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I think I am going to have to give up on April. I just came back to it and I will have to finish 15 days before I can finish April. It was a crazy month, and I don't know that it I should go ahead and salvage it. I would be depending on my somewhat erratic memory, and although it was a memorable month in many ways, I'm not sure that I could capture it the way that I would like to. It was full of soul searching and some events that would be interesting to me, not others.
Strangely, I am going to continue with May and then go back to April.The reason being is that I want to write down some things that have been happening to me the last few days. They have been quite overwhelming in a good way, well some good, some bad. But I really want to record them. This seems like an odd place for me to record such personal things. I am actually a very private person,or have been most of my life, so me wanting to post these thing here is out of character, but somehow it's necessary.
My husband, my dear and loyal friend is rapidly losing his eyesight. I wish to God there was something I could do, and I wish to whomever that I believed in a God to wish to. I am about to formally denounce Catholicism for good. I was told by my own Uncle, who is a retired Catholic priest, at the mass for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary, that I am a lapsed Catholic, so I cannot accept the body of Christ. So we (all the lapsed Catholics) walked up to the altar not knowing we were about to be shamed.
I think Catholicism has the monopoly on shame, and is struggling with Judaism to own the complete rights to guilt. It is only now that I am realizing that these two things underly just about every decision that I have made in my life. Shame and guilt have guided my behaviour, my struggle to be "good", and my disgust with myself when I wasn't, and my complete inability to accept that I have a dark side. Fighting against anybody and anything that tries to tell me I am not the perfect, good girl. Constantly running, running, runing away from myself
I got sidetracked, I was talking about my husband's vision loss, and then began ranting about Catholicism. Everything seems to lead back there. Today we were told that my husband has to have another eye surgery and then in 4-6 weeks, 2 more surgeries. He, understandably, is in a state of shock. His eyes have not been good for about a year, but just in the last 2 weeks they have taken a very bad turn so that he is now unable to even use his computer. One of the few things that he has been able to enjoy.
This has left him in the disquieting state of being alone with his thoughts. He has taken to wearing very dark glasses, or just closing his eyes to the world, as trying to see with the state his eyes are in is more frustrating than being in darkness. What would we do without audiobooks!!! He is an avid reader, and the audiobooks are giving him the only lifeline he has right now. He is in that state of trying to come to terms, but he has moments of uncontrollable rage, and then other moments of heart twisting depression. All understandable.
But he had this most amazing dream last night. He dreamt about a meadow in the middle of the forest, and he felt that he woke up there and he was very, very scared and cold, and he couldn't see anything for the heavy fog in the air. He was able to see that there was a"space blanket" a few feet away from him, so he crawled over and wrapped himself in it. Immediately he was warm and comforted and safe and he could relax and sleep peacefully. The blanket told him that his body was filed with radiation.
After being told that he was filled with radiation,he was afraid, but he knew that the blanket was trustworthy, and he could go into what felt like a drug-induced sleep and be O.K. For a very, very long time he was asleep, but it was like conscious sedation - he could see things that were happening around him, he could see people walking by, walking their dogs, wild animals passing through, and realized that the blanket had made him invisible. He thought he was dead, but then he awoke one day and he felt like he was reborn.
My husband was not particularly interested in or amazed by this dream. Not like I was. I have just been having so many strange and interesting experiences lately, that this struck me as being full of wonder and magic. A truly mystical and prophetic dream. I had just been reading a book that was talking about psychic abilities, and the ability to tune into energy that allows you to see things that other people do not. They said if you get good enough at this, then you may start having prophetic dreams, but only a few attuned people experience these.
I can't believe I am going to say this, but I have always felt that my husband is one of these "attuned" people. He figures that the insights he has into people's motivations has to do with his Social Work and Counseling training, but I think there is much more to it. He sees way too deeply. This training has allowed him to delve into people's psyches, to ask the right questions, and not to be afraid of asking them like I am. But the things he sees in people go beyond the verbal. He denies having any such power.
Why, I don't know. Perhaps he sees it as too much of a burden, or responsibility. I just see it as a truly beautiful thing. There was a movie I watched recently...can't even remember the name, but it had Matt Damon in it. He developed psychic abilities when he was young after an accident, or a virus or something. Anyway, what he mainly did was make connections between people and their loved ones who had died.Of course, much of what he dealt with was grief, longing, anger, regret, all those things that are connected with loss and death.
He stopped because he said that a life all about death was no life at all. What a strange statement, I thought. A very North American view. Most of us spend our lives running away from death, ignoring, trying to banish it, fearing it for those we love. But really, life is all about death. I know that statement may sound depressing and horrible to many people, but it's actually the prescription for living life as fully as you can. Buddhism focuses strongly on the acceptance of death as being the only way to learn to live in the moment.
I think his ability to connect to those that have passed on to wherever they go, is a truly magical gift. Of course, the way they portrayed it in the movie is that he was able to bring peace to people by picking up on the very issue that had plagued them since the death of their loved one. It would never be so simple and elegant in real life. But I still think it would be something that would bring so much comfort to people. Even to say the things that they couldn't say while the person was alive.
I was on a thread there in the last few entries, but I got distracted and lost it. I think I was veering towards the strange events that have been happening in my life in the last few months. They started when I went to see a tarot card reader, who gave me the most amazing reading I have ever received. And, I paid her for one hour, and I was there for over two!!But she had said that the layout of my cards were incredible, like nothing she had seen for a long time...maybe she was lying???
I can feel my heart slowly cracking open, thawing I guess is what is happened. It's not that I am a cold person, it is just that I have set up a very strong barrier around my bleeding heart to protect it. I have always been extremely sensitive, and I never learned how to take care of that part of me, it was not well received in my family, so all I could really do is shut it down. Stop feeling a lot of things. Avoid vulnerability, avoid showing who I really am to protect against any rejection and abandonment.
I know this is not a unique story. I know many people live much of their lives this way. I know most of us get hurt the first time very badly, and in response shut down a part of ourselves so that we never have to feel that again. But some of us feel this hurt from a very young age, and we have no way to deal with it. It is huge, because the love and approval of our parents and family is the centre of our lives. If the rejection comes from there, who can you turn to?
So the heart is finally deciding it is strong enough to take a few blows without being destroyed. I think spending more time by myself, meditating, etc. has brought me closer to myself. Has made me understand better who I am, instead of looking at how I am defined by other people. That is what is making me stronger. I am not so worried anymore about what people think of me. Not worrying so much about making everybody else happy, and making sure that I am not upsetting them. So much more freedom and authenticity in relationships. Be here now.
I went to this workshop of a writer who I have really admired for many years. I haven't even read any of her books (I know, that is crazy), but I relate to what she writes about. I really enjoyed the workshop and even bought one of her books which she signed for me. She was very approachable and just kind of a normal person. The freaky thing is, I looked at the synopsis of her most recent novel, and it is so similar to the novel that I started writing for NaNo WriMo last year. I couldn't believe it!
Well, I think I was writing about my husband being psychic. Or maybe I was writing about the amazing spiritual experiences that are popping up all over the place. Magical experiences one might say. Who knows. Why am I worrying about what I was writing about. Why don't I worry about here and now. What am I thinking at this very moment. too many things, I think, and that is why I am looking for a focus. Anyway, I am on a high still because I am going to be published for the very first time in a major newspaper.
That last entry ended abruptly, I was just on a role and I had already hit 100 words. Yes, I have a piece that has been accepted for publication in the Globe and Mail, one of our national newspapers. I know I said I still can't believe it. I still really can't believe it. More for the way it happened than the fact that it actually happened. I'm so excited, I'm not making any sense. What I mean is, it is a personal essay piece that I sat down and wrote in about 20 minutes without really thinking about it.
The day I wrote it my husband was really sick, and he had finally been able to fall asleep after being up all night, so I was trying to do something quiet so I wouldn't wake him up. I banged it out and then just left it, thinking it didn't really make a lot of sense, it was just a collection of things that I had been thinking about that had happened around the time of my dad's death. When I came back to it a few days later and re-read it, I thought that it actually wasn't bad.
It wasn't brilliant, but it wasn't bad. I played around with it a little bit, added a few scenes because it was a bit heavy on the exposition and light on the narrative scenes. And then I just sent it off to the G & M, thinking it doesn't matter, I just need to start sending out more stuff. I knew that they took at least four weeks to get back to you, and only then if they were planning to publish. It's the old "because of the volume of submissions, we can only respond to those that are being published".
Unlike my usual behaviour, I didn't think about it much. I didn't obsessively check my email everyday, four times a day. I didn't hold out hope, but I wasn't agonizing either, like I normally do. I wasn't letting my whole writing future be dependent on that one acceptance or rejection. I really just tried to do my Buddhist thing and just let it go. I thought about it several times, but after the requisite four weeks had passed, I thought, well, just try again. I really didn't think it was that great a piece, so that was part of it.
Then a few days ago, when I was at work, this thought popped into my head that I would receive a message from my husband that the editor had called and that they wanted to publish my piece. I was relishing the fact that I hadn't even told my husband about sending it in (he hates my secretive behavior)and that he would be so surprised.
That evening we were talking and I was checking my email and I saw the response from the G & M. Part of me thought "oh, it's just the response saying, sorry..."
I was in such a strange mood today, I decided to stop on the way home from shopping to sit on a park bench by the water, just to smell the fresh sea air. It is still cool out, but the sun was shining for a brief period, so I decided to take advantage. While I was sitting there,a group of four crows came over and joined me. Now I know people generally hate crows, but they had a very peaceful feeling about them. I had no food, so they weren't after that, but they just stayed with me.
Do four crows constitute a "murder"? I am still looking for the origin of that word as it relates to a group. Some say it describes the behaviour of crows when they are in a group.
Two of the four crows eventually flew off, but two stayed. One was a very young crow, very sleek blue/black with quick movements and a keen eye. The other had feathers that were sticking out, and I could swear it had gone slightly grey. It just had a look of being a little frayed around the edges from the events of it's life.
These two crows sat to the right of me on the back of a park bench, the younger one watching the older one - no darting glances around. Then the older one just started to caw. Not the cranky, scratchy caw that we usually hear in the city, warning of danger, or of a good food supply, but a very clear and desperate sounding cry. It sounded to a human ear like she gave exactly the same cry, rhythmically, over and over again. It must have been 30 times while I sat and watched her. She looked over at me once.
She was telling the young crow something important (maybe, if you are going to waste your time with humans, make sure they have some to food), but I also had the sense that she was trying to tell me something too. As suddenly as she started, she stopped and the two sat quietly. I felt overcome by something indescribable, and all I could do was get up and walk quickly back to my van. Once safely in, I began to cry. Not a gentle cry, but a lung crushing cry that seemed to erupt from the very centre of me.
In the past, after an experience like the one with the two crows, I would have thought "what the fuck?", and as the explosive tears came, I would have thought, "I am definitely losing my mind". But this time,as I was bent over the steering wheel crying I had a very clear sense, not a vision, but a feeling of my mother, and it just seemed to make so much sense that me, the crows and my mother were connected somehow. And for some weird reason, that didn't seem crazy at all.It felt like it made absolute sense.
Some people say that crows have an ability to go back and forth between the two worlds, the physical and the spirit world. They say that crows bring important messages from the the other side. The only problem is my mom is still alive. Well, mostly anyway. Although her body is still in the physical world, I believe that her mind has left it and is working away on a completely different level. I always felt that my mom had some sort of psychic ability that she feared and hid very well behind her outward devotion to the Catholic Church.
I didn't immediately try and analyze the crow's message (did I just say that?), which is what I would have normally done with such an unfamiliar experience. Instead, after the crying was over, I felt lighter, and just let myself feel that. The next morning, I woke up feeling like somebody was whispering to me, "open your mouth, and don't be afraid of the words that come out".
So that was the just one of the "animal messages" that I have received in the last few weeks. There have been, and will be, many more for me to wonder at.
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