You Wear What You Are

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“After you die, you wear what you are.”  ~ Saint Theresa of Avila

Doing room and maid service for cats can be taxing as well as daunting, making for a day off that is most easily characterized as lusterless and listless. Today’s opening photo is of Cumin, who is one of my favorite of the cats of summer. Now that summer is long gone it becomes time for Cumin to get adopted. I shall miss the fella sorely. A little misty-eyed I am over his imminent departure. But that is what we are there for: to get them kitties adopted. Cumin will be leaving soon.

Yesterday I had a phone conversation with an old and dear friend who now lives in Puerto Rico, the country of her heritage. She’d left me a private message on Facebook, with only a phone number and one question, “Hey Ken, have you gotten any recent news from the Keys?”. It was in the Florida Keys that our friendship began and flourished. My friend was a perky, tiny bundle of energy and good humor. We were lovers for a short while, then after she married I would stop by and have morning coffee and chit chat. Sunny, a nickname for Sol Divina, would make the coffee Puerto Rican style, which rivals Cuban coffee, complete with copious quantities of caffeine, milk, and sugar. The conversations were sweet as well, sometimes even deep, profound, and enlightening. At least that’s the way I remember it. But the topic of yesterday’s phone call was not pleasant at all. One our group of friends from back then had been killed in a car wreck. Such news is always tragic but this in particular announced like a nail gun the death of a woman, JayAnna, who played, and still plays, a special spiritual role in my life.

Jay was there the first time I slipped across the Veil and into the Celestial realms. She was tending bar at Good Time Charlie’s the afternoon I asked her out to listen to some live music. She accepted my invitation, proceeded to fish about in her purse, then handing me a tiny baggie with a bit of magic mushrooms in it. We agreed on a time and agreed to consume the shrooms at that same time, then to meet at the Harbor Bar, a second story outdoor bar overlooking the Whale Harbor Channel and the great ocean it led to. We did that to perfection. The trouble began when we were listening to the music. The lead guitar player was wailing away in a way that caught my heart and soul, so I focused in on his left hand to watch his fingering deftness. After a few moments the world began to swirl, and I mean swirl! It was not kaleidoscopic rather a Coriolis Effect where all of the material world was swallowed into a black hole at the center. The next thing I knew I was coming to, waking to find Jay’s head upon my chest. She asked if I was okay and I responded that I was in heaven. She continued, from her obviously alarmed state, to tell me that I had stopped breathing, then when she put her ear to my chest she found that my heart had stopped, leading her to think I had died. That was not the only time she was with me when I returned from the Other Side. The second time was after my return from my NDE visionary journey. That time as well her face was the first thing that I saw upon my return. As a side note I should mention that although the shroom experience was nearly identical to the NDE I have never claimed it to be an actual NDE, a stance I still take because a psychedelic substance was involved, but I know in my heart that it was an NDE. The uptake of all of this is that now she has crossed over for good I do not feel as if she has left me. It’s been 20 years since I have seen Jay yet I now find that that span of years shrivels in relevance compared to the timelessness I feel. My sadness is also timeless, as is the deep abiding joy I feel. Both feelings twinkle, starlike. Experience, our window on the world, on life, shows me that a deep and tender love has now grown deeper, and more tender. Ouch.

I just stepped outside to take one last look at the stars before sunrise. It’s friggin 1º out there! The stars eluded me. They have been shrouded by both first light and a featureless cloud ceiling. I miss Jay already, just as I hope that she will walk with me on occasion, joining the ranks of those who have gone on before her. I should be so lucky. Oddly enough the news of Jay’s passing came to me at the end of a screaming bout of harsh depression. News of death, at a time like that, isn’t conducive to lightening the mood, but it carries a retrospect kind of thing that is fixin to be seen at the first opportunity, at which time its enlightening nature will indeed shine. It’s good to have something to look forward to. The other good side of this loss is that it has led me to reconnect with Sunny, who’s love also shines in my life. We will talk again. That’s another thing to look forward to. Hey folks, I’m not pitching for sympathy here. I am celebrating the miracle of life, the stunning beauty, the simple truth, and it is a celebration that will provide balm for my soul, which aches from the ravages my chemical imbalance hurls at me on occasion. Yesterday was one of those times. Today’s ache is rife with paradox. I welcome the conundrum and will take it in stride as I give service to them kitties.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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