Slaying Dragons with Toothpicks

Remember back in the late eighties when baby Jessica fell down the well… and a massive search and rescue party spent days or maybe even weeks trying to get her out?  (Yes, I came from one of those mainstream households where the sun rose and set by the light of the television profusely spewing news, and we were all (pathetically) “abreast” of what THEY prescribed we should be…. Talk about a past life within a life.)  Anyway, I was just jogging through the woods (for the third time in the two years Serena has been with me), and I realized that I too, have lost my Best Friend down a cruel, dark well.  Except nobody sent a search and rescue party for my darling, linguistically portrayed dimension of Athena Grace.  Frown.

October first was the date I posted my last blog entry in here Athena Graceland.  Today is December first.  For all you math retards out there, that’s TWO WHOPPING MONTHS.  Ask me if that’s “OK”… Ummm, nope.  It’s really not.  In a way, this free-wheeling, journal-esque blog seems frivolous.  But peel back the cheap plastic wrap of seeming, and you’ll see that I am here making love to myself.  I am here realizing my Existence.  Befriending myself in a way that is healing and even essential.

This morning, Serena is with her beloved, stand-in-grandma-friend for two massive/fleeting hours…. and it’s a rare and hella sacred interlude, where I do not have to be a survival driven hussla, shackled to making a dirty buck.  Two holy hours.  And a gentle, humming desperation as I deliberated on how to spend them.  But I’ll tell you ONE thing– there’s nothing like being the single mom of a two year old to spur a bitch to master time management!  So I opted to jog through the cool, marmalade sunlit forest, and then, yerba mate in hand, slowly explode on this ecstatically empty page.  Although now, it is ecstatically filling with gorgeous fluidity and understated pleasure.

Actually, this is the happiest mOMent of my life.  And just for the record, I WAS gonna write my “article”… for Rebel Priestess Magazine…. about alternative parenting.  It will be about my journey as a single mama.  Entitled, “From Victim to Victory”… I will brazenly share about how goddamn seductive it is to feign victimhood as a single mom… It’s like this dumb card that I get to ostentatiously wave around at the world… so that the masses will take pity on me for all that I have to do by my poor, withered and wasted self.  A masturbatory stigma…. that somehow makes me feel…. like somebody, I guess.

But then…. all I have to do is flip a switch in my mind…. turn on a little “mood lighting” inside my psychedelically persuaded perceptions…. And suddenly my identity flips on her brilliant head.  Like the hottest magic, I am empowered, abundant, triumphant, resourced.  The truth is, without Serena, I would be aimlessly wandering the slums of Graceland.  And with a man up in the mix, I would be dependent and disempowered, perpetually choking myself on the short, cruel leash, as I devoured rotten scraps from his fat, sweaty palm. (C’mon, just let me indulge in superlative drama!!!  This is MY DAY.)   The journey into single motherhood has demanded that I dig fuckin DEEP and claim my power in a way I never would have, had I had a partner holding my helpless little hand.  That’s not to say I don’t want a partner.  I do.  And I will have one.  Serena’s dad.  He’s *finally* separating from his wife.  For real.  We will be together in a year.  But I need(ed) this initiation before I was ready to board the Partner-Ship and cruise the cosmos, family style.  Because of this rigorous initiation, I will do it from true sovereignty.  Not from need.  Not from ancestrally informed autopilot.  I am nobody’s bitch, Bitches!!!!!

Whoa.  I didn’t know I was gonna write all that.  What I was intending to say, is that I was planning to invest my few, fleeting moments of Me Time writing said article.  For which I’d feel so damn important.  Like, “Look at me!  I’m sooo cool… I know what the hell I’m talking about and I write ARTICLES.”  The notion of being “Important” makes me salivate, honestly.  And it cracks me up at the same time.  But as I was jogging through the forest, breathing heavy and carving through forsaken layers of my own mostly delicious thoughts, I realized that blogging is how I befriend myself.  And at once, I knew that this was way more crucial than being “Important”.  At least for today…

Day after day, as I pour my whole self into raising Serena alone, I feel mostly crushed by the excruciating weight of my dreams.  Yes, people, FINALLY, at the age of thirty seven and eleven months, my Dharma, my Destiny, my Dreams are coming into crisp, lucid focus!  But the irony, is that I could contain the amount of spare time I have in a crystal thimble!  Every day, I aim to move forward and get my women’s circles way the fuck OUT into the world– clarify my Vision statement, work on my website, write relevant articles and blog posts….  But mostly I FAIL!!!!!!  Mostly my life revolves around an artistic weave of bacon scavenging and meeting Serena’s gorgeous needs, which I should NOT be whining about.  She is a fountain of joy-full, creative, awe-struck, unfiltered Existence!!!!  But sans adequate self-care (a concept I once upon a time took frivolous delight in snubbing and snarking at….),  I find myself all too often, a depleted pile of anxiety, anger and sprawling frustration.

I mean it would seem “logical” that maaaaybe if I can’t even do an uninterrupted half-a-blessed-hour of yoga, take a hot bath or WRITE A FRIGGIN BLOG, that it might be INSANE to believe that I can take over the world and generate a prolific culture of empowered, deliciously embodied women leaders who stand up together in authenticity, vulnerability, unleashed and spiritually aligned Desire…. and collectively call forth a fucking fabulous, harmonious, peaceful, turned-ON, co-creative world.   Yeah.   Mostly it feels like trying to slay a dragon with a toothpick.  Dumb, right?  WRONG.  Because I’m gonna slay the flame-breathing beast.  I am.  And then I’ll stand atop the mountain, gloriously penetrating the heavens with my blood-stained toothpick…. and rightfully feeling like a badass Master of the Yoniverse.

And then I’ll take a decadent bow, and keep right on dreaming and doing in the name of LOVE.

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Poo-poo.

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By now I’m sure you know this… but I’m gonna tell you anyway.  In the beginning, there was the Word.  And the word was “poo-poo”.  If I had a golden Sacagawea dollar for every time I’ve coaxingly uttered those sacred syllables over the recent days….

I feel an urgency-gone-desperation to spew these words out before Serena wakes up, because lately I have had less than nothing for myself, due to her amplified demands on me, combined with the absence of community support.  My Cosmic Dad whisked us away to Costa Rica for the month of August… and everything is foreign and new and unpredictable.  Which basically means that she has taken up permanent residence on my boob.  Yes, I’m exaggerating.  Because I want to convey my feeeeeelings, which primarily consist of overwhelm, isolation, irritation, frustration and even some ferocious, white-hot rage… to name a few.

Actually, (and thank GOD),  those crucifying textures of my current inner-life have been broken up by sporadic expanses of peace, contentment, awe, fascination and other such palatable flavors.   I remember when I used to frequent Chucky Cheese’s as a kid… (In retrospect, what a creepy place!)  I remember this little crawl space under the stage where Mr. Cheese and his robotic band of freaky animals performed their “live show”… Inside was a button you could press, which would set off a strobe light.  I was rapt by the magic of this intense pulsation of light– the way it freeze-framed physical movements into rapid, flip-book successions.  This is how life has felt on our travel odyssey.  Extreme, pulsating vacillations between light and dark.

And now back to poo-poo.  Since we landed nine days ago, Serena has been a continuous, willful refusal to let it go.  With the help of gritty, watermelon flavored chewable kid’s laxatives, she pooped once, early on…. And then held on for six, anxiety-laden days.  Encouraging her bowels to move has become my neurotic raison d’être.  I gave her prunes, magnesium, probiotics… with no success… so I graduated to more saline laxative.  Getting her to eat them was the battle of the century.  Which I initially lost.  (She is cultivating a gorgeous will, at nearly twenty-one months earth side.)  But I made a triumphant KO in the second round, when I crushed them up and mixed them with watery orange juice.

God, sometimes I hate moving stories forward.  It can feel so restrictive.  Like, I have been living through copious amounts of miraculous, jagged experience that I long to share with you.  I wish I could write like one of those snakes that unhinges it’s jaw in order to swallow it’s massive prey.  I would unhinge my mind and my fingertips would explode with unobstructed, simultaneous worlds of imagery and feelings that at once harmonized and clashed in a highly compelling fashion, which transformed your consciousness in such a way that it trumped visions of a renowned Holy Virgin.

I’m not quite sure how to do that… so I’ll just keep plugging away at my story with as much honesty and creativity as I can muster.   But if my world WAS spilling simultaneously into your mind, you would see an impressive gaggle of young, hottie surfers (men and women) behind me, speaking myriad languages, waxing their boards with notable focus and a dash of passion.  It’s six fifteen am.  Oh, they just set out for the beach, which is a modest block down the gravel road from our “home” for a whopping ten days, “Casa Zen”.  I can hear Her mighty, crashing roar from my station on the patio downstairs.

Serena has never gone so long without pooping.  Oh, I guess I got derailed before I finished recounting the laundry list of laxatives and suppositories I imposed upon my poor little goddess.  Well, let’s just say it was a “butt load”.  Literally. (the list includes two rounds of glycerine suppositories).  Meanwhile, she refused to sit on the potty at all.  She’d stiffen and yell and put up an impressive fight.  Which of course stirred and stoked the hell fires inside me to unbearable degrees.

Do I have to do a play by play of this bone-crushing saga?

What I want you to know, is that I have felt extremely isolated on this trip… Riding a continuum of Unknown has increased Serena’s demands on me.  And here I am, attempting to hold MYSELF as I navigate the deep waters of losing *the illusion* of control… while constantly being required to hold Serena… through the intensity of crumbling nap schedules and bedtimes, restaurant food that doesn’t appeal to her, pooplessness… to name a few.  I have had too many moments where I want to hurt myself, in response to the excruciating internal pressure.  I keep asking myself why the fuck I was called to this journey to Costa Rica.  The truth is, it was a very clear calling.  The compass of my heart read an unmistakable YES when I tuned in.  Hence, I know I am straight-up dirty dancing with my Destiny.  I just don’t get it.  I thought Destiny was supposed to be laden with glitter and falling balloons and jet streams of happily-ever-after euphoria.

So yesterday, awash with mild jewish neurosis, I opted to take Serena to a clinic down the road, in hopes they’d be able to coax the poop out of her.  The hella young, moderately handsome medic consulted his iPhone, listened to her heartbeat, took her pulse and stuck his white, latex-gloved, pinky finger up her butt to see if there was any obstruction.  Nope.  She was a heart-crushingly willing patient.  I held her and chanted Ganesha’s mantra close to her ear as he performed the invasive procedure.  I shattered when she feebly repeated it, “Om gam ganapatayai namaha”.  OMG.  I love her.

Then, to my disgust, Doctor Boy gave her a watermelon lollipop.  I didn’t know what the fuck to do.  She’s twenty months old for god’s sake.  That’s the last thing she needs, is to curdle her blood chemistry and rot out her teeth.  I let her hold it.  She didn’t know what to make of it, thank God.  (Later, after she’d had as much innocent amusement as one possibly can have with a colorful, crinkly, plastic-adorned ball on a stick, I covertly tossed it in the trash.)  Doctor Boy said I should nurse her less and give her more fruits and watery, fibrous foods, including jars of Gerber mush.  Ummm yeah… no thanks Dude.  I cried out of helplessness and guilt that Ken had to pay fifty bucks for that nonsense.  Serena kissed my heart.

And now for the ending that indeed reads like a sweet, red cherry.

Yesterday, on our late afternoon wander (to a bookstore, where a book on how to create a compelling, widely read and lucrative blog leapt off the shelf a tackled me, insisting to be mine), when the outrageous thunder, lightening and deluge struck.  We ducked into a charming burger shack and ate a delicious meal, after which Serena began to fuss.  I had a sense that she needed to poop.  She hadn’t peed for hours either.  So I took her to a gravel area at the edge of the restaurant, and encouraged her to squat and pee.  She resisted, but finally succumbed, and proceeded to produce a soft-serve pile of poop… which she sat in and smeared all over her little butt.  This horrified her.  She cried and writhed and got it all over her dress.  I did my best to remain cucumber calm, totally approving and celebratory, as I undressed her, placed her poopy dress in a wad on the wet gravel and procured a clump of wet paper towels to clean her off.  Then, with more paper towels, I picked up the warm, stinky pile of poop and chucked it in some jungly underbrush nearby.

Ken scrambled to pay the check and we made our way back to our room, me carrying naked, stinky Serena on my back, and holding her poopified dress between my thumb and forefinger.

And now for the all-too-obvious and corny punchline:

The story is just as Genesis doth spake…. In the beginning there was the Word.  And the Word was “poo-poo”…………..(insert the creation of the World here)………… And on the sixth day—-

She pooped.

EPILOGUE:

So I successfully banged out the first draft of this blog while she slept this morning.  (A measurable accomplishment which flushed me with grounded euphoria…)  When she woke, she was unusually fussy.  I felt her body shudder, as I held her close.  I asked her if she wanted to sit on the “pot-pot”, to which she slung a bold, stubborn, “NO.”  But her body disagreed.  More firm, soft-serve poop leaked out onto my tank top.  Again I endeavored to remain calm as I carried her to the bathroom and straddled the toilet with her in my arms in the poop position.  I encouraged her to drop Bunny, but she refused and he got smeared with feces.  At this point, her body was hopelessly in charge, to the dismay of her *impressive* will.  Multiverses of poop spewed from her tiny, helpless body.  In multiple rounds.  I couldn’t believe she had THAT MUCH to poop out.  HOLY SHIT indeed.  At a certain point, as I held her on the potty, I noticed her eyes were closed, and her awareness was completely internalized.  Something I’ve never witnessed.  Afterward, I could tell that she was deeply impacted by the experience.  A layer of her innocence seemed to have sloughed off.  For quite some time, she was quiet and just wanted to be held.  Talk about INTENSE.  Now, hours later, she is back to her curious, vivacious self.  And I am soooooo relieved.

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The Fight to Write.

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The unicorn is galloping across sprawling, poofy, marshmallow cloudscapes, and still…. I am gonna thrust myself up on the bitch.  Yes.  I’m talking about my writing life… which has slithered like whispering water through my slender fingers as I incessantly pour into my life as a single mother.  Actually, I feel some relief in the X-treme scarcity of Time.  Because before Serena, there was too much of the stuff.  I damn near drowned in the strange ocean of excruciatingly slow, linear, third dimensional existence.  I guess Time is a beast that I came here to wrastle (and K the fuck O).  What better way to restructure said relationship, than to dream forth a demanding little goddess who hoards every precious second, formerly known as “mine”.

I hear a mouse gnawing at the inside of my bathroom wall.

Is it legal to write a one sentence paragraph?  I remember in high school, when “they” taught me about the “essential” components of a paragraph– An opening sentence with a main idea.  Then a few supporting sentences.  And finally a conclusion.  I like considering the possibility that ONE single sentence can contain ALL OF IT.  Like the universe in a grain of rice.  Like how much blessed meaning can you squeeze out of one modest strand of words.  What worlds secretly breathe and pulsate therein?  It’s like those pivotal moments following the news that your mother “wishes to be made comfortable” (apparently code for “is about to die”)… and suddenly the slow drip of the kitchen faucet becomes the heartbeat of Creation.  Your mind sprinting through stiff, sludgy oatmeal.

Ah, yes, it’s wonderful to be back in Athena Graceland.  Fuck.  Serena just called out to me from the bedroom, her voice a sharp arrow.  It’s only 5:49am.  Girl, go back to sleep.  God!!!!!!  Throw down some freakin’ mercy.  Let a bitch express some damn philosophical frivolity (and an impending deeper cut) to the privileged few amongst the masses, who have, by your Grace, stumbled upon the treasure-laden, zany worlds that stream from within me.  Silence again…. And a slow breath, pregnant with Hope with a hella capital H.

Ok, better get to the excruciatingly sharp POINT.  Life.  That is always the point, I think.  Telling the raw, naked truth about Life. So watch me bust out a “Hemingway Simple” topic sentence on this urgent subject…

In so many mOMents lately, I find myself threadbare and just celebrating the rudimentary fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.  She’s crying again and I can’t muster much explosive intelligence and cleverness as I endure her increasingly desperate call.  I was hoping she’d self soothe and sink back into slumber.  Dream on Athena.  Well there you have it.  Athena Grace, squeezing a goddamn drop of creative juice out of a huge ugly rock, imperviously lodged in a cruel and hard place.  Bye.   

It’s a new day.  My body thirsts to practice yoga.  But an invisible force inside me demands that I finish this piece of writing.  This is my Life now… Squeezing single glistening drops of “me time” out of huge boulders of obligation and duty as I trudge through a panoramic mOMent of humble service and profound ordinariness.  But that makes mothering sound like a chore… It is.  And it’s not.  It’s actually the best thing I’ve ever done…. And one of the hidden gifts of its fierce rigor is that being in twenty-four-seven service to Little Missiz Grace stokes the fuck out of the fire of my longing to be, do, have, and fully LIVE the other facets of my intricate, dynamic Self.  Which is good.  Because back in that other life, (now a microscopic speck in my figurative rearview mirror) the unwieldy ocean of perceived time drowned out my fire to engage and create.

Now that I have experienced conception, pregnancy, birth and sustenance of the object of my all-consuming Desire, I have a felt-sense of this sacred, feminine territory.  And I can feel a new life gestating in my womb.  It is my work in the world.  A hunger is welling up inside me to play huge.  And WIN.  Which of course encompasses plenty of glorious failures along the way…. But winning looks like staying in the game.  No matter what.  Full contact.  No holds barred.  Stretching into domains of creative actualization and impassioned service beyond my wildest dreams.  (And beyond the crippling social programming of my fore-mothers.)

In 2011, I did a two hundred hour yoga teacher training with Psalm Isodora, the renowned tantra yoga teacher who recently took her own resplendent and gritty life.  Her training felt like flushing a couple thousand dollars down the toilet.  In my experience, the bitch did not have it together.  (But I give her goddess props for not letting that stop her.  To live into huge vision, it’s mandatory to fuck up and make messes along the way.)  The one gold nugget that emerged, gleaming from the sludgy chaos and bullshit, was the moment she said to me, “If you want something, you have to become obsessed with it.”   

It’s true.  I felt this all-consuming obsession with creating a child.  And now it is building a soul-satisfying career that inspires, ignites and liberates the hearts of the masses.

FUCK.  The mother fucking dog barked and woke Serena up.  I could kill him.  It’s only six twenty and I was sure I was gonna finish this goddamn thing today.  FUCK EVERYTHING.

And now for the ultimate zen koan.  It’s wild how victory feels simultaneously impossible and inevitable.  Life is grinding me down.  S L O W .  So that in God’s Time, the spacious nothing that I am will ripen, rise and conquer.  I really do want to take over the world.  But not for my own gain.  For the benefit of ALL.  I yearn to be a vast, consuming source of neon spectrum, God-drunk, turned-the-fuck-ON liberation that doesn’t quit.

Life feels grueling.  Wrought with unsayably deep, emotional complexity.  It is requiring EVERYTHING.  I am watching myself break the fuck down.  I am starving for touch and deep, sexual loving.  I have to bust out some serious kung fu just to claim a few moments to paint my damn nails.  Yet… I feel a silken ribbon of holy whisper inside.  And it assures me that I am Destiny’s bitch, whether I like it or not.  And She IS this unquenchable, creative thirsting, bursting, swollen River ever gushing from within me.

PS–  I finished this blog with my “Big Girl” suckling my breast.  Whatever it fucking takes….