I have the best of Best Friends. She comes round, again and again. Always more beautiful than the time before- soul refinement and blessings galore.
The topic of Love keeps falling into my lap. I had to sit down and talk about my personal inner perceptions and insights.
Thank you to my friend Alessandro Muresu who continues to inspire my heart to explore what Love means.
The backdrop of music is Alessandro’s creation, I would love for you to check it out and a just sit with it to let your own inner voice navigate the terrain. I promise it is worth it and priceless.
Today I give some contemplation on the escalation of the number of individuals experiencing Ego death in our modern world, also known as depression. I discuss where people can get lost when it happens, it’s purpose overall and the way to endure it and come out the other side.
Alright. Cheers and welcome.
I am making an attempt to add to my creative satiation by creating a a podcast that has no specific direction. Neat huh?
If it was a personal ad, it would say ” Seeking Interesting Conversation”
“Hermit Noun seeks insightful conversation with people who would rather discuss vs. argue. Seeking people who like to think out of the box but still navigate with a moral compass. Hoping to do more than compare notes and commiserate, let’s find the treasure together and share the bounty- ”
I guess I don’t really care and it’s one of those moments when I again throw caution to the wind and set it forth. I will ask your assistance in momentum, because it will dictate a certain direction – This is definitely for me and you, but I want your help and involvement to make it something worth while. Think of it as a group project, a collaborative effort where I do most the work, but I don’t actually have to do anything at all because, duh, we aren’t in high school and this experiment is a choice, not a mandate.
If you have a half hour- check out my shaky, unguided pilot. If you do, I would appreciate it if you leave a comment and tell me what you think (good, bad- whatever.) If you check it out, share it, even if you don’t like it. Maybe it wasn’t for you today. But I bet you know someone who might like it because you like me and that is how networking works on the most pure of levels.
I’m pretty excited to share this rather impromptu recording regardless…. It’s nice to put my voice out there again- talking about the daily reflection. Today I compare our desires and obligations/ draws and distractions- to a junk drawer.
I like the parts of this etymology that says “grow anew” or to be “born again” , “reappear.”I like it because it is true, time is not linear and more and more these days we are allowed to reconnect with deep soul kin… essentially elongating our interaction through these different wave lengths and time lines.
I am living this now and I want to share some of it with you. Obviously my series about My Best Friend(‘s Journey) is some of the amazing proof of this reality.
My creativity is expressed in many ways: these blogs, the journals, the scraps, the paintings, the music and the spoken word I can’t contain. So much content with context.
I wanted to create a post with all the links to the music up to now because my creative collaborator Alessandro Muresu is some sort of vibration soul mate born on another continent. He is precious to me because he brings out the best in what I struggle with in experiment AND his passion bleeds through his work, for whatever reason he also found me a compatible collaborator and what happens through sound files is soothing for us both. Feeling old and familiar, but new and extraordinary.
I shall not build it up too much more.
Preface- All of these sound qualities have a drone, which is the specialty of Ale. I am the chaos that interferes but can also create soothing. Ale brings all of the balance in composition. My success’ are accidental. I am sloppy but focused. I have no idea what I am doing, but I love manipulating sound. My voice is a tool to those ends. These are posted from earliest to most recent. I invite you to listen to the evolution of it over all and to visit the rest of Alessandro’s Archive of Wonder.
If you don’t want to listen to all of them, pick one for now out of what you are drawn to. It’s probably the right one for you in the moment.
Listen to Yourself
FTC Part 1
FTC Part 2
Ode (To Us)
173 Part 1
173 Part 2
173 Part 3
173 part 4
*Credits to my late Grandfather Edward Lee Chapman for the heading photo in this post. He really had an eye for light and shadow.
mid-14c., “smash, shatter, break into fragments or small particles; force down and bruise by heavy weight,” also figuratively, “overpower, subdue,” from Old French cruissir (Modern French écraser), variant of croissir “to gnash (teeth), crash, smash, break,” which is perhaps from Frankish *krostjan “to gnash” (cognates: Gothic kriustan, Old Swedish krysta “to gnash”).
Figurative sense of “to humiliate, demoralize” is by c. 1600. Related: Crushed; crushing; crusher. Italian crosciare, Catalan cruxir, Spanish crujirare “to crack” are Germanic loan-words.
1590s, “act of crushing, a violent collision or rushing together,” from crush (v.). Meaning “thick crowd” is from 1806. Sense of “person one is infatuated with” is first recorded 1884, U.S. slang; to have a crush on (someone) is by 1903.
According to etymology the use and context of the word “crush” is relatively new in relation to relationships. When looking at the greater concept of the word, we see why “a crush” is called “a crush” at time in life when hormones are racing and our experience of ourselves and the world is limited.
We crush ourselves through our mental/ emotional states as we ponder and yearn, only to meet rejection perceived as devastation.
At thirty-eight and still single, I still get infatuation, however my ability to navigate the world and my own emotional reality allow me to avoid crushes. I am too old for “crushes.” I know better.
This doesn’t stop me from occasionally roaming down Memory Lane as I rekindle those first rudimentary feelings of euphoria. I think the older I get, the less euphoria I experience. The thing about a “crush” when you are juvenile, is the newness of feeling in a multidimensional way that is beyond the norm. It messes with the psyche and the heart and the pattern of life before the feeling. Life simply feels more full of tangible sensation when one is fixated on a beloved.
I guess these days, I get that through my animals, minus the sexual attraction.
In the past, a crush was always someone who caught my eye physically with traits I couldn’t identify. That would be a starting point for finding the best parts of that person. Unless they went out of their way to do me wrong, I would realize they “just weren’t that into me” and I would continue to love them from afar without expectation. That is the best possible ending for a crush in my opinion… I could never imagine it working out; I am sure eventually I would be seen as intolerable.
As I get older, I wonder “Do single men my age even find me attractive superficially? Will I always be one of those people you have to get a deeper feeling for, to appreciate? Am I still as intimidating to people as I was proclaimed to be 10-20 years ago?”
I don’t know. I don’t ask. I am afraid of the honest answers in that realm, but I am dying to ask; at times I reserve myself out of the comfort of others. It’s easier to be alone and not think about those things. It’s easier to walk around naked in front of animals as I change from shower towel to everyday clothes. I have no reason to think about my sexuality or what my relation to men has to with being naked or living life. I’ve consciously and incrementally shut off a “valve” of sorts.
Today I caught the eye of one of the butchers at the grocery store. He is a really nice looking fella. When our eyes met, I just right-quick fixed my eyes forward as I continued my excursion except I slipped and I looked back, and he looked back at me. I kind of close mouth smiled. It was innocuous. It made me feel curious but not curious enough to make a fool of myself or visit the counter to pretend to be interested in items that I didn’t intend to buy in order to do something as cliche as look for a wedding ring on a butcher ( who probably wouldn’t be wearing a ring anyway, if he is at all up on safety protocol.)
At this age it’s easier just to abide by the fact that most people are taken, and I had to learn that the hard way… not the hardest way, but a hard way; Do nothing wrong but flirt with the wrong guy- get labeled a home wrecker.
Back in the day they would say if you were looking for a date- put two nice steaks and a bottle of wine in your grocery cart and wander around until you find someone you want to talk to. I wonder if that worked for anyone. Kinda sounds creepy to me.
I’ve attempted to follow up on body language with people who seem to be attracted to me… but it’s been a disaster and just like my attempts at flirting and the exploration of internet dating soooo very long ago, the results are not encouraging- I’ve given up, on following up.
This is a great topic for me to write about ad nauseam because it’s one of those things I just stuff down into the crawl space of life experiences and I use my age to avoid examining it or going back to the worst parts of being crushed. I am sure I am not the only one.
Every time I look at Claddagh’s water bowl, the tears reemerge. I threw her bed away. I tossed all her toys in the trash. I put her leashes in a free box. Her is hair everywhere.
I use to be so anal about having hair on my clothes. A real lint roller bandit. The day Claddagh and I found each other, I let that go. I knew that there was no escaping her shed. I didn’t even think twice about it. It’s like a part of myself died, or that my hyper-vigilance had at least taken a new direction.
I’ve known so many wonderful dogs over the course of my life. We had dogs in our family from my earliest memories. Pepper; Muffin, Maggie, Buffy, Sprocket, Lucky, and Elsie were all Family dogs belonging to the direct family that I spent most of my childhood around. Each was so unique, but none of them were really “my dog.”
I dreamed of the day I would finally find my own companion. The desire started about the time I was twenty-five. I had been in a three-year relationship with a man who had a beautiful golden retriever named Kelty Krumb. Kelty reminded me of Falcore from The Never Ending Story. I fell in love with that dog, but I still lint rolled all the time. One of the hardest parts of the breakup was losing the dog in my life.
So I got serious about “Mandie-festing” the perfect dog. I lived in dog towns, and my friends often had dogs. Sometimes I would spend more time hanging out with the dogs of my friends than I did with my friends. This all kicked into high gear around 2006 when I was living in Nederland, CO. A small town up the canyon from Boulder.
I could buy a bulk brown sack full of dog treats from the grocery store for very cheap, so I was constantly packed with treats for the dogs I would see in town. I got to know dogs by name better than some of their owners. I paid attention to the attributes I loved about each animal. I knew that I would know when and where and who when the time was right.
There were two predominant dogs in my life during this time. Gullivan and Mountain Girl. Gullivan was my friend Tammi’s companion. Gullivan and I created a fast bond and he would always greet me at my car for a treat and some love. We could play rough and he was just amazing.
Mountain Girl belonged to my friend Michigan Mike. I was casually sleeping with his roommate for a few months and was able to spend time getting to know Mike and Mountain Girl. She was the epitome of dedicated and independent. She was a large St. Bernard, and she roamed about the town without being leashed up.
She would walk down to the pub, where Mike was often found, and she would lay outside waiting for him to come to take a smoke break. And if she ever got tired of waiting outside the pub, she would saunter back home for a while to eat and drink.
It was an emotional hit to the entire community when Mountain Girl passed away. She was this gentle giant ambassador of the community at one time.
I wanted a dog like that.
The ultimate, to be able to sit and stay, unleashed for a period of time and to always know where home is. I can say that Claddagh went above and beyond my expectations in the time that we had together but she had not yet reached that pinnacle.
I had lost my brother on July 25, 2006. I terminated a pregnancy in early 2007 after a one night stand during a blizzard and the condom broke. If I am honest with myself, I was lonely as fuck. I couldn’t find human companionship that was equitable on both sides, meaning “we both want to be together.”
I was always like “Don’t call me your girlfriend.” But then I’d meet someone I would be interested in pursuing and they would just want to fuck. I had had enough, and I wanted someone of my own. Loyalty and trust I could believe in.
I had been house/cat sitting for a friend for three months while she was out of the country, and about two weeks before she came home I knew that it was time to go to the Humane Society. I didn’t know what I was going to do after this gig or where I was going to live, but I knew that by my 27th birthday, I would have a furry friend. It would take two weeks and three trips down the canyon before I’d find her.
A place that I want to check out. On my first attempt, I turned North instead of South and ended up in Longmont. I turned around again and went back up the mountain. I tried again a few days later and made the same mistake. Again I was in Longmont. I am usually great at directions but I kept getting twisted around.
The second time I figure, “why not check it out?”
I find a little mutt puppy who is kind of sickly. We walk around outside and he poops green. I am enamored by his tininess. I say that I am interested in him. I’m full of ideals of raising a little puppy. Longmont requires a 24 hour hold, and a call of confirmation to a landlord that having a pet is allowed.
My friend doesn’t care if I get a dog, as an animal lover herself, and says to pose as her using the landline. They call, I get approved and I can pick up the puppy the next day.
My friend had five cats in a one room cabin. The bed was in a loft, and the cats would hang out there during the day and night, when they weren’t knocking potted plants off the window sills. These cats were missing their Momma and letting me know it.
The morning I woke up to go get the puppy, there was cat shit on my pillow, six inches from my head. I knew immediately that even though my friend would be home soon, there was no way I could have that sickly puppy around all these passive aggressive cats. So, I called and canceled my adoption.
The feeling that I was supposed to have a dog didn’t pass. I needed to be realistic and I needed to try again to get to the Boulder Humane Society. A few days later I tried again, this time I turned the right way and found the place I had been looking for.
The set up was to take the laminated sheet of the dog you were interested in, up to the counter and they would set up a meeting. The people are looking at the sheets on one side of the cage, and I am at the other side of the cages without the paper. Just checking them each out, looking for a familiar face.
The elder couple is standing at the front of “Pasha’s” kennel. They look over the paper, and write down her name. “Pasha” is paying attention to me, so I ask her to sit. And she sits. I ask her to lay down, and she lays down. I ask her if she wants to come to play with me and she talks. She doesn’t bark, she talks. I already know in this moment she is mine.
The elderly couple is in front of me. The volunteer asks to see the paperwork they are holding, they give it to her and they tell her that they would also like to see Pasha. The volunteer asks them if they have Pasha’s paperwork. They say “no”, and I sheepishly say, “I have Pasha’s paperwork.”
The volunteer tells the couple that she will set them up with the dog they chose first, and “If Pasha doesn’t go home with this kind lady today, we can set you up with a meeting with her.” My heart is fluttering.
I chose to meet her in an outdoor kennel. There were some toys and a baby pool.
Pasha and I were left alone to check each other out.
She didn’t want toys.
She could care less about the water.
She just wanted to be near me.
She listened as I talked to her, she leaned against my legs and talked back.
They looked over longingly at Pasha’s excited but mellow demeanor. She did not jump on me, she did not lick or drool. She just told me ” We found each other.” And so I paid fifty bucks for the greatest love I would ever know up until this point.
Pasha didn’t fit, so for about a week, I called her IMA.
I.M.A.= Incredibly Magical Animal.
We slept together with all the cats in the top loft. I would heft her up the crazy ladder that slipped out from underneath me more than once and our life together began.
Claddagh because of the Irish wedding band, the hands holding a heart with a crown, signifying “Love, Loyalty, and Friendship.” She was my partner, and I would honor her as such through her name.
Moondancer came along when the snow fell, and Claddagh would lie about needing to go outside to go potty. She would just want to slide upside down like a penguin on snow drifts. She would prance through the thick blanket of white, like a deer. Under a full moon, it looked like she was dancing on the moon itself.
Wonderdog is pretty self-explanatory.
My friend came home to her cabin full of cats and Claddagh and I camped out until the snow fell and we moved in with friends who needed some child care and help to start a small business.
whether I was working at the New Moon cafe in Nederland, or working for my friends in Gilpin. Every single day, my dog accompanied me, and I swore I would never work another job that would keep me from her for long periods of time. I was blessed to have it work out so perfectly over the years.
I didn’t have a doctors note or anything.
I just lived in an incredibly dog-friendly town, and Claddagh was the most loveable dog you could meet. She treated everyone like they were there to specifically see her.
She would give her full attention and love. She would talk to anyone who came into her sphere.
Only once, during our time together, did she sense that a person was “off”, and backed away as if disgusted. It was like she hit an energy bubble, and she backed away as if to say “this isn’t a sphere I want to be in.” The woman was homeless and talking to herself, she looked rather disturbed.
They loved her.
On my days off, I would grab a coffee and paint on the patio with Claddagh right beside me. Once a week we would go on a date and get a burger and french fries and share it on the patio of First Street, and later Squirrels in Corvallis, Oregon. Any place that served beer, burgers, and fries and had a dog-friendly patio, was my kind of spot. I met a lot of people because of Claddagh.
I am going to cut this chapter off here.
There is so much to process. My eyes are wet and dry at the same time. I want to honor her. If you are reading this, thank you for taking the time to get to know my best friend. I look forward to sharing more about her as I am able to sit and write it all down.