Dealing With Mortality and Department Stores

Oh the bitter sweetness!  Oh LIFE!  God, this life is such the Ultimate Poem!!!  Do I need to explain, or do you just GET it???  Well… I will explain…

A couple of months ago, I was on the phone with my dad and I was feeling frustrated about being in this [all too familiar] survival loop where I was just barely making it.  (My M.O.)  You know, that feeling of perpetual survival mode.  I started to express how uninspired I was every time I went to get dressed and I started to cry.  Shrug.  What can I say?  It sounds shallow… but it builds up and every once in a while the frustration of not feeling capable of creating abundance bursts like an undercover dam in me.  Here’s something I learned in the moments that followed.  I honestly did not realize this before, but daddies hate for their daughters to cry.  Is that true?  At least MOST daddies with even half a heart.  I didn’t know because I had rarely allowed myself to be that open with my dad in the past.  It was a new technology in my scope of emotional expression!

So what did he do, he bought me a gift card at his FAVORITE store!!!!  Kohl’s…

Yeah, that cheapo central, where everything is made in China by precious, tender humans all under the age of ten.  The store where Britney Spears is one of the main junior department models and Paris Hilton has her own perfume!  And the BEST part is that he explicitly directed me to shop on the SALE racks!  Now please understand, I AM entirely poking fun at this situation, AND… and I feel SO loved by my dad and appreciative of his generosity.  Come on, given his reference points and orientation to life, he offered me a gift from his heart.  His miserly jewish father’s heart, the heart that deals craps in Reno, Nevada (and has been for like forty years) and supports a family including a wife and twin eleven year olds.  It tickled me to get this intimate glimpse into his universe, where the sale racks at Kohl’s reign supreme and line his family’s closets with cheaply made junk turned regal robes.

I hate shopping.  And worse, I hate shopping under fluorescent lights with noisy pop music blaring in my head and air conditioning freezing me out of my own skin bag.  But there comes a time in every American woman’s life when she must face this Beast.  Maybe.  At least the majority of us.  Thank God, Mykael accompanied me.  Can we have a round of applause for the man?  No seriously.  Give him a round of applause.

Thank you.  I mean how many men do you know who not only accompany their girlfriends shopping, but also are PROACTIVE participants.  I don’t know none. (That grammar would make my dad turn in his grave, if he HAD one…)  Yeah, Mykey even picks stuff out that he thinks would look hot on me and gives me very useful feedback, which I need, because my brain turns to mush inside these treacherous, soulless realms otherwise known as department stores.  I’m pretty sure they’re designed that way… by… who?  Ummm, the Powers that Be, I guess.  The ones that want to manage and restrict the human vibration so that we can more easily be manipulated and controlled and kept in a holding pattern, unaware of our true power, potential and infinite creative potential.  Really.  I am NOT a conspiracy theorist, but I know this to be true.  I know because I FELT the life get sucked out of me in a matter of minutes.

My saving grace though?  I felt my father loving me as I shopped.  And that is a beautiful feeling.  I worked so hard to remain peaceful as I shopped… and I did a great job.  The worst of it was a moment in the dressing room when Mykael started talking like Kevin, from my *favorite* (and only) TV show, The Office.  Kevin’s the big, fat, sorta slow and highly adorable character.  The Office.  Wonder Woman!  That show has seriously carried me through some dark times.  A few years ago, I spent an entire winter in bed, so bereft by this confusing thing called life… watching the entire first two seasons of The Office.  And no matter how dark it got inside me… no matter how dark… The Office managed to make me laugh, bring me joy.  It’s strange.  I never thought TV would be medicine for me… but it was the only thing that seemed to help me cope with the thick, engulfing darkness.

It is summer time now, so there are no new episodes.  Generally I don’t even think about it… since I’m rarely in the watch TV via the internet mode.  But hearing Kevin come so clearly through Mykael as I zipped up a scandalously teensy pair of denim shorts, I felt a wave of longing.  That’s when Mykael broke the horrifying news that Steve Carell (who plays the Michael Scott character, the boss/mother hen of the office) is resigning from the show!  THIS IS NOT OKAY.  I repeat, THIS IS NOT OKAY.  I repeat… oh, okay, I will spare you… but…

THE OFFICE IS NOTHING WITHOUT STEVE CARELL.  He is the epicenter, the heart and soul of the show.  Even in such a rigid, corporate environment as a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania, he transcends all odds through his child-like spirit and makes the work environment a sweeping act of beauty.  He generates a family.  He erects a playground where any other would see merely desks and chairs and computers.  You could NEVER plug up the holes where vibrant life gushes from him, because they are infinite as the pores of the universe, Itself.

And now he’s leaving.

And someday I will die.

And I just supported child labor in China.

But at least my daddy loves me!


I Can Do Anything For ONE Day…

Today I have accepted my role in “God’s plan for salvation”, as a course in miracles fondly phrases it.  Yikes.  They invited me for this ONE single day to relinquish all my lofty, flavorless carrots and instead, rest.  Rest into the peace that is always nestled sweetly in the core of me.  I can leggo of all the shallow pursuits of future happiness and peace… just for ONE day, right?  I mean there’s always tomorrow for me to fixate on whether or not I want to choose Mykael to grow old with.  There’s always tomorrow to sear myself into the grill of regret around breaking up with E*.  And tomorrow too, I can neurotically ruffle my own feathers to a bloody pulp over financial concerns!  But for one day, I can totally recognize the implicit perfection in this strange and beautiful slant in which I have somehow, strangely come to believe myself to exist.  Just for today I can relax my belly, rest my guts and simply BE.  It won’t kill me…

Or maybe it will.  God’s plan for salvation does include ego death.  Oh well, shhhhhhh… don’t mention that part to my fearsome little sheath of illusory identity.  Maybe she won’t notice till it’s too late.

The thing is, I don’t know what to say as one dedicated only to full surrender.  I wonder if I was truly surrendered, if the “Holy Slave Driver” (I’m teasing.  It’s a way to poke fun and call God names.  We have that kind of relationship.  The kind where we give each other noogies and serve as the divine butt of each other’s jokes… Don’t worry, it’s all in fun!)  But ahem, because would the Holy Slave Driver even have me here, indulgently plinking away on the keys?  I hope so.  Because here I am, and it feels non-negotiable.  Besides, there is so much to discuss.

I might as well tell you… wait… God?  Is it okay if I talk about you know what with them???  Well, I just dropped into deep meditation for a sec, and God said YES!!!!  Would you prefer that I refer to God as “All Pervading Light” today?  Does that make you feel more comfortable and at peace?  APL… that’s what I’ll call God today.  Just for the sake of setting your skeptical mind at ease.  Semantics, man… Who cares?  The heart of the matter is that there’s something good about all of this existence as we know it business…  Shoot!  All that effort to take care of your frightened mind and I forgot what I was gonna tell you!  I think three threads wish to be expressed through me today.  1) An update on my relationship to my Relationship.  2) Rock climbing as a perfect mirror.  3) The first scratch on the surface of the topic of women’s body image  4) The Guru who lives in my back yard.  Will I be able to knock out the whole baker’s quarter of a dozen?  Maybe not… but thankfully, I am still a subscriber to the concept of time and space and that means that there is such an ingenious invention of a thing called “tomorrow”, not to mention “the day after tomorrow”!!!  As I see it, in relation to writing, this is a great thing, because I LOVE writing SO MUCH.  I sit here in prostration to my keyboard, to my glowing screen, music pumping into my ears, the angry scraping groan of the coffee grinder pressing its way into my ears too, and my heart folds open like a fast motion video of a lotus in bloom.   This is the meaning of life for me. (APL, is it okay that I said that?  Does it groove with my role in your plan for salvation???? SAY YES, damn it.  Please say yes!!!)  (I bet that my open heart is a stellar indicator that APL is saying yes… Don’t you think?)

So last night was “date night”.  Mykael and I have recently started the practice of taking turns planning it.  You see, week after week we were finding ourselves in this lackadaisical place of “what do you wanna do?”  “I dunno… what do YOU wanna do?”  Which inevitably meant the most mundane evening in which I cook dinner, as I do every single night of my APL given life, and then we smoke a little pot and watch a movie and maybe have sex.  Honestly, I love these activities.  Especially in the dark, cold breath of winter.  But now that spring has sprung, we are both ferociously wanting to come unstuck.  So.  It was my turn.  The days leading up to date night, I was flooding with sweet inspirations like sitting outside on the patio at Caesar, sipping wine and sketching each other.  Wandering to the top of the hill in the cemetery and watching the sun set, splurging on a hot tub at piedmont springs, practicing orgasmic meditation on each other… But then the day came and I was over tired and also feeling all my doubts about the relationship and suddenly, my inspiration was nowhere to be found.  Shoot.  Blast it!  I just wanted to be taken out to dinner.  I was beat and didn’t want to generate.  Just to be treated like a purring princess, sitting in the waning evening sun, sipping red wine, nibbling on crunch, salty things, squishing and chomping on sweeter more enchanting tidbits.

I have been judging myself for this, and trying to pretend it’s not so, but last night, I just let myself be honest.  I want a man who takes me out on the town.  I want a man who wines and dines me, takes me to the ballet, the theater…  Mykael ain’t makin’ much money right now, nor has he been for the two year duration of our relationship (let alone ever)… so if I want to be wined and dined in his company, it is ME who’s footing the bill.  If I’m footing the bill, to me, that equates to less money that I have to buy myself simple things like RENT.  Like work clothes, a second hoodie (since I wear the SAME one every day), blah, blah, this is the scarcity based monkey chatter that I subscribe to on most days.  But not today!  Because today I accept my roll in APL’s plan for salvation, yo!  Tomorrow, though, I might just sink back into the pit of my dreams of scarcity and fear.

So anyway, I felt so full of resentment that if I wanted to go out for a frivolous night on the towne, it was on my dimes and nickels (and bears oh my!).  So I shut down, became pouty and punishing and then date night got canceled.  I felt simultaneously devastated and relieved.  Mykael I would venture to guess felt PISSED and HURT, since I heard a symphony of doors and drawers slamming from his room shortly thereafter.  Then he went into the kitchen to make himself pasta (which I refuse to eat 99% of the time) with asparagus.  I was starving too, since we ate an early lunch and then worked out and now it was seven pm… But I was too devastated and disappointed to forage through our scanty pickins in the fridge.  Oh, no, wait, I did end up standing, blinded by the light of the open fridge a few separate times, closing the door in a state of rigid overwhelm and pacing back to my bedroom… where I turned in restless circles before flopping down in a dramatic heap of anguish on my bed.

I don’t understand how his reserve tanks always seem to have SOMETHING in them, but Mykael eventually came in and flopped down on top of me and told me that I really needed to eat something.  THIS GENEROSITY IN THE FACE OF MY WRATH AND CONDEMNATION????   Where on earth does he come up with it?  I was humbled.  Even still it was difficult for me to give it up and open.  But I knew the alternative sucked ass… because I’d been living it for the last half an hour.  So I gave it up and proposed dinner at the Boot and Shoe service, down the hill from us.  Incase you don’t know, they make hella gourmet, bomb-ass pizzas in a cute, infernal wood oven.  The ambiance is A#1.  Dim, moody, bustling.  All the wait staff is young and hot and friendly as hell.