"Lotus Opening" by L. Folk

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The last February Days

February 21, 2011

All the ways I've learned to pray have become stale. Those words don't get me to God. Not the Our Father, nor the Hail Mary. When I feel troubled and I ask for things, like taking away the cup of suffering, I feel ignored. The only thing that seems to work is meditating on the word, God. The mantra of the word seems to clear the space, part the minutia of arrows.
Today there was the image of the willow tree in the backyard of my apartment in Watertown. There, after a particularly painful breakup, I was left with a life that didn't suit me. I got on my path of loneliness. So sitting today, I thought of the long, winding path of loneliness, how I traveled in blindly, filled with self pity, filled with confusion, filled with illusion and magical thinking. (Ah magical thinking, you caused me a great deal of distress. Part imagination, part romanticism, part desire, magical thinking is the primary component of the path of loneliness, because it is a token of illusion) Pema Chodrin says, “That we take ourselves so seriously, that we are so absurdly important in our own minds, is a problem.” Oh yes, very serious. When you're steeped in magical thinking and the keen awareness that all around you is NOT magical, you have a problem.
Here is my life, stark naked standing before me. Rise up, I say, and walk.

February 22, 2011

I went for a walk still filled with a dream. I put on the necessary elements, scarf, hat, gloves, extra socks and I took my dog and we walked the hills. The sun had spring light and the ravens still ruled. Above them gulls circled. There weren't many cars. Snow bank ice crystals, still high. Garbage out for pick up, my dog, preoccupied with every last can. I pull, stamp my feet, get 'er moving. We climb one hill; there are SUVs running, warming up for their drivers.
We climb a second hill, the third, make it toward the home stretch. I swing my arms back and forth, think about the dream, the black girl and the greyhound and the Greek church outside our dorm. I was at UNH and the campus had wedding cake-like buildings. There was a crowd gathered in the middle of campus where they were putting on a Shakespearean play. There was a mongoloid child beating up his mother, I took his hand and gently said, “stop”. He listened. The black girl, the greyhound and I moved on toward our dorm which turned out to not be a dorm at all but an apartment. There were men inside, mafioso, the black girl knew them, wanted to hang out with them. They chuckled about private jokes, wore black in striped suits. I told my roommate the Black girl I wanted to go home, I was taking Dolly the greyhound with me. I asked her if she was coming. She said she wanted to wait awhile. I told her that she didn't have to come; I didn't want her to come, I wanted to go home alone. I wanted to get away from those bad men who knew how to kill. Somewhere, maybe not in the apartment, there was a black and white rabbit on a table. His rabbit ears were long, and his eye wandered. So I wake up, after interrupted sleep, restless, ridiculous sleep and I try to meditate and all I think is no way. I'm filled with the symbols in the dream, I'm filled with the absurdity of the dream, I'm filled with dissatisfaction for my life.
The snow is pure white now, gleaming. My face is burned with the cold.

February 23, 2011

I sit down on the mat, weary. What's the difference between this and the bed? You think there, you think here, you think everywhere. Ego pushes for greatness in thinking, greatness that will get you recognized, that will make you money because right now you're making diddly squat and it bothers you. You there, the industrious Capricorn; you're bothered. But ego is giving me an ulcer. The difference between the mat and the bed is I can somehow find compassion on the mat. It takes me awhile, but eventually it comes and I feel better. I think it has to do with intention. My intention for the mat is strictly compassion; my intention for the bed is sleep, which lately I'm fighting for, due to medical reasons. The mat is my safe zone. I can arrange for that there.
Also, ego, you're fired. I'm more content writing only for myself than writing for the blog. No one is reading the blog, and, I feel too self conscious about it. I don't want to have to impress people and feel stress. So no more blog. Pema Chodrin says, “You're the only one who knows when you're using things to protect yourself (or raise yourself) and keep your ego together (and happy) and when you're opening and letting things fall apart, letting the world come as it is- working with it rather than struggling against it.” I'm going to let the blog thing fall apart.

February 24, 2011

My heart is heavy with grief and there's nothing I can do about it. There's nothing you can do when the old life visits you in your dreams and the people you love fill a house with warmth. I felt their bodies close by, heard the softness in their voices. Of course it was my grandmother's house, the bilevel on Cheshire Street that's now gone, sold to another family. But it's still available to me at night. Now it's filled with ghosts and every time I'm there I wonder if I'm dead or alive. Last night I was looking for secrets to mental health in coffee grains. My great uncle Rudy was there, the psychoanalyst and we were reading the quality of people's mental states in a pot of coffee. I was the one responsible for making the coffee. I filled the vessel with grains, placed it in the pot, cooked it in water and then spread them out onto pieces of filter paper for scrutiny. There was a formula to go with the grains: 2R = R/100,000. I told my uncle Fred, another psychoanalyst, the formula did not make sense. Also, we had no way of knowing what the numbers meant, because there was no range of mental illness given, i.e. what number indicated what state of mental illness. He agreed. By this time Uncle Rudy was drunk and losing interest in the procedure. We had only made it through about four people and with the whole house full, we had many more to go. Then the party ended and it was the next day. My grandmother asked us when we were leaving. My sister, mother and I would leave right away, our stuff was packed in pink fluffy suitcases in the guest room. My brother wanted to wait another day. I thought of him traveling the bridges alone, the Throgs Neck, the George Washington, big colossuses of steel over torrent water. I woke up broken hearted. This how I wake up when I dream of my grandmother's house. The grief is lodged in my throat and heart like a splint. I can't, I say on the mat. I can't feel compassion. Not today. My heart is buried in dirt and sand. My loved ones are dead and my esophagus is filled with coffee grains. The old life is dead, dead, dead.
A vision comes then, a close up of my esophagus filled with black dirt. A thin green stem moves upward and sprouts leaves.

February 25, 2011

For the novel:

in the world of partial faces
and figments
one must tell oneself
are blue or indigo,
the workings of Algebra
do not apply
nor do falling apples
or the apogees and perigees
of ellipses.
where snakes are seraphim
and time, an afterthought
steel bridges dissolve like salt
in the fog
the sun speaks at three fingers
above the horizon
before it melts thrice
in a pool of shade.
we do not eat
or drink,
subsist by memory of taste
and impulse alone-
we wait for slow moving
vessels, their masts
tethered with the faces
of orchids, their cargo,
captive vagrant spirits and lovers
who descend weary and wary,
perplexed by phantom limbs
and eyes and ears.
allow the newly initiated
their wanderings
their discovery of hollow places
upon entering their names
in papyrus ledgers.
they call me queen
but I am more the interloper
the partially abducted,
staid, until the grain above is gilded
and forthright
by my mother's hand.
I heed when She rises
from mournful slumber
in a gown sewn from silken flax
and milkweed, strolling
orchards swollen with scent,
the ecstasy of her faith
poised on her lips
as a kiss.

February 26, 2011

Mother, I hear your feet

above me
step softly amongst the straw
your bruised heart, a forgotten fruit
past ripe for plucking
your eyes have worn your cheek raw.
I have slipped again
through the cleft
due west of the cresting waves
where ships carry
a cargo of souls
who bemoan the stone
of their graves.

Mother, the blood of these seeds
still stains my lips
and the taste is bitter, like sin
But I have learned to shine
my own light,
the Blessed feminine.

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