The Real 10 Commandments 

… the ones I grew up with and maybe you did too.

1. Thou shalt always agree with your parents (and pseudo-parents like daycare teachers, baby sitters, teachers, other kid’s parents and baby sitters, adults in uniform, adults not in uniform, priests, police, nice ladies, nice men, ADULTS). You shall maintain a pleasant outward demeanor no matter how much you hate doing what you are told to do.

2. Thou shalt not tell.

3. Thou shalt be good boys and good girls. Beyond obedience to adults and to the accepted rules of behavior, all girls will know their place and all boys will prove themselves.

4. Thou shalt not get caught. You must find ways to outsmart the system. The notion of achieving on merit alone is a quaint notion, but unfortunately it is the current social ideal. You must work around it.

5. Thou shalt always have an alibi or plausible deniability.

6. Sex is love.

7. Money is power. There is never enough.

8. Winners look like winners. Thou shalt spare no expense for the sake of appearance.

9.  Good guys finish last. Take with both hands.

10. Do as I say, not as I do.

The Summer Of Sam

It takes me a minute to figure out what’s happening, and then I’m pushing him away. I’m getting up, but he grabs my wrists. I’m pinned down on his sofa. I can’t move at all, not even a little. Can’t even twist, nor pull, nor push. I squeal with frustration. “No! Stop! You’re hurting me!”
He raises up like he’s stopping to think. Then a crooked smile turns up one corner of his mouth. His eyes stay cold and flat. “I can hurt you more,” he says with calm certainty. His certainty of his power over me tightens around my throat like a vice. Then a sharp stab of pain like an exclamation point. I gasp.

I dangle above an abyss. Lightless black presses around me like a wave. Like a sound wave without sound, like a bear hug without a bear, but close and suffocating. Nausea.

My cue to disappear. My body has to stay here, but my nerves withdraw. And then I’m numb. I’m not sure but I think I’m holding my breath, my hands are fists. And my heart, it’s pounding from somewhere far away and only an echo remains for him.

Him. Disgust boils up in my gut, in my chest, behind my eyes. In a voice that spits venom I tell him to, “Hurry the fuck up.”

But I do not fight him. I do not resist. I’m focussed on damage control, I’m all about harm reduction. Holding on.

I’m a ticking bomb. I will him to hurry. He seems to be complying. He’s really going at it.

And then, amen, he slimes me. Ugh, I want to throw up. “Get the fuck off me!” I command. He leans away and I slide out, out from under. Some independent agency in my brain scans for weapons. Pulling up my pants. He heads for the john. Out the door fast. I’m gone.

Made with Paper /

A Reason To Meditate

At last I have a reason to meditate. At 67 years of age, with all the adult years engaged directly or indirectly in spiritual study, including meditation, I’ve never had a specific personal need to meditate. 

Truth is, I enjoy my own thoughts overmuch. I found little in the quietness to compensate for the effort to silence my personal inward chatter. Meditating is entertaining in its own right, for sure, but still hasn’t been important enough to make it a big piece of my practice. And I do have a practice.
But now, as of today meditation has become more important to me than entertaining myself with my own thoughts. Indeed, I find I very much want to have greater, more frequent access to my intuition, my insights, and messages from my guides. None of these resides in my mental chatter. Meditation seems like it will be the key to opening my third eye, and giving me greater access to these more subtle ideas. 

A quiet mind creates the space for less-directed messages to come in. So now that I’ve made the messages a priority, meditation is equally a priority. 

Makes sense to me.

How Tarot Works 

You are not unique. In the ways that you may be unique, you add your uniqueness to the story the cards depict. It’s a story of humans and their lives. How could it not be your story. The Arcana are the people who populate human life, humans. The number cards represent energies, forces of life. They show what’s happening to the people.

So I shuffle. Play with the cards. Deal them out. There I am, in the middle of all this busy living. How to make sense of it. 

It’s a conversation between me and the cards I’m dealt. What other meaning could I possibly bring to this than my own meaning. 

Tarot is always right because it can’t possibly be wrong. Because it’s you interacting with the cards. It could be tea leaves as well, or the lines on your palm. 

It’s helpful because it is a mirror. Sometimes it’s easier to see in a mirror. 

Thoughts On Parenting 

In some instances, my recovery from Polio being one such instance, forcing a reluctant child to do something they abhor to do isnt mean. But most times that’s all it is: mean. I remember when toddler Erin became what we call a “picky eater”. She also began an odd eating routine, in which some days, sometimes several consecutive days, she fasted. The other days she ate voraciously, if selectively. Nothing on her plate could have any contact, including drippings with the others. 
I called my pediatrician. He said in his forty years as a pediatrician he had never once seen a child starve by choice. 
My parents would have forced me relentlessly to eat as they wanted me to eat. Unfortunately this frequently occurred and often led to dire consequences. 
My parents were wrong, but there is a silver lining: I’ve always been clear in almost all cases not to follow their example. 
But I have to give credit where credit is due. My mother forced me to do every bit of the daily routine and sequencing of exercise and rest the Physical Therapist at the hospital recommended. 
I of course resisted, but my mother insisted, no exceptions. The doctor at the hospital told my mother I would never walk again. My mother was having none of it. She pushed me off of the crutches, refused to allow surgery. She was my hero. And I’m still walking. And grateful at a depth … well I have nothing to compare it to. Love. Gratitude and love. 
So there are times when a child’s displeasure is simply irrelevant. But those other times …

The Backyard Fence

The roses are coming along nicely. A Robin is looking around for a nest. I want her/him to nest where I can see them. I hope it’s not too late. I’ll put out some nesting material to entice her. I have no idea whether that is ignorant and lame or a good idea. Please weigh in my dear treasured wildlife biologists. Your input enriches my world.

Update: The. At Maggie is a bird killer. So far from enticing her I’m just hoping she nests where I can see her with binoculars.

Nursery Rhyme For Our Time

Humpty Trumpty built a GREAT wall. 

Climbed up on top to show he was TALL (BIGLY). 

Humpty sat down to write a new TWEET … 

The wall began trembling and soon he did FALL,

down on the MEXICAN side of the wall. 

That is all.

A Pressed Leaf

Make me a gift

Of the wrapping on

A neatly bound parcel of fear.

Teach me the posture 

Of acid composure 

The taste of an unshed tear.

Pull out the water!

Push out the air!

Leave only the innocence … bare

In a delicate lacework of memories, 

Confound, for a moment, the snare.

Save The Last Dance For Me

When Richard and the dog are both snoring it’s just me and iTunes, lonesome music in a crowded bed, thoughts of the future pester my brain and rob me of sleep. 

It’s dangerous to look ahead. 

I suppose it’s just my mind doing its best to prepare me for the almost certain future in which I will be, if not alone, without my best friend, whose fitful sleep and troubled dreams populate my nights.
The tapestry of our lives unravels and soon the picture will surely go. Where? Away.

I need no disturbance to keep my eyes open wide staring into the dark. I see the thing approaching. The writing’s on the wall. I don’t need a Daniel to decipher for me. 

My days are filled with it, as his brain declines and his world falls apart. It breaks my heart. 

Frantic days, I become an easy mark for the latest “alternative” remedy. All the money I’ve thrown at my hopeless hope! Daily he is less and less here.

In the snoring hours, I grieve. My sorrow tastes like lead, as heavy, as dead. I hate Alzheimer’s. And my fast-approaching empty bed.