Sunday, July 29, 2018

sylvia - poem

In this space -
here and now, beginning and ending -
she exists between it all.
A colour not yet defined of her eyes
appears when she touches me.
I am a humble man
set before a most banal path
that she placed before me
over a simple game of chess.
She came to me when she had no one.
The world, she claimed, wanted to
put her out, douse the flames to cool her skin.
Are you too much for Life, I asked,
not expecting an answer.
You see me as I once was, she replied.
When I danced with gods
and slept with demons.
I want to hold her pale sturdy body,
caress her hair that moves on command,
and feel her lips next to mine
as she tries to steal my soul.
Can she, this woman from misused words -
can she survive out there?
Does she desire such power?
When she sees me, dear friend
and fellow scholar of the dark,
does she understand
that my thoughts will consume her?
I hate my flawed skin,
the hair that grows on my face
and covers my lies.
She touches me like a pet -
cautious and careful with a hint
of cruelty.
I want to fall to my knees
and beg for her to not go away.
Don't leave me here among those who are blind.
You say you understand me, she says,
yet you haven't listened.
She wants to love and forget me
because she knows I share her blood.
I am real, I whisper to her.
Touch the wounds, taste my blood of yours,
let me cover you and give you refuge
in between it all.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Grim Dark Shakespeare

It's been some time since I last visited the realm of Warhammer 40K. Through the grim dark, I created a special "fondness" for the Eldar and the Dark Eldar. These two "races" take decadence and raise it several thousand levels - a blessing and very much a curse. However, in delving into The Masque of Vyle, a novella by Andy Chambers, I was "introduced" to the Harlequins. Mysterious and dangerous, they are the "thespians" that can bring you to your knees with their dramas . . or leave you completely insane and covered in gore seeping from your body. This story gives a nod to Shakespeare while giving what 40K fans come to expect from the Harlequins.

An abandoned and desecrated Craftword is discovered by a group of Harlequins within the webway and they take it upon themselves to discover who did it and why. To desecrate a Craftworld is akin to sacrilege to the Eldar. They soon find themselves within an area of the Dark Eldar known as the Sable Marches and decide to do what they do best - put on a performance. However, this performance also serves as a way to discover the truth behind the desecrated Craftworld with a price that must be paid in blood.

If you are not familiar with 40k and the Eldar, let me give you a brief rundown: the Eldar are just one race within the grim dark universe of 40K. They are beyond beautiful with an edge for killing, torture, and anything that pleases them beyond normal (and rational) understanding. Enhance that over a 1000 times and you have the Dark Eldar. However, it was due to their excesses that they involuntarily created a Chaos god - Slaanesh or She Who Thirsts. Because of their choices and the birth of Slaanesh, the Eldar and Dark Eldar keep themselves hidden from her; if she discovers them, she "welcomes them home", to put it mildly. If you want to learn more about the Eldar and Dark Eldar, I highly recommend this novella with its well written story, Shakespearian plot, and much action, decadence, and violence. I also recommend looking at the CODEX for the Eldar, Dark Eldar, and the Craftworlds as well - I own all three, of course. The Black Library is the website of all books within the 40K realm- go check it out to start your path down that dark road.


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Confessions of a Southern Taoist - Gratitude of Grief

I’m currently working through a 31 day meditation that focuses on gratitude. Gratitude for your body, your mind, emotions, everything. Today’s topic was on grief. The meditation instructor read a quote about how grief is love that is left over. We still love those whom we’ve lost, or a dream we wanted so badly to happen and it didn’t. I’ve lost family members, friends who took different directions, and dreams I once had that never happened. Yet, in looking at what we’ve lost, we are also reminded as to what we still have. I’m grateful for the friends who are still in my life, the dreams that continue to unfold, and the ability to embrace it all. 


Monday, July 16, 2018

Confessions of a Southern Taoist - Monday

Monday is usually Do Nothing Day for me - I come in from work, put on my jamy jams, eat dinner, then play video games/read/watch movies as a way to relax and enjoy some down time. However, this Monday was more of my usual working time - after my glorious trip to NOLA, I felt myself recharged and energized. While at my corporate job, I collaborated with several women regarding a book idea and spoke with a contact for another venue for my tea blends contacted me. I felt my anxiety wanting to creep up, so I delved into my work instead and it dissipated. When I got home, I immediately began cleaning my place while creating the price list for the contact. I'm currently working on a serial for my Facebook page The House of Byzantium - a shrine to Decadence - and I felt inspired to put the latest episode up. Now that it's 9:30, I feel wired and ready to run around my neighbourhood several times. Instead, I will continue listening to music (currently listening to Lacuna Coil). I guess what I'm trying to say is that - Monday. It's a day we don't like because its our low from the weekend. We want to run from it while screaming, "I HATE Mondays!" Yet, what if we treated it like a day? Just a day. We know that soon, Friday will be knocking on our door but for now, Monday is here. What are your Mondays like? Do you repeatedly hit the SNOOZE button on your clock? Do you drink an extra cup of coffee or "fake it till you make it"? Or, do you do like me and treat it like a day? I wake up, I breathe, I am here. No matter what happens, I am here. On a Monday.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Confessions of a Southern Taoist - Strength

I've just returned from a lovely trip to New Orleans. Although it was a quick overnighter, it was filled with moments of laughter, art, Nature, and good food. It was also a good time to spend with friends - there are several women that I call Sisters. Although we have different stories, we are of similar mindsets. To outsiders, we may seem as Odd or Strange/Unusual but to us, at least to me, I see nothing but strength. Strength can come in many forms - mental, physical, emotional, spiritual. These women that I am lucky to know exhibit all of these strengths. We don't have perfect lives - shit will blow up in our faces on a regular basis. We will do/say the wrong thing at the really wrong time. We may want to scream, shake our fists at the sky and wonder why WE are going through this. I've done that many times. I've had my moments of crying in a pillow when it feels like the world just fell apart at my feet. However, once the crying is over and I suddenly get hungry, I get up, dust myself off, and keep moving forward. It sounds easier than it is and YES, it is. Sometimes, the desire to stay down and give up feels right. Give up trying and just exist. Resist everything and stay down. Yet, whenever I'm around my NOLA Sisters, I get a recharge of my life. In fact, I talked to myself halfway through my return trip - remembering who said what at dinner last night, remembering to return to Anne Rice's vampires (I loved Pandora - one of my favourites of her works), and remembering who and WHAT I am and my place within all of THIS. We get strength from a smile from a stranger, or a kind word, or even when a friend calls you up and wants to hang out with you. Sometimes, strength can come from when you finally decide that enough is ENOUGH and that today, you are taking back your life. When you flow, you ARE.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Confessions of a Southern Taoist - Pain

I love to move. Walk, run, bike, hike, anything - my body has to move. When I lived in Washington DC, I moved quickly: running to class, trying to catch the Metro, speeding up to be with friends. However, I am learning the delicate art of Resting. Because of me going and going only to crash, my body has "informed" me that, at age 44, I need to slow down and rest. In feeling the pain shoot through my back, I know that yes, I need to rest. However, I'm also learning how to rest on other levels. I now take time to look around me whenever I stop in my car at an intersection light. What am I normally missing by trying to get to work? Hmmm, never noticed that tree before. Check out that funky looking house. That's a new restaurant to try out. Taking five minutes out of my day to meditate helps my mind and soul tremendously as well. Eating baby carrots in the morning is quite nice too. When I slow down, I can feel myself coming together after being scattered. Whenever I remind myself that I am part of this and THIS is part of me, I rest. Time to stop allowing thoughts to run rampant in my mind and rest. Time to read a book or watch British or French period drama while sitting on my couch (although right now the movie about French gangster Jacques Mesrine is playing in my living room and that's NOT a relaxing movie! LOL)

Rest. Slow down once in a while. And eat baby carrots.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Confessions of a Southern Taoist - Demons

I read yesterday how a famous actor that I admire had a meltdown in an airplane. The first thought that came into my head was, “But why? He’s so talented and good looking. Why again?” I then spoke with one of my best friends who advised that we all have demons. I couldn’t help but agree with her. I know so many talented and beautiful people and probably most of them have personal demons: I’m not pretty enough, I’m not talented enough, I feel like a freak. We are all here for a reason, as corny as that may sound. We are all here on this blue greenish ball and we are HERE. Do your thing and make it count. I know I am.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Confessions of a Southern Taoist - Lies

I recently learned that someone I considered to be a friend had lied. I wasn't offended - not even surprised. We all do it at one point or another in our lives. It's part of what makes us human. I've told lies in my life and will probably tell more before Death takes me by the hand and carries me away. If I ever saw this person again, I wouldn't even mention the fact of knowing about their lies. Does it really matter? Will it change how I feel about this person or will it just be another day in Paradise? Sometimes, I wonder if people are telling me the truth when they talk with me - does she really like me or is she just putting up with me? Is he really tied up in a meeting? When someone tells me that I'm attractive, do I want to yell at them to STOP LYING TO ME because I can't accept their words? I know I'm over thinking it all and yet . . . and yet. As a new day begins, I wake up with a smile on my face despite my anxiety whispering in my ear, knowing that what will happen will happen. A lie here, a side glance there - it all comes to the front. And that is the truth.