At long last THE PAPERBACK OF THE SPIRIT OF FLYING IS HERE!!! And what a long strange at times completely exhausting trip it’s been!
My labour of love – I hope you enjoy reading it.
(written 21 September 2012)
Since wordpress keeps removing my formatting, I will type the first line on each ”verse” in caps…
THERE’S A TUG OF WAR going on inside of me
the part that wants prosperity
vs the part that holds fear
Fear of feeling obliged to help
I don’t what to work hard to give it away
to someone I judge irresponsible perhaps.
IN MY HEAD I know I don’t have to.
In my head I know we are both creators.
So this is how I set it up for now.
If I have no money, then
I can’t feel guilty for saying no
when someone asks me for some.
THING IS, it doesn’t work
coz the guilt transforms into guilt for
not having any
not living up to expectations, mine and perceived others
and a hundred little unidentified
illusive fears that sneak around like dust
on stagnant water it festers and hatches like mosquitoes
then one by one they come for me.
NOT HAVING money can’t keep me ”safe”
any more than having money can
but it can keep me in fear – for now.
Fear of not having funds to go and see family,
to be unable to bail us out,
plus all the ones that come from not being
in a network of friends to catch a fall.
TO SOME it is real, to some it is a game
but at times the game does feel ever so real
no matter how much I remind and reassure my self.
When with all the skills we have accumulated between us
we can not find work and funds are low
coins rather than notes.
This is a place of contradictions
the well off live side by side with poverty
sometimes co-existing within the same family.
I am amazed. How do they do it so easefully?
I want to learn!
If you saw your nephews in rags and no shoes
would you not feel some sort of human obligation to help?
Instead get in your fancy car
leaving the aircon on while you go to work.
DO YOU REALLY think your brother/in law
who slaves away for 12 hours or more a day
is not working as hard as you
and deserves a break too?
Am I really the only one who’s head observes these things?
Of course, you are in no way obliged
but if you so easily could
how can you not want to?
I NEED TO LEARN from these people
learn to not feel like I want to help
because I’d want that hand if it were me.
I need to learn to let everyone have their experience
without wanting to change it.
Let the complexities just be what they are.
Respect the choices of others &
get on with my own.
Choose and choose again
choose a different experience to explore for myself
and let everyone else have theirs.
I’m having a hard time viewing poverty as a ”choice”.
IT IS NOT EXCLUSIVE to this place
it’s just that the extremes makes it more apparent.
The have and the have nots.
In England it’s behind closed doors
even if those doors are ever changing doors of a b&b or hostel.
OBLIGATIONS to help…..
It reminds me of other times…
looking after siblings
looking after parent and grand-parents
because it’s what the eldest/youngest/ugliest daughter did.
Love does not come into it.
It’s what you do.
No matter how much you begrudge
a chance at a life of your own
a family or a (”suitable”) job
teaching or nursing .
Through the centuries I hear the echoes
”why do you want to look after other people when
your brothers and sisters need caring for?”
Yeah. A little bit of freedom? Break from the unpaid labour (read slavery)?
An end to a working day rather than 24/7 thankless ”duty”.
WHY DO WE perpetuate the cycle?
Like the crabs in the crab bucket…
grab hold of anyone trying to climb out.
Any branching out
no matter how small
stirs the fears of all the others, whispering:-
Is it so simple as to—
Did I make the right choice?
IN MY MIND I can clearly see
a picture of me and the class of -83.
On one of the facets we’d just got back from a great adventure
a dream we’d nurtured for 2 years before coming to fruition.
In a mere week we’d grown
seen things, experienced so much
and changed irrevocably.
And here we are
asked to step back into the selves we were before.
Go back and fulfill the choices made before.
Before we grew, before we knew our selves
and the facts we now hold in our hands and heart.
I’m sure most didn’t give it much thought
lucky are those who can be content
doing what is expected of them
LIKE A caged bird
had flown around the room
and worry turned into jubilation,
now back in the cage you go.
But I’m different now!
I’ve seen an other world
and you want me to go back and be that small again?
I may not know what I want
but I still would like to reconsider.
Collect a few more facets of life
and my self
before I make my choice.
THE GIRL ON the lawn again;
I’m not sure about this anymore
but what else is there?
She does not want to cause a scene
she does not want to be rude
she does not want to cause trouble
But the question unformed
swirls around like a restless ghost.
It will follow her for years to come
What else is there?
Even when she finds the words,
then she becomes somehow invisible too.
Unsure if anyone can hear her
or if they are just ignoring the question.
Because they don’t know? Don’t comprehend?
She sets out to find her own answers.
IS HAVING a choice
even if it is an illusionary one
Is this introspection purely an introvert thing?
Or is it an indigo trait?
To see so much, think so much,
contemplate more angles of life
than a team of devils’ advocates?
SO THERE I am again
back outside the school on the lawn
in my dress with daisies on,
wishing I was thinner
with a flat belly and slender legs.
This is where our roads parted for college
where we get to start spending our days
in the company of those who have chosen to study
something we were supposedly interested in
rather than bundled together by age group.
I STILL SEE me on that lawn
the buses in the street
the break from all we’d known up til then.
Knowing there were other choices I’d rather make
but that were not available to me.
And a little voice whispered – unfair… isn’t it?
I hissed at it to shut up.
Keep your head down and get on with it.
Three more years and I’d be free.
Forget it feels like a prison sentence,
just get the darn qualifications
then I can choose where to go
and what to do.
Then I can LEARN TO FLY.
I was sitting at the table trying to make sense of the feeling curled up tight in the pit of my stomach. It had been there last night and returned this morning after I had a shower and breakfast. There was discernable dread, and fear, and anger/defensiveness, all for no apparent reason, plus an other one I had yet to pin to understand and make some sense of. I let the words flow onto the paper unsensored in the hope that at some point this purge would expulge the feeling of suck…
I felt upset, but completely out of proportion. I felt a sting of not good enough, but that was not it. I felt like I’d been labelled by someone else – wrongly – and now being judged because what it said on the label was not what was in the package… My hands were actually shaking at this point, and a part of me could not wait to find out wtf is really going on here… I felt fear and criticism somehow saturate my whole life experience all at once, expressed and withheld, imagined and experienced. My life condensed into an accordion-like tubular shape the size of a large soup-can, which I was looking at and feeling at the same time. A heavy dose of you’re not enough washed over me, and… I feel… PERSECUTED! That’s the feeling! Persecuted! Hounded. BREATHE. Just breathe. And again.
I closed my eyes. My high heart is fluttering. Like I’ve been fleeing on foot for miles. Keep a low profile. Live a quiet life. But the bastards will still find you and use you, and the would be protectors will never spot ya… I write the sentences down as I hear them in my head, without judgement, without demanding it make sense to my mind.
My solar plexus is aching.
I have all these good ideas and all for nothing? I feel hopeless. Held down, held back. I don’t even know what it is that I fear. It’s just that nondescript, indistinct fear permeating my torso, making my limbs jittery. Wtf?
Stones are being thrown. Mock spears of wood. I can’t flee. My feet are bound to this big boulder. The mob has made up it’s mind and nothing I can say will or can make it change it’s group mind. A stone the size of a mango hits my right temple. A bigger one my left shoulder-blade.
I try to reassure the frightened and bewildered me that I love her and I got her.
But if you love me why can’t you do something? Very good question for which I have no answer.
Now we’re both crying, my body heaving with the sobbing that knows nothing else at this point, no up down forward or past. I do not care who sees or hears me. My tears are her tears too, and if I’ve ever been in the moment, now is one of those times. There is no past, there is no future, there is only now.
She is almost unconscious by now and we’re both silently praying for it to be over soon.
The mob is turning away. It’s going to be a slow death process. Just little children left throwing little stones and gravel as hard as they can, the boys daring each other to kick the ”witch”.
So many wounds, so many broken bones.
Slow, cruel, painful, death.
(And you ask me why I do not like people, why I stay away from mobs and crowds. Are we all born barbarians to become whatever we’re taught to be?)
There’s a little girl still around when the others have got bored and left. She is hiding behind a tree and some scrubs and when she’s certain noone is watching she steals close and in her grubby little hand brings a few small forest flowers which she places near my face. She pushes my hair out of my eyes before she leaves.
Witch material for sure my current me observes. She is scarred, she’s only 5 or 6, she is horrified, but in her heart she knows what’s been done is wrong. I do not recognize her energy signature, nor am I aware of any relationship between me then and the girl.
I don’t know what the message here is. Maybe it just is. I don’t know what to do, to stay or go. There’s no etiquette book for these things and tho I would like to stay (because I think I would want that), this woman is too traumatized to care. There is nothing I can do for her, and nothing I can undo.
What is different to all the other times I’ve watched other incarnations of my soul or been downloaded with another life is that this one is somehow real-time… I just know this. I feel it as it unfolds and there’s no fast forward. It’s painful and uncomfortable because I want to end it for me/ her/ us? And I can’t. There’s nothing I can do. I could sit here in a state and wait and keep vigil of sorts, but I feel that would serve no purpose. Still anchored to the dying body but no longer conscious and not aware of our connection, I choose to bring my attention back to the kitchen and the cat and my coffee. There’s nothing I can do that would make the darnedest bit of difference to body or soul anyway, and that’s hard to swallow.
The thought that at some point in time I could have been part of one of these mobs – willingly or just to save my own neck – revolts me. I don’t want to think about it, but nor am I denying the possibility of it.
Where else in my modern day life do I feel persecuted? I’m fed up living with fears, unspecified or specific. For what kind of a life does that make for? We made the connection for a reason – and I will try find a way to clear this within me.
I check back with her a few hours later and by then she is dead. I don’t know whether to be relieved or grieve, and I feel a bit of both.
Catpaw on Huxday, September 2012
[I did go looking for more back ground a few days later and I found some. For now I’ll just add that to me she is Sally, not entirely correct but close enough.]
I think my husband probably knows me better than anyone else. He is my best friend as well as my beloved and one thing that stood out from the beginning was that I felt completely at ease with him. I know I described this to my friends as feeling safe, but time has refined it to at ease.
With him there’s no pretense, I am myself wholly and unreservedly and that was a first in a romantic relationship for me. My spiritual life, my introverted self and my crazy nutty side are all seen and accepted, as is the dreamer, the writer and the psychic. The person who starts a lot of projects but finishes few, sometimes because I get bored, other times out of fear of failure. The woman who talks to discarnates, animals and sometimes even plants but not very many humans. The one who wants to help so much and cries sometimes because nobody wants what she has to offer. The me who loves a quiet coffee with the cat upon rising while my body slowly wakes up too…
One (of my two) best friends growing up was Cathie (not her real name). Our dads were best friends from their school days and about once a month (or sometimes more often) we’d get together for the weekend and a lot of fun was had over the years. In the summer our families would sometimes go caravanning together for a couple of weeks too. When we were old enough to write Cathie and I would exchange letters on a weekly basis and when I got a bit older I’d spend a week with their family during the summer holidays.
Cathie was the pretty and popular girl at her school ( a Piscean) while I was the odd one out at mine; awkward, self-conscious, wise waaaay beyond my years, forever making things and writing. We both loved reading, horses, and dancing. In a sense I recognize the two of us in the girls in the novel Beaches (made into a movie starring Bette Midler) but who was who is debatable!
Then I left home around 16 and for reasons unknown at least to me, we lost contact. I invited her to come and stay with me in the big city for a weekend, to go shopping and to the cinema etc, but she always declined and stopped writing too. We met once more, a family get together at their home and had a good time with some of her friends and boyfriend, but the connection between us was no longer there. Soon the birthday and Xmas cards fizzled out too.
Their whole family was invited to my first wedding in 1995, but only her dad showed. A few years later I heard via my dad that she was thinking about meeting up for a day in London, but by then I was simply not interested. If she could not even contact me herself, why should I blow 2 months savings from my underpaid job for a couple of hours? I declined and told my dad that after over 20 years of nothing she could start by writing (or phone) me herself. Not a word, which was fine with me.
To me that incident felt similar to when I first went to college and the in-crowd (who had ignored me for years and never even acknowledged my presence with a simple hello) suddenly wanted to be ‘’friends’’ and come and visit. They all got politely turned down. If I wasn’t cool enough to be friends with before, it was certainly not me they were suddenly interested in, just a place to crash for free on their shopping and clubbing outing. My friends were always welcome.
Then last night, in a different time, world and space… with a different past, we met again for a weekend at some retreat with people we both knew. We’d just turned 31 and 32 respectively. I was married to my now husband (who I met when I was 40 btw). Cathie and I were two of few people who were practically sober. Some had gone to their chalets/cabanas, others were falling asleep in the common on the rattan sofas and beanbags. We were sat on the back of her truck (?) flicking through an old photo album with pictures from our youth, laughing and remembering. Kodak instamatic days… Once again we were long lost sisters catching up. We’d been walking and talking for hours while the others had been larking around.
We picked up drinks and snacks from the open palapa style self serve ’’kitchen’’, and as I looked at the breaded chicken mini burgers, said out loud that if I wasn’t already a vegetarian, after seeing those I’d probably consider becoming one, and she laughed and said I was so funny.
She’d picked up her laptop (which was the same as mine but a different colour) and said she just wanted to check coz she’d posted a blog entry earlier on. I was delighted that she had started writing and looked forward to reading it. As we walked up a path towards one of many curious little nooks around the estate to sit down and have our snack, we talked about consciousness and our blogs. It was a very relaxed and easy conversation, a very joyous feeling of re-discovering who we’d become in the years apart rather than just telling our ‘’stories’’.
That’s when I woke up, still feeling that warm and fuzzy feeling that only a best friend relationship with an other woman can bring. Basking in the close feeling of it I kept my eyes closed for a few minutes.
It had felt as real as this life (of course), but in reflection it was interesting to observe the differences too. This Cathie had been an inch or two taller than me. It was peculiar how the elements all came together in one place; the temperate climate, the midnight if not exactly sun so at least far from dark, the past and the present, 3 continents, the gentle supportive atmosphere, my husband and our friends.
It had felt peculiar to experience having a different set of memories and a different past, and how we’d both knew our way around the place we were staying. Of course, the photo album does not exist in this lifetime, and I don’t know in what language we spoke.
For me, it’s the complete set of memories and a past quite different to my waking one that gives it away that this was no ordinary dream. Like in a regression or spontaneous download of another incarnation, but with greater freedom to access the information of that other me. Unusual also in it’s ordinariness perhaps, the absence of bizarre and crazy happenings and the rich sensory feast of real life.
I was not left with any residual desire to contact Cathie, nor any animosity which given the lack of closure I could almost have expected from myself. I don’t like loose ends but I’ve come to accept them. Our parts in each others lives had obviously played themselves out, given that it has been almost 30 yrs now of no contact. Let the past stay in the past rather than try to resuscitate a relationship just because we have ‘’history’’.
It did however highlight how much I would enjoy having a close (female) friend living nearby again. It’s been almost 5 years since I moved here.
So, whoever you are, wherever you’ve been [raises the iced coffee], cheers and know you are welcome.