Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Matrix, Part....?

It's a common problem in ghost hunting, and often in some of our everyday lives. We hear things in our environment, like refrigerator motors running, the sound of baseboard heat or air conditioner vents. We may suffer from Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) that varies in pitch. Suddenly, the noise or the ringing sounds familiar. Is that a few bars of an old tune? Was that someone...or something... calling our name?

We are investigating a house. There is an antique mirror on the wall. No matter how many times it is cleaned, a fuzzy hand print still remains. We look up at a window of a “haunted” house. The sun is bright, the trees move in the breeze, the clouds speed across the blue sky and, suddenly, we see a face looking down at us through the window glass.

Dots....or Aunt Dottie?
It's called “Matrixing” - when our minds strive to create recognizable images and sound from random noise, hums, blurs and reflections. A typical example from our youth is when we stretched out on the grass, and saw dragons and other mystical beasts in the cloud formations floating overhead.

Sometimes Matrixing happens in lives, as well. I know that I have often looked at my job, the home situation, my friends, and saw things that were never there, or weren't what they appeared. I have taken a clear look at those people who have populated my life of late, and have been both comforted and bewildered by what I found, once I looked past the layers and images my mind created. Some were true, and some were illusion, just like ghosts in a mirror.

My time working home during my leg crisis (15 months!) also gave me a different perspective on my function, my management, and my co-workers. That served me well. I returned to the office for half days starting last week. No one threw confetti or released helium balloons and doves. No one had “welcome back” coffee and donuts set out. No one offered to GET me a cup of coffee. It was just the way I knew it would be. I had gained a clearer picture from my time away. I was prepared for the silence.

Tumbleweeds.. All I need are crickets...
In the authoring of my own live, however, I am still trying to leave the Matrix behind. I earn my living in a professional capacity – but that is not me. That is not my passion, my universe. I am good at what I do because I have pride in those things which bear my signature. My name means something to me, and I will do what I must to keep it honorable. Yet, my profession is not my heart's desire.

I have aways seen myself as a writer. In grade school, in high school, in college, it was Kat, a pen, and a loose leaf book, a blank book, or a journal. I won awards for poetry, published my first vignette while still in college, won the William Carlos Williams awards when I was 23, and taught for the National Endowment for the Arts when I was 24. I met writers I'd no hope of meeting, broke bread with people in my field whom I admired for years, and finally wrote for a magazine in which I wanted to appear since my teens.

I wrote one book, developed a prediction system (Graven Images Oracle), wrote another book, and am working on the third. And yet...

Is That what I want to do? If so, is this the way I want to do it?

I have always been of one mind with Dorothy Parker. I hate writing, but love having written. Never having had a biological offspring of my own (my Jen is a foster) I don't know if I can accurately describe the creative process as akin to child birth. I'm told kidney stones are worse than labor, and I've had one of those – and yeah, OK, sometimes writing is like that. The idea, the desire, the funny bits, the great lines of poetry, kick around in my psyche until they just HAVE to come out. I can't focus on anything else, can't sit still (physically and metaphorically) and then – whoosh! The real pressure begins, I rush to my notebook, grab my pen, and commerce the struggle.

After hours of cross-outs, circles, arrows, additions, doodles, question marks in parentheses and ink scrawls that barely pass for English, I'm done. It gets typed up in Open Office and then I've either given birth to a beautiful, new work of linguistic persuasion – or I've popped out the world's “ugliest baby”. Such is my process.

True, it's not engraved in stone or immortalized in papyrus, (“Elders” damn near wrote itself) yet it is the norm for me. Have I embraced this as my calling because of the destination only? Isn't the journey the vital aspect? Do I want to squeeze out book after book, or does my True Will lie elsewhere? Am I more fulfilled writing articles and teaching, and perhaps producing the occasional book?

I have finally gotten a bit beyond the Matrixing and realize that I love words; I love being a writer. The goal is not to be prolific, The goal is to be good. I'm as content with the idea of writing my upcoming "Fate" articles as I would be penning a series of Wiccan books. (Don't get me wrong: I'm happy to be working on “Myth Spelling”, but no longer feel that I must look past it to line up the concepts for the NEXT manuscript.)

Ultimately, I discovered what I really want to do after retirement (only a few years away!) I  want my New Age Bookstore, the one I've dreamed about. I want to run it with my nephew Keith. I'll call it: Three Willows, Books and Beyond (Keith says I'm in charge of the Beyond section.) It will have a Victorian tea parlor for readings, and a lecture/Circle room. I can still have my love affair with words but also instruct, because I now know my calling. I'm not a Writer who teaches; I'm a Teacher who writes....

... and therein lies the difference.

Monday, June 13, 2011

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Ophelia?

This is Ophelia.
 She is an aloe plant.  Looks normal, no? Her name SHOULD be Cleopatra, for reasons that will soon be clear.

She was a gift from my daughter and son-in-law four years ago, presented to me during my healing Circle. After all, nothing says healing like an aloe...right?
I'm great with outdoor plants, but not so much with indoor. Thankfully, an aloe needs little care. Ophelia grew and had babies. These were also given away as gifts, and Ophelia was given a nice new pot. She continued to thrive, and reach out to the two other plants on my kitchen window sill...and reach out...and reach out... One day, I found her spiny “leaves” forked around the “throat” of my lucky bamboo. She got moved further away, and turned inward towards the kitchen.

While I was recovering from my surgery, I had to wash my hair in the kitchen sink. On occasion, I would feel something tapping the top of my skull. I would bring my head up... and be face-to-face with Ophelia. If a plant could grin... She got turned towards the refrigerator.

So, now I'm not sure. Is she just being her own unique self, or is she trying to make it down and out the kitchen to go snack on the shih tzu?

The jury is still out. I know she's an aloe, but she reminds me of another plant with similar structure:
Cleopatra enjoying a bowl of...?

In other news, I went down to the police station in Somerset and positively identified myself on the janitor's tape (see last entry). It was a shock to my system. I remembered an old school chum who is a lawyer in New Brunswick. I called him about the case, and will meet with him tomorrow. Thank the Gods. I would hate to go through this, relying on a complete stranger.

Meanwhile, I got my new CRO..the “octopus”. That's not the brand name, but it should be. One strap goes across the toes. OK so far. Next there are two straps to the left, and two straps to the right, bolted to the CRO in the center of the back. Being made of Velcro, the minute you get out of the contraption, the straps all start getting warm and fuzzy with each other until there is real jumble love going on back there. It makes it almost impossible to untangle and put back on. (Sight) this, too, shall pass.

CRO - side view

CRO - behaving badly
Oh yes, and the Allergist!. He asked lots and lots of questions. He looked at my picture of my hives, (I'm smart, I took a picture in case they went away on the day of my appointment!)

 He jotted notes, then spit out a really complication name which, in plain language, means “indeterminate hives.”
Yes, I have hives from an unknown cause.
$40 bucks, please.

I still had to go for blood tests because I'm diabetic. We must make sure there are no deadly nasties causing them, just confused, post menopausal hormones. This is typical of my medical diagnoses through the years: I either have 6 months to live, or I have to change my dryer sheets. There's never anything in between.

Well, I start my first day back in the office tomorrow, after which I go to speak with my mouthpiece. Wish me luck.

Next time the entry will be more “food for thought” than “OMG! OMG!” least, I hope so.