Tag Archives: trust

trust

I hold my love like an orb
up to the sky
next to the ocean
so I may see it reflected
a thousand times
on each shimmering wave.

This dense matter is her small painting—
she wears no eyebrow
lips
or smile.
Her fur is made of light
knit with promise
and my two hands.

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Filed under Big G., poetry, writing

mind and heart talking

I do not understand my trust
and that is its nature

mind and faith cannot know each other fully
and that which cannot be known cannot be trusted fully

or, is it so?

The mind says:
Faith is another word for stupidity.

The heart says:
I have knowing that defies logic or reason.

The mind says:
You believe so you can sleep.

The heart says:
Wake with me.

The mind says:
We mean nothing. We are nothing. There is nothing. You are dust.

The heart says:
That’s something.

The mind says:
If you practiced – if you woke up and watched and were aware of everything, you would understand the universe. You would not need to believe.

The heart says:
In the moment before I die, I will not seek to understand. I will seek to love.

The mind says:
I keep you safe.

The heart says:
I fear nothing.

The mind says:
You are beautiful, you are brilliant.

The heart says:
(nothing. Shine.)

The mind says:
Who can I share this with, to make it more perfect?

The heart says:
There is no more perfection, than perfection.

The mind says:
Than why your longing? Always longing?

The heart says:
To evolve. The purpose of longing is evolution.

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Filed under Big G., lisa goettel, offerings

Upside Down

This is not me. Yet.

This is not me. Yet.

I’ve never done this before, but I want to dedicate this post to my dear friend Tuaca, who I love, and she knows it.

I went to my first aerial dance class yesterday.  I swung around and climbed and went upside down on a big circus rope and hanging fabric like those super pretty people who fly around in Cirque de Soleil, doing super pretty and amazing things.  In my case the only pretty amazing thing is the fact that I can’t lift my arms today. Muscles I forgot I had are still vibrating, my neck aches and my feet and hands are pink with rope-burn.

Still, I swung and played and giggled with pigtails and utter school-girl glee. My mind is racing to visions of thrilling and graceful theatrics, hanging 50 feet in the air from a tree on an ocean cliff.  My nightly push-up and sit-up sessions have new purpose and I’m pouting to have to wait two weeks till the next class.

Honeymoon-phase enthusiasm is always finite, but right now I’m eleven-years-old again and remembering the lost art of infinite possibility.  I’m making room for passion to hang out in the same room with the budget and but-but-but’s and better ideas.

I think I feel all airy and sweeping and la-la right now because this infinite possibility point is feeling like the punctuation on one big, long, magical weekend.  The whole series of events that even got me swinging upside down was a perfect snowball of synchronicities.  I was talking with girlfriends on Thursday night about my love and aspirations for aerial acrobatics, bemoaning the lack of a class within 75 miles. Next morning I pick up a hitchiker on the way in to town. We get to chatting, she mentions a new aerial dance class coming to Monterey that she’s taking starting Monday. There are one or two spots left.  It meets the next three Mondays (skipping the one Monday I’ll be out of town.) We swap emails, and the rest is history.  When I’m a very, very famous star of Cirque de Soleil, you can say you read this post back when…

Over the weekend I was in a workshop at Esalen, offered to me free at the last-minute, about intuition and the power to create our worlds.  The instructor was a celebrity psychic who loathes being called a psychic and is fond of observing synchronicity as the inevitable validation of well-used intuition.  We gave each other readings, practiced mediumship and telepathy with little instruction beyond “go.”

In her groups she talks a lot, regaling us with long, unapologetic diatribes of her neuroses and successes.  She declares her adoration or disdain for us at regular intervals and upholds her Esalen reputation as a famous wine and sugar pusher.  But when it comes time for us to dive in and try our hand at reading the future or healing a stranger, she channels a drill sargeant. Not speaking is not an option. Should your stream of prophetic visions and healing energy slow to a trickle or (heaven forbid) hit a roadblock, it invites a quick and public suggestion to go try out the yoga workshop.

A few years ago, I inhabited a pretty-much permanent emotional fragility living at Esalen, busy gazing at all my deep, dark psychological woundings. This workshop and her seemingly incompassionate style would have shattered me into a thousand million little pieces then.  With a little thicker skin now, I found the gifts layered and deep (if bouyed by her pull-aside comment during a break about my incredible intuitive prowess.)

One of the most valuable take-aways for me was to hear that after 30 years of being a well-known and extremely successful intuitive and healer, she still feels like she’s making it up.  She never feels comfortable and in control of what she’s saying or doing in a reading – just comfortable in her trust of the process.  She reminds and reminds and reminds us that we just have to GO.  The train has to leave the station. You have to jump in the river in order to be carried.  “Define your target, follow your attention and report” is her only guidance, and it’s all we needed.

I love inhabiting the paradox that life is a river carrying us along to our destinies but we can tell the river where to go or crawl to shore when we choose.  I love feeling like I am tapping into the truth and connectedness of the universe when I’m just sharing whatever pops up in my consciousness.  I love believing that my being at the aerial dance class yesterday was a result of the perfect mix between happenstance and intention.

I’m suddenly thinking of my grandmother, who is probably rolling over in her grave right now as her 35-year-old, unmarried grandaughter has run off to California to swing from a trapeze and study telepathy.  I hope she knows that for me this life is just another expression of love, like for her it was making us eat third or fourth helpings of dinner.  I’m following a river that my faith and spirit and intuition tells me existed before and way beyond me, but I’m choosing and creating and directing it too.  I hope she sees how alike we are in this.  (And I know she does.)

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You said.

Earlier today I thought my words were broken.  Broken, or so rigid they could not form to the smooth curves of the knowing I want to express.  Since I was little I’ve gone through phases of deep despair and frustration over the frailty and imperfection of words in the face of my experience. Today I heard the teachers I needed and remembered: words can’t break.  Only we break our own vows and commitments – so understandably – in the face of all our human perils: distraction, avoidance, stubbornness, fear.

I’m building a mountain of trust, stone by stone.  Learning to get out of my own way.  Learning to listen.

I asked for help tonight.

You said.

You can dance too.
(And I can hardly sleep for the knowing of it.)

You forgot, didn’t you?

There is no way to break me. I cannot go wrong or do badly.
When will you believe me? I cannot shake you – your vice its too tight.

This is the time. Now. Here. Be with me.
Don’t be afraid. I love you as a  nightengale slipped from its nest. You who knows no boundaries or reason.

This picture you have is imperfect. Leave me to fill it.

You have the most glorious spirit I’ve ever created. You. Yes you. There is none other.

The typing is done by the fingers not the mind-vice.
The fingers have their own agenda that can listen beyond all your thoughts.
Listen like your fingers.
There will never be another reason to doubt, though you will.  Your fear is too strong.
But only because you create it each day.

The fingers typing is the poetry you are wanting.

Welcome yourself to the seat you’ve made and thank your Self for it.  Made of sticks and bones and paper and blood.  These you discarded and are now your throne.

You are so full of magic it cannot be expressed, only experienced.

Don’t go again.
Know that you can recognize me always.
I am your teacher and lover and friend and end to your loneliness. All those tragedies of human form.

Be this knowing.  The world needs you.
Has your recognition failed you yet?

Shelters come in forms that waves punish.
Bees dive for nectar in all the wrong places, most of the time.
You are another soldier.
I trust you to do it perfectly, because you are me.
We are.

Begin again.
Show the light to itself.
Go forward in the uncanny notions and step back from the dainty or cautious step.
Will is the movement.
Action comes from within.

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Filed under Big G., poetry

Destination Perfection

It is 3:22am on a Saturday night/ Sunday morning and I am certain I am the luckiest girl alive.  Because luck does not look as one expects, I am learning. I did not win the lotto, or the cake walk at the the local fair today (thank heavens), but I am remembering, at this quiet, precious moment between days that the whole wide world has conspired in my favor. I cannot do any wrong thing.

My friend Paula Shaw’s raspy, dramatic, and always convincing voice often rings in my head, saying things like “Just go! All roads lead to Rome!” or “It’s hopeless. But not serious.” Today I’m reminded of her missile metaphor.  She explained that launched missiles, with all their technology and precision are almost never moving on target.  The only way a missile knows how to reach its destination is to move in that general direction, and when it’s far enough off course, it recognizes this and corrects.  So in fact, it is always moving in an ongoing zig zag, rather than some imagined perfect arc.

I am reassured by this. I can follow all my human little longings and mind trips and insecurities and hiccups down a river of sad or shame or give up… but even these rivers belong to life.  And life always takes its course in the direction of perfection.

Example A.

There are, let me check, 20 hours and 31 minutes left in National Novel Writing Month.  The official goal of this is to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  An absurd and absolutely doable task, that more than 100,000 people in the world will accomplish this year.  I will not be one of them.  I am at just over 15,000 words, for a variety of reasons.  Namely, 1) my life is fuller than full, and 2) I cannot turn off my inner editor.

Fuller than full is pretty self-explanatory.  I have four jobs, have moved three times this month, had friends visit and competing priorities. The editor piece is interesting. With the exception of a few moments, I have successfully wrestled my inner critic into submission. (Woo!) However my internal editor (there is a big difference) and I have something of a love affair.  I love, love, love polishing as quickly as I create.  I have not yet found faith enough to follow the rough edges of the story unknown far into oblivion.  My editor chimes in at every turn and pulls me back into a course that feels “more inspiring” to follow and then my inner Taurus must go back and fix the story accordingly.  I knew this whole novel-writing business would be one big giant personal process.  I was right.

The great success here is that I am not beating myself up terribly for my un-winning. I have, in fact, altered the rules to fit suit my needs and am extending my personal deadline to the 1st of the year.  50,000 words in two months is fine with me.  And no, the slick little progress bar on the right there will not accommodate, so I will post my own word count updates there instead.  (And I do invite you to hold me to it.  Peer pressure can be used for good, you know.)

In sum: I aimed high and decided to do this thing.  I am missing the goal, and still the whole thing has plopped me exactly in the middle of myself with great success.

Example B.

It was 11:15pm this evening, now yesterday, and I was at a choicepoint.  Do I spend my whole Saturday night alone at home with the novel writing or take a break and see some live music/ have some actual human interaction?  Such choicepoints, as mundane as they seem, always feel at the time as though the fate of my whole existence is at stake.  But what will I MISS if I choose this?  Which choice is really coming from CENTER? Blah blah blah.

I hemmed and hawed.

I’m in a groove with the writing again, so the kindest thing would be to stay here and do this for myself.

I wrote 2,000 words today and deserve a break. Live music! Go enjoy yourself.

I have a sore throat. I should sleep.

I have a sore throat. I should drink whiskey.

I went with the live music and the whiskey.

And now I’m here.

This “here” is not exactly the same as the “here” I would be experiencing if I hadn’t made that decision.  The learnings would look different. (And my lips wouldn’t be tingly.) But I am absolutely, beyond a doubt certain of the fact that I would have gleaned exactly what I needed to know to steer myself on the course I am choosing for my life, no matter what I did.  Whether “less drinking, more sleeping” is my renewed intention or “less hiding, more contact” – my course is correcting itself in the direction of my perfect evolution.

The world is conspiring in favor of my growing up.

I cannot do anything wrong.

Choices and events that bring me pain and suffering are powerful motivators.

Choices and events that bring me joy and fulfillment are powerful indicators.

In this season of thanks and gratitude, I am feeling mighty grateful for this knowing.  What a relief(!) to relax into this grand paradox – this faith – that I am always on the path, despite myself.  I won’t remember this most of the time, and it doesn’t even matter.  Is this not the most wonderfulest thing ever?  Call it god, call it life, call it fate, call it what you will… I just know I have this great gift of choice, and no matter what I do, I am being lived.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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The best laid plans

I live in the most magnificently, impossibly beautiful place on earth.  I do not know how I ended up here or how I know I belong in this place, right now, but I do.  (I reach for the camera… where??? Heaven knows.)

I had a crisis of trust today.  4:something pm and I have not accomplished all I intended.  I do not know where I will be living in six days.  I am lonely and unsure.  About everything.  How have I put myself in this situation?  What to do?  I know, in my heart and being, that trust and joy and perfection is available to me right now.  But how to simply abandon the fear?  The fear feels real.

I want to eat chocolate and nap.  I do eat chocolate.  I check e-mail and do half-hearted work instead of nap.  I decide to read the blog of Laura Diamondstone, our current Big Sur Artist-in-Residence who I have been actively involved in getting here for an 8-week residency through the Big Sur Arts Initiative. I fall into her words and experience so far.  Her appreciation for this place overflows like a blessing.  I am so profoundly grateful to live in a place where everyone recognizes the majesty.  It is lost on no one who has eyes.  And there is always someone who is remembering when I’m not, who can help bring me back.  Today it is Laura.  She helps me remember, and I get up to go on a walk.

Small, stingy tears start leaking, as I take my steps and listen to the perfectly human voice that comes forth.  This voice of such an understandably fearful, human girl who just wants to know where she will be living on Monday and how the money will come in if she follows her heart.  Who misses companionship and wants to turn back around on this lonely and beautiful road every time she thinks of mountain lions and loose dogs.  She picks up a rock and keeps walking.

Her want and will to surrender to trust is inexplicable and powerful.  She needs to know that there is an easier, more aligned alternative to life than to arm-wrestle it.  More leaking.  She walks by the broken house.  The house that after architects and planning and county soil specialists and permit approval, broke right in two when the ground slid out from under it, only weeks before it was to be occupied. The house that with the best laid plans, now sits empty, broken and caught up in lawsuits.

She makes a deal with the universe.  One week.  One week she will give herself and her heart entirely over to life.  She will banish worry and fear with absolution.  She will not let either make a single decision and she will walk through every door open to her that aligns with her intention.  No matter what.  If it does not work, if nothing opens, she will go back to arm-wrestling.

She sees a loose dog and turns around. Then remembering, no fear decisions, turns around again.  She stands and faces the dog.  She asks silently and respectfully for passage and walks more steps. The dog stays looking. She soon feels the natural cadence of her journey close, nods appreciation and goodbye to the new Aussie Shephard friend and without fanfare, turns to start the climb back up the dirt road.

The sporty red car of friend Christian turns the bend and is coming toward. The crunchy roll of dirt and gravel under the wheels is reassuring.  The girl smiles and waves and he stops.  She leans in the window and he tells her she is beautiful, walking on the road.  She says the view makes her look good.  They chat and within three sentences are negotiating her next house-sitting gig.  She will move in on Saturday.  She has 12 more days of bed and home while he is in Maui.  She throws the rock back to the mountain and follows him down to his house, taking careful mental notes on dog food, sprinkler systems and TV remotes.  He tells her there is a light around her.  That it is strong and powerful and fortuitous.  She hears the universe smiling and thanks him and it and herself and looks out at the sunset.

There is a fox and a wood spider waiting for her at home, and she greets each of them before they go along their way.

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The call

When the call comes
I’m convinced my trust is not enough yet

And I can see yet forever

The roots defy the tide
But the tide is rooted in 100 bijillion gallons of sea

Somewhere I remember,
and I swallow

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Growing pains

I haven’t written in some days. I’m feeling like I have nothing to say, being wrapped up in and worried about dramatic changes everywhere, obsessed with my poverty and right now I feel cranky and have a splitting headache that makes me want to stick my head in a bucket of ice water.

But my friend P goes and starts a blog about feeless free writing:

http://talknsmack.wordpress.com/

And the invitation insists I sit here in my cranky achiness and write anyway. Well I’ll show you and just sit here with nothing nice to say. Nothing good, nothing interesting. Nothing. Nya nya nya nya. And fine. I’ll just show the whole wide world what kind of a child I have to put up with all the time. (crickets)

The trouble is, writing today isn’t going to make me any money. It won’t solve my problems or get rid of my headache. It won’t get the work done that needs doing, or call my friends back. It won’t resolve the argument I just had with Y or gracefully pull the tense silence between us back into the yummy folds of connection. It won’t make bad things not happen or even help me feel better about them when they do.

So I’m trying hard to remember. I’m squeezing my eyes shut and crossing my fingers and reaching far into childhood memories for some helpful mantra “I think I can, I think I can” that will fix it all and bring me back. Back to center where I don’t hate whatever I have to say so loudly. Where all of me can just sit here writing and feel like that is a perfectly appropriate and even inspired thing to do when all those other things that need doing are just sitting there looking at me. Back to someone who has something worth saying.

And Y asks me if he can read me something – two sentences into the properties of iodine and the symptoms of iodine deficiency I start crying. And I suspect something else is going on. Maybe.

I’ve been so good lately. Really allowing myself to be angry, which is second only to sharks, or maybe the anesthesia not working, on the list of my top ten fears. I’ve been crossing the boundaries of my habitual life paradigm. I’m not even sure what that means, but I’m sure I’m doing it. Big stuff. Left and right. Whammo with a life-changing decision… practicing following my own voice. Kersplat with a gaping hole in my plans… practicing trust and hoping anyway. The whole wide world is falling down and I’m practicing breathing.

And tonight my seams are tearing a bit. The bulging belly of all that is being evoked – trying desperately to keep it from meaning I’m outgrowing my favorite jeans. I don’t have anything else to wear! I don’t WANT anything else! Well shit.

It’s going to be ok. That’s the best I can muster for myself tonight through the fog of drippy tears. You don’t have to know what to do, or even what’s wrong. It’s going to be fine.

I’m reluctantly (very reluctantly) accepting this. And for the record, $50,000 would help too.

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The call to greatness

I saw my friend Ani Difranco again last night, in concert this time in Santa Rosa. And I indoctrinated Yossi, who it was a treat to share with, especially since he really liked her. Truly, as I watched I wondered how anyone couldn’t – if not appreciate her music, style or perspective, at least honor her presence on the stage and in the world. What a shining star.

I’ve seen Ani in concert for 15 years, and while it’s been a few since I saw her last, I was prepared for the familiar schizophrenic ongoing internal dialog that invariably accompanies the ticket price.

Audience member Lisa A: “Oh it’s the Becky song! Remember Beck, how you always sang that line “you are by far the cutest?”

Lisa B: “Yes. I was feeling the Texas of my heart today in the car. That’s it exactly.”

Lisa C is busy adding harmonies and riding the guitar picks like electrical surges.

Lisa D: “She is so obviously doing what she was meant to do. Wake up! It’s time for Lisa to be Lisa.”

Lisa E: “She’s existed in the world for a year more than me and has released 21? albums. What the fuck am I doing? Where has my creativity gone? Lisa, you have so much potential and you’re wasting your life. You’re still not even sure who you are. What distinguishes me from everyone else in this anonymous crowd? I hate crowds. We’re all hypocrite cattle, cheering at every cry for rebellion and independence while we’re all sitting here in the dark fantasizing to the tune of “I want her to see and love and validate ME!” If I met her tonight, what would I say? What is my offering? I bet she doesn’t watch TV.”

Ok, I suspect that audience member E. is actually a few voices, but I’ve lumped them together here for the purposes of recognizing that none of what they have to say is helpful. The simple act of going to a concert for me is a complex brew of enjoying the familiar, identifying with the artist, appreciating the music, being inspired, and then tumbling down the hill in comparisons, judgments and self-consciousness.

Fully aware of and prepared for this last night, I suited up for the show with all the resources I could muster after what had been already a long and challenging day. And I managed largely to hold the cruelest forms of “voices E” at bay. I focused on voice D instead. The voice being nourished by inspiration – the voice who in seeing Ani shine felt my own call to greatness. And I knew that true calls to greatness are not laced with barbs and they don’t get report cards. They happen of their own accord, in their own time, each with their own unique manifestation.

I don’t know what happens in everyone else. But I’ve seen and heard enough to believe that the call for greatness is a common if not universal experience. Greatness not being confused with fame or glory, though greatness often inspires followings, but greatness of embodied spirit. It’s a recognition, a flowering, an excavation of the divinity that has been inherent in our beings all along.

I feel the tingling of this inside myself many times a day. And then I see the 184,256 things that are in the way and if I don’t just drown in hopelessness right then and there, I get tripped up by #4 or #58 or #184,255. It takes a special kind of inspiration, or maybe more commonly a desperation, to plow all the way through, which is why I don’t see it much when I look around. But I’m attracted to people who I see making a go of it, and my spirit lifts immeasurably to be present for someone who just hit another six barriers but did it anyway. We see this a lot in people with life-threatening illnesses. People who are adequately nursed with an urgency to go beyond their habitual, self-imposed limitations. I’ve looked deeply at the invitation in more than one dark night of the soul – the stark choice – climb the impossible mountain or deny my life force and die inside.

And last night I recognized all those voices of stopping as being a barrier that keeps me from my greatness. And for some reason, whether inspired by Ani or just following my own evolution, I felt the urgency more profoundly than I ever have. And the urgency dramatically loosens the grip of fear and dread. The voices that normally stab me and sit me down transformed into little stings to brush off.

There is NO TIME TO WASTE. As Ani said in one of her songs last night “We’ve got ourselves a serious situation down here.” There is no time for self-pity and misery and stopping. Today I’ve been visited by at least 238 of the things I do and think that stop me and I haven’t had breakfast yet. But at this moment each one feels like a calling. Beckoning me to climb it, drop it, cut through it here and now because there’s a life I have to live.

It’s tempting to throw it all up in the air together and say I’m done and I’m starting over. I’ve attempted this before and it ends badly. My knowing is that each one of these things is something I have to look at in the face and say no to. One by one. I just have to trust it will all happen perfectly and drop me off in the middle of my greatness on the other side.

On to breakfast.

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23 miles per hour

The wind won’t stop in Big Sur. For a week now the wind hasn’t taken a break. We’re having a beautiful spring – the lilies and irises are up everywhere, it’s green and blue and sun in every direction – so I feel a little bit bad complaining. I saw one Iowan friend’s Facebook status the other day, saying she was ready to take a hairdryer to the snow on her windowsill. But at least the snow isn’t moving all the time, that’s all I’m saying.

There’s something exhausting about constant wind. Even angering. I remember when I was little, standing inside the canopy of what was at the time an absolutely enormous evergreen tree in our yard. The wind wouldn’t stop and I convinced myself I could talk to it and make it calm down. For some time I actually thought it worked. It seemed that as soon as I asked it to stop – when I didn’t yell, and when I really wanted it to – it would ease up for awhile. But I remember being angry at it, which is what I decided was my downfall in the negotiations.

Now I’m a grown up girl, living amongst a truly enormous canopy of redwoods, still angry at the wind. It’s hard to sleep, it’s cold, I get tired just walking outside. I find my frustration more noble as I think of all the little creatures – the poor Steller’s Jay couple building their spring nest have had to start over and she’s gonna pop out those eggs any minute.

But my grown up girl mind suspects they aren’t in negotiations with the wind. They’re just starting over. And I look at the young saplings that look like they’re taking a beating and know that this wind is ensuring their survival – strengthening their young roots. What seems ferocious and unrelenting is just moving things through.

It’s spring, after a winter of relative ease and comfort. Life is stable and sweet and rooted. And then comes along a Sunday afternoon, when Yossi and I go for a walk and discover the invisible little cobwebs that have accumulated in our relationship. And we follow the natural instinct. We decide we’ll open all the doors and windows – clear out the stale air – each of us not even realizing we’ve been feeling confined until we catch the scent of something fresh and new. He longs to travel and find his own feet in the world. I’m just now finding my wings here. And we love each other, so who would close a window?

Yossi sold his car and is buying a traveling van. I’m looking for a new Big Sur nest for one. The wind hasn’t stopped blowing since that Sunday and the sweet, fresh air is now just feeling brutal. I resent it pushing my best friend out the door.

And then yesterday, the news that my friend Ronnie decided to die. My friend who I waved to in his truck on Tuesday just had enough. The wind blew him through Vietnam and who knows how many other things in his seventy years – most recently ending his marriage, evaporating his wealth in the stock market and taking his home. Sometimes the wind is too much. It’s something I can truly understand.

But today life is calling upon me to strengthen my roots. To let everything move through… loss, discomfort, grief, fear. And trust that like most growing things, I will be stronger.

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