Look Alive

28 May 2011

Ms. Moxie

Merriam-Webster's Free Online Dictionary defines our headliner as follows:

mox·ie noun \ˈmäk-sē\

Definition of MOXIE

1: energy, pep

Listed as having its first known use in the 1930s, "moxie" might be familiar due to old movie scripts insisting that some savvy "kid" or "broad" had the quality. While neither term offers the most respectful expression of beings who aren't necessarily goats or very wide, having moxie can be lovely. After all, who couldn't benefit from healthy knowledge and the inner fire to put it into practice for the greater good? The moxie (or "moxa" for the process of moxibustion) I write of today has all of that, but it's part of the plant kingdom.

Mugwort, as mentioned in a closing offshoot from yesterday's brief share regarding my personal coffee detox and substitution experiment, is another plant common to North America. Her species is not officinale but vulgaris, leading me to infer that she is found growing freely and in the open. Her genus of Artemisia is a derivative name of a Greek mythological figure of the hunt, from which we can further infer that she is at home in the wild even way beyond U.S. borders, where she can stretch among grasses and strong, green company. 

During a recent group herb walk, a knowledgeable elder physicist by day with constant childlike wonder in her eyes shared rare information about almost every plant we encountered, adding to the list of mental notes I'd have to check on later. Sofia had plucked small sprigs of a few plants along the way, offering them to whomever was near her as she chewed. When we met mugwort, that happened to be me and she handed me a piece. I held it, scanned it for a match to the internal and book visuals of mugwort and chewed the small leaf piece, figuring I was in no state for that particular amount of that particular herb to harm me. "And it's great for dreams too!", she said without a trace of confusion before walking to the next person.

With permission, I picked a small piece and later that evening offered it in turn to a friend for external use. Was it dream-enhancing? I was told "yes". Were the dreams sweet? That would be a No. Considering that no sweet thing retains said quality in all circumstances (like a little agave in a lot of lemon juice and water), I'll see about mugwort in that regard another time. Besides, another common name for mugwort is wormwood, which the Word also presents in bittersweet proportions. I'm just glad our reacquaintance was more positive and informed than in the summer of 2006 when, introduced as cronewort, I absent-mindedly almost killed innocent rabbits in my care by failing to take a closer look at their greens. Sure, I've written about that before but the thought that I could've harmed them at all is still disturbing sometimes!

Now that the smoke has cleared, it continues to rise with a heady, woodsy aroma, sharing mugwort's medicinal purpose in the traditional Chinese sense. The herb is burned near the site of the body meridian in focus and its stimulant properties call the underlying energy of the area to attention. The blood is encouraged to flow more freely, hence its use for menstrual cramps and other blockage-related ailments, and vitality is enhanced. Writing of which, maybe my old, main MySpace page was full of moxa (or moxie) the way the glyphs of past status updates listed as "vital" defaulted to its associated vampire glyph after long periods of inactivity instead of the active, rising love imagery I had chosen otherwise.

Various branches of the medical profession have their merit; their teachings should be taken to heart. Severe crushes, puncture wounds, lacerations, appendicitis and other acute traumas may be best served immediately by a modern emergency room. Our chronic and/or preventable ills often stem from our lifestyles, however, which herbs and energetic modalities have successfully addressed for centuries and dynasties. So my intent never to diagnose, prescribe or operate outside of my legal scope at respective points along the Way is clear, health-related writing here will always bear an informal and light tone. Needless to say, but I will anyway, this and all wild and pharmaceutical medicines should be used moderately, along the lines of skilled guidance supported by the will to yield to the health service(s) that the ailment's particular nature requires. You know, handle it with moxie!

27 May 2011


Allo Einsteins! If "[t]he field is the sole governing principle of the particle", what guvnahs have you elected? Need we again change our internal regimes for the better? Quite possibly, these recent examples of Patriot. Ism... and Settle. Meant? may make you wonder as far as the external world is concerned. Per the previous post, however, every individual is subject to innate and learned behaviors that may help or hinder our progress. For instance, the talent for leadership or an inclination toward homosexuality are two of many behavioral expressions that emerging science is linking to the genes; assisting the argument that one can't help but naturally live as either. Others take business and empowerment classes, learn to stand up for their beliefs by trial-and-error or otherwise involuntarily learn by way of tragic turns in a jail term, mishandling by trusted ones or strangers and immersion in a certain lifestyle without exposure to anything different. 

To me, Nature has very few desires other than changing as simply or drastically as possible to achieve optimal comfort and effectiveness so it can continue... Being. When it comes to the air we breathe, bodies of water and even the soil of our crops, standing still leads to death. The Creator of said Nature wants us to flow, move and Be within Him, daily revering the Life privilege afresh and at-large (within as well as outside of us). Knowing the best ingredients to put into our goals or bowls seems self-explanatory, but humanity is so creative with its wants especially as language and technology develop. What should all be so simple as put good in, get good out and men and women need each other for energetic balance in promoting the Natural function somehow takes a backseat to placing a colorful adjective or justification before "lie" and differentiates giving as opposed to receiving an illicit sexual act in some cases.

As an old picture from my SoulGlo days surfaced this week, I was comically reminded that diet, sexual orientation, habits, faith life, our chosen mates and *sigh* fashion are all primarily affected by our environment. We often do, reflect what we we are socialized to believe is right. Trust -- the severe scalp irritation and acnerific (toldja 'bout creative language - I don't even know if that's an accepted word and could've just said plain ol' bumpy) grease factor of the curl were not the type of thing I'd force on anyone, especially if you're happy with what you have. Then, as we journey, we adopt and adapt to what feels right until it doesn't and then repeat the process. That collective detour is often the longest and most dynamic stop along the way as feelings tend to be very fluid and have plenty hard and soft lessons to teach us if we obey them alone. All rulers will shift under shaky hands. The Architect of the Universe is the ONLY One Who has perfected keeping the lines straight. Neither day nor night fail to arrive when and where they should, thanks be to God. So finally, there comes a time when we just know what we know and relax in that. 

This week, I found that the dandelion root powder offered a comparable taste and texture to the coffee I've come to enjoy. Allowing myself more rest and shaking the mere four-twilight-hours-of-sleep habit that unintentionally puzzled people since my infancy eliminated the need for any caffeine boosts that the nervous system could do witthout. The Dandy Blend brand actually helped wean me from the taste for either, quickly and in a pleasant way. It also helped deliver the message to engage better kicks! I was doing pretty well without chicken too until my Ghanaian neighbor came by with the secrets of a well-spiced, peanutty experience. I tore into my share of that thing and fell off the wagon for two days, but will be fine as a larger purpose is in sight!

Resuming focus on our "lion's tooth", though, the dandelion lays so low on our common streets (hence the officinale that often follows the Taraxacum in the books) that it's easy to bypass the flower power beyond adding a little color to grasses and giving our childhood wishes visual carriage on fickle winds. Add detoxifying and diuretic properties to the root's mix or the greens to your salad and we got ourselves a party (or maybe not, but you understand)!

Next up: the 'mares of mugwort help keep the wagon steady...

24 May 2011

DMV Daytripper

Going the distance, seeing cold darkness mist & melt into pretty pink, baby blue & silver linings to some Miguel music... <<< I posted this here and on Twitter before sunrise as I pumped myself up for a trip to the DMV, which most can attest to being pretty annoying at times. Some prayer, coffee**, refueling 87-$tyle, good tunes and bearing witness to the natural beauty were great company as always!  

Having just bought his album last week, Miguel's rhythms and vocal flair have earned him a steady place in the car to help me catch up with last November's release. The electro-soul of the final track, "My Piece", repeatedly caught my attention because of the strong music relationship described, however eroticized. For some time now, I've seen the "piece" or p(e)ace that music can embody a bit differently, simpler. If it is said that the devil was once an angel with musical talent beyond measure who now seeks to infuse such a powerful tool with spirits of negative influence, I imagine also that the essence of seraphim with 'fire arms' and the archangel Michael with the sword of Truth can protect the precious fruit of the Life trees within every listener. With God's help, attempts to upset the peacefulness of our gardens are shot down. What is intended for who knows what can be used for good. Detractors, like mountaintop tests, have to get back.

Peep the meta... For no one, from the biggest and the baddest to the least of us, is "untouchable" or "uncrushable" in the flesh. Not only are members of India's lowest caste actually touched by someone at some point but those considered part of the latter group in urban slang terms are seldom virgins and may even be parents. Every external thing we have and see is temporary. Contradictions happen. The words we speak and write are subject to flaws and varied interpretations, sometimes being forgotten or just ignored. Even the recent rapture claims for May 21, 2011 may as well have been an Anita Baker remix!

NOTE: If you know me you know I love Lady Baker's music, so I intend no disrespect. Brother Camping's claims have now changed to reflect instantaneous destruction on October 21, 2011, however. I will not question his relationship with our Creator or their communication. What I do know is that some have gotten fearful as a result and harmed themselves or others while many in the Midwest are hurting from storms they didn't create here and now. May the p(e)ace of the Most High rule over our tongues and be wherever hurt is! May we also do our best to live each day like it's both our last and grounds for judgment, so worry can give way to walking in a will aligned with God's. By no means are judgment or vengeance mine, as I've been a hot mess before! Sometimes when I even think of the places I've been or would've voluntarily kneeled to follow my senses to if not for Grace, I am encouraged to revisit the flaw with correction and make peace with myself and my God. His all-knowing, Almighty and omnipresent Spirit is LIFE that seeks relationship with every mind, heart and soul. Such Energy can never be destroyed!

Even for those who don't believe, the concept of evolution should still encourage positive development over time, maybe standing up straighter and refraining from trying to hit folks in the head for their attention or affection. Don't laugh at the cro-magnon mental imagery or the neighborhood church lady and gent! For all you know, they probably gave or visited hell before coming to know the Truth. Thankfully, deliverance is as beautiful, liberating and transformative as the butterfly, the sense of which good music has all-ways given for as long as I can remember. When we position ourselves to silence the noise of confusion, fear, insecurity and other thieves then raise the frequency of Love's harmony in our lives, we receive and can share a "peace" as perfect as its Giver: compassionate, focused and steadfast despite the imperfection of our traveled roads or other long lines.

** Isn't learned behavior funny? Coffee consumption is the eventual "nurture" of preparing what must've been millions of cups that had to taste 'just so' for my grandma then working a 4 a.m. editorial desk for a couple years after her transition. Finances or convenience notwithstanding, why do we feed certain things to our bodies (or 87 to our cars) when there's better? I've actually been reconditioning myself with the "nature" of dandelion root powder lately. More on that and other health-affirming substitution journeys soon :)