Existence & Essence

Existence & Essence

In a class recently, we circled the room with the question, “where is your safest space?” And as others answered, “with my grandmother,” or in my yard,” I murmured almost inaudibly as I realized it incoming: “in my car.”

They nodded & repeated it: they heard me.

It is two days since I said it, & I just now realize implications. I love to be alone. I love to be going someplace, and I love to be in control. What a trinity!

When I lived in T/C, a friend suggested I read Power & Force for myself. It seemed to him I was tilted into force for the sake of power. I kind of skimmed it & decided I like both. I pursed my lips & nodded. I even wrote a blog on it; you can search on-site here. 

I do feel in control more & more. This is happening as I continually let go. Those philosophers were right; I was just too young to know it.  Now I have emerged from the mirror. Here I am.

The more I embrace whatever & what-all I have, the more comes to me. This is the definition of Abundance. The best part is, of course, once you have become such a target, the less it matters if all things go South cuz whatever moved down & off the spiral is in the same moment entering & rising up.

I feel the chemistry changing. I was on my way to a Burlington Outlet & walked into Sprouts. Only I did not walk in there, I found myself looking at a row of soap bottlers. I always find stuff I really need in Sprouts, & today was the same. I won’t bore you with the parenthetical route, but I found just what I didn’t know I was looking for. +

Recently I heard a great talk on castor oil. I determined to get some for a sore spot. Well, Sprout’s is an ideal store to have this memory pop up, so I find a castor oil bottled like the old hair color bottles with those pointed nozzles. It’s castor oil for hair.

No way I can use this for my poofty, Jersey Girl/Mall hair! Castor oil is one of the heaviest & I’d have a grease-fried look. But no other product pulls my hand to it & I already dropped the bottle into the basket. Then I get the ‘real’ castor oil to use on my boo-boo spot.

I get home & try a bit on my hair – it says for scalp – so I rub it in & take my fingers into the hair I’m trying to weigh down – it looks like a pillow up there – & I get exactly the look I’m aiming for.

I love finding real solutions. Especially when they involve vanity. At least from the head up I will look “my look.”

Then I need to pay attention to the rest of me.

I walk past the fresh produce aisle – grabbing carrots, broccoli, greens. I stroll past the coconut oil & remember how good it tasted when I did Oil Pulling Therapy before (is it again time for this?) I grab a jar from the shelf. I am going to be pretty slippery soon, I think.

Is this a Spring need? To renew self & recover some moisture? How can I have dry skin in Florida more so than I had in New Mexico? The simultaneous thing is flaying sun, but out there I walked in it at will, never wore a hat, sat outside while no sweat poured from me; the air & I were that dry.

The salad will work the inners, the rest, this outer shell about which I care so much. I am ready for renewal & surely ‘tis the season!

I came home & slathered, found a cool spot to bliss & got that insight about being in control. I guess it’s still a fit, that Power I leisurely wielded. For years I have recited a twofold ambition: I want to be in a space where I have nothing left to lose and nothing left to prove.

I’m already there.

It Matters Not

It matters not if we come late to wisdom

Have we come early to joy.

As children we are content with puzzles

Which may become a confusion

Of intemperance beyond their expiration date.

If we outlive our productivity, we can still

Rest in that glow; warming to remembrance,

Its fainting profusion

Now a single blossom

Become ash.

It is only that we have lived at some time

To capacity.

Our stillness is given to action

At levels now awash in Time’s changing tides.

Even when there are no pictures,

There are memories yet alive & aglow.

Our beaches laid bare in detritus

Still own the perfect shell

That one white pearl where we were treasured

Only for being who we are.

These moments sustain & re-root.

A new leaf on a seemingly dead stalk

Is still vital & attractive.

We still contribute to life’s ledgers

For the sake of the positive.

We underline life with a curve of laughter

A smile at rain, a thrill of wind

A moment alone later shared in hive-mind.

If I have had one thought others may learn from:

One idea which, drawn across the match cover of here & now

Sparks a candle or a forest fire.

I thank you, Life, for choosing your manifestation

In me, of me, around me, about me, even in lieu of me.

Where would I be had I not chosen to be here?

Carol B


We gotta go home –

Well, she will be gone from authority soon. Her influence has been positive, in the overall. I’m done, tho, with tantrums & repetitive commentary. If this is the seventh time telling me the story, at least make up a different ending, yeh?

Regular hours! Letting the air out of the shields I stay behind, working in a kinder, gentler place. I’m not going to invest emotion into many of the events I now do. It is time to let all of that go.

I want to build a vision of a church that works for all… What do I want my workplace to be? I want collegiality, companionability, the freedom to think my thoughts on my face rather than guard the game, hunching over the cards. I want to work in a safe place. I want to set a higher tone in my demeanor, comportment, attitude & tenor. I need to forgive foibles – they’ll catch up the the fools committing them soon & undo them.

My Mom was a screamer. She was a repeater. It wore me out as a child & I’m not going back there. I get buried in my work & time is the only resolution for accomplishment. I have no time for repetition when it can be spent on new & valuable solutions.

I’m not as powerful as some, but I do wield power. My boundaries surround me daily. I try not to settle if there’s a truer resolution to problems. I want to do my job to my personal best.

I want to stay alight in Zeal & stay resolute in accomplishment. I consciously let go of drama for the hot potato entertainment it is – immediate & irresponsible. I don’t need to magnify it with awareness.

One of our great tenets is “let go, let God.” I can bring my plaints to the altar but I need practice leaving them there. (“Them” & “there” are fence words, tall & inconvenient, restrictive & misleading if not clearly defined.)

So how may I improve, now knowing what I know?


Be happier outwardly with all.

Relax about the non-contributors. They are not my problem.

I must become:

necessary, accomplishing, eager, helpful, forward-thinking, in motion even when in stillness, balanced, rooted, impervious, transparent, impetuous & amusing.

Mellowing out is a great way to level the playing field.

Figure it out & forgive it. Or just forgive.

I live a circumscribed life by choice. Happiness is mostly solitary. I bring my toys to the table & behold, they become treasures!

No More Gurus

The time is here when we must find our own truths & what served (serves) others be laid gently down to rest back in their timeline. My recent foray into an event of teaching with a Lakota elder who uses the I-Ching for divination brings forth only that his own tradition offers no grounds for wisdom for him. Sad, I say, when your elements fail you so far.

The weekend is billed as one in which to find your way according to his runway lights, obviously more brilliant than yours might ever be.

However, when his “divination” led him to say he would be working with fear for the entire weekend, I shut down. Why would I ever want to do that? Why would I emphasize or allow reality to a teaching around that which has no pertinence for me? I have “worked” with – worked over – worked around – fear to the point where I trust my own divinity with lifting this from me.

For me, fear means I don’t trust Source. I do. My life is a tribute & reflection of the positivity brought into my life by a solid grip on faith which has towed me through many a swampy locale.

He said four times, he hoped he had not “scared us off.” Nope, sure didn’t do that for me! His “teaching” about overcoming fear while wearing a mask tugged down around his own neck is a sadly “oxymoronic.” He’s bought into a system of fear for its own sake, based neither on logic nor “science” but on a common wield that a cyclone fence will stop a mosquito attack.

For me, this seems an exercise & an emphasis I find of no value. Too many times have I brought fear up close, sniffed its sour smell & rejected it for the open air of discovery & freedom of living without it.

I am in service to this event, this workshop so poorly organized as to offer little wisdom or knowledge but an opportunity for hero worship alone & tossing money to an old man billed as a be-all font of knowledge simply because he is a tribal elder whose understanding – no matter how poorly conveyed – will serve the dabbler from another culture entirely.

Today I’ll be there for the beginning, middle & end since I need to open & close the doors. I’ll bring a novel to read which is wrapped in an excellent tale excellently told & one which I reserved months ago.

I have a solid basis of my own ideas around how I interact with my fear, how I wrestle that particular angel down to refuse it tender at my table.

To you, it may seem as if I’m in denial – but I’m not your guru either, so think what you wish. I’m the one putting my words into the public ear & I speak clearly for all to grasp what I say.

Go forth & cast about in your own wilderness, Mr. Guru. Hope you remember your brown bag lunch!

Welcome, It’s Another Year

Time for another wander in my mind? For some while now focused elsewhere, I invite the Muse to revisit & stir the stilled waters. I invite a new year in & escort the old one out, but politely, cuz you never know when a year might come in handy to revisit. Hey, I’ll only save the best to savor from it, though.

The best: driving cross-country after years of in-place life. Finding a companion to sleep on my cane-back chair in T or C. Eating what I will, working when I will, sharing everything but living like a hermit crab with no surface from the shell. Friends I know well, each one a show-&-tell. Being a leader in a small community where the born-there did not welcome “immigrants” but we were the ones pushing movement onward, holding committees. Having a lover for awhile before removing myself from even that since love is not enough if it isn’t what’s expected & the habits of being alone overwhelm it.

Of course there was so much more! But I usher it out because there is so much new & more lively to replace it & I’ve barely touched the surface here yet. There are museums & beaches & new unmet friends & fulfillment of so many other needs. But I nibble at a smorgasbord, yeh?

I keep my split-shift life, awake at odd hours but now I work during these, writing notes I’ve taken on the job, checking emails for to-do lists, keeping in touch with many via cards & letters. I am less alone & reveling in that. I serve others with my work & this feels so worthwhile I tend to snuggle up close to that & experience less outward living online.

But I’ve been & gone before here.

I write of what disturbs me, of what moves me, of crazed-funny things that happen. I am more reserved about it now since I’m living it out loud, not testing it in the sound chamber here. I know there is so much more for me to do, to have, to be & I anticipate it all on this Christmas Day as I watch 2023 loom. My calendars are bought & on the desks getting marked up as I annotate my future.

Thank heaven the tinny Hallmark carols will stop & the simplistic plots morph to other characters who might have some reality-based story, tho my wishes on this may not come true. It would be far worse to have to overhear CNN all day.

Thank heavens I can live more fully as my body reaches a slow-down time & I push harder despite that every day. Thank all I can work out my mini-gym routines & eat fresh salmon & soon visit the beach & haunt the library & look for a place of my own come Spring. I tried the roommate bit & found I’m still not all there with it & I do better closed up in one room alone.

I’ve ordered new pens. I have a plethora of paper left over from overproduction of all kinds. I am still mostly focused on finding the humor in it all & have a March invitation to do stand-up where I work. I’m re-learning web design in a major way. I’m no longer hungry for stuff tho I love yard sales, garage sales, flea markets…but now I collect only some few items if anything at all. A blouse that doesn’t fit, a book I donate right off elsewhere. I’ve learned it’s not about possessions for me & sparsity works best.

I look forward to this new life in different-from-ever-before surroundings.

My split shift ends: time for what my dear friend calls “second sleep.” It’s Christmas Day 2022, 1:51 a.m. o’the clock. The heater blows strangely cool-feeling air & my eyes want to see what dreams live behind them when closed.

Good night, good morning, good God. Amen 2022. The blessings of the New Year attend.



Stream of Consciousness During Peter Kater Concert

I am as much as any fabled queen

or reigning Monarch

(even a butterfly)

I am moved beyond caring

What others think

If they are tiresome enough to dislike my I Am

I am enough for having touched the hem of the garment.

I only tell my story to one ear at a time

I am worn out of those who only have their lives

Who interrupt, who interfere

My tolerance is narrowed to nothing of their spectrum

I am reaching back

I pull the past up over me

To shake its discovery & settle it about me

Only if I find it saves the now

Which it never will

No longer being in existence

This is how I know I will fade too

When Time catches up to shake me out

In remembrance.

We are all spectacular

A sea of fireworks

A crackling voice

Summoned from inside

The mind of God

The intelligence of divinity

We are sparklers

In a Child’s hands (our Creator)

To be gazed upon in wonder

To share as a signal burning

In brief being, a heart stilling at our approach

The less I declare, the more I bare

Suspended upon a glissando of time

Fallen about me

Stripping me of thought, idea-free

I simply Am

with no identity at all, Divine.

An exaltation of moments

I have no time for those who do not believe

I’m right here, mirroring your movements

With a dance of my own to explore / implore

Seized by that same Time, shaken in its jaws, immortal

These words will walk before me

Forever: I follow

I am no longer a writer

That has passed…

I await the new, the next, the beyond

At one time, I’d have been anxious

There would be no bottom,

I would fall forever without words

But this was never so, I see.

I am as timeless as you

When the stories fling themselves farther than I can find them

Still, I will walk the earth

Until I walk into my wings & fly.

My records are no longer kept

There will be no memory:

I will be erased as winds upon the seas

As the faraway rumble of an unheard poet

A blessing unsaid

Beleaguered by all it has not done

While these look from windows

To skies that do not bend

But rather continue into blue forever

I have not lost so much

The this I thought

I have rather laid it down

And wandered off, wandered on.

I have let the breath I held so long

Breathe out

I am empty & careless

With little to say

And Eternity just ahead.

A lady-in-waiting

So fulfilled there is nothing more to gain       

So emptied out, the carelessness of life gives way

To benefit in only the absurd

In the thought of one more day

Which defies the blank clocks

This is what happens

When focus narrows

One at a time each thought

Melts to the next

The containers become nets

Centers do not hold

Banks have no tender

When earth is in full function,

The next must move along

The darkness must light

Or become what it is & give way.

The hands must flicker, reaching into

That needing to be carried

What to take

To bring

And why

And where.

The finding & the losing are equal,

Tho some will tell you no

the students will push the professors aside

to forge ahead into knowledge

The conservatives here murdered the “professoria”


This thing about change?

It happens in between

Reality & that place between breath.

The packages are all opened

Their box flaps gape,

I have reached the place where I no longer

Know who I am, or why

And little in between moves me

Or can slow me down

Tho I pace the snail,

 & the turtle feels immortal nearby

The holy is no more

Nor ever was

My beliefs, as I said,

Have never been.

The solid ground has become insubstantial

The national and the local

Have merged inharmoniously even so.

My days of small satisfactions

Matter to me

The air I breathe

The food I eat

Are all I need

I move away

Into obscurity

Carrying out

Some mandate unwrit


Never breached by immortality

Tho believed in by anyone else

I am rendered null & void

The blankest of checks

In wealth unimagined

Bestirred & limitless


Across the trackless desert

The cemented city

The brainless sky

My thoughts streak beyond

And below

There are no surfaces anymore

I am brought finally

To standstill

In front of me a mirror

I can no longer pray

Having become prayer entirely

I recognize my limits

But pay no attention

I have gone.



So lost in the ending I missed the beginning entirely

Or was it off-way round?

It never mattered anyway

Since the continuum overtook

The answer & the question both.
in being lost in myself

I lost the self

The point of the exercise

Broke off

The pencil dulled to charcoal

As I realized any act I create

Is only a momentary level of cognition

For an out-of-body experience

I have busied myself so long

I think I matter

And it’s time to let go of all that

To be the final void.

Chord echoing the space

In between the worlds

I surrender

I am no more

I am no

I am


Petite Large or Fitting In

While discovery, uncovering & some strange music playing over the speakers of life, I remained silent. I wondered if the muse had gone back to NM after experiencing Florida humidity. But it turns out she can get into the passenger seat, or actually drive our vehicle, but it’s simpler when the fit is good these days. She used to be so available in times of turmoil but I have gotten away from these – whether it’s the Hyland’s Calm I now carry instead of breath mints, or the ideas settling like sugar in the bottom of the cup for that last sweet sip, it’s a change for the better & a huge relief to psyche & physical.

I have found a job I can love & participate in to the betterment of all concerned.

I had decided on doing only something new – being a store stocker in a huge chain of expensive, gorgeous acquisitions, import buys & layouts by top interior decorators. I interviewed, was accepted, was then put into a maelstrom of orientation videos, still shots, ideas about how to work balers & large equipment (very carefully, it seems). I was made to try to get my Android phone to do iPhone activities & rolled eyes at when it just would not do that. I was tested beyond my age limits just to open boxes & stack stuff – my idea of simplicity in today’s complex hi-tek world.

Well, I’m not a shopper. The videos showed me oceans of merchandise I normally put my hands behind my back to see after securing my purse to neutral… the kind of stuff I shake my head at & say, “does someone really need this?” where price tags are oversize to accommodate the prices.

I have not had money enough or access either to any stores other than thrifts of recycle/reuse/redone or cobbles from Farmer’s Market crafters still beyond my budget. My last great buy was a faux-vinyl purse at the World’s Attic Store on half-off day. And I had anxiety about overspending then! I’m not on any social media – even Twitter which rejected me handily over a Trump comment has totally closed its anal sphincter to my handle – so I’m at level of country bumpkin in the city at this point of life & happy to watch paint dry on a cool day. (I have the feeling using the term ‘country bumpkin’ pretty much shows current status, yeh?)

So here I was, in a gorgeous store worthy of 5th Avenue New York, pristine & clean-smelling, thinking wowsa, kiddo, you’ve arrived. Then they brought me into the room where I’d be working: dim, crowded, unfinished warehouse space with a diesel-emitting truck chugging outside the portal, cardboard in layers beyond a monkey’s climb & an assault of what I call “stank” immediate & stomach-turning. “And THIS is where you’ll work!” they crowed as if ushering me onstage for America’s Got Talent. “O Lord, how will I ever?” was my immediate thought but I could not back up: management stood behind me gesturing grandly.

Once again divine grace came into play, a Tinkerbell of love not bothering with a doorbell, but coming right through the walls. I am offered & hired instead to a job for which I’d volunteered at my Unity: a part-time position paying more & with better hours, a space in an office overlooking a park campus (the spot the mailmen park to have a break for lunch & the Opera Guild choose to meet.) I was literally plucked from Dante’s Third Circle & given executive parking privileges outside pearled gates.

My new job does not involve razor blades, conveyor belts, standing on a rubber mat or STANK. It will be familiar, comfortable & a return to early confidence gained by competence & practice from many years of office environmental experience. It involves no social media, no passwords, one alarm system & ball point pens rather than huge carry carts of delicate porcelain. There are no gold-footed ceramic elephants to relocate, nor 8′ rolled rugs imported from countries with exotic germs & scary embedded creatures in the creases.

I need to find a Rolodex somewhere to simplify things even more. And those plastic sheets that hold business cards, a few 3-ring binders & maybe even bookends (for $11 at Staples). I need to dress business casual & wear a nametag & a smile rather than an apron…

What I need is to offer my joy up in thanks for the rescue & the wand-wave Tink popped up with to work this magic in my life.

Thank you to all the saints! Gone from Isaac Asimov to Maeve Binchy in a stroke!

Epilogue & Epiphany: Both Sides Now

I stare into the hurricane whose eye will not blink.

Many changes are in the offing (offering) of life. Now is as good a time as any to break open the piggybank of experience & count the coins. I give gratitude for the gifts & guilts of my existence. I have lived through so many changes & approach the imminent & eminent with calm reflection.

Where will I be five days from now? Floating out to sea (to see) or lying cold on a slab, I am ready for any ending & all new beginning in equal measure.

I look at myself & find no fear. I look into myself, finding only incubating change.  Even in the storm, the ocean retains its blue-gray beauty. I am of that same inevitability. I know the bedrock presence of Life no matter what.

The house is as secure as we can make it which means little when Nature focuses to bear down in Category Four force…pushing a wall of wind & water ahead. There is little safety on the surface, but I experience the clarity I traveled so far to find.

Rain pats down its Braille of gentle touch before meeting itself in rising water. Though inland from the beaches, I am exposed on all levels.

My change approaches at bullet train speed. The life cargo remains…yesterday I sealed packets at church – my DNA is in strange places forever.

Shall I write an entry or a eulogy? How many have this opportunity? Words will never dance to anyone else’s music as they have to mine! My uniqueness may be engulfed or overrun, but it will never be replicated.

It is time to ask yet again the meaning of life to manifest. I am proud of what I have accomplished even if my confused little heart has lost the Order of its yuan shen (Prime Directive.) It has ordered me about & I obeyed. I brought life to that which I thought in my own way. I have lived in many rooms where my energy still burns.

I write a farewell of sorts: this experience may be a grand exclamation point whether I go or stay. The universe landed me here at this time. I am lucky to have lived my heartbreaks early so more delight & joy may run before me, scattering rose petals of sublime expectation, of colorful invitation.

Bring me Home. I allow & welcome all revisions to the lifeline. Once upon a time I prayed hard for New Thoughts & now I write the words to bring truth to the request. I unwrap a totally individual Birthday Gift.

I am a light-bringer, a light-bearer. I know my days will never be the same as before. But this is only one timeline among many & I will be remembered with love for each encounter.

I’m ready, now, to blink.



A Birthday of Blessing

Being fully human: I am fully divine.

I am based in blessing

Rooted in divinity

Wrought in the free will of Self

Ablaze at times with the incandescence of a life well-lived

My joys are a playground of opportunities

The games they engender

Call through my windows

The call to prayer is also the call to play.

We are celebrants to Mystery

Dabblers in proven technology of partnership with God

Wanderers across trackless land

   Wrinkled sea

Our journeys return us, as always, to Heaven

The God Who sent me sends this storm

Spending me as profligate coin

Emotions discovered / recovered to Thee return

On that investment.

Bring me forth again, O Lord?

Take me into the marketplace of Your love

Use me to indulge Your desires

Circulate me in Your world: I wear Your fingerprints

I invest all wisdoms saved up from Love

Treasures indeed of a holy gathering

Help, health, insight & interest…

Pocket me with pleasure, God,

The shining copper penny, the one among the many

Allow my return over & over

As the bearing of Your spiritual tender

I am Yours alone until I rejoin the All

Here I am, Lord of Love



Hurricane Ian is coming. Arrival is Wednesday mid-day. But the acolytes gather with candles & water containers after securing their outdoor possessions & wishing they had a stormproof garage. I gave in to fear for about ten minutes, firing up search engines to track the storm, reading emergency procedures. That wore out fast! There was no way to sustain that broadcast of pitched energy which fizzled like a spent July 4th sparkler.

I pushed right through that brilliant, antechamber into the Grand Ballroom of Joy. I brewed another cup of coffee & sat back, rearranging the pillows to get comfortable. I thought about the only other hurricane I remember personally back at the Jersey Shore, which left us with inches of mud in our ground-level triplex in Wildwood. I was a useless kid at the time, squishing around in it until Mom chased me outside. (I have one persistent flashback of my brother & I staring out the windows of the third floor apartment watching the storm surges from the bay & the ocean meeting in the parking lot next door – and our basement, as it turned out. I remember Mom returning from a meeting with the Monsignor of St. Ann’s that night, pushing against waist-high waves to get home, having left our Chevy on slightly upraised Central Avenue. After 12 years of expensive Catholic schooling, the entire senior class had been booted for attending a beer party & she was begging mercy from a stone-hard black-clad man. None was available as he’d already collected all the fees available from every family.)

For close to a month now I’ve taken a homeopathic called Hyland’s Calm Forte which sustained me cross-country & now in situations where my lovable heart decides to turn up the volume & gin itself up for some imaginary battle. Calm continues to hold me in a gentle state of blessing, bringing heart to parade rest rather than parade march.

At the market, people were pleasant & seemed comfortable while at the same time piling their carts with all manner of foods. Our kitchen counter has 5 ewers, 4 plant watering containers, a couple of jars & my contribution – an orange juice container. I’m working on emptying another one as I write.

There are no candles in town (I have a half-dozen flashlights to hand), no jugs of water (see kitchen note just above – and there’s the scrubbed tub.) I think of the Weather Channel as the mouthpiece for a particularly rabid band of atmospheric jihadi. I think of the emptying liquor racks at the market & figure Florida’s hurricane button is plumb worn out. I anticipate walls of water slashing the windows, sluicing the streets. I figure on winds playing havoc with untended tree limbs & all these beautiful palm trees bending & bowing to its force. But I’ve not experienced a hurricane in years & never here, where it makes a personal landfall in a fury of no longer passing over water.

I’ve said it before: I can be dead anywhere when the time comes to slip the skinsuit. My papers are in order; someone will find them. This identity is so unimportant in the Circle of Life – another will slip in to write & maintain contact with God-Central. Memories are short & life is not terminated with physical discontinuance. It’s a skip in the record, a bobble on the CD, a bubble in the tape. My life can come & go at any time because what matters is I lived it. That I take with. I made some laugh, others think, some cry. I was one more burst of sparkle in the fourth of July fire engine parade. It will fade – or not – as I continue on, hitchhiking Eternity.

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