Mind-Slip

In the last days of this year’s August, the world’s energetic disposition became stronger. Some would even say stranger.

For me, it became clearer. I mean a personal, scintillating clarity. I am becoming someone other than my working title, “Massage Therapist.”

This kind of personal clarity works startlingly well at my age when so often my eyes want to glass over at the repetitive conversation, the total lack of discourse.

I walked the “up” route one day. I had my dictation unit with me & I recorded my thoughts as I walked. I was lost in the new-minted daylight that moved all around me in a dance of its own making. I made a left where I usually make a right, hardly believing I was taking on another hill, this one in town.

As I reached the crest, I recorded, “A poem is like a communion wafer, moments on the tongue, drenched in Divinity that needs to be told.” This portentous but predictive thought trailed off as I reached the top of the hill. Standing to just the other side was a slender man in a long robe. He stood with his hands behind his back, looking at our Union Church (built 1892) with the fiscal help of our [then] local madam. (It was not to occur to me until I reached home that this was Sunday morning.)

Sometimes here on the backroads of New Mexico, a pilgrim will pass through town. One rainswept day, I saw a man pulling a red, white & blue crucifix with a wheel mounted on the bottom, head down, striding along the shoulder of Highway 152. In the roads near Chimayo, it is not uncommon to see bare-chested men flogging their backs with whips. Or men with thick knee pads “kneeling” their way along the road to the small miracle Church.

In the moment of starting downhill, finding & turning off my recorder, focusing on this man’s profile, I lost all rational thought. I took him to be a holy man passing through, leaning over a wrought iron fence to study an old Episcopal Church. When he turned to face me, I realized in a rush: “he’s dressed in the vestments of a priest.”

He walked forward to greet me, hand outstretched, a mild face overtaken by glasses. He remarked how nice it was that the weather had cooled & he was comfortable in the ceremonial layers. He mentioned he comes up to Hillsboro on Sunday to say mass at the old church. I admired his dedication as the only way to achieve a goal. We discussed what volunteers bring to lives. I lifted my index finger mysteriously & played him the poem just recited. He asked if I wrote it (a common question tho one would think too obvious to be anything but a conversational gambit.) I nodded, smiled, as free & open in conversation & aspect as I have ever felt in my life.

There was somehow a purity in this introduction, a sharing of what is divine to each of us.

As parishioners came up the hill, I impulsively grabbed the hand so recently shaken & kissed the back of it before saying goodbye & walking on.

 

Local Roads

 

I feel like a solid rock sometimes, the indissoluble solid, mid-creek. Every once in a while, karma … or grace … approaches with a large lever & sets me into motion.  “The Lever” frequently is preceded by the sound of metal dragging across rocky ground: It foretells change.

I let this Lever upend me to where I live now. I moved from the ocean to live in the elbow of Percha Creek. In the running stream of consciousness that is my life, I taste everyone else’s. As they taste me & mine…it’s something Biblical (at least for me.) So, as it is with water, I am everywhere, as all of us are.

Books can be a Lever, as can movies & other creative works. For me, it’s been serial walkabout which has most changed my life. When the wind spoke in one ear only, I knew it was the way to turn when time came to leave.

Right now, I hear birdcalls, water running over rocks too big to put in my pockets, I hear the metal stanchions of the bridge quietly flexing.

With nothing but these in my awareness, I now also hear faint chimes of bells & bamboo, footsteps crossing behind me & a dog panting. These are bleed-throughs from a parallel time-stream, the “when” that these happened not mine to directly perceive. Yet they swell my awareness. So much is possible over magical running water.

Straight ahead of me rises a wall of sheared & shattered rock, sliced by centuries, a southwestern sculpture garden in the vertical.

To believe this now-miniature creek – Percha Creek – wore through this eternity of rock jumble is farcical, fantastical! Yet, since the glaciers left long ago, since the ocean formed & filled & fled, this creek has had full charge of wearing out the walls I look at, wearing them smooth & carving these edges. If there is a song from rock, there is only a chant in sharp whispers here.

Vegetation is sparse & spiky, clinging to a dust of soil & worn-down pebbles with scrabbling roots. Along the ridgeline, the yucca plants display their seed-stalks, like so many feathers in a headdress. The mesquite provides some variation to already roughened texture.

As I sit, balanced on a tiny chair & leaning one leg against the fence, lap desk astride, the sun beats down on me. The sun is the reason I am out here, as well as some sweet isolation & nature quality time. September offered itself on the breeze in last night’s windows. I want to be brown again for my birthday, coming soon.

Elsewhere & everywhere, the world wears itself into existential frenzy. Friend’s ships sail in different directions, one to sea & one to land. But here & now, I am aware of only the love that created this earth & this water to bring them to this harmonious co-existence. The shapes all interact & indwell with each other far from the tiny world of my perceptions. I am not of centuries; I am now. There is only this moment.

I’m ready.

 

Breathe Peace Into It

Whatever happens today, breathe peace into it. When an event takes you out of body, breathe yourself back in. Put your feet back onto the ground which welcomes them with love. Be an Earthling for a day, admire the air for being available. Regard with attention, the life around you: avian, amphibian, ambient.

Let sovereign morning order your day. Just as the sun rises steadily into a sky ready to embrace it, let your day embrace you, offer you food, lay sustenance over you with abundance on top.

Bring forth what is best inside you – even if the effort seems false or lacking, or even a pretense.

For me, it is the habit of excellence I wish to acquire, and sometimes I need to start low while aiming high. I’d like to think it’s just a matter of skill & “beginnery” but it has been more. I haven’t been interested enough yet. I have professed interest & claimed interest & pretended it. Now is a time to practice it.

I have been alive a long time to just be finding out that I am so. I was a human being in many other life iterations just in this spacious lifetime. I was a student, a secretary, a mom, a wife, a food worker, a massage therapist. All seemed mutually exclusive, yet all were me.

Only occasionally did I choose time for self-care. Indeed, it is in my latter years that I’ve perceived self-care as a good idea. Now & here do I actually see in active tense; I observe with the intent of interaction. I admire, I enjoy, I watch, I smile & laugh about the activity that goes on in background to sustain me. I am humbled by the arrangement of the universe around my needs & my perceptions of both of these.

If I slip down a detour that looks promising & feels right for a moment, I still need to examine it for what I want to express with my life. If it does not meet this standard, I need to abandon exploration. I’m required to abandon the limiting thought for the next, better thought. In this way, I breathe my peace into it.

You get what you give. Make your habit giving & giving back. It doesn’t have to come with balloons, wine & roses or in a Cartier box. Turning over a lousy feeling for the good one underneath is enough. Smiling to refute a frown is a great beginning. Then look at what’s causing any frown. Smooth it off the surface even as you remove it from the elsewhere, wherever that is.

To tune into who you are, it is needful to tune out all the rest of it. Like emptying the lungs of even the reservoir pocket of air at the bottom of each exhale, it is scary, it can feel life-threatening. But just as the air is always there when you’re ready to replenish, your self, that which might be called your soul is always there when you reach for it. If you have lived a life in & of this country, you may have to talk it back in from a distance, or allow the organics of it to re-root in your psyche.

You need to put down the barriers & walk outside of the boundaries where you have been “saved” for so long… I minded less than others putting down my phone & turning my computer into a simple communications device. I lived a long time simmering in my own silences which are now familiar & comfortable. I am one of those old women walking along the side of the road chatting with themselves, given away by my gestures. But it’s a private conversation & I’m enjoying it. The definitions of mental health need to be enlarged to include all the tools we claim we live by, if you want exclude people like me. What’s crazier than un-inhabiting the exact speck of time you are standing in by partaking of the past that created it & the future which will spring from it, through media which is ultimately damaging to the physical construct it claims to support? In other words, when you are watching a crimson & light sunset, why answer your phone?

Getting back to some connection with Nature has been my impetus for conscious, focused improvement. I learn there is no other way to be & be self-aware. My boundaries have all shifted into another “place entire.” I am allowed now, freed from schedules. I find myself unrestrained by hours I do not arrange, to think & to be whom I have planned for all along – even when I didn’t know I was planning anything much.

Each time I breathe, I breathe peace into it.

 

Reciprocity

I’ll Believe In Yours, If You Believe In Mine First

If I lie in the Desert

Without closing my eyes

For one whole night

Would I be wise?

If I followed each star-trail

From its home to my door

Would I discover

The way out, for sure?

But I know me better

And I know me worse

Than to think I might

Ever finish this verse.

The far becomes closer

The new becomes real

The pictures deciphered

Prove down-home surreal

So I’m in for the tall one

I’m in for the shout

I’m in till the other me’s

Say it’s time to bow out.

8/14/17

 

Habituate Joy

Joy

I have waited a long time

For Joy to become an unconditional habit

Perhaps I needed to re-member it slowly.

Joy is entirely up to the individual

Only apparent on their terms & caught up in their constructs.

Joy is the sweet smell just before awakening, maybe yellow

Light honeysuckle air.

I need to pull out my pack of Happies

Smoke them over a coffee

Breathe them into me & again out.

I need Joy to be my default; my go-to on life.

First, I found hope, then faith, then love

Once discovering how to work these lower gears

I get to shift into Joy.

 

Clocks: damned if I do or don’t

Time has grown slippery

I no longer seem to have a grip

On my days, dripping from the calendar

Like sugar crystallizes & drips from cheap candy.

I hold my calendar with both hands,

Writing with the pen between my teeth.

In memory, time always seems to have

Been wrapped in clingfilm, making me hack

At the packaging to get to the product.

 

Off Grid: different day

I put away the electronic leashes

Just outside satellite range

Time eeled off the devices, heading for the tall grass.

 

DARK HATS

There needs to be a general Amnesty

For not having the true story all this time

But we promised to remain conscious

If it came down to bread & circus; we swore!

I find pardons each day

I bridge any gaps I find

Between unknowing & learning

 

Interrputions

I’m better at recognizing what I don’t want to do.

I recognize an initial resistance-reaction to interruptions;

I understand the value of interacting with that, though.

I act to disassemble & set that equation aside.

Releasing the knee-jerk automatic response

Artfully changes the landscape

The future is served by service

“Carpé diem” ended yesterday!

 

New Screen-Saver

Open up to grace every day

To new choices of health, abundance, re-programming

Get those icons of “fear” & “illness” off the home page

Click “awakening”

Click on “cosmic”

Double-click “divine love”

 

Walls

As my “exhibit wall” expands, I do, too. I surround myself with what lifts me or brings me more into vibration with God.

(I write as I await the computer to return to me after faithfully reporting in to Big Brother. We are at 90% on updates, I have two pages to write in the book before it resurfaces its little all-seeing eye upon me.)

My space is not crowded, though I am finding more to put up. All of this will stay for some little while & then recharge the day I get up & take it all down to start.

The change I am experiencing usually comes in September, which has always represented a “beginning month” to me. (It’s mid-August, but I swear in my own truth it is September.)

I am more keenly aware of all not aligning with where I am cannot remain in the “energetic I” long. I think of the frame in the movie Whale Rider where she rides the beached whale into the sea after laboriously convincing him to turn around to face his own reality. When the whale sounds with her, she floats from his back, more than half-frozen, eyes closed, hands unwillingly opening. I cannot see yet at what cost, but I let go, opening my eyes now. Something in the mechanics of being alive changes profoundly.

I thought I needed to get a job & earn money. So, I figured maybe a little weekend work at the café when they are busy. The server there is many-years experienced, but I noticed she could use support work. I figured to bus tables & speed things up – maybe earn a “coinly” wage to supplement supplies. I wrote an application letter to the owners. I gathered up my mail for the post office as a via point, walked across the street & into the café. As soon as I entered, my eye fell upon the second server! Guess this was not my job. Which was as well because taking in their black slacks, stiff white blouses & natty black aprons, I realized I probably can never wear a uniform again.

I deepened other activity times, walking West in the blaze of glory which clothes sunset in New Mexico. I walk to the bridge to see how high the creek is running. This enlarges my morning walk, East, into sunrise, bracketing it nicely. And a new-again Yoga practice to devote myself to.

All of me is coming together. Even as I take the time in consciousness to slow down in my head, I pick up physical speed. It feels good. I do not have to have music or a book; in fact, I begin to recognize a more specific effect that others’ words & stories have upon me. I ask myself if I wish to participate? Cannot tell you how many books & movies I’ve returned to the library after a cursory perusal of contents. But where I once became anxious without a book on hand to dive into, I find I can sit outside of an evening to wait for whatever sounds may float by. I light my luminaria on the table & put my feet up. I psychically repel mosquitoes.

Who will emerge when the Hillsboro Chrysalis opens is anyone’s guess. The women in the West with the best survival rates have always been warriors. But the warrior I want to be carries no weapons; remains defenseless, never calls upon remorse or blame, offers only witness as the ultimate in participation. Bringing none, blaming none, bluffing none. It’s just me again, facing another door & liking the me on the other side.