“What should I take? Something that will not be missed. In the wood at midnight, a magic flower.” ~ Margaret Atwood
“How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow? I must have a dark side also If I am to be whole.” ~ C. G. Jung
“Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.” ~ Paulo Coelho
“Still write it down, it might be read nothing’s better left unsaid only sometimes, still no doubt it’s hard to see, it all works out” ~ Procol Harum
Down to 40º – that’s the big news for me. The coffee is good but I am in no mood nor hurry to wake up to any effective degree. I finagled life conditions so that I can put off the laundry until Sunday. Casual dinner with a friend this evening, so the day may be left to flow easy. Lap cat. Purring no less. She purrs a lot more in her senior years – one can no longer say “old age”. What, is that considered to be negative thinking? Don’t get me started. By my own decree, I am supposta be stroking my rational mind today, kindling it to light me up after a dark spell on Tuesday. Well, maybe not so dark. What I brushed up against was way dark. I just got scuffed a little. The degree of that scuffing doesn’t always strike any kind of ratio with the degree of the effect it causes within my PTSD world. Now that was some kind of awkward sentence! But it said what it was intended to say. It doesn’t have to make any kind of sense at all. I feel better this morning, but yesterday was a low-grade nightmare of discordant PTSD Wagnerian intensity. Luckily I had therapy in the afternoon. Just as a reminder before I publish this post – I am not whining when I describe these mental issues. I advocate for mental health and illness issues. Sometimes it helps to understand when you hear it from a firsthand point of view. That’s all, folks.
“The difference between theism and nontheism is not whether one does or does not believe in God. . . Theism is a deep-seated conviction that there’s some hand to hold: if we just do the right things, someone will appreciate us and take care of us. . . Nontheism is relaxing with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves.” ~ Pema Chödrön
“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.” ~ Carl Sagan
“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.” ~ Joseph Campbell
Moonlight playing with clouds. The clouds are like . . . well, my mom would have called them buttermilk clouds. A kind of water vapor cosmic curd. Mom wasn’t known to joke about things. I don’t know how I became so irreverent, unless I haven’t and just don’t know it. The Harvest Moon has passed, bringing the orb into view in the western sky, which is all I can see from my usual dark-of-morning perch. I’m almost feeling spiritual this morning. No, wait, almost? Yeh, you read me right. In spirituality a miss is as good as a mile. Add those miles all together and you can go a pretty long way. You can’t lose by missing. That’s the point. You can’t lose at all, unless you’d rather have it that way. That’s your choice to make. None of it is any more than one breath away. And either choice, any choice, you make: no praise, no blame. Yes. That’s what it all boils down to: yes. I’m feeling the waning Moon tickling my inner magic, and that feeling is fraught with many shards of wisdom, most of it not mine, because I read a lot and pick up fascinating things along the way. As of yet I am mostly reserved and content to simply bask in the magic. That may change. Often of late I have wondered about maybe turning to some spell-casting to shake things loose in my life. It is something that I have generally chosen to not do, but I know how and I have done it in the past. This morning I wonder what that might look like, this spell-casting. A Binding spell for the brujas? There is merit in that option, yet I refrain. Or a love spell? Nah, that sort of magic is best left to it’s own devices. Case in point – last week I happened to be in the right place at the right time, when a woman walked through the front door of the store where I work. I was hunkered down looking at product of a bottom shelf, yakking away at the customer I was serving. When the woman walked through the door I was drawn to turn my head and look because I was suddenly within a shadow. The figure of that woman was backlit, a stunning silhouette, hair ablaze in translucence, lit up like a halo. She took my breath away. She looked tall from my point of view on the floor. She touched the place in my heart where the goddess dwells. Her whole front side was too dark to see because of the brightness of the light behind her. I could not see who it was. My reaction of awe was on a more symbolic, more archetypal level. Then she said hello, and the voice was totally familiar. I like that it was her, yet I knew that what I had just experienced, what I had just seen, was something that is in all women. Yeh, I liked that it was her. But my point here is that if there was any spell involved it happened in a natural organic expression, free of my meddling. And that is where I think I will keep it for now. That includes the brujas. Friggin knuckleheads. And on that note I think I will meander on into my workday. I feel focused and in need of a morning shower to remove any toxins that might have seeped through my skin overnight. Life is messy. But it is sometimes a beautiful mess.
“We think in generalities, but we live in detail. To make the past live, we must perceive it in detail in addition to thinking of it in generalities.” ~ Alfred North Whitehead
“Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There’s magic in that. It’s in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift. Your sister may be able to see the future, but you yourself can shape it, boy. Do not forget that… there are many kinds of magic, after all.” ~ Erin Morgenstern
A gentle rain began about ten minutes ago. Up too early, I let myself doze off for about an hour. That snooze is now past. I was kinda sorta all worked up over writing about the past. There is still time, I suppose. It will be light before too long. A legion of memories sit waiting in the borderlands of consciousness. They look to be a cheerful lot. I cannot explain it, this good cheer. What they are waiting for is the true start of the workday. I sometimes let myself open to Flow Consciousness at work. It may be necessary to allow that to happen today, seein’s how my night’s sleep was odd. There was enough sleep. That’s not the issue. I don’t know – what is the issue? Perhaps there is none. The indulgent three hour nap yesterday was just the thing. It worked out well, in spite of my lacking sleep patterns the past week or so. I just don’t feel any need for an explanation. Some people say memory is unreliable, inaccurate, malleable. Yeh, whatever. I say memory instructs, regardless of it accuracy and/or true nature. In the borderlands of consciousness the only rational question that can be asked about the nature of memory is why do you need memory to be accurate? The past instructs. It’s in the way that you use it. Pretty basic stuff, right? Time to get on to my day. Cheers.
“As I stumbled into confusion about what was real and what was not, the strangest thing happened: The world disintegrated. Reality collapsed, or my perception of it. It ripped apart like a dry skin under pressure, giving way to something I can only describe as ineffable dimensions, depths upon depths.” ~ Stefan Emunds
“The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order, a timetable not necessarily – perhaps not possibly – chronological. The time as we know it subjectively is often the chronology that stories and novels follow: it is the continuous thread of revelation.” ~ Eudora Welty
Late to rise. That’s me today. More sleep would have been good. Rosie the cat is on my lap. We are becoming quite close as she enters her senior years. Let’s see – what else? The coffee is well made. The Moon is full. The air is still and almost cold. The presence of Autumn is now unmistakeable. There were many stories in my workaday world yesterday. I like it that way. Some days are just routine – you take the product and I take the money. Sweet and to the point. As much as it can grate on the cheese of my soul, I still love the work. No, wait! “The cheese of my soul”? WTF, right? Yeh. I’m not sure what that means at all. But if I were to examine that poor choice of words, and actually consider it worthy of note, I would have to say that my soul would likely be camembert. Make of that what you will. I am not being irreverent. But maybe I should. No wait! “The cheese of my soul” – that phrase arises from the Monty Python movie: “The Life of Brian”, where Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, was purported to have said “Blessed are the cheesemakers”. Needless to say, camembert goes quite nicely with fresh Bordeaux. Seems to me Jesus had a thing for wine. Too bad I’m a pagan. Anyway . . . there was a distant wail from a coyote just minutes ago. I must head out into the world beyond these walls in no more than one hour. Tis an odd mood that is upon me this morning. Any number of things could have caused this mood. No worries. Maybe it was that woman yesterday afternoon, but I won’t go into that, except to say that I have not felt compelled to gaze into a stranger’s eyes in quite some time. The eyes are the window to the soul. Dang, I might have to have cheese and crackers for lunch.
“A tiny change today brings a dramatically different tomorrow.” ~ Richard Bach
“I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.” ~ Barak Obama
“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.” ~ Abraham Maslow
The wind has finally died down. It was really whipping when I first woke, at 3 AM, coincidentally not more than five minutes before the alarm. I could see some ambient silver light from the Full Moon through the window. The Veil is thin, and since I have on about the Ancestors for the past week I can feel them being there, maybe watching, maybe listening. It matters not. Their presence is unavoidable. Their mere presence is more important than what they are doing. I’m open to guidance, folks. Don’t be shy. About an hour ago I found myself starting to slip into intellectual mode. I don’t mind being there, in fact I like it. But not today. The article I was reading focused on words and meaning, and when the writer began to examine some stuff from Wittgenstein I was like all “Hmmm, now I see where this is going”. I love Wittgenstein. I was introduced to him through reading some of David Foster Wallace’s non-fiction. I don’t know, maybe it’s the Full Moon. Tis a different kind of understanding I need today. Instinct and intuition. That kind of stuff, not the heady realms within my intellectual theater. It’s that self same theater that provides a fast-acting drink of cool, clear healing water when I sink a bit too low in depression, or get too wound up tight through anxiety. The word ‘panic’ derives from the Great God Pan – there be wild things in the forest, my friends. Reading that tasty heady stuff pulls my rational mind back into range. I’ve done that already this morning. I must head out into the workaday world, hypervigilant though I may be. Ear cocked just in case the bruja comes around, and likely she will. My intent for the day is to have fun and make money.
It really sucks, not having a photo to open this post. I may not even be able to post at all; there’s no telling though I am writing anyway. The internet feed seems to have been corrupted in some manner by the storm slash lightning night before last. Service is back on but there seems to be some varied speeds coming through. Things freeze up. The WordPress blogging platform refuses to recognize the validity of the photo, once uploaded. I feel frustrated! But no worries. Massage day today. Time to get and stay mellow. There I go.
“Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.” ~ Erwin Schrödinger
“We feel that even if all possible scientific questions be answered, the problems of life have still not been touched at all.” ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
“Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won’t cheat, then you know he never will. Integrity is not a search for the rewards of integrity. Maybe all you ever get for it is the largest kick in the ass the world can provide. It is not supposed to be a productive asset.” ~ John D. MacDonald
Something strange happened this morning. I gave the cat a command and she obeyed. I cannot explain it. It is some small thing like this that can make the whole day. Cat’s are notoriously headstrong. I think the lesson here is that the cat did not respond to and obey a command, she just happened to understand and agree with what I was saying, to the point where she actually complied. We always get to rewrite the script retroactively. I am satisfied with my assessment. Too bad a firm voice and an articulated expression don’t go over so well with humans. I don’t expect that to change within my lifetime. Just sayin. There is one political thing – no humanitarian issue – I feel compelled to note – this being that the president wants to turn away Bahamian refugees, who’s homes have been pulverized by a hurricane, because they might be very very bad and nasty people. This is literally breathtaking in its stupidity and cruelty. That said, the only other thing of note right now is that I am both perplexed and befuddled by the inexplicable sudden appearance of many more ads on my Facebook newsfeed. All at once. I don’t actually need an explanation. It’s just weird. I think that will be my personal criteria for assessing the legitimacy of artificial intelligence – if it is smart it will know when I don’t wanna hear it. Once again – if people . . . oh, never mind. Let’s be honest: the cat obeyed a command. When that happens, it is bound to be a weird day. Cheers.
“When we illuminate the road back to our ancestors, they have a way of reaching out, of manifesting themselves…sometimes even physically.” ~ Raquel Cepeda
“Don’t let a day go by without asking who you are…each time you let a new ingredient to enter your awareness.” ~ Deepak Chopra
“Pain is not the same as suffering. Left to itself, the body discharges pain spontaneously, letting go of it the moment that the underlying cause is healed. Suffering is pain that we hold on to. It comes from the mind’s mysterious instinct to believe that pain is good, or that it cannot be escaped, or that the person deserves it.” ~ Deepak Chopra
I can see that not much will be written this morning. Just found myself scrolling down the newsfeed on Facebook. It kinda made me dizzy. The only lingering positivity is all the cat videos my cousin posts. Cats are so weird. This morning it is both clouds and stars. One brief moment of a wavering wail from a coyote. Other than that it has been quiet. I don’t mind the coyote song at all. Their calls always make me smile. Sigh. The next three days may well turn out to be intense. I see the psychologist tomorrow, my therapist on Wednesday, and the massage therapist on Thursday. Oughtta be all fixed up after that, right? Better, yes. This stuff is all maintenance. There is nothing to be fixed. My brain and mind are different. That’s all. Depression and trauma can be insidious. But sometimes not. Thinking of all of what is entailed in these difficult feelings can make me want to catch my breath – which is what is happening now. Luckily I can calm this by trimming my beard – of all things. The anxiety is running high this morning. All I can really do is to give it a little loving pat, and hope that it lays low for the workday. That and a little self-care grooming oughtta be enough for today.
“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” ~ Carl Jung
“You are an explorer, and you represent our species, and the greatest good you can do is to bring back a new idea, because our world is endangered by the absence of good ideas. Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness.” ~ Terence McKenna
“There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe.” ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Snow in September? Not at this end. At the tail end? Don’t be too surprised. The photo is of early November snow, up near Pot Creek, along the Little Rio Grande, shortly after mom died, in 2006. This was the last natural outdoor place that I helped her visit, ten days before she meandered on out into the Cosmos proper. I handed her a pair of hand clippers and let her walk for a time. She gathered wild asters. Why this all comes to me on a Sunday morning baffles me, on a rational level. But, more subjectively speaking, mom wants me to. She wants this for me. This memory. Today. Right now. She left on a Sunday morning. That was an emotionally explosive day for me; not because she was dying, there were some other things going on that had me like all “Are you friggin kidding me, dude? Let’s just get this woman along on her journey. Can’t this all wait?!”. I know better now, of course. You don’t have to make sense of all this stuff, but it does help if you integrate it. It all happened concurrently. It doesn’t inherently have to actually mean anything. Death transcends meaning. Feelings are another story. I feel good this morning. Ten hours of sleep. Waking up to find a furry little cat face in front of mine. Meow. Yeh, I hear ya. She’s gone back to sleep now. Fed. Water too – and I scooped out her litter box. I’ve got to go do laundry today. Breakfast burrito from LotaBurger. Yum. Then what? Play some music on the computer, for sure. Music helps to heal the brain from the stress and ravages of daily down to earth consciousness. Maybe work on the new book a tad. Most certainly watch an episode or three of Star Trek NextGen. Self-care. Soul food. Lately it has been all about my soul. And that covers a lot of ground as well. Yesterday I got into an intense and brief yet understated conversation with a young Native woman I know. Culturally speaking, I kinda sorta live in her front yard, so to speak. (At least she didn’t say “get off of my lawn!”). I acknowledged that on my own, then I expressed how my culture, that of my matrilineal ancestors, does not have the immediacy that hers does. We were from elsewhere. I think of my Celtic lineage, and how some of the beliefs and practices of the ancient Celts parallel those of her world. The intensity in her deep brown eyes as we spoke lingers with me this morning. That conversation was soul food as well. My feelings run deep this morning, full of consciousness. I will leave you with the words of the great Jackson Browne:
Your Grandma and her Grandma Sittin’ ’round heaven discussin’ the law
“Nature reflects the moods of the wizard.” ~ Deepak Chopra
“I went to the springs while the sun was still up, and sitting on a rocky outcrop above the cave mouth I watched the light grow reddish across the misty pools, and listened to the troubled voice of the water. After a while I moved farther up the hill, where I could hear birds singing near and far in the silence of the trees. The presence of the trees was very strong…The big oaks stood so many, so massive in their other life, in their deep, rooted silence: the awe of them came on me, the religion.” ~ Ursula K. Le Guin
“You know, it’s a sad and unfortunate state of affairs that you have to live in a world where eight-year-olds refuse to believe in anything that they cannot touch or measure, and anyone who happens to see a thing that is invisible to most people is immediately branded a lunatic.” ~ Caitlín R. Kiernan
Apparently 90 minutes make all the difference. I’m working the closing shift today, which is something I rarely do. It leaves me an extra 90 minutes to fluff up my morning’s whimsy. So now what? I feel a sense of calmness that is a tad above the norm, as far as calmness goes. This is unusual in that I generally, and much more readily, can find calmness in the storm, but in the already calm days – not so much. Whoah – hey, wait – “fluff up my morning’s whimsy”?! Where the heck did that come from? It happens to be a true depiction, but I don’t think you can say these kinds of things. It weirds people out. Come to think of it, that can be a good thing. This I say to you – it may be easier than you might expect to overdose on normality. Weirdness can serve as a kind of Narcan for the soul. Narcan works by blocking the effects of opioids on the body. Weirdness can block the effects of normality on the soul. Case in point, smart phones have become a new norm. Try a little thought experiment here: start early, and see if you can count the number of people you see with their face planted in the screen of their smart phone. It has become normal for people to sit, stand, or walk, around disconnected from the immediate surroundings. What is on the screen is real. All else is furniture. This phenomenon seems a little to close to dissociation for my comfort. But maybe that’s just me. A sweetly attractive woman I know once told me that she doesn’t have time to talk on the phone. Nice – she doesn’t have time for it, and I don’t like it. Needless to say, I never tried to call her. But without the phones mediating the transactional aspects of the relationship a rich and luscious sense of mystery emerges from the flow of life. When you don’t have a text messages coming in every few minutes you may find that you can actually shake off the barnacles of codependence as if they were simply so much dander. Wait – “the barnacles of codependence”?! Nah, I ain’t gonna apologize for that phrase. I like it. I suspect Harry Potter would call it brilliant. Give me a break – at least I didn’t liken, lichen, whatever, your smart phone to a remora copping a free ride on a shark. I’d best stop this train of thought. I’m having too much fun with it. Time to go out and look at the mountains to the east of here.