Is there No Escape???

My dreams are having a hard time differentiating reality and fantasy. Yes, I know, having studied sleepy time dreams of ride the rainbow elephants across possible planes of existence, their meaning, REM sleep patterns, out of body experiences, etc., I am aware we often are using our dreams to work though the challenges of unreal reality life. Unless we do exist in different dimensions, which in my warped mind does really happen and then I’ve been having a very interesting set of lives one or many of which I might prefer if given the choice.

Lately I have noticed that the possibility using sleep to escape from our strange and not so wonderful political landscape, at least for me, just does not cut it. The daily, though fortunately not constant, trauma induced thoughts of nazis, the blatant stripping of women’s rights, the demise of the US constitution, chemical/psychological/ballistic warfare, Iran, Yemen, Venezuela, black lives not mattering, not to mention global species annihilation, election hacking, plastic ocean gyres, fracking, the demise of our natural habitats (see species destruction), the total outrageously priced and ridiculous inadequacy of the US “health care system”…I could go on, but it IS more than troublesome, is enough to make nearly anyone pop a few Valium with an aged bourbon chaser, the intent or hope might be to sleep it off, waking totally refreshed in the morning.

Alas, that is not I. No, no no, I prefer to have my societal malaise straight up, take it like a Wo-man, strong capable and along the river I wanna be standing and by the way my name, from time to time, is Cleopatra.

I woke just before midnight, having realized I had not written a thing yesterday. For shame. For shame. Yes, ladies and gents, Jewish guilt does occasionally raise its imaginary sheitel-covered head even after therapy, study of various religions, conscious language and regular self reflection. I had made a promise to lil-ole-me to write daily. No, nothing as restrictively habitual as “morning pages”, because frankly with two loud dogs demanding food in the wee hours of the morning I rarely have the time or accessible brain power to begin to write-that is unless I wake at 4am stealthily, reach for iPad and quietly type. Currently my girl dog is busily running and talking in her sleep at the foot of my bed. It is past midnight and unless there is the rustling of food wrappers in the kitchen, she is dead to this world, alive in dreamland and I am free to pursue my exploitation of word on virtual paper.

Now. This tonight, or rather morning, may prove to be more than my interrupted sleep can take. For my mind is racing with a force so strong and I am trying to get my fingers to catch up before the thoughts become something else entirely. Such is my life. And I do not chose to tell my active brain to shut up and go to sleep for that would be disastrous and more than frustrating in the morning when I finally woke up to discover I had blown my verbal wad on something as mundane as fatigue.

Okay, dreams. Actually I don’t think I’m talking here about dreams, but instead my conversation with my new friend, Carla, yesterday may have planted the seeds of this night’s banter on the societal in-fluenza we are all experiencing. Together we discussed how for us we are well aware how deeply traumatized our population is but more importantly how different groups of people are processing this awful malaise. Specifically we contemplated aloud about young parents handling the situation with their children and what they are doing to not only emotionally cope but if they are at all empowered to advocate, march, complain, write, call, vote, run for office…etc.

It is more than a little disheartening that our elections are at great risk of being fucked up by evil minded, heartless, SOB’S who for some UNGODLY reason/s, though probably are full of greed, elitism, racism, fear, hatred, homophobia, anti-semitism…) believe they must win their agenda at all costs. So. Getting out the vote might even be moot, which is not at all an uplifting idea compelling us to stand in line for hours, now is it? Which is, I think, the point of all the gerrymandering, Faux news propaganda to blast us with a shitload of problems thus giving us a case of “I don’t know what to fucking do!”, apathetic inducing bullshit.

I’m part of a regular group that meets weekly having written well over 30,000 postcards to politicians, corporations and individuals since the orange monster took office. We are a combination activist/emotional support group. The fact that we are not now a bunch of raging alcoholics is a huge ducking testimony to our tenacity. And though tempting, apathy does not motivate us. Our group song should be “We Shall Not Be Lulled (or moved….you pick.) These wonderful inspired and inspiring human beings make me proud to have a properly (mostly) functioning brain and verbal skills to communicate with others who can also do this similarly. The only agenda we seem to have is to empower others to do the right thing – love, honor, respect, charity, help the powerless, protect our earth…If I didn’t know better I’d think we were all really truly, honest to goodness, (not the fake ones) Christians.

For me (and probably those with whom I meet weekly) there is no escape from choosing to change the current reality in which we are living. My children and grandchildren and the planet upon which we live is at stake. My imperative is to help make things/life better.

Otherwise what is the point, really?

Now. I’m going to sleep.

It’s all Greek to Me…and I am smiling!

I’m lying in my air conditioned villa…okay, apartment at the Kaloni Village near Skala Kaloni. It’s been a warm morning of exploration, grocery shopping and deciphering signs and labels. The saying, “it’s all Greek to me!” could never be more true, here in the south of this island that has its history of being so close to turkey, it could actually be part of it. There are many stories of the island changing nations many times – wake up in the morning speaking Greek, go to sleep speaking Turkish, and vice versa… And here they coexist quite beautifully. Regardless of language, a smile is still a smile; there are oodles of smiles here, it is quite infectious.

20130825-050054.jpgMy roommate Meike and I walked through winding streets, past cafes with older men watching us pass by, those Greek men smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee (too early for ouzo) some deep in unintelligible (to us) conversation. We passed shops laden with clothing, or foodstuffs, electronics, etc., sporting signs occasionally and sparingly in english, looking in only briefly. After all, we only went into town for groceries, not to shop per se, and that is a good thing since nothing we’ve seen so far looks worth buying. Except, that is, for the delicious cappuccinos at the Cafe Dream, located in a treed island in the crossroads of the town which is where we took a break from sightseeing before heading to the supermarket for staples. Taxis are cheap, especially split 4 ways, and that’s a good thing since the place we are staying is far out…and I don’t mean 60’s slang.

It is funny how one can assume to understand what another person is saying…combine that with different languages and things can get really complicated! I don’t speak Greek as yet, my German, though I m traveling with many here, is schlecht (bad), and my American English puns abound (for those who know me-no big surprise), words will and do get lost in translation, and still I smile, abundantly. Especially as now I am learning more and more how my smiles are the best language I can communicate with myself and the beings in my world. My smile changes my inner vibration; as I become connected to the cells in my body, they respond joyfully, healing any dis-ease, imprinting and influencing, in a good way (the best influenza) every drop of blood, every organ, bone, ligament, muscle… To support me fully as I experience being here in my body now.

Yes, I have experienced deep, profound and all-encompassing grief, and it is good. Daily, I am embracing the sacred change Max of which spoke so often, even before he embraced it himself – indeed I am his best student…or maybe I am my own. I have been healed of serious dis-ease thanks to a combination of homeopathy, nutrition, meditation, creative expression, divine intervention, conscious language, and most of all LOVE (the former modalities are all an expression of this one). I have said “YES!” To love and “NO” to fear, and my body continues to respond, even my ouchy tailbone is healing as I speak with my smile inside and outside.
***
It is now hours later, the wee morning ones. Last night I danced in a Greek circle, yelling “Opa!” Until my belly ached. Still teetering in the bardo between LA and Greek time I shall now will myself to sleep again. And still I smile. Talk with y’all tomorrow.

I can’t help myself! Or….Can I ?

“Stop eating that! Quit playing that stupid game! You really could do something productive! Get out and run, you slug! Walk the dogs, they’re getting fat, too! Have you written at all today??? You know taxes are coming, better get your shit together.”

Oy, the above internal dialogue sounds like I’ve swallowed a terminal case of “Bad Mommy”! Which makes my inner child seriously consider staying in bed the entire day, curled up under the covers sucking my thumb!

I’ve awakened at the un-Janetly hour of 3:45am. The damn heat went on blowing hot air on my already challenged sinuses causing me to sneeze and hack ever so indelicately. (Come to think of it, how does anyone sneeze delicately?) I’m exceedingly tired, and apparently have flipped the “time to pick-on-myself switch” into the “on” position due to match my already weakened physical state.

Guess its time for my inner hero (or McGiver) to say, “HotDamn, I’m gonna figure out how to rewire that sucker, (where is my map, lighter and paper clip?) if it takes me the rest of my life!”

But on second thought, maybe this early hour has merely made me aware of the dialogue yammering within, that’s been there all along and that I often keep myself too busy to really deal with its explosiveness head on.. “Oh shut the fuck up already, you cow!” I’ll not bore you with the additional messages playing on the “Loser” tape which is playing seemingly without provocation…it would make even Tony Robbins depressed or the Hulk very angry, for that matter.

Some people who think they may know me may be entirely surprised reading this. My imagination hears them saying, “Really? She always seemed so secure. Good acting.” Thanks, but.

Rather than psychobabble myself into a Valium (if I had one, which I do not, nor do I take, thank you very much,) I am going to push “erase” and write little words praising ME for my accomplishments, however small they may currently be. Oh? My critic mumbles that may be too cutesy and New Age. Well, T.S. Elliot, I’ve chosen this approach because number one it appears to work well for me and number two, its life-affirming, even if it is sappy. Besides my inner child, not critic (though maybe she, too) needs “good mommy”, for a change.

Here’s what I’ve got thus far.
Instead of “stop eating that!” I’m using “Now that I’m feeling satisfied I can take a nap, walk, read a book…etc”. Good.
Instead of “quit playing…” The words, “I shall play my game when I’ve finished writing as amens of mental r and r.”. Reward …thanks mom.
Instead of “get out and run…” It’s “Oh yes, I can walk with my sweet doggies…and run with Bucky (my husky)”. It sure beats the gym any day! Take that evil bad mommy.
Instead of the accusative “have your written today?!!!” “I’m writing and damn I feel good when I write.”. I’m going to give myself a gold star for that!
Instead of “…taxes…’ let’s see how much my creativity paid me last year!

That little bit of re-molding my inner dialogue has done wonders for me, so far. Even my sinuses are starting to clear. I may be on to something!

And finally, most importantly, instead of running my very own “Loser” tape through to the end and then push the repeat button, I am consciously taking charge of reprogramming my mind to listen to my newly installed and state of the art “Sweet heart” drive. Later this morning, when the sun has started to rise and the birds have awakened from their slumber (yes, even the darn birds are still asleep as I write) I will pour myself a nice cup of tea and plan my new and glorious day.

Thanks mom. I’m going to take a nap til morning. I’ll write again.

Mother – Nature, knows best.

I’m in recovery from last night’s and this past morning’s wedding celebrations…you may have read a bit about this in my previous missive. I actually drank a half a glass of Ouzo…to help me sleep which worked to make me crave licorice sticks but did nothing to make me snooze. For those of you who know me well, well I don’t, as a rule, drink anything other than tea, chocolate, water or smoothies. Hell, I was determined to sleep. What can I say? Like most times when I try to disturb the natural order of my body’s desire to sleep, the ouzo, did nada.

20130827-051916.jpgMy roomie, Meike and I dragged ourselves out of our respective beds, gulped tea (she) and cocoa (me) and headed via taxi to Molyvos or, as it is also know as Mithymna …where the head of Orpheus is said to have been washed ashore after his dismemberment of the Thracian women. Another mythical citizen of Mithymna was the lyric poet and musician Arion – Word has it he was saved (from what?) by the music-loving dolphin….gotta see one. Anyway, we climbed into Dymitri’s taxi and wound our way over the mountains, past countless olive trees (the island’s known for it) and quite a few empty homes for sale from Kalloni to Molyvos.

Yes, Greece has had a tough time steadying their legs from the seasick economy – where are the dolphins when we need them? I am amazed at the resilience of these wonderful people…it does my heart good to witness their smiles, to be given such authentic hugs, even when I understand they have been through very rough economic seas… And I do hope the tide has changed for the better, since the Greeks are one helluva inspiration for anyone who has experienced the phone call from a collection agency … like swimming with hungry sharks. I’m rich with metaphor today, having been a bit dinghy from the previous nights. O’henry where art thou?

Financial economy aside, In the warmth of my new friends here, the riches abound. Their spirits, as mine sing with the healing sounds of birds and cicadas, morning and night. This morning I looked up into the eaves outside our room to watch tiny birds dive bombing wasps and larvae out of the nests housed above me …And to think I thought of asking the hotel staff to destroy these same nests…the balance of nature is delicate…Why do humans (myself included) want to fuck it up?

And here, again, I am reminded of our messing with the all-encompassing natural order of things. The birth, life and decay of all things living both fascinate and terrify us. Our reactions to the cycle of life range from the sublime – our “oohs and aahs” when a baby is born – to the ridiculous – “Hand me the hair-dye” freak out at aging. Its silly aint it? How we inject drugs to slow down our disease and decay, later to embalm our dead bodies, burying ourselves in airtight coffins, rather than let nature take its course. You may disagree about the drugs. Whatever.

So much of the bizarre occurs within the cycle of life, with we “civilized” humans attempting to continue to control the outcome. Our usual MO is to point the finger when we have messed up, rather than take responsibility and rectify the situation. Here I am sorely reminded of the harm of genetic modification, pesticides, herbicides, predatory lending and even prescription drugs…yes, you read that right, all drugs mess with nature. Food IS our best medicine and yet spray it with shit/chemicals that kills us? That’s messed up.

The distortion of our need to control our personal and collective destiny is far beyond my own hippie, eco-warrior cause of the day; it extends to the great fears that motivate us to listen to and believe our corporate and political dictators blasting contradictory directives over our newly purchased Androids and iPads. These fears can compel us to overdraw our bank accounts, purchasing crap we then must buy storage space to put it in, placing us further in debt, only to sell on Ebay for far less than it was worth when we originally vowed to use it regularly, or worse we can purchase homes we know deep down are completely unaffordable. We, in our attempt to stave our fears by consuming, may be decaying from our own modern day consumption and this ain’t a pretty possibility.

However, Conscious Language master, Bob Stevens says, “our greatest weakness can become our greatest strength.” Perhaps our desire for fulfillment can now be recognized as a means to discover what will truly nourish us. Maybe we have had to lose our “debt filled houses” to discover the importance of building sustainable loving homes. To lose our “dead-end, low pay jobs” to discover our true livelihood. To lose our health insurance, and become well beings.

In the process of all this morass of fear, it is “easy” to point fingers at everyone else- the media, doctors, corporations, politicians…but is that truly helpful? Heck, it ain’t even productive. And waiting for dolphins (or anyone else) to rescue us may take longer than we may hope.

The state of the Greek people and economy is a wonderful time for us to look carefully, taking steady and deep breaths, into our own lives and habits. We are all (smiling and unsmiling Greeks included) being given a sort of golden opportunity to look inward at what truly motivates us, to embrace change and chart our own course. As my sweet Max Middleton said and hopefully with his permission, I shall paraphrase, “Change is inevitable. Embrace it as a sacred and natural act.” One has only to look at the tiny birds with the wasp nest in the eaves above to see, nature does indeed know best.

It’s all Greek to Me…and I am smiling!

I’m lying in my air conditioned villa…okay, apartment at the Kaloni Village near Skala Kaloni. It’s been a warm morning of exploration, grocery shopping and deciphering signs and labels. The saying, “it’s all Greek to me!” could never be more true, here in the south of this island that has its history of being so close to turkey, it could actually be part of it. There are many stories of the island changing nations many times – wake up in the morning speaking Greek, go to sleep speaking Turkish, and vice versa… And here they coexist quite beautifully. Regardless of language, a smile is still a smile; there are oodles of smiles here, it is quite infectious.

20130825-050054.jpgMy roommate Meike and I walked through winding streets, past cafes with older men watching us pass by, those Greek men smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee (too early for ouzo) some deep in unintelligible (to us) conversation. We passed shops laden with clothing, or foodstuffs, electronics, etc., sporting signs occasionally and sparingly in english, looking in only briefly. After all, we only went into town for groceries, not to shop per se, and that is a good thing since nothing we’ve seen so far looks worth buying. Except, that is, for the delicious cappuccinos at the Cafe Dream, located in a treed island in the crossroads of the town which is where we took a break from sightseeing before heading to the supermarket for staples. Taxis are cheap, especially split 4 ways, and that’s a good thing since the place we are staying is far out…and I don’t mean 60’s slang.

It is funny how one can assume to understand what another person is saying…combine that with different languages and things can get really complicated! I don’t speak Greek as yet, my German, though I m traveling with many here, is schlecht (bad), and my American English puns abound (for those who know me-no big surprise), words will and do get lost in translation, and still I smile, abundantly. Especially as now I am learning more and more how my smiles are the best language I can communicate with myself and the beings in my world. My smile changes my inner vibration; as I become connected to the cells in my body, they respond joyfully, healing any dis-ease, imprinting and influencing, in a good way (the best influenza) every drop of blood, every organ, bone, ligament, muscle… To support me fully as I experience being here in my body now.

Yes, I have experienced deep, profound and all-encompassing grief, and it is good. Daily, I am embracing the sacred change Max of which spoke so often, even before he embraced it himself – indeed I am his best student…or maybe I am my own. I have been healed of serious dis-ease thanks to a combination of homeopathy, nutrition, meditation, creative expression, divine intervention, conscious language, and most of all LOVE (the former modalities are all an expression of this one). I have said “YES!” To love and “NO” to fear, and my body continues to respond, even my ouchy tailbone is healing as I speak with my smile inside and outside.
***
It is now hours later, the wee morning ones. Last night I danced in a Greek circle, yelling “Opa!” Until my belly ached. Still teetering in the bardo between LA and Greek time I shall now will myself to sleep again. And still I smile. Talk with y’all tomorrow.