Metaphors and mysteries
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Syntax and symmetries
Brightness and shadow
Ah, a queer-looking fellow
He gives you a mystery
Which you do not discard
Instead you persist in unraveling it
And there you are unraveling both now and long ago
Understanding the choice you just made set you free
you get it
you get it
you get it
Now, go back to the beginning: July 31, 2005
Copyright 2006 by Wallace Bass Boyd
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
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Maybe I’m no criminal, as my ego would have me believe. Maybe I’m a student learning to transform my world. Maybe we are all students doing the Wonder Twins-bit, learning to transform our world through our trial-and-error search for our divinity. I am that I am. But, what am I really? Have you read anything like this? (Now, be honest. I can see you reading this. I am your mind, talking to you. Poof, I’m gone. Catch your breath. Breathe, breathe, breathe.) Maybe it wasn’t that I couldn’t write, as a third grade teacher’s aide (name undisclosed out of respect for her growth) once suggested to me. Maybe I can write better than many excellent writers. Maybe I can write my story better than anybody else. And, this makes me a better writer in my own mind(where it counts the most). In looking back, a lot of what I have been doing is trying to get myself to believe that the teacher’s aide was wrong. I don’t have to make her wrong, I just have to see her words as symptomatic of any number of the countless opinions that I do not share. One that I hold – whether I like is or not – is the opinion that believing in my best life is all I need to do to release my resentment and unleash my imagination. After all, there are many ways to get to heaven. I still harbor resentments of my family, but I have a great incentive to forgive, and, thus, awaken even more of my imagination. My joy is about waking up to discover that there is a different, happier way. Thank goodness at least for the illusion of time. The teacher’s aide was right about my copying another writer’s story (“Cinderella,” for the curious.) But, for some reason, that story draws me. In my mind, my stepsisters are two black women educators(one of them the teacher's aide, the other a college professor) and one white male ex-GI guidance counselor. In their different ways, they said, “You can’t go to the writer’s market because you must get a job. And, besides, you don’t have the relevant skills. Your deportment has much to be desired and your nose is just a little too big. Let us not forget skin tone, complexion, and, er, hair.” And, through my God/ess-given determination that transforms all suffering into my highest good, I slipped out of the prison that I created for myself out of their beliefs. (There had to be a nicer joint for me to hang around.) Now, I declare openly that I am no criminal. Now, I am free. Now, I transform my world into my spiritual paradise, through the execution of my choice to "write in water color." (Sometimes I hide my artist.) Eleanor Roosevelt admonished me to do what I think I cannot do. Towards my fear I have been going …And, with the help of love sent from near and far, I am now headed to the writer’s market in New York City. Need I say more?
And, I intend to make the most of this opportunity…May we schedule an appointment? Email me at email@example.com at your convenience. I expect to be in New York between mid-July and early October. Please email me with the best times for you.
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I heal my world by telling my stories and helping others tell their stories. These stories are persuasive, informative, and instructive. These stories are shared orally, literally, and electronically. And, there is no pressure to participate. Instead, through the use of mindful listening, recording, consultation, and communication exercises, I create a dynamic and safe communication environment where people want to speak their truth.
Fiber Arts-related Tours
I tell amazing stories drawn from native spiritual and cultural traditions while leading enriching, economical, healthy, friendly, and safe tours throughout the part of the world that inspired the works. I connect my guests and local fiber artisans by means of intimate multicultural story circles and indigenous fiber arts classes. Through these voluntary conversations, my guests and hosts share spirit and culture. I use my communication training and experience to create a dynamic and safe communication environment where people want to speak their truth and optimize learning. Additionally, I coach participating guests through the creation of a personal memoir of their journey. Upon their request, the finished piece and relevant photos are reproduced in a handsome, bound, complimentary, commemorative book of the tour. Guests can also submit their work to our tour blog. Available to progressive schools, liberal arts colleges and universities, civic groups, churches, and fiber craft circles.
Inspired Storytelling Concerts, Keynote Speaking, Intensive Writing Workshops
I present lyrical and autobiographical stories in solo or group multimedia concerts, and discuss the performance in small groups after the show. I take the experience one step further by offering guests intensive writing and personal storytelling weekend workshops in a dynamic and safe communication environment co-created by our listening, recording, and expressing our truth mindfully. Available to liberal arts colleges and universities, art galleries, fiber arts festivals, private libraries, holistic learning centers, salons, and progressive churches and civic groups.
When you knit, what do you hear? How does the yarn feel? How do you cope with errors and (gasp!) beginning again? How willing are you to undo your hard work to correct it? Are you ready? Available via mobile classrooms to schools, civic groups, churches, and holistic learning centers.
I help artists and artisans tell the story of their business, service, or special event through word-of-mouth, print, and electronic media. In the first one-hour consultation, I interview the client to learn the true story of their business, service, or special event. I offer the client specific writing exercises to help them clarify their vision. In the second one-hour consultation, I coach the client through the refinement of their vision and the development of a communication plan that will realize their vision. Available to creative entrepreneurs, artists, and artisans.
Wendell Martin, a dear Friend from Florida, wrote me recently with this original blessing poem (Please send more!):
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Greeting to all
I'm sharing with you something that I wrote to express my feelings as to why - when I'm asked "how are you?" - my response is delightful. Some may understand, and those who don't...feel free to ask your questions.
Lessons of Life
I feared being alone…until I learned to like my self.
I feared failure until I realized that I only fail when I don't try.
I feared people's opinions until I learned that people will opinions about me anyway
I feared rejection until I learned to have Faith in myself and The Power Within Me
I feared pain until I learned that it's necessary in order for me to grow
I feared the truth until I saw the ugliness in lies and deceit
I feared life until I experienced the beauty of living to learn and learning to live
I feared death until I realized that it's not an end; but a new beginning
I feared my destiny, until I realized that I had the power to change my life
I feared hate until I saw that it was nothing more than ignorance
I feared love until it touched my heart, making the darkness fade into endless sunny days
I feared ridicule until I learned how to laugh at my self; knowing that I'm only human
I feared growing old until I realize that I gain wisdom everyday and beauty of aging.
I feared the future until I realized that it could no longer hurt me; and that he who holds the future, also holds the reins of life
I feared the darkness until I saw the beauty of a star-lit night
I feared the light until I learned that … Truth would give me strength and Faith would see me through
I feared change until I realized even the most beautiful butterfly had to go through a change before it could fly.
I delight in knowing that it's nothing in my day that can prevent me from choosing how I feel, being all that I am and all that I hope to be.
"An Amusing Epistle to a Long-Absent Friend"
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We loved and cherished each other until you were summoned into the service of the God/ess as Kwan Yin. Because you loved him so deeply I could only love her too and love all the men who loved him as well. You called her Dionysius, never confusing him with Narcissus. You called him Lillith, never confusing her with Eve.
How many years have passed since we were together? My statue of you still stands in the halls of power. How at home you are there, with your fiery compassion and fierce modesty. Through my hands I have served love, and I am pleased. Thank you for your guiding light.
When you left, I hired a young painter with your heart. (Neither of you can ever be replaced.) He has as brave a heart as I remember in you, though he has his own special gifts of healing as well. His voice is like the young boys who sang songs of our heroic scholars during the religious wars.
As you grew into your identity, I forgave you for shining.
The years have been kind to you, gentle spirit. You wear your wisdom well. Perhaps, we were meant to wake each other up throughout the illusion of time.
Can you, me, and the young painter have dinner sometime?
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America is having an intense discussion about many things.
It is occurring in our very mind.
On-line we share the same mind.
Off-line we share the same mind.
Collectively we assert our mental will.
Desire is active willing.
Choose Peace and it ends.
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"A Call to Life"
When a baby can outlive its mother
And we welcome strangers to our best table...
When we tolerate the feeble-minded
And we stop trying to label...
This is life.
When we sing the songs of our ancestors
And we dance as our grandmothers did...
When we choose to be brave and ornery
And we smile and reach out to a kid...
This is life.
When we share what we have
And we don't try to horde anything...
When we recognize our abundance
And become aware of relentless desiring...
This is life.
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My eyes are not worthy to look upon thy face.
I can only see thee through the eyes of my dog.
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Let us rise above the petty calls for destruction,
And lift a voice honest and free.
Let us call for the liberation of innocence,
And support life's right to be.
Let us not search the courts for right answers,
Or scour our minds for blame.
Let our heart's true love triumph,
So we may learn our True Name.
Let us seek our place wherever it may be,
And not wait for our ship to come in.
Let us enjoy our days while we can,
And not worry so much about sin.
Let us cram our minds with beauty,
And release our trembling doubt.
Let us give our wardens no choice
But to let the people come out.
Let us seek out the work of artisans,
Instead of the slave trade of kids.
Let us support a cadre of artists
Who do as we once did.
Let us remember when we were heroes,
Queens of Battle in our domain,
Super-kids in towel-capes with holes,
High Priests of the creative game.
Let us pooh-pooh the fears of the guardians,
And resolve to think only for ourselves.
Let us storm the flimsy fortress of Ego,
And fill our love factories with Elves.
Let us take note of our patterns of thinking.
Who do we really think we are?
Let us open our minds to a whisper,
A call to explore from afar.
An acquaintance asked if I had any ideas for touring North Carolina, around and in Asheville. Here are my suggestions.
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Malaprops Books and Coffee Shop. Join a mixture of college students and independent thinkers for an hour or two of knit-and-nosh. No store-books are allowed in the cafe until after you have purchased them.
Earth Guild. Just down the street from Malaprops, this established, mostly-fiber arts store has a large book collection, knowledgeable and friendly personnel, and a no-frills yarn stash. This is a store where the basics are treasured.
Weekend Artisan Market and the nearby Novelty Shops and Cafes. Sample Western NC artists with unique local products: Tasty jams, Flax-seed Eye Pillows, etc. Nearby you'll find established specialty shops for men, women, and the curious. Don't miss them!
Black Mountain. Site of the most radical educational institutions and home to fantastic bookshops and artisan businesses. Drop by Black Mountain Books. Excellent selection of hard-to-find titles on fiber craft and local history. When I was there last, a charming retired engineer was working there part time. Tall and slender he was, and as nice as he could be. Don't miss the Black Mountain Art Gallery either! The show I last saw there was a little creepy but VERY provocative.
Warren Wilson College. A radically progressive work school run by students and teachers where our own Knitting-N-The-City member Juliana attends.
*The Folk School at Penland, NC "A National Center for Craft Education," according to the school website. Although I was only there very briefly, I immediately felt comfortable in the collegiate type atmosphere.
*John Campbell Folk School at Brasstown, NC. Strong in knitting and fiber arts, JCF offers another NC tradition in craft education. (I'll be be there teaching "Knitter's Book Camp" later this summer.)
*Cherokee, N.C. Start driving at the north-end of state highway 441 and prepare to see breath-taking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains as you proceed south. Drive in low-gear to save your brakes; it's mostly downhill. Keep your eyes peeled for the Native craft shops. They are scattered and a little hard to find, but well worth it if you happen upon one of them and stop. And, if you just can't shake that slot machine habit, don't overlook the casino at the bottom of the hill. The area's website is www.cherokee-nc.com.
Washington, District of Columbia
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I've been pounding the pavement and knocking on doors, casting money spells here and there and following the trail of my misplaced life. I lived to tell about one of the most traumatic events of my life! I have nothing but admiration for myself. I am a survivor who still helps those in need.
My family relationships suffered the effects of booze. But, in the end, I was the root of all this trouble. In my crazed childhood I came to accept that the gregarious, intelligent, fun lady who I knew as my mother could transform into a loud-talking, crazy bitch in a heartbeat. Choosing to think her behavior was my fault, I forgot those times came between drinks. Sure, I overlooked such odd behavior to bargain for love. If I got it, I felt blessed. If I didn't get it, I felt cursed. I couldn't make up my mind whether to love Her or hate Her. She was very complex. Sometimes my birth mother was a gentle breeze. Sometimes she was a hurricane-monsoon. I was very confused.
But there has been a mistake: None of this means anything. There is no right or wrong, good or bad; there is only My Essence and My Humanity. At that age I could not have comprehended this spiritual choice. All I could see was the simple duality - not the complex unity. I chose not to see the great peace of my accepting the complex unity of all things.
The world I remember cannot be unmade. But, I can remake it in the image of the complex unity of My Essence and My Humanity. My Essence is of all things beyond this world. My humanity is of all things in this world.
I am losing connection to my past. And, I am willing to let go. Wow overflows the Now. I welcome new experience. I sacrifice my past to this moment.
I allow these experiences to blow my mind, a repository of the trappings of the past.
Since returning to Washington, I have attended a wonderful conference where I learned that I was a reluctant leader. I will use authority to the extent that it gets me what I want. But, when I have nothing at stake, I let sleeping dogs lie.
I watch my thoughts to see how I am being human. In between my thoughts rides My Essence. Feeling the presence of My Essence is enough often. But, sometimes when circumstances feel too tangled up on the past, I must dive into My Essence.
It's pleasant to watch what I do when there is some power up for grabs. Basically I charm everyone into letting me have it. Then I turn around and give it away.
That's what I should do. But, that is not what I always do. Sometimes I'll punish people with my hard-won power, teasing them with it, taunting them with it, then taking it away. That isn't playing nice. Never has and never will be. I'm determined to break myself of that habit because when I play that game somebody always gets hurt. Might be me. Attack and defense gets tired after a while. Better to let go of Power and latch on to Grace, that mix of humility and authority.
All I need to live this life graciously is Dignity.
The message I was given to give myself in this moment is: "Every man has a right to seek God in his own way." This is the last thing my father said to me before he died. Although his experience of the Divine tended to favor the masculine ideal, I hope that he saw the Divine as genderless and fiercely compassionate. But, even if he didn't, I do.
Knitting Mountain Oracle Dragon
West Point, Georgia
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1. I planted my garden today. After composting leftover vegetables since fall, I turned up the soil and mixed in some of Kuan Yin's feces earlier this week, then, I planted the seeds for turnips, English peas,and butter lettuce today. This is my first garden in over 30 years. I was a little nervous about my doing it properly. But, I decided to trust that I'd learned 30 years ago. Soon my nervousness evaporated. I told myself, "all I can do is put the seeds in the ground and hope for the best. All that I learn, I'll remember next time." Isn't that all any of us can do? Live our life, start our projects, share our ideas, and learn from the experience. But, if we do not live, start, or share, we are assured of one thing: We will harvest nothing. Some things grow; some perish. That's life.
2. The act of planting new beginnings is a vote for life after death. I enriched the soil with rotting vegetables and dog shit, so that it could nourish life. In parallel, out of the life of my parents - now dead - I was born. And, their lives enriched my world so that I am growing in spite of my loss. I am nourished by their death.
3. I'm finding that as I move forward here, every step is a victory in my recovery. They are baby steps to be sure, but they are the result of my decision not to stand still. I know that the most powerful thing that I can do is to believe in possibility.
4. This afternoon, while walking to work it occurred to me that my current circumstance is a great opportunity. Although my funds are low, I am blessed with a powerful imagination, a well-trained mind, a place to study in solitude, and a great mentor. With these tools, people have built their dreams. I am seeking to do the same thing.
5. I have been fortunate with my mentor because he challenges me to prosper in accordance with my dreams. He'll provide the opportunity for me to make money, if I provide the dreams. It is very, very exciting! My very life and livelihood depend on what I create. How many people get to create work they love in order to live the life of their dreams?
Chambers County Library; Valley, Ala.
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1. Dogwoods are exploding in white - only white. It's been that way around here since I was a child. I'd forgotten until I witnessed it again.
2. Winter has been hard - very hard. But, I and Kuan Yin survived it. And, I am far wiser because of it. My boyfriend refers to my visit home, so far, as my sojourn to the hermitage. Except for occasional visits with friends and neighbors or trips to the public library, I have been without regular company. While I have felt isolated in many ways, I have come to appreciate the steady moments of reflection.
3. My knitting has been my constant companion. Two or three sweaters, a skirt, and a pair of socks are being worked at present. It helps me keep my mind anchored in reality, while nourishing my creativity through discipline.
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1. Here I am again at the Troup-Harris-Coweta Regional Library trying to write well on a limited amount of time. So here I go!
2. I've dealt with a range of emotions as I went through my late-mother's things, trying to decide what to keep and what to throw out. I plan on donating all her church programs and obituaries to the local archives for posterity. Better than burning, I say. When I proposed the idea to the curator, an old mentor and friend, she was thrilled! There is not a lot of history about African-Americans in the archives. I don't think it is because the libraries don't want them; I think it is because families do not think that such things as old church programs and obituaries are important enough for posterity. And, when I mentioned that I'd be willing to donate some of my own creative works, her eyes lit up. (See, she has known me for many years and claims to still have a local history trivia game that I invented in high school.) I'll write more on this as it develops. She also encouraged me to write my family history. I'm intrigued by the idea. I envision a "Negro Camelot" because that is what it was, with my great-grandfather (George Canady) as King Arthur and my great-grandmother (Lizzie Winston Canaday) as a cross between Queen Guenevere and Morgan Le Fey. Yes, faerie energy goes way back in my family!
3. Money has been an issue! But, I have been able to keep up. I found $100 in change laying around the house. I used $67 of this money to get the power turned on. There is still a $223 electric bill left over from July and August - when I ran the air conditioner constantly to combat the oppressive Georgia heat. Fortunately, the city manager agreed to allow me to pay off the amount over a month's time. Creditors have been calling. My cousin Bobby and a Burt, a family friend, said that I should get legal advice but that bills under $5,000 will likely be forgiven or written off.
4. A notice of a whole life insurance policy my mother took out on herself came in the mail last week, to the tune of $3,000. As soon as I could, I went over to the mortician to ask if she could investigate its legitimacy. If that money comes through, I won't be under the gun so much to find work for the time when my unemployment runs out. However, I already have four good job leads. However, I'd prefer to spend my time writing, knitting, spinning, and sewing. We'll see how that works out.
5. Of course, I've been missing Joe. He and I haven't heard each other's voice since we parted after Thanksgiving. I'm sad about this situation, but I have been able to read emails from him when I can get to library. It is hard for me to imagine the days when letters took weeks, even months to arrive.
6. The plan this week is to take some of the money from my $280 unemployment check to get the phone turned on. I think I owe $80, but I'm not 100% sure.
7. How I'm making it, I cannot comprehend. But, I am. And, for this, I am grateful.
8. I gotta dash now, Kuan Yin, who is the sweetest most loving dog I ever had, now sits in the car with my groceries with includes some packages of luncheon meat. So, you can understand why I cannot stay long.
Wallace aka Knitting Dragon aka Mountain Oracle aka (new) The Blue Raven
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1. Thanksgiving was great. Joe and I drove down North Carolina to meet his family. His parents were nice. His brothers were warm too.
2. After North Carolina, I went to visit an old school mate in Augusta. Again, I was surrounded by warm and loving people. I got a chance to tell a few stories to the daughter of the couple I went to visit. Children are soooo amazing!
3. I headed out this morning to West Point, but I want to check my email before I went down.
4. My heart has a lot of mixed feelings. I am worried if the house is still standing, if it's been broken into, how difficult will it be to turn the power back on. Hmmm all in good time.
5. I think things are working out beautifully. My awareness is heightened - greatly heightened. I see myself as driving in under the cover of night. No one is expecting me.
6. I had lots of ideas about how to make money, and what plan I have to do next.
7. However, I really can't get into those plans now because I have a 15-minute time limit on this computer.
8. My life is something I'm making up now. It is a complete fantasy. I love it. Where will it go?
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1. Drove down in a huff because I - well I needed a smoke. And, because
I was mad because I was leaving, uprooted yet again.
2. Honey, I peed on myself because I was in such a hurry to get back and
start packing. But, Spirit was telling me, "it's time to go now. I've
got something else I need you to do." So, at the appointed hour of
departure - which came when it came - I rode on to glory.
3. No, don't you worry my dear friend. I'm led by All That Is Eternal,
Infinite, and One With Me.
4. What is the message? Hmmmm. I don't know. Let me think awhile. I'll
tell you in the spring...
5. I wonder if my personality changes from place to place. No, I think I'm the same with everybody. I just try to tell people the truth.
6. In the meantime, I'm going to make a list of the things that I seek and see how they are brought into my life. This is where I'll keep the record.
7. A Prophecy: Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave When First We Practice To Deceive...Peace on Earth is brought about by the implosion of the Republican Party. Yet the people did not return to the Democrats. They put all their political representatives on notice that the jig was up. And, the American People through various discussions on the Internet, came up with a new form of government. It was responsive to changing economic circumstances, debt-free, filled with people who demand and receive the time to take care of their mind, body, and spirit, jammed packed with liberal-arts oriented schools and universities, and hell-bent on getting people to think - instead of NOT think. And all people began to carry around in their pocket this reprinted document that read: "We the People of the United States, do pledge to treat one another royally. Furthermore, we do vow from our deepest place of knowing to treat ourselves royally. We make decisions based on which ones will bring us the most peace and joy. We will admonish our children to Seek, Learn, Imagine, and Create, and abandon put-downs altogther, even the one we "really didn't mean." Peace in every step.
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1. My new website is up and running. There are some minor payment problems, but, I have taken steps to correct them by following through with next steps with my payment service provider and with my web designer.
2. My Higher Power directed me to give my work away. ("What?!" I exclaimed to myself.) But, ultimately I trusted the direction and I worked out a plan where I would sell collector's CD editions - all signed and numbered - for $20 (plus tax), alongside complimentary copies of my CD. Moreover, I decided to do all my performances for free. I see it as an enormous way of giving to myself by giving to my community. Stories should be free.
3. The result was this: I sold more CDs than I gave away. (None of the collector's editions were returned, while 60% of the giveaways came back to me and even THEY brought in money.) I think I shall use the giveaway earnings to pay-off my debts because it truly comes from God/ess anyway. The sales revenue should be put towards prospering the business through re-investment and taking care of myself who is the greatest asset in my business.
4. I listened to a duplicated CD of my stories last night after I heard some sound distortion in a collector's edition of the CD that I'd already sold. (This was the result of my using poor quality computer equipment to duplicate the CD as I rushed the product to market.) I can make amends for this error by using the funds from the sales to pay for another round of duplication on better equipment and send the improved products to those listeners who were harmed by my error. However, on the plus side, those who have the original CDs have a unique performance because of my error, which will probably make the product go up in value. The originals have the quality of being forged on a home computer, adding to their folk charm.
5. I'm leaving for Georgia today. Because of my work with DA (Debtors Anonymous), I expect to be able to pay off the mortgage on my house and create a unique livelihood that prospers me and helps others.
6. May I stand in the shower of blessings, until I'm forgotten about.
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1. The Four Principles of Freedom: Seek, Learn, Imagine, Create!
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1. This weekend brought a wonderful spiritual awakening. I learned that
perfect peace comes from being peace.
2. Spirit drafted me into the service of an itinerant plumber who is an
avowed alcoholic. He needed a helper on a job to install a bidet. I
agreed to help in hopes of earning a few bucks to pay for gas back home
to Georgia. (I'm in upstate New York at this moment.)
3. Although I feared that the effects of alcohol would get him fired from
the job, I did not interfere with his drinking. When he asked for
money (that I had been given for him), I gave it, no questions asked.
When he ordered a drink, I paid for it out of money I had been given
for him by the woman who generally enables him in his drinking. (The
gas in my car had been paid for by them, in exchange for my driving
them around to run errands.)
4. I offered to help him in exchange for $20 and, after some griping, he
agreed. I believed that my getting the $20 he'd promised me for the
help rested on his success at this job. (This was my initial error.)
And, to this end, I worried about his competence. At one point, I told
him I was worried about his ability to do the job and that he should
back out if he had any doubts. I worry now that my words may have
created the reality of his failure, because that is exactly what he
did: He failed. But, I think it was mostly the alcohol.
5. But, thank goodness I was able to see the error in my thinking: Getting
my $20 had nothing to do with his success; it had to do with our
honoring the contract he and I made and taking action to see that it
was honored. So, when he would veer off course in his alcohol-induced
confusion (e.g. a third trip to the hardware store, a stop at home to
smoke a bowl of pot, a trip to a buddy's house to borrow his drill.), I
reminded him throughout the day that his $20 only entitled him to so
many trips to the hardware store (His license was taken away for driving while drunk.) and so much of my time.
6. Then, I entered this place of peace where I gave up wanting to control
how he kept the contract - only THAT he kept the contract. And I made
up my mind not to interfere with his process of growth. I would be
compensated for this lesson, one way or another, I told myself.
7. When I reached that point of awareness, I was able to detach, realizing
REAL SERENITY comes from minding my own business.
8. Here is what happened: He paid me what I wanted, ahead of schedule and
with no overtime. And, what's more, he was packed and ready to go at
the time we had agreed to leave. And, I had the most peaceful day,
even though I spent most of the time watching him bungle the job. As a
matter of fact, when his customer - an intelligent and wise elderly
Italian lady - gently questioned me about his competence, I told her,
truthfully, "Senora, I know nothing. I am only here to assist
him." And, while the two of us listened as my drunken, incompetent
friend rambled aimlessly and noisily in her basement for the water
valve, we had the most lovely, wonderful, brief conversation about
staying clean and active in one's senior years. I did as commanded by
my boss (until 1 p.m.), and otherwise remained quiet but congenial.
9. I watched her get nervous about my friend's competence. I watched him
try to blame her for his incompetence. But, as soon as the
conversation would get heated, I'd take a walk outside because their
contract wasn't my business. My business was fulfilling my contract
with my boss - not his contract with someone else.
10. And it worked out great! I recognized my friend's ability to abide by
a contract by insisting that he honor the one he held with me. And, I
think in this one act I showed him I was truly his friend. By my
keeping him focused on his contract with me, I made it very difficult
for him to allow himself to use his addiction as an excuse to not honor
our agreement. The experience has shown me how my addictions interfere
with my own ability to honor my agreements. I will need to meditate on this
11. So, though I am a debtor, a loafer, a dreamer, and a visionary, I know
I have an innate sense of accountability that is always there. I just
have to put it into action and encourage others to do the same.
Take care everyone,
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1. All I can remember was the color of his steel-blue eyes, when the police took my spiritual teacher away.
2. My heart sank with my shoulders as I witnessed him being led away in chains in this small mountain town in the middle of nowhere. Again, I am left alone, I thought to myself.
3. "No, darling, not this time. You have friends, a wonderful lover, and a great life. Your past is over and done with. You have fully embraced your right to be free," came a voice from off to the right and above my head. I looked and there sat a sky-blue raven. He had a rainbow-colored beak too.
4. "You have a gift and you have pursued the realization of your gift to the ends of the earth," the bird continued. (I didn't bother to question the reality I was witnessing.) "For this, I shall tell you the person who you are. You are The Blue Raven, Eternal Chi Master of Hand, Heart, Voice, and Mind."
5. "The Chi Master of what?" I queried incredulously. I sat on the moist earth and pondered this message. The raven flew from the branch and stood on the ground next to me.
6. "The Blue Raven, Eternal Chi Master of Hand, Heart, Voice, and Mind," the raven repeated impatiently. "You are ordained to serve the world with your gift for story, song, craft, and unbridled folk wisdom. The truth that comes from your mouth will soothe the masses. The gifts you make with your hands shall comfort them. And, with the teachings of your mind you shall empower them to use their fear and shame as stepping stones to peace. Channel Chi through your mind, hand, voice, and body. This is how you shall balance the world again. Direct the Chi into living things, communities, and people to renew them and restore the balance. Get it?!" It was then that I noticed that the blue raven spoke with a Brooklyn, New York accent.
7. "Brooklyn!?", I said. "My hallucination comes from Brooklyn?!"
8. "And what's wrong with Brooklyn?" the bird chided. "We have the Brooklyn Bridge, the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and Prospect Park - just to name a few...Wha' you prejudiced against me 'cause I come from Brooklyn. Honey, please! I got too many stops on my agenda today to stand here and be insulted. You want this knowledge or not? 'Cause if you don't, just say so. No feathers off my back."
9. "No, it's just that...Well, I expected something bigger than a blue bird from Brooklyn for my spiritual awakening," I said sheepishly.
10. "So, honey, I didn't meet your expectations? Sue me! Besides, this is not about you, it is about your gift. I just had a slot open on my calendar. Wha! Do you want Ram Dass to come tell you, or, maybe, Pema Chodron. Well they're busy! I'm all you got. And, honey, let me tell you, that's plenty. A sky-blue colored raven with a rainbow beak comes and starts talking to you and all you have to say is you were 'expecting something bigger.' Hmmmph! Go figure." the raven said and turned to fly away.
11. "No, stay. Don't go. I'm feeling very lonely," I begged. "I'm listening."
12. "Say please. Wha' your mamma didn't teach you no manners!," the blue bird retorted. "My grand pappy was a dinosaur. My people been around the block a few times. And, I don't mean a city block! But, I can tell ya' I been around a few of those too. But, I'll forgive you. I don't have time for grudges."
13. "Please," I said gently.
14. "Now that's more like it," the ancient reptile said with satisfaction. And, then, it began to give me my marching orders.