Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Perception determines Reality

Freedom is possible. I know this because reality is free. How is reality free? Reality is mutable, creative, nebulous, contingent, turbulent, and uncertain. It is free.

I have an act, and that act is "I'm trapped." I've spent much of my life acting out that script, doing my best to avoid being trapped, or, finding myself trapped by my circumstances, either doing battle, making the best of it, or on the rare occasion, indulging in self-pity. And its all bullshit.

I am my own jailer. I hold the keys to my own freedom, but I often cling to an illusion that keeps me trapped. And the way I trap myself is by insisting that who I am is a fixed thing that exists independent of reality and the conditions of reality.

Who I am is not a thing. I am not a chair. You cannot take me out of the dining room or the office and put me out on the lawn and say "This is Kay the chair." If you take a chair apart, bit by bit, piece by piece, at some point the assemblage of parts is no longer a chair-object, but the potential of one. But I cannot be disassembled. My parts do not have existence independent of each other, nor do I exist independent of my experience of reality.

Who I am is not an object that exists independent of the conditions of reality. My ego thinks that independence is freedom...that seeking to separate or differentiate myself from others, from reality, etc will set me free. But that is foolishness. Isolated and alienated self-centeredness is not freedom. It is aversion. It is desperate clinging to a static vision of self and world. It is avoiding acceptance and understanding of Reality, of What Is, and of my intrinsic connectedness to everything.

What can I do to remind myself that I am both free and interconnected? By practicing awareness of the freedom present in each moment, by permitting myself to experience each moment authentically and by responding spontaneously to each moment of my experience without trying to force myself or reality to fit some idea I have of how it should be.

When I am in that place, I cannot help but be filled with wonder and awe at the beauty and mystery of it all. Reality and my experience of it are numinous and intrinsically ineffable, and I am free to question, so long as I do not insist on answers. When I am content to question and let the question go without requiring an answer, when I am content to act without needing things to work out a certain way, when I do not allow my fear of uncertainty to prevent me from acting, then I know I am free. And that feeling of freedom and connectedness and awe, that is powerfully inspiring to me.

Now how do I communicate that to someone who is in the deepest, darkest depths of despair? How do I inspire to live a person who cannot accept reality as it is, who rejects it so deeply, so viscerally, that she tried to kill herself? How do I help her see that her trap is not real, but a matter of perception, and that she can set herself free simply by choosing it?

I am free. I want to inspire her to realize the possibility of freedom for herself. But I am very attached to this--I want it very badly. I want her to live. How do I distinguish between clinging/ attachment--between my own agenda and my own rejection of her reality--and accepting where she is now and acting out of my commitment to help her realize her own potential for freedom? Especially when I am afraid to say the wrong thing? Simply because an outcome is possible does not mean it is probable. I want to take a possibility, a potential, and make it a probability, a certainty. I am determined to find a way to present Life to her as an opportunity, rather than as the trap she perceives it to be. And so I will. And so I will.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

To mother on her 58th birthday

Happy 58th Mom, where ever you are
Is there life beyond death
beyond the chalk and ashes of your corpse
turned to fish food
in the shoals off the Big Island
I imagine flocks of tropical beauties glistening
like gilt tears and you some part of them
just as I am the first leg
of a three-legged stool birthed by you
I lost the middle leg, Mom, I'm sorry
Did you know Tammy died?
Is she there with you if you're anywhere?
When you died the chorus of duckbilled platitudes claimed you'd be
that you'd be watching over us
and if you are
if you are watching
don't you feel fucking helpless?
Another year has passed
Tammy gave up, like you
she died
and Terri tried to murder herself
I am a three-legged stool with a leg broken
and another missing entirely
I am my mother's daughter
I am strong, but for your birthday
I'd like to give you my strength
and let you bear the weight
while I watch over you
Happy 58th Mom, where ever you are

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Turning the corner

I've had trouble sleeping. I fall exhausted into bed and am awake a few hours later. I force myself to go back to sleep and I do, but its more like being in alpha-state--sometimes I catch my mind talking to itself and listen in on the internal dialog. It seems I am always running a litany of things to do mixed with musing over problems to be solved and rehearsal conversations with family and friends.

Knowing there would be no more rest for me, I forced myself to get out of bed, lest I decide there was no purpose to getting up. I am fortunate, I reminded myself in the shower. I have a wide network of friends, people who love and support me. My family is in crisis again, but my shoulders are broad, I can handle this. I can handle this. Tears fill my eyes but I will not allow them to fall. I've cried enough the past four months. Right now, tears are not an answer or a release. They are simply an indulgence. The urge will pass.

Outside my window it is Spring. The birds feed their nestlings. I cannot believe this is happening. The flowers and trees bloom, and the sky is a thousand shades of gray. I will spend the weekend with people I love. I will support my sisters, my parents as best I can. I choose what is happening. I cannot change it, and I could deny it, but that changes nothing. A gust of wind shakes the plum trees, scattering flower petals like confetti. In choosing to accept What Is, I can move forward from a firm basis of reality into a future of my own creation. Scrubbing the kitchen, taking refuge in rhythmic movement, in the preparations for guests that I will attempt to entertain this weekend. Thoughts and attitudes are causal forces in life. I can create my reality, the circumstances of my life. I know I can create it, because I can look back and see what choices I have made that created the circumstances I am in now. Sweeping the floor with the broom, going over it with the damp swiffer pad. I choose. I choose to live my life powerfully, as an agent of my own goals instead of as a victim of circumstance. I choose to go forward with my plans, however I must. I choose to love, and to support, and to be who I need to be in order to do what I need to do in order to have what I want to have for myself and my life. The floor is clean. The way is clear. It is time to go out into the world, to turn the corner, and trust it my ability to handle whatever lies beyond my field of vision.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Passover Buddha

We've had bizarre weather here in the Pacific NW this weekend. The sun has been emboldened a few times to yellow the clouds and brighten the days, and in between, rain, sleet, and snow, most of which did not stick in the lower elevations. In Seattle, where I visited friends, there was snow on the ground, contrasting nicely with the forsythia and the black bamboo. After a four hour drive which afforded me ample opportunity to ponder the chameleonic weather, I arrived home in Portland, to find the tulips, daffodils and hyacinths are blooming, undaunted by the chill. It is April, they seem to sing as the wind and weather force them to dance. For all that the weather left me cold, I was warmed by the company of friends old and new, by several glasses of wine, and by kosher Passover food cooked by foodies both Jewish and Gentile. The last time I had food that good was for my birthday, at The Sardine Factory. It has been years since I was invited to a Passover Seder, and my first time participating in the reading of the Haggadah. The ritual meal took about 3 hours, and was both delicious and educational. I hope I am invited back next year.

I was cleaning out my closet when the sun came out and slanted through the photinia bushes to illuminate my room. There was something about the quality of the light, the shadows, and the tiny prismatic crystals of the valance that had me grabbing my camera for a photo. It is a nice background for the Buddha statue.

I am tired and yet aroused. I got a good long kiss from my rocket-scientist friend before I left his place in Seattle. It is Sunday evening, which means bath night. I will soak and shave and then play. After the week I had, I certainly deserve it.


Sunday, April 13, 2008 and

Instead of submitting my taxes today, I renewed the registrations for the domain names I own and updated the site while I was at it. The new site is more feminine than the prior version, more professional, and looks less like a questionable porn site. Now that I've been home a couple of weeks I am hoping that my life will settle into a rhythm that permits more time to write and record. I am also hoping that the recent updates to the site and soon-to-be-uploaded audio for sale at the storefront will drive some business my way. Perhaps that will provide additional incentive to continue generating more audio erotica. I like providing my stuff for free, but at the same time, I like being able to enjoy the fruits of my labor, so hopefully all those people who give appreciative feedback will find it in their hearts and wallets to support me and my work by actually purchasing high-quality erotic audio mp3s.

Presently I am working on a new story with the provisional title GEEK FETISH. It is for all those geeks who read naughty stories. I thought they might like to read one where the hero was one of their own ;)

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Life impacts my senses at the speed of light

Life impacts my senses at the speed of light. A moment emerges and is gone, both enfolded and supplanted by the next moment, the next sensation, like a mini-series of lives and deaths. When I am present to this I become aware of the ongoing drama of my inner-life, and how untouched I often am by the outer world.

I walked through a garden today, a garden drenched in misty rain, bathed in shadows and momentary shafts of light. It smelled of the earthworm's gratitude and the mating of flowers. My senses delivered me from my self-absorbed brooding. I've much to brood over, I suppose, and no one begrudges me my pensiveness... except me.

Preoccupied with my thoughts, I walked unseeingly past brilliant red camellias, purple-white magnolias, and tiny yellow azaleas and penjing forests. At some point I realized I had walked a quarter of the way through the garden without seeing a thing. And stopped. My feet had been following the lovely patterned walkway just as my mind had been following its predictable course, flowing along the thought-patterns I've developed over the years. In the tumult of life, I look for ways to control my circumstances, for ways to alleviate the pain of suffering and loss, the crush of anxiety, and the desire for isolation. And often, the way I cope, the way many people cope, is to try to fit experiences into a predictable pattern so that I can then anticipate the future.

Life is uncertain. It is contingent. It is poignant. It is absurd, and tragic, and indescribably beautiful. It happens. I cannot control the flow of life. I cannot control the speed at which life impacts me. I can only control myself: how I respond within, and how I react. My senses send messages to my brain about reality, and the filter of my attitudes in turn creates my perception of reality. In resuming the life I left behind in January, I jumped into an irresistible flow of if-only's and should-be's and might-have-beens that generated feelings of frustration and disappointment and sadness.

And standing there in the garden, my hair and face misted with cool moisture, my nose assaulted with scents and my eyes with colour, I stopped. I dropped out of my preoccupied thought-flow and opened myself up to the sensual immediacy of what I was experiencing in the here-now. And in doing so, I remembered my freedom.

I was born free. Free of cares and concerns and cravings. My concerns were immediate: food, water, shelter, affection. I responded to and learned from my environment: this burns, that is so cold it hurts, this stings, that tastes sweet, etc. And then I learned semiotics and language. I learned what things meant. And I also learned to give meanings to things. And that... that is what started the descent into hell--that fall from innocence. Life happens around children, and they use their children's minds to determine causality, and then meaning, and they build continuously upon this fragile framework of childish logic an adult life, until as adults we are long past realizing that we are responding to The Now out of patterns established in childhood that have no bearing on the present. Such patterns rarely lead to healthy, rich, fulfilling adult lives. How can they? Children are acquisitive. They want. They dream. They are continuously bewitched by the perceived desirability of what they see/imagine but do not have. Some adults evolve beyond this stage, but most do not. Most of us live under a childish cloud of dissatisfied acquisition and unconsummated craving.

Life impacted my senses, and my senses sent their messages to my brain, and my mind finally called everything to a halt. It took stock of where I was and what I was experiencing, and in that moment, I knew who and what I was, and I responded freely and authentically to what was actually happening. I remembered my freedom and my joy, remembered that there is no intrinsic meaning to my life. My life is like an empty vessel, and I choose what fills it. There in the garden, I emptied the cup of my mind, and then extended myself, extended all of my senses, and experienced the moment. I took refuge in the moment and found sanctuary. I found freedom in the absence of all that 'meaning' I had haphazardly gathered in an attempt to define both the world and who I was in it.

It was a moment of bliss, a moment in which I could see beyond the vanishing point of my perspective to the place where it converges with the infinite possibility of All-That-I-Am. And then it was gone. In a flash, the habitual thought-patterns reasserted themselves and
I was once again my familiar self. My consciousness embraced my identity like a child does a beloved toy. My sense of calmness and vulnerability remained with me for the duration of my walk through the garden, however, and I resolved to remember to embrace the life that impacts me at the speed of light.