When the Sleepwalker Awakes

Do you ever say things
not because you mean them
but because other people have said them
and meant them?

Where do you go when you sleep?
What do you say
to the ones you love?
What do you do?
What is the name of your 
Their tics?

In the space between
sleeping and dreaming 
are you ever horrified
by what you bear
on your hands?

What, then, do you do
when you're awake?
Do you bury your hands
or wash (lave) them clean?


  • Give deeply to receive deeply.
  • There is no waste, only compost.
  • Play is the building block of nourishing creation.
  • Slow down and smell the flowers. Also, the garbage.
  • When the lake stagnates, open the floodgates. Even if one must use dynamite.
  • With any outcome, feed it back into the cycle.
  • We are bodies of transmutation. Now go process some shit.
  • Do not sacrifice quality for quantity; it matters not if one knits 500 sweaters so long as they do not fit their wearers.
  • Do not sacrifice quantity for quality; it matters not if one can bake the most delicious cake in the world so long as no one ever tastes it.
  • Absolute balance is stillness; stillness is akin to death. Seek balance in motion instead. Dance.
  • Cultivate the practice of broadening perspective as a contortionist cultivates physical flexibility. Always aim to push past one’s limits.

Individuating With Integrity: Non-attached Desire as the Motor for Purpose

You might be wondering, how the f@ck did I manage to get all of those words together in a single phrase? Do they even relate?

Well, here. Let me explain.

First, what is individuation? As one might surmise by looking at the word’s root, it’s the process of becoming individual — by evolutionary means, I would add. It’s a process that comes about as a result of everything one has ever thought, done, had happen to one. It’s the process the oak tree underwent to become what it is, with its thick, dramatically defined bark, its funky flared leaves, and its adorable acorns.

And that word, integrity? It’s a nod to wholeness, to All That Is. Think integral. Integrity. So, individuating with integrity is individuating as a unique member of the Universe, as a cell in the collective body, with a function and a role. That function and role is our purpose. The oak tree provides shade, gives home to insects and lichens, and feeds the woodland animals with its nutty fruits.

Now for the real doozy: “non-attached desire.” I know there are at least a few fledgling Buddhists out there in the peanut gallery all like, “Whaaa? Isn’t that an oxymoron?” I would posit that no, actually, it isn’t. On the contrary, non-attached desire, I believe, is a core and vital function of life as we know it. It’s the mechanism, the pattern-creator, of all life. It’s part of what we access when we turn deeply inward, and what ultimately gives us direction when we’re “chopping wood and carrying water.”

One might see desire in two very different ways. The first way of looking at it is the most common portrayal: as lesser, strictly of the body, sinful, a knee-jerk reaction sold out to instant gratification. In contemporary Western understanding, desire is an inescapable, evil thing. It is my view, however, that such a reductionist perspective does not serve our species. Desire is not just temptation by the devil, not only the product of habituation or genetic predisposition and not merely passing fancy either. It is all these things, and so much more.

Here’s another way to look at desire: as a primordial force — one that can, and must be reckoned with if we are to dare strive for our highest aspirations. It’s what propels that great oak to the sun, binds the tides of the earth to the cycles of the moon, and causes our planet’s surface to crack open as her molten core pushes its way out to birth new land. This Great Desire pre-exists us all, yet weaves its way into our deepest dreams.

And this is where non-attachment comes in. You’ve heard the saying, “Not my will, but thy will.” While sometimes used as a self-effacing tenant of a defunct religious practice, I beg the question, why can’t these things be one and the same? I believe that the more we align our outer self to our innermost Self, the more this becomes true. I look to my deepest desires and what I find there is a longing for the well-being of all life, and if that doesn’t look like Creator-consciousness…

I digress.

Let us return to that saying, “Not my will, but thy will.” This could mean, “What I want doesn’t matter. Desire will only lead me astray, so therefore I will live a purely passive life and/or a strictly regimented life of pre-dictated dogma and doctrine.” Alternatively, one could understand this phrase to mean that ultimately, Great Desire is much more important (and more greatly desired, even by lil ol’ me) than my little desires.

In order to make this concept more relatable, I’ll shrink it down to the microcosm. My little desire for sweet, homemade treats is minimally significant to me compared to my Greater Desire for a homestead that provides for me, my family, and my community.

Sometimes my little desires, if acted upon regularly, can become direct obstacles to my Greater Desires. For example, I might have a Great Desire for bodily health, but am constantly acting out a little desire for sugary, processed foods. This conflict occurs simply because of my attachment to my little desire. When I’m really caught up in my little desires, I find myself in one of two situations. Either a) I’m in this semi-amnesiatic state where I can’t even remember what Greater Desires there are out there, let alone that I have any or b) I’m super tortured because I want this little desire AND that Great Desire and feel like I can’t have that Greater One, so I’m just making do with this pittance of satisfaction instead. Both situations are a very funny place to be. Neither are helpful to me.

I’m not suggesting that one shut the little desires down. Actually, I think doing so would be extremely harmful to the psyche. These little desires are here for a reason, and it’s best to treat them with acceptance and compassion. One need not indulge every little whim to do so, however. By remaining unattached to the little things, one creates space for the Greater Desires to make themselves known and act themselves out.

Looking back at the example of sugary, process foods vs. bodily health, I might take a non-attached stance and say, “Sure, I’d love to eat a bunch of doughnuts tonight, but they’ve been making me feel really physically down lately and I want better for myself. This time, I won’t force that desire into being.” I find that often, when I take this approach, a more perfect circumstance makes its way through. A friend brings by a ripe Kona King mango, thus satisfying my craving for sweets (which was the real desire hiding behind my fixation on doughnuts) while simultaneously contributing to my bodily health rather than detracting from it.

More often than not, my desires are quite simple in nature, and stem from very basic needs. The problem arises when I try to solve these needs with rote patterns, based on my attachments. Doing so, I remain blinded to the more ideal situations available to me. Instead, I can maintain a perfect tension between attachment and self-denial, acknowledging the lesser flow of my smaller desires while leaving space for a greater flow to work alongside me. Blended together, these two flows can propel me towards my biggest dreams.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be of service, particularly in regards to planetary healing (I mean, c’mon. At age four, my dream job was to be an astronaut-veterinarian. That’s a single position, folks). That part of the question has always been easy for me to answer, but it feels so nebulous when I think about how life actually works. What has been exceedingly difficult for me to answer is HOW TO GET THERE. At the end of the day, I’m not actually that attached to what it looks like. I could be researching plant compounds in an effort to treat disease, writing novels that inspire individuals to create a more perfect society, teaching children important life skills… Realistically thinking though, I have to start from where I am now, and when I don’t presently have the means to just make one of those life paths happen, where do I even begin?

When I was in college, I was dead-set on making one such linear path happen. I had it all planned out, only to learn upon closer look that what I wanted to do would almost certainly require my breaking from my moral/ethical code. (Or more accurately, what I thought wanted to do was appearing more and more impotent in the grand scheme of achieving my Great Desires). Unfortunately, I had already put all my eggs in that basket.

Exactly one identity crisis and energetic recovery later, I realized I could still get to where I wanted to go, and that the path I took could ultimately be much more exciting, inspiring, and rewarding. This is the path of non-attached desire.

In following what sings to me, I place myself in a network of beings, and ways of being, that contribute to my cause. I, in turn, contribute to theirs. I become more refined, and the source that feeds me, as well as my impact, expands.

I learned that the One that plants the seed of Great Desire in the human readily supports a selection of my little desires — creating art, being with community, dialoguing, eating delicious food, to name a few — and that ultimately, these little desires can support me in creating my Greater Desires of harmony, sustainability, magic, fulfillment and universal dignified living for humans and animals. One day, I believe I will get there (only to realize even Greater Desires — the thought is exquisite). May the path never end; may it only ascend.

Depending on the person, this process of integral individuation looks like a lot of different things. Some processes look more heroic, powerful, artistic, magical, noble, compassionate, exciting, inspiring, than others. I do my best to avoid comparison. What matters most here is authenticity, integrity and persistence. It’s also important to keep in mind that this path is a non-linear one. Goal setting can be helpful in this journey, but it isn’t helpful to force oneself into a rigid structure if it doesn’t inspire. This process, more than anything else, is deeply satisfying and enjoyable.

What is the highest desire I can conceive for myself and my world from where I am now? How is that desire operating in All That Is? Could my little desires bring me closer to manifesting the big ones? I actively clear the path standing between me and the attainment of that desire. I start from where I am. I give it as a gift to myself, and the world.



In the oven, 
he asked to borrow my sweater.
"Absolutely," I reply, "but might I ask why?"
"Kindling for the fire."
and he tossed it on. 


"Your house is made of candy
and attracts a lot of flies. 
Might I suggest that you revise
your approach to building supplies?"
"It's true, they come by the swarm.
But if first I lick
the walls, they stick
to the outside, leaving the inside
bugless and warm."


I sat in the pumpkin patch
alone with the mice
awaiting my Royal Carriage. 
The clock struck midnight,
my carriage never came.
I tried to walk, but
my legs were lame so
I stood on my head


When traveling through the forest,
stick to the trail
and you will find home. 
However, if it's your self that you seek,
or better yet, true love's kiss,
then heed the wolf's call
and roam. 

When the River Runs Dry: The Art of Dancing Around Creative Dams

Every time, without fail.

I set myself up perfectly for the next Golden Age of Creation; I carved out the time for writing, I bought myself tons of new supplies to play with, I’m eating this new diet that’s scientifically proven to blast creativity out of my nose holes. The juices are flowing a veritable artsy deluge-splooge! And then…nothing.

When I hit this point, it doesn’t necessarily look like a lack of ideas. There’s plenty of material available, but there’s nothing behind it. The life that pushes it along, weaves it into something meaningful, is absent. To the undiscerning eye, it looks like I’ve lost motivation, but all the prime motivators are there. 

So, rather than smash my head into the dam over and over until either it, or my skull, gives way, I see what I can do to coax the flow out and around its obstacles. It’s a pretty roundabout process, and looks something like this:


Go for a walk somewhere new. Wander through a library and take home the book that is most exciting, interesting or frightening (it doesn’t matter much if I end up reading the whole thing). Devote a day to loving on myself. Doodle aimlessly. Clean out my closet, and definitely fall into those memorabilia rabbit holes. Window-shop my favorite store. Window-shop a store I absolutely would not shop from. Try a new craft. Make love (like, really). Get “lost” in the woods. Cook something without a recipe…

The idea here is to immerse myself in something other than my daily reality. I want to move from my normal waking consciousness into the world of the dreamer, where all of creation stirs between my fingertips. When I take the time to tend to the too-long neglected parts of myself – the parts of me that crave adventure and play – I augment my naturally creative self. Suddenly, making those new connections so necessary for creation is effortless. Hallelujah!

Not long ago, coming into a creative dry patch used to be devastating: famine, failure, and identity crises to boot. How would I ever support myself as an artist with such a fickle muse? Now, I understand she’s not fickle at all. She’s a lot bigger, more complex, and powerful than I had ever previously grasped, and requires my complete care and attention to do what she does best.

When one channel stops flowing, I listen for the water. I heed the call to quench new earth. It’s a guaranteed good time, every time.

Love-Month Themed Post

In these days of lingering cold, it’s important to keep the heart(h)s warm to see ourselves through to spring. These last months of winter are especially challenging for me; every glimpse of sunshine stirs the spring waiting inside of me and when the snow falls and the temperature drops yet again…Well, that’s when I remember I need to keep stoking the inner flames. Luckily, a little bit of love can go a long way.

In this vein, I’d like to share with you a poem and a tarot spread that have been bestowed upon me recently:


Love is not a title due
after proper certification.

It does not come with a deed.

It is certainly not
a collar
thrown about one’s neck
(you cannot tug love at your heel).


When love comes,
it comes easy—
you wonder what took so long
just to turn your gaze
and see
the door was open the whole time.

One day, after you finally gave up
bargaining for it,
love crept in
under the living room rug
and it sprouted
until it pushed its way up through the weave,
and it bloomed
filling the room with its scent.

From that day on,
every fruit that fed you,
you plucked from its branches
and every leaf you swept
you gave back.

When it broke through the roof,
you finally realized
all that lies between it
and the infinite expanse of sky
is dead images of itself
rotting away.

Anomie Still

The tarot spread came a few days later, inspired by the metaphor revealed within the poem. The spread was built on the question, “How do I grow my love?” Of course, this question can be flexed a bit to suit the needs of the querent.

lovetree spread

Suggested interpretations:

  1. The Root: the source point or primary action of growth
  2. Left Branch: the analytic mind, thoughts and attitudes
  3. Right Branch: the creative/sensual mind, thoughts and attitudes
  4. Left Flower: what grows of the left branch and is given for the well-being of all
  5. Right Flower: the gift to be shared of the right branch
  6. Fruit: what comes back to you, feeds you, and bears the seed that brings the cycle into its next revolution.

Take heart, love! Spring is coming. In the meantime, keep those flames alive ♥



Hello and welcome.

Consider this post to be simultaneously an introduction and manifesto. I am your host. I go by many names, but here, the mask I wear is named Anomie Still.

This is an artist’s blog, otherwise known as a “personal blog” (and personally, I despise that descriptor. It pretends like the personal begins at 5 and ends at 9…here, you will encounter an odd blend of personal and professional, any time of day.) In giving it this title, I mean to convey that a) the blog will be self-driven and b) it will showcase a wide range of topics. An example list looks like this:

  • deep psyche, archetypes and the Imaginal
  • fiber arts
  • archeomythology
  • parenting
  • philosophy
  • parenting philosophy
  • social theory, anthropology, etc.
  • natural health
  • literature (fiction, nonfic, poetry…)
  • um, this list continues for a long while

A more important list maybe, is the one that gives life to the last. Its parent list, if you will. Which is, what is valued here: purity of expression, a hero’s heart, clarity of sight, a balanced mind, the drummer’s knowing, and the processes of dreaming Heaven on Earth.

These things summarize this blog’s intent as succinctly as I can swing here, standing at the inception of its timeline like this. I’ll finish this post off with a bit about me.

Who am I? I’m a meandering child-spirit with a romantic fixation on healing the world.

I traveled quite a bit growing up, with family and independently. This exposure to lives of so many different flavors and feelings hooked something in me.

I later attended and graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and English. Post-graduation, I continue my studies independently. I follow my nose, though my studies largely revolve around questions of the human spirit and its relationships with Self and Other. Where do these studies lead? I can’t say for certain, but it smells like Utopia.

I’m also a stay-at-home mom. I’m madly in love with my children, and most of my time is theirs. But know this—as I am devoted to my babes, I am devoted to the art. I will always return, so long as there’s somewhere to return to.

These are the tools of my dreaming.

A final note. This is an important one so I’ll put it in caps: I DO NOT USE TRIGGER WARNINGS. I know this is HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL, but I don’t appreciate the state of mind they create. On a base level, they’re censoring’s more politically correct cousins. Trigger warnings aside, rest assured that I will treat all subjects with care.

May every wound opened here be healed. May this be a space for re-vision-ing and rehabilitation. May it pave the way for connective dialogue, creative unfolding, and planetary re-alignment. May the dream come true.