My New Vocation!

Staring at the blank page.  Five thirty am.  Wondering where I left my soul juice.  Not enough sleep.  But my restless mind won’t let me fall back and hit the rest and release anymore.  So here I am, blinking like an over cooked vegetable at the bright screen screaming at my eyes.  Strange days.  Sometimes when my spirit is ablaze in the infernos of transformation, my body has a hard time resting, fully letting go into sleep’s tender palm.  But I’m gonna pick myself up by the bathrobe straps and fake it till I make it because I have so much to tell you!

I brought my typewriter to the Lake Merit farmer’s market yesterday and sold poetry!  Was I a scardy cat?  Naturally.  But I am getting better at not thinking life to death, and instead just living it.  I think this is one of the benefits of meditation and a commitment to being a Divine Servant.  I have been begging God pretty relentlessly to move me about this life according to the highest will.  Please God, let my life be an offering to the Holy Whole.  Let me continue to heal so that I can be a source of healing for others.  And God said, “That’s right bitch, now I’ve got you just where I want you.  Listen up…”  And then God tossed me my typewriter and drop kicked me down the hill to spin the hearts and souls of others into beautiful garlands of words.  The experience yesterday FAR EXCEEDED any expectations I had (Expectations.  I know they blow anyway… but I can’t seem to stop them…)

Since I’m new at this spontaneous poetry game, I still don’t quite have my “protocol” down… (I reckon protocols are overrated anyway, but…)  I just had a vague idea that when someone asked for a poem I’d gaze upon them lovingly sincere and ask what is in their heart these days, then wait while they stumbled and fumbled for some semblance of a response to this unabashedly deep cutting inquiry.  But yesterday, I barely had to ask.  The majority of customers (about seven) came to me, opened themselves in full trust and emptied their hearts upon the invisible altar between us.  I was pleasantly stunned by this!  (Hold on, I’m gonna go Q-tip.  Be right back!)  Alright where was I?  Oh yeah, so my first customer was a man who said he was getting married next week and he wanted a poem for his wife to be.  He was with a sweet little boy (his fiance’s son) who happened to be devouring one of the delicious smelling artisan waffles sold nearby.  He had an avalanche of powdered sugar all over his face and front, which struck up the choir of instant joy inside me.  I took a deeper than thou breath and lovingly banged out the poem for him.  He loved it and said he would read it to her either at the wedding or the reception.  I was astounded.  Then, spilling with gratitude he handed me a twenty dollar bill.

Somehow it seems sacrilegious to talk about the money I earn.  Like sexuality, another taboo.  Well screw your taboos, you who fear the truths of this mundane play.  As far as Athena Grace LMNOP is concerned, anything goes here on the page.  Especially if it is an accurate, well rounded portrait of her life here on planet earth.  Just had to name that.  But twenty bucks is a far cry from the two dollars and fifty cents I made LAST weekend, eh?  It’s interesting to me to see the monetary values people place on something as non-linear and seemingly “frivolous” as poetry.  It says a lot about the person… I think… It is time for poetry to reclaim its place in the health and wellbeing of our collective psyche.

Then next customer was actually standing under a tree, WAITING (patiently) for her turn as I pounded out the wedding poem!  Who knew that poetry was important enough to “wait in line” for?!?!  Now you know.  You heard it here first!  This sincere and tender hearted woman approached me, set down her groceries and immediately launched into a revelatory outpouring of fondness for her best friend.  She portrayed her friend in a light strictly reserved for the Goddess.  This dear friend, great nonjudgmental listener, earth mama, compassionate, loving mother of twins, home maker, generous, creative inspiring creature lives in LA… and my customer misses her to bits.  The poem slid effortlessly out of me, lubed by the flood of overt adoration between soul sisters.  Shazam!

Then along came an old man wearing a yellow shirt and a Polaroid camera around his neck.  He offered me a photo.  Naturally I said yes.  I offered him a poem in exchange.  I did ask HIM what was in his heart.  He said he was just glad to be here on this beautiful day full of beautiful people and beautiful food… Sometimes the most simple is the utterly profound, right?  I read him his poem, he snapped another Polaroid shot of me “for my boyfriend” and was off to bathe in his fresh picked day.

Another old man.  He was adorable.  Eighty one years old.  Full of wisdom, insight and a peace that you could touch, taste and frolic in.  Initially he just came over to poke around and investigate my typewriter (as quite a number of folks did throughout the course of the day)… but I kept inviting him into a poem.  I used my favorite expression to lure him in, “Come on… You only live once!” (I love this expression since I don’t ultimately believe it to be true!  But that only makes it POP with an endless twist of dimensions.  The dimension that there is ONLY this moment… set against the infinite slog that is living life.  And every nuanced shade of silver in between.)  To this he replied, every moment I live anew.  That opened a door for him and he shared the heavy wisdom that his eighty one years has unearthed in his tender and pure heart.  I was so moved by his wise soul and refined relationship with Love.

In fact, when he left, I was a radiant fountain of AWE.  And this man, who had been lurking in the distant shadows approached me.  “How are you doing?” he asked.  “AMAZING!” I exclaimed.  And then he announced that he was the manager of the market and I was not allowed to be there.  Frown.  But I could feel that his heart was conflicted.  He was doing his job.  I’m sure he could feel the flamboyant love gurshing from within me.  So eventually he suggested a “grey area” location that I could move to.  Sigh… it was not nearly as utopic sitting on the sidewalk under the large palm tree across the street from the market.  Shrug…

But I did have three more customers over there.  A woman who soon spilled over with tears as she requested a poem about change.  She said she was moving to the east coast on July first… And she had an apartment, a car, a family, a job and a horse waiting for her there!!!!!  If that full spectrum cast of assets doesn’t make you smile out loud, I don’t know what would!  I cherished her tears!  I am so happy to be a space for people to feel and authentically express!  I invited her to let it flow.  She was a spark for sure.  The poem that came out for her was a playful portrait of the implicit beauty in all the textures of the human experience.  Offering it to her, I felt it to be an ally, a talisman for her journey.

Was it because the moon was full and had just eclipsed???  The people who showed up were amazing, vulnerable, generous, divine!  I made fifty eight dollars!  I’ve always been afraid that I’ve been too idealistic to think that I could make a living doing EXACTLY what I want to do.  But I’m starting to think that I can and that rattles my bones with ecstasy.


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sally F
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 15:27:29

    How did you know what I needed to hear? The stuff about wanting to serve and wrassling expectations…and mostly the beautiful, amazing tales of real people offering spontaneous, vulnerable, honest goodies from the heart without any prompting. When I spend time with folks who practice a more traditional Midwestern reticence, it’s all to easy to fall into the illusion that they represent the majority, and when I let that happen, it makes me feel I should tone it down, too. But honestly, maybe they’re just waiting for permission to gush out loud. If I gush first, they’ll see it’s not only okay, but that it feels sooooo good.

    Thank you!


    • Athena Grace
      Jun 28, 2010 @ 13:00:30

      I have been getting a strong message to live by example these days. (are you sally or sarah, btw???)
      Live by example moment to moment.
      To me that is “being the change I want to see”.
      Simple. Living by example looks like engaging in life
      from the rememberace that we are all connected
      and that a little love and care goes a LONG way.
      Some people are waiting for permission to “GUSH”,
      while others will reflect back to you their disapproval,
      because they are not ready to open that wide.
      But if gushing out loud is the loving truth of Your beautiful heart,
      don’t wait!
      Gush all over.
      I BEG of you!!!!
      Thank you for sharing your voice!
      Sending you Love and Courage.


      • Sally F
        Jun 28, 2010 @ 14:44:25

        Weird you would ask Sally/Sarah!

        My folks called me Sally after a friend. They recorded the more formal Sarah on my birth certificate, but it was a name I never heard until my first grade teacher insisted I use in class. It was traumatic for me, Good Girl that I was, and within a few years, I had everyone calling me Sarah.

        For decades, I clung to the wound as proof of an unjust world.

        Turns out my Sally-tude was irrepressible, prancing back into my life as my awakening caught fire. (She loves s’mores.) This summer marks five years since I asked everyone I know to call me Sally.

        It’s been cool to reclaim the parts of me I’d shut away. But honestly, the effects of the change have been way more far reaching than I’d imagined, inspiring my art in ways that will no doubt unfold for the rest of my life.

        The most amazing realization is how changing from one label to another has weakened my attachment to both of them. No name will ever define me. And if something as fundamental as a name can shift, it’s been easy to question every other label I’d given myself, like “shy,” and “plain,” and a host of other limiting nonsense.

        (I love to challenge people to go by a different name for a day. And when I bring it up, most people have a story to tell right away, about how they don’t feel their name really fits them, or about the name they’d secretly given themselves! Most folks stop there, though, with the story. I understand it’s scary to ask people to call you something new. But it gets easier — and more fun — with practice!)

        If you don’t mind sharing, what made you ask?

      • Athena Grace
        Jun 28, 2010 @ 18:58:34

        Great story! Thank you! I wrote a whole blog about my name…
        Burried somewhere in the ever deepening archives.
        I wish I could say that I had a psychic hit… but its just that your email address is sarah
        and your user name is sally.
        I am SO grateful that you fully exercised your voice here on my blog. Intimate sharing is not only welcome,
        but thirsted for!
        Sending you exploding hearts,

  2. spirit2go
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 15:40:03

    You had a heart-fulfilling day! I could hear your excitement and satisfaction. You gave your gifts from deep within to accepting folks who appreciated your efforts. It doesn’t get any better


    • Athena Grace
      Jun 28, 2010 @ 13:02:16

      You are right.
      Giving gifts from the heart
      and having them RECEIVED
      is as good as it gets!!!!
      Blessings to you, Dear One!


  3. souldipper
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 19:06:35

    Listen, Woman, you are on to something! Any artist who can claim an increase in income of over 2000% in one week has to be a candidate for the combined Gaetz/Winfrey/Trump Award of Profound Business Acumen.

    Take a bow!

    And I love you for all your creativity, gumption and chutzpah!

    And I hope this means a big hug: (((((Athena Grace)))))

    XO – Amy


    • Athena Grace
      Jun 28, 2010 @ 13:08:53

      I am bowing like a swan
      on a glassy pond.
      White grace
      gliding on the face
      of ripple-mirrored dawn.
      Yawning as she wakes up
      slow, there is nowhere to go
      but where the day takes her.
      Yearning though she must
      for when the Light
      breaks her
      split mind
      she yearns to find
      her Self again.
      Though she knows “when”
      is inconsequential.


      • souldipper
        Jun 28, 2010 @ 18:18:24

        When I was writing that comment (June 27), a whim whiffed through my thread: I wonder what kind of poem Athena Grace would write if I asked!!!


        Our connection is phenomenal. Perhaps we would find ourselves in the book “Conversations with Children of Now”! It’s about kids TODAY who communicate telepathically – kids who cannot find their place in the loudness of orders, directions, rules, boxes, etc.

        Let’s hope our light shines for all others to DARE!

        Love, you Athena Grace. I believe your poem. I BELIEVE YOU!

      • Athena Grace
        Jun 28, 2010 @ 18:55:20

        WOW!… so it was YOU who set my poem in motion… THANK YOU! I love poeticising!
        Amy, I realized I don’t think I’ve EVER felt SO MUCH LOVE for someone that I’ve “never met”…
        (Yes, I put that in parenthesis, because clearly we have met in many ways at many times on many levels… but still… you dig what I mean…)
        Thank you YET AGAIN for being YOU,
        for sharing your heart and your voice
        and illuminating the world!
        Athena Grace

  4. Lynne Spreen
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 13:18:10

    Hi, Athena, I just found out about your blog from Spirit2Go, and I am enchanted! I see you in the marketplace, tapping out fresh poetry (what a gift!!), and I love the mental picture I get. I will enjoy reading upcoming posts. Thanks for your sweet contribution to the cosmos.


    • Athena Grace
      Jun 28, 2010 @ 15:37:38

      Thanks Lynne! Honestly, there’s nothing in the whole world I’d rather be than a source of Enchantment!
      According to dictionary dot com, enchant=to subject to magical influence, to delight to a high degree, to impart a magical quality
      YEAH! Win for the team!!!
      Magic for president!
      Thanks for sharing your LOVE!


  5. Rosy Moon
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 17:11:59

    I wonder if there is a way you COULD be allowed to be at the market place? They have musicians who legally strum and collect pennies and bills from passers by. I think they just need some encouragement in the direction of allowing muses too.
    I would go talk to them and ask what it would take for you to be the bona fide market muse, a service that clearly goes perfectly with purchasing the finest locally grown produce.
    That’s my tuppence worth, oh swan on glassy pond ❤


  6. Trackback: Solo & Soulful – A Blessed Blog Buddy « Soul Dipper

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