Random quote of the day:

“You want to find that spot. I often say that to people who are having really difficult relationships with their families. When people look for the soft spot, it can break the deadlock and they can begin to talk to each other again. Sure, they avoid the sticky subjects completely, but they find the place where they still love each other, which is always there waiting to be found.”

—Pema Chödrön, The Lion’s Roar, October 15, 2017

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Desus and Mero, Beyoncé, or the Marine Corps Marching Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

I was just thinking about how murky the messages we get from the Otherside are. I’m not sure if the murk is on their side—because they don’t have the energy, or whatever, for full and clear disclosure—or if the murk is on our side and our inability to interpret correctly.

I was thinking in particular of the TV show, Celebrity Ghosts Stories. I didn’t watch it regularly when it was still being broadcast because I thought it was pretty dumb, but I noticed one evening not long after the death of David Carradine that there was a new episode featuring him. My morbid curiosity got the better of me, so I watched.

His segment was preceded by a message that said he’d filmed this story four months before he died. The segment was all about how he had married Annie, a widow with three young children. Annie’s husband, Dana, had died tragically at a young age of cancer (I believe). David moved into her house and talked about how much he loved her and the children.

But weird things kept happening. The closet door in their bedroom kept opening and closing and an unnatural cold seeped out of it. When he’d go in the closet, it would be much colder than the bedroom. David got the sense that it was the spirit of Annie’s husband. In particular, one of Dana’s ties was still in the closet, and it kept flipping over to reveal a logo that said, “Grateful Dead.”

David’s interpretation: “It was obviously a joke, that the dead were grateful . . . it was the only way he could communicate [that] he now felt like everything was settled, the kids were taken care of and I was gonna be there for them. And I will be.”

Do you remember how David died? Of autoerotic asphyxiation. Hanging naked in the closet of his hotel room in Thailand.

Could be a horrible coincidence, of course. But in hindsight, it appears Dana had a different message for David. Because we’re human, we tend to interpret things the way we want to, to rationalize and project our needs and desires. I don’t know why the dead are not “allowed” to just come right out with pronouncements like, “Dude, don’t try the whole autoerotic thing. My kids are depending on you.” Like I said, maybe they haven’t got enough energy for clear-cut messages, or maybe that whole free will thing comes into play and they can’t interfere with our own choices that directly.

I don’t know, but it’s creepy as hell.

I’ve been feeling sorry for myself the last couple of days for various reasons. Just this morning I was lying in bed doing a “poor me” routine in my head. I eventually told myself to put a sock in it and get over myself. As I swung my legs out of bed I noticed a stamped envelope sitting on the floor next to the bed that I’d swear wasn’t there before.

Let me back up a bit first before going there.

A few nights ago, I had a dream about my cousin S. We had a “misunderstanding” not quite a year and a half ago and haven’t spoken since. I love her and regretted things were that way but I didn’t know if I should contact her. I didn’t know if she’d welcome contact. So, I took the easy way out and stayed silent. It’s not as if I have a lot of relatives left in this world. I’ve got really good friends, for which I’m very grateful, but not that many relatives left that I’m close to. Oh, there are legions of cousins and even a niece or nephew or two but I hardly know them. They’re virtually strangers. But S. has been in my life most of my life. This dream reminded me of that.

When I got up the morning after the dream I did a lot of thinking. I very much believe in dreams as messages, both from the deeper core of who we are and from that part of us that is connected to the larger universe. I thought this dream might be something of the latter. I thought I had to reach out, but I wasn’t brave enough for an email and most especially not a call. I texted S. and asked how she was doing. She texted me back and we chatted a bit. No mention was made of the misunderstanding (for which I am grateful—not that brave) but at least we talked and were friendly.

I really don’t want to lose contact with her. I really want her to know that she means a lot to me. Maybe I’ll work up the courage to say/do more later, but for now I’ve done what I could.

So, that envelope on the floor this morning. I recognized it before I picked it up and it did startle me to see it. Inside was a letter from my aunt, S.’s mother, who died of breast cancer some years ago. She wrote it while going through chemo and although she did have a lot to say about how miserable she felt, her pluck and sense of humor also came through strongly. She faced that trial with courage. It did give me some much-needed perspective.

The thing is, as I said, I don’t remember it being there the night before. And coming as it did so closely on the heels of that dream about S.…It was too much of a coincidence for me to pass it off as coincidence. I had pulled some books out of the bookshelf near the bed yesterday that hadn’t been moved in quite some time, so maybe the letter had been tucked in with them—although I can’t imagine why I would put it there. It was a precious letter to me. And, anyway, I only put that information here in the spirit of full disclosure and for those who need the comfort of coincidence to get them through the day. For me, it was no coincidence.

Now, what was my aunt or the universe was trying to tell me? That’s a bit murkier. Was it a rebuke for not contacting S. before, for the misunderstanding, for not having the courage to communicate more? Was it a thank you for doing what I had done? Was it reinforcing the “get over yourself” for feeling self-pity? Was it a reminder that I needed to finish that story based on my aunt? Or was it just a general “hey there”?

I’m afraid figuring that out is beyond me at this point, though I’ll work on it. That’s the thing about “communications.” They are often quite murky. It’s part of our process to figure them out on our own, I think. We learn more that way, I guess. But dang.

Maybe the message is as simple as don’t take things for granted. Don’t take this life for granted. Get on with what you’re meant to do in this life and be good to the people you care for because it and they can be taken from you at any moment. Use the gifts you have been given. That’s the true mission for any of us in this world. That, I believe, is what the Universe truly requires of us: use it or lose it.

Random quote of the day:

“A writer out of loneliness is trying to communicate like a distant star sending signals.”

—John Steinbeck, interview, The Paris Review, No. 48, Fall 1969


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid you.”

—William Blake, “Proverbs of Hell,” The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.