The Nature of Happiness

“I paint what I see and not what others like to see.”~ Édouard Manet

“Why harrow oneself by looking on the worst side? Because it is sometimes necessary.” ~ Agatha Christie

“Given its old-fashioned means and limited subject matter, realism is quite incapable of describing the complexity of contemporary experience.” ~ Ursula K. Le Guin

“I took to fantasy like a duckling to water. Unfortunately for me, there was nobody around then to tell me that fantasy was the most realistic of arts, expressing as it does the contents of the human soul directly.” ~ Joanna Russ

There is frost on the windows of my car. 26º. I love it. Then again, I like to think the weather is not a PR stunt, that Mother Nature doesn’t make mistakes. So it’s nearly the end of May. So what? Baby, it’s cold outside. I like to be a realist, though not so much in my writing. I agree with what Ms. Le Guin wrote in the quote above. Rigid reality just freaks me out, likely because it has such a “man behind the curtain” potential. Okay, so I don’t like rigid reality. And I reckon it’s okay that I don’t like it. Nor do I care for a bright-sided view of the world and how we approach it. Nor do . . . now wait just a darned minute here. I am in no mood to discuss the nature of reality. The nurturance of the soul would be a more appropriate venue for my current mood. Would that I could, if I had the time. And you know what? I have a mood disorder, so what do I know anyway. My dear friend, Lady Di, and I – over a beer and a smoke -liked to say that depressives actually have a more realistic view of the world. She had a mood disorder as well. But what does that mean, anyway? Were we just rationalizing our medical conditions? Yeh, whatever. Diane passed up on a full scholarship to MIT, in applied mathematics, to follow the Grateful Dead. What’s up with that, right? I was not diagnosed back then, but I knew what was happening with me. I intuited the bipolar disorder, and I knew it only remotely resembled the vernacular use of the term “bipolar”. That was back in the early 1990s. By 2000 I’d come to intuit the PTSD as well. The diagnosis came in 2014. Having an actual psychiatrist agree with my assessment was no comfort at all, though the subsequently prescribed meds were indeed a comfort, and I have no notion of stopping them for now. Go figure. I’d already tried numerous natural remedies before 2014 and my body was like all “Awww, dude, really?”. And no, my meds don’t make me all dopey and stuff. Why I am on about this this morning is a mystery, and it shall remain so. It’s time to shower and head out into the world. I’m not too concerned about what manner of reality I will find out there today, because I know how to conjure up authentic happiness, and that doesn’t mean I am always cheerful. I’m not. Geez Louise, now I’m on the verge of discussing the nature of happiness. Best get going. Tally ho!

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.


Watching and Feeling the Wind Dance

“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

“The Portuguese call it saudade: a longing for something so indefinite as to be indefinable. Love affairs, miseries of life, the way things were, people already dead, those who left and the ocean that tossed them on the shores of a different land — all things born of the soul that can only be felt.” ~ Anthony De Sa

“It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are still alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger for them.” ~ George Elliot

A northeast canyon wind blows, hard, unrelenting – yes, hard, fierce enough to make even the ravens look unsteady in their flight. The ravens are among the best up there on the wind. The wind is pushing through, down through Pueblo Canyon out on the Rez. If I didn’t have to go out today, I wouldn’t go. But it is massage day; always needed, always welcomed, where I am always ripe with gratitude. Lucky me. So there ya have it – the trees must dance on a day like this. The forecast is for 25-35 mph winds, gusting over 40 on occasion. That is already achieved. Things look crazy and chaotic outside my window. No wonder, gale warnings should be posted.That commotion matches some portion of my mind. That portion is where trauma, depression, and hypomania, dance a dance. So do I, hopping around side to side, like a racquetball player, constantly and somewhat urgently shuffling into the optimum position, to keep the game going, to maybe bring peace to the place where the fires of anxiety incessantly burn, and that for which I yearn, a place where I can catch my breath on the way to calming my soul beckons, with curled finger pointed toward the morning sky. It seems like only last week that I was thinking about writing a book about dealing with trauma and depression. That idea kinda floated away to some degree. And then my nurse practitioner said that I should be a therapist. Silly woman. That’s not why I was there, but a yearly checkup includes mental health as well, by necessity. I had told her how I cope with the struggle because she said that my score on the little survey they give you at the beginning of the examination was a matter of concern. The depression has been a matter of concern, for me, since sometime last fall. Yet I remind myself that at any given time, there are some 300,000,000 people who suffer from depression. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide so I am not alone in this challenge. But I have no desire to be a one on one therapist, and, dag nab it, I could write a book, a slim volume, to share what I know, have learned about, and have forged into viable tools for survival. So now two out of my three of my medical professionals have gently coaxed the idea of writing a book into my conscious awareness. So now I gotta deal with it, this potential book. Sigh. I think I’ll go out into the wind for a few minutes, then groom and shower, to look and feel presentable for my massage at 10:15. I’ll bring up the potential book so that she has not a chance of slipping it in unannounced. Yeh, I’ll think about it; I mean, there was a synchronicity involved. One should approach the meaning of a synchronicity openly. That’s the part that always flushes me with trepidation. Time to go watch and feel the wind dance. Bueno bye.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Evolution and Results

“But when you talk about Nabokov and Coover, you’re talking about real geniuses, the writers who weathered real shock and invented this stuff in contemporary fiction. But after the pioneers always come the crank turners, the little gray people who take the machines others have built and just turn the crank, and little pellets of metafiction come out the other end. The crank-turners capitalize for a while on sheer fashion, and they get their plaudits and grants and buy their IRAs and retire to the Hamptons well out of range of the eventual blast radius. There are some interesting parallels between postmodern crank-turners and what’s happened since post-structural theory took off here in the U.S., why there’s such a big backlash against post-structuralism going on now. It’s the crank-turners fault. I think the crank-turners replaced the critic as the real angel of death as far as literary movements are concerned, now. You get some bona fide artists who come along and really divide by zero and weather some serious shit-storms of shock and ridicule in order to promulgate some really important ideas. Once they triumph, though, and their ideas become legitimate and accepted, the crank-turners and wannabes come running to the machine, and out pour the gray pellets and now the whole thing’s become a hollow form, just another institution of fashion. Take a look at some of the critical-theory Ph.D. dissertations being written now. They’re like de Man and Foucault in the mouth of a dull child. Academia and commercial culture have somehow become these gigantic mechanisms of commodification that drain the weight and color out of even the most radical new advances. It’s a surreal inversion of the death-by-neglect that used to kill off prescient art. Now prescient art suffers death-by acceptance. We love things to death, now. Then we retire to the Hamptons.” ~ David Foster Wallace

The truth is it’s hard to get moving this morning, but there’s no hurry. Kind of a sweet situation, now that I think about it. My hands feel like lead balloons. but the usual morning stiffness and pain are down in the modest range of mild. More sweetness. These hands are moving steadily, perhaps 80% of the time during my work shift. The jawbone probably maxes out at about 60%. As such, silence and stillness become more than mere spiritual concepts, much more. No, let me tweak that a tad. Silence and stillness become yet another boulevard for expansion and evolution above and beyond spiritual values. So, can something timeless and infinite actually evolve? I mean, what would that even look like? The answers are yes and how the heck would I know. Now, I know my view of what is considered to be a perennial philosophy would be considered ludicrous by more traditional spiritual practitioners. I mean, think about it. Something unchanging suddenly, or maybe slowly, changes. And then what? Your guess is as good as mine. I think by definition evolution is inscrutable when it comes to results. In fact, I’m pretty sure results are simply none of our business, until they are. Yet, even if I am wrong about this, by giving considerable thought to this view I am performing a thought experiment that can brew nothing but good results. Whatever. The tone in my writing this morning reveals the inner inexplicable peace in my heart. I can live with it, I suppose. Everyone needs a getaway from anxiety once in a while.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

A Single Glorious Thing

“But what we call our despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope.” ~ George Elliot

“My first feeling was that there was no way to continue. Writing isn’t like math; in math, two plus two always equals four no matter what your mood is like. With writing, the way you feel changes everything.” ~ Stephanie Meyers

“In my own worst seasons I’ve come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon. Until I learned to be in love with my life again. Like a stroke victim retraining new parts of the brain to grasp lost skills, I have taught myself joy, over and over again” ~ Barbara Kingsolver

It’s funny; I find all three of today’s quotes to be delicious. Funny as in peculiar. And why peculiar? Things change, and it is fun to watch and experience the changes at the same time. Everything comes to look and feel refreshing, in a most peculiar way. Yesterday’s visit to the doctor was an eye opener. The occasion was my annual yearly checkup. We will discuss the results of the blood work in a few weeks. Seems I am in good physical shape. Go figure. The mental state, not so much. But that can be worked with. I knew this week would be a life-shift on some level and in some way. Like, how vague is that?! I think I will leave it at that for now. Besides the checkup there were multiple synchronicities as well. One of those was that my favorite song, Dire Straits “Walk of Life”, followed me around, playing in the background at three different places I stopped. Just weird. But it serves to remind me that there is a contributing intelligence operating in the background of life. I can’t get it clearly today, so I will embrace the ambiguity. Like go with the flow dude. Yeh, there was the medical checkup, but something else happened, a seemingly chance encounter, lots of smiles. Magic. Sometimes you can just forego explanations and definitions, following whatever it is that will pull you through. That’s where my head is at this morning. Not pushing, just pulling. Upon the occasion of my nearly doing myself in back in 1984, in a freak bicycle crash, I came to watch for magic in my life. It comes and goes. Magic shone through my personal clouds yesterday. That’s what I’m saying. Time to savor, and forego any need for explanation or meaning. Magic doesn’t work like that. Not in my experience. Magic sometimes thrives on vagueness and ambiguity. Sometimes just paying attention is all y’all need to get along. If some single glorious thing pops up, by all means keep paying attention. And don’t be astonished. That spoils the magic.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

To Enter the Story

“She hadn’t meant to fall asleep, but she was a bit like a cat herself, forever wandering in the woods, chasing after squirrels and rabbits as fast as her skinny legs could take her when the fancy struck, climbing trees like a possum, able to doze in the sun at a moment’s notice. And sometimes with no notice at all.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Some of us are drawn to mountains the way the moon draws the tide. Both the great forests and the mountains live in my bones. They have taught me, humbled me, purified me and changed me.”  ~ Joan Halifax

“Would you that ever find yourself walking the Road, trudging without purpose, seeking some journey’s end, I give you this warning. The Road is a living being. She is an enchantress and She has a long reach.” ~ Caiseal Mór

The biggest news of the day appears to be Springtime. Lush and green, it makes last year’s drought look like a day at the beach, but without the ocean: only the sea of sage fields to the west. We got a lot of snow this past Winter. It shows, though mid-May still sports near-freezing temperatures each day at dawn. That’s one of the features I like about the 7000 foot high desert: it can get hot as it wants each day, yet the nighttime still brings that brisk reminder that sea level is a mile and a half below. Usually I start a post with a loose description of my here and now stuff – cat, coffee, any mysterious wild animal noises I hear outside, traffic on the highway. At the moment I need to refill my coffee cup, pet the cat, then step outside for a few minutes. I must make sure that I finish my coffee early so the caffeine doesn’t mess with my blood pressure readings when I go in to my PCP to get my annual checkup later this morning. Chances are good that I am in good health, or at least moderately so. I worry about my health. Heck, I worry about most anything, and sometimes about everything. That’s the part of my overall health that is the most reliable: my mental health. Maybe “worry” is not the right word. Maybe I should stick with “anxiety”, because it sure is that. The anxiety is pretty much omnipresent at this point. It is unlikely to ever go away – ever – but I retain that hope, even if for entertainment purposes only, which is not always easy to do, because the looming presence of depression, which waits in the wings, always ready to step through the curtains into the spotlight, where it then does its best to dampen the glare of the Light as much as possible. It is usually quite successful in this chore. Depression is a bitch that way.

Between this sentence and the last I stepped outside, finally. There is wind this morning. There has been a lot of wind lately. It’s Springtime – it’s supposed to be this way. It is easy to believe that this is all normal. Maybe because it is? But climate change is upon us, whether we like it or not. One of my favorite active journalists is William Rivers Pitt, who is senior editor and lead columnist at, which is one of the more intellectual progressive sites on the internet. I read his latest column (underlined text is a link) this morning – a commentary, written in the New England rain, about global warming and all of that ‘happy’ stuff. Happy?! I try to mostly steer clear of irony at this time of the day, but sometimes it just slips out, mainly because I seem to be steeped in irony a good part of the time. Good or bad, I don’t know. I love this man’s writing; so colorful and plucky. No, I won’t get into the climate change issue this morning. I have other things on my mind. One of those worrisome things is the state of structural integrity of my torso – mainly my shoulders and upper spine. Ouch. Poor me, right? There have been several days these past few weeks when the pain has gotten to the point where it nearly squeezes repressed tears from my eyes. And repressed they are. Usually the only time I actually cry is when watching a movie, or a good TV show. There is, somewhere in my archives, a note to my parents from my third grade teacher. She reported that one of my strong suits was the ability to become completely absorbed is a story, to the point where that’s all there is. That’s the way a good story is supposed to be, of course, but I take it to the next level, where I can go into that empathetic space with a mediocre story as well. The point is I have always been this way. I have the document to prove it. It’s why I can cry at the drop of a hat during some moving scene from some movie or TV show. The funny thing about it is that I more easily cry at positive moments – tears of joy. Now, back to the structural integrity thing: the pain- physical, emotional, and psychological – is assuaged by my monthly massage, which also happens this week. It’ll be an interesting week, a week about illness and healing. Wednesday I tend to my psychological illness, in psychotherapy, where we will likely get into the deep currents of the Divine Feminine and why I have become so piss-poor at taking good care of myself. So there we have physical care on Monday, psychological care on Wednesday. What about the spiritual? I get that with the massage. There are the physical assets and attributes of massage, of course. But I get a lot out of the spiritual and energetic aspects as well. Look at it this way, massage requires the laying on of hands, which makes a shirt load of difference upon contact. As this goes on I gently move to some semblance of synergy with the therapist. It becomes a team effort, and since we converse throughout the session the effects radiate to all aspects of my being. I am always grateful for the relief from the pain, but I am drawn to Spirit through the whole process. Some of it is the even momentary release of some muscle memory, but mainly its the way our energy blends for the duration of the session. There is an unavoidable intimacy in an hour’s worth of physical contact between two people, especially when one is a skilled therapist, and a woman. There’s your synergy right there. And since I am pretty much of a recluse that blending draws me out, and things get big. Speaking of which, it’s time to boost the cat from my lap and head for the shower. It’s gonna be a big day, a big week. A lot of ground will be covered, with the aim of nurturance. I look forward to it – to enter the story deeply.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Potatoes of Defiance

“Relate to the fear, not just from it.” ~ Stephen Levine

“We have been to the moon, we have charted the depths of the ocean and the heart of the atom, but we have a fear of looking inward to ourselves because we sense that is where all the contradictions flow together.” ~ Terence McKenna

“Fear is a strange soil. It grows obedience like corn, which grow in straight lines to make weeding easier. But sometimes it grows the potatoes of defiance, which flourish underground.” ~ Terry Pratchett

“A further sign of health is that we don’t become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it’s time to stop struggling and look directly at what’s threatening us. ” ~ Pema Chödrön

A finch sings outside the window, which I left open because I fell asleep in the chair, woke up again, crawled in to bed, and was maybe oblivious, or maybe the cold air felt good, and the deep acceptance sometimes brought on by medical cannabis said “cold is good” and off to Dreamtime I went. So it is pretty darned chilly in the room. Admittedly, it did feel kinda good to wake up to the fresh air. The other feature of this morning is that I feel the rare urge to write some political commentary. Suffice it to say that the monsters that pass as God-fearing politicians in this country are rampaging across the metaphorical landscape, seeking to transform democracy, lay it in a coffin, then they all would say “She looks so natural”. Don’t think they won’t. These are some dangerous spoiled brats we are facing. Entitled little shits who act only from the crafted thoughts in their heads, who have little or no respect for little of anything, who salivate at the thought or having their rich and powerful friends step out from behind the curtain to . . . no, wait, that probably ain’t such a good idea. Nuff said. Friggin guys don’t do so well in the light of day. But the light of day is upon me, here, right now. I wonder if there is a word for the period between actual sunrise and the moment when the Sun crests the mountain summits to the east. Whatever – it happens with or without words. I don’t know just when the plunge began, but I am in a deep mini-cycle of depression, which came on sometime yesterday, when I wasn’t looking. It’s manageable. It hurts. It encourages the effects of gravity far too much. It sucks. But here it is. And I must prepare to head into Taos for a day of work. I won’t defy the Shadow, maybe if only because I feel to be underground, in the dark with the potatoes and beets, and damned if I am going to let this beast of a dire illness needlessly drag me any further down. Besides – I like beets. To some degree I feel that facing the beast and seeking communications with it is the way to go. So – I shall make it so. Onward.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Adventures in Hypervigilence

“Patterns cannot be weighed or measured. Patterns must be mapped.” ~ Fritjof Capra

“In the words of Heisenberg, “What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.”  ~ Fritjof Capra

“Systems thinking is “contextual,” which is the opposite of analytical thinking. Analysis means taking something apart in order to understand it; systems thinking means putting it into the context of a larger whole.” ~ Fritjof Capra

“From where we stand the rain seems random. If we could stand somewhere else, we would see the order in it.” ~ Tony Hillerman

Boredom would be an easy option were it not for the fact that it is hard to be bored these days, weeks, months, whatever. For whatever reason I have been needing more sleep the past week or so. I could drift off right now. Sadly, it’s not a viable option. Today is a workday, a Friday, two days before the Full Moon in Sagittarius. Without going into a long pseudo-journalistic explanation let’s just say that this is a beneficial configuration for me, and it nicely fits in of late with my low-level fascination with pattern recognition, and systems theory as well. Good on me. Do ya really need pattern recognition and systems theory if ya work in a hardware store? Yeh . . . well, maybe not need. That is too strong a word. But the thing is that these two can be done most anywhere, most any time. In therapy, two days ago, I was trying to explain to my therapist why it is that I see paranoia as an errant process born of pattern recognition. Even when my mind and overt emotions are flirting with equanimity my body is still tensed up against some perceived threat. You can’t reason it away, this fear. The technical term for this is hypervigilence. That term carries a lot of weight. My neurosurgeon told me that I am hyperreactive, after I nearly landed a solid kick when he smacked me with that little hammer they use to check reflexes. And I was like dude just don’t go bangin’ on my right knee, k? But the real crux of the issue I am trying hard to express is that when I say “overt” emotions I am acknowledging that covert emotions are the problem within the problem of chronic persistent paranoia. These hidden emotions are part and parcel of PTSD. They can squeeze my heart in an instant, during most any social interaction. Those feelings are running high this morning. As for healing I have three medical events next week, with only Tuesday as a break between these events. Annual physical checkup on Monday with my lovely provider at the medical clinic, then psychotherapy on Wednesday, and massage on Thursday. This sequence of events should calm my inner cornered animal a fair piece. See, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I was facing back during the first year or so after the freak bicycle accident that begat my PTSD. I was essentially alone in dealing with a world that only remotely resemble the one that was washed away through head trauma. The thing is that nobody wanted to hear it much less actually talk about it. I have a deep, abiding sadness about that corrosive solitude. But we must endeavor to see such times as opportunities for healing, right? Yeh, right. Listen, I’ve gotta get my assets in gear here. The workday awaits. Onward.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

A Perfume of Sensibilty

“That distinctive singular stamp of himself is one of the main reasons readers come to love an author. The way you can just tell, often within a couple paragraphs, that something is by Dickens, or Chekhov, or Woolf, or Salinger, or Coetzee, or Ozick. The quality’s almost impossible to describe or account for straight out — it mostly presents as a vibe, a kind of perfume of sensibility — and critics’ attempts to reduce it to questions of “style” are almost universally lame.” ~ David Foster Wallace

“Perhaps the mission of those who love mankind is to make people laugh at the truth, to make truth laugh, because the only truth lies in learning to free ourselves from insane passion for the truth.” ~ Umberto Eco

“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

Writing has actively been on my mind lately. It is always somewhere in my mind, be it back burner, slow simmer, deep trepidation – whatever; it’s always there. That’s why I say “actively”. It’s almost as if I actually have the volition to work more on the novel. Chances are I do have that volition. What, maybe even a sentence a day? Yeh, that is doable. Such a practice would sensitize my mind to the probable fact that this is going to happen. The work will progress. It’s not so much a plan as it is a simple statement of fact. Yet when I am depressed I get into one of those what’s the use zones, babbling to myself that no one is going to read it anyway, and if they do read it they would think it to be weird. In fact, I think you can bank on it being weird. It’s (loosely, maybe) about magic, the paranormal, deities and archetypes, scam spirituality, mental illness, and social outcasts who are rather relieved in regards to their marginalization. The working title is “The Final Convenience” and it will be centered around Dulce, New Mexico, which is the purported location of a seven level underground alien UFO and research base. There really is such a legend; you can google it. Those friggin people are tripped out, but it is really quite fun for me to read about and listen to the stories that surround the legend. I’ve only been to Dulce once. That was before the novel was even a twinkle in my eye – I just wanted to see what the town looked and felt like – having read some of the woo woo tales people tell about the place. I suspect my literary aspirations were kindled on that trip. It’s kind of a long drive from here. The scenery along the way is sometimes breathtaking. I want to go back one day, have some lunch in a local restaurant, just kind of vibe in to the place. Sniff out that “perfume of sensibility” that Mr. Wallace mentioned in the opening quote. Someday. Ya know, rent a nice car, have some fun with it. But for now it is coming up on sunrise, and I really must go have a look at it. Sunrise, that is. Today is laundry day. A relatively early trip into town, then back up a ways to the laundromat, will be followed by a requisite nap, then early dinner at a friend’s house. Maybe I will talk about the novel during dinner. Who knows. But I certainly ain’t gonna talk about the laundry. I do have my limits, don’tcha know. Now, onward.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Plush With Unremembered Dreams

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

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

“Is it the shadow itself that looks out through our eyes at midday? Small wonder that so many traditional peoples give themselves over to siesta, and sleep, for an hour or two at this time, letting their tissues and organs respond to this interior visitation by the night, allowing the many cells or souls within them to be tutored by the darkness that has taken temporary refuge within their flesh.” ~ David Abram

Full, direct sunlight just came pouring over the mountains. Sunrise was about 45 minutes ago. I’m tempted to think about light and relativity and Einstein and Hawking, and not just think, maybe more to tap in to how I am feeling about it all. The Knights Templar said “All things are Light”, and I agree with that, but only because I’ve been there, done that. In one of those moments during meditation . . . a moment of pure being. In one of those moments where time doesn’t stand still, it just steps out for a few. And now it is sporadic chatter from a songbird, a sky blue sky, golden light playing off the trees in the background, and the apple blossoms right outside the window remain in shadow, waiting for their turn with direct sunlight; they’ve got a few hours to go. I should mention that today’s opening quotes from David Abram just kinda came to me. I slept for 11+ hours last night. Deep sleep, plush with unremembered dreams. Musta needed it, right? And even though I have no conscious memory of the dreams I also know that un- or sub-conscious memory is a given, those dreams go on all the time. All of it. There is no need to remember in words something that in immediacy is actually occurring. So anyway, for some tasty reason all of this rest left me feeling somewhat natural, and when I was ready for my daily quote search one of my inner voices recommended quotes from someone well-versed in the natural world. At first John Muir came to mind. Coulda been Annie Dillard just as easily; or Thoreau, or Castaneda. But my mind slipped right past Mr. Muir, on to Edward Abbey, then I settled on David Abram, who just happens to be a magician as well. Magic shows in his words. David tells of how the world is a story, unfolding into time and space, and we risk danger when we go with the program and set the natural world aside, touching it only gingerly, and then only with words and concepts. I’m not into that today. It is a day off. Why would I want to do that on my day off? I want to Dream, I want to live in the Story, I want to sing the song which the Celts call Oren Mor – the great song of Creation. And I can do that. That’s all I want and that will be quite enough. Get some more rest, maybe grab a bite for lunch. But first I had best wash my hands, feed the cat, and rinse the night’s sleep from my skin. My friend Stephanie is a musician who encourages clear passionate expression by saying “Sing it!”. You’ll be saying something about something very close to your heart and she will simply say “Sing it!”. Yeh, that’s what I’m saying. Now, the cat just made a little sound that tipped me off that there may be trouble if I don’t feed her soon. So all for now.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

It’ll Shine When It Shines

“We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming – well, that’s like saying you can never change your fate.” ~ Amy Tan

“Sometimes the slightest things change the directions of our lives, the merest breath of a circumstance, a random moment that connects like a meteorite striking the earth. Lives have swiveled and changed direction on the strength of a chance remark.” ~ Bryce Courtenay

“There it was again. Fate. As a child, the word was often my only companion. It whispered to me from dark corners during lonely nights. It was the song of the birds in spring and the call of the wind through bare branches on a cold winter afternoon. Fate. Both my anguish and my solace. My escort and my cage.” ~ Leslye Walton

Regardless. As much as I have tried, it’s just too awkward writing with the cat on my lap. Now she lies on her bed, to my right, seemingly sulking. But what do I know about how cats think? I know they do think; I’ve seen them do it. Cats can reason things out. Like the ravens I feed at lunchtime. They do it too. I could go on about this, about the qualities and abilities that we share with animals while thinking that they can’t do it, or don’t have it in them. Our loss, I’m sure. That aside – I’ve been sitting here this morning, for over an hour, reading quotes about fate and destiny. It seems I might could maybe have been meant to do so. So be it, right? I’ve been a little slow with my coffee consumption, maybe because I became so absorbed in my task, fascinated by what these people were saying to me. I have no definitive . . . . oh, what the heck. Let’s just say I got all inspired and stuff. These days, dreams and inspiration are sorely needed. These are dark times. Just start pumping light, and keep the valve open. That’s what I say. Douse that sumbitch of a president with everything we’ve got, then watch him and his flying monkeys melt down like nobody’s business. Now, going forward, the tidbit that sticks with me from the quote search is the idea of a tiny act, event, or word, turning life in a new direction in an instant, fascinates me. I can think of more than a few times this has happened to me. The day I met Lori was perhaps the most impactful – but, then, I loved her with all my heart and soul. One is likely to remember such a thing, right? Yeh, right. The first moment I saw her was one big wow. There was no volition on my part. It wasn’t so much of a sexual attraction, although there was a fair amount of wow in that as well. Turns out we were singing the same song, only each with our own lyrics. Was that sentence awkward? Whatever. There was a moment a few years back when I had a similar chance encounter that shifted my life irreversibly. Once again, there was no volition on my part; the woman just blew me away and it went on from there. Not romance. Not this time. But that doesn’t matter when the magic runs so strong and sweet. These things, I suppose, happen all the time; little synchronicities that remind us that there is some level of intelligence in our lives that is beyond our ability to reason. I’ve been feeling and seeing that intelligence, that magic, lately. All around me. It’s really really cool! As a depressive I can easily go to deep sadness and self-deprecation when I can’t see and/or feel the magic, as if it is my fault. It’s not. No praise, no blame. But I ain’t feelin’ so down today. At the moment I am being serenaded by a ring-necked turtledove. Sweet, sweet song. Far be it from me to hang a dream or expectation on that song, but I’ll do so anyway. It’s just the way I am. Hopeless romantic. Hopeful romantic. Whatever. Let’s not get into definitions today – I tell myself. Magic, like music, is about flow, not sequence. Sequence is a product of our minds as they relate to the rather cheeky assumption that we really really know what time is. Time, fate, destiny – no wait – friggin text message coming through right now. Don’t look up from the screen or you might miss it in the immediacy of the moment. But what if you did look up? That text ain’t goin’ nowhere. You can look at it later. What is happening right in from of your digital eyes ain’t never gonna happen again. But I don’t do texting, so what do I know. All I know is that there is a certain smile I’d like to see today, though I know that is unlikely. No worries. In closing I would like to do so with a quote from the amazing Ozark Mountain Daredevils. I just got my official Daredevils hat, and . . . “Seems like everyone is out looking for the Sun, singing rain and pain on he who hesitates. But it’ll shine when it shines. You might think I’m wastin’ time. But I’m just a a good ol’ boy who’s learned to wait”.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.