Archive for September, 2009

Hearts and Minds

Posted in Uncategorized on September 24, 2009 by Queenie

You hear a lot about hearts and minds these days.  Seems it’s had a lot to do with wars – invasions under the guise of humanitarian efforts, or world peace.  As in “We’re trying to win the hearts and minds of these people.”  I’m not sure what we’re trying to win them with.  It usually comes with guns, bombs, and Improvised Explosive Devices.  Am I just jaded?  Or just a little shellshocked myself.

Why is it that I seem to have had an inordinate amount of experience with these war wounds delivered to my heart and my mind?  If this be the state of Love, then I think it’s high time I registered as a Conscientious Objector.  Your honor, I object.  And I do.  And so do a few others in my circle.  There seems to be entirely too much of this broken heart thing going around these days, with the subsequent barrage of questions from the aghast mind pondering the punctured reality of such an occurrence.

All this brings me to consider the eternal conflict between said Heart and said Mind.  You hear it blurted out in terms that blur the boundaries between the two, as if you said them together fast enough there wouldn’t really be much difference.  Heart and Mind, the Mind-Body Connection — what are we really talking about anyway?

Back when I was more susceptible to such things, while being wooed with those beautiful words, I responded with a reasonable amount of concern and caution.  My head asked:  How can this be?  What if it isn’t, really?  Can I trust this?  This is my heart we’re talking about here – my most precious gift, and I’m not going to give it away to just anyone.  Was I?  I was asking all those questions eight ways from Sunday in some effort to keep my precious heart in a safe place, and not find it trashed in some alley down the road, along with the beer cans and other detritus of broken things.  My erstwhile suitor so tenderly addressed the subject and told me that in any conflict between heart and mind, that one should always go with the heart. Just what I wanted to hear, of course.  Confirmation of my soul’s desire, delivered by someone in whom I wanted to have absolute faith, who of course understood the depth of my concern, and shouldn’t he be likewise involved his own care taking?   I bit, and I hung on, for so long that my teeth were damn near pulled out of their sockets.  I believed, by golly, and no amount of doubt or, well, hate to say it, obvious contrary behavior could persuade me otherwise.  I was true blue – I believed in the honor of the heart – and I pushed the machinations of my mind to the back of my consciousness – so much easier to ignore so far away in the dark corners, where I refused to raise the shades.  Don’t let rational thought get in the way of what my heart wanted to fight for…. and it was a fight, about to the death.  I think it about killed me.

At some point, the heart drags itself up to the plate and somehow manages to piece together enough scraps to hang an “I’ve had enough” flag on a stick salvaged from the pile of shattered dreams.  At that particular point, which varies on all of our different roadmaps, it has become a matter of self preservation.  But here it comes now, out of the mothballs…..let me reintroduce you to… your mind.  Oh yeah, you’re smart enough, we know.  You can contribute mightily to any discussion about the world situation.  You can amaze and amuse with your winsome wit.  You can blow ‘em away with your own spectacular talent, and leave them with their jaws dropped at the feet of your wonderfulness.  You can do it all, have it all, be it all, except…. not quite.  At some point you ceased to have much a of relationship with Truth – when it came to your heart, and your head.

Or maybe it happened a bit differently.  Maybe you were indeed everything, with the honest and complete package, and somehow picked a real lulu of a loser.  Maybe you got blindsided by someone with really rotten character, and he, or she, (this is an equal opportunity venue), just came out of nowhere and knocked the holy crap out of you with totally unbelievable actions or words.  No matter, you still found yourself in the mud, with your bouquet of pretty posies still grasped in your hand.

And now, enter the mind.  Oh my dear, where have you been?  And now it starts – the questions.  The eternal, unanswerable, infernal, diabolical, hair pulling, head slamming, screamed or whispered….. questions.  How?  Why?  But…  And on and on and ON.  The head, what’s left of your mind, now has center stage, and where oh where is the guy with the hook when you need him?  The mind simply will not shut up, and it won’t give up any easier than the heart did when it had its day in the sun.  And just like the heart, it keeps going until it just can’t anymore, whether it is satisfied or not.  And likely as not, it knows what it knows, it just never wanted to believe it.  And then after a while, it does believe it, even if there never came a decent answer as to how or why.  Probably it’s some technical or clinical diagnosis, but that doesn’t make it any better, either.  And perhaps you have to uncover another version of the truth that shows you that you had your own part in this little drama.  Whatever it is, it’s not pretty, and it hurts.

And here we are, your head and your heart, together again after all these years.  Now what?  Best to get on speaking terms, and perhaps plan a better strategy next time — although in matters of the heart, maybe no one can be trusted, really.  Is it really true that someone can die of a broken heart?  I think maybe yes.  But it’s a romantic notion, best left to old movies shown only in the wee hours of the night.  For the rest of us, I’d hope for better ends.  At least I hope that for myself, and the rest of you will have to determine your own desires for your legacies.  I don’t think, romantic as it may sound, that I want to have it bandied about that I died of a broken heart.  I hope I’m a little smarter than that.  I hope I’m a lot stronger than that.  I think I know I am.

You may never be able to reconcile the battle between Heart and Head.  It’s hard to believe sometimes that they occupy space in the same being.  One thinks – one breaks.  The mind reels – the heart bleeds.  But if you’re in the thick of it, take heart.  Take care of your heart.  And give your mind a little credit while you’re at it, or at least don’t send it to the dark places silenced with duct tape.  In the end, there has to be a treaty, a peaceful coexistence proclamation.  And a bit of respect between the two parties.  Maybe it will be the beginning of a healthy new relationship between the previously oblivious to each other parts of you.  May there be the beginnings of conversation, even if a translator need be hired.  May we not silence one in order to serve the other, because, in the end, censorship just doesn’t work, and Truth will out.  And if you’re hurting, may your heart sing again, and maybe your head will help you to remember all the words.  If not, you can hum.

Responsible Manifesting

Posted in Uncategorized on September 22, 2009 by Queenie

Lessons, we get these lessons.  And however it’s all put together for us out there in the ethers, it surely feels like we might not get the things we want, but those who claim to know about such things tell us that we get what we need.  I think even the Rolling Stones said that, and I didn’t much pay attention then.  (I was a Beatles girl.)  But even so, I do remember those words, and I’m not sure I wanted to believe the concept.  Like all of us, we want what we want, but I think we owe a little more consideration when we start throwing out those desires and big statements.  A former significant other once told me that I wasn’t what he wanted, but I was what he needed.  I can’t say as I felt too good about that, and his stock went down considerably.

A while back, when I was feeling evidently particularly cocky and more sure of myself than I was used to, I was thinking I was getting on top of things.  Feeling good, forward momentum, all that sort of attitude.  Oh yeah, I’m so much better, I can do this….. and I uttered those fateful words:  Bring It On!  I’m sure it’s been tossed out there by many, likely to do with blood sport or a confrontation of some sort.  (Football and too many sports seem to be of the blood sport variety these days, but that’s another topic.)  In fact, about the only other person I can recall saying it is a certain ex-president, who is not high on my friends list anyway, who with much puffed up arrogance and bravado put out that challenge before he decided to go to “war.”  (Another topic I’ll bypass.)  So having had such a negative response to those words when I’d heard them before, I’m not sure why I came up with such a statement, or invitation – I find it very unlike me, but say it I did.  And then the Universe said, OK, Missy, here ya’ go.  And dang, it was a harder road than I had ever considered, not what I wanted at all.

I didn’t make as much money as I wanted, much less needed from my regular source of such things. That effectively put the kibosh on my much anticipated Road Trip scheduled a bit later.  And I had to cancel another big do, too.  On top of all that, the most precious person in my life was diagnosed with cancer, out of the blue, ka wham.  Way too much drama, too much challenge, not so much fun.  Did I ask for all that?

I say I subscribe to some of the principles, even if they sound like platitudes, that explain that you reap what you sow, you get what you ask for, (You’d better be careful, remember?), and if you but ask, you shall receive.  Well huh.  In the course of time, all things were gotten through.  Everyone survived.  I missed some adventures, but I had other ones.  My precious person is still here.  We made it.  I found out what was really important.

So when I was out walking the dog early this evening in the Back 40, I was thinking about things.  About all this change around me, all this character I’m building, (as if I needed more character to be one), and how I wanted my life to be different – better different, not just different.  I thought about some possibilities floating around in my head, that maybe things could work out in ways I had never imagined.  That I have to relax, do my work, and let the Universe do its work in its own time, not by my demands and insults.  And as I walked in the breezes of the eventide, the land now cooled from the dreadful parch of summer, the sky clear and the sun tinting the clouds, I raised my arms up to the sky and said, Let It Come.

I was struck immediately by the difference in how that felt from my last big discussion with the Universe.  It felt so much better, a surrender instead of a challenge.  A letting be, instead of an Oh yeah?  How different the sound and the feel, from Bring It On, to Let it Come.  One spoken with a clenched fist, the other with arms raised, open hands, open heart.

And of course, somebody already said that, too, in another way.  This time it was the Beatles, and even so, I don’t think I really paid that much attention then, either.  I was too busy with whatever was going on in my fitful life, even if I was a Beatles girl.  Then someone shot John Lennon, and the world seems to keep getting little meaner every day.  How do we keep a soft heart when all around us seems to be steeling itself for what’s coming next, and it’s often hard to not sit in a shell of fear.  It’s crazy out there.

I’m not looking for a fight.  And I’m not giving up, either, and that’s not at all what Surrender is about.  But life’s sort of funny that way.  Everything right in front of us, challenge or surrender, and it’s not about winning or losing, though it sure seems advertised as such these days.  I find myself talking about battles though — Fear vs. Love, Strength vs. Apathy, and the list goes on.  I sound like my own version of a sports coach when I say to Get out there, Live, Try something new, Choose something different, Say YES, Change!  And even though I’m all awash in excitement and promise, I want it to be a transition, not a train wreck.  I want a peaceful, meaningful, accepting surrender, not a capitulation.  I want to Let it In, like the cool breeze of Autumn Equinox.  I want to exhale into softness.  I want to Let It Come.  And hopefully, with a little more gentleness this time, the Universe will deliver to me what I need, and I hope I am pleasantly surprised.

A bit about Love, and a few other things

Posted in Uncategorized on September 20, 2009 by Queenie

Just as surely as I didn’t expect to begin here with reflections on Fear, neither did I think I’d so soonly follow with thoughts about Love.  But since they are the polar opposites, it really isn’t such a surprise after all.  There is always the One, and then there is always the Other, all the dichotomies that flavor our lives.  Even the French said Vive la difference, but sometimes the vive part is a hurtin’ thing.

In thinking about Love, I found myself folding into thoughts about being strong.  Those two things have these days found quite a relationship with each other in my life.  I ask myself, What would a strong woman be?  What would a strong woman do?  I’m finding that what is true for Love, it seems to be likewise true for Strength, and many other things — that they must be expressed in actions, not words.  Love, along with its kith and kin, should be defined, or at least demonstrated, by means of actions, not blather.

Now I love words.  I simply cannot seem to stop writing them, especially lately.  I had occasion to fall in love by manner of words.  And I can give as good as I get when it comes to creating them.  But this man could write.  He seduced me with words, and I smote him right back.  We were just about equally matched in the word department, each with our own style and delivery.  If we’d been able to have our love remain functional or in some pure form by the nature and nurture of words alone, we might have made it.

It was the action thing, and he couldn’t do it, not for long.  And I’m sure I played my part, aided and abetted by my carry-on luggage that I unpacked far too often.  It wasn’t that we didn’t back up some of those words with some purely splendiferous moments.  I thought we could make a life of those moments, allowing of course for the tending to realities of the “terrible dailyness,” (a term coined by Steven Levine), except he really wanted nothing to do with the terrible dailyness part of it.  And that, and some bad behavior, was that.  Sad to say I probably have had entirely too many episodes of looking (and acting) like an actual drama queen in the course of things.  But the only one who ever out and out accused me of it wore the biggest king crown I’ve ever seen, so it must take one to know one.  I still seem to love him to this day, but only the parts of him that now assume misty memory quality, for the last chances for thinking of him in the present tense are relegated to those If Onlys that got lost in the piles in my closet.

Towards the end, (though there were several of them, actually), even the words turned on us.  We put flesh to the bones of the words, and in the long run, (and it was rather a long run, highlighted and then lowlighted with the best ups and the most depressing downs), the road ran out.  As is the way with us pitiful human types, the attempts at reality far missed the high aim of the verbiage, and then there you sit, Dead Ended.

So now here I am, redefining, becoming, and just being, yet again and still.  I always used to joke about being a Late Bloomer.  Not so much a joke anymore, and I’m not sure how funny, either.  I feel a little Mae West at times – exhibiting not the higher power ideals of the guru types who tout living your life as a good example.  Like Mae, I’ve spent too many years being a bad one.  I think, however, I have finally learned a few things.

You get to the point, (one hopes), where you get it that the way you’ve been living your life, time after too many times, just isn’t paying off with the end result you envisioned.  After a soul numbing tour of duty in the ruts, climbing out of them is an interesting and maybe daunting experience.  It’s not that you’re in totally unfamiliar territory.  After all, you had to come from somewhere to begin your journey into the mud run.  So when you get yourself back up on that familiar yet unfamiliar ground, it taps into the bittersweet experience of remembering who you used to be, before you got small, and the ruts got so deep.  Maybe there are some who never even got the blessing of having a safe beginning ground.  To them, maybe there’s the feeling of…. Yes, this looks right, feels better.  This is what I imagined it might be……

There was that movie about Georgia O’Keeffe last night.  She’s been one of my heros for so many years I don’t remember when she wasn’t.  Her picture,  she sitting amongst her bones and rocks and wood, hangs on the wall above me as I write.  It was filmed in New Mexico, where I fancy I want to live.  The story so paralleled parts of my own life that it brought me to tears.  She left her incredulous, flawed beloved behind as she moved on into her discovered self, and neither of them could comprehend the other’s behavior, even though they genuinely loved each other.  She crafted an extraordinary life.

I aspire to an extraordinary life, and the cost is sometimes high, or perhaps it’s just unfamiliar currency.  I wonder how many extraordinary lives are squandered on the status quo, lost in the terrible dailyness.  Why is it not normal, (whatever that is), or at least standard operating procedure, to strive for the extraordinary, instead of running out of energy and time accomplishing barely enough while chasing the mechanical rabbit around the track?  It is a Law of Queenie to Settle for More, (and that is copyright, my friends.)

I’m not sure I said much about the great battle between Love and Fear.  I know fear is at the basis of our discarded dedication to the extraordinary, traded in for some acceptable form of safety, even if it means clinging to what we know because we fear what we don’t.  Yes, there might be a different life outside those ruts, where we can hide from it if we want to.  Might be Wild Indians out there, or Republicans, or Hottentots.  Hard to be discovered if you’re safely tucked into those deep ruts.  But then, it’s hard to discover anything from in there either, even yourself.  And there you are.  What’s your choice?

You’ll hear a lot more about Choice around these parts.  Be warned.  And if you need a ladder to climb out of those ruts, I bet they’re on sale at a Big Box right down the road.  Might be worth the investment if you haven’t grown your wings yet.  I would ask you to consider it, and Change, and Choice, if your view of life is impeded by the walls of the ruts you might find yourself in.  If you’re happy there, well, then, have a very nice time.  I prefer the view from the promontory, where I can breathe free, and stretch my eyes.  But that’s just me.

This then, is the beginning…….

Posted in Uncategorized on September 17, 2009 by Queenie

Greetings, gentle readers, whoever you may be.  I suppose for some great while I will be writing to only myself, but I find that in most of my pontificating, I’m talking to myself anyway.  I often find that what I deign to offer to others as enlightenment is just what I need to be hearing myself.  As is said, (so many times as to make it a numbing platitude), it’s a journey, and all of us are on the road in one way or another.  These are daunting days, filled with question and change, (or lack of it.)  And if we don’t recognize and guard against it, not a little Fear.  I’d like to make it my personal quest to banish Fear — blink and send it to the cornfield like that rotten little boy did in the Twilight Zone.  It’s the most disabling entity on the planet, a tool of twisted power, and for too many our default mode.  It’s got a voracious appetite, but with a little courage and maybe a lot of work, it can be starved out.  I never thought I’d start these missives with putting Fear out there at the get-go, but these days, (a recurring theme, I’m finding), it’s what has emerged as Queenie’s Enemy #1 on my hit list.  I’ve seen it destroy people, or at least cripple them into living less than their highest potential.  Well, that, and maybe a lack of moral fiber, but I just hate to see it win over Hope, and the greatest power of all, Love.  But it happens, every day.

So I’m picking up my sword, yet again, and here I go, tilting at windmills and doing what Kelsey Grammer once described as his way to make it through the dark times, and one of my favorite quotes: Stagger Onward Rejoicing.  Wish I could claim it, but I’ve got enough of my own, as you’ll see.  So here we go, off on another exciting adventure, as Tom Terrific used to say to Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog.  Uh oh, Queenie has been dated.  Oh well, if I weren’t this old, I wouldn’t know so danged much.  But the old girl still has a lot of life in her, and she’s not going down without a fight.  Saddle up, y’all.  Road Trip!