Tenderizing Questions

I could talk about how today is my last day in my house here in beautiful, staticy Oakland, California. Or I could talk about how I sorta feel like projectile vomiting due to the stress of my impending move and resulting insomnia… I could talk about David Bowie currently shouting about rebels right in my ear (They have the music at an ungodly deciple here at Pizzaiolo. I’m having a mint tea and one last hurrah!) But nah… that’s kinda boring. I’d rather talk about profound stuff, because even though the surface of my awareness is full of agitated ripples and shimmers, the depths are all dark smiles and unspeakable richness. I have a lot on my mind. I hope I don’t make a pukey mess as I attempt to spit it out for you. But if I do… such is Life. I think one of the ancient secrets to happiness is to embrace the inevitability of pukey messes… and then roll up your sleeves and keep on loving right through them. Speaking of rolling up my sleeves, I just need to lament something for a moment. I’m gonna miss my muscles. (God, that made me crack up… mostly because it is entirely true. And very freeing to admit. Rock climbing. I’m not so sure they do that kind of thing in Kauai. I googled it and didn’t find much. Plus, Mykael has been my teacher and belay partner (thank you Mykael!!!)… Sigh. I have LOVED LOVED LOVED my year and a half long love affair with climbing. I love how I have transformed my relationship with anger, power and self-imposed limitations through climbing. I love the strength I have cultivated. I LOVE my climbing MUSCLES. Honestly, I was strong enough before… but it’s like the difference between the inconspicuous hottie, Clark Kent and his incognito superhero status, SUPERMAN. Oh well, non attachment. Someday, perhaps, I’ll be all withered and wrinkled, anyway. And then I’ll be generic, homogenous cosmic dust (My BODY, I mean… not my omnipotent, omnipresent me-ness). And who knows… maybe surfer girl/distance ocean swimmer muscles will be just as exquisite and impressive… But I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank my muscles for being so strong and beautiful. I bow to you, beloved muscles.) Woops, I had no idea that was gonna come out. I wanted to tell you all these other things… Like this quote that I heard from my beloved minister, Reverend Elouise last Sunday. She said, “Learn to ride the horse in the direction that it’s going.” Mostly, I find this quote to be wholly brilliant… except that Athena Grace LMNOP don’t ride no stinkin’ horses. This bitch rides unicorns or bust. And clearly my pristine, mythic steed is bound for tropical paradise. I am so proud of myself for not trying to hold on to the pasty banks of the river until my fingers bled and popped off. It could be tempting. (“My mama said to get things done, you’d better not mess with major tom”… Thanks David…) I have talked about this before… about my long standing affair with the inquiry of effort versus grace, remember? Like how much force do I exert as I lean in and engage with my life, and how much do I just lay back in passive bliss and let the holy waters otherwise known as Life, sweep me along? You’ve gotta understand~ this has been a pesky, continuous thorn lodged in my mind for ages. But has it been a thorn, or merely a rigorous course of study? I vote for the latter. I’d say it’s been one of my most recent theses in the School of Mostly Soft Knocks. And this most recent confluence of events has been a culmination, a graduation of sorts. I am more engaged than ever in my life. Every day I wake up and live an authentic and satisfying life of my choosing. And as the framework of this life has crumbled and fallen, I truly feel that I have hopped bareback upon my horned beast and let it gallop into the vibrant, dawning wash of my destiny. It is effort… but it is also Grace. See for yourself what a prolific writer I have been and continue to be. Writing. It’s as much effort as it is grace. Same with spiritual practice, healing and self inquiry. And cooking, exercise, nurturing friendships… I feel so blessed to be here, living this life. As I declare that, though, the question surfaces, “I could be doing MORE to serve Humanity, couldn’t I?” I guess this is a newer incarnation of the question. How do I live my life so that I am serving and elevating You and You and You and You and You and you get it… That’s a slippery question with so many expressive, diverse faces. On one extreme, it could be argued that I’ve gotta be the third coming of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., or Joan of Arc… but on the other side of the spectrum, You could say that it doesn’t matter what I DO out in the world so much as it matters the degree of peace in my heart. I believe they are BOTH true. I believe in the whole and completeness of myself as I am IN THIS MOMENT. And still… I know that this is a course that I am currently enrolled in, in the School of Mostly Soft Knocks, and because of this, the answer will roll and tumble, smooth and solidify as I continue to live and breathe and widen myself in the Yearning for Ultimacy. My dear Maha Devi (Great Goddess), friend and confidant, RosyMoon came over to partake in the Last Supper with me yesterday at noon. She shared about a question asked of her by her Teacher (with a capital T) some time ago. Since then, she has been grappling with it inside herself and as a result, stirring up much illumination and dormant wisdom. The question was something along the lines of, “Why do you commit to your yoga practice? What has you step in, day after day?” She said her first response was, “because it makes me feel good…” Which she realized was kinda weak, come to think of it, and hence she took her figurative pick-axe to her interior and began to hack away at the dense walls of her unconscious, in search of the latent oceans of gems hidden within. I believe that a life well lived requires asking the right questions. And then not just merely scurrying for the quickest, microwavable, drive-thru answer, as our pill popping, speed freaky, popular culture has conditioned us to do… but actually being willing and available to be tenderized by the question. Sit in it and mar-i-nate. Stew. Like Rumi’s precious little chickpea. What questions are YOU living in these days? What questions would you like to inhabit for an arduous, devotional joy ride? Please! Leave a comment and share with the class! Amen.

God Answered My Prayer!!!

Guess what everybody?!?!  God heard my prayer last night!  God really heard my prayer last night!!!  I guess God hears every prayer… but the one I spewed out last night was so drenched in feeling, which is way more powerful than some petty strands of half hearted, clunky words.  First of all, I love writing after all… and more importantly, I have been recognizing all the Love I feel for everyone as the sacred nectar of God’s Love.  (AND this is a total non sequitur, but I just successfully gave my cat her de-worming pill, which I have been terrified to do and hence put off for about six months now… But I finally mustered the courage.  I was cleaning out the refrigerator [for the second time in the year that I’ve lived here] and stumbled upon this almost full jar of mayonnaise.  The classical light bulb winked jubilantly above my head.  I marched into Mykael’s bedroom to see if Anjali dug on mayonnaise.  Yup.  So I said a prayer, dipped the pill in salty, white slime and crammed it into her mouth.  She wriggled and fought, but when the smoke cleared, the pill was missing in action!!!!  My heart ached for torturing her.  I mean it REALLY ached.  I apologized to her profusely.  She hid behind a chair and licked her dainty chops like there was no tomorrow.  Hasta la vista, you gross little wormy creatures.)

Now back to God’s Love.  It all started this morning.  No, it started last night.  I read Souldipper’s comment and an email she wrote me, right as I was falling asleep.  Folks, lemme tell you a little something about Souldipper~ this woman sure knows something of Love.  And I’m talking about the All Pervading strain… Every time I receive words from her, they are heavily marinated in some potent universal Love.  They sing inside me and broaden my divine inner vistas with the naturalness of breath.  I am always amazed!  I laid in bed after a rough day and felt as if God was cradling me.  Cha-ching!!!  Thank you Missus Dipper!

But then on the bittersweet side of the coin, I had a date with Eric (my beloved ex-fiancé) to go to my church (east bay church of religious science) this morning and he canceled and said he needed to meet later.  This devastated me.  I had been so excited to share one of the most nourishing facets of my existence with him.  When he broke the tainted news to me via text, my heart curdled and withered like a gross old bowl of jello that has been sitting in the fridge since the beginning of time.  My time has been so precious to me lately as I prepare to move house, see dear friends one last time, exercise, earn money… phew, I’m sweating just thinking about it.  So I felt disrespected by his frivolous postponement.  (So much so that I woke up at 3:45am and gave it about an hour of good, hard thought!)  In the morning as I sipped my yerba matte in bed, I decided to email Souldipper first… because I knew that would put me right where I belonged~ in my heart.  Then I would express my “yuckies” to Eric when I was feeling open, clear and centered.

I wrote to him and shared what was true for me, including that I expressed with the intention of releasing it and keeping our channel of communication and intimacy clear.  Then I leapt on my Black Beauty (my bike) and pedaled to church.  In meditation, I thought about Eric.  Yes, I KNOW I’m not supposed to think in meditation.  But sometimes this flawed goddess does… what can I say?  I felt afraid that expressing negative emotions would push him further away, when really I wanted more closeness.  But as I sat feeling the tangle of emotions in my heart, I realized they were really just Love!  I only felt hurt and disappointed because I loved him and wanted to share with him.  And I spoke my truth to him for the same reason.  As this awareness bloomed in me, so did my heart bloom.  I released the stories and focused on the pure sensations in my heart, choosing to recognize them as Love.

Then after meditation, I checked my email (on my Iphone)… I know that’s a tacky thing to do in church, but I did it and God doesn’t even care.  I am not a sinner.  I do not have to repent for this.  God actually cheered me on.  I saw an email from Eric and he told me that he had not realized that this church meant so much to me.  He also shared some vulnerable stuff that was in his heart.  My intention came true and I felt free again.  Plus, I had the epiphany about disappointment and resentment being nothing more than unexpressed Love.  That is huge.  I believe that any time we feel shadowy, “negative” emotions, that’s all they really are.

As the day ripened and spread open before me, my heart swirled with gratitude and love.  I realized that everyone I am blessed to Love is me Loving God.  It’s all the same.  Every expression of Love is borrowed from the same oceanic bank.  And this bank is Unlimited.  I can “fall” in Love with every single person, every single moment.  And today, I did.  Because God heard my prayer last night.  Today, everywhere I looked, I saw the ecstasy of Love illuminating my vision.  I sat under my favorite eucalyptus tree at the farmer’s market and ate delicious, nourishing lunch that I packed for myself.  The sun was out and the creek was running.  Children LOVE when the water flows!  They flock to it and become totally absorbed in joyful, playful presence.  Most parents let their kids have at it… except for the handful of moms and dads with poopy diapers who forbid their little ones from the primal indulgence for fear of “germs” or getting dirty.  I sure pity those kids.  But I sat alone under the tree eating the best food ever and bathing in the delight of children drawn to the flowing water like cherubs to the exploding center of Haven.  Then Eric arrived and we nibbled on time and space and the communion of two who will always be One at heart.

God, thank you for answering my prayer.  Thank you!!! Amen.

P.S.~ I just read this blog aloud to Mykael as I proof-read it.  He lamented, “I wasn’t in there.”  So I said, “P.S., I Love Mykael.”  Friends, I wish you were here to see his face… it lit up like a new born sun when I said that… which naturally tickled me and made my own heart blaze.  So…PS, I Love Mykael.  Yes, I do.  Once a Beloved, always a Beloved, if you ask Athena Grace LMNOP!

Ahhh Men

God?  Can you hear me?  I need your help.  I feel suddenly depressed.  Can you please move your ornery old elephant off my chest now?  PLEASE.  God!  God.  God.  God.  God.  God, how do I engage in this world of illusions when nothing means anything?  How do I find my place in a meaningless world?  I guess that makes me meaningless too.  I guess that makes Love the only meaning.  But loving can get so misconstrued, contorted, congealed.  I don’t even feel my love of writing right now, God.  This scares me, because I thought writing was the only thing I had to hold on to in the face of this falling apart.  But nope.  Looks like that wasn’t your plan for me.  Looks like you wish for every last fiber of stuffing to be ripped from me today.  Okay.  I trust you.  But it hurts.  I’m probably better off without stuffing anyway.  God, please make me pure.  Make my heart so naked and pure that it Loves all beings AS YOU.  Yes God, if I am going to this place of existential despair as my whole life comes undone, let it be so that my mind is restored to the perception of wholeness.  Let these tears be shed only to wash me clean.  God, please show me how to life my life as Love.

At the farmer’s market today, nobody bought a poem from me.  Is that part of the reason I suddenly was ransacked with sorrow?  But three men came to visit me.  Shrug.  Maybe just to bathe in my radiance.  Men.  Lately it seems like I am attracting so many men.  I guess because I’m beautiful inside and out.  And because I’m generous, open, sincere, caring, sexy, fun, deep, creative and so on.  Sigh.  Don’t get me wrong, I like to be desired… but isn’t there more to life than the stupid chase?  The stupid chase for WHAT?  For this other ONE who is supposed to be the torch of our happiness and fulfillment.  This just IN:  No other single human being will EVER fill your hole (well… you know what I mean…) so you might as well quit pretending and find some real fish to fry.

The first male visitor I had was an older man who bought a poem from me back in the stone age.  He has made a regular practice of saying hello every week, God bless ‘im.  Today he was considering getting another poem… and I offered that he could gift one to someone he loved.  He said he didn’t love anyone, which struck me as indubitably fishy, since he’s a pretty enlightened chap.  So I poked around at him a bit and learned that he was referring to romantic love, which our culture seems to value so much more than any other strain of the unavoidable L word.  It kinda ticked me off that he demoted all the other loves in his life to the rung of the status ladder just below chopped liver and taxes.  So many people do that.  Like if your not getting laid or feeling generally intoxicated by the OBJECT of your affection, than it ain’t worth a measly tinkling of pocket change.  He confessed that mostly he lived in the Heaven that life can be if one chooses to see it… but sometimes he has pangs of yearning for a special someone.

I tried to tell him that even when you HAVE a special someone, THE PANGS DON’T GO AWAY.  Humans were built to pang ourselves silly.  And every time we pang, we think something is wrong and we must fill the hole.  Desire fulfillment desire fulfillment itch scratch itch scratch itch… Honestly, People… ain’t nuttin’ gonna fill your hole except God, but God is see-through, so to the untrained eye, it might still seem like a hole.

Which brings me to my second visitor.  He’s a beautiful man on a beautiful path of awakening.  Two weeks ago, he bought a poem from me.  As I was probing around in his interior for poem material, I asked him if he had one wish right now, what would it be?  He said to kiss me.  Blush.  Naturally, I liked hearing that… and at the same time… I… didn’t really want to kiss him.  But we did go rock climbing the other day.  And then he cooked me dinner!  I was heavily bleeding that day and I felt so nurtured by his love filled food and quality company.  I swear.  You know how I’ve been feeling so alone and aching?  The meal that he cooked for me was MAGICAL!  He eats macrobiotic, so it was healthy and vibrant.  In the two years plus that Mykael and I have been together he has never cooked for me… which is NOT to make Mykael out to be a punk-ass… he’s totally not… cooking is just not a way that he is able to show his love for me.  But feeling loved by a man through a delicious, nourishing meal that HE prepared was worth its weight in Cuban cigars, Elvis Presley collector’s items and unicorn tears!  But does he want more from me?  I’m afraid that he wants a relationship with a capital R.

Which brings me to bachelor number three.  He materialized before me, suddenly as if he had been freshly beamed down from the mothership.  A beautiful, thick black man with dreadlocks a few life-times long and a silken voice laden with implicit intelligence and wisdom.  Gazing into his eyes, I could tell that he knew some cosmic secrets and had been through a school of knocks both soft and not so soft.  We shared some very forthright, soul gazing conversation.  I asked him why he was on the planet.  He said to learn to be a whole man in a broken world and… something else profound… too bad I forget.  Maybe to help humanity ascend to the next level of awakening or some’m… he was truly beautiful and saw much of myself in him.  Yeah, I guess I see much of myself most every which way I look… but… he was a particularly high self.  Very mystical that All Pervading One sprinkled him down upon me… But WHY?  He carried my typewriter as I bought two bunches of rainbow chard and a lavish bunch of Italian parsley.  I fed him a strawberry.  Oops, that made him want to kiss me.  Guess he’s just another king looking for his queen after all.  Or to put it as blatantly as possible, another cock looking for his pussy.  Shrug.  What other dances can I do with men besides the mating dance?  And what about sex?  Maybe I’ll hold off on that carnal impulse for a while.  Honestly, any monkeys can rub their stupid genitals together.  Jesus.  I’d rather my heart and soul were BLOWN wide open and left smokin’ in God’s holy ocean.
I do NOT know how to relate with men right now.  In the twilight hours of my current relationship, I find myself questioning relationship with a capital R all together.  I have vowed to myself to take at least a year off from relationship all together.  I have a lot to explore and discover within before I dare enmesh with anyone else.  My only boyfriends will be Jesus, Yogananda and Shri Krishna!  There’s no point in subscribing to another half-baked (at best) savior with a small s.  No thanks.  I don’t want another relationship until I meet my Maker once and for all and learn how to honor and respect that Relationship moment to moment with the full devotion of my heart.

Awoman.

Sleep-Blogging (First Cousin to Sleepwalking)

It’s late and the space inside me feels like reverently humming twilight sky: enchanting emptiness.  I wasn’t going to blog.  I approached the blank, glowing screen about a half an hour ago and lost my appetite.  I just couldn’t find anything in here that seemed worth sharing.  But Mykael coaxed me to at least step onto the page and announce that.  So… attention everyone~ (trumpet thunder and drum squeals) I don’t have it in me to blog tonight!  (It’s a song!)  I… don’t… have… IT… IN…meeeee… to blog… Toooo niiiight.  (And a dance!)  I bled heavily today… and my mind has flown away… I just wanna go pa-lay with the Sandman.  It’s so quiet in Athena GraceLand.  (A cabaret dance with feathers, flower petals, cobra snakes and ridiculously high heels!)

God, now that I’ve stepped onto the page, I feel so seduced by this sacred practice of uncorking and pouring myself into the virtual chalice that seems to exist outside you… but does it REALLY?  Or are these words but a dazzling dream scape smokey, mirrorish trick?  Perhaps everything that is falling out of me is *really* falling out of Your very vast and vivid imagination… Honestly friends, the bottom of this is whole reality construct might actually be the ceiling, or better yet the sky!  Don’t be so satiated by quick answers spewed by archaic experts. (Unless of course they have a respectable LMNOP after their sacred name.)

And while I’m on the subject, I just want to report that I woke up feeling so heavy with despair.  Like a baby waking up with a soaked diaper.  My figurative diaper was brimming with heartache and loneliness.  I didn’t know how I would survive this day.  So I reread an email that Souldipper wrote me the previous day, because it was chalk-full of soul fortifying words.  That jumpstarted a blessed mental shift.  Then in my meditation I asked my spirit guides to help me release my anxiety around managing the plethora of logistics that need to be handled sooner or later.  I asked them too to help me release the chill of loneliness reverberating through my cavernous inner reaches.  Then I asked them to help me feel God’s potent, nourishing, All Pervading Love.

God bless their non-physical hearts, they hooked a sistah UP!

Then after breakfast, I had the inclination to walk to Whole Foods and get Mykael some coconut milk so that it would be here for him when he arose.  (He seemed really bummed not to have any.  It would have been easy for me to take the path of criticism and think to myself, “Well if you really wanted it, you should have paid attention to the fact that you ran out and got yourself some more before now.”)  I used to do go out of my way for him all the time, with enthusiasm and passion.  But then I got sick of it.  Somehow caring for him turned from liberated, joyful choice to begrudging, self-imposed obligation.

Oh, I’m too tired to write.  But I just want you to know that I decided to stand in the space of my offering to him being an offering to myself.  Whole and free and purified by Love.  I let his happiness and fulfillment be my happiness and fulfillment.  I set about my task joyfully.  And because I set out in that spirit, naturally, I begot exponentially more joy and abundance.  This simple act of service was my life raft this morning.  And the day just kept climbing up Heaven’s lofty ladder.  I bled heavily.  I moved slow.  I didn’t get much done.  But I was happy.  And for that I give copious thanks!!!

Amen.

Q: What Did The Chickpea Say To the Pacific Ocean?

A: Warning. This is a test. This is ONLY a test. If this were a real blog… ummm… I wouldn’t tell you it was only a test. But otherwise it would be about the same. Rest assured, though, it is just a test. My bedroom is sweltering and stuffy. I feel like I’m swimming in a big pot of Boeuf Bourguignon*. (I just watched the movie “Julia and Julie” about the woman who cooks every single recipe in Julia Child’s cookbook in the span of a year and blogs about it! I loved it! I’d even go so far as to say I was swept off my feet, the way I have been yearning for Hollywood to sweep me recently! Thank GOD!) The Now feels thick, sticky and… stick-to-your-ribs-y. It was a scorcher today. (At least for us pansy-assed Bay Areans. For you who live in “normal” summer conditions, (as opposed to existing in a sea of fog that might burn of for a few hours in the afternoon and give way to a half-assed afternoon of sixty-something degree sunshine before it rolls back in to haunt the evening once again) you’d probably look at me cross-eyed as you languidly popped the top of your Mexican Coke and swigged it hard, fast and unappologetic. Well I’m hot. And sunburned. And freshly bleeding. And feeling pretty depressed as I watch my life as I knew it disintegrate before my innocent, blinking peepers. Yesir, every day more stuff disappears from the brown shingle structure formerly known as my “home”. I came “home” from Stinson Beach (!!!!!!!) this afternoon to discover all of Mykael’s kitchen stuff~ mugs, plates, bowls, etc. had migrated from their roosts in the cupboard to litter the counter top. My heart sunk. Again. Lately practically every moment seems to be laden with a fresh opportunity to choose happiness or despair. Sure, you could argue that that is no different than every single moment of life. But trust me, it is different. It’s like getting naked and laying on a glacier and saying to your self, “I can either choose to suffer or just merely experience these extreme sensations.” I keep finding myself sad, lonely, afraid, overwhelmed… and then just trying to remember to pray. To feel the sensations in my body. To lift my mind up in gratitude (thank you Souldipper!!!! Your reminder is worth its exponential weight in Love!). To see this friendly mayhem as an expression of the Great Love. Trust me, this is a new way for me and I feel clumsy. See, this is why I didn’t want to write. I was feeling blah… but the more I write, the more tears are welling and spilling, welling and spilling, welling and spilling. Time out. I’m gonna go take a cold shower. We’ll see if that will snap me out of this despair. Time in. Shazam! That was… er… bracing. Cold shower, then a generous full body slathering of coconut oil. Then I burned some cedar. That sloughed off the top layer of despair. But there’s still more layers underneath. Though fresh, newborn despair is far superior to that scaly, worn-out stuff. It’s right up there with sacrificial virgins, waking up to a shimmering coat of new-fallen snow, the sweet, human scent of baby head, a steaming, buttered slice of fresh baked bread. Despair. Actually I read an excerpt of a Rumi poem in the forward of the book I just started (Secrets of the Talking Jaguar by Martin Prechtel) about a chickpea crying out from the stew, “Why are you doing this to me?” and Rumi’s reply is: Don’t you try to jump out. You think I’m torturing you I’m giving you flavor, So you can mix with spices and rice And be the lovely vitality of a human being. If that is the context for the discomfort that I feel as I shed, shape shift, transform and become, then BRING IT ON, GOD!!! Open the sky inside me and let it RIP! I want to be flavorful! And more so, do I yearn to be the lovely vitality of Humanity. But wait… I already have been the lovely vitality of so many others in so many dissolved Now Moments of the past… but have I let these simple, fleeting moments, these sincere offerings of Love slide right through the imaginary cracks in me, so that I have remained empty, because I have imagined there to be more to life than the simplicity of kindness, generosity and connection. “So it goes”, as Kurt Vonegut would say… Ambition. First I must become a famous writer. First I must make a steady income and act like all the proper adults [covertly flailing in confusion] all around me. First I must get married. First I must have a baby. FIRST I MUST FIRST I MUST FIRST I MUST. And then this distinguished graduate of the School of Mostly Soft Knocks took a greedy swig of water. Then a greedy swig of air. Here I am… again. All striving aside… here I am. It’s a hot night in the end of august. My skin is pouring off radiant heat. I recall laying on the beach all afternoon, cooking under a relentless, beaming sun. Then striding right into the glittering, icy surf, reaching deep inside me for a prayer that would arouse the sleeping courage in me to wake and upon finding it, letting the endlessly vast body of the Pacific Ocean devour my flesh and bones and of course my inconspicuous *guts* so that for a single ecstatic moment of union I was One. Tingling, vibrant, elated, satiated ONE. Prayerfully dipping in frigid ocean… Is that what it will be like when God finally comes to pick me up from my long, hard, seemingly endless day at the School of Mostly Soft Knocks, once and for all? God will say, “How was school, Athena?” And all breath, ecstasy and gratitude, I will exclaim, “Amazing!” Amen.

Mystery Versus Rationality

I was feeling stricken with a bad case of the “same-ole, same-olds”…Tired of blogging in bed.  So I sojourned to Pizzaiolo this morning, mistakenly thinking that it would provide a transfusion of inspiration into my guts and my choice of words.   Not even close.  I also ordered a decaf mocha, the likes of which has been WAY off my radar for the past month plus.  Even with decaf everything inside me is jittering like a wind chime in a hurricane.  But there is a delicious feeling at the bottom of my womb.  It’s warm and dangerously alive.  (I am going to start bleeding at any moment.)  I had to put on my headphones and listen to Jai Uttal because there is a little posse of rugrats here who are boiling over.  You know, jumping up and down, growling, stomping and acting like the freaks that we ALL ARE inside, but pretend we’re not because we think looking good will afford us the love and acceptance we incessantly thirst for.

What should I write about?  I need a hug.  I keep having this inclination to just ask “strangers” (God, that is such a silly term to describe someone that you don’t know.  “Stranger”.  What’s a better word, oh hallowed namer of things?  “Uncharted Holy Waters of Humanity”, “Undiscovered Fleshy Wonder”…) for hugs.  I mean REALLY, think about it.  Nobody should EVER starve for a hug, considering how many damn people there are on the planet.  Pizzaiolo is full of ‘em right now… and yet I have this concept that it is only acceptable to fling my arms open to one who I know shallow stories about.  This is blasphemous.  I challenge myself to hug at least TWO undiscovered fleshy wonders today.  What about YOU?  Are you in?  If I can do it, you can.  Just start with one… honestly, the revolution starts here.  Let’s create a world culture where no human starves for hugs!  (and not no stinkin’ PC, A-frame bologna, either.)

Me and my over stimulated wind chiming bones were feeling at a loss as far as what to write about.  So I texted RosyMoon (Why did I almost type RosyMonsoon?  I swear I did…) and Mykael.  This is interesting.  RosyMoon told me to write about “mystery vs. rationality”.  Mykael told me to write about what I thought 2012 was about.  Certainly this is God screaming at me from deep inside my very own ear… because I think twenty twelve could certainly be about mystery versus rationality!  Remember when I was all tingles and shrieks about Little Grandmother?  She said that We are moving from the paradigm of the mind, back into the heart… which is essentially mystery versus rationality, isn’t it?

And anyway, isn’t it obvious what twenty twelve is about, given how suddenly hungry for Truth everybody is?  It all started when The Power of Now swept the nation.  ‘Member when the bloody book was EVRYWHERE?  Oh, and of course the movie, “What The Bleep Do We Know”… and then, “The Secret”.  Duh, isn’t it obvious that everyone is looking for the lost and long forgotten Essential Self who is buried beneath all this egoic rubble, distractions of shallow ambitions and grandiose fever dreams of separation.  Everybody (Is that an exaggeration?  Well if it isn’t “everybody” yet, it will be eventually, because we are at the ninety-nine monkey mark and soon we’ll all pop like innocent corn kernels in scalding oil… like it or not.) is having an inner revolution, releasing themselves into the watery, ambiguous quest of Self discovery.  (Yuck.  My mouth tastes like the wreckage of coffee aftermath.)

Mystery versus rationality.  I am having a very intimate dance with that topic these days, come to think of it.  I have clearly gotten the call to go to Kauai.  Trust me.  I made the choice very organically, much like a pregnancy.  I had the idea, which blew into my consciousness like a sacred seed on a current of God’s very breath.  I welcomed it… and just let it nestle into the potent soils of my Self.  I loved it, listened to it and let it’s unrooted promise seduce me in quiet moments.  And the next thing I knew, it had exploded into a cool canopy of certainty and promise.  Its roots were drinking from my very own dark inner reaches.  And as of yesterday morning, I am the proud owner of a one way ticket to tropical paradise!

My mind climbs precarious walls, groping for a lucid picture of who and what I will be when I land with a soft, sumptuous thump on the Garden Island.  Will I be able to make money?  Will I write a book?  (This question gnaws at me incessantly.  I know am destined to write a book, but the task is daunting.  Given how much I write, I could have a book a mile long by now… but it comes down to narrowing my focus, choosing a topic and diving in!  Any ideas?  What book by Athena Grace LMNOP would quench your soul-thirst?  What book would leave you esoterically fat and sassy and better off than I found you???)  My mind climbs its walls in a laughably fruitless search for solid ground to stand on.  I try to tell this twist of a mind that if it wants solid ground, it certainly won’t find it on the walls.  But that’s minds for ya.  They think they are all cutting edge and rationally superior… but really, they are stuffed with dust and stiff feathers.  My mind is itching to know if I am “moving” to Kauai… or just going for an extended stay.  Will I throw down roots, or just gracefully skim along the glimmering, crystalline surface of this verdant, oceanic heaven?

I can’t answer these desperate questions posed by a mind threatened by the unknown.  I find that when I concentrate on the meditation that it is to *Lovingly* put one foot in front of the other, treading a path paved with gratitude, authenticity and kindness, (and of course, forgiving with every breath) that is when I feel the most sane and whole.  It is only fear’s panty-twisted importuning that would have me flail and clambor to micromanage my entire existence, start to finish and bolt it down before tragedy and chance can strike tsunami style.  It’s the dance metaphor all the way, baby!  I take a slinky, smiling step… and then the Mystery pulls me coyly close and twirls me till I’m almost dizzy and giddy, my dress maybe flying up and flashing a quick glimpse of my high fashion panties to the world at large.  And then I swivel my hips and the Mystery mirrors me.  We leap in unison.  I toss my head back and laugh.  Sometimes this dance is clumsy, and sometimes it is seamless as a master in action.  But always, it is Alive.  Always it is Blessed.  Always it is Breath.

Rationality versus Mystery.  Every day I try to pry myself free from the tight, vicious fist of needing to know.  I am.  I am.  I AM.  And then she breathed.  And then her breath was pressed effortlessly, expelled from the softly heaving chest who never ceases to Wonder.  Amen.

I Know Your Secret

I think I’m too lonely and exhausted to write.  But… lemme at least write a “pilot” paragraph just to see if it gets my engine lubed.  Look, I won’t beat around the psycho-active bush here… I am just wondering how it is possible that I have been hearing God speak to me from so many lips and wink at me from behind the façade of so many unsuspecting, ordinary moments… and yet I still feel to be starving.  HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?  If I had to guess, I’d say it’s just a mental-emotional habit.

Last night Mykael invited me out to a gallery opening and then to hear his friendly acquaintance play music at a local tavern… A beer garden, if you will.  (I love that term, “beer garden”.  In my minds eye, I always see thick, twisty, shiny, fairyland foliage sprouting an ostentatious collection of decorative, microbrewery beer bottles lieu of flowers.  Ornate wrought iron tables nestle amidst the plant life and you simply pluck the beer of your choice straight from the vine and settle with good company and a waxing gruff attitude.)  Where was I?  Oh yes, I declined his invite, though it warmed me to be included.  (Our “way parting” (the new pc term for “break-up”) is going really well this week!  The love, kindness, respect and cooperation are everything I hoped for, but thought might be too good to be true.)  I felt so quiet inside yesterday.  And sensitive.  And I couldn’t imagine wandering into the abrasive outside world.  It was as if I had no skin on.  So he left right after dinner and my aloneness immediately surged in, laden with a tangible heft.  Oh well.  I blogged and then crashed out.  Big deal.  But then I heard the porch light click off and was startled from a sweaty, fitful sleep at a quarter till three am.

Hearing my partner come home late at night while I am nestled alone in my bed… is a trigger for me.  I guess because as a child sometimes my babysitters would leave before my mom got home and I spent time awake in bed marinating in the suffocating sensation of aloneness… Shrug.  I forgive, I forgive, I forgive.  Yes, it sucked… but BFD, so what?  Forgive I may, but the triggers remain… and when Mykael came home, I was not thirty years old, I was seven.  (Hey look!  I made it past the first paragraph!  I guess my engine is officially lubed.)  So there I was, suddenly wide awake, adrenaline coursing through my veins.  I prayed to God, as I am remembering to do more and more these days when I encounter moments laced with seemingly insurmountable bouquets of threatening feelings and or thoughts.

Time out!  I just have to say that I have been getting so many acknowledgements lately about the beauty and grace others behold in me.  (Souldipper, I just read your comment and it tipped me over the edge, into a soft splash of tears.)  What a mystery… Must beauty and ache be so interwoven?  From the inside, I feel like I am working overtime trying to hold myself together, stay poised, clear, strong, spiritually elevated… I feel a quiet, steady pulsing of strength and despair.  Amazing how from the outside, this experience occurs as “beauty”.  This is me falling to my knees and BEGGING God for mercy.  God!  Please bust these chains from my mind.  Free me from my need to control and understand.  May I have the courage to be empty, to be nothing, to simply be breathing peace.  God?  Do you hear me???

Time in… So I prayed to God.  Yet from the shackles of my perception, I remained alone, in the dark, in my bed.  This is the closest to Holiness that I can muster at this time.  It’s just such an impressive paradox… to know that human love belly flops in pools of hot lava and hissing acid compared to Divine Love.  I know this.  Without a shred of doubt.  And yet I have misplaced the door, or the key, or the… Yes, we’ve discussed this one before.  Rumi told me that I will soon find that I have been knocking from the INSIDE.  Great, thanks Rumi.  Now pardon me while take my bloody knuckles and get back to work a-knockin’.

Here I am.  Here I am.  My bedroom is being slowly swallowed by twilight, my screen glows bright and the house is flooded with silence.  Here I am.  Beautiful me.  My heart cries out for its implicit bliss.  As if it could ever be found beyond this oppressively precious Now moment.

When I woke up this morning, I tried to shift gears, burn through the emotions still lingering from 3am.  I almost could.  Almost.  I kept trying to stand up and report for duty on the front lines (it was farmer’s market day), but the oppressive gray sky kept knocking me back on my ass.  My soul weighted as much as an elephant who accidentally swallowed a sassy chain of spiral galaxies.  So I resorted to waking my hung-over soon to be ex-boyfriend up and falling apart in sobs.  He held me.  I thought, how can I possibly show up at the farmer’s market to sell poems when my eyes are puffy and my confidence took flight in the night?  Who will want a poem from one who is such a flailing pile of fear and loneliness?

But a steady, quiet voice in me whispered that I am just like you.  I believe that it is ONLY God’s Love for which we all ceaselessly thirst.  We just wrap it in a myriad of fancy packages.  We think we want a partner, a new car, a sweet vacation, a better job, a pedicure, a bouquet of flowers, an inspired rendezvous with a friend, even.  But any desire we dangle out in front of ourselves and then exhaust ourselves chasing after… is only the pursuit of… Yep, you guessed it, the All Pervading Love-gasm.  So I got dressed (mostly in black, because I am dying to everything I once dreamed I was) and marched my typewriter down the hill to report for duty, carrying in my breast pocket the most tender and universal secret~ Everyone aches, consciously or not, to be reunited once and for all with our Eternal Beloved.

Amen.

Yosemite “Blog”

Wow, it’s almost nine o’clock at night and I feel like the dictionary definition of “brain dead”.  Staying committed to blogging as my whole life crumbles to fairy dust takes some muscle.  But I’m a pretty muscular chick, if you want to know the truth.  (Metaphorically muscular as well as literally, just for the record.)  Thankfully, I “blogged” while I was camping in Yosemite.  Yup, me n Dara stopped at Target (pronounce it “Tar-sjae”, if you please…) and had one last hurrah in the land of fluorescent lights, cheap goods stained with the blood of children, and miles of superfluous, soulless doo-dads.  I splurged on a spiral notebook made with recycled paper, two black, clicky ballpoint pens and some Tom’s of Maine “wicked fresh” (their new flavor) toothpaste.  Dara got ibuprophen, a cheapo headlamp and oh god, I can’t remember what else.  So much for knocking your shoes and socks off with my impeccable recounting of frivolous details.  I guess I’ll have to resort to other tactics to impress your pants off tonight.

Anyway, the POINT is that I found it highly awkward to “blog” in my spiral notebook.  My handwriting was so messy which made me feel like I *must* be writing crap.  But then I read what I wrote to Dara as we huddled around the campfire, the rushing creek singing back-up, and I was pleasantly surprised that even though it LOOKED like chicken scratch, my voice was still my voice and my pride was still intact.  So here’s one of my “blogs”, not so fresh off the press from the once virginal morning that spilled from me two days ago:  (I kinda feel like a mom who is burnt out and opts to feed her kids microwave meals and pop in a video while she flops down like a lifeless marionette on her unmade bed.)

August 18th, 2010

I see a Stellar’s Jay mischievously hopping about the low branches of a pine tree towering over the bear locker.  He has a particularly ratty, punk-rock crest.  Oh.  He flew away.  Now what do I write about?  Ahhh yes, in a notebook, it doesn’t matter.  I suppose in a blog it doesn’t matter either… but it sure does seem to at times… In a notebook it is the sheer bold, courageous act of stepping back onto the page, returning to the unknown.  Standing at the mouth of a mystic well, dropping a bucket down and scooping up a big, wet helping of myself.

A tubby little asian boy just wandered through our campsite to the water’s mirrored edge, carrying an empty plastic jug to fill.  I watched him with curiosity as though he were an exotic though benign wild animal.  Whit is it about fat children that makes them so alluring to me?  I guess it’s their squeezability factor.  They’re like over-sized over-stuffed teddy bears… which of course reminds me of Eric.  We had [yet another] inside joke that we’d adopt a fat little Mexican boy someday… and name him Guillermo.  But what does that have to do with anything?  Well… Eric… He’s been omnipresent for me out here in nature, and when I say “omnipresent”, you’ve gotta understand… I mean omnipresent.  I see/feel him in EVERY towering pine tree (he can talk to trees, you know…), every massive granite boulder.  I hear him in the cool, hushed chant of the creek.  I smell him in the perfumed air.  But you know what???  Screw that… It’s not REALLY Eric that is haunting my mind and heart.  No ma’am.  It’s our Undercover, Beloved-assed Omnipotent Superhero, Almighty Jah!

Honestly, I’ve been through enough yearning streaks to know that if it wasn’t Eric, it would be (and has been) Mykael, Jerry… even dumb old Charlie.  Athena!  Please!  STOP yearning for these hollow cardboard cut-outs of the All Pervading Real Thing, who could NEVER in affinity years ever hope to fill that gorgeous void of Divine Longing inside you.  Wake up and smell the sweet, smoky campfire!

Dara read me a bedtime story in the tent last night! (talk about a quick route to my heart!!!)  Not only that, but it was my quintessentially perfect bedtime story~ the story of the life of my Beloved teacher (and predecessor), Hafiz.  And you know what?  His life was NOT so dissimilar from mine.  At one point, he stumbled hard into lust-laced love with a beautiful woman, who rejected his sorry ass.  (Apparently he was not the most handsome man.)  So he did this perverse ritual in which he sat awake in vigil for forty nights straight in a cemetery.  Supposedly it was supposed to make this ho fall for him.  But at the end of the fortieth night, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and said he would fulfill one single desire for Hafiz.  Upon the utter revelation of seeing this resplendent divine messenger manifest, Hafiz was so smitten that he forgot all about the mere woman and longed to know God, whom he imagined could ONLY be a gazillion times more beautiful.

So it went that Hafiz’s single wish was to know God.  And obviously peeps, the proof is in the damn puddin’.  Every single word I’ve ever read of Hafiz is saturated with unmistakable, authentic ecstatic intoxication.  His words are a result of the Universe consciously making Love to its self.

And the moral of my decadent bedtime tale?  Naturally, that as soon as I realize fully that it is ONLY the All Pervading Beloved for whom I incessantly yearn… whose voice I hear in the river’s song, whose scent I gulp in hungry lungfuls from this enchanting, perfumed air~ When I relinquish my false pretenses of shallow human longing~ then will I truly meet my “Maker” so to speak… My Eternal Beloved.  So get crackin’, Athena Grace!  But the trouble is that I would not sit in eager, unwavering vigil for any of these common yet mouthwatering men, let alone God-On-High.  Id rather just keep slogging along, comfortably uncomfortable through this illusion of a dream leaking subtle, perverse nightmarish goo out the sides.

And the macro moral of my own personal mythology?  Athena, do your best to relinquish your fever-dreams of Eric.  And ALL the other great taste, less filling faces of the Infinite.  Find the mouth of the well and bring your own madly thirsty lips to sip from the Source that will NEVER cease to drench and satiate not just the finite mirage you dream yourself to be, but the whole blessed brigade of Ones whose hearts eternally cry out to Remember.

Amen.

Live From the Jungle Inside

Well… (That reminds me~ I used to have this stuffed monkey named “Montgomery Monkey” when I was a kid.  He said a handful of various things when you pressed on him in specific regions.  One of his tired antics was to tell a joke.  It went like this~ “Have you heard about the three holes in the ground?  …Well, well, well.”  Hahaha.  Not.)  Well… I’m back from Yosemite.  And Jesus H. Xmas (for some reason saying “Xmas” instead of “Christmas” really sets my funny bone a-ticklin’.  Either you’ll totally get it, or you totally won’t…) Jesus H. Xmas, was it a potent excursion.  There is SO much I want to tell you about it!  I don’t know HOW I could ever manage to cram it into a thousand words.  But rumor has it that “they” crammed the Lord ’s Prayer onto a single grain of rice… I think that’s one of the exhibits in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.  Strange the superfluous tidbits that lodge themselves discreetly in fresh, young minds.  I’ve been carrying that one around for at least twenty years, without hardly noticing it once… and then in the swimming pool this morning, I was scheming about my blog and that just sprung to the surface of my consciousness like a buoyant old friend.  You know what I want?  I’m gonna start a whole collection of rice grains etched with bucking, snorting, divinely effervescent prayers… and then you know what I’m gonna DO with them?  I’m gonna cook them and serve them for dinner with some delicious coconut curry like I made tonight!  And YOU’RE invited!

Gosh, I guess I got your appetite all wet and drizzly for a taste of my savorier than thou escapades in Yosemite… as told on the modest yet evocative little body of our beloved olde pal, the rice grain…  But Jesus Xmas, I am the one snorting and bucking under the weight of all that pressure.  I don’t know if you know this about me… but I love to write from an emotional, energetically charged space.  These blogs are actually pilgrimages into the very center of my being and the ensuing spray of artifacts I trip over along the desolate way.  Desolate?  Athena Grace!  Dare you call your path and process “desolate”?  Yeah, I guess that’s pretty much text book blasphemy.  My path is more reminiscent of a jungle, I’d say.

Which reminds me~ on our way home from Yosemite, my soul sister Dara read me an email from a friend of hers who is on a very overt magical mystery tour right now.  She’s an older woman with grown children who had a deep soul calling to go to the jungles of umm… Ecuador?  And there she met her soul mate, a beautiful native shaman.  Her email was so rich, reverent and sensual.  It should be published and read by many.  Dara read it to me as the horizon exploded psychedelic orange with periwinkle and Venus aftermath.  The words bled in rivers of femininity.  Vulnerable power.  She told us how her lover greeted each day by walking out onto the deck, opening his arms wide to the raw jungle and making a full circle, honoring all of the life that miraculously unfurled and wove upon its self everywhere.  She told of his incessant worshiping of the divine in every fond touch of leaf, dirt, stream and creature as he moved through the thick, wet, forested world.  He spoke only Spanish.  She, only English… so much of their relationship exists in rich, non-verbal communication and sacred silence.  I felt pangs of longing and awe… She emblazened such crisp pictures of the jungle inside me~ the occasional thud of ripe fruits falling to the smooth hard dirt of the jungle floor.  Fireflies dancing in the thick, moist black of the night.

Why do I bring this up?  Because her words spread a profuse bed of seeds inside me and given my own fertile inner climate, they are already springing up into a jungle of their own, right here inside.  Hearing her story, I remember the mythology that each of us IS.  Every single One of us is on a hero’s (or heroine’s as the case may be) journey and everything that we live and breathe and taste is a retelling, an unfolding, an embellishment of the mythology of the World.  God’s journey through an elaborate, prismatic dream scape.  I am no more and no less of an epic Athena than the one who sprung out of Zeus’s head back in the good ole days.  And you, with your treasure trove of an inner world stand right along side Shiva, Lakshmi, Hanuman, Persephone and Thor!

We are each a sacred, mythical epic poem being inscribed on a single grain of rice in a vast ocean of rice, which someday will inevitably (and maybe anticlimactically) be cooked and devoured by All Pervading _________. (Fill in the blank… just be sure that the Pervasive One is only alive AS Love.)  Amen.

A New Infusion Of Words To Chew

The best thing about blogging, is that I can be in ANY mood, mindset, heart space to do it.  Everything flies here in Athena Graceland.  I guess a few times I’ve had the thought, “Oh, I can’t blog right now, I’m too depressed,” or upset or overwhelmed… but mostly I just step in, get naked and let it rip!  And not only is that “acceptable”, it’s heavily preferable because that is the very reason that I write.  (Reason, shmeason… reasons do not hold no stinkin political office in Athena Graceland.  But just go with it.  Remember, my Poetic License doesn’t expire for another billion years…) To say it for the sixty ninth time, the *reason* that I write (besides that it’s a soul compulsion that if I didn’t heed, I’d probably die by drowning in a sloshy pool of my own tears) is to remind all of you human beings out there that YOUR unwieldy, insidious humanness is perfect, poetic and entirely forgivable.  The age of pretense hath cometh to an inevitable and relieving endeth.

So today I step into the page rung out and with a heart vast and trembling.  As I wrote that, an image of a sturdy, vibrant, green leaf filling slow and steadily with diamond drops of rain… until its poor, tremulous little stem can no longer support the weight, bends and water gushes everywhere.  God, I yearn to just snuggle up with Mykael and watch a movie.  Enough of this real life stuff.  I need a break.  But I had to write today because I didn’t write yesterday, nor will I write for the next four days because dig this~ I’m going camping with my friend Dara in Yosemite!!!!   And Wonder Woman, am I overdue for a camping trip!  I swear, it’s been… well… in the end of June 2008 I did a vision quest… which was pretty campy… but not quite a walk in the singing meadow.  Foodless, waterless and alone in a three foot by seven foot area being devoured by mosquitoes is not exactly a leisurely *prance* into nature.  God, four days without blogging… How will I survive? Now THAT’S a *real* vision quest, if you ask this language loving, perpetual student of the school of mostly soft knocks.  I guess I’ll just “blog” in my spiral notebook as I sun my naked self, reptilian style on a winking granite boulder beside a crisp, singing river.

Athena All Over the Place Grace, come back!  You have a story to finish!  Ah yes, I say as I pensively stroke my beardless chin (I do have ONE single beard hair… but I tweezed it yesterday.).  Remember, I was telling you the story of meeting my ex-fiance, Eric on New Years Eve, 2001.

So there we are, outside the Ascend party at the DNA Lounge, me and this intriguing, tall, lanky dude (six foot four) who is endearingly awkward in his attraction to me.  I feel deliciously comforted in his voluntary presence by my side.  (Gosh, just remembering this makes my heart tickle.  But since this aforementioned heart already feels so tender, just the slightest tickle could tip my scales and send me a-sobbing.  I’m just trippin out at how life unfolds.  At how this man who didn’t even know me (or DID he?!) felt compelled to follow me out of the club and stand by my side when I otherwise would have flailed about… perhaps until creations very last stroke.)  So we had a [new born] team huddle, spewing forth a string of possible next moves.  We caught wind of another [free] party in the neighborhood and opted to check it out.

Seven thumbs down.  It was in a janky, dilapidated warehouse with a rough cement floor.  The music dragged its ass all over me like sticky puke and everyone there was a cracked out zomby coming down from heartless rides on carpets that were more muscle than magic.  I tried to dance for like ten minutes but then I realized I was actually just beat and ready to hit the alfalfa.  Eric said he lived close by and invited me to engage in the act of slumber at his apartment.  Shrug.  Mkay.  I didn’t have anywhere else to go… and he was about as trustable as the love child of a sea turtle and a benevolent wizard.  We drove home in the car with his housemate and his housemate’s girlfriend whose eyes were both wide as flying saucers and their jaws as tight as (Oh CRUMBS, I just went to the bank of metaphors to make a withdrawal and it turns out I am already overdrawn!  Tight as… Guess YOU’LL have to fill in the blank.  I’m sure your bank is swollen to bursting with zinging metaphors… Tight as___________.)

Something you should know about me is that I am passionate about brushing my teeth.  So naturally, coming home from a club sometime after two am, my mouth was pining for a good scrub.  Remember, I had my backpack, and for sure it was loaded with everything I could possibly need should I feel compelled to up and run away from the home that I didn’t have in the first place.  Oh GOD, do I have to describe Eric’s apartment?  I am SO not in the mood.  Well, I will tell you it was on Nineteenth and South Van Ness in the Mission District of San Francisco.  And I will tell you that it was one of those cheapo places with dirty shag carpets, thin walls and mirrored closet doors.  I will tell you that it was a bachelor pad furnished with items they could easily have found on a street corner.  It had a seventies theme, complete with a disco ball hanging from the ceiling in the living room, a record player and an orange and brown color scheme.  Oh and let me not neglect to mention the tapestry of the Hindu goddess of destruction, Kali, wearing a garland of bloody sculls hanging adjacent to the front door.

There.  That was NOT so painful.  I was just being a baby.  So back to tooth brushing~ you’ll NEVER believe this but as we whipped out our respective dentifri (plural for dentifrice, of course), how stunned and tickled was I to discover that we had the SAME clear, light purple Oral B toothbrushes!  Man, I’ll tell you, standing side by side in his retro bathroom, viewing the scene through a large, reflective piece of glass at the end of an epic evening, which was even the precipice of a whole, fresh slate of time, seeing young, over-stimulated weather beaten me and my bashful, towering savior for the evening wielding twin toothbrushes… I’ll just say it was a moment that weighed more than a bread box and less than an elephant.  I smoldered with wonder and delight.

With clean, minty fresh mouths (shucks, I forget what kind of toothpaste we used.  I want to say it was Tom’s of Maine… But that would be strictly indulgent extrapolation…) we nestled into his bed for the entirely platonic and innocent act of sleep.  I marveled (and marvel still) at how much I trusted this kind, adoring soul.  His bedroom smelled like dusty, hippy bachelor.  He wrapped his arms cautiously and overtly respectful around my exhausted little body and we wafted softly into slumber.

To be continued and a requisite AMEN.

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