Archive | Spirit Matters

Padding Through the Looking Glass

My permakitten Gracie pads through all my dreams lately. At this point we’re so close–we’ve been with each other through illness and poverty and loneliness and heartbreak—that my central nervous system automatically calms whenever I feel the pressure of her tiny warm body. I’ve taken her with me on trips upstate and to the sea. It only makes sense that she accompany me to the other side as well.

The night before last, I dreamed that she was a tiny purple sea horse—an animated one who leapt off a smart phone screen to swim next to me everywhere I went. Everyone could see her but no one knew what to do with the vision. Then the phone got scrambled—it was just a wave of pastels rolling on the screen—and I couldn’t find her anywhere. To make matters worse, I was on a train, which disappeared once I stepped off briefly to find better cell reception. I couldn’t retrieve my bags, couldn’t even find the train. Naturally I discovered I was on my ex’s property, and so had to take pains to avoid him as I searched for my life’s possessions as well as dear Grace. I realized I had nothing of my own.

It was a desecration of what had been a lovely dream.

Last night I dreamed Grace and I were at a house party—a mansion party, really, but as the awkward evening unspooled, it became clear it was really a funeral. These very wealthy people didn’t know how to navigate death (something they couldn’t control) so they’d acted like the occasion for convening was an ordinary party rather than the death of a friend.

I was cynical but nonetheless present. Grace was exploring the many halls, skidding down endless, shiny wood floors. I encountered a staircase that (naturally) didn’t extend all the way from the mezzanine to the first floor. I cracked some jokes about it—a bunch of us (including another ex) were descending the stairs together in order to attend what had suddenly been announced as a memorial service—and everyone laughed. I felt gratified and mean (not an unfamiliar feeling for me). Continue Reading →

The Church of Healing Paws

It is a gorgeous fall Saturday but I don’t mind writing all day. I like holding the world slightly at bay as I type by the window, the wind drifting in, gently smoky. It is, however, difficult to finish an essay while Gracie is holding my hand. I’m no complaining, though. It’s hard to resist a cat who likes to hold hands. And she does, she really does. She holds my hand when she is proud of me. She holds my hand when I am sad. She holds my hand when she is afraid of the thunder. She holds my hand just to establish I’m her person. She held my ex’s hand, until she began to sense she needed to emotionally protect me. It always broke my heart when I’d encounter the two of them watching TV and calmly holding paws. It broke my heart more when they stopped.

I honestly think this predilection of hers stems from the reiki certification classes we attended when we were trying to help Max, my now-departed white tiger. It sounds far-fetched but during those sessions she sat on my lap and listened closely. She even has a little reiki diploma now. She’s a reikitty! Imagine the possibilities: She could open a business. She could call it Healing Paws. She mewed indignantly when I typed that last sentence but why not? It’s about time Little Miss started contributing financially to our household. We Rosman Girls aren’t meant to just sit around and look pretty.

Listful and Asea

I’m sitting up in bed—an unmade bed, even, which is so unlike me these days. It’s a big, soft tousle of linens and pillows and books, and I’m leaning against a velvet headboard, drinking a latte—extra-hot, extra shot—while eyeballing the grey, cool morning right outside my window. I like the idea of it all but, frankly, I’m exhausted.

Part of my exhaustion is just another day at the races: I did my laundry, fetched my groceries, picnicked by the water before it was even 10 am. But partly I’m exhausted because this was a huge week for me. It marked the real end of my Summer of Reckoning.

I fear bureaucracies—the IRS, the DMV, health insurance companies, housing agencies, patriarchy—the way others fear public speaking or being alone. In June my fears came home to roost or, rather, the rotten fruits of my avoidance became unavoidable. In the months since, every day I’ve had to do something that scares me. Which, of course, has not been the worst thing in the world. But a fun summer it did not make.

I crossed the last onerous item off my SOR to-do list yesterday morning, and immediately took off for the beach to celebrate the occasion. It was my first trip to the Rockaways this summer, never mind that to most summer had already ended. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy