The Rest is Just Words

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“Between the silence of the mountains
And the crashing of the sea
There lies a land I once lived in
And she’s waiting there for me
But in the grey of the morning
My mind becomes confused
Between the dead and the sleeping
And the road that I must choose” ~ Justin Hayward, the Moody Blues

Purring lap cat, hot, rich coffee. It’s an exceptionally quiet morning. If there has been any traffic noise from US 64, I haven’t noticed. No animal sounds either. As for me . . . well, yesterday was strenuous. And bizarre. I don’t need to go all hyperbolic to express the strenuousness. Intense stuff. Let’s leave it at that. But, bizarre? Yeh. That one’s hard to explain. Again, no hyperbole. I have no need to convince anyone except myself, and I already know, so WTF, right? What I’m saying is that I’m more tired than usual. Well-earned tiredness too, I might add. Good sleep. Long enough. And to top it all off, last night was the first time this year that I have been able to leave the window open while I slept. The pleasure in that is also something that I will not try to express adequately. I refuse to use an exclamation point. Now, moving forward . . . . I got a lesson in perspective, early yesterday morning, while on the job. An exceptionally beautiful young woman complimented me. Just last week she complimented me on my hair, which has grown out all long and wavy and stuff. Yesterday she called me handsome. Small stuff, right? Yes and no. No . . .  wait . . . yes. Whatever. Sometimes I get flustered and confused. The woman is maybe half my age. A thought like that comes to mind, and all it really did this time was to make me furrow my brow in perplexity (I do that a lot anyway). It was a simple compliment, no mas. What’s age got to do with it? It’s all about perspective, and how soul stuff pushes forth and tickles my intellect and inner bard to express the wordless wonder of life. With soul stuff it’s all about connection – interconnectivity. You’ve heard that we are all one . . . . what the heck am I doing? I’m smiling, inside and out. I’ve been reminded of that greater world that encompasses our mundane world. Once in a while I feel it consciously. Many years ago I got to enter that greater world. I need to be reminded once in a while, just how little we know of magic. For me, magic is sometimes expressed through the beaming smile of a beautiful young woman. That’s all I’m saying. The rest is just words.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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Time Matters Not

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“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

“Each of us is an artist of our days; the greater our integrity and awareness, the more original and creative our time will become.” ~ John O’Donohue

“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. McDonald

Dawdle? Nah, the time I spend reading and watching videos online each morning is rarely wasted. It just takes me a while to get around to writing a daily blog post, and I do like to keep it as close to daily as I can. It used to be that I would read and watch all this stuff, in good part, as a source of inspiration for the day’s post. The news has gotten too darn ugly? Prez says it’s the media’s fault. “Ma, he hit me first”. That sort of thing. But I digress. The pure ugliness of what is oozing up out of the ground-state of America (racism being but one of the effluents) consumes a lot of souls, for a few hours everyday, then spits them back out for a few hours, then . . . ?  Prez says there is a swamp. Have you ever been deep into the Everglades? Now THERE’S a swamp! What prez says is a swamp is more like a small terrarium on his desk, where he raises pet turtles, and he don’t care none too much for them neither. As for my inspiration, or lack thereof, it’s not really too hard to find. Take the visit, in the early morning darkness, from coyotes. I heard them twice this morning. Not the lovelier songs they sing, rather the more utilitarian sounds of the hunt. It’s all good. It would take me several thousand words to describe how much these predators, and their symbolic weight, mean to me. I often remind myself that although the coyote is spurned by some as a Trickster and harbinger of death, they are more than that. Look on the bright side of life, right? Yeh buddy. But to me, in essence the coyote speaks of balance. Yeh, yeh, yeh, Coyote often plays the fool, but he seems to usually learn from the consequences of his folly. That happens to swamp creatures as well. One such swamp creature ain’t what ya might expect from a swamp creature. Deep in the Everglades, deftly hiding, live a couple of hundred panthers. Yeh, as in friggin big cats. You’re not likely to run into one unless you go astray. I suspect that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is one of them big cats. You just can’t see it too well because he ain’t pounced yet. And soooo . . . . seems I did find inspiration after all. But I wasn’t using the Everglades as a metaphor or something. Really. I spent a small bit of time camping out in the depth of the Glades. There lies true magic, not prestidigitation. Out there time matters not.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Happiness in the Dark

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 “Reality, as you currently experience it, is something like a waking dream. It is disguising deeper and more intensified levels of being and knowing. For those who are ready and willing, the doors to those other levels now stand open.” ~ Daniel Pinchbeck

“It’s a very salutary thing to realize that the rather dull universe in which most of us spend most of our time is not the only universe there is. I think it’s healthy that people should have this experience.” ~ Aldous Huxley

There is neither time nor inclination, but I admit to a strange urge to go academic with this post. Ain’t gonna happen is what I’m sayin’. Back when I was getting an occasional letter to the editor published in local newspapers, down in the Florida Keys, a friend asked my dad why my writing went from scholarly to vernacular, all in the same letter. Dad simply told her that it was my style. Dad later told me that his explanation seemed only to add to her perplexity. She had also told him that in reading my stuff she was almost inclined to agree. Perish the thought, right? Whatever. I later found out that she was a Republican, and one that was enmeshed in the early stirrings of the modern (this was 27 or so years ago) version of the party that seems to be perpetually saying to Democrats “Get the fuck out of our way and you will feel better”. They are also showing new gall these days in threatening prosecution for simple disagreement, but that is a different story. I don’t know, it baffles me to this day. The woman who introduced me to the one who was perplexed by my writing also turned out to be one of those Republicans. Through the years, since then, I have learned that many of the people in my circle of friends back then were actually Republicans. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, other than the fact that the evolution of the party has shoved us into grim and dire straits. But enough of that. I’ve got a mixed blessing going since yesterday. The good news is that a much too long ( 2-3 weeks) “up” cycle of hypomania has passed, and a much more familiar down cycle of depression is setting in. I prefer the depression, if you must know. Management of these conditions is quite possible, and can be highly effective, but it’s not like I have a choice. At this point is where I could go up against the “you create your own reality” crowd. There’s no use in that. And even if I did, they should, according to their creed, see it coming a mile away. And on that cryptic note I must be meandering along into my workday. There’s a sunrise to glance at then a brief hot shower to be had, but before I go I want to remind you that happiness can be conjured in both the up and the down cycles I endure; I’ve just had a lot more practice at creating it the thick of depression. Comes in handy.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Rest and Reflection

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Red willows along the Little Rio Grande

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”~ Philip Pullman

“Stories, like people and butterflies and songbirds’ eggs and human hearts and dreams, are also fragile things, made up of nothing stronger or more lasting than twenty-six letters and a handful of punctuation marks. Or they are words on the air, composed of sounds and ideas-abstract, invisible, gone once they’ve been spoken-and what could be more frail than that? But some stories, small, simple ones about setting out on adventures or people doing wonders, tales of miracles and monsters, have outlasted all the people who told them, and some of them have outlasted the lands in which they were created.” ~ Neil Gaiman

“People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact, it’s the other way around.” ~ Terry Pratchett

Almost on the edge of poetic perspective. I could be wrong, and what’s right is that it’s just the lingering effects of a little more gabapentin at bedtime than I am accustomed to. A sedative dose was really the right thing as well. Too wired up; hypomanic stuff. It worked, allowing/creating a sweet eight hour sleep. The lingering effects are mostly sluggishness of the brain, mind, whatever. That’s okay, and I thought about it before I added to the usual dose, then deciding that the after-effects were worth the inconvenience. Well, it could be an inconvenience if I had any compulsory things to do. But nada. Lucky me. Part of my being wired is from following the Trump tsunami. Recently I read that there is a legitimate new psychological malady that resembles OCD. It’s the blending of a 24/7 news cycle with the president’s vomitous proclamations to the world. Guy’s whacked. People with the new malady get almost obsessive about getting back online to see what that scoundrel DT is up to. He’s up to no good. That I can tell you. Anybody that hasn’t figured that out by now is probably also one of those people who publicly marvel at the geniuses in the Flat Earth Society. Fan girls and boys; deluded, clueless, and adamant as shit. But, hey, I’m edgy today, so I could be feeling a tad too clever, and likely to say wrong things, out of sheer, dark humor. But it’s all good, and no worries. The poetic urge I mentioned upfront is real enough; perhaps even realer than that; more real than real. Get it? It makes no sense at all, that phrase, yet it’s a valid feeling. I’ll be sticking with this feeling today. There is nothing I absolutely have to do today. I’m beginning to come around, to think of Sunday as a day of rest and reflection. And on we go.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Anywhere and Anytime

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“Who are these children
Who scheme and run wild
Who speak with their wings
And the way that they smile
What are the secrets
They trace in the sky
And why do you tremble
Each time they ride by” ~ Steely Dan, Your Gold Teeth Pt. II

“He was painfully shy, which, as is often the manner of the painfully shy, he overcompensated for by being too loud at the wrong times.”  ~ Neil Gaiman, Stardust

“Every lover is, in his heart, a madman, and, in his head, a minstrel.”  ~ Neil Gaiman, Stardust

Clear sky with stars. Good coffee. Sleeping cat. And I had a nice, rich dose of Rachel Maddow video to spark up my rational mind; such as it is. I’ve had three days off from work in a row. I would expect to feel trepidacious about going into town after this break, but I do not. It’s all good, right? Right. The truth is that my main focus of attention, to fact and feeling, is more in the Dreamtime than not. The way I describe it here this morning might give the wrong impression. In a Dreamtime-saturated state such as this the dreamer is not some spaced out hippie dude, pollyanna, whatever. It is a state of exploration of the mysteries of the day. It is an exploration of the patterns of the heart, and the shape of what the mind is seeing. That last is kinda sorta referring to metaphors, which I see as snapshot of patterns in the mind, but these snapshots tend to stir things up rather than nailing them down. If in contemplating a metaphor you come to an insight, and exclaim “I nailed it!”, all you have really done is kill it. Earlier this morning I perused back a day to read yesterday’s post. I should note that the post shows a lot about me that usually does not show in this venue; not openly. One phrase stuck me, and I wanted to repeat it, so here goes: “Suffice it to say that it messed me up, in a way that seems to be a shadow pattern in the web of trauma that crystallized into PTSD when I bumped my head against the tarmac.”. Why this is noteworthy is simple: it gestures toward an important point about PTSD as I experience it. For me the ‘point of crystallization’ was the bicycle crash. But the disturbance that was born at the moment of the crash essentially serves as a dispatch center. Any and all separate traumas, anywhere and anytime in my whole life, past, present, or future, can be called upon when the trigger is tripped by some current event. Thus the trepidation I feel toward the black-haired woman. Oops. I didn’t mean to say that, but I wrote it down, quite spontaneously, so it’s all good. No worries. My therapists suggests that this is goddess, Divine Feminine, stuff, and that the woman I mention here may be no more than a messenger, or beacon to light my way through the smoky charcoal residue from PTSD. Funny, but that’s how I see it as well. Go figure.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

More Than Happenstance

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“Till I thought of what I’d say
Which connection I should cut
I was feeling part of the scenery
I walked right out of the machinery
My heart going boom boom boom
“Hey” he said “Grab your things
I’ve come to take you home.” ~ Peter Gabriel, Solsbury Hill

 Was I married to a sociopath? Sorta seems that way. Not that it matters, but it does. I somehow sorta drifted into that territory yesterday in therapy, sans the casual diagnosis. Sweet, bubbly, hippie, professional ballerina, beautiful voice, intelligent, but . . . hmmmm. The therapist brought it up. I was giving an overview of the wild ride that was my first romance in life. If I only knew, right? Yeh buddy. Anyway, at one point the therapist broke my soliloquy, with one simple phrase: “She sounds like a sociopath”. Wow. I never would have thought of that. Seems about right. Let’s not get into the depth work and process this morning. Suffice it to say that it messed me up, in a way that seems to be a shadow pattern in the web of trauma that crystallized into PTSD when I bumped my head against the tarmac. That’s not a metaphor; at least it doesn’t have to be. Now, back to the future. This is my second morning home after a week of housesitting, in the house I lived in for seven years, until suddenly the relationship . . . well, I’m over it as much as I can be. I’m telling stories here. It wasn’t sudden, and she was/is far from being a sociopath. But stories? Seems to me that you have the choice of memories or stories; you don’t get both. The story of that hippie ballerina can only be told from a grand perspective. The intimate stuff seems cartoonish at this point and place in time. Background stuff as I take another drink of rich, deep black, strong and hot, coffee, and listen to the hen who thinks she’s a rooster, crowing to coax the sun up. Is that a metaphor? Maybe. There was a chorus of manic coyotes earlier. It’s not my favorite – the howls are. I always take that manic yipping and squealing to be a celebration of the hunt. Whatever it is it adds an early thrill to the morning. Now, I can see the rising light of morning through a crack between the curtains. I’m in no hurry to get to the laundromat, but there I go. Later. For now, that stuff about a sociopathic ex-wife and a PTSD “challenged” man is in essence a clash between worlds, which burgeoned playfully within the cusp of Beltane. Daytime and the Dreamtime became entangled, and they still are. And the examination and exploration of that stuff was inspired by a dream, which seems to have been in turn inspired by a woman with black hair and brown eyes. I don’t know why her in particular, but whatever. I won’t spin it like some alt-right republican. Stuff happens. Happenstance. But there’s a lot more than happenstance to this world. I’m talkin’ magick. My ex-wife claimed to be a witch. Ya reckon?

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

A Perspective Thing

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“I watched the spinning stars, grateful, sad and proud, as only a man who has outlived his destiny and realizes he might yet forge himself another, can be.” ~ Roger Zelazny

“One of the deepest longings of the human soul is to be seen.” ~ John O’Donohue

“Our deepest longings and the question of who we are intended to be cuts us in half, dividing us within ourselves. At critical stages and significant moments in the course of life, we sink with the weight of our own questions; we drown in our own psyche in order to reach a subtle ground that secretly sustains our every breath. In that sense, all separations, splits, and conflicts are evidence of a unity we long to find, both individually and collectively.” ~ Michael Meade

Coyotes and frost welcome me home this morning. For me it’s mostly about the cat. I have indeed missed her presence. She seems to be remarkably calm, considering that past absences such as this have been met with annoying behavior upon my return. Count my blessings, right? Yeh. I’m still short on words today. I feel more exhausted than any time in recent memory, and yes, I earned it. And I welcome the stretching of will, and patience. It’s all good. Today is therapy at noon then back to the solitude. The cat doesn’t count. The solitude is all about people, and relies solely on their being elsewhere – or on my being elsewhere. It’s a perspective thing. So much to think about, yet such thoughts disappear into a haze when pursued. As well they should. Yer friggin exhausted dude. What do you expect? I remind myself that . . . oh. never mind. I’ll just feed the cat, then give her her insulin injection. Water the chickens as well. Keep it simple.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

Solid-Deep Moments

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“My destination is no longer a place, rather a new way of seeing.” ~ Marcel Proust

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” ~ Charles Dickens

“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”   ~ Rainer Marie Wilke

Gray sky fading to pale blue, out west from the mountains. I’m liking the gray sky today. The thing is that I return home this evening. It’s the cat I have missed the most – crazy critter. I want it gray; neutral and serene. It’s been a difficult week, and has proven to be a great shift in the way I see the world. Let’s hope it remains that way for a while, and never to have it backslide into prior perspectives. Hmmmm, I mentioned a strega a few days ago; saw her yesterday, briefly. She has zero idea of my interest – or perhaps curiosity – in her, but there is something in those side-glance solid-deep moments of eye contact that says otherwise. Whatever her place in my life, she comes as a messenger. Catalysts for change can indeed be fleeting, even she it is someone who returns to an acquaintance after that brief flash of insight and “aha!” is past. Likely that is what she is, and I welcome it. Soul stuff dude. I like it. Not enough of that in this world. Says me.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Technologies of the Soul

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“Technologies of the soul tend to be simple, bodily, slow and related to the heart as much as the mind. Everything around us tells us we should be mechanically sophisticated, electronic, quick, and informational in our expressiveness – an exact antipode to the virtues of the soul. It is no wonder, then, that in an age of telecommunications – which, by the way, literally means “distant connections” – we suffer symptoms of the loss of soul. We are being urged from every side to become efficient rather than intimate.” ~ Thomas Moore

Tomorrow I return home. It’s been a long, stressful week and the rest that is to come appeals to my soul, greatly and intimately. Yes.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously

In a Wondrous Place

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“The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma.”  ~ Judith Lewis Herman

“Even in times of trauma, we try to maintain a sense of normality until we no longer can. That, my friends, is called surviving. Not healing. We never become whole again … we are survivors. If you are here today… you are a survivor. But those of us who have made it thru hell and are still standing? We bare a different name: warriors.”  ~ Lori Godwin

“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

Times like these are enough to make me curse like a bartender. Ha! I bet you think that to curse like a sailor would be a more appropriate choice of words. Nah. I disdain being a conformist. Listen, I am in the thick of a PTSD anxiety episode. It’s been five days now, and it was a silent attack. Like a silent heart attack: you don’t consciously know it at the time, you just feel like shit. I got pulled over by a rightly professional Taos County cop last Wednesday, when a meeting I was at ran an hour late. It was the right headlight, and I knew it was kaput. At one point I had to dig in my bag for the flashlight, because my insurance card fell out of the envelope when I pulled it out of the glove compartment. When the cop reached down and seemed to put his hand on his gun I stopped searching, then looked down and saw the card at last. He was courteous., and let me go with only a verbal warning. Nice. I never drive at night, so I was waiting to get the light replaced. The silent attack occurred when the cop reached for his gun. I admire his work, but geez mister it was just an equipment violation dude. Dude you and other cops like have and deserve my compassion, dude. Anyway . . . meds are kicking in and I gotta go to work. Cat fed and medicated. BTW, my house and dog sitting gig got extend two days, because my friends travel companion had an appendicitis attack, and after surgery had to wait two days to be cleared for the flight back from the New Orleans Jazz Festival. I’ve got two needy animals to look after and take care of, a job to go to for gainful employment. I took a long drive up to the Colorado border in search of wild hoses, yesterday. Dag nab it, I didn’t see any. But what a drive! I live in a wondrous place.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.