Poem: In Session


Life is in session

she said to me

while her husband is laboring

to breathe

in some ICU

None of get out of this alive

Our neighbor upstairs

sure didn’t

He is gone

missing

just like the person who hit him

when he crossed the street

The movers made more noise

than he did

when they hauled his

stuff away

And blew smoke

in my windows

reminding me

Life is in session

 

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Post Irma


All is well and internet is just back up. We really dodged a bullet. Our area for the most part was not hit badly so we were very blessed. The power came back quickly and neighbors all helped each other. For now I will simply share some photos. The are during and after. It’s amazing how after everything just is completely back to normal. It’s like nothing happened….but it totally did!

Gimme Shelter


Yes I am sheltering in place even though Mother Nature is about to unleash her wrath and fury upon the land where I live. I’ve received numerous worried phone calls and texts from friends and love ones of concern at my half-baked plan to stay. Their feelings that I should evacuate, or should have days ago, have been coming across loud and clear.

Agreed, it’s all a bit freaky. The worst hurricane in the Atlantic in history!! Yikes. This doesn’t leave for a good nights sleep mind you. And yet, I plan to stay and wait it out. Am I simply nuts?

Well, no, I don’t think so. Having been an emergency worker for 20 years, I wouldn’t choose to shelter in place without giving it some good hard thought and without reasons. Maybe my reasons are emotional ones: my pets and my mother, but I still feel the gamble is worth it.

Where I live is not in a flood zone and my apartment building is a cement box. I’m on the first floor and have hurricane windows on most of windows and on the ones I don’t, I put up my shutters. I have candles, canned food, batteries and will fill up lots of things with water, including my bath tub. And then I will simply wait.

Sure, we may lose power, but after being without power for 11 days in New England in the middle of winter without a wood stove, I guess I can handle it. I have a small battery charger for my phone, and if my car doesn’t get wrecked, then I can charge my phone in my car to let folks know I’m OK.

As long as my Mom, my pets and I’m OK, I really don’t care if I lose stuff. There is nothing I own that is more important to me than my ‘family’. Things can always be replaced. If it blows away or gets wet… so be it. Maybe I’ll end up in the land of Oz…

And the upside of these disasters is that it always brings out the best in humans. Maybe Mother nature does this to reminds us of our need to care about each other. My neighbors have been great. (Note: my neighbor for Canada flew BACK to be here for his Mom and just stopped by to make sure I was alright and didn’t need any help!)

So, yes, I’m staying and hopefully it won’t be a mistake. If it is, well, it won’t be my first mistake. If it’s the last, well…we all gotta go sometime.

Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away

The Rolling Stones

Expired 


Yesterday was my last day as a licensed paramedic. It’s with great melancholy that I let it lapse. But all things need to come to their logical end, and so it was time for me to step off the bus.

For all my ups and downs, it really was a great run. I had the great honor to be with people at some of the worst times in their lives and with them as they took their last breath. They invited me into their homes, even when they may have felt ashamed, because they knew I came only carrying oxygen, not judgement. There were many neighbors I helped, and some I couldn’t, but I cared about them all. It didn’t matter who you were, why you called me, how much you had to drink, how many times you called that week, if you woke me up in the middle of the night or I had to come in a raging blizzard, I came because I really did like being a paramedic. Sure, maybe we complained a bit about the hours or the pay, but really, there wasn’t any better job than that one.

Where else do you get someone say to you: thanks for saving my wife’s life? Or making a kid with a broken arm feel less pain…or even being with someone when they take they stop breathing  knowing that you helped make their journey easier. 

So, I have no regrets except maybe I didn’t find it when I was younger. I’m gratful for the lives that I helped save, but even more grateful that I never made any mistakes that hurt anyone. 

Thanks to all those emergency workers out there still busting their butts for us all–stay safe and we are truly lucky to have you. 

The Music Of The Universe


Lately, in keeping with all the inner work I’ve been doing and with the great changes coming out of the last few years of my life, it has naturally moved me back to the more spiritual side of myself. In my past, the spiritual plane was almost equal to the plane in which I lived on a daily ‘normal’ basis. This meant I often felt very in tune with so much more around me and on a much deeper level: people, animals, the natural landscape and of course: the mystical.

Then, the course of my life got in the way, and this beautiful and magical part of my life slipped away  without me really noticing. The spiritual habits that I had practiced left me; all the ‘unexplained coincidences’ that would so often pop up joyfully in my life seemed to disappear and life just became a dull and routine existence.

Like so many of us, the tether to the unknown–to that thing beyond us–(call it what you may), isn’t always there unless you are really looking or open to it. Many just don’t believe, being simply too rooted in reality.

But we all have our own scopes of what reality may be. And I know that my reality had encompassed many things which could not be explained by scientific or simple explanations. You just had to be there to understand. To have faith in the powers and energies that flow. And I did.

So the time has gently begun to seem right, bit by bit, to reemerge within my spiritual self. To put back on my garland crown and flowing robes and step back into the circle once again. And I feel my power returning like an old friend. It was just waiting for my call.

My dreams have been full of visions, visitations and clarity. I use a dream book that I have to help interpret them and I’ve been writing them down in my journal, along with other long and inspired thoughts about my journey.

My interactions with people feel more purposeful and I am often drawn into deep conversations on a sidewalk with neighbors. Seeing people now brings me warmth rather than anxiety and I’m happy to share these moments and feel they are all meaningful.

Most things now feel part of my plan, that I am drawing all things to me. Some days I pick a tarot card to see what it might say, and often it will reflect what I have been feeling during my meditation. That nothing is random: I am creating this reality around me.

It has a been a very long walk to this place of inner peace; to be able to shrug off the demon within each time it threatens to claw its way to the surface. And now that I am dancing on my spiritual path once again, my peace is sweeter: for finally  I can hear the music of the Universe with my whole soul.

Even Better


Sometimes we get tiny moments in time where we get to reinvent ourselves: a new job, meeting a new friend or maybe moving to a fresh neighborhood. We start over so people may not know our old habits, quirks or things about us that maybe we’d like to change. Of course, we probably are essentially the same, but we can hope that our old baggage can be left at the door.

As we get older, for me anyway, the picture of who we are seems to become less complicated. Maybe getting there can still be puzzling, as the world may not always work in the way we want, but if we take enough time to be quiet we can usually figure out what makes us tick and will make us relatively content. We realize too, that utter happiness may be an illusion chased by youth, and that each day presents challenges we must face.

But there are basic things we can each decide if we need or want them: do we need to be rich or have just enough to live and be comfortable; is a relationship important or is our solitude more gratifying; how close to family do we need to be; how much weight do we put on our jobs/careers, or is it simply important that we enjoy them? There are so many questions we can ask ourselves in search of contentment and being the person we want to be.

And when we stand at the threshold of some beginning, hopefully it is one that will bring us fulfillment and we can come to it as the person we want to be. So then at the end of it all, when we have lived as best we can, embracing what we loved about ourselves (even if others didn’t) and adapted to each new situation because it was a chance to become someone even better.

Distraction


Sometimes when things are rough and stressful, the Universe does conspire to have good stuff happen. And of course the instrument is usually through your pets.

As I was walking my doggie today, I came upon another dog walker in my community neighborhood. He was walking a beautiful Greyhound. One never knows how another dog will be, so I’m always cautious. But I asked, and this gentleman said his dog was a love. So we came upon each other: humans and dogs. Dogs sniffed…wagged and people began to talk.

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Before I knew it the humans had struck up a long conversation that went on long after the dogs olfactory senses had been satisfied. This guy was a love, a Canadian originally, but in the US for 30 years. He loves it here, and in this community where I am new.

After talking and talking, it turned out we had common people, one of them being a rare person that I actually could call a friend from here. She was someone from the job I just left! What a coincidence. He knew this woman and her husband very well from restoring old cars. Amazing.

I really needed a nice distraction from all the difficulties with Mom. And to be reminded about nice things (and people) in life. We exchanged phone numbers too. It was cool.

This really is a nice place to live!

Gimme Shelter 


So it is upon us. And I guess I’m a typical hurricane groupie taking photos of blowing palm trees. And I guess this isn’t the worst of it yet but I suspect I’ll be sleeping by then. Yup, I’m tired and have a day off tomorrow thanks to mother nature. Like a snow day but better. 

I can definitely see how the media makes it far worse. The hype is dramatic. Although they can provide important information, they seem to go on and on about the scary parts. Enough already!

It’s currently raining like a banshee and the wind is picking up. But less folks are without power because of cement power lines which I noticed we have! Oh joy. I do admit, I did not enjoy being without power for 11 days in the winter. It got old very fast. It wouldn’t be as bad here. 

Here is one dude that’s not happy. Somehow they know. But he’s gone potty enough so should be good till morning when it’ll be over. 

For now he’s found his own evacuation shelter of sorts. 

And his sister will stand by to make sure everything is okay. Meanwhile, we ride the rest of it out and see what it’s like in the morning!