Monday, June 25, 2012

Ingredient 16 - Angels of Sin

If I am being completely honest (and why be anything else unless screaming with delight upon hearing Milli Vanilli's Girl, You Know It's True), I have absolutely no idea what was on my mind when "angels of sin" made it onto The List more than ten years ago. 

Was I thinking of the government?  Was I thinking of my mother's eighteen personalities?  Perhaps I was considering the mere three or four pebble-sized fecal drops that are rendered after an hour of vein-popping straining?  Maybe the mysterious words, "angels of sin," were inspired by the sleep-farts that my husband blasts against my leg every night: he, the angel...the ass-blastations, the sin? 

I just don't know.

Truth be told, I was a different person a decade ago...different, but the same.  I am the same in that I have always had a sense of humor that runs the full spectrum: from mildly dry drippings of sarcasm to inappropriately assembled satirical collages made up of overlapping (and hardly distinguishable) bits of anger, intrigue, skepticism, fear, cheer, cynicism, and good ole mockery.  AND my general disposition of finding most human beings foul underlings that have recently wriggled their way out from the cosmic anus and right into the arms of meglomania is also still fully intact.  A decade later, I am still desperatley trying to reconcile my heart and soul with my surroundings.  So, "angels of sin" could very well have been a three-word tribute to the alluring creatures that sit on opposing shoulders, posing as my conscience's posted sentinels. 

I cringe to make the angel/devil analogy here, because if life has taught me anything, it's that their stations are interchangeable; so, I have an "angel of compassion" and an "angel of sin." Both angels.  Both required to help me navigate the terrain of life without completely losing my sanity.

"I am but an angel in human form: Becoming the More that I am by contrast of the Less that I am not." -Aubree Luke

However, as interesting as this may sound (to me, anyway), I seriously doubt that I had anything of the sort in mind when I made The List of "ingredients" over ten years ago.  I just wasn't that poetic in my self-examination at the time...which serves well as a transition point into the many ways I am different after a decade of life's soft encouragements and hard shoves...

I am not the same person in a whole lot of ways - most attributed to my daily medications.  The main difference is that I can tolerate a bit more dumb-assery than the me I used to be.  Though I do not trust or like most people, I recognize a certain connection between us.  I am also VERY different in that I am more accepting of myself and the immense amount of work that is involved as I continue to get to know me.

When I consider the short but mysterious euphemism, "angels of sin," now - in this moment - I am inclined to first consider a personal and inter-personal sort of sanctifying field trip for the soul.  Are we not ANGELS of sin: beginning the trek as silent spectators, absorbing the surrounding details so as to grow in courage and shrink in resignation as we make our way to center stage?  As we strive to discover what awaits us on the other side of the tight-rope to which we have already committed our forward motion...are we not Angels of Sin?  With each uncertain step we teeter and cry out, but the glare from the light that blinds us to our destination somehow - ironically - gives us focus.  We regain our balance and hush our profanities.  And in all of this, are we not Angels of Sin: perfect in, through, and by our very imperfections within this traveling circus?

Sin, in its purest rite, does not condemn us.  Sin, in form of Divine Design, teaches us through doing...and re-doing...until what's Right is no longer of subjective origin.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ingredient 15 - Children

Now, there is little doubt that I was thinking of that damned Whitney Houston song when I decided to add "children" to my LONG-ass "List."  But, quite frankly, I'm in the sort of mood today that has me washed ashore, laying lackadaisical-like in the shallow surf of life.  In other words, if you are wanting to read all about how children are a gift from god, and how they are the only sure element that makes up our collective future, you are going to be disappointed...and probably a little appalled by this post (it's blog-posts like this one that make so many people follow me "anonymously," no doubt).

Anyhoo, I think children are annoying and needy.  Sure, they are cute...well, SOME of them are cute...which brings me to a quick point of detour: I'd like to take a moment to thank baby jesus and all the saints in the sandbox for Facebook!  I don't wear my emotions on my sleeve; I wear them on MY FACE, and this can present quite the problem when seeing a newly ejected vaginalworm for the first time; however, thanks to Facebook, I can see pics of the bug-eyed beast before I meet it in person, so I can aptly practice and perform my "aw, it's adorable" expression in preparation for the day that the new mother (SEVERELY blinded by love) shoves the drooling, wrinkled, shit-machine into my arms.

Technology is truly a gift...that will eventually destroy us all, but in the meantime: a gift.

Thank you, Facebook, for making me seem much nicer than I really am.

So, where was I?  Oh yes.  Children are annoying and needy...even the cute ones, and ESPECIALLY the ugly ones.

 Let us begin with the newborn stage:  FIRST of all, how is the ratio of food-intake to shit-output even possible with these little fuckers?  They drink milk (or formula)...that's all.  So, please explain to me how LIQUID produces diapers filled with turds that a grown man would envy. 
Seriously...once, my infant son made a diaper-deuce that was an exact, true-to-scale replica of the Vatican (true story), and he rendered this monster marvel from an intake of breast-milk!  WTF?

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**NOTE: From this point forward, everything I say applies to most children, with the immense exception of my awesome son, who pretty much launched into full sentences with a tinge of a British accent when he was eight months old.  At six months old he was performing the Electric Slide and The Running Man without missing a beat.  At four months, he had a better understanding than I did of the universal remote control that worked a series of half a dozen electronic devices, and I'm pretty sure he had just about worked out Einstein's Theory of Relativity right before his first birthday.**

Rather than bore you with a list of all the things that pretty much prove that children are a result of questionable decision-making, I have compiled a couple of descriptive examples, apropos of this post's purpose as set forth by my current apathetic mood.  They go like this:

When I am at the grocery store, and I catch a small child staring me down from its comfy little buggy seat (lazy little shits), I always do one of two things (if the mother isn't looking): 1) I make a scary face, or 2) I quickly divert my gaze and do my best to pretend I don't notice the turd jockey (cause you KNOW that it is steady sitting on one) before the mother can force an interaction between me and her annoying offspring.  Please note: I have only made one child cry with my scary faces, and I have never made that particular face again.  The minute I saw the baby's lips curl down and begin to quiver, I ditched the Ben and Jerry's and high-tailed it outta there.  I heard her wailing from the next aisle over.  I felt bad...for leaving my ice cream behind.

I still think that kid was a bit of a drama queen cry-baby, but whatevs.

Most of the time, pretending not to notice the wet and sticky sounding coos and gagas emitting from the child is sufficient, and I can go about my business without interruption.  BUT, every now and then, there is a mother so proud of her slobbering, blathering DNA recipient that she says something like, "Oh.  Who do you see, Susie?  Is that a nice lady?"  Ha!  No.  No it's not.  At this point I pretend to be in a bit of a hurry and intensely focused on my high-calorie, high-fat snack of choice.  But, these kinds of mothers NEVER give up: "Oh.  I bet she would love to see your sweet smile...just as soon as she's done gathering her boxes of cookies." 

So now I'm obligated to turn, smile, and act surprised.  "Oh my goodness!  Where did YOU come from?  Aren't you just adorably...small."

"Yes.  She's small for her age, but she is so smart, aren't you Honey-Bear?  Show the nice lady how you can say 'mama'..."  A long pause while the child just sits there looking slightly retarded and shitting herself. 

"Go ahead, Honey-Bear.  Say, 'maaa-maaa.'"   More silence as I watch the disgusting creature blow bubbles from her mouth and nose.  The mother, now feeling as if she needs to prove something says, "Oh, you're just being silly little thing." 

I think to myself: Bitch, your child just looked me dead in the eye while mashing a turd out.  She is now smiling at me as she jams a finger into each nostril and lets loose a boorish kind of grunt, all the while, still making eye contact.  This child is a lot of things, but SHY ain't one of them.

So, I offer a crooked smile - constructed of half fake-nicety and half-disgust - and begin to roll my buggy away.  "Have a nice day," I say.  And just as I am almost home-free in making the turn from the end of the aisle, I hear the mother exclaim with what is obviously an exaggerated volume.

"She said it!  Good girl, Honey-Bear.  You're going to be the smartest First Grader in school this year!"

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When I visit the home of a friend or relative that is "blessed" with the presence of a small child, I will do one of two things - depending upon my mood: 1) I will happily engage the child in play and things of a silly nature, or 2) I will give them the evil-eye which serves to warn them that they better not so much as look at me.  I admit that most of the time, I partake in option one...until my superior intellect grows bored of the dummy.  Regardless of my mood, though, the parents almost always want to put their child's language skills on display, and just like every other visitor, I reluctantly play along:

"Tell everyone what you did today, Bobby," instructs Mom.

Bobby says, " Izwintedatwelendidapoo."  And the little bastard is looking directly at me, which lets everyone else off the hook and means that I am the chosen one to decipher and respond to the gibberish.

I think to myself, Thank God I caught the word "poo," and I respond, "Oh my goodness! Did you go poo-poo like a big boy?"

Bobby looks confused, and his mom looks at me as if I am the village idiot.  She says, "Um, no.  We went to the pool today."  And the bitch scoffs at me!  Then - as if to prove that I am the dumbass, rather than her stupid, stupid kid that obviously has no language skills at all - she commands Bobby to tell me about "what he's going to do with paw-paw later that evening."

Bobby says, "Pawdawnatasamebitedatweteneyesdawntomaseabibooenit."

Here's some free advice to new parents: when your child says something to someone, and that same someone looks to you in a questioning manner, this is a clear indication that only YOU can understand the little fucktard, and therefore translation IS REQUIRED.  Also, if you think other people cannot smell the load that your kid is toting in his pants, you are INcorrect.  Perhaps because "Bobby" is of your gene pool, you do not find his body's waste product to be offensive.  But IT IS SHIT, and as such: IT SMELLS LIKE SHIT to the rest of us.  Just FYI.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Two-Take Exchange - Swap 3

Hello Basement visitors: Jenn again...back with the third Blog-Swap.  I chose the image this week, and my "take" on it is posted below.  Aubree (creator and author of Akashic Aisles: The Basement View) has - in turn - placed her interpretation of the same image over on my blog, Embrace Your Crazy.

Please feel free to leave comments on either (or both) post's perspective(s) to let us know how you were (or were not) moved by the images chosen for each swap. 
And now, number three:

One % - "The Gang and government are No Different" -Jane's Addiction


Take a look, folks!  This is what has become of the world and also what some are teaching their children.  The latest generations seem to be getting lazier, more self indulgent and greedy beyond comprehensible belief.  And, don’t even get me started on their feelings of entitlement. 

I am consistently blown away at the product of our future leaders:  born merely for the purpose of consuming.  When is enough, enough? 

There are people striving to make ends meet, and then there are rich, fat bastards...oh let’s say the government...who do nothing except take up immeasurable space, dribbling crumbs on their chests, and holding remote controls in their hands, just pushing peoples buttons.  Never once will it cross this blob's mind to get off his lazy ass - to do anything.  Why should he?  It’s too much of an inconvenience, because he’s been waited on hand and foot by his family...hell, the world.

The media and government are perpetuating consumerism, slothfulness, and ill-mannered spawn.

Pretty soon, the lard-ass (big brother) will suffocate the poor soul he is crushing…us.   Don’t you notice, or are you too busy watching American Idol to see what’s really happening in our beautiful nation?

Speaking of our poor souls: we can barely move, and we remain ashamed of our emaciated brethren.   Is it our choice or circumstance that brought us to this point?   Perhaps some of us come from different cultures - some that are banished from the worlds’ riches and are forced to endure war, pain and suffering.  Each will never fathom the other's point of view, and the glutton would never choose to care.

When will humanity wake up and understand that we cannot continue the ravishing path we’re creating and realize that we are all one?  God help us all.

“Greed is the gift for the sons of the sons, hear this prayer of the Wampum- this is the tie that will bind us”… Tori Amos


Monday, June 18, 2012

Ingredient 14 - Forever

Note: If you are new to this blog, pls start at the bottom (blog #1 is on a previous page) or use the 'archives' section on the right of the page to navigate to the oldest blog first, and work your way up to this one. You will likely find the flow of descriptive language and metaphorical purpose easier to follow and more meaningful. OR, you can just throw caution to the wind, and do whatever the hell you want: begin here, pick something random, or hang out back in the April-archive with the A to Z Blog Challenge. Despite your method of entry, thanks for stopping by the Basement. Please excuse the mess...

Forever.  Well, well, well.

As I frequently refer back to The List to find which ingredient is ready to be tossed around in the ole mental mixing bowl along with long-winded phrasing, overly embellished metaphors, and a gluttonous amount of over-worked adjectives and punctuation, I can't help but see how much is left to write about (which, I venture, makes the last line of The List most succinctly applicable).  AND SO...I have to be honest about my "brilliant" blogspiration: this shit is going to take FOREVER!

My eyes keep wandering up to the last line of my Blog's description regarding its own purpose: "...unless I grow bored of it before then; in which case, it will be just another crumpled idea left to litter the antigravity of cyberspace." 

Damn it.

I'm a lazy writer.  I don't know why this is, but it is.  What's really crazy is that I have a special gift that most writers would kill to have: I do not get writer's block.  If you are a writer, you understand that this is nothing less than a super-power, and you are also nodding in agreement that, yes, you would indeed kill to have it.  My point is: I have no sound excuse for my complete lack of ambition.

I currently have a four book series in the works.  A lot of research has gone into this project.  I have written a decent portion of the first book, but the ugly truth of it is that I should have finished Book One and at least be halfway through Book Two by now.

I have these whole other worlds living inside of me; worlds filled with people that I love and others that I loathe, and they are all depending on me to not only bring them into full existence, but to tell their stories with grace and honor.  I can feel them getting impatient, and god knows they have every right to be.  Even the persons that have yet to be born - in fact, especially those that have yet to be born - are squirming and scratching on the walls of my mind, yet I continue to skillfully circumvent their demands.  Why?!  It certainly isn't because I don't want to bring these people and their surrounding worlds to life.  I do.  I think.

But not enough, it seems; in fact, as I type this, I am understanding that my problem begins and ends with a bout between want and need.  There is truly a NEED to record the fates of these other "fictional" worlds deeply fitted into my soul and psyche, but the truth is: I lack THE WANT, because if more of the want was there, the ambition would be, too. Right?

But - unfortunately for the inhabitants of these other worlds relying on my ambition for their survival - Need just doesn't quite present as passionate an adventure as the seductive taunts of Want.  In this way, humans can be so stupid.

I am human.

Even as I write this, my mind's groping fingers fondle "forever" as if it is a real thing.  It's not...certainly not if one fully considers the limitations placed on the human condition by the fabled account of time we keep.  Sure, my soul may be a glittering speck of Forever, but my soul can't write a fucking book. 

Even still, I tempt Forever's mere notion by placing it in the hands of the moment and arrogantly assuming that there will be more moments from whence this moment came.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Time is a tricky (and wholly human) thing.  It gives and gives, until it's ready to stop giving, and it has no obligation to warn us when we are about to be checked off of its "recipient list."  Forever does not exist for humans.  It is a cold concept that warms us with unrealistic flames of a promised future.  The one thing we all KNOW is an illusion, is the one thing in which we find the most complacency. 

Tomorrow won't be shocked when it doesn't come, my friends, because Tomorrow knows nothing of itself.  This is a truth that makes complete sense, right?

Wanna hear a riddle that is an absolute ass-curdling truth?  Here it is: we know less about tomorrow than we know of anything else...yet we continue to feel entitled to it.  

"The Mayan's 2012 ain't got nothin' on Tomorrow." -Aubree

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"Ingredient" (Lucky Number) 13 - RAIN

It is actually incredibly appropriate that "rain" should show itself as the 13th "ingredient" on The List, because what I am getting ready to share with the world (well, like .0000000000000001 % of the world, anyway) could certainly be considered "pagan"  in nature, and by order.  "By order?" you ask.  "Whose order?"  To which I respond: "The very same 'sanctimonious order' that took the number 13 and cast upon it evil occult-like connotations; the very same 'order' that depleted Mary Magdalene's existence and purpose to that of a harlot and then - centuries later - recanted the bogus claim, because it could no longer be upheld under the valid weight of ancient documentation presented by modern-day historians and archaeologists the world over (and no, I am not referring to the damn "Davinci Code" and other propaganda meant to capitalize on The Lady's revived Divinity; though I will give a certain amount of credit to these 'sources' for dropping necessary bread crumbs for the masses).  Yeah.  That 'order.'"

So, what does any of this have to do with rain?  I'm about to tell you, but first I'd like to share one of the first experiences of a truly divine nature I had as an adult.  I'll try to make it quick:

I'm in the shower; seventeen years old.  I am washing my hair and thinking about randomly ornate life-garnishments, as I so often did (and still do).  Without any warning at all, my thoughts change, sans direction from me, the thinker... 

I see what is meant to be an image of god, I think.  I see and feel this energy of love and more love...absolute love made in the absence of any conditioning.  Then, I see/feel the happy notion to expand this Love.  The process unfolds before me (though I maintain the knowledge through it all that I am only getting the parts that I am capable of understanding).  I comprehend that to truly send out this Love and have it come back with intact consciousness, it would have to be experienced by UNexperiencing it.  I see many life forms, and the necessary environments to sustain these life forms manifest as if in the instance of a single thought.  I do not, however, see the details of these life forms, except for one: humanity.  The trials and tribulations; the grand acts of kindness; the cruelty and degradation;  the compassion and wholesome outreach...I see the meaning behind it all.  I also see the illusion behind it all; because without the illusion, we would not forget and could not, therefore...remember. 

 I watch as the matter that seems to make up the solidity of a wall responds to the thought of the one who fully remembers why she is here; I watch the wall dissipate.  I understand that this is a world of thought responding to thought, yet it is designed to react at much slower intervals than "god-thought" (of which we all get a taste and reminder through our dreams, when we learn how to dream proficiently).  It is designed in this way because until we come back around to full Remembrance, we are thought-vessels without direction and fueled by explosive ambition.  If we lived at the speed of thought while still engaged in purposeful ignorance, this environment so carefully imagined for us would erupt with chaotic and soul-piercing shrapnel.  I see all of this, and more.

As I emerged out of the vision, I found myself with my arms still raised and my hands engulfed in shampoo suds.  Every muscle was still.  I could have been standing there a minute, or an hour.  But I hardly allowed myself to contemplate the time (since it was an illusion, anyway).  I barely washed all the soap out of my hair, turned the water off, wrapped up in a towel, and burst out of the bathroom and into the bedroom I shared with Chad...dripping wet (but that was an illusion, too).  Since our room was the hangout at the time and this particular day: no exception, I frantically rushed everyone out of the room.  I was flushed.  Chad noticed right away and echoed me in asking everyone to leave.

He shut the door behind them.  "What's wrong?" he asked.

"Nothing."  Gasping and groping for words, "I just saw the purpose for this world, and none of it is real..."

eventually, it all comes forward only to melt away.

So, what does any of this have to do with rain?  I'm about to tell you, but first I want to explain that between the occurrence in the shower when I was seventeen and MANY spiritual arousals since, much of my time has been devoted to seeking: I read, and I read some more.  I write.  I listen when my mind is quiet enough to hear.  I write some more.  And I dream (when insomnia paroles me for a time).  My findings, so far, prove that there is more about the Universe than my human mind will ever be able to properly distinguish and supplement; they also prove that leaning on my own instinct is paramount to finding applicable answers about existence.  While other people can certainly provide magnetism for my soul's compass, I must take care to stay on my own road(s) lest I get lost in the ravelment of another's journey and cease to perpetuate my own.  This is true for everyone, regardless of where in the Great Journey they find themselves.

What does any of this have to do with rain?  I'm about to tell you...right now.

By my seeking, I discovered the irrefutable relationship we have with the Elements, whether we are aware of it, or not.  How can I possibly make the bold claim that this discovery if irrefutable?  Because I have put it to the test, thus turning idea into illusion-shattering reality.  And what I am about to say would have definitely made a human BBQ out of me back in the bleak days of witch-hunting...

I have a kinship with the rain.  Better stated, I was - at some point - able to remember my kinship with the rain.  I cannot say when exactly it happened for the first time, but I can say that it has been happening consistently for a couple of years.  In fact, my husband, son, and I have a running joke: when it looks like it is going to rain at a time and place when we wish it not to, I'll say, "Let me talk to my friend, the rain," or they will say, "Talk to your friend, the rain, and see what you can do about this."
I must interject here that as with any relationship, love and respect is essential.  If I am driving home from the store, and it begins to pour (I do not drive well in the rain, and neither - it seems - does 99% of the rest of the world), I do not say, "I command you to stop, rain!  Stop now!  Heed my words!"  No.  I say, "If there is not a bigger and more important purpose to your activity, please give me peace on this drive by ceasing until I am home."

Now...listen up, because this important: the words are not enough.  The Connection lies in the authenticity and intensity of the Remembrance.  I truly feel the rain to be of kinship.  I honor all that it provides for the earth and its inhabitants.  When it begins to drizzle, I look to the rain and smile warmly with love and respect.  I receive it as a gift, as a friend, as part of the Holy Family.

Rain/water is elemental, and in this human are we.  Why would we not be connected?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ingredient 12 - Secrets

Secrets.  We tell them, we keep them, we seek them, we ignore them, we let them down. 

We all have our own secrets that we entrust to no one (unless you are lucky enough to have someone in your life like my husband; in which case, you have a partner you can trust with your deepest and darkest, as well as your most sacred bits of information without fear of judgement).  In fact, most people keep their own secrets far better protected than those that are put in their care by others.  This is usually due to the Shame Factor.  If we are being honest (and why be anything else unless providing testimony about reaching double digits in the number of times you have shit yourself), we don't keep glowing and boastful information about ourselves under cover; Huh uh. We keep only that which we feel will taint the outside world's opinion(s) about us secured in the deepest recesses of our inner most vault system.  The Shame Factor: that by which we keep perhaps the most characterizing aspects of ourselves hidden.

Secrets are funny and fickle things - the definition of which are fully compounded by perspective...and intention, and perspective is everything in this world of tantalizing distractions and concrete shadows.  The bottom line: What you see is not necessarily what you get, but HOW you see it is exactly what you get.  For this reason, there are no real rules or guidelines in determining the anatomy of a secret.  We covet what we will, and we release the rest.  That which seems of monumental composition to one, may be of trivial - or even meaningless - regard to another; which is precisely why so many shared "secrets" are kept with all the stealth possessed of a communicable disease. 

As humans, we much prefer to witness an animated reaction far more than we want to keep the still and quiet honor that comes with recognizing the importance of the "something" - the "anything" - that another has entrusted us to hold...and seal...with loyal pursuit. 

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There is another kind of secret.  It is not delivered by either the trusting or the deceptive whispers of humanity; and, when I wrote "the List" a decade ago, it is mostly this other kind of delicate keeping I had in mind as the word "secrets" revealed itself...

Existential Secrets.  What are they?  From where do they come?  And should we really be so surprised that so few of us know many - if any - when we can't even restrain ourselves from revealing to one friend what another friend said about the first friend's mama? 

Existential Secrets.  These are not the kind of secrets that the value of which is interpreted by perspective.  These are the kind of secrets that define value and perspective.  They define compassion, and elusive truths, and prejudice untruths, and justifiable causation.

The debate, for some, rages on in regard to the existence of a god (or gods) versus the visibly founded nature of science.  But, there are those who know better than to engage in such a debate, because there are those that understand the most pertinent Secret of all: the secrets of existence are meant to be shared, but there is a timeline that must be adhered to, for a secret told before its time is but a meaningless whisper that will not escape the recipient unscathed and unaltered.  Also, God is a scientist.  This statement, however, differs in substance, because it is not a secret.  All one has to do is take a good look around to know that science is an underlying and overlapping element of physical and spiritual existence.  Exhibit one: the Universe, itself.  But, I digress (in a most progressive manner).

I don't usually end my posts with this kind of "self-help, help-yourself" kind of plight, but it is my hope that readers of this blog will walk away, after reading this post, with a longing to share more of themselves without shame; to willingly carry the weight and worth of a bequeathed trust, rather than trading it so freely for the lofty and short-lived superficial nature of gossip and ill-sought reaction; and finally, I hope that we will individually and collectively become more deserving of the bigger secrets that are waiting patiently along our ever-evolving spiritual timeline...waiting for us to understand that we, ourselves, are divinely precious secrets to be illuminated like stars in a constellation of our own design.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Two-Take Exchange: Take Two

Welcome to Aubree's "Basement."  It's a pretty cool hangout, which is why I, Jenn - fellow blogger and very good friend of the magnificent Aubree, happily engage in a weekly blog swap with her.  She chose the picture this week; we each let it affect us in our own way; and we each wrote something according to the inspiration received by and of the below image.  So, the text that follows is MY "take." Aubree's take can be found over on my blog, Embrace Your Crazy <--- click here, and you'll go right to it.  Enjoy!

 Here we go...Take Two:

"We came out from the deep to avoid the mistakes we made; that's why we are here." -Enigma

I board my boat every night in search for peace and serenity after a long day of what-if’s and shoulda-coulda-woulda’s, to sort it all out.  I eventually end up here, nearly dawn, while the ocean is as placid as an ice skating rink.  I’m usually trying to gain some insight as to which way to row my ‘proverbial’ boat in this wild ocean ride I call life.

At times, I am aware that I may be drifting into the calm before the storm, and at other times, I know I am in the midst of a reflective state of inner turbulence while attempting to find my way...home.  There is always a light to guide me back to reality….whatever that word connotes.  


As I’m perched on the bow, looking down, not at the ocean’s shallowness, but at my own, I dive down and am immediately aware that I’m under the belly of a whale!  I have never felt such comfort. 

The rocks are simply an illusion that there’s a barrier we can’t pass through, but they are easily overturned.  So, I begin to descend into the depths of the ocean.

 I dive to understand that we came from the deep and there are many answers below us, yet there is still so much undiscovered.  There are many lessons to be learned from the firmaments, too, which is where the other birds have chosen to find their path.  But this bird has been drawn below. 

The further I dive down, the darker and colder it becomes.  My soul feels illuminated and my body temperature begins to rise. What a sweet paradox.  Instantly, things become clearer, like a fierce calm, not because I can see, but because I can feel…as if my other senses have taken over.

After I’ve searched the deep brine for revelations, I realize that I am out of breath.  I look up to see that my whale - my elemental, aquatic soul mate - is still holding up my boat; she hasn’t let me down.  As much as my boat is resting on its home, she is holding my precious winged soul afloat.  There are no oars aboard this boat; they’re not needed. 

Sadly, the light is her anchor, and mine.  The light is my reality check calling me back to the surface, yet ironically, my reflected reality also anchors this gentle giant.  Hopefully I - the mirrored Blackbird - will continue to hold this precious cetacean’s head above the water, so she can’t sink; and together, we will achieve a mutually beneficial reality.  We shall rise. 

“If those harbor lights had just been, a half a mile inland, who knows- what I would have done”- Tori Amos

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ingredient 11 - graveyards

Before I delve into this somewhat personal tale, I want to preface it with a wee bit of information that will be relevant a little later on, as the story unfolds.  I love dandelions.  I have an eye for dandelions, because I have a love for them. They get a whole lot of shit for being a troublesome weed, but when I was a little girl, someone once told me that all I had to do was make a wish and blow on the white puff that makes up the "mane" of the dand(y)lion, and whatever it was for which I yearned would be made reality.  As a child that had a lot to wish away, I believed it.  As an adult that was once that same child, I still do. 

as long as we continue to make wishes, there is hope left within

When I lived in Florida, I used to visit a cemetery.  I wouldn't say that I frequented the place...but I definitely stopped by on multiple occasions.  I don't think I ever knew the name of it, but it was large, well-kept, and peaceful. It was never any coincidence, of course, that I would visit this place where life seemed ironically vibrant -yet strangely sequestered- during moments of unrest and uncertainty in my own life.  It may sound peculiar, or even morbid; it may make sense to some, but regardless, during those notorious times when life simply refused to make up its mind to either shake me sane or knock me unconscious -preferring instead to leave me in a claustrophobic mental, emotional, and (especially) spiritual kind of purgatory- I would find myself driving just to drive, and I would eventually end up at the gates to this place...this cemetery.

This large place of eternal rest was set up in such a way that the main concrete paths could be used for either walking or driving toward the reflective visitation of a loved one that has moved on beyond the constraints of this physicality that so tightly binds us.  Off these wide main paths, there were many secondary paths that were much more narrow and could only be accessed by foot.  I didn't (that I knew of at the time) have any loved ones memorialized therein, so I would simply drive until I felt like stopping.  I would pull off the main path and park, and I would get out and just start walking.  Most of the time I would make my way along the walking paths randomly, letting the stillness set me in motion.  Sometimes I would sit on a bench under a majestic oak (the kind that can only be found in Florida) and let the silence speak.  And, after an hour or so, I would make my way back to my car and drive away.  I can't say that I felt uplifted or enlightened from these visits.  I just felt...quiet.  No, I can't say I ever felt uplifted or enlightened...except once.

I had been in one of my "funks" for some time.  Having recently returned from an awesome trip with my family to the Colorado mountains - during which time I was in almost a constant state of melancholy "soul searching" - I found myself perpetually and desperately seeking...something. 

**If I may make a quick U-turn in this tale: From the moment we arrived in the Rockies, a song intruded upon my every thought, sprinting freely around my mind.  The song was "Beulah Land" by Tori Amos. I love the song, but I was beginning to get tired of having it on a mental repeat.  Anyhoo, on our third day in Glenwood Springs, CO, we climbed -on my insistence- up to the graveyard where one of my influential soul-kin is allegedly buried.  Now, this place was totally different from the cemetery I visited in Florida.  This place was a graveyard in the truest sense and certainly not a locale in which you would want to find yourself after the sun goes down.  The tombstones were old - very old - and leaning all helter-skelter like; this way and that.  On many of them, time and weather had asserted their harsh and eroding properties, making the engravings impossible to discern.  By snow and mud, the ground was made into a thick sludge that seemed eager to hold onto the few visitors that made it past the graveyard entrance.  My son and husband did a lot of complaining, but I was persistent in my endeavor (and it was a good thing too, because after some searching, we discovered Doc "placed" on the far perimeter of the graveyard, and the sun was going down...quickly.  Yikes!).

On the day we were here, it was not so bright as this; it was overcast and cold and muddy and spooky...and super cool.

Anyway, since none of us knew -initially- where Doc was "buried," we split up...slightly.  I trudged my way passed many burial plots, intensely focused on finding Doc; but suddenly, as I passed one plot in particular, I stopped.  I turned to get a better look.  It was one of the few headstones on which the carvings could still be seen.  I was looking at the resting place of the body that once belonged to a young girl.  Her name was Beulah.  She was twelve when she died (the age of twelve holds some significance for me, but that is better left for another post).**

After returning to Florida - as previously stated - I remained in a funk, and rather than the whole of the aforementioned song doing laps in my head, a single verse continued to accost me: "Beulah Land, you beautiful whore, tell me when I don't need you anymore."  So, one day, I was making the short drive from Belleview to Ocala, running errands that were as mundane as my very existence was feeling, when I made a sudden and unplanned detour to "my place" (the cemetery).  And, it was on this day that I met Mr. J. 

The day was cold (yes, in February, it gets cold in Florida), and the wind was more than an ambitious breeze.  As I made my way through the rows of memory-markers, the sudden right or left turns on the walking paths didn't feel so random.  I felt like I was being pulled.  I found myself walking down a row in such a direction that all of the memory-markers had their backs to me, and I almost missed him.  I actually walked passed him by a few steps when the wind suddenly picked up enough to noisely rattle the branches of an oak tree off to my left.  Not really thinking (too) much of it, I stopped and glanced to my left.  And there it was: a single dandelion growing out of the center of a cemetery plot.  What struck me as odd was: number one, a dandelion so full and round in the winter time?  No way! And, number two: how was that dandelion still boasting all of its little white fluffy seeds, despite the wind of that day?  I was enthralled.

I stepped off the path and turned to face the stone description to which the dandelion seemed to be pointing.  I read the name; I read the entrance and exit dates, underneath which was engraved an inscription that said, "If only love could have kept you."  I sat, I slumped down...on the ground, feeling a little breathless.  I knew right away what those words meant.  I looked to the burial plot to the right of Mr. J, and there lay Mrs. J.  She died over twenty years later, and the fact that they rested their weary and worn bodies next to one another further confirmed the meaning of the inscribed message: He hadn't left her for another woman, but he had left her.  He hadn't left her because he didn't love her; he left her because he couldn't love himself.  She had tried to love enough for the both of them.  I thought of Chad.

I realized two things with sudden notation: the wind of the day had ceased, completely; and my cheeks were wet.  I read the words over and over again: "If only love could have kept you." 

I pondered the deeply embedded sadness I carry with me that sometimes climbs its way up and out for some air.  When it does, it's debilitating, and I just have to wait for it to get its fill and return to the depths.  I tried to imagine a life in which this sadness never goes into hibernation.  I tried to imagine no refuge from a cold and steady rain...for over sixty years in Mr J's case.  I tried to imagine what a burden I would feel myself to be for my husband and my son...the hindrance I would be.  I wondered, 'Would love be enough to keep me, or would it be out of love that I would refuse to be kept?'  I couldn't answer that question, and I was grateful for that.

A slight breeze tossed my hair around, and I'll be damned if I didn't hear someone say...something.  I didn't catch the words, but I caught the gist: "Let the love be enough.  It's really that simple."

I thought of Chad.  I thought of our son (and a different lyric of the same aforementioned song occurs to me in this moment: "Maybe I don't wanna go to where you're not").  Despite the emotional monolith that is chained to my soul, I found myself grateful that I get reprieve from it, and I am afforded very real -and sometimes lasting- periods of time whereby the love can reach me...and lift me...and save me...and keep me. 

I picked the dandelion and held it for a minute.  And I suddenly thought to myself, 'What if you've got it all wrong?  What if Mr. J. was a promiscuous chump that couldn't be kept at home by the love of his wife?  What if he died banging some whore in a cheap hotel room?"  Alas, as usual, doubt began to torment the moment ("tell me when I don't need you anymore").  I looked passed Mr. J's memory-marker in contemplation, damning my ever-incessant doubt.  As I did, my eyes fell upon a large family plot marker.  The name of the family was engraved in large, bold letters.  I recognized it immediately.  It was the last name of a friend of mine whose brother had shot and killed himself.  Chills ran up my spine.

I let my eyes drop back to Mr. J... "If only love could have kept you."  I looked over at Mrs. J's memory-marker.  I nodded and tossed away the doubt.  Holding the dandelion up to my lips, I did not turn inward toward my "go-to" wish; instead I said, "I hope that love can reach you now, Mr. J."  And I sent a sincere and grateful breath sailing over the dandelion.  I watched and smiled as the seeds of hope were carried away on a brisk breeze.