Stream – Mourning pages 1/12/22

I’ve casually collected royalty cards for about 20 years. I like to study the differences in the faces. You know, take meditative mini breaks to gaze at images, as we do with art.

I recently posted a mention of the Suicide King’s head stab as being a lost-in-translation situation. I’ve met a handful of artists who associated with the haunting self-sabotage of this image. Just as I did and do. How funny to find out it is all a big misunderstanding stemming from generations of artists lightly tweaking what they see from worn copies (prior to the printing press). There’s something about the subtle decisions on facial expressions from deck to deck. The Queen is worried, determined, glum, drunk, manic, cherubic. There is one card where she has a teeny smile. Jack looks like a young boy who smelled something that turned him into a mustached man whose lip brow sits between himself and the kingdom, thereby proceeding him.

I know I’m streaming into my blog and therefore should explain that last bit, but it is already a lot that I’m forming sentences. No one really thinks in sentences except maybe TV characters like Carrie Bradshaw. Also, I explain references to the Book of Thomas and even Montessori in a video I shot last year using these cards. It’s a series of face morphs from card to card, shot to accompany an After-Death Plan song. We need to release that to the world…of course, ADP has been sitting on finished videos from just before the pandemic. I haven’t felt like sharing anything, except writing and that’s because I’ve been exposed to a supportive group of talented creators. One day we’ll all be okay again? Post-pandemic sages full of appreciation.

The power of the cards, to me, has to do with our developmental visual processing of high contrast colors, black and white with the flashing red. Yellow after we get out bearings on the first three. Then there’s the archetypal logic system, the four seasons divided into weeks totaling a year, a royal for each month, and a suit for each solstice. Basic highly metaphoric symbols that correspond to the four elements, then resound as one’s folds of vision and insight develop.

I’ll save it for the linear notes on the After-Death Plan video.

When I hunted for this picture, I found it in an email I’d sent to a writer friend last year. I’d gotten up early to write and was still stretching my brain waves out of a lucid dreaming state. Sometimes you can find a writer to correspond with who understands creative flow and you can say just about anything to them without it sounding weird. So I told him of the serpentine nature of my dream and what Jung said about the separation needed to birth new consciousness…and something about the order brought out of confusion in a process similar to the birth of the cosmos out of chaos. And of how several myths describe creation as separation.

I’d helped a friend move a lot of stuff after decades years of marriage and my lat muscles were spasming in my sleep, which probably translated to snakes in my back, which probably translated to the deeper processing about the destruction of a tribe member’s relationship and stability. I never did process the loss of my friend’s partner as tribe; I had to choose sides to help my person through the pain. Honestly, they’d nested in a way that had all on autopilot and something had needed to change for some time. As friend, all you can do is take notes for your own relationship, unless the person asks to hear what you think. Then hope they remember that they asked your opinion, so you aren’t used as a scapegoat once their anger/hurt recedes. Best of luck in those situations.

Anyway, the dream was a reframing; it broke a ouroboric cycle and from that came the divine creation of transcendence to greater meaning renewed from the rubble. Or something like that. I’m not currently in the thick of it. There were some million militia march madness dumpster fires everywhere then, as the shadows of a blaming world came online in their isolation, flooding the solitudinous with that brand of high school bestie posturing and not “overthinking” anything…in the least…except for perhaps ranting on how they’ve been wronged.

The worst shadow attributes of blamers were everywhere. Even a few people I’d liked enough to invest time on became negative peekers who lurked around policing people’s actions, rolling their eyes at their expression, and overestimating their importance when it came to the lives of others. Tragically, not as much good comes to people who do not celebrate fortune (unless their own). It’s basic law of attraction: fortune avoids those who avoid fortune, and their bitter pills. Envy is about low self-worth, which can be hard to dig into and heal. A lot of people turn to mantras or songs to generate a balance of wavelengths. It beats sitting around nodding about how narcissists and toxic people hurt them, when often they’re comfortable and didn’t want to read any further into looking at themselves or their projections. Too much effort! Overthinking! Or, someone scolded them as children for being too precocious or high-and-mighty. Told them that their forming opinions didn’t matter because they had not yet formed. Anger at this is a necessary stage, but forgive the souls behind such bad handling of stress, responsibility, and sometimes resentment of lost youth. Free them, free yourself.

I’m still trying to get the book FutureYou together, speaking of explosions and rubble. I need to bring in Cere’s ex sooner but can’t do flashbacks because it would further confuse the sequence. Think I’ll introduce him early via text.

[Cere is hanging out with Maena and Emma. ]

My phone buzzed. It was him.

“Everybody shut up.”

I’ll have to take you back several years for you to understand the psychic poverty I feel when I hear from him. Only thing worse is the constant feeling that I’ll never hear a thing from him again. None of these intense feelings of abandonment are even his fault. Most of them anyway and the rest is on me. I made a joke about it: Two anxious attachment styles walk into a bar and ignore each other. Rim shot: Ba dum tssh.

I looked at the text. There it was, short and sterile like a note to pick up milk on your way home—whatever hole or hearth you call home these days. I hate uncertainty. It’s like locking everything down in a waiting room. It’s like airport security when you’re late for your flight. It’s watching a train coming and not knowing if jumping in front of it would cause more or less pain. I’m so bunched up at this point that the preoccupation is all I have to move things forward past suppression–suppression that feels as if it is about to walk into detached repression and never look back. Rumi wouldn’t take that shit. You say what you want to say even if it’s crazed; no, before it gets crazed. Why am I so nonexistent? It’s probably that S&M pincushion he’s hung up on. I get that we feel nothing and hurt our bodies, but do you really want the mentality of a petulant and disconnected child for a lover? I realize I just described myself but my obnoxious discontent is wiser, seasoned…I daresay endearing? I mean, we keep the childlike state—keep the inner child’s freedom intact—but you have to curve the tantrums and the general qualities of an unexamined, immature human being. 

She said as she stereotyped someone she’d only seen one picture of—fuck, this is some sophisticated posturing.

That’s enough of that. I’ll soon figure out a subscription button that doesn’t need a lot of extra steps. From there, I want to bring in some guest writers. Reach out if you want to get in on that action.

Sing Along

Image pictured: The King of Hearts was recopied by hand over time until his battle ax turned into an uncanny sword in the skull, from the fascinating article on the Suicide King by Simon Wintle on The World of Playing Cards website.

I keep coming back to the same melody, like the one in this piece that just poured out. So today, armed with what are now eight verses, I will work on the song and whittle it down to two or three verses once the music bed is laid. I haven’t had a song knock this hard on my brain door in some time. Then again, I’ve never gone this long without singing. What a strange few years this has been, navigating the pandemic and trying to come to terms with who I am, what I want out of life, and what no longer fits my self-actualization as an independent thinker and artist.

Sing Along

I searched epochs for a muse
like you, the pen sequences
from this hand. Fits.
Natural patterns move,
send nurturance along a thread,
rebuild the scaffold skeletonic
I love you, too.

We’ve no control. Intolerance is
worry fortified by stress, we
targets show resilience; our childly
needs were never met.
Encouragement spurred
from bereavement, celebrated
those achievements acted on
behalf of their own neglect.

My heartstrings tighten, tune
the songs that mourn rejection,
search the faults for reassurance
from the past, scrolling ghosts,
and casting shadows
on the places where love reigned,
cut off the arms that shouldered
blame. You fills the pages
where your mark is honored
in a future song.
I hope you’ll sing along
I hope you’ll sing along
I hope you’ll sing along

writing prompts: from full to new moon in Sagittarius & Capricorn 2022

prompts: barrage charm disguise quiet flashbacks reasonable spotlight passengers becoming renewals

December 18, 2021 to January 1, 2022

from the full moon to the new moon in Sagittarius & Capricorn

The salesman used a barrage of charm to disguise his goal of extracting as much money as he could from her. She stood abruptly and announced she would return after lunch. “Wait!” He cried, “$100 off!” But she’d been advised beforehand: Don’t rush, read the fine print, and always be prepared to walk away.

It’s a quiet connection now.
Some nights, flashbacks blare
and cough, their clamant yawps
muffled by a stuffed shift.
The redress alters me
into a reasonable
block of ice;
thaw will come,
internal, with hope

The Ram

A spotlight glances across the land,
like twinkling stars to passengers
headed east; The beast, it flies
and reasons o’er the Black Sea.

Ambassador Spectacular,
hold on tight, don’t handle her;
This chauffeur-alien won’t be fleeced.

Backward, in the nick of sky,
in dark absence of moonlight;
it scans the clusters
searching for its kind.

“Das Zeichen des Bundes” from Genesis section of Augsburger Wunderzeichenbuch (ca. 1552)

like tangerine spray glint,
peel back a summer day when
sunlight filtered longer
through the pied air,
becoming rainbows.

But he never wants
what he has,
so he never gets
what he wants;
then you realize
the circle disappears
beyond the undying horizon.

I’m proud of us: Strong
and conscientious,
Our love renewals,
delight for life,
through growth, detach
suspicion as we do from
feeling what is good
about a friend.

We truly are
each other’s people
Agreed to expect
our loyal best;
To cast away

Stream – Mourning Pages 1/3/22

Thanks for the tango with the dark side. Lord Vader says hello and I lost a chunk of my brain. Good news is that fewer people can affect me to the point of losing my mind now. As long as I stay sober, there will be no bottles of pills to swallow or precipices to examine. I also have my boo who could never live with himself if he just snapped off a piece of my heart then salted the rest of it with a message that it’s because of what a terrible person I am; stood there shaking his head saying, “Sad. Really sad.” Jesus, Becky, you are a mean girl pill. I’m really sorry about all of the men that like me. Let’s just put this out there where it can get some air: She can’t keep her men.

There you go. Finally, someone said it. You knew they were all thinking it. I knew that you knew that I knew that you knew it, because of the criticisms you threw on your other friend you stayed passive-aggressively angry with for years. You know, the one you’ll try to reconnect with after giving me the boot. The one who, when that guy did to you what you just did to me, you ruminated over her not responding correctly and took it as an implication that she thinks you can’t keep men in your life. Maybe she did, probably not. It’s called a projection and it’s what you fear people are thinking. Projections can be wild within grief, especially when you’re trying to appear like everything is okay. Look social media, here’s a picture of my sandwich. Mmmm! See how normal I am? Ew, look at that frumpy sandwich hater over there. Do you know what I heard about them?

You’ll attempt to reconnect with that friend, empty your bladder on my privacy, and ruminate on her every fifth word until it becomes a black enchantment that mathematically equates a new language of dead code which opens a demon hole, summoning a groggy mucker who will feast on your soul the moment it realizes what a sloppy wizard you are with controlling the dark forces you summon. And you’ll be helpless to do anything about it because it is only banished by empathy. Ruin and denial are just dessert toppings to this thing. Mmmm!

Either way, nothing will change because it’s just a cathartic little pick-me-up when you casually slay someone who trusted you with her very life and did the work every time a paranoid thought came into her own head. I did trust you and love you and absolutely did not put you down. What you have is a self-esteem issue which is completely understandable because I’ve seen some people do some disappointing things to you. None of those people were me. Could have been twenty-five years ago, but hasn’t been with us. You do not get to break my brain. Humpty Dumpty has a difficult time in this brain. But did you know that I’ve actually helped people? I know that’s crazy and vain, but it’s actually not; that was the inner critic talking. You have to tell it to shush and maybe don’t emotionally rely on people who don’t understand that?

But we do have to emotionally rely on someone, don’t we? Vulnerability. We know that children of emotional neglect can’t really see their own needs but do become astute observers of other people’s needs; they think there’s something wrong with them, toggle anger and anxiety, battle self-esteem, and are highly capable; but it’s a real struggle to emotionally validate ourselves because we didn’t learn it while developing. Oh boy, what a know-it-all—shush!

I’ve had to cut people off who have a destabilizing effect on me in order to compose myself and grow. I don’t think I reached in to tear anyone into a companionable state of misery. Though I was rather cold to someone and hope to make it right. I was scared because THIS is me being upset. It sucks. I have so much work to do and am emotionally threadbare on the topic of insecure chimpanzees and bonobos swinging at me to try to reclaim some feeling of power. My morning writing is not for them and it’s not for you. Once I wrote a poem about you caring for the birds. That was nice. This is not.

I gotta go pick all the eggshells off my shoes. You may want to trace whoever told you everything’s about you when you were growing up. And also trace that arctic punisher. Set those children free.

Streaming in the afternoon

My father’s birthday is in two days. I still can’t believe he’s gone and it has affected my motivation. Gatlinburg burned right after he passed. He took us there when we were kids and stayed there once a year when snowbirding to Titusville every winter in his retirement. That would have hurt him. Then Trump took office and the world burned a bit. It’s been civil chaos. Then this pandemic took isolation to a natural level. Right now I trying to understand when it’s safe for my family who caught Covid to return to their routines. Dad used to help me figure out logistics of things.

Harvard says, “In July 2021, the CDC recommended that anyone who is fully vaccinated and comes into contact with someone who has, or is suspected of having, COVID-19 should get tested three to five days after exposure. In addition, you should wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until you receive a negative test result. If you are vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine, but you should isolate if you develop symptoms or receive a positive test result. Previously, the CDC had said that someone who was fully vaccinated only needed to get tested after exposure if they were experiencing symptoms. The change follows new evidence regarding the Delta variant, which shows that people who are vaccinated and then get infected (breakthrough infections) can spread the virus to others, perhaps to the same extent as those who are unvaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated, a 14-day quarantine remains the best way to avoid spreading the virus to others after you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19. According to CDC guidelines, you may discontinue quarantine after a minimum of 10 days if you do not have any symptoms, or after a minimum of seven days if you have a negative COVID test within 48 hours of when you plan to end quarantine.”

So, Dad, if my brother, nephew, brother-in-law, mother-in-law, and stepson got Covid and got sick, then when can we see them? We were all together ten days ago. One got sick the next day, one got sick three days later, and one got sick four days later. I’m vaccinated, boosted, and have had no symptoms of anything (except a slight pain in my ass). I tested negative before contact, three days after contact and seven days after contact. I went to two places just yesterday and wore a mask. Your son-in-law has also been testing negative, but he did drop off an oxygen sensor to—

You know what, I figured it out. I just needed to take a breath and talk to someone rational. I’m going to write you a poem for your birthday this year. I still have Whitman, Sandburg, and all the books you gave me. And I even read the wild ones you warned me against, because what else would I do with her madness? It is in me. I’ve pointed the tips on her leash outward at least.

Dad, you would not believe this: scientists corrected a gene mutation in a live animal. My head is spinning, but no one I know really finds this kind of thing interesting, except my husband who marvels with me but you know how fast the marvels go. I can’t commandeer his mind with my associations. I read a cool piece on biocentrism and it reminded me of a song I wrote not long after you died called Hurricane Irene. I do wish I’d studied math to the extent that you did, but the logic equivalents of words has always suited me better. I’m sorry about my silence. I’ve been working on a formula. I need to keep Mom in the room, too. Early mom. Really wish you two had found a way to smile about your time together. I understand now why you didn’t smile more at us when things fell apart. We’re all human.

I’m going to read some things out loud to you just in case you can hear me. Of course you can’t, but then again, what do we know? It can’t hurt. And talking to you makes me feel safe, loved, and valued. I love you.

Think Highly

Its prickly thoughts drop
pointed like tears,
at times landing
round and soft,
pooling as a placid lake,
lulling as summer rain
Should all land in chance
of familiar modal harmony,
I’ll think highly of myself
as often as possible—mantras,
maxims, motivations taped;
post-it notes on the window:

Lay out the facts.
Do your work.
Trust your intelligence.

Taped to my sun visor in my car:
I love all of me, even
my suffering and uncertainty.

On a lunch sack in Sharpie:
Love yourself & hold steady;

if time, I’d written:
Don’t get knocked off your love game.

I eek around corners to add to mirrors
double reminders. But none could keep
me where I needed to be or keep
you from getting angry.

“Who do I think I am?” You asked.

Yell echoes
its sonic spell
flicks an avalanche;
the delicate enchant-
ments buried in snow
Search parties
dig for the bones
of our crumpled body

On the long journey back
to sense of self and confidence,
slowly grows my clone—this one
tattooed in reminders—to think
highly of herself as often as possible.

Regrets on the eve

I regret my angered broken
heart, the warp on its record,
and the times I tried to heal
someone who’d understand.

I regret the rip of loneliness
into my solitude, that a few
good friends weren’t enough
at times. I regret trying
to resurrect my lost family
in reminders of connections.
I regret my mind wasn’t strong
enough to keep you with me.
I regret love’s affectation on
my gaping train of thoughts,
too scared to tell you what
I cannot confide to keep
outside of my mind.

There’s not a lot left to take
into this new year now. I am
content with who needs me,
with the learning curve
of each new sensation,
in chats with the air
and essence of minds
before me. And even us
before trust lost to fear.

Stream – Mourning pages – 01/01/21

You’re bringin’ on the heartache Takin’ all the best of me, oh can’t you see? – Def Leppard

Happy New Year! One of my uber-important best friends gave me the pink slip last night out of nowhere. I’d see her once or twice a week to practice yoga and we’d talk, smile, and hug goodbye. Her stupid Christmas gift is sitting on my desk. I’d gotten one-word answers to inviting her for dinner or checking in over the last few weeks. I could not tell if my friend was being distant because she needed space or if she needed company. She had a hard year, major unfairness, and a broken heart. I texted her:  “Hey, I get a sense I shouldn’t text? You don’t respond. Please let me know if I upset you somehow. Not my intention.” She responded with this doozy of a text:

Anything that starts out with “First of all” and is this long can’t be good. Turned out she didn’t want to be my friend anymore, so decided she’d level with me in an arctic, nuclear text ending our friendship, offering no conflict resolution, and using her anger to hurt me as her latest target. I don’t knock her when we get together. My husband will tell you that I put the kabosh on anything negative being said about her and it’s only fucking praises that came out of my mouth. I was committed to keeping our friendship for the long haul. The best part of this text is where she tells not to respond out of respect. Respect! Blame and run—emotionally detach, shut me out, dump years of commitment, and justify it. This same thing was just done to her by a guy and it broke her heart. So she did it to me! 

And let’s talk about the man who did that to her. My husband and I were never invited to hang out with him, though I found out much later that they hung with her other friends all the time! Weird. She didn’t like telling me about things that bothered her about him because I’d perceive his character based on how he treated her. She’d say things like he never introduced her to his friends then watched my face to later decide I’m judging her–a real setup. Last people she’d dated did some horrible psychotic things to her and I was there for her in the aftermath. But instead of exercising the self-respect that would keep one from shirking their friends with the next potential partner, I was left out of the fold for my unnerving clarity. Oh, and it was suggested I’d been blamed for her past alcohol use which started well before we met. He didn’t want us going out because she drinks with me? But I didn’t actually go out much and get up early, and I was the one who introduced her to exercise which is mostly how we spent time, so she really just sacrificed me to align with his sobriety. Her own personal scapegoat! I saw it clearly, shrugged, and forgave her. I forgave her each time she postured that her anger was in check by projecting on me about my anger. Her soundbite lately has been to say that my anger is scary—poor thing! Anything to avoid doing her own shadow work. 

She desperately needs shadow work. There’s always something irking her. She’d eventually get mad at this uber-hyphen. Psychic wars at work, perceived slights left and right, cutting family members out of her life, policing her neighbors, becoming super cranky with passive-aggressive blaming and constructing conclusions based on anxiety and past damages; ruminating on whoever is left standing beside her instead of meditating to fight the inner critic who just wants to fight. This is her pattern. It was only a matter of time for me. No doubt she’s connecting with that old friend she crapped on in spades, now that her complaints in said text sound a lot like what she cranked on about her old friend. She has to be targeting someone to get out of facing herself and the rubs on her mirror. This text was such an awful projection that I couldn’t be sad. My response sucked:

And it got worse. The whole thing sent me into a tailspin, probably the intended effect. Why else blindside and discard me like a bad habit on New Year’s Eve? I know she started seeing a therapist because we always talked at length and I’d encouraged therapy and therapeutic writing. It was such a load of bullshit and I’ve already been through this since Covid started. She’s not the first person to lash out at me over their own insecurity. And she threw that loss of friendship in my face to hurt me. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have told her about it.

Do my female friends know that I don’t have any female friends? Anyone know why someone would accuse a girl of having no female friends? Is she saying that I need male attention or that she’s mad that she doesn’t have male attention? Very confusing. I also think she should be straight with her new therapist instead of putting her stuff on me and not the guy who cut her off and publicly said terrible things. She invited me to Thanksgiving last month, but I had an in-law gathering that ran late. I did consider us family, but I don’t need the kind of family that casually betrays you with a note to return her keys. The “woes” about me she mentions was about my family getting stranded out-of-town after a fire-related engine failure. I had to stay home to help figure out what to do as they were hours away in a town that had no open rental or mechanic shops. With a cracked engine block, we haven’t had a car in about a month. There was no offer for a ride. Just a scolding about my whining over telling her my woes for apologizing that I couldn’t make a gathering. I directly communicated that we’ve been overwhelmed with holidays and heaps of stuff and half the family getting Covid. Did she give a honk about any of this? No. Built a case against me. Why couldn’t I read her pain…I worked on healing her muscle issues for years. I started our exercise habits and got her into history walks, nature hikes and this whole time she thought I wanted her to feel bad about herself? I am not amused. This projector is like a Hammer horror film stretched to the wrong ratio. Hyphen hyphen hyphen. I wish I had a farm I could dance around while putting on airs; suck on a hayseed and ignore anything that isn’t practical or godly. She’s leaving anyway, so this was all probably just a convenient excuse to burn it all down with a bonus drama and victim sympathy. I actually understand burning it all down. Wait–was that condescending to say I understand? Sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry. Sorry sorry.

I can’t feel guilty over perceived slights after putting years of consistent time and energy into caring about my core relationships. Truth is, this resentment and relational aggression has been holding me back. I asked my friends not to reach out to make sense of it because an attempt there will probably be made to put tension on our relationships. I’ve seen this before. I’m strong, hard-working and unafraid to be proud of myself or my friends. It’s clear a number was done on her head as a child over thinking too highly of herself and doing anything expressive. She likes to call artists interested in many things narcissists! Perhaps she was kept small and maybe that’s why she’d go silent when I discussed things that mattered to me like my music or writing or engineering. How pretentious! I used to cover up the best parts about myself, so she’d feel comfortable. I finally started writing in prompt groups which she ignored. She’s not the first and I’ve moved on to supportive artists—not going to stop. I work hard on my stuff and have outgrown people who are uncomfortable with my growth or frame my rich inner world as selfish, just because theirs is detached with emotions unexpressed, jumbled, and un-communicated. And now, evaded for a grip on control! Poor victim not gonna take no shit!

Never feeling good enough had nothing to do with me, but she put her suspicions on a safe person who would have been loyal to her forever. Too bad, she absolutely deserves love as much as I do. But I’ll never give my power to her again. This heart is closed for business.