Even in absurdity, sacrament.     Even in hardship, holiness.     Even in doubt, faith.     Even in chaos, realization.    Even in paradox, blessedness


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* Latest additions... welcome!

[?]= Seems to be down or on hiatus.
Please report broken links for my blog audit.

"Life expands or shrinks in proportion to one's courage."    ~Anain Nin

{ Sunday, 08 October, 2006 }

My life in random, internet comic

Bogged with school, et cetera. Please play outside on my behalf.

jaybird found this for you @ 17:08 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Sunday, 01 October, 2006 }

Pale Blue Coincidences

Prism in Window

In these past few days
of azure skies so shimmering and vast
splinters of conversation on the radio
or in the gorcery line about
"planetary context," Earth as organism,
and the "terrifying size of the cosmos"
have flown by, like some odd bird
on a synchronistic trajectory
straight into a satchel of dreams,
on a flightpath of stardust.

The sun, so white and incessant,
just some dot in a dusty whirl of space,
a windblown spark,
briefly radiant,
enough for me to write a few words,
dance under clouds,
and slip this blue horizon
like billions of my species,
shadows for a few spins
of some holy, creaking wheel.
How did any anyone get lucky enough
to score this?

People can talk so easily of distance
yet do not cross it, do not dare,
and cannot wish to imagine
the true perspective of our
frightfully small situation.
Yet this smallness,
this rather insignificant orbit,
is what we have.
How we have it mystery more.
At once lucky, at once damned;
at once profane creatures,
at once magical interlopers.

To be captive, here, on this pale blue dot,
to drink coffee and catch a consanant or two
of someone else's song
is just enough
to make this next step
out into the October sky
out into the cricket chorus
out into the arc of the land I cannot perceive
out into the scattered light of a billiob suns
just enough
to hallow
this simple, still night.

jaybird found this for you @ 21:55 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Saturday, 23 September, 2006 }

Autumnal Scribble

I just placed my mood bracelet in the freezer because it seemed too happy.

Yes, today is the first autumnal day, and in a few minutes I will walk into night air which is being changed by the tilt of the Earth, the rays of a neighboring star, and a metaphysical infusion of wonderment and human preoccupation with transformation. We are getting colder, day by day, that we may come inside and light fires and get warmer. And we will do this again for an unknown number of times until the cold penetrates us, and we are finally stone. Thinking that that new cool fall jacket keeps us warm, we are not separate from the natural cycle; we are the natural cycle, and will be absorbed by it in a million different ways.

I am still mentally unpacking from California, and readjusting to life in Asheville. Ten days away can put a whallop on your consciousness. The blog isn't a huge priority right now- much more so is spending time with myself, getting back into this collection of muscle and memory, and playing the definition game. I'll make my best effort, blog as much as I can, but rest assured that after almost four years of this site, I refuse, ardently, to abandon ship.

So, check in when you can, and bundle up (or not), for you are an animal stalking, whether it fits or not.

jaybird found this for you @ 22:41 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Sunday, 17 September, 2006 }

Approach of the Sea III

Apporach of the Sea III
Originally uploaded by moonbird.
Yes, I know, I fell off the face of the Earth (rather, off the coast of that mythical frontier, California). While I have been journaling my experiences religiously, I've been lax in the electronic format. Whodathunkit? Anyway, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

I am having a stellar time, even with the knee getting worse, and having a rather tedious episode of getting lost in the city trying to corner another mythical frontier, The Castro, and all of the emotion and power of that rainbow. We've been to Big Sur, Monterey, and, well, just about everything I can think of. But it's been the relaxation I need, I'm feeling replenished and at peace.

There's much more to say, much more to articulate that cannot yet be attached to words, these feelings of mine for this place and the feelings stirred as I choose to decontextualize myself amid the glittering skylines and emerald waves. Words are forming, like the fog belt, and encroaching, and like it there is no forcing, words appear on their own terms. So, when they do, there'll be more. One joyously lets go of expectation, slips onto the moment like a cable car on Market, cresting the hill, awaiting the next intersection, upon which one disembarks free, timeless, and hopeful...

jaybird found this for you @ 13:35 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Tuesday, 12 September, 2006 }

California Stars: Real Jourrnaling

This time, I'm handwriting my journal entries. I'm really enjoying that as it's muchmore intimiate, more of an interface between myself and I than myself and a computer. So, here's an entry presented in the old fashioned way. Good luck with my handwriting:


jaybird found this for you @ 12:49 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Monday, 11 September, 2006 }

So beginneth the journey west

Undercover of night, the car is packed, the coffee made, the tickets confirmed. While I am very ready forthis, I am also torn, as my mother's situation has become more fragile asshe hasn't been hospitalized yet. Yet thereisonlyso much I could do, even in person. Thus, following advice of deeply respected folks, I'm just having to let go and trust. There's nothing else I can do, but it does add a bittersweet taste to the adventure ahead, to a golden coastline, to the western winds.

Onward and upward.

jaybird found this for you @ 02:27 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Sunday, 10 September, 2006 }


Surprises. The fact that they are an essential part of life is reason enough to savor the expectant journey through each minute. Surprises rule.

Twenty four hours from now, I'll have loaded up and car and started the drive to the airport, for soon I'll be singing the verses to "California Stars" under such light. I'm headed to northern Cali for a real, gen-u-ine vacation in the company of one of the better humans on the planet, Gustav.

This comes after an obviously troubling week, in which my mother had to be admitted to inpatient psychiatric care and work (as much as I love it) kicked my tushie. Luckily, my mother is safe, and in the hands of the very professionals she has spent her professional life training. I have proxies activated, and while the decision to continue the trip in lieu of her breakdown was difficult, I have her blessing to go, plus the knowledge that as a fellow adult, she must pursue a path of her own to wellness.

I'll post a final thought later today. For now, it's bed and up in four hours to perform the liturgy at Jubilee, a final push before the west opens up, and the ocean rushes in.

jaybird found this for you @ 02:24 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Friday, 08 September, 2006 }

Mother Update

Thank you,faceless bureaucrat, for keeping my mother away from the help she needs. Thank you for thelimitless red tape and arcane rules against protecting the mentally ill. Thank you for holding off on providing my increaingly frail mother with the safety net she deserves, and forcing her to sleep another night in a house so unlivable that I'm fighting from keeping this episode from the media in order to preserve her dignity. Thank you, faceless bureaucrat, for sitting on your puffy, soft, pink procedural hands while a very special personin my life falls rapidly into despair and mental anguish. You're doing a heckuva job.

Yes, my mother is a cipher in some kind of procedural nightmare. They were unable to get her into the hospital today, despite the advocacy and support of several important community members. Apparently, the admit wil be tomorrow, and I'm afraid that my mother will again get caught in procedural malarkey while she is fighting a major battle- to regain her sanity and dignity. Of course, in protecting herdignity, I won't spill my mothers beans in this venue. Rather, I invite those inclined to send some positive vibes in her direction, especially a resolution to this quagmire preventing her from getting the help and support she deserves.

jaybird found this for you @ 08:03 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Thursday, 07 September, 2006 }

Reality Thursday

I received word yesterday from Delaware that my mother is rapidly deteriorating mentally. She is delusional, hallucinating, and has been off of her psychotropic mediation for an unknown amount of time. Her home was discovered to be in such a deplorable condition that it was immediately condemned due to environmental conditions related to her cat hoarding behavior, unlike anything a police officer attending the inspection had ever seen. Tomorrow morning at 10, she will be evicted and committed to a psychiatric inpatient facility. I knew that she has been decompensating, but not to this extent.

I'm obviously overwhelmed and saddened, and kind of at a point of not knowing at all what to do, other than stand by the phone and wait for news. She does have a limited support system there of concerned friends and fellow church goers, willing to do whatever is needed, which is reassuring. I knew it would eventually come down to this, as she hasn't let me in the apartment for three years.

I just hope that she is treated with dignity today, with love, support, and compassion. I hope she gets the help she needs. I hope she knows how important she is to me and how much I love her.

jaybird found this for you @ 07:04 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Tuesday, 05 September, 2006 }

Tuesday's Sleep

Mumbling words between worlds,
Worlds of dreams,
Awaking to the rain, sweet with memory,
The soul is stretched as dock-rope
Between this and that, here and there,
The cadence of bluejay and drizzle
Somehow just enough
To move me through the waters.

jaybird found this for you @ 08:28 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Saturday, 02 September, 2006 }

The Waiting

So, between the low altitude clouds
Gray with memory and humid thought
And the ceaseless voices of unseen crickets,
Low in the grasses
Created in this passing day is a sense of waiting---
An openness that shall be filled
A time that shall succomb to some unknown
Parentheses readied for an onslaught of words yet unwritten
I've not heard the neighborhood kids conquer some swatch of street
Only crows.
What is it that turns within us
As this sphere twirls in cold of space?
What is it that makes stories out of spilt coffee,
That inner machine which demands boundaries of time
To chasten the terror of the limitless, of unrestrained imagination?
Only a few late summer flowers rock in breeze-
The crows not answer-
The night edges on.
Rain lightly trickles,
Landing on leaves of destiny
Falling into them, through them
Not even occupying space, senseless water.
The waiting that longs to be filled
Does not abide with wandering words,
Poetical whimsies.
No construction of verbs can cross a chasm.
No dalliance with enchanted vowels
Can dare transmute the black of the night
With luminous knowledge.
These are what they are,
And the waiting, the still point in time
Stretched over a day,
Is merely nature,
Merely the universe,
Merely the void which contains
The fullness of our lives, brimming.

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jaybird found this for you @ 14:56 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Friday, 01 September, 2006 }

A Genteel Abduction

Here's a strange one:

The dream started off with the discovery of a large butterfly which had intentionally buried itself in the sand, with only the top of its head poking out. I grabbed my camera, and started shooting, and I suppose it got shy, bolted out of the sand, and took off.

So, I continued on my hike, and there was a great roar over head. A squadron of blimps were racing through the sky, as if they were more like jets. I know there is some aeronautical discontinuity there, okay, but that was when myself and my hiking party were abducted by the aliens.

We were all "made at home" in their lovely saucer, complete with glowing lights, reclining chairs, and journals to record our thoughts on the matter, which appeared to be generally benign. It also helped to make this abduction more genteel that the aliens looked like your typical Floridian library volunteer. One of them confided in me that they forgot the combination to a rather importnat hatch, and I glibly suggested that they try the Fibonacci sequence. Oh my, that just might be the ticket!

So, I was appointed to make the "group report" to the aliens of our human experience of their saucer. Problem was, the 'saucer' began to revert into a regular ranch house, complete with a sliding glass door for easy escape, and rather drab, tedious furnishings and tchachkes. At this point I had lost all enthusiasm for I thought was an excursion into outer space, but was rather a mild trance taking place in Auntie Mabel's bungalow. I really wanted to get back to work, and the "alien" was going to try to hold my satchel of paperwork hostage. At which point I slugged the bitch, the alarm went off, and it was indeed time to get to work. Fortunately, work today is on the same planet.

jaybird found this for you @ 11:54 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Saturday, 26 August, 2006 }


I've fallen into a bit of a routine on Saturdays. For one, as I write skirting near the 11th hours, I am about to leave the house for the first time. As sweet and tempting as the verdant August world was through the window, I was far more compelled to read books as raptors consume prey, to note the sounds of the the house when I'm the only one in it, to indulge the cats in play, and to rest, and heartily. I find it interesting that on this day of the week where I am unbound by schedule, I abide here as an anchorite and leave only under the complete hush of full-on night, where cicadas mark the passage of true time and long shadows are cast from the lamps we hope maintain civility in these hours of planetary wilderness that creep in after sunset, poke at the shutters, and rifle through the trash. It is stimulating enough to witness, from this my sanctuary, a day breeze by with its bird calls, car horns, and conversations carried by the wind from the other side of the water.

I slept through one promised party, though Casey did come by and we shared wine and spoke of California, which is almost two weeks away from jarring me out of my contextual cradle.

As I need to go into the city to attend to a weekly chore, I am going to attempt walking. The knee feels much more pliant today, and the rebuke of pain seems to have subsided into an annoyance of nerves. The swelling has decreased to almost give one the impression of leggy symmetricality, though I'm not certain this case can be made yet. I hope, perhaps audaciously, to mount Prospero (my trusty bicycle steed) and ride into the city's morning. We shall see. While having been a brute of a mechanism, the knee is really not a big deal, compared with the overly abundant exapmples of everyday suffering I've personally seen and held, so I'm disinclined to hobbling painfully through life when so many can barely even move forward in its muck.

The cicadas are luring me, begging for an audience for their interplay between trees. I've got to get my shoes on, pack a bag, and survey the city while the final minutes of Saturday pass, and the planet edges ever closer to another arbitrary point in time, upon which we humans fixate and dote upon with such ferocity.

jaybird found this for you @ 22:51 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Saturday, 19 August, 2006 }

selves within selves

The light is long, as a sigh,
The last throes of ecstasy before sleep
Moves up the body.
The air continues to chill, and yesterday the lake
Was somehow cooler than last week-
The swim to the dock beset with an awareness
That soon, I will not transit in this way
Across its smooth surface.
Instead, my eyes will dart above it as a curious dragonfly
Which, by fall, will be skelatal in the reeds.
Change has been ongoing all summer,
And in our orgasmic quest for sunshine,
We don't dare to notice
That the Earth, it spins,
And in fact lives in night
And our golden moments are at the convenience of her dance.
The garden upstairs is still festive,
Though the sunflowers are bowed as penitent monks,
The vines of harvest have done their work and fruited
And now relax from the strain pass'd,
And I savor this, from the touch of it
And the mystery which blows through the window,
And the drone of cricket, which, for whatever reason,
Overwhelms all else,
Settles over every leaf in steady music,
And turns it.
Turns me.
The air, though, so still
Yet the little bell on a string
Rocks with near imperceptible motion
Stirred not by the ascent of breath
But by the passage of memory itself
Years within years, selves within selves
Passing through a slight morning in August
My bones themselves a season
As I open the door
And spill out, step by silent step, into timelessness.

jaybird found this for you @ 11:09 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Monday, 14 August, 2006 }

Weird Electromagnetic Things Tonight

Um, yeah.

A flashlight which happens to be sitting on the dining room table just flashed at me- a sustained flash of about 2 seconds. I checked it, and nothing's loose, and it wasn't on. It's got an LED bulb and I watched the beam of opaque light on my shirt.

Earlier, I flicked a light switch and the flourescent bulb in there, brand new, was flickering. Not supposed to happen. Once it worked itself out it became insanely bright.

And the Wifi network is a total wreck- flying one minute, toast the next.

What's going on and am I a little kooky to be slightly unnerved by it?

jaybird found this for you @ 22:03 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Saturday, 12 August, 2006 }

A brief dispatch before scrambling eggs

It is raining, and more or less has been since I went to bed, which was at midnight. I awoke a few times with the thick night just musical in rain. Just a fewminutes ago, I left a book open at chapter 3, and waddled into my bedroom to find some shorts and that it was 11. That's late for me. I've been so consumed in reverie and the bucolic morning that my own annoyingly accurate penchant for knowing the time almost to the minute was thrown far off course, breezeless at sea. If there's anything big going on in the world right now, I don't know about it.

The knee seems to be making a little less nerve noise, though I am aware of it, certainly. I've not made my Saturday eggs yet, and just a few minutes ago made my tea. I'm enjoying the rain, and I know that in a few weeks the taste in the air willbe crisper and the darkening skies will herald the contrast of cooler weather, and the closing up of the festive canopy that is summer. Bittersweetness.

Things are good. Work is rewarding, the cats are entertaining, and the mystery which underlies everything throbs without hesitation... perhaps in muscle and bone, perhaps in the cadence of a stranger's voice, perhaps in the song that keeps rattling through the head like some coal-laden train through the steep valleys of thought and memory.

And so it goes... happy Saturday.

jaybird found this for you @ 11:10 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Monday, 31 July, 2006 }

Canto LeConte

When I was little,
I complained of having to walk to far,
Now, I cannot walk far enough.

When my hands were small and still knew innocence,
The only good a hill could do was to be covered in snow
As you flew, breathless, down it.
Now, I ask for steeper hills,
And exalt the strain of mountains.

What changed?
What moved a comfortable and husky messy-haired kid
To not merely tolerate but anticipate the ardor of gravity?

It could have been a glut of wasted days,
Accumulating as dust, settling around the soul, the house.
It could have been the numbering of friends lost to time,
The dying words of relationships, the tempo of seasons passing
Without so much as a feather or stone to show for it.

"Whatever," one can say breathlessly,
Things change, we all must change, none can stop it.
As the Earth below Sunday's mountain,
We are weathered... we slide, tumble, break apart
In our own time to be a name of a map, bounded by histories, regrets, and love.
I have been weathered by my own fears, my own glacing with death, my own horrific blunders,
To, as a smoother pebble, withstand the stream, by moved by it,
To crave with utter, animalistic vigor, these mountains,
Even as it pains this body,
Even as my lungs heave to wind,
This Earth is a crucible, and I am matter seeking mere dissolution.

This is the whim of all incarnate, the mountains seem to say,
And the darting birds proclaim.
You are here to move, and should you stand against the flow,
You will be aged to sand, and gone,
Gone to go, as Siddhartha said, to go altogether beyond,
Just like Sunday's wind-
I don't know where it's gotten to now.

LeConte, Wayna Picchu, Looking Glass, Shasta, Olympus, Devil's Tower-
I am fortunate to have these words etched into bone.
Their gravity has broken me down as I heaved, with sweat tasting of salt,
Up their bodies and into the great blue, nearer the stars and wings
Of my most secret of dreams.
When broken, open to the sky, the water which speaks in tongues,
And open to you, who I encounter just around the corner,
Surprising me, I reach out, remember your name,
And touch you.

jaybird found this for you @ 17:20 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Saturday, 22 July, 2006 }

Moments So Far

Two rainstorms, now there's sun-
Several fitful attempts to sleep-
A few moths flit about the house,
landing on portraits-
The body absorbed in summery dreams of touch-
Little white butterflies flirt with rising milkweed-
A phone call from a friend,
She's thinking about California-
Anthems of weeknend on the stereo-
The garden is almost lewd in its fecundity-
I hear a neighbor trimming his hedge, a bike sails down the hill-

Such is mid-afternoon on the sixth day of the week,
Stretching, gathering, observing, arising.
We live between rituals, overlapping ceremonies, threading time
Through fingers which have known oh so many memories,
Playing them back through our working, our grasping.
Sunlight and storm cloud are a tipping of the chalice,
Action in the void, pushes to the self through the senses to our own
Ever renewing birth.

The cat contemplates the light through the door-
A shower sounds good-
I slice an orange, it tastes like the month of July.

jaybird found this for you @ 15:14 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Wednesday, 19 July, 2006 }

Happy Birthday, Little One

I raise a toast of apple juice to one whose life brings great joy to a family, and great hope to the world. Happy 3rd, L.

jaybird found this for you @ 00:01 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Saturday, 15 July, 2006 }

Scenes from Saturday

As the bike and I made our way through the intersection on this thick July moon-as-peach-half-in-syrup night, the gentleman leaned out of his car window and asked, without the typical niceties of such a request, if I "suck dick." Now that information is not typically available for public digestion, so a wry smile was the only answer I felt was needed without even bothering with introductions, or discourses upon the weather. The smile, it sees, was deemed a provocation (touch'!), and the gentleman in the car sent the remainder of his icy beverage after me, with the cubes rolling down the hill by the Federal Building as I slid further into the night, unscathed by projectile refreshments or by the obvious juvenile jabe which initiated our brief interaction. Fortunately, the bike prefers speed to dilly-dally among the many struggling comedians of summer.


The higher you are above water, the harder it is to get the body to cooperate and dive, all graceful and swan-like. Perhaps that's why diving is an Olympic sport. At the lake house, I tried, from varying distances, many permutations of the dive, and had many sweet successes, gliding through the water with the aquatic elegance of a carp, all the hydrodynamic pizzazz of a barge. Yet the brief flight through the many strata of the lake (dark green and cold, yellowing and warm, surface with mist atop) was an exhilerating thrill ride and gill wish. Yet many attempts to perfect the dive from higher and higher heights were comical. Socially, it's much easier to explain that you're perfecting the belly flop, and to suck up the mid-flight change of plans. This body still remembers that last year, on July 9, water almost killed it... so this skiddishness at the edge is perhaps a mechanistic response to old programming. Perhaps, however, it just isn't that into the facial shock resulting from the impacting of water schoz first from twenty feet up. I watched a Kingfisher do its thing today but its nose is rather built for parting the water below with ease. How very like me, to have bird envy.


The morning was all fits and starts, bouncing from dream to dream like a debutante at the ball. Something idyllic was about the place... it was the very quintessence of Saturday morning; bright, distant sound of lawnmowers, NPR in every room, cleaning the house naked with an omelet (mushrooms, garden pick'd tomatoes, garlic and Swiss) in the pan. Yes, cleaning the house buck nekkid. Please don't feign shock because I know you've done it too. Clothed, of course, I wandered through Marjorie's garden, and was astounded atthe ecosystem that is the front of our house... bees knee deep in squash blossoms, ladybugs doing aphid drivebys, the momentary glimpse of a curious rabbit. The sunflowers were audacious in their height, let alone their broad petal finery. It was quite a way to wake up, nevermind what's in your cup.

Then, I gathered myself to examine the day's news. Pitiful. Another bloody Mideast war on our hands, thanks in part to the policies on this side of the pond. Talk about ripples. I have to wonder at this point why the phrase "if it ain't broke don't fix it" does not have a contrarian relative in modern parlance. It is ALL broke, can we please fix it? We have enough tragedies going on already, quota fulfilled, do not pass 'Go.' This crude exchange has the potential to blow the lid off of the whole region, and our president (?) is busy talking about eating pig in Germany? WTF? Sorry, I forgot that the humor was meant to be 'folksy.' My omelet was slightly below par while worrying that the Neocons have finally set the stage for the Armageddon they've so thirsted for.

At least the orange juice was good.

jaybird found this for you @ 23:45 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Tuesday, 04 July, 2006 }

An Open Letter to the Motorists of Route 280
With particular attention paid to the American experiment on the brink of failure

[WARNING: extremely rare graphic verbal content]

Dear Individuals,

Today, there was a tragedy on the road, and you were directly responsible for the painful, agonizing death of one sad, misplaced creature. Today, I impugn a slurry of care-free motorists for failing to stop and aid the creature in its misery, and I accept no excuses pertaining to your rush to attend barbeques, picnics, pool parties, 24 hour sales in the next county over, monster truck pulls or any other dubious attempt at leisure making. Out of scores of passing cars, none pulled over or even slowed down- the doe died slowly, with tortured undulations, without dignity, after being hit not once but twice by the passing fancies of a four day weekend. Blood, cherry red as a Corvette, exploded from the animal, and I just stared in awe as such an elegant creature suffered convulsive fits under a motherfucking McDonald's billboard. It struggled to make sense out of the dual 50 MPH blows which landed it across the street, whereupon I rest my next indictment to the driver of the white truck.

The driver of the white truck, with his aviator glasses, Carhart boots and mullet, did stop, and I was filled with hope that someone will either a) be a little proactive in flagging other drivers to avoid re-injuring the creature, or b) will deliver swift mercy to the terrified, heaving, and even-in-death magnificent being. No. The gentleman kicked the deer in the back of the head, the way a car buyer kicks the tired of a jalopy to-be. Not a kick intended to relieve the doe of her torment, but an asinine boot thrust of a callous coward immune to the extreme pain which lay in a golden coat beneath his feet. As if to say "you're mine, bitch," his kicked and the deer quivered in an attempt to life her head. Had she the ability, she would've certainly kicked back. I know this man saw only meat before him, not a confused refugee of shrinking forest, I know he was butchering the creature with his eyes, and I certainly know that I will be counter-accused of Bambi-like over-sentiment. I've honestly never seen the film, but I do feel greatly that there is a sick injustice at work here, the injustice of man's purported rise above the thickets, woodlands, and marshes of his ancestry. Man inhabits artifice: white trucks, pavement, restaurants and shelters which seem so promisingly fortified against the wilderness. Yet man is entirely interwoven with wilderness, the twain are inseparable.

The doe, utterly in the wrong place at the wrong time, represents to me the great, unbridled spirit of the early years of the American experiment. This nation was lauded by the likes of Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman and Wilde for its brave open expanses, for the idea of cohabitating with the wilderness rather than the need to have dominion over it, to crush it with interstates and outlet malls. We lost the balance and entertained the power of greed, and greed of power. We lost the respect for the bear, the elk, the buffalo, and saw them instead as in the way of our industrial hard-ons which sought ever-ripe ripe valleys for their profit and prophet motivated pleasure. The doe, the walking wild, no longer has her place within our world, unless she is meat. I was mightily disturbed a few months ago when the most popular arcade game played by the kiddies was a simulated hunt; the pixilated creatures do not thrash about after getting virtually shot, they do not meet your own eye with their own glassy upturned gaze, they merely disappear in a bright cartoon explosion, and you've got points. Have we so over-saturated ourselves as humans on the destruction of the natural world that we must now simulate its slaughter in air conditioned comfort? What the hell? Thoreau, will you come to cradle the dying deer? Who will stand for compassion? May America stop a moment to wipe its dying brow?

I know full well that I'm oversimplifying and at the same time aggrandizing a simple accident with an animal. I know that the man in the white truck is conditioned against these pansy sensitivities of mine, and I can't find him truly at fault, for he's never known otherwise. Once born into the machine, it takes a major malfunction of sorts to see beyond it. I am grateful that the machine of my incubation was faulty enough to allow me to see the system from outside, yet as a human on this planet where the system is the predominant political and social paradigm, I am dependant upon it, weakened by its gravity and spellbound by its latest products. At times I am the frightened doe, calculating danger as it crosses the highway. At times, I cannot help it, I am the man in the white truck, kicking my quarry, sold to the material moment, lost in the drool of utter predation. Yet I sense deeply and possibly recklessly that the ever elusive purpose for our presence here is to evolve, passionately, and to think, and reason' to be the neural mechanism for this organism we call Earth, to be the cat that catches its own tail, to be sensory organs to witness with our lives the expanse of Creation. To say that I don't believe that we exist to tear apart the flesh of this world with our psychic teeth does not mean that we are above the cycle of predator and prey; indeed we are animals, and as such, have a place within the mammalian/chordate dance of hunter and hunted. We are peer to (and in the wild needfully respectful to) the beings of claw, talon, fang and hoof. Their presence is essential to the balance and sustainability of this amazingly intricate ecology which comprises of billions of organic metaphorical gears, pulleys, and levers per square mile. The does, falcons, turtles and amoebas are the body of this world, and we may very well exist to be the mind of it, the self-experiential engine of its time incarnate. The soul is another thing entirely.

So America, as represented by the motorists of NC 280 Southbound, will you be mindful of the brakes within your artifice? Will you be mindful of the teeming, verdant and quintessential state of affairs from which you emerged, bipedal and curious, oh so long ago? Can you take notice that the quiet ideas that keep you awake at night might just be more meaningful than the deadlines which split your life up into a clutter of parentheses? Just, for the Love of it All, attend and heed to your actions and consequences, and strive against casual pain, lest we find ourselves on the road, dodging the density of our own machinations, imperiled by the pretense of being what we're not, by the haste to complete a defeatist game of our own design.

Happy Fourth.


A human whose pansy sensitivities won't preclude him from speaking bluntly, when needed.

jaybird found this for you @ 13:13 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

{ Sunday, 02 July, 2006 }

Fost and Lound

So, I just went to retrieve the wallet which I discovered went missing this morning, when I rolled out of bed still in shock over a humid hour of unexpected kissing and companionship at the club last night. I emerged from slumber late for Jubilee, exhausted, and so reactivly allergic to something that my eye was damn near swollen shut. I think, for that span of sneezing and awful hours, I was allergic to the very air we breathe.

I spent the day, when conscious, anxious over the missing wallet and all the drudgery of having to replace all of this thin pieces of paper and plastic that somehow cement my identity in the 21st century. All was there, execpt for about $100 in cash. What a weird mixed blessing, y'know? The hundred clams were gone, but they (the ubiquitous they) could've destroyed my bank account with the debit card, or stolen my identity with everything else. The cash came from a wedding I'd performed earlier, and I was quite thrilled at the time not to get a check as I could spend it with a quickness. Yet had I gotten a check, I probably would'nt have gone to the club and thus wouldn't have gotten into the extended make-out session, which was quite pleasurable, as you can imagine. I was also pleased with the pay out as I got stiffed for the last wedding I'd done (by my family, no less). It's a mixed bag of no gain, no loss, and making for damn sure that my pocket is buttoned whilst tongue jousting amid a sea of drag queens and trance tramps. I just hope that the cash went to a worthwhile cause rather than up the nose, and I'm sure that I'm somehow working off a karmic debt load on an installment plan.

Seriously, though, I am thankful that most everything is there, but I am pissed that people can't just return lost objects without finder's fees. C'mon, peeps, there is something called decency and doing what's right, is there not? I know the deathknell for Chivalry has been rung for some time now, but I've not yet seen it listed in the obits. I have found several wallets over the years, sometimes with much cash inside 'em. I call the police and turn it in, without so much as thumbing a single because it's just plain right. Don't we as a society engage in enough interpersonal theft (intentional and otherwise), and aren't we collectively the victims of enough institutional pickpocketing to be turned off from emulating it in our own little self-governing spheres?

Then again, nothing gained and nothing lost, really. Behind that lost cash is a newly married couple and warm fuzzies of a garden ceremony. And in the moment that the wallet left my back pocket, I was all a'smooch to the bass of drums on a warm, sweetly dark Saturday night. So, I reckon, despite my curmudgeonly misgivings over the loss of cash, the memories which bracket the day last far longer than five pieces of paper. Call it "memory tax."

jaybird found this for you @ 23:06 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

3 weird fortunes

At the Chinese restaurant tonight:

  • A carrot a day may keep cancer away
  • It tastes sweet
  • A healthy body lasts a lifetime

    jaybird found this for you @ 00:02 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 01 July, 2006 }

    It's a little too bright out there today

    It looks hot out there. The sun is full tilt, Americans are bracing for an orgiastic celebration of codependence, and I've got an outdoor wedding to do in a few hours. It caps a week of being "on," and I'm hoping to be off, quite off, very soon. It seems that tomorrow is a day completely bereftof schedule, dayplanner scribble, or anything even masquerading as a responsibility. There is much writing to do, which usually falls under the leisure header, though tomorrow I might just go completely visceral and instead do things to spurt creative juices (ahem) rather than force them.

    Right now, however, I've got to see if I can unwrinkle the wedding shirt and get into matrimonial mode. Meanwhile, here's pictures of wonderfully silly summer kitties:

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:39 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 28 June, 2006 }

    The spiders of my apartment

  • Cassiopeia: Species unknown. Began her tenure in the shower, but was removed after she was endangered by scalding water. Now calls the plant rack her home. Recent dinner: ant.

  • Mama Cass: Species unknown. She chills by the toilet. Her abdomen is a brick house with eight legs attached. I do not mess with this woman, but she's got my respect. Recent dinner: moth salad.

  • Herve Villachez: Species unknown. Hangs by the bathroom door, small but most certainly deadly. Recent dinner: a freakin' centipede.

  • Vagrant of the day. Species "Daddy Long Legs." These fellas pop in daily with a bit of a swagger that immediately cues you into the fact that they're homeless and they're looking for the arachnid equivalent of a can of beans and bus fare. They come up to you with their six big puppy-dog aphid eating eyes, reeking of cheap cigarettes and expect the world. Recent dinner: Whatever I can find, man.

  • Little Red. Species unknown. She's reddish, little, and always going somewhere. A busy little thing, I'm not sure what she's up to. Building some kind of trap for me, obviously. Presently she's right behind my head. Right. Behind. My. Head. Recent dinner: probably the one that bit my neck.

  • Lord Wolfington. Species is wolf spider. A gentle old codger, Lord Wolfington is a stately chap with little ever to complain about. His nobility and charm remind you immediately of the glen in days of yore, carriage rides to Parliament, and an ever so jolly and festive public hanging. Recent dinner: just a rack of roly poly if you'd be so kind.

  • Cassandra, a.k.a. "Terror Bitch." Species has most likely been manipulated by some evil biotech firm to create the ultimate killing machine. She is the destroyer of worlds, eater of souls. The approxinate size of Miami, she lives in the shower, unfazed by the steam. In fact, she sensuously rubs her stilletoed legs together in a crude lustful display when it gets h-h-h-hot. She knows that she is queen, and is anxious to populate the world with a hungry dominion of spawn. We allmust fear Terror Bitch. Recent dinner: several ants, moths, and beetles that fly in through the rip in the screen. Also fond of pelicans, pachyderms, palm trees and planets.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:41 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 27 June, 2006 }

    Singing (ritualistically) in public, etc.

    You may have noticed that on Sunday, I preached a sermondelivered the meditation at Jubilee. Indeed, I not only spoke, but sang. Yes, I sang. People were groovy on the words and very polite with the music. Reviews varied: "It must've taken a lot of guts!," "You really had your heart in it!," "It was the gayest damn thing I've ever seen!" were among the reports back. This tells me that all of my practice in the shower didn't have me ready to take on Scottish folk tunes, and thank Goddess that I nixed the Sinatra idea early on, as I can only sing Frank while shitfaced experiencing a mild reaction to adult fermented beverages.

    Honestly, though, the most profound aspect of the experience was the wave of music that I bodysurfed on... hearing three hundred people singing back to me, doing the hand gestures, and transmitting a powerful signal of acceptance was overwhelming and intoxicating. I ceased being "me" for fifteen minutes and just focused on the moment exclusively. It was unlike any other organic, holistic, nondogmatic ministerial experience I've had thusfar. Word.

    In other news, last night I skinnydipp'd with a slew of relative strangers after an incredible meal. The lightening bugs in the trees were downright selacious in their luminescent burlesque.

    Meanwhile, the high energy drink I just drank (synonymous with a rufous masculine bovine) is not helping me to "fly" but seems to be fucking with my ability to stay awake. What the hell? Have I bottomed out on caffeine so completely that these single servings of motivation are not little more than placebos in a can? What's next? Resorting to hourly trips to the electric outlet with tongue outstretched? Smoking espresso beans in covert, jittery tokes behind art galleries? A trip to Gitmo for wakefulness training?

    I have two cases of the shit and two hours to get some serious work done. I'm tempted to see if one more will do anything to keep me from yawning my way into another night of being highly unproductive.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:13 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 25 June, 2006 }

    Meditation: A journey home to the soul

    Every morning before I make my tea, I brace myself as I turn on the radio to groggily hear what matters most at the top of the hour: 'From Galactic Public Radio on Planet Earth, I'm a human being. In today's news, a mockingbird sang late into the night in Asheville, while a cacophony of fireflies lit up a field with bioluminescent abandon. A waterfall in the Pisgah National Forest formed countless rainbows, through which children dove and butterflies flew. The sunset was reportedly a honker, while a weird little man watched in awe and realized that the soul is not some hackneyed daydream but a real manifestation of our quest to experience fullness of life. And politicians worldwide have determined that they are no longer relevant to an emerging paradigm of personal spiritual evolution, and the weather's fine.'

    If only, right? If only soul stirring moments were the headlines, and soul deadening institutions took a hint and folded. We can only dream, and in the dreaming, possibly catch a shimmering momentary glimpse of that elusive concept we call 'soul.' Everyone struggles, at one time or another, to define the thing, which as an enterprise is as daunting as a cat finally catching its own tail. Yet we all in our own way seek out the soul within ourselves and each other in a mythical odyssey to at last Know Thyself. Breathe deeply.

    The word 'animal' is derived from the Latin anima, which is defined as soul. Anima itself comes from the Latin root 'ani,' which translates to 'breath' or 'wind.' In my line of work, I must occasionally remind children that we are animals, and their reply is typically defensive. 'Animals stink.' Actually, we all stink (some more than others) and anyone who denies it needs a nasal recalibration. 'Animals can't talk.' I truly believe otherwise when I hear a wren defend its perch or my cats chew me out for coming home too late, and who can forget Koko, the sign-language gorilla? 'Animals can't build spaceships.' True, but you, my young friend, can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd. But, as Roger Miller sang, 'you can be happy if you put your mind to it.' At which point the kids look at me funny, walk away, and seek more validating conversation with toy robots.

    Ancient wisdom tells us that the soul is the animating principle in all living things, while science tends to beg difference. Science has articulated a mechanical approach to understanding life, yet hasn't devised a theorem to say why we exist at all in the first place. It is in that 'why' that I find sweet mystery, a refreshing lack of answers, and creative wiggle room. Perhaps diving head first into that 'why' one may catch a clue to that self-referential spectacle of purpose that confounds us when we attempt to define it.

    In quantum physics, it's been demonstrated that when a particle is under observation, its behavior changes. The soul seems to operate in a similar manner. Averse to being boxed in, the soul plays hide-and-seek when you have the dictionary and magnifying glass out, yet it makes itself known when you're nowhere near the 'record' button. Right now at the very least, most of us are awake and conscious, or as much as we can be for a Sunday morning. Consciousness is for psychology what the soul has been for mysticism; consciousness forms the seat of awareness, while the soul connects our awareness to something vaster. Like the soul to the seeker, consciousness remains a mystery to researchers. Thousands of pages in scholarly journals are written about consciousness each year, just as thousands of napkins are scribbled on by yearning poets journeying to understand the breath within them. The readings today tell of feats of magic and faith which transform inert, dead matter into life sustaining flesh. How may these parables inspire consideration for our own bodies, awareness, and stories? What about them ignites an inmost tickling of our reckonings with the soul, body, and the subatomic entanglement of it all? Breathe deeply.

    Being a bit of a self-proclaimed metaphysical wing-nut and card-carrying member of the Wacky Ideas Club, I have had my own theories about the soul. They began with a rather inventive cosmology as a young child, in which I believed every person had a little Casper the Friendly Ghost inside them who sent a daily celestial telegram of misdeeds to God, who weighed them against the amount of guilt you should feel for the rest your life. Fortunately, I was exposed to transcendentalism early on and we tweaked that just a tish.

    I can't recall the first time I truly sensed of the soul, but I'd like to think that it was a night that, as an nine year old rug rat, I stayed awake in my bunkbed all the way through to the purple light of morning, mentally overheating while attempting to grasp the idea of the infinite, and the sheer terrifying size of the Universe. While feeling so utterly small, I recalled feeling a ripple of interconnection, a weird sensation of safety and connectedness within it all, a nearness to the eternal.

    I felt that sensation within the scrubby woods of youthful summers, touching leaves with hopeful fingers, rope-swinging over dark water and hidden bullfrogs, and in willful surrender to the drenching daring-do of passing thunderstorms. As a child yet unjaded by the minutiae of routine and responsibility, the freedom of forest and sand was exhilarating. By virtue of being alive, we are all entitled to experience a harboring within holy moments which illuminate a sacredness unique to us, within and throughout. Call it the soul, the mind, or the silent whirring of mitochondria, do you think these conscious experiences of closeness might just be one way the cat finally catches its own metaphorical tail? The words and music are by Dougie McLean'

    VERSE: The old man looks out to the island
    He says this place is endless thin
    There's no real distance here to mention
    we might all fall in, all fall in
    No distance to the spirits of the living
    No distance to the spirits of the dead
    And as he turned his eyes were shining
    And he proudly said, proudly said

    CHORUS: I feel so near to the howling of the wind
    I feel so near to the crashing of the waves
    I feel so near to the flowers in the field
    Feel so near

    And yet, as you can imagine, getting to know the absolute core and essence of the self is not entirely a joyful romp through huggy-kissy happy land. As beings whose range of experience is not bounded (!), we at times must endure great despair in order to comprehend the magnitude of our being here, the repercussions of consciousness. Indeed, as innocence passed beneath my little troll feet, the world of youthful awe became grittier, discovery and surprise became harder won. I forged my way through foggy and dead times, sloughing off wonder for the quick fix. I had never felt the soul as a vividly essential part of self as I did in the aftermath of my greatest failure, lying there one gray morning in pain, loneliness, in my own reckless crucifixion. It was that feeling, there, within and around the hardened earth of my own body, which forced me to sit up, forced me to breathe through the miseries of my own decisions, to come to life again and transform.

    VERSE: So we build our tower constructions
    There to mark our place in time
    We justify our great destructions
    As on we climb on we climb
    Now the journey doesn't seem to matter
    The destinations faded out
    And gathering out along the headland
    I hear the children shout children shout

    CHORUS: I feel so near to the howling of the wind
    I feel so near to the crashing of the waves
    I feel so near to the flowers in the field
    Feel so near

    Anima, spiritus' 'Young man, I say unto thee, arise'' Anam Cara, soul friend' ''and the soul of the child came into him again.' We have the remarkable good fortune of being cosmically allowed to be shocked out of our stupors and into realization of our presence within the eternal. We rent a framework of muscle and bone that, as aspects of the Universe and ongoing expressions of the Big Bang, can arise, breathe, laugh heartily and love big for the blink of time we've won. It would seem that the gift of our being here is easily distracted by the mundane, yet why can't it all be a vehicle for self-awareness? In 'Wings of Desire,' a film by Wim Wenders, Peter Falk tells an angel considering giving up the business of merely observing the world beneath him that 'on a cold day, you can rub your hands together, and you can drink coffee, and it's good.' What he describes is a holy moment, a firing of the senses for the conjuring of spirit. In one of his last and certainly shortest sermons, the Buddha lifted a flower, laughed, and just walked away. Simplicity. Directness. Presence. The soul won't be summoned by pedigree and pontification, but by doing something purposefully, by breathing with the wholeness of the body, and by savoring the unpredictability of each passing minute.

    CHORUS: I feel so near to the howling of the wind
    I feel so near to the crashing of the waves
    I feel so near to the flowers in the field
    Feel so near

    So these holy moments of realization can come cheap, if not free. For adults, it may take practice, but for children still living within a world as yet unfettered by deadlines, those wide eyes and intense curiosities are symptoms of the adventure of knowing thyself, of the journey home which decades later is still unraveling as a map marked by a miraculous topography. The journey to the soul, down sunset trails, passing through rivers of deepest magic, is our birthright, and quite possibly, our purpose.

    CHORUS: I feel so near to the howling of the wind
    I feel so near to the crashing of the waves
    I feel so near to the flowers in the field
    Feel so near.

    Oh yeah.

    [delivered today at the Jubilee Community, Asheville, NC]

    jaybird found this for you @ 14:25 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 24 June, 2006 }

    A big tacky event

    At present I'm chaperoning a 450-person event that is quite gaudy. Cute, but gaudy. This time tomorrow, I will hopefully be lying flat after performing delivering the mediatation at Jubilee after three services, and I was up a bit late last night putting the finishing touches on a goffy ramble about the soul, the ethereal lil' buddy thatmay or may not deeply interconnect us to all of this weirdness.

    Gotta go, I think the burlesque performers are getting antsy.

    jaybird found this for you @ 14:21 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 21 June, 2006 }

    ♫Going back to Cali, Cali, Cali♫

    Hovering over the "Purchase Tickets" button was agonizing. Do it?, not do it?, ad infinitum. It was in fact a muscle spasm in my left index finger that caused the rather spontaneous ticketing, and now I am two months away from accidentally gallivanting through San Fran, Big Sur, the Esalen Institute, with mi amigos Gustav and Casey. I'm actually flying on that recently minted "ominous" day, Sept. 11th, just because that's how things worked out. No doubt, it will be a safe day to fly.

    Anyhoo, it's not only a day off, it's also the twentieth anniversary of my first official Day of Rebirth, June 21st. The story is long, and you can read it here. Today, I'm taking off for Max Patch for some soul stretchin' and revitalization at the top of the world. As always, the lessons of this day are unpredictable. We shall see...

    jaybird found this for you @ 13:59 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 20 June, 2006 }

    Aloha, Shalom, Loveya.

    A few days ago, it was time to say my 'goodbyes' to my soul friend Gustav, who was returning to Californa, from whence he came. I found the actual act of uttering that word difficult, so the best I could do was mutter 'aloha' into his shoulder. The word which comes far from my cultural sphere is defined as both hello and goodbye, love, peace, and all that jazz. Goodbye implies such a severing of continuation, a closing, rather than the open perpetuity to which I cast my love and friendship. 'Aloha' initially conjures up images of Hawaiian shirts, tiki torches and schmaltzy luaus with Don Ho crooning late into the night, spilling to VFW parking lots all across America. Hello, Hawaii. Yet on a whole other level, subbing 'so long, farewell,' with the Polynesian homage to 'shalom' blasts a tearful moment with a tish of blazing sun, open heartedness, and a bit of a mystical acknowledgement that it's all the same damn thing... the soul is somewhat learning disabled when it comes to the human, limited perception of time. The soul understands that time doesn't quite flow the way we think it does, and once two conscious beans meet and groove into a friendship beyond weather reports and water cooler dialectics, we click on a cosmic level and stay connected no matter what. Aloha is a little easier to prepare in the subconscious kitchen of language. My best friend Joshua beautifully takes things a step further and assures that even the most casual conversation ends, if it really ever does, in 'I Love You,' which is even more blunt than the pineapple-scented syllables from the Pacific.

    Goodbye is for wimps. So long is for wussies. Aloha, and its subsequent transcendent spirit, forces us to open to all possibilities, and to worry not about the farewell, but to bask in the love and to glisten in the coconut oil of gleaming opportunity. So, to Gustav, here's to transformation, and a lifetime wave of friendship so large you could surf an elephant through it.

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:49 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 19 June, 2006 }

    Bare Ass Nekkid

    As a silly stunt after swimming the other day, I walked bare ass nekkid in front of my friends. Casey said "Yay, he's finally getting over it!" and the wonderful loon ran and hugged me in my state of still being quite bare ass nekkid. It was a sweet moment of celebrating being a fleshy animate aware and living organism. I've never seen a wiggle worm in a turtleneck, nor an otter in an evening gown, so it seems alright, if daring, if I am suddenly "as I am" among the wide eyes of compadres.

    Perhaps it's just as silly as getting born into a world of clothing, anyway. Isn't everything around us covered in something else?

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:41 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 18 June, 2006 }

    Of trees and otherwise...

    There is a tree I've not yet identified near the house. I only know it's there, yet which one...? This tree gives off a certain odor, known to male humans who are unlikely to talk of the scent in polite conversation, perhaps even in intimate whispers after the romp of their choice. When I smell it, being a male of a certain sexual nature, I get a bit of a buzz, and that deep loin-y sensation that as an animal, mating, congress and passion are encoded and indwelling rules of life free of moralistic bombast. I find it interesting that here, in late spring, as the tree explodes in pollen, squirrels are chasing around it in the race to make squirrel-babies, and humans are getting mosy jiggy with it in dark clubs with pounding rhythms, the particular arboreal olofactory stimulus of my query is almost embarrassing in its likeness to a male sexual secretion. Yet there it is, hiding it not from breeze or passerby, blunt and blatent as a boner, the tree delightfully reeks of spooge, and it surely must relish itself for this ingenious trope.

    The tree, whereever it is, stands tall (ahem) and guilt-free as it does just what it ought to be doing this time of year, while disembodied human heads wag their manifold chins across the airwaves in grave disobeyance of the natural order and seek to stuff this natural mechanism through the sulphurous gates of the netherworld, where all those who dabble in the nether-regions ought, they say, to be doing hard (ahem) time. I've never seen a flower de-flower itself (whoa) out of shame, running headless into a floral convent for a life of mercilous penitence. Though, if one paid heed to the bobbing heads, one would suspect that the extinguishing of the sexual impulse were as easy as that. Not so much. Without that impulse, the Earth would be as vacuous and barren as the plains of Pluto, or the frontal lobe of Ann Coulter. The Earth, as an organism, must keep the creative process going across the thin film of biomass which covers its thick mantle at all costs, and its inventiveness in doing so is lavish and sacredly audacious. Like a drag queen at a ball, no expense is spared, honey. The show must go on, and it will be fabulous.

    I suppose a tree that wafts the essence of the male seed would cast a treehugger in a new light, and my arms are at present rather unapologetically outstretched. I laugh about it as much as it mesmerizes in one whiff and is downright vulgar in the next, and the connection between these two natural events must be purely coincidental. Accident or no, the tree stretches heavenward (oh my) as if to say... "get over your petite and petty qualms over sex already, it's going on all around you."

    To which I reply by breathing even deeper.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:55 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    "Aw Gee Shucks..."

    The title of this post was the whole of my acceptance speech tonight for winning the highly prized and hotly contested award for "Most Inspiring Weblog" at the first annual BlogAsheville awards. I'm flattered and hope this next year will push the very envelope of inspiration, causing people to hit the Refresh button for the very next opiated morsel of happy-go-lucky inspirational bloggedy goodness, much like rats in a maze learn to tapdance like Gregory Hines for the mere whiff of satiating peanut butter.

    I thank you all, and hope that this sudden and extreme case of writer's un-block will help to continue feelie-goodies into the next year. Perhaps the spider bite contained a certain toxin which causes the brain to racewith such fury that writing is the only release. Perhaps I'll text Peter Parker and find out what the story is...

    PS: BirdOnTheMoon was actually nominated in three categories, and had a nice showing in "Best Design," and "Makes Me Feel Happiest," which makes me in fact feel happy.

    jaybird found this for you @ 02:26 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 17 June, 2006 }

    Chicken Hill, 6am

    I woke up this morning, say 6am, to the sound of something rather forcefully making its way through the scrub woods behind the apartment. I sleep with my face right up to the window, and Ursula was in the window for her early morining stalking. I darted awake, and followed the movement through the brush, the snapping of twigs and the bending of saplings caused both of us to double take, and for a moment, we were both completely and totally mammal, with no pretending otherwise. The thing eventually found its way out of the wood, and Ursula's thoughts seemingly returned to the food bowl, and mine to sleeping more. Yet, that minute of wide eyed tracking reminded me of the raw, corporeal essence of being alive in this way. Animus as we know is Latin for "soul," which is not far from animal... animate, enshrined with consciousness, aware and self-motivating. There is part of me, of us, beyond words and the vanities of being human, that remembers what incisors are for, that remembers how to stalk, and to hide. Even as we evolve, we will remember this, like it or no. Alan Watts says that "We didn't come from the world, we came through it." That lush green valley I overlook every morning is thus an aspect of our common birthing, and as alien as it might feel to some to be thigh deep in the bramble, it is home too. As animals track an unseen animal from the 6am window, assurance is given that the mutuality of our terrestrial existance can be found on many, many levels, through many, many obscuring thickets of shared nature.

    jaybird found this for you @ 10:57 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 14 June, 2006 }

    Where have I been? What are mugwumps?

    The answers to these dire questions are quite droll, mundane, and sundry. Nonetheless, I shall bullet the reasons for my silence as a breathless BBC newsreader breezes through my brain, detailing atrocities with such vocal vim that one just wants to whistle sunshine as the planet explodes.

  • I've had the distinction of putting together a therapeutic day program for at-risk kids. This has been one of the most traumatic exhausting efforts of my working life, with the reward of a few kids really making social strides. Smiles and laughter aside, this has been a logistical mugwump, eating all of my time. I'm not kidding. Kids eat time.
  • The spider bite on the back of my neck will surely make my head fall off. It must be the result of a frightenly venemous mugwump, and my mornings have been preoccupied with monitoring the progress of the bite, which now looks rather like the halting visage of B*ll *'R**lley, one so terrible we cannot speak his name. The royal we. The parasitic spider babies and I.
  • I've been so busy with ephemera too blas' to mention that I've only had time to clean the new apartment one room at a time. Had a good friend not spent the night and made himself a delightful hangover-free omelet the next morning and had he not been overwrought by a bout of asceticism, the dishes would've never seen the light of day. Chores: the mugwumps from the deep.
  • Finally, I've been reckoning with my life on overdrive in ways that I hope will enable me to write again and get back on track creatively. My written output is for shit lately, and the NEWSECRET BOOK's publication target date is looming. I been seeking out the mugwump who can hook me up with inspiration and time, and that has been the greatest challenge of them all.

    But at least I'm laughing, and at least I'm savoring the sun. Posting resumes tomorrow.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:59 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 09 June, 2006 }

    Yesterday last year in Peru

    Magical and fascinating Taquile Island in Lake Titicaca.
    (Today last year, we were low key in Puno).

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:51 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 07 June, 2006 }

    Today Last Year in Peru

    One of the most memorable meals ever. The Royal Inka, completely empty, complete with dancers rehearsing nonchalantly.

    jaybird found this for you @ 21:40 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 06 June, 2006 }

    Today last year in Peru

    "When you see the Southern Cross for the first time,
    you'll understand now why you came this way,
    'Cause the truth you've running fromis so small,
    But it's as big as the promise- the promise of a coming day!"

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:08 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 05 June, 2006 }

    Today last year in Peru

    In Sillustani, outside of Puno. A magical place.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:08 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 04 June, 2006 }

    Today last year in Peru

    Passing through Raqchi on our way to Puno.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:04 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 03 June, 2006 }

    Today last year in Peru

    A festive meal in honor of Anyelito on the outskirts of town.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:14 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 02 June, 2006 }

    This day last year in Peru

    En route to Cusipata, to raft the rapids of the Urabambo, mountain tributary of the Amazon.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:46 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 01 June, 2006 }

    This day last year

    Pisaq, Urabambo, and Ollantaytambo Peru.

    "Cheers to the self, that strange being with which we must grapple, world without end."

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:50 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 31 May, 2006 }

    One Year Ago This Morning

    Preparing to climb Wayna Picchu in the early morning.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:24 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 30 May, 2006 }

    One year ago this morning

    Taking the train from Cusco to Aguas Calientas.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:59 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 29 May, 2006 }

    One year ago tonight

    My first night in South America. Cusco, Peru, to be exact.

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:08 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    From Contemplation to Exploration

    I just rode the bike in a circuitous route
    Of several miles, through the city and its many personalities
    Having not done anything vaguely similar in over ten years.
    I was reminded of the kid
    Who picked up his ten-speed just to ride at night
    Tracing the routes of meaning, memory, and identity
    Just to leave a skid, pop a curb, and fly on...
    A shadow longing to be a cipher in the babble of night.

    Now, my bones truly feel the bump and heave of the road
    My lungs, coated with words and ideas alien to that curly-haired dreamer,
    Must work to pronounce the goodness of each thousand feet,
    Uphill, the strain of the years, of broken promises and surprise loves.

    Under the road, stone, and under the stone, the secret vertebrae
    Over which our the roadmap of our lives arcs, and trails off to mystery.
    This city rolls in hills,
    Like the metaphor of some white bearded storyteller,
    Trilling adventure over the landscape
    I wouldn't have otherwise noticed.
    As the wheels of the bike blur in motive glory,
    I take notice, I enthrall over, I recall and revel
    In the youth that still abides within the muscle and ardor of the soul.

    I move, as I move, from quiet years of contemplation
    Secluded yet observant, cloistered in a transparent monastery,
    To breaking glass and getting gone, out there,
    To the exhaltation of winds and the movement, at last!,
    Of the body through space,
    Then space through the body.
    Wide-eyed, driven, plunging into the chill forbidden water
    And into the heat of being flesh animate,
    That short and impossible thrill of breathing through the nose
    And dining, and pressing heart to heart, and the intoxication
    Of the old lady's rosebush through the chain link fence.

    No simple bike ride.
    No average town.
    No common experience.

    No longer waiting.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:01 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 26 May, 2006 }

    Not having figured things out...

    I suppose my new home is finally a new home, after all. I've had the housewarming, all of the required "firsts," and it's just so pleasant and groovy now.

    Having accomplished the transition and cultivated a bit of a new routine, I'm having time to consider myself again. I've even had a bit of anxiety unlocking that identity door, with all of the dustbunnies and unknowns which lurk behind it. The self is profundly complex, so much so that it seems to prevent itself from catching it's own tail, thus, figuring things out. Distractions must exist solely for us to prevent ourselves from getting to the bottom of things, 'cuz once there, in that frictionless utopia of Having Figured Things Out, we're done. I don't anticipate such luxury anytime soon.

    I'm going to take the bike out in a minute and do the whole night-ride thing, with that sense of adventure akin to younger years of being out late, collar upturned, and rebellios tunes hummed through lips of ever growing vocabulary.

    Off I go...

    jaybird found this for you @ 21:13 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 25 May, 2006 }


    I've been told by ancient sages that Things are busy creatures. Indeed, there have been so many Things infesting my life (they seem to follow me everywhere) that I can't move without bumping into a Thing. Things will therefore make one's life as busy as they are, leading to a sudden delay in blogcasting, if only for a day. So, today I must work diligently to clear up the Things if I'm ever going to get back on schedule. I will likely be able to post tomorrow, if I can at least clear up some of the Things presently entwined around Hermes, the trusty laptop.

    Happy Thursday!

    jaybird found this for you @ 09:00 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 22 May, 2006 }

    Friends + Love = Housewarning

    What's this a pic of, you ask? Why, it's of the final phase of yesterday's wild and wildly successful housewarming. The final phase consisted of a rather spontaneous dance party, with the floor being perfectly suited to such pursuits. The dancing at times turned to quasi-moshing, abstract, and just plain silly. The house is adequately warmed now, if in need of a good mopping.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:37 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 17 May, 2006 }

    Home and Old Home

    About 8 miles north of here, an attic apartment sits vacant, still, and the attic smell has usurped the Nag Champa. Meanwhile, life has begun in earnest on Chicken Hill. I officially unpacked the last of my stuff last night, and this garden apartment is full of bird song and wild turkey sightings.


    Yes, here in the western outskirts of downtown, I saw a huge female wild turkey strutting as casually down the streets as the old timers. As I approached, she undertook a rare "panic flight" into the thick woodsy patch behind my place (no, thick woodsy patch is not a euphemism). Holy shit, after living in the "country" for years, now I move into the city and there's wildlife? We've got ground hogs, wild turkeys, and several species of songbird that I never noticed up north.

    So, all is unpacked, and things ought to begin to find a rhythm. The cats are settled, and I can now stumble about in the dark with relative confidence, though I did take quite a spill the other day on the hardwood floor (*happy dance*) and banged my leg quite painfully. I've taken the new bike (thanks Zen!) for several jaunts, and she's the wind. It feels so great to have a bike again.

    I'm thankful for so much newness, but I couldn't have done it without the old-ness. I anticipate a sweet summer on Chicken Hill.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:05 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 16 May, 2006 }

    Reasons I overslept...

  • Met MyGothLaundry from the Hangover Journals for great conversation and particularily potent beer. Not that I'm hungover, but I feel especially leisurely this morning.
  • When I got back home (the new home), I took a fabulous bath with all the trimmings: low light, jazz, and a nightcap of red wine. This something I've been waiting for 3+ years to do, having previously merely survived with a shower stall.
  • Having a bathtub again, I rediscovered the thrill of hopping right in the bed from the bath, sans pajama, just as the local public radio station kicks out BBC World Service.
  • I've found that the alarm on my phone will just stop crowing without my intervention. It'll try again in 9 minutes.
  • Ursula the uberkitty was rather threatening whenever I tried to move out of the bed... hiss, growl, etc.

    It is for these reasons that the time I usually spend planning my blogday has been scuttled, so I'll wing it. I do have a very timely and newsworthy post I'll try to get out later this eventide.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:19 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 12 May, 2006 }

    Of hushed words and silent screams

    "Suffer the little children..."

    It's been a tough past few days. In the town where I work, a 12 year old child took his life, and to watch how this town is reacting has been heartbreaking. Mostly, they've reacted by sweeping it under the rug, leaving the memory of a bright-eyed child at the school door and waving off the grief. Sure, they are likely unsure as to how to discuss this with their own kids, and also there is the onus of religion. Where his "soul goes" as computed by humans which surely know everything is likely a matter of great consternation, as are several other factors which came into play which I won't go into here. There is a core of people who are indeed very concerned about this, and very committed to bringing a community-wide discussion to the fore. This gives me hope, if a sliver.

    I have wrestled with the same spectre that this 12 year old did, several times, and I'm glad to say that my work in understanding the nature of the game has enabled for me to finally stop playing it... it has been years and years of strengthening. Yet someone so young making this decision releases a torrent of feeling, empathy first, and frustration with a society still ill-equipped to cope with the intensely private world of young children who secretly battle a depression so blinding that the outlets become fewer and more precious, until there's nothing. A child affected by this has said that there are no answers, and perhaps we'll never understand. You're on to something, there... life and death are made of the same, inexplicable gossamer.

    We may never know, but can always remember, and always seek to do good work, especially in the light of those which have gone before us...

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:05 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 09 May, 2006 }

    Unboxing Days

    Well, things are starting to come together. I'm beginning to get the sense of what home looks and feels like, how one moves about in it, and the resulting daily rituals which will flow from the new routes traced in my brain. It's a lovely space, and the feeling of having space is truly liberating. The cats are settling in and get the picture that this is it.

    There is still much work to be done at the old home, and I can't write a proper farewell until I close that door for the last time. And it's such a thrill to open this one, and all the amazing fortune which seems to far to flow from it.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:44 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 07 May, 2006 }

    Last post from Old Home Road

    It's fitting...

    I'm on the floor of the old apartment, and a mockingbird trills with much the same song as the mockingbird did this morning a town and some miles away. This is excruciatingly brief, yet this is the last post from the old home on Old Home Road.

    It's cool and gray, with the occasional mad daub of rain. I'll miss these sweet pines, and the way Avatar would greet my car by running down the steps from the deck. He'llsurely find a new routine, as I will trees.

    Time is not helping, however, with my posting proclivities. I've got to go. It's not without ceremony, however, that I log off from this attic apartment which has contained me for almost two years. I'm very fond of it here. Know that the ceremony is bittersweet, secret, and in deep honor of the graces afforded to me, from old homes to new, from one way of life to another.

    All the best, you sweet old home.

    jaybird found this for you @ 14:50 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 06 May, 2006 }

    A moving day

    This is it. I'm sitting on the floor, a previously frozen dinner at my side, with two cats wandering in the shock of home upheaval. I may be wandering a bit too, in that stubborn swagger of a human attempting to be stoic. Time to go. Tonight, we fly. Figuratively.

    I really don't have time to wax whimsically about this place, which is tragic as today it certainly deserves an ode. I moved to Old Home Road on May 16th, 2003. I lived in the narrow apartment C before retreating upward to D in August, '04. I've dealt with devil roosters and crackheads here, but also spectacular mornings with tea on the deck and honeysuckle in the air. It's been good, and aleaving, as always, is bittersweet.

    When the dust settles, I plan on writing more. Until then, I truly must tally forth.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:27 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 04 May, 2006 }


    Yesterday, the largest batch yet of boxes went over to the Shiny New Place, but after moving, I couldn't be moved myself to accomplish anything of great import here. Saturday is now truck day, and I've come to the realization that I just don't have enough friends who own the things.

    Also, rather unexpectedly, I changed webservers yesterday, as it seems that the previous host/reseller went belly up. That move was ridiculously easy compared to this one- I didn't have to expend a single calorie of energy moving anything.

    So, in the spare moments I have, from this home in the process of quick entropy, that's that. Tonight Robin and I paint a wall violet (to visually complete a theme in the Shiny New Place) and I begin to stack and categorize books. Fun fun.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:11 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 03 May, 2006 }

    OMG a blog entry!!!

    Oy, what a week ahead and thusfar. Today, the blog takes a chill pill in a world full of newsworthy tidbits so that its humble proprietor can continue packing. This is moving day #5, and last night much was accomplished, with a gracious hat-tip to mi amigo Gustav. The apartment has now taken on a bit of that echo of escalating emptiness as my ephemera is organized, boxed, and according to a very intricate formula, let go of.

    The new apartment, in all its shinyness, has thus taken on small piles of sacred/profane Important Things, shrouded by cloth on the Pythagoreanly pleasing smooth hardwood floor. The echo in there is quite apparent, soon to be muffled by the appearance of more Things, especially bulky Things.

    I'm very excited about all of this, but nonetheless a bit horrified of burn-out between a rewarding but intense-at-times job and the daunting feat of settling in in my new elsewhere. I know that I will strongarm my way through fatigue, and make it, but I'm ever more aware of the need to have calm, cool, collected time amid the jolly turbulence of change.

    So, that's all I can cough up today. By next week, I'll give ya a tour. Until then, as always, thanks for your support.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:10 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 01 May, 2006 }

    Moving Week Hath Commenced

    And thus, the blog may be inconsistant at times... much like the real-life visage of its eccentric proprietor. Bear with, good gentles, there is much work to be done.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:49 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 26 April, 2006 }

    Uh-oh, thanks Windows!

    My tower bluescreened and passed out this morning, and its now waiting patiently for some loving care from the compu-surgeon. This after installing the latest Windows upgrade that appeared in the toolbar this morning. BEWARE OF THIS UPGRADE. So posting today will be eratic (or this may indeed be it) as I'm now at work and about to be swamped.

    Regular posting will resume tomorrow, regardless. In the meantime, if you are a friend and regular correspondant, please send me your email address via the contact link, as one of the things not backed up is my address book. Thanks!

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:55 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 23 April, 2006 }

    The Move Ceremonially Begins

    This weekend, the first symbolic object made the move to the new home. As per tradition (mine), the space from which the dragon came was cleaned to the nines, and the dragon left to sit in the new space for a week prior to anything else... to clear, cleanse, purify and introduce my energy to the space.

    This week, the home I've known for just about two years will begin the process of emptying into boxes or into curbside giveaway piles, and a new place will begin to accumulate the objects which hold my memories.

    Good times.

    jaybird found this for you @ 21:58 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 19 April, 2006 }

    Thunder and Mockingbirds

    Sweet rain,
    Leaking, innocently, into my dreams,
    Themselves as beyond me
    As the random tickle of lightening.
    Storms come and clear the way-
    A torrent erases yesterday from the street
    The wind blew away what I was thinking about.
    This greening Earth...
    My bones...
    The conversation of the rain...
    This house and its queer angles...
    It's the storm, coming from the southwest,
    Coming to awaken you.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:59 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 14 April, 2006 }


    It's called Good Friday, which is interesting as many, many days seem to stand out as Good, ancient allegories notwithstanding. Much is indeed good- the sweet breath of spring blowing through my home, the slow day which brings peace, a silence which heals.

    I've begun the babysteps toward transition to the new home. The closets are open, and their contents sorted. I will, and must, part with much, which is Good. I've moved from home to home shedding this and that, but this time, it is time. Time to purge. Time to let go. Time to summon forth the courage to cut, in order to grow. Garderners of tender flowers know this- you must prune to blossom. So much is changing that this must be done, and oh, the surprises I'll find, and the curbside eulogies I'll give...

    Phoenix is a burning bird that must crash and be scattered to the winds in order to find and arise its soul. Same goes here. Shakespeare knew the sweetness of sorrow, and there's a sense of that intimate feeling here. This home, this street, these trees, they have been Good. Once a stone is cast into a lake, the lake changes, forever. My soul, a lake, ripples with the sight of these walls, and shall forevermore. The cat very purpsefully sits beside me now. Everything looks the same but everything is changing. She knows this, and humans are the last to catch on, perhaps because we fear the heat of the Phoenix fire. Other creatures are driven by change, it is their blood, and the landscape whereupon they prowl.

    We mere humans, we have a lot of growing to do. Thus, we make intentional and drastic changes, that we taste our own long supressed urges to migrate- on the land and within something more mysterious. Moving houses or tents is either undertaken as a matter of course or a matter of faith, a grand movement of choice and daring. As we do this, everything about the Universe and the Earth is ribald with flux.

    A few boxes here, a pile of personal flotsam there. Doesn't seem like much. And as heavy as it may be to prepare the way for closing the door one last time, I do this because it is Good, even in the bittersweet coming weeks. Change. Transformation. Metamorphosis. Or simply moving... it's all Good.

    And so it begins.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:40 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 09 April, 2006 }

    Here I go again

    I've made a decision to move, my fifth since landing in Asheville nine years ago. Damn, I've been here that long? I finalized it earlier this evening, will be living downtown in walking distance to everything in a great neighborhood loaded with good vibes.

    I've been just north of town since the April 1 1997 emigration with Joshua (who's now in Black Mountain with Ms. Robin). Woodfin, to be exact, and it can be rather tedious here. I'm thrilled to leave it and finally be within city limits. The apartment is fantastic, and the perks substantial.

    This, of course, will dredge up all sorts of memory, wonderment, and letting go as I slide southward down the highway into a new way of life. Yet things have been changing remarkably so much in the past month that a move is just par for the course.

    As always, the very first thing to go will be the ceramic Chinese dragon which has preceded every move, to hold and protect the space. This will be a full and challenging time.

    And I'm a big believer of putting the cha-cha-cha into challening. Onward and upward.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:27 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 08 April, 2006 }

    Severe Weather Alert

    The anthem we know
    Was written under the flash and thunder of cannon
    An ode to a republic
    Never truly born, never fully imagined.

    Tonight, there were fireworks
    Which rattled the city
    A sudden dashing of light
    High above the baseball stadium, and hundreds of mesmerized eyes.

    And the wind is blowing.
    And a storm is coming.
    And the lightening is quicksilver.
    And the thunder is forceful and true.

    This country, these mountains
    Mere plots on the weatherman’s map
    Hapless, we are told,
    Against the sheets of rain and gale.

    And in the flowering of the trees, uprising.
    And in the cadence of the mockingbird, freedom.
    And in the rapture of the creek, power.
    And in the heady anticipation of night, justice.

    A nation is as much stands of ancient forest
    As it is to stand with my friends.
    A nation is as much an expanse of awakening people
    As it is the resplendent violet of the sky.

    Hopeless it may be
    To pick off falling bombs with a slingshot
    It’s worth a chance to have a dream
    To write a new anthem with only one word.

    They say you can’t change the weather
    But have never said anything about becoming it-
    O come, hailstorm of truth,
    O come, dustdevil of rebellion!

    So, as the storm approaches
    And flags tatter as warm and cold share atmospheric passions
    Recall that long night of now-forgotten ideal
    And what stood above the wasteland come dawn’s early light.

    What stood was the sun,
    Bright and gallant in the sky
    Above a holy planet of teeming young ideals
    Clamoring for some noble vista, to dare the Infinite with the temporal.

    The sun rose above a battlefield of smoke and soldier’s ash
    The defiant warmth of nature
    Summoned from the crags blossoms,
    And the cackling of playful crows.

    It could be any war.
    It could be any nation.
    It could be any time.
    It is here, it is now, it is but springtime in the city.

    With spring come the storms,
    And these, called for by the weatherman,
    Will shake the glass of your window with a reminder
    That the rains of your desires will wash out the footprint of your fears.

    jaybird found this for you @ 01:13 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 03 April, 2006 }

    Morning Thunder

    It was the rumblings
    of a passionate affair
    That tossed me, crazy-haired,
    Into the morning.
    Drop upon drop, exhales, inhales,
    A storm is lovemaking
    Between earth and sky
    Forcing us to emerge from our viscera
    And feel, at once,
    The weather which stirs
    So deep within our own
    World and atmosphere of a body.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:59 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 26 March, 2006 }

    Tonight will be my last night of un-aided sleep

    Tomorrow night I pick up my CPAP, and I'll post all about it. That said, goodnight, beautiful people.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:10 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 25 March, 2006 }

    Wordplay: Perspective, balance, and today

    Today has been a bit too cold for much gallivanting, and it's been snowing off and on for some time, perhaps for the last time until winter returns. This being fickle Asheville, I somehow don't think this is the end of it... It's funny how we humans always seem to start things off by yakking about the weather. Perhaps that thin skin between us and cold Space is more of a friend than we realize- it's always in conversation. I've been generally happy lately, mixed with the occasional petty derailment. But I've been having fun with it all, and have put myself on the analyst's couch of the mind, to be both the nut and the nutcracker. Mirror mirror. Good times.

    I've been delighting lately in contrasts- delicious contrasts which force one to laugh through the tears, to kiss the sky through balled-up fists. No details, but it's been a thrilling ride which enlivens and sustains through this gray threshold between winter and the flowery, orgasmic Puck-ish fever of Spring. If anything, what these contrasts have done is to teach (again) that the material side of this crawl through the mire and tang of life on a sphere is a rather silly affair and not worth wasting vital dendritic quivers over. The material failures which caused me a little more ire than necessary are some pretty big metaphors which say, really, don't rely on anything, at all. By being alive I've chosen to gamble, and my happy ramble through Being is rather like the dance of a single die upon a verdant felt runway under a million glittering casino lights. Either way I land, I can't ever really come up empty.

    So, here's to laughter. Here's to surprise. Here's to the big fat unknown which will one day fold me in its flesh. I can't bet on having this body for an eternity, nor can I not. I can't know, so I'll laugh, as the daffodil laughs at the snow, as the pigeon laughs at the airplane, as the Infinite laughs, lovingly, at our castles and contraptions. What else can be done but to pick up my hat, and sail into the night, to the land of inviting glances and endless second chances?

    Time for a shower.

    jaybird found this for you @ 18:27 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 21 March, 2006 }

    last night's dream

    A middle-eastern man is handcuffed on the ground. Two men have pointed guns at him, and he is about to die. The man gives them a look, so full of power, that the men flee, and fire their guns at him, with all of the bullets missing. The man laughs, his chains come free, and a pigeon flies right into his hand.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:03 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 19 March, 2006 }

    Winter's Flight

    And so it is, the last day of winter...

    You wouldn’t know it, by the pale sun and the crawling slate clouds which promise rain tomorrow, but winter, that time of inward-ness, that time of dark days which ferment secret thoughts, is to pass in some manner of celestial clockwork tomorrow.

    Mysteries abound: the rising of the green, slender stalks, responding to a call from the roots. The synchronous flowering of trees. The return of long absent birds. These things would happen with or without us- such mechanics have preceded us in countless succession to now, and shall proceed us, past the veil of death, path civilizations, past all the drama that crosses the map as hurried actors. To bear this season witness is, again, to be invited to an audacious feast, one in spite of all of the perils which could befall, one in spite of the abyss of mystery surrounding even the mere pronouncement of words. What to do with such an awesome thing?

    The trick of it is, is that as many of us shall herald this season with frivolity and ostentatious delight, as many of us will hardly notice, as their feast of existence is famine. Can we gallivant for their sake, truly? Can we shoulder their burdens as we dance our queer circles and summon the ancient’s wisdom to converge with today’s torrent upon torrent of data? Can I truly be myself without doing so, without the dichotomous divide of us/them and to exist as a whole, integral, and compassionately-attuned creature?

    I ask you: can a Morning Glory find its way to blossom through barbed wire fences? Without a doubt. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen butterflies sail past prisons, and rainbows over post-urban wastelands. I’ve seen those torn with despair and disease still crack a smile over the silly bumbling of me, the foreigner on their turf. I’ve seen Dandelions crack cement and heard Beethoven just miles from Auschwitz. Growth is contagious, and it will spread if left unattended. If we let go. If the ties that bind are seen, clearly, as further evidence that we live so intensely that some may try to contain us. Silly them. You cannot net a dream, much as you cannot suppress that deep, indwelling, burning light, which commands growth.

    I’ve noticed that the Mockingbirds have returned. My restlessness has gifted me with being awake at three in the morning, when they intone their improvisations to a ribald moon and give sweet cadence to low hanging stars. Perhaps they know the mystery to the tender green stalks, the explosions of Forsythia, the spontaneous greening of pastures, the bubbly desire of water to rush ever closer to its source. Perhaps it’s even the returning song of this minstrel that causes this Earth to stir, as much as we humans would like to take responsibility for it. The thing of it is, none will ever know, no matter the true grit of science and the bounty of our erudition. Alchemy always has worked its stuff below the radar, and magic surely turns the invisible gears below the threshold of our mere thoughts. These are tongues that speak only in the wordless symphony of bedazzlement and wonderment, the very curtain behind which the secrets of life gather for impromptu meetings.

    The coming of spring is only the first drop. There is much more desire, much more mystery, much more adventure. Winter has impregnated us with an urge to burst out, touch the grass, make the many metaphors of love, and do what is good. To that, I raise my mug of black tea, in honor of what is taught, in thanks for what is received.

    Now comes the unknown. The sweet, ever flowering, ever winding unknown. Fill us all with bright green leaves, budding blossoms, and that burning sun which calls us to light the way for justice, for equity, for this brief shimmer of ecstasy called life.

    And so it is.

    jaybird found this for you @ 18:36 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    Given to the burning

    Smoke came down from Tennesee today,
    Errant ash from a distant fire...
    Everything burns, and in that consumption,
    An exhale.

    The air, written with a pen of licking fire,
    Was still and it repeated, softly,
    That this is what we can expect out of it all-
    Transformation, and waiting your turn.

    The last days of winter
    Cast into flames, to be set aglow with the pulsing blood of spring,
    They pass, and I rise to meet the world
    From behind the glass where I've kept a season.

    All that is gone
    Given to the burning
    All that is coming
    Felt through trembling skin, and outstretched arms.

    jaybird found this for you @ 00:45 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 12 March, 2006 }

    Isadore Upinsky: "On Impending Spring and the Turvy Side of a Topsy Life."

    The thing about it is, is that the moon will always rise, the tides will always ebb and flow, and Spring will always come. As it happens this year, there are certain configuarations of human events which tumble about the mind and through the winds: war, famine, crumbing institutions, and earthquakes of social change. Yet, these configuations will change and scatter and blow so that each year, there is great uniqueness- and great similarity. The human dance is ongoing, ever changing, ever continuous. Until, of course, the Universe is done with our particular talents and quirks.

    Yet I forsee that the forsythia and crocus will always be heralds of awakening. Day by day, songbirds will flock in ever greater numbers to the trees of their ancestors and sing the morning song, no matter the headlines or lack thereof. Spring peepers will make their orchestras in the marshland, and bats will dip and dive in the ruddy ecstasy of sunset. There is great continuity, and our presence for this brief glimpse of time is an audacious and sinuglar prize. We need not white-knuckle the fear of death, for it is simply the lever which rectifies and balances prize distribution. No pinball game can be played forever, yet the thrill of high score can make for golden memory through the entropy of flesh.

    So, it is something I have said countless times: that we exist at all is sufficient. Indeed, that we exist and have a bit-part in this drama or comedy is frightfully sacred and at the same time, it is what the Universe does. We emerged from it, so it must somehow be a device intricately arranged to make life out of the organic hodge-podge. Accidental or purposeful? It does not matter, for it is simply enough. The odds are remarkably low for apples as much as they are for God, yet we are content to eat applesauce and pray. Absolutes get tipsy in this kind of moonlight and become romantically inclined ideas, if only for the moment. It's all honeysuckle.

    Breathing a deep in full breath of this warming air is tribute to continuity. You, as a being, will not always be in this picture, but you helped to paint it, and it will never be the same. When we get caught up in the trivial, we do a disservice to the infinite, because we lose it if favor of the cute little human gizmos (philosophical and otherwise) used to keep us pretending that there is such a thing as the mundane. Some folks spend quite a bit of time trying to convince themselves that they are normal. Normal people. What is that? We have emerged from a fustercluck of carbon and goo to do the dance galactic for a short spin around the ballroom. An average life is a con, and the very idea will rust the limiting valve of perception shut. As we see everywhere in society.

    I deeply encourage, at any time of seasonal change, to allow yourselves to go wild, be animalian such as you are, and to consider for a moment that you are an undilute drop of the cosmos, falling through the spectral delights of time, space, and mind. This is a time of breaking last year's mold, and reshaping. What can be more luxurious and austentatious than to be a new being each year, even each day? Can we not trasform as the world around us? If anything, winter-to-spring is a message that it is not only our right to metamorphose as we wish, it is our nature. And for that shimmering prize, you only have to breathe to win.

    [from an uncirculated anthology of his work, circa 1972]

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:49 in Authors, Books & Words , Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 11 March, 2006 }

    Of another world

    It's the first night of the year
    Where the night is truly inviting
    Enticing you to join with it, to sip of its wine,
    To be thrilled by the winds which kiss the reviving land
    And young laughter,
    That echoing play which promises sacred frivolity
    With the coming season of change.

    The cat looks up, perplexed.
    We are both, for once, out of the house
    In shared wonder, moon reflecting in his eyes.
    The awakening from slumber means
    We must consider the dreams of our time
    When we were consumed and beholden to the frost.
    Renewal, for all we strange animals,
    Rebirthing, for the brave yellows and purples
    Which thrust from the soil.

    Always something to learn from this,
    No matter how many times it has been seen,
    No matter how oft the cracks have been shoddily repaired
    In the fissures of our beliefs,
    No matter the pervading grief which blots ecstatic flowers
    From beleaguered vision.
    If each day is truly another chance for the Universe
    Reinventing itself from start to distant finish,
    We are masters of whole seen and unseen histories
    Even in our wearisome steps.
    It exists that we may.
    We, as humans, dragonflies, and apple blossoms,
    What do we do with this whole vast unknown
    Which, crocus-like, blooms so fleetingly
    For our simple gaze
    And the awakening bee's first pollen?

    What will I, then, do with this first inviting night of the year?
    I will be in awe of the pine,
    Which towers over the house as a sentinel.
    I will smile as the neighbor, known for loud Southern Rock,
    Tells his mother he loves her, and to be careful.
    I will recline into the sweet light on the moon,
    As windchimes and stars and passionate hints of jazz
    Take the night, holding it, gazing into its eyes,
    Whispering the promise of spring into a tender ear,
    And dancing softly away into the purple light
    Of another dawn,
    Of another world.

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:32 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 05 March, 2006 }

    All the species of the Earth will speak their peace

    Spring is not yet here
    Though expectant buds are sung a song
    Of light and ardor from a nearby star
    And thrust through the tips of twigs
    Through the motions of my tongue
    And the running rhyme of the river.

    Birds aplenty return and regail the morning
    With stories, legends, adn myths of the air.
    I await, capivated by the rapture of the warming day,
    I await the balance of day and night,
    The pinnacle between struggle and whimsy,
    The one secret word that sums it all up, somehow.
    I await to pronounce this. We all do.

    The word will be green
    And will be jewelled with the sap of imagination-
    The word will blossom before you
    Even as your own seeds long for ripening
    You will bow in heady joy at the speaking of this word.
    The word will resonate through the sinews and cell of all things
    Even as they go about their business.

    In spite of the smoky glass which obscures the skyline
    In spite of the sentences which fall from the sky with heavy din
    In spite of the human addiction to the infantile over the infinite
    There is a holy language all can speak
    Which will summon the very essence of life, of spring,
    Of the dew upon the leaf
    The warmth of bread
    The touch of the Beloved.

    I talk to myself
    In incessant practice to speak this language
    And that inutterable pearl of a word
    Which encapulates all memory into a glimmer
    Much as the Mockingbird's song is a litany of all avian music.
    I seek to be a madman for this cause...
    Sooner would I speak my truth to the savage humor of it all
    Than to postulate easy answers and quick jumps over the chasm
    That separates the illusory from the unknown quanta of truth
    I scatter from my hand.

    Spring shall return
    And the waters will rise
    And we will be in awe of the world
    While our temporal dance winds into yet another
    Corner of the ballroom, cheek to cheek, whispering mysteries
    Of life and promises of emergence, as we practice,
    Syllable by syllable, in saying that word,
    The word, the evasive key by which all
    Are heard, and sung, and held
    Forever as holy.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:17 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 01 March, 2006 }

    The new vocational digs


    Here 'tis, the humble beginnings of my new office in Brevard with the New Wonderful Company. Doesn't it look cozy? This was taken with my phone, and what you can't see are all of the wonderful little plastic animals that I have exploding (i.e. in voluminous quantity) about the place. I'm really excited about this space, and think that it will help nurture my rather ADD-esque attention and organization issues.

    Of course, the office being wondrous and fab is only a small part of my incessant joy over the New Job. Every day I seem to get better and better news about how all of this is going to work (it's a totally new program to the agency). Starting from scratch, that gives us so much freedom in implementing the program and creativity in growing it. I continue to feel blessed beyond belief, even if I know that quite a bit of this work will kick my ass at first.

    So be it... that's growth!

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:01 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 19 February, 2006 }

    So I've been told...

    At a quickly inhaled brunch today (at a place where one cannot go to be anonymous because of this town's peculiar social tides), a person I barely know told me that "I do a lot" for the community and I'm "appreciated." This, of course, feels all good-n-swimmy on first listen, before the self-critic begins to gnaw away at it. Doubt has always been a more-or-less automatic reaction to thanks and praise, but slowly, at least one part of her equation is beginning to sink in.

    I do do a lot.

    With the recent success of finding a New, Wonderful, Super-awesome Job, I now have another large helping of responsibility. Y'see, since leaving The Old Office, I have been barely working 15 hours a week at a Somewhat Disorganized Place. The New, Wonderful, Super-awesome Job is full time during the week, but I'm going to keep one client from the Somewhat Disorganized Place on Saturdays, for a few hours a day. And I still am a contracted consultant and trainer for The Old Office. I'm also a contract trainer for an Uber-Professional Prevention Program. All the while, I will maintain my part-time gig as Gofer-Extraorinaire at the Goofy and Lovely Spiritual Community.

    When you add all that up, that's five jobs (though the contract nature of two of them kinda throws them into another category). Nonetheless, with occasional website design and other side projects, this amply proves the nameless woman's observation. Yet that's just a picture of my job-type-activities. This does not include volunteering, school, and those somewhat vital things called Resting and Enjoyment of Life.

    It's actually fine, though. Having not done anything full-time since mid-December other than musing and cosmic loafing, I'm thrilled to finally have a full plate again. All of these gigs are fairly good evidence for appreciation, enough to send some feeble signal to my omelet-addled brain that I am competent and have my non-literal shit more-or-less together. Which, earlier in life, was a remote and lofty whimsy...

    I must particularily thank a few fine Blogospherians for their support, encouragement and networking during this odd phase of my life. First off, immense and profound gratitude goes to Gordon at Scrutiny Hoolingans. This is the good fellow responsible for networking me into the New, Wonderful, Super-awesome Job. Had I not gone to an event that I was initially ho-hummy about, and been forthcoming about my then-downward facing prospects, I would not have had a chance at the New, Wonderful, Super-awesome Job. Gordon is the MAN, as it were.

    Also, deep thanks and respect go to Bruce over at BruceMulkey.com. For it was he, with a motherlode of kindness, that got me into the Uber-Professional Prevention Program as a contract trainer. I've already been trained as a trainer in two interesting modules and implementation should be coming along soon. Bruce is an excellent writer who feels the world deeply. He is quite tall and it also the MAN, if you will.

    Immense jugfuls of thanks, support and kindress-spiritness go to Fliss at the Hangover Journals. She too has been on a long road to job transition, and she's given so much encouragement and straightforward wisdom that I am now deeply endebted to her. Should you ben in Asheville, and in need of a truly kickass graphic designer and educator, drop me a line and I'll send you her resume. We both are acutely aware at how great a price jobs come at in this town, and she could really use some good leads right now. Please send them her way.

    Of course, beloved Robin over at Robin's View has been a partner in crime human services throughout it all, and she's dome so many fabulous things to help me (like typing my first resume, giving excellent references, and generally being chipper!) that my thanks run profoundly deep. Non-blogger but soul sistah Jen Wo has been my listening ear throughout, and has never stopped being upbeat about my chances. Today is her birthday, so I send extra kisses her way.

    Finally, it's down to all of you folks... the loyal and ir-regular readers of Bird On The Moon, and my scattered community of web-friends from Metachat, Metafilter, and who knows what. You've sent such warmth my way, that I nearly chucked the space heather. I can only say thanks so many times and in so many ways... but here goes again... THANKS. You've made the rough going far smoother than it ought to be.

    Things, as they say, are looking up... or all around, within and without. I'm moved by every little bit of it. Even deeply so, by people like you and the lady passing by while I was gnoshing on vegan-sausage gravy at Earthfare today. I do feel appreciated, and that's about 33 years in the making for me to say that with such conviction and verve. As with all things cosmic and transcendental, it works both way.

    As above, so below, and right back atcha.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:40 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 17 February, 2006 }


    I've been waiting for the final word, but I finally have a full-time job offer, with excellent pay, in the field I've been wanting! I've got to run now, more details later tonight!


    jaybird found this for you @ 08:57 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 13 February, 2006 }

    Five Interesting Things

  • On Sunday, I had a 'real' audition for a wonderful part in the play "Sordid Lives." I really didn't want to go at first, but had my arm twisted and gave it my best show. For those of you familiar with either the play or the movie, it's Brother Boy, the Tammy Wynette obsessed mental patient. We'll see. UPDATE: Phew. Scratch one less commitment off my list.

  • Today, 24 hours after that audition, I have another, of sorts. I've got an interview for a position that would be mind-bendingly spectacular. WILL BE. IS. I have to remember that positive languaging thing. I had a phone interview already that went very well. Please, good folks, cross a finger or two for me today.

  • I continue to be fortunate to be in the good company of a wonderful human being. While it's not yet been a full two weeks, our chemistry is great, and we're both going at our own pace... very nicely. I'm digging it. He's very understanding.

  • I continue to spiral into financial entropy. I just sold off a large chunk of my retirement fund (which seems so far away and wishful anyway) just to smack down a little rent and utilities. I feel very, very fortunate though, in that I have food, waters, shelter and my life. Everything else is cake really.

  • I have decided not to go to New Orleans on this upcoming relief trip. It's way to risky financially, though I long to help. I will go on the next trip, which will likely be in a few months.

    jaybird found this for you @ 09:12 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 11 February, 2006 }

    I waited for the snow

    I awoke in the morning with the giddy hope of a kid
    For piles of snow and peals of laughter
    But there was only rain, yet it was alright.
    I held you and savored each kiss as if it were a falling star-
    You left and the day was restful
    And I thought of you
    As night slipped in silently
    And the snow finally did blow through the moon-dizzied trees.
    I took a walk
    To feel the chill the window implies
    And to think about the nights we've shared
    And about a hundred fluttering thoughts which swirl like the flakes
    Which you left for me to find scattered about the house
    With the socks and shoes kicked off so quickly in anticipation.
    I taste the snow... vanilla,
    And I spin in desire, fall to the earth,
    Making snow angels in a childlike rite of melding man and bird.
    I never really expected the snow,
    I wrote it off in puffs of worldplay with the gray sky,
    Cancelling the chance like some needless appointment
    Scratched in haste on the calendar.
    Yet here it is, falling now,
    Bringing that wonderful hush with it
    Soft secret sounds are vaguely heard
    And all is rapt in attention to theis strangely dazzled world.

    As I am in you.

    [for J.S.H.]

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:27 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 05 February, 2006 }

    Anatomy of a Dream


    The variations in the top row of this readout indicate when I was dreaming during Saturday night's sleep study, from which I'm groggy, and my hair and goatee are covered in the gel they use to affix the sensors. After increasing the air pressure, I apparently had very few interruptions. Though waking up with air being forced into your body is not altogether pleasant, I know that this will imrove my life in the long run. I should have my very own air-breathing dragon within a month.

    jaybird found this for you @ 06:49 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 04 February, 2006 }

    Smorgasbord of Stimuli

    Life has gotten interesting on a variety of fronts. Many loyal readers have donated and written in support of the unemployment situation. While far from perfect, there is now money coming in. I'm doing adult mental health intervention during the day, which has been a bit touch-n-go, but it's a start. Hopefully, I'll start doing some training soon, which will up the income a tish. Though financially, there is still a great deal of struggle, so I'm keeping the fund open. And I'm adding a new one...

    In less than three weeks, I'll be doing some rebuilding/relief work in New Orleans. We'll be camping in a washed-out lot in the Lower Ninth, and by day working with returning residents. I'm strongly opposed to a "White Man's Buyout" of the city, and the work we'll be doing will be to support returning residents as an action of social justice and compassion. It will be a very hard and tough five days...

    If you would like to support this effort, you may donate via the fund drive link at the top of the page, and when doing so please earmark the funds for New Orleans Relief. I will forward the raised funds to the Jubilee Community Gandhi Team, which will be heading up the trip. Thanks in advance for your consideration!

    In other news...

    Tonight I'm going in for my second sleep study, this time with the CPAP machine. They will be looking at how effectively the decreases my incidents of sleep and breathing interruption. I will hopefully have a machine of my own within the month.

    There may be a bit of romance brewing. I'll say little so as not to jinx the seedling, but it appears that a pairing engineered by a wonderful male yenta may yet bear some fruitfulness. Indeed, this very morning, a rare winter thunderstorm lit the windows and shook the house, and I woke up holding him, watching the rain through the pines and the light upon his back. This is weird for me- I've been enculturated into singlehood, even reclusive hermetic singlehood. While it is too early to say just how my culture will be in flux, it was one beautiful evening, of which I do hope there will be more.

    They're calling for snow tonight, which may as well be powdered sugar falling to sweeten an already interesting smorgasbord of stimuli in my lil' world.

    jaybird found this for you @ 13:12 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 27 January, 2006 }

    Something is always getting in

    If only I could stare, full-bore- at the Sun
    Without succombing to blindness and madness
    To fully be absorbed in the relentless broadcast of photons,
    To give context, for a moment, on the fortune of being heated
    By something so distant, so far, a storm so incomprehensibly terrifying.

    Yet I avert the eye, and in so doing,
    Lift up that which is impenetrable within me,
    We all are dense and dark matter in this little parade
    Yet porous to the light in degrees, and below the atomic structure,
    I am mere scaffolding, sudden form, through which untold winds blow.

    The earthen mug from Peru which holds my morning tea is warm
    Containing the ardor from bursting and soaking
    All over the papers and effects of today.
    We are that, too- earthen vessels made of far off elements
    Containing some kind of impossible brew from spilling out into the wilds, the deep.

    The light that creates shadows is symbolic for a reason-
    The alchemists and brujos are rightly enthralled
    By that which is so powerful, yet so easily
    Thwarted by curtain or veil... it's those things that fascinate
    The thin skins and borders that mitigate brilliance and the fertile dark.
    The skin of an eyelid and the rock of a mountain
    Seem to say, somehow, that the work of life is somehow found here,
    Slow and muted or ribald and fecund, something exists,
    And duel natures must be balanced
    That from the contrast, creation oddly endures.

    Closing my eyes, I feel the window's draft-
    Something is always getting in.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:45 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 22 January, 2006 }

    those million holy whispers

    It's Sunday, and the mist that falls
    Is as slow as a year to pass.
    You are downtown, passing an old Gospel church
    Which has a speaker pointed toward the rough and forlorn sidewalk.
    You stop, leaning against the chipping sky-blue wall, and listen.
    As the choir shakes their tambourines,
    You hear a booming bronze voice that is as strong as Africa:
    "Nothing Just Happens!"
    The congregation repeats it back, and the mantra is spread
    As a wildfire of pentecost, and there is great jubilation.

    You move on,
    And set your bearings to the lake,
    Where coots dive in silence for the mystery beneath them,
    Where the winter bramble becomes a writ of holy codicil
    If you look at it in just the right way.
    The water is still, save for the coots,
    And you listen intentlty to the murmur of the water
    The stories that fall in the rain
    And hear, quite clearly, that even this short scene is destiny-
    "Nothing just happens..."

    You desire much, yet are filled by these little moments.
    You join with even that which evades you in dreams
    For they somehow matter in the great schemes of the Schemer.
    None can claim to know, only to do.
    To know is to catch a star with a butterfly net,
    And even our own knowledge is as thin as your reflection on the water,
    Your shadow on the sidewalk.
    Yet your desire is as radiant and as real as those stars
    Burning endless, beacons forever to pull up into the arms of the ecstatic.
    Desire, deep pounding longing, is what gives you shape and substance
    Here in the great unknown-
    You beget it, and from you it erupts-
    You can see it in your eyes.
    "Nothing just happens..."

    The coot, the wizened black preacher,
    The beautiful gaze from the one across the room
    That you just can't put down, these don't just happen.
    You made them from the clay of your love
    Because you wanted them so,
    And thus, you are free to revel in these glad tidings.
    We even give ourselves that which we cannot touch,
    For the sheer folly of a spectacle to enthrall and bemuse.
    You are now wet from the rain, those million holy whispers.
    You walk back slow and easy, and tuck Sunday into your pocket.
    Yeah, you think, nothing just happens-
    It already is.

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:15 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 21 January, 2006 }

    A Gray Saturday, and a little light

    Good evening, friends. It's been a quiet, gray day, which I decided to dedicate to musical exploration, and I've happily come across many fine tunes. I'm about to finally cut my hair, which has become a bit of a, overgrown metropolis of tangles and curls.

    The spectre of my unemployment seems to have finally been exorcised, though with somewhat shakey results. I will hopefully begin doing adult mental health in the community, a population change (and salary drop). That does sound very, very exciting, on paper, desite the cut in greenback. I have applications in two other places, and this gives me a chance to criticise the State of North Carolina: if you have no intention of following up on a resume, please inform the sender. Thanks. That's all.

    The adult MH is one gig, and another part-time gig really has me excited: teaching positive parenting, prevention and divorce education classes. I really love conducting trainings, and this gig along with contracting to train with my old company will hopefully eventually mean that I will be able to survive financially. I've always had many jobs simultaneously, so this is nothing new. I'm not out of the woods yet, though: I've only worked eighteen hours in the past week. Thus, I'm reframing my Fund Drive and turning it into the "Not Out Of The Woods Yet" Drive. I'm optomisitc, though, which has made this experience far more tolerable, and the fruits of my industry far more rewarding.

    Tonight, hopefully a little merry-making with friends. Thanks to everyone for your deep and lovely support- it's really helped me get through what could've been far more difficult. When I put my situation in perspective with most of the planet, however, I'm damn lucky, and that comes as a somber realization.

    I stand in gratitude, and also profound respect for this world, and her unpredictable orbits.

    jaybird found this for you @ 18:17 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 14 January, 2006 }

    Lyric Fragment

    Skipping down a road that's closed
    On account of the snow
    Singing down the double yellow lines
    Falling stars through the forest

    We are the road we follow
    Walking in a winter spiral that brings to completion
    We are the storms that bend the trees
    Unsettling the piles of last year's leaves.

    I could be some many names
    But right now, I'm cold yet I love it-
    The chill on my handsis celestial, resultant of the cosmos;
    Circles, rings, orbits... I live within such holy formula.

    Skipping down a road that's closed
    On account of the snow
    Mud on the jeans, lyric fragments billow like weather,
    I persist, we thrive, I whistle, we arrive.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:38 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 13 January, 2006 }

    County Line of Desire

    for Nancy, thank you...

    I've been on the still prairie of whispering grass
    I've been on the Avenue of the Americas, dodging the hither and thither of the city-
    I've traced my finger across the map of the ancestors
    And followed into the darkness the county line of desire.

    Oh, how transcendant is the open sky to the traveler;
    For the clouds themselves are simulacra for my deepest thought,
    The wind takes we who are lonely on the road, holding us in a gust
    Further and further, the map is traced to discover love, to plunge into it.

    To the lover whose passage is my mind, whose body is the curve of mountain,
    He who rises from the forest, glistening:
    Possibility is as boundless of the blue of your eyes, the skies,
    The river's imaginative current cajoles us here and there,
    To guide us downstream into some wondrous nook.
    I drink from the river, summoning more than the thought of you.

    I've had this pack on my back, heavy with effects, charms, and notions,
    I've tossed the map to a wind, given trust to strangers,
    And let this country road wind deep into the heart of divine rumination,
    Where, I can only stop, and listen, and hear that distant voice,
    Carried on the wind as gossamer.

    Oh companion of dream, I breathe you in:
    To be filled by you, oh amazed being, you shimmering amore,
    Is to blessed with the warm night, the wizened moon dancing,
    Is to be replete with the completeness that no street can give,
    Is to be guided to that hill where the vista begets, at last, the wildest of fantasies realised.

    I give you, nameless one, these words:
    To merely live is to be a star;
    Thou shinest brightly, with the abandon your heart longeth for,
    To love is fool-wise;
    For we emerge from our heady whims to boldly say "We are here, we have arrived."
    With that, I summon him...

    Now, under star and phantom feather, I lay me down-
    My feet have known thousands of miles of desire's journey.
    I've walked headlong into terror, and absolution, fire and all-
    The holy is known through the toils of the heart,
    And the migrations of the spirit, through mysterious counties...

    I will rise again fulfilled by the very thought of love.
    Come what may.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:50 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 12 January, 2006 }


    We're having a teasing bit of warm weather, as if Winter Itself has decided to sleep in, slack off, and let things to all to bright-n-sunny for a while. Doubtless, this slacktime will be noticed and the proper weather will be brought back on line toute suite.

    There's hopeful movement on the job front, key bills have been deferred and payment plants writ in plasma. I'm feeling a bit safer now, though the finite resources which I use to supply cat food and eggs and frozen pizza are becoming ever-more finite. I've become amazingly resourceful in how I conserve what I've got, and life has begun to take the form of an extended camping trip through the wilderness of the self, and all the goodly beasts therein.

    Today, the aims are clear: cut my hair, trim a kitty who's having similar fashion faux pas with his long hair, make a high-placed phone call and/or a visit to a prospective employer with fingers and all manner of limbs crossed and entwined, maybe the gym, maybe a stroll around the Biltmo' House, since I have the irony of being dirt poor and having a year pass, finish consuming vitally nutritious leftovers, get some work done on the "secret project" since I've had to out school on hold, and perchance cap the whole thing off with a visit to our local Drinking Liberally faction after sundown.

    Despite the haze and mist over my present situation, I'm maintaining an optomism that, while it may be reminiscent of Nero, that fiddling bastard, is persistent. This is the longest spell I've ever gone without gainful employment since that itself became a necessity when I was but a freakish pup just out on his own (19 days). There are ends in sight, not all ideal, but ends to this, nonetheless. I certainly will miss the rather leisurly pacing of my daily life (is today Thursday?): the soft-shuffle to the morning kitchen to feed the mewling ones and my own mewling and curious pallette, the unknown quotient of what theme the unstructured day will tether to, the spontanaiety of river walks and amazingly bad yet guiltily delicious movies. I suppose that all this leisure may well be the result I postulated for with the Universe for a time to rest. That it has been, and thus, my vision is clearer, my spirit gently rises.

    There is movement toward resolution, in this situation, and in all situations. The gradual lengthening of day promises that spring, and summer, and another fall and winter must come. Even if my place in it is strange, the perpetuity of the world is enough to satisfy, indeed, enough to exalt.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:01 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 09 January, 2006 }

    The CPAP Rap

    As a followup to this post, I finally have an answer about my sleep apnea. I was actually laying across a picnic table on a closed-off stretch of the Parkway when the call came in. The walk, by the way, was incredible- I was the only human for miles.

    On the night I went in for my test, I stopped breathing 52 times in a five hour, forty minute period. The longest I went without breathing was 27 seconds. I snored 112 times. I tried to do that right now just for comparison, and it was difficult. I will go in for another evaluation later this month, hooked up to the dreaded CPAP unit. It sounds as if that machine may soon be my newest accessory. HAWT.

    Me: Hey, you wanna crash out?
    Prospective Nonexistant Boyfriend: Sure, yumz!
    Me: Oh, BTW I do have to wear a mask with pressurized air flying into my nose.

    Obviously, this will require bigtime lifestyle adjustment. Nonetheless, having a real answer is a relief.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:04 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 07 January, 2006 }

    Greetings from the homefront

    This new year has started off fairly well, with the obvious exception being that I'm not working. I have accepted a position with a loathsome pay rate, and I'll have to locate a third job in order to keep myself afloat... while making a few notable sacrifices (one of which being the not-looked-foreward-to incorporation of low-profile Google or Blogads on this site). Yet the time has helped me clear my head, play, and relax. I've also used the copious lack of preoccupation to begin a new "msytery project," that *no one* will know about until March 4th, 2006. Tee-hee-hee.

    I've been writing here and there, though not as much as I'd like to. There is a traditional mid-winter slump I go through that is usually broken by the first real snowfall. I have had, most happily, the time to read. My stack of books crying out to be digested has grown to Pisa-like proportions, and I'm taking one at a time. What's really pleased me is that my typical wintry saunted into the clinical blues has not set in; my outlook is good and realisitc, I'm keeping myself occupied in this vocational interim, and really have had a staggering series of complimentary and supportive energies flung in my somewhat meanding direction. These buoy me against the tides that churn, nonetheless, and spin toward those numb pockets of wintry desolatry.

    If you were to see my apartment right now, you'd think it a madman's lair... I've been so busy keeping myself busy that I haven't done the best at domestic business, so that's on today's agenda. So was attempting to bring a dead laptop back to life; alas, poor Lazarus, he riseth not.

    I've been thinking a lot about two subjects, and hope to do write-ups: the myth of the American family structure, and whether Jesus actually existed as an incarnate being. There are so manr corollaries between his story and that og the many, many magi and messiahs in his day that, combined with the imagination of Paul, might have helped to create a religion quite from scratch. That certainly doesn't mean that Christian spirituality has lost meaning in my eyes, as brilliant people have pured their life into creating this body of work. But since there are no historical records that prove anything about his life, or his teachings, it's a matter of individual faith. I've been non-Christian now for over twenty years, and as a child wasn't a particularly dependable one. Yet this myth of Jesus is so massive and has shaped aour world if oft brutal ways that it must be understood and reckoned with in order to be of use to the thinking mystic.

    Anyway, time to reheat some beans and settle into some luxurious movie watching. I know the blog hasn't been an exciting place lately (though I did get a link from BoingBoing), but other interests have pulled away my blog time. Actually, once I get into a steady job, things will pick up here a bit, as the structure lends itself well to content provision. For now, I savor the bittersweet lack of structure, and joyously abide by my own whims.

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:25 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 04 January, 2006 }

    "I am one"

    I had a dream in the early hours of today about a building that had collapsed, apropos of the German ice rink and West Virginia disasters... I did fall asleep with NPR on, afterall. Anyway, I was in the building, which was massive, when I received a vision of an old woman at the base of the building who was still alive. In the vision she was in her bed, breathing hard due to the increasing lack of oxygen, and at peace, thinking that if she were to die, she'd rather die in this bed than any other. She started to fall asleep, when as if to state her last words lound and clear, she loudly proclaimed "I am one!"

    This vision shook me, and I ran to where the rescuers were concentrating their efforts. I told them that a woman was alive on the ground floor, and yet she had very little time. The rescuers scrambled to the area; they were dressed in monkey masks. I suppose they saved her.

    A dream it may be, but what she said and how she said it had profound impact on my waking day: I am one. Not a million disolate parts, not a mind-body-spirit 'trichotomy,' but one. The self is profoundly more profound than it can possibly know, yet the work of the seeker is to know that, to know that they coexist within a thinking, feeling, and aware universe. We are one with the most embarrassing moments of our histories, our most illumined glories, and our most mundane farts. Buried beneath the rubble of the material, we survive, and we see life for what it is... one within One.

    At least, that's how it strikes me in this era of my life so ripe for big dreaming.

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:15 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 02 January, 2006 }

    Jay tackles cultish behavior

    I just concluded a heated conversation with a person who is trying, with great skill and sincerity, to initiate me into a group which has origins with EST and Scientology. I was really happy with the way I was able to disassemble the programming and false logic the group uses to induct people, as my skills in confrontation aren't always that great... kinda left the person sputtering. I know, quite humbly, that I don't have any Answers whatsoever other than my own, but I also know that linear thinking, dogmatic belief systems and agressive recruiting equal cause for concern.

    My own truth, and sense of awe and empowerment, is far larger than any particular human-made method of perfecting the self. And that, my friends, is not to say that I've got it all together... but the rays of light through the trees and and the hoot of a screech owl is, to me, far more powerful than any man-made attempt to qualify all wisdom, all potential, all growth in a vastly impossible to understand and express universe. I guess this means that I've chosen the path of a mad mystic.

    So be it, I reckon.

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:20 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 01 January, 2006 }

    2005's 21 Most Memorable and Powerful Moments

  • 2005 started off wonderfully, with the then-unpublished "rainbow Over Crossroads" having a strong editorial/proofreading workover by my dear friend Jennifer.
  • Barely a week into 2005, my trusted and beloved car Gloria Grace met her end in a violent crash in Delaware. Very sore and stunned, I endured a long train ride back to Asheville.
  • Getting published in a magazine I admired for years.
  • At about the same time, I went snowboarding (which injured the hell out of my back) for the first time with two friends, and I signed up to go back to school, which is going very well (3.9 GPA). My 33 year old brain can still learn, apparently.
  • I broke my preious records and endured 89 hours without food during a winter fast.
  • I made my swan-song appearance onstage in March, hoping for a year to cleanse the theatrical pallette. I apparently broke that long break today, doing a small dance/theatre piece with friends before 500 folks.
  • Also in March '05, I came to a realization that depression had gotten the best of me. I was a wreck, and sought my first dose of therapy in some time thereafter, which really helped throughout the rest of the year.
  • The literary blowout event of my year: my April Fool's Day book signing.
  • I just got teary eyed thinking about the Sunday morning where Joshua and Robin retrieved me from my duties at Jubilee, and sent me on my way to South America with friends Terry, Edel and Malvary. Really, that trip was one of the brightest highlights of 2005, two weeks in Peru... a magical place. Bolivia was scuttled due to insurrection that closed the borders, but that gave us even more time to explore the Titicaca region. The aftertaste of Peru remains with me, and I'm sipping coca tea as I write this. As a wonderful follow-up, one of the Peru pics from my Flickr set was honored by the United Nations Populations Fund by being placed as the lead image on their website. I long to return, one day. I love South America, and remain in gratitude to all those who made it happen.
  • Just after returning from South America, I set off for a long weekend in Folly Beach and Charleston, SC. I camped solo, where one night the rain was so thick I slept in my car, tent be damned. Despite chafing (not so good with the "man" thing sometimes), I walked endlessly in reverie. It was quite a perfect time.
  • The following weekend, however, was seconds away from being my last. Helping to retrieve a friend who was stuck in the currents of the Horsepasture River, I nearly drowned to death. Thus began an odyssey of replenishment in what it means to be alive, and how thin the line between life and death truly is. I'm long since over the short-term PTSD, and am in the water every chance I get. I won't ever forget the tears of thankfulness I had the following day, where I was just barely oriented to the world of the living, having be the closest I ever came to the world of the not-living.
  • After a whrilwind day of driving 500 miles for work, I rushed into Asheville to emcee my third Hunger Banquet.
  • Up late in August, surfing some random tide of internet, I felt an earthquake!
  • Katrina really brought up a lot of emotion in me. I organized a candlelight vigil downtown to honor those gone, missing, and suffering, and to demand accountability by those responsible.
  • Had a gay old time at the Mountain State Fair!
  • A real WOW moment, going up to a particular spot on the Blue Ridge Parkway to watch the Monarch Butterfly migration.
  • One of the most significant lifestyle changes pretty much ever: I joined a gym.
  • The return to Turtleback Falls on the Horsepasture River, to reconile and mend the wounds from July 9th.
  • The bizarre night in November spent undergoing diagnostic testing for sleep apnea was a hoot.
  • November and December found me vacilating wildly about my job. Lo and behold, the Universe decided for me, and I type now amicably unemployed from by previous vocation, with hopes pinned one place and a yes offer waiting elsewhere.
  • Finally, the year wrapped up with the trip to my ancestral homeland, Delaware, of all moribund places. There was the usual familial drama, a great visit with the world's greatest grandmother, and performing my cousin's wedding. It essentially capped a very full if occasionally difficult year.

    With all the glad tidings of 2005, I'm glad that this symbolic chapter is closed, and I'm already liking 2006. It began in ritual, performance and poetry, there was a surprise tuition refund check in the PO box I never check, and I will have great friends over tonight for the official 'ring it in' event with black-eyed peas, turnip greens, and really fabulous white wine.

    Paul Ford at Harper's has an excellent review of aught-five for the more globally impacting goodies. Meanwhile, I'm getting my proverbial sh*t together in many ways, and clink a glass of ginger ale your way in the hopes that we all have a happy and prosperous 2006.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:17 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 31 December, 2005 }

    You rush headlong into it

    You're weary from the road;
    It's been a very long drive, and the last of daylight is pushed back
    By a sunset so broad and magical that it makes you exclaim and exalt
    With such vigor that the windshield vibrates.
    As the colors wane, you pull into a truck stop,
    A concrete island in an asphalt sea,
    Lit by a harsh orange light that competes with the stars.

    With a flick of an old and arthritic wrist
    A motion as tired and worn as the sum of your waitress's years,
    You have a menu, and you have, for now, a refuge,
    Midway to home.
    It's two days past Christmas,
    And you are seeking out a fried egg sandwich in the middle of nowhere, Virginia,
    Sitting at a counter which has witnessed a million stories
    You recount your drive, your days alive, a whole year now nearly gone.

    The shelter to which you have temporarily moored
    Is merely a speck upon the face of the Earth,
    Merely a second thrown in the great flood of time.
    As the seasons pass through your mind
    As the griddle hums and country music absconds with silence,
    A whole Creation engines onward in impossibly spontaneous beauty, and awe.
    Galaxies dance like ecstatic dervishes deeper into the expanse,
    Dreams erupt from worlds unseen,
    And you're remembering a time this year
    When you forgot to call on old friend on her birthday.
    You'll remember next year.

    We come out of the world, emerging from it like spring's first delicate butterfly,
    Or winter's first perfect snowflake.
    We are not from here or there,
    We are here and there, emanations,
    Undulations of this swaying body called the Universe.
    With the iridescence of a sunset gone mad,
    We are born into that which we are made from.
    Our weathered bodies collect time, collect whole years
    As if we were picking berries in the last days of harvest.
    Suddenly, time itself reminds you, as another year prepares to travel,
    That it is thin, and fleet, and so easily out of sight.
    Time to pay the check, and leave a tip, and a thank you.
    It's full on night now,
    And you're ready for the next three hundred miles.
    You know the road ahead, and know it somehow leads
    To the door you've been missing,
    And the cats and the messages and the life you stowed behind it last week.
    The stars are bright, raging, and they feel not-so-far away.
    After your rest, the whole world feels closer,
    Nearer to the flocking geese, nearer to the stone,
    Nearer to the winter wind, nearer to the bleached bone.
    After reconciling the days of the year past either wasted or uplifted,
    You sense that time somehow is not a berry bush to be picked
    But is something more like those stars-
    Impossible to fathom, dizzying in their size, brilliant in their light.

    You came from that deeply impossible to express light.
    You rush headlong into it again.
    You find yourself,
    In a brief moment of holy recognition.

    You carefully mind the turn in the highway,
    Thinking that was one heck of a fried egg sandwich.

    Happy New Year.

    jaybird found this for you @ 17:39 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 30 December, 2005 }

    Returning to the return

    It's taken a little bit of rest and, frankly, doing next to nothing to refreshen my spirit and to prepare for this next week of transition. I had my big job interview on Wednesday, and I'll hear back next week. I'm very hopeful, yet cautious... I'm not conditioned to doing group interviews, and being in a monkey suit, no less. I do have another job offer which would seriously suck financially (I'd have to get a third job), but it would be that all important something. I can see that unemployed life would get very boring very fast, so I'm motivated either way.

    I've got a lot to do over the next few days, so I don't expect blogging to come on full until next week. I have been doing a bit more of the personally relevatory blogging on metachat.org. I did take time to redesign my gateway site (an hour) and now have to plough through a big paper for school and I've got a major poem to deliver on Sunday... so I ought to get around to writing it. Heck, I do well under deadline pressure.

    I've got to get back to focused activity now (damn it), and tomorrow will post my year-end wrap up. I'm feeling really over 2005, neat as that number may be, and as arbitrary as it all really is.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:58 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 28 December, 2005 }


    I'm a bit overwhelmed by catching up at the moment, but I'm home and very glad to be. I'll debrief soon. Meanwhile, I've got a few pics (mostly abstracty-arty) from the trip up at my Flickr photostream.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:45 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 24 December, 2005 }

    Here... heh.

    I got in to Delaware late last night; 574 miles in 8 hours, 43 minutes, which is four minutes shy of the record. I obviously take the drive rather seriously. Traffic was thick most of the way, with plenty of speed traps. I listened to a music mix that I'd randomly cobbled before I left (no time to score a book on cd), and I've got to say it was fabulous.

    I met up with old friends last night and indulged a wee bit too much, so today is kinda sleepy/swimmy. I'm at my father's right now on some unprotected wifi net and driving into town I saw a lady walking down the highway covered head to toe in plastic wrap. I'm unsure if she was making some kind of statement intentionally or not. My father is out right now, and his mangy cat is chewing on my head; I really think this cat is a chimera... she's just too much cat.

    I really haven't had time to put on my mystic hat here yet, but certain regions of the brain long since inactive are beginning to awaken- names, faces, long forgotten scenarios, ghosts of memory on nearly every street.

    Today, I'll see my mother too, and my cousin to plan for her wedding. I'll file another report once the stimulus overbrims, which won't be long.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:29 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 23 December, 2005 }

    593 miles, give or take

    I'm within about 20 minutes of making the annual 9-hourish drive to northern Delaware. It's a beautiful day for driving, and I actually enjoy the time alone for reflection, and the zen of watching the world buzz by.

    I return next week, and I'll try to post daily when I'm back. I've got my first job interview, one which I'm very excited for, yet I refuse to jinx by talking about what it is. I'm just hopeful, and hope, right now, is the mere foundation for thrusting my life deep into the land of transition. Such a strange and misty place, I go there with my lantern bright and my head high.

    Anyway, everyone take care, travel safely, and may we all unite in the accord that all days, minutes, and seconds are holy; let us revel in creation together with the abandon of fools, and the wisdom of ages.

    Peace, y'all!



    jaybird found this for you @ 10:46 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 22 December, 2005 }

    Accelerating toward a journey

    I'm in the midst of getting ready for the annual crawl to Delaware to visit family (and this time, to perform my cousin's wedding), so posting will now be somewhat scattered until next week. I'll check in whenever I get WiFi, and if need be, I'll post from my phone. The pace of my trip will be rather breakneck, with lots of ground to cover, limited resources, and the usual hesitation to plod about too much on my old metaphorical gameboards.

    This trip comes at a time of great personal transition, as I move from one job to another as yet unfound vocation, and with great concern over financial viability. Yet, in speaking with one of Asheville's great poets last night, even if this process reduces me to trolldom under bridges, I'll still have the big blue sky.

    As a result of the challenge of transition, I've been a bit moody and inconsistent, though these are kinda givens, given the weight of the flux. As a result of my sensitivities, there are ripples in the pond of my friendships, and all I can hope for is understanding and openness. I struggle at times with those who struggle with confronting feeling. My own dichotomies make me a person who sometimes acts on emotion over logic, and while I love logic, I don't do well when I am constrained by it. I simply hope that the right dose of reason infects me and the right dose of feeling makes similar vector with those I love.

    Today, I unpack from the car the contents of my office and repack it with the vital contents of this home for the next few days, and of course, I'm not he only one. We're all in motion, somehow gravitating toward what we deem important. May these millions and millions of transits across the world and even down the street be safe, may happiness be your roadmap, and may we be guided ahead- in struggle and in contentment- by the values of friendship and family, because as far as we know, this is 'it' and so are they.

    jaybird found this for you @ 17:16 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 21 December, 2005 }

    Solstice Invocation

    Dedicated to Lynette (thank you!)


    Much as the northern wind beckons these skelatal trees
    To dance and ruminate on these crisp clear days,
    Our own bodies cannot resist to sway and orbit in exaltation
    When the longest night reveals the full glory of the stars
    Which forms the nest of we fledglings,
    Just peering over the edge.

    Much as the ice makes daunting the smallest of steps
    Upon this hardened, dry and brittle Earth
    We harken to the murmur of fire and the pleasures it illumines.
    Without thinking it, our animal bodies know, in subtle ways,
    The delicate art of balancing lightness and darkness
    Under slate gray skies, scurrying toward the timeless.

    Much as we curse the biting chill which teases our skin
    And barnstorms through our thin and tremulous comfort,
    Coldness itself, as the signature of winter, seems closer to the truth
    Of our mere cosmic bastion of life; our universe is not warm.
    Instead, 'tis a great wintry plain, lit by a scattering of campfires,
    Around which huddled strangers exchange their beauties in visible breath.

    Solstice whispers that there is hard work aread in knowing the soul.
    Solstice dances a meandering waltz toward more light, and the promise of seedlings.
    Solstice gathers dead wood for burning in the mind's own hearth.
    Solstice purifies a worried land through fingers of ice.
    Solstice reveals the simplest of our natures, for pondering on days of snow.

    We are not mere witnesses to the spectacle-
    In our deepest of memory, we dive headlong into the coming of the light,
    With the abandon of a rosy-cheeked child frolicking up a mess in a snowbank.
    To watch ourselves in bliss over the patterns of frost
    Or in awe over the slow march of ice upon the lake
    Reminds that our quivering human bodies are as much a spectacle of the coming light
    As the pale sun which gossips with the birds that return is nigh, nigh, nigh.

    Come, winter!
    Do your work upon the land and within our bodies,
    These chalices which crave to brim and spill wisdom, and love.
    Come winter!
    Take me back to the years when, as a child, the only thing
    That truly mattered was to build a shelter of snow with mitten'd hands!
    Come winter!
    Let us seek warmth within and among ourselves,
    To be brave for today, and in sacred wonder of the returning of the Light,
    And for the copious mystery which forages through the shadows.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:22 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 17 December, 2005 }

    That old curse again

    "May you live in interesting times."

    Yeah, got that. Check. Filed and considered.

    I'm in those times, eyeball deep in them. My job ended a little sooner than I anticipated (I'd planned on leaving mid-January), with more than a little drama and some unplanned financial distress thrown in the mix. My last day is Monday, and this is in thanks to someone poking a stick in a hornet's nest without a hint of the potential implications for the agency, let alone jobs already at stake. What's been done can't be undone, and as my friend Jen says, I was given a push to get out of my comfort zone since I seemed to be getting too comfortable there. So be it.

    This has resulted in a bit of a renewed depression thing, but I'm taking measures to endure what may be harder times ahead. The "holidays" exacerbate my already trigger-happy lows, and I'm looking for methods which eclipse simple self-preservation and bring me to renewal through the struggle. And while I'm not grovelling for anything, your thoughts are always appreciated.

    Amid these pains, there have been the pleasures of watching the cats play, the mysteries of weather, and the hardening of the Earth in preparation for the dark, severe cold ahead. All these things are good, and are in good time. They assure me that I am indeed capable of feeling, and therefore that I live, despite the lack of pleasant stimuli in Reality. So, I know that I will and must persist, and that I will only grow while foraging uphill for my next bounty, or for a nook to shelter me as the storms of winter brew.

    I know I'll make it, and I thank you, dear reader, for your patience and support.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:03 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 15 December, 2005 }

    For Patte

    At a friend's funeral,
    Where we laughed and danced and cried
    I was given a handfull of milkweed seeds, in their cases,
    Such wondrous fluff, and a looking glass,
    The kind you hang around your neck
    When you dive into a field of green
    To look for who-knows-what.

    "You're the kind of person who will really enjoy this," Ina said.
    We were teary not only for our friend,
    But in joy over such things as Monarch butterflies,
    Mockingbirds, and young, tender ferns.
    As mourners and musicians filed by, we reeled in creation.
    Creation, itself.
    It's the kind of conversation our friend
    Would have really appreciated.

    Now, I have this looking glass,
    Which has an appetite for detail to throttle my attention to the grand.
    The whole play is made of words, syllables, mere inflections;
    It's the detail of creation which creates,
    Ever evolving, ever renewing, ever built, ever torn down.
    I need an hour to watch the movement of a single ladybug,
    Or to revel in the crystalline improvisations of snow,
    That I may have even more time to be a madman under the stars,
    Raving and raging with mystery.

    Now, I have these seeds, these tufts of wishes,
    The kind I would catch as a child,
    Thinking it a faerie.
    Monarch butterflies need the milkweed from which these seeds will come,
    I must scatter this seed upon the land,
    A defiant act of wanton love for even the frozen earth
    Upon which I am wont to transit sleepily,
    In a daze of time.
    The butterflies- they will stop at nothing to fly three thousand miles,
    Except milkweed,
    For we all need shelter, and to sup upon that which moves us.
    They would seemingly fly for our sake,
    And for our common, departed friend,
    To be an exemplar of what souls are meant to do.

    As the mourners disperse, out into the cold,
    I thumb the seed packets and looking glass in my pocket,
    As I put away all that we brought out for our friend.
    No one could dare explain death but the dead,
    And surely, their voices rattle the trees held in frost,
    And animate, somehow, the faint stars through high cloud.
    Winter calls us to stop, and look, and look harder.
    The gift of this looking glass will reveal the detail which girds these wildest dreams,
    For focus upon the slimmest measures of the present,
    While souls dance wide and exultant into the forever,
    That playground of the wise, the ecstatic, the butterflies.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:54 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    Peru redux from out of the blue

    This picture I took this May in Pisaq, Peru is being featured for the next month on the entry page of the United Nations Population Fund website. I'm really honored, especially by the mission of the organization.

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:20 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    Precipitating Transformation

    Yesterday, we had a flurry of snow, and many of the flakes were in perfect, hexagonal "Star of David" shapes, and other beautiful geometries. I was told that such shapes often presage unusual weather.

    It would seem, in my story anyway, there are all manner of odd fronts, queer winds and mysterious forecasts casting about. Synchronicities and niceties bandy for attention, whilst impending change is as real as the trees bending under the weight of today's ice. Certainly, we are always undergoing serious transformation, from a molecular level of up. And while I can't see what's going to change, I know it's coming.

    May this sheen of glassy ice reflect and reveal what is to come.

    jaybird found this for you @ 10:27 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 12 December, 2005 }

    Desire is only shy on the outside

    In the latest, last possible minute of night,
    Tangled in the thread of damned words and half promises,
    Caught in the sheets of an affair impractical at best,
    This body lusts, with near-savage hunger,
    To love and be loved back,
    In a soiree of carnality which causes angels to reach for sunglasses,
    And me to reach for a stiff drink and a warm pillow,
    Laughing at the implications of being made of flesh,
    As passions rip through the cage to merge with the spirit
    That drives sexual thoughts
    To become elaborately writeen words in the holy book of life.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:59 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 10 December, 2005 }

    I'm here

    ...albeit somewhat overwhelmed and addled by the diverse stimuli of a week in full-on tumult mode. Loss of job, death of a significantly wise woman, severe back pain, and ample doses of both self-doubt and self-assuredness make for confusing stimuli. Like Lebowski, this dude is choiceless but to abide, and hope, and begin to pick the self up by the bootstraps (not the petard by which I've been somewhat self-hoisted via mesmerizing dashes of complacency) and begin the work of reexamination and situation-appraisal.

    I know that life is good- I've preached it vehemently- and must somehow knit that knowledge into the messy crochet job of emotion and reaction. I know that survival is assured, though a frozen lump of airplane effluvia might topple from 35,000 feet and give a migraine a run for the proverbial money. I know that the sun will rise, lest a comet of God-effluvia somehow plummets unseen and knocks the whole circus off course. Faith in these essential things is a test, and I've got to begin to study. My mixed fortunes hasve meant that that book has received little studious attention so the events of this week dictate that I bloe off the dust and get cracking.

    Thanks to everyone offering such support and warmth to a bit of a wet-blanket week. It helps me to know that, somewhow, this journey is mine alone but many are following my adventure with wise advice and high hopes.

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:06 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 09 December, 2005 }

    The Bitter Pill

    My position is being eliminated effective next month. In a way, there's a real blessing to this... yet the usual bane of financial worry is a big gaping maw of concern. Nonetheless, this is good medicine for me, as there's so much I can do and so much opportunity (well, at least in the mystic sense) on the theoretical horizon.

    Here's to making something of it. (***wince***)

    jaybird found this for you @ 14:00 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 08 December, 2005 }

    thank you

    With deep gratitude to every human that's been with me, in any way, in any context.

    It was an awesome birthday.

    jaybird found this for you @ 01:25 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 07 December, 2005 }

    Birthday: Biding Time, Abiding Timelessness

    33 years

    My mother went into labor as Apollo 17 left for the moon, that mystery ball later to become my guiding light, or guiding reflection. I joined a family frought with problems but bent on promise, and was daignosed early on as being "learning disabled," which later became "sufficiently bored with modern educational techniques," and like some sidewalk-crack dandelion, I grew on my own, with little help. Through good fortune, I've managed to evade capture by monotony and homogenous duldrum, though living in constant spectacle and celestial confrontation does take a wee bit of exertion.

    132 seasons

    The passing of this most physical marking of time has occasionally been missed by obscuring minutiae, gliding past windows as my eyes gazed elsewhere or nowhere. The scrapbooking of the soul is organized by season, forever ensconced in the lights and darks of temperate or brutal days and nights. I remember my summers well, and winters seem to be a blur of off-white and sleep, yet there is a sweetness as cold rushes in to fill the gaps of what I've let go of. Each turning of the Earth forces me to jettison away the debris that litters the workshop of the heart, revealing the work achieved in the blood and ardor or love and hope.

    396 months

    School was, as a youth, the yardstick by which a month was measured; Always inching toward the relative freedom of summer breaks, always cringing aghast at the gaping maw of yet another year in the hallways of factory-style academe. We gestate for a mere nine of these, awaiting the grand entry into who-knows-what. For the mother, it passes slow and ends with a flourish, yet for the being within, forming in the juice and brine of mammalian body-knowledge, it's a timeless place. We wait to begin, and as an adult, these measures of time fly by with the carelessness of a paper airplane.

    12,053 days

    Here's the number becomes truly relevatory. How many of these were total wastes, thoughtless and senseless? How many of these were marked by anger, indecision, fear and withdrawl? How many were, contrariwise, marked by puppy-love, exultation and the wild fucking abandon that ought to be the daily routine to prove to the Universe that we exist at all? Rather than stirring a dark broth of regret, there is only the day before me, and the first hours of that day are the trunk of a tree, make it an Oak. Bound by the roots beneath, there's only up, based on the ebb and flow of decsion and the movement of the self upon the unpredictable topography of a planet in spin. Rather than muse hard upon those thouands of gone days, I will muse upward, for the hours, minutes and seconds to come.

    289,272 hours

    Nearly one hundred thousand of these I cannot speak for, save a tens of dreams that have remained in the drifting net of memory all these years. Last night, through that weird art, I held in my hands my own cremation urn, with bits of me leaking all about the place. A tooth fell out, and I tongued my mouth- it was still with me. Who was I then? My spirit, a bright colorful thing, considering the ashes, all that was left of a temporal body packed into a awkward container? Perhaps that's what dreams are for- for the gazing of the holy within and about us at the short-term lease upon this world and the vehicle that moves us through it? Of the remaining hours, awake and counting, how many are spent connected to that facet of Self that Knows, but speaks in the most foreign of tongues?

    17,356,320 minutes

    I'm watching these right now. I govern most of the day in minutes, gaveling down inaction as the clock does its poorest to imitate the dervish. These are the slipperiest of jewels, yet most of the great memories in my life consist of jew a few of these on a single strand. I cannot reply hour upon hour, but abide in the soul's scrapbook with great numbers of these, scattered about the place like wildflowers in the sun, ready for the pollenation of the attentive mind.

    1,041,379,200 seconds

    Impossible to consider mere seconds, they are as fickle and as numerous as starlight, I abound with these, and the human brain learns most of its routes and turns in fractions of these. The sheer number of these leads to the sheer absurdity of dicing time to little bits, it's almost profane. I cannot dare to imagine you all, let alone the bilion that have supported my story thusfar.

    What is my time, anyway?

    It's a silly notion, birthdays, and fixed points in time. It's an arbitrary dance we do, but perhaps that's what makes life so beautiful- we chose to be arbitrary in the great eternal wash of it all, we choose moments of lucidity and arrow-pointy action to name and live paticular moments in a special way. Today, desipte the flow and flux of infinite tides, is such a day for me. I dare to set it aside, and with these temporal hands and feet, will move through it in gratitude that I've defied the odds to be here. I fought my way to exist, and now that I'm here, I may as well party a bit.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:00 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 06 December, 2005 }

    Tribute: Patte Mitchell

    Patte, a beloved founding member of the Jubilee Community, is in a coma from a massive stroke at the time of this writing. She is a walking light, a simmering transcendant beauty of a person, a woman who walks with a dance and speaks with a song. Her work here is done, and was done with utter grace and care. She was always a wide-open warmth spirit, whose inviting eyes gave me strength and joy every time she passed by. In fact, I always said as she passed by "I hear the fluttering of angelic wings, it must be Patte!"

    Truly, it must be. Good journeys, dear one.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:46 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 03 December, 2005 }

    Meanings for the Coming Winter

    [reflections from a rant I got into this morning]

    It seems as if the sky is conspiring to do what would be seasonally appropriate... to cover us in ice.

    And we all begin to huddle closer in, to see the phenomenon of breath leave the warmth of the lips for the big wide open.

    We bark at the cold as dogs greet knocking strangers,
    and yet the cold brings gifts.

    Odd gifts, to be sure, for the cold reduces the world out the window to its most essential, and these bare trees become sleeping metaphors for seeing the world in its most pure, skelatal form.

    The cold of deepest space is echoed in a sudden pause in backyard entropy, as the world is paused, frozen in place, and goes dark.

    We are given up to the darkness for a time, to incubate, to ruminate away the fancies of yesterday and clear a space by the hearth for the emerging dreams which fester and insinuate in the cobwebbed corners of this drafty house which contains the soul.

    And this coming darkness is a paradox; we shall be as close as ever to the sun, and yet it hides, and we light fires in homage to that voyaging god, to give us a light of some kind to affix to.

    Yet, we should know that light and dark are false dichotomies- like time, this is a gradient too.
    Only our mind can conjure absolutes, and that's what makes imagination so wonderful...

    we make maps out of such a massive flood of information and filter it down to almost nothing, sensitive creatures indeeed.

    We must be near to each other, feel each other's warmth, to prove that in these darkest days and night, that light and heat persist.

    Despite our great attempts to separate ourselves from the world,
    we are all still animals, only a wall away from tooth and fang.

    Winter forces us to reckon with this animal nature,
    and with the self itself, using iced lakes as mirrors,
    and the long night as an invitation to reinvent, and to muse.

    jaybird found this for you @ 14:49 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 27 November, 2005 }

    Sunday Check-In

    A still night, and thank goodness it's raining. I'm doing alright, preparing to make a leap of faith and leave the job without necessarily having anything else lined up. It's a situation that's a result of a "kill or be killed" environment, and rather than resorting to figurative manslughter, I'm going to claim apathy to the game and walk away with a larger scrap of dignity than most of the mucky-mucks in the whole kooky operation. Y'know, fight the vituperative ambience with disinterested non-chalance. I wrote that just so I could rhyme two French words becuase I'm over it.

    Very, very little else is new in the newsworthy sense. The romantic possibilities which were brewing on those two separate fronts are on pause for now, mostly because I don't have time to analyse, much less pursue, the startlingly opposite opportunities. I'm feeling the writing edge slowly, slowly returning after an autumnal hiatus (when I needed it most). It's nice to have words at my dizzy fingertips again, even if they still take their sweet time to emerge at their own convenience. At least they're there.

    Otherwise, there's so little of front page import that's underway that this check-in is a pretty light session. I could always descend into gossip or banal details of my glazed-eye saunter through the eleventh month of the year, but I'll try to keep my bloggy head somewhat high above the idle chatter that makes the mundane so mundane. The most of all that claptrap I'll say is that I really need to get some dishes done and rudimentary bacheloresque apartment care completed, but time seems to tick in a way that the matieral world is swept off the clock face by an eager second hand, and suddenly hours have passed and it's time, once again, to be curled with the ratty sleeping bag and succombed to that lovely biological built-in break in the seemingly endless stream of consciousness.

    It's almost tomorrow, anyway.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:09 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 26 November, 2005 }

    Little silver cup

    I've left this empty cup out on the stairs.
    There are so many times I could've brought it in
    But I'll knowingly pass it,
    Leaving it to collect more sun, more moon, more stars,
    An empty vessel, an opening, the least I can do.

    We do these things without knowing why,
    And left unattended, our tiny accidents turn into rituals,
    Our forgetfulness leaves random offerings which become honorifics
    To those who wander and notice- a shooting star or perching bird,
    Messengers of the some kind of beyond I'm not yet allowed to touch.

    Maybe I want the cup to be seen, or filled, or drunk by lips invisible,
    An homage to the constellations and the names who made them,
    For friends past and lost in the shuffle of my days,
    For friends present with whom I cannot share the most quiet of thoughts,
    For myself, to drink from an unseen well, to taste of a mystery as thoughtful as wine,
    As moving as nostalgic tears.

    Who knows what elixer, what mad wine, shall be vinted from on high
    To find its way to a misplaced and dinged cup
    While I dodge the arrows of time in scrawling refutation,
    Playing guessing games along darkened sidewalks, passing facades that keep secrets
    The way a book will not spill its verbs.
    We all must contain something.

    In many traditions, the cup symbolizes receptivity-
    And when brimming with truth, it gives as we drink into ourselves a chosen meaning.
    In my lazy act of not bringing the cup into the house,
    Some part of me must want to taste of that overflowing mystery,
    To sate a thirst for remembrance, to down a drop of something that, finally,
    I cannot anticipate.

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:31 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 25 November, 2005 }


    Now, the cat under the desk ponders the ribbon I've hung for her amusement as out the window, an entire world is awash in a bright, blue day, as starlings flock in movements I cannot possibly understand. I'm thankful for this moment.

    Today, we'll laugh and toast the season as frost begins to overtake the year's misgivings and regrets, and the chill wind prepares a feast of newness before us. I'm thankful for the tangy ripeness of change and the rock of friendship.

    Tonight, under the stars and amid the dance of winter-teased trees, I will be warm, and quiet, and receptive to the dreams that seep from tomorrow's unknown design. On this Earth, an impossible place, I will sleep folded in wonder that we live at all, and have a time to exist, together. I'm thankful to simply be, for however long and for whatever reason.

    Tomorrow is mystery, and I'm thankful for that.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:30 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 24 November, 2005 }

    There are so many words for persistence

    The question is...
    "Will the circle be unbroken?"

    The answer is as simple as stalking a rainbow,
    And considering that its as whole as you are,
    An arc made out of light, so fleeting, so true, so free.
    Just look at you;
    An improbable permutation of the randomness, walking,
    A fount of potentiality ready to be tested.
    You manage, somehow, to persist and persevere
    Amid the endless gauntlets of fate dropped
    All around, unlikely that you've grown among this
    Field of stars, a blip, an anomaly,
    Cruising with such grace past the facades of allure and temptation.
    You pass perfection like a sidewalk's banana peel
    For life has its slapstick and its odyssey
    And there's always a calling more genuine than the time of day.
    Just look at you;
    Crumpled in worry as the game proceeds in its crapshoot unknowns,
    And the dice roll right over you,
    And the stars are brighter than any number.
    You can't help but brush back the tears
    And take to the dust and the impermanence
    And dance like a devil and sing like a banshee
    Because the boundaries are broken,
    And every manner of trust has wandered through the loopholes of the soul.

    "By and by, Lord, by and by."

    You eclipse dualities with the guile of a starling
    Splitting a wintry sky with an aerial dance of hither-n-thither,
    And the power is as real as worlds upon the page,
    For our speech was made for the invention of magic words
    To be intoned in the depth of starlight and for the benefit
    Of all that which is unseen and innocently dependent.
    Oh wind, you do seem to blow
    That I may notice the perplexity of this physical world,
    This novel of self-fulfilling formulae and
    Recursive root systems
    Which begin and end in the fertile folds of the heart's seeded soil.

    "There's a better home a'waitin',
    In the sky, Lord, in the sky."

    Those birds which have written themselves
    Into the daily drama of the sun's silent parting
    Are as acolytes to a master;
    They dive and swoop in metaphor with your every movement,
    Whomever you are, why-ever you have come.
    I can say this because I've seen death, it kiss'd me,
    And this is an opposite working of ritual,
    This is an emanation of design painted contrariwise to human plan,
    Which lay scattered, in thoughtful but abandoned pieces,
    On the desert of our mere designs.
    You cannot crystallize the now into the then,
    So the teacher told me,
    So all I can do is give you love,
    To open as the sky to the heart's liturgy,
    And despite obstacle illusions, to have simple gratitude
    For the hardship and pleasure in the work of life,
    For life itself may be the only word, and damn,
    There are so many words for persistence,
    Even at this late hour,
    When the mind recedes from language
    And begins, at last,
    To listen to the wordless tales of night.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:15 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 17 November, 2005 }

    Tell me what's on my mind

    I'm just now beginning to wake up from bizarre night at l'Hotel Diagnostique, with its rather spartan accomodations at dear price. I've got goo in my hair from the electrodes, and I've taken the day to recover from the magic pill that put me into the proper sleep mode for clinical observation.

    It didn't take long once I was in there to become fused to a mass of wires, and in a distant lab room, my sleeping, twitching body was viewed in infrared while my dreams were reduced to squiggles and bits. A tube up my nose monitored my breathing, and electrodes monitored every movement. All went well apparently until about 3AM, when I gave them a dose of who-knows-what in the control room, and the technician was not allowed to say exactly what my body was doing in command unconscious performance. Somehow a night's sleep produced 1,000 pages of data, which will be scruitinized over the next two weeks to see exactly where and why I stop breathing when I sleep.

    I tried a CPAP machine on for size, and it actually wasn't that bad. It's likely I'll have to go back and do another study with the machine on, and it was actually nice to see how much breath I could take in with it on, but whether that becomes a fact of my future life remains to be seen. The surreality of the night itself was rather unforgettable, but with annual increase of the patients they see with sleep apnea, my presence at l'Hotel Diagnostique was just another passing face, checking in and checking out.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:50 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 16 November, 2005 }

    The Diagnostic Hotel

    I'm checking in tonight for an overnight sleep apnea study. I'm a little nervous, and hopefully I'll actually be able to sleep to give them something to study. The suspicion of having sleep apnea has been with me for a while, and I'm hopeful that a quick diagnosis and treatment will be ultimately lead to a quality of life increase.

    We shall see. Wish me luck.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:11 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 15 November, 2005 }

    late-night noodle soup (reheated for morning)

    Ah, the moon wrapped in cloud again,
    Or swaddled like a luminous jewel in satin,
    Its very beauty, shrouded, makes the wind to blow
    And the leaves to fall in swoon.
    One supposes that if one were a leaf
    Tonight would be a good letting-go night.
    How they dance once free.
    Night comes early these days,
    There's no escaping the impending frost
    And the remaining crickets reel
    Like the fiddlers on the Titantic,
    Each strain more fervent, more than ever,
    A song made for only the night, this night,
    And the morning, like the sea, will never know.
    So, these have been funny times to be alive
    To be called by chance to witness this,
    This state of being, within and without the self.
    As the heat rushes out,
    Carried by the southward geese,
    Something new slips in unnoticed.
    In the mail, a package from Thailand
    With a bronze angel to wear around the neck.
    When the metal first touched my chest
    I felt a careening rickshaw of hope
    Clammoring up the spine,
    And sure enough, change remains the name of this season.
    Ask those dancing leaves in the street,
    They'll tell you in their rustling words,
    And so will the gesse as they escape with the sun.
    I can't guess where the change will go-
    Perhaps down a hole in a pocket-
    But it's as insistent as Miles Davis
    Passing notes over the radio.
    It's indulgent to think in metaphor with such abandon,
    But it's all symbol when you come right down to it,
    The mad dervish leaves, the moon in silk pajamas,
    Me, you.
    Yet somehow on this autumn night,
    The rickshaw has arrived, and it's disembarking
    At some place where we play in the piles of leaves,
    Take a dare, light fires against the cold,
    And wait for the night to come down
    That we may have the dark to make secret music
    And light our lanterns in the best of tidings.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:00 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 12 November, 2005 }

    extra, extra, imagine all about it

    If my life were a newspaper, here are the top stories in today's edition, staring out at you from a vending machin in front of a gas station what you noticed after noticing the haloes around the moon:

  • In the classifieds: The job hunt is on and there are two strong leads. I won't tell you what they are *no jinxing*
  • Front page, obvious: I have had virtually no time to myself this past week.
  • The same story as above is appears as an editorial, strongly worded.
  • Local: If I had time to myself, I could do laundry! It piles!
  • Life and Leisure: I need a long solo hike with the same longing that a crack whore cruises for a fix.
  • Comics: The Universe thinks it's funny when it sends me crazy people. What a cut up!
  • Sports: I am a gay man who goes almost daily to the gym now. And you know what I hate? Man ass.
  • Trendy Weekend Guide: Saturday: Teach class for work, go to convention for work, come home, cat piss, write in blog, go out, who knows...? Sunday: School work, and G*d help me some REST!
  • Commentary: But you know, these are all signs that I'm alive, one way or another. And as much as a pain in the keester all of this zing-zang is, I persist, and despite gust and counter-gust of anxiety and weird fortune, I've little option than to persevere. So, I'll do it with integrity and pizzazz (one reckons).

    jaybird found this for you @ 18:32 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 09 November, 2005 }

    I'm wearing happy pants...

    ...Mostly because the Universe seems to be a giant listening device. Really. I've been asking for a breakthrough which will lead me out of my current job, which is in an abusive and hostile environment. It seems, without jinxing anything, as if there is great progress on two front, and both are radical departures from my current grind. I won't stop looking, however.

    Also, after experiencing a number of painful financial setbacks, by car got a ding in a parking lot, for which I'll receive a $400 mea culpa check. I'm happy to live with the ding in order to make a car payment or two from it. That is seriously good news, which seems to relate to a universal law of karma; all good things come in balance. For each blessing from the cosmic, there is a little sacrifice one must make in tribute, a kind of quantum TINSTAAFL.

    And suddenly, after a long drought, there seems to be opportunities for a minimum of companionship and a maximum of romance on two to three front. In fact, it seems that I'm being presented with choices. I need mellow in this department, and it seems as if these opportunities meet that base criteria. No use getting hopes uppity at this point, but there is an apparent warming trend poised to meet the cold front. And one knows meteorlogically what happens when the twain meet, so umbrella is in position.

    So, I'm feeling optimistic for the first time in a while, and that's a good thing. I won't let myself be lulled into mediocrity by this uptick, however... I've got to keep working at it and be diligent, and prepared to face obstacle and challenge. At the very least, all this goodness it quite flattering. So, thanks, Universe, and thanks to all those who have been pulling for me. Keep pulling.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:09 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 06 November, 2005 }

    Verses on Returning to Horsepasture River

    The pools of the river reflect this world
    And myself, staring into the flow.
    That reflection of that which lies above
    Is utterly thin, and the world beneath is a torrent
    And I can only inhabit it in dreams and whimsies.
    Yet the light penetrates it, and below leaves dance in the current,
    And I feel the cooler air closer to the river,
    And how clear it is that we are affected by all the worlds
    And we are as much a likeness of the Universe itself
    As it mirrors us, staring into it, in trance by the flux.

    This is the river that almost took my life-
    It's been months now, and the mountains are bronze and gold
    As seasons exchange kisses and farewells
    By the light of thin moons, in the verses of screech owls.
    Time heals as much as it confounds and bedevils
    With ever-vexing wonders and wanders and what-ifs,
    Yet I am sitting on this rock, solid,
    I feel myself breathing and
    Only a few feet away and a hundreds days ago
    My final breath could have bubbled to forever.
    No one survives in the end, and I've never known a squirrel
    To go back to ponder the road and their close call.
    Humans are funny that way, as we demand a faultless story.
    Tell that to the river, the wind, the sun;
    They have perfected the art of storytelling.

    As I write these few words
    And try to replace divine happening with metaphor,
    The language of tis moment becomes pictograms
    And pictograms paintings, and paintings the ineffable things themselves.
    All language is crude approximation for right now
    And dabbling in any other thing is an exercise in
    Tying gossamer to light itself... we're not fast enough
    To grasp the subtleties of that which transits the eternal in an instant.
    I can't tell you much about this river-
    You'd have to see it, to touch it, to be wet in its narrative
    To watch a red leaf ride dance as a madman drunk on sangria,
    To feel its sway of infinite passage,
    To be the words it almost took from you,
    Spoken endlessly, ever ascendant, in greater and greater zeal
    For the soul with its source, the universe with its observer.

    jaybird found this for you @ 13:06 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 03 November, 2005 }

    waking dream pt. 2

    (This will conclude the recounting of yesterday's incredibly bizarre and detailed dream. I've been thinking about it all day, trying to preserve the detail and storyline as best as I could as I navigated the various distractions and illusions that a day make).


    We emerged slowly from the car as our eyes focused on the scene... all of these people walked about from one portal to another, emotionless, hairless, and all in tight black garments. A few stopped to stare, as the rest of the crowd kept going. A loud voice over the crowd was saying "Sunday-outside-day" in a 'cheerful monotone,' and we started to ask for help. Ask for anything, but all the people did was stare and point. Down the same road we came in on, we say a line of people walking toward us, in black from head to toe, carrying something shiny. In a rush of movement, a group of people came from behind a building and grabbed us, and they (there were many) were wearing masks of many kinds. As the rushed us of, one whispered "shut up and follow us quickly or this could end very badly." As we were dragged off, the slow to respond crowd seemed to say in unison "Ruffians!"

    They got us away from the crowd, and pulled out other masks and put them on us. They said that they, that is the police that were coming, can't recognize and thus won't interfere with anyone wearing a mask. We asked how they got there and they said that they didn't know, but said they'd been there for a long time and have no memory of life outside of this place. They know that this isn't their home, and their language is full English while the city speaks a very minimalized, clipped English. The leader of this group, a tall scruffy fellow, then asked if we knew Helen.

    Of course this was a great surprise, as it was Helen who followed us down the hole. We said yes, of course, and they said that they all have a memory of Helen but don't know who or what she is. This presented some immediate questions:

    *We somehow have complete memories of our lives before we went down the hole, and these people don't.
    *All of these "Ruffians" have some association with Helen as well, so we certainly weren't the first ones down the hole.
    *This rough looking group don't appear to have had any real success in interacting with the people of the city.

    The group also didn't recall exactly how they got into the city. We told them about the beach and the ladder and the wall, and they appeared dumbfounded. As we talked, the police (Cyborgs, the Ruffians informed us) walked by us as if we were invisible. We told them of our friend who went back to try to find the hole, and they said that if he's outside of the city, they have no idea how he'll survive. As to how they survive, the Ruffians live in a half-built structure, and have infiltrated the city enough to regularly pillage their food, which they decry as "piss-poor." Yet the mask trick really works, and they are universally avoided whereever they go. They haven't tried, nor do they feel they would have any success with talking to the city dwellers. The leader said something to the effect of "It's as if they're drugged out of their mind and are terribly slow to react. They don't seem to have any desire to do anything independently, yet no one tells them what to do. They do nothing. They're only half alive, and to try to wake them up seems pointless."


    (It seems as if I've forgotten the tail end of the dream, which I guess is up to me to finish at some point. There's a lot of loose ends to tie up. Perhaps what I'll do down the road on the next rainy day is combine these entries or rewrite them when I'm not half-asleep and completely bereft of literary flair. As I've said, this dream really happened and I'm trying to recount it to the best of my memory. Who knows, maybe I could turn this into a rather intriguing novella-thing?)

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:10 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 02 November, 2005 }

    I know...

    ...that I said that I would finish telling you about the dream I had this morning, but I'm falling asleep at the keys and will wrap up the surreal reverie tomorrow morning.


    jaybird found this for you @ 22:57 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    waking dream pt. 1

    (I'm, just waking up, so please forgive the lack of verbal flair as I try to describe this dream)

    The end of this world, and all of its laws and orders, began simply enough with a cold snap. Rather, a series of them, with snow in the middle of summer. Some friends and I were in the midst of a week long hike on the Appalachian Trail, and this made our ordeal quite trying, as we certainly weren't dressed for the freakish change in weather. Passing hikers were beginning to swell mysteriously in number, with larger and larger packs stuffed with survival gear, and they had warned us that turning back was a bad idea, as the sudden snaps were causing society to break down... one element crying over the 'end times,' another up in arms over a catastrophic environmental collapse. As this talk had really started to bother us, and with the density of those fleeing society going up the trail, we decided upon another route back, and began to forge our way. We somehow didn't just want to abandon hope for society just yet, and we were ill-equipped to survive the cold. It's about then that we came upon the house.

    The house was completely overgrown with kudzu, long since abandoned and it didn't look much like a tourist attraction either. Our hope was to possibly find some food and a battery powered radio, so something that could tell us more about what was going on. As we explored the vacant and musty place, there was a creak on the floorboards and this rather large, rugged woman with piercing eyes had pinned my friend against the wall. She didn't look like she had lived there either, just another like ourselves who had stumbled upon the place. With my rather strong and equally rugged friend pinned against the wall, the rest of us (I think there were two) stood in stunned silence. She kept asking him "Are you here about the hole?" repetitively, and didn't seem satisfied by his dumbfoundedness. I made the move to get to my pack, which had a large knife. With extreme care, I got the knife out and crept breathlessly back around through the rooms until I had the point of the knife pressing against her down jacket. As my hands were shaking from this sudden, uncharacteristic burst of survival-mode would-be violence, I informed this woman that there was a large knife at her back, let my friend go, we'd just left the AT to get back to civilization, and what exactly is this hole you're going on about?

    The grip on my friend, whose head had turned cherry red, immediately withdrew, and without flourish she turned to face me. It was clear this woman knew some kind of martial art, for she moved faster than my eyes could track, despite her girth. She asked how she could believe me, and I motioned to the packs. My friend was coughing, choking, and she said that she'd better get him some water, with the gaze of those piercing eyes not abating a whit. After getting the water, and as my friend drank wordlessly and rubbed his neck, myself and the other nameless friend listened as she told us that she, too, discovered this house as she was doing some kind of "deep woods exercise" when she not only stumbled upon the house, but also the "hole."

    It seems that the previous owner had either dug or uncovered a large hole just outside the garage, and Helen (for I believe that was her name) had been exploring it, and widening it. Here's the kicker: this seemingly endless hole had some very odd properties. After Helen's first short exploration of the hole, she emerged to find upon later inspection, that all of the numbers on her driver's license had completely been jumbled, rearranged. She then began to experiment, by lowering any object, even a handwritten note, just into the darkness of the hole and pulling it out, finding that even numbers that she had handwritten came up in totally different orders, or completely replaced. Terrified as she was curious, she'd been here for days, and that's about when the mid-summer cold snaps and ice-storms started.

    We stood and peered into the gaping hole as thunder and snow collided curiously over an August day in the Appalachian mountains. We did several experiments ourselves, and what she had told us, which sounded utterly incomprehensible, appeared irksomely valid. Thus, with improbable weather and all, and in a rather spontaneous decision, we decided to go in. What, with the end of the world going on, did we have to lose by exploring a tunnel that seemingly had little regard for human numbers?

    I led the way, with a flashlight in my mouth, with my two friends behind and Helen at the rear. Utterly dark but consistently wide, the tunnel seemed to get steeper. I called for us to stop and asked Helen how deep she'd gone, and she had somehow left us, far underground. My friend whom she'd been behind suddenly started to freak out, as the rope which we were all holding and was tied to a beam in the houses garage had lost all tension. The panic heightened as we tried to climb back up, but the loose rock and the steep incline made this near impossible, and we all feat that we were slipping to that mysterious abyss. As we struggled, I smelled ozone, and little blue sparks began to bounce off the tunnel, which became more and more frightening as the light from these faint sparks seemed to show that we were far deeper than imagined. I grabbed my friend's hand behind me. Suddenly, a rush of light...


    We landed with a thud. It seemed forever until we could open our eyes, maybe because of the sounds around us. It seemed all too impossible. We didn't want to see, but I cracked my eyes slightly enough to see that yes, we were on a beach. Not far from the ocean. There was nothing remotely civilized in sight. We reeked of ozone, smelled as if we'd bathed in electricity, and our hair was in fact singed. Wordlessly, we walked through the dunes, trying to get a sense of where we were and why we were there. There was a light on the evening horizon, a glow, and to that glow we trekked, in silence and in absolute confusion. I suppose that we were trying to be stoic. We came upon a high wall, with a roughshod ladder. We scaled and descended.

    The city was broad and sprawling, immaculate and without character or nuance. It was also very quiet. We were walking along a thoroughfare, looking for signs of life, yelling for help or understanding or anything, which a whirring noise came from behind and some kind of riderless car stopped, and a door opened. No one was inside, and I hopped in, at this point completely oblivious to the concept of loss and without care. I assume that I was bewildered, as one would be if the could walk through their own dreams. One nameless friend joined me, but the other refused, said he would go back to the beach, try to find the hole. As the door closed, I yelled "Find us!"

    The car asked, in garbled English, "Where-you-need-go?" Neither of us knew what to say, so the car after some silence replied "Default." I'm not sure I wanted to see what Default was, and we sped through the grid-arranged city and came upon a portion where people were on the streets, milling about, appearing rather cosmopolitan. Without getting much of a good look at the scene, my friend yelled "Here!" and it kept going, and I yelled "Stop!" and the thing spotted immediately, throwing us up against the glass. The door opened, and we, in our smelly hiker gear, stepped out, without really thinking about what we were going to say and how we were going to say it to the curious crowds which had begun to gather and stare...


    (I really have to get to work now. I'll finish this when I get back tonight. I swear I had this whole dream this morning, and I'm only filling in tiny little details. I didn't do anything too crazy last night and didn't fall asleep watching Logan's Run. I just have crazy dreams.)

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:20 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 30 October, 2005 }


    I took a break from my legion of responsibilities and finally made it out to the woods... so crisp, so perfect, leaves crackle underfoot just as they ought to, with plenty of little surprises along the trail. It was incredibly restorative... I can't even begin to express how bogged I've been, to the point of wanting to throw the whole gestalt out with the holy water. An hour in the woods did me a week's worth of good, and I feel so remarkably relieved.

    I so love going down new trails, the kind which wind on forever and yet there's no destination. Most trails are made for wandering, not for getting to a specific place. I was so pleased to wander, to just take to the path without inkling or care. And while I'm still beset with smoldering issues, somehow being dwarfed by great trees and wooed by distant, looming peaks reintegrates the lost and worried soul to the essence of things... ninety percent of what spins our wheels is utterly meaningless and ought not to be worth a hock of spit. The remaining ten percent is all that which really pumps the heart and glitters the eyes... the sensual, the beauteous, and even the utterly terrifying and painful.

    I suppose that sometimes I get caught in that grey spectrum of the ultimately meaningless yet temporally depressing. We all must... like a shell, it's there to be broken. Perhaps, in the company of oak and pine, my beak pecked against that thin boundary and I got the hint that the deluge of blah I've been battling agianst is all paper thin malarky, so just break out and be done with it.

    If the trees and all the creatures of the wild can be so brave in the face of change and challenge, so can I.

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:54 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 29 October, 2005 }

    From Withering Comes Purity

    While spring is loud in its ferocious birthing,
    The autumn is so quiet in its rustling off to sleep.
    I, too, have fallen silent,
    As dry stalks cast seeds in their final act,
    I stand to be reduced into simplicity...
    It's simply the nature of the hour.

    From withering comes purity;
    In order to expose the new skin,
    The old must slough off, like wind-tossed ochre leaves,
    This is a movement toward reclaiming the essential
    And into the ethers casting the tired and weary.
    It's a song of cyclic surrender.

    This soul craves rest.
    To cocoon is to invite stars to shoot through a transforming body,
    To restore wholeness from thrashed memory
    To carry cool water from the overgrown wellsping to sate parched language,
    To cull dying dreams
    That new may again color those stark white days.

    In the chill of the moonless hush,
    Thoughts are tossed, caught in the air, gone.
    The man on the second floor has spoken not a word today
    Yet the rivers are full of fallen concepts,
    Tumbling over stones, twirling in eddies, tasting the notion of ice,
    For all the stillness, the world is a rush of letting go, revealing what is new, smooth, and ready...

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:28 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 26 October, 2005 }

    Revelation in Navy Blue

    Amassing the objects of autumnal ritual;
    Canned goods, musty sweaters, medicines by the score,
    I am corporeal tonight, in body.
    With curmudgeonly silence,
    I pace the apartment, rattling of lung, feverish of dream,
    Day becomes night with the quickening dive of hawk.
    Spines of books the backs of monks
    Deep in hermetic reverie
    I stumble and turn and for God's sake,
    Catch a glimpse of a mirror
    Of a face.

    Whitman said that he contained multitudes
    Yet who says that they contain continuums?
    This condition that constrains my breathing is temporal,
    Yet what condition isn't?
    The face in the mirror belongs to everyone;
    It's as mine as the moon,
    And my awkward dance across this Earth is as much my expression
    As lovers exist solely for the delight of roses.
    We are simply the cosmos expressing itself,
    Sick as hell or bursting with paradise
    And our lives are the explorations of an artful whim
    Looking for yet another way to understand itself
    Through me, dizzy at home in navy blue flannel
    Through you, some distant lover living your life in symphonic gusts and gales,
    For now we are ourselves have these names which bind us to time and scale,
    And we have our story...
    And that story is as writ within our diaries and scrapbooks
    As it is written across the stars.

    From this creaky chair
    Life appears so big and so little simultaneously.
    It's an everyday dichotomy as easy to miss as a single, blowing leaf
    From the tree out the window
    Your sole witness to the day
    Whose roots are underground,
    The very foundation of its life
    Invisible, unseen, profoundly there, and everywhere.

    jaybird found this for you @ 21:32 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 24 October, 2005 }

    overwhelmed, overbusy

    Blogging will be taking Monday off as I'm in way over my head now and will have to catch up as a first priority.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:42 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 22 October, 2005 }

    One Hundred Starlings

    One hundred starlings in a tree
    Half-moon morning
    I know the rain is coming, cold front, wind,
    Rising to the music of the leaves.

    What magic that tree is
    Two hundred wings a'flutter
    Incantations to the season, idle chatter,
    Then, in one unspoken movement, the open sky.

    The sound of flight and I'm barely awake
    As the entire flock bursts and becomes music
    And a single leaf, yellow and old, spirals down
    As above, said the old masters, so below.

    There is today so much to tend
    Within and under these great dramas
    The sun obscured, the moon in secret canopy,
    Isn't is strange to observe the world when we are permutations of it?

    One hundred starlings
    Roosting for a spell here and there
    Along some heavenly route which none can ever know
    Leaving a trail of the mesmerized, the bewildered, the eartbound
    And earthborn.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:10 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 19 October, 2005 }


    Charmingly, my office is closed today due to asbestos removal, which is a grand thing. I'm working from home and frankly swamped, despite the sheer pleasures of heavy blankets, cats, and pajamas. I'm still up to my toukhas in files and auditing. Yum.

    Last week's crisis persists, and I thankfully have enough food and gas until payday, though that's still a jumble of confusion as far as how all that's going to pan out. Alas.

    Fall has barely touched the mountains this year. Very few trees have done their fancy dance toward slumber, and the dry air is affording really clear views. This weekend I hope against hope to make it out into the world, but I've got lots of schoolwork due and a wedding to perform for two great friends on Sunday, which will be a treat. Huzzah!

    I'm slightly giddy atthe prospect of "Fitzmas," and hope that all of this administration's wretchedness will catch up with some big ass indictments, particularly Tricky Dicky and Tubby McTreason (Karl, as Stephanie Miller calls him lovingly). Bring it on.

    My boss in a rather silly move gave my phone number to a waiter I found cute at a resturant last week. He calls me and says that he's taken, but tries to fix me up with someone I already went out on a single date with last year that ended disastrously. Heh.

    Well, it's time to get away from bloggy goodness and get to work. From home. With all these wonderful distractions.

    jaybird found this for you @ 09:53 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 16 October, 2005 }

    very quiet

    It's been a very quiet weekend, in stark contrast to last week (and probably this week too). So, just taking a little downtime in between whirlwinds. Enjoy the moonlight - it blazes tonight.

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:44 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 15 October, 2005 }


    I have a deep need for a bonfire.

    Raging, competing with the stars,
    Tickling the moon's belly with flickers
    From the dry, dead wood, like so many bones,
    Thrown in to be proxies of our own little deaths,
    Drinking wine from the bottle, passed hand to hand,
    Songs of elegy to the late phantasmagoric summer, so full of
    Glitter, fancy pants, and whimsy, gone now...

    This little match is honest, and we blow on the fire...

    I need to see the embers aglow from
    My own misgivings, and be warmed by them,
    As they transform amid smoke and sacrifice into
    Light, in the friend-huddled midnight, wine spilled
    For those gone, tears hissing on the coals, the mysteries
    That rustle around us in the leaves and in our weighted thoughts
    Are fine to be, to thrive, to follow.

    I'll write a letter, and toss it in.

    And we'll leave one by one, as windblown ashes, from the fire pit.
    We'll smell of smoke, we'll have danced with those plumes,
    We'll have made a silent peace, burnt our offerings,
    And carry somewhere within a little flame back,
    We'll burn, in private ardor, for the sake
    Of what we won't tell a soul,
    Yet kindle so deeply
    Within our own.

    C'mon, grab the matches, and let's do this.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:32 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 14 October, 2005 }

    A Sad, Slightly Pathetic Appeal

    For reasons that are complicated and challenging, I am in the midst of the worst financial crisis I've faced yet. I do not know how I'll recover, and what form that may take. I've done everything I could to forestall this, but its gravity is blowing me away and making things really tough right now.

    I'm not a groveler; I'd much prefer to be stoic and noble. But a friend called that a "stupid" way to handle it, and that I should be willing to ask for help. That's what I'm doing, meekly, but sincerely. Anything from a penny up would be a blessing right now and would mean a lot. I broke the bank about a month ago by donating gobs of money for Katrina, forgetting that banks aren't charity organizations, and the ripples from that have helped to bring on this collapse.

    So, if you can, and if you enjoy this blog, please consider making a donation via the links on the left sidebar.

    Deep Peace,

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:14 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 11 October, 2005 }

    The Noose and the Tether

    It's just a coiled rope
    You've held it in your hand a hundred times
    Yet today, it's needeed
    So inane, so inert,
    Who will you throw it to?

    Only a day ago
    You looked into the eyes of a laughing mother
    Who had not heard yet about her dead daughter
    Only a month ago
    You hugged a man almost thoughtlessly
    Whose memory today confounds his children.
    A friend had said
    "There's just so much death going on,"
    And he has to be strong, this man,
    But he buckles at a song
    And another name ascends to Who-Knows-Where
    As leaves fall silently
    And tender young feet bound through them in play.

    This rope, it's killed
    In the course of its duty
    It is entwining of fibres, it's strong,
    And you stand there with it
    And under these greying skies there's crying
    So you unwind this line, once drawn into a noose
    And throw it out into the fog
    Hoping, dear God hoping,
    That some soul will grab it
    And maybe you can pull someone in...

    Since you've done your time in the mist
    Pondering finality, and failure, and the promise of forget.

    You remember a day, years ago,
    When a friend was dead from an overdose
    And you kicked the hell out of a table in rage
    Because the kids were too blown-away-gone, juice in the veins,
    To notice, for they themselves saw a lifeline trailing in the abyss
    And chose not to grab hold, chose to spin in despair,
    And since then, a few more names in the book,
    The rope dangles, goes limp.

    There's a tug
    You pull and pull and sweat rolls in holy toil
    And bless it,
    Someone is holding fast
    And wants this life you've damn near lost at the end of this rope
    Which now brings some wounded one into your steady arms.

    And you can't save the world.

    And you can't truly bring another being to resolution.

    And you can't stop the darkening skies of approaching winter.

    Yet you can unwind the old noose into a tether,
    And for the Love-Of-It-All,
    Strain against the tides to pull one in,
    Who had pretty much let go
    Much like, reaching back to long ago, you had.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:12 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    a day off in the autumn

    Bleary-eyed, morning-mouthed,
    I stagger to the window
    And there's some stray dog poking through the leaves
    There's the business of squirrels,
    The conversation of crows
    And I'm planless and my day will be slow.

    I know there is not much time for green leaves
    And spherical jewels of sweet dew will soon be frost
    And the silent exhileration of forest-walking
    Will be replaced with a huddling for blankets
    In a still, dim, yet wonderful room.

    Stray dog, find your scraps
    Seek out the goodness amid the heap of summer's forget
    In your ample jaws, run away with it,
    Bury it for next year...
    This morning, from this window,
    I'm digging too.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:10 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 10 October, 2005 }

    working things out


    Yes, I am celebrating, a tish. In a way I never thought I really would; I joined a friggin' gym.

    It feels like pentitence for all those years in school where I feigned death or cut class to avoid dealing with goofy variations of ball play (ahem). But it's a good thing and I'm benefitting from the rigorous workouts and the determination...

    Importantly, I'm beginning to reclaim this body from years of lah-de-dah and office malaise. This drive is due to my doctor's sincere appeal to get in shape as sleep apnea has become a sad (if reversible) reality. Yes, I can say that much... I've spent a long time not being in shape. Or being amoebic.

    That's changing. In 10 days, I have lost 8 pounds. That's like losing a well-fed cat every week and a half. Now, it's not like I'm a walking talking barrell of excess glop, but let's just say I'm denser than I oughtta. I mean, I have worn it well, and don't look a fright. Yet I can't even begin to express what this has done for my overall esteem. It's crazy. It's incredible. I'm remembering what it's like to have a body that does more than swivel in a damn chair or creak slowly upward to send some bureaucrat a fax.

    The energy being released as I struggle to conquer exercise machines is incredible, and I sweat enough to become a new headwater for a salty, musky river. I'm thankful, and I can't wait for more.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:18 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 09 October, 2005 }

    Thoughts on the Big R

    The following rant is from an online exchange. The question was asked 'is there an ultimate religion?' and you'll find my brain-blown answer below...

    Religion is something intrinsically man made, a concept which has arisen in thousands of forms out of the human struggle to conceptualize a Universe far larger than ourselves. Most major religious traditions do not embrace the kind of physical Universe that we've been discovering for the past 500 or so years. We've learned, closer to home, that the world is not built around hierarchies (as denoted in many monotheistic religions), but rather an interdependence of species... a relationship which does not represent the historical powerplays behind most existing mainline traditions. The ecologies of this planet, paired with what we're learning about the Universe, seem to suggest that we humans and our ideas are a bit out of step with the reality of this great, infinite expanse in which we are a mere speck. Can an idea on a single tiny dot in space precisely map the spiritual nature of the Cosmos, given that we know, in essence, very little about it? The odds would seem to be against that kind of gamble. The idea of a true Universal faith, an undeniably solid spiritual answer for all this matter and void just doesn't seem to make sense once we poke our weary noses out from the thin skin that is our atmosphere and realize just how dwarfed we are by utter Mystery.

    This does not preclude the idea of a localized spiritual truth, here on Earth. The trick with this is that we humans are six billion deep on this planet, and through earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes are just now learning the hard way that we don't have the power here, our answers for life's mysteries are at best educated guesses, and more than likely shots in the dark. I believe that we have the collective power, however, to create a spiritual reality for ourselves, whether highly indivudalized or straight from a holy recipe book. We can choose from Abraxas to Zoroaster, from Rainbow Chasing to the Holy Can of Tuna, and immenatize the sacred. What makes something sacred? We do. I believe that we can create truths for ourselves which will prove themselves to be true, over and over again, so long as we wish and so long as we invest our belief. I've been so very fortunate to experience many sides of personal and collective faith, and have witnessed what I believe are genuine miracles. How? The power of personal faith, or creativity, or energetic manifestation... whatever you want to call It. If you believe hard enough in something, you're building it. Thoughts are things, and deeply adhered-to thoughts become living, breathing things which we may worship or fear, in the privacy of your own home or in the sway of thousands of like-minded devotees. If you want Heaven and Hell, you've got it so book a room now. If you want Reincarnation, it's yours, over and over again. If you want a direct line to all of your ancestors, just tune in to the stories from great-great-great-great-grandmother's lap. I know I'm going out on a limb here, but I think this experince of being alive is wide-open, and so long as we move through it with love in our hearts and do good things for each other, we're bound to be pleasing the spirit we've helped to manifest.

    Thus saith the bumper sticker 'God is bigger than any religion,' because religion is a human preoccupation, and I've got to believe that God is far more than human... if there were a Creator-God, She/He/Thou must surely contain everything created, from slugs to Saturn. We humans are just an infintesimal fraction of that heady mix. So, as far as an ultimate religion goes, I personally don't think so. Is there an ultimate political answer to the world's problems? Just ask Hitler, Stalin or Bush and see how it's working out for them. Is there an ultimate path to happiness? If so, it's bound to get crowded and I'm sure being bruised from the stampede may hinder the whole bliss dance. Ultimate means final, and I just don't think that I have the nerve to nail down finality in an infinite Universe.

    I can't provide proof either way; there are no right on wrong answers to such grand and noble questions. Yet that's why I truly love studying religion. It all springs from quintessential human questions: Who? What? Why? How? From my window I can see a little country church. I probably would not agree much with the theology inside, in fact would be 'damned' by it, but I savor the beauty of their quest, and virtue of their beliefs. They've found their truth, and that's far more than many in this world of televised distraction and hollow promises can say. My truth looks far different from theirs, and it's the commonality between us I cherish; do what is good, treat others with respect, be charitable and compassionate, and don't take this world for granted. Perhaps that's as ultimate as we can get... by being decent and honorable amid the chaos and conundrum. And that's very fine by me. All else is cake.

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:25 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 05 October, 2005 }

    Dream Report

    It was a fairly lucid night. So many vignettes. What I most strongly recall is a conversation with a person who was involved in some kind of UFO contact in a place called "Gran Miguelgesa." The experience he had there apparently filled him with a greater understanding of what is happening in the world. Here goes.... the visiting beings were trying to implement a program embedded within all humans which would aggessively reinvigorate mental and spiritual evolution, which has been "on hold" due to reverse programs puts in place by humans who had received knowledge and mastery of these systems. There are humans in high places, according to these beings, that know about the plan and are afraid of the timing, though they are sympathetic to its cause. These people form a class of "evil-good," who will strike against their own sympathies in order for them to grow stronger over time, like "pruning a rose bush."

    So, here's the wacky part; toward the end of the conversation, the man who was telling me the story of Gran Miguelgesa said that this was being told to me in the context of a dream, and that many others were being told the same thing tonight, and he promptly disappeared, leaving behind myself and a whole slew of new strangers who were all looking rather bewildered.

    I swear that I didn't eat anything weird before bed (though I did have a rather potent brew) nor did I overindulge in conspiratorial websites prior to sleepies.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:25 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 02 October, 2005 }

    Mariposa Movement

    We stood out on the ridgeline
    Watching the sky for the flitting
    Of migrating Monarch Butterflies
    Which swooped and dove and rode the air
    Bound for Mexico, along some mysterious
    Highway that no one understands.

    If I were winged, perhaps I'd understand
    That selfless daring to just go, then,
    And fly through mountains and storms
    Over crazed cities and hot sands
    To this unspoken ancestral place of
    Death and rebirth, all conducted beyond
    Thought, or fear, or reason.

    One just flies, just as the hundreds
    That flew by us, in awe at the sight
    But dumbfounded in the feat, so suddenly
    Lost in our humanity as resplendent ochre insects
    Dazzled senseless by just doing what they do.
    So uncomplicated until we try to understand,
    So glorious until we map the mechanics of a miracle.

    I followed one until it entered the clouds
    Going so causally where I cannot
    Tracing a route beyond any reason
    And reaffirming, with easy glides
    That the intentions at play in this Universe
    Are grander and more mysterious
    Than our mere bodies.

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:54 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 01 October, 2005 }

    autumn acknowledged

    It's always a striking momment when we suddenly come across the first tree to transform its leaves from shades of green to ruddy, gold and fire. It's the end of September and it hasn't happened here yet, though there are hints about. The trilling of the morning birds have a sort of urgent appeal, the air as it blows by is full, story-laden, and engorged with texture, and the light is long. And something inside churns...

    The fall and I have a relationship which can be as variable as weather itself. This time of preparing for the inward turn of winter, the gathering of loose ends, musty sweaters and huddling against the chill is both magical to mournful to me. Yet this emergent feeling is sweet, a birthing of coming bounty, even as the earth hardens. What is it that moves and tingles thus?

    Perhaps it is, after the maya of summer brittles and tumbles away, the rediscovery of self, with the suddeness of a turning tree. Summer forces externalization and participation in a great gala of merriment and hoo-hah. In all this witnessing, I somehow misplaced myself in a scramble for the opera glasses and champagne. Now, nature is sweeping up after the party, and once again stand in my own shadow. I contemplate my age, and think back to childhood and beyond, and the temporal nature of living seems so silly, almost trite to worry about. Yet I now have myself, this imperfect sack of what-have-you, and the season is right for changing and molding it, after the indulgencesof summer and have left the stage to tour elsewhere.

    So I lift a glass, rather late, to this new season, and the sudden clarity I've found in it, to whatever ends. There is always the self, it seems, to fall back upon when the complexity of the world is too tangled to unwind. Being an animal within the cosmos is far easier to comprehend than knowing the cosmos within the animal. It starts simply, then grows. I began a conjoined cell, and became this, today, writing whimsically after the party and before the workout... a stunning, if natural, progression. What lies behind the next fold?

    Who knows what weeds shall grow in these darkening days?

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:38 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 24 September, 2005 }


    Hello. Just a short missive from the front.

    Let's rate the weekend, shall we? Amount of time spent not under pressure: the past 10 minutes. Amount of time not spent on the on-call phone dealing with major crises: about an hour. Amount of time contemplating the vagaries of the cosmos, the underbellies of serpents, sundogs and archaic glyphs: zip.

    So, who is very rarely in a bitchy mood and is now stewing ever so slightly over the random chance that he is on-call on a weekend when the entire social services system of WNC collapses into a big, frothy pile of objectionable goo? That'd be me.

    At the same time, who's the guy out of the deck, wind in his hair, in awe of the stars and the first cool breaths of autumn? C'est moi. I'm trying to be optimistic here... there's so much raging beauty going on right now despite the mounds of paperwork that I now have to fill out that I'm happy just knowing that. To be in it, well, that'll come.

    On another note, I had my first consultation for sleep apnea. Looks like I've got it, as I have very think inoperable tissue in my throat and palette that are likely complicating things when I sleep. Oddly, I'm relieved that I'm a step closer to getting this resolved, as the eventual fix (a C-PAP machine) may help ensure that I regain focus and concentration lost due to the apnea activity. I'll have a full sleep study in November.

    So, (clink), here's to tomorrow.

    jaybird found this for you @ 21:41 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 22 September, 2005 }


    I'm going to a doctor's appointment in a few hours for an evaluation for sleep apnea, and I'm a little nervous, honestly. I've got a fair amount of evidence that apnea is happening, and to determine if it is, I've got to do an overnight sleep study, and without medical insurance, I'm looking at some big bills ahead. But I s'pose I'm willing to take that on if this will improve my quality of life and potentially extend it. I spend much of the day very tired, despite caffeine and activity, which I want to obviously stop.

    So, hopefully this morning I'm making the first step toward that.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:44 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 18 September, 2005 }


    It's been mostly a restful sort of weekend, with just the right balance of slack and engagement. Going to see the sights at the Mountain State Fair with friends was definately the height of stimulation, in all senses. Just got in from watching one of the last sunsets of summer sigh over the mountains, and I've got a paper to write, so no grand bloggage this fine eve. You should check out my Flickr photostream though; I've been quite happy of some of my latest efforts (and y'all know I'm not a braggart).

    If you live anywhere even semi-rural, go out and check out the stars tonight, they're really putting on a stellar show, pun very much intended.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:46 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 17 September, 2005 }

    Cat and Moon

    On the deck in my bare feet
    The wood's cold from the rain and the last days of summer
    I've got the white cat curled in my arms
    As my pajamas billow
    And the moon's getting a halo
    As the fog rolls in.

    It's not a perfect life, this,
    Yet moments like this are glittering jewels enough for me.
    The cat's eyes, black and wide, reflect the moon
    And I want to know about that mind in there
    Does it wonder and wait for holy moments like mine,
    Or is it all the same?
    Is it all the same?

    We draw boundaries through telephone wires
    And implore the gods to bless our beer
    As bottles clink and minds reel,
    We look at tomorrow on the calendar
    And take our hasty notations as facts,
    And I fade with the sunset,
    Sleeping as crickets do the work
    Of harmonizing the night.
    It's life, at the very least, for all of us.

    What's perfect?
    This blanket, my hunger, that woman who was driving behind me yesterday
    In her purple hat and red blouse,
    The dishes in the sink, the owl I sometimes hear at night,
    Loneliness, my recollected sins and conquests, the very thought of you.
    Maybe the cat, with its tongue just sticking out at the stars
    Has it right; it's all territory, all a stand of weeds
    Where surely something lurks, for play or fear.

    If I stop thinking about it all,
    It doesn't go away,
    So it must be the most important thing to reckon with, this life, this immanence.
    We all see it, and think about it, albeit quietly.
    It makes us all a little crazy, to wonder so much,
    Garden variety loons reading the mythic into all this mundane criss-crossing,
    All the while pretending to know
    How to be perfectly human,
    Noble con-artists of brinkmanship, we.

    Past midnight now,
    The cat's asleep, and I dare yawn
    At the darkness.
    I fiddle with words as if there were children's blocks,
    I make castles of them and watch them fall.
    It's indulgent, yet so is the purple of the blanket,
    The white of the cat, the chorus of crickets
    And the half-a-mile-away bark of some hound at some interloper.
    Life is indulgent, even in its decay and withering,
    And even in the space of boredom before death,
    It exalts itself, tugs us by the shirt,
    And begs us to follow, even into the cool unknown of midnight.
    We chose, mostly, to follow
    And stumble at best to wherever the heck it leads.

    O Moon, thou incessant maddening symbol for poets and playwrights,
    You and the cat and my cold, wet feet are proof
    That somehow, some way, I and all this exists,
    For whatever reason.
    I gratefully accept it.
    Perhaps, I and we exist for this moment alone
    This perfect passing of time,
    With all that hurts from loving too much,
    It's all, beyond reason, manifest for just this.
    The cat twitches in its hunting dreams,
    And I stop writing
    To wordlessly sit by the window
    To witness life, as expressed through this night,
    To make a constellation out of you.

    jaybird found this for you @ 00:21 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 10 September, 2005 }


    That's Away From Keyboard to you... I'll not be online today, as I'm performing a wedding a few hours away for a friend's family. It will be a splendid affair, but what that means for the the site is I'll not be able to post what has become a daily Katrina compendium until tomorrow, or maybe, just maybe, later tonight.

    That shouldn't stop those of you who hunger for the truth. There's new revelations being unearthed at a rate enough to dizzy even the sturdiest of pundits. Please, for the sake of those torn away from their families and communities by this cruel and unnecessary diaspora, keep looking to find and spread information.

    I'll resume my normal topics of blogging in a few days, but won't stop paying strong attention to this issue. Thank you all again for the wonderful emails and support, and please keep up the spirit of volunteerism and advocacy that is causing a great thrust of activism and compassion in this troubled country.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:03 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 04 September, 2005 }


    A Lebanon Pine stands in silhouette against a cloudless sunset, such golden light...

    Two stars, maybe planets, reflect in the slow ripples of the lake, such distant light...

    Bats, those harbingers of the unknown, swirl wild in the purple-ing sky, such mysterious light...

    Such light.

    I had to leave the house, and be away from the endless streams of communication which were flooding, saturating my Saturday. On the short drive to the lake, the streets were emptier than they ought to be on a Saturday. There were less walkers than normal, and what faces I saw had, by degrees, vacant and heavy eyes. The fisherman, tending the thin line between this world and that, was expressionless. Facing the water in silence, he may as well have been a painting. Perhaps he was.

    Such light.

    As I made my way around the lake and into the Audubon Bird Sanctuary, a hummingbird darted to my right. We saw eye to eye, and I'd like to think that the curiosity is mutual. As I enter the Sanctuary, crossing the wooden bridge over marsh, I stopped, and looked to my left. There, swimming so smooth in the shallow water, a beaver. I'd never been so close to one before, mere feet away. With the smoothest of movement, it stripped some low-lying bark, and ate, with its tiny hands, a few weeds. It dove and surfaced without seeming to mind my gaping mouth and wide eyes. It carried on, deeper into the marsh, into the twilight.

    Such light.

    It's so wonderfully overgrown there. Paths are lines blurred by wilderness, and you can only move forward by being brushed with the wild. It erupts in a late-summer last chance at fruitfulness. Vines bend with berries, and hardy, vibrant flowers appear so optimistic in the cooling world. The stars which overhang this, they are clear, and wild geese and gnats and the boldest of fireflies fly through the constellations, carefree, busy in the work of the living. I move through this sanctuary busy in the work of living myself. I'm broke, but alive. I'm scatterbrained, but alive. I progress through the night to this moment clumsily, but alive. And I savor the all the lights I see, but won't covet. You can't have the light, you can't have the world, but you can be alive, and cast a shadow, and tremble in your own skin for the beauty, horror, and love of it all.

    Such light.

    It wasn't long ago that I was awakened by a small earthquake. What a novelty! It wasn't even strong enough to make a single curio do the foxtrot. Everyone talked about it the next day, with the stories of where they were, and with that glint of wonder. We all cling to this orb as it spins, it's a wonder it doesn't shake us more often, as we cling to its surface with foolhardy abandon. Then, a storm began to churn in the Atlantic. Since last year this area was ravaged by once-in-a-century flooding, we're watchful of those frightful spirals in these parts. When the forecasters proclaimed the storm would not come to visit, the city sighed and went back to bed. Yet by the pale, early diffuse light of the next morning, we stopped and realized that it was ashore with a vengeance... this can't be happening. They call this one Katrina. On the maps, it is white and full of froth, and the sun does not penetrate, save for the eye.

    Such light.

    We've been torn asunder by that light; the light reflected off the misplaced waters in a sunken city, the light barely returning from a hungry child's eyes, the shadows cast by refugees in our country, walking with slumped shoulders along the interstates. The light shimmering in those dark pools has convulsed us with tears, and the world we knew is not the world of now. Rarely does a cataclysm make the newspapers. Rarely is the thin veneer of a nation so quickly shattered by mad winds, and the society is left to wonder what and who they are now. Another fisherman in his little rowboat in the sunset-rippled lake is us, this society, this planet. It takes great care to maneuver just right, and should the winds blow and the waters chop, it takes so little to upend everything. We've been upended, and we're grasping for whatever we can before it all sinks. Will our friends on the shore save us? The night has come, and a moonless sky and its bold stars twinkle, and the stars seem to swing low, blue sparkles, comin' for to carry me home...

    Such light.

    Sleep is full of yammering dreams, of hoards begging for simple help. The rest of the world, the one we keep at bay with our endless distractions, has come to us. Refugee camps, here, in America. Dysentery, typhoid, and everything I had to get immunizations for before flying to Haiti two years ago, happening here, in America. Children dying from no food or water, happening here, in America. They could've named the storm Humility, for that's what we've got now, in spades. Yet there are those, whose fear drives them to hide behind great institutions, who will say that this has washed away sin, and driven out the snakes, and that we ought not rebuild for these places are scourged and accursed. Yet they are not in tatters, walking miles for clear water, clothes or medicine. The storm has only cleansed the illusion of their piety, and left for all to see their own sin of self-righteousness. They shall be forgiven, or at least ignored, for their blindness. And these figures are not important anymore. All that matters now are the survivors; the sick, they crying, the homeless, the dying. For the voiceless, they need voices, for the hungry, they need food. Priorities for us are simpler now. This water, I savor it, and this bright clear day after my walk by the lake. I savor these on behalf of those gone, unable to savor anything, and too wounded to notice the beauty that remains, in spite of the cruelty of human arrogance. Beauty shall thrive in spite of arrogance.

    Such light.

    Tonight, some strangers and some friends will gather in a circle, downtown. We will light candles, sing a song, share some silence. A woman is even going to release homing doves. We'll stand in ceremony for those who can't, who can't traipse around lakes and be agog at beavers and hummingbirds, transfixed by the great varieties of this living, terrestrial experience. We're a community hundreds of miles away from the affected areas, but we are one people. The sun, out right now which summons the cicadas and entices the green of the leaves to be ever more so, is one star. This planet is not a pressed together mishmash of hundreds of countries, it is one sphere in space, spinning so perfectly, with us or without us. We are so fragile, and so tenacious. I almost drowned in water this year, but a sheer miracle of opposing current allowed me to live. Today, fewer people in our part of the world can say that. Life is thin, but it's damn good when it's here, and we all depend upon it, that vibrant little word, which somehow is magic enough to give us something to do each and every day. Because we love it so much, we must work for it, we must give it, we must absolutely adore it in the trees, the birds, in the eyes of our beloved. Some say that all this will bring revolution. Fine. Let that revolution be to savor life, and if we do that enough, the fearsome institutions will lose relevance. Besides, the light that illuminates an oncoming storm will also illuminate its dissipation, and will make clear what must be done. For the good of the world. We can see what needs to be done now. We are all refugees, in a galactic sense, wandering through the wilds, guided by the light of our passions. Through that brilliant light, we move, onward together to sanctuary.

    Such light.

    jaybird found this for you @ 14:25 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 03 September, 2005 }

    Candlelight Vigil Tomorrow

    The idea behind this came in a whim, and I'm pouring all of my effort into this right now. I'll post a Katrina roundup later in the day. Perhaps those of you not in Asheville would be willing to light candles on Sunday as well.

    As the cataclysmic events of the past week have unfolded with increasing horror and dismay, I realized that while the flow of funds to the Red Cross have increased, there is still something missing in our national response. We recall that after 9/11, there was a tremendous national outpouring of compassion and sympathy for those who were killed or traumatized by the events... flags were at half-mast, ribbons were worn, and the nation unified (at least temporarily) to rally around New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. Candlelight vigils were everywhere, and the nation was told to pray.

    This time, this hasn't quite happened... yet. The wave of compassion that overtook America after 9/11 and the Asian tsunami is beginning to form, but it needs a push. I've heard many reasons why our compassion is only on first or second gear right now, but what matters now is that we push all of that aside for now and stand in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of new American homeless. They are our sisters and brothers, without the beds, the food, and the community that we so cherish and sometimes forget we have.

    So, we'll take some time on Sunday, September 3rd at 7pm at City/County Plaza to honor the fallen, and those struggling to survive. We'll honor New Orleans, Mobile, and Biloxi with light of appreciation for these cities and hope for their rebuilding. We'll honor the children whose lives have been upturned. We'll honor all these with a flickering flame, a few words, and silence. I would deeply appreciate you spreading the word on this... and, despite the great temptation, the goal is to stand as one. While inaction to help the victims has turned the situation political, I'd like this gathering to remain apolitical. This is about people, the ecology, and the nation as a whole. This is, first and foremost, about compassion, and doing something powerful with it.

    jaybird found this for you @ 13:28 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 01 September, 2005 }


    People in the media are beginning to compare Katrina's wrath to 9-11. If so, let's ask a few questions about the world then, and now, shall we?

  • Where are the ribbons?
  • Where are the flags?
  • Where are the lines around the block to give blood?
  • Where are the patriotic songs?
  • Where is the commerical-free media, pushing aside regular programming to give news and information?
  • Where is the massive local and national effort to coordinate relief services (it's only now beginning to 'trickle')?
  • Where are the selfless acts (people are fighting each other for gas)?
  • Where are the calls for national unity and resolve?
  • Where are the National Guard (far too many in Iraq)?
  • Where are the candlelight vigils?
  • Where is the corporate charity, donating food, clothes and essential survival goods to the stricken (instead, rescue efforts are halted to stop looting)?
  • Where are Bush's missing days (simple: Monday, he cleared brush, Tuesday he was campaigning for Medicare reform at a country club,
    and Wednesday, his plane flew over New Orleans... neat-o!)?
  • Where is the answer to Mayor Nagin's S.O.S.?
  • Where are the planeloads full of supplies?
  • Where are the planeloads full of supplies from foreign countries who really want to help but haven't been allowed into the country per Homeland Security?
  • Where did the funding go in 2002 and 2003 to prevent flooding and to shore up the levees ib New Orleans?
  • Where are the people asking questions?

    One answer, which will upset some... the people affected by this disaster are largely poor and non-white. Had this happened to an upper-class suberb, Macy's would be dropping pallette-fulls of prime cut fasions, hot turkey sandwiches would be rolled out by the thousands, and the President would be rowing, rowing, rowing his boat, gently down the effluvia.

    People are slowly beginning to wake up to this, but not at the level to affect real change. We need to steamroll the message across the nation; feet are being dragged because the victims are poor, black, and completely powerless. We're sticking 20,000 of them in yet another damn dome. How about some homes? We have 'em... endless acres of unbought homes in nice white designer homes because of the bursting housing bubble. The victims need those of us awake to this now more than ever to call attention to the scale of this society-busting disaster. Now. No more questions, it's time for answers...

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:19 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 28 August, 2005 }

    Hurricane Katrina

    Everyone, please consider giving right now to the Red Cross and any local food banks and relief agencies in New Orleans. We could have a catastrophe of untold proportions on our hands this time tomorrow.

    I had been planning on seeing relatives in Delaware later this week, but if it turns out that relief workers will be needed, I'm heading down.

    Godspeed, N'awlins.

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:08 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 27 August, 2005 }

    Sidewalk Stories

    This sidewalk collects shadows as a raven collects the shiny.
    Writ into this recline,
    A billion thoughts, passing fancies, secrets folded and tucked a day,
    While we noble savages write careless odes to eachother under this billowing canopy.
    Humanity, you wander hungry as a pigeon,
    Seeking out in your strut breadcrumbs of transcendence.
    This cement, strewn with leaves and adverbs,
    Tells stories of idle and twisted, woven thought,
    As storeys rise above in stately pronouncement.
    Friends meet 'tween the up and down,
    And destination distracts them like some random monkey...
    Look! Passage!
    This is indulgent;
    Guessing the minds and times of passerby
    As rivulets of novella and poesie amble by
    And the pigeons race from perspective to context, rooftop to rooftop.
    One must savor, like a cheap cigar, breeze-blown conversation
    And the stellar interpretations by the artists,
    Agog with all the passing glitter.
    Write on, teeming feet and tamed schedules,
    Pass along with your head full of theatre,
    So we on the sides can ponder your purpose.
    Write on, in a blur of discarded rumination,
    On your way to the sophisticate gala, to the shelter,
    To the feathery rustle of ascendence, breadcrumb in beak,
    Hope beneath your feet.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:58 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 24 August, 2005 }


    I was woken from a particularly early sleep by a strange vibration... it seemed as if the house was getting a Swedish massage. I discounted it for a few minutes until I decided to see for myself and behold:

    Magnitude 3.8
    Date-Time Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 03:09:41 (UTC)
    = Coordinated Universal Time
    Wednesday, August 24, 2005 at 11:09:41 PM
    = local time at epicenter
    Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
    Location 35.878'N, 82.797'W
    Depth 5 km (3.1 miles) set by location program
    Distances 4 km (2 miles) ESE (122') from Hot Springs, NC
    14 km (9 miles) NW (308') from Marshall, NC
    23 km (14 miles) WNW (284') from Mars Hill, NC
    104 km (64 miles) E (95') from Knoxville, TN
    218 km (135 miles) WNW (302') from JAARS, NC
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 7.8 km (4.8 miles); depth fixed by location program
    Parameters Nst= 28, Nph= 28, Dmin=100.1 km, Rmss=1.42 sec, Gp= 79',
    M-type="Nuttli" surface wave magnitude (MLg), Version=6
    Source USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Event ID usceaf
    Felt Reports 0.0 ( ).

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:31 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 21 August, 2005 }

    a naked man in the moonlight

    I'm standing just outside my door
    In the full moonlight
    Completely naked, beer in hand,
    And I'll be damned but this is technically illegal
    But what is law
    When there is only the universe,
    And the collapse of time before you?

    I make a drunken oath to the moon
    Which makes silver light upon my kitchen floor
    That I will commit, with foolhardy abandon,
    To love in all its names
    And through all its muses
    With the starry desire
    To evolve it, to grow it
    Far beyond its monosyllabic shell
    To find its growth within
    And like some invasive foreign vine
    To wrap around me, to root the soul
    Until everything I am has been turned
    By its hungry tendrils
    Which feed the source...

    The crickets orchestrate
    Like some chamber music for ghosts
    And I breathe, and sip the elixir of madness
    As my skin, all of it,
    Reflects the fever dreams of great distance.
    You know how it is, right?
    This stirring passion to become, at once,
    With the wide and fecund vista?
    Somewhere, amid the constellations and sleeping houses,
    There is a lover awaiting
    Some god determined to deliver the goods
    Within the pauses of these night-creatures,
    Wherein my memories, so entangled and comedic,
    Will reconcile with these holy designs
    And thus can be set free...

    Again, I am a naked man on a porch
    Creating with each awkward step
    Swirls of petite weather which will swoop up the detritus
    Of forgotten intonations
    And will assemble them into some weird sense, a cosmic collage
    Around a central theme.
    O Moon, take these wine-kiss'd words
    And make of them a sensible shelter
    Where, at last,
    There will be wisdom flowing like a breeze
    And warm hands that will wrap around like moonlight.

    jaybird found this for you @ 00:01 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 19 August, 2005 }

    friday lunacy

    Today is one of the crazier ones... written by a deity bent on dipping her characters into the deepest, sweetest vat of surreality imaginable. I'm in the midst of an 8-hour 500 mile (total) round trip mission to Raleigh for work, and after rushing back to Asheville at speeds which bend light I'll be donning my emcee threads to host an annual hunger awareness event downtown. It's living on the edge, baby.

    Anyway, here's some likies for today... choose bliss, y'all...

  • Relevant Flickr tags: vigil, cindysheehan, moveon.
  • Two articles by me, currently in print (aw gee shucks): A Block of Cheese and the Value of Life, Holy Jokes and Sacred Clowns.
  • Tibetan monks meet the laptop: The light of the disk is endless.
  • Seven Political Blasphemies of contemporary America: Daring to ask the blasphemous questions.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:25 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 18 August, 2005 }

    Invocation at the Borderland

    I know this place (perhaps you do too)
    It is a quiet place, a little dark, a little distant.
    We don't talk about it often,
    Descriptions of its topography evade genial conversation
    If you glimpse it, you will likely avert your gaze
    To the safe, the secure, the known.
    Oh, for it to be further away,
    Too much trouble for our curious footpaths to wind toward,
    A borderland far a'field.
    Away, away, we wish the thought
    Yet it returns tonight, like a big-eyed child
    Stone silent, hand awaiting yours,
    Walk, walk there now,
    Step into this place, this country, this lonely alcove
    Which, like the known turf of our days on Earth
    Holds the sun much like your body absorbs it
    Yet we are strangers in this place.
    It's rugged, and you're tired,
    Yet the child is determined to show you
    This desperate, heaving, clutching, hungry land
    With those eyes as smooth as planets
    You must go. You must see.
    You must sit upon this hard dirt
    With all your senses lit like bonfires against the cold
    For the child, you must be here.
    What of home?
    What of the sleek streets and tailored words
    That rise above the city in golden promise?
    Does it tug you like the child tugs
    Asking you silently to follow
    To touch the brittle and scant grains
    To tongue the water, brimming with slow, doleful songs,
    To taste all that is left.
    You search your pocket for hope,
    Some starry jewel of reassurance,
    And there is dust, and wind, and those eyes
    Write upon your soul a transcendental verse;
    'After this, we will be free.'
    Where is this place?
    What is this suffering, and why?
    What prospect is there for me to convey?
    'After this, we will be free.'

    Is there such a thing as spare transformation
    Which I can toss into an upturned hat as easily as pennies?
    All these questions yet the answer is insistent
    It won't let you go, listen...
    It's the heart, it's home, it contains everything.
    The heart even contains that borderland afar,
    And the big-eyed silent child,
    Waiting to hold your hand
    And show you a village at the edge of our conscience.

    We hold, as deep as our nimble thoughts dare to fly,
    All that lives, and has lived, and ever shall.
    Therefore, in the resonant space between beats upon the heart-drum,
    There is great hunger... within us.
    There are eyes which implore the skies for release, for bread, for love-
    Love in its most truthful form... sustenance.
    That place, so foreign, beats within;
    Our very blood which thrives binds us to the very blood which suffers,
    And to the creation and birthpangs
    Of equity, of fairness, which will one day spring up fountains
    And make peace within that home
    And that mother will weep rivers of joy!

    For now,
    We must nourish with what we truly have,
    To feed the work of compassion
    For that child, for that far borderland.
    Let the soul's labor of tonight
    Bring forth with tenacity the green fields of tomorrow.
    'After this, we will be free.'
    'After this, we will be free.'

    This poem will be read as the invocation to the 4th Annual Western North Carolina Hunger Banquet, which I'm hosting for the third year tomorrow. More info about the Hunger Banquet idea here. For those of you in Asheville, the event will be held at the YMI Cultural Center, 6-8pm, downtown. Tickets are $10, and the event is sponored by Jubilee Community and a veriety of downtown restaurants and charitable organizations.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:28 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 16 August, 2005 }

    emerge and plunge

    Take a moment to rest,
    Catch up with your shadow spinning behind you.
    Slow your eyes to just the sky
    And watch the passing theatre of the clouds
    Recounting histories, prognosticating through
    Sun-streaked simulacra.

    Where do your thoughts go?

    To the rage crumpled in the trash
    To be tossed to the curb by another's hand
    All those pages startred, never finished...

    To the stillness of a dark August night
    Where the lingering fireflies land on the screen door
    Pulsing, little invitations, tiny heralds,
    And you just stop to watch...

    To the illusion of illusion
    And the twisted questions of vexation
    That seize the tongue in a fit of art
    Yet only make sense in dreams...

    If thoughts are things
    You keep adding on to the castle
    Like some mad eccentric whose legacy is a footnote
    In some yellowed book
    Bargain-binned for it's ideosyncracy.
    Living in the head isn't for every temperment;
    It's hot and humid up there, the neuron-children
    Play in fire hydrant fountains,
    Opened with pipe wrenches,
    And the wilds teem with beasties and crawlies.
    If you could emerge, truly,
    Through the billowing curtains of your eyes
    And plunge into the outer city
    Whose streets your body navigates through
    Like a trolley on a track,
    You could make those crazy circles of flight
    That fluster the logician and seduce the artist's paint.
    If you could just stop thinking for a moment,
    You might start being.

    It's pointless to ask how a being can be
    Without being one.
    Knowledge comes through movement
    Much in the way a cloud becomes a turtle, or a Goddess;
    It just moves that way,
    And you don't just see it,
    You be it.

    So, rest.
    Don't let the standard of endless activity hinder you.
    The profoundest action is a daring lack of animation
    To just be still, as the night appears to be,
    Though we are barrelling toward some whirling reckoning
    Where our strength matters, where we emerge alive.

    There is time enough for tumult.
    Now, quiet.
    Now, be.

    jaybird found this for you @ 00:00 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 14 August, 2005 }

    For the Warrior's Ceremony

    In the Spirit of Highest Friendship:

    Late into the night
    You battled with honor.
    As the sun rose,
    A shell broke
    A wolf took to the wilderness
    And you sat with your shadow...
    I felt it this morning
    As resolution came over you
    As the last sweat of your fight
    Became tomorrow's ocean tide
    I felt that you had
    Danced with your secret self
    Virtuous footing
    And in the end
    You lay heaped in exhaustion
    But never more open
    Never more you
    Ever more yourself.
    I felt your words pass in flight
    Of how new you are
    Much as song of a hawk's flight
    No longer a fledgling
    Yet not yet a wizened old bird.
    There is nothing but the work of living
    Before your sore and journey-worn feet
    And you have trained well in fighting,
    In thinking, in loving.
    You are a coast away
    And in ceremony
    And you are looked upon with such adoration
    By those who surround you this day.
    I cannot see but I know-
    I cannot fully know yet truly feel-
    That transformation has had you
    And upon your return
    I will learn of this new being,
    And of this old one, in kind.
    I hold you and yours in this
    Exhilaration that accompanies
    The fool's journey to knowledge.
    We share that road
    E'en as we are bedazzled by differing vistas,
    It's the road, man,
    It's the road we travel.
    Progress well through this, your day,
    Know that my heart bears witness
    Through the wolf tracks
    Which ramble through these dense woods
    Of transcendent wisdom
    Where right now, for now,
    You become
    And become again.

    Right now, my best friend Joshua is in LA in the final ceremony required to progress to brown belt in a highly specialized form of Kenpo. I write this in honor of him, his work, and in how this process has completely rewritten the codes of his soul. I also salute his loyal wife and my deeply dear friend Robin, who is joining with him today in love and devotion at this, the culmination of their journey to California. I hold both of you right now, and know that I'm somewhere in that dojo, because I sure am feeling it here.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:50 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 12 August, 2005 }


    Just caught about five fleeting flashes of the Perseid meteors. I'm back up at 4am for a few more, maybe pics. Another reminder that we are truly cosmic bodies...

    jaybird found this for you @ 01:47 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 08 August, 2005 }

    pride in the being

    It's not about being queer,
    I think as I open the window
    And catch a few raindrops.
    It's about being a spirit,
    Some crazed bird driven by desire
    One that races the lavender of twilight
    Transfixed by the shadows
    Of the beloveds skipping
    Along the streets below.

    You just want to be connected,
    You want to fly
    On the breath of good words,
    That rise transcendant
    On the merits of their syllables.
    Can I dare utter the words
    "I am proud..."
    Without tripping over loose ends,
    Doubts dangling like the tatters
    Of the histories you wish you could forget.

    Yes, for God's sake,
    Dance with me, you vision,
    You prophecy made of skin and soul;
    I think often of meeting you
    But I won't wait...
    Rain doesn't wait to fall
    We just wait to notice.
    Shall I go mad over you? No.
    But entice me with whispers
    And I will fly a daredevil loopty-loop.

    Every now and then,
    I must think loudly about self,
    Particularily about a side of self
    As yet unmatched.
    The bird returns to the nest,
    The moon crouches on the horizon
    Then makes a mad dash toward tomorrow,
    Everything returns,
    And the world settles down in the end.
    Yet I am whole,
    And there is great mystery in understanding
    The insanity of love.


    {typo corrected --- thanks Cheryl in SAnta Barbara!}

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:01 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 07 August, 2005 }

    lammastide extemporaneous

    A moment ago,
    The weight of the rain
    Bowed the branch, full of fruit,
    To the ground.

    A moment ago,
    A young hawk, a redtail,
    Surprised us by perching so close
    With those eyes.

    A moment ago
    The last petals fell off the flower
    Leaving bright green fulfillment on the stem
    The work, complete.

    A phantom must've shut the door,
    Or maybe it was the wind,
    But all these events
    Harvests born of the
    Wet works of creation
    Are as sudden as a rogue gust.

    Such air stirs the exultant green spires
    Of trees, we sing old songs
    To them, eating bread
    With honey,
    Walking to the flowers
    Beaded with jewels of rain
    Impossible creatures shelter under leaves.

    The creek is bursting with the business of flowing
    And it babbles desire like pentecost
    I throw a red leaf in and
    It spins, dances,
    Like some thought tossed
    In deep hope for meaning or love
    The kind we think of when we're alone with everything.

    We are
    So full of
    Seeds, winging
    Ourselves onto any
    Path knowing that something
    Will eventually root and tendril out
    And we will become whole and authentic through
    Our curiosities that push through the soil of experience
    Wrapping around some stone of near-truth, and to thrive there.
    And so tonight as mountains revel in the wet work of creation,
    What blossom shall fall earthward, finished, bee-kissed
    Transformed by the labor of fruiting, of seeding
    Will I or anyone see its splash of color
    On the ground, a sygil of
    Life lived, within
    And without, we
    can't help

    A moment ago,
    I suddenly realized
    That last night's red wine
    Went untoasted.

    A moment ago
    I found a way with my
    Rainsoaked body to praise
    What's overlooked.

    A moment ago
    I stopped worrying whether
    These words were perfectly formed;
    That's what leaves
    ...and rain
    are for.

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:51 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 04 August, 2005 }

    meet at the common branch

    With a cupped hand raised
    With seeds to the wind,
    Await the bird that will perch
    And feed from your soul.

    The arm tingles
    And feathers bloom from skin
    And you have wings
    You know you always had song.

    The birdfeeder becomes the bird
    The eyes that watch the skies take to it
    The seed within becomes the seed sought
    And we transmute each other, flying.

    Ascendant, descendant, becoming is exchanged
    From a wing to a finger,
    A rumpled bed to a spiral nest,
    Emerge, emerge, fledglings, and meet at the common branch

    ...which begins as a root, and finishes as a dream.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:37 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 31 July, 2005 }

    poem 1 of 2 written on back of a receipt

    (A Tower of Bauble)

    It's a simulacra of starflight
    On a festival night, in a dance club,
    In the remotest possible corner,
    This perch for observing as a gull on the mast
    The waves of voices, the nebulous, the storm.

    The men are beautiful, the women powerful,
    There's a lover here for everyone,
    Even in stupidity, even in lust.
    Will the glitterball spin a name or a number
    Crumpled in hopeful scraps into my pocket?

    It doesn't matter much really,
    I've made it this far, I think,
    As I finish another unnecessary beer,
    And float into the dancing smoke ascending,
    This oracular cloud,
    Burnt and cheap offerings to the god of leisure.

    Somewhere in this mix,
    There's a lover that's somewhat close to heaven,
    And I must adore him even without holding him,
    This ideal, this diagram of perfect mornings
    And laughter-to-be,
    But there's so many of you,
    Too many would-be lovers...
    Let's stagger from this place
    And, at very least,
    Make a dashing try at catching one's shadow.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:05 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 24 July, 2005 }

    the clearing

    It's time to write.

    It's time to write
    With the boldness of the moon
    Of this walk tonight
    This overgrown footpath through a land of unresolved thought
    That leads, at last, to a clearing
    A fire ring and a few bottles
    Where tiny spiders live, undisturbed.

    What scraps of paper, or poetry, fuel this fire
    Seldom lit in the self-aware forest...
    Looks like a search for truth and meaning
    Fired the embers red,
    Then black in the morning.
    The quest is good for something.

    It's time to write
    Of this place,
    Wildflower bowed in reverence to the moon
    Where the self comes to see it's shadow
    In the flickering campfire, for evidence,
    To pass a moment when its being is substantial
    And to weave a silver nest from cicada song
    To rest the wounded and worn within.
    In the clearing, we must reckon,
    As syllables become sparks ascending
    While fireflies count their gods.

    It's time to write
    Of your history, of you, a person in this life
    An animate purpose guides your strident walking.
    What have you done
    That has altered the spin of this very place?
    Wavelets of you are everywhere
    And one must merely put a finger to the wind
    To know your mind.
    Yes you, in your wrinkled clothes and booked schedule
    Are spectral tonight...
    Could be evermore...
    For even the moth drawn to the light of the clearing
    Delights, as a mad monk, in your eyes.

    It's time to write
    Of the way you curse each morning you awake alone
    But forget the green of the leaves that flirt with the window,
    The purple spiral of datura, the awe of wind from the sun.
    No, you are held-
    No, you are made love to in your cloister-
    Your fevered love is not reserved for man
    But for the cosmic, the dew that pools mystic in the grass,
    For there, in the soil and the heart of sun,
    Does your passion find purchase
    And the world grows wild around you.
    What greater romance?
    He who awaits must know these things
    Before the fruit of human goodness can be harvested
    And you taste of it, at last.

    It's time to write
    In no uncertain terms, no vague wordplay,
    Of who you are and what you want,
    And what, indeed, drew you with such force to the clearing,
    For it was not some random meander
    But purposeful pathwork
    That got you here, with a pack of matches
    And a stack of prosaic letters for light.
    You've one beer in the knapsack and a whittling knife-
    Whatever can you do with that?
    Speak, even wordlessly.

    It's time to write
    Strongly, with conviction (even to nothingness)
    And commit your words to fire, fearlessly,
    Convert them to a moment's heat and light,
    Be real with them and make a burnt offering unto Something
    And overcome the idea that you're not really here.
    You're in the clearing, and it's as real as anything.
    Camp out, and awake in the morning to that floral light
    That entice the birds to concertos and storytelling.
    What's left to do after you've seen death so clearly
    And no beasts have chomped you to the last minute of night,
    For you're safe, you're here, it's now,
    And for the sake of all that is holy,
    You've written something (whoever you are)...

    It's time to use it.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:16 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 19 July, 2005 }

    dream report

    The clouds were strange and the sea was wild on the beach. I saw a silver cube floating high in the air, and I ran after it, thinking it to be a UFO. It shot a beam of sparks down to the sand, and running up to the place, I found a kid's type tape recorder with big, colorful buttons.

    I gave it to a haggard man on the street playing a double bass for spare change.

    jaybird found this for you @ 06:47 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 17 July, 2005 }

    radical self; the trick of truth

    To be radically the self
    In this unlikely, naked and star-born body
    And navigate, as some ancient sailor
    These channels and harbors of soul
    ...it is the damndest thing.

    Who thought this all up?
    Who daydreamed day lillies, night herons,
    And dueling with the shadow under the noonday sun?
    What warrior will smash the mirror
    To see Who is on the other side?

    I can say, with experience and conviction,
    That All This is thin, sheer,
    The most delicate thing to ever flap in the wind.
    I can say this because I was molecules away from losing it,
    Near dead but resurrected by mere chance on the banks of a river.

    Night, I swear my questions
    Are as legion as the family constellate,
    And between stars is black with void,
    That more likely thing that courses, skulking,
    Low to the ground but within every muscle.

    By the elixer on my lips, I pronounce, trembling,
    A desire to bring truth down from its pedestal so finely carved.
    The province of gods and creeping honeysuckle vine
    Dispels truth as surely as time feigns passing;
    When beauty is so proliferate, who needs some final word?

    Vision, you see, is made of billions of simultaneous transformations;
    It's a little alchemy if we could only see through the work
    That gives us a world, solid and sure,
    Where the was only an idea before, an inkling,
    As spontaneous as a haiku on that dinner napkin folded in your pocket.

    It's all subjective, and Reason is a bar floozy.
    I woke up this morning in the arms of the one, him,
    But he alighted as quickly as an alarm clock thinks.
    What I love and lack dances blithely as incantations of
    Knowledge and wisdom ricochet through Creation... I awake dumbfounded.

    If the stars are tonight's questions
    Than the answers must be the eyes I'll see tomorrow.
    You know, the ones that are real, and blink back,
    Who somehow dare to perceive some measure of fleeting truth in the world
    While I throw the book of philosophy, laughing, running, and embrace them.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:59 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 16 July, 2005 }

    one week on

    This time last week, I was a different person. Physically, atoms and molecules have been imported, exported, and realigned. What I mean more has to do with the soul, I think. I survived a glancing blow from death. What's more, I've dared to draw power from that utterly fortunate dance, trumping the trauma that still recurs with a sense of glad survival and wisdom in the waters. Perhaps my own internal river has eddies and hydraulics which catch me at times... can I survive myself?

    This week, the would've and could'ves have dissipated as the reality of Saturday seemed increasingly incontrovertible. This is good, as we can't reverse engineer these events. What can be rewritten is the mind's response. Since Saturday, the flashbacks have lessened in intensity, but are weird in their appearance. Tuesday I went back to work, and was triggered by the color of a post-it note. Another day, the sound of my car's engine sounded too much like the water rushing around my head. Two stupid movies I took in for thoughtless relief both featured people drowning in a car. My therapist pressed on my chest as I tried to breathe. All of these things put me back in that eddy, but I have awareness that I am not really there, and this helps.

    Things I might have missed stand out more... the bow of a branch, the flavor of my Saturday omelet, the smile of my dreaming cat. So clear. This is how the void is improbably and temporarily evaded on this sphere, by these slight apparitions of grace and grateful texture. I could have lost this last week, but I've instead gained these things, these deeper appreciations. Vibrant and real. I was never ready, and the Universe had never really intended for my would-be disembodiment seven days ago. But it brought me close enough to remind me that, despite the cliche of it, nothing should ever be taken for granted. Assumption is no blank check for life, and is worthless at the bank. Immediate experience, raw living and open presence outweigh forecasts, models and predictions.

    From that eddy, I may have emerged anew, without knowing, in shock and hypothermic. But it's a start. We don't come into this life singing zippity-doo-dah, we wail and cry. One doesn't emerge from near-drowning smoking a cigar and tapping like Fred Astaire. The whorl, the churn left me confused, shuddering and broken.The brokenness allows me to be filled with the new, and my vision of that day was filled after my rescue by the thankfulness of colors and brightness of eyes.

    There... the moment is passing. I slipped in around 1:00. It's not easy at all to think of, my mind dizzies as one week on, I'm lost for a minute to that green and white water. I'm here now, I'm nowhere near that spot, but the body remembers the moment. But I'm here. I made it. Rescued. The borderland between life and death breached, but mostly unscathed I retreat and run for the homeland, into a throng of hands also alive, also survivors, also known to love.

    The process of my healing will continue, but of greater import is the process of my growth from the experience. The two are twins, tethered with a fabric of wisdom, which also can be used as a lifeline thrown to those caught in the current. Yes, I nearly died, but greater would be the regret if I'd nearly lived. On this vivid day, I thrive, and seek to disavow merely existing. Indeed, this time a week ago, I was alive.

    That is what must matter more.


    Thanks to all of my friends, family, and those unknown to me who have shown such incredible support this week. I'm truly amazed, truly thankful.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:10 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 12 July, 2005 }

    doing the work of living

    Integrating to change takes time, and time is a fickle beast. Hardly constant, even jitterbugging in and out of awareness, time enjoys confusing our valiant efforts. Yet I must, as I did on Saturday, surrender to its flow, and depend upon being jettisoned, saved, upon a rock of resolution.

    Today, I had some strong flashbacks of the near-death experience, and also realized that there are so many things that keep us in continual near-life experiences. Fear, in all its subtle and crude forms, is one of those things. I can now comprehend via a gradual desensitization that water can again be my ally, raging and spiraling along stone, lapping whimsically upon starlit shores, channeling down my throat and into my own river. I've had so much support, so many warm and caring faces, and so much wisdom imparted that I'm a bit overwhelmed. To that I say yes, and thank you.

    The work of living is now what's to be done. I can gaze long into that mirror of near-death, but that hypnotic stare could easily distract from the simple and sure continuous stream of life that pours all around. Death by degrees is fascinating, and the fact that it damn near had me is such a revelation to the soul. Yet this gift must now be integrated. I must turn it and study it and determine, bit by bit, exactly how it fits into the archeology of me. In good moments, I can handle it painlessly. I know that times will come that this gift will hurt like hell to hold, will blind and deafen. That's mostly what it has done so far. My tolerance grows, though, through my desire to understand it.

    Today was hard, in parts... triggered by color, sound or word, I'm in the eddy again. In other parts, alternate ticks of the clock, this trinity of body mind and soul took on the challenge to grow and grapple with the charge of near-death. It wavers, yet trends toward transformation over obliteration. This gift, so dark and chaotic, is a power along my way, it churns in the potential to heal even in the horror of that moment. Chinese food, a good song, the cats... these all are sign posts in a way that affirms existence, that improbable and delicate thing. Today, I savor them. I savor this. I savor you.

    Knowing that all the trauma is not gone is important, and that no one is a perfect warrior in the face of death, is vital to beginning... and we all begin every minute, every nanosecond in a new movement where being can be reconfigured in any way at all. I'm grateful for the opportunity to do this kind of Work, in spite of the gravity of its course and the force of manifesting.

    Thank again, friends, for your support. This really, truly means a lot. May it continue to be so, in doing the work of living.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:35 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 11 July, 2005 }

    returning to the world

    Today, I've slept quite a bit. I've only spoken to the cats, and I have watched through these windows countless dances of leaf on wind. Studying the gray sky for signs of hereafter, a flock of crows sweep their broad black wings across the clouds, and take refuge in a pear tree.

    Time does heal, and give perspective, and the power of the gift of near-death is not sublimated, only transformed by it. My soul seeks to align with it in the greatest usefulness, and by watching the windblown leaves, I am made empty, receptive, to the teaching. I am weary, but only from the energy spent on confronting what, I've learned, is still not entirely formed. Death is not some static figure, and a glancing blow from it such as I've received imparts such a transformative wound.

    I anticipate, with great care, getting close to such rapid and chaotic waters, but I will need more emptiness first. I must re-approach the froth with a new concept of it, for the elements I once knew are different now. Water, my ally, almost became my destroyer. Air, with whom I've had a fairly complacent relationship with became my hero. I must reconcile all of these, in spite of the trauma, to become again one and the same constituents of all life, all death, all creation, all destruction.

    My body strengthens, my mind sharpens, my soul empties itself of waterlog and prepares again to grow and fathom even more terrifying encounters with totality; I know they will come simply because I cannot live without dodging death's rapier. Yet I needn't be consumed by it, or live in fear. In fact, virtue got me into this mess... courageous service to a friend. I would do the same for a stranger. I will continue to fortify myself to face whatever peril may come my way when in service, or out of the blue.

    I return now, with tender footing, to the world... dried from the torrent, back from the brink.

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:34 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 10 July, 2005 }

    reckoning with the gift

    I am struggling in the eddy
    All I can see are shades of green
    And the opaque sky through the bubbling turbulent storm
    That shakes my body
    Takes my breath.

    I am about to drown.

    "This is not how the story ends."

    At the surface
    Air and water enter my mouth
    I hear yelling
    Catch hints of faces
    Damn it, I want to live
    But I don't think I can hold on.

    Time to let go, Jay.

    "This is not how the story ends."

    I slip below again
    My body, limp and cold,
    My lungs bursting to exhale
    Spinning out of control
    I feel all you good people
    Maybe that's permission,
    Or maybe that's something to fight for.

    "This is not how the story ends."

    Darkening and quickening
    I see shapes, a mandala
    Opening up before me, a spell
    I brace my soul against itself
    As I prepare to open my mouth
    And die in the Horsepasture River.

    "This is not how the story ends."

    Shot to the bottom, darkness
    Then the surface, a rock
    I hold it and breathe hard
    Air... enter this gray and blue body
    People on the shore rush to carry
    A nurse named Roseanna tells me I'm alive
    And I remember,

    "This is not how the story ends."

    I do not know where that voice came from, as I was tossed about in horror in that eddy, but it was right... though I was certainly inches, seconds away from crossing into mystery. Was it the randomness of the current, that torrent, that saved me? Was it the will to not die on Saturday, July 9th, 2005? Was it some strange virtue of eliminating my struggle and thereby preventing others from trying to rescue me, perhaps meeting the same? Was it some other Thing, some holy rearrangement of the fates that tossed me upward to light at the very moment I prepared myself to fill my lungs with that cold water?

    (Drinking a glass of water seems to bring back the memory, and I quiver, slightly)

    These are the questions which wrap themselves, like bows, around this horrible gift. I tremble and cry in remembering it, and writing these words do not come easy. But I must reckon with and understand the nature of this gift. My friends and I are alive today, but only after great trial. Shades of green, dark below, light above, swirling breathlessly and so cold... it repeats like some mantra of terror. I shudder in the presence of this mass of memory, this envoy of the Very Brink. Damn it, I was only trying to help and nearly died. It doesn't make much sense, it evades logic and taunts any sort of reason. Yet the Universe seems to exist beyond reason, or a human overlay of karmic justice. It could've consumed me if I were trying to rescue any stripe of being in peril, it wouldn't give a hoot.

    Perhaps, however, some play of fate or Gods did give a lofty hoot and saw to it that I continue to experience life on Earth, for now. What, I boldly ask, then? My name persists for another day... in that day, need I formulate some sort of a cosmic rationale which explains why my body was prevented, just barely, from drowning? To Whom must I attribute my thanks? Whitman might say the Self, itself. Rumi might say the heart of the Beloved, brimming with love as a chalice with wine. Friends might conjecture about unfinished work, and my own bedeviled tenacity. But, O Mighty Gods, this is my work, my gift to open, in all its terror. My own mortality. Nearly dead. Yet oh so suddenly alive! ALIVE!

    (In my dreams, I rise barely awake from spiralling, glittering spindrift, looking downright galactic)

    This morning, after a sleep interrupted by gasps for breath, the sun felt so good on my legs, breeze on my face, dew on the pine. All I see is either living or dead, but even death takes such wondrous forms... the skeletal branches of a tree, the light of long-lost stars, the shed skin of a locust, still clinging to an opportune twig. It looks so easy, but in that battle I fought hard against it, almost surrendering to that stiff and frozen form. Somehow, I emerged, carried to the rocky shore, to let that very water that nearly took me glisten brightly and and flow in its beauteous way and innate innocence across my ashen and heaving chest. That water in the eddy, it didn't mean to almost kill me. It was just doing what it always does, but this time a human got stuck there while trying to be of service. Alas, said the water, as it dripped to the ground. Alas.

    Now I lay me down to sleep. I will let darkness take me, voluntarily, and I will ask for good dreams. I have done this same thing, more or less, for 11,915 nights, and managed to rise every morning alive, in spite of great odds. Life is so contrary to probability, as far as we can understand it. To be at all runs astoundingly afoul of so many odds. Yet, I'm here, and am all in a tizzy over nearly drowning. Perhaps death is simply a reckoning, a rebalancing of odds. Perhaps life is knowing how to play your hand, bluff, and bet wisely before you either break the bank or fold. That's so simplistic, so materialistic. It would appear to be far more than that. "Life is wide," my friend Virginia affirmed today outside the grocery store. It's a graceful way of saying that it is so damn vast that we can't see where it begins and where it ends, only the valley road ahead, in all it's curvaceous and careening wildness. We lose sight of it among the trees and rain-swollen rivers.

    (There are moments where I feel calm and peaceful, and am jolted by the question: should I feel this way right now?)

    Someday before the year is out, I plan to revisit the Horsepasture River and Turtleback Falls. I plan to bless it, and thank it with respect as deep as it is for this horrible gift, with its many shades of green and cold, pressing currents of memory. By then, I will have made far more sense of it than I can right now, only one day past its rushing onslaught. I cannot say whether the story will end between now and then, but I know I wasn't meant to go yesterday to that ultimate place of mystery which can't ever be seen on the horizon. I'll toss in a stone, or maybe some folded prayer, and will trail my finger along the surface, so carefully.

    Respect is deep, life is wide, and mystery spins in countless eddies all around. And yet "this is not how the story ends."

    To Kim, Tree, Kate, Ethan, Adam and Christine.

    Thank God we are all safe... and alive!


  • glad to know you've survived, miracles do occur! we are delighted to have found you... uptown ruler

  • Wow, glad to hear you're still alive after that close call! I'm grateful to you for all the wonderful stuff you've posted so its good to know you can keep inspiring your readers. Thanks for your good work, and thanks for fighting so hard to stay with us... satwa

  • The poem is wonderful. I'm sure that alone is going to help the healing process. It's quite difficult to read what you've been through, I can only imagine having experienced it, and very glad I didn't have to... Cyndy

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:15 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 09 July, 2005 }

    on being alive

    This is going to take some time to process... I almost died today. I was seconds away from drowning in an eddy that kept pulling me under. But I'm here, now, typing these words with a slightly rattled head, a sore shoulder, and a waterlogged body. Damn. I was unlucky to have the experience but lucky beyond conception that I'm still among the living. Life is a far more fragile thing than I'd ever realized.

    My friend Kim was caught in the current, and we'd thrown her a rope. I reached in to grab her and pull her to shore, when I slipped on the slick rock and was tossed into the current. I went over a small cascade and was swept into an eddy, which kept me underwater and tossed me around like a ragdoll. I was very cold and coming up for air was utterly random and infrequent. As the eddy spun me further and further underwater, I was losing my air and strength, and I really thought that this was how I'd die. Everyone I love flashed though my mind, and I began to see strange, mandala like shapes. My body gave up and I stopped trying to swim, and the eddy spun me around again, this time going far deeper and under rock. I was preparing to open my mouth and drown, as it seemed there was no other option. Don't get me wrong, though, I was not at peace with that decision.

    One final blast spit me back out into the river. Limp, I surfaced and barely grabbed hold of a rock, apparently gray-skinned and blue-lipped. I don't remember much of my rescue, but folks attracted to my friends' screaming had formed a chain, and they managed to pull me off the rock and back onto the shore. I was immobile, essentially in shock and probably experiencing a little hypothermia. Two nurses just happened to be hiking nearby and helped to stabilize me. Even if I had drowned, they would've been there and could have performed CPR. So, perhaps I could have made it either way. Who in the Great Scheme of Things knows?

    It took considerable time before I could walk with confidence. All I could muster for a while was crying and thanking my friends profusely, with what few words I could utter in my disorientation. I didn't realize it at the time but I also banged my head, though I don't think I have a concussion. Kim badly sprained her thumb, Ethan took a gash on the chin. Tree, Kate, Adam and Christine were shaken. But damnit, we're alive.

    I'm alive... and after getting over the shock I was overwhelmed with gratitude for simply having a body, and being alive to experience everything I possibly can, even near death. It reinforced how silly it is for us to lose sight of our humanity, and especially to remember every day how special and improbable all this is. Losing that, we get caught up in mediocrity and laughing in a cavalier way at danger... never again for me. It's pretty elementary school on a spiritual level, but it must take an event like this to help us recall the lessons so easily forgotten over the years.

    Now I must ask "what to do with this?" How will this experience shape me? Right now, I'm really quite traumatized by it, having vivid flashbacks and needing major reassurance that I can breathe and be safe for tonight. I've got friends on standby and hope that I'll not have to call. Whoever is reading this (I normally don't ask for things like this), take a sec and send some vibes this way. I need to feel the people in my life right now, to know that they're there and I'm safe.

    So, to whatever being out there who creates awareness within us of our life and our world, thank you. Thank you for this and for gifting me with more of it. I wasn't ready today. I have a few more things to do, and I ask the reaper to steer clear for the moment. I cheated death today, and will do everything in my power to prevent its shadow from overtaking me, in thought or body until my work is truly done here.

    I'm alive... I'm alive... I'm ALIVE.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:32 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 07 July, 2005 }

    via administrativa

    Hola, friends. Due to massive amounts of spam and not enough time to reconfigure MT-Blacklist, comments are disabled for the time being. I think I may have a better option on the horizon, anyway.

    Just set up a wifi network for the house. My neighbors are going to invest in a bit of net access, which will reduce costs. Wunderbar.

    On a serious note, both my father and grandmother were in the hospital this weekend for pneumonia. My father has emerged with a few new diagnoses, but by grandmother hs been transferred to a rehab facility. That's all I know at this time, and it was a bit of a shock and a step back. I'm going to make an emergency trip up north in the next few weeks to see her, and loyal readers' support is always welcome.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:25 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 04 July, 2005 }

    Travel Journal: Folly Beach, South Carolina

    It's positively jungle. I am swimming in air and my sweat might be Amazon dew. All the creatures of the night writhe where my eyes can't peer; there is a night-swarming of slick beings who profess dark music with their strange organs. The tent went up with little trouble, though I'll laugh at the job when I can actually see it. The stars are tipsy in the heat, and my flashlight gives only an idea of illumination. Just like a religion. I cannot be a night creature so I must surrender to the diminishing of human vision and stumble about while the Earth turns its back to Sun to see for itself the vastness, yet another whirl in its ceaseless dance.

    I rest in this thick air tonight. I've come for the sake of Sacred Folly, and to behold it I shall sweat out the dark and await sultry, salty dreams.

    (30 June, Primitive Area)

    Morning. I'm watching a dragonfly decide where to survey the next minute, and wonder if it actually thinks 'Whereupon shall I alight?' Sweat. I sweat with all these wonderful creatures, most of which were biblically smitten. Psalms somewhere incites us to 'rebuke the beasts of the wild reeds.' Pshaw. This is the province of the giant moth, the dexterous toad, the blue-tailed skink, which skulks about as a fox, and these are true scripture. My tea is perfect, as if I needed anything hot to drink. I'll run a few logistical errands, and make great haste to the sea. There, I'll truly dissolve into the romance of sand and wave, particle and flux, the lust of the sailor and the physicist.

    Evening. I've just toasted those hoary, heroic old gods with warm wine in this dark tent. The ocean and I ran away with each other today, she kissed me all over and despite my predilections, I didn't resist or hold back, for it's not often that one can cavort so sensually with an elemental of such varied forces. She sent forth such a fabulous party; dolphin, pelican, crustaceans of a million kinds, and endless names of the wild. We had a grand time, and I continually delight in the ample metaphor of sand. Perhaps we play with it so childlike because it's the closest thing we can come to sculpting atoms raw. And when we dig and dig, we hope for the abyss that lies beyond all molecular bonds. I'm thirty-two but could've been eight in those waves. Perhaps even transformed to that younger frame who knew such passion at the beach. It was an inkling of what I know now; such margins are the stage where we are in theatre with the Divine.

    A little girl asked me as I walked to meet the dolphins, 'what are you doing?' All I could do was smile, as she doesn't know that I continually must ask myself the same query. It framed my walk there' what am I doing today? What I am doing, of course.

    A little boy who was digging a hole turned to me in great joy to say, 'it's finally going away!' Yes, the tide recedes for now, and to the good of your purposes. But it will surely come to swamp us all, eventually, and we can await with nothing more than holy emptiness for that raging swell.

    I did take in a mindless movie in hope for a cool place, but it was warm, barely hot. Enough to stop time in an illusory way. I received a message, upon the drive back to camp, that my father is in the hospital with pneumonia and fluid around the heart. I called and he was feisty and, as usual, diminutive of my concern. Alas, but not alack. The man has vexed me, both parents have, but that has only helped to write my story. I am choiceless but to acknowledge, with gratitude, their presence which daily abides. More wine to them!

    It's time to slip into quiet now, though the children nearby still intone their wants and needs by shadow of citronella candle, in that sing-songy inflection that, like birdsong, marks it's turf and spills out in wonder of the self.

    (July 1, Primitive Area)

    Morning. Slipping into quiet, so easily written, did not easily happen. I had wondered whether the flashes of light on the horizon were lightening bolts or fireworks, and by the Great Law of Murphy it was indeed the former. I had hoped to wait it out, but there was some sort of waterproofing flaw in the tent and soon, random drops began to wet the interior. In a hasty decision, I bundled all of my clothes and other water retaining items and made for the car. The backseat, for future reference, does not make the best of beds.

    I awoke again in the faint grey light of early morning, and, halleluiah, the great storm was over. The inside was only barely wet and easy to crawl back into, so I resumed sleep, and regained myself later with the usual chorus of loud children, whose sing-songy statements of need had by now turned into a screaming torrent of high-pitched demands. Dogs yelped incessantly, and in this soggy after-storm world I have out into question my remaining days. 'What are you doing here?'

    What, indeed. I think I may be a little let down by the lack of company which, only a few days ago, had been promised. I cannot deny loneliness, nor a strong need to overcome it, be it with affirming my known commodity of friendship, or a strength inside, a resilient self-reliance, that must burst up through the crust of weariness. Thank all Gods that, despite the unknowns, I can be assured of beauty everywhere in sight, curving along the ocean's horizon and in every green leaf what radiates so purely in this light.

    Evening. I found myself, perhaps stuck in some sort of silly analogy, at the other end of Folly, to a place I'd never been before. I rounded bend after bend of beach, until I finally found one of my quarry; the Lighthouse. I'd seen it for years only from a distance, and it appeared so ancient, as if some Grecian artist had sculpted it directly from mythic stone a millennia ago. The distance between it and I was minor in swimming terms, but I could see strong current. The question of my backpack was another question, which ultimately, and begrudgingly, left me on the other side of the channel. Still, I stood in awe of its stand against darkness, rough seas, and time. Seen: a child had caught a three foot shark, and the best I could remark was that it was an obvious sign of what lay beneath the surface' a girl's phone number on the back of a receipt for a Jagermeister, Jello-shots, and a Killian's' a shell so gloriously opalescent that I almost fell in.

    I made for Charleston, and spent a few minutes getting the news on my father and connecting with my mother. The beach meant so much to all three of us, and it seemed about right.

    Dinner was fine, and I wrote a half-baked poem called No Lament for the Lone Traveler. I wandered around the old city, barefoot on cobblestone, running my fingers through fountains and becoming hypnotic with intoxicating forms. I toyed with a visit to the theoretically-gay bar, but doubled back for the tent. I'm quite literally too chafed to risk a chance encounter with some golden Cariopolan god, and now am spread eagled on the air mattress to air out my pained nethers. This scene is played out mere feet away from a tent of jocks that 'dude' each other every three minutes. Dude.

    I found today that freedom, the kind I'd like to emulate, comes with no strings attached. I must let fly, radically and utterly free. My longing for companionship tied a string to my freedom. This is my time, time to think and introspect. Fireworks. What matters now is that I do for me, none but. Should that include another human, fine, but being strong in the center means that I must allow the me bowed in subservience to artifice to rise up, and call what's real real. It's a little bravado for a lot of freedom.

    (2 July, Primitive Area)

    Morning. Finally, a peaceful night's sleep. The tea's on, and I'm trying not to make plans. Thankfully, this trip has been dictated by my own whims rather than any real pressures to do this or that. I don't know what I'm going to do today, maybe another amble through C'town, maybe an aimless exploration between here and there. Who knows? Not I, said the goose. My allergies are causing me to tear. It's amazing just how many organs we have, and all the uses for them, including crossover reactions. We are more adequately suited to this world than we care to know.


    It's the next day, and I'm home now, sunburned to medium-well and spraying myself every few minutes with aloe. I spent the day at the beach, exploring the margins of low-tide, watching a small shark stalk the shoreline, sinking in mud as I observe the teeming crabs skitter along in some unknown commerce. With childlike glee, I floundered pointlessly in the ocean, and placed my chair in the surf and allowed the ocean to slowly envelop me, and knock me down. I realized, after dragging my chair from the breakers, that with a painful sunburn and dark clouds impinging on the coastline, that I really ought to call it a vacation and head for the mountains. In a blink, through the dark and the rain, I'm here.

    If it weren't for the sand in the car and my rather painfully flamb'ed chest, it would be hard to tell that I actually went anywhere. Yet, I've been to the borderland which shall always stir the human heart and the lust for adventure, and deeply bowed honor to the mystery... the ocean.

    jaybird found this for you @ 14:51 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 01 July, 2005 }

    Last entry: Travel Journal, South America

    I write from the plane, from Arequipa in fact. The landscape outside this city which I will not visit looked like so many crumpled clothes, silks and things tossed to the floor, wrinkled. It could have been Mars. This morning was a dreamlike haze, last minute packing, scrambling for a last-minute glimpse of the exotic. I just looked away, and so did the sun' Hitchless, we breezed to the airport in Juliaca. I gave the cook at the hotel my bag of coca leaves before I left, and it seemed to mean a lot to her. We parted with many things, in fact, and I hope to have left behind a part of myself there, in the high plains or on the lake, to go back through time and visit. There, the mountains by the airport are awash in pink, and that tickles something inside. How wonderful to be out of context for so long, reading the folds of the land like a language, a cipher. America, you beast. You are close to eating me up again. It was with such pleasure that I let you spit me out. Not, I must reenter your manic maze. Ah, but the moon, it smiles, thin as a whisp, and reminds me that I belong to no nation, and that place needn't contain my name' all of us are written in starlight, across time.

    That is an adventure' being, existing, migrating for the sake of it. When I was a child, I did things because I wanted to, and could. It was striking out in the world, proving to the self that one can make footprints, boldly or meekly, upon the forest floor or the schoolyard. Adventure means acting in tandem with risk, and life, true life, necessitates and demands that risks be taken. A condor, soaring free, risks a downward spiral to seize its prey, or even the day. It is risky to declare that this tastes like pineapple, but we do it anyway, as the consequences are slight. To step into another culture, far from home, where words fly on foreign wings' is it the same thing as declaring a pineapple a pineapple? Perhaps. It's all on a scale relative to the extent that one pushes life. I dare to step into the barrios, puzzled, unsure, and the pineapple is all relative.

    Over Arequipa: The turbulence is a bit too much to write. Little cities below don't provide a clue. It's an adventure on high, and you just want to ask 'what is having control?' An adventurous query'

    Lima: We wound through the byzantine streets to the last hotel. That feels so good to say. The last hotel. This business of sterility, anonymity, and luxury feels so silly, and wasted on me, who has done well in rustic climes. This trip has made twisted me slightly; in such destitute areas, such a need for a hot shower in the morning. I think it's western thinking, such a virus of comfort. Driving through Lima and seeing all the logos (minus the Logos) of the American culture rising high above the skyline like a conquistador flag is enough to make one think deeply about what it means to be a nationality. As I've said before, I refute that role for me, and strongly. We should really only hoist our own flags now, and if we must set alight a symbol of our collective belief, let it be those symbols of surety; a galaxy, an ocean wave, a bird feather.

    (10 June, Lima- final day in Peru)

    Onboard the vessel that will carry me to familiar unfamiliarity. The morning started around 4am, and from now it's over 14 hours until my feet kiss the ground of the mountains I've come to know, replete with culture I haven't fully absorbed or understood. There is a dire need to cease thinking on daily terms' I must live with the ideal that each day is literally a holiday in paradise, but we must have the intention to completely and thoroughly document and celebrate our individual trip. I cannot exist in isolated blocks of day, day, day. It must be a fluid movement, so as to preserve my life as a flowing, organic flight rather than a slow ticking of a clock which will gray me and limpen me as I age.

    Goodbye, Peru. As we leave Lima, haze gives way to a sea of cloud, with brave mountains soaring above the plain of white, as if there were just a soft snow. There are rivers and channels in the cloud, unnamed, temporal, only as old as the morning's wind. And so it goes, so goes South America, that utterly vivid continent, that story as ruffled as a dancer's dress. Left on the ground are the living stories of magic by proxy, of the sick boy in the body of bread, being sung over by the riverside, but I, as always, will endeavor to remember, daily, as in a mantra. Those rivers have flowed through me, albeit minutely, and it will take time for every South American molecule to leave, if ever. In fact, please don't, please stay with my bones, abide in the dark unknown of my body; you'll see what I can't.

    Blue and white' I've seen those colors before. Was it a flag, or a flower? Was it a ribald river, and the white of awed eyes? More mountains above clouds. What's peculiar is that, from the ground, the mountain disappears, from up here, appears. A sorcery of perspective, and a living metaphor for seeing. These brief forms are to me just a flashing of a single page of a topographical hagiography. I know nothing of these forms, I don't know where I am. I pick a random spot with my eye and wonder what life is like right there (.) how much I'd need to know to live there, and what customs form the theatrical embodiments of the landscape. Peek-a-boo, I can only see so much of you, inches to the mile.

    Fade to white, the curtains drawn, and we cross the equator. Words spoken and thought stretch across the sky like ribbons, previously the province of only shamans and dreamers, now we all do it with tickets instead of elixirs and pouch-kept powders. All I see out the window is white, a void of un-split color, and somewhere below, a woman tends her soil with knuckles like ridges, a young boy plays in the water, and a bird takes first flight. All I can do to see it is think it, to be it for a moment, to leave these clothes at 30,000 feet and exist through someone speculative I don't and can't know. Where am I? Is this a planet or bottled gas? Did I just go on pilgrimage or did I tap-dance half-assedly across a brightly colored tourist map? Why go anywhere when the mind contains not just multitudes, but the ultimate, the everything, the nothing? Perhaps to further train the soul to encompass more and more, to perfect the sublingual imagination which dwells beneath the eye, unseen but ever so active.


    Here it comes, America. To borrow from Heinlein, here comes the stranger into the strange land. I return washed of convention, and I will scrutinize well.



    Who threw paint across the sky? If I were blind, or deaf, would the sunset mean the same thing as it does now? Even more? Could I taste or touch it through the glass? Would a single ray smell of freshly cut orange, or sulphur? Are clouds mere lace, or alpaca wool? I'd like to wear this sunset, be extravagant in it, and with the condor's example, be utterly free? Will this celestial fleece help dissolve awkwardness, or will I burn to a cinder, in a flash through total radiance? Such ardor' how fantastically streaked by lightening.

    Oh, even over this troubled nation, creation gets loose, laughs, and drinks a fruit froth in a coconut glass, umbrella'd and libertine! Indeed, oh star, make the nation exalt you! Let us wail and dance, and cease the madness of human-made gods, for the ones which are clearest are the ones we haven't made. Let the missionaries cease clusterfucking over despair, and instead perceive the moment, the now, where the infinite stalks, like a shadow riddled with stars.

    The end.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:00 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 30 June, 2005 }

    Take A Notion for Ocean


    I'm presently driving for Folly Beach, just south of Charleston, SC, for a few days of utterly free and unrestrained heaven. The website will be on autopilot as I stop caring what day or time it is, and my heart sets the agenda. Bliss... even in utter imperfection and in lack of expectation... bliss. While Peru was wonderful adventure, this is vacation.

    The graphic above is Folly Point, where I've seen dolphins dance and stars do the merengue. I'd love it if you'd picture yourself here, too. Let this stunningly beautiful place be in your dreams, and I'll look to meeting you there.

    Here to sand 'tween the toes,

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:04 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 28 June, 2005 }

    Travel Journal: South America

    I awoke to being awake, as I was most of the night. While I was excited about the day's itinerary, I was beholden to a mood besotted by a rootless weariness. The lake, so azure, transformed that. Big water has a mysterious way in its flow to soften the stones we carry within, for flow is about the only real law. Its molecules contain a key, which upon ingress opens floodgates.

    Stepping onto one of the 28 Uros islands, I slid back to my early years, playing among the reeds of the Delaware River. These are familiar margins. There used to be less than 28 islands, but after a dispute some islanders literally tore themselves asunder, to drift as a smaller island, hacking their homeland with a saw. Yet these people have made a permanent home upon the reeds, floating atop tides and currents, this is no memory like water's memory. This is their sanctuary; it floats, and is mutable. They must be content with ripples, waves. Unfortunately, the missionaries got to them' the lives we see now may just be a shell, a show, while they are held in the strings of an alien god. We boated along the reeds, on a solid vessel made of the same. It was utterly quiet, as a little boy dragged his finger along the water.

    The motor boat picked us up and we began the two hour trek to Taquile island, out in the open water. I stayed atop the boat most of the time, breathing in the blue and optical illusions played with distant islands, bending their shorelines, bobbing beads on the deep. I savored the slow ride, and the bit of chop. Along the way, families were out in their row boats, fishing, and there was no indication in this scene that this was the twenty-first century.

    The island loomed, or wove, before us for what seemed an eternity. We trekked up to a path that local villagers take to circumnavigate the small island, still clinging to gender-bending traditions of men knitting and women plowing. It was steep, but easy. And I made a discovery about the capabilities of my body versus the capabilities I perceive my body to have; I can do what I want. I have freedom. I make-believe that I can't do. But I scaled Taquile with little effort. Alas, a discovery to note.

    We stumbled upon a poor family, and our guide gave them bread. They invited us to watch the matriarch, Lucia, weave. With her sharpened llama bone, she deftly an minutely managed a pattern coming right from ancestral memory. She offered to show other weavings, not really, it seemed, having hope that they would sell. My eyes immediately alighted upon a coca leaf bag made by her daughter Juana Cruz Wata, and I bought it for 30 soles. This combined with a scarf that Terry bought gave the family 70 soles more than what they had expected to come out of the sky that Thursday afternoon, and being very poor it made a world of difference to them. That was far more a motivation for me than the coca bag, to see lights behind the eyes well up in thanksgiving.

    The island lives on in a sea of liquid emerald. The ways of life have only slightly been changed by tourism and modernity. The stone gateways are gravity-defiant and bold corridors between this world and that. I love it there, and hope to be able to go back when I need it. Taquile could be a mantra for peacefulness, openness, perspective. May it be so.

    The boat ride back was harmonious. I laid out atop the boat in the sun, and let the choppy waters rock me into deep-cocooning, metamorphic thinking, or non-thinking. A boat in trouble hailed us, and we swung around to latch the two boats together for a slow, conjoined ride to the boundary of reeds, where we loosed the mostly happy crowd and literally, made course for a dramatic yellow sunset.

    Dinner at the same queer restaurant as last night, and I enjoyed the wittedness the beers gave my tongue. In dreams: hasids and rabbis cock-fighting in the street, worms going in circles, black veiled women pronouncing undecipherable secrets.

    (9 June, last full day in Puno)

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    { Sunday, 26 June, 2005 }

    swim radiant in the black water of summer night

    To be honest with one's feelings,
    With one's own perception,
    Is a daredevil feat-
    For what is found there when the eye
    Is seeking after truth, truthfully,
    Can be utterly terrifying.

    But for tonight,
    I'll settle for this poor man's cocktail
    And a view of the city at night,
    Buzzing positively with so many strident walks
    So many proud conversations
    And maybe the lucky will make love tonight.

    We get so afraid in our chatter
    To get 'too deep'
    For that's where the monsters stalk
    And they feed on our broken logic
    Sinking to the muck, our jettisoned tragedies,
    Where our truths could not come together.

    But damnit, I want to ride the back of that beast
    Through the blackwater of which the outcasts drink
    And fish, hopeful for a nibble.
    What I want to share with you is only a jumble of words,
    And how harmless can that be?
    We sharpen swords but words are only as deadly as we hear them.

    And these are dulled by the sun,
    Such slick blades are night-things.

    Day-lilies are so placid in this night June breeze
    Won't you marvel with them for a moment
    As, like some earthen choir, they line the road,
    And wave me home, the city recedes,
    And out the window I toss a streamer of longing
    To float to earth in that sweet air.

    No, there's no magnum opus tonight
    Just a few words written from the quiver of heart muscle
    Faint ripples, trembling leaves,
    Invisible friends which come close when eyes shutter,
    And somewhere, the sun goes down
    And another conversation about yearning
    Is carried on between a loner and the stars.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:56 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 25 June, 2005 }

    Travel Journal: South America

    My free day. Of course, I thought much of Condor, who is utterly free and powerful. How can I be that? I wandered up to the lake, walking alongside rubble and trash, where I felt very fortunate to be the only foreigner in sight. There were no preserved temples, no well-swept streets, only people living as they normally live, beyond the unquiet throngs longing for more curiosity. Only dust-devils, dogs and old women picking through refuse, the raw scent of poverty's daily life, and momentary stories of the everyday populate that boulevard. And I, having last night been filled with stars, got to see this, I have that dust on my shoes. Viracocha and the old gods are as much alive here as they are in the museums and guarded sanctuaries, and why not? They are not some mere temporal idea that wander only in the photogenic, they must be here, in the stink and scrape of the city as well. Gods do not die, they only lurk, waiting to be noticed again. And these people remember, despite the cross and the hourly bells to salvation. Salvation is lakeside, where the mud bricks are dried and where the old woman finds fifty centavo on the street. May it be so.

    Memorable: from the fruit stalls near the wharf, a radio was declaring clearly that it was 'A Beautiful Day' by U2. Dinner at the ostensibly queer-friendly Inka Palace, with a familiar sashay and dancers rehearsing. Wandering through the market, I recall what our supermarket is like' this is more alive. This is more real. This is how people get by. This is today.

    (8 June, Sleepless night, Puno)

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    { Thursday, 23 June, 2005 }

    Travel Journal: South America

    Chucuito in the morning' a taxi ride a half hour out of the city to a dirty lot across from a church with about a hundred phalli either rammed into the female earth or pointing upward to the male sun. Come down and play, sun-god. I rubbed a well-worn stone penis for good luck, and a spiritual ray of chicha and quinoa shot out, raining lavender in the sky. Oh, the sweet breeze of the lake, the spirits enticed'

    We walked along Puno's wharf, as the boats gently rocked in the algae-blanketed water, while shorebirds skirted along. I write this hoping that the words will give me a moment's solace, a minute alone with language, alphabetical shelter. Hang on, I'm trying to write a guidebook to the world. I want the angle of an L or the fork of a Y to be paths away, on my own, for a few hours.

    This is a journey where I must acquire more than experiences and trinkets, I must return filled of Spirit and wisdom. Not having the time to water those seeds, touching the sacred on the fly, is hard on the mind looking to be alight with insight, rather than boggled by time and faces. Oh sleep, take me to a place where I can do the work.


    I awake. Such a powerful mantra, a deep breath and a single point of awe to suddenly jigger the soul into power. I awake.

    I awoke to yet another military band, so wonderfully off-key and over it, as it processed down our thin little street. A sea of red and white, a few smiles and claps along the way, gyrating like a surprised critter caught in the heat. Is a nation a genuine animus, or a party costume? Is the measure of pride relative to the measure of collective happiness, or can a flag just be so much fabric?

    We took a ride out to a swank shipwreck of a hotel on Esteves island after dark. The intention' to escape the city lights and see the stars. Why do we try compete with them with our own orange and blue electric imitations, which may twinkle from a distance yet do not radiate with the ardor of a sun? The Southern Cross, finally, was overhead, crown jewels in the ghostly spine of the Via Lactea. I spent time with these new stars, their light never before reflecting upon my retinas, tasting them on the frigid Titicaca wind, entering me. To be filled with stars! The lake lapped below, strange sounds from the marshes, I may as well be atop on alien hill, my own home a blue speck, context flocking away with the night-birds and the receding presence of the city. Meaninglessness, our slipshod civilization pronounces, for we have dimmed the very galaxy. Exaltation, the pilgrim pronounces, when suddenly struck with a new cosmos, endless as the veins within him, remembering there is no difference between him and the faint light from forever-away.

    The stars, for those moments, were a perfect refuge, even the cold. For the cold and the wind under that deep blue night are faint approximations of the real nature of space, lurking just beyond our sheer bubble of air, and our soul is big enough to sail upon it, unfettered, until the taxi ride home.

    (7 June, riding the waves of a star)

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    { Tuesday, 21 June, 2005 }

    Travel Journal: South America

    The day started minus one, as Edel has the sirocha, or altitude sickness.

    We left early for the chulpas, or burial towers, of the Collya and Inca at Sillustani. Upon a hill overlooking the placid lake Umayo, these inverted cones of lightening-attracting stone have stood for over a thousand years. At the crest of the hill, a holy island looms and seems to float upon the surface. Down the steep banks, swifts and finches savor their aerial realm by indulging in heartening acrobatics. I stood at the center of the stone astronomical observatory called Intiwatata, and felt a quiver within, as if an embryo were exploring its newfound limits. Freedom means being able to let go, to fly; I spiraled out of the circle as a condor wings toward oneness.

    Another holy moment while overlooking the lake. Silence and nothing to say, nothing more to experience other than what is.

    I slept for a long time, mostly as a sanctuary. Dinner was in a strange little restaurant with an Andino band putting everything into their instruments, and laughing all the while. Confidence must be an ability which frees one to play whilst commanding appreciation. After dinner I piddled around in circles, and I ultimately fell asleep with Annie Dillard's "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" over my face.

    (6 June, Puno, backwards slide to home)

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:46 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink


    The 21st of June has, seen a weird waking vision in 1986, been a peculiar day for me, my own personal day of death and rebirth. My sleep was interrupted several times by dreams, and I'm scanning them for clues like so many scattered tea leaves.

    ...at the beach, my best friend says to visualize a coil and said that it represented expectation, and asked what color it was.

    ...a giant mall with Incan ruins on the outside. Inside was a cacophony of bizarre elevators and staircases, rotating buildings that creaked, and huge Arab buffets under circus tents.

    ...I was trying to sleep with my backpack and boots on, under heavy covers and listening to African radio. I had a love interest but wasn't sure how things would work out with a backpack on.

    A bird on the window sill finally woke me, and just now all the streetlights flicked off, some arbitrary threshold is passed and it is now day. There's a ritual tonight and about a half-day's work on this, my own little day of history. Today into the alchemical cauldron go the lessons from my recent trip to Peru, all of the connotations of my return, and all of my past experiences of this day. I'll go forward without expectation, and will not let any drama impinge on my freedom.

    Every minute feather of a birds wing sustains flight. I preen and stare out at the world. I want to be in it, and I want to sing at the windowsill of all my beloveds, to carry a dream in my beak for into the fog-shrouded morning.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:12 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 20 June, 2005 }

    Travel Journal: South America

    I awoke earlier than early, before the sun had any ideas, and was lost in space for a while. This journey is past its half-way point, and I need to assess what, other than facts and souvenirs, will return home with me. What has changed? Who am I now that was not then?

    We boarded the bus for Puno, and I settled in for the nine hour ride that will take us to the blue lake Titicaca, and along the way Andahuaylillas, Roqchi, and Siciuni, What amazing names, what glorious construction. The Ururbabma, apparently, was the Quechua metaphor for the Milky Way. What then is our galactic looking-glass?

    Andahuaylillas is a very simple Quechua town with a frighteningly opulent church at its center, all done in frescoes and gold, and fighting time's gnashing teeth. It is amusing that all these ancient native temples stand today, while these cathedrals are so elderly and frail, all done up in gold and silver as if it were a shield against aging. Roqchi is the site of a massive temple of Viracocha, with seemingly hundreds of round rooms. In one of those rooms, I felt a very strong intuitive tug' in looking at a picture I took of that room, there is a wispy form to the left. Who was visiting, or waiting to be noticed?

    We stopped at the village of San Pablo for the wildlife (llamas, guineas and a vicu'a), lunched at Sicuani, and stopped at La Raya, the border between Cusco and Puno, at something like 14,000 feet. We're now in the high plains; thatched roof huts and ruddy skins look positively Tibetan. Pucara is a village of red stone, which houses within its walls carvings from the pre-Incan Collya period. Half-human, half-fish, winding serpents, faces etched in stone that are so removed from their time and place that they stare out, bug-eyed, in confusion. We can only touch them and whisper that they're safe, while seeking to assure our own travel.

    Puno has a bone-chilling effect to it. This slanted town, home to 200,000, is perched before Titicaca as if waiting for a show, for an old god to emerge from its blue waters. We situated ourselves in the Fawlty Towers-like hotel, and set loose on its pedestrian boulevard, teeming with so many versions of humanity. Beggars and shoe-shine men, flashy tourists, mestizo women carrying impossible loads on their mountain-spine backs'

    (5 June, Room 202 [again], Plaza Mayor, Puno, dos, tres)

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:47 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 19 June, 2005 }

    Travel Journal: South America


    Over breakfast, we agreed to stay in the Titicaca area, flying to Lima on Friday' I think. We set off to two mercados to immerse in the cultural life of Cusquenos. An immersion in color and design' and need. These people's economies depend on tourism and the pleading in their eyes shows it. I did not bargain too heavy, but played the game as expected. My Spanish has really improved as a result. Off to the Mercado des Pueblas Confraternidad. I found Anyelo's regalos de bautizmos (a sketch pad, colored pencils, and a 'Bob el Sponge' pillow) with little trouble, and took a few extra minutes to examine the stalls, which tell a story of Peruvian daily life. Golden thread and baby Jesuses for altars, shoeshine, glittery uniforms for ritual dancing, fruits delicately balanced atop eachother in an appeal to the eye.

    We took taxis to the San Pedro church near the Plaza des Armas for Anyelo's baptism. The church was cold, dusty, and smelled of diesel. The golden altar had lost its sheen and was lit by fluorescent tubes. Anyelo squirmed throughout the ceremony, often trying to face away from the priest, longing for his stuffed panda (Pandito). The priest's drawing of the cross upon his forehead did not draw a smile, but the baptismal candle drew wonder for the flame, so much more real and effective than a god who lives in a celestial gated community. We threw coins and candy to the throngs of children who writhed with glee when the coins began to jingle on the cobblestones.

    We taxied to Efrain's hilltop community, full of roaming dogs picking through the windstrewn trash, shuttered windows and distant music. We entered a courtyard to a small room decorated with balloons and a colorful head table, with ourselves as the guests of honor (gusts of honor, I like that). Cheese bread, candied biscuits, beer and respect followed in courses. The main course has huge and we laughed as a dog wandered in and sniffed out some pork that Malvary had hidden in her pocket. I left fairly drunk, and barely got through a session of the internet caf' before falling hard asleep' though through the night I wrestled with dreams.

    (4 June, last night in Cusco, fitful sleep)

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    { Saturday, 18 June, 2005 }

    Travel Journal: South America

    Oezakaliti, Zoetikali. 2 serps 1 land 1 water

    That's what I reached over to write in some quiet minute of a hypnagogic morning. This dream was about a land serpent and a water serpent that both had needs in the other's terrain. They reached a deal to where they could both benefit from each other without having to leave their respective domains. Oezakaliti would hop Zoetikali's back for a ride across the river, and in return, Oezakaliti would bring Zoetikali some gift from land. The entire dream was sung in an aboriginal language which I couldn't understand (except for the fact that some part of my being was helping to write it) with the sweetest Goddess voice one could imagine, nurturing and clear like warm, flowing water over skin.

    We left early in the morning to raft down the Rio Urubamba, also known as the Vilca Norte. The ride was exhilaratingly fast and bumpy, and we arrived on the wild shores of a river rarely tamed. At first dyslexic with the paddling commands, I soon savored my position on the front of the raft and the role of paddling through Class IV rapids. I threw my body into each swell with the paddle, and used every available upper body muscle. As if the water were a crowd, I used all my intent to plough us forward. The sights along the way' stalagmites and mineral cities, stones smoothed from an eternal flow of a north-bound river, a play of currents and eddies, spiraling into aqueous memory.

    From such placid passages, like a slow harmonious strain of music, into a grand cacophony of standing wave and stubborn stone, mule paths along the route where time played a game with our 15 kilometer race through a landscape shaped by this serpent, this meandering water god.

    We returned to the base camp, where the small stone sauna with yellow translucent roof pulled the Urabamba's chill from my muscles, and gave me my first few moments of solitude on this entire journey. The hiss of water on stone gave voice to my soul, bubbling against bone, grateful with achievement, eager for more breaking open, shattering the self. When a vase has a crack in its base, the water leaks out- I want something to leak in, even to sneak in.

    The ride back to Cusco from Cusipata was replete with reggae and detours due to the Corpus Christi procession, taking us through the back alleys of villages that gringo eyes aren't supposed to see. After peeling off moist clothes and taking solace in a scalding shower, we went out to dinner to meet Efrain and Anyelo Hancco-Zamata, Terry's adopted family. I was presented with the odd situation of trying to entertain a six year old without understanding his language' this resulted in silly faces, eye winks, and goofiness for kiddie laughs. Upon returning, I met Craig at the internet caf' and we wandered the streets for a place to kick back and savor a cerveza. The bar selected, 'Free Time Caf',' was very small but had little red velvet sofas, Brazilian dance music (which was actually quite good), and a few men huddled around beers in quiet conversation. Also, posters of slutty celebrities and male models around mirrors and colored flashing lights made me suspect that we wound up in a proper Peruvian gay bar. Huzzah!

    We let loose with laughter, and I did not let loose with hormonal longing, as I realized that he is very straight and I didn't want to muddy the water of a temporary friendship. We returned to a darkened and shuttered hotel, and I fell quickly asleep pondering the news of our sudden change of plans; the Bolivian borders are closed- no exit, no entry. In the morning, we will determine the remainder of our course.

    Rivers often make surprising changes in course.

    (3 June, Cusco)

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    { Friday, 17 June, 2005 }

    Travel Journal: South America

    Cheers to the self, that strange being with which we must grapple, world without end. It tends to defy even its own image, and will put on such a lively masquerade without our over-saturated eyes even noticing' but we remember in dreams.

    I just walked the nighttime streets of Qosqo, which, after hours, puts on rougher clothing and grits its teeth. I invoked Puma, the virtue of power and warriorship, as I made a hapless circuitous route to visit Craig, a Canadian I met at the top of that monta'a sagredo yesterday. There were moments of concern, certain dark corners seething vacuously with possibility, but I flew past them with courage and boldness, and later patted myself on the back with a mas fine cerveza.

    Now I'm here back at the hotel, watching the barman count the bottles at this empty bar. Such meticulous care are the precious liquids accounted for. Last night was a blur, as I was exhausted and dirty from the hike, the train ride which was really only made more astounding by the brightness of southern hemisphere stars, and the rushed nature of adventure-by-itinerary makes one's head spin. Not necessarily in the way we imitate the Earth in our dancing and heady poesy.

    This morning we were herded onto the bus to experience Pisaq; the weavers and the farmers easily get passed over by the throngs for the tourista stalls. The Andi'o countryside rolls endlessly and at perilous angles for the farmer's toil. The earth is pushed and pulled, tilled and seeded from daybreak until the Southern Cross shines brightly in the brilliant sky. Glacier-capped mountains lord over it all, a granite grandmother clothed in ice, assuring harmony, these fields her billowing patchwork gown.

    We next rolled to the village Urubamba, and I fled the indulgent lunch hall for the shores of the river, which is a shade of green that painters have tried for tirelessly. A farmer crossed a path across the river with his two donkeys, and for a moment, I lost my place in the book version of this escapade. These beautiful people live largely beyond time, and the influences of Civilization' only lap at their shores, but do not roll and froth upon them. Another holy moment, another moment for the self to suddenly be as wide open as the valleys that hold these sacred cities in the shapes of Puma, Condor, Llama.

    Ollantaytambo has fascinated me from the start, and in our brief time there, I connected to something, Pacha Mama knows what. A dust devil danced along a path, and the wind overlooking the Urubamba valley blew through all the chambers of my heart, making a kind of music' these people knew how to make their architecture reflect the utter creativity of the landscape. Chinchero would have been a powerful place, had the Spaniards not pissed all over it. The temples were defaced and desecrated to make a sanctimonious cathedral for themselves, covered in gold rudely stolen from the Quechua.

    A day's journey in a few hundred syllables. We remember here the rhetorical question 'does it take a day to remember a day?' As far as dreams, had one about a 17th century Benedictine monk being sought by Roman authorities for heresy. The implication in the dream was that this was me, and my name was Brother Mathias. Way to go on the heresy, self.

    (2 June, Cusco, coo-koo)

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    { Thursday, 16 June, 2005 }

    travel journal: south america

    I could enshrine this moment in a photograph, but I'd rather tell you about it. It's the day of my trek up the looming Huyana Pichu, and it's that time before the bustle to get ready, that time of blessing one's soul for the love of it All. The mountains ahead of me are tipped with soft flowing cloud, as a bridal veil in the breeze. All I hear is river and bird, and the village seems to have not to have awakened yet. I am calm yet anticipation rattles through my lesser veins, tiny electric sparks.

    I will draw a bath, and be with myself, building myself with heat and stillwater prayer. While writing this, I've realized that it's that hour, the time for words is nigh and the time to excavate magic within my soul is high.

    (1 June, a Holy Moment, Aguas Calientas)

    Very little time to write, I'm finding. Climbed Wayna Picchu, which was desperately steep and challenging to my wheezy frame, but I did make the 90 minute climb. One enters the summit through a cave, which seems only natural, to emerge through an earthen womb to the height of your achievement. I found a quiet spot away from Macchu Pichu (where a majority of talkative youth were gathered) and settled on the rocks. My long awaited vial of Chinese ginseng came crashing to the stones, and shattered like a sacrifice. Of the running liquid I tasted with my finger, and realized it was expectation, that onus of prescience, that was indeed broken. And, to some degree, my soul, a shattering to let in this new air, this jungle breath, this timeless testimony.

    (1 June, a brief moment, Cusco)

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    { Wednesday, 15 June, 2005 }

    Travel Journal: South America

    The blue train twisted as a sidewinder through up the mountains that encompass Cusco, which is a Spanish bastardization of the original Qosqo, or navel, whereas Cusco means 'flea ravaged dog.' We can thank European imperialistic thinking for that linguistic wonder, replacing the savages with gentle folk. Whom is truly evil? Those who sacrifice the occasional black llama to feed the condor or Inti were made out to be the villains, and for hundreds of years, civilization bought that. They bought it with gold from melted gods.

    We arrived at Aguas Calientas, and in a whirlwind were transported to the 'ruins' of Macchu Pichu. There is nothing ruined about it other than the ravages of the conquistadores which helped lead to the collapse of the community. Awe is a wordless thing, a feeling which runs off with language into the pure night. My wind was saturated with the expanse of the place, the towering mountains which looked as if some creator god were pinching dough. The precision of the stones, of the design (the Quechua made models before they built), of the whole complex leaves one with nothing but the raw experiential bliss of being overwhelmed by the knowledge they possessed. Perhaps that's why swarms of people flood the place; to finally, at last, be awed. Must the bar be raised? Only if it results in daily spectacle worthy of praise songs and incantations to the stars.

    The Urabamba, the river of the spider, runs quickly and fills this room with its breath, which is dragging me to my own dreams, where empires crumble each morning when I take what I see as truth. Tomorrow, an epicenter of the pilgrimage; the climb up Huayna Pichu, upward to the unhitched clouds.

    (31 May, Overlooking el rio Urabamba, Aguas Calientas)

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    { Tuesday, 14 June, 2005 }

    Travel Journal: South America

    South America. I awake to you feeling like I've been through the wash, but in lieu of water I was spinning with thousands of tiny sharp stones. Airplanes are strange things; sedate, sterile, yet overflowing with people whom by nature are neither. The Lima airport could have been anywhere, so anonymized by American-style design and franchise. Yet, you can feel creeping just beyond the edge of its shiny walls a different thing; like a vibrant dancer, gaily frilled with wild colors as if it were her 15th birthday, dancing alone in a yellow-lit parking lot to piped in Latino ballads. I think that's a way of saying that magic lurks even here, it has not been completely smothered by the heavy footsteps of Yankee influence or the bloody trail of Conquistador forbears. But, one must look for it, or even feel it to know what to look for.

    Somehow, in my laden backpack, there were a pair of nail clippers, which is absolutely puzzling as I was sure I placed that in my checked bag. Lord knows I could have brought down civilization, and I slipped by until countered at Lima.

    Until I'm beyond this efficient sardinization of people, though, I still feel mostly as if I'm just Anywhere. My mind and itinerary tells me that this is not so. Thank the holies for that. In just an hour, I'll be within one of the most ancient cities in the Americas, one that is purported to have made it through the bloody conflagration of civilizations with many customs intact. When there are no gringo eyes, ceremonies still go on. Whispered words are still spoken to Inti, the sun, and Quilla, the moon. La Virgen is really Mama Pacha, and perhaps the priest will even confess this over a pisco sour.

    We are flying toward Cusco' above these bright clouds and peek-a-boo mountains, the two travelers beside me close the window shade, as I crane my neck to see this new world from this perspective, even the light fighting to be seen through the crack. I can't comprehend what trumps awe in this world, unless I look at my own life and when I've yawned my way through cavalcades of miracles. But that's what I'm here to mend, that laissez-faire glassy-eyed succumbing to the Great Big Whatever. I'm here to battle Whatever head on, blades swinging, eyed wide with absolute awareness of my opponent, the sweat of war at my brow, like those ancient warriors that fought the imperialists until their last muscle was gashed, the last sinew snapped. These are not mere monta'as beneath me; they pierce the blue with the zest of a condor on the hunt.


    My feet tingle from the height, and my lungs assure my tissues there is enough oxygen to satiate their vivacious red hunger. This ciudad of 400,000 souls is overlooked by the bronze statue of Pachamac Inca, the ninth emperor. From his perch along a busy street, his polished eyes protect the fruit vendors with the hand-pushed carts with their loudspeakers and swinging scales. Horns 'tat tat' to his majesty.

    The coca tea, its scent steaming upward as a sultry jungle, full of beasties on the prowl, is oddly familiar. It might the anthem of earth itself in liquid form. We're told to take it ease, as it will take a few days to acclimatize. I'll choose to adjust with this prayer that came to me during a hot bath to purify my body from the scourge of airports and madness:

    'O let there be a golden sun disc in my heart-
    Molten under an archaic eye.
    Let an owl rest atop my head and let me be covered in snakes,
    Holy, skin-shedding regeneration
    At the behest of the Gods, which look over the city from billowing
    Curtains and terracotta rooftops.'

    It's night now, and the city has turned on its lights as the night does what is so natural. Those constellations I long to see are hidden by cloud, but no matter. I'm excitedly worn. I learned today that the Quechua people consider black to be the color of purity. I learned today at Sachsayhuaman that when they built their massive temples, each stone has to be considered as to where it would fit; the carving is razor blade exact. With incomprehensible skill, a limestone quarry birthed great temples and fortresses that stump the best scientists today. Halleluiah. At Tambomachay, a temple honoring the flowing of numbingly cold water which will keep one young, no one knows where the water comes from, and that's after hundreds of years of guesswork. Halleluiah. At Q'enqo, an labyrinth leading underground is a path you take to bring you to Varicocha's altar. And coca leaves were still there in honor. And one must bless the puma for power, the serpent for knowledge, and the condor for freedom. Halleluia. Such ancient stones, such eternal water, such blue skies. This is a place for coming alive from a resurrected history, and these temples still speak. It's a rustle in the grass, a whistle in the wind. The fuego of these hearts, and their sacred moon, sun, stars,, lightening and thunder cannot be winked out of existence that simply. The perpendicular doors and the inward leaning walls, like pyramids, are strong. So are those that seek for the blue sky within before even opening their eyes.

    Tomorrow, rising from the jungle and from a scattered civilization, Macchu Pichu.

    (30 May, Room 202, El Puma, Cusco)

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:22 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 13 June, 2005 }


    Today is the last day of my vacation. I've been resting, sorting, and slowly processing and posting pics to my Flickr Peru photoset. I go back to work tomorrow, and I got wind of a little drama. Alas, so it is.

    I'm going to post a journal entry or two a day from the trip. I'll resume blogging tomorrow. I'm a little low on words right now, just soaking it all in. In the immortal words of Nina Simone, "I'm feelin' good."

    Journal Entry: "Getting There."

    These clouds, these simulacra we pray to, that from our peculiar view on Earth remind us of acrobats, or seahorses, of any shape in Creation' these clouds, they are such a slim veil between worlds, and now I'm above them, a refugee from the gravity below, on a winged stone skipping toward a distant place of dreams.

    My body recognized 13,500 feet; I fell back into the fecund green of the Mother from that height, and she caught me and swooped me back to my world with the force of a hawk, diving toward prey. Now, higher up, I am in a sort of nether-world, a strange highway above all human scurrying so we can go scurry elsewhere. Some call this heaven, some call it cruising altitude.

    So, a journey begins, and with its first step, teaching. When I left home this morning, I was in sanctuary, and my mouth was full of Communion. Perhaps my whole soul was too, but with what or whom, I don't know. That might be the very reason I am swinging below the equator, to encounter that rare spirit who lives in the secret valleys of the mind, always beckoning you to learn, when we are least interested in doing so. That still, small voice, it's called, or maybe it's some god who lives on your shoulder, or within the quiet folds of your ear. That spirit has names, and maybe that's what we utter when we sleep, those groans are intonations to that hidden friend who, with lantern swinging, tickles the eyes with a cascade of stars as we notice, one night, that we exist.

    I know this spirit lies within, but perhaps it will be jogged out of its sultry lair with a conscious mind stunned by being out of place, surrounded by new mountains and new tongues. I seek holy confusion; I seek what I know to be blown away by condor-sail'd wind, and what slumbers beneath my skin awakened by new angles of the sun. I will chase down self-knowledge with a puma's hunger, and I shall not be willy-nilly when in sudden meeting with the Sacred. Maybe, though, the Sacred will have a plan for this Fool's heart, and will truly ride me to the cliff's edge.

    (Somewhere over Florida, 14:15, Sunday 29 May)

    Miami' the mantra was this, based somewhat on Frank Herbert: I shall not Florida. Florida is the mind-killer that brings total obliteration. I shall let it pass over me and through me'

    We took in a stupid movie, opulent and mindless, to pass the eight hour layover. The mall was indulgent and crawling with eye-averting humanity, and what delights transfixed the eye. Like a blister, it was a reminder of everything I'd been through in this country, of everything I'm feeling done with. I'm done with the zombie stare. I'm done with entertainment on a fast drip in the veins. I'm done with languishing because there's nothing else better to do. An adventure has been ticketed, not just to Peru and Bolivia, but to the rest of life. It's a ride into self, that incessant spiral road through guts and bile to the glory of imagination and strength.

    America slipped underneath us like a slow walk away from the jewels in the jeweler's case. Then, the black of the sea, reflecting the black of space and the black of mystery. That's where we're racing to now, at 31,000 feet; utter, relentless mystery, that universal guarantee that ticks like ethereal clockwork. It's not an element you have to visit, like a foreign country or a distant aunt. It lives even inside me, in the folds of the brain and beneath the aqueducts of veins, like a hoodlum under a bridge. It will pounce, but if it rears up in any given mundane day, we ignore it. That crazy mockingbird outdoing Billie and Ella at her streetlight perch is just another damn bird, we think, not an oracle. Not a teacher. Just another damn bird.

    Now, this night flight will soon settle after the turbulence and customs forms, and we will sleep a little. Bronze, chiseled faces will upturn and slumber, and a few gringo faces will try to peek through the windows for a clue, a sign of the trajectory that will deliver us to tomorrow. We will pass over Cuba, Panama, Ecuador' but will we pass over that which we were looking for all along, like a lost pair of keys? I don't think so' I can feel my heart beating, and my lungs working. What I'm seeking for is right in there, a scallywag, a mystery peddler.

    I'm drinking wine at 31,000 feet. Who would have imagined such a luxury one hundred years ago, let alone one done with the casual carelessness to just toss the empty bottle of red onto a tray with so much trash?

    (30 May, Sometime, Somewhere)

    jaybird found this for you @ 18:52 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 12 June, 2005 }


    Retorno. Suddenly, the world which I knew returns. Yet, the details emerge in new ways. I return to this home, these people, my life with new eyes, and a vision not blighted by routine. Adventure transforms the inner realm, and where and when only matter as stage dressing... which is vital, it seems, in telling life's tale. Peru was great.

    I will being posting pictures and excerpts of my travel journal tomorrow. I am rather tired and needing some readjustment time before diving heavily back into the online world. I'm so grateful to be back in my own home, but I've again been changed my the road. It is a time to re-examine and re-think what matters and how I operate in this sphere.

    Onward, upward, inward, everyone.

    jaybird found this for you @ 18:39 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 11 June, 2005 }


    This blog has been running itself since the day before I left for South America. I can't tell you what I've seen because I haven't seen it yet, or how I've changed, or who I am now. One way or another, I am coming home now. One way or another, I am awed, and likely trying to find the words. It may take time.

    So, this is almost like a letter to "future self." Hello, then, glad fool. I hope you've done what you set out to do, and did it well. You're coming home now, and doubtless there are many details you've omitted from your Andean reality, and slowly, they will return. Will they matter?

    Thus ends this one journey, I assume. Or, rather a small diversion along it, a sudden footpath that cropped up and lured you out of the comfort zone and into really living, experiencing, by being thrust beyond imagination. No matter what's happened, I'm on my way back to all you good people, and when I'm ready, let me tell you a few tales...

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:26 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 10 June, 2005 }

    a few words from the road

    I'm spending my last hours in Puno, off to Juliaca to fly to Lima. I'll be home late Satuday night, and will begin the full debriefing Sunday. Went to Lake Titicaca yesterday, spent the whole day on that shimmering azure lake, which seemed larger than the world. This has been an incredible journey which has tested me in many ways, and made me stronger. I can't wait to tell you about it. Until then, ciao amigos, and leave the light on for me.
    jaybird, twittering in song at the top of the world.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:05 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 08 June, 2005 }

    seeing stars

    Last night, from a slight hill on the shores of Titicaca, I saw stars. And beyond. I saw the Southern Cross, the famed constellation of mariners and explorers, and the ghostly spine of the Milky Way arc across this massive blue lake. I opened myself to the cosmos, and allowed a pouring in of the celestial. It made my veins sing, as the wind filled my lungs with night.

    Right now, another military marching band is heading down Lima street, and I'm watching these decorated children march by in the name of some national triumph I do not understand. Nations and nationalism are such strange ideas, and yet they go on for some apparent reason. One world has room for the children who straggle behind, hats askew, dragging their intruments.

    Today, nothing is planned, which is wonderful. Plans are containers. Bless those that leak. Planning gets in the way of experience, just as expectation is a glossy movie poster for a reality that isn't even close. You can easily leave reality, just as a movie, being disappointed by the outcome. I choose experience.

    From this chilly seat overlooking tired merchants and chattering schoolchildren sick of marching, adios for now.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:03 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 06 June, 2005 }

    puno, dos, tres

    I am in a little upstairs net cafe in Puno, Peru, which is a grittier and colder town than Cusco. But, it is nonetheless interesting and full of mystery. Today we went to Sillustani, a series of upright conical pre-Incan {Collyo} burial chambers on a hill overlooking Lake Umayo... it was wonderfully peaceful. Lake Titicaca (please stop the snickering) looks to be a broad, bright blue inland sea. We are adjusting to this change of schedule well, and I am going to make my own agenda for the next few days, winding up on the Uros islands on Thursday. Three quarters of we viajes are sick with altitude-related funk, me being the exception. All I am really sick of is a lack of time to write and I need a dash of privacy as well. I suppose that is a bit of a luxury.
    Spiritually, I have been a bit of a whirlwind but am feeling some really intersting movement inside, like a bustling embryo longing to break out of its shell. I presume that when the whirlwind stops, I will be able to see the eye better.
    Thanks for popping by the site while it is in automated mode. I will give a full debriefing upon my return!
    Love you all,

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:10 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 03 June, 2005 }

    change of plans

    The borders to Bolivia are closed so it seems that that leg of the journey will not happen. It seems that we will backpeddle to Lima from Puno. I will supply more info later, but I am okay, in fact very much alive. Every adventure has its challenge, otherwise it wouldnt be an adventure.

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:11 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 02 June, 2005 }


    Life... that must be what this is all about, gallivanting through exostic countries, challenging the soul, and rewiring the small fatty labyrinthine mass between the ears. I am doing great, and tonight am writing you a short hello from the vivid (with a capital V) city of Cusco, Peru. It was a festival night and the streets are chaotic with horns, the barking of vendors, and the smells of celebratory foods (guinea pig and roasted corn). I climbed Wayna Pichu yesterday, a very steep climb which left me breathless, especially upon reaching the summit... which you enter thrugh a cave. Obviously, a rebirthing experience designed to awaken the heart, the true heart, after all that effort.

    I am out of time already, and unable to post pictures, but all is well, my friends, and I am having muy gusto sue'as. Tomorrow we raft down the Urabambo, and I{ll try to post an update on Saturday.

    Te Amo,
    Pajarro de Luna

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:00 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 31 May, 2005 }

    'alive and well in sudamerica!

    This message comes way by of a very confusing keyboard, so please excuse excessive grammatical liberties.

    It seems very strange that this is only day 3... so much has happened and yet there is so much more. I'm typing from Aguas Calientas, the nearest town to Macchu Pichu, where we spent most of the day and where i return tomorrow to make the rather steep hike to the summit of Huayna Pichu. No altitude sickness, no utterly gut wrenching gastronomical adventures, and my Spanish is improving by the day. I've had plenty of time to think and experience this shockingly vivid place. I'm extremely light on time right now and so I'll really have to save the stories for later. Just know that I'm having a mindblowing adventure courtesy of the stunning history here, and of the tri-fold grace of puma, condor and sserpent... power, freedom, wisdom.

    I don't know when I'll have a chance to say hello again, but until then, know that i am staggeringly alive and brilliantly well. I love you all!


    jaybird found this for you @ 21:06 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 28 May, 2005 }

    on the road to find out

    Well, this will be my last official post until I can get online in South America. I wonder what I'll have to report? If only MT's future post option would let me see what I'm posting in the future. Maybe with quantum computing...

    Today I perform a wedding for two good friends, Vicky and Greg. After that, it's a mad scramble to finish what's left to do and to try to make a dent in schoolwork. I am limiting my expectations, yet I'm emphasizing to myself this mantra: Teaching begins on the first step of any journey. Tomorrow at 9:20am, that journey begins when Joshua and Robin ceremoniously remove me from my duties at Jubilee and drive me to the airport. I'll be on four flights to my destination: Cusco.

    Sunday: Flying
    Monday: Lima, Cusco
    Tuesday: Up to Aguas Calientas, Macchu Pichu
    Wednesday: Climbing Huayna Pichu
    Thursday: Back to Cusco. Ollantaytambo and Pisac.
    Friday: Rafting down the Amazon tributary Urabambo.
    Saturday: Cusco, and a ceremony.
    Sunday: Cusco to Puno on Lago Titikaka.
    Monday: Puno. Either the Amaru Muru portal or Sillustani.
    Tuesday: Uros islands. Crossing Lago Titikaka. Night ceremony.
    Wednesday: La Paz, Bolivia.
    Thursday: Unknown.
    Friday: Tiwanaku.
    Saturday: La Paz to home.

    Right now, these names only mean the amount of research I've put into them. They're empty, awaiting fulfillment by experience. That's what I'm off to do: to experience, to live life, to learn.

    I'll see you all on the flipside. Thanks everyone for your support and friendship. It is sustaining and everlasting on return.

    Deep peace and deep merriment!



    jaybird found this for you @ 12:00 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 27 May, 2005 }

    almost there...

    Off to bed right now, and am mostly packed. It's almost time to go. A wedding tomorrow and a few errands and it's time to fly. My heart races with excitement for Peru and Bolivia and my mind races in preparation to learn.

    More tomorrow.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:22 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 26 May, 2005 }

    jay's reality show

    Time is accelerating in some bizarro whirlwind of bent light and catching sight of one's self doing things in the future. Really. I'm in an interstellar overdrive to try to get everything done (that *can* be done) before I skedaddle for two weeks under new constellations. Thanks to a little injection of prioritization from my therapist (obviously, I must be crazy as well), I was up until 2 catching up on schoolwork rather than surfing Flickr to see pictures of where I'll be this time next week. Based on the view from here right now, it really looks like everything will get done without a huge panic.

    Saturday, just before I split, I'm performing a wedding for an old friend, and I think the service will be a wonderful way to truly begin the journey... in the spirit of love, hope, and most importantly, teaching. I'm open to whatever Peru and Bolivia need to say, and I'll pay attention to all the subtle ways that teaching is transmitted on the path. I'm going to frame the leaving in ritual, as well as the return.

    And this posting, itself, was quite a diversion, but I felt like it was time for a short episode of my reality. Believe me, I prefer my reality to be short as well (being that reality is only a gauze over the eyes to minimize the glare of brilliant, cosmic non-absolutes). Wink.

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:23 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 24 May, 2005 }

    schroedinger's traffic light

    On my way to work this morning, there was a massive jam around a light that was both red and green at the same time. People had no clue what to do when the predictable duality went all hooey on them.

    It was fascinating.

    jaybird found this for you @ 09:23 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 22 May, 2005 }

    sunday noodle soup

    The dawn began in a shroud
    Some newborn babe swaddled in veil
    A bright gaze through the haze,
    And I was covered in the peace of a holy wine,
    As light as those ascendant clouds
    As clear as a tear which flows south along my face
    Just as a pilgrim passes along continents
    In the twirling love of an Earth
    In the divine madness of a cerulean sky laughing in blue
    Above our artifical duties.

    I know these people, you see,
    Hundreds of them who profess beauty
    Just as easily as they breathe-
    They inspire these radiant emotion
    Just as a swirl of red inspires a darting hummingbird
    With the touch of a hand on mine
    I commune with souls...
    Likewise, hard as it is to believe,
    My own tattered ghost must be a well, too.

    Soon, flight;
    Soon, context tossed out the window
    And experience will at last,
    Be on the edge,
    Tracing the border of possibility.
    My travel bags lay open, receptive,
    As a chalice and I the wine.
    I want nothing more than to break the shell
    Of my regularity
    While tethered, embryonic, translucent, to the great loving mass of experience
    Half a world away.
    How much can one let go,
    As the world spins by faster than light?

    The evening comes down softly
    Through billows of cotton,
    Light from a star shining through my tea.
    Memories are past, and just as night draws across the globe,
    I will forget what I don't need.
    Perhaps I will be as porous as a cloud as I sleep tonight
    And will allow in, deep within,
    The memories of beings who await communion yet.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:31 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 20 May, 2005 }

    8 days, 11 hours, 20 minutes

    That's how long until the South America trek officially kicks off, on the first of four flights which will eventually drop myself and three other co-experiencers to Cusco, Peru. We will wind our way through the Andes, to Lake Titicaca, and through Bolivia. I've just returned from an excursion to procure provisions, and I'm startlingly on budget and keeping myself within fairly tight limits.

    The site will be on autopilot, but I'd like to invite any of my regular readers to guest host as well. Email me for login info. I'm having to get all of my schoolwork done two weeks in advance, and work-work is a whole other organizational fiasco. We're having a little bon voyage party tomorrow with my friends Kim and Tree who're headed off to Germany. Wunderbar!

    The sense of acceleration and exhileration is ever-present, and I'm so greatly looking forward to getting below the equator for the first time and seeing the Southern Cross in the night sky and to be far beyond my cultural norm. I'm planning a ritual soon to bless the undertaking with a lil' mojo, and am already feeling myself pulling away from here, stretching my soul toward a hidden continent, a world above the clouds...


    jaybird found this for you @ 23:23 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink


    (The therapist somehow triggered something in him;
    On the couch, a flood of ancestors overtook him,
    A lineage beyond names, beginning of the faintest memory
    Of a great-grandmother calling him a little monkey,
    Some dam in time breached, a flow of secret blood restored)


    There will be a ritual on the banks of the French Broad-
    It will be simple, and unscripted,
    And only one man will be there.
    He will kneel by the river, and say some words,
    And he may capture a drop of water to carry along in a bottle,
    To be sprinkled in some foreign rio,
    And he may in departing loose a tear with that great rushing,
    The repatriation of molecules, to begin again.

    Today, the rain is dropping billions of journeys
    Among the eager green leaves which push every year ever skyward,
    And all the creatures will sip from the flux
    This soaking tale of to and fro, of the ongoing tide
    Of life, which thrives beyond our mere fingertips.
    A seam of light opens in the clouds, like a river,
    To ferry along a vision beyond the veil above.

    He finally senses, watching the window and the transit of birds,
    That a real metamorphosis happens within,
    Much as it does without; what has he been holding out for
    All these years, afraid of the change he's cried so much for?
    So he pushes himself out into the wild, one fine day,
    Through the window and into experience, a sorcery of self, magic on wing,
    Four thousand miles to play hide and seek with a soul,
    And only's an atom's width to discover it,
    Amid the clouds, mountains and All.

    The man knows, just as the boy, that real action follows real action.
    He no longer waits.


    (He leaves the therapist's office
    Along a rushing tide of nameless history,
    A drop in the river, and a desire
    To will himself into definition-
    Not to skirt the edge, but to chance a dive
    Into reality)

    jaybird found this for you @ 10:49 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 13 May, 2005 }

    latcho drom, mary

    Good journeys and safe roads to a dear friend, Mary Walker, who leaves in a few days for a three month assignment in Malawi, then off to Rome. Hopefully, she'll move back to Asheville when she's done, but for now, I'll miss her greatly. Not only is Mary an incredible friend who can make me laugh beyond reason at silly little things, she was a great office-mate and colleague who's given me such great advice and support over some truly hellish months at work.

    Her work is now the open sky and a land in need of compassion and action. Mary exemplifies those two virtues. Cheers to you, heaps of laughter, and oodles you beauty to you, good human.

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:50 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 07 May, 2005 }

    a perfect saturday morning

    I wake up on the couch
    And just a few feet away, the sky is perfect.
    I exhale the first breath of now,
    And remember that my dreams were so utterly perfect
    (if only I was in the arms still of the dark,
    bright eyed foreigner, his soft words...)
    And even these waffles,
    Coated by the grunt of slow awakening and low-cal syrup
    Are as perfect as the verdant gypsy trees
    Dancing outside to a bird-heralded sun,
    Itself a star out of trillions,
    Itself a perfect shimmer in the sky in some other galaxy's romance.
    Whatever's on the radio is fine,
    Though on a morning like this I might choose Joni Mitchell,
    So she can sing to me about walking along a beach in a tourist town,
    And the sand, how I love the perfect way it kisses the ocean.

    Living at this moment with six billion other human souls Many of whom are caught in a net of turmoil, struggling, How can one dare to say that the world is perfect? The moment? Surely, somehow, the suffering of the slums is felt by The maple, the cloud, and the little blue butterflies, In very remote and tiny ways, they are affected; No little wave rolls ashore without the blessing of the ocean.

    To be waking up this Saturday morning,
    Millions others stretching, yawning, looking out their window
    With a steamy cup of some perfect elixir,
    In tandem with some finite tick of eternal time,
    Moving in syncopation with the design of life on this floating seed,
    Tossed into orbit by some bucktooth kid,
    For all I know,
    A split second of Golgotha pines, dream lovers and three-minute reprieves by
    Songstresses and their shiny guitars,
    It all leads to the perfection of time, the perfection of simple pleasure,
    All feelings and thought,
    All scenes, all somehow good,
    All struggling through beauty together.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:00 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 05 May, 2005 }

    Because I Care

    I'm driving to Raleigh, 250 miles, for another blessed meeting. NPR, tea, and a fried egg burrito will keep me company on thie drive, which began around 6am this morning. I love long drives, just not exactly thrilled about winding my way into gaping maws of corporate blahtopia.

    Peace, y'all.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:26 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 30 April, 2005 }

    I awake to you

    The thunderstorm outside, it's a love song.
    The lightening strikes are just electric words
    That flash the sky to say that now is more than a fleeting breeze.
    Leave your old tin cup out on the window sill
    And let it fill with the story of water;
    Part river, part tears, part glacier, part dewy exhale of the old gods,
    And the thunder rocks you like a spring dream lover,
    Tangled in heavy clouds, the tangential conversations of thought-made winds,
    And little raindrops bead on your skin,
    Temporal jewels from your wandering lover,
    Your early-morning meteorological reverie,
    Your life is revealed in the verdant sway of trees in the storm's retreat,
    A flicker of color in passing weather,
    So deep, bright, green, momentary, minute, connected,
    How vital we are... how slim the stem...
    Emboldened by the storm,
    We rise, searching out the sun,
    Knowing there are more love songs in the forecast,
    More insistence
    To love you
    This instant.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:16 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 28 April, 2005 }

    the news-sentinel of jaybirdville

    The stars are in alignment for taking a sick day... might not sound like a cause for celebration, but I need the rest, and my back/digestive issues aren't really all that awful. I need time to breathe.

    So, it's been a while since we talked, and I hope you are agog with the glory of spring, as I've been. I've been excruciatingly busy with work, school, and all those silly things I commit myself to, and it is grinding me down. Today is a gorgeous day, and even if I'm not in the best shape to fully physically embrace it, I'll open myself to the day.

    What's new? I'm in the second block of classes at school, I'm 31 days away from the trip to Peru and Bolivia. The book is selling well, and the promotional events went well. I've made the bold step of going into a short round of therapy for childhood issues, though this therapist tends toward more of a present then historical focus.

    I am persisting through a bit of writer's block, and I'll try to chip away at that over the weekend. I think I'm having a small crush on someone, and perhaps the results of that will be confirmed soon. I'm being very careful here because I've been terribly disappointed before. Fingers crossed, though, as this season begs for an awakening of the heart. Perchance some romance will assist in reviving my mental ink. Also, some friends long out of touch have come out of the woodwork, and I've had a gay old time reconnecting with these lovelies.

    That's just about it. Of course, there's really much more, but I'll leave the details to your imagination...

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:11 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 25 April, 2005 }

    thirty five days

    There's a continent that seems so distant
    But perhaps it's stitched inside the chambers of the heart
    And to travel there, one must only listen
    To the syncopation that sustains our very lives...

    South America, are the Andes and the Amazon
    Already flowing through me?
    I'm crying tonight for your pueblas,
    People of the condor, those who bravely stand
    Despite the flight of mad birds.

    Your trails through the holy mountains
    To places where the Gods still dance on Earth
    They wind through a soul, hypnotized,
    Like my own eyes fixed on Borges, Neruda, Lorca,
    Those sages of the pampas, of the dream!
    I count the days until I can rest and sleep in your temple!

    I approach you with humility;
    There is blood spilled upon the wind-tossed fields of the Lord, of Quetzcoatl,
    Within weeks I enter a place of dueling...
    But El Condor! El Puma! They eclipse even Christ and the Old Ones
    Because they are prescient now, they are ripples upon Titicaca, swirls in clouds.

    I don't expect anything other than the mystery of your Earth
    Allow me the pleasure of intoning a few simple vowels of your Creation Story,
    And perhaps, enfolded within those glyphed and seal'd parchments,
    A story of the wild, of the emergent, of the true, is spun as real as llama's wool.

    jaybird found this for you @ 00:46 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 22 April, 2005 }

    in training today

    As you read this, I'm driving bleary-eyed to Raleigh
    For an all day training.
    Hopefully I'll get NPR the whole way.
    Hopefully, they'll have realistic and non-toxic snacks at this training.
    Hopefully it will get some Wifi signal so I can pretend to take notes While I research Rosicrucians or ancient drag shows.
    Hopefully, the training will turn into a drag show with various Hippopotami, Pythagorean solids and rivers of peanut butter
    Overtaking the overhead projector.
    Hopefully, swarms of beautiful winged young men in togas
    Smelling like honeysuckle
    Will swoop through the ventilation shaft
    And take me, resisiting only symbolically, to Shangri-La or El Dorado
    And there won't be PowerPoint there, or hanging file folders
    Or Rush Limbaugh or pop-up ads
    And we'll eat organic grapes and read poems by Mary Oliver and Rumi
    And we'll make out and not think about what time it is
    Because there's no time in Utopia
    Like there is in a windowless conference room in Raleigh
    Where, if you follow along,
    We're on part 3A of the agenda,
    And even though you're 250 miles from home on a Friday
    Pay attention and tuck in your Hawaiian shirt,
    At least until the drive home,
    Where, hopefully, you'll catch the sunset
    Which won't look anything like part 3A on the agenda.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:35 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 19 April, 2005 }

    habemus papam!

    His Cheesish Excellency Pope Cat MMMMM

    The scent of vegetarian bacon wafted up from the apartment of Jay Joslin, signalling the election today of the world's newest Cat-holic pope. The world watched, waited, got bored, thought demonic throughts, and watched again as Avatar "Squealbucket" The Cat emerged onto the deck, pronounced himself as Pope Cat Five Thousand to the throngs of carpenter bees, blossoming trees, and chickadees, and promptly had a nappers.

    A dark-cat candidate for the papacy after the death of John Paul II, Pope Cat Five Thousand is both the first American and Persian pope simultaneously, as well as being the first cat to ascend to the throne of St. Peter and hack a holy hairball upon it. Choosing not to travel to Vatican City, His Eminence will continue to reside in Woodfin, NC, studying doctrinal law, canonical literature, and just how the toilet flushes and why it is so damn exciting.

    Immediately following his ascension, sales in Hello Kitty merchandise soared, while Italian sausage fell flat in Chicago futures trading. When asked to perform the standard Urbis et Orbi blessing, he stuck his little pink tongue out, and squealed this benediction:

    "Oh God, thou infinitely puzzling human and furry con-cept,
    How good and righteous the food bowl is,
    when filled with yummy sal-mon bittie-bits,
    It's a nice day and I want to lick myself,
    Wouldn't you?

    jaybird found this for you @ 13:42 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 17 April, 2005 }

    everyday, the choir sings here

    There's a liturgy just right there
    Being blown by the blue holy wind, sap on the rise,
    A scripture of leaves and bird's nests
    A witness to thousands of days of human crossing
    Our seasons an arcane drama of time's long tale.

    There's a litany, been going on since daybreak,
    As a working of high magic, purple blossom communion,
    And the relics of yesterday scattered to distant cloud
    Dancing on a current of surrendered dreams
    To a hymn written from fortune's whim and this galaxy's spin.

    My God, where are the throngs doubled over in awe from the beauteous?
    Where is the righteous play overflowing the valleys?
    Why are we not stumbling in stupor'd worship of the Goddess' living art?
    If a day as today cannot awaken a life among the living
    It's not wasted, as its radiance remains a sutra for those who wish to heed the wisdom.

    My God, it's old to whisper aloud that everywhere is a sacramental thing
    So we throw our hands toward the sun and just live it bravely,
    Imperfectly, as precise as the trajectory of a tossed seed,
    The sermon is cast away, the rustle of unread papers among the pine and laurel,
    And everywhere the crow flies is reconceived, immaculately.

    The churchgoers are scattered home
    And the dandelion thrives in spite of no witness...
    The curtains are drawn across the glass
    And the river won't pause her endless story
    These mountains are living and the world is Rite.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:40 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 10 April, 2005 }

    awakening lines

    A wild turkey, a female, wandering along the river road,
    A soilitary seeker along the path- for what none can guess.
    And all the hissing wheels that blur past her careful steps
    All the intermingled destinations of a Sunday morniing
    Meet at a common junction; we're all in motion, we have to be,
    It's as simple as the air pressure that makes the cemetery's bluebird sing,
    And makes the saxophone man to play at the corner of Church and State streets, downtown.
    The motion is pushing electric green life through the branches,
    The motion is pulsing the river they way it pulses my passion-splashed veins,
    The motion enchants the boldening of colors and the art of love-play.
    The sky, the sea, the dreams, all suddenly criss-crossed with seekers
    And populated with pilgrims which know sacred topography.
    This movement calls, begs for awakening
    Calls to step into simple ecstasy, utter mystery,
    And as I pass the wild turkey,
    I turn a corner to follow her path.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:42 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 03 April, 2005 }

    blog breaking II

    Regular goodness resumes tomorrow.

    I wish I could take a break from my usual responsibilities as painlessly and as easily as chilling on my daily posts for a weekend. I guess I'm hitting a bit of burn out or empty bucket syndrome due to some massive appropriation of energy. It's logical, anyway. The whole rat race thing is a bit overwhelming when I really just want to stop, breathe, watch spring take hold and feel free for just a monment. It sounds like a fantasy but it shouldn't be.

    Really, we all need to do that, to appreciate the wonder of it all.

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:50 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 02 April, 2005 }

    blog breaking

    This weekend, I'll be taking a very rare blogging break. I'm a bit worn out from the book signing* (thanks, everyone!) and I've got a paper due that must be in good shape by Sunday night. Regular goodies will be served again on Monday.

    * It went very well, though there were several major technical hangups and foibles, and despite strong marketing, I didn't quite hit the sales mark I'd been hoping for. But, for a 'debut,' it was wonderful and I'm very pleased, if a little spent.

    jaybird found this for you @ 17:53 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 01 April, 2005 }

    acting a fool

    Acting a fool for the love of it all
    It's the best anyone can do;
    To expose for the world the crux of the matter
    The soul's unspeakable truths
    Concealed in words
    Only you could have written.

    Tracing cliff's edge with a tentative foot
    Verifying the depths of a dare
    Validating the chasms of hard-won meaningfulness...
    Why chance fate when tomorrow is certain,
    And why play the game when the score is kept by the stars?
    To not do so would be an even greater gamble.

    Go ahead, beloved fool,
    Toss your heart-woven words out into the aether
    And see what beautiful people will do with them
    Hear the transmutation of verb into light
    Feel the abstraction become a stone in your pocket
    And walk your path, without fear, toward the reckoning place of foolish thought and beautiful action...

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:59 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    the climax of months of planning


    The show has begun.

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:15 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    pre-show game

    I am hurriedly trying to prepare for an event that I've been trying to prepare for months, and the day of reckoning is at hand. Tonight is my book signing and performance, and I've got something in the order of three and a half million things to do in the next few hours. I'm cool, calm and fairly collected, at least in theory, and I've got the support of friends to the extreme.

    As a matter of fact, please allow my indulgence to thank the following for all their hard work and devotion to this project:

    Debbie, Daniel, Anne, Susie, Jen, Sherman, Delia, Mary S., Aliyah, Ellen, Joshua & Robin, Howard, Don F., Don P., Molly, Kari, Mary W., Kim, Tree, Francine, and a few hundred Jubilants for their support and encouragement to get my ass on the line and stand for myself and my work.

    Tonight will be risky, in that sharing personal writing in such a way certainly creates vulnerability. But I'm beginning to believe that not doing this would be riskier. I have a lot at stake in choosing to create, and not that my book or tonight is validation, but it's about sending the creation forward to transform and become something else.

    Final hours... here we go!

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:15 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 31 March, 2005 }

    heuristic compression

    There have been some long days this week, and the next two are no exception. By the time you read this, I'll be driving almost 200 miles to a meeting/training, coming back halfway to teach a class, and driving another 100 miles back home, arriving late into the night. Tomorrow is the real doozie...

    It's the book release party for "Rainbow Over Crossroads" and it's turning into quite the big to-do. That's very exciting, of course, but I'm not that good at self-marketing and selling people my words, which they apparently want very much to buy. I've got such great friends that are coming together to make this happen, with music, dance and performance, I'm really overwhelmed with the support.

    Things have been 'uniquely' busy, and I know I've skimped out on the personal side of bloggage lately, so just know the following things:

    1) I'm doing much better
    2) There's beaucoup career anxiety
    3) I've got one bit of relieving medical news, waiting for more next week
    4) Spring is making me crazy
    5) I made some major realizations about how I work and what I'd like to fix. Much of it has to do with assertiveness and how I get along with that strange species called people.

    I'll go into details later. For now, I've got a long way to go and a short time to get there...

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:56 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 24 March, 2005 }

    admission 2- the reckoning

    Just a quick late-night note to thank everyone for their support and to let it be known that I'm feeling much better... I just hit a pinnacle of sorts yesterday and the cap blew off. A fun "mental health day" with my best friend paired with quiet contemplation has helped immensely to repair the emotional damage from releasing so much pressure at once.

    Thank you for your kind words, emails, and especially for your presence, known or unknown. Onward and upward, my friends.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:51 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 23 March, 2005 }


    I don't like using this space for my own therapeutic purposes, but I think it's time that I come forward and record an honest assessment of what's really going on in my life right now. For those uncomfortable with such indulgences, please come back later for the usual smorgasbord of eclectic linkage.

    I've been battling depression in one form or another my adult life, and I know that I'm far from alone. For many reasons, that battle came down to trench warfare today and I felt like throwing up my hands and acknowledging defeat. I suppose that's what's clinically defined as "wit's end." I'm a very sensitive person who wears his heart on his sleeve, and today what triggered everything was a meeting at work where I was attacked for my personal beliefs and for my conviction that human beings in crisis are not a profit point (I work for a corporation that likes to bill itself as a human services agency which treats mentally ill children as a commodity... like tires, oil, or sacks of wheat). It caused a chain reaction of sorts, where I realized that my growth is at a total standstill, I'm emotionally unresponsive, I'm out of energy and I just can't focus on anything.

    All sure signs that stress has caught up with me and is running away with my ability to maintain.

    I've made the decision tonight, amid an emotional and logical tug of war, to get some treatment and to be honest with my struggle. I'm always the happy-go-lucky guy that everyone expects to be radiant and resilient. While I can be that way genuinely, I also admit to putting on a show at times to prevent the real issues from being discovered. At the same time, I don't want to be an Eeyore and a wet f*cking towel. I just have to find a way to be straight up about where I'm at without seeking a pity party or saccharine platitudes in response or reaction to my state.

    There are many things I'm truly grateful for in my life right now, and many things I'm quite proud of. I've done much in my short time and I have a great community around me. These are blessings I hope to utilize as I attempt the work that will bring me 'round where I ought to be.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this and for your support. I really needed to say this.

    jaybird found this for you @ 21:59 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 20 March, 2005 }

    equinox meditation

    The birds know it is here; their orchestrations are vibrant, exalting, and brazen with an upward thrust of life resurrecting from the hardened, ice-worn earth. The trees know it is here; they sway to a warming wind, seducing the sap through every vein-like twig, ribald with buds disparate to burst. The sky knows it is here; the light is being played with, toyed by the clouds, reflected and danced in bold movements, and every color is set free to make temporal masterworks for your eyes only.

    I could feel it in the syncopations of the symphony last night, in the gradual rapture of Ravel's "Bolero." With delicate grace, something wonderful begins to flow in rivulets of motion through each row of instruments and careful flickers of strumming hand and measured breath. Something sensuous and glorious awakens! Layer upon layer of life is lain, to boisterous conclusion; such is the pleasure of watching Spring traipse into the world, reviving and kissing each blessed atom of creation...

    The winter recedes now, and with its retreating floes of ice and quiet, so goes that which it claimed in its fierce cold. Names go with it, ideas, misgivings and curses at the darkness are folded into its woolen cloak and taken into the night, a ghost to be absorbed by the stars. Spring can handle the empty husks of our lost dreams, it will use them for the creation's labor of verdant and vivid vistas. This is an uprising.

    Thank you for this turn. I know that it is a given, that it must and will always happen, but thank you nonetheless. I cannot let this morning slip by, like the many forgotten days of gray winter. The time of sleep is over, and you awoke me so tenderly this morning, like a newfound lover with gentle fingers. Soon, though, passion will be the rule, and should I slumber you will shake me with your bright and powerful days. You will entice me to follow you with a brimming sun of celestial words of love. And I will honor you by living genuinely; what more could you ask that I would so freely give?

    As sound waves from bowed string and breath-blown reed of a Spanish ballet, move through us all in a symphony of bright green hope-fulfilled pleasure. Spring, make a holy soil from the ashes of our broken thoughts. Turn it, seed it, make it a ground ready for your artful hand. I can feel you inside me, and aside from restoring an attitude of generative zest, I can feel you planting a mystery. I do not know what this is, and I will watch as the petals unfurl hour by hour, until I and this world and all I love within it are overtaken by the vivacious blooms of your secret rituals.

    This dancer before us is truly calling up the wild, and by Goodness, let us follow and grow as Spring takes hold, and roots through every soul.

    jaybird found this for you @ 10:37 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 17 March, 2005 }


    Just so it's recorded for the ever-curious posterity, today is my "Conception Day." That's right folks, I know that the parental scrump begat me on this day 33 years ago today. If I had pro-lifer friends, I'd be getting presents now... hic.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:25 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 13 March, 2005 }

    half-awake summary

    There's a cabinet full of best intentions
    Where he stores his starts and universes to be.
    With frugal care when the need arises
    Another world is prepared with the sweetest dexterity
    And I awake from a dream to some new place.

    It's been a life of hide-and-seek
    Full of characters vibrant or meek, stellar or freaks
    And all you can do is to surrender to the tide.
    Won't you bless the calvalcade of mysterious players
    Made from some hand in some fit of random love?

    All I want, ye old gods, is a promise of wholeness
    Some icon to live for like the setting disc of sun
    That assures in its flames that dualities shall be reconciled
    An immolation of the barriers which obscure cosmic reason
    Making ash from the refuted taboo of dead nations.

    And even as he writes, the first buds are bursting through
    And the birds are cantankerous with first light of day
    And it may be enough to sustain the search for that promise
    For wholeness may just be a seed within that awaits a tender flow of faith,
    All reconciled within, and made whole without.

    jaybird found this for you @ 01:07 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 11 March, 2005 }

    your loyal vicar in a rather silly play

    (It's supposed to look bad)

    jaybird found this for you @ 00:33 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 10 March, 2005 }

    Coarse Play

    By the time you read this, I'll be twiddling my thumbs backstage waiting for the lights to come up on another round of slapstick. I'm making my last appearance on stage in hopefully a good long while tonight for a trio of short plays written in the "Coarse" style of British acting. As you can glean from the coarse attribute, it's essentially intentionally bad acting and many things gone wrong, all to hopefully hilarious effect. I'm playing an actor playing a vicar (while dressed as a bishop) who has no-so-cleverly pasted his lines into his Bible.

    I've been wanting a theatre break for some time and I'm looking for at least six months to a year free from the time-eating rigors of live entertainment. I've got school to think about and laying out a new book (I'm starting work of a fictional biography, rather challenging). I've said that I'll take a break before and quickly backed down for the right part. I'll try, anyway.

    I will post pics probably over the weekend.

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:52 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 06 March, 2005 }

    little ditty

    For praise of distant worlds
    Or, distance in this world
    Miles to coerce and tempt
    To beg for exploration
    To implore us to be positively lost.

    Oh map, crumpled on the floor,
    Jump to life and throw us a Holy Quirk
    Let exaltation be our guide in unknown territory
    Displace us from the conundrums of little thinking
    And dissolve us in the vast sky,
    To rain down again as eager travellers.

    jaybird found this for you @ 00:40 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 04 March, 2005 }


    In the orange glow of streetlight
    An unremarkable bend in the road
    There was a rustle in winter's brittle weeds
    And I knew by what I glimpsed
    That life continues as it should
    For I just saw a fox tonight.

    And this brassy jazz on the radio
    It may as well be a transmission
    From some other star, so perfect
    In its language, just as sleek and subtle
    As the two wise eyes behind a mask of untamed earth
    Exaltation, for I just saw a fox tonight.

    We know to be weary of tricks
    And to beware the deceits which trap and snare
    And to avoid being foiled by our own hunger
    We must own each dark corner of inner night
    And all that lurks within,
    Mystery, for I just saw a fox tonight.

    The frigid breath encases our throwaway thoughts
    In frost, that crystalline wardrobe of reclamation
    And in the morning there are so many curiosities
    Scattered along the ground, a million efforts
    Transmuted in the stillness, changed into another,
    Concentration, for I just saw a fox tonight.

    Somewhere in your heart there are tracks to follow
    Laid down by a beastie who knows not your whims
    And yet, you're on the trail to find out
    To meet in a clearing of the soul, no streetlights,
    Just animus, raw life, breathing in unison for having seen
    For I just saw a fox tonight.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:38 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    quiet day

    It's been a quiet day for me; I've been home sick and I'm rather exhausted. I think this happened the last time I broke a fast, and a friend tells me that this is fairly normal, as the body is detoxing. It's nice to have a rest, but it would've been lovely to rest without the ugly side effects (I'll spare the details). I sure could use a tissue fairly right now. Ugh.

    Tomorrow may be a more active day around here.

    jaybird found this for you @ 17:06 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 28 February, 2005 }

    89 hours

    ...and still fasting. I'll probably break around 4ish (90 hours), but I'm frighteningly hyper right now and not very hungry. I'm really proud I made it this far, and certainly didn't expect to get to this point without food. I really think that I'm going to make a monthly thing, but going for this length of time on a regular basis is not advised. The overall effects of this project continue to amaze.

    and then...

    UPDATE: Not long after posting this, my body communicated pretty clearly that it was time to break. I left the office and had a small salad without dairy (a miracle), some fruit, and a piece of barbecued tofu as a treat. I savored every bite, chewing slowly and with a sense of wonder at how sitting down to nurture oneself has become such a sterile and mindless act. Total time without food: 89 hours, 30 minutes, besting my previous record by 25 hours.

    In April, I will shoot for 120 in preparation for the Peru/Bolivia trip.

    jaybird found this for you @ 13:33 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 27 February, 2005 }

    72 hours

    ...and surprisingly, I'm still fasting. This was the earliest goal I had set for myself, and had halfway expected to break with some fruit by now. It now looks like tomorrow morning, past the 80 hour mark, or possibly around lunch. Or dinner, who knows? The effects of the detox are beginning to become apparent, though I won't trouble you with those details, because they're somewhat nasty. I've obviously and visibly dropped some weight, though I can't guess how much. I'll assume, based on the averages and reports from the studies, that I'm about nine pounds lighter. My body and skin are tighter and despite periods of fatigue, my mind is clear.

    The "can I do it?" thoughts are phasing out, replaced with "how long will I do it?" The thought of what lies within the fridge does make me drool, though I know that it will take time before I can sample any of them. Raw fruit and veg will be my food for a day or two as my digestive system is gently reawakened.

    My thanks for those of you in my daily life who've expressed support, and though one colleague called it 'stupid,' it is certainly an unusual undertaking, in this society anyway.

    Onward to tomorrow!

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:47 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    Still Fasting

    ...at 59 hours and feeling fine, though I could've slept a lot longer. I really am going to try to make it to Monday at lunch, possibly Tuesday. I break my record of 64 hours sometime after noon, and enter the 72 threshold tonight. I did not go dancing last night as I'd hoped, fearing the toxicity of the cigarette smoke and my body was telling me to rest instead. It's important to heed your body when fasting, and the trick to remember is to listen after fasting as well. We usually tend to let the mind dictate what the body wants, but when fasting it becomes clear that the body has its own signals which are often drowned out by the brain's loud clammoring. Fasting helps set the two in balance.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:30 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 26 February, 2005 }

    with groovy intention

    At 43 hours I'm feeling fine, better in fact than yesterday. I'd love to study the physiology of fasting, and understand what's being released right now that gives me energy and clarity despite being food-less. After chaperoning the youth group sleepover, I came home and experienced an hour or so or weariness. But without much energy to go on, I undertook one of the more massive apartment cleanings I've done in some time... thorough scrubbing, mopping, attention to details that my life doesn't normally allow. Taking out the mountain of recycling. I was surprised to find that it took so long for me to catch the metaphor; cleansing is happening without as within. I'm processing the excesses, the forgetfulness, and the mindlessness of certain ruts that a human will fall into, and these things will not resolve themselves. I wanted the recycling to take itself out, but I had to do the work. For spiritual truths, it's a rather big "duh," but one of the easiest truths to misplace when we become absorbed in un-real realities.

    It is conceivable that I may go dancing tonight? In this state of being, chances look good. And dancing without the buzz of alcohol will invite a greater buzz, the kind the shamans speak of, the kind that comes from innocent, spinning children who know how easy it is to find magic.

    UPDATE: A-ha!

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:14 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    30 hours on...

    I'm feeling good, fairly brain-sizzled, but no longer hungry. This has been one of the easiest fasts yet. Luckily there haven't been any real unpleasant side effects of foodlessness.

    We just took the youth group extreme bowling (I won't confess how miserable my scores were), and most of the crew is settling down to sleep. I'm one of them. Others are playing hide and seek, and other randomness. I'll be doing that same activity in mere minutes, but with my subconscious...

    Reporting live from a teen lock-in, holding my own against the forces of physiology...

    jaybird found this for you @ 02:19 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 25 February, 2005 }

    fast update

    I'm approaching the 24 hour mark with little side effects other than the obvious hunger and a slight sense of being dazed and airheaded. All sorts of unnatural cravings are beginning to surface, especially deep-fried foods and general crapola. I'm a bit tired but also have that antsy energy associated with bodily anxiety about the conditions that are causing this sudden lack of food.

    I'm going to take a long hot shower, then head over to the lock-in and continue to starve with about a dozen teenagers.

    jaybird found this for you @ 18:45 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    Cleansing for a Cause

    At around 8 last night, I had my last meal before the fast. It was wonderful. So was the beer that washed it down and helped produce that bizarre poem posted earlier. This morning, I'm preparing my body to go as long as possible without food, and I'm hoping to meet or break my record of 80 hours. I've learned in these marathon fasts, however, that you break when your body tells you to break. It happens when it happens.

    I'll be drinking gallons of water today, and throughout the experience, adding in juices some time tomorrow. Tea is acceptable for this fast, in moderation, as are mild supplements and medications. Late tonight I'll begin to have a low-range headache, which may build into a crushing one my mid-day tomorrow. The key is to ride it out, and sleep through it if necessary.

    I'm doing this not only for cleansing, but in solidarity with those who truly hunger daily in the world. Malnourishment and starvation certainly happens worldwide, but also right here at home. It's only fair that a thirty-something gay white American should hold off on the gravy train for a few days in respect for those millions, or billions, living in misery.

    In that spirit, I'd like to challenge my readers to sponsor me by the hour, with proceeds going directly to Timonthy House in Haiti. This orphanage was devastated by last year's floods, and the young adult program in my spiritual community is hoping to raise funds to help this orphanage rebuild. If you choose to support this effort, please donate via the left sidebar and I'll give every penny to the cause.

    My subconscious played a fun food trick on me in my dreams last night: I was watching a video from Iraq of an American firing a heat-seeking missile at a helicopter. People on the ground were screaming that it was the wrong target. The 'copter crashed to the ground, with black smoke and flame shooting all about. Once the dust settled, everyone ran to the downed chopper, which turned out to be an aerial Chinese restaurant, and everyone inside was only slightly dazed. The wok was fired up, the startled crew straightened themselves up, and a line quickly formed for fried rice.

    I'll post regular updates regarding the fast your your entertainment and my recollection.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:15 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 24 February, 2005 }

    11pm screed

    "God Bless the child..."
    She sang
    "Who's got his own..."
    What does anyone truly have,
    Can you truly own the infinite,
    The eternal cords that ring with randomness
    When plucked by fate invisible?
    Can you truly have a dream?
    Will that barmaid over there truly wonder
    About the worth of her shadows,
    The empty glasses of intention and anticipation,
    And the weight of apocryphal tips?
    God Bless the child!
    Old money spent by young wanderers on Holy Ephemera,
    Get me a dozen...

    Forget breaching "certain words,"
    But think for a moment on their value,
    And just how much you truly have.

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:50 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 20 February, 2005 }

    Can't help but to laugh

    I can't help but to laugh. It's impossible to dam the chortles and guffaws that echo off of the latest circumstances of living. The past few days have provided a fair amount of muck: a painful back injury, a speeding ticket, long and unrewarding days on the treadmill of vocation, and the cliche of longing for loving during a certain mid-winter holiday. But today, where these elements could manifest as burden or pathos, they only seem to be transmutable through embracing the comedy of our daily ping-pong, and the codicils and edicts of Murphy.

    Too many times I've bundled my woes into a sack and hurled them into a river of wine from the overpass of forget. The rewards of not-confronting pain or eluding it through clever self-deception are maybe physical numbness at night and wine-stained lips in the morning, with the same heathen worries waiting to resume their boogey-party on the doorstep. Is laughter evasion? I don't think so, I think it's a natural response to the temporal gnomes of inconvenience when realizing their miniscule scope in the expanse of life. I will not be defined on that fateful day I pass by a speeding ticket, it's only a turnstile I move through in my rush to the temple. Thus I must size-up all the other ridiculous problems I must face with the same energy... move through it, not be defined by it, realize its tiny impliciation. Too often we choose to let our burdens become our badges, and I once lived in a way that chose that fashion statement for me. It's tiresome, and moving from a place of victimhood to the place of victor-hood is a very long and agonizing journey. It's easier to remain in a place of personhood, and accept all these potholes and triviaities for what they are...

    Big jokes.

    Jokes to keep us on our toes and aware that the world is too big to be consumed with your issues. Jokes to remind us that our nature is energetic and interconnected, and that no matter the struggle, it's as resolved as we choose it to be with our openness and exertion. Jokes to knock self-importance on its ass so it can see that the world was not made for us, but made with us, and in order to exist we've got to play along and accept the inevitabilities of consciousness. Jokes where we are the punchline and the gist is to keep us humble.

    A good reason why I've got this new back injury is that I chose to go snow-boarding, which I knew would involve falling a lot at rather high speeds. I put my trust in my friend Kim to show me what to do, then I had to trust my equipment and the snow to work with my intentions. Is it foolish to do such things? Yes. But for me it's just as foolish to avoid adventure. I took a risk, and it didn't culminate into a real, anxious pain until I dropped my tea cup in the office yesterday, and I bent down to pick it up. I was floored by the storm in my nerves, and while I had to focus very hard to manage the pain and breathe easily, I couldn't help but laugh. Perhaps it was an automatic reaction, but I did find humor in my sudden helplessness. Rather than feeling my survivability threatened, it was enlivened by the signals I was receiving: while there was excruciating pain, everything in my body was working the way it was supposed to... you receive pain when there is a problem. If we can experience that so easily in our bodies, why do we refute it so commonly in our daily lives? We do so much to drown the pain, and that something wrong will only grow in size and dysfunction until it overwhelms us.

    There's so much to laugh about, so much to be assured by through the antics of fate and the slapstick of destiny. Rather than choosing to let lonliness on Valentine's take me for a ride, I'll ride instead through the warm eyes of a beautiful stranger, like one I met this morning, and realize that love is coming but the way there will likely involve even more pratfalls and goofiness, and that's alright by me. Rather than let a speeding ticket ruin my day, I choose to accept that it's just another bureaucratic broomstick to jump over, and whatever the repercussions of that will be, it won't make the sky any less blue. This isn't a brave or novel way to see life, but rather a coping mechanism just as valid as any other. I just can't use some other mechanisms any more, so I'll make do with what I got. Happily, laughably.

    So, did you hear the one about the Zen hotdog vender? He'll make you one with everything.

    jaybird found this for you @ 10:43 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 17 February, 2005 }

    What's Happening Now

    As is nearly standard, when things get rather busy in my life, details and reports of such don't make this page and remain tucked away in my brain or scattered across the calendar in chickenscratch. I certainly like to share my goings on, but time often lays waste to me by the end of the day and I'm asleep by the time the blog autoposts a nifty link. The alarm clock goes off, and the cycle continues. Since this website serves a dual purpose (content for you and a journal for me), I must mark the following ten items as newsworthy in the space-time of my finite life in the infinite Universe:

  • Today is a flex-time day for me, as I've been putting in 55-hour weeks at work. My to do list: taxes, answer a bucket-full of emails I've let sit for too long, vacuum, do dishes, cut my hair, and memorize my lines for a short play.

  • I've decided to go back to school. Next week, I commit myself for two and a half years to a B.S. in Human Services Management with a minor in IT. I've got a student loan, grant applications in, and text books on the way. All of this seems a bit weird for a 32 year old in a stable (if extremely erratic) job, but the bubble burst for me and I feel that if I'm going to continue that stability something other than my D.Div. has to be in play. Depending on the experience, I may just go for a Master's. My enrollment counselor, in looking at my life experience and accomplishments, openly said that I'm a "very unusual case." As if that's been a happy motto for my life so far!

  • I'm planning a big shindig for the book signing, appropriately enough on April Fool's day. There's going to be actors performing bits from my book, dancers, musicians, and even going to be a ten minute movie on how eccentric I am and why that should sell books. It's all a bit much. Nonetheless, I'm ready for a big party. The book has just hit Amazon and BN.

  • Meanwhile, I'm laying the groundwork for my third book, a (fictional) biography of all things: "The Recursive Road of Isadore M. Upinsky."

  • Yes, it's true, three weeks ago a romance came and went. While was was very nice outwardly, there was some controlling and mind-game-playing elements to his personality that could not have been borne out in a healthy relationship. I was relieved when it was over. C'est la vie! I'm rather busy anyway and I'm content to let the creative process by my squeeze for right now.

  • I'm gearing up for another season of doing cartoon voices, starting next month. Apparently, the studio says I'll have a lot of work to do, which is very pleasant news indeed. Doing cartoon voices was always a dream of mine, and getting to do it in 2004 was a highlight o' my year.

  • I'm continuing to do some big time soul searching about my childhood, and working in such close contact with so many diagnosed kids makes me wonder about some of my own quirks, namely things related to ADD and RAD-inhibitive. It's a curious thing for me to go back in time and re-work through some of my stuff.

  • I'm happy about the lengthening of the days... it's noticeable now, and while out in the botanical gardens I noticed little buds peeking through the earth, so perfect and bright but still hardened and prepared for frost. Watching them for a time while meditating sent me reeling.

  • Recently, I went snowboarding for the first time, at this place. I hadn't been on the slopes in a skiing capacity since eighth grade, a mere 18ish years ago. I was rather nervous at first, but got the basic gist of it before too long. There were moments of wondrous gliding across the snow to riotous encounters with gravity at high speed that threw off my gloves and hat with the force. I suppose that's part of the deal. They say it takes three times to really get the hang of it. Indeed. The morning after, I was sore like a sonofabitch.

  • The looming trip to Peru in May increasingly tickles my spirit with anticipation and twinge of anxiety. We're going to fly into Lima, make our way through the Andes and Lake Titicaca, and on to Bolivia and Tiwanaku. We'll fly out of La Paz for home.

    So, that's ten little bits from this side of the screen. I'll do my best to keep regular contact with the true and fantastic bits as human time warbles on in it's damned linear track through the circuitous nature of the Really Real.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:24 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 13 February, 2005 }

    there is no lonliness...

    Who has time for regrets, it's already tomorrow...

    Slough off the wintry recusal of pleasure,
    For even the mind is abundant with free, thoughtless touch.

    A block and a half down the road there's dancing,
    The music a furnace which turns the room
    Into a different kind of heat.

    Imagine the orchestra of heartbeats inside,
    The swirling mass, dazed in rapture,
    Ascending in passion through the flicker of lights
    And the arduous cadence of the drum.

    Tonight, withdrawn from that holy press of flesh.
    Not refuted or refused, but parted from it,
    It's only time that makes that call, damn it,
    Not some woeful circumstance worthy of sharp words,
    Of course, there's a teaching in every denial.

    Hunger for the communion of beautiful people
    Comes at such a dear price;
    It makes one write queer indulgent poetry at the oddest hours
    And so foolish to be betrothed to a memory of near-perfection.

    From so far away it seems, a glass is raised to honor those in love,
    From soul-kissing a stranger to the taste of love's exertion,
    I am not dancing tonight, but I'll abide that the whole world is somehow making love.

    There is no true lonliness,
    Only seclusion-by-choice from that ancient well of sweet water.

    Persistence is the finest romance.

    jaybird found this for you @ 00:56 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 12 February, 2005 }

    dream report

  • Somehow, a Stetson-hat wearing adventurer had drilled a hole in the butt of the Sphinx to access a secret chamber. What he found was a strange stone seat set within an unusual geometric framework. Setting in the seat and activating it through chant, the Merkaba instantly carried the adventurer at the "Axis of Creation." At this point in no-space, there was a horizontal and a vertical band shaped along an inverse sphere, as if you were looking at the equator and meridian from inside the globe. Each of the two bands contained twelve universes. He aimed the Merkaba toward one, and there was an incredible acceleration and kaleidoscopic light as the vehicle shot through twelve "bands of dimension" within the chosen universe. It was our own, from whence he came, and he was going back in time to correct a wrong he'd done as a child. Seems quite a distance to go.

  • The Grateful Dead was back together, with a squat oriental man (the Hotei?) channeling Jerry Garcia. The audience was a tad skeptical, which considering the majority of Deadheads would be an unlikely scenario. For the second time in a week, I've had a dream which contains a song which doesn't exist, and I remember the lyrics:

    "The story has wound on
    And misplaced the reasons why,
    And I've remembered how to laugh,
    But I've forgotten how to cry."

    The song was pure Grateful Dead style, and the ancient-Chinese-pleasure-god-channeled-Garcia and Bob Weir were belting out the vocals. This trend is getting bizarre.

  • On a sailboat which was moving entirely too fast down a swollen river. The boat eventually clipped a rock at the bottom of the riverbed, which instead of cracking the hull, propelled the boat through the air, to gently land on a Victorian-style roof in a quaint little village. It was the kind of idyllic place where the children were playing with ribbons and drums, sheep roamed the streets, women were working a loom together, and I remembered the secret to flight under a sprawling oak tree.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:23 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 07 February, 2005 }

    nap dreams

    Around 5pm, I got incredibly tired and decided to nap for an hour or two. Lo, it's almost 1am, and that's 8 slept-through hours already. My time feels quite distored, and the stars are brighter tonight than I ever saw them.

  • A city square in vibrant gold light. It looks like Krakow. There are shiny rock bands everywhere, lining the mostly empty cobblestone streets. It's a giant jam, but the sound is very clean. I focus on the music, and these are the lyrics I heard, the chorus of a song which doesn't exist, sung by an amazing slightly accented female voice:

    "There's whole worlds going through my mind tonight,
    Well, I'm a living hall of people.
    There's only so much thought you can think in just one day,
    I'm a living hall of people."

    The song is incredible, and it's on repeat in my head tonight. Where do these things come from?


  • I'm at my father's old house, watching the Delaware river thrash with huge waves, which roll into the garden. They take out the wooden stairs on which I'm standing, but I jump back on the porch. Later, I'm on the beach with my best friend, and the waves start in again, muddy and impossibly threatening. Joshua and I run, and he's yelling "Why is this happening?!"

    The scene cuts to a strange assembly of robed figues, I think they are personifications of the elements, or gods. They are asking just the same question of one man in a dark cloak. He pulls back his hood to reveal a bitter and weathered face with a long beard, and he says in madness that he was spurned, that his unrequited love did him injustice, and he wanted his anger "to be felt throughout the entire Universe, that only one atom would remain unshaken."

    Closeup on that atom.

  • A smart couple at home watching films. She, a red head, had chosen to watch a "Lit Crit" film, and he obviously isn't into it. Each act of the movie focuses on a different book, and characters acting out scenes from the book, while two voices debate in an academic tone the merit of the actions on screen. High heels on glass floors, furniture draped in purple velvet. His lack of interest wins a reprieve, and without emotion she puts in another DVD, this one where every single person (even the extras) are notable or heroic characters from somewhere in my psyche: Willy Wonka, the Three Musketeers, Jane Eyre, Paul Atreides of Dune, and Terry Gross from Fresh Air. The woman, at first skeptical of the film, settles in with the wine-drinking man and watches with interest.
  • ---

    So intense, vivid, and as if from another mind entirely, I have to repeat the question (perhaps to those bright stars), where do these dreams come from? The song, especially, it's so musically perfect, but I know nothing about how to compose music. Yet it's in key, and the singer of that song has a familiar yet powerful voice.

    "A living hall of people?"

    UPDATE: From the second half of sleep... Two brothers decide to travel the world. Both will travel in spirals across the sphere; one will travel vertically, the other horizontally, until they meet at some intersection somewhere.

    jaybird found this for you @ 00:47 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 06 February, 2005 }

    another silly poem

    God bless Billie Holliday
    In her sweet goddess majesty
    Unfurling from the kitchen radio
    Like a kerchief tossed in the night wind
    To float, to settle, to find.

    God bless the old Gods,
    Those ancestors etched in stone
    In cave walls and in the crevices of
    Our inherited collective memory,
    And we are entranced when we uncover those symbols.

    God bless the near-empty jug of wine
    For each sip more tender and moody
    Than anticipation could fathom...
    It's sent me to the station of tears,
    Along the tracks of laughter, on the route of reverie.

    God bless that comet I can't seem to find
    The starcharts say it's out there
    Hurling in parade past our trick pony show,
    A slight hint that failures die in space,
    That only passion, ardor, and gravity truly live.

    God bless sarcasm, irony, doubt and wit;
    The analytical mind that dissects assumption
    With the sharp tounge of reason,
    Which becomes oh so easily tied
    When mystery flashes you a quick peek of her hand.

    God bless late night silly poem writing,
    We poor fools who document the unweildy whims
    Of heart, of circumstance, of each
    Unique juxtaposition of art and memory...
    For while our drunken screed is foolish,

    Our dream is to return
    The mad blessings of creation
    To their source
    Within you.

    jaybird found this for you @ 00:57 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 03 February, 2005 }

    sickwellness day

    I'm taking a sick day so I can make soup, meditate, and breathe easy for a change. The past few weeks have been so hectic and packed with emotionally intense stimuli, a little gray-day downtime will be nice. We were supposed to get an icestorm, so I feel like the world may as well be iced over, keeping me indoors to re-center, re-ground and realize the direction I want to take through this merry-go-round of meteorlogical ephemera.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:53 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 30 January, 2005 }

    A Block of Cheese and the Value of Life:
    Discovering Real Security through Deep Empathy

    I've been asked to contribute a piece for the gay men's spirituality magazine White Crane Jounal, on the heavy and difficult topic of money, one of my least favorite things. This is the raw version of that article, presented here for vetting and your thoughts.

    Some would probably call it a low point in one's childhood, the day the block of welfare cheese arrives in its stark white box. True, times were very hard, and it was certainly represented a blow for a mother who worked multiple jobs to pay for her only son's specialized schooling and who herself was brought up with all the trimmings of upper class society. But for me, a ten year-old awkward child who didn't quite understand the symbolism, it was a blessing. While for my mother this handout was probably something of a last straw, it presented an opportunity for unusual and imaginative culinary misadventures. It was a challenge for my little hands to cut and its hue was so artificially orange that there is no natural analog for that color. Truly, making a meal of welfare cheese is a singular experience, a communion of resourcefulness and a twinge of despair, which the eyes of even the youngest children can glean from their surroundings even if the language isn't there to classify it.

    Yet, I remember very clearly laughing with my mother about the ridiculousness of it all. Hanging by a financial thread, the government in all its charity, gives us a dense monolith of adulterated cheddar; there's a strange comedy in that. Yet we persevered, and during that interim I appreciated the little bit of food we had. As is natural when poverty strikes, we made sure nothing went to waste. And yet, that youthful na've quasi-asceticism of mine had a flip side to it, as all stories do. On the weekends with my father, the centerpiece was always fresh, the silver always polished, and the roast, tender if intimidating in its girth, lay steaming in its opulence for no good reason other than it was Sunday dinner. Elbows off the table, fork held just right, the contrast between my two lives left me confused in my loyalties and questioning which of my parents made me feel more secure. Child psychologists often note that food is one of the greatest factors in creating or avoiding childhood neuroses, and this duality of scarcity and extravagance, of appreciation versus quantity left a mark that is still reconciling itself.

    It's only logical that money, in all of its permutations and schizoid transactions, remains an indelible bug-bear in a life made of priceless beauty. Throughout all the wavering fortunes of my days, what remains in my soul's reservoir of thankfulness are not the costs of my desire but the outcome of my choices, and what I carry with me is gratefully free of charge. My soul wears sunsets more luxuriant and audacious in their wonder than any jewel or fabric. Some of the waters of my blood are dissolved crystals of snow, caught on my tongue one beautifully cold winter's morning. The art my heart refers back to when trying to comprehend a moment of love remains to flutter in the trees or scurry along moonlit branches, full of secrets... such wonders could not hang on a wall or be bought at discount. This isn't meant to be pretty metaphorical lip-service to a particular lifestyle, rather these images represent a value I've come to treasure, which has saved me from completely losing myself in a society written by checks and charges. Many times, I've got the equivalent of that block of cheese in my 'fridge of my spirit, but there'd be a rainbow overhead or a strain of music wandering the street that sets my senses alight and reminds me that I will (like all humans) often bypass what's truly precious over the drama of spinning my psychic wheels about things that are meaningless in the context of an infinite universe, like matching dishware and bed-sheets with high thread count.

    It may be foolish and unprofitable to live this way, yet I believe that there's an edict awaiting us for edifying a spiritual identity through the raw and gritty means we choose to live by. As gay men, we often begin the process of self-realization on our own, while big and glittery assumptions about our identity await our mental purchase, pearls of half-price. In conversation with queer and straight friends alike, it's frequently noted in euphemism the tendency for young gay men to buy into the consumer culture without question, that their self concept is found in mass media and their affect can be as shallow as network programming. While I insist that our individual natures are eternal and no matter how trapped we may become in quick-fix salvation, I do see the point that queer culture frequently flirts with homogenization via the power of money and the power of product. I would rather see this as a temporary growing pain of our maturing selves and 'Young Gay America' than a paradigm which could undermine our future spiritual and cultural growth, and I vary between skepticism and hopefulness about the outcome of our social emergence. Many of us weren't born into environments supportive of our sexualities, and achieving financial success became a venerable tool to demonstrate pride and worth. In this sense there is a justification of sorts for the motivation to make as much as you can, and even flaunt a little. In these times, however, the deep soulful gratification of living in harmony with the Earth is a jeopardized modality, and the next generations of all children might not have the chance to fully enjoy a kinship with the world which cradles a conflicted humanity.

    In my own imperfect way, I've tried to be a young-ish gay American who has chosen a lifestyle of relative simplicity in order to reflect my spiritual ideals. My aim, which is no better or worse than any other sentient being's, is to be in greater empathy with the Earth herself and the vast majority of her struggling humans. The lessons required to foster that view, from the block of welfare cheese to holding dying children in Haiti, have not been easy, and I'm no saint for enduring my simple trials, which are trite compared to the real suffering that is invisible to us only though our fear of pain and deprivation. Yet I don't reject money. The idea, quite simply, is to make money as useful as possible to the greatest good for myself, the planet, and that which I value. As illusory and artificial as I think it to be, it is still an energy to be reckoned with, and like the forces of nature, the direction of that energy can be malleable and can result in deep creativity. We can do sacred, holy things with it, and contrariwise. Money's destructive power could become blas' if en-masse we began spending in radically different ways, which is possible to observe in your own daily life. It's clich' to say that we feel better when we give to good causes, but if money can be made into a metaphor for our energy, the feeling becomes real and increasingly useful. I'd rather feel hackneyed than useless.

    Two years ago, I went to Haiti to have my world rocked, shaken, and split wide open. It was my hope that doing some service work in the hemisphere's most forsaken country would re-affirm the mystical and ethical path which by coincidence and hard-knocks I'd embraced. There are no words for the compassion and shock that blow through your heart like a landslide when your own struggle and suffering are put in a perspective so alien and incalculably more desperate. It's common for people, children especially, to come up to you and say, 'Blanc, Blanc, give me one American dollar!' And it utterly breaks your heart to not reach for your wallet and peel off a Washington, for you've been told doing so actually feeds into the poverty even more. But to go into an orphanage, or a hospital, and be present with every age of soul confronting a stricken or non-existent future, and to squeeze their hand and touch their heart and love them with everything you have that very instant, surpasses the worth of any currency in any amount. In blindingly vivid moments like that, amid the flies and squalor and despair, you come to understand that the only exchange that really matters in our brief time here is the exchange of soul, that personal energy which acts as an umbilical to the elements and the purposefulness of life. While wandering in a daze down its streets, absorbing the extreme differences in my story and theirs, I longed for some sign of commonality, and it didn't take long to find... the smile. In spite of the pain and fear these people live with daily, they still smile, broadly and brilliant like the sun breaking through the mountains. There is music everywhere, joyous, hopeful, and full of spirit, for spirit is written into all aspects of life on that island of mystery and magic. While they own very little, and live threadbare at the mercy of nature and government, Haitians' lives are overflowing with God and the Loa, and they see their plight as only temporal, for their faith far outweighs the brokenness of their nation.

    That little field trip into the very hands of the Divine did indeed rupture my soul in a holy way, allowing new lessons to flow in about real appreciation, which felt a lot like the appreciation for that hunk of cheese which helped my mother and I get by so long ago. When I went to the supermarket, I was stunned with twin feelings of thankfulness and disgust, and when I emptied the spare change from my pocket, I blessed each penny as if it were a sacred jewel. I'd realized I'd never said 'thank you' for the abundance I had, no matter how thin it seemed or how problematic it became.

    Altruism and simplicity as virtues are not dead. In fact, their effects are as profound as ever as technology advances to where resources and abilities are paired instantly when needed, as evidenced by the swift and massive global communities online response to the Southeast Asian tsunami. As gay men resurrecting ancient ideals and creating and whole new social paradigms, we must follow a noble passage if we are to find security in today's volatile world, and if we are to confront injustice and moral inconsistency. The only way to do such a thing is to decide for yourself what really matters, and whom you affect in your choices. I can only speak for myself, and it's not my place to suggest how to consume and spend. As a gay man, I feel an extra duty to sculpt my material life in good conscience as so much attention is put into debating our worth and value as members of American society. I must try to live within my means, I must try to heal my little patch of Earth because it is right to do, I must remember that my empathy is only as good as my energy expended, and that correlates to each financial choice I make. I volunteer to be simple, even if it makes for a bit of anxiety on the first date.

    The last sandwich I made from that block of cheese was mushy with yellow mustard, and I remember thinking that it tasted like sunshine. I was a strange kid. I still am. It's with fondness that I consider those days, wearing hand-me-downs to private school and making forts from trash heaps. Our lives are so delightfully made of contrasts, so wonderfully a story only we can tell. In billions of years, when our sun explodes and the memory of Earth is dust, it won't matter what's in my savings account. What will matter, to each of us, is that we lived and loved, and appreciated the miracles of the colors of the sunset, the curves of a smile, and even the taste of a cheese and mustard sandwich.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:20 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 29 January, 2005 }

    early snow verses

    Once in this life
    I used to imagine the snow were bits of stars
    And like my heroes
    I too could run through space and plant my feet
    On new worlds far from home.


    Just now awake
    There are galaxies flying past my window
    And the silence of the day
    Is from the awe of the speed at which the world
    Is transformed through ice.


    (Is there snow inside my heart?
    Am I sledding through ventricles
    And laughing all the way,
    Or is the weather changing me
    All too fast?)


    I'm about to bundle up
    And with eyes still streaked with dream,
    This little place
    Will become a metaphor again, while the crows in the trees
    Will intone a chant
    To the stars, falling toward us.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:52 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 26 January, 2005 }

    watching the owl

    The graffiti read something like
    "Watch for the owl."
    I've got one staring at me right now,
    Feathery portent eyes as wide as moons
    Days of flight as perfectly written
    As those dog-eared novels
    Most often stolen out of libraries
    By vagabonds and wild-eyed children.
    The owl, that bearer of transformation,
    Of white death and births at night,
    Nesting in the nether-land of time and chance
    Takes to the air and with a swoop changes destiny,
    Swooping with silent exacting will
    Into hearts craving love and mad with the possibility of it all,
    Absconding with reason and
    Retreating into a forest entangled with sorcery and shimmering lessons,
    Taught with cryptic tangles of trees and vines.
    In this night that froze the strangers out of downtown,
    And the barkeeps wiped empty tables where swooning happened only moments ago,
    I accept transformation,
    I accept the screech of the owl
    As foretold in graffiti and in prophetic whispers from goddess-women,
    I accept, with gratitude and respect,
    The prey the owl seeks in me,
    That the prayer within may ascend the skies, into the moonlight,
    Into the constellations which shine through ardor, and love.

    jaybird found this for you @ 01:56 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 23 January, 2005 }

    Cold beer and a fried egg,
    And the space heater's got me in a warm glow,
    It must be the most frigid night of the year.
    A late winter's night, and Sarah Vaughn is turning radio waves to silk,
    It's a nice image,
    This cozy hermitage of a Bohemian Sunday night.
    While the mysticism that rises everywhere in books is not overt,
    It is here,
    In this delightful proportion of contentment and thankfulness
    That the wind chill, by God, is on the other side of the window.
    There must be a little bit of God in this,
    Even in the sock-pile huddled like refugees on the floor.
    Even in the migrant worker walking along side the road,
    Under layers of cheap clothes,
    There's a little bit of God in that, probably a lot.
    From this view, it's pretty clear that it's all pretty clear,
    And even the most mundane or exuberant communion with the senses
    Is proof of a crazy multi-dimensional communion
    With the totality of our lonely, lovely selves.
    As the beer winds down and the yawning sets in,
    Raise a quick toast of thanks, will ya,
    For the senses, for the stimuli that comes with
    This package tour called life.
    There's a little bit of God in this,
    The last drop and the warmth of the blankets,
    Pleasure is our simple receipt
    For the passing of yet another hour
    And verification that we, indeed, are somehow living ,
    Against the odds, but so implausibly perfect in the moment.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:20 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 22 January, 2005 }

    reminiscence in white

    The wind is rattling the house tonight like a toy, and the whole world is dipped in confectioner's sugar. Just as in the molecular world, the sheer cold has stopped all traffic, and each draft is icicle breath. Winter, in all it's dark rage is putting on a fine show tonight, and I am in full swing of sucking up the guilty pleasure of this season's reclusive inclinations.

    I remember some great snows in years gone by. In the park, my father and I would go to the hill, that little bump of a hill, and slide down or wipe out in this ancient sled of his. I think it was his when he was young. Its metal runners hurt like a sonofabitch as I crashed against them on the wipe-outs, and I was at the age where I wouldn't cry from pain quite so much. But I'd bitch about it. The exhilaration of acceleration, the height and the speed, was such a wonderful drug.

    In '83, there was a terrific blizzard up north, and my mother and I were staying with the parents of her then-boyfriend. His family trained guide dogs, big vicious evil guide dogs, and they also rather openly practiced a form of magic that was at least on the gray side. For an eleven year old kid, this made for high curiosity. I remember building tunnels in the snowdrifts, as best as that awkward kid knew how, and being in complete awe at the volume of snow... about three feet in spots. One day while we were trapped there, my mother, her boyfriend and I were slogging our way around in the snow, marveling at the volume of white. Suddenly, three green flashes buzzed by overhead, and for the first time I sniffed ozone. The air definitely was charged. We were further agape from that mystery, scared a little. My best guess was that this was ball lightening, not unheard of in conditions like that. But certainly unnerving, especially for the adults. Later, I believe I saw a spirit floating through the house, and fell rather suddenly down the stairs, knocking myself out for a bit.

    That was an eventful snow.

    Fast forward a year and there was the snow I, for once, learned to hate. I had been spending the night with a school friend, Mike. The night before, we'd played "Spin the Bottle," just the two of us. You can expect that certain things happened, that innocent playing that adolescents do. That morning, my friend had turned on me. After instigating the game, I suppose he freaked and reacted against it. While outside in the snow, wanting badly to go home, he aimed an ice-ball at my head, and taunted me about being queer as I fell to the ground. The snow, that playful element that covered the world in magic, burned my face as I lay in it, head spinning. I remember the rest of the winter refusing thereafter to go play in the snow, in Pavlovian fear of another ice-ball. I didn't quite make the connection, and luckily, the wonder of snow was too compelling to render me phobic.

    I remember the strange joy of being able to pee my name in the snow.

    I remember the massive snowmen the big kids made in my apartment complex, and how mine were always so lumpy, but I liked them just the same.

    I remember going down to the river after one long, hard snow and freeze. I closed my eyes listening to the ice floes crash against each other in the currents, how the snow made the beach pebbles slick and difficult to walk on, and watching the flakes fall with such grace to their dissolution in the river.

    I'll never forget shoveling now with the neighbor boy... we'd charge everyone $5 a piece, and one sweet old couple invited us in for the best hot chocolate I ever had. The ache of work in my young muscles, then so foreign, felt good, and I felt that manhood, by conquering the elements with my shovel and mittens, was being conferred upon me.

    My first ski experience was a hoot: I had many tumbles, one of which happened as a good friend and I took the hill together, and by then, it was dark and most of the school was in the lodge packing up and comparing bruises. We became entangled as we rolled, and fell together for what seemed an impossibly long time. When the slope finally stopped spinning, there was silence, then great laughter, as we stumbled together down the hill.

    Mojo, a miracle cat who once was the gypsy mascot of a crazy band of friends, followed me out into the woods one day while exploring my own little tundra of illusion and identity. I was amazed at how far the boy was willing to follow, and where he'd take me when he led.

    I remember making love while an open window let the snow blow onto the bed and across my back.

    There was once a vicious ice storm, I think back in '95, that coated the entire town in crystal. A group of us slid out into the woods, losing our footing and high as the very clouds which dipped our empire of bliss into that beautiful mess. There was a loud buzzing and a bright blue flash across the sky, and we panicked as we realized that the power lines were coming down, all around us. Our run home was marked by great crashes of ice and explosions of not-too-distant electricity set free. Later, powerlessness was a thrill.

    I remember sliding down a hill one winter's night with nothing but my own body. A friend called it a "damn fool stunt." I did it several times just to be sure it was real.

    After moving to the mountains of North Carolina, our first winter was a harsh one. One blizzard knocked out power for two days, and I had to keep all the fish in my tanks alive by heating water with candles. When we first ventured out, we were in shock at all the downed trees, and the utter moonscape made of our new home. Trees was broken with the weight, and the sweet and peaceful mountains we'd run to for shelter took on a solemn tone as nature made her proof aloud that there, indeed, was no place on this Earth where weather should be taken for granted.

    Since then, there has been many phantasmagorical falls of that most intriguing form of precipitation, each one unique in character. Just as each snowflake is a geometric individual, each storm somehow frames a moment of our lives and captures a memory in a drift of time, even as it melts there is some part of us that retains that day. I am not a winter person, and as I've grown older my tolerance for this kind of element has lessened to the point of imposing a seasonal hermitage upon my otherwise exploration-obsessed soul. Tonight, as the wind-chill is dangerous, I'll take comfort in my home body predilections and enjoy the drama from my windows, the roar of the black wind and the piling of the snowy inches.

    And tomorrow, I think I'll make a snow angel.

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:34 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 21 January, 2005 }

    a few lines for evergreen

    Evergreen, there aren't many of you up on the ridge
    But for every one I see, distant and stoic,
    There's one shade of life, of survival,
    Rooting harmoniously against the odds, the machines.

    Such a tree ought to stand within each of us,
    Ancient or whippersnapper green,
    Living boldly through the reigning ice of retreat,
    We're both Earthlings, after all, and the sap that sustains you
    Isn't that far off from the sap that sustains me.

    Endure the winter well, good friends,
    For today you will be my sentinel,
    And I, another passing shadow
    Beneath your timeless growth.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:30 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 16 January, 2005 }

    fantasia in gay minor

    I do have a thing for silk shirts,
    And yes, who can deny the way jeans look on a man?
    When I'm out on the town
    There's a tiger in my heart
    With broad ambitions and wide territory,
    But my own tribe is a vexation.
    I find my heart stirring at the sight
    Even from a hundred yards,
    At the possibility of one man's beauty,
    But somewhere deeper than the sensuous nation of skin
    The glint of dashing purpose in the eyes.
    And I go home to drink another beer alone,
    Hoppy, heavy, and only slightly bitter.

    I normally don't write poems like this,
    So I know I'll try to rationalize it into that
    Space of forgetfulness where it hurts to remember.
    Yet for now, anthemic and brassy,
    The words well up inside like dam-busters,
    And I've been back to the beginning so many times
    That all the ticket agents know my name and where I'm going.
    This kind of thing happens late at night,
    When the glow of social interaction wears off,
    And I'm sleeping on the couch because the bed is
    Too damn empty.
    That's where I try to stop myself and summon the mirror
    To show that an empty bed is not pathetic,
    But piling it with clothes
    To make sleeping on it a chore of folding is that unyielding adjective.
    But the truth is,
    I know I'm worthy, and my straight friends all say so,
    They laud my eccentricities and trademarked peculiarities,
    While in the gay world such things are all too queer.

    "Jeans and a white t-shirt girl,
    And that shirt better fit right,
    If you know what I mean.
    And, you don't go to no gay club
    So you can sit in some dark-ass corner
    And write no damn poetry.
    Your ass best be dancing, bitch."

    Yeah, I know.
    And when I dance,
    I emulate the shamanic gyrations that moved our ancestors
    Toward the portal that cleaves this world from that,
    The holy ground of blood memory and
    Sacred sweat.
    And when I'm in that dark-ass corner,
    I'm putting metaphorical masks over the vanity
    To recreate in words the ancient drama of passion's reward.
    It may be stupid,
    But it's not wrong.

    Our people are so perplexed by imagery,
    We chase after the glittery jewel
    That it may somehow redeem us,
    To crown our identity and bestow validity to our
    All-too-often petty complaints.
    Don't you know that in Olden Days,
    We were the ones that mediated between light and dark,
    The navigators of worlds separated by
    Jingoistic dichotomies?
    Don't you know that we,
    By our births and our innate proclivities,
    Have been given the charge to de-stigmatize gender?
    Who will rise to claim the responsibility?

    Who will rise to claim a chamber of my heart?

    Perhaps, none but myself,
    Until one shall chance by with a higher bid.
    I await him, I co-create him,
    And I'll knock all the clothes off the bed
    The day he comes.
    Time is nothing but a trifle:
    I've waited this long,
    I'll wait longer,
    And perhaps in my wrinkled and age-spotted death,
    There we will at last meet,
    Over last words instead of the preferred cocktails.
    That will be fine with me.
    Destiny unfolds when it will,
    No matter how I rage privately against its vagaries,
    No matter how many poet's pens break at it's queer tendencies.

    Acceptance, in its rawest form, is a bugger.

    I am wrought and frought with fantasy,
    And in its cajoling I hope my voice has merit,
    I in fact implore the gods daily for that.
    My fingers trace the silk shirts on their hangers,
    And the folded jeans in their place,
    So ready for the gala of my repeated coming-out,
    Whereupon I am swept off my feet into the abode of the beloved,
    And all is happy and new.
    I know the world is not made of that stuff,
    For the surface of reality is layered into the Infinite
    With complexity and behind-the-scenes preparation.
    Even a fraction of my wishes
    Would fulfill my eternally-fixated dreams.

    Tomorrow, I awaken with all my quirks and oddities,
    I will walk briskly into a new day
    Where its story is only slightly suggested
    In the bowing of the branches, the tumbling of the clouds
    Over these temple-strewn peaks.
    Who isn't rebirthed as such with each dawn?
    I will sweep the snow off the stairs
    And think indulgent thoughts.
    I will imagine that the elusive 'he' is still in bed,
    And we are counting down our days until we vacation in the Tropics.
    I will stick out like a sore thumb,
    But in a way that suggests resignation to the ultimate
    Sunrise of divine romance.
    Call it weird, call it mad,
    But I will not retreat from the ideal of the sweet orbits
    Of passion and togetherness,
    Despite our intrinsic differences,
    On this little planet.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:38 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    Overheard in a dream:

    "Anytime a 70 year old man jumps out of the bush wearing a skirt and a turban, while demanding an intellectual 'girl-fight,' and claiming that all conversation is an 'ontological clover-leaf,' it's a pretty good sign that you're beginning to successfully divest in reality."

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:20 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 14 January, 2005 }


  • In Gambia, doing wildlife photography, mostly of birds. I was speaking French in a very hoarse voice. A great caravan came by, with much shouting, singing and ululations from the villagers for the old man at the center of the procession. I asked one woman who he was: medicine man, chief, or president? She replied that they have no government to speak of in Gambia, and everyone is fine. I never did understand who the great old man was.
  • I was attending a (Xmas?) party themed as a funeral. The gifts exchanged all had tags on them that said things like "I'm terribly sorry for your loss," etc. Throughout my mingling, I kept losing my black lace veil (I think I was going for a drag thing) so I took a spring from a screen door and wrapped it around my head.
  • In a rather carnal dream, I was separated by an invisible force field from a man whom I very much wanted to "get to know" and who also felt similarly. We could hear each other only by shouting. I suggested to the man to try pole-vaulting over, but there was nothing traditional which he could use. Until, the bright idea came to us that we could use our, um, athletic equipment to make the jump, which, by some strange magic, worked, and we set about doing what we wanted to do.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:01 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 13 January, 2005 }

    warm front

    It's like opening the window
    In the dead of winter,
    Awaiting a blast of cold to fill the room
    But to find there's a warm front on,
    And the air greets you kindly
    As it wanders in.

    That's the feeling of this realization,
    Short and sweet:

    You are an impossible jumble of otherwise
    Inert elements, so ask your self
    "who truly makes this thing alive?"
    And wait to see if the answer
    Doesn't electrify the bejeezus out of you.

    Open that window wider,
    And if it's raining,
    Lean out and let it splash that
    Face of such curious origins.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:12 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 11 January, 2005 }

    book the second, car the next

    I just received the second author's proof of my new book. Damn. It's so much improved over the first proof. Of course, I had miraculous editorial assistance for the second go 'round. I'm gonna sleep on a potential change or two, but we're essentially done and ready to roll. Not to whore my product or anything, but you can buy a copy on the left sidebar from the primary distributor at discount from the retail edition. Have at it, if you like.

    Today was mostly spent looking at potential cars to replace the tragically late goddess of the highways, my sweet Gloria Grace. Eh. Nothing out there so far is as eccentric as she was. I also schlepped to the doc's for a check of my neck and back: I've got some X-rays coming up, and some muscle relaxants, but the luckiness of even these annoyances continues to make itself known. They're signs that I'm still in fact corporeal, where the slim vagaries of chance dealt me a fortunate hand. Life goes on, and how!

    The crisis of the whole thing is gone and now the strategies of surviving it are kicking in. It's going to work out. If I can reassure those I love with the same recipe, I damn well is good enough for me.

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:20 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 10 January, 2005 }


    It's been a mere two days since the accident. My body is vacillating between stiffness and malaise, but I'm sure that the physical healing has begun. Under my skin, I'm told by a sagacious student of the body, cells are doing the microscopic grunt work of muscular repair. I find it the pinnacle of fascination that such wonders are automatic: why can't I repair the way I think, for example, without thinking about it? I'm sure that mojo is buried somewhere in the toolbox.

    In the cold, crumpled steel reality of the whole thing, there is a glimmer of hope that my claim will succeed and I'll get some kind of settlement for my car. Of course, we're not talking about justice, but about business, of corporate standards and inexact applications of the law, weighed with money. Legally, or at least logically, I'm not at fault. That is reassurance, even if logic or law aren't the sturdiest of crutches.

    Meanwhile, I'm back to that place of thankfulness and appreciation: for my life, first and foremost. A few feet or degrees and I would've been hospitalized, or worse, eulogized. I'm thankful for the rides I've gotten, to places like work or the grocery store which I usually rev up for thoughtlessly and thanklessly. I'm thankful that Gloria Grace, that little red Geo, is now an ascended master in the automotive pantheon for serving me so well, and taking the hit with her engine instead of my body. I'm thankful for friends and family that have, even from great distances, stood me up and washed away the daze of my shock with their kindness.

    The next steps are clear, if a bit overwhelming to surmount: find a car I can afford, or, with terms I can navigate with my rather vacuous credit. Gloria Grace was so named in that she appeared in my life through a fate which subverted those obstacles, and hopefully, the next vehicle will appear in like terms. It's important to remember, no matter how dear that little car was to me, how incredibly our eccentricities fit together, that it was simply a tool, and tools break sometimes, or are broken by force. New tools come along, and Pan be Praised, some come along auspiciously.

    Anyway, I thank you for your thoughts and vibes drifted in my direction. I'm feeling much better simply by getting this out there, airing out the struggle and lighting a little flame in the promise of what shall come after be good.

    Gloria Grace, 1994-2005

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:22 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 09 January, 2005 }

    Post tenebras spero

    Southbound train,
    Red light and serpentine winding
    Through the worn, worm-softened earth,
    A sleeping mother
    Curled in a dreamtime wait
    For a promised light.

    The red road,
    A muddied river longing for the kiss of sea
    That path revered by the ancients
    As the long walk toward dissolution,
    Death, reverting to silt and brine,
    One day, sucked up through a cat-tail root
    An old soul seeding the sky, at last.

    I did not expect this ride tonight-
    I did not expect a collision with a white angel
    With a toothy grin to mid-wife an anti-birth,
    To abscond with my broken security
    Into a desert of the never-seen-again.

    The morning was foggy
    As was I:
    I wondered how long it would be
    Until I had to reckon with the karma
    Which had been so carelessly spent
    On needless ephemera.

    In the steamy last exhale of shattered car
    In that silent minute before understanding
    I heard wild geese, those feral scions of
    The breathy truth that thrives above
    Our sightline, at last, the prophet's word
    Over a crossroads of sudden metal and wreckage.

    Weeks ago, friends spotted an owl,
    A little white one, perched on the roof of the car
    That I lovingly called Gloria Grace.
    I know well, that while I cherish the midnight
    Incantations of these strange birds,
    That when they hang near,
    So too does an old legend of impending radical transformation
    Often made of tears and bones.

    While the oil-fed beast
    Which in America is praised above flesh
    Is gone into the night, goodbye,
    And I am merely sore
    Than torn-asunder,
    I do not feel the owl's work is complete.

    I must reckon and reconcile further-
    Debt is nothing while its depth is colossus.
    Shadows are short while their source blots the keenest vision.
    Travails are fleeting while the world wars with a truer despair.
    America's effluvia is Africa's gold
    And balance, be praised, is teetered by an iniquity
    Which I disclaim but cannot escape.

    The owl beckons terrifying wakefulness
    In the presence of a starving, gnashing reality.
    The owl bespeaks respect
    In the wasteland of the everyday.
    The owl, made of blood and wind-song,
    Begs for a scrap of the feast of senses
    To be pierced by beak and talon
    To expose, finally,
    The carnality of what underlies and underwrites days.

    The strangers on this train are scarred by talon too-
    I cannot imagine the intimacy of their collective story,
    As the aglow windows and blurred homes by the thousands
    Speed past this crazed engine
    And the figures freeze in mid-thought by the curtains
    Who can dare fathom the pain and omen they've weathered?
    We are all but dashes of streetlight in everyone's glass
    Can we deny our brother's burdens, our sister's hardened feet
    From carrying a load along the great red road?

    O Humanity,
    Thou incredulous, teeming, curious horde,
    My loss is but a stone along the path
    Which will be ground to dust
    As time girds the serpent from station to station
    The geese to their migration-land
    The owl to its next quiet clarion of fate's passing
    And one little rivulet to its merger with the reaping waves of the sea.

    Southbound train
    Red light and serpentine winding
    Through an Earth whose witness is eternal
    Where a man's problem is but a lump of dirt
    Take me back to the province of my mountains
    The hopeful promise of the light jeweled by the heaving ridges.
    Tonight I give myself to you
    To the rails and wails of your mournful horn
    I bow to fate even as it breaks my thin plans
    And will transmute the miles in lesson, in warning, in gratitude.


    Home, at last its white light warms me.
    We all know that feeling, as the walls cradle you
    And you could just kiss the view from your own window,
    To be someone else's shadow play.
    I am slowly reconvening my senses, cupping the mug of hot tea,
    When a bang resounds: I thought it was the cats.
    But to find that from above a doorway, an old lithograph of an owl
    A little one
    Has fallen.
    Southbound train, what mystery you have delivered
    So early on a January day...

    "Post tenebras spero," out of darkness, comes light.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:08 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 08 January, 2005 }

    crashed not burned

    My beloved car, my angel Gloria Grace, died today in a tragic accident. I am taking the train home tonight, which will get me in a 5:30 in the morning. I am sore and my head is buzzing, but I'm alive, and so is the other person. I was lost on a foggy road, and had my turn signal on as I debated to turn. I went straight through the interwsection, and the other driver, anticipating my turn, turned as well and hit me. The steam from Gloria's engine, a death rattle, ascended through the fog.

    I officially hate Delaware for taking my car from me. I'm never drinving here again.

    Meanwhile, I have no funds for a new vehicle, a job requirement. Please keep me and my neck in your thoughts, and if you have a little spare change, please consider donating via the left sidebar. You are all beautiful people and I'm grateful you, whoever you are, are somehow a part of my life.

    Until I'm home again, ciao.

    jaybird found this for you @ 13:33 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 05 January, 2005 }


    It feels like you never left
    But did you even live here to begin with?
    You know all the streets,
    It was only your memory that trod them,
    So long ago.

    From the road you pass a house
    Where you once lived,
    All the lights are on.
    You wonder if it's your own footsteps
    That now go bump in the night there.

    Placehood is so dependant upon right now...
    Everything else is either behind the curtain of yesterday
    Or flails about in the wind of possibility
    Translucent and without the flesh of happenstance,
    It awaits its placement on the map of days.

    For now, the entitlement of rememberance
    Must lay down with the vagrancy of the present,
    To find a quiet hollow within these old bricks
    To belong, at once, to you through it's utility in the world,
    For you are both homeless, and home, at once.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:15 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    595 miles

    That's how far I'm driving today, once I get a new headlight in the car and run a few random acts of randomness. It's my delayed holiday in Delaware with my family, including my mother's 60th birthday tomorrow, so I'll be blogging about twice a day from whatever WiFi sanctuary I can find.

    In the meantime, consider this an interim post, one barely sent from home but not quite on the road, not at my destination though I can feel its strange quality of busy-ness beginning to encompass my thoughts. It's always an interesting experience; plunging yourself in the past to discover why indeed, you chose to live in the present.

    Until my next message (and hopefully, surpassing it), everyone have fun and play nice.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:35 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 02 January, 2005 }

    proofreading miracle working, etc.

    The very last of it is finally done! My sweet and wonderful personal savior of proofreading, Jennifer, went through every page of my book and to my simultaneous delight and chagrin, found dozens of typos. I've just finished all the revisions and I'm celebrating with a lovely pale ale and strains of Irish fiddle. All I'm waiting for now is the Library of Congress (!) number to input and we're off. This has been mind-blowing; I can't praise my publisher enough for the overall quality and feel of the thing.

    In other news:

  • This past week's immense periods of dawdling and relaxation will be a stark you-know-what compared to this one... I'm off to Delaware on Wednesday morning for a few days of familial intermingling. My office is preparing to all overdose on crack rock this week as we have a state mental health audit coming up. I'm outta there at just the right time.

  • New Years was indeed a drunken blast, and I'm glad I took pics to remember it all by, because traditional recall is frizzier than a dust bunny in Diana Ross' wig shop.

  • Preparations are afoot for two weeks in Peru in May. We'll be trekking to Machu Pichu, Cuzco, and the Uros Islands, which actually float upon the surface of Lake Titicaca. I'm hoping for Nazca as well. I dare you to gage my enthusiasm level.

  • Of course, I cannot take my mind off of the cataclysm in the Indian Ocean. I've been in a pretty constant state of energetic focus and, let's be real here, prayer. In our comfortable little world, it's hard to comprehend the scale of their suffering right now, and while I've given money several times, that will not alleviate the grief of all the families suddenly broken down the middle. I encourage you to not only donate your cash, but donate some heart space as well, and take a few moments to ruminate upon the depth of their loss.

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:36 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 01 January, 2005 }

    hold me to it

    I resolve to give more of myself in ways that truly matter,
    I resolve to become more comfortable with silence,
    I resolve to not over-commit myself,
    I resolve to laugh more,
    I resolve to thrust myself into unusual situations for the sake of growth,
    I resolve to not take things personally,
    I resolve to admit when I need help,
    I resolve to claim my right to be eccentric,
    I resolve to find more alternatives to living in this country without feeding its dragons,
    I resolve to not take too much advantage of good fortune,
    I resolve to finish all those unfinished projects or let them go completely,
    I resolve to challenge myself to learn in new ways,
    I resolve to not pass up an opportunity to connect with a good human, whomever they are,
    I resolve to have faith and doubt in the right measure,
    I resolve to love fearlessly,
    I resolve to have lots of fun,
    I resolve to resolve that no resolution is worth resolving if resolute, and that, I resolve to be.

    jaybird found this for you @ 14:01 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    time passages...

  • Miscreants, ragamuffins and mystical vagabonds watching things explode in the sky over Asheville, North Carolina. (QT .mov, 12 megs)
  • QTVR Panaoramas of celebrations around the world.
  • Traditions of New Year celebrations worldwide and throughout history.
  • Culinary traditions for New Year's Day

    And last night was a humdinger. I will not deny that well aged tonics and tinctures of bubbly and still varieties were consumed en-masse by myself and our roving band of scallywags and merry-makers. As you can see from the last moblog post, we retreated to a friend's house after the hubbub for a round of toasting and roasting another year. Not long after, I made the wise choice of nesting upon Robin and Joshua's futon for a deep sleep only interrupted by sheer hunger and that filmy haze of morning-after memory recall and brutal self analysis. I look like hell, but no real hangover. Joshua, however, may be experiencing a less-pleasant fate, for the metaphorical bull he rode threw him rather suddenly. Good thing the gentle hands of the Goddess will nurture him back to full dynamic interaction with the Universe and it's various challenges and fermented chemical compounds.

    I'm about to make my traditional Saturday morning omelet and will start the simmer for a less-traditional lentil, spinach and pasta stew for dinner. I don't have black-eyed peas on hand so I thought the lentils will do nicely for my evening feast of good fortune.

    My best wishes to you and yours for a safe, peaceful, prosperous and powerful new year (regardless of what horological/heuristic systems you abide by).

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:03 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 31 December, 2004 }

    this year's ten best...

    A tiny list of staggering memories and life-altering recollections from my own dizzyingly bedazzled brain cells, listed in the random order that randomness deserves:

  • Fulfilling a childhood dream and lending my voice to a Japanese cartoon series.
  • Taking a cosmic vacation with friends Gustav and Casey to Folly Beach, SC.
  • Performing for the first time in a professional theatre.
  • Two bittersweet goodbyes: JenWo moved to Chapel Hill, and Gustav to from whence he came in California. This a 'best' because the memory of their leaving is full of the laughter and joy that make those friendships continue to be so important.
  • Finally getting the second book published. Er, that is, after I fix a few things.
  • Two weeks of training (and after hours partying) with good friend Ms. Sarah in Greensboro.
  • The deep joy in the continuing joy of knowing there is an amazingly cool little girl in the world named Luca, who is evolving and growing, full of curiosity and inner glow.
  • Delivering two fiery public oratories: the Gay Rights Rally and the Rolling Thunder Democracy Rally.
  • Meeting and spending a bit of quality time with two real-life spiritual gurus: Tom Robbins and Andrew Harvey.
  • The ever-powerful high of having two of the best people on Earth to call my dearest peeps: Joshua and Robin. Thanks for a great 2004, guys.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:59 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink


    "The heavy curtain of time is falling across the stage of our drama; the desires, the derelictions, and the dreams both birthed and abandoned all bow in unison in a chorus of goodbye. In the fiery eddies of nebula and the churning black seas, no event will be marked; but tonight, amid splendor and champagne, one human theatre will shutter its doors and another will open, glittering and virginal. We do not know what shall transpire upon that new stage, and in our fascination, there are as many choices to ponder as there are irrevocable fates to bear witness. How gloriously remarkable it is to be present at a death and birth simultaneously, how terrifying, how trite, how ecstatic, how utterly singular to the utterly singular predicament called life on Earth."

    ~Isadore M. Upinsky, "The End of Time and the Beginning of Something Else."

    The Friday on the other side of my windows is warm, bustling with activity, and not at all indicative that it's the end of a human time cycle, albeit an arbitrary and cosmically inconsequential one. Though, there seems to me to be a thin blanket of melancholy draped across the preparations for festivities as the cataclysmic aftershocks of Southeast Asia's devastation ripple though our collective beings. While the American media's short attention span is already about to twitter off into mid-broadcast forgetfulness, the people of the planet cannot. Our interconnection binds us all to every horror, every joy of every moment. A good friend is presently sick and weak, she says in likely sympathy to the culture and people she loves in India. We are all a little sick, and choiceless to be so, as our experience is plumbed to new depths of tragedy. Yet, doubtless, in the calamity little miracles will surely spring up as tiny flowers in the rubble. Children will be born, enemies will drop their guns in exchange for tools and duty, and perhaps the frailty of life will finally be examined in a way that inspires wonder, grace, and thankfulness.

    No doubt, this year has been a harvest of bitter fruit; another election has further divided America, Iraq has been a blood bath whose effects will be felt for at least decades, Haiti was crushed by wide-spread flooding, and the Darfur region of Sudan persisted as killing fields. Yet there is no true line between light and dark, and so much of our human involvement was painted in gray. And in the light? More love as San Francisco and Massachussets confront the lunacy of taboo and allows same-sex marriages, more people than ever before became politically active in the attempt to own their democracy, and we have seen images from distant worlds which up the mystery and wonder of this solar system dance. For me personally, the year is a mix of all sweet and bitter, another milestone toward the eternal.

    Perhaps, in the spirit of those songs sung at the stroke of midnight, these are verses well worth singing, written in mystical appreciation by John Denver:

    All this joy, all this sorrow All this promise, all this pain Such is life, such is being Such is spirit, such is love

    City of joy, city of sorrow
    City of promise, city of pain
    Such is life, such is being
    Such is spirit, such is love

    World of joy, world of sorrow
    World of promise, a world of pain
    Such is life, such is being
    Such is spirit, such is love

    All this joy, all this sorrow
    All this promise, all this pain
    Such is life, such is being
    Such is spirit, such is love
    Such is spirit, such is love

    Ring your bell, drink your wine, good people, and revel in the joy of another arbitrary chance to make things right. And after you're through dancing, start giving, start working, and start loving your way to overcome all that was lost in the withering year, and let your sweat and determination show for a better 2005.

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:17 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 26 December, 2004 }


    Stop. Breathe. Feel exactly what it is your hand is resting on. Notice the light that somehow illuminates your view. This is, suddenly, your world. Somehow, someway, you have arrived at this point to do just this... taking a second to be aware of your place in the Universe, to be enveloped by it, and it within you.

    And yet, you may as well be afloat on the wind, a seed wandering and tumbling above the massive Earth. You can see only this right now; from your chair, do you really hear the temple bells of Kathmandu? From your eye, do you see that squalid slums of Rio? Is your hand sifting through the rubble of Iraq? The map of human life is incomprehensibly dense, and yet that itself is so much dust among the silent galactic roar and froth of timeless abyss.

    This minute gone by is alive, a singular feat of sorcery in the unknown repertoire of a chancy magician. What will you do next? Where are you planning to go today? Such slight questions, such mangificently tricky answers. These words here are nothing, really; you are turning them, transforming them into your next thought, you make the moment alive. Feel the repercussions of your being. Breathe. Go.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:38 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 25 December, 2004 }

    After the shin-digs

    Just checking in; had a wonderful dinner at Ramya and Jennifer's, and right now I'm trying in vain to rid my little ecumenical shelter of the bits of wax that are everywhere after the candlelight services. I noticed that the dance club is open tonight, and that could be a fun way to top off this overly symbolic day.

    I sincerely wish all those that celebrate Christmas that it was absolutely wonderful, and to those who don't, I hope your day was absolutely wonderful.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:00 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    will god listen to the drunks?

    A thousand fingers held aloft hundreds of candles
    Hoisting as high as the arm can reach
    Glory, glory, this strata of light, these symbolic flames
    Reaching high toward the view of a godhead,
    With golden hope, praying for more than this.

    This is a stunning ritual;
    We encircled humans placing our hope to flame
    And ascending the fire, as a beacon,
    As a play at the wonder of starlight,
    Here, haloed around us,
    Hallowed by thy name.

    They say a child is born,
    But what of the world, promised as dominion of the meek,
    For the strong have torn it in their haste
    To simulate heaven
    And the world is dying for it
    And the arguments raise the child's name in defense
    Of turning paradise into a scrap-heap of by-gone fancies.

    Where is the truth promised from those ancient birth-pangs
    And those scrolls writ of wisdom and desert dust?
    Lost, for in the rush to understand the words
    The meaning is obscured beyond hope of comprehension,
    Resolved back into the black water of mystery and sacred river,
    To be found again one day in surprise at the trawling of a net.
    I stand with all you holy people to pray for the lost
    And I stand in the desire of letting go, and creating anew.

    In the deep sink of time's rushing flow
    New forms will arise from the nurturing brine
    Of the dissolution of this fevered idea gone astray.
    Who can negate the cycle of creation and destruction?
    No thing I know.
    Perhaps, in the ardor of our ceremony
    We will chase of yesterday's ghosts, and prepare the midwife for tomorrow's child.

    Let us on this silent night
    Clamor to understand the simplicity and relative ease
    At which the holy permeates the cracks in our lives
    In our thinking,
    And in the impossible conjunction of forces
    That somehow make life to exist.

    Those candles, that luminous wave of souls
    In clasped hands and whispered spells of the word
    Their intent is love; to make it, to be drunk on it,
    To uphold light to find their way, and this is good,
    And guide too from the froth that new being; usurper of paradigms, fool of the gods.

    jaybird found this for you @ 01:42 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 24 December, 2004 }


    Finally, it's here, by way of the downstairs neighbor who found it lying on the ground by the mailboxes and brought it up with a smile... the proof copy of my new book. It's heavy, bright, and hard to believe I've written 320 pages of hooey in a little over a year. There are a few errors that need correcting, including a doozie of my own making. But it exists, it's one tenth of a percent away from being truly 'done,' and this feels much better than way back when when the first book arrived (don't laugh, old greymatter archive). In about a month, it goes retail. Now, I truly suck at promotion, so don't expect the site to be resplendent with cheesy BUY NOW buttons. I will carry on being me, doing as I do, hoping ever so slightly that a few random humans will find something useful out of a weird collection of wood-pulp and ink.


    jaybird found this for you @ 12:01 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 21 December, 2004 }


    Come on down the mountain
    For the solstice fires are burning
    And I want you to dance with me...
    I welcome you, love,
    Into the longest night
    Can't you hear the ballads racing up the peaks
    To meet the shadow you left behind?
    O Ancestors, O root-tenders, O scribes that struggle with verse,
    Join this procession around the burning year
    And cast your aspersions to the flames
    And do as this sensuous music commands!
    Let the ashes reconcile those broken histories
    That keep you from feeling as holy as you are.
    Let the beats that boom the sky
    Be your guide as all the rules are scorched in the thrust of time.
    Come on down the mountain,
    Come twirl your luck as the moon sings solstice
    Come and find the light you've been missing;
    It's in the fire,
    In the eyes,
    In the reach
    Of a reborn season,
    One wrought of wrestled hope
    And the annihilating flames of winter's hidden love.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:52 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 20 December, 2004 }


    Even as tonight's world is ice
    And it's too dangerous to go anywhere
    And the sky is darker than you remembered it
    For this time of day...

    There is yet more fortune, there is yet more glory, there is yet more
    Simplistic, childlike joy nestled within your nerves.

    Even as you awoke to a scattering of god-shattered glass
    And the house is resting in a disordered shadow of sleep
    And your bones ache from a memory your mind has long since shaken,
    You're breathing nice and slow...

    There is a thought sinking in, there is an omen dissolved in your tea,
    There is a good chance you'll be alright.

    It's just words, lexicographical tap-dancing across the frozen lake of life,
    You are a mirror, looking into yourself in surprise at what you're reflecting,
    You are someone else's truth, even if you discount your own
    There's no rock-bottom price for a soul.

    There is music in these walls, there is a something wonderful
    Stirring ion the corner of your eye, there is a myth tied together with gossamer
    Ambling on the wind.

    It's an attempt to convince, a trick conceived to catch you looking,
    You are trying to avert your gaze from the whirling eddy of your time on Earth,
    You are trying to live it wholly, all the while, can't you hear the knock at the door,
    Delivering the news that it's safe to finally peek out, and know thyself.

    There is a change coming and I cannot say what it will resolve into,
    There is a beautiful ruddy glow where heaven meets this cold world,
    There is an end to every poem, but if you care to,
    This little prayer will stick to you, keep getting caught in your hair,
    Eventually convincing you to breathe even deeper,
    Despite the crazy conversations going on around you,
    Convincing you that there is yet a reason to slide across the ice, laughing all the way.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:19 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 19 December, 2004 }

    freak accident

    In a total freak event, my car slipped out of the parking brake and slid backwards 200 feet and rammed into a SUV, shattering my back window and bumper. I was doing lights and sound for a concert at the time, and for no reason that I can tell it just lost its grip. No other cars were nicked along the way, it was a perfectly straight line. I'm stunned, feeling a bit better, but a little spooked and out of sorts. The folks my car hit were very nice and non-abrasive, which I'm thankful for.

    One of the things I'm struggling with was a very strong omen NOT to work the sound board tonight. It was our first winter storm and the roads were hell. It made no sense to me that we tried to have the show. I really listen to my gut, and try to act upon those feelings and trust the messages. I, therefore, am doing a lot of self-ass-kicking and denial. The bright side, as pointed out to me by a 14 year old, is that I could have a broken skull instead of a broken windshield. No one was hurt, but anyone could have been. It's hard to count blessings when a major mess has been counted against you, but I am choiceless to accept that strange blessings I'm offered.

    UPDATE: The Monkeys are sleuthing this one.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:08 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 16 December, 2004 }

    'tis the season to make folly

    Just got back from a local adaptation of David Sedaris' "Santaland Diaries." It was absolutely hysterical, and about as close as I can get to being full of mirth and gladness regarding this orgiastic celebration of consumerism and the miracle of alleged parthenogenesis.

    I really am trying, but this Xmas spirit I'm supposed to have caught is unable to gestate because I have a fairly strong immune system. Not that I'm not generous, in fact, I'm a pushover, but why be a pushover once a year when you can get sentimental and suckered all year long? Peace, love and good tidings year round would be a wonderful tribute to the birthday being that is now a bit far removed from all this hoo-hah.

    Anyway, um, be kind to elves and don't exploit 'em, okay?

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:06 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 15 December, 2004 }

    a rainbow connected

    Today the pentultimate hurdle was crossed for the publication of my second book by acquiring the rights to distribution channels. I'm proud to say that a preview, advance edition is on sale NOW through my publisher. Once I approve of my proof, everything should be a go for retail release in mid-January. I'm uttlerly thrilled, and far more confident about this work than I was the previous book.

    Things are really looking up and getting this all together has been quite exciting. Not that I expect wild success and acclaim, the joy is in the process of doing it. It would be nice if things took off, but I'm content to trudge along thankfully, writing for the love of it, with a few books under my belt as I go...

    I've got two more kettles on the fire: "The World was Born in Loafer's Glory," a short story collection that will hopefully go live sometime late next year, and "One Hundred Reasons Why," a series of interviews with genuine human beings about why they think they're here. I have no idea when that will be on paper. I'm grateful for every word.

    (Thanks to all of those whose support made this blog post possible)

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:25 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 12 December, 2004 }


    Do you Wonder for The gleam of Starlight you while The time away, for all the World's frosting and hardening? The restive flocks make their transit Over this buckled and storied roof, and While I huddle in the electric glow of heater I am Wanting for more of this mammal disguise For flight, for easy breath, for thoughtless migration For standardlessness, lawlessness, freedom of the simple. What a sweet envy, this fantasy, to be released from the cares Of body and home, and out into the world, united again With the raw elements that animate life from the Base substance of the myths encoded in blood. It's not even winter yet but the cold makes An inward gazing mirror, which will melt With the ice on the other side of time; Use it now for study while the chill is Prohibitive, your mountain paths Closed for the year will speak Again later, for now, you Must reckon with the Puzzle of the body, Wind within to Where form Reflects Truth.

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:49 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    congrats, lauren and frank


    jaybird found this for you @ 02:10 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 08 December, 2004 }


  • 1983: Lots of beach time this year. I started drinking wine coolers (under adult supervision) on a casual basis as I got the sense that this was a 'party year.' On the other side of the family, my mother was dating a mystic who taught me all about ESP, out of body travel, and the nature of infinity. Weird kid on the loose.
  • 1984: Vive le film noir! Mom took this fledgling film snob to see '1984' with John Hurt and thus began an obsession with classy, dark metaphorical films. It wouldn't be long before Woody Allen and Ingmar Bergman began to meddle with my subconscious. In training for eccentrism, I ran around the townhouse development in my underwear with a dangerously flaming torch one morning to celebrate the Olympics. I cried when Mondale lost.
  • 1985: Moved from New Castle to Newark, a big cultural shift. I began to seriously contemplate writing as a career, and was inspired by a slew of free rentals from the high-brow art video store. The neighborhood was tougher; instead of difficulties joining tree-fort building gangs due to using 'big words,' in this place the kids threw rocks. I also discovered, ironically enough, that 'Jay" rhyming with 'gay' was not really a good thing. I did meet the greatest human in my life in the form of fifth grader Joshua, who shared a seat with me on the rowdy bus 33.
  • 1986: The oppression thing wasn't working out, so I abandoned all that free thinkin' jazz for a while and started to love the Reagan. I prayed that God would destroy the 'dirty secret' inside me, and joined the very Young Republicans. I got into fights at school with the only outspoken liberal, an Albanian immigrant. I stopped taking the yellow bus to school and rode public transit. One day, while running for the bus, I tripped and broke my pinkie. I had to be gassed before I'd let them set it.
  • 1987: My reputation as a junior conservative gadfly was so well established that a glitzy run for student council failed miserably. Nonetheless, I won the coveted title of "Junior State Journalist of the Year." I was assigned a therapist that I debated into the ground regarding the 'process,' and he basically ran away from me. I enjoyed a high level of internal conflict and experimentations with moral darkness, including smoking, moving up from wine coolers to stale lite beer, sleepover with underlying motivations, and the CB radio. I took the handle "Scarfoot" (another long tirade) and chilled on channel 23 with the rest of the good old boys.
  • 1988: I got my first CD that year, and it was, you guessed it, "Born in the USA," to go along with my brazen pseudo-patriotism. I was tearing through Stephen King with a passion (despite the 'fact' that I was somehow diagnosed as learning disabled in reading) and attracted much concern by reading an 800 page tome on the construction of the atomic bomb. My neighbor Mike and I invented games to play with walnuts and parts of couches, and I earned my ham radio license. That's KA3PVI to you.
  • 1989: Unleashed! Driver's Ed with Mr. Yannis paired with a 1977 Chevy Chevette began to set the tortured soul free, and into a confrontation with my holly jolly hypocracies! I attended an "Operation Rescue" rally wherein I suddenly realized that all of the right-wing jargon I spewed wasn't my inner reality. Within a day, the Reagan pictures came down, within a week, The American Flag, and within a month, the punkers adopted me and I had a shaved head, and learned to love the Dead Kennedy. This somehow brought me girls; which I was supposed to "like" and "do things" with. This presented my hormones with more fun conflicts, since I was "doing things" with the freshman track star.
  • 1990: My friend Spike smuggled a needle-thin joint out of military academy in the lining of his uniform, and we all gathered at a storm drain to smoke it. He, my friend Eric "Toast" and I formed an odd sort of power trio. I began to realize that these rules in society were absolutely bendable, if not truly breakable. I moshed at punk shows and realized that if you drink too much, you throw up. Oh, those were the days. The Chevy died and I acquired a '71 Nova, which was a fury to drive and monstrously intimidating. I lost my "female" virginity and townhouse complex's community room was destroyed after my 18th birthday party.
  • 1991: Was it fate, or destiny, that lead a blue haired stranger to my lunch table? He needed money for food, and I sent him up to the line with a twenty. He returned with lunch and life-changing lessons that re-wired my consciousness and revealed true miracles. That wiry frame belonged to the now-disappeared trickster Jason McCollum, a true and genuine human being. It wasn't long before this first mentor and his girlfriend Michelle were living with my mother and I, and the woods replaced classrooms as the place of true learning and adventure. LSD was one of the first lessons, and I began to struggle academically because I stopped caring, despite the responsibility of being editor of the school paper. Jason's lesson-plan, often taught though daredevil antics and high tomfoolery, was actually equipping my much confused soul with the first inklings of mutable truth. I began to hang with a different crowd; artists and genius slackers. They advised me to run for mayor in the "Iron Ham Party," which Jason helped me organize by having a publicized bowling ball toss event in front of the university library, our own Grail Temple.
  • 1992: For having lead a walkout at school protesting the first Iraq war, my graduation hung in the balance (I was about 1 1/2 years behind everyone else due to a gradeless private school I attended until 6th grade). I had started an underground newspaper, "The Pung Zoo," to which a shy little rebel with whom I'd lost touch submitted a poem called 'Purple Broccoli." That submission changed my life forever...

    More later...

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:57 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 07 December, 2004 }

    looking back on 32 Years... part 1

  • 1972: I spent most of the year gestating, so I missed out on a lot, especially all of the Nixonian dramas. I decided it was time to get going when the last Apollo mission lifted off in the morning of December 7th, 1972, and was born in the primetime.
  • 1973: I reckon the best memory of 1973 would be getting the hang of the whole food thing. I started off a vegetarian, interestingly enough. I recall my red high chair, my great-grandmother Nana Bailey, and a few random simulacra of wild beasts.
  • 1974: Oh, it was a good year. My room had yellow walls, and I suppose I was merely a tool for Freud when I decided it was a good idea to smear shit all over them. I'm walking, squawking, and receiving a majority of my neuro--imprinting at this time, in preparation for a lifetime of therapy.
  • 1975: The first haircut I remember from Vinnie the barber, who was later snuffed out in a mafia hit. Big tantrum. I think this was the year of the first dental appointment; they used straps back in those days, doncha know?
  • 1976: Entry into politics! I was on my father's shoulders when we was in the voting booth, with his intention to support that little hottie Gerald Ford. I thought not, and reached out to snap the lever for Jimmy Carter. That's the last time I went to vote with him. Other memorable events: the ghost that lived in my little yellow sailor boy figurine who brought me crackers, climbing a tree with my mother, and acquiring my first dog and cat, Sparky and Tex respectively. I remember watching a truck crashing into the overhang of my daycare.
  • 1977: Star Wars! I couldn't stay in my seat for wanting to meet the robots. Same goes with the Phillies games, trying to get up and run to the strange green mascot. First gay early warning: Village People! For my parent's final anniversary, we three went to the disco. I requested "In the Navy." The strange men in leather vests found it amusing that the woman with the blond perm was spinning her son all over the dance floor while the father went to the bar for drinks. In first grade, Mrs. Johnson spanked the hell out of me with a ruler for singing in class. I was segregated off to the side, which I enjoyed very much. I made pals with the guidance counselor and sang an impromptu song about going to Heaven during First Grade Talent Night.
  • 1978: Le divorce. I woke up in a new apartment. One night the humidifier was on full blast for hours and it started to rain, I mean pour, in my room. Of course, certain plumbing issues may have contributed. The kids in my new neighborhood taught me all kinds of wonderful things: what a water moccasin is, what retarded people are, and what big boys do behind the dumpsters. I was in a new school learning cursive, arguing over my favorite carpet square, and trying desperately to prove that I wasn't one of those retarded people.
  • 1979: Who cares about the Muppet Movie when there's Kramer vs. Kramer? I've got this three-day on, three-day off visitation plan. Severe tantruming, and Dr. Who is my only hope. In my new apartment complex, I discover paradise in a storm sewer, replete with a mystery marsh and guaranteed monsters just below the murky water's surface. I meet my childhood friend, Rocky, and together we become the Space Pirates from Addis Abbaba.
  • 1980: I am encouraged to boycott the Olympics, but I don't really get it. I am getting the hang of school and therapy. My mother has begun to date an economics professor, and my memories of Norman are scant, with the exception of him flushing my hermit crabs down the toilet. In October, a nearby chemical plant exploded while I was watching Joker's Wild (Joker! Joker! Joker! Boom!). The mushroom cloud fanned out to black out the sky. I thought it was cool as hell, but most others were a bit worried about the bomb.
  • 1981: I was in a little Deli, whose smell I fondly recall, when we were told that Reagan had been shot. They were making me a free lunch for some odd reason. We moved in with Norman for a short time; I discovered the joys of staying up all night with my would-be step brothers Brian and Peter, learning the first "dirty" words and singing the praises of Shake-n-Bake.
  • 1982: Oooh oooh, my first R movie, Conan the Barbarian! What's all the fuss about breasts anyway? What's with the sudden hair growth? Why am I so suddenly interested in "dirty" things? At about this time I make my stage debut as the Tinman in an Xmas version of Oz. Reviews were mixed; perhaps I overdid the crying thing? Also, why must I like ET? What I really want to see is Blade Runner. I'm living with my mom in yet another new neighborhood, this time with lots of woods and a ragtag gang of kids who call me "The Professor." It's hard to gain admission to the gang due to the regulations against "big words."

    More later...

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:46 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    32nd annual birthday retrospective extravaganza


    Today is that weird day, that 1/365th of the year where I imagine X-many years ago emerging into the world by crawling though loving guts, ready to be imprinted by all kinds of American-made mania and wonder. Pretty colors, pretty lights, pretty sounds, than school happens and drop kicks imagination right in the tukhas.

    That's happened to all of us on some level, so I'm not complaining, just extraordinarily happy to be alive and utterly pleased to have two days off to "reel in the years, stow away the time." Today's posts will inevitably deal with the past 32 years, shameless introspection, and celebratory revels. If this kind of thing sickens you, don't fret, it will all get packed away tomorrow for the sake of humility and decency.

    I had a dream last night that we humans will never understand pure silence because the mind does a freak when there's no input, and will find something to put there anyway. I think that's a metaphor that makes sense all-around: if there ain't nothin' goin' on, make it. That is my intention for this lightly scheduled day: a trip out to buy some shoes, an hour and a half at the natural mineral baths, and the time required to fill in the gaps with self-appraisal and folly. And I'll do my best to lay down some silence as well.

    And yes, that's me in the picture, about 10 years old and quite obvious. I mean, come on, that's looking pretty gay. It's perfectly alright to say it. Flaming even. Actually at about that point, I'd identified certain feelings that my young brain was unable to account for, but soon became apparent as the dragon of puberty breathed fire into previously innocent places. Oh innocence, how deeply you are missed.

    I suppose that everyday may as well be a birthday, or a re-birthday (no evangelical implications, please), as each morning our consciousness settles into a new order, slight as it may be, the difference as fine as gossamer. Each stellar alignment, each gust of wind, each ink blot of daily events from the inkwell of randomness does something to us deeper than understanding. As with the holidays, no one day should be the only time to reflect...

    But I'm gonna live this one up anyway.

    (Birthday greetin's are also in order for Noam Chomsky, and for two great musicians, Tom Waits and Harry Chapin. Give a tip of your hat in their direction)

    jaybird found this for you @ 09:37 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 05 December, 2004 }

    the new do

    I love a good haircut. I love the anxiety as the hair sloughs off the head... what's especially nerve wracking is doing the whole thing yourself. I've cut my own hair since I was 16. Half my life! Anyway, tonight's cut was a bit of an experiment. It looks alright, even though the first thing that popped into my newly cut head was "Thompson Twins."

    It will mellow.

    jaybird found this for you @ 18:23 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 04 December, 2004 }


    I'll laugh 'til out of breath,
    Then what will fill the lungs after
    Be pure, godly, sacred airs,
    Only to lead to more guffaws,
    Long into the valleys of night.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:29 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 03 December, 2004 }

    scuttling easy

    A noise; It must be Another wanderer, Squirrels on the roof- Scampering and scurrying In the pitch of near-midnight While inside, insulated from the frost, A man bends to ponder maps, plotting cities like stars, With the hum of a heater and the first real sense that change must happen. The squirrel does not deliberate, it simply goes from the eaves to the arch, And the cat in the man's lap jumps down for a stretch, And the man wonders why he can't take A clue from the free will of those not Removed from nature, but Living as nature, Unplanned, Timeless, Scuttling Easy.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:03 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 01 December, 2004 }


    Christmas.JPG Christmas2.JPG

    I just got back into the office from errands on the road... I suppose I've earned a little reputation around the office of being rather dogmatically secular about the upcoming Winter Holiday. I've instructed office mates that as a human services agency, we must be sure not only to celebrate the Christian festival, but all over concurrent holidays: Chanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Festivus, etc..

    Well, they got me. Christmas lights, garland, ribbons everywhere, spontaneous carrolling, my office radio set to loud Christmas music, and the following warning taped to my monitor:

    "You have been visited by the ghost of Christmas past... (if I were you I'd be wondering what the ghosts of Christmas Furute and Present have in store for you...)

    Well, fa la la la. Revenge Claus is coming to town.

    jaybird found this for you @ 14:14 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 29 November, 2004 }


    I have a love-hate relationship with cleaning house. I love the results, but I stall, balk and bargain before doing it. Sometimes, it's quick and sloppy. Sometimes, it's slow but tedious. Sometimes, it's just right; long enough to be thorough, bouncy enough to be fun.... sounds like something else that's more universally enjoyed. Anyway, today was one of those better than sex, full scale, redecorate as you go and sing real loud in your jammies kinda cleans. I even worked in some candle maintenance and rotated out the bathroom library.

    I love it.

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:21 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 28 November, 2004 }

    three things i'm proud of today

  • I zealously guarded my leisure potential this weekend from certain untoward advances like chores and real world obligations. The sheer lack of doing anything I didn't want to do was nearly unprecedented, and rejuvenating. I would very much like to find a way to make this a perpetual thing, but certain socio-economic restrictions will likely continue to addle that whimsy.
  • Having thought I was done once, I went back and looked at the pdf of my new book and noted several corrections, which I'm extremely glad I caught before the proof. I added several illustrations as well to pages that formatted with too much white space, and I've got to say it looks great. As for the actual proof that will arrive in a few weeks, that's the real test. I've already started preliminary work on a third book, "Loafer's Glory," for which I already have a sweet potential offer.
  • I'm very pleased that, despite the chill in the air, the receding light, and the blitzkrieg toward the so-called holidays, I've been able to maintain an upbeat mood and a nearly giddy affect. I was skipping through my apartment today. Skipping. Now I will sashay and prance about here and there, but this little display hasn't happened like this in some time. I have no idea why I seem to be so happy, or at least stable and content, but I'd be a fool to question it too highly or to ask exactly what the chef put in the stew.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:25 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 27 November, 2004 }

    for those gone awaiting return

    What once was lost To the plasma and thunder of the mind Persists still For those who dare To throw themselves into the brilliant light Of the enveloping, overarching soul Visible if you choose; Where time is naught And the only courage you need Is to think rightly And to trust in the provenance of love.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:56 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 26 November, 2004 }

    a song-ride home

    There's a slow piano on the radio
    As the moon fills the tumbing rivulets in the Swannanoa
    That vein that runs wild through these
    Granite and feldspar bosoms of mountain
    Keeping us alive as the opaque light from a concealed star
    Shines through the chords
    Of a quiet song about remembering.

    The road is new but I pave it with memory
    The gritty work of the brain
    Done best in the deep of the night and in-between the chorus
    And the bridge,
    That old stone one lane crossing into someone's uphill heart.
    To be in the autumn sunshine,
    A little kid on corduroy,
    Wondering what it will be like to be what I am now.

    A holiday of ruddy family faces,
    Drifting in and out of view, serving niceties on silver,
    Too big for a kid to understand, too tough to eat.
    Now, older, wizened and toughened,
    I am the same chracter in the wool sweater,
    Going to holiday parties with a glass just full enough,
    Nodding to the beat of language and laughter,
    Smiling at the right times, feeling for the keys in my pocket.

    This winding road, it's enchanting;
    Each curve brings me to another year,
    Each raspy note of the singer's voice
    Contains another vision from the catalog of years,
    Dog-eared and worn because the pages
    Are revisited eternally in the mind
    Running muddy-shoed through the dreamhome of lost family.

    The feast is over, sleep is coming,
    The river moves on and the station tunes to static.
    I pretend to know the lyrics and the finger-dance over
    The thought of the song's sway.
    Truly, we're all learning to play,
    The instrument is ourselves,
    The breath is long ago,
    But the harmony belongs to the shore and rock
    Of the soul, a kid and a weathered face at once,
    A moon-soaked ride, and opening the door.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:19 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 25 November, 2004 }


    Goodness, it's flurrying out the misted window.
    I didn't expect that.
    I'm thankful.

    It's is cold even in here but I have this great purple blanket.
    It's getting tattered fast.
    I'm thankful.

    I'm out of omelet ingredients, so I'll just fry an egg.
    Something simple.
    I'm thankful.

    The cat was found to be alright at the vet's the other day.
    She's nestled into a ball, sleeping warm.
    I'm thankful.

    I was hoarding hot sauce packets to avoid buying a bottle.
    Times were tight these past two weeks.
    I'm thankful.

    Such wonderful dreams last night.
    My best friend and I in London.
    I'm thankful.

    Robin's mother is having us over for today's feast.
    It's somewhere to go.
    I'm thankful.

    I'm out of the mind-numbing funk I was in a few days ago.
    Lots of sleep helped.
    I'm thankful.

    I've run out of time and have to get ready.
    The wind beckons time foreword.
    I'm thankful.

    jaybird found this for you @ 09:55 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 23 November, 2004 }



    The most beloved queen of my heart, Ursula, goes into the vet today to determine the cause of her possible seizures and disorientation. In the past few days, she's been nearly normal, but with a lot more sleeping. I'm hoping it was a passing allergic reaction or a bad batch of 'nip, and she is asthma prone. So, a big question mark will be hanging over me today while a dentist scrapes at my teeth and I surf the post-anesthetic work tide.

    If you've got a sec, send a good vibe to my most wonderful friend (and one-time presidential candidate) Ursula, the queen of bizarre pet names, my "fat sauce," my "lazy bucket," my "angel head."

    UPDATE: She came back happy and fluffed out, all tests normal, and the vet said "things like that happen sometimes." I guess they do, and thank Creator this is likely not to recur.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:40 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 17 November, 2004 }

    three nights of dreams

    1) We were in this bizarre funhouse, which led to an irridescent, mineral filled cavern. Something about a lost cubscout troop. Much more going on than I recall, but the interesting levels and colors of the funhouse stick with me. Oh yeah, there were frogs and monkeys thrown in for good measure.

    2) A jewel-encrusted skull was missing, and I was in this ancient hulk of rust farm truck to track it down. I went down this old country road where people were complaining that their lawn chairs had vanished as well. I climbed a tree by a patch of lawn furniture, to wait out the possible villian, and sure enough, a demon-shadow emerged from the scrub to haul off the booty. I dropped a net on the thing, and after a puff of acrid smoke, all that remained was a jewel-encrusted skull. Glad for having found it, I forgot to whom the former brain cavity belonged. So, I mounted it on the dashboard of the truck and turned up the dance music.

    3) I suppose it all started with the purchase of a strange, sawdust filled patchwork robotic cat. I was (and am) away from home and it was meant to be a surrogate for the cats at home I miss so much. Anyway, this thing was so lifelike in its mannerisms that it startled me. I apparently had a 'big day' the next day and settled with the delicate sawdust-driven freindly feline patchwork golem, and went to sleep. At some point in my sleep, the thing was in distress and I awoke to find it transformed, "real," and coughing up a hairball.

    I was already late and went out the door, to the newly remodeled home of a new tenant of my landlord's. The 'home,' for those of you familiar with downtown Asheville, was the Mellow Mushroom on Broadway. It was beatifully renovated, with plenty of lofts, interesting alcoves and staircases. The new tenant was a flaming circus ringleader. After a few minutes in the party-like atmosphere, I didn't feel well and attempted to excuse myself. He wouldn't let me leave. My car was parked at a very awkward angle and was surrounded by his clowns, midgets, bendy-stretchy people and impossibly large stunt poodles. I got in and angled the car out, and the horde wouldn't let up, all the while the circus leader is taunting me. I gun the car through the crowd, harming none, and drove to New York for a late-night tour of cathedrals.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:45 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Sunday, 14 November, 2004 }

    rainbow over crossroads; pleasantly stranded in the infinite


    Folks, my second book is within inches of final print publication. I'm just waiting for the ISBN number and my author's proof to proceed. If you're one of the geek elite who prefers pixels to pages, a download version is available now for nearly ten smackers off the nifty cover price of $17.77.

    Either way, the print version will be available for the holiday season if you're looking for a great gag gift. If you're really interested in the download option, email me via the contact page and I'll send you the link.

    It feels neat to finally be done with this project. You'll notice there hasn't been much in the creative writin' department over here, and this has been why. It's taken quite a bit of my time and creative juices to slap this puppy together. Now that it's done, provided there are no editorial disasters, I can begin to retool my brain to dribble out content in more customary ways.

    Thanks all who have supported me in this, thanks to all who bought the first (editorially challenged) book, and thanks to the team assembled to help promote this work and give it some rainbow legs...

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:00 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    happy trails, gustav


    My most wonderful friend and compadre of the cosmic Gustav has returned from whence he came, California, where he'll even kiss a sunset pig. I'd like to send him out a song, one which rings through my mind as I imagine him under a ribbon of highway, homeward bound.

    I raise my glass to you, brother, and sing...

    It's a long and dusty road It's a hot and heavy load And the folks I meet ain't always kind Some are bad and some are good Some have done the best they could Some have tried to ease my trouble in mind

    And I can't help but wonder where I'm bound
    Where I'm bound
    I can't help but wonder where I'm bound

    I've been wandering through this land just doing the best I can
    Trying to find what I was meant to do
    And the people that I see
    Look as worried as can be
    And it looks like they are wondering, too

    And I can't help but wonder where I'm bound
    Where I'm bound
    I can't help but wonder where I'm bound

    And I had me a buddy back home
    But he started out to roam
    And I hear he's out by Frisco Bay
    And sometimes when I've had a few
    His old voice comes ringing through
    And I'm going out to see him some old day

    And I can't help but wonder where I'm bound
    Where I'm bound
    I can't help but wonder where I'm bound

    If you see me passing by
    And you sit and you wonder why
    And you wish that you were a rambler, too
    Nail your shoes to the kitchen floor
    Lace 'em up and bar the door
    Thank your stars for the roof that's over you

    And I can't help but wonder where I'm bound
    Where I'm bound
    I can't help but wonder where I'm bound

    jaybird found this for you @ 00:35 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Thursday, 04 November, 2004 }

    "This Machine"

    Humans as machines
    Created in the deep void
    From elements made vital by randomness;
    If our queer maufacture mirrors the mechanistic,
    Exactly what task are we performing for the Universe?

    A yesterday ago
    The machine which is my body
    Failed suddenly; no breath, no strength,
    A sutra of urgent negations, limp I succumbed
    To processes I struggle today to understand, what broke?

    Assembled parts cognate
    As one flow in seeming perfection
    Operable through will, through passion
    Through a cacophony of motivations animate
    Who is at the controls, we ask, when the machine goes silent?

    Crumpled to the floor
    A certain knowledge of vacuous fear
    As hands pressed my flesh, voices bade me breathe
    As night entered blood, bones froze in deference to lungs
    Only to ask in a flood of sweat, what has brought this close to earth?

    Work, body, work,
    The commands of the unseen
    Countermand the shroud which began
    To cover the error-ridden engine, design unknown,
    Now more than ever, what is the task required from this device?

    Sweet holy medicine
    Found under the second hand
    Somewhere in the knick of time, the body
    Breathes again, sleeps again, and arises again
    Grateful for the day, but needing to know, for what godly chore
    Has the day been saved for this scared, awed, relieved and thankful man?

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:05 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink


    I had a sudden and massive asthma attack last night, the most severe of my life. I could not breathe and several times started to pass out. Thanks to Sarah, Daren, Joshua by phone, and an expeditious reunion with my inhaler, I eventually stabilized. It was especially difficult since I'm not home, which left me feeling especially vulnerable.

    I'm really blessed to have had such great people there... my deepest gratitude to you.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:39 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 03 November, 2004 }

    "Disobeyance and Radical Love!"

    Thunderstruck and dumbfounded, I awoke this morning to find that my America had been stolen. Not the election; the nation.

    I've been studying this election for months, friends will tell you that my head was always in the stats. I was so assured of victory that preparing for a loss was out of the question. I wasn't ready for it. I drank vodka tonics last night until I stopped feeling anything, an anaesthetic for the cruel surgery that bloodied the headlines. We all know about an Ohio promised to Bush by Diebold, districts running out of ballots for the long lines, blacks purged again in Florida, and nefarious machine crashes in Iowa and New Mexico, and partisan hackery in Milwaukee. These all could have helped to steal another election, which is only a single manoevre in the game to steal the country, a political, cultural and spiritual crime of the worst kind.

    I can stand proudly today, however, to resist the suicide of consciousness we're witnessing; there's a steely knife being held just above Lady Liberty's jugular, there's poison pill in her hand and a fucking sale at W**Mart. The constitution is being gathered for kindling and civil society has been plucked from the crib and shaken. We can resist this destruction of fair governance, destruction of the biosphere, and destruction of the curiosity of the soul. We can hold accountable those who have sullied the great works of simple heroes who have held their lives to the line for the sake of freedom. We can resist by ceasing, immediately, to buy into the control drama of the pillaging marauders of virtue, who claim values as 100,000 are slaughtered in Iraq, the poor are marginalized and sold off to the 'private sector,' quote-unquote minorities whom are sidelined and written out of the protective book of American justice, and the ecological abatoire that is corporate rule. We must resist George Walker Bush. He is not my president, I will not obey him, and I revolt against