Monday, April 27, 2009

Losing My Religion

Originally posted in the spring of 2009,I can't help but think on how the questions I asked in this one have been answered by the events since then.

I will be posting a follow up, a "revisited" of sorts soon.




Here it comes....again......those uncertain weeks when we ask ourselves " is it time yet?" What is this thing that comes to us in early spring? All winter I spend getting excited about things and beginning expressive activities inspired by these excitements. Through the murky November evenings, and the pressing down of January darkness, I work at them. When the mushy ground of February sucks at the soles of my feet, I lose speed. When the Maybe's of March cloud my days, I run out of steam. April's illusion of Sweetness and Peace leave me devoid of the last scrap of momentum, with the exception of the Gardening Urge.



Apologies to REM, as I borrow a bit of an idea.........

That's me in the corner,
That's me in the spot light losing my Ambition,
Trying to see things through,
And I'm not sure if I can do it. Oh no....
I've learned too much,
I haven't learned enough.




Another stab at my education may be shot down by another massive economic recession very like the one that knocked me out of school in the 1970's. How can this be? Could it simply be that Timing is not one of my best played cards? Could it be the Procrastinators Prize for waiting so long to enroll once again and start that journey, ostensibly to 'better' my self, or Upgrade my life as a dear friend once challenged me to do? Well, 'bettered' though I may be, the sad truth is that I am not feeling especially Upgraded. Here, in my senior year ( Yikes! I actually made it that far this time!) I am as broke and nervous about it as I was the week before I enrolled. Perhaps there is a sort of religion in the back of my mind that is centered around achieving that American Dream thing, that false sense of security we foster in ourselves in order to not have to believe in the fact that Nothing In This World is secure. Even now, as I have never believed in the part of my brain that knows better, I am feeling failure creeping around under my window box. I know it's there because every other day, another flower has died from the roots up.



This is not an essay. It is coming out "as is". Take it or leave it folks. As a matter of fact I am doing this today because I have lost the point of finishing what I started 7 years ago. Maybe I'll get past that idea this way, or Maybe not. Maybe if I were beginning, as most students under the age of 21 are, it would feel differently to me. The idea of building a wonderful life around the material I took from college would make more sense then I suppose. The idea of building a wonderful ending makes less sense. The idea that I can't see a way to get the last two or three classes the institution says I need to acquire a sheepskin is like a seed stuck in my dentures. It does not go away, and yet I am forced to keep on chewing the meal set before me as though I am enjoying every bite. The idea that I needed to get food stamps in order to eat during that work is particularly galling to me. The idea that AIG and other Ilk like them are getting bailed out at the same time the Feds are telling me that they won't support my incredibly Under The Radar living expenses for this past school year and maybe one more semester is enough to make me think criminal thoughts.... or revolutionary thoughts....it's all a matter of the readers perspective I guess.




Is it time yet? is it time to finish those 4 papers for class? Is it time to finish that screenplay that keeps staying at page 23? No...it's time to go out and muck about in the garden. Time to lose those thoughts and fears in handfuls of compost, to feed the future with buckets of manure, and not the kind that comes from Washington,D.C. It is warm enough at night now to plant safely down here by the river. Hmmm......the last tomatoes I planted were small,tough and bitter. The news from the Feds, about no more material support, was bad stuff to have on my mind while I tended them. What will grow in my garden this year? What will grow in the garden called America this year? So many are going in together on gardens, even Michelle and the White House Staff. What will they be eating come Autumn? The collective composted thoughts of white collar crime left un-prosecuted? The shortened sleep of families trying to make ends meet, or trying to all sleep in the same cardboard box? The lives of successful students being contorted into fear of a debt too deep to ever satisfy with their labor?


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Signs and Wonders in the 21st Century...or Everything I know Is Wrong.








After reading a couple of paragraphs of Carolyn Myss’s 'Sacred Contracts', over my first few sips of coffee this morning, I returned to the rest of the house, where the television was chatting away with the voices of some Vegetables who were taking on roles from a recent Indiana Jones script. What was I seeing? Why did this nonsense capture my attention so strongly? Can a television play the role of divine messenger? Perhaps it can stand in, momentarily, as Oracle…or hallucination? If Abraham heard a divine voice in a bush that caused his name to change…could a television stand in as a device for divine chit chat? Or am I mixing memories of old Hippy Daze with those of just finishing the making of a movie for school, in which the actors were all Mr. Potato Head toys?

Let me first tell of the events leading up to this:
I woke yesterday at 4:15 AM and, having taken a decision the night before to get up early and bake bread for my gas tank, I fought my way up to compliance and did just that. The morning went fairly smooth as I mixed yeast, flour and water together and set the bowls in a warmer room to ferment. While I waited for those first rises to be done, I turned on the computer and watched the final episode of 'Grey’s Anatomy' with my coffee. (It’s nice to see a favorite show at 5 AM, without a slew of commercials, or phone calls interrupting my entertainment.) After the first Sponge was ready for the rest of the recipe, I mixed and kneaded the dough, then replaced the bowl in the warm room. Halfway through it’s rising, I began another Sponge bowl. When the rising was complete on bowl number 1, I shaped the dough into loaves and set them to rise. I took the second sponge through the same process. During the waiting times, I would wash utensils, check email and have another cup of brew. In the end I had mixed, kneaded, shaped and baked three batches of Vienna bread. By noon, all was out of the oven, cooled on racks and bagged for delivery. The dishes were done and the sink cleaned up.


I then drove to the home of a friend who ordered two loaves for the first time. We visited and had a long overdue chance for conversation. It drifted into the realm of the esoteric, and unexplainable. Our visit was pleasant and when I left we agreed that we would continue the conversation. The weather was windy, and pushed my little truck around a lot. There was a storm going on, comprised mainly of restless air whose momentum and velocity increased throughout the day. That kind of wind becomes white noise, after the first non-stop hour, but grows to dominate one’s attention by the end of the day. By the time I arrived at home I had to use both hands to hold the door open against the wind just to get inside.

Since I could not contact my third customer, I turned to other activities, such as laundry,e-mail and Facebook. There is a thread in my Facebook page, about Lucid Dreaming etc, going on between two members. As I followed this, and a link or two that was included, I consumed a rather large serving of chocolate pudding. This sugary delight, combined with the full work day already behind, me put me into a half, and then full sleep state. I woke at 10:15PM on my bed, still shod and dressed. Great, what do I do at this time of night, fully rested and awake?

I ate some more chocolate pudding, of course, and viewed the Charlie Chaplin film 'Modern Times'. It was on a list of choices for homework in a class at school. The wind was blowing wildly the whole time. Around 1:15AM it rose to such a terrorizing level that I could see the wall of my trailer, 2 feet away from me, beginning to bow inwards. Something was slamming against the outside of the trailer and causing Dog and Cat some fretful moments. They came and planted themselves near me, as if it would make them safer. From experience, I sensed that this was a prolonged gust in excess of 50mph. Were we destined to leave Kansas behind tonight? I heard my neighbor’s picnic table go end over end until it slammed into the side of her trailer. Peeking through the blinds I saw not a single light come on at her place. Oh, to sleep that soundly! The three of us retreated to the bedroom. Musing over the points our instructor asked us to consider in the film, I finally fell asleep again. This is one way I compost material for required writing assignments.

At 7:15 AM this morning, Cat woke me with a gentle tug on my upper lip. “The sun is up, I have to pee and you need to feed me, NOW!” (Rhymes with MEOW!)
We are now, back to the Land of the Living, and the top of this posting’s tale.



Guy Noir, Radio P.I. from
Prairie Home Companion



As stated before, I returned to the rest of the house to find a story playing out an Indiana Jones script, with vegetables as actors. The Cucumber, 'Minnesota', is dressed the way I imagine the detective "Guy Noir" would be; classic London Fog style trench coat, and Bogart felt hat. He was on the trail of Sampson's Hair Brush. The pretty girl was being played by a Sweet Pea vine. They followed the trail to a barber shop in Tuscany. There, two Russet Potatoes portraying barbers, possessed knowledge of the Hair Brush’s secret hiding place. The sense of a Knights Templar thing rose and then fell in this script.


The strangest part (?) was when a rutabaga in a beige version of Boris Badinoff, possessing the voice of Rocky Rococo, rushes in and demands the Hair Brush of Sampson from our detective hero, Minnesota. Oh, I forgot to mention that the rutabaga was Canadian. The characters kept insisting that “he doesn’t look Canadian!”. The little bad guy grabs the brush and rushes off with it. Back at the Barber Shop, our hero, and the Sweet Pea commiserate with the two Russet Barbers over the loss. Suddenly the door opens and two RCMP’s, played by a couple of butternut squash, enter with the little bad guy in hand. Minnesota tells them that the rutabaga did not steal the Brush. In fact,the rutabaga reminded our Cuke of promises he made to Canada, at the time the Hair Brush was found at its hiding place. This is why he gave the Hair Brush to the little Canadian tuber. So the Squash Mounties leave the stage and the rutabaga leaves the stage. The barbers are still sad, and Minnesota goes to lunch with Sweet Pea, where they consume a veggie dish. Is that a comment on cannibalism?

Kids are getting this on Saturday Mornings now? I mean, I know we all wanted some change in programming for kids; less violence,cautionary tales, a bit of moral instruction of some sort etc…but really... Vegetables dreaming of an Emmy? Will kids want to eat their vegetables, if they are now talking to them on television, not to mention interacting with them on the web? I never wanted to eat Mickey Mouse or,gack,Popeye. I kind of wished Tom and Jerry were still beating each other up for grins. You know, something “normal”?




At this point in my morning, I am not sure if I’m awake or asleep. As stated before, I have had one very strong cup of coffee, along with the requisite paragraph or two of reading in the smallest room in the house. I thought when I left that room that I was more or less in the present. As I took a few minutes to absorb the script being played out on the TV screen, my sense of being somewhere else began to grow.

The thread conversation, re: lucid dreaming, re-entered my mental desktop.

It blended with memories of characters from an old Firesign Theatre production about a detective called,

Nick Danger…Third Eye

If your memory of Rocky Rococo,the sound of the rutabaga's voice,more or less, needs refreshing, click this link and choose sound sample #8.






Perhaps the funked up sleeping schedule, that of switching from the ‘9-5’ of school to the 4-noon of a baker,could be twisting me backwards to the Alpha state even as I stood here with my eyes wide open?Are these the Signs and Wonders for the 21st century? Or is it a simple case of Everything You Know Is Wrong?( which is coming to be my only solid belief as I watch the World's events of late unfold...) I can't decide at this time.

The wind has not stopped blowing long enough to break the spell.

I'll check back
on this, maybe after the winds stop... around Memorial Day.



PS: The friend I visited yesterday, just phoned to say that same gust blew her kitchen window into her living room! The weather report posted it's speed at or over 63mph. Ah.....SPRING!







Saturday, March 7, 2009

Imagio's Silly Reviews Page


An insightful and mostly irreverent poke at books I have read and loved or hated. This may become an ongoing blog antic.

The first shall derive from papers I submitted to the interminably patient faculty at the Valencia Campus of UNM. Sometimes I just need to cheer myself up this way.

To paraphrase my Mother (and her Mother) , If you can't say anything nice, for God's sakes at least make it funny.


HOW TO BECOME A HOLY MAN

or

WHAT SIDDHARTHA DISCOVERED ALONG THE ROAD TO NOWHERE

as inspired by

HERMANN HESSE'S NOVEL "SIDDHARTHA"

By Robin DesJardins

Spring 2007


Instructions: Read this thoroughly then throw it away and forget it.



If you are born into wealth and comfort, walk away from it. If you are born with nothing, spend half of your life struggling to get wealth and comfort and then walk away from it.

Learn to live on nothing. Hang out on the side of the road until you resemble a starving dog. Starve until you can see through yourself.

“ Find a girl, settle down. If you want you can marry. Look at me; I am old but I'm happy”, (Cat Stephens, Father and Son).

Go into town and find a rich woman. Let her give you a nice suit, a job connection and a son.

Learn how to be the life of the party. Be generous and hang out , get drunk with gamblers, phonies and bums. Wake up one morning and notice the crow's feet on her face. Notice the pot belly and flabby mind you have acquired. Notice how you have turned into the opposite of what you left home to become. Tell yourself it's all for nothing and ........walk away from it all. (What?)

Go to the river. Wash the self loathing from yourself, if you can. Suffer , suffer, and suffer yourself until you would rather die. Ah...now you're getting somewhere! You are still on the road to Nowhere. Since you cannot even kill yourself, you just surrender to simply Being.

Are we there yet? No, but it's not far now. You still have attachments to loose: Your son will die, his mother too. Finally, your mentor tells you to make friends with something and then wanders off into to the woods, never to be seen again. Is there no end to this suffering? “ Maybe yes....maybe no” Say this out loud while holding your nose. ( Rocky Rococo, Nick Danger Third Eye by Firesign Theater, 1969 )

Finally, you stop thinking. After all, this has been the source of most of your problems all along. Try making friends with a stone. Try listening to the river that would not kill you. Notice the stone needs nothing, does nothing and yet it succeeds at being what it is. Notice the river does not need to apologize or explain itself. It is as the stream of life, bringing everything to you, if you wait long enough. Notice how the river is everywhere else, even while it seems to be right in front of you, as you have been everywhere and yet only moving in place.

You have been every kind of man by now, and found the thing you wanted to know. All of the roles and costumes can be cast off. What remains is Being, and connectedness is not attachment. As your friend the stone waited a million years to become itself, and will wait longer to become sand again, so too will you become and un-become. The stone does not care...and neither do you.



Congratulations! Now , you are a Holy Man.


In case you've never read or heard of this book before:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b_1_4?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=siddhartha+hermann+hesse&sprefix=Sidd







Monday, March 2, 2009

From the Big Orange Chair


I bought a big, orange chair recently. It rocks, swivels and sometimes puts me to sleep. Every time I come home it greets me with that orange color, upstaging Sally's loud welcoming barks. I think it wanted to be gold in color but just didn't make the dye lot. The best way to overcome my rather pale love of Orange, in fabric, is to just sit in the chair. Small of stature though I may be, this effectively hides most of the disagreeable color.

In the world of my parents and older ancestors, chairs designed for thinking and studying were brown, dark green or maybe a racy cordovan hue. The upholstery was often an ancestor of the loopy half of Velcro. I could easily locate and aggravate a hang nail on that stuff. If you wanted to get daring and modern, you might go with leather and lots of brass tacks. These were normally in a lawyer's or doctor's office. As a kid, I thought I'd be a lawyer, just so I could have no excuse not to have leather chairs with brass tacks. Mom was always telling me to 'get down to brass tacks'. Not a one to be found in our house, unfortunately!

A chair like this serves more than a few vital functions in my life. Just to come home and crash down into it is it's first and foremost duty. I do this when I have a lot to think about, and would prefer to digest, rather than actively think my way through things. A chair such as this could be the birthing place of great novels, brilliant screen plays, or tragic love songs. A chair such as this is just what the doctor ordered when the kidneys start kicking like an unborn child 40 years over due. It's a great place to slurp chicken soup when one is entertaining the flu. I turn my head to the west window and watch the cranes go squawking past overhead. My fingers get to stroking the soft nap of that velour upholstery. This triggers associative thoughts by the dozens. See?
Thinking is not as encouraged as flow-charting the endless waters of the mind in a chair like this. Perhaps that's the reason for horsehair, loopy victorian fabric and leather in the Thinking Chairs of old?

Yesterday, I woke to the kicking of the kidneys, and resigned my self to The Chair for The Day. Yes, the whole day and night! I watched every episode of Stargate Atlantis on the computer. The chair became my Command Seat in the Shuttle Craft. The chair became my hideout from the Hybrid Zombies created by Micheal the bad guy from the Pegasus Galaxy. The chair became my sanctuary from thinking in general. Every time I had to get up it waited, faithful as a dog, for my return. The seat was still warm. It does not creak complaints. It knows when I need cuddling. It knows when I need to cry. It, better than any other, knows all of my favorite foods and doesn't mind wearing them from time to time. At the end of that day, I could have sworn I heard it sigh quietly, as I got myself up to go to bed.

Could I have finally found my perfect relationship?

It is most fortunate that The Chair lets me know when it's time to do things, like go to bed. When it's time to write about stuff, I have to sit in this ugly wobbly old office chair on stuck wheels. I suffer the lumps in the seat and the unadjustable backrest banging on the kidneys willingly, like one who loaths being at an office cubicle all day, because I know who is waiting for me to return and make it all feel better again.



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

OBAMALOS! On Route 66, UNM main campus, 11/04/08


Though not my choice pick for movie debut on a blog, the cell phone video phenomenon has earned a place in the scheme of things. There we were, on 'Super Tuesday', trying to remind drivers on Central Ave. to go and vote, for Obama of course. I think we were mostly trying to get them to blow their car horns a bunch. Nevertheless, a good time was had by all. I published this on YouTube, just to learn how to convert the movie using Quicktime Pro.


video