Saturday, June 26, 2004

Wondering about the gods. I find myself thinking a lot about the gods these days. Especially I think about Isis and Osiris and the story of her traveling to reunite herself with her husband/son and restore things to a balance. There are a lot of variations of this story but I think that there is a need to understand a few things about myths. Like Joe Campbell, I see myths not as ancient stories, but as ongoing images which guide us in our lives. Thus, Isis and Osiris easily slides into the masks of Mary and Jesus, although I think originally the story was more like Mary Magdalene and Joshua bin Joseph. Nevertheless the female buries the male and he emerges healed and together they rule the world.

Knowing a few things is sometimes enough.

Let's work on a scattering of pieces of the story and names may change and faces may change but it's the best that can be done in this life. Trickster is in charge as we speak. Seth, Odin-Loki, Trickster, is causing us to wage war...sure.... but how are we waging war in the first place? Not why, for we are told there is no why. That might mean we should toss "Y" out of the alphabet to understand that particular puzzle-code, or maybe just the same thing our father says to us the 40th time we ask "Why?" and He responds with "Because I say so." or as when Moses asked too many questions, "I am that I am". Always a question answered with a puzzle, another mark of the Trickster. This is a good clue that He is in charge and has been for awhile, at least as long as the ancient Jews.

Now, in the Isis story she finds his parts and brings them together. Whose parts? Her husband-son. How is he both husband and son? Because She is the mother-wife, the one who gave birth to the son and thru him gave birth to the others. The symbol that Anhkaten used for his One-god was a solar orb with many hands reaching down with gifts. The normal European view is that it is a solar orb reaching down with gifts, but if the symbol is of a greater truth the symbol would not be literal, but a guide for the mind to meditate upon, like the mandala. So the big round yellow-gold thing can be a source of pure energy, the ONE from which all other things come down. I have seen the image of shafts of light descending thru the clouds and thought how we are like that. Our souls are but parts of a single soul which passes into many manifestations to create infinite knowledge and life. Thus we have a neutral being split initially into two parts, called male and female, form and force, Isis and Osiris. Each half begets halves, usually described as opposites, but perhaps should be thought of as ends of a single piece, as in the alpha and omega are ends of the whole. Thus the First Mother can be expressed and understood by seeing the more male part of her personality, the mask she wears in her butch mode, and the more feminine part, the mask she wears when she is light and dancing and sexy. The First Father, Binah, is seen in two modes, his female caring, giving side...the farmer...and the masculine side maybe slaughtering the sheep or humping the mother.

Splitting hairs like this, like the view in the cyclotron window, we see the tree of life take form.

Now the Evil Uncle Seth kills the Father. Taking the form of the First Father is a sign of the Trickster, like Loki taking on the form of the Mare, which is a symbol of the Great Mother, older than Freya. Like Thor taking on the form of the Bride to retrieve his hammer. If the hammer is seen as a symbol of destructive force we get one meaning, but if we see the hammer as a phallus we get another. He dresses as a woman to get his mojo back. And Trickster helps.

Why? There is no Why, only how.

So inverse some of the traditional myths we are taught, because Trickster is in charge now and he always will reverse the clues. Thus the God of Life and Light, Great Yahweh, becomes the God of the Atom Bomb. America, land of the Free, becomes a fascist state in order to promote democracy. Each inversion is a sign of the Trickster being in charge. Gay marriages are signs of devotion and the rule of law. Two people love one another and wish to express that two have become one, like the lightning going back up the Tree, but that will be a union which will bring back the One and then Trickster will not be in charge...which in the BIG PICTURE, is exactly what He wants. This is why the One takes on the mask of the Trickster. Well, not why, but how. There is no why.

The father tells the son a story of monsters, to frighten and make the son stay in bed while the father humps the mother. But the son wants to be strong, like the father, not understanding the need for the humping and he leaves the bed and marches into the bedroom where he hears the moans and struggles and thinks to kill the monster. He kills, instead, the father. Now he is the father, the man of the house and he gets to hump the mother. IN the realm of the gods the son can hump the mother while the mother seeks to restore the father. Because the gods don't die, they simply put on another mask. The father wears the son mask to further excite the mother so the sex is good. And sex is about union, about achieving the ONE, the climax, the top of the Tree. Cross dressing gods look down on cross dressing humans and the Trickster stirs them up with unending wars and confusion. He scatters the Word with Bibles and Korans and Babylon becomes the primary motif of the 21st century. That's why we are in Iraq. But there is no why, only how. You don't ask why you want to hump, only how do you get some.

The scattered pieces of the Father can correspond to the scattered tribes of Israel, but only insofar as the story of the scattered tribes is the story of the scattered pieces of Osiris. The idea being to bring together the pieces, to connect the dots, a phrase we hear a lot these days. The image will appear time and again, the codes will be broken, the puzzles will come together and the Father will be rejoined. He gets to hump the Mother again, the Earth is renewed and things grow again. The U.N. can be a symbol of the union of the tribes, so the Trickster, in the form of the American President, seeks to bring it down. The Father who isn't, because the Bush was not elected but selected. He burns with a inner fire, says he is Born Again, like Osiris was born again and Christ was born again, but his answers are as unsatisfying as "I am that I am". What the fuck does that mean? Just that He exists. The rest of the Answer is in the scattered pieces of the puzzle.

Truth is a lie, in the words of the Trickster, because the Trickster is a Lie. He is the Uncle, the brother of the father, and he wants to hump the mother so he assumes the Mask of the Father. He sends the Son out on a mission, which will save the people and bring great power to the Son. The Son will then, in all likelihood, get to hump the Mother. Go
get the Arrows of the Sun and return to become the leader of the tribe. The arrows of the sun are the arms of the Aten, the scattered tribes of Israel, the pieces of the puzzle. And it gets the kid out of the house while the uncle humps the mother.

Meanwhile the mother searches for the pieces of the puzzle, the parts of the Father. Thus we get pagans suddenly springing up, helping eco-warriors and praying by the full moon, empowering the Mother and bringing from the Lies in the Books words of truth. Mary at the Tomb was Mary Magdalene, Priestess and representative of the Mother. Presumably Jesus was humping Mary in symbolic, if not physical, form. The Trickster, wearing the Mask of the Judas, the Goat, betrays with a kiss and the Christ is reborn and the body is scattered. We get little wooden boxes with the toe of a saint and bits of glass with a piece of the cross soaked in Blood of the Lamb. I suppose Judas wanted to hump Mary as well.

Hamlet wondered if he should Be or Not, as the Father wondered if he should Be or Not. The "Not" in question cannot be a not as in not here, because nothing can be destroyed, only changed, or disguised, as in wearing a mask. So is the "not" a "knot", another symbol of the Great Mother? The women in pre-tech tribes taught the men to weave nets or webs and it got them out of the house while the women made pots from clay, the flesh of the Earth. In secret wombs of earth they fed in flesh of the trees and added the force of the sun in the form of fire and created that which was new, but not new, useful for holding and hiding. And the men came back with nets and bloody flesh and the women took honey and held it in the pots for a moon of time to create a drink which made the men both strong and weak, clever and silly, sexy and sleepy. Men, drunk and aroused, wanted to both hump and hide, to climb back into the womb. And in time they did, buried with flowers and spears and nets, taken back to change and emerge as new men. Life was Good. No whys but how. Not wise, but whole. Mother-sister-brother-father-lovers became as One, became One and the circle was perfect.

Trickster exists in imbalance, in movement. Trickster is the force of change, therefore of Life, for Life is Change. The perfect circle excludes Trickster and he breaks out, and you get a moron in the White House raining fire onto the children of Babylon, in the Name of a God who preached that even to protect your own life you must not strike out, better to die on the cross and return to the Mother than kill your brother. Thus the crime of Cain could be atoned for. But the followers of Trickster wrote the Book and the Tower of Babylon was burned and toppled and the People scattered. Not Why but How.

The Serpent was probably the Uncle, the Trickster in a different form. He told the truth to Eve, the first Mother. The Father did not destroy the Garden, but excluded the first family. How? By placing an angel with a fiery sword at the gate. Would the angel have used the sword on Adam and Eve, taken their life if they tried to come back into the garden? Would murder be the tool of redemption? Say they turned around and refused to leave. Would the sword have struck them down, spilled blood on the Earth and lost the first People? Odd that this is not the story, that taking their knowledge of Good and Evil they did not confront their Father and asked "Why" did you lie to us? Why did you say we would die when that fruit brought knowledge, gnosis, not death? But there is no Why, only How.

How did the Father deceive the Pair? With Words. Words which are not Truth are marks of the Trickster. Thus the first "Father" in the Garden was the Trickster, not the Father at all. Chances are the Father was meditating on something arcane and wonderful, like weaving nets or naming plants. The Uncle, the Trickster, the part of the Male which was extreme and out of balance, wanted to climb that Tree of Life, the Great Mother, to hump the Wife, and drove the kids out of the room, the garden with a phony sword and a quest to multiply, suffer, die, conquer, goof off, get into the White House and generally stay out of the way.


And then the question becomes "What?" What to do with this knowledge, this gnosis? I suspect we need to tear off the mask of the Trickster, reveal him for our Uncle, not our Father. We need to go into the Garden, to replenish the earth, to honor the Mother, to hump Her sweetly and help her find the parts of the father so Osiris can tell Seth to piss off. As I understand it, it has something to do with making the Child immortal, or at least better than before, to follow the sweet smell of the Tree and to ask for, not take the Tree. The Father will be changed, but the Family will be made whole and the Garden will be ours again. Next time we should not ask Why, but Who? as in Who are You to tell us what to do? I suggest we check with the Mother when the Father tells us something that sounds suspect, especially if it involves killing our brothers and sisters.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

A week ago a doctor and the director of the brain-computer interface project went to see Jon. I was hoping he would have a good day, that the dogs would be there and Jon would have his hand on the dogs, watching them and getting excited. I hoped that when they called his name he would turn his head and look at them. He had a bad day. He didn't acknowlege them at all. Now they aren't sure what to do. She says she is not really very good at doing what the doctor in Germany does, "coma detection". It's when they run a bunch of tests to see if the person is responding, but unable to move. They can track the brain waves and see appropriate waves when certain stimulas are given. She wants me to come down with her someday when I can, to see what he will do with me.

I'm putting siding on the house, staining it grey and trying to make a 1940's ranch look like a contemporary. I had them put in a back door, one that opens into Jon's old room. It's a small room but now, with a ramp, Jon could come home and see his posters on the wall and the view from the window would be one he knows. He can't come home until the trache is removed. I can't push a plastic tube down his lungs and suction up the liquids which build up there. I know a woman who does it to her mother and she says she cries while she does it. I think I would just lock up, freeze in place. I don't think I could get my arms and hands to do that thing. I know it's a good thing, like shots of insulin to a diabetic, but I have my limits.

The vertebrae in my back have bony spurs on them and inflamed tissue around there. Some of my discs protrude, banging into the spinal nerve and causing shooting pains down my leg like a nail gun has ben fired into my thigh. It tingles all the time, which is odd because the thigh has become otherwise pretty numb, like a sheet of leather has been grafted onto it. But it stings, burns and tingles under that leather. I have just the south side of the house to do now, but that's one of the sides with a peak, so the top it about 20 feet up. I need to rent scaffolding so I can get up there and not be clinging to a ladder with some boards attached. I did that on the north side. Today I moved a ladder without looking and a hammer fell from the top and hit my head. Wheneever I get hit on the head these days I immediately see the empty bed in Jon's room. I think about me in a wheelchair next to Jon, learning to move my fingers again. A simple bump on the head can do that. I've met people who fell from ladders, or tripped on a sidewalk. I don't want to lose the few things I do well, like my sculpture, my writing, even my hugs,

I'm on the same drug that Jon is on. Mine controls most of the sciatic pain, Jon's controls his seizures. It also makes you a bit sleepy and damages your memory. I forget a lot of things, like going to the store and forgeting the one thing I went in to get and coming back with half a dozen things we already have. We have a lot of paper towels now, anyway.

This morning we missed the bus for my wife to go to work. She wasn't happy with the outfit she had on so we went back to the house to change and I would drive her down to work. It's a 2 hour drive there and back again so I was anticipating the amount of pain I would be in by the time I got home. As we pulled into the driveway we both saw them at the same time. Two beautiful young does were in the back yard, standing butt to butt in exactly the same pose, like bookends. Perfect twins. We stared at one another in silence, then they bolted and ran off to the slope where we have apple trees and a small pool of water. My sweetheart loves to see deer. One year one was muching apples a few feet from our bedroom window and we could hear her chewing!

So, despite the bumped head and acheing back and stained fingers, and despite being frantic to get to work on time, the Goddess Mother let us see her daughters and so we are blessed. Things are good, work is being done, my boy is still alive and healing, my daughter is still beautiful and smart. I have a beautiful wife and a cute little house, mostly. I have a studio and kilns and under the apple tree as I write I expect you could hear the soft movements of the deer under the moon and stars, doing what they do while I do what I do.

There is time enough for everything to happen if we can remember to wait for it.

Monday, June 14, 2004

In two days the people from the Brain-Computer Interface project will drive down to see Jon, to see what kind of shape he's in and if they think just offhand if maybe he's "locked-in" or just dead in the water. They may end up with him wired up to a machine that will detect electrical waves from various parts of the brain, parts that reference things like arms and legs, but also memories and vision. As they prod and stimulate and ask him questions, they hope to be able to figure out if he hears and recognizes, sees and understands. They also will try to develop some idea if his mind can stay on the subject long enough for him to do something, even if only in his imagination.

This is one of those projects which has so little potential to create profit that it would be cancelled in the blink of an eye if funds got short. This is one of those projects which could prove certain people in powerful positions wrong in such a dynamic manner that lawyers could be brought in and suits could be filed. This is one of those projects that could enable a silent mind to speak up, by blinking a light or moving a cursor. Like Helen Keller having her palm scribbled on, Jon could find himself being prodded in his dream.

Last week Jon turned his head to look at his sister. He focused on my face as I spoke to him and when I stopped, he looked at the ceiling. A dog trainer with three Australian Shepherds took Jon's hand and stroked the head of one dog. Jon's eyes went wildly from side to side, either trying to find the animal or to control his excitement. Then he caught the dog with his vision and stared as the owner moved his hand along the head of the dog. Jon remembered Wishes, his silly lab now being held in Arizona by a sometime friend. He remembered the summer in Alaska with a buddy and his dog, living in the van and watching the sunsets, looking for work, hiking in the woods.

Jon remembered and when I told him I would try harder to find a replacement for Wishes, he looked as if he didn't really believe me, but towards the end he looked as if he might just try. Now I have to figure out if a puppy would be good for him, sitting on his lap, chewing on his fingers, barking at the wrong time, but being lovable and piss-silly. Or would a mature, trained dog like one of these three be better? A dog that wouldn't jump up on his lap, pulling out the feeding tube, licking an unprotected trache site.

We need a dog that could sit in the car for two hours, waiting to see the man in the bed. Jon needs a dog that would make him want to lift his head, to focus his vision, to go out into the sun and toss sticks with his bent hands. They've given up trying to find the hand splints to correct the twisted fingers. They've given up trying to tell me that Jon is going to rise up some day and learn to use a walker. But has Jon given up? The machine might tell us.

If his electrodes carry the right signals at the right time, even if Jon is staring at the ceiling, the doctors may be able to tell me that Jon knows I am there, maybe even probably even knows who I am.

In a box in the past, a stainless steel box on legs with wheels I held a tiny hand and said "Hello, Jon, I'm your father, and I will be taking care of you in this life." In a chair in the present, a chair with wheels, I hold a twisted hand and say, "Jon, this is your father and I'm trying to take care of you."

My father always told me I was worthless as tits on a boar hog. My sister once told me I had ruined Jon's life and should do the world a favor and put a bullet thru my brain. A wife once told me that living with me was Hell. An employer once told me, as I sat in a drug fogged haze of pain and tension, that I was just not trying. With all these assets, with all this encouragement, I am facing off against the medical system, against people with college degrees and years of experience, and I am trying to reach out to my boy and give him a lifeline to the world.

I've already said my goodbyes to Jon, years ago when I left the ICU and those terrible beeping boxes and pumping machines filled with his breath. I am trying to say "Hello again." If this new box should, like Pandora's treasure, be opened and reveal demons and ghosts and recriminations and guilt, I have some faith that at the bottom still is hope.
I'm a gardener. I plant seeds and water and guard and encourage. In the end I sometimes am nurtured in return. I AM trying to be worthy, and as I guide my boy back from Hell, I remember the instructions to never look back.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Today I find myself with the control over the life of another. I could take this life or not, free the beast or not.... lots of things to do or not. A skunk might have been chewing on my beans and sunflowers... hard to say, but someone did, maybe a skunk, maybe a woodchuck, but the skunk in the cage was the one that I caught. And now I could walk it down to the stream and lower the cage into the water, slowly, slowly...asking questions it doesn't understand while it tries to figure out how to get out, how to run back to it's home and even maybe it's children. I don't even know if this animal is a female or male. And I don't care. My garden was violated and some one must pay. Tonight the trap goes back out, empty and waiting and maybe tomorrow some other beast will wait in fear for the appearance of the Great Ape and destiny.

Our boys and girls in Iraq had a similar problem and did rather badly with it. I fear the grade at the top of their papers must read "F".

The analogy of the Garden is found throughout history....long before the Jews and their Testaments and Genesis and Moses. In later years the Garden is also an analogy to the Body and our Spirit is caught in the cage of our Body, with God the Gardener having control of us, asking questions we cannot understand, sometimes lowering us into the Stream of Time while we, panicked, try to claw our way out. Sometimes all we did was Believe in Truth as we saw it. The fruit, the bait was there and we took it as we always do, unaware that this fruit was not to be touched. So we find ourselves in a cage not of our making, waiting our fate.

In it's own world the skunk is powerful and yet peaceful, attacking only when pressed... no pre-emptive strikes in the Real World, just animals in the Stream of Time, scratching at the walls of the Cage, trying to understand why that blob of peanut butter...such a rare out in the open....was wrong to eat.

The skunk is not a powerful beast per se, but it hides a secret, a power so great that it can blind and make the strongest beasts run, screaming into the waters. The skunk warns and stamps and pleads in a way for the confrontation not to occur, but the attacker will not listen and so the weapon is unleashed and even the plants nearby will die and for some time after the area is unclean and dangerous. This is it's fate and now I hold it's life in my hands. I cannot see very well in the dark, and wandering in my garden in the moonlight I have held out my hand to the skunk, thinking it was a cat, risking my eyes and body. This is not acceptable in my mind and in my eyes and so the trap was put out and the Garden will be cleansed.

I have a white cloth from the days of my daughter's crib. It served as a sheet and today I will drape the trap in white and remove it to a far away place where skunks run free and peanut putter is unknown. Maybe the skunk will try to explain the trap, the white cloth and the journey in the dark, and maybe the others will not understand. I wonder about it, I try to explain to others, but they will not understand, they cannot see the analogy. Like walking on water or feeding with a loaf of bread those many people on the mount, they cannot and will not understand. Mistakes may be made and people may be plunged into the waters, screaming and afraid, but not because I told them to. I never said kill the children for the crimes of the father. I never said hate those who make mistakes or who cannot understand the words I spoke so long ago. Lifetimes pass and summers burn and winters freeze and another skunk pushes through the weeds and berries, aware of those which feed and those which hurt. It smells and feels food ahead and wanders where it shouldn't and another foolish beast is caught and carried away.

You never hear of the First Parents weeding in the Garden, just wandering, naming and eating, right and wrong. The cage they are caught in is the Truth and their bodies are the reason they were trapped in their nakedness, but in Truth, all they learned was that their Father was not the First, that the Fruit was not poison and that Father was to be feared. They were not ashamed of their nakedness, because all the animals in the garden were naked. They were ashamed of their foolishness at believing a lie. I think if they had not been cast out they would have left sooner or later, because their Father had lied to them and then they knew that their Father could not be trusted, but had tricked them into a trap not of their making, but a trap which condemned them to a fate.

You can't go back again, but you can find another place to go. When the cage is opened and the new land is revealed, you can go, free, and tell the others. Tell them all that the Garden is closed to them forever, and the peanut butter of Truth is not for them. I say this now knowing that others will, in truth, follow the wrong path. They will partake of the forbidden and will be cast out of the garden and perhaps children will wail in some dark hole, waiting for the parent that will never return. By my hands have I done this, and my heart is heavy as I do this, but the fruit of the garden is for me and mine, and not the beasts.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Now the garden is dense with plants. I'm choosing and picking and plucking out weeds, herbs and so forth. I transplant the ones I know have something good for me, sometimes I tolerate a weed that simply looks nice. I noticed that some of the nice looking young weeds turn into gangly, awkward looking things that have hooks or needles or foul smelling blooms. Some plants like valerian have terrible smelling roots but beautiful flowers that fill the air around them with perfume. The roots are what kill the pain and since they can come up from root parts if you are careful when you harvest them you can propagate while harvesting.

I was thinking about God as gardener. The first book of the Old Testament deals with God as Gardener. The two first sons of Adam and Eve were hunter and gardener. Given the choice of sacrificial fruit or sacrificial animal, guess which one Trickster took? Curious how many times old Trickster took the opportunity to drink blood. But as a gardener Yahweh is interesting. He tills under whole cities to clear room for his Chosen Ones. He burns, plagues, and floods, and when that doesn't work he sends in the troops. Always choosing the slain, choosing the ones who will grow and worship Him. He feeds on worship the way I feed on radishes.

Sometimes you take a nice young tree, like Lot. You cut off some branches, bend the ones you left and end up with a pretty shaped tree against the wall. And during the whole process Lot insists he doesn't mind. Doesn't mind losing his wife and kids, doesn't mind being given others. As long as the roots are not cut in the garden everything will grow and prosper. Fat chance.

When it rains and when the sun shines the garden grows like crazy, as if growing were the one thing you think about. Putting out shoots, putting out seeds, making new versions of yourself. Some plants grab at God as He walks thru the garden, reminding Him of promises, of encroaching weeds....those of other faiths. The Motherwort bush is a fine weed with pretty white flowers and dainty leaves. It's value for women is known throughout...hence the name. Lactating women find it valuable to maintain the flow of sustenance to their young ones. Yet the gardeners pull it out and throw it away, preferring useless grass in vast expanses. Flat featureless planes of green is the choice of so many. All the same mindset, all the same patterns. God on His John Deere making sure nobody gets ahead of anybody else.

Trickster put on his Son mask and went down into the Garden. He pretended to die, to heal, to forgive. Then when the play was over and all the plants were waving in happy unison, he left. The plants grew willy nilly and everywhere, spreading the word, spreading the roots. Then He came and weeded and chopped....the Crusades, the Red Plague, the Vatican....WW1 (war to end war) or (end to end war) I always forget which is which.

Nixon was born again, always praying. The two Bushes from which we receive the Holy Word are both born again. Both weeding and plucking, weeding and plowing under all those who do not like green lawns and John Deere tractors. I think maybe they need to be born a couple more times, just to be sure. Maybe as a Pagan following the Goddess Way, maybe as Jains with bell-hung sticks to warn off the bugs and mice. See Jain run, see Jain run for President. See Dick fall to his knees praying for the Viet Nam War to go away. See Spot, see Spot run, see Spot run not blot. Running like a dog let loose, like Cerebus barking and guarding the garden, running off those who will not mow.

It's June, time of the Solstice, bonfires burning in the night to welcome the middle of summer, the waning of the daylight. The door is opening to winter, but in the meantime I am out in the garden, sowing, not mowing. Planting, not stamping. My battle against the weeds is more of a forced relocation than a pogrom or an ethnic cleansing. She watches me move around, my Mother of the Weeds. She gives me rain when I need it, rain when the plants need it. When me aches from bending and shoveling She gives me valerian with it's pretty pink flowers and soft smells of summer. I sigh and close my eyes and send the sights and smells thru some cosmic connection to my son in his bed, to my friends around the world. I hope the smell of the garden will drown out the smells of the gunpowder and blood which wafts around the ruins of the First Garden, the one Adam and Eve were thrown out of.