Tag Archives: Fear


16 Apr

I now pledge to stop driving the Car.  I am sitting in the back seat with my feet up; letting the reigns go.  This life is out of my hands.

That is not to say that I am not here; I have not checked out.

I allow myself to step away while still being here fully.

I allow myself to follow my impulses more; I stand alone a bit more, I listen more without internal dialogue, I  speak my truth more.  I quit working;   I  go outdoors without  my shoes.  I  travel.  I  dance.  I  step away from anything I do not want to do.  I  let my children just be.  I throw more things away.  I keep my face free of products more often.  I sweat. I swear.  I pursue primitive arts.  I trust that just every moment is as perfectly orchestrated as it is.  I rejoice.  I know that I am easily, naturally, perfected in my skin – my mind – my breath – my flow – and I play my part without pause, or rather full of the pause that Bukowski writes about , the area of pause…

Truth is, I often stare in to space for more time than I can account for…I am well on my way to dismissing fear –

I had a night years ago that started me on a trail;  I wrestled fear and won.  Many of you might remember the night that followed the day the stock market plunged in 2008, when liars and thieves paraded themselves around as saviors?  I went head first into fear that day, hitting refresh, refresh, refresh to watch the numbers tumble as if they were real – as if we were all falling without a net; I was a sheep led to the slaughter of my beliefs.

When I turned the lights out – out came the daemon made from  all my years of fear, clay formed from tendencies to imagine worst case scenarios, to quiver with what if’s, to retreat into caves for safety; all of that had accumulated into a mass in which my current tremblings had breathed life forming a being full of darkness who imagined it had power over me – he grabbed me by the throat and we wrestled  on that sleepless night –

Yet when the morning light seeped through the shuttered blinds – I had left some part of my habits behind for good.  I may be a bit Israel – for that horrible creature I had created and I, we went head to head, and I won, but I do still limp at times, proud, in the memory of my battle over fear.



my deadbeat dad

21 Feb


he stumpled upon

the gardens sprung –

whole universes

spilling out.

He watched them grow

from his high spot

until he fell asleep.

When he awoke,

there was a dream

that he almost remembered

that seemed to say,

HE was the one

who made it all this way;

even though, he had found it

already cooking along.

Then HE

told it, this world,

have at it, you kids and

HE hid away all of the keys.

Then HE threw up some

plastic that mimicked the truth

and buried it

below the dust.

HE paid for a book

in which HE was the star,

wooed the corrupt

(taped to view later);

HE paid off the guard, and

confused nimble spirits


HE got him a numbers’ guy,

taught him some Ponzi and

together they

printed some sums

on downed trees.

They took the cash down and

passed it around

for all the slippery bros.

They fingered some puppets

and boom boxed some tunes, and

Punch and Judy’ed us all in the gut.

Oh dad, you’re not my dad.

Mother ought lock

you in the closet.

We’re feeling so sad.

But cry not for  long, for the secret is close –

and the tree has both riddle and salve.

We were only playing

at sleep, but we missed the alarm, and

the dream was so real, we were lost.

passion play

9 May

haunted house, woman in red

Have you gotten a glimpse of the dark lord?

He swept me away.

I fell down a hole of his deception.

The body shook,

The body drained of its vital refreshment,

the body hung in a meat locker.


Wide World of Weird.

What do I desire?

My desire,

my longing –

a house.

Strange words and inconsistencies,

from the soft lipped sorcerer,

were overlooked in the rush to secure.

I went there; I peeked in the windows.

I saw myself under the tree out back having tea.

Whose property upon was I trespassing?

I allowed.

I watched the show, and I allowed.

Body shook and

shivered to the bone fear;

vulturous thoughts tore out my tendons in the hot sun.

I baked to

an ashy pile, then I was

blown away.

These death spices overpower the soup of our dark times –

out there – some of us eat  each other, raw and bloody,

Bill hicks, yes, it is just a ride and

just a breeze away – the mist from the salty marshes

can caress you with the non duality of the earth without man.

I can even giggle at the scary parts of this silly passion play.

Nothing lost ultimately;

no thing can touch nothing.

The underworld master is in a silly suit – acting his part.

At intermission, he visits the men’s room, and

at the end of the show, he takes his bow,

and pokes you in the ribs –

I scared you, didn’t I?  

Dancing with the Devil in the Pale Moon Light –

batman – the burn, an accelerant if you dare.

do the opposite

20 Apr


Basically this –  I’m afraid.

My acceptance into the improv company and the reality of actually performing in front of a live audience as a regular gig has me quite afraid.  Who is afraid?  Who watches the fear?

The body increases the heart rate in response to thoughts; the air flow constricts, the body pulls into itself, almost wanting to opossum itself under her chair.

What a  gift – to be feeling fear – and to get to experience the body and mind in this fear and to recognize the infinite array of choice here.

I’ve had a tendency (I guess that is what we do as human animals-have tendencies toward certain behaviors) to retreat.  I can get into my passive mode fairly easily, allowing myself to be taken by the currents, flowing with the go :), but not initiating the go, so much.

Where does the teaching come from that suggests one do the opposite of the habit or tendency as a practice toward the middle path?    One guru would be George Costanza from the Sienfeld show 😛

What compels us to do anything on this planet in our human bodies?  Dancers dance, singers sing:  why do I have hangups about just doing what it is I seem to be able to do?

The opposite for me here is that instead of retreating, I am walking straight into the fire of my fear.  My self doubt is tedious to me.  When I went to see a show this week, my little self was screaming inside, “You can’t do that.  Why did they want you in this company?  These people are all so funny and clever and spontaneous!”  And then those thoughts got old.  And I realized that I can say the opposite to myself,  of course.   I can stay open to the moment of whatever all of this brings.

What is difficult is that while you learn a new way of doing something, you make a lot of mistakes.  I say improv is a failure-based art form because inexperienced players fail almost every time they try to do a scene.[…]  Improvisors need to recondition themselves to see failure not as a negative.  Greg Tavares, Improv for Everyone  (Greg is one of my teachers)

Do I really care about success here?  NO, not really.  I just like to play.  And having an audience watch me play with others who like to stay in the moment in a massive game of silly pretend is of no matter.  I can do this.  Improv is a failure driven art form.  Life is a failure driven art form.  To live your life – the life of your own – you ultimately give up expectations and definitions of success and failure and just do what you are going to do.  The praise or rejection comes to no consequence.

In the world of improv,  My name is George, I’m unemployed and I live with my parents can even become a most powerful and attracting introduction.

Broken Open

11 Mar

A couple of years ago, each step I took felt like a plunge from all that I had known, into the dark, irresponsible mist of the unknown.  The loving flow that was supporting me (unseen) gave me little shiny pebble clues to let me know I was walking my path–and these winks gave me enough steady strength to keep taking each, shaky step.

I had an awkward 10 minutes (as often happens during my main gig as chauffeur) as this huge transition was occurring, and I wandered into a library in a city I was leaving behind, had already left behind, and I allowed a book to fall open in my hands.  Here are the words gifted to me that day.  A few days later, my friend used a gift card gifted to her to gift me my own copy of this book.  (thank you, m:)


from Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser

“…you can use anything–everything–as a wake-up call; you can find a treasure trove of information about yourself and the world in the big and the little annoyances of daily life.  If you turn around and face YOURSELF in times of loss and pain, you will be given the key to a more truthful–and therefore a more joyful–life.

Adversity is a natural part of being human.  It is the height of arrogance to prescribe a moral code or health regime or spiritual practice as an amulet to keep things from falling apart.  Things DO fall apart.  It is in their nature to do so.  When we try to protect ourselves from the inevitability of change, we are not listening to the soul.  We are listening to our fear of life and death, our lack of faith, our smaller ego’s will to prevail.  To listen to the soul is to stop fighting with life–to stop fighting when things fall apart; when they don’t go our way, when we get sick, when we are betrayed or mistreated or misunderstood.  To listen to the soul is to slow down, to feel deeply, to see ourselves clearly, to surrender to discomfort and uncertainty, and to wait.

It is in times of brokenness that the soul sings its most wise and eternal song.  I cannot hum you the tune or tell you the lyrics; each person’s soul has its own cadence.  You will recognize its music, though, by the way you feel when you are listening: awake, calm, you’ll sigh and say to yourself, “It’s okay.  Everything’s okay.”  You’ll unfold your arms and lean back, and say to the soul, “Just sing me your song.  Teach me your words.  Tell me what you know”  (270).

We Are All Skywalkers

7 Feb

My brave friend Sheila gifted this to me today.  Halfway through my watching, I realized I wasn’t breathing.

I am a skywalker, bravely out on that wing with the earth fall ever present beneath me, repairing the tire to avoid a crash.

My daughters are skywalkers, going through school, friends, parents, body, culture minefields everyday, with courage.

My students skywalk into my classroom everyday, feeling deployment around the next bend, walking a mile to the bus stop pushing a baby in a stroller-holding the hand of a toddler, sweating out the money for their next meal or living arrangements, hands shaking because they haven’t been in a classroom for years.

You are a skywalker, taking on this life on a planet in a body with thoughts.

We look each other in the eye and recognize what we share out here on the wings, in the wind, with a mission to breath and be.  We take on a body and feel the exhilaration of that dreaded fall from the sky:  in our thoughts, in our muscles, in our jaws, in our spines, in our eyes, in our ears, in our dreams.

So strange it is that there is no sky, there is no ground, there is no fall, and there is no body to be hurt.


Come Closer

4 Dec


Found this note on the sidewalk today.

When I saw it on the ground, I kept walking and I smirked a bit, I admit, thinking of the smart ass things one could write  on the note and leave back on his/her  car.

On my way back the note was still there, waiting for me to pick it up.

The receiver of such a message might have never even seen it, judging from it’s sidewalk location.

So much here in these few  words…

This note expresses displeasure and perhaps, he/she did have quite a difficult time trying to get through the car door.  It is annoying when some seem so oblivious to the idea of sharing space with others.  But I also imagine being on the receiving end of this note.  Would this note cause the receiver to park differently next time?  Would the humanity shared be bridged here?

I don’t think so.

I know all about annoying behavior.  I am so annoying.  I know I am.  My daughters say I repeat myself over and over again, which sends their impatience through the roof.  I don’t mean to, but often, there are misunderstandings if I don’t – rides needed that never show up, missed events, items forgotten…

Sharing space is tricky for me.

I have been overcoming clausterphobia since moving off the boat.  This condition has caused me to allow the voice in my mind to tell me that I can’t breath and I need to escape any way possible to get out of elevators, cars, classrooms…In this state of mind, there is actually no oxygen.  In these moments of blindness, human angels have appeared to me, helping me to breath, short breath in, long breath out.  A math professor across the hall, whom I have only seen in passing, got in my face, “Darth Vader” breaths he said.  And by helping me CLOSELY in this way, he helped me shift to where there was oxygen again, room in my lungs to take it in.   Breath. Life. Space. Options. Possibility.

Sometimes when my mind said it needed space, it actually needed the help of someone coming closer, as close as possible.  Paradoxical, that.

Right now my daughter and I are head to head.  I feel held over a barrel of ego and distortion through an incorrect lens.  This makes me want to get out; the circular dynamic  feels as if it takes all oxygen from the room, from the world…and yet if I can rest in the state of being (not mind) where there is breath, life, space, possibility – I can move in closer.

Could I park any closer to the shadows in my life?


Addendum:  Just found my therapy session for my claustrophobia.

Here is Some Helpful Advice 😉


The Art of Losing

28 Nov

One Art (1976)
by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t disaster.

-Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

My poetry professor, Gibbons Ruark, read this poem to our class with such a passion that I was moved at the age of 22, though I hardly knew the loss Elizabeth Bishop was writing about at that young age. Through out the years, I have heard lines from the poem in Gibbons’ voice as life unfolded as it did for me and I came to know losing farther, losing faster. And I have yet to write it! like disaster.

So here I am. Writing…you can tell me about the disaster part…

It took me years to gather furniture and possessions that expressed what I found beautiful in the world – through many battles of want, need, cost…You have no idea how insane it was. I lived for years in the pattern of mania that had come to seem normal: as soon as anything became easy in my previous life, it was shaken to the ground! Tear DOWN that easy and make it a challenge seemed to be the motto of my marriage!

When our house was to be sold, in a rash, unplanned move from Charlotte to Charleston,  his latest idea was that we would have an estate sale and get rid of EVERYTHING.  I left the house in more than a huff. I walked around the block once, twice, three times until I calmed down enough to head home.
Soon after, I agreed to let it all go.   It is just stuff some part of me knew, which I said to anyone who asked, as if I were enlightened enough for that phrasing…but the “stuff” leaving me at that point still hurt. For many years, I would miss an elegant bowl, a japanese teapot, a beautiful wine glass – the missing limb syndrome of the “stuff.”  Ah, 5 years later I still can see the paintings, the china, the couches, the platform bed;  there are still psychic ties.  I prayed over the items that the ones who obtained the “stuff”  would love them as much as me.  I’m sure that desire came to be!

That longing, searching, connecting to things no longer there reminds me of my grandmother in her last few years.  She lost her eyesight, and though her furniture had been distributed to family members, in the room where she lived in an assisted-living home, she would feel around her drawers over and over, just knowing things that she had stored in her furniture in her 94 year life were there.  In many ways we are all like her, waking up in the dark night, searching for things of long ago in foreign furniture…

Later, after losing the money, losing the marriage, losing the security of living on dry land, I’m only left with stories. When most everything was gone, I learned to see:   what was left , was what I was/ what I am.

“We are identifying with what is passing so fear comes.
We are trying to make steady and permanent
what is by nature impermanent.”  – Mooji  (my youtube guru ;))

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