Monthly Archives: December 2010

All Change

I sit here listening to Beethoven Sonatas, reflecting. It’s that time of the year.

Since I was a child I have had imaginary friends and playmates. Up until this morning in fact. Today I have to report how dramatically I’ve gone off Daniel Craig. He looks so ordinary walking through the snow with his new squeeze. Maybe it was Daniel Craig as James Bond that I fell for. Maybe it is the fact that I’ve shaken the Boy out of my psyche once and for all and Daniel and the Boy share a certain emotional flakiness I don’t want in my life any more. Whatever the reason, I just don’t want to imagine myself in some upmarket Dorset cottage for a snow speckled lovefest. Sad though this is, it is over.

In the early days I kept them away from my mother’s prying eyes, safely locked away in a suitcase under my bed. Richard Burton, Robert Mitchum and David Attenborough. A mixture of the rugged, the ragged and the thoughtful; a recipe for satisfaction, even when mayhem ensued in the outside world. They were all men in that old-fashioned, thrashing- through- the- jungle way. In my imaginary world I was always Jane to their Tarzan, which surprises me because I’ve always had more than a little Tarzan in my own make up.

Real relationships came and went, form always following function according to the ubiquitous law. A fine balance was maintained by a revolving stage of ‘crushes’. and so the years went by. But I’ve noticed of late that it was only Daniel Craig that hit the spot. Physical, in charge, compact, with deep crinkling eyes, he was both wild/dangerous and gentle/homey. He looks like he would be fun to be holed up with for a week, as the snowdrifts pile up outside the windows of a cosy cottage. The problem is that this makes him something of a tomcat and trouble to any woman who gives him her heart, even in an imaginary sense.

What you’ve got to realise about me is that I am INTENSE. This means that my imaginary world is every bit as real as your real word; a fact that has its downside as well as its up. So when I say that my feelings towards Daniel have changed, it is no small event in my life. Sad old woman you might say behind my back but give me a break, I’m being open and honest here and in me it’s real. After several years of companionship, during which time I had no problems sharing him with Satsuki(I was always too tall for him in real time, anyway. We’d have had a problem with colliding kneecaps) the feeling has departed, just like that. Suddenly he’s started looking ‘off’, like he’s got a permanent hangover. And the holes punched in his aura are threatening to join up, turning him into an etheric void. To me he now looks like a man who has seen everything and found it lacking. He looks like he has lost the curiosity, the hunger for life; has reached the top of the hill and finds the view on the other side deeply disappointing. Consequently he is no longer the man for me in my home-made world.

I have a strange feeling that I have stepped over an invisible line. Life is divided into two parts. The first where you learn things and the second where you live what you have learned. I have stepped into the second. In this place only things of substance have a place. Tom cats are not welcome. Daniel Craig might drive a 43K Range Rover and be great on the ice, but that’s no help to me where I’m going.

All my life I’ve searched for a man who could read me like a map, only to find when I’m well into the relationship, that I am being used as a compass. In some mysterious way my imaginary friends have been doing the same. It’s time to let go of the concept. I am myself great on the ice. I manage my own imaginary 4 wheel drive. From this morning on, I am happy to report, I can let go of Daniel and all other imaginary lovers. It feels like a release of sorts.

Time to change the CD . The Sonatas haven’t got that particular quality that is locked in the Last Songs.

Wake Up!

A couple of weeks ago I went to a talk by Alan Forster, a writer, broadcaster and environmental researcher on the subject of crop circles as part of the contact, awakening and preparation phase of our human development. He is convinced that something is imminent and that a grand awakening is now in its fast- forward phase. He worked for years in the airline industry and said it is common knowledge amongst pilots that large plasma-like objects frequent the skies. He showed numerous pictures of crops that just couldn’t be made with a plank and two feet, however nimble. He noted that we are told that the Nasa run SETI programme of communication has not as yet received a reply. Could it be that they are not looking in the right places?

This morning I was going to explain the significance of a couple of spectacular crop circles to get our pudding brains firing again. But someone has done it already-and superbly. Thank you wjbombo. I don’t know why the sound is on mute but I rather like the eerie silence that accompanies this viewing, intentional or not. So here it is, best I find on full screen but you know that already. Let me know if it wakes you up.

Salute the Happy Morn!

I hope that you all managed to get where you were going and are now safely ensconced for the duration. The run up is now over, the shops have closed and we are all locked into a couple of days of festivity.

One of the things I love about Christmas is that it gives me the chance to reflect on all the others. I love ritual and this is a time of ritual wall to wall. I am with Lala and her family and it is good to see how many inherited rituals are being observed. The carols from Kings, the baked salmon for Christmas Eve supper, the parcels around the foot of a tree that is covered with decorations kept from one year to the next in a box marked ‘Christmas Decorations’.

I still get a lovely feeling climbing into bed on Christmas Eve in freshly laundered pyjamas and picking up the collective excitement of all those anticipating the arrival of Father Christmas. And this morning, walking Tottie in the early morning park, I passed houses,( the front rooms of which I imagined festooned in hastily torn wrapping paper, seeping the faint sound of children already overexcited by the e numbers hiding in their stockings) quietly reflecting on those hectic Christmas mornings of the past and very much liking where I am now. Where I am now is quieter, deeper, sadder. At Christmas, I now have the time to feel the splinters of vacated corners of my heart.

There is much quiet joy as well. The Christmas compote for breakfast with slivers of clementine cooked in. The snow covered park with no inch spared the footprints of man and beast. The morning sun staining the windows of the East- facing high rise flats. The echoes of Dylan Thomas’ “Child’s Christmas in Wales”bouncing down the hill in time with my steps. All’s well enough in my world as I salute the happy morn.. May you too have a happy day.

The Time Foretold

My favourite carol is actually a poem, which is not something that can be said for all of them. ‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” was written in 1849 by Edmund Hamilton Sears, but its words, like all truths, speak directly to us NOW. These words reflect the ancient wisdom that there is an age of gold waiting the other side of the confusion and angst of modern life.

I like to think in broad brush strokes at this and every other  time of the year.  To me the baby in the manger represents the dawn of new possibilities, reflecting the idea that ‘There is one river of Truth which receives tributaries from either side’ (Clement of Alexandria). The myth of Jesus being born in a manger points to the single truth that there is a perpetual possibility of spiritual rebirth.

The Christmas story is a beautiful and ancient one, a lot older than the New Testament in which we read it today. The annual celebration of the nativity of the Mystery godman celebrated the death of the old year and the miraculous rebirth of the new year at the date of the solstice. The sun or the son, either way this is a celebration and a retelling of the myth is an important part of that celebration. Pagan spirituality was a sophisticated product of a now forgotten but well- developed culture. The Jesus story is a close retelling of Pagan myth. It mirrors closely the Osiris myth of Egypt or the Dionysus myth. Born in a cave to a virgin mother, and dying at  Easter as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, the common motifs are so many that the only wonder is how few people know this.

Whichever myth you choose the resonance is there. The Mystery speaks to humans on a deep level. We have to believe in some form of atonement, restitution and redemption, or life is not worth living. What people find in the shopping malls of the world at this time is but a weak mirroring of the message but it is there hidden in the tinsel and the fairy lights. It is there in the exchange of gifts. But most of all it is there in the need to be with our own at this time, even if it all ends in tears.

Eight million people in the UK have set off today to be with their families at Christmas. With cars piled high with hope and parcels gift wrapped late at night, they will sit in queues on motorways. They may well hear the words of my favourite carol over the airwaves. But will they heed the meaning?

‘For lo! the days are hastening on, by prophets seen of old, when with the ever- circling years, shall come the time foretold.

When the new heaven and earth shall own, the prince of peace their king. And the whole world send back the song, which now the angels sing.’

It is the time of year to be busy… and jolly. It is also the time to practise the richness of seasonal soulcraft: to heed the words of Hildegard of Bingen.

‘Glance at the sun. See the moon and the stars. Gaze at the beauty of earth’s greenings. Now. Think.’

Deep and Crisp and Even

I’ve been busy. The snow has fallen in a most un-English way, closing the airports, so Wink couldn’t fly to Boston as arranged. Instead we went tobogganing in the park with all the school kids. They were on trays and plastic bags; we were on a really classy wood and metal Finnish sledge. Goodness knows where Wink conjured that from-I didn’t ask. It was great fun but now I am suffering from a cricked neck, a sore throat and a deep sense of abandonment, as yesterday Wink got an message from his uncle in the American embassy to say he’d got him a seat on this morning’s redeye, so off he went in the middle of the night, no doubt waking all my neighbours as his wheels skidded on the slush in the road. Then, with a roar and an inconsiderate tooting of his horn, he was gone. Now I’m on the Arnica and the bruises are just appearing. I am too old for these shenanigans that’s for sure. But what fun we had!

I’m not sure when or even if I’ll see him again. I’m not even sure I want to. The match isn’t there. There is a significant age difference for a start. And then there is the fact that he is an ultra-conservative Wasp. I wouldn’t dare introduce him to Lala, who would roll her eyes skyward and get irritated. He also doesn’t read and I vowed a while ago that I would not get into another relationship with a man who doesn’t read. Do you remember that scene in A Single Man when they are on the sofa reading and they have a little banter about who should get up and put the cat out (or whatever)? There is a flash of it about a minute into this clip. Well I want a relationship like that. With Wink it was all doing and no reflecting. He is action man and for a woman my age that is exhausting. So I’m jolly glad he is now safely back on American soil and I can get a good night’s sleep.

On the Cusp

I am not yet old but I’m heading that way and when I get there I will embrace it without cheating. As you know, I have in the last year embraced my natural hair colour and now I love it. Grey has greeted me like an old friend. The thing I like most about grey is that it accommodates red so well and red is the colour of passion, life, and ardour. I have taken to wearing bold lipsticks. I am at the moment in hot pursuit of Max Factor 827 Devastating Coral or some such name. I haven’t tracked it down yet, as I suspect that half the population of Britain has had the same idea. It is time at my age to become even more glamorous, more bold, more out there but not in a come and get me way. Rather more dignity is required, out on the streets anyway. Personally I want to avoid the mad-woman-in-the -attic look at all costs, while still holding on to the Diana Vreeland OTT vibe. It’s a fine line, obviously.

So here I sit blogging away, allowing time to embrace me without cheating (in the hair department anyway). I’ve been reading a biography of Nikola Tesla by Margaret Cheney, a gossipy take on the great man’s life. What a tragic hero Tesla was, being beaten to the Nobel prize through a lack of focus and an unfortunate drive towards the dramatic. There is a picture of him sitting reading a book in his laboratory in Colorado springs, while electrical ribbons of great power swirl around his head. It is a picture that has helped to maintain his place in history as a man of mystery with a finger on the lost part of the energy revolution.  His fundamental research in wave propagation,radio and power transmission and ball lightning was important but there is another side to his research that fascinates the likes of me, because that information is kept, even today, out of the public domain, in a substantial classified Tesla file at ‘a well known defense agency’ because it contains ‘material important to national security.’

But I digress. The photograph in question is actually a fake. Tesla is not present when the streamers of energy flowed. After all they would certainly have killed him.It was a photographic trick that put them both in the same shot. So Tesla, who was undoubtably an inventor of genius, was also a man driven by ego and hampered by bad luck . He was not without style. He used to travel out to Long Island to his doomed Wardenclyffe Project, elegantly attired in grey spats and accompanied by a Serbian manservant bearing a large hamper of food. Although he was considered by some to be ‘ the greatest genius of all time’, others thought him to be a man in touch with the dark forces through the power of alchemy.

Talking about alchemy. Last night I watched a recording of Pulp at Glastonbury 1995, which reminded me what a magician of the collective mind is Jarvis Cocker. How he played that huge crowd with his mesmerising long index finger and his sculpted cheekbones. By the time he got to Common Peoplehe had thousands of heads bobbing in unison and everyone was singing along, right on the button. It helped me see how human beings are one and love being at one with a huge group.  Yet as one they look towards the charismatic leader for timing and inspiration, for that’s where they see Spirit. And it is Spirit that sent shivers up and down my spine as I became part of that Glastonbury moment fifteen years ago. And there I was sitting in front of a box, time travelling from the comfort of my sofa(very much like Diana Vreeland’s I might add, only yellow not red)  It was Tesla who foresaw the revolution that I was witnessing. It was he who envisioned the entire concept of the transmission of intelligence, for I was not just watching moving pictures but also being involved in a process of communication between thousands that had my neck hair standing on end. That is the transmission of intelligence. Yay!

I am still only half way through Tesla’s biography, so obviously have reached no conclusion. I am just aware that for me style is important and this man had style as well as the grand vision to be thought of as mad, like Blake. Maybe the mad woman in the attic look is something to aspire to after all.

Running up to Christmas

I love this time of the year. I love the mince pies and the carols and the tree twinkling in the corner. Last night I had friends to The Warren for a feast. I lit a real fire in the real grate (ie dirty). It blazed away, drawing all sorts of draughts from new and unexpected places, as my flat isn’t double glazed. I didn’t mind. Jean-Claude gave us a channelled introduction to 2011. Fasten your seat belts was the gist of the message. It’s going to get messy in the 3D world. Best to learn to fill one’s tank with magical thinking. And what better time to learn to do it than now. It is not the bright lights of the shopping malls that will help us through what’s ahead, it’s the inner light. It’s time to balance energies, remembering others rather than oneself and generally connecting to the eternal rather than the transitory. Easier said than done when I have just seen the most gorgeous cashmere wraparound in soft grey with matching slippers. If I bought it I might never leave the flat in 2011.

I learned some years ago that stress at Christmas is optional. I choose to not go there. I don’t even make my own mince pies any more, though the jar of mincemeat appears every year. The same one I might add! This year I squeezed the juice and zest of an orange into it, making a sauce to go with a Lidl Panettone, along with extra thick double cream. You can’t get a pudding more replete with the tone of Christmas than this and so easy too. Also the panettone leftovers can be transformed with a couple of quick flourishes into an up- market bread and butter pudding and presto another luxurious ‘afters’ is on the table.

I don’t send Christmas cards either. I phone a few precious people and I write a list of all those who have been a part of my 2010 in thought, word, deed and memory. Then the night before Christmas Eve, I sit down before a lit candle and do a ceremony of gratitude to those on the list, sending them best seasonal wishes. Thus they receive my love on the airways according to the principles of subatomic action at a distance, and I get to avoid the guilt trap. I end the ritual by sending love and healing to the whole world, to the people I don’t know, the people I haven’t yet met and to Earth itself. It sure needs it.

This year’s pre-Christmas treats have included Wink. As he’s from New England, he’s as excited as I am by the rituals of Christmas. I shall miss him when he returns home next week but I am so grateful for the brief adventure. The Universe in its wisdom sent me a great gift in Wink. We’ll keep in touch but I understood the deal right from the first giggle. Wink is young enough to have his experiences in front of him; experiences I’ve already had. After all I have more of my life behind me now than in front. But it was so good to share those days and nights with him and his cross- country- ski- honed body. I’ll have plenty of memories to enjoy over the break, like a pile of mental Ferrero Rocher, all gilt wrapped and guilt free. What was mine came to me and now I let it go. Keep the energy moving I say.