January 28, 2009

Eldermuse.net Is Coming To Your Internet Soon

Eldermuse.net Speaks To Your Better Half. That part of you which realizes that our present world is insane, does not honor Human spirit, because it does not honor Human Beings. Especially female Human Beings, and their children. All over the globe women suffer mightily, daily, in almost always mute pain. But this is not to lay blame. This is to speak to your better half, to honor the part of you which loves life. The part who loves the here and now, who loves and feels passionately about beauty in the world, who seeks it out, who surrounds herself with it. Truth is beauty. Beauty is truth. Thank you Mr. Soc.
Eldermuse.net speaks to the part of you which wishes goodness and justice to prevail. Which seeks no revenge, because she realizes that ultimately there is no revenge. There are just Human Beings who must learn to live with each other. Without fighting. Without fighting. Without fighting. Enough fighting already.
Why fight when there are so many other ways to rectify what must be rectified, in fairness to all, to all parties. (Sorry, the side of insanity keeps flirting, keeps wanting to be heard. Keeps wanting to intrude into the fabric of the world. Fighting, war, cruelty, greed, cruelty, hatred, torture, cruelty. The usual suspects. The Bogey Men. Darth Himself. Always presents Himself to someone I know, or to me. He causes great pain. Great suffering. Great hardship in an already too hard life.)

Eldermuse has experienced the worst of darkness, but certainly not the worst of pain. But quite enough, thank you. Quite enough.
She has chosen to be free of the worst of grief, to move on, to not stay stuck.
She has chosen to Create, and to share what she is creating. She will share herself because she wishes to Teach. Teach what has always stirred her heart and soul; what has always been true for her; what she knows to be true. She has only this to give to the world. And she is grateful for your eyes on this page, and your heart rising in your being to sing a love song of loving your self. Of honoring who you are; your being in and part of the world.
Eldermuse has a good heart, very slowly, again, filling with joy; slowly finding a reason to live.
A good heart and a weary soul.

January 27, 2009

How Your Mind Worked

4/15/08

HOW YOUR MIND WORKED

For two and one quarter years
ever since your death
I have been unable to move, to change,
to alter the various and sundry small
containers, mostly jelly jars or such like,
placed haphazardly in my new home; the home I fled to
after your death.


These jars housed your collections of the miscellaneous.
The extra screw left over from a repair. The straight
pin taken off some doll or child’s toy in your office.
The many buttons that fell off pants or blouses grown
too tight, never sewn back, but kept with good intentions.
The glob of molding clay which you would absently knead
between your fingers to help your anxiety. A small spring,
not to hold the pen refill, no, fatter and shorter than that, of
some mysterious origin. The odd shaped, factory molded
rubbery piece that once upon a time fit between some electronic part.
And of course the push pins, thumb tacks, paperclips, and the
half inch of staples which didn’t fit when a new row of them got replaced.

These jars and their contents became almost sacred to me.
I would look at them and think I knew how your mind worked.
Think I could see you drop one or another of these objects, absently,
to be housed till the day you would retrieve it. Important enough to
not toss; rather, add to life’s detritus.
Invariably, the objects would be forgotten.
The jelly jars would half fill, and new ones would be started.

Frequently, since your death, I would pick up the screw or plastic molded piece and
kiss it, knowing that your hand, your energy, your life once held this thing.

Today, I emptied one jar.
I undid your accumulation of insignificance, so significant to me.
I was terribly conscious of what I did.
I have enough jars left to remind me of how I think I knew how your mind worked.

January 24, 2009

Prayer

I've known that I feel a very definite connection/very clear link with the Divine for at least the last 50 of my 60 years. When I consider when it began, when I became conscious of this knowing, I can remember that while taking Sunday communion I would feel a special jolt/a special kind of zing in my heart. It would feel good. Or after saying the last Hail Mary or Our Father for confession of some inane thing, I'd walk home from Saturday night confession feeling lighter/feeling a special connection to something greater than myself. I didn't really know how to think about it, but I clearly felt it. And I liked it. Taking the communion wafer and letting it melt on my tongue always felt good. Special. A cementing of this connection between me and the unknown.

When I was eight years old, my mother was placed in Belvue for "observation." New York state had only two ways to end a marriage: proof of insanity or proof of adultery. My father had my mother committed to prove she was insane. She wasn't. But she had to stay there for at least a month, and I was devastated. It was December, close to Christmas. One afternoon my father took me and my two older sisters to visit my mother. After seeing my mother in Belvue, I felt raw and in shock. There was my mother in her pajama's, with a cheap terrycloth robe, at two in the afternoon, in this place where everyone looked strange. My mother had been taken from me, to this place where she could not put on street clothes, could not own who she was; could not show her humanness via clothing identity. The institutional dress was actually undress.

I was sobbing as we said our goodbyes, and I felt shock and disbelief at what I'd just seen.
My father, sisters and I walked down Fifth avenue, and stopped at St. Patrick's Cathedral.
It was very cold outside, so we went into the Cathedral to get warm. The creche was on display for Christmas. We entered, and I was allowed to wander off on my own. I went over to look at the creche but the rows of small voltives in red glass caught my eye. It was only ten cents to light one, so I did. I took the wax starter, put it into a lit candle, then found just the right one to accept this flame. The fire took hold. I knelt down, put my head in my hands, and I began to cry. I was distraught that my mother was not with us, was not coming home. And as I cried, with my head bowed, I gradually felt a presence. Not human. Somehow I knew that I was not alone. I knew that God/The Almighty/The Universe/The Sacred was with me. I knew that I would be alright, and that my mother would be alright.

As profound an experience as this was, I believe that I didn't reflect on it as a kid. My mother came home, and my world was right again. Some years later the divorce laws changed, and my father left. We moved to California, and as a teen I became obsessed with sex and politics. There were years that I never once contemplated my Saint Patrick's awakening. I stopped going to church, and fancied myself Agnostic, during the time that I fancied myself Socialist. Then during the summer I turned 15, while taking a physiology class, my soul stirred again.
Learning about the intricacies of the human body, I realized that this perfect harmony that is our body, our being, is no accident. Could never be an accident. There is some Divine plan afoot.
It again became clear to me that we are not alone.

Reading Gertrude Stein in the university library I fell in love with her maze of words. With how she hooks the reader into considering all the nuances of language. But most importantly, she meditated, and I vowed to learn how to meditate. I knew it would be one of the things I would do in my life.

Next I realized that I no longer wanted to eat flesh. This was a very very gradual awareness. At first I eschewed flesh because of the World Hunger Crisis. This was just before the start of the Green Revolution, and Paul Ehrlich had pronounced The Population Bomb and had shown the water and soil toll of breeding animals for food versus using feed crops for humans. The desire to not eat flesh gradually changed from a political statement, to the realization that I didn't want to eat flesh because I began to find it repugnant. For me eating one flesh became eating all flesh.
I tried to not cook meat meals for me and my husband Bob, but he objected. He would have his meat daily, thus I did too.

Till I left. After six years married, ten years together/inseparable, I left Bob.
The fact of my loving women began to consume me, and I strayed. I discovered what I didn't know could be discovered because I didn't know it was there, for me, to discover. The discovery of loving women propelled me to Boston. It became very clear that I must leave, that I must be in Boston; that I must restart my life.

In Boston I stopped eating meat, and I learned how to meditate. I found my Life's Teacher: Sant Ajaib Singh Ji who initiated me into Holy Naam. I have been given five names of God to use as a mantra, to help me stay focused, to help me not fear, to help me remember The Divine. These five names have seeped into my core and repeating them has become as natural as breathing.

My one and only prayer, each day, is:
"God Help me to realize that loving You is the most important thing in my life."
This has been my daily prayer since I was in my late thirties.

After my move to Ventura Couty, I found Margaret's copy of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.
Her lover Marisa gave it to her one Christmas. "Una amiga siempre es una amiga.
Sinceramente, Marisa 12-77." I'd read The Prophet in my twenty's' of course, but I sat there and re-read it. Gibran's section on Prayer made we weep. It expressed what I feel; what I've been praying to the Universe each day since my late thirties.

Gibran says:
For what is prayer but the expansion of yourself into the living ether?

And if it is for your comfort to pour your darkness into space, it is also for
your delight to pour forth the dawning of your heart.
And if you cannot but weep when your soul summons you to prayer, she
should spur you again and yet again, though weeping, until you stall come laughing.
When you pray you rise to meet in the air those who are praying at that very
hour, and whom save in prayer you may not meet.
Therefore let your visit to that temple invisible be for naught but ecstasy
and sweet communion.
For if you should enter the temple for no other purpose than asking
you shall not receive:
And if you should enter into it to humble yourself you shall not be lifted:
Or even if you should enter into it to beg for the good of others you shall
not be heard.
It is enough that you enter the temple invisible.

I cannot teach you how to pray in words.
God listens not to your words save when He Himself utters them through your lips.
And I cannot teach you the prayer of the seas and the forests and the mountains.
But you who are born of the mountains and the forests and the seas can find their
prayer in your heart,
And if you but listen in the stillness of the night you shall hear them saying
in silence,
"Our God, who art our winged self, it is thy will in us that willeth.
It is thy desire in us that desireth.
It is thy urge in us that would turn our nights, which are thine, into days which
are thine also.
We cannot ask thee for aught, for thou knowest our needs before they are born in us:
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all."

Being Aware of Being Blessed

Being Aware of Being Blessed

Sometimes the KNOWING that I am not alone takes me by storm. Sometimes the Universe just hits me very hard with love. Kinda like a Thump on my head. OK, wake up. Keep Getting It. Keep understanding that you are not alone. You will always have help from the Universe/the World/Angels who will always assist you.

My sister Lexi ALWAYS told me that I have "good fairies" who surround me. This was something she said zillions of times to me. And truly, as my life has played out, and I consider the little bad that has happened to me, vs. the huge amount of good that I've experienced, at 60 now, I see the pattern. Proof Positive. No denying. Truly beginning to Accept that I will always have help. I must allow things to unfold. Help will always come, but I must have patience. With patience, things will unfold as they should. Exactly as they should.

So I'm driving to San Diego at 11 AM on a Thursday morning. I'm doing 70 mph in the 3rd lane of a 6 lane stretch, I-5 south, just before the Calgrove exit and I hear: thud.....thud.....thud.....thud. I think, I've got a helicopter above me, it sounds like the blades of a helicopter; but my better half knows, …. it's my tire. Then a definite THUD and the knowing is now full and complete with that feeling in your stomach, the dread you dreaded.

There are openings enough in traffic for me to pull onto the right shoulder.
After stopping, I fumble for my Emergency Roadside Assistance card, make the call; still in shock and unable to fully comprehend what the helpful young woman is trying to say.
Is it her pronunciation, or my not wanting to make this moment real, the shock effect.
The local garage, in Santa Clarita, tells me it will be about 40 to 45 minutes before they can get here. I've just got to wait. But I want to keep busy, I need to dissipate some of my shock and anxiety; so I exit my car and begin to empty the contents of my trunk to pull out the spare.
I get the jack and pump pipe, and with the lug wrench, begin to undo the lugs.
As I'm working, I realize that I won't have the strength to lift the forty plus pounds of tire off their pins, when..... out of nowhere, to my right appears a man in his mid to late 50's, wearing worn jeans and a blue jacket. He asks me if I want help. I hadn't seen or heard him pull up.

"Do you want help?"

Of course I do. And he is safe. I know this in my gut.

"Yes. Thank you. Thank you so much."

"I am doing this in The Lord's name," Angel states.

His statement, plain, unadorned, absolute, hit me hard in my soul. I knew I was in good hands.
I knew that this was another of The Lord's wake up calls to me. Another Aha moment.

But of course. And why not? In who else's name? Isn't it ALL in Her/His name anyway? I know this. I keep forgetting this. I keep being reminded of this.

So he goes about changing the tire, and shows me that I had the jack in the wrong place, and how the jack grooves fit into the grooves of the underside of the car. And in less than 5 minutes, with him telling me how to get to Valencia Road, and telling me to get off the freeway before placing another call, that I should get to safety first.....then flash. Flash.
In a flash he drove away in his car, as quickly and effortlessly as he had appeared.

I cried for the next hour. Awestruck. Filled with Grace. Filled with Love.

In The Lord's name.

January 01, 2009

Acceptance

Acceptance

I've pondered what it means to fully Accept for the past ten months. Ever since I heard an otherworldly voice charge me with this task. I thought I had accepted the death of my dearest sister Lexi, who knew my heart, who was my heart; and the death of my dearest Margaret, who knew my soul, who was my soul. But no, not good enough; still more work to be done. And I've gotten so tired of this work. I am so ready to be done with this grief slowly shredding my will to live. The crying and wondering What is my purpose now? Not caring, not wanting to continue.
So this query has nagged at me, always in the back of my mind.
What does it mean to fully Accept?

Two days before Margaret would have turned 62, on the 29th of December 2008, I believe I've solved this Koan. And it is simple, slap on the head simple (but not for one in the thick of it!).

Acceptance means to VOW to go on living. To fully embrace what is and be willing to move on.
To not stay stuck. To fully move amongst the living. To be amongst those who love me, value me, despite the fact that their love somehow doesn't seem enough; doesn't fill the void. Their love is not the totality of an 18 year relationship, cut short by death. Not the totality of a sister's knowing me from birth, and me holding her in my arms when she died. It's not the ins and outs of day to day cherishing, adoring, bickering, fighting, doing chores, talking, touching, touching, talking. It's not the totality of the whole. The totality of intimacy.

The love from family and friends is bits and pieces, fragmented, scattered and temporary as the visits and here and there conversations with them. The not so sure they heard my true intent, the shortness of the visit because we are all rushed, the failing to finish a story. The not getting back to the point, because after all, I don't see them, don't communicate with them day to day, as I did with Margaret.

I leave the son of my deceased sister and drive home alone. The beauty of his face, his clear brown eyes, the line of his hair, etched in my mind; his nose which is my father's nose; his long, elegant fingers, also my father's. He is my nephew, our love for each other is real and deep; but this love can never truly complete me, as Margaret's love did.

It is only a fragment, a bit, a piece of the love from the many, many in my life who care about me. I know they truly care about me. A piece that I must now learn to cobble together, as a mosaic, a tapestry of my reason to continue to live. A mosaic of acceptance of what is. The weaving together of a new meaning to my life, a willingness to move into the future.
A vow to go on living.

Orion

Orion

I salute you mighty Orion, visible each clear night,
(and most nights are clear in southern California)
taking up a goodly portion of my southeastern sky.
Standing bold and strong, fearing no one, nothing.
You command without ever bearing your sword.

I cherish your existence, the fact of your being,
the fact that the light here is dim enough to see you.
You bring me great peace, comfort to my heart.
To know that the elements of the Sky persist,
regardless of our place in the world.
To know that the Moon will wax and wane each
28 days; that I can greet the tiniest sliver of the new Moon,
my favorite Moon , never failing to bring a smile to my face.

For those who have lost much, the permanence of these
Lights, these suns of other worlds, planets and moon of our world,
allow us to appreciate our place in this vastness.
May my heart return to the stardust from which it was created.