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Archive for October, 2012

My Precious Bones

There is a place i go in the world of my shadow,
where the gods stoop down low to peer at me from their secret houses, the heart’s inner sky.
i feel the tremors in my bones and i begin to shake with the echoes of my mighty ancestors,
their voices sounding through the ages, beckoning me to open the hidden door deep inside,
a diamond that opens like a flower, blooming
while its tendrils kiss the darkness.
Only a fool unlocks the gate that opens even beyond the stars unseen.

And in this moment i witness my terrible gods, and their eyes pierce me utterly.
They are as great birds, fiercely crying to me in the language of ecstasy and madness,
their eyes like wheels of fire, spinning pinwheels of laughter and awfulness,
and i am tested to bear this
harrowing embrace, like standing in the midst of a whirlwind.
And i know that to them i am but prey.
And i know that if i were to resist, i would be torn apart.
It is in this moment every part of me screams into stillness. And I plead with them,
“i am but a little bird,
and cannot fly so high.
If you would but eat me,
i would be lifted on your great wings
and soar into the sky.”

i dream of a burning star, an ember held between black eternal lips,
who whispers my name.

All else incinerated by this heated kiss, my bones, scorched, crack open
and molten marrow, like gold, pours into the illumined cup.
Now set to stand, the surface of myself is like a smooth black glass,
no longer enslaved to sleep,
a mirror polished for their terrible reflecting.

And deeper the kiss continues, a forked tongue probing, or
like the fingertips of eager lovers, which deftly reach into my spirit where they caress mysteries
like soft bee tongues over stamens, turning my blood to honey; my veins warm with nectar, my sweat drips
onto my lips and the tormenting sweetness is all i can taste.
Beneath the veil, vision is a lookingglass folded upon itself endlessly —
quicksilver and moonlight radiates from altered eyes, a beacon for more brightly
burnished shards, a phosphorian cadence that carries the wary into the delves of the spaceless cave like
wisps of clever smoke from the guiding torchlight, rasps of shared breath.

And then the deep plunge, the hallowed shriek.
God’s mind is a cock and it rips me open. i yearn and gasp to take in more, yet shudder with completeness.
i throb with its lust beneath my petals,
turning insideout, a fruit ripening. i struggle only for a half-thought to keep from unraveling,
so much terror that i will be swept away in the torrent of honeyblood, lost forever.
Their wisdom is that there is no returning, least not unchanged. And there is no turning back,
as I have crossed the event horizon of myself. So i let go and fall.

i melt into its spiritflesh, and know the pummeling will only cease
when I erupt into the ocean of milk, spread out like a wave of pleasure
across the whole world, opening a circuit of desire for the world’s own spilling and errupting,
the exchange a serpent biting its own tail.
It is a tangle of serpents in the great deep,
a pressured mass waiting for the divine moment —
the twining of flesh and spirit, blood and aethyr, my bones and the bones of time weaving together
like a skeletal tree that reaches across the unending void.
i am criss-crossing space just as my bones are etched criss-cross
by the talons of my ferocious gods, marked, so that i am more brightly seen from their vantage,
the bull’s eye for their thunderbolts, hands for their doing of world and the undoing of myself.
When the divine moment passes, sadness oozes over my flesh like fresh cum, all the waters inside receding:

i am but

one

thing

again.

There are crystal strings stretched
from my soul into their starry black empire. When they call,
their thunderous beckoning like the roar of a thousand lions,
or the beating wings of ten thousand screech owls in the night,
or the laughter of a hundred thousand hyenas through the hills,
i shake with the tremors of furious ecstasy, the dance of the Old Ones,
and a blazing knifepoint pierces my heart, it rends my ventricles apart:
my blood a stream of shooting stars upon the face of the world, changing it like a river consumes
a valley in the Winter’s flood;
if i resist, my bones shall be weighted by too much flesh, and i, unable to rise, will drown.

For this, i cannot but wait fearlessly
for the moment when
they come to knock upon my precious bones.

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hese notes were taken during conversations with Gabriel Carrillo, my Faery teacher, best friend, spirit-brother, mentor, lover and sometimes-pain-in-the-ass, during the year in which I lived with him in Guerneville, CA, as his apprentice and caregiver. He stood near Death’s door for over a year, and crossed the Veil on January 1, 2007.

Death is a natural part of Life. Death is not scary or bad, though it can be sad and mournful, even painful. Death is natural and one day — any day — we will be dead.

Our society has a taboo on death, aging and disease. Impermanence is not something our society likes to parade about. But it is natural and right. Our culture is so obsessed with removing death from the conscious view that we often want the dying to hold on to life past what they should, past comfort and need. Living means being able to have and fulfill meaning and purpose in the world — to be at least responsive to others, to be able to show emotions, thoughts and feel with people. When that is gone, you are gone; what is left is no more than an organic machine.

“Forgive yourself before you die. Then forgive others.”

Holding resentments, vengeance and stubbornness inside of yourself is naught but vinegar. Forgiveness is the sweet wine of Life. Remember, you could die at any time, and you should be prepared for it.

Give your resentments up to the Wheel of Karma. Robert Anton Wilson writes of this in Cosmic Trigger II, on the death of his daughter and the lesson she taught him. That is the true, original teaching — giving it up, forgiving, and turning the Wheel of Karma, so it isn’t yours any longer. No pain and trauma.

We need to forgive others for that which they have done to us and forgive ourselves for that which we have not done, as much as for that which we have. The hurt we have inside of us is a reaction to our perceptions of what the actions of others mean and meant. Forgiving them means letting go of our own ideas about what they did, and making our stories bigger. We turn the Wheel. You are lucky for the time you have to live your life, so don’t waste it on vengeance or regret — MAKE PEACE. And then you will have peace inside of you, stillness and the ability to move through life with balance and agility.

We fear death. We can’t wait to get it out of our sight. In a hospital, after you die, they cover you with a sheet, wheel your body to locked room. Death is not contagious. It is our only true Fate, part of the deal we made. The acceptance that you can and will die is the important lesson, knowing that you could at any time cross the bridge over the Abyss into whatever is next. That’s all we’re looking for — a certain peace with the idea of dying. If we know that in the end we can finally make peace with dying, we can do the Really Hard Thing and make peace with the living

It’s natural to die — the reason we fear it and make such a terrible deal over it is because we don’t see ourselves as part of nature. We think because we’re human, we’re something above nature. But we’re not. Everything that gets born dies. But there is a payoff: As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created/harnessed is still there. You live on in the hearts, memories and stories of those you touched. Death ends a life, not a relationship.

Once you get your fingers on the important questions, the Big, Ultimate questions, the ones that won’t go away, you can’t turn away from them — trying to will tear you apart. They have to do with meaning, purpose, love, freedom, responsibility, awareness, spirituality. They are your issues, they always have been — whether you’re facing death, facing them, or not.

Your perfect day is not extraordinary — it is simple and average, filled with the things you truly need: simple, fulfilling things. The trick is to make every day like that, not reaching for the things you don’t need, but that society tells you that you should want. Remember Bukowski’s poem on being a writer — if you have a passion, you can’t not do it. Follow the path of your passions, for that is what opens into wisdom and understanding of meaning, purpose and all the answers to the Big Questions.

Remember that passion means to suffer, so you must be willing to work at what your purpose is, nothing real will be handed to you without you earning it. And what you are passionate about will change you, the person you started out as will transform. You might have a very grand and exciting adventure, but the real nourishment comes from the ordinary, simple living of life.

Spiritual Story by Mitch Albom

A little wave was bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He’s enjoying the wind and the fresh air–until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore.

“My God, this is terrible,” the wave says. “Look what’s going to happen to me!”

Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him, “Why do you look so sad?”

The first wave says, “You don’t understand! We’re all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn’t this terrible?”

The second wave says, “No, YOU don’t understand. You’re not a wave, you’re part of the ocean.”

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Some Fat Findings

It’s been my careful observation that in the queer communities* (because that’s where I travel), fat men are only okay — that is, not utterly marginalized and made invisible — if they occupy one of two roles.

The first is that of the Clown. Strange laughter-inducing, funny, the joke embodied, scene-causing-disrupting-for-a-chuckle. The clown takes fear and turns it on its head, a medicine man of sorts. But typically the clown is not desirous or worthy of sexual-romantic affection. The clown is often alone. It is not usually okay for the Clown to own sexy, for any fat man to own being sexy or project sexy. It is not okay for fat men to flirt or be attracted to someone. That’s “creepy” or “gross.” We have our sexuality stripped from us by the framing of our bodies as failures.

The gay community’s relationship to fat women (specifically fat heterosexual women) is also similar, where big girls are often the “fag hag” — similar to the clown role, but celebrated in a very different way. In a similar framing, fag hags do not have a sexuality, they are there to support a queer’s sexuality, to prop it up and help queers get laid, or be an “emotional fluffer.”

The second is that of the Repentant Fatty. Fat men are only seen as okay as long as they are trying to lose weight and get thin. Weight loss is virtuous, something to be praised, stemming from the culture’s deep fear of fat (and that means every body is taught to fear fat). But if weight loss is a virtue, then it implies that being fat is somehow black mark on their character. It is morally suspect to be fat.

It’s intriguing how moral language has seeped into our conversations around health and what we feed our bodies. Eating behaviors and foods that are “bad” for us. The moralistic language leads directly into shaming and feelings of guilt for fat people. That is what I would call “bad.”

It’s also very strange to me to see health-as-an-identity, as an absolute or monolithic state. The syllogism “I am healthy” is a canard, and often our framing of health excludes emotional-psychological inclusions and social connection.

As always, more to ponder…

*I am specifically excluding the Bear Community at the moment, because of the prominence fat plays in identities therein, which sets up a whole other set of very complex dynamics.

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These notes were taken during conversations with Gabriel Carrillo, my Faery teacher, best friend, spirit-brother, mentor, lover and sometimes-pain-in-the-ass, during the year in which I lived with him in Guerneville, CA, as his apprentice and caregiver. He stood near Death’s door for over a year, and crossed the Veil on January 1, 2007.

Idea: Everyone knows they’re going to die, but nobody believe it. If we did, we would do things differently.

Be prepared for death at any time. You can be more involved in your life while you’re living it.

How can you be prepared to die? Do what the Buddhists do — every day, have a little bird on your shoulder that asks, “Is today the day?” or “Am I ready? Am I doing all I need to do? Am I being the person I want to be?”

Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live. Those who are facing death, realistically — really facing it and in the moment — can teach the rest of us how to live.

If you accept that you can die at any time, you will focus on what you really want and need — what you truly desire to be doing with your life. This threatens our materialistic culture, which runs on the idea that everyone should want what the small group at the top wants. We’re deficient, culturally, in some ways. We take the essentials (love, relationships, our health) for granted, too focussed on the trillions of little details.

We really only have each other. Everything else could and might disappear (money, possessions, job) in the blink of an eye.

To let an experience penetrate you fully is to detach from it — let impermanence reign over you.

Detach from the Fear that having emotion, and especially the effect of emotions on others, has in our culture. For example, the fear of a surge of love for someone, and we don’t say anything because we’re frozen in what those words might do to the other person/relationship with them. Wash yourself in the emotion, let the fear pass over and through your body, as it becomes familiar, you can say, “alright, it’s just fear, I won’t let it control me.”

If you find meaning in your life, you won’t want to go back — you embrace aging. The young, for the most part, are not wise. Understanding that you are going to die will make you want to live a better life because of it. If you have meaning and purpose, you have few, if any, regrets about life.

Be who you are now — all ages and stages have their time, but finding your purpose for now, reveling in it, is good, true and beautiful. We are every age and every person we’ve ever been. The people we were remain buried in the shadow of our unconscious.

Connecting with Others

We really only have each other, right now. Live in the moment; when you’re in the presence of someone, be with them, fully present. Try to keep focused only on what is going on between yourself and that person, right there and then — not what’s coming up on the weekend or what they said last week, of some phone call or text message or errand you need to make. Learning how to pay attention is one of the greatest lessons to be received. Talk to them and think about them. Most people in our toxic culture, after thirty seconds, already are elsewhere — their eyes glaze over, self-absorbed, and they only snap back when you finish speaking, and try to fake themselves back into the moment (“Uh-huh” or “yeah, really”).

Everyone is in such a hurry — people haven’t found meaning in their lives, so they’re running al the time looking for it; next job, next relationship or sexual encounter, next tech gizmo/possession/car/house. Then they find those things empty too, and keep running.Put your energies into people that are already in your life.

Most people in our culture, post-WWII, seem to have trouble really listening to someone without trying to sell them something, pick them up, recruit them, or get some kind of status from them (advice-giving). Try surrendering yourself to the moment with another person, and you will find that an eternity of love and connection open up to you.

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