All The Swords Came Out to Play…

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To be perfectly honest… I was going to skip this one out… I saw the topic and thought… Speak to the dead? Pffft!!! I’ve had enough hassle these past few months trying to communicate with the supposedly living… Anyway… I left it a while and I got the urge to join the hop… and then it happened again… A couple of hops back, my youngest walked in and gifted me that 5 leaf clover just as I signed up… This time, my middle son walked in…

MUM!!! I just found this…. It’s for you…

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I rolled it around in my hands and thought to myself… I wonder who this belonged to…

But whoever… Why has it turned up now?

What is it Karen, what have you locked away and left forgotten… or maybe what is it that needs to be closed?

Oh dear… and then the voices started…

I could hear him… departed soul… following me around the house…

Walking behind me…

Whispering into my right ear…

Now people often ask me if I talk to dead people and I LOL and answer…

Dead people talk to me… But I don’t answer them! I’m not freakin’ crazy! 😀

Besides… Jeez… form a queue corpses.., I’ve got enough shiz to deal with, with live critters…

So I spent a few days ignoring the chatter…

Until… OH NO! No…no…NO!

Enough was enough…

And old ghost boy crossed my final frontier and followed me into the toilet!

FRED!!! Go R.I.P.

and let me pee I.P.!!!

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Now then young lady! What you want to do is get down off of your high horse…

Great! He’s back… my Grandfather who was Militant with Salvation and with a quote for everything and everything in a quote…

Now… I joke about that every so often and most people assume I had the Bible beaten into me…

But that is not so… Yeah… He quoted aplenty  but seldom was it scripture…

The high horse one… that was a frequent flyer… so much so that maybe it should have been a pegasus!

Then over and over…

Manners maketh the man…

I used to stick my tongue out at that one!

But his most oft used quote was…

never a borrower nor a lender be

and that’s the one that he’d been spouting at me all week…

FRED!!! Will you please go away?

NO! What ails ye child?

Really… you really want to know?

YES

Ok… but you’re not going to like it…

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OK… so I fell for the silver tongue of a smooth talking Prince Charming and he owes me quite a considerable chunk of money…

Go on…

Ok… It’s been going on for months and every time I chase it up, it goes one of either two ways…

He pours out sweet words of reassurances  and make promises that fall apart and fail to deliver and vanish like snow on the desert sand and this leaves me screaming in anger at myself – Why did you fall for that Bovine Soliloquy?

Or…

He becomes hostile and attacks and accuses me of being unhinged and unreasonable and out of line and it leaves me grieving for the friend I once thought I had…

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So… Willful Sprite… I won’t quote at you but instead I’ll ask you a question…

You seek Justice… but what will it take to bring the lightness back to your heart and the glow back to your soul?

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Well Fred… that is a painful question…

But the way that I feel now, is that there is nothing making me feel good about being right and to hold this person to account feels like taking a vulnerable child hostage… Sure… I could swish his head off in one fell stroke… But what victory is there in taking down a weak opponent… someone who feels too tired and incapable of delivering what they have promised even if in their heart they mean it…

I think it’s time to lay down my sword and pick up a pen and write off that debt… to think of it as a gift goodbye, it’s time to put as much time and space between us as possible and gradually the hurt will heal and I will go away wiser and sharper and focused and know in future to be like the Heron and look for what lies below the surface…

And him… well I hope that he picks up his sword and heeds the call to action and starts to work towards becoming what he is capable of being… that he grows to be King of his hamlet…

What do you think Fred? Have you got a quote for me?

Yes… Will you finally listen?

Yes… go on… tell me what a fool I have been…

Karen my girl, I tell you this…

Sanity thy name is woman!

You know… my Grandfather is a lot funnier now he’s dead! 😀

I may chat to him more often…

This conversation was brought to you via the medium of  – Tarot of the Hidden Realm

Off you go now… see you on the other side…

😀

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A reveal all kiss and tell…

Mmmmm…. much as I’ve enjoyed my romp through Lyn Thurman’s Writing The Wisdom of your Soul challenge…

I’m pulling a swerve on the last writing prompt…

Step into the role of a journalist.  A source has given you a scoop on what’s going to be happening in the next year for a particularly amazing, sparkly superstar (YOU!). Spill the beans and write the front page article.

I’m with the Doctor on this one…

Hey… I’m a Magician… I’m never going to reveal what’s up my sleeve…

If you want to know where I’m heading…

Well… you’ll just have to wait and see!

😉

Last gasp…or first breath…

So… I’ve spent the last month working through the majors as part of Lyn Thurman’s writing challenge and today we wind up at the World…

Today’s email had the following prompt:

Write about the journey you’ve taken through the different tarot cards in this challenge.  What did you discover about yourself? What days/cards were the easiest and what were the hardest?  

Ok… easiest… hardest…. well that depends how you want to define it…

Some posts… the words may have flowed but the emotions that were stirred were hard to deal with…

Others… the emotions flowed nicely… yet the words jostled for order…

Easy? Hard?

Brave new world disorder…

I don’t know… it’s a bit like giving birth really… each labour resulted in a new baby yet each was different in length of time and level of pain and delivered a range of weights 😀

And my writing seems to fall prey to that same trick that Mother Nature plays on women…that as soon as the new arrival has popped it’s head out… you forget instantly the whole messy labour… and move straight on to the next one!

What did I discover about myself?

Not much… not really… no surprises… though interesting to put a few things into sequence… and to notice patterns and repeats…cycles and spirals and fractals…

You know… I take an extraordinary  amount of photos and first thing this morning I flipped through my stash of tens of thousands, whilst I thought about XXI The World… which image felt to resonate?

And this is the one that popped out…

XXI

Now this is a section from a larger image, it’s the top right hand quarter and the rest of the photo was just water and I’ve looked many times but today I looked and I noticed something I’d never noticed before… So I zoomed in for a closer look…

Look at that big mouthed fish trying to climb out…

And that got me thinking…. yeah… the world…

Sometimes it makes you feel…

Like a fish out of water…

Like a lamb to the slaughter…

Other times…

This pond ain’t big enough for the bunch of us… Ha! read that again… Now sing it in the style of Sparks!

This pond ain’t big enough for the bunch of us…

Duh nuh duh nuh… ~~~~ /\~~~~~\o/~~~~~

I said SPARKS!!! not SHARKS!!!

😀

Funnily enough… time  and dead line wise… The World has been the hardest…

I’ve had a whole day of being scuppered by time and business and loose ends and various inconveniences…

Though on the plus side, it’s certainly forced a few choices and decisions for me…

YUP!!! I am done with this now… Stuff this for a game of soldiers… This is the last time…

And also one of those odd random or maybe not so random things that happens to Tarot readers happened today…

I’ll just rewind slightly and make a note here that the hardest card dealt emotionally was Monsieur Le HangMan… and I seem to recall that I pulled a bit of a swerve on the writing in that post and took solace in Music… I like Music… I like lyrics… I like the succinctness of just a few syllables that summarise oh so much… But I digress… Anyway… I associate many things with the swinging one but the stinging view comes from betrayals…

So… Fast forward  to a few hours ago and a chance conversation with a stranger that picked at the scab…

Yeah… you know what… I don’t have the energy to speak anymore about this… It no longer exists in my world… it is gone!

A while later I’m doing some readings and I’m using a deck that is pretty much shot it and falling apart and in fact I have a brand new replacement deck… but… I’m loathe to retire the old one…

I read for the evening and I kept thinking my deck feels odd… I round up my readings… mmmm… this deck feels light…

I count my cards… 77… I count again… 77… and again… still…77…

I’m puzzled… In almost 30 years of toting decks, I’ve NEVER lost a single card…

I separate out the suits… who’s not here… I head straight to the Majors…

He’s gone… The Hangman is AWOL…

How can that be?

I was speaking to him only the other day… He came up in a reading and my cards were counted away… 78… all present and correct… Then placed in my gigging bag that is kept locked…

Mmmmmm… He’s pulled a Harry Houdini…

I’m more than slightly puzzled as to how he pulled that off…

Or did he…

After all… didn’t I just declare that he no longer existed in my world…

Maybe the Magician’s magicks wove a spell…

So… betrayal has left the building…

Old deck takes forced retirement

Shiny new deck comes out of the box…

I look at that fish again…

Maybe he’s a Darwin fish…

Maybe he just grew some legs…

Itches Need Scratching…

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What floats my boat?
Dings my bell?
Sings to me?

Ha!!! Pretty much most things!!!
And you know what…sometimes… in fact… scratch that…

pretty much most times… it’s pretty much a pain in the ass…

Right from as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in stuff…

What stuff…

Oh… lots of stuff…

I only have to cast my eye around to see testaments to my past times…

Things that captured my attention and soon found themselves in my hands…

Ha!! Old Judgement angel blows that horn…

I like the look of that…

But… I’m holding off the horn…

At least for now… or at least while I still have two saxophones winking at me…

Come and play… Baby wrap your lips around me… Blow me!!

Take Five!

I remember as a child being at parent’s evening and listening to them talk about me…

She’s very bright… She can be anything she puts her mind to…

Ha! and therein lies the rub!

Put my mind to…

See… I can put my mind to most things…

And things easily mastered soon bore me…

Yet lots of things interest me..,.

And if I followed everyone…

Well…

I sat today and thought…

What is calling me…

Then something popped up!!

Something I’ve done before…

Something that I full on dig…

Because… well…

It can never be truly mastered…

Like I say… I’ve dabbled before with it…

But this REALLY excites…

Not just oh! interesting…

No! REALLY makes me jig…

Like a bumble bee waggle dance…

This way to the honey!

It makes me squee and jump up and down…

Like an over excited puppy dog…

Though don’t worry…

I didn’t pee!

YAY!!!

So…

I’ve set my mind…

For serious play!

I’m not even telling you what it is!!

Just know…

I’m off to scratch my itch!

You’ll hear about it one day…

Maybe February…

Maybe before!

Viva La Resurrection!

😀

Irrationality and Illusions of Fear…

Fear is a funny old thing… like some kind of vestigial organ that we’ve carried over from primordial times…

The are very few times really in a modern world where we are faced with things that challenge our very survival and existence… but  we have hardwired into us all those fight and flight responses…

Sometimes we get flooded with inappropriate adrenalin…

Rushes and surges of mad and crazy thoughts and emotions that lead us a merry dance we’d much rather not be part of 😀

I know that as a child, I was naturally a fairly fearless free spirited sprite…

I had a nose for excitement and adventure and would disappear at will on wild adventures with whoever I managed to convince to follow me, with no regard for consequences or thoughts of what might happen…

I got into a few close calls… I picked up the occasional scraped knee but mostly I got away scot free, unscathed and unharmed…

I earned myself a few beatings… but I always considered them to be worth it… besides… it was the 70s and if the naughty step had been invented, I’m not sure that it had reached our neck of the woods and even so… who wants a child covered head to toe in cow shit sitting and stinking the place out while they think about what they’ve done and how they really shouldn’t have destroyed their new shoes…

As a child, I was convinced that I was invincible and immortal…

But that changes…

You start to ‘wise up’… you supposedly get smarter…

But… you start listening to all those reasons why you shouldn’t do something and they get out of control!

One of the very worse things I found about pregnancy was what it did to my head… I had perfectly normal and vibrantly healthy pregnancies… but the nearer it got to the end and the closer to the due date… and then horror of horrors… passed the due date…

My imagination would run riot…

I’d make myself practically housebound… terrified to go out alone… gripped by fear…

Imagining the worse case scenario… my mind catastrophising what may happen if I left the house…

Oh… no… I can’t go out… my waters might break…

Ha!!! and then the thoughts would spiral and grow and magnify and exaggerate and story upon story was invented in my mind….

Story after story… wild fictions and in hindsight… rather hilarious… but at the time… epic disasters… too many stories to even try to recall… each one more ludicrous than the last… but all of them ended with me almost on the brink of tears and with a big wobbly pouting lip… and always with this final line…

And then I’ll need to be rescued and there’ll be nowhere for the helicopter to land and I’ll be airlifted out with a human being wiggling out of my nether regions and it’ll be on national news…

Yup… and all it took to trigger that was the thought of walking to the end of the road for a loaf of bread…

And where does that come from? I’ve had only had one accident in all my life that resulted in hospital and even then, it was fairly minor… just a few stitches after flying over the handle bars of a pushbike…

And rationally and statistically… You are far more likely to be injured in an accident in your own house…

I’ve heard it said that Fear = False Emotions Appearing Real…

Yeah… I bought into that for a while… but you know… false/real… it really doesn’t make that much difference…

They are there… and they will affect you…

And when I tried to rationalise my fears… sure they went away…

But then it occurs to me… actually… you don’t always want them to leave… sometimes those trixie pixies are quite useful…

Now… some of you may or may not know… but every so often, I take a foray into the world of stand up…

There are numerous reasons how that came about, but one of them was that I was pretty terrified of public speaking… but not in general… only when I had to stand up and use a microphone…

It scared the living shit out of me…

And it annoyed the hell out of me… because… I talk pretty much all the time… I’ve always been a talker… I’ve chaired groups and meetings and delivered feedback and reports… I speak to strangers all the time… I talk… I talk a lot… And when I am sat down… I think nothing of it…

So… I was most puzzled by this paradox of a talker who gets scared to talk…

Because… why??? you can’t die from talking (mmm… ok…. yeah… maybe you can… depending on what you say and who you say it to… 😀 )but generally… nobody dies from speaking… It is not life or death… It will not kill you…

So… I decided I was going to kick this in the ass…

What is the absolute worse and most extreme scenario you can imagine where you have to stand up and talk…

Ha!!! Stand up!!!

So… I set myself the challenge…

And I’ve done a few gigs now and I’ve learnt a few things and replaced some of those trixie pixies with a few tricks of my own.

One of the first things that surprised me was that everybody who I have met who performs on stage gets nervous… no matter how long they have been doing it… I didn’t realise that as these people had never looked in the slightest bit nervous to me, but always perfectly poised and polished…

Mmmm…

Then it occurs to me that actually… people in the audience… they want to like you… they want to be entertained… and also… they do not want to be stood where you are… they are (on the whole) on your side…

Then I discovered… wow!!! I got nervous… but it makes you sharper and faster and some of my funniest lines have been panic induced off the cuff comments (though don’t tell anyone because… those are the lines that people usually find funniest and ask me after how I wrote it! 😀 )

And actually… it is really quite hard to perform well without that adrenalin…

That I noticed at  my first gig… The first half was pretty terrifying but it felt good and things soon got on a roll… Then you take a break and you relax… and being on stage feeling calm… mmm… that kind of sucks!! you lose the sparkle… Though I accidentally got it back…

The first half had flown by in almost an outer body experience… I was there but not there, it was me but not me but somehow more of me than usual… And in the second half… I felt calm… but then suddenly I found myself in the predicament of being stood in what a few days before had been the reply to my question to myself – What’s the worse thing that can happen?

Yikes… it was happening… or certainly looming… my nightmare imagining was to find myself stood there, with nothing to say and then to be heckled…

Now… Oh… I had stuff to say… or did I? I don’t know!!! I’d had to improvise and gap fill to such an extent in the first half that I thought I’d used all my material and even if I hadn’t… ooops…. I had no idea of what I’d been saying… I paused for a moment which felt to stretch for an eternity… damn… what haven’t I said yet? I scanned across the faces of the audience… shit!!! shit!!! shit!!! Oh! for God’s sake!!! Ah HA!!!! Talk to them! Have a conversation… So I picked a friendly face and started to talk and then a rather mouthy girl starts to chip in and I think…Oh…NO… I’m going to get heckled… I surged with adrenalin and panic and before I knew it, I’d dragged her up on stage and made up her part of my act…

So… FEAR… False Emotions Appearing Real…

Meh… you believe that if you want…

If it works for you, then who am I to knock it…

But me… I like to take Irrationality and Illusions and make them my bitches!

These days… my gigging formula equates to…

FEARFocusing Excitement Achieves Results!

Carpe Noctem

😀

Pause for Reflection…

Monkey mind explosion

Indulge me if you will, whilst I tell you about what turned out to be the last time that I would practice the Buddhist walking meditation…

I can’t recall the exact date, but I do remember the location and that it was a dreary grey sort of day and I was rather nonplussed by that as it was early Autumn and in the weeks before, I’d imagined that I would be outside standing in that last gasp of Summer sun that watches the leaves throw out a swan song of colours before they depart… But instead… it was drab and almost on the brink of drizzle…

I was stood in a court yard behind an Abbey with a group of people… This was supposed to be a day retreat… yet my head was thumping… early afternoon and stranded for a few more hours before I could just drive home and I was weary… weary from the noise of people talking all morning… blah blah blah… I craved silence but instead I seemed to be surrounded by a chorus of dippy hippy clap trap and chants which basically sounded like – I art more spiritual than thou…

I’m an irascible old bitch at the best of times… but put me in a room full of people, who want to talk talk talk about how good they are at meditating… oh! I can do a whole hour now! every day! Oh really… I’ve built up to 90 minutes now… morning and evening… Yes lovely… well I have these mala beads handcrafted and fashioned from the sweat of the dali lama that was collected by hand maidens during… ok… i’m exaggerating now… but maybe not quite as much as you might think… But you get the picture… Trapped in a room that seemed to have turned in to a pissing contest and a game of metaphysical top trumps… and I stifled my laughter as it struck me just how competitive people are in supposedly non-competitive pastimes…

So… in the afternoon, I was glad to be outside, despite the imminent threat of rain… but then my heart sank…

We are going to do the Buddhist walking meditation…

Oh…no… Not again! I’d done it many times… I hated it… I hated it more each time I did it… That forced slowness… Yeah… I know… I know… it’s supposed to make you feel fully focused in the present… to rein in the monkey mind that likes to swing from branch to branch…

But every single time, I’d tried this practice… It drove me nuts…

FUCK!!! It made me over present!!! Aware of every irritation and annoyance… Monkey mind gibber gabbering… I want to walk faster… is that person going to change direction or will they walk into me… I wonder what’s for tea… I wish I hadn’t worn this bra today… I don’t even like this bra… I don’t know why I haven’t thrown it away… why am I keeping it… I wonder what time it is… I feel a bit thirsty… oh… my nose itches… damn… my pants are riding up my ass… how long does this go on for… why am I so grumpy… am I grumpy… what am I doing here… you’ve come to relax… hahahahaha… shhhhhhhh….. you’re not supposed to laugh in yoga… shhhhh….. stop it…. stop it…. no laughing…. not even when someone farts during salute to the sun… no… serene face… no sniggers… pretend you didn’t hear it…ha!!! but I can smell it… hahahahaha!!! stop it!!! stop it!!!! you’re rubbish at this!!!

And every time… I would think… OK… maybe you’ll crack this next time…

So… stood in the court yard… feeling heavy of heart and a head filled with a resigned silent sigh… slowly I placed one foot in front of the other… slow deliberate… s…t…e…p…s…

My peripheral vision filled by what looked like shuffling corpses… and off in the distance… a drone… a droning voice… that supposedly soothing monotone that delivers a guided meditation…

Feel… each… point…of your foot… as it makes contact…with the ground… feel yourself present… feel as you walk… feel your journey… where are you heading… feel…

FUCK!!! This hurts!!! I’m hobbling over god damn cobblestones!!! I’m carrying an old ankle injury that is screaming STOP IT!!! STOP!!!! PAIN!!!! LISTEN TO THE PAIN!!! AND STANDSTILL!!!

I stopped… motionless…

Behind me the voice drifted on… keep moving on your journey… keep walking…slowly…s…l…o…w…

Oh! Piss off!! I remained perfectly still and looked down… a whole trestle full of plant pots and seedlings…. green… green… green… I’m sure green has more tones than any other colour… life sprouting all around… ha! plants don’t walk… they grow…

I looked at their leaves… I looked at their textures… I took in the smell…

Keep walking…

Meh… no thanks… I like the view right here…

And then the strangest thing happened…

My mind went quiet… it stilled… it paused… monkey… where have you gone…

Whoosh…. a supernova… thoughts exploded and radiated out in every single direction… simultaneously… all at once… they felt to touch the very edge of the cosmos… a billion thoughts… a cosmic super highway… an extreme sense of knowing and being… but not one single word or memory of what they were…

I felt myself suddenly back in the courtyard… stood on those cobbles and I wiggled my toes and lifted my right foot to circle and rotate and stretch out that right ankle that had spoken to me… I wandered off, away from the group and found a quite bench under a tree to just sit…

And I asked myself… mmm…. what happened there…

Silence…

Then monkey came back…

Karen… you’ve just discovered the sublime joy of opting out…

The deliciousness of NO!

 

 

Beware of the Aftershock…

XVI KS

There are lots of Tarot Tower moments in life… Times when we feel blown away… Surprises that come out of the blue…

Sometimes where we’re blasted in a great way… such as falling in love… and that feels good!

But there are times when our world gets rocked in not so pleasant ways…

I’ve been casting my mind back and I can think of 3 big Tarot Tower stories in my life that have shook me to the core…

I’m not going into the nitty, gritty, shitty details as I don’t think there’s much to be gained from an autopsy… corpses need burying… they don’t smell too good! Let them rot to feed the plants! 😀

But I did notice a pattern that interested me…

Each time…

There was a long slow build up… a creeping sense of dread and foreboding…

Something is coming…

Tension and unease and that itch of impatience and irritation… come on… hurry up and get here…

Much like waiting for a Thunderstorm to clear the air during an intense and muggy summer…

But even when you sense it coming… it still somehow catches you unawares and knocks you off balance…

You wibble and wobble… and then think… Ok… that wasn’t too bad… you dust yourself off and you think you are moving on…

And then… just when you think you are back to normal…

BLAMMO!!!!

HIT AGAIN!!!

KNOCKED FLAT ON YOUR ASS!!!

Where the hell did that come from?

Turns out lightening will strike twice in the same place…

Now this time… it takes you a while longer to get your breath back…

You feel ripped apart and betrayed…

You cry and feel angry and sad and sorry and bereaved and you wonder how you could have changed things or stopped it from happening…

But then… something strange happens…

You start to feel a lot clearer and more focused than you’ve felt since you can remember… you start to remember all those things that you used to enjoy that somehow quietly slipped away… they start to come back…

New opportunities present themselves…

Life suddenly seems brighter and more meaningful…

Recently I had a turn of events that were pretty shocking…

And I did feel a great sense of loss…

But then I could hear music… and  I could here just a couple of lines in my head…. repeating over and over…

Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I’d done

And that made me feel sad… but then the next two lines arrived…

But I don’t wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say

And that made me think – YEAH!!! TOO EFFING RIGHT!!!

I am glad that you are gone!

Now I feel relief!

Now I can hear my own thoughts!

Now I feel my joy!

(If you want to know what song that’s from… CLICK HERE 😉 )