan is unfolding and appreciate the incredibly woven tapestry for what it is, a design of unparalleled marvel.”  ~ Deepak Chopra

“Sometimes you get what’s coming around. And sometimes, you are what’s coming around.”  ~ Jim Butcher

It’s all about clouds lately. I have a thing about clouds; many years of watching them down in the islands. That doesn’t mean I know a lot about them. I make no such claims. To me clouds are the most inscrutable of Nature’s expressions. All I can tell you is that they are there. They grow or shrink but they also never stop moving. Never. I find it soothing, and even sometimes feel inspired, or awash in wonder. It’s a pretty good deal for the price of simple observation. There is little to report this morning. As usual I am sure that there is much I could report were it only in my awareness. Yesterday was massage day. This session was epic. And the conversation was good as well. Except for the fact that it hurts I like how all of those muscles pull in the pain and encapsulates it, turning it into rock-hard lumps and masses that needs to be relaxed and broken up by skilled fingers. What I like about it is that with all of the tightness, when it lets go all kinds of funky stuff is let loose on the emotional level. The endrocine kicks ass at that point. Toward the end of the session, when she was working on my head, her fingers touched my jawbones . . .  and I went silent. No talking. It’s the head trauma thing. My eyes went all weepy and stuff. Those tears lingered for hours, and I was sometimes awash with the emotions behind the tears. It didn’t dawn on me until I started writing about it. The jawbone triggered stuff from the moments surrounding and including the moment of impact, when my face smashed into the handlebars of the bicycle. One has total crying-rights about stuff like that. That jaw got shaken up in a big way. A nerve got torn in there somehow. That is clearly why I had so much trouble enunciating for the past three days at work. It tends to be embarrassing when it happens, but I can clarify my words by working my lower jawbones ‘just so’. PTSD is a mysterious force in life. What triggered those lazy bones was the event of the anniversary of mom’s death. It’s the domino effect after that. The massage opened up emotions, set them free. It made me cry, several times during the subsequent afternoon. I feel grateful for that.

The major point I should mention is that during my encounter with the Being of Light, during the NDE journey that arose from the accident, is that she touched my jaws to release all of my tension from my life back on Earth. It’s all about healing and magic.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

Two Abiding Dudes

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“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. In their gray visions they obtain glimpses of eternity, and thrill, in waking, to find that they have been upon the verge of the great secret. In snatches, they learn something of the wisdom which is of good, and more of the mere knowledge which is of evil.” ~ Edgar Allan Poe

“They say that when you’re about to die, your life flashes before your eyes. They never tell you that when you watch someone you once loved dying, hovering between this life and the next, it’s twice as painful, because you’re reliving two lives that traveled one road together.”  ~ Becca Fitzpatrick

“The experience of mystery comes not from expecting it but through yielding all your programs, because your programs are based on fear and desire. Drop them and the radiance comes.”  ~ Joseph Campbell

It’s going to have to be the Dreamtime today. Bone tired from the barrier-free stress of the last few days. Yes, the election is part of it. But most of it was having the empathic drive in full gear, and having to work in the marketplace. So many people. Yes, so many people. I got ripped wide open by a visit from my mother’s spirit on Monday, the 12th anniversary of her death. I helped mom die. It took seven months, then it was done. Today is my monthly massage; much needed and likely to be painful. By my permission the therapist does not hold back in her kneading ways. I look forward to the energy flow shifts, then the detox that follows. I will accomplish that while drinking copious water and sitting in the chair with my brain in a movie. Life is almost like a movie. What truly underscores the difference between life . . . oh, never mind. It’s all good. Life’s mystery transcends the bounds of fiction. To put it mysteriously: Sherlock Homes is no Stephen Hawking. Yet those two dudes do both abide. Go figure.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Enchiladas and MSNBC

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“You’re always you, and that don’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” ~ Neil Gaiman

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don’t know what work these conditions are doing inside you? Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going? Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change. If there is anything unhealthy in your reactions, just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better.”  ~ Rainer Marie Wilke


It would be fun to sit here and write about the various election results that are encouraging, and some even inspirational. I think I’ll limit my comments to just one race/victory. Colorado just elected America’s first openly gay Governor. What? Are they stoned? See, that is what happens when you get your populace to friggin loosen up and maybe even chill out a bit. I think it is very good news. BTW, we got rid of our sinister Governor Martinez, and got a Democratic governor instead. I call Martinez sinister because one of her first important acts as Governor was to shut off the natural gas in Taos County when the air temperatures were -30º F. There was one other county as well. Both of our counties were the only counties in the state to have the gas cut off. Coincidentally, these were the only two counties in the state where Martinez did not win. Does that seem right to you? Yeh, me too. Gee whiz, I just said I would limit it here to one comment, and I did two. My bad. There’s not enough time to break my word again, so I’ll just wrap it up here, go out to look at the sunrise for a few minutes before I get a rinse in the shower. I kinda feel dirty from watching and listening to all the election stuff. A friend had me over for enchiladas and MSNBC, to watch the running commentary on the election. Fun and scary stuff. Yeh, that should do it for now, except to say that I think it’s time for me to drive up to Colorado soon, to find the wild horses at the border, before T(he)Rump takes their land and turns them all into dog food for American oligarchs. People are saying he’s going to do that; and other stuff. Everybody knows that. Bad boy! Down! Get down!!

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.