A note about my recent posts

I know the reason most of you follow my posts here is because I unfailingly find good in even the most dire situations and that some of my more recent posts have been less than positive. This is done with intention.

I don’t talk as often about the difficulty and pain that comes before reaching those positive conclusions and in doing so I may be misleading or least sugar coating the pain that leads to those ends  but I don’t want to give others the impression that living a life of faith and hope, love and gratitude, is some sort of magic pill that makes everything easy.

There is no magic pill. No amount of meditation or breathwork or metta or exercise or healthy eating or yoga can change that. Life holds suffering for everyone. That is an inescapable fact. Nor would I want to escape it. There is a lot to be learned from suffering.

This is not to say that I actively pursue it. Just that I refuse to allow it to make decisions for me.

Having a positive outlook, living in faith, finding gratitude in even the most unbearable situations, are things that are cultured and nurtured. It isn’t natural instinct for any of us.

So here I am, in dire straights, and rather than share only the positive thoughts that are always there, even in the worst times, I have decided to take the opportunity in what I knew would be an extremely difficult and stressful situation and share those other things we all have in common and maybe in doing so I will be able to convey the methods I use to reach those positive ends.

I do feel pain. Fear. Anger. Self doubt. I am no different than you.

So stick it out with me on this journey. Stay tuned, as they say, and let’s find out together where this chapter leads. I have no doubt it will be someplace better!

Be well and know that you are loved.

James

Thoughts from the morning before

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It’s 3 am and I’m up with a case of heartburn so bad it feels like a heart attack. I’d blame the blackened red fish I ate for this wretched agony but it’s not that. Nor can I blame the Sazerac that complimented it. No, this is borne of frayed nerves and fear.

It is my last night here in The Mansion, an 1850’s monstrosity of a home in the heart of Mobile, and I am afraid. Afraid that I will always be scurrying to catch up. Afraid that I will never realize the person I am trying so hard to become. Afraid of the journey ahead of me.

Tomorrow, today, just a few hours from now, I will begin the long drive North. 1,800 miles back to the oilfield. Again. Stupid mouse to cheese trap. I have beaten the odds for a dozen years and managed to get the cheese before the trap clamped down on me. One day it will break my back and I’ll stare with glazed eyes at the molding cheese and wonder why I kept coming back for more.

I wish I could roll over and hold you close to soothe my nerves but the bed is empty. It is always empty. There has never been a woman in this bed.

That thought makes the heartburn worse so I throw the blankets back and scramble to the bathroom, sure that I’ll soon lose that excellent meal. The surge subsides before I get there but I’ve had enough nights like this in the last week to know it’s just a small reprieve so I down a handful of antacids to head off the inevitable follow up.

This is not the norm for me. I have been in situations that were far more stressful without suffering any kind of physiological effect.

So why now?

Writing, for me, has become a form of therapy. Visual meditation. A way to explore the thoughts that constantly ebb and flow with a life all their own. So I sit down and begin to write, casting my net with each stab at the keyboard until I snag that one random image that defines what it is I am feeling.

In this case it is the image of the empty bed and what I am feeling is lonely. No, not lonely. Alone.

Big surprise. You’d think I would have caught that as I wrote the cryptic poetry I posted earlier. I guess it was too obvious. So I read the poem again, something I really should do at least a few times before publishing. Write once, edit a hundred times. That, I’ve been told, is the set rule of writing. I should probably try it. The poem is horrid. It has potential, but it really is horrid. All over the map. I don’t recommend reading it. But it tells me what I need to know; I am never alone.

Right now there are thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of people all over the planet feeling exactly the same thing I am feeling.

I close my eyes, slow my breath, and reach out to them. To assure them they are not alone, to let them know that they are loved, that I am here with them and in doing so I offer those same things to my Self and receive them from others and those thoughts, or the combination of those thoughts and the antacids (credit where credit is due), begin to slow the burn and the frayed edges of my nerves begin to mend.

Still, I wish I could get back into that bed and hold you close.


Photo by Josh Applegate

so close i can taste

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a light rain
more a mist
a wet veil
cools the humid air
that clutches
and claws
suffocating
like some silent
assailant that cant be escaped
it swirls
in slight eddies
like cool water
in a warm pool
sweat runs off me
in a stream
still it feels like spring
life constantly flows here
something always in bloom
mushrooms sprout and die
sprout and die
the resurrection fern
mostly green
sleeping only hours at a time
the rain seems to never stop
yet does nothing
to subdue the humidity
giving life
to all this glorious green
even I
suffocating in the heavy air
grow


Image by Johannes Hofmann

Sleep now, Love

Sleep now, Love
Forget the troubles of the day
Leave behind your worries
Fears and struggles
Fill your mind with memories
Of the pleasures that we share
With the joyful laughter
From the stories that we tell
Feel now only
The slight pressure
Of my hand upon your neck
Drawing you back
As I kiss you from behind
And whisper in your ear
Lay here next to me, Love
Let the fingers of my soul
Melt into you
Let our breathe
And the beating of our one heart
Become a song
That makes the gods weep
In envy of our humanity
Let our bodies touch
With hot serenity
Keeping passion kindled
To burn again at dawn
And as we drift, Love
Let our dreams weave together
A peaceful tale
Where the horizon
Never ending
Lit by both
The sun and moon
Is filled with colors
Indescribable
And we float among the clouds
Together
Sleep now, Love
I am here

 

 

 

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Simple

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The wind in my face on a hot day
While I strain and swear
Wrench in hand
Making repairs on those things
That seem ever broken
Because my wallet doesn’t weigh enough
To spread the wealth
The salty sweat as it touches my lips
The water that tempts and taunts
The icy brew that lightens the load however briefly
The sun behind the limbs
Of the giant pecan tree
That gave up the last of its nuts and leaves
Long ago
Yet still provides
Even in its final days
Shade and shelter
The sound of music
Through the abused speakers
Of a radio new before cell phones
The phone I tap with fingers calloused
From too many hours
Of work
And play
It’s bright screen repeating my words back to me
Scribing the love I feel
Always
That makes me smile or cry
That drives the words that escape me
While listening to songs I don’t know the words to
Wrenching on broken things under the shade
Of love itself
Simple

 

 

Magick

Go through life with your eyes closed and you will miss the profound magick that surrounds and permeates us. We are constantly enveloped in it. Immersed in it. It flows through us and from us.

Open your eyes!

Look for it!

Live it!

Northern Lights over North Dakota

Northern.Lights.in.North.Dakota.by.Carl.Jones

I stand amazed
In a field of gold
Under a starry sky
Lit by green mist
A gentle wind sighs
Across the empty plain
After a cold rain
That has washed away
This far too short
Autumn day
Leaving the musky scent
Of harvest
And petrichor
To fill the chilled air

As the undulating stream
Of energy flows
I stand in silent wonder
Of such immense beauty
Taking my breath away
and dream

Oh, to take flight
Into this mystery
To join it there
So many miles away
Yet close enough to feel
It’s magic course
Through my veins
To sweep so high
I see from above
It’s glory
Then to dive
Through it’s dance
An play in its glory
To bathe in such light
Would be sublime
To be one with it
Divine

I close my eyes
let loose my soul
and fly

Image of the Northern Lights over North Dakota by Carl Jones

3:33

333

It’s 3:33 am. The witching hour.

There’s a lot of nonsense that goes along with numbers. Especially repeating numbers. Among the nonsense are some very few truths.

Truth #1 – 3:33 am is too damn early to wake up – I don’t care who or where you are, this, I believe, comes as close to a universal truth as I can imagine. Right next to “stubbing your barefoot toe on a raised piece of sidewalk sucks ass”.

Truth #2 – 3:33 am is the witching hour – This truth is best taken with a grain of salt or, if you have high blood pressure, with a graham cracker and a glass of goat milk – Historically, it is the time when the veil between worlds is the thinnest. When dreams are best shared or traveled. When the spirits of other planes are most easily contacted. Don’t ask me why this is, I have never found a reasonable explanation, but it is the time when most serious occultists do their most serious work. It’s when I do my own work, like this piece, and other… stuff.

Truth #3 – Waking at specific times or noticing specific times when glancing at a clock is a way for the subconscious (read: NOT angels) to pass messages to the conscious. We make connections to these inferences and interpretations in our waking hours and our subconscious, which is a far better keeper of time than we give it credit for, tells us, “Hey, Nimrod, look at the clock. It’s 11:11. Time for a change. Maybe get off yer ass and follow through on your workout goal or something useful, eh?”

I get that number a lot.

So here it is, 3:33 am, or it was when I first woke anyway, now it’s like 5:20, which is 4:20 somewhere, which is a whole different number, and to be honest I’m a little confused because I have never (consciously) agreed on the meaning of 3:33 so I have no idea what message my subconscious is sending me except this: It’s too damn early.

 

And now it’s too late to go back to bed… maybe it is witches.

 

No news is good news

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“News”
Is a modern thing
Based on gossip
And lies
Sent on waves unseen
Carried by sponsors
Who want me to buy
The product they proclaim
Will make my life better
So long as I listen
Or watch
With horror
The news designed
To modify my thoughts

So I don’t

I don’t need anyone to tell me
“The world is ending!”
If that day comes
I won’t need to be told at all
Not at all

Instead I create this place
Where there is no hate
Where there are no lies
No commercials
No sponsors
No hate
No one to tell me “You must”
“You should”
“You can’t”
Only Love
And the intentions of Love
Because nothing else matters