On Knowing Anger

elle cave painted

There is a pocket in my heart that will always be the House of Anger.

I allow myself this.

It suits me better than self-pity.

It is almost poetic if it wasn’t so forlorn that it now stands for all the angers that I never experienced prior to her death.

This anger goes much deeper and is much wider than any anger I could ever have raised or imagined.

I don’t and won’t live in conjunction with this anger, but I feel the hea(r)t from its flame and I let it draw me close as some unexpected trigger sets off a chain reaction.

I am not ever going to attempt to put out this fire.  It fuels me when my energy slips away.

It serves me well as a receptacle for my pain, and I need to know it is within my grasp forever and ever,

Amen.

A Bug’s Life

Go to the ant thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.

Bible, Proverbs 6:6

 

Even the wishes of a small ant reach heaven.

Japanese saying

 

 Bugs & insects—what’s that about?

Elle

I am feeling more comfortable, so I thought I would stick my head up out of my flower bower for a moment or two.  Christmas and New Year are receding into the past, and I can feel that the ground is getting firmer under foot.  Here in my bower I can leave my courage at the threshold, drop my smile in the umbrella stand, kick off these boots that are made for walking, and give myself over to my memories.  I can forget my usefulness, estrange myself from kindnesses—but only until my guardian angel calls in to ask how long I intend to keep this up!

The smallest bug I have ever noticed just walked across my laptop screen.  It may well be my guardian angel.  There’s a thought.  Where has it come from and what might it be searching for?  I can’t imagine what it feeds on? How does something so small manage to live long enough to reproduce?  It paraded across my screen twice and now has disappeared.  It doesn’t know that I saw it!  I love the role bugs have come to play in my life ever since I answered Elle’s bug haiku.

That is an example of just the sort of slap to the back of the head I get when I spend too much time with that ever beguiling spirit, Self-pity!  Another thought—it is bugs who are apparently to blame for so much that goes wrong with us. That nasty cold you caught a while back, apparently that was a bug.  And isn’t it bugs who sneak into our computer programmes and cause all sorts of problems? For me, I shall always think of bugs as friendly and helpful little creatures who work hard to keep things on the straight and narrow for us humans, who offer us endless examples of the benefits of working together, and some might even say—without them humans will not survive.  And they never get any thanks for it either.  We are constantly looking for new ways to exterminate them.

Actually, I also popped up to say that one of my current favourites to listen to on YouTube is Terence McKenna.  You may think this is probably the final nail in the coffin of my sanity, and drives any chance of credibility straight out of the window.  But I find his enthusiasm and expansive thinking, his brilliant mind and mastery of language, exciting and thought provoking—definitely keen to find me some of that DMT! It is sad to think that we have left the most important jobs in our countries to the most boring and inadequate of human beings that we could find.  I doubt whether a Benjamin Franklin would get past the selection process today because of him being a polymath, and heaven forbid he should tower above the crowd! I find McKenna’s use of language mesmerising and utterly convincing, and his ideas to be extremely logical.  In my view, there is more logic in them than the list-ticking version of the reductionist scientists who would have us think that the universe and human life is a wonderful and extraordinary accident, although statistically, ironically, it doesn’t look at all possible.

He helps my mind create new pathways of thinking, to see new colours that help me read life in sharper focus. He gives me a new sense of feeling life rather than only perceiving it.  The best time to weigh in on him is always in the stillness of the nights I find.  In fact I have come to look forward to the possibilities of the night generally, whether in complete darkness or accompanied by the moonlight.  What will be revealed tonight, and where might I go in the hours of darkness that lie ahead? I have decided that it is time for me to come out of the closet.  It is not a massive closet—just my wee one. I have always had something of a secret ‘secret life’ that mostly revolved around thoughts and understandings that I thought better not to share.  Something Leonard Cohen and I have in common apparently, going by his song of that name. I didn’t need to make things any more difficult for myself than they already were.  I was a girl, with no completed higher education, no profession and what’s more, no desire for one either, and not too sure about whom I was, or where I was going, therefore best not to get too bold with philosophies on Life!  I think, with hindsight, that what I was doing quite well though was going some way towards learning the art of the yogi:  mindfulness—I found it relatively easy to empty my head for a period of time—and to be in the moment.  The number of times, as a young person, I was asked what on earth I was thinking about, still makes me chuckle.  People genuinely seemed to assume that I was deep in thought. I used to throw off moodily, “Oh, nothing really”, when in actual fact that is exactly what was going on—nothing! Eventually though I did start to do some deeper thinking, and learnt quite soon that much of what occupied my thoughts would be best kept to myself!  As my children grew into adults that filter seemed to lose its robustness, and soon I found myself sharing some of my unusual thinking with both of them.  Even though I have some regrets, I do wonder whether I was only doing what was required of me.  One of my main refrains in life is that there are to be no regrets—even swamps and perceived mires have their own unique and fruitful purpose.

The other day I was doing some research on Rene Descartes, a name I was familiar with but that was it.  I had a sense of what Cartesian thinking was, and it got to a point that I needed to find out more about him because of how often his name was coming up.  Descartes is often regarded as the first thinker to emphasise the use of reason and measurement to develop the natural sciences.

In a lecture that I had been listening to it was pointed out that a revelation came to him through three dreams that were delivered by an angel.  I couldn’t help thinking that it was somewhat ironic that out of a dream was born all future reductionist thinking.  Descartes was born a long time ago in 1596.  He was a deeply thoughtful man of faith, and I am sure he would be horrified to think that, along with Nietzsche, the two of them, almost singlehandedly, had ‘killed God’, although, in both cases, this would be a wrong assessment of their intent.  The revelation that was revealed to Descartes was that ‘the mastery of nature is to be achieved through numbers and measures’—and this has come to be the basis of all rational scientific investigation that has held to the present day, although its grip is beginning to slip.

Later, and following up on another lead—I think I had been reading about the awaking of the base chakra, or Kundalini—and I saw something that nearly had me laughing in the aisles—EHS, or exploding head syndrome.  It was finally named in 1988 but has been documented since 1876.  It tied in very neatly with Rene Descartes.  It is thought that, instead of a vision, it is most likely that his was a case of EHS.  The desire to adhere to what is rational, and to snuff out as delusional superstition all that cannot be reasoned or measured, repeatedly has become the bedrock of society today.  If not rational then not real!  We should view EHS as something pretty interesting, but instead it is described as a ‘sensory parasomnia’, or simply put, a sleep problem.  (I have included a description of EHS at the bottom of this piece.)

Another one of these ‘simple sleep problems’ is one I experience, called Proctalgia Fugax, or, as a doctor told me quite casually after my first episode, an anal panic attack.  I now assume that it was something he, too, had experienced because of the speed of the diagnosis.  Most people, including doctors I have mentioned it to, have never heard of it.  It is interesting because I remember thinking this doctor had something of the surfer dude hippy about him, giving me a sense that perhaps he had a more open mind.  Doctors and open minds, like lawyers, don’t often go together, and I can understand why.  I had my first attack about two years before Elle died, and perhaps had one or two more during that two-year period, but I have had many more since she died.  This is how Healthline describes it:

Proctalgia fugax is anal pain that doesn’t have a specific cause. This pain is usually caused by intense muscle spasms in or around the canal of the anus. It’s similar to another type of anal pain called levator ani syndrome. The pain is slightly different in levator ani syndrome, and may last days instead of minutes.

Anyone can experience proctalgia fugax. However, it doesn’t usually affect anyone prior to the start of puberty and seems to affect more women than men. It’s unclear why this is, or if it’s due to more women reporting the issue, as many people don’t do so.

It goes on to say, and I can confirm this, that it only ever happens at night.  Along with other experiences I have at night, I have come to look upon it as something of a painful guiding light albeit it at the back end, if you get my drift.  I now understand that my base chakra is awakening, and without much expectation, I am grateful for any help received!  As you can imagine, my nights have become a lot more animated, entertaining and informative, and as long as the periods without sleep don’t make my day times hard to get through, I shall continue to enjoy whatever they throw up, from carousels with words instead of horses on poles, to dreams and visions, and a voice that now and again intrudes on my thinking.  I have ways of requesting a cessation, or rest for myself.  Peter is going through his own night-time thought processes, and so whoever is first awakened quietly shuffles off to find another bed.

A preceding nightly accompaniment is what I have always called my ‘hot ones’.  For years now I have thought that they were the vestiges of the menopause, but the confusing part was that none of the doctors I questioned about them seemed to recognise what they were.  The way it goes is that I awaken for no apparent reason, and truly wide awake, and about two or three minutes later a heat starts rising up my spine and up into my head.  The heat is always strong and sometimes even feels unbearable.  Sometimes my brain seems to flicker or vibrate. My body is not hot to the touch, and I would describe what I experience as an electrical heat.  These days though the events are much more about shimmers and vibrations. When I tried to find out more about what I was experiencing always the doctors’ faces turn to disbelief.  I would quickly add that my mother had these in the last fifteen years of her life.  I have a vivid memory of the little bowl of flannels she kept on her bedside table.  I can see her now as she squeezed out their excess water, fold and place one behind her neck, and another would be for her forehead.  Perhaps it is hormonal, which is all her doctors and mine could come up with, but again these never happened to her, or to me, during the day—a bit like the inexplicable anal pain.  Perhaps her throat chakra was opening and her chi, prana or some eternal energy was beginning to flow.  My mother was certainly a changed person as she approached the last years of her life, and less the fearful servant to authority than she was as a younger woman.  She found me difficult to like as a child and a young person.  My thinking scared her because it strayed so far from the conventional—a place where she preferred to reside.  But we made up for it later when the need for the mother/child relationship had slipped away.  Perhaps it never felt normal to be my mother—one of those peculiarities of life of which another example exists.  Only when a moment comes up that connects, even remotely, Heather, my sister, and Kate, my daughter, I find myself calling whoever of the two is with me by the other’s name. It is a standing joke amongst us that only the Gods understand why this happens, but my theory, as usual, is that I am meant to look at the deeper meaning that this represents.  I have a few theories naturally!

The reason I have decided to write about all these nocturnal goings-on that spill over into my daytime creativity is because perhaps someone else may still be in the confused state that I was in two years ago.  In my case it took a catastrophic event to break open this egg.  I doubt whether I will be able to put all the pieces back together again, but I will do my very best at trying to at least see how this might work out. Elle, in the most gentle of ways, kept prompting me to turn away from my time wasting activities and negative energy, in other words, my stasis or stagnation, and to open myself again to more fruitful ways of engaging with the world, and hence the path that I am here to tread.   She would encourage me to find ways of meditating, and the one I remember best, and I can easily see her with a newly picked rose in her hand, would be to observe or even draw it. I am vigilant to unexpected and unconnected thoughts that arrive from nowhere in my mind.  I see that it is important to engage gently with the process of observing my awakening mind.  Too much haste could lead to an unhinging!  The more patient and still we are, the more likely we will catch the right end of the stick.  Where on earth does that saying come from?

A total aside, and never to miss a trick—I have been collecting sayings recently, and that one has now been added to my growing list.  Perhaps a good way of looking at this particular saying is that it illuminates the duality that holds our version of the world together.  A stick always has two ends.  If something doesn’t feel quite right when ‘caught’ then look to its opposite where perhaps you will find something more comfortable and easier to hold onto.  Ha—duality is the glue of life that stops its fragmentation by Time that is its energy or life force. How is that for a definition!  If we don’t have a yesterday, we have nowhere to put what has already happened, and without a tomorrow we have no way of knowing where we are heading towards today. 

And back to my reason for popping up from my bower.  In late 1999, McKenna described his thoughts concerning his impending death to an interviewer, Erik Davis:

“I always thought death would come on the freeway in a few horrifying moments, so you’d have no time to sort it out. Having months and months to look at it and think about it and talk to people and hear what they have to say, it’s a kind of blessing. It’s certainly an opportunity to grow up and get a grip and sort it all out. Just being told by an unsmiling guy in a white coat that you’re going to be dead in four months definitely turns on the lights. … It makes life rich and poignant. When it first happened, and I got these diagnoses, I could see the light of eternity, à la William Blake, shining through every leaf. I mean, a bug walking across the ground moved me to tears.”

I shall forever hold Terence McKenna in one of the many newly-discovered pockets in my heart for also noticing and loving bugs as Elle and I do.  Terence McKenna died on April 3, 2000, at the age of 53. I am sure his ethereal bower is one of endless amazement, lit up by colours way beyond the range of the seven we are familiar with, surrounded by beautiful young things all with flowers in their hair and twinkles in their eyes.  Definitely a place where bugs would feel most welcome.

 

EHS:  Individuals with exploding head syndrome hear or experience loud imagined noises as they are falling asleep or waking up, have a strong, often frightened emotional reaction to the sound, and do not report significant pain; around 10% of people also experience visual disturbances like perceiving visual static, lightning, or flashes of light. Some people may also experience heat, strange feelings in their torso, or a feeling of electrical tingling that ascends to the head before the auditory hallucinations occur. With the heightened arousal, people experience distress, confusion, myoclonic jerks, tachycardia, sweating, and the sensation that feels as if they have stopped breathing and have to make a deliberate effort to breathe again.

The pattern of the auditory hallucinations is variable. Some people report having a total of two or four attacks followed by a prolonged or total remission, having attacks over the course of a few weeks or months before the attacks spontaneously disappear, or the attacks may even recur irregularly every few days, weeks, or months for much of a lifetime.

Some individuals mistakenly believe that EHS episodes are not natural events, but are the effects of directed energy weapons that create an auditory effect. Thus, EHS has been worked into conspiracy theories, but there is no scientific evidence that EHS has non-natural origins.

Should I Stay or Should I Go…

“…the people at the top have no idea what is going on.  They need men with pony tails to come in every morning just to switch on the machines.  They are so in our hands.” 

Terence McKenna, mystic

Ah, the great Brexit divide!  There certainly are some ‘leavers’ that I can identify with because I like them. But that is as far as the communion goes—at the end of the day the majority of leavers are not seeing the bigger picture, and they yearn for simpler, safer and quieter times that can never return. Life will never again be warmly familiar as they would like a return to.  Many don’t see any upside for them in the new ways of the world, and they can’t get to grips with all the rapid and sometimes ruthless changes that seem to be happening all over the estranged land of their birth.  I see this too, but I can accept that it is an impossible mission to attempt to turn back the tide.  And when we do reminisce we tend to do this while looking through rose coloured spectacles.  I am not saying that those are the only reasons but I do think it is the greater swathe.  We also know that there are people on the far right with their own ignorant, ruthless and selfish agendas, while some see opportunities to seize more power and wealth for themselves and some unscrupulous compatriots.  Staying in, or remaining, may not be the clever option but it is certainly safer and a better one.  And we would do well to also remember that once we are over sixty years old the world is no longer ours to direct although we are perfectly entitled to continue to enjoy the fruits of our labours. We may even have earned the position of wise older citizen meaning that our opinion and leadership would be welcomed.  How can we ever forgive David Cameron, his advisers and trouble makers in the Conservative party for dropping the country into one of the worst crises ever? They have so much to answer for.

There is a lot wrong within the British queendom, but the problems go way beyond the UK borders—these are world-wide problems now. We have got ourselves lost in the darkness, and we are hurting because the only societal system we have ever known is breaking down—it has lost its ability to self-organise, the pendulum is out of sync, the patterns have lost their symmetry. Mostly this is sensed rather than understood, and fear causes us to turn away from others who have less than us, and therefore need to share our dwindling dinners and homes—immigration and free movement. But also when the person in front of us leads us into a swamp with lots of scary creatures lurking in the water we lose trust, and start flailing and thrashing in the hope that one of our feet (where the souls reside mostly) will find some solid ground, and we can get away from clear and present danger— distrust of politicians and experts.

It is a fact that may be difficult to swallow but true that an above-average number of the ‘remainers’ understand more of the world’s problems, are more comfortable reaching out around the globe to look for answers to our many problems, and also know that the more we get to know those in far flung places the more likely that we shall be able to hold onto a fragile peace. The rest of the remainers are the future generation who want to be part of the greater world family. They are happy to learn new languages and are quick to appreciate how much we can all gain by reaching out instead of erecting barriers to keep others out.

It is careless to throw the baby out with the bath water, and there has been plenty of that going on over the years since the Second World War. The education system is a good example of that but a different story. That is just what appears to be happening again in this whole Brexit debacle.  So let’s get working on ourselves. We can do this consciousness-raising thing that so many are talking about. If it works who knows what heights we could achieve.  I would love to think that the days of people living rough on the streets would be over. Surely this doesn’t need to happen in this day and age, and it is a problem that is getting bigger with every year that goes by. But throwing stones at the enemy, or burning down their homes, and turning our backs on those suffering more than us, never did achieve much in the long run.  Perhaps if we were more deeply knowledgeable of our histories we would be making better choices. Twelve thousand years of the modern era, and barely ready for high school!  We definitely haven’t been reading the right books.  Too much time spent at the fair ground on Love Island, it seems?

But I like to think that we already have The Knowledge somewhere deep in the recesses of the temple of our minds, probably in those side chapels in the cathedrals that I always preferred to the main space.  Is it just a case of pealing back the layers until we reach the kernel? Does The System really want to reveal itself to us as some mystics say? I believe that to be so.

Long live Gaia, our spirit host—if she dies we die, but that is not as likely as her giving up on us all, and then we are definitely lost.  So long as we keep asking the bigger questions, then tilt our heads slightly to more clearly hear the answers, we can keep stagnation, destruction and rot at bay. We have no excuses not to, and nothing to lose by at least trying to.  The worldwide web has brought us together, and together is how we can make a difference, and it can lead us to answers, sometimes too many, in fractions of seconds, and answers build knowledge and lead us to the next level of questions.

Let’s not be afraid of that second referendum but raise our voices in confidence to demand one from both sides.  Someone has to be big enough to sort out this problem. Confident that we surely now know how better to sift through the bullshit and the sustenance.  Then leave it to the under sixties to make the decision. And for God’s sake to trust that democracy is not so fragile that good sense can’t lead the way.  It won’t be easy, and there is likely to be trouble, but let’s garner some real self-belief for a change.  Under these circumstances I would accept the will of the people, because I would feel that everyone has had the opportunity to have the truths and lies flagged for them.  If this is to be the end of civilisation so be it.

My Secret Life

black hole

I love this image I found of a black hole.  A cubbyhole that is almost as familiar as home these days.  I am learning not to be afraid of it, which is why this image of flowery abundance works so well for me.  It can be a safe space, or even act as a conduit to another world, something like ‘worm holes’ at the macro level of the cosmos, or ‘strings’ at the micro level of our subatomic support system.   But you do have to learn to trust the darkness, the unknown.  I am finding that I can maintain hope when sailing without a rudder, or unable to see the movement of the ground in front of my feet. It is not a particularly colourful world, naturally, but I remind myself of the vibrancy of colours quite easily using my imagination.  I am not sure how long I will be hiding my secret self in this black hole, but hopefully as Christmas passes so I will emerge into the light again.  Christmas seems to bring to sharp relief Elle’s absence.  It feels impossibly hard to get over this.  While I am sure with time our grandchildren will bring a new magic to this time marker because they do not carry the sorrow of the loss of Elle inside them, for now Christmas brings its own brand of darkness.  That does not sit well with the spirit of the season though which heralds the arrival of new life; a baby whose reappearance year after year is simply and purely to remind us of the ever present opportunity for rebirth, of how to cleanse ourselves of the old and soiled ideas, and where to find hope for a future that is full of light, peace and love.  In order to make a massive difference to this world all that is required is for us to try a little harder to be more honest, more discerning in what we support by what we say, to reject judging others, trust more, worry about ourselves a little less and care about others a little more. In my secret life all is so clear, and good will prevail, but as soon as I switch on the news everything is fractured and broken.

I love it when a plan comes together.  I did not consciously set out to juxtapose birth and death in the same piece but hey, life got in the way, as it usually does.  That is when I am reminded that all is not yet broken but is as it is meant to be.  It is consciousness that truly is key – I understand this fully now, and by bringing up our own level of consciousness we can draw many others into the ripples of our wake.  So perhaps I am wrong to say ‘worry a little less about ourselves’. It is all about our selves.

In My Secret Life

In my secret life
In my secret life
In my secret life
In my secret life

I saw you this morning
You were moving so fast
Can’t seem to loosen my grip
On the past
And I miss you so much
There’s no one in sight
And we’re still making love
In my secret life
In my secret life

I smile when I’m angry
I cheat and I lie
I do what I have to do
To get by
But I know what is wrong
And I know what is right
And I’d die for the truth
In my secret life
In my secret life

Hold on, hold on, my brother
My sister, hold on tight
I finally got my orders
I’ll be marching through the morning
Marching through the night
Moving cross the borders
Of my secret life

Looked through the paper
Makes you wanna cry
Nobody cares if the people
Live or die
And the dealer wants you thinking
That it’s either black or white
Thank God it’s not that simple
In my secret life

I bite my lip
I buy what I’m told
From the latest hit
To the wisdom of old
But I’m always alone
And my heart is like ice
And it’s crowded and cold
In my secret life

Songwriters: Leonard Cohen / Sharon Robinson

In My Secret Life lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

Time Ghost

LC photo

I am working and, once again, listening to the Universe.  I got a common response at 1am in the morning.  A few days ago I wrote my first poem.  It doesn’t matter whether it is a brilliant poem or not.  What matters more is that I create.  It is in creating that I exist.  It is only our earthly projection that requires that we ‘shut up’ if our creations are found lacking.  If I exist then I can do living.  My poem came into existence on 7 November, and as I did some tweaking this morning, I realised that I wrote it on the second anniversary of his death.  He is the man I longed to touch when Elle died – my friend who never knew me – Leonard Cohen.  I will never stop showing up again.  The Zeitgeist is where we who live belong.

 

ATLAS SHRUGGED, FINALLY

Atlas shrugged, and Earth crashed.

So tired of our empty ways.

Who will blame him?

All has crumpled as if Nothing.

Now I bend, blindly

I sift and shift, but only rubble.

Wish that it were just a thousand kisses deep.

Where is my beating heart?

What is left of my mind?

What meanings?

Meanings!

There are no meanings.

Words fail me as tyrants rise again,

Our rags of light torn to shreds by the Nothing.

And the sun slinks away,

Light dimming as he goes.

Where’s the glory

As Time turns up empty handed?

Hope bows her head in despair.

My eyes ache to turn inward

And my ears seek the warmth of his voice.

Are you there my old friend?

I love to speak with Leonard

Ah tis sad, but he has left the House.

 

Added later:

A little while before publishing my post a message arrived in Messenger from a fellow traveller, but I only saw it later.  Kurt Vonnegut is definitely on my shelf of favourite authors.  I loved his insightful thinking and quirky plot construction.

This is a good example of the weird and wonderful conversation I have going on with the uni-verse, a single poem of my own making gets its reward:

“… The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

Faith vs UFOs

Let it be still, and it will all gradually become clear.

Lao Tzu

Who doesn’t recall having had light-hearted conversations around dinner tables and campfires over the years, discussing the likelihood of the existence of UFOs aliens?  Most of us would be quick to say that we have no problem believing that life exists somewhere out in the great cosmos.  It is highly unlikely that in the infinite universe we are the only living beings who are self-aware.  The odds on that being the case are infinitely small!  When faced with the usual question, ‘but why would governments hide this fact from the public’, I would give my usual answer:  “They daren’t validate the claims because it would shatter the foundations of our civilisation. We depend on history staying the same, and it being ours only, in order to keep moving forward in an orderly march on the future.”  Something along those lines anyway.  It seemed pretty obvious to me.   I could see how evidence of aliens from other planets would create fatal cracks in the world’s religions. Was our God theirs too?  And, if we were created in his image, how come there seemed to be ETs in other ‘images’?  What is God doing with all these other children? Aren’t we enough for him?  Are we really no more than one big experiment of many others?  I can see how it would cause a new and devastating fear to set into the hearts and minds of the world’s people, one that would easily outshine the fear of nuclear war. But somehow, at the time, I personally didn’t feel conflicted.  It was a different time in my life.  I wasn’t truly absorbing what I was saying – after all it was mere speculation.  There is so much we think we know until we really feel the weight of its knowledge.

Oh for the comforting half-ignorance that existed for me until today!  Over recent months I started to become aware that people I take seriously were supporting some of the claims that I had considered more outlandish with regard to our world.  Ideas like UFOs and extra-terrestrial settlements have already been established on our planet, or under our oceans, and even within the depths of the Earth.  Eh, I thought, a little too weird for me.

Yesterday, and through Greg, my brother, mentioning a talk by Graham Hancock without him knowing who he was, I made the effort to go out in the on-going inclement weather to hear him and Gregory Sams speak.  It was the last day of the Amorevore Food and Arts Festival at Casa Maca, here in Ibiza.  We went together and I was so grateful at Brother Greg’s timely little push.  I even did something I don’t usually do – I sat in the front row!  I had listened to many of Hancock’s talks and lectures on YouTube so it wasn’t that I was hearing anything for the first time, but there was something comforting in his ‘familiar’ presence. I got a real sense of his commitment to the subject of not only engaging or experiencing spirit entities as a result of hallucinogenic substances like LSD and DMT, but equally, experiencing his comfortable demeanour when talking about extra-terrestrial activities.  I particularly enjoy the format of two people sitting talking to each other about what they have learnt over many years, while sharing the discussion with an audience.  Greg Sams, once I had looked into who he was before going to the talk, was also an interesting speaker who had earned his stripes over the years, at the fringes of ‘new age’ thinking.  I shared his enthusiasm for the consciousness that exists in all things, and particularly his awareness of the sun as more than just simply another star on the cosmos – it is our star and it communicates with us.  Like him, I too have anarchistic tendencies when it comes to the effectiveness of the state in taking care of all the needs of all its people. He and Hancock believe we, the people, have the ability to self-organise, and would do a far better job of caring for our communities than any state government could do.  National borders may have served their purpose in the past but with our movement towards globalisation they are unfit for purpose.  He has written books about both these subjects.  But I imagine that we are stuck with the current structure for a while to come yet. I recalled with Sams, after the talk, a twice-experienced moment with a setting sun in a remote region not far from Montagu, in the Western Cape.  As I stared at the setting sun, something one can only safely do during these late-in-the-day moments, I was taken so far backwards in time, that I physically experienced the planet before humankind walked the Earth.  I know it will sound a little bizarre, but not to me – I know what I felt, and it was more a powerful sensation than a vision.

Last night, back home with Peter, and about to start cooking, I heard mention of UFOs as Peter looked for something he wanted to watch on TV.  I called out to him to record the programme for us to watch after supper.  Little did I know that I was about to set in motion the opening up of a can of worms!  It was a serious programme, and incorporated footage of a press conference that took place on 9 May 2001.  It had been put together by someone called Dr Steven Greer, at the Press Club in Washington DC.  These days, with so much fake news about, I like to do a crosscheck, so first I checked that the news conference had actually taken place, and yes, it can be found on YouTube. Then I checked the name, Dr Steven Greer, and I was surprised to find that as soon as I put into Google ‘Dr Ste…’ up popped his name at the top of the list, so that gives you an idea of how many people are Googling him.

Almost all the people sitting on the panel were high up officials in Central Intelligence, the army, the navy and the air force, air traffic controllers, airline pilots, and members of other similar organisations. They all testified to the fact that there had been substantial sightings and experiences of UFOs and even extra-terrestrials.  They kept their testimonies short, undramatic and precise.  It didn’t seem to have much impact on the news at the time, but there again, it was only a few months later when the world’s heads were caused to swing around violently to face a much greater and immediate problem – that of the Islamic fundamentalist threat.  There was even talk of the bodies of aliens at the Roswell site following an alleged 1947 crash of an alien craft or two, and it all started to feel ‘stomach-churningly’ real. Recently I learnt that The Pentagon had been, or continues to, run a secret multi-million dollar programme to investigate UFOs, which has been reported quite widely, and in The New York Times.  Now I find that my foundations have been shattered!

Why I am so troubled is that it is only in the last week or so that I have felt that I am beginning to get an understanding of how consciousness works as part of a unified   matrix, a mathematical algorithm of great beauty, by which we understand, and are part of, the living world and the universe beyond.  There was something so sweet about it.  The pieces of the puzzle seemed to be flying into position, and the picture that is emerging is ethereal, quite literally, and how it can all be explained through numbers.  It is fascinating to look at how the ancient philosophers interpreted life and the cosmos in terms of numbers.  Plato came up with a single number of everything, the ‘nuptial number’, and most interpreters argue that the value of Plato’s number is 216 because it is the cube of 6, i.e. 63= 216, which is remarkable for being also a sum of the cubes for the Pythagorean triple, i.e. (3, 4, 5): 33+ 43+ 53= 63.  The number hits my sweet spot in every way.  Numerology speaking 216 adds up to 9 that is three lots of three, 33 – this has been a very important figure of numbers for me ever since a dream I had in my early twenties.  He even has a Tyrant’s Number.  There may be nothing to his numbers but he certainly understood thousands of years ago that answers to the universe could be found in mathematics, as did the great thinkers of many ancient civilisations.  Why would they have known this?  Interesting stuff, and I am just beginning my explorations of the ancient and modern philosophers and mystics.  Suddenly my picture has gone grey and very blurry.  I now know the question I couldn’t think of yesterday at the talk, and the one I desperately would love to have heard them answer.

“I have a question for you both.  How do you square away your faith in spiritual entities with your belief in extra-terrestrials who appear to be studying and observing us as if we are no more than fish in a glass bowl?  Faith speaks of A Oneness, a world in which we matter as we ‘polish’ our reflective facets and ascend the ladder of divinity, while the other is as if we are nothing more than a simulation, a living version of someone else’s algorithm, or something akin to an experiment for reasons unknown to us.”

I am now going to have to see whether I can answer this question for myself.  It is going to take some work, but I will get there.  I have no idea whether I will like the answer, and perhaps I will have to settle on a compromise again.  Something I did before Elle, my younger daughter, died when I told her that I had settled a few things in my mind, and that I no longer felt compelled to trade scientific knowledge for faith.  I was going to accept the unanswerable nature of those questions I couldn’t answer for myself.  More lately it felt like I was slaying science. It had become an flimsy obstacle to my burgeoning faith, but this – this following so soon afterwards – this felt like a fatal blow!  Perhaps I had been asking to be tripped up.  Take courage though, Jennie. See how the universe laid a plan for me to go to the talk, and remember the coincidence of the programme on TV. Perhaps there is method somewhere in this madness.

For now, from this icy crevasse into which I have slipped, I look up at the immense cloud evolutions happening above me.  They, more than anything else, have become a great source of release of existential dis-ease for me these days.  I shall let go of my worrying thoughts for now.  They do me no good!  There is really little that is more satisfying than the natural world.  I am glad I still have so much more to learn, or perhaps I should think rather in terms of unlearning…now that gives me something new to think about.

IMG_4852

Unified Grid of Dots in Detail

“There is only one difference between a madman and me. The madman thinks he is sane. I know I am mad.” 

Salvador Dali

I have this recurring sensation going on that I love life even though some of it sucks really badly.  I have been doing quite a lot of checking in on myself lately. Firstly to check on my mental well-being, and equally, on my intentions, particularly with regard to why I want to write, what I want to reveal of my thoughts, and just how honest I want to or should be.  I have this idea, or perhaps it really is a compulsion, that I want to witness what is going on in my internal life. I know that may sound a little crazy and a little more than a touch arrogant. What gives me the confidence and self belief to go on with this foolish idea.  For one thing I no longer fear opening myself up to ridicule, albeit a little daunting, and really I can’t see that I have anything to be self-satisfied about.  I am not super intelligent, nor super talented, and certainly have never been super good at anything I have taken on, therefore no super good achievements in this lifetime, and that includes not being a super good mother or wife, and in all the other relationships that exist in my world.  I am an ordinary person in an extraordinary world.  What I ‘witness’ though may just be of some interest, if not of useful purpose, to help someone else know that they are not crazy. That would be nice.

I sense that a ‘big change’ is happening, a really big multi-dimensional change all around the world, words that have been rolling off my tongue for a few years now as though there was no tomorrow! It was my greater generation that proclaimed the dawning of The Age of Aquarius.  Most of us got a little tired of waiting!

When I first started writing, a compulsion that started the first day of the first New Year after Elle died, I had no idea that I was setting off on a journey that was going to give  purpose to my life.  Obviously not to take away from the purpose that exists in continuing to be a mom, a wife, a sister, a grandmother and a friend, but that inner meaning that makes all else matter.  The book I completed a while back, and a few days after the first anniversary of Elle’s death, now seems to me to be naïve, but beautifully so, and equally has provided me with so many new beginnings or starting points, and a multitude of ‘dots’ and memories that will never allow my ink well to go dry.

In my book, Good Grief: Take Me by the Hand, I wrote about an instant in the middle of a Pilates class, as I glanced up at my own image in the mirror wall ahead of me.  While it was a short moment it was also a big realisation; that our bodies are truly temples, and everything we need to know is contained within us, a saying that we are all familiar with.  Now I feel able to take that moment a little further, and it is because of the fact that ‘in quantum physics all particles are connected to all others and to every observer in the universe’.  Another way of saying the same thing is that science encourages us to view spacetime as a web or lattice, and physicists seem to be intimating that they are close to arriving at the equation that Einstein longed to complete before he died – a theory of everything, or a unified field theory.  This lattice or net can also be described more poetically as:

“… there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out infinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel in each ‘eye’ of the net, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering like stars in the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring.”

Unknown

This is a translation of a quote that comes out of the Huayan or Flower Garland school of Buddhism, and the earliest texts seem to date back to around the second century AD, and is a description of the Web of Indra.  I took out the first line as that would have placed it into mythical times – Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra…  I can’t see the difference between what was said then and how the vision of the unified field in physics is described today.  Each of the jewels in Indira’s Web is thought to be a soul.  This really appeals to me, and is not original to me, but I often wrote in my book of seeing us as diamonds, jewels of light, and that we come to earth with one or more particular facets to polish through each lifetime. I love lingering over the idea that wisdom will land in our laps as and when a facet is polished enough to capture those all-important reflections from all the other jewels around us.

Everything we need to know is contained within every one of us, and this is where another commonly repeated phrase comes into its own – we are connected to everything and everyone in the universe – so whatever knowledge is out there is also within us all.  One could even say that going to temple, or church, or any sacred space can be equated with the journey of going within, in order to learn about ‘everything’.

What actually got me writing this early morning was being ‘awoken’, or rather, being first in a state of semi-lucidity, as if someone was knocking on my door until I fully awoke.  I may well have said that this happens to me quite a lot.  Up until about two years ago I was unable to recognise these moments for what they are, as I have no doubt that they have always been happening to me and every single person who has ever existed.  Dreams I knew about a very long time ago, but that there was communication that I could tap into constantly flowing through and around my mind would have been something I only associated with mental illness, for example, schizophrenia.

This morning it was a square image in my mind’s eye that was dragging me out of sleep.  It felt unreadable yet familiar, and seemed to contain a focal point.  I felt like I was being pushed to recognise it, but no matter how hard I tried I could not couple it with anything else I had ever seen.  I made a mental note of the image and hoped to remember it in the morning, but after switching off the light, I thought it best to make sure I did so promptly wrote it up in my notebook.  I was keen to return to sleep as I was looking ahead at a busy day, but then……an interpretation started evolving!  And that was it – I wasn’t going to be able to sleep……so here I am.

My first thought was that it was an image of a race, why I have no idea, but I commented to myself that it felt more like a marathon.  But then a correction came through – it was an image of a journey, my journey, which was identical to everyone else’s, and this was just a detail of it.  It was starting to become recognisable.  What I saw was a tight grid-like pattern of dots, and I realised that these were probably those same dots that I began joining up after Elle died, but this was not the picture I expected them to reveal.  It certainly and strangely was informing me as much as any picture could have, and brought together all my thinking over the last couple of years into a neat square package.  It is all I am to be shown, and yes, the dots are certainly connected, and yes, this is only a detail of the infinite universe – an infinite number of dots!  I must do a painting of it, and why I mention this fact is that, while thinking about it, I thought I might paint a dot for every day that I have lived, or journeyed through life.  It has just struck me that the word ‘journey’ if one looks at the first syllable, ‘jour’, is French for ‘day’.  My inclination to investigate moments of synchronicity drove me to look up the  derivation of the word, journey, and it travelled from Latin to French to Middle English, and comes from ‘a day’s travel, or a day’s work’.  Sweet!  Perhaps the reason for its original familiarity is because about three years ago I bought a painting from my friend, Christina, which is purely a series of tiny coloured dots in a grid formation.  We have been through a lot of our exploratory travels side by side.  Even deeper synchronity as far as I am concerned.

To round off my morning’s thoughts, the following works well as follow-up thinking that was originally following up on leads that coincidently lead back to this morning’s thoughts.  Follow that if you can!

Last night before going to sleep I was trying to find, somewhere on the vast network that is Google, a story I first heard somewhere back ten to fifteen years.  I had watched a documentary about an indigenous tribe who continue to live high up in the Andes Mountains of South America, and how concerned they were becoming about climate change that had begun to impact their crops because the rains were less predictable and more infrequent.  It ‘told’ them that something was going wrong with the outside world.  They had consciously eschewed all contact with the ‘developed’ world, although they had always been aware of us.  (I assume that their knowledge of us was transmuted through the unified field, or perhaps the wonderful Web of Indra!)  Because of this worrying development they had decided to allow a young tribal member of their choosing to be taught the language of the outside world so that he could convey their concerns to us, and to tell us that we need to change our ways. He told us also the story of who we are. We are ‘little brother who decided to leave the tribe and its eternal ways, and venture off on a journey, but that some day he would choose to return’.  (I can see that it would benefit us to ‘return to learn’ because there is no doubt in my mind that they are our superiors, as are most indigenous tribes who have maintained their close association with the feminine spirit of nature.)  They have never felt uneducated or inferior to us, but equally their humility has also always kept them compassionate towards ‘little brother’. I couldn’t find what I was looking for (keywords weren’t working for me) on Google but I think I am remembering the gist of it correctly.  I have been thinking about this ‘little brother’ story over the last couple of days, and then it struck me – ever since Orwell wrote his book, 1984, we have been concerned with Big Brother watching us. And where do we imagine this Big Brother to be hiding?  Well, everywhere, behind everything, and now even in the massive almost AI brain as represented by Google, the very place I was looking for answers.  Again very interesting to me is that a ‘true and benign Big Brother’ has been watching us all the time, and not just of late.  We would do well to find this tribe and try to learn all we have forgotten from them, instead of watching stupid programmes on TV called Big Brother.  Oh, we of little faith – another meaningful saying!

Now that I have found the courage to be more honest in what I want to write about, or rather, not hide what I really wish to say behind some silly coding, I will return to blog another day.

Pine Ridge

Pine Ridge.jpg

Oh where dark meets light

In amongst the hours of dread

Joy screams eternal

Me

This early morning, facing the rising sun, I sat looking out at the constantly changing pine covered hills in front of me, with just a few homes dotted here and there.  Yet again I found my gaze drawn to the ridge of the hills.  I considered that those distant pine trees, silhouetted against the skyline, could see what lies on both sides.  It made me think about my mountain climb through a forest of grief, only not just a climb but carrying with me the rock that is trying to hold my heart together.  Then I thought about mountaineers, and I wondered whether this is what motivates them to climb mountains – to see the view on the other side.  Perhaps many of us are motivated to move forward in our own great and small endeavours in order to see what lies on the other side.  Maybe it is a God given intuitive motivation, or at least ancestral, to keep us challenging life and ourselves, in the hope that we can move towards a better future.  With this thought floating around in my mind it struck me how important it is to understand that everything we do today matters, because our todays become set-in-stone yesterdays, and we can’t stop the tomorrows from arriving as urgent todays.  Our every move alters the view that we will see on the other side.  We take great risks when we don’t consider seriously the consequences of all our thoughts and actions; we need to make better choices for our future selves.  We are so much more, and equally so much less, than simply a pair of butterfly wings fluttering out there somewhere in the world.  I know because the Buddha tells me so.

Chinese Paper Lanterns

Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world.

Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before.

Let your soul take you where you long to be…

Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar,

and you’ll live as you’ve never lived before.

Erich Fromm

 

This morning, in my loving and much loved truck, mood heightened by my music, I found myself calling out, “Elle, I don’t know what the fuck is happening, but whatever it is, it feels right and it feels good.”  I also said, “For better or worse this is how it now is, and that is OK with me.”  I think it goes without saying that I had a pretty exciting start to the day.  I would never have thought, just over two years ago, that Kate and I would each have a rewarding and meaningful blog, in our eyes at least.   I also couldn’t help registering that for at least twenty years all my emotions were so measured.  Never much more than a little up or a little down.  I also withdrew from singing because my voice wasn’t good enough, or some equally stupid reason, and now that has all changed.  Not having sung a note for at least twenty years it took about six months of daily singing, after Elle died, to bring it back to something that didn’t split apart on the higher notes, or before it was able to hang around the right pitch such that it satisfied my own ears.  I have even learnt to open my throat!  It will never be a good voice, but it is definitely good enough for what I need of it. Naturally, I also can’t help drawing attention to the disguised deeper meaning between a low emotional involvement with life and not feeling like I have a voice worth hearing.

Whatever this journey is about, and however much deeper it runs than the eye naturally sees, I am always grateful for the fact that I have found new meaning to my life after Elle.  How would I forgive myself and the gods otherwise.  Not sure whether I forgive her for leaving us, though!!!  But she knows what I mean and forgives me.  So much fear has gone from my life, and so much clarity has come in its place, and at times it rotates with so much darkness and so much pain.  It is not for me to ever know whether I am ‘on the right path’ but, in my madness if that is what it is, it feels worthwhile and rewarding.  I see dots joining up where I thought answers could never be revealed, I feel more alert and definitely I feel more alive.  I don’t believe that I am lucky or privileged.  I do believe that this journey is available to all us travellers through life – perhaps it was laziness that kept me blind to it.  I have found a way to live with, and recognise the value of, my own peculiar voyage, and content that I have found a means to express it by attaching my musings to Chinese paper lanterns and sending them off into the ether until the candle burns out.  I remember and note, Chase, the ones we all sent off at the scattering of the ashes ceremony.  Seamlessness.

By way of explanation, I have had the feeling that a few of my cars lay claim to a consciousness of their own.   My latest incarnation shows a lot of love, and knows I love it back.  Proof of my madness – I leave that for you to decide.

A Moment in the Life of a Little Red Vase

The heart will break, but broken live on.

Lord Byron

There was something about Elle, and I don’t think just for me, that was puzzling and enigmatic.  I have lingered long, through darker and lighter times, recalling the following memory of special moments spent with her.  It also serves as further proof of the benefits of giving deeper consideration to the relevance of synchronicity, and what revelations it may be highlighting that assist us to keep moving forward on our individual journeys through the school of life.

This is what Carl Jung meant by synchronicity:  it occurs when events that have no causal relationship come together, and in the process they reveal a deeper meaning.  In the majority of cases this clashing of two events will more often be put down to mere co-incidence.  While I have been sensitive to synchronicity all my adult life I am sure I have missed much, and certainly not always understood all the meaning that was intended.

Peter’s mother, Tinker, was a part of our girls’ lives for many more years than my mother.  She was one of the most stoical women I have ever known, and a force to be reckoned with.  And she also beat me hands down on stubbornness!  Her love of her family, her mischievous and playful ways, and her desire to get as much out of life as she could, was a great inspiration to us all, and particularly noted by her grandchildren.  She died on 7 March 2016.  Her life had become physically hard, and included a substantial amount of pain during her last years, but she continued to want to live, and was game for anything and everything.  Elle, unbeknown to us, had been regularly calling Tinker from her ‘casita’ in the last couple of months of Tinker’s life.  It was only when I told her that her gran was unwell, and suggested that she call her, that we learnt of this.

After Tinker died, and in early May, the family had organised a memorial for her in the church next door to her much loved home in Chesterton. After the service we returned to Peter’s sister’s home, and were all given the opportunity of choosing various items that would mean something to us from amongst Tinker’s everyday possessions.  Elle, in her characteristically simple manner, wanted only a couple of small things.  One item was a little box.  The other piece she brought into our kitchen once we were back home.  It was basically broken glass.  She asked me for something to put the tiny shards into.  She then explained to me that she had wrapped this six-inch fluted red glass vase, with an image of a spray of flowers on the side of it, in her shirt, and put it in her cabin luggage.  When she opened her bag it was shattered.  The glass was around one millimetre, maybe less, in thickness.  All that was left in tact was the base, and the rest of it was in pieces, and most of them frighteningly small.  She asked me to help her put the vase back together using Superglue!

I didn’t, for once in my life, voice my opinion that this was an impossible task.  It fills me with comforting joy that I held my tongue, and instead I said ‘of course’, and we began straight away on what felt, even at the time, like an intimate journey together. Elle had quite shaky hands so it was decided that she would apply the glue, and I would accurately place the shard in its position, hold it in place for a while, and then she would clear away the excess glue.  Only one piece could be glued at a time.  Day by day it slowly grew back together.  It was only when thinking back on this event, after Elle died, that I realised some of the most remarkable elements of the process.  I don’t have a memory of her searching for the exact piece that needed to be glued in next (there needed to be a sequence of placements), and neither do I remember us completing the job.  I think that she completed it by herself.  This only adds to the mystery and magic of the process.

It was either the first or second afternoon after arriving back on the island that we visited the three girls who had been her housemates from sometime in May until the end of August.  Claudia came with us, and it was something we needed to do, for them and for us, but it was all about sorrow and tears, and a deep longing to understand what had happened and why.  The girls were naturally in a deep state of shock.  Before we left they asked if there was anything we wanted to take away with us now from her room.  Her room was as if she had just left it for a moment – clothes strewn around, a mattress on the floor surrounded by books, notebooks and Spanish newspapers.  Peter noted later the relevance of all the Spanish newspapers.  Elle was determined to improve her Spanish.  We were all in a trance of shock!  I could hardly bear to look around the room, but my eyes were immediately drawn to something familiar on one of the shelves – the little red vase!  When I picked it up it looked like it had never been in pieces!  The fracture lines were barely visible.  There were also no little telling spaces anywhere, except for one triangular piece missing from the gilded and fluted top edge.  It was seamless except for that one gaping omission.

It took only a moment for a thought to spring to mind. Elle had ‘demonstrated’ how it was possible to put our family back together again, even though, yes, there would always be one vital and meaningful piece missing. We chose to put this valuable little vase into the coffin with her, a white dress, and a single white rose.  I do have a photo of these items, but a part of me wishes I still had that little vase, especially when courage drains from my hurting heart.  Of course the colour red never escaped me either – there was something distinctly heart-shaped about the memory.