Posts Tagged ‘Magic’

The presence of joyous noxiousness

April 30, 2016

Well, I’ve died again.

It happens occasionally in my life. I’ll go underground, converse with the god of the underworld, and resurface to live the next iteration of my being in the world. This particular death process has lasted a few years and ended last night with a dream that I died and was able to read my autopsy. Here I was, dead, and reading my autopsy, alive, so that I could figure out what killed me. Dreams are great.

My cause of death was joyous noxiousness.

My response this morning is close to a WTF moment. But then, in order to come alive, to break the barrier, the part of me that went into darkness needs to die with all of its woe-is-me, heart-breaking, I-wish-the-world-were-different, my-mommy-and-daddy-were-mean-to-me excuses for not becoming fully alive.

We’re not talking soft sweet sympathetic head patting and empathetic eye blinks and hand holding meant to stimulate my emotional growth. No. We’re talking die already.

And what killed me was joyous noxiousness. Evidently, this joyous noxiousness has been quietly and steadily killing me without my knowledge and has now made itself known in a most magical and unexpected way.

My new life, then, is to learn how to live with it.

This one’s for you, Kathy.

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The presence of reincarnation: Magic Redux

December 25, 2013

Today is Christmas, a notorious day for miracles. The whole season gets stretched thin with unmet expectations and people desperate to make the impossible happen.

We miss those who should have been here and wonder where the meaning has gone.

I have a few loved ones on the edge of precarious circumstances and most certainly my Christmas would be more joyful if I knew they were having a warm and loving time. My blessings include knowing they are alive and other loved ones are safe. I have my haven, my life here in Maryland, and had given myself the gift of a 25-day Advent spirituality practice.

I am well loved and the Universe has a most playful, unique way of letting me know just how connected I am.

magic4Some history first. Back on August 16, 2010, my soulmate kitty, Magic, went to the eternal beyond, breaking my heart in the process. I did not get another animal because I was living in other people’s homes at the time, but since moving back to my home this past May, I have toyed with the idea of getting another kitty. Magic

It occurred to me that Magic might reincarnate, but I did not know how I would find her if she did.

On December 23, I was supposed to play tennis doubles, but one of our four had a trip planned to Maui and forgot to tell us (really?). I was irritated because three people cannot play doubles and we were unable to find a fourth. In the middle of my search, my daughter, who is homeless in San Francisco, called asking if I could wire her some money for Christmas. I left work early because of course I want my daughter to have a Christmas. As I was leaving the store after wiring the funds, I saw the PetSmart across the street and wondered if Magic had reincarnated yet.

I drove over, walked in, and there she was. Only, she is a he now, but otherwise, nearly exactly the same: a black and white tuxedo kitty. He is nine months old and I knew instantly that he was her. He had just arrived that morning. Through the glass partition, we bumped heads. I could not leave without him.

max 4The store manager thought I was a bit nutty when I kept saying “that’s my cat” and told this story over and over. But when I got him home, my step-daughter (who knew Magic very well) just about fell over, and this little kitty went about finding everything without hesitation. Magic is home. It isn’t about investigation. It is about confirmation that (just like before) she/he:
• Gets to sleep on my side of the bed
• Gets to sleep on any lap, regardless of availability
• Has to know what is going on all the time
• Is on the wrong side of every door

max 2Had my daughter not called, I would not have gone by the PetSmart; had I not been stood up for tennis, I never would have taken the time to go in. The Universe absolutely conspired to make sure we found each other that day.

Inside of me is the absolute assurance that I already know this soul. A while ago, I wrote about replacement love. One of my regrets in life is that I have not loved those who are most precious to me when I had the chance to love them. I was always too busy, too anxious, too tired, too preoccupied, too often on my way to someplace else.

On this day of gifts, I have one of the ultimate: the chance to love again.

©2013 by Barbara L. Kass

the presence of love

December 18, 2010

We need to love.

It is inherent in the very molecules that breathe life into our souls. In fact, love may be our souls. And when who or what we love disappears, we suffer as if a part of our soul took flight to follow them.

Who we love is easy to identify: our family, friends, and animal companions.

What can be anything from a cherished possession to a lifestyle to a dream.

I have observed even when a loved one is dying from an incurable disease, the people who love that person want him or her to hang around as long as possible. We don’t want them to be suffering or in pain, but we have a selfish love that is tagged for that person and that person only. When that person dies, where will our love go?

I have heard people who have lost their beloved spouses say that they would never love anyone like that again . . . that spouse who died was “it” for them and that is the end of their love life.

We love the feeling of loving others. It fills us up. It makes us melt.

When we lose our people, our item or the ability to live the way we want and let go of an unrealized dream, we miss that feeling of loving. We not only mourn for the loss, we mourn for ourselves. Mourning helps heal that raw and sudden wound. And our love floats around the empty space searching for a place to land. It is a specific love, reserved in a special place within us.

I notice my love when I am tending my plants . . . especially the one that I thought I had killed last winter (see the presence of plants).

I notice my love as I sit and play with my granddaughter.

I notice my love as I carefully construct a conversation with a family member in desperate times.

I notice the love I have for that Magic cat has nowhere to land. I miss loving her presence.

The lesson that this is teaching me is to love more . . . even though I may lose the presence of what I love, to be without the presence of loving is a dark and lonely existence.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

The presence of memory

September 1, 2010

It has only been two weeks since the Magic cat left and her absence still looms large in my days and nights. That little cat taught me a very significant lesson about being present: I need to pay attention to now because I am creating tomorrow’s memories.

At first, I thought it was an odd way to be present because it presumes there will be a tomorrow when all we really know is that we have the eternal present. There are these past presents, though, that come around to haunt me either with their sorrow or with their joy. With my 20/20 hindsight, I can clearly see and know how I could have been more present, how I could have responded differently.

If I get caught up in the woes of yesterday or the endless search to recreate my pleasures, I will miss the present opportunities. Given the cyclical nature of most people’s behaviors, there will likely be other events for me to practice a new and different response. Each time I practice a different response, I create a new memory that can support me in all my tomorrows. I can capture the essence of joy and imprint its feeling in my cells. The memory of joy helps balance the sorrows and losses that often fill me in the last moments of those I love.

Each present moment is a lesson. The studying and learning of life comes with the reflection of the memory. While we may not always have a choice over the events in our lives, we always have a choice on how we are going to apply the lesson we interpret from those events.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

The presence of Magic

August 17, 2010

The Magic Cat
She has always been a creature of comfort. Her soul loves feeling good to the point that never mattered who might be inconvenienced in her search for warmth, a complete body rub, and dinner off my plate.

Yesterday, we said our temporary goodbye. She could no longer eat or drink water even though it was clear she wanted to. Sitting at her water dish, her meow was mournful and painful for me to hear. I made the decision to allow death to claim her body, and set her soul free. I needed to put her out of my misery. I feel only a little bit better that she is no longer physically suffering.

There is no doubt in my heart that she will be present for me when I make my transition home.

She represents more to me than a 7-pound feline with an attitude. We have a 17-year history and there are a hundred thousand memories associated with her presence. When she first arrived in our lives, Bethany was a young girl and Magic was her birthday present. Magic was supposed to be her cat, not mine. But I was working from home back then and she found my lap beneath the keyboard while I typed away. She snuggled up against me late at night searching for warmth and the familiar sound of another heartbeat. She taught me how to throw her cat toy and she would fetch it and bring it back to me to throw again. When we had visitors, people said she followed me around like a dog. I told them she was very much a cat: always on the wrong side of every door.

I dragged her 2,000 miles across the United States from Texas to Maryland and changed residences six times in 15 years. One time, she even put up with living with male cats for 3 years. She was always well-behaved and polite. These past four weeks were the only time she was sick or caused me any concern at all.

I carry the question of whether euthanasia and depriving her of suffering was the “right” thing to do. I take some comfort from the idea that if she trusted me with her life, then she also trusted me with her death.

I have a lifetime of stories to tell about her, but right now they all make me cry.

I miss her presence.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass