Longing for Motherhood

I’m realizing it’s one thing to BE BRILLIANT.  I’ve got that market cornered.  (Yeah, no false humility here.  I don’t see the point.) But it’s a whole nother thing to ORGANIZE my brilliance into cohesive paragraphs on a glowing two dimensional netherworld.  I swear~ lately I’ve been amazed at the wicked insights that slice through my mind and gursh out into otherwise ordinary renditions of nowness.  Well… hopefully some will sneak out when I’m not looking.  In the meantime, I’m just gonna talk about whatever I fancy.

 

I fancy to share with you how deeply I desire to have a baby.  Honestly, I used to puke in my mouth when I was around women whose “biological clocks were ticking”.  I’d be thinking, “Seriously, babe…take a chill pill.  You’ve got a lot of life to love…”  But I guess that’s how life works~ I inevitably seem to live out all of the things I have judged others for.

 

DO ALL WOMEN FEEL THIS WAY?  I’m thinking that a lot of us do… at least for a certain span of our gracious goddess unfurling… this gorgeous, all-consuming, full bodied, full hearted desire is what has proliferated our species thus far.  It feels so entirely feminine.  Logic has no place here.  It’s like this fragrance that floods every drop of me, before I have a chance to have any say in the matter.  And it feels so beautiful, that why would I even want to?  It’s like being filled to bursting with the essence of springtime.  Fertility, newness, vibrancy, pulsation.  The image of a prism is surfacing in my mind.  Lucid, crystalline potentiality.  It holds the secret seeds of brilliant rainbows… resting peacefully until she penetrated by fierce tendrils of light.

 

Yes, Geoffrey, you told me so!!!  Geoffrey is one of my readers.  And he’s always nudged me in the direction of marriage and family… and I thought “Zzzzzz that’s so cookie cutter.  I’m a maverick.  Not a fucking housewife!”  But now that I think about it, being a conscious parent might be the most maverick path of them all!  Giving a little bodhisattva soul room to hit the ground running and shine on this world without dimming her light by according to bullshit social standards.  I know, that’s vague and idealistic.  And there are so many influences in a child’s life besides their immediate family.  We each take the shape of the world around us, blending perfectly with our surroundings, woven seamlessly into the tapestry of Life.

 

But I digress.  My heart aches, and my body yearns to give life.  And yet… I’m not in a position to do so right now.  Boo hoo.  I think if I let myself, I could cry a dribbling river about this.  It’s frustrating.  My Beloved Edward is already married, and occupied with the task of raising his fifteen year old son… and I am behaving more like a free-falling gypsy star, than a grounded mama goddess.  Here I am, uprooting again, to go on yet another spirit quest… Sigh…  But honestly, the secret prayer in my heart is that this next chapter of growth and empowerment shall serve as an essential step on the path that leads me closer to motherhood.  To stability, grounding and a deep, generous maturity that will carve and shape me into the best mother I can be.  God makes no mistakes.

 

I guess I have no choice but to marinate in this consuming, focused ache until God gives me the green light.  Yes, I know that becoming a mother is NOT going to make me anymore complete and joyous than I am RIGHT NOW.  It will only make my life more challenging and strenuous (and RICH)…  I try to remind myself of this as I am given in total longing.  But the longing doesn’t seem to care for practical considerations and conceptual wisdoms.

 

And what about that whole new-skool paradigm of how a woman should make something of herself in the world first, and THEN have babies… so she’s doesn’t make her children her entire life and suffocate them in overbearing “love” and then turn bitter when it’s all said and done, because she’s old and used up and clueless about who she is?  Shrug.  I guess it makes sense.  But since when is boiling life down to rudimentary cliches the ultimate in joy, fulfillment and spiritual wealth?  It’s not.

 

Hmmm…. I don’t feel like writing anymore.  I just felt to get naked and expose my heart’s *deepest* longing.  For some reason, admitting  my lust for motherhood feels embarrassing.  Maybe because it clashes with the identity I’ve built for myself.  Being a wife and mother seems so bland compared to being a writer, a leader, a teacher, a minister, an artist, a muse…

 

But jesus.  I am vast enough to be all of me and still be a mother.  Interesting, this writing is revealing some deep-seated beliefs and bullshit social programming.  Cool!  I bet conscious mothers encounter tons of that.  Like that moms aren’t supposed to be sexual anymore, for example.  (Is that because of the whole silly virgin mary archetype?  Not only is she totally OVER sex, she never even loved it in the first place!… Psssshh, gimme a break!).  And if they have moments of feeling trapped and wondering what the fuck they were thinking when they decided to give themselves over to twenty-four-seven service to an incessantly dependent little leach, then there is something WRONG with them.  Dream ON, ladies!!!!! That sounds like the most natural thing in the world.  But… to widen ourselves and give, even when we are sure we are spent to the last drop… now THAT’S what I call *real* spiritual practice.

 

Okay.  I’m done.  But first, I offer my entire life and self and heart to God.  God, I know you know every circumstance and subtle nuance of my heart and life.  Please continue to illuminate, open and bless my Becoming.  I am yours.  Make me a purified channel for your Endless Love.

 

Amen,

Athena

Blissfully Blending the Agony and Ecstasy

It’s another “good” day… Seems like my scientific extrapolation of the pattern of one up day, then a down day, then an up day… up, down, up, down, up, down… is accurate so far.  Not that I’m condemning myself to a heavy heart trudging through the mud day tomorrow… but just incase it does play out that way, I’m gonna be sure and thoroughly luxuriate in the cool effulgence that today is raining on me.

I woke up so gloriously alone on the thin foam that serves as my bed right now.  (It’s basically like a barely glorified version of sleeping on the floor.  I feel SO f-ing yogic.  Honestly, I don’t mind.  I am loving simplicity right now.  I was relieved to move out of my overly spacious house in Oakland.  Ask me how often I went into the living room… Once in a psychedelically persuaded moon.  (Oooh, a psychedelically persuaded moon… I’d sure love to MEET Her, fully illumined face to face!  Definitely puttin’ that on my bucket list…) And the dining room too.  Dead space.  I yearned to have a simple, humble existence.  And crafty manifestress I am, I yearned it right into existence.)  I woke up to the requisite rooster squabble and abrasive parrot music.  I asked God to inform me of the vibe of my day and then I pulled a tarot card from the goddess deck on my iPhone.  I got the ten of cups.  It had a picture of a majestically arching rainbow with a full moon above (whose face, unfortunately was not psychedelically persuaded… but maybe if she let that blazing rainbow have his way with her on life’s heaving dance floor, that would change…).  Oh and the rainbow was reflected upside down, over the broken, glistening body of the ocean!  The drawing could have easily been inspired by the very island on which I am blessedly perched.  It was about abundance.  An abundance which naturally spills out into the world.

All of the cards I have been drawing lately speak of abundance.  Yesterday I drew the Sun.  As I move through all these current waves of hope and fear, loneliness and rapture, contraction and surrender, it is requiring deep trust to release myself into the undeniably auspicious promise of the oracle.  (Before I landed on Kauai, believe it or not, all the cards I drew told me that I was at the end of a challenging time and success, peace, joy, prosperity were on their way, immaculate wings poised to spread.)

Day three of my morning sadhana practice.  So far it has been a solo journey (Though originally it was a vision shared with my housemates… ). I can not tell you how delicious it is to begin the day that way.  Bathing in breath and the waning sounds of an awakening jungle.  Feeling the vitality and strength of my body.  I only wish that I could TRULY dedicate my practice entirely to God.  I still feel all these straggling egoic motivations for my practice… to stay in shape, to avoid the suffering of dirty, stagnant mind, to achieve unity with the All Pervading Bigger, Better, MORE… Ahhh, human motivations are interwoven so intricately with threads of Purity.  It’s hard to decipher them all in the end, and meanwhile, the tapestry is pretty striking, isn’t it?

But the Course in Miracles lesson for today is “Let me remember that my goal is God.”  So I came to asana practice with a sincere inquiry of how to practice in a way that reflects only the remembrance of and communion with God.  Remember Athena, lotuses unfold in God’s time, by God’s Grace.  Just keep showing up with that magnificent, curious and sincere heart, and some day… you will taste the All Pervading Honey.  You will find the light switch.

I WANT SO DEEPLY TO FIND THE LIGHT SWITCH.  Here’s me, groping clumsily about in deep, black, breathing infinity within and infinity without… my hand sweeping the wall-less worlds in search of a switch smaller than a single grain of rice.  (But certainly inscribed with the Lord’s Prayer… and every single other prayer ever uttered by the lips of hearts who wish… who wish in so many flailing words to find that teensy, taunting, slippery switch.)

After my morning practice, I was graced with an email notification of acceptance to the yoga therapy training taught by John Friend (the father of anusara yoga) on Maui in the beginning of October!!!!!!  Ten of Cups, BABY!  I really wanted to do it… and I had put it in God’s hands, trusting that if I belonged there, I would be accepted… and if the Destiny calling out to me from within my very own self was another… that was perfect too.  Because my goal… IS GOD.  Still, I am delighted that God’s plan for me includes this training, because it will enable me to facilitate deep healing of bodies, which of course are reflections of the mind which are reflections of the One.  There’s a bump on the log in the hole in the middle of the All Pervading Sea!

Speaking of the Sea… Ask me if I got in the Ocean today….

I did.  My rhythm is revealing its self, thank Goddess!  I find that merging with the lucid turquoise waters in the late morning, after breakfast and a few misc. chores feels great.  It purifies me and supercharges my day.  Today, as I stood alone, ankle deep in the cool, softly lapping body of the Mother Ocean, I wondered heavily if I was dreaming.  Signs would point to yes.  “Too good to be true”… my mind tries to convince me.  But apparently it’s not.  Apparently I am immersed a Blessing that I have, by the Grace of God, swum my way right into.  Thank you!

In my book “Secrets of the Talking Jaguar”, I just read the part where the author, Martin Prechtel had a near death experience, which was wild.  (The whole book is dense with poetry and profound, earthy wisdom.  I swear, I want to share like every other sentence with you!)  As he emerged back into life, into the excruciating pain of his body (he had fallen off a cliff and cracked some ribs) he was filled with a knowing that, “Suffering was not the price of living but part of the gift of being alive.  Not a big deal, but part of the deal.”  Obviously this spoke to me… because I feel life so deeply and sometimes… that makes for a very bumpy, achy, metaphorically bloody ride.  But sometimes even in the thick of my suffering, a deep part of me knows this.  Knows that the agony and the ecstasy are one.

Speaking of which, last night, as a cap to my rainy parade of a day, I was making myself some dinner.  I was delighted to throw some olive oily, garlicy eggplant on the grill… only to find out that the grill was out of propane.  Stove top city, Sweetheart.  Brad, the fanged, shamanic carnivore was of course cooking chicken on the burner to my right.  In a flash of inspiration, I asked him if I could pour some of his blissfully scalding chicken fat over my eggplant, quinoa and greens.  He gave me the go ahead!  And the next thing I knew, I had not only poured scalding chicken fat on my dinner, but also all over my arm!  Brad was shocked.  I didn’t feel anything.  Until I did.  And what I felt was more than a burning arm, but a deep upsurge of grief.  I fell apart in a pool of deep sobs in the kitchen.  Talk about the gift of being alive!  Thankfully our front yard is full of aloe vera plants.  Shrug.  It’s just a stinkin’ burn.  And a beautifully poetic end to an aching day.

Yes to ALL of it!  Let me remember that my goal is GOD!!!

Amen.

This is my view from my bedroom window as I blog…
My impressive, poetic burn!

Q: What Did The Chickpea Say To the Pacific Ocean?

A: Warning. This is a test. This is ONLY a test. If this were a real blog… ummm… I wouldn’t tell you it was only a test. But otherwise it would be about the same. Rest assured, though, it is just a test. My bedroom is sweltering and stuffy. I feel like I’m swimming in a big pot of Boeuf Bourguignon*. (I just watched the movie “Julia and Julie” about the woman who cooks every single recipe in Julia Child’s cookbook in the span of a year and blogs about it! I loved it! I’d even go so far as to say I was swept off my feet, the way I have been yearning for Hollywood to sweep me recently! Thank GOD!) The Now feels thick, sticky and… stick-to-your-ribs-y. It was a scorcher today. (At least for us pansy-assed Bay Areans. For you who live in “normal” summer conditions, (as opposed to existing in a sea of fog that might burn of for a few hours in the afternoon and give way to a half-assed afternoon of sixty-something degree sunshine before it rolls back in to haunt the evening once again) you’d probably look at me cross-eyed as you languidly popped the top of your Mexican Coke and swigged it hard, fast and unappologetic. Well I’m hot. And sunburned. And freshly bleeding. And feeling pretty depressed as I watch my life as I knew it disintegrate before my innocent, blinking peepers. Yesir, every day more stuff disappears from the brown shingle structure formerly known as my “home”. I came “home” from Stinson Beach (!!!!!!!) this afternoon to discover all of Mykael’s kitchen stuff~ mugs, plates, bowls, etc. had migrated from their roosts in the cupboard to litter the counter top. My heart sunk. Again. Lately practically every moment seems to be laden with a fresh opportunity to choose happiness or despair. Sure, you could argue that that is no different than every single moment of life. But trust me, it is different. It’s like getting naked and laying on a glacier and saying to your self, “I can either choose to suffer or just merely experience these extreme sensations.” I keep finding myself sad, lonely, afraid, overwhelmed… and then just trying to remember to pray. To feel the sensations in my body. To lift my mind up in gratitude (thank you Souldipper!!!! Your reminder is worth its exponential weight in Love!). To see this friendly mayhem as an expression of the Great Love. Trust me, this is a new way for me and I feel clumsy. See, this is why I didn’t want to write. I was feeling blah… but the more I write, the more tears are welling and spilling, welling and spilling, welling and spilling. Time out. I’m gonna go take a cold shower. We’ll see if that will snap me out of this despair. Time in. Shazam! That was… er… bracing. Cold shower, then a generous full body slathering of coconut oil. Then I burned some cedar. That sloughed off the top layer of despair. But there’s still more layers underneath. Though fresh, newborn despair is far superior to that scaly, worn-out stuff. It’s right up there with sacrificial virgins, waking up to a shimmering coat of new-fallen snow, the sweet, human scent of baby head, a steaming, buttered slice of fresh baked bread. Despair. Actually I read an excerpt of a Rumi poem in the forward of the book I just started (Secrets of the Talking Jaguar by Martin Prechtel) about a chickpea crying out from the stew, “Why are you doing this to me?” and Rumi’s reply is: Don’t you try to jump out. You think I’m torturing you I’m giving you flavor, So you can mix with spices and rice And be the lovely vitality of a human being. If that is the context for the discomfort that I feel as I shed, shape shift, transform and become, then BRING IT ON, GOD!!! Open the sky inside me and let it RIP! I want to be flavorful! And more so, do I yearn to be the lovely vitality of Humanity. But wait… I already have been the lovely vitality of so many others in so many dissolved Now Moments of the past… but have I let these simple, fleeting moments, these sincere offerings of Love slide right through the imaginary cracks in me, so that I have remained empty, because I have imagined there to be more to life than the simplicity of kindness, generosity and connection. “So it goes”, as Kurt Vonegut would say… Ambition. First I must become a famous writer. First I must make a steady income and act like all the proper adults [covertly flailing in confusion] all around me. First I must get married. First I must have a baby. FIRST I MUST FIRST I MUST FIRST I MUST. And then this distinguished graduate of the School of Mostly Soft Knocks took a greedy swig of water. Then a greedy swig of air. Here I am… again. All striving aside… here I am. It’s a hot night in the end of august. My skin is pouring off radiant heat. I recall laying on the beach all afternoon, cooking under a relentless, beaming sun. Then striding right into the glittering, icy surf, reaching deep inside me for a prayer that would arouse the sleeping courage in me to wake and upon finding it, letting the endlessly vast body of the Pacific Ocean devour my flesh and bones and of course my inconspicuous *guts* so that for a single ecstatic moment of union I was One. Tingling, vibrant, elated, satiated ONE. Prayerfully dipping in frigid ocean… Is that what it will be like when God finally comes to pick me up from my long, hard, seemingly endless day at the School of Mostly Soft Knocks, once and for all? God will say, “How was school, Athena?” And all breath, ecstasy and gratitude, I will exclaim, “Amazing!” Amen.

I Know Your Secret

I think I’m too lonely and exhausted to write.  But… lemme at least write a “pilot” paragraph just to see if it gets my engine lubed.  Look, I won’t beat around the psycho-active bush here… I am just wondering how it is possible that I have been hearing God speak to me from so many lips and wink at me from behind the façade of so many unsuspecting, ordinary moments… and yet I still feel to be starving.  HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?  If I had to guess, I’d say it’s just a mental-emotional habit.

Last night Mykael invited me out to a gallery opening and then to hear his friendly acquaintance play music at a local tavern… A beer garden, if you will.  (I love that term, “beer garden”.  In my minds eye, I always see thick, twisty, shiny, fairyland foliage sprouting an ostentatious collection of decorative, microbrewery beer bottles lieu of flowers.  Ornate wrought iron tables nestle amidst the plant life and you simply pluck the beer of your choice straight from the vine and settle with good company and a waxing gruff attitude.)  Where was I?  Oh yes, I declined his invite, though it warmed me to be included.  (Our “way parting” (the new pc term for “break-up”) is going really well this week!  The love, kindness, respect and cooperation are everything I hoped for, but thought might be too good to be true.)  I felt so quiet inside yesterday.  And sensitive.  And I couldn’t imagine wandering into the abrasive outside world.  It was as if I had no skin on.  So he left right after dinner and my aloneness immediately surged in, laden with a tangible heft.  Oh well.  I blogged and then crashed out.  Big deal.  But then I heard the porch light click off and was startled from a sweaty, fitful sleep at a quarter till three am.

Hearing my partner come home late at night while I am nestled alone in my bed… is a trigger for me.  I guess because as a child sometimes my babysitters would leave before my mom got home and I spent time awake in bed marinating in the suffocating sensation of aloneness… Shrug.  I forgive, I forgive, I forgive.  Yes, it sucked… but BFD, so what?  Forgive I may, but the triggers remain… and when Mykael came home, I was not thirty years old, I was seven.  (Hey look!  I made it past the first paragraph!  I guess my engine is officially lubed.)  So there I was, suddenly wide awake, adrenaline coursing through my veins.  I prayed to God, as I am remembering to do more and more these days when I encounter moments laced with seemingly insurmountable bouquets of threatening feelings and or thoughts.

Time out!  I just have to say that I have been getting so many acknowledgements lately about the beauty and grace others behold in me.  (Souldipper, I just read your comment and it tipped me over the edge, into a soft splash of tears.)  What a mystery… Must beauty and ache be so interwoven?  From the inside, I feel like I am working overtime trying to hold myself together, stay poised, clear, strong, spiritually elevated… I feel a quiet, steady pulsing of strength and despair.  Amazing how from the outside, this experience occurs as “beauty”.  This is me falling to my knees and BEGGING God for mercy.  God!  Please bust these chains from my mind.  Free me from my need to control and understand.  May I have the courage to be empty, to be nothing, to simply be breathing peace.  God?  Do you hear me???

Time in… So I prayed to God.  Yet from the shackles of my perception, I remained alone, in the dark, in my bed.  This is the closest to Holiness that I can muster at this time.  It’s just such an impressive paradox… to know that human love belly flops in pools of hot lava and hissing acid compared to Divine Love.  I know this.  Without a shred of doubt.  And yet I have misplaced the door, or the key, or the… Yes, we’ve discussed this one before.  Rumi told me that I will soon find that I have been knocking from the INSIDE.  Great, thanks Rumi.  Now pardon me while take my bloody knuckles and get back to work a-knockin’.

Here I am.  Here I am.  My bedroom is being slowly swallowed by twilight, my screen glows bright and the house is flooded with silence.  Here I am.  Beautiful me.  My heart cries out for its implicit bliss.  As if it could ever be found beyond this oppressively precious Now moment.

When I woke up this morning, I tried to shift gears, burn through the emotions still lingering from 3am.  I almost could.  Almost.  I kept trying to stand up and report for duty on the front lines (it was farmer’s market day), but the oppressive gray sky kept knocking me back on my ass.  My soul weighted as much as an elephant who accidentally swallowed a sassy chain of spiral galaxies.  So I resorted to waking my hung-over soon to be ex-boyfriend up and falling apart in sobs.  He held me.  I thought, how can I possibly show up at the farmer’s market to sell poems when my eyes are puffy and my confidence took flight in the night?  Who will want a poem from one who is such a flailing pile of fear and loneliness?

But a steady, quiet voice in me whispered that I am just like you.  I believe that it is ONLY God’s Love for which we all ceaselessly thirst.  We just wrap it in a myriad of fancy packages.  We think we want a partner, a new car, a sweet vacation, a better job, a pedicure, a bouquet of flowers, an inspired rendezvous with a friend, even.  But any desire we dangle out in front of ourselves and then exhaust ourselves chasing after… is only the pursuit of… Yep, you guessed it, the All Pervading Love-gasm.  So I got dressed (mostly in black, because I am dying to everything I once dreamed I was) and marched my typewriter down the hill to report for duty, carrying in my breast pocket the most tender and universal secret~ Everyone aches, consciously or not, to be reunited once and for all with our Eternal Beloved.

Amen.

Yosemite “Blog”

Wow, it’s almost nine o’clock at night and I feel like the dictionary definition of “brain dead”.  Staying committed to blogging as my whole life crumbles to fairy dust takes some muscle.  But I’m a pretty muscular chick, if you want to know the truth.  (Metaphorically muscular as well as literally, just for the record.)  Thankfully, I “blogged” while I was camping in Yosemite.  Yup, me n Dara stopped at Target (pronounce it “Tar-sjae”, if you please…) and had one last hurrah in the land of fluorescent lights, cheap goods stained with the blood of children, and miles of superfluous, soulless doo-dads.  I splurged on a spiral notebook made with recycled paper, two black, clicky ballpoint pens and some Tom’s of Maine “wicked fresh” (their new flavor) toothpaste.  Dara got ibuprophen, a cheapo headlamp and oh god, I can’t remember what else.  So much for knocking your shoes and socks off with my impeccable recounting of frivolous details.  I guess I’ll have to resort to other tactics to impress your pants off tonight.

Anyway, the POINT is that I found it highly awkward to “blog” in my spiral notebook.  My handwriting was so messy which made me feel like I *must* be writing crap.  But then I read what I wrote to Dara as we huddled around the campfire, the rushing creek singing back-up, and I was pleasantly surprised that even though it LOOKED like chicken scratch, my voice was still my voice and my pride was still intact.  So here’s one of my “blogs”, not so fresh off the press from the once virginal morning that spilled from me two days ago:  (I kinda feel like a mom who is burnt out and opts to feed her kids microwave meals and pop in a video while she flops down like a lifeless marionette on her unmade bed.)

August 18th, 2010

I see a Stellar’s Jay mischievously hopping about the low branches of a pine tree towering over the bear locker.  He has a particularly ratty, punk-rock crest.  Oh.  He flew away.  Now what do I write about?  Ahhh yes, in a notebook, it doesn’t matter.  I suppose in a blog it doesn’t matter either… but it sure does seem to at times… In a notebook it is the sheer bold, courageous act of stepping back onto the page, returning to the unknown.  Standing at the mouth of a mystic well, dropping a bucket down and scooping up a big, wet helping of myself.

A tubby little asian boy just wandered through our campsite to the water’s mirrored edge, carrying an empty plastic jug to fill.  I watched him with curiosity as though he were an exotic though benign wild animal.  Whit is it about fat children that makes them so alluring to me?  I guess it’s their squeezability factor.  They’re like over-sized over-stuffed teddy bears… which of course reminds me of Eric.  We had [yet another] inside joke that we’d adopt a fat little Mexican boy someday… and name him Guillermo.  But what does that have to do with anything?  Well… Eric… He’s been omnipresent for me out here in nature, and when I say “omnipresent”, you’ve gotta understand… I mean omnipresent.  I see/feel him in EVERY towering pine tree (he can talk to trees, you know…), every massive granite boulder.  I hear him in the cool, hushed chant of the creek.  I smell him in the perfumed air.  But you know what???  Screw that… It’s not REALLY Eric that is haunting my mind and heart.  No ma’am.  It’s our Undercover, Beloved-assed Omnipotent Superhero, Almighty Jah!

Honestly, I’ve been through enough yearning streaks to know that if it wasn’t Eric, it would be (and has been) Mykael, Jerry… even dumb old Charlie.  Athena!  Please!  STOP yearning for these hollow cardboard cut-outs of the All Pervading Real Thing, who could NEVER in affinity years ever hope to fill that gorgeous void of Divine Longing inside you.  Wake up and smell the sweet, smoky campfire!

Dara read me a bedtime story in the tent last night! (talk about a quick route to my heart!!!)  Not only that, but it was my quintessentially perfect bedtime story~ the story of the life of my Beloved teacher (and predecessor), Hafiz.  And you know what?  His life was NOT so dissimilar from mine.  At one point, he stumbled hard into lust-laced love with a beautiful woman, who rejected his sorry ass.  (Apparently he was not the most handsome man.)  So he did this perverse ritual in which he sat awake in vigil for forty nights straight in a cemetery.  Supposedly it was supposed to make this ho fall for him.  But at the end of the fortieth night, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and said he would fulfill one single desire for Hafiz.  Upon the utter revelation of seeing this resplendent divine messenger manifest, Hafiz was so smitten that he forgot all about the mere woman and longed to know God, whom he imagined could ONLY be a gazillion times more beautiful.

So it went that Hafiz’s single wish was to know God.  And obviously peeps, the proof is in the damn puddin’.  Every single word I’ve ever read of Hafiz is saturated with unmistakable, authentic ecstatic intoxication.  His words are a result of the Universe consciously making Love to its self.

And the moral of my decadent bedtime tale?  Naturally, that as soon as I realize fully that it is ONLY the All Pervading Beloved for whom I incessantly yearn… whose voice I hear in the river’s song, whose scent I gulp in hungry lungfuls from this enchanting, perfumed air~ When I relinquish my false pretenses of shallow human longing~ then will I truly meet my “Maker” so to speak… My Eternal Beloved.  So get crackin’, Athena Grace!  But the trouble is that I would not sit in eager, unwavering vigil for any of these common yet mouthwatering men, let alone God-On-High.  Id rather just keep slogging along, comfortably uncomfortable through this illusion of a dream leaking subtle, perverse nightmarish goo out the sides.

And the macro moral of my own personal mythology?  Athena, do your best to relinquish your fever-dreams of Eric.  And ALL the other great taste, less filling faces of the Infinite.  Find the mouth of the well and bring your own madly thirsty lips to sip from the Source that will NEVER cease to drench and satiate not just the finite mirage you dream yourself to be, but the whole blessed brigade of Ones whose hearts eternally cry out to Remember.

Amen.

For the LOVE of Words

When push comes to shove and shove comes to knuckle sandwich and knuckle sandwich comes to a gruesome strangling affair by a seven mile long snake with prism skin… Well… I don’t know what then. But I know that now I am here on the page to sooth myself. I have not slept well in weeks. I think this happens when my spirit is integrating a lot of new information and my poor, dense physical body, bound by time and space struggles to keep up. My spirit is a hardball playing, dragon slaying, fire spraying, business meaning machine. What’s a girl to do? Except step unabashedly onto the page and make strangely textured love to her own insides, letting her word-dripping imagination take her for a ride. So today I dedicate this blog to words that quench me, pleasure me, sooth and amuse me. That said I am suddenly burning to tell you that I sampled a new church last Sunday. I have no interest in recounting the experience, except for one crucial sliver. This was the day following Mykael’s antithesis of a lucrative art show, so we were both feeling ground down by fear in spite of ourselves. We had some kind of abrasive, unsavory exchange in the car before entering the disheveled though spirit saturated sanctuary. A handsome black man with the most soulfully luminous eyes I’ve ever seen in my entire life greeted me. He asked me how I was doing. I said something like not so good, which was all it took to open the flood gates and then in less than the space between sacred syllables, I came hopelessly undone. His eyes bled compassion all over me and he took me in his arms. He spoke in a soft loving voice and told me to let it out. I heaved in waves of surprise attack sobs. He just kept holding me and speaking soft words of reassurance into my ear. I am astounded by the beauty and generosity of his anonymous, unconditional heart. I wish I could arrange a string of words that could come somewhere near the miraculousness of the light that poured from him. I’m gonna try, because you only live once, and what else would I be doing with this razor sharp, explicit holy moment of my existence? Really… The recipe for this stranger’s eyes… in a sky-sized bowl, mix the following ingredients thoroughly~ the soft purrs of an ecstatic cat, the song from a large, deep, resonant wind chime stirred by a warm, lazy tropical breeze, the soul-shivering first kiss shared with one who enchants the pants off you, the feeling of being entirely, rapturously held in the armless embrace of warm, lucid blue tropical water, a stirring piano sonata played in complete darkness and the thick, buttery scent of croissants baking at sunrise. Does that give you some idea of the soulful beauty he poured on tearful me? In a recent-ish blog, I explored the true meaning of Grace. With the help of my readers, we came up with some bitchin’ definitions… but really, it was Grace that splashed from his eyes. It was Grace’s timeless, unconditional generosity that held me while I cried on his shoulder. It was Grace whose tears watered this thirsty desert of human suffering. Grace. She is the space between expectation-stained dreams. Grace. She is the breath that streams through me and you on nights wrapped in yearning and days splayed wide with gaiety and sweetness. Life is like surfing, isn’t it? All these waves of energy… and we must ride them. Skillfully or not, it’s up to each of us. I had a yogurt drink this morning. I blended organic low fat plain yogurt with fresh strawberries, stevia and a generous sprinkle of maca. Why am I telling you this? Because I want to. Because I LOVE sweet, creamy drinks. I love feeling them fill my mouth. I guess it takes me back to being breast fed. It is such primal, soothing pleasure. Moments spent sipping sweet creaminess are some of the most peaceful, profound and complete moments I have ever met. I imagine that when I finally remember God again once and for all, it will be like imbibing in the SWEETEST, CREAMIEST drink in all of creation multiplied infinity times by its own profound deliciousness. Fuck that’s gonna be so awesome! I can’t wait. But I’ll have to… because I haven’t yet been successful in releasing from my fear-stricken, ego-tense rollercoaster riding, ceaseless streaming spew of thoughts. I will keep knocking… and like Rumi says, when I finally open the door, I will realize I have been knocking from the inside this whole ridiculous timeless time. THE JOKE IS ON ME! Shrug. I guess all I can do is LOVE and forgive, love and forgive, love and forgive love and forgive. And BREATHE. Amen.

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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