The Spider and the Spirits

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“All sanity depends on this: that it should be a delight to feel the roughness of a carpet under smooth soles, a delight to feel heat strike the skin, a delight to stand upright, knowing the bones are moving easily under the flesh.”  ~  Dorris Lessing

 “The weather of depression is unmodulated, its light a brownout.”    ~  William Styron

It seems the moon is reeling me right in. I just stepped outside and found myself glad that she had slipped softly down below the rise leading up to the mesa. The nearly blinding brightness, I suppose, yet again I was not in any way required to stare as I did. The silver light earlier was some of that ineffable beauty, so I should not complain. It’s been a rough morning due to management. Depression thick and sticky, anxiety cranked up, so if you feel you might be disturbed don’t read on. Mom has been on my mind lately. I like to think that this means her spirit is nearby, and she may very well be.

I keep thinking back to those many days when I was helping her in her journey toward passing over. It was a good journey and as ineffable in beauty as the moon was earlier this morning. But hard, so very hard. It’s some of the scars I attained back in those days that ache in me this morning. There is beauty in that as well. Those scars glow with an elegant light; sort of golden, yet not. And the memories glow as well.

We started out that journey, when she was all settled in with healthy resignation as to her plight, with a Harry Potter marathon. It only went so far as “The Goblet of Fire”, but that was enough. It was all there was at that point; 2016 don’tcha know. I slept on the floor during that journey, and I remember the night I went to the kitchen of that old adobe house to get a glass of water, and I used a beer mug just to remind myself that I loved beer but having it would interfere with my caregiving role. When I got back to where I had my bed upon a camping pad there was a giant spider next to my pillow. Yikes! I’ve since identified it as hogna carolinias, a huge jumping wolf spider. Click here if you want to have a looksee. Go ahead, it adds to the story. Imagine a body length of 1.4″, add long legs and go from there. Anyway, our hero, upon seeing the spider and emitting a world-class gasp, chugged the pint of water then tipped the mug upside down and slipped it over the beast. I found a piece of cardboard, slipped it beneath the rim of the mug, then transported the beast outside, where I let it loose under the lilac trees. Talk about shivers! I’d thought I was hallucinating at first, from lack of sleep. I was more often than not getting only 1-2 hours of sleep.

Then there was the night, toward the end, when I reluctantly applied a second Fentanyl patch on her for the intense pain. She soon began to shiver intensely; cold, she said. I got her two blankets, which had no detectable affect at all. But I soon found out why. It was the spirits. The opiate lowered her resistance and the dark spirits swarmed in close, swirling in a very hungry way. It took a lot of focus but I eventually chased them all away. I’m good at that sort of stuff, having spent a fair amount of time, since my NDE, dealing with that other world of spirits. Mom’s house was in Talpa, and most any Taoseño knows how Talpa is. They say it’s the witches there, and La Llorna, but the place is thick with ghosts and other spirits as well. Sometimes I had to tell them all to fuck off before I could get any sleep at all. I hadn’t known, before that time, that spirits are drawn to the dying. Some kind of ghosty entertainment? But now I know. How could I not?

Those two anecdotes should go in my next book, the one that I have been deeply reluctant to write, but now that the beloved Stephen Levine has died I may just have to get on with it. Through his books, and through snail mail notes exchanged with his wife, Ondrea, he has helped me immensely with learning to accept death. But, I guess, sharing these anecdotes here this morning has been a bit of mini-catharsis to vent the bulky inner pressure that a shit storm of active depression creates. Poor me, right? Regardless, I’ll have to take it easy today. This spell is that intense. Many depressive days are easily managed, but sometimes the stuff just makes you sit down and be still. Sitting down and being still is something that, as a spiritual teacher, Stephen Levine recommended. Dude like I just might do that dude. A big green fatty would  .  .  .  oh, never mind that!

The cat is deep asleep next to me. She pigged out then let me poke insulin, and then she nodded off, only after I kept her awake long enough to be sure that she wasn’t in ketoacidosis lethargy. “Simple prudence, Harry”, as Dumbledore might say. Hmmm, maybe he did. So it’s about time to head out to my sunrise observation perch. It is friggin 14º out there, but I am dissociated enough this morning that it shouldn’t bother me none. It’s a moody one, for sure, but it feels to be a beautiful day a comin’ down the pike. Did ya know that it is possible to be depressed and still think positive as well? It is.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

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