10 September 2009

The Letter H: Rambling as Directed

The instruction from last night's dreaming was "blog H". What does that mean?

It is difficult to ask for Help. Because, except in cases of emergency--drowning, hair on fire, and knife in the thigh, for example--it is difficult to know specifically what to ask for. Asking for Help is also risky: first, because there is the potential for the true nature of the one who asks and the one who responds to be revealed in the interaction; and second because the request may set in motion a story one has no desire to participate in or witness.

Although my mother insisted throughout my childhood that I had no sense of Humor, I know now she was mistaken. This is not to say I am incapable of an obdurate humorlessness at times; there are innumerable situations in which the forced gaiety of other villagers is crassly inappropriate. It feels like a civic responsibility to keep a straight face. Still, my memory stores enough hilarity to ensure some fun when the time for Life Review arrives.

My piano students and I have been looking at our hands this week. I'm working on Rachmaninov's Prelude in C# Minor, challenged by the size and progression of the chords. It is rumored his hand span encompassed the interval of a 13th on the keyboard! This shatters my long-held belief that I have exceptionally large hands: depending on the notes in the chord, a 10th is my maximum stretch.

Also shattered this week, my belief that I have advanced math aptitude.

[Note: Contrary to my first thought, I am not bored by this blog post. I am terrified of what people will think of it...]

Only one restaurant in my experience met my expectation when I ordered "extra crispy" hash browns. A little diner in San Francisco on Irving Street, N Judah line before the turn onto 9th Avenue. The cook produced a dinner-plate size, crispy potato cookie--with cheese if you like. It was the best. I hope they're still making hash browns this way when/if I ever get back to San Francisco.

I am no longer afraid of becoming homeless. Delusion or no, I believe there are a handful of people who would take me in.

Hurricanes are another matter. Sucked into New Orleans on Katrina's tailwinds, I've come no closer to the real deal. Friends insisted and assisted last year's evacuation for Gustav. Bill was close enough to shorten my stay on Star Island last month. When I lived in San Francisco I longed to experience an earthquake. The fulfillment of that longing was strong enough to educate without injuring. I have a longing to experience a hurricane but, given where I live, I don't voice this longing even in the privacy of my own thoughts.

I miss my grandson, Henry. We hardly know each other since I've only visited him twice and he's never visited me in the three years he's been alive. His parents post photos of him on a blog set up to track his sojourn on the planet. I especially like pictures like this one that capture a full-front gaze. He doesn't remind me of his father, my son, any more. Looking into the eyes is a little like looking at myself, a little like hearing my name called and a little like being embraced...or hugged.

Hubris, harmony, hips and hallucination are additional "h" words but for a variety of reasons I lack the energy to discuss them this morning.

Something must be said about heart before I close.

A month ago I boasted that everything I wanted was coming to me. My heart was full, elated, exuberant, grateful. The past two weeks have been marked by loss of biblical proportions. I feel this, too, in my heart. I am exhausted, depleted, afraid. If I asked for help now, it would be a request for relief or strength or inspiration but who, besides the God of my forefathers, can grant such a request?

I no longer believe in that God.

From my aloneness and aliveness in the Universe, I call out, cry out, only half-believing that personal cries impact the cosmic field. Today I will write, walk in the rain, play piano, rearrange the furniture in my bedroom and perhaps cut my hair. These substitutes for prayer.


  1. HI,baby! This post is just delightful to me. I dig the dream direction, the way you followed it, and the delicious eclectic commentary.
    I'm struck at times by how similar, or at least resonant with each other, you & I are, esp in light of some profound apparent differences. In the post, I was struck by your perception of the danger of True Natures being revealed; that's, to me, a profound & longed for gift. Getting involved in the stories that often evolve from even a request for help..... OH yeah. I'm there. I'm think I'm pretty good at stepping out of it now- personal review/reflection of our few-years-ago protracted, painful, rancorous, desperate, stymied, bewildered- at least on my part- communication helped me develop
    some new responses to my own urgencies that don't involve the Other,but can if that's open, & True Natures can be revealed either way.

  2. Hey, hon, at least you're holding on...

  3. Maybe, since our crises are happening at the same time, we should just agree to meet for coffee in some place wonderful and let it all collapse to hell around us...

  4. Yes, Khrysso, at the least, I am holding on. Though I believe if I had half again as much courage I probably would not be holding on. In any case, yes, let's go have coffee (or absinthe or bourbon or champagne) and let the world collapse around us. Oh wait: neither of us can afford to buy the drinks.

  5. Pam, if there were an oracle and I could find my way to her chambers and gain admittance and be permitted an audience of an hour, I would ask for wisdom around our (yours and mine) relationship. I was drawn to you from the start and still feel that pull when I hear from you here. What is it? Why is it?
    Thanks for reading. And writing.
    As re the revelation of "true nature": yes, I long for it, too AND perceive it as risk.

  6. I've been thinking on & off about your question for the oracle. It’s just not a mystery to me- we're so much alike in some ways, but such very different people in the way we relate to ourselves & the world- maybe diametrically opposed, if there is such a thing in this context. For instance, if I think someone doesn’t understand or “see” me, & I think it matters, I’ll try to explain, or show, or understand what the person is seeing & why or how. I generally assume I wasn’t clear enough rather than assuming the person is blind or dim….. and I want the same toward me from someone who cares. Misunderstanding doesn’t offend me; refusal to clarify does. Implied or stated assumptions tell me more about my own or other’s attitudes than what I “really” think about them or they me- and prove fertile ground for exploration. Half-said things like ‘there were hints….’ or ‘so that’s what you think of me…’ with no further discussion drive me crazy- at least to extremities of frustration. Also, you & I both love questions- and I love to explore possible answers, ramifications, how the dynamics raised or implied might affect and inform our daily practices- and I get fatally bored when those things don’t obtain.
    My problem (one of them, at least)- which I made your problem- is that, under the auspices of friendship, I think we owe each other the above- and I insist on trying to get blood out of turnips. Sorry about that!


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