My 2016 so far

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 3, 2016 by cheshirecatman

So yes, this site is still active and no, I didn’t fall off the face of the earth. I just got really really busy. And not in a bad way.

What happened was that I returned to work right after the holidays. The big muckety-muck from back east who is president of Company A that owned the west coast company I worked for was visiting. He called a company meeting and told us with exaggerated regret that the company and all our jobs would cease to be by the end of the month. I will say that at least Company A had the decency to wait until after the holidays and to give us severance packages.

My company’s closure wasn’t exactly a shock. Business had been drying up over the past few years, accelerated by the departure of the president of our west coast company, a woman who was not intimidated by the east coast big wigs and was not afraid to advocate for us. After her departure, we went through a series of general managers hired by the dudes back east who did not have the same backbone that she did. Anyhoos, enough of that. I realized I had less than a month to either find another job or live off of the extra money, which I preferred to keep in savings.

I was weirdly non-panicky. Usually I would be neck-deep in anxiety, running all the worst-case scenarios through my mind in an endless stress loop. But no, this time I was calm, even rather lazy when I began my job search. In two weeks, I think I sent out maybe three resumes. And then, for the hell of it, I decided to send off an email to one of our competitors, a company in a neighboring town. It would be a lengthier commute, but I really didn’t even know if they would respond, so didn’t think too much about it.

Well, the GM at the other company responded within a day. And was interested. And, as I found out during the subsequent interview that felt more like a conversation between friends than an interview, someone in their company had recently left and they were in need of someone with  skills similar to mine. And I got offered the job before I even left the building. I think that has happened to me maybe two other times in my life, not counting really crappy production or food service jobs. And each of those times, I ended up staying at the job for a while.

So, all these smooth connections and my lack of worry about any of it has Legba stamped all over it. I went from my last day at old job to first day of new job seamlessly (although in retrospect I probably should have taken a few days off).

The great thing is I love my new job. The not-so-great thing is the longer commute cuts into my time a lot. Hence, my neglect of this blog among other things. I am still trying to figure out how to balance it all.

A couple of other things worth noting:

I had a very nice “dream” recently about visiting with my beloved late cat Puck. We were in an ultra modern house with mostly white decor. My mother was also there, somewhere. I didn’t see her but her presence was very much felt.

Also, my travel plans for the summer got nixed, for reasons beyond anyone’s control. I’d been feeling kind of bummed about that. Then,  one night I had popped over to the psychic John Edward’s website, wondering why I hadn’t received one of his newsletters recently. Yes, I am a fan of his, and he is part of the reason (along with other research and my own experiences) why I am certain that life continues after the death of the body. On a whim, I checked out his tour schedule. He is scheduled for Seattle in the fall.

And I thought about the unspent travel budget, and…voila. Bought two tickets, one for me and one for an as-yet-undecided companion. I don’t usually buy expensive tickets and haven’t been to a concert in years. But I felt okay about spending the money. And then….

Literally about two days later I get a very nice check for some sold artwork for an amount that nearly covered the price of the tickets. I’d say, weird huh? But enough of these things have happened that I just accept them and thank the forces that be. I am not necessarily expecting to get a reading at the show, I just have enjoyed watching him on TV over the years and think it will be interesting to go. And so my journey continues….

 

 

 

Ayiti Foto Konbit

Posted in Haiti, Uncategorized with tags , on November 23, 2015 by cheshirecatman

Zombi Diaspora

I was made aware of this project to create a refreshingly positive collection of images of Haiti made by young Haitians via a recent article by Alexandra Fuller on the National Geographic website:  ‘Showing Haiti on its Own Terms‘. The article itself gives a very clear “nutshell” overview Haitian history that is unusually free of outrage, sentimentalism or sensationalism. And many of the images are great too!

okap_0025-1.jpg

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Deciphering shoe dreams, and medium messages

Posted in Dreams with tags , , on October 31, 2015 by cheshirecatman

shoeRecently I had another one of my shoe-themed dreams. This one started out where I was watching TV in the master bedroom of my condo with an estranged relative, F. Then we leave the bedroom, and we are no longer in my condo but instead find ourselves wandering around Southcenter Mall (a mall south of Seattle). It’s the early hours of the morning and still dark–I have to catch a bus for work soon.

F and I are looking for a Starbucks, but in the dream the only one was in a separate building. I’d have to walk to the other side of the mall and across the parking lot, and there wasn’t enough time to do that. As we are walking and trying to decide what to do, we find ourselves in a basement corridor with a concrete floor. There is some sort of ritual going on. The people are dressed in white and look like Vodouisants, but this ritual is not one I’ve seen before. We are told to take off our shoes and walk through a wide but shallow puddle of water on the floor.

We do, and on the other side of the puddle the corridor opens into a small storeroom. Our shoes and socks are supposed to be there, but (of course) I can’t find mine. We walk through the mall and outside, where F decides to go catch the bus. The dream ends where I am still at the mall, wondering how I am going to get to the bus stop and work with no shoes.

This theme of losing my shoes has been present in my dreams for the past few years, and I think I finally figured it out. It has to do with the phrase, “hand you your walking papers.” See, I am fascinated with the other side (the afterlife) and sometimes I really long to be there. I am probably a little obsessed. And the shoe dreams are basically saying, “Not yet.” I don’t get my walking papers. I don’t get to leave just yet. I really should obsess a little less and focus on the work at hand.

Also recently, I had a brief session with my medium friend Tracy. I took the opportunity to ask Puck if he was the source of the two recent cat paw sensations I’d felt, and before I could even get the full question out of my mouth, he said yes. Silly wonderful cat.

Also, apparently I have quite a group of beings watching my back now, which I credit to Kanzo. They let me know that I am progressing well along my path, although sometimes I feel like I am swimming in molasses when it comes to spiritual progress. I will take their word for it, as they have a better view of things than me.

Voodoo practitioners mourn the death of leader Max Beauvoir

Posted in Haiti, Vodou, Voodoo with tags , , , on September 16, 2015 by cheshirecatman

“Max Gesner Beauvoir, the “Ati” or supreme leader of voodoo, Haiti’s traditional Afro-Caribbean religion, died Saturday afternoon, aged 79.”
Video posted on the Daily Mail site

Houngan Max Beauvoir, August 25, 1936 – September 12, 2015

Posted in Haiti, Vodou with tags , , on September 12, 2015 by cheshirecatman

Today Houngan Max Beauvoir joined the ancestors. He passed away at 1:00 pm at Le Peristyle de Mariani, founded in 1974 in Mariani, Haiti.

An interview from 2010

Levoy Exil – Saint Soleil’s Vodou Mystic

Posted in Uncategorized on August 5, 2015 by cheshirecatman

Ran across this article on Haitian artist Levoy Exil:

Cameron Karsten's Imaginarium

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Levoy Exil is an artist. He’s from Haiti. He lives in Haiti. He is a visionary with deep roots into the mysticism of Haitian vodou. “I have revelations when I’m asleep. In black and white. The black is the body, the white is the spirit. I sing the song of creation to Damballah. I offer him blue, white and mauve. There are lines of dots all around the shapes, in relief. There are dots of light. The red is part of the body. It’s also a symbol of goodness, and it’s good for healing too. Damballah is a snake, made up of all colors.”

Levoy is an original member of the famous Haitian artistic movement called Saint Soleil, which began in 1972. Inspired by vodou religion and the cosmological energies called loa, or vodou spirits, St Soleil (Holy Sun) grew from the peasant mountainsides outside of Port-au-Prince into an…

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Cat visitations and repeating patterns

Posted in Animal communication, Animals, Ghosts with tags , , , , , , , on August 2, 2015 by cheshirecatman
Snowman and Puck, in the 1990s

Snowman and Puck, in the 1990s

I had two visits from my late cat Puck recently. The first time was last month. I was resting on top of my bed, facing the wall, when I felt the distinct sensation of a cat paw touch my leg. I turned, fully expecting to see Luna looking at me from the edge of the bed, but nope. She was sleeping near the foot of the bed, on the opposite side. Smiling, I said, “Hello, Puck.” Then I was inspired to write this blog post.

Then yesterday, while I was sitting at my computer desk, I distinctly felt a paw bat my elbow. Again, I looked down expecting to see Luna, who was nowhere in sight. I think Puck was reminding me that I still hadn’t edited and posted this.

His first recent visit got me to thinking about cats, breeds of cats, and how I’ve come to have the cats that I  have now.

The first really special cat that came into my life was Clive, a hard-of-hearing flame point Siamese. We were brought together via another cat in my life, a domestic gray and white shorthair named Jay. It was Jay who became friends with Clive, and I would see them playing together in the backyard of the triplex I lived in with my mother. Eventually, I became friends with Clive. He was eccentric and highly intelligent—he understood the concept of doorknobs, for instance, but could not quite get enough of a grip on the thing with his two paws to actually open the door.

Sadly, I only had him for a few years. I came home from work one day to find him dead on the bedroom floor. I had him autopsied (and kudos to the wonderful vet and vet tech who stayed late to perform the procedure, and never even charged me–yup–they did it for free) and the culprit was heart failure. I missed my eccentric blue-eyed boy for a long time.

Flash forward a few years and Anne and I are living together for the first time. We are sharing a crappily built mother-in-law unit in Queen Anne. We have our first Schipperke (the scary territorial Lucy) and I realized I needed to have a cat again. However, Anne at the time was severely allergic. So, after some research, I narrowed my possible choices down to either a Sphynx or a Devon Rex.

Not too long afterwards, a Devon Rex kitten was posted in the classified ads of the local paper (this was before I had a personal computer or internet access at home). As fate would have it, the breeder was a customer of the company I worked for at the time. He brought baby Puck into the office.

Baby Puck was not at all what I had visualized my future cat looking like. I’d hoped for either a black or a white cat, and he was sort of a pointed champagne color, and very skinny looking because his adult fur had not grown in yet. But the moment I held him, I was in love. I asked a co-worker who was also a cat lover if she would like to hold him, but when I went to hand him to her, Puck leaned back into me as though he did not want to leave my arms. That moment sealed the deal–he was mine.

Moving forward a few years, and Anne and I were living in separate apartments in the same building. I was at a different job, and took the bus up north to Bothell. On the way home, my bus traveled right by a small pet store and, lo and behold, in the window—flamepoint Siamese kittens! I still missed my Clive and so made it a point to stop there the next day.

And that’s how I found Snowman. I think he may have been a kitten mill cat, as he developed health problems early on. Personality-wise, he was not much like Clive. While he shared Clive’s high intelligence and talkative nature, he was not particularly goofy. Snowman was loving but also very no-nonsense and stoic. After some initial bickering, he and Puck became the brothers they were meant to be. It was with these two cats that I realized how much I loved these two particular breeds.

Flash forward again to 2008. I lost Puck to cancer, and it was heartbreaking. Perhaps I should have waited longer, but I decided to begin searching for another Rex after learning from my animal communicator that my next cat would be a female. I find Luna, and although her personality is not as outgoing and in your face as Puck’s, she and I gradually developed a bond that is just as deep and intense (I think of her as Puck’s little sister now). Luna and Snowman developed a love/hate relationship–I think they did care about each other but Luna was a young goofball which irritated the no-nonsense older Snowman. Then, in 2013 I lost Snowman to cancer. I resolved that, because I am not a man of great financial means, I would stick to just one cat.

But then in late 2013,  I got a message from Tracy, my animal communicator, asking if it was me who had said I was looking for a Siamese. I told her no, it wasn’t. And then she shows me a photo of Casper. Casper is built like Snowman but something about his eyes reminds me of Clive.

I was sorely tempted to say yes but decided to wait, telling Tracy to see if others were interested in him. When no one came forward, Tracy generously offered to drive Casper from Gig Harbor to my home. He was very bold and immediately stepped out of his crate, looking around our condo like he owned the place. There was a lot of friction and some all-out scary fighting between him and Luna at first, but they are gradually getting more used to each other.

The interesting thing to me is that, in spite of my plans to stay with one cat, Casper found his way to me. And now I once again have a Devon Rex and a flamepont Siamese. I think of them as my alien and my mini white lion. And we have a Schipperke again too, the much nicer Stella. And so the pattern repeats itself.

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