Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Cyclops Morning

This morning has me thinking that monotheism is having a hard time seeing non-duality with two eyes.

"God is one as nothing else is, and if it can be said, He is one-est." St. Bernard of Clairvoux, De Consideratione 5

"Out of medusa's wound, two mythical entities emerged: Pegasus the winged horse and the one-eyed giant Chrysaor, the warrior with the golden sword. The golden sword represents penetrating truth and clarity. The horse is a symbol of the body and instinctual knowledge, the wings symbolize transcendence. Together, these aspects form the archetypal qualities and resources that a human being must mobilize in order to heal the medusa (fright paralysis) called trauma. The ability to perceive and respond to the reflection of Medusa is mirrored in our instinctual natures."
Paul Levine, In an Unspoken Voice 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Secrets from Ourselves

It appears, with all the dreams I've disclosed here, I may not have a sense of the value of a secret. Perhaps I'll never appreciate secrets fully, or privacy. I don't know too many people who harbor secret treasures like a personal wealth, but I've known a few.

Last night I dreamed I accidentally shot myself up with morphine. I was waiting for some wonderful state to overcome me but the only thing that happened was that a silver-dollar sized circle on the top of my left hand started to feel strangely solid and distinct. Seems like a coin in the hand is more useful than  a coin on the back of a hand.

One reason people don't share their inner worlds is because separation anxiety turns us towards fitting in. Separation anxiety is not just for toddlers, as adults we experience it as a loss of critical resources and a collapse of networks. It is indeed a threat to survival, unless one is independently wealthy. One has to assiduously maintain a very particular veneer to remain an icon of comfort and hope to one's milieu. And milieu's need lots of comforting. So that inner world, please, keep it to yourself.

In my dream my two older brother figures who were morphine addicts kept feeding me these big sandwiches, which I happily ate. They left me alone at one point and that's when I accidentally shot up, not ever expecting that I would. Implanted in my hand was a self-medicating device which I accidentally knocked against something, releasing the drug.  The world didn't fall apart, as I expected it to.

It's amazing what we do unconsciously and automatically, the drives we hide from ourselves. We think we are simply the most responsible, kind people while we unconsciously dig at and and undermine ourselves and others. On some level we feel bad about the things we do but most likely project that guilt onto others whose behavior we are happy to find fault with. It seems like a vicious circle.

I'm not sure what motivates me to post such personal things as dreams and inspirations, but I know that when I do life becomes more rich and magical. That aside, there are things that I haven't said and couldn't bring myself to. When I used to try to tell people certain very sacred things I've experienced I would become hoarse and my throat would go into spasm. Now I rarely try although with certain people the story comes out easily. It remains a challenge, negotiating what I can and cannot say, and how I need to say it, whether I'm throwing a pearl before swine or swine before pearls. I'm afraid the journey of understanding and being aware of one's impulses yields some disquieting wardrobes.

Friday, March 7, 2014

metaphor for oscillating system?

Well, maybe…warp and weft? Or pode and antipode between which a taught wire has been stretched. Some people seem to have a good handle on the idea of duality, how it creates dichotomies at the same time that it holds things together. I have no sense of the non dual at this moment. Except that I know there would be no satisfaction if no dissatisfaction, no equilibrium if no disequilibrium.

No sweet dreams for me last night. No balloons, no treats in basket. Gamma rays, nuclear contamination, strange industrial domiciles, a home solid building threatening to break apart under my feet, tsunami. Was this a face of the divine? I saw the water surge through a window to my right, it was brownish and dirty and looked very wavelike. Then I felt the house below me start to move. I was surfing in the wide hallway of the building on hands and knees, the house itself my board. Perhaps I've been listening to Drunken Love too much on the radio? I was just waiting for the moment when it would all fall apart.

My son's homework last night was a page of true and false questions having to do with energy waves. I would have had to look up the answer to each question. Amplitude, crest, wavelength. Violet has the shortest and red, the longest. Just a little blue in there mixing things up I guess. Is there a relationship between the short temperament of the violent and the short wave of violet? What do you call our dual world?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dreams of the Divine

Life is depleted when I have no sense of the divine, and yet there are many images of the divine that do not seem to fortify my life in any way, although they may, at some later point.

The images that inspire rise like waves on the ocean and push me forward onto the chest of the ensouled, until some current takes me out to sea again. Life seems to be an oscillation of dissolution and  rearticulation, of confusion and deprivation and equilibrium and contentment.

I have been very content when my living dream imbibed a palpable sense of the holy spirit which came to me in the form of hoops, wheels and circuits in some ways reminiscent of the breast of birds.
View blog
That bottle has been put away down in the wine cellar, it hasn't been served in a while.

The night before last I dreamed of fire, of a telephone pole across from my house being on fire, of fire blowing in from the left and igniting things. The fire was bright and brilliant at the same time that it was terrifying. Last night I remember dreaming of being fascinated with a girl in my dream, she was between childhood and adulthood, a sort of go between. She was a chubby African American girl wearing exuberant styles, terry cloth red shorts. She had a 2 foot tall afro that separated into three sections and was carrying three helium balloons in her right hand. In her left hand she carried a basket filled with good things to eat that she would deliver to a man that managed the children.

I keep seeing this light-hearted trinity imagery as it seems like the generosity of spring turns towards us. As cold as it is, the sun shines brightly and there's the potency of new growth in the air around us, hunched in between things ready to weave together new life, growth, a new mandala. I'm going to keep revisiting this wonderful dream figure today, she gives me a sense of the divine that's human, humble and unpretentious, solid and yet light, generous and exuberant.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Reunion by Fire

One of the most horrible-wonderful stories I ever read was “The Little Match Girl” by Hans Christian Anderson. I reread it recently- as the child lit the last match to keep warm and succumbs to hypothermia and starvation she sees her dead grandmother appear alive before her in a way reminiscent of the flame’s warmth and hope. It’s interesting that fire can represent this kind of warmth and hope but also the terrible wrath implicit in the fires of hell. 
Cold or hot will do but not lukewarm, I’ve read. In this world we can slip off into complacent holding patterns which threaten an inertia to numb and anesthetize our yearning for deep love, connection and true comfort. Reconciliation and reunion seem to require the love of beauty and origin or the suffering  that renders inadequate coping with disappointment for what it is. One cannot live life selling matches, passing on the potential of life commercially without feeling any of the heat and light of ensouled reunion with our naked essence or another’s. In this way moments surrounding death are more drenched in life than those long holding periods where we work to avoid what is called “bad” and work to accumulate what is called “good.” How long can one tolerate a separation from life, from soul, from origin? How long can one go without laying eyes on the sun?

The wrathful fires of hell seem to embody God’s rage at our capacity to forget our origin, our divine source, forget him, forget ourselves - for we are his work. Unlike snowflakes that melt soon after they’ve graced creation with their beauty, humans in their unique and specific formulation can decide to either hold true to their manifestation and its implicit longing and risk or erase themselves because the pain of authentic life burns and tears too greatly. 

Even some who have succumbed to psychological dismemberment due to the heartbreak of disappointment have recovered, at last for a while, to be reunited with their endowed glory. The story of Jean, a schizophrenic child treated by Erik Erikson, shows how, with heroic love and courage her mother helps her integrate her body and senses into her consciousness after natal separation trauma undermined her hope of having her need for love met and caused her to erase her humanity, her human vulnerability. With support Jean’s fingers became her allies in creating a sense of an ordered, trustworthy and wonderful world as well as a feeling of being worthy of love. First came finger plays that represented the peace she’s made with the world, and not long after that her mother realized she was playing familiar tunes on the xylophone. Before long she became a consummate, sensitive and versatile piano player. 

Jean didn’t ever recover normalcy, she couldn’t habituate by generalizing a sense of trust to her world and she never developed normal social skills. After many years her difficult behavior necessitated her institutionalization. Those years when she lived at home and had healed enough to learn piano and vibrate with the music of the world mirror an earlier time when, even though she could tolerate no human connection, she ecstatically danced with her beloved eggbeaters and other safely non-human objects. While she lost humanity, she never lost love, and lived with more love raging inside her than most sanely habituated individuals ever will. Surprisingly, to read about Jean as described by Erikson is to catch the fire of life again. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thoughts of St. Anthony

The house smelled like burning plastic for days. I opened the windows in winter to let the air in, air that gripped us with cold and did little to diminish the smell of evil. My husband put the pan with the singed handle on the ground outside the back door, the square one good for grilled cheeses. It's still there, filled with water. Sometimes needles of ice articulate the surface, other times it boils with falling rain drops. Cooking on its own, like nature has always done, weightlessly, while the civilized drudge up and down staircases.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

blue

I dreamed I was the blue until I saw the blue
I saw the sunset and felt it melt my chest.
Each dawn was a radiant bleed of passion.
I'm not me anymore, I'm a man I don't know
His eyes are closed and he's smiling a little.
I'm not me, I'm a leaf, dried, brown and rising,
with a central line starting to burn.
When I die, I won't see the sky, I'll be it.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

dharma walk






Lately it seems like the scenes of life somehow arise from within like dreams. "...that the world is an illusion...is the profound ambrosia of the buddha's teaching." It nearly convinces me not to care about what's won or lost through effort and striving, or think that I ever had any real control over it.

This morning walking the dog first I found a book about cloud formations, and then a little while later an edition of Nagarjuna's Precious Garland. I felt like I'd been following the finger of Dharma around the mostly empty streets of Windsor Terrace. Summer is quiet.

The parsley worms that I keep finding on the fennel growing outside are likewise quiet, mysteriously appearing and disappearing, growing fat in a matter or days, elegantly changing their designs. Maybe they'll become swallowtails, maybe they won't. All I know for sure, they are as fond of fennel as I am.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Saturday, June 8, 2013

dynamics of afflication

If one were never afflicted, one could learn very little about compassion.  Sleep paralysis was my most bizarre problem, I'm still trying to figure out what it taught me. I was haunted by it until about 7 years ago. You've seen the paintings perhaps, a woman stretched out on a bed with a enormous demon lying on her stomach? That is what it feels like. You wake up and can't move your body. At first your hearing changes, it sounds like someone's turned a radio station with very poor reception full blast. You might hear voices or just crackling electric static. You might "see" things around, for instance, things that look like the spirits of dead pets or souls passing through. Then you start to feel pressure, as if something evil is squeezing you, and as hard as you try, you can't move to escape. It takes all your will power to get your body to move, and as soon as that happens, you wake your body up and escape the state.

 The last time I had Sleep paralysis I had started working with Joe Monkman, a shamanic healer with incredible discernment and compassion. I give him credit for curing the afflication. The last time the pressure and loud noises started to come over me, there was a sudden flash that looked like a candle flame right in front of my third eye. That was the last time I felt it creep up on me. It has never come back. I'm so happy that I was led to the shamanic path via Joe, and if you tease me and ask me if I burn sage from time to time, or if I'm a believer in spiritual medicine, I'll say hell yes. The tradition has been incredibly merciful to me. I don't understand why I suffered from this, what the true nature of it is, but I'm very hopeful that the situation improved.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

vulnerability

Sometimes I worry that my neighbor is having open heart surgery on my behalf. With every inhalation, another chance to open. With every exhalation, another chance to relax.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

fast clocks



















Some truck-mounted scenery on Kent Avenue this morning was too eloquent in light of the tragedy that took place in the vicinity early this month when a young couple and their gestating child died needlessly. All kinds of people drive a lot like Mr. Acevedo. My daughter and I have almost been hit twice now on 11th Avenue in Windsor Terrace. What sort of trance comes over a person when they get behind the wheel? What sort of disgusting power-lust gratification plays out?

Friday, March 22, 2013

central park, facing west





  


Schist strata exposed by the blasting that made way for Central Park West. The gleam of mica amid time's blackening here reminds me of William Bryan Logan's statement that "Beauty is the vocation of the world." The poetics of stratigraphy confound the mind.

Friday, March 15, 2013

What do you call....it?

Being in The Hall of Dead Names and Dry Skins did its part in steering me towards revisiting the geo and biopoetics recorded by Martin Prechtel in his account of life in a pre-westernized Mayan village. What if the only way to heal ourselves is by finding devotion-names for all the things scientific materialism has reduced to museum exhibits, classification reference books, raw materials for opulence. Language can begin to wake us up to the magnificent family we are part of in this web of all masterful articulations of matter.

creeepy beautiful


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Wonderlanders

Park Slope, saved, once again, by buried power lines and the subway system and those long, heavy things that run on those underground rails. Droves of people of all ages tore around the park in snow raptures as another one of water's super powers flaired out in full display.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

and the dead lived and the living slept


I made an offering of lovely things to the spirit of MLK yesterday, and also to the spirits of my ancestors. There must be as many of them as there are stars in the sky, all going back to a shared seed of humanity. If the tree of humanity can bear such fruit as our passionate tremulous song-voiced dreamer, then I dearly bless its germination.

Since January 1 I've found myself making altars in honor of the family dead, the ancestors I knew and the ones I didn't. This was an unplanned resolution. The altar-mandala-beauty offering, whatever you call it, does help me feel a connection. It seems to be a portal that breathes hidden life and warmth. I find myself in tears with a sense of the courageous and troubling and beautiful moments that shaped the lives of my forbears, all the jewels of their beings hidden from me but within my sense somehow. It is a place for weeping. I understand the Romans and their Lares a bit now, through a Talmudic story. As if to say, if as fetuses we were willed to forget the truth, then as the dead, we remember it again. So I pray for guidance for us living-sleeping from the endless dendrites of veiled but still warm beauty.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Wheel Turners

My new favorite word for problem is hucha, thank you to the Mayans. It's the sense of heaviness and dread that surrounds the things that terrify us. It rigidifies patterns that undermine the best in us and it entrenches people's creativity. In this sense, anytime a problem is identified and addressed, anytime a long festering contortion of truth comes to a head, a small-or large- miracle happens. It's amazing how long it can take to identify a problem, how we are masters at keeping them immaculately obfuscated. It's astonishing how may ways there are to avoid them and how many different kinds there are,  although it may be that they are all the same substance at the root.

It's also steep to reckon how much damage denying a problem day after day can do. I guess we get our mythic dragons and demons from these things, these gorgons can be so hard to face. What's down in the ditches with burs in the britches? Where in us is the knight, or the Mastermaid, with the charm to break the enchantment?  Still, sometimes it seems like all the angels just get together and sing "ENOUGH!"

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Monday, December 10, 2012

cloud cover


The sky a week ago..today the petticoats hang even lower. We walk around among a very slow and vast cotillion here in Brooklyn. A white haired woman on 9th Street who walked with the help of her shopping cart said she will do it while she still can. She'll do what she can, until he rings the bell. But he hasn't rung it yet. Instead, he gave her some free cutlets.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

brooklyn grub

















Something else I found, discovered while on my compost shift at the St. Mark's Community Garden, luckily it escaped the spade. Held in the gloved hand, as light as a moonbeam, then tucked back under the sweet black earth.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sun Drop


The lines below appear in a sacred Hawaiian text I came across oon Seeley St recently, a product of the weeding the shelves and thousands of years of indigenous Hawaiian mythopoetics. Of the books I pick up from the library of the streets I read few and keep less. This one,  Lelaini Melville's Children of the Rainbow, contains the Tumuripo, sacred verse that was until recently forbidden to Westerners. Everytime I read it, I feel so much better. Here's a selection of lines from the Tumuripo, the Hawaiian creation story. I find it in the same spirit as Walt Whitman's Song of Myself, and dedicate the poetry of these tropes to all of Brooklyn's leaves of grass and winged Nikes.

A Goddess ascended to Heaven, soared right up to Heaven
And mounted the luxuriant woodlands of the Celestial World
From where this trembling earth fled rumbling into the wind
She sprouted from, flew forth from, the King of Heaven
The "Cause" of Life that radiated yellowish-white light.
A chosen, esteemed spirit clothed in a raiment of flame.
The strange body of the Goddess was veiled in unfathomable mystery.
Calm and Peaceful it was when the soul of Man was developed in multitudes.
When the first 40,000 were breathed into being with a shout of joy.
Who caused this earth to roar through space.
Born in the breath of the Protector of Po was woman,
born with her eyes closed, from Infinite Ra, Infinite Ra.
With the rising of the sun came Ra'i Ra'i who alighted at dawn and produced her children who were born bisexual and dualistic in nature.

Po: the unknowable realm of spirit
Ra: Sun God
Ra'i  Ra'i: The Sun God's daughter