The Tale of the Born-Again-Indigenous-Boogie-World

Elegantly gliding through time and space toward the bus stop this morning, my face painted with a faint smile because I was headed to a strain of heaven named hip hop dance class.  My glorious city, The Land of Oaks, shrouded in soft fog.  All of the pavement felt like a hard, crusty shell, firmly embracing a hidden and tender world.  So much motion, this urban existence.  Incessant going.  And coming.  Oh this world…

 

As my eyes fall awake to the light that lives as all forms, I often well up with such a great love as I did as I breathed in the cold moisture of the said moment, drinking it deep into my lungs.  Wonder Woman, was that a beautiful moment.  But so is this one, now that I mention it… and anyway, go-go-gadget masculine directionality of this blog.  Athena Grace, striding in brisk ecstasy and welling up with unsayable love for this world.  This love whose only longing is to extend itself.  Always.  And then the recurring dream of a dance church slid into my mind, as though it were boldly stealing home.  (Hey, that would make a great book title~ “Boldly Stealing Home”!)

 

Yes, this vision has been paying me regular visits for over a decade.  It really wants to be born!  But god, it’s a daunting vision… trying to nut and bolt out the practicalities and realities of creating a sanctuary where everyone is equal in the diverse embodied immediacy of hallelujah in motion.  This church is a place where humanity comes together and actively practices seeing and being seen with and through the generous and ever-forgiving eyes of Love.  Awe!  Grin.  Just as I typed that, the church bells outside began to siiiiiiiiiiiiing!

 

Anyway, back to the sidewalk and the fog and the striking woman bubbling over with a compelling cocktail of child-like hope, pragmatism and conveniently feigned uncertainty… It was then that I realized that I could at least WRITE this vision into existence. As I often love to assert, Athena Graceland IS MY WORLD!  I am a glorious and benevolent and whimsical ruler of this page.  I can bend and twist and straight-up defy the over-starched rules of logic, linearity and even– gasp– SCIENCE!  I see this world!  It is fresh and tender.  Yet, strong enough to be cracking through the sheath of concrete and “progress” we call home.

 

I thought to jot down this inspiration of a blog topic, but instead I just hustled to the bus stop in front of the ornate, antique Grand Lake Theater and sat upon the green, sheltered bench.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited and my bus was a whopping thirteen minutes late!  But I’ll tell you this much- the more I live, the more I am able to recognize a truly infinite intelligence at work within, through and beyond all things.  So rather than holding my breath and knitting my brow about it all, I silently asked my Self what It wished of me this miraculous, white-washed morning.  And it said WRITE*.  (*As well did it say to first get a few essential groceries at Trader Joe’s, and then stop at the pull-up bar and get my pump on and meet this buff brother with a beautiful and starving heart who would lap up the love flowing through me like a purring kitten… but that’s another story.)

 

So here I am, obeying the Small, Silent Voice.  Here I am, appointing myself High Priestess of the Land of Oaks as seen through the portal that is Athena Graceland.  You wanna hear something WEIRD???  I’ve NEVER had a yoga boyfriend!  I’d like to try it some day… I know that was off topic, but it lept, panther-style into my head… and it just seems a little wrong.  But not that wrong…

 

And now back to our previously programmed special edition of Athena Graceland- Sneak Preview of the New World!  We will become “born-again indigenous people”!  Ha!  That’s brilliant!  I mean, I am not any sort of real expert on indigenous people… but in my mind, live some abstract etchings of tribally-woven communities who exist in a paradigm of harmony with, and reverence for the earth and one another; where every person in the village takes active, devotional responsibility for the balance and thrival of the whole.  As my heart wakes up, this seems so obvious… Like DUH, we are NOT separate, and I love you as I love me, and I love me as I love you because we are the Same.  (with a capital S that rhymes with bless that stands for Oneness!) I mean that’s all Jesus was saying… and somehow we managed to invent this whole neurotic religion out of such fundamental purity.  But that’s in the past.  And from the present shines a nobly gruesome, entirely forgivable, dying world.  But shhhhhh.  Listen…

 

 

 

 

Hear the concrete cracking.  Hear the guttural, rumbling whispers of a glorious new world, reaching up from deep within the belly of the earth, like an infinity-winged angel hatching from a massive egg, spinning like an anonymous whirling dervish through a star-washed sea of vast, deep space.  See us all dancing together.  All sexes, all races, all ages and walks of life.  We gather in presence, in the spirit of play and faith and healing and CELEBRATION… We lay down our rancid and calcified stories of being small, separate and afraid, like arms in a world that has never dreamed the dream of war… simply because they bore us and we’d rather boogie!  And so we boogie!  And suddenly, we are no longer deaf to the heavenly music of our own eternal souls!   So we boogie some more, because the music is so smokin’ and it feels so good to move!

 

And in this Born Again Indigenous Boogie World, we are planting gardens EVERYWHERE!  Gardens and orchards… communities are overflowing with an abundance of fresh, nourishing, organic food.  And no one is hungry.  And no one is left to suffer alone.  Who tends the gardens, you ask?  We all do.  Not because we have to, or we’re sposta… just cuz we care.  We all genuinely care.

 

WE ALL GENUINELY CARE.

 

I truly believe that much.  In fact, I’d bet my sweet life on it.  True, we don’t all ACT like we care.  Because we’ve gone to sleep, or built stone walls around our tender, tremulous and holy hearts…. but deep down, and in that endless, beginningless place we all contain, WE SURE DO CARE.  Trust me.  The more you *want* to see that care winking from within every single brother and sister, the more you WILL see it.  I speak from experience.  We always see what we want to see.

 

What do you want to see?

 

Live,

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can I Get An AMEN?!?!?

And finally, Sunday hath cometh! And Athena doth goeth unto church! Ha! I’m gonna start speaking biblically on the Sabbath from now on. Just kidding, that would take way too much effort to sustain, but it’d sure be a holy kick in the pants, and at the end of the day, what matters most is not how much money you make, or how many TVs you have…but how many times you’ve been kicked in the holy pants. True or true? (When I say “true or true”, I am poking fun at the Millionaire Mind Intensive… kicking my own holy pants, as I am often compelled to do, because life without pants kicking is NOT a life worth living, if you ask me. I can’t help but glean amusement from motivational speakers who are both truly inspiring and positively evocative, but also way too amped up, as though they are on some rare and delectable strain of methamphetamines. Everywhere I go, I study leaders, take secret notes for when it’s my turn to step up and shepherd us Home. I like the “true or true” tactic… it’s a powerful way to ensure that the crowd climbs aboard and sets sail on your ship. Just be sure to exercise discernment, and make sure it’s a destination worth seducing the herd to, okay?)

Church… The word church has almost as much yucky, archaic resonance around it as the word “God” does… I feel like such an underdog for loving church. As though the ONLY people who are allowed to love church are the prudish, rigid, nervous types who judge and condemn in the name of God. Obviously that’s NOT true, since NOBODY at The East Bay Church of Religious Science is like that. The vibe there is that of celebratory affirmation that the power and the presence of the Holy Dice Roller is within each one of us! It’s such a resplendent breath of fresh air to spend a couple of hours steeping in an environment where EVERYONE is aligned with the Highest. And not the narrowing, condemning highest, but the empowering, expansive Highest. I leave that place floating in the heaven that is here and now, utterly a-tingle! I feel so blessed. I dream of living in a world that is like this. Every day. Wait, maybe I already DO…

Well, if I had ANY doubt that all “this” wasn’t but a casual outpouring from my very own mind… Today, it has become official. This strange, auspicious weaving is only of the ONE. You want PROOF? Well, I’ll give it to you! First of all, I have been CHOMPING at the bit for Sunday to come, so I could get my azz to church, since I missed it last week. I was building a snowball of excitement, enthusiasm and hunger inside. And then, when I got to church, there was an unusually high vibration, like a shimmering castle of sacred sand, shaped from my very own anticipation. The minister and the pulpit assistant and the musical director were all giving voice to how BLESSED we were to be sharing this utterly divine space of celebration and worship. Each of them spilled out of their own skin with extraordinary jubilation. Now, you might say “so what?”… but if I were to look through the lens that all that is “outside” is a reflection of my “inside”…I recognize that my experience of in and out fit together like a sexy-chic glove today!

Then, the choir (the HOLY, revelatory, no-holds-barred-inspired choir) sang a song with the lyrics “Spirit wants you to sing your song”. Remember my blog entry from like TWO days ago??? I started it talking about how I seem to have forgotten my soul song… and the idea that each of us is born into our very own, unique song… Then the minister expounded on this idea of reclaiming our song, and choosing to courageously SING OUR SONG! “Coincidence”… yeah. (Be sure to envision a congregation hootin’ and hollerin’ in ecstatic accordance with all the nourishing words splashed upon us)

COINCIDE~ to occupy the same place in space, the same point or period in time, or the same relative position: The centers of concentric circles coincide.

Thank you dictionary dot com! Concentric circles… another topic that often pours through these holy fingertips and onto the page… Hey! It’s a coincidence WITHIN a coincidence!!! Think about the implications of occupying the same place in space… Makes me think of ONEness. Makes me think of transcendence of the space-time continuum. Ya dig? Like beyond this world of division and multiplicity and distance, there is quiet, holy center, from which everything pours.

Another coincidence= I wanted to check in on my beloved blogging sister, Melissa (http://honeybtemple2.blogspot.com/)… One of her most recent posts addresses the plump, juicy topic of jealousy. She specifically addresses jealousy in relation to relationships. Like getting jealous of your partner when they are connecting with another woman (or man)… I really dug her digging into this “unsavory” facet of existence. What came to my mind was another manifestation of jealousy. The kind of jealousy that stems from seeing someone thriving, existing in fullness and glory in an area of life where I feel scarce, undeserving or somehow blocked. This kind of jealousy stings like a motha! So of course, but two hours later, the minister stood before his congregation and addressed this very aspect of jealousy. He openly embraced what he called his “Hater”… the aspect of himself (and myself and your self) that feels scarce and disconnected from Source, and in the face of that judges, condemns and even hates those who are thriving, because they shine an unflattering mirror on a place where we have forgotten the truth of ourselves and the implicit abundance and worthiness therein.

What is the essence of all this? THERE IS ONE MIND, PEOPLE. ONE. We all think from this one mind. Or… it thinks us… some’m like that.

And I’m spent. It’s off to the farmer’s market in search of cookies the size of baby whales! Blessings, blessings, blessings to you. May your mind be luminous and lit by the magnificent, off the hook light of the ONE!

Not One of “Those” Church-Goers

Wow, I am sitting here at Hudson Bay Café waiting for the words to rain down from the invisible puffy clouds of alphabet soup just north of the sky.  And Athena said, “Let there be words!” and there were words.  And Athena said “Let these words be inspired by Love!”  And guess what”!#$%^&*@  Today’s words have been brought to you by the letters L, O, V and E and the number ONE.  At least I hope so.  I certainly want all the words that pour forth from me to be a celebration of love.  Is that possible, even when I’m expressing my kinks, tangles, fears, grievances?  Yes.  I’m gonna say yes.  Because if I waited till I was flawless and pure to write, it would be a little while yet… Maybe five minutes, five years, five lifetimes…

But I’m too excited about expressing myself to sit around and wait for perfection to stain my mind and my finger tips and besides, by then, I probably won’t have anything to say.

In church this morning, I was thinking along these lines.  Thinking that I love church so much… but I don’t want to be carelessly cast into that straighter than straight laced, smaller than small, duller than dull little box that “religious” people get smashed into by the gazillions.  Just because church makes me cream my panties, does NOT make me “one of those”.  I don’t even think I have to expound on the “one of those” concept.  Everybody knows what stereotypical churchgoers are like.  But not me!  I take drugs every now and again, [just to keep things in perspective] I have liberated views on sexuality and I use the F word with relish whenever I fancy.  But not as a default.  Just as one of many revered words that packs a wicked punch.  I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t want to be written off as one of those pious-er than thou types who are as bland as a bowl of plain white rice.

That’s silly.  Nobody’s really that bland. And there’s probably a ton of people who would totally dig on a bowl of white rice.  Nope, I will NOT pass the soy sauce.  Or the butter… or even a sprinkle of salt.  That’s against the rules in the land of bland. If you are gonna take a bold stand for while rice, then make your bed and nestle on in, friend!  Am I just revealing my own judgments right now?   Maybe you don’t share my prejudices about church-goers.  Good for you.

God, can you tell from reading all that I’ve written so far how arduous it was to squeeze out?  Man.  It just about killed me.  I am feeling frustrated like maybe I don’t have anything to say today.  But I will not accept that.  I am gonna pound out some thoughts even if they are all manky and burnt around the edges, or worse yet, bland as stereotypical church goers.  Why?  Because this is what I do.

I know what I want to say!  I am reading the new book by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love.  It’s called “Committed” and it’s about the author’s journey to “get right with marriage”.  At the end of Eat, Pray, Love, she falls in love with this guy she meets in Indonesia (a fellow bitter divorce), and they vow to one another that they will NEVER get tangled in the institution of marriage together, despite the mushy, inspired heart bursting new love chemicals coursing through their blood and driving them to storm the gates of eternity hand in hand.  But then they are forced to tie the knot so that Mister Right (a citizen of Brazil and Australia) can stay in the U.S.  So while they are in foreign lands, impatiently awaiting the single serving packet of eternity for all the paperwork and red tape to give them the matrimonial go ahead, the author attempts to allay her terror by researching the topic of marriage according to various cultures, individuals and historical vantage points.  I felt so jealous when I discovered that SHE had written that book.  I have been bush wacking through the thick tangle that is modern day marriage for quite some time now, searching for my own bearings.

It seems to be something everybody just does.  And then they mostly get divorced.  I witness this and I think to myself, “Holy, Virginal Mother Mary, why would I bother with THAT dead end street?”  Why indeed… I want to find at least seven good reasons to marry.  Really, I do.  I want to get married.  But not just because everyone else is doing it.  Generally, keeping up with the Joneses is NOT the compass of choice to navigate the treacherous though ever compelling waters of the self with.

Wow, this topic contains enough charge in me to power a mid-sized, psychedelic themed amusement park. (It would have a day glow tunnel of love that winds lazily amorous all about the property on a sweet river made of alpine snow melt.  The chariots would be real, live, enormous swans.  Black ones and white ones and maybe even electric pink swans, too.  Maybe that’s what LIFE is… a psychedelic, never-ending tunnel of love.  How romantic!?!  I’m going to imagine that from now on.  And of course my swan is hottie pink.)  Ahem.  What I really wanted to say is that in this book I am reading, the author just visited a Hmong village in the mountains of Vietnam.  The Hmong people live ultra simply, close to the earth.  Entire extended families share a home consisting of one single room with a dirt floor.  The author asked the grandmother of the group all these questions that Americans would find perfectly normal, but the Hmong people could not get their heads around them.  Questions such as, when was the moment that you realized that your husband was the man for you?  And “is your man a good husband?”  We think our concepts exist beyond our rigorously polished, collective, western consciouness.  Wrong.  Other collectives have other ways and language that serves as a reflection of those ways.

The grandmother’s answer to the question of is her man a good husband is simple, “All men and all women are mostly the same.  Everybody knows that.”  HA!  That is such a radically different idea than we live into over here in complicated land… and yet, I can’t deny that it’s not true on some level.  It’s like I said the other day~ All men are retarded assholes and all women are crazy bitches.  Sure, there is a vast assortment of retarded assholes to choose from.  It’s analogous to ice cream flavors.  These days, there are a butt load of flavors to choose from… and god knows we all have our favorites.  But at the end of the day, its all just glorified cream and sugar.

I’ve been learning a lot through these recent inner trials and tribulations I’ve been thrashing about in, in the realm of relationship.  I am seeing myself more clearly than ever before, which is a huge blessing.  In the reflective surface called “my relationship”, I see how critical and perpetually unsatisfied I can be.  And how much suffering that has caused me.  Recently, I have become exhausted in my suffering.  In this state of holy exhaustion, I think I am being beaten into a serene submission.  I know that I will NEVER find “the perfect man”.  So why not just love the pants off the one I’m with… and continuously aspire to be “the perfect woman”, moment to moment, to moment.  This idea relaxes me.  No more exhausting myself with the impossible task of chasing external perfection.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Love as a Mischievous Leprechaun

My voice feels so quiet today.  My mind is trying to convince me that I have nothing to say.  Of course I don’t believe it, point blank… but still, I think there might be something of value in this quietude.  Let me go into it and try to describe what I feel.  It feels damp.  A place where moss grows… and mildew.  Just a few filtered rays of sunlight stretch their warm tendrils into this otherwise dark, forest floor-ish ambiance inside.  Yes, imagine a little nook, deep in the forest.  The earth is so rich, the soil, nearly black.  Imagine rotting, fallen logs, toadstools and a silence thick enough to slice and eat.

Why did I take us into the forest?  I have no idea… maybe to sniff around for truffles!  In my next life I’ll be a truffle hunter, with a fat, loyal pig by my side.  A pig smarter than Lassie.  No, screw that.  I don’t want to have a next life.  And if I do, I want it to suck me deeper into the truth of Love and the revelation of service.  No more frivolous adventures in this crippled plane of existence.  Is that a poor attitude to have?  Yes.  Is this existence “crippled”?  It sure seems like it… although Brother Ishmael, who preached our service this morning would turn in his grave if he had one, if he heard me call the world crippled.

Brother Ishmael.  I have no idea how tall he is in real life, but up on the stage, behind the pulpit, with his arms outstretched, as they often were, he looked enormous, like a California Condor, maybe.  He wore a traditional African shirt and matching pants of deep blue.  He spoke with a thick, African accent and his voice was loud and laden with overt passion and faith.  I got a great feeling as he took the stage and prepared to feed our minds and souls with his generous words of wisdom and love.  But everyone seemed to revere him on such a pedestal, that the cautious cynic in me became activated.  I mean, Jesus.  It seemed to me that he could have spoon fed his hungry audience ANYTHING, and they would have gobbled it up like fresh thanksgiving leftovers.  I know that’s a preacher’s job… but… I guess it was the way there were incessant murmurs reverberating through the crowd the whole time.  Felt like a lot of ass kiss-age.  Which I can almost understand, because obviously this was a powerful man.  Obviously this was an influential, spirited, loving and very wise man.  I would want HIM to pick ME for his cosmic softball team too…

But still, I think I must have been Socrates in my past life, because I’d rather be in a spicy dialogue with Life, with You, with anyone else who wants to get to the bottom of all this with me.  Not that I believe in a bottom, necessarily.  Another day, another bottom, as we all tumble together down the well of the infinite.  I took a philosophy class at UC Santa Cruz when I was seventeen.  I remember the teacher, a round, young, hippy type, who I anticipated would become Santa Clause after he finally retired from teaching.  He talked like a surfer, like Bill and Ted, from “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”.  I liked him and sometimes I even liked the class, although it was a lo-o-o-o-ng winded subject, which often required coming up for a gasp of air.  Anyway, I learned that Socrates just sat on a bench in the town square and would talk with anyone who dared to sit next to him.  His way of conversation was like intellectual sparring, so most average Joes got jousted off the bench without knowing what hit them.  It took a sharp mind to survive Socrates’s bench.

But I bet I could take him, any day… I might need to bust out some liberated female tactics though…You know, like on the emotional front.  Speaking of the emotional front, I have wondered often lately why [most] men dig on women so much, considering how all over the place we mostly are… I have been such an emotional handful these days.  That’s the feminine for ya… we move with such a deep, interconnected pulse, which can sure make for some vast fluctuations.  What is it that compels a man to seek this out, and in many cases, marry it?  My latest hypothesis, is that the masculine (I’ll say that instead of “men”, since women can be plenty masculine and men can be plenty feminine….) WANTS to feel…but he tends to need a little help with that most of the time.  Left to his own devices, he can be a pretty dense oaf.  (Spoken with reverence.  Believe me, dense oafs have their sure-fired place in the choir…) I know, as a woman, that when I am feeling something deeply, I’ll do everything in my power, to bring my man there with me.  NO HOLDS BARRED.  Though I think I might want to reconsider that rule… Sometimes I am way too relentless.

Last night for example.  Mykael had been working on his carving ALL DAY yesterday.  I cooked us dinner and brought it outside to him.  We sat together on the front porch as the evening cooled and danced with spring colors and songs.  It should have been paradise… except that he was FIXATED on his nearly finished carving.  I craved attention, like always, only more so, because I’m on my period and I just WANT… affection, closeness, communion, nurturing.  Mykael was indeed an outpouring of those qualities… yes sir… only the stone was the blessed recipient of his top quality attention, not me.  Damn lucky stone… This caused my heart to ache.  I turned my body away from him and brooded.  He asked me what was going on and I went off about how starved I’d been for attention all day, and all I wanted was this little dinner time window of attention.  He said he was “including me” in his stone doting.  Yes, he was… but I don’t have the endurance or the interest to fawn over his precious art like he does.  He becomes consumed in love and infatuation for his creations.

I feel jealous.

Yes, it is absolutely gorgeous that he has such a reverence for that which pours from him.  But it hurts my feelings, because this relationship does not include ME.  It’s an elitist club built for two, and Athena waits outside the bolted, chained gate for her love scraps to be tossed out and mingled with dirt.  Busted, I’m being dramatic.  So what?  I feel this way.  It hurts for me to feel a massive piece of my beloved’s heart that has nothing to do with me.  Plus, I don’t sit around reading and re-reading my blogs and poems and novels, for the son of god’s sake…

Don’t I have private pieces of MY heart, you ask?  Yes.  It’s a double standard.  But it stings nonetheless.  (I’ll be jiggered, who ever decreed that “nonetheless” be one single word????  Weird…) But anyway, I slung a barrage of furious arrows at him.  Arrows carved from the very bones of my own pain.  The fight reached its zenith and then I retreated to my bedroom to ache alone.  I heard him crying as he did the dishes.  This is rare.  He might shed tears… but full on sobbing is an anomaly.  I’m gonna mark my calendar, May first, 2010, Mykael cries a modest lake!!!  He must have, because he cried all the way through dish duty and then made his way to his bed, where he just flopped down and continued to cry.  I couldn’t do anything but listen in shock.

I had this strange experience while he cried.  It was like my own heart had been cut out of my chest, and hurled into the next room, where it wrenched and sobbed, independent of the rest of me.  It was weird.  And painful.  Because it felt to be MY heart crying, my grievances took a back seat and at the forefront came the compelling drive to hold him.  So I did.  He kept crying.  For a while.  Then he was exhausted.  I felt like I had been blindfolded and spun around and now I didn’t know who or where I was or what was real.  I can hear Dan shouting from his hiding place in the folds of my consciousness that LOVE is real.  Always. Yes, Dan… I know.  But sometimes Love seems to be more like a mischievous leprechaun who gets off on throwing me for a spray of loop-dy-loops, rather than just submissively leading me to the pot of gold.

Yeah, I know, that’s not love, that’s my ego… well… I guess I have a ways to go, before love beats me into submission and then drowns me in its Self once and for all…

Vows of Silence, Earthworms and Orasmic Revelation

Mykael and I are not speaking to one another today.  Seriously.  He proposed that we take a vow of relationship silence on Mondays.  At first I felt intimidated by this, because it was not MY brainchild, which had me feel out of control.  But then I realized that feeling perpetually in control has not been a very prize winning alternative.  In fact it has actually been a straw bale on my over-burdened camel’s poor, humpy back.  A way that I have been pressing myself into the precipice of exiting the relationship altogether.  So I accepted.  I let myself wriggle in the sexy jaws of submission… and it turned out to be a green eggs and ham story all over again! (Meaning the very thing I fought fang and claw was delicious after all!)  It’s way sexier to gesture and flirt and speak with everything besides clunky old words and concepts.  Or maybe I’m just horny.

Speaking of horny, I must confess that I sort of came last week.  Sneaky girl.  I was not going to tell on myself, but what fun is that?  It was an accident.  Suddenly I was having involuntary spasms.  But it was only a half credit orgasm, I swear, because I tried to stop it.  That must be something men do way more often~ That Holy OH SHOOT!  What a buzz kill.  Afterward, I was in denial.  I tried to pretzel twist my way out of the failure.  But when push comes to shove comes to spasm, I failed at my goal.  So the next day I masturbated and came proper.  I was having a weak moment.  A fuck this shit moment.  But soon enough, my strength returned and I recommitted.  A text book case of get right back on the mythological, horned horse syndrome.  (I like calling everything a syndrome, because these days, “the Experts” are classifying many healthy human responses to this frantic world as “syndromes”, as though we are broken and must be fixed and medicated.  WE ARE NOT BROKEN.  We are sensitive.  We are impacted by the imbalance of this world, impacted by the popular fantastical belief in the scarcity of a particular ISness we call LOVE…)

I almost ran over an earthworm on my bike on the way here.  I hope I swerved in time.  I mused on why earthworms give me the creeps… I think it might be because they are ultimately the ones who are going to digest my rotting corpse when I die.  But then, they are so cute.  Mysterious and long and slimy.  It just started raining really hard for a few minutes.  Now a thin layer of water flows down the sidewalk, turning it into a cement river.  I feel some grief imagining that this could be one of the final rainstorms of the season!  No more liquid symphonies dribbling, pounding, skipping down from above. No more mystic, silvered mirrors spontaneously cast upon the pavement, hosting a glimmering play of city lights about its temporal faces.  Ahhh, the fleeting nature of this existence.  All we can do is love it.  No, that’s not true.  We sure can fight it… Speaking of music, I just took a chickletish piece of Dentyne gum from it’s over packaged plastic and foil enslaved chamber and it made so many flirtatious sounds as I freed it.  Next time you indulge, take a good listen.  It’s quite a lovely song.

God there is so much to say.  Getting back to “getting back on the horned horse syndrome~ it would have been so easy to cling to the failure aspect of my cracked commitment.  But I didn’t.  I just dusted off my tremulous, feminine self and swan dove right back into the game.  That style of play is not my habit.  I am much more well versed at reprimanding myself for messing up and then using it as evidence of my quintessential unworthiness… but coming from one who has tried both tactics, I recommend the climb right back up on the unicorn and keep on ridin’ game.  I might not get the gold (this time), but maybe the bronze, or the tin!  And thanks to my willingness to forgive, let go and return to the practice, I have been having some orgasmic experiences that MUST have re-scrambled the eggs of the universe.  (A sparrow is bathing in a gutter puddle!  I feel frigid just watching from inside the café!  But it is epically cute!!!  So fluffy and ecstatic!)

The female body is capable of pleasure that transcends anything that language could hope to touch, stimulate or justify.  Many people have thought me mad for undertaking this endeavor, as if cumming were really the meaning of life or something.  And there have been days when I thought they must have been right.  But those were days I was not invested in my pleasure at all.  The days that I am, and I step courageously toward the VAST, uncharted territory of my own bliss… I’ll tell you what~ I have stumbled into the Holy Land, and it rocks far harder than some momentary quake, no matter how fierce it’s reading on the orgasmic Richter scale.  It’s like comparing the spontaneous realization of Eternity to a handful of skittles.  Now if you chow down on the skittles as one awakened to Eternity, I suppose you have cracked the code and have mastered the holy straddle of the chasm of dualistic infinitude… but that’s not the case for most skittle chompers.  Bottom line?  I found something.  I stumbled on something that some awakened, knowing part of me knew I was seeking, yet could not yet articulate.  It is electric, it is infinite.  It is worth the perhaps clumsy pleasure paradigm shift.  What is the secret?  OPEN.  SURRENDER.  OPEN.  SURRENDER.  OPEN.  SURRENDER.

Today is Monday.  You better believe that I went to my first church research yesterday.  And here’s the miracle~ My dad was in town (from Reno), which in its self is a miracle, since he RARELY visits… But I invited him and his wife and twin eleven year olds to Glide with me and they accepted!!!  So not only did I kick off this triumphant research project, but my dad was present at its conception.  I am thirty years old.  I don’t think he has been to church once in my entire life. (unless his wife managed to get him to her catholic institution when he was still driving under the influence of honeymoon…)  MY DAD WENT TO CHURCH WITH ME.  He asked, “are they going to talk about Jesus?”  And I thought to myself, “oh, fuck, they might… what do I tell him???”  I am so curious what that means to him.  SO WHAT if they talk about Jesus???  How awful is it to sit and listen to the inspiring stories of a man who was truly committed to being a living embodiment of unconditional love and service?  A man who persevered beyond the comfort zone of imagined separation, limitation, preached into existence by a frightened, dillusional, limited mind…

Originally I imagined that Monday’s blog would be dedicated to a full disclosure on the previous day’s church experience, but that ain’t gonna happen.  I think I’ll dabble in the recounting all week.  For now, the pressing thing to say is that I feel like I SHOULD like Glide better than I did.  It is so ALIVE, what’s not to love?  Its foundation is unconditional acceptance of every single human being.  What is more Holy than that?  I can’t think of anything.  Except maybe my non-climactic orgasms of late…

But I don’t really like gospel music.  Sure, their choir is awesome and so charged with spirit…but… The minister, Cecil, kept demanding ANOTHER song, which inevitably meant standing up… a-gain.  Clapping in rhythm.  A-gain.  My favorite recent past time is to knit in church.  To sit quiet and anonymous in my seat and let my hands meditate and produce something useful as I soak up rich and nourishing words that worm their way into lost civilizations of holy knowing, buried in the thick jungles of my heart.  Be forewarned~ Glide is not a knitting church!  Glide is a clapping church.  Furthermore, I can NOT clap and sing, which is SO EMBARRASSING to admit.  The congregation was invited to sing along with This Little Light of Mine, and within the space between heartbeats, I was all tangled up in rhythmless chaos.  Mykael finally whispered permission for me to give up on the clapping aspect and just sing, God bless’im!  My polyrhythmic dimness is one thing that is hard to love and accept about being me.  Even when I’m happily clapping praises in the church of unconditional acceptance.

“Cigarettes and booze can only take you so far.”

I wasn’t sure how to close, but then my prize-winning barista sat down next to me and chowed down on his ham and cheese sandwich on baguette, weaving between ravenous bites and frivolous snippets of gossipish conversation.  And how beautifully he summed it up for us!

Stay tuned for more unfurling Revelation!

There’s God In Them Thar Hills!!!!

Well, God would have it this morning that I sat myself next to a man from Nigeria, who was chosen at the ripe old age of five to be a catholic priest.  You see, I told him my name was Athena.  He exclaimed, “The goddess!”

I said, “Yup, wisdom and war, baby… though people conveniently leave out the war part on a very regular basis.”  They do.  Whenever I tell people my name, the popular response is, “The goddess of wisdom!”

…Yeah, the goddess of wisdom who happens to be carrying a massive shield and sporting a high-fashion warrioress’s helmet… I guess war as we know it is a pretty frightening subject.  Better to just pretend it doesn’t exist, eh?  But then there’s the quintessence of all wars~ the war we fight inside ourselves every day.  The war that the ancient Indian sacred text, the Bhagavad Gita metaphorically addresses.  This is the war between the ego and… “The Great Love”, I’ll call it.  Yikes.  Talking about “religious matters” is a slippery slope, isn’t it?  Well, suffice to say, that I like to think that Athena’s stand for imbuing war with wisdom is a courageous stand for the highest, especially in the Holy battle fields that stretch across the interiors of every human heart.  At least that’s what THIS Athena stands for.  I am committed to cultivating my wisdom and intelligence and using it as a trusty ally in winning the only battle worth fighting.  The fight for peace in my heart, in my mind, here and NOW.

But, the crafty philosopher asks, does it HAVE to be a fight?  Fighting is the antithesis of peace, ain’t it?  After all, war begets war…  Maybe, oh Crafty One… but for now, all this devoted warrioress can do is fight this relentlessly chattering, fearful ego machine.  My bullets are made of condensed conviction, perseverance.  My gun powder is feverish devotion to a vision of something that I can not see with my eyes, but damn it, I know it exists.  I know that there is a world within me that is unbounded divine light, and that it is possible to live life unified with this great light.  And this silly, frivolous mind that never shuts up and ceaselessly dangles those wicked carrots all up in my sheee-it… You know, the carrots who seduce gullible little me with visions of a future wrought with every shade of wealth, happiness and peace (meanwhile, my heart is tight and trembling)… those carrots that that are designed with state of the art, aerodynamic elusivity…

How many times must I tell myself that this is it?!!??!  This is the only moment where happiness and peace are truly at my disposal.  Is this good news, or bad news?  You decide.

Anyway, a few days ago, I had this epiphany that I would start a research project in which I will visit a different church every Sunday, and blog about my experience.  TIME THE FUCK OUT!!!  The Nigerian would-be priest just strode up to my table with a handful of large, wet, glistening CARROTS.  I am SO FUCKING SERIOUS.  Really.  I swear.  He offered me one.  I said no thanks.  I said, “Listen, Your Piousness, you take your seductive, crunchy-assed carrots and shove them where the sun don’t shine!!!”  No, of course I didn’t say that.  I considered taking one, but I didn’t feel like starting my digestion at ten forty three am, so I politely declined, and very jubilantly exclaimed to him that I was writing about carrots as we spoke.  This is the man who was just preaching to me about how he didn’t trust faith as far as he could throw a whale-sized carrot.

God, you are SO, SO, SO brilliant!  Thank you for the comic relief… I was getting pretty heady this morning… Time in.  So I’m excited to explore religion, because I throw the word GOD around with such devotion and gaiety, in the face of a world that is AT WAR AS I TYPE THIS, in the name of GOD.  I forget that sometimes.  In my little microcosmic, insulated slice of forgetful heaven, “my God is an awesome God”, (as the beloved David Lurey would rapturously sing on occasion).  Suddenly I am insatiably curious about what “the masses” are being spoon-fed in all the holy edifices of the bay area… and maybe eventually the country, and the world!!!

I proudly disclosed my blue printed plans for this project to my Nigerian friend nesting at the table next to me… and little did I know that HE had a story.  Back in Nigeria, he was sent away to catholic schools from a very early age, so that he could be groomed for the rigorous vocation of Catholic Priest.  Good for him, right?  Wrong.  At age fourteen or fifteen, suddenly the raging river of testosterone knocked him on his ass and he became consumed with lust and curiosity about all things pussy.  Woops, I mean, “girls”.  Let’s not be lewd here, Athena.  Well this was BAD NEWS according to Father So-And-So.  My friend was sent to perform “penance”.  He informed me that the “English translation” for penance is more equivalent to “torture”.  He was sent away to a cloistered “retreat” (more like a “prison”) where he was fed bread and water once a day, slept on a cement slab and commanded to pray for hours on end to be purified of this “demon” called Lust.  After months of that, he was permitted return to school.  Foolish man, he confessed that penance had in fact not helped the situation, but actually exacerbated it.  (No, I don’t really consider this man foolish, I just wrote it for dramatics.  Actually, I perceive him to be highly courageous… to stand in his truth in the face of EVERYTHING on the outside negating his experience.  That takes some serious balls if you ask me.)

He stayed in this caustic, soul contaminating environment clear up until he was twenty two years old!!!  Don’t you think that’s a long assed time to be hanging out in a place that insists you are broken and possessed for wanting to explore your sexuality and speak your truth?  I do.  And when he left, he straight up FLED.  And he said that the “Holy Men” had pumped him all fulla this fear that he was bound to be struck by bolts of lightening hurled by an angry god at any moment.  Wow.  He said since then, he has been a seeker.  Since then, he has been asking a steady stream of questions.  They sure tied him in some tight knots.  No wonder he don’t dig no faith.  To him, faith means believing stupid shit like the Immaculate Conception without question, investigation or the entirely natural shadows cast by healthy doubt.  Then we had a laugh, because he flipped over the splayed open book on his table and showed me the title, “The Portable Athiest”.

So this is the world “outside” that I have to contend with, EH?  Good to know.  Humanity?  Are you listening?  Take my hand… We’re gonna go on a journey!  We’re gonna go on an adventure!  We’re gonna skip and frolic through the plethora of churches in this contemporary and diverse world… and hopefully, be able to sip the delish nectar of Love that quivers like a tremulous wishing well at the center of all of them.  It’s like panning for gold.  Sure, it’s an arduous process, picking out all the rocks, gravel, calcified beliefs and unwieldy clumps of control mechanisms… But then you have ga-ga-ga-GOLD!  Ga-ga-ga-GOD!!!!  La-la-la-LOVE!  A kind of Love that One really has no choice but to brake for, because it is so magnificent, healing, inclusive!  That’s what the miners really meant when they exclaimed, “There’s GOLD in them thar hills!!!”  They meant there’s god in them thar mountains of human confusion, war and pain… trust me…

Oh, and did you know there’s a Guru living in my back yard?!

Dangling Carrots for Hungry Saints in Training

The carrot is designed to be unattainable.  No, not just my carrot, your carrot, Madonna’s carrot and Obama’s carrot… just about every carrot that the ego dangles before its self (note the diminutive S in the word “self”) in order seduce our blind asses into the promise of future fulfillment.  There is good news and bad news about this revelatory disclosure.  Which do you want first?  No matter because the good news and the bad news are the same news=  Our peace and fulfillment can only be found in ONE place and that’s the notorious N.O.W.  (Distant cousin to the Notorious B.I.G.!!!)

This is what A Course in Miracles reminded me today.  And trust me, I was prime for this reminder, since I have been living most recently in this psycho-emotional prison of missing my ex and perpetually suffering about whether or not I should be in my current relationship, and knowing somewhere in the back of my mind that I am missing the mark all together in terms of how I am investing my energy.  So as the cliché goes, I was knocked on my ass by a ton of bricks last night when I realized that every single carrot is created equal in its elusivity.  Do you get that?  Every. Single.  Carrot.  (Every single carrot is a poem, written on the back of God’s hand…)

So today I am thrown into an existential riptide.  The rug has been ripped out from beneath my delusional, smarmy feet (God love ‘em).  Now I wonder why I am even bothering to write… Why do anything?  I guess I just do my best to recognize my true and natural state of peace, contentment and divine love and bring that to each word.  To each letter of this crafty-assed alphabet.  But the trouble is that I don’t feel particularly fluent in the language of peace… So now what?  I must have plenty to forgive.  In A Course in Miracles they say that forgiveness is the way to clear internal space so that One can find the wicky-wicky wicked light inside.

I feel tired.  Can I forgive myself for feeling tired?  I feel so often tired… It doesn’t feel okay.  And here’s the real beef of the matter~ if I surrender to the moment and the light and this benevolent creature named Peace… Will I still want to be a writer?  I’m afraid nothing of this world will matter anymore and I won’t give a rat’s monkey about worldly success, pursuits of the small s self.  I am afraid to let go of my ambitions, or what will be left?  Who will I be?

Hopefully a Saint.  That’s something I wanted to tell you.  I wanted to tell you that when I retire as a writer, probably in my sixties or seventies, I plan to become a saint.  The quintessential career for the “golden years”, if you ask ME.  Mykael called me a saint in training last night.  I didn’t want to admit how good that felt.  Do you ever do that?  You know, when somebody says something that stabs the vein of one of your most potent hopes or dreams and inside you want to shriek with joy or ejaculate in some form or another… but for some reason, you hold it in… Well, I do that.  So there I was, exploding inside as I considered that I truly WAS a saint in training.  And on the outside I only smirked.  Silly girl.  Then I realized that it is hella likely we are ALL saints in training, here on planet Earth.  That turns me on.  When push comes to shove, it’s true~ we get to choose how we perceive this world of illusion.  And besides, I sure can’t find any evidence to the contrary of our collective [dormant] aspirations of sainthood…

Oh, now… Aren’t you tired of fighting against this beast we call “Religion”?  Really.  That gratuitous fight is so five minutes ago.  We know better than to need to compartmentalize Love, Source, Peace, Oneness.  For God’s sake, people, get over it.  I say this to those of you who are getting hung up on a saint being a title affiliated with busted-assed churches… You know who you are~ those of you who make a modest career out of being sure to assert that you are “Spiritual”, NOT “Religious”.  (And if you ask me, those busted-assed churches are totally awesome, as long as a seeker enters with the pure intention of communing with the One, opening their heart.  Who bloody cares what name we give It?!?!)  According to dictionary dot com, one definition of saint, the one that I am referring to, is:

“A person of great holiness, virtue, or benevolence”.

So it’s not a very far fetched idea to consider that we are all here co-participating in this dream with a shared core intention of realizing our intrinsic holiness, right?  Maybe it doesn’t always SEEM that way, but honestly!  Where has seeming ever gotten us in the first place?  Pretty far from Home.  And most of us *seem* to want to imagine that we are far from home… so power to us.  Power to this multiplicity of saints in training!  Rumor has it that time is just a figment of this same fractured imagination who has invented the wacky myriad of fantastical carrots, so take as much time as you please, Your Holiness.