Losing them, fixing them, forgetting to put them in
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Wednesday, May 19
Sometimes I think the only way to live is to rush. I know that makes for a very flighty vibration, none-too-steady, but I can achieve an over-all cohesiveness, and amazing lilies of creation will yawn for brief seconds bringing tears to my eyes, and all I can do is sit and cry, feeling that heavy, dripping presence.
Put on the coffee water. While it heats, water the flowers on the front porch. And climb the ladder, take a picture of Steve on the roof painting the tin so we won’t roast this summer. Spur of the moment to sunbathe. On the roof, where it is flat over backporch. The wind is like a crazy man staggering, but not strong enough to blow us off the roof. It reminds me of Greece. We cannot talk, the wind is too loud. Off come jeans, socks, underwear, shirt. EXUBERANT FREEDOM. Again, like Greece. Overlooking the trees and fields and sally goat way below bleating regularly like a seat-belt beeper. The two big trees fascinate me. Hot tin under bareness of flesh. Not too hot, but perfect. I watch the very tiptops of those trees and wonder if I can poise my consciousness in those leaves at the top long enough to BE there. I try.
I am a stranger, even to myself, when someone is in my home unexpectedly. We come home, laughing. Blue sky, wind blowing. Down the drive, ready for the landing. In our heaven. It is like looking forward to going to the bathroom all morning, and here you are at the bathroom door. “OH NO . . . Oh no,” we echo. A car in the drive. Company again. “Blow the horn and be friendly,” I tell Steve. He doesn’t.
It is a completely impersonal response. We like them. We just don’t like being jolted out of the delicious privacy of home. I will always be very careful how I sacrifice our privacy and home-life from now on. It is not a real problem now, but one that has cropped up like a pesky weed since we lived here. If my friends were to ask me how I felt about it, I would tell them to use their common sense, i.e., we love seeing you, but not every day. Also, some friends we have more in common with than others, and there is no strain when we are together.
I can hear diagnoses zeroing in: Learn from it. Let it be a lesson in being, regardless of environment. My only reply to that is, I can try, but like most people, I feel I have a right to look forward to being in my temple, and to construct my temple out of the materials I choose (and people are materials).
Friday, May 28
Yesterday Margaret came out with Lynn Wilson, who teaches a wild plant class. Margaret has talked about her so much, so often, how unusual she is. Margaret is so stimulated, interested by these new people. People with such different backgrounds from the typical social-circle of nice, but just-like-you folks.
I became annoyed with myself in recent years, when I directed my entire consciousness towards molding another’s perceptions. It is hard to describe. It went something like this: having someone over to dinner, or going out with someone. Having expectations about it, planning how to make them have a good time, getting downright nervous about it, wanting it to go well SO badly. In other words, getting too close to the event before it even happened, and almost poisoning it. Not quite, but almost. Your insecurities and expectations leak over into THE day or THE hour anticipated, simply because your thoughts about it are so strong they can’t help but leave a smelly aura about them.
I realized this one night when I was stoned. At Columbia Street, Fletcher and someone else were over at our apartment. We were all quietly listening to an album. My pattern had always been to not let things get too quiet, to keep the conversation rolling, to keep a constant finger on the pulse of the evening. Don’t let ANYBODY be bored. The motive was partly unselfish and partly selfish. Unselfish in a real concern for the other person, in wanting to GIVE them something. Selfish in that my ego wanted to hear: Betsy makes them feel good. Betsy makes them comfortable. Betsy’s house is nice to visit in.
It struck me so: I cannot create another’s perceptions for him/her. I cannot. The only thing I have to give is my own being. My own contentment with my being. I don’t mean self-satisfied, but a loving vibration that is constant enough, and not nervously fluttering all over the room.
Back to Margaret: I became aware that she suffers from the same thing. Yesterday, as we went through the woods, she could not stop talking/putting her hand into it all, guiding our thoughts, she could not stop for longer than a minute or two. She had wanted to come out the day before and PLAN where we were going to walk. Which may have been a legitimate concern, but it just doesn’t take that long to walk over our land, maybe an hour at the most, and I knew Lynn could stay that long.
It was almost touching for me and Steve to watch Margaret like a child looking up to her hero, nervously jabbing her finger in this direction, “Look Lynn, what’s that?” and then in another direction, before Lynn had time to look at the first one. She repeated her comments over and over and made her funny little “transition noise” that sounds like a pleasant hum one would use as the reply to a half-baked joke. She scrambled down on the ground and put her nose to the ground to sniff something Lynn thought “might be fragrant.” Whenever a real wildflower or plant was found, she oohed and aahed loud enough for the treetops to hear. If Lynn had said, “roll over and speak,” I feel confident she would have thrown herself to the ground and begun barking like a dog.
Saturday, May 29
I feel that as soon as truth begins to walk among an organization, it is dulled, and resurrected again and resurrected again, but with each resurrection, it fades. The SPEAKER may carry the seeds of truth within himself/herself, but every time they speak of that truth, the TRUTH does not necessarily radiate from the words. The motivation with which they were spoken determines a lot.
I trust Marian’s seeds. I love her truth; I thank her for what she has helped me teach myself.
But I do not feel right about the organizational qualities and human personalities that grow a little bigger and bigger with each “performance” or meeting. The mud of imperfection seems to grow a little harder, imprisoning some.
And it is baked by an egotistical sun. No matter how their conscious minds might hide that from them . . . deviations from the intended path and natural growth will turn on you, turn sour. Always a reminder of who and what you are: no one, as your self alone.
This is not necessarily criticism towards Marian: perhaps towards her human personality and some of the personalities that surround her, but a bath, a bathing for me, to wash me new in my OWN path, wiping off the fretful whims of some organization, or semi-organization and the parasitic parts of myself that would like to hide in the sweet talk of spiritualism.
Paramahansa Yogananda said, “it is to sleep . . . to sit before a teacher who flatters you, and keeps you ignorant of your inner self.” Those are not his exact words, but I think he was saying that you cannot find your inner self just because some particularly alluring teacher chucks you under the chin and says you are working “directly from the Godhead” or some such foolishness as that (everything comes from the Godhead, and only the Godhead knows how directly). (Logicians: “but we are the Godhead, and so we should know.” . . . which brings on another of P.Y.’s statements: those who argue over what God is are playing with their egos, jacking themselves up with praise that they can conceive of such a magnanimous concept as God. Why argue? Just know God Is.) Anyhow, I think you are more likely to discover your INNER SELF (which is your best chance of reaching God and expanding your consciousness) by stepping OUT from under the shade of the flattering teacher into the SUN of real truth which teaches you discrimination and lets the weaker whispy tentacles of illusion show themselves for what they are. Which is, most generally, ego.
Go within and ask. And get your answer. But don’t put that answer on a pedestal of “I meditated on it, and got THE answer, so you trust me because It came from the RIGHT place.” Keep the answer to yourself. Keep on growing from there keeping in mind that NO ONE has the whole truth, including yourself. You can only trust the guidance given YOU by YOUR best self. (I refuse to say HIGH self.) Don’t trust someone else’s guidance given them. (You can trust that it was right for them if it came from them for them, or it wouldn’t have come . . . who knows, their ego may have conjured up the answer just to give them the kick in the ass they need so badly.)
Monday, May 31
Sitting here listening to Bartok. Lights out. Cool night air coming in. Sometimes my breathing gets very light automatically, and I expand just a little bigger than my body, except I am still in my body. By expand I mean looser, freer, but quieter. Maybe calmer is a better word. When I do that, I find it much easier to slip out of day-to-day consciousness.
I began listening to the music, and the cricket behind me outside the window, and the air moving, and my own pulse, and I thought this is a lifetime in itself. This is as legitimate as an entire lifetime. I must always treat every moment with the reverence I feel for my entire lifetime.
If I do that, (instead of) thinking “Oh well, I will be home soon away from this situation, so I’ll just think about that,” I will be more alive, rather than operating on remote control so much, SLEEPING. Awareness is the name of the game.
I was aware that there was a way for me to learn, teach myself if I could only get some good clues. I believe that was one of them. If I can treat every moment as a lifetime, and act out of love.
Love for beauty and truth. Beauty is kind of an astral plane term (good, bad, yin, yang sort of thing). Truth is a better word. I realized that as I was sitting there listening to that music, I made the music more alive and potent in its TRUTH, and its light. Search out each moment’s light, and focus on it until you are it and it is you.
Wednesday, June 9
I think mornings are for action, and afternoons are for reading or writing or thinking (or snoozing). We get home around 2 these days and eat lunch and read with books propped up on the table behind the salt shaker or butter dish and after the morning at work slips off like an embarrassed stranger, evaporating out of the backdoor, my “at home” self yawns and grins and takes over. I don’t want to wash the dishes or clean up. I want to read and listen to that man play the flute on the stereo. I have memorized the album now and I’ll be at work in the mornings and all of a sudden I’ll hear that flute whoo-ing somewhere in my head.
“I do what I do.” That is what L.G. said the last time I saw him after I whopped him on the back with a “What ya been doing?” He made me mad when he said that. I took it as a statement of, “I am not interested in communicating with you.” For someone who talked so much about love, he had not a bit of tact. But he was honest. Maybe that is much more important. But that “I do what I do” stuck with me. Baba Ram Dass probably said it, or somebody in another group or book. In any case, L.G. said it this time. And I have almost caught myself saying it too. Because it seems so trivial to try to dash off a verbal outline of what you actually have been doing. “WELL . . . I’ve been working in the garden, and . . .” and I can’t think what else to say. Not long ago I said, “Eating, sleeping and bathing.” I hate wasting breath sallying around verbally as a means of communicating. But on the OTHER HAND, I get just as tired and BORED with the New Age types who somehow tie in whatever they’ve been doing with “feeling God, or feeling GOOD,” or baking whole wheat bread, or some health-food goodness. Here I go criticizing again, without offering any alternatives. Here I sit, my mind drifting off with the hum of the typewriter, hoping for an illuminating answer. None comes. So I just go back to my old maxims that feel the best to me: a balance. Be a balance. If you feel like telling someone about what you’ve been doing, tell them. If you don’t, don’t.
The last time I saw Doris and Harriet before Apple Chill Fair this spring was last summer. I had them over for a meal at Columbia Street. Steve, as always, got quiet and sat with his legs crossed like a lady. I get so annoyed with myself when I so obviously try to draw him into the conversation, like a Mom wanting to show off her baby. I was not that uncomfortable with Doris and Harriet; I was very curious as to what they were thinking about; what their lives were like now. It became very obvious, very quickly that Harriet, for one, was “into God.” At the time, I was right in the middle of a ga-ga spell of awakening myself and properly eager in my immaturity to want to hold my new self up like a piece of embroidery and say, “see???”
But I never got the chance. Harriet talked nonstop about God. God told her to come home from England and Save Doris from Paul and that marriage. God had arranged their entire lives since then. God. God. God. I began to feel like there was some invisible toad sitting beside her who she called God but would look more like a Melvin or Herman to me. I didn’t want to hear about God from her after that, so I never called them up again (after reassuring good-byes, “keep in touch, now maybe we can go out to Clearwater Lake real soon, hear?”).
When I saw them at Apple Chill Fair, I was GLAD to see them. They said they had been to Africa. I showed them my new kitty cat. Harriet declared he was blind, because one eye was green and one was blue. He was not, as it turned out.
Elizabeth Rose Campbell