Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Whole Foods Adventure

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

the didgeridoo incident-small

 

Whenever I walk to Whole Foods with friends, we have an adventure, and not just the one where tall thin women ram you with their shopping carts.

This time, it was a guy with an enormous didgeridoo.  We had been drinking coffee, watching the circus that is Whole Foods, Venice. My friend asked the guy if he had made his didgeridoo, and he said Yes. He added that he used it for Sound Therapy.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I saw a documentary called Kumare, about an American-born Indian guy who decides to pose as a guru, to see if people will fall for it. Sure enough, everywhere he goes, people lap up his idiotic impersonation of a Mystic, exclaiming how they can feel his powerful energy, etc, etc. I found it depressing. People are so stupid. Or as my husband put it, more charitably, “People want someone to follow.”

Anyway, there is a Sound Healer in Kumare who uses a didgeridoo, and he looks alot like the guy at Whole Foods. “Were you in that Kumare movie?” I asked him accusingly. He seemed baffled and said no. He wanted me to sit down and let him demonstrate his therapy. He instructed me to focus on “an intention.”  I asked him if he was going to find out what’s wrong with me, secretly thinking “If he only knew!”

A handsome Black man intervened cheerfully, “Why does there gotta be something wrong with you?” He was wearing a fedora and eating a cup of Whole Foods ice cream. He looked as contented as a human being could be. I didn’t want to spoil his mood by answering him.

The Sound Therapist started blowing into his didgeridoo, moving it slowly up and down my back. It felt great! I could feel the sound waves vibrating through my body and I pretended they were evacuating evil spirits. It was extremely pleasurable.

When he was through, he asked me if I had pain in my lower back, noting that he could sense this with the didgeridoo. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings so I told him that while I had pain everywhere, my lower back was a place that sometimes hurt.

The truth is, my lower back is probably one of the few places where I don’t feel pain. I don’t believe in any kind of New Age healing. I don’t believe in gurus, gods, angels, the I Ching, the Secret, Tarot Cards, reiki, colonics, or anything else.

Time doesn’t heal either, as we know. But coffee is wonderful and so is Whole Foods, if you don’t buy your groceries there.

I Told You He Was a Cunt!

Monday, February 18th, 2013

It’s about time that cunt resigned. I can’t believe he’ll get immunity.

Paul Ryan: What a Fucking Cunt™!

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Oh, snap! After insisting that his obsession with Ayn Rand is an “urban legend,” a tape has surfaced in which Ryan gushes about Ayn Rand’s philosophy:

“It’s inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff. We start with Atlas Shrugged.”

What an asshole. Ayn Rand? What is he, sixteen?

And then to lie about it when he’s on record, again and again, of revering her! He had to denounce Ayn Rand because Catholics don’t like her atheism. Look for Ryan to become more rabidly Catholic as the Republican convention draws near.

Anyone who makes his interns read Atlas Shrugged is not only a moron but a fucking heartless cunt.

 

 

Lost Earring

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Last night I realized that one of my favorite earrings is missing. It so happens that I only wear one of the earrings at a time, because Keith Richards is still my fashion muse. It’s a long safety pin earring and it would look stupid to wear one in each ear.

Nevertheless, I want that missing earring! Where did it go? Why is it missing? Who would take it, besides Keith Richards?

I’ve looked everywhere, and I mean everywhere. It’s not with my other jewelry and it’s not in that little tray in the bathroom where I sometimes put my earrings.   When I looked in the tray for the third or fourth time, I recalled the story in The Boy Who couldn’t stop Washing about a woman who slashed her couches in a manic search for a lost hairbrush or something. I don’t want to be her. But I feel the seeds.

Saint Anthony is the patron saint of lost things, but as we all know, he never helps. You can pray your ass off but he won’t return your lost thing. I can’t even count the socks he has failed to return.

Remember when I lost my gold watch? Still missing. I have a hunch that it was stolen by a crazy Chinese nurse, but that’s a whole story on its own. This is about the earring.

I remember buying the earrings at Macy’s, where my purchase was rung up by a tired elderly black woman who was missing a critical tooth and couldn’t calculate the 20% sale discount. I bought the earrings at full price rather than give her more stress.

If I practice The Secret, will my earring manifest itself? Does Saint Anthony know about The Secret?

When I chose the image above from a rudimentary google search, I was startled by its projected violence. Can everyone see that he’s about to throw that baby into a river or cut it in half on that table? It’s so obvious! Maybe god told him to sacrifice the baby a la Abraham and Isaac, or maybe Saint Anthony is just nuts.

Maybe he’s nuts because he can’t find the lost things and he finally snapped, like the hairbrush lady with OCD.

Questions or advice, anyone?

Baptize me.

Monday, February 20th, 2012

As Whitney Houston keeps dying on TV, I am transfixed by envy, bitterness, and grief.

Her narrative has been transformed from the tragic untimely death of a dope addict to an adoring farewell to an angel. And why not? She was a person, not just a joke about crack.

I can’t help thinking about Max’s burial and the service we had at the grave. Just a small gathering of people in shock, numb or sobbing. Those who could speak talked about what Max was like and what they would miss. We shoveled some dirt and someone threw in a guitar pick. A moment later, nearly every man present stepped forward to throw in a pick. With the exception of me, we are a tribe of musicians.

Where was the big choir singing about taking him home? It isn’t fair.

I don’t believe in god but I wish I could hear about how He was waiting to hold Max in His loving arms.

This is what you get for being an unbeliever.  My husband told me that I could believe in god “if I wanted to.” I find this a preposterous notion. I do want to! Look how comforting it is for believers.

I want a church full of black Baptists, and I want them to sing their asses off, to testify that Max is an angel who was called home.   I miss him every moment that I am conscious. I try to be conscious as little as possible. I’m pretty sure that he hated Whitney’s music but he loved a good wailing gospel tune.

Maybe I can arrange something for his birthday in March. I don’t know if my heart is up to it. I’m not through with denial.

Let us play Omelette and let us say amen.

Visits From the Other Side

Friday, February 3rd, 2012


*  © Jack Bell Gallery

In the ever-changing world of the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria, one thing that remains consistent is a close connection with their ancestors. The ancestral spirits of the Yoruba are much more than just dead relatives, they play an active role in the daily life of the living. They are sought out for protection and guidance, and are believed to possess the ability to punish those who have forgotten their familial ties. While there are numerous ways the ancestors communicate with the living, one of the most unique is their manifestation on earth in the form of masked spirits known as Egungun.

The Yoruba believe that the transition from the realm of the living to the abode of the dead is not finite. It is just part of what African author Wole Soyinka describes as the “cyclical reality” of the “Yoruba world-view”. Each person comes to this life from the world of the unborn, through the “abyss of transition.” And each will leave again through this archetypal realm, as they make they way to the world of the ancestors.

When a child comes into this world, he or she is said to carry with them aspects of a former ancestor who is reborn in the child. This is not to say they are the ancestor reincarnate, but that there are certain features of their personality and elements of inborn knowledge that come from a previous relative. When the time comes to leave this earth, it is not the end of their existence either. Yoruba scholar Bòlaji Idowu explains: “Death is not the end of life. It is only a means whereby the present earthly existence is changed for another. After death, therefore, man passes into a ‘life beyond’ which is called Èhìn-ÃŒwà—‘After-Life’”

To be remembered is to be kept alive; to remain within the Sasa period, which is the realm of the living, the unborn and the ancestors.

Once an ancestor has been forgotten, they simply slip into the vast expanse of the Zamani, where the gods, divinities and spirits dwell. As long as an ancestor remains within the Sasa period, they have the ability to help those here on earth, because the living-dead are bilingual: they speak the language of men, with whom they lived until ‘recently’; and they speak the language of the spirits and of God, to Whom they are drawing nearer ontologically. In exchange for being ritually remembered, the living-dead watch over the family and can be contacted for advice and guidance.

Each Egungun may represent a particular person, a family lineage, or a broader concept of the ancestors. When contacted at a family shrine, the Egungun who appears is generally thought to represent the ancestor who is being summoned.

The Egungun is celebrated in festivals,    and in family ritual through the masquerade custom.   Through drumming and dance, these robed performers are believed to become possessed of the spirits of the ancestors as maifested as a single entity. The Egungun then spiritually clean the community and through exaggerated acting and miming, demonstrate both ethical and amoral behavior that occurred since their last visit.

“To be remembered is to be kept alive.”
~

*  Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou‘s photos led me to read about this subject. Even without their spiritual significance, they are sublime.

The Eyebrow Lady

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Today I went to my favorite beauty supply shop, on a street in a wealthy community where everyone is too thin and the people sitting outside Peete’s Coffee are  talking  to their agents on their iPhones. It’s a great shop that carries every obscure brand you’ve ever heard of and the sales people leave you alone unless you want their help.

I picked out two hair products that won’t have any effect on the quality of my hair, but I enjoy the process of wasting money this way. At the counter, a woman was asking for help with her eyebrows. She was explaining that her eyebrow has a cowlick and nothing she’s tried could solve the problem.

I was fascinated. The sales person was eager to help, and obviously relished the opportunity. She suggested eyebrow gel, but the woman said that gels haven’t worked. I managed to  suppress  my urge to butt in.  Personally, I swear by Lancome eyebrow gel in Brunet. It grooms the brows nicely and makes them look nice and full.

The sales person suggested  mustache  wax to tame the problem hair. I thought this was a great idea, even though I know you can actually get eyebrow wax at Bloomingdales or somewhere. It’s probably the same stuff, right? But the woman balked at mustache wax. She changed the subject to the dark circles under her eyes but continued to  complain  about her eyebrows. They were the bane of her existence, she said bitterly.

Finally, I couldn’t stand it. “Just pull that fucker out!” I snapped helpfully. Everyone turned to look at me. The sales woman smiled and said, “You’re so funny!” the way people do when they’re shocked by your candor. The eyebrow lady whined, “No, then I’ll have a bald spot!”

Now that I was involved, I offered a barrage of solutions but the eyebrow lady shot down each one. I began to realize how agitated she was. Maybe she didn’t really want help. Now she was complaining about the concealer she’d been offered and she refused to try the moustache wax.   The sales woman turned to assist another customer and the eyebrow lady announced that she would try a department store, where “someone has the time” to give her their “complete attention.”

I realized  that  she was nuts. Not in any dramatic way, but still nuts. One of the things I love about the beauty supply store is listening to women explain what they’re looking for, in a beseeching tone that reveals their absolute belief that something will make them beautiful and happy. I find it so poignant. The belief and the hope in that beauty supply store could fill several churches.

The eyebrow lady was an anomaly that almost ruined my pleasure in wasting $42. Almost. But when she left the store, everything was restored to normal.   I was disappointed that the nail polish I wanted was discontinued: it’s called “Bring on the Bling” and I tried it on last week when my BFF was having a manicure. It was like an entire Mardis Gras in a bottle.

Thank god I can still enjoy beauty products and I’m not a crazy eyebrow lady. That is my affirmation for today.

Christians, Curses, and Cannibals

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Meet Cindy Jacobs, a self-proclaimed prophet and right-wing supporter of fellow moron Gov. Rick Perry.

Watch her explain how Rick Perry’s Jesuspalooza broke the curse of “Native American Cannibals.”

Cindy and other members of the Apostolic Reformation movement will descend upon Washington, D.C. with   ”DC 40: Forty Days of Light Over D.C“, to do whatever it is they do.

Laugh, but be afraid.

Consolation

Friday, August 26th, 2011

“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics.

You are all stardust.

You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded. Because the elements, the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars. And the only way they could get into your body is if the stars were kind enough to explode.

So forget Jesus. The stars died so you could be here today.”

- Lawrence Krauss

Magic

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Today I went to see my psychiatrist but he forgot to tell me he’d be out of town. His office is in a studio behind his house, which has a large front courtyard.

Two beautiful young women appeared in the courtyard and explained that they were houseguests. They invited me inside to have a glass of wine and hang out. I laughed and said no, but when I found out that they were in a band, I changed my mind.

I went into the house and we talked about their band. One girl played violin and the other was a singer. I didn’t drink the wine, but for the next three hours we talked about everything there is to talk about.

We talked about death, family, sex, love, religion, childhood, bluegrass, jazz, fado and lipstick. The singer asked if I was wearing MAC Ruby Woo.   Naturally, we high-fived to the goodness of Ruby Woo. I shared my grown-up wisdom with them: Wear shorts as much as you can while you’re young! They were already wearing shorts, so they probably knew this intuitively.

I told them about my sons and they were incredibly sweet and compassionate. Then, they offered to play a song for me.

I closed my eyes and was transported by the sound of a soulful violin and a gorgeous smoky voice that soared and dipped in Spanish, a level of passion and musicianship that blew me away. When the song ended, we were all knocked out by how great it was. They weren’t used to paying as a duo.

They played another song and I imagined a huge career for them. Their beauty would be a bonus, I told them. We exchanged email addresses and it was hard to part. They walked me to my car and we hugged. One smelled like patchouli and one smelled like flowers.

I drove home feeling grateful that I could give myself over to happiness when the opportunity presented itself. I thought about how Max would have loved the singer, who wore winged black eyeliner.

When I got home, no one wanted to hear my amazing story. Regular people are hungry and cranky or  exhausted, and don’t give a shit about your magical day. They just want dinner.