20110623

Oh Fuck, What Am I About To Do ...

It's after 1am, and E and I are sitting at the kitchen table, on dueling computers, trying to get my housing situation settled for the first few days in England.  She just stumbled upon a great deal for a Holiday Inn Express by Heathrow, which will give me a nice place to recover from the jetlag and acclimate before really digging into the heart of this pilgrimage.

Today was a much more stressful day, as the details and fears seemed to overwhelm the excitement for awhile.  Being on Shift on a Wednesday is always tough.  Being on Shift on a Wednesday the day before leaving for nine weeks (which means missing nine Wednesdays) is even tougher.  There were some bright spots, though.  Bright spots indeed.

E and I ran out for the stragglers from yesterday, and I got comfy shoes and pajamas and a few water bottles and dangling tech issues notwithstanding, I am ready.  The bright spot,  of course, has nothing to do with any of these purchases, but everything to do with us finding that Wednesday space one more time.  Dear god, this is going to be hard.

We bought a copy of Deathly Hallows at Target, and went home around 9 to have one more family evening together (since Glee is finished).  I loved it even more the second time, though some aspects of it were a little hard to engage with.  Especially the loneliness.  But nevertheless, it was a perfect end to the day, and a nice way to wrap up our last night together for awhile.

Honestly, this is all a little unreal.
Tomorrow night's entry will most likely be written from the plane.

Say a little prayer for me, alright everyone?

20110622

Singing With The Birds on Flame Shift #38 ...






































The birds are singing.

I didn't realize it was getting on towards five am until the birds started singing.  Nature's alarm clock, that lot!  Heh heh.

I am a little over eight hours into Flame Shift #38, my last up here in The Womb for awhile.  I know that one of the next few will actually be in Kildare, which is kind of a mindfuck.  I wonder where the other ones will end up being?

Thus far, this Shift has been all about grounding, about connecting, about setting things in order so I can be free to fly.  Whether it was cleaning and organizing books and comics, or even watching the last three episodes of season one of Glee (OMG, I loooooove those kids!) I feel like I put some important things to bed.

The rest of the day was no less important or lovely.  E and I had a wonderfully connective morning, strengthening our bond at exactly the right time.  I went to the salon in the early afternoon and spent time with (and got pampered by) my dear Faith and Ali.  So many lovely people I am surrounded by.  So many to miss.

The rest of the day was errands errands errands.  So much infrastructure, so many tiny moving pieces, to be away from home for so long.  I'm still not done.  I need shoes.  I need to exchange a shirt.  My tech / 3G situation is still totally up in the air, but I have a little more time.  A little.

Such a nice day with my dear loved ones.  Of course, this is precisely the kind of day I will miss the most.

PS - I hope you all had a wonderful Solstice.  Huzzah to you, Holly King!  It's all you, from today on out!  I know we won't see the fruits of your labours for awhile, but on behalf of all Winter loving folk (all 1 of us!) WELCOME BACK!

PPS - The image at the top is from a wonderful Sandman story called The Heart of a Star, which was illustrated by Miguelanxo Prado.  It is a tale of sun gods, and of betrayal.  A good story to read on such a day.

20110621

Healing Voices ...



















Yeah.  I know.  All I do is go to the same place, over and over.

Today's reason was to spend some time with the delightful Lisa B.  We both wanted to get together before I left, and this was literally the only day that would be possible, so after a rough night of sleep, and playing car tomfoolery with E, I found myself yet again on the boardwalk at Avon in the middle of the afternoon.

Lisa and I met up in Asbury Park a little after five.  She was in a bit of a dark space, which I suppose mirrored my own from when we talked on the phone the other day.  We both had a feeling that the music we make together would prove quite healing, so we sat down, just guitar, drum and voice, and began.

She started strumming the chords to Let It Be, which we'd never played before.  Her voice, always a soothing instrument to me, had a little something extra today.  We played through a couple more new pieces, Jesus on the Mainline and Modern English's I Melt With You, which was awesome.  So much potential in this partnership.

There is much we'd like to do when I get back, but that feels like a long time from now.  When we finished for today, after walking down to the water so she could let Oreo run around, there were hugs, and there were invitations to see where this sound we make will lead us.  I imagine, as always, the destination will be unexpected.

While all this was going on, E got sick, so rather than lingering with my book, I made my way towards home.  Arriving home around 930 to a house that once again had internet, we resumed the quest to finish season one of Glee before I leave, watching three episodes (17 - 19) which had us smiling and crying and loving all over again.

And now it's late.  And now to bed.

20110620

Relaxation and Respect ...





















It was an uncomfortable morning around the house, for a host of reasons, and when E got home from the 'Seed, we were both really itching to do something.  Each of us thought the other wouldn't be in the mood to go back to Avon, having just been there on Wednesday, but happily we were both wrong.

The ride down was lovely, quiet in that way that allowed both of us to slough off our anxieties.  Once we hit Ocean Ave, there were people, of course, but it wasn't as crowded as either of us thought it would be.  Maybe the Hallmark holiday was keeping people away, not that I am complaining, mind you.

Before settling in, we drove over to the corner of E Street and Tenth Avenue in Belmar, where a spontaneous memorial to Mr. Clemons had been constructed.  As I said yesterday, even though I wasn't a huge fan, it was nice to take a minute and pay respect.  I think a lot of people were doing that today.

We were in our chairs a little before six, and the beach had almost totally emptied out.  For a long while, we just sat quietly, chatting here and there between the waves.  Then we read for a while (daaaamn, The Little Country is a wonderful book!) before E went swimming, pushing herself a bit past her safety limit!

For me, this was heaven.  Total and utter relaxation.  As the sun began to set, E went over to Kaya's Kitchen to get herself some dinner, while I stayed behind and sang some songs quietly to myself, which I love to do when I'm alone there.  (When The River Meets The Sea always makes an appearance ... )

E came back and ate her dinner as the sky changed from pink to purple to dark blue, while I took a few last pictures.  Then we took a walk up the boardwalk, listening to a slightly subpar band playing Don't Stop Believing at The Columns.  (The net is still not working at home, so no Glee tonight.  Phoooey!)

Once again, I did not want to leave.  I swear, if I'd had the means, I would've just gotten a room at the Inn and eased my way into my travels from there.  But since that was not possible, we said our goodbyes, stopped by The Stone Pony on our way through Asbury, stopped at the Windmill, and made our way home.

20110619

Only Time Will Tell ...

I'm writing this on my iPad, which is telling me that the browser I am using (Terra) doesn't support all of Blogger's functionality. I wonder what this will look like when I post it?

It was another slow day today, another calm before the storm day. I slept late. I did some household chore type things. I read The Little Country. Gentle, sure, but nothing special.

About halfway through the afternoon, almost by accident, I felt myself drop my mask and started to explore some old feelings, some old ways of being. In short, I felt like TL again.

To say this was a surprise is an understatement. Clearly, with my upcoming travels and the work I need to do, the Icarus! persona has not even begun to reach its full potential.

Even so, this felt like a strong reminder : YOU ARE MORE THAN WHAT PEOPLE SEE. SELL THIS DREAM, BUT DON'T GET LOST IN IT. YOU WILL BE WHOLE AGAIN ONE DAY.

E and I went out for one of our evening rides, and I continued to sit with these feelings. We talked, as we always do, about real things, as the sun set through the trees all around us.

I was sad to hear, towards the end of our evening, that Clarence Clemons died today. I was never a big fan of his sound, but the energy he brought to E Street, and the world, was potent. He will be missed.

Now I'm up here, in the dark again, listening to Steve Roach again, wondering if what happened at the 'Seed tonight will have negative ramifications for my work. Only time will tell.

Tomorrow promises to be more of the same. I'm not a fan of Hallmark holidys, for obvious reasons, but I'm hopeful that I'll be able to find a vibe, nonetheless. Again, only time will tell.

(Cue Geoff Downes' synth)

Heh. Good night.

20110618

An Earth Shattering Ka-Boom ...

Right after that last entry, there was an Earth shattering Ka-Boom (c'mon ... you know you want to do the voice ... ) and we lost power for close to six hours.  I was able to hold the space for a little while, and explore some of the dark corners that were presenting themselves, but after awhile, it got a little stuffy up here in The Womb, and I started to get hungry.  Since I couldn't cook anything, or even open the refrigerator, I did a completely unoriginal thing and spent the evening at Starbucks.

E was working the closing shift, so I threw my tech in the bag and went and got my favorite table right by the door and camped out.  I listened to music and chatted with E and her friends and continued my recent fetish of reading free Marvel digital comics (which is apparently an in-store promotion that Starbucks runs).  The power finally got turned back on around 830, though I stayed 'til the end of E's shift at 1030.  The nice thing about being a laptop / iPad kid is that there's often nothing I have to do at home that I can't do somewhere else.

Now it's 130 and there is this strange beeping sound coming from outside that I cannot place, and my emotions are all over the place after watching episodes 15 and 16 of Glee.  All of the stuff from this afternoon is still with me, questions of duality most of all, and I think I'm going to listen to a bit more music before I try to sleep.  Yeah.  That's a very good idea.

20110617

I Am Bigger On The Inside ...

A storm just blew in, bringing in mystery clouds, bringing in fission, splitting me into pieces, reducing me, each part whispering to me of secret things, of dualities.

I just learned about Grant Morrison's new book, a prose history of superheroes / biography / magickal treatise called Supergods, which is coming out while I am away.  I don't think I'm going to be able to wait until I get home to read it.  Luckily, it's up for pre-order on iBooks.

Speaking of reading, I've never read The Gormenghast books.  Quite a hole in my genre cred, I know.  I just stumbled upon this little poem of Peake's, which is making me really want to investigate.  Unfortunately, this one is not on iBooks, so it will have to wait a little while longer.  Anyway, here's the poem ...

The vastest things are those we may not learn.
We are not taught to die, nor to be born,
Nor how to burn
With love.
How pitiful is our enforced return
To those small things we are masters of.

Damn, it got dark in here.  Marvelous.
There's much to think about, and I often think better in the dark.

20110616

There Must Always Be Chocolate Cake ...

It was a quiet day, a lonely day, a day of letting go.  I continued to deal with my disappointment over the cancellation of my gig with Bhagavan Das which was supposed to be this coming Sunday.  I continued to process that I've walked through the doors of the 'Seed for the last time.  Who knows if it will even be there when I get back?  These are the types of chances I am taking, going away for so long.

After an obscene amount of phone tag over the last few days, I finally connect with dear Lisa and we had a lovely chat.  I felt a little bad sharing some of my disappointment and negativity with her, as I am usually the relentlessly positive Public Icarus! when I am around her, but I think the mark of a good friendship is when you start to feel comfortable enough dropping your guard here and there.  We're going to see each other on Monday night, which I am looking forward to.

The day was redeemed by the gathering this evening of the PBT, that sublime group of woo woo folk, solitaries all, who come together every month to form the most badass magickal thinktank (NOT a coven!) this side of ... well, I've never actually experienced anything quite like the PBT!  Different traditions, different paths, different experiences, but always that unity in our diversity.  We laugh.  We talk about real things.  We eat chocolate cake.  (There must ALWAYS be chocolate cake!)  As always, we missed our fifth member, but as always, I held the space for him, until he returns to the table one day.

After being up 'til after 4 last night, I think I will head to bed.
Maybe a bit more Charles de Lint, though ...

20110615

One More Day At My Threshold Place ...























It's starting to hit me, like a ton of rocks, that a week from tomorrow I am leaving for London, first stop on this two month mad wander into the unknown.  I am under prepared, unsure whether I am exhilarated or terrified, yet I am doing it anyway.  Tell me again, why did I sign up for this shamanism thing???

Of course, going away, even for something as potentially wonderful and life changing as this, means there is a lot to leave behind.  Some things, of course, I can't be away from fast enough.  Others, like my my loved ones and the beautiful, magickal places that nourish me, are going to be harder to walk away from.  A lot harder.

It's been such a blessing, truly falling in love with the sea for the first time in my life this last year or so.  It's also been something of a challenge, with all of the stereotypes of what it means to be into The Jersey Shore, to explain how this landscape, and one town in particular, have shaped me so deeply.

All of these thoughts were rumbling around in me on this last big adventure to my beloved Avon By The Sea.  Driving out to the Hook to see the old houses of Fort Hancock, then up to the Twin Lights to look out at The City in the distance, it was impossible not to think of who I was when I first saw those places.

Arriving at Avon itself, I tried to be present in the moment, but admit I was also trying to take everything in, as if inhaling everything my senses could handle would make me somehow miss it less when the inevitable homesickness hits.  A folly, of course, but then, I am the Zero Card.  Yep.  That's me.

As evening began to settle in, as people began to clear out and the sky became richer and streaked with purple, I was reminded of the countless hours of solitude here in the middle of Winter, of the countless sigils I cast in the sand, of promises I made and long running storylines that I hope will have happy endings one day.

I didn't want to leave.  I never want to leave.  But that's how it works, on the micro and macro levels.  I have to go away, far from everything I know, so I can learn about myself, and about the mask I wear, so I can heal my broken heart, so I can be of use, to my loved ones, and to the people who trust me magickally and shamanically, who treat me as if I actually know what I'm doing.

Can I do this?  Really?  I honestly don't know.  But on hard days, when I'm ready to yell at the wind and stamp around on the moors waving my fist at the sky, I'll remember this last day at my threshold place, reading Charles de Lint while my Anam Cara frolicked in the sand, eating dinner atop the big windmill in Long Branch, imagining who I'll be when I return.

20110614

Another Lovely Evening In The City ...

Ow ow ow.  My whole body hurts, but in a good way.  Let me explain.

As the countdown to my departure is about to head into the single digits, I am making a point of connecting with my dear ones, to ground and center in their love and support and good energy before casting myself into the unknown.  Since Julia and Chris are themselves leaving for Northern California tomorrow, tonight was our only chance to see each other until I get back, whenever that will be.

Since I imagine I will be spending a fair amount of time either taking trains or walking while I'm away, I thought I would practice tonight, taking the train into Penn and then walking all the way up to Papaya King on 86th and 3rd.  (That's 54 blocks North and 4 avenues East, for those not familiar with New York.)  It was a beautiful evening for a walk, filled as I was with wanderlust.

I retraced a lot of the steps that we took back at Christmas, when E and J and The Muse and I had that magickal night in the snow.  Herald Square.  Times Square.  Rockefeller Plaza.  I felt like I could see backwards in time, to the places where we all made magick that night.  Rather than get sad, I felt like I was honouring who we were then, and said a prayer that we may find our way back to that space, and to each other, one day.

Walking up Fifth, along The Park, past The Frick and my beloved Metropolitan, I began to realize that my shoes are not really meant to be walking shoes.  If they can't handle a couple of miles of polite, paved  City walking, they are not going to get it done on the moors of the West Country.  I'll need to do something about that this week.  (Along with a bunch of other little preparations.)

I got to Papaya King around 645, and Julia and Chris were there waiting for me.  After big hugs and smiles, we got our hot dogs and stood at the famous counter and indulged.  Since there are no public plazas / places to sit in that neighborhood, we walked back to Central Park and sat on the wall right next to the reservoir, and did that talking thing we do.  (See the April 10th entry, for the story of our last meeting ... )

We talked about masks and staying light on your feet, about Julia's recent trip to Senegal, Chris' experiences as a touring musician, and of course, my upcoming adventure and my recent struggles / changes / etc.  J gave me a few LOVELY gifts, which were particularly moving because they told me that she really knows who I am, under the mask.  Most everyone else is buying what I am selling hook line and sinker, and that is how it should be right now, but it's so important to have people who really know you.  For so many years now, Julia has been one of those people, and I am so grateful for her.

Since they have a 7am flight out of Kennedy tomorrow, we parted ways around 830.  I could've stayed all night again, like last time, but I didn't mind making the 930 train out of Penn either.  We hugged more, and promised to Skype while I am away, and then parted ways.  I will miss them this summer.  Such wonderful, wise people.  Every time I am with them, I feel like I learn so much.  I care so deeply for both of them.

The walk through the park was a bit of an adventure.  I got turned around somehow, which is quite embarrassing, but still managed to make my train on time.  Sore feet and all, walking the streets of The City at sunset was lovely as ever.  I wish I had brought the camera with me, so I could've sprinkled this entry with all of the colors.  I suppose that's alright, though.  You all are going to have more pictures than you'll know what to do with in ten days ...

Tomorrow is a day of errands, followed by my last night working the desk at the 'Seed.  I think I'll go listen to a few tunes, read a chapter or two, then rest.  My heart is full.  Thank you again, dear Julia and Chris, for your kindness and understanding.  I am very blessed to have friends like you.

20110613

Inversions ...



















It's late again, the second night in a row I am closing on 3am.  Tonight, it is old Yes videos on You Tube, from the Big Generator tour in 1988.  I have never been afraid to admit how much I adore the Trevor Rabin era of that band.  I was just the right age in 1983 (eight) to be blown away by Owner of a Lonely Heart.  I had been playing drums for two years already, and had enjoyed Hall & Oates' Private Eyes album, Genesis' Abacab and The Police's Ghost in the Machine, but there was something about 90125 ... something I definitely didn't have words for when I was eight.  It was my Beatles On Ed Sullivan moment, and I would not be closing in on my 30th drumming anniversary in August if it weren't for that song / album.

It's so nice to be thinking about something good and decent and simple, after a very difficult day.  E has begun to cover most of my shifts at the 'Seed, as I have been phasing out my presence there ahead of my trip.  Unfortunately, this means that she ran into The Muse this morning, and they ended up having a big talk about yoga and psychics and whatnot.  Of course, I was the white elephant in the room, and if not for the oblivious intervention of our mutual friend Harriet, who asked about me and wondered when I was leaving, I never would have come up.  I can't quite put into words why this whole thing got me so upset.  Maybe I just figured the status quo would remain in place until I left.  Maybe I needed the status quo to remain in place until I left.  I don't know ...

What I do know is that I was a mess, and I was disappointed in myself that I couldn't hold on to the diner energy from Friday night.  I guess this is why I am leaving.  I can keep myself busy and put on my mask  and do my work and try to be who everyone needs me to be, but at my core I'm still broken, and I need to connect with some deeper sources if I want to heal.  As a Band Aid, E and I drove up to the Walkway Over The Hudson again.  It was not nearly as smooth a trip as the one last week, but we did find a bit of peace in the end, not only high above the Mighty Hudson but also at Yummies, our favorite little ice cream / mini golf place up the road.  We got home around 10 pm and, you guessed it ... Glee episodes 11 & 12.  We really want to finish season one before I leave, and this week is pretty busy, so we'll see ...

For the record, I pressed the Invert button in Photoshop by accident when I was resizing the photo, and I just loved the colors, so I left it, and named this entry after it.  There doesn't seem to be any deeper meaning to me, at least at the moment, but who knows ... ?  Here, then, is what it actually looked like on the Walkway, looking West.



















Good night.  Dream of pink trees.

20110612

A Gentle Saturday ...

It's late, going on 3am.  Not sure why I'm up this late, but it's alright.  I can sleep in tomorrow.

Today was a gentle day, still bathing in the positiveness of last night's diner revelations.  After Bug got home with groceries at around 1130, we had a lovely connection over breakfast before running out for some errands in the afternoon.  We went and sat at the 'Bucks for awhile (where I discovered you can read free Marvel comics online!) then came home for a late lunch and to clean the blue drum kit in the basement so we can sell it on Craig's List to make a few dollars for my trip.  After spending a few hours up in The Womb, during which I continued to organize my Mac laptop (Uonaidh, for those who don't know ... ) for the journey, we convened downstairs for this evening's Glee.  (Episodes 9 & 10.  I forgot to mention that we watched episodes 7 & 8 after the diner last night.)  Everyone went to bed around 1am, and now the house is quiet and I am dreaming of what it will be like, exactly twelve days from now, getting ready to land in London ...

20110611

Everything Changes ...

The length of this entry is directly inverse to its importance.

E and I had an Anam Cara date tonight, going for a little ride at sunset before settling in at the Oakland Diner.  As we started talking, as she started to put into words her raison d'etre for the summer, there was a tangible shift in our energy, and I finally feel like I can really focus and start getting ready for my departure.

It was one of those conversations, one of those altered spaces, that it's impossible to recreate, so I won't even try.  I think we just both feel much better about who we are and what we are supposed to be, individually and collectively.  I can go now, and it's going to be alright.  Mercy.

20110610

Hot Hot Hot ...

For the second day in a row, it was close to one hundred degrees outside, so I spent the day at home, keeping cool and trying to keep my head on straight.  I admit that I've been getting more than a little scared about my upcoming travels, and that my old heart / stress symptoms have been poking around the periphery.  I suppose if you were about to travel across a vast ocean to a couple of countries where you didn't know anyone with very little money for a couple of months, you might have a racing heartbeat from time to time as well.

To keep myself occupied, I actually spent most of the afternoon rereading Jonathan Carroll's The Land of Laughs, which is marvelous, and having a long conversation with Amy, who reached out after sensing my melancholy from afar.  In the evening, Bug and I designed a few more pages of the Starseed website, then when E got home from working the desk, we had din and watched episodes 5 & 6 of Glee.  (More heart openings!  More tears!  So wonderful!)

20110609

The Big Sigil Keeps On Working ...




















This morning, in the span of about an hour, I found out that the Idirlion ad on Coilhouse.net went live, and then got a response from Terri Windling that she's going to feature The Womb as part of the On Your Desk series on her blog sometime next week.  It seems more eyes may be about to be on me.  I suppose I should be on my best behavior.

Riiiiiight.

After working frantically to get everything spiffy on the Idirlion website and Twiiter account, then stopping for a bite at the Preakness Restaurant, we didn't get down to Avon 'til around 7, which was fine in a way, because most of the people have left by then.  It took a while to create a vibe, but once we did, the colors at sunset more than made up for the delay.

Ahhhhhhh.

20110608

A Mostly Gentle Tuesday ...



















I was very tired when I got up this morning.  It felt like I must've had a very active night of dreaming, but I didn't remember any of it, which is weird for me.

E and I had a gentle day, connecting in the morning over her questions about the yoga sutras, and in the afternoon during a ride up Skyline Drive, around Erskine Lake, past the reservoir and over the one lane bridge.

The evening featured another abysmally slow shift at the 'Seed, din and a game of Yahtzee and, of course, two more episodes of Glee.  Kurt's coming out scene was hard to watch, but also uplifting at the same time.

Before I forget again, I got hired yesterday to do a six day retreat with Bhagavan Das up in New Hampshire in October.  A week at a retreat center ... New England in the heart of Autumn ... yeah, that sounds like quite the posh gig.

All for now.  Good night.

20110607

Glee ...

Occasionally, just occasionally, I LOVE being Icarus!  If I hadn't changed, I don't think I would have fallen so hard for Glee this evening.

E and J have been talking about this show for a long while now.  Mr Shu, Kurt (especially Kurt) and "That's what you missed on Glee" have become household names / phrases around here, yet I never knew exactly what they were going on about.

Dear god, when those kids sing ... I feel my heart growing three sizes, like the damn Grinch.  I start to remember how much I love music, and how much I want to play and sing.  I really don't understand people who are down on this show, or who don't want their music on it.  

It doesn't matter that it's full of teenage drama.  It doesn't matter that there is auto tune all over the place.  There something going on under the surface that is real, that is opening up things in me.  When that happens, wherever it comes from, you go with it.  Always.

Since getting into Gaga recently, I've started to understand that the pOp initiative was even more than I thought it was when I first stumbled upon My Chem over the winter.  Wearing a mask isn't always a bad thing.  In fact, there is a lot of power in choosing how we want to present ourselves to the world.

There's something going on here, and pOp music is a catalyst.  Fuck pretension.  Use the big energy, the grand gesture, hold it close to your heart and reflect it out and do some good.  Drop the hipster pose, don't be afraid to cry and above all else, just SING.

20110606

Instead of Graduation, A Garden ...




















I know I do this a lot, but it's hard not to use repeating events in my life to measure how much things have changed.  Today was SSYTT graduation.  Of course, considering the situation with The Muse, I did not attend.  Last year I did attend, another version of me anyway, cheering on E and That Dear Boy.  Bill and Jason were still around.  I barely knew Amy.  I hadn't worked a single day at the 'Seed.

It only took one year, one damn year, for that huge arc to occur : starting working there, becoming friends with The Muse, getting more involved with the shamanic program, playing drums with said Muse and stepping into a leadership role, falling in love with and then promptly losing her, creating The Institute, and now on the cusp of leaving.  From TL to I.Q., from wholeness to heartbreak.  All in one year.  525,600 minutes indeed.

I needed to get my head out of this dichotomy.  Luckily, E was open to a bit of wandering this afternoon.  We drove along some of my favorite Central Jersey roads (what I refer to as Dr. Lisa territory) and wound up at a place called the Leonard J Buck Garden.  It was hot and buggy, but so green, so beautiful : the trees and the manicured paths and the bridges over streams.  We both love places like this.

To refresh, we continued our drive and ended up down at Bridgewater Mall for the second time in as many weeks.  After initially picking the wrong table, we found the right spot, in a bright corner of the food court surrounded by glass, and made another wonderful little circle.  My energy is so heavy, all the time (as these recents posts illustrate, I'm sure) yet my Anam Cara persists.  Bless her.

Since getting home, it's been a quiet evening, mostly just finishing up season three of The Doctor.  A nice break point.  I'll finish up when I get home in September.  Speaking of break points, I think I'll head to bed.  Good night interwebs.  Good night old versions of me.  Good night, all of you whom I love.  Sleep peacefully.  Dream of beautiful things.

20110605

No Shape, No Form ...

I was pretty disappointed yesterday when I Reggie canceled the gig that Lisa and I were supposed to do at Yoga Basin.  I was looking forward to seeing and playing with Lisa one more time before leaving, and the nice little crowd we drew last month encouraged me that we'd do even better this time.  But alas, Reg didn't want to compete with the events all over Asbury for gay pride week, so there you go.

Of course, for me selfishly his meant no ride down to the sea, no music making, and really no focus whatsoever for the day.  Bug and I did go to the library in the afternoon, and I did reconnect with some of the old Francesca Lia Block books I used to love, but that was the extent of the day's movement.  E was exhausted after work, so we didn't go for groceries or for a ride or anything.

It's closing in on 1am, and I've been up here all night, since dinner.  There was a vibe floating around the periphery, but it never really solidified.  Time for bed, then, methinks.

20110604

A Public Day ...

I had been dreading telling Amy about my upcoming trip.  I'm not sure why.  She has been nothing but supportive, and a steadfast friend, for the better part of a year now, as my life continues to take dizzying turns that would scare many people away.  Even so, I was not looking forward to saying the words, "I'm going to England and Ireland for two months."  Obviously, I did have to tell her, and this morning, I did.

Over tea and brioche in Montclair (we are soooooo Stuff White People Like!) we spoke about the website redesign (she LOVED what we came up with) and about The Institute and when I had to tell her that Brian would be doing the June event solo, I couldn't put it off any longer.  I didn't even get to finish my sentence, when she broke out in a big smile, hugged me and said she was so so glad I was doing this.

She's been present for the whole Mary saga, good and bad.  She was a firm supporter of my last incarnation, and when I regenerated into Icarus!, she was right there still.  She's woo woo enough to understand my power, and can see why me going to those places to heal myself makes sense.  Most importantly, she is fine with E working the desk while I'm away, and holding my job for me until I return.

Leaving Montclair around 130, I felt a bit lighter, like a big block had been lifted, at least in my mind.  When I got to the 'Bucks a little after 2, E was happy to hear that things had gone so well.  I spent some time talking with Katherine and Eddie, and Lisa and Amy called on the phone (Amy just had to tell me again how much she loved the site and how happy she was for me).  Like I said, it was quite the public Icarus! sort of day.

By the time E got out at 430, I was feeling a bit overexposed, so after a quick trip to WalMart (where I picked up the first season of Smallville for $15) we went home for a quiet evening.  After dinner, we watched more Who, featuring the clever and lovely Sally Sparrow and the always marvelous Derek Jacobi, before my cold started acting up.  Now I am cranky.  Now it is time for bed.

20110603

Flame Shift #37 ...

I seem to be coming down with another pesky cold, so I'll keep this brief.

Flame Shift #37 was about sitting with my vulnerabilities, and about understanding that the public and private Icarus will have to co-exist in a different way when I'm traveling.

I started the day in a sweat, waking up from a terrible dream involving my parents (the first in a very long time).  I spoke to Amy in the afternoon.  I continued my book organization project.

E covered for me at the 'Seed (since I couldn't leave The Womb) and actually got her job back, teaching Gentle and Restorative.  I am so so happy for her.

We were going to go walk Packanack when my Shift was done, but this cold put the brakes on that.  I think I'll get some rest, then, and hope that these entries get better soon.

20110602

A Short Avon Day ...



















I'm about four hours into Flame Shift #37 and the energy is not great in the house.  Summer Shifts tend to be rather difficult for me, which should surprise no one.  A quick run down of the day, then, so I can get some rest.

I woke up with the deep depression from last entry still hanging heavily around my neck.  I really, REALLY wanted to go back to my old life.  E was eventually able to help me ground, and we got on with the day, but the feeling never quite left me.

It would not have been my preference to go to Avon early on such a hot, summery day, but knowing that my Flame Shift was looming, and that we'd have to leave by 6pm, we got on with it.  I still can't believe all the people milling about.

I got a pair of shorts (which say Exit 98 on them, and which are so hysterically NOT ME) so we could walk along the edge of the water, which was a highlight.  Then I fiddled with my iPad for a bit while E had a profound experience on the jetty with a crab ...

The ride home was uneventful, stopping at The Windmill and Cake, Bake & Roll, before hitting the Parkway and getting home for the 823pm Shift bell.  Alright.  This entry is boring.  Maybe tomorrow's will have more in it.  Good night.

20110601

In A Deep Hole ...

It's a little after 2am, and I am in a deep hole, and I don't want to spread it all over you, gentle reader.  We watched more of The Doctor tonight, two episodes called Human Nature / The Family of Blood.  The choice The Doctor / John Smith had to make underlined why I identify so deeply with the character.  I cried along with him.  I understood his pain.  At its best, the show is not about space ships and time travel and aliens and the like.  It's about love and loss, about loneliness.  I've never seen a fictional character that mirrors my own experiences so deeply.

Today was uneventful.  E and I had a nice breakfast and talked about similar things to what Bug and I talked about yesterday.  (So hard, they both have to work, to keep up with how fast I change.)  She wanted to work on the awful bill basket, and I wanted motion, so I left early for work and spent an hour at B&N, picking up a book on American's in Paris that has been on my radar for a week or two.  Work was its usual slow, depressing Tuesday self, and afterwards I stopped for a few groceries before coming home.  We talked about the big DC Comics news over dinner before sitting to watch The Doctor ...

Alright.  Enough.  Bed.

20110531

On Magic and Artifice ...

"I live halfway between fantasy and reality at all times because I choose to, and anyone can choose that, and I believe that everyone has something so magical about themselves, and why, as a society, are we so afraid of magic?  Why is magic synonymous with artifice?  Why is the fantastic synonymous with a lie?  If art is a lie, then I will tell that lie every day until it's fucking true."

- Lady Gaga, on Magic and Artifice

That bit, right there, is why I have become a Gaga fan.  The idea that it's possible to take the things that I do, magick and shamanism and walking between the worlds, and jiggle it a little and apply it to pOp, to the grand gesture, to glitter and dancing and bright lights and still change the world ... that is POWER.  Say what you will about Ms. Germanotta, but I chose to say bravo!

Today was a quiet day, my second day or rest after the kiratn beating.  I slept late again (and had an interesting dream where I was explaining The Mysteries to Nicole) before having a long breakfast chat with Bug about my ongoing changes.  I then spent a few hours up in The Icebox, organizing some books and reading the Gaga / Stephen Fry interview in the Financial Times, referenced above.

The heart of the day ended up being the five hours that Bug and I spent redesigning the Starseed website.  Obviously nothing is working yet.  This is just a flat image, done in Photoshop, and there is still much designing and coding yet to be done before our September launch, but honestly ... we hit it out of the park, and far surpassed anything we've ever designed.  What do you think?






































After doing work like that, it always feels like playing with the house's money, so to speak, so we enjoyed a quiet evening afterward, with E in the garden before late dinner and then a couple of episodes of The Doctor.  Now it's time for bed, and I think about youth and age, about deep space, and about masks, always masks.  How do I make this one I wear work for me ... ?

20110530

Once Again, Above The Mighty ...



















It's super late, and super deliciously icebox cold up here, and I should go to bed, but first, here are today's top stories.

With the central air finally fixed (oh, did I not mention that yesterday amidst all the bowing?!?) and my entire body exhausted, I slept until almost 11, which I never ever ever do anymore.  I felt bad accepting E's offer to cover the desk at the 'Seed for me, as it ended up being a real energy suck for her, but it was the right thing for me, as I was able to hold onto to the sweet vibe from yesterday.

After a late breakfast, we decided to take a Memorial Day ride, but not before stopping in at the 'Bucks and chatting a bit with a few of the boys that E works with.  Eventually, we made our way to the Thruway and up to Poughkeepsie, so we could walk over the Mighty Hudson, which I wanted to make sure I did before leaving.  That river is one of the things I'll miss the most when I'm gone.

It was a hot day, especially in the Standard Icarus! Outfit, but once we got out over the water, there was a breeze and we made a T.A.Z.  The shot above is from where we stood, facing South, for about an hour.  Always so much magick at the Mighty.  So many years we've been going there, and it never fails to provide.  Dear Mister Cole and Mister Durand and Mister Seeger all knew that truth so well.

Sadly, the breeze did not follow us off of the bridge, so though we had a lovely coda of a drive down to New Paltz, we did not get out and walk the hill.  (Besides, not going to the Inquiring Minds Bookstore would've been waaaaaay too difficult.)  So we headed home contentedly and got back around 9, and it's been as quiet and gentle as it gets around here ever since.  Not a bad way to spend a Sunday.

Off to bed, then.  Good night.

20110529

Bhagavan Das Part Deux ...

When I was asked to play drums for Bhagavan Das back on New Year's Day, life was so very, very different.  The Solstice Salon had only been a few weeks before.  My Muse was there cheering me on, settling me down when I was nervous, like she used to do.  I was months from even having the thought of becoming Icarus.  Just under five months ago ... might as well be a parallel earth.

Today, at Yoga Basin in Asbury park, I was given the chance to do it all again, in this new life.  After the success of the last gig, I was a known quantity to Kali and Mr. Das, and they were much warmer towards me.  (Not that they were nasty of lousy or anything last time, mind you, but now we weren't strangers anymore.)   It made for a really great vibe, and the music was that much stronger because of it.

Reggie had a great setup for this event.  That room of hers sounds amazing, which I already knew from playing there with Lisa, and we had a production assistant and I had my own dressing room and the whole bit.  Even though these people are becoming good friends of mine, they treated me the same as they treated Kali and Baba, which is to say, pretty much like rock stars.  It was quite nice, as you might imagine.

The afternoon workshop was considerably longer and more intense than the one we did in Montclair in January.  Maybe it was because he was more comfortable with me, but there was A LOT more singing and playing, in addition to that kick ass chakra balancing meditation, which was just as cool the second time around.  What was supposed to be 2 - 5pm went 'til almost 6, and I was quite beat up, with half of the proceedings yet before us.

As is my way in this sort of environment, I needed to get off site for a little while, just to remove myself from the very heavy energy that the faithful create during his performances.  Many of the people who come have very physical experiences (arms waving, eyes rolling back, etc) and while I feel like I have the best seat in the house, seven hours of this uninterrupted would be a bit much.

So out I went to the streets of Asbury Park.  It was Memorial Day Weekend, of course, so it was fairly busy, but I got a table at Old Man Raffertys pretty quickly.  Eating alone is odd, as is the attention I get from waitresses, but public Icarus just smiles and rolls with it.  What is a little harder to just roll with is the attention I get from the faithful.

Mr. Das is not just a singer to these folks.  He is a guru, passing on secret knowledge.  Though it's not my path, I feel the power coming off of him and it is quite impressive, make no mistake.  I guess what happens is a bit of guilt by association, for lack of a better phrase.  Three or four times on my break, I ran into people on the streets, and every one of them started bowing at me ...

The question is, how do you allow these people to have their experience, their trip, while basically saying "Ixnay the owingbay!!!"  My solution was to play it cool, to gently tell them, "No no no, I'm just a kid from Jersey, just like you.  There's no reason to bow.  Let's hug instead!"  They didn't seem entirely convinced, but they did stop bowing, and I was able to have nice little conversations with everyone I met, though they did still have a bit of that starry look in their eyes.

Since the food at Rafferty's was not as agreeable as the wait staff, I stumbled into a deli right on Mattison  for a quick sandwich and soda.  The two guys who ran the place were almost as flirty as the Rafferty's girls, which basically tells me that my Jack Harkness powers are working.  They made me a special bacon and egg on a bagel even though they were on their dinner menu.  Yeah.  That'll do just fine.

I was running a little late getting back, and I must have been quite a sight walking into a yoga studio / organic juice bar with my can of coke and bottle of ibuprofen.  Getting through the growing throng to my dressing room was a bit of a challenge as well, but Jeff took care of me and got me settled in.  I did shake hands and have a few more hugs (and one more bow) from people who were at the Montclair gig, and they all recognized me, despite my quite different appearance.

The evening portion was a full house, and the energy was hot, and once again he went deep and long and well over the projected three hours.  About an hour in, every bone in my body started screaming at me.  My hands and arms, of course, but also my back and my knees and my neck and, honest to god, even my ass was hurting.  The gig went spectacularly well, yet again, but it was a real challenge to not let on how much pain I was in.

When we were finished, Kali, Baba and I shared a few more hugs, and they asked for my email address, so we can have direct contact in the future.  They also said they wanted to pay me this time, which I thought was a very kind gesture.  It'll be a pleasure to see them again and play together one more time, three weeks from tomorrow at Starseed.

After talking to a few more of the faithful, and getting gushed on by Reggie, I made my way back onto the street around 11pm.  Walking to the car, I was just bombarded by music from every direction.  What a great music town Asbury is becoming again!  Right across from where I was parked, at a place called The Trinity and The Pope, a band was playing a heavy rock version of Seal's "Crazy" that was so awesome I had to stand in the door and listen.  Daaaaaamn.

I drove down to Avon and called home while I walked along the mostly deserted boardwalk.  To have the place to myself, especially after Wednesday, was such a gift, and it really helped ground me in my own magick and tradition after a day spent visiting elsewhere.  I was tired, and the drive home felt long, but I was happy, and felt like things are continuing to proceed according to plan.

20110528

"Shut Up Icky!" ...

I was sitting in Starbucks yet again this afternoon, when one of E's more outgoing co-workers uttered the title of this entry.  For some reason, known only to her, this girl uses Shut Up interchangeably with Hello.  Strange, to be sure, but oddly validating, as this means that after E's recent explaining of our situation, I am now (insert C3PO voice) a part of the tribe.

It should be noted, also, that Nicole here is not the first person to shorten my serious mythological name to Icky.  That honor goes to Reggie at Yoga Basin, and to my knowledge the two of them have no knowledge of each other's existence.  Dear god ... are more people going to figure out that Icarus shortens to Icky???  So much for my serious, dashing public persona ...

: )

I hadn't been planning on going back to Starbucks, since I was just there yesterday, but there was some rather noisy landlord activity going on in the basement all morning (yet the central air is STILL not fixed) and it made me feel more jumpy and vulnerable than I have since the heyday of the parent problems.  I was just grateful to have somewhere to go.

After spending the afternoon at the 'Bucks (during which I had a long chat with Bug and watched about half a dozen Ray Kurzweil videos about The Singularity and related topics) my heart rate still hadn't slowed down, so E and I went for a ride, which ended up surprisingly but not surprisingly at Seven Lakes Drive / Bear Mountain / Perkins Drive.

Motion is still the only thing that helps me, like rocking a baby when it cries or something.  Being in beautiful places is helpful as well, as long as there is motion involved in getting there.  Sometimes, in places like that, I wish I could stay forever, but of course, one must come down off the mountain and face whatever is at the bottom.  Lousy, but true.

The vibe in the house was very tense, again, when we got home a little after nine.  Rather than immortalizing it, I'll just say that I REALLY hope things with this whole landlord / AC problem get fixed soon ...

20110527

A Few Words From The Icebox ...

I am sealed in the front room of The Womb (the one with the drums) with the door closed and the little window AC unit making a blessed racket.  Though I am about two feet too big for the loveseat I have in here, I will be sleeping on it tonight, sore neck be damned.  I just can't deal with another damn night suffering down in the sauna.

Not a whole lot has happened since that last entry this afternoon.  I had my session with Jason, which was particularly validating.  In the evening, my shift at the desk at the 'Seed continued to be its recent suffocating self.  When I got home, we put in the AC and ate something and I had a shower and this entry is boring and I think I'll stop now.

20110526

On The Cusp ...




















It is Thursday afternoon and I am at Starbucks and my mind is exploding and I feel on the cusp of a breakthrough of some sort, but I don't know if I have words for it.  I wonder if this is similar to what my dear N has been feeling on her 20th Path ...

Before I go on, a few words on those pics above.

Yesterday was a very difficult Avon day, as the heat and bright sun and proximity to Memorial Day meant that there were HUNDREDS of people milling about my sanctuary, doing the summer things that regular folk enjoy.  I always knew this would happen, but experiencing it was devastating.

Thank the stars for the silly little Swan Lake paddle boat ride!  The darkness was ready to consume me, and I was dragging my Anam Cara with me, when the miracle presented itself.  We started talking again, and laughing again, and the light kept the darkness at bay, at least for a little longer.

Before you knew it we were back along the sea, eating, reading, watching the sky turn the right shade of blue for a while before the pinks and purples began their song.  Most of the interlopers went home by that time, and I could almost pretend that Happy Cove was mine again.

Unfortunately, the air conditioner situation at home meant coming home to a third straight night of suffocating heat and humidity.  (At least for this Fire Spirit, anyway!)  Since I'm barely sleeping, it was easy to get up and bring E to work, paving the way for these last few interesting hours.

I've started reading The Invisibles again, and as with all good works, I'm seeing new things, new resonances, in light of how my life has changed.  This is example #1 of not having the words.  When I read this story, and I see myself in the different characters, I just know what I feel.

I am more than this intense sadness.  I am more than this all encompassing darkness.  I can use these things, but not in the context of how things are.  If I am to have any future at all at Starseed, I need to remove myself for awhile.  Mercifully, June 23rd is coming up, rapidly.

If I am to ever feel comfortable again, I will need to address our living situation when I return.  The status quo with the landlords, with the nosy neighbors, with everything feeling broken and dirty and so terribly small, is simply not sustainable.  New Year's Eve will be seven years.  It's time for a change.

I finally got around to downloading that amazing Tarot HD app for the iPad.  Taking a Chaos approach, I just started throwing cards.  No ceremony.  No fuss.  Just throw and react.  The first spread was a four elements thing.  The second was past present future.  The third, not surprisingly, was a Celtic Cross.

It's strange, but despite the non tactile nature of the whole enterprise, I felt closer to the cards than I have in years.  I'm feeling like I want to dance with them, in ways I've never managed to.  All that being said, I admit to being a little freaked out by the 9 of Swords showing up as the last card ...



















So much more I want to say, most pointedly about shapeshifting and my deep gut feeling that I am not done with TL yet, but the words are not quite there, and I have to get to Jason's anyway.  More tonight, then.

20110525

Wisconsin & Paris ...

It's late, and it's about 80 degrees up here in The Womb.  I am wide awake and I want to read every book in here all at once.  Some nights are like that.

Today was extraordinarily bipolar.  After easing into the day with E, I had my monthly doctor appointment.  After discovering that both my weight and my blood pressure are through the roof (which should surprise no one) my doctor and I had another in a long line of deeply insightful talks.  I was able to talk freely about my work and my regeneration and everything.  What a marvelous ally she is!

Neither E nor I wanted to go home, so we drove down to Bridgewater Mall, where I hadn't been in years, and walked around a bit before having a bite to eat.  (During the walking, we stopped at Bridget's Irish Cottage, and it hit me like a ton of rocks ... I'M ACTUALLY GOING THERE!)  After we finished our lunch, we got into my second big discussion in as many hours.  Some days are like that.

I'm not really sure how to encapsulate what we talked about.  It was so big and so so personal.  But basically, it came down to reassuring each other that no matter how much things are changing, we will always be home for each other.  (The title of this entry is how she described herself and I, respectively, at one point in the discussion.  It's better than my other title, "A Life In Food Courts"!)

Neither one of us wanted to close the circle, but I had to get to work, and in fact ended up squeaking in the door with only about ten minutes to spare.  Normally Tuesdays are Muse free, but I suppose she is cramming to make her class quota before graduation.  Once again, she would not come down to sign in, and once again it hurt me deeply.  At that point, I couldn't even bring myself to go upstairs and count the class in.  It's time to go.  It's really time to go.

After I got home around 9, and after sharing my despair with the Lovelies (ain't you lucky you get to be around the private Icarus???) Bug went to bed with yet another migraine, and E and I totally phoned it in and had popcorn for dinner while watching National Treasure.  I truly do not feel guilty one damn bit.  Some nights are like that.

A bit of The Invisibles, then bed.  Maybe.

20110524

I Wish I Could Tell You ...

I wish I could tell you that the peaceful vibe from the Healing Circle followed me into today.  I wish I could tell you that I was as connected to my dear, dear Lovelies as I was yesterday, when I was able to put my sadness aside and be present for them.  I wish I could tell you about all the great things I accomplished today on my day off.

But then I would be lying.

20110523

A Tender Gift ...

The story of how difficult it has been for me to perform my shamanic duties these last few months has been well documented.  If this had been a third straight back breaker, I think I would have refrained from torturing you all with the details.  Mercifully, it was anything but a back breaker.

There was such a gentle, nurturing energy threaded through tonight's Healing Circle.  With eleven participants (plus the four team members) it was a perfect size for an intimate gathering; neither too big nor too small.  Even getting a late start setting up (due to SSYTT running late) didn't derail things.

Jason, Brian, Kelli and myself all seemed to have our "A" games, dishing out the healing modalities while allowing ourselves (mostly) to drink up the reciprocal healing vibe coming off the tribe as a whole.  It goes without saying that it was by far the best of the three ceremonies since my Muse and That Dear Boy left.

It's been so so difficult, doing this work without them.  Never do I miss them more then on Circle days.  As I always do, I brought my love for them into the work, and held the space, in the hopes that we might all work our magick together again one day.  That hope gets dimmer every day, but I always keep it close to my heart, nonetheless.

Now, of course, it is my turn to leave for a little while.  I will miss the rest of the Team, of course, but honestly, I am so worn out from my heartbreak and my changes that three months off will be very good for me.  Especially with the excitement that was generated tonight when we talked about the Institute, I want to be at my best come September.

So this is the memory I will take with me on my pilgrimage : of a peaceful, cozy circle, of the kind souls who chose to spend an evening with us, of a shamanic team finding its groove, despite absences that can never really be filled.  When I tell my story to the new friends I make, I will be able to explain to them, "This is why I do this ... "

Thank you, My Lady, for this tender, much needed gift.

20110522

Soul Rejuvenation In The Tomb ...



















I'm down in The Tomb, 3/4 of the way through a slower than usual Sunday, reconnecting with an old love : 60's soul music.  It started with Ben E. King, then started moving around through Solomon Burke, Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, Aretha, Otis, Sam & Dave, Booker T, etc.  It went backwards and forwards a bit, touching on Doo Wop, Motown, and a few things from the 70's as well.

I think this is related to the singing thing I've been feeling lately.  These are all songs for singing, and the topic is often love, which terrifies me, of course.  I'm finding a strange comfort in them this morning, though.  I feel oddly detached from the fact that she is right upstairs, that she tore my scab off again.  I'm just hearing kindred spirits in these voices.  What else is there to sing about, anyway, really?

Last night's sunset at Sandy Hook Bay was as beautiful as it was tense.  If I had written last night, I would have gotten into specifics.  This morning, with this music playing, with so much still to do tonight, I don't want to revisit those feelings.  I'd rather just bake some bread, play some chess, and sing the future into being.

One month from tomorrow.  I just have to get to one month from tomorrow ...

20110521

A Rare Afternoon at the Bookstore ...

I'm actually writing this on my Pad, but I'm not quite sure how I'm going to get it into Blogger, since there doesn't seem to be a dedicated Blogger app.  Oh well, I'll worry about that later.

It's so interesting, the things that get your attention sometimes.  I'm sitting here on the upper floor of the big Barnes & Noble in Paramus reading the new issue of Vanity Fair.  Katy Perry is the cover feature, and there are articles on Prada's new Venice digs, the New York City Ballet, Blenheim Palace, a few political things, a few celebrity things.  It kind of feels like Rolling Stone with a shiny gold finish on it.

Why am I reading this?  Why is this interesting to me today?  Is this just another manifestation of getting comfortable in the Icarus costume?  Probably.  Does Icarus seem to have fancier tastes (despite the still limited food palette)?  It seems so.  So I read these things and think about my James Bond future (minus the killing, of course) and wonder what how these kinds of new preoccupations will manifest.

On a more normal note, whatever that means anymore, I'm also sitting here with the long awaited fifth book in Neil Peart's fascinating series of travel memoirs, Far & Away, and the new Everyman Library selection of Emily Dickinson's letter that I mentioned the other day.  This is the third time in three days I've come across references to baking bread.  (This article in particular has me thinking of it as a spiritual act.  Must explore this further.)

I would be remiss if I didn't mention my dear Lovelies, out having their dance performance at the little Fun Fair.  They both looked great in their outfits this morning, and I wish I could be there to be proud of them.  On a related note, the PBT had a wonderful gathering last night, 'til the wee hours as always.  It was nice to find that I could still be me in that setting, even though "me" is such a slippery proposition these days.

Enough for now.  Back to Vanity Fair.  Sheeeesh!

20110520

Random Thoughts From A Busy (Internal) Friday ...

It's Friday afternoon.  The PBT will gather around the table in a few hours (well, most of us, anyway).  It feels like it's been awhile since we've been together.  Time continues to move funny, things blur together.  It'll be three months soon, since everything changed.  Some days it feels like much less, some days much more.  Wibbly wobbly timey wimey.

Yesterday moved slowly.  I spent a decent chunk of it at Starbucks, using their slow internet since mine wasn't working at home.  It was nice, out of the corner of my eye, to see E in her native environment, being the welcoming, light filled kid that she is.  In the evening, I went to work, and yet again, my Muse went out of her way to avoid me.  Breaks my heart every time.  Truly.

My head and heart have been so full of motion since waking up this morning, even though I am still sitting here with bed head and no pants on after 4pm.  (Depression is a bitch.)  Amy called to check on me, and I've shot a few letters back and forth with Brian, and I feel blessed and lonely all at the same time.  Why can't I find peace in my solitude anymore?

There was a bit of something in the air, just a bit, a little before noon.  I heard a new tune from Tim Bowness, whose voice I adore, and watched a video about a cartoonist I'd not heard of who died recently.  (The fact that she was a trans woman pushed all kinds of buttons for me.)  I watched a Daryl Hall webcast and was saddened to hear that T-Bone Wolk died last year.

The last tune Daryl sang was The Weight, and I found myself singing along, thinking again about how much I need to sing.  When I sing, I am not the public Icarus, nor the private Icarus.  I am not the words I am singing.  I am something else, in love with melody.  I'm not explaining it right.  But there is something in there.  Something I need to find.

Alright.  Out for a little fun.  More tonight.

20110519

Enough Fucking Rain Already ...










































Oh, how it rained today!

Well, it's been raining for days, but I don't start to care until it threatens a Wednesday.  Then I care.  Then I get cranky.  Mercifully, there were two breaks in the constant deluge, around 1pm at Sandy Hook, and from about 4 - 6 at Avon.  This was enough time to walk around, to take some pictures, and to ground some of the ever present angst.

I've been dreading taking "press" photos for Icarus, as you might imagine, but with The Institute launched, and with Coilhouse set to expose Idirlion to the world any day now, obviously some changes needed to be made.  E was kind enough to take close to 40 pictures of this unfortunate, scowling mug, and I think we got two or three I can live with.

We ate Chinese food in the gazebo, sat waaaaay too late at the Perk and after a stop at the Windmill, didn't get home 'til around 1230.  Quite a miracle, considering the rain had me ready to phone the day in at around 3pm.  Thank you to The Lady, of course, for the miracle dry spells, and to the roiling, rambunctious sea for showing me what power and mystery are all about.

20110518

A Quiet Day ...

Today was a quiet day.  Mostly very slow.  Cool up in The Womb.  I got into a groove in the afternoon, listening to Tony Bennett & K.D. Lang and Bill Evans and Chet Baker.  I spoke to Amy for a bit, and was finally able to share with her the ending of The Muse story.

I went to the 'Seed for my usual Tuesday night shift, and Brian came to sit with me.  We talked about Institute stuff, Icarus stuff, and he reaffirmed yet again what a tremendous friend he is.  After I closed the office, we went to the diner and kept talking and it was grand.

Some days are simple.  Not many.  But some.  Ahhhhh ...

20110517

I Believe A Man Can Fly ...















I try very hard not to go on and on about sci-fi / fantasy / comic book stuff in here too much.  Though these types of stories have long served as some of the most potent metaphors in my life (this goes back to seeing Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back when I was five years old) I wouldn't want to bore everyone to tears with my geek acumen.  So despite the fact that I think about genre stuff pretty much every day, I mostly keep it to myself.

I think the last time I shamelessly went all out was when the Tenth Doctor regenerated on New Year's Day 2010.  Maybe it's something about endings that inspires me to break my silence?  I don't know.  Anyway, as you may have guessed from the picture above, Smallville ended a few days ago, after ten seasons, and E and I watched the two hour finale earlier this evening.  It was everything I could have wanted, from an ending that was also a beginning.

Despite my own darkness, or maybe because of it, Superman has always been my hero.  I got my first Superman comics from my grandfather, who died when I was seven years old.  He taught me all about Krypton and Ma and Pa Kent and the whole thing.  (He planted lots of seeds, that man.  Bless him.)  Growing up, I always wished I had parents like the Kents.  They were so kind.  Maybe I could've been from another world then too, y'know ... ?

I worshipped the Christopher Reeve movies growing up (yes, even the one with Richard Pryor) and though I missed large chunks of Smallville over the years, I've been watching this final season religiously.  Tom Welling grew so wonderfully into the role of Clark, and his relationship with Lois, played by Erica Durance, really struck a nerve, even before March.  It's been an awesome nine months getting reacquainted with old friends.

I'm not ashamed to say I cried a few times during the show.  The suit.  The flying.  The visions of Pa Kent (played by the still cool John Schneider).  For the second time this week, I was so glad to be a comic fan, and was grateful that the great characters always seem to find a way to be there for us somehow, no matter how difficult life may be.  Sure, two kids from Cleveland created him in the 30's, but something bigger than that stepped through.

Other than all of this, today was a ugh sort of day.  Mondays are always my home alone days, which doesn't sit well, of course.  Bug and I did manage to do a flier for the Institute in the evening, which turned out nice, then the three of us all scrambled down into the basement to do some cleaning, in order to avoid any trouble with the landlords.  It was tough work, but the result surprised even us.  Nothing like a fear induced deadline, I suppose.

Alright.  Enough for now.  Bed.

20110516

The Work of the East ...

I was just gifted with a beautiful poem, a private poem about the sea, which pushed the ache away for a few minutes, which is all one can really ask for.  Before I was gifted with the poem, I was reading about the letters of Emily Dickinson, and thinking about silence, which I need to learn to embrace again.

In all of my new bios, I say that Icarus is a writer, photographer, musician, shaman and chaos magician.  Though I do write in here every day, it's not the same as WRITING.  For me, writing has always meant silence and solitude, two old friends I am not currently getting on with.  All of my good poems come from that quiet.

I am stating the intention that on my pilgrimage, in addition to the music I will make and the photos I will take, I will create time for that silence, to become a WRITER again.  Maybe I'll bring back the three line poems.  Maybe I'll write a completely different autobiographical book about transformation than the one I think I am writing.  I don't know.

But sitting here on the floor, listening to K.D Lang, looking at the spines of all the books on my shelves, I feel something stirring, something that's telling me to do the work of the East, to make something useful of all this pain.  All the great poets have done so.  If I wish to be great, I suppose I should try.

I saw The Muse at work this morning, for the first time since her final rejection on Monday.  The pain and fear in her eyes hasn't gone anywhere, and it just keeps breaking my heart.  I simply can't take seeing her anymore.  She graduates in three weeks, I leave in six, and that will be that.  Obviously that's not what I want, but it's just so destructive at this point ...

(On a lighter note, speaking of destructive, we went to see Thor this evening, which was great fun, as all Marvel movies are.  Loki, in particular, stood out as being particularly compelling and realistic, from a certain perspective.  Huzzah for Kenneth Branagh, for taking the material seriously.  Makes me glad to be a comic fan.)

Alright.  Enough for one day.  Good night.

20110515

Cave of Forgotten Dreams ...

It's Sunday morning, and I am down in the tomb (errrr ... I mean the Starseed office) with a little time to write between classes.  I wish so much that I could have written last night before bed, but I was in such a state (in a good way, for a change) that what came out would have been barely coherent.

After spending the afternoon at Whole Foods with Amy, promoting The Institute, I was feeling very vulnerable about my new name being public.  I don't know why, but for some reason, it feels harder explaining this regeneration to people than the last one.  I really don't know why.

Heading back towards home in the late afternoon, I sank into a morbid depression.  Mercifully, E was into spending some time together, which led to our second consecutive evening of time spending, on the heels of Friday's walk around Packanack Lake after my Flame Shift.

We went up to PPP, which still feels like a novelty after eighteen months of sequestering.  We had a tasty dinner at the food court, then decided to go to the AMC to see a strange and wonderful film called Cave of Forgotten Dreams.  What happened next was amazing ...

We were both tired, and expecting an IMAX type film, full of inspiring vistas and uplifting music.  What we got was a mind blowing European exploration into ... I'm not exactly sure what!  It was beautiful.  It was existential.  It was downright hallucinogenic in places.

The avant garde soundtrack (mostly chamber music) really enhanced the experience, as did the fact that we kept falling asleep.  Normally you would think that would be a bad thing, or indicative of a lousy film, but no ... this was quite the opposite.

I honestly think this would have been awesome in the middle of the day, wide awake to the world.  I really do.  But seeing it (maybe feeling it would be a better description) this way felt like such a treasure, such a fleeting, magickal moment.

We drove home in a daze, wondering if this is kind of what people feel like when they are stoned.  Bug even told me that the message I left on her voice mail before I went to bed (she was out late herself) sounded like I was high, which in a weird way, was a good thing.

Of course, the best part of all this is that I wasn't morbidly depressed anymore.  Thank you Pal-o!  Thank you Werner Herzog!  Thank you long ago people from the past who painted that cave!

20110514

Flame Shift #36 ...

Finally, a productive Flame Shift!!!

After several lame Shifts in a row, The Lady finally blasted me with enough Fire to get through my ever present fog, at least for 24 hours.  Last night was huge, obviously, with the whole plane ticket thing.  Today was busy and inspired, a fair amount of it spent getting the brochure for the Shamanic Institute into shape.

She also helped me to make the final decision about my last name, which I've been weighing for weeks now.  (I never intended to be a single named individual!)  Her requirement was that it was Irish.  Mine was that is was super simple, preferably one syllable, to balance out the rather extravagant first name I find myself with these days.

As you can see by the amended profile to the right, Quinn fits all the requirements  It means wisdom, which is always a good thing to have more of, and for someone who likes to sign my name using initials, I.Q. is tough to beat.  And so, the process is complete.  Icarus Quinn will walk those hills, until such time that this form no longer serves.

What a strange, fluid life I lead.

20110513

My Wandering Times ...

It's possible, though unlikely, that long time readers of mine might remember a reference I made on March 9th (on my previous blog, actually) to My Wandering Times.  I was on top of a mountain, which is as good a place as any to have a crystal clear vision of your future.  It's taken a little over two months to make the vision a reality, but now that it is utterly and completely real, I am allowed to speak of it, magickally and shamanically.

On Thursday June 23rd, I will be leaving on a pilgrimage / vision quest / mad adventure to England and Ireland.  My passport got here a few days ago.  This evening, I got my one way ticket.  I have absolutely no idea when I will be coming back.  The Shamanic Institute begins on September 25th, so I suppose I will need to be back in time to prepare for that, but I simply will not put limits on this.  It's too important.  Maybe the most important thing I've ever done.

Do I really have to explain why I am doing this, why I need to go alone and walk the moors and shout at the wind and hear the stories of people I've only ever known in books?  Shamanism is about walking headlong into the unknown, into things that frighten you.  I've never been away from North America, never traveled alone, never traveled for even remotely this length of time.  Terrifying?  Damn right.  Exhilarating?  What do you think?

The places I will go are like something from a story : London, Oxford, Glastonbury, The Cotswolds, Devon, Cornwall, The Lake District, The Hill of Tara, Bhride's Well at Kildare, Donegal, Iona, The Outer Hebrides, etc etc etc.  I have no itinerary, no plan.  I will be light on my feet, the better to hear The Lady, the better to let the land tell me where my feet should take me.  Honestly, I can't even imagine what this is going to be like.

Clearly I will not be the same person whenever I do return, and that scares me.  (Nevermind the fact that I know in my heart that I won't really even WANT to return.)  Change does seem to be the prime engine in my life, though, along with shape shifting and the acquisition of power, so this adventure feels exactly like what I need to be doing right now, the culmination of this last eighteen months of insanity.  My god, I cannot wait ...

20110512

A Late Starting Wednesday ...























It was a late starting Wednesday.  I carried more than my share of melancholy with me to the sea, which was lovely and blue and full of life.  The horseshoe crabs were back at Sandy Hook Bay, where the seeds for my love of this area were planted one year ago.

The warmer weather means the return of people to the sea, which is difficult after seven months of deep quiet, but at least it means new places to eat are opening up, like TR's in Belmar, which had some rather interesting decorative touches.  Aliens FTW!

There was mystery at sunset. There is always mystery at sunset.  Such a pity I can't carry it with me, that it can't sustain me.  Maybe one day.