Saturday, June 30, 2007

Love to the god within

Oh yes, it's been terribly long since my last post. Those who know me know that, 1)I love to write, and 2)I have never been in the habit of keeping a diary, especially a public one. That said, there are so many wonderful, magical people in my life, and some of them must be curious how things are going here at the Columbia House.

Alisa pointed out at last week's coop meeting (so well attended. Thanks to all of you!) that there are good people who would like to be associated with the coop we're building - and that's going rather well, thank you - but who stay away from it because of the name. "Holy Road House" just puts them off. She pointed out that we get regular friends-requests on MySpace from religious groups because of our name too. We are not a religious organization, which is apparent to all coop members. We are affiliated with no religions and have no interest in such relationships. To us, religion, like nationalism, is divisive. It separates and judges people and rejects those who are not part of their club.

To be fair, we have our biases too. We're not terribly supportive of people who don't share our progressive point of view on social justice, as an example. We try to love everybody equally, but prefer those who have found the personal courage to let themselves find and express their creative sides, who have expressed distaste for the subjugations of corporate culture, and of Walmart culture for that matter. We resonate with people who are willing to acknowledge and accept and explore their spirituality, but again, not those who express that through religiosity.

Does this make us hypocrites? This is tricky ground for us all - not just those of us drawn to the HolyRoad Tours coop concept, but all of us, even the most open minded and progressive of us. One thing that mitigates this for us is the fact that most if not all of us have come to understand that each and every person on earth, regardless of his or her level of consciousness or politics, is an expression of an Inner Truth. Hinduism has a convenient word for this: nameste. We recognize and give thanks to the god within you, within each and every one of you. This includes those caught in the cogs of The Machine, those still wearing the Mask (as Lizzie likes to put it).

I'm not willing to say this is enough to absolve us of our lingering prejudices. But it's an important step in the right direction - toward unity, toward sharing and cooperation. Toward peace.

Well, I guess I just had to explore that a bit. On a lighter note, I will indulge myself by a bit of boasting: I came home yesterday with close to a dozen bags of groceries. On my motorscooter. A personal best for me. And it wasn't that hard. Though one more bag probably would have been too much. I will, in future, probably shop more often and carry less each time. My message here is not a new one for me, but I want to repeat it: if you live in a city, either sell your car or at least park it and only use it when you really need to travel far and fast. A small cheap, fuel efficient motor scooter is not only Earth-friendly, it's a ton of fun!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

tweedle dee tweedle dum

so many things going on and going on like a sit down today and talk about the celebrating peace party which is a party of course so party we will by all playing together in the sandpit building temples to the moon

love from the holy road house don't forget our show saturday 9pm at mojos the hucksters

Friday, June 8, 2007

Holy Road Whirlwind

Well it's been, what, almost two weeks since Lizzie and Baba returned to Missouri and the Columbia Holy Road House. I've been living in the center of a cyclone, it seems - an odd place to be but not a bad one. Rather calm in a busy sort of way, as a matter of fact. Except for today, when I took everything, and I mean everything, out of the kitchen pantry and piled it on the kitchen table and tore the shelves out and scrubbed them and plugged a gaping mouse hole ... and then went out to play music and left the whole mess still a mess. But hey, that's life sometimes in the center of the cyclone.

We had a fine potluck gathering the Wednesday after their return, during which we talked about the coop and especially doing regular potluck and open mic nights at the Columbia house. Then we went to the back of the garden and planted a tree along with some of Lizzie's mom's ashes - a true blessing on our house and our efforts.

After playing a fund raising event with Hilary Scott tonight, I got to enjoy some of my friends, the Sphere of Prometheus, spin fire. This was very cool indeed.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

May Flowers

Saturday in Columbia Missouri. Is it like Saturday where you're from? Probably but the Holy Road House is hushed in anticipation of the return of its favorite son and daughter: Lizzie and Baba are coming back this week.

Prepare to join us this Wednesday evening for a potluck and jammin' and laughin' and kickin'. Much to do to get ready, much more to do once they're back. We have some serious playfulness coming up.

Meanwhile, our own lovely mistress ultra hostess Firedancer bought and installed some flowerage that is, for the moment only, nearly as beautiful as she is.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


One of my favorite zen stories:

There is the story of the man who had murdered ninety-nine people before he met a holy man. Thereafter he retired to sit beneath a tree beside a well traveled path. One day a warrior on his way to conquer the next town stopped before the man and demanded he move from his place beneath the tree. When the man refused, the soldier drew his sword, and the man rose from his place and murdered the warrior with his hands. He had killed a hundred men, but in killing the last he saved a hundred souls who would have died in the town. Immediately upon killing the soldier, the murderer was released from the karma of his acts and achieved satori.

So it goes.

Stories About Stories

Everyone knows I'm crazy for stories. Can't get enough of them. What is it that makes them so irresistable? I know I'm not alone -- our whole culture, our whole species is crazy for stories. We need them like we need air and water. I'm not at all sure we could live for very long if we somehow totally lost access to stories.

Our lives are stories, and we tell those stories to ourselves and to each other constantly. Virtually every conversation anyone has is a story or part of a story about ourselves and about others. Stories validate us, they remind us we're alive, but they're even more than that. We're creating our stories as we go, on the fly, moment by moment. This episode, now this one, and the next one, and this little complication, and now this huge dramatic moment, and our recovery from that, and the story goes on. And on.

So, although I have dedicated myself recently to the task of making up stories, of creating them for amusement and entertainment and maybe even enlightenment, it turns out I'm only one of many. One of billions, as a matter of fact. Which is quite all right with me.

One of the things I have bumped into, trying to learn how to tell stories, is the idea that it's possible to reflect on our lives and see them as unfolding stories, and that we have the power then to rise higher and higher into our real roles as storytellers of our own lives. We can, and probably should, get good at creating our own stories.

Psychologists call it "scripting your life". That's only one phrase to describe it, but it's a useful one. Cast yourself as the highly likeable and wonderfully competent lead in your own play: the play of your life. Then script it every day, every moment even. It's fun being a playwrite. Try it!

Okay. I want to indulge myself for a moment and share a story I just wrote (rewrote, actually - I drafted most of it long ago. It just needed to be completed). You can fine it here.

Love from the Holy Road House.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Remembering Stones

Consider this:

That all of your knowledge is like stones lying in a field. Where did they come from?

You didn't put them there. They erupted -- are continually erupting -- from the earth's bowels, from the soil itself, which is a fine matrix of crushed stones, old knowledge, edges worn away by endless exposure to the light of the sun, the pressures of water and wind, and the ceaseless, restless shifting of the earth itself.

Pick them up and build with them. Build a castle. Build walls, build mills and line wells, build your homes. Live in them, raise your children and animals in them. Line your gardens with them and shape your tools from them. They are endless and they are yours.

In time they will crumble back to the earth and with the help of the sun and moon, they will feed you. Know that they are the substance which feeds you, the substance that protects you. Know that they are the substance of which you are composed and to which you return.

Lay no store in knowledge. It is nothing. Like the stones, it is only earth and sun and moon. It is only the all of everything and only emptyness. You may value knowledge, but only for a moment. More than that disallows it, prevents it, subverts it into something other than its origins. Knowledge is only consciousness. It is the field itself in which you lay. Cultivate it, then forget about it.

As the poet says, "Work without doing."