About Saying No

golden sunset 028

“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.”  ~  Alan Watts

Rosie the cat is about as relaxed as I have ever seen her. She is usually so in tune with me that I want to think that it is about me but I sense that it is not. The morning is pale blue and the chickens are just now starting to murmur. And my ears are ringing more than they ever have. This is another thing that I’d like to attribute to the cat, but I know she had nothing to do with it. And the coffee is good. A friend gave me some organic French roast; a fine gift, and I am enjoying it thoroughly. Perhaps it is a day for small pleasures and creature comforts, with philosophy restricted to only what is necessary. My only compulsory task is to head into town to buy the crunchy cat food that I forgot to buy yesterday. I had my sights set on microwave popcorn and I spaced-out the rest. Silly me. The muck of life has got me down. I’ll admit to that. I could go into a bad head space today but it doesn’t feel like it will be too difficult to steer away and around from that. For some reason I am flashing back to a canoe, gliding over the water, which flows gently over the mud flats along the southern coast of Florida Bay. The water looks golden from the way the sunlight interacts with the turtle grass plugged into the mud below. And, in my metaphor, I tell myself to change course by paddling on one side only. Those days out on the bay are some of the most peaceful memories I know. What a wondrous gift they were. And with Brother Phil in the canoe as well there was just that much more peace. Philip was at ease with life. That I lost him to a strangely humorous accident brings regret to this day. He died when his barstool tipped backward to far and he hit his head on the tile floor in just the wrong way. He had leaned back a bit too far. Philip died laughing. I cannot think of a more fitting way. Not two weeks later I took a bicycle tour. I’d flown up to Orlando, mid-state, carrying my bike in the plane. Before I headed south I stopped in the little town of Casadega to visit with a trance channeler. Casadega is well known for it’s high population of psychics. What I got from the channeling session impacted me as deep as it goes. When she finished with her closed-eye preparation, tuning in to whatever it was she entangled with, she began to speak from a spirit place. I shivered when I recognized the thick Maine accent coming out with the words. Philip was from Bangor. The trance channeler could not have known that, and her natural accent was a soft version of that lovely Florida Cracker type, almost musical in its beauty. And the words? “Why are you so easy with people?!”. There was anger in her voice. The crux of the whole channeled session was that I desperately needed to learn to say “no” when it was “no” that I meant to say. I’ve yet to get that right. The spookiest part of that session was not yet in my awareness as it ended. I had assumed that Philip was already dead. But when I got back to the islands I found out that he had died the day before my return. He’d been in some unknown halfway house on the way out. His channeled voice came from a living man whose spirit had already flown yet was still close by.  He still checks in with me on occasion. He had at one time told me, “Kenneth, you are going someplace special. Where ever you are going I want to go there too”. One other man had said that nearly same thing to me. That guy never kept his word, but Brother Phil did. I am better for it, but I have yet to learn to say no when I need to. I wish I would. People have been known to push me around when they find out about my failure. And someone, somewhere, sometime, will do so again. I don’t know exactly why I am telling this story, beyond the fact that I am a storyteller. I’d better keep my senses focused so I can give it a go at my next opportunity. That is the task at hand; to say no. Wish me luck. Thanks, yer a pal.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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