The Last Fly of Summer

     The Last Fly of Summer (a short poem)

The last fly of summer –
I almost killed her!
Then realized how lonely I will feel
when every living thing
is fled or dead or buried down in front of winter.
I let her be.
Eight days she’s kept me company.
“Not on cups!” I say,
so she sits here on my knee,
small and light and quiet,
but alive like me.
A living, moving creature-friend
with me
in the growing lonely inwardness
of winter.

Vibrations and Hauntings

October 17, 2012
    An experience of the past has been “haunting” me lately; yes, it literally was an experience with the dead. One summer morning perhaps 8 years ago I awoke from sleep with an absolute clearness that a certain person had just died and she wanted me to call my father in Michigan to tell him so he wouldn’t miss the funeral.
    This was back when I had a lot of experience with dreams but not with the dead, but I felt very, very clear that she was asking this of me. Dilemma. Besides the possibility that I might be wrong and then seem foolish, the real dilemma was that I had broken relations with my Dad 3 or 4 months earlier. Years of anger had come to a head, I had said goodbye to him without any big explanation, and then determined I would never speak to him again in this world. I needed to be free of his judgment and never-ending bossiness about how I or anyone should do every little action. I knew he had left my youngest sister 3X as much inheritance as me, and money was always how he expressed his value of people. He wasn’t one to listen to discussion; he ran the show. So I freed myself! Perhaps I was supposed to do this in adolescence, but finally I’d done it.
    I was aware of what this woman meant to my father. She had been my fourth grade teacher. I remember her as wonderful, but I’d felt a little puzzled as a child because she carefully treated me like all the other children. Usually teachers took special note of me because I loved to learn, worked so hard at whatever they offered, never got in trouble, etc. (My fifth grade teacher did a paper on me as “the perfect child.” That’s another story…) Anyway, I didn’t resent the way she treated me, I loved her and respected her greatly, but I noticed this.
    Many, many, many years later – recently! – my dad and I were driving together through the town where this teacher and her husband lived, on our way north to our cottage. Dad wanted to stop and visit them. They were home, and we all sat and visited for a short while, me mostly observing. While there, something fell together in my head. I knew from the sharings of another older woman that my father had dated and smooched around more in high school than I would have guessed. The implications had left things to the imagination. Now it dawned on me that Dad had, at least, dated this woman, my fourth grade teacher; perhaps they had considered each other for marriage. I felt his fondness for her, and her warmth toward him. They were both perfectly respectful toward each other and her nice husband, but I could feel this old affection still there. I found it sweet.
    So here she was! I’m sure she’d have come to me in this situation as I’d probably be the only person on earth who knew both her and Dad and would also be open to receive and believe this communication through my dreaming. Her presence and request felt absolutely clear to me.
    All morning I went back and forth in my mind. If Dad had used an answering machine I’d have left a message, but he did not. Calling him and speaking to him would be hard for me; it would break the silence through which I wanted to speak. I wanted to be silent long enough for him to ask himself a question, like “What have I done to deserve this from my daughter? Why does she no longer speak to me?” Unless he wanted to know, no one could tell him anything and be heard.
    I never called him. Now and then I’ve asked myself if I did the right thing; I always feel the situation again and feel I could not have done otherwise, out of respect for myself. Recently my unconscious has been bringing the event back, as if there’s more to learn here. I go over it again. What would it have felt like to talk with him on the phone? Today I realize something new: I can hear his voice! Just as I clearly as I can hear the voice in my head and actually feel it in my body of my deceased son, of my first deceased husband and of my second deceased husband, of my mother, of my mother and father-in-law, of every friend who’s past into spirit. And when I hear the voice of my father I feel the old patterns of relationship between us.The particular vibrations of his voice call up the old pathways that tied us together, the bonds that I needed to break.
    I’ve come to think in later times that I could have attempted to speak more clearly to him then to just be silent. Perhaps he would have heard a little of what I said and thought about it later. (Though see my essay “Dealing with Sven…” to understand communcation with this man). But silence was a big step for me and made me feel safer in the universe to be so separated from him.
    What is new this morning is my awareness of the “vibration” of each person and how it comes out in the sound of one’s voice. I know the phenomenon of picking up the phone and hearing only two words – “Hello Marti!” – and knowing who it is on the other end. Voices are so unique. And strange that I can feel each voice in my chest when I hear it in my head, and I see the owner’s face.
    Mediums who put themselves between the worlds to receive communications from the dead often ask the living “May I come into your vibration?” before giving a “reading”. Now I’m sensing what this means. I think of a couple other people whose voices “give me the creeps”, because of past negative experiences with them. I avoid not only seeing them but hearing their voices, talking with them on the phone. The sound of their voice raises hackles on my back, fear. Their voices feel like a fisherman trying to reel me into the old confusing or negative pathways that were our interactions. I feel healthier and safer “out of their vibration.”
    “Spooky” = eerie, scary. The spirits of some people – both living and dead – can be spooky. The vibrations of Hitler still move through our world giving our hearts confusion and fear – What is our relation with this terrible man? Does his vibration make a path for further atrocities in our world? On the other hand the vibrations of wonderful loving people hang in the air indefinitely bringing warm positive vibrations to the earth, no matter where they are. The vibrations of Mother Teresa, of Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., of J.F.K., Helen Keller, of Ann Frank, Elinor Roosevelt, all still move through our world lifting our spirits, inspiring goodness.
    Some say the only separation that exists between the living and the dead is vibration – when we’re freed of the confines of our bodies our consciousness automatically rises to a higher vibration, similar to FM versus AM radio waves. In our sleep when our bodies are vibrating at a very low level, our spirits are freer and the division between the worlds is thin and accessible.
    Those who are now in our lives and those who have past from our lives all bring vibrations to us when we think of them. Perhaps this is why some people value us more than makes sense for the short times we knew each other – our vibration felt positive to them when they needed a positive presence near them. These days I try to radiate respect and value to everyone I meet; this is a small thing I can do to create a better world. I hope I will haunt many people with a warm and positive feeling when they remember me after I’ve walked on.

A Little Duck Comes to a Seance

                 A Little Duck Comes to a Séance
A dear friend had to have her beloved dog “put down” recently. I shared her grief and also this true story about animals who have passed into spirit.
I often attend a Spiritualist church, The Church of the Spirit, on north Central Park in Chicago. Spiritualism is a recognized religion out of the Christian tradition but with the added belief that “communication with the so-called dead is natural and scientifically proven”, as one of their affirmations states. This is what is unique to them – a long tradition of people developing their intuitive abilities and receiving communication from the so-called dead, as well as general psychic abilities.
I was attending a “Spirit Circle”, an experience somewhat like the old stereotype of a “seance”. Anyone present might share an impression they receive for someone else in the circle, but the assistant pastor was leading the circle and he is very gifted in this.
At one point he said “Quack, quack! Quack, quack! (pause) Does anyone here relate to a duck that has passed into spirit??”
No one else spoke up, so I shared that there is a duck special to me, who apparently is in spirit. I told the story:
I was driving westward on Golf Road, a busy road, bringing my son back from a treatment. I suddenly saw a little duck crossing the road in front of me and I slowed down almost to a stop, honked my horn to hopefully scare it back to the road’s edge, and then drove on. Had my son been more alert he probably would have hopped out and sent her back but he wasn’t well at all. I drove on, but then saw in my rear view mirror the two lanes of cars about to race out of the red light behind me. I didn’t know whether the little duck had returned to the side of the road or not. If not, would another driver be braver than me and stop all the traffic to let the little duck cross, or get her back to the roadside? Would all the traffic stop? Or would she be – splatter on somebody’s front bumper in a moment? I never knew. My choice had been made to drive on and there was no going back in those split seconds.
After that, I never forgot that sweet little duck! I felt so bad about the probable outcome of my wrong choice of that moment that I had to do something to assuage my conscience. I committed my credit card to sending $30 a month indefinitely to The Nature Conservancy, which buys wild land and preserves it exclusively for wildlife to continue living wild. That’s the only hope little ducks have of staying alive – to have land set aside for them where humans will not be at all!
So – here I was in the Spirit Circle and a duck has shown up saying “Quack, quack!” through the medium! Rik said, after hearing my account, that “Yes, she’s now in spirit and she has forgiven you and feels fondness for you; she feels your love for her!”
What a healing for me! And what a surprise, to both the medium. myself, and everyone there! How special to learn that animals also return to spirit and have understanding, awareness, and feelings. I wonder if they “go through a tunnel and then see The Light, the Source of life,” as most near-death-experiencers seem to experience?