All I Can Do is Pray Today

Athena Grace, pull your self together.  Come on woman.  It’s five fifty three am and I am tongue tied.  I think it’s because what’s on my mind and in my heart are things that I don’t want to write about.  Like all the judgments of Mykael that I’m drowning in.  Like the perpetual frustration that I don’t feel capable of being close with my twenty year old brother, Daniel who seems to be perpetually and *needlessly* suffering.  Like that I’m seeing Eric this morning and I can feel how closed his heart is to me and it stings to feel the heart of someone you love shut tight.  Which is the way my heart feels toward Mykael mostly, so I know how it feels on BOTH ends and trust me, it SUCKS.

Maybe I’ll just pray really hard this morning.  REALLY HARD.

Dear God,

Please help me relinquish all my ego-inspired desires, so that I am standing naked and free in the light of the Truth.  Help me to polish my mirror, sanctify the prism of Self, so that only unconditional LOVE pours through.  God, let me not believe in or even entertain the myriad of white lies (and black lies and seductively prismatic lies) cast upon this world by my fearful, divided mind.  God please help me to forgive and return to Love even (and ESPECIALLY) when it is most difficult and I just don’t wanna.  Please, may I feel you within me, through me and EVERYWHERE, now and forever more.  May I allow this Ocean of Love we are immersed in to be the only thing that is Real, the only thing that matters.  May I have the courage to lean into the weighty, divine silence and be purified by the softly droning OM of creation.  God, I forgive this twisted dreamy nightmare of separation from You.  I do.  I forgive this dream once and for all.  I forgive this dream and wish only to Love through the confusion, the chaos, the suffering.  Please, let my life be a Light.  I know my strength lies in you.  In prostration, I offer myself at the All Pervading Holy Feet of Creation.  Use me.  Purify me such that my only will is Thy Will.  And let me remember and embrace the truth of my infinite patience for the process.  Let my life be one long garland of prayer, praise and celebration of the One who laughs the world into existence.  GodGodGodGodGodGodGodGodGodGodGodGodGodGod

Please erase all scarcity imprints from my mind.  May my mind be still and luminous.  GOD!  I know you know my heart.  I know you know my every thought.  I know you hear my prayer, and it is your greatest joy to lend your All Pervading Hand and guide me back to my SELF.

And God???  Please help me pay the rent on time.

And God?  Thank you for blessing me with so much love in my life.  With so many beautiful, inspiring friends.  Thank you for helping me heal my relations with my family.  Thank you for singing me awake from within all things in all moments.  God!  Thank you for giving me such resplendent gifts to offer the world.  Thank you for carrying me across this desert of forgetfulness and returning me better than you found me (figure of speech… there is no comparison in the wholeness of Love’s breath) to Love’s own All Pervading Heart.

May I have the courage to feel and allow the Love that we are all swimming in.  Now.  And Forever.

God, please be my best Friend, my Eternal Lover.  Thank You God.  Thank you with Everything that I Am.

In Devotion, Ache and Sincerity,

Athena Grace LMNOP

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To Simply Be Here

Guess WHAT???  I could write ANYthing right now!  How wild is that?!  I mean an infinite well of possibility is at my disposal in this very moment… and yet… I will pare down infinity to something very specific and hopefully beautiful, inspiring and/or thought provoking.  What a divine responsibility!  And we share it, you silly earthling!  Every moment that we open our mouths and let our thoughts fly free as supercharged sonic vibrations, we alter the entire cosmos.  Don’t ask me… that’s just the way it is.  But I sure don’t see us humans living in a state of reverence for this weighty gift.  Nobody taught us to.  We learn to speak and soon our mouths flap and pop and click like there’s no tomorrow, painting the world with careless, linguistic barf.  Makes me think of the hallowed Buckminster Fuller, inventor of cool shit like the geodesic dome.  He shut the fuck up for literally years, because he didn’t want to speak until he was truly moved to.  And when he finally did, you can bet your fancy-assed britches that he spoke as an ambassador of the All Pervading Holy Headmistress.  (Listen, we are ALL ambassadors of the All Pervasive Exclamation Point… We just don’t act like it often enough.)

I am at Pizzaiolo today.  It’s been like a week… I’m sorta glad to be back.  Though writing in bed is pretty sweet compared to this hard, wooden bench.  But the best thing about being here is that on Monday mornings, the flower arranger is here designing her signature over-the-top bouquets of creative genius.  I just gave her a good, long look.  She shines like a true artist in the biblical sense.  I can see the creative impulse smoldering in her gorgeous face.  Her arrangements are more like little ingeniously flowering trees!  Today’s arrangements are being fashioned from immense tree branches that reach the ceiling.  But she takes hours to complete her works of art, so who knows what kind of magic will burst from these trees as they ripen into the gradual fullness of their expression… All I know is that they will defy traditional “flower arranging” for the betterment of [wonder] woman kind.

Speaking of Wonder Woman, sheeesh did I want to have a drink or a smoke or a SOMETHING yesterday.  I did NOT want to feel what I was feeling.  What was I feeling that was so undesirable?  Hmmm… well, if I had to name it… I guess it was the kind of bereft loneliness that seeps right beneath your clothes, through even your skin, bones, and straight into the soul of your soul.  Shrug.  I guess that kind of loneliness is “good”.  I mean it puts hair on the chest.  Spiritual hair.  The kind of hair that’s like God’s badge of honor. (Not to mention, a crucial source of warmth.)  I can’t help but think I was feeling beyond myself and clear into the heart of the world, on behalf of the Team.  When my emotions are so immense and indefinable… it only makes sense.  Especially given the vast numbers of people who are NOT willing to feel all that stuff… it’s gotta go somewhere, right?

I’ve said it before, but this phase of the spiritual path is fuckin’ tough.  It’s the phase where I realize that noting of this world can truly fulfill me, and yet I’m still digging through my wickedly massive, larger than life sized purse to find my all access, VIP pass to the Here and Now version of Heaven.  I know I’ve talked about this before, because I remember having the epiphany that this state is actually purgatory in the biblical-est sense.  But as I sit here in wait, I know that my ascent to Heaven is inevitable… it’s just a matter of WHEN.  And hell is but a very compelling figment of our twisty, collective imagination of a world divided and stripped of Love.

In the past, I would have slugged a glass of wine and been fine enough.  I would’ve hit the pipe and been feeling right in no time.  Or at least had a sweet, creamy treat and then distracted myself by riding the Ferris wheel of guilt, self judgment and spot hitting temporary relief.  But… I’m done with that.  At least for now.  As my spirit guides shouted to me through Amy, THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS TO LOVE!!!!  There aren’t.  They are right.  And I am so over pretending otherwise.  So instead I dragged my teary ass out into the perfectly warm evening for a wander through the Piedmont Cemetery.

For those of you who don’t know, the cemetery is one of the most magical places I know.  I have unicorn sightings there on a semi-regular basis.  It is an immense world, much like what I imagine many people’s rendition of Eternity actually does look like.  Green rolling hills that reach increasingly higher, until they spill out into a view of the entire bay area.  The diversity of trees is mind boggling.  Seriously, I bet every single tree that can grow in the state of California (which encompasses most tress) is planted in this enchanted land.  And the tomb stones are so wicky-wicky artistic, ranging from the most basic granite lumps, to ornate mausoleums, to beautifully tortured, pensive stone angels.  Stone angels.  Honestly, what could be more poetic?

The gates were locked early yesterday, so I hoped the stone wall.  A man in a bright orange shirt saw me and was inspired to follow suit.  I wandered along the path, secretly hoping he was behind me.  I felt compelled to talk to him.  Shrug.  Couldn’t tell you why… I turned around.  He was there.  We struck up a conversation.   I told him that I was feeling the sorrow of the entire world and I was choosing not to self medicate.  He expressed his own strain of soulful loneliness.  We walked and talked in the most straight, unabashed fashion.  And then we parted ways.  He sat on the edge of the hill and drank in the warm, spacious world.  I climbed higher up the hill, wondering where I was headed.  Until, that is, I spotted the perfect tree, who literally beckoned me.  I sat underneath her and opened wide to the quietly breathing soft chaos of the Bay Area.  Lucid blues, humming greens and a whispering sea of liquid gold, kissed by otherworldly mist.

Then I shut my eyes on all of this resplendent, over the top beauty, knowing that I am on an unstoppable mission to discover the very Mother of all this visually accessible beauty.  A beauty that can only be discovered “the hard way”… you know, by being willing to dive deep beneath the seen, tasted, smelled, heard, felt world of the senses.  A beauty that lives in the heart of the heart of the heart of the All Pervading Heart.  Yeah.  I meditated until the sun was just about to hide its flaming face for the night.  In awe, I watched it sink into oblivion, decimated by modest, silhouetted mountain peaks.   I almost tasted peace… perched alone at the top of the world, straddling that grandiose paradox of utter aloneness and implicit connection to all life.  I remember being lulled by the heavy whispering swish of a raven’s wings on the air.  I remember being stung by the profundity of One set of footsteps, attesting a blessed yes to their very existence.  I remember the silent demand from some-invisible-where to be willing to simply be here.  To simply be here.

Amen.

Do You Believe Yet?

One of the best compliments I have ever received was years ago when a friend told me that being with me was an experience of what he called, “sensatia”…(which of course I just looked up on dictionary dot com, to no avail…but just groove with it anyway, okay?)  According to him, sensatia is the experience of a “cross pollination”, a merging of the senses.  For example a sonic experience turning to a vibrational dance of colors or the sound of the rain, pounding the tin roof, miraculously transforming inside you, to the tangible taste of watermelon.  Strange.  But I can totally get that about me.  I have a tendency to be kind of a psychedelically twisty chick.  I thought of it this morning because it is still not quite light outside and the bird songs are so thick and feverish that inside I am having an experience of being in a rain storm.  Their multiplistic voices are reminiscent of looking into a hall of mirrors.  They are falling in me like soft though forcefully driving rain.

I was hoping that first paragraph would unfold into a previously hidden river valley full of lush, inspired thoughts… but it didn’t, so I will dive right into a poem.  One wild minded, ripe-hearted citizen of the universe indulged my invitation for poem topics yesterday… so here you go Liz (aka “nana nana poo poo”):

Red hot cinnamon skin

I know I must glow

In the dark and in the light

I am ignited like

A soulfully smoldering coal.

A single goopy splooge

Of mystery cream

Slathered lovingly into my

tender thighs

and I

wouldn’t be screaming this

tortured song wafting

in infrared tongues.

But now I am among

The sun stung wonders,

Body throbbing like

Neon lights

But I will not fight this heat.

I will make my bed of ice

And slide between

Frozen sheets, sleep

Please wake me when I’m done

Peeling.

Hmmm, I must confess that I allowed myself more time than I’d’ve liked to write that.  The idea is to let it pour out like a renegade stream of [grade B] maple syrup onto steaming griddle cakes.  But I wanted to do it so perfect.  It was kind of a constipated one… You should have seen my face as I squeezed it out.  Glad you didn’t.  Practice.  Come on people.  Toss me another topic…PLEASE.

Actually tonight for “date night” instead of going and stuffing our faces with artisan pizza and intoxicating burgundy elixirs, Mykael and I are going to go to Lake Merit.  He will bring his “podium” and carve his latest stony masterpiece and I will bring my typewriter and serve as the poetic muse to the vast cross section of humanity, magnetically drawn to the spacious, man made lake plunked smack dab in the heart of magnificent Oakland.  We will share our passions with the masses.  You see, it took me getting so repulsed by the shriveled Mykael, the fearful me and the suffocating relationship that I had been holding hostage in an airtight match box… This blue lipped, oxygenless entity we once upon a time named, “Mythena”.  For the last week or so, I have removed myself completely from the relationship… asking virtually NOTHING of it.  Instead focusing on ME.  On what I want, who I am, what my contribution to the world is… I have been knocking persistently at the door of my very own heart, begging God to open me from the inside and reveal the light of who I truly am.

And I’ll tell you what!?!?!  Something HAS released in me.  I feel whispers of the truth.  For the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, I have tasted a mouthwatering drop of the true nature of Love unbounded.  It’s hard to wrap in language.  In anusara yoga, the place we always start, and return to often is “set the foundation and open to Grace”.   If one lives in the conceptual realm of this principal it can seem to be but fluffy jargon in some moments.  But as we discussed in a recent blog entry, Grace is the artist formerly known as the Infinite Oceanic Love of the All Pervading BFF.  (“Best Friend Forever”)

Something has come over me.  I suppose it was a blessed shedding.  Souldipping Amy’s sudden auspicious presence in my world (souldipper.wordpress.com) and the reading she gave me via my spirit guides recently was a very crucial participant in this opening.  Also, that whole entire sea of tears I shed over the past few weeks has truly washed away ancient internal rubble.  I sense I was releasing so much old stuff.  You know, wounding, false beliefs…  Karmic weight that my soul can’t afford to carry anymore if I am to fulfill my purpose here on the earth this time around.  (Not that I’ve “made it” and I’m done.  Sheesh, far from it, my friends.  Our ship has set sail for the end of time and human suffering!)  There is now a new sense of space and quiet, softly wafting in perfumed tunes of Love, from this poetic heart.  It is the beginning of the end of our coma of forgetfulness.  Witnessing and participating the changes inside me, I am now an unabashed believer in the impending shift in consciousness.  Something AMAZING is on its way.  Be patient.  Breathe.  Trust.  Allow. Lean into the Silence.  I promise you, you will NOT be disappointed.

AMEN.

Life is a [Sorta] FunHouse

I tried blogging while I was at Amma’s Shram today, thinking it would probably be the richest, most profound blog I ever wrote… but I just reread it, and it sucked ass.  So I’m starting over.  I’ve never done that before, but today, being boring is intolerable.  I feel much more interesting here in my bed as day gets ousted by night in passive triumph.  I guess the ashram was just way too peaceful to foster good writing.  I mean I suppose it’s pretty dang peaceful in my bedroom, but not Holy Mother of the Universe Peaceful.  The only sounds are the keys chirping like stale techno birds as my fingers bounce on them like miniature trampolines, the subtle mouth noises of my cat, Anjali, as she grooms herself at the foot of my bed and the soft, distant shhhhh of the ocean… or is it freeway traffic?  You’ll have to excuse me…for a moment I have forgotten whether it’s the beach or the freeway singing to me from outside my window…

I love watching Amma in action, hugging and hugging and hugging and hugging and hugging and… TIRELESSLY.  Man (Wonder Woman), she’s a ROCKSTAR.  She goes all day and all night and all day and all night and all day and…  Whenever I am in her presence, I try to imagine being her.  Because… you know, as a saint in training, you’ve got to keep your eyes on the prize.  But GOD, is that really the prize?  My ego isn’t very seduced by the idea of being so COMPLETELY for others, for humanity, that there is no time to just laze around and drink a good cup of black tea with milk and honey.  But then… ultimately is lazing around and drinking a cup of black tea with milk and honey really “all that”?  It’s pretty nice… but in a kinda hollow way.  I have been feeling to be in a twisted spiritual purgatory these days.  In fact, I bet this place I’m in is the true origin of the concept of purgatory.  It’s the place where I can no longer pretend to be that jazzed about worldly ambitions…at least not for any sustained amount of time… but neither am I that jazzed to be all selfless all the time.  It’s an awkwarder than thou in between state.  I feel like a mother sow who is about to give birth to seventy seven little piglets… but not for… gosh, it’s hard telling… but I might have to pace in my slimy stall for at least twelve more flashes in the blistering pan.  (Don’t you think “flashes in the pan” would be a stellar new unit of measurement?!)

Be patient, little miss thirty year old.

In the mean time, just to keep “busy”, I s’pose I’ll fritter away my time forgiving everybody and their mother.  I mean, really, what ELSE is there to do around this wonky funhouse.  Yup.  Yesterday I was existential with an unabashed pinch of bitterness and a gratuitous splash of anger, wondering WHY on earth I am being made to act out this crazy role in this bunched up, feverish dream.  I was feeling bitter and perplexed, wondering why God would make us be here and be so simultaneously enlightened and retarded.  But today, the perfect metaphor came to me.  We are in a funhouse!  Why do people go into funhouses?  Duh, for FUN.  Amusement.  But if you sleepwalked into a funhouse and then woke up in that giant spinning tunnel and had no idea why you were in a giant spinning tunnel and all you wanted to do was walk straight, it might not seem so fun after all, right?  Or say you woke up in a hall of cock-eyed mirrors and you forgot what you really looked like, but you were trying to remember your true self, and all you were seeing were contorted, freaky reflections, it might not seem that fun either…

Well I am lost in the fun house.  And lord is it FUN in here!  (That was supposed to be taken with a note of whispy sarcasm.  Permeable sarcasm, as opposed to that impermeable, New York sarcasm that not even BULLETS can penetrate.)  The good news about being held hostage in this tepidly fun house, is that I am remembering that all the reflections truly are me.  (Yes, that includes YOU!)  This idea used to drive me nuts.  I’ve been grappling with it for quite some time… In my early twenties I nearly drowned in it… because I found my sensitive assed self constantly taking responsibility for other peoples’ shit, having no boundaries and feeling more than overwhelmed as a result.  But since I’ve been studying A Course In Miracles, I have rediscovered the missing piece of the equation, the potent antidote to the suffocating confusion.

Forgiveness.  Without forgiveness, I used to consider that everyone was me and all I was, was a massively imperfect, tangled jerk.  God, am I exaggerating or WHAT?!  That’s not all I saw…(I saw a gluttonous multiplicity of facets of the gem named “Me”) I’m just trying to express that looking thru the lens that it is all my reflection, often came with the sensation of feeling like I was in way over my head, and with that, a sense of powerlessness.  Forgiveness is the secret alchemical ingredient.  Now when I find myself judging, condemning, repulsed, etc, I am practicing recognizing the object of my condemnation as a facet of myself.  Usually, it’s not too hard, since I am pretty blasted aware of my imperfect state.  But every time I forgive, it’s that much more light that can pour thorough and cause delightful blindness!

For example a driver cuts me off on the road.  I hear myself say speak some trashy, wrathful words and I screech on the psycho-emotional brakes… “Athena?  Have you ever cut someone off before?”  “Yes’m…” I sigh.  Or when someone says something that has me feel criticized… Sure, I can be a poisonously critical bitch.  But that’s not the interesting part.  The interesting part is, CAN I FORGIVE THAT CRITICAL BITCH IN ME?

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

please help me liberate

from this small

dream

of myself.  Mirror,

mirror on the wall,

I forgive you for all

these

unflattering reflections

as I trudge and whistle

across this long assed haul.

Yeah, I’ve got a ways to go before I am “home free” in sainthood.  Home free…Ha!  That was me poking fun at myself, because I don’t think sainthood is any old wedding cakewalk in the park on a lazy Sunday in Paris.  But who knows… I reserve the right to be wrong about that…

Can I Get An AMEN?!?!?

And finally, Sunday hath cometh! And Athena doth goeth unto church! Ha! I’m gonna start speaking biblically on the Sabbath from now on. Just kidding, that would take way too much effort to sustain, but it’d sure be a holy kick in the pants, and at the end of the day, what matters most is not how much money you make, or how many TVs you have…but how many times you’ve been kicked in the holy pants. True or true? (When I say “true or true”, I am poking fun at the Millionaire Mind Intensive… kicking my own holy pants, as I am often compelled to do, because life without pants kicking is NOT a life worth living, if you ask me. I can’t help but glean amusement from motivational speakers who are both truly inspiring and positively evocative, but also way too amped up, as though they are on some rare and delectable strain of methamphetamines. Everywhere I go, I study leaders, take secret notes for when it’s my turn to step up and shepherd us Home. I like the “true or true” tactic… it’s a powerful way to ensure that the crowd climbs aboard and sets sail on your ship. Just be sure to exercise discernment, and make sure it’s a destination worth seducing the herd to, okay?)

Church… The word church has almost as much yucky, archaic resonance around it as the word “God” does… I feel like such an underdog for loving church. As though the ONLY people who are allowed to love church are the prudish, rigid, nervous types who judge and condemn in the name of God. Obviously that’s NOT true, since NOBODY at The East Bay Church of Religious Science is like that. The vibe there is that of celebratory affirmation that the power and the presence of the Holy Dice Roller is within each one of us! It’s such a resplendent breath of fresh air to spend a couple of hours steeping in an environment where EVERYONE is aligned with the Highest. And not the narrowing, condemning highest, but the empowering, expansive Highest. I leave that place floating in the heaven that is here and now, utterly a-tingle! I feel so blessed. I dream of living in a world that is like this. Every day. Wait, maybe I already DO…

Well, if I had ANY doubt that all “this” wasn’t but a casual outpouring from my very own mind… Today, it has become official. This strange, auspicious weaving is only of the ONE. You want PROOF? Well, I’ll give it to you! First of all, I have been CHOMPING at the bit for Sunday to come, so I could get my azz to church, since I missed it last week. I was building a snowball of excitement, enthusiasm and hunger inside. And then, when I got to church, there was an unusually high vibration, like a shimmering castle of sacred sand, shaped from my very own anticipation. The minister and the pulpit assistant and the musical director were all giving voice to how BLESSED we were to be sharing this utterly divine space of celebration and worship. Each of them spilled out of their own skin with extraordinary jubilation. Now, you might say “so what?”… but if I were to look through the lens that all that is “outside” is a reflection of my “inside”…I recognize that my experience of in and out fit together like a sexy-chic glove today!

Then, the choir (the HOLY, revelatory, no-holds-barred-inspired choir) sang a song with the lyrics “Spirit wants you to sing your song”. Remember my blog entry from like TWO days ago??? I started it talking about how I seem to have forgotten my soul song… and the idea that each of us is born into our very own, unique song… Then the minister expounded on this idea of reclaiming our song, and choosing to courageously SING OUR SONG! “Coincidence”… yeah. (Be sure to envision a congregation hootin’ and hollerin’ in ecstatic accordance with all the nourishing words splashed upon us)

COINCIDE~ to occupy the same place in space, the same point or period in time, or the same relative position: The centers of concentric circles coincide.

Thank you dictionary dot com! Concentric circles… another topic that often pours through these holy fingertips and onto the page… Hey! It’s a coincidence WITHIN a coincidence!!! Think about the implications of occupying the same place in space… Makes me think of ONEness. Makes me think of transcendence of the space-time continuum. Ya dig? Like beyond this world of division and multiplicity and distance, there is quiet, holy center, from which everything pours.

Another coincidence= I wanted to check in on my beloved blogging sister, Melissa (http://honeybtemple2.blogspot.com/)… One of her most recent posts addresses the plump, juicy topic of jealousy. She specifically addresses jealousy in relation to relationships. Like getting jealous of your partner when they are connecting with another woman (or man)… I really dug her digging into this “unsavory” facet of existence. What came to my mind was another manifestation of jealousy. The kind of jealousy that stems from seeing someone thriving, existing in fullness and glory in an area of life where I feel scarce, undeserving or somehow blocked. This kind of jealousy stings like a motha! So of course, but two hours later, the minister stood before his congregation and addressed this very aspect of jealousy. He openly embraced what he called his “Hater”… the aspect of himself (and myself and your self) that feels scarce and disconnected from Source, and in the face of that judges, condemns and even hates those who are thriving, because they shine an unflattering mirror on a place where we have forgotten the truth of ourselves and the implicit abundance and worthiness therein.

What is the essence of all this? THERE IS ONE MIND, PEOPLE. ONE. We all think from this one mind. Or… it thinks us… some’m like that.

And I’m spent. It’s off to the farmer’s market in search of cookies the size of baby whales! Blessings, blessings, blessings to you. May your mind be luminous and lit by the magnificent, off the hook light of the ONE!

Backstroking Through Vivid Forgiveness

Before I got in the pool this morning, I was ridden with anxiety and fear.  But I knew that even just seeing my life guard James’s kind, smiling face would put my quivering heart at ease.  James.  He is such a good person.  So is Jason, the other half of the dynamic life guard duo.  Even just writing about them right now makes my heart want to explode like the mother of all fireworks.  Because come on… life guards do NOT get paid that much.  It’s not a high profile, glamour job.  I used to consider being a life guard from time to time when I felt desperate and confused about my path… All of the other life guards that work at my pool are way less generous of heart.  They are generally younger and look like they are bored out of their minds and actually resent me for the fact that they are “forced” to be sitting there climbing their own hidden walls for ten dollars an hour.  But not James and Jason.  It’s obvious that they give a flying fuck, a fuck that flies courtesy of a pair of over the top, gossamer wings~ if you saw them you’d wonder if someone slipped some acid in your cappuccino when you had your back turned… I love those kind of winged fucks!

Ahem.  Flying fucks.  James and Jason are some kind of saints or angels in disguise as highly normal men.  But I feel so loved and loving every time I take a morning swim.  Jason and I have this secret hello we exchange, usually as I make my goose bumpy mad dash, fresh and wet from the shower, out into the frigid morning air (that’s right, who’s alive?!?!) in my little two piece athletic swimmy (term of endearment for “swim suit”) and flail into the not quite warm water.  We exchange a modest “wave”, involving the repeated bending and straightening of our right index fingers.  (Goodbye is the pinky).  James is an older black man.  He wears clean, crisp, brand name athletic jumpsuits.  I think he’s missing a tooth or two, and the ones still hanging on to their gums look like they could use some TLC from a dentist.  His finger nails are usually extra long and dirty.  His laugh is deep and resonant.  Rich, slow and gurgling with authentic joy.  It reminds me of a negro spiritual… Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, or Wade in the Water.  Jason… I’m pretty sure he’s hot for me.  For being a pretty average guy, he makes fantastic eye contact.  I know my lifeguards got my back.  And I don’t take it lightly… usually.  God, please give back to Jason and James a thousand fold of what they give to us devoted swimmers…

James greeted me this morning and I tasted that delicious, hoped for hope.  The water felt extra warm, which was so soothing to me.  It felt sensuous, tropical and womb-esque.  I swam with the intention of being at peace.  I thought of Amma.  She will be here next week.  Thank GOD.  I am so ready to fold into the safety and divine comfort that waft from her like an inherent fragrance.  Many times I begin to cry, inexplicably, from the depths of my being when she enters the temple.  I love watching her sit in meditation.  Her obvious absorption in the folds of holy peace is so soothing and inspiring to me.  So I swam through tropical waters, fixing my mind on this embodiment of unconditional love.  This mother of the universe.  Except my mind kept slipping back into its well-worn groove of fear.

I realized that I am like an infant on my path to God.  Except way more self loathing than your garden variety infant.  It would serve me to be more infantish… in the way of innocence, presence, forgiveness.  How many times does an infant fall down when they are learning to walk?  A gazillion.  They may or may not cry… but they certainly don’t beat themselves up.  And here I am… learning to live in deep trust and alliance with the All Pervading Love of the universe and beyond… but forgetting so often that I am not alone, that I am loved and held and deeply precious.  And every time I wake up and remember that I have forgotten~ A-GAIN, I feel disappointed in myself.  I feel hopeless and frustrated.  I just want to wake up already.  I want to perceive the light inside, already…  I want to feel a love that has no reason, no beginning and certainly no end.  I guess an apropos word for my experience is impatience.  As I moved through the warm, buoyant, aqua heaven, I thought I’d like to be more like an infant.  When I fall from remembrance, I will simply forgive the fall, the hard ground, my lack of coordination and just pick myself up and merge right back into my natural state of presence induced wonder.  If I’m not as perfected yet as I wish I was, the next best thing to be is humble and patient, I suppose.

What IS this world?  I want to look upon the multiplicity of forms with such unapologetic severity that I penetrate the illusion and see the underlying something that lives in everything.  Today I want not just to see, but to SEE.  Do you know what I mean?  I mean that I want to dive beneath the waves of my ever fluctuating mind and experience a quiet presence.  Right here.  Right now.  I want to be deafened by the roaring sound of OM, that singings everything into holy existence.  This lonely, single syllable.  I want to merge with this lonely, single syllable, so that I am proactively singing as the entire choir of creation.

That reminds me… I keep having dreams about playing my harmonium.  I yearned to have one… so that I could paint invisible, inner space with “sonic lotuses”… So my very divine, very biological mother gave me one for my birthday last year… And like many of my heart’s dreams and desires, it sits, neglected, collecting tragic dust as I procrastinate and flounder in fear of the arduously slow unfolding of the lotus otherwise known as my Destiny.  But it has been calling to me so loud and clear from the nocturnal folds of my psyche.  I must play my harmonium.  I don’t know how.  But who cares!  I know I could just BE with it, and it would tell me a lot about who it is and who I am, and how we can form a divinely inspired alliance and create sonic lotuses to grace to this world, who perpetually thirsts for offerings of sacred beauty.

I forgive.  I forgive.  I forgive.  I forgive.  I forgive.  I forgive.

Amen.

The Haunted Tunnel of Love~ I Survived!!!

Oh the arduous task of linear thinking.  This morning it feels especially challenging and unsavory.  It’s like my mind is a burning building, ignited by the licking flames of inspiration and wonder, and all the innocent and frightened little words must flee from impending death by exiting my mind through my selfless fingertips, single file.  There is a sense of desperation, to which I can only respond with deep, patient breaths.  But escorting these words out of my wildly flaming mind is a sheer act of love and devotion.  So I breathe.  I sink into an expansive sense of patience, tinkle and pound out one trembling little word at a time.

I came to Mykael’s café this morning (He’s not here.).  Mostly because I couldn’t make myself get on my bike and ride this morning.  I already swam and the idea of biking made me consider crawling straight back into bed… but how lame would that be?!  Walking down the hill was even a stretch, but a very doable stretch.  Britney is working this morning.  She is young and tiny, but fierce.  I bet she could kill if she had the chance.  I like her.  I do not like her drinks though.  Once I came here with Mykael and we both ordered double mochas.  She pulled two sets of shots with the same grounds.  She just let the water keep running through them, until it was pouring like dirty water and she divided the dingy liquid between our two cups. I didn’t say anything, but instead chose to die of repulsion and disappointment. I guess I have not let that go.  But I will right now, because she just made me a decent Americano.  Plus she’s so awake and alive and that’s worth SOMEthing.  (I mean it would be worth EVERYthing, except that she works in a café, which in my mind means that she SHOULD give a shit about the quality of the drinks she makes)

I asked her how she was today and she said she’s awesome, because she’s going on vacation on Saturday.  Vacation!  Of course in my mind’s eye, I immediately saw the tropics, since that’s the quintessence of vacations to ME… I asked her where she was going.  “ROAD TRIP!” She exclaimed as light spilled sloppily from her elated face.  Driving to L.A., then up to Vegas and through the desert, where her boyfriend is lustily planning to shoot his gun!  She said she could LIVE on the road, in her car… but she doesn’t for the sanity of the people in her life who love her and wouldn’t understand or approve of an unconventional life.  Hearing of her passion for adventure, her thirst for the unknown gave me confidence and strength to embark on this next leg of my own journey.

I have been second, third and fourth guessing my rough draft of a plan to release the familiar drudgeries of my daily life and leap across the pacific ocean to tropical, Hawaiian paradise for a much needed healing intermission from this ceaseless pounding Bay Arean saga.

Something that I am finally coming to terms with after thirty years of life is that everyone sure has a unique map and compass when it comes to living life.  When I was heavily considering breaking up with Mykael, naturally I had a hearty cornucopia of conversations with my near and dears… and every single one of them had a unique slant, a personal cup of shoulds for me to sip from.  Ultimately, all anybody could offer me in the way of advice was based on what they had lived through thus far… I am the only one who is qualified to make the choices my life path demands.  And ideally, those choices spring from a deep listening and a long term committed partnership with that sexy hunk upstairs.  (NO, GOD IS NOT A MAN, I’m just poking some necessary fun at the ridiculous concepts that abide just north of the surface of our collective, western minds … relax… God is way too big for my masturbatory reindeer games… but Heavenly Highness encourages me to make gratuitous fun of the human condition as often as I dare.)

Last night Jerry gave me his two million cents on my current situation and choices.  You have to understand that there was a [long] time in my life where I absolutely regarded Jerry’s opinion as GOSPEL.  He might as well have been God.  And then I woke up.  And he was just another man, after all.  It was not so different from the moment that I realized that my mom was not God.  Ouch!  That was fucking painful.  I swear to god, I was convinced my mom was God, (All Pervading Light) until I was nine or ten years old… and then I nearly drowned in a sea of disappointment and resentment.  Thankfully, it was not quite as traumatic when I realized Jerry was not my personal Moses on the mountain.  (Oooh!  Just thinking of Moses got me all hot and bothered!  Why do I love messengers of God so feverishly?!?!?)

Anyway, Jerry came over to my house for a yoga lesson last night and I happened to be dwelling in a cobwebby, shadowy nook of fear… so he proceeded to give me a decadent dose of his opinions on the mater of my path.  You see, he’s a life coach and his whole stupid world recognizes him as the man who sees straight among us.  But… his straight is my loopdy loop.  For the first time, I was able to just listen to him, without losing my own center, perspectives, sense of self.(though it was not exempt from tremors)  He was representing the masculine voice of reason, the father who is logical, who never leaves home without his map, shot gun and an enormous iced mocha.  I think he thinks I am absurd for letting go of everything I have worked hard for and free falling some more.  His sermon was all about planning and striving to fit myself into society’s bone crushing steal jaws.  I told him that I wanted to make money as a writer.  He said I should write for Hollywood.  Hmmmm… Why doesn’t that get my panties wet???  (Now that my mom is a subscriber to my blog, I feel self conscious saying stuff like that… but she told me not to edit on her behalf.  I certainly won’t… but I still feel the smiling sting born of the sense that Mom is watching…)

Anyway, it felt like a rigorous-assed test, to hear beloved Jerry offer me his righteous dissertation on my life and not crumble under the immense weight of his unwieldy perspectives.  Toward the end, I told him that we see things differently.  Part of me wanted to just collapse in a tearful heap of misunderstoodness… But I told myself that his beliefs were just that.  His beliefs.  Then I said, let’s do some yoga.  We sat facing each other with our hands in prayer before our hearts… and he confessed that he was proud of the seat I was resting in inside myself, and that really, he was just poking around at me to see what kind of ground I was standing on as I navigated this fresh incarnation of my journey… And HE APPROVES!  Sheesh!  He acknowledged that somebody is indeed home over here, the lights are on, the roots are  making natural love to their soil beneath my feet.

I SURVIVED!!!  Man, I swear, it was like riding along on my hot pink swan through what was advertised as the tunnel of love, only to realize once I was already cruising down the winding river, that it was the HAUNTED tunnel of love and all I could do was ride it out.  And when the lights came back on and the ghosts disappeared, God put a medal on me, because I made it to the other side with my truth intact!!!  It is such a precarious endeavor… being a sensitive, permeable creature, moving through this insane world and being able all the while to hold true to that which I know in my bones.  In moments like that, it helps to soften into God, and remember that there is NOTHING real but the peace and joy born of oneness with the light inside.

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