The Anjana Network Expansion Pack + A Wild Call To Artists & Visionaries

The Anjana Network Header

Your tribe has called you to stand up and be heard.

The Anjana Network is a popular blog platform for creative free-spirited, goddess, artists, and visionaries that has provided quality content since 2012. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, The Anjana Network was founded by Anjana Love Dixon. Anjana is an artist, musician, mystic, and writer. The vision of The Anjana Network is to let the unheard artist express themselves on our multi-media platform without fear or filter.  The craving of spiritual wildness is sated with new perspectives on the old soul.

How to get involved:

A Call to Writers:

Goddess Wisdom is the central focus of The Anjana Network. We discuss the spiritual path, inspire new life hacks, dance in the rain, and commit our confessions to the sacred circle.  Our contributors are fearless elemental forces from all walks of life. We are questing for a strong group of insightful gods and goddesses, hot-blooded rebel rousers, iconoclasts, the misunderstood, and sex kittens to write a new wrinkle in the fabric of space-time.

Blog Submission Guidelines:

  • Your submission should be one essay, article or poem per contributor – double-spaced and in Microsoft word format no less than 500 words and no more than 1200 words.
  • A picture and bio of 75-100 words
  • You are free to use previously written work or blog, simply change the title & featured image so as not to confuse search engines.
  • You own the rights to your work and we encourage you to share it as many times as you can with the world on different platforms.

A Call to Audio Artists:

We are currently accepting new podcast submissions. There is an opening for two  20-30 minute segment-rich podcasts in the following categories:

  • Comedy
  • Philosophy
  • 80s Pop Culture
  • Movies & Filmmaking
  • Music

Podcast Submission Guidelines:

  • Your written treatment should include the following: Logline (short pitch), projected audience demographic, genre & long pitch 
  • Please submit a hi-res photo and bio (75 words or less)
  • Demo reel is welcomed but not required.

We are accepting podcasts with professional grade production value. You can produce yourself, or hire us to help you out.

A Call to Authors:

Pulsar Press, The Anjana Network’s publishing company is currently accepting queries for outlandish creative and soul shaking work. It is the objective of Pulsar Press to enliven the human spirit through provocative creativity.  We are accepting the following:

Literature:

  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Soul Work & Self-help
  • Expository Essays on Art, culture, & Creativity

Art:

  • Photography books
  • Graphic Novels
  • Divination Cards – Oracle & Tarot

Publishing Guidelines: Please allow two weeks for response.

  • Literature: Please submit a query letter attached to the first ten pages of your work double spaced in Ariel or Helvetica typeface.  Please link back to previous published work in your submission.
  • Art: Please submit a query letter along with a story board, portfolio and bio/media kit.

New Show Announcement & A Call to Actors:

We are currently in preproduction for a new show for Knoxville based artists, performers, musicians, actors & enthusiasts called MOON & ME hosted by Ricky Moon & Anjana Love Dixon.  We are looking for the following:

Announcements:  we are announcing upcoming indie arts & entertainment events in Knoxville for artists who need help getting the word out. We also share information about upcoming auditions for actors, musicians, performers and the like. Got an event coming up from June until the end of the year? Submit information ASAP. It’s free!

The Hungry Actors Showcase: will be a segment where you get to meet Knoxville actors trying to work and feed themselves.  This is a free platform where actors will be interviewed, share a short monologue, and be placed on our listing for indie film makers. Please submit Actor resume and headshot for consideration.

Advertise/Sponsor:

The Anjana Network is an Alexa rated high ranking website that is the #1 online publication in Knoxville, second in online/print to Knoxville News Sentinel. We have over 45,000 unique visitors to our platform every month reading, listening, and coming back for more.  Generous advertising packages include product endorsement/reviews, packaged rates, and social media mentions, and podcast & video commercials.

 

Please submit queries & casting call submissions to:

theanjananetwork@gmail.com with appropriate subject line.

 

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Searching by the Light of the Blood Moon

Are you still searching for your guru, your spiritual leader, and the bestowment of an epiphany from a divine creator or well-dressed messenger from the flock?

Some well-meaning people hold so much importance in following a leader, they allow them to dictate how to live in hopes to connect to the true identity of god. They will give hard money to this cause if the means justify the end result, saving their soul. From the days of selling tickets to heaven in the dark ages to Joel Osteen’s sickening million dollar toothy grin, the value of independent thought has depreciated over centuries. Some still fall for the scam in the Joyce Meyer’s , Benny Hinn’s, and Blossom Goodchild’s of the world. Sad as it may seem, they know the crux of human nature and how to manipulate it. They have feasted on it all the way to their million dollar mansions and astronomical bank rolls.

Right now we are in the dark. We are being submerged in a collective quietness and forced to use our intuition to see into the dark places we are fearful to explore.  We are here to uncover our  inner discoveries that no man, or construct of god ever dare touch for our spiritual freedom is our own.

Our Primary Block

There is an inherent human desire to avoid deep soul work. We look outside ourselves for personal truth. We petition the opinions of the venerated to tell us we are worthy to draw breath yet here we all are together: flawed, imperfect, and unable to fully explain the mystery of life. We are on a beautiful path of discovery even if we never truly arrive.

Fear sets in when we realize that we have carte blanche to create the world we wish to live in. We look to those whom have pronounced their own divine inspiration and seem to have a secret in with the man upstairs. They tell us what he looks like, what he thinks, what he wants us to do even if it means to kill our own, forget about the ills of those who do not deserve to understand his grace (Like all those godless sweatshop child laborers who don’t have a prayer).

American spirituality is clinging to an old wooden ideal by its fingernails while looking down at an infinite drop into the unknown. Letting go is the easiest part. Digging the splinters out will take a transcendence that could only be summoned by the divine feminine nature in all of its hot blooded pandemonium.

And the Moon Shall Turn to (Dianic) Blood

The grandiose femininity of the Blood Moon awaits our fearless quest to search for ourselves under her menstrual tinged awareness. Welcome to the red temple. We have been moon lodging since April 15, but were well prepared with the Mystical Menstrual equine wisdom from the previous retrograde. We have the opportunity to slough off the lining of our souls, and bleed our personal limitations back to the earth, so that we may become viable to carry wisdom full term.

The traditional name for a Blood Moon is the Hunter’s Full Moon, taken from Native American tradition. This is where the Goddess Wisdom of the huntress in all her fearsome archetypes rises up, taking her bow and arrow and  slaying the truth for her nourishment with perfect precision. She tracks footprints by the hazy red hue of her higher self.

The hunter’s moon asks you to search and discover without the attachment to an outside ideal. It is the time when your spiritual hunger will be fed by your own hands.  You have the power to nourish yourself, you always have. Open to the world without limits, and tap into divine feminine wisdom that will ultimately leave you on a higher plane of self-knowledge, the kind of knowledge that helps you to see through the veneer.

At this time, we have the pleasure of experiencing a rare set of 4 lunar eclipses – a tetrad in 2014-2015:

Full Moons with Total Lunar Eclipses:

15 April 2014
8 October 2014
4 April 2015
28 September 2015

For the Bible bound, the Blood Moon speaks to the treachery of Armageddon which to me, makes no sense. Firstly, in order to believe in the Blood Moon, we must all agree that astrology is a viable source of information which doesn’t gel with the Bible’s main policy of the jealous god talking smack about humans exploring other belief systems like astrology. I mean we can’t even agree on Science in this country anymore because of creationism. Gah!  Secondly, this is a purported prophecy, yet we can’t prophecy for ourselves? That’s a sin too? I call bullshit on all this right here, right now.

The end of the world as we know it happens each and every moment, at the close of each and every day. We experience the beauty of newness every time we awaken our entire selves, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, sexually.  Each discovery is an end to the person we once were. We experience cataclysmic truth when we discover that our spiritual purpose was different than what we were taught to believe. We see the apocalyptic horsemen of our senses waging war to be set free to experience the world without limits, to refine the human experience.

Now is the time.  The blood moon is your passage deep within the recesses of your undiscovered heart.  It is up to you to claim and love all of your spiritual aspects, your orphaned children, from the regrettable secrets you hide to the profound illumination you crave. No one is your guru. No one is your source for salvation, enlightenment, or awareness except you and the efforts of your soul work. Nothing is off limits. Goddess Wisdom tells us this which is why its energy is feared and repressed.

We women thrive on creation as opposed to destruction and see destruction as a form of creation. We desire the cultivation of knowledge rather than suppression of independent thought. We are fueled by the chaos of love that causes us to change our minds, see through time, and rediscover over and over again. We are the bearers of personal freedom. We break the chains that have held down the demons of the underworld within and without us, letting them run amok. They are free to set out on a path of their own as well.

There is never a better time than this moment to stir up some trouble.

There is no guru. There is no savior. There is only you.

Do it.

 

 

Meeting Mr. Darling

Pride & Prejudice via Pinterest

Pride & Prejudice via Pinterest

Since I am still single in my fifties, you could say that I’ve never really mastered the art of relationships. As an English teacher who loves British rock music and Jane Austen, I read voraciously. My favorite novel? Pride and Prejudice.  Admittedly, I salivate over anything featuring dark, brooding Matthew MacFadyen types. I’m in love with love. That said, I can be decidedly clueless about the men I love. I tend to be loyal as a goddamn dog. I convinced myself in high school that I’d marry Elton John, even after he revealed he was gay.

My most recent relationship ended six years ago. Its demise brought me to my knees. Grief kept me in a paralytic state of navel-gazing for quite a bit longer than was even remotely good for me. I taught my college classes and that’s about it. On my days off, I stayed home and slept.

So, when Mary – my psychic energy healer – told me that I’d soon meet someone, I responded with the usual snort of doubt. My colleagues are married, not interested, or gay. The only men I ever see are the 18 and 19-year-old college students in my courses.

“Where am I going to meet someone?” I asked her, point-blank.

“Go online. Your inner kid will love that. I swear, the next time we speak, you’ll be in love.”

___

About six weeks later, I got an intriguing email from a man on an online dating site I’d recently joined. The message was from someone named – get this – Mathew (with one ‘T’) Darling. He had dark hair and eyes, and although he lived 700 miles away from Phoenix, in San Diego, he indicated a willingness to relocate for the right person. I spent some time reading his profile. A widower, he had two daughters. He made decent money and we shared many common interests. The one red flag? He was a conservative. I am a progressive, left-of-left sort of girl. As a result, I sat on my hands for several days, unwilling to chance a reply.

___

A few days later, my friend, Wendy, called from South Carolina to bitch about her Ph.D. program.

She asked me how things were.

“I got an email…from a guy.”

“Ooh. What’d he say?”

“That he liked my profile.”

“Of course, he did. Have you emailed him back?”

“Unfortunately, he’s conservative.”

“Well, babe, he obviously read your profile, so he knows you’re a lifetime member of the  Hillary Clinton fan club. Write to him. What have you got to lose?”

___

Within hours of receipt of my email, I heard back. There was a flirtatious undertone to the message.

“I like your picture,” he said, adding, “We have so much in common.”

As I read it, bleary-eyed from 14 weeks of non-stop teaching and grading, my heart did a little jig.

I wrote back asking about his life, work, kids.

His messages were a little disjointed at times, but nothing about them seemed unusual. This back and forth went on for several days. Then he suggested that we use Yahoo Instant Messenger to “talk” live – rather than continuing to exchange emails through the dating site.

He coached me through setting it up, and then he was there. We were speaking in real time.

I did notice something odd though. He spelled his name with two T’s on his email account. I asked him about it.

“Oh, it’s a typo.”

___

One morning a few days later, Mathew sent me an unusually romantic message. I loved what it said. It wasn’t in his typical broken style and I wondered why it was so articulate. I felt a slight twinge in doubting it, but something compelled me to investigate. (Once an English teacher, always an English teacher.) I cut and pasted a few sentences into Google and hit enter. Immediately I got several thousand hits: Romantic Message Template. My heart fell. I struggled to explain it to myself.

In the end, I blew it off thinking, how different is that from sending a Hallmark card?

___

Mathew revealed that he worked as an oil engineer in Uzbekistan. (I have no idea why this didn’t seem implausible; no idea).

“I can’t wait to finish my works [sic] here so I can come home to meet you.” He initially claimed to be of Irish and German descent, but over time that morphed in British heritage, based upon his marriage. He said he grew up in Illinois and went to the University of Illinois in Carbondale.

“My daughters are excited I found you. They can’t wait to meet.”

“What are their names?”

“Leslie and Julia.”

___

Again, when I signed off from chatting, I had a feeling of unease. I typed Mathew’s daughters’ names into Google and got a Wikipedia listing for the famous Darlings of Great Britain: Matthew, Julia, Leslie & Peter. As I read the bios I thought, why does everyone in this man’s family have a name that seems to be straight out of a J. M. Barrie novel?

___

Two weeks later, Wendy flew to Phoenix for winter break.  After seeing the state of my closet, she staged an intervention to prepare me to meet the mysterious Mathew Darling in person, as he had promised he’d be state-side soon.

She pulled dozens of sweaters, tops, and pants from their hangers and dropped them on the floor.

“No!” she said, tossing a patterned pink cardigan aside, adding it to the growing heap of pastel turtlenecks and mom jeans. “God, No!”

By the time she was done, I had about half the clothing I’d started with.

Next, she pulled open my underwear drawer and began sorting.

“What’s this?” she asked.

“A bra?”

“Wrong. This is an ugly, stretched-out piece of crap. You will never wear it again.”  She dropped it into a sack marked, “Goodwill.”

I felt like Eliza Doolittle to her tiny, spritely version of Henry Higgins.

___

The next morning, we headed to the mall where she encouraged me to buy new lingerie.

“Oprah wears this bra,” she said, knowingly.

I stood in the fitting room in Dillard’s as the bra salesperson felt me up, her fingers patting the tops of my girls.

“Perfect.”

I laid down my debit card and spent $140. I thought about the character, Sue Ellen, on my favorite episode of Seinfeld. When Elaine gave her a bra for her birthday, she wore it as a top. I imagined strutting into the mall to show off my Oprah bra, much to the astonishment of dozens of holiday shoppers.

___

After that, Wendy called Vidal Sassoon in Scottsdale and made an appointment for me to cut and color my hair.

“You need a grown woman’s hairstyle.”

“I can’t stand having my hair in my eyes.”

“Tough. Do you want to look dowdy and ridiculous, or do you want to look ‘come hither’ sexy? You decide.”

The next day we trekked to Scottsdale and I dropped $175 on a haircut and color.  Admittedly, I did have a beautiful waterfall of cinnamon-colored hair afterwards. It fell across my face in a way that made me feel like Greta Garbo or Veronica Lake.

___

The intensity and frequency of the messages from Mathew increased. 21 days after we met online, he told me he loved me. I couldn’t sleep after our conversation. I woke up early to check my messages. An email was waiting. It expressed tenderness and total devotion. I read it through a blissful fog of joy. He got online a few minutes later and we talked for more than an hour. As we said goodbye, he said, “I’m happier than I’ve ever been.”

I signed off and sat perfectly still. A host of emotions washed over me. Maybe the long night since my ex was finally over.

Still, like a raspberry seed stuck in my teeth, something felt off.

I copied the first three sentences of that latest message into the Google search engine. What happened next froze me in my tracks. 538,000 results. Romance Scams. I clicked through to a few pages only to discover that this was an all too common ploy to extract money, plane tickets, or property from men and women looking for love online.

“It’s a scam,” I said under my breath.

How dare he do this to me?

I felt like the stupidest woman on the face of the earth.

In tears, I went into Yahoo and immediately deleted my account. Next, I went on the dating site and emailed customer service. I gave them his profile name, telling them he was a scam artist. In turn, they emailed all their users with that information. Then, I deleted my account there, too.

Once I did that, I called my best friend, Lisa, in New Mexico.  It was before 9 AM that Sunday morning.

“Hey, what’s up?” she asked, sounding tired.

“It’s a scam,” I hiccupped into the phone.

“Huh? What do you mean? What’s a scam?”

“Mathew. It was all bullshit. He was going to scam me for money.”

She hooted, knowing my financial condition.

“Well, that doesn’t mean you weren’t being real,” she said, her voice steady.

I stopped crying.

She continued, “I think this was a good thing. It got you off of Michael. It made you decide to get back to your life. He brought you back to life.”

___

Wendy was still sleeping on the couch. When she got up, I told her the whole story.

Hearing it, her face fell. “You’re kidding me.”

“Nope. He planned to scam me for money, but I figured it out. I’m proud of myself. I kicked his ass to the curb before he even broached the subject.”

“Did you contact him and tell him you know?”

“Hell no. Let him wonder what happened.”

As fast as he appeared, Peter Pan was gone.

___

I pulled my hair back and put on some makeup. I made a second pot of coffee and finished grades for my fall classes. After Wendy got out of the bathtub and got dressed, we drank coffee and ate rosemary garlic rolls slathered in butter.  We laughed to the point of near hysteria, imagining my darling’s reaction in Nigeria, or Russia, or wherever-the-hell-he-was. When his next plagiarized email went out, it would bounce back to him like a karmic boomerang:

The account you are trying to reach does not exist.

Lisa was right. I was back in my body and back in my life.

In spite of everything, it felt strangely good.

___

For more information on avoiding romance scams: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/financial_scams/financial_scams_4554.html

Fear and the Art of Becoming

 

 

Tonight I went to an art opening at a local gallery happy to be gathered with my artists friends we huddled in a corner to dish the dirt and catch up on the latest happenings. The topic of our conversation bears repeating.

It was on fear and the art of becoming.

As artists, we are constantly bearing our souls, exploring the meaning of life, and dealing with a multitudes of feelings all while trying to convey a message. Good art makes you feel something. It connects at a much deeper soul level than just the peripheral. Good art tells you something about the artist, about the environment, and about yourself. It is universal, because it is based on feelings.

How does one become so bold as to share themselves so openly? Firstly, it takes a lot of bravery. You must be willing to seriously analyze yourself and your reactions to everything. You must develop a philosophy of how you choose to see things. Are you interested in the minute details or a broad overall picture? Can you clearly label and define how you feel? Can you condense it and roll it around in your mind until you can clearly see it?

Once you have identified your feelings, they must be clearly communicated to your viewer. You would think that this in itself would be enough, but it isnt. It requires more than completing the image. It requires you as the creator to step out and share it with the world. Will it be understood? Will it be liked? Will it sell? All these can be terrifying questions. We are individuals who consistently examine ourselves and are sensitive – rightfully so, we are baring our souls in hopes of finding inner resolve.

Tonight, as we discussed showing our work, sharing our fear of rejection, and yet choosing to move forward in spite of it, my friend said something brilliant as she often does. “I think that’s the point…To act in spite of the fear.”  Moving past the fear in order to share something real, honest, and personal is what gives it validity. It is the leap of faith, standing firm in your reaolve, being fixed on what you are feeling, and sharing in spite of the fear is  what makes beautiful. This is where the real value is located.

As you go about the process of “becoming”, take heart and remember the real value comes from action in spite of fear.

Forgiving the Hurts You Carry So I Can Be Healed

“When you walk in and out of every place, you know the glances cast of jealousy and fear. Return each you meet with forgiveness. Let no one judge you without meeting the eyes of God. Do not add pain to the suffering of fear. Instead, a compassionate understanding of human sorrow will create an expectant cloud of witness, Witness upon whom you must rely to extricate you from the cycle of despair.”

A few weeks ago, I received the words above. I had just come to the final realization and begrudging acceptance of the fact that I have been struggling with depression from a young age. At times it has become severe enough to cripple me, locked into my bed for long periods and unable to care for myself.

I’ve been faced with the question of how I can work with or heal this. I hated the medications I tried, but I can no longer survive the way I used to. Everything has changed. I have a home now. I’m newly single. I have to provide for myself.

I was surprised at the message I received, that forgiveness would be the only way to extricate myself from the hopelessness I’ve been living in. I work in high-end retail. Let me tell you, there are customers there you just want to throttle, who treat you worse than something they’d scrape off their shoe. And for no good reason, it seems. They must just be evil or cruel. And this has not a candle to hold to the people who abused me through my childhood, right?

Yet I have been struggling to take this message to heart. When someone treats me cruelly or disrespectfully, I remind myself (sometimes a little too late) to strive for gentleness. I ask what the kindest thing I can do for that person is, and even if it is small (I might be very angry) I try to do it.

Shortly after I began putting this into practice, I was spending the night in a dear friend’s bed. It was a few days before the Trans100, and I had come down to help work out some last details before the big event. The house was filled with compassionate people who are working for change in my community and without, struggling to bring us acceptance and better lives.

I dreamed I was in a large church in downtown Chicago, where I go for confession occasionally when I’m feeling brave. It’s run by the Franciscans and I often find their priests to be very gentle. In this dream, I was in the mezzanine, standing in front of a statue of the Bodhisattva of compassion, Kwan Yin.

Suddenly, I began weeping. Someone with me asked why I cried, and I said because now I know: the goddess loves to be compassionate. It is what her whole being lives for. And because she delights to give mercy, she delights to be wounded, because each injury is yet another opportunity to give compassion. She does not flee the pain. She relishes it because she sees the divine pulse of love within it.

I made a commitment that day to act in the faith that God loves me. Even in dark moments, I know there is evidence of divine love in the life around me, and so I am choosing to see it, and not only my sorrow. When I am stronger, I hope I will see love in the sorrow, as well.

Depression is teaching me that I am very strong, yes, but I need a lot of help. Some days I am empty and dry. I can feel the energy drain from me in a precise moment, as if someone turned off a switch and now I’m supposed to die.

I am so hungry I find myself at Mass. While I have an old and violently bitter relationship with the Church, my hunger leads me to seek love present in the consumable Body of God. I think this means I am weak, but I accept the fact and go now anyway.

This Sunday was the 5th Sunday of Lent. On this day, the priest reads a passage from the Gospel of St. John in which Jesus resurrects his dear friend, Lazarus. In this moment, Jesus is revealing himself in the mysterious name, I Am the Resurrection and the Life.

Jesus arrived at the scene after Lazarus had died. Everyone knew he was capable of healing the sick man, but he said it was best he came late. That way God’s glory would be manifested.

I was struck by the realization that while God knew he could heal someone, he would wait because there was a better solution. I was more deeply struck when the next part of the story arrived: Lazarus’s sisters, Mary and Martha, ran to Jesus as he approached. They asked him why he was late. The said he knew he could have saved their brother. They loved Jesus tenderly, and they loved their brother, and they wept bitterly at their loss.

When Mary wept, at last — Jesus wept, too.

St. Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. She loved Jesus very much, and sat at his feet when he spoke. She was the woman who washed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. She was the woman the disciples disregarded and condemned for the affection and money she lavished on Jesus. She was the first person to whom Jesus appeared at his resurrection. At that moment, far in the future from where they stood weeping, he would ask her the same question an angel had just delivered, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

But in this moment, they both knew bitter sorrow. Even with the eternal perspective of God, the Divine love at the heart of the universe knows the intensity of pain and the black suffering it brings. It understands why we have a crisis of faith, or why we feel wounded. Its presence is the meaning of compassion: Compassion is Latin for “suffering with.”

Compassion is being with my customers when they try to humiliate me because I know they are hurt. Compassion is recovering from losing my home and allowing people to help me. Compassion is the presence of love because there really is no other presence. I can respond by creating another wound, or I can be thankful for the wound because I see the love in it. I have an opportunity to give and receive love.

Love means we know pain and we also know new life, or at least look forward to it. It creates an opportunity for a new manifestation of being when we are dry and hurt. It may or may not take away my depression, but I believe it can change my experience of it. And in the end, should we run form the wound or accept it because we feel the pulse of love running beneath?

Either way, I want to know that pulse of love.

Remembrance of Things Past

The Silent Garden by Christian Schloe

“Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.” ~ Thomas Hardy

The concept of linear time is a strange thing. This summer marks the 36th anniversary of my graduation from high school, the 27th anniversary of my graduation from New York University, and the 16th anniversary of my receipt of my graduate degree from the professional writing program at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Those facts, so neatly laid out, still seem impossible.

***

Surely, it was only yesterday I crossed the threshold of my first year of school at Westview Elementary School in Spokane, Washington. I wore a homemade polka dot dress and a pair of brand new saddle shoes from the shoe department at J. C. Penney. Away from my mother for the first time that day, I stood next to my small wooden desk, fighting the urge to cry as she valiantly headed for the door, a patent leather purse slung over her arm like an afterthought. She left me with a teacher who wore a gash of red lipstick and an emerald green skirt and jacket. Her name was Mrs. Otto.

I watched the clock’s slow hands move throughout that first day.

I wanted to stamp my foot; anything to get the clock to move.

Years passed before Momma reappeared, and it was time to go home.

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***

“All our sweetest hours fly fastest.” ~ Virgil

Now 54, I often feel bewildered by the speed of these intervening years. They have passed through me like lightning. My life has been completely changed by time – by the passage of it, by the stripping away of the notion of permanence, by the knowledge that time is the most ephemeral of all my so-called possessions.

***

I recently reconnected with a few of the friends I haven’t spoken to or heard from since high school. The friends of my girlhood. Friends who stood next to me as I passed through elementary, junior high, and high school; girls itching to delineate their boundaries, to forge characters and lives outside the confines of suburban life in the 1960s and 1970s. Women now, these girls remember a version of me I have forgotten. And because they remember me, suddenly, I do too. Through their eyes I remember that pensive waif standing on the periphery of the school yard.

I was certain I’d lost her to the dark waters of memory.

***

“And when is there time to remember, to sift, to weigh, to estimate, to total?” ~ Tillie Olsen

I chatted on the phone last night with a high school friend. I haven’t seen or heard from C since the early 1980s, yet I often wondered what became of her. She had a long waterfall of chestnut colored hair, a crooked smile, and a delicate and diminutive body. She moved like a graceful doe through the hell we charitably label as “high school” in this country. The two of us met in junior high. We lived on the edge of the world of cheerleaders, school pride, football, and the perennial favorite: binge drinking (and the requisite projectile vomiting afterward). We were never part of it.  We never really wanted to be part of it. I take pride in the fact that high school was decidedly not the high point of my life.

“Whenever I heard anything by Elton John over the years, I thought of you,” she said, the hum of the telephone wire singing quietly behind her voice.

Elton John’s photos wallpapered my school locker back in the day. He was, and still is, my soundtrack for the entire decade of the 70s.

“Wild,” I replied.  “You know I met him, right?”  I told the story of meeting Mr. John backstage at a concert in London.

We talked about the people we still have peripheral connections to, although neither one of us has maintained contact with anybody from the class of 1978. We talked about the weirdness of reunions and the passage of time. We talked wistfully about our choices and the tributaries of connection that somehow bind us: the fact that we don’t have children; that we both managed to navigate the waters of life without ever jumping into that particular boat.

Eventually we closed the conversation by exchanging addresses.  She promised to come visit me.

I was surprised by the ease of the conversation and the laughter that punctuated it.

It was as though I finally had a chance to open a gift I had forgotten I’d received.

 

In the Depths of Aliveness

Life’s magic is in the smoke and mirrors that will either lead you to the truth of your greatness or cause ripples of funhouse illusions that will whirl you in vicious cycles with no way out.

How do we know when we are really alive?  Life plays a funny trick on us sometimes, making us believe that if we are breathing, eating, sleeping, using the bathroom, showering, combing our hair, having sex, running errands and getting ready for work, that we are actually living a life.  But this is not being alive. Where lies the full-bodied bouquet?

Getting the hang of being alive is no easy task. We place barriers between our needs and our desires, prepared with hands extended to spank our own asses for having a little taste of what we want. In creative living, we have been taught to believe that we are frivolous if we decide to follow a dream. We live in a world where the word back-up plan is deemed acceptable vernacular for our untamable creative souls as if failure was something meant to only bring us feast of shame paired nicely with a bottle of our finest default life. What happened?

By this malnourishment, we learned early on to lock our deepest secret pleasures and desires away because we fear that if we touch them, they will burn us as we try to stay alive while breathing in plums of overwhelming smoke.

And we are right.

We are primed in the moment of acknowledging the dissatisfactory conditions to hit self-destruct, leaving the unlivable life behind and going places where many never glimpse.

Our greatest desires act as wormholes to a new reality that, when we touch down upon the hallowed surface of a life we couldn’t have possibly imagined ourselves, cause us to combust instantly from the scintillation of it all, burning away the dead flesh of who we thought we were.  We begin the process of replenishing our life force through the removal of toxins that we have carried over from the previous life nested within our current life. We drain the hurts of our soul and begin to regenerate. Our new skin is tender to the touch, and can feel the most subtle breath of air on our skin. We can taste the piquant of our own rawness. We can smell the crispness of our evolution. We are fully exposed, hanging in the sky waxed full and ripe.

We are no longer hungry. Instead we overflow with nourishment of the highest order.

There is a hunger in all women that absolutely must be sated- otherwise we end up eating our feelings. The hunger inside you is the desire to be your complete self. The physical mechanism you call by your given name is designed to sense holes of malnourishment so that it can refuel, stay alive.  What you may not have counted on was that the hunger you feel is much more than a function of the body. You crave being alive in a hotly exciting relationship with life itself.

Explore your hunger. Discover a life you can love that begs you to live it. Ravage it. Press it against a wall, kissing it passionately. Climax over the simplest pleasures until you are spent, sweaty, and ready to close your eyes.

Everything about us changes when we dive into the endlessness of our passions. The moment of decision is the moment we begin to actually feel. Feeling is the first sign of aliveness that leads us to unify the shining moments into a limitless continuum. This is not ever available to us unless we are able to lie down and open ourselves to our darkness. As the shadow aspect of you rises from your depths to whisper sweet nothings in your ear and errant dares in your mind, listen. The greatest realizations surface from our darkened, unvisited inner rooms.

One day, Lady Darkness will have a gift for you, as long as you entertain her in your boudoir and allow her to be your lady in waiting. In her you will find strength, grounding, creativity, death, connection, love, and awareness. You will see that she had been the keeper of your dreams all along, fighting off demons that lurk in the light. The same light that you thought would free you was what kept you overheated and naïve, blinding you from your own multi-dimensional etheric mystery.

As we discover the magic in our mystery, we realize we have the power to breathe life into those around us who are shackled by unrealized dreams, like we once were. We are the howl of the banshee invoking power into the lives of those we hold dear, crumbling mountains of doubt, slaying the enemy, and cracking the dark skies open to see behind the curtain. We have kept this knowledge from ourselves for fear that we couldn’t handle its meteoric impact, but now we are all things that are, were, and ever shall be. We got this.

And as we transcend the mundane, we will not believe our eyes. We may look down and realize our own hands are still shackled from the ghosting effect of old, unrealized patterns that keep us from our own omnipotence.

Someone will have the keys to your kingdom, and will free you. That someone will be an aspect of your greatest self.

When this inevitable moment of need comes knocking, the quietest whisper will be heard amidst the loudest chaos by the one who knows your frequency. Passersby will ignore you, but the one who holds the key will unlock the gifts of your heart and wholeness. And on that day, you both will walk unified through the threshold of what once was to where you belong.

 

Within Tribe #GoddessWisdom:

1. Danielle LaPorte asks: How do you want to feel? 

2. Brene Brown: “What we don’t know can absolutely hurt us.”

3. Recommended Reading: Women Who Run With the Wolves

4. Daft Punk’s Transcendent vibe and meaningful lyrics will inspire 

5. Vogue’s Sally Singer Commits to 10 Minutes of Meditation