Neural Pathways

I’m following my thoughts, or they are following me.  Paved neural pathways carry me down trails of self-doubt, I don’t even notice.  Thoughts are chasing me into corners, but it’s my own voice speaking, so I am not alarmed.  It happens every day, this predictable demise of self-love.

Sometimes it is the small thoughts that wake me up.  Small, repetitive, tedious thoughts.  Nagging, list-making, flaw-finding thoughts.  Insidious thoughts – they take over and I don’t stop them.  They sound like the voice of reason, driving down these neural pathways that are more like neural ruts.  I am beginning to catch them before hours go by, before my whole day has been shadowed by doubt and dissatisfaction.

More and more, these life-sucking thoughts are being caught by the light of my own inner awareness.  They are becoming more noticeable, like red flags.  More and more, I bring myself to back away from the abyss of self-loathing….for that is exactly where the neural ruts lead me.  They all tell me I am garbage, in so many words.  Even (and sometimes especially) the “self-improvement” thoughts also lead me to that trashy feeling.  These thoughts are tricky, like I said!

They often present as subtle, grating, fear-based reasons for pervasive, fear-based questions.

Like:

“What is wrong with me?”

“Why am I fucked up?”

“Why do I do everything wrong?”

“Why do I suck at ______________?” (parenting, relationships, adulting, etc.)

“Why am I a horrible_______________?” (insert noun)

depression

When I look behind these thoughts – that are actually narrow, self-absorbed and self-loathing fantasies – I see where they are coming from.

I see the scared me.

The exhausted me.

The hurting me.

I see the me that has almost given up, but not quite, and if I could just have a hug and some love and some grounding energy, then maybe I’d be okay.

But I am alone.

It is up to me.

“It’s okay, baby” I say.

I stroke my own arm.

“You’re all good, kid” I whisper, hugging myself.

“This life shit is hard sometimes.  You are human.  You are on a spiritual quest with all the trappings of the body: Pleasure, Pain, Duality.  Joy, Loss, Grief.  Anger, Hate, Jealousy, Despair.  Fear and Desire.  Empathy.  Love.”

And with this quiet reminder, my tears are flowing and my heart is bursting with forgiveness – for this struggle, for the precarious nature of life, for myself, my friends, and for those who would be my enemies.

My neural pathways are being weeded and plowed.  The farmer of my mind is not my thoughts.

The Farmer tills the soil of my very heart.

My mind gives up resistance, in glimpses, here and there.  New neural pathways are explored.

This is more pleasure than I thought possible!  Are you sure this is allowed?

“Yes,” says the Farmer, “It’s your life.”

*

 

 

 

Love

 

Love will find you

in the darkest corners of your mind.

Love will be the one

knocking, ever knocking

holding out the gift to you.

Love will unconfuse you.

*

For Monsieur Love and Madame Love,

you see – they are connoisseurs of the heart.

They taste everything through that channel.

Somewhere between your sex and your mind

Love holds the door open for that which is so supreme,

the Realized Ones are reduced to poetry and parables, sometimes babbling, or silence -when describing a glimpse of the pattern revealed by Love.

*

Love is humbling you, even now, amid your set ways and fixed notions.

Love is swimming through your subconscious mind, observing your current.

Your dealings and your happenings, your choices and your luck, all of it seems to lead you back to this place….Love is the thing that keeps chasing you down.

Run quickly or slowly.

Run away from it or into it.

Hold your breath.

Love is here, waiting for you to give up this nonsense,

this false sense

of achieving anything at all

improving anything at all

becoming “better” or “more lovable”.

Love is waiting for you to

DROP THE BULLSHIT.

Love is here to unpack your baggage

and uncomplicate your life.

*

Shocked, you look around.

You begin to see Love in everything.

It is inescapable!

Check your pulse.

It is beating a code to you – and somewhere in that code you are being reminded of your finite nature, dear human walking the path.

You are here to dance on the palate for such a short while…what will your brush strokes be?

Love is your canvas, every time.  Love is every color, light and the absence of light.  Do you see?  There is an effortless embrace, invisible and unrecognized.

It is giving you this breath, and this singular moment.

And it is waiting, while smiling quietly and piercing everything with eyes that know and accept and rejoice in any kind of recognition…..

It is waiting, and keeping silent while you unravel the mystery.

 

Do you recognize yourself?

 

Love is asking

knocking

waiting

and very much Alive.

*

 

 

All of me

 

My ex-lover sent me a concerned email when I posted about a “sex class” I went to recently.  My children don’t follow my blog, and they probably never will – but I had been using my real name on Medium, and the ex-lover had a point: “Any of your sons’ boneheaded friends could google your name and this story will pop up.”  He went on to say that I was the “hot mom” among their peers, and that my boys most certainly hated knowing that.  Concerns veiled in compliments, but I felt controlled.

I replied: “Good tip, changing my name on Medium now.”  And I gave myself a new pen name.  Problem solved.

But an anger was stewing, and my mouth wanted to breathe fire.

This energy will not be denied.

I’m claiming my freedom in this space, and a large part of that is connected to my sexuality.  I know this is nothing to be ashamed of.  The type of erotic play I am into is extremely vanilla compared to a lot of the things I read about, but even if it wasn’t — no shame!  I am finding that by exploring the sexual experiences and fantasies of other writers and by slowly sharing my own, I am tapping into incredibly rich creative energy.   I am humbled by these brave and sexy writers who are stirring the pot of erotic energy for those of us who are turned on by the written word.  I am relishing in my own desires without needing a physical partner to fulfill my needs.  And I am learning so much!

I feel protective of my freedom of expression, and unwilling to yield to a status quo version of sex, love or partnership.

And although my ex-lover means well, I also know he wants another chance at “us” – he wants to try some things I have revealed in my writing, things he didn’t know I wanted because I didn’t tell him and he didn’t ask.

His next email to me was titled “Sex” and was basically him coming to terms with his own beastly desires.  Would I wear a collar for him?

Again, I wanted to breathe fire.

Not because I don’t like collars.  I actually don’t know.  But because I am feeling raided….

I’m not here to defend my right to be.

I’m not here to train you to be my perfect lover.

I’m just uncovering the truth of my being.

Things that were dormant are being revealed.  Old wounds have healed enough that now they can be spoken of.  I am learning to be alive in my body.  I am waking up.

It makes some uncomfortable, or sad.

It might turn you on.

It might make you wonder.

And as for the ex-lover,

he doesn’t get to put a collar on me,

not even in my writing.

But the advice has been received,

and thank you for your concern.

*

Side note:

I will always love my ex-lover, he is a beautiful being!

Ending poem:

The heart is in critical condition.

I didn’t tell you,

but I’m breaking all the time.

Little bits of me are falling off – can you see?  That’s my veil cracking.

And if you want to explore this mess with me,

i won’t stop you.

*

 

 

 

 

Ticket Lady

 

Tonight I get to be the ticket lady at a comedy show on Capitol Hill.  I’m so excited.  It really feels like my dream-job: sitting at the tall chair by the entrance to the bar, taking cash and putting it in that cool metal box, scanning cards on the phone they give me.  I’m witty and charming and unpretentious, so most people don’t hate me.  The comedy host is a friend of mine and I basically begged him for this gig.

What he only sort-of realizes is that I really don’t get out much, so I need motivation.  I have these kids and a job, see – and yoga class.  And then I write and I really like to sleep and I try to shower or bathe almost daily.  And like, this whole “eating and feeding a family” thing takes a lot of time.  And on top of that I’m lazy and I don’t want to drive and deal with parking near Broadway and uggghhhh, should I just Uber?

But now I have a job to do, now I have to go out and have fun, now I’m being forced from my cozy cave of introversion.

It’s time to get ready for this shindig!

What does a ticket lady wear?

A little black dress?

I thought so….

And maybe a mustache to go with it.

*

 

 

Woman-Girl

 

Who is holding your hand as you walk the stairwell deep, deep into the night?

Counting down the levels, you go slowly, absorbing the scenery.

You are beginning to remember things.

Things you wanted to remember, and things you didn’t.

There is a color and a taste and a smell as you pass through a memory.

Some things were left undone –

a protection was broken,

and it’s still broken.

Oh, pieces!

That one’s sharp.

*

There’s a sensation and a sound – these things she tried to forget,

even as they happened.

What can she do, but play dead?

Pretend to be asleep?

Never speak of it?

The answer is forgetting, dismissing, ignoring.

The deadness was a coping skill, but now she wants her life back.

Now she wants to hear the sounds and see the colors and smell the whole experience.

Her sense of taste has returned, and she rejoices in the pleasure and discernment of her tongue.

And touch, ohhh….

Touch that she chooses and desires.

Touch that has her pining for more.

Touch that brings her to her knees

and fills her face with such a yearning….

she’ll even tell you what’s on her mind.

When did touch become fun again?

When she walked back into her innocence.

When did she set her mind free?

When the girl woke up.

*

Maybe she’s a late bloomer.

Maybe she’s just getting started.

And maybe she doesn’t mind one bit.

For maybe it delights her ~ this play ~

of being the girl and the woman and all the things she is feeling and beholding and being led by.

This sweetness,

pours like rain on parched earth and your lips say “I’m alive!”

as you pull her into your essence.

*

 

 

Drop

Drop the story.

Drop knowing.

Drop any boredom you might harbor,

like life isn’t quite good enough for you.

Reach into the construct of your identity, and sift through the nuts and bolts.

Give a loving glance to all this stuff

as your hand grazes the inner-you, the one you can’t separate yourself from

even try as you might.

Would you hold these things, these constructs

and drop them in the Ocean like taking a bath?

You will still be you, but you might feel and act in a different way.

You might see things in a way you didn’t know was possible.

The “seeing” will happen all throughout the body, not just the eyes!

Maybe you’ll weep, like I do

when the whole Universe is revealed through a single photograph

a poem

a kiss.

Forgiving ourselves for forgetting

(constantly, daily)

the sublime honor

of having a heart.

 

*