Posts Tagged ‘writing’

still raining still dreaming

The world is oddly green around here now: Flourescent, almost.  It is incredibly calming, uplifting, and when one thinks about it, confusingly unseasonal.  The oak trees shot out a few new leaves during the week or so of “fall” we had, like emeralds in the midst of a fire, and now that all the brown dead leaves have blown away they linger uncertainly.  It’s hard to know what day it is, in short.

However it is December, this year is drawing to a calendrical close, and I feel oddly both bullet-proof and mangled beyond recognition.  But it is the nature of love that has been revealing itself to me of late.  I realized the other day that being cursed (we were drinking Maudite) and being very close to the divine often amount to the same thing experientially- what sets them apart is knowing that love is real.  When you feel cursed, you doubt and collapse.  When you are just that teensiest bit too close to the divine, the pain is similar but somehow you know it will shift and in the meantime there’s incredible stuff to see.

At long last it dawned on me that acting from love does not mean allowing things you don’t like or want in order to keep another person happy.  What is, is, how you feel is how you feel.  You simply have to develop your own beliefs and live in your own skin, whatever others may say about that.  You might ask, well, what about mad bombers or raging capitalists or…well, all of that worldly mayhem.  To my mind such individuals are living under the curse, believing they can control things and there is no limit to their actions.  Therefore in the long run success will not come from that direction.  It can only come from love. Everything really is an invitation to begin again- the difficulty we humans have is precisely that.  It’s hard for us to put down whatever we’re holding in a death grip and start over.  That start-over really does mean you start completely over.  How can this be made better?  How can this serve everyone involved?

Love really is the answer.  Perhaps acting from love means you refrain from injuring yourself.  Perhaps it means letting things move in their own time and accepting all the myriad realities existing around us without feeling the need to “do” something.  Love may not make you feel better the same way you think you feel better when acting under old patterning- but it does give you a way to turn the lights on and see how spacious things really are.  Love isn’t about changing anything except your own perspective, in a way.  It’s a force like light or wind, I think, which we can learn to flow and fly with.  It is amazingly easier to let people be who they are- but then you have the responsibility for your own actions as the north star.  No resentment, no rage.   Begin again.

In an important neighborhood piglet update: They’re getting slightly bigger and now they’re mostly covered in mud with tiny specks of pink showing through.  The chickens are hogging the heatlamp, and one piglet engages in daily duels with the rooster for a spot in front of the treat dispenser.   The pigs who had staged the daring escape on another part of the hill have now proceeded to being made into sausage, which is the ever present reminder that death and life contain each other all the time, every day.  With that basic reality check going on, things do start to make more sense.  In that general vein, we’re researching chicken raising and seed catalogs are winging their way here.  When you don’t know what to do, do what you know, right?  Green eggs and purple carrots should do the trick.

woman saved by art

I often think how amazing it is that we can write songs, and stories, and paint pictures- and another person can understand something from that, something that might be big in their lives.  We receive a gift, reach a condition of universality for a minute.  Or joy.

Anyway, through a very odd worm hole meander- of brain connections, I found the words of a song running through my mind and they expressed exactly the crux of something that has been- eating at me, really, for a long time.  It was a moment of clarity.

It also demonstrated something of interest about pain.  Pain, as they say, is inevitable, but suffering is optional.  This was something I had trouble parsing for a time, kind of like the difference between wants and needs.  I guess I thought they were pretty much the same.  And while wants and needs should, reasonably, be an aligned and dynamic duo instead of a pair of equally unreachable and unsustainable opposites, pain and suffering can be separated in a way.  Or, the way you respond to pain can be in a way that does not lead to its enhancement, i.e. suffering.

So, then, this song made something deep become clear.  I had thought that when this deep thing WAS made clear, it would stop hurting so much.  The truth, of course, involved a rather surprised me experiencing a wave of understanding and the cool refreshment of that wave, followed by: Pain.  That old black hole, in short.  But.  It was different.  It was, is, a pain that comes from knowing that something had to die in order for something else to live (in this case, in my opinion, me.).  This death involved another knotty issue, the thing of not being clear as one went along.  Things did not have their proper names.  I think when you know what something is, honestly, and you call it what it really is, no matter what happens you are in an equilibrium with it that does not exist when you are not, let’s say, calling a spade a spade.  Projection, denial, fear, whatever it may be, your own emotional opinionated brain, in a misguided attempt to protect you, actually becomes a giant pac-man madly gobbling up synapses.  This leads to suffering and a lot of cleaning up.  Post traumatic debris and huge matched sets of emotional baggage.  More, then, than simple pain.

What this episode has begun to reveal is that things really do leave a mark.  The mark leaving episode may or may not be your idea, but whether the mark turns into a scar or a support is up to you.  Whatever has happened, be it physical injury or illness or other event, you really have to come to an understanding of what truly happened, correct your own mis-steps, and accept what Is, Now.  What passes for nostalgia or missing of things often concerns our sense of missing what we wanted, missing the imaginary great thing we hoped for and didn’t seem to get.  This gets a person nowhere really quickly.

What we fear to see in ourselves often turns out to be nothing like what we expected, the dread of what sort of person does it make us to do, think, say or feel  (x) or (y), the fear of pain, the fear of loss and endings and deaths.  Even when there is something so very, very painful that has to be viewed and resolved, it is  SO much better to turn the lights on.  You’ll still have twinges when you put weight on the limb in question and sometimes it’ll hurt like hell, especially when the weather is a certain way,  but on the whole it will not only be better, but get better.   The definition of better shifts into perhaps a truer meaning- that place where we find joy in the world even in the midst of sorrow.  You know that it’s going to hurt.  But you also know you will move forward, stronger than before, even with that mark.  This may or not translate into anything tangible in the world, but I can tell you that you will be a lot happier, and enjoy yourself more.  And that, Gentle Reader, is really the point.  Until we, as individuals, make these efforts on our own behalves, the world is not going to move forward either, so time is of the essence.  No pressure, of course.

Thank you, as always.


Oh dear

Attempting this blog today may be just the final epitome of silliness, given that the cursor is flying all over the page and the fonts are changing in front of my eyes like something in a horror movie.  Too close to Halloween perhaps.

Still, the message of late is pretty clearly: DUDE! You can’t know it!  Don’t take it serious, too mysterious.  Etc.  As in, one toddles forth attempting to do one’s best and totally weird things happen.  Yesterday, for example, an armed robbery took place about a mile from where we live.  ARMED ROBBERY GENTLE READER, IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.  For this, I thought, I moved out of the ‘hood?  The stories are verging on confabulatory, but still.  I was  rather bummed out to hear the peculiar tale-  nine armed black men being, apparently, the perpetrators of this strange occurrence.  Like a bad limerick or something, because one of the things about this part of the state? Diversity ain’t even a word.  It is mind numbingly uniform and blindingly white.  It wouldn’t, would it?, strike you as sensible to plan a crime in such a recondite place with such..a highly visible crew?   It’s also strange that nobody heard the gunfire- but only those in comas might have been home at the time, perhaps.   So while I was puzzling over this oddity, another thing happened.

There I was, innocently minding my own business.  Or trying to.  An ostensible editing job came my way.  I was pleased and excited.  Except it turned out to be some very strange sort of scam wherein…well, let’s just say I was at my P.O. box, looking at a large envelope that contained a large-ish check.  No idea of provenance or purpose.  Supposedly for the edit, no contract or terms, no invoice, no agreement.  No completed edit.  No nada.  Can you imagine the stomach churning moment that ensued when I saw myself with, literally, the means of small salvation in my very paw, which I could not reasonably use.  Which clearly was..not kosher.  It just made me wonder, you know?  JUST WHERE EXACTLY IS THAT BULLS EYE PRINTED ON ME?  But.  The article I submitted to…something…somewhere….was received, at least initially, favorably.  So now I’m having a tiny nervous breakdown.  After the past week, I think I deserve it.

The blue birds are back, and the Partner found a fantastic Flicker feather, with an ORANGE shaft.  I’m OK as long as I keep it simple.  Why is that so hard to remember?


Another leap

Of course, we know not which direction we’ve gone but WHAT THE HECK GENTLE READER?  In the midst of massive harvesting, canning (without, I might add, benefit of Actual Canning Tools but with excellent silicone lobster claw gloves suitable for plunging paws into boiling water and attempting to grasp jars that slip around like trout), window washing and general back breaking work, I decided to write and submit an article to…something, somewhere.  Just checking in to say I feel a bit queasy having done so but am still at least temporarily upright.

Meanwhile this has all been an excellent exercise in keeping one’s eye on the Big Picture.  Watching the political imbroglio in this country is freak-out worthy enough, and the Old Me mutters things to the effect of, Jeesh.  Just when I was crawling out of that DEEP DARK MONEYLESS HOLE this happens.  Or might happen.  Or whatever.

Meanwhile, the Partner and I were doing some dictionary perusing the other day, and came upon an interesting thing.  I had looked up the word “complain”, in a silly effort to point out to The P. that complaining does not actually fix things, even if you are a Virgo.  But what was really interesting was this.  The next word after complain was “complacency”.  And there you have it.  Two poles between which we all seem to swing and which are just…..directionally wrong.

Anyway.  Back to the salt mines for the nonce.  I still think it’s important to remember that good can prevail, no matter how it looks in the moment.  We just have to do our work in that direction.  In that vein, dishes beckon.

Back on the horse

Because, indeed, we fell off, Gentle Reader.  I became quite ill for a few days and it was amazing to see, as the time passed, how tenuous any connection to the outside world really is.  There was, in a way, silence.

Which I liked because really, having nothing to say allowed me to view the changes that are transpiring in my life.  Carrying on with my old way of doing things (full speed ahead, who cares if there’s water in that swimming pool? I’M JUMPING IN) proves impractical in a place where simply getting through one’s daily tasks can be herculean, much less including dashing hither and yon.  I saw how often I was influenced by others to do things I really didn’t want to do, or wasn’t prepared to do.  I saw also that that was contributing mightily to the chest pain that practically drove me around the bend.

Which is to say that we have once again been restored to almost customary bounce and joie de vivre (despite food and mood poisoning at a homeowner association meeting), and it appears that certain of the heavier pieces of matched emotional baggage have been left, finally, behind.  Of course this may all be another iteration of what happens when you say something really dumb like, hey! I got this! or that thing about conditions not deteriorating which one never, ever, neverever says.  Perhaps it is just advanced shell shock.  We’ll see.

HOWEVER.  It being baseball season closing in on the home stretch and all, and wondering what the standings are,  it has been rather forcibly brought home to us that if you don’t have a Mobile Device or wifi all the time- which essentially means you live in a city- your access to information is incredibly limited.  I find this a rather sinister situation, frankly.   Because really? We don’t all have access to that stuff.  (and even if we do?  It’s better in frigging Romania- which still stuns me.  Romania has better internet than the U.S. and if you live where we do, you seriously know that).  Kind of like when the Times Picayune of New Orleans went to once a week or so print publishing and the rest on line.  In a city where a third of the inhabitants have no internet.  I’m just wondering what will happen when the satellites have a problem.  Or the power grid goes down, as we were anxiously hoping would not happen with a fire too near here that was hovering around where the power lines for fifteen (count ’em, 15) western states are gathered.  Notice how I”m not mentioning Monsanto or Syria?  MASSIVE SELF CONTROL.

Aside from the fact that things in the outer world are continuing to not make all that much sense, I did manage to make some faux carnitas which turned out really well.   I think we’ll live!  Soon there may even be pictures of tomatoes.  Not to mention the frog, who is still with us.   Things to look forward to, Gentle Reader.  Indeed.


Things of the moment

Why is it, Gentle Reader, that all the marvelous sentences tumble through one’s brain when one is NOT WRITING?  Anyway, here we are at another juncture where we’ve scrambled up a rocky hillside and are surveying what’s next.

One thing is, The Parrots just had their birthdays and now they are nine.  Pretty grown up, actually. I remember them as babies, marching back and forth on the top of the bookcase when it had Christmas lights on it, giving them the appearance of old vaudevillians in lime light.   Yesterday when I opened Poppy’s cage I was greeted by a mess way beyond her normal trash and thrash scope- there were feathers scattered hither and yon, peanut shells and half eaten crackers all over.  I realized I expected her to emerge with a lampshade on her head.  Instead she just strolled out, cocked her head and let it be known that SHE, at least, is a VERY BIG BIRD NOW.  CAPISHE?

Another thing is we, or I should say The Partner, had to kill a(nother) rattlesnake a few days ago.  It was oddly upsetting for both of us.  The first one, the first summer, was right at the front door and I found myself taking a half Xanax.  This time was different somehow.  We tried to convey to this snake that it really couldn’t be in the middle of our garden plants, coiled around a pot, waiting for lizards.  Even knowing that the snake just wanted what all of us want: to be happy.  We still couldn’t let it keep eating the lizards and frogs and also?  I have to say that although I have come a long way and can now handle finding frogs in my frying plans with aplomb (they see me coming and absolutely INSIST that I take them and put them just exactly so against the lattice for them to tippy toe off), the thought of a poisonous snake coming into my kitchen was quite simply too much.   Even without intending to, you know a rattler will probably wind up biting you just because it is what they do from time to time.  So The Partner had to take his rifle out and dispatch the snake into the next iteration.   We talked about it, since I apologize to every fly I finally manage to swat, and The Partner dislikes unnecessary destruction.  It was strange in a way because we live in a place where people shoot snakes- heck, they shoot everything- without giving it much of even a first thought.  And there we were.  Having a snake funeral.  Pondering the imponderables.

The really amazing thing about it, though, happened in the evening.  The Partner was making his usual last circuit of the garden when suddenly, a lizard ran over to him from about ten feet away, got up on his foot, and looked him right in the eye.  It was very plain that he was saying thank you.

Which just, I think, goes to show you that there is, in fact, a natural order to things.  Sometimes it includes difficult things, things you don’t totally understand (as in, why can’t I talk to that snake and get it to understand?  Then I think: hah! for heaven’s sake.  What about all the people I experience that with???) but it does speak and have life, which, if you listen, provides guidance for even the rockiest of roads.  Which we, like many others, find ourselves on more or less routinely these days.  It is, however, what it is.  Discovering the joy in things is part of this guidance, and understanding that there is a balance between everything which is somewhat maintained by that joy.  We all have our work cut out for us, don’t we?  I still wonder about the snake, but that’s another post.  I still haven’t figured out about abrupt deaths, see.  Killing things,  illnesses.  I understand it, and I don’t understand it at the same time.  You’d think I would.  But I don’t quite yet.

Dancing Days

This morning Poppy and I danced to an uptempo little Charlie Peacock number on the radio, called “Death Trap” while I was chopping up breakfast for everybody.  It seemed so apropos somehow, the lyrics saying he’d never do THAT again and things of that nature.

That’s kind of how I feel about almost everything right now.  But not quite.  I am at my internet station today, at long last,  at a friend’s house, sitting across from a three year old who’s watching a home-staged monster truck video.  There hasn’t been any internet for over a week which has not been exactly ideal although we hope everyone who placed orders hasn’t given up on me.  Still, I did get through four hundred emails today.  Anyway there’s a good bit of screaming and burning tires going on in this vicinity and naturally it is having Some Impact on my Ability To Write This.  Or anything.  Hope springs eternal, however.

Which is to say, I think we all worry way too much.  It does absolutely no good, after all.  The things we worry about are often things about which we can do, effectively, nothing.   In review, it’s pretty amazing we’re still alive and here, the Partner and I, and that seems more and more to be the only thing that really matters.  Our vegetable seeds are all sprouting and we found a large frog family this morning.  Two feeders have reduced the hummingbird brouhaha to a dull roar; Tyrant especially likes the one right in front of the window because then he doesn’t have to make a special trip around it to let us know when provisions are running low.  He doesn’t, essentially, have to worry.

Hoping that will move forward and become the prevailing wind, this not worrying, I am going to take the position that There Will Be Internet Reliably Once Again, and thus, more blogs.  Soon.  Meanwhile…onward, Gentle Reader.  We’re working on those intractable intrusive thoughts and may have cogent remarks before you know it!