Thursday, September 27, 2007

free will + astrology
your choice, your Universe...

so if any of you are like me, you are at least moderately interested in what the cosmos is doing/has to say about you. and you may or may not know that each week, a new horoscope is posted on where writer/author rob brezsny poetically educates, entertains and informs that "higher," cosmically connected you. i like this rendering because it is in a language that i understand/that speaks to my most creative/spiritual/intellectual sensibilities.

well, this morning when i checked out my horoscope (libra... october 1st... eh-hem... *cough*... birthday coming up... *cough, cough*... on monday... *cough*... *sneeze*... WHEW! please excuse me. darn molds and ragweed!) anyway, as i was saying... i usually disregard the homepage as the necessary cyber front door to enter into the space i really want to be in. (no offense mr. brezsny.) but today, after reading what's going on in Libra astrologically this week and affirming my planetary quest, i mistakenly clicked back to the hompage. (shrug) i figured it was a gift, so i read it. i was so inspired by the page, purposefully called Liberate Your Imagination, that i pasted it below. if you have a moment, READ IT! really. it is a gift.
abrazos y besos,

Liberate Your Imagination
Lately, I must admit, our work has seemed almost comically impossible. Many of our brothers and sisters believe that everything is upside-down and inside-out. Is war really peace? Is slavery really freedom? Is ignorance strength? How did it all get so insane?Even many of the smartest among us seem to have lost their vision. Cynicism has become a supreme sign of intelligence. Compulsive skepticism masquerades as perceptiveness. Mean-spirited irony is chic. Beautiful truths are suspect and ugly truths are popular.

At this peculiar turning point in the evolution of our 14-billion-year-old master game, it ain't easy to carry out our mission. We've got to be both wrathful insurrectionaries and exuberant lovers of life. We’ve got to cultivate cheerful buoyancy even as we resist the temptation to swallow thousands of delusions that have been carefully crafted and seductively packaged by those among us who bravely volunteered to play the role of deceivers.We have to learn how to stay in a good yet unruly mood as we overthrow the cockeyed mass hallucination that is mistakenly referred to as reality.

Maybe most importantly, we have to be ferociously and single-mindedly dedicated to the cause of beauty and truth and love even as we keep our imaginations wild and hungry and free. We have to be both disciplined and rowdy.That's especially thorny because of the fact that a genocide of the imagination is raging world-wide. It threatens to render our imaginations numb and inert and passive and tame.

I know you know what I mean.

Aren't you psychically assaulted by dangerous images every day? Don't the media relentlessly blast you with their trendy doom and gloom fixation, barraging you with messages about how bad life is? Doesn't the entertainment industry force-feed you insipidly paranoid scenarios in the same way a French foie gras farmer crams eight pounds of corn down the gullet of his prize goose every day? Aren't your eyes and ears constantly scalded by blistering harangues to buy stuff you don't really need? Isn't the sacred temple of your imagination pounded ruthlessly by smart bombs whipped up by evil advertising geniuses in their Madison Avenue laboratories? Hasn't your ability to envision the astounding intricacy and richness of the web of life gotten hijacked and hooked on decadent fantasies about new possessions that would allegedly make you happier?

Your imagination is supposed to be the engine of your destiny. It is the wizard's wand you can use to design your future. Your imagination is your power to create mental pictures of things that don’t exist yet and that you want to bring into being. Every human creation on this earth has begun as a vision in someone's imagination.Your imagination is also your very own all-purpose joy stick, your snakeskin bag of magic tricks. It's your remote-control channel-changer, and the only reliable rearranger of anything anywhere anytime. It's your X-Factor, your wild card, your wicked funny instigator, your Goddess-sanctioned trouble-maker -- your swarming, terraforming, always-morning brainstormer.

Love desperately needs your imagination. As psychologist James Hillman says, "For a relationship to stay alive, love alone is not enough. Without imagination, love stales into sentiment, duty, and boredom. Intimacy fails not because we have stopped loving but because we first stopped imagining."Your imagination is the single most important tool you have in your daily fight to be free. It is the source of every act of liberation you will ever need to pull off.

But how can your imagination flourish--how can it dream up scenarios that energize you to create your own version of heaven on earth--if you are forever deluged by dazzling psychic toxins that sting and sap and wound your lust for life?

Too many of our brothers and sisters have fallen victim. Their swarming terraforming always-morning brainstormers have been cruelly fooled into acting as if their deepest desires are impossible lies. As a result they live incoherent lives corroded by chronic anxiety.I for one am no longer willing to tolerate the epidemic obsession with big bad nasty things and flashy trite empty-hearted things. I say it's time for us to re-consecrate and regenerate and lubricate and liberate and take back our imaginations. Here are my demands.

DEMAND #1: I demand that Amnesty International launch a crusade against a form of terrorism I call the genocide of the imagination.

DEMAND #2: I demand that you periodically go on a media fast. For a week at a time, once a season, avoid all TV, movies, novels, yalk shows, newspapers, magazines, and Internet.

DEMAND #3: I demand that you learn to tell the difference between your own thoughts and those of the celebrities who have demonically possessed you.

DEMAND #4: I demand that People magazine do a feature story on "The World's Fifty Sexiest Perpetrators of Beauty, Truth, and Rowdy Bliss."

DEMAND #5: I demand that you wear underpants on your head and dance naked in slow motion whenever you watch movies on TV about tormented geniuses who create great art but treat everyone in their lives like crap.

DEMAND #6: I demand that you refuse to be entertained and entranced by bad news--by stories whose plots are driven by violence, abuse, terrorism, bigotry, lawsuits, greed, crashes, alcoholism, disease, and torture.

DEMAND #7: I demand that you seek out and create stories that make you feel that the universe is friendly and life is on your side. You could hunt down stories about how, for example, rising rates of intermarriage are helping to dissipate ethnic and religious strife worldwide; how the violent crime rate in America has been steadily declining for 30 years; how death rates from cancer are shrinking; the birth rate among teenage mothers is the lowest it's been in six decades; acreage devoted to organic farming is increasing rapidly; the number of refugees and weapons sales all over the world are way down from the level they were 15 years ago, and how the actual bare naked truth is that levels of literacy and education and political freedom and peace and wealth are steadily growing all over the world.

DEMAND #8: When you're too well-entertained to move, screaming is good exercise. Which is why I demand that you scream now and then whenever you're soaking up slick crap generated by the imaginations of people who are devoted to money, power, and ego instead of love, reverence, and play.

Friday, September 21, 2007

every AMAZING week...

this week i realized how many people mean well. but when it comes down to it, you can't count on good intentions. i learned, in various ways, that i can only REALLY count on myself, my own resourcefulness, wit, instincts to push beyond where i am up/through/over/around the mountain to the other side. people, who i had hoped would actually follow through in some possibly career altering ways, just *poof* disappeared. and i do understand that we are all busy with our own lives. but silly me... i keep counting on people who appear to believe in where i am going... then offer to help in VERY specific ways... then bail. (what's that?) anyway, it makes me more conscious about over committing my own time and intention. so maybe i will be a better person for it. because, broken spirits and promises aside, this week was amazing... worth celebrating!

so i mentioned that i have been working jobby jobs and, while the idea of that makes me wanna hurl, i actually have been working in some really cool places and spaces. this week i've been in the austin field office of a civil engineering company where i was encouraged to bring a book or any other activity that might help occupy my mind. (for those who know me, they probably should have watched what they asked for.) this week, while web-streaming kksf (my favorite smooth jazz station in the world), i managed to create and register--not one but TWO--tv show pitches, write 3 poems, edit a PSA, submit a contest entry, blog!, read and surf, surf, SURF the web at my leisure!!! and none of my activities had to be covert!!! (you know what i mean. i didn't have to minimize my email or my blog or when my boss came around.) as long as i answered the 4-5 calls the company got per day and helped the 1-5 customers who might actually drop off or pick up equipment, the world was my oyster and i sucked even the pearl from the shell! in celebration (of mailing my entry and completing such a productive week), i bought my absolute fav dark chocolate truffle... SXUL chocolate! (yes that's really the name... SeXUaL chocolate.) next to sweetie bubu (the OTHER kind of sexual chocolate), it's the best chocolate in the world!!! (check out i would tell you that if you don't like it, i'll reimburse you myself but i can barely afford my own chocolate habit. so get your own box with my word on its excellence. tonight, just after sunset, i will break my fast on dates and mixed nuts, followed by a smart meal, something junky... then... ahhh… indulging in the blissful, spiritually restorative properties of chocolate in a SXUL truffle!

Ultimately… life is good.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

grumble grumble...

today, i am preoccupied with my hunger. with the rumblings of my shrinking belly. until today, my fast has been relatively pain free. i am working in an office where there is literally no one around to tempt me. my children are no longer fasting but they wake up and eat with me, support me in the ways i need encouragement. but today. today i am feeling slightly headachy. sleepy. i am trying not to give in to the promise that i can make up this day should i lose it to the iced coffee in the fridge down the hall.

i've written 2 poems today, and one yesterday thanks to ric williams. he writes a poem a day. he sent me one on email and i took it as a challenge. (i never realized how i refuse to back away from productive challenges.) anyway, i don't know if they are good. but i wrote and that's what matters, right? maybe i'll post (one of) them. hmmm...

i didn't want anything. just biding my time. thanks for listening.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ramadan Mubarak!

So Ramadan, the Islamic Holy Month of fasting, began today and it was... rather easy. maybe the "master cleanse" training i did several months ago helped. maybe i am just a more mature, more focused, more disciplined, more faithful person this time. (maybe this is just the first day and everything feels easy on the first day.) who knows? whatever it is, i am grateful for the ease and i look forward to what i learn in the days to come. (and i do look forward to breaking my fast at 7:39 this evening on something delicious and nutritious that i will most certainly be grateful for.) this Ramadan, in the wake of "the america project" and Sekou's 51st dream state, i feel so much more aware of myself and Islam and america. funny, now i am reading the Qur'an with all of my Buddhist books. with the secret. this processing. this search. this cleanse. this life. (Allahu Akbar)

i wanted to write post tribute to Sekou Sundiata on the 11th but i was emotionally and physically exhausted. (how do you jump out of real life, experience something so painful and beautiful, and jump back in where you left off, seamlessly?) i had worked all day (filing documents that will in NO WAY affect the necessary changes in the world) and hustled home to freshen up, to get my mom and the kids then on to meet with Samiya to rehearse the piece we were to read at the gathering.

neither words nor silence can convey the beauty of the evening which opened with a recording of Sekou talking about his work. maybe from an NPR interview. i don't know. but to hear his voice somehow made it all feel "okay." and it put him so in the room. that felt reassuring. then one by one we, the participants -- members of Sekou's austin affiliations like the austin project -- read works of his and of our own, in tribute. Samiya and i read "Urban Music" and it was alive. i have been wanting to play his cd over and over since, but i don't think i am ready. Helga Davis sang us to closure and in the wake of her song and his words that filled my heart and soul, i was a mess of memory and tears. and though i am back to functioning in the world, my heart is still processing it all. i am grateful for seeing so many faces and hugging so many people i haven't seen in far too long. my prayer is to move forward with love and reflection and intention.

i ain't seen much but i've seen a few
and a few things have seen me too...

As Salaamu Alaikum,
peace out, Sekou...