Saturday, January 12, 2013

What Grace Has Given Me ~ Let It Pass to Him

This has been a heart breaking week ~ I've always felt ever since my Chiari diagnosis that it was my burden to bear, my dark forest to walk through . I grew comfortable with that feeling very early on. I felt like a ring bearer myself. I always have known that for me, it's easier to be in pain and struggle than to watch someone else I love go through the same thing. How right I was!

My Dad's been in a great deal of pain over the past couple of months. And for him to feel pain this must have been some kind of Jurassic pain from hell. You see, he's got this incredible tolerance to pain ~ luckily he passed that DNA onto me. The trouble with this is that by the time he feels pain, he's in real trouble. He finally went to the doctor and underwent a battery of tests. Well the results are in and they aren't good.

Dad's been given a chance to fight like a rabid lion ~ the fight of his life! Cancer has invaded and it's time to kick it the hell out of Dodge! This news has been shocking and earth shattering for all of us, but I know we will get through this.

When the call came in ~ I stepped outside my office for a couple of minutes. The sun was shining, the cold air hit my face and I braced myself to hear the 'C' word. My body went numb, I crumpled to the ground in a crouch. While I was listening to Dad dispel this not so good news, a movie scene immediately was rolling through my head ~ and from the Fellowship of the Ring ~ no doubt. Shocked you are, right? This quote was rolling over and over in my head:
 "What grace has given me, let it pass to him.  Let him be spared.  Save him."
What I would do to take this from Dad ~ I feel so helpless ~ I can't stand by and watch ~ I have to do something to help take the pain away...Sending a band of angels to surround you Dad, protect you better than a She Elf of Middle Earth ~ you will beat this ~ I know in my heart that you will ~ love you much!

Arwen and Frodo  

In Tolkien's novel, Glorfindel's horse Asfaloth bears Frodo alone to the Ford of Bruinen, and Frodo collapses after resisting the will of the Nine Riders.  In Jackson's movie, Arwen bears him across the Ford and is the agent of resistance.  There she speaks Words of Power to make the river rise against the Nine.  Here, Jackson's choices establish Arwen as one of the most potent powers in Middle-earth, capable of employing the same kind of powers that Gandalf and Saruman use at Caradhras.  (In the novel, the flood is the work of Elrond's wielding of one of the three Rings of Power, with flourishes provided by Gandalf.)  

Arwen then kneels over the fading Frodo and says, "What grace is given me, let it pass to him.  Let him be spared.  Save him."

To whom is Arwen speaking?  What's this "grace" she's talking about?

If Jackson holds true to Tolkien's intent, it is the grace extended to Arwen by the Valar (Middle-earth's pantheon) to pass into the Blessed Realm.  As one of the children of Elrond, the Halfelven, she is allowed the choice of leaving Middle-earth to dwell in immortality with the Valar, or to remain in Middle-earth as a mortal and suffer death.  In the eventual passing from the Grey Havens, Frodo takes Arwen's place in paradise.  Arwen's "grace," then, is the gift of immortality.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Hopeful Sign

If you've been following my blog ramblings over the past 4 years, you know that music and nature speak to me on profound levels. I've always looking for 'signs' ~ a language that speaks to my heart when words have fallen on deaf ears.

New Years Day, we were driving home from spending the night out. We were driving down a highway that I travel on daily. Sitting in the passenger seat, I gazed out the window to my right, looking at how wistful the freshly fallen snow looked as it hung on the tree branches like an Ansel Adams painting. Just then, something, actually two creatures caught my eye. 

I'm always on the lookout for Red Tailed Hawks, they are common in our region and are easy to spot perched high in a tree along the highways. The white coloring on their chests always gives them away. But these creatures I had spotted were definitely not hawks. They were much larger in size and quite magnificent. I had spotted a couple of Bald Eagles!!! I had heard of sightings, but this was the first time I had seen them. 

What message was the universe sending me to have spotted TWO Bald Eagles on New Years day....The sky is the limit in 2013 ~ no boundaries ~ no limits ~ soar above it all ~ 

According to the Native Americans, Bald Eagles have great symbolism:

Size does matter to the Native mind. It is the mammoth size of the eagle that, in part, wins its title as the King of the Birds in myth and lore. In spite of its enormous size, the eagle still takes flight, seemingly effortlessly. This is the first of many symbolic cues from the eagle about perception (not judging a book by its cover) and, not allowing the illusion of limitation to ground us in our flight.

What else matters when considering symbolic eagle meaning? Here are a few attributes and keywords associated with Eagle Medicine:

  • Opportunity
  • Protection
  • Guardianship
  • Masculinity
  • Dominance
  • Control
  • Freedom
  • Community
  • Command
  • Action
  • Authority
  • Skill
  • Focus
  • Determination
  • Vision
  • Power
  • Liberation
  • Inspiration
  • Ruler
  • Judgment
  • contemplate the power cased in the heart of the eagle.
  • Synchronize your own heart beat with that of the eagle's - visualize each pulse as a flash of lighting - an impulse of divine thought.
  • Picture the power of the gods clapping like thunder with each flap of their wings. With each crack of thunder consider barriers and blockages in your life being shattered.
  • Then see the great 7 foot wingspan of the eagle growing even longer in your vision in order to swipe away the rubble - making all trace of limitation disappear.
  • Look into the eyes of the eagle, and see the dawning sun shine clarity upon the dawning of your own awareness. These eyes are like a light into your own contemplative vision - let them illuminate your from the inside out.
A representation of prime matter, the start of an alchemical operation. The eagle spreads its wings over the step into creation and fans the fire, encouraging growth of new matter.
The eagle carries the veil of night and dark over our existence and awareness. It's affiliated with the dawning sun, and is a magnificent celestial power, able to shine light into our world.
Associated with the symbolism of water, and the intuitive oracle water serves as. Perhaps because our Celtic kin observed their magnificent ability to see into waters with miraculous clarity. 
Associated with the Christ himself. Because the eagle seems to easily ascend the skies, looking into the sun with unblinking focus, we relate symbolism of Christ's unblinking faith in the Way, the Truth, and the Light. We also see themes of renewal (baptism) as the eagle plunges the soul of man into the sea, and lifts them out renewed and cleansed.
Another reference as a solar animal, the eagle is symbolic of authority, rulership and virility. It's depicted with thunderbolts in each talon. In my mind, this seems like a phallic reference would bolster sexual energy as well as warrior status (energy, thrust, courage, bravery, fearlessness). I get a confirmation of this by Zeus's strong affiliation with the eagle in myth.
Last word on the symbolic eagle meaning: "Fly Higher."
Native wisdom also honors the eagle for their opportunistic ways. It's not that they're skilled hunters (they are), but the go about gaining their needs in ways that are most efficient. This is a lesson for conserving resources. Work smarter, not harder.
Some Native American (plains tribes) refers to the eagle as an earthly incarnation of the great Thunderbird spirit. Legend further states that lightning bolts shoot from the eyes of the bald eagle, and with the beating of its expansive wings, rain is conjured from the skies. That's easy to envision.
Coming from the mindset that all energy is interconnected, an average wingspan of 5-7 feet (in Golden's and Bald's) could understandably cause some massive energetic ripples in the cosmos. Even prompt rain. I love how eagles as rain bringers segways into the cleansing theme of water.
And, we see from the Native mind that eagle feathers are tribal tools resonating patterns of healing within ritual. Do a little research into Native wisdom, and you will find the eagle is invoked for revitalization, creation and healing purposes. I like to think this deals with the eagle's connection with water.
In this vein of thought, we can contemplate the healing messages the eagle may offer us in our daily life. When the eagle soars into our psychic vision, it may be a sign of getting prepared for symbolic cleansing rains. What needs cleaning in our lives?
Of course, as rulers of the sky, eagle meaning is connected with the air element, which symbolizes communication and thought. All bird totems speak to us about higher thinking, dreams, and mental liberation. As king of the birds, the eagle's message of mental acuity is super-dominant.
Visually, everything about the eagle's appearance is sharp. Streamlined, sleek, chiseled. This prompts our deeper minds to hone our thoughts and skills. The eagle commands us to tailor our intelligence and talents in a form that best suits our needs. We all have inner abilities, but when the eagle shows up - it's a clear sign it's time to use these abilities in a laser-like fashion to bring about focused change in our lives.
To revisit the Thunderbird association, eagles are said to bring down lightning with the storms. This makes me think of flashes of insight, surges of power - electrifying vision.
I also like to look into the eyes of the eagle. There I see the lightning. I see the sun itself living in those all-seeing bright yellow orbs.
Do these observations this strike a chord with you? If so, take flight with the eagle meaning by experimenting with these visualizations:
These kind of powerful connections can liberate on so many levels.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


New Year's Day a discovery was made while cleaning out cabinets in the kitchen:  an old and tattered paper bag. You see, this wasn't any ordinary bag.  The contents were infused with pain ~ both physical and emotional. There were 6 unopened boxes of liquid Morphine and an opened bottle that was almost full. Additionally, I found a hand-full of hospital bracelets from North Shore Hospital ~ 2008. The expiration dates on the boxes told me to throw them out, but I have a strange attachment to them.

How sick and twisted is that!?! I still remember going cold turkey when I got home after my brain surgery. I had a bag of morphine with many refills. I was set for feeling no pain for several weeks if not months if I stretched out my doses. Me, I'm a bit on the stubborn side of life, the docs gave me pain relief, I wanted to get off the high powered drugs and tough it out on my own. I know ~ CRAZY LOCO ~ she is!!!

I've never thought of this before, but perhaps I see the unused drugs as a badge of survival ~ a sign that I could recover without any extra assistance from the pharmaceutical companies. Still ~ twisted ~ Did you know that Morphine has been around since 1805. Detoxing from Morphine is just like detoxing from Heroin ~ it's not fun at all! 

Morphine withdrawal symptoms (or Opiate withdrawal symptoms in general) are as follows: Sweats, Chills, Muscle Aches, Diarrhea, Vomiting/Nausea, High Blood Pressure, Fatigue, Restless Leg Syndrome (leg aches), Insomnia, Severe Depression, Heightened Sensitivity to Pain, Dysphoria, Muscle Spasms, Allergy Symptoms (yawning, watery eyes, sneezing).They generally last for 5-10 days, with some symptoms lasting longer (insomnia, depression, fatigue). Morphine withdrawals are exactly like Heroin withdrawals, because they are almost exactly the same drug. In fact, the proper chemical name for Heroin is Diamorphine. When heroin is ingested and reaches the brain, it is turned into morphine.

So back to the conundrum of what to do with an expired bag of Morphine. I know I should get rid of it ~ can i burn it in the fire pit maybe? I think my idea of making Morphine laced martinis for my next Oscar Party might not be a super great idea. There must be some kind of ritual, rite of passage ceremony. Any readers out there share my same feelings or am I the only coo coo one. Don't be shy...