Exploring the Human Condition: altered states of consciousness

Archive for May, 2012

I think that I shall never see…

a poem as lovely, as a tree.  It is siesta time around the farm today.  This is a good time right now.  There has been more than a couple of months of totally cool and temperate climate, and this past week gave us days of quiet, soaking rain.  Yesterday I could feel this energy when I went outside.  Today we are “in full swing,”  “in high cotton,”  all the plants are revved up to do something…

I am a woman of the planet.  I have been given a small plot, on which to eek out my survival, and I am satisfied.  Yes, over the years, there have been changes.  But clearly, positive ones.  Yet Mother Nature will continue on with her cycles, and I work with what I have.  That’s just what you do.

I have been seeing this plan in my head for a long time.  It takes planning and then action to reach goals, live your dreams.  But today, right now, breathing deeply, looking up, feeling this energy, it is enough.

Today the sun is shining brightly.  Right now the air is still.  Occasionally, a little rift will blow up under the limbs of the river trees, and they will twist and turn up at their tops, then it goes quiet again.  I love it when the trees talk.  Today they are dancing!

The American West 1976 – I

Years ago, I got in a white AMC Rebel, with a dark-haired boy with deep brown eyes, who was half Irish and half Canadian Eskimo blood.  I believe that made for an interesting trip.

We headed north and west, to get out of Texas.  It can take a couple of days to cross this state, but somehow we made it to Carlsbad, New Mexico by nightfall.

I was just a kid.  I had never slept in a car, which was full of all our stuff anyway.  We were hot, tired and hungry, so the ground looked like the easier bet.  Let me tell you, in all my years, which were many and long, I have never spent a more wretched evening than I did that night in the desert.

The City of Austin was in full-blown mid-summer crazy Austin madness.  Somehow the word had gotten out how blessed wonderful the place was, and throngs of people, they said 10,000 a month, were moving into the area.  Everyone knows when the summer reaches its zenith in July, it is beyond hot.  The sun feels like a blanket laid over hot asphalt and cement, with lots of car fumes thrown in.

I had just left a job as a secretary to several music promoters.  I think I could talk a real good line of bs, plus I didn’t ask for a lot of money, so they gave me the job.  All I did was sit behind a desk and answer the phone.  The few small items they asked me to type were done in mere seconds.  I just sat there all day and listened to these two completely different types of young men, banter back and forth, name-dropping and getting all worked up over things.  I was just out of UT music school.  I was considered one of the better musicians from home, but in Austin I was nothing but camel fodder.  I think the Dr.’s and tenured profs of music listened to me with horror and dismay, but saw the obvious understanding and flow of my music, so they let me in, after divesting me of all my previous college credits garnered at the home-town junior college.  After two long years of hard work, I was back to square one at UT.

I worked hard at it, trying to make the grade.  Some things were easy and some things were way over my head.  I made a lot of things right, and faked a lot of things wrong.  I enjoyed the hustle and bustle of campus life, but I was always glad to finally get home, relax my poor tired feet, and survey the ruin that was my backpack, filled with spirals, books that were far too big to carry around, and wadded up wrappers from the Macobeanie Food Stand where I could eat cheaply once a day.

I was on my own here.  Clueless and running on fumes.  The head of the department was also the Conductor/Maestro of the Symphony Orchestra for the City.  And also my private teacher for my secondary instrument, French Horn.  I would go into his office, listen carefully to his direction, then I would try to play.  Up until that point, I’d always been the leader of the band, so to speak.  I’d won regional and state awards, our high school band had won all the major competitions every year.  But when I would sit down with this man, he would start yelling at me, pounding his fist on his knee, grabbing the music and frenetically pointing to different places…  and pretty soon all the harsh words and energy just blended into a sort of cacophony of his deep voice, my strangled voice, pages being turned furiously, and tension.  Yes, it was tension theatre every week, twice a week.  For 90 long minutes.

I didn’t like men to yell and I still don’t.  My throat closed up like anaphylactic shock.  My high school band director used to say I played that horn like it was a Mack Truck!  But for the Maestro, I was a snivelling weasel at best.

The final straw happened one day when I decided I better try to talk to one of my music professors, behind closed doors, before I lost my mind completely.  I was taking 15 semester hours, which included Music Theory, Art History, Womens Weights and Conditioning, Applied Piano, French Horn, Sight-Singing and the always intimidating Jazz Improv.  And of course tack on the required ensemble, band or symphony with five short minutes between classes that covered the entire length of the campus, and I was a freakin lunatic most of the time.  Whenever I was free from class, I was supposed to report to the City Newspaper office, to the Classifieds Dept. where I typed ads, thousands of them a night, it seemed, until the wee hours of the morning.

By the time I got home, I was well past wrecked.  My home life with a roommate named Mary Kate, and the unending trail of boyfriends in and out the door, was more than enough on anyone’s plate.  I didn’t even have a piano at home to practice on, having sold my Fender Rhodes electric to pay my rent months ago.

Anyway, I was sitting on a bench outside the office of this harried professor, whom had never even looked at me, much less considered me, when this girl with a brightly colored dress on, and long flowing curls down her back, sat down beside me.  She just started talking.

She said,  “you know, I’ve been waiting for this opportunity to be in the Music School here all my life.  It feels like all I have ever done is practice on my beloved grand piano and take lessons in preparation for this day.  Did you know?  My mother even knew this was my destiny, even when she was pregnant with me.”

Wow.  I was just sitting there, my lower jaw resting on my chest, looking at her.  She was one of the pampered elite.  Groomed and prepared to enter into the pressurized panicky world of performance art.  I always thought music was supposed to be enjoyed, supposed to be pleasant.  But this world was quick to show me not.  It was all about promise, commitment, ability and money.  That’s it.  I didn’t have the last.

I left from that very appointment and went straight to the registrar’s office and withdrew from school, three weeks into my second semester.  She counted out a couple of twenties for me, as refund of my remaining tuition and that was it.  It was all over.

So after leaving the newspaper for a day job, and finding out the music promoters were a bunch of drug-addled money hungry filthy-mouthed ego maniacs, I left that place too.  David and I took out a map of the southern United States.  We looked around and I put my finger on Phoenix, and that became our destination.

Just on the edge of the desert, a place I had never visited, never seen and knew very little about, our loaded down souped up muscle car looked more like a dirty band of gypsies lived in it.  We loaded up the next morning, sore, uncomfortable, unclean and disillusioned already.  At least I sure was.

Getting back on the road felt good though.  You might know the feeling.  Nothing in the past is relevant anymore.  Everything you see and everyone you meet is new.  New places, new faces.  The desert has many faces.  Which I would soon learn, the hard way.

Friday night, 2016

The week is over.  We got all the work done.  Now we rest.

He’s out there building the campfire.  His girl is breaking little sticks for tinder.  The dogs keep bringing them the ball.  She throws like a girl.  He winds up like a Yankees pitcher and it flies over the trees way up high.

He kneels down and sets a log against another like a tee-pee.  Leaves start to crackle and a little smoldering of smoke rises slowly, carefully.

The women in the house were cooking all afternoon.  We have tons of vegies, salsas, salads, dressings, breads, he even makes cheese for us.  And the cold goat’s milk ain’t half bad either.

They put some kabobs on the grill, and he stands there turning them.  She’s over at the table, setting up things neatly, all in order, pretty colors, the umbrella is blocking the bits of sand and particles in the air from the fire.

The old man is sitting over by the big rocks listening to the water trickle into the bottom of the pond.  His boots are old and funky, wrinkled and bleached.  His legs are crossed at his ankles and he leans back in his chair and takes a long drag on his pipe.  And holds it.

There is pain and there is pain and who can say who has it or how much.  Maybe it’s the ones of us that refuse the crutches that complain too much.  To shade our eyes, from all that is harsh, and brutal.

At night, like this, the crickets and grasshoppers make such a racket.  The yard feels like a fishbowl and everyone is watching us.  Little reflective eyes pop in and out, smells are bringing them.

The old woman comes out, sits down hard, and adjusts her skirt.  Her feet are cracked in places, funny neglected feet of two colors.  They have walked ten thousand miles in this lifetime and will be ready to walk ten thousand more, when called upon.  She takes the rag from her head and the sweat collected on her brow is wiped away.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could wipe away all the fear, all the panic, so easily.  Wouldn’t it be nice?

Dawn and Quiet Raindrops

Or expect “quantum chaos” and be pleasantly surprised.

“…my feet move through foamy waters, my soul to every far away star in the galaxies…”

There was a great religious man, and he forbade his people the listening of music.  Music is a beautiful celebration of man’s voice in the universe, longing to be heard.  Embracing this quality does not make one weak, rather, it transcends all earthly bonds and takes your breath away…  and for that instant you have touched that understanding that so many would seek to obscure.  I applaud beauty and inner peace, achieved in most any fashion, as remarkable.  I contend that you could sidestep the whole conflict by simply entering the stream.  All at once, you feel very small.

My greatest weakness is fear of physical pain.  Logically I know I can transcend it.  It appears there is some measure of protection in most cases.  There is always that point where you are clearly not where you were.  And from all accounts, this is the point where the first impression is critically important…  what you do not want to see is any type of dark or divesting entity, because it will most certainly be exhibiting exactly the type of images you never want to re-live.

If the human perseption of polarities is a simple feature of the hologram theory, then in actuality there is most definitely a darker side where most persons do not go, many want to remain ignorant of, and some will not survive.

I like the story of the guy who went to heaven only to be found later sitting in a smokey room playing cards somewhere.  Or the one about the guy who went on a permanent fishing vacation.  If I get to put in my request, I’d like go to the Rocky Mountains, not too far up, with a good dog and a horse.

All the modern paranormal shows have reached a certain concensus.  There is measureable activity and it appears to have intelligence.  Some may be able to perceive an actual image, at times.  But again, I ask the question.  What is the point?  It’s certainly not necessary and its playing with fire.  I’ve seen animals in terrible shock and pain.  Animals that I loved.  And I’ve seen some animals that will hardly make a sound.  That tells me you can ride it out, no matter the physical pain, because here’s something to support the idea of faith: There is a growing body of evidence to show that one dimension has the capability to interact with the other through the use of breaks in the energy field, some sort of access to the other side.  In my best estimations, these are the troubled spirits of troubled people, the ones who will purposely participate in cross-dimensional interractions in real time, our time, the only place time is actually measured, for their very own purely selfish and sometimes victim-based reasoning. Perhaps to even some score, to finally broadcast some long harbored injustice.

At some point every one of us is released and that line, or barrier is breached. There should be no looking back. No unnatural means to retrieve my soul back into my broken body will be tolerated.  All those people who have danced on the edge and returned seem to be unsettled, no matter how hard they insist that they are forever changed, they’ve reached some sort of state of equinimity.

It clearly doesn’t matter at this point, what you think about the situation.  It seems altogether likely that if things don’t quite add up right, there could be some delays with your transit pass.  Interestingly, some people tell stories about instant joy, freedom from any kind of worry, any kind of pain.  If this happens, I would probably be overjoyed too.  Simply enter the stream.

Conversely, there are many challenging and rewarding exercises we can engage in as we travel the path of the human condition.  Incidently, the exciting field of the paranormal may have hit the proverbial high point, and high drama with great technology will soon become empty and passe.  The impact of their good deeds for those already passed is questionable at best.  But then troubled spirits may well be just as tedious and unreasonable as they were in real life.  We’re over it.

So thanks to paranormal investigations that are broadcast, it would seem that the afterlife can be just as messed up and complicated as things are around here.   I’m sorry I don’t really want to leave my comfortable and happy life.  I refuse to cooperate.  But when the deed is done, let me go, for goodness sake.  Just let me go.

I am finally of the opinion that everything will be fine.  That measure of protection that seems to be in place is highly appreciated.  I can work with that.  I think all the happiness and wonder I feel in this life has to translate to the next in some like manner.  I don’t need to parlay with restless spirits or battle with demons.  If I ever find myself in such straits, I will dispatch the offending presence, just as I do and have done on this plane.  There is no doubt of unimaginable chaos and things beyond reason and comprehension.  The drama queens of television have played on this prepice since the days of The Twilight Zone.  I just simply choose to ignore the unsavory and engage myself in the making of fanciful tales of adventure and romance.

This modern world is great in so many ways, but my heyday was much simpler.  We just didn’t know so much.  The fine line between reality and imagination was still in place.  At least we thought.

I like what the late great George Carlin says in the movie Jersey Girl:  “The sun even shines on a dog’s ass sometimes.”  I like to look on the bright side of things!  I really like George Carlin.

“…and the wild incessant twanging of the sitars takes hold with the drums and we rock, and dance to the silver sparking from our fingers…”  and when the music stops, we freeze.  And all you hear in that second is the crackling of the fire on the beach under the blessed moonlight.”  Magic!

 Early spring meditation 2012

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