The deepest depression I’ve experienced in a number of years foreshadowed my Birthday. There was no detectable reason to be any more depressed than usual. It could have been about a number of things but I knew that it wasn’t. Although I could feel depressed about PQ’s illness, my disappointment with myself for not doing more with my 72 years, our arrival at this time in our lives without resources to have our fix of Arizona, take a vacation or even get the windshield on the car fixed, it wasn’t about any of these things. It went much deeper and didn’t feel truly personal. All of a sudden, the cloudy veil was removed from all the things I know are not right but nevertheless have to live with from the current state of world affairs, the human mistreatment of the earth and its creatures, and not least the way we humans mistreat each other. Doom and gloom seemed to be setting in for a long stay, and yet I recognize from past experience that moods don’t last (at least not for Gemini’s with Cancer rising) and that something important was trying to move into consciousness while something else was trying to divert it. There was an inner war going on and all I could do was observe. It even dimmed my eyesight and slowed my reactions. Heavy grey smog had descended on the world.
|Hummingbird Moth, taken with the dead iPhone|
There was a trickster element to this experience as well. The worse I felt, the more things went wrong, as if the gods teasing me. The climax was the day two checks bounced when my SS check came in three days late and my iPhone died. I replaced the iPhone but it was three months beyond its insurance expiration date. The Verizon Store didn’t have any iPhone 4’s so I had to upgrade to the new 5s. For a couple of hours and several hundred dollars more on the groaning credit card, I felt as if nothing would ever be good again. Then my mood unexpectadly shifted sideways. At first, I thought it was denial because the downward speed of our financial situation had just picked up considerably and it would be easy to move into an “everything is going to hell anyway, why not enjoy riding out the storm till our boat capsizes and we all drown,” state of mind. However, I saw a dim light coming up on the other side of my mountain of woes. It shown a light on something long hidden that was completely outside my conscious experience and conditioned expectations.
Certainly, I could blame misfortune on the planets. There are some challenging transits at this time, but the planets only tell us about certain energies that are more intense than other energies and in what part of our life they may apply pressure. Would it change the life of a mouse, or a stone? Maybe, but changes are always possible. If you have a wall of bricks that are carelessly stacked, it will go down first if an earthquake hits. Challenging transits tend to expose the weak places in our psychic, social and even physical structure.
When PQ came back from errands this morning he told me that one of our headlights had burned out. Thus, another expense arises, although this time it’s a moderate one. Everything is relative. I didn’t get more depressed with this one. Now, I’m beginning to catch on that there is a message. I can’t put my finger on the exact point that begs insight but there is something very important hidden in this seeming chain of crisis. I think this one goes very deep and into one of my oldest deepest layers. It seems to be time to rebuild starting with the foundation.
Circumstantially, cast away to the outer edges of family, school, church and later the conventional adult world of nine to five, I eventually identified myself as an outcast. At fifteen, I quit school in a state of nervous collapse and found myself falling into an endless hole of impenetrable blackness. To borrow a quote from Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” The best part was discovering an entirely new empowering world of amazing explosive insights bursting through the heavy darkness like a fabulous display of creative pyrotechnics. On the other side was a lonely colorless cramped world of drudge and grunge, a continuous cloudy day. There was a wise invisible guide who showed me the places I needed to go and books I needed to read, guided me to study art history, anthropology, theology, psychology, classical music, history, sacred geometry, and much more, all topics I had never heard of just a year or two earlier. My skills of observation suddenly bloomed. Although my heroes were eclectic, it began with the discovery of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu. After that, I followed a very strange path for a teenage girl in the late 50’s one strewn with sharp but gorgeous jewels, and one I took alone.
While one side of my life was heady, the other side was the barefoot gardener and a burgeoning cook exploring the exotic world of French cuisine, of herbs and wine. If I made a soup, I needed only to run out to our large garden with mud squishing between my bare toes to take carrots, onions, green beans or peas. My poor parents must have been terrified and nonplussed. The daughter they had known was gone. We lived in the same house on different schedules. I read, painted and brooded deep into the night long after they were asleep and woke up long after they’d gone to work. During the first years I went barefoot winter and summer. I wore one pair of jeans until they began to fall apart. I glued them together and covered the holes with duct tape.
Part of being an outcast and yet free to think and feel as spirit lead me was staying away from conventional routes. To make up for lack of flesh and blood teachers, I followed the discipline learned from my favorite authors and developed a strong critical aptitude. Yet, the disadvantage of being an recluse was that I did not know how to navigate that world from which I’d escaped. When I finally ventured out to the job market, I learned how to pretend I knew what I was doing until I did, but always felt like a fake in a world I didn’t fit and dependent on a job that I sometimes didn’t approve of.
Believing that monetary success requires a life enslaved to golden chains, or in my case silver-plated plastic chains was a constant downer. I literally felt like a slave or indentured servant. Now it’s emerging that I still live with the unconscious assumption that being an outcast automatically means living on the outer edge in seclusion and poverty. I was often a helpful alien willing to do what was needed while never officially joining the system or benefiting from its perks.
|Squeaky thinks he's the new king.|
While writing the previous paragraph,I'm reminded of my relationship with men and cats. Cats are marginal members of our civilized human world with two paws in and the other two out. I often have dreams about rescuing a cat lost and terrified in some urban setting. I have to protect it from its instinctive wild reaction to an alien system. As for men, I have a history of being with someone who is far from conventional but who handles himself with chutzpa. This is a person who gets away with what I don’t believe I can get away with. Also, my men generally like to live somewhat indulgently. Given a choice, they opt for the top brand and the gourmet menu.
The big picture is that I don’t have confidence in my right to be as I am. My nerve fails when confronting that big world that seems so unforgiving and menacing. And that friends, is the big insight. It could be that when I truly honor my right to participate in human society the money situation will reflect the change. It’s time to be reborn, or more likely simply believe that I really was born in this world.
To be continued. This is just the beginning.