Our people


I’ve lost a lot of very good people to this truth. But first, I lost myself.

Because we’re not born into the education about how to flow with the growth of our own life. We’re born into the construct of the five senses, and instructed to bow to the mores of a society which we’re taught is honorable enough to honor when it really isn’t. Everybody’s just walking around in a fear parade or self-medicating (booze, shopping, porn, mindless ambition for money) so as to feel some measure of freedom or happiness, stepping one foot in front of the other without questioning the validity of any of it until we’ve ruined the planet, children are in cages (while people justify), and fighting so many wars the news doesn’t even cover them anymore. We assume all we’ve ever done is all we should ever do when clearly we don’t got all that shit covered.


And a few years ago, I was totally devastated when my girls were both sick, James blamed me for it, I was jobless, my car got totaled, I started fantasizing about driving myself off a cliff and asked my mom to please come help me and she removed herself emotionally. And I suffered greatly. But that was just how I saw it at that time. That’s how I saw it when I didn’t realize that every painful thing is an opportunity and that those antagonists creating trauma are often the same path towards inner reclamation of self-love you could literally never get anywhere else.

For when you get to see who will suffer your suffering, you receive clarity that the end game of all of this is that you can either stay in the same place or you can move and accept that what anyone ever does to us is Growth challenging us to fight for ourselves.

So if you are in pain right now—if you feel betrayed, if you cannot see anyone standing around you—remove the society inside you validating that you are stuck, know that it hurts because it works, and breathe that the loneliness is You inside one of the steps of your act of becoming. Then go and love on something purring or furry because that shit just feels good.

Ghosting



I don’t know about anybody else but my feelings/senses are telling me that the world is not in a normal place.

The word that keeps coming to me over and over is “ghosting,” something I first heard in an episode of Doctor Who in which someone dies but keeps speaking as if she’s alive, which River Song called ghosting. In other words, the dead person was living out the last moments of her former reality and bleeding/blending it with the one she was then joining.

And that’s what I feel like the world is doing right now. It’s ghosting. We’re living inside our own extinction event wherein some of us are marching along like everything is normal (and things will be ever so cool when our political party is back in power) even while the times we are currently living in are the moments where we’re being picked up by our parents for the last time.

And I don’t know what exactly to say about it; how to encapsulate the change in words or how to incorporate it into my existence. For its like living in a world where everyone is saying “I can’t see. Where am I?” and no one knows the answer to the continuing grief of a transforming life.

Yet there are beautiful things that leave us without us even realizing it because at the same time they’re leaving, we were growing into something else equally while we were losing it.

Because one day we put our beloved child down and never picked them up again but in so doing got to see them toddle over to their dog, pat her on the head and say “good girl”.; we got to see them in their act of becoming, looking back at us for reassurance, walking across their life so as to one day hold us inside the wisdom of their arms. And in my brief time at the helm of intermittent clarity, I’ve been able to see that the ashes of anything hold the energy to be the fertilizer of growth and so while it’s metaphorically true that this might be the stage after which our parents won’t ever pick us up again—that that’s where the world is—cycling through all the ghostings of time it can also be true that from these ashes simultaneously rests the opportunity for us to be the parents of a new world. Wherein from ghosting, we evolve into one day rising into a life that finds us tucked inside the peace of our most sentient joy.

Fluttering

*This video is me yesterday, in one of the events that made the day so weird. I’m talking in my best Disney princess voice and yes, it’s embarrassing but this is what I am: an embarrassing mess who talks to birds in sing song through the open screen of her bedroom window. Coincidentally, a month before, another hummingbird had flown right up to me as I was on the porch of a sit house—no h. feeder nearby—and hovered, looking at me. I wasn’t sure what it was going to do and said something like “be careful” not wanting it to fly into my face or anything but then it just fluttered for another second and flew off.

Yesterday was a weird day.

One of those days when animals look you in the face, hold your gaze and you tingle because some “thing” speaks between you. The kind of day when as part of the wordless world of Nature, you become bonded to realms of the unspoken, handfasting to life givers that exhale our sustenance as a light that seems to freeze Time.

Because in silence there is love and acceptance; in silence there is Ginger the senior cat asking to be petted after a year of avoiding you; in silence, there is Delilah the dog staring at you with a joy that grabs your cells after you made time to rehab her wading pool. And that is a “thing”.

And it’s hard to understand from a human mind for we are taken with words and certainty. But in the zone of wordless experience these moments are like the universe is speaking to you.

For in the gift of silence, every “thing” is a voice, and in the quiet wondering during magic moments its as if we’re telling the universe “I’m awake, and I can hear everything” and the universe is responding with “I know.”

[8/2018]

In Flight

Today, I woke at 5:24 a.m. to meditate.

I’ve been meditating for 30 years—when I feel called to do so—and this morning I sat on my bed in the predawn—legs crossed, earplugs in—and made an event out of breathing.

The last few weeks of 2019 into 2020 have been wild. Sometimes I think events ignite the tinder within you—the personalized points of insecurity; the places of archetypal inner gnawing—until you find yourself balancing upon a blade amid the painful (yet predictable) eruptions. And of course stuff happens that call to those feelings, usually again and again as if Time is force feeding the bitter roots of a fallow bed, making us mindlessly flee. Racing thoughts and other ineffectuals attempting to salve wounds best left to courage and an eternity of breath.

And typically in the random selection of thoughts/visions (often maddeningly offered) that meet me in meditation is the sense of the blade—the events, the eruptions, the causes of my purposeful endeavor at finding calm. But not this morning.

This morning in my minds eye was a bird which right in front of my face, hovered in the delight of its capabilities before jetting away, wings dramatically tilting as if it was showing off. And I giggled.

The sun was due to come up in Salt Lake City at 7:52 a.m. so at 7:30, I made tea and parked myself in the chair overlooking our backyard bird feeder. The first bird appeared at 8:06—its friends arriving soon after—and as my cat offered her little cackle (a mix of outrage and derangement), I realized that the funny thing about events making eruptions is that the same themes will occur again and again, year upon year—shaking our combustibles—but then one day, one year—somehow—we’ll have changed. As if the tinder had actually been tiptoeing around flipping lights on an, patiently waiting for the sun to rise within ourselves. And Time—compelling us to giggle—rose each day solely with the goal to come meet its better self.

And so as the birds stayed aloft—daring gravity to protest— reverberations of self replayed in muscles that just a short time before had giggled from joy, and in the simplicity of quiet, I watched animals not bound to earth flirt with the air as if in deference to a shift in perception. (1/5/20)

Abstracted clarity

Part 1 (2016): That moment when you’re exhausted—on your 17 hour workdays stretching out for weeks—but must run in to buy your catholes their Soulistic at Petco in Sugar House and they open a new register with “I can help the next customer in line over here on 3” and even though you are that next customer in line and the employees can see that you’re making a move to get over there, they still let someone else who wasn’t even in line snake your spot, and now you’re forced to wait for the moron who just bought a min-Pin puppy from some abusive factory farm (probably) and is letting the poor angel baby literally shake in fear in the middle of the checkout counter–not touching it/talking to it or comforting it at all; like its feelings are that of an irrelevant object rather than a baby newly away from its mom—while he signs up for a Petco Pals card; and in the process of this sight, you become triggered because nearly the EXACT SAME THING HAPPENED TO YOU AT THIS SAME SPOT NOT EVEN THREE DAYS AGO making you think “Why is my vibe making the world feel it can misunderstand and what THE HELL can I do to make it not do this?”

So as the Petco line forms behind you, you realize you’ve got no other choice but to go full Passive-Aggressive Zen Master, and rather than hurriedly placing your items on the counter while you’re waiting for sweet baby Min-Pins owner, you strategically use your cart to hold back the impatient lady behind you (who as she watched you, most likely assessed you’re the dumbest asshole ever), and wait until owner physically leaves the counter before–in slow motion–you calmly start placing your thirty small cans of cat food one

by

one

in tidy little coordinated stacks onto the counter.

Because, Petco, you little bitch: don’t tell me my worth by ignoring me. Don’t

communicate to me I should be okay with things taking forever and then expect me to hurry to get out of the way. We’re either okay with things taking forever or we’re not. So I hope you learned a valuable lesson today. Do NOT f*cking mess with my spot in line.

Part 2: I didn’t used to be that person slowly putting cans from my cart to the counter.

I used to be someone who almost-nearly defined myself by the “greater good”. For I was that person—listening, authentically caring; a helper—who knew the outer world was loud and impatient, of which it was important it become less so and in offering what I had to give—patience, unconditional kindness and understanding—I lived into an ideal where it wasn’t a personal sacrifice to be a maxed out, exhausted single parent being ignored by those privileged with doing whatever they want. It wasn’t a sacrifice because in not making waves, I was creating a more gentle world.

But the growth of the soul doesn’t ever look just one way. And to see my passive-aggressive Zen master at Petco as “who I am” neglects the journey which almost killed me I had to endure to get there.

For from gentleness, sometimes warriors must rise to demand that the world be gentle and this evolution to my healthier self began on a cold Fall morning in 2007. James (my kids dad)—had moved away from our girls to live in Virginia with his mistress, Sarah, and—excited to start being a stepmom—she came to Utah with him. Livy was petrified to go to school and Julia was so angry she was punching holes in the doors but James and Sarah were in love (at least for another year or so); I’d had to drop out of Westminster teaching program, was heartbroken for my babies—dealing with James’ “why can’t the girls just be happy for me?”—and asked James to please not bring her to pick up our traumatized kids at the house just 10 months before we’d all had a Christmas in but they were in love.

And on that day in 2007, Sarah got out of their rental car, moved around my driveway, and started climbing my front porch steps to ostensibly retrieve my two daughters—who she didn’t even know—for their first day together, as if we were all old friends.

And I remember so clearly.

For I gasped. I stood there in my house watching her, not knowing what to do.

Because on that cold morning the kids were still devastated as was I, and I was shocked. So shocked. At her big balls that I wasn’t prepared to deal with; she had also been married, had met me; she and James began their thing—I only found out because he was using our joint account to give her money—and she said she wouldn’t be with him unless he moved away from his little girls to be with her.

And now she’d done nothing to feel embarrassed by. Now, she grabbed the emotional falsity of the moment as if there was no amount of gentleness and no human feeling at all—including those of my precious babies—that could ever stand in the way of what she wanted.

And I wanted to flee; to run from this awful situation with this monster walking up my driveway. Next to my Chrysler Pacifica with The Little Mermaid in the CD player; upon concrete my girls learned to ride bikes in; that one step up towards the porch that was slightly taller.

But the truth of life is that it tells you who you are. It offers you things and within the deep fear and barrenness inside you, strikes your woundedness until you can do nothing else but look at it. And Sarah was showing me that you can be in despair, right at the edge of the cliff, asking “why not?” and there will be people behind you mindlessly saying “oh my god you’re so stupid.” For whether of heart or heart-less, the world is filled with the noise of its own self, and on some days—when you feel least prepared—coming up your steps, will be your Sarah.

For she was the world—not listening, not having to—behind me on the edge of the cliff saying “maybe you should”, and for a second that day, I gasped and wasn’t sure. Should I? What can I even do with this level of fucked up? Where do I go to feel safe from this cruelty?

And on that day she (and many others) taught me how to make space for my self—how to be okay with standing in line at Petco, micro-slowly putting cans on the counter in full irritation of all— for as she put her foot on the bottom step of my home—where I raised my babies, who were enduring unnecessary grief—I found something inside me that could answer those questions. And as if I’d always known, I ran across my living room, flew out the front door and stood, arms crossed over my chest at the top of the steps, looking down at Sarah in challenge as if my life depended on not letting her take one more step.

And suddenly the world was listening.

Part 3: My youngest daughter, Livy, is much like I used to be. Kind, always thinking of others, doing so automatically because their well-being is essentially her well-being. And I’m cognizant of it but she has her own journey and I want to give her the freedom to navigate into the spaces her soul needs without micro-managing. So we disagreed on the philosophy of putting the cans up slowly; she says you should always choose kindness because you never know what someone’s going through. And I hear that; I lived that; I get what she’s saying.

But that just can’t be it. It can’t be. Because people kill themselves because of the unkindness of the world and if I can speak up, if I can inform the world it’s not being gentle enough, shouldn’t I do that for those people? Who else is tasked with telling the world it needs to do better and show up for the ‘quiet kindness not making waves’?

But just the other day, I rushed into Petco during my (repeat of) horrible work stretch of 17 hour days and there I am again: waiting on a Petco Pal’s card. And as I’m waiting, I’m like “are you kidding me?” Because it’s like a comedy sketch now and it’s all so lovely and beautiful to be unconditionally kind when you’ve gotten a full nights sleep and don’t have a nail in your tire. But not all of us are hobby Petco consumerists; some of us are very tired people spending $700 on tires who haven’t washed their hair.

Yet as I stepped up briskly—still in adrenaline mode; wanting Petco to know I needed to hurry—I paused, and looked at the checker. She was young with dark hair; it might’ve been her first job; maybe she was even nervous, and I softened.

Because in that moment, suddenly I had the thought “who else but me?” and felt that right then, I was the world. I was the one tasked with listening. And in that moment, it was no longer enough to be heard without also showing up for whomever else of gentleness might be passing through. For there will be Sarah’s; they will walk up and push.

But there are also Livys, and Julia’s–my daughters–who painfully navigated that time to arrive as adults more caring and compassionate than they probably would’ve been otherwise.

And in the arc of a souls growth, so do we meet our selves again and again.

For at the end of “finding yourself” is the realization you can’t actually see who you are without the benefit of another’s vision, and as I left the store, I texted Livy to thank her, and teared up before pulling away in the fullness of understanding.