Wordle #279

There was pop and a sudden searing sensation as the hot dog released its juices into his waiting mouth. The sun overhead was relentless, like the needle on a sewing machine, it imposed upon his bare arms and his cleanly shaven face with unnerving precision. His hair was too hot. His clothes were too close. He stood some feet away from the vendor, near a tree. The tree was decorated mostly with old shoes. It provided little in the way of shade or holiday spirit but he liked the idea of it. The idea that simply by changing ones’ shoes you could become someone else, you could take a different path, you could discover an entirely new mode of being.

The hotdog left him feeling vaguely queasy and not altogether satisfied. He licked the mustard and ketchup from his fingertips and threw away his soiled napkin. If only it were so easy to throw away blame. His wife blamed him for a great many things that hadn’t worked out in her life. She couldn’t cope with the loss of her youth, with the loss of her beauty (according to her), with the fact that he looked ten years younger than she did even though they were the same age. He wasn’t entirely sure how his youthful appearance offended her but it did offend her greatly. She was jealous now. She hadn’t been jealous at the beginning of their relationship. He was just as loyal but for some reason she didn’t believe him anymore. She was, to him, still the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, only now she was angry most of the time.

He fingered the bishop in his pocket, it was all that remained of a chess set that his grandfather had given him when he was a child. It was his good luck charm and whenever he felt something uncomfortable he held it between his fingers very gently to ground himself. He’d never really developed an interest in the game but he could remember playing with the pieces much the way another boy might play with toy soldiers or superhero figurines. The bishop in his pocket was made of dark wood and his caresses had worn it very smooth. As he stood there wondering precisely when he had lost his enthusiasm for life his eyes fell upon a red pair of Converse sneakers suspended from the tree beside him. Good condition. Right size. He took them down and exchanged them for his own shoes.

As he walked around the city, in his borrowed shoes and his borrowed identity, he felt more like himself than he had in years. His whole life had been a myth. Love. Success. Beauty. It was all just an elaborate social hoax, a game of chess, a caste system which split the world into the haves and the have-nots. He was technically on the winning side. He loved his wife, however she felt about him. He had a job. He was a photographer and he was good at it so the pay was good. Only in the process of making money and getting good he’d lost interest. He wanted to take imperfect pictures of unlikely people. He didn’t want to take pictures of people who posed like museum sculptures. He wanted to take pictures of people who hadn’t yet had all their humanness wrung out of them.

Just then he saw a young woman in a red dress leaning over to kiss a young man in a white t-shirt and faded jeans. The man fumbled with his phone and offered her a weak, fictional smile. He could see the scales in their relationship were unbalanced. He could see her heart broken and eager surging up in her throat like vomit. He watched her smile, then grimace as she swallowed her disappointment. He watched her pick up her own phone and jab at it half-heartedly while throwing her disinterested lover the occasional wounded look.

In her he witnessed a desire to connect, a desire crushed by mediocrity and indifference. Conversation. Affection. Intimacy. These were archaic notions. Civilized humans networked and stigmatized. Civilized humans didn’t build foundations, they built facades. Civilized humans walked in the park while looking at pictures on their phones. Pictures which had been carefully edited to remove all that was genuine, vulnerable, and imperfect. Graham, for that was his name, decided that today he was going to pick flowers for his wife instead of buying them. He was going to dig them up by the roots and plant them in a little ceramic pot and give them to her. He hoped that she would laugh at him. Not a mean, derisive laugh but a sweet, giggly laugh. She looked younger when she laughed, when she was happy and her nose crunched up and she forgot the symmetry of her face.

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The Unseen

It has been a while since I have sat down to write anything. The pressure is terrific. I haven’t left enough space to create. I have too many competing ideas. I am blocked and overwhelmed to bursting.

 

I am not sure where to start so I’ll start at the beginning.  I have been doing a lot of soul-searching lately. I have spent a lot of time outside in nature. Thinking about it now I spend a lot of time talking (whether out loud, on paper, in thought) but not a lot of time listening. 

 

Some months ago I made an impassioned prayer to the universe. I don’t want to live in a world without magic. In other words I don’t want to live my whole life limited by the perceptions of my ego. I never imagined what that would actually mean. I realized that reality has many layers/dimensions. What we usually take for reality is derived from our senses, experiences, values, beliefs etc. This is the reality which is more or less agreed upon by the society we live in and yet each person still possesses a reality unique to them. You will never find two identical versions of reality. But there is more to reality than the content of our senses and our upbringing. Technology allows us to see some of that unseen world. Education expands imagination/awareness but it can also block our intuition when we use it to confirm the limited views of our egos (think of all the outdated/debunked information you learned in school!). The best minds are flexible, open, curious, and humble. So much still remains unknown to us. The universe is full of mysteries, of unanswerable questions, of flux. Unknown and unreal are two very different things and yet we often allow our limited and limiting ego to fill in these gaps with fear and doubt. The ego insists that there can be only one right answer to a question/only one right of being/doing/seeing. The ego requires confirmation even at the expense of other people. The ego cannot live and let live. The ego manipulates, separates, and judges. Lizard-brain. Little god. Child.

 

Often we forget that dreams constitute a huge portion of our reality. We spend around ⅓ of our lives asleep, part of that time we are dreaming. We also dream when we are awake. Dreams are vital and they too are reality.

 

It said that we have a second brain in our stomach. “The enteric nervous system is often referred to as our body’s second brain. There are hundreds of millions of neurons connecting the brain to the enteric nervous system, the part of the nervous system that is tasked with controlling the gastrointestinal system. This vast web of connections monitors the entire digestive tract from the esophagus to the anus. The enteric nervous system is so extensive that it can operate as an independent entity without input from our central nervous system, although they are in regular communication.”

 

The bacteria in our gut can actually send signals to our brains! We can’t see bacteria with the naked eye and when all is properly working we don’t even think much about them. Yet there they are alive within us, communicating with us, essential to our life/health. If we abuse ourselves they can even make us sick. Nature too has a delicate balance. We’ve seen what happens when we try to beat nature into submission. We often forget that we are a part of nature. We are connected to every living thing on the planet. The planet/our planet is alive. I believe in a collective unconscious. This is why so many of our philosophies and religions end up saying essentially the same thing even though the creators of the original stories had no “ego to ego” interaction.

 

I have been fascinated lately by the unseen world as you can see. There is an anime called Mushishi that I am currently rewatching. Here is a basic plot summary.

 

Mushi are the most primitive form of life. They have no goals/no agenda aside from being. They are neither good or bad. They can exist in countless forms and are capable of mimicking things in the natural world. They can even mimic disease. Most people cannot see them in their original form but they do have the ability to affect humans (altered perception, disease, unusual abilities). They appear in the show as ethereal, sort of like floaters, except that they are light instead of dark.

 

“Floaters are little “cobwebs” or specks that float about in your field of vision. They are small, dark, shadowy shapes that can look like spots, thread-like strands, or squiggly lines. They move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly.”

 

I am not trying to convince you that mushi exist (we didn’t always know about viruses and bacteria haha). The point is I believe there is much unseen in this world. Just because something is unknown or unseen doesn’t make it inconsequential. Just because we don’t know how something works doesn’t mean it is broken. Just because we don’t understand someone’s point of view doesn’t mean that they are disposable, wrong, a threat, an obstacle to our success/happiness. Why give someone else all your power? Life is sacred.

 

I haven’t even begun to touch upon my beliefs on the afterlife, spirits and such but I will save it for another time.

 

I wanted to share a story with you.

 

“There was once a stonecutter who was dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life.

One day he passed a wealthy merchant’s house. Through the open gateway, he saw many fine possessions and important visitors. “How powerful that merchant must be!” thought the stonecutter. He became very envious and wished that he could be like the merchant.

To his great surprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever imagined, but envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself. Soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. “How powerful that official is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a high official!”

Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around. It was a hot summer day, so the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. “How powerful the sun is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the sun!”

Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and laborers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. “How powerful that storm cloud is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a cloud!”

Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields and villages, shouted at by everyone. But soon he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized that it was the wind. “How powerful it is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the wind!”

Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, feared and hated by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it – a huge, towering rock. “How powerful that rock is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a rock!”

Then he became the rock, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the hard surface, and felt himself being changed. “What could be more powerful than I, the rock?” he thought.

He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stonecutter.”

Sometimes we forget how powerful we are. Reality is shaped by our perception which means it can be changed. We are actively creating the world we live in, let your beliefs reflect the type of world you want to live in and reality will follow. When we act from a place of gratitude and abundance there is always enough. Enough time. Enough love. Enough money. Enough resources. The ego’s constant sense of scarcity is what leads us to the selfish actions that deplete the earth and our relationships with other people. The ego will never feel whole, full, or connected. Honor the ego’s service (it has a function, it is after all connected to our survival instinct!), honor your emotions (knowing that like weather they pass), but don’t buy into the story line, don’t cling to outcomes which are a small part of our experience (the journey is the vast majority of our experience). Imagine if you chose to enjoy the embarkation, the journey, and the destination? Your life would be so much more rewarding then if you allow yourself only the few seconds of ecstasy you get from the completion of a task/goal. Remember how good anticipation feels. How exciting life is when you allow it to flow. Write your own story. Dare to be a mystery, to go a day without needing to define everything. Dare to look inside of yourself, even at the darkness within, dare to love the places that hurt.  When you look out at the ocean or up in the sky, at the vastness of it all you see potential, power, beauty, and enigma. Our bodies may be small/finite but the spirit is infinite, beautiful, mysterious, and full of potential. We create truth by becoming expressions of truth, by honoring our inner cycles, by following our intuitive knowing. Choose freedom.

Wordle #147

147

On any given day a ring

Is plucked from the forge

And wedded to the finger

Of either bride or groom.

On any given day one self

Is abandoned and another grasped.

Bodies dissolve into

The invisible stream

Of repurposed stars

Gutsy routines thirsting

For the flow of flesh and bone.

I gather lists, though improvisation

Is a more seductive type of being.

Fear is an essential poison

It invades and conceals

Preserves and provokes.

Contradiction defines reality

Where there is hate

There is love to spare

Where there are shadows

There are dreams enough to illumine.

*

I have a sinus infection so I haven’t much energy and my face hurts.

Photo Challenge #67 “See-Saw” and Wordle #156

Seesaw Alexa Houghton

Alexa Houghton

My porcelain heart

Swears beneath the strain

Of an oppressive balance.

The ground is never long

From the sky and limbo

Is intrinsic to doubt.

A decision by default

Is the heaviest to bare.

Scars feed my wrists

Tumbling from moonlit flesh

As a chant and no one

Can absolve my pain

However, gaudy

However, brief

Their concern

Though I am grateful

Just the same.

I shuffle the papers

Of countless diaries

The timeline slipping

From earth’s turnings.

As deep as the ocean

It cannot taste

The saline it ensnares.

For

https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/photo-challenge-67-see-saw-june-30-2015/

Where is Yves?

I have had an unusually hectic and busy week and there is more to come yet. I simply did not have time to write and I am too exhausted! I can say one thing though. I passed my National Swedish Exam and my course! So I get to move on to the next level. Theoretically of course if I switch schools to go to the closer school, it would be in a new district and I would have to retest. A retest could put me back where I started if the requirements in the new district are higher or if I choke during the interview. I really like the people in my class but the commute is long. On the other hand hubbie works in the city I commute too which means I can sometimes meet with him, but if I go to the closer school that won’t be possible. If I go to the closer school I can save a few hours possibly. I have no way of guaranteeing next term that my classmates would be the same either and I know some are moving on to various other things. I am still uncertain but I must make a decision soon.

Wordle #176

176

Time serves us all a sentence.

The brevity of our lives,

Our communities mere decades.

Our concerns are but vague collaborations.

Our hearts unraveling without care

For a chat or a nod or a spare set of keys.

The compromises which in hindsight

Compromise our state of being

And our souls most of all.

He who does not listen cannot

Feasibly know and he who lacks

Contact or initiative cannot

Feasibly do anything to resolve

The discrepancies of ego.

Does a single answer exist

That could ever satisfy

The collective of man?

There are not enough Gods

To answer all our whims

And even if there were

We lack the means

To perceive them.

Bloody Knees

Your eyes slither in moonlight

Swell up to the heavens

And dissipate under the gravity

Of your intransigent mutations.

Almost is more often the case.

Almost is necessary for what follows.

 

The only questions worth pursuit

Or those with uncertain answers.

I adorn each day a new striation

Is this the way I am to age

Emboldened with strange motifs

And voices that echo before they speak?

Do nightmares penetrate the outer hull

The same as conscious wounds?

Why else would I carry them so long

If the blood was not comparably red?

 

Who can claim perfection?

Another failure precipitated by inaction

A mannequin would be a more convincing host.

If time permits I might even survive.

It holds that those who hunger

For absolutes are always the first to starve.

I sit here on a filthy curb picking scabs

Butterflies relaying songs of the dead

Through my mutilated knees.

Photo Prompt #39 “Scream by the Pier”

Arno Rafael Minkkinen 39

Arno Rafael Minkkinen

I swallow each plank

Mouth oblong, exacting

A splinter-filled well.

The distance

Between us is arbitrary,

An illusion generated

By our inability

To dismiss labels.

If truth does not conform

Then what will?

But truth does not

Always favor the majority

Sometimes only one

Rises to the cause.

 

If a fantasy the moral

Would breathe its very last

In the very first kiss

Living does not imply

Perfection, it is an art

Fueled with whatever madness

Ignites but does not wholly consume

The soul it confesses.

 

Steady hands struggle

To contain the pulse

And when the water rises

One cannot but scream.

To be human is to hunt

In the wreckage

For a weapon capable

Of defrocking these myriad veils

To be human is to drown

Whether above or below

Whether within or without

Sensation is not optional.

*

For

MLMM 

Mortar and Pestilence

hiding-photodream-art

Photodream Art

Visit the artist here

I mortar that I shall become

In the derangement of routine

As ineffable as stone.

In relation to the mundane

Gravity encroaches upon me

With a ferocity that an apple

Spoiled or otherwise

Cannot replicate

 

Do any of us understand truly

The relevance of being sentient

The eggshell hieroglyphics

Of the behemoth before

It has sheltered blood?

Can anyone doubt

The elasticity of the womb

Which accommodates so readily

The fine-boned lotus?

 

I want to nurse something beyond

My premonitory wounds,

A porcine muse that feasts

On my ever thickening chrysalis

The question of reciprocity

Is not often a generous one

To depend solely on reassurance

To fashion of it a requisite will

Is to condemn oneself to poverty

 

So long as words exist

I shall exchange them

To the infirm they are coins of passage

A sapling merely I begin and end

As an Ouroboros, composure being

A game of scalpels and frailties

I manufacture sanity through savagery

And if I am lucky that passes for life

*

Lately I have been feeling quite stuck and quite self-conscious/tongue-tied so I decided to just write and not worry about making sense to see if I could unstick myself haha. On another note I am dog-sitting a 13 year old Swedish Elkhund, she is very sweet and calm but my schedule is at the moment a bit off. Right now I seem to be interrupting her cuddle time 😛

 

Irritate

NicolasBruno19Nicolas Bruno

If my heart resides

In cumulus

Will I lose my essence

The indigenous howl

Of a harlequin moon?

Will I forget the temple

Culling foreign fetishes

From a lugubrious sea?

Will I become as atmosphere

Slithering through life unseen?

 

Will I abide in discontent

Recoiling from windows

As if opportunity

Were itself a form

Of castigation?

Will I live face-down?

Waist-deep?

Limp-fisted?

Legs-askew?

 

It is fear that bids me

To dream without procurement

To hope without exertion

That heaven may grant me

An insulating reprieve

What pretext could grant me

Eternal youth?

What pretext could render me

Alone unaccountable?

 

To feel my soul shedding

Its myriad skins

To know the irritation

Of the living

The imperfection

The uncertainty

To strip the skeins

From my tethered throat

That I may recapture

The alchemy of speech

 

If a golden tongue

Let it speak of love

For the night

A requisite dawn

A feathered parting

From a timorous sleep

*

I have started to read again “Comfortable with Uncertainty” by Pema Chödrön. The beginning is about growing up and facing our fears. This is similar to yesterday’s poem same theme