Monday, October 18, 2010

Dancing through the Depths of my Mind

Last night I had several souls dancing their way through my brain.

This is not a unique experience, per se. I often, especially as the moon approaches its full phase, open up psychically and seem to invite visitors into my mind.

Usually, however, they appear one at a time, and make their presence known before they start knocking around in the cabinets of my cerebellum. You know, they ring the doorbell before barging in, just in case they might be catching me in my birthday suit.

I must have been wide open last night, for I had not one, but several visitors clunking around in my sacred space. It took me a while to sort them out and identify the individual forces at work there.

One was a familiar visitor, an old friend who periodically appears and likes to camp out in the place I call my "junk pile" - this is the home of my short term memory, where he pulls out random ideas, images and symbols to admire and evaluate.

"Red velvet. France. Chinese food. Turquoise."

This is how a typical encounter with Jack might sound, a one-sided litany as he dug through the rubble he discovered.

"Yes, Jack," I would answer, "But you're in the trash heap again. It's all just junk."

For Jack, however, this rubbish heap was a comfortable - and safe -place to rest.

So Jack was curled up in the trash pile last night, while two other entities poked and prodded in other - more significant areas of my brain.

Though I never identified either clearly, it became obvious that the first was a soul searching for guidance and stability. He sat towards the back of my head, just behind my right ear, scratching at me in much the same way that my poodle, Monte, does when he is desperate for attention. His need was deep - achingly so - and it fatigued me greatly as he attempted to draw from my strength to find his way.

The third force had a more sinister sense, and settled deeply into the subconscious portion of my mind, as if it were a spy, digging for forbidden information. This third force snuck in on the heels of the second, stealthily, and was much more tentative in its probing. It eventually retreated, with resignation, without finding whatever it had hoped to discover.

These visitors, each in their own spot, have an interesting effect upon my head. The first sensation is a sort of heaviness in my head, a slight pressure, in the place they enter. As they begin to explore, my head begins to buzz with energy, and it feels as if there are fairies or small animals trodding on my brain. It feels a bit like a series of goosebumps across the inside of my head. The longer the entities remain, the higher the energy levels rise. And once these forces enter my mind, it is often difficult to force them out until they are ready to go. Last night, Jack was the last to leave, snuggling in for many hours before finally letting go and slipping away into the night.

Ultimately, the biggest effect of these visits is that they sap my energy and steal my sleep. Today, I feel like the walking dead. I have often theorized that this is precisely why they come.

In times of high energy, I broadcast to others with psychic abilities, and they rush to take advantage of the available energy. Jack used to tell me that when my energy is at its peak, I transmit like a beacon, to all those who can read it. I imagine my brain as a sort of psychic gas station. Last night, I had three eager "customers" pull in to top off. While they were there, they danced through my head, poked and prodded, and left no corners unexamined.

And as I finish writing this post, in has crept Jack once again, to hang out in the junk pile of my mind, curling up in the corner just like the family dog snuggling in front of the hearth.

Now, I need a nap!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Several Holocaust Poems.

(The Ghetto Wall in Krakow, Poland)

I had another episode last night and today, where I felt overtaken by spirits who wanted to be heard. Out if this experience, came several new poems, which I have included in this blog. I will let them speak for themselves.

The (Un)natural Law of Race

The genetic tree
Has twisted roots
Driven deeply into the past.
Social Darwinists
Dig out the rot
They believe have effects that last.

Eugenic science –
Imposter beliefs –
Guide the policies of the state
Cleansing of the blood,
Curing the ailments of her people.
In hopes that it is not too late.

Misguided in thought,
The Germans complied,
And after these thoughts
Were carried out,
Millions had died.

The slippery slope
Eugenics led
Had great long-term effects.
It had at its core
The lofty goal of
Eliminating all defects.

Purity of blood,
Racially pure,
This was Hitler’s call
And then in the end,
Policies led
To Germany’s fall.

(the former killing center of Belzec, in Poland)

ABCs of Death

Auschwitz and Appell
Dachau and Dehumanization
Einsatzgruppen and Experimentation
Hitler, Himmler, and Heydrich
Lagers and Lebensraum
Mengele and Monsters
National Socialism
Piles of corpses.
Queues of prisoners
Rations of Bread
Schutzstaffeln and Selections
Unterwertige, the Undesirables
Yiddish prayer
Zyklon B

(the Memorial at Dachau, outside of Munich, Germany)

Life Unworthy of Life

Hadamar, Hartheim, Sonnestein,
Places of horrors past,
Those whose images last,
Now mingling and blending through time.

Here the victims took final breath
Never to rest in peace,
Whose suff’ring never cease,
Immortal pain, even in death.

Euthanasia was the label,
Justifying killing,
Victims went unwilling
To their deaths upon the table.

Injection, pill, or starvation,
Perhaps a whiff of gas,
Is how their deaths would pass,
All to further Hitler’s nation.

“I’m not guilty,” all would argue,
Another bears the blame,
For this genetic game,
"For Hitler’ Reich these deeds I do."

So if the perpetrator’s role
Eliminates their guilt,
Their argument was built
Upon their victims’ loss of soul.

If not the doctors, then, I ask,
Who therefore bears the blame
In Master Race’s name,
To carry out this evil task?

Perhaps we all should share the weight,
For euthanasia’s cast
For generations past,
Whose crimes of hate will not abate.

For who decides the worth of man
And who is better dead,
When valued life is led,
Or whose whole future we should ban?

When mortals play the role of god,
And choose the path of fate,
An evil incarnate
Over the human streets shall trod.

(Shoes taken from concentration camp inmates)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Dreamweaver's subtle language of the self

(Altar of the Church of the Nativity in Erie)

I have been suffering from a series of disturbing and related dreams for weeks now, so I thought it was time to write a post about dream symbolism and their messages.

Sunday, we enjoyed the Dinner in Old Russia at the Russian Church of the Nativity here in Erie. After the meal, we went into the church itself, and I spent quite a long time admiring the chapel and taking photographs. The stained glass windows in particular struck me, and reminded me that I need to be a bit more reflective myself.

(Stained glass window at the Church of the Nativity)

Perhaps it was the vivid blue of the glass, or the simplicity of the designs in the windows, but whatever it was drew my attention immediately, and kept me fixated on those windows, even as I struggled to move away and take in the splendor of the iconography that adorns every available space in the chapel.

I even stopped and lit a candle, a ritual that I do not often complete, but which I felt compelled to perform on that rainy Sunday afternoon.

(Prayer Candles at Church of the Nativity)

The three of us (me, my husband, and my father-in-law) were the only ones in the chapel at the time. My father-in-law discovered the alms box, where donations are accepted for the candles. He stated flatly, "I'm going to light a candle." And, in that moment, I knew I needed to do the same.

So I lit a candle. And I lit it for all the suffering in the world, especially those who have been the object of tormenting and teasing in their years of development and adolescence. I thought about the recent victims of bullying who have given their lives senselessly, both those whose names made the nightly news and the many, many more whose names did not see the public eye.

And the action, the lighting of the candle, also turned my attention inward, to my own experiences, and my dreams of late.

Though the subject matter of the dreams varies, there are common elements. First is the ever present element of water. Water represents emotion, and in my case the sense of being overwhelmed by emotion and not knowing what direction to turn. As the dreams have progessed, so has the size and power of the water in them. Most recently, I was swimming in (and against) the ocean, in order to reach the bathhouse, which was located offshore and only accessible through the water. What a clear message that sent me! I need to resolve my emotions, but I can only do so by pushing THROUGH the emotions themselves. Quite a spot, I'm sure.

Another common element has been the presence of a young girl, often in distress. In one dream, I watched a young girl walk into a lake and drown herself, while I and others stood by pondering her intent and wondering if we should stop her until it was too late. In another dream, I was in charge of a young girl, trying to comfort her, but instead my actions made her more distressed. In a third, the young girl was the daughter of my best friend, who was very upset and concerned that she could not dry off (she was freezing cold) and I was trying, unsuccessfully, to help her warm up. These images all seem to point to my need to nurture, but the feeling that I was not doing a very good job of it after all. It reflects my sense of insecurity and lack of confidence that I am, in fact, making a difference in the lives of those I touch, both figuratively and literally.

And underlying all the images and the messages, is the most subtle and also the most subversive of them all: the idea that I am not worthy, that I am inferior, that I do not deserve to be happy or successful.

And these feelings have very deep roots, going back to my childhood, to a childhood much like that of those for whom I lit that candle in the Church of the Nativity. But in my case, it was not just in the school yard that I experienced denigration of my self, but in the bosom of my family, at the hand of my paternal grandmother.

So, as I fight to achieve stability in my life and figure out my path, my dreams are digging deeply into my past and revealing those (I thought) long-resolved feelings of insecurity and fear, and shining them over the movie screen of my dreams over and over again, coming at me like the proverbial two-by-four to pound me into submission.

And yet, the glimmer of hope remains, as I struggle to translate this twisted language of dreamland, that I will not succumb, as I once might have, to these feelings of inferiority. Because now I have more strength and more love in my life than ever before. And with the help of my loved ones (both human and furred), I will conquer these challenges to my weary brain and move past the images of failure into the brighter ones of success.

Dreamweaver, weave your magic. But tonight, remember, I am no longer interested in wallowing in the past oceans of despair, but would like to soar to the new heights of self-awareness and control. Oh, and while you're at it, you can take the migraines with you, too.

(Ceiling and image of the iconography in the Church of the Nativity)
Here's to happy dreams, and a happy self.