The Joy of Pencils

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“What drains your spirit drains your body. What fuels your spirit fuels your body.”  ~ Carolyn Myss

“Sometimes I think there are only two instructions we need to follow to develop and deepen our spiritual life: slow down and let go.”  ~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer

“There was a time when people accepted magical experiences as natural. There were no priests then, and no one went chasing after the secrets of the occult.”  ~ Paulo Coelho

“When he kneels at other times and prays or meditates or tries to achieve a Big-Picture spiritual understanding of God as he can understand Him, he feels Nothing — not nothing, but Nothing, an edgeless blankness that somehow feels worse than the sort of unconsidered atheism he Came In with.” ~ David Foster Wallace

I miss writing here! Be back soon. In my absence from EyeYotee I have discovered the pleasure of writing with an actual pencil! It has been many years since I have used a pencil. Pure sensual joy. I should note that Henry Thoureau’s family were in the business of manufacturing pencils. One reason I love that guy.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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Coyote Blood & Politics

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Orange morning Sunlight on the east slope of Picuris peak.

“Formerly, when I would feel a desire to understand someone, or myself, I would take into consideration not actions, in which everything is relative, but wishes. Tell me what you want and I’ll tell you who you are.” ~ Anton Chekhov

“I knew the power of a single wish, after all. Invisible and inevitable, like a butterfly that beats its wings in one corner of the globe and with that single action changes the weather halfway across the world.” ~ Alice Hoffman

“Life is an accumulation of what your Heart and mind has pondered most, a conclusion of all you wishes, dreams and desires.” ~ Steven Redhead

Big sleep last night: ten hours; quite unusual for me. Oh well. I’ll just have to settled for being rested. I’ll be dog sitting for the next four days so I may not post in the interim. I love the dog. She has coyote blood, which makes her a little crazy and way smart. It’ll be fun, no doubt. And I will have access to a couch and a 47 inch flat screen, on which I will be watching MSNBC; or Ghost Adventures. As far as scary is concerned there are similarities between my two chosen venues. Yeh, I’m a gonna watch them Republicans squirm and posture like they need to. That’s politics, kids. I learned in Kindergarten that we all need to get along. What’s with the pre-school attitude, right?

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

A Season of Nurture

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“Her face looked for the answer that is always concealed in language.” ~ John Steinbeck

“Truth is not determined by the number of people telling it or willing to admit to it.” ~ DaShanne Stokes

“Mindfulness helps us get better at seeing the difference between what’s happening and the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happening, stories that get in the way of direct experience. Often such stories treat a fleeting state of mind as if it were our entire and permanent self.” ~ Sharon Salzberg

It has come to my attention that Donald Trump is our first cartoon president. Think Snidley Whiplash or Dick Dastardly. The first one would make Robert Mueller Dudley Do Right. It’s not a stretch, in my estimation. And no, I am not stoned. DT is so shallow that he may as well be two dimensional. I suspect there would be no detectable difference. But enough of that. There is little to say this morning. Of note: the air temperature is below 50º again. That alone makes me happy. Judging by the conversations and quips I hear throughout a workday – where I deal with many people – many people are ready for some rain and/or some chill. It’s not too far off; the shift is underway. Many more people are ready for the prez to chill then go away. Whatever. I’m more concerned about the weather. The DT Show has it’s own momentum. So does the weather. That’s where my money is, for the best that life has to offer right now, and upon good advice I am striving to nurture myself more, to treat myself more respectably than I have for the past 6+ years. No praise, no blame. Giving myself to the change of season is ultimately nurturing. That is simply enough for now. For me, anyway. With a new season to come you know you will get a change whether ya want it or not. I’m just talking about Autumn here. Poor Donny boy will likely be quite unhappy come the Solstice. Too bad, so sad.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Choice: Reuben or Cheeseburger

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Hummingbird moth with catnip

“Behind the facade of your life, there is something beautiful and eternal happening.” ~ John O’Donohue

“You cannot imagine the craving for rest that I feel—a hunger and thirst. For six long days, since my work was done, my mind has been a whirlpool, swift, unprogressive and incessant, a torrent of thoughts leading nowhere, spinning round swift and steady” ~ H. G. Wells, When the Sleeper Wakes

“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.”  ~ Black Elk

Overcast, 50º F. Sleeping cat, hot coffee, second cup. The truth is it ain’t working. Groggy, puffy eyes. Adequate sleep, yes, but I am also almost feeling greedy about the rest I desire. It’s a workday. Sans conflict a workday for me is easy enough, it carries its own momentum, inertia, whatever. Sometimes I can feel it as if Shakespeare’s “All the world is a stage” is a recommendation for equanimity. If it is that it ain’t such a bad idea, overall. But at the moment I don’t care about that kind of stuff. The soul’s call is the beacon it was meant to be for me. Maybe for you too, I don’t know. Within the Light of that beacon, unfolded potential and probability shimmer, manifested as Longing. I see it as something that pulls me forward, rather than me pushing against the wind’s of change that manifest from the soul’s desire. That’s desire for ya, a blustery kind of thing that likely smacks you around as you go. Longing, as I see and relate to it, does no such thing. Longing manifests as peace here and peace there, and by bringing together both points and places in time, in a kind of crafted radiance, you free the Longing to once again fly, perhaps to soar, and it phases over into whatever new field where the Longing is most needed. Longing is a call from the future, perhaps presenting dreams as vehicles, perhaps not. Desire is a kind of restlessness, ready to push, not pull. They are hardly compatible. Yet they are metaphorical cousins. Go figure, right? Yeh, whatever. Listen, I have been craving, nearly desiring, a Reuben sandwich. With a big fat garlicky pickle on the side. A pint of pilsner alongside. This is not Longing, this is desire. In Longing I have no idea where fulfillment might unfold nor what it might look like. I know exactly what a Reuben looks like and where to get one. And right across the highway is a pizza joint. Desire can create conflict, whereas Longing likely creates resolution, not merely satisfaction. Does that all make sense? I know it has my mouth watering. And it’s time to get to my workday. I’m out of sandwich fixings here at home, so will I go get a Reuben for lunch? Or a green chile cheeseburger. Yeh, that would be wonderful as well.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

After a Night of Fair Darkness

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“It’s all a matter of paying attention, being awake in the present moment, and not expecting a huge payoff. The magic in this world seems to work in whispers and small kindnesses.” ~ Charles de Lint

“The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a Woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she knows.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

“What I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness.” ~ Barbara Kingsolver

Sweetness describes the morning; honey, nectar, hummingbirds, stuff like that. The Sun just crested the high peaks and the land here, with its waist-high sage forest, begins to shine, after a fair night of darkness. I slept deep, out of range of the daily waking world, the world that gives me all of these aches and pains, and edgy moods, and sublime moods, and shimmers of kindness. Eight hours of dream-saturated sleep of the restorative kind. My empathy filters need changing, I think. I’m empathic to begin with, and after the head trauma was born, yonder back in 1984, the empathy went off the scale for a while. It all leveled out after 3-4 years. It still runs strong. Seein’s how I’ve been so reclusive for the past few years, curled down into a hidey hole, I’ve begun to uncurl that curl, which kinda means I gotta get more used to being all open to the world and stuff. Ya reckon it hurts to do so? Yeh, it does. Two workdays of intensive and immediate human contact has me gazing and contemplating the rag doll effect, which succinctly defines how my body feels this morning. This central nervous system ain’t no beauty neither, at the moment; a coupla tokes and perhaps a fresh cup of coffee being the obvious treatment needed. Soon come, mon. Everything is cool. I’m gonna hang loose, replace the empathy filters, plug my head into some kind of story on Netflix, let my own personal story idle for a spell. That is why it is a sweet day. Yes.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Front Porch Rockers

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“Nothing listens as well as a blank page.” ~ Shaun Hick

“When fears are screaming in your ears, try to hear the whispers of your faith and run into that dark path. That is how you reach the paradise.” ~ Akshay Vasu

“He fell, toppling forward into the sand. He hadn’t even fully realised he’d lost his balance until the ground told him. And the ground didn’t whisper.” ~ Dean Wilson

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”  ~ Carl Jung

Why don’t I feel rushed? I should, I slept late. I always feel rushed when I sleep late. What’s up with that? Whatever. Regardless, I don’t feel rushed, I have a cat on my lap, I have a cup of hot Starbucks French Roast, the sky is overcast, and a probably fun day of work awaits. Lucky me. I’m kinda sorta gonna try to stress gratitude today. Yes, yes, yes, I am blessed. Now what? Well, I feel a bit snarky. The Grateful Dead accompanied my waking this morning, and continue to do so on a loop in my mind: “A Touch of Gray”. It was probably that old fella yesterday at work; a customer, 88 years old. We talked about aging. He’s been at it longer than I have so I reckon he knows a thing or two. But we mostly, in a brief conversation, talked about aches and pains and the urgency of that first pot of coffee. Stuff we have in common. But he reminded me most that no friggin way do I want to grow that old, unless maybe – maybe – I have a comparably old woman at my side in our rockers on the front porch, listening to “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult. But, no, wait! I get medical cannabis, it might not be so bad. Nah, dude, it’s the woman or nothing. Silly me.


Time to go look at the dance between the mountains, the Sun, and the sky.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Long Before Actual Dawn

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“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

“And then there were cats, thought Dog. He’d surprised the huge ginger cat from next door and had attempted to reduce it to cowering jelly by means of the usual glowing stare and deep-throated growl, which had always worked on the damned in the past. This time they had earned him a whack on the nose that had made his eyes water. Cats, Dog considered, were clearly a lot tougher than lost souls. He was looking forward to a further cat experiment, which he planned would consist of jumping around and yapping excitedly at it. It was a long shot, but it just might work.”

“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 H. Burroughs

That first quote, from Mark Twain, tickles me, and always will. It was underscored yesterday when I took Rosie over to the veterinarian to get her blood sugar levels checked. She’s never happy going over there – a drive of maybe seven miles one way – but yesterday did not want to go. I managed to get her into the carrier without spilling any of my blood. Rosie did, however, apparently snag the vet tech a good one. When he brought the cat back out from wherever he had her he was sporting a paper towel wrapped around his right hand. All he said was, “This is a feisty one”, then scurried away,  back from whence he came. I felt bad for him and apologized for the wound; overall, no big deal, though I didn’t say so. Sure, I chuckled some after he left, just as I usually did at the animal shelter, when I worked there, most every time some feline snagged me a good one. The humor for me is in the fact that regardless of all the “nice kitty” hype that cats get these little beasties are deadly predators, they are loaded for bear from birth. Everyone gets pissed off once in a while. Years ago I got pissed at the dentist who took an hour to pull one of my wisdom teeth. As the faithful barefoot island hippy boy I was in those days I breathed my way into an alpha state and continued to allow myself to be there throughout the ordeal. When the dentist finished the intrusion he snapped me out of the trance, holding the tooth in front of my face, and said, “I can’t believe you did that without gas!”. It was praise but I still wanted to hit him, like ya know he coulda just given me gas somewhere along the line, after he realized that I might be suffering from the extended time it was taking. But no. I was pissed! There was no actual suffering because in an alpha state the brain is pretty much just taking it all in through the auspices of the mindfulness meditation, in an intentional exercise that resembles the Silva Mind Control Method. I see it as a manifestation of Goddess energy: “Stay calm, child, there is no need for resistance. Everything is going to be okay. It is resistance to the pain that causes suffering “. And she would be right. He went on to point out that the tooth had four roots, which he said is rare, and that all four roots had firmly fixed themselves into my lower jaw bone. Of course I didn’t hit him. But back to the cat. I still have not heard from the vet; come to just now find out that my voicemail box was full, and sometimes calls fail to appear on my call log anyway. So I will have to call at break time from work. Two weeks ago we ceased her daily insulin injections because the glucose test showed a level of 38, which is critically low. My hopes are up. She hasn’t had insulin for two weeks now, and since cats, unlike humans, can actually recover from diabetes, that’s the way I want it to be. Anyway . . . I can hear some coyotes howling in the distance, in the darkness before the dawn. Geez, “the darkness before the dawn”? How trite, how aphoristic, how annoying that I had to use the phrase because it best describes what is happening here and now. I know that the phrase is a subjective consideration, statement, whatever, and not a scientific one, because starting with nautical dawn, the rising of light begins long before actual dawn, and the darkness begins fading long before it vanishes altogether. It’s the dark night of the soul that is key here. I get that on a daily basis, every friggin morning, and it is rarely to any significant degree. Which is the case today. The fake rooster has begun to crow and the coyotes have gone silent. Time to meander out to the side yard and see what the mountains and the Sun are up to.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously

Positivity and Adventure

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“In our description of nature the purpose is not to disclose the real essence of the phenomena but only to track down, as far as possible, relations between the manifold aspects of our experience.” ~ Neils Bohr

“Modernist manuals of writing often conflate story with conflict. This reductionism reflects a culture that inflates aggression and competition while cultivating ignorance of other behavioral options. No narrative of any complexity can be built on or reduced to a single element. Conflict is one kind of behavior. There are others, equally important in any human life, such as relating, finding, losing, bearing, discovering, parting, changing. Change is the universal aspect of all these sources of story. Story is something moving, something happening, something or somebody changing.” ~ Ursula K. Le Guin

It’s been a strange few days for me, and I am wiped out from the whole adventure. See, I’m working on my positivity, I called it an “adventure”. Hey, and what about the national news? Ain’t it all weird and scary? Yes it is. But I have a cat on my lap and two cups of coffee in my belly. I hate the word “belly”, but what ya gonna do? You only have so much to work with. Anyway, I’m running late again, darn it. It has felt good to ease out for a while before work. I don’t usually do that. I will space out on occasion, but that is usually not restful. Besides, I can space out any time of day. But, alas, it is time to boost the cat and step into a new day. Is it the first day of the rest of my life? I’d best say yes it is, since I am working on my positivity.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

A Symbol of Willingness

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“A writer – and, I believe, generally all persons – must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges

“I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here. I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell.” ~ Richard Feynman

It’s over now, the Full Moon, the emotional intensity, the magic. Well . . . not the magic. That hangs around all the time, as far as I can tell; it’s just that it is pretty much always nearly impossible to see. The thing about that is you don’t see it to connect with it. Faith and perseverance are what it takes. Then you must ask for connection. Or at least that’s what I do. And I have to be willing to remain consciously aware, and metaphorically step back, as a symbol of willingness to accept the reply to your request. I know how to create happiness at most needed and/or voluntary times, but I haven’t reached any significant level of patience and acceptance . . . yet. No worries, there’s still time. As for now, in this moment, it’s nap cat on her paper grocery bag on the floor, the tail end of the coffee, a sweet chill in the dark morning air, and the whispering of Brighid, almost giggling. Whatever. I feel good about the day, although I woke up to fairly intense shoulder pains. A couple of tokes and about a half an hour of moving around and stretching like a cat. The thought I want to carry into the day, as my guide stone, to facilitate the connection to whatever it is that doles out magic. This thing tickles me: the young woman at the dispensary knows me by name. As an old barefoot island hippie boy I find that very amusing. Who knew, right? Cannabis stores? You gotta be yanking my leg! Never happen; no way, no how . . .  says my younger self. No worries.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Just Getting Good

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“Don’t worry. You’ll find your message in your mess.” ~ Richie Norton

“In photographs taken from the sky, cities resembled circuit boards. It was no surprise, really, that there were sparky misfirings, dangerous connections. Even traffic, Alice concluded, set up a kind of static in the air, let loose vibrations and uncontainable agitation. Freighted with more than they could absorb, with city intentions, citizens moved in designs of inexplicable purpose.” ~ Gail Jones

“So when I watch trains, it makes me think about how much movement there is in the world. How every train has dozens of cars and every car has hundreds of parts, and all those parts and cars work day after day. And then there are all these other motions. People are born and die. Seasons change. Rivers flow to the sea. Earth circles the sun and the moon circles Earth. Everything whirring and spinning toward something. And I get to be part of it for a little while, the way I get to watch a train for a minute or two, and then it’s gone.” ~ Jeff Zentner

It’s one of those mornings when writing seems to be a secondary consideration. Like, ya know, I don’t have time to write the crafted stuff I’ve been enjoying so much. This is something new about my writing: I am consciously aware of giving consideration and mindfulness to the way I craft sentences. Whatever. Yeh, sorta, but this is almost like achieving a goal I didn’t know I had. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned this to my massage therapist, and she went silent for a spell, fingers working away at the tortured muscles in my upper back. Stuff hurts. I was face down, of course, which means that I could not see her as we chatted. So, anyway, I’d mentioned my joy at finally consciously crafting sentences instead of spitting out almost channeled material. After the pause she said, verbatim, “Maybe you’re just getting good”. It was one of those ‘moment of reflection’ moments. I didn’t say thank you, but the compliment (she did read my book) was obvious. Of course it would have hit me differently if I had been able to see her face. There are levels of communications going on during conversation that are non-verbal. I wish I could see her as we converse. But there is work to do and she does it well. At the moment, realtime meatspace, I am fixin’ to head out to watch the sunrise over the mountains, for a spell, until I get my self looking presentable, then head on down into town to go to work. The rooster has just begun with his wimpy crowing. Sounds like he’s downed-out by Xanax or something. I remember that feeling, back when Xanax was one of the lifesavers that lifted me up from the worst spell of depression I ever had. My crow was kinda wimpy for a while. But that was yesterday. Today, right now, I’m gonna get my assets in gear and do this thing. I feel happy enough.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.