Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday Blog Chatter: Damn Ghosts

As my head hit the pillow last night my heart posed a question to God.

I tossed and turned with bits and pieces of chasing dreams, running dreams, people vanishing, returning, vanishing, chasing, locked in a room with no escape, escaping, being captured, running again.......I call it 'dreaming in black and blue' because I always feel bruised when I awake. This morning, I sat up with a startle from one such night adventure, pregnant with emotional angst, and long overdue for answers – not so much from others – but from within myself, needing my own strength to cross and burn the perplexing bridges I seem to be facing on many levels.

I'd written yesterday of seeing my face in a cloud with a host of witnesses around. There were many many obvious faces in the sky last Sunday. I'd never in my life seen a group of clouds so prophetic, nor had I even looked for objects in clouds before, they were just there; moving and dancing as if a story loomed precariously above, revealing itself - and about to unfold in my life. All I had to do was look up.

My dream last night was almost the same. People I'd known all my life weaving in and out of the story. Floating about. And vanishing. Some came back to vanish again. Others hung around to watch me watch the mystical magic act. When I turned to reach, they turned away. Some I held and then let go. All content to plague me with their peering eyes. “You know why we're here, now don't you, Mimi?”

Damn ghosts.

If I knew that I wouldn't be in your crazy dreamworld, now would I?

A parade of silent messengers they were. And they wore me out.

A friend once asked me, “What is it, in you, that causes you to play out the same scenarios over and over? There is something in you that draws you to the same conclusions time and again. And there are legions of people who will stand in line to help you do it. You must find out what it is and stop doing it. Then you will draw those to you who will build you up.”

Easy for you to say, I thought, but what a wise friend.

It isn't about the dream ghosts at all. It isn't about who they are, who they were, or how we danced.

It's about why I need the dance in the first place.

Right, my friend?

I was listening.....

Back when Mimi Writes was about Mimi writing I made a promise to myself. You will find it here. It's not that I've abandoned the commitment I made to explore my own creativity, I think I've done that – and publicly – in spades.

It's about one word and why that word scares the living hell out of me. And now, it is about what to do with that word.


The inconvenient concept of authenticity.


This morning after a night of dancing with fools, all of a sudden, I flashed back to a tender time in my youth. A scene. One that played over and over in my childhood home that I could not escape. One that I never think about. Not ever. It wasn't so different than many others might experience growing up in the South at that time and it wasn't particularly scandalous, but for me, for some reason, as a child, I thought it was my fault. My adult mind now knows that was not the case but the pain of feeling responsible for something I had no control over is a recurring theme in my life. It didn't help that I grew up Baptist where guilt is the main course. Thank God (and I mean that with the utmost respect) I got booted out of the Baptist affliction for asking too many questions. Imagine that.

But back to center....

I had long forgiven those childhood grievances. But my mind had not forgotten them. And so, after a flashback-answer from my dreamworld questionnaire to the Universe, I finally understood my dilemma.

This week I've had bouts of a foreboding feeling in the pit of my stomach that comes and goes and screams “Pay attention to ME.” Hence, the dreams and the nightmares and the insomnia and the clouds and all the rest just churning to uncover what really lay at the heart of my pain. Although parts were obvious, it was more complicated than I thought.

Could it be that once again I stand alone wearing nothing but my mush?
And how, once again – pray tell – did I get here?

Why does openness read weakness to others when the truth is, it feels like strength to me? The courage to be vulnerable when you might end up with pain sounds crazy, doesn't it? But I think that when openness becomes a liability in your life you can do one of two things - as long as you do them with the good common sense God left on your doorstep: You can run away at the first sign of trouble and never learn the lesson in front of you or you can plunge headlong into it and risk a few black and blue dreams.

What have I done? Both. They both hurt.

For me, life experience of late has been rocky and real; robberies and ferris wheels, deaths external and intrinsic, directly digging a hole into my theories on just about everything. When I wrote Don't Mush With Me in August 2006, I had no idea just how tested and tried that theory of embracing vulnerability would be. Ever changing is my opinion on the matter but I am, if nothing else - stubborn. Admittedly and unashamedly resolved not to let the pitfalls that come my way rob me of my choice to be vulnerable. Because I believe that is where true artistry begins and where life takes off. A fellow blogger and author at the time, Gale Martin, observed that my writing is “susceptible to wounds”.

She was spot on.

Her words were not combative but they gave me pause and I took them as a personal challenge that day.
And so I countered with the only frame of reference I have for the power of unconditional love in my life and the lessons he taught me about being honest and real.

You know him. My grandfather. I wrote,

"People have been messing with my mush all my life.The only man who ever appreciated my marvelous cuisine was my grandfather. He sat in pressed pants, a button up shirt and tie on the hard-swept dirt floor of my kitchen behind the garage. He said my mudpies and tea were "to die for yum yum" and I pretended not to notice that he was really eating tiny little pastries my grandmother had slipped in the playhouse door so he could tell the truth to his culinarily challenged granddaughter....who adored him.

The feeling was forever mutual.It didn't matter to him that I was a mush mess.He loved my mush."

Flaws, mudcake indigestions and silly musings of a 12-year-old who thought she was writing a “novel” in her bedroom at night - he gobbled up all of me. He made me believe that I could do anything. And he had the courage to be vulnerable even when he might end up with mudpies in his stomach.

I don't need to find someone who loves my mush. I need to wholeheartedly love my own mush.

Such has been my struggle with vulnerability: it is the brutal fear of exposing yourself to hurt when you know damn well if you don't, you may never find the precious gems in between that make the journey worth taking. And so you fall. You get up. You fall. You get up. You make more messes. More pies. Again, you drink tea laced with dust.
And you say “to die for yum yum....”

You find friends and lovers along the way who will cheer you on and dust you off. Before peace globes, before Bloggingham became a palace, before dungeons were the torture chambers of meme-dodgers, before public romances, before robberies and blog thieves and nonsense - Mimi wrote. She made mudpies with her words.

You have embraced my triumphs, my messes and my mush unconditionally.
For that, I am forever grateful.

It feels like I'm sitting on the dirt-swept floor again. Stirring. Happily stirring.

Today, in true blog fashion, it was another blogger who spoke to me honestly. Don't believe in divine intervention yet? This morning - AFTER I'd finished with my grand epiphany of tears and revelations - I opened my mail to read a note from a blogger named Julia. I've never read her blog. This is what she wrote, “

“The uneasy feeling you had in the pit of your stomach - which does not feel good in any way - is probably your emotion-center chakra being activated. Because you were feeling the intense urge to look up and notice things in the clouds, plus the church and cemetary that gave you the creeps, I would say you're moving into a point in your life where you're going to be a lot more self-aware. The dread feeling is actually a positive barometer of truth. Whenever you get that sensation, you are close to a major emotional self-discovery. That's how it always is for me, anyway.”

I don't know Julia. I don't know very much about chakras. I don't know why she chose this moment to leave a comment on my blog; but I do know this blogger from Nova Scotia Canada who writes A Piece of My Mind must have been reading my mind today.

Because that is exactly what happened in my waking hours this morning. A self-discovery. A peaceful resolution. A forgiveness. Or two. And a prayer of thanksgiving: that even the unsteady gait of this writer at this moment, has been pushed more into the realm of possibility – and sacred vulnerability – by those I have been blessed to know and love in the last two years. ALL of them.

I took this shot on a beautiful fall day in 2005 outside Bloggingham's walls - before I started a blog, before I became a Queen, before peace globes and message bottles, before I threw myself out there railing for the world to see. Before I became a half-faced mystery. And what did this wood-frolicking girl learn?

That the woman I see here in her grownup castle world closely resembles the little girl in the playhouse. She still plays with mud. She still sings with words. And the only one now – said the child of long ago – I have to answer to
is me.

Open the book, Mimi.
Page one.


Charles Gramlich said...

I think you've definitely shared some of your vulnerabilities. But I think that's what a writer has to do to get their message across.

Julia Smith said...

That must be why you tagged me for the Message in a Bottle in the first place ;)

jennifer said...

I came to your site to effuse about my visit from Royalty, how honored I was to have Queen Mimi grace my Blog with her presence. Honestly, a thrill to have you visit.

But I feel much more 'graced' by having read your blog post and your presence HERE is such a beautiful thing. Your words, Queen Mimi, flow and cause ripples before my eyes. A mistress of words!

"Black and Blue" dreams - I can relate. Your strength in openess, YES! I relate here too. So you prove yourself talented when your reader can identify with you and be in awe of your words at the same time.

I understand that this post was not about your talent as a writer but about your discoveries as a person. I hope your journey brings you continued enlightenment and satisfaction.

I am so happy that you visited. I hope you will feel welcome to come again. I am not as eloquent as Queen Mimi, but I have been known to occasionally coaxe a smile or two from readers. I would love the opportunity to play jester to your Queen-dom!

Be blessed.


Patti said...

You are a beautiful writer, Mimi, and I am honored to call you friend.

I too would like the open the book to Page one.

Akelamalu said...

Julia has great powers of perception Mimi. You've opened your heart here and what a beautiful big heart it is. Have a hug my friend ((HUG)) xx

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

wow, that was powerful honey! i'll be waiting...

smiles, bee

Carver said...

Dear Mimi,

I think being vulnerable takes great strength and loving our own mush is the hardest thing there is. For what it's worth, I love the mush you share with us, although I would call what pours out of your castle eloquent writing. Eloquent writing by any other name is just as poignant . . .

As ever, Carver

Odat said...

I'm glad you found her go play in the's ok to get some dirt on you! It feels good.
Thank you for sharing those beautiful thoughts.

Linda said...

This was beautifully written and if by mush you mean that type of writing that can bring a tear to one's eye, then this is powerful mush indeed.
My grandfather, or Grampie as he was known, was a major influence in my life as I think that he was and is the only man who ever loved me unconditionally and for me as I was. With just a smile or a hug he could make me feel loved and prized and cherished. Is it any wonder that 36 years after his death, I still miss him intensely?

May you always have mud-pies to feed us and mush aplenty and may your journey be accompanied by the ghosts of people who love you for, without them, I've got to think that life would be just that much emptier.

Now - on to page one ...

Asara Dragoness said...

I don't have anything eloquent or graceful to say.. but I feel like you need this, so here it is :)


You have just been virtually glomped.

Much love, fairy tales, and dragon scales :)


Travis said...

I've been sitting here for five minutes, trying to come up with some comment of substance. But sometimes the writer of a post says it all, and no comment is necessary.

This may be one of those times.

Ask your life questions, and enjoy the process of finding the answers.

Bond said...

Remember my description in my links... "...Brilliant Writer." that was from two years ago when we first met over a little blue marble...

Today, two years later it fits most perfectly.

2007 was a year of fluctuation for both of us my we have discussed before...the time to take that first step forward is now.

Go on, do it...and don't forget your mudpies...a journey can make one hungry.

Bond said...

Remember my description in my links... "...Brilliant Writer." that was from two years ago when we first met over a little blue marble...

Today, two years later it fits most perfectly.

2007 was a year of fluctuation for both of us my we have discussed before...the time to take that first step forward is now.

Go on, do it...and don't forget your mudpies...a journey can make one hungry.

Hahn at Home said...

Forgiving, but not forgetting. One of life's greatest feats.

kathleenmaher said...

Mimi, You're on your way now. I didn't see you in the clouds at all, btw. Or, I thought anyone might see whomever they pleased in those sweet white clouds in the blue, blue sky. Why not see yourself?
No getting away from staring down your fears. Either they scare you silly or they lock you up. Better to go with the silly. Remember that terrific meme you wrote?
And then, too, what gives us more sustenance that mush?

Turnbaby said...

Be vulnerable--be open--be alive.

The most wonderful things happen when you live life instead of slipping through it shrouded by fear.

You have so much life to live.

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

You are going to be just fine my friend. I just know it. Big hug and I ♥ Mimi very, very much. Have a great day sweetie. :)

Mimi Lenox said...

Charles - I totally agree. Opening up to the world is a bit trickier....

Julia - No coincidence here....

Jennifer - What kind words. Thank you. And yes, I think this kingdom could use a jester!

Patti - Thank you, Princess Patti. You are a true friend and I so appreciate you. You need to crank that book of yours out....what are we waiting for?

Akelamalu - I didn't know of your friend, Julia until a message bottle tag. I will not miss her blog posts again. Hugs to you!

Bee - How was the cruise? Do you have stories to tell? Did you find the weird people again??!

Carver - I value your words my friend from the Carolinas....

Odat - Mudpies on my mind. Yes.

Linda - What would we have done without our spiritual and emotional mentors? I'm glad you had one that touched you deeply.

Asara - I don't think I've ever been "virtually glomped" before. That was awesome...dragons and all...

Travis - Sometimes the "process" is not enjoyable until a bit of time has passed, but I do so savor the journey of reflection. Thank you for always leaving honest feedback on my blog. And when is your book coming out? All those stories of yours?

Bond - I cannot believe it has been two years. Yes, last year was a roller coaster and we both learned a lot about ourselves. That is as it should be. You have always been there for me. Always. To see you so happy and on the other side of a rocky journey is rewarding. Smooches.

Lori - It is indeed.

Kathleen - I like the analogy of mush and substance. I will remember that. Thank you.

Turn - No fear here. A lot of reflection but no fear. And you're right. It IS an exciting journey when you're open. Black and blue dreams and all.

Sandee - Hugs to you and heartfelt thanks for your daily visits and support. You know how I feel about you.
Now, do you know a good dream interpreter??

barbara said...

I have no other words of wisom than listen to your heart.This is a spiritual awkening.

I think that there are a lot of messages out there. But, we are too hurried,too doubtful or scared.

From one friend to another, you are beautiful just as you are.

Hugs (((((mimi ))))))

bundle-o-contradictions said...

Ya know, you cover so much here that I can't even go into how I feel the same in certain respects. All I know is that reading your blog is always an adventure. I feel you're one of the best word-weavers in the blogosphere. Thank you again for sharing. :)

Mimi Lenox said...

Barbara - What a lovely thing to say. Thank you.

Autumn - That means a lot. Really it does. I think that writing is an "adventure" into myself. The icing on the cake is when somebody else connects with what I write. That is truly amazing and I thank you.

Anndi said...

One of the most beautiful qualities someone can possess is the willingness to be vulnerable, to be open to the world and let it envelop you...

You are a most beautiful soul my dear friend.

Patti said...

I'm with Anndi about your willingness to be vulnerable, Mimi. (returned to see your responses) ;-)

My book is right there in my head. I'll write it Saturday.

Mimi Lenox said...

Patti - Have you started your book yet? Just wondering...

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