More On Milkmaids

The milkmaids have returned!  They are adamant about stealthily climbing into my mind and pouring out of my finger tips.  This lost posse of sacred women, nestled neatly in the forgetful folds of our contemporary, technologically outrageous, complicated and way too important for its own good, world.  The more I write about them, the more I want to write about them.  I guess they have become my imaginary friends.   Recently, I have adopted a handful of imaginary friends.  Their names are Paramahansa Yogananda, Krishna and Jesus.  You see, in this recent incarnation of me and my relationship with Mykael, and my relationship to relationship, I have found myself often alone.  Don’t feel sorry for me or anything… I am practicing loving and cherishing my aloneness… But sometimes, when I go to church alone, and I feel a few shreds of bitterness that Mykael is not by my side, I just invoke one or more of my other [imaginary] boyfriends.  Honestly, the three of them are the best boyfriends a girl could ever hope to have.

But every woman knows that life does not revolve around boyfriends.  So the milkmaids have come to bathe my mind in their sacred ocean of milk.  Krishna is a cowherd.  His wife Radha is a milkmaid.  Don’t quote me on this.  I’m not a journalist who makes my livelihood by researching the trousers off everything that I write about.  I am just a plain old woman who has a mind full of all sorts of tidbits that have found their way in to my cracks and folds and vast scapes of breathtaking inner terrain.  But I’m pretty sure that our blue, heroic friend kicked it with the milkmaids and even got to bone one of them!  After they spilled out onto the page again yesterday, a curiosity arose in me.  What’s so compelling about milkmaids, Athena?

In my mind’s eye, they are nothing less than a holy vision.  Their skin is whiter than a sea of fresh milk.  Similar to the image of Sri Krishna, their features contain a certain pristine perfection.  I imagine them to be the poster children of innocence and purity.  Innocence.  Purity.  Take a moment and actually consider the resonance of those words rippling through your mind and body.  When I feel innocence and purity come to life inside me, I feel divinity.

I have no idea if I’m making any sense, because I woke up this morning feeling a strong desire to find a new cafe… a new place to write.  But I couldn’t think of one, so I just went to Café 504.  When I got there, I could not think nor settle.  So I hopped back on my bike and now I am at Mykael’s café… A-GAIN.  But it’s much better here.  Mykael is not even here yet.  I am starting to be able to hear myself think.  On the way over, I stopped at the pull-up bars by Lake Merrit.  This is a new habit of mine.  I can do TWO!  But yesterday when I stopped to get my pump on, I met a man who told me that it’s all about doing sets.  When he first started, he could only do two.  Now, months later, he can do FIVE SETS of two!  So today, I did my two… and then I rested and then did one and three quarters more!  Who’s such a bad ass?  Who’s a bone thug in harmony? (I think that was an R&B or a rap group not too long ago… Oh the things that have impressed themselves in my mind…)

Anyway, when I contemplate the essence of the milk maid, I feel a similar vibe to that wafting off of our favorite Virgin, Miss Mary!  I suppose they are different archetypes.  Maiden and Mother… but they both appear extra white in my mind’s eye… Not white like Caucasian… White like the afforementioned ocean of milk.  White like sinless.  But I like to think that these milky maids DO have a naughty streak.  In Athena’s mind, innocent does not equate to innocent in the biblical sense.   Far from it.  And anyway, Krishna’s bitches lived before the bible was even a glimmer in the twisted eyes of the would be thumpers, priests and dogmatic Jesus freaks.  The last thing about milkmaids~ though pristine and tender, like the inside of a fresh baked baguette, they DO have a tough streak.  Ceaselessly waking before the sun in order to squeeze countless udders dry takes some serious woman power.  I bet they’re pretty ripped.  And I bet they are more than comfortable basking in holy silence.  I bet they have great senses of humor.  I bet their laughter sounds like the boisterous flirtation sung by church bells reverberating inside sacred wells.

Ohmigod.  Suddenly the music they are playing in here BLOWS.  My head is pounding with a hollow, sucky beat and my heart is twisting with anger.  I wish I could vacuum seal myself in a quietude just east of all this noise and disapproval.  You know what just saved my life?  This guy sitting at the table adjacent to mine… he’s reading a little paperback, and was just moved deeply by some of the secret words in his papery universe.  I know because he rested the book on the table, hunched over, so that his face was a couple of inches from the text, and he meticulously underlined something.  Do you get it?  He is so enthralled in his little world built for one.  Now he rests his receding hair-lined forehead in one of his meaty palms, elbow propped on the table.  Such absorption.  Yoga (union) at both it’s most basic and its finest.

In other news, it’s Mykael’s birthday.  I’m feeling SO grateful to love him today.  Fuck, how guilty would I feel if I couldn’t find my love for him on his own bloody thirty ninth birthday?!

In other OTHER news, I am pleased to report that all those blessings I extended to you in yesterday’s writing boomeranged right back at me all day yesterday!  The smoothest among them occurred when Mykael and I were eating lunch on our front porch.  We have started this campaign to be “good neighbors”… What does that mean in this day in age when everyone goes about their *crucially important* business with ceaseless vigor, enclosing ourselves in our separate boxes, with our separate little family units and never-ending streams of pressing matters spilling forth in a chain of fruitless attempts of existence justification.  Sheesh, all I’m driving at is that indigenous cultures, living close to the earth were on to something.

A “good neighbor” is generous, friendly, open, connective.  Since the days have become warmer, we stocked the fridge with beer and the freezer with popsicles and neapolitan flavored tofutti cuties, so that we could offer them to passers by.  We had our first takers yesterday!  Three chattery, spirited milkmaids in disguise!  “Hello!” Mykael called to the virginal, creamy creatures, and soon enough they were devouring lime popsicles on our porch and gossiping about benign frivolities with us.  Then the very tall, slim woman wearing a purple tennis skirt invited us to come collect the eggs from her three chickens this weekend while she and her hubby (Krishna?) are away!  They live in the very red-assed house down the block.  I tell you all this, because I BELIEVE that if we all make an effort to cultivate kindness, connection and generosity among our neighbors, the world will be almost entirely healed.  Ya dig?  We all think war blows and have all these really intelligent, righteous ideas about what the world leaders “should” be doing and not doing… but what about our very own block?  Let’s create peace and goodwill on our street, inspire others to create peace and goodwill on their streets… And watch with glee the becoming of a world of profound sistah and brothah-hood.

And the other important rule to be sure and announce when you offer your neighbor a beer or a box of chilled chocolate milk, is that the recipient is NOT required to “earn” it, by sticking around and making conversation.  That is strictly a bonus if they do.  The offering is one of unconditional generosity.

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Effort, Grace and a Quarter in the Artichoke

The marriage of effort and grace. Hands folded in prayer at the heart center. Right hand, effort, left hand, grace. When they meet in the space of the heart and ignite, these two forces joined make anything possible. I believe this. But the inquiry that I have personally grappled with, stumbled clumsily inside of for at least ten years is WHAT IS THE APPROPRIATE RATIO OF EFFORT TO GRACE? Of course I don’t think there’s a neat, squeaking answer… no way, Jose. But LISTEN~ these days there is so much hype about the law of attraction and how we create our reality with our thoughts. I can’t deny this… We are also a culture founded on good, honest protestant work ethic. Everybody knows that if you want to be “successful”, it takes a pinch of brains and a scoop of guts and a whole ocean of elbow grease. I mean maybe if you are a crunchy, new age, bay area native you’ll beg to differ with this… but for the most part we have been brainwashed into thinking that success belongs to those with the greasiest elbows. That is the EFFORT half of the equation.

And then there is Grace. What is grace? Let’s ask the omniscient One, dictionary dot com… Oh fuck. The omniscient One suggests that there are twenty separate definitions. Screw that! Lemme sort through them and find one or two that best support the essence I am driving to reveal. What?!?!?$*^#@*% This is ridiculous! None of them come very close to expressing what I was hoping they would. The closest definition is “favor or good will”. But I have come to understand grace as the special flavor of favor or good will of our special Friend, All Pervading Light. I like to imagine that just as sea creatures are immersed in salty water, we are immersed in an inherently generous substance that could be construed as Love. Another name for this all pervading substance of consciousness is Grace. The cool thing about Grace, is that it is an unconditional force. It asks nothing of us, yet gives us our very lives and all of the sub-blessings therein. (whether we recognize these blessings is another story, isn’t it?) Why does It do this? Simply because that’s what it does.

Mykael is sitting across the table from me today. I decided to come to HIS café for once. I used to come to “his” café more often, but then I started to feel sick of him and so we each went to our own separate cafes, which is so healthy… but this morning, he took a huge FIVE HOUR exam and I am so proud of him for stepping in and simply giving his best without attachment (just like Krishna advises Arjuna to do), so I came to HIS café, where they DO NOT know how to make espresso drinks! Ewww, even thinking about the soy latte I just drank makes me want to barf. And even worse, but in a different way are the mochas. That’s what Mykael gets. They are thick and sludgy, like chocolate swamps. You can’t even drink the end of it, because it is mealy, chocolate puke. And now, on the other side of the table he is carving away at this fat chunk of stone and the whole table is violently shaking and I am trying to sound so deep and smart and the table lurches, making it impossible for me to gather these tightly coiled, esoteric thoughts. Sheesh and a half.

Effort and grace. Well, I suppose if you’re someone simple, who has clear, worldly ambitions, it is very obvious. You set a goal, take steps toward it and simultaneously allow grace to weave like sweet breeze, threading its way inbetween your actions. You know, those “coincidences”… being in the right place at the right time, meeting someone who can hook a sistah (or a brothah) up, stumbling upon a book or some thing that magically furthers your efforts. Simple. Effort plus grace equals a life well lived. Right? But what if you are someone like me, who thinks way too much, picks her bones dry because nothing can satisfy this insatiable mind besides the Ultimate Truth? Every day I wonder what in this world is truly WORTH fighting for, sweating for, standing for… It’s kinda nice to be sharing a table with a mirror named Mykael. Here I am steeping in yearning. Yearning to get to the bottom of it all, yearning to be the Holiest me, yearning to See… and I gaze off into the wastelands between nowhere and somewhere, heavy with hope of finding something deeply true. Mykael finds my inwardly scrupulous eyes and mouths, “are you okay?”… And that’s when I realize that this wondering makes me feel sorta sad.

I’m sad because I wish I let life be so simple. I wish I could set my mind to something and then do your basic steamy tango with effort and grace until allofa sudden, SHA-ZAAM! There I am, intention fulfilled! But alas, I don’t trust my lopsided ego desires as far as they could throw me (and boy, can they throw me!). Those are the desires I could spend lifetimes ensnared in, toiling to bushwack my way to imagined happiness… only to feel weary and just as alone and afraid as I ever was. No, folks, the ONLY desire that means anything to me is the desire to find the light inside me and to hear the “still, small voice” (of APL) and be Its sacred bitch. I want to die to myself and be born solely as a messenger of the Highest. Hmmm, I guess that is as good a goal as any. I make effort. I receive grace.

Mykael asked me again if I am okay. I wonder what my face looks like!? My eyes do sting with tears now. WHY? Because waiting for the Ultimate Grace, the Grace that is Awakening, Self Realization takes SO MUCH PATIENCE!!!! So much patience. And there is evermore for me to Forgive. And in the meantime, this other life, this external, demanding survival game keeps happening. And I feel compelled to respond to it, or be fucked. And I know I could make MORE efforts to Realize. Meditate more. Drink more blasted wheat grass. Do more selfless service. Open my heart in more of those moments when my infantile, poopy diaper clad emotional self screams, demonically demands that I remain shut tighter than the tightest of sphincters. Open, then? If I did THAT, I’d pass go, collect hecka money and go straight to the Boardwalk just beyond Heaven’s gates!

Just as I wrote that came another violent table shaking spell. What is that sposta mean? I dunno. What’s it sposta mean that Mykael and split a huge artichoke for lunch yesterday and he took his bowl of gnawed on leaves to the green bin and dumped them and fixed to the bottom of his bowl was an artichoke stained quarter! God, I want it to mean SOMETHING! Something auspicious.

Auspicious~ 1) Promising success; propitious; opportune; favorable

2) favored by fortune; prosperous; fortunate

I would say that a quarter in an artichoke could easily be construed as auspicious, in that case… I bet we’ll find a Ben Franklin in our next artichoke.

Effort and grace? I return to the page every day. For the love of it. I sit here in the gloomy café, my elbows bleeding with grease and my mind dripping with artichokes, stained quarters, lofty concepts, impassioned words. Effort. You read my words and feel something rise, from deep inside your being. Illumination. Your place, nestled in your now moment becomes spontaneously vivified. Maybe you remember that life is equal parts amazing and weird. Maybe you remember that you are not alone… and your brokenness only exists so the light can seep in, and burst out. Seep in and burst out, seep in and burst out. This is grace. My writing ignites entire clusters of hungry, ticklish minds in a wild fire fashion. Publishers and agents beg to represent me as an author. Money pours to me as I continue to pour out these inspired, musing words. That is grace. I wish I could see my own face…

Whose Dharma is it, Anyway?

I am one self united with my creator.  Salvation comes with from my one self.

Once upon a time I traversed the streets of Paris.  I really did.  And a girl’s gotta wonder…  How do all those boulangeries stay in business?  I swear there are more boulangeries in Paris than there are stars in the sky, or atoms in your body.  But I am remembering one in particular.  It was nothing special… it just happened to be en route between my studio apartment to the nearest metro stop.  Don’t misinterpret… “nothing special” does not mean that I did not stop at nearly every crystal clean window to gaze upon the prim and proper little buttery masterpieces… I did.  I stopped to soul salivate at at least forty four percent of boulangerie windows.  I was tickled and spellbound by the vast diversity of combinations of refined flour, sugar and butter that were possible, and their supernatural seductive powers never ceased to cause me to involuntarily brake.  But this particular shop shone beyond the rest because of the maiden who held court behind the counter.  Was she ordinary?  I don’t know.  But she was perfect.  Perfect like a Parisian Barbie doll, except made of real flesh instead of the usual plastic.  The first time I saw her, I was captivated.  I stood outside, peering through the pristine window, watching her ambivalently serve from behind the veneer of an evocative, poised self.

Tall, slender and curvaceous, her thick black hair was piled neatly sexy in a perfect French twist.  I was perplexed by her choice of outfits.  She looked like she was a high profile secretary, way too fancy to be slinging greasy treats on the streets of Paris.  She wore a low cut, snug fitting cotton shirt, a solid colored, curve hugging skirt and stalkings.  Her cleavage full, reminiscent of perfectly ripe fruit, youth, a wellspring of feminity and sex.  A string of large, languidly luminous pearls hugged her warm olive, swanish neck.  Her make-up was relatively heavy… Especially her eyes which on their own were large, dark and heavy with hidden meaning.  She accentuated them in the way of feline stealth, with a thick black line running along the upper lid and lashes so weighted with mascara that it was a wonder she could keep her eyes open.  Perhaps they rested at half mast…  I stood absorbing her wondrous existence for a double scoop of infinite minutes.  I wanted to touch the pulse of her humanness.  I wanted to know the unique music of her soul, but she kept it so hidden beneath her façade of deliberate, explicit beauty.  I perceived barely a trace of her inner world.  She worked with an air of seriousness and regal sophistication.  Most days, she was there, and most days, my feet involuntarily stopped their feverish traversal of the novelty of Parisian streets to pay homage to this delicious, stoic anomaly of a woman.

This was about five years ago.  But she lives inside me, timelessly.  Strange, the things that leave impressions.  I wish I could BE her.  Not literally, of course.  I could never be as cool, expressionless, tidy.  I wish I dressed to kill for my plain-assed life.  I wish I took my normalcy to the outer limits.  Ordinary people.  We are all such ordinary people on some level… you know what I mean?  Even though we are extraordinary… there is something so ordinary about the human experience.  We all wake up in the morning and must live the day, thrust ever forward by the space time continuum.  We all thirst for love and acceptance.  I could go on and on, listing the ways that we are the same, but why?  Just feel it.  Feel the core of your own humanity, right now, and it will save me a few frivolous strings of words.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna, “Better to do your dharma poorly than someone else’s well.”  So obviously I can’t be her.  I woke up with especially heavy questions about my path this morning, and this enigmatic boulangerista rose to the surface of my relentlessly musing mind.  Why?  Because I want to take as much meticulous care as she did as I claim my seat in the world.  No matter WHO I am, WHAT my dharma is, I want to set my table beautifully, intentionally, every day.  Sometimes I fantasize about catching the midnight flight to Paris, buying a fancy string of fat pearls and landing a job in a boulangerie… but… I’m not her.  I wonder though… Whose dharma was she performing so extraordinarily, hers?  Or someone elses?  And if I did run away to Paris with my aforementioned string of pearls, would that be HER dharma, or mine?

Krishna?  Why did you so generously shower Arjuna with Divine council, and leave me here all alone in the windowed corner of Gaylord’s café to restlessly stew in lonesome musings?  Today I woke up drowning in the color blue… but somehow I got myself to the meditation cushion… hopeful that Grace would somehow conk me over the head with blissful silence… But alas, twenty something minutes of my ego-bound life spilled through time’s treacherous cracks in a flurry of roaring chaotic chatter, emotional strife and a generous pinch of despair.  Krishna?  Can you please speak up???  Jesus?  Could you please help a sistah out? (Out of dillusion, that is…)  Paramahansa Yogananda?  Would you toss a starving heart a blessed bone?  I’d really appreciate it.  When will I learn to be quiet enough to hear?  In A Course in Miracles recently, they said that spiritual realization is not something to casually attain…only to throw aside for the next achievement or acquisition… If we are relating to it as just another fresh assed, groovy thing to have, like a new Ipad (she said with a scornfully crinkled nose…) than forget about it.  If that’s the case, better just stick with the Ipad.  Awakening is not a frivolous endevor.  It is not just another casual possession to acquire and leave on the shelf to collect dust.  That is what harmoniums and typewriters and sewing machines are for!!!  I had a good laugh when that last thought lit down in my mind.   I wanted a harmonium SO BAD.  Now I have had one for almost a year and have played it all of three times.  I have had a dream of taking an old fashioned typewriter out into the world and being a poetic muse for the masses for YEARS, literally… Recently, one finally landed in my possession, and now I am terrified to take action and embrace that dream… Mykael just bought a sewing machine at a garage sale for fifteen bucks.  Of course I would love to learn to sew, but I can’t even pretend that I will, until I muster the courage to exercise my other two dream machines.   Once I DO, maybe THEN Krishna and Jesus, Yogananda and God will bother to speak up, flood my mind with revelatory light…

Cedar Waxwings, Ducks and More Carrots, Of Course!

I could have sworn that today was going to be an auspicious one.  First, when I was doing my kicking laps in the outdoor pool this morning, I heard a chorus of holy voices.  Immediately I knew the source of the song~ cedar waxwings, my most favorite bird.  (But let me set the record straight, I don’t use the term “favorite” as an absolute term, but only to serve as a vehicle conveying passion, enthusiasm, joy… that whole strain of shimmering feelings.)  Have you ever seen a cedar waxwing?  They always travel in flocks.  Big flocks.  They are not big birds, they are not especially small birds.  They are compact and sleek.  When I gaze upon them, I always feel like I am looking through a soft filtered lens~ you know, the kind they use in the movies when they want to illustrate that someone is falling in love?  The object of affection shows up so softened and glowing.  Cedar waxwings look like that without even needing the aid of Hollywood special effects!  Their feathers are modest shade of tawny earth.  On their cheeks they have a soft, circular spray of red, downy feathers, so that they are in perpetual blush!  They wear black feathered masks around their eyes like sexy, angelic love bandits.  They feast on berry bushes, while singing the praises of Heaven.  I don’t see them very often (though I do hear them pretty frequently.  Their voices are what birds would sound like if they purred!), so when I do, I know I am blessed.

Then, as I was getting out of the pool, a mallard couple landed gracefully on the surface of the warm, crystalline, chlorinated water.  I heard their slick landing as I walked, through the frigid, yawning air to the locker room.  Then I heard their goofy voices (Duck voices.  Is there anything sweeter???) announcing the presence of Love and I turned to prick posterity’s bubble, not believing what I heard.  Yes indeed, they paddled their beautiful, buoyant bodies along the lap lines and my heart tickled so bad it cracked open multiple times, like a whole nest full of duck eggs.  I heard myself shriek and squeal.

But now I feel lonely.  The ducks were a pair.  The cedar waxwings were a flock.  Athena is alone.  Café 504 is busy.  How do I know that I am lonely?  It’s this feeling in my heart.  A black hole comes to mind when I focus on the sensation.  This insatiable hole, from which sadness could ooze like an endless honey stream if I let it.  But maybe if I just allow it to be… maybe if I create a new story to surround the sensation.  Maybe it is a sensation of sacred vulnerability.  Maybe.  Maybe it is love.  Maybe it is not meant to be filled.  This must be what the banks of a raging river feel like.  I can just let this feeling pour through my shyly awakening heart.  It feels like raw desire.  Desire~ the reason that we keep casting our rods out into the future, hoping that a particular delicious, gracious, winged carrot will swim up and bite our line… and then this feeling of outrageous yearning will be quelled and real life will begin.

Real.

Life.

Will.

Begin.

I know I talk about this a lot, this illusion of future happiness… but I am determined to break on through to the other side.  I am determined to claim my home right here, right now, make my nest, stake my claim, own my throne.  Here.  Now.  Even with this ache in my heart and this auspicious, wishful fishing pole, perpetually on the hunt for carrots that swim with fishes.  Isn’t that a pretty image?  Inside my mind is a viscous substance, the offspring of the torrid affair between love and water.  Aqua-golden and warm as moonbeam jelly.  In it swim schools of slender, flaming orange carrots with iridescent scales and exotic, twinkling eyes.  Long, flowing fins that flow like silk scarves blowing in tropical breezes.  Who wouldn’t want to fish for carrots as beautiful as that?!?!  I bet when I finally find the heaven inside, I’ll see Jesus, Krishna and Saint Theresa chillin’ with forties (peeping out from crumpled brown paper sacs) on the end of a pier, dippin their holy poles into the viscous sea of love potion, waiting for a sacred carrot to bite their golden lines.

I have been setting the alarm on my phone to go off every hour, so that I can affirm today’s course in miracles lesson and sit in sacred silence for five minutes, inviting effulgence into the cracks between my habitual bondage thoughts.  While I was sitting in sacred invitation, my phone chimed with the revelatory news of a text message.  After five minutes of affirmation that “God, being Love, is also Happiness”, I saw that one of my most stellar (and long lost) friends, Amrita had texted me, informing me that she was in town for the day and would I like to meet up later!  I haven’t seen her in over a year.  So the cedar waxwings and the ducks did NOT lie after all!  Athena too shall be graced with auspicious company today!!!  When I am with Amrita, I feel like a shooting star.  Or maybe the ticklish blackness giggling uncontrollably as light whizzes anonymously through Her endless body of spacious something.

I said that I would tell you more about Glide Church.  But honestly, going to church is no more or less spiritual than any other experience that I have.  It is confounding to me how spirituality has become this compartmentalized, teensy patch within our glistening existence.  Or how bout those people who ardently declare, “I am not a spiritual person”?!?!  As if there is anything else to be!  I suppose this is another ingenious tactic used to bind our minds to illusion.  I am guilty.  I seem to be stuck to the concept that finding the light inside will be something that “happens to me… SOMEDAY”.  The quintessential Mother of all carrots!  How can it possibly be here now?  How can it be here now as I sit in this  moderately comfortable chair, my butt becoming flattened and stiff, my heart an empty frame hosting a vast, black hole and my mind relentlessly clawing for an understanding that saves my small fearful life, if even for a split second.

Don’t ask me how, but the Light is here, now.  Don’t ask me how, but this is IT.  There is nothing more.  No, wait, ask me.  Ask me how!!! Come on, ASK ME!!!  LOVE is how.  Mostly I hate when people tell me that.  Like my friend Dan.  He’s all bent on Love.  Like a holy obsession.  (As far as obsessions go, that one gets the thumbs up from nine point four out of ten angels… but only two out of eighty seven Popes, believe it or not)  And when love lives like an elusive concept far from available to me in any given steaming slice of Now, I feel desperate and frustrated.  LOVE?  Where?  All I feel is X, Y, Z…. What’s love got to do with THAT?  But I can feel it right now.  This feeling of brimming appreciation for all these divine dream creatures, blind as worms, wriggling about in our outrageous fantasy of separation.  Is it enough to just say YES to this feeling of reverence, this outpouring of sweetness?

Spiritual.  It does not have to be such a serious word.  Spiritual.  It is spiritual to breathe.  It is spiritual to ache.  It is spiritual to laugh, to cry, to yearn, to eat, and CERTAINLY to drink high quality cappuccinos(!!!) to pee and poop, to be a couch potato.  Ewwwe, I cringed as I wrote that last one.  I am not a fan of couch potatoes.  But you know what?  Who cares?  What I am fond of does not equate to what is spiritual.  Even the couch potatoes will eventually re-member this MAGNIFICENT light.

AMEN.

Relationship, the Inner Critic’s Reign of Terror and a Visit From Jim Morrison

God is really trying to test me today.  I got to café 504 and they are playing disco music pumped up to exorbitantly high volumes. Is it the Bee Gees?  Maybe.  All I know is that the base is bouncing me like I’m a fussy infant, which ironically is making me feel like I’m a fussy infant.  I feel a lot of pressure to say cool stuff today, because yesterday I came to the café and wrote, but was not nearly brilliant enough.  My thoughts just never coalesced into much beyond dirty pond water.  So today I have to prove myself, or else I am not a writer.  Do you believe I think like this?  Cruel and almost unusual… Except that it is usual.  This is the kind of unconscious pressure I live under in every waking moment.  Do you think that’s why I’m so tired all the time?  I bet.

God, I have a bone to pick with you… Lately you have been sending your muses to fill my mind with excruciatingly brilliant ideas for writing topics at the most heinous moments.  Little gemish sentences flutter through my mind when I am trying to sleep and my linguistic butterfly net is more than hidden in the thick folds of nocturnality.  Why do you do this to me?  And then I come to the café, hoping that all these dazzling, winged strings of English will reappear the instant I call upon them, but instead you fill my head with whiny disco, a superficially bassy beat that could only be a result of black market “roids”…and I am left to fend for myself.  Well, God, I just want you to know, that this scenario is NOT ideal for me… but God?  I also want you to know that I’m gonna roll up my sleeves and muscle through it.  I don’t need your tattered, greasy “magic feathers”… No way, dude.  I can do this by myself.

Okay, that was my inner teenager, rearing her pimply, confused head.  Thank you Dear One.  Now, the truth is that I may be able to live life all by myself, write cool shit in a state of divine renunciation, but yuck!!!  Who wants to do that?  I want every single word that sprays across this virgin page to be graced by some kind of Love that would knock the socks off of socks themselves.  If it is not from love, for love, by love then why bother?  I wish they had taught me that in school.  No, not bible study class.  Don’t try to label me a god fearing Christian, just because I have a proclivity for holy names.  Jesus Christ.  School.   You know, garden variety, limping and broken, public assed, free education…

My foot tickles. (Strictly for the record…) I have been feeling the seven year itch with M.  We haven’t even made it to two years yet.  And I’ve been making ready to quit him.  But then I keep coming back to the unrelenting question which auspiciously haunts my mind.  Am I just meeting my own edge and choosing to collapse out of habit?  M has been helping me illuminate this vicious critic in me.  Yes, that would be the very same one who tries to prevent me from writing by leading me to believe that if I don’t do it perfect, than I oughtn’t even bother doing it at all.  So who am I to think that I’ll EVER be in a relationship with a man who is exempt from this merciless, fault finding beast who lives in my wounded mind?  There IS no such a man.  (I would probably even scrutinize the large pores on Jesus Christ’s nose, or become repulsed by Krishna’s luminous, blue skin over time…)

I sure have created M to be hella faulty though… Why?  Why is it so much easier for me to exist in the problems, when perfection sings out unabashedly glorious from beneath every footstep?  No, I’m not just being poetic.  Life is so generous with me.  Love blooms inside me, regardless of the season.  Not Hollywood love.  Maybe that’s the problem.  No, Athena, the “problem” is your addiction to problems.  A Course In Miracles teaches that the O-N-L-Y problem there IS, is the problem of “separation”, which is already solved, because it was an illusion in the first place.  Wow.  I know we all “know” this… It is beyond IN to preach about how separation is an illusion, right?  But have you ever just been sitting at the café, or parading your cart about the grocery store, and dared to actually look around you, feel around you and do your darnedest to just surrender into oneness?  Hmmm, doing your darnedest and surrendering seem kinda antithetical… On your marks, set, SURRENDER!!!  I said SURRENDER, damn it!!!  Then her face twisted into a soft, modest grin.  A grin that actually smoldered like a dying fire, but still it gave off plenty of heat to thaw the hearts of cynics.

Well I am sitting here imagining oneness as I scan the scene, abounding with a colorful bouquet of “others” and “things”.  It feels awkward, given all my habitual ways of perceiving “others” and “things” outside me.  But yet there is something that tingles with shy unity.  It sorta tickles like they’re all in me… Is this far fetched or overtly obvious?  Flip a coin, if you ask me…

Back to my edges in relationship.  I am waking up from this dream of co-dependence.  But then it feels so familiar and comfy that I don’t really WANT to wake up.  But then I do.  But then I don’t.  But then I DO… confusing, eh?  Totally.  All of these voices inside me, vying for the driver’s seat.  The warrioress rises to command at the surface of my mind.   She is intolerant of my stuckness, (and has a proclivity for blaming external circumstances and people I portend to love) intolerant of my habits of closure, hiding, playing small.  Her less than gracious response it to knock over tables and pillage the ancient villages built with bricks of dense repetition and plastered with calcified thought forms.  She is a revolutionary at all cost… unfortunately, though, her head is still stuck up her egoic ass hole more often than she cares to admit, which doesn’t always  make her the most trustable leader.  Then there’s the father, who is constantly scrutinizing all my actions and thoughts and telling me that I could be doing better and more and better and more and better and more.  And the child who is always just a little too empty and needs a bit more… more of anything, you name it, but at the end of the day, if you’re keeping score, it all simmers down to Love, doesn’t it?

What’s the point of all of this nattering?  The point is very clear.  There is only ONE solution to all of theses neurotic problems!!!  I MUST THROW MYSELF AT ERIC*’S FEET AND BEG HIM TO TAKE ME BACK!!!!!  Just kidding!  Did I trick you?  Even for a second?!  Sometimes that’s all I have is the ability to poke fun at my severely limping humanness.  Honestly, I do think that from time to time…to time.  That if I was back with Eric*, I would be happier.  More at peace and there would be hope that one day, I might be blessed with a single, tantalizing taste of fulfillment.  But no.  It’s find the light inside me or BUST.  And not just one, single bust, like bust and be done with it… no, it’d be like bust and bust and bust some MO’.  Maybe they call that “combustion”.  Bust until the day I die.  Bust until this illusory body is beyond exhausted from racing manically about on the hamsterish wheel of samsara.  I know it’s playing the odds, to hope for liberation anytime soon… but what is the alternative?  An unfulfilling, abuse ridden marriage to insanity.

My old landlord once told me that Jim Morrison often wore the same outfit for weeks at a time.  That was very healing for me to hear, because I only have one hoodie and I wear it every day…  Is it because I’m too poor to buy another?  Or is it because I hate shopping?  Laziness?  Unworthiness?  Could be all of those… or it could just be because I am a careless rock star at heart.  Sometimes (often) I wake up and put on the very same clothes that I peeled off and threw on my floor the night before.  Now, once upon a time that was a wholly unattractive behavior… but thanks to Jim Morrison, now it is rebel-hip and careless-creative.  You wouldn’t understand unless you were a *real* artist.  Grin.  Maybe… Maybe not.  But like I said, it’s healing for me to consider this.

Now for a quick update on the orgasm front~ It is strange… I have met so many edges and instead of spilling over them, I just hang out, like a leisurely Parisian, strolling thru the Jardin Luxumbourg on a Sunday.  Have you seen the Parisian contingency in the jardins on Sunday?  They might just sit, dressed in Sunday best, quietly drinking in the spring sunlight as it pours with passive passion on their native French faces all morning.  MAYBE they’ll read the paper.  So that’s how I have been meandering through sexual ecstasy these days.  It’s not half bad… though I do miss cumming.  Another trick I use to keep from spilling over the edge of the pounding waterfall is when I feel that “ohmigodd shoot here it cums” feeling… I totally relax.  Then I put my attention on the physical location of my heart, and naturally, the energy rises.  Jeepers, who knew it was that simple?!