Sanctuary Places & Secret Spaces

cottage 7

There’s something special about old houses, whether it’s the nooks and crannies hidden beneath the stairs, the familiar sound of one’s tread on a wooden floor, or a gigantic, flowering lilac bush, encroaching upon a porch with a swing where you sit in the summer time, drinking iced tea from a tumbler.

But the first old house I lived in was in West Point, NY, when I was a little girl, and my fondest memories of it are in winter.

Often I’d be curled up with a favorite book (I re-read the Chronicles of Narnia so many times, the books to my set cracked apart into separate chunks) and looking out the floor-to-ceiling windows in the “sun” room, praying for snow.

Yes, I loved snow, and I prayed for it, because we lived in a valley often neglected for the peaks of the mountains in which it sat, peaks frequently graced and made resplendent in white powder.

But sometimes God complied with a little girl’s wish, sometimes even right around Christmas time, and granted not just the black mountain bear or fox but me as well, some snow in which to play.

icicles off windowbox

I haven’t thought of that old house as much, or been reminded of it as much as I have been since I’ve moved into my own little cottage, which is over a hundred years old.

Yes, it will be the oddest thing, not just the colonial structure of the current home, which reminds me of the one in my childhood, but the heaviness of a door, an unusual or unique twist in a cellar passage way. And it won’t be so much the public history, but the intuited, remembered or imagined stories, that will kind of belong to a place, which has become a sacred sanctuary – set apart from the rest of the world.

So the other day at the cottage, after a snow storm in the present, I was walking my dogs, and the way the snow had accumulated upon the large, evergreen bushes running alongside the house, creating a snowy stretch of roof top (with meandering open spaces and tunnels beneath) which the dogs wanted to explore, gave me a familiar, exciting feeling, as if I was a child again.

snow tunnel 3

It’s always the simplest things – the beauty of nature, the noticed patterns and symbolism that take me back home, or make me realize, with a spirit of gratitude, that I am home. I remembered playing with a childhood friend that I may not have remembered much, or even ever again, if not for this sudden rush of nostalgia, and remembered similar, snow tunnels beneath the shrubbery, and exploring them with this playmate, outside that old house I used to call home, at West Point, NY.

Those were days of great joy, and I don’t remember wondering once, if my all-providing father fretted over the inevitable problems that must have been associated with older homes, of which this military housing consisted.

Back then, I didn’t see the elongated windows of the sunroom through which I manifested snow as “drafty”, and outside I didn’t see overgrown shrubbery, needing to be cut down come spring,  to regimented standard.

I just saw marvelous long, drippy icicles, bedecking windows and rooflines like garland, and mysterious igloo-type tunnels in which I could hide, beneath gnarled, ancient shrubbery so old – it was worthy of I and my equally enthusiastic playmate’s respect. I saw outside-rooms created out of nature in which we could play house, or secret passage way, or create a story of our own making to which mother nature had already provided the fodder.

Who notices the most important things, adults or children, I wonder?

white feather in house
And when we find ourselves noticing odd or shall I say – pausing for beautifully mysterious things – in adulthood, or noticing how the present can be like a teaching echo of the past, is it then that we have really come of age, and read the patterns of our life correctly?

For I do not think it just coincidence that in a time when I am at peace, having finally decided to love and parent myself more fully, giving my own need for home and sanctuary precedence, that I recall a time in my childhood in which I had a father who took care of draft and danger, leaving me free to explore and create, while never leaving the perimeters of a safe haven.

For is God not a God who does just the same, as my father did then?

And is this world not just like a very old house?

Designed to make us recall, our even more permanent, and infinitely magical, home in heaven?

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Indestructible

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, after fire

I know the woman who rests her bare feet on the moon and the stars, while holding their creator, like every child that comes into time.

She clears a path through fiery conflagration, she opens locked doors, and shelters the small.

In the desert they will find refuge, while the guilty get lost in a maze, a trail of their own destruction.

She is the woman of the apocalypse, the heart of mankind, and the very nature of God.

Societal Norms on the Eve of All Saints

blog image relief of st infants

Chesterton wrote that “Tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead.”

He went on to say: “Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father.”

In my family history there were relatives who were visited by or heard from these “dead”, to which Chesterton refers.

So I remember in particular a great grandmother, who would feel the toes on her feet being gently pinched at night until she roused herself from sleep and prayed for the souls in purgatory. Sometimes she had to keep praying  “until they left her alone”,  because they would “come back” if she had not prayed “enough” for them.

Yes, the ancient Catholic beliefs were held onto in those days, and children were taught the tradition that around this time of year,  All Saints and All Souls’ Day, your much beloved, dearly departed family members were allowed to visit you, and you with them, whether you realized it or not.

The visit was a custom or rule of the other side, because the holy souls (even those still in the purging place) didn’t really die.

Death was just a transition for those who had been saved. Yes, even as a child, I knew how to explain to protestant friends that the word “dead” in scripture usually only referred to the damned.

Why didn’t everyone intuit this?

Wasn’t to be with God to be more alive than ever, as He was the Source, or Existence itself?

Isn’t it us still in the material realm whose insights are dulled so to speak, by our own, encapsulated skulls?

We were not a family of conjurers, but looking back, I can imagine now how our familial acceptance of interacting with loved ones who had passed on – might seem superstitious or strange to a Baptist.  Some protestants I was told, also thought Catholics prayed to statues.

Ha.

So funny, how much has changed.

It is not that I reject my religious heritage, but I see it in a deeper sense now, one that accepts that all religions and people of good will are simply like different, equally valid reflections and children of the same truth, and my hope is that my more fundamentalist friends realize this secret as well.

But in what seems like a lifetime later (yet somehow still only like yesterday), since my own dearly departed sweet Babci leaned her dear face close to mine, squeezing my hand in vivid dream impression, I still have the strangest discussions…

with my paranormal investigator friend.

At least they might sound strange by standards of current, polite society.

We discuss the norms or rules of the democracy of the dead.

He being the conscientious scientist, we discuss and we discuss until he insists he must leave “religion” out of it and I, the conscientious mystic, insist mysticism is not at odds with science. My hope is that we are both learning about the other side from each other, like different reflections of the same truth, which all people are to one another. For are not both scientists and mystics fascinated by, searching for, and examining truth? What does he know that confirms what I intuit; how the other side works, speaks, communicates, and what the other side desires?

And perhaps, just perhaps,  what I see and hear can help guide or inspire objective and direct scientific inquiry.

I insist he is onto something big, the evolution of mankind’s spiritual progress and understandings, the direction predicted by reknowned pyschics, and the woman who sees angels, Lorna Byrne –   for a potential, very possible, future reality.

He and I both believe from our own experiences and from the information collected from near death experiences, that the next realm contains a society of people, what used to be called a community of saints.

And since he is all scientist, no bias, no hype or sensationalism, he is a great man to be a leader in all this.

For just as there are fraudulent or dangerously corrupted psychics, there are paranormal investigators who are unethical, who fudge data, and I believe even fraudulent ghosts – some call them dark angels – who masquerade as one’s loved ones.

My guy is not one of them.

He is none of the above.

And he has authentic respect for the “dead”.

I don’t believe the dead are a freak show for children to masquerade as on Holloween night, bodily injuries depicted by way of grotesque costume, indicating the manner in which the dead were bludgeoned, or knifed to death.

No, the old Catholics had it right, when they taught their children to dress up as beautiful and brave, living saints instead, giving honor to those who had gone before, those whose passing will make our inevitable journey home – a non scary and welcoming one.

And my nonreligious paranormal investigator friend has it right as well, asking polite questions and not forgetting to thank spiritual entities, when he gets a response, especially evidence or indication of personhood.

And oh does he get such a response.

So much so in fact, anyone listening to the recordings on http://blog.maryland-paranormal.com/ cannot honestly rule out personhood existing on the other side, that living, society – of the dead.

Early this morning as I aroused from sleep, I hear something interesting as well. I had prayed the night before for enlightenment, I admit, clutching my tiny statue of the Christ child, in the palm of my hand. Call me superstitious, or not. But I think this message from the divine Infant, regarding the family of God in this realm and the next, was for Hiram.

My entire family thanks you

when he says goodnight to the ghosts.

 

Searching for Oz

 

a_002

 A book review.

Sometimes in an author we recognize a voice, startlingly familiar, as if angels have guided their pen to page… tap, tap. I find myself engrossed in Adele’s book, feeling honored that  she would “share” her inner thoughts with me.  I want to take her words in slowly and ponder them all, for I was meant to read this. Adele’s style of writing is one in which the flow of words, although seemingly random, form beautiful, rhythmic patterns, like the movement of water in a stream.

This smacks familiar to me.

It is a voice through channels unexpected, that reminds me of home.

And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed. Luke 2:35

My Sweet Lord told me

I cannot be without you

HE is in me

I was drinking black and white water

they gave me, so as not to get caught

I cried

They held a gun to my head

My father would rather be better off dead

than kill me by destruction

The mass is in tatters

Its remnants remain

like shattered victims

on the floor

Open the door

and let them out of My house

where (and when) they are being

imprisoned

I will see and feed them

in the hills

(Oh, my Sweet Jesus, how I love you!)

make amends with the sinners

after they have fallen from My Grace,

and give them drink

from Celestial waters

It’s important you understand the plan

(not yours, not mine)

As it was in the beginning

Is now

And ever shall be

The plan of My Father

In Heaven

For random valleys

hurt the meadows

that they grow in

and towns and cities

cannot be built on ice

Flowers grow (and blossom)

where they are planted

The shores will eat them up

if left alone

The mountains are high

close to My Heart

Wild and Free

Like the back of my hand

Which would not harm

Its servants

Go

Your hour is here

 

Raymond’s Song

I write this poem in honor of my dearly departed cousin Raymond, who entrusted with me the carrying out of his deathbed decree. 

For false relatives continue to flock like vultures over their would be victim’s heads, and some continue to treat me and their dying son and brother’s last words with as much ignorance as they would wish upon their victims. They have replaced their false sympathy for those who suffer with empty threats and promises, for now no one will pay them a false allegiance.

Yet they act as if dark deeds have never before been challenged.

They are all becoming like one troubled soul I know, who thinks the state can take away his earthly mansion, for not doing the bidding of an evil man. 

As for me, as long as I have a voice and live on this earth, I will continue to rejoice and sing Heaven’s Song.

For as Raymond said it, they don’t get it.

They just don’t get it anymore.

It is not us who are suffering.

Never was.

Never will be.

And never will be ever after.

 

Help of the helpless

My dear family

This is my deathbed


Fear not, abide with me



The dark shadows lesson

God’s means and ways made clear

Oh my sweet family

Awake, abide with me


For my dear Lord Jesus

Bearing gifts

He calls to me

Like Christmas morning

Rejoice, abide with me


This is no false vision

In Heaven I’ll awake

For no actions I have taken

For false or pity sake


Hear my Last Word 
and Testament

Heaven’s story I will tell

Trust is not forbidden there

False charity is hell


God does not abandon us

Or withdraw His Father’s Love

When we cannot do His will

As injured sparrow, lamb or dove


Renovate God’s mansions

Like flowers in the Son

Tether not the captives

The misfits that you shun


Long I loved you in life

No false attempt to charm

Ne’er false words spoken

To no gentle brother harm


Help of the helpless

Lean close  dear family

Abide with me forever

Lean close and hear and see


I have loved this life too dearly

Vultures pass not where I lie

I have loved this death too gladly

To speak error while I die


The motive of  intention

Will remain forever clear

Do not reward with slavery

Intervention do not fear


For at birth we are delivered

Through His Image all made same

But through death we are delivered

Wild and free God calls by Name


You are not the help of helpless

Nor the spouse to marry me

You are not celestial virgin

Infant born beneath my tree


Let us build the City of God

Make haste abide with me

Mother’s house is in the after

Abusers’ kingdoms will not be

 

Call from Daddy in the wee morning hours of All Saints Day

 

hauls across dusty rooms

with a bank note in it

sells on ebay(?)

there are holes all over the place

operations

stats

mercedes

Bennigan

giant flea market [my upstairs barn used to be used for a giant flea market]

They’re not (cutting? letting?) in

Buyers numbers lots

Mexico

Sanchez

Detroit

[there’s a fly suddenly buzzing around my bedroom]

Mexican prison

Benny Hill

Clinton

There’s a problem

stats

loose lips sink ships

meat and potatoes served here

I’m the same way

Nag every minute

mouth piece for John

a kit

size it

in order to have a funeral doc

fleeing to Mexico

my cake

buying crumbs out all night

the bench lying in it

the grave

can be her shoes

get her pillow

smother her face in it

she’s basking in it

pick a wreath

call for supervision