The Killing of Comet Trails by the Phone World Filter Clan (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 241)

A lady and her young daughter walk into the restaurant. They walk up and sit at the sushi bar. The parent has a faint aura of pretentiousness and lack of concern regarding any external perception about her. The child is relaxed and smiling, with sparkling energy flowing constantly in, out, and around her essence, like tiny comet trails of excited stardust. Her vibrant posture possesses no discount or disrespect for any of the world that swirls about herself and her comet trails.

They sit down. Mom immediately buries her head and all of her attention in her phone. The child, who seems to understand this mommy behavior as the norm, quietly refrains from intruding into mommy’s important activity. The little girl’s head remains up at all times and she keeps quietly observing the entire world of the restaurant. Is she looking around for something specific or just looking around to see if anyone else in the room actually notices her, actually sees her, I wonder?

After a few minutes, without any other engagement, mom pulls her phone out of the downward cradle of her hands, out of her own bubble of isolated existence, and points her phone world at her daughter. There isn’t really any verbalization or look of communication in the process, only a controlled pointing of a phone world filter at something organic, living, and breathing, which seems used to not be interacted with except in this given manner. The child doesn’t even turn or move for the first few snapped pictures. Then the photographer mom of the phone world filter clan apparently decides the pictures might be improved upon. Remaining as minimally interactive as is feasible, mom reaches up and moves the little girl’s flowing mane of curls slightly further towards the back of her head. Then, silent click, silent click, silent click. And maybe I’m imagining it, but now mom appears to feel like she has something to be happier about. . . a digital prisoner doppelgänger held perfectly in her own phone world filter of the alien organic-living-breathing entity that still sits right next to her, yet also apparently a million light years away.

The young girl eventually giggles and laughs at her photo session. Small meaningless words of empty banter bounce back and forth between the mouths of mother and daughter for a moment before both return to their previously adopted (or should I say adapted?) roles in their separate worlds of fictional crossover coexistence and union.

Their to-go-order eventually escapes the kitchen and is delivered unto them in a neat, nice, and immaculately folded paper bag. Mommy and daughter rise back up out of their seats as good as any strangers might do and then together, without words or gestures amongst themselves, stroll out of the restaurant so obviously happy in their unified familial bliss that I can barely stand it.

Cribb          2018

A Tempest of Simplicity (Love vs Sex 251)

I lost my heart

to a tempest of simplicity,

and once I was caught

beyond my will and desire

to escape such an odd manifestational paradox,

I realized that there was no tempest before me,

but only the vivacious rippling and vibrational energy

of contact, melding, and attempted integration

of two existences

which are so oft

catastrophically cleaved from one another;

between a soul of heaven and a world of unknowing flesh;

between crucifixion by the many, knowingly or not,

for the grace shown and proffered by the one;

between an attempted revival enacted by empathy and faith upon apathy and despair;

between the primordial forces of chaotic entropy and the stable orchestrations of synergistic and harmonious union.

It wasn’t a tempest at all

but the orbiting gates of heaven spinning, swirling, and dancing upon the earth.

And deeper

within that skin and those bones,

it was a fragment of heaven itself,

grace undulating incarnate.

An aspect of an essence, I now knew that I had always belonged to as well.

There was no fleeing from its path,

no attempted escape,

there needn’t be,

because there was no fear.

There was only a desire to join with it in a yin and yang of the most joyful appreciation imaginable;

to love it for the simple and pure sake of knowing that it also loved freely, respectfully, and without abandon, anything capable of such energy and attention.

My heart,

my soul,

my essence,

my appreciation and desire,

my compulsive joy and laughter,

had once again,

been simply called home to union with my tribe,

to the inclusive energy and bond of heaven’s blessing and it’s amazingly profound grace.

Cribb          2018

The Relativity of Expertise (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 239)

My brother recently adopted a new puppy and my dad has aided and assisted him throughout the process, as well as with some of the follow up veterinary care required. My brother doesn’t talk to me, that’s another lengthy story, but my dad and I are closer than ever and we have real conversations with one another; you know, the ones where both people speak and both people listen.

My dad, to his credit, has learned to listen and abide by the veterinary recommendations and behavioral advice I give him. He has seen the repetitive objective evidence and listened to my observations and justifications for why I approach things the way I do. He has accepted my expertise.

Oddly enough, even after I graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, my mom would continuously argue with me about the facts of physiology, anatomy, diagnostics, historical case evidence, and behavior. She was discomforted by my knowledge and expertise on the subject, framing these qualities as “my opinion” while framing her own uneducated and unchallenged rationale and comforting delusion as “indisputable fact.” Let’s just summarize and say my brother eventually went down that same wormhole of delusion for the same exact behavior glitch in his psyche.

So, my brother is failing in house training his dog, effectively walking his dog, and in setting up the other proper pack boundaries and structure for his dog which expresses itself in other undesirable manifestations. He had decided his puppy had “physical” issues to explain these failures, which is highly unlikely, up until recently.

My dad tried over and over to pass along my advice to my brother without success, without heed or hesitation, for the longest time. That all met a deaf ear and a closed mind.

My father finally established some breakthrough success getting creative and giving my brother a book written by Cesar Milan (of course, a sensational society approved celebrity). My brother apparently read at least some of the book and since doing so he has improved much of the puppies behavior. He was even proud of his learned knowledge and took the time to show my dad some of the tricks “he knew” about puppy behavior.

My dad and I laughed about this the other day. It wasn’t to be mean and it wasn’t to be ugly. It was to process the stultifying denial and delusion we all tend to inflict upon ourselves in some vain attempt to avoid our fear of one thing or the other. My brother was in fulminant denial until he could twist reality enough to his liking to accept its validity. It seems so bizarre and so backward, but I promise you I see the same behavior from some other pet owners quite often.

At the end of our discussion about this issue, my dad suddenly turned to me and chuckled a good bit as he seemed to stumble upon an internal epiphany. He said “Jeff, can you imagine what kind of reaction or response Steven would have if you strolled into his civil engineering office and started telling him how to build things, manage a project, or compute a critical and complicated engineering formula that carried great liability with it? Can you just imagine what kind of hellacious hissy fit and temper tantrum he would have?”

I smiled back at my dad and I thought “Wow, dad just keeps surprising me with his observations lately, how awesome is that?” But I held the thought silently and only chose to reply “Absolutely, I have no doubt whatsoever how he would react. He would lose his shit like Mount Vesuvius.” And we laughed a little bit more together about all of it because we both knew how profoundly true that statement happens to be.

Jeff Cribb DVM          2018

Maybe You Should Tell Them (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 238)

The most beautiful creatures that I have found in this universe hold the world upside right and keep it from twisting upside down on a constant basis. Their efforts go underappreciated by most despite their endless contribution to all and their filling of everyone else’s bucket but their own. It seems natural for them as if they might be an angel of existence hellbent on spreading their light and love to any corner of the universe that is particularly in need at any given moment. So few truly, genuinely, and devoutly lift others up, even their own flesh and blood, but these angels do and they do it without question. They are rare. They are exquisite. They are beyond beautiful. They shine like a wayward comet streaking through a dark night to stir up all of the moon glow, fairy dust, and other precious particles of primordial light that normally swirl about our souls too silently in their radiance and energy for us to acknowledge and to accept; too silently for us to believe, to have complete and utter faith in. These gorgeous creatures awaken all of us from such silence, disbelief, and despair. They shine undeniable and unassailable light and love throughout all the realms of existence. That’s just what they do and if you happen to be fortunate enough to cross paths with one of these extraordinary angels, maybe you should tell them, break your own silence for them as they have done for you in their essence and existence. Maybe you should tell them that you see them, that you really do see them, for who and what they choose to be.

Cribb          2018

An Affectation of Simplicity: Tolstoy on Insecurity and Misperception (Love vs Sex 250)

Another thing that used to rile me but which I afterwards enjoyed was his complete indifference and, almost, disdain for my appearance. Never, either by word or look, was there a hint that he thought me pretty : on the contrary, he would make a wry face and laugh when people complimented me on my looks in front of him. He took a positive pleasure in picking out my defects and teasing me about them. The fashionable clothes on which Katya liked to dress me up and the way she did my hair for festive occasions only provoked his mockery, mortifying the kind-hearted Katya and at first disconcerting me. Katya, having made up her mind that he admired me, was quite unable to understand his not liking to see a woman he admired shown off to the best advantage. But I quickly came to see what was behind it. He wanted to be sure that I was devoid of vanity. And so soon as I realized this, I actually was quite free from any trace of affection in the clothes I wore, or the way I did my hair, or how I moved; but a very obvious form of affectation took its place – an affectation of simplicity, at a time when I could not yet be really simple. I knew that he loved me; but whether as a child or a woman I had not then asked myself; I prized his love and, feeling that he considered me better than all the other young women in the world, I could not help wishing him to continue in the illusion. And involuntarily I deceived him. But in deceiving him I became a better person myself. I felt how much better and more worthy it was for me to show him the finer side of my nature than any of the physical attractions. My hair, my hands, my face, my ways – whether good or bad, it seemed to me he had appraised them all at a glance and knew them so well that I could add nothing to them except the wish to deceive him. But my inner self he did not know, because he loved it and because it was in the very midst of growth and development; and there I could – and did – deceive him. And how easy my relations with him became once I understood this clearly! My groundless confusion and awkwardness of movement completely disappeared. I felt that from whatever angle he saw me, whether sitting or standing, with my hair up or down, all of me was known to him and, I fancied, satisfied him. If, contrary to his practice, he had suddenly told me, as other people did, that I was beautiful, I believe I should have been anything but pleased. But, on the other hand, how happy and light-hearted I would feel when, after something I said, he would gaze at me intently and say in a voice charged with emotion which he would try to hide with a humorous note : ‘Yes, oh yes, there is something about you. You’re a fine girl, that I must admit.’

Happily Ever After

Leo Tolstoy          1859

Cribb Comment:

In this passage Tolstoy writes from the perspective of Masha or Marya who is married to Sergei. Masha’s description of her own feelings is intended to display her inaccurate perception and interpretation of the behavior of her husband Sergei due to the insecurity and immaturity which plagues her soul. Sergei finds Masha to be the most attractive woman that he has ever known, but his profound love for her originates even more so in his awareness and appreciation of her drive and inner spirit. Sergei perceives and appreciates the unique exquisiteness of the totality of Masha’s essence far beyond any other person mentioned within the novel.

I would suggest that the conundrum and potentiated expression of Masha’s insecurity and misperception is buried within the “dominance challenge” created by the union of these two special souls. Masha’s unusually profound love for Sergei is both a supreme blessing and a curse to her as it bombards her relentlessly. Due to her youth and her lack of mature comprehension of the “simplicity” of genuine love and genuine life, she throws herself into an undulating and unstable fear-love pendulum of  perception and assumption. Her fear of losing Sergei’s love, which is too simple and too unexcitable to satiate her preconceived notion of such things, leads her to subconsciously exert efforts to justify her own attempt to dominate and/or demonize him.

The first third of the passage ends with a clarifying explanation. Sergei’s befuddling behavior has been focused primarily on a true appreciation of Masha’s exquisite beauty and, because of such awareness, not wanting her to run to ruin via the all too temptible sin of such exceptional attractiveness, vanity. Masha goes on to state that she “could not yet be really simple” and that she wasn’t sure if he “loved her more as a child or a woman.” She continues by saying that nonetheless “she prized his love” no matter how unfounded it might be and that she could not help herself from wanting to enable “this illusion” of his. To paraphrase, she is saying that she is scared and unable to comprehend how a man of such worth could love her in such simplicity. This fear leads her to doubt the true nature of his love, and though she cannot escape that insecurity, she also cannot let go of the possibility that his love could actually be genuine. Thus, she must continue down her undulating path of uncertainty by “wishing the illusion to continue.”

Masha’s many references to Sergei knowing, seeing, and perceiving her in every respect, also illustrates a dynamic rift in her psyche which she is unable to resolve at this time. On one hand, she is enamoured and overjoyed by his attentions, but on the other, she feels looked down upon, pitied, and too exposed by her vulnerability to be a worthy equal. As a result, she focuses on the mental triumph of “deceiving him” in order to raise herself up in confidence and self worth. That deception takes place secretly or passive aggressively in her psyche to avoid the direct or natural correction that would confront such behavior if she employed it directly or consciously.

Masha’s unwarranted fear and confusion turns into an undulating mind game which is then used to justify her passive aggressive need and employment of willful deception to bolster her self worth and confidence. Because she cannot fathom how Sergei might love her otherwise in simplicity, she attempts to turn herself into the exact opposite of such simplicity and/or his direct opponent. She cannot sustain the vision of how Sergei sees her. She can only sustain the vision of how she sees herself.

In the last line of the passage, we swing back once more into the slight glimmer of a faint flame of hope. Paradoxically, a simplicity is displayed in that sentence by Sergei that seems to somehow slip through all of Masha’s defenses to keep a tiny lingering tendril of her love for him enduringly intact.

Cribb          2018

Saying Goodbye to Einstein (The Veterinarian)

About six weeks ago a man brought his fourteen year old cat named Einstein into my hospital for an examination. He obviously cared about Einstein and believed that he had suffered some sort of a wound to his face and jaw region.

I had to tell him then that the chance was overwhelming that the lesion wasn’t a wound, but rather a nasty malignant tumor that had reached a state beyond feasible removal. We attempted to “treat the treatable” with antibiotics and steroids, but as originally predicted the treatment had no effect.

This gentleman had to euthanize Einstein last Friday. He was understandably upset; a real grown man does often cry when they suffer a genuine heartfelt loss. While we were in the actual process of calmly restraining the patient, finding a vein, and giving the lethal injection, Einstein’s owner spoke with me. He never stopped caressing his cat in the process.

Einstein’s owner had been to Vietnam on four different active engagement deployments. He had been bayoneted and shot. He had thought that after every single active engagement completed, he had finished his obligated active service duty and that he would be allowed to head home to finish his enrollment in a non-war zone. He was not “exactly” given the option.

He also related a near death experience that he had at the hospital a few years ago while suffering an aortic dissection or aortic rupture. Only a tiny percentage of people survive such a condition. He told me that while he was lying there waiting to be rushed somewhere for surgery, he kept trying to joke with the nurses and the doctors attending to him. He was more relaxed than they were and apparently they had been extremely alarmed. He said “Dr. Cribb, after everything I had been through in Vietnam, after all of that carnage and pain, I thought to myself, if I have to go, this bleeding out thing isn’t such a bad way to make my exit.”

And during the caressing, and the shedding of tears, and the melancholy smiles of shared understanding over his conversation and experiences, Einstein passed away peacefully in silence. There was a feeling of lightness in that room afterwards, sad but still light. We continued to share a few more words about all of it within that lightness for a moment or two, but eventually it became time to part. With a somber smile and a steady hand, Einstein’s owner scooped him up in a blanket and took him home for burial.

Dr. Cribb          2018

The Act and Threat of Opening Up (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 235)

If you feel guilt, shame or anxiety when you actually open up to someone as the real you, as your genuine inner essence of perception, experience, and contemplation, by sharing a raw and fully exposed conversation with them, you should not be ashamed, nor fear that person, nor assume that you have overburdened that person with something unjust or sinful.

You should reflect and understand why you felt a visceral perception that you could be yourself, fully vulnerable and uncloaked, in your interaction with that person and you should also consider why your normal and longstanding inner circle of friends, family, and associates has marked you to feel that guilt, shame, and anxiety whenever you have tried to let the real you come out and play in your true glorious splendor in the past. Do not confuse those who have done such marking on your soul with those who are scapegoated as the abomination for trying to reverse the spell, for trying to reverse the curse.

There are dangerous doppelgangers, mimics, and chameleons who might sweep in and take advantage of a soul yearning to free itself openly, but those imposters will always be posturing, leveraging, and controlling in intent, kind of like that marking inner circle, but just better at it than that collective.

The genuine empaths, the lovers of shared core essence, will not posture, leverage, or destabilize another soul, so that they might feed upon it or pull its strings. They will help lift you out of all the traps, darkness, and deception, because they genuinely delight in seeing you shine in your own unique and fulminant radiance.

The authentic and adept empath removes the marks of the inner circles and the marks of the mimickers, counters the curses, and slays the shame, guilt, and anxiety if you allow them the opportunity. They worship you like no other and they do so not out of need, boredom or self empowerment. They worship you like no other, because they perceive that core essences are intended to shine in the undeniable exquisite beauty of their unique individual composition. That shine is the universal element of union, love, and unyielding transcendence. That shine is the culminating and supreme grace of our collective existence.

Cribb          2018