Good

I feel eviscerated.

I must caution you against reading this if you are feeling emotionally fragile. If you are you might want to leave it unread. My pain wafts off these pages. I am undone here. I am laid bare. I am naked in my vulnerability and I promise you will feel with me by the end. And I must write this; I have no choice.

I feel tortured. I feel I stayed a while in hell. I did so willingly, assured there was some point to it, but in the end if the conversation had not taken place, perhaps I would be better. I know I would still be the same. Now I am different, changed, born anew, stronger. I weathered it, I faced the doubts another’s counteractive view tried to impress upon me, like brainwashing, like waterboarding, waves of her emotions, her pain, her need impressed upon me. I nearly sunk with the weight of it. And I knew, going in, she would be doing this to me, she would be dragging me down into her undertow, into her water depths of despair, into her hell. And I sought to heal, and understand, and pour my own fire on the blaze.

I regret it now. I don’t often regret much, but I do regret the anger and insanity I let loose upon her. Oh, I doubt I left visible wounds. I doubt I even left new ones. It’s possible I just reopened old ones with my truths but I regret doing so. Hurting her, was not satisfying when she is already so hurt. And the only way I forgive it, is to acknowledge she has hurt me, and it was in aid of healing for myself which let me pour the truths unfolded upon her already self pitying ears. I feel eviscerated, due to myself being reamed out during the duration of the conversation, scooped out of pain and anger and hate; all wrapped up in blame of her, for the hurts she dealt, and which I endured, and which I overcame, and which I removed myself from, and which she might do so again. I felt threatened. She wanted me back, in her life, in her existence, in her sphere. She wanted to impart how I was her love, and she was not the person I remember her as the (one who didn’t love me, and treated me so). And so I, not knowing where I was going, allowed it, until the pain drove my body into sleep, and my soul into healing, and I awoke feeling eviscerated.

I wondered, the whole while, if it were me? If I was the one in the wrong. If it was only that I change could the happily ever after come into being? I entertained the idea it was all my fault, and I need only change and be more loving and accepting, and she and I would heal and the hurt would stop. I tried to apply all my learned stuffs on spiritual matters and I only managed to open a door, and let her into my soul to torture it further. The interrogator in my den. She is a broken thing right now, hurting, dying, letting the pain she wrought upon herself and others eat at her soul. She is supposed to be happy, not thinking of me, living her life, loving it. Instead she is calling my friend crying that I refused answer her missive, and she is feeling such self pity she throws traps of guilt that cling like tar to my feet to capture me and draw me in.

And then she tried, oh she did, to tell me she loved me. I tried, I did, to believe it. I allowed her to torture me, with news about her, with her side of the story, with recollections grim and glossy, and I tried to see it this way. She loved me, and she was scared, and she still wanted me, and it did not compute. I am done. I am different. She has intruded upon a new me. I am not the thing she tossed around, like a cat with ball. I am not the toy she made me. I am stronger than that.

I refused to become hers again. I refused to entertain her notions of events, told in her version, colored her way, decrying my own lived recollections. I refused to give up my ideas, for they mold me, make me, become me, I live because of them. I refused to give up the beauty I have become in aid of a dark, twisted version that remains lost and left cautionary tale and recovered from. I am this beautiful spirit, and I do need to remain this. I refused allowance of the contrary.

But it was hard won. This woman, who loved me, who was me, who wanted me, is not worthy of me. And I am worth more than she, and what she gives, and what she offers, and what I need. I am worth more than the past, and worth more than the pain, and worth more than the lived torture. I refused. And with parting blows she let me be.

And I feel eviscerated. Like I were she, and she is death, and I am dying the arms of her soul. I feel, too much connection. I must need withdraw, but it hurts to. For I did love her. I did. I did. I just lost us both along the way.

There though, it is done. I wrote her thusly, speaking of my actual feelings, and my actual perception, and my actual reality. I spoke more of truths and less of lies and platitudes and couched phrases of softness. I told her I was done. And I meant it. I do not want her back. I do not want that pain again. I do not deserve to be tortured. I am done.

And I feel like death. Behind my eyes I feel tears which remain just whines of tiredness and ache. I feel like a battlefield gone cooling. I feel like a demon horde ravaged land. I feel finally finally free. And it does not feel good, as I expected it to. It’s just heavy with losses, on both sides, and disgusting with corpses, and pregnant with pain. It feels like healing is in order but grief is too momentary to allow just yet. It feels, like apocalypse.

Good.

Hail unto thee from the abodes of the day.

I stand as salutation to the sun. I stand staring.

As the afternoon passes into sunset I find communion with nature; it feels like a pocket of heaven sunk to earth.

I greet the sun, my eyes turn staring and long upon that glowing orb, so bright that it turns my eyes to tears and the sky to purples and pinks around it. If I gaze long enough, with the daring to not look away, I find the sky warps, the clouds flicker between low and high relief and the top of the building where the sun sits, turns white at the edges. And my vision is purple when I look away, spying a plane flying low, and the sky and the plane are tinged a burnt purple as I look directly upon them.

My communion hasn’t even begun. I find the east and gaze into it, feeling air and all things of that element in it. And I feel the west behind me, as I sit, feeling the touch of the sun which sets lingering in my hair. And to the north, I feel the earth, move and shift and yet always always there, like law. And to the south, I find my vision turns to heat, the feeling of sun hot and burning, like on baked sand.

And I feel connected to the elements at the dying of the day.

Then an evening sunset salutation. Meditate and visualize on water, for the west. And intone, “Hail unto thee from the abodes of the day.” And wait until midnight for the next.  And then perhaps best to greet the rocks, wake them with words of welcome and sparks of connection through shamanic vision …

Abruptly the breeze picks up. It’s cold now, and that signals time to go. Finally leave that pocket of heaven. For a time.

Prurient

I want you to know that I am free.

I wear the shackles willingly.

In fact I put them on myself.

 

I, who locked this infinite

presence into a devil’s shell,

a wind up toy. Twist twist and

let it dance to the drums,

making merry on a flute

which creates worlds,

don’t let it die,

don’t let it stop,

don’t let it go,

just make it play for eternity

for your prurient entertainment.

 

If the drums stop

you will die.

 

And when he comes to wind you up,

the one who doesn’t know you,

but cares so much

about not letting you die,

don’t let him for he can’t break you free,

neither can I.

Only you, little rabbit,

only you can twist tune into rainbow

and ride it high.

And when you die,

you never did,

just the shell turned to stone of man

shape and countenance,

not devil, not pan,

any longer.

 

And then, he reaches into me,

tears off the scabs from my heart center,

pulls off the shutters,  

pulls open the stained glass

and bades me see.

A tree.

In the middle of me.

She is dry, not enough

wet to the soil, which remains

far too light a hue,

and not enough light,

from divinity.

Clearly the dry brittle tree

Is me.

And so add water, darker soil,

expand the cage,

open the crown

and let in such bright.

 

And then you’ll see the chains,

they wrap round my wrists in shackles,

On my left: knowledge,

On my right: perception,

And on my ankles,

The right: attachments,

and the left: my soul.

So beautiful I could die to see

Shake them off, they aren’t locked tight,

indeed hang loose and then

I am free.

 

To know

I know

nothing. Yet.

 

Bade me back,

rehang the chains.

Shackle me again.

Willingly.

 

It’s all about vulnerability.

And curiosity.

 

I am willing. I am eternal. I am free.

Sending Love

Dear Ones,

What happened to you was a tragedy. I address you individually and as a nation and as part of our human race, for I identify with you, and I grieve with you during this time. It is all I can do but offer words. Regardless of their weight here they are.

You find yourselves reeling, from the emotions which overwhelm, from the aftermath, from the wounds recieved, and I grieve with you. This was not meant to be; this was not meant to be in a kind world, where love reigns. And what we live in is a world just on the brink of that, a world yet to come into it’s own, a world grasping at it’s dying ego in fear, and hurting all who get in the way. We live in a world of sadness today.

Beloved ones, now is the time in which we find ourselves separate, from brother and friend and people. We find ourselves separate from those we should hold most dear; separated by borders and parties and beliefs which make us so wrapped up in these goings on we forget the central issue which remains; humanity is fighting a war. It is not a war of territory or state, it is not a war of people or ideal, it is a war we hold with ourselves, out of desperate grasping to keep the truth from flaying us alive. It is the very fact that we are all the same.

You look across a border and see a person of difference, of nation, of color, of creed; you look and see someone unlike you, and you forget, this person is you. This person is your brother, your sister, your lover, your friend; this person is you but experiencing this life from a different perspective. And you forget that this person does not deserve to suffer the weight of your pain and fear, as you suffer it; just as you do not deserve to suffer theirs. The world in which I live, I look at humanity with unjaundiced eyes; the filtering of something undeserving once over them, and as I become more aware painstakingly I’ve removed this film, until I see the truth behind it. We are all the same. We are all humanity; we share this planet, this life, this now, and we try so hard to seek our best choices. And we fail, but failure is acceptable, for failure means learning.

I implore you, learn now, dear ones, that this attack was born of fear, and must be met with love. Find love to protect yourselves from further attacks, find love for the dead which gave up their lives for your realizations, find love for those who grieve with you and feel your pain as their own and offer support, find love for those who attacked you out of fear, misaligned on their path as they are. Find love in every motivation, even as you seek out justice, or answers, or healing. Find and respond not with additional fear, but with the love you bear for those who died, and now return to spirit, and will send their love in turn.

I send those who suffered this tragedy infinite love. I send you love from where I am, from where I sit in this body, to where I be in spirit, one with all of you. I send you love hoping this message finds you, comforts, and gives hope where a terrifying moment stole it away. I regret my message is so limited in scope, if I could I would scoop out the love in my heart and hand it to you as salve, but I am but human, and so I send human love in words. And I trust, beloved dear ones, you hear me and find peace.

Nameste

Ease

Ugly duckling–in my way,

Let I, let thee go far astray?

Belay, Belay!! The Way of Pay,

Bestay, Bestay!! Off and away!!

To take, and trust, all difficulty’s bay–

Sheer madness, stubbornness–masochistic I say!

Let off, let off!! Idiotish martyr you may,

Simply walk the easy road.

The address is satirical, but I do wish you all the enlightenments.

Dear John,

I want to start with I love you.

I want to start with this because this is not a decision I make lightly and I want you to know its done out of love, both of self and of you. I have a confession, so best to start with that. I’ve been trying to fix you. I’ve been trying so hard to make you see what I see because it hurts me you don’t see it. It hurts me so greatly because you and I are so much alike. Everything I dislike in you I see in me. The light I see in you is one I feel when in the heart of myself. I’ve been trying for you to see yourself through my eyes, in all your glorious humanity. The light darkness of you. The positive negative. The beautiful ugly. I’ve been trying to fix your blind eyes.

We run so close in kind and likeness, I forget you are on your path, which remains yours to walk, and I remain on mine. I’ve been where you are, I’ve overcome some of the things you are struggling with, I want to help so bad, because it reminds me how I suffered to see you do. And you ask advice, you ask me what to do, and when I answer you: you agree, then reject, then agree; but it doesn’t seem to stick in your mind like it has in mine.

Understandable, as I’ve lived that experience which led to each conclusion, and you have not. It is understandable you wouldn’t trust advice from me when you don’t even trust advice from yourself. And I, I have been so impatient.

Do you know when we see an action, even just a generated representation like in film, that our minds can’t distinguish between ourselves or the other acting it? Our minds literally reacts as if we ourselves performed the action. (Its why I dislike horror movies.) When you worry so, when you fret, when you indecisively waffle, and ask, and reject, I feel the pain of your conclusion; the mouse in the machine running circles of mad and mindless claustrophobia.  And I want to help, selfishly. Which is exactly as I have learned to do, in order to take care of me–

But you are you. And you are responsible for keeping you happy, as I am for me. And as I wish you to respect me, and not encroach upon my self; as I expect you not to control me, I should not try and do so to you. Even as your unhappiness makes me unhappy. Even as your confusion confuses me. Even as your worry worries me.

Perhaps I should not try and offer solution or suggestion or observation. This, I understand, annoys people as they see it as judgment– which it is–and negative– which it is–and therefore bad– which it only is if they and I perceive it so. I try so hard to see the good in everything, in the negative, I don’t believe in bad. And we all make judgments, its how we develop self. I make no excuse for humanness.

You complain I am trying to change your beliefs. I admit I am. You try and control the flow of conversation– take turns like in kindergarten–but I dislike such imbalanced control–I try and wrest it from you back into normal parameters…

Is this the result of two antisocial creatures attempting socialization? Is this two humans trying to humanize? Is this two hearts trying for harmony? Is it all of the above? I wish I knew the answer. I always try and see what was wrong with my actions, after the initial anger spouts an automatic snarl in the other direction. I usually conclude some fault with me …

And I forgive myself that fault. I try for new behavior. Here, I feel I might have limited choices. I could allow you to flail about, myself held in check from checking you, and perceive the pain and hurt myself, or repeat an attempt to change you, or walk away. These options seem all I have. I wish there were other more kinder ones. Ones which didn’t shake my soul. I wish I could turn something upon you which heals and gives and helps. But I am in need of help now. I am suffering now. I am hurting. Because your hurts have buried themselves in me. And I already suffer my own.

I see it now. I need to take care of me. Just as I need leave you to yourself. And this is I why I say I love you. This is why I say I don’t make this decision lightly. This is why I say I love me.

And wish you all the enlightenments I’ve reached.

PS: (The address is satirical; I know this isn’t your name)

A Close Encounter of the Higher Kind

My problem is I don’t listen to my gut.

I’m not sure why I don’t, I think I might be too distracted by all the pretty pictures in my head. But the universe verily screamed at me today in order to gain my attention. Call him god, call it higher power, call it vibration; It doesn’t matter what you call it, because this force which drives us–on a path we truly want to be on, secretly, perhaps unknowingly–is very real.

In actuality it refused me twice, actually count that three times on things I wanted today, or thought I wanted. I wanted to go to Trader Joe’s to buy food today. I had the vaguest idea of finding pasta for the foundation of dinner. I did go there, twice in fact, but the first time it was packed, I didn’t really understand where to find anything, and while the prices were good, I wasn’t willing to stay the line when the line stretched the entire store around.

I traded Trader Joe’s for Food Emporium. That was a resounding mistake. Food emporium had everything I wanted, I found it all, placed each item in my cart, made my way to the checkout counter, watched it all ring up, swiped my car on $60 which made me almost flinch–

–And then the employee tells me they no longer accept EBT.

To say I was furious was an understatement. My self imposed schedule had me boarding the 4 train about 20 minutes prior; in my mind I was already late. But then, I thought about it, and I realized was quite relieved in actuality. I didn’t want to spend $60 anyway. But I was still in a quandary.

I walked across the street and just stood there, dumbfounded.  How could that have happened? I’ve been shopping there for two years and its always been true I could use EBT.  I was so … Disbelieving. In my daze of incomprehension I walked back to Trader Joe’s reluctantly. I didn’t want to brave the crush or the line but I needed supplies. My decision was provided for me. Trader Joe’s line had grown. Now, there was a line to get in the store as well.

Outrage is too strong a feeling, anger wasn’t the emotion. It was, need. I needed to get things done, and the universe was getting in my way.

That should have been a clue. It wasn’t. I was too much in my head.

So then, it became necessary to choose Whole Foods. My time was gone. I was due on the train immediately. I had to supply dinner, it was my turn, and it was going on 3:30pm. Dinner was to be at 6. I was desperate.

Now let me explain, when I got off the train at 14th Union Square at 1pm I had had a very small urge to go to Whole Foods first. I wasn’t very keen on the idea as the entire focus of my mind visualized Trader Joe’s .. But then, maybe that isn’t right– I pictured in my head pasta, like would be at whole foods– so perhaps it was just my stubborn whim which wanted to go.

And so to Whole Foods. Immediately inside I find what I need. I pick up things I didn’t know I needed. I had practice because I had already bought this meal, without getting to actually buy it, at Food Emporium. And then I find the last minute things, even after I forget them. The last thing is tortillas; I’m headed for the elevator, about to leave, and there they are, leading me to grab them, and the elevator, where two old black ladies are boarding, all walker and 80 year old shuffling.

So familiar I am with elderly black ladies since I moved to the Bronx, they feel like home to me. They are chattering at each other good naturedly, like my grandparents do, this push/pull of conversation, which is so natural it feels like scene acting, and the words almost pointless behind the feeling.

I ask, as I would talk to the ladies at my grandparents church, all respectful of age, all familiar as I would speak to a child, if there was room for me? And with wide welcome they let me join them. And we rode the elevator and they spoke of not having met in years but now were spending the day together. They were so happy to do so, and I wished them luck and happiness, and we parted in high spirit.

And after I checked out, the line was rather long but not unbearable, I decided to take my habitual route to the 4 train, and low and behold they both stood at the corner awaiting the light, the walking man sign had just changed to a red hand . The one with the stooped spine and walker had her head down, rummaging through something, speaking to the taller one with a plump face and glasses.

I encouraged their notice, the taller one seeing me first, the stooped one looking up at the taller ones  encouragment, and –small jostle of shoulders– a welcome ‘oh.’ I was so pleased to see them, for some reason; I waited with them and asked if I could accompany them across the street, even walking slowly, and briefly backwards as to face them in conversation, the whole while. They were a bit slow going. I didn’t want the impatient taxi to hit them and thought my body would serve more incentive not to.

We chatted. On the curb, crossing the street, on the opposite curb. We stood in pedestrian traffic’s way. People went around us. We blocked traffic. I didn’t really notice though. I was too caught up in conversation. The stooped one was adamant this was not coincidence. She exclaimed how people had been beautiful to the two of them all day, and now I was here. They agreed when I mentioned a good vibration. And then, back safe on sidewalk, she stops and talks to me, the stooped one. She makes mention of eyes being a window to the soul, which I find remarkable as I am staring into her eyes, which remain so bright, and I am seeing her spirit like light and waves against paper thin skin. And I am feeling who she is.

Is it her age which shows her spirit so muchly? Is it her settledness into herself? Then she cautions me against people who do not look me in the eye.

“Be wary,” she says, “You’re too trusting! Be careful.” How people get this about me in so little time, all the time, I really can’t figure out.

But I smile, because this time it didn’t really bother me coming from her and, “I say I’ll work on it.”

She says, “Don’t work on it. Just do it. Listen to your gut!” and she puts her hand on her 3rd chakra, where will comes from, just above where the hara sits. The hara some think to be the seat of the soul. The hara a zen master focuses on while in zazen mediation, breathing into it, and out from it.

And she says, “Listen to your higher power,”  and motions around her head, and I feel the import of the meeting then, like this supposed to happen. Like I was meant to meet her. Like my horoscope told me today I’d grow close in love to someone. I interpreted it wrongly or maybe I interpreted it rightly. For it felt very much like falling in love. A sudden pleasant drop, not unnoticeable, just welcoming close fond regard on some other plane I could not see but could feel. And she spoke to me next of Buddhism.

She says to me, seriously, fowardly, with eyes serious and bright, “I’m Buddhist do you know what that is?”

Smiling in recognition, not just at the similar belief, but at the realization of why I was here, and I say, “I used to practice Nichiren Buddhism but now I lean more towards Zen.”

She says “NAM MYOHO RENGE KYO!!” most forcefully, in this colorfully African American way, with church gospel inflection, and head bob, and confides with a wink Nichiren Buddhism is the true Buddhism. I remember thinking with fondness all religious people say that. We spoke of religion.  I said I make a study of it.

She said, “Don’t study it, do it!!”  And she asked abruptly if I draw. I told her I am am artist and a writer. She said one day I was going to do something great with my art and writing, something to change the world. Something I would do so soon. It felt, as she said it, like a higher power was speaking. I could feel her channeling higher energy. Then she told me people in my environment have a lot of negative energy, which tries to being me down. Not to let it. She said she doesn’t know me, at all, but she knows all this, that I have so much talent.  She told me to chant. Go back to it.

“You must,” she puts up her hand as she says this, like painting in the air with her fingers, “visualize what you want as you chant. The power lies in people, that whomever you believe in, god, a higher power, whomever, you must remember that power lies in you. You are in control of what you live.” Again she held her stomach, right at the solar plexus, at the 3rd chakra.

She introduced herself as Ms. Lucille and the taller woman was Wanita, or Miss L, and Miss Nita. And asked after mine. “What’s your name?” in forceful introduction, in temerity.  And said I would see her again. “Probably next week,” She says. There are several hugs of parting; I would try and break away, aware I needed to get back by a certain time, only to be pulled back in to chat then hug then chat again. It was hard to tear myself away from such awesome acceptance. And then just as abruptly as she commandeered my attention she let me go with a quick, “Bye Bye.”

And as I walked away, she says “I love you, Wendi.”

I felt, standing near her, such closeness, to something so big and more powerful than I. I felt such thinness of her humanness compared to her unbounded spirit. I felt so, intended to hear and understand and listen. I noticed as I left her I was as happy as I had been on the first date i had with the love of my life. I felt buoyant. I know I whispered a quick, ‘Thank you,’ to the above in extatic gratitude. And my step bounced back to my train, which arrived just as I reached the platform, and my train seemed to fly back to where I was supposed to be much too quickly. It was so clear how much my internal and spiritual work had abruptly manifested in reality.

It was so clear in my mind why all the obstacles came into my path today, leading to that final key encounter. It was so clear it sounded like a loud throat–ahem–sound. And I realized I have to act, as the final step to manifestation. And use what works.

I need to go to the city more often. I need to be moving. There is so much to feel. There is so much to encounter.

An Exorcize of Analogy

The beach is windy today. It blows the sands upon me; thousands upon more miniscule peppering of stones cling, and simper, and lean upon me.

They all decided to cling to me the moment I plopped down, and the wind took up, and the arch of my shoulder’s hunch against the brisk wind made a hollow for them to storm in and gather upon my boots, thighs, stomach, and breasts. When they began to find too much fondness for my face I closed my eyes, suffered the buffeting of the prickles of sand thrown against lips and eyelids and cheek hollows, until displeased with the lack of vision I pushed myself to a standing position and brushed them off.

It occurred to me, as this happened, the intellectual voice inside my head informed me in a lecture type way, that the grains of sand could be likened to thought-forms. This continued with similar thoughts leading outwards like, if each grain is a thought-form than the wind would be the energy which drives. The wind blows the sands around like energy flows thoughts into our minds, and each can cling to us, be grasped and picked up in handfuls, and slowly let fall through widened fingers, then excess brushed off. Some, of course, linger. They cling to skin and clothes and shoes. They cling to lips and hair and sit between our teeth to find when we taste them later. But they can be discarded, eventually. And they do remain just what they are, millions of tiny forms, at the ready of an eager wind, to blow around the vast empty corners of our minds, and create a storm if left to chase tail in such sinkholes.

As I walked the sand–where the sea gently lapped up and away– lightened as my weight pressed down. It was as if beneath my black cowboy boots with the pointed toes, there was a halo. A light like from some divine play to highlight each tread as I treaded it. And I watched this marvel and I wondered which was this in the brain? Neuron emission? The white light you see when you roll closed eyes too far in one direction? Evidence of soul? I never did decide on that ones identity. I did become too caught with the sight of sand, wet, collecting upon the tip of my boot sole and then thrown forward with each pointed toe as I walked. Like clomps of thoughts all affinity thrown into the future to be thought again at a later date. And the water would be the magnetic link holding them in company.

But what of the sea and sun and sky? What of the space that exists between sky and sand? What of the land which stretches beyond the sand and sea? What be all of they? And what of the refuse which lies in the sand?– Bottles worn by the taste of the sand grains running down harsher edges, pieces of discarded plastics and styrophomes. And Starbucks empty cups laying in wait to capture more sand.– Even the dead jelly’s and shell fishes lie upon the sand and half in it, like little way stations here and there. They also collect sand. What be they?– And the leaves and the seaweed. And what of the seagulls which stand feet locked in wet sand as the sea laps up around them then away again? And what of the coolness when the sun hides behind clouds or when it is stark against a naked sky and hot upon the sands? What does it be?

To all these questions the answers could be found,  but I find it tedious to continue to so. It real was just a passing fancy, this exorcize of analogy; product of an idle, stimulation starved mind. As I walked back from the beach– which met the sea– to the beach– which met the boardwalk– the wind was too strong for me. I felt it as though it ran straight through me, like my chest was a open heart hole, which didn’t feel quite right so I turned myself around and walked backwards all the way back. It was an interesting perspective and also reminiscent of my analogy. We go forward through our lives with our back turned, watching where we’ve been, never seeing where we go unless we turn around. But if you turn around the wind’s too strong an energy. Eventually you either turn back around or just close your eyes. Either way, you still walk blind.

However, I did turn around just as I reached the fence, before I would have bumped into it; I guess I remembered where it was in the brief look forward. So, perhaps there’s something to be said for looking into the wind upon an occasion, for as long as you can handle it.