Thursday, July 24, 2008

Professional Counseling

From the ocean I heard a million fish say,
"Give me a beer - quick!"

I replied, "Dears, how can that be? How can a fish in the
water want a drink?"

Well, that's how wacky things have gotten. Who else
but Maya could pull a fast one like that
and get away

Seriously speaking though:
The fish in the water that is thirsty needs
serious professional

*Kabir, 1440-1518

Thursday, July 17, 2008

circling, circling, circling round
the sea is the sky is the sun is the ground.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thank you for strangers at bus-stops, New Revised Edition

I am so glad for strangers, strange-to-me people, who talk with me. It's like being friends with the proverbial box of chocolates: You never know what you're gonna get, but isn't it fun?

Three days ago at work I met Peter and Laura. Each wearing their JESUS SAVES t-shirts I "knew" the moment I laid eyes on them that I was not going to enjoy our exchange. Peter asked me if I had any material in the store about our savior and Lord, Jesus Christ... Here we go I thought. I told him, no at this moment we did not have anything specifically about Jesus in the store. He began what I perceived as the usual missionary diatribe, Have you accepted our Lord Jesus into your heart? Do you believe Jesus Christ, son of God, died for your sins?

This kind of exchange has never been interesting to me, I actually find it quite offensive. I could feel many years of negative experience with zealous christian proselytizers boiling up inside me, but being at work as a fairy godmother it's not my job as an employee, nor especially as a human, to be rude or offensive. I chose to say that I was at work and did not feel that it was an appropriate topic of discussion. However, this was a cop out since at Fairy Godmother talking about God/Spirit is one of the most likely topics of conversation. Not only was it a cop out, for me it was a darn lie. I just wasn't sure how to be authentic and be a nice/kind human.

Peter said of course he could respect (which he couldn't) that I was at work and would not try to engage me further but he really would like to know if I believed Jesus was the son of God. I had to ask myself if this was an opportunity not to lie in order to avoid a perceived conflict? What the hell. I actually said yes, I do believe Jesus is the son of God. Then it was do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead to show us the mystery of God's will? As I talked with Peter and Laura I realized I had no lies in my mouth and that my anger had dissipated. So I said yes, I believe that Jesus rose from the dead.

Of course Peter and Laura were persistent but something in me had shifted. I fully realized that along with my anger had gone a basic belief that other people had any right to define my relationship with the Mysterious J. Seems basic enough, doesn't it? But at what point in my life did I give someone else the right to define my relationships? How often do I choose complicity over dialogue?

Better yet, how often do I assume I "know" what's going to happen in a given situation?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I honor the Wheel of Heaven and the Axis of Time. May I learn to carry what is hidden as a gift to others.

A few months ago I decided that I hated my life; so I set about dismantling it.

My girlfriend and I took a break. I quit my job and took a five dollar an hour pay cut. I sold most of my books, ignored every phone call and every bill that needed paying. I refused to shower for days at a time. Dishes? Laundry? Bah! I walked across the street everyday to Victor's Cafe for blueberry-mango pancakes and coffee.

I've played out this routine a thousand times in my short life for a thousand reasons. But this time, lurking in the back of my mind was an inquiry... Almost a whisper I was asking myself "Why?" Why do I hate my life? Why do I feel depressed? Why have I felt this aching sorrow and deep sense of separation for most of my life?

I've been trying to piecemeal answers to these questions my whole life. I have stacks of journals and sketchbooks, photos, snippets, book cases of poetry and art, crates of textiles somehow hoping to amass some kind of Devil's Mountain of an answer... bits and pieces that somehow represent a semblance of the whole. While these things are beautiful and sensuous and reflect my love of joyful expression they do not constitute a delightful life, a life of action. In fact they tell me more and more how much there is to do.

Maybe all it comes down to is selfishness. I hoard beautiful objects, isn't it more than possible that I've been hoarding the beauty inside me? WHY do I do that?

Prayer For Revolutionary Love

That a woman not ask a man to leave meaningful work to
follow her.
That a man not ask a woman to leave meaningful work to
follow him.

That no one try to put Eros in bondage.
But that no one put a cudgel in the hand of Eros.

That our loyalty to one another and our loyalty to our work
not be set in false conflict.

That out love for each other give us love for each other's work.
That our love for each other's work give us love for one another.

That our love for each other give us love for each other's work.
That our love for each other's work give us love for one another.

That our love for each other, if need be,
give way to absence. And the unknown.

That we endure absence, if need be,
without losing our love for each other.
Without closing our doors to the unknown.

-Denise Levertov

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Let's not have tea. White wine
eases the mind along
the slopes
of the faithful body, helps

any memory once engraved
on the twin
chromosome ribbons, emerge, tentative
from the archaeology of an excised past.

I am a woman
who understands
the necessity of an impulse whose goal or origin
still lie beyond me. I keep the goat

for more than pastoral reasons. I work
in silver the tongue-like forms
that curve round a throat

an armpit,the upper
thigh, whose significance stirs in me
like a curviform alphabet
that defies
decoding, appears
to consist of vowels, beginning with O, the O-
mega, horseshoe, the cave of sound.
What tiny fragments

survive, mangled into our language.
I am a woman committed to
a politics
of transliteration, the methodology

of a mind
stunned at the suddenly
possible shifts of meaning- for which
like amnesiacs

in a ward on fire, we must
find words
or burn.

Artemis, by Olga Brumas


"The 'soul' is indeed a vague conception and the reality of the thing
to which it refers cannot be demonstrated.
But consciousness is the most evident of all (invisible) facts...
The physiologists are very fond of comparing the network of our
cerebral nerves with a telephone system but they overlook the significant fact
that a telephone system does not function
until someone talks over it.
The brain does not create thought
(Sir Julian Huxley has recently pointed out this fact);
it is an instrument which thought finds useful."
- Joseph Wood Krutch, More Lives Than One