No Escaping the Raccoons

That which you resist persists. And so it was with the raccoons in my dream last night.

Those bulbous, bushy-tailed bandits were stalking me.

Not that I have any real prejudice against raccoons, but I do know they can be fierce if crossed. My first roommate in college, case in point. Her shins were covered in scars from the attack she had suffered as a girl when her neighbor’s ‘pet’ raccoon escaped. She was merely walking in her own yard when their paths crossed, it got startled, and charged her with teeth and claws.

So last night in my dream, there were not one, but two of those striped ring-tails, lumbering about the perimeter of my family’s fence. I thought myself wise to simply climb the gate and avoid all contact.

photo courtesy of Ingrid Taylar
photo courtesy of Ingrid Taylar

But as soon as I clambered to the fence, it was as if I’d sipped the ‘Drink Me’ potion left for Alice in Wonderland. The garden gate grew immensely tall, taking me to an extreme elevation, leaving the raccoons pacing far below. But not for long. Suddenly, with agile grace and a subtle air of “ah..ah..ahhhh,” the raccoons scaled the vertical plane of the fence with ease, not only meeting me at my height, but surpassing me.

Now, I was clinging to the fence at a point much-higher-than-comfortable, looking up at the raccoons that were peering down upon me from above. I could shimmy back down the mammoth face of the warping fence line, but these slinky wild things would surely shadow me. Worse yet, they may just pounce on my descent.

Enter new characters to this dreamtime dilemma: right on cue, friendly neighbors with supportive advice and apparent raccoon-handling experience, appear in the dreamscape to gather at the gate below me. They make the verbal confirmation that my strategy to climb out of the reach of raccoons was ill-conceived. These animals are natural climbers and I am out of my element. It is suggested that I attempt to stay above them, rather than beneath.

All agree that the only way out of my predicament is down, and I should prepare for the raccoons to follow.

It is relayed to me that the best mode of operation with these curious, but pesky animals, is not to let them sense my fear. That I must stand in my own power and exude the confidence that conveys, without question, that any semblance of attack upon my person is simply inconceivable.

So when I reach the ground, as expected, my two followers are soon to land as well. I embolden my stance, position myself firmly above them, evoking the spirit of “Dog Whisperer,” Cesar Milan. Few words are spoken, it’s all vibe. And within moments, each raccoon is promptly lying down, just like canines obeying a command.

All sense of urgency or threat is gone. I am the master of my world, my sphere, my body. Nothing is going to strike upon me.

I’ve stopped trying to climb away, and the raccoons are in repose, having ceased their mischievous chase.

Alright, then. With that little nighttime victory, let’s get on with the day.

See if some of that sage courage can seep into my waking world.

Stringing It Together

“We can see it from the cemetery. This house that we think may be our next home.

As an albatross flies, it’s about a mile and a half away from us. We stand beside hundred-year-old lava rock grave stone markers, in a simple cemetery just down the street from where we currently reside. Between us and the peeking A-line rooftop of our dream house, lie grassy meadows, one steep valley, and several property lines with fences. Of the house, we can see nothing but windows…

It feels good to look out over green pastures at the only roofline in sight, imagining ourselves lighting up that house with warm, golden hues from the inside.”

The above passage is pulled from the “Lamp Lighting” post I wrote here on the Archives on September 30, 2013.

More than once, the Bohemian and I would walk down our country road to the cemetery and gaze out across the field at the windows of the home we dared to dream about. It felt possible, but uncertain. So close, and yet, so far.

Like any creation, perhaps, it begins with a desire, a dream, a vision. And then there is the doing. Your two hands, your mind, your action, that begins to herd atoms into some organized system shaped to resemble your wishes made real in 3D.

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For a jewelry maker, it’s bead by bead on the string until some masterpiece can grace a neckline. For a spider, it’s filament cast, row by spiraling row. Always, there are unseen forces at work, elements beyond the control of the creator. But, ultimately, the doing is left to the dreamer.

We humans, busy with all this manifestation business, sometimes fix our vision on the steps at hand, not realizing the greater view.

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And so it’s been for my family, elbow-deep in boxes. Loading and unloading them. Thoroughly cleaning cupboards. Trouble shooting water wells. Clearing rain gutters and gray water drains. Where? In that A-frame house we gazed longingly upon from the cemetery, only so many months ago.

Yes, February 1st we moved in, and it’s been shelf by shelf, room by room, of living this dream-come-true.

But last night we paused the chores. Jeb was at his father’s house, and the Bohemian and I had sunset to ourselves. We moved upstairs to the big window that looks out to a range of mountains, where the sun was an egg yolk breaking in golden ooze behind a hill. We sat quietly with the clouds that moved in mauves, ever slowly, past our view. All was quiet but for bird songs and the occasional trumpeting of a strutting rooster.

Looking out across the treetops, I could see the outline of Norfolk pines, markers of the cemetery where we used to visit.

“Do you see the pines in the cemetery?” I asked the Bohemian.

“Yep. I see them.”

“Remember standing beneath them and looking at this window from over there?”

“Yes. And we said we wanted to see the window all lit up with light from the inside.”

“I know…and now, look. Here we are on the inside of that window, looking back at where we used to stand. We’re here.”

The Bohemian rose and walked to the lamp at my desk.

“Then let’s turn on a light.”

Resolving Host

I try loading my WordPress site and the rainbow pin wheel spins while a message reads “Resolving host…”

These days, seems everything is in resolve, including my internet connection, which is my lifeline to the Archives. I am a writer first, and a blogger second, so in keeping with my resolve, I am typing here anyway, hoping that once the internet gods bestow me with a better signal, I can post these words for your reading. Until then, the letters are just for me at 5:42 am, as I sit at my desk which is now in a new location, in a house I’m still getting to know.

I watch my family reach for the familiar in this home that has none of our grooves yet inlaid. We seek simple routines, like which drawer houses the forks. We embrace new discoveries, like finding a vast collection of organic herbs and spices left behind.

The story goes that this house was built as a bird lover’s dream. There is literally a stained glass window at the front door from which a parrot shines. But after the birder left for a new island, the house hosted a lineage of others that used it more as an interim while their ‘real’ home was being built. After several couples had their temporary stays and left for more permanent dwellings, the house became a landing pad for island visitors, mostly a small cast of characters who visited regularly but stayed only a short time.

As we clear cupboards and closets, we wipe down the layers of about 30 years of history. I did discover two boxes of macaroni and cheese, the labels faded in color and looking to have been purchased sometime in the mid-eighties. Though one never knows the future, we’d like to settle here for a good long while. And it feels satisfying to wipe the slate clean before hunkering down.

Like every dream come true, there’s a full spectrum of reality. This morning, it’s a glitching internet signal that’s just not reaching our rural locale. Yesterday, it was a strange greenish-brown silt that had backlogged around the drain of the shower. Hmmm…

But the other end of that gamut gifted us with a cornucopia of citrus: grapefruits, tangerines, Tahitian limes, and oranges. Yesterday morning the Bohemian even sighted a whale breaching as he sat taking in the ocean view from the couch in our living room.

It’s all here. Like everywhere. The connect and disconnect. The light and the dark. The moldy shelf and the freshly cleaned windows. As an artist, I’m forever trying to encapsulate the scope and share it. The truth is, right now, I’m all out of my routine and scattered, unable to streamline anything.

This host is still resolving.

And with that, the roosters in the dark outside my window are crowing in the trees. It’s time to wake up Jeb and make our way to the bus stop. We’ll open a few drawers before we actually find the spatula. Start the day in new ways. Feel around for our groove. Remember gratitude in the chaos.

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