Dear God, I’m Pissed at You. (A Very Belated Missive)

Hey, thanks for meeting me here,
Look, I want to preface all of this by saying that this is just something I need to get off my chest and have put off for some 17-ish years and that’s my fault.

By no means does this indicate that we’re done with this relationship that we have, nor does it mean that I’m not still incredibly grateful for the abundance of gifts that You’ve heaped upon me. Trust me, I remember and appreciate every single one and, frankly, am still amazed at all the times You’ve bailed me out and stood beside me, handling my incredible fuck-ups. (I’m thinking specifically of that time around 2003-ish when I drove 2 hrs. completely obliterated on an entire bottle of Unisom and 99 proof alcohol while listening to “Don’t Fear the Reaper” on repeat and somehow made it to my destination without hurting anyone or anything. You were in the driver’s seat, then – no doubt. I still have yet to wrap my head entirely around that one.)

And you know what else? In my years and years of dealing with my mental illness (which You probably know this post is going to be about) You’ve given me a ton of great opportunities and chances at “fixing” things and a support unit of unconditional love and, again, I am eternally, consistently, constantly, exhaustedly grateful for all of that.

But I need to vent to You for a second. And I feel like we’re at a place where You’re going to understand where I’m coming from and not hold it against me. So I’m just going to be honest here and let it all out. And I apologize for sobbing all the way through this.

It has taken me 17-ish years to muster up the courage to say all this and admit all this to myself but I’m fucking pissed off that I got slapped with such an incredibly bullshit disease as mental illness. Hey, did you know that this month is National Mental Illness Awareness Month? Because I sure as shit didn’t… along with, like, 99.5% of the American population. Meanwhile, we’ve got cancer walks and charities out the ass; there’s a whole Youdamned month for breast cancer; there’s a differently-colored ribbon to support every effing thing under the sun (You know what the color is for “mental illness awareness”? It’s green, which is also the color for kidney donation, and is more recognized as such, which is a big  “FUUUCK YOU” to us crazies out here… personally, I think it should be psychedelic tie-dye, but that’s for another discussion.) So what exactly is my point here? Basically, my biggest complaint is that I’ve been given the gift of a chronic illness that has tried to fucking kill me (specifically, about 6 “official” times, if you want to get technical here) and that MOST PEOPLE THINK IS COMPLETELY FICTITIOUS.

There are people starving to death and being destroyed en masse every day. There are children living in homes where they are abused and unloved and there are millions upon millions of people who are aching to have a life that resembles anything close to mine. And so, when I start telling people at age 11 that there’s something wrong with me and I’m depressed and don’t know why, I get told to suck it up and get over myself. When I tell family members and friends that I’ve been contemplating suicide in my late teenage years, I am brushed aside and reprimanded for “just trying to get attention.” I am called “melodramatic”. I am denied treatment. I am cursed with stigmas. I am lead to believe that all of this aching, relentless mental torment that I am experiencing on a daily basis isn’t real, that I am just an ungrateful product of a privileged lifestyle.

Naturally, none of this would have happened if I had, instead, complained of a tumor growing in my skull or, you know, something physical that doctors could point to and say “Ah yes! Here’s the problem!” so everyone around me could rally to my side immediately. I could’ve just combated the illness right out of the gate. I wouldn’t have had to spend years pleading with people to listen and/or believe me if I had something like cancer or lupus or a collapsing lung or an aneurysm. Nobody would’ve accused me of just trying to get attention; nobody would’ve refused to listen or tried to make me feel like less of a human being because of ancient misconceptions, myths or stigmas surrounding these sorts of diseases. I would never have tried to self-medicate for a decade or let myself give in so easily to my disease over and over for years if I had something that the masses acknowledge as a legitimate illness. Nobody ever would’ve mocked me or called me a “drama-queen” or a “whiner” or told me just to get over it or that I “just needed to find Jesus” or “just put a smile on my face and be grateful for what I have” when I tried to tell them why I needed help. (I’m thinking of a plethora of family-related specific instances here, but I think we both know what/whom I’m referencing, so I don’t want to drag that into a public forum.)

And, yes, I’m aware it could’ve been worse; I could’ve been born in a country or an era where people with ANY type of mental irregularity would be completely ostracized or locked in an institution or burned at the stake or whatever was deemed necessary at the time. So I definitely do understand that I’m blessed to at least live in a time and place where treatment is available.

All this in mind, I have to admit that, yeah, I’m kind of pissed that I landed here in a society where everybody and their mother is seeing a therapist and being medicated for somethingoranother. So, not only do I live in a society where there’s a stigma put on the mentally ill, but I’m also simultaneously existing in a reality in which so many people are overmedicated to avoid feeling human emotion that nobody takes real psychosis seriously anymore and, God, I gotta tell you THAT IS FUCKED UP. Even to a person who is mentally unstable on her own, that scenario is literally insane and yet! Here I am! Trying to just get a steady treatment/regimen going so, like someone with diabetes, I can live my life taming and managing the disease I’ll have to learn to live with. However, unlike that lucky bastard with diabetes (that’s sarcasm right there, btw) I get to play “musical doctors” for the last ten years because psychiatrists are just handing out various medications like they’re flinging them off a pharmaceutical company’s sponsored Mardi Gras float. Seriously, I hate to sound rude but it’s the only disease in the world where I have to fight against the stereotypes that abusers have set – I doubt if anyone receiving chemo has to listen to WASPs make publicly-acceptable jokes about what kind of IV they’re “tooootally addicted to” these days.

I swear to You, it’s an uphill battle in every Youdamned direction; I gotta fight with society, my family, my friends and these throngs of doctors just to get taken seriously ON TOP of having to fight my own fucking mind, which is perpetually trying to fucking kill me when it’s left to its own devices.

:::sigh::: No, I’m not mad at any of these people anymore and, yes, I’ve learned to deal with public ignorance about it and just do what I need to do for myself so that I can survive; I’ve been living (sometimes just barely) with this shit for almost 2 decades now so I’m mostly on Autopilot at this point. I hope You hear me tell You how grateful I am every single day for this incredible life I have right now. Please don’t think that I ever forget it.

But, dammit, that doesn’t make any of it hurt any less, God. And that’s what I’m so so very angry/frustrated about right now and wanted You to know. It hurts to think about how lonely it all was. I ache when I remember how alone I felt every time I went to the hospital, where nobody sent flowers and only my family attempted to talk to me like a person. I’ll never stop hurting when I remember the looks on my friends’ faces after the hospitalizations, like they were in a room with a wild animal and were too afraid of getting hurt to try to learn how to talk to me. It fucking hurts to remember having to be my only source of comfort during so many nights… both before and after I started any sort of treatment… always for the same reasons… It hurts to see my scars and try to rehearse how I’ll explain them to my daughter one day because I know in my heart that she needs to know.  It hurts to think about how I’m still not done; how I’m still having to deal with my Enemy Mind and how I’m just so damned exhausted with it all, God.

It fucking hurts, God. When does that part stop?
Can you make that part stop?

I’m not really mad at You, God – not when it comes right down to it. I know You’ve spared me from far far worse things and I really, honestly am grateful for where I am and the progress I’ve supposedly made and all that noise I feel like I’ve repeated into a cliche at this point….

I just want it to go away now, God. All of it. The recurrences/relapses and the memories and, hell, even the scars, if I’m being honest here.

But mostly the pain, God. I can deal with any more insanity and craziness and mental bullshit You wanna hurl at me, God. Bring it on. I’ve gotten this far and in far worse conditions.

But please. Please take away the aching. I’ve had enough pain from all of this; I’m so fucking sick of hurting from this one stupid problem that it’s now compounding into anger for still feeling it in the first place and it just gets heavier and heavier and I can’t fucking tolerate it anymore, God. I can’t…

…And I know when I say “I can’t” that You’ll stand right there with me and You’ll see to it that You can prove me wrong and that I can get through anything and all that crap that “people of faith” like to blabber to each other when shit gets rough so allow me to clarify:

I probably can tolerate more but I really, really do not want to. Seriously, I’m finished.
I mean, I didn’t even have the energy to be angry all the way through this letter, for Christ’s sake.

So yeah. That’s where I am. I’ve been ready for this to be over and done with for a long, long time.
And I would really, genuinely love it if we could both be on the same page with that.


Most sincerely,

The Week of Significant Happenings

On Sunday I was given the Blatant, Irrefutable, Divine Sign of Guidance I’d been begging for for months.
On Monday I received a hand-written postcard [with original art] from one of my lifelong heroes. (The actor! Not the characters!)
On Tuesday I finally finally felt peace and a sense of closure about a wrong I have been conscious of and trying to right for eight years now.
On Wednesday I sat and talked with my college roomie for six hours and we only stopped because it was 1 a.m. and I had an hour’s drive home. She is one of the few who watched me at my very worst (all in a tiny dorm room) and still actively seeks my company. This is amazing to me.
And Thursday? Well that’s the first anniversary of our wedding.

Aside from this, I’ve also had four unbelievable friends take a liberal amount of time this week to exchange lengthy emails with me about the recent varied troubles I’ve been having and how they understand on a personal level. These were all unsolicited messages of concern and all were about a different issues but all were so thoughtful and thorough. I was floored by these friends’ continued willingness to heap love and support on me, regardless of how self-centered I tend to be during my dark moments.

I don’t know why it’s such a surprise to me when I realize it again and again but Dear God, I’m blessed.

Usually, in these rare times when the Universe actively floods my path with reiterated love, support and reminders of my importance, I still struggle to believe it hasn’t been misguided, that I’m not being mistaken for someone else. That fear and resistance is still here, but this week, I’ve mostly found refuge and much needed rest in this warm, deep, swelling Love that Something Out There deems me worthy of.

The God Card

I’ve about had it with people justifying crappy art by saying that “It’s Christian!” And frankly, if I was God, I’d be a little miffed that my advocates were out there making atrocious music and writing terrible books after all the stuff I’ve given them, but I guess he really looks at it like those crappy finger-paintings kids bring to their parents…

This is not to say that everyone who publicly sings or writes or speaks about loving God is automatically awful, by the way. Matisyahu might be one of the most revolutionary musicians to emerge in the last ten years and that guy hasn’t changed a thing about his orthodox Judaism and writes songs exclusively about that. And rocks the music scene. Most of the time when people get sober their music just goes down the crapper (Aerosmith, Coltrane) but Johnny Lang is out there rocking it and putting on a better show than ever. It’s really amazing. And although I never ever would’ve picked it up, “The Shack” was surprisingly moving and thought-provoking, (even though it bordered on brain-washy once or twice.) And I think Christopher Moore’s “Lamb…” is the best book about Jesus ever written, if not one of the best books ever written. (YOU MUST READ IT. Even if you never want to have anything to do with Jesus and think his followers suck. Seriously, it’s awesome. Not preachy, not brain-washy. Just fun. Promise.) People have been moved to do great works of art in any genre in the name of God for thousands of years so don’t think I’m railing on that at all; I strive to be God-inspired in what I do, too.

HOWEVER, if I had a dollar for every person that told me “He’s a Christian musician/writer/comedian, but he’s actually really good!” I’d literally have a couple grand in savings. And I don’t get why people don’t understand that that sort of recommendation is not only ridiculous and cliche but will only result in repelling me further.

The worst thing is how people can produce genuinely terrible work and the Bible-thumping crowd will eat it up and then judge people who don’t like it as people who must be anti-Jesus. For example, I picked up a book last weekend called “90 Minutes in Heaven” that I’d heard a lot about from a few church-goers I knew. And it. Was. AWFUL. I mean, the story might’ve been okay (I couldn’t get through the whole book) but the author had a ghostwriter and even then the book read as though written by a 13-year-old. And I say “13” specifically because all of his points were redundant, paragraphs were repeated ad nauseum without bothering to rephrase them at all and he loooooved making those melodramatic, blunt sentences that signal truth and transition at the end of every subsection. And somehow he managed to make the story drag through redundancy even though the book was 140 pages.
Bad. Badbadbad. Even the family members I talked to who had read it admitted that they couldn’t get through it because the writing was abysmal. And yet, this book has sold millions upon millions of copies while other, actually brilliant novels have sat gathering dust on shelves. It’s bullshit.

I remember a few years ago I attended a church that did those contemporary “rock” services that were just dreadful. When I told one of my acquaintences that the music made me want to take a drill to my ears she looked at me as though I’d said, “Jesus can go screw himself.” and then made it a point to never speak to me again. Yeah, I get that this makes her a loser of epic proportions but seriously? We’re judging people on what sort of music they listen to now? I guess that goes back to the whole church mentality of “YOUMUSTAGREEWITHEVERYTHINGWESAYORYOU’REDAMNEDTOHELL!!” that so many people don’t realize is optional.

But when I worship, it shouldn’t feel like a chore. I shouldn’t be made to sing boring, soulless songs that move me in no way, (this is why I think we should all sing gospel music exclusively. And not that bland, WASPel that they advertise collections of on the Weather Channel, but real, African-American written, raucous, joyful, 20-minutes-per-song gospel.) I shouldn’t be forced to listen to crappy comedians who rely on outdated cliches and the fact that they’re syndicated through churches to keep their careers alive, I shouldn’t have to read godawful literature that’s just some talentless moron’s way of making money off blind followers. I want to be moved. I want to feel God and feel life and feel joyful for all of it. (And no, Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life” drivel didn’t even start to budge me, so don’t throw that crap in my face… again…)

I just don’t get why people think that you can’t have genuine, legitimate, innovative, fun art and still be considered divinely guided. And I’m tired of watching terrible artists find relative success just because they’ve learned how to manipulate the Bible Thumpers demographic. And I’m really reeeally tired of people feeling like they have to pray for me and worry for my soul because all but 4 contemporary Christian musicians suuuuuuck.

Breakthrough City

Since my entry pertaining to the total fraud I encountered within my spiritual practices (related – of course – to other people) I’ve been spending more time meditating, more time dedicated to reconnecting myself to Spirit and grounding myself in my personal relationship w/Him/Her. And, in my meditations and other readings, I started getting more and more intense premonitions and spot-on symbolism in my other means of communion.

(At first it really freaked me out – like, sleep-with-the-lights-on freaked out -, which I was embarrassed about. I mean, I’m running around proclaiming to believe in this sort of thing and then when it actually starts to happen and become tangible, I get scared? That doesn’t make sense. And then I realized that a lot of people are like that. A few months ago I was talking to Greg about Catholic miracles in which those taking the manmade tincture felt it change into flesh in their mouths and pulled bleeding, warm muscle matter off their tongues to show to the rest of the congregation. When I asked why they didn’t just continue eating it because that is, after all, what Catholics specifically believe – that the bread and wine physically is Jesus Christ and not just a symbol – he didn’t really have a decent answer except that there was shock and awe involved. I think that’s exactly what I’m experiencing as of late.)

And then I figured out what was going on. Four days before I went to this faux minister, I had a really intense session with my group in which I was tapped more accurately into my friends’ energies than ever before and was receiving strong validation for my readings. It was incredible. Then, after the reading from the minister set me back, the readings kept coming in strong and I realized that the whole thing must’ve been a test.

Through my life, every time people have gotten in the way of my spirituality, I’ve thrown in the towel and walked away from all of it, including my relationship with Spirit/God/whatever I called her at the time. This has happened in two separate major events, once when I was 18 and then again when I was 21-22-ish. This time, however, instead of running away when people pissed me off, I went back to the source and focused my energy on bypassing outside, human influence and that was new for me. I think God was testing me, saying “Alright, I’ve got some big stuff set up for you, but I’ve gotta know you’re on board with me this time.” And the minute I came back, I started getting even stronger feedback and staggering evidence that God was excited and proud of me and ready to get to work.

Again, it was sort of terrifying to see tangible evidence of the Spirit energy sitting dead (or alive…) in front of my face, but it was also incredibly rewarding to know that, finally, I chose the right adventure. Hooray!

So, in brief, things are incredible right now. On a number of levels, although this is the one that feels the best. Easily.

Devastated Lesson: I am not the Judge.

(Note: This entry is explicitly graphic and disturbing. The names and identities of those involved have been obscured but the events described are unfortunately very real. If you want to avoid unbelievably heartbreaking emotion that has potential to ruin your mood and outlook on humanity, I’d advise against reading any further.)

I shouldn’t have looked for answers. I know better than to ask questions I don’t want the answers to.

I’ve written to a woman in prison for a while. This troubles my husband because he feels it puts our lives in danger somehow, even though I’m writing to her under a penname. I’ve assured him that the woman isn’t looking for monetary donations (one of the only reasons I chose to correspond with her versus other inmate applicants), she is in custody miles and miles from here, and, besides, she is sentenced to life in prison without a chance for parole.

I enjoy speaking with her for a number of reasons. She is engaging and optimistic and brilliant. She loves to talk about literature and philosophy and I always enjoy hearing her perspectives on hope and optimism, given the circumstances of her life. She is by no means a hero to me but, for someone who has a tendency toward contemplating giving up in her darkest moments, it is helpful for me to hear what inspires people to keep going when, to an outside observer, it would seem that she would have nothing left to live for. She loves to talk about her children and has illustrated to me the various hardships in her life that contributed to her enormous pile of mental anguish and regrets. As I promised in my first letter, I have never discussed with her the conditions of her incarceration or the cause for such an extreme sentencing.

I sensed that this was a horrible idea when the Google bar filled in the rest of her name before I’d even finished typing. Clearly what this woman had committed had not gone unnoticed by the media. In shock, I read dozens of the stories printed years ago regarding her crime and sentencing, hoping they weren’t true but realizing that everything lined up her descriptions and the facts described by the press. I had hoped that this woman had committed something that I could at least understand, something I could possibly sympathize with if only from a very far distance. I knew that a woman who was sentenced to life in prison indicated that she had done something very very bad, I just did not see this one coming.

She has told me about her first marriage to an older, wealthier man and how this ex-husband was abusive toward her and her two children. What she did not tell me was that, when he was awarded sole custody of their third child, a 3-year-old boy, she took a .12 guage rifle and shot the toddler in the head while he was watching television.

I couldn’t stop sobbing. Immediately I ran to where my daughter was playing on the living room floor and cradled her in my arms, whispering, “I love you. I will never let anyone hurt you.” while she struggled to return to her toys. I tried to explain to my husband why I was so heartbroken, I found I was unable to say the words out loud to tell him what this woman I was in correspondence with had done to her own child.

According to police accounts, she had called the paramedics immediately after it had happened and, after sobbing in hysterics for hours, had gone into complete shock after the incident. A modern day Medea, she was unable to talk about what she had done but nodded her head as a formal confession in the interrogation room. She sat through trial and went to prison without speaking a single word other than to answer the questions of her prosecutor. She never resisted her arrest, her sentencing, her fate.

Now comes the part where I am torn and at an obvious moral empass. My immediate reaction is to cease communications with this woman altogether, horrified and heartbroken at the actions she was capable of in her past. My first instinct is always to recoil from those whose actions I find unforgivable and disgusting, to judge them as a person unfit for any hope or compassion from anyone, whose life is not worth living.

However, all the great leaders that I claim to admire so adamantly advocated and practiced a lifestyle that was completely different. Jesus proudly walked with prostitutes, thieves, drunks and other sinners that society shunned and had no value for. The Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, and Gandhi spoke about forgiveness and compassion toward every living thing, no matter their evil intentions or actions. In one of my favorite quotes, Mother Teresa proclaimed, “”People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Love them anyway.” These are all people whose lives and actions I admire and hope to emulate. I recognize that they acted from Love and not Fear, something I constantly talk about practicing every day. What sort of giant hypocrite would I be if I blatantly, consciously made the decision to act in opposition of this mentality? I realize that I am not Jesus or the Dalai Lama or any of these other earth-moving humanitarians; I may never have the inner peace, strength and faith that they stand for and I probably will never change and influence the world as much as any of them. But I cannot feel anger and despair toward the Fear-based habits of society and people as a whole if I am only perpetuating these actions. This is the one aspect of humanity that I do have control over, that I can change and push things forward with. I would be betraying my beliefs entirely and working against the progress I wholeheartedly desire if I was to deny the responsibility and privilege I have of contributing to forward motion and progression.

This, of course, comes as the Universe’s immediate retaliation for the smug judgment I admitted to in my previous blog entry. Although I consciously knew it at the time and had even admitted to my flinging humility by the wayside to feel superior to women whose Crazy was ruining their lives, I knew, also, that I am not ever the ultimate Judge of any one person’s life or worth. Today’s new information was the grounding smack in the face I needed. No matter the level of Crazy that someone else is capable of, no matter how horrible and unfathomable their actions may be, no person is any less deserving of Love and compassion than I. If I believe that every human has the potential to be a tool and messenger for God, then I have to allow myself to share that with people, too. I don’t believe that I as a person have the ability to save anyone’s soul or change anyone at all, nor do I have the capacity to ultimately forgive someone for their actions or lifestyle. But, because I recognize Spirit as a Higher Power who works through everything he’s created, I have a responsibility to practice Love as a representative of His power and creation. This, I believe, is our role as people in accordance with the world and its inhabitants.

So, fighting this horrified Fear that consumes me, I will continue to write this woman who is a brutal murderer of her own child. Her actions terrify and repulse me and fill my heart with grief and fear, but I am not the Judge of her worth and I owe it to myself and everyone around me to suck up some humility and realize that. I will continue to treat her like a person who deserves hope and optimism, whose life is worthwhile and capable of rehabilitation, who is loved and valued by a Higher Power. I will work to speak with her as I’ve always done and find positive, redeemable potential characteristics in her and I will work every day not to recoil and misrepresent my core beliefs because of my own selfish Fear and desire for judgment.

But Jesus… When the Universe has a hard lesson for me/my growth, it pulls out every fucking stop to knock me on my ass. I don’t know if I can deal with much worse just yet. It’ll make me think twice about opening my big mouth so brazenly.

Pop Spirituality

I once laughed right out loud at a young man who proudly, unflinchingly told me that Kevin Smith’s film ‘Dogma’ revived his faith in God and Catholicism. Seemed to me that finding creedance in a film that featured Chris Rock and Salma Hayek battling a demon made of poo with one of George Carlin’s golf clubs signified a lack of understanding in belief in the first place. I mean, with that mentality, then I could claim that Showtime’s ‘Dead Like Me’ changed my beliefs on the afterlife and Raiders of the Lost Ark made me believe that the Ark of the Covenant was out there melting people’s faces. For that matter, why doesn’t everyone who watches ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ believe that women doctors are all stupid and horny? Where does one draw the line between fake, idealistic misrepresentations of life for the sake of entertainment and real, life-inspired art? It was scary to think that somehow Jay and Silent Bob (not to mention Ben Affleck… ergh) were out there changing people’s entire bases of spiritual awareness. Gross.

However, every morning when I wake up, I sit Chloe in her high chair and turn on the television to keep her sated while I make her breakfast. Because the only things on so early in the morning are ‘Squawk Box’ and reruns of ‘Saved by the Bell’, I’ve started turning the channel to DiscoveryHD, where we watch ‘Sunrise Earth’, a beautiful, silent observance of the sun rising on various parts of the world. It’s a majestic representation of the globe rousing itself and I find our daily viewing to be rejuvenating and invigorating, often bringing me and Chloe a sense of peace and excited optimism about the day ahead. Some mornings, I put on an old copy of ‘Baraka’ to meditate and read my cards along with while soft music and various images of the world calmly roll before me. Chloe claps and giggles along with her favorite scenes and somehow knows to be silent and reverent during the solemn parts of the film and I love the awareness and bright energy so many conflicting images brings to our daily consciousness. It’s a powerful film in that every time we watch it, we have a different daily experience. Sometimes I sit and watch with tears rolling down my cheeks, sometimes I pick Chloe up and we dance with the whirling dervishes in Turkey, and sometimes I keep my eyes closed and let the music wind itself around me as I absorb the energies of the day and my immediate environment. It’s turned into a ritual that’s amazingly grounding, humbling, and challenging. It’s a perfect addition to my morning meditation, really.

After doing this for about two months, I realized how hypocritical it seemed for me to criticize someone else’s resonance with a film when I incorporated mine into my daily meditational practices. Okay, sure, I think it’s a little stupid, but who am I to judge what resonates with others in a way that changes their lives? I’m sure a lot of people would think it’s ridiculous that I keep a shiny ball bearing in my pocket some days to remind me of the final scene in The Who’s ‘Tommy’ and to repeat “Love, reign over me” to myself in my darkest moments. I’m sure I’d garner a surplus of rolled eyes at the notion that I meditate on writing prompts from a crazy purple book written by a nutty San Franciscan astrologer. Hell, my mom laughed right out loud at the dinner table when my sister and I were talking about my newfound excitement and shocking results with reading Tarot cards; I’d be willing to bet she’d publicly ridicule the idea that putting on my vinyl LPs and singing along loudly with the Gorillaz’ gospel song “Demon Days” or The Who’s “Listening to You” is among my favorite worship practices. These are things that raise my vibrations, that bring me energy and reverence.

I’m never worshipping the artists, but I feel like these are the songs, images, films and readings that bring me the closest to Divinity; how is that any different than singing a hymn someone else wrote in their most inspired moments? I don’t see the difference.

Whoa. Thanks, Universe.

I’d only just posted the previous blog entry when I started putting away laundry. I was starting to clear away jewelry that had been strewn across the top of my dresser, when I went into a sudden cleaning frenzy and thought, “I’ll bet there’s stuff in my jewelry box I could stand to get rid of…” (Read: rainbow “candy” necklaces and bracelets from my raving days when I was going under the pseudonym “Venus”… don’t ask.)

I started going through the chambers and, lo and behold, there was a small pile of charms that never made it to anything larger, including one that my mother had purchased for me eight summers ago in Yellowstone. A Navajo bear, that I would absolutely have picked out for myself if she hadn’t given it to me for Christmas.

… Thanks, Universe.