Sunday, January 27, 2008

if you live in a glass house

Funny how life brings it isn’t it? I mean we all sit in our glass houses hoping desperately that nobody among us thinks they are without sin, all the while looking for a chink in our brother’s armor—even if we aren’t his keeper. (how was that for mixed metaphor? at this point I’m not even sure what I’m talking about, but stick with me for a bit and we’ll learn together). This morning as I lay in my gloriously puffy bed with freshly washed sheets, reading e-mails, checking the news and wishing for breakfast in bed; I came across a thought of momentary noteworthiness that washed my struggling heart with serenity.

You see, I’ve had sort of a shitty week. Now I wouldn’t go so far as to say a totally shitty week, and it has got absolutely nothing on last week in the total stank department—in truth, things started to brighten up for me at least by Wednesday—so “sort of” really is a perfect descriptive in this case.(I’m just good like that.) What’s funny though is that the change from total to sort of just really insisted on inserting itself whether I liked it or not. And frankly I did like it; I have actually been doing some strange ritual of supination and begging this week and even considered various methods demonstrated in “agnes of god” for the truly devout to bring about a lifting of the proverbial gloomy cloud that has been pouring down, frizzing my hair and plainly ruining my make-up for nigh on a fortnight now.

When the breakfast in bed never appeared I roused myself for an outing to the local coffeehouse to enjoy a warm, ritualistic cup of eye-opener and some friendly banter. The banter was altogether at least 5 times as friendly as it has been for many Sundays and the learning was profound. My coffee companion began to describe a Sundance documentary by stacy peralta of "dogtown" fame called,"made in america" about the genesis of gangs in america and how they began from a genuine desire to build community and a sense of place in the world in the early 50’s—with no real intent or need for violence. My oversimplification (for literary purposes) of the plot linked my thoughts to the brief film I watched just last night about the favelas/slums in brazil and the nature of the gang violence and destitution lived there and the overall stinkyness of my past few weeks.
Then a little question arose in my brain or maybe from my heart…is it any wonder that the people of the world faced with amazing hardship and strife have a hard time rising above their trials when those of us with puffy beds and even the remotest possibility of breakfast being served there can’t seem to get out of our glass houses, quit trying to cast the first stone, wanting to find a chink in our brother’s armor and aren’t even the least bit interested in being his keeper? (not in the zoo sense of the word, but more in the jungle sense of “we’re all in this jungle together, why don’t we want to run in the same herd” sort of way).
The documentary told of how the men who started the gangs, or in their words—clubs, were looking for a place of fraternity where they could come together and form stronger bonds, hold their accomplishments up with pride—a place that wasn’t being allowed to them from the white community.
What is it in the nature of people that would not want another man or woman to be able to join with them because of a common bond? Why it is that human nature does not imbue in us an unquenchable desire to form these bonds wherever possible, to overcome our differences, rejoice in them and relish our similarities as well? When viewed in the global sense, this question is timely and oft disheartening…our nation and global village are crippled because of shortsighted behavior, but my question is posed on a poignant and purely personal level. If we can’t learn to see our literal brother or sister through the lens of unconditional love, even when they behave atrociously; if we can’t embrace our lover or best friend because we love them even when they disappoint us terribly, then at what point is it safe to say that nobody’s house will be left standing—glass or otherwise?
I don’t ask this question to imply that we should all abandon our opinions and differences, nor that we should hesitate to defend or even reveal them, I merely ask in recognition of my own learning…is there a way that we, as the closest of beings, can see each other in all our differences, embrace the fact that there are as many opinions and differences in this world as there are people and we are lucky to have people who love us enough to dispute those differences loving us all the while?
I suppose it was the experience of truly connecting with a few people this week, who while so different from me, were amazing and magnificent in their own right that I began to love them for it—which lifted the gloom, inserted the opportunity to connect through my heart, found the way to express diversity—even resolve conflict, all the while cradling it with compassion. It is this place which instills in me great hope for the people of the world—as we, as I, learn to see all my brothers with the heart--the differences no longer present a conflict, they present the opportunity to more deeply know another and through that, myself—and this will be our global village’s greatest triumph—whether we agree on it or not.

Now playing: Peter Tosh - Glass House
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sit! stay....stay.....

so i have to be fair and admit that many of my purposes for writing this blog thing are selfish, well probably most of my purposes are selfish--in fact, i'm open to suggestions about any reasons you can think of that this really isn't a wholly self-involved endeavor. that being said, however, i am coming to some really interesting realizations about myself as i write and read the things that appear in this blog. it seems i write differently for an audience, no matter how imagined or inflated in my mind that audience might be...i try to make more sense, come to some conclusions, be a little more reflective than i might be when only writing for myself. i get extremely stream of consciousness when it's just little old me, can't hold a train of thought to save my life, and certainly glad that so far it doesn't seem to be a requirement i care about when doing my personal journaling.

but should i really want others to follow along with general interest, a modicum of appropriate flow does seem important. so why is this point important right now? because when i review myself i find that i've made some really good points that if i would just pay attention to would really go a long way in helping me not to give in to my ultimate demise. case in point--the whole hiberNation theme--clear back in december i actually put it down in black and white that this season didn't feel like any other, and that my body and spirit both seem to really be calling for a respite. in black and white people, and yet here i am clear into january, new year's intentions clearly set and moving full steam ahead. aha, but here's the thing...(i love here's the thing don't you? there always seems to be some kind of thing) my only new year's goal this year was to live a life fully listening to my internal vibration, if you will. to actually pay attention to when my sense of inner self is vibrantly responding to what i am doing or if it is completely disgusted with my current choices.

now i don't mean this on the grand scale, well yes i do, but i mean it on the petite scale as well. to really start to listen to the little choices that lead to all the moments of my i really like this music, does it open my spirit to connecting to those around me in the way i want to connect right now, how do i want to connect right now, do i want to bring that subject up with him or will it be o.k. to just handle it myself, do i want to go out tonight or is a hot bath just the ticket--these are all questions that play in the most brief of ways through my mind and sometimes i just ignore them, plow right on through with my original plan. writing this out like this makes the plan seem very simple and sort of juvenile, but you try it. go ahead, i dare you to be aware all day long about the tiny choices. the thing i like about doing this is the practice, if i practice just the tiny things, it puts me in the right frame of mind or into the zone to feel it when the really tiny tremors come up to help me pay attention to the important stuff--these are signals i miss all the time unless i am in the practicing zone.

back to the thing--if i am acting on this intention then here's what i hear right now...this is not the time to move into any kind of full swing. what actually feels really right on a vibrational level is to allow the learning to flow to me, not to check things off lists--just allow the space for the really good stuff to rise to the top of the list and become the thing i am in the middle of doing. my words in december are ringing in my ears..."the soulself understands the nature of a time for... allowing the universe to catch up with intention". how is it so easy to lose sight of that simple truth for me? does anybody else struggle with this one?

so i'm adding to the epiphany phrases that pop into my brain, the vibrational hints my spirit sends. last week it was let go and let guy,--the whole living in the now thing, but i want to amend that one... how does let go and let dog sound? in the same hibernation blog, i gave myself some inner coaching to Sit and Stay--the same instructions we give our faithful friends when we want them to slow down and take note of something we are trying to teach them, or not to get too excited, or to wait for a damn doggy treat. the dog's life can provide amazing insight into our human lives if we watch them for a minute. so lama, sit...stay...stay... strange as it may sound or read in this case--the phrase goes a long way towards quieting the errant mind and allowing the much needed respite.

(hmmm, so this posting seems totally stream of consciousness, hope it made sense to anyone else but me; if not, thanks for allowing the rant)

Now playing: Elvis Costello - Alison
via FoxyTunes

Friday, January 11, 2008

Let Go and Let Guy

You might say that this week I truly, got religion. I have long been struggling with how to orchestrate my life in a way that brings true happiness and meaning, and I discovered that the answer was so much simpler than I ever believed. Many operate under the distorted opinion that we should turn our lives over to god; allow the will of that Holy Spirit to guide us in these latter days. We often hear the term, “let go and let god” in respect to this philosophy.

I must say that my conversion struck home as I deeply embraced the much hipper and cooler philosophy of “let go and let guy”. The learning came in such a simple way, from an arena for which I have long held mere disdain; and my eyes were nearly blown right out of their sockets when the statement hit me in all its brightness and perfection.

That Tuesday started like many others. after work i made a quick call to a friend, did he want to grab some dinner and a movie, hang out or anything that night—he informed me that he had other plans and couldn’t make it. Being the tight friends we are, I wondered what might keep him from spending a delightful evening in my company and so I asked. He already had plans for dinner and a movie with two other friends. The other two are also my tight buds and I began to grow suspicious, had I forgotten to shower that morning (he couldn’t possibly know that over the phone), had my belated christmas present of a regifted deluxe caramel apple less than impressed him, was it possible he was offended from the last time we got together and I left without helping to clean up the kitchen (after all he had 3 days worth of dishes going in that kitchen, was I responsible for all of them)?

Before I could offer lame apologies for any of these egregious errors, he set me quickly to rights by telling me it was guy’s night and the dudes needed some male bonding. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge the males their bonding time, and I certainly wouldn’t want them to start questioning how I hang with my girlfriends when they are not around, but I have spent unfathomable hours with these boys over dinner and a movie. I can hang with the best of ‘em and often do. Mind you, I don’t interfere when the lads head off to the gun show to get their concealed weapons permits, I’m never around when they out maneuver each other during their World of Warcraft battles wondering which allied town is under attack, and I make myself quite scarce when they need to really talk about the body parts of the ladies, but this was not one of those nights.

This was a night that we have spent together more times than I can remember, dinner and a movie, and this time the boys were calling it “guy’s night”. Never one to let sleeping dogs lie, I quickly ascertained that the purpose for the evening was not one of the 3 aforementioned reasons, nor anything remotely similar; it was just that one of the guys, who is actually a newlywed, had bestowed the guy night moniker on the evening when his lovely bride declared she was going to have a girl’s night and could he find anything to do? I made a few calls and procured for myself a highly sought for invitation and honorary “guyness” status for the evening if I proved myself to be able to hold my own during the night.

So here’s where this night goes from your basic hang out, to the elixir of hilarity. I had girded up my loins in the most heartfelt of approaches to not “out” myself as the pure, sissy, sweetheart girl that I am. (Heartfelt right…I know, with that attitude I should have never expected to make it through the night, if I had approached it with piss and vinegar, maybe a little braggadocio I might have been better equipped, but heartfelt just wasn’t getting the job done.) as I joined the fellas at the dinner table, I began to clear through the box of odds and ends that my totally bachelor, set in his ways, friend kept on his kitchen table to see if I could throw anything away or just clean out a little of the clutter—I did this while eating my dinner and the rest of the table threw down the gauntlet. My newlywed friend became irate, asking me if I seriously thought I could last the night if I started it by “multitasking”, “multitasking”. Apparently a one track mind is key to the pure enjoyment of “guy’s night” and this track was on food, not organizing! I was quickly informed that I needed to burp, fart or tell a really nasty joke pronto, or I would be shown the door in no uncertain terms. I welled up all my inner tomboy and let out what really wasn’t a half-bad belch, not anything to challenge the current table record holder. i immediately followed that move by swigging directly from the 2 liter container of soda that sat on the table just to up my game and it got me a reprieve for a few minutes.

at this point the discussion turned from who had the worst driving record to the philosophical gem of the evening. My moment of pure enlightenment…when the same newlywed who had been set free for the evening told me I needed to relax…just “let go and let guy”—so simple. Right then and there I was a transformed human being. All along I have been holding on to things the way my mother taught me, my “do unto others” mentality—it had never occurred to me that i might find a better way. There was no need to concern myself with the overall orderliness of my surroundings, no compelling reason I should make myself pleasant and friendly in the group, no burning compunction to somehow make the world a better place. These were all far distant ideas that couldn’t be reasoned out in the here and now, it would be much better to move straight to dinosaur brain and to “let go and let guy”.

How have I never picked up on these cues for easy living in the past? How is that I have spent the better part of adulthood seeking for personal truth and enlightenment, only to find such simple wisdom and guidance practically from the top of a cereal box? I spent the majority of a most enjoyable evening having my feminine errors pointed out to me, don’t wear a coat in the near freezing weather—that only makes you look like a sissy, don’t sit next to me in the theatre—it will look like we’re together, and finally, yes you will go to Alien vs. Predator, the Requiem and “you will like it”, even if it is the dumbest movie of the decade. It wasn’t until the newlywed broke the “guy code” and called his wife mid-evening that I spotted a chink in the armor. Suddenly all the bluster in the world couldn’t cover the fact that he was already missing his wife, what a wuss!! I was getting the hang of this “let go and let guy” business and I unleashed a maelstrom of education on this boy for not remaining true to the code. And then came the real essence of the lesson, I was quickly schooled for my overeager attempt to engage in guylike conduct...this was a “practice” not an “endgoal” to be perfected over a lifetime, and I shouldn’t be so quick to jump into the game. I had glimpsed the nugget of lesson, the true intent of “guyness” is to live in the now, not to hold onto all that other crap that sets my mind to whirling, oh indeed how unexpectedly had this simple truth once again taken the opportunity to teach me a most timely lesson of wisdom and grace?

Now playing: Spandau Ballet - True
via FoxyTunes

Monday, January 7, 2008

which comes first...the dance or the song?

Slipping the earphones on her ears, a light shines in the dancer’s eyes and radiates through the room; the space trickles with the sweat of anticipation. her body moves to the inaudible thrumming of the music, bodies respond with a palpable need to hear the pulsing electric current streaming into her ears. She isn’t the most graceful of dancers and there are even comical moments in timing and rhythm, but that isn’t the attraction thing at all—no, it’s this inner vibration that is better than perfectly ripened fruit, better than running an 80 yard touchdown, better than belly laughing until you cry because the whole time you are watching her at her finest, you feel awakened to your finest. You become aware of yourself in ways you never knew before this moment. All this--taking her in so completely at home and in love in her own body and soul and with the moment—awakens a desire from deep within your soul, so much so that you can’t deny your need to be encompassed by that feeling. You crave her in your presence; want to soak up the energy dripping from her fingertips, see her look deep into your eyes and know you so plainly. There is no need for words or explanations--your own soul has been peeled like a grape, exposed and raw; scintillating and almost painful as the warm air dances all prickly over your newly exposed self--you can’t help but hope the little breeze of attention will settle on you and set off the sensations all over again.

Physical desire screams in your brain, begging for a moment to breathe--her eyes dancing past; already knowing you for all your faults and loving you for all your beauty. The scream deepens and burns as you witness the fragility, power and humanness of the dancer; stronger still is her passion, creativity, adventure, whimsy and delight—this may not be your typical response to the dancing few, but then this is no ordinary dance.

Now playing: Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
via FoxyTunes