Catpaws Cafe

Random musings from my virtual fountain pen

Archive for the tag “spirituality”

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.

IMG_20151125_155647

Lauren Z accident

Letting the sheep be sheep…

What do you know about what the ones you deem sheep are here to do? Maybe they are here to rest and observe. Maybe they are volunteers so you have something to push against.

Had a dream a little while ago that left me pondering something in a new light. What if all the people we see as sheep are third, secondary etc versions of us unactivated, as our focus is in this body right now? Well, of course they are, in the sense that we are all one, right. Who’s to say I’m even the primary me? I really have questioned that before. I’m not so sure about that but from here I’m supposed to believe that I am. What does it even mean? I don’t know where I stand in that theory. But (the dream) won’t go away so for what it’s worth I’m writing it down and throwing it out there, just in case.

The other me from the same mornings dream, her life felt so empty. The one thing she had going for her was a good relationship with her mother in particular and father in general. She had guts. She had ”pull my shit together, get 2 jobs, work for six months and go traveling; maybe I’ll find what I’m looking for even though I don’t know what that is, but it’s the best idea I can come up with’‘ sort of guts.

She never saw Out on a limb, she never found any answers to any questions beyond 3d, she shut off to all that I I live for because for her that was easier, it was her way in life.

But I could tell she was searching for the same answers (energetically) as was I 20+ yrs ago. Even though she had no defined questions, 350 friends on fb, a brown rabbit or two, and never discovered how wonderful companions cats make.

I know the airports she goes through, though I’ve never set foot in either I’ve trawled through them often enough in spirit with her. I seen the place she stayed in London, the dorm she waited in before she returned. I’ve seen snippets of her over the years and I want to reach out and say something… or give her a hug of encouragement and support. But really, what could I have said to her, from this state of mind, this world, this place? She is me, and at the same time a total stranger.

 

The energies of right now feels like wading through treacle, in an ever intensifying mangrove forest. If everything is perspective I’d like a new one. Isolate me from others survival choices and first world problems. That, or I will turn into someone that neither of us will like, perhaps even despise. The part of me that if I let it out, I’ll never live down. That really isn’t who I am, just a current reflection of pain and frustration as I battle an other migraine. So just leave me alone.

What would make it better? If I had a magic wand, what would I do with it? Point it at myself and say what exactly? ”Purge and fill with happiness”?

I don’t want to cry. I don’t want to fall apart. But most of all I don’t want to be angry any more.

Blessed Samhain to you all

”ONCE, we commemorated the dead, left out offerings to feed them and lamps to guide them home. These days, Halloween has drifted far from its roots in pagan and Catholic festivals, and the spirits we appease are no longer those of the dead: needy ghosts have been replaced by costumed children demanding treats.”  (Bess Lovejoy)

 

Samhain is the name of the pagan celebration marking the beginning of winter. Samhain was seen as a time when the veil separating our world from the Otherworlds opened enough for the souls of the dead, and other beings, to to pass through. Feasts were had where the souls of dead kinsfolk were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them.

In much of the once Gaelic world, bonfires (or bone-fires) were lit and there were rituals where people and their livestock would often walk between two bonfires as a cleansing ritual, and the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames.

People also took steps to protect themselves from harmful spirits, which included the custom of wearing costumes and masks as a way to confuse and ward-off (or possibly represent) the harmful spirits. This being particularly appropriate on a night upon which supernatural beings were said to be afoot.

Over the last century or so Europeans and North Americans have (rather successfully) pushed death and dying away from everyday life. Not so in Mexico. I’ve been here for some 6 years now and lately I’ve become fascinated with Mexico’s Grand Dame of Death, La Catrina or La Calavera Catrina.

It could quite possibly have something to do with a friend introducing me to The Order of the Good Death and that I find Caitlin Doughtys enthusiasm contagious (and the fact that I share her rather morbid sense of humor), but it’s more than that. Maybe it’s the right time, the end of one era and the beckoning of a new one. A symbolic gesture small enough to grasp though representing something infinitely much larger.

Here in Mexico, as opposed to every other place I’ve lived, death is part of life. It can be tragedy but it’s rarely grand drama. Although there are undertakers and funeral homes etc here too, the family is very much part of the process of dying. People nurse their sick and elderly at home (or sometimes in hospital), they wash and dress them.

At the wake, often held at home with an open coffin, family and friends come to spend time with the deceased and support the family members (and each other). You talk, cry, comfort and support one another, sharing memories and food, keeping the deceased company through the night, until the funeral ceremony and burial/cremation the following day.

Mexicans honor their dead all year round, which is probably the reason why I encounter far fewer ”ghosts” here (than for example in the UK). Dia de los Muertos is one of the biggest holidays in Mexico, where families and friends celebrate and honor those that have passed. Most visit the cemeteries where their loved ones are buried and clean and decorate their graves with offerings to the dead which often include orange Mexican Marigolds, sometimes called flower of the dead, thought to attract the souls of the dead to the offerings. Toys are brought for dead children.

In Pre-hispanic times the dead were buried close to family homes and there was great emphasis on maintaining ties with deceased ancestors, who were believed to continue to exist on a different plane. With the arrival of the Spaniards and Catholicism, All Souls’ and All Saints’ Day practices were incorporated into Pre-hispanic beliefs and customs and Day of the Dead came to be celebrated.

The belief behind Dia de los Muertos/Dia de los Angelitos (or Inocentes)/Dia de los Difuntos practices is that spirits return to the Earth for one day of the year to be with their families. It is said that the spirits of babies and children who have died (called angelitos, “little angels”) arrive on October 31st at midnight, spend an entire day (Nov 1st) with their families and then leave. Adults come the following day (2nd Nov).

Earth is the region of the fleeting moment. (Pre-hispanic Nahuatl saying)

Growing up, we just went to church, then cleaned the graves of grandparents and great grandparents before decorating them with candle cans or lanterns that then burned through the night (and sometimes the weekend).

There are many other stories I’ve heard over the years talking about this time of year, one of my favorites being one told by my grandpa. He said noone was to hunt on this day (and night) because the spirits of the dead protected the animals and would play tricks on those who didn’t refrain from doing so. Depending on their degree of disrespect and intent there would be either just a fright, a taunt or really sending them over the edge and the ”nut-house”. A keen hunter himself he’d never known anyone who disregarded this advice to shoot anything apart from on a couple of occasions an other hunter…

Grandpa was a great storyteller and you never quite knew how much was added in for the benefit of his young audience, but my gut-feeling tells me most of it did indeed have it’s roots in reality. He had lived quite a life and had many a story to tell on a rainy day.

I don’t celebrate Halloween, it is not something I grew up with. (My most memorable introduction to Halloween was watching the movie The E.T.) I’m far to introverted to enjoy donning a fancy costume that will draw the kind of attention I generally avoid and head out among large groups of people making merry… I do however celebrate Samhain in my own way.

But I’ll admire the often lavish decorations of the downtown restaurants and the costumes of their staff when I drop Mario off at work. Then I’ll go back home, lock the door, place a few white roses on my altar, light candles and incense and later put the old year to rest like the pagan I am. I will remember and honor those no longer among us in physical form, raise a mug of steaming coffee in a well met. Recite the Druids Prayer and play with the cat/s as a celebration of life.

 

Grant us O God thy protection and

in protection strength and

in strength understanding and

in understanding knowledge and

in knowledge the knowledge of justice

and in the knowledge of justice

the love of it

and in that love the love of all existences

and in the love of all existences

Love of God

The Love of the Goddess

and all goodness.

So mote it be.

(as taught to me by Septimus Bron)

Blessed be

as blessed is

and blessed

may we all be.

All pictures from Google, without any information to give credits.

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.

Solitude matters, and for some people it’s the air that they breathe (Susan Cain)

Thank you Susan Cain for your talk on Ted that was brought to my attention by an equally introverted fb friend, Rue Hass.  It came very timely after I wrote this last night, in my head, and on paper this morning.

 

 

Waiting for the body to grow up and clarity of mind to dawn

to know where to go

when what you like is not good enough

& you’re good at everything except what counts……

 

 

If I am the only one

who can see –

– is it really so?

If there is no

confirmation

to be found in the

outside world

Am I just too early

or is it all a delusion?

A ruse of what is a possibility

destined to never actually be

there being noone who knows

how to nurture it

least of all me.

 

Over and over the drumming was heard

and the choir of 99% chimed in.

The last percent was busy doing

what I should have been doing

playing for fun.

 

Now I look around the bar

in a place where if you don’t work behind one

people want to be in one

drinking and enjoying

your self?

In the crush of other people

the noise almost deafening

I don’t want to shout and shout and lip-read.

Snatches of sentences

words without meanings

whatever I want to convey

shortened almost beyond recognition and

crammed into something of fewest words possible

what can be yelled at an other

conversation in tatters

I don’t want to wince every time the speakers hit another tinny high

every time the once boy now supposedly grown up who spent weeks and weeks learning to

make that piercing awful sound

more suited for a footie match.

It adds an other discordant note to the ones already

ringing in my ears.

 

I keep doing this to myself.

This is what people enjoy,

this is what they do for fun,

a voice whispers in my head.

I feel so odd

so alien to this side of the human race

coz I can’t help longing to be somewhere else.

I keep doing this

going out to join the others

trying to be part of

rather than removed from

trying to be a human and in some small part fit in.

Thinking

hoping

sometimes in the past even praying

that at some point

the switch in me will flip &

it will become fun, enjoyable.

I’m still waiting.

 

Back when I was still expected to be a sheep

all at once

nothing and everything.

All lived under the life draining law of Jante

that would attempt to grind any and all aspirations

out of us

‘for our own good’

and ‘to prevent disappointment’.

So the flock still runs

like flocks everywhere do

multiplying

baaaaahahahaha.

And the one who supposedly broke free

still feels wing clipped and

the chains dragging behind

wondering if it is too late to

learn to fly!

gain overall views

soaring high above the ground

the wind on my face and beneath my

stubby wings.

 

I get lost

trying to find myself

I get lost

trying to find my way back to myself

i get myself lost in

what could I have been?

my wind reduced to a restless rodent.

 

I tell myself

Let it go

let it all go

digging around in yesterdays

isn’t going to move me

upwards and onwards,

just act like quicksand

for my spirit.

Invisible tethers

for the eagle I long to be.

 

Being a shaman is a bit like being a unicorn in a herd of horses, one get’s judged as a defective horse. (Bear Heart)

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