To Simply Be Here

Guess WHAT???  I could write ANYthing right now!  How wild is that?!  I mean an infinite well of possibility is at my disposal in this very moment… and yet… I will pare down infinity to something very specific and hopefully beautiful, inspiring and/or thought provoking.  What a divine responsibility!  And we share it, you silly earthling!  Every moment that we open our mouths and let our thoughts fly free as supercharged sonic vibrations, we alter the entire cosmos.  Don’t ask me… that’s just the way it is.  But I sure don’t see us humans living in a state of reverence for this weighty gift.  Nobody taught us to.  We learn to speak and soon our mouths flap and pop and click like there’s no tomorrow, painting the world with careless, linguistic barf.  Makes me think of the hallowed Buckminster Fuller, inventor of cool shit like the geodesic dome.  He shut the fuck up for literally years, because he didn’t want to speak until he was truly moved to.  And when he finally did, you can bet your fancy-assed britches that he spoke as an ambassador of the All Pervading Holy Headmistress.  (Listen, we are ALL ambassadors of the All Pervasive Exclamation Point… We just don’t act like it often enough.)

I am at Pizzaiolo today.  It’s been like a week… I’m sorta glad to be back.  Though writing in bed is pretty sweet compared to this hard, wooden bench.  But the best thing about being here is that on Monday mornings, the flower arranger is here designing her signature over-the-top bouquets of creative genius.  I just gave her a good, long look.  She shines like a true artist in the biblical sense.  I can see the creative impulse smoldering in her gorgeous face.  Her arrangements are more like little ingeniously flowering trees!  Today’s arrangements are being fashioned from immense tree branches that reach the ceiling.  But she takes hours to complete her works of art, so who knows what kind of magic will burst from these trees as they ripen into the gradual fullness of their expression… All I know is that they will defy traditional “flower arranging” for the betterment of [wonder] woman kind.

Speaking of Wonder Woman, sheeesh did I want to have a drink or a smoke or a SOMETHING yesterday.  I did NOT want to feel what I was feeling.  What was I feeling that was so undesirable?  Hmmm… well, if I had to name it… I guess it was the kind of bereft loneliness that seeps right beneath your clothes, through even your skin, bones, and straight into the soul of your soul.  Shrug.  I guess that kind of loneliness is “good”.  I mean it puts hair on the chest.  Spiritual hair.  The kind of hair that’s like God’s badge of honor. (Not to mention, a crucial source of warmth.)  I can’t help but think I was feeling beyond myself and clear into the heart of the world, on behalf of the Team.  When my emotions are so immense and indefinable… it only makes sense.  Especially given the vast numbers of people who are NOT willing to feel all that stuff… it’s gotta go somewhere, right?

I’ve said it before, but this phase of the spiritual path is fuckin’ tough.  It’s the phase where I realize that noting of this world can truly fulfill me, and yet I’m still digging through my wickedly massive, larger than life sized purse to find my all access, VIP pass to the Here and Now version of Heaven.  I know I’ve talked about this before, because I remember having the epiphany that this state is actually purgatory in the biblical-est sense.  But as I sit here in wait, I know that my ascent to Heaven is inevitable… it’s just a matter of WHEN.  And hell is but a very compelling figment of our twisty, collective imagination of a world divided and stripped of Love.

In the past, I would have slugged a glass of wine and been fine enough.  I would’ve hit the pipe and been feeling right in no time.  Or at least had a sweet, creamy treat and then distracted myself by riding the Ferris wheel of guilt, self judgment and spot hitting temporary relief.  But… I’m done with that.  At least for now.  As my spirit guides shouted to me through Amy, THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS TO LOVE!!!!  There aren’t.  They are right.  And I am so over pretending otherwise.  So instead I dragged my teary ass out into the perfectly warm evening for a wander through the Piedmont Cemetery.

For those of you who don’t know, the cemetery is one of the most magical places I know.  I have unicorn sightings there on a semi-regular basis.  It is an immense world, much like what I imagine many people’s rendition of Eternity actually does look like.  Green rolling hills that reach increasingly higher, until they spill out into a view of the entire bay area.  The diversity of trees is mind boggling.  Seriously, I bet every single tree that can grow in the state of California (which encompasses most tress) is planted in this enchanted land.  And the tomb stones are so wicky-wicky artistic, ranging from the most basic granite lumps, to ornate mausoleums, to beautifully tortured, pensive stone angels.  Stone angels.  Honestly, what could be more poetic?

The gates were locked early yesterday, so I hoped the stone wall.  A man in a bright orange shirt saw me and was inspired to follow suit.  I wandered along the path, secretly hoping he was behind me.  I felt compelled to talk to him.  Shrug.  Couldn’t tell you why… I turned around.  He was there.  We struck up a conversation.   I told him that I was feeling the sorrow of the entire world and I was choosing not to self medicate.  He expressed his own strain of soulful loneliness.  We walked and talked in the most straight, unabashed fashion.  And then we parted ways.  He sat on the edge of the hill and drank in the warm, spacious world.  I climbed higher up the hill, wondering where I was headed.  Until, that is, I spotted the perfect tree, who literally beckoned me.  I sat underneath her and opened wide to the quietly breathing soft chaos of the Bay Area.  Lucid blues, humming greens and a whispering sea of liquid gold, kissed by otherworldly mist.

Then I shut my eyes on all of this resplendent, over the top beauty, knowing that I am on an unstoppable mission to discover the very Mother of all this visually accessible beauty.  A beauty that can only be discovered “the hard way”… you know, by being willing to dive deep beneath the seen, tasted, smelled, heard, felt world of the senses.  A beauty that lives in the heart of the heart of the heart of the All Pervading Heart.  Yeah.  I meditated until the sun was just about to hide its flaming face for the night.  In awe, I watched it sink into oblivion, decimated by modest, silhouetted mountain peaks.   I almost tasted peace… perched alone at the top of the world, straddling that grandiose paradox of utter aloneness and implicit connection to all life.  I remember being lulled by the heavy whispering swish of a raven’s wings on the air.  I remember being stung by the profundity of One set of footsteps, attesting a blessed yes to their very existence.  I remember the silent demand from some-invisible-where to be willing to simply be here.  To simply be here.

Amen.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. spirit2go
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 18:15:18

    AthenaGrace – perhaps you picked up on my loneliness yesterday. It seems I cried most all day. Sometimes Sundays are like that
    One of my favorite things to do, (also) is to wander in old cemetaries. I love the solitude, quiet, beauty, spirituality there. I love to read the head stones and try to imagine the stories.
    Perfect, perfect place to meditate
    The Bay area is one of my favorites.

    Reply

    • Athena Grace
      Jun 28, 2010 @ 18:59:46

      You GET IT!!!!
      Thank GOD!
      You WOULD get it.
      You are the type-a woman who gets stuff.
      That’s why I keep you around!!!!
      Thank you for sharing yourself, Beautiful Sistah!
      ~Athena Grace

      Reply

  2. souldipper
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 18:49:54

    It takes an Intrepid Trooper to stop plugging life with ‘mind altering substances’; it takes a Love Warrior to attend to one’s own soul.

    We don’t have to climb Everest to know adventure. We simply look within. How will we ever run out of material to share…

    Reply

  3. Ron Abram
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 22:24:54

    You share from your heart. Emotions come to us, and leave exactly when they are supposed to. I believe there are no vacuums in the Universe. We have to let go of something in order to gain something. In other words, we have to give it away to get it. One of lifes many paradoxes. Like the hot air balloon, we want it to go up, yet often we are unwilling to let out the sand in the bags that keep us tethered. It was a pleasure meeting you last Saturday. Namaste.

    Reply

  4. Lynne Spreen
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 12:01:28

    Yeah, when I start feeling that “I don’t belong anywhere” feeling, but I know that no amount of wine will fix me, in fact, it’ll make it worse, I climb the highest pile of rubble near my house, smell the manure, swat the flies, and rub my eyes, which are burning from the thick smog….Athena, one Christmas morning, I watched my kid and his step dad open their presents, which I made sure they bought for each other, and then, having received nothing but a major case of self-pity, I got my keys and escaped to the desert.

    I drove for hours until I got to this place where I could sit entirely alone. I walked right out into the desert, sat and felt the warmth of the earth ease the ache in my arthritic hips, held warm stones in my hands, and stifled tears of grief that I couldn’t just lay back and be absorbed into the timeless company of the rocky, bare mountains all around me.

    I wailed about it to my therapist the next week. He smiled and said, “What a sublime experience. To have to come home, I’d be depressed, too.” I miss that guy.

    Reply

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