Tuesday, March 31, 2015

edited, augmented, to be divided

I found, in my fallen state, a diet appropriate to my blood type, and as a consequence, health in simplicity.   I cooked simply seasoned ground grass-fed beef under the broiler with onions while sweet potatoes with ginger, cayenne and cinnamon, roasted in the oven.   As the cooked meat rested I wilted leafy greens in the hot iron pan.

I biked, or walked, through the woods to work and saw hawks eating their catch on wide limbs of the trees of Dumbarton Oaks park.  I'd worked my shifts, having created a pub of my little bar.  I had little money, less to worry about.  I wrote to keep myself calm and kept in shape doing yoga.  I tried to minimize possessions to useful ones.  I recycled and tried to keep my usage of resources low and simple.

While wine provided a return to an archaic way of fostering community, I began to take a more considered view on my own habits, work-related as they were.  I'd feel the depression the next day after the night of giving way to my thirst.  I'd sleep fitfully, waking to a pounding heart, the body trying to rid itself of toxins.  I'd wake feeling lost.  I'd think of my mistakes, my sins of the past.

"Alcohol promotes an inflated sense of verbal facility at the same time that it lowers the boundaries to social cueing... A further brutalization of culture."  Terence McKenna.  Language of the Unspeakable, part 1/6, found on youtube.

Hamlet has this affinity for the players.  They represent the feminine, coming to the male dominated court of aggression.  Thus, the play his its deep resonance within our subconscious.  We sense the usurper, the imposing of male domination.

Is there a bit of Shakespeare saying that he personally feels lost unless, like Hamlet embracing the players, their egoless sensitivity, he writes, putting on his own play.  Like Hamlet fighting against something hard to define but physically present.  Hamlet is sensitive to the bluster of Claudius, the drunken tradition 'better honored in the breach...'  Hamlet doesn't try to dominate anyone.  He doesn't put the sword through his enemy when he has a chance, and this could be a noble thing, as the King is, after all, saying his prayers.  In terms of the male-dominant Western World Hamlet is known as unable to make up his mind, something of a wuss, rather than just a person being the deeply sensitive being that he is, not having bought into the Madison Avenue image of 'a man.'  Thus there is his amazing soliloquy about the nobility of man, how like a God, just as he is naturally.  The play is an amazing grasp for terms we stand to lose, in constant danger of being run over, quelled, outside the agenda.

Hamlet's father's ghost recites his sins, condemned to fast in purgatory flames.  A familiar feeling that might be to those caught trying to figure things out.  Hamlet, as well, must admit his own irrevocable deep insensitivity toward Ophelia the feminine aspect of the play, a sin which can only be dramatically resolved by his own death.  There is an eery parallel, we sense, between the sins of the father and that of the son, and one might conjecture, the sin of not embracing, not listening, not honoring the female.  (Which is perhaps why Gertrude is not so unhappy with her new husband.)

And there is, of course, as a musician might observe, an incredible tone ringing in Hamlet, the play.  Out of the writer's inner personal neuroses and issues, from which writers must, regrettably, write....  The tone in the speech of the ghost, in Hamlet by himself...

These almost feel like a writer trying to vet, trying to work through, on a pathetically daily repetitive basis, issues, issues with girls, issues with having not properly honored a princess nor his own father, even as such things might never been, of course, his intention.  What happened?  What fell down in the way of a young man doing the decent thing?  What cloud in his head or bad habit caused him to defeat himself and his fondest wishes?  All the stupid emotions, 'all the shocks of flesh that man is heir to...'  All the misunderstandings, portrayed, cataloged, so laid out in Othello, in Lear, in The Winter's Tale...

And writers are not so lucky to be able to escape from the omnipresent reality of their own stuff, their own errs and mistakes, are they, (but I suppose through miracles.)  Like Ted Hughes' Birthday Letters "falling out like a fruit, complete" (as he writes to Heaney explaining the unavoidable), the mind's eye must digest, deal with...

Have compassion, my therapist says.  Don't call yourself a creep, because you know your intentions were good.  Ruminate over the negative feelings you harbor toward yourself, rather than thinking of her so much.  Have compassion for yourself.

But there is always another session required.  No, no, it was all me, my bad.  My name is mud.  She was kind enough to me, though in a coded way, such that a fool would miss, and I was the one who did not respect her.  What was it?  My unconscious anger at something?  The depressive effects of self-medication?  The social post-frat party milieux?  Clouded vision?  Wild stubbornness?  Deafness?  Negativity?  The great mistake in never sitting down with the other to talk?  What was that about--some kind of shyness?

It seems that if you start out thinking of higher things, higher reality, a meaning, a purpose to life, everything alive, with soul, why do you end up with the greatest need of all to be able to forgive yourself, to find compassion for yourself with your self.

It's as if you think of Jesus Christ or Buddha or a Shaman, or Shane MacGowan or the Zen master, if you begin, then eventually you will very much need their aid.  If you think of yourself as a writer you will very much need to write, and never really get ahead of the game to your satisfaction.  Is it better to never think of such things in the first place?  Does Shakespeare infect us with the issues of a mortal mind?  If you read Ernest Hemingway you're going to be stuck needing him and Big Two-Hearted River kind of separate peace;  if you find solace and light in Larkin, you'll need to keep reading him.

If you read Job and Jonah then you have need for them.  But if you have a girlfriend, then, that will be all that you need.

What is it that makes us harsh and exacting to those we love, consciously or unconsciously?  What compels us to ruin our bright little lives for the sake, as it were, of higher thought and deeper understanding, and the kind of fresh higher consciousness that runs in defiance of the prevailing culture?  Who knows.

The fool mistake we all make when we invest our work with higher meaning... I've done it all, over the silly job of greeting people in a pub and pouring them drink and nourishment while music played, and even with writing.  The writing must be cathartic, I suppose, a simple bodily function, an inner tube of some purpose and then an outlet valve, that must be done on a daily basis, until it not work anymore.

She played with me rough and beautifully, as I tried to play with her the same way.

Friday, March 27, 2015

So Moses comes along, climbs his mountain, and comes back with the rules for an agrarian clearly property-ownership-based society.  A previously nomadic people caught in a desert, looking for a home, for good land, having a need to settle.

Jesus comes along many years later to help us get more realistic toward the human creature, that basically a lot of what we do, now that we've settled down into walled cities, is sin, that really a man commits adultery a thousand times a day, that the society based so rigidly on building up riches isn't so hot, that a humble return to the communal spirit and naive goodness of those whose illusions of society have been pulled away from them is a realistic approach.  Deemphasis on fire and brimstone sin bashing, rather a simple approach, 'it's what comes out of you, not which goes in, which defiles.'

Even the religious authorities, who guard, interpret, execute all the laws, are subject to the greater sins of being hard-hearted, hypocritical, selfish, arrogant, overly rigid, unrealistic.  Not loving thy neighbor, nor taking the Lord of goodness and charity as important.  Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, he tells them.  Ouch.  It's as if he is saying that we must accept the nomadic quality of the creature, that goodness and righteousness is found on the road, maybe even provided by the good kind-hearted Samaritan, as if such people were an unlikely source of anything good in the collective viewpoint of the day.

It's as if we must go further and further back to the earliest of campfires, to the sharing of the kill, to the things that can happen when the moon is full, and find a decency and an innocence and a remarkable mind capable of beautiful things.  And there find, or rather remember, the qualities that will get us through the next thousand years on the planet.

Who is it that we let determine the value of a person as far as allowing them to have an efficacious life?  Based on what they do 'for a living?'  Indeed, you might get suspicious, why there are so many lawyers in the city, struggling to keep the rules in place by making new ones.

Who else do we have but the artists, writers, dancers, painters, musicians, film-makers, to set the way forward as far as reasonable values?  Or perhaps someone who takes all such things into consideration, but putting them all together by dint of understanding the common depths from which such things rise from.  And that person, almost by definition, would have to stand outside the norm of 'how society works,' have to suffer the great devaluation of the human being...  A person not able to fit in so well in any particular pre-made box.  A kind of scapegoat as far as the way, the mode, by which he can garner his knowledge.

I go to a hockey game, invited by neighbors.  The arena, a world of male dominance, beer the drug of choice, flashing lights, the cheered-for scuffle on the ice as a moment of real stuff and aggression, the importance of scoring, getting the puck into the net...  Leading me to reflect on a society that could be matriarchal.  I think of the importance of the women as anointer, as the choice maker, empowered to pursue what she wants to pursue, a strong woman.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I dunno, doc, it seems like when I visit family I cannot help remember her.  All the times I messed it up, when she was waiting for me.  It's like I didn't stand up for my own little family, all the good things it did raising me, all the work that went in to me.  I foolishly threw it all away over a course of a year and a half or so.  I loved her.  And yet I couldn't make peace between us.  I couldn't understand the part of the cycle that was rejection, her expression of dissatisfaction with me.  I couldn't see that as part of her waiting for me to fight for her, to be clearer about my heart's desires.

So there it is.  Like all the support my family had provided me, and as soon as I'm out on my own I act disrespectfully toward all that care and nurturing and the good parenting bringing out my talents.  It's almost like I was possessed...  Or I had some stupid quasi-religious idea about passivity...  leaving everything up to fate.  I'd put forth, and then I'd retreat.

And all you want to do, of course, is be respectful, to do what women tell you to do.  But I won't bore you with how I was a perfect fuck-up at every possible turn.

I tried to express myself.  I will say that at least.

Maybe I was needy.  Too needy, easily hurt.  Maybe I was self-medicating too much, yeah.  Which is of course not very impressive.

But I had all the talents I needed, along with all the opportunities, and I messed them all up.

That's how I could go about thinking.  I could see the vulnerability, of how I didn't make grandchildren happen for my mom to give her joy in her old age.  Irresponsible, all of it.

I will say, my mom points out maybe I wasn't cut out to be doctor-lawyer-banker-MBA.  That might be true enough.  It's kind of her to forgive me for being who I am.

And I do see a great wisdom in how my mom lives, which defies the way the world wants us to live now.

But here I am at fifty, struggling with this burden, which on a good day I interpret as some vision of deeper consciousness, an understanding of humanity that you can only really come upon yourself.  Not something they're going to teach you.

The first clue was an understanding of a diet appropriate to my own system.  We aren't all meant for the same mass-produced diet.  We get allergies.  Our guts go funny.  Our joints ache.  Our stomach and our pipes hurt.  We don't feel full.  Lots of things.

Yeah, back here on my own territory, I guess I torture myself less.

But I do believe in the primary importance of the matriarchal, and even what got me into trouble was being too obedient.  It would have been more psychologically healthy to, as they say, stand up for myself.  Then I wouldn't have had to waste all these years thinking about her, like when I wake up depressed, sore from the night shift.  That's just a part of the healthy way you have to think if the world's going to survive.  Women are more nurturing, closer to nature, less ego.  And I suppose that's why, ironically maybe, it stings so badly when we get rejected by them.  Indeed, it hurts.  It causes great physical and mental pain, like a sword going through your brain.  You have to walk it off, to let the sting ease away.  And that was part of my problem.  Because then I'd be too late, she'd have gotten impatient with me and seen it as a crucial lack of 'self-confidence,' as the modern world might interpret.  Stand up confidently for what you are doing, even if it is burning up fossil fuels, extracting them from the ground, polluting irrevocably everything you can get your hands on.  BE CONFIDENT!

In contrast to that, take Joyce.  I'd say he embraces more the feminine.  Writing words.

Or Jesus.  Happy are the mournful.  Maybe because they're the ones with some ecological sense, a spiritual sense, like it's easier for the poor man to enter the narrow gate than the man chortling over his riches, his selfish successes.  Happy are the meek, because they don't overdo it all so as to burn up every resource as one day we shall find out about.

In a way I wish I'd never heard about that, but, on the other hand it's wisdom.  And it also seems that nothing good comes without a deep cost, without a struggle.  I suppose that's why there are heroes and epic poetry cycles.  The poor hero going through all this life voyage stuff, the strange sights, the encounters.  The Greeks understood about ecology, they just had to put it in terms of cyclops and sirens and whatever else...   Enron.  Halliburton.  Koch Brothers.   Selfish people everywhere not giving a shit.

I dunno, maybe you finally realize the whole world is your mother.

Maybe we have to realize that we aren't the smartest of creatures.  We think we're smart.  But what do we know, like, about what's going on on the planet?  Then we should shudder.

Do we have to go through all these struggles to learn something?  Do you have to take up the cross of suffering for the betterment of the whole?  Looks like we do.  But at least then we can deny the blind following of convention.

I try to call my mom every day.  Does that make me a mama's boy?

I guess you've got to look forward, you know.  Nice young lady who comes to sing and play gypsy swing took the time to give me a few pointers on singing.  Very pretty, in fact.  So it was like a triple pleasure...

I guess that's the thing, to be open to learning from the feminine principle...

And all the tremendous stupidity, Doctor, of trying to follow my brother's sort of dominant beer drinking ways, the frat boy legacy, it's all cost me a good amount, when that was never really me.  Sad, yes.

But I guess you live through it, and finally see the light, far later on.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

There is within us a kind of memory, of an archaic past, imbedded within us, the kind of a life we all led as we as a species flourished, as our brains expanded, as we developed language and art.  Living now in modern world, we live in a mix.  It can be sensitizing, as when we remember and reflect on nature, and it can be desensitizing, which happens to us when we try to cope with certain facets of modernity.

The vision, the deeper intuitive memory, which cannot lend itself to any commercial packaging beyond its own nature, comes across as spiritual vision.   The intuitions can be labeled sometimes the stuff of religion, perhaps depending on the force that seems to accompany their visions.

The loaves and the fishes has a ring of a communal effort, as if the crowd silently chipped in and shared what they had out of their own pockets with the rest as the baskets were passed.  Jesus Christ, when told his family is waiting for him, responds that those who join him are family, beyond the particular blood relationship, as if to further put the point across of how we are to live in this world to make it all work out.  It sounds like he's being a jerk to his loved ones, lessening the importance of the family unit which raised him, etc.

The intuitive memory of our history does not necessarily need the heaviness of religion.  It could be a memory within that strikes a chord, say as Shane MacGowan recalls his extended family gathering in a Tipperary farm house on a Saturday night to play and sing all night.  Or when someone finds something familiar and grounded about tending bar, as if remembering the communal of the hunt effort, the run of adrenaline.  Or as one remembers a society led by the wise female rather than the strong male calling all the shots, as in myths of modern advertising.   In our deep past we outgrew, for a time, the primate habit of male dominance and pecking order, lived communally, everyone embraced for their individual ability, a point posited by ethnobotanist psychedelic thinker Terence McKenna I've come across on youtube.

Gut thinking is often communal.  I find it bent often enough toward the exploration of consciousness of which literary endeavors come from.

And this is the sort of thing I think about, to mull over with my therapist, that deeper sensibility, hopeful that there is indeed such a thing within us, that we might bond over.  Offering a way for us to understand the foolish and stupid things we do in life, like not approaching the pretty girl at a reunion football game obviously waiting for me, me feeling stung or pessimistic by her hanging up on me the night before, well within her rights.

By the time we've stopped to find terms for something, often enough, we have fallen away from the reality of the present moment into the realm of male domination.  We need to help each other find peace with each other beyond and before the placement of terms by which to understand.  Then we can see the very deeply flawed practice something, like fracking, for instance, is.

Writers are  those who must write, who must look to find terms that are in tune with reality, and their work is often a struggle.  One doesn't envy Ted Hughes in many ways.

A sketch before work.

Friday, March 13, 2015

I discovered the cave painting quality of early Hemingway short stories.  Truth and beauty.  The historical packing up of a saw mill town, Horton's Bay, Nick coming upon the old site faded into the ground with his girlfriend during a fishing trip in the story "The End of Something."  The prose was a thing of higher consciousness, presence in the moment.  Whereas before in DeMott's classroom of English 11 we had been readers, strenuous, bringing the moments of a poem to life, here was a deepening, along with the witness of a deeper reading being done upon life by Hemingway.  The artist going beyond the surface, beyond every day reality, making textual connections.

The story starts as the final loading up of the saw mill upon a departing boat, and it ends with Nick having broken up with his girlfriend, asking a buddy who drops by to leave him alone.

My paper was late by more than a week.  I got a C minus, and not a single comment on the paper upon its return.  Even as I had contributed to the classroom discussions.

I looked for the terms to put my experience in, and they were outside the bounds of what the professional academy wanted from me.  But I had noticed something, and I was stubborn about it, continuing with my ways of studying the literary text, taking too long.  And here was the material for my thesis which never was, taking up the process in the last works of Hemingway, as made sense to me for bringing home the concept of higher meaning.  I handed in, finally, a related paper in my very last class (to the man closest to a mentor) attempting to explain Hemingway's personal understanding and high consciousness of the experience of self, the comparison of the old fisherman and the old writer going back to cover the bullfights the last time.  Texts I found interesting.  The alignment was too curious a thing to pass up.  A coincidence of fiction with reality.

And still, not much a single grade of any good kind, not a single approbation, except a nod from a Classics professor I'd slipped the paper in with his own class' final paper assignment, but then again, some real understanding from another mentor as I tried to tease out the conversation.

But the society and the prevailing cultural trends down to the minutia can be discouraging.  Lacking imagination, obeying rules.


The brutal examples go back to taking the inner symbol of the caduceus, the rising chakras, the inner cross and halo, turned into the Roman's convenient style of execution, Peter crucified upside-down.  As if to say to a prisoner, oh, you're so smart, well, think about this.  The symbol, of the cross, though, having been transformed back to an inner meaning somehow tangible to the species on the gut level, stuck, gaining a power of its own, 'til it too was accepted.

The artist, seeking truth and beauty, and higher consciousness, has to constantly endure that tension, with fitting into the edge of a society which has no cultural interest in acknowledging his critique, his upbraiding, his example, his teaching, as it preserves itself, replicates its messages on a daily basis in a pervavsive way, preaching its logical common sense logic, having created a language of terms to match its message.  The artist has no option but to retreat within, to find peace and vision, and then, if he has some luck, to come back with it as best as can be put into the form of words or other art.

Convention will generally want you to behave, to fit in:  if you're an artist, replicate yourself as what we know an artist to look like and act like already.

The artist himself will wish to fit in.  To say, I'd like to fit in, but really I am unable to, is another expression of a deeper truth, like unto the phrase speaking of the savor of the salt of the earth.

Out for a late dinner I drink wine, later have difficulties falling asleep, wake up with the familiar down feeling, as if having lost a train of thought.  Leaving me to wonder if wine is abused, sanctioned as the socially acceptable drug, but missing the mark, dulling 'the infinitely gentle infinitely suffering thing' with its 'vision of the street as the street hardly understands,' in ultimately a greater state of loneliness.  That we drink it to fit in with society might be a clue, though that is certainly not the only reason why, the definite medicinal quality of it.

Washington, the town of political ideology, and its unimaginative drug of choice... its way of using that drug, again, with convention, with corporate and tax collector stamp of approval.  Something intrinsically unconventional, mind-opening.

The thing comes for the artist to not avoid awkwardness, to not avoid the state of being outside of facets of prevailing cultural trends, but to gain, to find deeper awareness, to explore what it might be like to be the outsider, off in the desert.

The artist must engage his own mind, converse with it.

One grows more convinced that the shamanic tradition and practice, which could be similar to the way Larkin finds his words and lines, of the way MacGowan's mind wanders a city, is the satisfying thing.  That, to me, is the way to make use of a spirit, to use it as a vehicle for creativity, a very personal matter, the exploration of a very personal territory, one which takes bravery to explore.

I wished, after a shift we would all hang around, break out the milk crates, pull out a musical instrument or two.  Everyone was bound to go their separate ways, irritated for not being paid overtime, working up to the brink.  Then we could have sung and exchanged jokes in a healthy way.

I sometimes think that the drink is misused in conventional society.  To me it's a drug to be taken alone, as oft as not, though of course it starts in the social realm.  But I don't even like to go out and drink, seems to blur and miss the point.

Ay, Horatio, but there is something of thy science.

Tis conventional, I mean to say, the act of.  Rather not to ingest it as with weeds and barks of the shaman, for betterment, to think our way out of this, as you say, congregation, sir.

I shall repeat thy lines, they gave me these glasses at the mental hospital, so I could see better.

That was a funny of mine, my liege.  Where I came-est up with it, I do not know.

Came-est up with that, I have came-est up with that, aye sir.  Ha ha.

Wouldes't we be getting up to thy Good Guys, up on Wisconsin Avenue?  Each Denmark hath such a house.

Back to your science, Horatio.  Horation.

So do I contact MacGowan, through the playing of him, as he's not here to do it himself, wish that much I would.  Most excellent to have him here at any moment, really.  Along with George Harrison.

It's the convention, it's always the convention and the conventional thinker.  They are the ones who make it hard and unhappy.  They don't grasp the positive element, the real studious effort that is happening when you explore the psyche, through wine or weed or walk in nature.  Your attempt is of understanding, in an honest way, perception.

Literature, I suppose, is a jump, inherently, against verbal convention.  It invites havoc, imagination, counter-culture.  Inherently is it a different step from a programed routine of consciousness as allowed by society, as regulated and taxed, its time accounted for.  That is one reason why writers always have problems paying the bills.  As if the most acceptable form of writing is that which can be bribed, for not going far enough, let's stop it there, with a few exceptions.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Then there was the full moon, on top of the return of the Gaul.  The music came out, and I ran through my Pogues repertoire, put some of it up on Facebook, feeling the joy of being an amateur at it.  The singing bartender, as a colleague put it when I got back to work after my lark into the world of MacGowan.

Then the work week.  Rising slowly, fortifying myself with lamb sausages and hamburgers cooked under the broiler while sweet potatoes toasted in the over chamber.  Steaming collard greens and kale, green tea, hot shower, fold a shirt, no time to do yoga, bearing the poor offerings of the employee meal, the egg white only omelet, the sharing of the chicken wings with the rest so that one could eat three, no more...  And the adrenaline.  The constant interview situation, the meeting of minds, faces, the dodging aimed precise art of service, a yoga itself.  Leading up to the long one, the second Jazz night of Wednesday, the motor revved for a good nine hours straight, the best conversations allowing themselves only at the end.  Home to flop into bed, but then unable to sleep as the light rises.

At the end of history.  One third of the planet covered, one third of the coastal oceans fished, all the results of human evolution and development, manifesting into the world, upon the earth, in three dimensions, the plans of better existence, the agricultural settlements, the cities, the infrastructure, the advancement of ego in the wane of the communal, the ideologies, the organized religions, the marching of armies, the quest for power, mineral rights, national economies, the burning of fossil fuels to make it all a constant on-going thing one hardly should question more than the nose on one's face, seemingly.  Specialization of skills, jobs, the rise of the computer to fit the settled mindset.  Natural the brain surgeon who works over matters of life and death should garner more of the society's stuff than the waiter who's primary skill is efficiency, marked by politeness, organized, allotted a bicycle, perfectly happily.  The monkey pecking order.

And so yes, of course, the rise of the amateur, the idiot, when there is no more space left in the world to push human enterprises into, when there is a great outweighing of newsworthy stuff to market and report upon overwhelming the individual ability to begin to digest it all meaningfully.

Then, what do we all do?  People clamber to send their children off to the limited resources of higher education, hyper competition, that begins to make meaningless the privilege of institution.

A woman, in tight leather pants, with laced high heels, wonders aloud at the end of a boisterous night of mom's meeting out for a drink, a bite to eat and cake, why it is the children of just such a comfortable affluent life of highly educated parents who are beset by problems of the mind, medicated as they go off to school.

So then what, of space, of the attitude of bringing our enterprises for profit and success into the world when there is no more space to be healthily enjoyed, without the cost of finding space so high as to make the enterprise's worthy questionable;  when only the wealthy, invested in the whole top-heavy system built upon the burning up of natural resources, can selfishly afford the vacation, the visit to pristine nature?  How then do we treat space and time and measurable areas of the world we live in?

The healthiest answer seems to halt and take stock.  What if we were to take what we already had.  What if we made the whole thing not a matter of competition, but a matter of developing something out of the spirit, out of the hidden inner voice, to bring higher meaning into the daily activity and work we do, to do what one does in a thoughtful way...

To put it into the terms we already employ seems to not make much sense.   More a matter of gut instinct, or a sense of the peace which comes from sitting under a tree, by a stream, listening to a bird.

The last day of the workweek, I ask of the two good school teachers, British, seated at the bar with wine and charcuterie, what is Whitsun, as in Philip Larkin's "The Whitsun Weddings."  And I then have something to smile about as I ponder the great poem of modernity and time and the loss of communal life.  Whitsun, a Sunday in May when church-goers don white garb, in honor of Jesus returning in holy light before the Ascension, the return of the communal archaic of high consciousness to 'the rented world.'

"Culture is a plot against the expansion of consciousness," I find Terence McKenna saying in a lecture found on youtube.  "And this plot prosecutes its goals through a limiting of language.  Language is the battleground over which the fight will take place.  What we can not say we cannot communicate."  To step outside of culture can be a good thing, a worthy experiment.

And who can do it but the old shaman, or a wordy old bachelor librarian who takes weekend bike rides stopping by old churches and church yards, or the bartender who's allowed his work week to open, flourish, and then patiently to come to a close, speedily passing by in retrospect.  You can't do it if heavily invested in society or in art such as it is.  You have to look outward and skirt around the edges of culture, probably in a way where nature is never out of reach.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

In my spiritual pursuits that went in conjunction with tending bar in restaurants, I heard a lot of music, and that part of the job made me happy.  I didn't take the music to be anything more or less then the good stuff it was.  I absorbed it.  Lyle Lovett singing "If I had a boat..." during my day shifts.  Hank Williams, "Why Don't You Love Me..." and Marty Robbins over early dinner service.  Later on at night, The Cure, The English Beat, REM, along with Dwight Yoakum, Elvis, Joe Ely, The Neville Brothers, Clarence Gatemouth Brown as well as Junior Brown, Jerry Garcia.

Artistic stuff comes from beyond, when we are open up to listen.   We receive how to do something ourselves after listening to it.  It comes easily, when we simply trust ourselves and listen.  The art is there, it just comes through us.

That's why I've never fussed about where I've worked.  Anyone in the world could come in, and many did, and I talked to them.  And for me it was a space, each a pub, a public house, in its own way, given its own guise.

The full moon is cleansing.  It reminds us of what we are really doing, in, and on, its own terms of earthy creativity.  Art and music come easily.
Well, you can either stand around like a dumb monkey after you wash the dishes and ponder what to do with the day or you can sit down and write out a few internally based thoughts, thoughts that are based on other thoughts, a finding of pleasure in the continuity.  Seems to be good for you.  Better than staring at yourself in the mirror.

I guess I found myself living in a time, in a generation broadly defined, in which much emphasis was placed on making money.  Not to blame anyone, a natural logical reaction.   Too little emphasis was placed on finding a sensitive inner spirituality to a task, in looking deep into the possibilities of life and coming up with things that were, whatever one did, spiritually good.  The good things are found in the things people naturally do, seeking company, having a glass of wine with dinner, finding the broader conversations that can happen when people open up a bit.

There I was, often feeling devalued, my not fitting in with all the people who got graduate degrees and went on to work in firms, in corporations, in institutions, who worked hard, long hours, went home, having a home, supported a way of expensive living.  My life was indeed almost the polar opposite of such success stories.  And on days of poorer moods I could well ask myself what I had accomplished, not a lot.  My picture of that might be similar or different from yours, a renter, no extra bucks to take vacations, basically supporting the basics.  And yes, fortunate to have the dignity of work, a job to go to, one that I did not always able to understand as to what I was doing with myself.

These considerations led me to think long and hard, and people who think long and hard can go through long periods of not getting anywhere, back to square one, back to square one.  Pondering the human depths, reading spiritual literature, exercises, yogas.

My father, having read my book, a finer wordsmith, a deeply wise man, wrote in a letter that I was, in effect, too sensitive, too thoughtful about things, for the Princess, for us, or 'them,' to settle into the deeper intimacy and experimentations of young body's explorations of the bed.  And his read is, fortunately or not, basically correct, even as I try to understand that statement.  The dopey feeling is rooted in a basic fact, that's how it goes.

And so too have I been too sensitive but to go and do what I have done, which is to be happy waiting on people, happy listening to them, and allowing a kind of a possibility of a spiritual opening up, something related to the gatherings of humanity that have most ancient roots.

There is something very deep about that.  And if you stand through a night, sometimes toward the end of it, the talk turns generously and peacefully to the explorations of consciousness which indeed people find very interesting.

There can be a bias against all of us who feel a need to return to the ancient ways, who've built up an encyclopedic knowledge of nature's riches, the lesser materialism of the nomad life, who like to experiment as is still done in the post-hippie age.  Perhaps because it does indeed threaten the status quo of the corporate meted out lifestyle that requires a radically different kind of thinking to get out of.   There can easily be exploitation of such values, a misunderstanding, a shallowness, the context of everything placed in monetary terms.

Enough, too much, has been put into the world, paved over, built on, institutionalized.  The thing is to realize the hyper space, the deeper dimensions of what we already have here, to see the spiritual presence in the common things.

I gets it's just hard to look past the worldly logic and see the spiritual in everything.  That is why it takes being sensitive, to see it, to be tuned in, and that's all some of us can do and achieve in this life. That's how one goes about identifying one's fellow human beings, the ones you can talk to.  Not much of a material thing at all.
And when I'd had a good night with stimulating people who allowed conversation to happen out of a real explicit openness--I didn't be needing to see a therapist, just to talk with friends, real friends--it was good to get home and my mind was still quite intact.  I'd had a glass of Pinot Noir, a glass of Beaujolais, a sip of Bordeaux, a half glass of Chinon, with dinner, around 2:30 AM, of liver south of France style, and I was clear.

When the trees were covered in the ice storm, each and every finger of every tree coated evenly top and bottom with a layer of clear ice, and then when a rain came and did the same, such that every brach and twig and finer twig glistened (almost pre-sexually), the pattern emerged, of how every tree near a street lamp grew in perfect circular alignment.  The tree limbs were revealed as bending circles holding the halo of light evenly within.  No branch grew toward the emanating light.  Each curved around in a complementary curve, the lower one a holding hand, the upper a steady one.  Down to the last tendril, the finest of the growing tree.

"You are your own boss up here," Chef.  He looked at me.  Cool.

Talk.  Talk to your friends.  Carmen.

There was always this big generous ape standing behind me.  And when I got comfortable and self-confident enough with myself, the big generous very soulful ape would come out.  Huge sized.  Big arms to surround one.  An intellect to embrace all of one's real thoughts.  Great conversations would come out.

The big ape was good with people, and I could relax and quietly listen.  Give them my feedback at at their good merriment with a look.

The big generous ape spirit, of mankind, and all the adepts, would come out and see me home on my bike, rain splattering up, taking the curve by the cemetery, then dropping down to Q Street, the ramp, over the bridge, then up through the circle, through Sheridan then eastward on R, up to the cobblestones of 22nd.  The big good ape was within, smiling down, like the pensive Thinker statue but smile beatific and happy.

That's why I've had problem with Virgo before.  They cannot allow the big generous ape, or see him in a different way.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

But I wake every day, to the familiar lack of satisfaction and resolution, and all it can be is a spiritual need.  The sense of erotic dissatisfaction becomes a dissatisfaction with the way the world is, with human consciousness, such as it is, with a sense of the huge failure of human society to be a part of nature's matrix.  However you want to put it.  It's just not working anymore, the whole model of selfish fossil fuel...  Where do you begin to find a way out of it?  No one can escape the environmental stuff.

And consciousness, exploring the higher, is the only way, given the failure of self-based limited consciousness, ego, etc., etc.   The wine works, to an extent, but not really.  It's too much apart of conventional wisdom, of the agricultural dominating business model.  The wisdom of our hunter gatherer ancestors must be found deeper, further back, in botanical stuff.

The distracting psychological issues, the make up, the particular experience in any family might be as much related to the basic problem.  The problem of boy meets girl, boy loses girl might be seen against a longer broader context, one which shows how selfish conventional thinking is ruining the world we live in.  The problem of not having a great career is because of a deeper integrity toward the earth, the direct relationship a writer creates and experiences, has with the world.   He writes what he sees, what he feels, what he thinks.  That's too bare and exposed for most people, too much information.

Every day one is compelled to go off to work, out into the conventional world to please the powers that be, to go along with it.

Tonight, chance of rain, one hundred percent.  (I get around on a bicycle, so I pay attention to weather conditions.)  Chance of coming home to a lovely partner for some kind of beautiful relaxing life-affirming Tantric seance?  Zero.

Living in suspended animation, always caught, unable to wriggle free.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Okay, Doctor, I was talking to my friend...

So let's say, for the sake of argument, that my childhood involved a parent with borderline personality disorder...  something like that.  Mild form.  Fear of abandonment, irrational reactions, 'I'm a bad person...'  No one's fault, just that's how it goes.  The child develops coping mechanisms.  Maybe a kind of patiently letting the episode play itself out, keep a this-is-normal face on.

But the world doesn't simply operate, it won't give you the things you need, if you just cope, passive, everyone get along, I can talk to everybody...  I threw my entire coping mechanism into the thing with the girl back in college, and just coping isn't positive enough, it isn't active enough, it doesn't really do it.  She would be waiting for me to come through and I didn't know how to do it, except in very faint subtle ways that weren't enough for her.

So then you realize everything, like what you should have done, too late.

And that's how you start out in life, by being the great martyr to coping, to everyone getting along, but not very able to stand up for what you want out of life, to go ask for it.  So you end up in sort of open codependent relationships.  Mr. Nice-guy.

That's a painful realization, to come upon, half-way through life.  It's frightening.  You've lived your whole life in such a way...  Now what?  Where do you change?  What do you want out of life, after politely going along with everything, the peacemaker?  How do you stand up for yourself?  Making everyone happy except yourself.

You really don't even want to see it.  The damage.  Don't rationalize it, making it into high Christianity, it's just human cowardly psychologically stuck behavior.

And I guess that girl was the perfect thing for me to run-up against to make it all come out, to show my faults off, making them plainly visible.  A people pleasing escapist dreamer...  Yeah, she called me out on my shit.  That's what smart people do, that's what women do.  Yeah, good luck with that.

I guess that's why I've held onto it for so long.  The difference between feelings, knowing what you want, and what you end up with.  The great mystery of my fucked-up-ed-ness.  All my creativity I've thrown at it, that too just a coping mechanism.  Instead of facing my problems.

Yeah, all the higher consciousness Jesus Buddha stuff...  I mean, good for them, but it doesn't really do it down here on Earth.

My flawed modus operandi, everything's fine, sure...