Sunday, March 31, 2013
Easter Sunday celebrates the resurrection of Christ. Outside of the Christian context, this time of year represents the return of spring, the beginning of the growing season, and renewal of the year. I always thought that the first day of spring ought to be considered the “new year” and that dawn should represent the start of any day. This Easter morning (it is currently 5 AM CST), it is foggy and filled with birdsong. The sky has not yet begun to lighten, but I can feel the dawn’s approach. This morning, I will bless and consecrate this new home with sage and prayer.
My husband sleeps quietly in the back; my great gray cat, Rocky stands sentinel behind my computer screen, the little Siamese Sassy sleeping somewhere in a warm corner. The only sound is that of my fingers on the keyboard and the birds welcoming the day and seeking mates. (Oh, and the Hum, of course—which thankfully is not as audible in here as it is in the house.)
Thursday, we moved the RV from the muddy yard into the solid street. A well-placed phone call secured us an exemption from the parking regulations to facilitate our final relocation from our home on tierra firma to our new home on terra rota.
We spent the day moving little things, and Rick moved himself permanently into the RV. I sat in the echoing room that was about to become my former office, while Rick held court. All the friends that frequent our abode dropped in to chat with him. Normally, they would pass by my open office door, say “Hello” or chat with me on the way in or out. But Thursday, I was alone, like a ghost in my own house. By early evening, I had had a few drinks, when I discovered that “everybody” had been here, but nobody had stopped in to see me. I had a complete meltdown.
Suddenly, I was abandoned—again. I was alone—again. He was sitting in the RV, laughing and talking with our friends and I was the one still working and, once again, left out. Something inside snapped and I was suddenly crying hysterically and yelling about being forgotten.
God bless Rick. Even though I was angry and yelling and crying all at once, he smiled sympathetically and made the right noises, and simply encouraged me to once-and-for-all, relocate my “office” into our new home. Sniffling, scared, mad and sad all at one time, I listened to him, and the rest of the evening was spent feeling all these feelings and giving them vent. Rick has always been wise enough to let me express my emotions, knowing that once given a good airing out, they will return soon enough to equilibrium. I may have a solid (and solitary) moon in Capricorn, but I am an Aries after all. An Aries with the perfect husband for me.
Yesterday, I spent some time listening to the Solfeggio frequencies to combat the depression working its way into my spirit. Apparently, it worked.
I began in earnest to move all my office accoutrements to the RV. File boxes of writing and Psycards things, office supplies. I moved my full-color, three-way HP printer and secured it on an upper shelf. The less-expensive-to-run second printer (also HP) will find its home on a shelf above the kitchen table—now my new office.
Months of attempting to make this move resulted in redundancies, so I gathered all the office supplies and related items and put them out on the bed and began to sort. After a couple of hours, I managed to put all my daily office supply needs in one carry-tray. My current, in-progress, paperwork is in a small cardboard file holder next to it, also on the kitchen table. Supplies like empty file folders and labels and such are on the little table between the guest chairs. Other things, like printer ink and my CD and flash drive backup files are in the upper cabinet near the door. Packed full, too.
The file boxes went to the granny (that big sleeping space above the driving compartment) with plastic buckets of clothes, art supplies and canvases, tool boxes of paints and drawing supplies.
The same process yielded success with the closet full of tools and useful things, and the kitchen stuff (still in process). We are cramped, but we are here, and the organization is progressing.
We have discovered two new challenges—our blackwater tank is cracked from the winter’s cold, and therefore unusable (no toilet here, we have to run into the house), and the refrigerator has decided to be uncooperative and not keep cold. Two more expenses and we’re not even out of the gate.
But the Universe will provide—it always has,
in one way or another.
This morning, I feel renewed, I feel the promise of spring. And I recall that I was born on Good Friday, and so this is my own birth-day season. I welcome this birth and pledge to put my anxieties behind me.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Part of developing your intuition is listening to your body and your instincts about your body. I often find that some of my earliest instincts have been proven right, even though they were culturally unfashionable at the time.
Our feet are an important way in which we stay “grounded” and connected to the earth. The feet have chakras that help us release negative energy into the earth where it can be recycled. The relationship we have with our feet—and as a matter of course, our shoes—can affect our entire energy balance, as well as our biological well-being.
When I was a kid in the 1960s, we had sneakers—Keds were my favorites. They weren’t very restrictive, just a soft canvas shoe with a thin layer of rubber and a small arch support. I confess, I loved my Keds because I thought they were cute and they looked pretty on my feet.
I discovered, too, if I ran with the balls of my feet, I could run faster. Especially if I was barefoot. It was like flying, dancing over the moving ball of the earth, connecting and pushing it beneath me. I wasn’t really propelling the earth, but it still felt like magic.
|The Wildwoods in the 1970s, facing North. We lived at the far end in the distance on that angle of land to the right--Anglesea, which stuck out into Hereford's Inlet towards Avalon island.|
When I was a teenager living at the Jersey shore, I spent nearly all summer barefoot or in flip-flops for the days when the beach sand was too hot to walk on directly. (My winters spent shod softened and sensitized the soles of my feet.) I also had vivid psychic experiences at that time and felt a deep connection to the earth and its movements, as well as the rhythms of the sea as they echoed deep against the shore.
When my oldest child was born, I let her parade around barefoot as much as possible. My reasoning was this: children have been barefoot for millions of years and managed to learn to walk. I felt very deeply that this was the “right” way to be—unshod whenever possible, that God made feet to work just fine without shoes.
When my daughter was learning to walk, my mother-in-law sent us some money to buy orthopedic baby shoes. You know—those hard white leather shoes that often end up being bronzed. (They may as well be bronzed to start with!) I had memories of those shoes from my own childhood. They made my feet hot, and they rubbed the bones on my ankles and heels and made blisters. They also made my silky ankle socks slide down and wedge uncomfortably under my heel. I also had a suspicion that they weakened my ankles.
I really didn’t like the idea of purchasing expensive “proper” baby shoes, when the same money could be used to purchase some soft-soled shoes like moccasins or canvas sneakers, and still have enough left over for a month’s worth of diapers. When I mentioned this to my sister-in-law, who was studying to be a nurse, you would have thought that I had just prescribed crippling my own child.
Sure enough, a couple of days later, my mother-in-law (God rest her soul) called, outraged and crying because she was so upset. Lisa had told her I refused to let my baby wear shoes. I was clearly Barbarian-of-the-Month. Now, I had not said I was refusing to buy shoes, only that I didn’t feel it was necessary to spend a great deal of money on those awful, foot-crunching “baby shoes.”
In the end, because I was a young mother (19), and had not yet learned to trust my own instincts and stand up for my point of view, the baby ended up with those shoes. (Although I only put them on her when the in-laws were around.)
|Early Nike running shoe.|
Then in the 1970s, the running craze began. And the shoes soon followed. Big, ugly, clunky, lumpy-looking running shoes. And like the baby shoes, expensive. Ugh.
These days, I find I have trouble with my own feet. My intuition tells me that it was from years of wearing high heels—the most unforgiving of shoes ever invented.
High Heels Cause Long-Term Damage, Discovery online
|The feet inside those shoes. Pointy like high heels.|
|The "pretty" little feet of Japan.|
But they were sexy and I was a cocktail waitress and I made good money in those heels. Today I am paying for it with plantar fasciitis, falling arches and lots of foot pain, as well as trouble with my lower back, hips and knees. I also suspect that those high heels that women are taught to adore are really a kind of hobbling—like the foot-binding of old Japan—a way to keep women from running, and to make them into sex objects, causing what is now being called “Barbie feet.”
Study Shows High Heels Damage Leg Muscles, FitSugar.com
|2013 popular shoe fashions|
In spite of the biological reality, this year's fashion in shoes remains appalling.
Ladies, please take note. One of the main causes of plantar fasciitis is the “elevation of the heel” which shortens the connective tissues especially the ligaments, of the foot and heel. They may be fun to wear once in a while, but if you are young and still have good feet, stop wearing heels as a daily exercise. Corporate dress code be damned. (I think you should lose the bras, too, but that is another rant.) Wear shoes that let your feet be as real and natural as possible, the way that evolution and God (yes, I believe in both) intended. A million years of evolution can’t possibly be wrong.
|Bunion from high heels in a young woman--notice the painful displacement of the bones.|
Allowing your feet to do what they were made to do (boots were not really made for walking), will also help you to energetically reconnect with the earth, to stay grounded and better process and release negativity.
Today research is showing that shoes of all kinds are doing real damage to the human foot and that the best and most natural way is to be as close as possible to barefoot. Check out this link about running barefoot:
Dr. Daniel Lieberman on Barefoot Running, Nature Journal
According to Dr. Robert A. Kornfeld, the founder of the Institute for Integrative Podiatric Medicine, said in the Huffington Post, “the prevalence of foot and ankle problems has skyrocketed over the past three decades.”
Maybe from all those awful shoes.
Also check out:
Myths about shoes: (http://www.lemsshoes.com/Shoe-Myths_ep_58-1.html)
Saturday, March 16, 2013
I think I am beginning to see the wisdom of the Universe in placing all these delays. I think I am beginning to remember who I used to be—who I really am.
|The Magic Pants. Brushed denim, hot pink, hip-hugger, bell-bottoms. Now picture them with embroidered flowers, peace signs, and an earth flag, with the knees torn. Ah, youth!|
- We haven’t sold the Explorer yet because the RV is frozen in the mud and we need transportation still.
- This delay has given me time. Lots of time. Time to grieve, time to put the distance I desperately needed from someone who was very disruptive and stressful in my life. Time to really see and appreciate how much my husband takes care of things and makes thing happen. He is a master of manifestation. (See the story of the Rent Fairy below.) Time to organize and plan and pack and write and to just think! Time to be quiet. Time to meditate and get back in touch with myself. A kind of forced spiritual retreat.
- The delay forced me to re-think our travel plan. The way things are now, we won’t be traveling 2,000 miles in a month—yet. We will be traveling in familiar territory—Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois. This will give us time to drive the RV and discover and fix any little problems that arise. Time to figure out how to use all its systems efficiently and effectively. Time to find the leak in the water tank, to learn to use the sewage system, to run the generator. And to discover any problems while we are still close to where we have support from family and friends.
- This delay also made sure that I didn’t cut all my ties to this community. I was afraid of starting completely new, of losing all the buzz and good connections I have made in the Quad Cities. This way, I can continue to be available for readings and investigations, etc.
- Now that it has been quiet and basically just Rick and I together here in this echoing house, I have begun to rediscover me.
- I remembered today that I used to be the girl who had a pair of “magic pants.” They were pink and bell-bottomed and I had embroidered on them and put patches on them (it was the early 70s, after all). (Hot pink, hip-hugger, bell-bottoms. I have a picture of me in them, but the photos are in storage at the moment.) Money multiplied in my pocket. Literally. Every time I had folding money and I put it in my pocket in those pants, I always ended up with more than when I started. I would break a bill (usually a $1 bill) and put the change in the front pocket. I never spent the change, just broke another bill. Then, at the end of the day or the journey, I would empty the pockets and have as much, if not more, than I started with. It was truly a manifestation of Divine Abundance. I need to remember how to have magic pockets again.
- I was the girl who regularly and optimistically declared that “Blessings really do fall from the sky.” And I believed it. And they did. Others thought I was silly, and eventually I was cowed into being less magical. Now I know I was right all along. Blessings really do fall from the sky. Every day. Blessed surprises from heaven.
- I remember, too, that I was always self-sufficient. If I had a goal, I could make it happen. At age 14, I saved enough money from odd jobs and babysitting to pay for my own ticket to Skaneateles, New York, to spend the summer with my cousins in a beautiful town in upstate New York, swimming, sailing, fishing, making new friends, playing outdoors with my cousins. And I made it happen because I didn’t want to spend the summer in the dirty, crowded, dangerous, hot city.
- At 16, I saved enough money to pay for a trip to Greece! Our school had a class trip planned and I earned enough to pay for the trip and spending money, too. Unfortunately, it was 1973, and the oil embargo caused severe oil shortages. The school decided to save fuel by cancelling our trip. (Thank you, Mr. Nixon!) Otherwise, I would have spent my seventeenth birthday in Athens. (Sigh…)
So, I am beginning again to rediscover my own capacity to see the potential good in what seems to be frustrations and delays. And I know, in my heart of hearts, that this attitude is the real me, and it is the attitude that makes life a happy thing. Thank you, Abundant Universe!
The Rent Fairy
Rick and I were first together (actually back together after a 3-month breakup). We were living in a rent-by-the-week cottage in a former migrant worker camp turned “motel” called Baker’s Acre in Tempe, Arizona. We were recovering from homelessness, and I had recently taken a job in a resume office. But I wasn’t making enough money to pay the rent alone. The first two weeks, I managed, but the third or fourth week, I came up short. During the entire time we were there, I kept telling him, “I need you to go to work!” I was determined not to have another deadbeat man in my life. But Rick, Buddha that he is, was confident, certain the Universe would provide. I was mad, because rent day came due and we didn’t have enough money. This was a place that could evict us in 24 hours.
I came home from work that day we had a fight. I was ranting and raving about being responsible and why hadn’t he found work yet and then the remark that I thought was very pointed and clever. “Where did you think the money was going to come from, Rick? The rent fairy?”
He left—I presumed to walk off and stew for awhile. About half an hour later, he returned and handed me a check made out to Baker’s Acre for the rent.
Amazed, I asked him. “Where did you get this?” He grinned and answered, “The rent fairy!”
A friend of his, whom he had helped many times in the past had recently come into a sum of money and she loaned it to him. Bibbity-bobbity-boo. Blessings really do fall from the sky—when you expect them to.
I thought I would be posting this from somewhere on the west coast—northern California, Oregon, Washington—but alas it is not to be this year.
So our adventure drags on in the capricious weather of a Midwestern March, our RV sunken and frozen into the mud in the yard, a stack of boxes and other items waiting the last load to storage. Our voices echo in the empty house and The Hum is back and louder than ever—most noticeably between 2 and 8 AM.
Keyed-up, frustrated and sleep-deprived, I am trying to maintain a positive outlook. “God has a plan,” I keep telling myself. “We are waiting on the will of Heaven.” Some days I even believe that.
Yesterday it was warm enough and sunny enough to spend a little time outdoors. I cleaned up some trash in the yard, and put some of my garden things (a trellis, a lawn chair) at the front of the property with a “free” sign. The snowdrops are about to bloom and the crocuses, too. When I saw them, I thought I would dig them up and put them in a container and give them to my daughter Sarah for her house, but the ground is still too frozen. But I put fresh potting soil in my two tiny houseplants (an ivy and an African violet, my plant companions for the journey), and it felt fabulous to get my hands in the dirt. I spent about a half hour putzing like this and the fresh air was very renewing. I need to get out into nature. Staying indoors for weeks on end is suppressing my vitality.
Perhaps I will be liberated before my birthday. Mercury goes direct in a couple of days (on the 17th), so perhaps that will signal the breaking of our “Iowa Ice Jam.”
We do have bookings beginning in May. Venus Envy at BucktownCenter for the Arts here in Davenport on May 4. The DubuqueRenaissance Fair in May 18 and 19. Iowa Metaphysical Fair in Des Moines on June 1 and 2nd. Quad Cities Paracon OR the International New Age Trade Show in Denver the weekend of June 21-24. I could also be a speaker at the local group of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONSQC) on June 13.
I suppose in the meantime, I will continue to upgrade my social networking skills and projects. I can write a 20-minute presentation for Psycards for group lectures. I can write a proposal for a one-day class in astrology for community colleges, parks and rec departments, etc. I can submit Bartleby to more agents. I can submit Psycards to more agents. I can finish building ezrabartleby.com and launch it. Once I receive my bookstore list from New Leaf, I can contact them to schedule events. I can finish and launch the Indiegogo project to raise some money. I can keep up with this blog. It’s not like there’s nothing to do…
Monday, March 11, 2013
|Me in my office last year.|
I haven’t been posting because we are not yet on the road. Then a friend suggested that I share my delays and frustrations with my readers, because they, too, are likely experiencing frustrations and delays.
Our planned October departure has been delayed by nearly six months now. It has been the longest Iowa winter I’ve ever experienced. The house is nearly empty and our voices echo through the derelict rooms. Furniture is either sold or stored. We have no appliances. I am working on my laptop on a card table, surrounded by pre-packed items ready to go the RV, items that I have to periodically rummage through because we aren’t actually living in the RV and life goes on. (Where is that file? Honey, do you have the battery charger?)
|My office now.|
It has been an enormous test of my patience, which runs on the thin side to start with. I have been like a caged tiger, pacing, waiting to pounce on something, anything.
The causes of the delays are myriad. There is no running water in the RV because it’s too cold outside. We can’t cook in the house because there are no appliances. I can sleep on the couch inside and be warm, but my husband is sleeping in the RV. If I sleep in the RV and have to go to the bathroom, I have to get up, cross the yard in the snow or the rain or the freezing wind to use the facilities indoors. The RV is sunk in frozen mud under her back wheels. We must wait for the ground to thaw. We must wait for the vehicle(s) to be sold. We must wait for the next check on the first. Longest winter of my life.
Despite the constant frustration, I really am trying to make the best of it. I remind myself several times a day that the Universe has its own timing, its own reasons for any delay. The hard part is not knowing what those reasons might be. Accepting that I may never know.
Instead, I have been reading, writing sporadically. I have rediscovered the power of meditation—meditation on my own terms. I learned about the Solfeggio frequencies, and utilize the free meditations on YouTube. There are lots of them, here is only one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yldeSTA1nto.
I have been reading and re-reading the works of Florence Scovel Shinn. Learning acupressure techniques for pain relief. Playing games on Facebook (lots of playing games on Facebook!)
I finally broke down and joined Twitter. I am working on making Psycards an eBook, as well as my novel, Bartleby: A Scrivener’s Tale. This morning I spent several hours searching images for woodcuts from the 1800s that I can include in the novel (public domain images). Learning what pixels and sizes they have to be to be compatible with Kindle and other electronic reading devices.
We are so close to being able to leave here. There is one more small load to go to storage. There is a pile of stuff to be moved into the RV, which will take me less than 48 hours to hump out there, sort and put away (some of it, I suspect, will actually end up in storage). We have re-arranged our original travel plan and now expect to spend the summer in the center part of the U.S. (Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, Kansas, etc.)
I have moved beyond my grief about leaving. I have shed my tears, although I’m not sure I want to be here when the crocuses begin blooming and reminding me of the garden I’m leaving behind.
|Crocuses in the spring.|
One of our seven cats had to be put down—aged 13 and nervously chewing the end of her tail off in chunks! We waited several weeks for the behavior to pass, but it didn’t and she also began to get unpredictable, suddenly sinking her claws into the flesh of someone trying to be loving. She became increasingly erratic and I was finally convinced that senility had set in. Poor Ewok. Paul and I buried her in the back yard one afternoon and had a good cry in a freezing, drizzling rain.
Another cat, Jasmine, our 20-year-old calico went to live with my oldest daughter. But then daughter had to move in a hurry and left the cat behind, who was—as far as we could tell—lost in a trailer park in the snow. One day, we went looking for her, and found her. She had been adopted by a nice older couple—the man had named her “Spot”—and when I attempted to take Jazzy from the porch, the woman nearly begged me to let them keep her. So, with great sobs of sorrow and gratitude, I gave Jasmine to them. I miss her.
|Fluffers with an offering.|
Fluffers, the kitten we brought with us from Arizona in 1999, had taken to pooping everywhere and anywhere I disturbed the environment. If I moved a piece of furniture, she pooped on it. If I removed a piece of furniture, she pooped in the spot where it used to be. When I set up the moving sale, she tried to poop on every table I set up. Finally a friend agreed to adopt her—they had compatible personalities. She was better in her new home for a little while, but recently ran off to live beneath the trailer two doors away. I feel so guilty. She must feel betrayed and abandoned. But I can’t have her here pooping away on everything! And there is no taking this kitty on the road—she is fiercely independent and refuses any sign of a leash or other containment. She was our biggest hunter and the mother of many of our other cats, the last in a long line of felines I have had since the 1980s. Losing her marks the end of an era, the end of a bloodline. She was also the smallest bundle of fierce I’ve ever seen—long haired orange tabby who couldn’t have weighed more than 4 or 5 pounds. Picking her up was like holding a little bird. She used to bring me birds, in fact, offerings from her hunting prowess.
Sophia (aka Bill Cat), and Mrs. Beardsley (better known as Chin-Chin) will be moving with our roommate Paul to his new home with our friend Cindy—another psychic who has a house full of cats. They will be in good hands. Paul has helped care for our animals for years now, and they all love him.
The remaining two—Rocky, the great gray green-eyed grimalkin king of the house, and Sassy, the little bossy Siamese princess—will be traveling with us in the RV. These are the cats that are most truly bonded to us. Sassy is Rick’s cat through and through, sleeping in his lap, or behind his back in his office chair, eating Cheetos from a miniature toy dog bowl. Rocky is glued to me—except when I want him to be—following me from room to room. If I’m working, he has to be on the desk (he prefers to lay across my right arm so I can’t use the mouse), if I’m sleeping he has to lay above my head and fights me for the pillow. So we each have our spirit-guardian cat in tow.
|My husband Rick and our roommate Paul.|
Perhaps I needed this time to adjust. Time to get used to doing with less, time to re-learn how to be quiet, how to meditate, how to listen to my own innermost thoughts and feelings, time to grieve.
I think I’m ready now. Ready to go. But I must wait on the Will of Heaven. Perhaps there is still some little lesson waiting to be learned before we are given the green light.
As my friend, Whitney, reminded me, “People plan and the Universe laughs.”