Catpaws Cafe

Random musings from my virtual fountain pen

Archive for the tag “consciousness”

Re-writing my life?

ann patchett
With the leg still in the cast this is more true than ever I suppose. Writing has become my life – because it’s one of the few things left in it, even with the challenge it is to find a position to write in. It’s a trade off – less pain, muddled head. Clear head: spine, head and neck hurts.

I very much look forward to getting a splint in a couple of weeks, and with that hopefully some more mobility. I know the cast was to immobilize me and that it has done well, but I still have stuff I need to do. I want my mobility back, and a life.  And I look forward to be able to feel the cats tails under my feet again so I don’t tread on them quite as often…IMG_20160203_093625

To catch you up, I was in a traffic accident 3 months ago. I have no insurance and is now faced with perhaps choosing how much mobility I will have for the rest of my life. Wasn’t planning any marathons, but I’d like to be able to walk easy etc. Do I have surgery and work to pay that cost back til I die and have no money to do the things I want to do, or do I live with a splint and hope for the best? And be grateful to still be here? Focus on what I can do instead of what I can’t? I should add I love long walks, rambling and hiking. And I don’t want to have to write that last bit in past tense.

It’s not as if there really is a choice, no bank will lend an unemployed unknown author that kind of money anyway, so the question is mostly hypothetical.

Strange as it may sound at 47 I finally had a body I was happy with. For a brief year I could look myself in the mirror and like what I saw. Now that’s gone by the wayside, at least for now.  To say that I’m not bothered and not grieving would be lying.

To get back to the topic of writing, like one of my inspirations – Daphne DuMaurier – I write from a longing to be someone other than myself and a need to explore other possibilities, the ones not available to me in this life thus far.
Terry Pratchett said he didn’t want to get a life because he already felt as if he was trying to lead three already. I on the other hand feel more like Katharine Johnson, (a close friend of Nikola Tesla) in that it feels like I’m still looking for my life, and that so far I’ve mostly lived someone else’s.

My books are set in locations I have dreamt of visiting or would like to re-visit. Places that intrigue and inspire my imagiNation. They are also a case of the story choosing the writer, a phenomenon I hear more and more author’s talk about. Right now I couldn’t even get around an airport without a wheel-chair.
I write to live. I can’t imagine not writing. If I was stranded on a desert island with no hope of ever publishing I’d still write.  It’s part and parcel of who I am.

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That said, I hope there will be readers who will love my books as much as I loved writing them. And that my writing will bring me a new life, new friends, travel and the purpose I have always craved.

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Small Victories, 1 December 2015

I’m counting small victories. Being able to sit up for ten minutes. Having a shower unaided. Manage laundry. Still to come are simple things like mop the floor…

This is my first time at my computer in a while. After researching for almost a year, I wrote the first draft of Seeds of Soultraction in a month during October and early November. I’d gone back to editing Andino Andina, then walked to the local market and stocked up on vegetables. It was an ordinary day, or so I thought. When my husband came home we considered shopping before or after dinner: I was hungry, he wasn’t, and since he often falls asleep after dinner I chose to go before dinner… straight forward.
I knew to leave my new phone on the kitchen table, didn’t question why and since I expected to be gone for less than an hour my rational mind agreed.
Off we went. Supermarket one, supermarket two, purchases stored in the compartment under the seat, back home. Easy peasy. Only on the way back we got ourselves hit by a drunk driver. We had right of way and were going slow (25-30km/h). I was looking the other way, and the first I know is screeching breaks and shouting. A drunk youth on a borrowed bike, without a license, ran a stop sign.

It all happened very fast and I don’t remember much, and what I do remember is in odd snapshots. I remember screaming until someone got our overturned bike off me. Too stunned to move, I just lay where I’d landed after pulling free, in the middle of the intersection. Two young men carried me to the curb. When the ambulance came I could not remember where we lived, or even my date of birth. That’s when I observed I must be in shock.
I stared at my left leg and knee that had taken the full impact complete with road-rash, swelling, disfigure and Hurt, as did my neck on the right side. The arm that had protected both our faces on impact was scraped a little. Other scrapes and bruises were at that point to minor to worry about. I could not move and when I tried to stand on my other leg, nausea and blacking out forced me down again. I scanned my body and my guides confirmed no bone was broken, but tendons and ligaments were torn etc. All I could think was “They’re going to cut off my favourite pair of denim shorts -indeed the only ones I have right now. Crap.”
Just touching the knee made me retch with pain. Later, back home, any time I tried to stand up, the nausea would be instant and the feeling of fainting immediate.

Then everything is a blur again. A young man who spoke good English bought me a bottle of water and an icepack. He also reminded me the bike was not as important as us being alive. Much as I agree, well, it’s darned useful to get around and we’d only finished the repairs from last years incident three days prior. Honda no longer makes spare parts for the BizPlus.

The next day in a desperate bid for coffee I’d made myself stand up, holding onto and retching into the sink. That’s when I saw the portal open and understood. It was classic and so bright it was difficult to look at. This had been a choice point, the pain I felt in my neck was where the other me had snapped hers. The fainting spells was where she surfaced briefly to consciousness. I felt rather than heard a voice say Are you coming? And I mentally stated NO; I’m not leaving my husband, our cat, and I have two books I want to see out in the world first! I felt the other me die and the portal closed again. It was 11am and in the moment of closing the nausea and faintness was gone in an instant.

It took me a while to process. I was almost vegetable state, snoozing and staring at nothing for the first three days. Milou slept with me on the mattress, purring whenever the pain got too much in spite of the med’s. All energy I had had to be preserved for getting to the toilet.
I was not angry, or resentful, and that surprised me. Somewhere in my mental fog I knew there were bigger things at play here. Seeing portals and feeling the word co-creation on replay in my head does that.
We could have screwed the driver and the bike’s owner for every penny they would earn for a very long time, but ruining their lives just was not the way forward, I knew that.

After a week I had the bright idea of “I could spend this time writing, just give me a pencil and paper”. I found I could not. There was severe mental fog going on as well as a knee filled with what felt like razorblades and a leg under constant Chinese burns. I read some books instead in my waking moments. I could only sit up for minutes at a time.
Still, I was truly grateful. It sounds odd but it’s true. I was at home, I could recover with my beloved cat, instead of in a hospital I could neither afford or wanted to be in. Here, in ordinary hospitals, few speak English and family is expected to provide most of the care. In my case that would have meant Mario, before and after a 14 hr work shift, still recovering himself? In a room with several others, in pain, comings and goings all the time, no mosquito protection and the food… It does not bear thinking about.
Milou overrode her inherent dislike of sleeping close to anyone – cat or otherwise- and have spent most nights next to me – except on the full moon when she took the night off from nursing me to attend the cats allnighter party!

Thus, no matter how long it takes… there’s a lot to process. Some really old stuff that I really have zero desire to revisit. And sure, I rage against that, but I’m not going to bore you with it. I also rage against desperately wanting to move house and being stuck at home. How can we look for houses when I can’t walk? It’s likely to be a long time before I can, and before I can ride pillion again. I’m learning to ask for help and being dependent and I’m not enjoying it one bit. So here I am, watching the slow aurora borealis of bruising come and go on my leg from mid thigh down to my toes and occasionally wondering wtf?

I also sad because wanted to do the December Art & Crafts market on Isla; I spent a lot of time this summer and autumn making things especially and here I am… There’s work I promised to do and that now has to wait, and more work that I was looking forward to do that I will not be able to in the foreseeable future. There may be emails and enquiries in my mailboxes that I have not been able to reply to as I’ve not been able to get to the i-net cafe. I’d only had my phone for three days and thanx to being left at home it is intact, but I’d had no opportunity to download any apps for it before this happened. It makes me worry that I’ll thereby create for myself a reputation for being flaky and unreliable.
I have a little go-juice but equally it can be zapped by pain in minutes. When it’s spent it’s gone; all I can do is pass out on the mattress for the rest of the day. .
I was listening to a recording of Wendy Kennedy being interviewed by Rob Gaultier on a downloaded episode of Enlightenment Evolution Radio where she mentioned choosing the slow road rather than a near death experience, and that helped with the processing too.
I want to take this time to thank the Sisters of perpetual disorder on isla who helped in our time of need, with a care-package and crutches so I can hop around the house. Your help is so appreciated you have no idea and has helped enormously making life less difficult.

I know I’ve asked for an exit point quite a few times in recent years, but one where my beloved blames himself just would not do. Not one where he will forever ask himself Could I have done it better? No. I never blamed him. He did all anyone could have done in that situation, certainly more than I, being a lot more experienced at driving a bike.

It also makes one question the self, what if we had gone shopping after dinner? What if I hadn’t gone back to get… whatever? The queue had been shorter? What if we’d driven just a little bit faster/slower? What if the bike had started on the first kick? You can drive yourself crazy thinking like that. If it’s going to happen, it will, one way or another. My soul clearly thought I needed this experience so here I am having it. As the little voice after the X-files used to say (at least on English tv) I created this (or was it I made this?). If the option was to have died, no matter how long I take to recover, it is progress…
All things considered it’s something I’d have preferred not to have had to go through.
So please, next time you’re tempted: drink OR drive. One or the other. This is one way you don’t want to change another’s life, trust me on that.  And always wear good knickers.
The furry Angelic wants her dinner. I can do that.

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Lauren Z accident

The Paperback is OUT!

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.

Currently available in the UK on Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1v0tQUL
And in the USA  http://amzn.to/1uHjSFr

Phineas the thumb-cat inspects the very first copy of the bookbook!

Phineas the thumb-cat inspects the very first copy of the bookbook!

Just Who do you think you are?

I am addicted to watching Who do you think you are. I find it compelling viewing, regardless of if I have heard of the person or not. To discover tracks of how adversity was overcome and risks taken, of great journeys and adventures. As a writer – as well as as being a personal quirk – I’m intrigued by what drives people; what makes them tick, apart from biology, hormones and survival instinct.

Early on in life I already wanted to do our family tree but noone would talk to me. At thirteen I still needed a parents permission to use of the telephone, especially for long distance phonecalls, permission to contact any relative on my own, and to look into anything. Wherever I turned there was all these “stuff” you just don’t talk about and even less ask about.

My motivation in those days was rather different from today. Then I wanted to find living people to connect with; less “boring” relatives… meaning ones that actually saw me; that I felt I had something in common with; AND an the same time to do something WORTHWHILE. There’s THAT word again… Something that would be SEEN. A project that was tangible and meritable. By that I mean something that could stand on it’s own and have some sort of value in the world.

I don’t know whether my parents discouragement and disinterest was due to financial constraints. I think in part it probably was. Genealogy in the 70s was very different from how accessible it has become with the arrival of computers. What 13yr old can and has the means to travel, make appointments to visit far-flung churches and archives? And gets taken seriously should she get that far? To risk someone (ie untamed me) coming across some white elephant in the carefully conjured smokescreens that surrounds every family’s secrets? It just was not done. It was always, “when you’re an adult you can do it”. Eighteen seemed a very long way away.

Nevertheless, their apparent lack of interest baffled me. A tree had been done long ago on dads side, showing the bare statistics; born; married; children; died; and that publication reached back as far as the 1600, when a fire had consumed earlier records.
On my mothers side – who knows? I know a little, now…

It’s funny that on both sides of the family there is French and Dutch, and on dad’s side – if my suspicions prove correct – Finnish and Saami too! I find that prospect rather exciting. I may hate the cold and snow and mosquitos and midgets too, but the nomadic lifestyle; the raindeerskin-boots of my youth (and raindeer-meat), crafts carved from the fallen antlers and embroidery– there is a love and connection I’ve never found any rational explanation for.

I am fascinated because I’ve always felt an outsider. I wanted to see if I could find someone else like me, a few generations back perhaps. Someone I’d feel some sort of kinship with.

At the same time I am deeply divided about the whole thing. Statistics does not interest me; the people who broke molds do, and that’s not the kind of thing you find out from records of births, marriages and deaths that are the skeleton of the initial stages, and sometime the only thing you can find.
If I take myself as an example, someone like me would not even exist. Lists showing academical merits; a string of unrelated jobs (that not even I want to keep track of); or previous abodes (should a future writer of family chronicles manage to unearth those), does not tell you anything about the real me. Due to a stalker I’ve kept well away from drawing attention to myself, using nom-de-plumes when working in media. What is worth knowing or interesting about me, my proudest moments and most memorable achievements are nowhere to be found.

I am also aware that what I really yearn for is perhaps a soul tree; who have I been before, the twists and turns my core have taken, and where my souls near and dear are located. With variables such as multiple timelines etc, in 3d the whole thing falls apart almost immediately.

I’ve heard that for many on their ancestral journey the results at the end does not matter as much as the actual process of digging. I found I really enjoy it but heck, if someone had already done the same tree I’d happily pay them $20 for a copy! That said, I’ve always enjoyed research and been rather good at it too. I loved reading thorough several hundred years old property deeds, wills and stuff when I worked at the district court.

When I was 18 I was researching for a radioshow at the local library, On the third day of research I was ‘downloaded’ with a lot of information, most of which I to this day I have not consciously unpacked. It was a most peculiar and at the same time exhilarating feeling, and ever since (and before too, come tho think of it) whenever I read some interesting historical document, information not on that page sort of percolates to the surface… I enjoy ‘reading’ the blueprints of history; the why and where things connect, and etymology, rather than kings, dates and battles; the adjusted records to suit politics and those in power.

For this family tree project (and perhaps I’ll undertake some for others in the future) I have felt perfectly suited, as I have found my intuition and psychic gifts invaluable. For three weeks (and after that whenever I come across another document) I dreamed of little else besides the people I have researched, seeing places and hearing fragments of conversation, picking up clues as to where to look and what to look for. Obsessed? Me? Never…. hehe.

The whole thing has taken on a much deeper meaning along the way. It has transformed into something I can only describe as shamanistic in nature . It is my intent to heal ancestral wounds, some which I am aware of, others I encounter along the way. An act of unconditional acceptance and non-judgement,of that which was considered so shameful it had to be kept hidden. To use a cliché “to shine light on it”. To hold the space that emanates “It’s ok. It’s fine, it truly is. There’s nothing to be ashamed of here, it’s just social and religious prejudices of it’s time. I love you… Whatever everyone did, they did for some reason, and it’s all water under the bridge…”

So what’s underneath the onion

The sewing machine is ”playing up”.   So I don’t feel inspired to sew now, but the next fayre is a week away and this stuff needs to be finished before then. I felt inspired when I designed, cut and pinned them, but I ran out of daylight and sewing black in the evening does not work for me.

So what?  I doubt there’s anyone who always feel inspired, just f-ckin deal with it! I rarely feel inspired to clean or cook, go food shopping or do laundry, shower or brush my teeth, yet it has to be done. Deal with it.

So I scream and punch the sewing machine – I don’t need you to have a highfalutin opinion about my lack of enthusiasm right now – just do your f-ckin’job and sew!!!

It’s not just that it is full moon though it probably contributes.   Hubbys family is coming today, and no matter how nice they are as people, for me it is always fraught and highly stressful. It means ridiculously long and late nights, not enough of and poor quality sleep, guilt over needing apparently twice as much sleep as everyone else, and general frustration.  Creative projects and writing gets put away until they leave.

For days the frustrations of feeling required to behave to fit the extroverted social norm, with the fake smiles and pretending everything is just fine. All while at the same time being bored to tears by the same old drama, but too well brought up to pick up a book and zone out the way others play with their smart-phones, play games or fb. Of hours of waiting around for nothing.  Of concentrating like crazy to try to understand and follow the conversation, until my head feels like it’s going to explode.

Sick of the glib jibes pointing out that I have not learnt spanish yet even though I live here. How I should go out and practice with everyone any opportunity, how I should take the opportunities and practice here and now. How I must be sooo lazy because I still can’t speak. Learning a language when immersed in it is sooo EASY…

And noone has any understanding how hard I have tried to learn, how much I have studied and how f-ckin’ impossible it feels by now. How deeply embarrassed and frustrated I am about this.

Nor does it stop there.  I’m not Buddha or Jeshua; if you poke me repeatedly I get hacked off. If one more shower of unsolicited ”helpful” hints as how I should live my life; not scratch at the hundreds of insect bites on my legs and feet, what to buy and use (same sh-t I have tried and then some) and how terrible the scars on my legs look, I WILL loose it and SCREAM. They may not understand the words but I’m sure as hell the meaning will be perfectly clear. You’ve trod on my boundaries one time too many so back off!

Am I mirroring their own suppressed anger and frustration if I let mine show? The fear that this is all there is (so let’s keep on dancing) ?

I’m so damned polite and unwilling to offend, but I’m also so darn tired of the same old dance. I ”behave” as is expected of me, in a grown-up friendly manner. Even if it feels more like a parody at times. How much I despise the same old ”well-meaning” small-talk and would love to be able to have a meaningful conversation.

I want to be my usual quirky inner self and for that to translate and come across as the loving and affable me my friends know and love.

But right now I feel none of those things, or rather I feel anger and frustration as well and those voices are so much louder right now.

I can just imagine the unspoken words. Leave that english bitch and and get a nice mexican girl who will be up to date on soaps and drama, is a good catholic instead of a bad influence and who will cherish his children. Unlike me.

And you know what? He had 40 years looking for one of those and he chose me! For who I am, for how we get eachother, for the spiritual bond and love we share that makes the struggles worth working our way through.

Underneath that lurks my fear that whatever I do will reflect badly on my husband. I don’t want to come between him and his family. He gets frustrated too but is hell bent on ”fixing” it, fixing it here meaning waking everyone up and get where he is coming from. I gave that up long ago. Everyone does their own journey following their own divine timing.

How do you ”interact” with unconscious extroverted people, when you are a conscious, highly sensitive introvert? When there is no common ground and no common language?

My personal answer was to step away and find friends to fill those spaces traditionally held by family. People who like me for who I am, and who’s company I enjoy.

It is like being 16, 17, 18 or 19 etc and going to visit my parents for the weekend. This time it will be different. This time we will get on. This time will be the new beginning of a new relationship between us.

Every time with an open mind and the best of intentions, ready to forgive, forget and let bygones be bygones. Let the crap slide and not raise to the bait. To ignore the put-downs and criticism and focus on… what exactly? What I wanted to have; mutual respect and appreciation. If you treated your friends like you treat me you’d soon find yourself lonely indeed. Yet, it’s me who’s finding her self alone here. What irony.

A perfectly timed demonstration of boundaries

 

I’d been writing and debating boundaries with myself most of the afternoon, and at the same time had a lovely day with Miao Cat.

On cue she climbed over quietly from the other chair where she had been snoozing just as I was beginning to flag and despair, laid down in my lap and purred away for well over 10 minutes!

She then proceeded to move onto the table so that I couldn’t write – not that I wanted to right then, being quite blissy just spending cuddle time with her.

This is how you do it (set boundaries) she said, and her whole emanation totally changed. She was still an inch away but everything about her told me just to be still and do not touch!

About 10 minutes passed before she said –ok, you can touch me again.  So I did and she purred.

-But KitKit, extroverts don’t seem to get subtleties like that, they seem to think the world is all about them.

-That’s not your problem. Snooze.

And then we just stayed like that, until my leg got numb about half’n’hour later. Companionable silence, very intimate. Me observing everything about her, counting her whiskers, adoring the pretty paws…..

 

21 September, 2012.

A different insight into multidimensionality

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.]

Dreams and other Worlds

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.

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