Grieving, Flipping Nickels and a Trip to the Clouds

Whelp… should I talk about my current incarnation of heart ache in relation to Mykael… or the clouds?  The age old question…  I suppose I’ll put off that weighty choice for a few moments by telling you that I usually can’t tolerate any music while I’m writing and opt for sssssilence, but today I fancy the Frederick Chopin station on Pandora.  It’s all classical piano music.  It fits like a sexy, satin, over the elbow glove with the rain soaked dusk.  I am sitting at my modest little nun’s desk in my bedroom, facing the window, witnessing the darkness suck the light out of this  day as rapid and unapologetically as I have been known to suck the life affirming waters from the center of fresh, heavy, green coconuts.  As the light and form soften and dissolve into vague gray scales, the piano keys strike inside me with increasing vividness.  Oh, and let me not forget the perfect harmony of dog voices.  That was sarcastic.  The dogs who live just over the fence still make my nervous system clench and shudder.

Okay, we’re gonna flip a worn out nickle, you and me… to see whether I go light or heavy tonight.  Heads is Mykael, because he HAS a head.  And tales is the clouds, because that monument on the back resembles a cloud that has been smashed into an open rectangular box.  Ready?  Here goes!…

Yahoo!!!!  It’s heads!  I’m so glad, because I need to talk this over with SOMEbody… it might as well be you, since you are the best listener in the whole entire galaxy.  You never interrupt me or act like a know-it-all-buffoon or zone out.  (The outside world is almost completely dissolved into darkness now.  There is only a cottony, silvering strip of diehard white clouds.) (And just for the record, my new buddy Jack invited me to the movies tonight at the last minute to see this movie about dolphins.  I wanted to go, but not at the expense of neglecting my beloved blog.  When I returned to Athena GraceLand yesterday after missing two days, I flooded with a renewed sense of meaning and the weight of a defending champion.  On facebook today, Shane asked his plethora of friends how they would like to die.  I don’t often dick around on facebook… because honestly, that can easily become a full time occupation… but I think this question was one of my all time favies.  I said some’m dumb… I was way too deep and “spiritual” and literal.  If I had it to do all over again, I’d’ve written that I want to die blogging!  I certainly don’t want to die at the movies… even if it IS a movie about dolphins…)

So today I finally changed my relationship status on facebook from “in a relationship with Mykael Lazzeri” to single.  I have been wanting to do it for a while… but hesitant, because it feels tender.  So though I have been officially single for three honkin’ weeks now, I finally cut another chord with him today.  I felt guilty, like I was stealing the crown jewels from the museum at night or something.  My heart twisted and trembled.  I wondered if Mykael would know… and how he would feel.

But I didn’t have to wonder for more than a few hours, because he texted me tonight and expressed hurt feelings.  He said he wished I would have consulted him first, so we could have done it together.  Honestly, I was surprised to hear that he was interested in having that much communication with me, since mostly my experience is that when I reach out, he doesn’t give much back and seems energetically insulated these days.  I felt defensive.  Which is a perfect holographic slice of our relationship dynamic.  When either one of us expressed hurt, it was pretty common for the other to hop on the defense in the lickety splitting of a wink of Michael Jackson’s deceased pop star eye.  I suppose that’s a pretty human way to play, but I think the two of us had (have) a knack for pumping up the volume on this particular game.  Which can be exhausting, you see.  But tonight, I am the one at “fault”.  I am the one who instead of softening, opening, merely listening to his vulnerable truth… I am the one who chose to feel attacked.

But thankfully this is my blog, so I can glutinously defend myself and nobody can object.  I just want it to be written that since he hasn’t been very keen on returning my texts or sharing too much at all these days, it seemed out of context that I would go to him right now to consult an inevitable choice.  In his text he told me that I “mean that much to him at least”…???  How much is that?  A flipping nickel’s worth?

All I know is that our relationship frustrates my pants down… and in my heart ache and his perceived heart ache today, for some insane reason, I just want to run back to him and merge in the demented ecstasy of our aching communion.  Tonight I find myself wishing I could have done things differently and made the relationship only beautiful and nourishing.  Tonight I wish I was in his arms, deeply inhaling the sexy musk of his armpits, stroking the fiery copper hair sprouted from his perfectly masculine chest, feeling his strong arms pulling me close.  I know, this is indulgent.  I’m sure it is stupid to look backwards for too long, become too gratuitously lost in fantasy… But welcome to the grieving process, Miss Athena.  It is as unpredictable and powerful as the ocean.  Some days my heart is placid and calm, a perfect reflection of the sky rolling by.  Other days, it thrashes and froths upon its self, threatening death and destruction every few heartbeats.

Strange how I am missing him as a result of feeling blamed by him and hurting.  I s’pose it’s the fresh pulling apart and flailing in new space.  Fuck space, fill me up!  Even if it means jamming me into a relationship that didn’t quite fit.  Life is a fucking barrel of plastic wizards, ain’t it?  Yeah, it’s a fuck kinda night tonight.  I’m drunk on heart ache, chain smoking regrets.  Just call me Athena Bukowski.

Mykael… I miss you.

And by the way, while I was squatting on the pavement at the farmer’s market this afternoon, waiting for my ride, Shane to finish his conversation with the slippery, Piscean hottie at the veggie stand, I swear to God, I climbed the sky and wandered through the bulging contours of heaven.  I marveled at how profoundly empty I felt as my earthly eyes folded into the epic yet subtle depths of the kingdom of gargantuan clouds.  I might have dissolved for a stack of split seconds… or even an entire holy intermission’s worth.  Imagine the whitest white and the most foreboding, steely purple… and every subtle shade in between.  Imagine feeling an inexplicable peace and relief somehow as you dissolve into the soft, continuous merging therein, strangely touching a home inside that you didn’t even realize was there.  Souldipper told me that my guides were still trying to pound it into me that I am never alone… and that it is entirely unnecessary at this point for me to even entertain that notion.  As I became these immense clouds, I knew without a shred of doubt that this is true.  And then they opened and drenched the earth with liquid poetry and wet songs of fertility and purification.

Amen.

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Romance and Heartbreak on the Shores of Athena GraceLand

It’s raining, it’s pouring, Athena Grace has been ignoring her blog… And now she doesn’t know where in the spiral galaxy that dances her alive to start!  I have swum through so much since we last slow danced, cheek to cheek, you and me and this dreamy stream of alphabet.

I’ll start with the perfect pink slice of salmon sashimi melting in my mouth like oceanic butter.  Like the slowest sex in my mouth.  Many moments have I relived the beautiful piece of fish merging with my eager mouth in the dimly lit, upstairs section of the sushi restaurant in downtown Hanalei.  I prayed to be paid twenty dollars for a poem… (since right now, I am living “poem to poem”.)  I prayed to be taken out to dinner and well fed (fish).  I prayed for thoroughly satisfying, top-notch company.  I did not pray to merge with a man who had just broken up with his fiancé and come to Kauai alone, rather than honeymooning in Mexico… at least I didn’t THINK I did.  But I offered him a poem.  He accepted and spilled enough messy guts to feed an army of wild dogs who find figurative entrails to be a delicacy.

He handed me a twenty and asked me to dinner at the place of my choice.  Despite his current state of floundering in the center of a great mess, I felt his core of power and goodness and assessed him to be capable of the quality company that a deep sea diving mermaid such as myself requires.  What can I say?  It turns out that he is a fellow Capricorn and we climbed mountains together and dove deep with the aid of our fishy, sea goat tails.  He was no pussy when it came to eye contact, either.  Between unfurling, multidimensional personal mythologies, we found each other’s eyes and floated serenely on the ocean of light that lives within and without them.  I was taken by surprise when waves of sensuous, sumptuous turn-on washed over me as we joined in breath, in heart, in mind from across the high table strewn with utterly delicious fish and seaweed salad.  I hadn’t felt turned on by anyone since I’d been here and I was starting to worry that I never would again.

Athena Grace!  You’ve only been here three weeks, silly girl-woman!  I know, I know… but still I wondered where in God’s vast Ocean my turn-on had swum to.  And when my body flushed with frivolous, dancing lust, I surrendered to it like a bold gust of tropical wind, letting it sweep invisibly through me, awakening my senses, tickling its way through all of me, wanting nothing save the pure, immediate poetry of the experience.

Wow, it is really raining.  I am at the bakery, sitting at a table under highly functional umbrella, thank goodness.  At first, I imagined that the storm would pass in mere moments, as most of them do… but it’s not passing.  The entire sky is thick and silver, as though I am profoundly lost in the jolly infinitude of Santa Clause’s very own beard.  I wonder if I’ll have to park under this umbrella for the rest of my life.  I’ll be okay, because I have a cliff bar and the bag of sunflower seeds I just bought… plus all of the water I could possibly drink splashing gaily down from omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient Santa Clause.  Heck, I’ll just throw caution to the wolves and sharks and stay here under this umbrella until I reach enlightenment!  What better do I have to do?  Fall in lust with wounded, tumultuous Capricorn men?

Yeah, so we lingered and spoke of forgiveness and our respective life experiences, pausing to dance in one another’s eyes or splash in the inexplicable electricity born of chemistry.  He has been a spiritual seeker for many years.  A monk even.  He has a six year old son.  Like me, he has taken a very scenic route Home to the land of Honeyed Love.  Though, while my alma mater (and galactic institution of Higher education) is the School of Mostly Soft Knocks, I gathered that the knocks on his door of Realization have been a few shades harder.  Not excruciatingly hard, mind you… Just not pink, girlie, Shirley Temple, Care Bear knocks like I prefer.  More like He-man and Skeletor sparring violently in the midst of angry inferno nightmare knocks.

It was definitely past my bedtime when he finally dropped me off at home.  But how quickly I forgot that once we started making out!  Imagine that.  I hadn’t expected it.  And it wasn’t a make-out session designed to get anywhere, other than right there in the front seat of his borrowed, burly, burgundy Bronco.  Because of this, every touch was both whole and holy.  My body was electric, my body was oceanic, my body was late afternoon sunlight on laughing, wind-swept Hanalei Bay.  We let the waves break over us and reality was distilled to touch and breath and the nectar of drunken lust.  He told me he would love to make love with me, gazing in my eyes and luxuriating in the totality of our communion.  I agreed that that would be beautiful… AND (incase you haven’t noticed, “and” is the new “but”…) AND… I was not in a space to be impulsive like that.  But I was happy to luxuriate in the decadent idea.  If nothing more than for ecstatic shits and giggles…

We parted ways and I stumbled wet and wild into bed.  I barely slept, dreaming of sex and the cheap imitation of Divine Love.  By morning, I was convinced that it would be harmless and adventuresome to have an erotic fling with this wounded, profound man, whom I felt so completely seen and understood by.   Slowly, as the day crept by, I had built an entire world of fantasy and hope the precious commodity of human touch… intermittently flinching at how fast I had created attachment where there had once been nothing but delicious, sacred spaciousness.  I prayed to God to let go… but something in me preferred to hold on.

We met at Hanalei Bay in the early evening.  He informed me soberly that he had found his wits and was more interested in using his remaining five days on the island to heal than to binge.  Now naturally, this was the RIGHT choice, no matter WHO you ask… Naturally.  Yet that didn’t matter to my own fragile, white dove of a heart, which immediately shattered into a mess of sharp, splintered feathers and bled relentlessly.  I witnessed this with strange spaciousness.  Plus I was exhausted from the lack of sleep the previous night.  He made sure to clarify that he was not running away from me in any way, only toward his own strength.  Good boy.  Sigh…

I hitchhiked home with a sweet old man named Freidmann whose eyes were perpetual smiles.  Because of the perfume of gentleness and time-tended understanding that exuded from him, I let my heart quiver and spill, right there in the cab of his truck.  Yes I cried.  And his eyes kept right on smiling.  I crashed out by 8pm, sleeping for an unprecedented ten hours!

This man… whom I did NOT pray for… He was indeed a teacher and a gift.  He broke me open to a new level of awareness.  Awareness of my own need for space to grieve and heal.  Now I can see the value in remaining insular for a while.  A generous while.  Now is not the time to merge.  Now is the time to draw deeply into myself and make a strong fortress Here.  Even the most enlightened sex is cheap candy that I do NOT fancy right now.  That said, I had a wonderful time with him and if I had it all to do over again, I would play it just the same.  I give thanks for this small but filling slice of a romantic chapter in the sacred book of Athena Grace.

Amen.

Hey… Where Did The Floor Go???

Well, it’s official~ this blog is my lifeline.  Some days I imagine it to be a casual fling… but the truth is it is my connection to myself, to life, to meaning, to God.  I feel so vulnerable admitting that… and kind of pathetic.  I know pathetic sounds like a harsh word.  I’m just having a hard day.  Again, I gave myself permission not to write today… but I’m feeling so lost that if I didn’t come and report for duty on the page, I think I’d either go insane or blink out of existence all together.

I’m sitting outside the Kilauea bakery.  I see these two beautiful, older women at an adjacent table having a deep, connected conversation and I feel starved and full of longing.  Oh dear, suddenly I just want to fall apart, break down in tears… but I’m in public… and it doesn’t seem like the “appropriate” action to take.  So I’m holding it in and my heart is plump with ache and tremble.  A few straggling tears are finding their way out my eyes.

I met this guy Hok the other day.  I sauntered topless and oblivious into my living room and he was just there.  It was an awkward introduction, but he’s a pretty interesting person.  He’s young and vibrant and has a very deliberate, penetrating way about him.  His face is large, inviting and shines with a childlike innocence.  I noticed he had an accent… one that I was not familiar with.  He told me he’s Lithuanian.  He’s deep into this stuff called Basic Human Design, which is based on astrology… and some other oracular systems combined, I think.  According to this system, there are a few different aspects of personality types that are at play within each of us, and if we engage with the world from a place of alignment with our authentic pattern, versus our conditioning, we can live much more harmonious and fulfilled lives.

I suppose that could be asserted within any system… so why am I trippin so hard on THIS one?  (I just got a beautiful whiff of something sweet and yogurty.  It inspired my senses, yet I didn’t pay it conscious attention because come ON, how often are you outside, living life when suddenly, WHAM!, you smell a beautiful silent flood of berry yogurt?!  But then I noticed that the man at the table next to me is nursing on a big bottle of berry kefir, between unabashed mouthfuls of his blue corn chips.  Yum.)  Well, Hok is very deep into this system of Basic Human Design, and he read my chart and said some things that commanded my attention.  A lot of what my chart revealed to him was dead on… and then some of it requires that I consider life and meaning and existence from very different angles and vantage points than I am used to… which of course is profoundly timely, because just being here on Kauai and existing in a whole different paradigm and world is having that effect, anyway.

I “coincidentally” ran into Hok again yesterday.  Three times.  And each time it felt like a weighty dream scene.  Did you ever see that movie, “Waking Life”?  The main character keeps falling through dream sequence after dream sequence and having these profound, philosophical, existential conversations with total characters… HEY!!!  My FIRST CARDINAL!!!!!!  Honestly, it has taken me THIS long to see one up close.  I heard they are more timid than most birds and there are fewer of them on the island too.  But this one came up right behind me and made a shrill screech.  I turned around and faced the recurring protagonist of my recent dreams, just as I was asserting the notion that I have felt to be existing in the soft, fluid potency of deliberate dream scapes recently.

So you see my reality is gently coming unhinged.  Gently, am I being redefined.

Hok told me that because I am an “emotional generator”, my way is to respond to life, with my body as my guide.  But because I am emotional, I am perpetually riding waves of emotion and it is best not to make impulsive choices, but rather to sleep on things, so that I can feel into any given choice from multiple vantage points on my wave.  He said that my energy, when it’s up is very desirable and makes others feel really good.  Especially if they are not emotional themselves (other types reflect the emotions of others, rather than riding their own flow).  So people like to be around me just to feel my vibrant, copious energy.  Looking back on my life, I see this very clearly.

Why am I telling you this?  I guess just so you have some idea of the stuff that I am assimilating into my upgraded vantage point.  But mostly, I want you to know that I am struggling with the notion that there is an “authentic” me, and a me that is fabricated from a gratuitous deluge of social conditioning.  Suddenly I am looking at EVERYTHING that I believe, all the motivations for the choices that I make, moment to moment, all of the dreams and desires and ideas I hold about the future and what is important… And I have absolutely NO idea where the ground went.  Here comes another wave of emotion.  God.

You might be thinking that I simply have WAY too much time on my hands… Well… maybe… but I think as uncomfortable as if feels, to pull the stuffing out of myself… it will serve me and therefore YOU and even humanity… in the end.  I believe that many of us are in the process of some deep alchemical transformations, purifications.  We each have our own process and our unique task in relation to the collective tapestry… but we are all in this together.  And WOWIE is it uncomfortable and awkward these days!  Yee-haw!  It’s a bareback ride on a unicorn galloping, bucking and snorting across the groundless mulitiverse!  All I can do is take courageous fistfuls of her mane, breathe deeply and relax into the state of perpetual exhilaration.

Or is this just what “growing up” is?…

Shrug.  We’ll see… but in the mean time, I’m gonna go sing kirtan.

Amen.

A Life Who Refuses To Be Broken And Tamed

I gave myself permission not to blog today… And now, at seven twenty nine pm, I am soft-landing on the page and just for the record, I couldn’t be happier!  I feel like I am at the airport, flinging myself into the WIDE open arms of my long-lost Beloved.  (An airport complete with droves yapping dogs…frown…)  Dear lord… right now, writing my blog feels like a feat on par with threading existence through the eye of a needle.  I have lived SO much today on so many levels.  The level of this clunky meat sack loafing about her haunted playground of dense, seemingly frozen matter, for one.  (Though Jesus as my witness (btw, my homeboy Jesus said he’d be my witness any time of the day or night for the rest of slobbering, reckless time and space!), let me profess that in truth it is anything but frozen.  Matter dances its rapturous ass off, even when it seems to be standing still.)  Then levels such as thoughts, feelings, impressions, hopes, fears, inclinations, various dimensions…

Athena Grace, reel yourself in sweetie.  Sorry folks, I think I ate too much fruit for dinner and how I am floating seven feet above the ground.  Not only did I eat too much fruit, but I did an evening asana practice and it felt SO good.  Like you know in the Wizard of OZ, how the Tin Man is such an eager beaver to get lubed up with his oil can?  Well I got LUBED up just now!  I have been practicing in the morning… and the difference between making sacred, breath infused, offertory shapes fresh out of bed versus in the waning wake of activity and languidly setting suns is EPIC.  My body felt SO much more receptive and grateful and sensually fulfilled to move this evening.  I am hooked.  I feel like a unicorn in heat now.  I swear.  A unicorn in heat who fancies to go a-leaping over moons and planets.  A unicorn in heat who might just graze away on some less than expendable constellations.

God, at the rate I’m going, I might not even get to tell you ANYthing about my day.  My mind seems to have a mind of its own tonight.  Oh well… At least my heart’s in the right place… where EVER it is… Is it that thing relentlessly thumping in my chest?  Or is my heart actually spattered insouciantly about every pore of Creation?

Here’s what I want to talk with you about tonight:  Deprogramming.  A dangerous word.  As Kauai sinks into my bones and guts and soul crevices, it is getting more difficult and less appetizing to operate habitually or out of a need to prove myself to society, to BE “somebody”… or in reaction to fear of the unknown or fear of losing control.  Kauai is gently beckoning me to unravel and live from an unprecedented, streaming vitality.  So far, I have been sticking a big toe and then a shy foot into this lucid pool of vivacious, authentic existence. (You might find that hard to believe… given that I’m farther out than most you know…but trust me… I still find myself shoving me into unflattering holes… and I am no square peg, mind you.) And Life is plenty satisfied with my gradual immersion.  In God’s time, it don’t make no nevermind.

I met this fearless bucking bronco of a young woman the other day.  Her eyes must be what inspired the Beetles lyric, “the girl with kalidascope eyes”.  Literally.  She must be a time traveler.  She plays the harp and writes songs.  Her hair is a wild, belligerent yet sophisticated mane.  She told me she swam to Kalalau (the north shore) and hunted goats with a bow and arrow once, just because she could.  I believe her.  She says that every day is Christmas.  I agree.  Every day on Kauai IS Christmas.  And I must have been a *very* good girl… because Santa Clause is spoiling me ROTTEN.

Today I sprung out of bed and headed straight for Hanalei.  Lugging my precious typewriter.  I thumbed a ride with a native Hawaiian man who talked my ear off the whole time.  He sure had a bitter streak in him.  But also a lion’s heart.  The Course in Miracles lesson today was an invitation to recognize all others as the Christ though… so… I guess he was the arugala of the Jesus Salad Mix. (Godblessim)  At the beach, I was greeted by a faint rainbow, stretching between the ocean and sky.  It grew brighter and brighter as I fell in love with it.  This is why God invented the word AWE.  And enchantment.  Then, my swim was why God invented the word GLORY (RosyMoon’s favorite word!)  Whoa!  I just looked up the word Glory on dictionary dot com, and WONDER WOMAN, are there some succulent definitions of this heaven-sexy word!  (“Heaven-sexy” is a special, customized brand of sexiness.  A very clean, cutting edge, finely distilled sexy.  Think wet, glistening angels in stiletto heals, sipping virgin cocktails!)

A couple of my favorite definitions=

*resplendent beauty or magnificence

*a state of great splendor, magnificence or prosperity

*the splendor and bliss of heaven

*adoring praise or worshipful thanksgiving

*a ring, circle or surrounding radiance of light represented around the head or whole figure of a sacred person, as Christ or a saint; a halo, nimbus, or aureole

See?!

I sold one poem today.   To a particularly luminous family… I was drawn to them immediately.  (Sometimes it happens that way… I know who is going to approach me before they do.) It was a youngish (older than me) couple with a three year old daughter and a baby son, plus hip, soulful grandma and grandpa.  I swear~ I didn’t know who of them to love best.  They all had so much beauty, depth and richness.  Heck, Athena, guess you might as well throw caution you know where and love ‘em all!  They asked for a poem about the three year old, Kylie… she has been struggling with the recent arrival of her brother and acting out as a result.  And mom and dad are doing their best to guide and love her through it… though they seemed to be getting a strenuous work-out in that department.  (In retrospect, I wish I had connected them with my dear friend Shelly.  She is my living encyclopedia for navigating the vast and fragile world of honoring, guiding and relating with children.  Shelly’s website is www.awakeparent.com Anyone who wishes to drink from the font of wisdom when it comes to parenting, reach for Shelly.  She’s a wealth of experience, passion and education.)

After I read them the poem, they tried to marry me off to their artist/writer son who lives back in Oakland.  They said he’s ready for “the real thing”, and for a family.  Too bad I’m not, because I swear to the wine sloshing Holy Grail, I would be delighted to have this delicious clan for in-laws!  (and I told them so!)  Since that divine blessing of an interaction, I have been grappling with the overt schism inside me between the urge to lead a *semi*normal life, and the whisperish vision singing to me from riveting, spooky, seductive partial darkness… of a life so completely OTHER than marriage, family, children, convention.  Yes, I’m talking riding unicorns in heat bareback across bucking, belly laughing galaxies.  I find myself lamenting that I know too much… wishing that I could just fall back asleep and wake up in the bland, dry-toast dream of ripe, blushing brides all dressed in white, riding toward sunset castles behind strapping, fine princes who have made them sturdy, eternal promises of security, comfort and endless pleasure.

People, bear witness when I lament that right inside me, that sweeter than marshmallow crème Disney vision dies HARD!  So hard.  But hey, at LEAST every day is Christmas… Not such a shabby consolation prize for a life who refuses  to be broken and tamed…

Amen.

Shiva And Shakti Are Still A’Dancin’!

It’s so quiet and slow in me today.  My mind feels soft and fuzzy like a multifaceted chalk pastel drawing done in shy colors all lovingly smeared together in a visual dance that incites whispers from all who look upon it.  I thought maybe this meant that I oughtn’t write… because no topics or feelings were particularly boring holes in my consciousness, bent on extending through space and landing soft (or not so soft) inside the cool meanderings of your own slice of God’s mind.

I like this feeling.  I suppose it could be construed as tired… but it’s not the all too familiar, debilitating exhaustion that has haunted me for so long.  No.  It’s a tired that could easily be interpreted as a slow flowing river of peace.  It’s four twelve pm, and the afternoon is a perfect reflection of my inner state.  Some sun, some clouds and a breeze breathes the bounteous, lush plant life into a soothing, symphonic motion.  I feel like a baby being rocked in mother’s arms.

I guess I’m still in a mild strain of shock about how much I love my own company.  Why is it so much easier to bleed with incessant contentment here on Kauai.  Resonance.  When I lived this slow paced existence in Oakland, I always felt plagued by fundamental, screeching discord.  But here… my rhythm is reflected back to me in the swaying palm trees, the ocean’s rocking motion, the clouds meandering like transient angels about their vibrant, blue pastures.

Resting into this resonance, I feel a call to further release myself from the deep-seated habit to live from my mind.  This mind so habituated to running the show, keeping everything under control, familiar, safe.  I am starting to conceive of a life that moves with the very rhythms of my body, which in turn moves with the very rhythms of the earth and the moon, the intricate tapestry of heavenly bodies and God’s own Breath.  I’m not quite sure how to do this… Because I also crave structure in my life.  I suppose this new inquiry is a spin-off of my old faithful, familiar inquiry of effort and grace.  The beloved, eternal dance between the feminine and the masculine forces of the universe.  God forbid that I become all flow and no boundaries.  No thanks!  Imagine a river with no banks… suddenly she is reduced to an extended swampy mud puddle.  (I suppose you could imagine banks with no river, too… but the river carves the banks… so I suppose it would just be a lifeless, arid span of hardened dirt.)  Nope, gotta have both the river and the banks, thank you very much, the structure AND the flow.  I am redefining that relationship inside me right now, which looks like diving deeper into an acknowledgement of my body’s rich, innate wisdom.  This requires listening and surrender.

And while we’re on the topic of the eternal, sensuous samba of Shiva and Shakti… Brad wandered into the kitchen this morning, resembling a spooked deer.  I asked him what was up, as I searched for non-linguistic signs in the rigid light filtering from his cool blue eyes.  He said he was feeling overwhelmed by his relationship… Conflicted as to whether to go camping with his sweetheart this weekend, or stay home and “handle shit”.  God, is it sexy when men handle shit!  …Unless of course it is MY man and him handling shit means that I get less of his attention and nutritive energy, of course.  Which is what he conveyed is happening for him and his girlfriend these days.  His relational testimony reeked of this ancient and impersonal dance between consciousness and bliss, “chit and ananda”, space and form.

From the outside, it was obvious to me that he wanted/needed to stay home and attend to matters of his own life, heart and soul, without getting consumed in the blur of undifferentiated selfhood that romantic love and merging can incite.  I gathered that the conflict arose because his leading lady wanted more from him.  More attention, more merging, more intoxicating feelings and quintessential safety and belonging… MORE!!!!! MORE!!!! MORE!!!!

Honestly, I have no idea if Brad’s “special friend” is really embodying that extreme stance… at this point I am existing in a combination of projection, based on my own experience and extrapolation, based on Brad’s reactive state.  Listen, I basically strangled my own relationship by getting swept away in this unhealthy rendition of the Dance.

The wounded feminine never feels full, no matter how much she is fed.  Yet it feels like crack when her man feeds her… in my relationships, I have experienced myself to be mostly insatiable… except for those sweet, all too brief moments of satiation.  I physically ached when Mykael became entirely absorbed in his art (which was a regular occurrence after he came down from the initial intoxication of our potent communion).  I could not feel his love for me in those arduously extensive moments.  Brad too is an artist.  An artist who has a track record of manifesting energetically consuming relationships in order to *conveniently* avoid facing his “Maker”, stepping fully glorious into his WILD, creatively ignited Self.

Thank you, God for showing me this reflection.  Since I am not emotionally, sexually, spiritually “hooked” into Brad, I can see his need, his duty, his overt call to integrity of Self so clearly.  Like, DUH, of course he needs to put himself and his Divine expression first and foremost!  With Mykael, that clarity was skewed by my own wounding, lack of self development and blind need.  Tangly.  Relationships are tangly.  I came away from the witness bearing of Brad’s conundrum wondering if it is even possible to simultaneously exist in the Nirvana of creative fulfillment and the heavenly state of soul communion and partnership.

“YES!” I hear you shouting to me, “Of Course it IS, Athena!!!”  I am sure it IS… but how to create that, exist gracefully in it, be fluid and fluent in that age-old, galactic dance… I don’t know.  Hopefully this year (or more) of being single will teach me much.  Hopefully I will fashion a very comfortable, hospitable and essential dwelling inside myself… and as a result, my engagement in relationship will be automatically redefined as I redefine.

And yet… I feel like something more universal is at play here.  It extends far beyond “Athena Grace” and “Mykael” and “Brad”.  In a recent blog, I mentioned that everyone I know is breaking up these days… Breaking up and BREAKING THROUGH in to a new paradigm, a new experience of Self.  And most relationships are too wrought with old habits, insecurities, fears, attachments, illusions… to be able to accommodate this rip-tide of rapid transformation.  We need to revamp the timeless dance.  How do we as women and men relate, co-create, play and love one another at this stage in the Game?  Remains to be seen… All I know is that we are currently immersed in the awkward, unwieldy in between place right now… and it is uncomfortable, confusing and crazy-making.  Unless we remember to LAUGH at ourselves and not take any of it personally.

Amen.

Kauai Sure Loves Me!

Sunrise over Hanalei Bay this morning as I jogged along the shore, BAREFOOT!

You know what’s AWESOME about Kauai?  I can leave the house in my panties and nobody thinks twice.  For real!  I did it today… It’s a very warm day (notice that I didn’t say “hot”, though… it’s not sweltering… just… very warm.) and I was wearing my little orange boy short style panties around the house when I was suddenly swept by the call of the wild and decided to hop on one of the bikes on the side of the house and pedal to the bakery to write my blog.  You see, like I said, the day is as perfectly sweet and tart and all liquid sunshine as a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice.  So naturally I wanted to splash around in this vitamin-packed blessing of contained time and space.  On my first day on the island, I saw a woman pumping gas at the Shell Station in her skimpy bikini.  She left a big impression on me.  “Oh, so that’s how we roll here in paradise,” I mused.

Well, my undies are far more conciliatory than her little stringy number was, (I am exaggerating when I say far more… but remember, I poses the proper [poetic] licensing.) so I skipped out of the house and rode into the benevolently embracing folds of the Mystery.  Holy Jesus, you need to understand that this day smiles on my skin with a pristine perfection that hasn’t been seen since the Goldy Locks and the Baby Bear’s porridge incident.

It was the first time I’ve been on a bike since I’ve been here and the experience somehow turned to Bliss in the span of a split banana.  My thoughts were weighty and profound as I petaled to the bakery.  I felt so free in my orange undies and tank top as I sat down, preparing to write my blog.  But GOD, was I fiending for a kombucha.  They cost five dollars and five cents here on the island.  Yep, an expensive (yet highly worthwhile) habit.  With only three dollars left to my name, how could this crafty child of God go about scratching my fermentation itch?  Soon a light bulb appeared above my head and unabashedly flashed ON!  I might have enough money in my bank account to buy one at the adorable, overpriced health food store, the “Healthy Hut”, across the street… I checked my wayward, mainland account from my iPhone.  Yup!  Ten twenty-five!  (I could afford TWO!)  So I marched over and picked the fizziest one in the fridge, a “cosmic cranberry”.  I pulled out my wallet, poised to throw down some holy plastic… SOS!  Sinking heart, call the lifeguard, stat!  I had taken it out of my wallet on account of that there are no Chase banks on the island.  Booooo.  I asked the girl behind the counter if they’d let me pay later.  She said no.

A wilted deprived junkie, I rode back to the bakery.  As I was parking my bike, a wild, tattooed “gentleman” (that was meant to be ironic, he was no gentleman…) exuberantly called to me, “YOU’RE BACK!!!  Will you write me a poem?!”

I tried to get my bearings and catch up to this explosion of a moment.  How did HE know?  I walked over and introduced myself and learned that one of the two women he was sitting with had seen me selling poems at the farmer’s market a while back and suggested that he request a poem.  I “splained” to them that I had only left in heated persuit of a kombucha, which I was denied in the end, and now I was intending to write my blog.  The same instigator of a woman (who for the record was otherworldly gorgeous) suggested that he buy me a kombucha in exchange for a poem.  He oozed with the essence of yes.  So I extended my invisible feelers into him in preparation to give birth to his poem.

But Holy Popcorn! (My new exclamation, thanks to RosyMoon’s recent comment!), was he a slippery, jittery squid of a man.  Apparently, he *really* likes coffee. I mean REALLY.  Yeah, he was flying HIGH.  He refused to share anything of substance about himself.  Instead he orchestrated the entire opperation.  He told me to simply write, without asking any questions, and furthermore, he demanded that I entitle the poem, “the boy who bought me a kombucha”.  Shrug.  Okay.  When push comes to shove, I can follow orders.  Whatever’s clever, Spaceman.  And off he flailed on his sacred liquid mission.

His female companions were clearly fallen stars.  Their light danced playfully about, mixing swimmingly with my own.  They invited me to a full moon women’s circle tonight on Secrets Beach.  Too bad I’m already going to a birthday party on Hanalei Bay… (The outrageous thing about birthday parties on this island is that they are most always on the beach… and EVERYone is invited.  At least that’s how it seems to be… so tonight I will pilgrimage to “Eve’s” birthday party, whom I have never met.  Shrug.  I’m looking forward to it.  And bringing home made black bean dip, since it’s a potluck!)

My erratic, zealous, unruly customer came back with my holy grail full of heavily fizzy wonder juice and I swigged it with a vengeance before diving into the first hand written poem I’ve ever sold.  “The boy who bought me a kombucha” told epic, rambling tales about his existence the whole time.  Meanwhile an amazing poem unfurled through me.  It was vivid, twisty and sobering.  In the end it was in invocation of a deeper layer of his true self, beneath the incessant jester’s dance.  He liked it.  As I read it, I felt like the main character in the movie Dangerous Beauty.

Then it was time for me to head down the street to the farmer’s market and spend my last three dollars on papayas.  Prices really vary, so I sniffed around to find the papayas that were a dollar each, so I could have THREE tender, coral-fleshed little miracles.  The little Pilipino woman told me I could have SIX for five dollars.  “I wish,” I told her… “but I’m down to my very last three dollars.”

And suddenly, three more dollars floated from the very pores of existence.  I swear.  A lady standing next to me said, “Here, now you can get MORE papayas!  …Or get whatever you want… You can’t be down to your last three dollars!”  Her energy was so clean and decisive.  Her giving was joyous and unconditional.  “WOW!  Money is falling from the SKY!” I said through an astonished, wide smile.

Then out came the cucumbers!  They were sleek and big as billy clubs.   “Are those JAPANESE cucumbers???” I asked, mesmerized.  “Yes,” the little hearty Pilipino woman confirmed.  Have you ever had a Japanese cucumber?  They are the crunchiest, coolest, freshest creatures ever to *not* walk the earth.  I paused, heavily considering putting two papayas back.  But before I could say “ticki-ticki-tembo-no-so-rembo-cukey-spooky-goofy-yippee-skippy”, my generous benefactor thrust another two bills at me.  I blinked in astonishment.  She nodded and said, “Don’t worry about it, I have plenty of money.  You stood next to the right woman.”

I told her I usually offer poems by donation.  She said she’d love to have one some day… She comes to the market weekly…

I rode home radiating holy wonder.  It must have been spilling out all over the place, because everyone I passed on my ride home flashed me a beaming smile.  So you see, when I told you that Kauai has splayed herself wide and dripping before me… I was not just blowing gratuitous, self indulgent smoke from slap happy cracks in me.

Thank You… All Pervading Patron In The Sky With Diamonds!!!  I accept your mysterious, loving care!

Amen.

Judge Ye Not, Freaky People!

At my mom’s ashram, they do a purification ceremony every Sunday before service. It is an opportunity to release something in your life that “seems” to stand between one and God. (Sheesh, now that I think about that, it’s a pretty ridiculous notion… that illusions can come between God and God… Oh well, welcome to the sacred waste lands of duality.) I find it almost unbearably charming that every week my beloved mother writes the very same thing on her little piece of paper and with the blessing of the Masters, offers it to the sacred fires. Any guesses as to what that blasted one thing is? Mom? Can I please tell ‘em? For the sake of a good parable… Judgment. Yup. That cunning, sexy ogre in siren’s clothing… It hovers like a thirsty mosquito, on the edge of our consciousness… waiting for us to make the slightest slip from full presence and into an indulgent, masturbatory state of division, assumption, ranking. I realize I just spoke for you… was that presumptuous? Well… Maybe, but I’m gonna stand behind my assertion that you are as hideously judgmental as me and my spiritually inspired, all too human mother. Because where there is ego, there is judgment. And if I have unfairly pigeonholed you, I apologize and maybe you can skip merrily down the page to the place where the prose get coated with rainbow sprinkles and marshmallow crème sauce. I bring it up because I have been hyper aware of my habits of “ranking” myself in relation to others. I am pretty embarrassed to say this out loud… but it’s the stinging truth… so… I toss it in the shimmering air, release it like a flock of white doves falling upward into Heaven’s arms. According to my judgmental mind, there are three classes of people (and probably sub-classes within the more general classes). #1~ Those who are “above” me~ meaning more spiritually advanced, successful, creative, hip, savory, peaceful, expressive, confident, etc. My way of relating to this elite group is to become submissive, softer spoken and very interested. I yearn for them to SEE me and like me and MAYBE even accept me as “one of them”… God, does this make me want to puke… #2~ Those who are equal to me. Buddies. Amongst my inspired, inspiring, mostly awake equals, I generally feel very relaxed and sfree to be me~ goofy, deep, honest, wild, lonely, scared, dreamy, etc. #3~ Those who are below me. Meaning they aren’t as enlightened, fun, healthy, attractive, etc. With “them” I PRETEND to be accepting, but underneath that cheap candy coated façade, I am domineering, self righteous, conceited or just downright bored. Isn’t that repulsive? It sure does get in the way of seeing and communing with our All Pervading Peek-A-Boo Freak. But I am practicing vigilantly to set myself free from that bunk game again and again and again. Just like my ritual paper burning mama… My soul-sister-girl-friend back in Oaktown, Dara, recently listened to a Carolyn Myss recording that rocked her world. She told me that Carolyn Myss spoke of the invitation to see every single person that the currents of Grace carry into our lives as an opportunity for communion, for learning, for purification of Self. Which of course requires a sincere relinquishment of judgment. And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, for a concrete, real time example! I hitchhiked to Hanalei yesterday afternoon so I could hit the farmer’s market and stock up on papayas and these beautiful purple sweet potatoes that I’ve been dreaming of making soup out of. I thought that every ride down Kauai’s heavenly highway would be simply tremulous with overt mysticism (you know like synchronicities and inspiring conversations and stuff). But yesterday, I was picked up by a woman who I quickly ranked “below” me. (God, I feel so ashamed to admit this to you!) Her car was a pretty sweet ride. Some kind of high end S.U.V. But inside, it was trashed. Mother of young children trashed. I immediately noticed her iPhone, whose face was as cracked as an insane asylum, and it was pumping out hard core electric dance music. Her toddler son was strapped in his car seat in the back. I turned around and said hello to him… and immediately flooded with an inexplicable sense of heaviness. Energetically, he seemed to be pretty well burdened. His mama was young and speedy. She reminded me of someone I might have met at a club in my early twenties when I was rolling on ecstasy and therefore smitten by the beauty and perfection of all things…and hence less discerning… and she would have been sloppy drunk and not very interesting, stimulating or deep, but I was too high to care and just relishing unconditionally witnessing her BE her divine, inebriated self. She dominated the conversation the whole time, which included her confession that she is an avid user of those new fangled little bottles of “5 hour energy”. Ah-ha! That explains why her gears were grinding so hard. She handed me the empty bottle of the one she had recently thrown back, which I studied with keen fascination. From behind her dark shades and thumping beats, she told me that she was twenty seven, had gone to design school in San Francisco but had resorted to starting a housecleaning business in order to survive on Kauai. Her daughter, age four was just starting preschool. She and the daddy were in the middle of a separation. (Like two thirds of the blasted population… honestly, have you noticed that? So many break-ups. Which if you want to know my expert LMN-OPinion, it’s because right now, the collective consciousness is birthing itself into an unprecedented crystallization of Self, a radical involution.) On one hand, I felt a sincere reverence for her strength as a young mother of two, doing what she needed to do to feed and shelter her munchy-kins. On the other hand… I could feel a visceral undercurrent of emotional malnourishment in her and her now sleeping son. She was clearly doing her best… and I perceived her best to be creating an unwieldy mess. It probably illuminated my own childhood wounding. Why did I give her my phone number when she dropped me off??? She asked for it… and I found it hard to say no. Frown. But I certainly don’t want to hang out with her just for shits and giggles. No way. God? Why did you send her to me, me to her? Was it just so that I’d have the blessed opportunity to forgive her for being what I perceived to be an emotionally unavailable mother? To forgive my mother for showing up that way in the past? To forgive the emotionally unavailable mother dormant, yet still alive somewhere within my very own self? Maybe… And if I forgive “hard enough”… will I be able to know God more fully? God… Please, grant me the Grace to look upon her and myself as One in your Holy All Pervading Light. Please shed light on the dark, moldy corners of my nightmare bound consciousness. May I know only Love within ALL. Amen. P.S.~ Just for the record, she was so generous, too… she drove past her destination to drop me at the market… and she even offered to pick me up after I shopped! (which I politely declined…)

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