Archive for category Notes from the Road

Formaldehyde Fetus (and other memories from the hall where my locker was)

The everlasting recompensatory statute of ali b’masa was passed today. Finally passed in this ever pre-set world of over compensation and bar standarization.

Oh how the hills were emboldened. Alive. Sent over every state. Halleluja.

Michael and Rhoda Boda-Schorr welcomed their new son Gabriel into this world. Oh how did they! Gabriel blew dat trumpet horn late yesterday afternoon with darkness comin’. Brother lent a helpin’ hand and sister helped for trim dat boat. Mazel tov to the whole family – Hallelujah!

And finally, this. News leaking out from the bottom of a refrigerator was stopped. Oh stopped indeed with a crimping off of water supply to the automatic ice maker. Sales on good old fashioned ice cub trays spiked, though not those old aluminum kind with the handle that you flip in order to shift all the little rudders. Remember those!?

The new trash can turns out to be the very same smoker’s tool that once adorned my parent’s room, ripe with the smell of molding pipe tobacco. Oh the sharp tang did stain my heart.

And then there was Dr. Stampers fetus in formaldehyde — oh what a jar of wonder THAT was. Forever burned into my brain, the image of that ghoulish greenish whitish little fellow has gone a long way to improving my patience with the pro-lifers out there. Indeed, rights advocate though I am, they DO have a point.

And as for Miss Pancione, what could I do? These are the only pants I own.

And the other guy? I forget his name. He told me that he didn’t teach. Teaching implies learning. He merely presents — why did he admit that to me? Tenure is a strange and unusual thing, as supportive of honesty as it is destructive to productivity. And is it worth the trade off? Perhaps it is after all.

Finding our way to the middle, only to discover that the middle is the very most flawed of positions. No, no. Find that precariously balanced mishmash of all extremes and you’re well on your way to a very real search for truth.

And enough of all these fetuses, bastardized negro spirituals and enacted enactments. It’s time to mark a check on the to-do list of life. And be — as it were — done.

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Radial Rusty

The lessson was born back in the day when certain schoolkids thought it good sport to step a vicious ball-of-foot on the back of another’s shoe. Sneaking up from behind these naredowells would deliver the dreaded flat tire, an affront — or aback it should be better said — more to the ego than to flesh and bone. Not to say that many a bone leadingg to the heel wasn’t bruised or skin risen like ruffled feathers beneath a newly pinking sock. But the wound was more to the ego. It was just after suffering my fifth such attack in less than two school days that a plan I now consider dreadful was delivered to my unprotected brain. I say “delivered” because I accept no blame for the idea. It just popped up, really. I know that I am guilty for having acted on it, and I live with my fate.

Having served my time in Juvi Hall and been released with two promises — one overt and the other silently understood — I bear the cross of a thousand Jesuses, though the flesh wounds of holy nails are not mine. The overt promise was that I would not do such a thing again as had brought me there. As my first go round at fighting back had earned me a reputation as someone not to be trifled with, such an action wasn’t necessary in any case, so there was no skin off my heel on account of that guarantee. It was the second promise, the unsaid, that has doomed me to the thousand pound weight of unendingly painful restraint.

I was made to understand, you see, that a good fellow would portray contrition constantly and without armor crack. Contrition and contrition alone would do if I was to be regarded as rehabilitated. It matters not that the regarding was only in the eyes of the one time jailers, none of whom would be with me to regard any further. Nevertheless, their imprint on my psyche was — and was known by them to be — ultimate. So profound indeed was their steel bootprint that it compelled me from the inside out all the days of my life to play the obligitory promethean pentitence as if they, like a panel of gods, looked down from the curtain tracks as humorless, harsh critics, curtain to curtain, day after oppressively theatrical day.

But just beneath the reach of the boot track of my one time all time jailers, somewhere near soul’s edge, remained the everlastingly ignightable evil glee, glowing steadfastly. Eternally. Sweet, sweet revenge knows no limits in its satisfaction to the ego, no matter its temporal price.

Pride, though the soul’s enemy in the ether, is its inextricable partner from the vantage of physicality.

And oh how sweet that bloody day was. Who could think a foot could bleed so much! Cascading waves of electric joy frame my edges and explode orgasmically from my insides to my borders and back again when I become aware of the emotional memory. I say become aware because once you’ve had it, the feeling never quite goes away. Deep within me this seemless pleasure lies, ironically sustaining me through a painful life caused solely by its very existence and, of course, decency’s dictation that it be concealed.

© All material Copyright 2009 by Foxx Falcon

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Anything worth doing is worth doing wrong!

Foxx Falcon Fact #462: A sub-par plan prosecuted poorly outperforms the perfect proposal postponed.
© All material Copyright 2009 by Foxx Falcon

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It’s not about the memories

Today I was cleaning up a flood in my basement — about the 6th in this recent chain of rainy days. Among the things that had to get thrown out were some old drawings I did for an art class when I was in college. Those drawings, carefully hidden in a dusty portfolio for more than 20 years, hold a critical secret — a lesson about human potential. Thank God for the destructive rain that shook my core enough for me to wake up to a powerful fact I seem to have forgotten to utilize.

What I realized this morning is that I have been missing the point of my own lesson for a very, very long time.

You see, the reason I took that art class in college was that for years I had been deathly afraid of any form of art. I had long accepted “I can’t draw” and “I have no artistic talent” as immutable truths. Having recently gotten into recovery through a 12-step fellowship, I had embarked on a spiritual journey that opened me up to a world of possibility — a new mentality of questioning old assumptions and trying new things.

Why couldn’t I draw? I had met a friend named Dawn who was taking this entry level art class as part of a generral studies requirement. One day over lunch Dawn showed me a few things and I quickly discovered that I wasn’t quite as hopeless as I thought. It was an exciting, freeing, mind opening experience to be able to recreate that cartoon cat — or whatever it was — from a poster on the wall of the cafeteria. The very next semester I signed up for Intro to Drawing, a course that turned out to be a wild emotional ride for me.

The first day brought excruciating frustration and ultimately tears, anger and — finally — surrender. The first assignment was meant to see where each of us was holding in terms of basic skills. We sat with our desks in a big circle around a bunch of still life junk — chairs, flower pots, giant blocks…. As the girl next to me, a skinny, sexy Bohemian blonde who I had seen roaming the halls on the arm of an ape-ish thrash rocker type whose har was died black and nearly as long as her perfect legs. Sorry, I got lost in that digression. Always was a sucker for the skinny, skanky type. Very distracting, even twenty something years later. Anyway, she was drawing away, recreating the scene on the floor in front of us, and all I could do was keep drawing and erasing the same line over and over. Eventually, I just had to leave the room. I went wandering the halls pounding on lockers and wondering if I should have ever even tried this when I felt my eyes starting to fill up. I cried the tears of the three year old who angrily pushed a crown all over his drawing, frustrated that he couldn’t seem to get it just the way he had intended. The memories of that moment were hazy but the emotions were in vivid releaf, guiding so many of my choices at the subconcious level, part of the fabric of incorrect assumptions that we develop through early experience and then abide by faithfully, unalterably, until freedom final crashes its way into our lives.

During the course of the next 16 weeks, with the help of a teacher who was touched by my sincere desire to face my old fears and a willfullness that I have absolutely no explanation for, I slowly but surely developed the skills that enabled me to have a dusty old collection of drawings that led my kids this morning to say “wow, you’re a great artist” as I laid the damp remains to see what could be salvaged and to take one final look at the rest. Those tears, that resolution, and those humble efforts combined to bring out somethign in me that I never knew I had. That ability was carefully protected from actualization because of my self image and inexperience. It took surrender, hope, desire, honesty, willingess and effort on my part. And it also took a supportive, receptive and challenging guide to help me through. With those ingredients, the impossible became possible and then became actual.

It was an amazing act of courage for that young man to drop his guard of fatal coolness long enough to show his weakness and vulnerability. That was the first step in the process. The lesson learned was that nothing is truly impossible.

For taking that class and hanging in there when it got tough, I am a hero. But I do need to own my errors as well. First, I felt crushed when I saw this morning that my precious drawings were basically ruined. I had become so attached to the physical manifestation of my efforts, that I forgot to appreciate what those drawings represent. “I could never do this today,” I heard myself say. Oh boy had I missed the point!!!! Of course I could draw today — better than ever if I wanted to. The secret is tapping into that desire and opening up to that guidance. It’s not about the drawings — they are memories of a divine discovery. The Divinity itself is every bit as much present today as it was back then. Treasuring the pictures is an attachment to the physical world that blinded me from the actual beauty that was manifest in the pictures.

Secondly, to the extent that those pictures should be valued, it should be as an inspiration for continued growth and challenge of perceived limitations. Those pictures prove that what my brain tells me I can and can’t do is not objective truth — and it’s not necessarily true at all. Those pictures belonged on the walls, not in dead storage. And not because they would have made my house prettier, but because they might have served as an occasional reminder to me that what I think of as limits may be nothing but old stories that have become so engrained in my psyche that they stop me from going for my goals — or even from having the audacity to have goals anymore.

It’s time to wake up.

© All material Copyright 2009 by Foxx Falcon

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Where’s the sleep…

My sleep cycle is so crazy off again. I turn into a madman when this happens. I live in a very busy house with lots of kids and adults floating in and out. When I’m underslept, the chaos is maddening. Click here for help with sleep disorders: National Sleep Foundation.

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Learning to focus the mind — 7 books at a time

What a scatter brain I can be. Yesterday I picked up three books on meditation at the library. One of them, The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the the Focused Mind, by B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D., looks very promising.

All at the same time that I’m reading Mystic Quest: An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism by David S. Ariel, Jewish Meditation, By Aryeh Kaplan, and two partially finished works of fiction I’ve been on-again/off-again with for months. That’s 7 books!!! And that doesn’t include the countless other partially read works downstairs in my library or the book Hippie, which I also took out of the library yesterday.

I’m so on the fence about all this. Should I be working harder to stay focussed and finish one thing before going on to the next? That’s the constant refrain in my head. “You’re so disorganizized. Can’t you stick with any one thing long enough to finish it?!!!” This kind of self berating is totally unhelpful, of course. Could it be that wandering as the spirit moves me has value too? It certainly seems valid to say that I can suck whatever juice I feel I need or want from one source and then move on to the next.
Just as finishing what you start has merit, so too does allowing intuition to propel the spirit container to the next place.

And yet it does seem something is missing when I float aimlessly like I do. And in the times that I’ve toughed it out and taken things the din road — just do it — there also seems to be something missing. There is value in discipline and there is value in letting things flow. My strongest belief is that in the INTEGRATION of polar opposites lies truth and beauty. There must be some unifying element that can help a person like me bring together the structure/discipline side and the intiuitive/creativity side. Finding that link between these two sides of my personality has been a problem for me for years. In some ways, I feel like I’m closer to the answer than ever. At least I’m finally articulating the question. Maybe all this pursuit of meditation is a good next step. I actually sat in meditation this morning for about 15 minutes.

I have a strong suspicion that this link — this magic integrator that allows strict justice and and merciful kindness together — is the key to answering more than just my problems, but the disunity and disjointedness of all of humanity. All of the world.

And so we search for God.

© All material Copyright 2009 by Foxx Falcon

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A few books you might hang out with

Basic Text
A New Earth
The Road Less Travelled
The Five Love Languages
Vonnegut: Breakfast of Champions, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Slaughterhouse Five
The Firm, The Client, Pelican Brief
Kerouac: On the Road
F. Scott Fitzgerald: This Side of Paradise
You are Greater than you think
The Jew in the Lotus
Secret Wars
The Know it All
The Scarlet Letter
The Time Machine
An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers Homes in New England
Davinci Code
Frankenstein
From Beirut to Jerusalem
The Tipping Point
The Audacity of Hope
Jewish Meditation
Be Here Now
The Right to Write
Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feinman

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A Letter of Encourgement

Dear *****************,
I know you are going through some things right now, and it can be overwhelming. I want you to go into the bathroom and splash some cold water on your face, take a few deep breaths, and look in the mirror at a hero — someone who is breaking out of a deeply ingrained pattern and taking care of herself against a torrent of self-destructive conditioning.

All of recovery comes down to a simple choice — do I want short-term pleasure and the long-term pain that goes with it OR do I want short-term pain with long-term deep satisfaction and true joy. Just for today, your actions are those of a hero, a person who chooses to act with self-integrity in spite of your own imperfections along the way. You are a child of God who chooses to endure the extreme discomfort of a major pattern change in a series of acts of faith and trust that Hashem (God) will bring a new day of peace, light and joy.

Do not give up. Do not give up on the process. Do not give up on yourself. Persistence is a most valuable spiritual principle. The past does not equal the future. You are further along than you know. Don’t quit five minutes before the miracle happens. I’ll say it better — don’t quit five minutes before you have a profound realization that the miracle is already here — that you yourself ARE the miracle. You are a precious gift that G_d has put in the world to serve a purpose that only you can fulfill. You may not fully understand what exactly that life mission entails just yet, but that is not the issue. What is unfolding inside of you is what is REALLY going on. You are doing so much better than you know. Imagine what it will feel like when this reality becomes as clear to you as it is to me.

But — you say — I don’t know the things you have screwed up along the way. Here is what I do know: we are allowed to falter, to botch a step or two or ten or even a hundred. The part of your brain that tells you that you are a piece of garbage is a liar. My experience is that his voice gets softer over time, then louder, then softer. That inner critic has not been removed from me. Perhaps he’ll always be with you, too. But that is okay. Hashem is always and absolutely with you too, no matter what kind of mess you have made. He has not given up on you, even in the moments when you have given up on yourself.

You are awake, moving forward — albeit tenuously — staying clean today. This is all the proof I need that you are walking through this phase of your life admirably. Remember not to do it alone. Sleep — or at least give your body and racing brain a rest. Breathe, eat as nutriciously as you can. Keep your body moving — gently, not to exhaustion. Use the gift of words to express your feelings, frustration and thought processes to a few trusted confidents. Stay connected to people who love you and have your best interest at heart. Try to choose companions with stabile heads on their shoulders and avoid temptation of surrounding yourself only with people who won’t challenge you.

I know there are moments when this process feels horrible, but stay open to the possibility that you may be DOING way better than you are feeling. Your willingness to move forward in faith — trusting a loving Higher Power that you cannot see, hear or touch — makes you a hero in my eyes. May G-d as you understand Him give you the clarity to know and feel what I’ll bet you already suspect deep down in your heart — that you are a miracle and that miracles are happening through you every moment.

With love and respect,

© All material Copyright 2009 by Foxx Falcon

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Piney Branch and Dale

every journey starts, with a familiar path
you start out the same way, but it never lasts
you always cover new ground
you wind up in a new town
there is no need to repeat
so just strap in your seat
and go go go go go
Ah but first
you traverse
the burbs

Yes first
you traverse
the burbs

Sometimes it’s the country, with its open space
So primitive and lovely, in all its natural grace
the air is pure and free
you

Sometimes it’s the city, with it’s teaming life

Perhaps you’ll head east, with an expanding mind
© All material Copyright 2009 by Foxx Falcon

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Jeff Beck doing a little Beatles

I have to admit it’s getting better
Click here to listen ====>>> 14-a-day-in-the-life
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