Living full out, baby! Full out.

Today Cody Tree Service showed up to prune my maple tree. It is a huge, gorgeous tree that dances and sings in the wind. Much of my time at night is spent in a bedroom that is about ten feet from the swirling branches. The two men who were working on the tree joked, laughed, teased one another the entire time they were up in it. The one from New Zealand said, “It is like being a kid. You know when you were young and just climbed a tree and played on a sunny day.”

They worked rapidly, cleaned up without leaving a trace; however, the happiness they brought was left behind. They have created a safe place to be as they swing precariously from branch to branch. It is in the relationship between them. While I don’t “get” the comaraderie which comes when two men poke fun at one another, I do understand that it is a sign of affection. Women don’t work that way. If you told a woman she should eat crock meat because it is low fat, it would be pretty much over.

Last night, two other poets and myself held a poetry reading at Pulp Fiction Coffee House which is a treasure. Max, the owner, took me through the amazing rooms filled with a lifetime of his collecting impulse. He has purchased books, posters, china figures from the 40’s and 50’s from around the world. It is not plastic. It is not mass production. Each of the pieces is strange, exotic and unusual. Like us: Jane Eamon, Rawle James and me. We are perfect in that space.

Each of us has spent a lifetime working on what we are meant to be and without effort, without intention we are all unusual. But different. We are so different from one another that it is a delight to all of us.

We are hoping to build something at Pulp Fiction for ourselves. We don’t know where it is going yet, but we felt it last night.

This summer when I attended the Naropa University Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poeics I was blow out of my little hidey hole of comfort.

It was being in the presence of Thurston Moore, Anne Waldman, Amiri Baraka, Tracy Morris, Laurie Anderson, I learned that instead of waiting for the stork to deliver the baby of opportunity, a person has to just make it happen. Amiri admonished us to speak out, to read on street corners, to witness. While I was viewing You Tube videos about the Beat Poets I was impressed with one of the poets who said he went to macho bars and stood on the pool table to read. He either got “beat up or got $50. Most of the time I got $50.”

My issue of safety keeps resurfacing. How do I wear the corset of constraints, play small to guarantee a secure existence when it drives me insane. My soul cries out to stand on a stage, to say what I have to say about early abuse; about being an intellectual in a sleeping world; about the damage I see to the fragile ones. My soul cries out to witness for those who cannot protect themselves by my giving a voice to that broken life.

I love the Buddhist practice that I read about lately called, “FUCK IT.”

So I continue to do weights frequently to build a stronger body; I continue to write my poetry and blogs. I post my videos of my reading of poetry on You Tube.

And when I want to censor myself and say, “No. Don’t talk about it,” I know this is the script from my childhood. When my body was bruised and my spirit was damaged I was kept home so no one would see. When a child’s life is damaged, he or she learns to close the mouth and pretend.

Our society is damaged and its spirit is broken. We are encouraged to buy plastic copies of objects. We are bringing plastic, manufactured food home. We use our plastic cards to trance ourselves out of depression. And our faces are plastic objects which can be cut into to create a mask.

But I met people this week that are living full out. Two young men hung from my Maple Tree being outrageously silly. A man with a dream has opened a quirky treasure trove. And two other people stood up with me to read poetry.

Sometimes you just have to dance and say ,”Fuck it. This is who I am.”

Here is a great blog about the history of Naropa:

Defriends and New Friends

Losing a friend on facebook always makes me sad. I go through the same kind of self questioning that I do in real life. I ask, “What did I do wrong? How did I fail that person as a friend? What can I do to make it up?”

wanting to be validated

Basically, I am very sensitive to criticism and reluctant to alienate anyone. However, there is the warrior woman in me and I can be very judgemental. My habit of self-criticism and criticism of others I think is so strong that it must have been with me many life times. Combined with a hyper-sensitivity to incursions to my boundaries, it is a wicked combination.

In the last two years, I have become much better about resisting the urge to step up to some poor unsuspecting schmuck and shove the golden fish oil solution to his or her problem between the still moving lips. Forcing choices upon others does not help them or me. It is like a feudal lord riding into another’s territory and rewriting the laws of that country. It is high handed, unasked for and, basically, arrogant.

Wanting to be right, wanting to be perfect, wanting to be loved are all deeply motivating energies. The problem is they are mutually exclusive. I have been guilty of knowing what is best for others most of my life. And damned if they don’t thank me for it!

Don’t get me “wrong” (excuse the side laughter here), I frequently see much of what others don’t see. When I first heard of the aids virus in the ’70’s I cried. I knew what it meant. I could see clearly in my mind’s eye the devastation that the disease would wreck upon the entire population. In that moment, the vision appeared to me.

When I went to work, others called me ridiculous, alarmist and dismissed my reaction.

So often, I can see the trajectory of a political action, or a personal decision. However, having that vision is isolating. When you look at another person and say, “Watch out,” you are basically treating him or her like a child.

And I guess the irony is, he or she might be. The person might not be able to have enough foresight or self love to alter course.

So in this tangle of wanting to be seen as one whose vision can be trusted, I end up leaving the act of having myself validated to out side forces. Yes, I was correct about the aids virus, about Nixon, about the rise of alcoholism and many other things. So do I speak out, offer advice, stand up in the room where others do not speak my language and still expect them to love me?

My born again friends won’t like my Tarot readings. My passive, spiritual friends won’t like my political postings. My non-consumerist friends won’t like my loving fashionista publishing.

being strong means taking risks

I can criticize myself for not being perfect in a universe where all times exist simultaneously and my alternative selves are living in a slice of reality just on each side of me. But what would be the point?

Trying to figure out what my body is registering; trying to stay in the present moment; trying to be kind to my fragility in insecurity is all I can really focus upon. Being authentic, speaking out when I feel it is important to my own self-respect to offer witness; staying out of other people’s boundaries as I find my own personal territory takes self compassion. I am an infant. I fall. I hit my head. I lose balance. I want everyone to love me and respect my opinion. I want to be right.

But these desires are unachievable. I will be defriended. Finding out who I am and what my truth is will mean alienating others at times. It will also bring people to me who are also openly falling, losing balance and smacking their own heads. People who are not afraid to say, “I am learning how to walk on this earth. I am learning how to be.”

Being open is the only strategy that has worked for me. And sometimes it can be lonely.