Father Might Actually Know Best… After All

I am radiant today.  Don’t ask me what the recipe is… if I knew, I’d whip it up and serve it every day.  All I know is that I feel energetic and flirtatious and generous and as a result, I see the world around me ignite in smiles and kindness with a gluttonous side of sass.  One good thing about not being engaged or married= when I flirt, people take me much more seriously.  I like that.  I was so excited to come see Damon at Pizzaiolo today, since I didn’t make it yesterday.  I even put on seductive eye make up just so I could bat my eyelashes with extra feist.  In my mind, all this seemed perfectly natural… but as I confess it on the page, I imagine (Woops, Damon just came and collected my empty little fancy cup and saucer… I hope he didn’t read over my shoulder…Or maybe I hope he did… but a tremor of mortification just rattled my figurative windows.)  Ahem… I suddenly felt immature and afraid you were judging me, thinking, “Crushes are so grade school.  Don’t you have better things to do than seduce?”  But, no… Not really.  Not in this moment.

It felt good to recognize the luminous side of having a ringless left ring finger.  I am on another marriage kick… but… in this moment, I am perfectly content to appear so…uhhh… flirt-with-able.  I just discoverd that Damon knows sign language, which is HOT.  I wrote about sign language in one of my recentish blogs… Watching people communicate through their bodies like that really rings my bells.  It’s better than good poetry to me.  Poetry.  You’d think that I’d be really into poetry, considering I am a poet… but I’m not.  Often, poetry bores me.  I hate having to work so hard to glean any shred of understanding.  Pbbthhht. (You’ll LOVE this~ I learned that last word from Calvin and Hobbes.  Hobbes stuck his tongue out at Calvin and made that sound and spit flew everywhere!  Cool, huh?!)  I like sufi poetry.  Especially Hafiz, because he just comes right out and SAYS it… with the most potent, devotional, beautiful, god drenched words possible… without beating heavily around the over grown weed patches.  But all this erudite, esoteric code that people call poetry?  Save it for the self important academics who need to puff themselves up by sounding smarter than they really are.  No offense if you like that junk… to each her own, right?

Speaking of poetry and clichés, I met this bitchin’ guy named Jamie the other night, and he and Mykael and I were having a hella intellectual conversation about Shakespeare, and Jamie informed us that Shakespeare invented a ton of words and now “cliché” phrases that are common place today.  In fact, I bet a good few of them have rolled off your tongue in the last hour!  (examples~ “good as gold”, “for goodness sake”, “be all, end all”, “blushing”, “aroused”, “dawn”, “champion”… ETC.)  Sounds far fetched?… Look it up, I dare you.  It’s validating to me to know that Shakespeare took such bold liberties.  I invent words all the time, but I have this voice in the back of my head, my dad’s voice… telling me that I can’t just pull words out of my ass like that… My dad… I remember him as a walking, talking, [golfing] dictionary.  He used to correct my usage of the English language all the time.  I remember once asking him, “Do you understand???”  And he said, “No, but I GET it… Understanding implies…” blah blah blah… “But to GET someone…” blah blah blah.  All his academic rigidity just made me roll my eyes. (now I think it’s charming though)

And it seared him when I’d invent words.  But come on, how do you think language came to be in the first place?  It didn’t just fall from the sky in a big alphabetic lump… Language is an ever evolving, moving, breathing entity, just like you and me and our mother earth.  It evolves as innovative, awake people (such as yours truly) stand at the edge of the abyss and yearn to give voice to our experience of being.  Duh.

Speaking of my dad, I just need to express my gratitude for the healing that has occurred in our relationship!  Sometimes I hate Wednesdays… at least when I am not feeling at my strongest… because Mykael works and then goes to his men’s circle, and I am “alone” all day… not that when he’s around we kick it, incessant old skool… but just having nearness is soothing to this little holy hermit.  So yesterday came, another Wednesday [closer to death]… and I was feeling tender hearted in the morning… but what can I say, the beat goes on… At noon, I called my dad, since we usually talk on Wednesdays.  He is such a character, believe me.  A craps dealing (croupier) triple leo with a sociology degree.  Yeah, he’s a weirdo… an adorable weirdo.  I cried on the phone with him, because of the change sweeping through my life… I told him I want to make a sweet living as a writer.  Daddy doesn’t like his little girl to cry.  He searched his mind and heart for words of comfort.  I could feel his desire to soothe me.  And I was pleasantly surprised when he told me that I should do what I love… and trust that my passion will always guide me. (!?!?!?!?!)

I have been carrying around a WAY less empowering story about my dad, and relishing telling it over and over and over again (beating it to a bloody pulp, in other words).  It goes like this~ When I was three years old, I fell into ecstatic, awe-struck love with the trapeze artists at Circus Circus (the casino in Reno), and I was sure that I would be a trapeze artist when I grew up.  To me they were sexy angel goddesses, and to a three year old girl, there is nothing more compelling than that spicy cocktail of femininity.  When I gushed my fresh aspiration to daddy, I remember him telling me that that was NOT practical.  You can’t make a living as a trapeze artist… Discouraged, I trudged my deflated three year old self back to the drawing board and within a couple of years, I settled on veterinarian.  Shrug.  Not a bad choice…

But I’ve blamed my dad for murdering my helpless, innocent dream(s) ever since.  Harsh of me, I suppose.  But at least I got to be SO FUCKING RIGHT.  (On the phone yesterday, my dad also told me not to use the word “fuck” in my writing, because there are a thousand million more innovative ways to say fuck, than stiff, exhausted old F-U-C-K… I argued for the poesis of the f word.  I told him I am a “both and” type chick.  Sometimes, I just wanna come in for the clean-up round and I know that a good old fashioned fuck will be a solid, reliable base hit.  Like anything, when over used, fuck becomes as weak and boring as watery gruel served for every meal at Oliver Twist’s orphanage… but… It also has a powerful resonance as words go… and should be milked every once in a while, if you ask ME… but you didn’t…)

So once upon a time, my dad squished his pooooor little baby’s heaven sent dreams.  And for that she has bled and condemned for decades.  Until yesterday… When he reached through the phone to dry my sugary, cup cake, strawberry short cake tears and told me to keep following my heart.  The moral of the story?  Obvious~ don’t condemn anybody for a single, frozen moment in time.  People are harbors of consciousness.  It flows into us, and it sucks back out into the greater sea.  We are dynamic and evolving.  Even the most primitive boneheads among us are tomorrow’s prophets and saints.  Trust me, I have living proof.

PS~ There is a guy sharing the table with me.  He is munching toast as he spends “quality time” absorbed in his Iphone.  I just got present to the fantastic musical orchestra of mouth sounds he is producing… The initial brazen crunch of the toast, followed my more mushy, wet, smacking of his doughy mouthfuls.  It is my new favorite song!

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Enlightened Babies and a Sea of Meatballs

Light is pouring through the windows at the front of Pizzaiolo, causing everything and everyone in my vision to be darkened silhouettes, a world of shadow play against a modestly blinding backdrop.  I find it strange how taking a different seat can radically alter perception.  I am accustomed to sitting with my back to the light, so that my view is of that which is illuminated.  I want to make some vast, sweeping parallel between this strictly physical observation and the figurative, metaphorical, metaphysical world.  I’m sure I could.  But I won’t… at least not right now…

My dear friend Brad is sitting beside me today.  He is visiting from the island of Kauai.  As we walked the single block from his borrowed pick-up truck to the café, his nervous system bucked and snorted in response to all the chaos and bustle of city livers living city life.  He said he felt like he was steeping in an invisible circus.  I saw the world that is Oakland through new eyes.  Oh yeah… it IS a mecca of psychic static here.  My roots have always twisted downward in urban soil.  It is all I know.  But I do incessantly fantasize about chewing myself free from all this noise and chaos some day, just for the shit-a-licious giggle of it and giving a quieter life a whirl.  Who would I BE without all the continuous human interference?  I’m afraid I’d be bored.  And I simultaneously imagine that I’d be able to think a lot straighter.  But who wants to think straight anyway?  I like thinking crooked and twisted and inside out.  But some day, I dare myself to give it a shot.

Day three here at Pizzaiolo, and I am starting to feel a delicious familiarity with the cast of characters in this scene.  My choir director is here again today.  Melanie.  She’s a large, soulful black woman with long dread locks.  Her presence is wide and inviting.  My Italian boyfriend is here.  Though just for the record, he is not excruciatingly attractive.  (But he’s Italian!!!)  Also this dude Quin is here.  I used to work with Quin ten years ago in the vitamin section of the Real Food Company.  He was the “strong but silent type”.  I love that expression!  The strong but silent type.  Worn out, used up expression though it may be, it still teases my ticklish heart.  I guess I have a specific fondness for men who don’t talk much, yet have an overtly rich inner world.  Come on, don’t they drive you wild?  (I can almost hear you saying NO, they don’t)  But I dig ‘em, because A) I am such a very curious human and I love burning in the wondering at their rich, secret worlds, and B) I can relate.  I, myself have a very rich, secret inner world, which no matter how fervently I attempt to translate it, it is far too vast and mysterious even to me, who perpetually dwells there.  But at least I know I am in good company.  (Just for the record, I love men who talk as well.  But only if they are highly interesting, intelligent, have spectacular senses of humor and refined sensitivity.)

Ahem, back to you, Quin.  Strong, silent Quin. (Time out.  Brad just whispered that we were both talking about the same thing, but from opposite sides of an invisible wall. ???  He’s a wizard.  Mostly I don’t speak Wizard-ese… except a few simple things like hello and goodbye.  But I can’t ask the time, because Wizards don’t quite believe in time.  Nor can I count to ten, since they don’t often ride that linear, numeric merry-go-round, like we garden variety mortals.  Linear, shminear, spit the Wizard folk through rebellious, twisted lips.)  The important thing to tell you about Quin is that I savored days when we worked together.  He often played Erykah Badu in the store.  I fell in love with her through him. “If you want to feel me, better be divine.  Bring me water, water for my mind.”  I let my heart tingle and my mind melt into a pool of dreaminess in his presence.  It was all indulgence and teenage fantasy.  But then one fateful day, he announced his impending departure from the Real Food Company.  He was going to move away and study some kind of herbal medicine.  His exit jumpstarted my courage, and I confessed my infatuation with him.  I was brazen.  We worked together on his last day and I asked him if he’d make out with me in the back room.  To my surprise, he said YES! (at age twenty, I still had yet to fully recognize my powers of seduction)  I was in heaven tasting his lips.  He was so healthy.  He smelled like horse.  I love horses.  My whole body drenched in desire and lust.  Yum.  Quin made my unholy, wet, feverish, girlie dream come true.  And now ten years later, he works on his laptop on the lighter side of this very café, as I type my brains out over here in the shadows.  Should I say hello?  I feel shy.

In other news, I’ve got to tell you that the cooks are already here, prepping for dinner.  It’s eleven oh eight am.  On my way back from the bathroom, I peeked over the high counter that divides the dining room from the cooking area and what did I see, but a sea of uniform yet unique, raw meatballs!!!  They were bigger than golf balls and full of onion and herb chunks.  Meatballs.  You don’t get it, do you?  What words can I spray at you to make you understand the importance of this artistic plethora of meatballs?  I don’t know.  Never mind.  Another noteworthy thing about the kitchen, is that one of the cooks, or maybe he was just an overseer… but he was up in all the kitchen commotion… he was holding an adorable, fat little Asian baby while he worked.  I love that.  I love seeing people include children in the mundane workings of day to day life, rather than leaving them at home to rot in the sequestered world of Sesame Street and mini, plastic, indoor slides.  Plus, this baby was luminous as hell.  She had these deep, brown eyes that gratuitously sloshed joy all over everything.  Oh, and come to think of it, on my first day here, there was a two-ish year old boy running around with no pants on in the back.  I felt simultaneously shocked and tickled and inspired to see this chubby, free little being, fully clothed on top and naked as a buck from the waste down.  Three cheers for living in a world where children are welcomed and free to spread their unhindered magic!

I Have A Crush On Depak Chopra!

I wonder what it would be like to be married to Depak Chopra.  Seriously.  I watched some of the movie, “ONE” last night… that movie made by three dudes without any film experience who just got a bug up their collective butt to go on a cinematic pilgrimage asking fellow humans their thoughts on the meaning of la-la-LIFE!  I highly recommend it.  (at least the first thirty minutes…Since that’s all I’ve seen so far…)  I loved how they emphasized that the reason that this movie came together with such profound ease and global participation, was that the underlying, driving force was the service of la-la-Love, and that anything is possible when one steps onto a path in the spirit of the Highest first.  One of the guys admitted that if they had have realized the magnitude of this project at the start, they never would have taken it on.  That reminds me of a quote I read on my visit to Glide on Sunday.  It said something like, “Faith is taking the first step, even if you can not see the top of the staircase.”  You know who said it?  Martin Luther King Jr. (a fellow Capricorn!)  Quite different than my Nigerian friend’s idea of faith equating to being force fed dogmatic cardboard concepts such as the Immaculate Conception in the name of Immaculate Manipulation, eh?

But back to Depak Chopra.  Man, I sure got a crush on him.  In my opinion, he is a wonderful speaker.  He presents himself so professionally.  He is clear, articulate and intelligent as hell.  I wonder if I could get away with ANY of my wily feminine games with him.  He seems so on top of his game… seem, seem, seem, I’m bursting at the seems!!!  I sure can’t imagine what it would really be like to be his wife.  I totally creamed my pants when he said, “We are the only species who is aware of our mortality. If you are not totally amazed and bewildered and mystified by your self… then you’re still not fully human.”  For some reason that was a relief for me to hear.  I sit here day after day, turning over stones inside my mind, my heart, my shadowy cracks (and cracky shadows!) and it is endless.  Somehow my fascination feels validated now.  And I know that I am in resplendent company here with all of YOU!!!  I know that as I sit here excavating and musing, I AM doing it for the team.  Another great thing he said was, “Our dualistic thinking leads to ignorance.  Sometimes we institutionalize this ignorance and call it “religion”, and then we go to war over it.”  You know what I love about that quote?  Its succinctness.  It strikes me as a highly profound truth, but he spits it out with a wham, bam, thank you ma’am PUNCH.  Sha-zaam!  Unlike some wordsmiths I know, who are so in love with words that they spread them on the page thicker than Mykael spreads jam on his morning feast of open faced almond butter and jam sammies.  Honestly, it took me months to let go of my judgment and repulsion in regards to his gratuitous jam usage.  It’s a sugar swamp. He needs thigh high rubber boots to wade through it.  This morning, I was feeling especially nuts.  I grabbed mykael’s wrist while he was poised to spread the jam.  (He has to turn the jar sideways, and coax it with a butter knife, so that it pours upon his bread slices like thick, cooling lava.) I started talking in my manic, wacky child’s voice and took raucous, erratic control over operation strawberry jam spillage, laughing all the way, of course.  Don’t ask why, but participating in this sacrilegious rite was somehow healing for me.  Mykael was only a sliver of a fraction of a slice of delight as tickled by my antics as I was.  But he felt my joy and allowed me to playfully dominate his breakfast preparation. (Thank you, Benevolent Sir)  You wouldn’t believe how engaged and at one I was!  I doubt Depak Chopra would allow me to spread his great wall of jam this way…  Another reason to stay committed to Mykael.  (Plus, I bet Mister Chopra is a conservative lover… but I’m not trying to start any rumors.  Maybe he’s all unbridled passion… but he just “SEEMS” so moderate in his lifestyle and behaviors…)

God, I am so grateful to be feeling the freedom of the flow again.  The last couple of days I have felt so linguistically constipated.  Now, I feel like I am at a sleep over with my best friend and we are so excited to be together, that we plan to stay up ALL NIGHT talking about EVERYTHING!!!  Pretend with me, won’t you?  Let’s love every moment!  Let’s make messes and freely reveal our hearts and our overflowing inanity!!!  Thank you for this freedom… whoever you are…

Speaking of best friends and sleepovers, you know I spent some time with one of my Besties, Amrita yesterday.  It was profound as always.  Thank All Pervading Light for those beings who grace our paths, and no matter how much time goes by, the meeting place is always the same deep, eternal knowing place!  We shared about our current vantage points in our relationships… and I was left with an expanded perspective on my current standing.  It was nothing specific that she said, or that we even discussed.  It was more like the involuntary impression that was burned into my mind’s eye during our time together.  (Two women at a nearby table are speaking Spain Spanish.  It turns me on.  My dad’s wife is from Barcelona, and because of all the time we’ve shared, my ears have come to appreciate the dignified angular music of the language.) (A man across from me is nursing a generous glass of red wine, accompanying his bagel and cream cheese!  Ladies and Gents, eleven am, and this party is officially STARTED!!!)  Anyway, the impression that burned into my inner vision was an intangible understanding of…

Hard to say.  But I feel it and I know it.  It is a place where the masculine and the feminine quintessentially clash.  It is a place where human beings are quintessentially imperfect. Inevitably every relationship bears this blessed curse.  Cursed blessing… or “ISness”, if you prefer the less dramatic portrayal… Made me think of the story of Sita and Ram, as portrayed in the movie, “Sita Sings the Blues”.  I was astounded at what a bonified DICK Ram acts like most of the time.  And in the face of that, Sita is steadfast in her devotion to her beloved husband.  I grappled with that one for months after I saw the movie.  I was struck by Sita’s potent, uncompromising devotion to Ram.  But I did not see much evidence that Ram deserved it.  He didn’t trust her and he seemed to be a pretty ego centric King.  Last night it occurred to me that she was merely practicing unconditional love.

Unconditional Love.  The term has been beaten to death by our modern, new agey, popular culture… but at it’s essence, it is simple~ Love without conditions.  Lately, I have been painfully aware of my bottomless “font” of conditions in relationship with Mykael.  I see that my default habit is to be entirely self serving.  So far, the result is much disappointment.  It seemed at first glance like Sita got the shorter than sin end of the stick, while Ram had more stick then even a renowned king knew what to do with.  But really… I say Sita got a stick that stretched clear to heaven.  Because the one who chooses Love is free.  The one who chooses love, chooses intimacy with the very binding agent of the Universe!  I am considering the angle that one [profound] purpose of long term, committed relationship is to practice, purify and strengthen one’s capacity to LOVE without condition. Like really, truly without condition… not just when its fashionable and convenient. Why bother binding to one single other?  Because the commitment is a container that allows for the perpetual deepening, the profound alchemy intrinsic in practicing Love.  In the face of this other’s inevitable imperfections, you commit to seeing, serving and loving the eternal light in them.  It is like a dress rehearsal for loving, serving, seeing humanity this way, and ultimately widening your heart so much that the illusion of duality is decimated and the truth of Oneness reclaims reign in the forefront of your mind and being.  Real Love once again takes the wheel of your existence.  All of humanity is elevated and awakened by looking into the clear, still mirror of your perfected Self!!!!

Amen.