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We dissolve stuck and rewrite patterns. We apply radical playfulness to life (when we feel like it!), embarking on internal adventures (credo of Safety First). We have a fake band called Solved By Cake. We build invisible sanctuaries, invent words and worlds, breathe awe and wonder.

We are not impressed by monsters. Except when we are. We explore the connections between internal territories and surrounding environment to learn what marvelously supportive delicious space feels like, and how to take exquisite care of ourselves. We transform things.* We glow wild.**

* For example: Desire, fear, worry, pain-and-trauma, boundaries, that problematic word which rhymes with flaweductivity.

** Fair warning: Self-fluency has been known to lead to extremely subversive behavior, including treasuring yourself unconditionally, unapologetically taking up space, experiencing outrageously improbable levels of self-acceptance, and general rejoicing in aliveness.


Friday Chicken #249: the diamond, you say

Friday chickenWhere I cover the good and the hard in my week, visiting the non-preachy side of ritual and self-reflection.

And you get to join in if you feel like it.

I need to express some excitement before we begin.

I just realized. Next Friday is exactly TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY CHICKENS, you guys.

And this weekend will also be the 200th Very Personal Ads, aka Visions of Possibility and Anticipation.

We celebrate 250 weeks and 200 weeks in the same week! That’s a lot of consecutive weeks to do anything. And I would never do it if you weren’t here to read and play, so thank you. Thank you for shared space and shared ritual. It means a lot to be doing it with you.

Okay. Chicken. Let’s play.

What worked?

Looking for a diamond.

I was chaperoning prom (long story, and — weirdly — not a proxy, an actual thing that I did).

And my secret mission cover story while I was at prom (see, I was really at prom, but I still had a proxy), was that I was there because of a diamond caper.

I was there as Bond Girl, of course — the Woman In The Red Dress — and I was supposed to locate the giant diamond.

Needless to say, I didn’t locate a giant diamond. So I came up with various entertaining metaphorical ways that I had in fact located the diamond. And this was great.

Except then the next day I walked past the place where prom was held. Let’s add to this that I walk there not exactly often but not that infrequently either.

Looking up at the sign for the building I saw the something I have never noticed before.

The name of the building where prom (and other wonderful things in my past) happened is printed on the backdrop of…yes…a giant ****-ing diamond.

Following the wells.

Taking it to the park.

Asking for help.


Next time I might…

Ask more, sooner, and out loud.

Look up! Or: look at things I think I’ve already looked at.

The mysteries. Things I found challenging and hard.

  • Recovery takes as much time as it wants to, doesn’t it.
  • Prom was challenging for me. It was located in a place where I have history. Teenagers are super not in their force fields. I was exhausted from having just come off of [verb]-ing Rally while sick. And: I learned a lot.
  • The mystery of falling apart Sunday morning.
  • The Pipedream Monsters (mobsters!) were even louder this week. This was fortunate because our subsequent negotiations lead to two big and important reconfigurations in my life. But man, they know where it hurts, and they press right there.
  • Deep grief over loss and perceived loss, reconfigurations, changes.
  • Oh man. Drama. Getting a piece of intel I didn’t want but felt obligated to act on as it concerned someone I dearly love. Much distress over this until I got an answer that worked for me.
  • Getting tickled, by someone who does not know how I feel about tickling. I hate being tickled more than just about anything in the world.
  • Possibly related: a hijacking by a small scared Havi who wants me to think that now is like then, when now is not like then.
  • Making the hardest decision to give something up that I have spent many years working towards.
  • Many, many buckets of tears this week.

Things I found delightful.

  • Long happy playtime with playmate in a brand new treehouse.
  • Falling apart turned out to be the exact right thing.
  • The elusive M. LeBlanc of the Other Agency left an outrageous clue that was fun to follow.
  • My two Days of Disappearing on a mission…
  • Diamonds were not found, then symbolically found, then actually located. Also a fountain.
  • The unexpected thing. It’s deep and unnerving and I love it.
  • A sweet dream about someone in my family was followed by a sweet postcard from that person.
  • Agent Wally and I refilled my heart with trust, and this was its own mission.
  • Seriously everyone in my life is used to speaking in code now.
  • Accidental L”g B’omer.
  • It seemed like everything was wrong but actually: Nothing is wrong!
  • Best Regrounding ever, in a secret oasis.
  • This video, which I could watch a hundred times a day.
  • Lucky nickel of surprises. (Not a band!)
  • Reacted to the tickling better than ever before. Minimal screaming. I did not cause physical damage to the person involved nor break furniture or objects. I was able to explain my distress. Relative to past meltdowns, this was tiny, not massive. Points!
  • Nothing is broken, nothing is broken I am allowed to grieve. And: this is right.
  • Agents with Agency! New intel from HQ about why this is all happening and what needs to be done about it.
  • Plum Duff! It’s Plum Duff. Right now. This is very exciting.
  • Amazing epiphanies and results from last week’s Rally (Rally!) are still landing hard. My. God.
  • The wonderful win of the Green Machine. Yeah, okay, Champions League was all over the place this week. Halbfinale! Craziness. All that. But let’s talk about the Green Machine, a badass band of 8 year olds, beating the Timbers 10-9.

WHAM BOOM! Operations completed:

The phrase Whoosh Ha Mastodon Boom is secret agent code that means: this op is done, baby! It is often shortened to WHAM boom. You may also shout (or whisper) other joyous words if you like.

Many ops were completed this week but the most important ones were: Operation Succinctness. and Operation Order the Sh.

Wham boom! Wham boom!


A letter that arrived about how helpful this work is just when I needed most to remember why I do this.


Superpowers I had this week…

Gorgeous hair that does exactly what looks perfect with zero effort, styling, product or input of any kind from me.

This happens maybe once a year for oh, five minutes. I had this power from Saturday afternoon through Monday night. THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.

And for next week…

Easy transitions.

The Freudian Typo (or autocorrect) Award.

“I’m the flesh” instead of “in the flesh.

It is true.

Salve. Yours if you want it.

This week’s salve is the salve of the fruits from the invisible seeds are on their way, also known as the salve of comfort and trust. Trust in comfort. Take comfort in trust. It has the faintest smell of springtime.

These salves can’t be seen, but the production factory has delivered enough to me to distribute by way of the magic of the internet, so help yourself. There is enough.

Playing live at the meme beach house — the Fake Band of the Week!

Background. Ez and I make up bands. Stu (retired Bolshevik-fearing voice-to-text software) once invented hanging out at the Meme Beach House“. It’s just one guy.

This week’s band thanks to a sign I misread this week.

They’re called…

Automatic Sprinkles.

They’re a little punk, a little metal, and they go all night.

Though as it turns out, it’s just one guy.

Hallo Hallo! I am saying Hallo Hallo. Announcement time.

Picture me wearing that crazy hat


You guys, it is Plum Duff until TOOZDAY, and this means that we have a crazy sale happening.

You can get the magical makes-everything-better and not-otherwise-available buttmonster coloring book.

You can save $900 to $1000 on any 2014 Rally.

This is big.

Also there are toys to squeeze. Plum duff plum duff plum duff plum duff!

Go to the Plum Duff page and enter the password: refuge

That’s it for me …

Join my Friday ritual in the comments if you feel like it. Or call silent retreat!

We let people have their own experience. We’re supportive and welcoming. And we don’t give advice (unless people specifically ask for it).

Wishing you a glorrrrrrrrrrrrious day, a restful weekend and a happy week to come.

Shabbat shalom.

p.s. It’s fine if it’s not Friday anymore. There’s complete chicken amnesty — join in whenever (or not) and it’s no big deal.

7 Responses to Friday Chicken #249: the diamond, you say

  1. Mechaieh
    Twitter: zirconium

    Yay diamonds! Yay awesome hair! Yay 250s!

    * feeling run down
    * things that aren’t here yet
    * flat freewrites
    * funky bathroom odor

    * early birthday presents
    * the ridge that usually kicks my butt didn’t seem hard today
    * the shimmery deep green streaks I added to my hair
    * calligraphy client delighted with draft
    * finding out about Larry’s Beans while shopping for a nephew
    * salves of various stripes, including the invisible (thank you, Havi)

    Superpower this week: quarantining urgency monster

    Superpower next week: feeling at ease during at least seven new-to-me situations where I am likely to be the least experienced person in the room (hello new yoga studio)

    Warm wishes to all y’all.
    Mechaieh recently posted… I am a puddle of goo…

  2. Ania
    Twitter: AniaGrandbois

    Yes, recovery does take as much time as it wants to. Usually way more time than I consider reasonable. I was recently reminded that my body consciousness and the consciousness of mind work at very different rates; it makes sense to me that recovery needs time to integrate at the pace of form, but it doesn’t make it easier to my mind!

    OMG, snowmageddon in May, chéz moi. Ready for that to end weeks ago.

    Looking forward to the 250 chickens party!
    Hugs. Happy to be here.

  3. seagirl says:

    Claiming amnesty!

    The Challenging and Mysterious:
    All the things I wanted to do were on one day!
    Blah, blah, blah.

    The Utterly Delightful:
    The Muse & The Marketplace – one of the best things ever.
    Reading a piece of work out loud and having a room say “ooh!” and the presenter say the right words.
    Reading another thing out loud.
    Seeing what my gifts are and what makes my soul sing.
    Picking up a book and being swept away by the first line. And hoping it takes me all the way out to sea.
    Good sleeps.
    Good friends.

  4. Pearl says:

    (at the front desk) Yes, I’d like to chicken in for the weekend please, a 2 night stay with tickets for the revue.

    What Worked
    Permission around finances.

    Doing things and putting them behind me instead of doing them and fussing over them for several days.

    Inviting Change Into
    I’d like to invite change into the speed at which I appear to be living. More slow days. More red lights. More pauses. Meditation and slooooow yoga. Inviting all of these things – or even the consideration of these things.

    The Scary Mysterious Boos
    Problems. Problems and hitches with just about every project this week.
    Problems leading to more problems.
    Problems leading to the overall feeling of DRAIN.

    And yes, I too, over-estimate my capacity for over-committedness.

    Exhaustion. And in the middle of it, loud obligatory social gathering. Not my cup of tea. And sitting next to someone the mister thought I would like, but not really finding myself excited about it.

    Weird unexplained incidence of bad moods early this week. The scientists are on it, but haven’t turned up any results.

    The Delightful YAY
    The pollen from the trees that I am allergic to has dropped quite a bit, and I feel much better generally than I was. Still have to remember that this does not mean 100% better and treat myself as if I were still sick.

    Plum Duff!

    The mister’s new hardware arrived early – pushing our hardware replacement schedule ahead by several days.

    That delightful joy-filled moment when I thought everything was working as expected.

    The hour of extra me-time for self care that arose out of not sleeping two nights ago. If I didn’t need sleep, I’d plan to be up for an extra hour in the middle of every night.

    The beautiful feeling of being home from work at the end of a week and knowing that I get two whole days ahead of me to recharge.

    Reaching out and finally inviting friends back into our lives. Instead of, you know, just sitting around and whining that they aren’t in our lives, which is what I’ve been doing.

    All of the things I’ve spent years reading and researching about the perils of the internet are finally starting to coalesce into some kind of understandable thought. This is beautiful, like watching ballet in extremely slow motion, watching my thoughts cluster and collide and eventually turn into something great. The internet isn’t evil. Facebook isn’t evil (although I still have doubts). It’s the medium, i.e., how we use it, and the many, many people who seem to believe that clicking “like” on vacation pictures is the same kind of friendship maintenance as getting together for coffee used to be.
    Pearl recently posted… THIS and THAT

  5. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    Plum Duff makes me happy!

    My chicken is tired.

    A thing that worked: When something triggered me today, I used my tools, and wrote my way to calm.

    A thing to try next time: Finding a solitary space, resting quietly, and humming.

    A mystery: So many old patterns are popping up! I handle them differently now, and that’s excellent to notice, but it’s still painful.

    Delightful things:
    –Balmy, breezy weather.
    –Friendly overtures.
    –The right skirt at the right time.
    –Hot tub!

    This week’s superpower: All misunderstandings dissolve in shared laughter!

    Next week’s superpower: Remembering that if I’m yearning for a particular quality, that probably definitely means it is already available to me.

    Sending love and gratitude to chickeneers everywhere. <3
    Kathleen Avins recently posted… April, in a series of verbal snapshots.

  6. oliver danni
    Twitter: choirqueer

    hey there, chicken!
    +very very very not enough sleep
    +remembering to Breathe
    +fretting about Seein’ Bees
    +the awkward interaction with Divo Tenore
    +choosing not to go to The Thing My Crush Was Doing and all of the Reasons why that was the right choice even though I didn’t want it to be
    +oh, the sinkhole of Plague Aims!
    +and also not working
    +Crab Scare Net
    +RIP mixing bowl :(

    +catching up on Mint Docks
    +all of the hats!
    +chickpea lemon soup
    +listening to Daughter all week in anticipation of…
    +goat puppets
    +my acapeople <3
    +dress rehearsal!
    +collecting songs with choirs in the recording!
    +reading, reading! <3

    +Permission to rest
    +trying to hold rhythms
    +public accountability!
    +plusminusing (JAW!)

    +Plan recovery days more proactively
    +Banana Split my work time
    +journal more (because JAW!)
    +have more public accountability!
    +embrace the calendar
    oliver danni recently posted… Peanut Pumpkin Soup with Mushrooms and Kale

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