Well, I guess this is officially the first time I’m writing a weekly post. Summarizing this week is not sunshine and peanut butter. It is more like swimming in mercury runoff, dancing on “e” at a rave and silently whale watching. What a week it has been!
Last time I wrote I said I was confused. Wow, have I ever been. I met up with a friend and even she noticed it. I think I would get lost on the way to my own toilet these days, if I didn’t have a GPS. This isn’t brain fog. It is a kind of existential discomfort and confusion. I can only have faith that whatever weird thing is going on at a deep level and taking all my mental energy is some form of creative destruction. Watch out.
Kali is the goddess of destruction and she is usually depicted with a severed head in her hands.
Swimming in Mercury Runoff
I know that people consider me a kind person. I am, but I’ve come to the point where I am ready to burn a lot of bridges.
People often mistake kindness for weakness or stupidity or simply having no boundaries or feelings. This week I had a lot of that – in my face. I have had people think I am stupid and can’t see that they are acting unethically and rather shitty to me. I have had people stand me up and people place demands on my time and my person to which I have clearly given no consent.
I’m unleashing my inner Kali on ya’ll so don’t cross me.
On the consent issue: I got rid of one crazy and violent weirdo in my flat only to have him replaced by another weirdo. As my new flatmate, he invited me for a meal. I should have said no, but I didn’t want to be a bitch just because of someone else’s bad behaviour.
so, I said that it would be fine to have a meal together as long as there were no misunderstandings:
1. I am not interested in dating him; and
2. I am very private and I work from home so while I am happy to maintain a cordial relationship with flatmates, I keep to myself.
So, as long as he understood that, and that it was simply a cordial flatmate meal, I would go. He said that he understood and although I really did not want to go, we went to the Chinese buffet on my block. We had a superficial conversation, ate some food and then came home within about an hour and a half. He is not my kind of person, but it went fine.
Then he stopped at my door. He said: “Let me just….” and he leaned in to hold me and give me a kiss. Ack! I turned my cheek. He pulled back (phew) and came in again (so I turned for the European two cheek kiss). He pulled back – centred himself and came in again – holding me tighter. WTF?!?
I put my hands up and pushed him on his chest and said NO.
He slunk off but it left me with a skeevey feeling. You cross a boundary I have already set, regarding my body (lips and holding me count) then you’re finished, in my books. Kali takes no prisoners on this issue.
On another front, I’ve noticed someone acting unethically and underhandedly. They made a big song and dance about it and my experience says that the more a person talks about why they’re doing something without saying why they’re suddenly doing it that way, there is an ulterior motive about which they are not being upfront. I deal with people who are alternative – street art is an alternative subculture. But I don’t deal with people who are not acting with integrity.
Someone I admire took it upon themselves to treat my boundary statement of my current physical capabilities as an invitation (it was not) to offer her suggestions for treatment to improve my mobility and to share her belief systems on wellness and illness.
Some new age beliefs have some pretty harsh implications if you follow the reasoning.
I do not buy into the idea that it is a sick person’s responsibility to manifest miracles of healing with a positive attitude. The implication of it, if you follow the logic, is that those with illness and disability brought it upon themselves and if they do not heal themselves, they are not spiritual.
I am a yoga and Ayurvedic practitioner and I understand that the concept of “As you think, so shall you be” does not come from Wayne Dyer or from “The Secret” but comes from the ancient sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda. I also understand that karma has a role to play, as well. One cannot be released from karma by practicing yogic principles with an attachment to the outcome (healing). And so, it does no good to practice meditation or mantra with the aim of healing or with its sister – guilt for failure to be healed. Attachment of any kind will never release ones karmas. Attachment to manifesting miracles will actually prevent them, if you follow the logic of the belief system.
I offered that I felt that positive attitude through practices like GJOS could not guarantee miracles, but they allowed one to accept and to cope with one’s situation. I felt belittled. The person told me they were super spiritual (is the implication that, if I differ in belief, I am not?) and so they believed in and have seen miracles through positive thinking.
What happens when miracles don’t manifest? Is that the fault of the believer or is it the will of God? We either believe that we are all powerful or that God is. If we believe that God is, then surrender is part of the package. Total surrender is part of the package and absolutely necessary in the Vedas as well.
If you have faith in God, or Spirit or, as I like to call it, The Divine Quantum, then that faith must be present – always. It is not for us to expect or attach to the results of our practices and devotions. And people of faith are tasked to have that faith in adversity when miracles do not happen. I choose my attitude and I co-create miracles, but nothing, in my opinion, happens without Grace.
Grace, by definition, is not guaranteed. And lo and behold! Acceptance of Grace requires surrender.
In our “me”-centric new-age society, we have lost the understanding of the beauty, the poignancy and the total faith of surrender. We no more understand the difference between a faith filled surrender and resigned apathy than we understand quantum physics.
I am sure she meant no harm in this debate but I was angry. I realise that it is because I felt I needed to justify my belief to another person – and because I was personalising the discussion. That was borne of my own ego. I am willingly letting Kali cut the head off of that attachment.
But in doing so, I am aware of the loneliness of illness and disability for those who suffer. Some people avoid the topic and most of those who don’t will advise without first listening with compassion. We don’t know how to just sit with illness, in another person, without offering advice or glossing over suffering with hopeful platitudes. Maybe it triggers our own fears of death and so we can’t go into our compassionate selves. There, we must suffer with another person and face our own possible future. Good palliative care is rare in medicine and in the care we give to those in our social relationships.
As if that isn’t enough someone that I like and care about stood me up this week. They had said they wanted to attend an event with me when I mentioned it 3 weeks ago. A week ago I reminded them of the date. He just never showed up. When I was on my way home, I picked up an online message written around the time the event was ending.
I had a great evening anyway, but he was more than a friend. He wasted my energy and he is finished.
And in all of this Mercury runoff of nonsense and unnecessary drama, I had some very real grief to process. My cousin was laid to rest yesterday and we marked the 14th anniversary of 9/11 on Friday. I can’t comment further on how I feel about the anniversary. There are just some things in my life that have happened that nobody, who wasn’t there with me, will ever understand. It is a lonely and difficult day. Every year.
Swimming this week in all this has left even Kali a bit defeated and I am feeling ever more confused, lost and uncomfortable. I know I am in psychic pain because my mother is very much around me right now. I miss her so much and I wish I could talk to her. I am sure I know what she would say and I think she has sent me Kali to protect me and sever some heads.
Life comes in many colours. I started this journey 391 days ago and it opened my heart. We can’t expect to feel joy if we aren’t prepared to feel sorrow. And my joy and sorrow is all mashed together this week…as it is, in most of our lives.
It was a joy to hear a new singer for the first time this week at the gig Dan Shears was playing. Josh Savage came out into the audience and spoke about the inspiration for this song and asked us to sing along with him. I sang from the heart and I am doing it still.
I am grateful to have stumbled across Josh Savage and this song, in particular. As much as it gave me a joy to hear him, it pierced my heart with its clarity. But, when your heart is aching and everything feels like it is falling apart, maybe it is easier to sit in the abyss if you have the comfort of another’s story of loss, destruction and rebirth.
Follow Josh Savage at: www.joshsavagemusic.com
Dancing on “E” at a Rave:
Life is never monochrome. While there was a lot of blueness to this week, there was some incredible and joyful pink moments as well.
I didn’t go to a rave, and I wasn’t dancing on “E”. But, the event mentioned above (The Underhand Show and BSMT launch) was EPIC! I knew I would see some friends there but I didn’t realise how many and I got to meet a whole bunch of new and wonderful people. I’m not really a very social person and I have to admit that when I go to a party, you are going to get a person talking rubbish, and “being on.”
I noticed that with one of my favourite new friends – Plin. When we met and spent some time together a few months ago, it was in a circle of three. I’ve said before that more than 3 and its a party for this girl. I am an introvert.
I had wanted to connect with Plin at the event but it isn’t the right environment for me to have a real conversation with someone. I am not good at party talk or art talk and every time I talked to him, I felt I said the wrong thing – talking crap and not really thinking about what I was saying. I think he might have become uncomfortable. I know I got uncomfortable with myself. At one point we were left standing alone together and I didn’t know what to say because I’d said stupid stuff before. So, I talked about another artist’s work. I have no idea what I was nonsense I was talking about. He excused himself and I went outside and found a woman I knew and really, I bet we were both relieved.
Its such a shame. Whenever I meet him, it is a joy. He smiles with his eyes and they are alight with such warmth and intelligence and he observes everything. He gives the best hugs and his heart and mind seem wide open and that is so refreshing. He is youthful and he sparks that youthful side of me.
There is another side to my party personality that comes out. When she is ‘on,’ she can get a little wild. After the event, Kt- and I went and did something rather deviant that we had joked with Plin about doing with his art.
His art characters are like my friends and protectors on the street. When I see one of his characters – and actually, only one of HIS characters – I touch it and give it a little love, because it reminds me of him and it is like getting one of his great hugs and sending one back.
After we did our thing, Kt shared with him our ‘collaborative artwork’. I have never done anything like that before and I still can’t believe I did it, but it makes me laugh. I hoped that it would make him laugh.
And something wonderful happened in that moment, for me. In the midst of feeling sick and grieving the life I used to have and looking to an uncertain future with trepidation, I felt vibrantly alive. Doing something crazy and gansta is life affirming in the most exhilarating way. Defiance is the ultimate act of freedom.
But it is more. Something happened to me years ago and that left shame scars on my psyche and on my body. This act of defiance on the very streets near the scene of the crime vanquished those scars and I took back something that I had lost long ago. I suspect that Kali, as a symbol of feminine power and the force of female sexuality had a part to play in this as well.
Plin’s art touches the essential in me – and that essence is honest and is free spirited and is open.
If it hadn’t been for Plin, and for Kt-, I wouldn’t have had that moment.
Plin leaves London soon and I don’t know if we will meet again. That takes me back to blue again. But whatever the future holds, I am so grateful that he passed through my life.
And I am also grateful for Kt- in my life. He he is a great supporter of me. He is attracted mostly to black men and wants a husband so I did my best to get him one that night. He’s right…I have what the stereotype is of what many black men like – a curvy body with a big ass and blonde hair. So, I went up to strangers at the event and struck up a conversation with them and then managed to get Kt- into the conversation before I elegantly (or so I thought I was being elegant – but then again – see deviant act above) slipped away.
Unfortunately we were not very rational in our approach. It seems that most of the men who would love me would possibly not be interested in shagging him. I love Kt-. I met him and A0 and Pn the same night and it was like my fairy godmother sent me some lovely people into my life with one wave of her wand.
So, no. I did not go whale watching in the middle of London.
But I have been whale watching in the past and dropping into the moment and being totally one with the experience is what makes it so amazing. This week was a whirlwind. I quickly worked up an interview and article with Dan Shears and promoted his event on social media while I was also doing odd jobs for Greg and Lara’s show that opened Thursday. I didn’t get much sleep for a couple of days.
On Thursday night, as I was coming home, I noticed weird pains in my knees and tops of my shoulders. The pain progressed overnight into my back and rib cage and by Saturday it was in my arms, hips and toes. These are all weird pain places, other than the knees. I couldn’t sleep because of the pain and so I had to walk a fine line between trying to rest and simply witnessing my pain.
I spiralled into a pain/no sleep cycle and had to listen closely to what it wanted: now a shower, here a light off. Now some soft music, certain food, silence. My pain is demanding that I listen to the story my body is telling. I don’t understand this new language and so I am having to try to glean meaning from context. My pain is demanding that I sit with it. And Kali, the bringer of death and decay most certainly sat with me.
And in some moments, the world reduces to just me and the pain. And existing becomes a kind of meditation. Like watching whales, I am absorbed.
I think I will forego the usual format for this week. The only thing on which to comment is service. As I said, I helped Dan promote himself with my article, and continued to help with Lara’s and Greg’s show, I welcomed a new flat mate and I marched to Downing Street in solidarity with the refugees. Despite it all, I put myself out there and I kept looking for the good. I am grateful that I was able to contribute to the world around me, despite all that is falling away, within me.
So it only remains for me to ask…
For what are you grateful, this week?