Tangoing with Skeletons


Hello from my bed.  It finally rained last night, for the first time in two months.  Today is wet and cold and I feel tired and sensitive and this is the ONLY place to be.  


I haven’t blogged in ages because I’ve been too caught up in trying to make money and be Important.  But neither of those aims have materialized. Instead I just exhausted myself. And remembered how essential writing my heart and Life is.  This is my art. And when I don’t make time for my art, I’m nothing but a potato chip. Dry, greasy and unsatisfying.


You  might argue that potato chips rule the World.  And I might agree. But not for the sake of this argument.  Mmmm… salt and vinegar….


A few weeks ago, I spoke with my friend Joan.  I mention her in my writing sometimes… because she’s one of those BEings who makes an Impact with a capital I.  I had a sense that she had energetically disengaged from me, my world, my Journey… and I felt sad about that. So I asked her if this was an accurate assessment.  YES. Indeed. We scheduled a video chat, and she laid it out. Naked and straight. As only Joan can do.


She said if the shoe fits, wear it… and if it doesn’t, send it down the River.  (Or something to that effect.) Mostly the shoe fit…


It stung to hear.  But all hail to the Rare Ones who say it straight.  And not for their own edification/aggrandization… But as an act of Generosity.  Badass. Refreshing.


One facet of the bad taste I left in her mouth was about my immense drama this summer– remember when I cried out the “A word” on social media and begged money from my community to fly back to California where Serena and I would be safe.  I know that burned a good few bridges for me…


She reflected that the WAY I played it was childish.  After I changed my mind about leaving, I told my community “I lost the ticket” (Vague language.  Could have said “I chose not to go home” or something bold and direct.)…  As a way of buffering myself from the shame of taking people’s money and flushing it down the toilet.  And then I said something like, “If you want your money back, let me know.” …which she said was an irresponsible way to go about it.  An adult would be accountable and not put people in the awkward position of having to ASK for their money back.


I see that.  Now what do I DO with that information?  Breathe and let it inform the emergence of a better version of myself?  Schlep Serena along to house cleaning jobs so that I can step forward and pay everyone back?   I don’t know. Weeks later, and still digesting. She ALSO said that I’m rockin’ this whole identity of being “so authentic and exposed”… but really, I only expose some of it.  When and how it serves my ego. (my words…)


YES.  There are ways that I BARE MY MUTHER FUCKING SOUL through my writing… and ways that I conceal and distort.  I admit it. I am a very sensitive, porous being, and part of me is terrified to reveal it ALL for ANYONE and their Mother to read.  AND I am an exhibitionist. And eternally fascinated by this thing called “Me”, doing this thing called “Life” and I *must* pound it out upon the page.


But perhaps it’s better for you to receive this as entertaining fiction… which gives you access to your own hidden world in spontaneous flashes of Grace.  


So there’s some of the Skeletons that Athena Grace has been tangoing with since we last spoke.  And now for the weekly forecast of my inner world.


Ouch.  It’s been an emotional period.  Significant “scattered showers” otherwise known as “tears”.  


Apparently once my sun is born on Italian Soil, Giordano will have the power to block us from leaving the country, should he so choose to wield it.  This fucks with my sense of sovereignty and freedom. Big time. I am facing huge fears of being TRAPPED, far from my hOMe, family and friends. And yet, my inner voice says it’s not time to leave.  (Plus, I have no money and nowhere to land in Cali. But I know if that was what my intuition guided me to do, I would find a Way and do it in a heartbeat.)


Giordano is trying so fucking hard.  But we are being eaten alive by the beast called Survival.  He is working ten hour days, breaking his body, crushed by the immense weight of panoply financial obligations.  We mostly don’t see each other. But the little moments we do are softer than they have ever been. Not hella nourishing… but I feel him evolving.  


I SO want to get my online women’s circles going… but so far, I have not been able to “force bloom” the project.  And in the meantime, we are running on financial fumes. We have no time to “invest” in our relationship… and not enough support.  And we are just different creatures from vastly different worlds. Worlds that I doubt will ever meet. We both try. But it’s exhausting.  


You might be wondering why in the fuck I came to Italy, married this guy and got straight to making a baby with him.  Yeah. That makes a thousand of us. With ME at the center, wondering what in the fuck is driving this Renegade Ship fondly known as Athena Grace…


I am TRYING to just receive the love he is capable of giving, and focus on other dimensions of my Life.  Namely work. And always Serena. (Serena is a legend in my heart. Her BEing blows my Everything on a daily basis… I’m on my knees in gratitude for Her.  And also feeling pain for the ways that I fall short as a mother. That’s a blog unto itself.)


I can try to bypass the lack of emotional fulfillment that I mostly feel in my marriage…. But it haunts me through the cracks.  And I have this nagging feeling that says “this can’t end well…” But alas, I forge ahead. Because what else can I DO?


Last night I dreamt that I was at my friend Shelly’s wedding.  She was a RADIANT, epic bride. Her outer appearance, clearly an expression of her inner fulfillment.  Then I realized that she was ALREADY MARRIED… which confused me for a sec. (In real Life, she is married with two kids.  I attended her wedding like ten years ago.) But she clarified that YES, she WAS already married. AND she still wanted to have another ceremony/celebration, because the communion she and her husband shared was so blissful and extraordinary and worth celebrating anew!  


I woke up with such a heavy heart.  As I feel whenever I see couples thriving in Relationship.  Two equals, entwining their hearts and lives, and all the better for it.  I feel like I’ll never have that in this Life. Which makes me remember my Mom.  The myriad mOMents we sat in her mismatched recliners in her cozy, cluttered nest at Ananda Village, sipping tea…. As she spun off on tangents about her two unfulfilling marriages.  I never thought I’d become her. I thought I had too much emotional intelligence and self-worth to nosedive into that pathetic rut. But alas.  Hi Mom.  Do you appreciate the love and devotion I am expressing  by becoming a living tribute to your wounds and pain?


Who knows what will happen… My friend Marcella invited me to write a Relationship Vision…. I accepted.  I guess that’s the first step. To enVison what I want. Invite it. Surrender the HOW.  Live in the WOW as it dawns upon me.


But honestly, in this mOMent, it feels really…. Good?… to sit in the ache.  I feel real. Maybe it’s even a form of masturbation… It’s so sensational.  The ache.  I can almost touch it.  Experience my Existence in such a palpable way, through the thick, throbbing brokenness in my chest.


Life is such a damn Mystery.  The tangles, the WHYs, the HOWs… and the WHAT will happen nexts…  


And I breeeathe.

Love Letter Sent from Hell

Hello from the bowels of hell.  It’s actually nice that they allow me write hOMe from down here.  I wouldn’t have expected that. Hell gets such a bad rap. But it’s actually a pretty quiet place.  Except for the jubilantly gurgling fish tank filter. They even have a profoundly soft sheepskin rug for me to sit on.  It’s almost like a cheap knock-off of Heaven down here.


Gosh, I thought I was in hell… maybe I should look at a map before I open my big fat mouth and announce shit on the internet.  


I woke up grinding myself down in fear and worry of an imaginary and tragic, not-so-distant-future.  A future where I too quickly run out of money… have no way to make more… no inner, nor outer reSource to make my Dreams come true.  It’s fuckin bleak. Plus, I have an incredible, wildly deserving child that I am accountable for. The skewed puzzle of Existence-As-I-Know-It, is not adding up in my mind.  


Something woke me at 3am.  At 3:50, I got out of bed… imagining that I’d have extra bonus time to infuse my mind with great books and make love with my cup of tea… but instead I cried too much to even be able to sip from my steaming cup of luscious, caffienated love.  


Now I am forgoing my unsayably delectable yoga practice, because I HAVE to write this shit down.  It’s just too bizarre. One of those nightmares you wake up from drenched in sweat, heart pounding… sooo glad to be awake…. But the images and feelings are burned so deep in your body-mind that it takes some serious will power to undo from its gouging shackles.


The mind.  Wild that it can dance between heaven and hell in a single flirtatious blink of Goddess’s shimmering, infinite eye.  


It’s actually kinda cool… to abide in the space where Rubber and Road merge, mingle and masticate.  I mean that’s when we REALLY get to bump and grind with the untainted honesty of what we are made of.  


Or not.


I’m made of Light and Love and Hella Special Sauce.


But I’m not feeling like it.

What I’m driving at, is that lofty spiritual concepts fly out the window when Life has you in a headlock, your soft cheek pressed against gritty pavement.  Before the genius notion to pound my glorious terror out upon willing keys arose, I perched on a sexy, red suede couch, marinating in sacred, terrifying aloneness, crying plump, juicy tears, hurling hateful words at Ed… like how I wish we’d never met, and that I’d kill myself if it wasn’t for Beautiful Serena.  


Isn’t that horrible?


I just can’t get my head around how I imagined I was moving in the direction of my Dreams by leaving Ananda.  Now that I am here in outrageously expensive, excessively paved Marin County, I feel totally destabilized and incapable of birthing my Visionary and Delectable women’s video circles.  


Maybe I should jump tracks and pour myself into my Podcast, “Get Naked With Athena”…


Nobody has signed up for my upcoming webinar.  Go figure. I have been drowning in fear and despair.  Not exactly alluring, to say the least.


BUT I CAN WRITE.  I can pour my deranged, haunted-fun-house-mirror feelings and injured-though-fiercly-determined=racehorse-mind all over the page and THIS is my freedom.  THIS is my heaven amidst the self-imposed hell that I am back-stroking through.


And I CAN BREATHE.  As deeep as I wanna.  That’s raw, pure Grace.   Mmmmm…. I looove to breathe.  


At the heart of the heart, this is what I LIVE for.  To write this boggling existence down. For posterity’s sake.


I’m watching, awestruck as my sense of self unravels.  I really don’t know if I know a damn thing. Before Serena came along, I thought I was this high and mighty preacher of the Good Word.  I dreamt I was a know-it-all, spiritual badass. But honestly, as another dawn illuminates this jagged, perplexing world, and I type my heart and soul out upon the page as though my Life depends on it….


I feel like desperate emptiness dreaming hollow, haunted dreams.  



Wondering what my Life is REALLY for.  

Beneath the fever dreams of ego and false salvation.   

God will show me the Way.   

I pray that I can be good

for Beloved Serena today.

And hey…

Beloved Me, too.

Even though SHE

Is harder to see.


And God, please take away this self-hatred that I didn’t even realize was in me…. Until I stumbled, mostly sober, into this illusory wing of hell.  Let me be Empty.


And Faith-FULL.  



The Difference Between Me and Peter Pan

Believe it or not I’ve been compared to Peter Pan every once in a silver-pink moon.  I can see it.  I mean I probably won’t be growing up any time soon.  And maybe Kauai is just a code name for “Never Never Land”… I mean come ON, they’re both magical islands.  Think of Puff the Magic Dragon, for God’s revelatory sake… Would it surprise you if Puff and Peter were really two peas in a pod?  Heck throw Michael Jackson into that sweet, crunchy husk… I mean Neverland Ranch, Never Never Land… Same difference, right?

But I digress.  The main difference between me and Mister Pan is that he was able to ditch his shadow for a while… while this one Miss Grace LMNOP on the other hand… HER shadow is definitely stuck fast to the souls of her feet and it ain’t goin’ nowhere.  I just don’t want to pull the chinchilla fur over your gullible little googly eyes.  Leave that to the politicians and the media.  Nope, here in Athena Grace Land, we are way more interested in the full, glorious and oft unflattering truth of what it is to be an unwieldy, all too human manifestation of All Pervading Best Thing You’ve EVER Tasted.

Like I said yesterday, I can talk a great game about living for Love and all that other fluffy angel-down (down as in soft feathers, just to clarify) gospel.  And lately the glistening wisdom has been pouring out of me as if from a gaping open wound slashed in Grace’s very flesh… But… then come those moments when I meet myself in mirrors that glare back at me with utterly demonic faces.  There is no better mirror than a stubborn Taurus boyfriend to keep me humble and remember that I still have much cleaning up to do in this cracked temple I call Home.

Yesterday Mykael was going to pick me up from the farmer’s market and take me with him to our friends’ house where he was helping make a mosaic.  Our agreed upon pick up time was fast approaching when suddenly I was commissioned for two more poems.  And neither customer was an expendable plastic imitation.  Both men were so sincere and vulnerable and obviously sent by Lady Almighty.

My first customer, Darrell was grappling with an issue at work he said.  He was hesitant to share it because he said it was “yucky”.  I told him that the whole POINT of poetry was an alchemical transformation that spins invaluable esoteric gold and diamonds out of generic brand yuckiness.  He seemed to taste the tart, mouthwatering glints of light spritzed by this stance, so he proceeded to share with me his conundrum.  He said that he had applied for a promotion at work and was more than qualified, as had a few others… but in the end, the results had been politically rigged in favor of someone less qualified and this was NOT okay with him.  Like our timeless hero Arjuna, in the Hindu Epic Tale of the Bhagavad Gita, his dharma had called him to battle for what he knew in his heart to be right.  He refused to let this unjust practice continue in his workplace.  He was up against the part of himself that just wants to be liked.  But inside, he knew it was time to take a stand for something greater~ Integrity.  Self Respect.  Raise your hand if you’ve ever faced that conundrum.  Takes guts to remain steadfast to Truth and integrity over social standing and bleary eyed, white sheep acceptance.  Guts. (That word still gets me every time!)

I thought I could whiz through his poem like any respectable daughter sprung from the very head of the King of the Gods, Zeus… but alas, the space time continuum begged to differ.

I read him his poem and could feel him slurping it right up with his hungry, genuine heart.  Oh shit, I was already late.  Mykael was waiting in the parking lot.  I asked this next man if I could mail him his poem since I had to dash.  He confessed he was without a mailing address, as he was in major upheaval and traveling like a free-wheeling prophet as of late.  So I called Mykael and asked for ten more minutes.  He sounded upset but he said yes.  I asked if he was sure, because he was free to say yes or no… and he replied that at this point it didn’t matter.  COOL!  So I got to typing.  And still no lightening miracles.  God was a slow partner in the benign crime of poetry.  But it was a whistling beauty in the end, if I do say so my LMNOP-ish self!

When I got to the car, I realized I was forty minutes late and Mykael was a subterranean inferno.  The moment I stepped into the car, I knew I was engulfed in epic flames of danger.  Naturally, the first thing I did was apologize, but it seemed hollow next to the mountain of negative charge bleeding from ever pore in Mykael’s very being.  I sat in the passenger seat, silently feeling myself drown in feelings that would surely make a flower wilt on the spot.  I immediately started coaching myself on how to navigate this moment gracefully.  But I was all flounder at this point.  Before long, he started in… unloading his tangle of pain, his dam of suffering.  Of course this put me on the defense… but I knew defending would not solve anything.  I wished I had NOT made the choice to accompany him.  I fantasized about getting out of the car, right in traffic and taking refuge to nurse my suddenly gaping wounds.  But my inner coach told me that this was a potent moment to practice what I’d been preaching.  Can I stay in Love NOW???  Can I truly rest into the belief that there ARE no accidents and this too was a perfect moment gifted to me by Her Royal Auspiciousness?  I knew it was true.  I knew that this moment was a gift and a challenge and an opportunity to keep my heart open.

Why then did I start screaming at Mykael?  Because he had been pouring his wrath on me thick for quite a while and then he invited me to speak and I began to tell him that the two poems I wrote were crucial and divinely ordained and he cut me off because he had no room to entertain this airy fairy new age bull-loney at this point.  But I wanted to have a voice.  He had had his.  And frankly I couldn’t take anymore of his muted rage.  SO I SCREAMED… I can’t remember what.  But as I was breathing all of my own delinquent fire, I realized, oh shit, this IS not how I meant to play out this scene.  I think I just lost the Heart Olympics.  In fact, I must have been straight up disqualified.  Oh Crumbs, as they say in my country.

I brought myself back in record time though… And it wasn’t too long before I was cool enough to confess to Mykael that I would have felt the same, had I been in his rock star moccasins.  But by this time, my heart was saturated with sorrow.  We both just sucked up into our respective selves and were mostly quiet.  Little by little, the energy dissipated until all was well in Always Always Land.  (Divine counterpart to Never Never)

But imagine how bloody pleased I was to receive Darrell’s blindingly blessed comment upon waking this morning.  This is what it said:

“I wanted to find you *today*, Athena, and thank you.

Thank you for taking the time to hear my “yucky” thoughts and transform them into poetry/prayer. I loved watching the courage with which you approached our conversation…and the blank page.

I loved that you read your creation to me so that it was more than art. It was a personal gift, and that is how I received it. You could not have known how much your words encompassed truth that never left my lips.

A week ago, I asked myself to write down the most minute form of my own quest that I could express. It was simply: “to be free”. How enchanted I was when you ended your poem–my poem–with the words:

“…and be free

If I wasn’t so big and tough (in front of my son at least), I might have choked up a little. Thank you for inspiring me, Athena.

As my son and I left, he said to me: “She might be one of those people…that come when you need them and you never see them again. Sometimes God sends them like that…”

He never talks that way…and he couldn’t have known I was thinking the same thing. Even if he’s right, there will always be a connection of gratitude, so we can never truly be strangers again.”

Amazing, right?  Amazinger than Grace.  Amazinger than a DMT trip.  Amazinger than all the atoms in my body dancing so harmoniously that it is causing me to bleed this load of thoughtful, heart-stained words.

Thank you, GOD!!!  Amen.