A Lovely Day

I spent a lovely day with my husband shopping for assorted necessities plus a pretty bird bath (pictured), which we then set up by one of two trees in our yard. We capped it all off by taking a pleasant evening walk in the neighborhood. I observed how the next phase of plants and trees are blooming, the bulbs along people’s lawns having peaked some weeks ago.

Amidst a culture peppered with so much Drumpf-inspired Sturm und Drang idiocy, I’m continuously grateful to be living La Dolce Vita of sorts in a peaceful, largely sensible-filled immediate community. (How’s that for a pretentious mix of literary and cinema references?)

Housewarming Postponed

I was intending to throw a housewarming party in late July, with tiki torches placed around our lawn and deck, lounge exotica music playing. I’d happily host while nursing some tasty gin drink in one hand, my other free to gesticulate enthusiastically whilst showing friends around our nice home and yard. Well, that won’t be happening this year, thanks to COVID-19. Whenever this damn pandemic is truly, safely over, I still plan to hold such a party. By then, there will be much more to celebrate along with a housewarming. May we all do our best to stay healthy and alive in the meantime.

Crescendo of Spring; My Full Cup

Today, on my walk through the neighborhood, I felt a crescendo of the season, which began when I spotted some lavender lilacs in bloom. Finally, I thought, they’re here. Now, May and springtime seemed complete. Turning a corner, there were more lilacs, then more a little further on. I took a picture of a select bush of them standing tall under a clear sky. Further on, trees gently shook in the breeze.

I grew full from all the verdancy around me, such thriving, joy-provoking leaves and blooms everywhere. And the sorrows lingering inside my mind and body welled up, folding like a wave into a stronger, confident fount of thrill and gratitude. Not for the first time, I thanked the trees and plants for their bountiful splendor; the cared-for homes all about (including my own); the big-hearted, gentle man I have for a husband; the meaningful job I have; and on and on. I was not dismissing the mountains of pain in this present, uncertain world or sad and anguished moments strewn over the path of my own past, some of which still overly-inform certain relationships for me to this day. Rather, I felt like a vessel with room inside to hold all of this. I was a container fashioned of gratitude and awareness of the present, beauty-filled moment, soaking in the richness of my surroundings. All of this became like a substance spreading out from the edges into the depths inside me, my bones, my heart. This could and would sustain me now and in the days ahead, this here-and-now sense of presence, a wealth beyond measure.

“Remember this day, these moments,” I said to myself as I gazed upon a Japanese maple, its almost burgundy and rust-red leaves shimmering in the sun.

I wistfully wished I could share this time with some others in my life in addition to my husband. I walked along in this paradox, a sense of joyous unity with everything around me yet awareness of prolonged separation from particular people with whom I share strained histories. Such is life for many of us, perhaps even everyone to some extent these days, this happy moment of clear connection in which we find ourselves that also holds lingering sad ones of disconnection. That is what it is. But, again, all of this was folded into me, bathed and held by an ocean of gratitude, a sense of aliveness, and then, also, I realized, hope.

Today, finally, I understood more clearly a truer, deeper meaning of “My cup runneth over.” And my cup is part of an ever-larger cup.

Mini Movie Review (MAPPLETHORPE: LOOK AT THE PICTURES)

I’ve been watching documentaries lately– three within this past week. The one that stands out for me the most is the fascinating MAPPLETHORPE: LOOK AT THE PICTURES, from 2016. The title is wittily taken from a statement made in the U.S. Senate by the late, ultra conservative Senator Jesse Helms. He pushed to ban the artist’s work from being shown in a museum in DC in 1989, shortly after the famous photographer’s death at aged 42.

Having long enjoyed Robert Mapplethorpe’s skillful, thought-provoking, sensual, and sometimes disturbing photography, the narrative of his life from a Catholic-raised suburban, middle class gay boy to controversial New York City-based avant garde artist of the late 1960s through the ’80s was deeply compelling to me. The visual exploration of gender and race of his human subjects was both playful and venerating. Even this creative master’s photographs of flowers come across as powerfully erotic and beautiful.

For the general public, Mapplethorpe courageously threw open a window into an existing urban gay subculture. By extension, I think this helped force people to acknowledge and grapple with the very real sexuality of queer people in general. And while I wouldn’t have wanted to live his intense life of self destruction and enormous creativity, I very much appreciate the legacy of work and cultural expansion this talented artist left behind.

Shamanic Journey (4th One Posted)

I went to the Upper World, flying into my spiritual guide L_______________’s floating black onyx and obsidian fortress. After soaring through a dark, round tunnel, I came upon a wide circle of grass under a clear dome beneath the stars, the upper center of the fortress.

L_______________ stood by the one tree, likely an oak, in the middle of a small field, thick black hair flowing down to Her feet. I asked Her what I needed to know at this time. She answered, “The rhythms and pulses of life go on regardless of what happens with humanity.” She then merged with the tree, which glimmered with inset jewels. The whole space filled with colorful flashes of light emanating from gems set inside the frame-edged sections of the dome above.

Along with L_________________, I levitated up and through the clear glass expanse, then quickly flew into a redwood forest carpeted with ferns. I grew aware of the network of mycelium along the floor of wilderness, a mighty web within the more vast matrix of all life, matter, and energy. Just ahead of me, L_________________ transformed into a peacock, throwing rainbows off Their feathers. I lay on the cool, damp ground, conscious of how my body after death will decay for new life to come forth. This felt very reassuring.

I returned to my Journey tree, a network of white and long, bare branches (which sometimes are covered in lush green leaves). Rainbows shone from out of me and all around. I’d returned with some of L________________’s wondrous fractal light and energy.

A Shamanic Journey (3rd One Posted)

Part I.

I ascended to the Lower World where I met up with a bat. It soon grew to around my size and transformed into a black winged humanoid with glowing red eyes, the elongated face and head both bat-like and feline. The creature seemed more feminine than either masculine or androgynous. For a brief moment, I felt a little scared by her appearance, though a sense of fascination soon took over. I held her outstretched hand and we flew to the moon. I thought we’d penetrate the surface of this satellite but we flew over it instead. I sensed a transition into the Upper World.

I turned to witness sun and moon communing, both seemingly so close by, especially the moon before me, but the sun was not too far off to my right. I steadily fused with the black winged being, becoming one with her.

I asked about how I can turn my creativity over and through this alchemical union of light and darkness inside and all around me. One of my primary Upper World guides, L_______________, came forth, partly out of me, Her black hair flowing in the gravity-free cosmos. She showed me my back yard, there now before me in my mind’s eye. I could garden. I asked for additional possibilities. Steadily, what came forth is writing about her (L_______________) via my dreams and story ideas. I asked for Her to please help me keep my mind and heart open to Her ongoing nearby presence, she being the embodiment of so much beauty. That way, my creativity can better flow.

At one point, there was an interplay of L_______________ and Light Being (my other Upper World guide, a man-like entity of pure white light) up there in space. They even merged for a time. His light refracted through Her as sparkles, scintillations from out of Her jewel-sprinkled dress of black velvet and accompanying peacock feather cape. Also, His light twinkled in L_______________’s large blue-green eyes, mingling with Her essence, so dazzling.

Part II.

I quickly returned to the Upper World, entering a billowing, gaseous lavender cloud. Inside, I met up with Light Being then L_______________ too. I followed Them as They flew close together to Her floating fortress of onyx. After floating fast through a long hallway, They alighted upon Their huge stone thrones rising up out of the shiny black floor. I asked Them both how I could better focus on my creative expression of this inner understanding and experience of this divine alchemy of light and beauty of the physical world. I then lay down on the stone floor at the foot of the wide expanse of steps to Their thrones. High above, a cathedral ceiling inlaid with jewels shot through with light, fading into transparency. I beheld stars blanketing the firmament.

I heard Light Being and L_____________ say in unison, even as one voice, “Be still your heart, your mind, and trust.” They relayed the importance of me sitting and walking, being with this inner richness from which I could then begin to write about It, as I also live It. And this as a response to my more recent, but now ongoing, sense of urgency to be generative in my life, to leave something worthwhile and significant behind after I am gone.

Two Dreams I Had Before Waking Up Today

I.

I dreamt I was both witnessing and going in and out of being a woman in Hawaii, or some other Pacific island, getting initiated into the indigenous culture’s shamanic swimming cult/association. This was a great honor. The woman appeared Caucasian and was a world renowned champion swimmer, or this was strongly implied. Her hair was long, thick, wavy, and blonde. She sported a tan and thick, excellent muscle tone. I was often beside her, but sometimes seemingly her. There were some fascinating underwater scenes which have already pretty much faded from my memory, as so often happens after I wake up from a dream. Somehow, I think this woman had a special round tattoo drawn on her skin, like the kind the Maori create, but I could be recalling this wrong. She/I had to swim to various places as part of her/my initiation. At one point, there was a row or group of swarthy native men in leaf or grass skirts. I think they were overseeing this rite, ensuring it was all going correctly. The overall feeling was that something of great importance was occurring. The earth would be healed with this great gesture and the woman’s/my life would never be the same. She/I would be part of something big, an old lineage of stewardship of the ocean and connection with mysterious spirits of this realm. Sometimes we/I were on land by the water, sometimes looking up a cliff edge while bobbing along in the waves. We/I saw seaweed covered rocks below the water. There may have been sea creatures, but I don’t remember.

I wake up but then go back to sleep.

II.

Later, shortly before I woke up for the day this morning, I dreamt I could fly, though awkwardly at first and not very far. Around and below me stretched a green field for miles in every direction, mountains in the distance. Some man was narrating the scene, explaining how if you shrink to a small size (about a foot in length or even smaller) and become wispy like the fairies, you can fly with ease and very high, up to ten thousand feet with no safety issues (re: atmospheric pressure, oxygen sufficiency, etc.). I began to see the sky fill with wisps, people venturing to fly high and free. I consciously made myself shrink, lighten, and promptly rise up on the wind currents. I stretched out my body and flew high with grace and confidence, the tips of tall evergreen trees growing increasingly far below me.

I awake and soon get up for the day.