Home Sweet Home (Revisited)

I have lived in many places – sometimes – if not usually – in the very same town. The stretch between being in one place and the other can make it feel like I’m living in two different universes. Already in Hillsboro, I’ve moved once again after landing late March.

Living at the Barbershop Motel was like living in an Edward Hopper painting – you know, the one where faded people sit in chairs at open-all-night bars (look up “Nighthawks”) or sitting by themselves somewhere, seeming as though waiting for life to stop by for a visit.

I have felt for a long time that life has better things to do than come by my door. A singular encounter released me from the motel. What a growth opportunity this has been! It was joyous, fun, enlarging & definitely extraordinary.

You see, I believe in alternative stuff…disinformation, “fake news”, all kinds of breathy pulsating topics which are sidereal to what’s often called mainstream. I am not sure I believe in any-much anymore except one-to-one conversational laybys with friends who have history with me. And the event which propelled me from the “Hopper Effect” was highly spiritual in nature. But, the details aren’t to be listed here & the cover story will serve.

I came to New Mexico for one reason; to help others. So long as I can live rent-free somewhere, I can afford to live. Ha! I’ll bet many of you reading this could say the same. I am free from “earning” a conventional living. I am one of those seniors now affording to live on about $1,000 each month of Social Security. The government has generously given me cost-of-living-raises of $3 per year since I took early retirement seven years back. I am exploring the altered state of not having a regular job to report to. If I curtail pretty much anything which costs me money, I can make this work. Once the credit cards are paid up, I’ll be relatively wealthy.

This is simplified since I live in a town with only antique stores, no bank, no bodega, one café where the food is mostly selections from a menu I don’t eat, one wine bar (I don’t drink) – imagine! No Starbucks, no Walgreens, no fast-food or retail outlets, no movie theatres… An outstanding all-volunteer library is up the hill. Some of the most spectacular scenery in the world is nine miles away (Gila National Wilderness), everyone in town is a Master of something. We have artists, natural food growers, writers, engineers of all description – but in the end, we’re all old farts who live in a town of 150 where the list of what we would seem not to have stretches much farther than what we do. But how much would you pay for peace of mind, knowing your neighbors, uninterrupted sunlight, cool nights & no cell service downtown?

You have attained “favor” here if you have a tree to park the car beneath & can remember what day the Pickin’ Circle meets to play outside the Black Range Vineyards Wine Bar. I have attained my own favor because I know the people on my street (which is, by the way, is the main drag among three others.)

Malcolm Gladwell, in his book, The Tipping Point, writes a chapter on how 150 is an optimum number of people to have in your circle – whether social or employment. There are 150 people in this town. Internet data will inform you we’re a “statistical entity” with a population of 120 as of 7/16. Guess we’ve had another gold rush if the numbers are up by 30 in a year!

It’s unusual to hear children unless the “grands” are visiting. In a town this size, everyone becomes a character worthy of their own sitcom. Most of the women are gray-haired, most of the men have beards or handlebar moustaches. There’s a tiny stable on the upper corner with a white horse & her two companion miniature horses. At the diagonal opposite is a road which is crossed by Percha Creek when it rains (which it seldom does.) Our town park could fit in a backyard.

I love it here.

Tonight I am headed to a concert with Randy Granger, a world-class musician who plays any number of instruments with whole-hearted soul. It’s outdoors under the white-pointed black sky. I will even have to look for a jacket to wear! I’ll see & greet neighbors, enjoy the tunes & drive the nine miles home in the altered state only live performance can create.

Cheers!

 

 

 

Life is a Scavenger Hunt (11 Poems)

Life is a Scavenger Hunt

A leaf

A flute

Being in the presence of the lion

As differing from its photo.

Behind inter-twining gates

Breakthrough

(Brake-through)

The whole world moves on the wind

Shifting north to west to south

Where are we &

Where are we willing to go?

A wind’s message

Telegraphed by leaves

Danced in boughs.

The birds don’t worry on wind

Tho made of only spun-lace bone & color

Riding feathers upon it.

 

Before I get off the subject

I didn’t even know I was on,

Even as my pen brushes the page

More dirt settles upon it

I write crunching words

 

The wind taps this tree

Thrums that one

Shivers of its voice

Measure density

In a code far too random for comprehension

Yet I’m reading every movement.

 

This could have had such a different ending

Instead of these hasty walls

Thrown up between –

Barriers of denial

Relating to levels of anger & fear

I let it all go

One petal at a time.

They love me,

They love me not.

 

Washed Tin

It’s a busy street here

When two people pass one another

To either side, one walking a dog.

My heart is simply full of itself

With many lives to live,

Gaily leaping timelines,

So much potential

The designated “poof!” of hours…

Yanked from quantum entanglement

To seem a moment’s solitary

Accomplishment (hitting the “play” button often)

It all had to happen, though

Forgiveness unforgiven.

Momentary gaps in the thinking it through.

Beleaguered & beyond redemption.

Befriended by ascension

The wavelength to be on

Find-able

A smoother ride than along

The coast road.

 

I couldn’t answer the phone

I was buttering my hands

Um, yep, butter

Too long to explain

Not for everyone anyway

Tho more than a few would favor.

 

The glasses shatter on the fireplace,

Finalizing the celebration

But out come the broom & dustpan

The tinkling pour into the trash

Will it be replaced?

A decision for another day.

The two sides of every offering.

 

I have lost you

You who could have stayed far longer

To talk me into eternity

One way or the next

To talk me over the imaginary hurdles

I have created on my own

Spun simply & from loneliness

Your skin was soft from sleep

When I touched you to say

“I didn’t know you were sleeping.”

I dream of you now, con permisso.

 

 Living Divinity individually

Imagining duality

So, of course, a Singularity can occur.

 

I keep re/de/fining who I am

I’ve belonged to me for too long a time

I powerfully experience your turning-away

Do we cash out each other as we have been cashiered?

We tried this once before

To extreme disappointment.

I had One Escapade

But never saw the Devil I spat at…

I don’t have the nitty-gritty

Of being the fly on the wall.

Then he was summarily ejected from present company

Like a bullet, only one shot taken.

In his absence, we had no electricity for a while.

Without refrigeration, I am still frozen out for four days

From any/all conversation.

Until the PTB decide to sit me at a table

Pulling up chairs for accusation & disappointment,

Until I stand to say your life is not mine

And until you have lived it,

Do not accuse.

 

There’s a story here to tell

Untold & unafraid of itself

A love story stripping all else bare

To use the energy of the bones

I reminded her of an old friend

From voice inflection to flip-flops

So many interlocking pieces

With no interlocution.

Witness to sin

Condemned without trial

Or understanding

Yet walking free from it all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written Just This Time Last Year

In the infinity of choices, what choices does the world really give me?

  • Paper/plastic
  • Life/death
  • Stillness/movement
  • Yes/no
  • Eat/abstain
  • See/be blind
  • Youth/age

What gives me these choices? Why do I avoid growth to sit still – to “sit/stay” like a little doggie?

I can be fluid as water, yet I choose to be a rock.

Having made so many decisions about change before, I am feeling an affinity for sameness now. having made so much happen, I am now the target of happenings – the receiver.

I know the power is latent. I can bring it into activity at any time. I am toying now with stillness, playing with being trapped. I am this me now, after so much being that me.

They have not told me why; I have not asked that question.

But soon I will change, it will once again all change. This will not last forever. I will change my beliefs into understandings. I will leave the safety net below to fly off. I will forge a new future & not even look back. The past has no interest for me: I’ve done it. Right now are the beginnings occurring – advent of change. From this stillness, this stillpoint, I will push & pull, resist & allow, above all, I will create.

There needs to be some different thing or artistry. I’m far too young to be this old.

I will welcome my retiring soul by shaping my formative, birthing self. I will find freedom from reincarnation to simple incarnation which is a kind of mortgage of the soul.

The change is already in motion of emotion.

I feel the whole world chomping at the bit for change. I make the commitment to other than not making one.

All this mind-full-ness is grand, but where is it taking me, really?

I cannot let beliefs lock me down any longer. Not when there are dreams to be had.

5/31/2016

Note from 5/27/2017: This ‘resolution’ didn’t even last a year. But then, so many resolutions don’t.

 

Question for the Ages

What is your relationship to Truth? For some, there’s a passing acquaintance only – a two-finger wave getting into the car. I recently saw “Jupiter Ascending” for the second time & marveled when one of the characters said, “Lies are the reason I get up every day.”

Now that should make you shudder, Amen!

Is your relationship to Truth “immersive”? Like walking into the ocean? I remember the day I realized I couldn’t even take a paper clip home from my desk at work. Not that I’m so holy, but it was just so much easier to walk away hands-free & heart open.

Next question: Is honesty Truth? I think it’s like using slices of two different breads. They don’t always match – sourdough & rye, for example. We’re not used to this. My truth may be real to me, but dishonest to you. But my honesty counts towards Truth as I know it.

Children have refreshingly fewer filters on Truth. Art Linkletter used to ask the kids on the show first off, “Now, what did your mom tell you not to tell me?” All sorts of quotable quotes then emerged.

Children enter the world with a broader perceptual spectrum upon which culture starts applying boundaries immediately.  A child soon finds out that a broad spectrum needs to narrow considerably to get along in society. It’s a far lesser bandwidth to occupy; only “admissible” truths meet the criteria – sometimes nothing imaginary and especially nothing which doesn’t support the current belief system.

I know adults who throw up fences as fast as they can when certain topic arises in conversation. One scientist whom I met recently said firmly, “No woo-woo stuff here!” about Tibetan singing bowls being used for physical healing, as she admired another’s playing of her bowl. However, she nodded at the comment, “I feel that tone all through my body.” Well, that’s how the bowls heal, right?

(I used the photo above as it seems to represent a truth all of its own – it was taken at a drumming circle fire in Maine. None of the other photos in the same grouping contain this figure.)

We just need to keep enlarging our truth/Truth by broadening our spectrum to permit others theirs as well, whether imaginary or scientifically proven. We have to be free-range Truth-Seekers to discover what resonates in us for once & all.

 

 

 

Walking Rain

Our Father – Another Update

Hey Dad –

You live in the best place possible to increase joyous experience & productive certainty!

Your name alone is meaningful to me, as are Your works in bringing about the world that Mom envisions.

May all You do be in aid of life & creation…please keep us to making improvements!

It is Your fulfillment to see the entire world productive & happy, more connected to activity expressing Love.

For here is the dwelling-space of Your children: we of Your accomplishment, fulfillment & amazed pride.

All You do sources Life at its best-lived level.

To You we bring our disappointments, all that limits our positive growth, our mistakes in this Grand Experiment; anything at all that doesn’t engender Joy. Erase these from our being that they may be replaced with Lovinkindness.

From You we learn how to be innocent of error. Light up the best roads for us to follow. Encourage our hearts, flow through us into each other with Your empowering grace.

Amen.

The Prayer Flags

Share their messages with us all

Trembling with shredding edges…

Praying to a heaven which (if I may loosely paraphrase)

Seems hell-bent on descending to reach us.

The gods finger the fringe

Thumb the coded symbols with diamond fingers

The flags send messages to the itinerant saints

“Forgive these humans who are never beyond Your forgiveness.”

Choose what you will say: hang your flags to pray.

Dear Mother Death,

When you see my soul wandering in your flowered fields

Catch me up, won’t you, please?

Fashion me into a hard rubber ball

Bounce me for the delight of children

For the elastic jaws of dogs

Place me as a leaf atop your highest tree

That a bird may sing to me in passing, wing me with a feather-touch

Open me as a shrine, put a candle within,

Set me gently into a baby tumbleweed blowing bravely uphill

Place me as the flat tongue of a tubular bell

Calling down the valley for all to enter prayer.

Grow me as a sprig of brilliant purple on the sage-gray desert

Toss me into a great black thunderhead

Trailing rain over mountains thirsted for weeks

Or, failing these, just sit me on your lap & watch me glow.

Water-Wind

All in place; nothing missing

And just in time

For now the wind rises in the north

Arranging itself upon a current whistling over the edges of my ears

You always start the same: a spatter-sprit of drops carelessly flung

Against the glass door

From friend to fury, drops burst like small bombs

Then comes that burr of thunder

A mighty split of light forking the sky

There are messages all over the horizon

Runic reveals beyond Revelation

To one such as me, quietly seated

On the inside, looking out with a cup of tea to hand,

Book laid aside for real-time drama, 3-D life

A dance of elements to rhythms I can only ponder

As I sip.

Poets Throw Dice

Of words

Sixes & ones

Sevens & fours

Chance & circumstance

Conspire to frame the day.

 

What we see is up to us but not ours

Miracle or meddlesome

A beginning of ends

No moment lost

As dice are tossed

We write as does nature

Lines on leaves

Runes on water

Words on winds.

We join gamers

Reporting back to divinity

Invisible & reckless

Trapped or galloped free

Ev’ry blank page a sensuous invitation

We shed blood to write with if no ink is at hand!

Holy Cow?

So the day didn’t start strangely enough at 3:30 a.m. when I woke to the smell of something burning. Like nothing I’d smelled before. I keep the windows open & the odor drifted in to draw me out of my dream. Opening the front door didn’t help, I saw no leaping flames or unusual glows. So I had a coffee, climbed back into bed long enough to pull the covers up & decide I didn’t really want to be there, might as well get up & get started.

Since I was so early, I pulled on my stretchies & a sweatshirt, grabbed a key & the handweights & headed out the door. Across the street was a small chile roaster merrily pumping smoke into the morning air. OH! Overnight brisket cookout.

Up in the hill-fields to my right, a loud moo-ing started up & sounded like a seashore foghorn. I just marched west on Highway 152, taking in the earliness of the day. The sun hadn’t even risen over the foothills east of town, so all was still in cool shade. It felt good to walk, to breathe, to feel the resistance the weights provided.

About two-tenths of a mile out of town, just across the bridge over Percha Creek (pictured above), I noticed a large black, indeterminate mass on the right side of the road. Now, I’ve seen critters around before, why, just yesterday the town’s small herd of mule deer dashed down our main street like a Baskerville Hound had just hit the tarmac behind them. But a large black clump of … something … deserves hesitation & respect & maybe even a quick 180 home. So I walked on a bit less enthusiastically. I wondered if it could be a few turkey vultures having a fast-food roadkill. But this black thing wasn’t really moving like anything I was familiar with.

I slipped closer, at which point, one entirely black mass separated from a black & white one whose lugubrious white face pinned me. It was a Momma Cow curled up roadside & her youngster (the size of a Shetland pony) standing over her. When she rocked up to her feet, I decided a 180 was in order. Turning, I re-crossed the bridge, casting a glance over my shoulder, wondering if they’d follow me back to town or – worse – chase me for some reason. I’d already sized up both sides of the road & I could have made it over the fencing, but not without damage from the bob-wire strands. But the range rovers were gone. Mirage? No, I saw them.

Another 180. Might as well continue my walk if the road’s clear. And at the five-tenths mark, I noticed a loner grazing in the yard where a friend lives. Then I saw my friend’s roommate glide onto the deck with a slingshot & launch at the cow. Which jump-stepped into a trot out of their yard. Ah, the pyrotechnics of my peaceful morning health walk. Hamburger on the hoof, fire to roast it in & no way I was touching either one, even with one of my 3-pound weights.

Now, I wasn’t raised around farm animals. I don’t say anything but good morning to critters I see. Walking east is peaceful, involving only a nod at a yellow-white mule; another time I sighted a gray fox dashing across the street, brush low.

Walking west from town is always an adventure; once there was a yellow dog, head down, hackles raised, growling from the shoulder of the road. I didn’t even share a good morning with that one, its rumbling found me already turning from a good bit away & I was back into town in a jiffy. Another time walking west, I found a raven hopping along the side of the road, looking for all the world like it was searching for a housekey – which it might have been, had the key been shiny.

I guess it was a Mother’s Day sighting. Today the town dusts itself off, trots out the gizmos & doodads for a half-mile yard sale. The annual Mom’s Day weekend tradition seems to be putting out goods only your Mom might remember from the days before GE & Westinghouse infiltrated kitchens.

But I’m kind of glad the bonded pair did not follow me back to town & I had no more sightings except for the birds impatiently waiting for me to exit the picnic table after an al fresco granola breakfast. They’re eager to scarf up the birdseed I put out. Now, that’s about my comfort zone of critter today!

Whew!

Moving Into Fearlessness (A Unity Talk)

Fear is rampant today. It’s all over the newspapers, magazines, movies and every main stream media outlet loves to sell fear to us. It’s generated by TV news, weather reports, the economy, Wall Street, whether the UFO’s will land or the Second Coming will happen first. And yet…and yet, if you put your mind and heart and soul into it, is there anything at all you can do about any of these?

When we are in pain or in fear, we sometimes assume the worst of God. We resist the divine timing of Grace and limit ourselves & the power of love in our lives.

When we live in fear, we live outside of trust – that circle of thinking we are being taken care of by a Loving Creator. We choose to step out of the Light into a dark place. Why? I think it’s because we think Life is safer there. In the dark, we cannot see the size of our Fear Monster. And if you believe in a higher power keeping score of every activity & thought, it surely feels safer in the dark where we seem invisible. We push out the Light in the world. We forget the kindness of strangers.

I read a line recently that said, “his fear felt like swallowed lightning.” Do you remember fear like that?  I do. Since childhood, we may have done a lot of our formative living in a state of fear. Do you remember the first time you felt afraid?

There was Mom or Dad being lining up to yell at us about something, there was falling off the bike, there was Sister Anne Cecelia calling an algebra pop quiz first period, or the other schoolkids ganging up. Fear doesn’t lack for variety… there’s physical fear, mental fear, emotional fear, spiritual fear – take your pick. Or better yet, make the sane choice to not choose any of them!

Louise Hay says: “Fear happens inside when we don’t trust Life. We don’t have trust that we’re being cared for or taken care of on a higher level.” We try to take control of the events in our lives. The other side of control is, guess what? Fear of failure. And although there really are few things we can control, there are a number of choices we can make about feeling fear. One that could have some surprising results is simply choosing NOT to experience fear about our choices.

Trust is what we learn when we overcome our fears. Look again into your memory’s crystal ball – remember how many times you breathed deeply and took that leap of faith and connected yourself to universal Intelligence? You trust the air to be there when you breathe, no? The Power that supplies the air created the universe.

I cordially invite you to pinch yourself – do you trust that are you alive? Do you know what gives you life? There’s a really fine balance the body maintains in its chemistry, its cellular structures, its organ systems. All of these work without our knowing just exactly how. Do you trust your stomach to digest what you eat? Do you trust your ears to hear what you are being told and relay it to your brain for processing? I trust the next cell forming in my body to know whether it’s an eyelash or a toenail. I’m not in charge of any of that, but I trust the process, and I trust that I can always improve the process.

I was able to get over my biggest fear. My biggest fear wasn’t moving forward. It was remaining in the life I had created for myself. I didn’t want to live at the level of emotional survival. I wanted to just plain live, I wanted to experience moments of ineffable beauty, full-filling Joy, peer relationships & returned love.

If you knew me then and you asked me, I would have said my cup was half-full. But I know, now that I have more perspective, that my truth was sitting across the table from me scowling at the baldness of that lie.

When I decided to take a do-over on my life, it took every resource on hand. It took a million lists & all the money I had in the world. It meant relying on a promise from the Social Security Administration that they’d really give me my retirement money. It took a new boss who came into the job with an attitude to sit on my head until she hatched out the administrative assistant she wanted. Unfortunately, that gal had left the building quite some time before.

It took every self-help book I’d skimmed over in the Unity bookstore, and every sermon I’d heard after five years of careful listening.

Here’s what happened: Fear had become for me the imposing curtain hiding the Wizard. I trembled at what might be behind it. That curtain was my Ego. It wasn’t until my soul, my trusty little bright-eyed Toto soul, caught the edge of it on the run & whipped it away from the Great Illusion that I was able to unveil my life, to let go of what I really didn’t even own. It wasn’t until the moment that the reality of my half-empty existence smacked me upside my head. I woke up.

I woke up to the knowledge that all my life had been a 50-50 – much like a PTA raffle. Living, dying, happy, sad – all of these were choices I made on a moment-by-moment basis. I’m so glad Toto wasn’t buying any of it! I’m so glad my soul got all up in my face and insisted I choose just how I planned to live for the rest of this life.

Fear: False Evidence Appearing Real.

Fear: Face Everything & Run!

Fear: Face Everything & Rise!

You know, we always have the opportunity to return to Love – re-turn to God as the Source of all love. Jesus called God Father; but in the Aramaic language He spoke, where one word can have up to 42 meanings, the words “father” and “mother” meant more than biology.  Father and Mother both mean “BELOVED.” Think on that: Beloved. Who best to turn our fear over to than the One Who loves us unequivocally no matter what we do? And when we turn the fear around, Jesus is the one standing closest by to lend a hand.

Don’t let fear get comfortable around you. Start asking it some hard questions when it shows up:

 What are YOU doing here?

What do YOU have to do with anything going on right now?

What’s your real deal?

Everything you’re afraid of is subject to that 50-50 rule. Few of us lead perfect lives. If Shakespeare was right & all the world’s a stage, the footlights pick up every flaw. Society loves its little game of perfection. But we don’t get to have our lives airbrushed. Heck, half the time we don’t even get to go to the groomers once a month for a shampoo & a flea-dip.  Each time we “do” fear; we lose light. And our only real purpose for being here is to bring light into being.

Speaking metaphysically, the word “fear” is used to denote reverence or respect for the law of God.  It really means “Pay Attention!” As in “pay attention, you’re standing at the edge of a cliff.” Or “pay attention, you’re crossing the freeway & there’s no crosswalk here.”

Every angel who ever showed wings to a person opened the conversation with two words: FEAR NOT. After all our prayers for help from above, our first reaction to divinity showing up is an abject need for reassurance!

Did you know that the word human is two parts. “Hu” is ancient word for God. It is a word people anywhere can use to address the Originator of Life.  To be Human then is to be God in Man. Not only does God have our back, God leads each of us every step along our way. It’s important to walk our talk: wherever God is, all is well. Wherever God is, fear cannot exist. Creation may be broken, but the Creator isn’t.