Reflections

Charlie Lucky…

Many years ago (back in the mid-90’s) I lived in an apartment with my husband and daughter. It was located in a small village set neatly in the middle of farm country. I loved the pastoral setting, the slow, diligent pace of country folk, and the peace of rural living. It was a time of great creativity for me, during which most of my current belief systems were discovered and explored, as well as the time when all of the full length books I’ve written (published or not) were authored. It was, in essence, the time that I evolved into me…

I have since refined that sense of self, of course, expanding my understanding and scope, while simultaneously letting go of all that does not fit anymore. But it was during that crucial time in my life that I learned to re-label my delusions (hallucinations?) as visions, that I gave myself permission to speak my “truth” rather than hide it, that I first started wrestling with Time and time magic. That I dedicated all of my resources toward understanding the “true” nature of reality…

And it was then that I first met Charlie Lucky. He was both teacher and test for me. He brought both unbelievable joy and unfathomable sorrow. He was every contradiction I’ve ever encountered, and yet he was as stable a presence as I’ve ever met. He opened my eyes to so many possibilities I might not have had the courage to consider on my own. And he shattered my heart when he left me. I learned what real heartache felt like. I learned I could survive it. But I could never close my heart to love again. No matter how much it hurt, I would never again be able to close off that secret inner place, to protect myself by hiding behind walls and masks, to block what might not feel right…

Without my realizing it, Charlie Lucky had cracked open my inner core and left it exposed to the world. Shielding techniques would no longer serve me. And so, the empath that I am today was forged, and would only progress from there…

Charlie Lucky was a cat…

To be fair, he was a very special cat, but he was still a cat. When I first met Charlie Lucky he was a ghost cat, a blurry white shape that crossed my peripheral vision from time to time. I wasn’t the only one to “see” him, thank goodness, which is one of the reasons I started to suspect that not all my delusions were false. His presence visited our apartment quite often, seen by both family members and guests who would often remark, “I didn’t know you had a white cat!”

To which we could only respond, “we don’t.”

Then one day I opened the back door to get something, and there he was. Mostly white with gray around both ears, and a fluffy gray tail stuck on his butt that appeared to be stolen from some other cat, for he was neither fluffy nor gray as a rule. But what really stood out was the large gray diamond on either side which marked him as both recognizable and unique.

When I opened the door that day, he was just laying there in that enclosed space (we never knew how he got in), looking sleepy eyed and comfortable, as though he’d always been. He rose when he saw me, stretched lazily, walked the few steps to the door, then sat and meowed softly, greeting me. I was instantly in love! I asked him, “are you waiting for an invitation, or do you need something else?”

He just stared at me, willing me to do something.

I stepped aside, spread my arm in welcome, and said, “come on in if you like. Of course you are welcome here.”

He blinked slowly at me, then pranced into the apartment as if he owned it…

Charlie was unique in many ways that we would discover in the short time we knew him. For example, he never required proper transitioning or introduction to our other cats; they accepted him without rancor, jealousy, or need to test him for his rank in the hierarchy. Charlie Lucky was in his own world mostly, and the other cats greeted him as a long lost friend, instantly cuddling with and grooming him. It was odd. But then, everything about Charlie was odd… Wonderfully, memorably, heartwarmingly (and wrenchingly) odd…

We soon discovered that Charlie had been born with a congenital heart defect, and a very poor prognosis. The vet warned us he wouldn’t stay with us long. And while it might of been wise to withhold a bit in preparation for the inevitable, it turned out to be impossible. He was too lovable, and too loving and wise to ignore. In the end we had about three years together. Three years that would change my life. Three years during which ghost kitty was not to be seen. Three years when every flash of white seen from the corner of my eye transformed into warm, furry, purring joy…

And then he was gone…

And ghost kitty returned… Only this time we knew his name.

When I left my husband in 2000, I found leaving my cats behind the hardest. But they were a family unit, and I knew my husband would care for them. Leaving Charlie’s ghost behind was a whole different level of heartache for me. But I packed up my courage and set out to begin the next phase of my life, leaving behind the peace and pace of country living to embrace a whole new set of unknowns in an unforgiving city. It was necessary, but terrifying and exhilarating all at once. And when I would think back on those transformative years in the country, I would remember them fondly.

More recently I would view them with a sense of wonder and awe, as so many of the things I “discovered” back then began revealing themselves in real time and space; not only had I evolved my self in that country haven, but much had been revealed to me that only needed a proper context in time to become relevant. That time has come. The threads that caught my eye in the tapestry of reality are only just now becoming visible again to my naked eye. And it is both welcomed and resisted, all at the same time…

I have grown more stable in my sense of self over the intervening years, and less vulnerable to the influence of others’ points of view. I have also become more capable of embracing others more completely as they are, without unduly trying to influence them. I have learned to love more, to hate less, to hurt more and blame less. I have more compassion and less expectation for others. I own my space, real and imagined, and grant it all the same level of authority to change my point of view. I genuinely like me today, in spite of flaws, shortcomings, mistakes, failures and lost hopes. I accept me. And so I am in a much better frame of mind to accept you…

So why this long eulogy for a cat two decades dead? Good question…

I’ve had other cats since Charlie Lucky, cats I’ve raised from near-birth to death. And while my relationships with each were unique and special, none have ever had the same impact on me, save one perhaps. That would be Shilo, my all black current partner with whom I share much of the “connectedness” I felt with Charlie. It was also love at first sight when I met Shilo, and though it would be a year or so before we could be together (he belonged to someone else at the time), our relationship has shared much of the same magic. We are empathically bonded, responding to each others’ needs without speaking, sharing dreams, and growing old together.

Shilo often comes outside with me when I smoke, exploring the back yard, checking for scent markers to see who’s been by to visit, hanging out with me like a loyal hound. But he is a cat, so more accurate perhaps to think of him as a peer, a companion, a friend. Last night, late, I went out back, and he joined me as is our routine. He explored, while I looked around, both of us seeking first around the area of our shed, where many visitors appear. There was no one there last night, so he came up to sit calmly beside me, waiting as only cats can do.

Suddenly he panicked and raced for the back door! As is our way, I was reaching for the door to let him in before my conscious mind could even grasp the change. Once he was safe inside I caught my breath, and started looking around for what might have startled him. It was then I noticed the pool of white by the shed. I stared, knowing it hadn’t been there before, and trying to identify it. It was too big to be my possum friend, and too white to be our skunk. It wasn’t the all grey tabby or the orange and white tom cat that often visit. As I stared, the animal turned to look me squarely in the eyes.

Sleepy eyed and comfortable, there sat a mostly white cat, with grey around his ears, and a fluffy grey tail wrapped around his loaf-like body. Watching him, I would have sworn that he was home, perfectly content, like he had always lived in that exact spot. My mind immediately ran through a picture list of all the neighborhood cats I’ve seen over the 4+ years I’ve lived here, but I couldn’t recall ever encountering this cat before. Then I thought of Charlie Lucky…

I called out his name softly. “Charlie, is that you?”

Two slow blinks and nothing else…

I thought of approaching him, but I was afraid I’d scare him off. So I stared. And remembered. And felt. A familiar mixture of joy and sorrow washed through me. And then I left…

When I got upstairs, I instantly fell asleep with Shilo in my lap. And I dreamed…

I dreamed of traveling with a group of co-workers, all around the world. I don’t remember now what we were doing, but it was a purposeful tour. I remember packing for it and thinking I should grab one or two more things; nothing I strictly needed for the trip, but rather sentimental and irreplaceable. I chastised myself, not wanting to over pack, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wouldn’t be coming back. In the end I left them behind, focusing on the more immediate needs of what lay ahead rather than behind.

Months later, we returned to this house, our tour completed successfully. But I soon discovered it was infested with ants and other insects, and completely unlivable. I knew we could probably bring out what we’d brought back with us, but nothing else, and I was angry at myself for not having grabbed those two small things I’d wanted to bring. But it was too late… I left, single suitcase in hand, wondering where I should hole up while planning out the next phase of my existence…

Upon waking, my first thought was of Charlie Lucky. And as I write these words today I am sobbing as though my grief is new and raw still…

Was that Charlie who came to visit me last night? Why? And why now? For one who seems so comfortable in crossing that Rainbow Bridge, in both directions apparently, he could have come to me at any time since leaving that apartment in the country behind. But he never did. Until last night…

And to show up now, when my life seems to be transitioning into something I do not fully recognize, seems significant somehow. On the surface I expect change; I am, in fact, looking forward to it. However, there is within me an almost certainty that, in spite of appearances, that change is not what I anticipated. Something is off. Not wrong, just off. Different. Unexpected. Unknown…

And I am motivated to record it here. And so I have…

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blogbattles, Stories...

Clink, Clank, Rattle Rattle, Whoosh…

I was inspired to join this #blogbattle challenge by Sha’Tara’s submission. I mean, a maximum word count and a pre-chosen topic (loss) are the very definition of “challenging” to me as a writer! How could I resist? Lol! You can find out more about it, including how to enter yourself by going here:

https://blogbattlers.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/blogbattle-loss/

********************************************

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

Welcome, listeners, to this week’s edition of Conversations. I’m your host, Jules Seeker, and today we have a wonderful and unique guest with us. You’ve probably heard of her, and whether you love her or hate her, you’ve got to be at least a little curious about what all the commotion has been about. So without further ado, please help me welcome the infamous guru of our time, Ms. Elyssa Campton!

“Ms. Campton… Or may I call you Elyssa…?”

Call me whatever you like, Jules. Names and titles matter little to me.”

“Ok, then, Elyssa it is. You must be aware of the controversy surrounding you. Some say you run a dangerous cult, others claim you are a modern day savior. Which would you say is closer to the truth?”

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

[laughing…] “And here I thought you were going to ask the tough questions, Jules! Or so says your reputation, anyway… But if you want to start out easy, I’m game.

“Which would I say is closer to the truth? Neither. And both.”

“I’m sorry, Elyssa, I don’t understand.”

“I don’t run anything, Jules, nor am I here to save anyone. Do I have a following? Sure. But I didn’t invite them, or in any way entice them. They choose to follow me, but I haven’t asked them to…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“As to the modern day savior bit, I’d say people are giving me undue credit for the choices they’re making. Of course, they will, in time, also find a way to cast blame my way, when things don’t work out as they hope.”

“And you’re ok with this?”

“Does it matter? I have no control over others, good or bad. That’s my point. If they want to toss their power around, who am I to stop them?”

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“But… but… hmmm…

“Ok, let’s go in a different direction. If you could sum up the purpose of life in just one word, what would it be?”

[laughing again…] “Easy… Loss.”

“Loss?! Seriously?… I’m sorry, I just don’t understand.”

“Yes, loss. It’s simple, really. We’re born into this time and space complete and whole as individuals, and as we progress through days and weeks and months and years, we gradually lose it all…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“Or so one would hope…”

“Umm… Well… Hmm…

“Ok, I admit it, I’m totally lost. I have no idea what you’re talking about, Elyssa! Care to explain that a bit more for myself and our listeners today?”

[a smile lifting her voice]… “Sure, I can do that, Jules.

“When I was born, I lost the security of my mother’s womb, being cast out into an uncertain world, overwhelmed by light and noise and fear…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“When I was about a year old, I lost my mother. Or she lost me, depending on your point of view, I guess. After all, she was the one who abandoned me…

“When I was five, I lost my place in my family unit, being replaced by step siblings and relegated to the role of family bartender…

“When I was eight I lost my innocence because my drunk and lonely father often got confused, uncertain whether I should be his daughter or his wife…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“Around that time I also lost my belief in justice, learning that no one really wants responsibility for protecting children from their abusers…

“By the time I hit thirteen, I saw potential slip away, as alcohol gradually replaced any desire to succeed…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“When sixteen rolled around, I lost whatever integrity I had left; right and wrong have no place in the struggle to survive…

“And when that desire to live slipped quietly away, and Death became my most immediate goal, I learned that wanting anything was pointless and absurd. The Universe simply doesn’t care what I want, and life steals every hope away, twisting it into something unrecognizable…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“Wow, Elyssa… That’s truly depressing! Why would anyone want to live like that? Why would anyone want to follow someone who believes that?!”

“Because everyone has experienced such loss in one way or another. If you’re honest with yourself, Jules, you’ll have to admit your life has been a series of losses, too.”

“Well… maybe, to some extent, but still…”

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“Christ! What is that annoying sound?!”

[laughing] “Oh that? Not to worry, Jules. That’s just the sound of marbles slipping (not so quietly) away…”

Dead silence…

“You’re crazy, Elyssa! Totally bat-shit crazy!!”

“Yep! And proud of it, thank you very much!”

“So… You don’t actually know anything about enlightenment, do you? Your whole gig is a lie, a con, a scam!”

“Oh, I wouldn’t say that, Jules! Everything I’ve told you is the truth. What you choose to do with it is entirely up to you…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“It’s true I’ve lost a lot, that everyone loses in life, but that’s hardly a bad thing. Because part of what we lose, repeatedly, is our sense of expectation and entitlement…

“And when all that is gone, our egos slip away, along with everything else that makes us different or special…

“And we are left with nothing…

“Nothing but the present moment. Nothing but the common element. Nothing but the purest essence of what we are created from…

“And that complete and whole individual we were born as disintegrates completely…

“Allowing us the freedom to be every person, place or thing, simultaneously and without contradiction…

“And that, my friend, is what we stand to gain from all those losses…”

Clink… Rattle, rattle… Whoooshhh…

Silence…

(960 words)

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Essay, Reflections

Surrender…?

I know it seems counter-intuitive, but sometimes you have to lose big before you can win. Sometimes you have to let go before you can move forward. And sometimes, you have to surrender before you can be empowered.

I learned that mostly through getting sober in a 12 step group. Being a stubborn lass, I often push myself well beyond my limits, convinced that “if I give up now, I will never get back in the game.” And too often, that has proven to be true.

But there occasionally comes a time when I know I can’t continue, when there is simply not enough left in the tanks or the reserves to carry on. There are times when the battle, for survival or supremacy, simply isn’t worth it anymore. And times when even my wild imagination cannot fantasize a happy outcome, no matter how bizarre and impossible I allow the parameters for “success” to become. The question is knowing when that is…

Hello, Time, my ever present nemesis…”

Because letting go of something that isn’t working (at the right time) may ennable you to notice opportunities you would otherwise have missed; aka the other door or window that appears in the vacuum. Or it may allow you to accept help, whether it comes from other people, some Divine influence, or a quirk of fate. It certainly forces you to re-evaluate your place and your priorities, perhaps leading you to more realistic and attainable victories. Such re-orientation brings new strength to bear in the struggle, new hope, new goals to pursue. It reinvigorates the life you are presently living, however diminished that might be from the one you were pursuing…

But giving up too soon is a cop out, a failure, a loss of momentum; it makes you a quitter, rather than a winner, no matter how successful your “lesser” life becomes. Surrendering too early makes you weaker rather than stronger, presenting as a failure of will rather than an unwinnable contest. It creates a sand pit, a muckhole full of regret and “what if’s” hungry to suck you in at your first hesitation during any subsequent efforts. It is a loss from which you never truly recover…

So, how do you know where that line is? How do you figure out the timing of any surrender? Do you just push on, bruised and broken, until your only coherent thought is “enough, already!”? Or do you push on after that, preferring to err on the side of trying too hard, rather than quitting too soon? Do you literally press on until death drops you while still in harness? (Romantic thought, yes, but unrealistic, as the body usually stops functioning well before death actually comes to claim it.)

I was watching a show the other day, some apolcalyptic, end of the world scenario, where different factions fought about the best way to save the world. And as those “in power” argued amongst themselves trying to one-up each other, a doomsday cult grew up among the common people. The common folk accepted the inevitable end of humanity, seeking love and comfort from each other, while dreaming of how some other form of life (better than the plague that humans have become) would one day rise up to take our place.

Sound familiar?…

But then some renegade science geeks found a way to possibly save humanity, risking all to fight against the powers that be to achieve their vision of possible survival. And just when it seemed they might have succeeded, against all odds, the doomsday cult interceded with an act of terrorism to destroy that fragile hope, and the miracle device they built. Apparently, having accepted the inevitable end, having properly surrendered and found peace, they could not now accept that such an end might not occur. And so they acted out to make sure it would…

Have we, as a species (the masses, not the elites), surrendered our “power” too soon?

That’s the question haunting me today. For I believe I have accepted that humanity, or society anyway (as it is currently structured), is doomed; it simply cannot be saved. Nor do I believe it should be. Too much damage done over too many centuries, too many repeated failures and mistakes, too much proof that “good” can never truly triumph over the “evil” that rules. So, like many others, I wait for the inevitable end, the collapse of society as we know it.

But that end never seems to come, does it?

I mean, all the indicators are there – climate change, mass extinctions, vastly disproportionate allocation of resources, constant discord, increasing violence, an absolute refusal by those in power to change course, and an inability for the common folk to make them. Doomsday cults are a dime a dozen, and the major religions all seem to be preaching “end of days” scenarios. Countless apocalyptic dates have come (and passed), and more are predicted ahead. Most people seem to agree the “end is coming”; it’s really just a matter of when…

And yet…

And yet we keep on keeping on, limping through each day crippled but not dead. Individuals and entire species die off, while new individuals are born and live. Microscopic life forms are thriving (at the expense of others, of course). The sun rises each day on a planet more polluted than the day before. The moon transits through her phases, bearing witness to growing sorrows. But life, and more importantly here, society, continues. Why?!

I believed people who said the economy would collapse. I believed those who said humanity would turn on and destroy itself. But it hasn’t happened. Yet. And that’s a problem for someone like me. Why?

Because every day is a struggle. Because I want nothing more than to lay down my “coping tools” and give up. And I suspect I’m not the only one. But we can’t do that. Not really. Because if we give up too soon, we will only increase our suffering, but not speed up our relief. We won’t die, at least not right away. And while we wait for that, we will lose everything we are barely holding onto now.

I, personally, don’t like how it feels to be homeless and hungry. I’ve been there (long ago), when I was stronger and more physically capable, but I was still miserable. I can’t even fathom going through that now! So I continue to drag myself to work, day after day, juggling bills I can’t actually pay off, waiting expectantly for the day when these struggles become meaningless. But that day never actually comes…

I watch people I love struggle the same way, knowing how little I can do to actually alleviate their pain, because I have none of the resources that might actually help them. And I know they feel the same. I’m starting to feel just a tad bit envious of every death I learn about, knowing they, at least, have escaped. It’s getting to the point where I’m no longer sure if the “grief” I experience, the tears I cry, are to honor those who’ve passed, or to lament the fact that I haven’t!

And those doomsday predictors have all had to “walk back” their predictions, claiming now that we will not pass from this place with a boom and a flash, but with a whimper and a slow rotting away. Maybe in my lifetime, or maybe three generations away! The end, however inevitable it may seem, is not necessarily imminent…

“Time, my old enemy, you have a wicked and cruel sense of humor!”

Is giving up even an option anymore? Is there any chance that surrender could hasten the end of this war? It doesn’t seem that way to me, but perhaps I’m missing something here. Please feel free to enlighten me…

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Uncategorized

Panic Without a Cause…

There is a near panic running through my veins tonight, a panic without a cause. It started last night as a vague, ill-defined fear that I tried to push aside. But it’s come back now, with a vengeance, and not knowing why is only making it worse…

“Let’s face it, Lisa dearest. You may have many faults, and quirks that make you weird. You may have real mental illness issues, even if you manage to blend in. But random anxiety attacks are not your thing, and panic is not your style!”

“Don’t you think I know that?!,” I respond too sharply. “Don’t you think I get that?!” I cannot seem to keep the panic out of my own voice tonight; I cannot even fool myself!

But the truth is I do my best work in crisis, staying calm, focused and on task. I may not be a physical asset when sh*t breaks loose, but my thinking becomes crystal clear. I am definitely someone you want in your bunker when all options are on the table, for I will see the “best” course of action, almost intuitively.

Tonight, though, I cannot find my way through tangled threads of time and truth, nor can I make sense of muddied waters all around me. There is nothing here! Nothing to do! There is only the panic, the shallow breathing, the racing beat of my own heart, and nothing (absolutely nothing!) to blame it on!

“Ok, child, breathe… Just breathe… Seek not, for those answers may not yet exist. Wait… And let the truth come here to you.”

*** *** ***

Sitting in the darkness now

hidden safely in the shadows.

Breathing strangled, but steadier,

heart rate coming down…

WIth my heart and mind,

expanding on all sides,

exploring every timeline,

claiming what is mine.

But the source of this eludes me still,

defying every effort,

every tool I’ve ever used,

leaving me lost at sea, baffled and confused.

“Wait! What is that?!,” as blood pressure begins to rise.

“Swooping shadows overhead,

circling…

then flying high to deeply dive.”

I’ve seen this pattern, recently,

earlier tonight.

There was a single seagull flying

over me, as I waited at that light.

Exactly this same flight path;

I remember thinking it was odd.

And last night, on the porch,

the same pattern mapped by moths!

Calm begins to settle over me,

as my thinking ratchets up.

“Yes! There is something significant in this…

Of that much I am certain!”

But what does this dance represent?

And who is doing it?

What spirit or form of self

is dancing this pattern tonight?

For it isn’t “me” or one of mine

enacting this persistent ritual.

But someone else entirely…

Or should that pronoun now be plural?

Yes… yes… I’m on to something now.

I see a circle, and a fire, with dancers all around.

I cannot hear the music that they dance to,

though I can see it in the way they move and sway.

They dance for peace and healing,

but they draw danger in with every swoop and swirling turn.

It circles in, drawing closer every round…

I’m not sure they even sense its presence as their feet beat an incessant rhythm on the ground.

Euphoria cut short…

Battle lost before weapons are even drawn…

My heart weeps for those who will be lost,

with the rising of the Sun…

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Reflections

Who is she…?

Who is this “mother” who gave birth to me, more than half a century ago?

She was more than just a conduit through which my spirit could connect with another physical body. Wasn’t she?

She had her own thoughts, her own feelings, her own needs, her own demons. Didn’t she?

She might be a faceless stranger to me, but someone must have known her, right?

I don’t actually know, as we never truly “met.” At least not here, in this timeline, while I’ve been Lisa. But, of course, we shared the same space. Even the same body. Some trace of her must remain within me. Somewhere… Right?

My conscious memories of this timeline don’t truly begin until I was almost 3 years old. Everything before that is hazy and vague, and by that time, she was long gone. But I never knew why…

My brother remembered her, and he loved her. So much so that he never stopped waiting for her to return. The few stories he told me merely emphasized her abuse, made me grateful I couldn’t remember her. But he never gave up on her. Ever… Why?

Was he simply another abandoned child, longing to be cared for? Or was there something special about my mother that he craved to connect with again, in spite of the abuse and abandonment?

Today is the anniversary of the day they discovered him dead. I remember that day, though the year escapes me now; sometime in the 90’s though… He’d been dead for days, and the smell drew his neighbor’s attention. He died alone. No cause of death was ever determined…

I remember him visiting me in my dreams on his first birthday after his death. He was happy. At last. Standing on the other side of a river with her at his side. In death he had gained what he’d always longed for in life – reunification with our mother.

So what made her so special that he never could let her go? Today I am wondering…

Science claims to have proven that much of our innate “intelligence” comes to us through our mother’s genes. Judging from the way my family has grown, I tend to believe that; my daughter is at least as “smart” as I am, and her children outshine us both… So, should I assume my mother was also highly intelligent? Maybe too much so to “fit” into the world as it was when I was born? She was a college graduate who made a living as a model, before being relegated to a lonely life as an army wife and mother… That would have made me crazy!

And she was “crazy,” every bit as much as I am, though my father tried to keep that from us kids. But we found out eventually. About her time in a lockdown facility, her “nervous” condition, the mysterious deaths of two of my siblings…

I am the only redhead in my family. I thought I was adopted. Turns out my mother was a redhead, too… Is that significant?

So many times through my childhood I remember my drunken father caressing my cheek, looking deep in my eyes, and murmuring about how much like her I was… Even my brother would echo those sentiments in his less guarded moments… Hmm…

So, who was she? This woman who gave birth to me more than half a century ago?

I honestly don’t know. But today I am on a mission to find out…

Today I choose to open my heart to that lost and closed chapter in my life. Today I invite her memory in, to meet with me, to speak with me. No judgment here. Just compassion. And an honest desire to know the spirit of the one who carried me into this place, sharing first her body, her genes, her home, and her madness…

I think it’s time we finally meet…

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Reflections, self-discovery, Visions

Immortal memories… Confession or Myth?

*( for Sha’Tara…)* These observations are all based on “memory” which may (or may not) be “true.” Memory itself is often faulty, morphing to better suit how we see ourselves, or how we think things ought to be. When carried with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, they could also be pure imaginings, as “reality” itself morphs to fit my expectations. But keeping all those caveats in mind, here is what I can recall… ūüėÄ

All my life (this life) I have been haunted by “visions” of other times, other worlds, other lives. Mine? Or someone else’s? I’ve never really been sure. They come and go, triggered often by whatever may be occurring around me. Some are outrageous, seemingly pure fiction, making me reluctant to share them at all with outsiders, except as stories to read or share around a communal fire. Others are muted, seeming “less” than they feel, overwhelming me with a sense of significance, while not revealing anything apparently relevant or important at all. But through these “visions” of other times are certain Constants…

1. “I” am always female, even if I am not human.

2. I “see” and use time differently; “time” being merely a means of ordering events, not written in stone, and easily re-arrange-able. A corollary of this Constant is an obsession with all things time-related, as I struggle to reconcile my sense of timelessness with the rigid standards of my current lifetime. This includes a sense of immortality and an unrelenting idea that aging and death are unnecessary, even in human form. (Though I clearly haven’t figured out how to make that work yet! Lol!)

3. A deep and abiding sense of “loss” and a vague, undefined sense of “hope” that somehow (must!) justify that loss.

4. A need to “hide” in plain sight, to remain anonymous, even when my ego craves attention…

5. A sense of purpose, even if unknown, often accompanied by enforced repentance (where I am the enforcer); a certainty that any “punishment” I draw upon myself is well-deserved, even if out of context.

6. A sense of waiting… for some time, some clue, some event far distant when All will be revealed.

In addition to these Constants are certain Patterns that repeat. For example, almost all occur in the northern hemisphere of Earth; I have no real recollection of having spent time south of the equator, though I suspect I visited once or twice. Mostly my time here has been spent in North America, in the Ohio basin and around the Great Lakes. I do have many memories in northern Europe as well, centered around a “home” feeling in the area known as Scotland, but I am certain I spent time on the mainland as well (none of which was pleasant, I might add, carrying feelings of terror, dread, sorrow and regret).

I also tend to remember many of my “deaths,” even now recalling and judging the least miserable ways to die. (The easiest way I remember is electrocution; one of the worst ways being drowning.) Along similar lines, I am downright phobic about torture and “zombies,” a very specific form of undead. I can’t even watch such scenes in movies or on tv without cringing, walking away, or changing the channel.

The mere sounds associated with torture, or seeing the tools used, will send me into a nearly blind panic. I can only presume that “not being able” to die, having some sort of regenerative capability while suffering some such cruelty is behind this “irrational” fear. I often speak of Death as a friend who abandons me, as a goal that eludes me, etc. Even in this current lifetime my friends all joke that I cannot die, only suffer eternally…

I have had multiple dreams about death (in this lifetime) arising from some flesh-eating disease, and perhaps my fear of zombies relates to this. Or maybe it is a memory associated with leprosy, or something similar…

I have an awareness of the stars, though no desire to go out and travel among them. I prefer the terrestial beauty of life on this planet. I tend to look up into the night sky, taking note first of moon and planetary positions, then finding the constellation of Orion (when possible), followed by a search for the Pleiades. My search is always the same, and always in this order; a habit I cannot break. I feel no kinship with Orion, though; rather it is a sense of wariness that causes me to seek it out. My love goes out to the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters, and though I often cannot find them in the night sky, my heart feels both joy and sorrow when I do, usually obscuring the image in a blur of tears…

I also have a fascination with “magick” – not illusion and subterfuge, but a true altering of reality to meet one’s needs. This is coupled with an interest in science, where all such magickal happenings can be explained. Quantum physics is both my nemesis and my mentor, drawing me in with potential and possibility seeming to match my “understanding” of how things work, but eluding me in technicalities I will likely never fully understand. But I suspect they are the “same” principles, ultimately, where magick is the intuitive grasp and use of quantum physics’ very real laws and processes.

So here’s what I “remember” of my life as an alien (not from Earth, but here nonetheless)…

I have no clear idea of how I appeared to others. Perhaps there were no mirrors and that is why, but I can only “see” myself from my perspective looking down. I was tall, willowy, with outlines that wavered inconsistently. (Not fully present, or a shapeshifter, perhaps?) I wore a long robe of natural fiber, off-white, which seemed to glow in the right light (or I did), mostly at sunrise and sunset, moonrise and moonset, transitional times usually.

I was here studying Earth’s wildlife and plants, learning Her ecosystems. I remember being amazed at how orderly it was all arranged, the symbiosis achieved by many species. It was then, perhaps, that I began to think of the Earth itself as being sentient. I also developed a deeply abiding sense of love for trees. Even in this time I am drawn to trees, often stating that I wish to be one. They have such a strong sense of community, of empathy, a wisdom gained through hundreds of years of life, passed on to future generations in amazing continuity. Perhaps it is that Earthian form of immortality that so appeals to me, as well as their innate desire to be of service to All life, in whatever capacity they can serve. Even in “death” their usefulness and blessing remain, enriching those they serve immensely (a truth deeply felt by those who survive in northern climes, whether acknowledged or not).

I was immortal, at least in the sense that I could not die by natural means. My race had regenerative capabilities, and immunity to most microscopic invaders. We had learned to enhance that ability, only growing to maturity, then maintaining that “peak” level of performance. There was something in our blood, a sentience not our own, that could be communicated with. It could also be “shared” for short term emergency purposes by an injection of our blood into other host bodies. But the Blood itself could not replicate or survive in a species other than our own (or at least we had not yet discovered how to do so)…

As a result, we were a peaceful people, valuing life (all life), driven by the accumulation of knowledge and wisdom. Since we could only “die” by catastrophic means (or violence sufficient to overwhelm the Blood’s ability to heal), we were deeply anti-violence. We also grieved each death as a loss of wisdom and community, felt keenly and personally, for all that would not now be achieved.

We worked in tandem with another alien race, more agressive and warlike. I, personally, had little contact with them, working in a field of study that only mattered to them in terms of results. Always looking for resources to exploit, I found them very “unlike-able,” although such judgements would have been anathema to my way of being. It was a constant challenge for me, learning to “love my enemy,” though we had no truly acknowledged “enemies.” Still, I never trusted them, and often blamed myself for both my failure to accept them as they were, and my failure to stop them from pushing through policies detrimental to the indigenous life on Earth…

I also blamed myself for “turning a blind eye” to what was happening. Like an ostrich burying its head in the sand, I hoped that what I did not acknowledge did not, therefore, exist. I was wrong about that…

I place my presence here (my arrival) at some 19000-21000 years ago, but time is such a vague and inconstant concept for me that those dates probably mean little. Perhaps that is when the “rebellion” took place, rather than my arrival, and that is why the time period sticks out in memory…

I know that I was not alone in my resistance. I know that others opposed the exploitation and experimentation taking place. I know that others found the courage to stand up against such policies, in spite of the consequences. And I know many died as a result, both human and alien, and that all were significant losses in my heart; losses I felt keenly responsible for…

I could not take up weapons for the cause, but I could work to destroy the portal through which we travelled, trapping most on the other side. It was an act of betrayal so profound that even now I cringe to think of it. But I truly believed it must be done, and I accepted the consequences of doing so.

(As a side note: when I returned at last to the scene of my crime last year – the Serpent Mound in Ohio – so much of this came rushing back. And I was appalled at the disrespect such sacred ground had attracted from those “happily ignorant humans with good intentions and a total lack of history”. For they have many theories of why the mound exists, and few ring true to me. For me, it is a graveyard, a place of death, a scene of betrayal where a great battle took place. It is also a reminder of so much that has been lost, and a warning of how easily those sacrifices can be forfeited. For while I was there, I passed humans seeking to re-open the portal so many paid so much to close! And I was angry beyond reasoning, truly wanting to hurt them all! It required much discipline to move beyond those rage-fueled impulses to discover that perhaps it is, indeed, time to reassess my position; to at least consider I may have been wrong before, or that the time has come to let the battle continue, without my interference. But it is hard…)

When my self-imposed exile began, I chose to continue my work, learning about this planet and attempting to foster peace and healing wherever I went. I moved around a lot, though mostly within a confined territory, choosing (once again!) to ignore what was happening outside it. I knew others (alien others) were also trapped here, but I purposely avoided and ignored them, leaving each to find their own way on this planet. I never even bothered to try and find out how many were here, avoiding many places where stories abounded of alien encounters. I believe today that guilt, shame and fear drove me, not being able to peacefully reconcile my betrayal of others with my upbringing. And I remained immortal for a time…

But the day did come when my immortal life on this planet ended, though I’m still not sure how. Perhaps I was murdered, or simply gave up the will to continue when my “blind eye” strategy backfired once again. For I saw much violence come to destroy the terrestial life I had nurtured and encouraged, and it was a whole new level of betrayal; like taming an animal with gentleness and respect, only to see it tortured and destroyed when it approached others in trust. I was responsible for that misplaced trust, and I saw the horror in their eyes as they discovered that themselves, too late to prevent their decimation and suffering…

Upon my death, I must have chosen to return in human form, though I remember feeling shocked (and secretly excited) about having done so. That first lifetime I remembered much of who I’d been before, retaining memory, knowledge and wisdom. But I would soon discover all three fading, with each subsequent life lived, creating a sense of urgency in me to recreate immortality (or timelessness) in human form. Until all that remained of my alien identity were those Constants and Patterns I mentioned. This is no doubt why I speak of “devolving” into human form; not so much a judgement of worth, but a measure of knowledge and wisdom lost through successive rebirths…

When I speak of having “retired” from the life-death-rebirth cycle, and my subsequent choice to come back at this time, I do not know if that retirement refers to my immortal alien life, or a completion of a human journey. I suspect, however, that both may be true, and that I have returned now because that portal may re-open soon. Am I here to stop it? Or finally face those I betrayed? I have no certain answers either way. But I am here to bear witness to whatever happens next…

*** *** ***

I have at times in this lifetime (and others I suspect) found “followers” behind me on the path. They are drawn to me for reasons even they can not elucidate, but it always involves learning or guidance in some form. I, myself, am always reluctant to encourage this, knowing in advance how it will end, for it always ends the same – betrayal and abandonment, for no rational reason they can recall. One day we are friends, and all is going our way, and the next day they will turn on me, naming me a hated enemy. When pressed for some explanation, their answers will be incoherent or not forthcoming at all, usually involving brainwashing, or magic, or some accusation of an imaginary crime, which leaves me standing there (alone again), shaking my head in bewilderment and vague denial. But I recognize the look in their eyes, for I have seen it countless times, and the name for what they feel is Fear…

I’ve even had occurances when people I’d never met were warning others to stay away from me. I have no idea why; and no one could (or would) ever explain it to me. I’m not a scary person. I’m peace-loving, gentle, understanding, empathic and sympathetic, and I abhor violence in all its forms – physical, verbal or emotional. But Fear, by its very nature, is irrational, and so all I can do is move on. Alone…

I know that every journey is unique, and each must find their own way to “enlightenment” or not. I fight the desire to judge others on their journey every day, knowing (though perhaps believing differently) that every path is taken by choice, and I cannot choose for another, even if I disagree with where they are headed. I stand by, trying hard not to interfere, when such choices will likely lead to harm, for themselves or others (including myself). And I wait…

For what I cannot say…? Redemption, perhaps? Forgiveness? A chance to “right a wrong” that can never truly be undone? An opportunity to weight the Scales of Justice, even if said justice be against me?

I know one thing for certain, and I feel it in my bones and in my heart – that Time is coming… Soon!

My personal past, the truth of who or what I am, will be revealed. To me, if no one else. And I will know exactly where I stand (at last) in the broader scheme of history…

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Reflections

Lamenting the “Loss” of Spring…?

All around me, locally, I hear people complaining about the “loss” of spring, the missing season. ¬†They are expecting summer to arrive without warning or transition. ¬†And they are miserable enough about it to make conversations, and memes, and facebook statuses dedicated to their displeasure. ¬†And the usual weather related conversations with strangers take on the same sinister tone. ¬†Even I have been feeling the chill…

So I wonder… what exactly are we missing here?

True, it’s cold and damp this April. ¬†And we’ve had snow, rain, ice and wind to contend with on a daily basis. ¬†The sun shows himself rarely, and when he does the ambient temperature hovers just above freezing, while the arctic winds bear down, robbing him of any heat, and leaving us shivering in his brilliant light. ¬†But here’s the thing that haunts me…

It’s early April here in western NY, and this is not atypical weather. ¬†It’s always cold and damp this month, with precipitation taking many forms, both liquid and solid. ¬†But the snows don’t stick to road surfaces or last throughout the day. ¬†Shovelling and plowing are not required, and salt is only occasionally required to de-ice after freezing rains. ¬†Only hardy, early spring flowers are surviving the wet conditions and frosty nights, but that is precisely why we don’t plant our annual garden fare until mid-May around here. ¬†Everything must be started indoors and later transplanted. ¬†Furnaces aren’t turned off until late May, usually, and air conditioners are not required until August at least. ¬†And here in Rochester, where we celebrate the Lilac Festival for a week in early May, it is not unusual to have snow for part of it and sandal weather for the rest…

So what are we really missing here?

And then it hit me today, during meditation, that it isn’t about the weather at all. ¬†We lament the loss of hope instead, the sense of promise that usually accompanies spring. ¬†The “misery” of winter isn’t climate related, but emotional, as we mourn the lack of progress, renewal, rebirth. ¬†Our world is dead/dying, and the majority are finally beginning to realize that things are not the same, everything is not going to come out right in the end, and summer will not arrive with endless sunny days of laughter and play…

Reality is sinking in…

And sunshine, alone, cannot salvage what has been sacrificed to apathy, ignorance and greed…

What is lost is gone, and cannot be recaptured…

Spring, like decency, justice, and truth, is dead…

So let us mourn together in the ways that suit us best. ¬†Let our tears mingle with the cold spring rains, while our hearts absorb the winter’s chill. ¬†And let us look ahead with courage and determination to reap what we have sown.

After all, acceptance may the final stage of grief, but it is also the first step to healing…

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