I’m in the healing game now.
I rest in the expansiveness of divine revelation and deep personal truths flow out of the stillness – the stillness of sitting on my favorite rock by the river and letting the tears come – the stillness of sitting by my favorite pond watching the ducks float by, listening to the frog choir and finding shapes within the clouds – the stillness of meditation that brings clarity of mind around mission, truth and unity.
Those of you who have been reading my blog know by now I’m not shying away from the uncomfortable truths of my journey and self-discovery. I exposed my own shame in The Story of Me, showed how you didn’t really know me in A Cold and Broken Hallelujah. In 494.95 Moon Cycles, I told the truth of my God, a Trickster who hijacked my life and what he now means to me.
I also haven’t shied away from speaking about power and complicity. I’ve talked about being white and what that means while coming to terms with my complicity in white supremacist power structures, and I’ve talked about my mission to walk hand in hand with the Trickster to create a new world with unity, amity, and equity for all.
There’s intensity in the mission, a drive unlike anything I’ve ever felt. There’s freedom in seeing the truth and telling stories of the transformation. There’s also power in self-realization and finding a soul mission. There’s power walking with divinity and in recognizing one’s own mystical genius. And there’s madness there as well.
I’m in the healing game, calling for my soul transformation to be a spiritual warrior and walk with power in this broken world. To do so, I must be willing to look at deep uncomfortable truths. I must trust the healing. I must look at my own madness to step into soul transformation. True healing, deep and transformational healing, calls for experiencing my own madness, sitting with the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me feel.
Recently I had a conversation with a pastor friend of mine, in which we talked about places of inspiration, and I spoke about my love for the Russell Brand podcast, Under the Skin. I said to my friend, “I really love him. I hope we don’t find out awful things about him that will make me have to stop listening.” We then talked about the disconnect that happens when we find out that artists we like have done horrible, awful things.
“It takes me out of the experience of art,” I said. “How we view art in relationship with an artist whose a monster is a question I wrestle with a lot these days.”
It’s not a good feeling. I used to be a huge Joss Whedon fan – loving Buffy, Angel, and Firefly. I thought he was a real feminist and champion for strong powerful women. And now, hearing the accountings of how he treated people on the set of his shows – the bullying, the condescension, the physical intimidation – has changed my perception of Joss and ruined my relationship with these shows I once loved. This is one example of so many….
There are actors I used to love, I can’t watch on screen any more. There are musicians whose works no longer mean anything to me. There are artists whose work leaves me cold. There are preachers whose sermons I will never listen to again.
“I’d be interested in reading your reflections on the matter,” he said.
“Okay… Let me sit with it.”
Chasing the Muse
In my biggest life transitions, I’m guilty of chasing the muse. I left my home state of Wyoming in my mid 20’s for Chicago to live with my best friend, who had already transitioned there. I visited her a few months before moving there – and met Mick (name changed to protect the guilty), a handsome, broody, dangerous man. He became my muse, the reason to leave my home state and make the first biggest decision of my life.
In chasing the muse, I convinced myself I’d found a great love, not realizing what that energy was really about. The energy around this guy was crazy making – it was my madness, my own mind-fuckery. I was new in a big city – and coming from rural Wyoming – I had major culture shock. I knew no one except my friend. It was a very unsettling time – so many unknowns. I dealt with my stress by fixating and obsessing over this person. He picked up on it and needless to say, when the inevitable “hookup” happened, it was so awful, so regretful, a shock to the soul – a big, fucking mistake.
And of another time of transition and self-discovery – I’ve already talked about, in another blog, “The Story of Me.” I chased the muse – this time on a promise of a spiritual teacher to infuse me with all his spiritual insight and wisdom. I’ve already shared how that ended.
And now…once more…here I go again.
In this year of the pandemic, a year of radical transition, great loss, great trauma…when everything I know about myself is up for grabs…and a year of great spiritual discovery…
You would think by now I would clearly recognize the energies around chasing the muse, right? That I’ve learned my lesson? That I’m older and wiser? Right?
I’m in the healing game – a time of major soul transition. I called forth my God seeking clarity of vision and mission. Energies both new and old, conscious and unconscious are moving and flowing within the interior landscapes. In this space, I begin to see divinity in everyone around me.
Enter – a beautiful stranger – open and receptive to the mysteries of the journey – I just can’t help myself. I feel an attraction…
…and suddenly…before I know it….I’m fucking chasing the muse.
Crazy, eh? The things we do for “love”? Chasing and dragging people into our own mind-fuckery?
I get stupid.
Genius and Madness of the Soul-Sickness
I’m in the healing game now…and my God has a proposition for me. The Trickster is very experiential and experimental and wants to show me something.
In the stillness of meditation, he says to me “Can you trust me?”
I take a few deep breaths before sighing out loud. “I will try.”
“No, there is no try. Can you trust? Can you consent?”
“I have no choice, right?’
“No, babe. You have a choice. For me to guide you, you have to trust. Trust and consent. Trust in the truth. Can you trust? Do you consent?”
Stillness, silence, and more stillness.
“Yes, I will trust. Yes, I will consent.”
And for 36 hours, the fucking Trickster infused my body, heart, mind and soul with the soul-sickness and I became a man…
…and not just any man…but the most intense alpha embodiment of a man – the predator, the shark, the entitled one, the powerful one, the dangerous one, the mad one – the slave owner – the man who doesn’t ask for consent.
…hopped up on this infusion of alpha male energy, I became prideful, boastful, and manic. I hear myself say over and over in conversation with people “I’m a fucking genius” and explain all the wonderful things I’m doing in the world.
…this grandiosity at my own genius deepens my madness…
…I’m powered up and I feel so important – in my own mind. I fail to recognize the soul-sickness creeping in. I just get more powered up, jacked up on my own brilliance, my own genius.
…With each conversation, I feel this crazed energy building up inside me. With high intensity, I begin a single-minded obsession on my muse and create mind-fuckery strategies to pull him in, to impress him and make him fall hard for me?
…And so, I go…full throttle…my crazy, mad mind…
…then I get the news…he’s not been playing, nor is he even remotely interested. In fact, I’m not even close to being on his mind.
…it’s a letdown – my soul feels crushed. What’s it all been about then? The maddening heartbreak feels real – but can I share a secret – I haven’t even met the guy….
…but I’m jacked up on testosterone of the highest level and I’m a predator now. If he won’t play, I’m determined to find someone else. I feel my sexiness. I have power and appeal. I will use the full power of my womanhood and the power of my Trickster and go out there and make a conquest. I actually make a list of potential targets and settle on one in particular. Emboldened, embodying lustful madness and power, I decide on a strategy of domination to overpower a dear friend of mind…
…And I have no regard, no respect, no love for him when we come together. I just simply move around him and toward him callously. I feel entitled. I feel justified after all, he’s just a man and isn’t this what men do all the time? I’m the alpha in this moment. I start to go for it…I’m a total narcissist. It’s all about me. It’s primal. It’s sinful. It’s delicious. And it’s frightening how little I care to stop myself. Standing close to my friend, I take a dominating stance. Infused by pure, undiluted lust, it is all about power to bend my dear friend to my will to take care of my most primal need.
….I feel it, man, deep deep within. In my genius, I am mad. I’m afflicted. Who the fuck cares about consent?
…luckily his phone rings … luckily he has other things to attend to .. luckily he has to leave ….
“Do you trust? Do you consent?”
Naming and Engaging the Power
In his Sandman graphic novel series, Neil Gaiman, tells the story of Calliope, an ancient muse tricked, captured, raped and held hostage by a failed novelist so he could write again and become famous. The muse was his slave. The writer – a slave holder. He felt powerful and entitled to her gifts. This is the slave holder mentality.
Eventually Calliope is freed from her bondage, the writer is trapped in a dream state with endless ideas coming at him so fast and furious that he becomes insane. Calliope is freed, but from that point onward, she’s broken and damaged and is no longer able to provide inspiration as a muse to humanity.
When Ronan Farrow worked with victims of Harvey Weinstein to expose his crimes, I was struck by one survivor in particular – Rose McGowan. I watched her documentary series Citizen Rose and read her memoir Brave. I read all kinds of articles by and about her. I watched her tv interviews. I really consumed her story. She talked about Weinstein in terms of a monster. She didn’t speak his name.
Her monster was a narcissist whose muse was simply power – and all the young beautiful Hollywood girls around him simply objects and playthings he could take whenever he wanted. He was so powerful and hungry for domination – consent wasn’t even a word in his dictionary.
To engage the power – we must name the power. I’m in the healing game now. I have a mission to name the power. I have a mission to engage the power and offer a remedy.
I name the power.
This total disregard for the basic humanity of other people -no matter who they are – is the soul-sickness of our time.
I not only have to name the power – but recognize what ways I myself am damaged, broken, afflicted and complicit in the soul-sickness.
The simple truth is this – this soul-sickness is in ALL of us – if we aren’t afflicted, we certainly are affected. Our culture is fucked up on this sickness. It fuels the rage and the violence toward women and children. It fuels white supremacy and white rage against people of color. It fuels our denial of the genocide that is the original sin of the Americas. It fuels the power structures that give wealth to the top 1% and leaves 7.8 million people in poverty. It fuels the placement of migrant children in cages at the border. It fuels our lust for control, for guns, for violence against the state. And it’s fucking fueling the comeback of the worst president we’ve ever had in our country’s history.
This power we chase is our fucking muse – and we are holding it hostage. We need to free the muse. Stop chasing the power.
We need to be in the healing game. The soul-sickness is so primal. And it’s fucking deadly.
We need to ask – how do we mend? How do we individually and collectively step into the expansiveness of love and spirit? How do we reach in and pull out all the healing we need for the next evolution of our species before it’s too late? How do we collectively come together to find the remedy we so desperately need?
And here’s where my thoughts fall back on the subject of the monster artists and the madness of the so-called genius…we recognize and respond to the sickness, rather than the person.
We hold them accountable for the pain they cause, but we work together to find a remedy to free us all from the sickness. It’s not a simple “hate the sin, lover the sinner” approach. Rather it’s a recognition that we are all afflicted. We are all infected and affected. We have to do the work – it’ll take a massive, collective effort to break the chains of the power that is our muse – to break the chains of the slave master mentality.
We must stop chasing that power or we’re doomed as a species.
A final word…
I hope I have a real friendship with the man I was chasing – hopefully he’ll forgive my jack-assery. Truthfully I don’t really want him to know this story. I’m so freaking embarrassed. He’s a pretty decent guy. hope we will be able to build a relationship through true collaboration and friendship. I hope to move forward with him as a true friend – not a pursuit or a chase.
Being in the healing game means humbling oneself by acknowledging your own sin and complicity. It also means engagement of the soul-sickness with full heart and being. Not sure how else we will save ourselves.
This is the last time I chase the muse.
I’m in the healing game now, until the end.
I step into the stillness, the expansiveness, and hold myself to a higher engagement of self-actualization so I can guide others into the healing and share the remedy and the soul work we need to do to be free of the slave holder mentality.
May it be so.
Actually, I get the final word.
Hey – Coyote here…
Today I didn’t say much
My girl, though,
she holds nothing back…
Proud of her, I am.
I do want
in this moment though
to set the record straight
in her accounting of me.
There’s a story she tells you now
that I’m a grifter, a confidence man
a hijacker playing a long con.
That she didn’t consent.
But that’s not the whole truth.
She has yet to see.
But I remember – just like yesterday
so many moon cycles ago
on that hilltop overlooking the prairie…
She is dancing around the “teepee rings”
Her arms stretch out against the sky.
She is so damn cute. Is she 10? 11?
I’m like “I’m gonna have to get down
have a closer look”
So I catch a ride on the breeze
and plop down at her feet.
I step out from behind the veil.
She blinks –
her eyes wide open.
She looks at me…
and she’s like “Hey!”
And I say, “Hey girl! How’s it going?”
She’s like, “I’m happy. I’m dancing.”
She’s like, “You come to dance with me?”
I say “Okay, what you dancing for?”
She’s like “I’m pretending to set the spirits of the Indians free.”
And oh…my…does my breath stop
…oh lordy…this girl
so wide-eyed and innocent.
so pure and sweet.
My heart goes wild-like.
“A ghost dance?” I say.
And she’s like “What’s a ghost dance?”
“A dance…just like you say.”
And she smiles and takes my hand.
And we dance.
And my blood – it just howls.
And then she sits down and tells me her whole life story.
And we look into the sky and watch the birds,
and she’s like “I just wanna fly. I want to be free.”
She looks at me, her eyes wide open
And she’s like, “Are you my friend? Will you help me? Help me be free?”
“That’s your wish?” I say.
And she takes my hand.
And at that moment, the wind begins to change.
She jumps up.
And she’s like, “Friend, I gotta go. They’ll be looking for me.”
I say “Nice to meet you. Be seeing you.”
And she’s like “Looking forward.”
And then she blinks,
and runs down the hill,
back into the other side of the veil.
That’s the true accounting.
She don’t remember yet.
And one more thing…
This Wild One she’s so eager to seek…
This Wild One is closer than she thinks.
This Wild One is already standing at her door.
All she has to do is open,
and blink once more
and peer behind the veil.
And that, my friend, is the true magic.
And if you wanna dance
With me, her and the Wild One
just holler upon the wind…
We’ll find ya!