Wednesday, December 4, 2013
When a reader is told how to think or feel about a piece of literature creativity is lost. A book is written from a perspective, usually one human with one set of eyeballs, but occasionally multiple writers collaborate, adding additional perceptions and eyeballs. As a writer, I found this to be true. As a reader, I know it to be true.
In English classes across this great country, (pardon me, but the new name is Language Arts), teachers are telling students what the writer meant in a book the class is undertaking. I know this to be patently impossible when the author died over a hundred years ago. It isn't possible even if the words were written down last week. In non-fiction this may be true, if the author lets the reader know what is going on their minds as they are creating the sentence. But in most cases we throw words at a page, waiting/hoping to see what will stick, it is in a state of somewhere else. Out of body, out of mind, writers are in a distant land filled with ideas, letters, anguish, terror, bliss and mayhem under an umbrella of possibility. What we attempt to convey under that possibility changes with each breath we take.
The current state of the educational system has been taken to task repeatedly, with many opinions about why and very little in the column of how to address the problem. For myself, after two decades alternately mentoring and screwing up offspring, I have come to the conclusion adults tell kids how to think and feel about everything and this has caused they're discerning brains to be sucked right out of their heads. Thus, they have great difficulty answering themselves when there is a choice to make. Many parrot what a grown up has told them. A parent should not be gratified to hear a young cherub repeat verbatim what has been handed down to them, they should be concerned about what happens next. Using remakes, movie or book as an example, we ought to all be very concerned.
Where will the next big ideas come from?
They will not arise from generational repetition. It won't happen. There will be mild fluctuations, but not the first rocket into space kind of seismic shift. That kind of thinking required free thinking. A mind tango without restraint, tether or rigid beliefs, a fluid dance with possibility.
Today's public education has devolved into parsing out information as true. It isn't an exploration, it is questions with only one answer.
NOTHING in life has ONE answer.
Instructors inform students what an author meant and are basing this on a multiple choice test which will prove they have done the job requested, but not that the student has expanded their knowledge, creativity or captivated their spirit. In my belief bubble we are an evolving species and this requires change not repetition. Our gnarly brains will not jump on the treadmills themselves, the drive must come from a constant wondering. A constant and continuous wondering.
Why am I here?
What do I think?
What do I feel?
What do I believe?
In English Lit several decades ago, Mrs. Paulsen shrieked madly as Miss Haversham,
"What do you think?! What do you feel?!"
Reading Great Expectations was a wild ride while this glorious and half crazed teacher reenacted the book chapter by chapter. Standing before me, demanding an answer I grappled with words to describe what the story meant.
"I don't know. What do you mean?"
"You read it dearie, something had to come up in that big brain of yours."
The class waited for my answer, I waited for my answer.
"Tick-tock goes the old ladie's clock."
She smiled wickedly at me, Miss Haversham in the mind if not the flesh.
"I guess I think Pip's an idiot."
"He keeps going back day after day hoping he'll get them to accept him."
"I wouldn't do that."
She flounced away drifting back into the pages of memory.
Mrs. Paulsen didn't lead me to her answer or tell me what the author meant. Each page she demanded students stay engaged with words written over a century before about times and places we had never and would never see for ourselves. That exercise could be extrapolated into what is believed about everything. Each day humans are inundated with statements about what is true. Without Mrs. Paulsen, I may not have a brain which is able to sort the information into two piles. What is true for another set of eyeballs and what is true for mine.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
A friend died last week, the first cold of the season jumped into my bed and Fall hit with a leaf hailstorm. Somewhere in there I remembered I can't fix everything and on some days I can't fix anything. The months following Summer are according to Chinese Medicine about the lungs and the large intestine and the corresponding emotion is grief.
A wailing commences.
It's interesting that Fall is also the time of year trees shed their leaves like raging teardrops and children head off to school, older ones glimpsing childhood homes in the rear view mirror, only to return on holidays. The season shatters dull greens of August with trumpeting oranges and yellows. Days shockingly scream vivid color, while mom's, dad's and anyone paying attention howl at the moon in agony.
A wailing circles and settles in deep.
In Dream Land, visions of relationships past, uncurl from a 3 season nap, inviting one in to explore. There are those who were wounded or bystanders in the shrapnel parade, others that threw daggered words and swift kicks of pain. The march of memories includes Death toe stepping alongside, unresolved, unrequited and unbearable.
An anguished wail begs for release.
It is the Season of Grief. An emotion that carries elements of all the others, love, hate, jealousy, anger, passion, fear, guilt, joy, shock and hope, dancing together beneath an umbrella of tears. We grieve what we had and lost, what we never had and never will, what we cannot do and what we cannot stop. We grieve humans and adored pets, we weep for those we love and those we hate, while passionately flipping off The Universe for What IS.
An endless wail has a beginning and an end.
Last leaves reluctantly letting go announce Fall passing. The wild torment of grief has unleashed a built in component that breathes life into life. Anguish directed at the stars is backed by a deep well of creativity, lust, love and desire. Slipping from the ashes passion unfurls announcing rebirth. From this place a stumbling wailing human is able to begin again.
It is the time of letting go and moving on.
The seasons carry humans along a cyclical path of moments to ponder and possibility of release from old deaths. Hidden under the annual repetition is the gift of acceptance. Inner wisdom senses this to be a lighter way to live. Passion bubbles to the surface, reaching for the night sky and resolutely waving hello.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
It is the whisper of wind on an otherwise silent stroll through the woods.
The breeze enveloping and swirling, a wave of connection from somewhere else.
There are elements of one town over and hints of jasmine carried all the way from India. Smells, voices, ideas and images all swimming in an oxygen stew.
It is the phone call from an old friend.
A voice traveling through time connecting us to who we were.
The young hope and dreams mingling with a heart sprinkled with experience.
Wishes, promises, acceptance and wisdom, all dancing side by side.
It is laughter sprung from silliness without reason.
The giggles winding up from a belly spontaneously adding joy to a stern world.
This is the thing about laughter.
Somewhere long ago the first chuckle erupted landing us here.
It is healing transpiring on a desert landscape of pain.
The stark shocking hurt leaving no room for acceptance.
And yet, one seed traveled on a breeze landing in a soft spot.
Nestled between ridges, sprinkled with dew a seedling grew.
It is the wind and the connection between souls.
It is the joy scotch taping centuries to each other.
It is the miracle of healing.
It is a blooming bush of Jasmine in India perfuming the air of a Midwestern night.
Friday, September 13, 2013
I sit perched between the two places my heart travels. It is wildly uncomfortable which means I must pay attention and listen.
But THIS hurts.
"There is nothing to fix."
"All beauty has ripples of pain."
I know this, I know this, I know this...but still...
A mother bird just leaves the nest. Done, finis, adios.
"Not until they are ready to fly."
"She comes and goes as they mature, finding and giving sustenance."
The on-off, on off rumba.
I don't know if my heart can take the strain.
I breathe feeling a need to gather inward pulling the painful organ close to comfort. This is an instinctual motion, the method having been utilized several thousand times over the decades.
Not this time.
My lungs open wide, allowing the comfort of Mother Earth to fill the space.
And a heart unfurls, painful jagged spasms slowing the process until the naked raw emotion blends with All that IS.
I weep, but I am not alone.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
I recently read a blog written by noted atheist Sam Harris. My own mish-mash of this and that includes a belief in something other than me running amok behind the scenes. Mr. Harris includes in his reasoning the impossibility of God if there is starvation, war and dead children. He and I disagree on this point mainly because of a little thing called Free Will.
In past ponderings I have fallen to my knees in harmony with the concept. It worked for me.
"We choose whether to do harm or not."
"Life is a choice."
"In or out."
This belief enabled me not to feel "pushed" by God or my idea of God. One thing I am not a fan of is being told what to do. At 16 I pointed my middle fingers at the shut door my mother stood on the other side of until they ached with the force of the action.
In the article he makes reference to environment and DNA and the end result, whether human or bear. He caught my attention. Since then, free will has become an open question.
Tear for Fears: Everybody Wants to Rule the World
- Man uses chainsaw in drunken argument with best friend.
- Do we have control over our eating?
- What if fat cells sending their powerful siren call Rule?
He discusses what happens when humans are rocking on Free Will.
Every choice is held in judgment.
Ahhhh. Now Sam had me in the cross hairs.
Judgment is pollution without a chemical base. It rots lives, corrupts minds and is catastrophic in building a united world. Which consequently completely eradicates FREE WILL.
What if we are like bears?
What if we are following instinct and society ingrained dictum's?
- A young man shares his inner most feelings.
- Children become adults and nuke the nest left behind.
- Dogs comfort in a time of need.
- A beautiful woman says "I love you." to a new friend.
If Mr. Harris is right, all monsters are created by history and DNA.
Holy fuck, what does THAT mean?
"It means darling Deb that there is no one to blame."
"There has never been anyone to blame."
So, shit happens?
"The bear isn't to blame if it attacks in the woods."
No, but humans are different.
Everybody Wants to Rule the World.
The primordial soup blends toes, frogs, dirt, water, snot and mayhem. Somewhere in the pot is love, anger, jealousy, narcissism and generosity.
Hey Dude, but what about YOU?
"We ARE one of ALL."
Hey Sam! One point atheist, one point God.
So cool. I love when that happens.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
The second day in Paris we stumbled upon this bridge, literally and figuratively. Still reeling from jet lag we stood dis-cumbumbled at the site of hundreds, maybe thousands of locks on an overpass near Notre Dame. Several seconds passed before our daughter realized what the mish-mash stood for.
"Oh! I heard about this place. Apparently people get a lock to engrave their name and someone else's on the front. Someone they love. Then they put it here and throw away the key."
The site begged for a posting yet the writing urge passed...until today. The words arrived after the recent layer offered about Wide Open Heart.
I realize you've brought this love information before.
I'm dumber than a rock apparently.
"One meal cannot feed an entire life."
That's an understatement.
"It is a process of acceptance."
Guess I'm a snacker.
"Memories arrive when you are ready."
The picture tumbled into view.
Bound and locked.
"Love is simple."
Simple is probably the last word I would have used.
Having found the key, I inserted it into the lock binding my love treasure.
The lock rasped loudly each time I remembered to open it. In the ensuing days the rust gave way and the sound grew softer.A client arrived requesting work on scar tissue from open heart surgery.
I'm creative, but even I couldn't make this shit up.
"I feel a pulling whenever I try to breathe too deeply or press my shoulders back."
His chest had been laid open once on an operating table while mine was sans anesthesia in emotional mayhem several times in the past 5 decades.
Engaging the tissue I waited for it to respond. Finally, memory of pliability returned.
Finally memory of pliability returned.
Grasshopper rested between stalks of grass, noticing the wide open space of a meadow ahead. It appeared to be empty but the small insect hesitated.
A bird may swoop in and eat me.
The view continued to tantalize while the fretting continued.
It is beautiful, but I may perish!
Her vibrant green legs twitched with a restrained desire to leap. Earth steadily rotated, Wind continued to rustle foliage and Sky changed colors as Life carried on.
"Life waits for no one, not even you."
But it may hurt!
"Hush little one, hush yourself and leap."
Friday, August 9, 2013
I'm very used to diving for cover when periodic life bombs pelt from all sides. In fact one of my best attributes is an ability to grab the shit boots in record time. Having learned early on that survival meant having an ability to endure the unendurable, I also became proficient at out lasting particularly long drawn out sieges. Unfortunately, alongside this magnificent fortitude, is a coping skill that isn't one I'd care to teach anyone.
It is RAGE.
It looks like a volcano dancing in and out of eruptions, with words added to the intense explosions. Throw in fists raised at the Universe and an occasional foot stomping parade. Recently the lava spewed helter skelter uncontrolled.
After a long delicious vacation in France, the pendulum had swung swiftly from nirvana to the other side.
And it didn't stop at one or two stink bombs, the bombardment went on for weeks.
Children ran forward to person hood
Pee splattered in an unending stream
A companion was diagnosed with cancer
Windows lined up eagerly awaiting a purge of mildew
A roof swelled with rain
An office morphed at break neck pace
A kidney stone nearly knocked the sturdy structure to the ground
Anniversary's of Pain moved into rotation
The loss of two
A mother left and never looked back
In between grumpy bitching, screaming and shaking my fists I stewed, unable to understand what may be at hand.
What the fuck?
"The answer waits."
Well it better have a shitload of patience.
I'm having a long stupid period.
Several weeks into the mayhem I visited my $150 friend.
Thank God her timing is impeccable.
"Have you cried?"
I gave her my sternest "no way in hell" look.
"I'll cry after the madness ends. I've just got to get through it."
Clearly she did and clearly she disagreed because she spent the rest of our 55 minutes trying to get me to cave into a puddle. However, I am resilient. I lasted 55 plus a couple of extras the good doc threw in at the end. The woman is tenacious.
"You know what I see? I see a woman who strives to do her best. I see someone with a huge amount of love and has difficulty showing others that love when everything is going badly."
Fuck me sideways.
"Trust that it won't go away if you share it when you are frightened or mad or hurt. Trust that the love will always be there even when someone is shouting at you or walking away or dying. Love is always there."
After the session miracles arrived to water the new seedling Dr. D released from the stark earth.
Blue arrived to comfort
An eagle swooped in with a wave
A feather greeted from the grass
The companion was cleared of cancer
A girl settled in for conversation
Windows glistened and brought in light
Yoga stretched the confining space
Breath swirled in an abundance of love
The drumbeats echoed taking the message afar
Carry great love for all, always.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
6 blue bowls are wrapped for a lady ahead of me in line
A dear friend arrives dressed head to toe in vivid azure
Hello girl. You have come for a visit.
A gallon of blueberries smile up
An orchid blooms from year 5 through to 6
The stem holds 5 blooms and the bud of a 6th
An orchid blooms from year 5 through to 6
The stem holds 5 blooms and the bud of a 6th
I've been holding the space for you.
Her fur ripples in the breeze as she dashes alongside
We cavort in spirit joy
Our love waves through the trees
This is impossibly lovely.
The brain resists, while the heart embraces magic
Thoughts ward off pain and build a wall
Love sweeps the structure to the side
There is no division between us.
My love, my heart
She runs alongside always.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
This is what generally comes to mind when the word happy is utilized in a sentence.
- Big Smiles
- Bounding Exuberance
We are conditioned to jump like well trained puppies after the definition of this word. It is the treat after a nicely performed sit.
And yet, happiness cannot be defined.
One person's nirvana is another's ice pick to the eye. Trying to comprehend someone else's happiness is the unending Wack a Mole game. It looks, sounds, smells, tastes and feels differently to each human depending on the history and emotions in the stew pot.
So stop trying?
Then who is right?
Expectations and judgments cloud discussions on the topic because we each NEED or believe happiness is linked not only to survival, but surviving well.
"If I'm happy then I've done something right."
"My life will not be wasted if it ends happily."
"If I make you happy then I've been successful."
Each song has a unique beat which is confounding to the outsider. No matter how patiently I wait the jump rope rhythm is nonsensical if it is not my own.
Listening sounds like a colossal waste of time.
"Listen with acceptance."
"Neutral is the answer to everything."
And harder than giving up sugar.
"Acceptance is sweeter."
My version of happy is complicated with a history of pain. Which means from the outside I may look worried, concerned, distant or pissed and actually be having a fucking great day. On the occasion I howl at the moon with joy, it is usually in silent harmony alone. This concept of happy isn't what the words above look like.
"You are unique."
But not right or wrong.
"There is no right or wrong way to happy."
"It is perception."
The happy dance is elusive, flitting in and out of circumstances or moments.
It is possible to be joyously ecstatic in the midst of hell. I know because I've done this mind bending double twist while sobbing.
Exquisite pain is exquisite.
"You are living if you are feeling."
Or freakishly masochistic.
Hanging onto happiness is impossible and yet seems tangible. Sparkle dust slips from my clenching palms while I gasp as the treasure is lost. Scarlett O'Hara understood this, reaching again and again for the insignificant threads beyond her fingertips.
"After all tomorrow is another day."
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
A tidal wave of liquid enveloped all aspects of my life.
Water "gushed" from an opening around the chimney and had been for years, according to a dear friend who happens to be a roofer.
Note to self: Always have friends with a strong skill set.
Plaster walls apparently have an ability to become a Tupperware container. This means the ceiling hid a stagnant pond above our heads as we, the hapless homeowners slept in peaceful ignorance. The only clue all was not well in Barbie's Castle, was an errant rash that appeared and disappeared from the fair damsels neck. It was blamed on poor Pi's fur, wheat, carrots, GMO's and a bad bottle of wine.
Thank God it wasn't the wine.
Trodding up to bed after a long day, I became aware at step ten the air smelled stale, at step fifteen it was closer to my Grandma's attic and by the time I stood at the foot of the bed my nose hairs threatened to pull up the draw bridge. In seconds the rash bloomed brightly and I ran for my life.
For two weeks we "slept" on mattresses on the living room floor while the roof was inspected, insulation was sucked from the attic, vents were replaced and added only to find that in addition to the waterfall our windows were lined with rotting tree debris and moisture left over from storms a century ago.
Presciently a client had come for a massage sometime in the Spring.
"My back hurts."
She reached somewhere between her shoulder blades.
"Why is that?"
"I took our storm windows apart and cleaned the windows, including the screens."
"Why would you do that?"
"It looks great when I'm done."
Looking at her I thought of the 1001 things I'd rather do than that particular chore. At 1001, I found another 42 billion and figured she must be bored.
Several months later standing in front of our decaying windows with a bucket, a brush, Oxy Clean and chemicals I won't mention for fear of going to toxin jail, I cried piteously. There are reasons for the drudgery aside from sparkling glass panes.
While the top of the house moldered the basement acquired two rivers, one from an over full gutter pointedly spilling into a window well, the second trickling from the furnace fan. The saturated air overwhelmed the de-humidifier which broke down. Moisture drip, drip, dripped and Maggie our grumpy Yorkie, decided to splash in by developing an incurable, to this date bladder infection. Pi, now cleared as an allergy contagion joyously showered her wee puddles with markings of his own.
Holy fucking shit, what is up with all the water?
The Voice, no longer shocked or amused by my tactless questions did not answer. So I asked Bill for his input.
"Why do you think we are drowning in our own house?"
"I don't know but if you figure it out let me know. Because this sucks."
"Maybe it has something to do with being fluid with change?"
"Does fluid mean I have to have a smile on my face?"
If it was necessary we were in for a long watery summer, because he looked as pissed as Pi.
"Acceptance doesn't mean happy."
"Good. For the record, I'm far from happy."
We drank another bottle of wine to at least dull the roar of the tsunami until crystal clarity arrived. A week later the Shaman Trail offered an answer. This is the new name for the bike path, since most of the excursions are wildly improbable.
My ass bones hurt.
You'd think a large bum would cushion a bike seat well.
You'd be wrong.
Hoisting myself up to manage the bumps over a bridge I contemplated the water rushing beneath. The muddy sides surely were littered with turtles.
Turtles, turtles, where did I last see turtles?
"Pay attention, there is something to learn."
Oh so you finally showed up with some info?
Then give an assist and remind me where I recently saw turtles.
A dream from the night before clipped into place. I had been gathering turtles on a muddy riverbank. On this blog I've written about other turtle experiences and in recent months I often pondered the long term relationship. Perhaps today I'd discover the answers.
"What do you know about turtles?"
They are able to live on land and water.
Why do I need to know this?
"For the ability to be grounded while swimming."
"To transition from one place, one idea, to another."
Like being the stone skipping on a pond?
"You have come from a place of waves to a land of Earth, you are liquid and bone, life is fluid and structural, it is the balance of one and the other."
My ass bones are killing me.
"Rise above them and fly."
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
I don't believe in Mother's Day.
String her up by the toes!
Not for obvious reasons; old family issues, lack of a hug or because I think Mother's are unimportant. I don't believe in Mother's Day because it has been corrupted by an avalanche of Mommy Issues...most of them created by women honored on the appointed day.
Yeah Chicklets I'm talking about US.
As a Mom of twins I can state for myself no "Thank You" card has been created to cover the sleepless nights, the poop, the rejection or the fatigue of too much. In fact, I can safely say without trodding on the scope of endless possibility, there isn't one that will ever cover the scope of parenting.
Yes girls and boys, (this includes you Father's Day devotees), you will never be compensated for the grueling labor. As mind chatter resumes I hear questions and comments from afar.
"What about teaching gratitude?"
"Mom's carry the world!"
"Don't Mom's deserve respect?"
Of course they do. So do Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Garbage Men and anyone working the graveyard shift. But a day devoted to "respect" is unattainable because it is a wavy line depending on where a person stands. Most kids couldn't offer enough honor to be a crumb on a tired Mom's double fudge brownie.
Is that why we parent?
For a splendidly performed Thank You Dance?
If so, we're out of luck.
Being a parent means never needing a thank you, though when one arrives it is a cool drink of water on a blistering hot day. It is beyond description when a child, a husband, a friend, says the work done in earnest has been gratefully accepted. But that isn't the point. A day has been corrupted and turned from lovely acknowledgment of parental love into a necessary practice which entails much hoop-la in order to show the world how fabulous and amazing one person is or has been...in comparison to all other humans across the planet.
Looking at the day objectively, there are plenty of Mom's being honored who gave their left kidney decades ago, sitting at a table set by another Mother who is currently parenting toddlers.
What the fuck?
Isn't there a Grandparent Day?
I'm not saying gratitude isn't in order for the organ donation. Accept the thanks and be done with it. At 42 the kid is obviously breathing on his own and his wife who is at the end of her last nerve, is running around kissing someone else's old lady ass (which is now unencumbered by little sticky fingers and able to sleep til noon. The time for thank you's sits in the rear view mirror and if it wasn't done well when Jr. was 13, let it go. There isn't a bouquet of flowers which will encompass the parenting work detail.
So why try?
Parenting is an offering. It isn't a tank of gas, a new roof or a toll on the interstate. If it were little babies would arrive with 15 trillion dollars so the little blood suckers could hit the ATM every time they puked.
A gift from the heart does not require a thank you.
Formerly a provider of rides to practice, school lunches and boo-boo kissing, I am currently endeavored in long nights waiting for a phone call, short conversations about money and hours talking someone off the ledge about college finals.
It isn't about a thank you.
"It isn't even about the love."
First of all of course it's about the love and secondly this blog is solo Dude.
"It isn't about the love."
Alright, I'll blink. What do you mean?
"Love is not quantifiable. It is unending and INFINITE."
"To quantify love diminishes the power."
So, an offering is free from all expectation of enough?
"What is enough?"
Ha-ha. Very sneaky Wise One.
There can be no measurement for gratitude, which means there is none for love. As a Mother, a parent, a human our best is to offer this experience in service to others and hope it catches on.
Monday, May 6, 2013
Photo by Dakota Lecos
What would happen if every thought, every action moved with decisive force?
So I had this dream.
I was something about a game changer.
What I got out of it is that an intention can change everything.
Are we talking about me or the world?
"A decision, brought from Spirit and sent out with intention is powerful."
Little ol' me or the WORLD?
"There is no difference."
What do you mean?
"ALL means ALL."
Every intention means something bigger?
"ALL means ALL."
What about a half-assed choice?
"It will bring a half-assed outcome."
YOU just said ass.
"Words are descriptors for action."
"An intention travels light years backwards, forwards and sideways."
Holy shit, that's a little scary.
"There is nothing to fear. Move forward with purpose."
I waken to the day with a new idea and a belly full of concern. Growing older had already brought a level of seriousness not achieved in my 30's and 40's. A concept of targeted power having dramatic consequences raised the bar well beyond a lifetime play date.
This would change EVERYTHING.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Affirmations are joyful, not always intentional and live long after they are spoken.
"I no longer choose to donate my body to this life experience."
That sounds like a non-affirmation.
Why is it working?
"Why do you think?"
I spent a lot of time at the negative bar.
In fact I probably have a drink or two named after my angst.
Did Mind fuck with me?
"Did it feel like Mind?"
No, it felt like Spirit. But Spirit isn't into negative.
"Did it get your attention?"
Well I dumped the Diet Coke, both figuratively and forever.
I haven't even craved one.
It got the ball rolling by using words I used to identify with.
Power is attracted to like power.
If I use the statement for action it will be about what I DON'T want.
I choose gratitude.
I choose gratitude for my body, my life, my mind, my spirit, for ALL.
The Diet Coke really worked for awhile.
"That's why you chose it in the first place. It helped you breathe."
Thank you coping mechanism.
I lived long enough to know I don't need you anymore.
Ahhh. Blessings in the most quirky of places.