Skull Splitting Revelation!

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Athena was born from Zeus’s head.  Everyone knows that.  But what everyone DOESN’T know, is what is born from Athena’s head!  Would you like to know?  Well then keep reading.  This is IT.  When I close my eyes, I’m seeing richly colored, dripping, psychedelic roses spiraling in fractals… but I’m not sure how these energy patterns will translate into a sophisticated patè of language.  All I know is that I haven’t written in ages, because my laptop keyboard stopped typing Rs.  Then it began to refuse giving up Ts, Ys, Us, Is and Os.  If I wasn’t already so broken down by having a baby with a married man with whom I am hopelessly in love and raising her totally by myself, and meanwhile having my own dear mother get cancer, I probably would have been destroyed by the loss of my keyboard.  No, not because of the inability to update my Facebook status!  Because I am a writer, and somehow it hasn’t been the same to cry out into the desolate throes of my (100% post-consumer recycled) notebook.

But my beloved and merciful friend Chandra gifted me a spare keyboard that was just sitting around her house mackin on Kentucky Fried Chicken and hacking advanced sudokus, while secretly lusting to be USED by genius fingers.  And now, here we are.  A match made in Graceland, which in fact IS Heaven’s most beloved annex.  And since we’re on the subject of Chandra, I’ll sing out that she is an answer to a prayer.  And NOT because she gave me her damn keyboard.  Although that was an answered prayer too.  She’s the nutrient dense, stick to your ribs kind of friend, which I’ve been sorely in the market for since God Almighty stationed me out here in the woods with all the detached (and wildly kind) renunciates.  I needed an outrageous friend who has equal parts reverence and irreverence.

I think someday I’ll start a writing school.  And shred the notion of stringent adherence to Topic Sentences and Main Ideas and all the dumb shit they ground into my tightly sealed skull, before by God’s Amazing Grace, it split open and spilled in linguistic rivers onto the endless pages of Athena Graceland.  Sure, it’s grand to have organized thoughts.  To be able to reach out and semi-softly meet the mind of the reader (yes, YOU), and shepherd you to exalted Somewhere.  But… most often that’s NOT how minds work.  Obsessive organization doesn’t reconcile the pulsing myriad dimensions that beckon and burn to be churned by willing eyes and minds.  Maybe I’ll tighten my reigns when I take the plunge into “Profesional-ISM”, and write articles for “respectable publications”.  I’ll make my mind so trim and tidy and presentable.  And people will think I’m so very civilized and they’ll fork over civilized amounts of money so that I can join a country club and take up tennis and Jacuzzi.

But in the mean time, this, folks is the raw, feisty wilderness.  And if you enroll at the Athena Graceland Academy of Writing, you too can claim the flaming authority of your own essential voice and say it with an unapologetically loose and liberated tongue.

I might as well mention that I’m finally reading a book by Hemingway.  I thought since I take occasional delight in poking fun at the notion of “Hemingway Simple” here in Athena Graceland, I ought to know what the hell “Hemingway Simple” actually was.  I’m reading The Sun Also Rises.  And honestly, I find “Hemingway Simple” quite complicated.  And compelling.  I’ve made it to page ninety one, and while I am struck by his masterful ability to move a story forward at a rapid, rhythmic clip, hooking my mind with every glistening string of words and punctuation marks, I will say that I am having to scrape the crusty edges of my seriously limited interest in inhabiting a literary microcosm of tragically casual drunks who talk circles and squiggles around their heartfelt and honest experience.  I’ve spent my whole adult life cultivating the capacity to articulate and embody my emotional intelligence, and often kept company with those who also value and aspire to such integrated presence.  It’s gently frustrating to be held voluntarily captive inside the ancient, sturdy pages of a book full of privileged, careless (though certainly not “care free”) drunks.  I guess that’s the essence of the 1920s.  I s’pose it’s good to keep company with different types… plus I am exploring my passion-drenched craft.  My Ma beseeched me not to strive to become like Hemingway, but to stay true to my integral voice.  Her bright acknowledgment warmed me.  But I’d still like to learn from his flavor of Mastery and become better.  I ALWAYS want to become better.

And praise the Luminous Lord for this unexpected opening into further territory of my recent thought scapes.  Yesterday morning, my mind was ravenous for a spiritually satisfying snack, so I dug deep into the bowels of the brimming notebook in which I immortalized Matt Kahn’s profound, sanctified genius, back in November.  He said that passion is NOT contingent upon doing your dream job or any other explicit external conditions.  Like, I can be as impassioned as I do my cooking and cleaning jobs (grimace) as I would be if I were a famous writer.  Now THAT is some psychedelic shit.  He said passion is the ability to meet each day as a brand new lifetime.

If you’ve ever lived with a one year old, you know that as soon as you clean up the toys they gratuitously splashed all about the living room floor, they swoop in like a Tasmanian Devil to reestablish a state of despicable chaos.  The ULTIMATE zen koan of my current existence is HOW in the Lord’s hella Good name do I pick up Serena’s collection of miniature Bearenstein Bears books for the zillionth time in a day… WITH PASSION???

This is the Mystery of my Existence.  And the Key to the elusive yet obvious door of my Enlightenment.  Can “enlightenment” be possessed?  “My Enlightenment”?  Probably the stiff, robed traditionalists among us would poo-poo that notion.  But at the risk of sounding ignorant and ego-bound, I’m going to vote for measure FY.  Fuck yes.  I can blissfully posess a humble little slice of real-estate in this rightfully glorified state.  And I will wave it with gay ostentacity (Yes, I made up that word!  At the Athena Graceland Academy of Writing, we encourage such brash authority.  As long as it clearly portrays the world tumbling forth from your mind.  Think about it– this is how all language came to be.  SOMEONE took the self-appointed liberty of authority… and all the drunk and slumber-glazed sheep followed along, mindlessly munching cud.) in your blinking, slack-jawed face on the inevitable, reality-splicing day when I embody passion as I put those damn books back in their outrageously shiny, pink pouch.

Did I get carried away?  Totally.  But it was fun.  And I want to live with unhinged, unreasonable and perfectly shameless passion.  Matt Kahn also said “what if THIS (the life you are in, as opposed to the life you oft wish you were in) is what I want and I just don’t know it?”  The more I contemplate this, the more I am certain that this is the Life I want.  Dings, bruises, cleaning jobs and sprawling string of disappointments and heartbreaks included.  It’s pretty great.  I could write a whole blog, if not an odyssey on this topic… I will.  And it will crack you open to the ultimate realization of the sublime perfection of your raw Existence.   But for now, I’ll leave it at this:

Yes, the Life I have IS the Life I want.

How’s THAT for skull splitting revelation?!

And This Heart Keeps Breaking…

Thanks to FaceBook’s new feature, “Memories”, I have recently been revisiting my blogs from twenty eleven.  Five years ago.  I am struck by the audaciousness with which I expose myself.  Every time I read an entry, I fall to my heart’s knees in empathic reverence for the rugged terrain of both Heart and Life (these two dimensions tend to hopelessly bleed together into a vast, sloshy, ecstatic mess) that I not only was willing to traverse, but also to share with such generous abandon.  I feel a sense of awe for what I have survived, where I have arrived… and the whispers that rise up in me and hint of the horizons and summits I will yet Realize.  Over the past few years, I have become a bit more conservative in my sharing.   Because I’m afraid of saying things that will upset others.   Especially Ed, I s’pose.  Self-imposed censorship is one of the most unwieldy demons to contend with as a writer.  Because if a writer is not ripping the “Jesus bandaid” off, and being outrageously naked… well… she’s just another homogenized, factory farmed, word squanderer.

Watch me, as I shove my lovably cowering self back out under the lonesome, prismatic floodlight of center stage… Reluctant, heroic, naked… A beacon in an otherwise blackened domain… cradling my own majestic, pulpy heart in my cupped hands.

Yes, my heart.  Somehow it found its way under the wheels of a big rig this past week.  Thank GOD I invested the model with the lifetime warranty, way back when.

Serena will be three months alive, two days from now.  And so far, since her arrival, most of my writings have been high notes.  Can you blame me?  What could be a higher note than the blessing of finally having an excruciatingly essential prayer answered in technicolor surround sound?  I knew from the the tootsie roll center of my very own address in Infinity that it was my calling to bring a daughter into the world and give my all to assure that she hit the ground DANCING, as she lives out her star-child soul mission… But I did NOT know the holy implications of this sublime calling.  Serena is the joy of my life.  So naturally, I have been exploring these new dimensions of ecstasy on the page.

I thought I was done suffering about her dad, Ed.  The married policeman (hilarious, huh?) who somehow stole into the farthest, deepest and tenderest neighborhoods of my heart.  (As if there are any neighborhoods in Here that are not all that…)  But there’s something about him… That I really… like?  Love?  Need?  Prefer?  Yes, all of that…

We’ve known each other for nearly four years now.  And have been fervently clutching the feeble, rapid-thrashed life-raft of our devoted dream of being together for a solid three.   But Ed’s always been explicitly committed to keeping his family together until his youngest sun graduates from high school.  Ha!  Talk about a scenic tour through the land of breathing cliches!  It’s the new Disneyland river ride!… Not purported to be scary… The colorful boats are structurally sound, and meander along a questionably grimy little manmade stream.  You pass through dim caverns, entering a series of romantic scenes:  a big, solid man and a swooning firecracker of a goddess sharing perfectly delicious moments of electric love-infused adventures… soaking in naked embrace at Harbin Hot Springs, sitting as close as two people can be, at the perfectly dim bar of Pizzaiolo, sipping red wine and sharing succulent smooches, grilling steak on the springtime rooftop of Athena’s beloved Lake Merritt apartment, laying entwined on a blanket on a sunny, wave-slapped beach…. And yet, somehow, all of this candied delight evokes bleeding and screams, as the gentle river carries One merrily along.

God I amuse myself.  I could get perpetually lost in the luxurious, rolling landscapes of memory as simultaneously revealed and concealed by worlds of words… But I came here to expose myself.  I came here to tell you that I thought I was finally free from the sprawling sentence of strenuous heartache that is being in unrelenting love with this married man.  He gave me a daughter because that is what I wanted more than anything.  And maybe he wanted to be the One, because it would mean fusing an undeniable bond for this life and perhaps beyond.  I wanted that with HIM.  Don’t ask me why… Hearts do not speak the language of reason.  And I hesitate to use the “K word” (karma), because it is too easy.  The spiritually persuaded, imaginatively lazy tend to castrate Life’s greatest Mysteries, by rampantly slapping that label on every nuanced curve of Existence, and sleepwalking on with glassy, passive eyes.  It might be accurate… but alas, I wishn’t to suffocate the fluttering, fragile immensity of the Unknown through which we swim.

How on earth am I going to deliver myself back to the original track of this well-intentioned telling???  As I stated back in paragraph four, Serena is on the precipice of three months alive now.  Ed has still not been here to see us.  He was there for her birth… A solid pillar of masculine strength and love.  And in the hospital, he vowed to come visit within the next few weeks.  But it was the holy-days, and there were already others at his job who had put in for time off… Hence, his supervisor would not bless him to take leave.  And there I was, a new mother, hormone cocktail sloshing, tears splashing, as the rug is pulled out from beneath my feet.  Multiple times, the promise of his presence rebuked at the last minute.  All too familiar, it reeks of daddy’s dutiful defacing of my innocent, hope-full heart.

But meanwhile, every day, Serena awakes with a smile that radiates unsayable purity.  And her brightness calls me home to the holy mOMent at hand.  And all day long, she needs me, and she feeds me with her vulnerable presence and unobstructed soul music… Like I said, I thought I was free from needing Ed.  But a few weeks ago, he put in for time off (again), and his supervisor gave him a radiant, green light.  It shone all the way from Berkeley to Nevada City, lighting up my Temple of Hope with turquoise glowing shadow play of days shared as a momentarily cohesive, loving family.  But shadows, when grasped, just slip like whispers through closed, empty fists.

His boss rebuked his word.  Twice more.  Meanwhile it was Ed’s birthday.  And he was far away in almost every sense of the word.  Then came his thirty three year anniversary with his wife… God, looking backward on the last couple of weeks, I can’t pinpoint the address of the monster who hijacked and vandalized my heart… But I can testify of disturbingly familiar feelings of disappointment, betrayal and aloneness.  Meanwhile, Serena continued to blind me with her lucid, angelic BEing.  And for this glaring paradox, my heart washed with inadvertent sprays of guilt.  I shouldn’t ache like this, while holding her to my nectar-gushing breast.

Gosh, the trouble with my passion for colorful, poetic expression, is that it is nearly impossible to venture from point A to point B.  Is that a problem?  The world is already “Pointy” enough as it is… but… sometimes I want to record my life for posterity’s sake… and I get so dazzled by the scenery along the Way… Feels like navigating a sprawling sea of scintillating sirens.

What must I fuse onto this page for eternal safe keeping?  I want to tell you that the way my heart breaks in love with Ed feels like dying a thousand times over.  Each time is new.  Each time is familiar.  Each time I am more masterful at the Art of Death.  I have come to wonder of the hidden Gifts of these flash-crucifixions… Is the pain essential?  Or is it a result of my stubborn grasp on that which could never be mine?  But I will not let go of him.  Nor he of me… although in many broken mOMents, he has offered to “set me free”.  But I suppose the Freedom I truly seek, can only be realized from behind these bars I have erected in my own heart.  Do you understand?  It reminds me of a book that my old friend and “tantric lover”, Jay had on his nightstand, once upon a time… “The Only Way Out Is IN”.

I will not find the freedom I seek through manipulating circumstances.  Only through breaking until there is nothing left to break… Until all that is left is the pure and unconditional love rushing endlessly from my own whole and Holy heart.  Flowing unobstructed from Everywhere to Nowhere and Beyond.  I will break as many times as this takes.  And I will do it holding Ed’s invisible hand… Because my heart demands this.  And I will sing the preposterous stories of my life upon the page… because they dazzle, enchant and endlessly perplex me.  And I these stories will deliver me…

…to the hOMe I have never really strayed from in the first place.

What a silly game for God to play as US…

But pretty cool, too…IMG_5304

Dark and Exposed

Friday night.  Seven pm.  Quiet rushes in through the open window.  It’s a restless quiet, strewn with distant, random, urban sounds- train whistle (but it’s *not* a whistle… it’s more like a horn… but if I said “train horn”, wouldn’t that sound awkward?), an occasional siren, the continuous swish of flowing freeway, and the most lonely sound of all: the ticking of the clock.  So slow and indifferent, as it devours life as we know it, one fleeting second at a time.

 

I feel depressed tonight.  I just got home from the grocery store… Didn’t run into anyone I knew.  I was hoping I would, because I usually do.  And I need a hug.  I’m sure at least ninety seven percent of the people in Whole Foods would have shared a hug with me, had I asked… but I didn’t.  Instead I listened to dancy, devotional music in my headphones and looked around like an alien tourist, at the myriad human lives; consciousness streaming through a multiplicity of artistically dreamed bodies…. so near to each other, and yet mostly anonymous.  This world doesn’t make sense.

 

I know the only sanity is to go inside and blend with the silence that lives here.  I do.  Every day.  But still, it doesn’t feel like enough.  Because I still feel trapped in the incessant static of a meaningless world.  Inhaaaaale.  Exhaaaaale.

 

I am waiting.  Waiting for something I can not define.  Waiting for something to click into place.  Like some ultimate meaning which will inform my day to day, moment to moment engagement as a human being, living a human life.  I know that I am here to deepen in my knowing of God.  Like DUH, that’s a given.  And I know I’m here to serve, such that others are more able to touch their own core of sacred remembrance.  But the HOW… the how is so fucking elusive I could scream.  But it’s too quiet to scream.  And the slicing sound of soulful desperation would probably frighten my neighbors.  Life is so arduous.  I can’t wait to wake up from this stupid, pointless, benignly excruciating dream.

 

I’m sharing this with you, because it’s the kind of stuff that is tempting for me to keep to myself.  You know… because I just want to be an inspiration.  A source of upliftment.  And I want you to love me.  And who wants to love someone whose mind and heart are sheathed in dense, deep purple storm clouds?  But I also know that there is SOMETHING to be said for having the courage to simply BE HERE.  And be witnessed at that… Because we all cycle through patches of shadow and light.  And when I am in the light, I am so drunk on the endless beauty and goodness whose juice bursts from the heart of everything…

 

Tick.  Tock.  Tick.  Tock.  Yup the clock is still taking little dainty sips of this life.  And I keep taking deep breaths, and even in my darkness, I am able to taste pleasure in the simple act of taking life into this intricate, expendable body, and then letting it flow out again, in a small and subtle death.  Tick.  Tock.  I would want to thrust myself right into the clock’s indifferent mouth of death… If I didn’t intuit that life really never ends…  But alas, in the face of infinity, what is one to do, but love as BIG and BOLD as we can.  Tonight the love is not comfortable or glorified love… It’s love that just looks like being willing to be here, marinating in loneliness and frustrating uncertainty.

 

I bet Ed can not hear any clocks ticking in the raucous dining room of the divvy pizza place where he and his family are celebrating his sister’s birthday as I type these tenderly tortured words.  Does salt really sting wounds?  I’ve never experienced that… lemon juice, yes… But if it does, I will confess that it sucks like a salted gash to imagine him out with his family, eating and drinking, laughing and having the gayest time in the world, while I sit at home in this puddle of heart ache.  I want to be included.  Of all the dudes to fall in love with…  I really don’t understand why life serves up the ever-imaginative and cruel combos that it does… But I believe in an unsayably intricate and loving intelligence, who is calling the shots, while all of us little blind bitches dance around like tiny, endearing munchkins playing dress-up in mommy’s clothes, inventing entire, fantastical worlds from our crafty imaginations.

 

I guess that’s all I have to say today.  I just wanted to feel real.  Writing makes me feel real… And naked.  And vulnerable.  Because the truth is, I know we all encounter our own flavors of darkness.  And beneath the scummy top layer of resistance, I believe its okay.  And necessary.  Inhale.  Exhale.  Tick.  Tock.  And I pray to God… God please help me find the light switch… and by your grace, be *willing* to flip it ON.  And God, please guide my life, such that I find a place to plug in and give away the meaning that I most want to receive.  And God… just let me feel you here in me now.  Inhaling, you fill me.  Exhaling, you wash back out into the invisible mystery in which we swim.

 

Thank you for being with me…

 

Live,

A

Mining The Chaos Inside

Creme brule.  Undestroyed by human appetite.  Smooth, hard surface winking like a frozen pond smiled upon by winter dawn.  I must call upon the predator within to crack the hard, sweet shell of protected perfection and reveal the thick sea of heavenly cream within.  I call on the tigress inside, that I may slide easily beyond this fear of landing on the page.  I never imagined I’d become someone who grazed elbows and danced slow with writer’s block.  I wrote because I had to.  Because there was so much inside and if I didn’t pour it out, the darkness would engulf me.  But today I am not her.  I tremble half wilted and desperate at the precipice where silence becomes voice.  I beg Love to use me.  I beg as a tiger begs.  With thick, strong claws and a soft, lyrical growl, a dangerous, hypnotic purr.

 

Why am I here?  Because I believe in love.  But I don’t want to write about love so that it tastes like a mouthful of skittles swimming in granulated sugar.  Love so much more than sweet feelings for a selective bouquet of “nice” people.

 

Rrrrrraaaar this is hard.  It’s starting to rain.  The girl at the bus stop across the street is fondling her buoyant turquoise balloon.  And jazz flows through the atmosphere of Pizzaiolo with its own compelling, fluid buoyancy.  I must back off and stalk this topic as the tigress slinks amidst jagged jungle shadows.  The words are coming slow.  There is a density in my chest and a tang, like lemon juice surging toward tiny and fresh open wounds.

 

On thursday I turned thirty three and Nikki gave birth to a baby girl.  On friday my beloved friend Brian and his buddy drowned while vacationing in Kauai and Judy gave birth to twins.  Life and death have risen from the depths and now play on the surface of fresh days.  That’s what I’m driving at.  I’m awake to the fragility of life.  I’m also aware of holding myself back on the page because I’m trying to write for “YOU”.  A you who might not even exist.  I can’t write for you.  Because then suddenly I am pressed between two heavy stones named “right” and “wrong” and the quicker they smash me to death, the better because I’d rather die than flail about in a sea of bullshitty pretense.  Yes.  I feel angry.  Maybe I’m not here on the page to blaze in love.  I am on the page to express myself.  And yes, I’d wage a head-turning penny that after the storm of life as I know it deluges this page, the after-calm would surely smell of love… but for now?

 

For now, love is an excruciatingly cheapened word.  And it is not a word that I have earned the right to preach on.  2013 and I am lost at sea.  Violent, choppy sea.  Here come tears as I rip at the skin of my consciousness, desperate to reveal the vulnerable, ugly guts below.  Martin Luther King Jr. day just passed and I am present to the possibility of living (and dying) for something pure and true and ultimately meaningful.  And then there is the life I’m living.  I dance.  I eat.  I take naps.  I think about myself so much I am drowned and suffocated in existential mania a thousand times over.  Please God, let me open and spill all this poison upon the page that I will be left empty and available to truly serve.  Fuck I just want to cry for a full minute, an hour, an ocean.  Because I want life to add up to something and… all of the meaning I’m mining is hollow, shallow and false.

 

Fifty minutes until Pizzaiolo closes and I can run from this bottleneck of bullshit in my mind, this thick, clogged pore that is my soul in the infinite body of God.  Forgiveness.  Athena… Give up trying to sound wise or brilliant or seductive and dedicate this next forty-seven minutes to forgiving.  God, please!  Come with me in to this dense black cloud and shine a single audacious beam of light that perhaps, with your grace, it will dissolve and I might be left standing naked and bathed in the glorious light of truth.  I am often awestruck as I revisit the revelation that I need never wander alone again, for I can always call on the ever-indwelling presence of the Great Love.  The idea of egoic aloneness is an old-world indulgence, a holographic, anti-caloric banquette of masturbatory nothing.

 

My heart is struggling against an invisible fist, clutched in a frivolous death grip.  Please God, let tomorrow be a better day on the page.  I hate today.  I want to shout it again and again on the page I HATE TODAY!!!  But I have renounced using the word “hate” forever.  It’s toxic and cheap.  Now are my words ejaculating like a frivolous fountain into a sea, dispersing into instantaneous meaninglessness like an ocean of cold, salty alphabet soup.  My lips are hard and unsmiling.  My face is in a state of self-important rigor mortis.  What if I just smiled right now?  Not must my lips, but my eyes, my chest, my belly.  The soles of my feet…

 

I want to make a difference in the world.  But first I must face the terrifying, yet vacant possibility that I won’t.  Maybe I’ll live and die in a pathetic, desperate clutch at survival alone.  Only to be born again in the same intoxicated spell of delusion.  Om hrim haum namah shivaya.  Om hrim haum namah shivaya.  Om hrim haum namah shivaya.  I stand in half awake titillation as I wait for inspiration to rain from the hidden sky inside me.  It feels wrong just to stand here… but I don’t know what else to do.  Except maybe dance.  And say more mantra.  Oh and of course poke some irreverent fun at myself for being so fucking self important and serious in the face of this massive cosmic joke otherwise known as life.

 

But I’ll come back tomorrow.  I promise, I will.  If I am still alive, that is.  And maybe something great will happen.

 

Live,

A

The Tale of the Born-Again-Indigenous-Boogie-World

Elegantly gliding through time and space toward the bus stop this morning, my face painted with a faint smile because I was headed to a strain of heaven named hip hop dance class.  My glorious city, The Land of Oaks, shrouded in soft fog.  All of the pavement felt like a hard, crusty shell, firmly embracing a hidden and tender world.  So much motion, this urban existence.  Incessant going.  And coming.  Oh this world…

 

As my eyes fall awake to the light that lives as all forms, I often well up with such a great love as I did as I breathed in the cold moisture of the said moment, drinking it deep into my lungs.  Wonder Woman, was that a beautiful moment.  But so is this one, now that I mention it… and anyway, go-go-gadget masculine directionality of this blog.  Athena Grace, striding in brisk ecstasy and welling up with unsayable love for this world.  This love whose only longing is to extend itself.  Always.  And then the recurring dream of a dance church slid into my mind, as though it were boldly stealing home.  (Hey, that would make a great book title~ “Boldly Stealing Home”!)

 

Yes, this vision has been paying me regular visits for over a decade.  It really wants to be born!  But god, it’s a daunting vision… trying to nut and bolt out the practicalities and realities of creating a sanctuary where everyone is equal in the diverse embodied immediacy of hallelujah in motion.  This church is a place where humanity comes together and actively practices seeing and being seen with and through the generous and ever-forgiving eyes of Love.  Awe!  Grin.  Just as I typed that, the church bells outside began to siiiiiiiiiiiiing!

 

Anyway, back to the sidewalk and the fog and the striking woman bubbling over with a compelling cocktail of child-like hope, pragmatism and conveniently feigned uncertainty… It was then that I realized that I could at least WRITE this vision into existence. As I often love to assert, Athena Graceland IS MY WORLD!  I am a glorious and benevolent and whimsical ruler of this page.  I can bend and twist and straight-up defy the over-starched rules of logic, linearity and even– gasp– SCIENCE!  I see this world!  It is fresh and tender.  Yet, strong enough to be cracking through the sheath of concrete and “progress” we call home.

 

I thought to jot down this inspiration of a blog topic, but instead I just hustled to the bus stop in front of the ornate, antique Grand Lake Theater and sat upon the green, sheltered bench.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited and my bus was a whopping thirteen minutes late!  But I’ll tell you this much- the more I live, the more I am able to recognize a truly infinite intelligence at work within, through and beyond all things.  So rather than holding my breath and knitting my brow about it all, I silently asked my Self what It wished of me this miraculous, white-washed morning.  And it said WRITE*.  (*As well did it say to first get a few essential groceries at Trader Joe’s, and then stop at the pull-up bar and get my pump on and meet this buff brother with a beautiful and starving heart who would lap up the love flowing through me like a purring kitten… but that’s another story.)

 

So here I am, obeying the Small, Silent Voice.  Here I am, appointing myself High Priestess of the Land of Oaks as seen through the portal that is Athena Graceland.  You wanna hear something WEIRD???  I’ve NEVER had a yoga boyfriend!  I’d like to try it some day… I know that was off topic, but it lept, panther-style into my head… and it just seems a little wrong.  But not that wrong…

 

And now back to our previously programmed special edition of Athena Graceland- Sneak Preview of the New World!  We will become “born-again indigenous people”!  Ha!  That’s brilliant!  I mean, I am not any sort of real expert on indigenous people… but in my mind, live some abstract etchings of tribally-woven communities who exist in a paradigm of harmony with, and reverence for the earth and one another; where every person in the village takes active, devotional responsibility for the balance and thrival of the whole.  As my heart wakes up, this seems so obvious… Like DUH, we are NOT separate, and I love you as I love me, and I love me as I love you because we are the Same.  (with a capital S that rhymes with bless that stands for Oneness!) I mean that’s all Jesus was saying… and somehow we managed to invent this whole neurotic religion out of such fundamental purity.  But that’s in the past.  And from the present shines a nobly gruesome, entirely forgivable, dying world.  But shhhhhh.  Listen…

 

 

 

 

Hear the concrete cracking.  Hear the guttural, rumbling whispers of a glorious new world, reaching up from deep within the belly of the earth, like an infinity-winged angel hatching from a massive egg, spinning like an anonymous whirling dervish through a star-washed sea of vast, deep space.  See us all dancing together.  All sexes, all races, all ages and walks of life.  We gather in presence, in the spirit of play and faith and healing and CELEBRATION… We lay down our rancid and calcified stories of being small, separate and afraid, like arms in a world that has never dreamed the dream of war… simply because they bore us and we’d rather boogie!  And so we boogie!  And suddenly, we are no longer deaf to the heavenly music of our own eternal souls!   So we boogie some more, because the music is so smokin’ and it feels so good to move!

 

And in this Born Again Indigenous Boogie World, we are planting gardens EVERYWHERE!  Gardens and orchards… communities are overflowing with an abundance of fresh, nourishing, organic food.  And no one is hungry.  And no one is left to suffer alone.  Who tends the gardens, you ask?  We all do.  Not because we have to, or we’re sposta… just cuz we care.  We all genuinely care.

 

WE ALL GENUINELY CARE.

 

I truly believe that much.  In fact, I’d bet my sweet life on it.  True, we don’t all ACT like we care.  Because we’ve gone to sleep, or built stone walls around our tender, tremulous and holy hearts…. but deep down, and in that endless, beginningless place we all contain, WE SURE DO CARE.  Trust me.  The more you *want* to see that care winking from within every single brother and sister, the more you WILL see it.  I speak from experience.  We always see what we want to see.

 

What do you want to see?

 

Live,

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Playing With Life

Silence.  I just turned off Amma bhajans, opting to instead dissolve in the subtle sounds of the present moment, au naturelle.  Seven forty pm and it’s dark as yo mama outside.  The wind is barbaric.  Sigh.  Oh… I guess first things first, (as we say in my country) you are probably wondering WHERE I am sleeping these days… For this week, I am sleeping in the Temple behind the house I was subletting a room in.  Sometimes guests are welcomed in here for a week at a time.  I’ll tell ya WHAT?!  I am happy as a clam’s perverted oyster ex-husband in here!  Happier, maybe.

 

Did you know that as the synchronicity symphony would play it, my [beloved] leprechaun friend, Jack built this house AND the ensuing Temple?  Yes.  And he’s not even like a prevalent builder on the island or anything.  He’s a plain old man (as “plain old” as a leprechaun can BE for goddess sake), who just happened to build one single house with his bare hands, and I happened to land here AND become instantaneously thick as whale skin with Jack.  Life is the weirdest… I don’t care what you say.  It is tripadelicus maximus.  Yeah, Jack the leprechaun has followed a Buddhistically persuaded path.  His main teacher (who is heavily affiliated with Pema Osil Ling, a retreat center in the santa cruz mountains in California, where I did a life altering women’s weekend three years ago…) came and helped him invoke the sacred space where this Temple was to be built.  They chanted and prayed and buried crystals in the ground.  This was many years ago.  And now I am here, nestled in the tender alcove, lovingly folded into the darkness… blogging.  And I couldn’t be happier.  I swear, this place is enchanted.

 

Well, I suppose I could be a LITTLE happier.  I just went in the kitchen to make an avocado and homemade kraut nori roll… and Brad was in an intense, emotionally tattered state.  I on the other hand was whistling and snorting, high on yoga, health food and a general sense of holy rapture.   But I guess I was a little insensitive… JUST A LITTLE… And I’m afraid my energy was off-putting to B-ditty.  I’m so sensitive.  So allofa sudden, I felt myself clam up.  Shhhllluuup.  (Deep breath.)  It’s weird how it can feel almost criminal to be joyful in the presence of one who is suffering.  It seems like there is so much more permissive agreement in the modern world amongst those who are suffering… SEEMS.  Seeming can be dangerous… I am open to existing in a reality other than that.  A reality, say, where the joy, peace and gratitude of those around me is contagious and exponential!  But it sure didn’t feel that way in the kitchen.  I felt guilty for feeling and embodying the simplicity of God blowing through my being like a sweet, evening breeze, heavy with the scent of ripe peaches, exotic oolong tea and lusting skin.  Forgive, Athena.  Yup.  I forgive myself for my joy, my guilt, my self judgment… I forgive Brad for “seeming” to be negatively impacted by my presence.  I know, I know, I’m so hyper sensitive… Love me or leave me.  (I’d prefer if you loved me… just for the record.)

 

Kai, the dude whose room I was subletting, just came into the temple to do some yoga.  We talked for a coupla minutes and I lost my train of thought.  He asked me how blogging was going and I said it was bitchin because blogging is my favorite thing in the whole wide world, because I feel so free.  I am the Creator.  I get to say anything I want.  I get to exist exactly as I am, whole, complete, tangled, forgetful, unbridled, nutty, perverse…  And I live in the exhilarating perpetual challenge of offering it with as much beauty and eloquence as humanly possible.  When I blog, I feel deeply purposeful and fulfilled.

 

Kai.  He’s twenty five.  I’m kind of an ageist… I guess just because personally, I hated my twenties.  It was grueling to be this ridiculously wise, old soul in such an arduously young body.  A body carrying a crap load of crunchy, unprocessed baggage, a horrible case of amnesia and diddly squat when it came to life experience.  But now… I’m almost somebody!!!!  (Cracking myself up again…)  I can smell Kai’s sweet, musky deodorant rising in an invisible current of body heat from here as he rolls around on the dark temple floor on his stiff foam roller.  My turn-on just spiked by forty seven percent.  The first time I saw him yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised by how attractive he was.  I wasn’t expecting it.  I wasn’t expecting such a thick, broad chest… or such wide, sparkly blue eyes rimmed with amazing lashes.

 

“Wow, you’re… so attractive…” Those were the very first words that tumbled out of Athena Grace’s mouth upon introduction.  It was moment of child-like purity… followed by some major self consciousness.  I got super self critical… First impressions, ya know?  I mean… he could have all too easily misconstrued my (Another waft of deodorant! Yum!) loose liberation, since he had zero frame of reference for it.  He didn’t really seem to know what to make of me.  Woops.  That’ll teach me to be so flabby around the verbiage.

 

Anyway, the next thing I knew, I was deep in the throes of “operation forgive myself and move on”.  But thankfully I’m getting better at that game.

 

Enough about Kai.  I need to tell you that I have a boyfriend for the next six minutes.  Till midnight HIS time.  Guess who?!  Mykael!  WHAT???  Athena…

 

Yeah.  He reached out to me today and expressed that he was finally grieving the loss of my skin, my daily presence in his life.  You see, he’s been consumed with the task of passing his nursing exams… AND HE PASSED!!!!!  So now his spirit is free to unfurl and actually FEEL something.  And me?  I am a fountain of love, strength and clarity, joyous to receive his authentic, heart-drenched expression.  I’ve been LOVING our communications lately.  So open, honest and rich.  This morning, after a long, deep conversation, I felt him swimming in my oceanic heart and it was very pleasant, so I texted him and invited him to be my boyfriend for the day.  He said yes!  I got to practice being in my first *very* polyamorous relationship.  A relationship where I am whole and independent…

 

Am I making ANY sense?  Yes, it was a playful game.  But with some deep notes of truth to it.  (Awe, shucks… his clock struck midnight… he’s not my boyfriend anymore… Grin.  I love playing with life…) It’s just felt pleasant and refreshing to enter into that sacred space of the love we share… a deeply familiar space… in the face of everything else in the world being so radically new, different, profound.  So… I asked him if he’d be my long distance, polyamorous Man with a capital M, once a week!  Thursdays… He said YES!  So we’ll just give it a whirling dervish of a test drive for a week or two.  Relationships don’t have to fit in all the binding boxes we mostly try to jam them in, you know…

 

Ahhhh, LIFE!  Well, my Beloveds… I hope you have found this blog to be illuminating, thought provoking, titillating, entertaining, or otherwise savory.  And I pray that some of the beautiful love in my heart has evoked the beautiful love in Your heart.  Tell me it has…

 

With an ecstatic Amen,

Athena Grace LMNOP

Cloud Theater and Holy Reverence

I’m looking at clouds out my bedroom window.  I swear to Jesus H, the clouds here on Kauai are a constant source of entertainment for me!  They put Hollywood cinema to s-h-a-m-e.  (You have to spell it out…)  Remember as a kid when you used to allow yourself to become mesmerized and dissolved in the overt images that called to your awakened, imaginative spirit?  Well, if you were here with me, you too would become a kid again!  I’m sure of it.  I just saw a swan swim over the mountain and now she has become a hooded cobra snake!  Of course I also see a galloping silver unicorn, which is extra special, because most of the unicorns I see are plain old white!

 

I am SO happy to be here with You (yes, YOU) in Athena Graceland!  Can you tell?  It’s our refugee camp.  I was feeling premenstrual and fragmented and swirling with unruly emotions… but now that I have arrived safely on the page I am home free.  It’s like playing tag and making it to base safely without getting tagged.  Or swimming through a lake full of piranhas and getting to shore without being a pulpy mess of blood and mangled flesh.  This calls for a celebration!  Crack open the bubbly, strike up the band, rip off your clothes and dance with me!

 

Oh, okay, I’ll come clean… I also just drank two cups of sweet, creamy yerba matte in a row because my butt was filled with ever single marble that existed in nineteen fifty and because of this, it was d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g behind me and really slowing me down.  But not no mo’!  Now my mind is a jack rabbit tearing down the highway and my poor little fingers are doing their darnedest to keep up, bless their ten little bony hearts.  Ahhh!  I just took a sweet deep breath!  Now the clouds have become a flame-breathing Santa Clause head!  See what I mean?  Why would I ever need to go to the movies again?  Maybe just for the greasy, five dollar popcorn…

 

Today is one of those days where I want to tell you everything at once.  I know!  How ‘bout I just rip the top of my head off and let you wade around in the spacious, soupy cosmos in here?!?  I promise you a whale of a time, or your money back, guranteed…

 

First I want to tell you that I have a phobia of studying English, literature and writing in some sort of credible institution… I’m afraid of all the stuffy, self-important rules that I imagine perverted grandpa academia would try to cram down my freewheeling throat.  I love writing exactly how I want to, not how I’m “supposed to”, in order to be erudite and sophisticated and respectable.  Two corners of the mouth down on THAT one… My voice is a tender chick, which I guard with my life, unwilling for her fragile, fluffy body to be shattered and her guts burst all about the careless, calloused world at large.  Shrug… So I guess that rules out college for me.  I’ll just stick to my already rigorous enrollment in the School of Mostly Soft Knocks.

 

Next order of business, I am invited to be on local radio tomorrow morning!  There’s this show from ten till noon, hosted by a man named Kamran.  He carves out his two hours to be a sacred space, a place of unconventional worship.  He often reads from the works of my homeboys, Rumi and Hafiz weaving them in with groovy music and amazing, enlightened guests such as YT (my new shorthand for “yours truly”…)  We just spoke on the phone and I felt his heart immediately.  Even the moment that occurs just BEFORE immediately.  I wish we had a word for that in clumsy old English… Maybe that’s what a “heart-blink” is… (Eh Dan?)  Ahem, so Kamran asked me to reach inside and harvest some gratitude saturated, love stained, God drunk words, offered straight to this resplendent, generous, heaven of an island and all of her blessed inhabitants.  I feel like I just won the lottery, because I have SO much appreciation for this verdant, copious, loving embrace named Kauai.  (Now the clouds look like a big long poop, slowly drifting above the mountains…)

 

I’ve always wanted to be on the radio!  I want to be Hanuman the monkey god tomorrow morning.  You know how he unabashedly rips his chest open to reveal Sita and Ram, the female and male principals of God, who are nestled eternally in his heart?  He eternally burns with a drive to pour himself out in service to them.  Yes, I pray that I can rip my heart open and bleed contagious, celebratory devotion upon all who listen to the show… which of course will then continue to rush like a river and drench everyone THEY know and love and even those they don’t know they love!

 

Can you imagine feeling love for every single One you meet?  Try it.  It’s possible.  Isn’t that amazing?  That is why I keep returning to the Rivers, Streams, Ocean of God and washing my mind, cleansing my heart… because with a divinely cleansed Self, not only are miracles, possible, they are INEVITABLE as breathing.

 

I just closed my eyes and asked God what else to say to you this afternoon.  In the darkness behind my eyes, a doorway opened into the world of sound.  I tuned into the high pitched, rolling purr of some sort of crickety insects.  It’s an evocative song.  It seduces my mind to reach its boundless fingers straight into the heavens and caress the soft cheeked face of Grace.  And Holy Popcorn!, is her cheek soft!  If you don’t believe me, reach up and see for yourself!  You’ll be pleasantly astonished.

 

God, I offer myself as your Holy Instrument!  Please, let my life be a source of inspired beauty and contagious peace.  Help me to forgive and forgive and forgive and forgive and forgive and forgive and… until I am as wide open as… er… ummmm… the WIDEST OPENING in all the multiverse.  (And may I continue to lovingly laugh at myself as I stumble along the way.)  And God, may this prayer inspire and remind ALL who read it of their unique, glory stained holiness, and their miraculous and ESSENTIAL place in the All Pervading Choir!  And God?  You ROCK!

 

Amen!

 

P.S.~ Now the clouds have turned to Snoopy!

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