Groping for The Rock

Remember when I didn’t have kids and all I knew to do with this unwieldy life was pour it onto the page?  Every day the question I awoke to is “which cafe do I want to write in today?”  I wrote because it was all I knew to do.  Nothing else made sense.  I felt lost and purposeless.  So I made a baby.  And then another one.  And they unhinged their baby jaw and devoured my life. 

Just for the record, I felt a bit of “pre-game jitters” about my long-awaited Return to Athena Graceland.  Back in those aforementioned “good olde days”, I had to reach super deep into my ass to find stuff to write about, because my practice was so profuse and I said it “ALL” a thousand times over.  But now there is an insurmountable backlog~ an emergency surgery in which 40 centimeters of my colon, including a malignant tumor was removed, an episode of physical violence on the part of my darling husband, which culminated in me and the kids moving out of his house, a meeting with an oncologist who announced that a spot in my lung showed up on my CT scan which could be more cancer, or just a benign irregularity… another CT scan… waiting… 

I don’t even want to talk about that stuff.  While it is significant, it is also water under my epic, tremulous bridge.  Today is impregnated with it’s own remarkable heft of innermost feelings, thoughts, aspirations…

God it feels heavenly to be reunited with my literary Throne.  This is the only dimension of my world where I truly feel to be Queen.  Here my inner authority flows like rain gutters after a monsoon.  There is no question.  I feel what I feel.  I claim my thoughts, my longings, my struggle, my passion.  The rest of my life is a nebulous smear.  A tragic falling short.  

Last night I awoke every two hours… preoccupied because Giordano didn’t reply to my texts after 10am.  I feel ashamed that I care so much.  But since I’ve moved out, he’s barely showed up.  I’ve been a single mom of two.  (I pretty much felt like one before… but… this is a whole new level.)  I had a hope that our separation could be a catalyst for deeper intimacy, intentionality, clear communication, healing…. Everything I have been starving for since I’ve been with him.  But things have actually unfolded to the contrary.  He has drifted like a rudderless boat, out into the dark, churning, boundless sea.  It takes him hours, if not days to reply to my texts, he doesn’t answer his phone… and meanwhile, I am left to care for the children.  Oh, and every once in a while he casts a fistfull of beautiful though empty sentiments in my direction… just to keep me hooked.  

I am hooked now.  Waiting for my phone to sing the solo chime that could be words from Him.  Why can’t I just let go?  I am grieving the death of what could have been… a loving, happy, united family.  Grieving the loss of an often magical sex life.  Grieving that I left my home and came across the world to “give love a chance”… and now I am locked here… with two children and no man to share love and life with.  

It all sounds so tragic.  And pathetic.  And it doesn’t really cut to the depth of my experience.  It is always my aim to dig deeeep.  To mine the plethora of hidden jewels in the material of my life.  But I must confess that I’ve never been in such a vast, shark-laden “deep end” as this.  The truth is that I feel completely lost.  Hopeless.  Defeated.  

Words are failing me.  

Because there is more.  

There is the I AM beaming just beyond those feelings.  There MUST be an Intelligence driving this savage confluence of circumstances.  

Walking down our pitted gravel road at the snail’s pace that having two one and a half year olds in tow entails, Benedetta asked me what brings me joy… and I was surprised to note how genuinely stumped I was.  I have swerved so far from the rushing neon pink river of my passions.  Though after some hot and heavy excavating, I realized I love reading books these days.  Imbibing words imbued with various shades of genius is decadence for my mind.  I encounter sentences laden with such heavy wisdom, truth and beauty that my bells reverberate through the invisible corridors of Infinity.  And I’m not just being poetic.  Listen.  You will hear them mingling flirtatiously with the thunderous, rolling, primal OM.  

Now I’m reading Byron Katie, “Who Would You Be Without Your Story”.  If you are not familiar with Byron Katie, she went through a sprawling Dark Night of the Soul and came out on the other side awake, and imbued with this inquiry technique called “The Work”.  The Work assists anyone seeking true freedom by examining the thoughts that cause stress; revealing that disease never comes from outside, as it appears to… but from within our very own minds.  ALWAYS. 

This is quite a horse pill for me to swallow because I just looooove the blame game.  I looooove to be a victim and a pathetic damsel in distress.  Sucky but true.

At least I used to love it….

But the fire is getting too hot and I can’t tolerate the suffering… so I am considering trying something else.

One of the fundamental pillars of her Work is getting right with what IS.  Ohhhh all those notions that it SHOULD BE DIFFERENT.  Turns out they are the Devil.  

Through witnessing her intensive dialogues with people who have attended her international workshops, I am repeatedly seeing how I create my own bondage by believing my thoughts.  And superimposing my skewed agenda on top of Reality.  I see that I am faaar from unconditionally loving.  My behaviors are manipulative, conditional and self interested.  

I want Giordano to make me feel less lonely.  Happier.  Loved.

And mostly he doesn’t.  

And my response is cruelty.  Disapproval.  Judgement up the wazoo.  

In the piece that I was reading today, Byron Katie said that the whole world “out there” is “for me”.  It’s all conspiring to bring me Home.  To my Self.

I want that so bad.  To dive deeper than the kaleidoscopic swirl of externalized perspectives that inundate me.  To find that Home which is the Rock that Jesus spoke of.  These shifting sands are kicking my self-righteous,  small-minded ass.  

My need is screaming.  My search is dizzying.  My life is benevolently falling apart.  My Self patiently awaits my Home Coming.

As I Am

Welcome to the land of barking dogs, freshly set suns and dark, moons. I feel wriggly in my own skin right now. I am yearning to be held by my lover. Not any lover in particular… it’s just that feeling like there’s way too much empty space around me and I want to be in the sexy, musky arms, pressed against the delicious masculinity of one who knows me as well as one can know another. How well is that, anyway? Personally, I still feel like I have a LOT to learn in that regard. Looking back on the major intimacies of my life, I see that I have been quite wrapped up in who I want them to be for MEEEEEE. Immature, I know. Shrug. I’m learning. Someday I pray to ripen into the kind of lover who delights in the CONTINUOUS, generous discovery and unselfish support of my beloved’s perpetual becoming. I guess that’s part of the reason why I’ve condemned myself to sitting here tonight at my ghetto-funky black particle board desk alone and feeling all of this. So that I can be sliced deep by this aloneness. Sliced deep and bleeding with yearning. I can almost feel those masculine arms, wrapping around me. I can almost smell his skin, feel his body’s heat and my own body’s molten, rapturous response.

But tonight, I will settle for nothing less than God. Shane told me that he believes that it is possible to fall in love with God as tangibly, completely and passionately as one can fall in love with a person… only better, of course, cuz c’mon, it’s GOD after all. Sigh… I want that. I guess I believe it too… I’d just forgotten for a slew of moments. But Yoganada was madly in love with God. It’s obvious in so much of his prayerful poetry and writings. Oh and of course the Sufi Mystic posse… You KNOW they were a particularly God drunk bunch. (Ha! The God Drunk Bunch! That would make a good title for something…) Saint Theresa is another one of my roll models of the human capacity to drown in divine love.

I sorta wish an angel would materialize before me right now and bludgeon my hungry thirsty naïve heart with one of his divine, ecstatic arrows. Though Saint Theresa didn’t seem to really enjoy the experience. It was ecstasy to the point of pain and it wasn’t just no “holy instant”… it kept right on stinging and singing a song of sobering, shattered immediacy. Do I really want that????

Probably not… but I want something. It’s the new moon today, and I’ve felt especially internal and introspective. I yearn to come into a deep, unwavering, overt alignment with my Almighty BFF. In fact, I feel frustrated, because it pains me to watch all these cacophonous shards of little me clanging and shrieking around in here. Vying for their turn to steer the ship that is my life, my speech, my thoughts, actions, choices, dreams.

The lessons in A Course in Miracles recently have been encouraging me to listen so deeply and let the voice of God beam on this world through the vessel that is me. I want that. I want that so bad… just not bad enough to come to a complete, silent halt and wait until I am moved. Not enough to withstand boredom and confront head on, the fear of being “nobody”. So I keep pushing ahead. Trying every day to “be somebody”. Somebody lovable and worthy and entertained. And the most repulsive of all, somebody “spiritual”. Adyashanti, one of my fave-rave spiritual teachers (, talks about what a joke all the pretense of being a “spiritual person” is. Think about the popular bullshit consensus most of us buy into in terms of what makes a person “spiritual”… blagllgghhek. Being a “spiritual person” is as trendy as body piercing, having a therapist, Peet’s Coffee or diesel jeans.

I guess the closest I can come to God at this point on my path is to have great compassion and forgiveness for all of these disparate, unconscious, needy, unflattering, selfish parts of myself. Here I am again, treading the illusory road of all or nothing. Imagine that… And that’s just not an accurate representation of what’s here now. Here and now, there is a baby gecko suctioned to the outside of my window. He’s about two inches long. One inch of body and one inch of tail. So cute. I imagine I’ll never tire of geckos. I find myself perpetually swooning in adoration of the tiny mystical creatures. I love their chirping songs too. I find it deeply, strangely comforting. Yes. Geckos are excellent company.

So, here I am tonight. Showing up on the page just as I am, imperfect, honest and yearning. Self critical too, I suppose. And that’s just gonna have to be enough for now.

I want to address the topic of sexuality again. Because every time I share my sexuality here in Athena Graceland, I have a split experience of it. On one hand, I feel strong and beautiful, because I am being true to myself by sharing the parts of me that rise to my surface with the most energy, weight and eagerness. I am deeply fascinated and enchanted with my sexuality… and I feel that there is so much that wants to be healed by moving from the condemnation of secrecy, taboo and shame into the light of authenticity, exploration, forgiveness, and [gasp] play! And yet, every time I write on this topic, afterwards, I second guess my transparency. I feel afraid that you will think I am somehow cheapening myself by talking so freely about a very intimate subject that most “respectable women” keep to themselves. But even as I write that, the rebel in me is spitting and snorting. I will not hide myself in order to make you feel more comfortable. Sometimes the truth makes you squirm. That’s just the way it is.

And I’m turned on. And I’m trying to figure out how to live in this beautiful, intense and wholly holy state. What does it mean to be so turned on? What do I do with it? It is raw creative energy. It is embodied divine yearning. It is feminine power. And it is raging inside of me, demanding to be voiced, embraced, revered and channeled. Ahhhh, I feel much better… I needed to get untangled from that one. Though I still could use a good old fashioned holy fuck. Grin. (A grin complete with gleaming tooth…) But… in this sexual initiation I am walking through, old fashioned holy fucks are not on the menu right now… I am to ignite and burn alive, dedicating my yearning to the All Pervading Holy Fucker. (Wow, I am really going for it tonight. Either you’ll LOVE me or LEAVE me for sure!!!)


PS~ Just for the record, I totally love, accept and forgive myself for being so perfectly imperfect. For being here, in this amnesiac, in between land on this ever quirky human journey.

Grieving, Flipping Nickels and a Trip to the Clouds

Whelp… should I talk about my current incarnation of heart ache in relation to Mykael… or the clouds?  The age old question…  I suppose I’ll put off that weighty choice for a few moments by telling you that I usually can’t tolerate any music while I’m writing and opt for sssssilence, but today I fancy the Frederick Chopin station on Pandora.  It’s all classical piano music.  It fits like a sexy, satin, over the elbow glove with the rain soaked dusk.  I am sitting at my modest little nun’s desk in my bedroom, facing the window, witnessing the darkness suck the light out of this  day as rapid and unapologetically as I have been known to suck the life affirming waters from the center of fresh, heavy, green coconuts.  As the light and form soften and dissolve into vague gray scales, the piano keys strike inside me with increasing vividness.  Oh, and let me not forget the perfect harmony of dog voices.  That was sarcastic.  The dogs who live just over the fence still make my nervous system clench and shudder.

Okay, we’re gonna flip a worn out nickle, you and me… to see whether I go light or heavy tonight.  Heads is Mykael, because he HAS a head.  And tales is the clouds, because that monument on the back resembles a cloud that has been smashed into an open rectangular box.  Ready?  Here goes!…

Yahoo!!!!  It’s heads!  I’m so glad, because I need to talk this over with SOMEbody… it might as well be you, since you are the best listener in the whole entire galaxy.  You never interrupt me or act like a know-it-all-buffoon or zone out.  (The outside world is almost completely dissolved into darkness now.  There is only a cottony, silvering strip of diehard white clouds.) (And just for the record, my new buddy Jack invited me to the movies tonight at the last minute to see this movie about dolphins.  I wanted to go, but not at the expense of neglecting my beloved blog.  When I returned to Athena GraceLand yesterday after missing two days, I flooded with a renewed sense of meaning and the weight of a defending champion.  On facebook today, Shane asked his plethora of friends how they would like to die.  I don’t often dick around on facebook… because honestly, that can easily become a full time occupation… but I think this question was one of my all time favies.  I said some’m dumb… I was way too deep and “spiritual” and literal.  If I had it to do all over again, I’d’ve written that I want to die blogging!  I certainly don’t want to die at the movies… even if it IS a movie about dolphins…)

So today I finally changed my relationship status on facebook from “in a relationship with Mykael Lazzeri” to single.  I have been wanting to do it for a while… but hesitant, because it feels tender.  So though I have been officially single for three honkin’ weeks now, I finally cut another chord with him today.  I felt guilty, like I was stealing the crown jewels from the museum at night or something.  My heart twisted and trembled.  I wondered if Mykael would know… and how he would feel.

But I didn’t have to wonder for more than a few hours, because he texted me tonight and expressed hurt feelings.  He said he wished I would have consulted him first, so we could have done it together.  Honestly, I was surprised to hear that he was interested in having that much communication with me, since mostly my experience is that when I reach out, he doesn’t give much back and seems energetically insulated these days.  I felt defensive.  Which is a perfect holographic slice of our relationship dynamic.  When either one of us expressed hurt, it was pretty common for the other to hop on the defense in the lickety splitting of a wink of Michael Jackson’s deceased pop star eye.  I suppose that’s a pretty human way to play, but I think the two of us had (have) a knack for pumping up the volume on this particular game.  Which can be exhausting, you see.  But tonight, I am the one at “fault”.  I am the one who instead of softening, opening, merely listening to his vulnerable truth… I am the one who chose to feel attacked.

But thankfully this is my blog, so I can glutinously defend myself and nobody can object.  I just want it to be written that since he hasn’t been very keen on returning my texts or sharing too much at all these days, it seemed out of context that I would go to him right now to consult an inevitable choice.  In his text he told me that I “mean that much to him at least”…???  How much is that?  A flipping nickel’s worth?

All I know is that our relationship frustrates my pants down… and in my heart ache and his perceived heart ache today, for some insane reason, I just want to run back to him and merge in the demented ecstasy of our aching communion.  Tonight I find myself wishing I could have done things differently and made the relationship only beautiful and nourishing.  Tonight I wish I was in his arms, deeply inhaling the sexy musk of his armpits, stroking the fiery copper hair sprouted from his perfectly masculine chest, feeling his strong arms pulling me close.  I know, this is indulgent.  I’m sure it is stupid to look backwards for too long, become too gratuitously lost in fantasy… But welcome to the grieving process, Miss Athena.  It is as unpredictable and powerful as the ocean.  Some days my heart is placid and calm, a perfect reflection of the sky rolling by.  Other days, it thrashes and froths upon its self, threatening death and destruction every few heartbeats.

Strange how I am missing him as a result of feeling blamed by him and hurting.  I s’pose it’s the fresh pulling apart and flailing in new space.  Fuck space, fill me up!  Even if it means jamming me into a relationship that didn’t quite fit.  Life is a fucking barrel of plastic wizards, ain’t it?  Yeah, it’s a fuck kinda night tonight.  I’m drunk on heart ache, chain smoking regrets.  Just call me Athena Bukowski.

Mykael… I miss you.

And by the way, while I was squatting on the pavement at the farmer’s market this afternoon, waiting for my ride, Shane to finish his conversation with the slippery, Piscean hottie at the veggie stand, I swear to God, I climbed the sky and wandered through the bulging contours of heaven.  I marveled at how profoundly empty I felt as my earthly eyes folded into the epic yet subtle depths of the kingdom of gargantuan clouds.  I might have dissolved for a stack of split seconds… or even an entire holy intermission’s worth.  Imagine the whitest white and the most foreboding, steely purple… and every subtle shade in between.  Imagine feeling an inexplicable peace and relief somehow as you dissolve into the soft, continuous merging therein, strangely touching a home inside that you didn’t even realize was there.  Souldipper told me that my guides were still trying to pound it into me that I am never alone… and that it is entirely unnecessary at this point for me to even entertain that notion.  As I became these immense clouds, I knew without a shred of doubt that this is true.  And then they opened and drenched the earth with liquid poetry and wet songs of fertility and purification.


Remembering Softens Me

Before I get too hot and heavy into any pressing, earth shattering topic, I need to tell you that I did a modestly dopey thing yesterday.  I copied and pasted the WRONG contents into my blog entry.  I accidentally pasted a duplicate of the previous blog… so if you read the same blog two days in a row and were left wanting your money back, feel free to go back to yesterday’s entry and get the REAL scoop on sacred syllables and menstrual blood at 3am.

And now back to our show.  I saw Eric (my ex-fiance) for the first time in over a year yesterday.  (We saw each other ONE other time since we broke up a little over two years ago.  Last April we shared a brief afternoon promenade through Rockridge.  The single moment from that day a year ago, still alive as though it will never die, vivid as a dream burned into a ravenous, wide mind is us wandering slowly down the quiet streets bursting with pregnant gardens and hearing a chorus of shrill, persistent bird voices.  Naturally we looked up and right in front of our faces was a nest of hungry, scruffy looking baby birds, beaks wide canyons of bottomless hunger and mom perched on the edge of the nest poised to regurgitate mouthfuls of sustenance to her screaming babes.  Dreams.  Doesn’t that strike you as a soft lucid image from but a dream?  Wandering aimlessly about the warm, spring sun drenched streets with Eric after not seeing him for an entire year is dreamish enough… but then the camera panning so randomly instantaneous to focus right in on the intimate living room of a family of birds going about their business without regard to our presence… think about it.  That’s indubitably the stuff of dreams.

And speaking of birds, seeing Eric yesterday for the first time since last April, I felt like a bird with no place to land.  For five years of our lives, we were each others’ home; a source of perpetual, unconditional refuge.   I had this idea before seeing him yesterday that he’d be SO radically different, and I would be too.  But it wasn’t quite like that.  To me, there was something so fundamentally the same about me and about him and about sharing a slice of time and space.  Except my perch was gone.  So instead, I flew in an endless slew of sacred circles, which rippled with beauty around the silent truth of the ISness of the moment.  Life is a twisted mess if you ask me.  And if you asked me WHY it was designed that way, I’d say as impetus to never give up on digging and diving beneath all the smarmy twisty-ness to find the real shit.  You know… The All Pervading Hallelujah behind the paradoxically sheerer than sin and denser than thou curtain that enshrouds our minds and our hearts and mischievously conceals the holy secret of the ONE.

All this to say… All this to say that I am still grieving the choice to ditch Eric.  God, I am noticing that life is NOT anything like it is in the movies. Did YOU ever notice that? Resolution and happy endings.  Real life feels more like a perpetual chain of making messes and then cleaning them up, making messes and then cleaning them up. (Or sometimes just leaving them to fester for a good while…)  But beautifully, like a poetic dance between the omniscient mess maker and the omnipotent mess cleaner-upper.  I always wonder WHY God would have invoked a world like this (assuming that God would do such an atrocious thing, which could be entirely missing the cosmic mark…shrug… but I digress.  I can imagine Omnipresence witnessing all this fantastical duality as if it were an ingeniously executed improvisational dance performance that strangely simultaneously shook and shimmied and twirled its way through Forever, and also erupted in a single flashing blink and was over before it began.

I feel guilty for expressing feelings and memories about Eric, since Mykael reads my blog.  But this is my truth and my mind and my life and I must express.  I must digest and grieve and transmute.  That’s just the way it is.  When I was “doctoring up” my tea at the condiment table (which is actually a miniature organ turned table by being covered in a single, thick sheet of glass…) (I’m at Gaylord’s today) I watched myself take a slurp of creamed and honey-ed up tea off the long handled spoon, gaze off in the distance, allowing the sensual experience of the combination of flavors to hit me.  My head was cocked to one side, like a bird listening intently… and then I felt myself nod, hesitate and add a splash more sweet, and a dash more cream.  It reminded me of the moment that Eric said he fell in love with me.

We were friends for a couple of years before we became “romantically involved”.  Then one day, the gears started shifting.  We went on this date to Stone Ridge Mall in Pleasanton, because we discovered that we had a mutual history with “pre-teen mall mania”, and neither of us had been to one, I mean SERIOUSLY [biblically] been to one since.  So we took BART out to Pleasanton one feverish spring afternoon.  (Sigh, spring is the BEST time to fall in love, now that I mention it.  Mykael and I fell in love in the spring time, too.)  I had made some knock-you-on-your-ass-strong pot banana bread for us to nosh on, so that our mall experience would be guaranteed to be nothing less than the maha of magical mystery tours.  We ate it, and then went to lunch at Fresh Choice!  (Can we PLEASE have a moment of silence for Fresh Choice?!?!?  Really.  Shhhhhh.

Okay.  Thank you.  That should suffice.)  The salad bar had two sides to it.  So, just for fun, (which we had no shortage of together) we split up and each went hunting and gathering on opposing sides of the bar.  Something you should know about me is that I take choice making VERY seriously… So I spent a copious amount of time deliberating about what to load up my plate with.  At one point, I felt his eyes burning into me and I looked up to meet his captivated face.  I had been tasting a spear of jicama to see if I indeed fancied inviting it onto my colorful plate full of oh-so-fresh choices.  After biting into it and taking it for an earnest ride around my masticating mouth, I nodded in nonverbal affirmation that it indeed belonged on my plate.  Eric had witnessed this arduous jicama deliberation process and according to him, that was the moment he fell in love with me.  Don’t ask me… I don’t quite get it… all I know is I remember this, and remembering softens me.  AMEN.