Clouds and Taxes

16 04 2013

I’ve been in that birdcage place in my mind for the last few days. On a rational level, I could claim that it’s any of the laundry list of influences- hormones, vomiting children, procrastination on spring cleaning and taxes, inability of seeing forests for the dicotyledons… but more than anything I have this enigmatic itch to jump out of my skin, I feel restless, I feel an adventure in the making… but where is the source of this feeling? I laid on the girls bed today while the kids were playing and/or reading… I listened to some classical music while I stared out the window at the clouds. I was giving myself a secret meditation time while the kids were on self sustained mode for the moment. I looked at the conglomerate of clean laundry to fold and walked right past, plopped down on the futon and released all the spent air that had been churning in and out of my spirit during the day that I had stamped as overwhelming even before it unfolded. We live in an old Mason’s lodge built in 1923, and the girls room is a golden cream color with huge cathedral like windows. We are well above the tree line, so lying down on their bed and looking out the window gives you the sensation of floating along with the clouds. The clouds today were real clouds, the sort of clouds I watched the wings of planes crossing oceans slice into… the sort of clouds that entertained me throughout most of my childhood. I was a quiet child, I preferred the freedom of playing by myself over playing with friends most of the time, because it gave me the undisturbed peace of staring at clouds for hours, or lying in the clover watching the world of insects move in their chessboard trajectory. When I was about Sylvia’s age, we started moving. I suppose it threw off some of my familiarity with the world I knew, but I eventually began to lose my bond with the girl who stares at clouds. I never much liked talking, it always seemed like a silly practice. I mean, there were certainly people and circumstances that allowed me to feel safe in talking about anything and everything, but for the most part, I avoided it and learned to speak in the silent language of Nature. Staring at those clouds today gave me this surreal out of body like feeling. Nostalgia, yet experience anew. My senses are tuning into old sights, scents and sounds and something is being reformatted. I used a pink cherry scented highlighter today while filing my taxes, and it smelled just like my Grandfather’s pipe tobacco. Is this sense of urging my higher self steering me into the creative process? Is this new emergence of old data part of growing up, or is it more ancient and sacred? Is this what a soul’s calling feels like? The fragmented song that you only ever catch a part of, that fades before you can hear it’s entirety… the tweaking of rabbit ears to clear the static. Something profound is afoot.

Elfriede Stegemeyer girl in clouds

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time has come… today

14 04 2013

Today’s unraveling was a much needed kick into full throttle consciousness. The kids and I got going at 6 am for a three and a half hour track north to Alachua, Florida for Holi Festival. Slowly the scenery shifted from the deep jungles and swamps of southern central Florida to Georgia with spanish moss. This fulfilled some of my homesick for Georgia pines, and as we arrived at the Hare Krishna temple, we were greeted with seemingly familiar smiles. I found out about the event from a flyer at the Indian buffet in town, and decided that it was a perfect prelude to my and Madelyn’s birthdays, especially considering that it was on my Mother’s birthday. We walked onto the temple grounds, which was at the Alachua ISKCON farm, and every person who we crossed passed with welcomed us and blessed our presence. I was there without Todd, as he was doing his final performance for Second Samuel. I felt prepared to dive into a festival without the assistance of another adult, and the kids were beaming with excitement. We got our bags of colored powder and walked around the festival, stopped in the temple and got acclimated. At noon, the first color throw was held. A huge crowd of people, of all ages and cultural backgrounds, gathered and as we awaited the countdown there was dancing, and people walking around powdering each other with colors. It was such a beautiful moment, complete strangers hugging one another and wiping coloring powder onto one another’s cheeks and wishing a
Happy Holi: or blessing with a “Hare Krishna” or “Hari Bol”. We counted down and yelled “Krishna” as we threw our colors into the air, and everyone started dancing or jumping at once. The kids were starting to get attacked by ants, and so we walked to the portapotties and washed our feet off, and wandered over to the food court to get in line for our vegetarian lunch. Perry began to fuss about his stomach, and eventually started crying, so we left the line and on the way back to the portapotties he vomited in technicolor. I concluded that the dust masks I had required the kids to wear (which kept sliding down and eventually were forfeited all together) had not been very effective at keeping the color powder out of the kid’s mouths. Alden began his color vomiting next, and I gave them some water and we went to the van to clean up and regroup. I asked if they felt like they needed to go home, and they both agreed that they felt like going back. We ate a delicious feast, danced some more and headed home for the day. On the way out I had a mini discussion with one of the monks about the era of Kali and picked out a mala and a few other things. On the drive home, as the kids were falling asleep I began focusing on the concept of Kali, of time- of arriving in the present. When we got home and were all showering, I stood before the mirror and saw myself, covered in purple, as Kali. I had emotions surfacing, and I felt the urgency of the shift. I broke my no facebook rule, as I felt compelled to check my facebook and as I did, I was confronted with all of the things that are constantly just below the surface. Two wedding invitations, a new engagement announced. One of my current struggles at the moment… wanting so desperately to feel settled, to feel the sensation of roots spreading into an objective reality. I tend to shy from diving deeper into the conceptualization of “marriage”. I was married once, for nine years, to the man that I was with for thirteen years. We had the four kids together, and things just came apart. It wasn’t really anyone’s fault, we were kids when we established a relationship. But when that marriage ended, I wasn’t sure if I ever wanted to get married again. But then I feel in love with a close friend, and began a deep relationship. We had a private handfasting, just the two of us, when we were living in the mountains, but since then the official and further commitment has been something that I both deeply desire and really want to be able to define, personalize and understand. This is a reoccurring presence in my life. I have to face the reality of this particular subject. Then I went back to Kali… Kali, the dark before light in which all creative forces lie in waiting. The conquering of time, the time that comes today. The song got stuck in my head, and as I listen to both the original Chambers Brothers and the Ramones cover I began to bring form from the depths of thought. I define my reality. I can not allow myself to be defined by anyone else’s version of reality. What I create for my life has to be now, and will not await anyone’s approval or acceptance. I can no longer sit in the waiting room, this is the time for action. Time has come today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wanoXM90yHE

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spontaneous, premature solar revolution ritual

30 03 2013

Today, while randomly scrolling through my facebook I noticed that the local tattoo parlor was having a $30 2″ x 2″ black and gray custom tattoo special. I decided this was a good idea, and just as I walked out the door to take the kids to the playground, I called back to Todd that I was thinking of doing this. I thought about it more and more while the kids played. I knew instantly what I was going to choose- the bunny as a bird from the Runaway Bunny, who is resting on a branch from the tree the mother turns into. The mother who will “be a tree that you fly home to”

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I have been pondering this tattoo idea since long before Madelyn, Perry or Alden were born. From the moment I opened that page while reading it to baby Sylvia 10 years ago, I knew it was going to be my tattoo one day. I walked back with the kids to have lunch and get settled, and decided that this was a perfectly rational thing for me to do today, so I told Todd I was going to do it, made sure he was cool with me running out, and headed over. The tattoo shop was interesting, and like most tattoo shops, there were a bunch of guys hanging out watching a movie, watching youtube, listening to music, ordering food and having a smoke break. There were pictures of people making faces while getting tattooed on the walls, which was a minor amusement as I waited for the artist to be ready. This is my sixth tattoo, but my first work in three years (my last was my steampunk menagerie moth for my twenty ninth birthday). As he began the outline I started reading the portion of my anthropology text “Rituals and Beliefs” compiled by David Hicks about the need for ritual. The article in particular that I was reading was debating whether Durkheim was being too narrow in his concept about the construction of ritual, and proposes that rite precedes belief. I closed the book and enjoyed the tattooing, and reflected on how important, as a rite, and how very sacred each one of my tattoo experiences have been. Before I left the house, I was trying to explain the concept of getting tattooed, why it is important to me on a personal and spiritual level, and I decided that I would blog about it. In fact, I think I will continue this, as I could write a great volume about this concept and tonight is the night I have an ice cream and West Side Story date with Sylvia. For tonight, I will conclude with this- there is truly no experience like getting a tattoo. It is a beautiful, pleasurable and yet painful sensation that takes your mind out of your body and transforms your body into something new, it is the alchemy of the flesh- it is the art and magick of creation, concept made into material through ritual, through impermanent cellular sacrifice. More later, here’s the final work (pictures from cell phone, apologies for substandard quality) from my twitter:

and

More, tomorrow…





coffee blues and supermarket voyeurism

25 03 2013

I hate Mondays. I mean, I know we’re programmed to hate Mondays, but when I am doing a coffee cleanse, I really despise the beginning of the work/school week. I have been imagining a fresh, hot cup of freshly ground french press dark roast (with agave nectar and goat milk) all day long. As most of the world, I equate my energy level to the amount of caffeine surging through my veins, and without it I feel exhausted. I’m trying to push through it, make myself drink some water… I look to my juicer for inspiration, only to run in horror at the thought of having to clean it afterwards. Mondays are the days I NEED my coffee. This particular Monday involved a dentist appointment for Madelyn, followed by standing for an hour straight outside the tax booth at the local supermarket waiting for a turn. It was a rather interesting experience, as standing against walls at supermarkets tend to be. I stood in front of an elderly cashier who had to be 90 years old, at the very least. I watched as she carefully scanned all the groceries, and made small talk with the customers. What amazed me the most about this was that she did not stop smiling, not even once! Considering what a fast paced society we’ve come to live in, I expected to see a disgruntled customer come into her line at some point. However, during the hour of this exchange every single person left with a smile as well! It was a wonderful experience, watching this little microcosm happening right before me. I spotted a cashier with a genuine beehive hair style (complete with a silk flower tucked in the back) and made eye contact as well as smiled at nearly every passing person. It was finally time for me to sit with the tax lady, and as I sat another lady who had not been waiting came to the seat. Before I had a chance to say anything, she offered her seat to me, and I sat to be greeted with a cheerful presence by the lady who was working by herself and had just finished up with an hour long tax preparation. I was relieved to be met with grace in a situation that on any other Monday would have been really challenging my zen. I glanced over on the wall to find the quote of the day, from Nietzsche:

“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche

It’s rather remarkable how many little things await our discovery in this universe. So often we overlook the signs, only to get lost in the general collective mass projected emoticons. So grumpy without coffee or not, we have to breathe, and open our eyes.

Blessing of Monday to all!

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(that’s Mississippi John Hurt, by the way. Coffee Blues. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL7jowIpykQ )





illuminate. rejuvenate.

23 03 2013

Spring forward.

Hello spring. I had forgotten it was time for your visit… Perhaps I was avoiding facing what I haven’t accomplished yet. I have my own quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) hours of mourning the creations I have not created just before the light changes and the air shifts to the undeniable arrival of the new season. This time, this equinox- I had to ask myself: Why do I always focus on what didn’t manifest, instead of acknowledging what did? I pick myself apart at old desires left unfulfilled. I have a long struggle with past yearnings that are based on rather outdated archetypes of self that no longer fit the big picture of my life. I realized it wasn’t necessarily an attachment to old versions of reality, rather a fear of what the new story would tell. In the grace of seeing the minor victories, I see the open doors that were once walls. I long to see the changes happen, but cringe at the process required to bring those changes. I must remind myself, once more- the process is more important than the end results. In the process lies all the experiences, all the songs, all the lovely moments. Once the shift into the new paradigm born from the change occurs, the process is over, and a new process begins. Life is climbing your own Everest, and finding yourself at the summit. So welcome, spring- dear old friend. I stand in the light of this new time, this new promise, this new process and I will not stand down. I will weather the calluses in my hands from jagged rocks, the exhaustion of moving forward and the fear of falling. I recognize that I am anchored, and that with each ascension welcomes me with a moment of tranquility and rest before another time of intensity. Welcome, Sun.

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“A. E. Waite suggested that this card is associated with attained knowledge. An infant rides a white horse under the anthropomorphized sun, with sunflowers in the background. The child of life holds a red flag, representing the blood of renewal while a smiling sun shines down on him, representing accomplishment. The conscious mind prevails over the fears and illusions of the unconsciousInnocence is renewed through discovery, bringing hope for the future.” 





Is there a tether through the underworld?

30 09 2012

I’m not sure how anyone else has been feeling over the past few months, I’ve heard feedback from some of my more intimate friends that it’s been a bit of a challenge over the last quarter for them as well. I personally, I have been riding the waves of a funk that has lasted a few months. Some weeks it’s great, others it’s textbook personal hell. I could chalk it off to being life, growing older, astrological occurrence, saturn’s return, weaning hormones, etc etc. But at the same time, we are all in this together. I discovered the light at the end of the tunnel, I began to see it’s glimmer near the time of the equinox. I had a few exchanges with a good friend that she too was feeling a turn around from her recent setbacks. This past week has been filled was beautiful, serendipitous surprise. I had three conversation with very good friends that I had fallen out of touch with, I began to feel the love growing for my environment, as well as discovering new opportunities that I had been designing the scenario for in my mind all during the funk period. I had a thought- are these down periods necessary for manifestation to occur? I feel like when I’m going through these times I learn the lessons, or at least am given the potential experiences to further explore a deeper awareness and understanding of these lessons, that are necessary for me to grow into my new reality that supports the material creation that I sought. What type of anchors can be used to help one not lose a conscious state of awareness when exploring the shadow of the self? Is there a tether through the underworld? If there is, it must be of my design, of course. Like the spinning top DiCaprio’s  character uses in Inception, there must be a totem to remind us where we are, so we do not lose our self. I am grateful for the time that just passed, it was one hell of a ride, but what amazing joy it brings! It is the fear that turns the darkness into a prison. But we must face our darkness in order to understand our light. Image





Joy, Happiness… Eudaimonia and Lola Daydream

10 09 2012

So after the unexpected and annoying death of the laptop (though, in hindsight, much appreciated cleanse of old self attached to a stupid machine)… I’m back with the power of a purple gateway pavilion g6! This lap top makes me want to write much more often, so here’s to continuing promises of new habits!

This past week, er two… has been fast paced and full of lots of lessons as well as joy. Joy is something that I am attempting to cultivate more of in every moment of my life. I find that when I stop, breathe and find the joy in each situation, I can go deeper in my awareness of the world around as well as within me. I had a few moments this week I wasn’t too proud of, I lost my awareness and allowed my subconscious little girl to carry a megaphone. I said things I didn’t mean, had a tantrum, and stepped outside of myself to see a map of each moment in my life when I began to think in the specific categorical ways that caused a loss of grace. In Unity recently, we’ve been talking about blessing each new thing that comes into our lives. I see these moments as gifts from the Universe for having a more complete view of the entire issue, and see the lesson as a whole. It’s a funny experience, seeing yourself on the outside and realizing how ludicrous it is to carry on with the expected role. I have bigger, more interesting roles to play.

Joy. What is it? How do we define it? Joy is synonymous with happiness, and yet happiness is full of endless definitions and also undefinable. I decided to play the Wikipedia game.From Joy to Happiness to Eudaimonia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eudaimonia

The six-factor structure of eudaimonia in psychology are as follows (as conceptualized by C.D. Ryff):

  1. Autonomy
  2. Personal growth
  3. Self-acceptance
  4. Purpose in life
  5. Environmental mastery
  6. Positive relations with others

Eudaimonia also refers to a guardian spirit, as the etymology of the word means good spirit. I know that (through personal experience) the sensation of joy, happiness, etc is a very similar feeling to that of being in a higher state of consciousness. Perhaps eudaimonia is our higher self, and the emotional interpretation of the state of being is in the sensation of atonement? Perhaps the atonement (also, today in Unity we talked about atonement, and seeing the basic breakdown of the word: at-one-ment was a refreshing a-ha moment for me) is the elusive Holy Guardian Angel, the actualization of self. This subject, I shall seek further understanding later. For tonight, I will end with the realization that on October 5, my saturn return shall be over. I have less than a month to celebrate the most interesting three years of my life. My, what a ride it has been, I can’t wait to look back on how far I have traveled.

When I am awake, you see, I know that I am dreaming, so that they must be very silly children, don’t you think?

Liber XCV

The Wake World

THE WAKE WORLD
A TALE FOR BABES AND SUCKLINGS
(WITH EXPLANITORY NOTES IN HEBREW AND LATIN FOR THE USE
OF THE WISE AND PRUDENT

http://hermetic.com/crowley/libers/lib95.html