Destiny’s Harsh Hand…

It’s been a month since I’ve decanted myself here in Athena Graceland.  It’s five fourteen am. I feel afraid to write because an impressive posse of shadows are running amuck inside me, and I feel like barfing all over this pristine white space.  I feel extra vulnerable lately, like I’ve lost my skin. I’m not in the mood to be judged, or offered your shiny three cents… I almost hid out in my journal instead…

 

But then I realized that this chapter in my unfolding consciousness is essential, and if I don’t publish it here, the story of my Life will contain an insurmountable, irreconcilable gap.  I can’t live with that.

 

Writing and Orgasm.  I can see how they are two faces of the same wild goddess.  Both are eating away at my insides these days as I wander the dark labyrinth of early motherhood in a foreign country with a husband who I only see in the thick witching hours.  With both of these essential expressions of my innermost self imprisoned within me, I am jagged and dangerous. Tiny, winged demons proliferate within the folds of my calloused heart and tense body.  They wait on my tongue to leap out and attack when I speak.  

 

I shouldn’t write that!  So BAD to use my sacred gift of language to declare such warped nonsense.  Sigh. Maybe I should allow my crackling fingers to invoke purity and elevated consciousness.  But then my honesty will be suffocated by the blanket of contrived positivity… and for what? I trust myself to find my way out of this dark maze, through the power of literary alchemy.  One honest though artistically persuaded word at a time. Follow the electric rainbow brick road…

 

Actually, allow me to take a moment and announce a fantastic and certain revelation:

 

It WILL still be there when I get back!!!  Ohhhhh yesss….. 

 

Upon deeper contemplation, I have mined the inevitablity of this.  I AM that I AM. I might be walking a strange and haunted road… a road that I do not understand, and am having difficulty metabolizing… A road that requires layer upon layer of compassion and forgiveness and surrender.  But the psychedelic flame in me will never extinguish. This flame… is the “IT” that I cherish.  

 

Whoa, I just had a flash of a dream from before I awoke.  My home was not really mine… somebody moved in, and brought all their stuff, including a little dog.  I felt angry and resentful. I went into my living room and it was FULL of christmas trees and other holy-day decor.  Someone had slipped in when I was not home, and adorned it. It was lovely… and yet I felt violated. Somehow all this makes complete sense inside me…

 

Yesterday was the first sunny day in… some semblance of forever.  The greyness has been stroking my soul in washes of dull hopelessness.  Serena awoke with fever. But there was no way I could stay inside with this seductive lucidity beaming just beyond my dirty, aged windows… 

 

So I resurrected the stroller that has been folded up and aslumber in front of our house since late spring, when my belly was big and it became too difficult to breathe as I climbed the sort of busy country road beyond my driveway.  When I opened the stroller, it was a teeming jungle of bugs, spiders and even a colony of maggoty looking creatures. But I was unstoppable. I shooed them all away, fastened Serena in, Forest in the ergo, and pushed my impressive load up the broken, mildly trafficy road.  

 

I said “buon giorno” to all the yappy dogs on the route with a high-pitched, chipper, sweet voice.  This quieted them quickly. I realized that dogs, like people, have strange ways of asking for love sometimes.

 

Serena was unusually quiet, which was nice, because mostly when we take walks, she demands that I tell her the same stories over and over again… For the longest time it was the Three Little Pigs.  But these days it is a melange of Finding Nemo, Annie and most recently Moana. (I just bought her the dvd of Moana, because as far as Disney movies go, it is the only one I can tolerate watching too many times to count.)

 

Once I got off the main road, my thoughts softened and ran lightly about the distant, colour-stained rolling hills, leapt about in crisp piles of earthed autumn leaves.  I drank the cool, clean air, became impregnated with bright empty space.

 

It’s always a challenge for me to make friends with Autumn… even though she is a knock-out.  She rouses my unconscious fear of death… Yet her evocative, poetic majesty is undeniable. Breath-giving.  Massive oak trees brushing their brown and yellow leafy crowns against a pristine wash of blue infinity. The Voice Inside whispered to attune to the formless space between…  I breathed it deep, asking for guidance.

 

Why does it mostly seem so difficult to see… this Path that is never not right before my eyes and in my very bones…?  Doors that won’t open, no matter how hard I hurl my desperate body against them… and meanwhile I’m slowish-quick slip-sliding up a twisty hill that could be construed as a goddamn mountain.

 

But I want different.  I am aching for a break from this Italy life.  This married life. Married to a sincere, caring man, from whom I am unable to receive the sustaining nutrients of intimacy.  After sixteen months, the relational deficiencies are starting to weaken me. I need to tap out long enough to replenish. Wrap this tremulous, sweating body of chiseled spiritual muscles in sensuous silk and sip electric pink gatorade held to my lips by a proud, encouraging coach.  Let the heaving in my chest subside as electrolytes whizz and sing through my stillness.  


California…. Give me your elusive, mythic hand.  Pull me close to your ocean, desert, forested, urban, mountainous body.  Let me luxuriate in your free libraries, abounding with BOOKS IN ENGLISH, let me drink from your endless stream of effervescent kombucha, feed me sumptuous nibbles of your raw chocolate laced with maca and reishi mushrooms… Drench me in friendship, deep, soulful conversations, quality time and support.  

 

If me and Serena had visas, and Forest a passport, I would be on a plane yesterday.  But life has filled my pants with boulders and it is hard to move, which I know is part of the Divine Plan… but still I want to spit on it.  I am weary and worn.

 

Giordano is growing.  I don’t need to leave him.  And yet, I am starving. I need to feed myself.  Loving him is like living on spaghetti and pizza.  After a while, this body needs some damn vegetables.  

 

There is so much more to say… the dawning sky is grey… but the wild rainbow flame within blazes now that I have poured myself forth upon the page.  May it light my way through this dark, craggy wilderness which Destiny’s harsh hand is leading me.  

Violet Flames of Longing

I wish it was raining. I think it would make my writing better. You know, to be nestled in a cozy pocket of dim light and warmth, as wet music sang down and sweet, crisp darkness rushed in through my cracked-open window. It creates a mood that opens entire panoramas of inspiration and longing inside me. Plus, every now and again the large wind chime would add her deep, haunting voice to the evocative, improvisational chorus. But unfortunately, no more rain predicted for nearly a week! Frown. I didn’t think I’d crave it like I do. I thought I’d suffer from “seasonal affect disorder”, or whatever you call that silly diagnosis for people who thrive in light. But I wasn’t accounting for the vast, creative music of incessant storms. Or the ecstatic, erotic feel of the wet air flushing into my thirsting lungs… or the way the deep, dark grey tones of the sky would titillate every nuance of green to speak in stunning tongues. I am only recognizing it retrospectively, but growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I have missed the experience of REAL seasons. They actually provide this rhythmic relief that feels so essentially linked to all of the rhythms of the universe within and without. Leave perpetual spring to the cake-worshipping Pollyannas of the world.

Wow. I’m amazed that I could get lost in such an extensive paragraph discussing the weather. Usually, I am a bit cynical of those who rely on discussing the weather as their primary vehicle for connection. Like, of all the topics in this vast multiverse, why be so unimaginative?… but I am seeing that even the weather can be discussed with artistry and nutrient-dense content. In fact, that’s my challenge to you! Next time you find yourself inadvertently sucked into a conversation of this nature, I dare you to take the wheel and drive it to unprecedented levels of creative genius and poetical inspiration! Just because you CAN!

When I first landed here at Ananda Laurelwood, people would ask me how long I was staying. My instant reply, “Nine weeks and three days.” You see, I had counted it out in my day planner before I left… as I found myself wondering how in heaven’s name I’d be able to survive that long without Ed. We have not been apart that long since we met, almost two years ago. (Is that ALL??? God, so much life can happen in two years! Good lord!) Until this current separation, our record was the six weeks I spent at the Momshram this summer when I did yoga teacher training there. That was hard. Now I’ve been here for four weeks and one day. Yep, that means I have five weeks and two days left. I know, I sound sorta neurotic. But if you’ve ever had the luscious experience of being so close to someone… and your whole body simultaneously relaxes and melts, surges and swells with peace and passion and swirls of dynamic contentment… then you’ll understand. And if not, take my “world” for it, (that was a typo, but I like it!) it’s not something that’s easy to walk away from.

But the pain of loving a tangled up, married man IS. So I did. And every day, I feel like a zealous puppy, tied to a pole, dancing about in the undeniable tugs of desire and longing, and meanwhile getting hopelessly tangled. Wondering WHERE ON EARTH HAS MY MASTER GONE?? To translate that metaphor into plain english, it’s like this: I want to be with Ed like crazy. And when I say “be with him, I mean stand behind him while he does the dishes, pressing my (PREGNANT) body lovingly into his, reaching under his plain old t-shirt 😉 and squeezing his belly squish and caressing his massive heart… Sitting on his big, comfy lap and feeding him intentionally crafted bites of vibrant, rainbow-colored salads and organic meat… Or even just peeking out the window at him as he purposefully pushes the lawn mower… or bring him a cup of coffee and a kiss as he scrupulously dissects a gun in his man cave. Oh, the romance of that which is not so… sigh.

I know… I “should” be talking about the world I’m IN… there’s so much intricate grace and nuanced wonder and gorgeously flawed perfection all around me. But part of the world I’m in is that tangled leash that is my mind and heart clawing for a world that burns to be born. And it’s not just Ed I long for. It’s Alexandria too. Our daughter. She told me her name in a dream. Like the lighthouse. My longing to LOVE this extraordinary, luminous treasure of a soul into the world is like living every day in scorching, violet-gold flames. They rise from the bottom of my being and dance up in incessant swells that often consume my consciousness. And hence, inevitably, comes the ensuing mind-fuck of trying to figure out how to claw my way out of this hap-hazard scramble of reality, into the waking dream scene where I am gloriously pregnant in my sacred, cushy nest beside my King… it’s like some kamikaze rubix cube that the more I try to untwist, the more cryptic it becomes! These swells of longing and fixation gather like ocean waves of desire that surge and crash, humbling me back into the simplicity and perfection of each arduous and glorious moment of life.

At sunday service, Daiva told us that if we turn and face our lives without trying to change or manipulate circumstances and other people, we will realize that it is the sublime intelligence of God at work, conspiring for our inner freedom, perfect peace and ever-new joy. I know this to be true, in the silent Isness, that witnesses my unfurling life like a perfectly soft, all-embracing blanket of mother love. Somehow I AM living the right life! Even though it wobbles and it wants and it whimpers. Umm, actually, Athena, your LIFE does *not* whimper… YOU do. But you don’t have to… It’s a choice. Sigh. All I know, is that life feels mostly like a strenuous uphill climb. Like Olympic strength training that might not “make sense” in the sobering sting of the moment… but perhaps someday when I burst forth from my cacoon of destiny, and spread my heaven-spun, vivid wings, it will ALL MAKE SENSE.

Maybe. Or maybe only LOVING makes sense… Yeah. That might actually be the case. But somehow, we must live it all. Loving it all is optional. But probably a smart choice.

Om. Peace. Amen.

Please Come In…!!!

Warning: My mind and emotions are *especially* rambunctious today.  Enter Athena Graceland at your own risk.

 

No!!!!  Waaaait… PLEASE COME IN.  I yearn to be witnessed.  And unconditionally accepted.  I want you to be with me.  As I am.

 

I hafta laugh, because what just came through is such a quintessential part of my me-ness.  And I would be so bold as to imagine it may be familiar to YOU and your you-ness, too.  The part of me who pretends she is indifferent.  Like, “I don’t need  you.  I’m cool.  Whatever.  Stay or go… it’s up to you…”  But really, inside, I’m screaming, “DON’T GO!!!!!!!  LOVE ME!!!!!!  HOLD ME!!!!!”

 

That’s real.  I want to feel connected and accepted.  I want to be heard, and I want to make a difference.  Just for being so fully, unapologetically ME.

 

Ahhhh… Now that we’ve got THAT out of the way… I can tell you that I’m at the Momshram.  And for those of you who don’t know what that is, allow me to illuminate with a simple, mathematical equation:  Mom + ashram = Momshram.  My mom lives in a spiritual community, over the river and through the woods.

 

Pbthhhhhtt!!!!  That was the Athena Graceland back-up accompaniment- the distant tremulous croon of a whoopee cushion.  Actually, now that I mention it, the orchestra of life is blaring right now!  I am sitting at a  shaded table on the moist, lush lawn outside Master’s Market.  And the surrounding area is littered with children and the myriad voices of lusty birds.  If I wasn’t having so many intense feelings, I’d certainly be drunker than thou on springtime!!  Ten twenty five am, and even in the shade, I’m perfectly warm.  The especially kind voices of spiritually persuaded children warm my heart as a cool breeze whispers compassionate and generous about my bare arms. I am drowning the stereophonic vivacity of all these young whipper-snappers with harp music… It smooths out the jagged edged intensity of their unfiltered expression.  Binds the moment into sonic smear of subdued, diverse perfection, that allows me to focus and relax into the invocation of this new-born world within a world that is the world of Athena Graceland… much like eggs bind the ingredients of a cake, such that it RISES UP in sweet, moist perfection when exposed to the alchemy born of intense heat.

 

I take it back.  I’m not having intense feelings anymore.  I have finally arrived in the perfect peace of this moment.  I wish you were here with me.  It is really quite extraordinary.  In the most ordinary sense of the word.  I often blink awake for a split second and realize just how much time and energy I spend trying to “get somewhere”… somewhere “better”… Namely the version of reality where I am thriving in my full throttle creative expression, living in my own sweet, spacious, light penthouse apartment overlooking lake merritt, on my own terms.  The rendition of reality where I am free to be with Ed as we wish, without the consideration of his *other life*.  And God… my heart and body long to have a child… (and don’t bother telling me that having a baby is a *huge* responsibility and I will basically be handing my life over to an unrelenting stream of selfless service.  I know that.  It’s not an intellectual desire.  So as much as I try to reason with myself… it doesn’t change the depth of my longing in my heart and body.)

 

Patience, Athena.

 

Desire… it’s such a beautiful beast.  And a powerful force to become deeply intimate with.  She is why we are here.  And She can either be a source of raw power, or perpetual discord and disappointment.  Do you see what I’m saying?  If we allow ourselves to be tossed about by Her like sorry little bitches, we will suffer.  But if we can cultivate deep presence and openness, we can know Her in a way that informs and empowers every single moment of this spiritual mind-fuck we call Life.

 

Desire will never cease.  I will not necessarily be any happier when I find myself suddenly living within the sensuous textures and shades of my unborn dreams.  No… the peace, the joy, the profound love that I seek at the heart of all my wishes has nothing to do with circumstance or shifting sands.  They are a world unto themselves.  Eternal and unbroken by the illusions I project upon the vast canvas of time and space.

 

Wow!  Suddenly, I smell the bright, evocative essence of oranges.  Sweet, tart, fresh… drifting on the breeze, invisibly pressing into my senses, causing my mouth to flood with juice.  How do I open even *more* fully to this quietly sensuous heaven I am currently perched in?  That is a question worth living inside of, if you ask me.  And ultimately, it all comes down to breath. Inviting the breath to wash tidally, all the way into and through me, to the very bottom of my belly.  And softening.  Relaxing my jaw, my face, my shoulders, my belly.  Receiving this beautiful moment and all of the nuanced textures of nourishment it has to offer.  I WANT IT!!!!  I want to invite heaven here.  By just allowing it.

 

This is why I meditate.  Because I am determined to discover heaven INSIDE me.  And not *just* on warm spring days drenched in harp music and orange slices, children at play and birds singing rapturous praises of new life.

 

Athena Grace LMNOP on meditation: There are is such a daunting plethora of ideologies on the purpose and practice of meditation.  But the more I give myself to my daily practice, the more my own motivations, the understanding of the WHY and the HOW dawn within me.   Morning meditation has become an essential respite for me.  It is the most sacred and essential half an hour of my day, because it is a time when I have officially declared that NOTHING that I think means ANYTHING.  That’s huge.  Because for the other twenty three and a half hours, I am mostly perpetually tempted to invest my faith this alluring, vivid wash of dualistic hocus pocus.  But sitting erect, before my altar, I simply keep returning to breath and praying for Grace to inundate my mind and carry me the rest of the way Home (Home = integrated embodied realization of the Truth that ALL IS LOVE)  I used to feel pretty discouraged by the incessant noise in my mind, the thick, sticky veil of maya.  But then I heard an angel whisper in my ear that we don’t call it “Amazing Grace” for naught.  We do OUR part- showing up, being available.  And in the perfection of divinely ordained time, Grace will do HER part and carry us the rest of the way.  It is inevitable.

 

LIVE,

A