Sunday, April 27, 2014

Winter into Spring (2014)

Last night I found a nearby park that was dark enough to lie down and look at the stars, which in Dallas can be a challenge. Among the various groupings visible, it was exciting to see the two figures of Gemini, arm in arm, Jupiter brightly nestled in between, and the "w" that is Cassiopeia, near the sky's zenith. Listening to all the fireworks, music, and gunfire all around, I wondered what the stars might think of this revelry. (01.01.14)

Dark walk in the woods tonight, stars spinning overhead. A magical crescent moon is peeking out from windblown trees. (01.05.14)

Austin art dreams: rescuing posters from a garbage bin, embossing a wax book, working on a muddy green painting, painting wall around others in conversation, engaging students, and a gypsy caravan music performance. (01.05.14)

Orange cat friend came in from the cold and slept on my pillow, hugging me with his outstretched paw. In the morning he grabbed my pen as I wrote in my dream journal, as though he had something to write, too. (01.07.14)

So tonight, Aries, Perseus, Cassiopeia, and the half moon waxing keep me company in the cold, clear air. I think of many questions to ask them, then lose my thought as a million billion other stars, dimmer and more distant than these, come into view. (01.07.14)

The sights and sounds, the sensations and endless nature of it all, can be both fascinating and overwhelming. To wake up inside the dream, to see it as it really is, and stay there with it, that's the thing. (01.09.14)

All the words unspoken, rays of warm sunlight moving in slow motion, a drop of water dissolving into the air, cold breeze blows right through you, thoughts without number lost, remade in each moment. (01.12.14)

My sangha is the stars in the night sky, the trees and also the wind that blows through them, the apparent solidity of rocks and earth, the water, both flowing and still, the creature friends moving and breathing, and all the forms my awareness rests in. (01.14.14)

I used to fight the vertigo, now I embrace it. That is the mantra of the great Heart Sutra, after all... gone, gone, gone beyond, parasamgate, bodhi svaha. (01.16.14)

Home boys blowin' smoke in the crisp night air of a pickup basketball game, as high above the stars twinkle, same as they have on a few hundred billion other nights, and I notice for the first time that Betelgeuse pulses red every few seconds, and that the dimmer stars come into focus when you're not really looking at them, and how I used to practice really hard, thinking I was gonna be able to slam dunk some day. I could touch the rim, at least. (01.21.14)

So it's the cusp of the Lunar New Year and, lying here, nothing in the night sky, save Jupiter and a few others peeking through the clouds, and it's really just another night passing through, and I wonder, "what kind of year will it be", hoping it will be a good one, but knowing regardless, it will be the right one, and resolve to throw myself, my love, fully into it, this new year, year of the horse. (01.30.14)

Crescent moon peers through El Greco skies, and just like that, the clouds clear to a field of bright stars, and closing my eyes, I walk along in the darkness, stumbling, and feeling the heavy pull of gravity inside this body. (02.04.14)

Everywhere I go, the neighbors are partying. Tonight it's a 5th floor apartment in Chicago Old Town, laughter and shrieks from across the hall as I try to decide which paperback to read in bed. (02.14.14)

She said "JC liked my Valentine". I asked, "what'd he do?" "He thanked me, and I thanked him too." And walking outside under a full moon, down brisk sidewalks, as lovers sit inside at tables with bottles of wine, staring into each others eyes, and me, back out on the street, walking fast to stay warm, breathing in the seventeen degree air and digging every minute, just being alive. (02.14.14)

So it's the tail end of this action packed day, and I'm doing great, meeting all of my deadlines, and as I stroll out of the last meeting of the day, walking confidently away from the building and toward the parking garage, I take my eye off the sidewalk to look at a stray cat across the way and... miss the curb, falling in slow motion now and realizing I'm falling, let myself go, landing in a heap on the concrete, my bag next to me. Picking myself up, I chuckle at the slapstick absurdity, and glance around to see if anyone saw me fall. (02.19.14)

Growing up, I knew no one who practiced yoga or meditation. Where I was raised, it was considered esoteric, at best. It wasn't until my late twenties that I met someone who practiced mindfulness, an old Dominican priest. It would be another fifteen years before I met anyone that practiced meditation (a young Buddhist monk in Vietnam) or yoga (a young Indian community college sadhu). Fast forward to now, I see many practicing yoga, and know a few who meditate, and both are widely understood. Such is life and change in the heartland. (02.28.14)

Dad checked out of the hospital today, and after saying bye, Noah and I spent the afternoon and early evening driving home. My iPod battery was low, so instead of chants, he cranked up Nine Inch Nails on his player and we blasted through Oklahoma with the windows down. (03.11.14)

Jazzed (and listening to jazz) in the studio today, getting new work ready for upcoming shows, buoyed by early spring sun, fresh air and the words of Kerouac: "Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry. It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever..." (03.13.14)

Woke up a little late this morning, muscles sore, a blister or two, but cells rejuvenated. I love to dance, the feeling of radical honesty with myself and those around me. Pushing past self-consciousness to that expansive place, one way in to the bliss recognition of no self. And besides, who needs an excuse to shake that ass with abandon? (03.16.14)

I've spent the last number of months in quiet solitude in my semi-rural apartment here in Dallas' Little Forest Hills, but that all is about to change. I picked up a set of speakers the other day, and coupled with the bright idea of listening to some new music, just plugged them into my laptop. It's a little experiment in equanimity with the volume turned UP... the neighbors are about to get some competition with those late night parties of theirs. (03.16.14)

Have lost and almost lost too many loved ones recently. A reminder of this beautiful fragile existence and to strengthen my resolve to love and be as present as possible in each moment and to each one I am with. (03.23.14)

Orange cat friend enjoys drinking almond milk, much more than eating cat food. He watches me shave. I think he has the soul of an old hippie. (03.25.14)

Turn off your tv, turn down the talk radio, if only for a moment, and let the mental projections drop away. Step outside, breathe in the cool air from the fresh spring rain and feel your own body as it moves through space. (03.26.14)

I remember that night, and you back in the room crying,
Our first big fight, and me walking alone on the beach,
Drunk and so in love with it all, a million stars spinning in the sky
Above me, losing myself and falling back on the sand,
Staring up now into infinity, some kind of revery, this. (03.27.14)

I don't care who wins, I just love to play the game... (03.31.14)

half-awake at dawn, listening to rain falling, morning thunderstorm. (04.06.14)

One of the best things ever: lying in the grass out in the middle of nowhere, in the dark, cool breeze blowing, watching the stars twinkle in the night sky. (04.09.14)

And there she is, if I allow myself to be mesmerized by her beauty, glowing somewhere down among Virgo's dancing feet, the night still, and Mars there too, hanging out to see what's next. (04.15.14)

So I've been laying there about forty-five minutes, staring up into the sky, and this truck pulls up, headlights aimed right at my head. Young guy hops out, staggers past me, pulls out a cigarette, lights it and looks up at the blood red moon saying, "dude, that's bad-ass". We exchange small talk as he finishes his smoke, and walking away, in parting he says, "I'm gonna go inside and pass out now". (04.15.14)

Just woke up from a dream where I climbed in through a factory window to an art studio filled with paintings, and Johnny Cash working intently among them. I say, "sorry Mr. Cash, I'll be out of your way shortly". Without looking up, he grunts and continues to work. (04.19.14)

Tonight at ecstatic dance, I took my deity visualization and became a disco ball spinning slowly on the dance floor. It feels great to be a disco ball, there's a stillness and majesty, like a star or planet moving through space. (04.19.14)

One of the best things ever (vol. ii): walking in a spring rain. (04.21.14)

Sitting in my apartment courtyard enjoying a snack as the sounds of an NBA playoff game and a woman moaning loudly blend together in the early evening breeze. (04.23.14)

I relate. You could be writing about a Flannery O'Connor character, or one who grew up among religious fundamentalism. The long road to learn that control is a prison, and an illusion. Then, understanding there is no one and nothing to control, freedom appears. Beautiful, out of control. (04.24.14)

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