I Yam What I Yam

Popeye The Sailor Man (1933)

I was a sailor, too. During one of our wars.

After I quit being a sailor I worked for a while on a pile driving crew.

Hardest work I’ve ever done.

Roughest men I’ve ever known.

An old timer told me to never walk around empty-handed. He said I should always have something in my hand. Even if it’s just a piece of scrap.

Looking busy is expected.

Sat. June 23: I’m down in the mouth and up in my head.

I’m out here wandering around the desert and in that whole clear blue sky there’s one tiny cloud and it’s hangin right over my head.

What’s screwin with one of us could be screwin with any of us.

In my previous post I reported that before too long my wife and I are going to pick up and move half way cross the country with no soft landing in sight. I’ve been worrying that a severe lack of $$$ is going to render our customary life style of lower middle class luxury null and void.

I worked around to reminding myself that it’s not so much the thing itself that winds me up as it is my reaction to the thing.

Yogis call this vairagya. Mindless reaction.

The real question after I get past the fear and loathing is always the same: What is my dharma? Once I get past all the chitta vritti bouncing around my gourd and settle into the still, quiet pool of being, then I know everything I need to know – and it isn’t that much.

I’m still working this and I’m getting a better hold on what my fear is. And since I hold that all fear is fear of loss, I will say that I’m getting a better hold on what I fear to lose.

I’m afraid of losing who I am. If I lose who I am – what’s left?

I keep myself bound up by the way that I cling to my ego-life – the “who” I am.

We think we know each other. We think we know certain things about each other. We compile all of that into thinking we know who each of us is.

We do the same thing to know ourselves.

I’m a guy who gets up and goes to work everyday. I’m planning on leaving my job and maybe not look for another one. I’m getting old, and I’m tired of all the trips back to square-one.

So now I’m going to lay down my job and not pick up another one. I think that’s what’s screwin with me.  I can no longer be the guy who gets up and goes to work everyday.

I’m going to be walking around empty-handed.

I’m not going to look busy.

If I can’t tell you who I am, then who am I?

If we know who we are by what we have … we’ll always be threatened with loss.

If we know who we are by how we are known … we’ll never know who we are.

I hear someone say, I don’t give a shit what anybody thinks about me. And I say, Yes you do. You’re the guy who wants to be known as the guy who doesn’t give a shit what anybody thinks about him. You work your ID as hard as anybody. Maybe harder.

You write I don’t give a shit on bathroom walls everywhere you go.

There are many variations of this.

I hear somebody say that they have no ego.

Ego talks like that.

I present myself in the way that I want you to think about me …. and then I try to get at who you think I am … in order to corroborate who I think I am.

We deal with what we deal with in the way that we’ve learned to deal with it.

It is a world of experience.

The old-time yogis said that this world of experience is here so that we can figure out who we are.

The world comes alive and then it starts to wake up with the myriad sentient beings. And then human consciousness comes in to make the push to fully awakened, fully realized living world. And if all we’re doing is ricocheting off each other dealing in images and power plays and the rest of it we’re not doing our job.

I have to work through this world of experience. I have to stay with whatever comes up. Not cling to it – stay with it until it dissolves.

Maybe I think that I’ve dealt with my shit. But as soon as I think that, I’m back in it.  Maybe a thin veil lifted; maybe I heard an angel sing. But as soon as I claim it I’m back in it. The moment I think that I’m above it, I’m back down in it.

Here’s a guarantee: If I think I’ve left it behind, I’m still in it.

I have to stay with that – thinking that I’ve got it and seeing that I don’t.

Don’t be distracted by suspicions of success.

Stop walking around looking into a hand mirror.

Truth is not revealed by adjectives.

Mon. July 2nd:

Did you ever wake up
With them bullfrogs on your mind?

Bullfrog Blues
William Harris (1928)

Let’s you and me take all that befalls us.

Find a beat for it.

Write us a sweet blues tune.


7 responses to “I Yam What I Yam

  1. Well, I might comment on this but I have nothing to add as you’ve said it all just like I’ve heard it in my own head. Thank you for putting it so well. Just as you pat yourself on the back for your brief trip to enlightenment you know you’re a fraud and a total douchebag. What a riot. Hey! Let’s laugh about it. And I get that thing about putting down the job and if you don’t have the job, who are you. Yup, been in that rat’s nest myself. Not our fault. First question anyone asks: What do you do? I smoke pot and stare out the window, how about you? HA. Huge love and thanks for this.


  2. No comment. Except that I liked it — sorry if that makes you a good writer and thoughtful teacher. You’ll just have to deal with it.


  3. Ok soooo bear with me on this little journey I’m about to take…like all good paths, they lead SOMEwhere, just not always sure where…

    The ocean always changes the shoreline…sometimes advancing it, sometimes making it retreat. Wind shapes rocks and mountains…chiseling away at them overtime, changing them into ever evolving works of art. The sun fades colors and dries out deserts. Time ravages our minds and our bodies. Such is the eternal ebb and flow of this life. Change happens, whether we like it or not.

    Amidst change and chaos though, our essence remains. The shoreline may dwindle down to nothing, no more than a few grains of sand; but the energy is still within each of those grains, even if they are now in the ocean. The rock may have been eaten and chewed and hollowed out by the wind, but its being is still a rock; what it came to this life with and it will still be intact when it breaks down. The colors may have faded from the cave drawings, but the original spirit and magic is still there. Time may have broken down our bodies, showed us our limitations, but our true selves are still in there. Our inner spark, our true light that we all arrived with is still there; still thriving and pulsating and keeping us going.

    So where am I going with this?

    I guess in my rather rambling, long winded way, I’m trying to say, or trying to question, does it really matter what we have in our hands or what we are doing? Does it matter if I’m called “wife” or “mother” or “daughter” or “sister” or “aunt”? Does it matter if I work here or there or nowhere? Does it matter what others say or think of me? Will any of that change my spirit, my light that was put into this body when I entered into this world?

    When I did my Energy Therapy training it was suggested that we are all luminous beings, made of angelic light and energy. At some point along the way, we became curious about humans and what it would be like to BE a human. So off we went. We were put into a human body and that’s where we sit and stay. Some of us adapt well, never looking back. Some of us struggle and long to “go home”. Others of us walk the middle path, ambivalent to this life, this form, just coasting along. But we are still that luminous being inside….we are creatures of light having a human experience.

    So ya know what, bring it on. Bring on the good, the bad and the ugly. At the end of the day, they are all just experiences. Some we simply “get through”, others we relish and bask in; while others are neutral. Through it all, we simply ARE. You can shout out “I AM” and know that you are…you simply are…


    • YOU definitely ARE, pixie girl. We really get caught up in all this. We need to keep breathing and smiling and following our hearts. See you soon.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s