AUDIO FILE to listen while you read (with maybe one reading error):
So, it’s come to this?
I started a reading a piece based on a lecture based on book called, you got it: “Doing Nothing”
It had nothing to do with nothing. It was a ploy, a tease, a ruse, a lure to get me to read an article about the meanderings of a creative artist’s mind. I felt irritated – however the artist had some brilliant pieces of art she had photographed and a chuggingly slow river of tangential ideas, images and sensations. I suppose if one weren’t withdrawing from the intoxication of USA productivity and strung-out on random stuff it could seem like nothing relatively speaking. If it wasn’t titled “Doing Nothing” I might have liked it.
But I was anally attached to finding out how to do nothing, which, of course is an oxymoron. And I’m still attached aka stuck in the fucking past obsessing about not finding nothing. Go ahead – smile and feel embarrassed for me. And I’m being serious.
Let’s face it – no can do nothing at any time. But—
If we rule out autonomic functions such as blood pimping around in our arteries and veins or breathing then we have at least pretended we can make a space for maybe doing nothing.
Here’s the thing though – and I know I’m splitting hairs (very hard to do by the way) – as a nation of workers who eschew down-time and laziness the idea of doing nothing seems more Zen and cooler than acting lazy.
Maybe, the closest seemingly non-action state we can take is Za Zen Meditation. If it weren’t connected to the idea of mindfulness it would be an excellent cover for laziness. I mean sit and just “watch” all your thoughts and ideas et cetera coming and going. The one who watches is the mindfulness give-away so it’s not as close to doing nothing as I might imagine.
There’s lots of apps – one of which promotes “doing nothing” for a certain number of minutes – but in reality it’s listening to rain and sounds of nature as a mediation. Anyway, you get the idea.
The idea is that as workaholics who love to work, work, work – even if you love what you do and in your spare time you work and improve yourself – if you’re filling up all your time with stuff to do then you’re never celebrating laziness. Here’s what I think – Americans love to be busy, even when they’re in downtime. So, when some American says:
“I’ve been doing nothing,”
it really means they are doing something that seems like nothing in comparison to a super busy lifestyle. They need re-grooving in the cognitive think department – unless they are attempting to market “nothing”. Marketing “nothing” is got to be the perfect scam, because you can make up anything especially if its tangential, has no plan and seems like the positive side of laziness – though I don’t see how doing nothing is more positive than being lazy.
Garden of Delights breakfast and lunch restaurant 113 C Highland St. Worcester, MA
From 1975 to early 1976 I had one of the best part-time jobs of my life if you could even call it a job. It combined two of my favorite past-times: driving and having fun. It also revealed a few other tasks I excelled at – more on those later.
I began as a dishwasher in a lunch and dinner restaurant – the Garden of Delights on Highland Street in Worcester, Massachusetts. Inside it was all black – black walls, black ceilings, interrupted by two tropical fish tanks, spider plants with their own grow lights and placards with single cell cartoons each with their own illuminated lights and a few maps and prints. This was the work of Tinker and Princess. They were the owners of the restaurant. It was obvious that Tinker had done the interior work / décor.
Tinker was dressed in all black with long black hair and custom-made shoes that curled up at the toes with tiny bells on them. He made them, of course, along with his black vest and its many pockets. He may have bought the wide-brimmed black hat. Princess was the chef. She created the specials that changed every week. It was a vegetarian restaurant except for the tuna of the very famous open-faced tuna melts on toast.
It was a special place at a special time.
Dish washing was not my most favorite task, actually it was my least favorite task. But everyone that worked there brought in a vinyl rock LP that was stacked about 15 records high on the spindle. We’d rock out all night long as we worked, worked, worked.
My good friend, Valerie who worked there, as a waitress, told me they were looking for a driver to pick-up food and supplies for the restaurant. Tinker and Princess did not own a car. My job was to pick up food for the week on one day and make bank deposits. I started in the spring of 1975. I drove my 1969 VW Bug which was mostly a good car for pick-up.
I went to Mitchell’s Bakery every Wednesday and shopped for the rest of the stuff on Thursdays to my recollection. At Mitchell’s I would buy 100 loaves of whole wheat bread and 50 pounds of fresh ground Mocha Java Coffee; I loved the aroma of all those coffee beans being ground into the bags. They would grind the beans as I loaded the bread in the bug. Next stop – Stop ‘n Shop for cans of White Albacore Tuna – it was the only brand of Tuna where dolphins were not attracted to the nets of the fishing boats. On the other day I’d do everything else:
Off to the Greek Market for 2 to 3 pounds of Feta Cheese, jaw with the owner.
On the opposite side of town was a cheese wholesaler open to the public where I would buy Gouda and Muenster in large bars, no need for cutting. A woman customer remarked once: “You must have a big family?” “You have no idea,” I cracked.
Then to the bank for a deposit.
The cheese wholesaler stopped carrying 50-pound wheels of Aged Vermont Cheddar Cheese, so Princess or Tinker had to locate a different source. I was given an address down in the warehouse section of Worcester. I parked and started to walk towards the enormous building whose sign read: Boston Beef. I had to laugh. A Natural Foods restaurant that did not serve poultry or red meat was the address I was sent to. In my minds eye I could see Tinker and Princess laughing.
There was a buzzer at a side door. A guy with a hard-hat and a white blood-soaked coat arrived there. I gave him my name, the name of the business and the product I wanted. He had me wear a hard-hat. We walked through the place with beef hanging on hooks deep into the back of the building. He opened the door to a cold-storage locker and brought out a giant wheel of cheese. It was on account and I signed it and he gave me a receipt. Then I hiked out with him. He took the hat and away I went.
I’d go over their apartment a block away from the restaurant for food experiments that Princess would try out for the three of us – as vegetarian dinner specials. After dinner in the dining room amid the low slung and bean bags chairs surrounded by industrial sized wooden spools for tables and swing arms mounted on stands with an alligator clip at the end of each arm, four arms all together. It was the lazy person’s way of smoking a joint. Well one of the three of us would have to get the joint and transfer it to the next clip, oh such work for “the slammed”.
Summer was great. But the winter of 75 – 76 with the snow storms and the sludge was a drag. On a Wednesday I did a small bit of driving in the city and then off to pick-up 80 gallons of organic Apple Cider and Juice in Sterling north of the city about 30 miles. It had started snowing during my morning run, it was light, but wet.
a 4-foot exact replica of Donald Duck made of solid sharp Vermont Cheddar Cheese with toothpicks holding the pieces together
When I arrived at the mill the parking lot up to the loading deck wasn’t plowed yet. I had stripped all superfluous stuff including two small sandbags from the trunk in order to fit all the cider in the Bug. There wasn’t enough weight in the from to get across the parking lot. Two guys around my age stood on the front bumpers and the drive over to the loading dock was one of ease.
It was an engineering feat getting those 80 gallons of glass bottles loaded with that sweet nectar into the car. There were 60 gallons of cider and 20 gallons of juice: 4 gallons to a box. I tried loading them with the backseat down, but it worked better with it up because I could get some boxes on the floor. Boxes in the passenger seat and one on the floor and two in the trunk with it tied down by some cord. I laughed.
Later, on a winter’s Wednesday morning I was taking a shortcut back to the G.O.D. from the bank. There had been two heavy snows earlier in the week and it was snowing lightly when I came into a very tiny traffic circle. It was the exact same time a woman in a Mercedes entered from the right and I pumped the breaks to stop. It wasn’t enough. Our bumpers crunched. My bug was more damaged than hers. It was clearly my fault. We exchanged insurance information and phone numbers.
When I got back Princess and Tinker could see something had happened. It was around 10:30 am before the place opened. There was another guy there in a suit. I explained what had happened. Fortunately, my work for that day was done.
“What can we do,” they both asked. I didn’t know. The suit, Tom, had overheard me. He told me he had just graduated from Law School but hadn’t taken the Massachusetts Bar yet. He wondered if he could investigate the accident for me.
“Sure,” I said.
He had me draw a map of how I hit the car and the names of streets etc.
Later I negotiated with Princess and Tinker for one free meal a week, all the free coffee I could drink and to smoke pot with them in the basement after my run once in a while.
They both beamed:
“Yes. Good. Anytime,” they said.
A few weeks later Tom was waiting for me when I returned from my run. He told me that she was driving the wrong way down a one-way street, but hadn’t seen the signs: one was broken off by a plow and the other signs were covered by piles of snow.
In the meantime, I had used a heavy-duty rope to pull my bumper out. I called the woman on the phone and explained the new situation. She was beside herself. But since I had done my own “repairs” I told her there was no need for our insurance companies to get involved. Relieved and disappointed, she agreed and that was that.
Near St. Patrick’s Day ’76 Prink, Princess had shortened her name to match Tinker and they had become Prink and Tink, she had me drive her to a deli south of Clark University on Main. On the way there she told me her real name:
“And you have to promise never to tell anyone. Okay?”
“Yeah, sure. No problem.”
“And I’m thinking of going to the Culinary Institute of America in New York.”
“Oh God, the CIA,” and we both laughed.
By early spring of ’76 I had to stop working there due to faltering grades at Clark. I graduated in May of ‘76
Years later – in ’77 Tink found me and invited me and Val to their Thanksgiving Day Feast at the GOD for all employees past and current complete with a 40-pound turkey, stuffing, and all the fixings including a veggie alternative. And pies, pies, pies and a cheese cake, the same kind I used to get – the one that was so thick and sticky you had to cut it with waxed dental floss.
Tink made a 4-foot exact replica of Donald Duck made of solid sharp Vermont Cheddar Cheese with toothpicks holding the pieces together.
What a riot.
In 1986 the Gardens of Delights was gone… Nobody knew what happened. Prink and Tink had disappeared. Someone had said the owner of the building had raised the lease… but no one really knew.
Since November of 2019 I have been engaged in a journey through the layers of grief and release.
Lately it’s been tough:
I realized that an old anger has returned – but maybe it’s been there all along and I hadn’t wanted to see it until now. It’s somatic anger, a clenched jaw. Okay not only anger resides there, fear too, tension, anxiety and oceans of sadness and grief. I can easily see the locus of it all – originating in an oppressive family system, wounding from childhood sexual abuse.
In my work as a healer I was assisted in temporarily shunting the anger aside which meant relaxing my jaw and releasing the tension. The fear also jetted away. I held the sadness behind a dam in a distant neutral land while I filled my body with light.
What remained was love. Such an abundance of sweet love. Impossible to describe I was able to fall back asleep sometime after six am.
A Dream Came:
The headlines read:
300 billion automatic weapons worldwide have been turned into the UN
and melted down into scrap
People from everywhere the Americas to Asia joyously turned in their automatic weapons to UN Stations throughout the world where they are now being melted down into scrap.
The above was in the headlines of all the papers, all over the internet and on television. All the people bringing in the guns were doing so spontaneously of their own volition. They reported they were no longer as afraid and didn’t need automatic weapons. They still had shotguns for hunting.
Some Meanings for the dream:
On the surface a sweet vision.
Given the work I did of letting go of anger/fear/anxiety to immerse myself and my body in love – the love that was already there
And mix it with Light
It removed the fear and anger that had sequestered the Love and let it out and manifested as a dream of peace
I look at the dream as being a remedy to my thought-forms of exclusion and how my anger / fear and anxiety – as well as sadness / grief has contributed to a violent world (thoughtforms).
The dream, then was a manifestation of love healing angers, fears, anxiety and sadness in me and the turning in of the automatic weapons (with joy) [weapons as random angry thoughts – perhaps] into a world of love and inclusiveness.
The Trees are my friends who speak in a language (not English, nor a human language) that is too slow for us fast moving humans to perceive. It’s more than likely that we have all had opportunities and may have felt the presence of trees.
reconnecting with the sacred inside us through a personal relationship with a tree
The Japanese practice of “forest bathing” an immersion in the woods or forest is a cleansing experience. Certainly, I have noticed the peace that the forest affords. I have experienced it in myself and observed the outward manifestation in others in the forest. [Amongst others there is a stream of conversation that goes on and on. The talk abrupt stops as they have detoxed enough and notice the trees and are quiet much like the quiet of a church service.]
Upon entering the forest or woods I automatically dip into the stream of consciousness that many carry with us whether that comes in the form of an inner dialogue, music and/or visual images. For me it’s mostly visual images sometimes with dialogue or narration that is the streaming junk of my daily life. Then it stops.
Wow, there are Trees Here!
When it does stop I notice my surroundings. Peace emerges and pervades my being as I stand near a copse of trees on the path in the woods. Sometimes when I stop moving and the stream of conscious ceases I feel the presence of large boulders, tall trees, a stream or brook, maybe a small waterfall. I feel washed clean by the powers of nature.
feeling of being grounded and connected to Earth; our shared home.
There they are – these standing ones whether they be Douglas firs, pines, redwoods, the deciduous aspens, the Japanese maples, and some oaks. They stand and wait for a human to make contact. Once contact is made and we allow ourselves – mostly our minds to slow to the patient levels of the trees we can begin the feel the peace trees exude. As I slow further I may merge my spirit with the spirit that the tree surrounds its body and we share a space together. In that space there are many non-verbal answers and somatic emotional states. One is a feeling of being grounded and connected to Earth; our shared home.
peace becomes evident and the love slows me down into a being state
As I continue to open my senses of touch, directionality, groundedness, sight and heart-centered emotion I feel embraced and accepted by my friend and friends – tree(s). Deeper – even before “the hug” there can be a singular song of a tree or a choir of song by a family of trees. The peace becomes evident and the love slows me down into a being state. I may temporarily slip out of ego into being and experience my place amongst the animals and trees in that local community of nature in which I have chosen to be a member. Ah such sweetness…
we can begin to become a co-equal member of a forest
I have made a bond with the Redwood species; and deciduous Sycamores and Maples both individually and as species. In these bonds I have asked the trees to hold spiritual or plasma energy for me. This is a technique for inner – spiritual work. Often, we receive an epiphany or a “high” when engaging in spiritual work there is an automatic tendency in us as humans to blow off the energy by “ego-talking” to others about our experiences. The use of accumulators becomes important in spiritual / inner work as a way to deposit some of our energy in a tree or group of trees. Later we can make a “withdrawal” on the “interest accrued” as long as we don’t withdraw all the energy we have “deposited” in the tree. It’s one way to stay silent about on-going inner work without blowing it off by talking with others about it. Another way to stay silent in addition to asking a tree to deposit or give energy to him/her/it is to make an agreement with oneself to pay attention to our breath instead of talking (and blowing off energy).
Its so easy to forget that trees are beings too
In asking a tree to participate in acting as an “accumulator” we can begin to become a co-equal member of a forest and /or woodland community. We become members of an ecological local community and remember our roots to help cultivate an intimate relationship with Earth on a local level. Its so easy to forget that trees are beings too and treat them as objects for use in a soulless society of use and waste that’s disconnected from the sacred.
Here is the beginning of reconnecting with the sacred inside us through a personal relationship with a tree or a community of trees in the context of a larger local community in which each member plays a part.
What a wondrous world to uncover and honor the sacred.
In my late 30s I experienced an epiphany. I transformed my life because I surrendered into it. There was a lot of work before that preceded that opening. Up to that point my life was analogous to the life of a flower. A sprout pushed its way up through the soil, stems and leaves unfurled and buds formed straining to open. When the bud burst open resounding at long last to the light a transformation occurred filled with joy and the relief of surrender into a greater multiverse.
This epiphany allowed a choice point: continue to follow the whims of ego, in other words pursue the momentary desires, interests, likes or dislikes or accept destiny. I chose to surrender into the undiscovered country of a strange inter and multi-dimensional universe of great depth and wonder; into the rarely glimpsed book of destiny. It required patience. It required a path to healing of my core being.
The next step in this journey was the “accidental” uncovering of horrendous wounds of early childhood. There was an intense obsessional compulsion to know everything that had happened back then. The world of PTSD, flashbacks, body memories, blackouts, freeze-frames of trauma intruding into what I ordinarily expected as my contiguous life that did not (does not) have the same connectedness of ordinary memories because love was shattered. Diving deeply into it with the tools of spiritual practices, therapeutic techniques of hypnotherapy, EMDR, emotional release and reintegration as well as “traveling” into the past utilizing shamanic practices only works to a degree before traumatization reoccurs. My desire to know everything about the trauma in the way I’ve remembered my ordinary life never happened. I felt disappointed and I was also relieved once I accepted the different paths within myself.
My friends didn’t want to hear about my traumatic past and began to shun me so I contained the bleeding and confined my explorations with my therapist for a time. Other healers and seers saw clearly into my woundedness but I did not see as clearly as they were experiencing me. I had reached a plateau and I decided to shelve the wounded experiences and only focus on what was presented in the moment and not dig for stuff.
I had remained clean and sober from pot for 19 years (1985 to 2004) when I slipped with my much younger partner. The only insight that I was afforded was that in 1985 and the times before pot served to fragment my already fragmented self. In 2004 I saw that the fragmented parts of myself and though still fragmented were held together cohesively by me congealed with my attention and care.
From 1991 when the first memories of trauma began revealing themselves to 2001 I worked intensely on myself and then reached a plateau (’01 was the year my therapist retired).
Earlier this year there was a shift in my physical body and I began to open myself for a change. The universe provided an opportunity presented to me from my spiritual soul partner, colleague and mentor. When she presented me with the opportunity I had been waiting for it took only moments to accept.
She offered a homeopathic formula to help bring buried and stuck grief to the surface for processing. It has been a difficult and immensely rewarding process so far. Of the people I have shared some of this process with have misunderstood the position I take within the flow of emotions.
Maladoma Somē (see end notes) reported that grief is the most common emotion that all humans share. Grief is the process when it is not resisted or prematurely stopped via cognitive processes of compartmentalization and the subsequent emotions of judgement, self-criticism or condemnation on the one hand and stoic determination, anger and rational suppression or repression of grief into a lifestyle of condemning the self and / or others on the other can be released to then convey what is underneath.
When I began taking the formula it was in the evening when I first began — result: I slept for three hours and was awake working on a path to exposing the grief as the emotional connective tissue to the wounds. Release the grief and the horrendous memories shift and become multifaceted revealing the blessings while releasing my attachment to the intensities of the horror.
There was something blocking the work, something in the back of my neck on my left side that was the part of blockage or resistance. Something I could not see clearly enough to find and remove. I called out for help. Help arrived in the person that I once was in my most previous past life: a Polish Jew working for The Resistance and constantly hiding from the Nazis. He was trained as an engraver and was employed by the Polish Mint. He pulled something out of my neck which was simultaneously released from his neck in the same area. It went back to source where it disintegrated into ash.
The next morning, I was looking at a friend’s Facebook post when all my chakras opened and a profound compassion, love and understanding poured out of me to him (not that he necessarily needed it). I was surprised that this open feeling of compassion continued to branch out to many more who may have needed it to feel included since compassion is an emotion of inclusion. (The funny thing is that the content of his post was not of a personal nature at least on the surface and remembering the content was not important.)
Though some of the subsequent work of releasing grief has been filled with anguish and intense physical pain — such as a lava-like substance that was hot and filled with the bile of anger and hatred flowed out of the joints of my left hand and fingers. So far, the arthritic pain that has felt trapped in my body has decreased by as much as fifty percent.
These pockets of grief within me are spread like butter over toast throughout my body, persona and into the depths of me. The emotion is not me as it once was when I had first uncovered the trauma. I am above the feelings of grief and not immersed in them as I once was in the beginning.
I debated about putting this account due to its highly personal nature. I meditated on what to do and have decided to enter it here. In the midst of the on-going grieving process I discovered that part of my mother’s being was trapped in my body. It was only when I freed her did I realize that part of her had merged with me when I was a baby.
The “Ah-ha” moment arrived.
My mother was a difficult parent to live around. My sister concurred that she had been very critical towards both of us; very true. She was never happy with either of us.
My mom had poor boundaries with me and later as an adult I chose to establish and maintain better boundaries with her. She would burst into my bedroom door without ever knocking. She did what she called: “snooping” in my closet rifling through my stuff. I asked my dad if I could have a lock on my door. Before I could tell him why he said “no,” and walked away. In order to have privacy I took long 4-hour baths locked in one of our two bathrooms on a Saturday night. I took to burying time capsules in the backyard where I knew she would never look to have private secret things — for my eyes only. She wanted me to take French in High School so I could speak romantic French phrases to her. I failed French in my passive-aggressive style so I wouldn’t have to do it. And the list of behaviors bordering on the inappropriate and at times crossing the line went on.
My mother passed in March of 2015 from dementia. I had very little contact with her after the death of her body. My father had contacted me many times after his death.
In a session that lasted half the night I was able to extricate my mom’s spirit from my body and keep her from coming back in. She greeted me five or six times after I had freed her in her child-like manner and appeared to have said thank-you without actually coming out and saying it.
It was a relief to reclaim my body as my own and to begin to have a relationship with my mother as an individual to an individual, which continues to evolve.
I am not the grief and conversely, I am not the joy. I sometimes feel grief and I sometimes feel joy as well as all the emotions of the rainbow and the darker shadow.
Malidoma Somē author Of Water and Spirit. The author came to our community to speak about his book, drum at our community center. At one point he looked out at all of us and said:
“I see that many of you you have been initiated many times
but because there was no community to support and accept your initiation
I awoke letting the convoluted dreams from sleep dissolve without pressing my intellect for possible meanings.
A short time later I began breakfast preparations. I felt the warm swathe of sunshine permeate my small abode – across the kitchen floor and into the bedroom. I gazed at the off-white stone tiled floor and felt a profound peace and happiness in the smallest of details.
I smiled to myself and thought / felt:
I am here.
My heart is full.
Happiness in the stillness of
A morning in sunlight.
It wasn’t an “overnight success”. It took 15 years to live, skirting a mess of miserable emotions; 6 months to jockey for position; 3 months of letting go of everything including my life in preparation for the death of my body* and 6 days of resurrection into that which continues to unfold.
During the 15 years I wasn’t such a dire mess as described above. I was floating in a boat in a becalmed ocean of slime feeding on the fleeting happiness of rarefied airs. In other words, I was an expert at compartmentalization and was kept alive on the higher aspects of my work. Intellectually its difficult to fathom how excruciating physical pain was (is) held in place by unresolved – stuck grief. Emotionally easy.
*I had to die to be reborn. This was not suicide, but it was a relinquishing of everything without hope of a solution,
Anger serves a purpose as a defense against immediate threats in present time. The emotion is often produced in conjunction with fear. Fear is experienced and is often followed directly by an acting-out anger response. Boys and men are more accustomed to this way of behaving because it is condoned and often encouraged by the fabric of society – namely patriarchal norms.
The way many children were raised in the 1950s and early sixties by fathers’ who had returned from WWII with undiagnosed PTSD was through a reign of terror often accompanied by addictive problems to alcohol, drugs and anger/rage. The children of those parents were subjected to constant anger and as adults have often adopted maladaptive patterns of chronic anger.
When terror is unleashed on a woman or on children repeatedly over long periods of time – fear, anger and depression may be the result. In addition to an emotional stance in the world many of these women and children many somaticize some or all of these emotions. The emotions become tensions in the musculature and skeletal structure of the body and are sequestered from the conscious mind.
The nature of most humans is to avoid discomfort whether it manifests as physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual pain. In so-called developing and developed nations an immediate response to pain is to take a pill for it. “Make it go away.” “Fix me.” “Stop this now!” “I can’t stand this any longer” are some of the responses to physical and emotional pain or discomfort. Pill popping, alcohol consumption, marijuana smoking, crack/cocaine use, and any kind of addictive process is an effort to escape the effects of immediate pain. I am not advocating the non-use of responsible herbal or pharmacological methods of reducing or managing extremes of pain I am only pointing out a pattern to behavior regarding pain.
Some cultures especially indigenous peoples treat pain in a different manner than in the “Western Post-Modern” cultures. Explorations into pain can sometimes produce a release of it that can be freeing as well as act as a release from immediate pain.
I followed the role-model of my father’s rageful behavior while being terrorized by it simultaneously. I vented rage at my sisters’ cats by chasing them under the couch and hissing at them; I felt so angry. It was the only safe place I could vent the rage I felt. For many years I clenched my jaw because “I felt determined” as other people were to reach their goals. I incorrectly assumed that because other people had their mouths closed that they were clenching their jaws too, and were also determined. It wasn’t until the mid 1980s that I realized that these were incorrect assumptions and that I felt extremely angry all the time.
Like any addict the rage would go underground until it erupted into a tantrum usually against a significant love relationship with whoever I was with at the time. I began to work with these feelings and worked to let them go as they arose. As I worked traumas from my childhood were revealed to me. I worked through these too as best I could until I reached a plateau.
Recently I have come to see that triggered anger/rage that arises both from awareness of injustices and from chronic anger has served to keep me isolated from others. As a child I was extremely isolated. And now I have been isolated (and stuck) in part by choice. However I have started to work with the chronic anger anchored in my body in order to uncover and release the profound grief of past traumas.
I have been preparing for this voyage into the release where I have kept myself separate from others and as a result have been stuck in a place of miserable safety.
Part of the preparation for this deep grief release work was a letting go of a reflexive need to comment on every post where my friends were venting their anger and frustrations on our so-called “president”. I didn’t want to participate in my addictive anger /rage venting that felt fruitless to make any real changes. The eliciting of the anger/frustration/rage and grief due to the actions of the president felt like I was allowing myself to be:
Pulled down to his level of nastiness
Giving him attention on an emotional level that feels like time not well spent (even though he is not witness to my outrage).
Feeding my addictive behaviors including a need to be right at the expense of making others wrong
Isolating myself from those that – mildly disagree with me to the extreme of people who vehemently disagree and maybe even hate me.
Isolating myself from feelings that bridge a gap between peoples
Stuck in a familiar cycle of known misery.
Choosing not to participate in “president” bashing is one way to look for more effect means of protest and there are many ways in the nuts and bolts world of emails to representatives, supporting candidate campaigns and so on… I try to funnel my outrage into useful means of action, and I am human I sometimes succumb to bashing and raging.
On Saturday evening November 16, 2019 while working on releasing anger and grief something happened. I welcomed the memory of a physically healthy emotionally fractured seven-year-old me back into my body where I could protect him and he could help me heal metaphorically. There was much tenderness love and connectedness in the healing metaphor. I felt my body open spontaneously and released compassion towards a friend on social media and then go beyond towards others in pain and suffering. Love was breathed in and out.
I didn’t know whether my friend received the compassion but to release it felt good to me and hopefully good for him. And hope it was good for all the others it may have reached. The connection was strong and solid. The act of connecting on many levels was wondrous and highly recommended.
I have found that turning off lights in the day time when temperatures soar over 100 degrees outside makes a room seem cooler. There is still some light that leaks in from outside so it’s not completely dark.
While there is the mundane of light bulbs radiating heat it’s not the psychological effect that I write to herein.
There’s something about the dark that’s ineffable. It’s mysterious because we can’t see so well into it. The dark of the night can be comforting when we embrace the mysteries with our hearts.
When I read The Night Country by Loren Eiseley (see end notes) I fell into his contemplative prose and was enveloped by the mysteries of his night journey. Night and darkness were never the same again.
Darkness became mystery of infinite worlds… Perhaps this is the psychology of a darkened room in the daytime and at night as well…
Trump and the Trumpublicans (Trumpublicans are Republicans who have sworn their allegiance to Trump, surrendered critical thinking or are too fearful of criticism from Trump to oppose his Me-Only agenda whims) are engaged in a Libertarian Anarchistic Assault on:
Public health (Let’s go back to the way it was before the Affordable Care Act)
Sacred Earth / Environment (let’s roll back all EPA standards to promote Oil and Coal at the expense of the environment and public health concerns)
A Foreign Policy (there is no policy)
Congress (acting dictatorial without advice and consent from Congress)
Allegedly conspiring with Russia to disrupt/win elections (obstruction of justice; see Mueller Report)
Appoint Cabinet Members from “the swamp” of the corporate world creating conflicts of interest and fomenting greed etc., etc.
Emoluments (making money mandated by the office of the President) (an impeachable offence by the way)
Justice regarding Neo-Nazi, Immigrants, and LBGQ population (Trump is a White National Heterosexual Racist / Bigot)
And the list goes on. Trump reports that his policies are based on his “gut” intuition, giving him license to do whatever he pleases and change his mind often – clearly the actions of a dictator. My Facebook page is saturated with posts of our outrage against the Dictator aka Trump.
This is emotionally overwhelming mainly due to the injustice of it all.
Enter the many Democratic Challengers. Here are the top candidates:
Elizabeth Warren has a clear and pragmatic agenda with specific bills to address a progressive agenda. (Not much on foreign policy – but maybe I’m not well informed.)
Bernie Sanders has a clear progressive agenda. (Not much on foreign policy – but maybe I’m not well informed.)
Joe Biden – a centrist with an agenda to defeat Trump and a bumpy national agenda with moderate goals
Pete Buttigieg – an appealing intellectual centrist with an evolving agenda
As you may have guessed I favor a progressive agenda.
An Alternative: A Progressive Agenda
I was twelve when President Kennedy was assassinated and LJB became president. I never appreciated President Johnson’s work on Civil Rights, Voting Rights Act, Immigration reform, Federal funding for education, healthcare reform, in short, The Great Society which also included Gun Control, a clean environment, urban renewal, lowering poverty and so on… I never appreciated Johnson’s domestic agenda in-part due to my father’s conservative Republican harangue and Johnson’s escalation of the Vietnam War.
When Nixon was elected I became a peaceful anti-war activist.
When it became clear that Nixon broke the law and resigned from office I like a great number of others became disillusioned with the United States Government especially under Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama.
The Progressive Part
Looking back to President Kennedy and President Johnson’s domestic agendas they did much to start and continue the social programs of FDR helping to shape an emerging capitalistic economy for a rising middle-class, programs to assist with reducing racism – addressing poverty and with addressing environmental concerns.
It was a beginning that was stalled under Nixon and reversed under Reagan. Through Reagan’s deregulation agenda – the News Media was freed from being a public service to pursue profitable news – one reason why Conservative / Right leaning opinion is sold as News under Fox. Reagan’s tax cuts helped create a millionaire class while the middle-class began languishing further.
The ideas of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are middle-class people-oriented values and needs of the American public. Ever since Clinton abandoned many of the Democrat values by selling-out to Big-Money in his second term the Centrists took control of the party that no longer represents the people.
What’s needed is a vision of what Progressive America will look like once it gets going. How will it feel, what values will it return – how will it unite all Americans and not just the elite or the Big Moneyed interests.
This is a preface to the Progress vision coming in part two.
In the beginning I avoided the extraordinary experiences because of a respected teacher had said:
“Many psychic-type experiences will happen as you do ‘The Work’. Pay no attention to this and continue to do your inner work.”
spoken by Pierre Elliot Headmaster
of the Fifth Basic Course at Claymont School for Continuous Education
in August of 1981.
In 1981 I had started a house cleaning business incorporating my inner work or ‘The Work’ as within the tasks of cleaning in Connecticut. Then I transferred the business to Stockton, California in 1982 and then to Sonoma, California in 1983.
On July 3rd of 1984 I was cleaning a summer residence. J’s household was around in the early afternoon and then would leave with the children and Grandpa to Costco in Santa Rosa. They left me alone to clean the house. The weather was odd on that summer day in Northern California, overcast, hot and humid.
I was finishing up in the back utility room by putting away supplies when I heard a commotion on the deck between the house and the garage. It was a dust devil or whirlwind. It had picked up the plastic chairs and tables about 12 to 15 feet in the air whirling around. I peered out of the window watching it when it suddenly stopped and all the furniture clattered back to the deck. I straightened it. I was tired and dirty from cleaning and I had wanted to go home when I heard an odd sound originating at their built-in swimming pool.
The pool skimmer was caught up on the wave gutter of the pool. Wave gutters are normally for Olympic sized pools and one does not see them in backyard swimming pools very often. This pool skimmer was sputtering, a garden hose attached to its under belly.
I stood there examining the situation and finally said aloud to no one:
“I don’t feel like bending over and lifting it off.”
I felt an impression of a voice in my head say:
“You don’t have to do it that way.”
“Oh yeah,” I said feeling like an idiot for talking to myself, “What other way is there?”
No answer. A feeling or a sense swept over me.
I bent my knees slightly. I clenched my fists and bent my right elbow so that my right fist was near to my right shoulder. My left fist and left arm were extended by my left side. Using tension in both arms I reversed the positions and the skimmer moved off the lip of the wave gutter out towards the center of the pool.
“Nah,” I said aloud. The impression of the voice said: “Well, bring it back.”
I reversed my arms and it came back onto the wave gutter.
I freaked out. I ran to my car and ripped out of there thinking I was crazy.
In the summer of 1984 I experienced many odd things. I saw auras around people at times. While running, my spirit soared into the sky. I saw how light connected our hearts together and how that connected to the light of trees and plants and connected everyone with every being.