Orienteering: the bodies we take around with us

I recently did an online 5-min meditation (through a yoga site I’m a member of) which had me visualising a tiny, personal sun above my head, full of pure, liquid golden light, able to be accessed at any moment. I was told to visualise scooping from this sun the warm balm of radiant love and smearing it over the parts of my body that needed it (reader: I did this literally, not just in my mind; so glad no one was watching), and allow it to cool and harden as armour and protection. This isn’t the first time I’ve been hit over the head with an image of the sun being a ball of love; I once received a clear, booming message during a meditation, a few years ago: ‘when you feel the sun on your skin, picture it as my love sinking in’, which I then made into a painting so I could harden it into liquid (/paint) concrete (/paper) and keep it as a reminder.

The other day, a friend told me he was learning to walk again and mentioned the north star. The north star, I’m sure Galileo would agree, is the centre of all things, and so it seems quite silly to me to realise that I actually don’t know how to find it. Something about a belt, a pan and a certain level of brightness. I own several belts, but can’t remember the last time I wore one, I cook in pans daily and although recently described as ‘the most intelligent airhead I’ve ever met’ think I’m sort of bright-ish, so what’s going on here?

I am in the mood to do an overhaul of my north star, once I’ve located it. He and my personal sun need to have a meeting, the agenda of which might be significantly influenced by the concept of the Life Book (which has people reimagining their lives holistically, by getting down to the nitty gritty of 12 identified areas – health/fitness, family, character, intellectual, love/relationships… etc.) and which will certainly involve a degree of book-closing and book openings (some quite literal; for one thing I want to read Tristan Gooley’s Wild Signs & Star Paths, which apparently will have me able to notice telling signs in nature and orientate myself within the outdoor world with much more success than ever before). And the north star has stuff to say. It seems to make its presence known in a blinking fashion during heartache, or perhaps in the days/weeks pre-empting it; then it appears confused and faded, or twinkling mysteriously, perhaps in all manner of bright colours (like outdoor Christmas lights; though not the awful electric blue ones, which to my mind should be illegal) such that you are not really sure whether you’re in the right place at all, and if the person you are (or considering being) semi-infatuated with is in fact a terrible match for you despite some utterly wonderful qualities, and merely struck by the idea of you, perhaps because you seem to carry a small sun around above your head.

Afterwards, the north star coughs a little and is luculent again, dreamily constant, as though it’s been there all along (which it has) and merely been masked by some passing, diaphanous clouds that seemed to make it appear somehow altered (maybe even blue). Although appalled that you accepted less than you deserved, or that you faltered, that you got things quite wrong, it is too busy being utterly sure of itself to bother to be angry; it just shines on. It is ready to reorient whenever you are, emitting truth graspable by the naked eye. It applauds the fact that you were open, without particularly looking at you, and forges boldly on, being entirely stuck to the correct degree. A north star, even if not infinite, is patience, certainty, strength in reserve, and wherever it is, I am probably always walking underneath it.

 

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A conversation

– Best Self: I think I’m going to have a boyfriend again.

– Worst self: Um, terrible idea.

– Best self: Why?

– Worst Self: You might die.

– Best self: I’m hardly going to die.

– Worst self: You were so miserable last time, remember.

– Best self: Only because he was the wrong man for me. Another man – the right one – will make me happy. Or keep me happy, because I’m already happy.

– Worst self: Sounds horrifically claustrophobic to me. You’d be locked in to being whoever you are when you meet him. Won’t be able to change or develop. Sounds hellish, actually. That panic in your throat right now; you know you’d hate it.

– Best self: Not true. He might be someone who is interested in learning and self development and who I can have interesting conversations with. In fact he almost certainly will be, otherwise I won’t be attracted to him in the first place.

– Worst self: You’d have to meet his family. Continue reading

Frag 2

Can’t find a credit for this story anywhere, but I love this:

In a brief conversation, a man asked a woman he was pursuing the question: ‘What kind of man are you looking for?’ She sat quietly for a moment before looking him in the eye & asking, ‘Do you really want to know?’ Reluctantly, he said, ‘Yes. She began to expound, ‘As a woman in this day & age, I am in a position to ask a man what can you do for me that I can’t do for myself? I pay my own bills. I take care of my household without the help of any man… or woman for that matter. I am in the position to ask, ‘What can you bring to the table?’ The man looked at her. Clearly he thought that she was referring to money. She quickly corrected his thought & stated, ‘I am not referring to money. I need something more. I need a man who is striving for excellence in every aspect of life. He sat back in his chair, folded his arms, & asked her to explain. She said, ‘I need someone who is striving for excellence mentally because I need conversation & mental stimulation. I don’t need a simple-minded man. I need someone who is striving for excellence spiritually because I don’t need to be unequally yoked…believers mixed with unbelievers is a recipe for disaster. I need a man who is striving for excellence financially because I don’t need a financial burden. I need someone who is sensitive enough to understand what I go through as a woman, but strong enough to keep me grounded. I need someone who has integrity in dealing with relationships. Lies and game-playing are not my idea of a strong man. I need a man who is family-oriented. One who can be the leader, priest and provider to the lives entrusted to him by God. I need someone whom I can respect. In order to be submissive, I must respect him. I cannot be submissive to a man who isn’t taking care of his business. I have no problem being submissive…he just has to be worthy. And by the way, I am not looking for him…He will find me. He will recognize himself in me. He may not be able to explain the connection, but he will always be drawn to me. God made woman to be a help-mate for man. I can’t help a man if he can’t help himself. When she finished her spill, she looked at him. He sat there with a puzzled look on his face. He said, ‘You are asking a lot. She replied, “I’m worth a lot”.’

Sir Fluffalot; forget me not

My darling, beautiful cat king – king of the beasts and of my heart – took his last breath this afternoon, with no warning other than his gathered heap of gorgeous years. I got home yesterday evening from a few days away and he greeted me with a lazy squawk from his bed by the radiator, then relaxed in my arms as I grabbed him, plucking him from the floor as I do hundreds of times per day, him lolling and heavy breathing (the lazy way to purr), waiting for gravity to take its toll and for his stunning lump of a body to be too much; content with the up-down ride of daily love – my ears only popped this morning after yesterday’s flight; I wonder if his ever did, being so repeatedly picked up and put down.

Some say it’s silly to feel so heartbroken over the loss of a pet, but I will never say it is. Some say love for animals is not as real as love for people, but they don’t know how many memories and thoughts and moments he had buried deep into his fur, since my teenage years; how much he has been a store for everything. Continue reading

Online dating: great, but actually a little bit rubbish

(I once read that one clear symptom of being British is that it is impossible to intone the word ‘great’ without sounding sarcastic. ‘Great’ is a word most naturally reserved for sarcastic occasion. Ever since, in cross-cultural exchanges, and due to this absolute truth, I have performed a small inward giggle and self-enquiry whenever I allow the word to flutter free from my voice, which isn’t often (but the word is usefully efficient and gleefully positive, so it does get out now and then in emails, etc.); and also, unlike most of the people who self-describe their category of humour on dating sites, I don’t think sarcasm is a particuarly inspiring humble-brag, so I usually err on the side of the gentle, far more British and authentic ‘quite good’ or ‘quite nice’. Therefore, please take my use of ‘great’ in the above title as evidence of my uncertain and unstable opinion on the subject of today’s pondering.) Continue reading