My life has become dreamier, and seams less seamier. The veils are so thin the crossroads of all realms invisible and indivisible has become where I walk, not where I stop to look for signs. On January 14th, I posted over at the donation site, ChipIn, a rough outline of a visionary road trip I kept seeing in my inner eye. The original intent (which has morphed considerably in an ecstatically simpler direction) is published here: The Road Hospitality Tour.
I also saw I needed to live today more as the "future me" in the "fictional" narrative I described in the last two posts in order for that future to be more than just fantasy. That future me is one who is at ease with the Tao and draws forth whatever is needed as she skips along in a magical relationship with all beings.
One day in January, I went to see The Art of Participation exhibit over at SFMoMA. It was one of those days where one doesn't feel as if they are walking on water -- you are walking on water. So many flashes of insight, and complete peace. After the museum, I met with a Twitter friend I'd never met as yet in this lifetime, @elasticfate. And everything clicked into place in an effortless way. No treasure collages necessary.
"When something is sacred, it cannot be bought or sold." - Starhawk
"I’m talking about carving out a place in the larger culture where a condition of abnormality can be sustained, where imagining the unknown and the unknowable — impossible to buy or sell — is the primary enterprise." - "The Boom is Over. Long Live the Art!" New York Times, February 12, 2009
In these times, it is too easy to fall prey to the voices in the dungeon that shreik, "Save, hoard, don't give, you'll never have enough for yourself, there's not enough to go around, the sky is falling.."
"The Irish Sidhe (Shee) faeries passionately love beauty and luxury and have a total contempt for thrift and economy. Lady Wilde in her Ancient Legends of Ireland remarks how they detest "the close, niggard hand that gathers the last grain, drains the last drop in the milk pail, and plucks the tree bare of fruit, leaving nothing for the spirits who wander by in the moonlight." - Faeries, by Brian Froud and Alan Lee
"Nature is nothing if not extravagant...No one looks at a cherry tree [oh, almost typed cheery tree!] and says, "How inefficient and wasteful." - William McDonough, "The Extravagant Gesture"
One day while driving from Numi Tea Garden to a raw food meetup with Steve Pavlina at Cafe Gratitude, the thought entered: "Raw is the reverse of war. Live is the reverse of evil." Not that I'm about reversing anything anymore (embrace, accept, allow is more like it...transmutation, transfiguration may follow) but it then led to the kernel of this entire pilgrimage:
Open to complete cooperation with the flux of the multiverse in a raw, pure, unimpeded, unadorned, visceral, live, vital way and share that with others. Teaming up with ElasticFate on her Raw Vagabonding community-building tour, led to:
live, raw food
live, raw words
live, raw silence
At this point I could say so much more, the last few weeks have been a brilliant whorling whirlwind, but right now I'll say we leave Las Vegas on Monday, 2/23 (there's a potluck Saturday, 2/21 in Vegas), and will be traveling through southern Utah, northern Arizona, and through Santa Fe on our way to Austin and then New Orleans (very rough itinerary), so if you live in those areas, we'd love to delve into time with you. (The Midwest portion will begin after New Orleans.)
I will close with an excerpt from a post that resonates with the Spirit of this pilgrimage.
Usually I have to come up with something "justifiable" and "explainable" such as an art project to relax people's grip and penchant for "reasons" (I live in rhyme and no reason) -- in the case below, a video project was cited. Yet in my heart of hearts, I knew I came shine love to the city and its peopling. Raw, unadorned, vital Love. Written in March 23, 2007.
I'm tempted to snag the sign from leaning against the front porch from a marketplace in New Delhi, India tempting us with "lotus and green teas" and bigger bolder lettering proclaiming, "Buddha Teahouse."
Later, setting my crowbar on the high shelf, I rescue a yellow slicker, a 3-set Robert Johnson album, a refurbished AT&T phone, an air compressor, once-a-boy's high school diploma secured in an aluminum can that looks like it was designed for fishing tackle and to outlive school learning and a box of check registers.
Now we're seated on the curb in the Ninth Ward hunkered against the white van's well wheels, trying to escape the sun for a minute as the pinchers plunks off couches, mattresses, wood slats and chunks of drywall from the pile and plop the molding fragments from someone's once home into the dump truck.
It took me eons to get to the point that it'd feel like freedom if the storage locker in Salt Lake City cut the lock and auctioned every ounce of my past away.
I tell the film student seated beside me from Towson University that I'm here for a video project. He tells me he's documenting his fellow classmates' week-long spring volunteer break in order to help raise future funds for ACORN's Katrina Relief Work. "We don't study documentary filmmaking in the curriculum. So I'm learning as I go."
I'm learning as I go too. Except it's not documentary filmmaking.
I begin to notice that when one hears "video project" they're off and running imagining I'm a documentarian capturing the rebuilding of New Orleans. Another Spike Lee perhaps.
Or if mention I'm a writer, it's that I'm a journalist here to expose what's really going on.
Nothing could be further from my strengths, as I'm a lousy historian and documentarian. Attention to precision and detail has never ever been my forte. My talents lean in the opposite.
So whatever it is I am that one wants to define what I'm doing, it revolves around myth and the building blocks of universes which in my waking visions keeps circling back to music.
"The Ancients used their knowledge of the musical principles of vibration, harmony and balance as tools to learn how to live better lives for themselves, and how to create “ideal” societies where there is fairness, peace and equality." - David Wilcox, The Divine Cosmos
I'm particularly taken by the apocaplyse myself, though I admit I keep forgetting that most hear apocalypse and the mind automatically jumps to doomsday 'end of the world' Mad Max scenarios. Few see the Kali Yuga as ushering in a golden age. What Golden Age? Naw, we're trained to affix our eyes on the floodwaters and cling to the wreckage, rather than witness the paradise faintly visible at the melodic line.
This week I've walked in areas I've been told not to walk in. I've walking into houses that my mother told me you'd never step out of alive. Yet I've recognized genuine hospitality cloaked as it was: a chug of Seaman's, Heineken, cigarette, or puff of weed? "Thanks, but I don't smoke."
They apologize sheepishly: "The beer's warm."
I don't drink anymore, but that doesn't matter. "This is the temperature they drink it in Germany. It's just fine."
It's a miracle any flowers can even survive here as the thick air of despondency and discouragement blankets the region. I recall how I've walked into hospitals to visit friends and sworn I could walk in well and healthy into those institutions and within a few days in that space I'd be sick too. Ginsberg's Sunflower Sutra floods my mind. And Mother Teresa seeing the face of Christ in every face. Even here, the veil drops into knowingness: "We're not our skin of grime, we're not our dread bleak dusty imageless locomotive, we're all beautiful golden sunflowers inside..."
If you cannot see heaven in an apartment home where the folks are rolling joints and watching gangster flicks with movie sets in strip clubs while we talk about azaleas and grape myrtles and the NOPD and my wild goose chase on Villere Street searching for a friend that's fallen off the face of the earth, then you won't see it anywhere.
If you cannot recognize your guardian angel disguised as a black landscaper wearing a gem-studded cross originally from Memphis ("the NOPD better not take this chain too") insisting on walking you at least as far as St. Claude, the invisible line that divides bohemian-dicey and plain and simple dicey-dicey, then you won't see security anywhere else.
The Golden Age gilt first shines in the depths of mounds of debris in front of gutted civilization. Can you see it?
"Carlos Castaneda's Don Juan has said that the civilized man looks at the world with his eyes and interprets what he "sees" through abstractions, but the sorcerer knows how to perceive with his entire body; he can step out of the habitual description of reality to "stop the world" and "see." And so for precivilized humans there is a diffused peripheral perception in which the skin isn't such a hard edge, and the body blends into the larger organism of the environment. There is almost a fetal, amniotic continuity, the oceanic oneness which Freud talks about, between the hunter or gatherer and his or her surrounding world of animals and plants and spirits. It is a state of being which civilized human beings have to work to recover through years of removing the obstructions of the civilized mind to perceive and be in the world through the empty fullness of Zen meditation." - William Irwin Thompson, Darkness and Scattered Light
Few are aware that the etymology of the word apocalyse is revelation, an unveiling. Fewer still interpret The Book of Revelations mythically, symbolically, rather it's regarded as future history.
The magi that followed the star to Bethlehem weren't master astrologers as much as skilled in the art of oneiromancy, or reading visions and signs. If you haven't noticed by now, inspiration often speaks in code and obscure symbols.
More important than intrepreting waking dreams and visions is paying attention to them. Often there's a tendency to dismiss them as irrelevant. In my own experience I've shaken them off as there's an awareness that seeing them could upset my agendas and plans.
"What are you doing in New Orleans?" Moose asks at the Goldmine's poetry reading last night.
"I really don't know anymore."
He nods approvingly: "That's a good reason to be here."
"Tuwaqachi ("World Complete"), the Fourth World, was born out of water, and is the same world we live in today. After having endured the buffeting of the waves, the chosen people found their reeds had washed upon onto the top of one of the highest mountains. From there, they could see no land — the entire world had been drowned. Like Noah, they sent different kinds of birds to see if they could find any land, but all returned without having found any. Sotuknang then came to Spider Woman and said that they must stop thinking with human knowledge, but instead open their minds to the inner wisdom that hears the words of the Creator that constantly speak throughout the Earth. Trusting themselves to the inner wisdom and the will of the Creator, they created rafts and allowed the wind and the water to carry them where they were meant to go." - Hopi Creation Myth, Mysterious Lands
Though signs are coming now in a fury that signal I'm following a thread of which the weave started four years ago on a winter's multiday pilgrimage into belly of the Grand Canyon.
You don't need to interpret waking dreams...
They'll reveal themselves in due time.