It’s not just cream until it is.
A preamble. Language is enmeshed in the sea of sleep we swim in, at least according to all the major dudes who have crossed over into a different ocean of sublime absence and learned to speak from there with thunderous invisibility. Like passage through the plastic morass in the earth bound ocean that traps otherwise free flowing fish, speech for those of us who are dawning comes with difficulty, I find. In the lovely stillness of the sun’s early rise, any word at all seems like a shout. There are the poets who know how to thread the needle and sew a garment for the soul. But then, isn’t it better to be naked, like the King?
Taking a path of story-telling and metaphor can steer away from the daunting quagmire of plasticity, while acknowledging the humanity of needful inclusion. I’ve seen language used in ways that give rise to the possibility of, as Jan Cox evidently put it, “eating with three sets of teeth”. Mindful of association and steering clear of its consensus reality hooks, such language can speak past the thief to the rightful and Soul proprietor of this mind/body conglomerate. I am not one to invent new language, at least, not at this present moment. I am developing my hearing of it. I can and have told stories. I can appreciate a good story teller with a keen power of observation that feeds me a dose of Every(wo)man from well distilled experience. Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, comes to mind here.
I am a far cry. To approach nearness, I used to speak stories of my life and experience interpreted through the filtered sunlight of my beloved Teaching’s expressions. But the language of true revelation, which seldom uses words as effectively as bird sounds and falling leaf, showed me how I was robbing my own house. Bird sounds, falling leaf, and well timed horse farts, actually. This warrants a little story – as part of my already winded preamble, so to speak.
I once was walking with a friend down a country road and we came upon a horse near the fence of a large property. At that time I was enamored of myself as a lover of all things including animals and I waxed poetic as we came upon a generously vivid green hued meadow with a stately horse creature up against its fence. I spoke soft words as I stroked his head which he offered willingly and then at the height of my poetic love making that horse issued forth one of the loudest farts I have ever heard. It cut my mother natured vanity to the quick in that instant, killing the glorious mood of the beatific moment for me. I did not know at the time that they will fart when relaxing. Had I known, I might have appreciated how, with great eloquence, this horse’s ass had spoken wisdom I needed to hear. Relax, stop taking yourself so seriously, he said, without much ado about nothing.
About a million and a half experiences along this coincidental line since, offering constant surround a sound, panoramic impressions of sleep and wakefulness, (at times with unfettered beauty), brought me to a well-deserved reluctance to speak, or so I told myself. When you start to really hear silence it renders speech largely unnecessary.
And then there was the cream. We now come to the real body of this story which I am about to relate - and there’s nothing you can do to stop me.
I noticed the smell was slightly different on the first batch of cream in question – which batch came with difficulty due to the hypnotic suggestion of added stress. After all, this was going to go to the Briar Patch, arguably the most popular store in the area, at least among those who might be considered the targeted demographic of Essential Grace Cream. Yet, my original intention had been to simply make the stuff and offer it where called upon to offer it. Beware of growing ventures.
In the corner of the shop where I work - now called Gaia Soap Supply - my little display of Egyptian Grace products received quite a lot of attention and before I knew it I was making regular batches of all the products, but particularly the cream as its audience quietly grew. Each batch was a lesson in an alchemical process that included glimpses of how spirit moves to animate the ordinary. The subtleties of my inner state, the barometric pressure, heat and cold, all factors played in the six or so hour long process of making this cream and while the ingredients were for the most part the same, each batch proved slightly different, but not so much to provoke repeat customers into complaint.
What price glory – with the great feedback I was getting from happy users, steeped in an environment of organic over conventional preferences, I was elated when research brought me to find an organic emulsifying wax. I can please my customers even more, I reasoned, and purchased some, despite the little knot in my gut. It was incorporated into the mix, along with the more naturally colored beeswax pellets that retained some of that delightful honey smell. I ignored the fact that the emulsifying wax had somewhat of a gamey scent, reasoning that such a small amount would not affect the end product, particularly given that it included plenty of essential oils. A few batches were made like this. I, again, conveniently ignored the slight changes noted, chalking it up to the alchemy of the moment, and did so right up until the Briar Patch batch.
I will cut to the chase – within a few short weeks of the tester there at the Briar Patch being used a bad smell permeated the once delightful cream. Not one cream sold – in sharp contrast to the immediate response I’d gotten at Gaia Soap Supply, (originally called S.O.A.P. for Save Our Ailing Planet). Moreover the essential oils in the formula seemed to be nonexistent, overwhelmed by the slightly acrid gamey smell. When I opened up the unopened containers, I could smell the seed of that same unpleasantness. It was a miserable alchemical result that seemed to kill the essential and highlight the fertile pungency of the base. Fortunately the woman who is in charge of the body care products had quickly become a friend and did not sweat it one bit. I would be given the opportunity to replace the products.
In all this I hadn’t yet discerned what caused the smell. It wasn’t until I did another careful batch yielding the same results of a trace odor, that finally, in the resolution to make an immediate second batch (thus cream working for a total of 12 hours that day) it dawned on me.
I recently read a brilliant little piece that spoke of how what is needed is not expanded knowledge, but an expanded nervous system. Something about my resolve awakened a clarity in me that enabled me to hear a voice say “emulsifying wax” as the answer to the problem I was having. Noted – going into the realm of big effort can possibly help expansion. With this came a host of other subtle connections that brought me up the chain to the then present moment. I happened to have some of the previous emulsifying wax used on hand, and so proceeded to do a second batch. I had run out of an Ecocert approved preservative that I was planning to replace, and used the new one with gusto. But my zeal got in the way of my math brain, and as a result I miscalculated the amount to use.
It was a beautiful batch in texture and smell. But repeated application on my skin caused a result that was opposite of the one intended – drying out instead of moisturizing.
Yet another failure – and there seemed to have been so many in several realms of late. What was my Friend telling me? The One with whom I am having this, and all conversations worth having, really. Was this an indication that I should stop this activity altogether? What is wanted of me? After all it is skin care, and my Friend seems to want me otherwise engaged, though I have seen there is a secret way in which spirit flows through bile and body secretions. It is not as simple as black and white. Spirit and matter are too mixed together to separate out.
Taking a different track, was the threat of commercial success taking this effort into a forbidden realm? Was this physical effect on my skin only happening to me, like so many effects witnessed since the days of that wondrous horse fart?
Questions went deeper still, too deep to speak – because it isn’t just cream, unless of course it is. I settled for answering the practical matter of whether to make a third batch or to simply trust that what was happening to me was not necessarily going to happen to others.
While there was willingness to allow the possibility of stopping this activity altogether – I have learned that leaving room for a 180 turn can be wise – it did not seem to be the solution of the moment. Meditating, I came to the sharp realization that what was missing from my last efforts, as persistent, industrious, and AWARE, as they seemed to be, was the essential element of Love. Consciously, intentionally applied. Most all I had done had come from my excited head. And as I prepared in this spirit to make a third batch, some part of me realized that had I engaged my feeling, felt in the solar plexus, I might have seen this sooner.
The third batch turned out to perfection. The best batch I have made to date.
It isn’t just cream unless it is. In and through this there came to me some information from a source I’ve learned to regard as transcending of that towards which fear would gravitate. It had to do with an inability to make decisions. I remembered how my chief weakness was once named. And it very much related to the form of this fear that has been expressed throughout my cream ordeal and as an ongoing experience since a particular transformation took place, affecting every aspect of my life.
Many incredible experiences mark this journey, most of which are too subtle to speak. And as I said at the beginning of this writing, there has been much to feed my reluctance to put into words experiences of this nature – not least of which is having seen an aim beyond identity, which brings with it a new kind of language that speaks to my ear with greater elegance. Yet still, the urge to speak persists. It is human to want to share what feels like the touch of the divine and the wondrous range of its possible expression. And here is where my fear and the resulting indecision has had a field day of expression. But no more of that.
I here now attempt a new batch of words – cream words. The tremendous destruction I have witnessed with the presence of fear, which replaces the presence of love, has been daunting. The subtlety of its manifestation, and how it can fool us into thinking we are in love. But, enough of this already. I fully expect there will be repercussions. Just like every time I have attempted to speak since a particular change came about. I can characterize it simplest by saying it gave me an aim of invisibility – as in stepping out of the way to let the Tao speak for itself. My speech, my voice and its manner, will be reflected to show the bad and the ugly, leaving only the good of having made the effort for my dessert, though my appetite for it may have been lost in the translation. And I will question the lens through which I see this. A new alchemy may come about, or dismissed. Perhaps it’ll hurt. But still, some part of me must delight in this game or I wouldn’t be playing it. Tag, my Friend, you’re It. Here is my offering.
Or better yet, “Allie, Allie, in come Free!”