Friday, December 30, 2011

My Wish for 2012

First and foremost,  my wish is peace for all - peace of mind, peace of spirit, peace in love and hate, peace in beginnings and endings.  It is a time of endings - a year;  a life on this earth for some, a spiritual life for others.

I saw an end to my store, friendships that had run their course, run out of road.  I saw an end to old thought patterns that do not serve me any longer.  Some revisited me, if only in dreams and some revisited in body or spirit.  Maybe to remind me of the importance they played in my life at one time.  Did I look at them from angles never seen before?  Yes.  Was their pain revisited?  Heck yes.  but there was also the love and gratitude that was once there and still is in some way.

Then I placed them lovingly in my deepest memory.  Some may never again come to call but they color my life and are a part of who I was and who I am becoming.  Some will call again and may be unrecognizable from my new perspective and may share my space once again.  So I say to them all;  I love you and thank you and send you on your own way.

This is also a time of beginnings.  While some were on their way out, others were entering.  I give thanks to all who blessed me with their presence this year.  To you, join me on my next journey!

If there is an unease as you move forward into the new year, embrace the transitional jitters as difficult as it might be.  It is here whether you like it or not.  Give it the space and love it desires and deserves and let it expand and grow into you..  I am right there, too, on that precipice, looking out onto so many possibilities, seen and unseen, eyes and heart wide open.  What an exciting moment to be present within!

If I can just love myself as much as I love those around me, it will spread its branches and support all. I come in contact with.  And if that love can assist those who are in greater turmoil, support them on their journey, then my wish is complete.

I say goodbye and hello in love as we step into the newness that lies ahead, known and unknown.  this is my wish to myself and to all.  Peace, prosperity, health, joy, fulfillment, laughter and love in 2012.  Thank you to all who have watched over me in body and in spirit.

This is the end of our worlds as we know them.  I'm excited.  I hope you are too!

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Walk in the Woods and... Murder?

A leisurely stroll in the woods of Ellison Bay Bluffs County Park led to a distressing encounter yesterday.  It all began with a lovely bluff view of Green Bay on Lake Michigan and leaving my husband alone to smoke his pipe, I set off on a meditative walk.  After all, I am beginning a new life chapter and coming out of the seeming coma (okay, it was just a huge fog...) that fell upon my brain after the closing of my business, I was eager to meditate on what’s next for me while taking a quiet stroll.

Praying to my angels and goddesses and whomever else happened to be listening, who might want to chime in with their words of wisdom on this walk, thoughts filled my mind and I drifted into a wonderfully peaceful place.

About 15 minutes into my ethereal walk of late autumn dried leaves, bare branches and brownness, I happened upon the color red.  Hmmm.  Upon closer inspection, it looked as if an animal had been attacked; maybe a coyote or a fox kill.

Upon a much closer inspection, there was a bright red blood spill in the middle of my path and a dribble of blood as if something was dragged over to this pile of red within the dried leaves in the brown woods. 

Okay, I am a city girl but I am not naïve in any way.  Something had been killed in the path before me.  Upon an even closer inspection, there were some internal organs carefully laid out around what appeared to be a very large rock, very little blood, and NO BODY.  That’s right, NO CARCASS.  What had been killed?  Where was the body?

Small circular blood spill in my path, something dragged into the woods along the path, fresh organs, and no body.  Nope, I am definitely NOT a naïve city girl at all.  I was standing in front of a morbid murder scene!  Upon closer inspection of the rock “altar” that the heart, kidneys, liver, etc. were placed upon (of course it was an altar – isn't that what sick, deranged killers do with their victims?), it started not to look like a rock at all.  So I took a stick and poked at the “rock”……it was soft…….IT WAS A SET OF LUNGS!

Did I mention that my peaceful, tranquil, meditative state was completely severed? (Had to use that word – I had just entered a scene out of Dexter!)  My bucolic, pristine nature walk had become a crime scene!

Where was the body?  The kill spot was rather small and round, perfect size for a person of my build.  And who carefully lays out innards the same way they are placed internally?   And where did the blood go?  And much more importantly, where was the BODY??  So I did what anyone would do in my situation.  In Chicago, coming across guts in an alley would have someone speed dialing 911 as they high tailed it out of there!

Not me……I went to the extreme.  This wasn’t some random, ordinary kill.  This could only be the work of a witch.  I had entered a scene from Blair Witch Project!  Of course!  That’s why there was no body or blood.  That’s why the guts were carefully laid out.  This was not the work of an animal.  What animal would take the body and leave the innards?  So I did what any city girl would do.  I panicked.  Blair herself HAD to be nearby.  Or a crazed maniac.  I looked into the trees (because of course that is where either of these folks would be – right?)  I slowly started backing away up the path.  I looked for the river I could follow to take me safely out of the woods. (I always wondered why those kids in Blair Witch Project kept going around in circles in the woods.  All they had to do was follow the river bed and they would still be alive today!!!!) No, I wasn’t lost.  And the river was actually Lake Michigan.  I pulled out my phone to call my husband (Hey, it is 2011.  No one will ever get lost in the woods again as long as the Verizon satellites are up and running.) to tell him of the ghastly scene I was now running from, eyes darting left, right, above to make sure no one was following me.

Okay, it is true, I am a horror freak.  Have loved horror flicks all my life.  Wrote some vivid tales in Mr. DeLuca’s creative writing class in 6th grade that concerned him enough to make a call home to Ma.  I guess slayings with ice picks are not common themes in 6th grade essays. 

I was the mother that scared the other mothers in my book club when they found out I let my young children watch scary movies.  And yes, a relative of some sort pulled his daughters out of the TV room where they were sitting with my youngest son when he started talking about zombies and dead people.

Maybe a part of me wanted to have walked upon a scene from the TV serial killer Dexter.  That would be way more exciting of a story to tell later.  Or maybe I have been a victim of personal crime way too many times and my brain is geared for this type of reaction.    Or at least some sort of maiming!

So as the fear increased, the more my brain conjured up ideas for this scene, my husband walked over to a sign in the woods that read, “Hunting Begins November 15” and called me back.  Damn!  It was a friggin’ deer!  But I still fought it.  After all, I wanted the drama of a murder scene.  What a story I could tell!  I said what kind of hunter neatly lays out the innards the way they are laid out in the body from top of torso to bottom?  It looked like an anatomy class.  Of course, he told me with such determination and authority that hunters must gut the animal, tip it over and everything spills out perfectly in place.  Right…..  A deer of say 200 pounds can easily be tipped upside down and emptied.  I had problems trying to tip over a 70 pound calf on a cattle ranch in New Mexico. 

After consulting with a local and then later with an avid hunter, I had stumbled upon what is commonly known as a “gut pile”.  Normally, hunters who are deep in the woods will gut and “dress” the deer there, where city folk like me will not stumble upon their leavings.  My citified hunters dressed the deer on a paved path in a county park.  Lazy wimps.  Amateurs.  What kind of hunters were they?? City folk with shiny shotguns.  Geesh…

For me, there will be no Bambi or Mama Bambi killings.  The closest I ever got to both deer and death at the same time was when I was working at the Chicago Botanic Garden and almost got run over by a huge buck with a massive rack of antlers.  Then I could have added impaling to my list of personal assaults.  I also came across a few deer on another wooded walk.  No paved path to walk upon and there she was, right in front of me, staring at me.  We stood for a moment, both of us, contemplating the oddness of both of us happening upon one another, and I walked away.  After all, this was her woods and I was trespassing upon her territory.  Imagine that.  After that confrontation, I could never consider shooting one or bowing one, “tipping it over” and spilling out its guts to feed the rest of the woodland animals.  Eeewww.  Yuck.

So here is my boring story of hunters and deer.  When I tell my grandchildren, of course, it will become the Dexter and Blair Witch story which will scare the pants off of them.  Their parents will roll their eyes.  Hey, I might even add an ice pick or impaling…

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Contemplating Spiral Signs this Holiday Season

In my continued fascination with spirals, I was looking at one that was spinning.  You know, the kind you see when someone is trying to hypnotize you?   It represents continual change and evolution and the interconnectedness of all things.

In terms of rebirth or growth, the spiral symbol can represent the consciousness of nature beginning from the core or center and thus expanding outwardly. Or you can look at it as outward information coming in to the core of your being.  I read this yesterday about this kind of spiral movement:

And when one contemplates such an infinitely regressing movement one begins to appreciate that the words 'first movement' doesn't even begin to express the beginning - that it's all an endless beginning - it's all a one act play - an infinitely recursive and enfolding one act play. Thus the 'first movement' is everywhere you look And soon you'll look up and see the same thing in every thing you look at until your view of reality begins to shift and with it meaning itself will take on a whole new meaning and on and on and on - beginnings enfolding endings which enfold another beginning until there's no more beginnings or endings and you just are. -Robert McCoy

If you look at a spiral in motion, it appears that it is moving from the outside in.  And if you look closely at the center, it appears to get larger as it spins.  Interesting if you think of the spiral as inward reflection.  As more wonderful things move in, your center becomes larger,  I think you can also say that as things move out from the center, it also leaves space to allow your inner most ideas to grow.  the inner core stays the same as the outer grows in size.   Do we actually spiral out of control or just to a place that is new and not understood quite yet?   I am starting to like that uncomfortable feeling on not quite being on steady ground, because I know it is leading to new ideas, thoughts.  Any way you look at it, growth is occurring.  You can see for yourself here: 
click here

So the same people, places, and things are always new, always beginning again.  From a different perspective.  You get to see them from all sides, angles, directions.  And sometimes, what you have been looking at for years starts looking different. So enjoy your life from all sides and angles this holiday season.

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of it's own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream.

Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it's face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind