Saturday, February 02, 2008

Is She For Real

This is the title of my book, my fictitious book. Yes, I am a fictional character. It's easier to swallow this stuff if you think of me in this way. I got an idea of how intense I am, just in my existance today, when U., my pet name for Universe, or The Universe, depending on how you see it, threw me some doozies.

I set out like any other person. I got up at five, watched STAR WARS Episode III, Revenge of the Sith, on the couch with the little DVD player my kids use on long trips to pass the time. I drank my coffee, allowed my son, Aidan to join me around five thirty, watching together the poetic progression of Anakin Skywalker, the chosen one, the one pre-destined to restore order to The Galaxy, evolve into Darth Vader, apprentice to the misinformed leader of the Sith, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine/soon to be cloaked and hooded Emporer with some serious wrinkle problems. While watching this I kept thinking how brilliant the body of work is as a whole. It serves as a metaphoric model of our own society and human history and future, in such a beautifully stylish way. I have always identified with the Force as "God", or that energy most of us now refer to as "The Universe" (remember U.?). My childhood (and adulthood, for that matter) was ruled by this concept I recognized as truth. There is an energy that binds all things. This energy can be harnessed for strength, for information, for a clear view that sight cound never provide. The force is about feelings . "check your feelings, Luke". Third chakra, baby! It's all about feelings. Gut feelings never lie, because it's The Force guiding you.

So, getting back to my day..., I was LOVING this movie. I had only seen it once, in the theater, when it came out a few years ago. I really enjoyed it then, but thought the acting was weak, the special effects too numerous and the story too complicated to follow. Just shows where I was in my evolution because TODAY, at five AM all I could keep saying to myself is, 'This is mastery. This is genius. This is PERFECT. This is speaking to my heart truths upon truths. This is George Lucas's gift to the human race. THIS may be how the human race, how all those younglings LEARN the ways of The Force soon enough that they survive and thrive in this vibrational transition.' Whew! And Aidan, who is only four and a half, pretty close to five years old, followed this film and agreed with me on every point I shared with him, right down to the totally cool T-Bird-esk ship Obi Wan takes to track down General Grievous on a planet in the Outer Rim. He said, "cool ship" while I silently thought "cool ship".

After that, we had breakfast, or Aidan had breakfast and Kieran woke up and had breakfast. We played baloon volleyball over the coffee table with two air- filled red baloons. I put on the Charlie's aAngels sound track and we danced to such classics as, Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel and I Like Big Butts, one of my personal favorites. I gave Tom, my husband, what I thought was great news, that I was going to look at camera equipment today, so that I could start filming my documentary, you know, the one the psychic told me last week that I was going to make? The one that will change the World? I told him I'd be visiting Sammys Camera in Santa Barbara with my mom to investigate equipment for rent (or purchase, I secretly thought). I told him this while he was on the toilet pooping. I don't usually talk to Tom while he's pooping. This should have been a red flag for me.

I took a shower, got dressed in a pair of Tom's jeans because my jeans are too big now (fat is phat!, Remember?) I wanted to wear the red, paisly silk strapless bustier over a T-shirt with the jeans, but caution got the best of me. Did I really want to call that much attention to myself today? I settled for a navy and white print wrap dress over the jeans and a very long sand colored cashmere scarf, wrapped around my body and artfully tied at my hip, like a Jedi Knight. I thought I looked cute. I picked up Mom from the house, after she fed me a calorie-rich breakfast and we spilled milk from chalices into the planter (I had been advised to do this in honor of some pagan holiday, representing the center point between the winter and spring solstices by my sister Stacy and good friend, Kym). We headed out into the beautiful, 11 AM sun and made our way across town to Sammy's.

Sammy's Camera was an experience. The aisles were filled with equipment real photographers, cinematographers and film-makers use. We perused these aisles. I saw a display of National Geographic brand khaki canvas equipment bags. I told Mom, "we're gonna need something like that for Africa". She didn't flinch. In fact, she was being surprizingly supportive. This wasn't like her. She was usually trying to contain me, like a genie in a bottle. What was this? Was she more enlightened than I'd thought? I should have noted this as another "red flag", but being the gullible sort, I went straight down to work.

I approached the counter and began to express my needs to the first sales person who made eye contact. "Ohhh, stop right there", she said when I started listing the equipment needs I had for making a feature-length documnetary... "I know who you need to talk to, Sonny. I'll get him". A few minutes later a very cute, very confident five foot something gentleman came to my aid from behind the camera counter. "I need a digital camera", I said, "one that has the capability to shoot a documentary in natural ligting conditions, and will produce a film quality fit for "The Big Screen". "Hi-Def or regular def?", Sonny asked. "oh, definately Hi Def", I replied, after pondering the question for a total of two seconds. "Well... we are TOTALLY out of HI-Def cameras right now." I paused for two seconds, "then regular def it is. I need a camera TODAY! I need to start shooting my documentary." I replied with confidence. Secretly, I was praising this woman that I have become, in her wrap dress with the Star Wars-esk sheik Jedi scarf accoutremont. I was good and I looked good too. I listed off and we discussed the other things I would need, a tri-pod, a case for the camera, a larger battery pack, two boxes of tapes, a cable to transfer the film to a computer which I do not at this time posess, a "take one, aaaaaaannnnnnd, (CLAP) Action!" thing to help with editing (Sonny wasn't even by phased by the fact that I didn't posess the vocabulary for film-making. What a Professional!). The final thing I added to the pile was lens cleaning tissues. Sonny helped me out by giving me a micro-fiber lens cloth instead. Mom and I stood there and we made bets on what the total would be. At first, I threw out, "ten thousand", just to show her that I wasn't scared. "Nooooo", she said, "I think it's less, something like two thousand." "Not possible", I replied. "It will be four thousand, eight hundred sixtythree and thirty five cents" I said with the confidence of one who KNOWS. "I bet it's five thousand, five hundred seventy three dollars and fifteen cents. and if I'm right, you buy lunch and if you're right, I'll buy lunch.", Mom said. And that is how we stood, in joyful glee, while Sonny added up and charged five thousand, five hundred seventy three dollars and fifteen cents to my American Express OPEN card with the business name Terra Celeste on the front. Mom was right, I said I'd buy lunch.

Our errands then took us to the better of the two local "woo-woo" stores, Paradise Found. Mom had a list of things she needed to buy and I wanted to pick up some spray sage in a bottle for cleansing energy in a room without the smoke and a few raw crystals to grid the house of my dear friend Lisa, who has been blessed with a cancer experience. Mom went straight to work, bypassing the fuzzy pink and blue Jesus and Mary statues without a word of jest (a better woman than I- I had to make fun of these treasures!). She selected a lovely transparent lavender plastic Tara figure for my niece, Ari, and I proceded to choose a nice selection of dual-terminated quartz crystals, an eqyptian cat/eye candle to ward off evil spirits form my altar, two bottles of spray sage and a couple of celestite shards. I was done with my shopping, except for the affordable $14 dream catcher I noticed hanging with the less affordable $57. dreamcatchers , Medicine Wheels and Spirit Wheels, while Mom shopped for singing bowls. She bought the dream catcher for Aidan, my son, who informed me nearly a year ago that he "needed a dream catcher near his bed to catch the bad dreams". Yeah, he's one of those kids. While Mom continued to shop, I sat down in an alcove reserved for those who care to embibe in the prescribed music of the moment. I sat, with my palms turned upward, resting on my knees and closed my eyes to meditate and connect for a few moments. I got the urge to attempt to enrgy-heal a cut I had received this morning from a large quartz formation my Mom gave me for Christmas. The cut was deep, but clean and on the pad of my wedding ring finger. I sat, with right hand suspended over left, creating, and at the same time experiencing, the penetrating energy emerging for the palm of one hand and terminating in the finger of the other. I thought, while I was doing this, that I could go later to the hospital and use this technique on my friend Lisa, to help heal her perpetually collapsing lung. I had a moment of fear/arrogance that I could acually mend my own tissue, thereby proving that I posessed the capability to speed the regeneration of new cells and potentialy add this technique to my resume. I thought, 'I am the perfect experimental subject'. While I '"healed" myself, the pain I had experienced jut moments prior, melted away.

Mom finished buying her trinkets and we joyfully meandered two doors down to the Arts and Letters Cafe. I told Mom I had something to tell her/show her, but not until after we ordered. We both chose the soup and Mom augmented ber pumpkin bisque with the grilled artichoke, and I could hardly contain my excitement (another red flag) in my story of the crystal, the cut and the catharsis. I prepared to rip off the bandaid. The healed finger would be the ultimate proof that I had a gift. That I was special. That I was destined to be popualr amonght the sick and dying. I removed the bandaid.....the cut was no longer apparent. The pad on the finger had some dried blood, and if you looked closely, you could make out a small line where the flesh had healed. There was no other redness, swelling, separation, lesion, abrasion or indication of trauma. That was it. I was a full fledged healer. I began imagining the business cards I would have to order when I noticed that there was blood on my left palm. That couldn't be from my miracle finger, I thought, incredulously. I was a healer. The finger was healed. But, the flag was yet again, red, and I had to admit to myself and to Mom, that I was not actually completely healed.

We left the Arts and Letters Cafe and headed to State Street where I knew there existed an antique shop specializing in Asian furniture. When we reached the corner of State and Anapamu, we both asked our gudes to direct us- we both agreed that left was the way to go. The shop was right there, half way down the block just past the construction scaffolding masking the future fascade of yet another Santa Barbara storefront remodel. Mom said she wanted an antique asian stool or short table to set afront her fireplace hearth as an altar for her and my step dad's home. We had a good time perusing the furniture, stopping to admire the three simple milking stools dating from the early 1900's. Mom spotted a little square tea table with a tiny drawer that she liked. It was $175., somewhere in between the $40 and $200 she said she wanted to spend on this item. Instead of buying it right away, we looked at the whole store, admiring antique rugs, tables, stools, buddah heads, asian altars, and pottery. The two owners turned out to be quite interesting and rather charming, as mom purchased be tea table from one and I inquired about the price of an egyptian statue of a cat from the other. Fun!

We took our wares and decied to return to her house for a nap. While in transit, Tom, my husband called. I felt compelled, because I can't keep a secret, and don't ever ask me to lie because I am not capable of it, to tell him of my video camera, tripod and scene-editing board purchase. This was right before he inquired about the fully reversable purple and emerald green full length velvet cloak that had just arrived in the mail. Great. I had hoped to intercept that. I knew when I ordered it, that it alone could create a bit of a stir, but coupled with my behavior and channelling from the last seven days, I know I was in trouble. "I don't know who you are anymore" he said. Fuck. "You are spening like a mad woman. You are sounding crazy. I think our paths are diverging.... ". I, up until that very moment, thought we were growing closer together. He had even expressed an inteest in taking yoga classes with me just yesterday. How could he have been so easily thrusted into a state of doubt of my sanity? I tried to not make ultimatums. I tried to be comapssionate. "I can imagine how you must feel", I said, pretending to be a sympathetic friend, "this may seem rather crazy from your vantage point". I then gathered my strength, courage and wit and began to formulate a concrete argument as to the sanity of each and every one of my recent actions. I even had a truthful explanation for the purchase of the cloak which had nothing to do with pagan rituals performed under a full moon with other cloaked individuals. "I was depressed", I said, "at Christmastime". I had had thyroiditis and all I wanted was something fun. Not the boots Mom wanted to give me but he cloak that my sister Stacy suggested she give me, knowing that this kind of gift was just the kind of thing that sparked my passion. Mom had vehemently refused to buy me such a thing claiming that I would probably wear it. This act of again, trying to keep me contained in an appropriate bottle was just enough to make me order the cloak for myself out of spite coupled with desire. Cloaks are blankets with hoods. I like blankets. My favorite colors have always been purple and green. What's the big deal anyway. The cloak doesn't come with a membership card to the United Federation of Witches, or anything of that sort, so why all the hoopla from Mom and Tom? What's the BFD? What are you all so afraid of????

Ahhhhhh, and now we get to why I need to make my documentary. A documentary on the natural shift of normal every-day people like you and me, from a state of sometimes literal but mostly figurative bondage in the form of worry, misery, resentment, greed, envy, selfishness, sloth, carelessness, regret, shame, hate and the big one that sets all the other balls in motion, FEAR through a transitionary metomorphosis and then out the other side free from the bondage and absolutely revelling in the joy.

I spent a good thirty minutes, and more energy than I had, carefully explaining in a rational and concretely supportive way, all that has been happening to me, and why I had to spend five thousand dollars on equipment to make a real honest to goodness movie. I realize he can't even fathom that someone would be balsy/foolish/arrogant/stupid enough to attempt to do what I am claiming I WILL DO (without even a tinge of hesitation, doubt or trepidation). I love the man, so I try again to make an argument that he will understand. I say that he spends how much (about $20,000 per year, he says) to send our oldest daughter to college? I say that with this money you are investing in something that may or may not pay off in the end. No one who enters college is guaranteed a high paying job upon graduation. As parents, we have faith that the investment is a worthwhile one, albeit "risky" in the sense that the gains may not be seen for many years to come, if at all.

My argument then took us back down along my track record. In the four years since I was laid off from my solid career in pharmaceutical sales, I have focused my efforts on rearing our children, and have worked tirelessly in persuit of honest business successes. I have established two on-line stores to sell my self-created lines of therapeutic gemstone jewely. I have created and published packs of inspirational cards, I have made over a dozen small films for our family and loved ones, carefully creating, editing, incorporating music and text where I was able, to hone my film-making/editing skills. I have written over 85 essays on a blog, that I find to be a solid body of work. I have done all of this and taken care of all of our four children, braiding hair, baking scones, reading aloud, helping with homework, driving on field trips, working in the classroom, serving on the PTA, participating in any and every way that is offered up to me. Saying "no" to almost nothing and with a smile on my face in in my heart most of the time. I make this argument and I get Tom to say that he's still worried about me but that he does love me and always will. Phew. Disaster averted. For now.

I float like an deflaed weather balloon into Mom's house to rest. After I log about 20 minutes of deep breathing- I can not sleep, Mom comes out. I am so excited because the name of the documentary has come to me. I explain the significance of YOU as another way of saying U. (for Universe. for God- which you are). She isn't elated. She is more concerned with the temperature of the coffee she hands me. "Is it warm enough?", she asks.

As we sit down on the couch she takes that authoratative tone, stating, "I think you may be bi-polar. You seem manic". Oh geeez. Not this again. Not today. Not by another one of my allys. Why is this so hard.

I listen to her express her concern. I smile, sensitively, she worries about her children, their weight, thair hair color and cut, their manicure status, and weather or not they are wearning eye cream and sunscreen. I get really close, place my hand on her knee and say, "this must be very hard for you. Not that I am suggesting that I belong in the same ranks with such a man, but imagine the Dhali Lama, imagine Ghandi, imagine anyone who's courage to speak and act in a different way, must affect those closest to them." I look her in the eye and ask her to look at me. I say, "From the time you first carried me in your womb, you know I was special. You have always known that My destiny was to do great things. I'm an old soul, remeber? You were the first one who told me that. When I was four. You know this is exactly what I am meant to do and I will gladly accept any helpful advice you may wish to provide to me as I persuit this inevitable goal",

Mom, suggests, "Ease up, don't tell everybody so much. Don't be so intesnse, it's scary (for me," I know she is thinking). "You don't have to give yourself away just because you can. " And from her words I see/know that I need to stop talking to my people about all of this and start writing. So, here it is. I dare you to ask, "Is she for real?". Read on and make up your own mind.

This is risky business, this job I have taken on. I know it. Good thing I am strong. Very very strong and detirmined to DO what I know I must do. It takes a fuck-shit load of courage to lead the masses form what they know that is "bad" to what they don't know that is "good". My beloveds, where we are going is good, so very very good. All I ask is that you trust me.

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