How Carolyn Elliott went totally nuts and B-R-O-K-E

    Okay, so in my last post about my back story   (in demand since I posted 17 Bizarre Philosophies that Made me $10,000 Last Month) we left off on me meditating on my balcony as part of my program of recovering from the devastating depression that followed my spectacularly failed attempt to get married.

    So then what happened?

    Well, what happened is I went mad.

    I mean, seriously. I lost it. In a rather glorious and fun way, but I still lost it

    It’s slightly embarrassing to admit, but the precise moment when my consciousness climbed from what I would describe as “ho-hum sanity” to “exalted magical madness” had a lot to do with me watching a TV show. Specifically, Game of Thrones.

    While watching Game of Thrones, I saw the actress Emilia Clarke in her role as Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons. And I saw her start liberating slaves. 

    daenerys
    In one city-state after another, Daenerys rolls in with her tiny army, incites a slave rebellion, declares the slaves to be free, and then she invites the newly freed slaves to join her cause if they feel like it.

    And hot damn! Wouldn’t you know? Many of them do join her.

    Now this is important to note: stories – especially epic, mythic stories like the kind the one that Game of Thrones tells – are themselves intense magical forces.

    I’m quite certain that George R.R. Martin, the author of the series of novels that Game of Thrones, is based on,is a savvy wizard who is very aware of this.

    And I suspect that Martin crafted his story to actually have the effect that it had on susceptible minds like mine: inspiration.

    My mind was susceptible to George R.R. Martin’s inspiration-by-means-of-Daenerys-Targaryen because I had been thinking a lot about my bodhisattva commitment which I had made the past Christmas as I struggled to resist the impulse to commit suicide:

    Beings are numberless, I vow to free them.
    Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to exhaust them.
    Dharma gates are boundless, I vow to pass through them.
    The awake way is supreme, I vow to embody it.

    And so now here was this sexy, leather-clad Dragon Queen lady on the laptop screen in front of me, literally freeing people.

    I got the magically mad notion in my head: well, sweet Jesus, if she can do it, so can I!

    Now my own mythic Dragon Queen slave-freeing quest was complicated just slightly by the fact that unlike Daenerys, I didn’t actually own dragons.

    Furthermore, I didn’t actually have hot knights rallying to support me, and I definitely didn’t have a convenient ancestral claim to an Iron Throne.

    liberatingslaves

    Instead I was just an over-educated broke lady living in a shitty apartment, being cheated on by the guy she was dating, and generally flailing at life.
    So since I didn’t have dragons or knights or a clear objective for my slave-freeing quest, I decided I would just give away all of my possessions and hitch hike cross the country to the Rainbow Gathering in Montana.
    rainbowgathering2


    (Yes this is what a Rainbow Gathering looks like. So. Much. Fun.)

    Yes. I would just leave everything behind and go out to the Rainbow Gathering in Montana with only my book bag, my laptop, and my bodhisattva boots, and I’d figure out the whole “liberating people” somehow along the way.
    Note: my bodhisattva boots were a pair of wondrous cowboy boots that I specifically ordered for my ill-fated wedding.
    But the wondrous boots hadn’t arrived in the mail time for that doomed day, so I didn’t actually wear them for the wedding.
    When the boots did arrive, I was so distraught by my depression and grief that I couldn’t bear to look at them. 

    So for months I kept the  boots in a closet which I came to call my “Miss Havisham” closet because it housed all the wedding gifts I was too embarrassed and ashamed and too depressed to mail back to their givers, plus my unwashed cursed wedding dress and the too-late boots.

    Great Expectations, 2011, film shoot, UK, Credit: Johan Persson/
    (Miss Havisham with her wedding dreams crushed in Great Expectations)

    As I recovered from the pain of my depression through the grace of my bodhisattva vow magical madness, I rustled through my Miss Havisham closet one day and I realized that these would-be-wedding boots featured embossed red hearts on the front calves and front toes, with each red heart flanked by deep blue wings spread wide.

    A heart flying with wings. A free heart. A bodhisattva heart. Get it?

    So I put on my bodhisattva boots, felt powerful, and started making arrangements to give away all the stuff in my lousy Miss Havisham closet and in the rest of my apartment.

    Also, I quit that lousy piece-meal job writing resumes for illiterate Coca-Cola executives.

    And then…. I set out for the Rainbow Gathering in Montana!

    But you know what? I didn’t even make it out of Pittsburgh.

    Why? Because in my magical madness I forgot one little problem: I didn’t have any money. 

    I couldn’t pay for gas for a ride, I couldn’t buy a plane ticket or a bus ticket.

    And after a childhood of watching Unsolved Mysteries with my mom, I was too scared to hitchhike!

    Unsolved-Mysteries

    So no glam dragon quest for me. I was stuck in Pittsburgh.

    And now I was in the tough position of no longer even having a shitty apartment and a shitty job.

    I was literally homeless, jobless, and out-of-my-right-mind with magical inspiration.

    The magical inspiration part sure was fun, but now I was more B-R-O-K-E than ever before.

    As I went to sleep on a kind and generous friend’s couch one night, it finally sunk into me:

    Damn, even Daenerys Targaryen had some capital assets to start with.

    If I’m gonna do this bodhisattva journey stuff, I need to figure out how to make some cold hard cash money!

    So just how did I do that?

    Stay tuned! I’ll tell you in my next post.

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