Good News. Bad News. Life. Death. And Always LOVE.

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I’ll start with the good news– I am madly in love with Serena lately.  She’s so damn cute and smart and… good.  Within the last week, she’s started walking!  She does gratuitous laps around the house, just for practice, wobbling like a drunken sailor.  I’m amazed by her tireless, perpetual motion.  I can tell she’s so proud of herself.  What a feat!  And God, she’s just such a happy person.  Happy and innocent and willing.  My heart feels marvelously crushed.  We made a pilgrimage to Auburn (an hour drive each way) yesterday to apply for passports.  (God willing, we are going to Bali this summer with Cosmic Dad!!!)  The whole drive, she was content and peaceful.  She held her new little stuffed bunny, and she kept saying “Soft.  Soft.  Soft.”  And “Eye.  Eye.  Eye.” (pointing to his eye)   And “Lap.  Lap.  Lap.” (She had him on her lap…)  Such a stimulating conversationalist!

It wasn’t too long ago that I was pulling my hair out and shaking my fist at the sky and wondering why in Grace’s good name I chose to be a mama.  I think because we were both stretching together, and let’s face it– sometimes stretching is uncomfortable.  Sometimes it can even make you tear and bleed and require copious amounts of stitches and a two night and three day “vacation” at the hospital.  (Yes, I’m talking about Serena’s birth.)  But now we have stretched into a space of heavenly resonance and relative ease.  Of course it is fleeting.  But all the more reason to enJOY it.

And speaking of stretching, now for the “bad news”.  While we were waiting for our turn to apply for passports, we “bipped” over to Target because I had a gift card and wanted to try on denim shorts.  Holy Lord in Heaven.  I looked AWFUL  in the dressing room mirrors.  And this is *not* something that I would normally say… because I have worked so hard to heal my self image and love my body.  But fuck.  My skin looked loose and lumpy and squished in gross places.  How in fuck’s name do they expect anyone to BUY anything when the glaring lights and soul-sucking ambiance make you look and feel so UGLY?    

Whoa.  This calls for a massive deep breath.  Because what a terrible thing to commit to a blank page.  Especially as a goddess and leader of the Love Revolution.  But sometimes a goddess just gotsta be honest!  It was traumatizing.  And confusing, too… because I’m almost back to the weight that I was before I got pregnant.  I was one twenty five… and now I’m one twenty eight or nine, depending on the time of day, size of my last meal and amount of exercise I’ve had.  Maybe that mirror was a government conspiracy in action.  Yeah, that’s probably it.  And listen, don’t misinterpret my share.  I’m not suffering about any of it.  It’s more of a fascination with the kaleidoscopic, psychedelic nature of perception.

And then there’s my dear, sweet mama… Her body is now a modest pile of ashes stowed away in the ornately carved, wooden chest I inherited from her when she ditched this crazy planet last month.  Ok, you’re right, the PLANET is not crazy.  She’s actually very sane.  It’s us damn HUMANS that are the nuts!  When I was doing mountains of paperwork at Chapel of the Angels, the mortuary where my Ma’s body was cremated, one form stated that they perform a separate process beyond burning, to pulverize the big chunks of bone that are left… Ha!  And I had to inscribe my initials alongside said statement to indicate that this was permissible by me!  Like, “Yes, I am aware that you will be pulverizing my mom’s bones after you burn her, and it’s totally groovy.”  SILLY!!!

In retrospect, I wish that I had’ve said NO!  I would’ve loved for her ashes to be laced with bone chunks… I could make jewelry out of them.  And arrange them with the crystals and river stones on my panoply of altars.  Am I being serious, or kidding?  Yeah… I’m not quite sure either.

But one thing I KNOW is that my Ma is laughing with me about her hopelessly pulverized bones.

And since we’re on the subject… how am I doing with the whole losing my Ma thang?  Not too bad.  When she was still alive, I used to imagine what it would be like when she was gone, and whimper to her about how much I’d miss her, and how it would suck ass not to be able to talk with her and laugh with her (and even get irritated with her!), daily.  Her immediate response was always, “I’ll still be with you.”  I hated this!  Like, easy for YOU to say, Woman, YOU’RE not the one who will be left behind!  The last thing you need to hear when facing the crushing reality of impermanence, is some woo-woo, conceptual, spiritual band-aid.

But she was right. (Did you hear that Ma???!!!)  She is still right here.  And her oh-so-elegant swan dive into the seductive pool of Infinity has transformed my perception of life and death and God and my Self.  I remember this particularly cray-zay angel I once knew, Hal… He used to say “the cat is alive AND dead”… or some sort of hippy, acid-head koan like that.  I never had any idea what the fuck he was talking about.  Until my mom left.  And now I feel that she is here.  And I am “there”.  And Time is a strange dream that *seems* to divide our limitless Self into a finite notion for a fleeting mOMent.  I know some part of you knows what the hell I’m saying.  Because we are all so immense.  But we must feign smallness as we wander this oddball dreamscape.  Or must we?…

I appreciate the spiritual expansion that my Ma gifted me in her passing.  It’s a relief.  To feel so intimate with Infinity… (while still completely riveted in and by this human dream)…

The day before she died, she reminisced about being at my dad’s dad (my grandpa)’s deathbed… His parting words were, “It’s all a mystery to me…”  She said he appeared truly befuddled.  I LOVE this!!!  I mean, his words sure do sum it up!!!… I have finally arrived at a vista of my existence, where I feel crystalline relief at the Mystery of it all.  I’ve exhausted myself enough times, trying to muscle through and do it (Life) MY way… Only to be disappointed, devastated, destroyed.  I finally get it.  Life/God is waaay more qualified to captain this ship.  Athena Grace just gets to be First Mate, whose primary task is TO LOVE.

…And to write it all down!  With eloquence, honesty, poetic persuasion and humor.  It’s actually a pretty cool arrangement.

A New Infusion Of Words To Chew

The best thing about blogging, is that I can be in ANY mood, mindset, heart space to do it.  Everything flies here in Athena Graceland.  I guess a few times I’ve had the thought, “Oh, I can’t blog right now, I’m too depressed,” or upset or overwhelmed… but mostly I just step in, get naked and let it rip!  And not only is that “acceptable”, it’s heavily preferable because that is the very reason that I write.  (Reason, shmeason… reasons do not hold no stinkin political office in Athena Graceland.  But just go with it.  Remember, my Poetic License doesn’t expire for another billion years…) To say it for the sixty ninth time, the *reason* that I write (besides that it’s a soul compulsion that if I didn’t heed, I’d probably die by drowning in a sloshy pool of my own tears) is to remind all of you human beings out there that YOUR unwieldy, insidious humanness is perfect, poetic and entirely forgivable.  The age of pretense hath cometh to an inevitable and relieving endeth.

So today I step into the page rung out and with a heart vast and trembling.  As I wrote that, an image of a sturdy, vibrant, green leaf filling slow and steadily with diamond drops of rain… until its poor, tremulous little stem can no longer support the weight, bends and water gushes everywhere.  God, I yearn to just snuggle up with Mykael and watch a movie.  Enough of this real life stuff.  I need a break.  But I had to write today because I didn’t write yesterday, nor will I write for the next four days because dig this~ I’m going camping with my friend Dara in Yosemite!!!!   And Wonder Woman, am I overdue for a camping trip!  I swear, it’s been… well… in the end of June 2008 I did a vision quest… which was pretty campy… but not quite a walk in the singing meadow.  Foodless, waterless and alone in a three foot by seven foot area being devoured by mosquitoes is not exactly a leisurely *prance* into nature.  God, four days without blogging… How will I survive? Now THAT’S a *real* vision quest, if you ask this language loving, perpetual student of the school of mostly soft knocks.  I guess I’ll just “blog” in my spiral notebook as I sun my naked self, reptilian style on a winking granite boulder beside a crisp, singing river.

Athena All Over the Place Grace, come back!  You have a story to finish!  Ah yes, I say as I pensively stroke my beardless chin (I do have ONE single beard hair… but I tweezed it yesterday.).  Remember, I was telling you the story of meeting my ex-fiance, Eric on New Years Eve, 2001.

So there we are, outside the Ascend party at the DNA Lounge, me and this intriguing, tall, lanky dude (six foot four) who is endearingly awkward in his attraction to me.  I feel deliciously comforted in his voluntary presence by my side.  (Gosh, just remembering this makes my heart tickle.  But since this aforementioned heart already feels so tender, just the slightest tickle could tip my scales and send me a-sobbing.  I’m just trippin out at how life unfolds.  At how this man who didn’t even know me (or DID he?!) felt compelled to follow me out of the club and stand by my side when I otherwise would have flailed about… perhaps until creations very last stroke.)  So we had a [new born] team huddle, spewing forth a string of possible next moves.  We caught wind of another [free] party in the neighborhood and opted to check it out.

Seven thumbs down.  It was in a janky, dilapidated warehouse with a rough cement floor.  The music dragged its ass all over me like sticky puke and everyone there was a cracked out zomby coming down from heartless rides on carpets that were more muscle than magic.  I tried to dance for like ten minutes but then I realized I was actually just beat and ready to hit the alfalfa.  Eric said he lived close by and invited me to engage in the act of slumber at his apartment.  Shrug.  Mkay.  I didn’t have anywhere else to go… and he was about as trustable as the love child of a sea turtle and a benevolent wizard.  We drove home in the car with his housemate and his housemate’s girlfriend whose eyes were both wide as flying saucers and their jaws as tight as (Oh CRUMBS, I just went to the bank of metaphors to make a withdrawal and it turns out I am already overdrawn!  Tight as… Guess YOU’LL have to fill in the blank.  I’m sure your bank is swollen to bursting with zinging metaphors… Tight as___________.)

Something you should know about me is that I am passionate about brushing my teeth.  So naturally, coming home from a club sometime after two am, my mouth was pining for a good scrub.  Remember, I had my backpack, and for sure it was loaded with everything I could possibly need should I feel compelled to up and run away from the home that I didn’t have in the first place.  Oh GOD, do I have to describe Eric’s apartment?  I am SO not in the mood.  Well, I will tell you it was on Nineteenth and South Van Ness in the Mission District of San Francisco.  And I will tell you that it was one of those cheapo places with dirty shag carpets, thin walls and mirrored closet doors.  I will tell you that it was a bachelor pad furnished with items they could easily have found on a street corner.  It had a seventies theme, complete with a disco ball hanging from the ceiling in the living room, a record player and an orange and brown color scheme.  Oh and let me not neglect to mention the tapestry of the Hindu goddess of destruction, Kali, wearing a garland of bloody sculls hanging adjacent to the front door.

There.  That was NOT so painful.  I was just being a baby.  So back to tooth brushing~ you’ll NEVER believe this but as we whipped out our respective dentifri (plural for dentifrice, of course), how stunned and tickled was I to discover that we had the SAME clear, light purple Oral B toothbrushes!  Man, I’ll tell you, standing side by side in his retro bathroom, viewing the scene through a large, reflective piece of glass at the end of an epic evening, which was even the precipice of a whole, fresh slate of time, seeing young, over-stimulated weather beaten me and my bashful, towering savior for the evening wielding twin toothbrushes… I’ll just say it was a moment that weighed more than a bread box and less than an elephant.  I smoldered with wonder and delight.

With clean, minty fresh mouths (shucks, I forget what kind of toothpaste we used.  I want to say it was Tom’s of Maine… But that would be strictly indulgent extrapolation…) we nestled into his bed for the entirely platonic and innocent act of sleep.  I marveled (and marvel still) at how much I trusted this kind, adoring soul.  His bedroom smelled like dusty, hippy bachelor.  He wrapped his arms cautiously and overtly respectful around my exhausted little body and we wafted softly into slumber.

To be continued and a requisite AMEN.