Yosemite “Blog”

Wow, it’s almost nine o’clock at night and I feel like the dictionary definition of “brain dead”.  Staying committed to blogging as my whole life crumbles to fairy dust takes some muscle.  But I’m a pretty muscular chick, if you want to know the truth.  (Metaphorically muscular as well as literally, just for the record.)  Thankfully, I “blogged” while I was camping in Yosemite.  Yup, me n Dara stopped at Target (pronounce it “Tar-sjae”, if you please…) and had one last hurrah in the land of fluorescent lights, cheap goods stained with the blood of children, and miles of superfluous, soulless doo-dads.  I splurged on a spiral notebook made with recycled paper, two black, clicky ballpoint pens and some Tom’s of Maine “wicked fresh” (their new flavor) toothpaste.  Dara got ibuprophen, a cheapo headlamp and oh god, I can’t remember what else.  So much for knocking your shoes and socks off with my impeccable recounting of frivolous details.  I guess I’ll have to resort to other tactics to impress your pants off tonight.

Anyway, the POINT is that I found it highly awkward to “blog” in my spiral notebook.  My handwriting was so messy which made me feel like I *must* be writing crap.  But then I read what I wrote to Dara as we huddled around the campfire, the rushing creek singing back-up, and I was pleasantly surprised that even though it LOOKED like chicken scratch, my voice was still my voice and my pride was still intact.  So here’s one of my “blogs”, not so fresh off the press from the once virginal morning that spilled from me two days ago:  (I kinda feel like a mom who is burnt out and opts to feed her kids microwave meals and pop in a video while she flops down like a lifeless marionette on her unmade bed.)

August 18th, 2010

I see a Stellar’s Jay mischievously hopping about the low branches of a pine tree towering over the bear locker.  He has a particularly ratty, punk-rock crest.  Oh.  He flew away.  Now what do I write about?  Ahhh yes, in a notebook, it doesn’t matter.  I suppose in a blog it doesn’t matter either… but it sure does seem to at times… In a notebook it is the sheer bold, courageous act of stepping back onto the page, returning to the unknown.  Standing at the mouth of a mystic well, dropping a bucket down and scooping up a big, wet helping of myself.

A tubby little asian boy just wandered through our campsite to the water’s mirrored edge, carrying an empty plastic jug to fill.  I watched him with curiosity as though he were an exotic though benign wild animal.  Whit is it about fat children that makes them so alluring to me?  I guess it’s their squeezability factor.  They’re like over-sized over-stuffed teddy bears… which of course reminds me of Eric.  We had [yet another] inside joke that we’d adopt a fat little Mexican boy someday… and name him Guillermo.  But what does that have to do with anything?  Well… Eric… He’s been omnipresent for me out here in nature, and when I say “omnipresent”, you’ve gotta understand… I mean omnipresent.  I see/feel him in EVERY towering pine tree (he can talk to trees, you know…), every massive granite boulder.  I hear him in the cool, hushed chant of the creek.  I smell him in the perfumed air.  But you know what???  Screw that… It’s not REALLY Eric that is haunting my mind and heart.  No ma’am.  It’s our Undercover, Beloved-assed Omnipotent Superhero, Almighty Jah!

Honestly, I’ve been through enough yearning streaks to know that if it wasn’t Eric, it would be (and has been) Mykael, Jerry… even dumb old Charlie.  Athena!  Please!  STOP yearning for these hollow cardboard cut-outs of the All Pervading Real Thing, who could NEVER in affinity years ever hope to fill that gorgeous void of Divine Longing inside you.  Wake up and smell the sweet, smoky campfire!

Dara read me a bedtime story in the tent last night! (talk about a quick route to my heart!!!)  Not only that, but it was my quintessentially perfect bedtime story~ the story of the life of my Beloved teacher (and predecessor), Hafiz.  And you know what?  His life was NOT so dissimilar from mine.  At one point, he stumbled hard into lust-laced love with a beautiful woman, who rejected his sorry ass.  (Apparently he was not the most handsome man.)  So he did this perverse ritual in which he sat awake in vigil for forty nights straight in a cemetery.  Supposedly it was supposed to make this ho fall for him.  But at the end of the fortieth night, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and said he would fulfill one single desire for Hafiz.  Upon the utter revelation of seeing this resplendent divine messenger manifest, Hafiz was so smitten that he forgot all about the mere woman and longed to know God, whom he imagined could ONLY be a gazillion times more beautiful.

So it went that Hafiz’s single wish was to know God.  And obviously peeps, the proof is in the damn puddin’.  Every single word I’ve ever read of Hafiz is saturated with unmistakable, authentic ecstatic intoxication.  His words are a result of the Universe consciously making Love to its self.

And the moral of my decadent bedtime tale?  Naturally, that as soon as I realize fully that it is ONLY the All Pervading Beloved for whom I incessantly yearn… whose voice I hear in the river’s song, whose scent I gulp in hungry lungfuls from this enchanting, perfumed air~ When I relinquish my false pretenses of shallow human longing~ then will I truly meet my “Maker” so to speak… My Eternal Beloved.  So get crackin’, Athena Grace!  But the trouble is that I would not sit in eager, unwavering vigil for any of these common yet mouthwatering men, let alone God-On-High.  Id rather just keep slogging along, comfortably uncomfortable through this illusion of a dream leaking subtle, perverse nightmarish goo out the sides.

And the macro moral of my own personal mythology?  Athena, do your best to relinquish your fever-dreams of Eric.  And ALL the other great taste, less filling faces of the Infinite.  Find the mouth of the well and bring your own madly thirsty lips to sip from the Source that will NEVER cease to drench and satiate not just the finite mirage you dream yourself to be, but the whole blessed brigade of Ones whose hearts eternally cry out to Remember.


Making Love to Loneliness

After my recent post, “Letting Love Slice Me into One”, my beloved blogging friend, Arlene (aka spirit2go.wordpress.com) expressed some compassionate concern that I was in a funk.  Yeah… that’s one way of putting it… Well Arlene, I am writing to you personally right now and as well, I want to share this with others because it feels like an important message for me to express to many.  But first, thank you for caring so deeply for me, and for all whom your immense, courageous heart dost embrace!

One of the guiding lights along my path is the twelfth century Persian poet, Hafiz.  The brotha knows what is up.  He’s wild.  He’s free.  And he’s unabashedly drunk on the All Pervading Friend.  I used to have this poem hand written and taped up above my bed, because it felt like something that I needed to remember every single day of my life~

My Eyes So Soft



Your loneliness so quickly,

Let it cut more


Let it ferment and season you

As few human

Or even divine ingredients can.

Something missing in my heart tonight

Has made my eyes so soft,

My voice so


My need of God



This is why I did not try to run from or avoid my loneliness the other day.  I want to be carved out like a freaky jack o lantern, lit from the inside with a sweet scented votive and left out in our dark world so that my eyes glow and blaze with undeniable, soothing truth and kindness for all.

It’s an art… to visit that utterly lonely place without getting stuck or stagnant there.  Without making it mean anything, (and I mean ANY thing) about you, about God, about life.  Without judging it as “BAD”.   No… just to BE there.  And then, to recognize when it has passed and gracefully dance with that which arises next.  The mind loves to hold on to everything and create an identity around it.  “I’m Athena and I’m so lonely… I must be depressed.  There must be something WRONG with me.  But at least I know I EXIST!  At least I can avoid facing the Great Emptiness that is always humming from somewhere deep inside me.”

You see what I mean?  And our mindlessly consuming society is built on this fear of emptiness.  “Uh-oh, I feel empty.  I’d better reach outside of myself in desperation to make this go away.  Who or what can fix me?  Here, TAKE my money!!!  Just make this unavoidable human ache subside for long enough to keep me three and a half quarters blissfully asleep!”

Beloveds, do not fear the shadows.  In this silly dream of division and duality, they are vital for recognizing the light.  Loneliness.  Forgetting the oceanic, resplendent, All Pervading Love that we ARE is about the loneliest thing I can imagine.  I LOVE You, Arlene!  And I feel your Love for me.  And because of this, I know the world is infinitely more blessed.

Friends, let your loneliness carve you, artistically into exquisite jack o lanterns and together we shall celebrate the infinite glowing faces of God in this magnificently dark world!