To Simply Be Here

Guess WHAT???  I could write ANYthing right now!  How wild is that?!  I mean an infinite well of possibility is at my disposal in this very moment… and yet… I will pare down infinity to something very specific and hopefully beautiful, inspiring and/or thought provoking.  What a divine responsibility!  And we share it, you silly earthling!  Every moment that we open our mouths and let our thoughts fly free as supercharged sonic vibrations, we alter the entire cosmos.  Don’t ask me… that’s just the way it is.  But I sure don’t see us humans living in a state of reverence for this weighty gift.  Nobody taught us to.  We learn to speak and soon our mouths flap and pop and click like there’s no tomorrow, painting the world with careless, linguistic barf.  Makes me think of the hallowed Buckminster Fuller, inventor of cool shit like the geodesic dome.  He shut the fuck up for literally years, because he didn’t want to speak until he was truly moved to.  And when he finally did, you can bet your fancy-assed britches that he spoke as an ambassador of the All Pervading Holy Headmistress.  (Listen, we are ALL ambassadors of the All Pervasive Exclamation Point… We just don’t act like it often enough.)

I am at Pizzaiolo today.  It’s been like a week… I’m sorta glad to be back.  Though writing in bed is pretty sweet compared to this hard, wooden bench.  But the best thing about being here is that on Monday mornings, the flower arranger is here designing her signature over-the-top bouquets of creative genius.  I just gave her a good, long look.  She shines like a true artist in the biblical sense.  I can see the creative impulse smoldering in her gorgeous face.  Her arrangements are more like little ingeniously flowering trees!  Today’s arrangements are being fashioned from immense tree branches that reach the ceiling.  But she takes hours to complete her works of art, so who knows what kind of magic will burst from these trees as they ripen into the gradual fullness of their expression… All I know is that they will defy traditional “flower arranging” for the betterment of [wonder] woman kind.

Speaking of Wonder Woman, sheeesh did I want to have a drink or a smoke or a SOMETHING yesterday.  I did NOT want to feel what I was feeling.  What was I feeling that was so undesirable?  Hmmm… well, if I had to name it… I guess it was the kind of bereft loneliness that seeps right beneath your clothes, through even your skin, bones, and straight into the soul of your soul.  Shrug.  I guess that kind of loneliness is “good”.  I mean it puts hair on the chest.  Spiritual hair.  The kind of hair that’s like God’s badge of honor. (Not to mention, a crucial source of warmth.)  I can’t help but think I was feeling beyond myself and clear into the heart of the world, on behalf of the Team.  When my emotions are so immense and indefinable… it only makes sense.  Especially given the vast numbers of people who are NOT willing to feel all that stuff… it’s gotta go somewhere, right?

I’ve said it before, but this phase of the spiritual path is fuckin’ tough.  It’s the phase where I realize that noting of this world can truly fulfill me, and yet I’m still digging through my wickedly massive, larger than life sized purse to find my all access, VIP pass to the Here and Now version of Heaven.  I know I’ve talked about this before, because I remember having the epiphany that this state is actually purgatory in the biblical-est sense.  But as I sit here in wait, I know that my ascent to Heaven is inevitable… it’s just a matter of WHEN.  And hell is but a very compelling figment of our twisty, collective imagination of a world divided and stripped of Love.

In the past, I would have slugged a glass of wine and been fine enough.  I would’ve hit the pipe and been feeling right in no time.  Or at least had a sweet, creamy treat and then distracted myself by riding the Ferris wheel of guilt, self judgment and spot hitting temporary relief.  But… I’m done with that.  At least for now.  As my spirit guides shouted to me through Amy, THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS TO LOVE!!!!  There aren’t.  They are right.  And I am so over pretending otherwise.  So instead I dragged my teary ass out into the perfectly warm evening for a wander through the Piedmont Cemetery.

For those of you who don’t know, the cemetery is one of the most magical places I know.  I have unicorn sightings there on a semi-regular basis.  It is an immense world, much like what I imagine many people’s rendition of Eternity actually does look like.  Green rolling hills that reach increasingly higher, until they spill out into a view of the entire bay area.  The diversity of trees is mind boggling.  Seriously, I bet every single tree that can grow in the state of California (which encompasses most tress) is planted in this enchanted land.  And the tomb stones are so wicky-wicky artistic, ranging from the most basic granite lumps, to ornate mausoleums, to beautifully tortured, pensive stone angels.  Stone angels.  Honestly, what could be more poetic?

The gates were locked early yesterday, so I hoped the stone wall.  A man in a bright orange shirt saw me and was inspired to follow suit.  I wandered along the path, secretly hoping he was behind me.  I felt compelled to talk to him.  Shrug.  Couldn’t tell you why… I turned around.  He was there.  We struck up a conversation.   I told him that I was feeling the sorrow of the entire world and I was choosing not to self medicate.  He expressed his own strain of soulful loneliness.  We walked and talked in the most straight, unabashed fashion.  And then we parted ways.  He sat on the edge of the hill and drank in the warm, spacious world.  I climbed higher up the hill, wondering where I was headed.  Until, that is, I spotted the perfect tree, who literally beckoned me.  I sat underneath her and opened wide to the quietly breathing soft chaos of the Bay Area.  Lucid blues, humming greens and a whispering sea of liquid gold, kissed by otherworldly mist.

Then I shut my eyes on all of this resplendent, over the top beauty, knowing that I am on an unstoppable mission to discover the very Mother of all this visually accessible beauty.  A beauty that can only be discovered “the hard way”… you know, by being willing to dive deep beneath the seen, tasted, smelled, heard, felt world of the senses.  A beauty that lives in the heart of the heart of the heart of the All Pervading Heart.  Yeah.  I meditated until the sun was just about to hide its flaming face for the night.  In awe, I watched it sink into oblivion, decimated by modest, silhouetted mountain peaks.   I almost tasted peace… perched alone at the top of the world, straddling that grandiose paradox of utter aloneness and implicit connection to all life.  I remember being lulled by the heavy whispering swish of a raven’s wings on the air.  I remember being stung by the profundity of One set of footsteps, attesting a blessed yes to their very existence.  I remember the silent demand from some-invisible-where to be willing to simply be here.  To simply be here.

Amen.

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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.

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