Saturday, June 25, 2016

The World Card

I slowly let my mind clear and draw in a deep breath. I allow it to escape my nostrils and then again draw in, all the while drawing the world card in with it. I see a young woman in the center, wrapped in a scarf. The card begins to take wings and I notice the scarf swirls about her in a wind that feels triumphant and clearing. The scarf flutters and catches and jumps and spirals. I am mesmerized by it's fluid dance. I softly let my breath release again and the image falls back from my eyes. And again, I draw it in noticing this time a deep and verdant green wreath. It is thick and full of millions of tiny and distinct shiny dark green leaves. I reach to touch the firm binding and realize it is tied tightly with crimson chords in the shapes of eights. And I run my hand along the leaves gently feeling them flutter and catch at my fingertips. They are so deeply green and I feel my focus fill with their essence. The red of each figure eight catches at me in a peculiar way. I feel this is so much yesterday and today and tomorrow all in my focus. I am unbound and I am limitless.

Reach and stretch and fill myself with this air that swirls around me. I am free and unfettered and there is euphoria in every limb and in every glance over this bright blue and green. I see the entire mother earth below me and I feel the expanse of sky so far above me. I am flying. I feel as if I am in a hot air balloon - buoyed by the decisions of my past that have led me to this glorious place. I myself have come to this point. I have persevered and placed and planted and nurtured and now I am born up by the universe and the power of air and earth and sea and fiery sun. I have overcome and I feel this smile reach over my lips in gentle realization. My feet feel so light and I step without feeling the ground but I don't feel unstable. I am amongst the clouds and I am full of spirit and hope. I have overcome so much to be at this point in my heart and my soul and physical being. These challenges and these mountains I have climbed and traversed have only made me rise higher and higher until at last I have taken flight. I feel this deep tingle race thru my limbs much as how it feels when I stretch first thing in the morning. Every muscle coming alive and aching to meet the new day.

I look to my left and I startle to realize a golden lion staring back at me - his gaze is fierce and yet amused. Deep brown eyes seem to take me into their depths and I radiate to him in return. And I realize he seems to support this quarter of the wreath. Intrigued, I gaze around the circumference of the wreath to see three more creatures all watching me intently. They seem to be aspects of myself. And I feel this courage in noticing a large bull to my right and a fanciful cherub above me. But I am riveted as I notice sailing above me, a huge and radiant eagle. His wings extend far beyond the clouds and the wreath although his sharp talons are sunk deep into the wreath carrying it forward. I watch the power that ripples thru his wings in each stroke and beat of his flying. He is so majestic and the lion so full of strength. The cherub is wise beyond the babyish features with eyes of the purest blue. Eyes that see far beyond the atmosphere and into the universe beyond these veils. And the bull snorts and stomps his hot and blazing breath. He radiates undiluted energy and red coursing intensity. As I gaze into each set of eyes in turn, I feel as though I gaze into a mirror and see these reflections of my own being staring back at me. I realize I am looking at myself.

I have joined all these aspects and energies and facets of myself into perfect harmony. I beat my powerful wings. I charge forward sure and strong. I asses with wonder and love and I take a giant leap of creativity and fiery courage. Out of these clouds of spirit and mirth and rejuvenation, I find myself reborn and my inner soul feeling everything as if for the first time.

I go forward confident in the grasp of these creatures that seem to propel me onward and hold this wreath of life around me. I am infinite and my gaze is all knowing. I am surrounded and yet supported. I am lifted and yet so stable and grounded. I twirl and my scarf twirls with me. I dance in celebration wearing nothing else in vulnerability and openness of this moment. I am receptive to the universe and the sky above and the earth below. I am vibrant and free and unfettered and flying.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Anxiety: a Reflection

Sometimes the feelings are so great. Sometimes it seems like I jumped in the deep end of the pool and I forgot how to swim. Sometimes it seems like it is clawing at me from the inside and then it is outside and it is everywhere and it is these waves of desperation. The hair on my head stands on edge. Somebody say something to ease it? Do you like me? Did I say it all wrong? Please write me back? Call me? Text me? Make this stop. Stop thinking!!! No one can reach me now. I am lost in this flurry of thoughts that have no feet and only wings.

It is so much like the old TV screens with their bad signal. It is this start of a fuzzy corner or a fuzzy side and then there are these jagged disruptions across the screen - little angry triangles of disruption and static. And then they grow bigger and start to distort more and more of the picture and there's this buzzing sound with each of them that grows and grows. The person in the tv is still speaking. Talking and I can no longer make sense of his words. And I find myself more focused on that buzzing sound and that collection of angry z's then I do on the actual picture any more. I am preternaturally focused on the static and I can't see or hear anything else and that buzzing grows and grows until it is all that I can hear.

And the picture growing more and more distorted is life itself - life is going on. Change a diaper, cook this dinner, fold that wash, practice, teach, vacuum, get the mail but the buzzing keeps up at a more and more frantic pace and those triangles are jaggedly splaying across my screen so much so that I start to see in black and white and see those tiny boxes and pixelations. I try to pretend they aren't there. I try madly to focus on something else. Nail down a thought that makes sense. Remember something someone said that helped. But I am hopeless and lost and I can't remember anything right now. I can't organize this helpless chaos. I can't make sense of so much pandemonium. And now even those speaking to me seem so far away and their voices are detached from their mouths. The mouth moves but I hear no words and I put my hands over my ears in terror.

I remember them even when I was tiny. I used to have a flicker of something - almost as if my own voice had been rendered in a digital way inside of my head and I would get scared. I knew it might get worse. My inner mind voice turning into this sound of something unnatural and computer like. And when I was younger, I was so terrified and I didn't understand what was happening. My parents were no help. They taught that demons could oppress and if left unchecked, possess. And I would wonder if this was the start of that and I would run from it and try desperately to find a place where no one would let it take me. But then even my mom's motions seemed stilted and robotized and my brothers in motion, seemed like tiny puppets on my screen. And I couldn't reach anyone and the voice in my head grew louder and more fragmented and was suddenly broken in tiny chunks of something that didn't sound like me at all. My own voice grown strange with no inflection but only uniform tone. And I would feel myself crawling and my skin turning to ants.

I am not sure what would make it fade. Running as fast as I could thru the tall pine trees. Jumping a hundred times on my tiny trampoline. Listening to music as loud as I dared. And then these disruptions began to fade and I would again feel the grass beneath my bare feet or hear my younger brother screaming in youthful joy. Climb a tree and feel the warm sun on my tiny freckled face. Trace the outline of my tattered stick pony. Pick a small pink wild flower and place it in a jar of rain water. Those things would bring me back to this childish reality that was so appealing and I would often forget the fear of those strange moments in the interim that was all wild and free and unfettered.

And now I suppose it is much the same way but now I fear more what can come after - there is this darkness that edges in with those triangles. I notice the fuzzing at the sides of my mind. I notice that faint buzzing and I feel myself start to fear what I know will come - this anxiety that is so large as to consume and in its aftermath, this quiet that is unnatural and fearful and so dark. I feel this deep sadness and this dazed feeling - this inability to reflect and even act. I am struggling to keep the motions of life and move my hand this way or that. Piano chords are so damn heavy and cooking from a recipe seems so complicated and overwhelming. And my head aches and my joints feel soft and watery and I feel that the anxiety has passed to leave this battered calm. A calm that is more of a void.

And then perhaps it rises from there - perhaps I am back to normal more or less the next day or perhaps I have sunk again into that leaden dark place that is so hard to get out of. Sometimes anxiety is the portal to my depression. But the loud cacophony is for now silent and maybe I can be too - fill it, fill it with music, with soft words, beautiful imagery or tiny breaths of . Try to find a spiritual inspiration - try to hold it. These things are so slippery and so soft and so light. I wish they were heavier. I wish these beautiful things were as weighty as this darkness because maybe then they could displace these deep cesspools of murkiness.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Devil

I am walking in memory of the sun. It has drifted towards the western horizon and I have watched its decent with a feeling of premonition. I know this setting hasn't been as it always is. There is something weighty about this slowly falling darkness. And I wander among the trees that have turned into darkened giants with so many arms and legs and whispers amongst themselves.

As I keep walking, I glance to my right and notice a dark and door-less cave. And I see something shifting beyond. I stand here in the preternatural twilight frozen in a moment of indecision. And then in one moment of quick impulse, I duck into the dark cavern. And immediately I am struck by this sensuous overwhelming. There is music but I didn't hear it before. This music has no discernible harmony; only this deep monotonous beat and slowly changing chords. Pulsing and pulsing and I am drawn farther in. I feel my heart quicken in the feelings that overcome me. They are feelings of euphoria and finding all that I need and my mind begins to simply absorb and not create any of its own unique thoughts. I am starting to move with this pulse and this beat.

I feel my heart hammering and I am aroused and curious. I notice others with me now and everyone is moving to this deep and earthly beat. This cave is now so far beneath the earth and I am commanded by it and I begin to feel light and heady. It is a lovely feeling and I realize I am drinking and I feel this wash over me. I feel so giddy and light and overcome by everything sensual. I am simply responding to my environment in movement and emotion. And I am so happy. And I realize their are lights. Mostly spotlights of sorts. I can see their source but they don't seem to reach me except for faint blue and red glows. Everyone is caught in this faint light and everyone around me seems to be disembodied. I see a head here or an arm here. There a leg or a shoe. But nothing full or completely defined. It adds to this feeling of being in a place of dreams coming true. I am confident and I am able and I am completely unrestrained. I am dancing and I am grooving and I moving harder and harder against this raucous beat and still I tread deeper into this cave. I swirl the wine in my glass laughing at myself and the lightness. I am free and I am not anxious. Deeper into this cup I swim. I am only flesh and beat and blood and bumping along. And I feel my feet less and less and my body moves of it's own accord. This is freedom and I am free and I am uplifted.

At once I feel this chill wind and look up to see something emerging in the darkness. There is a pedestal being pushed by some unseen force. I raise my eyes to see what is atop the pedestal. My eyes are heavy and languid. It is a golden and red calf. I realize in a half delirious state that he is alive and yet he is so very much a statue. I am reminded of those painted statues in Europe - they are flesh and blood but painted to be as tho they are not. And tiny movements give away the pulsing force within. And I realize this bronze creature is huge. he is massive and he fills the entire vision I have. His calf legs and torso are looming so far above on this pedestal somehow being propelled into the center of this cave. We all scramble to make room and to adjust because none of us can take our eyes off this compelling image. I notice the calf's eyes and they are dark and drawing and I find I can NOT wrest my eyes from the unbreakable gaze. I am drawn into their depths as I take another deep sip of my drink. My cup has grown so heavy and the wine so thick and burning.

I find things brighter now - a bright blue-white spot light rests on him and illuminates this shocking being. He seems more lifelike than a minute ago and truly it seems his coppery shell is slipping away as he is becoming this flesh with coarse hair and rippled swarthy skin. He is ugly and coarse and yet he seems so base and sexual and I long to touch what he might feel like. I find my fingers reaching towards him for he is closer now. He is slowly turning and I ache to see his deep and fluid eyes . He is like a man with goat like features and his face is everything strong and masculine and powerful and raw. It is almost as if his face does not have enough skin and I see the blood pulsing in his cheeks and his temples. But the thin skin that does cover his angular face is rough and full of thorny whiskers. Horns of shimmering white and wet bone curl out of his head and he is puffing and blowing this air across all of us here in this pit. He is breathing hard and grunting in something that we all seem to respond to.

I feel even lighter and even more euphoric and I ache to get closer even tho I am repulsed in the same moment. He is deeply sexual and deeply animal. He is carnal and he is strong. He is mighty and sinewy. I need what he has and I feel that I will feel more alive then ever if I can just get closer and maybe even touch his rough and hairy skin, if I can feel this pulsing I can see. And now he jumps down in one swoop, having half the form of a unkempt and powerful man and half the form of this rough and uncouth goat and he whoops and yells into the crowd and we yell back. I dance harder and the music escalates and I feel myself throwing back the wine into my parched throat. I feel its burn all the way to my stomach and I swallow satisfied and rich. And I am dancing and feeling and not thinking at all. And my body bumps against others and I find these these others to be groping and handling me as well. And I reach out and touch skin and rough cloth and feel and realize it is another dancer and we cling each to the other caught in a half frenzied sexual dance. Moving moving and turning and clawing. And we reach for each other and push against each other. I feel his hardness pressed against me thru thin fabric and I feel his desire and it stinks and I feel overcome. And I begin to feel this sickness as it spreads first from my naval and then up thru my throat and mouth and I feel cold and clammy. I begin to shake a little and I push away and turn and I push thru the crowd.

I am so sick and nauseous. I can feel the beat and now it hammers at me in such intensity and I am blinded and my head pounds in an unnatural and overwhelming pain. Slick sweat spreads itself over me. The entrance!! Where is the god forsaken entrance?? The exit. I can't think, and in one moment I am against the cavern walls that are damp and slimy and I feel along them with shaking fingers and suddenly I am sick all over the floor and myself and I reek of vomit and pain and fear. And my sweat pours over me in cold wash of anxiety. I keep feeling along and finally notice a breath of air different than before. It is not the goat's any more. It is soft and I yearn toward it and realize the music has faded a bit. And I make one last fateful dash to find myself back under the stars. Weak and sunken, I fall to the ground and reach for soft grass and tender dirt. I realize I have met the devil and he is so much longing and gratification. But I am unfulfilled and filthy after being in his presence and desiring after him. He has left me cold and unfulfilled after that one euphoric moment of satisfaction. I try to remember if I was allowed to touch him because somehow I feel his rough hairs and his burning skin. He was hot to the touch. He was fiery and he has burned these fingers. I look to see the blisters forming on my fingers and palms and blood seeping thru where the blisters have burst. I feel tears form in my eyes and I shake my head in sorrow at my rash decisions. Somehow I have danced with the devil and he has left these marks.


These images may not be the devil to everyone. As I have thought back to those fateful moments in the cave, I realize the devil I must fight everyday. I am enlightened to the things that hold me in bondage. This drink, these fanatical religious pasts, and these inward urges that turn me on my own self. These quick impulses, these in the moment decisions that bind me in ways I later regret. I encourage you to label your own devils, the things that keep you stuck and unaware of your own internal guidance. For me, these are mine.