Today, I turned to one of the several blogs I've started following, in search of inspiration that didn't have to do with the biennial national obsession of donkey vs. elephant.
have I mentioned lately that I HATE politics?
I may have relieved myself of the constant badgering of political radio and TV ads by cutting my cable (years ago...) and listening to nothing but CD's in my car (again - years ago, and the only improvement since then is the introduction of the iPod) - but them sneaky bastards still found a way to pester me - through my daily mailbox!
Come to think of it - I'm none too fond of my mailbox, either - except when I've ordered something online and the tracking notice says "Out for Delivery," (THOSE days, I race home from work as fast as (the police) will let me, and almost rip the box off the wall in my haste to have goodies in my hot little hands.) My mailbox usually holds only advertising flyers, credit-card come-hither's, and bills. Most everyone nowadays communicates electronically - either by phone or email. Letter writing is a serious lost art.
My mother was one of the last hold-outs in this long-ago art form, but my older brother and his kids corrupted her when she moved in with them a few years ago.
the SQO once set about delivering a long dissertation to me on why we have such a long and diverse history of advertising mail in this country, the reasons behind the initial legislation and price structures, paired with the problems we face with today's incarnation of the US Postal Service, and twisted it right back to that obsession with elephant vs. donkey - but I wasn't really paying attention - I was too busy with my paper-cutter at the time, turning all this paper-waste into confetti.
Junk mail make great snowflakes...
I found rich inspirational pickings in the blog-o-sphere with the help of Karen Lynn Sandoval again over at her blog: Art Photographer | Life Blogger |
It was a little thing - more of an afterthought or casual mention in her writing - crystal healing. It was buried in a post about a reading marathon she partook of. She noted 2 books on the subject, and a inconveniently-timed shopping trip to find palm stones.
At the time of her blog-posting, she had several palm stones on a sunny ledge in her home, soaking up the bright sunshine as she snapped a quick photo.
I've incorporated crystal methodology into my personal world/work views for decades. Like Karen, I was intrigued by a book I found - mine was in a New Age section in a local bookstore.
I have to laugh at the term New Age. Newer than what? Most of the practices
and/or methodologies discussed in the average New Age section of your local
bookstore are far older than a lot of things we call traditional - such as Christianity
and Western Medicine. Methinks someone got it backwards.
I've done a lot of research since that first book on crystal healing, and a lot of experimentation. I befriended several stones which I whammied up when the need was intense, either for myself or someone close. Most of my stonework is cobbled together from:
1) personal intuition
2) meditational communion with the stone
3) a LOT of visualization, and
4) rough research on the web/within books from 'experts' in the field who explain the metaphysical properties of each stone.
My primary focal stone really surprised me, as I didn't consciously decide on it, didn't research it at all, and didn't seek it out. My lovely Lapis sought ME -touched me from across town- when my need was intense. I just had to be receptive to the call.
And that, my friends, is the story of the day.
I do remember having a bad day. In fact, I recall having several bad days all glumped together like gum stuck in your hair. A sticky, messy, stringy, miserable stretch of time.
I wasn't sleeping well. I wasn't eating well. I couldn't gel thoughts into cohesive structures for more than a few moments. Everything in the world was sharp and bright and deafening and edged - dragging across my nerve endings like a red-hot razor blade. I was over-reactive to everything - even the self-contained psyche of the cat.
Of course, when I'm going through an episode such as this, Murphy rears his ugly head, and sends friends, family members, co-workers and close confidants to pummel me with their abrasive attentions.
These are the times I swear I would do well living in a cave...as long as it had central air...
Sooo - everything was bright and cheerful on this particular Saturday late-spring morning...everything except me. I was too busy trying to still the whirling maelstrom going on inside my head. Operating purely on instinct, I was drawn to the tracks behind my house.
I needed solitude - and nicotine - and food - and caffeine - but mostly solitude.
The tracks behind my home were a seldom used railroad spur - little worry about trains, no worry about other people. I'd watched the tracks all fall and winter long - so I knew the trains were infrequent. I had never seen a walker. Exploring those tracks was something I had wanted to do, but had successfully avoided since I'd moved into my apartment. That pesky sweat thing...and winter, had kept me indoors.
After the slightly wobbly walk, balancing on the tracks themselves or crunching along on the rough gravel under-bed - I reached a quiet place. Off to the side of the tracks was a huge boulder, forcefully ripped from the Earth and cast aside to make way for technology. Brown and unassuming, it perched in the middle of a tangle of winter-weathered grasses. An indentation in the rock beckoned me to come sit.
I made my way across the uneven landscape - introduced myself to the rock with a touch, clambered aboard, and settled myself into a comfortable sitting position.
Turned my face to the sun.
Offered the elements permission to have their way with me.
The alone-ness was very comforting. Soothing on my nerves.
Did you know that there's noise in solitude? That even silence has a voice? Layers of sound piled one on top of another. You can dig your awareness down to the lower layers - it's tricky, but my instinct said this was the right time to do so.
The top-most layer of noise is human, of course - traffic, sirens, speech, music, construction, etc. We really are a noisy bunch - we attempt to drown out the natural noises of the Earth to prove our superiority over it.
I'll leave THAT lecture for another day...
Under the cacophony of human sound are noises more in tune with the natural - the wind, the trees and grasses swaying, animals moving through the brush. The Earth has her angry tones, too - water roaring in full flood, fire raging in its rush to destroy, thunder shaking the sky - but these weren't in residence on this occasion.
Below this natural symphony is a dull, constant static we call white noise. Most of humanity can hear this layer subconsciously, and react to it on an instinctual level. Subjecting oneself to this static, even generated by artificial means, is very relaxing. Most humans can't go any deeper then the layer of white noise, or refuse to believe deeper levels exist within the realm of human hearing.
My instincts say they are wrong - it's time to go deeper.
The layer directly under the white noise exists for those who seek it. It's difficult to find, hard to attenuate yourself to, almost painful to experience. This deeper layer is slippery, evasive, cunning.
Sheesh - it's tough to explain this...
There really aren't words or concepts for this deeper layer of sound. In my experience, it's a sharp/soft/blend/mix of part/noise part/feeling part/pure/diluted contentment/playfulness/connection. It's turbulent and mellow and soothing and soporific and energizing all at the same time.
And, speaking of time - I've found it has no meaning once your awareness is within this deep level of sound.
It's difficult to reach this level of awareness because you have to let all the surface and white noises wash over/through/above/around you while not listening for anything in particular, but everything in general.
Confused yet? Yea, me too. I don't know how to get you there - I just know I've landed/floated/ experienced there on a few, rare occasions, observing all 5 traditional senses blending together - at this level of awareness you can feel colors, taste sound, smell sunshine, and hear chaos -
This is the layer where interconnections are formed. EVERYTHING is connected at this lower level.
I drifted, with no goal in mind other than to experience, for time outside of time.
Something twigged my awareness. Connected.
I slid slightly upwards - on the border of the white noise and this underlayment - and understood direction.
And that's when the surface noise of the world - all the human stuff - abruptly crashed in on me - painfully snapping me back to the blunted awareness of 'reality.'
Maybe someday, someone out there with experience flitting in and out of this layer of awareness will come along and teach me how to gracefully move between the layers - until then, I'm stuck bungling my way through.
I stretched tight muscles...I'd been sitting long enough for my feet to fall asleep. It was only after I took inventory of my bruised psyche and pins & needles of restored blood-flow to my legs that I realized I could still feel that new twig - the new connection formed under the white noise. This new connection had stretched through the noise into 'reality,' and, while patient, was growing insistent.
I had to go north.
Soooo....grateful that I'd stuffed my wallet in my pocket, and my keys on my belt, I made my way back up the tracks to my car - and off I went.
Following the connection. Having direction - A call - A mission - A duty - this did wonders for the irritation I'd been going through. It was like a cold, soothing balm on abraded skin.
Ahhh...Calgon, take me away!
The lead lead - to the mall.
If there's one place on the face of this Earth that I despise with every fiber of my being, it's the mall. Any mall. It's filled with people! With ALL the crazy consumerism! And STUFF is more precious than anything else! And the icing on this cake is an emotional punch of lust/greed/envy/desire/want... Want...
I'd sooner cut my own arm off.
Sometimes, trust comes hard to me. Here I am, sleep-deprived, hungry, un-showered, buzzing both physically and spiritually from a very hard empathic week, running completely on instinct, contemplating walking into a building FILLED with humans filled with consumerist impulses at a time when I was already overloaded.
Diagnosis? Completely. Barking. Mental.
But something was in there - something that reached through the various layers of noise and touched me. Connected with me. Trusts me to find it.
I circled the mall parking lot - looking for a space, completely on instinct. Trusting that instinct. Feeling out where the call was closer.
I walked in the door. Felt the emotional wash of a concentration of people.
Pursue the call, or go home and sort all this out?
Trust the instinct...
Focusing on the call allowed me to walk through the surface emotional wash, much like I had when dropping through the noise layers. The call captured my consciousness, and as long as I held onto it (like a drowning person will cling to a rope) I found I could move through, or allow the surface wash to pass through/around me without an impact.
I felt myself slipping into chameleon mode.
A conveniently placed escalator raised me to the second floor.
Walking, barely there in 'reality' down the hallway. Sliding through the crowds, not touching, not feeling, not impacting.
I don't think I've ever been this deep in chameleon mode...before or since. I probably could have bumped into someone and they wouldn't have noticed.
Into a store selling Egyptian-themed carvings, glassware, jewelry, papyrus drawings, clothing, incense...stuff.
I remember, with clarity, flashes of things - snapshots of what I saw imprinted on my visual cortex/nasal passages/auditory canals/fingertips/taste buds.
Racks of pyramid-shaped paperweights.
A waist-high statue of Anubis.
The rough edges of a papyrus-drawing of Cleopatra.
A glass-enclosed case of perfume bottles - bright swirls of red and green within the delicate glassware.
The glass case, smooth and cool to the touch.
A marble topped table, cross-hatched into a chess board.
Marble chess pieces strategically placed to emote a game in progress.
Eastern music wailing from the speakers.
Shelves on the walls of books, statues, scarabs carved out of bone, stone, fused glasses.
Crossed swords suspended above the shelves, bright brass winking in the lights.
Nefertiti with her tall, blue crown.
A strong perfume smell of various cones and sticks of incense, thick on my tongue.
A hookah in the corner.
King Tut's death mask.
Stop in front of the jewelry counter - cold steel and smooth glass.
Several elongated slices of Lapis Lazuli - smoothed, polished, drilled, ready to encase in a precious metal setting and wear.
I found you...
The shopkeeper removed the one I pointed to from it's soft fabric display, laid it in my hands.
INSTANT release. The tangle of other people's emotions dropped away, the white noise crescendo-ed into the sound of crashing surf, then faded to...
A credit card swipe and a signature later, and my new partner would never leave me again.