Monday, October 27, 2008

The Wrong Side of Murdo

I don't know much about Murdo, but I am sure I'm on the wrong side. It's a small place, .6 square miles, and I know it's one time on one side, another time on the other. It is amazing how such small places can carry such significance in our lives; how they form lines more divisive that all the great rivers. I mean, it isn't all that far from Murdo that you cross the Missouri, and not much farther when you cross the Mississippi, but those great rivers can't stop me. No, for me, Murdo has set itself up like the river Styx, the dividing line between light and dark, and I can't tell when I'm supposed to cross over.

A very wise man once said, "I don't know........whether we have a destiny, or whether we all just float around accidental like.......Maybe, it's both...". I clearly don't have the answer. In reality, I don't even know the question. Yet even while bathing in the absence of knowledge, I am struggling to find an answer.

Right now, my life feels a lot like trying to hear a single note in an accordion choir bellowing to nirvana. The overall chorus is delightful, awash in Myron Floren giggles, but the note I seek is lost in the maelstrom of simultaneous arpeggios and glissandos; upward and downward spirals of disguise. I am found, but I am lost, and the forward momentum of my journey feels stifled. I thought perhaps that my answer might be found in the accordion, but the instrument's secret lies shrouded in its confusing array of keys , buttons and folds. No, the accordion's sole purpose is to reveal delight in dark, unsuspecting moments. Then I thought the answer might be revealed through Myron Floren himself, the long recognized guru of polka and garbled accents. And I have found, that through him, there may indeed be clues.

For instance, he grew up in Roslyn, which is also on the wrong side of Murdo, and is also the last known hiding place of the jesus seed, but, more importantly, it is home to the International Vinegar Museum (sugar cubes provided), only 11 miles from the world's largest hairball, and driving distance from that most famous attraction of all, the Corn Palace. (Aside: Initially I was also drawn to the Smiley Face Water Tower, until I discovered that there are hundreds scattered throughout the USA). While it became clear to me that all these places hold space on my path to enlightenment and the joy of bellybuttons, it was also clear that they could not bloom my lotus.

To be sure, the space-time continuum of my journey is hickery-dickery-docking on the right side of Murdo, but it is also blub-blub-blubbing in the papier mache submarine of Captain Nemo. It does not run through the path of Adi Da, or his brothers Ladida and Budabing. My purpose (God, I hated using that word) is divided, and can only rationally be reconciled. My heart is being torn apart, caught between non-nuclear propellers, and the spasmodic, masticating, twisting, crocodilian teeth of Vern, the wisest of the cold-blooded.

I long ago cat-and-dogged in the sweat lodge, long ago painted the purple microdot, and long ago learned to trust the gut-dwelling guides of my vision quest. The choices in the yellow wood are really what life is all about, understanding that they never stop presenting themselves, understanding that we are always left with a zig or a zag, understanding that neither choice is easy.

Today has been cathartic, and has led me where my spirit resides. Every first step requires courage, and there are no second steps, only new first steps, infinitely presenting yellow possibilities and fractal dreams. I cannot be afraid of the chaos life offers. I must bathe in it and let it cleanse me. I can let the endless variations of life steer my heart, or I can let my heart navigate my possibilities through the infinite array of momentary choices, and land where I belong in the yellow hills beyond Murdo, giggling on the road to heaven, following my moon.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Quote of the Day

Play for the moments yet to come
Bagger Vance

The Danger of Doorknobs

I admit that I have been preoccupied with George Carlin of late, he being the smartest man who ever lived and all, but, today I am more preoccupied with religion. After all, religion serves dual purposes in society, those being to confuse and to control. And I had previously believed that western religions had the monopoly (at least, if you just ignore the hindu), until I started looking at Islam a little more closely. I was reading Mohammed's last sermon and discovered this quote, "Hurt no one, so that no one may hurt you". It is this sort of religious gibberish that really angers me. I mean, how are you supposed to make sense of that. At least the jewish bible is a little clearer, "Go to Canaan, and kill every man, woman and child in your path". Well, at least if you study such things, it affirms the contention that god is merciful.

But all this balderdash pales in comparison to the story of Fatimah, daughter of Mohammed. Aside from the fact that she was chaste, had no menstrual cycle, had no birthing pains, was born from the fruits of paradise, and was midwifed by the four, most beautiful women who ever lived, I found myself more fascinated by the story of her death. I will paraphrase, in order to make the story easier to grasp.

Umar was trying to break into her house. She had no time to find her scarf, so she hid behind the door. The intruders flung open the door, and her unborn child was killed instantly, by the doorknob. Fatimah died a few months later from the resultant complications.

After I pondered the lessons to be learned from this story (Don't worry, dear reader, I will exhibit no condescension towards you by explaining them), I found myself wondering why so many of god's gifts are not available to all. Take, for instance, the ouija board, and let's say that one of the participants suffers from tourettes syndrome. It would be nearly impossible for him to lay his fingertips gently on the planchette; too many tics and spasms for that. And it would be impossible for the poor soul to make out what was being spelled out, given the random shrieks of f-u-c-k, s-h-i-t, p-i-s-s, c-u-n-t, m-o-t-h-e-r-f-u-c-k-e-r, p-r-i-c-k and a-s-s-h-o-l-e randomly conjugating on the board. All connection to the spirit world would be inaccessible, unless of course he went to see my sister-in-law, who is regularly visited by her deceased father. And, god forbid, both seekers suffered the disease. That planchette would be flying around like a ping pong ball on an air hockey table. Yes, god works in mysterious ways.

It has been pointed out to me, by a couple of my readers, one old and one new, that I suffer from a couple of insurmountable faults. The first claims that I am rigid and absolute in my beliefs. The second claims that I have lost my irreverence and have grown soft. I feel no need to address either of these ludicrous accusations. Not now, not never.

I have been touched by the hand of a great, ethereal power, and it is pointless to resist. But I think that whatever I am becoming is for the best. I will strive in future posts to regain my irreverence, and I will attempt to be more receptive to whatever ridiculous things you may believe. In the meantime, I know that George Carlin would git it, but, just to be sure, I pulled out my ouija board. Till we meet again, I would only ask that you not hide behind any doors.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Welcome Home

A young, lacy maple grows along the fence, just off the back porch. She grows too near an old pine, yet she is the first to draw morning light, bathing in it like an exhibitionist awaiting my attention. She is a young tree, yet strong enough to thrive in the shadow of her brother. She stands there, anchored in the embrace of her brother's roots, yet her limbs are still spindly new, not yet wiry even. Yet somehow, that pine knows she will someday kick him in the shins and topple him over like a drunk off a barstool. Before the cooler breezes blew, she was green but sparse, tatted like curtain lace, clothed in teddy bear lingerie. She wore her leaves differently, not like the square dance skirt of a blue spruce, not like the tinsel, stripper's wig of a weeping willow, not like the ploofy-shouldered gown of an oak, but rather like the delicate tickle of a lover's touch, like a naked woman standing half-hidden in the doorway, like dawn's first whisper. Autumn arrived, and she colored before all the others, the yellow of like, overcome with the impatience of youth, strutting in the sunlight like a runway model, maybe a tad anorexic, but blazing with wanton desirability. Now, alas, she is bare and defiant, her branches exposed like the veins of dying leaves, yet she cries out "I will endure the snow and the ice. I will grow more slowly in the freezing winter, but I will not break, I will not stop. I will stretch for the dimmer sun and the brighter moon, drink from the hardened earth, feel the warm, buttery syrup coursing through me".

Her spring will inevitably arrive, and she will reach for the sun with new greenness but, perhaps less lace. And she will wear a new dress, and be beautiful once again. Birds will nest and squirrels will scurry. Her green will change and evolve with time, and the cycle will repeat.

Yes, the cycles are as constant as doubt, and changes will come. She will wear many dresses and shed them all. Her trunk and branches will thicken with time, knotted and whorlly, protecting the magic rings of time within. She will seed and she will sow, until a time long past my final breath. And she will become someone else's favorite tree, masking her secrets and sharing her strength. And they will see a different beauty in her, different than the one I see, but that's alright, because my vision of her has and will sustain me, until I am gone.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pinocchio Wins the Nobel Prize

Not since Walt Disney passed on due to excessive opium accumulation in his lungs, has a more meaningful event occurred in the annals of newsdom. The Nobel prize for physics was awarded this past week to three Japanese gentlemen, one American, for their discovery of 'spontaneous broken symmetry'. I don't even know what it is, but I do know that it is the single most incorrect assertion ever foisted on the global public. As I'm sure you are aware, in all but the purest mathematical definitions, there is no such thing as symmetry, even though is the most sought after treasure for humanity. In any event, as I pretend to understand it, when examining anything that appears symmetrical, especially the big issues, upon closer and more detailed examination, fractalized details appear that disrupt the whole notion of reflection. It is not until we get to the really, really small issues do we find that all variant detail disappears. While it is important to note that the whole fucking universe wouldn't exist without the spontaneous break in symmetry, it is more vital to accept the irrefutable realization that we are incapable of getting that small; that we are forced to accept the tiny variances in our lives that swirl symmetry right down the emotional garbage disposal. We cannot possibly hope to find the symmetry we seek.

All this science brought me, with a little help, to Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket. It was clear to me, even in 1940, that constructing a wooden marionette could never alleviate an old man's loneliness, but that, due to the ravages of time, it was the only wooden thing that could give Gepetto any hope of passing on the puppet, genetic line. The fact is that Pinocchio was much more the little boy prior to his flesh and bone transformation, that only after Gepetto's dream came true, were the donkey ear seeds truly watered and nurtured. We all are the creations of our parents, designed to perpetuate the illusion of normal. Sure, Pinocchio was a liar, but he sang and danced his way down a path that felt good to him, felt natural. There are those that would tell you that he lied because he hadn't benefited from any parental guidance. I would tell you that he lied because his innate puppet instincts told him to protect himself. Now I don't believe that lying is the best way to protect yourself, but I do believe that instinctively, we all do what is necessary to survive. Therein lies the problem. Our lives are programmed from the beginning to survive, and we all know how to do it even before the strings disappear. What we never learn to do is to live, to thrive.

We all have a Jiminy Cricket, and he is wiser than you think. I'm not talking about the devilish imp that lives in all of us. The imp is there to maintain the status quo. No, I'm talking about the cricket, rubbing his legs together to get our attention, telling us how to be better; telling us that what seems OK probably isn't; showing us how to live outside the box we are all trapped in. The imp tells how to get around the right thing. The cricket gives us a new map, with a new space to explore with only instinctual instructions to guide us.

We need, at some point in the very near future, to accept the fact that we are nothing more than talking animals. Our mother ravens have already shown us how to leave the nest and find food, but they neglected to teach us how to fly upside down. The fact is that we instinctively know how to fly upside down. We just choose not to, primarily because we feel safer flying the conventional way. But as a species, we have failed to evolve; failed to examine the evolutionary path which has confined us. As a result, we continue to navigate through greed and self interest, swallowing hook, line and sinker the notion that was has always been is working.The path of accumulation is an abysmal failure; it has failed to provide symmetry. We, as a species, are unable the see the real reflection in the mirror. We are unable to accept that we are indeed miserable.

All of our social institutions exist in order to perpetuate a clearly broken path. Gods give us fear, business gives us scarcity, governments give us specious rules, marriage gives us sediment, and all of them together give us spiritual atrophy. We have given up our instincts, quit on the dream of discovering what we might become, instead choosing a state of dormancy bordering on coma.

I don't know whether or not the aquatic ape theorists are correct (although it does explain why I have such a large penis). I don't know why the Mayan calendar ends in 2012. I don't know why there was an imbalance in matter/antimatter at the big bang. I don't know why there wasn't a PinocchioII:The Later Years. But I do know that it is time to get out the sandpaper and scissors.
And I know it is time to look in the mirror, and find the microscopic reflection of what we should become, what we have never been.

It is time for a when-you-wish-upon-a-star tap dance into a black hole, and discover what light shines on the other side. It is time to want to be boys and girls again and chart a new course. It is time for donkeyearechtomies. It is time to evolve, have lots of fun, and let Jiminy Cricket run off and fuck the shit out of the Blue Fairy.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Forest for the Trees

When the sky becomes inky, as twilight quickens toward black, when the world is only illuminated by distant streetlamps and crescent moon, faces appear in the forest, born of the trees, the natural clocks of infinity. The faces, formed of leaf and shadow, are ancient and private, only visible to the ardent viewer. The regulars appear, the jolly green giant with Sprout nearby, but Pan is also present, panpiping his final autumn symphony, heralding the onset of winter and hibernation. Arcadia listens intently, searching for hints of a distant spring, a remote rebirth, when the eromenoi step out from under the loving touch of their mentors and become the most courageous men. Even the moon is seduced toward fullness, overcome with the panic of d-flat and possibility.

I have worn many faces in my life, few of them my own, most of them born in my own shadows of fear and doubt. Yet I find myself tonight believing that my circle is completing, that I am ready to wear the face I was meant to wear, that I am synchronized with my life clock. I have always let my heart rule my life, choosing that option long ago, eschewing the influence of my brain. I have chosen to distrust my intellect, believing that it would lead me into a life of stunted imagination and empty goals. I have never felt comfortable with direction, feeling more at ease in the ebbs and flows of randomness. Perhaps it was easier avoiding the pitfalls of possible successes. I don't think I've ever been afraid to try, but I have been afraid to finish. But the melding of thought and feeling has appeared to me finally, like the leafy faces in the trees.

I have always let my life be ruled by happenstance, not a victim of it, but rather a willing participant, and I believe I have always stood in the resultant consequences, with courage, perhaps, but laced with a certain impotence. As a result, my life has moved forward with an enormous lack of self control, mixed with immediacy and expedience. But I am coming to realize that I have been gifted with certain abilities and talents that perhaps deserve direction and guidance, and that I have to create my creation, that lasting gift for those who follow. There is no haughtiness in this belief, only a certainty that it must evolve in the forest time that I have been given. There really is no sense in pondering the worth of my creation, only realizing its necessity.

There are many faces visible in the shadows of the trees, and soon they will fade to sleep. The gods, or at least the powers of the life force, reside there. The demons as well. I thought I saw the face of Satan, but it turned out to be the hair lipped face of Eric Roberts. But it is not the faces of the patriarchy that I seek. It is rather the faces of the feminine, the birthing faces hiding in the canopy, only illuminated by the light of the Pleiades, more difficult for me to pull into my new reality. But I will find them, and listen to them, and their light will spark my creation.

Yes, I have seen the faces. I have even seen my own, but it is a new face, one that I have never worn. It resides in the oak, strong and rooted. I will no longer be the willow, bowing to drink but never tasting, safely grasping the dry shore. I will no longer be the elm, diseased and disappearing. The pine, the cottonwood, the linden, the ash, the chestnut, the maple. They all have their place in the woods, in my woods. It is time for my forest to thrive. It is time for eagles to sway the treetops. It is time for the crows to stand sentinel. It is time for the jays to thieve, the cardinals to be leery, the squirrels to dervish, and the chipmunks to hoard. It is time for life in my forest, time for all the natural cycles to reside in sacred grace. After all, my time is still my eternal time and, as the man said, I have 'miles to go before I sleep'.