Secrets in Lace

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Interview: Ming the Merciless, former Emperor of the Galaxy.

Ming the Merciless: Former Emperor of the Galaxy hits rock-bottom.

Dusty Miller

Today, ladies and gentlemen, we are privileged to have with us the former Emperor of the Galaxy, Ming the Merciless.

DUSTY: Oh, how the mighty have fallen. So. Emperor Ming. What have you been up to lately?

MING: Well, I’m living a very quiet life, well out of the lime-light now.

DUSTY: Yes, you were dispossessed of your birthright or something.

MING: Exactly.

DUSTY: We here at Shalako Publishing, Long Cool One Books and Larga Fresca Uno Libros ran into the former Emperor down at the Inn of the Good Shepherd. There was a bit of a line-up but you like to get there early. Old habits die hard. Anyways, the early bird gets worms, eh?

MING: That’s right. Man! It was cold that day, eh?

DUSTY: Yeah. I’m a girl, incidentally, don’t know if you caught that right off. So how does it feel to line up for a handout with some of your former, ah, what’s the word...???

...I guess what I’m trying to say is that once you mis-governed them.

MING: Ah. Yes.

DUSTY: <patiently waits.>

MING: Ah. Well, it’s very humbling, of course. But, we do get old, and sometimes we find ourselves in circumstances not entirely of our choosing.

DUSTY: So what do you think of your former subjects?

MING: Oh, right, they were mine? Ha-ha. They’re all right, surprisingly accepting. Everyone is being very kind to me.

DUSTY: They think you’re mad in that outfit. There is a certain affinity for some of us.

MING: Yes, well. I’ve signed up for the Genesis Program and we’re hoping to find a pair of jeans in my Tuesday, hopefully. I already have an ill-fitting human/civilian jacket in the closet.

DUSTY: They might be a bit big in the waist for you. You can always take them in. You’re looking awfully thin. We knew you were tall, of course.

MING: True.

DUSTY: So, where are you living now?

MING: At an undisclosed, ah, working class walkup in the central city area.

DUSTY: Nice and close to everything—buses, food banks, the government offices located in the downtown core solely for the purpose of subsidizing bourgeois landlords, lots of dumpsters to go through and a fair number of beer cans dotting public parks...? Plenty of mental health outreach programs...???

MING: Ah, yes. Something like that, yes. The pension, as you know, is very small. I find that stressful, and I am sure some of my former subjects do as well. I don’t mind speaking up on their behalf incidentally. I have much to make amends for...

<wipes solitary tear from eye.>

DUSTY: Okay. So, Emperor Ming—I hope I can still call you that. Ah, what does a kind of isolated guy like you do for sex, anyways?

MING: Same thing as everybody else, I suppose.

DUSTY: Ha! I guess you’ve pretty much heard them all, eh?

MING: I am as old as Time itself. I AM EVIL PERSONIFIED.

DUSTY: ...and matter, and energy, and space, and the interstitial matrix that holds it all together. Have you seen Flash or Dale or Prince Arbin or whatever his name was lately?

MING: No. Not really.

DUSTY: Boy, it’s sad when people lose touch like that.

MING: I send a Christmas card every year to Dale, but she never responds. Prince Arbin passed on a few years ago—cancer of the clitoris.  

DUSTY: What!!!...???

MING: He was a hermaphrodite—very few people knew that. Flash is still giving $20.00 blow-jobs on Sunset Boulevard, out behind the Colonial hotel.

DUSTY: You mean in Hollywood, right?

MING: Ah, yes. Hollywood.

DUSTY: Yes, you were deeply in love at the time. Sorry! I mean with Dale.

MING: Still am, old boy.

DUSTY; Yeah, I hate it when that happens. There was this girl in college...I mean this guy in college.

MING: Silence!

DUSTY: <gulp.> Wow. That works good, eh?

MING: No one cares about your puerile adolescent crushes, Fred.

MY NAME IS DUSTY: I was thirty-three at the time, but hey! It’s not important.

MING: Butt-hay? I’m not familiar with that one. Does he work for CTV? Now those people have much to answer for.

DUSTY: It’s just an expression. So anyway, the Inn will be open for the usual hot meal on Christmas Day. Maybe we’ll run into you.

MING: Most likely, other than that, ah, it’s usually just beer and porn for me. I’m not really into Rudolf the Grinch and, and, that Adam Sandler and that frickin’ fruitcake Farrell. I don’t smoke crack or anything like that, but you might ask around the neighbourhood. I mean, it is Christmas after all, and people need their little treats, don’t they?

DUSTY: Yeah, me neither. I’m with you on that one. So how are you getting on otherwise?

MING: Like I said, everyone is being very kind and as we get older we tend to appreciate that a little more than perhaps we might have done in our younger, more foolish days. But if someone gives me a problem, there is always the default position.

DUSTY: And what’s that?

MING: Physical, psychological and moral terror.

DUSTY: Oh, right. Anyway, ah...thank you for speaking to us.

MING: Not at all, not at all. Incidentally, would you have any spare change?

DUSTY: Sorry.

MING: How about a hug?


MING: That’s all right—there’s a sucker born every minute. Don’t ever forget that and you’ll do all right, Fred. My man—my friend. Don’t be shy, okay?

DUSTY: Ah, no. And thank you again. <AND MY NAME IS DUSTY YOU SICK OLD BASTERD.>

MING: Seriously. Stop around and see me sometimes, we’ll have tea. I’m quite fond of Earl Grey.


DUSTY: Ah...well...ah...yeah...?

<What else could I say...?>

DUSTY: We really do have to be going now, so please let go of my arm...

<brief but exceedingly polite in the usual Canadian manner sort of a struggle to escape without seeming to be rude...>

<MING attempts to hold Dusty in thrall with the power of his personality and those engaging sick basterd eyes but she ain’t having none of it, having a fairly good brain of her own...>

Argh. <mutual>

DUSTY: Please take your hand off of my bum, sir.

<psychic smack-down from the lady.>

<a loud thud from the former Emperor.>


....MING: Wow, she’s good. Really strong...I seriously didn’t expect that from such a delightful little poppet...

...such mental powers, ladies and gentlemen...


Thursday, November 27, 2014

How to Induce a Light Trance.

Bodidharma practicing zazen.

Dusty Miller

A light trance can be induced by counting backwards from ten.

These are the words to speak, (silently, inside of your head, unless you are working with a subject).

This method works best by assuming a fully relaxed position, lying flat on the back, with the head straight and supported by a pillow. Get the neck aligned before starting. 

Place the elbows fairly close to the sides and the hands on the hip-bones or thereabouts. The key to the whole thing is comfort and relaxation.

Remain immobile, although moving a hand up to the face is okay, as the odd little itches and tickles interfere with the process. Only a short way into the process, the fingers begin to feel a different sensation, a kind of tingling or buzzing sensation. That’s how you know it’s working. After a while, the heart rate slows, and if you relax enough, you might even feel the odd little pop in the spine, the neck, etc. As you go along, laying in bed for example, you can feel the tension leaving your body and you seem to settle, to sink in.

This method will induce a light trance in a normal subject in good health, as long as there few external distractions and no major worries at the present moment. Quiet is best for the exercise. Long, slow, full breaths help to induce the light trance state. If you seem to be working too hard, or even fighting it, (which I’ve done myself) it simply won’t happen. The best thing about it is the sagging, the relief, and the release of tension. It’s a kind of letting go. For that reason, it is best to establish a bond of trust with any potential subject. Not every subject is capable of doing this. A professional hypnotist is a perfect stranger. Your mother-in-law trying to hypnotize you might be an entirely different story. In the latter case, underlying tensions and social expectations may interfere with the process.

Here’s how it works.

What you are going to do is to count backwards from ten and tell yourself good things. If working with a subject, initially set them at ease, explain what you are going to do. Get them in a relaxed position. Speak the words aloud in a soft, calm voice, and observe and correct if the subject's neck or legs aren’t properly aligned for example.


Your toes are completely still. Your toes are totally and completely relaxed. The balls of your feet are completely relaxed. The soles of your feet, the arches, the insteps of your feet are completely relaxed. The outer edges of your feet and the bones of your ankles are totally and completely relaxed.


From your ankles to your knees is totally and completely relaxed. Your calves are totally relaxed. Your Achilles tendons are completely relaxed, and the tendons in the backs of your knees are totally and completely relaxed. Your shin bones are totally and completely relaxed.


From your knees to your hips is totally and completely relaxed. The biggest muscles in your legs are totally and completely relaxed. Your knees and kneecaps are totally and completely relaxed.


Your pelvis, your hips and your groin are totally and completely relaxed. Your gluteus maximus is (or are) totally and completely relaxed.


From your hips to your diaphragm is totally and completely relaxed. Your lower back is totally relaxed. Your stomach muscles and the diaphragm are totally and completely relaxed.


Your chest, and your upper back and your shoulders are totally and completely relaxed.


Your hands and your fingers, your thumbs and your wrists, are totally and completely relaxed.


Your neck is totally and completely relaxed.


Your face, your eyes, your mouth, the muscles in your face, your jaw, under the jaws, the muscles where the head joins the neck, are totally and completely relaxed.


Your eyes, your brain, your mind, are totally and completely relaxed.


I am totally and completely relaxed. My body is totally and completely relaxed. My mind is totally and completely relaxed.


If this method doesn’t work, you can always go back to ten, take a couple of deep breaths. Stretch, move around a bit. Focus the mind on what you need to do. Then try again.

At certain points, physical, sensory manifestations occur. These include the feelings of heaviness in the lower limbs, this will happen as soon as you tell it to happen. This is the great revelation of the light trance, the fact that you can in fact control certain aspects of how your body feels and performs.

There are feelings where the body seems to be floating. The trance is assisted by having the eyes closed, and the sensation of being on an air mattress, on a warm sea, with light wavelets lifting and lowering the subject is actually caused by hydrostatic forces. The heart contracts, and the wave-front of blood pressure can actually be felt. It’s very much like the pulsing in our ears, or our wrists when we put our finger on the vein. Only now, it’s our entire body that we have become aware of.

Our entire body is pulsing, when people are extremely tired, they say they are ‘vibrating.’ This is their racing heart, high blood pressure, on a frame that is under extreme tension—no wonder they’re vibrating.

We’ve all been there and it doesn’t feel very nice. We actually feel it when we slow down, and only then do we become aware of what our body is trying to tell us.

There is a point when we are on the verge of a deeper trance, which is not unlike falling asleep. There is this borderline panic state when we get to the old familiar falling sensation that all humans have reported while on the borderline of falling asleep.

Yet if you know it’s happening, it’s kind of like a ride in space. Just let the mind go and see what pictures it projects. Try not to think about anything at all.

At some point you realize that you are fully conscious, fully in control. You could snap out of it in a heartbeat, but now you are in a completely different place.

You are floating in a void of infinite internal space. This space exists only in your mind.

There is nothing to be feared there. You are wide awake, you’re just lying on the floor, and yet now you are totally and completely relaxed.

It’s a false sensation, and there is some lesson in that as well. Only you will know what it is.

Long, slow, deep breaths, and yet relaxed breaths are key. There is no need to be hyperventilating like the expectant mother in a Hollywood romantic comedy film. We are not grunting up a storm before a dead lift of 350-kilos, either.

The whole process is simple and natural and provides great benefits. It reduces stress, relieves pain and headaches, reduces neck pain, and helps you to go to sleep at night. It gives you a little power over your body and frees you from it at the same time.

I’ve been hypnotizedby a professional, years ago. I didn’t actually quit smoking, but it is perfectly possible to put your self into the lighter sort of trance, one where you are fully aware of the background but it seems somehow insulated.


Constance 'Dusty' Miller on OmniLit 


Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Shape-Shifter.

Mdf, (Wiki.)

Dusty Miller

What an amazing creature. The small, dull-colored Merlin that flew past had wide wings, but they were also short. The bird had a long tail, and at first I took it for a mourning dove, as the graceful, brown-gray shape flew silently overhead. It went diving down into the low trees of the park.

This was no dove. At the high speed it was gliding, wings extended, it must have come down from on high, and then pulled out, flat and level. It was one of those misty, half-lit days in November. I was out walking in sheer boredom. Most of the leaves were gone from the trees, although a few wine-colored ones trembled on the end of a maple branch to my left. Patches of color stood out in high contrast against the blue bottoms of the low clouds above.

Merlins have a mottled chest, yellow, naked lower legs, and a slate-colored back on the males. The long tail is barred with light and dark. They have golden-yellow eyes. This one was clearly a female. A ringing ki-ki-ki—ki—ki sound rang out around the little patch of forest. It had to be sitting on a branch less than fifty metres away.

Once in the trees, they’re all but invisible.

I wondered where it went. It was prowling for a meal, with its stealthy approach, down low, coming out of the mist, almost invisible against the dull sky. It must have been going over a hundred kilometres an hour, the perfect predator. Perhaps it had made a kill of some small songbird or a rodent, about all there is to eat for an animal like that around here.

I stepped off the graveled track, walking on the fringe of grass that ran between it and the flower gardens that line this part of the path. There’s an arboretum right behind my house. I’ve taken a lot of photos there. I didn’t have my camera this time.

Faint noises came out of a clump of cedars, ahead and off to my right. A thicket of shrubs with long, arching, trailing yellow stems covered in small red berries hid my approach.

Otherwise she would have heard my coming.

I caught a glimpse of something pale through the trees as something moved in there. There are sheltered places. People go there to get out of the rain, teenagers party after dark, kids played hide and seek in there in the good weather.

I was curious to see how close I could get, so I stayed on the grass and let my feet naturally fall into stalking mode. When I was very young, I dreamed of being a woodsman, just like in an old Zane Grey novel. I must have gotten pretty good at it, as she never heard me coming.

A girl stood in a glade. She was hurriedly dressing herself in a faded pair of jeans. Her back turned, she tucked in an old plaid bush shirt in, then fastened her belt. A pair of boots were on the ground beside her. 

She pulled a jacket from a small, dark green day pack, resting under some overhanging branches. With my heart pounding in my chest, I backed up suddenly, to say the least. Was she dressing in there?

But why? What had she been doing? I backtracked silently as far as I could get. I mean, I’m not a peeping Tom or anything like that, although the clear impression in my head was of a very beautiful young woman with long, blond hair, in her early twenties, about one-hundred-seventy centimetres tall. She was nicely built.

She didn’t look homeless, and I was pretty sure she hadn’t been having a pee in the bushes. So I stepped back on the path and began moving towards where she had been. There was a bit of a curve in the path, and as I came around the corner, there she was, standing in the middle of the trail, all properly dressed and with the pack-straps visible on her shoulders.

She faced me and stared right into my eyes. She must have known I was there.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to spy on you.”

“I know you.”

My heart almost stopped dead. Her voice was low, smooth, and surprising in its warmth. Her calm, green eyes regarded me in curiosity and recognition.

“Pardon me?”

“I know you. You’re the gentle one. I’ve seen you talk to the squirrels. And sometimes the little ones, the lovely little red birds, the ones that sit in the top of a pine-tree and sing, pipi-pipi-pipi-pip-pip-pip. You feed half the cats in the neighborhood. They like to come over and get a snack, or a drink of water, or a pat on the head.”

She regarded me with tolerant humor. I chuckled. This was a very strange conversation. Just a scruffy old man, I’m actually quite shy where stunningly attractive young women are concerned.

“Um, yeah, oh, well. I guess I like cats and stuff.”

I couldn’t think of anything else to say. Just as I was about to step around and keep going, she reached over and patted my arm near the shoulder.

“Why don’t you meet me here tomorrow, about one o’clock? You can watch me fly.”

I stood gaping. She smiled sweetly and then turned and walked off up the trail.

I watched her lithe, athletic form as she strode purposefully away. She took one last look back over her shoulder.

“Okay! I’ll be here.”

Demure yet mischievous, she smiled mysteriously. She turned a corner and disappeared. All around was silence, except for the low rumble of a jetliner cruising past above the dark, wet-looking clouds. Yeah, I’ll be here tomorrow.

She was one wild-looking girl, or shape-shifter, or whatever. I have nothing to lose, if you care to look at it that way.