Posts Tagged ‘communication’

rolling in the deep

This is no ordinary procrastination, Gentle Reader, that is keeping me from going outside and figuring out which starts are melons and which are cucumbers.

No. This is a day where I almost feel as though I have been resurrected, and I’m still pooped out from the lengthy stitching together required for various and sundry body parts to come together in another version of Moi.  (On an emotional, mental, energetic level, thank you for asking. ) (The Dog is FINE, too.  Edging his way toward triple digits….)

I’d been reading various bulletins about the cosmic weather and how arguments and misunderstandings were rife and likely.  Fine, I thought.  Forewarned is forearmed. Well? NOT SO MUCH.  I came upon a situation which was unexpected, out of the blue, as painful as a migraine/ root canal combo with no anesthesia.  AND, for good measure involved a very long standing, important and huge piece of my life.  One where I expected no disturbance.

At bottom, and as usual, it was a struggle for a sort of ideological dominance.  At bottom, and as usual, the fact that I could see it in somewhat political terms helped me get the tiny fix on it that lit the way through in the end.  It looked, at the outset, as though I had failed my duty to a friend.  There was a forceful declaration of my complete and abject fault, which I missed the actual point of at first.  It seemed so out of character and out of sequence I had a hard time responding because I just didn’t “get it”.  I “felt” it, alright, and it hurt like hell.  It was an old issue but a strange approach. My attempt to “explain” was unsuccessful, to say the least.  But I kept knowing that there was more to it than just the topical “issue”, tried to remain civil and just THINK.  I thought about how, in real life, you don’t reach compromise when everyone’s yelling and thinking only of their point of view.  So I pondered whether in fact I was remiss/wrong/whatever, and of course- my life especially, upon scrutiny, looks like a disaster blockbuster, parts one through infinity.  But that just didn’t seem to cut the mustard this go round.  I apologized anyway, being female, and you know what, GR?  This is absolutely the last time that happens.  When things go sideways, people go off on you, it isn’t just necessarily your fault.  At times it is about the other person and really doesn’t have much to do with you except your presence, and what that presence represents to the other person. (In the news now this is mostly shown by how everything is a terrorist act.  Not the act of a deeply disturbed person, but an orchestrated,intended to cause fear terrorist act.  Single nut jobs apparently don’t exist.)  Obviously one must take responsibility for their own behavior, but that doesn’t mean an apology is required for that behavior.  Sorry I’m not doing what you want is not actually something any of us need to say when we’re simply going about our business, as ourselves.  At bottom it is fear that makes a person attack, on whatever level that occurs.  They themselves may not know what they’re afraid of, or even that they’re afraid at all. And you’re supposed to apologize for their fear?  (Sorry, Donald. No dice.)

All of this came crashing together, what with the Personal Imbroglio, Orlando, Baghdad, the US Congress, and all the rest of it.  What I realized was this.  We really do create our realities by what we think and those realities are, who knew? REAL.  What we think determines what we do. This “thinking” can stem from parts of our lives that are wwwaaaaaaayyyyyy in the past and should have been laid to rest long ago.  Our responsibility is to make sure that what we do and think is in line with our moral compass as it is in present time- and everybody needs one of those.  And beyond that? It’s like not eating junk food or poison.  The static, unresolved noise of fear must not be allowed to take over your internal music and drag you down to its level.  You can’t change something by yanking and pushing- you change it by observing and doing the thing that IS the change along side it and eventually beyond it.  YOU are the change, and the energy from that inner change of yours can fund things beyond what you as an individual may dream of.  This is not grandiosity or prideful behavior. This is not the same as denial, or pretending something isn’t what it is.  Not at all.  It is being at home in your own skin, your own etheric template, and acting accordingly.  Even if, and especially when, challenges come that aim at your sanity or even your life.  In the end, all that you are can never be trammeled irreparably, or broken, or truly ended even,  unless you allow it.  And THIS is not the same as unthinking resistance, rigidity and narrowmindedness.  It is acting from Love and connection with Life/Nature.  And that starts at home, with each of us.  We are, truly, Good Enough As We Are, if we’d but act on that awareness.

I don’t know what we can do about all the incredibly angry and disordered individuals running around in the world and our lives now,

eyeofgod1  except to be kind- and mindful of when we need to get the eff out of the way.  On a personal level, all we can do is extend a hand, and have enough respect for self and others to walk away in peace when it is not accepted.  Not in anger or fear, but in renewed dedication to what is good and true in life.  Not chasing the illusory goals of our culture, but working to truly make this earth we share as good as it is- not as bad as fear would make it.

pensive jack

pain in my heart

Things coalesced today to remind me that in fact, for all intents and purposes, we ARE in the dumper.

While I realize ever more clearly that we are all in the midst of a pretty volcanic shift, and for the most part I can navigate that with relative success, at the same time there are moments when it all crashes into my forehead and I wonder how much longer I can go on living in this world.  The Dog and the Garden make a big difference, of course and I’m hoping that this weekend’s “cooldown” (to 87 instead of 107) will allow me to at last plant our burgeoning seedlings.  Plus bake some requested cookies for a friend in need- one hopes that 87 will allow the making of buttercream to proceed without incident.   The Dog had a moment of doggie disobedience earlier today and tempers flared; now they’re just at a simmer.  I’ve been handing out strawberries and ice cubes to the parties involved.

Still.  The election on top of everything else pretty much fried my circuits.  People were actually speaking in raised voices in the polling place about things that froze my blood- you know- The Wall with Mexico.  Muslims.  Everyone who either didn’t look white or had a Spanish surname (me) got extra grilling before their ballots were handed over.  I’ve been voting for a long time now and this year? They showed me as having no party preference and thus eligible for only a provisional ballot.  Which may, or may not, get counted. HOW GROOVY IS THAT?  I finally, using my best I come in peace but let’s get serious act, got things horsed around, voted, and then? This county has an electronic ballot counter which, excitingly, puts the name of whoever you vote for up on a video screen that anyone standing nearby can read.   My screen said Bernie Sanders, and it felt as though I barely escaped with my life and a tootsie roll, slamming the door on name calling behind me.

Then, glutton for punishment that I am, we went to the post office.  Where I was greeted by two things: 1) A new bill from my insurance company that was astronomically higher than it was before and 2) A man wearing a tshirt that said “Hillary for prison in 2016” who gave me a wolfish grin and said, funny, ain’t it?  Luckily he accepted silence as an answer. (Later, getting propane, I saw one that said “I refuse to learn a foreign language to accommodate the illegal immigrants coming into MY country” on yet another elderly white man who refused to believe the sidewalk was for anyone other than him .)  Just to add to my joy, I found that essentially now nobody will insure me for anything except my current company, for the aforementioned fortune.  I live in a place with a lot of fires, and my car is old.  It’s kind of like the internet around here: You gotta have it but nobody will provide it to you.  So net, net: the fat white man who crashed into me continues to cause trouble.  I’m betting he voted for turd with teeth, too.

There is of course more, although the good news appears to be the cartels are out of our neighborhood this season.  I constantly remind myself that it’s all a call for kindness, for love and compassion, for rectification of disharmony.  Perched on the high, pointy spot of my current life, it seems dicey but I do it anyway.  And on days when I’m inundated by the effing effontery of life, I do wonder if there is any point at all to what I do. It certainly at times looks like an entire geological age of catastrophe, my little existence.  At the same time it is so clear that there IS intrinsic goodness in our universe, and we can’t wait for results to do what is right and caring.  In that vein I’m going to give the Dog another ice cube, and say bless you to all.

 

shaken AND baked

The Dog is taking the triple digit heat in a Sensible Doggy Way.  He’s snoring on his bed, coming out periodically for ice cubes and the odd chicken dog sausage.

I’m sitting in a heat induced stupor with spinning wheels, for the most part.    The one year I am totally on top of starting my seeds, it’s too damned hot to plant the seedlings.  My Looming Project, re-doing the website, is acting like a wayward foxtail in a sock and making me the teensiest bit anxious and procrastinatey.  Partly it’s because I read an old blog about when I did it the first time, so long ago.  I forgot how much screaming was involved and the over the top frustration level (oh, you mean this browser DOESN’T SUPPORT THIS ACTIVITY? AND YOU SAY NOTHING IN THE INSTRUCTIONS?), and the daily tide of you can’t keep a thought in your head for two seconds is not abating around here.  I realized I was fretting over a shopping cart button, in short, while I was looking for remnants of a thyme plant.

Deciding to abandon that for the present in order to wipe the sweat out of my eyes, I’ve been trying to also not focus on the fact that Donald Trump is making an appearance in this podunk place today, at the Redding Airport. Waving to the Folks from his Personal Plane.  Suddenly we exist here, it seems.  Bernie came to Chico, which makes some sense as he actually has a brain and some ideas.  But Trump is the LAST thing anybody up here needs since they’re mostly 98% fully crazed and well armed to begin with.  A conservative hotbed where until quite recently I could count the number of black people I’d seen on one hand, and men in the post office make jokes about how the only “Allah” they like is “ala carte”.  Haw haw and all that.  They’re probably lapping his antics up like seals getting fish in a circus, right this minute.

That may not, in fact, sound very “nice”.  And there’s always the thing of not letting the other person’s Stuff poison you.  But there’s also such a thing as kowtowing to the fuckery and I for one am struggling with balancing the overt perfidy of people with the truth of our oneness and the absolute necessity of honoring that through love.  I’m tired of acting like this whole thing is working.  I read recently a good analysis of anger and resentment, which we see manifesting on every news program and interview.  Anger happens when you learn something you didn’t know (in this case it might be something like: There will never be a decent job for you, so sorry), and resentment is doing something you don’t want to do.  Which in this case seems to mean behaving cooperatively and as though one is not the entirety of the universe.  The hangdog, uninformed victimization one so often sees is very disturbing indeed, since it leads to so many problems down the road.  People believe things they must on some level know are not true- but hey, they saw it on the internet.  Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees are coming into the country.  If so, where are they?  Not here, since they’re not coming.  The Egyptair flight that went down- Trump brayed out that it was a terrorist bombing.  At present that doesn’t seem the most likely cause.  Will he ever acknowledge he shot his mouth off without knowing what he was talking about?  Given that the answer to that is a no doubt resounding NO, is this the sort of person you really want wielding power?  I’m not saying I’m happy with the other part of the spectrum which seems to be in favor of supporting the noxious status quo.  Still, it seems a sounder choice than someone who behaves as though being a crude embarrassment to the human race is a good thing.

The bigger problem with this is, of course, that people gravitate to such negativity, such bullying, and such straight-up disrespect for intellect and cooperation and each other.  Not to mention plants and animals.  Sometimes I think we’ve been so saturated with TV, computer, media images- where everything is split second, truncated, and meanings are fluid- that it has changed the very ability to pay attention.  There doesn’t seem to be much of that going around.  It’s like everyone is following the breadcrumb trail left by the evil empire, not caring if they’re going over a cliff or not.

Knowing as we do that this sort of thing has gone on for all time, just like people forgetting to put everything back in their picnic basket after lunch and then criticizing each other when the spoons seem to have disappeared, it still seems a challenging thing to resolve.  I do believe that things will shift and change, and that more and more human beings are rising to just that occasion- being real human beings.  This is a matter of joy to me whenever I encounter someone who is actually Living their Life.  Maybe that’s the thing.  So many of us are trying to run away from ourselves, our feelings.  So many people don’t even cook their own food.  So many don’t understand that they have abdicated their ability to think for themselves, and as a result will say things like “all the prices went up right after the minimum wage was raised and it just made things worse”.  No ability to look and see, or see what you’re looking at, or that hoary chestnut, consider the source.

When I did my herb farm apprenticeship, one of our teachers said we should remember that one day soon, planting your own food and medicine would probably be a crime.  At the time I thought it was a bit hyperbolic.  Now I’m not so sure.  But I’m certainly going to keep doing it.  (As we all should.)  And remember that loving kindness is worth more than almost anything- except perhaps water.  And air.  And Earth.  And ice cubes, if you’re a dog.

 

watching sports

I never watched sports before as much as I do now.  Baseball is a favorite and I miss, more than I would have imagined, being able to actually go to a game.  The expanse of green, the zen-like progress of the games, rooting for one’s team with cocktail in plastic glass raised high.   Television is a poor substitute but now I am incredibly grateful for the few times a game comes on- no cable here, G.R.  The Partner has now managed to explain golf and football enough that I can actually enjoy watching them, for a minute anyway.  I can appreciate the parameters but not get lost in them, so they don’t really count when things get rough.

Then there’s soccer.  Egalitarian, dramatic, impossibly corrupt.  How many leagues are there? Championships? Organizations? Zillions, it seems.  It’s hilarious to compare the difference between announcers, too.  The English are dry and understated (a murmur of “he’s been badly treated” about someone who’d got very mauled indeed and no foul called) and the announcers on Univision and Telemundo are hysterical.  !!NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! and the endless “GOLLAZO”.  I even recognize their voices now, Bermudez being a sort of favorite.

So while I’m sitting here today, watching Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid duke it out, coloring an impossibly complicated coloring book drawing, I’m trying to recover from the feeling of being a mirror that got a big rock dropped on it from a height.

It’s the usual thing, enduring the losses life brings and the deaths that occur daily in big and small ways.  Soccer makes me think of my dear friend and the ridiculous coffin story she has about her husband.  You can’t imagine, she said.  NOOOOO, I said.  Not one of those FURRY FAKE VELVET COFFINS? Yes! she said. How’d you know???  I covered my eyes and said- it wasn’t day glo orange was it? Fortunately not, it was the other choice, royal blue.( I guess you have to be in Mexico or Central America to get those orange ones, which just seem too shocking to be real.)  They’d asked if green was available, the color of the favored local soccer team, but that wasn’t available for another few weeks.  We discussed the possibility of her getting a future green coffin, and the overall desirability of a “natural” death.  Meaning, at home.  Meaning, so what if the house burns down at some point down the road and one is in it? Clarity there.  No prolonged illness or hospital or any of that.  We agreed that we’d both like that best.  Good, I guess, to get that settled.

It didn’t, however, help at all this week when we found out that a long time friend has a serious illness.  Really serious.  Just a sock in the jaw out of the blue, and I was amazed by how much this news hurt and made the whole world just look so dark.  Of course the important thing is to think positively, be as supportive and helpful as possible.  Yet and still such news inevitably brings up all the old memories of all the other deaths, the residual pain and questions.  Which gets you smack into Your Very Important Story.  Which is not where you need to be.  Maybe ever.  I suppose it is the actual nature of things that one gets flung hither and yon by life, and the sense to be made of that is always in flux, always being revealed.  All you can ever really hope for in a way is to be able to keep the hooks of fear and anger from taking root in your brain and twisting your perception into some fiendish pretzel shape.

This is what makes watching sports stabilizing in a way.  It’s another story, another constellation of moving parts upon which you can focus until the breathing returns to normal.  Especially important now, too, to focus on something that takes one’s mind off the potential disaster of The Trump becoming….fearless leader.  Watching yet another soccer game, we were aghast to see a red baseball cap on a participant that said “Let’s Make America…” on one side.   As we clenched our collective teeth in eye watering horror, the guy turned his head and revealed the rest of the message..”Part of Mexico Again”.    That may wind up not being such a bad idea.  ‘Course what I think? is it should be Native land again, altogether.  But that’s another train of thought and right now? I’m in the switching yard from Purgatory, trying to make sense of things and see which freight to hop.

The Dog, of course, is like salvation on four legs.  After telling the neighboring cat to clear out of the garden in No Uncertain Barking Terms at 4:20 a.m. this morning, he trotted back to bed, laid down next to me and put his head smack on my heart.  Sighed deeply, went to sleep, and snored just the tiniest bit.  It’s like he’s always telling me things are really OK, don’t worry.  And? come out and play with me.  His advice is always stellar.  I guess I should take it.

the dial got stuck

Indeed it did, Gentle Reader.  For the past few weeks the setting has been permanently on CLUSTERF***.

One tiny example? No internet or phone for a week during which my email “chats” (from my landlady’s where I was perched between a cat litter box and a saddle) with the satellite provider started being all caps. As in, NO.  MY INTERNET ISN’T WORKING AT ALL YOU CAN’T DO A TEST ON THE LINE.  NO.  I DON’T HAVE A PHONE BECAUSE IT’S CONNECTED TO THE SATELLITE. THERE IS NO PHONE WHERE I AM.  WE ARE OFF GRID.  SEND HELP.  That sort of thing.  Finally, after extended misadventures, workability returned to the ethers and the entire system was replaced.  For once none of this was even remotely my fault. This miracle entailed a visit from the person who owns the “dealership” here, who asked me out for a drink with the Partner sitting there and with his wedding ring shining brightly- right after he told me about his private plane.  Are your neighbors 7th Day Adventists with a landing strip? I asked him.  Deflection scored.   I’m telling myself it’s all fine even though all the ideas I was brimming with when this latest crash happened, for the website and whatnot, and of course brilliant blog musings, evaporated like the fog rising from the ground last night after it rained.  Even the part where we ended up dispatching and then cremating a scorpion who’d mysteriously appeared in the middle of the floor with its tail raised ever so adorably (the P: What’s THAT? Oh, SHIT.  Me: What? OH. SHIT.).

In the meantime all sorts of other things have been revealing themselves and it seems clear now that we don’t, in fact, live in Kansas anymore (in both personal AND cosmic ways of course) and none of the people we used to know remember us except in the most fetishized sort of way.  The Giant Finger that is public/government involvement in one’s life (think insurance, and certain other basic things, like registering to vote plus various other matters the County involves itself in) has been showing itself to be ever more puckish, which contributes to 1) A bit of screaming 2) Deep breathing 3) Acceptance that one seriously needs a new map.  It’s a kind of condensed grieving, actually.  Where you grieve for yourself as the human you thought you used to know you were, and the life you thought you used to live.

The truth of course is nicely put by Wendell Berry:

“When I rise up/Let me rise up joyful/like a bird.

When I fall/let me fall without regret/like a leaf.”

It takes some practice but it IS possible to greet all the pits with the stakes and the live tigers as ways to do it differently.  Ways to see it differently.  I’m thinking now that if you can at least catch yourself sometime in the 24 hour period during which these things hit, you’ve got an excellent chance of doable change in circumstance.  The question is, what do you do during that gruesome 24 hours when your stomach is in your toes, your heart is torn and your head aches?  What you do is stop, and breathe, and WAIT.  Let yourself have time to speak.  Then, of course, you have to listen- which doesn’t have to be so bad once you firmly stick to the NO JUDGMENT rule.  You can, and often probably should, decide not to do or feel or think certain things again, but you mustn’t torture yourself for having done them.  Or as the case may be, not done.  It’s all a springboard, weirdly enough.

And in more important news, the Dog is almost a year old.  At 75 pounds he is what a PetCo employee admiringly said, a “tight-looking dog!”.  Even though he has taken to rushing to his bed and pretending to snore when it’s bath time, he’s really VERY handsome. The Partner took him shopping for birthday toys and evidently it was a smashing success, with the Dog investigating all appropriate items, sniffing bones, and even playing with another 11 month old.  mycouch2The romantic hues of this photo show that…well.  He takes up the entire couch now.  It’s admittedly not a big couch but it is about….five feet long? He revels. When we’re out his smile disarms even the crankiest individual. We’re still looking for a chew toy that will last more than 56 minutes and not hurt him if he swallows any of it, but I suppose that is the Quest Perilous in which we try to prove ourselves Worthy.  Prithee, Sir? doth this chew toy ring satisfactory and please thee? Anyway,  I’m making hummus for his birthday next week- it’s his favorite.  So far.  Right after potato curry and home-ground hamburger.  Little nibbles, of course.

Thank you and bless you, ALL!  as we continue on this ever wilder ride.

yonder: wild and blue

It’s hard to say what’s been occupying my mind of late.  There were a lot of “things” that happened and required a long, taxing slog through what I actually “think”.

Sometimes, it really is true, we hold beliefs about ourselves that are inimical to growth.  Or peace of mind.  Then we have to actually just look at those beliefs and put them in context.  Things really are dependent upon each other and try as you may, finding an exact individual starting point for anything is not generally doable.  Therefore, limiting beliefs are the result of a CONTEXT that had a lot of things in it which were aimed at being limiting: aimed at controlling us for one reason or another.  Aimed, also, at being the authority we’d accept.

When the Partner remarked to me the other evening that, given my history, the only way I ever really had to go psychologically  was UP, it made me think about how many of those limiting, destructive beliefs I’d adopted as reality.  And about how much they cut me off from what I am as a person.  (Whatever, uhm, that may be)  And then?

I had an experience of something that even still I had difficulty believing could be true.  It kind of dovetailed with becoming aware of how much not being able to take certain things seriously, largely relating to self worth, had held me back.   It also related to the ambivalence I saw in myself about my sense of reality- which is that everything is alive and moving and we CAN, if we choose, heal ourselves- maybe even cure.  A constant back and forth I didn’t even know was happening.   Anyway, I met another person who works in related arts, who “worked” on me, and helped me in the most profound way I can remember.

So.  I am here to tell you for absolutely dead bang certain that you CAN change the things in your life that don’t work.  Obviously this involves some distance from the capitalist model of money equaling success, and movement toward understanding that success is no more, or less, than LIVING and ENJOYING your life.    We’ve had, for example, the ongoing crap shoot of life here which has involved several largish unexpected expenditures- which is usually right up there on the disaster scale around here. ( A rock hit and shattered the back window of our car, for one thing.  With all the hilarity that ensues.)  But this time? It didn’t stress me out.  Earlier that day I’d spoken with a friend who has recently been diagnosed with leukemia.  We agreed that actually the diagnosis didn’t make a bit of difference- what mattered was still the quality of each moment and what this person DOES in those moments.  And that quality is something that we can influence, unlike most other things.  Something about the healing work I received finally really sank in and the actual joy I felt upon realizing I wasn’t upset about all the crap that just happened…was beyond words.

This helped also with the Dog.  He dashed through a foxtail forest getting one lodged in his ear.  Vet bills ensued.  But even though I was worried about him, I didn’t lose it.  Instead I was able to marvel at how GOOD he was at the Vet’s even though they were pulling something out of his ear.  He was with one of his “girlfriends” and watching through the window, I saw him resting calmly against her.  She had her arms around him and was scratching his head.  The Vet was in the affected ear with Something Official Looking.  And he? was smiling radiantly.   There is a light in the world, Gentle Reader, and we can see it more often that we think.  Sometimes all it takes is a friend and a 70 pound Dog.

fire and rain

I actually drove through such a thing this past week.  As you go north from Berkeley up to Redding, I-5 passes rice fields which, at this time of year, are burned.  The smoke, a very particular shade of brown,  is generally so thick while this happens that you can’t see anything, which makes driving even more problematic than usual (what with dozing truckdrivers and skinheads in pickups with hand grenade decals covering their back windows).  On this particular day, the fields were on fire, and the smoke rose up covering the horizon like a giant man standing square across the freeway, bending down with his arms ready to scoop up all who passed through.  It was also pouring rain. So it was strange, seeing flames and smoke in the midst of a downpour which turned into a hard and fast hail a few miles up the road.  By the time I got home, the sun was shining and it was hot.

The sensation of passing through something that was trying to scoop me up was intense and there really was a sensation of relief and escape as the smoke disappeared back down the road.  Naturally this made me think about THE SAME OLD THING- what is to be done?  We all have these tableaux daily, moving through time, approaching danger and reaching safety- and of course vice versa.   Now, whether or not you believe denial is a river in Egypt, it truly feels as though all of us are on the brink of a colossal drop into something malevolent.  It also seems to me that this malevolence has been, essentially, conjured by the absolute refusal to awaken, and the greed, of the tiny number of people who actually run the world.  Bill Maher pointed out in one of his New Rules that the six Walmart heirs have the same assets as 130 million of their fellow Americans.  Six.  One hundred and thirty.  Need I say more?

I also had occasion of late to observe the very real class differences in this country, which are supposed not to exist.  They do, though, and the sense of entitlement of those in the gravitational orbit of the “top” is quite striking.  They clearly live in another world from the one I’m in, and the one I’m in? Can just go to the infernal regions as far as these fine folks are concerned, and the sooner, really, the better.  All very polite of course, but really.

Still, one endeavors to see beyond the “apparency”, and even though the conduct of politicians and the powerful is reprehensible for the most part (do we even need to name names?), there really is something more, and that more, however obscured, is in fact what affirms life rather than monetizes it. No matter how dark it seems.  It is in the move toward that “something more” that, bit by bit, the light begins to be ever more equal to the dark, it seems to me.  I’ve spent years (ACTUAL YEARS) trying to open myself to this “what is” and now while my mind says, OMG! DUDE!  WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE! my heart says, all is well.  Love, and keep your eyes open.

And love is something a whole lot more all encompassing than I ever thought.  I realized the other night that even now my understanding of love is limited.  Love is really a universal, everywhere all the time, trans AND impersonal force.  If you can stay with that love, the answers may not be immediate but the questions are pertinent and revealing.  It also turns out that staying in that love also allows you to walk away from things that harm you, and lets you know that no harm really results from being truthful in a spirit of love.  My success with this is spotty, of course, but there is ever more of it, so who am I to complain?

In other perhaps more important news?  All the seeds I planted are coming up and the happy dance is being done daily.  Squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, cabbage, beets, sunflowers, peppers!  AND.  The vet originally said he thought there were probably three dogs in The Dog.  We had two narrowed down, retriever and pit bull.  The third dog has finally stepped up, unequivocally.  And the prize goes to GREAT DANE.  I kid you not, Gentle Reader.  The long, narrow fingers of the paw, the slim but graceful hips, not to mention the facial markings.  Not to mention the TALLNESS and the LONGNESS OF THE LEGS and BODY.  And the all round general ever bigger overall stature.  So it’s exciting.    We really are running with the Big Dogs.

on the brink

At least that’s how it feels, Gentle Reader.  Recent events have left me feeling both confused and enthused in roughly equal measure.

While the outside world continues at its apocalyptic pace, we still know that lots of people try and do the right thing. It is easy to forget that their efforts are probably what is keeping us from spinning off into dissolution altogether, especially when such efforts can be as small as giving someone a smile or a hug or as big as inspiration of some sort.  So when someone goes away who is a kind of support for all those Right Things in a big way, it leaves a gaping hole.   I can’t help asking myself why someone like Prince has to pass on, while Karl Rove, the Koch Brothers, and others who, to my mind, exemplify a sort of evil, carry on in fine fettle.  I realize this is a silly train of thought but nonetheless.  Aside from hurting, it seems grossly unfair.  Yet of course it is life, as it is -and as we don’t find ourselves able to understand all the time.

And, of course, THERE IS SO MUCH I just don’t get.  I’m like an iceberg to myself at times, so much hidden under the water.  I had a few interactions recently that left me feeling unaccountably miserable, and with the sense that my previous life’s behavior had been motivated by what I thought were survival issues, but were actually about maintaining the fictitious world image I retained from my youth.  Which is to say, I abdicated my own authority too often, resisted unthinkingly too often, and felt myself to be unworthy too often.  Adding up just the topical things that have happened, it looked like a breathtaking recipe for disaster.  But what I realized at last was this.  We really DO create our own realities, and often the discomforts we feel are about the collision between our perceived realities and what another person feels to be baseline truth.   Sometimes the best, and only, thing to do is step back, be quiet, and watch the whole thing as though it were a story we don’t know.  Then it is a lot easier to pick up the plot.  If, as we’re told as writers, we should not be overly attached to our words and characters so as to be able to move along properly, then the same should probably be true in our “real” lives.  Just because something has been one way doesn’t mean it can’t change.  When YOU change and other things don’t, it can be kind of shocking to see what you used to be, based on how the interactions with those other things go.  The energy it takes to stay in your current orbit and not get sucked back into the old bad habits can be enormous.  This apparently continues unchanged and apace from birth to death, from what I can see.  There may be some extraordinary individuals who can just wake up and say, BASTA YA, and the old behaviors and ideas are all gone.  Since this whole matter of shift and change is in the anything is possible category, it’s probably best to just say, yes indeed, remain calm, and see what happens.

While I feel yet again that a huge piece of my life has just broken off and fallen out of sight and sound, there are still pieces of the iteration that need work.  Such as The Website.  When I first did the site, I modeled it on others both from my work and just in general.  It looked pretty much like everyone else’s, which was fine.  Now it seems a bit antique, dinosaurish, and with too many words.  Partly that’s because I like words.  Partly that’s because when I embarked on dot com, it seemed that explanation of how things work was needed since, being “alternative”, I couldn’t really just say, this thing works no kidding.  People told me I had to list everything that was in my products, and guess what?  This led to hacking and rip offs.  Weird, but there it is.  I fell into all the predictable deep marketing and entrepreneurial holes, in short, but survived and maybe learned.  The Partner and I met amazing people and learned undreamt of things both on the material and esoteric levels.  And this, in a nutshell, is the current quandary.

It’s like writing, in a way.  You’re taking something intangible (your thoughts) and making it something that everyone can experience (let’s say an essay.)  You’re selling, then, yourself, bottom line.  In this case, I take the intangible of what someone else is experiencing (whatever level it may be on), look at it, and make something to promote harmony for that person.  Just because it hasn’t been replicated in a lab by Exxon Mobil, Monsanto, or whoever, doesn’t mean it isn’t real and doesn’t work.  It also doesn’t mean it can be mass produced and be exactly the same every time.  Given my past habits of mind, it has been challenging to even figure out how to describe any of this.  But acceptance of all that, and simplification thereof, is the new project.  It may not be as daunting as first thought, because after all.  Anything IS possible.  Just because people want to pigeonhole you doesn’t mean you gotta stay there.  You simply fly away with love.  And yes, the Dog taught me that.

what sustains us

I find, still, that when I’m at points of transition or challenge, I cook a lot.  Given that adventure is often my criteria (get me OUTTA HERE!), I make a lot of stuff for the first time and the Partner winds up on extended trips to exotic locales while I work on pickles, chapattis, pasta, Asian noodles, reproducing roasted vegetable dishes from fancy places, or experimenting with cooking whatever protein our friends bring from their various enterprises.

However, of late it’s been tortillas and tacos.  And tamales.  Salsas, rajas,  multi colored rice, and the real mind blower: chile rellenos.  The interesting thing about this is I always thought that ALL this stuff from scratch was beyond my ability as a cook.   Which kind of dovetails with the realization of late that somehow I NEVER think I can do things.  (Which of course is ridiculous since I do things all the time, attempt things, and generally scramble through the air on a fiery trapeze with all the accompanying accidents and revelations.)  All the self doubt which has accompanied me from childhood turns out to be rather hard to let go of.

But I did have what might be a productive insight.  A memory came up in relation to all this flailing about, and although it was REALLY old, it had a lot of current power and pain.  I was blown away by the energy this occurrence turned out to have and how much the event had shaped my attitude about things.   And how inappropriate that attitude is, was, and always will be.  Not to mention that none of the other people involved in the situation probably have any memory of it whatsoever.  But it had a decisive impact on my sense of self and it’s been banging around with me- and all this time I could have just set it down.  Now it almost feels like a body part but really? It’s got to go.

SO.  Last night I ventured forth where I had not dared go before. Ta da, I thought.  Not, perhaps, a huge big deal Gentle Reader, but I made pita bread.  And it tasted like pita bread, split on the interior like pita bread.  Really easy and fun to make, as it turns out.  It went very well with the falafel I made, too.  The thing of it is, there’s so much you can accomplish if you just let yourself.  Give it a go, and shut up while so doing.

There’s still the whole magic question and the what am I now that I’m grown up question, of course, but I think that’s probably a matter of inadequate definitions.  The magic issue generally boils down to whether one functions to build power or express love.  Magic happens both ways but the end results are not the same.  Like non-violence, sometimes it can take a long time but haste is not always the best way.  In that vein, my next project is going to be routinely getting dinner on the table in less than an hour (thus addressing part of the grown up thing).  Balancing the long range with the productive goal of having dinner before total darkness descends.  In short, the middle way.  Still looking for it, but tacos are an immeasurable aid in the quest.

love made visible

So yes, Gentle Reader, I do wake up in more or less a state of anxiety every day.  It’s better than it used to be, for sure, and offers AMPLE OPPORTUNITY for re-reading the Dalai Lama (I even understand parts of what he’s talking about now, which amazes me) and pondering the truth of impermanence and the space in things, and how it all interacts with us so that change is possible.  We got change if you want it, in other words.  And even if you don’t, so it’s wise to pay attention.

ANYWAY.  Today, after such a morning’s brain trajectory, it was another breakfast with the Partner and the Dog.  The Dog has recently been Saved by Benadryl and is quite bouncy now that he’s over his massive allergic reaction to grass. (WE, however, are still exhausted from the stress.) Even though he is not a small individual, he is totally confident that he can sit on your lap and crawl up on your shoulders.  While this is not a completely pain free experience for the sittee/the Partner, I can tell it’s fun because of the huge smile on the sittee’s face.  This morning was extraordinary because, as I sat with my tankard of coffee and the Dog stretched up and over the Partner’s back, suddenly I saw an incredible glow and the Partner looked twenty years younger.   I mentioned it and he said he reckoned it was from all the licking he’d received a few minutes earlier- the saliva acted like super serum.  He can be very funny that way.

But what I saw was, in the Partner’s words, the Dog laying a lot of love down on him.  I actually SAW love, and boy is it beautiful. Golden, light, happy.  Really, it is about the only thing worth focusing on, because it can do anything- and we have to learn to allow such things to happen instead of, as so often happens, wondering what will happen when a winged pig flies into the house brandishing a super soaker.  Apparently having a dog is one of the basic elements in that Instruction, which seems to be: You’ll never understand it all, but you can, and should, enjoy it all more often than not.