Det brenner "hjemme"

Jeg følger med på brannene i Sør-California, siden det jo er der jeg er fra og har bodd.

Vil du se “hjemstedet” mitt? I brann? (Er et stort bilde, ca. 5 MB.) http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/gsfc/earth/pictures/2003/1027cafires/California_Wildfires.jpg (Merk at bildet er fra tidligere i uken.)

Hvis du begynner med øverste brannområde (det med en kjede øyer utenfor), og går til høyre til neste brannområde (i en fjellkjede), så blåser altså røyken fra sistnevnte rett over Los Angeles. Du ser en bukt mellom de to brannområdene; det er Malibu og strendene i Los Angeles. En bitteliten halvøy kan skimtes gjennom røyken i sydenden av bukten, og der ligger flyplassen, ikke langt fra der min far bor. Selve havneområdet til Los Angeles (og mitt fødested, Long Beach) er helt tildekket av røyken. Den aller nederste brannen på bildet er i Mexico. Hvis du ser til høyre og opp for den brannen (på andre siden av fjellene ved innsjøen), så kan du se hvor grensen går pga. bebyggelsen på USA-siden. Colorado-elven ligger til høyre for det igjen.

Får de brannene under kontroll, og stoppet, så løser de ett problem. Men naturen har ett til å by på: Regntiden. Og når den kommer, så er det ingen vegetasjon som kan holde igjen jordsmonnet, som er hovedsaklig leire og sand. Så må kalifornierne belage seg på jordras.

I dag kan folk se litt mer blå himmel i Los Angeles, Santa Ana vinden har løyet (men vinden generelt har det ikke), og luften er ikke så tørr. Jeg håper at de veldig snart får slutt på brannene.

Seeking purple

Lately I’ve been yearning for the spiritual, for uplifting, non-material parts of life, for inspiration, enthusiasm and even magic.

Lately I’ve become keenly aware of my own psychic abilities. Nothing like knowing the answers to specific questions or telling someone their future. More a sort of ESP, a telepathic connection to those close to me. It happens through my body. My gut feeling is not just a feeling; it’s actual received information. And lately, I’ve been able to communicate the other way, to my cat.

Lately, I’ve felt the need to fill myself up, to do something about my own, personal emotional and spiritual needs. Everything’s all right in my world, health-wise, family-wise, money-wise. It’s time to feed the spirit.

I’m looking for shades of purple, the color associated with the psychic, the Neptunian, the crown chakra, the spiritual. I haven’t actually sought out the color itself. I’m drawn more to its baser expressions of red. All shades of red, from the oranges to the purples. I’m definitely not in a blue mood.

This new growth in my own psychic connection to others, makes me want to know more, to learn more. I think that’s one reason why I have such an urge to seek out the spiritual right now.

Mitt søken, beskrevet ovenfor, gjør at jeg ønsker inspirasjon, jeg søker kilder som kan gi meg åndelig næring. Jeg hadde såvidt hørt om Ingebrigt Steen Jensen og i går, hos bokhandleren, kom jeg over boken hans “Ona Fyr”. Om det er akkurat det jeg er på jakt etter, vet jeg ikke ennå, men jeg leste de første par kapitlene og følte at her var det i hvert fall en som er på bølgelengde med meg. Som ikke er så imponert over grådigheten og selvopptattheten så mange gir uttrykk for i dagens samfunn, men som vet hvor mye moro mennesker kan ha sammen ved å være mennesker – og hvor produktive slike mennesker er på jobben.

Så jeg leter etter lillafargen i mitt liv, etter undring, inspirasjon, vekst, glede. Glede som er uavhengig av situasjon eller velstand, men som bare er. Når jeg opplever at jeg faktisk kan formidle en stemning, et behov til kjæledyret mitt, får jeg en kraftig påminnelse om at verden består av mer enn det de fem sansene forteller oss om. Og dette “mer” er faktisk reell, viktig og en kilde til glede. Og derfor tror jeg at jeg slik behov for å gå dypere inn i dette.

Have faith!

Finally, the day had come where I just had to take my cat, Sammy, to the vet’s. She didn’t act like anything was wrong, really, but her breath had started to stink. I had the day off and a good friend of mine was willing to chauffeur us, so a little after 9 am, we were at the vet’s.

I talked to the vet about my cat’s reaction to the anasthesia. My cat reacts badly. She wakes up so slowly from it and is psychologically really ill from it as long as it’s in her body. The vet gave her a new type and a wake-up shot. Sammy had a cyst at the side of her mouth; no big deal – just needs to be drained every so often. She had her teeth cleaned, and she had ear mites, quickly handled, and medication given to me to give her. So nothing unusual or serious.

When I got Sammy home and let her out of her carrier, she instantly started moving around, even though she didn’t have much control over her hind legs. Every time she tried to navigate a door jamb, she’d lose her balance. But she kept pacing, back and forth, back and forth. Later in the afternoon, she was ravenous, and I let her eat. She still didn’t settle down. In the evening, she seemed to lose steam. In fact, she lost so much steam, I was afraid she was actually getting ill from the anasthesia.

I didn’t sleep well last night. This morning I found that she hadn’t made it to her litter box, so I cleaned up wet and solid in the spare room. When I finally located her, I had to admit, she had found a place where she was camouflaged: Between her cat post, clad in tan and brown, and the tan wall and brown legs of my sofa; her own colors are tan and brown (actually, cream and blue). I left for work at 8 am, and came home during my lunch break at 11 to check up on her. She was in the exact same spot.

Through all this, hardly a sound from her. When I tried to touch her this morning, she protested very weakly. At lunch, she seemed a bit more responsive to my entering the room, but that was it. I had a hard time concentrating at work, and my stomach happily reacting instantly to all my stress (better than a laxative!). The message from the vet was not encouraging; Sammy was not having a typical reaction to that particular combination of anasthesia/wake-up drug, and that combination was chosen because she’s an old cat.

Now, I have to tell you something: Neither Sammy nor I enjoy going to the vet’s. What we really hate is the waking-up process. Sammy can read my mind, so earlier attempts to get her to the vet’s have resulted in her instantly running to hide the moment I come home from work – me having focused on the task at hand on my way home. So Tuesday I took a walk around the pond where I live, trying to talk to her telepathically (I’ve read that this can be done), explaining to her what we were going to do, why it had to be done, and that I understood her reluctance. I promised I would stay with her as much as I could, and that I would ask for an alternative, if possible. I felt I got a response from her. In fact, she never acted at all like anything was up; I had also prayed to God to guide us and make this as easy as possible on both her and me. Wednesday morning, I was able to “ambush” her and get her into her carrier without any hassle at all. A first! At that very moment, my friend had arrived and was waiting for me in his car. I was feeling very blessed. At the vet’s, it turned out that I should have made an appointment for visits before noon, but they had plenty of openings for me, so no problem. And there was an animal dentist there that day, too! Talk about everything going smoothly!

But I forgot God was looking after us, when I saw how ill Sammy was from the anasthesia. I just couldn’t calm down, find peace of mind. Today I shuffled my angel cards, looking for peace. My angel cards are like miniature playing cards, each with a little childish drawing of angels in some situation or other and a related text (they are “Angel Power” cards, published in Switzerland). I carry them in my purse. I shuffled them, asking for information about my cat. The first said the angels were taking care of us. Nice. Later in the day, as my stomach acted up again, based on what the vet had said about having to come back with the cat if she didn’t wake up more, I got a card saying that we are to learn while we live. I took that in the worst way, meaning I was to learn something because I was alive but my cat…

My friend came back to be my chauffeur again. We had dinner at the employee cafeteria at my office (I finally decided to eat first), then went to my home. There, I found that Sammy had managed to use her litter box – and she was now in the corner by the balcony door (where the warm radiator pipes run under the floor). She was lying in a “meatloaf” position* , as she had earlier, and still didn’t seem able to get her eyes open. I really didn’t know what to do, but I didn’t feel that horsing around with her in her current condition (stuffing her into her carrier, taking her to the vet’s) was a good idea.
“Meatloafing”: based on a drawing by B. Kliban, showing a black cat lying at rest with head somewhat lower than back and paws tucked in under the body; the drawing was mistaken by some to be a meatloaf

I talked to my friend and then asked him if we couldn’t take a walk around the pond. I needed to do something, but didn’t want to let my chauffeur go right away. We had a lovely walk around the pond, seeing some oddities we couldn’t figure out: Two crows with some white feathers and what was, for all intents and purposes, a female mallard but whose overall coloring was much paler that a mallard’s. She too had some white feathers.

Back at my place, I checked on Sammy one more time. She was still “meatloafing” by the balcony door. I decided to take a chance. This part was somewhat familiar, after all, from earlier “wake ups” after a vet visit.

I sent my friend home, and went to visit Grandma. Not much conversation today, but I stayed a bit, reading one of her magazines. Then I bought some cat food and more magazines for myself. As I left the store, heading for home, my stomach suddenly felt completely and utterly calm. All the stress, the agitation, was gone. I didn’t quite trust that calm, though, still willing to believe the worst.

I should have had faith, though. When I got home, Sammy was in the couch! In her favorite spot! She was in the meatloaf position and her eyes were more open. I came over and scritched her head. She didn’t like it, but tolerated it. I know she can’t stand being touched while that anasthesia is still in her, but I told her, I just had to touch her. I talked to her about the situation. I said that we were constantly learning every time she got drugged at the vets. “We live and learn,” I said – and suddenly I realized what the card “we are to learn while we live” meant! It meant that Sammy and I were going to have this experience again, and that meant she was going to be all right! I was so relieved, I cried.

And now, a good half hour since I started to write this blog entry, Sammy has curled up in a normal sleeping position for a cat, like the C in “cat”, nose to tail. And that is one of the most peaceful sights in the world. My stomach and I are starting to feel normal again.

Hands

I like to read palmistry books. I can’t read a palm worth a darn, but I do like to read about hands. (My moon in Gemini, perhaps? Gemini rules hands.) I came across a book on palmistry that features features I haven’t seen in other palmistry books. Like what about all those little lines in my hand that I always thought just meant I was a nervous wreck? This author says it shows someone who has had a lot of past lives and so has brought a lot of knowledge/experience into this life. This person should not try to do so much, but simplify life and contemplate on the spiritual.

Well, here I am, trying to declutter my home, give myself routines, enjoying the joy of a tidy kitchen and a place to eat breakfast in peace. Astrologically, I have the Sun in the 12th house, which shows someone not interested in the outer world, but prone to have spiritual interests and to enjoy solitude. So my hands match my chart, that way.

A friend of mine with solid square hands with clear and few lines wanted to know what they said. Hands like that show stability and creativity. I told him to keep on doing what he was doing, if it meant creating something. His hands show his Leo stellium. Leo is associated with the 5th house, the house of children, hobbies and creative endeavors. My friend has kids, keeps birds, and is constantly fixing up his house and garden, building cages for the birds and making model airplanes, as well as cooking and some other stuff. He’s a plumber by trade. His hands produce and create.

Halloween

Da jeg bodde i USA var Halloween favorittdagen min, både som barn og som ungdom. Elsker alt det mørke, ondskapsfulle, magiske, levende døde. Som barn var jeg alltid utkledd som heks. Det skulle være noe skremmende, noe fra “det hinsidige”. Jeg fant ikke igjen kostymen min på skolen et år og ble sminket til indianer. Jeg hylte av skuffelse. Dagen var så til de grader ødelagt!

Men andre Halloweener ble tilbrakt i lekre, hjemmesydde heksekostymer. Min mor var flink med nål og tråd, og jeg var veldig glad som skjønn liten heks. Likte tanken på å ha magiske krefter. Som tenåring oppdaget jeg at det var blitt mer vanlig med andre kostymer enn de skremmende. La gå at en Nixon- eller Reagan-maske (og nå Bush) kan være “ekkel”, men klovner? Prinsesser? Cowboyer? Helligbrøde! (Om man kan si det om Halloween.) Nå til dags ligner feiringen mer på karneval med folk som er utkledd som engler eller James Bond. Det blir rett og slett for mye farge (og for få masker). Det skal være svart og oransje på Halloween!

Leste nå i siste nummer av Nemi om tradisjonen Halloween, en dag med røtter langt tilbake til keltisk tid og opprinnelig en blanding av høsttakkefest og forberedelse på mørketiden. Kelterne anså mørketiden for å være skummel, en tid da mennesker var sårbare overfor onde ånder og spøkelser og mørkemenn. Så de skulle lures, disse onde, ved at menneskene kledde seg ut som dem. (Mye likt den norske julebukktradisjonen, hvor man kler seg ut som Djevelen (bukk) for at han skal tro at her er ikke noen kristne å plage.)

Tradisjonen er nå innført til Norge. Av handelsstanden. Og i stedet for å være en slags høstlig karneval med skummelt fortegn, er det blitt en unnskyldning for rølp. I fjor kastet noen egg på vinduet mitt. Jeg aner ikke hvorfor; det er derfor jeg kaller det rølp. Man griper fatt i “knep” (“trick”), og forvandler en artig høytid til et påskudd for hærverk. I tillegg dukket noen unger opp 2. november i fjor med “knask eller knep” (Donald-bladets oversettelse av “trick or treat”) og ble sure på meg da jeg påpekte at Halloween er 31. oktober, uansett.

Så allerede før det er begynt, har jeg avsmak for den norske utgaven. Jeg har ikke tenkt å støtte mer opp om handelsstanden i Norge. Det får holde at de dytter jul på meg allerede i oktober. Halloween er ingen tradisjon her, og jeg lurer på om den går på bekostning av den eksisterende julebukktradisjonen (den begynner jo å forsvinne). Uansett, jeg har ikke lyst å svare døren 31. oktober. Den dagen finner jeg på noe annet.

Kall meg gjerne heks, om du vil.

Family ties

Finally. I know I have a lot to say and yet finding the energy to say it hasn’t been easy. It’s because it’s all so emotional for me and there’s so much, I have to think about organizing my thoughts.

What follows is obviously from my point of view. Just want to make sure you keep that in mind.

The Arrival

My mother came to visit on the 19th. She came to visit her mother who’s been in the hospital (see Sept 18 blog) as well as me. Grandma said to me earlier this summer, “I’m going to ask you something and I hope you don’t get upset.” She wanted to know if I minded her inviting Mom over from the States. I didn’t. But the fact that Grandma asked in that manner should clue you in as to how things are in my so-called family.

Grandma didn’t get around to calling her daughter herself. Once again, she fell and ended up in the hospital. I e-mailed my mother and relayed the request.

My feelings have been mixed: A part of me was looking forward to seeing my mother again; another part of me was wary, remembering past fights and hurts. I realized that the little girl inside of me still longed for her mommy. The adult me was far from that enthusiastic. I decided to have as few expectations as possible; the upside to that is that it usually leads to being happily surprised. 🙂

So emotional, mushy me teared up on the way to the airport, and teared up again at seeing my mother. She hadn’t changed. Still looked like herself. (Truth is, none of us change much in this family.) Still sounded like herself.

The Visit

We still share a sense of humor. Or rather, I remember her sense of humor and I still laugh.

She was here for 5 days and nights. Every evening we walked to the bus and rode to the hospital. Grandma didn’t recognize her daughter at first (but she didn’t 9 years ago, either). We talked about all sorts of things. Mostly my mother talked. She told of her life in the States, her work, her activities. We both still share an interest in the paranormal and things related, but politically, we’re very wide apart now.

I notice some things about my mother, stuff that may have been there the whole time but that I see more clearly now. My conclusion is that she is afraid (of loss) and she may also feel very alone.

Our family has never been close. We’ve never really been emotionally demonstrative, either. As long as we aren’t discussing feelings (i.e. getting personal), we seem to do all right. But the moment we get into anything that may hurt or touch a tender spot, we are on the defensive. Makes it hard to get close. For me, it makes it hard to take the chance on closeness. As I said above, I remember past fights and hurts.

There was a moment when the old pattern made its presence known. But I didn’t respond to it. I stayed calm, letting the moment pass. I recognized what I now call The Game. The Game played between my mother and I seems to be Who Of Us Had The Crappier Childhood; it’s an unspoken competition between us which frustrates me since she’s my mother and therefore partly responsible for my crappy childhood. But recognizing The Game and listening to some things she told from her childhood also clarified a few things from my childhood. Still, I don’t need any more dysfunctional parenting. If my mother and I were just friends, not relatives, it would all be so much easier. But she’s my mother.

The Departure

I was once again feeling emotional and tearing up as my mother and I rode in a taxi to the airport. Once there, we said our goodbyes without one tear falling and no “I love you’s”. At that point, I was relieved. I was so oddly – empty.

I had decided to see her plane take off. When the screen read that her flight was “Now Boarding”, I teared up. When the screen read “Gate Closed”, I teared up and for one moment wished that she’d come bounding up the stairs, telling me she couldn’t leave me. My little girl wish. (This is what she should have done when I was 8 years old, and going off to Norway the first time. Neither of my parents had the sense then to tell me that they were sorry to lose me and that they would miss me.)

Except for the two moments of tearing up, I felt nothing. Both baffled me, the emotion and the lack of it. When I saw the actual plane take off, I felt nothing. I just thought, “What a fat-looking plane.” Kind of short and wide, y’know? But it was hard to keep in mind that Mom was inside it.

I couldn’t make sense of my feelings. I sent messages to a couple of friends about the successful visit but confusing departure. One reply suggested that I would know in a few days, when everything had calmed down.

Well, I didn’t want to wait a few days. When I got home, I was pretty tired. So I put on my favorite meditation/nap music and stretched out on the couch, with my cat in my lap.

The first scene from my meditation was me, standing in the midst of a churning sea, completely dry. Right where I was there was calm, but everything around me was severely agitated. I didn’t like it. I felt like all my work at maturing, at getting a grip on my own childhood and my relationship with my mother was for nothing because I seemed to not love my mother!

The next scene was me in a calm garden, talking to an old crone. I told her that I didn’t know what I was feeling, that I was surprised at my calm. She said, “That’s what strength feels like.” The one thing I never wanted to let my mother do to me again, was hurt me. And she didn’t. She couldn’t. And she can’t. She’d have to make a huge stink to get me to react now, and it just wouldn’t be worth it. It would only make her look bad.

Still, something didn’t sit right with me. “Am I strong because I no longer love my mother?” That bothered me. The crone wanted to know why. If it was true, I said, then it was something I had to keep to myself. To let my mother know that her own daughter didn’t love her would be to hurt her terribly; it would be cruel. “And you care whether or not she’s hurt?” the crone asked. “Yes, I do. Very much.” …Oh… I do still love her. I was relieved. (My mother’s not perfect, but she’s mine. And I guess that’s part of my growing up: Realizing I’d rather love her than hate her or cut her out.)

The Aftermath

I have since realized that I am strong in other areas. My mother has not spent the time with her mother that I have. When Grandma goes, I will miss her, but I will have many good memories to look back on. My mother doesn’t and I think she realizes that (hence my comment above about her being afraid of loss). I don’t know how much longer Grandma will be around. I’ve done and said what I’ve needed to say and do. My mother tried to while she was here. I have to make sure that Grandma heard that.

One thing that has always impressed me about my grandmother is that no matter what, she has never stopped loving her daughter or worrying about her. She has always wanted the best for my mother. She has always wanted to see her daughter happy.

I tusjens tegn

Så har jeg gjort det. Deltatt på en tegneseriemesse, nærmere bestemt Raptus. Dette har jeg gjort, men ikke fordi jeg er spesielt tegneserieinteressert (selv om jeg kjøper flere humorblad hver måned). Jeg dro ene og alene for å treffe en tegner som jeg har korrespondert med via e-post siden han brukte meg i en av adventskalendervitsene sine. Så nå har jeg dykket inn i en verden som jeg hittil bare har hørt om: Verden av samlere, av fans av tegnere, av folk som står villig i lang, ordnet kø for å få en lite tegning av f.eks. Will Eisner eller Dan Piraro (to av årets gjestetegnere). Alle som har bidratt til bladene “Rocky” og “Gorilla” fikk lange køer av fans foran sine “tegnebord”.

Etter en del SMS-er med min tegneserietegnende e-postvenn, Knut A. G. Hauge, fant jeg i hvert fall rommet. Så fant jeg stativet med alle Mille-kortene. Da spurte jeg damen ved bordet der hvor mannen bak kortene befant seg. Og han befant seg bak et annet bord bak meg. Jeg snudde meg, folkemengden delte seg (de to gikk til hver sin kant), og der var Knut. Han satt ved bordet for Trondheimstegnerne, som viste seg å være en samling mennesker like hyggelige som Knut selv. De prøvde alle å selge Slagg 2 og var fornøyd med sin ene kunde for øyeblikket (meg). Samtlige har tegnet i min utgave av Slagg 2 så den havner aldri på loppemarked. 🙂

Derimot havnet den og jeg for anledningen på foredrag med Trondheimstegnerne (hvorav de fleste er ikke-trøndere) og Knuts 12″ iBook (sant det er det du har, Knut?) med Bluetooth-styring (skal det være så skal det). Knuts tegning i min utgave av Slagg 2 inkluderer nettopp en iBook, så jeg har nok en grunn for å beholde bladet i all evighet.

Omsider ble det anledning til å ta en kopp kaffe med Knut og hans ungdomskamerat, Sverre. Kaffen ble ledsaget av bergenske skillingsboller og en god del erting av Knut. Etterpå havnet vi atter ved stativet med alle Mille-kortene og elefantkortene og stavkirkekortene (man kan ikke påstå at Knut er ensporet) og jeg fikk litt av historien bak kortene; bl.a. har Sverre fotografert elefanten på Ulrikens topp. Her lærte jeg også flere måter å erte Knut på. (Nei, jeg forteller ikke deg.)

Det er alltid morsomt og litt nervepirrende å omsider skulle møte noen ansikt-til-ansikt som man kun har korrespondert med. Hittil har det alltid blitt over all forventning for meg.

Men kan du skjønne hvordan jeg klarte å dra fra Raptus uten å snope Nemi, Pondus, Modesty Blaise, Jason, Asterix, Rocky, Sandman, Katrine Haaland……

More experimenting

What can I say? Now that I can publish my blog again via Blogger.com, and its brand new interface, I have to explore further.

Astrology: Mercury has gone retrograde. The planet of communications and agreements and contracts now appears to be moving backwards from our point of view. The astrological interpretation of this REtrograde motion is one of REdo, REthink, REwrite, REassess. So I find myself REexploring Blogger and REstarting my blog at this site. So Mercury Retrograde (or Rx, for short) is not necessarily a bad thing, but do REcheck information and agreements, just to be sure.