Monday, January 15, 2007

Buried Alive in the Blues

I once made my father sign a contract that if I were to die, he would stick a stake of holly through my heart just to make sure that I was not buried alive. I spent a lot of time on the document which was written on Big Chief Paper in red crayon with a black crayoned line for his signature. I'd been reading a lot of Poe and felt nervous, not so much about death, but about being trapped. My dad signed it, saying, Nobody is going to bury you alive. You have to have faith. Faith wasn't my strong suit in those days, even though I spent a lot of time with the Bible. One of my favorite moments in the Good Book was the one with the man who wanted to be healed, but couldn't believe that he would be. So he got creative and said, Lord, Cure me of my disbelief! I often think the same thing, that I have faith that I can be given faith.

I'm the type of person who takes things to heart, that carries the weight of the world, not that the world knows or gives one rat's ass. I keep waiting for things to get easier, to calm down. But they don't. It's kind of like learning how to swim -- I'd struggle to get to someone or something where I could relax. And I would, but then I'd have to let it go and keep going. No rest for the wicked! Eventually I learned lots of things -- how to tread water, how to jump off a high dive without crawling back down, how to swim without using much energy. The one thing I can't do is float. No matter what I do, I sink. But other people can so I know it's possible. And I've helped people to shore, been pulled out of the water a few times myself. I've heard it said that love is the truest expression of faith. So we keep struggling against the waves. Even when they threaten to overtake us, we keep going. Because there's nothing else to do. I suppose that's faith. And if it's not, then I have faith that it can be.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live." Martin Luther King, Jr. , from a speech in Detroit, Michigan

Cocktail Hour

Drinking reading suggestion: Eva's Man Gayl Jones

Benedictions and Maledictions

I, like many writers, am superstitious. Almost every single day for the last ten years, I have listened to the same piece of music when I begin writing, a jazz composition written by Alice Coltrane in honor of famous husband John. I heard the song in an Alvin Ailey dance production and spent a huge amount of time tracking it down, given that there was no easy way to find things in those long ago, early Internet days. Alice Coltrane died yesterday night in L.A., far away from Detroit, where she was born and lived for a long time. I'm sure she had a devoted following, although I doubt that anyone spends quite as much time as I do listening to her one song, over and over again, as a form of inducing a writing trance. Many of my exes have a great dislike toward the song, a hatred one might say, calling it the "garbage can rattling lid" song. I, however, hope to spend the next ten years listening to it. Rest in peace, Alice Coltrane! And Happy MLK Day to all!


Andrew Warhola said...

Go directly to photo, do not pass go, do not collect $200 dollars. Holy batshit, Batman!

Alzheimer said...

I forgot what day it is. Let freedom ring. Long live MLK and the Coltranes.

Father Damien said...

Excellent belief in faith, Michelle.

Sister Peter Marie said...


Paul Tarot said...

What a card.

The Black Cat said...

There's a lot of entombment in Poe.

Mullah al-Saddam said...

Gallows humor, too.

Cock knee said...

The bloody bloke jes lost ees ed.

The Queen of Hearts said...

Off with their heads!

John Bull said...

Rule Brittania! Brittania rules the waves!

Winston Churchill said...


Harry Morgan said...

Hucklebuckleberrybeanstalk! Can anybody HEAR ME? Can ANYBODY HEAR ME?

Oscar Winner said...

"What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?" with James Coburn, Harry Morgan et al is a laugh riot beyond comparison. Harry Morgan gets lost in the catacombs. Entombed. Hilarious.

AP said...

And I don't give a flying fuck about the number 13.

Anonymous said...

I know your post is about faith (and love) but your mentioning that you cannot float reminded me of a man I once knew.

He taught the lifesaving (lifeguard) course I took at a YMCA, and he was also a certified diver and diving instructor.

His natural bouyancy was such that he would come to rest 15 feet below the surface of fresh water. He remarked that he had to carry less weight on dives than most of his diving buddies because of this.

It's good that he (and you) learned to swim. Some folks just don't float.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Hey Michelle,
I used to believe in that line--"You gotta have faith"--until I heard George Michael singing it over and over on the radio. As for struggling, I guess we all do that; although some people get noticed more than others. I love the MLK quote.

Anonymous said...

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

Literally translated it says from the greek "Faith is the title deed of things hoped for; the evidence of ownership before they are seen"

You have faith, not faith that you will be given faith. Faith is not beliveing without understanding, faith is knowing that what you believe is yours before you have it. so in a converse logic because you have faith because you own the idea that you will be given faith, you already have it. the key to faith is using it.

Take this to heart, you do not carry the weight of the world, it is not your job, unless it is you and I who have been walking together these past thirty seven years and I have been calling you Michelle instead of Father, that's his job.

What you can do is care deeply about this world. And that in and of itself is a torturous path to walk because then every evil strikes you in your core. Give that up.

Instead build a wall around the deep part of your heart where the slings and arrows rarely can penatrate. I have told you many times about the many walls I built around my heart and how one gets from one garden to the other.

The world as it is, does not belong in your core where your love and peace reside, all that leads to is a constant battle in your spiritual home. Who the fuck needs that aggravation?

Certainly not a person of humanity and one who longs for peace and a good martini without worry in a comfortable chair.

Michelle the worlds and all of it's evil and goodness will never change as long as mortality inhabits it so why cry over it when you can laugh about it? Men are fools all men, even the great ones like Martin Luther King one of my hero's, thinking he could change the world.

And had he lived he may have changed it the same way Ghandi did with the Hindu's taking a portion and the Muslims taking a portion, then going to war over the middle section.

Now it's a terrible situation but the foolishness of people who united together for freedom then going to war against one another is laughable. God has a sense of humor and with that one I believe he laughed his spiritual ass off over. Just because of the ignorance of it.

Remember the tree was the "Knowledge of good and evil," not "the take to heart knowledge of good and evil."

God damn you know you got me preaching again. God told me a Long time ago, as i have also told you, I never had to do again. But I hold you deeply within the walls not quite the ninth one, but close to it, so when I read of your turmoil I have to share what I know, from your own Bible.

So like in your swimming, practice this

1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

2My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

So later in the day on a monday let me sum up in this way. If you want to know if you have faith then ask that spirit within you to show it to you, if you have need then let that spirit know, not that it doesn't already but it is the old if you don't ask then it must not be that important to your soul.

I guess i have enough body fat because i float better than anything else when i swim in the water.

as always my friend PEACE

Keep listening to your juju piece of music and i will keep having a cigarette while I look at the blank page and let it tell me what goes on it.

again Peace

Shawn Cannery said...

A piece and a good martini. Perfect.

paul said...

O Mighty Isis
R2 C2 Foxy Lady D!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle, wow, faith, now that's something I am currently struggling to hang onto . . . like a small raft in the ocean, a place to 'rest' but not for too long . . . before I have to keep swimming and keep swimming and keep swimming!
I have often wondered about the mustard seed analogy in the Gospels . . . all we need is to have faith the size of a mustard seed to move a mountain? What am I not getting here? Am I the mountain? I feel at times I have faith the size of a mountain and I get pushed over by a mustard seed????????????
I don't know anymore, Michelle. I am being tested big time here . . . xo

Michelle's Spell said...

Dearest Pythia,

I can totally relate to your feelings right now -- I feel as if I am a bit and so felt compelled to write about the subject, as some people in the south say, the subject was on my heart. We're living in a hard time and everyone is waging a great battle just to keep above water, I think! Hang in there and thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said...

Namaste. it means "The spirit in me sees the spirit in you"

None of us is the mountain, the mountain is the doubt and all of us must pass through times of struggle in order to see that the struggle was so small when it becomes just a memory.

Huge it is in this heartbeat but with the faith big enough to fit into a heartbeat the struggle is always beaten to nothing. The best way to see your faith of today is to see how it helped you in your past.

Yet as a final question for today what is it you have placed your faith in?

Bhudda (the state of; not the statue),

Where you place your faith is what determines the result of your faith.

I wish I could regret the long sermons of late but these are issues that I have forever come to peace over and have no doubt in and because I too care deeply for the fate of humans in this period of life; I am compelled to speak of them. even though it would not be sin to me to stay silent.

Michelle, Pythia3 and all of you who honestly care find peace, the core of which is forgiveness, is my call to the creator for you.


John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle a most lovely view and post as always. The Walking Man has left just enough space to say Bravo! The Auto Show calls The Working Man but you are never forgotten and always appreciated and loved. Peace champagne caviar and happiness to you my dear always.

Anonymous said...

Testing testing..just checking to see if there is room left lol

Milton Supman said...

Enough paczkis for everybody!