The Meaning of Life

I won’t beat around the bush.  I am here on the page this morning to save my own life.  My heart hurts.  But not just casual, poetic heart ache… no, the kind that makes me want to swaddle myself in isolation and respond to the world in a dead end game of attack and defense.  Is that why my spacebar is acting up again????  How will I ever get my blog written when I have to press the spacebar like 200 times between every word?? (okay, more like 2 or 3 times…but still, it blows and I especially needed to express today.)  Okay, screw getting upset.  If I were gonna imbue this situation with a hearty moral lesson, it would be choosing patience and peace over poopy diaper whining.

The new moon is coming this Saturday.  I have caught wind that this particular moon is about the world that is currently dying and the new world that is rising up from beneath and within.  Those of us who are awake

Oh, bah humbug.  I don’t want to be deep and organized and scholastic.  I just want to talk about that which tickles and pleasures me.  I was trying to write something on the topic of midwifing the emerging world for the SpiralMuse website (spiralmuse.com), but all I really want to do is sooth myself with decadent, uplifting thoughts…like…I went to see the Holy Mother, Mata Amritanandamayi yesterday.  While she was hugging the people right before me, she conversed with one of her uh…attendants… for a long time while she held a couple in the folds of her oh-so-cosmic bosom.  I delighted in listening to her speak.  What IS that south Indian language?  I sure don’t know, but listening to it is like being drenched in soft, linguistic bubbles.  The sounds are unearthly round and smooth.  You know what it’s like?  It’s like the Hella Holy Ghost submerged me in a sacred strain of champagne.  Amma’s voice is the bubbles and the intoxicating, golden liquid was the privilege of merely bathing in her presence.  Really.  Just being physically near to her fills my body with tangible sweet sensations.  Imagine diving into a pool of whipped cream.  Please believe me.  My heart softens and spreads outward like melting butter is pouring through me, from me, to me and all about.

I had to stop writing earlier because my spacebar’s attitude was more than I could handle.  So I went and got my haircut instead.  What a treat!  It had been like four months and I had hair more straw-like than our very own hero of popular culture, the Scarecrow (and not just ANY scarecrow, I mean THE Scarecrow!).  I always thought scarecrows were called “ScareAcrows”.  How embarrassing was that fateful day when I made a tangible fool of myself and was publicly shamed for the mispronunciatory correction.  I like getting my haircut.  For a while I didn’t have a bitchin’ stylist and I got a good few haircuts that missed the mark by numerous crucial notches.  But then, by accident, I found Noah.  I had my doubts, because what does a MAN know about cutting a WOMAN’S hair?!?! I mean a straight man, for Buddha’s sake!  I expressed this to him, because generally I like to say what’s on my mind.  His perspective was convincing~ that as a [straight] man, he knows what kind of hair style he finds attractive on a woman.  Not a shabby argument.  Is he hot?  Nah…he’s extra doughy…(I imagine he likes to get stoned and munch on stony snax when he’s not on the job) but SOMEthing about him I find attractive.  He has some good depth and substance to him.  And his eyes are dark like night skies reflected on the surface of wishing wells.  And who could pass up two night skies reflected on the surface of wishing wells, really?

Disclaimer!  I’m gonna jump all over the place today.  Because none of my thoughts seem to be jointed to other thoughts.  And I am bounding about after my joy and healing, like a golden retriever chasing a duck through an old timey marsh. (An aside= I LOVE the sound of duck voices.  God, hearing them infallibly breaks me open!)  Yeah, I’ve had a day.  I think my blood will spill tomorrow.  So I’ve been vacationing on the land mine ridden border territory of Saturated Sorrow and Latin Wrath.  Today was the first time I broke down sobbing while ON the climbing wall (it was a hard climb).  Then, in the sauna, I was feeling suicidal and had a thought that went like this~ “Screw discovering and living my ‘life purpose’… I think just making it to the end of my years and dying of natural causes should get me some kind of prestigious award!”  Because in the moment, that seemed like a near impossible feat.

I used to be suicidal all the time, but since I believe in reincarnation, I figured I would only be the worse for taking my own life, so I just keep slogging along in this mess.  Now when my emotions get so unbearable and my mind gets so ridden with negativity, I don’t take it all that seriously… but… I can’t help but wonder what the point of all of this is.  You know?  There’s this whole bullshit construct that we’re all here to LEARN and GROW… Like life is some goddamn school… And that in the end, when we earn are arduouser than thou stinkin’ degrees, then we get to merge back into the Oneness of our bitchin’ Creator…or else decide to stick around and hold the lantern for all the other gods and goddesses whose heads are still lodged way up where the sun don’t shine… but like WHY would the Creator BOTHER pulling its Self apart into such a suffering ridden grab bag of multiplicity, just so we could merge back again???  Just for shits and hoots, I suppose… But I don’t hear us all shittin’ and hootin’ down here in this heavenly inferno.  Well… sometimes I do… actually more than I care to admit… But Jesus!  I’m not having enough fun.

Is that true?  In THIS very moment, I am really enjoying writing about all the senseless madness.  And is there anything else?  That’s debatable.  I just want to heal my disease ridden mind.  My mind that is so convinced that it’s right all the time and it creates so many concepts built on the false foundations of fear and scarcity.

Ask me what I’m gonna be when I grow up… Go on, ask me!

I’m gonna be a Self Realized Master!  I dunno how I’ll get there, but God’s gonna lead my way.  And for now, I’ll just settle for this marvelous opportunity to pound out my thoughts and feelings on a computer with a spacebar that WORKS!!!!!

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A Fight That Will Live in [Ecstatic] Infamy

What would you do if your doorbell rang, and you surreptitiously peered out the peep hole to find a couple you’d met just briefly, once before, who lived down the block from you, standing on your front porch, hot and heavily engaged in face slapping match?  Well, thankfully, our neighbors were not home yesterday evening, so they were not faced with that imposing conundrum.  Why were Mykael and I standing on our neighbors’ porch taking turns slapping each other’s faces last night?  Well, it all started with our chicken sitting adventure last month.  Member?  We offered those hip, twittering Oakland chicks popsicles as they passed our house, and one of them (the one who looks just like Popeye’s leading lady) turned out to be our neighbors, and she generously invited us to come gather their eggs while they were away for three days…

Last night, Mykael proposed that we pay them a surprise visit, since we hadn’t made contact since they had been home (which must have been a month ago already!).  Good idea, Sweetie… So after dinner, we set sail down the block.  The “trouble” started when Mykael said, “I don’t have keys, do you?”

“We don’t need keys, we’re just going down the block.  Let’s leave the door open.”  I said in a voice undercut with a barely perceptible trace of aggression.  You see, it was not the first time we had encountered this specific strain of combat.  I am a lot more liberal when it comes to taking precautions to ensure the security of physical belongings.  To me, obsessively locking doors equates to living in unnecessary fear.  Now Mykael would probably assert that by using the word “obsessively”, I am linguistically manipulating the picture of what shook down.  Duh.  I am.  Because I think I am right, and to me, it does seem obsessive to lock the door just to skip and fritter down the block for an innocent smatter of minutes to pay a visit to the neighbors.  As above, so below, as far as I’m concerned, meaning if you fear it, you invite it, while if you are truly at ease, then all will be well.

Mykael made his way back inside to fetch his set of keys.  I didn’t like this, and begged him to pause and “talk it out” with me, before making a choice.  I called out to him, but he did not heed my requests, which increasingly become wrought with more and more heat and intensity.  By the time he was standing in the doorway, I was begging with everything I had, that he come back and talk to me, before he take any action.  Nope.  He was resolved.  And I felt POWERLESS.  No, make that powerless cubed… at least.  He humored me, and stood in the threshold, looking at me through the invisible though indestructible wall that now stood between us.  I can’t see myself, since I live inside me, but if I could, I imagine I had steam spouting out my ears and flames on my breath.  Man, do I hate feeling so powerless, out of control, and at his stupid mercy.

So, he locked the door.  We walked the half block to our neighbors’ house and all the while, I was expressing my freshly turned over pain, desperately trying to regain some semblance of control or power.  I can’t remember, but I’m pretty sure I spoke a gratuitous slew of careless, poisoned words in jagged tones, designed to slash him in all the invisible places that COUNT.  Once on the porch, we exchanged a couple more rounds of verbal sparring, and then I rang the doorbell.  I rang the doorbell as yet another attempt to be “on top”.  Ringing the doorbell meant I was in control, right?  Because then he can’t get too many slicing words in before the neighbors come to the door and we are forced to feign some semblance of congeniality.

Unfortunately, ringing the doorbell didn’t shut us up.  We went back and fourth a few more times… which wasn’t really scratching the livid itch for me, so I gave his face a playful though startling slap.  Like lightening, he rebounded.  Naturally, I took another swipe.  Then he did, then I did.  I think we were both a bit surprised at the other’s audacity, not to mention our own.  It was weird… there was this undercurrent of humor.  Part of me wanted to spill out in a deluge of laughter, while another, more commanding facet was single mindedly thirsting for blood (and maybe a side of tears… and heck toss in some sweat, while yer at it!)  In my own personal rulebook, laughing during a fight lobs off major points.  Because then your opponent knows that you are not SERIOUS and come on… fights are SERIOUS.

After a few rounds of slappage, my face was starting to burn.  (Don’t call the authorities, please, we were only slapping at 50% velocity)  At this point, Mykael began to dodge my hand.  Okay, I can play that game.  I dodged his.  That added some spice to our otherwise bland fiesta.  By now, it was clear that our neighbors were not home.  Still standing on their porch, we reverted to talk-fighting again for a few modest exchanges.  Both of us were impermeable.  Writhing in emotional pain, I stormed off the porch, then let him walk ahead of me five paces.  At home, he unlocked the door and the argument continued in the kitchen.

We kept throwing our weight at the other, desperate to be heard and understood.  Which required that ONE of us let go.  No such luck.  (I know it’s not luck… it’s… generosity and surrender that are required at times like these)  God, when I don’t feel heard, when I feel out of control… I become a demon.  No holds barred.  At one point, I remember him wrapping his arms around me and holding me in a tight death grip… in some semblance of hope to calm me down.  But guess what?  NO WAY did that calm me.  It actually had the opposite effect, since it brought me right back to the physical sensation of feeling powerless and out of control.

My whole body, especially my belly, felt tight and aflame.  But with each round of sparring, the intensity faded a smidgeon of a hair.  (You’d only notice if you viewed the spat under a microscope, though.)  Finally, I told him to leave me the fuck alone.  I had this brilliant plan brewing to sulk all night by myself and continue to fester in the hurt.  I might even wander to the rose garden, just so on the outside, it would seem like I was having a great time and I didn’t need him anyway.  Or maybe it was so that I could find some solace in the luminous, sweet blooms and the echoing songs of evening birds.  “Is that really what you want?” he asked me, with bristled fur.

Touche!  He’s good!  Clearly, that’s NOT what I really wanted.  I really wanted Love to be restored.  But I didn’t want to admit that.  I wasn’t about to back down.  Not in the face of all the rage that was surging through my body.  So I said yes, that’s what I wanted.  He was slowly calming down.  “Is that REALLY what you want?” he demanded.  Suddenly, there was an overt fork in the road.  He knocked the ball square into my court, and how I swung (or relinquished swinging altogether) would determine the fate of the rest of our evening.  Would I choose the high road of the Saint in training, or the LOW road of the wounded, impulsive child?

At this point, he began to move slowly toward me, closing the physical distance between us.  This felt wonderful… but… I still didn’t want to let on that I was opening in spite of myself.  I suggested that he go get in the shower, and I take some time in my bedroom alone and THEN we come back together after some of our respective steam had a chance to dissipate.  NOPE.  He wanted to get to the bottom first.  So we argued about that for a while, my stance being that it was a waste of our energy to do so, because we were basically repeating ourselves, both still mildly desperate to be heard, felt and understood.

As we continued exhausting ourselves in our respective egoic wheels, (softened thought they were), he began to kiss my face gently all over.  This did it for me.  I stabbed the ground of my territory with a flag of surrender, and relaxed my body into his embrace as he continued to kiss me softly.  A man that can stand up to me with such an expert combination of force and generosity is worth surrendering to.  I felt amazed, relieved and more attracted to him than ever.

MOM~ WARNING.  I’m gonna talk about sex now.  Enter at your own risk!

“I think you should suck my dick now.” He stated bluntly.  It was obvious to me that I should.  (I’d been horny all day anyway)  It was hot… right there in the kitchen.  Then he bent me over the counter and *&%#$@*%ed me hard, before hitting the shower. (IS that all I’d really wanted in the first place???) Later, we made such beautiful, epic love and I felt felter than I knew was possible.

Relationships…

Not only that, but my space bar went on strike during the execution of this blog entry… and my white, though shadow stained knight came to the rescue and fixed the problem without even breaking a sweat!  I think I’ll keep ‘im.

Letting Go and Letting Go Some Mo’

To Whom It May Concern:

I have been feeling the wellspring of my love for Mykael gurgling freely these days. (Hallelujah!) Not because our relationship has been an idyllic tunnel of love or anything… Just because it sucks so hard to disapprove of him every other second of my life, and to constantly be indulging in question marks the size of whales. Not just beluga whales… No, more like blue whales… Talk about exhausting! The other night, I had this realization~

(Time out, because I just listened to a FOUR minute voice mail from my mom! I couldn’t help it… I love hearing her singing, liberated stream of thoughts in stereo in my ears. I listen to her messages and realize that the expression “the fruit never falls far from the tree” was not just random smoke blown from an ass of the past. My mom rambles on with such mental freedom. Very much like my blog. She gifts me with spoken word blogs on a regular basis and I love them. They drip with frivolous, interesting details and unabashed non sequiturs. I rarely play voicemails more than once… except my moms.)

My realization was that choosing Mykael is just that~ a choice. I don’t have to torture myself by seeking fresh evidence in every single waking, breathing moment as to why he IS or ISN’T the “right” man for me. Suddenly, I’d had my fill of that exhausting game. I mean, I’m clear that he is flawed as anything and has a PHD in pushing my buttons… but… I also know that he is loyal, committed, deep, spiritual, hecka smart, hot and most importantly~ very skilled at loving me. Oh wait, I just said I was renouncing all the REASONS and simply choosing. Woops. Did you ever do the landmark forum? I did it ten years ago, and they tried to teach me the distinction of CHOOSING. (Chocolate or vanilla, choose!) But I guess it took ten years to sink in. That’s what I get for wanting to do everything MY way…

Anyway, I thought I’d represent the light side of my relationship here in my blog, rather than just the skuzzy muck side of the rainbow. It’s kinda like how people sometimes just pray to God when shit hits the fan. When life sucks. But when it whizzes by like a fresh, tropical breeze, the same person might say, “God who?” Don’t get me wrong, our relationship has been no cake walk… I’m just over playing “twenty-four seven judge”…(which coincidentally makes more space for the good to shine on us)

Remember yesterday I was all fired up after church, inspired to rigorously focus my will, my intention, my attention in the unabashed direction of my dreams? Well… it wasn’t too long before external circumstances wanted to pick a fight my new stance and take them DOWN. No… actually it wasn’t “external circumstances”. It was my habitual relationship to external circumstances. Mykael was all blissfully absorbed in carving (surprise) and I felt neglected as usual. I am so fucking sick of that. (but when he’s not on purpose and is way more available, I get repulsed by his flimsy manhood in a rapid snap… I think you have a term for this ironic condition~ Double Edged Catch Twenty Two Cent Coin…) I just need to get a life of my own, don’t I? Get some hobbies, girl. Have you considered making other friends? It’s not rocket science… but I guess I must have a secret addiction to aching and feeling unfulfilled. What do I get out of that? Bitter sweet heart ache! Holy Closure! Evidence of the truth and validity of my past suffering. What good is all that? Do I have to figure it out before I can let it go?

I think an impressive clump of my past wounding is really trying to fall off these days and make room for a new born, more true incarnation of me. Hence, the pain has been right up in my face way too often. I can no longer sweep it under the rug of my soul and keep limping along under its crushing, dead weight. No, these days, if I want to carry my pain, I’ve gotta do it out in the open as a liberated, adult choice. But… why would I keep choosing it? Because it is safe and comfortable. It’s falling off… I hope. Suddenly my eyes flood with tears as I let myself feel the pain of carrying around this open wound, this gaping, insatiable need to continuously be the center of Mykael’s attention. (BTW, I feel embarrassed to admit this, since it doesn’t represent my picture perfect image of enlightenment… but brutal honesty is the next best thing, in my opinion. And a much more attainable stance to take in life than some sort of conceptual, angelic perfection.) God, I could be making beautiful art or helping little old ladies across the street, but instead I have been continuously crumpling in the face of Mykael’s beautiful, feverish thirst to pour himself into his art. Sheesh.

Anyway, I brought up the subject of my wounding because I realize that cultivating my mind as the epicenter of empowerment, fertilization and commitment to living my dreams and flourishing in prosperity on every level takes a staunch, continuous willingness to disengage from old habits of mind and emotion. When my devastation and neediness drop in for a spontaneous visit, I must be poised to simply say a quick, compassionate hello to it and then choose something else. Feelings. They feel so important, real and permanent. Shoot. What’s a girl to do? Love herself and then call up a girlfriend. Take more nature walks and frivolous photos. Meditate for Goddess sake. I don’t want my happiness to be contingent upon another anymore. But that’s such a familiar and seductive place for me to dwell. (In the mainstream culture of perpetual diagnosis, I believe they call that “co-dependence”)

I also have this habit of looking to the outside to validate my inner world, rather than vice versa. So when Mykael’s mood crashed yesterday afternoon, I felt this panic, like how in the world am I supposed to stay positive, whole and grounded in my strength and vision? How on earth is it possible that we are each a luminous Christ, perpetually hovering on the threshold of incessant miracles??!! It is such a natural thing for me to respond to my surroundings and resonate with the energies of others. Maybe while I’m nurturing the teensy seedlings of my divine realization and my dreams, strengthening my mind, creating new grooves aligned with the Highest, I should only surround myself with very powerful, awake, successful, prosperous rock star people. And then, when my seedlings are hearty teenagers, with bitchin root systems and thickening trunks, then I can transplant myself back into the world of normal, flailing humans…??? Not very practical, Athena. But smart… “You are the company you keep, so keep good company.” As the tantric philosopher, Douglas Brooks has told us on many an auspicious occasion.

But I started this whole conversation to celebrate the good though sober place that Mykael and I are in right now. I’m not gonna be one of those fair weather praying types. No, I can celebrate with equality both the light and the shadow, while always keeping my eyes on the prize of moment to moment peace and divine communion. Amen.

Forgiving the Hellish Existential Rollercoaster

I forgive my mind for being a cesspool of hellish, existential thoughts this morning.  I forgive my mind for being a cesspool of hellish existential thoughts this morning.  I forgive my mind…

Ahhhhh… Consider yourself lucky that you are YOU today, and not ME.  I woke up CERTAIN that today was gonna be a stellar day!  Swaddled in the sheets of luxury, I sipped my tea, decadently read my book, Commitment (the book exploring marriage) and celebrated feelings of relaxation, gratitude and wholeness.  Later, after breakfast, I charged into Mykael’s bedroom and announced what a great day it was destined to be!  And then, I guess I lost my footing somehow, because the next thing I knew I was writhing in the vicious, salivating jaws of an existential crisis.  What the hell?  How on earth did that happen?  I couldn’t stop thinking about what an immature soul I am, and how many more times I might have to live, as a result.  I can barely endure THIS life, let alone ten, a hundred, a million MORE lives.  Even if I take new vows of forgetfulness and innocence each time, still, the thought is WAY TOO MUCH for me to bear today.  And somehow I thought I could THINK my way out this prime real estate in hell.  But the more I thought, the more I felt hopeless, overwhelmed, starkly alone and terrified.

I guess now the trick is to simply step out.  Okay.  I’m willing to give it the old college try… but first, I just have to say ONE more thing… I know, I know, that is a dangerous proposition.  But it is important.  Really, I swear.  I was noticing my thirst for fame and fortune.  I live in this pathetic little construct of scarcity, where I habitually see the lack… lack of money, lack of love, lack of you name it… and I have this sorry little egoic plan for salvation.  Some day, somehow, I will become a famous writer.  I will feel fulfilled (some day) (maybe…) knowing that my books explode like frivolously ecstatic firecrackers in the minds of the masses, which in turn, explodes ME in a frivolous, ecstatic manner, and for this, I get paid plenty of money to lead a life of financial freedom, inspired philanthropy and continuous, playful expansion.

Not bad, eh?  See, my carrots really are the kind that can slice through glass… (I know, I know, that kind of carrot is spelled different…)  But then, a barrage of spiritual ideas about our desires being what binds us to this world of illusion, fear and suffering flooded in, and I thought, “fuck fame and fortune, I just want to be DONE here!” But then I started thinking about how pathetic I think renunciates are, when they don’t really feel INSPIRED by the path of renunciation, but they just do it because Buddha did it, and they becomes slaves to a dry, uninspired path of perpetual trying.  It seems so inauthentic to TRY and emulate a spiritual leader, as a cop out from blazing your own holy trail.  I think all great spiritual leaders courageously blazed their own trails (in cooperation with Missus Almighty, of course).  Remember in Herman Hesse’s book, Sidhartha… Sidhartha was following the Buddha for a while, so he had a chance to intimately study Buddha’s hard-core disciples… and they were all so pathetic.  They became robotic dorks, investing everything in some hope bound, conceptual twist to which they incessantly milked for every last drop of creamy, less filling dogma.

I am not knocking the path of choosing a spiritual teacher… But “better to do your dharma poorly than somebody else’s well”… Right?  So, here I am, fighting my dharma, because I just want to get off the ride while it’s still in motion.  Good luck, Athena.  That’s why I stepped onto the page with the sole objective of FORGIVENESS.  Because that’s about all a sistah can do, when she’s stuck on a horrifying, gut wrenching rollercoaster.  Forgive the ride.  Forgive myself for somehow BEING on the ride.  Forgive the ride operator, forgive my fellow riders, as we shriek and squeal and barf all over each other.

Speaking of barfing all over each other, Mykael and I got in a horrid fight on date night last night.  Naturally, we were at Boot and Shoe service.  And again, I was all stoked to have a fantastic evening, since we had not spent much time together at ALL for the past two days.  The glitch?  Well… have you heard that clever-assed saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments”?  Well especially after last night, I attest!  But the tricky thing about expectations, is that they seep in like a slow leak, a flooding basement, perhaps.  You might be upstairs having the dinner party of the century, all the while… and it’s not till the next morning, when you’re modestly hung over and you have a big mess of dishes still to clean, and you go down stairs and HARK, your LP collection is wet, warped and ruined along with all your photo albums full of photos of grandma and grandpa’s wedding day and their proud bathtub full of  nasty moonshine!

Expectations.  I had an expectation that we would have DEEP, satisfying, thoughtful, rich conversation over dinner.  And I was even prepared to generate it!  I had a few prizewinning insights and confessions that I was SURE would serve as a smokin’ kick-off!  But each time I spoke one… ummm… they would drift from my mouth like holy smoke and evaporate mysteriously into the shimmering ambiance.  Well, it didn’t take me too long to flood and nearly drown in disappointment.  But it wasn’t my own for long.  I did everything in my power to cram my disappointment down Mykael’s silent throat.  It started as an innocent confession.  I identified and then verbalized my expectation.  Simple, right?  Wrong.  T’was the recipe for a fierce spat.  (I seem to have an entire recipe book full of gourmet spats… if you ever want to whip one up to impress your loved ones, you know who to call!)

Intrinsically, there’s nothing wrong with my boyfriend having a quiet day, right?  Of course not.  But can you also see that it might sting me to share my innermost thoughts~ I had been cultivating this particular insight for more than… a day~ In my tireless contemplation of partnership, groping for the CORE of my desires, my commitment… I realized that I am nowhere near as good at unconditional love and acceptance as I want to be… and that our relationship is a fertile ground for practicing these invaluable, virtuous spiritual muscles.  I felt surprisingly shy expressing this to him… Because it made me feel vulnerable.  Then, to be met with silence stung.  But I kept stepping back in, sharing more of myself, giving him the benefit of the doubt.  I am patient, until, abruptly, I am not.

As soon as the fight turned from an accidental spark to full throttle, licking flames, he was suddenly more than happy to engage with me.  WHAT THE FUCK, I thought.  How fucking unfair is it, that he isn’t interested in meeting me in the space of my joy and enthusiasm, but as soon as we step into battle and bloodbath, he is right there, shouting back at me.  Meanwhile, I am feeling sick to my stomach and can’t bear to eat the gorgeous, artistically steaming pizza before me.  This pissed me off.  I pointed it out and then BEGGED him to stop talking.  He wouldn’t.  SO I shifted into eighth gear and DEMANDED with the full force of my being for him to STOP TALKING.  He did.  And instead he began to CRY!  “You are so mean,” he said in a voice of wounded, crumpled defeat

Later, outside the restaurant, he named me “the first person EVER to ‘make him cry in a restaurant’”… Can you believe it??!!  Do I get a medal for that, or a death sentence?  I’m still not sure.  What did I do while he cried?  I renounced eating, turned toward him and felt dumbfounded, helpless and sadistically comical.  He would not turn toward me.  After an eternity of those awkward moments, I turned away from him and slowly finished my slice of pizza and we left in loaded silence.

Outside we picked up where we left off.  I hate that.  The feelings (pain and rage) suck.  They feel humungous and threatening, and I always just want to run away and find a private place to bleed and nurse my wounds.  One of Mykael’s most KICK ASS strengths in our relationship is his commitment to getting clear and returning to Love.  Left to my own devices (if I was, say, dating myself…), I would do a lot more punishing, dramatic exits and private wound nursing sessions.  But Mykael doesn’t roll that way.  This is very healing for me.  So we stood outside the bookstore in the cool, breezy, waning evening and SOMEhow, miraculously, we found love again.  I was having a REALLY hard time letting go and forgiving.  WHY?  I think because I’m afraid that if I let go so easily, I’ll just be in a vulnerable position to be hurt again.  So the prideful, gleaming alternative is to hold on to the pain, glorify it, make it the most real and important thing.  Ironic, how holding onto pain is the ego’s remedial solution to not getting hurt again.

??????????

Mykael said he’d accompany me into the bookstore.  I still yearned go be alone so I could continue sulking, but this man was relentless.  His only commitment was to restoring connection.  Fuck, I wanted to fight.  But instead, I just gave voice to my resistance to letting go, and in doing so, stumbled upon some holy flecks of freedom.  He embraced me and I let myself melt.  God, it sure felt better to open than to fight for my right to remain closed.

Later, we had amazing sex.  Strange how that works.

I’m gonna find my way out of this crazy labyrinth… any minute now…

P.S.~ I feel SO much better after getting all this out on the page.  Peaceful and closer to empty.  Hallelujah!!!!  My hope is that you find something of yourself here in this poetic tangle of words and can love your ridiculous humanity more as a result.  Amen.

Babies Bobbing In My Bath

It’s windy right now.  There’s something vulnerable about watching humans in the wind.  Watching their hair flail about and plaster to their faces, sensing their simultaneous discomfort and rapture.  Anyway, the good news is that I figured it out!!!  I figured out the purpose of long term, committed relationship! (If I were you, I wouldn’t take my claim sitting down though…)  Did I REALLY figure it out?  Probably not, but it “seems” like it.  Ahhhh, the seeming.  Holy smokes!  Seeming for president… Actually, I’m pretty sure that seeming IS the president, and has been for centuries.  But this is not a political rant.  Who cares about politics when there’s human relationships?!?!

I knew that Mykael was gonna spend the day with a friend today.  And I felt jealous because they are going to this beautiful beach, which according to Mykael is covered in rainbow colored rocks (but like I told you before, he has wizard vision.  He sees rainbows in your garden variety, organic grey scales), and I felt left out.  I haven’t been getting out into nature enough, so here I am A-gain, at the café, feeling the stream of traffic and psychic chaos as if it is all flowing right through my center, which I guess it is, since I am the dreamer, dreaming this dream of the main thoroughfare of Piedmont Avenue, teaming with oh so civilized civilization slicing right through the center of my mind, suckling my nerves like over grown babes with oral fixations.  Anyway, so this morning I asked Mykael if he was excited to spend the day with this dude.  He said he was nervous.  That threw me off.  Why would he be nervous about going to the beach with a good friend?  Because, he informed me, he would be “shrooming”.  OH!  Well this is fucking news to me.  And I felt bitch slapped by the spontaneous additional information.  Alienated, excluded, surprised, confronted… and you throw those ingredients in the pot and simmer them under the hot flame of exacerbated old wounds and it becomes an alchemical disaster.

Today I believe that a cornerstone purpose of relationship, at least in MY world, is to serve as a magic mirror.  A magic mirror that is way harder to break than your garden variety glass and metal job.  Or even any other fleshy rendition of reflectivity.  Mykael has been a broken record, constantly bringing it to my attention that I am choosing to see the worst in him.  It’s true.  I have been having a really challenging time focusing on the good things about him. (It’s not hard, given how he’s behaving… but still…) Feels like an addiction.  And speaking of addiction, I can see that my ways of being in Relationship are WROUGHT with addiction, and this is a big piece of why I have been plotting my escape.  It’s really my additive behaviors that I want to break up with. I hate admitting this, because automatically, this confession of awareness raises me up to a new level of personal responsibility… which I suppose is good, but confronting too.  That’s what I love about writing.  I love to show up on the page as deeply honest as I dare to dive, and inspire you to choose the same game, the same journey into self and Self.

In this magic mirror, I am seeing all my incongruencies.  I see that often times, the wounded little girl is in the driver’s seat.  She is needy and clingy, punishing and demanding.  As I evolve, I am discovering that I am a very powerful woman.  But my power is unripe and even dangerous when the aching three year old is the one wielding it.  Yikes, right?  “LOVE ME,” is her ceaseless mantra, and no matter how much she is loved, it is NEVER ENOUGH, and all the while she is swinging a samurai sword three times bigger than she is.  I believe that we are all wounded children, imagining the most epic mother of all betrayals.  The betrayal of God.  (APL= All Pervading Light, for those of you who wake up in severe night sweats due to the abused, battered, scarred “G word”)  Anyone who is paying attention must feel the ache that it is to be invested in this dream of separation.

Love.  To be made of the stuff… and still acting as a beggar at the door to our very own nature.  That’s enough to drive even the most average, corporate person mad after enough cooking time.  But we all have this program uploaded in our collective mind that tells us that finding a mate will cure us of this consuming ache.  It won’t.  Once upon a time, I used to find my wounded behaviors acceptable.  Now I am thirty and life is pulling me deeper into my core, purpose, truth, maturity.  And it is becoming intolerable to let little baby me have the wheel so much of the time.  Doesn’t work.  I want to grow.  But I don’t want to change, I don’t want to let go.  Yes I do!  No I don’t!!!  NO!!!! YESSSS!!!  You see?  It is like this in me.  Is it like this in you?

Just for the record, Mykael is totally imperfect.  But just for the record, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US is totally imperfect.  The question is, do I want to traverse my short time as Athena Grace, with my eyes fixated on the faults of myself and others?  No thanks.  It’s a bad habit.  (One that according to vedic astrology, is a much stronger inclination to one who was born in the dark of the moon.  That would be yours truly.)  (I am feeling calcified and stiff from all this serious talk, so I just stretched and breathed and looked around at the café full of PEOPLE.  This rainbow of skin tones and ages and life experiences.  So many hands lifting refined flour and sugar lumps to open, anticipating mouths.  Proper mouth wiping with crumpled brown paper napkins.  Eyes lost in distant, lonely dreams or buried in glowing screens.  Voices and silence and bad modern rock music.  Woops, the old man with the long scraggly white hair and salt and pepper beard and mustache combo dropped a layer of croissant sheet in his pint glass of milky coffee.  He fished in for it with his weather beaten hand, on the pinky of which he wears a thick turquoise and silver ring.)

What was the turning point inside me, when I realized that Mykael was the ally, not the enemy?  I can’t even remember.  But what I DO remember is that time after time, he steps into me.  Moves closer even when I invest all my strength in pushing him away.  I find this odd. Why doesn’t he break and quit?  I would if I were him.  Curious that this woman with abandonment issues would keep attracting the most loyal, indestructible men on the face of the earth, eh?  (If only he was RICH and loyal and indestructible… Ha!)  Another question I have is, WHY do I fight so hard to stay closed when I touch my pain?  I want to be great enough to open in the face of my ache… but every time, I fight.  WHY?

Look at this~ I say I want to feel what it is to be alone, Athena with nothing added, accountable to no one save herself.  Then, Mykael hangs out with a guy friend last night instead of going to Shabbat dinner with me, and then he makes plans to go out and have a psychedelic play date with another friend the very next day and I am devastated.  Independence~ the very issue that I take a warrioress’s stand for becomes reality, mannifest and I cast it to the stone floor, wishing, in a state of hot, childish passion to smash it into an infinitude of useless pieces.  What the fuck?  I need to herd all these rebellious cats inside of me, and hitch them to a sled, so that they can race at full speed toward the Land of Milk and Honey from whence I sprung back in the old days before Jesus and the dinosaurs.

It feels harder to stay in relationship and behave in new, intelligent, empowered ways than it would be to “close up shop”, leave and do it all by myself.  I am going to take the liberty of making a broad generalization now, because I am a studier of humanity and I think I am pretty damn accurate.  Okay, here goes:  In relationships, modern day humans seem to find solace in shoving each other into tight, comfy little boxes.  We create all these mostly unspoken rules, pictures and expectations of the other, and strike this precarious balance by being who we are supposed to be in order to get this scarce commodity called “Love” from the other.(Which as it turns out, is not really Love at all.)  And when one person behaves not in accordance with the “contract”… look OUT.

So you see, I can’t leave.  There are too many stones unturned.  Too many babies still helplessly bobbing in my bathwater.  And sending babies down the drain is a felony, I think.

Give Me Cookies Or Give Me Peace

I’d much rather be stuffing my menstrual face full of chocolate chip cookies than sitting here trying to figure out which words to commit to this blank slate.  Will these words alter the course of the entire cosmos?  Maybe.  I have a hunch that every single thought and action does, whether we know it or not.  Whether we believe it or not.  And I also believe that a cut deeper is that it doesn’t even matter, since this whole world we dream is but a grandiose, self-important illusion.

Chocolate chip cookies…  Did you know that I used to be a compulsive eater?  I might as well talk about this, since I can’t think of anything else to say…  And best case scenario, my sharing could be of service to someone else “out there”.  (Strange… you seem to be “out there” to me, and yet to you, you are just “here”.  It’s kinda like we’re all self contained space cadets traveling through the deep reaches of outer space [inner space?], occasionally colliding with other travelers, sometimes with body, sometimes mind, heart… or another automobile…)

Cookies.  Lemme back up.  Sugar.  I believe there are demons inside me who thirst for sugar the way predators thirst for blood.  I try really hard not to feed these little demons, because one taste and they become suddenly activated and unrelenting, wanting more and more and more and more and… And I do not enjoy being their bitch.  When I was seventeen, I would eat myself sick.  Don’t ask me why.  It was compulsive.  God only knows what kind of pain I was masking.  But “at the end of the day” (one of my favourite expressions lately), pain is pain.  And at the end of the day, too, rain rhymes with pain and at the end of the beginning of this now moment, it is raining and my pain is at bay.   How auspicious is this collision of converging words speaking of deeper reaches that can only be reached by those willing to get DIRTY.

What was I saying?

Pain is pain.

And I try to abstain

From sugar.

But I was about to bleed and I ate some Mexican chocolate ice cream at dinner with Dan on Monday.  Which greatly excited the demons.  Then on Tuesday, I remembered that Mykael and I had been given a phat stash of cookies which were hibernating in the freezer.  (Mykael’s parents’ friends, the Spinellos have a gay son who is in the cookie business with his partner and they give plenty of the “run-off” to mom and dad)  And then crème brule on Wednesday.  Ooops.  And then… yesterday, again I was perpetually haunted by the slumbering, frozen cookies.  I woke up from my nap with a primal yearning for sugar, butter and hard chocolatey lumps.  Fine.  Athena, you can have HALF a cookie.  YESSSSS!!!!  Lucky me!  So I chomped upon the false promise of hollow heaven.  And for that moment, my body sang siren songs of ecstasy.  Consuming sugar truly can be an experience of symphonic rapture.  (Just so you know, I am on the verge of crying right now, because life is strange and my friend Dan said I would make a great minister, and when I think about praising God all day, for a living, all I can do is cry.  I will cry as I deliver my sermons, because my heart yearns and begs to break in an infinitude of pieces, one for each lost space cadet who exploded from God’s mind in that first holy combustion)

Where was I?  Cookies.  So I ate that half and then I had that old, terrifying feeling of perpetual insatiability.  I felt the whisper of weakness inside, and the cellular memory of the days when I was bored, aching and confused beyond belief and all I could do was make ONE MORE trip the refrigerator, all the while, loathing my body, not wanting to feel it, and my mind chattering up a noisy storm about how tomorrow I would diet, exercise, regain some semblance of control.  All the while feeling disgusted, so alone and A-S-H-A-M-E-D.  Shame is so fascinating to me.  I must’ve written about this before, but I just have to comment on how shame was so intelligently fashioned to perpetuate it’s own survival, because it insists that one mustn’t expose or reveal it because it is UTTERLY repulsive and unlovable, so the afflicted party must invest in concealing it, and like a fungus, it runs rampant in dark, moist areas of the psyche.

So yesterday after I ate my half cookie I thirsted with everything that I am for MORE.  And I argued loudly with myself in my head for a few searing eternities before convincing myself to break off another SMALLISH hunk.  It was weird to feel the juxtaposition of where I have been and where I am now, with a will that can kick some serious impulse booty.  My will wears steel toe boots and uses her big, sexy brains to decimate shadowy impulses with insight and intelligence.  My will refuses to lose control.  How on earth do I manage to have good orgasms?*!??*$^$#()&%  I’ll tell you how~ HARD WORK.  I laugh out loud as I write that, because it is true and if I didn’t laugh, I’d probably be criticizing myself for that truth.  But honestly, when I’m having sex, I am mostly coaching myself on how to most optimally “enjoy” the experience.  Hey, at least the incessant chatter is trying it’s best to be of service.

So I broke off another modest chunk of cookie and thrust the bag back in the dark recesses of the freezer as though it was the predator and I was the prey… Then I devoured the meager, sweet, false promise of salvation in the space between breathing moments, only to find myself feeling just as empty and voracious as I was before I consumed it.  And yes, I felt some shame wash through me, telling me that I’d be best off hiding myself from others, and best off beating myself up a bit for slipping even a little toe’s distance into the repulsive pit of addictive behavior.  All of this over not even a SINGLE lousy cookie!

Now, we all have our own custom fashioned relationship to food, sugar, addiction, self control, impulse… But I share this with you to poke so much fun at my own particular combination, because if I didn’t, the mechanism of fear and shame would do everything in its power to convince me that I am ALONE in these wormy little habits and that they are utterly unlovable.  I used to believe it.  Sometimes I still do.  But mostly I find it amusing.  Mostly I want to illuminate shadows that we might share, so that YOU can feel more human, and therefore, you, WE can be FREE.

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