Planet Waves | Genexhibitionist by Maya Dexter


Migration by Via at Studio Psycherotica


Where There's A Will

Genexhibitionist by Maya Dexter

It's finally past eclipse season again. In the past month there were three in a row, lined up like beads of nothingness, pure potential on the great necklace of our little solar system. Most of the walking wounded in our office buildings and decaying cities will shove it in the bottom of their jewelry boxes without ever trying it on. We as a society keep our chances to live free and flexible tucked away for safe keeping, "just in case," whenever that might be, as though we only had so many chances to recreate ourselves, three strikes and your out or something like that. But I have always been decadent. I like rich sauces and dark chocolate and passionate kisses and road trips and changing and changing and changing just because I can and because life is an apple to be picked, not to be left rotting on the tree. So I'm wearing my necklace fearlessly, even if it is a bit garish for office attire. But it's probably the office attire I need to lose, not the potential.

Eric likes to say eclipses are like doorways, which at first struck me as rather pedestrian, but when you think about it, walking through three of them always means you're going into something very alien from whence you came, like a darkroom or a clean room or a decompression chamber or a prison. In a regular building if you have walked through three doors you are most likely deep in the belly of the beast, nowhere near a window. Likewise, when you walk out of those alien worlds, the light of day or the fresh breeze or the moon hits you like a ton of feathers. Which way you're going is unique to your own path, but I don't think anyone truly appreciates freedom without first walking through fire to get it. Otherwise its value is lost and it's just another bauble collecting dust on the shelf of experience.

I have this ritual that I do on every solar eclipse, it started back in August 1999 - remember that one? Talk about a doorway! So what I started doing back then was to write down all the stuff I want to give up, all the parts of me that don't fit anymore and just sit in my closet taking up space and dragging me down and get in the way when I'm looking for the stuff I want. Then I burn that page down to nothing. I note the parts that won't burn easily and think to myself, "how true, those parts of me are hard to let go of". Then I get out another piece of paper and I write down all the things I want to fill that space with and I keep it and check in with myself later.

This last one, on June 10, I almost blew it. The destruction part I did fine, and then I went on to the creation portion but I filled half a page with "I want" before I recognized my mistake. Just about every teaching I've ever encountered will tell you the same thing: words are a very creative force and by "wanting" you create wanting, not having. I guess even Kali can have a bad hair day from time to time (when the goddess of destruction and creation has a bad hair day, does she cut it all off and then grow it back?). Fortunately some mistakes are easy to fix. So I scratched through I want again and again and replaced it with I WILL. Selections from the career section:

I WILL become a professional writer.
I WILL become a Massage Therapist.
I WILL play my music in public.
I WILL get out of corporate life forever and still be materially comfortable.

What's that old saying."be careful what you ask for, you just might get it"? It's a good thing I meant it, because once you ask the Universe nicely for something, it is usually happy to respond. Quickly. Ready or not, here it comes.


I work for architects. Before this job I thought the personalities in advertising were the worst of any profession. But at least in advertising they try to keep a sense of humor. Not so in architecture, too many of those big expensive angular Saturnian buildings, which are really monuments to the architects' egos. Not that they're all like that, mind, you can find kindred anywhere. But by and large these people are aliens to me. I need the money, though, so I do my best and try to keep my own little immediate atmosphere interesting.

My favorite way to keep things fun was to write poetry. We do a lot of paper pushing. I send out a report every week to be edited electronically. So it sort of happened that each week I would send it out with poetry that I wrote about the report. It started out small, a couple of haiku, and then a limerick, a beat poem, a Shakespearean sonnet, a Dr. Seuss parody, a giant alliteration. I loved it so much that when people asked me about my job it was the first thing I would mention.

But there's this man in my department, one of those people who has miserable self-esteem, which he keeps at bay by making people feel stupid or by squashing their personalities. My self-esteem is relatively immutable these days, so all he could really do was try to kill my joy. He asked me to stop writing the poetry, something about "some of us" working too hard to appreciate something so frivolous.

Practically an engraved invitation to leave corporate life. And not three days after I asked.

It was in that moment of raw contempt that I realized I could not work in an office anymore. The problem lies squarely with me: I have lost my fear of authority. I don't cower anymore, I see everyone as my equal, I feel I deserve to be myself wherever I am, and so I can no longer be trusted to keep small and stay in line. I have begun to see my life as far more valuable than the low end of five figures and the cramming of my spirit into a cubicle, and too joyfully voluptuous to stuff into the spaces between forty hours of work and forty hours of sleep. I'm just too big inside to fit into that cube anymore. Were I not the primary breadwinner for my family right now, I would have walked out that very minute. But instead I swallowed my tongue and tried to let it go. And then I went home and wrote my resignation poem for when I am ready to hand it in. It's amazing how many impolite words rhyme with "quit."

In the meantime, I hide poetry in all my emails. Most of them are exactly seventeen syllables long. Some, if you look closely, rhyme. Guess my joy is immune, too. does not have any listings for poets. All the listings for writers are either boring or requiring education and experience I lack. But as I promised, I WILL become a professional writer. So I started looking into freelance writing. After reading a few how-to-succeed-in-freelancing websites, I am beginning to suspect that the writers of these sites try to intimidate newbies on purpose. I have no doubt it is a difficult business to get into, and I am dumbfounded by the sheer quantity of writers out there scrambling for a few bucks for their thousand words. It's like the music business in that way, I guess. But I can't imagine that my only path to success is by letting someone more experienced guide me there, for a small fee of course. I think I'll pursue it on my own. I have blind determination and a damn well placed mercury on my side, and hopefully that's enough to get me started down the path. I guess this is one way to face a fear of rejection


I get a lot of junk mail: credit card offers, weekly sales fliers and Chinese food menus, most of which go, unread, into the recycle bag. But this week I got not one, but two actual keepers. Both are from local community colleges, through which I can get both a massage certificate and a student loan, and take classes in the evenings and on weekends. The fact that I am even considering these options marks a huge shift in thinking for me, like deciding to walk on water instead of drowning in it. I had always intended to get my certification from only the most progressive, new-agey natural type institute, where they would teach me useful skills like energy management and chakra balancing, beyond the basic anatomy, pathology, and shiatsu classes. The trouble is, those places cost thousands and thousands of dollars and don't offer financial aid, but they very generously allow you to make monthly payments that are more than a mortgage on a McMansion. Which is why five years later I still don't have my certificate; I've been waiting to become independently wealthy so I can quit my job and go stresslessly devote my days to learning bodywork. No sacrifice, just payoff.

Sookay, maybe life doesn't quite work that way. Anything worth doing is worth risking for ­ you can't stay safely on terra firma and leap into the abyss both at the same time. But instead of putting energy into figuring out how to go to massage school, I've been putting energy into getting more money, in order to go to massage school. It's a convoluted equation that hasn't even begun to make me any happier or closer to my dreams, and I haven't had much success either, because I have no taste for what it takes to have a lot of money. So, tail (wagging) between my legs, I am going to an affordable regular old school with regular old people and I'm going to quit my regular old job by this time next year, burn my resume and pantyhose and never look back. Then I can take some continuation classes and learn to balance chakras once I'm safely ensconced in a job that brings me real joy, and will even leave me with more time to write and play my guitar. There's no such thing as too much joy. And there's no time like the present to get started.

My family has been waist deep in risk lately. My husband is in school and working two jobs, we've moved twice in the past year, and had some pretty all-around wild adventures. And we've never been happier. We all seem to need that constant changing, a dynamic movement to life, like the tides. From here it feels like we can do anything. It's beginning to feel like this life might actually belong to me and really is mine to do with as I please. It's like all the best presents and the best love and the best moments you ever had all gift-wrapped in one multi-dimensional package. It's like upgrading your video card so you get true colors instead of a limited spectrumno, it's more like getting up from the computer and going outside and really looking at how lush the world is. It is so indescribably delicious to decide to do something and hear your partner say, "go for it, we'll make it work no matter what," and your friends say, "I know you can do it, and you're going to be so great at it!" It makes you feel supported, like all of creation is conspiring with you to make your dreams happen.

Where there's a will, there's always a way. ++

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