Monday, November 30, 2020

Not so Simple

 The simple things are not so simple.

I'm sitting in my sister's truck waiting for her. 

I just finished my first trip to the grocery store since Scott died. Now. I'm shopping for one. I feel the loss so deeply retracing our steps. 

I miss him. I miss going grocery shopping with him, going to the gas station, going to the bank, driving to and from home.

I just miss him through and through 💙

My First Walk in the Woods

The Woods behind our Home

This morning I walked in the woods, leaving the house for the third time, since Scott has been gone.
Last night, I felt a push to go into the forest. This morning I answered the message.

I got up at 5 a.m., brewed a pot of coffee, finishing off a piece of banana nut muffin my sister had baked from Scott's bananas,  I started writing my first two posts of the day for this blog.

At 7:30 am, I felt it was time to go for my walk. I left by the front door following the trail to the woods, leaving myself no expectations except hope that I would finally encounter the bears that I know live in this forest. I wasn't afraid, I pictured myself sitting on a log as we looked at each other from a short distance.

Continuing to walk through the woods, I followed the sunrise, the bright light penetrating the trees, illuminating the fall colors of the valley below.  I came upon a ledge and stood silent, listening for animals. Searching for the scent of bear, my sister told me it's a musky scent. They know the scent well.  Years ago, one of the black bears entered through their open sliding glass door, my brother in law found him on top of the dining room table.

After standing in silence for several minutes, I turned around to follow the trail back home. On the way, I stopped, feeling that something was out there for me to see, I looked at another trail going off towards the left. I could see for quite a way from my vantage point. I stood still. Within seconds, I spotted a flash of tawny brown thick fur, the back of a large animal, scurrying fast down the trail heading through the woods to the valley below. A mountain lion. My second sighting, the first being in the hills above Tomales with my middle sister ten years ago. This lion was small, gliding down the hill, I could feel her wanting to make it home as fast as possible before the sun rose over the valley revealing all who want to be hidden from people during the day.  Later, this morning, my baby sister would tell me, "yes, there is a small mountain lion that lives here, the neighbor's dog chased it off the other day."

I waited for a few minutes to see if the lion would appear again until I heard a rustle of leaves. Turning around I spotted a stag looking out from behind the woods at me. I softly spoke to him. Greeting him. Thanking him for being here and showing himself to me.

The stag this morning looking at me, camouflaged in the trees and leaves

I asked him to come closer, so I could see him and take a photo. He slowly walked through the woods reaching a clearing revealing himself through the cover of woods and fall leaves. I took photos, breathing in the scent of wood fire stoves in the distance, the sound of a barking dog earlier, now silenced. I turned continuing my walk back home, up the mountain trail. 

I stopped a little ways up to catch my breath, turning around, I noticed the stag following me, and then after a few steps, he disappeared back into the woods.

Stag in movement through the woods




 



 

Healing from Strangers

Canyon in Santa Barbara
Scott and I camped here for three nights before the fires came
I got bitten by a legion of spiders
I had swellings on my arms for weeks after

Several years ago I lived on another mountain in another area of Northern California. I lived with my horses, my goats and my dogs with a broken man. For months and years after, I was wounded. Wounded from losing my farm, wounded from losing another home on the mountain, wounded from losing a relationship I thought was a way out of my misery only to find, I fell into a deeper hole of misery.

Within days of leaving that mountain of misery, I started my pet sit business. My financial well being started to improve, with referrals and work from a new friend who owned a pet sit business, I was able to support my horses, goats, and dogs for the next several years. 

The animals were taken care of. I was a mess. My energy was low. I had numerous health problems including fibromyalgia that caused almost constant pain.  The only time it really disappeared was when I was with my horses or caring for my clients' horses. Then, it would return.

One day, at my lowest, I was standing at line in Walgreens. I wasn't feeling well. I was spiritually disconnected, physically sick, and living in the past dwelling in all of my loss.  

I felt alone. The world weighed heavy on my shoulders.

Waiting in line with several other customers, holding my small handful of personal care items, I turned around. An attractive Native American man smiled at me. I smiled back. We were about the same age. He was a few inches taller than me. 

Turning back, I stared straight forward watching the checker in slow motion scan items for the next customer in line. 

Behind me, I heard the good-looking Native American man in a strong voice say "you have hay in your hair".  I kept still. I could feel his hand touch my hair. And then the chanting and singing started. As he continued to sing, I could feel him gently removing the stray pieces of straw stuck to my hair. The line disappeared, the people disappeared. Walgreens disappeared. I lost my sense of self, my embarrassment of having a stranger touch me while chanting and singing, I surrendered to the moment feeling a connection of caring and love, I had not felt for a long time. 

I looked up and saw the checker looking at me. I was next in line. The Native American man moved over to the counter opposite me with a bottle of soda in his hand. I checked out my items and left the store. As I unlocked my car, I looked up to see him crossing the sidewalk, and disappear into the apartments across from the highway where I was parked. 

I knew he was a divine intervention, a healing had happened. 

I was going to be okay, the Creator was looking out for me. 



 

Soul Nature Connection

Tomales Bay, California
Scott and I spent a few days here at the beach and in the park
while we camped in Olema over the summer
I used to clam dig with my family here when I was a kid


In The Radiant Lives of Animals by Linda Hogan, she writes "Our boundaries are not solid, we are permeable, there-fore, even as solitary dreamers we are still rooted in the greater soul outside of us. If we are open enough, strong enough, to connect with the surrounding world, we are capable of becoming something greater than what we are merely within our own selves."

As I sit here writing this morning, I feel the connection to Scott, this mountain, the trees that wave at me as I look into the forest from my kitchen window, the brown eyes of the fawn, the rumble of the two black bears who have not let me see them yet, the grouse who spent every day with us before Scott left, the coyotes that howled in the back when we first arrived, the bird that hops below making kissing sounds, the grey fox who leave "presents" on the trail, and the two ravens who fly in circles outside my living room window when I play Scott's music.

I have always felt a connection to animals, the plants, nature. Now. Even more so. It grows deeper. I feel a connection and a communication. A powerful bond that is greater than I've ever felt before.

When I leave here, this mountain, sometime in the coming months (the monastery denied my application), it will be a place of service and a place where I will remain connected to Scott and what we call the outer world. Which I am learning on a deep level is an inner world we all share with outer appearances.

Scott is the coyote. I am the bear. We are the ravens. We live in each other and in ourselves as we are one, all connected. The more I embody this, the more profound and deeper the connection I have to life and the Soul we think is separate that is the Greater Soul. 

The Greater Soul webbing each of us together.

When I feel this on a deep level, the love, healing and understanding ripples through my body in a powerful vibration allowing me to see and feel things I have never felt before.  It doesn't happen all of the time, my mind has a precise way of shutting things down.

Surrendering and letting go is the key to open the door.

I don't know where my life is headed and it doesn't matter. I do know I am taking what I learned on this mountain with me. I am taking my connection with Scott with me. I am taking my connection with the plants, the animals, the mountain, the air, the water, the fire with me. I am taking my connection with the Greater Soul with me.

On my journey, I will not walk alone.













 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Samantha


 

Music was Scott's passion. 

Scott played music every chance he got, at home, in the car, at work, wherever we went there was music. We went to see bands at the local speakeasy, at clubs, and free concerts. When we first met Scott introduced me to Samantha Fish.  Do yourself a treat tonight and watch her at https://youtu.be/GL9rBAjut2g

I uploaded one of my favorites, and I'm thinking Scott's too from You Tube here on this post.

One day, I was searching for music events to schedule for us on our day off. I couldn't believe I found a free concert in Cloverdale, not even an hour away from home, Samantha Fish, playing, free!

I will never forget that night. Somehow Scott maneuvered me to the front of the stage where I was inches in front of her while she played guitar. There were hundreds of people. Scott stood behind me a few feet. He wanted to watch me lose myself in the music. He was there, always, making sure no one stepped on me or pushed me out of my spot.

I remember turning around and seeing him smiling, knowing and enjoying, how much the music took me away.

Go ahead, just watch her and I think you will get what I mean. That's one of the reasons of so many reasons why I love Scott. He wanted people to lose themselves in the magic of being here.



Another baby fawn


 Our Living Room and Kitchen Window


My sister was here this morning for coffee time, my mom arrived later from out of town.  Earlier, my sister was washing her coffee cup, and outside our kitchen window, a tiny baby fawn appeared. She called me over. I couldn't believe my eyes, the baby fawn just looked at us from the other side of the window, right into our eyes, with his brown eyes. He stayed for a couple of minutes and gently moved away, not frightened at all.  I was so upset last night, crying myself to sleep. It was a gift for me to have the baby fawn come to us this morning. Thank you. 

Grieving is part of Life

Somewhere in Oregon on our Road Trip or
maybe Washington?

Loss is a big part of life. Grieving is the process we go through.

I am blessed to have this house to process my grief, to feel deeply my loss. I am blessed I am not treading water trying to survive working during the pandemic, struggling to pay bills and having to grieve losses during this time. 

I have spent a lot of my adult years especially the last ten years experiencing loss and grieving. It is hard to stuff down feelings and suck it up going back to a culture and system that gives you a day or two, maybe a week if you are lucky to get over the loss. 

Loss and grief don't work that way, you just don't get over it. I never do. I never get over my losses. They just change and evolve.

I still miss Reanna, Scout, Melanie, Katie, Bella, and on and on it goes. I miss all my soul and spirit connections. My missing changes. My missing evolves from pain to joy that I had and still have these beings in my life. Animal and Human. There will always be a touch or a spear going through my heart of missing them.  That's okay. Nothing wrong with it. When you love so deeply, so deeply, how can the ones you love not touch your heart. 

When the touch burns my heart, I allow it. 

I want my heart to burn so deep, there will be more places for the love and healing to go.

I grieved for years losing my farm, and one by one my animals as they transitioned. It helped that I owned and operated my own pet sit business. I had all the time in the world to cry and allow the pain to take me over, change me, and bring me to a place of being grateful for my life. 

With my pet sit business, I could pull over the car and cry. I could write in between my visits and during my overnight stays. I would write in my journal or on my blog, morning, noon, and night whenever I needed to express myself. I could talk to friends and family on the phone with a pet sit cat on my lap. I could go out in the evening and hug a horse if I needed healing.

Now, I have structured my life to need so little that I am able to grieve Scott. I have the time and space, thank god, to do it. I can cry anytime. I can watch the trees flutter, the deer visit, and the clouds go by. I feel empathy and compassion for those who do not have this space to grieve.  

How can we fix that. If we own businesses or have extra money, can we help give people the space and financial well being to grieve losses that hurt so bad.

I am so fortunate one of my blog readers, a good friend, and supporter of my writing sent me a generous donation so that I could afford this time to grieve. What a gift. She didn't ask me if I needed money or what I needed, she just sent it with a loving note to use it to take care of myself during this time.  

There are Angels on this Earth.

I want to be an Angel too. That's why I am doing the work to get back out there to give. I just want to give. I don't know what it is going to look like. I just know it's what I want my life to be.

I want to give and give and give until I am all used up.





 

3 AM it Is

Our Road Trip
Washington

“Begin to see yourself as a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul.” – Wayne Dyer

When Scott was here, he listened to Self-Help Author and Spiritual Teacher Wayne Dyer. I got him turned on to Dyer. He would listen to him on his head phones. After he listened to Dyer, we would talk and discuss spiritual truths and how we wanted to change our thoughts to live a better life. I loved our talks together. Scott also really liked the spiritual teachings of living in the now with Eckhart Tolle. 

One of my favorite books by Wayne Dyer is Living the Wisdom of the Tao. If I remember correctly, Dyer wrote the pages starting at 3 a.m. every morning by hand on a legal pad. Dyer liked to write at 3 am. He believed it was a spiritual hour where you could commune deep within yourself. He wrote "writing isn't something I do, writing is something I am."  

Writing flows through you.  

This is how I feel about writing. Sometimes, my writing gets chunky and it's hard to put my feelings and story down, I try to surrender and just allow the writing to flow from within, not editing too much (I'm sure you can tell).

Lately, I've been getting up at 3 a.m. I go to bed early and get up early. It just seems to be happening this way. My sleep rhythm is changing again. I am allowing it to happen, not trying to stop it. I don't know how this is going to work when I am back on the road traveling. I don't know what my accommodations are going to be. I may have my own room or I may have to share with others. I will need to adapt my writing to where I am. 

"In the recovery movement, they call what I'm talking about letting go and letting God. If you're uncomfortable with the word God, just add an o and make it Good. The two words are interchangeable. It just means allowing this divine source of kindness, beauty and creativity to be the dominant force in your life - whatever you're doing. I truly believe that God writes all the books and builds all the bridges. Sure, I sit down for six or seven hours a day with my pen and pads - but the message moves though me and I just allow."   Wayne Dyer

My life has been a testament of letting go. Letting go is the only way I have been able to move through my life. My biggest letting go and most painful letting go is losing Scott. I can't go back to what we had. I can't hang on to our past life together. I can't bring him back. 

I have to keep moving forward. Letting go is the vehicle I need to get in to continue on this journey surrendering to what it's going to look like and what it's going to be.

When I let go and surrender, the miracles happen.

I am not in control of what the miracles will be and what my healing will look like.

And the biggest letting go is who I will become and who will I be as this road takes me to places I have never been before.







 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

So So Hard

Lake Crescent, Washington
Scott loved it here and always talked about us going back and getting a cabin
We only stayed for a couple of hours, it was magical



Today, another step in letting go of our life we had. 

So hard. So hard. I miss Scott, so much. It's painful. No matter how much I cry and how much it hurts, I can't bring him back. I'm so glad he made sure we didn't work very much these last three years and that almost every day we were with each other except a handful of days we were separated. We spent almost every waking and sleeping hour together. 

Every moment with him was precious.


A Dog's Sorrow


This morning, I opened the front door, and there on the porch was the large water bowl and a gallon of Crystal Geyser water.

Scott always made sure my sister's huge German Shepherd had water when he escorted my nieces back and forth from our home. My sister's dog doesn't bond with people he doesn't know. He is a protector, his job is to protect the kids in his care. We have black bears, mountain lions, and coyotes that live here.

My first dog when I was two years old was a German Shepherd called Rex, from there I had two other pure German Shepherds. Marseille in my teens to twenties. Katie, who I adopted from Hurricane Katrina, from my thirties to forties. I am dog less now.  My middle sister has a German Shepherd named Lola. My baby sister always has a shepherd or a pack of them as big and powerful as police dogs. 

In the two and half months, we have lived here, I've petted her shepherd's immense head maybe half dozen times. Although, most if not all animals bond with me immediately, my sister's shepherd did not.

He bonded with Scott.

It didn't take long. I watched as the big dog leaned in against Scott and let him pet and rub him. I watched as the big dog went to Scott first before me. I watched as the big dog looked for Scott when he was watering the garden.

Three days after Scott died, the big dog looked for him and couldn't find him. 

My sister was sitting at home, when the big dog came back. The big dog approached her with what she told me was so much sorrow, she had never seen him so sick. She was worried. The big dog fell into her with his massive weight and cried. like only shepherd owners know, how shepherds cry. He cried and cried in my sister's arms as she tried to console him. She kept holding him until he couldn't cry anymore and then he went to bed.

A couple days later, he came in from his walk in the woods. His sorrow had left him. 

I will make sure to keep his water bowl full until it's time for me to go.



 

The Origin of Love



John Cameron Mitchell singing Origin of Love
Uploaded from Youtube

I love musicals. Scott didn't care for them. 

Except.

We both liked the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

I was obsessed with Hedwig after my two roommates, two men, two best friends and lovers, who I lived with when I was in my mid twenties introduced me to Hedwig and the Angry Inch when I was in my early thirties. We were a threesome for a few years, except, for, well you know.  One rainy, stormy night, they did try to seduce me into their bed one time and I let them know clearly I was not interested. 

I played the movie and music Hedwig and the Angry Inch over and over. Over thirty friends and family sang one of the songs "Wig in a Box" at my thirty-sixth birthday party including my before mentioned roommates. I paid for and invited my parents to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch at a theatre in San Francisco when it played live several years ago, later finding out, Scott was at the same performance. We didn't know each other, of course, back then.

My favorite song from Hedwig is the "Origin of Love".

The Origin of Love is inspired by a speech given by playwright Aristophanes. He tells the story of how long, long ago, humans were composed of two people stuck back to back, with two faces and eight limbs. Male-Male couples came from the sun, Female-Female humans from the Earth and Male-Female couples from the Moon.  The Gods grew angry and cut them apart. For the rest of time, the story continues, we search for our other half, until we find them and are made whole again.

My favorite version of the song is John Cameron Mitchell in full drag singing in the Hedwig and the Angry Inch Movie. 

This one is a bit more tame, for sure.









Living it


 


I have been fortunate in my life, not with money, with animals and people. I have had money. Enough for me to buy a couple of homes and a farm, and for a short time, about five years to buy whatever I wanted. 

Yesterday, evening, I realized that my fortune has not come from money or connections, being born into a wealthy family, or having a formal education(I left High School when I turned seventeen). 

I possess no certificates of achievement or awards.

The only material possessions I own include two backpacks, one empty and the other neatly packed with the basic  clothes and personal care necessities, a cellphone, a laptop, and chargers for both. A box of books that I will read, the rest will go in the empty backpack before I leave the mountain. Scott's hat, his fleece jacket, and his winter jacket which I will wear on my travels. I only have one small rain jacket tucked away in the main backpack. Scott always passed on his clothes to me if he thought I needed something. I have one pair of shoes, a pair of Keen sandals that I love, Scott found them, brand new at a thrift store. This is all I will carry and own, what I need will be replaced as I move along.

What I do have is a full heart, some life experience and my connection to Scott, my brother David, and my spirit animals who are here with me, all of them not living on this side of things anymore. 

I have a small family left and a few friends.

I am rich, so rich. 

Last night, in bed, after crying for quite awhile, I looked up at the moon.  And realized that my heart is not missing any parts.

Until, I met Scott, I was missing the last piece. The last piece that could fit the puzzle. I searched all over. Even with David and my animals, I felt a hole in my heart where a feeling of loneliness would surface.  I learned to live with it. Sitting on a rock at the beach watching my golden retriever puppy Melanie, so full of love and new life, chase seagulls and search for yucky things to eat, I would feel the hole in part of my heart. I would feel the pain of missing someone through out my life. It was a longing that could not be filled.

Until I met Scott. He was the last puzzle piece. My heart is full now. There is nothing missing. 

Nothing missing, I whispered to myself last night in the dark. I whispered to Scott, my heart is full now, because of you. The loneliness has disappeared, the search is over, my heart is full.

I am not alone anymore.












Friday, November 27, 2020

Lady has a message


 



It's been cold, clear and beautiful here. The temperature goes backwards and forwards on a line fluctuating between 27 and 36 degrees as winter approaches. Sleet arrived, with it a bit of slush. It melted before I could see it. The snow has not made an appearance. 

Today, a lady bug did.

I was sitting in my usual spot, lounging really, with the laptop on my lap.  Looking out the window. I felt a quiet nudge to open the window to let the cold air clear the house. Upon opening the window, I noticed a small flying bug, immediately recognizing the red shell with tiny black dots. A ladybug, how could she survive the cold weather these past few weeks.

Pulling the curtains to the side, I looked back at the screen and she was gone.

My spirit animal guide book revealed ladybugs represent pure love and are the bridge from the natural world to the celestial.

I feel my world expanding and deepening in a way I never thought possible. I feel Scott's love more intense and pure than ever. 

My promise is to keep my eyes and heart open as the journey unfolds. My love for Scott lives forever inside of me as it shows itself in the world before me.



The Deer are Back


This morning, as I walked passed the bathroom, on my way to the bedroom, in the doorway next to the spa where Scott loved taking his baths everyday,  the baby fawn looked up at me from her grazing. I haven't seen her since Scott died. I don't know where mom is, somewhere near looking out for her. 

I am so happy they are back.

Mom and baby would come to visit Scott while he worked in the garden, keeping within ten feet of him as they fed along the plants and flowers.






 

Music Healing

 

Night Shift by Commodores

Uploaded video from Youtube


Scott was a music aficionado. A piece of music was not just a piece of music. He was an encyclopedia of knowledge. I loved listening to him talk about music. Before he died, he was explaining to me the cultural significance and ground breaking music of Marvin Gaye. 

I hadn't thought or listened to Marvin Gaye for many years. When I was a teenager, I remember the song Sexual Healing playing on the radio and my guy friends at the time singing away to it in the car on our way to the City. I liked Marvin Gaye's music too. As an older teenager at nineteen, I remember upon hearing of his death, the loss and punch to the gut we all felt when it happened. 

When the Commodores came out with Night Shift in honor of Marvin Gaye, my friends and I played it over and over again. 

A few years ago, I was headed to the horse ranch to meet the veterinarian on his way to treat my spirit horse Reanna, Night Shift came on the radio, my heart sunk and I knew as I listened to the music, that Reanna would be leaving me. Within an hour, his hand on Reanna's flank, tears in his eyes, the veterinarian looked at me saying there was nothing else he could do. She was gone within seconds after the vet gently administered the shot.

As I sit here, this morning, thinking of Scott and his music, Marvin Gaye and his genius, and my spirit horse Reanna, I realize how connected we all are in this mystery, this love, the creative force that sparks our dreams spilling love all over the place. 



Thanksgiving

 

Yard in Portland, Oregon Scott cared for at our House Sit
We didn't get paid, it was a housing exchange for pet care
The owner of the home, was a bit overwhelmed
Scott initiated and completed projects to make her life easier
He bought garden supplies with his own money, never asking for money in return
Fixing her water system and cleaning the gardens of debris, keeping everything nice until she returned
the Siamese house sit kitty oversaw all his efforts from the window in the living room



Yesterday, was Thanksgiving and I am reminded by one of Scott's daughters to be thankful and joyful for our lives ahead of us. And she is so right, her words of wisdom, she is her father's daughter, fill my heart with hope that the coming days will continue to be filled with mystery and light.

My sister invited me to a small Thanksgiving dinner with her husband and my two nieces and their menagerie of animals. It was the first time I left the house since Scott died, and the first social gathering, thankfully small, that I've attended.

When, I first got there, sitting on the couch, watching my sister finish the gravy and her husband carve the turkey, the girls laughing and teasing their father, I felt a touch of loss enter my body through butterflies in my stomach, anxiety tapping at the door, the realization that Scott would no longer be at any family gatherings, at least in the physical sense.

I breathed through, holding my hands in my lap, holding his.

Within minutes, the feelings disappeared and I became part of the festivities, sitting at the table, filling my plate with food, passing the bowls of stuffing, the gravy boat, the peas and corn, the cranberry sauce, and grabbing a biscuit for the side of my plate. The girls relentlessly continued to tease their father. When my brother in law, asked me how long I've been here on the mountain, I replied "almost two and half months".
Surprised at the race of time, my brother in law, answered "Where have I been?"  Not missing a beat my nieces' rang in chorus "On the Couch".  

That started a giggling hysteria which reminded me of my sisters. We used to tease the adults horribly in our family relentlessly too. I don't think I have ever seen my brother in law sit on the couch. He is always working on a project, doing something for the kids, the animals, his family. Which of course made it even that much funnier. 

Laughing was good. After dinner, the animals were let loose and I was covered in puppy kisses and puppy hugs on my lap.  My sister shoveled a week's worth of leftovers in a glass container for me to take home.

I didn't stay too long. A little over an hour. 

Back home. I put my leftovers in the frig. Sitting on Scott's side of the bed, I broke into tears, crying, and letting him know how much I loved him. After, a good long cry, I picked myself up, and called my mom, returned messages from my friends and Scott's family with short replies of love. 

Last night, I slept well under the soft glow of moonlight and stars.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Love, it's that simple

Beach we walked in Washington
Scott loved to collect shells, sea glass, and driftwood
Sometimes, I helped him and got lost in beach combing

                                                                                                                                                        

I'm learning that love is the most powerful super weapon we possess,
sometimes we need a pet, a lover, a friend, a family member to use the hammer,
to crack open our hearts, 
love can heal anything and create a better world,
it is here, all around us,
just waiting for us to let it in,
so it can do its work.



Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. John 4:8

Love,  it's that simple.







 

Til we See each Other Again


 

When we first started going out and through out our relationship,
Scott sent me a piece of music to show how he felt about me.
I never did.
Until he died.
Here you go honey.
Til we see each other again.


Video:  Diana Ross and The Supremes
     Uploaded to blog from Youtube

This and That

 

At Bodega with Scott

Last night when the blog was emailed to subscribers, I received my copy, and noticed two of the posts were missing from that day. I don't know why. And at this point I don't know how to fix it or have the energy to figure it out. So, if you don't want to miss a post, you might want to visit the blog direct too.

I am receiving so many beautiful letters from you.  I love when you share your thoughts and stories with me. Yesterday, I received a letter that ended with "Be Safe, May the Force Be With You". The email gave me the chills. Star Wars was my all time favorite when I was a kid. I remember standing at the Coronet Theatre in San Francisco, in line for hours, to see it.  Last night, I was crying, wanting Scott to be here with me, and after the tears stopped rolling down my face and I could breathe again, I watched Star Wars. The good feelings carried me through the night. My personal email if you would like to write to me is janettravelshere@gmail.com

Comments on the blog are welcome too. Any nasty or antagonistic comments are immediately deleted. I don't go there at all. This is a safe and welcome place for everyone except people who need to self check and figure out what this life is all about, it's not a place to shed negativity.  

The blog is free. And always will be free. I do accept donations via Pay Pal. There are two donation buttons on the blog, one on top of the front page, and the other linked to my profile on the bottom of the page. If you do not like pay pal or don't want to use it, you are welcome to email me at janettravelshere@gmail.com for alternative ways to donate. 

Please share the blog and my writing if you feel it is worthy. I am not on any social media or email platforms. I post here, that's all.

Moving forward, my life is taking a dramatic turn since losing Scott. I have lived a good long life with so many blessings and gifts. Everything I have wanted for myself, I have been blessed to create and receive. The rest of my life will be dedicated to service in Scott's honor. I don't have much. I don't need much. I live a very simple life. The money from my writing, this blog will support me along with small jobs I can work to be of service along the way. I am fifty five years old returning to our nomadic lifestyle. This time, I will be traveling focusing my time and energy serving nature, animals and people through out the world.

Through out our life together,  I teased Scott. "If you leave me, I will shave my head, grow my hair out silver, turn into Pema Chodron, and go to a monastery".

A month before Scott died, it was a hot day, and unbearable, I cut off most of my hair, Scott cut the rest off with a pair of his gardening shears.

We didn't know, my teasing him, would actually turn into reality. 

I am being guided to my next journey, it may be a monastery, an application has been sent. I will still write on this blog everyday where ever I go. Scott asked me to never delete this blog when I started this new one. I promised him I would not ever delete it again.   I don't know if the monastery will accept my application. If they do, I will be there for three months. I don't plan on staying any one place for longer than that on my journey.  If the monastery doesn't accept me, I have no worries, I know the next stop will be revealed in time. 

Your donations will help me cover the expenses I need to get to where I need to go and cover my living expenses along the way and will support my dedication to telling my story, Scott's story, and those I meet as the road wanders in this life.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. For being here. 



Outings


 Drakes Bay, Marin County, California
One of my favorite beaches in Northern California

There is a little independent bookstore in Point Reyes, California that Scott and I loved to go to. Scott wasn't a big book reader, he loved music, and most of his time was spent finding new music, sharing it with me, and making playlists for us, and for friends and family. 

When we went to the bookstore, he searched for books, mostly for something he thought I would like.  I get lost in a good bookstore. Time stops. First, I go to the non-fiction section to see if there is anything of interest, I love personal essays. One of my favorite authors is Pam Houston. Her books don't come out often, but when they do I am the first to grab one. Searching for something good to read, I run my fingers over the covers, feeling the book, looking at the picture on the front cover, reading the blurb at the back of the book, and quotations of thoughts from established writers about the book. Sometimes, it takes me several turns around the bookstore before I make my purchase. 

Books are the one item I buy that I take my time with.  I don't shop much, almost everything else I purchase is simple, tossed into the cart, and paid for as expedient as possible. Clothes included. When I met Scott he started picking out my clothes most of the time, and when he did, I actually dressed well. Most of the time, I just threw on what was comfortable not really caring anymore about any sense of fashion.  I guess I did have a kind of fashion, "horse clothes", clothes meant for the barn which I ended up wearing for everything else.

After, going to the bookstore, and picking up a coffee for myself, Scott would always head for the beach. One of my favorite beaches in Marin County, California across from the San Francisco Bay is Drakes Bay.  The first time Scott took me there and the first time I think he saw it, was an unusual day. Driving through Point Reyes, we turned into a large parking lot, parking up front near the light cinnamon colored sand, I notice little crowds of people sprinkled around. In the middle of the circle of people were enormous knobbly brown globs of what looked like seal flesh but bumpier. 

We got out the van, locked it, and headed over to see what was going on. Getting closer, the globs turned into Elephant Seals. At least ten large males spaced at least twenty feet away from each other napping and snoring away. I was so excited, I felt like I was twelve years old again. Scott looked at me and smiled. "you are so cute".  

We got as close as we could, pretty close, not too close. The Ranger watching over the Elephant Seals informed us, that they don't care for people. He continued, "this a rare occurrence, as far as we know, they have never landed on this beach before. They usually go to another beach further away."

We watched the seals rumble, when one would look at us with one eye and than tuck himself back to sleep, I would share my delight with Scott, how happy I was to really get to see this, to see elephant seals so close. Scott would smile again at me. He always remained calm, taking it all in. 

The Ranger continued "The females and pups are on their way. They should be here in a day or two. The males battle it out for territory, than they spread out creating a certain amount of distance between each other, and take a nap. You never know when they are going to wake up and go after each other again."

Scott and I stayed with the seals watching them nap for quite awhile. Then, we headed for the water,  walking the beach holding hands, our bare feet feeling the cool saltwater, as we watched the seagulls fly and the people walk in the sand. 






Wednesday, November 25, 2020

One Love

Our Home


“The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.”

Rumi
 

Connection

A walk along the beach with Scott
Drakes Bay, Marin County, California

This morning, my thoughts drift to our walks along the beach, our time spent, most of the time in nature. I wonder about the fox we saw on the trail, she was so dainty, feminine and perfectly groomed. Scott and I would talk, so many times, with a smile on our faces, saying to each other knowingly, that she was dressed up and ready for a date. I remember so vividly and he did too, how the red fox stopped in front of us on the trail so we could get a good look at her to admire and compliment her beauty.

As I sit here, I wonder about our disconnection from our natural world. How the animals and plants, the earth, the sea, the desert, the mountains love us and try to speak with us. Instead, we turn to distraction and disconnection, preferring to shop and watch television. We look for answers in the black print of a newspaper, talking heads on a program, the balance of our bank account.

We will never find the answers in those places.

So many of us are intent to damage and kill the places where the answers come from, where the love is. Where our connection to the power of the Creator, God, the Universe is. We destroy the trees, and the birds, the coyote and the bear. We pollute the sea and the air that carries notes of music to our ears so desperately wanting to hear. We shut all communication down to the natural world turning to each other, most of us so broken, we can't possibly help.

Love is always here, waiting so patiently for us. The animals and plants speak to us and we turn our heads pretending and denying their knowledge. How can they know more than us, forgetting we are all one heart, one mind, one spirit eternally connected together.

Scott and I spent almost all of our waking and sleeping hour connected to nature. When he died, I shunned drugs, drinking, the television, asking for my family's advice, the news, advice columns and society's rules and influence.

I let the pain of Scott's death, my sorrow pour into the earth, and into the sky above. I let it carry me through the waters. I let the fire burn into my heart and spill out all over the world.  

And the earth responded, the universe answered, and the universe beyond that, and on and on it answered. With love and healing. With Scott here beside me, the stars spoke, the animals came to me and trees talked, their leaves fluttering in the wind. 

We are here. We have never left you. We are connected now, and forever. 





 

Fading Rituals


 Our house sit kitty from Portland, Oregon

I watch as daily and evening rituals fade away slowly replaced by new ones. A new rhythm is settling. In the beginning, I would wake up at 1:30 am, then 3 a.m., then I would stir at 4:30 am. Now, I notice there is a routine emerging hovering around 5 a.m. consistently becoming more accurate.

Scott and I ate all our meals together except for breakfast. Now, I prepare and eat all of my meals alone. They are simpler, just enough to fill my stomach. For the first few days after Scott died, I didn't eat much, just enough not to get sick and weak. I watch as the meals become more consistent. Breakfast is formed, a light lunch and a small dinner. I see as the times are being formed as well. Snacking seems to have disappeared. I drink a lot more coffee, Scott isn't here to worry about it.

Yesterday morning, I was sitting in my familiar spot, looking out the windows to the trees. I've always sat in the same spot. When Scott was here, I always asked him if he wanted me to move my feet that were pointing towards the window looking out over the trees. In the beginning, he did. This last couple of weeks, he would say it's okay, and chose a chair near me so he could sit close while I wrote. I enjoyed that, having him close and lounging like Cleopatra at the same time. 

I can't remember when it first started. I'm sure Scott invented it. Kissing sounds, just one or two. A soft sound letting each other know we loved each other. If I was in the kitchen, I would hear Scott send me one from the bedroom. I would make the kissing sound back. This went on and on through out the day if we were separated and especially if one of us might be feeling down and needed to know we were loved. If we bickered about something stupid, a few minutes later the kissing sound would start. One of us calling a truce, a reminder to let the petty shit go. 

When Scott died, I watched myself walking through the house making kissing sounds. Sometimes one, than, two, than several. Reaching out to Scott, letting him know I loved him. I've been doing it since the day he died.

Yesterday morning, I was on the couch, my feet pointed to the window, my laptop open, always ready to write. I waited for dawn. The sun rose with a soft light. Outside the leaves on the trees fluttered. I heard a bird on the ground below, hopping. And then. The kissing sound. The bird started making a kissing sound, not just a bird sound, our kissing sound. 

I listened, my heart filling with love, smiling as the bird kept kissing. I waited to get enough kisses. Then. I softly kissed back and watched the bird grow silent and fly away. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Puppies


This afternoon, I was going through a rough time. My niece brought her puppy over. Having a puppy to love and hold makes all of the difference in the world when you are not feeling good.

 

This is for You

 

Lyrics by Sandy Denny

Song by Nina Simone


                                                                This is for you Honey, I love you


Where Does the Time Go

Across the evening sky, all the birds are leaving
But how can they know it's time for them to go?
Before the winter fire, I will still be dreaming
I have no thought of time
For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?
Sad, deserted shore, your fickle friends are leaving
Ah, but then you know it's time for them to go
But I will still be here, I have no thought of leaving
I do not count the time
For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?
And I am not alone while my love is near me
I know it will be so until it's time to go
So come the storms of winter and then the birds in spring again
I have no fear of time
For who knows how my love grows?
And who knows where the time goes?

Help is on the way


 

Puget Sound, Washington

Scott drove almost every inch of the Puget Sound for me to see killer whales. Finally, one day I did. It was just a touch, a shiny black back going in for a dive. For me it was enough.


For many years I didn't let myself cry. I held it back, forcing it down, I was scared of crying. I didn't want to fall apart. Falling apart was weak. How could I function, keep moving forward if I was falling apart. Being vulnerable meant being unsafe. 

Scott and I both cried regularly. Watching a movie that invoked emotion, hearing a story that touched us, or sharing a past experience that hurt us or healed us. Scott didn't hold back his emotions or tears. Scott was the most masculine man I had ever met in my life. And he didn't have a sexist bone in his body. He loved women. He loved his two daughters who he reminded me over and over. "they are the loves of my life".  After talking on the phone or spending time with them, he would share with me what they were up to. He was so proud they were creating their own lives following their dreams not being distracted by what convention dictated. He shared with me his advice for his daughters. He would tell them "You can have some things, you just can't have everything".  Scott knew what was important in life. Some things were what life was all about. Everything wasn't necessary. 

When, Scott was here, he walked the gardens with my baby sister. The other day, she told me a piece, just a piece of the conversation they shared. Scott told her that men are here to protect and love women and make sure they are happy in their life. 

That's what Scott wanted for his daughters, for his women friends, for me, for my sisters. He wanted to make sure we were happy and doing what we wanted to do, not what others thought we should be doing. If someone or something got in the way, watch out, Scott was there in case you needed him.

When Scott and I first got together. We went to Food Max, a discount grocer in my hometown. Food Max was a busy store. People jockeyed for position in aisles and at the check-out stand. Seeing an opening at a checker, I pushed the cart forward to the grocery conveyor belt. Within seconds, a big tattooed bald guy cut in front of me placing his items in front of me. 

I froze, backed up and gave up, figuring "it's not a big deal, some people are so rude". 

Not Scott. It wasn't okay with Scott. 

Scott moved swiftly in front of me, picked up the bald guy's grocery items, put them back in the guy's cart and shoved the cart out of the checker's line where it rolled into the fifty pound bags of dog food leaning against the front of the store. Scott turned to me and said "go ahead Janet". 

Later, I watched as the big guy, with his head down pushed his cart to his car in the drizzling rain. I didn't say a word to Scott, I was too busy falling in love with him again.   







Monday, November 23, 2020

Listen to Your Heart

From our kitchen window, the light
 

We are never alone. I believe this with all of my heart and soul.

Scott is gone in the physical body. He is still here.

The family my mom grew up in and we were raised in treated death as the end. Their church had a heaven, but it was unreachable and no one taught us how to communicate with our loved ones who passed except to pray to God and hope for some kind of answer or relief.  If someone died, you went to your bedroom, you turned off the lights, some of the time you were medicated with valium to numb out the pain. You didn't eat for days until someone forced soup down you by tiny spoonfuls.  If you were a kid, you kept quiet and hidden. You couldn't ask questions. There was a dark gray heaviness that fell upon anyone in or near the house where the person lived or passed. The extended family reinforced the mourning.  God forbid if you laughed or smiled at a memory or good feeling. If you saw a sign or received a message from your loved one after they passed, you were looked at as being crazy, making something up, ignored, shamed, discounted, questioned, or given a look of judgement.  

My mom had a close relationship with her Grandfather. It was special and something she had not experienced much in her childhood. Unconditional love. My mom was a young teenager when her Grandfather died. When she found out the news, she followed the stairs down to the basement. There, she had her radio. She turned on her favorite music and opened the window in the laundry room. As her music played, a soft breeze blew the laundry on the line and carried the scent of spring to her through the basement window. She folded her clothes from the basket, smiling listening to the music, feeling her Grandfather. The basement lit up in a beautiful light. She lost herself in a feeling of peace and happiness she had never felt before.

Suddenly, the basement light turned on, and she heard her mother, my grandmother stomping down the stairs. She turned to see her mother's face full of anger.

"Shut off that radio before the neighbors hear!  You should be ashamed of yourself having fun. Your grandfather is dead!!!!!"

From then on, over sixty years ago, my mother has gone into depression or a deep sadness without seeing any light or peace when someone dies until Scott.

When Scott died. I refused. Refused to follow the old ways. 

I wanted to be cracked open. I wanted my heart to expand. I wanted to be guided to my own experience with Scott by my side.

Our house in the mountains is filled with light, it pours in, a light that is so powerful, I have never experienced anything like it. Our home is filled with love. I feel Scott here and I talk to him and ask him for guidance. I feel the pain sear my heart until it opens into the greatest love and healing I have ever felt. Scott is here. He hears us. 

Our systems in our culture are set up to distract us and numb us out, so we can't hear or feel the truth. Television, news, drugs, alcohol, overworking, consuming are marketed to us. They are band aids that will never heal us. Our healing comes from the power of love. By opening our hearts, letting go, and surrendering we can be guided by love.

There is nothing more powerful than that.