Who among us has never done or said something so awful, so terrible it’s painful to admit it? Something said or done while angry or perhaps drunk, enraged over some percieved hurt done to ourselves whether it was real or not? Maybe even a grand crime like burglery or murder or rape. And then we compound the act by denying it, or telling ourselves that it wasn’t really all that bad, or justifying it, even if we have to invent some alternative version, however fanciful, of what really happened, even blaming it all on the other person, and we believe it. How else can we live with ourselves? I’m not saying this is you, you understand. This isn’t an accusation. Not by any means….NO!
It takes courage to face terrible truths about ourselves and who has courage
when we believe we’ve been wounded to the core. To make it even worse, the ones we hurt are usually those we love the most.
Guilty on all counts your honor, I am ready to take my punishment.
“This is the price you have to pay for eating that damned apple, the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. What you have done is your punishnment.” Please forgive me, I asked, for I know not what I did. “I am not your judge, only your confessor. You yourself are your own judge. I can only forgive you by forgiving myself. How can I withold my love from you, whatever you have done, however terrible, when I am equally guilty myself, perhaps even more so. My love for you is unshaken!!”
………And we are left standing there in the dock in shock.
Was it only yesterday
that I saw a white butterfly dancing on the breeze
in the empty space before me?
In that moment,
where was the good, where was the bad
that caused me to grieve so
only moments before……?
Now I have seen you in all your pulsing beauty!
How passionatly your colors glow!
Oh great sorrow,
I have lost my pain……I have escaped!
How can I live without your suffering?
“Please, give it to me! Please!”
So innocent, I thought, so pure,
and then I returned to the scene of the crime.
We can never truely be hurt to the core. Our core is invulnerable and eternal and love itself. There is no need to protect it by closing our eyes and ears and hearts. It is only this earthly body that can and will enevitably be damaged and feel pain, because that is mortal.
There is no pain in love.
The body is temporary.
It only lasts for a short while.
Love is timeless.
Love is abundant.
You can’t own it.
It can never be stolen.
That’s all there is.
Your crime is love.
……to be continued.
Harry Houdini was considered the greatest escape artist who ever had lived.
I was born in 1947 in Kingsburg, California.
That was the year and place of my own greatest escape.
Perhaps what is so remarkable about it
Is that it was so ordinary.
I don’t remember it at all, I can only imagine it.
I was just floating around in the dark, minding my own business. Suspended in this stuff that I have since learned is called ambiotic fluid which makes it sound like transmission fluid, which I suppose it was. I thought it was love, but what did I know. I didn’t even remember anything! Memory is like a filing system and you’ve got to have labels for a filing system. I hadn’t aquired any yet. I later learned those are called words. I was just drifting there and listening to the two hearts beating away. My own and my mom’s. We were one then.
Anyways, I was just peacfully floating around in the dark, well, actually, it was starting to get a little stuffy in there and I was starting to get bored, when whoooosh!,
All hell broke loose. It was the most violent thing I had ever experienced!
It was absolutely cataclysmic! I went flying down this tube that kept getting narrower and narrower and then I got all jambed up. I liked to thought that I was getting the life squeezed out of me! It was like being swallowed by a big boa constrictor and being helplessly forced down into it’s stomach by these waves of being squashed, except I wasn’t being eaten, I was getting out! I could see a light down there at the end! At last, there was this great big gooey, bloody gush and I was out. I hit the floor running, straight for the light! I only paused long enough for them to cut the cord that still bound me, and I haven’t stopped running towards that light since.
But, of course, you recognise this story because it happened to you too, right? For some of you, I’ll bet it was even more terrifying. That’s how most of us got here. I witnessed the births of my own chilren and a few others too and that’s what happened. My wife was a hippy mid-wife.
It was awful, just awful and kind of fantastic and wonderful too! Well, you can forget the spaceship theory now.
……To be continued.
We were originally bound by love.
That’s what holds us together
So our parts don’t just go flying.
All our molecules and atoms would just scatter.
Ego only holds our personalities together, not the rest of us.
That’s what happens to all of us in the end
Because our bodies are all just temporary,
On loan so to speak.
But love never really dies, not really.
It doesn’t really need a body to exist.
It transcends death.
We were sitting together on a rock outcroping by a river. We talking, I don’t what about, that’s not important. She was so pretty. I looked away from her for just a second and when I looked back, she was gone. Just like that. Swept away.
I was terrified! I didn’t know what to do. I ran down the river looking for her. I was sure she must be dead. Mary! Mary! This was before I met my wife Cherie.
She got to shore about a half a mile down stream. She wasn’t hurt. We found each other running towards one another along the bank frantically calling each other’s names. We hugged each other so tightly I thought we would burst. I never wanted to let her go. I didn’t think I could live without her.
She died two months later in L.A. of a heroin overdose.
She had escaped.
That was in 1969.
That’s when I discovered reality can be easily unraveled. It’s so fragile, and not stable at all. It can’t be without our help. It’s like a myth that doesn’t exist unless we believe it does. It’s like that string that closes a feed bag. You pull on it and the bag opens, just like that. Open. The myth of reality is not constant. It’s always changing. We can make it what we want it to be and we can’t do anything about it. Oddly, that’s not really a contradiction. It just is.
A world full of hate and bitterness or a world full of love, it’s our choice.
Hey, we were hippies. That’s what we thought. That’s what it was all about.
Try not to forget this time.
Ah! Ah!. Ah!
……To be continued.
I’m making some breakfast. I took a slice of bread out of the bag and looked at it. I’m looking for mold, but what I see is this sworl. A pattern in the center of the slice. It’s amazing, just amazing. Have you ever seen it?
Oh fuck, now I’ve destroyed it. Burned it to a crisp in the pan. I was making toast and then went to write this down.
How is it even possible
To count what the universe has given me today?
Have I escaped into reality?
How can I even begin to express my gratitude for all this life?
How can I say It’s enough?
That today, long ago when I was left on the side of the road with nothing,
Well, now, I have that and more.
Put your precious sanity aside for just one moment
And hear me.
There’s a cowbell ringing in my brain.
I was eventually picked up
By someone in an old brown Studabaker pick-up
Called “The Slug”.
“The Slug” and it’s inhabitants
Transported me hundreds, maybe thousands of light years
To someplace up in the mountains
Where my first shoot out was going on.
Jim and Ella were in the middle of the street,
Facing one another off.
They were husband and wife.
They were from another era,
Not too far back, but still unreachable.
I think about, how even now, my own children
And grandchilren don’t know me.
This is why.
And then I think, what the hell do I know
About my own parent’s and grandparent’s lives,
But of course, those aren’t real people.
And beyond that? Practically nothing.
Why do I feel bad about that?
Just because I went my own selfish way?
Well, I certainly escaped, didn’t I?
Well, of course you are real
And really I love you,
Well, maybe it’s because of that.
Maybe this will help…..
We went up a windy road.
We had a universe to explore.
We still wanted to find true love,
And we didn’t have a clue where to find it.
Or, how to live on this strange planet.
Jim and Ella turned and fired.
Both shots went wild
And fortunately, no one was hit.
They weren’t really aiming at other I don’t think.
My immediate thought was.
This is a god-damned illusion!
No, this was in Oregon,
I’m still not sure it really happened or I just imagined it!
Several years ago, at an indian pow wow in Sandpoint, Idaho, I met a woman who called herself “Good girl – Bad girl”. She invited me into a teepee where there were several children sitting in a circle, and began telling a Kalispel tribal story. I don’t even remember it at all. I couldn’t repeat it. I was just focused on the whole experience, and then she said to me, “Ok, now you tell a story. If you can’t remember one, then just make one up.” I couldn’t think of anything to say.
I don’t know where in the world she is today, life takes us where it wants to, but I want to thank her. She sparked my imagination in a way that couldn’t possibly have happened in any other way.
I owe her so much.
So what’s going out there now
And so, ok,
What the fuck is this line?
What the fuck is out there?
Why do I care?
I walk outside and see this amazing spider web.
There’s danger all around.
How do we even continue to exist?
Oh, shut up. They’ll never get that. Right?
I’ve just come back from the bathroom.
The packaging of the “Suave” toilet paper
Has a picture of a cute little baby wearing
A big smile and a blue baseball cap.
Tell me, Is that an appropriate image to go with
Something you wipe your butt with?
Sorry lord, I can’t come up yet. I still have to buy a robe.
…..To be continued.
The Escape – Part Two
And then I was traveling
For such a long time.
It was almost always north and south, except for that one time east,
which ended in disaster. To the west was the ocean and I had no boat, not that it mattered. I was like a starving ghost alongside the highway. It was spring, I think. They were still after me, though even in those days we had already started to meet up from time to time. They really weren’t as ugly and horrible as I first feared they were. I was happy about that.
My biggest problem at the moment was that I was too damned visible, even if I didn’t have any money.
I was looking for a place to hide out and be safe and warm..
I put out my thumb, even though it went against everthing I wanted to do at the moment.
You might think from my speech, by my use of the words “they” and I and “we” and them, that I regress, that I separate again from the one, but that’s only the illlusion of language. In fact, I am quite aware that my pursuers are indeed myself. Who else could frighten me so much? And what other language do we know other than this human one we use now? Of course it’s all illusory. Of course it’s a myth. What of it? What else could it be?
I saw a car comming from wayyyyyyy back down the road. It kept getting closer. I began eminating my best “Look, I’m not such a bad guy” vibe, although I didn’t really know that that actually worked at the time. That pretending works and sometimes causes copious amounts of trouble, but I was desperate. I’d been standing out there in the sun for hours, I was hot and I was getting dizzy from waiting so long and I wanted, Oh how I wanted! And then there was this big swoosh!, and the car was going away down the road in the other direction and I was not a passenger and
I was just standing there in the dust.
And the only thing left to do,
was to get back off the edge of the road
And sit down in the weeds.
And so I just sat there
I didn’t even have a joint.
I just sat there.
And that’s when it happened,
Nothing happend at all,
And then nothing happened again,
That’s when I caught up with myself
And became completely invisible.
I mean like I really disappeared!!!
You can do the same thing
By becoming a stock broker.
What have you got to loose?
So I looked at the page I have just written
And I asked myself.
“Why do I understand this? Why does this make any sense?”,
Because I know it does.
I just don’t know how or why.
Then they changed the radio station
And played “Banda” music
On into the night.
Well, your just as crazy as I am, you crazy motherfuckers.
To be continued…….r
Once a long time ago, or maybe it hasn´t happened yet, I´ve never been quite clear on that point, there was a place here on our beautiful planet Earth, or maybe it was someplace else, I´ve never known for sure, where only dragons lived, well, let´s say where almost only dragons lived.
These dragons sort of had a country of their own there, or maybe it was a kingdom, but then there would have had to have been a king which there wasn´t, and come to think of it, these dragons didn´t really call it anything, it was just where they lived, but it was a place and it had towns and villages and farms where most of the dragons lived and, oh yeah, it had one mountain right in the middle.
Most of the dragons there were pretty average, more like big lizards actually, but there were one or two that were special and there was one lizard, I mean dragon, who was different than all the rest. He was sort of a mean dragon, really cantankerous and extremely difficult to get along with because he thought he knew everything there was to know about everything and thought it was impossible for him to be wrong about anything. He was so sure of this that he would get really angry and breath fire at and singe off the eyelashes of anyone who disagreed with anything he said was true, and once he decided something was so, he would never change his mind about it, not even if someone could prove he was wrong.
Anyway, this obnoxious dragon´s name was Elmore and it was actually kind of sad when you think about it. If he wasn´t so stubborn and allowed that maybe he didn´t know everything, then maybe he would have been a lot easier to like. He did have some rather nice qualities. His scales had a particularly nice sheen and shimmered with all the colors that there are and his claws and teeth were exactly the same color as the moon sparkling on water and then there was his tail. OH MY! Has there ever been a more fantastic tail! It was soooo long! Longer than any other dragon tail that had ever been, and dragons have pretty long tails in general. Elmore´s tail was possibly a hundred miles long or kilometers or leagues or something long, I´ve never really got that stuff figured out, but to tell you the truth, probably, no one ever measured it. You see, dragons don´t think they have to measure everything the way humans do, but it was very, very long indeed and Elmore, who was actually quite tall when he sat up straight, couldn´t see the whole thing at once and in fact, had never seen the end of it.
It was said, I don´t know who said it, but it was said by someone, that every once in a while Elmore would come across a length of his tail that he had never seen before and say, “My, my, my! What a beautiful tail. Not as beautiful as mine, of course, but look at all those shimmery colors and, my word, so many spines, more like a cactus than a tail actually. I sure wouldn´t want to touch it! Quite dangerous. I wonder who it belongs to. He must be out of sight around the corner thinking he´s hiding something.”
You see, because he couldn´t see that that particular section was connected to himself, he thought it belonged to somebody else, but it wasn´t only the spines that made his tail so dangerous. Whenever Elmore went walking in the dragon´s land, his tail would be following him and he couldn´t see what the end of it was doing. Whenever he turned left or right, way back down at the end where he couldn´t see, the tip of it would whip around and crack like thunder, knocking over everything in it´s path. It had even knocked over whole towns with it´s terrible swish. Then, when Elmore turned around to walk back home, he would see all the destruction it had caused. Grocery stores, houses, it had taken out a couple of banks, gas stations and tall office buildings would all be laying on their sides and the other dragons would be shaking there heads and wringing their hands in dismay wailing, “It was that terrible tail again!”, and Elmore would say, “Crimeny sakes! I must have just missed it!” It seems he was always arriving places just after his tail had left, “Whoever owns that thing should be thrown in a dungeon or something!”
But there was no dungeon in the dragon´s realm. In fact, there was no law enforcement, no police, no national guard, nothing, because dragons value above all else, their freedom to do whatever they want whenever they want to do it, you see, because they´re dragons and that´s what dragons do.
So there was nothing to be done about it except to re-build.
The dragons would look at Elmore like he was a nut case and tell him, “But Elmore! It was you! It was your tail that did this!” and Elmore would get that crazy glowy look in his eyes and smoke would start coming out of his nose holes and he would bellow fire at everybody´s eyelashes and he would stomp around yelling, “What! How dare you accuse me, an perfectly innocent dragon of these horrible crimes! How dare you think you could teach me something I don´t know about MYSELF! Who could know more about me than ME! My tail has been right here with me all afternoon and I surely would have noticed if it doing something like this!” And then he would stomp around, crashing into everything in a blind rage that he wouldn´t remember afterwards, which is a dragon trait, blaming it all on “some other dragon´s tail”, catching things on fire with his fire breath, and causing even more damage. One time, he got so bad, he took out an entire National Park.
The villagers soon learned that trying to talk to Elmore about it just wasn´t worth it. They just didn´t know what to do. Finally they had a big meeting and decided that it would be best if everyone just hid whenever they saw him coming.
“Cowards!”, Elmore called them when he heard about it, “I guess this leaves it up to me to find this despicable character and clear my spotlessly clean, good name all by myself.”
Even though Elmore may not have been the smartest dragon the world had ever known, he wasn´t stupid. I didn´t take him long to come up with a plan that, actually, wasn´t all that bad. Since, as we all know, mountains are much, much, smaller at the top that they are at the bottom, he figured that if he could lure the “criminal beast” up to the top where there was no room to hide, he could trap him and find a dungeon someplace to throw him in.
To bait the trap, he got a disguise with a funny little paper hat and a push-cart and proceeded to walk all the way around the base of the mountain yelling, “Humans! Get yer red-hot fire-roasted humans heeeer!”
He didn´t really have any fire-roasted humans, of course. Humans had been extinct for a long time in the dragon´s place, but dragons have long memories and remembered how irresistible and juicy they were to eat. They were extinct because, well, dragons do not conserve! When they see something they like to eat, they eat it…. till it´s GONE!
After he had gone completely around the mountain yelling “fire- roasted humans”, he ditched the push cart and headed up the mountain. He was all out of breath and real disappointed when he got to the top to find himself all alone. “Dang!” he exclaimed, “That must be one dumb dragon to pass up a chance to eat fire-roasted humans!”
He waited a little while, just in case the other dragon was just a slow climber, and headed back down the mountain. When he got to the bottom, he was in for another big surprise. There, laying across his path was his tail, right where he´d left it when he circled the mountain pretending to be a fire roasted human vendor.
“Oh no!” he cried in despair, “While I was up on the mountain waiting to trap the dastardly demon, he trapped me! There´s no way I could survive climbing over those wicked spines!” Of course, if Elmore had just walked around for awhile up there, his tail would have eventually moved out of his way, but it was too late. He had already decided that he was impossibly trapped and there was no way out. And of course, Elmore, being Elmore, would never change his mind, so that was that.
That´s how everything got resolved. Elmore stayed up on the mountain and found a nice cozy cave to turn into his lair where he wasn´t bothered by anyone he thought was more stupid than himself and the villagers put signs around the bottom of the mountain saying, “Danger, Beware of tail!” and never went up there anymore. They re-built everything and went back to doing whatever they wanted whenever they wanted to and never had anymore trouble from Elmore or his tail again.
I just goes to show you, there a lesson or two here if you think about it, like…..
“If you want to be free, you better keep an open mind, just don´t fall in it.”
…and, oh, maybe, “It´s alright to admit you don´t know something. It´ll save you the trouble of making something up.”
….or, I know, “You might not know your rear end from something else.” and maybe a couple other things…..and