Sunday, July 31, 2011

Reality Shows - Jack & The Magic Beans

Reality shows. Reality shines all around us.

I felt like Jack, famed for meeting up with the giant after climbing the magical beanstalk, when I came across these blue beans while shelling a handful from my little raised bed recently. I had never seen blue beans and upon closer look found these fascinating.

Reminiscent of an Impressionistic painting, Monet appeared to have had a hand in the tones and shading of these worlds of blue. Little oblong whorls mirrored the lines etched in my palms becoming more visible it seems as I personally whirl through time. I couldn't bring myself to eating all three beans. I saved one yet the two eaten became part of me as I became part of their universe and sun and soil that had birthed them.

I love patterns, colors and interconnectedness so visible in the small things of nature like the beans and the yellow flowers newly discovered this year on our yard's edge. Their centers look like honeycomb and in turn provide the sweetness on which area bees feed and make honeycomb.

The spider's web on my balcony this morning and the moth on the wall outside my door yesterday fascinate and peek my curiosity.

How is it many people today are more likely fascinated by reality shows than by the shows reality displays? How is it we've gotten to this place where so many have come to rely on tv, entertainment and the news to define what they consider reality?

We each have the opportunity to access our inner Jack; our magical beanstalk is the path through life where reality shows. Reality shines all around us.

-Dawn! The Good News Muse 31 July 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Biking through Time

A girl on a bike rides the circle around the campground across the river.
A rooster crows as a horse whinnies.
Wet clothes tossed across the bed of a truck dry as the sun heats up.
Summer cicadas shake their rattles in the tree tops as air conditioners begin their hum.

Driving into the mountains of North Carolina yesterday, I recalled how not that long ago there were no interstates nearby, no asphalt roads winding over or through the mountains.

Footpaths marked routes of transit as star paths marked Earth's transit.

We are the girl on the bike circling round the Universal campground as the rooster of Time crows "Wake Up."
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 30 July 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Love Divine

All of Nature, Love Divine
Soothes the heart, calms the mind.

As we open, love will last
Healing hurts of the past.

-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 27 July 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Walking with the Divine

The leaves rustle
A mourning dove coos
Lilies have risen
as the bean blossoms turn
their faces sunward.

A neighbor walking his dog stops by to say hello and spies two tomatoes, red and ripe, I've somehow missed.

Surprise garlic I thought had died from two years prior watered yesterday now stands its flowering head held high.

Waters of joy splash along the shores of my heart as hand in hand I walk with the Divine.

=Dawn, The Good News Muse 25 July 2011

The Shaman Tree

The shaman tree its arms reaching skyward
call on heavens energies.

It roots stretching deep
call up earths energies.

Heaven and earth united
before me
above me
beneath me.

I am in awe and blessed.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 25 July 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tomatoes and Flight

Tomatoes from my garden ripening on the window sill allow me to take flight.

I can't physically survive on the meager amounts grown in my garden, but something internally is so satisfied. Tending Earth my soul thrives, my spirit flies. I am fed.

Tending Earth I am grounded and present, a participant in bringing forth Earth's fruits.

Some people feel the pull of space flight. I too am drawn to space flight, the flight taking place in the space I call inside.

I never imagined thanking the humble tomato for that experience but I do.

Tomatoes, thank you.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 17 August 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Blueberries Heroic Journey

(I initially wrote this two years ago after having made blueberry jam. I think of it each year when blueberry times rolls around. Enjoy!)

In the beginning were the voids, twelve to be exact, little universes unto themselves, content yet alone. They sat atop the counter yearning occasionally for something more.

Nearby sat berries, a large tribe of blueberries successfully having made their heroic journey from seed to bush to bowl. Most of them, prepared to meet allies and adversaries on the Road of Trials and Adventures, excitedly anticipated the crossing of another threshold in the journey.

Thanks to the hand that stirs, one summer Saturday, the berries found allies in sugar and pectin. They formed a community. This holy trinity did not forget as on all heroic journeys there were trials to be faced. The first was the trial by fire. Many of the berries balked. They feared loosing their individuality. They recalled the courage and tenacity on which they relied to survive prior adversaries, the birds, bugs and rain that tested them in their earlier life.

In their blueberry souls, they knew to become something greater they had to yield to their circumstances, be changed by the fire. In this bubbling cauldron that was for now their life, they joined with one another as well as their two new allies. In sixty seconds, magic was made. On the firey altar in the kitchen, the berries gave themselves to the sweetness of the sugar while allowing the pectin to change their substance. From thin to thick, they were altered.

The heroic adventure continued as the hand that stirs all poured this newly married mixture into the voids. Just as they relaxed thinking the journey was over, they found themselves immersed in an unexpected baptism of sorts. They found themselves in hot water. Some cried it was unfair to go to a watery grave after such a short life. Little did they know this final hurdle would ensure their longeivity.

After fifteen mintues, that seemed like forever, the hand that stirs all things gently lifted each jar from the fire. In gratitude, as the jars cooled each gave a grateful little pop, twelve tiny steel drum sounds signaled completion.

Twelve tribes, all the same, yet used in different ways over the coming months, some to be spread on breads, others to sweeeten meat and some to be given as gifts. Each berry, a boon from the soil, blessing the soul, a lone orb of sweetness, now part of the greater whole. Each jar an alchemical testament to the magic of yielding to the fire.

Each void an opportunity to.....

.....begin again

- Dawn Kirk, The Good News Muse

(Thanks to Joseph Campbell who so beautifully outlined the heroic journey in story and myth also applicable to people, communities, the planet, and yes, blueberries.)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Print Maker

After hearing an odd sound in the driveway last evening, I lowered a shade, one not lowered in years, in order to check out the sound. I looked and listened then forgot to raise the shade.

This morning as I sat in my usual quiet time space, the word Listen kept showing up on my internal radar as I pondered my purpose and the need to trust. Impatience stirred within me. To be sure I got the message, the nearby book I randomly opened (to avoid listening) referenced..... yes, listening.

This week I've been considering the dark times in my life, the times in which I’ve felt so lost. Contrary to how it may appear now, these times have been many and have often resulted from my not listening. I have discovered a discomfort in holding these times, in turning them over, remembering my ignoring, all the ways I've subtly, unknowingly allowed fear to stop me, hold me hostage in my very own life.

This morning I listened and looked up to see an exquisite pattern across the room as morning sunlight from the still lowered shade shown in the window and through the top of a nearby table.

In the morning quiet, I heard the pattern remind me that without the dark, I wouldn't recognize the light.

I continued to li
sten with my eyes and saw a sunflower, then a spiral staircase leading to and from the Divine, the vortex through which energy arrives.

I sat before my cathedral window connected to all who have done so prior. Thanks to the window in my ordinary little home, I sensed the magic and glory those early window builders felt.

I continued listening and realized I was seeing and being seen by the All Seeing Eye.

I listened and noticed the bigger pattern around the pattern. The morning breeze moved through the evergreen outside. Spirit moving outside stirred the image inside, inside me and inside my room. Spirit’s heart beat in Nature outside my window mirrored the movement of my own heart beat. (The video's below.)

Matter in form, the table and evergreen, light and dark revealed Spirit to me.

These thoughts first began to move through my mind two nights ago in a printmaking class. I drove away from class thinking of the simplicity of patterns and how the complex is built on the simple. It is all so simple. Simple and profound.

Spirit comes to us through Matter, the material of our body and the world in pattern.

The suns pattern moved across the sky. The eye closed as my day began.

I am given the gift of leaving prints, of being the Print Maker in my life. What patterns will I impart and be part of? Will I keep my internal shade lowered so I look and listen, see and hear what is available in my journey? Will I allow or resist the matter that is me to hold the pattern of love or fear?

Whether you call it, God, Goddess, Energy or Accident we are each gifted from the Print Maker with the capability of making patterns and activating them, bringing them to life so they are part of the greater Print of these times.

What patterns will you impart?

-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 9 July 2011

Here's a 50 second video of what I saw.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Presto Pesto - What Stirs You?

Although I grew up with a mother who cooked and cooked and cooked, I would rather be found riding my bike, jogging what was called Shay Hollow road below our house before jogging was popular or making things (now called 'crafts' and sold on Etsy.)

Buying a house in the country where I planted raised beds and going to France all in the same magical year stirred something between me and Earth, me and the home's hearth - the kitchen.

The first time I walked into the yard that was to become mine for awhile I felt in my body the this knowing that I was to live there. I just didn't know it would be three years after that day.

Going to France I fell in love with Earth and still distinctly recall the streets I walked and the tree I sat leaning against knowing this was where I first learned to deeply love Earth.

I returned from France in love, in love with seeds and soil and the soul it carries and fires. I sensed the exuberance of Earth, the green and growing Earth.

It took awhile to get over leaving France but I gradually began to fall in love with the Earth here in this life, the waterfalls, walks in the woods, mirroring my love of the woods and creek at my grandparents in the country and yes, seeds and soil here in my Middle Tennessee home.

Those seeds in three raised beds don't provide enough to feed me but they feed my soul. How they feed my soul.

Being in love with Earth one realizes the magic Earth holds and exudes.

This week's magic was basil turned into pesto for pasta.

Yes, something has been stirred between me and Earth, me and my hearth, the kitchen of my heart.

What stirs you?
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 8 July 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

U 2 Hold Someone's Irish Falcon

"Beneath the headlines, there's a story of heart lines."

I fell asleep again last night a smile on my face, filled with joy still reliving the closing moments in Saturday night’s U2 concert. In the days since, I’ve relived the experience in memory and now thanks to the internet I’ve watched it repeatedly on-line and even discovered the moment made it to mainstream news.

I’ve found myself wondering if Saturday night’s exchange between U2 and Adam Bevell might be the new “shot heard round the world” (video shot) in the revolution of the heart.

(If you know the story or don’t want to read my version, scroll down to the bold below.)

For those unfamiliar with the story, at the encore’s end, Bono began to talk with someone down front in the crowd. Living in Music City I thought it odd that he’d wait until the show’s end to invite a Nashville Name on stage to join him. Yet who am I to know how these things go certainly when it comes to star to star protocol. I’ve only seen the Dixie Chicks and Springsteen since concerts became events. And although I’ve heard David Sanborn, Herbie Hancock and Gladys Knight in the past year these were low key compared to gargantuan screens, moving ramps and U2’s ‘claw’ which I’m still trying to figure out but for now am personally seeing as a reference to our being in the claws of the machine.

Just when I’m thinking the show’s over, Bono’s asking “What do you want to play?” and the guy to whom he’s talking is helped to the stage. Bono refers to the guy as “Dude” a name I don’t recognize among Nashville musicians. I can tell there’s something slightly different about this guy as he bends over to have a guitar placed around his neck. I realize he’s not a ‘star’ and suspect he’s petrified. I would’ve passed out from petrification long before this point. It’s then he says he’s dedicating this song to his wife Andrea and begins to strum as Bono sings “All I Want Is You” and the band joins in for the entirety.

This alone, a regular, not-a-Music-City-name, guy playing with U2, is worth the price of admission. The song concludes and the Dude, Andrea’s husband takes off the guitar only to hear (along with the other 44,999 of us) Bono say: “You can have the guitar.”

You can have the guitar? Yes, Bono gave him his personal guitar, a bright green, Irish falcon.

I stayed up until two that morning something I’ve not done in I can’t remember when determining how to post photos including the one of “Andrea’s husband.” I along with many then awoke Sunday to learn the story was even better. “Andrea’s husband” is blind.

I’ve since discovered numerous videos of the experience and sense why people become U2 fans. I’m already a fan of watching just this one song played repeatedly with the Dude on the internet.

This morning I couldn’t let another day pass without sitting down to ponder why this has event has captured me. Why am I still smiling from the exchange and now crying when I watch replays?

Is it as simple as this unexpected good news story among all the negative, greedlines of today grabs me?

Andrea’s husband who I’ve since learned is Arizonian Adam Bevell was the recipient of a beautiful gift allowing those of us who witnessed this act to be recipients too. We were washed in waves of beauty and kindness in that moment, fluctuations of love now carried across the ethers thanks to the internet and word of mouth.

This is part of the allure of this event for me. Bono impacted the individual systems of thousands who now in turn impact the global system of potentially millions.

Somewhere mid-concert, Bono joined by his back-up singers (aka the crowd) opened one song with “Amazing Grace.” Anyone who’s ever come close to church and many who haven’t know the lyrics “I once was blind but now I see.”

Adam was blinded over time due to a progressive eye disease yet he continued to play music and found grace, amazing grace in U2s music long before Saturday night. He’s shown up in his life when he could have quit and he’s physically shown up for concerts, traveling to at least twenty shows.

I’m not literally blind and yet I’m guilty of not showing up for my own life repeatedly sometimes it seems for years at a time because I fall into ignoring or the pain of being engaged in life has seemed unbearable.

And although I think of myself as being aware and awake I’m often blinded by fear, fear that sneaks and seeps in. I’m blinded by rut and routine. I live in my box not knowing I’m even in it.

Adam did more than show up. He asked his brother-in-law to make a sign reading:

Blind Guitar Player –Bring Me Up.

Adam showed up and asked to play. He didn’t beat around the bush. “Bring Me Up” is fairly straight forward He did his part by continuing to show up, to pay attention to what he wanted then asking for it just like he was invited to do, just as we were all invited to do.

Being blind, Adam didn’t see the two questions scrolling across the round screen over the stage during one song, the questions that asked:

What do you want? How will you ask for it?

Adam wanted to play and asked to play. Adam said: Bring me up and in turn we were (to stay with the concerts space theme) beamed up. We were beamed up to a higher, deeper level and now we’ve the opportunity to stay awake on that level.

A quote hanging in my hallway reads: “Most people don’t know that there are angels whose only job is to make sure you don’t get too comfortable and fall asleep and miss your life.”

If we’re fortunate we’re awakened by someone or something, a friend, a stranger, a pet, a moment or event offering us our equivalent of Bono’s guitar.

This is I realize is my deeper connection to Adam. His event mirrors my own personal encounter in a dark time of heartbreak when I was seeking a reason to live.

Tickets to a Chicago Bull’s game with the Orlando magic for my nephews were my Irish Falcon. Adam’s Mesa to Nashville was our Nashville to Chicago only to learn our tickets were not there as we promised. In my heart I had longed for those tickets. I did the work I knew to do. My Bono was Bill Murray. My Irish Falcon was one ticket which ultimately led to four more miraculous affordable tickets for a highly sought after game. This sparked my return to writing but more than that it was my light in the darkness, my moment of amazing grace.

Moments of grace are offered up daily as humans interact for we are here to be angels to one another. The key is to be present and show up as Bono and Adam did, to know what you want and put your heart into it.

We may think we don’t have Irish Falcon’s to offer another but we have the very thing someone else needs in any given moment be it a smile, an eye-to-eye look that says, “I see you,” encouragement as simple as “You can do it” as the guy on the Adam Sandler movies shouts at the right time and as the guy behind me called when Adam played Saturday night.

Daily we’ve the opportunity to make heart lines amidst mainstream media’s head lines. This is the amazing grace of this time, all of us here now on Mother Earth are given the choice of waking or sleeping, impacting the personal and planetary with compassion or greed, attention or neglect.

Beneath the surface headlines, another story’s unfolding. It is the story of heart lines. Adam, U2 and You Too are part of it.

What do you want? What do you really want?

How will you ask for it?

Imagine that Shift!

-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 7 July 2011

P.S. One last thing about the Claw. Just as U2 played under the claw, We 2 are in the claws of consumerism and the resulting potential dullness, meaninglessness and darkness. Saturday night into the Claw was born an experience of Love and Light! As I wrote to Adam yesterday, mine this moment for what it means to you. Let its waves continue to impact you and allow it to bring something richer into your own life. I know I will and I hope you do the same.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Birds & the Bees ... and Bisou

This week I began again my morning walks down Natchez Trace. Having not walked for a week, I stopped to greet the deep purple morning glories, this summer’s offspring from their last summer’s kin, twining around the base of a mail box down the street. I circled the mailbox reminded of why I love these journeys. Nature abounds even in the city.

Before parting I happened to glance near the street’s edge and noticed a small dead bird. I picked it up only to realize it was half of a bird. I placed it deep within the morning glories and thanked its spirit for coming to earth. I asked that it return in peace to its tribe.

I walked on and smiled recalling a recent conversation with an artist from Montana whose work is presently exhibited at nearby Two Moon Gallery.
At the opening of her show in the intimate, light filled space, Diana told me of feeling drawn years ago to sell her Los Angeles home and hit the road with her dog. They found and felt home in Montana where she now paints beautiful works of wildlife- deer, wolf, fox and other animals in our world.

I had gone to the gallery to meet the artist who painted the fox I saw in the opening announcement.
Diana Tremaine was that artist. I heard myself sharing with this stranger who didn’t seem a stranger how we had buried a fox on our property in the country along with several other animals that we came upon or seemed to come to us to be buried and honored for their presence on earth.

Diana shared that she and her family do likewise. The two of us wondered aloud as to how many of us are out there in the world honoring the animals in their passing.

As I walked, I thought of Diana's family and how those of us who love animals whether rescuing, adopting, burying or bringing them to life on canvas are connected through the field of unseen energy while reuniting those passing with those passed and assisting in the healing of the heart's field.

I thought of my father who at times wished he had become an undertaker. He would have been good at this tending of the dead. I walked and smiled because I his daughter have become an undertaker for the animals laying to rest the once living and in my heart the still living dear creatures of Earth and the Universe.

I walked on and made my turn eventually arriving again at the morning glory grave where this time something else caught my attention. Several steps away lay the rest of the bird. I joyfully and gently took the wing and placed it along side the other half. I could not find this sad as much as I found it perfect, the symbolism of reuniting the whole and the healing of divisions between life and death, science and spirit, right and left, heart and head. We have lived so divided in this world.

I reached home grateful the first birds I buried taught me about not resisting pain but opening to all life's experience rather than choosing only what I label as pleasant.

I walked up the driveway my recorder in hand thinking this story was complete until I saw two bees, one dipping in and out of hosta blossoms and another not moving at all yet hanging on a blossom.

This small creature presented me with the morning’s greatest test. I had easily kept myself open to the bird yet I sensed something between me and the bee, something preventing me from being fully present and feeling.

It's said, "We teach what we must learn." I write of what I continue to learn. The bee presented me with my own inner divide.

I gently took the blossom and held the very still bee in my palm assuming it was dead. I said all the right words thanking it for being present in my yard. I asked forgiveness for the harm we’ve done having years prior sprayed chemicals not knowing of the harm they cause in creation’s chain.

I said all the right words but feeling did not come. It was then I realized my fear around the diminishing of the bees affected my presence. The prevalence of colony collapse disorder has greatly concerned me. The movie “Queen of the Sun” refers to this phenomenon mirroring a collapse in our own society. I thought of the personal inner collapse occurring over time when we don’t learn to sit engaged in the presence of all experience but especially perceived loss or anticipated pain. This level of presence takes strength and a lowering of walls which I thought I was getting better at ..... until the bee.

Could I set aside my fear of the bees diminishing and open to this divine creature with cellophane wings and black pipe cleaner legs? Could I stay unattached and just be with this representative of the bees that have come here for thousands of years and now show us through their demise our connection in the web of living things?

Still holding the bee I said again, “Thank you, thank you. Forgive us for all we’ve done through our ignorance and arrogance contributing to all life’s decline.”

Still feeling didn’t come.

I stood in the driveway, a bee on a blossom in my palm as a neighbor, a young woman I’ve never met walked by with her bouncing, white poodle reminiscent of Duchess the little white mop we had in childhood.

I met Lindsey and Bisou which I recognized as French. French I was told for kiss as exuberant Bisou did all but kiss me.

I showed Lindsey the bee and shared how I feared it was dead.
This young soul suggested the bee might just be hanging out. That was a very different idea.

She and Bisou walked away as I carefully brushed a thread of spider web from the bee. It suggested Lindsey might have a point as a front leg, like a little arm over its face, wiped its antenna.

I sat down on the steps in our front yard and gave kisses to the bee, energetic puckers that carried not just words but feelings of deep appreciation, feelings voiced and felt.

Periodically I returned through the day to the hostas and coneflowers to check on the bee. Each time I found it still, very still, then it would move a leg or antenna.

I was reminded of the days during which Templeton my cat was dying. Morning after morning, I walked downstairs bracing myself to find her dead until I realized bracing meant my heart wasn’t open. After this Templeton lived for nearly two weeks allowing me to experience openness and non-attachment rather than trying to control my experience.

The bee did the same for the day. I didn't have years of attachment to the bee but I noticed each time I went outside to check on it, the sense was quite the same. I thought of Templeton.

Stay open. Stay open to experience.

I’ve never quite known what the birds and bees really have to do with love – until now.

The birds, the bees, Bisou, Templeton, the animals and artists like Diana teach me to stay open, to stay open to loving what is, to energetically hold dear and kiss each moment as it arrives.

If we can stay open and unattached to living or dying, we are freed to more deeply experience each moment. In doing so, I'm certain divides are mended and the heart is revived. And that is a beautiful thing.

-Dawn, The Good News Muse 5 July 2011
P.S.Thank you, Nature,for waking me!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Missing the Mystery and Spirit Persisting - Divine Staging Every Day

This, along with Bill Murray's unknowingly episodically stalking me, is a story I've shared repeatedly. (I try not to repeat stories for fear folks will grow bored and think 'Here she goes again.' Yet I once heard author and teacher Peggy Rubin say she watched Shakespeare's plays repeatedly because as she evolved she saw new levels in each repeated play.)

So here I go again. This story surfaces in the still waters of memory in Summer although it began the January prior.

My mother who had hardly been sick a day in her life had just had her second surgery in five months. This surgery was an emergency necessitated by the surgeon missing in the first surgery the tumor pressing against her spinal chord causing major body numbness. Hospitalized for a week before entering rehab, I was vaguely aware Templeton my cat of many years wasn't eating. I chalked this up to her being tuned in to my stress from sleeping in hospital recliners and loosing the balance that I thought I could maintain.

It was after my mother got settled into rehab that I realized something was truly amiss with Templeton who had just months prior had blood work prompting the vet to say, "This cat will outlive both of us."

Through the journey of nearly two weeks, Templeton did not eat or drink yet she taught me more about myself and love in a handful of days than I had experienced in a lifetime. She and I had a crash course on joy and pain.

Early one Sunday morning, I called teacher and friend Jean Houston's office to leave a message on her answering machine. Knowing she had beloved dogs, I wanted to tell Jean to savor watching Zeus her Airedale eat every Cheerioat during his morning meal.

To my surprise in the wee West Coast morning hours on a weekend, Jean answered her phone. I shared my message and of course, Jean the always teaching teacher likewise shared a message with me.

She asked if I wanted Templeton to return. I hadn't even thought of that has an option but the answer was a no-brainer.

Jean then suggested that I talk with Templeton about passing, where she was going and then specify when I wanted her to return to me if she were willing. I sat in the floor, Templeton across from me and shared the specifics of her journey to the Universal rehab where she would not only have time to recover from whatever was causing this loss but that she would regain her missing paw too. (Templeton and I found each other at the Parthenon as a student was giving away kittens in the early '90's. Being three pawed, Templeton was the last one given away. I held her not intending to get a kitten, but as I did a chorus of people surrounded me saying, "Look at how that kitten looks at her." In retrospect it was divinely staged.)

I gave her four months to recover and asked that she return around my birthday at May's end.

The final thing Jean said to me which I wrote and just found in a notebook was "You must first release her in joy."

I never dreamed I could be so happy as this dear cat who had seen me through so many lives in this life lived and died over the days ahead. I was joyful and at times sad too but when the heart is open even in loss the preciousness of each moment and our connections are front and center. As Rumi and others have written, I experienced the joy and sorrow that are one and the same.

May rolled around and this little voice in the back of my head said, "Remember Templeton." I hesitantly at first began to visit shelters and a local shop, hesitant because I did not trust that this whole return thing might actually work and I didn't know if I trusted myself to know when I had found Templeton though I specified she let me know 'it' was her.

As May proceeded, my anticipation and panic heightened. What if I miss her? I had specified my birthday week but forgotten this is often when we're out of town. What if she's on the Oregon coast looking for me and I'm in Nashville this year? I held kittens daily at one particular shop asking each one as it looked me in the face: Are you Templeton? Give me a sign.

By week two I finally confided my quest in a quiet whisper to folks. Instead of their thinking I was strange, I heard repeated stories like mine of people requesting their cats and dogs return. Only one person had not experienced success.

One day I just knew I saw Temp's face in a shelter ad in the morning paper. I jumped in my car to be there when the doors opened and suspected the woman in the car behind me at every turn was determined to get the same cat. I was so relieved when she didn't follow me into the shelter parking lot. The kitten from the photo I then learned was from a week prior. I still held each present that morning sensing not even the slightest connection.

Time after time, my fear showed its face yet I stayed open and kept searching.

My birthday came and I took the week off. I went to the cat shop every day but Thursday when instead I went to play golf, where of course I still kept watch for a kitten at the pro shop and on the fairways.

The next morning I went to the cat shop and looked again. It was a Friday. The week was winding down and still no Templeton. I feared she was roaming the rocky Southern Oregon coast.

That night I had a bodily sense of something kin to anxiety like I have never before felt. It was the strangest thing. I felt like I was on the cusp of missing Templeton yet I had just been to the cat shop that very day. It never occurred to me until this retelling (Thank you, Peggy) that maybe this new sensory experience was about my being on the cusp of finding Templeton.

I felt compelled to find her kitten photos. In her adult life Templeton was very regal. She looked a bit like a Maine Coon. I had forgotten that day in front of the Parthenon she looked like a tabby, a generic tabby without any hint of the fur to come.

The next morning before leaving town to hike as planned, I told Jerry that I had to get to the cat shop. Knowing the importance of this quest, he patiently waited for me.

I entered the shop that morning just after ten and on the door mat inside a little bundle of tabby with his butt facing me took my breath away. I can still feel it as well as hear myself exclaiming, "Where did he come from?"

Someone had dropped him off at the store's door on the busy street the night prior.

I scooped Whooper Jr. (now Bogeysattva) into my hands certain he was Templeton. But not only did he not give me a sign, he refused to even look at me. This was the first kitten that didn't look me eye-to-eye in this whole month's quest.

For the coming month, I left work regularly to hold Whopper Jr. and continue to search for Templeton. Some days I would lie on the floor in the back of the shop and hold him on my chest other visits we'd just walk and talk, me always whispering: Won't you give me a sign? And him always avoiding my eyes. How could I bring home a cat that wouldn't even look at me?

Then three years ago this week, I realized I had my sign. Just as Templeton opened the door to my heart in her passing, this kitten had done likewise in his arrival. Bogey who literally can open doors and drawers had opened my heart's door. I pulled out of my driveway that day realizing for the first time in maybe forever I was putting my heart's need first for a necessary change.

As for those eyes and the sign, upon arriving home he looked at me! Had this been a test to see if I could trust and listen to my heart without receiving a sign? Or was seeing and being seen coming full circle as Templeton saw me twenty years ago this time I had to see her/him.

Months later I came across a session recorded with my friend Maryann who had a vision where Templeton returned as a male kitten. She emphatically told me not to bypass getting the boy kitten I was to find, adding that he was cute and was boxing in the vision (something Bogey does regularly in his little cat tent). She may have sensed my mistrust as to whether she was actually seeing a male because she added, "I know its a boy. He's showing me little balls." I had forgotten this until later finding the recording.

So now that I've retold this story again during this the time of Bogey's three year anniversary. I realize both Bill Murray and Bogey are stories of magic, of missing the mystery yet Spirit persisting waking me repeatedly to my heart's path and the beauty of listening to life.

I'm also certain just as at the Parthenon that summer day twenty years ago, that this too is all divinely staged not just my finding Templeton again but our living in this Time of such potential for peace, love and awakening.

How does magic and mystery arrive in your life each day? Tucked in the layers of repeated behaviors and what may appear to be mundane hides Magic. Take it from Bogey, Mystery (cat 2) Templeton and Me.

Listen. See. Believe.

-Dawn, The Good News Muse 2 July 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

What Happens to Us? Seems We Humans Could Learn from the Wolves

While cleaning piles from my desk or maybe more honestly organizing the piles so I can now go through them, I came across a calendar I forgot I had, a calendar filled with photos of wolves, red wolves, Mexican wolves, Artic and gray wolves.

I look at these animals and see such soul. I can't throw this away. So I turn to July where three wolves lay curled in a pile much like I see my cats at times entangled with one another.

The caption reads: "The social bonds formed by playing, eating and sleeping together as pups remain strong and help keep wolf packs functioning as tight, cohesive family units."

My first thought is, 'What happens to us?' Human children know how to play together and even if they have disagreements usually hurt feelings are temporary and play resumes.

What happens to us? What interferes with our play, eat and sleep time?

Swing set and sandbox play quickly turns to competition as parents end up more upset than their children during t-ball, little league and basketball games. Indoor play revolves around a hand held game or circling up before the tv to watch a team play which just isn't the same as kick the can, volleyball, hide-and-seek, badminton and croquet. (Of course psychologists working for corporations may be determining right now how to make a buck off sponsoring your family playing yard sports.)

As for meals, we eat on the run seldom sitting at a table to actually talk and share the days events. And as for sleep, some people take pills to sleep while others take pills to stay awake. Caffeine keeps many revved through the day (guilty at times) only to fall doze in front of the tv at night (not guilty since I seldom watch tv).

I don't mean this judgmentally. I just find it curious that these animals, the source of such conflict and tension as many want to hunt them in the wild, are so beautifully bonded in childhood and adulthood. Seems we humans could learn from the wolves.

* Federal officials want to remove protections for wolves in 29 states. I appreciate your clicking on the link for Defenders (the gifters of my calendar) and signing their petition. The wolves and I thank you.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 1 July 2011