This must be Italy….

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Yesterday was day 8 here in Italy, and it finally sunk in that we are here.  Before that, it was more like being at “Giordano’s house”… where the “extras” just happened to speak in mostly indecipherable, robust, ticklingly rhythmic tongues.  As soon as we dressed and ate breakfast, we piled into our little Fiat for an extended pilgrimage through the countryside, in pursuit of fresh, raw milk and cheese. While he was at work yesterday  his mamma blew up his phone (five times, to be precise), to report a source of organic raw milk at the farm just below her home, in the hills above Assisi.

 

My moon blood had just begun to flow- a sacred day I designate for rest and introspection (if such a thing is possible with a two and a half year old…).  I was not expecting the exxxtended amusement park ride along narrow, rutted gravel roads overlooking stunning, steep green and golden hillsides rolling across all space.  Turns out, he didn’t really know “the way”. All he knew is that the farm was “below the house of his mother”. My breath became involuntarily shallow, my body tense, after the gazillionth dramatic twist about the infinite span of ruined road.  I tried to let go and surrender to Giordano’s questionable leadership. But at some point, I lost it, and venomously begged to turn the fuck around and forget it. Nope. Driven by raw instinct (as he mostly is), he kept driving. Within a minute we pulled into the driveway of a massive stone house.  The kind you see in movies- sturdy rectangular boxes, with small, precise windows framed by wooden shutters. The surrounding land, lush, green and laden with friendly trees, spilling offerings of fruit and shade. Three happy country dogs greeted us, and called to their Master.

 

He emerged from the fairytale house, unkempt brown hair and overgrown beard flying everywhichway.  He was slender, with a hint of pot belly and posture that whispered the tale of a life of hard-assed, though gratifying labor.  Giordano got out of the car and greeted him. I could pick out a few Italian words… I think he said that he was the son of Raphaella, and she had told him they had raw milk for sale?  Eventually, he gestured for me to get out of the car. I unbuckled Serena from her carseat, and greeted the warm-hearted farmer. A voluptuous woman with pale, maudlin blue eyes, wide awake baby on her hip emerged from the house.

 

Together we ascended the stone stairs and crossed the threshold into a darkish, cozy kitchen.  It felt intimate and brimming with life. Serena immediately spotted the baby’s bouncy seat, and brazenly demanded to climb in and press all the musical buttons.  Into the kitchen wandered a little boy, not too much bigger than Serena, wearing only a t-shirt. Rippling streams of Italian conversation filled the small kitchen as I stood receptive and shy.

 

They gave us tiny cups of their homemade yogurt to sample.  Then the man and his pants-less boy escorted us through the charming, wild garden to a dark barn, guarded by a silver horse.  Giordano fed the majestic guardian one of the fallen apples he had foraged for the cows on our walk through the garden. In the barn, five cows eagerly licked the remnants of their breakfast from the feeding trough.  Giordano offered them the remaining apples, which they gladly devoured. Their udders were small and freshly emptied. I petted each of their wide, soft faces, marveled at their massive strong bodies and wondered how I can eat beef and live with myself.  

 

We left the barn and meandered around the back side of the house, into a basement room, where giant slabs of dead pig hung from the ceiling.  Our kind host showed us a hutch filled with rounds of homemade cheese. But not enough to sell, they said.

 

Back in the house, our host offered us coffee, “strong enough for Mexicans”.  As I was neither Mexican, nor in need of excessive jacking up, I declined. Giordano accepted.  The ample, lactating queen of the castle brought us a large plastic water bottle filled with that morning’s milk, which they insisted was a “gift”.  We schmoozed a bit more before exchanging friendly goodbyes. “Ciaos”, actually.

 

The drive back to the main road didn’t seem nearly as long and daunting.  

 

Not too far down the main road, we arrived at a (relatively) more commercial  farm, where Giordano bought some fresh mozzarella and ricotta. Serena was thrilled to see long lines of holstein cows fiercely committed to munching massive piles of hay.  The smell of cow shit filled the warm, humid air.

 

We hopped back in our little Fiat (who runs on propane) and traversed more windy roads, in pursuit of MORE CHEESE.  Haha. This time it was another family home. A friendly man with a full, grey beard, shining eyes and strikingly short denim shorts greeted us, along with two small, eager dogs.   He and Giordano exchanged some friendly words and then the man led us into his kitchen, which was flooded with sweet, buttery aroma. A woman with short, grey hair, joyful eyes and a german accent greeted us.  Monica. Though she wasn’t “fat”, her “extra” suggested her love of baking and partaking. She was rolling out greasy cookie dough. Her teenage daughter, exuding a modest presence, sat at the far corner of the table, spreading some kind of chocolate goo on toast, making intermittent crunching music.  

 

Serena was dying for a cookie.  To my relief, they weren’t ready yet.  Poor thing. I wish I’d never let her eat a cookie… or even watch a show in which they ate cookies.  Because Pandora’s box is officially OPEN.

 

I felt my aura tucked close to my body as I spoke with effulgent Monica (in english) about simple things like her love of baking, her grandchildren in Germany, her daughter’s longing to get a nose piercing.  She pulled a small, homemade calendar from the wall and beamed as she showed us photos of her children and grandchildren. She promised Serena a raincheck on cookies, which she even threatened to deliver to our doorstep on her way to town one day.  

 

We eventually left with a huge round of sharply scented sheep cheese.  

 

The heat of the day was now upon us.  Our meandering morning outside of time suddenly came to a jarring halt.  We still had an errand to run in the town of Assisi. I felt hungry and aware  that Serena’s nap time was approaching faster than was convenient.

 

Hence we embarked on another epic leg of our day’s journey, which included driving through the stunning center of Assisi (OMG, I can’t believe I live a stone’s throw from such an ancient, mythic “destination”), spending “hours” in a massive store, in (fruitless) search of a mosquito net to protect us as we sleep (Serena is getting devoured every night and my heart aches each time I look at her sweet face, dappled with inflamed, red bumps.)  Exiting the belly of said store, ravenous. Resigning to eating lunch out, even though money is feeling uncomfortably scarce. Climbing to the highest hill in Assisi, to a restaurant overlooking the Whole World, owned by two brothers who press Giordano’s olive oil. Everything in their restaurant is organic, and mostly grown and made by them. Even the flower in the hearty, country bread and pungent, buttery blue cheese.

 

I could write a whole story about lunch.  But I don’t feel like it. My body craves yoga.  And the moral of this story, is that in Italy, “going to get milk and cheese” is not a minimal, colorless endeavor.   It is a weighty, relational Happening, which requires half a day and fully awakened senses.

Let it be noted.

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On HAVING (all over the place!)

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Lately, my life has been about robust goodbyes.  Leaving for Italy with one-way tickets really underscores the nature of impermanence in which we are always swimming in this stunning, infinity pool of Life.  

 

Suzanne’s parting words to me were so potent, they knocked me backwards, “You’ve been wanting for a long time.  Now HAVE.”

 

They rained upon my ears five days ago, and they are still going to work on me.  

 

Who would I BE if I relaxed into my Life and allowed myself to HAVE?  

 

It *seems* that I am wired to want.  And of course this orientation to Life reaches much farther back than the crushing, five plus year relationship with my married baby daddy….

 

When I was engaged to my fiance (twelve years ago), I sat in an unbearable fire of lusty want for someone else.  Another married someone else. (Who, for the record, I eventually HAD in many ways and it was often wonderful…) But still… Looking backward, this quality of excruciating want is a prevalent ingredient in the soupy swirl of my inner landscape.

 

I recently wrote a piece on the father wound.  And the gaping, oozing want for HIM to choose me.  To make me feel like THE essential treasure of his heart.  

 

So now what?  

 

I am again engaged.  To a wildly passionate italian man, who leaves me with no trace of doubt that he chooses me (and Serena).  A man who was ready and willing to leave his country, move across the world from his family, change his Life completely to be with me.  A man who I kicked out of my house (he slept in a leaky tent in the rain), stopped speaking to… returning two times over, to the unavailable-but-all-too-familiar arms of my baby daddy.

 

Oh the unwieldy odyssey of Athena Grace.  (I’ve GOT to write the damn book already!)

 

People must think Giordano and I are CRAY-ZAY for giving it a third go.  But I trust that third time IS a charm. Listen, when you live Life right, it changes you.  

 

Whoa, I started to get sucked down a wayward rabbit hole… but I am here to talk about HAVING.  I don’t know that I have answers. I guess I’ve gotta pull a Rilke, and LIVE the answers. And the questions.  

 

How do I change my wiring?… Give myself wet, juicy, overflowing, RADICAL PERMISSION to HAVE….!!!  

 

I guess part of this luscious inner shift, is to embrace my lust for wanting.  I don’t have to “get rid” of wanting in order to have. Just widen. And savor.  And love.

 

It really does come around to self-love, doesn’t it?  And self-worth. I reckon these are siamese twins, self-love and self-worth…. or the serpent eating its own tantalizing tail….

 

Another noteworthy piece to share with you, is that in this same “robust goodbye” visit, I shared a delicious dinner with two long-time women friends.  Women whom I deeply love and respect. And we each had a womb-wrenching story of a recent relationship where we gave ourselves away… ground ourselves down in the mill of self-negating compromise and sacrifice.  And I could name at least another half dozen women in my immediate circles who are riding the same exhausted crucible carousel.

 

WHAT THE FUCK????

 

Sisters, what are we DOING????

 

The time has come to live into a new and utterly vivifying myth.

 

And now, bitches and fuckers (Being “ladies and gentlemen” is definitely part of the problem, NOT the solution.  Embrace it. Haha.), Athena Grace is going to go MACRO.

 

Women~ this same tolerance for mediocrity (and less) in our relationships, is part of the root system of destruction of the PLANET.  Resigning ourselves to crumbs, silencing our powerful voices, suppressing our OCEANIC Desire.

 

WE ARE NOT VICTIMS.  

 

Unless we want to be.

 

But come on.  Victimhood is so 2016.

 

This is our mOMent to join hands and hearts and RISE THE FUCK UP as the Luminaries of Succulent HAVING.  

 

How do we DO this?

 

We’ll make it up as we go.  But first is the full throttle commitment to ourselves, to our worth, to our sisters, to the Earth.  

 

When a sister mounts her dead, bleeding unicorn and kicks it in the sides, attempting to ride a few centimeters (backwards)… Call her out!  (and *demand* she do the same for YOU.) Let’s generate NEW CONVERSATIONS.

 

Conversations woven with the silken threads of pleasure, ecstasy, joy, celebration, success, plenty, satiation, vision, turn-on, YES.  

 

HAVING.

 

I, Athena Grace, give myself Radical Permission to HAVE all over the place.  And I dedicate my having to YOU. May my infinitely expanding capacity to HAVE inspire and reSource ALL.  May my HAVING always be aligned with Infinite Divine Love. May my HAVING always generate wellbeing, balance and peace.  

 

Amen.

 

Swimming Through Deep, Dark Waters… But Sort of Mostly Staying in LOVE.

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I’m not sure if the voice in my head who is hissing for me not to write is my God Self, or a garden variety demon… My guess is that God doesn’t hiss.  So I’m gonna cross the flaming threshold and commit these mostly innocent words to the page. I think it’s just my ego, who is frightened that it doesn’t see a clear stream of softly rushing thoughts to merge with and swim gracefully down the gaping mountain of my Existence.  This is one of those moments when being a writer is quietly terrifying. When telling my story entails the risk of portraying others in unflattering light… and while I’m all for shameless, unsettling honesty…. I really don’t relish throwing others under the psychedelic, second-generation hippy bus.  

So let me just say, it didn’t work out with Giordano.  Period. I hear a mouse in the attic. I hope I move out of this house before the day comes when it climbs down into my wing of Graceland, poops all over everything and requires a cruel and unusual death by peanut butter enticed beheadment.  Ugh. I think I’ve killed five of them in the two and a half years I’ve been here. I guess I have a ways to go before I arrive in the Buddha-Christ wing of Heaven.

Ahem.  Actually it was a train wreck with my beloved Italian Stallion.  The fallout left me raw and trembling on the inside for days. Feeling broken down and humbled, ready to join a twelve step program and get a therapist.  I’m serious. No shame. The experience served to illuminate some of my deepest, darkest wounds. But the good news is, I’m ready to heal. And the other good news is that I’m doing my best not to make it mean that I’m not good enough to step forward and serve women and be a light unto the world.  

I can feel that voice “hissing” (must not be God) inside me.  “Who do I think I AM to step out and be a leader… when I’m so fucked up and imperfect.  But the gorgeous thing is that THIS is precisely my message to women. That we must not hide out in the shadows and cracks, waiting until we’re airbrushed and stick-thin to step out and share our music and magic and medicine.  NOW IS THE TIME. Even and especially if we’re in twelve step programs or…. ahhhhhh the mouse sounds like it’s chewing through something. Fuck.

Another hidden gift laced into this unsayably painful drama, is that our collision of hearts ricocheted me into action around moving.  Moving house I mean. My appetite for a new life has been waxing for too many moon cycles. Living folded anonymously into the “woulds” (I “would” step out and be BOLD… If only I was _______ enough….) was starting to feel like a prison sentence.  But the thought of stepping back into the rushing river of culturally rich madness that is the Bay Area was a terrifying notion. And where else would I go? I am connected in the Bay Area. And the OCEAN…. (insert sparkly, pulsing heart emoji here)  But suddenly my thirst for aliveness and connection and evolution has eclipsed my suffocating grip on the need for comfort and safety. I’m ready to trade my peaceful, charming one bedroom palace for a more expensive nine by twelve bedroom in the enlivening white water flow of roaring urbania.  

But The Merciful Lord doth stationed me in San Raphael (Marin County).  A milder entry into said roaring urbania than the East Bay would have been.  And with the Archangel Karen- a friend of eighteen years. Actually… once upon a time, we were more than friends.  We were The Kourage Family…. Missiz and Missiz Kourage. Then we adopted our son, “Sonala”, who Karen soon married, and eventually created a daughter with.  It was a very artistic, mythic, greek style family unit, which organically grew over time. But we were the nucleus. If I remember correctly, it really fell apart when I left my fiancé, “Moonwalker Kourage” for another man.  Karen adored Moonwalker. Naturally. He was and is “adorable”. And I ran off and rebelled against “comfy” and “safe”… took up mini skirts and wine and sex work! Haha.

Fast forward ten years, and we are commencing a Kourage Family ReUnion of sorts.  But this time, sadly, Sonala is not invited, and we each have a daughter. Kourages yet to be named!!!

I got all swept away on the wings of my epic tale… and I forgot to mention the intense and immense heartache I have been slogging through since the forever untold Legend of Giordano.  It began two days before the scorpio full moon. Doctor Blanco yanked out my infected, root-canaled gold molar, while I sobbed uncontrollably in the reclining, slippery tan chair.

Honestly, if I had a nickel for every time some new-agey astrology report touted that our deepest wounds were surfacing for illumination and healing…. BUT THIS WAS REAL.  The DEEPEST FUCKING WOUNDS. I’m talkin’ about twelve-step-style wounds. Since this fiercest of ripe, dripping moons, I’ve been living in a state of washed-out, unnamable fear and anxiety.

Of course I have a bazillion philosophies about the nature and origin of this krushing fear, including the upheaval with Giordano, my impending move, my imminent leap into visibility, leadership and soul-satisfying career SUCCESS via my online women’s video circles (www.sourcedcircles.com)….

AND my personal favorite– Being deeply attuned and sensitive to “The Collective”.  Lemme ask YOU– Have YOU been feeling through deep, dark, inexplicable fear lately?  I mean, I don’t pay attention to the news or current events. But I am a profoundly sensitive “feeler”, and the global climate usually broadcasts as waves of energy that move through me.  I’m pretty sure my thankless, freelance side-job is to feel through and LOVE the collective feelings that others are too scared to touch with a crusty stick.

FINALLY!!!!!  The broken systems of the Patriarchy are actually crumbling…. Not just threatening to crumble “one of these days”.  The World As We Know It is coming undone. And we must resist the temptation to over-identify with the Brokenness…

We must step forward as our Perfectly Imperfect Selves…. Be the leaders, change-makers, seed-planters of The New World.  I know you know which one I’m talking about… The one that your heart is incessantly whispering about and entirely believes in.  The world where Unity of All Life is glaringly obvious, and we boldly and passionately live our Light for the wellbeing of ALL.  

Please remind me of this Visionary Proclamation, when I am standing naked in the floodlights of visibility, knees knocking as I call out to women everywhere to join my circles and raise each other UP as we co-create a nourishing, turned-ON culture of authenticity, vulnerability, pleasure and connection which will naturally deliver our World to the Heaven it’s meant to BE.  

A River, a Boulder and Sex.

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“Art is why I get up in the morning, but my definition ends there….”

 

Honestly, I think I’ve begun an Athena Graceland blog with that quote by Ani Difranco before… but it is endlessly relevant.  

 

There are mornings, like this morning… when Goddess straddles the dripping, luminous full moon and gallops into the secret folds of my dreams.  She rouses me too early and sweetly tugs at the enchanted threads of chaos and curiosity that weave the tapestry of my consciousness…. Images, questions, longing… all screaming up from inside me to be metabolized through the miraculous beauty of my Inner Voice.

 

My animal body feels heavy, begging for extended stillness and intimacy with soft, cotton sheets.  But the ferocity of my drive to create presses heavy from Inside. Mizz Difranco’s words rise like steam from the coffee that is about to be brewed and like fire, I leap from bed, eager to at once wrap and unwrap myself in the magical threads of language.

 

Oh poetic, philosophical words…. With samurai precision, I slash my sword and they fall to my feet.  I emerge as the naked and raw center.

 

Previously in Graceland, I was aflame as I awaited Giordano’s arrival.  Now, nearly a full moon later, he sits beside me on this depressingly distasteful and cheap brown couch, reading Slow Sex, a book written by my lifelong Beacon of Sexually Liberated Sanity, Nicole Daedone.  I am crushed by the too-much-ness of what there is to say.

 

It has been two week since he arrived.  We decided to do a weeklong trial to see if we could *joyously* tolerate coexisting in my modest, artistically persuaded little box… Until yesterday, it was way easier than either of us anticipated.  (It took me almost the full two weeks to set my farts free…. But I’m up to about a sixty nine percent liberated rip-rate.)

 

Oh there’s too much to say.  I must call upon the Wilderness of Infinity Within, in order to perform the Impossible feat of threading Infinity through the Eye of the Needle.  

 

Where do I begin?

 

SEX.  Naturally.  My favorite subject.  If you’ve followed me since the infancy of Athena Graceland, you know I used to romp there way more. (That was before I was sent by a snickering God to live amongst the Renunciates.)  But I always felt terrified because my Mom was my number one fan…. And inspired, liberated sexuality was not an area of overlap for us. I felt the need to hide my libidinous priestess side from her.  Said priestess was actually quite relieved as Dear Sumitra lay dying… because She imagined that She’d finally be free…. On our last day together, I told my Ma, “Now I can write anything I want!” She flashed a smile of compassionate recognition.  

 

For the first year without her, I wondered when I’d get to it…. “It” being revealing the repressed backlog of wet, racy, outrageous expression within me.  But I guess being an under-fucked single mom was not exactly fertile ground for such writing.

 

Hallelujah the dawn doth cometh!  This morning I am delighted to announce that I no longer classify as underfucked.  Phew. I found my way to the scantily clad, orgiastic desert oasis. Everywhere I turn, water is singing, dripping, gushing, quenching.  

 

I pity the fool who says sex is not spiritual.  I feel a bazillion percent more alive, joyful, energized.  I feel like I finally have the inner resource to Rule The World.  

 

I never believed in “penis envy”…. But when I see Giordano’s perfectly huge, artistically dangerous, hard cock in the morning…. I think that Freudian construct might be laced into the cocktail of feelings that swirl inside me.

 

I’ve been flying high on oxytocin for the past two weeks.  It’s like being drunk on sunlight. I dare you to argue with the quintessential rightness of such purity.

 

But of course, life is dynamic and fuckin messy.

 

And sharing my tiny house with a man is bound to arouse conflict and rub raw, ancient wounds.  Yesterday we got in our first real…. Dare I call it a “fight”? I would call it me asking to Talk… and sharing all the withholds that were eating away at me.  Him feeling attacked and bristling in defense. Both of us flooding with fight or flight chemicals and becoming crippled five year olds. How’s THAT for sexy?!!

 

The moon is nearly full.  We are both very sensitive.  Energy needed to burst and gush.  We never really came to articulated resolution.  We walked through the woods, me tense and silent, him spitting inflamed, linguistic daggers wrapped in his profoundly charming italian accent.  Then we took some space…. And naturally tapped our respective wells of compassion, patience and love.

 

I just wish I hadn’t told him I was ALL IN so quickly.  Initially, we agreed to let it ride for an entire moon cycle before we came to any conclusions.  But the damn oxytocin got me all gushy and I professed that I didn’t need to wait. I flung myself into the treacherous deep end, with beaming abandon.

 

Hello, my name is Athena and I am emotionally impulsive.  

 

Seriously.  It’s a weakness in me that I am working on.

 

I don’t know if I’m scared of intimacy… or not fashioned for a conventional, nuclear paradigm relationship… or if Giordano simply isn’t the One for me….  But….. ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

 

I started missing Ed.  Ed has a way stronger masculine essence.  Giordano was named after the River Jordan.  And he truly IS water. Ed was named after a massive granite boulder.  Haha I’m sooo funny! But I ask myself if I can fully give myself to a man who is so flowing.  This makes me more masculine. But….

 

Giordano is a beautiful being who loves and supports me.  He is honest and caring, creative and adventurous. Plus, his italian accent and adorably wonky sentence structuring is an endless source of tickle for me.  And who says it must be a stifling case of “either or”?

 

A while back, Ed sneered at me, in a moment of pain, and said, “You think you can have it ALL, but you CAN’T.”  His words knocked me bass-ackwards.

 

The fuck I can’t.  I’m ATHENA GRACE, high and holy Priestess of Heaven.  Recently, Ed stopped talking to me for what seemed like a year.  It was actually about three days. But now he’s back. And I am quenched by his steady, masculine love.  

 

Fuck the stiff, moldy paradigm that says I must choose.  But through the unintelligible grace of endarkenment, it still lives inside me.  When I fall asleep at the wheel for even a second, I melt into that ancestrally embedded, default, operational groove.  Why can’t I widen myself and imbibe the love and complementary nutrients that both men have to offer to my heart and life?

 

I can.  I give myself Radical Permission to be nourished by a spectral panoply of lovers.  I give myself Radical Permission to be free from the need to define my relationships according to archaic, expired patriarchal constructs.  I give myself Radical Permission to feel and speak my raw, naked truth in The Moment, and set appropriate boundaries accordingly. I give myself Radical Permission to live in the Present, and release the need to define my intimacy with others through elusive future constructs.  

 

Most importantly, I give myself Radical Permission to love and to be loved.  And to BE LOVE.

 

Messy, imperfect, ever-evolving, embodied love.

Yo Lord, throw down a little bitta sweet lovin’…

Thank GOD shit has lightened up over here.  OMG.  That was far from the most “knock it out of the park” opening sentence ever written, but I had to go with it, because it was honest.  I bet Hemingway is cheering me on from his scrappy, desolate log cabin above the clouds.  But yeah, after my last entry, my throngs of fans were all like “I feel your pain.”  Haha, my Ma used to say that to me occasionally, as I marinated in flames of self-inflicted, luxury vacations to hell.  She’d first say, “As Bill Clinton used to say…”  This always tickled me just right in too-serious moments.

Well thanks for feeling my pain.  I remember Matt Kahn testifying that success feels way more surreal than the struggle ever did.  That really struck me.  Deep down, I know that I will get to experience this firsthand some day.  In the mean time… what is it that I want you to feel with me today?

My longing.  Inhale.  Exhale.  My longing to be touched beautifully.  Physically, emotionally, mentally and heck let’s just toss “spiritually” into the mix, even though who the fuck knows what that actually means!  It just makes my desire sound more massive and unwieldy! (which it certainly feels from INside…)  But if we were gonna roll up our sleeves and get nitty-gritty, I’d say that “spiritually” can encompass (and transcend) all realms, dimensions and facets.  Like how at the end of the day, you can’t pick Love apart, because it’s the binding agent of the entire multiverse and Beyond.  Or as wise, old KenPie says, “The ground of all Being”.

I just paused and did this delicious stretch, which made a heavy shower of starlight drizzle through me.  I smelled my armpit along the way.  It was mild and sweet.  I am so healthy.  My armpits never stink.  But my shit does.  For whatever that’s worth.  (This was a totally superfluous paragraph, and I considered deleting it.  But I decided to leave it in… because it embarrasses me to do so.  And I figure in some strange way, that makes it valuable.  An editor would probably disagree, but eat your heart out all you tamed writers who do what your editors say, just so that you can make a buck… and feel like somebody cuz your words are immortalized in the minds of the masses…  As long as I’m an impoverished hussla, at least I get to call the shots!!!

Anyway, it’s almost comical how man-starved I am at this point!  Since my last post, Ed and I have been taking space with no communication.  Which feels sooooo niiiiice.  I’m not wasting my energy caring about the perplexing choices he’s making “over there” in his out of reach life… or breaking a sweat to get him to have deep, meaningful conversations with me.  Talk about a “luxury vacation”!  But maaaaaan…. I’m so in the mood for lovin!

I guess I have been for months now, really.  Back in the very late winter, I fell in love with the soulful young man at the local (enchanted) podunk grocery store….  I mustered the ovaries to invite him to the River… only to learn he is gay.  (I still love him!)  But I am cracking up at the slim pickins around here.  It’s totally comical.  Like, do you ever play that game where you run out of food and you try to make a bitchin, gourmet meal out of the five random, bizarre ingredients left in your fridge?  Pickles, ketchup, some dried black-eyed peas, the heal of a loaf of sprouted raisin bread and an over-ripe apricot?  Can somebody say avant garde sloppy joes?!?!

Just kidding, I would never make that.  But it perfectly illustrated my point!  And gave me a huge, satisfying bang.  Which is really why I write.  Just to ring my own bells.  Oh, my exotic choir of heavenly chimes!!!  What riveting and revelatory music they add to this world!

So yeah, there’s like three single men at Ananda… and I’m over here goin like, “what can I possibly do with these guys that would make them… palateble… or perhaps even… TASTY?

Then another part of me is clutching at the emergency break.  Because I’m scared of getting distracted and drained.  I don’t have energy to squander at this time.  It all goes to my girl, and to my burgeoning CAREER.  Yup, you heard me– when I grow up, I’m going to be hella IMPORTANT!!!!  Tee-hee.  I giggled out loud.  Because I have this fierce appetite to make something of myself.  And while it is totally real and valid and probably even inevitable, it is also hilarious… because I think most of us thirst to be “important”.  As if our worldly accomplishments will make us worthy, lovable, whole people.

But back to my comical quest for satisfying male companionship…. I’m asking myself, “do I want to divulge the intimate specifics of WHO and HOW?”  I mostly pride myself on standing naked in the floodlight…. But I’m gonna refrain at this point… because I feel shy and wimpy.  Plus, I feel like wrapping this confessional up soon, so I can get in some sumptuous yoga before mama duty broadsides and devours me….  What feels utterly relevant to report, is I’m scared that if I DID open myself to one of these impromptu, avante garde sloppy joe men, that I would probably get sucked down a love tunnel with him, because that’s my nature…. and I might lose my focus, get even less precious rest, leak my emotional energy.  Honestly, I don’t even think the Universe would allow such nonsense at this point… which is why ain’t nobody showin’ up.  Praise the Lord.

That said… another part of me burns to explore loving outside The Box… opening myself to casual, yet soulful and satisfying male companionship… Someone to occasionally entwine bodies with (clothes ON sounds like more than enough at this point) and have intimate, stimulating conversations…. and maybe when the the world I’m in gets dark and cold and hopelessly wet again (I’m sooooo not looking forward to another cruel and cloistered winter….) we can share warm, beautiful food and snuggle up and watch a movies!  Maaaaaybe even make out.  Am I capable of keeping it light?  I guess I’ve been a bit of a “serial monogamist” in my life…. more or less…. But I want to try something new.  I’m done with the codependent, self-sacrificing prison cell model of Relationship.  Hella high priestess Mary Magdalene as my witness,  I CHOOSE MYSELF.  And… still I must feed my need for touch and romance, seduction and intimacy.  I’m thinkin’ even some hot, clothes-on energy sex would totally hit the spot….

Stay tuned.

To Tell You the Truth…

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Do you wanna know something honest?  I think I let my frustration speak too often with Serena.  Moments of tension and restricted breath, gratuitously spoken with smoke and sparks.  The F-word flies free as a flag at a baseball stadium perched at the edge of the world.  And every time I hear myself express from this agitated state, there is a voice in my head that says, “Athena, you’re gonna be mighty ashamed when SHE starts speaking like this in public domains.”  Yeah.  I’m not proud.  But you know what I AM proud of?  Writing something that makes me squirm.  Risk=Energy=Compelling.  Because let’s be honest– we are ALL a bit crusty and tattered around the edges (but mostly mooshy in the middle).  And it’s thrilling and terrifying to get naked… in a world brimming with people too oft invested in “presenting ourselves”.

But I didn’t bring this up so that I could spin out in philosophical generalities…  I was simply inspired to tell the unflattering truth.  Another dimension of this confession, is that a dominant part of me doesn’t even aspire to be wholesome and clean.  This aspiration seems more like social conditioning than a true read on my internal compass.  Not that I want to be frivolously filthy, either.  I want to be relaxed in my range of expression (while continuing to cultivate patience and a genuinely pure heart).   I don’t want Serena to hear a swear word and fall to her tiny, perfect knees, imagining that the apocalypse is upon us.  Aversion has it’s own malignant sphere of influence.  Still, I could be better.  But it’s a lot to have ZERO breaks from the incessant rigors of parenting.  Listen to me– NOBODY takes my baby off my hands for a goddamn hour (let alone a minute) so that I can go for a sweaty, cardio “prance” (my lax version of jogging), or sink in to a satisfying yoga practice, free from being climbed on, whined at, beseeched for boobie…  It SEEMS like most mothers get SOME relief, SOMEtimes…. Even once a week seems monumental from over here in Athena Graceland.

Sigh.  But I love being with her.  Sometimes my fuse just gets remarkably short and I become a reckless sailor.  Now I’m going to tell you something fabulous about me.  I wonder if it’s actually more risky to speak highly of oneself, than to shine the floodlight on one’s faults.  Self-love might actually be the greatest taboo of all, in a society built on insecurity and perpetual consumption.

For as short as my said fuse can be, I bounce back in a lightening flash.  I am quick to apologize, and quicker to say “I love you.”  My girl will have not a shed of doubt as to how loved, right and good she is.  And if she is anything like her mother, Serena will have no qualms about admitting her mistakes and shortcomings, and compassionately making another choice.  Boo hoo.  She’s awake.  Talk to you tomorrow.

I guess it was kinda good that she woke up… cuz I had the whole day yesterday to observe myself and notice the ratio of impatience to bottomless generosity and nourishing presence.   Though not all days are created equal.  The moment I’m most ashamed of yesterday was when she was having her pre-night-night-time sink bath.  I think she was over tired, since she missed he afternoozie (nap, not tea!).  She kept throwing her “toys” (red plastic tablespoon, cup, rubber ducky) onto the floor, causing gratuitous wetness, and I asked her repeatedly to stop, explaining that I didn’t want water all over the floor.  So THEN, she proceeds to intentionally fling her arm and splash water on the floor!  BRAT!  I ask her to stop.  Nope.  Instead, she does it again.  Making solid, rebellious eye contact all the while.  Wow.  My thermostat soars and bursts.  This is not acceptable.  I grab her squishy little arm and squeeze it.  Hard.  Holding her fierce, brown-eyed gaze, I tell her to STOP.  She pauses.  Before splashing MORE water on the floor.  This repeats a few times before I realize she is just tired and is really telling me she’s done.  Time for some naked pillow diving, honey scented oil on her too-perfect skin, diaper, snowman jammies, and boobie-to-sleep.

It felt horrible to squeeze her little arm.

But mostly I’d nominate myself for Mother of the Millennia.  I give her tons of room to explore the world.  I continuously aspire to see through her eyes of perpetually fresh wonder.  I speak to her as a highly capable and intelligent being.  I listen to her deeply.  I tell her how exquisitely beautiful she is.   Oh, and this one feels especially crucial– I don’t make her behave a certain way in social situations.  I hate it when parents force their kids to respond with the right script… just so they “look good” and avoid awkward moments and uncomfortable feelings.  Yuck.  I pick her up and dance around like a God-drunk earth angel.  I take her outside and let her sit on the earth as much as possible.  (That’s her favorite!)  I encourage her to explore.  I read to her a ton.  I feed her high quality, nutritious food.  And on and on blah, blah, blah.

It really DOES go on and on.  I’m great.  And I’m human.  And sometimes my fuse gets teensy.  Just like my mom’s did.  Back then I thought she was so mean!  Her jaw would clench and she’d say, “God dammit Dawn!” as I cowered.  But here’s what I didn’t know back then– she was way more than just my mother.  She had a whole world of emotions and hopes and dreams and needs and a mountainous heap of responsibilities… in addition to the simple though incessant invitation to be present and loving with her precious little Dawnie-cakes.

People say that you come to understand and forgive your own mother at ever-deepening levels as you walk the path of motherhood yourself.  Yep.  It’s true.  It’s like doubling back and delving into the veins of your very own being and  Life again from an even richer vantage point.  Surfing and mining your own blood and stories from a wiser, more compassionate, loving and clear vantage point.  It is ancestral healing backward and forward.  Building a bridge of Love to a better world for ALL.  I know this is why I am here.

I could be better.  And I WILL be.  As I continue to love my own innocent heart through all that Life is and isn’t.  As I learn and grow and relax into this miraculous, blessed path that unfolds through, as and beyond me.  And I might say a few too many fucks along the way.

Chronicles of a Rad Single Mama

God bless these words.  All of them.  I’m serious God.  Imbue them with Light that awakens ALL HEARTS.  Because You are THAT Badass.

Five fifty five am.  My legs ACHE.  I worked three jobs yesterday.  In addition to my Always Job of caring for Serena.  Actually, I needed to toil in the trenches yesterday… because once again, the full moon worked its watery, nocturnal magic, and destroyed me.  Full moons illuminate previously unseen inner dimensions for the purpose of sacred release.  I’ve sure had a wealth of material to release lately… Every time the She becomes round and enchanting, I die another gruesome death.  On sunday, my heart weighted tons.  I felt depressed.  It has been ages since I’ve danced with that particular shade of Divinity.  That’s right.  I’m declaring depression Divine.  Because ‘member?  I am no longer interested in imagining that there is anything that is *not* Omnipresent, All Pervading God… It’s actually impossible.  I can’t even conceive of how Omnipresence could be absent from anything or anywhere.  That’s just stupid, if you ask me.  Which you didn’t.  But this is my blog, and I am so free to belt out the Gospel from this modest mount.  And I’m certain that my assertions are of value.

Now that I think of it, the last time I felt debilitatingly depressed was when I was about six months pregnant… around August of last year… when Ed went M.I.A. and I thought he was going to totally desert The Graces.  All I could do was lay in my bed and cry.  Oh, and somehow I dragged my zillion pound heart to prenatal yoga in the mornings… and mostly cried through class.  My Cosmic Dad saved my life by taking me to the movies a bunch.  I remember sitting through Jurassic World, feeling a sacred, near ecstatic wash of relief as I watched the shiny leading lady tear through the jungle in high heels and tight, muddy, disheveled clothing… and one by cursed one, the secondary characters were gobbled by massive, stupid dinosaurs with wicked sharp teeth.  Oh, and bottomless buttery, salty popcorn.  For those two hours, I was happy and free.  As we emerged from the theater, Cosmic Dad and his buddy began critiquing the movie.  I was still high off of the cheap hollywood climax and release… I found it ludicrous that they were waxing sophisticated about this blissfully mindless little slice of “cinema”!

Anyway, I was amazed on sunday to feel for the first time in a long time, that I didn’t give a you-know-what about anything.  Except Serena.  But even that essential thread to this world felt tattered and precarious.

Yesterday (Moonday), I had three jobs to do.  In the morning, I cleaned the guesthouse at the Crystal Hermitage.  (Gosh, that sounds so glamourous in writing!!!  Like I’m a maid to the Stars.  Ha!… I have arrived 😉  By God’s Rad Grace, my Ma stayed at my house while Serena napped… and played with her when she woke, (They LOVE each other!!!) so I was able to “wham-bam” the job, while Matt Kahn transformed my consciousness via youtube.   When I got home, I heated up some red beans and rice for all of us, and had a little down time.   Then I took Serena to the yurt that my Ma usually cleans, because she isn’t well, and I offered to do it for her.  Serena napped in the car for most of it.  When she awoke, I put her on my back, papoose style, like mothers have been doing since the beginning of time, and we swept the thick, wet coating of oak leaves from the wrap-around deck.  Almost immediately after that, it was time to go cook dinner for “Chandi” (a group house at Ananda).  Serena and I made veggie tacos.  Serena sat on the counter and nibbled on raw squash and red bell peppers, and helped me pick out spices to season the food with.  She’s an amazing partner.

When we got home, it was bath time.  I didn’t even have time to feed her dinner, before plunking her into the kitchen sink.  I fed her buttery steamed broccoli as she bathed.  I ate some too… plus a couple slices of jack cheese dipped in pesto.  And some cucumber.  Ahhh, the glamorous life of a single mama.

Once Serena was down, my body screamed with ache.  I didn’t wanna move.  I fell into bed, scrolled down my stupid facebook feed for a few too many minutes before rolling over and letting sleep have me and my aching limbs.

I dreamed of being held by a *platonic* man friend.  I woke up feeling strangely nourished.  The night before, I dreamt I had sex with another long time friend and lover.  I love dream sex, because it can just go on and on and on…. Thank GOD for my dreams.  They give me what waking life is not.  I need this right now.  It’s actually almost comical how desolate my existence has become.  Recently, my Ma’s housemate, David was jubilant to share with me that he had been researching baby development, and discovered that when they are not touched, they DIE.  Yup.  That’s right David.  And what of little Athena Grace?   She’s mostly alive… but her body aches, as she wanders this sprawling figurative desert alone.

It will not be this way forever.  It is indulgent (though completely natural) to believe so.

Lately I’ve been AMAZED at the stark contrast of light and darkness within me.  The light is so bright, in ordinary moments, it consumes me in incognito ecstasy.  Serena brings unsayable joy to my days.  (Except Sunday.)  And the dark is thick as a starless, winter night.  It chills me to the core.  This acute polarity is the state of the World right now.  Amazing how it plays out with unique creativity in each of our personal stories… And simultaneously in our collective story.  I breathe it all into my heart.  And exhale it as blessing.  I know I am here to transform the consciousness of the planet and bring Heaven to Earth.  You might be too.  We all might be.  Are you ready to claim your essential place in Love’s twisted, frivolous play??

Oh, I forgot to mention the cherry on top of this melty hot fudge concoction that is My Life… My Ma called and left a message on my phone while I was bathing Serena last night.  She acknowledged and celebrated me for all that I did yesterday.  She said she realizes that probably nobody knows of all that I triumphantly accomplished… except for her… and she is so proud of me.

Listen– don’t be “too spiritual” for acknowledgment and praise.  That’s stupid.  Sure, it’s probably not healthy to be dependent on the stuff…. It’s not healthy to be dependent on ANYTHING.  But being acknowledged for who you ARE and what you DO is an essential ingredient of a healthy life.  It is an active expression of Belonging.  I acknowledge myself often.  I’m awesome.  But honestly, sometimes that just doesn’t hit The Spot.  Sometimes I need the glory of this epic, heroic pilgrimage through Divine Weirdness to be recognized by another.  And so do YOU.

I guess that’s enough for now…. I was gonna share my reflections on dying…. but I’ll save that for another gay romp through Athena Graceland!!!

PS~ Look Ma— I didn’t use any swear words in this blog!!!!  And it was not cuz I was editing my expression… it’s just that sometimes “four letter words” are the appropriate building blocks for raw, authentic expression, and sometimes they’re not.  ❤

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