WHEN ONE NEEDS one’s sweatshirt, where could it be?
WE BEGIN, as mortals on Earth, with a million questions.
By the time we’re four or five years into our beliefs here, we know there are answers and we intend to find them. And sure enough, by the time we’ve spent a few decades here, watched blessings that we thought were disasters when they happened, we have some answers that work for us.
Comes a time when we have so many answers that there’s hardly a question we haven’t resolved and we sail easily through the deep waters that once were reefs and shoals of unsolved mysteries.
Troubles are events for us, we don’t have to worry about what used to be the tests, to be the problems for us to solve. By the time difficult times arrive, we’ve already got matched answers trotting four abreast.
But all these answers! Can we share them with those few who might be interested?
Can we list a problem that seemed to be impossible when we met it, and that’s now a quiet gentle answer?
I don’t know, but I’ll try:
ONCE UPON A TIME, I knew that our imagination was fiction, and our daily lives were fact.
Aren’t there rules? Can’t we write a story that seems to have happened (but didn’t), and yet remember some startling event that no one believes is true (but it happened)?
Answer: No rules. All our lives are gently stirred, our recollections and our imaginations become, to the best of our knowledge, the lives we live, day after day.
Of course we can play with rules that aren’t. I remember flying formation long ago, through clouds that were so dense that I could only see just the wingtip of the flight leader, the rest was fog. I had to fly breathtakingly close to his wing or he would be gone in the clouds.
Later, on the ground, and with years after the flight, I couldn’t believe that clouds could so tightly packed with mist. I must have imagined that flight, i thought, and soon as I did, it became unreal. I hadn’t had such a day ever, before that day, never had one after…it couldn’t have happened, just some light mist, I’m sure. It couldn’t have been. So today, it’s fiction, until perhaps some reader can tell me it happened to her or to him, too. Some clouds are really dense! Then it will come back into living experience for me, once again.
I wrote a little book called Rescue Ferrets at Sea. A book from a few years ago, and since I loved the ferrets I decided to make them a little more true for myself and for readers.
IT USED TO BE, that one could tell that a new era was happening. In electronics, it’s happened, In publishing, it’s happening, but the one I know best is aviation.
I remember the old pilots never much wanted to fly on instruments, reading headings and altitudes from the heading indicator and the altimeter, while all the world outside the windshield was grey fog. They called instrument flying “Needle-ball and alcohol,” for the turn needle, the ball to show an airplane slipping or skidding, and the magnetic compass, damped with alcohol.
You could go anywhere you wanted with those crude instruments. An airspeed indicator was nice to have, too. And an oil pressure gage for the engine.
Early pilots flew by the picture they saw, looking at the world outside of their open cockpits. They didn’t enjoy “flying blind,” but in the 1930’s it was the beginning of an era, pretty well necessary if you wanted to fly every day.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery lived the first part of that new era. He didn’t like modern planes, didn’t much care for the P-38H (F-5) photo plane he flew at the end of the second world war.
He had lost many old friends, flying in the 20′s and 30’s, and the new era was not for him. He disappeared after what he had promised would be his last flight in the ’38, July 31, 1944. Some said that he didn’t really want to live while aviation changed and his friends had gone.
I GUESS SOMETHING I had said about loneliness reached my guardian angel. She’s beautiful, of course, as all of us are in our highest realms of spirit. Spoke softly, a kind of music in her voice.
“Hello, dear spirit. You’re my angel?”
She laughed. “You can say that. Most of us have specialties. Safety in airplane crashes, protection from storms on land, storms at sea, accidents on roads, in elevators… Everything that you believe can happen in a lifetime, you have angels to help when your mission in life is not quite finished.”
I knew there was more for her to say, but she didn’t go on. Not Telling Everything is part of an angel’s training.
“Are you going to help me,” I said, “with another airplane crash?”
“I don’t think you’ll be having another airplane crash.” She was so solemn about that, that it was my turn to laugh.
“What’s your specialty? There’s no elevator on the island. If you’re to be company for a lonely gentleman, I’ll accept your offer with thanks.”
“You’ll need mortals for company. I’m just a busy angel. There’s more in my specialty, but we’re all busy.”
“Forgive me. Thank you for saying hallo. My best wishes from the humans you’re helping!”
REMEMBER LOCKIE? That sweet, that dear, calm, gentle, thoughtful, wise, understanding, soft, fluffy little Shetland Sheepdog puppy who walked with me a few steps, no leash, never barked, who captivated my heart with a single look?
He was so sweet, for two days in my house. I was so kind to him! I told him that this was now his house, and the lands around, they were his lands. He was a Sheltie Prince. Because these words were in the past tense, you suspect that there was a change.
SO MANY EVENTS, I’m finding now, ideas that I should have learned in high school.
When someone’s angry, for instance, I didn’t learn what one needs to say to them (except get away, to myself). Now I’ve learned that the question for me, if not to the Angry One, is: What am I afraid of losing? Anger is always fear. And fear is always about losing something that matters to one.
I am almost never angry, but when that happens and I ask what am I afraid of losing, there’s an answer right top of all that emotion. I’m going to lose my freedom; I’m going to lose my right to be by myself; I’m going to lose my independence; I’m going to lose the company of a friend.
When I answer what am I afraid of, my earth mind is quick and true: “I’m going to lose my…” and the answer is one or two words. I can explain those words or not, I can fight (which has never physically been necessary in my life) or flee, which I’ve done time and again, this lifetime.
WRITERS ARE CONTROL freaks.
It isn’t that we want to have our way in our own lives, it’s that we want everything and everyone to do exactly as the we want them to do. Writers want the stars to change, the weather to shift, the geography, the wild animals, tame ones too, countries, politics, every person, all destinies, every relationship, every thought…every dream needs to be just as we decide it shall be.
I didn’t know this until this morning. I didn’t realize that if there’s anything I don’t like in the world, I erase it.
The media, for instance, they chat about the few things they believe which will sell (they call it “News”), and whole cultures are bent to believe what’s reported is true.
Reporters, for instance, believe that sharks are thoughtless destroyers of the sea, and reading, we think that must be true, no matter the tens of millions of sharks that don’t much mind about humans nearby.
GUESS WHAT? He’s here at last, in my home / his home. At the moment, he’s curled up by my side as I write (my right hand movng slowly, not to disturb him), and he’s sound asleep.
How ideas take form. Not just form, but sometimes personalities, close to our hearts.
ALL WORKED PERFECTLY today. I’ll tell you more, but for the moment both me (exhausted) and the puppy (12-hour travel today was fun — can we do it tomorrow?) need to sleep. Everyone’s fine, the prayer(s) worked as smoothly as guardian angel plans always do.