Can’t finish that bottle of wine?

wine copyEver find yourself dying for just one glass of good wine, then agonizing over a whole open bottle that you have to drink soon, as in within a week, so it doesn’t end up in your spaghetti sauce, which you don’t make much anyway? That’s me. Luckily, I’ve found wines that are in the $20.00 range to put in my sauce if they don’t get finished in time, so I can spare the screaming $50 bottles that nightmare.

I’m not a heavy drinker. I could be! There is absolutely nothing like the taste of a good red wine. It fills you with that delicious, giddy, sublime feeling that you get from…well, love. You want to dwell in it forever. But I find if I drink too much, the love turns. It interferes with my mojo. Makes me more tired, lazy, not as organized and diligent, and GRUMPY. If only I had stopped after that second glass! Oh, why can’t I drink more and function like those who can!! Can they really?

A while back, I discovered that one of my favorite wines, JLohr cabernet sauvignon from the central coast of California, comes in a small bottle, and since then I run around like a crazy person looking for stores that carry it.

So, when I went on the Drinjk Wines site, I felt as though it was the solution to my angst. A business that sells small bottles in general! For people like me who just want to have a glass or two without worrying about flavoring spaghetti sauce…how awesome is that! And to be able to taste different wines and not feel bad about throwing away a bottle if you don’t like it! Wow.


Dreams and Stark, Inescapable Clarity

fantasy-2964231_1920Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

Dreams are strange things. They confirm the workings of the mind that one is not aware of, and they can expose your fears, desires…and flaws with stark, inescapable clarity. In one of the psych classes I took at college, we were taught the way to analyze dreams, which, being so young and opinionated, I was of course immediately skeptical of. But it works.

The premise is that since we create our own dreams, we are every character in that dream. So in order to understand the dream, you have to put yourself in the place of every character individually and examine your feelings. Those feelings are what you are experiencing in life, whether you want to acknowledge them or not.

Let’s take one of my relentlessly recurring dreams. In it, I am rejected over and over again by my first crush, way back in time when I was in the throes of teenage angst. Uggh. So glad that’s over. Anyway, in examining my own character in that scenario, I find: confusion, the pain of rejection, of hopes dashed, the denial of that rejection, the resolve to ignore it and move on, etc., etc., etc. Why would I be experiencing these emotions now as a fully grown, mature woman in charge of her life? And I realize these are things that are inseparable from life. We go through them in our professional life all the time…the fear that we will fall short, that we will be rejected and denied and will have to find that resolve to move on, to not let it crush us. What choice do we have? We authors struggle with these fears all the time because putting our writing out there is akin to putting our selves out there, as we did when we sought a romantic relationship. The approval of our readers completes us as human beings, much like our mates do. It’s a relationship that we seek with our readers, and that, like all relationships, is frightening. Okay, so that was me in the dream.

Now I put myself in the character of the rejector, the source of the heartbreak. And again I see uncertainty. But in addition I see pride in the self, the ego. I see the desire to explore and find the right thing, not settle for something that might not be right. I see neurosis, and the indifference to the hurt I might cause others in the pursuit of what is right for me. I see self-dislike. Wow. Am I all these things? I am.

I come away with a better understanding of myself, and a determination to be aware of those aspects of my character revealed in the dream which I don’t like. I find myself mindfully trying to avoid them. The dream still plagues me, which tells me I still have work to do. But at least now I’m aware of it.

Blog, Short story

A Complete, Thick Silence.

fog copy

The fog pooled around her feet. As she stared down at it in confusion, it began to rise, encircling her legs, her stomach, her heart. Strangely, she felt no fear, just a detached acceptance. One that comes with the understanding that there is absolutely nothing one can do but surrender, come what may.

Then the fog was around her head, her mind and she was immersed in it, body and soul. A complete, thick silence. Gone were the familiar sounds of life as she knew it. The birds, the cars rushing by, the people chattering. She felt as though she stood at the edge of the world. One wrong step and she would tumble into an endless fall. Into oblivion.

All of a sudden, detachment was replaced by panic. Where was she? What was happening? She wanted her husband, her friends. She whirled around, her eyes seeking a familiar focal point. A snapshot from her life. Something to remind her of who she was.

And then she ran. Breathless, filled with dread that she would never see those familiar things again, she ran, and ran and ran. Through the fog, she thought she saw dark shadows in the distance. The silhouettes of trees, buildings, cars, people. And she ran towards those, watching in horror as she got no closer. As they vanished one by one, all eaten by the relentless fog.

Finally, she dropped to her knees, panting, out of breath, desperately seeking that calm resignation she had felt before, the state of surrender that would take away the panic. What choice did she have? She curled up in a ball and retreated deep within herself, until she was nothing but a whimper, a moan.

And slowly in that fog, she began to feel something else. Comfort, an embrace. She rose to her feet, eyes closed and breathed it in, through every pore in her flesh, every cell in her body. And suddenly it washed over her, breaking all barriers, and she gave in to the wondrous feeling of…joy. Floated in it, dwelled in it. She did not want to leave it, wanted to be with it forever.

“Honey?” A familiar voice. She opened her eyes, eyes heavy with fog, and stared at her husband, lying next to her. Sleepily she rolled over into the warmth of his arms and settled in. She was home.

But the fog stayed in her mind. A thing unfamiliar, foreign, but brimming with…hope.

article, Blog

“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.” ― Herman Melville

moby dick

In Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Ahab, the captain of a whaling vessel, is obsessed with a gargantuan white sperm whale that took his leg. Hopelessly entangled in that obsession, he loses regard for all other life, including his men, his family, and himself. He has to get that whale. Kill it, conquer it…or maybe he wants to be a part of it.

To many people it’s madness, the term used to the ones who have said, “to hell with society, civilization, to hell with man made rules.” They are called mad because they defy majority opinion, the limitations placed on behavior and thought designed to keep a level of control over communities. And while those limitations are understandable…after all, we can’t have people doing whatever they want to the detriment of the whole…is there anyone who hasn’t thought now and then, “to hell with it all?”

Every now and then we see someone, perhaps an artist, perhaps a whaler, who says, “this is not doing it for me.” The vastness of existence looms before them, beckoning, hypnotizing, and everything thing else is laid bare in its meaninglessness. They want to look deeper, further, and challenge, explore, understand, and grow past what life offers.

That sense of challenge is what possesses Ahab as he chases, smiling, after something that seems unconquerable. To surrender control of life and be swept away on a wave of the unknown – isn’t that why people go on roller coaster rides? To experience for a brief moment the not knowing of what is coming next, and not caring; that madness is exhilarating. Of course, those who go on roller coasters feel safe in the knowledge that they will most likely come back down and resume life as they know it. Most likely.

To Captain Ahab, that gigantic white whale is the very incarnation of the boundlessness of the universe, of everything untouchable that throbs and pulses around us. He wants to conquer the unconquerable, one might say, or maybe he is just fed up with the pettiness of life around him, and wants to be a part of something bigger and more powerful. He knows full well he will not survive and goes to it laughing.

There are those who say his complete disregard for the lives of the sailors and their families is unconscionable and selfish, etc., etc. But the very first time Ahab encounters the whale, he catches a glimpse of the enormity of the whole picture. And there is no return. It’s undefinable, which is what beckons us, the artists, writers, spiritualists. physicists. We are all looking for a bigger meaning.

Rumi says, “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” Perhaps this is what Ahab wants to touch in the end. The ocean within himself. For in that seemingly endless, powerful body of water, that giant whale is God.

It can be called madness, to be sure, in that moment, that place in time. But when we look at it in the framework of death, infinity, and with the underlying feeling that perhaps none of this is real, but just a dream that we will all waken from one day, is it madness?

In the end, we see him being dragged along the ocean by the whale, but he seems to be smiling…he’s finally free, free of the limitations of life, the narrow-mindedness, the limited vision and petty rules of society.

He’s one with the universe.