And the Winner is… Athena!!!!!

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Do you know why it’s been three weeks since I last exploded into linguistic existence here in Athena Graceland?  Because…. Serena turned four months alive.  Now she’s not just this tender and mild little suckling lump who lays in my lap while I hurl inspired words, like lightning (look Mom, I spelled it right just for YOU!!!) bolts across a wide splayed, glowing page.  If she was in my lap right now, she’d be doing these adorable little baby crunches– lurching her head and shoulders forward, like she was trying with all her blessed might to sit up.  Over and over again.

Baby work.  It is actually very inspiring to watch… Because it reminds me that even though we “grown ups” imagine ourselves to be so much more civilized and complex, we really are spiritual babies, executing similarly remedial, repetitive exercises… but we clothe them in grandiosity so that we can feel important.  Oh gosh, now’s the moment when giving an example would really thrust me into the domain of a “better writer”… It would give your mind some concrete cud to munch.  Gosh, I want to be the best writer in the world.  Honestly, I think I am.  I read old blogs of mine and my eyes turn to electric pink, throbbing hearts.  If I wasn’t me, I would obsess over me.  I would dream of meeting and befriending me… I’d imagine going to a book release event of mine, where I would do everything in my power to get my attention… and hope that I would notice me and realize that we were kindred spirits, and even though I didn’t have the miraculous linguistic gift that I did… that my heart and mind shared the same audacious, psychedelic heart vision… and we should be bffs who have pillow fights and whipped cream wars and stay up all night playing Truth or Dare and Dance Dance Revolution.

Actually, I hate staying up all night.  I don’t play video games, and I don’t even know what a whipped cream war IS… but it sounds like moderately inappropriate, over the top fun.  And furthermore, I’m NOT gonna give you that stupid example of how humans are like undercover babies, because it’s not pleasurable enough for me, and I am here to ENJOY myself, even at the expense of coming across as a SPAZzz.    Because this enchanted place ain’t called “Athena Graceland” for nuttin’.  It’s a matriarchal society of One.  And I guess even if I remain my number One-and-Only fan for the rest of eternity, that’s okay.  Actually, writing that made my heart sad.  I want lots of people to recognize my genius as I do.  Well, my mom does too… And Dan did.  And maybe a couple of other people.

Arg.  Five fifty two am, and I hear Serena making the most adorable patient baby sounds from the bedroom.  She was supposed to sleep until at least six thirty.  Welcome to my new life: an incessant land-sliding game of catch-up, at which I am guaranteed to lose, but even though it’s mildly frustrating, I really don’t ultimately care, because I have the most sublime, buddha-full daughter, and deep down I know that loving and caring for her is all that matters.  The rest is just hollow details that I chase because they are part of inhabiting fifth dimensional space-time.

I just went into the bedroom to round up the said bundle of delight.  My surface waves were grumpy, because it was too early, and I needed more time to myself.  But then (and this happens every time I turn toward her blazing Light) I opened the bedroom door and found her gracefully flailing and beaming beneath the soft, thick covers.  When I haven’t beheld her for an entire cluster of moments and then I do, I feel re-amazed and wholly rapt by her exquisite luminosity.  And as if that was not enough, she reached out and touched my face.  This is a new thing.  She really loves to touch my face.  And she extra loves when I kiss her tiny, devastatingly soft, expectant hand.  Or gobble it up.  Sometimes that makes her laugh, and she wants me to do it again and again and again and again and…. Haha, that’s the exhausting beauty of children.  They never seem to tire of that which thrills them.

She’s sucking on my boob now.  My right hand is prickly and half asleep as I type– a new condition I’ve acquired since the commencement of “side-lying nursing” at night.  Frown.  The things “they” don’t tell you about motherhood.  And if they DID, it wouldn’t even matter, because raising a beaming buddha that grew from Miraculous Nothing inside my very own womb, is the best thing in all of Creation.  Hands down.

Oh dear, I think my little goose is going to fall back asleep on my lap.  She just needed a BIG snack.  And to be close to mama.  Ok… well that’ll work out swell until the coffee in my system demands that I get up and pee.  Yes, I drink coffee some mornings.  I’m not the perfect, crunchy, new-age mama.  But Serena doesn’t seem to get whacked out, or spit up or anything that would indicate that it sucks for her…And like Jesus says, “don’t bother hurling no stones unless you are entirely flawless”.

I want to tell you that I’m… I was gonna say “happy”… but I guess that’s not entirely accurate.  Sometimes I feel anxious or lonely or slightly bored.  Maybe “content”, or “at peace”, or… “saturated in gratitude”… would sum it up better.  Mostly I am a blazing YES to my life.  I’m surprised at how satisfied I am, making soup in my “Shakti Pot” for a living.  Yes, one day a week, I make a big pot of delicious, nourishing vegan soup, and deliver it to the homes of delighted “re-soup-iants”.  This is the primary way I am “making ends meet”, as a single mama at this time.  It really feels good to offer a service that people appreciate.  I honestly love being domestic.  And creative.  But then I get scared that my “contentment” will stagnate, like lucid spring pools that become slimy, mosquito lava-laden, summer puddles, and I will remain anonymously snoogled in the woods with my daughter, making soup for a meager living FOREVER!  But then I remember one of Dan’s primary gospels– that living fully in the mOMent will always carry one gracefully along the sacred River of Life.  I won’t get caught in an eddy for too long.  Although I HAVE been caught in an Eddie for four years now!  Haha!  But I even feel free from the Eddie eddy by now.  Being a mother, I don’t have the time or energy to invest in fashioning a world of woven hopes and wispy “someday”s… It’s perfect.  I neither push him away, nor pull him to me.  I just love him.  Really that’s all there ever is to do.

God?  Please make sure that I don’t get stuck or stagnant while I’m busy over here practicing the advanced art of contentment, as well as meeting the demands of day to day existence.  Seriously… I’m putting myself in your hands.  Don’t drop me!

Gosh, I don’t thing this was my most “knock you backwards with my profound genius” blog… but I showed up.  And kept the pipes clear.  Now Serena is doing her aforementioned “baby sit-ups”, and I’ve got to organize my existence around her needs and desires.  Plus today is Shakti Pot, so I’ve gotta get my “African Peanut Soup” on pretty soon.  So I guess this is ciao for now.  I really hope there is a prestigious award for showing up today… Because I’d really love to be a winner this morning, even though I don’t feel like I nailed it like I love to nail it.  I guess I’m a winner for loving my daughter with my whole heart.  And the innocence in me, as well… And paying the rent on time.  And keeping my house tidy and mostly shri.  And maintaining a relatively consistent yoga practice.  I hope I can get it together to plant a little spring garden…

Being a single mama is the perfect life for me right now.  I am evolving so profoundly.  Oops, gotta go, I hear them singing out my name at the award ceremony…!!!

Love to your precious heart….

The Legend of the Black Lightening Bolts

If I try to be extraordinary this morning, chances are, I will not get anything written.  So in the name of sharing my life and my mind with you, I am going to put my extraordinariness under cover, and three-two-one DO THIS!!!  But first, I am going to put on my ridiculous, dazzling lightening bolt earrings… because they have magical powers, and I want to see how they effect my writing.  I know that seems a bit contradictory… to be undercover, with gigantic, black, sparkly lightening bolts sprouting from my ears… I can’t argue with that.   I guess I’m not committed to being ordinary… I just wanna git-er-done… and my time is very limited.  Serena is nearing the four month alive mark, and gone are the days when she’d wake up, and act like a breastfeeding blob of dough in my lap.  Now she wants to commune with me, and fervently prepare for the not so distant day when she shall own the World!!! (And thank GOD for that… because it is past due time for this world to be owned by a Tiny Beaming Buddha with an incessant God-drunk grin.)

I think the earrings are working.  My Ma (and of course Serena) and I went into Town a couple of weeks ago, (yes, living way out in the woods, as we do, “going into Town” is a “Thing”… which still tickles me, being a Bay Area native.  Most of my adult life, I’ve been able to step out my door and be instantly transported to the BEST cafes, yoga studios, restaurants, dance classes and general rambunctious swirls of grandiose human doing-ness.) Where was I?  Ah yes, we went into Town, and I wanted to get something(s) new to wear, because the few clothes I have, probably predate the dinosaurs, and even with my innate, bohemian je-ne-sais-quoi, which by some stroke of magic, allows me to appear a bit flashy and enchanting, I was (and still am) seriously sinking in the domain of fashion.

I had high hopes for “Solstice”, the vintage, costume and chic used clothing shoppe in Town… but mostly my daintily cloud-brushing hopes sunk like a crippled submarine.  It’s just not the same, shopping with a needy three month old strapped to you, and a body to testify that it really has not been that long since she burst triumphantly into this world.  I got two tank tops.  I couldn’t try them on, because by the time I found them, Serena had fallen asleep in her ergo pouch, and there was no way I was gonna disturb her, so my beneficent ma took a wild woman gamble and bought them for me just in case they were awesome.  They were.  Praise the Lord.  And that is not even what I set out to tell you.  But you might as well know that I am well initiated as a mom, and my life is no longer my own.  And this somehow tickles me.

But the particularly loose moral of this story, is that up by the register, there were these over-the-top ridiculous black lightening bolt earrings on display.  And they honestly got all up in my business.  They wouldn’t leave me alone!  I’m pretty sure they were whispering promises of rockstardom and world domination, oh-so-softly in my ear.  My eyes turned into swirling spirals, and I heard strange, secret music flooding my ears.  I looked at the price tag, and they were twenty bucks.  Actually nineteen ninety-nine to be artistically precise.  No WAY was I gonna shell out such an obscene amount of money… even in the name of rockstar world domination… I have been a heavyweight champion miser since Serena arrived.  My life has revolved around paying my rent and utilities, not looking fabulous and having frivolous fun of yester yore.

All that unsatisfying shopping (and breastfeeding) worked up an appetite though, so we moseyed over to a cute little cafe down the street, which to my delight had outdoor seating!  I got a turkey sammy (came with a pickle and thick, ridged potato chips) and a spicy chai.  My Ma got a Mad Hatter looking slice of cake and a bowl of soup.  Being a short-order joint, they sent us away with the cake and chai, and gave us a number for our “savories”.  My Ma made mention of having to wait to eat her cake till after soup.  With glitter black lightening speed, I informed her that this was not the case!  She could indeed eat her cake FIRST.  Apparently, this was delightful news to her, because like the Queen of England on anonymous holiday, she dove right in!  And like the Queen of England’s privileged, croquet prodigy progeny, I ate most of the perfectly bitter, buttery chocolate frosting layer.  I love that about my Ma… she is so endlessly giving to her babies… No matter how giant and self reliant we become.

But alas, none of that mattered so much in the grand scheme.  I mean of ALL the unwritten stories that sleep like mythical beasts inside the fortress of my mind, body and soul, why was I compelled to tell THAT one???   I think mostly because I liked the part about giving my mama permission to eat her cake first.  I really do find myself endearing for having such frivolous, whimsical priorities.

And now for the steak and potatoes of this momentous literary masterpiece.  My best dear friend Anitra, fresh off the plane from India, had joined us at the cafe, and after lunch (which was cut short by a rare and extreme, latte curdling wailing session by Serena– I think she was overwhelmed by the excessive stimulus of Town…) we set off together for a little “friendsie time”, and my Ma was left to entertain herself, which is very natural and delicious for her, since not only is she independent by nature, but she also had a purse brimming with cash on this almost warm and sometimes sunny, waxing spring-ish day.

At two thirty, when we converged back at Faith (my valiant, silver station wagon), she delightedly displayed an assortment of “things” she had acquired while we were apart.  I feel like a shmoo for not memorizing all of them… I DO remember a bright orange hat she had gifted herself, “for gardening”.  And of course I remember the little brown bag she handed me, which I immediately ravaged and discovered the illustrious, coveted lighting bolts!!  I immediately put them on, and assessed our communion in the visor mirror… I was amazed to discover, that immense and exaggerated as they were, they somehow achieved an acute sense of rightness on me.  And in that moment, my life changed.

I’m serious.  I transformed from a blah-zay, frugal, single mother dressed in ancient rags, to a SUPER HERO(INE) with undetermined, yet unmistakable magical powers.  I’m still trying to attune to what they ARE… But when I wear my “bolts”, I feel giant and invincible and wealthy!!!  I am a force to be reckoned with.

Yesterday, I wore them as I made quiches for the first time in my life, to be sold at Master’s Market… and when the savory egg pies emerged from the oven, one of them still had some goop.  I panicked, because I was afraid that if I cooked it longer, the egg matter would turn tough.  Eggs are really such delicate, touchy creatures, who demand attentive kid gloves and ample tenderness.  I decided to bake it a bit longer… I hope it worked out.  I am still shaking in my weather-beaten, fur-lined pink ugg boots, to be honest.  But I will testify, that the only way I survived that risky wrassle with mortality and imperative customer satisfaction, was wearing these said heavily enchanted earrings.

…And come to think of it, they are probably the reason that little Serenie-doodle is asleep in my lap right now, and I am able to finish this essential tale of my existence.  Speaking of my existence… I’m not sure that I’m exactly “afraid of death”… but lately, I’ve been acutely aware that I might be pretty bummed when the “Athena Grace movie” is over.  I mean, yeah, yeah, eternal souls and all that erudite, spiritually enlightened jazz… but still… whoever this is, who is currently donning the ingenious costume, fondly known as “Athena Grace LMNOP”, is gonna slip out of it one of these days… and even though this indwelling, fabulous shimmer of Eternity will continue on (and on and on and on and on and…), the “Athena Grace movie” will be over.  And I’m sad for this… Because I love being Athena Grace.  She’s such a bold, quirky and lovable heroine.  How could my soul POSSIBLY top this one???

I guess it’s possible.

EVERYTHING is possible in God’s dream.