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.
I’ve just spent weeks, months even, with all these people; friends, family. We’ve been working, laughing, playing together. Now – they’re all gone. In less than a minute. I don’t even know if I’ll ever see them again in this lifetime. That we will meet again, in another time and place, is not much comfort right now.
It is as if they have fallen off the face of the planet, or been swallowed up by an earthquake. Now it’s just me again. And I have to learn to live with that fast, get on with it.
I feel disoriented, bereft, torn away.
When I open my mouth to try to tell my husband what I’m feeling – I burst into tears.
As I cry – the memories of this whole life existence fades. All in one night. All that “really” happened was that I woke up, to the noise of the gas-truck blaring, not any natural disaster.
My body feels heavy with grief, still.
Later it made me think of a particular episode of Startrek Next Generation, the one where Captain Picard awakes to find himself living in a small village where he is a well-known member of the community who is suffering from a delusion of being a starship captain. Thus stranded, thirty years lived, all in 20-25 minutes according to Riker.
I feel like this a lot of the time, as if my memories of my “real” life away from this planet are just out of reach most of the time, but very certain that living as a human on this planet, at this time, on this planet, is some kind of interlude. Unlike Picard, who retains his memories clearly from his life on-board the Enterprise, mine are a lot more hazy.
Still the feeling of looking for my life in this existence, for meaning. Knowing without the shadow of a doubt that the basics of existence will never satisfy me. That is like only having one book to read after living in a library; never travel – even curtsey of discovery or history channels; just grow your own vegetable garden and never again set foot in an exotic restaurant; never leave your village or town ever again; same people, same conversations, same gossip, day in, day out. That just is not me.
I don’t know how to squeeze myself into such a small life when I know there is so much more out there.
A bit like Rose Tyler trying to describe what can not be put into words in this short clip from Dr Who:
Startrek; The next generation: Series 5, Episode 25, The Inner Light.
Not long after the Enterprise approaches an unknown buoy or satellite, Captain Picard falls unconscious on the bridge. He awakens in a village where he is married but also something of a village eccentric who thinks he is a spaceship captain by the name of Picard. His wife Eline tries to soothe him and his good friend Batai does not judge him. He lives a full life, has children and grows old. The planet he is on is dying however, suffering from a long and seemingly permanent drought. On board the Enterprise, the crew does its best to revive their unconscious captain but to no avail.
Summer is at it’s end. I feel the sadness and melancholy of others, in other places. I feel it and it’s not even mine – and yet it is me – in earlier years.
The children have gone back to school
autumn is drawing close in the northern hemisphere
the end of august,
still a few warm, sunny days to be enjoyed
but the days are getting shorter again, the evenings darker.
Soon the trees will break into the finale and launch natures own fireworks
the announcement that summer is indeed over for this year.
I feel it, even tho where I live it’s perpetual summer according to some.
It isn’t; but the seasons aren’t as pronounced this close to the equator. Peculiarly enough
it is the winter I treasure the most here, even tho the vibrancy of autumn is still my favorite.
On my inner screen, years and geographical distances is no obstacle;
one aspect of me is driving down a lane in France in an old split screen Citroen
the weather blustery and the road covered in fallen leaves turning brown.
And I want to be there in body too
feel the crispness in the air and the light rain on my face
as I get out of the car and pull my jacket tighter, hands in pockets
delighting in the bursts of colour of my new scarf.
Or in the garden where my parents once lived.
I am walking around in this no-time land like a ghost
the sound of the silos drying the harvest in the far distance ever present this time of year.
The bright red garden furniture my mother restored all those years ago
the droning of the drowsy bumblebees, enjoying the last of the Nasturtium.
A younger version of me, new notepad on her lap, pen poised
waiting for inspiration that won’t come
before giving up and reading someone else’s prose instead.
Transported instantly to another place and time
where something worth writing about actually happens.
She dreams about cities where there is music to be heard and others like her to make friends with;
who reads books, likes art, go to the theater and to see a live ballet,
far from immature teens with their cigarettes and beer-cans, smelly locker-rooms and spots.
Where the people with dreams and aspirations live…
For a minute I too want to red wooden garden furniture
in a fruitless attempt to somehow connect with mother in a way we, me and I, never could.
Picture blurs, and clears once more
New school, new books, new jeans
the promise of new, hope of new friends
maybe even a fanciable boy…
Sitting at a desk
when I’d rather enjoy the last days of summer, cycling to the lake and going for one last swim.
The brochures of evening and hobby classes drops through the letterbox
see what tempting things we have on offer this autumn!
All in the name of trying new things and exciting adventures and the hope of meeting kindred souls.
Special offer Sunday lunch with friends after a brazing walk, lazy late afternoon drinking tea or wine.
It is the quiet exuberance time of the year
the enrich the soil of my mind – nourish my spirit time of year.
Not the loud jump up and down and dance of spring and summer.
It’s the tgi the weekend of my school-years
not to go out or partying
but to be allowed to spend time as I choose, with whom I want, well – to a degree…
A break away from the noisy crowds of competing children,
school corridors, playgrounds and gym-class.
All while the cats snooze in the midday heat
a gentle breeze keeping the mosquitoes at bay
just dregs left of my coffee.
The far side neighbor is on his lunch-break; Mexican popular music is pounding for all to hear.
I briefly wish our trusty bike would miraculously transform into a truck
where everything was ready and packed including the cats
and we could just jump in and take off onto our next adventure…
It’s time to go inside.
Last night as we were heading home from town we took the longer way around. As we drove towards the cemetery THERE THEY WERE! Like in the traditional ceremonial masks, two Jaguars with real eyes looking at me from the gates! I was fascinated, mesmerized even, as they moved ever so slowly looking right at me. I just could not believe what I was seeing, I kept blinking hard and they were still there. Jaguars are – or at least were- very important to the Mayans, but we are on a small island and to my knowledge there are none roaming about at night or we would soon hear about it. I stared open mouthed at the sleek and beautiful beings.
As we got closer ”reason” overpowered amazement. The black jaguars faded and I found myself staring at the white wrought iron scrolls that decorates the cemetery gates. But for those timeless seconds as we observed one another, the big cats of Mayan tradition were as real as the seat of the bike beneath me and the warm body of my husband in front of me.
That night, as we slept on our VERY comfortable NEW mattress I met a Guardian. He looked like an archetype; native and wearing a traditional loin-cloth. He represented the element of fire, the colour red; energy; power; sexuality.
He stood in the doorway, or on the threshold, of the cabin I found myself in. Like a Sentinel between me and the worlds at large.
I don’t remember much of what he said apart from something about having more energy. Not sure if he was protecting just me for some reason but I did feel very safe and secure. Not just physically, I sensed he was also very knowledgeable.
The whole night was very lucid, the theme running through it all being Gods and Goddesses, Icons, amulets and traditional decorations All had a very intense feeling to them and made me wonder if they had been further infused to have their essence enhanced to a point where they felt… alive.
All in all I felt very grateful for all this magic bestowed on me. I’ve missed the feeling of having a real connection to the land and it’s Gods and Goddesses. In a way I felt more connected before I moved here. Indeed, my south and central american native roots were some of the first to make themselves felt in my heart and subsequently surface in my conscious mind also.
Catpaw on the 10 August 2009
If I knew who to credit for this photo I would add it. It’s not mine.