Tags: desire

today we escape

i am going to go look at a house.

I am going to look at this house. And, for verisimilitude, this house.

I can't afford either house.

Well, I can, but in 18 months I'd run out of cash.

Luckily, the point for me is not to own either house right now. Necessarily. The point is to take some pictures. To have a goal. Something I can put up in my life and use as motivation when at times, like right now, all I can seem to do is tread in the drama.

I really, really love the Columbia River Gorge. It is 40 miles from Portland and one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I want to live there someday. I want to own a house there, and then buy a boat that I can sail up the river to the ocean and down the coast whenever I want.

I want to have an unspoilt afternoon of pleasure while I contemplate how amazing my life is, how wide open my future is, and how I need to make me happy.

Unalienable right. I really have to keep that in mind.

Pictures will be forthcoming this afternoon!
new life


I took new pictures of me (and my finally-recovered hair) today using my iMac's webcam. It is late and I just watched Premonition, in which weird time-out-of-order things happen to reveal a lot about a marriage that feels like "living with a roommate". There are other notable similarities between the movie and my former living situation, but for the sake of those who are interested in seeing it, I won't elaborate. There are differences, too. In any case, it got me thinking as I sometimes can, in complete shell-shock, with a nice case of whiplash to boot. When I think of where I was this time last year and where I am now, I almost feel like I have slipped into some alternate universe reality of my life, a la Sliders, and I just need to push the right buttons and find the right spot for the wormhole to open and Ben Browder will be waiting for me on the other side....wait....anyway, you get the idea. Tonight when I started to doubt the entirety of my outward existence, I decided to go back and have a look at the webcam pics I took of myself right about at this time last year. When I compare the two, i think, this may be the alternate reality, but that doesn't mean it's not the right one....

Me last summer:

Me this summer:

At least when I start doubting again, I now have extant proof of both my external and internal journeys.

serenity now

It's kind of funny, the way the mind works. I promised myself that I would take better care of myself. The moment I set out on that task, the universe, as dictated by some recalcitrant portion of my mind that isn't quite aboard the enlightenment train yet, threw up every obstacle to that it could think of, including a few familiar sucker-punches that I apparently fall for every time....

As if to teach me the importance of my now-broken promise, the last week and a half have been a study in misery, the sort of misery that can only be brought on by a dogged refusal to claim my own happiness as a providence that only I have jurisdiction over. It's like my mind is pretty clear on that subject, but my heart is in anguish over it. Some days I think I really have never gotten over being five. The dichotomy there has brought about interesting results. On one hand, I have been sleeping horribly, eating sporadically, and my tummy has degenerated into a mess. The apartment is dirty, laundry is piling up, errands are going undone. Sound familiar?

But on the other hand, my mind has been winning some battles. When I surface from the emotional turmoil, I remember that this is no one's doing but my own, and therefore, I have the only cure. And so I have going out. Defiantly, I have made it to the viola lesson I wanted to skip. I went for a walk that I have been wanting to go on. It was simply to find the local hardware store and buy a wire trap to catch my hair in the shower, but on the way I found a place that does the sort of chiropractic work I prefer (appointment for September booked!), and a place named Saint Cupcake, which I am sure I do not have to explain any further. I found a tiny little theater & pub that shows third-run movies. I went to a tarot class and had a fantastic time, learning more about how to do readings and practicing readings with the other students.

And last night, after tarot class ended at quarter to nine, I followed a random urge and drove a freshly tuned and washed and inspected Lola out to the Multnomah Falls to have a talk with the waterfall. (note: Portland needs more freeways for Lola and I to drive on when I feel the need for speed...)

You've never heard of the Multnomah Falls, which, now that I have heard of them, I find odd, as they are the second largest falls in the country, after Niagra. It was just past sunset when I climbed up to the bridge in the picture and stared at the falls for a while. I'd been to visit one afternoon in the spring, and they were absolutely amazing. Last night, however, they were..well, pretty. Very nice. Without the spring rains and snow melt, the falls are tall and delicate. The last time I was there, had I chosen to stand on the bridge I would have been sopping wet from the spray pounding into me. Last time I was there, I had gotten damp just from standing on the observation patio below the secondary cascades. Last night I couldn't even smell the spray and was perfectly dry on the bridge. And so I talked to the waterfall about what it knew, which is power. A waterfall is nothing but a very expressive vision pure kinetic energy. But at the same time, it has to be very accepting, doesn't it? It has to accept that in one season it is a mighty force that commands respect through its raw power, but in the next season, it becomes a graceful fall of almost tame water from a height. The waterfall cannot change the weather or the river that feeds it or the rate at which the snow that melts into it. It can just accept that some days it is graceful, and others it is powerful.

(Who have I become, taking tarot classes and talking to waterfalls???)

The take away? I should be more accepting, of an awful lot of things. That I, that anyone, needs to move, because it's only in motion that I can be myself. I have been coming at things a bit backwards, trying to put the cart before the horse. How can I accept others as the way that they are before I accept that I am the way that I am? How can I expect others to respect my needs when I myself don't feel I am worthy of having those needs? I can keep throwing myself at the drama wall like a lemming, and make myself miserable. Or I can try to be very understanding of everyone else while measuring out the dimensions of my own personal cross to haul around, making myself hurt and angry and eventually bitter. Or I can kindly tell my heart that it really is time to learn how to accept the outcomes of governing my own happiness as fiercely as I used to try to govern others', and to focus on only that. And by that commitment, everything else will eventually fall into place.

I guess I really should be easier on myself; there were triumphs this week. I am getting there. If this really all was easy, society, religion, and psychology wouldn't exist. So, back to the basics. Like lunch. And laundry.
lush addict

perfect afternoon

I have jasmine rice in the cooker, baby shrimp simmering in fresh tikka masala sauce, half a mint brownie, and Harry Potter.

I also have new layering perfume and smell like the ultimate diva of amazing, I have newly-purple toes, and I have a slew of happy new bath products from Lush.

See, body, I really do have love for you....
new life

how enlightenment sucks but we have to do it anyway

Apropos of nothing, I have, over the last three days, picked up the books I am borrowing from Travis* on the enneagram. It just seemed like the thing to do at the time.

(Well, it seemed like the thing to do because part of the presentation of the novel is going to be from my specific enneagram's POV. And I am now in research mode for the novel. But I also think it was something else, too.)

Anyhow, I started in on the first book and was busily "studying" all the introductory bits. And then when I got to the actual bit about how I am screwed up, I put the book down at around 10 pm and went directly to bed.

Huh. I finished it the next day. With considerably less notes, and in some spots, I had to skim.

Yesterday I started in on The Wisdom of the Enneagram. I'd read the specific section on how messed up my type is before, but now I went back to actually read more about the development of the enneagram, what the types really mean, and how you should use the information about your type to effect self-exploration and integration. (Fascinating stuff, if you have the interest. How the ego has bound us all up from our potential in the attempt to keep us safe from hurt and harm, and how the solidifying of that defensive boundary throughout childhood has put everyone to sleep to their true self to varying degrees. Scary, but good.)

Once again, I was with the underlining and hiliting like a fiend. Then I hit chapter 4: "Cultivating Awareness." The first line reads: "How can we get in touch with our true nature--the spark of divinity that lies within each of us?" As in, the first steps to getting out of the Big Ego Trap that makes us permanently miserable. And I closed the book and went directly to bed. Again.

I was really relating, too. I have had the feeling of the experience of integration, on the first part of my road trip before everything went south (and I had to rush north). I really felt like I could see my knee-jerk reactions to things, and I didn't get mad at myself for it, I just elected to not play my usual game. And I could see other people's ego-driven behavior, and I didn't get flustered or angry or stress over how their behavior affected me or themselves; in fact, I just accepted that that was how they are and that they are very much wonderful, lovable people for it. No really. I felt that way for about four days in a row. (In case you were wondering, that would be because of how welcome you whom I got to visit [and even those who I regrettably did not get to visit] made me feel, so thank you!) Maybe it was a fluke or a delusion on my part, but I'd like to think it was a moment of enlightenment. The enneagram book has a specific story from the author explaining how he had had a similar moment and what it felt like, and I got all excited.

Until I got to the bit where I might actually help myself have more of those enlightened moments, then I was overwhelmingly tired and went to sleep. (In case you didn't know I'm a type 9. Note the bit about sloth/inertia toward myself.)

I woke up today, determined. Lots more notations, underlining, hiliting and tagging. Feeling very grateful for the wisdom, taking in the new ideas. Until I got to the bit about how my type locks ourselves into our one very skewed way of seeing the world. Which is so on the nose that reading it was misery. Seriously, misery. I felt horribly confused, completely overwhelmed, and slid right into mild depression and started crying at the apt descriptions of my type's personal corner on sadness, anger, and helplessness. Then I wanted to call a number of people for reassurance. Then the sleepiness came back and it took all the willpower in the world to not put the book right down and go to bed. And being "mindful" of all that emotion and ego-driven habitual narcotization and realizing that the emotions were temporary and not a definition of my "self" really didn't help one bit towards the feeling less raw at the time.

(And I know I am supposed to be all compassionate and not wish myself "better," but really I just feel a lot broken right now.)

But, I read it through, in the end. I even managed to hilite a few especially meaningful passages. And then I plowed directly through the end bit about practices to help use the enneagram as a tool (rather than as a way to make oneself feel bad). Most of which are ideas that I have had and need to put into practice rather than letting my inertia sit me on the couch and watch all of season 2 of supernatural** in three days (is it possible to love sam more than dean or vice versa?!).

In light of all this fun mess of trying to live my life again, this time with more sanity, my goals are to sort out my compulsions/impulses from the things I really want to do, and then to find the drive to do the wanted things that are starting to nag at me. I think anything involving staying in the apartment that isn't driven by personal well-being is a compulsion at this point. The weather is fantastic and books and laptop are very portable. The big exception is the act of writing itself, some of which I will want to do here without distraction. The writing, which I have been putting off, desperately needs to happen. (Yes, self, there will be the examination. The sooner it happens, the sooner it will be over.) Exercise and eating meals rather than compulsive snacking needs to happen. Going to events & places of interest seriously needs to happen, and I have already shirked practicing the viola one day. A record, since I've only had something to practice since Tuesday. And, getting back on the meditation horse needs to happen.

Lastly, I need to get quarters. Self-knowing, integration, and enlightenment all come much easier with clean laundry.

(You know, enjae, it's occurred to me a few times now that when I was quitting my job to do writing full-time in the summer of 2004, you had mentioned that you'd be watching very carefully to see how that particular experiment went over for me.....I advise doing as I say and not as I've done... ;) )

So more alone time for me. I know it is also my type's way of making myself and everyone around me miserable, but I'm hoping to all the powers that be that this time I am going to convert my inertia-laden self-punishing and loved-one-punishing withdrawal behavior into a true inner journey. Cross your fingers for me, please.....

* Um, Travis, I owe you new copies of your books. As I was reading I couldn't hold back the compulsion to underline, notate, hilite, and sticky-tab bits. Sowwy. :)

** Thank you Stacy for making that particular brand of inertia possible....while I might maybe should have employed a healthful sort of moderation in watching the series through, it was a damn good time while it lasted.... :)
new life

psychic fair

Yesterday I went to a psychic fair, which was held at a local metaphysical shop, Practically Divine. For four hours local psychics who are connected with the shop gave free readings, working only for tips. There were six readers there, and patrons were welcome to get as many readings as they wished. It was terrifically neat to have that opportunity. I ended up sitting down with a tarot reader named Raven. I had no particular questions, so she did a general reading for me.

She ended up telling me that I was holding on too strongly to the past. She also told me that I was my own worst critic, and that I stand in my own way. She said that I am worried about getting hurt, and that while the fears are not unfounded, I will be pleasantly surprized and will find that people might sting me, but not anything like what I fear will happen. Interestingly, she said that I have a path ahead that is magically-inclined, but not tied to any formal magic and to trust more in my intuitive knowing than any divination system. She also said that I might be trying to hard to be less mainstream than I really am. She advised me to not be afraid of being typified, nor to be dismissive of more conservative values that I do identify with. She mentioned that I was "so in the middle," and advised me to allow myself to be rigid, to have definite boundaries and to build a strong core. She said that open-mindedness does not mean setting up no boundaries, but simply being open to evaluating already-established boundaries to possible change, and respecting other people's way of lives as right for them while strictly adhering to what is right for me in my life. She also mentioned that once I do this, I will attract people who also have strong cores to relate to.

For some reason I stuck on the bit about letting go of my past, so I questioned her about that. She advised getting rid of old reminders, physical ones that I've been letting sit for one reason or another. She mentioned doing a cleansing ritual of burning some of these old things, if possible. I am still puzzling over what things I have left in here, but will look around and see...

I felt I needed more clarification on what to do next about letting go of the past, so I signed up to see another psychic, only this time requesting to sit with one of the guy readers, to get a male point of view. So I was paired up with Shon, and asked him to read for me on that distinct question.

Oh my did he have things to say.

My biggest hindrances in releasing my bond to my past are my strength and my optimism. (Fantastic.) Shon explained that I feel that I can survive, that the wounds in my past are not mortal, and so I just keep going with them. He said that I tend to surround myself with people who shatter easily, who, through no fault of their own, provide constant visual examples to me of how I cannot resolve my own problems. I am too strong to shatter, so I simply hold onto that bond, not putting it down because I have no reason to. I can carry the burden, so my ego sees no need to divest myself of it.

He gave me this metaphor to chew on: Imagine two people see a car crash. Both agree that it was a horrible thing, but both have completely different reactions to witnessing it. Then imagine one person's reaction to the car crash is like having someone else's pit bull in your bedroom. You'll do whatever you have to to get that dog out of your bedroom. But my reaction is simply a large, black, clumsy piece of furniture in my bedroom. Every once in a while I bark my shin on it, but that's not annoying enough for me to bother to get the useless thing out of my bedroom like I should, so I just leave it and put up with the occasional pain.


My own strength and resilience is tying me to my past. Shon gave me a concept shift to think about (he recognized that I am very thinky). He said that I need to realize that it is appropriate to permanently let go of something not because it's dangerous and I have to, but simply because I can choose to let go of something that's usefulness has run its course and is now outmoded. That I can choose to go through the process willingly, not just under duress.

He offered up another metaphor. How much, he asked me, does a 40 lb piece of luggage weigh? Forty pounds! I replied. Okay, he said. Is a forty pound piece of luggage heavy to you? Yes. Now imagine that you are a bodybuilder. Is it still heavy? No. You can handle it with ease. In fact, you can handle another bag of luggage too. So now you are carrying around 80 lbs of luggage. I am just about at capacity, but I can deal with 80 lbs of luggage. So I am simply dealing with dragging around 80 extra pounds. But do I have to?

He gave me two first steps to take toward the goal of releasing my bond to the unhealthy bits of my past. First, he said I needed to realize that I (like everyone) have a constant connection to the most beautiful energies of the universe. *I* need to realize that because they are subtle energies, and I am missing a lot of subtlety right now because I'm working so hard dealing with my 80 lbs of useless luggage. Shon equated it to having the 80 lb bag in one hand and then him asking me to hold out my free hand and putting a feather in it. I cannot focus on how the feather feels on my palm because I am entirely focused on dealing with balancing the luggage.

Second, he gave me a puzzle (like I said, he figured out fast that I am thinky!). He said, I am not tricking you or lying to you right now. I am very sincerely telling you that putting down the luggage is going to be harder than holding on to it.

Then he explained that I am the sort that needs a reason and a challenge, or else I will rationalize my way right back into stasis. And I am the sort that thinks if it isn't hard, it's not worth doing. So now I have both, and I will be moved to start doing the things that I need to to put this useless shit down, finally.

That made perfect sense, all of it, but when I tried starting to think about what I need to actively do, I felt myself starting to get confused and overwhelmed, with too many doubts and options to pick. And so when Shon tentatively offered an energy balancing service of his, to clear out some of the trailing negative energies that have been drawn to the imbalance of my mental equation, I decided to go ahead and do that with him, to clear away everything but that One Big Letting Go Problem.

I've an appointment for Thursday, first of three over the next two weeks, which in their entirety I intend to spend in Portland, by myself, contemplative and working on re-centering and establishing some new habits. So if you don't see me around much or hear from me, that's the reason....
childhood dreams

oh internet, how i hate you