Monday, June 4, 2012

Heading into the Next Decade from the High Desert

 Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
Lao Tsu― 

 My husband, Pba-Quen-nee-e has been a bit concerned for me lately.  I'm just recovering from a cold/flu that took a month to come on and is taking just as long to leave. I recognize the symptoms of a big change in inner landscape. For those of you who have some astrology background, I have transiting Pluto in the 6th house apposing the Moon and Jupiter in the 12th house, and also my Cancer ascendent . There are some other things going on as well but this one is amounts to psychic and possibly physical meat grinder machinery. However, just writing about it is helping to move into it with fresh faith. As a Cancer rising person I process life changes with emotional and physical upheavals. My poor husband is very sensitive  and often reacts to my changes before I do.  I just can't have a private crisis anymore.

I’ve been haunted by images of the past lately. I tell myself that it is an indulgence that  doesn’t make sense and probably isn’t healthy but it won’t go away.  Last night when I crawled into bed, the moonlight and the sound of crickets suddenly brought up a 3D surround sound vision of a moonlit night at our old family cabin in the Black Forest southeast of Denver.  It is gone forever, a time and place I will never experience again. When that place was still a part of my world it never occurred to me that the time would come when it would exist only as a memory. 

Right now, a big hummingbird moth just flew in the front door. I remember that my cat Joe thought they were delicious but he is also a part of the past. This one is too fast and erratic for me to catch (strictly catch and release, in my case) but brings up memories of some other hard to catch light as air beings. Right now, I am desperate to catch those Holy Ghosts flying around my head.  The great teachers from my past and near present are seductively teasing me. They must know that I want so much to renew familiarity with them again but they are diving in and out of inner space too fast to catch.  I’ve been longing to sit again in their secret ashrams. Yet another wished for journey to the past.

These reflections are bringing back the wonder and loneliness of my strange adolescence and beyond to those passionate searches for a wisdom that would load unresolvable paradoxes on an inter-dimensional space ship headed to that place where the wise ones gather on the Astral Plain to mingle and discuss the mysteries of the universe.  Not just this physical universe, but also the one encompassing all dimensions and times. I hunger desperately to time travel again because the present seems suffocatingly tight. 

I no longer remember all their names but feel their personages, master Lao Tzu was one of the first I met.  During the most lost and desperate of times, around age 16 I was wandering through a second hand bookshop on 15th street in Denver.  There isn’t such a neighborhood anymore and I’m sorry for those who will never experience it. I love the internet, it is delicious magic and appeals totally to my mercurial Gemini self, but these old second hand shops were an entirely different level of magic with a touch of the Harry Potter ambiance. I can remember two particularly whose owners were definitely fey and a bit shadowy.  These places were dusty and dark with books piled on the floor and in the corners as there was never enough space to shelve them all. I stumbled (literally) on “The Story of Oriental Philosophy,” first copyrighted by L. Adams Beck in 1928. This was one of my introductory first steps through the enchanted door to a larger, cosmic mind.  I was hooked on mysticism and the arcane. 

This was true treasure hunting, a search for the elixir of life and an antidote to the poisoned teachings of my childhood.  In those bookstores, I found a world sequestered in secrecy lifetimes ago, and the path to my real identity. My life depended on these excursions into forbidden magic. I’m not using the term “magic” metaphorically. Frequently I would venture downtown, always alone, attempting to be invisible while searching for something that might guide me to the next step through my fascinating adolescent existential horror show. Whether in the library or one of my favorite used bookstores, I would pace back and forth in front of the shelves until a particular volume said, “it’s me you’re looking for.” Thus I was unerringly guided to the next step, and a path revealed through the current impasse. My very life depended on it. I've come to believe that emotional intensity and focus are the elixir of magic.  In other words, it helps to be desperate.

Today I’m watering my garden, yet between sentences and hope that the big cumulous clouds above will take pity and lend a hand, I find myself time traveling to another important memory. With bare feet squishing through mud and wet grass, I’m transported to an entirely different dimension of the same past or so it seems. I am now searching through a book possibly on comparative religion, mysticism, philosophy, anthropology, history, psychology, etc., while sitting under the shade of our family’s biggest apple tree, working the irrigation ditches between paragraphs through the strawberry rows, and vegetable garden. I still have these two dominant personalities, one-half, is nature girl and the other half gets quite heady. After dropping out of school to pursue the things I really needed to know, (actually I think I had some very wise spirit guides) I also decided I should learn to cook and sew.  I didn’t have enough money to buy clothes, so sewing came in handy, and I was home while my parents were at work so it seemed natural to take up cooking and gardening. On my first two years off the grid, I went barefoot winter and summer except for my forays downtown. Apart from the meat, soup or stew came directly from the garden and I loved pulling carrots and onions out of the earth and picking beans or peas off their vines. One year I made 50 apple pies and froze them, apples donated by that dear friend who generously sheltered my dual selves’, seeker of the keys to life and gardener.

I was much better back then at everything except living.  The books I read were way more scholarly and arcane than those I read now. I became a gourmet cook, and could even make my own coats and jeans. At one point I learned how to tie dye African and Asian patterns, took up classical piano, learned music theory and ethno-musicology, and finally took ballet lessons since dance was one of the activities forbidden by our narrow spirited religion when I was a child. School was a concentration camp in my experience, so I drew my fantasy world on ruled papter in class, and studied what I wanted to know instead of the curriculum. Of course, I got very bad grades and frequent punishment, but I didn’t really care. School wasn’t leading to any world I wanted to live in, and after my disappointment with the first grade, I decided that the system wasn’t interested in teaching us anything worthwhile. But when I finally cut myself adrift I developed a passion for art, especially abstract art, as well as the more arcane fields.  Now I’m a good cook but not so fancy, and I’m not really a scholar anymore but I have a much better relationship with life. My art isn’t as sophisticated or driven now but comes from the heart. Life gets simpler as I take off one pack after another along this mysterious winding trail called life. And another thing, I have no idea where the trail is headed.  It’s just that I’m curious by nature and will always wonder what’s around the next bend.

Maybe the past has been hanging close lately because I’m going to move into another decade on June 14th and its recap time. I don’t recall going through this the last time I started a new decade but I sense this one is going to be a big crossing to a country I haven’t seen advertized in the psychic travel literature.  It doesn’t feel like a step forward, or backward but maybe off the trail entirely. I suspect my review of past times and places is a way of taking stock and prepping for whatever is out there waiting to surprise me. 

A powerful clap of thunder just shook the house, and now rain is pouring down after a long dry spell. I Take this as a sign that nature's power and abundance are unleashed on all dimensions. Yes! I believe in signs.

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