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

 

 

 

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The Past: Letting Go Into Unconditional Love

I was cleaning out my closet yesterday afternoon, because I have an aversion to needless “stuff”, and I came upon the scrapbook that my ex-fiance and I compiled over the course of our five years together.  Five years… once upon a time, that seemed like a lot.  But now… well, it’s been five years since we broke up.  Almost exactly five years.  I know, because yesterday, when I opened our scrapbook, I discovered a flattened package of “vanilla-neem” ayurvedic soap, next to which, my sloppy, pink, hand-written caption stated that it was the last box of soap Eric and I shared before we separated!  The date was May fifth, 2008.  I was sublimely tickled by my slanted sentimentality.

 

My intention was to toss the heavy, oversized book (that we stumbled upon at Thrift Town, back in the day), artistically plastered with the past into the trash.  Because why would I haul that around?  Truthfully, I felt crushed a coupla years ago when Eric told me he was gonna trash our Cuba photo album.  And *beyond* crushed when he refused to reach out and take my hand when I proposed continued friendship last year.  In fact, here is an excerpt from the last email he sent me in the fall:

 

“If I have a protective shell up between you and I, it is there for good reason.  For my reasons.  And you are not inside my shell.  You will not be inside my shell again.  It is my place.  For me.  And more and more for Erin.  I don’t say this to try and hurt you, though I can imagine it does hurt.  I only want to be clear on where I am.  And I want you to understand that as well.  If we are to be friends, we must come together from this moment and not from the past.  I feel that you are still loving me from the past.”

 

THE PAST.

 

The past… And here I sit, on this first day of may, twenty thirteen, trying to grasp what it is to let go of the past.  I’d like to think I’m a pretty skilled little bodhisattva, fashionably perched upon the illumined throne of holy nowness… but then… why can I not bring myself to toss this large, heavy book full of countless expressions of our shared love and life?

 

And in service to getting naked upon the page, I must say that it stung me to read that he felt that I was still loving him from the past.  Probably because he’s right.  But god, it bruises my lousy pride to consider that my loving is so remedial that it is founded in the long-dissolved and glorified dream of days now dead and gone.  When I read those words for the second time, I took a long wonder… How DO I love him from the PRESENT?  And I was sad to realize that the answer was simply to hear him.  And accept his desire for space.  So I have been.  But truthfully, I still have more forgiving to do… because I can feel this *subtle* bitter twinge of self-righteousness swirl inside me when I think of him.  Like he’s WRONG and FOOLISH for rejecting my invitation into proactively evolving our love and connection.  I must admit, it really does seem that way.  I mean, I’m ATHENA GRACE LMNOP, for Jesus’s sake!!!  And I love like a heavyweight champ.  Who WOULDN’T want to hit this heart???

 

Eric.  That’s who.  And I have the opportunity to deepen my practice of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.  Ya see?  It’s conditional love if I am waiting for him to want to be my friend.   It’s conditional love if I find fault in his desire for space.  It’s conditional love if I cast myself as the enlightened one, for wanting to stay connected, while casting him as the stingy jerk for choosing to live his life without me in it.  Sigh… I guess I’M the stingy jerk for feeling so perpetually tempted to find fault in his choices.

 

But I spose I oughtn’t shoot the messenger.  People stream through our lives to teach us so many shades of lesson.  I mean, if I was busy white-knuckle grasping the perfect picture of how it is SUPPOSED to be with Eric at this point… then I wouldn’t be available to this profound opportunity to explore what it is to love someone unconditionally; or to fully release the past.  Honestly, these are skills I would REALLY love to master.  I’m looking now at ALL my relationships… yes, every single one… and seeing how easy it is to “love” from memory.  Like Ed and I shared some glorious time together yesterday… and that most recent emotional impression informs how my heart feels about him today.  And my Ma… we have shared so much laughter.  And she is so generous in her practice of accepting me no matter what I choose in my life.  Or even Anitra, who I HAVEN’T connected with in a while… and began to imagine that she STOPPED loving me (AS IF!)… But…

 

All of that is a glorified bushel of shriveled yesterdays, at this point.  How do we do it?  How does one courageously toss every glimmering shell of yesterday into the transformative fires of forgiveness and simply LOVE… without limit; without “reason”?

 

I ask…

 

And then I sit in contemplative quiet… I feel my heart swell and shine with intimate warmth.  My heart says it is very simple.  Too simple.  My heart says I AM love.  Not love the concept.  Love, the radiant, eternal, indwelling presence.  It is my mind who complicates this undeniable, unwavering truth.  So ya know what I’m gonna do?  I’m gonna keep meditating every day.  Sitting and sinking deeper into Silence.  And letting that quiet place teach me; inform my choices and my movement through this seductive river of dream images.  Yes!  I’m signing up for a permanent subscription to simplicity.  Not that this will obliterate the complexity and chaos of the world… But it doesn’t need to.  Nah… it’s just a sweet sanctuary to nestle into from time to time, as I haul my fat, gravitationally challenged ass up the endless summits of this human life.

 

Live,

A

 

The Rapturous March Of A Single Saint Thru The Mind Of Athena Grace

All the good seats are taken.  Flies are soaring gaily about, adding an air of third world grime to the dark ambiance of Gaylords Cafe.  The sky is neither committed to grey, nor blue.  I’m pressing right up against my resistance to settling into my linguistic flow.  My mind is a meaningless swirl of random thoughts, sorta like a “suicide” slurpy at seven eleven.  You know, all six hideous flavors mixed together to create a cup of sweet, frozen, black, sludgy death.  Given that, which of these individuated specimens of mind debris shall I harvest for you?

 

I want to tell you that my mom has been reading me a long, meandering and relevant bedtime story… Yep, for almost a month now.  Teeth brushed, I nestle into darkness and covers, call her, and she commences to crack open a thick, heavy, hard-bound book called “Saints Who Moved The World” and reads a few dense pages of the life of my favorite saint, Saint Theresa.  Her soothing, melodic voice is the most familiar thing in the world to me.  And I’m not being figurative just for sweet poeticism’s sake.  I mean think about it, that is the voice that sang to me as the cells of my body ecstatically divided, and divided and divided and became and became and became a cohesive body who has slogged across the frontiers of time and space, evolving as this current rendition of glorious human mash who is gracefully banging alphabet into subjective meaning for your psycho-spiritual edification RIGHT NOW.

 

I love her voice.  It fills me with such peace and comfort that many nights, as she reads, I accidentally drift into slumber as it sings spiritually substantial content into my voracious, truth-seeking mind.

 

In last night’s installment, Theresa, at age 43, finally left her earthy body vacant and motionless, and made a voyage straight into the epicenter of God’s eternal presence.  For those weighty instants, her human form was but a soft whisper from a far away and meaningless dream, as she encountered this potent Presence.  (This pivotal experience of the hallowed saint was portrayed by the author through the worlds most EPIC run-on sentence, for which my linguistically adept mother had very little tolerance.  She re-read it a few times… and with each expulsion, it became increasingly ridiculous, until we were both gone in splashy puddles of laughter.  I wish I could remember it.  In fact, I’d love to memorize it, like a poem.  And spontaneously recite it once and a while just for the slosh and giggle of it… Do you dare me?!  Wink…)

 

So there’s Theresa, naked and bathing in the ecstatic rays of Our Father Which Art In Heaven… and my mom’s like, “how does the author know so explicitly what it was like for Theresa to meet ‘The Lord’?” I was quick to respond, because I’d already been mulling a similar query.  What I came up with was that I really didn’t care how the author knew, or if it was totally accurate.  To me, her story might as well be a great myth.  This story, as all great mythologies, serves to illuminate aspects, archetypes, and unearthed longings of my own Inner Life.  I don’t know that it is even a pertinent endeavor to distill “fact” from “fiction” as we swim along in the riveting currents of daily existence.  What is real, anyway?  Mostly, it’s all a montage of belief and perception and projection, avoidance and hope, shrouding a Presence of unwavering, eternal Isness that we’ve come to define as Love.  Given that the world as we know it is but a glorious and tragic holographic dream scape, who cares whether the histories to which we subscribe are “accurate” or not?!  To me, what is more pertinent and valuable, is whether the story serves to illuminate something within me that awakens Love; the beautiful connection I share with all life, always, now.

 

I discovered Saint Theresa when I was seventeen and traveling through Italy with my high school art class.  My teacher took us to a small church, off the beaten path, where the magnificently skillful stone carver, Bernini, had immortalized her in a hunk of marble, so smooth and lifelike, I honestly felt like I met her that day in Rome, in nineteen ninety seven.   An angel stands over her, piercing her heart with a divine arrow, and the delicate saint rests, broken open in a state of perpetual ecstasy… or “painful rapture”, as the little hand-out I received at the church read.  For the sixteen years since our first acquaintance, I have kept this woman of God’s image close to my heart, and framed on my altar as well.

 

Why?  Something about the experience of being broken open in a consuming Sacred Presence, so intense it defies definition as “pleasure” or “pain”, speaks to my depths.  Sometimes I wish it didn’t.  Ya know, like in those moments when I break open and bleed with pure, unadulterated ache.  When the experience of aliveness becomes so intense it feels barely tolerable.  Yet my paltry human feelings are probably child’s play at best, compared to the celestial spheres of heavenly rapture that swallowed Theresa into the center of her eternal Sacred Self.

 

There came a point on Theresa’s journey where she had to choose, God, or the world.  Now, I know all you tantrics are like, “God IS the world, silly!”… But listen, this is not about wagging flashy philosophies… or whipping out aggrandized religious riteousnesses.  No, this is more akin to Rumi’s field beyond right-doing and wrong-doing.  This is a parable of one who would settle for nothing less than DIRECT EXPERIENCE OF TRUTH (beyond finite, transitory form).  Come on y’all, it’s 2013 for goddess sake.  Let’s wrap religion in a burning flag and send it afloat down a river whose mouth opens to the Ocean with a capital O, and get on with it!  And to all you tantrics “out there” (myself included, naturally), I say YES, God absolutely IS the world… But that knowing is moot unless it is truly anchored into the deepest pulse of your being, such that your actions, thoughts and words are actually informed by direct and rarefied relationship to this realization.

 

What am I driving at here?  I see myself, tossed about in the frenetic waves of a meaningless world.  I seem to be so endlessly riveted and invested in hollow pursuits.  And I wonder for how much longer, will I insist on being shackled to this shiny pile of nothing… As for Saint Theresa, there comes a time on each of our journeys, when our number is up, and we are ready to give up every shred of investment in illusion, and offer ourselves entirely to that which always IS, that which we name, Love, God, Truth… yet which cannot truly be named.

 

Every morning I sit in meditation, and wait for Grace to show me this magnificent world.  Mostly half-heartedly.  Mostly still cherishing this shallow hallucination I call “me”, and only able to relinquish it for a single breath, if that .  But hey, I am doing the best that I can in each moment.  Will I have to suffer like Theresa, to be initiated into the spheres of rarefied self-realization?  Maybe… Maybe not…

 

Live,

A

Oh Duh, We Really ARE God!

“You will never get any closer to God than you are right now,” Reverend Elouise informed us at church last Sunday.  Her saying that was the straw that broke my wild camel.  I hate to admit it, but I guess on some level, I really thought God DID live just north of the sky.  When I prayed, I always wondered if my desperate words would EVER find their way to that esoteric sanctuary tucked away in the idyllic heart of Sacred Somewhere.  Ask me how many desperate letters I’ve written to this wily, absentee God character over the course of my life, each time feeling hopeless that they had any chance of being discovered by His and Her Holiness, the One.

Even when Kiesha Crowther, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK5OOfEmut4) (incase you missed this link the first time around!!!) the Little Grandmother oh-so-casually announced that each of us is God-Goddess, the Great I Am, something still didn’t click.  I mean, intellectually it did.  But not in the depths of my knowing.  Not in my bone’s boots.  Even in meditation, I always waited for something to “happen”.  Like maybe God would throw a lightening bolt spear down on me and burst my bubble of ignorance (which would be nice).  And Rumi’s poem about knocking from the inside… BFD.  Still my holy head remained up my holy butt hole.

Until Reverend Elouise’s simple reminder popped open to my Self.  God is typing these words.  God is reading these words.  There is ONLY God.  Only All Pervading Gracious Light.  That’s it.  There’s nothing more and nothing less.  There is nothing to CHASE.

Yesterday I was meditating in the Rose Garden two blocks from my house (how SWEET is that?!) and instead of trying to have some experience other than the one I was having, I just relaxed knowing, this is God meditating.  Even with a distractible mind, I AM the Great I Am.  There’s nothing to debate or haggle or postpone.  I am That.  And so are YOU.  And YOU.  You don’t have to figure anything out beyond this very moment.  You don’t have to suffer or struggle or prove yourself in order to be that which you ARE.

I think what fostered my shift in consciousness is taking Little Grandmother’s words to heart and practicing getting my energy from nature rather than people.  When I am feeling drained, I walk to the rose garden and BREATHE.  It works!  This is how I was able to let go of caffeine relatively easily after being ADDICTED for fifteen years.  I found and claimed my true Source.  I have been breathing a lot more and deeper since I let go of my former devilish vice.

I guess that’s all I have to say today.  Now that I’m not flying high on caffeine, I feel less compelled to keep poetically rambling.  I am in the midst of a dissolution, like a caterpillar dissolving in her cocoon.  I am not yet a butterfly (or am I?) (I believe I am and I’m not, because time is not real… so even in the midst of massive transformations we are inevitably all stages of the cycle in a single, eternal instant.) But for the purpose of expressing myself in this now moment, I assert that I am not yet a butterfly and I am not feeling the same as I used to about stepping onto the page and recklessly dumping myself out.  That’s why I didn’t write yesterday.  (Instead I got hella domestic and made some bitchin’ pesto sauce with cilantro, parsley, dandelion greens, a tiny bit of kale… walnuts, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and salt.  It was the tastiest fucking thing!  Try it.  Just blend all that in a food processor or blender.  It’s so nourishing.  Just think of all the vitamins and minerals in it!)

Oh, one last thing… My mom told me that she thinks I should not say “fuck” in my blogs.  When she told me this, I did not get defensive, revert to teenage rebellion and stand firm in my conviction to use the f word.  I got more curious.  I mean from my vantage point, it is a “both and” game.   I don’t use the word fuck because my vocabulary is too crippled to support any other form of expression.  I use it sparingly and with indulgent reverence.  But I am not so attached to it.  I just want to be free on the page to host the entire spectrum of linguistic expression.  And I wish to make a powerful impact with my words.  So I told her that I’d ask all of YOU, my readers for your valuable opinions.  Fuck or no fuck?  That is the question.  Please leave a comment with your thoughts on this matter, oh hallowed Divine One!

May you be awake to your Divine Origin, now and forever more!  So much LOVE to you!!!

Amen.

Bowing To My Twenties

Epiphanies at six am?  Unthinkable?  That’s what YOU thought.  But think again, because I just had one!  Clambering around in the kitchen, putting on water for tea and I realized that I have been zealously telling this story called, “I HATED MY TWENTIES!” as though it was the gospel truth.  But guess what?  It’s actually not.  Sure, my twenties were not a drunken collegiate joy ride down a ten year long slip and slide… They were arduous and confusing as fuck.  But… This morning I was appreciating how blessed I was to have studied yoga all through my twenties.  And not just asana, but many facets of yoga.  Philosophy, ayurveda and nutrition, meditation, karma yoga (selfless service)… I love that now I can roll out my mat anywhere and guide myself through a deep, nourishing practice any day of the rainbow, any place under the sky.  I spent so much quality time sucking up spiritual sustenance through an impressively wide straw in my twenties.

And while I’m at it, I might as well tell you of my enchanted yoga mat.  Someone gave it to me (used) back in ’02 or ’03.  It’s particularly long and light blue, stained brown where my dirty bare feet have over eight years impressed all the dirt they wandered through.  My mat has traveled with me all over this earth.  It saved my life in Cuba.  I remember doing asana amidst billowing laundry hanging to dry in the warm breath of evening on the concrete in the back yard of the modest casa where Eric and I stayed for a few days.  A tiny home that contained FOUR generations of women, from age 9 to age eighty-something.  (Never in my life had I experienced tight knit family like that!)  The mother (as opposed to the grandma or the great grandma) was very curious as she watched me practice… so I showed her some things and when we left their home, we offered her the sivananda yoga book we had been traveling with.  She was delighted.  I wonder if she is practicing now…

My yoga mat has made love with much playa dust on the Nevada desert floor at Burning Man over the years.  (I was mostly the dorky anomaly who went to bed early and woke up early, zealously threading my way to center camp before sunrise to drink coffee, write and then dive into a long, slow, nourishing asana practice.  My yoga mat, which come to think of it, is more like a magic carpet, has flown me to the beloved city of lights, Paris, twice!  I have ritualistically unwound myself in the green grass beneath the Eiffel Tour many times.  And in the south of France, I have rolled it out along the wide sidewalks stretching on, parallel to the turquoise sea, as well as next to ornate, gushing fountains in elaborate jardins.  (Yoga is not a very common place phenomenon in France.  At least it wasn’t when I was there in ’05 and ’06… So mostly I got strange looks and inquisitive queries as I practiced.)  Throughout all my travels, yoga was my portable home.  A resting place that returns me to the infinite space inside where I ever belong.

My yoga mat has been my sanity on otherwise stressful visits with the ex-in-laws in New York and Colorado.  My yoga mat went to Taos, New Mexico to study with Natalie Goldberg once upon a blessed time.  Camping at Lake Tahoe and Mount Shasta.  Not to mention all the times it’s been rolled out and stepped on in mundane old San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland.  Even last night in my “Temple”, (my sacred, beautiful massage and yoga and meditation room) I rolled out my mat and drank deep, sweet sips of a practice that delivered me back safely on the doorstep of the mansion of All Pervading Peace!  Yoga saved my life last night, as my “house” (my life, my sense of self) was burning down.  It still is… but when I come back to yoga, I don’t even mind.  Let me burn!  Purify me once and for all, you Holy All Pervading Fire Breather!!!

Also in my twenties, I spent five beautiful years with Eric.  Yes, it’s true, I was pacing my cage and stringing my days into a longer than sin garland of existential crisis… but still… Eric and I shared so much joy.  SO MUCH LAUGHTER.  We played like blissed out, dissolved children and lived like Life yearns for all Her children to live.  Try to make the world black or white and you will miss all the twisty, prismatic refractions playfully slapping your face and pulling your tangly mane.

In my twenties I immersed myself in the culture of transformational courses.  I did inner work.  I witnessed others bounce between the walls of cultish dogma and true revelation.  (Grin.)  I circled with women, searching thirstily for the woman buried inside of me.  Learning and drinking from so many sacred wells.  I forged friendships that I imagine will stretch on for the rest of this life and beyond (backwards and forward).

My twenties were certainly an uphill climb.  But that’s par for the course for a quadruple Capricorn.  (Sun, moon, rising and mercury… at least according to western astrology…)  I will be climbing mountains for the rest of my God given life.  I’m pretty sure of that.  But just because climbing mountains is strenuous, doesn’t mean you oughtn’t keep trudging upward with your eyes on the prize~ that feeling of expansive mastery, of weighty accomplishment as you let the expansive, lucid view inundate you, your chest heaving and suckling on precious sips of decadent breath.  People climb mountains just for fun all the time.

So did I “hate” my twenties?  No, that is impossible, because hatred is in the eye of the beholder, and this beholder has abolished hatred from her sacred mansion.  This beholder is cleansing her memories with the holy water of gratitude and peace.

Amen.

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.

I Believe In Peace Bitch

Thirteen days without a single rapturous release.  Ladies, don’t try this at home.  Honestly.  It sucks.  I feel like an angrier, more brooding, less patient version of myself.  (For those of you new to my blog, I have taken on the self imposed challenge of not cumming for an entire month.)  Yesterday I thought, “Oh fuck this, it isn’t worth it, I’m just gonna cum.”  But then I thought, “No, I gave my word, not only to myself, but to You… and I am going to keep it.   Anyway, this is an experiment, an exploration… and I am a bold, courageous adventurer who takes all of this illusory drama with a grain of… something tiny but menacing… maybe a rebellious grain of renegade sand in my otherwise smooth pile of spinach (sautéed of course in olive oil, garlic and a dash of salt).”

Who knows… maybe it is just a coincidence that I’ve been feeling extra tangled in my shadow.  So that’s the report from orgasm central.  In other news, our modern day hero, Jesus Christ is scheduled to rise tomorrow!  Or is it just the Easter Bunny who’s gonna come and scatter a rainbow of cookies in my tulip patch?  Smirk.  Honestly, I am just beating around the bush, because I really feel tired and lonely and scared today.  I would venture to guess that a lot of it has to do with

I was gonna say my relationship… but then before I could get that typed out with a straight inner face, another, hella truer explanation swept down upon me.  It goes some’m like this~ FEELING SEPARATE FROM GOD.  In A Course In Miracles, it is said that the ONLY problem is the problem of SEPARATION, and it is already solved, because in truth, we are NOT separate in the first place, and could never be.  All other problems are delusional.  Like fever induced nightmares.  We have all been struck by a violent strain of Forgetful Fever, which causes us to fall into a comatose sleep, where we drift through seeming lifetimes, perpetual forevers, tossing and turning and imagining a whole host of “problems” and their glamorous carrot consorts (solutions), which we are more that SURE will bring us happiness and peace, SOMEDAY (hopefully sooner than later!).

Raise your hand if your peace and happiness are just around the corner.  As soon as you find the One.  As soon you own your own home.  Finish your thesis.  Make a hundred thousand dollars a year.  Me?  Oh yeah, I’ll certainly be happy once I figure out my relationship.  Once I sort out whether the “right” answer is to lean into the ugly pockets and imbue them with unconditional love, or to realize that I am done and that it is time to explore Athena sans another.  Oh, and CERTAINLY as soon as I figure out this whole getting paid a comfy living wage to write riddle…  Right answers.  Curse all these glistening answers that seduce me to scrutinize my circumstances ever fruitlessly… The only right answer is in me and I have a feeling It could give a monkey’s uncle’s ass about the temporal, swirling dream of my petty circumstances.  Love is not conditional or bounded.  Peace is not contingent upon anything.  Forgiveness is always an option.

I think this might be the most depressing leg of the journey Home.  My eyes sting.  I say depressing because I know that I don’t know, but I can’t seem to free myself from the treacherous, toothy tangles of my habitual, false perceptions.  Oh!  Here is the perfect metaphor!  Have you ever gotten snagged by a black berry bush, and the more you try to free yourself from it, the more committed its grip becomes?  Maybe it just has your clothes at first.  But then it latches on to skin in cold desperation.  Ouch!  And you become adrenylized and flustered.  Then you realize that you can just take a deep breath and patiently free yourself one angry thorn at a time.  But you soon realize that is not the solution because you untangle three thorns and are now stuck by seventeen more!  The only other solution you can see is to sacrifice your clothes and your precious skin, and RIP free.

This is how my ego clings.  Clings to what?  Clings to its self? (????)   I tell myself that only love is real, only peace is real.  Only connection is real.  But then I feel my body, and it aches here.  My heart aches.  My body constantly craves.  Food.  Sex.  Caffeine.  Touch.  Stimulation.  My mind craves understanding, reasons, stories, dramas, PLANS, futures.

Meditation.  I let go.  I breathe.  I affirm my freedom.  I ask for God’s help.  And then before I can receive the omnipotent blessings of the Light, I am off on another fear-inspired meander through illusion’s ghettos.  I feel so sad about this.  I am so close.  I am.  So.  Close.  If I am so close, why do I feel so lonely and afraid?  Is that just my ego, reacting to its own terror of annihilation?   I guess so.  But now what?  Vigilance.  And the requisite tears and sweat that that requires.

I want nothing less than to see you only in your truth.  Only as the light you are.  I am not interested in relating to your false beliefs about yourself and this twisted world.  I know, I know, that is a radical thing to declare and it doesn’t really fit with this model of “reality” in which we have invested so much… but at this point, I don’t care.  I will look inside until I find something dangerously real, and revelatorily pure and true.  And then when you stand and face yourself in my still, silent reflection, you will be stunned and relieved by what you recognize Within.  This is a promise.

As I wrote that, tears began to spill at a rather rapid and frivolous clip.  Then I got up to pee and behind the locked bathroom door, the sadness flooded in and I thought it might be time to build another arc. (But would that be appropriate to glorify Noah so close to Jesus’s special day?  I oughtn’t steal this friendly Messiah’s thunder like that…)  I sat on the toilet with my head in my hands, trying to keep my sobs silent and appropriate for this public arena. (Café 504, of course)  But it sure felt good to give myself over to this earnest ache.  Then I stood up, looked in the mirror (to assess the “damage”) and realized that I am wearing my baseball shirt that says, “I believe in peace bitch”.  I got it at the Tori Amos concert that E* won tickets to on KFOG.  I had to laugh, because it is a very apropos statement to accompany today’s internal climate.

Like I said, I will find the light inside me and stop believing in fear and darkness.  I just hope I do it sooner than later.  Jesus Christ is scheduled to rise tomorrow, but I’m afraid that He’ll pass me over, just because I am more interested in what I’m gonna eat for breakfast than I am in SEEING.  Because I can’t seem to open heart to Mykael for more than a spilt second at a time these days, before it’s big, leaden door swings shut in his face, which I fear is just a mirror of all the parts of myself that I find repulsive, worthless and unlovable.  Help!  Someone please get this harsh, condemning judge OUT of me! (It’s kinda like when you are picnicking and a greedy wasp gets all up in your shit, and you can’t seem to get rid of it and the more you try, the angrier and more aggressive it becomes and you are sure that it will not let you alone without getting a good sting or two in…)  Now can you see what I have to cry about?  But the tears will wash me clean, I hope.

Like I said, I am SO close…

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