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Nanowrimo 2018 is here!

It’s NaNoWriMo again!!! For those of you who know, that means – National November Writing Month. It’s a wonderful challenge for all us writers out there to write a novel in one month – roughly 60,000 words. That means, writing has to take place EVERY DAY or you won’t win. What do you get if you win? A FRIGGIN’ FINISHED NOVEL!!! And how good would that make you feel?

I know it made me feel pretty dern good in 2015 when I finish “From the Other Seat”. Man, I was so excited about the fact I had finished my first novel that I did that total novice thing, signed up at Reedsy, found me an editor, paid a hefty fee to have it edited only to realize that the novel was SO far from being ready. Editor dude made a few brash critiques and I took that as, “THE NOVEL SUCKS. CHANGE EVERYTHING”. Ah rookie mistakes…

From the Other Seat

In my gut, I knew I should have taken Stephen King’s (On Writing) advice, put it in a drawer and forgot about it for 2 years, but instead I attacked it, kept editing, ripped apart the structure until it was no longer the same book. In the back of my mind I heard King’s warning, if you keep picking at a new manuscript you’ll destroy it….

Well. I did. Done destroyed it. “From the Other Seat” still exists, mind you. It lives in about 5 different versions in 8 different folders in my handy Scriviner software. I’ve opened them again recently… there’s still a novel there… somewhere. I’ll uh… fix it someday… **sigh**

This year, I’m preggers and home most of the time, thus I have a second chance at novel writing. Luckily, I have a few old ideas waiting in the wings, so while I won’t be starting from scratch, I’ll be starting anew. Arizona, Gallup (3)The new project is called, “Freedom Falling” (temporary cover, bad design, I know). It’s roughly about being a rebellious teen, and trying to grow up too fast. She’s a runaway who finds her self in the dusty desert with some shady characters where she tastes fear for the first time, loses her innocence, and her virginity, but gains a whole lot of life lessons along the way.

Boring premise? Well… I’m working on it. The point of Nano is not to be an amazing writer right from the start, but just to BE A WRITER. Write. Whatever. Just let your fingers fly. Let out the good, bad, and the ugly. Don’t edit along the way. Only move forward. There’s no other way to get through the challenge. And even if, like me, you’ll delete half the book when the challenge is through, you’ll have puked out all the bad ideas along the way. You have to get out the bad before you get to the good… I think Hemingway said that.

Anyway, I love this challenge because I make so many excuses in my normal weeks to NOT write, or at least not write in a purposeful way. And I can’t explain how satisfying it is to log in your daily word progress and watch the handy novel graph go up up up up. (If you’re curious what I’m talking about head to https://nanowrimo.org)

In light of Nano, I’ve compiled a simple list of my favorite authors. They are, as follows in order of flavor-favs.

Ernest Hemingway, Haruki Murakami, Sherman Alexie, Barbara Kingsolver, and Katherine Arden.

Not a huge list, but these peeps have been the most impactful on me.

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And here are a short list of books that have helped define me, in order of most inspiring:

A Moveable Feast (Hemingway) (I pretty much read this once a year)

On Writing (Stephen King)

The Shepard’s Life (Rebanks)

Kafka on the Shore (Murakami)

War Dances (Alexie)

Prodigal Summer (Kingsolver)

The Winternight Trilogy (Arden)

Women Who Run with the Wolves (Clarissa Pinkola Estes)

Heroes, Gods, and Monsters of the Greek Myths (Evslin)

The Little Prince (Saint-Exupéry)

The Hobbit (Tolken)

Foxfire (Oates)

Island of the Blue Dolphins (Scott) (all time elementary school life-changer favorite)

The Secrets of Dr. Taverner (Fortune)

Journey to Ixlan (Castaneda)

Good luck to all you fellow writers out there!!! See you in December <3

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The Harvest of Desire

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I’ll remember Winter as “the time before”,

Before this Was, and That was no more

When ice builds a bridge to impossible shores

I’ll remember Winter where silence is born.

I’ll remember Spring as when temptation grew

On a bed of old thorns six roses bloomed,

All soft, red, and sweet smelling perfume

I’ll remember Spring as Love, renewed.

And Summer, Ah! Summer

The trees team with life

Laughter and play replace what was strife,

But hellish your heat

And madness your mission,

I’ll remember Summer as a time to start wishing

Fore Autumn, what pages this pen could fill!

Your bright falling leaves rest so peaceful and still

Incense of sandalwood, frankincense, and myrrh

Liven the spirit, and oh! how it stirs.

Yes, Autumn I remember such beauty and joy

Orange pumpkins in patches, red apples in bushels,

Yellow squash in the hand, stew simmering, bread brimming,

And coffee never tasted so rich.

Autumn I remember as the best season ever

Late August, September, October, November

When a poet’s thoughtful prose start to glow like a fire

I’ll remember Autumn as the harvest of desire.

What is Esotarot Earth?

If any of you are wondering what I’ve been doing with all my time, here are some words about a place I have created, Esotarot Earth, what it is, what it isn’t, and why I’m doing it. With love.

While I’m still building the Esotarot Earth site and how it should function, I’m placing this bit of writing here because I haven’t been here in a while, and wasn’t sure how to merge these avenues of expression. Please follow me on facebook at Esotarot Earth. That is where I have been placing all my writing bits, and that is where this one has been copies from.

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Let me start by saying what Esotarot Earth is NOT. We are not astrologists. Though half our library is Astrology books and we believe a solid understanding of it is not only helpful to an individual, but necessary when communicating any esoteric practice, our Astrology understanding at this stage is limited in that we won’t be giving advice in Astrological terms but using it as a tool to further strengthen the message. Right now, July 5th 2018, there are 5 planets retrograde – Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Pluto, and Neptune. Top that with one major asteroid, Chiron, and that’s 6 cosmic bodies currently in retrograde.

Books upon books we have that tell us what that means, but at the end of the day, what does it mean really? What it means to him or her, them or they will be different. The ones that fair best through any challenge are the ones that rely on intuitive functions. You will all go about your days, retrogrades or not. You will grow, you will digress, you will change or you will stagnate, wither, blossom, in sadness and in joy interchangeably, always, each according to their being.

Here on ET Earth we know this, as we are the same, and while the message we bring is rooted in facts, the delivery is wholly intuitive. But as far as retrograde go, this quote from Erin Sullivan’s book ‘Retrograde Planets’ will get you far,

“The degree of discord in personal life during retrogrades signifies the distance form one’s core values and high-creative inspiration.”

Retrogrades force us to take a second, third and fourth look, not on the outside, but internally. Knowing there are 6 astral bodies asking us to take an inside look, regardless of their functions, tells us that this period will either be wrought with inner conflict if we are on the wrong path, if we are on the right one – fairly smooth yet solemnly focused on the details of intention, or a combination of both if we, like most, find ourselves in between. The point is we’re all trying to define who we are NOW, what we are NOW, where we want to be, and when we are in our truth. We all want to get down to the bottom of what constitutes our happiness.

Which brings me back to ET Earth and what we ARE. Our purpose lies in the heart of those searching. We’ve taken great pains to arrive at this point, a risk that seemed worth taking, – a point at which we feel confident – more so compelled – to communicate aspects of the collective unconscious through the ways in which feel comfortable (tarot, and numerology) “We”, because it is not just one mind that has brought us here, but many. My fingers, my words, my being, just a conduit of this vast mystery I’m pleased to be a part of.

On my personal journey, this is where I stand – having created ET Earth, and like a new mother, I’m not exactly sure where it will go, what it will become, how I should mold it, or how much I should just let it be – just, Be.

Like many of you, I’ve long held my favorite astrologers, tarot readers, and the like. The pressures of all the people already in these fields on Youtube and Instagram, doing it and doing it well, can make one not want to begin at all. I spent decades as a singer songwriter battling the same forces, succumbing to the same fears. Like most, I go in and out of doubt; I hold high, and then bury my faith in myself. But the individuation process continues, and the work is never done. My life is my work of art, it is Esotarot Earth, the opus of a metaphysical geek.

As Richard Roberts states in ‘Tarot Revelations’, “In Hermetic philosophy, the work and life merge, the artist or alchemist being part of – and inseparable from – the process.”

Let my personal story demonstrate what this message is about – what eggs you on? What is the the thing that make you excited to keep going, despite challenges? What is your art?

Which leads me right into the energy of the day, and what a roll of the dice revealed: The energy: 17 (associated with The Star), the nuance: 6 (associated with the lovers) and the oracle card, “She Tames By Laying Down The Staff and Rope”. So here is our message:

Align with your higher nature, have faith in the divine. Within these cards we are shown the unity of the high and lower in a divine capacity (17, The Star) preparing the soul for flight, and as depicted in 6, The Lovers, “The male or the conscious mind, looks to the female, or subconscious mind, which in turn gazed up at the angel, or the super-conscious.”

With The Star showing itself, your wish is at the threshold of materializing, but it takes faith. As the oracle states, let down the rope and staff, we have reached a point in the physical world where we can go no further, it’s now the work of the spiritual realm, so have faith, feed your goals with faith, and meditate. Let life do the hard lifting, while you look inward, as the retrogrades ask, and make space for the shadow inside you as well as the light. Understand them and let them be one, fore “Reality resides only in the synthesis of opposites.”

Whether you are male or female, experience the polarity of the anima and animus within. The male principle has pushed us this far, gained us this much, now call on the feminine, internalize, magnetize the forces so that the goal can take form. Surrender and invite these mysterious aspects of yourself to merge, with love, connect to your higher and lower self. Soften your approach, let go of the job, identity, habit or lifestyle you thought defined you. Don’t be afraid to empty, to look deeper. Ask yourself where you feel discord, and seek the answer within. Illumination is right around the corner.

Simple Ideas on Love and Pain

It’s up to us to decide what is pain,

And what is giving the best we can.

I learned that today in yoga. Two months ago that truism may not have struck me as profound, but today it did.

Maybe because I drove to class thinking about pain. About how when we love someone, really love someone, we never want to hurt them – but sometimes we do.

Why do we transfer pain? Can pain generate on its own like rogue cellular mutations? Is it planetary friction that sparks a fight in us? Is it because we harbor fear? What is it we fear? What is the root of the insecurity?

We transfer pain when we feel pain because we feel fear, because of some ecological friction that’s cosmically ordained like moon tides, because it’s time for growth.

The volley of pain is unavoidable. The transition between stagnation and growth is uncomfortable. Again, it’s up to us to decide what is pain, and what is giving the best we can.

Growing is friction – on the emotions, on the bones. Like a sprout from a seed feels friction when it meets the dirt. It is not easy. Birth. Birth is growth. Birthing is pain, but we give it the best we can or there would be no birth, no growth.

In my yoga practice, I’ve felt this most tangibly, learning to sense when my body is close to injury, vs. meeting a challenge; when to push it, and when to hold back.

As physical life mirrors the emotional, the spiritual, and every other “-al”, I can say with certainty that I al-ways feel better about myself and my place in this human ecology when I challenge myself – when I decide, within milliseconds, what is necessary for progress, and that challenging my place, my purpose, recognizing the need for growth sometimes means I challenge the people closest to me. We’re all in this together. Either we evolve or get left behind.

Applying that to matters of the heart means that sometimes people hurt, and sometimes people get left behind. But sometimes the evolution happens simultaneously and love grows, and people come closer together.

The whole point is recognizing when you feel pain, when you are causing pain, actual pain, or if you are doing the best you can -giving your best for them, for you, for all, even if it doesn’t seem like it in the moment. It’s all about intentions. Make sure they are good ones.

Give your best. Pain is part of it, but the end result should always bring us closer to love and wellness.

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Past, Present, Future of Rai.

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Arguably, the most prolific time I had as a songwriter was in 2008 when I moved to Aberdeen, Scotland. I’d gone there to escape from Los Angeles, I’d gone there to discover myself, I’d gone there to work on a vocal/techno project. That project became a battle of the wits, split by creative differences and divergent temperaments. The experience threw me back inside myself. Desperately needing an outlet for my emotions, my Scottish born musical partner made a handful of phone calls to find me a borrowed, broken guitar. It was on that guitar, and in those moments after techno, and wandering the streets of Aberdeen, that I wrote most of the songs that appear on youtube.

 

I often wonder if it was the energy in Aberdeen or the combination of circumstances that led to such a creative outburst. Nevertheless, none of the songs were ever recorded in any other way. I can remember how to play only a few.

As far back as 2004 I was at odds with the songwriter in me, convincing myself that I wasn’t talented, torturing myself through every spell of writer’s block and then, like the clouds parting, every few years would bring a prolific fit of writing after which I’d be standing at the crossroads wondering why I did it, if it was any good, and if it meant I was truly meant to pursue a career in music.

There’s not many who understand the violence of creation – the overflowing love felt while writing and sharing, followed by the dark, deep depletion after the process is through.  The curious part, and most perplexing, is that only in acoustic songwriting did the violence turn to self-destruction.

 

I would argue that I pour just as much of my soul into my long-hand writing, but never have I ventured to masochism after posting a short story, poem, or blog post.

It’s said, music is the soul of the divine. The expression of which taps into god energy, is akin to a religious experience. Acoustic songwriting brought me to that cathartic state, taught me how to get closer to my emotions, to be more comfortable expressing my truths – truths that I continue to explore.

Songwriting seems, for me, to have been a means to an end, and end which I’ve journeyed to fill with spirituality and mysticism in all its forms- the bottom of a purpose I may never find, if not to have found the digging was all I was ever meant to do.

Picking up my guitar and playing for myself or for others still carries that purifying sensation, a highly medicated healing energy even when the song is sad. That’s the part about it I love. The part I hate is that it’s also a quick way to self-loathing and destructive behavior.

Songwriting provokes the dark sides of my nature. Trying to live in the light while giving breathe to darkness is uncomfortable, to say the least.

Maybe it’s that I’ve never reached a place where the songs stopped helping me. Maybe I’m still a novice in the world of helper and healer and need much, much more personal work before I can use these tools to help other people. Maybe I’ve never been great at nurturing the extroverted version of myself. Whatever the case, I’ll listen to the lot of you who care tell me that I shouldn’t stop, that my songs mean much to you.

I guess what I’d say to you is, I’m looking for ways to help and heal that don’t take so much out of me.

All I ever wanted was to understand the inner workings of the world enough to make some sense of the human ecology. With that knowledge, I endeavor to help, heal, and spread love.

So, what do I wish the reader to understand from this post? Allow me to shuffle the cards…

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Three cards: past, present, future.

The Moon can represent a lot of things but here it’s strongly showing the past. The uncertainty of the past is leaving. In the present, the Three of Wands, of which also represents the past, present, and future symbolized by the fact that there are 3 wands. The progression of the vine on the wands helps show this. The figures’ hand is on the newest staff- the future- and he’s got a firm grip on it, a clear sight of what he wants. Those ships in the distance? That’s the goal, and to get there he will use the wisdom embedded in these three staffs, these experiences. The figure isn’t merely waiting, he’s been preparing for this.

In the future comes the careful, meticulous, firm, earthly, dependable, Knight of Coins – one of my favorite Knights because while he may be slow, he’s practical and what he brings is usually something lasting. Like a matured idea, a new business adventure, a turn in career maybe, even someone trustworthy who will help on the journey. Could even mean a venture back to school to further studies in a certain area… whatever the case, the Knight of Coins brings a good, useful, well earned opportunity.

So to the future, I’ve got ideas in my head. Debating if I’m ready to start doing tarot readings or something. There’s a healer in my heart. I’m working on letting her speak.

Talk soon.

 

 

Detroit Cycling

 

Music selection this week is Basenji “Don’t Let Go” because I reviewed it at Indie Shuffle recently and it’s still stuck in my head. Also, in reference to the song title, I’ve been thinking about how stubbornly we hold to things that are no good for us. Holding on can be a pretty romantic idea, or a masochistic one. There’s a duality to everything.

Doing things a little different for this post because I don’t feel like rambling. My head never stops rambling and lately it hasn’t gotten to the point. Instead, here is a simple anecdote that hopefully can say more in the spaces between than I can with my words. It’s called:

Detroit Cycling

be well. love often. enjoy.

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With my visor down, I am invincible. Cars can’t touch me, prying eyes can’t touch me. Not the wind nor the rain, neither the light or the darkness can touch me when the visor on my Basecamp cycling helmet is down. Don’t I look like I can’t be fucked with? That’s because I can’t.

Two beers deep. Always two. That’s the magic number. Two sits with me right. Two of coins. Two of cups. Two of swords. Two of wands. Just the two of us. I like twos. Life is easier in twos. Threes fuck everything up. With three, doubts arise. Confucius says, “When three people journey together, their number decreases by one. When on man journeys alone, he finds a companion.”

What Confucius doesn’t say is that sometimes that happens all backwards – one man journeys alone, finds a companion, and that companion adds a third into the equation – then there was three and life became fucked.

I’m only swearing because I have the visor down. It makes me mean, a good kind of mean. The kind that can go super fast even if the relative speed isn’t all that fast according to a stop watch. My burning thighs say I am fast. Also, the ticking of my heart.

Tick, tock. Tick, tock. It’s pumping strong and hard and I’m flying around curves. Adrenaline quiets the madness. His touch also quiets the madness. His touch is like words upon my pen, dripping from a tip that presses upon a page that receives their touch, wears their meaning, becomes the word – touch. Touch me.

His touch is therapy. His love is maddening and his touch is therapy.

There’s a kink in my back. No matter which way I squirm, it’s still there. I’m riding harder and faster because adrenaline will make that go away, too. All forms of pain washed away with stimulation. Speed is so addicting. Sometimes I wish I were the wind. My Mayan chart says once I hit 40 I’ll turn into wind, incarnate. People will know my words far and wide.

For now, the wind has stopped whistling past my ears tucked neatly under my helmet, which means I have stopped. With stopping, feeling returns.

There’s a duality to everything- stopping and going, staying or leaving – a two-fold choice to most things. Tonight I will choose between succumbing to my fears or rising above them, as is the choice every night.

I will choose between doing the writing or thinking of writing, as is also the choice every night.

Love is also a choice, a brave and complex choice that comes with its own string of dualities. Much like cycling, Detroit cycling, joy and pain come with the package. The choice lies in whether or not we keep going, keep pushing towards a positive goal. Progress isn’t always so obvious, you know?

Some days are triumphant, some days it’s enough to just show up, and some days you get rained on.

 

 

 

#waswritinguntil…

We’ve all seen (and used if you’re a writer) #amwriting.

Feels good, doesn’t it? Feels forward moving and the perfect affirmation even if, at the moment, you’re staring at the screen waiting for said writing to burst forth with the same fervor as that little hashtag implies.

The night was set up so perfect. You had time, you had energy, you were feeling emotional – you did not have coffee, but the wine was near by and the music was… helping? … Ok, you got a little distracted with the music selecting. But no matter.

You began editing an old piece. There’s a new piece that you’re really proud of, but you sent it to a friend and they mentioned removing the semi colons that you’ve been judiciously dumping on your writing like they belong there. All of them. You knew it was a bad idea, but somewhere in the back of your mind you were like, “semi colons are so undervalued”.

  1. Since you have a soft spot for underdogs, you ran with it. Next time though, you’ll have learned your lesson.
  2. Now the piece needs to be edited – again. Which means, for good measure, maybe you’ll let it sit in a folder and ferment for another month.

So you’re editing the old piece, you sip the wine and sip it again. A few words fall out of your head, but something feels off. You’re not emotionally invested in the piece anymore so you put a new spin on it, a darker one. You’re good at being dark, but dark is easy and you told yourself to stop being so easy.

Not sure you’re on board with your own shift in direction, you stop #amwriting to thumb the phone for a little, take a selfie or two because you need to affirm that it’s not just your disembodied ego sitting here stewing, but the whole body, vanity and all.

You head to social media to embellish the truth around any real progress and productivity, or maybe the photo is now considered progress so that’s cool, and with the social aspect you hope it will incite actual #amwriting because now you’ve called yourself out, now you’ve a responsibility to method act your way back to the #amwriting you’re supposed to be doing.

Photo posted, you tap away at a few more words, delete a few more paragraphs because #icebergtheory – the less you say on the surface, the more meaning lies underneath. Or as Ernest put it,

If a writer of prose knows enough of what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing. –Ernest Hemingway

You bow your inner writer soul to the god that is Hemingway because now you’re giddy over how cutting out half of what you wrote makes for a more weighty piece of writing.

So, OK, but I don’t know, is it done? You re-read over and over again. Seems a bit short. You sip that wine over and over again. Does it say enough? Is it even any good? You check the status of your photo. Only two likes so far. You’ve not convinced anyone, even yourself, that you are indeed #amwriting. Should have been more truthful you think, should have posted #waswritinguntil…

You whip out the tarot deck. Close the computer. The night decays into divination and doubts. You tell yourself you’ll revisit the writing in the morning when you’re feeling less cataclysmic.

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Any of this sound familiar?

More often than not I wish I wasn’t a writer in the digital era where social media is paramount to career survival. That said, my output HAS somewhere to output because of the digital era, but that output has suffered since I was gifted a smart phone.

Blog posts seem doable. Short prose, poems, and stories seem doable. Photos – very doable. Still, it’s hard to focus on the horrible tedium that is, editing when it comes to that expansive book I #waswritinguntil…

Point being, there are ways to keep #amwriting even if you don’t feel that what you are doing can be considered such. Even if what you’re doing isn’t the thing you think you should have been doing. Like, do I really need another blog post when I have a book to edit? The answer is yes, yes I do. Because the point is #practice and #persistence and the only really bad thing a writer can do for themselves is to stop writing.

We’re hard on ourselves, us writers and creatives. I know I am. But I’m getting braver about my writer skin – more confident about what I can and cannot consider real work. You know what I’ve been learning?

  • IF YOU SHOWED UP #amwriting.
  • If you ATTEMPT to work on your craft for hours, even if a few or all of those hours were spent torturing yourself over not working efficiently or brilliantly or whatever #amwriting
  • If all you did was delete 5 sentences and reread the same first paragraph 500 times #amwriting
  • If all you managed to do was open your computer and write, “I can’t think of anything to write” – you know what? #amwriting

What I’m learning is that being a writer is a state of mind. If you never publish a damn word but consider yourself a writer, you’re a writer. So #amwriting your little heart out. Maybe #waswritinguntil… just to keep yourself in check, but above all #dontstopwriting even if the words only live in your mind. They’ll come pouring out eventually. They will because they have to because us writers, we didn’t choose the writing life, the writing life chose us.

Music selection is this gem I found – an artist out of Toronto named verzache. The above track is called “hiccup”, this one here is “juvenescence”. Was listening to his whole soundcloud last night and well… I was blown away.

Thanks for coming to my space and sharing this time with me. I’ll be posting the piece that I was working on last night… the old piece “And So We Did” on Scriggler so you can judge for yourself if it was enough of the iceberg or even any good.

As always, be well, love often, and enjoy.

Routine Maintenance

I’ve been doing this routine where I bike an hour to yoga, practice yoga for an hour, then bike back an hour from yoga. It’s a routine that takes me out of my head, forces me to pay attention as I’m dodging cars and pot holes; forces me to focus on something other than my immediate emotions as I’m stretching this way and that, challenging muscle groups to open and strengthen. Every drop of sweat padding on my rubber mat is a reward – a reminder of the solid foundation that is built upon routines.

I’ve been thinking a lot about routines.

I’ve other routines:

  • Make the bed every morning
  • Wash the sheets on Sunday
  • Clean and organize room before bed and/or before leaving the house
  • Clean dishes immediately after use
  • Get up at 6am every day and write an hour before work…..

Ok, I lied about that last one. However, in front of me is a list. Number 3 on that list is, “come up with a writing routine.” I suppose “up at 6am sharp” might be a good start.

Seems I need routines to normalize parts of my life as we all do, I’m sure. And normally those routines work to get gears turning, forcing us out of stupid habits like NOT performing those routines. We set those routines up for a reason. They need to be there because they work like oil to keep the machine turning.

But today was different. As I biked back from yoga I became frustrated that not once, not in the slightest had I exited my head during the whole 3 hours of the work out. This became most apparent mid yoga session. As my frustration grew to intolerable levels, I found myself holding my breath, resenting my instructor, doubting, cursing, just thinking negatively in all ways possible – totally contradictory to my usual heart-opening, clear-minded post yoga attitude.

Furrowed brow, I road home recklessly, wondering why today the routine had not worked.

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photography by @rustyvaughanyoung follow him on instagram

The head is a complicated place.

Maybe, I thought, to expect to scale the mountain of tumultuous ideas the mind creates with one method, even two or three – is madness.

The thought occurred to me that there is never one way, one solution, one answer to any problem. That a life filled with yoga, tai chi, tap dance, or tarot; boxing, boating, hockey, or horse riding; no amount of praying, painting, volunteering, nor activism can really solve a thing. They are tricks, methods like a magician’s handbook. Their work is an illusion.

The real work it seems, begins and ends in the mind, the heart, the human.

 

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Fitting. I drew the High Priestess and the Queen of Pentacles. Going to do a real simple summation here. The Queen, the one who has it all, the solid earth sign (represented by the pentacle) – sure and content, yet paired with the High Priestess – it’s like she’s wondering why the hell she feels like the usual just isn’t working as usual, why things seem so unsure at the moment. It’s like she’s consulting the High Priestess, like going to confessional, like provoking the deepest parts of herself. It’s like she’s sitting in her castle with all her wealth and being like, yeah but, I’m unhappy. Maybe something needs to budge, something needs to change, but what? Is it me? Is it this castle? Is it my heart? Is there something I’m not admitting to myself? Is there something I’m holding to so tightly that’s keeping me from seeing the truth, or from becoming my true self?

Maybe that’s the conversation we’re all having right now.

But don’t stop, let the frustration be fuel. Mine provoked me to do this post, and I feel great about it. Hadn’t done one in quite some time.

I’m not killing the idea of routines. Routines do help the mind cope, the gears turn, the foundation settle, and the body rest. They do, they most certainly do. But don’t be afraid to change those routines because if they’re no longer working, than the work there is done.

Do a routine maintenance check of your current routines. Change perspectives, alter angles and outlooks. Keep pushing. Fill your bag with tricks.

Choice is what guides us to becoming the best or worst versions of ourselves. We always have the power to choose.

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I don’t have any answers, not at the moment. But I do have thoughts and I hope you appreciated me sharing them.

 

Musical selection is a from a producer I’ve been obsessed with lately – Mark Barrott and his album Sketches From An Island. Love the whole album, but “Go Berri Be Happy” is currently playing while I’m closing this out so – there you have it.

Be well, love often, and enjoy!

The Cup, The Key: The Quiet Act of Knowing

Been a minute since I asked these cards about writing. What I asked is if I posses the skills of a writer, not so much because I believe I don’t, but  I figured if I got some disheartening cards back I may have to re-think what I want this chapter in my life to look like.

What I got was an affirmation of the time – exactly what tarot is, mind you – a window into the tools one has in front of them, the option of energies either to use, or not. For this I turned to my very first tarot deck , The Da Vinci Tarot. Seemed fitting that while revisiting old doubts I summon an old deck, the deck that was with me 2 years ago when on the road writing From The Other Seat, the deck that birthed the idea of incorporating tarot into my blog as a way to lighten the pressure, and to offer fodder as I continued to explore the act of writing.

I still love the dark romanticism these cards evoke. Even on the positively inclined cards the images appear wistful – perfect for the writer’s mind. There’s a seriousness to the tone of this deck, it begs that you consider the balance of light and dark when interpreting the message.

So here’s what turned up. They all popped out on their own in this order: Ten of Chalices, Four of Swords, and the Knave of Chalices.

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As a quick intuitive interpretation, Ten’s are a completion and an end to a cycle. Ten of Chalices says both, yes, you have everything you need, all the passion is there, either you’re nurturing your talents or the energy exists for you to do so. But ten’s are also the end of a cycle, not to say it’s all going to go to shit afterwards, but with every ending, there is a new beginning, and there will be a change, a shift. How have you shaped your perception? How will you have used that nurturing love of, say, a mother and her baby? How will your baby grow?

That question follows into the Four of Swords perfectly because this card signifies a sabbatical, a much needed time out. Swords signify thoughts and assessing what those thoughts mean. The Four of Swords is recharging the batteries and making sure that these thoughts are yours and yours alone. I love how the figure in this image looks entirely confident and totally at peace, as if he’s Siddhartha, having come back from a long walk in the valley you see behind him. He knows the answer, or at least has a sense, he’s got the key there in front of him, but he’s taking his time. There’s no hurry, the journey will continue when the time is right.

Timing is key, for the right thing at the wrong time would no longer be the right thing.

And this is why taking a step aside to make time for inner contemplation is so important. One must cultivate the patience to wait for the right time.

The description in the Da Vinci Tarot reference book calls it “peaceful receptivity”. One must have a clear state of mind before making any decisions on the future, and this card signals a time to calm the mind, to find a quiet place all your own, trust in the process, and be open and objective about the path ahead. The figure in the Four of Swords is receptive enough to adapt to anything that might challenge this sense of peace – he’s found equilibrium or is currently seeking it. He’s not taking advice from others, he’s looking within and collecting his own personal strength. The Four of Swords is one of my favorite cards because it tends to come up when a sabbatical is needed. I love sabbaticals, I just took one actually, so I feel like the card that answers my question, whether I posses the skills of a writer, is the third in this spread.

In the third card, the Knave of Chalices is renewed passion. Knaves, or knights, refer to young energies, sometimes young people. It could be that a young person will inspire you, or that a new burst of inspiration is just in its beginning phase, but the fact is – it’s there. It’s naked, and vulnerable, innocent, wanting; emotions pure and simple, raw and abundant, observing the world in a new way, with new words to color what it sees and feels. It’s love, new love, for a person, for a task, for life… for whatever. Life is presenting this now, or it’s coming very soon.

Mid writing this, I got a call about a job, an editing position. I think the initial phone interview went well. They said they’d follow up next week. Promising.

Almost immediately after, my roommate beckoned me to the kitchen where an owl sat on the window ledge. It flew away and was replaced by a pair of cardinals singing to each other, male and female. Owl omens are usual seen as the harbinger of death, could be a metaphysical one, but with death is renewal. Cardinals are a see as a message that you’ve been visited by Spirit. Knaves, cardnials, cups, and keys – the air is ripe with new love, opportunity, and the support is there from a divine quarter, telling one to keep going.

Anyway, I’ve lost focus, gone off the metaphysical deep end, so I’ll leave this here. Musical selection is The Tallest Man on Earth – The Gardener. His lyrics are wrought with symbols and they really speak to me. Hope this post was interesting in some way. Mostly, if anyone is reading, thank you. Happy to share this space with you.

Be well, love often, and enjoy!

Werewolf You Under Light of the Full Moon?

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That sun is hot enough to bake you black, or in my case a deep brown, brown enough like the camel colored hide of my closed-toed heels. Legs bleeding into the tan of my shoes, arms bleeding into the tan of my tank top, I feel like a gecko in Arizona dust, visibly invisible in my clever camouflage.

This is not Arizona, but Detroit, Michigan where I, with my latest W.P. Kinsella (R.I.P) book, sit marooned in the middle of my feelings and a slumbering homeless man on the patio of a bagel shop. He’s got a large book open to some page chosen by a light breeze that’s been on steady decline since 9:30 am.

I wonder how dark the man’s dark skin can get under the sun. I wonder if he’ll have a stiff neck having stuck in that position for so long, or if he’s slept here all night; if he’s actually reading that large book in front of him or if it’s more of a pillow. I wonder if we have more in common than this shared space – like how spiritual and material lack vibrates at the same frequency. He wakes briefly, as if my thoughts are that loud, and greets me, but I know he can’t see my eyes behind my even blacker shades, so I stay silent. I’m too tan and naked to be humoring his kindness. I neglected to wear a bra. His eyes are smiling in the direction of my tits.

The air stills, sticks to my skin like this tiny spider biting the top of my foot. I brush it off, surprised by the lingering pain of a bug no bigger than a granule of pepper.

“Isn’t it amazing what such a small amount can do?” A friend said that, a friend who facilitated my recent escapades in acid. Having taken it for the first time, I started small – half a square, then the next day, half of a half – learning where the drug wanted to take me and then settling in – my mind finding a place as pleasant, focused, and wild as the weight of a full moon. Just like that. Feels just like that, like, something so cerebrally stimulating – the conscious mind lunges, fights to be released from its tether; the body, so physically grounded, present, oh so present, yet mindlessly moving – chaos operating the base level mechanics of existence for this brief walk between worlds. It’s a distance, a vibrancy, a feeling like there’s no earthly way to contain nor release all the energy accumulating in ones spirit – the body radiating with spirit; creative, nurturing, moody, watery; The High Priestess; sorcery beyond the comprehensible; silver, iridescent, omnipresent – if there were a word or phrase to encapsulate all these things…

“I feel like I’m tripping,” I said, reverent under the silent effects of a full moon in Sagittarius, defining the feeling came as a revelation. Last night the rest of the world was prepping for parties, car accidents they didn’t know they’d have, emotional run ins, fall outs, over consumption, overflow – I opted to avoid it all, the people, the parties. Instead, I put to use the tools acid had given me, identifying, learning, and settling into the power of the lunar event about us.

Full moon nights are like this for me. The eb and flow of feels consumes me and I become something like a werewolf who’s only duty of the evening is to avoid mutating. Personal preservation and safety become my top priorities. I secluded myself and wait for the sediments of my former self to settle; wait for the creative outburst. Waiting through it is key. Still very wolf-like inside my skin, I center in my feels, breath deep, sleep soundly, and hope to process all what occurred in the subconscious sometime, later.

A dream I had recently went against this urge to stay inside. In it, I thought I could handle social events under a full moon; went out with a few friends and end up ripping them all to shreds – blood glinting on large white teeth and claws, dripping from my matted fur, congealing under the indifference of city street lights. As a werewolf, I felt guilt, horror, and regret in strict conjunction to the lust of blood and murder. Hence, trusting ones intuition on a full moon night – also key. Mine said to go on a lone bike ride at dusk.

A light rain cooled the air, made the concrete smell fresh, damp; the skies were calm and welcoming. I pedaled down the river-walk and wove my way through people I trusted because they too were out on an evening like this, cleansing their souls under the same rain, the same billowy clouds lined in orange, pinks, and vibrant lavender. Never have I seen a more photo-esque sky, yet I’d chose to leave the camera at home. True experience can never be felt looking through the other end of a lens.

Stopping on the river walk somewhere near a view of the Renaissance Center and the sea green steeple of some distant church, I couldn’t remember the last time I starred at the sky or listened to the world around me free of digital devices or connections that never really connect. That sky was love, I felt safe under it. That full moon made the world new again and I felt blessed to be alone and noticing.

But I’m losing it now, the effects fading. It’s past noon and I can feel myself coming back, the me I carry daily, this heavy body, this over-thinking brain. The words are slowing. I’ll share this with you now, re-read it and wonder from what secret deep it came. I’ll miss the me I was only moments ago. I’ll miss the moon.

When there’s something to write, I never think about it, I just do. What I think about is when I’m not doing it, but it’s like I’m always waiting on the moon, my muse. Isn’t that life though? Like, I’m always waiting for something – this coffee to cool, my heart to stop hurting. It’s never going to change, is it? And yet, we all keep moving because cycles are ritual. Yes, I do see the value in ritual. I live mine by the phases of the moon.

Before I go, I’d like to share this with you, too.

The other day while snipping parsley for a salad, I snipped a lady bug in two. I had to sift through the salad to find its severed body. I’m still not sure why that made me feel so odd. Currently, I’m slicing the meat of a mango. Large pieces wiggle in my fingers and when I place them in my mouth they slide down my throat like an oyster. Thinking of mangos and oysters as one in the same makes me feel funny.

What do you make of these funny feelings? Sometimes I feel like I may wait forever to gaze at another and trust in love enough to describe how thinking of mangos and oysters as one in the same makes me feel more connected and severed than ever before. Sometimes I feel like I will never love or trust in another as much as I love and trust in the moon, or that another could never love me as much as that sky last night. I tell you I heard it whispering my name, kissing my forehead, telling me the universe will forever have my back.

I wonder who out there felt that, too.

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“And all of this stuff will break me, don’t break me…” Musical selection is my latest addiction: Litany – Flaws

Human

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The first impulses of the heart, sun looks so golden

Holding you here with me

In mind

Your body had to fly

Your body had to fly

A Deep Indigo

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Asked what card to pair with this post and got the Six of Wands. Usually a victory card so, despite my gloom, things must be on the up and up. (For a more thorough description of the Six of Wands, click on the image.)

Grey. Have you seen it outside? This cookie is too salty. The coffee is too weak. There’s a vent blowing cool air from ground up into my eye that seems to like to water continuously for any and every reason.

Last night was fun, yeah, it was, until that bump. What an awkward moment in the stall snorting up chemical powder. Ex-boyfriends and old habits. That’s what yesterday was. That’s been this whole month of April, come to think of it. I tell myself it’s karmic, there’s something I haven’t learned yet.

There’s a group of European jazz musicians staying in the Airbnb on the opposite side of the duplex I live. They were practicing scales all morning, smoking cigarettes on the porch. My roommate said they were gorgeous and that we should try to hang with them later. I’m avoiding this issue by being anti-social, by going out to a public place and writing. Public places are more acceptable places to practice anti-social tendencies.

It wasn’t the cocaine. It wasn’t the fact that that one dude who hits me up on occasion showed up later in the evening, locked eyes with me but never said, hi. It wasn’t the fact that the only one who seemed to appreciate how well put together I was, how intently I danced, was the most drunk dude in the club. I kept him steady though, you know? He watched my movements and I kept his gaze up. I was useful, I had use. It wasn’t all those things, but then… it was. It was the expectations I told myself not to have that maybe that night things would change, something would change, someone new would walk into my life, grab me like they’d been searching for their yin forever and ever and here I was, ready to fit with their soul, merge, sink in, never coming up for air. I told myself this wouldn’t happen, but my soul still wished it. Dumb ass hope. Hope keeps us unsatisfied, keeps us ignoring what’s happening in the moment. Hope is only a sign that you think your life sucks as is. That is not a good way to be.

I told myself over and over “the path is the goal”- chanted it while I danced because no one cared what I mumbled to myself, no one knew how with every movement of this muscle, this arm, this foot, I performed as strongly as I could, I danced with purpose, to ward off some sort of feeling that was trying to eat me, steal my pleasure.

I’m supposed to be learning how to live without a bottom, bottomless; no one to lean on, no one to tell me it’s all going to be OK. I’m supposed to be learning how to live in discomfort. Why is this a thing I need to learn to do?

No one sees me. No one is looking for me. I am not looking for them either, OK, I was. But I give up. Last night I gave up. Before I snuck out the door I did tell one person I was leaving. “I feel like I need to leave,” I said. “Why?” he asked. “I don’t know,” I said. “You have anxiety or something?” he asked. “Yes, always,” I told him. “You do what you feel you need to,” he said. It wasn’t an interaction that needed to happen. I could have just ghosted, but I suppose I wanted at least one person to see me. See? Here I am. Here are my thoughts, respond to them. Pretend to care, please, even if you don’t.

I set my little sack down one more time before I left as if hoping the one I was waiting for would waltz in right then, one last chance. But nah… no one came. Why didn’t that dude just say, hi? Would that have saved the night? Whatever. Fuck Geminis anyway.

Can I get back to how grey this day is? How I’m happy I’m writing and out in public, but I still feel like crying. Some random acquaintance messaged me last night to ask about another ex-boyfriend. Said a good friend of his was thinking of dating this person and might I have any thoughts on the guy. “Wouldn’t recommend him to anyone,” I said, listing a few reasons. They felt like true reasons and I believe I might have saved a girl’s heart. The acquaintance thanked me. Said that he was so glad he reached out. I believe his gut already knew my ex was going to be trouble for his friend. Satisfied with that small act of vengeance, I lay on my bed, having just biked home in the rain. The cocaine made my brain hurt, my head pounded. I just lay there like dead weight while my other roommate and his girl brushed their teeth in the mirror and hummed softly with love. Two rooms away, I am death. Here I am. See, we live with dualism everywhere.

Is it the gut rot, the cocaine blues, the coffee, the cool air still blowing, the sad music coming through my headphones, the feeling of being and not being at all?  – invisible. I think that’s what it’s called. I feel invisible, but I’m not. My roommate sees me. She’s always pulling me out of myself, but I’m tired. Today I either want to die or move to the country, which is the same thing to some. What’s that? You want to tell me I need therapy, too? Heard it all before and nah, I don’t want to die. That’s silly. But I thought it- envisioned the ways it could be done. I do this often, too often, but it’s a harmless practice, really. After sifting through all the ways, inevitably I decide that they all would suck and that usually motivates me to get up. So. Here I am, up. What happens now? I feel like I’ve exhausted my options for the day.

Yeah, my roommate is good at pulling me out, but I don’t want to go out tonight. I’m not in the mood for guys, for flirting. No. I’m tired of dressing up with expectations. Maybe I should install a mood meter on the outside of my door. Today’s reading would be, a deep indigo.

Hitting Your Stride

Last week I found some much needed writing time at a local cafe. I find I do my best writing work in cafes. Because I hadn’t worked on my novel for so long, I basically had to start from the beginning, which meant more editing, fine-tuning… I feel like that’s what I’ve been doing since I wrote the thing. I can’t seem to get past the first 3 chapters. Maybe it’s fear.

One thing I did that I’m not sure I should have done is have an editor read it in it’s first draft. This was last year. At the time, I thought, I needed those eyes to critique my storyline. Maybe this editors reply back killed my ego in all the right places, maybe the things he mentioned did need to be changed. But what I did was focus on those negative things. He said a lot of positive things, but I ran with the negative and since then I feel like I’ve been in endless “revise & rewrite” mode. Then there was that little tiny window where Harper Legend was looking for the next Siddhartha (note to self: need to read this one again) and I thought to myself, “Hell yes I can turn this book from a memoir to a spiritually awaking/philosophical surrealist masterpiece!” I mean, ideally, this was the book I was going for anyway. Those types of books are by far my favorite.

At any rate, this new aim sent me on another bout of “rewrite” and once I started surrealizing details in the memoir  – well then it was no longer a memoir. Then, did I really need all that back story about me and my who-gives-a-fuck life? These are questions that I’m still asking.

BUT re-reading those pages from the backstory in the cafe, I grew partial to the flow. I feel, even if it wasn’t about me, there’s a good character set up there and maybe I still can use that. Maybe I CAN write a memoir fantastical. Could you really tell me it’s not still a memoir? Could you prove to me that my fantastical imagination does not exist? I think not. 9e6a5f3bf042cfbff3210aa816cf6b20

Really super duper fitting that I drew the Three Pentacles when thinking about this blog entry. This card means that your hitting your stride. Making all the right moves. Your talents are being put to work, people see you as capable, and that if there was any doubt before, this is confirmation to display your abilities. It says, you know what to do now and how to do it, even if you don’t know you know – YOU KNOW. You can achieve these goals. This card is drenched in positive affirmations about work and career.

Here his pentacles are represented by the three symbols over top of him. The far left being Mercury (communication and career), and to the far right is the Alchemic symbol for Sulfur. Mercury can be mix with sulfur, it’s its opposite. I’m not sure why that’s significant. I’m also not sure what the middle symbol, the square, is supposed to represent unless it’s THIS. 090306-holmyard22

I know I said in the last post I wasn’t going to talk about tarot so much and now here I am diving into alchemy and man, I need to get to WORK.

Musical selection this week is this track by Flamingosis and Ehiorobo called “Truck”. Why? Because it’s been stuck in my head, and because, as the lyrics say, “You should hold on. I ain’t too sure where were goin’ with this. You know that I’m into funk. You feel like I’m riding a truck. Lots of bumps and stank faces.” In other words, we’ll figure this out. We’re just hitting out stride.

Be well, love often and enjoy!

And We Carry On: Writing/Life Updates

So, I’ve been super M.I.A from this blog, I realize. Don’t know how many people I had checking in here anyway, but it’s not really about that, is it? Or wait, of course it is. At any rate, I have been adding things here and there at Scriggler. There is a link up in the menu but it’s not so obvious and maybe I should change that.

There were a few reasons I halted all progress on the blog/writing. A couple projects came up that swept me off under my feet and I had to… well, inevitably I chose to abandon the writing for a minute to start those projects off. While I was “gone” I met a surprising number of people that think Tarot and Astrology couldn’t be bigger wastes of mind space, nor have any validity or value in life in general. Not that I care about these opinions, but it made me wonder how many people I was putting off from reading my posts if they’re based on Tarot. I’m just a metaphysical being living in a human body and find all things mysterious and occult just, pretty damn fascinating. This is my space, I can do what I want, but maybe I need to tone down the spiritual connections to me and my writing and just talk about writing.88e7bd2d7df310ef92a6383876bc3e30

That said, if you’re curious. I did draw a card. I got the Five of Cups and fittingly here I am focusing on the few cups that spilled and not on the two very full ones I still have in front of me, so…

Sure I’m frustrated with being sidetracked, sure I’ve been questioning if I’m a writer at all, sure I’ve been wondering if my priorities are in the right place or if I’m just doing a really good job at wasting my time in areas I’m not supposed to be spending any time in at all. I have doubts, many. With that, I’ve started another semester of school and Science, a subject I would have been happy to nerd out to 5 months ago, has now become the biggest burden/brain robber ever. I cared about the environment once, now I’m all, ‘SOCIAL LIKES’ ‘CONTENT’ ‘NUMBERS’ ‘NETWORK’. Gah.

Where am I going with all this?

There is a balance I’m trying to reach and maybe I just needed to do a few things before swinging back and focusing on what I was doing, aka writing, before the madness began, aka music marketing. My book. I suppose the madness started after I sent one query out to an agent, got a “no thank you”, and decided I was a failure. Ridiculous logic, I know.

I’m going to head over to Scriggler right now and upload another poem. Maybe I should post them here too. Poetry… not sure why I’ve been writing so much poetry lately, but I suppose I just need that therapy. I find that I can speak more accurately through it, rather than with story.

Music selection is “Carry On” by an underground producer in Paris, France by the name of Thomas Fontana. I’ve chosen it because it’s a rad track, but also because carry on is what we/I need to do. This one’s free for download, so snag it.

Be well, love often, and enjoy!

Up and Out

Musical selection this week is Sinead Hartnett and her brand new video “Rather Be With You” because I think the message is right in line with what we’re supposed to be learning this month, what I get into below. Don’t let your ego go on thinking you can do this alone or that you’re better than everyone. Karma will come crashing down to show you, you were better off in that place of humility, that space of love and unity. That’s when the real work gets done.

“I was halfway up on a the wings of a fantasy. Looking out for love, didn’t know what was good for me…”

 

While you’re listening, keep reading! Here is the spread for this week. 

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Whatever that looks like to you, I’ll tell you what it means to me. We’ll call it an “up and out” energy. That’s what I’m feeling. It’s this constant loop of breakdowns and rebuilds. Shit blows up, we come out. Shit breaks down, we stand back up and step on out.

The Tower is a shocking change, usually unpleasant. It’s a karmic debt number, 16. Taken from the numerological stand point,

The 16 is different from other karmic debt numbers, as it is not easily overcome. It involves a continuous cycle of rebirth. After collapse, you will learn the way of humility. You must recognize that power is meant to be shared and you are superior only to your former self. – gaia.com

Wherever 16 shows up in a numerology chart, in the cards, it means “destruction of the old and birth of the new.” It’s life challenging your grand plans, it’s a lost battle, a strike to the ego. But wherever this exists, so does the humility that follows. It is the key to later success, bringing us closer to union, spiritual or otherwise.

Being that we’re heading into a Mercury retrograde this is just what it is- that shit we’re supposed to fix and if we haven’t learned how or learned what it’s stemming from it’s just going to keep throwing us in those same cycles and we’ll have to keep learning those same painful lessons. So stop it. Stop the cycle. Get to the root of why the problem keeps occurring. It’s in you, not outside of you. No one can change you but you. It’s no one else’s fault if things aren’t working. Know this and let the shock of that revelation propel you forward, a new and better you. Do this and you will have achieved a sort of victory, as represented by the Six of Wands. 

The Six of Wands is the lower echo of The Chariot and The Tower. Both of these cards signal change, The Chariot being a card of dominating victory and The Tower being a card illustrating the intrusion of unexpected chaos. When the Six of Wands appears with one of these cards, a life-changing accomplishment occurs. This is the difference between being interviewed about an event for the evening news and others being interviewed about you for the evening news. –keen.com

That place of recognition in the six is then followed by The Chariot. Represented by the sign of Cancer (which happens to be where the moon is right now) The Chariot is the spiritual transformation of man, the strength of will. It promotes immediate action, change, problems overcome, learning lessons from previous mistakes, a rushing forward in balance, success assured.

So yeah, that’s the spread I drew when I asked what I should focus on for this blog post. Big energies going on here and big energies have been surrounding all of us. I know it. I know you’ve felt these cards in your own life.

I’d be ignorant to say I knew what was on the other end of this change, where it’s all heading, but what I do know is that division has been a quite theme over the past 5 months- these powerful coming togethers followed by earth-shattering divisions; division in our hearts in regards to so many issues. It’s been perpetual and it needs to stop. If I’m so bold as to think I’ve come into some clarity about this, I’d say this is what I’ve learned:

9b464d5ce729086252cb7a5b0ee1c782This splitting with old cycles is not a full out abandonment, not this time. I believe what we have in your lives right now is worth working with. The things that are there are worth keeping. It’s about committing. That’s been the challenge. Committing. Not tricking ourselves into thinking there’s something better or that shit’s gonna get better if we keep abandoning what’s been super hard and shitty, throwing away all that progress and starting over. Starting over is cool, but it’s duration and endurance that builds lasting character, strong bonds- things that build security.

What we do need is to split with these ideas that shit isn’t working because of this, that, them, they, him, her – NO. Stop looking outside and pointing fingers. It’s not working because something isn’t working in you, your perspective, your actions. Stop doing the same shit and wondering why you get the same results. Stop that. Stop the unhealthy cycles, in any area of your life. That’s the challenge. This is a time for healing, repairing what’s broke- repairing you, reassessing what isn’t working and moving on from there. Through that we can heal the whole collective. You’ll enter it a stronger person, knowing what you want, knowing what’s good for you, what you will and won’t tolerate. Recognize that the strongest version of you is the one that works for the good of the whole, with love, and with others working in the same direction- a shared vision, achieved because you’ve found your independence. You’ve found, you – all that you can offer, all that you can do, beautiful you.

I’m talking to myself here as much as you, you and you. This is just what I’ve learned, like I said. Maintaining the love in your own heart, despite the destructive changes, that’s the key. That’s what I’ve been learning. It’s not easy. It’s something I have to work at – loving me, loving them, trusting love, love, love, love. But you know what? I do recognize that good things ONLY happen when I’m in this space of love and when other people are in it with me and when we’re working together. That’s the only time. So I want to stay there, no matter what. Pain ain’t got nothing on me. Hardships? We’ll call them character builders, thank them, and move on. Stay in love. Stay here with me. Love often and you’ll be well. Enjoy!

Sometimes you just have to stop and eat the roses (aka thoughts from a cubicle)

because

because

I feel like I’m eating the world’s feelings today. My stomach hurts and I wish everyone would stop fighting.

I’m thinking about staying in airbnbs and crashing at other people’s places, interchangeably, every few months, eternally. I think that model works well with my life.

I only do good work in cafés. What I mean is, the only time I actually do work is when I’m in a café.

Hair. Like so many things in life, I do not understand it and I wish it would stop plaguing me with its bullshit.

Everyday I am a new person. Some days I don’t recognize the person I am, but I do seem to have a clear sense of what I’m becoming – until I get there, that is.

If you don’t have anything nice to say, keep your thoughts to yourself. At the very least, don’t go blogging about them. Just write a book and then maybe one day you will win the hateful, bitter audience you were looking for, at which point, you will either have grown up or died. Either way, the rest of the world will be better off. Wait… was that a mean thing to say? Ah shit.

Every generation will have their new noise that will become a strong voice. Wisdom finds value in change, foolishness finds bitter words.

Trying to condense thoughts into twitter posts makes thoughts sound more profound.

There are 7 days left in November which means, I will not be winning NaNo this year.

What is failure if not the shadow of bravery?

If you don’t think it makes sense, post it on Facebook and let the world be your guide. Sarcasm? Even I’m not so sure.

Last night I had a dream about a room with many beds. Other people had taken all the other beds. I was worried about the position of the last bed because if I placed it against the wrong wall, an evil spirit would posses my body by entering the top of my head.

I’m probably not the girl you think I am, but like you, I wish I could be.

 

I think sign language should be the universal language. I believe this would make us less judgmental as humans, also we could make some pretty cool dance moves as seen in this super fun video by Wishes called “Settle”.

Thanks for hanging out with me and my thoughts.
Be well, love often, and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

NaNo Update/ Life Update

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I’m going to try and make this brief because I know I’m not the only one feeling a little unhinged today and I really just want to go outside and do something physical to make me feel more grounded.

These energies that popped up today, The Star card (which I spoke on in a previous post) and the King of Swords are helping me describe the feeling in the air, but it’s still hard, it’s like, the highly metaphysical and the highly logical are walking side by side, afraid to look at each other, afraid to understand each other. THEE dream, your ultimate dream is in sight, but it’s like, you’re still in this position where you KNOW you have to be highly logical about your next steps- a bit cold and calculating, a bit mean and offish but it’s because you’re just trying to HOLD IT ALL TOGETHER MAN.

Like, that’s YOUR DREAM right there, The Star, you manifested it, this is YOUR WISH, but you’re a little miffed at it, like it showed up early to the party. But the Star is not early, it’s RIGHT ON TIME, and that notion makes you feel excited and scared and you don’t WANT to feel excited and scared right now, dammit, there’s work to do.

Know that it’s the nature of the unknown which makes us feel vulnerable and that it’s totally OK to feel vulnerable. It’s a necessary step.  It means you’re ready for the change.

I mean, The Star is over there just free and naked and like, super calm about it and you’re all like, I can’t get there with you yet and you’re making me nervous with your beautiful magical presence.

You know this is a delicate period, that to complete the process, to fulfill the wish, one needs to be careful, make smart moves, stay on task and that there’s still so much work to do if that dream is to become a reality. IT’S RIGHT THERE, but you’re trying real hard to be that King of Swords, to stay on track, stay focused, to not humor the fanciful feelings just yet.

To bring this back to the writing process, I seriously almost bailed on the NaNo project this week. There were two or three days there that I didn’t write anything at all and I thought I’d have to write a post about my failure, which would have been fine. Failure is fine. But then I had a few awesome conversations with some friends and it got me thinking- what do I REALLY want, what was the dream? And, is that dream going to happen if I don’t push myself to the limit? No. It won’t.

I wanted to go back to working on From the Other Seat. I’m itching to keep chipping away at that edit, but I also know I need a new project, a strong project with a strong foundation to be there waiting for me when I hit a wall with the memoir, and the wall WILL happen so I want to be prepared. Also, I have grand visions of taking a trip to Poland this spring and to work on this new book while I’m there and this is totally contingent on the fact that I have something really tangible started. I want to just be filling in plot holes when I get there and editing and… god, I’m rambling.

My biggest problem with the new project is while I made a loose outline and a character sketch, getting from point A to Z has been a real challenge. I’m a very literal person and taking on a fiction and setting it in a place I’ve never been…. well, I’m struggling with it. So I’m putting aside all environmental descriptions right now and just focusing on the emotional meat of the story because… emotions are my thing. I know how to write about those.

Anyway, this is getting long. On top of all this book writing, I’m also trying to carve a path for myself in my freelance writing in music and what not… and so… it’s been a trying time to fit all this in and know which projects to focus on more at any giving time; where to put the brunt of my energies. So… yeah, I got to be this King of Swords even though my dream, The Star, it’s right where I want it. There’s still so much… so so much to do.

Stay focused everyone. I’m going to go cut the grass. It’s beautiful out.

Musical selection this week is by Jay Daniel a young Detroiter who embodies these logical-dreamy energies. He’s releasing his debut album at the end of the month. The album is called Broken Knowz and it drops via Technicolour Recordings. Be well, love often, and enjoy!!

 

 

 

Tattoo these words on your hearts…

… and by the end of this, feel the serenity. Let the love in, let the fears go. Trust.

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I trust my abundant creativity.

I trust the strength that opens and blooms in me when I have to face something.

I believe in myself as a man/woman who handles what comes his/her way today.

I have it in me to rise to a challenge.

I am more and more aware of how I hold fear in my body.

I stop storing fear in my body.

Now I relax those holding places.

I open my body to joy and serenity.

I release my body from the clench of fear.

I relax the part of me that holds fear the most (jaw, shoulders, neck, etc.).

I let go of the stress and tension that come from fear.

I let go of fear-based thoughts.

I let go of basing my decisions on fear.

I stop listening to those who want to import their fears into me.

I let go of finding something to fear in everything.

I let go of fear and fearing and of believing that everything is fearsome.

I am more and more aware of my instant reflex fear reactions.

I am aware that I have habituated myself to a certain level of adrenaline.

I forego this stressful excitement and choose sane and serene liveliness.

I let go of my obsessive thoughts about how the worst may happen.

I trust myself always to find an alternative.

I see the humor in my fears.

I see the humor in my exaggerated reactions to unreal dangers.

I find a humorous dimension in every fear.

I find a humorous response for every fear.

I play with the pain of fear.

I smile at my scared ego with tough love.

I am confident in my ability to deal with situations or people that scare me.

I have self-healing powers -and- I seek and find support outside myself.

I have an enormous capacity for re-building, restoring, transcending.

I am more and more sure of my abilities.

I am less and less scared by what happens, by what has happened, by what will happen.

I trust an uncanny timing that I keep noticing within myself: I love how I
awake or change or resolve or complete at just the right moment.

Nothing forces me; nothing stops me.

I let go of any fear I have of nature.

I let go of my fears of natural disasters.

I let go of my fears of sickness, accident, old age, and death.

I cease being afraid of knowing, having or showing my feelings.

I let go of my fear of failure or of success.

I let go of the fear behind my guilt and shame.

I let go of my fear of aloneness or of time on my hands.

I let go of my fear of abandonment.

I let go of my fear of engulfment.

I let go of my fear of closeness.

I let go of my fear of commitment.

I let go of my fear of being betrayed.

I let go of my fear of being cheated or robbed.

I let go of my fear of any person.

I let go of my fear of loving.

I let go of my fear of being loved.

I let go of the fear that I will lose, lose money, lose face, lose freedom,
lose friends, lose family members, lose respect, lose status, lose my job, lose out.

I let go of my fear of having to grieve.

I keep letting go and I keep going on.

I let go of my paranoia.

I give up my phobic rituals.

I let go of my performance fears.

I let go of my sexual fears.

I let go of fears about my adequacy as a parent or child, as a worker, as a partner, or friend.

I let go of the need to be in control.

I acknowledge control as a mask for my fear.

I let go of my need to be right, to be first, to be perfect.

I let go of my belief that I am entitled to be taken care of.

I let go of my fear of the conditions of existence:

I accept that I may sometimes lose;

I accept that things change and end;

I accept that pain is part of human growth;

I accept that things are not always fair;

I accept that people may lie to me, betray me, or not be loyal to me.

I am flexible enough to accept life as it is, forgiving enough to accept it

as it has been.

I drop the need for or belief in a personal exemption from the conditions

of my existence.

I acknowledge my present predicament as a path.

I trust a design in spite of the display.

I let go of more than any fate can take.

I appreciate all the ways that things work out for me.

I appreciate the graces that everywhere surround and enrich my life.

I find the alternatives that always exist behind the apparent dead-end of fear.

I open myself to the flow of life and people and events.

I am grateful for the love that awaits me everywhere.

I feel deeply loved by many people near and far, living and dead.

I feel loved and watched over by a higher power (God, Universe, etc.).

I believe that I have an important destiny, that I am living in accord with it, and that I will survive to fulfill it.

I let myself have the full measure of: the joy I was meant to feel, the joy of living without fear.

I let fear go and let joy in.

I let fear go and let love in.

I let go of fears and enlarge my sympathies.

I am more and more aware of others’ fears, more and more sensitive to
them, more and more compassionate toward them.

I am more and more acceptant of all kinds of people.

I enlarge my circle of love to include every living being: I show my love.

I am more and more courageous as I live my program for dealing with fear:

I let go of control;

I let the chips fall where they may;

I admit my fear;

I feel my fear by letting it pass through me;

I act as if I were free of fear;

I enjoy the humor in my fears;

I expand my compassion toward myself and everyone.

I have pluck and wit.

I let go of being on the defensive.

I protect myself.

I am non-violent.

I am intrepid under fire.

I am a hero: I live through pain and am transformed by it.

I am undaunted by people or circumstances that may threaten me.

I let people’s attempts to menace me fall flat.

I give up running from threats.

I give up shrinking from a fight.

I show grace under pressure.

I stop running; I stop hiding.

More and more of my fear is becoming healthy excitement.

I meet danger face to face.

I stand up to a fight.

I take the bull by the horns.

I run the gauntlet.

I put my head in the lion’s mouth.

I stick to my guns and hold my fire.

An automatic courage arises in me when I face a threat.

I dare to show myself as I am: afraid and courageous.

I hereby release the courage that has lain hidden within me.

I am thankful for the gift of fortitude.

I let go of hesitation and self-doubt.

I am hardy in the face of fear.

I have grit, stamina, and toughness.

I take risks and always act with responsibility and grace.

I let go of the fear of being different.

I let go of the need to meet others’ expectations.

I cease being intimidated by others’ anger.

I let go of my fear of what may happen if people do not like me.

I let go of my fear of false accusations.

I let go of having to do it his/her/their way.

I acknowledge that behind my exaggerated sense of obligation
is a fear of my own freedom.

I let go of my terror about disapproval, ridicule, or rejection.

I dare to stop auditioning for people’s approval.

I dare to give up my act.

I give up all my poses, pretenses, and posturings.

I dare to be myself.

I acknowledge that behind my fear of self-disclosure is a fear of freedom.

I dare to show my hand, to show my inclinations, to show my enthusiasms.

I let my every word, feeling, and deed reveal me as I truly am.

I love being found out, i.e., caught in the act of being my authentic self.

I explore the farthest reaches of my identity.

I dare to live the life that truly reflects my deepest needs and wishes.

I give up the need to correct people’s impressions of me.

I give up being afraid of my own power.

I am irrepressible.

I draw upon ever-renewing sources of lively energy within me.

I am great-hearted and bold-spirited.

I dare to give of myself unconditionally -and-

I dare to be unconditionally committed to maintaining my own boundaries.

I am open to the grace that shows me the difference.

I fling open the gates of my soul.

I set free my love, till now imprisoned by fear.

I set free my joy, till now imprisoned by fear.

I honor and evoke my animal powers, my human powers, my divine

powers.

I let true love cast out my fear.

As I let go of my fear, I free the world from fear.

May I and all beings be free of fear and full of love.

~ ~ ~

For all that has been: Thanks!
For all that will be: Yes!
–Dag Hammarskjold

~ ~ ~

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“Lady in Red” Wieslaw Walkuski

This week, focus has been difficult to keep. In the middle of NaNoWriMo this event which was the presidential election has diverted attention  nationwide – worldwide, in a great many cases.

Yesterday, I found myself in a few dialogues speaking very abstractly about the election. The outcome of which I view much like I view anything in life – I look for the pattern; the  bigger picture. I analyze the root of the occurrence and find reason in its purpose; try to organize what that means in terms of where we’re at as a society. I take all that and put it on a blue print, hold it up to the lightboard that is our sky and say, “OK, this is what it is. This is where we go from here.”

I try to speak in broad strokes, I avoid pointing fingers and above all, I try very hard not to let the strong opinions of others, sometimes abrasive and tactless opinions, change the way I feel about them, me, or the human heart and its (at times) impulsive need to express raw emotion.

As a writer, words are my strong point, but sometimes I don’t even know how to use them. They come out all misdirected and wrong. Sometimes I regret them. Words, after all, can hurt. They can help, but they can hurt. Remember that.

Everyone seems to think they have the right answer or that the problem is as obvious as a color, creed, or social standing. The world isn’t any more black and white than the meaning behind a piece of music, a painting or poem. Things aren’t always what they seem. We judge, and we too will be judged.

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

More than ever, the importance of art needs to be acknowledged. Outrage and upset has rendered creatives and artists I know into activists. It’s pushed everyday readers, listeners, and lookers to be politicians. I have read a great many opinions that express the necessity of artists to share a voice in all this, to offer their take, to ignite the conversation when, I believe, it’s this continuous rhetoric that keeps focus down one path – a path that needs a more constructive direction.

Remember that art can speak volumes. Music and art, literature and poetry. Remember as artists this is our gift, to take what we want to say, what needs to be said, and use it in this way, abstractly.  Bring back this movement, and do it strongly. The world needs its artists to do what they do best. Create.

Be well, love often, and enjoy.

 

 

On Writing: Raising the Dead

tarot, on writing

Last night I pulled the Death card. I’ve been pulling this card a lot these past few weeks, regardless of the question. What this tells me is that there is something divinely connected to this particular time that signifies both a death and a rebirth.

Personally, I love when I draw Death. I can’t help but always focus on the positive aspects of this card. To me, Death is the ultimate creation card. It tells me that there’s something in the womb bubbling with life that couldn’t have been without the death of something else.

While I’m not using a traditional tarot card this week, I think this artwork depicts Death’s meaning really well.

A definite end and a definite beginning, a change that one feels, that can’t be avoided, is here. Embrace it; death to an aspect of you, a phase, a relationship, a project, a period of stagnation has just happened- roll with it. Recognize that what’s  on the other side is the birth of some other seed you’d planted, maybe some intention you set months or years ago that’s coming to fruition, exposing its leafy tips, its plump petals.

In regards to writing, NaNoWriMo started yesterday and for those of us contributing, we’re all in the Death/Rebirth mode, the start of a new phase. Death is here to usher in the new, not to be a guide but rather, a time marker. Note: this is when the death occurred, this is when you made a change, this is when you started that thing that changed the way your future unfolded. This is when you felt death was lurking, this is when you knew life went on. This is your opportunity to start over.

Been listening to “Dust Clears” by Clean Bandit a lot lately. Always have loved the track, but it’s ringing in strong this month for it speaks to death and rebirth. As the lyrics say,

“As the dust clears and it all starts to disappear, it may get harder because you just restarted. And wherever you are, land on another star. It may get harder because you just restarted….”

Death isn’t about to make this transition easy, it’s just cleaning up the shit you knew needed to go anyway. It’s doing you a favor. Life is all about balance. Death is exciting. Death is life, life is death. Change your perspective and you change your future.

Good luck if you’re venturing into NaNoWrimo and as always, be well, love often and enjoy!

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