“I’m riding hard carrying a cache of roses…”

mysterious-glowing-light-in-a-fnland-forest-mikko-lagerstedt“…A fresh map that I made
Now I’m going to get birth naked and bury my old soul
And dance on it’s grave”(1)

The wildfires that we in Northern California have gone through this summer were amazing.  A couple of weeks after I last posted here, the Mendocino Complex fire entered into my life.  If you dont know about it, it burned over 450,000 acres in the surrounding area where I live.  The fire got to about 6 miles from my house.  The problem with a fire in Northern California is that we stopped practicing proper forest management decades ago. That leaves our forests around where I live in an area overgrown with a bunch of small trees, 4-8 inches in diameter that die off because they are overgrown  and ending up being a bunch of matches if a fire goes through.

20150929_100641 (2)Well the smoke here was like fog for about 6 weeks. We stayed inside and breathed through masks but I am not convinced that mitigated the damage the smoke did.

The Camp Fire, which burned the entire down of Paradise and affected life around here for another two weeks about a month ago, destroyed a community  of 26, 000 and traumatized all the areas surrounding the town. I have friends who lost their homes up there.

20150912_175142What does this all mean?  I dont know I just needed to write today and say hello to those people who are in my life who keep saying hello to me even if I go into my coping mechanism place of isolation.

Was thinking about my friend Jerry today.  It was about 3 years ago when he decided to leave this place.   Was talking with a friend of ours about him the other day.  It always come back to the same thing.

“In many instances we shall find that though the harm done others has not been great, the emotional harm we have done ourselves has. Very deep, sometimes quite forgotten, damaging emotional conflicts persist below the level of consciousness. At the time of these occurrences, they may actually have given  our emotions violent twists which have since discolored our personalities and altered our lives for the worse.”(2)
Hope all who read this are doing well and I apologize for not being consistent in my writing.  Thanks Ptero9 for being there.

123 Rhonda, Steve, Renee, Pat, Pam, Colleen, Jeff, Ed, Michelle and the rest of my friends.

(1) “Long Time Coming,”  Bruce Springsteen
(2) Page 79-80 A. A. 12 by 12
That picture of the  burned out car and the burnt trees was taken after they let us back up our residences after the Valley Fire over 3 years ago
I took that blurry picture of the fire above as I was escaping the Valley Fire near Middletown, CA over 3 years ago. That wall of fire was over 100 feet tall and only looks so small because I was about 3/4 a mile to a mile from it.

 

 

 

Where have you gone Joe Dimaggio?

jess-and-oatieI am listening to a speech by Chris Hedges and I am wondering what it is in our culture that causes us to disempower ourselves in the face of the dis-ease we can all see is present in our society?

I can only look at it through my eyes  My world has transformed from one of the fruits of the culture being at my feet to one where I look at the hummingbird every morning and ask what got me where I am today.

imagesI saw a film some time ago that showed  what a gazelle went through who was fortunate enough to escape the cheetahs pursuit.  The gazelle’s body would involuntarily twitch for hours on end.  But at the end of this process, it would just get up and walk away.  The film stated that was how the gazelle would be able to continue a peaceful life of eating grass until the next time the pursuit from the cheetah took place.

11144416_974787355951548_7417282000083361679_nAs I wrote yesterday, I see the trauma carried by the hummingbird, my friend’s spouse and myself as being connected.  One might argue that I cant prove how there is a connection between all three but I argue that we need to look at the way the world is as being connected and that the effects of the cultural trauma is so prevalent that we cant even see that it is there.

finger touching nose of babyI saw today where a singer from Destiny’s Child is seeking help for Depression.  I am glad she is but is she an exception or the rule?  Why would a successful, wealthy, need to address depression?

Maybe it is because we are all dealing with the effects of this cultural trauma. It is possible that the level of our ability to process the effects of our trauma is different for each of us but that does not negate the fact that the effects  of the trauma are carried  by everyone in this culture.

2009 Mt Shasta to Oak street 018I have experience in seeking relief from this trauma in drugs and alcohol. I am seeing how I, as well as many,  many others, seek or sought relief in those things that the masses  seek it through.  Television, music, the internet, the cell phone. are and have all been ways for me to seek relief from the inner conflict that I carry and which I have carried for my lifetime.  I guess what I am struggling with here is why did I at this age, get to deal with the trauma that I  worked my whole life to suppress and make go away.  But the unconscious struggle never went away and no matter how much “work” I did, through whatever kind of “therapy,” I sought out, I am left with this trauma and I damn sure know I am not alone.

What I am asking myself, and seeking your input as well, is what is going to happen to the culture that carries this trauma  and what will happen because of it if and when it cant work through it?

Happy Birthday RW.

123 SA, RV, TN, PH, EP

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Trauma and the Hummingbird

Hummingbird on feederI was watching a “red throated” hummingbird this morning. The same hummingbird who I had, for about a month, shooed away from a hummingbird feeder I have outside my window, because I thought it was keeping a “green backed” hummingbird from feeding.

The green backed hummingbird, pictured above,  lights on the metal ring that encircles the feeder so that a hummningbird can light when it comes to feed. What I noticed this morning was that the red throated hummingbird does not light when it feeds.

I write this becuase I am more like the red throated hummingbird. Whenever I am doing what I do, what I need to do, I cant stop going on the inside.

I was talking with the Fanatic yesterday, yes that Fanatic, and we were discussing what I believe is one of the major causes of my depression. I believe that my body has produced way more cortisol and adrenaline, and not processed it out of my system, than my body can handle. As I have aged, I suffer with inflammation more and more.

I think the imbalance caused by the adrenaline/cortisol overload causes my physiology to be imbalanced. That in and of itself seems like it would be a problem with an easy fix. But my mind, like the red throated hummingbird, continues to have to be hyper vigilant even when there is no need to be.

Another friend was telling me that her husband had recieved a bunch of films made when he was a child. She was telling me that after the husband had watched some of the videos his reaction was one of anger and not what might be the normal response of nostalgic rememberence.

To me the red throated hummingbird, my friends husband and I are responding to the same thing. A fear that has been instilled in us by the traumas we have in our bodies/minds that are unresolved. Gabor Mate said the base root of almost all addiction is trauma, I agree 100%. The hummingbird is reliving the trauma I created by threatening him by shooing him away. My friends husband is reliving the trauma of his childhood and I am also by the power of the depression in my life.

I offer no empirical evidence of the above, just a knowledge learned by observing and seeking to understand my own suffering.

I pray we reduce the trauma in this world. It is killing us.

FRAGILE

cropped-heart3
We are fragile. You and me.
Though we act strong,
our lives are
held together with
thoughts of where
we might be tomorrow.
And of disappointed
yesterdays.At any moment we might shatter.
We might fall to our knees
weighed down by the terror
of being so far from
our own control.

Dare we look up, we’d not know
where to go or what to do.

We are fragile. You and me.

If we were to turn to each other,
we might see the whole world
on their knees.
Hurting, and seemingly
alone.

But none of us are.

We are fragile together.

                                                                                                                                                                    (Authored by one of my favorite seekers  Nic Askew
You can see his work at his website “Soul Biographies.” http://nicaskew.com/)

“Rise, This is US”

11665402_10152853758167167_7660227498252654124_nWe live in a culture of confusion. This reality is not accidental. It was created by the means of control of communication as a way to keep us in a place where we live to seek relief from the effects of that ambivalence and mistrust of our own perceptions.
When will it stop? I live in that same world, which is really one of the effects of emotional and psychological trauma and “suffer,” from consequences of the conflict we all live in and under!

tumblr_luxczfdocB1qzxyqfo1_400I am writing because I am angry. My environment is one of garbage. I have never lived this way but I am now living with more “stuff,” around me that before I would immediately get rid of at the time of my use of it.
We live in a world of constantly looking and seeking satiation from the “dis-ease,” we seem to be living in. It is insane that we keep looking to the individual for the solution as well as the source of the problem.
I had a dear friend say that she was “broken,” yesterday. Her situation is not important for the point of this piece, but the problem she was facing was a problem so many of us suffer from.
You see addiction is nothing more than attempting to get release from the emotional and psychological effects of the trauma we live “IN.”
I feel like I have touched a part of me that has been dormant. How long it has been that way is not something I can answer at this time. I just pray I can keep connected to it and get direction and energy from it.

123 RV, SA, RW, PH, TL, JDK!

(The title is not accidental.)

“So how come history takes such a long, long time,…”

k3646710“…When you’re waiting for a miracle!”(1)

Talking with a friend the other day and we were reflecting on the fact that we are both middle aged and yet we feel like we did when we were young.  As I am sitting here I am wondering if it is due to the fact that we have some of those emotional conflicts that still persist below the level of consciousness that seem to carry more weight in our lives than we would hope!

337129_10151480788466040_1950483812_oThere is so much angst in the world.  I was at my meeting yesterday and was talking with my friend Spence.  I have known Spence since, well since I was in my 20s.  We both worked in the trades at that time and we did a long job together and we got to know each other.  Apparently Spence knew my Dad, as he and my Dad were about the same age.

p181600_2a_400We were talking and he brought up the fact that it seemed to him like everyone in the room was suffering.  I know that this view is narrow based on what this blog is about but Spence said that a few of our long time friends were looking sad and old.(Funny since Spence is at least 75!)

But I also learned this week that a dear dear friend of mine is getting divorced.  Yes I know that is life but when you are older it is not as easy to work around these issues as it is say when you are in your 30s.

So coming full circle, depression and anxiety rob us of our ability to be present in our lives.  Not all the time but enough that we cant see the forest for the trees.  We cant be present to work through issues that would give us resolution to problems that would allow us to to have and keep relationships.

What is the cause of this?  I dont know.

healthInSickSociety.krishnamurti-300x225But I guess it comes down to doing the best we can.  Trying to live up to the ideals we create or are born into projected onto us by our family and culture.  I dont know about you but I am not a big believer in what our culture puts forward as being in and living a good life.

When I talk to my friend every day, I pray at some level that he gets the miracle that so many of us have as the only thing we hold onto.  If you dont understand this, I commend you.  Because it might mean that you dont have the underlying emotional conditioning that many of us who grew up in those families where you didnt talk about IT did!

10671220_10154590625980694_4020566138315393272_nPlease say a prayer for those who suffered the tragedy that happened in Yountville last Friday.  It affected a dear close friend of mine who was involved in the Pathways program from the beginning.

123 RV, SA, RW, PH, PA!

(1) “Waiting for a Miracle.” Bruce Cockburn
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“Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.”(1)

mysterious-glowing-light-in-a-fnland-forest-mikko-lagerstedtAs I normally do, I ask the Ggods to show me what I need to see when I sit down to write.  I found this quote perusing a collection of quotes from some of my favorite people. What it brought up for me is that I have never been able to truly touch that flame.  I learned early on in life, before I could even articulate my thoughts and feelings that I was not allowed to express anger.

hillmanWhat happened to me was that I have struggled with defending or protecting myself when confronted with another’s anger or any situation that I felt overwhelmed by.  I could go into the history but that is just a bunch of blah, blah, blah

“Soul enters only via symptoms, via outcast phenomena like the imagination of artists or alchemy or “primitives,” or of course, disguised as psychopathology.”

This is what happened for me when I had to stuff my feelings of anger as a boy.  I kept it all in and it caught up to me in the form of depression at the age of 50.   Yes, I know that I suffered all of my life from the effects of those deep seated emotional conflicts, but I was able to keep slightly ahead of those effects until 2007.

20150821_063716 (2)Hillman says my soul is present in my life today.  Damn, talking to my buddy Steve this morning, it sure feels like I am wandering away without any soul.  Like I am a hologram or a scarecrow.  I would love to be able to live from my soul, to truly love a woman like I sense I have the capacity to.

2009 Mt Shasta to Oak street 098But there is always this gnawing self doubt.  It is a quiet voice, so quiet I cannot hear it any more, but it is always there.  I see a mistake I made and not something I did well.  I expect well and have no empathy for my own self today.  Again talking to Steve I reiterated that I wanted to try and love myself a little more today.  Now at 9:45 at night,  I am glad to report that I did treat myself a little better today than I would have had I let my shame win.

I am aware that I write in metaphoric language and dont let articulate my demons and  thoughts as openly as some of the others who write here, but just writing around something is sometimes the best I can do.

I also like to write in less than 500 words as I have little patience to read long drawn out posts, so I try to remember that I may not be the only one who thinks like that.

123 RV, SA, PA, RW, MB, SK, JM, WC, PH!

(1) John O’Donohoe                                                                                                                                (2) James Hillman

Stormy Monday

“In the confrontation with the unconscious there are indeed a considerable number of arid patches to be worked through.’

11707660_974787155951568_4667623480132897462_nAs I work or walk through this process or stage of life I am feeling like this arid patch continues to be what is my present day life.  “In the confrontation with the unconscious there are indeed a considerable number of arid patches to be worked through.’ As I work or walk through this process or stage of life I am feeling like this arid patch continues to be what is my present day life.   Always I am lead back to Jung. Hillman leads me back there.  Campbell leads me there.  It is always trying to make sense of “why” I do what I do.  How my unconscious “reality” can and has dominated my outward life for as long as it has.   So as I sit here I am as confused as I have ever been about the power of the unconscious.

11144416_974787355951548_7417282000083361679_nWhat I hold onto is a statement I have sort of memorized.   “Very deep, sometimes quite forgotten, damaging emotional conflicts persist below the level of our consciousness. At the time of these occurrences, they may have given our emotions violent twists which have since discolored our personalities and altered our lives for the worse.”What else could explain my going from a small town boy to living in one of the nicest places on earth living as comfortable as a member of the 1% could live,  to sitting in a tiny house on an acre of land in the middle of nowhere.  But this is the reality.  Treatment Resistant Major Depressive Disorder and Complex Post Traumatic Stress are what I live in and live with.  It just depends on the time of life I am in.  I have sought answers and help for the situation I am living with and have found them.  However they are and have been short lived and most of the time I feel like I have learned nothing and am back at square one.

As they say, more will be revealed.  Hey Ggods, I am waiting!!

Quote from Carl Jung

123 RV, SA, PH, PA, JDK, DA, JW, JEW

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Image

Welcome Back my Friends to the Show that Never Ends

11665402_10152853758167167_7660227498252654124_nWell it has been over a year since I was last here.  One of the reasons I am here is that a comment was posted by a wonder full person whose blog I have posted a link to at the bottom of this post.

But the real reason that I was moved to write was a dear friend of mine, a man who has over 27 years of sobriety, I have called him the “Lineman” in earlier writings, approached me last week and talked about his struggle with depression and how he felt it was winning. That is not something that is surprising for me as I have been led down this path of engaging with a a kind of “darkness” most run from.(Totally understandable that they do.  Trust me I wish I was not on this path many many times.)

imagesYet here we are.  When I went to my regular Saturday meeting, another friend informed me that the Lineman had voluntarily checked him self into a 72 hour hold at a local hospital.  This may not seem like a big deal to most,(well to think about it, most dont think about depression let alone a stay in a “mental hospital) but it is to me.  What I hear is my friend feels like his life is not worth living.

But on a different note, I had coffee with the Fanatic yesterday.  It was really good to see her as she was on of the Four Musketeers who attended our “Depression in Sobriety,” meeting that we had for about 2 years in the local AA we are/were members of.

She has her journey and if she comes on her again she can send you to her blog if she is so inclined.  I learned that one of my favorite bloggers, Monica Cassani, stopped blogging but that one of my other favorites, Therese Borchard, still is.10347232_10201917599660507_5224584867827727870_n

I dont want this all means, I was just moved to write a few words.  I am hopeful that I can keep doing it as it helps me process some of my confusion and there are times, fewer than I would hope for, where I get some sense of clarity.

Please keep all of those who suffer in this world of projection of darkness in your thoughts.  Many many of us are wandering out in a place we cant comprehend let alone understand.

(Also the graphics have changed completely so it might take me a day or two to figure out how to put pics back in)

https://emergingfromthedarknight.wordpress.com/