Category Archives: synchronicity / dreams

  Blood and money

The other night, I clipped one of Finn’s nails too short and it bled. And bled. Oh, and it bled some more! The special powder had turned to rock, so while K held a paper towel on our poor alarmed pup’s paw, I whipped up a concoction of corn starch and baking powder.

The bleeding stopped, as bleeding usually does. But later, after settling on the pillow that he sleeps in at the end of our bed, Finn worried at it some. I didn’t know it then, but the nail bled again. The next day while making the bed (or what I call ‘making the bed’), I was astonished to find a perfect heart of his blood on our coverlet.In writing class last week (and weirdly, I can’t remember if it was before or after this nail incident), I wrote (and wrote) about blood. Oh how I wrote! If this is the year for making myself uncomfortable with risk-taking, then I ought to share it, oughtn’t I?

img_1256Meanwhile, I lost my progressive lenses two days ago (my $600 progressive lenses!) It’s disorienting and distressing to say the least. I have tons of three dollar reading glasses which I lose all the time with little consequence. But these? Until two days ago, I had considered my successful tracking a function of respect for the price tag.

(That’s $600 with insurance, by the way. If St. Anthony doesn’t come to my aid, I’ll be looking to Warby Parker for cheaper replacements).

Coincidentally, I recently recommitted to a babysitting job that kinda ruins my Thursdays. I didn’t want to say ‘No’ and I didn’t want to say ‘Yes’ either. In the aftermath of saying ‘Yes’, I decided that earmarking my modest earnings as ‘mad money’ might ease the ambivalence.

And then I go and lose my glasses. I lose my glasses something like ten minutes after the ‘mad money’ idea — glasses that cost almost to the dollar what the babysitting will produce in income.

Maybe they’ll turn up. Certainly, I won’t spend $600 to replace them. But correlations like this make me pay attention and ask questions.

Questions like: don’t I deserve to spend $600 on myself? (this from a woman who recently purchased a sweet grass basket in Charleston for $270 and considered it a deal). Or, is the designation ridiculous, given the amount of our resources spent to keep me nicely clothed and in bath salts?

Could it be an old lesson — that old, old one about the dangers of saying ‘Yes’ when I want to say ‘No’ (I thought I was done with this one).

Or maybe it’s about losing focus. Pure and simple (although, what’s simple about that?)

Such first world issues I leave you with today.

UPDaTE: I re-thought the Thursday commitment. Relief. ‘Hear that glasses? You can show up now!’

 

 

I have arrived. I am home. 

Reading Thich Nhat Hanh yesterday, I came across the lines: “I have arrived, I am home / in the here and now. / I am solid, I am free / In the ultimate I dwell.” Last night K and I walked the labyrinth over at Boston College and the first of the lines stayed with me, adapted a little:  “I am here. I have arrived. I am home.”

I passed on the opportunity to gather with others at the State House and chose this more solitary act instead. It was too cold to watch every heel/toe/breath but I sometimes sent a prayer heavenward: “get him out peacefully”.

All that urgent yearning and: “I have arrived. I am home.”  Such contrast!

December 19 — can we call it the “new longest night” of the year? “I am home. I have arrived.”

Today, my sister and I shopped for our holiday dinner at a little Salem market called Steve’s which she insists on calling Frank’s, a fact that would amuse you if you knew my husband’s family. Anyway, bringing my bags out first so that I could return and get her bags second, I repeated: “I am home. I have arrived. I am here.” Crossing the tarmac with plastic rattling — such an ordinary moment and one that I might normally on some level rush to get through! Instead, those grounding and life affirming words: “I am home.”

On the second trip out, imagine my delight when, just after repeating, “I am here,” I looked up to see a banner half a block away reading: Where You At?

“I am here. I am home. I have arrived.”

We had liverwurst with wasabi and mayo on pumpernickel for lunch and I left in time to miss the 3:00 school and shift-change traffic. It was a “yes” day.

And just now, I finished a Pussyhat for a friend marching on Washington next month. They’re supposed to be knit and I plan to also knit a few when my pink yarn arrives, but in the meantime, this one was constructed out of a cashmere sweater, polar fleece, and wool felt. (Pussyhat Project).

Don’t ask me why or how, but it feels like “moving on”.


Elephant surprise 

“Elephant Surprise” is not a disgusting, illegal casserole, but a wonderful gift from New Mexico. What a nice surprise to open an envelope and find this guy!

Look at that detail! Thank you, Grace! Her note asked, “You do like elephants, right?”

Yes I do! And even though one could love elephants in a passionate crusading sort of way, that’s not how I love them.  I just do.   Interestingly, the first elephant quilt I made (above), I called “Grace”. Not only that, a pregnant friend bought the quilt for her unborn child and then named her “Grace”, too! IMG_5689        Today I take elephants thread and generosity as proof positive of grace.

Time and telling

 I once announced, “I’m a writer but not really a storyteller,” to which a friend replied, “You are a storyteller. You just don’t think you are.”

The grist for our tales can come from anywhere from any old day of the week: how sorting threads suddenly feels like a mission; the dog finding raw whole sweet potatoes in the woods and gobbling them down despite all your commands to the contrary; why waiting in yesterday’s grocery line was particularly tedious. 

Finn bit my neighbor last night. Here. Trying to watch “Brooklyn”. No blood or even teeth marks. But real aggression. 

“The Bite” could be a long story — one involving control, temptation, distraction, fear, and disappointment.

Or how about going to a friend’s husband’s house that is far away and not her house and watching the Patriots lose to Denver while eating chili made meaty and delicious with shiitake mushrooms. Texting my son in Boulder. Noticing how warm the winter sun looked on the football field. Wondering why relationships fail. 

I haven’t read Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book but I heard her say in an interview something interesting (but not original) about collective ideas and creativity. She asserted that our work is “out there” and maybe it doesn’t matter if the stories pick us or we pick them, but it does matter that we sustain our allegiance to them. If we don’t, someone else just might take ’em and run. 

And speaking of Jung, to close let me share a relevant moment of synchronicity. 

Remember two posts ago when I quoted Henry Louis Gates, Jr. saying that if critics didn’t like Styron’s version of Nat Turner, they could “write their own novel”? Well last night I learned that someone has. Nate Parker wrote, directed and starred in a new movie telling that very story.  It just premiered at Sundance.  

 

 

the fertile cyberspace

“Dreaming is the psyche itself doing soul-work.”  J. Hillman

bluebell-blossom

Although it shouldn’t be, it is amazing to me how much the thoughts and images of other bloggers become part of my inner life. Here is a tiny window into how that happened yesterday.

Michelle’s recent post reminded me of how much I have drawn from psychologist/author James Hillman…

Which prompted me to pull down my ragged and yellowed copy of Hillman’s “The Dream and The Underworld”:

if we think back on any dream that has been important to us, as time passes and the more we reflect on it, the more we discover in it, and the more varied the directions that lead out of it.

As the dream is guardian of sleep, so our dream-work, yours and mine, is protective of those depths from which dreams rise, the ancestral, the mythical, the imaginal, and all the hiding invisibilities that govern our lives.

Dreams are… watchmen of that coming night, and our attitude toward them may be modeled upon Hades, receiving, hospitable, yet relentlessly deepening, attuned to the nocturne, dusky, and with a fearful cold intelligence that gives permanent shelter in his house to the incurable condition of human being.

“relentlessly deepening” and “fearful cold intelligence” — these are words that an introvert with Pluto on the ascendant (who has kept notes on dreams since she was a girl) can hold on to and embrace!

I went to sleep last night knowing I’d quote some Hillman today, thinking if I remembered a dream, I’d share it, in part because I was inspired (am always inspired) by Grace’s recent post in which she shares a dream about the Dalai Lama. (I forget mine).

chastity-brownAnd yesterday, Joe, through a series of facebook posts, re-connected me back to this amazing blues singer, Chastity Brown, whom I tried to draw and kept JUST missing freezing the YouTube frame where I wanted it, but drew away anyway, listening to that amazing song, over and over.

beforeAnd, right now my collar itches, because after months of thinking about it, I cut my hair this morning.  This was inspired in no small part by Saskia whose work, storytelling, abode, and spirit are the primary drivers of my interest in her, but she happens to also have a great HAIRCUT!

just-cutAll of this weaving and intersection of thought and effort and words and art and music creates a fertile jumble. It crosses media, politics, gender, and geography.

What better cauldron for noticing and using synchronicity?!!

crow-gets-bellyAnd let me end with this flourish. Mid afternoon yesterday, I picked up a little applique crow I’ve started, with a determination to finish it, when the ca-ring of an incoming comment jingled my nearby phone. It was Mo Crow!!! Can you stand it? All the way around the world in Australia, Mo, who keeps monastic hours in an opposite season, was chiming in.  The evening found me ripping out the incorrectly aligned crow’s legs in part because I want the thing to be good enough to share with an artist (and I mean Mo, of course) whose body of work revolves around and celebrates crows.