A song from a dream I had in which there were two hills- one that was really steep and I thought, well MAYBE I can climb that, but on top of that there was yet another hill that was practically straight up and down, and I knew climbing it would be impossible. But it looked so beautiful.
The hill was high, I couldn’t climb
though I knew you were there.
A world of green surrounded me
it stretched out everywhere.
So I got back in my car and drove
to try and find a home.
I thought of you, the whole way through
it made me feel alone.
I thought of you and of the field
with the hill that was so high.
A temple built to something
that lives only in the sky
Everything is always high
and always far away.
I tell myself I must never stop and
I will get there someday.
Many gods and many men
have lived upon a crest.
Though the clouds pass over all of them
it is you I like the best.
All these hills and all these gods
and each man has his own.
Except for me, a tiny breeze
still searching for a home.
A tiny breeze who when she flies
is cut down by the winds.
They slice my heart and splay it
like a butterfly and then
Then I can scale these hills, but even so
my shadow looms so small
that to you it was just the same as though
I was never there at all.
Big men shadow over me
there is no other way
than to watch them with admiring eyes
through a film of gray.
For me there can be no other way for me
than to lie back on the ground
and to let the dreams wash over me
until a home is found.
A home that could be anywhere,
a home so hard to find.
Oh God, but please let it be somewhere real
not somewhere in my mind.
Someplace real, someplace strong
mountainous and grave
nothing flimsy like a butterfly
with her wings upon your leg.
Everyone has gods upon
these hills where claddows* fly.
Except for me, I have only you
and only in my mind.
I reached for you, but there was no use
the world was large and green.
It stretched out wide and endlessly
like the sky within a dream.
And who am I, but a dot so small
that no one else could see
as you passed me by invisibly
your shadow touching me?
As you passed me by just like a plant
pressed flat upon the ground
just a thing too small to be cared about
when hills are all around.
I have two problematic states I can be in. One is frozen, like a block of ice that can’t speak or move, and the second is evaporated like steam that will say or do anything. These videos make me feel self-conscious because they capture me in my icy state due to the presence of all the technology and lights. Technology is useful, but may be kryptonite to females.
I wrote this song in Nashville, as part of an album called “The Odyssey” which expressed my feelings of endless journeying through a dark world. As I’ve said before, Nashville struck me as a dark city, but that may be because I only went out at night. Having no money and little food can make the world feel darker as well. I lived on my own, but had zero practicality. When the electricity was turned off I had no idea why. I thought I was witnessing a supernatural event. Once- as if by magic- a person left cans of food at my door but I didn’t know how to open them. So I smashed them with a hammer and ate the pieces that didn’t have metal in them. I was an animal, I guess. How far I have come. Plus there was the darkness of the music industry which hung over the musicians like a shadow.
Many of the songs I wrote at that time can no longer be sung because they are so sexual that it would be embarrassing to someone with my current level of dignity. Sexuality is a language for desperate times, I guess, but not the language to use when you want to seem like a good neighbor. Or your husband wants to run for city council. Now dignity must always be first and foremost on my mind. “Stiff as a board” is my new motto.
Me, in Nashville. Then I was truly crazy, now I am practically President of the United States.
I have been hounding James for a while to let us move to the woods of Maine & live off the land, certain the only way I could find happiness would be to live a simple life as a lumberjack. And just like an answered prayer, it has turned quite cold and we have no heat in our house, giving me the chance to live out as least parts of my fantasy. The worst part of being cold, I think, is how your wrists freeze up, making it hard to do things with your hands like type or play guitar. The best part is that you never forget to cook. Instead, I hover around the warm stove all day, cooking up anything that can be made out of corn, beans, eggs, butter, sugar, and dandelions. Which is quite a lot, actually.
As you may know already, I am quite obsessed with corn- more as a spiritual entity than a food source- and I have a corn colored stool which I can place next to the oven, giving me a warm(er) spot to write or sing while corn sandies are baking or dandelion tea is brewing. So all in all, the cold life is not a bad one.
Sometimes I think about the relative virtues of poverty vs wealth. Do you? I mean, on the surface, it is obviously much better to be rich and perhaps that is all there is to it, but at the same time there are many valuable things which only poverty can create. I wonder how many of the negative feelings we have about poverty are based in reality, and how many are due to our collective imaginations absorbing the dreams and life goals given us by Hollywood.
Poverty can give you focus, humility, ingenuity, appreciation, and perhaps above all, the need to fall back on your own inner resources. How many rich people remove their own teeth with a pair of pliers? Additionally, since no one will respect you when you are poor, poverty forces you to mine you self-esteem from within. There are lots of movements now to eliminate poverty from our society which always seem to start off with the assumption that the poor are worse off than the rich. That is an assumption I do not share. From an astrological perspective, the rich can be said to be learning the lessons of Jupiter- ease, growth, expansion, generosity- while the poor are learning the lessons of Saturn- endurance, patience, faith and how to thrive within restriction. Sometimes when the rich want to help the poor, I wonder if they are merely projecting their own sense of emptiness onto someone else, in order to feel better about their lives.
I don’t think the poor should be pitied or helped- they should be admired and learned from. Most of all, we should stop making people feel bad or ashamed for living on a limited material budget, and stop treating it as a problem to be solved.
My change of heart about poverty came when I realized one day that life is really what you give to it, not what you get out of it. Because we all come here from a spiritual dimension, I believe, where we are kings. We do not need to be kings in this world, but what we do need is the opportunity to make something of ourselves. Poor people have the same opportunities to contribute to life as the rich ones. They are not less blessed, just financially thinner.
In some ways, poor people can contribute more easily, I think, because they have less to lose. They have no pride, no dignity that they must cling to, and therefore they can develop true integrity more easily. In a moment of time when everyone is clamoring to be respected by society, I think we have also forgotten how easily external respect can rot a person’s character. It isn’t respect that we should be seeking- much less demanding- instead we should be turning ourselves into someone that WE can respect, by aligning ourselves with our own guiding stars. Because we are only in this world for a short time. When we leave, we leave behind the approval or disapproval of the crowds. But whatever gold we have managed to weave into our souls will travel forward with us.
And now my fingers are too cold to keep writing. So let me summarize by saying, Poor people, you are awesome, always hold your head high. Your true treasure is stored in a vault in the sky.
I have to include this clip because it contains the song “Beer for my Horses” by Toby Keith, one of maybe 3 songs in the world that I like. What a man Toby Keith is, or at least pretends to be in this song. 🙂
This song is called “Old Guitar” which is strange because I hate songs that mention guitars in them. It is creepy- like a painting of a paint brush. I don’t trust artists that are so into art that they actually write songs about it. It feels masturbatory when artists set art too high on a pedestal. If artists are going to worship anyone, it should be the people who make it possible for them to pursue lacy ephemeral things- people like lumberjacks, soldiers, carpenters, farmers, moms etc. It is only thanks to these practical people that the ones like me can exist.*
Also, I sort of believe that- as much as possible- artist should try to be soldiers & lumberjacks themselves, not just sit around fingering a guitar all day. Otherwise, they are like cut flowers that don’t have much to draw upon.
Goodbye astrology readings. Goodbye ESP Journal. There must be no more staring into the mist. No more checking James’s phone for Snapchat every time he takes a shower.* No more obsessing over other people in general.
My goal now is to become an individual. To not just be a perceiver but also something that can be perceived. A specific, down-to-earth human with a personality, face and history attached.
If I had to describe my self as a number, I would be a 2 for sure. It is so easy for me to get lost in obsessing over other people, analyzing them, drawing their rectangle ghosts in my journal, absorbing their feelings and problems. Whereas the thought of being an individual, a separate stand alone entity, is inconceivable. And that is what must change. I have to find a way to become a number 1.
Two things that have always freaked me out are mirrors and photographs. My own image unnerves me, but also anything that reminds me of my own existence- from a certificate with my name on it to a picture I painted. The sound of my own music sends me into a panic. I don’t know why. I just find it easier to live as a shapeless octopus at the bottom of the ocean, watching and absorbing the colors around me, blissfully unaware of my own existence.
Everywhere I go, I seem to learn a lot about the people around me while remaining relatively unknown myself. It is easy for me to be fascinated by the tiniest details of someone’s life. It is less easy for me to share details about myself. My own self and life seem transparent and lacking a definite form…
And now I can no longer think because my husband is falling asleep. The second he begins to fall asleep thick creamy brainwaves fog up my mind, sometimes containing horrible emotions as well. It causes a headache and makes clarity impossible. Does anyone else have this problem? It is especially troublesome since he enjoys taking naps. Sometimes it can take hours for the goo to leave my head. I guess it would not be easy being married to me.
But still (I am now on the opposite floor & side of the house, trying to escape the white glaze) I am hopeful that by becoming more of an individual, these cracks will begin to seal up, and I will be less impacted by the emanations of others.
There is no point trying. I am not going to be able to outrun these brainwaves, so I must bring my musings to a close before my brain fogs over completely. The basic point is I must learn to become an individual, a number one. Perhaps I should start taking selfies. So far, I have only taken one, as a dare to myself, whoever that is.
*No Snapchat or related items were found. But as a Scorpio, I enjoyed looking.
Thoughts are made of air. Behind thoughts lies ether. Ether is the space which thoughts occupy; the realm in which you are thinking. And this is where I sometimes feel off, as though my reality is located in a place not quite relevant to me.
While thoughts need to be clear, rational and honest to have value, ether is subjective. You could say it is faith or imagination infused by a feeling. You begin with a subjective feeling, a sense, that life is this sort of thing, and then that feeling becomes the terrain over which all your thoughts must travel.
Perhaps, for example, you have the sense that life is a dismal affair and the world more or less a machine. In this case, your ether has a gray metallic cast, and all your thoughts must make their way through that grim landscape. Or you feel as though the world is full of love and unicorns (even though you might not literally believe that). Once again, you will only be able to harbor thoughts that can survive in this bubblegum hued environment. In this pink world, the possibility of your husband wanting to kill you becomes unthinkable, and all evidence in favor of this hypotheses drops from your mind. This does not, however, make it impossible for your husband to follow through with his deadly plan.
Hence, why it is difficult to judge which flavors of ether are better and which are worse. It all depends on the person and the place.
Let’s say, for example, you are an atheist, a materialist, and this is the backdrop for your thinking, the etheric world your thoughts inhabit. (Keeping in mind, however, that ether is not so much your stated beliefs as the climate these beliefs inhabit. There could be an atheist with a empty cast, who feels the world is void of meaning. There could be an atheist with an angry cast whose rage at parental figures has turned into a war on religion. Or there could be an atheist with a milky brown cast, who is so enamored with nature that he has no interest in spiritual abstractions.)
So let’s say you are an atheist with a metallic gray cast, drawn to mechanical thoughts and seeing life as a rational affair. Although spiritual things seem like fairy tales to you, you hold no animus towards those who believe in them. This could be a fine etheric location for a engineer or scientist to set up shop, helping them to stay focused on their life’s work and perform it in a logical manner. While for someone else-like a warrior- this form of ether could be debilitating, stripping from them the passion and sense of glory one needs to lay down one’s own life.
The value, then, of any given frame of mind is relative to what that person needs to contend with and accomplish. The rose colored glasses that might compliment a pre-school teacher could be deadly for a police officer.
And now I am wondering what my point is… I think my point is- maybe- that when you interact with people, you don’t just have a tendency to share their thoughts, you get drawn into the same mindspace as them. This happens to me when I use Facebook. Even though I disagree with people, eventually the disagreement draws me into thinking about the same things as them. Their take on life starts to refocus my own, creating a sense of disconnection from self.
I guess I am honest with people to the extent of meaning what I say, but not honest to the point of sharing what I actually care about. The things which can be shared do not interest me, and the things which interest me cannot be shared. Or perhaps that is just the dark lens through which I view life.
Now that I have gotten disdain for books out of my system, I would like to share some of my favorites. The two things I look for in a book are a) that it be an autobiography and b) that it not be written by a writer. I don’t want to be impressed by someone’s writing ability; I just want to understand what they are saying. The more simple, the more I like it.
I like books by strange people and books by normal people. Books by “great” people and books by ordinary people. Although ordinary people write books about themselves less frequently, when they do it is a treat. I would prefer a book about a day at the office to a book about the conquest of Rome.
A couple more thoughts…
I hate it when autobiographies begin with endless details about a person’s ancestry.
Many autobiographies are spellbinding in the beginning but become vomit inducing once the person achieves worldly success. Pre-success self lives in a fascinating little world of dreams and struggles, while post-success self inhabits a dry, bloated reality in which they have become an object even to themselves.
So anyway, here are a few favorite books…
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
I love books about people who must endure circumstances beyond their control. Two other things that make this book amazing to me…
Freddie’s fate is changed by a magic root.
He finds the “keys to his destiny.” What do I mean? Well, I have this theory that everyone has one- or possibly several- keys that unlock destiny for them. But these keys differ from person to person. One person might need to read every book they get their hands on to tap into their latent powers of luck, while another person might need to focus on growing their hair into long, golden locks.
Freddie had two keys- literacy and fighting. He knew he must learn to read at all costs and- and after receiving the magic root- he realized he must always fight back, even against his master, returning each blow with a blow.
As he admits in the book, this course of action would generally have guaranteed a slave’s death. But since it was his destiny, or perhaps because he held the magic root, it worked for him.
Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington
Once again, a person who endured hardship and found the keys to their destiny. In the case of Booker, his destiny was unlocked through a devotion to practicality and manual labor. At a time when former slaves were being encouraged to learn French and run for office, he realized the value of learning a practical trade- one that would meet the true needs of humanity. He figured that a man who serves a necessary role will have a secure place in any community, while the fortunes of the high-falluting man will wax and wane.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
I don’t know if Harriet ever found the key to her destiny, but anyone who has the will to spend 7 years curled up in a box to escape slavery is cool in my book. This made me feel better about all the years I have spent in near confinement.
The Crystal Horizon by Reinhold Messner
This book- about Reinhold’s first solo climb of Everest- helped me see how the road to glory is paved with drudgery, pain and hallucinations. I appreciated his simplicity and his willingness to risk his own life while not the lives of others. A cold, high & empty feeling pervaded the whole book, which I found very stimulating.
How I Found Livingstone by Henry M. Stanley
Now for a man who was completely willing to let others die in his quest for glory. But keep in mind that Henry was a soldier himself, risking his life for both the Confederates AND the Yankees, constantly putting himself in danger- not for a social cause- but in the name of Manhood and Adventure.
This book is also an interesting glimpse into Africa of the 1800s, though through a traveler’s perspective. People offended by the racism of days gone by should avoid this book, since Henry believes in the superiority of his own race.
Growing up with Draja Mickaharic by Luke Cullen
A simple book in which Luke recounts his childhood training with a magician. It is not fantastical, however. Even his teacher-the magician- explains to him that magic can only alter the odds by 20%. Eventually, the author decides this advantage is not worth the cost and forsakes magic for an ordinary life.
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Not an autobiography, but probably the best book ever written. Timeless animals doing timeless things. What more could you ask for?
The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mohandas K. Gandhi
A good book for those wanting to take a more extreme approach to life. Drinking his own urine is just the tip of the iceberg. I may have been better off never having read this book, since it fed some of my own extremist tendencies and sent me down a strange path for years. I never drank urine of course, but did develop self-torture routines of my own for the purpose of… actually, I can’t remember exactly what the purpose was supposed to be. To be stronger, I suppose?
But I have come to the conclusion that self-flagellation only works as a spiritual path if you are a man. Because it is the nature of man to rise above his emotions, whereas it is the nature of woman to glean wisdom from hers. Only men should try to conquer themselves.
Eight books is enough for now, but I may be back with more later…
Oh, and do you happen to like songs about books? Here are a couple to consider…