Now and Now

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Now that I am in possession of my familiar state of consciousness following my hospital visit of late

I have the luxury of space and quiet to comb through who I am today.

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“Instead of trusting
that people around you will never betray you
or that your world won’t end or that you won’t die,
you trust what is here.

You save the world by taking responsibility for your awakening
and then where that awakening leads to, you follow.”

~~ Gangaji

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I enjoyed that I could write my previous blog post ‘tongue in cheek’ as it was.

It said to me that the whole experience did not “GET ME” and take me down.

I am already uninterested enough to avoid hanging out in the drama/trauma; not too much story telling about it.

I remember feeling so altered and hating the feeling but still having it in me to say: “Well Cath..if this is going to be what you have to live with for the rest of your life you better make peace ASAP”.

All we have is now.

And now.

And then another now.

One seems not really that much better or worse than the other to me

Except my vanity would still like no holes in my sweaters to betray the ever present mess lurking in my shadows. Oh well…I bow to that too.

I am so NOT INDEPENDENT anymore.

The past illusion I comforted myself with (my old independent self) was a shiny car built to impress with oiled gears, genteel in their ease of taking corners.

Now I am decidedly INTERDEPENDENT.

Hospital bound I needed stuff:

I needed my core people to pick up the threads of my unravelled mind and negotiate care for me with no direction which they all did with the love and protection of family.

I needed to yell out of the ambulance to my neighbors to call someone who would take care of Emma and know that they would.

I needed help with food and it was there for me.

All this need and provision adds up to LOVE which sounds saccharine in the word’s utter overuse of late

But it has the gravity of the Sacred we all seem so removed from these days.

Tis the season.

Love someone.

Now.

And Now.

Moth Holes

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I love to watch crime TV.

Also deep hospital drama like GREY’S ANATOMY.

Something about human nature inside core vulnerability locks my attention in.

Closer to pure, I guess.

Yesterday I was taken to the hospital for the first time in my life.

For Real.

Sitting up and petting Emma one moment then my whole body began to go numb.

Top to bottom numb.

Total body asleep while awake.

Thankfully I have a MEDICAL ALERT button which I slowly witnessed myself activating.

I’ve always imagined the cute young uns’ (EMT guys) entering my bedroom and seeing a languid slice of loveliness waiting to be rescued.

As it stood last nite I had few clothes on and languidity was in very short supply.

“Would one of you please find my phone?”

Cutest guy comes back with weird look on his face: “THIS is your phone?” he says incredulously holding up my backless flip phone.

I can not move. Or even enjoy the moment with a smile.

Could have been a cute flirty moment.

My wrists are crossed nicely across my chest in the ambulance.

THERE ARE MOTH HOLES IN THIS CASHMERE SWEATER I just today excitedly pulled out of stored winter clothing to wear.

I AM SO UNCOOL!! MOTH HOLES!!! OMG Cathy, I cant believe you are thinking these stupid things.

There is a HOLE IN MY SOCK TOO!!!!!!

None of the cutiepies are paying any attention to me as I lay over here catatonic in the ambulance..

Even after hours lying alone (sent my good friends home..bless their compassionate hides) in the hospital room

No one looks at all worried about me except me. No one know what is going on. They are more interested in everything but me. I guess that is good. Perhaps I won’t die tonight.

Mucho hours later I was sent home still feeling acute rigor-mortis in my limbs.

Today, my body is slightly behaving.

I found a little brown box on my desk saying: RASPBERRY MACAROONS.

I KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO ME! I ATE THREE of these!

My friend sent me a care package and I just saw RASPBERRY MACAROONS in the dim light and proceed to stuff them in.

Those yummy cookies were cannabis edibles!!

For the past two days I have been TRIPPING on macaroons.

Ok..laugh your heart out people…

I give thanks for re-claiming my beloved, unadulterated consciousness.

I bow to you, O increasingly drug free Cath.

xx and gratitude to you all on Thanksgiving…your moth-holey, uncool friend

Rise

emm

I am sitting here at my computer with my fur hat on as well as various wraps and warming agents.

The wind chill is..well..friggin’ chilly.

(we are talking outdoors FYI..)

On Sunday morning all I really want to do is revel in the fact I am single and unmoved by wild hair, saggy undereyes and ugly socks.

I love watching SUNDAY MORNING but Emma the dog/spiritual advisor seriously needs the outdoors to perform her ablutions.

She wakes. She looks at me. Keeps looking. Ears move slightly back and down for added prayer effect.

She looks and looks.

Stays just barely out of my arms reach lest I mistake the potency of her need by watering it down with the banality of petting.

Silence from her end.

I cajole..”Em..it’s too early. Can’t you come over here and let me rub your belly?”

Staring.

Unblinking.

Staring with tongue.

Stare.

“ALRIGHT ALREADY!”

(SUNDAY MORNING beginning..)

Adjustable bed goes up. Engage core. Transfer to wheelchair. Moan. Try not to vocalize. Get on with it..

Not going to bore you with the specifics but somewhere in the next 25 minutes the words: “If people only knew what my life looks like..OMFG” were spoken.

Out the door into the arctic!

Emma the street dog from L.A. goes FAST to her poop place.

While I am trying to burrow into my coat she has strayed into a gravel driveway to relieve herself.

Shit.

I must be a good neighbor and clean up after her. My wheelchair footplate acts like a shovel scooping up gravel onto my cold feet as I make my way up the drive.

I yell at God.

Pick up poop and grab Emma retreating in fifth gear towards home.

I missed what I wanted to see on television but Emma is no longer staring. She is now dancing.

FOOD! FOOD FOR ME! NOW!!!

FOOD! FOODY FOOD FOOD!!!

Sedately digesting her prescription diet for allergic dogs on my lap now

There is peace in the hood.

I just love the funky fur hat I have on in the house right now to accelerate my de-frost.

Life is insanely good.

Failing What?

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“LIFE OF TANYA AND MICHAEL”, 24×24, earth,straw,thread,stone,wing
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A good friend called to tell me her aging mom is “failing.”

In particular she cried seemingly inappropriately during DANCING WITH THE STARS. Her emotions are raw and uncomfortably immediate.

She is in a nursing home and deals with much of what I deal with symptomatically.

The roads of age and illness run parallel and way closer than you’d imagine.

I told my friend: “As we get closer to Death our filters are pretty much gone”. This is why it seems the aged revert into childlike behavior.

It’s so weird for us left back in the “looks so good” realm to make a place for non-PC remarks, high octane irritability, defiance, unskilled decision making,
poor grooming, heightened sensitivity and ping pong rationality.

The gifts in “failing” are many I assure you.

For starters I MUST BE TRUE.

Inside an intimate relationship with mortality the rooms there are spread with space, silence, innocence, immediacy, no apologies, great awe and wonder, the salve of simplicity, acceptance, forgiveness and God.

My go-to guy MOOJI says:
“IF IT IS NOT NOW……IT IS NOT.”

For me this suggests that we try taking away all attention to future and past and stay here now.

My health situation insists that I do.

I imagine that had my life continued without the graduate school of MS I’d never have known the Grace of space to divest myself of a tired personality.

Black and White

fine line

I have a penchant for black skin.

Really, maintenance people of all types…

Spending so much time at my Grandmother’s home growing up

I took to hanging out in the company of “the help”

Which meant gardeners, cooks and housekeepers.

Sylvia took up a lot of space in the kitchen.

The smallish greasy room in the back-40 part of the house was my idea of heaven.

She, in her comforting enormity sat me down at the yellow striated formica table and cooked me up the best dang hamburger.

I loved Sylvia. And Bessie. Tom and others through the years..

I remember their soft, poufy blackness. So inviting to me. Safe. Warm. Comforting how their skin curled around me in a non-claustrophobic hug. A real hug. True. Unafraid.

My Grandmother rung a bell to announce readiness in her dining room to be served.

I hung my head. In shame.

These people I loved were reduced by a soul-sucking tinkle of a glass bell.

We all withdrew deep into our chests in order to brave the fucked-up-ness.

All I could do was lift my small head to them in a squeaky thank you as they, in their invisible cloak served me.

All I could do was look them directly in the eye so they’d feel known.

Tom, the gardener and the others travelled over an hour by bus each morning to arrive in time to tend the grounds.

I saw my Grandmother count more on him than my ineffectual grandfather.

The very skin of these fine friends meant safety to me.

They were IN their skin; honest, hard working and full of extra love for some rich folks pasty white lonely kid.

To my Grandmother’s credit she cared for their families, supported them financially and outside the dining room valued them almost as family.

I sensed something contained..lovingly held private..never indiscriminately shared about these fine black souls.

Now that I know better how to love myself some of these same qualities are mine.

I’ll never have the depth of their skin though…

But I can remember..

And let you know just how it was.

It was complicated.

But I must honor them.

Stay Right Here With Me

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A small white dog is on my lap.

I sit here absorbed in the false light of my computer

Consumed in virtual collecting of Pinterest images.

My heart rate gains in the act of accumulating pretty, interesting, inspiring, noteworthy illusions of import.

My white dog breathes.

Her warmth seeps into my thighs.

I tear my eyes from the screen and move my attention to her sleeping perfect weight.

My heart slows it’s run

And my brow softens.

It is an effort to return to you with reportage

But You must know

How this very moment is my teacher..

God is very, very quiet

And is not that interested in adding to any collection

No matter how rare or satisfying.

My small dog says: “Stay here with me, Cathy dear. I will show you how it is done without false light or illusion. Stay right here with me and allow my precious weight..listen to the space between my breath. See how I need not move from this spot to add to my perfect Self. Notice how I love you..how I love you even as you disappoint me. Notice my deep listening to your long apology. Watch as I shake it all off and meet you with possibility and Love. Once again.”

I turn off my computer.