The Magic Bullshit Shield

Imagery.

I imagine something and make it viewable. I write something and make it imaginable. I + mage = Image. We are all mages, tricksters and creators. ALL of us. How this expresses itself is the only variable.

I respond, with my tactile senses, to something and it moves me to a non-tactile ‘place.’ It moves me to the ‘mage magic’ place. This is expressed in so many ways. When I was young there was a girl who was on the cheerleading squad. I only have seen this once in my life and I have seen many cheerleading squads but she was exceptional.

Why?

I tried to figure it out for a long time. She had short, dirty dishwater blond hair. She had terrible acne. She could not do the splits of any of the fancy stuff the rest of the squad did. Her parents were poor and not ‘town team sponsors’ (which will often get an ‘average’ girl an ‘exceptional’ placement.) She was NOTHING at all like a cheerleader and she was not even a SNOB!

She was like no one I ever met and I liked her and so did everyone else. I asked her, while riding that ugly yellow signature school-bus, what her secret was. See, at that time, everyone was calling me a ‘witch’ and so I was studying that. In those days, way out in the tall grass boonies of Oklahoma, in those ranch town libraries, about the only thing you could find was about the Salem Witch Trials. She looked at me in a strange way and then she said, “I am happy and I don’t care what anyone thinks of me. I am happy anyway.”

She really WAS happy but there was more to it than that. Her personality ‘stuck out’ farther than her skin. Her soul was larger than her body. After that I started to LOOK AT people and LOOK INTO them. I learned this:

The two do not always match.

There are those walking around in this world who are very powerful people and yet do not fit any descriptors of what a powerful person should look like or be. In doing this I met many such people over the course of my life. There was the young man who was the shortest, most snaggle toothed kid in the school and yet, when he played music, the girls who hung out with the homecoming queen would ask him out on dates. Once his band mates asked him what his secret was and why weren’t they getting any action as they were tall and ripped in comparison to him. He just smiled and shook his head.

There was the hippie English teacher who was weird and stoned and yet we learned more in her class, than we ever would learn anywhere else, about language and how it works. She was tall and strange with wild black hair and everyone made fun of her. She didn’t care what they thought.

It wasn’t the ‘I don’t care’ that is a REACTION to bullies and their bull shit but an ACTION that told the bullshit people, before they reached that stage, that their bullshit was not going to work.

That was the secret. Understanding what bullshit is and making yourself impervious to it.

Bullshit proof.

So for the New Year hits that is my wish for all my friends: that you keep, or learn to wield, your magic ‘bullshit shield.’

Facebook Asks Me…

…What’s on my mind?

Fantasy
Sexual odes to Love,
Iridescent bubbles,
Slow dancing with angels,
Infatuated euphoria,
Transforming,
Music that makes me smile,
Writing love songs to my beloved
Sprung full grown from my brain
After giving me a headache

What’s on my mind…

Dark eyes filled with stars,
Leather and sheesha,
Galloping across the plains,
Mountains in the distance,
Hawks on our wrists,
Flung skywards
Full of prayers

What’s on my mind…

Deep blue evening,
Round pebbles making water speak,
Hung around your neck
Wear me,
And I will wear you,
Leaning on the tree to big to move,
Breathing in you
Breathing out you
In and out moving
Into darkening
Cool

What’s on my mind…

The room The screen The words The end.

The Wolves Are At The Door

She used to sit out by the pool with an elegant, long stemmed wineglass in her hands and get drunk like a genteel older lady does, along with another older woman and two young Moraccans. They were a little ‘set’ and I would watch them, alone, from my upstairs apartment, along with many of the other drunks there who put on quite a show every weekend.

They were not like the other drunks.

They did not fight or need to have the police called on them. They talked about religion and politics and all were quite smart. The oldest women, in her sixties, and still gracefully lovely, had no children or husband or anyone.

I always watched them from a distance.

One day she was not there anymore. The group was gone and the other woman had taken them to her back patio. Now they drank in private. I assumed the other lady was with them.

There was a day, that week, I was walking past their patio while one of the young men went in and saw the older woman was not there. Curious, I went to her door and knocked and heard a thin cry from inside.

The door was locked…I went to the manager and explained. The manager gave me a key and I went and unlocked the door.

The place stank so badly. This could not be the house of that elegant woman! Everywhere was elegance in chaos. Her cats ran to me ‘MIIIOOOON MIOOONNN RRRAAAOOOO MIIIIONNNN’ and led me to the kitchen where there were empty food bowls and water dishes that I filled with canned cat food from the cabinets. The cat boxes were overflowing and I heard her voice calling weakly “Who is there? Who is there?” I went through the living room where it looked as if things had been knocked over by something dragging and went to her room…

…she looked mortified.

By her bed were open cans and a can opener and they had been pulled in on a sheet, drug across the floor perhaps, and hauled up to the bed somehow…empty cans were everywhere and a dirty spoon and she was huddled under a satin comforter and the room smelled like….
“Please please can you get me some wet washrags from the bathroom?”

Her voice was so weak.

“Where are your sheets?” I asked her

“In the middle cabinet in the hall.” she whispered almost like relief.

When I came back to her room she was on the floor on all fours in a lovely elegant lace gown stained with humanity. She looked so piteous.
“The wolves are at the door!”

“There are no wolves we are in the city.” I assured her thinking she was weak from hunger and seeing things and I wondered why her friends were not here with her? I took the soiled sheets off the bed and put clean ones on and did like I remembered from the days I worked in a nursing home. I put a smaller sheet where she would lay that would be removable and save the bed.

“Can you get up?” I asked her

“No.” She whispered back….

“Ok then put your arms around my neck and we will do the ‘firemans hold’, Do you know how? She nodded and I managed to roll her back onto the bed.

“I need to call someone to help you. who can I call?”

“Please give me the wet washrags and leave for a few minutes?” She was crying. I left.

After some time I went back and she had tried to hide the soiled rags under the bed…
“Where are the trash bags?”

“They are in the cabinet above the sink.” I went and got them and used them like a glove to retrieve the soiled things from the room and bag them up without touching them and put them in her washer with some soap…I stayed a while and set her house in order and kept asking her who I would call to help her but she would not allow it.

“PLEASE PLEASE don’t tell anyone about me!” She begged me with tears in her eyes and against my better judgement I agreed.
I went back once a day for the same routine for only three days and the next day I went and the door was wide open and ER technicians were standing in the living room.

“Are you her next of kin?”, They asked me.

“No I am not but I was helping her….”

“The last thing she told us was ‘the wolves are at the door’. Do you know what she meant?”

“No but did her cats all run out? She told me a lady who was going to take them and I have to take them to that lady. How did she die?”, I asked them.

“It looks like she had a broken back…she must have been in terrible pain. Are you her friend? Do you know who we can call?”

I thought of all the times I saw her with her friends…I thought of all the times they laughed and all the times they spent together…no they were not her friends.
“She has no one sir.”

“OK I will call a mortuary…thank you the police will come and may want to talk to you later but this looks like natural causes.”
That older woman had osteoporosis and cancer and had never told anyone. The wolves had come.

Dog Run Trail

Copyright by Mary S Ahmed

There is a Mountain south of me that the First People say opened to allow the last of the buffalo in to save them from extinction from the white men who were killing them off by the hundreds and letting the bodies rot. It was said that when it was safe the mountain would open once more and Buffalo would once more range the sacred land of 32 springs….Medicine springs. It is not really a mountain and it is only 2000 feet high but it offers a panouramic view of the rolling hills and desert grasslands around it. Many many times I climbed it without a trail and rock hopped back down again through prickly pear cactus that is edible and fruits red and through arroyo mequite bushes that are good for sickness and always the small, gnarled oaks with nuts so high in tannic acid they have to be parboiled twice or more before you can eat them….but the tannin water is good for gripe but I digress….

Out there are great grey mountain rattlesnakes and often you find thier shed skins in season and bees make thier homes up there and you can hear them when they swarm, in great masses,  from far away. A person who knows the land can go alone and I did go alone quite often years ago. If you pay very close attention you can smell and hear and see what is there before you get there. There are tracks of birds and hooves. If you see hawks circling over head you always know why. These granite rocks that jut impudently out of flat prairie are my bones and the red dirt is my blood and the wind is my friend. I love this land. When my feet touch it I do not think of nations. I think of home.

Off the black top, past the prairie dog fields where mounds of rich dirt dot the land behind a fence, there is a turn off and a short dirt road that ends in a peaceful clearing with a trashcan near a painted wooden post marker that has the trail marked for the hiker. Da and I used to go there and he would go one way and I would go the other. He would go where the fishing was good and I would hike and we would agree to meet back at the marking post. I always took with me water and a compass and a short, sharp knife. I was one of the few people who was not afraid to hike in sandals and so I did because they are comfortable and tall rocks are much easier to climb barefoot and sandals are much lighter to carry.

There IT was before me: Gods’ Paradise made for me….I would breath deeply of the smell of sun hot dirt at the beginning of the trail and see the Black Oaks around and hear the trickle of the stream that was just ahead where reeds grew tall and you could fish for cattail roots with your toes and the smell of rotting vegetation where beavers backed up small dams as the trail began in lush green….but the cacti around reminded one always that this was the edge of desert country.

Dog run trail was supposed to be marked and the trail sanded every year but every year the trail would quickly wear away and you were on your own to make the four mile circle through several terrains up and down and past one small water fall so no one who hikes there looked for man made markers because those of us who KNEW…we knew BETTER…

People say you should never travel wild land alone and often cite the many dangers and I suppose they may be right but in all the years I did it the worst thing that ever happened to me was sitting on a catus while squatting to pee…and THAT hike was nearly three miles back to base after I THINK I pulled all the long spines out myself, blind of course. Never was there a time I wished I was MORE flexible then head-between-the-knees….but once more I digress and that is another tale for another time.

What can I tell you of the wild land all around? The feeling of the hot summer wind in your ears as it roars with the leaves that are too dry from lack of rain until the Fall? The way that mud squishes up around your toes and tries to pull the sandals from your feet as cold spring water like ice contrasts with the hot wind? The chills of awe that climb your body as you realize there is nothing between you and God and that God has laid out this orchestra of light and sound and colour just for you? The way that salt dries on your face as you move free and drips down to kiss your lips like a lover and the taste of the human sea within? The way the wind pushes into your arms when it blows hard from the mountain face and holds you close to It’s heart and you KNOW….YOU KNOW that earth is alive and real and laughing at you and feeding you energy from her Motherly center? The way your voice sounds when you yell and it echoes down rock valley walls?

Memory crushes me now as those granite boulders crushed the land and made the terrain a xeriscape of unspeakable beauty that no human could, can or ever will match! And now it is not the salt of sweat I taste but tears from eyes that have SEEN that God is REAL. As muscle pushes legs to walk and one step more and you think you cannot and some power within takes over and you stride the hills suddenly with all of thier strength and longevity. Nature makes love better than any human. That I can attest to!

The red trail looses its gravel very quickly to the wind and storm and if you do not pay attention it is easy to be lost…..

as the stream bed passed away I veered from the trail as was my want to do….I always found the water fall because I knew that I had to pass the small valley of Cedar to get there to the rock falls with the small cave beneath and the bright flash of a small desert stream that only flowed in season where once James and I….and yet once more story.

As I hiked across granite outcrops and climbed and alternately followed random deer and buffalo trails until I was far enough afield in a plateau of tallgrass prairie That I realized I was at THE FENCE. Because it was a fence I had to go through it! The barbed wire was wide and easy to skinny through. Now I was in the NON tourist land…the wildest of all!

There is a special almost sacred feeling that makes you very quiet even though you want to cry out with joy and dance as I had done on other occaisions there, but never alone. When you are alone it is best to be quiet in that land.

My leather sandals crunched the dry grass underfoot and made me think that this was the season for fires. Just ahead of me was a tall boulder with crevasses in it and it seemed to be perhaps 24 or 30 feet high and I thought it might be a good idea to climb it to get the lay of the land as I was now in buffalo grazing pasture. I always wore brown and green when I went and never any perfume because white attracts bees and red attracts everything and perfume attracts anything that flies and has a stinger in its tail…but even with all of these precautions I was not prepared to round the boulder and face an angry bull who suddenly noticed me instead of the herd. There is a wild smell to them…and also whiffs of scat as my sandals flew from my feet and my hands and feet found a way to climb that boulder and leave my sandals behind. The top of the boulder was flat. The bull knew I was there and circled.

I began to panic. The sun was moving. There was no cell phone then they did not exsist. there was no way to contact Da. He would go to the emergency phone by the prairie dog field and call the rangers…if they had to send a heli out for me how could he explain he let me go alone? I watched the sun sweating rivulets and sipping water and then laughed at myself for the fear…

I was glad when the bull was distracted by something in the herd and left. I climbed down and made my way back to the fence and back to the marker…..

…..late.

Da asked me what had happened.

I said I lost the trail but found it.