I was tense and calm.
5pm, woke sitting near a beach drop, those five-six foot drops of erosion, one knee up, sea roaring, and commensurate breeze was out of phase, too gentle for the tumult of the sea. I expected it to sting. There was a seaquake/sea cave into the cliff behind me and to the left, She gave up a boom on each fifth. Contained, and resonant. I wondered how the boom felt from the porch of the house up high on the cliff. The sea was some combination of Pacific Northwest and upper Atlantic, just cool enough to remind you that you are mortal, and rough enough to rearrange your cells. I suddenly felt pressure on the sand, like someone standing behind me. But someone cautious, kind, not wanting to disturb, but wanting to know for sure. I tried to smell them, but the wind was against it. I sensed they might startle. So, I got even more still than I was, like a call and response, the sand sifted slightly like someone else rising off the bed. Wait.
I turned and there were horses seventy feet back and winding up the cliff path I’d used earlier. They were all but the very last completely still and deciding—or waiting for a decision. I tried to breathe with the wind and sea. as a solidarity move, joining the landscape and distancing myself from the human dominance culture. Wait.
Walking between them, hands on manes, my hips to shoulders. flat hands on hips. A squeeze here and there (from them). Stamping, flickering hides. Noticed. Not unwelcome. Barefoot. I walked until my shoulders ached from holding my arms up to palm a neck or a muzzle. There were so many. The grays stood out to me, and one seal brown mare. I stood still toward the end, feeling the sandy earth, realizing I’d made it to the top of the cliff. The wind was different here, the pressure on my legs from it moving under their bodies. It swirled down from on top of my head as it crested like a wave over the face of the cliff and onto the plateau. I was tense and calm. Alert and relaxed. A visitor and a resident.
I sent Isabelle Singleton the above dream and commissioned an illustration in August 2017. She sent me this piece of art:
the most beautiful feeling of being electrocuted.
at a venue, felt like a school gym lobby or theater, that composite poured floor, green or gray speckled, metal grout. high ceilings, 30 thirty feet. a security guy at a desk. who ended up not being a security guy. because he knew how to drop an iv into my right hand, quickly, and start the medicine that looked like hot sauce mixed with saline and made my right pinkie finger twitch straight out and vibrate. he was very reassuring when he spoke--that’s when I realized he was Caribbean, that beautiful voice. as he treated me, the party goers started to arrive and I wondered where Jack was--or some name like that. a hearty, gentle. a pregnant young woman and her husband who used to be her best friend, and was the child of someone I knew. I hadn’t remembered she was pregnant and I said so, but in that of course you are “I hadn’t remembered” way that one has after being electrocuted or very ill. the sauce kept flowing. and more people arrived.
the scene before, I’d come out of a moment of saying goodbye to a lot of people in my kitchen. somewhat absentmindedly, I’d hugged W, not hugged P (on some other layer, I’d refused to stand up for them at their wedding), and three or four other people as they left to Thailand. half hugs regretted just as quickly as they had passed. why hadn’t I lingered? why hadn’t I whispered something quickly--something funny and light so she’d be able to recount it when memorializing me?
check the fridge, turn off the burners. and walk out right to a gateway of a play. outdoors, at a monastery, in one area a crowd gathered around a fire, 70 or so people. seemed there may have been risers because everyone could see everyone else. one group of students was delivering their closing salutations, songs, dances, adult students of a guru or a guta. Celebrants of Should. low hanging trees created dampening to the edge of anxiety they carried, knowing they’d have to leave the sweeping meditation in the morning. in the gated area, what was like a small winding area, graveled, low fence on either side, that kind of was a turning walkway, small greenery bushes. and a small stool sat right in the middle, in front of a low gate, then that gate led to another door, but a tall door, with walls to either side. low green/gray, that would have cycled through pottery barn textiles ten seasons back. our elder aunt would have said that was jailhouse green from the 50s, at least that’s how she remembered it.
on the large door, there was a handle on the left, and paned wood, maybe six panels, but arranged from top right with one pane, then top right/middle, but lower, two panes, then three panes that were centered across the door. this was important because there was a flat space on the door where writing appeared for the performance. Sanskrit and another language that had calligraphic stems and tails, but had alphabet characters too, enough so I could somehow understand that the writing was sayings, missives, callings, directions for a -wholly- life. and they were in black. then they would be painted over in invisible jailhouse green, well, the painters were invisible. it was a magic door, programmed by the performers so the sayings would cycle. then the door opened and people stared to walk out. one by one. I knew my stool was in the way, and they’d have to come through the gate past me, so I scooted in the gravel, on my short medical chair (which later I imagined performing with. sitting on a rolling medical chair with a mic in my hand held still on the stand, but with the base behind me, and mic at my mouth level).
I moved back and to my right, around a small corner in the walkway, next to the low wall, where a bench could have gone nicely. for devotees waiting to be received by the school--that wait two days or seven, and if you are righteous, we’ll take you from the waiting bench.
so, they came through the door. 10 feet apart, perhaps, balding white man--walking slowly, not seeing. glazed, delivered. as one passed me, he doubled and followed himself, shimmery, holographic. then another came, a woman, and as I looked back to the door for more, she doubled and followed herself out.
I felt disoriented, so I left there and went to sit on the street outside the monastery
flash back to P on a rooftop with W’s kids, he caring for them while she traveled. well, cursing at them, looking at a camera and modulating his shouting tone--as D(smaller, maybe 4 yo), leaned on the back of his thighs with his head, praying, begging for things to be okay, and for P to stop yelling. shamed by the camera, looking in to it, P tried to modulate a shout into a “come on guys” and it did nothing to mitigate the barking of someone from way before who tortured him, and whom he now channeled.
on the street, I found a bench. and recuperated my body from the performances, singing and doubling people. (I could hear the gravel they walked on barefoot, so they were not hovering or gliding as they seemed to be--even the doubles crunched). the trees were taller out here, further away from me. a wide street that later turned in to the gym lobby. sitting on a bench. I wondered if it was wood, because it creaked. so I shifted in my seat to try to get it to make the noise more loudly. it didn’t. it was metal. (*typing faster now). I looked up to see that the telephone pole across the street was bent out towards me and to my right at a very jaunty angle--and telephone poles just don’t DO jaunty, so that was weird. it didn’t seem cracked, just deformed. then I heard the creek again, but above me, so looking up, I saw the sway start, as if an earthquake had started at the atmosphere and was coming down to earth, something in the clouds seemed out of rhythm. I stood up and knew I had to run to the left. away from the power lines. and I did, I ran, looking up, left and down simultaneously to see if I could avoid them as they fell--and they were so heavy, so fast, so much more stiff then I imagine them as they hang above us, out of sight, or unseen for sheer intrusiveness. they slapped on to the street and all around me. I was covered by one, covering another, and more fell. I braced myself for an arc or pain or blue flashes, but none of it came. there was airlessness, silence, and an incredible feeling that the air around me was heavier than it should be, calm blankets of ease lifted me in the air, high much higher than I'd ever floated free--40 feet maybe less. and it was slow, composed, choreographed, joy, pain, grief and total acknowledgement that there was nothing else but right then. I didn’t speak, but I mouthed loud enough for the world to hear: I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. and each salutation had a name behind it--hardly matters now who they were. Yet, I want to remember. W. J. Mom and Dad, I think.
slowly, everything slowly. the feeling was exquisite, my body carried in a way I didn’t really think was possible without air. there was no breathing, the cables came with me and we all just pulsed in a high hover, saying goodbye--more than goodbye--saying something like I Understand. That’s closer, but does not touch the profound grace, sensuous elation, tenderness of that moment when time...well, time was not in charge.
I came down to the ground, collapsed on my right side, by the front doors of the gym entrance, double doors with metal frame splitting the two, looking up at the security guard who sat at a folding table and his view was partially obstructed of me by a standing banner for the party/celebration there. He saw me and jumped up, around the table and was on his knees by my head inserting the IV before I knew it. I felt the prick, saw him screw one port into another, and there was leakage around the edges. my blood. just enough to want to clean up, but not to worry. and the iv started mixing--thick darker than sriracha hot sauce with the saline in the bag laying near my arm. he watched and soothed. cooed and supervised.
I knew that everyone else knew what it was and I was out of it. I was in it enough to see something was changing quickly. that and not really recognizing the young mom--well I recognized her, but some months had escaped me--enough for her to marry and lose her best friend in one swoop and get pregnant.
I think I realized somehow that we were all there for a transition of some kind and it might be mine. There was nothing but love coming in the front door and I had my supervisor, and my story.
someone was recently injured, physically. there was a deep legacy to the injury. something tied to culture/generations. she had a request unspoken. it remains unspoken and un-rendered and that continues the injury.
she must float, up to her shoulders in sea or salt water. a light current or tidal action will be very helpful. allow your body to tell the truth of the matter. she knows.
wide herringbone planked boardwalk. think Atlantic City, fog seeps up through the planks. one of them walks far ahead. we hang back, not out of reverence, but closer to deference. the power is not distributed, which makes communal decisions impossible. there cannot be clarity in and environment like this. the farther apart on the pier, the more stagnant the ambition of the community. it’s logistical. It’s much less emotional than everyone thinks. it’s not character, will or capacity. at all. to invest in that is a distraction, like a media spin. the heart of the matter is logistical. I can’t emphasize that enough.
not unlike the water hover—where it seemed psychic, it isn’t. where it seemed mysterious or out of her hands, it wasn’t. pure logistics. interrupt the cycle with a task.
my eyes are tight. my jaw clenched. even now. there is more to this message, but the core is simple, and more corporal than cosmic.
remembering to forget who we became to protect ourselves
two brothers. antipathy, they flanked every conversation with white power. even when the cards told their secrets. the middle sister was more of an instigator than I thought she would be, given her station.
the house was straight up eighteen forties Newport vertical. large woman, fitted gabardine tuxedo fitted, black sleeves and sides white v-neck, all one piece, smooth, no lapels, zipper at the side, long sleeve, ringmaster kind of tunic over fitted leather pants. along the Newburyport like bay side, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, but scraggly looking penguins on the rocky beach. mixed with seagulls and tourists. they looked like they were molting. lots of wing stretches and stomping lightly. small, eight to ten inches high, more slight than I think of them.
the golden goat ram bull felt like a spiritual sculpture, not as large as the bison bull from the other dream, but substantial.
the ringleader reminded me of SB. stood at the town square corner giving anyone advice, and only mostly meaning it, but a better part waited to see if anyone would act on it. curious what would happen. bother the consequences for the players.
when the middle sister gave her card reading, the cards were palm sized, business card, little larger maybe. two sided, so when you pulled one, she could tell from either side what yours was. soft symbols/line drawings, each family or category had a color scheme, abstract art without a waking narrative. interpretation was even more abstract. the brother, white crew cut to the left, four years apart from younger brother to my left, or vice versa, because sometimes the elder sibling plays like the younger. the one to my right was manipulative and hated women. the one to my right was a vibrant capitalist who enjoyed domination as well, but numbers and systems. the one to the right enjoyed humiliating people. the middle sister had more of those qualities, but had figured out how to cloak them in perfect attendance, and mastering the family rituals so she would inherit the homestead and the social power that traveled with that legacy. she controlled the family transmission, another controlled secreted domination of the one by one, and the other twirled the markets. together they were all together better to disappear around. the second sister was a technical genius. she understood how the mechanics of the world under society worked, and preferred to take humans out of her analyses. she always sat remotely. she avoided every conflict. she remembered everything. and held no grudges.
They were PENGUINS.
I hated all of it and wanted it to fit.
I hated all of it and wanted it to fit.
seventy eight steps later, I’m in a hallway, red and white striped linoleum, behind the restaurant, and there is a fourteen year old boy sweeping up, delicately between trays other kids, not his friends, have left in the back, near the door, so they could smoke.
I heard the ringing in my ears when I said, “you hate me-,” and he interrupted, as lovingly as he’d ever spoken to me, “I’m going to have to.”
and I knew he meant it
and I know it was true.
and I couldn’t un-hear it, as much as my life depended on it
and I’d never recover.
I contemplated the trays, saw, still judging, if I could figure out if the kids had been high while eating.
stumbling past the boy, who was my refuge if I could only see past his maraschino cherry and grease and char-broil-spray stained apron. he was kinder than the elder man, sweeter than the young woman who had rejected me with a phone call.
seventy eight steps before, I was leaving a retail store up the steps, scarves folded neatly on the steps, striped, linen, the “blankets” that double as towels, or pashminas if you are on Mustique. linen, double weight. just bumpy enough in weave to feel good about taking outside, but beautiful enough to be called Craft. the steps are inconvenient, like most of the store, four inches high, slightly wider than they needed to be–two feet deep, white, glossy, concrete. 23 of them from floor to door. I’d stumbled to them, reeling.
I knew I’d been unreasonable. But. How could I not?
it was the third or fourth time that she’d been on the cell since she said, I KNOW you’d look great in that and started to not help us. me. us.
shopping for something. anything. waxed cotton. I hated all of it and wanted it to fit.
bright room, white painted heavy cement walls, natural cement floor, glazed. there was another sales guy, lurking, just underfoot, but eyes down when the tantrum was bouncing off the ceiling. i retreated to an adjacent room with lots of crystals and geo-domes, what are they called? the things you crack open and there are amethyst crystals inside? this room was more fragile–and infinitely more comfortable than the clothing space. open. lots of room to spin and listen to music. gold chained bookshelves, suspended in air, no customers.
I saw B join up with an elder man, headed into another room, he had paintbrushes, and I knew he would be attended by B until his stories ran out and the elder asked after me to him. and I’d be waiting.
but I knew he wouldn’t come.
arctic ice cutter
Betsy was scraping the ice belt. She was making a movie, she had worked with the same team on something in Portugal.
I knew some of them.
We stopped at a small port, down a river or loch, like the Panama Canal. There was an interesting mall market.
I slid down a ramp to talk to the ship guys – where I learned “heggebroff” or “heidebroff”, pronounced perfectly, was meant to be “thank you.” Barry came down, and the other guy, who wanted to practice English, complimented him and said: “du bist eine sklavin,”* which I pretended I understood and meant, his soft hair and beard, which he proceeded to gather up in his boater hand and squeeze - like Bozo. Barry purred. We all enjoyed the moment.
The ice being cut was pink.
The movie guys were all very interesting looking and serious.
*IRL I looked up du bist eine sklavin, which means “you are a slave.”
rick rubin needed dough
I had extensive creative meetings with Rick Rubin & several other men. Laptops were open and ideas floated around. After a meeting, Rick prepared a meal for a guest w/a staff of people, including a chef. I leaned over the counter, very curious what all 5 of them were doing in the small kitchen. Folding, kneading bread. Cutting veggies.
I offered. SURE. He needed some parchment dough. There was an elaborate plan to line a vessel w/foil. I offered to get phyllo dough. Grateful acceptance.
Skip to a Christel visitation. We were in a classroom, with classroom chairs. Lots of miracles. This was a more ethnically integrated group. As Christel lectured, I would tune out, and come back to CN sitting right next to me. I asked (or she was asking): where do you go when tuning out? Some place hard to see or somehow frightening? (In the back of my mind, I was wondering if Rick Rubin was waiting for the pastry dough. I had said I knew a place, but I really didn't). She instructed me to ask the question of myself. As I closed & opened my eyes, not really wanting to see, a group of devotees proceeded in and out of the classroom, preparing for something. Christel worked with those few left in room. There was another inside-circle style person w/electric guitar, who wasn't Rebecca, but extremely similar in ranking. The devotees gave out gifts. Mine was a long, yellow sharpened pencil: I got it as Christel walked by & we laughed loud. (All I need is another pencil!)
But what came next was truly noteworthy.
I closed my eyes and asked: Where do I go and who do I become when I zone out? I opened my eyes & felt curious about a warm dry fullness in my left hand. To clarify it was emerging from the center of the palm of my left hand: Salt. A palm-full of very warm salt!! I sifted it back &forth from hand to hand. It was a comforting, natural, potent and effortless act. I felt calm-awe. I was keenly aware it was happening and that the feeling/act could happen at will.
I shared my manifestation w/others. No big surprise registered for them nor for me. CN came by: whoa! Great, so 8am, ocean! Be there! I thought to myself, this is bigger than an ocean walk--out loud, I said “Miracle!” And raised my hands, almost at a loss for words and said 'praise Jesus!' to which she frowned & asked if that was coming from a real place. I wasn't and so I revered & restated: genuinely, that I felt I had been a vehicle for a miracle. Yes.