Balls to the wall.

It is not a time to be mince mouthing around, clutching status dead animal purses to the chest and bobbing and weaving to the rhythms of whatever the hypno masters want us to dance formation into.

Now is not the time to believe believe like I would set myself or Savonorola on fire for some chimera cause. The javelin throws of warring media accounts, embattled interpretations of every aspect of reality go whirling by our heads. We duck down covering our brains. It is all too much.

The bad acid presidency we cannot seem to come down off of, the global snarling of indiscernible seasons has sent us into dark movie theatres to watch dystopian cinema as an escape into a ending that is at least more controlled and predictable.

At a time like these days of the upside down, it is difficult to find one’s footing. At a time like these days of hurling down the rabbit hole, it is difficult to look for clues in the outside world for a surety of structure.

The missiles flying into an already dying Syria sent the profits of the manufacturing company up a soaring additional 5 billion dollars overnight. And we are reminded that genocide is a spectator sport.

What can “I ” do I ask? There is little other than to understand that my values, my internalized compass, my decades of experience in the zoetrope projections are where I put my feet. My head is in the clouds and I am keeping it there.

I used to clean my oven to Accept’s Balls to the Wall and the lyrics are cleaning out my thoughts.

too many slaves in this world
Die by torture and pain
Too many people do not see
They’re killing themselves, going insane
Too many people do not know
Bondage is over the human race
They believe slaves always lose
And this fear keeps them down
Watch the damned (God bless ya)
They’re gonna break their chains (Hey)
No, you can’t stop them (God bless ya)
They’re coming to get you
And then you’ll get your
Balls to the wall, man
Balls to the wall
You’ll get your balls to the wall, man
Balls to the wall, balls to the wall
A day of reckoning comes only if we witness, have compassion and refuse to stay silent. It is time. It is time to vote, to advocate and to trust that we have a hand in shaping the outcome. We can help others to “break their chains,” if we are in our power of advocacy. Speak out. Vote. Stand up.

So There is this Character in a Movie.

What character would inhabit my life movie? No. I am not asking what actor would play me, I am thinking more of the scripted, literary aspect of it. How would the rhythms of the life be constructed? What would be the signature dialogue tics? What would be the arc of lessons and recovery? Who is she?

It is not so much like I feel I am ghosting my life but more like I am floating on it. I watch. I learn. I stay loose. I keep finding sanctuary in not knowing. Such a warm, cozy bathrobe of “I haven’t got a fucking clue” presents itself when I am rigidly sore from resistance.

Yesterday on my way to work background for a movie something remarkable happened. I entered my recurrent nightmare.

Since I was in high school my haunting dream has been that I was late and panic walking in an architectural structure for which I had no map, no reckoning, no tiny clue about the way. I would grow increasingly anxious until I awoke panting, sweating and crying out deep grief.

They would find out. They would discover that I could not discover my path, my assignment, my destiny, the destination.

As I set out yesterday, I carefully set up my phone for the address I was to arrive at to report to work. I left early. And then my google maps went beserk and was crisply delivering words that were lunatic. No. That is NOT the correct direction.

I was talking very loudly to myself and to the chiding hyper female voice coming out of my phone. I could not look at the phone because I would be twice felonious. I could not be late because I would be guilty. I could not get lost because I would be guilty. I could not be distracted at the wheel.

Stopping at a gas station, I was short of breath when I asked for the X on my map. I was going the correct way. I would get there. But I might be late. They would find out I was not orientated to serve, to be blameless.

At an inter section I frightened the driver of a gigantic red pick up by making a suicide turn in front of it to cut down on time. I was not totally sane at this point. I heard the screaming of the truck’s breaks.

Then I asked my guides and angels to take over. Then I breathed deeply and I said outloud to my neurotic self living the worst nightmare recurrence but this time in real life to just trust. “You are okay.” I told myself. “You will get there.”

And I did. I got there early. I got there with sweat pouring out of my arm pits and covering my palms. As I parked the car, I was shaking.

I got there by driving through the manifestation of my recurrent nightmare and reliving it with a successful ending.

The character who would play my life is neither a hero nor a villan. She is just someone who is changing, shifting, growing, failing, succeeding, learning, being stupid, being stubborn, being open, embracing every single thing. Life is dynamic. Life is a vortex of energies. There is no map and no deadline. I just make my way. And silently apologize to some terrified person driving a red pick up. I could still hear the brakes.

“I was a crazy woman. Forgive me.”


Change Is Constant

The energy is shifting. Most people I know are wading into the river of change. There is frequently fear and reluctance to let go of the rotten log they have been clinging so ferociously in their clasping arms.

But inevitably, the job ends, the relationship shifts, the children that were the total focus of their lives are growing and will be gone. It is a time when resistance is less than futile, it is actually destructive.

What will happen next? We don’t know. The movies keep presenting dystopian images of techno slums with people trapped in overly stimulated darkness and projections of neon lights. Our sense of direction politically is being challenged. Those things we thought we had grown beyond are back to challenge us. Right wing fear of others spins out into anti-immigration legislation. Women rising up..(again) is causing lobbying for control of the reproduction of women and fear of their voices being heard.

People can no longer tell what is true or not true. In days past we all stood in line and drank from the same cup at the village well. It was a local newspaper. It was a national television show. But now there is a shattering of that singularity of delusion and conditioning. We see it as an attack. What do we believe if the tablets of wisdom are now mere screens of propaganda?

There is no centralized system to rebel against. And so we are confused and lost.

In this state, we react by grabbing harder onto the conditioning and group think safety of our tribe.

Last night on the Knowledge network I heard sociologists express that cultures under severe pressure turn to cannibalism. It is always a sign that the culture, or the tribe is about to cease to exist.

Is not the turning on others what is happening more and more violently on social media? We fear the change when we have no assurances.

Letting go of the old inscribed tablets is the answer. Letting go of the shared knowledge is the way to move into new systems of knowing. Each of us needs to take a deep breath and just allow ourselves to let go of being correct. We will float. We will see new systems arise. We will survive. And that which was rotten and decaying will no longer hold us.

Do those things that are before us one step at a time. Take care of the body, the spirit, the family and simply hang loose. We can surf this wave.

Restless Mind Syndrome

Last night was an usual twisting of thoughts, legs, pillows, memories, plans, analysis, grief, excitement all intertwined. I was tossing here and there and wrapping myself up in a cocoon of threads of themes.

I reset myself. I lay one hand over my heart and another on my abdomen and I slowly breathed to bring me back home.

It is my ritual. The body is home, this breath is where I rest. As I breathe out I feel along my spine for the grasping mind tension of yearning. These are obstructions, I tell myself.

Then I replay Rag and Bone man’s music in my head.

“Maybe I’m foolish, maybe I’m blind.” I sing to myself. And I forgive myself for not being able to drop the drama. “I’m only human after all.”

The voice/ego searches the flat plane of the past day from my high night time perch. My eyes sweep from morning to night to see what assaults/insults have activated old wounds. I know it is not now. My mind understands that it is old scripts that are ruling me now. My terror for survival as a child resurfaces. The yawning black fear of abandonment has me pinned down and will not allow me to escape into sleep.

So much went on last night. Surfacing of grief. And the agitation dances in me as I stand on the threshold of taking bigger chances in my life.

I want to scream out, “Leave me the fuck alone! Stop pressuring me to grow. Stop tricking me into being more open and speaking out the truth that causes other’s eyes to sting.”

The distractions of smallness. The withdrawal into normal, compliant hiding in plain sight is just not available any more. I cannot stand myself. I cannot go back to what was and stay quiet. I cannot step forward into the exploding risk that calls me of being full on power. So I cling to the threshold between levels just vibrating with memories, shadow entities and the unseen bridge of stone I am called to jump blindly onto.

Most of my life has been about closing my coat so no one can see the war wounds. Most of my speech has been a guarding of the story. No one must know. And now the sense of what was, how it was, the old reliable no decision patterns is falling away. It is stale, unsatisfying.

A guest said there was “scum” under some bottles of shampoo in the shower and I was devastated. I made excuses… people have been in the house steadily for two months and trying to get into any one space is like waiting for the jump rope to turn exactly to the right moment. I missed my pain clinic injection appointment that takes two months to set up because I was talking about the stress of dealing with criticism. So I did not get there on time.

Then I went to a writer’s group and I was already fermenting with two “failures” in my vat body persona. The moderator talked about how important it is to attend conferences. That very morning I had signed up for the Penticton Conference much like you would drag a four year old to a play date who doesn’t like noisy places. I have forced myself to pay and sign up. But HE is urging me to do more of it.

So my sleep was slow in coming and I was at work releasing the octopus arms of fear and tension that would wake me up during the night. Breathe. Chant. Recognize. Allow.

I am on the verge again. And like all other times I have been on the edge of something bigger, I absolutely hate it. But what was, the old small metal toy windup movements no longer satisfy me. It is the way I move in the world. Boredom, safety, predictability become intolerable strait jackets. And what I am yearning for is causing agitating and upsetting.

Last night, I was wrestling with the grief of the transition and the excitement of knowing there is nothing I can do. I am on the move.

My Last Nerve

Yep… it is getting to me. The people that post semi-automatic weapons are really not semi-automatic weapons. Those who stand firmly on a flat earth. The birthers, the racists who don’t know they are racists, the entitled city council that decides which people should be allowed on the streets and try to fine away human pain and evidence of trauma.

For the last two or three days I have been like the violin that only has one string left. It is the really, really high sound nobody wants to hear. It is my last nerve. I don’t feel shaken up in my body… nope. I am too grounded for that.

My body is a lovely friend and its energy is steady eddy. It is that safe warm home.

It is more like the “afraiding” around the edges. It feels like hamsters are committing suicide on my computer screen. Big, plump bodies of vibrating ignorance and anxiety colliding with my internet interface.

We are vibrating like puppets whose strings are being pulled too fast by the masters and slapping one another in the face. Wrestle dancing about the truth and “ultimate reality”. Some are unaware of the string pulled jerks and others are yelling, “You have a puppet master. I don’t have a puppet master.”

As the splatting of fear and spewing out of anxiety continues, occasionally some one is far enough back; someone is observant enough to have a sense of humour. I am so thankful for when that appears. It is a joke, people. The whole thing is a joke.

And running into someone else’s feed with your teeth bared doesn’t change the hamster suicide, puppet pulled manipulated dance.

All we can do is step back far enough.

The first level is to view other’s behavior as a reaction to us. They love us. They hate us. They agree with us so therefore they are safe. They disagree with us so therefore they are a threat.

The second level is to view the cultural layer. People who have no knowledge of past civic and political history do not understand that this same script, scenario has played out previously. And so we can say… this happened before. It is a recycling of an old societal story.

The third level is to view it as a game. There are avatars; people see themselves as this character or as that character. They have aligned with a created nation concept and play out the conflict. There is a “them” and an “us” and we owe allegiance to some cadre construct.

The fourth level is to view self. What is most interesting about this level is that it entails all of the lower levels.  The everything is about me energy is still there but can be pushed aside once it is recognized. The everything always happens this way in history story can be seen and stepped over. The level of the gang mentality; the clinging to belonging which chains us to one another and to the concept of being correct (so we don’t die) can also be by passed.

And what we are left with is the ability to see all of the calls to drama, anxiety, reactivity. And what we are left with is the responsibility to decide how to react, to respond, to advocate based on our own understanding of who “I” am.

You know those 3D glasses you put on in a movie; well stepping back allows us to see 4D, 5D and know it is a CGI creation.

So knowing I am hearing the annoying plucking of my own ego last unbroken string allows me to forgive myself for falling for it. The drama is just a story.

I am going out to chip paint off of my front step now.

Coveting Dirt

This time of year my soil addiction begins. I hide the fact that I am purchasing so many bags and spending an undisclosed (to me) amount of available funds. I make a run to a hardware store or a nursery and take out my interact card for a mere three or five bags. I pick them up with my damaged hands with wrists that no longer function and hug them tightly to my chest. Each one I release into the trunk of my car until they are badly stacked and then I head home.

I struggle them out onto the lawn. The placement is important because I will not willingly be moving them again. It is painful and difficult.

The ritual of slicing open the soil bag is established and careful… four horizontal slits and two along the top and the bottom. Then I shake out the dark contrast to the green stems of the appearing plants. The neon green pops against the black ground. Immediately the pallet of colors enlivens the incipient garden: seafoam, sage, pickle, pistachio, crocodile, parakeet, mint, moss, army, hunter, jungle, kelly, emerald all show themselves bravely.

The beginnings of blossom are suddenly visible. The tiny baby finger tip of a bud comes into focus on plants all over the yard. The neatly edged touching of lawn and flower bed is delineated.

I stand back and observe how the addition of contrast and fresh surface creates an entirely different construct. This is a garden with purpose and planning. This is a front yard to promises to hold a fashion show of bulbs and roses. People stop at the fence and look expectantly. It is like a poster for a coming attraction. Something magnificent will come to life here. The stage is being prepared.

And people pause to watch each new step leading to the extravaganza. Soon, the black oil proclaims, soon the spectacle begins.

Allowing the Day to Find Me


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Often when I arise I hold a list in my head, I flirt with some goal I have been attracted to and then I wait. I start the day gently not forcing it to show me anything at all.

Outside my attic window, what is the shape, colour, temperature, temperament of the day showing itself to be?
I have learned to be gentle with myself.

When I awaken early, I curl back down under the blankets and have a memory of being four and just going back into the soft blur of the down duvet, the hazy light, the tenebrous sense of self. It is a luxuriousness, this unwinding of self.

Now, with all of the work I have done on my consciousness, I move from sleep to partially awake with the sense of safety. I am complete. I am protected. I am floating on the warm water of the buoyancy of the universe. Whatever guides, or spirits or angels or forces of fairies or loving dead that exist are around me.

Last night as I went to sleep I looked back into my life to take inventory of the spirit medicines that I had asked to help change my mind. The person who woke up screaming with nightmares every night and who lay in the crib, the bed waiting for violence somehow knew to turn to plants for a deep repair of the neurological pathways.

Knowing that all recollection is colored by the structures of the present, I hesitantly counted up my transformative experiences. And there were at least 28 times I allowed the journey to something greater to repair a very fragile, shattered sense of self.

For eight years, I sat silence and meditation without seeking a crowding intimacy. I knew something without knowing it. I was reaching for something without seeing it. The broken boned, broken spirited person who suffered in the belief that suffering was the reality knew to go after something bigger.

As I went to sleep last night, I saw that I had been on this “mission impossible” since I left home at seventeen. I wanted to be stronger and I was strong enough to reach for that. I wanted to be more capable of love and I was loving enough to reach for that. I wanted to be open and honest with myself and with everyone else and I was trusting enough to reach for that.

And the result is a greater peace. The result is that I am more gentle with myself. Each morning I am reborn. Each morning I come into the world gently knowing that I cannot know what I am becoming.

I look back and I see the courage of my spirit. The many times that the pain was too big to endure, yet I persisted knowing that beyond the despair there was peace and that I was never alone. I am never alone.

Last Sunday, I did readings as a clear channel for 16 people. The ability to see their struggle, their pain, their wounding is clear for me. And what is also clear is what their shining core spirit is called to be. It is because of my journey that I can say to them, “Peace awaits you. Your purpose awaits you.” I know.

I have been there.

Patterns in my head

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When I awoke, I held in my mouth the dry feeling of dun colored words. The usual pattern of joyful enthusiasm was lattice over shadowed by the decades of self punishing discipline and the commiserate depression of a child refugee in a world gone wrong. The barefoot tiny person standing in the rubble of bombed out generations stood observing me before I was fully awake this morning.

The sun is shining outside of the attic space of my thoughts and I know how to fly blind. I negotiate with myself how to take off into this day.

Most of my self soul retrieval has been by dead reckoning. I experience the confusion and mist wrapped gray thoughts and trust that somehow, within myself I know the way out.

And finding that relationship with the horizon, with the sky and the earth has most to do with recollecting the many times I literally did not know which way was up. I have felt my way. The instruments of my practice, the gauges of my teachers have righted me repeatedly.

Thinking of the necessity of feeling and knowing all of it, allows me to soften to myself. I am that broken child, unprotected and unseen. I am the pilot experienced in navigating internal and exterior weather. I am the student humbled by each new lesson. I am the teacher who keeps myself alert to the gifts of failure and the delights of new formations of the self. And before me is the landscape of this one particular day.


Outside my window the sun is weakly touching the boundaries of my kingdom.

I woke up with a dry mouth full of bitterness and old stories. The gift of the work is that I knew immediately the taste and the method to clear it.

I know that I can watch and learn.

Being human is always a dynamic process. Accepting what is now releases shadow bitterness. I trust with each step that I am learning. All of my experiences are in service. And the day can shift to hold me gently as I hold my own woundedness gently. I will get off the ground and find my way to fly. I have got this.


There are yearnings of the heart for that which did not; could not and will never happen. The sun sets at dusk, time for the curtain to go down or the house lights to blacked for the opening of some recycling drama.

Silence is not silence in the city but just a quieting of the beast to now only the sound of breath. The night takes in light outlined movement erasing certainty. The night takes light into itself and holds it to move a sigh like air over the internalizing lives.


It is all shoes on in the morning, step, march, move through something making purposeful paths to some outside definition of a goal, or some pale tattooed dream markings of a desire on our maps. We think we are in control. We check our costumes in the mirror.

But as the split opens between the seasons of the day, of what presents as one, we feel the breath of the beast of yearning. And there is gaping sadness, this cavern of falling away. A soreness awakening for those things we are not even sure we have felt, or failed to feel, or desired to feel.

shadow truth

Resting in the space between this and that, we are not. Undone Self dissolves all elemental structures. The darkened house. The anticipation palpable. The utter blankness as we sit with empty hands waiting to see what we are playing at. We languish together in rows of  collective obscurity.

What is of merit?

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For me this has been one of the most puzzling aspects of living. The need for assurance, reassurance, security, safety has had an iron grip on my decisions. If I am safe enough, if I can careful enough, I will not die. Ever.

My poetry and art book Laying It on The Line from

How can I best move in the world in a way which will most clearly insure that I am not at risk? As my eyes scan the horizon, I am like a primitive, I am child like. I am like a surviver of old wars. Where is the danger? How do I blend in, stay in the centre of the herd, avoid catastrophe?

In actuality, most of the shattering, panic inducing damage has already been imprinted on my body and subconscious. The flack jacket of caution and indecision is thrown over a body already carrying broken bones, familial trauma and the woundings of childhood. The war I fear has already happened to me.

looking for clarity in chaos. my art

I have come to know that my urge to protect myself is actually quite silly. It is like having a phobia to clowns when you live in a circus. And yes 15 clowns can get in one tiny car.

So the issue of what particular decision I make precisely now has to be detached from perceived merit. If I do this thing, in the future I anticipate this particular reward.

Knowing I cannot know. my art

I have come to see that kind of linear, protestant, constrained energy has not served me. I have come to see that I cannot anticipate which pulses I send out into the universe will eventually have an intended efficacy. How can I know what lessons I need to learn?

As I look back at 73 years of my life, I see that in the moment I frequently had no idea what I was experiencing, what I was going through. There was no way of judging if it could be assessed as a good thing, a neutral thing or a damaging experience ultimately.

The body itself is the greatest compass for travelling in the stormy confusions of stories we tell ourselves. The body reacts to that which is an assault on our well being. Always.

needing to see my artwork

If the breath is present in a gentle, fulsome way; if the body is not releasing cortisol and adrenaline; if the body feels grounded and solid, there is no need to use the mind to assess anything. The mind is like the relative who shows up and repeatedly tells old stories. Everything becomes a mind worm.

If the body is excited and in love with the project, the ideas, the creation of a new experience, then the worthiness of moving into this new engagement will show itself eventually.

Knowing that the value of a situation cannot be understood by the mind is so much simpler. Only a deep engagement with the present allows full, complete trust.

experiencing. body

As I stack stones one by one to create a garden wall, I feel the sun on my back. Overhead a fifty year old maple tree has green baby fists of leaf buds. Everywhere around me birds are telling one another stories. My body tells me peace. My mind has stopped assessing and just sleeps.