Tuesday, September 20, 2016



The word "recognize" comes from Latin: re: 'again' cognoscere: 'learn.' It is defined as "Identification of a thing or person from previous encounters or knowledge."

When my girl was in high school, one of her science teachers kept mixing her up with another classmate. I generally did not intervene in her schooling, but this time I had to do something. So I went to a "Meet the teacher" night with her. During the meeting I sat and discussed her work with the teacher in an open friendly manner, pointing often to her, and saying her name out loud often as I pointed. I was in effect teaching him who she was. Her name was a layer of information he hadn't picked up, so by providing him with the essence of who she was (her appearance, her work, her charm) and then layering her name on top of that, I hoped that recognition would follow. It did. That solved her identification problems in science class.

When my grandmother was old and forgetful, she didn't remember who I was. On one visit, she saw me and smiled broadly, "Now there's a familiar face." Even as I reminded her that I was Janet, one of Audrey's twins, the names and relationship to her vanished, but the sense of familiarity continued.

The essence of who we are gets layered first by relationship, then associations, then names, and then this idea of who we are gets layered some more with our history, our judgements, opinions and evaluations. By the time we stand in front of each other, the spark of who we are may be buried under all that stuff, unrecognizable.

When we strip it back, we may recognize that essential me-ness of who we are, the way Gma recognized a kindred spirit.

If Gma had even lost that, she would have nothing to hold onto. All ego traces would be gone.

Eventually we all have to lose it. Ego doesn't want us to, but even that essential spark may have to be lost - back into the ocean of grace that brought us into being.

Then I wonder what we'd recognize.

First published in October 2016 in my free monthly email newsletter, Starry Night. Sign up here.

Perhaps in Another Life


I find the notion of other Janets in other universes a comfort. The quantum idea of each choice leading to another possible reality means there could be a whole lot of Janets out there somewhere. Which is good. Another Me may have chosen a different career, or life partner, or place to live and had those lives play out quite differently. Some may have more privileges that give them a step-up in life. Others may really be struggling.

I met one of those ones in a dream once. While I was struggling with an issue, I met another Janet who was struggling with the same issue but from her own different perspective. She lived in a different town, in less comfortable circumstances than me. She had our daughter, just like me, but I didn't see my husband. And she was desperate. Poor thing. My heart went out to her. I wished across whatever distance may have separated us that she feel better, and hoped that just as her reality bled through to mine, some of my good wishes would bleed through to hers. The dream was one of those ones you know is real, and as I saw her in the dream, there was no question that she was as much me as well, Me. She felt like me. Her life was simply playing out a different way.

I've also met a me who wasn't Janet in a dream. But he was every bit as much Me as I was. He was about 11 years old and very much a boy - what fun to get into a boy's head like that. I don't know where he was, but there was no question in my mind that he was me. Every bit as much me as I am.
It's all a bit weird, but in a good way.

Dreams themselves lend us a flexibility of consciousness that we don't often see in everyday life. But I've had daytime experiences too, that have made me wonder just how closely we are tied to this reality. These things could be written off as a form of brain hiccup or something that might someday be scientifically explained. That's fine with me. But they felt as real as this keyboard I'm using to write this story. And even if they end up being brain hiccups after all, they still add something wonderful and interesting and comforting to my life.

Thinking like this consoles me, because it expands my thinking. If I am all Janets, then I am all Beings. We really are all One. The ability to make the leap from one Janet into another is in me, and if it's in me, it's in all of us.

It consoles me because it leads to ideas of alternate realities, perhaps realities where intuition, telepathy and the more subtle perceptions of life take precedence over thinking, analysing. Or realities where we explore life from a framework that is not chronological. Or realities that are far beyond my capacity to see or imagine.

It consoles me because it means there isn't quite so much pressure on me to get things right. I don't have to do more or be more than I am. Another Janet may be in a better position to rock the world. In this reality I can be just as I am, finding my joy here and living the wonderful life that I've been given.

It also takes the pressure off in a grander way. Since it is all so unreachable, so far beyond my ability to grasp, I can relax about it all. Something much bigger than me is in charge. I can rest in that loving energy and trust that this greater power is taking me where I need to go.

There's only so much I can fit into one life. It comforts me to imagine that another me could be sitting at a café in Paris, or marvelling at the Sultan Ahmet Mosque in Istanbul or tasting chicken pho on a street in Hanoi. I can't do it all right now, but perhaps in another life ...

First published October 2013 in my free monthly email newsletter, Starry Night. Sign up here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Seasons Changing


I can feel it in the air.
The crows and jays are calling each other.
A hawk flew right up the driveway and by the house.
I've seen deer moving in the bush next door.

Each year as they move into the new season,
I feel the need in me to do the same.