What lies between Boredom and Chaos?

Flour sifting snow is falling so fine it clings to tree limbs. Their black emphatic death outline against the white gray sky is etched again by the vibrant reflected pearly layer.

snow trees 3 thumb sharp

And I have carried within me my own hibernation mind. “Soon,” I keep thinking, “soon my life will begin.”

The habits of patterns of hypnotic reformation that I experienced in my past keep me recyling, recircling when I seek drama, when I move into despair.

My growth place is when I feel boundless. So often these past months, I feel as if I am not body, or past, or narrative but just this now.

I am curious about who I am if I am not a reiteration. Who am I if I am not a montage of past pictures, glued ticket stubs, marriage certificates, death certificates, scars and stories?

Somewhere on the landscape design, is a creation. Somewhere in the molded clay self is a new construct.

I watch my mind and know and see.

There is boredom. As I get out of bed, it feels repressive, dull, predictable, lonely. There is a hardness to the shape of the day. It appears to be unbending to my will. It is a maze that I enter already knowing which turns to take to get me to the end.

My adrenal glands will not kick in. My workaholic buzz will give me no relief that day, or those days, or that week. It is so safe and bland. Thirty years in the same valley. Twenty years in the same house. A twelve page resume of art shows, publications, degrees earned seems like reading some stranger’s life.

too much can never be the sky

too much can never be the sky

And then I think, there are others who have done less and have more to show. There are others who stand taller on fewer attempts. The collapsing back to “oh well” becomes the strategy when I am projecting this flat, lifeless prairie vision.

I think of the times of chaos with envy. Until I get there. White water rafting down the week of poetry readings, deadlines, renters coming anew every two days leaves me looking ahead for calmer times. “This is too much,” I say to myself. That is when I let the “old” script play out. Climbing the side of the house touching up the paint on the second story; lugging rocks across the yard; or digging turf hurriedly before the next clock tick event, I hear my mind whimpering, “too much, out of control, you haven’t done the dishes yet.”

There are some studies which show the prevalent personality of poets is manic depressive. I do know I swing these days. I do know I am content for weeks on end.

But I cycle into the pollution of depression and gray days. Even on a day where the world is reflected light from the snow scape, I fall.

Watching my mind is such a gift for me, because I see. I see that the pre recorded message is at play. I see that my ancient, unconscious being lives between two states. One is the land of Boredom and the other is Chaos.

the darkness and the light are entire

the darkness and the light are entire

What if it is neither? What if I have reached a place where I am sheltered by my home; I have worked hard and long to teach myself routine and discipline; I have earned the times of peace?

What if working hard by itself does not achieve a goal but rather holding the goal close with a calm state of mind allows me to make the right move at the right time?

What if times of growth, times of incoming exciting events are not a threat? What if times of opportunities and passion and taking chances are the times of breaking up the field?

The mind is so often just plain wrong. Hearing only two notes does not mean we hear the melody. To see the seeker falling from grace is a gift.

To see the child like snuffling in the dark when all she has to do is open up her eyes, is a revelation.

What if life was simply more than a state of Boredom or a state of Chaos?

What if I stopped labeling what I think I see and just start living? I could walk into a new land for which I hold no diminishing language.

Be curious, transform

Be curious, transform

I know this is where true power lies: What if?

#The Deals I Make with Myself

I am a hustler, a con woman, a sting expert. I am here to confess.

In my heart, burned into my soul is the desire to be in a position whereby I can help many, many people. How do I do that? My spirit keeps telling me to ,”Go big or go home.”

Poetry performance breaks the barriers of self to connect beyond.

Poetry performance breaks the barriers of self to connect beyond.

So I go home. I clean up. I give away unused things. I repair that which is not working. I sharpen all of my eyebrow pencils. I lay flat under the bed on my belly like some rifle sniping expert lining up a shot to make sure I got all of the dust.

Recently, I repaired the seat belt on the driver’s side which protects me after I made a challenging road trip. That belt has never, ever worked since I bought the car five years ago. It pretended to work. It latched. But it would not flex/snap back into place.

I repainted the wall behind the bathtub which is being eaten away by water a bit. And then I made lists. The shirts in the drawers hold a rave in the darkness and when I open to the light, they fall into a tangle of confusion. They must be disciplined.

I must be disciplined.

I must be focused. Working out four to five days a week; keeping the house clean and zen-like; maintaining meditation practice are the central support for holding my place in the world.

But I always fall short. My dissatisfied ego monster is continually disappointed with me. The yearning for a love, a mate, a partner comes up in my center meridian spilling into my throat like choked off air and ends with tears filling my eyes.

Today as I was sitting meditation, I received a knowing that I have been alone many, many lifetimes. I have been valiant, independent, withdrawn unless called upon to fight for others. The pain is not new.

Within the time I dwell in; in the silence I sit in; in the stillness I participate in, I have had a few things revealed to me this new month in this new year in this new phase of who I am.

I made deals. It is very like a child who does not want to go to visit the kissy crushing aunt. I cling to my threshold and barter. Yes, I want to go out and stand on a stage and speak out. I want my voice to move others to look within, to open the dark attic or cellar door and have the courage to see what truths are trapped there disguised as monsters.

But I have tee shirts to roll into tidy forms, lined up by color and length of sleeve. I have computer files that are scattered, unlabeled and clogging up my Mac. I have toe nails to clip, teeth to floss, white trim around the door to repaint.

See, if I stay home and if I am a very, very good girl I am accomplishing something.

I recently read in the book The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot that a chair is just a vortex of neurosis. The particles are locked into a pattern of movement that creates what appears to be a chair. My body hair stood up, yep all of it at once. So my repeated, circling behaviors are simply a vortex of neurosis which formulates Cherie Hanson? I repeat this limitations ritually, circling tight the patterns predictable.

How do I get wise to the trickster self? How do I break out of the template’s designs which have kept me camoflaged and unseen? I have been hidden even from self so that I could maintain the momentum of the past self.

Grounding in order to grow

Grounding in order to grow

Watching the mind, comes back as the answer. When am I refusing to do that which would break me out of old patterns out of the fear that I may become something else? When do I set out on the ocean in my kayak, knowing I will discover new lands? Is it now? Or do I need to push back my cuticles.

What tightens habit’s hold on me is the memory of two parents who were out of control. The chaos, mental illness and unpredictable violence coupled with unethical behavior were constant elements of my childhood environment. Yes some of my attention to my environment is based on that history. However, I also know that my inborn personality, my welcoming in of that which feels right and correct has lead me to “cleaning up” my home, my life and my habits. It is a natural predilection.

So balance is the answer. The question that can unlock more freedom for me in the future is : “Why do you want to do this?” Sometimes I cannot answer. Sometimes my OCD is so strong that the action or lack of action becomes a compulsion. Hold that thought in your mind for a moment. Lack of action can become a compulsion.

As I awaken to the shell game I play with myself, I also find reasons to celebrate. The central question of identifying with a construct postulated from past experience and past protective choices is being unearthed. I feel like I am on an archeological dig and the bones I am unearthing are those of self, the shape of self, the history of self. From my perspective, this includes past lives, my soul identity and my potential.

Before Christmas I attempted to purchase a Greyhound ticket for the 18 to 22 hour ride to see my daughter’s family in Houston, B.C. “Sold out,” the Greyhound screen informed me. So I sat with it. First I could choose not to go. But that hurt me. I could feel that the choice to not connect to my grand daughters, my daughter and her husband would send me reeling into pain over the holidays. Okay, so that choice does not protect me. Secondly, I could drive.

Strangely far away, I heard that fear-flailing voice telling me I was “too old”. Then I thought of my experience of driving across the flaming flatlands in Montana, Wyoming and into the wind torrented hills of Colorado two years ago. I drove four thousand kilometers alone on a road I did not know through hazardous conditions. I was up to that task.

I sat with it and asked to feel if there were any blocks. Like a blind person feeling around in an unknown room, I have a practice of sitting quietly and feeling “it” out. No messages came. No blocks appeared. Safety was all I felt. And so I set out.

The fact that I had taken a “risk” two years ago laid the ground work for my driving 18 hours up and 16 continuous hours back from Houston, B.C. The blizzardous whiteouts; the sight of a rig and a logging truck violently hurled off of the highway; the realization that the line of rigs coming at me were in my lane and the lane I should have been in was filled with the white eyes of cars almost obstructed from vision did not frighten me. I was calm because I had the experience of driving alone in a challenging manner to act as the foundation. I was calm because I had felt no doubt. The thought that I could die did not scare me. I resided.

To shine with the gits we are given

To shine with the gits we are given

My expedition was to connect with loved ones and to connect with my larger self.

The point I have reached in my journey, my adventure of life, on the unmapped road is that I see where my “navigator” has taken me. The realization that I make deals with myself to stay small and safe has been so brightly illuminating that it makes my eyes sparkle.

On New Years Eve I went out to a local casino where my choir directors were singing. The people in the space were very, very gray. Their skin was gray, their clothing was gray. Two were on oxygen tanks. Their bone mass was a problem as their backbones formed question marks about where they fit into life. They wanted to win but had sidelined themselves.

One woman came up to me and said, “Look in your purse. Look in your purse. Look in your purse.”

I said to the three friends I had chanced upon (sorry for the play on words), “Oh someone has given me a gift.”
Feeling around in my purse for the surprise, the unlooked for treasure, was futile.

Bending forward and narrowing her eyes, the woman said, “They took it out of your purse.” She gestured with her head towards the beautiful, vibrant women surrounding me.

Her life script was that of competition and loss. At that moment she projected on to me her victimhood. There were winners and losers. There were thieves and patsies. She had made a deal with herself that she would keep on the know, well-worn path of conflict.

I understood. I saw the entire contract that she had authored, signed and intended to keep until her ceasing to exist.

But who was I? In that place of loss and sadness; in that place of quelling pain with alcohol and gambling; in that place of restricted movement, tethered to an oxygen tank or a trance inducting machine or to alcohol, I got up alone and I danced. I danced through my fear. I danced through the sense that others might judge me. I danced through the anxiety that people would think me “out of control, crazy, weird.” I stayed in the music, drank water only and smiled at other women beckoning them up to join me. Come celebrate having a body, being incorporate, hearing beautiful music, and moving as God moves through us. Come celebrate the energy of expression. Release the tight game of “I am”. Release the tight patterns of circling neurosis of “this is all I can be.”

And so I drove through blizzards in which people died. And so I danced alone within a circle of ashen, frightened people. And so I stand on stage and perform my poetry.

Sitting meditation I watch myself, I watch the deals I make with myself to avoid passion and growth. But I trust that all will be well.

I will have a tidy house, floss my teeth, drink enough water and remain always, always kind. I can be more, bigger, allowing the power of the gifts to flow through me without loosing my core.

The frightened child must be comforted and lead into the blizzard obscured road, if I am to move beyond the vortex of repeated neurotic patterns. Maybe I am not a chair, maybe I am a giant fifty year old Maple tree that can stand in every wind, branches twisting and know the roots are safely in the earth which holds me in love.