The Travesty of Stick Throwing

First things first.  I must clear Mykael’s name.  He told me that the blog I wrote recently about our fight in the car portrayed him as a bona fide jerk-off with a head hopelessly lodged you know where.  (‘Member… when his fuse expired after driving around the parking lot for forty minutes while I was working poetic miracles at the farmers market?)  The truth is that he and I are about tied when it comes to the topic of enlightenment… AND endarkenment.  We are a tag team act, constantly passing the bodhisattvic baton back and forth and back and forth as though it were a hopelessly flaming potato.  When one of us acts like a withered ignoramus, like magic, it calls the other of us into our highest.  Sometimes… Though come to think of it, all too often we both get lost in our brambly, chaotic, egoic underbrush… and trust me, it ba-LOWS.  But conversely, we have also been known to partake in prolonged rendezvouses, levitating together in lotus position and sipping the superlative nectar of ageless wisdom from impressively tiny heirloom tea cups (with matching saucers, naturally).

I guess I’m basically describing any relationship with another human being… or am I?  I guess some people manage to glaze and graze the surface as a way of life.  I guess… I can’t imagine.  I generally steer away from those people because if I’m not careful, I start to shrivel and fall into a dire state of catatonic boredom around such blasphemously mainstream characters… So you see I oft forget they even exist.  Maybe they don’t.  Maybe I’m just having a bad trip.  Maybe everyone is interesting.  It sure seems that way.

I first discovered that everybody is an undercover celebrity or a mythological heavy-weight a few years ago after the lion at the San Francisco Zoo killed those dudes on Christmas day (because they were provoking him and treating him like cheap Christmas trash).  Soon after that, I discovered that the guy I danced next to every Sunday at hip hop dance class was the lion (and tiger) (but not bears-oh-my) trainer!  I remember my flamboyant, eccentric dance teacher exclaiming that you never know who’s dancing next to you.  And it’s true.  If I could leave you with ONE potent nugget for the day, my friends, it would be that YOU NEVER KNOW WHO’S DANCING NEXT TO YOU.  The thing I love about people is that we are absolute wizards of paradox.  We so innately span that chasm between being the most utterly mundane little flesh lumps and also being wholly holy and recklessly profound, gifted fallen angels.

But anyway, back to Mykael… he did a pretty good job of getting over himself and letting go of his scummy emotions.  And I’m pretty grateful, because it was good practice for me.  I want to become adept at being able to simply BE in the face of any body sensations.  It was really challenging for me to feel all of that intense, heavy negativity that was filling up the whole car like the Blob.  To just feel it.  Without having to change it, without leaving my body, without getting lost in the woman-eating folds of fear.  Honestly, I am committed to realizing wholeheartedly that nobody can take anything that is Real from me.  I yearn to free myself from the bondage of the incessant ego game of attack and defend.  I am innocent.  You are innocent.  Always.  Though the ego has an impressively endless barrage of tricks to convince us otherwise.  And we can be adorably gullible.  Except it’s not adorable, really.  It’s sort of a shame.  Because here we are, a gifted posse of earth angels, dancing together in a very special, poetic strain of Heaven… and we mostly act like snot nosed victims begging for a few measly crumbs tumbled from a mouthwatering slice of sumptuously iced Love cake nestled on the plate of an over-sized, white bearded and fair-weathered, blood-shot eyed God who abides behind locked golden gates just beyond the sky.

But we’re gonna get it.  This is why I’m putting in overtime these days.  For the team.  Sheee-it, I will bleed and sweat until I can see only God in Mykael.  Only God in those among us who choose to live in the shallow end of the pool of Life.  Only God in rapists, murderers and people who eat at McDonalds.  Oh and while I’m at it, I guess I’ll stop throwing sticks at my own heart too… Why not, ya only live once!

Speaking of the travesty of stick throwing… I had a date at the Berkeley Farmer’s Market with my dear friend this afternoon and she had stumbled into a deep, dark and all too familiar shadowy crack in her mind.  The kind swarming with massive hairy tarantulas and hissing opossums inflicted with mange and rabies.  She kept saying things like how stupid and unworthy and repulsive she was… Being with her, feeling the impact of that kind of barbaric, stick throwing violence felt like casual crucifixion.  I am very grateful for the mirror she held up to me.  My nose would grow three feet in an instant if I told you that I have never spoken to myself this way.  Both aloud and silently.  But to witness it and feel it from the outside, I see that this is the quintessence of cruel and unusual punishment.  It is NOT okay.  Let me lay down my nun chucks and prostrate before my very own sacred, weather-beaten feet, kissing them with reverence and gratitude for the infinitude of miles they have carried me along this sacred, confounding path back into the rapturous arms of the Beloved, which somehow I have never even left in the first place.  Let me use my word ONLY as the word of the Highest, to bless, reveal and praise.

Oh All Pervading Fountain of Gurgling Liquid Bliss~ May my forgiveness of myself and others spread like ravenous, unruly flames all about our collective consciousness, burning away all but the ever-smiling Truth nestled patiently at the core of Everything.  Amen.

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My New Vocation!

Staring at the blank page.  Five thirty am.  Wondering where I left my soul juice.  Not enough sleep.  But my restless mind won’t let me fall back and hit the rest and release anymore.  So here I am, blinking like an over cooked vegetable at the bright screen screaming at my eyes.  Strange days.  Sometimes when my spirit is ablaze in the infernos of transformation, my body has a hard time resting, fully letting go into sleep’s tender palm.  But I’m gonna pick myself up by the bathrobe straps and fake it till I make it because I have so much to tell you!

I brought my typewriter to the Lake Merit farmer’s market yesterday and sold poetry!  Was I a scardy cat?  Naturally.  But I am getting better at not thinking life to death, and instead just living it.  I think this is one of the benefits of meditation and a commitment to being a Divine Servant.  I have been begging God pretty relentlessly to move me about this life according to the highest will.  Please God, let my life be an offering to the Holy Whole.  Let me continue to heal so that I can be a source of healing for others.  And God said, “That’s right bitch, now I’ve got you just where I want you.  Listen up…”  And then God tossed me my typewriter and drop kicked me down the hill to spin the hearts and souls of others into beautiful garlands of words.  The experience yesterday FAR EXCEEDED any expectations I had (Expectations.  I know they blow anyway… but I can’t seem to stop them…)

Since I’m new at this spontaneous poetry game, I still don’t quite have my “protocol” down… (I reckon protocols are overrated anyway, but…)  I just had a vague idea that when someone asked for a poem I’d gaze upon them lovingly sincere and ask what is in their heart these days, then wait while they stumbled and fumbled for some semblance of a response to this unabashedly deep cutting inquiry.  But yesterday, I barely had to ask.  The majority of customers (about seven) came to me, opened themselves in full trust and emptied their hearts upon the invisible altar between us.  I was pleasantly stunned by this!  (Hold on, I’m gonna go Q-tip.  Be right back!)  Alright where was I?  Oh yeah, so my first customer was a man who said he was getting married next week and he wanted a poem for his wife to be.  He was with a sweet little boy (his fiance’s son) who happened to be devouring one of the delicious smelling artisan waffles sold nearby.  He had an avalanche of powdered sugar all over his face and front, which struck up the choir of instant joy inside me.  I took a deeper than thou breath and lovingly banged out the poem for him.  He loved it and said he would read it to her either at the wedding or the reception.  I was astounded.  Then, spilling with gratitude he handed me a twenty dollar bill.

Somehow it seems sacrilegious to talk about the money I earn.  Like sexuality, another taboo.  Well screw your taboos, you who fear the truths of this mundane play.  As far as Athena Grace LMNOP is concerned, anything goes here on the page.  Especially if it is an accurate, well rounded portrait of her life here on planet earth.  Just had to name that.  But twenty bucks is a far cry from the two dollars and fifty cents I made LAST weekend, eh?  It’s interesting to me to see the monetary values people place on something as non-linear and seemingly “frivolous” as poetry.  It says a lot about the person… I think… It is time for poetry to reclaim its place in the health and wellbeing of our collective psyche.

Then next customer was actually standing under a tree, WAITING (patiently) for her turn as I pounded out the wedding poem!  Who knew that poetry was important enough to “wait in line” for?!?!  Now you know.  You heard it here first!  This sincere and tender hearted woman approached me, set down her groceries and immediately launched into a revelatory outpouring of fondness for her best friend.  She portrayed her friend in a light strictly reserved for the Goddess.  This dear friend, great nonjudgmental listener, earth mama, compassionate, loving mother of twins, home maker, generous, creative inspiring creature lives in LA… and my customer misses her to bits.  The poem slid effortlessly out of me, lubed by the flood of overt adoration between soul sisters.  Shazam!

Then along came an old man wearing a yellow shirt and a Polaroid camera around his neck.  He offered me a photo.  Naturally I said yes.  I offered him a poem in exchange.  I did ask HIM what was in his heart.  He said he was just glad to be here on this beautiful day full of beautiful people and beautiful food… Sometimes the most simple is the utterly profound, right?  I read him his poem, he snapped another Polaroid shot of me “for my boyfriend” and was off to bathe in his fresh picked day.

Another old man.  He was adorable.  Eighty one years old.  Full of wisdom, insight and a peace that you could touch, taste and frolic in.  Initially he just came over to poke around and investigate my typewriter (as quite a number of folks did throughout the course of the day)… but I kept inviting him into a poem.  I used my favorite expression to lure him in, “Come on… You only live once!” (I love this expression since I don’t ultimately believe it to be true!  But that only makes it POP with an endless twist of dimensions.  The dimension that there is ONLY this moment… set against the infinite slog that is living life.  And every nuanced shade of silver in between.)  To this he replied, every moment I live anew.  That opened a door for him and he shared the heavy wisdom that his eighty one years has unearthed in his tender and pure heart.  I was so moved by his wise soul and refined relationship with Love.

In fact, when he left, I was a radiant fountain of AWE.  And this man, who had been lurking in the distant shadows approached me.  “How are you doing?” he asked.  “AMAZING!” I exclaimed.  And then he announced that he was the manager of the market and I was not allowed to be there.  Frown.  But I could feel that his heart was conflicted.  He was doing his job.  I’m sure he could feel the flamboyant love gurshing from within me.  So eventually he suggested a “grey area” location that I could move to.  Sigh… it was not nearly as utopic sitting on the sidewalk under the large palm tree across the street from the market.  Shrug…

But I did have three more customers over there.  A woman who soon spilled over with tears as she requested a poem about change.  She said she was moving to the east coast on July first… And she had an apartment, a car, a family, a job and a horse waiting for her there!!!!!  If that full spectrum cast of assets doesn’t make you smile out loud, I don’t know what would!  I cherished her tears!  I am so happy to be a space for people to feel and authentically express!  I invited her to let it flow.  She was a spark for sure.  The poem that came out for her was a playful portrait of the implicit beauty in all the textures of the human experience.  Offering it to her, I felt it to be an ally, a talisman for her journey.

Was it because the moon was full and had just eclipsed???  The people who showed up were amazing, vulnerable, generous, divine!  I made fifty eight dollars!  I’ve always been afraid that I’ve been too idealistic to think that I could make a living doing EXACTLY what I want to do.  But I’m starting to think that I can and that rattles my bones with ecstasy.

AMEN.

Ice Cream, Second Chances and First Impressions

The last couple of blogs I’ve written have earned me some extra positive strokes… which I’ve interpreted were a result of being “deep” and “profound”… two words I love to be associated with.  But this morning, I’m noticing that I have piled some pressure on myself to keep it up.  I LOVE getting comments.  They make me feel HEARD (which is a big one for me), valued, connected.  (Thank you all who have shared your thoughtful and inspired depths here!  And those of you who haven’t…I would LOVE to hear your voice!  Please share your magnificent heart and mind with the class.)  Alas… Sometimes “digging” for the profundity can pull the wool over authenticity’s googly eyes.  I strive always to free my mind.  And therefore to free Our mind.  Even if that means talking about ice cream.

When I wrote poetry at the farmer’s market the other day, one of my modest handful of customers was a young boy-man, accompanied by his silent, exotic, deep seeing girlfriend.  He handed me a stack of four quarters and I asked him what was in his heart in the moment.  He mused effortlessly for but a moment and then said, “I’m gonna eat ice cream when I get home and I’m really excited about that.”  His manner was the dictionary definition of matter of fact.  It knocked me sideways, since I am the queen of the deep… Ice cream?!?  What in God’s frozen decadent name do I have to say about ICE CREAM???

But I tried to ignore the fear voices and give myself over to the endlessly gurgling font of the muse.  I banged out a very short poem about ice cream.  I kept rereading it, wanting to add something… wanting to plump it up, pimp it out.  But it was stubborn as fuck.  It dug its inky heals into the ground and refused to move.  I shrugged inwardly and pulled the shameful paper from the archaic, indifferent machine.  Sweeping my embarrassment under the expertly woven rug of my ego, I read it to him and his enchanting consort.  I couldn’t tell much what he thought.  They stood up and thanked me and then confessed that they were both writers.  Oh no!!!!  I made a fool of myself in front of other writers!  (Remember that character from the early 80s version of Sesame Street… The piano playing puppet who was always screwing up his songs and getting ensnared in the hellish twists of self depreciation… and banging his head violently on the piano keys?  That was me.  Inside, I was banging my head on the typewriter keys, pounding out miles of linguistic gibberish.) (Note to reader= I am exaggerating.  Please do not identify me entirely as an exacerbated ego maniac.  Sure, I have that voice in me… and in the interest of this story, I have turned up the volume on it… but it is just one facet of my sweet, gleaming rock of a self.  Thanks.)

Sigh.  Poor Athena… lost her chance to dazzle.  Frowny faces and  Poopy diapers abound!  But this blog is a crystal ship setting sail to the land of second chances!!!  So I am going to take this opportunity to stab the topic of ice cream again.  And the beauty of the blog is that this is MY space, and nobody can storm upon me and put a stop to the frenzied sling shot bus stop cabaret of words.  Except me…

And now for a sock knockingly profound poem about ice cream!!!!!

A he and a she

Once upon a Sunday pounded

The corridors of gluttonous Infinitude

Screaming.

Creaming

their respective under garments

with the abandon of phantom

children.  Dreaming.

Dreaming of frozen jagged alps,

Melting in their eager mouths.

Sweeter than the nectar

Of a mother’s supple, dripping

Nipple,

Under-sucked

And over-paid.

They waded through

The endless slew

Of the thirty two flavors

That never quit.

Thirty two flavors of banana

Splitting,

Hardball hitting home run

Sunday night fevers

In a dish.

In a cone.

Home?  Oh Lover, this is it!

Phew!  I feel much better… Now I can die complete.  But I don’t want to die yet.  It was just figure of speech.  Okay God?  Make me live a long, long, arduous, growthful, uphill, sweat inducing human haul, okay?  (Making fun of my default orientation to Life…)

Hey, I need to practice poeticizing on the fly… so please toss me a topic (in the comment format), and I will knock it out of the park of my mind and back into the “out there” “great unknown soup”, back to you.  BRING IT ON!!!! Amen.