Super moon eclipse – January 20

Here we are at another full moon. It’s also a super moon which means it’s closer to our planet than usual. And tonight there will be a lunar eclipse.

Very cool. Worth watching.

This one is actually the second half of a full moon I described last year. If you made it this far, yay you! If you made it this far with your partner, yay both of you!

Here comes the fun part!

It’s likely that you’ll be fidgety and short tempered and completely lacking patience for anything. Yay!

What’s so damn good about that? Well, not much. But it does get worse so hold on a second.

Remember how last year I talked about the possibility of seeking relationships outside the one you’re currently in? Yup, it’s gonna happen again. And if your relationship lasted through it last time and you think it will again, don’t. It won’t survive a second round. Woo!

So where the hell is the good news I’m so excited about?

If you listened to me when I explained all this last year then I know you took my advice and that means you are waay ahead of the curve on this one. All you need to do now is hold on for the sweet ride, try not to get distracted, and be there for your friends who didn’t head the warning.

My advice this time around: Be aware that impatience and emotional stress and frustration are all impermanent. They stop by for a visit, we say hello, swap tales, and then they go away.

This is a great time to show your friends and family what you’ve learned; patience, understanding, compassion, gratitude, love.

Heavy on the love. It will take you and your loved ones far.

There it is, part two of a season in hell.

It will pass soon and when it does it will feel very much like waking up.

Get outside if you can and take a look. It will be worth seeing. Here’s a good website with times and locations:

https://earthsky.org/tonight/supermoon-lunar-eclipse-january-20-21

Be well!

Home is…

Andrew.Draper-home.is

 

Winter has tightened its grip, choking out the last work days of the season, and I am officially unemployed.

I wrote before how Alabama had come to feel like Home for me. I was looking forward to going back when the season ended but that’s not going to happen.

Instead, I will drive almost 1,900 miles to Mobile not to return home but to retrieve what I left behind. Then I will turn around and come straight back North to wait out winter and put in a full season come spring.

The upside is that I will have some time to write in solitude and after more than a year of having my belongings strewn across three states I will finally have most of it in one place.

I, however, will remain divided for as long as it takes to find that place I call Home.

But what is “Home?”

For me, the answer is simple: Home is where I want to be and it’s where I’m wanted to be.

I try to picture myself in the places I prefer. The places I want to be. Deep in a forest. On the side of a mountain by a stream. In the desert. They are isolated places. Secluded. Desolate. Lonely.

They are places I’ve been before and in many ways they are the places I most belong, but there isn’t anyone in those places that wants me there and being there first makes it difficult for that to ever happen. I’ve tried. It didn’t work. Those places require a joint decision. To go there alone is to remain alone.

My thoughts sometimes turn to places I haven’t been. Uruguay. Patagonia. Corfu. Iceland. Knowing that these are impossible places for me to live, at least in this moment, somehow makes it easier to accept that it will not happen.

I can’t help revisiting the past when I think about home. The places I’ve been. The people I’ve been with. Other than my son, who is now grown and with a son of his own, I can’t think of one person who really wanted me to be there. Me. Not an image of me. Not my income. Not my pain. Not a warm body to share a bed. Me.

I do have friends in Mobile who want me there, but they are going through changes in their lives that put me in the way. So I should add that Home is also a place where I belong.

Right now I belong where I am. It’s where I need to be. Working in the oilfield is my best option to reach my goals. But it’s not where I want to be and other than my employer there isn’t anyone here who wants me here. I’ve sacrificed those aspects of home to fulfill obligations and needs and desires and hopes.

Home. Such a simple concept and yet always seeming to be just out of reach.

I’ll find it yet. Or maybe it will find me. Or maybe I’ll just wake up one day and be there.

Until then, this place, here, where I share my heart and my soul with any who will read, is my home, and my family spans the globe.

I’m good with that.

Welcome home.

 


 

Image by Andrew Draper.

Long Nights Moon

Today I woke to this gorgeous nearly full moon illuminating the clouds from within and was reminded that even in the darkest days there is light.

I took some time to contemplate the shortness of our own days, the divine spark that resides in all of us which lights the darkness from within, and the eternal promise of life renewed, and I silently expressed my gratitude for every second of light and life I am given as well as for those inevitable periods of darkness that make the light so much easier to see and appreciate.

Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. The sun will remain low on the horizon for three days before rising back into the heavens. The nights will be long and cold.

This solstice is quite rare because it is accompanied by a full moon that brings with it positive change and pleasant and welcome surprises. The next time we will witness a full moon on the solstice is 2094.

To make it even more special it will be followed by the Ursids meteor shower on the 22nd and 23rd. I have no idea when this triple crown will happen again but I don’t imagine it will be any time soon.

It is quite literally a once in a lifetime event so I hope you take the time to bear witness and celebrate in your own way.

Tonight I will celebrate publicly. I’ve been invited to a Christmas party hosted by one of the companies I drive for that also happens to be a company I have contracted with many times over the years and was an employee of until last year. It will be a comfortable gathering among friends.

Tomorrow night I will honor this time privately by writing down my hopes and fears, my joys and sorrows, and release them all in fire and an offering of the ashes to the wind in gratitude.

Sunday I will connect with friends, family, and Beloved to reaffirm my presence, my promise, my commitment, and to thank them for being in my life.

However you decide to celebrate or honor this sacred time I wish you a happy and blessed solstice!

Storm


.
There was I time I thought of myself as “Stormchaser”. It was a label I assigned to offset the difficult times that seemed to follow me as a way of reversing the odds.

I saw myself as not only actively engaging those hard times but as pursuing them in a “if life is suffering and suffering brings enlightenment then, for fucks sack, bring it on” mentality.

I was wrong.

Man, was I wrong.

The hard times pursued like a predator on blood scent and I, tough as the wind, really was bleeding, profusely.

I’ve said before how I’m only now rubbing the sleep from my eyes, but I look back with these blurry eyes and see that young man and rather than think “whaddadouche”, my favorite quote when it comes to ignorance, I can say “good start.”

It really was.

Since then I’ve learned that Life is more often concerned with giving lessons than with leading me to them and that the path of life is much more flexible than I thought.

She is the train
I am the rail
Or more like the spike
Or the ground it’s driven into
Or maybe just a house it passes by
Sleeping

That’s my attempt at Zen poetry, which I’m okay with, in a Zen sort of way.

My point is this:

I have felt the storm.
I feel it now inside me.
I’m not sure it ever goes away.
I’m okay with that.

That, by the way, has nothing at all to do with either Zen philosophy or poetry, it’s who I am.

So right about now you’re probably asking yourself what the hell this post is about so I’ll sum it up in six words …

 

We find what we are looking for.

 

… okay, seven words.

 


 

Audio: “Stormchaser” by J M Greff

 

Captured

misty.veil

Arms out touching phantom limbs and ephemeral vine.
Closed eyes focused on aery chimera that plays like
faded film, enshrouding me in palpable memory like a mist.
August oaks and resurrection fern and aged buildings
replaced by towering cypress, snow wreath,
rhododendron tall as the homes lining these neglected streets
broken by root allowing the very least of natures
determination to reclaim, one minuscule stem, one straggling stalk,
one unnoticed flower at a time, its verdant refuge,
once sanctuary to boundless existence long since
consumed by distressed homes, distressed economies,
distressed people.

Not now. Not in this moment. In this moment I am alone in
ancient woods making my way along a secret trail
winding through prehistoric marsh fed by countless miles of
free flowing rivers giving life to this lush alluvium filled with
musky smells of decayed wood and stale water and something
sweetly familiar I can’t put a name to.

If you saw me there, on that canted sidewalk, you might think
I was mad or lost or wandering under the influence of
something other than my imagination. If you looked
closer you would see a smile. If you noticed me at all.

More likely you would pass by without second glance
accelerating to whatever urgent appointment or function or task you
scurry to. “Nevermind the crazy man”, mother says to
daughter, ears stopped with buds to obstruct the uninvited,
eyes adjusted to the screen of the tiny world she holds in her
hands while thumbs impulsively tap out affirmations or declarations or
insinuations with inherent indifference to a faceless complicant
selected as benefant, marginally amused at mother’s dumb
mouth, assigning words consistent with expectations in place
of those overridden by disapproved music. “Are you listening to me?”

Mother chatters voicelessly. A silent movie. A mime.
Daughter sneers. Fires a message of discontent into the void.
Co-conspirators.

You have missed far too much.
Where are you going
that you have no time to look?
To see.
What horizon are you fixed upon
that blinds you to miracles?
To live.
How can you occupy the same space
without sharing it?
To love.

I see you drive by as in a dream, intruder, trespasser to my vision.
Out of place and time. The vision is disrupted.
The winding path is replaced by
fractured concrete.
Smells of sacred land replaced by
exhaust fumes and humanity.
Rhododendron to azalea.
Snow wreath to palm.
Cypress to oak.
Marsh to asphalt.
The veil lifts.

The image remains.

Captured.


Image: “Misty Veil” by JMGreff

sb-donate-button

Sacred Human

Every cell in your body, every muscle, bone, tendon, artery, vein, capillary, and the blood the flows through them, every neuron that fires thought both pleasant and unpleasant, every memory triggered, every emotion that accompany those memories whether they bring ecstatic joy or mind numbing, incapacitating, suffering, every breath and beat of your heart, has been written by the Divine who has designed your life specifically for you.

You are Sacred.

———–

Image: “Omniscience” by Carlos Quevedo

A Brown Dogs life

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What if people were more like dogs? Happy on tap. Ready to protect on a moments notice. Always there when you need them. Always ready to love and be loved.

Want to meet someone new? Walk up to them, offer them your butt, sniff at theirs a little, and you’re either friends for life or mortal enemies. There’s no real in between for a dog and they figure out in seconds what can take us years to figure out. Genius!

Dogs don’t age either. Not really. Not if they’re taken care of. Mine, a chow/coyote mix by the name of Brown Dog (because “Reddish Coydog” is just too much to say), will be 16 this year and he looks and acts like he’s still 5. I imagine I’ll just come home one day and he’ll be laying on the couch like a stuffed animal with a smile on his face in one final act of defiance.

I hope I go like that. On the couch. Smiling. Or out for a walk. Smiling. Or making love. Smiling. I don’t really care where it is as long as I’m smiling when it happens. I’m sure Brown will be. He smiles a lot.

Dogs are a happy lot. Give them a stick or a ball to chase or chew on or a stuffed animal playmate and they’ll frolic and roll and tug and hump the stuffing out of their fluffy girlfriend all the while swaggering and smiling.

Yeah. It would be nice if we were a little more like dogs. So easy to please. So ready to please.

But then he did take a dump in the middle of the street before we got to the dog park where I wrote this, and he does have apretty short attention span, so maybe not exactly like dogs, but a roll in the grass does look nice. I’ll be back in a minute.

 

——————-

Image of Brown Dog in the Badlands of ND.

Two of a Kind

green.haze

How often
I wonder
do I see the world
distorted by the lens of my past
in colors of jade
edges dulled
contrast fuzzy
like looking through
a dusty kaleidoscope
my mind fitting the broken pieces
in ways that suit
interpretation
or expectation

Too often
I would guess

Too often


cloudy-vision

I close my eyes
and see from within
my vain attempts
to correlate the data of my past
with cloudy visions of the future
based on incomplete analysis of the present
influenced by experience
interpreted through illusion
borne from misunderstanding
and think to myself
“No wonder I stumble”

Note to Self

Recently, I was introduced to the term “imposter syndrome” which is defined as “a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.”

Since I don’t feel like I’ve actually accomplished anything yet I argued that it really doesn’t apply to me (“that’s the point” she replied in silence). I am, however, quite intimate with the “fraud” part.

There’s so much I want to say. So many things I want to write about. I have a passion in me that has been ignited in a way that is impossible to extinguish. Nor would I want to extinguish it.

But the words won’t come.

Instead all I hear is:

“Fraud!”

“Charlatan!”

“Liar!”

“Pretender!”

How can I write about those things I feel and the lessons I have to share if I am unable to create and maintain them in my own life? Why should anyone listen to me? Why do the people I know continue to come to me for advice? I have had no success in love (or in life, really) to point at as an example and what I have learned I have learned painfully.

Rather than expose myself as that fraud I have written nothing but in doing so I prove that sense of failure because what I write about most often is hope and gratitude.

Some time back I read an article in the Buddhist review “Tricycle” by the Zen monk, Shozan Jack Haubner, who says:

“The only thing worse than trying to look younger than you are is trying to look wiser than you are.”

So I remind myself that my only failure is in thinking I’d be wiser by now and forgetting that I am only as wise as I allow my experiences to make me.

It is the suffering that has taught me the things I write about and though I don’t write about them in a “woe is me” manner does not mean I am pretending, it simply means I am learning.

Today I recommit myself to sharing what I have learned and to expressing the fire that burns in my soul because to hide it, or to hide from it, would truly make me a fraud.

As Shozan says, “…we all must commit wholeheartedly, moment after moment, to the life we have…”

This is my life. I will live it to the fullest. Even if that means pretending a little.

December 3

The last full moon of the year, which rises in Gemini, also happens to be this years only super moon and, since it is ruled by Neptune, it is a tricky one.

It is likely you may feel an altered sense of reality in the coming days. Emotional sensitivity will be increased. Perceptions will be decreased. This creates opportunity for deceivers and susceptibility to psychological and health issues. We may feel insecure, guilty, apologetic.

Good fun.

Here’s the good news: It is a very polar time. Increases in emotion sensitivity mean that we have the opportunity to grow closer to those we love and decreased perceptions mean we have the opportunity to rely on them to help us discern our reality and for us to help them. And while deceivers and thieves are likely to attempt to use this time to gain from the confusion they are likely to fail.

It is also a time of truths. Truths will be revealed and so long as they are viewed simply as truths, without interpreting them as good or bad, we will benefit from them.

Advice: Avoid criticism and blame both of yourself and of others (always good advice but more so right now). Count on your intuition which will be strong and clear and not your emotions which may be negative or taken advantage of. Use the heightened sensitivity to grow closer to those you love. Don’t read too much into dreams which may be unsettling and misleading. Recall only the lessons of our experiences and be grateful for them. Use the natural flow of energy to overcome negative influences and encourage hope, generosity, and a sense of community.

Yes, its a tricky one, but if we go into this next phase with open eyes and a loving heart we will benefit, as we always do, from the effort. Only those who go blindly through such times will suffer.

Remember, it is a time both of fear and of of truth. That includes the truth of your self. Who you are; a spark of the divine. Truly sacred. A spiritual being having a human experience. When these truths and more reveal themselves to you, and they will, be careful not to judge them, take the time to embrace them and, remember that fears are not truths, they are only fears, and, as always, be grateful.

And don’t forget to dance.