work

chaos and the calm

Posted on Updated on

my professional life has felt like a cake baking in the oven. it seemed to have expanded its volume, but it is not clear whether the increase will remain or if it is all air and will fall when removed from the oven. i received some good (i think) news today, but remain apprehensive about the specific domino fall that may follow. i am nervous and excited. and i work to feel okay with not knowing. i hope and i refrain.

i remember a conversation i had with a lifelong friend the night that we met. it had to do with hope and demise and the symbiotic and yin-yang relationship they seem to have. a person’s demise is often connected to their hope. i have maintained this perspective since i claimed it in 1980 during a full moon lit walk along lake shore drive chicago.

so when i feel excitedly hopeful about the prospects of possible outcomes of this not unexpected news, i have found myself worried about the hope i muster. and if a hope become reality, what if what i hope becomes worse than what i have? or more strangely, what if it becomes better?

t g i f

Posted on

 Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.

Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.

1st full week at new consulting gig. gonna be busy through the next 3 weeks- happily i might add. i have 13 holiday evening gigs booked as well as the 8 hour shifts. love my new car. somebody sideswiped the driver’s sideview mirror last night- yuk. ah well.

bought some pine cones mixed with cinnamon sticks and my home smells delicious. put a fresh wreath on each door. this will be the extent of the holiday decorating.

IMG_0386

many thanks to wolfgang mueller for the youtube inspiration today. it provided a most welcome sense of calm.

take me to the river

Posted on Updated on

I don't know why I love her like I do All the changes you put me through Take my money, my cigarettes I haven't seen the worst of it yet I want to know that you'll tell me I love to stay Take me to the river, drop me in the water Take me to the river, dip me in the water Washing me down, washing me down .....Talking Heads
I don’t know why I love her like I do
All the changes you put me through
Take my money, my cigarettes
I haven’t seen the worst of it yet
I want to know that you’ll tell me
I love to stay
Take me to the river, drop me in the water
Take me to the river, dip me in the water
Washing me down, washing me down
…..Al Green

life is queer. or at least mine is. the circling and cycling of emotion, perspective, and clarity can be exhausting as well as exhilarating. time is the factor that is the most friendly in this dance. i am often acutely affected by situations that freeze my emotional availability. time is the ingredient that turns the stone to sand and lets the wind swish it away. time gives the gift of perspective and de-escalation. time washes away some of the grime.

i have come to realize that a very unpleasant set of encounters that i have had probably are connected to an unconscious letting go of a toxic pattern. i have gotten to a place in my life that i feel comfortable erecting boundaries around the way i am treated. and there has been depression around this perhaps because i am grieving the old ways. the independence and serenity that accompanies a lack of bullshit takes some getting used to.

i haven’t been immediately clued in to the telling signs of healthy grief, but they are now a bit more familiar. it is sad business to let go of old beliefs and habits. i just hope it doesn’t remain infinitely sad. i am hoping that some joy and room for growth comes into play.


The Eighth Step is not easy; it demands a new kind of honesty about our relations with other people. The Eighth Step starts the procedure of forgiving others and possibly being forgiven by them, forgiving ourselves, and learning how to live in the world. By the time we reach this step, we have become ready to understand rather than to be understood. We can live and let live easier when we know the areas in which we owe amends. It seems hard now, but once we have done it, we will wonder why we did not do it long ago.

…The final difficulty in working the Eighth Step is separating it from the Ninth Step. Projecting about actually making amends can be a major obstacle both in making the list and in becoming willing. We do this step as if there were no Ninth Step. We do not even think about making the amends but just concentrate on exactly what the Eighth Step says which is to make a list and to become willing. The main thing this step does for us is to help build an awareness that, little by little, we are gaining new attitudes about ourselves and how we deal with other people.
– Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text, Chapter 4/Step 8

come in from the rain

Posted on Updated on

"We should find perfect existence through imperfect existence. We should find perfection in imperfection. For us, complete perfection is not different from imperfection. The eternal exists because of non-eternal existence. In Buddhism it is a heretical view to expect something outside this world. We do not seek for something besides ourselves. We should find the truth in this world, through our difficulties, through our suffering. This is the basic teaching of Buddhism. Pleasure is not different from difficulty. Good is not different from bad. Bad is good; good is bad. They are two sides of one coin. So enlightenment should be in practice. That is the right understanding of practice, and the right understanding of our life. So to find pleasure in suffering is the only way to accept the truth of transiency. Without realizing how to accept this truth you cannot live in this world. Even though you try to escape from it, your effort will be in vain. If you think there is some other way to accept the eternal truth that everything changes, that is your delusion. This is the basic teaching of how to live in this world. Whatever you may feel about it, you have to accept it." - Shunryu Suzuki
“We should find perfect existence through imperfect existence. We should find perfection in imperfection. For us, complete perfection is not different from imperfection. The eternal exists because of non-eternal existence. In Buddhism it is a heretical view to expect something outside this world. We do not seek for something besides ourselves. We should find the truth in this world, through our difficulties, through our suffering. This is the basic teaching of Buddhism. Pleasure is not different from difficulty. Good is not different from bad. Bad is good; good is bad. They are two sides of one coin. So enlightenment should be in practice. That is the right understanding of practice, and the right understanding of our life. So to find pleasure in suffering is the only way to accept the truth of transiency. Without realizing how to accept this truth you cannot live in this world. Even though you try to escape from it, your effort will be in vain. If you think there is some other way to accept the eternal truth that everything changes, that is your delusion. This is the basic teaching of how to live in this world. Whatever you may feel about it, you have to accept it.” – Shunryu Suzuki

our nature is simply our nature. it is often said “don’t play in a lightning storm” yet so many of us do exactly that. i have been doing something very near anyway. my supervisions these last 2 months have been charged with condescension, passive aggresive projection, posturing, and hyper i’m-right-edness. needless to say it has been equally toxic and exhaustive.today i decided to take cover.it hur no more dancing in a lightning storm. it hurts too much. it just hurts too damn much.

taking chances has a way of becoming just that- chance. probablility and outcome influence my every move. i took a chance. and i am tumbling. i got burnt. gave me a boo boo. now what to do.

come in from the rain.

and then what?

Well, hello there
Good old friend of mine
You’ve been reaching for yourself
For such a long time
There’s so much to say
No need to explain
Just an open door for you
To come in from the rain

It’s a long road
When you’re all alone
And someone like you
Will always take the long way home
There’s no right or wrong
I’m not here to blame
I just want to be the one
Who keep you from the rain
From the rain

And it looks like sunny skies
Now that I know you’re alright
Time has left us
Older
And wiser
I know I am

‘Cause I think of us
Like an old cliche
But it doesn’t matter
‘Cause I love you anyway
Come in from the rain

And it looks like sunny skies
Now that I know you’re alright
Time has left us
Older
But Wiser
I know I am

 

northern lights

Posted on Updated on

One great question underlies our experience, whether we think about it or not: what is the purpose of life? From the moment of birth every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering. Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affects this. From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness By Dalai Lama
One great question underlies our experience, whether we think about it or not: what is the purpose of life? From the moment of birth every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering. Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affects this. From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness
By Dalai Lama

there is a balance within my moods which is right-sizing and humbling. i have made many changes this last season and now i must settle in to those changes. sadly, i find myself struggling with the process of that settling. and with synchronicity a cold front moved through and brought snow to the mountains and chilly gray days to our usually sunny, warm, and blue days and so i am matching today on the inside and the outside- in a little shock.

my nest is all atwitter with belongings tossed everywhere without a care for finding their home. this too reflects the state of my mind. i am not in an organized space. i am in the process of changing, but that process is not complete. i am on the verge. it is the precipice. it is the edge of something next. and I do not know. I can only trust.

I have been visiting halfway houses and jails discussing hep-c, prevention, and treatment with the people involved in those programs. I am to increase this part of my job as I move forward. I contacted the public hospital to inquire about collaborating with hiv testing while I am doing my thing. we’ll see where that goes. I feel as if I am just at the beginning of actualizing my ability at this new gig.

I have become fascinated with the bastille cover version of an old tlc song “no scrubs”. it is such a strange and campy choice for a male band. it makes me smile. and  this particular meowsie remix with the audio clips from the original “psycho” take me on some strange sort of mental journey. it’s fun and a bit creepy. if you are familiar with my blog at all, you will know well how enamored I am with bastille and their covers.

I don’t want no scrub
A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me
Hanging out the passenger side
Of his best friend’s ride
Trying to holler at me
I don’t want no scrub
A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me
Hanging out the passenger side
Of his best friend’s ride
Trying to holler at me
But a scrub is checkin’ me
But his game is kinda weak
And I know that he cannot approach me
Cuz I’m lookin’ like class and he’s lookin’ like trash
Can’t get wit’ no deadbeat ass
So (no)
I don’t want your number (no)
I don’t want to give you mine and (no)
I don’t want to meet you nowhere (no)
I don’t want none of your time (no)

everyday i write

Posted on Updated on

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him. Buddha.
All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
Buddha.

sometimes i wonder if living with a virus is really like being branded. or it might be like testing just how much endurance one has. so many people haven’t survived. yet so many people have. certainly some will insist that there is not a spiritual component to life. my experience however has convinced me that the only sense to be made from the randomness and the madness is the spiritual aspect. i am not imparting dogma here. i am sharing personal experience. the connecting thread to all the craziness and to the amazing streaks of good luck has been exposed as a raison d’etre or reason to be. i am connected to the rest of the world not by intention but by design without my consult. i give thanks today in being connected an in feeling that connection. i didn’t have that for much of my life- or actually i wasn’t aware of it.

early in recovery i used a mantra i found in “a course in miracles” which goes like this..

i am not a body

i am free

for i am still

as god created me

it brought me comfort and relieved much much early recovery anxiety and uber emotionality. developing daily spiritual practices to use as centering tools helped ground me and paved the way to understand that primal connection to earth was visibly absent from my world. life hazed me for 40 years until i was willing to let the truth be revealed. and wow. double wow. wow to the 10th power.

i began a new gig this week. i have a large office. i have what might be called hands-off supervision but evidently wonderful support. i had felt placated by management for so long, i had almost forgotten what it is like to be involved in a thoughtful work relationship. i am anxiously anticipating growing this feeling. my duties have expanded but not compounded. i am in a completely new part of town that promises adventure. every day i may get to write the book.

“Everyday I Write The Book”

Don’t tell me you don’t know what love is
When you’re old enough to know better
When you find strange hands in your sweater
When your dreamboat turns out to be a footnote
I’m a man with a mission in two or three editions
And I’m giving you a longing look
Everyday, everyday, everyday I write the book

 

what would you do

Posted on

What would you do if your son was at home Crying all alone On the bedroom floor, Cause he's hungry and the only way to feed him is to sleep with a man for a little bit of money? And his daddy's gone somewhere smokin' rock now, In and out of lock down, I ain't got a job now, So for you this is just a good time But for me this is what I call life Girl, you ain't the only one with a baby, That's no excuse to be living all crazy Then she looked me right square in the eye And said, "Everyday I wake up hopin' to die," She said, "Nigga, I know about pain 'cause me and my sister ran away, So my daddy couldn't rape us, Before I was a teenager I done been through more shit You can't even relate to!!! .... city high
What would you do if your son was at home
Crying all alone
On the bedroom floor,
Cause he’s hungry and the only way to feed him is to sleep with a man for a little bit of money?
And his daddy’s gone somewhere smokin’ rock now,
In and out of lock down,
I ain’t got a job now,
So for you this is just a good time
But for me this is what I call life
Girl, you ain’t the only one with a baby,
That’s no excuse to be living all crazy
Then she looked me right square in the eye
And said, “Everyday I wake up hopin’ to die,”
She said, “Nigga, I know about pain
’cause me and my sister ran away,
So my daddy couldn’t rape us,
Before I was a teenager
I done been through more shit
You can’t even relate to!!! …. city high

sometimes it seems i am outside the looking glass peering in, trying to see if i am at all connected to what i am able to see from the other side. i would not be surprised if this were a symptom of ptsd, but am really not sure.

i am sure that this doesn’t feel foreign in any way and i am not panicked by it. it’s not a comfort by any means, but it doesn’t telegraph a deterrent or danger really. just something to notice.

i have indulged myself over these last 5 weeks between jobs with a trip to connecticut, a trip to michigan, some new adornments, and many gifts for people i love. i have allowed myself the luxury of gluttony to exercise my frustration with my last place of employment. this really equates to emotional eating which is not at all healthy except with harm reduction in mind. i believe whole-heartedly in harm reduction but i see it as a means to an end not the end.

it’s been challenging to view the events of these 5 weeks with detachment. i am emotionally connected- completely. ahh- perfection why have you forsaken me? (ha)

“Learning to pause is the first step in the practice of Radical Acceptance. A pause is a suspension of activity, a time of temporary disengagement when we are no longer moving toward any goal. . . . The pause can occur in the midst of almost any activity and can last for an instant, for hours or for seasons of our life. . . . We may pause in the midst of meditation to let go of thoughts and reawaken our attention to the breath. We may pause by stepping out of daily life to go on a retreat or to spend time in nature or to take a sabbatical. . . . You might try it now: Stop reading and sit there, doing “no thing,” and simply notice what you are experiencing.”

Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha