Too often we think about spiritual transformation in vague terms or only in terms of higher states of consciousness. Imagine how it would change your relationship to the spiritual life if your actual development as a woman or as a man—emotionally, morally, philosophically, and spiritually—was your goal. Spiritual transformation would start to mean something very real, really fast.
You mean, it doesn’t already mean something? I did take this webinar and it was excellent—very interesting ideas, and not the usual stuff I’ve heard so many times I don’t hear it anymore.
Not that there’s anything wrong with those other spirituality sites. It’s just for me, at this point on my path, I am full to the eyeballs and flowing out my ears with positive thinking and the Secret and salvation through compassion.
What if I’m wrong? What if God really did set up one way to salvation one way only do this or burn in eternity. Is it worth the cheap thrill of superiority I feel when I mock and make mouths at evangelical Christians when they do or say something ludicrous, if it means I will burn in hell for all eternity because really, they WERE right? I should disown all my gay friends, find a straight man ASAP willing to overlook a few irregularities in my sexual history? I’m 48 but still get a period, I might could even fulfill the woman’s only true purpose for existing and plop out a bundle of muffed-up dna (my eggs by now are so old I imagine them all shriveled up like raisins–how could a healthy baby come from that mess no matter how fresh the boy part is–not that I’m a cougar or anything. I’m not anything at the moment, nor do I care to be anything. But if I were, hmmm…. maybe I would try for a piece of young healthy stallion to rattle my peri-menopausal bluestocking hormonal poetry slam.
oh wait, I need to close a paranthesis there, somewhere, don’t I? For all the reading and writing I do, considering I have a BA in English, you’d think I’d be better with grammar and spelling–no. Who can keep track of this ridiculous melting pot of a language with more execptions than there are rules? Please see my blogs suggesting improvements for the English language. Now if only I could remember where I saved those files…)
I have a memoir, a novel, several short stories, a play, a screenplay, and dozens of poems sprawled out over a series of years and tears and rigorously honest and stylistically experimental words words words scrawled sprawled scattered all over the walls and the my journals and notebooks and cocktail napkins with famous author’s phone numbers wadded around chewing gum, never to be retrieved. Written on the scars on my skin, in my heart, my head, why even my fingers give away my sexual orientation. (Both fingers exactly the same length, if you must know)
I am an open book. I’ve been too naive to cover myself up when slashed so you see me bleed and are embarrassed and I am ashamed.
When I got my first period, age 12 I guess, my mother was dying. I couldn’t interrupt that solemn process with silly teenage problems. I was way too shy, excruciatingly shy, pathologically shy, to ask any other woman for help, not even my grandmother. I remember listening to 2 girls talking in the lavatory in 4th or 5th grade, asking, “which teacher would you go to if you got your period at school?” I was horrified by the very thought. “Tell no one,” I thought to myself. Why on earth would they WANT to tell a teacher something like that.
And these were girls who had well mothers at home prepared to handle these things. It didn’t occur to me then I might leak through my pants…this was a terror way beyond any concrete, actual cause. This was a miasma of fear, global, massive, all-enveloping; actual details blurred. I took care of it with toilet paper and scotch tape. I don’t recommend it as a solution.
Yet here I am, 48 years old, and at the other end of the menstrual scale, still fretting about the miasma-like fear enveloping me since I was tossed out of my marriage last year like a used…teabag. I’d thought I was set: my tiny disability check wasn’t enough to live on–I didn’t get much of a working life between school and decrepitude, but I was secure with my husband’s hefty service-connected disability, free medical for life, and the highest social security possible on top of that–he’d worked as a physician before becoming disabled so topped out on retirement benefits, lucky dog. That was supposed to be my legacy, my reward for keeping that vet alive 20 years beyond his life expectancy when he was diagnosed with alpha one anti-tripsyn emphysema twenty-one years ago.
He said so himself, I’m not taking credit where no credit is due. He said it often. How much he owed me. Hah. Hah. Hah. Liar.
oh, dear, how did I dig myself into THAT old hole?
Well, every story told is a wound aired and prepared for healing.
Funny, I just blogged about Temple Grandin, wondering if others related to her way of seeing things, feeling things–I was watching the movie and bells went off left and right and at one point I just started bawling (when she is calmed by the fuzzy cow box), so I asked on a blog in Owning Pink if others thought Temple was odd or if they related? I’ve even said, give me a wire covered with fur and a nipple and I’m happy as a clam. I never DID get how one human being can physically comfort another.
Nine or ten years ago, when my cat died, the pastor at our MCC asked if there was anything he could do.
I thought about it.
“Can you bring Fiki back to life?”
No. Well then, no, there was nothing he or anyone could do to lessen the pain.
I can weep now, not for the cat, but for the woman I was, who could not imagine getting comfort from another human being, unless it was to completely reverse the situation so the pain never happened. That’s how I dealt with my mother’s death when I was 13. The night she died I made a conscious decision, alone in my room, to pretend I’d never had a mother at all. I did that so well I was unable to utter the word “mother” or, worse, “mommy” (I couldn’t even THINK ‘mommy’. My heart would collapse.)
And all that sadness, that unimaginable grief was what I carried around in a sack with me for 35 years. Well beyond the time of its usefulness, that radical defense I put up to protect a girl just blossoming into womanhood as her mother was dying in agony from metastesized cancer holds fast in some ways even today. Even after freeing myself from what I hope was the last of the self-inflicted punishments I arranged for myself by throwing a Dakini fit that scared the bejezus out of my spouse, although I know now I was not interested in physical violence at all. It was all smoke and mirrors, theatrics, and I am a theatrical woman–born under the sign of Virgo but with moon in Leo and Sagittarious rising–I will pitch a childish hissy fit but my stern schoolmarm over persona has not (yet) allowed me to cause any real damage. Except to myself, of course. And of course, I deserved it.
Of course I did.
Wrong. You are WRONG, Virgo schoolmarm. You DO NOT always know what is best for us. (not a royal ‘we’ but a pathological, dissociative, life-saving ‘we’) Chill. Give it a rest. Put the whip down. It didn’t work for Seabiscuit and it won’t work for me.
Like Seabiscuit, I WANT to perform like a functional adult. I want to be an asset to society. I want an honorable life. Well, he wanted to win races, to run, but the feeling is the same. If only I knew how–if only I didn’t get THIS close…time and time again, only to fail. It’s hard to rev yourself up for the starting gate time and time again, 48 years of false starts, having the gate crash down on my head, losing my footing and falling on the track, getting pushed into the inner fence by quicker, unkind horses who KNOW how to win, falling and breaking my neck, my legs, my back, only to go back to my stable and find someone has got my goat…someone stole the only comfort had.
The things I chose to comfort me were not very healthy. If only I’d had Temple Grandin’s fuzzy cow box when I was 13, I might not have picked up wine, then brandy, then vodka, then careless sex or radical dieting or diet pills…I might not have acquired a disease that mimics my psyche: my immune system can’t tell friend from foe so it whacks everything in its path. It can’t tell my thyroid from a virus, so it eats them both. I take a veeeery expensive medicine to mute my immune system, which in turn makes me vulnerable to all sorts of opportunistic infecitions. So far I’ve been lucky. Nothing a little Cipro couldn’t knock out in a few weeks. I’m knocking wood here. I may not believe in God, but Woden I appease.
I read nurses are very supersticious, more than average. I think it’s because we face such massively destructive forces (human disease/intractable bugs in the milieu/M.Dieties) on a daily basis, and are still expected to be Mary Sunshine, bringing positive attitudes and sanitizing hand gel to hold back the onslaught. When we really need silver bullets, stakes and mallets, holy water, and a wreath of garlic.
Now, this was supposed to be a positive blog about how good I’m feeling and how I’ve figured out so much, even if the teaching Buddhist monk who came to town this weekend was not the guru I’ve been holding my breath for.
Actually, Dick Sutphen was, and what’s wrong with me that I can’t be grateful for that, continue online with his teachings…because psychic shit scares me, that’s why. And I have psychic skills. That’s been a huge part of my problem. I’m receiving input electronically or however humans and dolphins pass info silently (I didn’t believe it either until I saw SAW in my HEAD a cake, streamers, presents, and a calendar date: Jan 18: correctly guessing my random partner’s birthdate and that she’d had a party. I mean, that’s GOOD, isn’t it? Very first time I ever tried.)
But what I realize is, all that bloody commotion in my head is not ALL MINE. Whether it was learned from unripe teachers back when I was a misunderstood girl or it is fresh coming from the guy behind me in line at the grocery story who I know is counting up my items (Express Aisle 15 or less) and judging me…three packs of Pop Tarts counts as one item when they are three-for-one, right? and do you really NEED those Pop Tarts with that waistline…what waistline, fat girl…oh sure, try and make up for it with a bag of pre-peeled carrots (lazy, are we? NO arthritic) and a bunch of celery hearts (splurging? you are too good to eat the whole celery stick, only the tender heart for you, what a waste of good vegetable, I mean, I assume it’s wasted, maybe not, maybe it’s used for soup or salad, dare I presume?)
If you start quoting PRUFROCK I AM OUT OF HERE.
I think I’ll go walk along the beach…perhaps I’ll eat a peach…ooo shudder ick can’t stand the feel of the fuzz…things like that would bother me for hours as a kid, obsessive icky thoughts I just couldn’t get out of my head. (like one time I imagined cinnamon toast, but with globs of butter and a teeny bit of cinnamon and I could not get the sickening thought of how awful that would taste out of my mouth. I think that was during one of my migraine headaches I got in Jr. High School that I’d have to go home for. (in high school I learned to chew aspirin and cowboy up–my mother was dead, my father at work, no one to take me home anyway)
Aspirin is sour. I learned it was an acid that way. Opiates are bitter. They are a different sort of painkiller. They are alkaloid. I wonder why that is? I never got further than first semester freshman Organic chemistry, so I guess I’ll never know. Unless I go back to school. I could teach, live on a campus somewhere dry with a high altitude. My arthritis would get better and the conversation would be as tasty as the coffee. There’s a plan.
I’ve got severel tucked up my sleeve. (I have no sleeves I’m typing naked. Ha ha ha. Does that tease you? I’m really a 75 year old 359 pound truck driver from Brighton named Cuntmond. And I’m chomping a cigar. Because sometimes a cigar is NOT just a cigar. wink wink nudge nudge nudge)
off to bed for you…your inner child has run amuck.