Monday, June 29, 2009

An old friend (thank you, facebook!) wrote to me asking for a description of my book (Sensing Infinity), which I had never posted, except a bit on the book site. Here is a brief description, an invitation to one kind of tell-all. Thanks for asking!

Think of moments, including birth, as memories rippling through our bodies. My mind is only one of millions,billions, like stars. Imagine one moment as all there is, what it is to be in an upturned coffee table, sailing the Horn of Africa in a storm, masts quivering, sails snapping, ropes stretching, wood creaking, water blowing, the full moment's movement all you feel, thrilling and real. I began to wonder if our images are real just because we think them. And lost, gone forever, if we forget. I wondered if we disappear as easily. I began (as we do) with a mind open to the ocean of innocence and experience, but my thoughts were squeezed by ancient bands of beliefs formed from chemical memories, tightening and tilting and coloring my world. This book is my way of defining how the circle of experience spirals and widens; how my egg of a mind began its fertilization, its quest to know itself. Ultimately, the mind always succeeds. With love, we grow up. There is infinity to remember once we begin.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What Dreams May Come

Last night she dreamed of Keanu Reeves. He was an oddly goofy character in the dream, intensely focused on following his light-hearted senses with that intense mind. He danced with his lady friend, dressed almost as a clown, awkward yet child-like in his innocent enjoyment of the moment on the crowded floor as they moved around together. Somehow they connected, eye-contact, and that laser beam of light took enough flicker for her to know he would follow her before she reached her car. She didn’t know why. This was not the usual seduction scene. She had asked before she slept, to know the grace of acceptance, the ocean flow of energy as grace gives and changes. As she approached the block where her car was parked she heard him call to her. In the dark wet night his voice echoed around the street lamps and poles, cars and fire escapes, and she turned to see him running ahead of his lady friend and another as he called to her. She stopped.

Where are you going? He asked. I want to come with you.

His friend and hers reached their car in the alley, and she could feel their disgust, their misunderstanding of his intensity of energy, of change. Indeed, he did not have much grace in his way of making himself known.

I’m going home, she said. First I have to find my car.

He nodded matter-of-factly and proceeded to get his car, which turned out to be a trumped up jeep, like a combination of glider, jeep, and bicycle.
He followed her in her car and pulled up behind her as she reached the curb in front of her house. They entered silently, expectantly but without definition or destination. This was a different sensation. Then scenes in her memory mixed. In one she sat at a table in the small office, with no clutter around but an empty book open in front of her. She looked at the book without turning pages. The molecules in the room began to move, the air shifting and changing. She looked down at her own torso and her chest had changed to that of a young man, the muscles smooth and forming, her white shirt first disappearing then reappearing. She began to feel the arousal that came with the movement of muscle motivated by charm, by sea change so deep within the cells as if from the bottom of the ocean, by the urge and power of life expressing itself, the silt and sand heaving and lifting the particles into the waves like fine filigree, delicate lace. All of this came from her mind as she watched this body change as she sat still. She was lost in the sensations for a moment, which felt like a lifetime. When he came to the doorway and smiled at her, she marveled and smiled back as he turned to leave again.

Let’s talk about cellular reconstruction, she said, when they were sitting outside, at another place she could not name in her waking hours. They sat on grass in lawn chairs, overlooking a bay where birds flew at a distance.

When she woke up and poured a cup of coffee, Tom came to sit beside her at the kitchen table. He leaned against her, rubbing his chin on her shoulder. He was sleepy. She kissed him and began to tell him about her dream. He lifted his head and smiled a smile similar to Keanu Reeves in her dream. (a continuing excerpt)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Growing into Grace

Today I heard news that someone I know “took their own life.” She was not someone I knew well, but knew as someone who was desperate to know relief from pain and sought a “cure.” That “cure” would be a ticket to “heaven.” She was already focused a lot on dying, without this cure, but was willing to give it (life) one more try at relief before taking that action to change her own matter. As I think about the reality that there are no strangers to me, as a human energy being, I think also, especially today, of her. She was a specialist in addictions, and lived to help, to heal, to learn to love.

I have learned that fear is the greatest addiction, and that the only cure for addiction is a spiritual awakening. (“All addiction is fear of the separation from God.” JOH, 183) I remember my urges to distract myself from thinking or feeling at certain times when I was very depressed, mostly in my 20s - to stimulate senses in a physical (chemical) way, “externally.” It is another level of living the dependency upon only the physical as real. We get bogged down in the details. Like a thirsty man in the desert, we gulp the water – the need is literally a physical one. Deficiency within our cells for the nutrients that give us life and sustain life. Until we understand the gift this is, I understand now, better than ever, we can think the water is the salvation of us for time eternal. The be all and end all of our search for relief. As I continue to appreciate, we are energy beings living as matter. We are indeed made mostly of water!

As I review flashes of memory, I think of the lessons I have worked with, as a mind with my heart on my sleeve or tucked into my skirt, or “hidden” under my hat, inside my boots. I think of what I have learned from Spiritual Philosophy, that all relationships are created by our image of self, how fear is the survival energy of the ego self. I am looking carefully again at my fear (of “rejection,” separation from “God”), and beginning to know the truth and power of “knowing thyself,” gaining ground. The Garden of Eden was our training ground, as energy beings. We began as energy beings, feeling our way (literally, sensing in a way we have mostly forgotten) as energy more than matter, and slowly coming to “know ourselves” in the flesh of us, eating of that tree of knowledge to know we are exposed as physical humans, wearing the energy of our nakedness, the beauty and innocence of our vulnerability to life and all of its pleasures and opportunities of growth and change. In Kathy Oddenino’s third book, Sharing, I read, “The energy of you is part of the energy of all of man, part of the energy of Earth, part of the energy of God, and part of the energy of the Universe. In the sense of energy you are integrated. Integrating your physical understanding of your own energy will create for you a new consciousness level of self. Your consciousness level is your relationship to your physical life.” (82)

The purpose of life is to know ourselves and to celebrate creation.

I review the kaleidoscope of interactions I’ve lived, and I think of the dance life is, in its most artistic form. I appreciate dance and the dancer, the music of life. When I have been dissatisfied with life, it is because I have felt “unloved.” That need, or unsatisfied belief gave me the feeling of losing control over my world and of course led to powerlessness which is the embodiment of depression. I believed totally in the power of my beliefs to guide me, even those that were unconscious to my mind. Such a need creates negative obsessive behavior – challenging friends or family to “prove” they love you; getting angry when feeling victimized and jealous and competing with others who are happy, “powerful.” The list goes on. Without knowing “I am that I am,” an energy being, my mind cannot accept the grace of love in action, the ocean of energy constantly and eternally expressing itself. What is the energy of my true intentions as I live, breathe, act, choose? I think of the role that courtship has played, as we’ve created it, in our history as human beings: the Garden of Eden, the playful sprites in the woods, the Romans at court, the Victorians in their ruses and rituals behind starched collars and jewels, the Flappers and crooners and dowry presenters. The mind, as our male image, invites the emotions, as our female image, to be seduced in overt ways - the physical urge overrules all! The dignity, grace, and fun of true courtship satisfies, because love heals as it guides. The mother teaches the child in the ways of growth as life happens. The father creates with her, guides too, as he learns, shares, grows and changes.

Lifetimes ago, when I began to date a Cambodian man after years of my relationship with a woman, we were both hesitant, unsure of the “rules.” He had never dated an “Anglo” woman, and an older one at that, and my experience as “single,” and engaging romantically with a man was new to me, again. We laughed at our awkward ways for a while, because it was as though the same rules didn’t apply! Gradually we learned to communicate on new levels, expanding our “sensing” of each other, and we continue, as friends eager to “know thyself.” Now I think of this as one more example of how, within me, my mind creates its own “new” rules as it interacts with the love within me – the dance begins to form, to pick up, after the hesitant steps, the stomped-on toes, the straining to hear, the sweat of fear not exertion. As I open my mind to knowledge, my physical consciousness changes, grows into love. As I learn and do NDP, I realize this is the same exalted dance – such intimacy as human energy, honoring and acknowledging the creator of our lives, the nervous system, to love, to energize. As the old saying goes, “greater love hath no man.” (Or woman.) Physical gratification within us comes with the energizing of our matter, the love that nurtures us. What does it mean to be totally responsible for myself as an energy being? As physical people, through sex we can create human life. As energy beings, we create as chemical beings with thought, each breath, each ocean of memory moment, the architecture of us as energy form and energy/matter function. We must focus on how we are thinking and being first, and what we are doing will change. When truthful, I am open to change, and know my self-image as my spirit consciousness, others as the same energy design.

Hope becomes false advertising at some point, until we know love within us as energy beings. Spiritual Philosophy has taught me to know that I am energy first and matter second. I can choose to guide the winds of change within me as I begin to know myself and my motivations as an evolving consciousness. So, a nod to my newer friend and her gusto for life, her challenge with pain and profound loss. Love heals, and we do not live only one life! Healing happens as we change, little ways, big ways. Thank you for our meeting, for teaching me as an energy being.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dignity, Awe, Respect

Checking in on my good long-ago friend, Tom Wernigg, I found a few of his video clips. Also listen to his new CD, Already Home.

Monday, June 08, 2009

You Get What You Pay For?

Things seemed full, busy, colorful, vibrant. She liked to cook – especially mussels, scallops, any kind of seafood, to which she could add sauces tart and sweet, drizzling oil and all manner of concoctions she created, just imagining what her taste buds would like, listening to them as she closed her eyes and thought of the pools of green – pesto-laden ponds, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds, ginger vinaigrette mixed with pomegranate seeds. She liked French toast, the fat slices of bread cooked in butter until golden, then sprinkled with brown sugar and some caramelized molasses, to add that dark, bitterness to the light sweetness of the brown sugar. The toast itself transported her into so many memories of flavors, and that fantastic urge she had to make new flavors. Ah, food. Her tennis shoes, her walkers, that is, loomed in her mind’s eye at times, the shoe-lace eyes appearing in her mind, open as a porthole, and the texture of the blue weave large and magnified and glistening with the water she walked through the last time she wore them. Pulsing and growing, the images came and went. The same with sounds. The life of the mind is rich, she thought. And she knew this was part of her attraction to advertising: the glossy rich colors in pictures done just so, the text needing to sharp, tight, just right for whiz-kids and people-on-the-go. She sometimes felt she was a subway car that never stopped. The subway car was fast becoming the electric high-speed rail without her ever getting off. The neon lights of the billboards beneath the ground, or in the subway tunnels, blurred into streaks like the sunset sometimes, or lightening bolts as a storm builds.

She was average size, with big, heavy limbs, though she didn’t feel fat. Her flesh felt heavy and soft a lot, and at those times she felt as though she were moving underwater. Did she see bubbles? This seemed a normal way of perceiving herself, because that was her continuing way of relating to her world.

What’s the point of advertising? To get attention. To satisfy a need. To make money. To persuade why just this thing, this service, this product is what someone needs. Truth or charlatan. “You get what you pay for.” Is it that the best things don’t need to be advertised, just to be shared?

(an excerpt from new story)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Things Begin To Happen

Today in an email update from Quail Ridge Books, I learned about Lynd Ward, master wood engraver, whose novel, GODS' MAN: A NOVEL IN WOODCUTS(Dover $8.95) was told without words, and which sold 20,000 copies even though it was released during the week of the 1929 stock market crash. "Do you think all graphic novels involve costumed superheroes? Before Batman....before Superman...., there was Gods' Man, a novel told entirely in woodcuts." Stories of this man and the context which shaped him (Methodist minister father, Chicago politics, activist of social agendas, Leipzig and German expressionism.....) are interesting, including his words through which he tells of his way of becoming an artist in society. The human story - resilience, beauty, strength, courage, the ethical values of our human nature - is timeless and always inspiring and mind-stimulating.

Lynd Ward, the master wood engraver, produced a remarkable body of work. From 1929 to 1937 he produced six novels in wood engravings. No words detracted from his strong images. All plot and characters sprang from the curl of a wood shaving pulled away from the endgrain of a wood block. Even today, Ward's sense of humanity cuts as sharply as his graver's tool. The images are sensuous. The stark black and white lines are pure ink and paper, you feel that nothing is hidden. The emotional appeal surprises; it feels primal. There are no words to dilute the story. Lynd Ward's novels seem fresh and current today.

I hope you'll visit their links.

I love such expressions - "all plot and characters sprang from the curl of a wood shaving pulled away from the endgrain of a wood block." I've been reminded in many ways lately of how life springs from such simple curls, moments, wisps of thought, of breeze. We bought some flowers over the weekend which now live on the patio, and each day I think of them, look at them and study their life in moments. The petunias, lantana,portulaca, verbena, lilies - I've had to slow down as the heat rises and the moments require new thinking about life and change. Nothing is hidden - each level of teeming life in infinite images reveals itself as I acknowledge the energy of life. As Ward once wrote of his images, "Soon there is movement and things begin to happen."