Shrieking, Undeniable Power

“[Hurricane] Andrew tore trees apart; drove their shrieking limbs past our walls. All around us, it shoved huge deciduous behemoths flat to the earth, or tore them out by the roots.
“I have never been able to say “No” to wonder. Wherever God stood naked, I wanted to crawl into the middle and gawk. Plus, I’d already lost everything I had built or wanted to live for when we’d left San Diego, and my marriage had become a long, aching death. I had nothing left. I had to touch God again at all costs….
“… I ripped open the door, then had to shove my full weight into closing it behind me. Slamming and bucking against harsh unseen walls, waging war for every step, I crushed both hands into the railing, fought my way downstairs, past a pool already choked with roofing and with life torn apart. I bucked and strained my way out onto the street, deeper into the dark, vile heart of a hurricane. Gnashing hard into the storm, I leaned into winds that pummeled and slammed me about like a machete.
“Inching and lunging across the intersection, where all but one streetlight had crashed to the pavement, I crushed my way through as that last light sparked and whipped overhead. Winds like that can drive a grain of rice through a concrete wall, so I wrenched a stop sign out of a tree and held it before me as a shield, slamming my way backward through an intersection of shattered glass and metal, out onto a golf course, where I screeched Hallelujahs no one could hear.
“In that open field, that raging, shrieking fury slammed and wrenched the sign into my chest. For the first time in a long time, “I thanked God and prayed for survival.
“I fought my way back home. The sign heaved at my face, sliced my hands open, and blasted away into the night.
“There was no one left there but me, God, and His mighty, undeniable power.”

– From “Entertaining Naked People”

 

Advertisements

Come clean at the end

“Spending time here is like movin’ in with Pandora. Maybe some stuff should just stay hidden, y’know?”
“Yup,” Charlie answered. “But comes a time when you just don’t want to screw around anymore. You can get real tired of playin’ hide-and-seek with yourself.
Getting toward the end, you wanna stop playing games. There’s no time left. You see how things have gone wrong and just want to make ’em right. At least one moment of honestly trying, before your soul rots away on ya….
… “I buried my whole life, every bit of it, in my own stinkin’ manure, and it’s high time I planted some seeds there.”
He told Harve, “But I don’t like being asked to swallow OTHER people’s shit.”
“Got you on that one, man.”
“Do you?” Charlie said. “Do you really?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You. Pretending you’re no hero. – Bull. – You don’t know what I wouldn’t have given for even a little bit of something I could feel good about.”
“You did okay for yourself, Charlie. You made the papers.”
“I made headlines; I wasn’t a star. I had a few fans, sure, but not the kind I’d ever want to meet in a dark alley.
“But that’s not what I mean. I’m talking about finding out who we are, what we’re here for, and truly steppin’ into it. I wasn’t put here to smash noses. You think you were put here to shoot ’em off?
“You save lives but then you get all ‘Gosh Golly Shucks’ about it. You step into who you are, but then you step back out of it again. That just doesn’t ring true to me is all. That’s all I’m sayin’.”
Then he had second thoughts. “Look,” he told Harvey, “I know you didn’t do it for the fame and being a star and shit, but still … I would like to have experienced what it was for people to know me and like me anyway. I’d love to have done at least a little something worth doing. It’s too late for some of that now, I know, but I just want the chance to do a little bit of good if I can. Somewhere. For somebody.
“And to do it just because it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes it’s as simple as that.”

  • From “The Gardens of Ailana”

Writing Theosophically for Those Who Suffer

One of my major challenges in writing theosophical novels for readers who don’t know they’re theosophists is that so many of our “spiritual” concepts fail to stand up to the rigors of most people’s lives. It is all well and good to have a select few esotericists, knowing some Sanskrit and New Agey kinds of phrases, paying a few bucks at our lecture halls so we can remind them that everything is Mayavic illusion. That in truth they themselves are God, and ultimately unassailable. I myself believe these things, and live accordingly.

Then they go home and buzz for a while on the poetic eloquence of such a philosophy until that starts to wear off and they need another hit at another uplifting metaphysical conference.

But what of the masses who aren’t in any way ready or willing to listen to, or build their lives around that? Do we just abandon them as unenlightened fools? Where is our compassion if we take that approach?

Obama makes health care affordable, sets limits in how much our insurance companies, credit cards, and health services can milk us for. Tells big industries to stop polluting our environs.

Our child has suffered horrible, debilitating illness for so very long, but now we can finally afford treatments, and medicines. We watch him getting better. Healing. Laughing. Playing.

Then along come the Republicans. They take our insurance away from us. Raise the costs of our medicines by multiples. Lower our incomes. Take meals away from poor school children. Tell heavy-handed polluters they can dump all the poisons they want to into our food, air, and water.

So then, what do I/we tell those parents? That there are no external enemies? There are no battles to fight; no evils to stand up to? Just be at peace with watching your child returning to his long and awful pain, to that crippling he was just beginning to climb out of? And what does that parent tell his kid? That this is all an illusion? “Just suck it up kid, and keep dying. You’ll get it together one of these lifetimes, and then all this will be behind you”?

Totalitarian dictators throw us out of our homes, drive us off of lands our families had farmed for generations. They buy up all water rights in the deserts as tribal families wither up and die by the thousands, and we should just ignore this? None of this is real?

I write from the knowing that there are different levels of reality, suffering, and coping; and that most people are doing their best to hang on with what they have. I try to offer them hope that there may be some Higher meaning, and deeper access to healing and growing beyond a lot this, but I do not essentially call them numbskulls; tell them this (and their dear child’s suffering) is all their fault for believing that any of this is reality.

For most of us suffering is very, very real. And so that is where I start my stories. I welcome other readers who already know some of these things, and maybe carry them in a little deeper; but I will not slam any doors on the hearts of these others.

Some Things You Can’t Om Away

Joan told her, “Knock it off, Marsh; you don’t always have to be such a putz.”

Marsha, still leaning onto the sink, told them, “You guys and your always-must-make-nice crap.

“Mincing around with your damned fresh coffee, playing Little Miss Nicey-Poo alla time. The charming hostess with all her non-threatening jokes, never hurting anyone’s feelings. Sitting around trying to sort out the karmic implications of sneezing on the burglar who just shot your dog. Fuck it! Some things you just can’t Om away.”

Clarice’s smile had frozen in place, but her eyes belied her terror. She didn’t understand what was going on, but tried to calm the waters anyway. “You send out love; you get love back,” she said.

Marsha finally turned toward them all, and it wasn’t pretty. “Great. You can put that on a Hallmark card and feed it to the goats.She turned toward Paulette.

Paulette said nothing. She didn’t dare look too deeply inside this rabid anti-Christian standing before her. She was horrified that she might find herself looking back.

  • From “The Gardens of Ailana” handbook for healers & mystics

Atrocities of War

In that moment Paulette stepped outside anything that had ever hurt her before. Harve needed her more than she needed herself.

But she had nothing to say. Nothing to offer him. She came up empty.

“I may not have shot any of those babies in safety seats, but I took out my share o’ guys in a country I started thinking we had no right bein’ in. I could tell myself they’d signed up for it, knowing they might not go home, but that just didn’t cut it after a while.” …

… “Oh, they were scumbags, alright. Other guys in my unit’d be ready to just level the kids too, cause they were getting in our way, but I said, Wait. Let me try goin’ in first. Let me come at ’em from the rear.

“Other times I just lost myself in the righteous glory of cluster bombing the hell outa those bastards.

“And for that one moment, in all the cheering and explosions it’s like all was right with the world. It was John Phillip Sousa at Disneyland.

“But then you wake up a little. You just snuffed out future generations. Maybe bad guys can have good kids if you let ’em. We’ll never know now.”

He was coming close to crying.

“And then you see all those pieces; kid parts lying everywhere.

“And their little faces.

“If they even still had faces.

“Once you finish throwing up, and then toss back a few at camp pub, your next job is to find something inside you that you can bury that under.

“And then … what? Just go on living?”

– From “The Gardens of Ailana”

Dark Night of the Soul

Harvey wanted to dive into his ugliness; he intentionally reached for those long hours of soul desolation. He waited. He paced, ready to face down whatever was to come.

Paulette’s, though, busted loose uninvited, catching her completely off guard when she was already hurting, feeling crumbled, and vulnerable. When all she really wanted was some quiet gentle feelings for a change. A few flowers. Some sunshine. A way out of all that inner torment for even just a moment.

Had she had brought only nastiness out of her childhood? Hadn’t there been anything sweet she could remember instead?

As she wandered back to her cabin, searching for even a single fond memory, light faded everywhere around her.

Aw, c’mon, she thought. Everyone had some happy childhood memories. She had to have at least a couple.

How about the coloring? Children enjoy coloring; how about that? She’d spent hours and days on her art. It was as close as she could remember to having her Mamma stand over her with anything even remotely resembling approval. Her books and comics could be tales of Jesus, but coloring books had to be Old Testament because “No child’s impure hand could touch a crayon to the sweet beautiful face of our beloved Lord and savior Christ Jesus.”

So the little girl had scrunched down over Daniel in the lion’s den. Samson screaming in rage, pain, and terror as they blinded him with daggers and torches. The redder she made the flowing wounds of a man of God shot full of arrows, the richer the flames around those three men being burned in an iron box, the longer Mamma let her stay out of that closet.

– From “The Gardens of Ailana”

God or no God; life still has meaning

The Gardens of Ailana” will be controversial and many will hate it.
But in reading it some have already come to new terms with their lives and a God they see as either non-existent or cruel.
In this story, adults crippled by memories from childhood; two them suffered at the hands of evil and twisted men from southern fundamentalist churches; have to come clear with every ugliness within them before they can find any meaning and purpose for their lives. In the process they learn that if there is a Heaven at all, it would not be what their churches had told them to believe, and that forgiveness may not always be the healthiest option.
Like · Comment ·
Share