BEFRIEND YOURSELF

Mirror, mirror…
Look at yourself in the mirror. Look into your eyes. What do you see? Are they aligned, collaborating toward the same focus, or not? Is each eye sending the same energy? Feel the energy sent by each of your eyes? What is it? Do you feel soothed or agitated by it? If the energy is not as soothing as you would hope for, can you accept yourself and let peace and relaxation spread within you so gently and deeply that the light in your eyes softens and becomes pure love? Take your time. After the exercise, are your eyes more aligned & more interested in the same focus?
Wants or Soul Dreams
Can you see how your wants (even just having enough to support yourself and/or your family) prevent you from listening to the world’s needs?
If you suspend your wants with trust and innocence for a moment, can you hear your soul dreams? Can you feel the difference it makes to focus on one versus the other in your heart & in your being?
What is the distance between your wants and your soul dreams? Can you imagine and see that choosing your wants over your dreams limits your possibilities… but choosing your dreams will take care of all your needs?
Being Loving or Being Love by Elaine Desing
Elaine has a regular newsletter and on her March 22, 2010 issue she discussed the difference between being loving and being love. The first one involves a decision about whether you can entrust your love toward another, one person at a time, the second involves a question about yourself, who you choose to be, once and for all. To read the entire message please click on Elaine’s website link: http://www.elaineholistic.com/
Befriend your Soul by Yogi Bhajan
“What is meditation? When you empty yourself and let the Universe come in you.”
“Patience pays. Wait. Let the hand of God work for you. One who has created you let Him create all the environments, circumstances, and facilities & faculties.
“Oh individual, why you are in a very doubtful state? One who has made you will take care of you. One who has created this universe, all the planets, planetary faculties and facilities on Earth, He is the One who has created you. Wait, have patience, lean on him, and all best things will come to you.
“Dwell in God. Dwell in God. Dwell in God. Befriend your soul. Dwell in God and befriend your soul. Dwell in God and befriend your soul. All the faculties and facilities of the Creation, which are in your best interest, shall be at your feet. You need million things; million things will reach you, if you are stable, established, firm, patient. Remember, Creator watches over you and Creation is ready to serve you, if you just…be you.
“So please take away the ghost of your life and stop chasing around. Consolidate. Concentrate. Be you. And may all the peace & peaceful environments, prosperity approach you forever. Sat Nam.”

HEALING WORDS

Looking back…
When first wife and I broke up, I was devastated because I believed in my commitment to her and I did not understand what happened between us. I remember the moment I told her after 4 months of therapy that went nowhere that I had to move on with my life, that it was over. At that moment she first tried to get me to stay even though 4 months earlier she had made the first move to leave. But then we knew it was over. We shared with each other how much we still loved each other. “Yes that’s what’s hard about this!” Then she told me that women will love me. That moment of honest sharing after months of struggling to figure out how to keep living together was the most healing moment in our relationship for me. I did not consciously know I felt unlovable. How did she know to tell me that women would love me?

Another time one of my teachers once told me: “Don’t you dare take anything personally!” Wow! Years later, I am somewhat better at it… but every time I dig myself into an emotional black hole, you can bet I took something personally!

Negative Self-Talk

Some words we hear or tell ourselves are painful… The only way to heal from this that I am aware of is to stop trying to ignore them and push through… Instead we need to recognize and feel deep within that these words are lies… When we see/feel the lie, we can finally stop holding on to the negativity and the truth comes.
Our negative self-talk came in place of accepting some painful feelings resulting from one or sometimes many experiences. Freedom comes from accepting those unbearable feelings. Freedom comes from being able to laugh at our own insane self-talk — not take them seriously. Freedom comes from realizing that this life is not about you, it is about the love you are able to share and if you are worried about you, people will feel you as withholding love… Don’t withhold your love!
The Thin Line Between Being Healing and Giving Advice
The other side of receiving is giving healing words and that can be very close to giving advice. Most of the advice I have been given did not work for me. The reason is that people tend to give advice without getting to know the person they give advice to. It is not because something works for you that it will work for someone else. Why not? Because we each have our journey and our lessons to learn. So before trying to be helpful to someone it is important to get to know the person, to be curious, to care that the help we give is not to make us feel better but to really help the other person. If you have an attachment to whether the other person uses your suggestions, you are giving this advice for your own benefit. If it is something you need, don’t disguise it as a suggestion: know what you want and ask for what you want. If it is truly a suggestion, then you will know because you will to be willing to let the other person do exactly what s/he wants to do and be there to support him or her whether s/he is following your suggestion or not!
I think the best advice to someone is when the other person really feels heard and when it benefits everyone else around that person as well…
A Healing Offering
Talking with the other person is not the only way to know what is likely to be helpful. Here’s the story of a little old lady with Lou Gehrig’s disease who kept everyone awake at night.
A friend of mine, a nurse, worked in a hospice overnight. I was awake one such night and felt like calling her. She picked up the phone and told me she was having a hard time with an old lady with Lou Gehrig’s disease screaming and throwing her orange juice at her bedroom window requiring all her attention and waking everyone else. My friend was usually calm, full of love and joy with her patients, but right then she was overwhelmed.
I told her I would meditate on it and I’d call her back 15 minutes later. She told me she’d rather call me in case anyone was able to fall asleep in the meantime.
In my meditation, I wanted to connect with this little old lady. I wanted to know how she felt inside. So I tuned in to her. We learn this technique as part of Sat Nam Rasayan, a healing modality taught in Kundalini Yoga according to Yogi Bhajan. It is no deep mystery, we can all do this and perhaps some of you already do this without knowing it has a name!!! When I tuned in to this little old lady, I felt as though my body was on fire. I asked myself what it would feel like if instead of orange juice she drank water. The agitation went down. I asked myself what would happen if she touched the grass with her bare feet. I felt cooling and peace. So when my friend called back, I told her: “The orange juice agitates her, instead give her water, it will cool her down. And if anyone can take her outside during the day so she can touch the grass with her bare feet, that would be very helpful!”
I had my doubts that anyone would have the patience to do this. That was not taking into account that my friend is so nice that no one can say “no!” to her and the love the family had for this little old lady… A week or two later, I had a call from my friend, she told me someone wanted to talk to me. It was the daughter of the little old lady who kept every one awake at night. The daughter thanked me. She told me that she and her family did just what I suggested everyday taking her outside on her wheelchair and taking her shoes and socks off to let her touch the grass with her bare feet. And, since then, her mother had been sleeping 2 to 4 hours every night. And everyone else slept much better as a result in the hospice!!

 

DO YOU SOMETIME WONDER: AM I INSANE?

Don’t worry … You’re not alone!
Those of us who choose to follow our heart are inevitably at odds with the beaten path. It is not easy to make choices that are not the popular ones. We feel sometimes we may be the one who must be wrong… “Why can’t I have a normal life?” “I want to be normal!” I have gone through this and I see many go through this as well.
What is going on?
To follow one’s heart means to go outside of the rational and known world. We cannot explain our choices to others, we cannot even explain them to ourselves. We just know because we have tried to avoid it for so long, we have tried everything else, and there are no other choices.
Look at the world…
You notice the news… Does what you hear and see belong to a world that is sane? Wars, competition that hurts people, terminal diseases, mental illness, rape, abuse, oppression… But those who are said to be insane don’t sound as crazy as some of our leaders… And yes there are beautiful cooperative efforts too… But a world that has the negatives I listed is a sick world… and these negatives are symptoms of the sickness, of the insanity… So if you try and fit in that world you lose yourself and if you try to help it become better, you learn to follow your heart…
Following your Heart
In the beginning, you may find yourself alone… partly because you feel vulnerable, unsure, and doubt yourself… and no one really knows how to support you, how to love you. It is simple really, all a real friend has to do is to be there, to listen to your doubts and your dreams and your fears and your passion… ask how you are… without trying to fix anything or give advice… but not many know that. So for the most part we find ourselves being alone and we are the ones needing to find a way to love ourselves during this phase… The result is, if we show up to our self and keep up, we start expressing our dreams and our gifts more and more and we find the courage and the strength to be who we are more openly. That’s when things start to change…
Feeling insane!
The feeling of insanity comes because we have a conflict inside. We want to be accepted and loved and are scared that, if we follow our own heart without acting like others expect us to act, we will lose their acceptance and their love. That time is important. Trusting you and not worrying about being loved is important. Remembering your dreams is important because they are what you are giving birth to. They will be born when you find the strength to live them without worrying whether they will be accepted or rejected by others… just because you know they asked to be born and they asked to be born from you!

Fiction exerpt: Sonia and Makeet

Sonia came to my office one day, devastated. I have permission to tell her story. And I have Makeet’s as well. I have only omitted details that do not change the deeper understanding, like their real names, where they live, where they work, and who they know.
I had just come into my office that day when Sonia burst in and started to cry. She came in, apparently skipping by the front desk and the introductory form, and it did not seem like the time to start with bureaucratic details. I took a breath and switched my focus to her crying. It felt like a release. Some dam had opened up and the waters were rushing forth now, finally freed from some burden… I waited.
“I don’t know anyone I can talk to about this…” she started, finally, five, maybe ten minutes after coming in…
“I had to come and see someone… do you think you can help me?… I knew there were therapists in this building but I did not know which one could help me. When I saw you outside walking toward this building, you looked so sure of yourself… and I feel so unsure of myself… I just followed you… Then you entered your office… so here I am… Do you think that’s strange?… Can you help me?” She said everything she had in mind as though it was my role to sort it all out… to make sense out of it.
“I don’t know… it sounds like you just trusted your gut feelings…” I reflected, reassuringly.
“Gut feelings…” she said, “so that’s what gut feelings are…”
She looked disheveled, wild. Her breath was shallow. She noticed my looking at her and apologized.
“I am sorry that I look like this. I didn’t dress up today or put my makeup on… I am overwhelmed and things that used to matter don’t seem as important today.”
I welcomed her and told her about my process and expectations, and that I had a maximum of two hours today, if she needed that much.
“Two hours?” she repeated, “Okay. Oh! Money’s not an issue…”
Her statement was congruent with her demeanor. Although she came in with little care for her appearance, she carried herself like someone well to do. She signed the informed consent letter. I decided to postpone taking her family history. Her story was fresh in her mind and this was the best time to hear it, when she was still emotional, when she had not had a chance to fit it into something meaningful. I invited her to tell her story.
“He came out of nowhere… he walked toward me… I knew he was going to snatch my purse… I saw it in my mind… When he snatched it, it felt like I’d been waiting for him to do that… It felt like… you know when you wait for the train at the station and you wait and the train arrives and you get in… just like that…like he was the train and my purse was just waiting for him… But then I snapped out of this vision, I shot him – I always have a gun with me, it’s registered and everything – I only wanted to wound him so he’d slow down and the police could get him… and I called the police.”
She said all this, like a train picking up speed… and, when she stopped, she was breathing hard and her forehead was moist as though she’d been running. I asked her: “Were you running to fire those shots?”
“No!”
“You sound out of breath and you’re sweating like you’ve been running! Is that how you feel?”
“Running… Yes… It’s like a dream… but I cannot quite make it… it feels so real… more like a memory… Oh! my gosh look at me, I’m crying!” she said and stopped talking.
“You’re crying…” I said softly, acknowledging her.
And she burst into tears. “I lost him. He was supposed to be mine. And I lost him…”
“You lost him?” I continued.
“Yes… I can see it clearly like a movie of my life… I shoot him… while he is running away… I shoot him… one single shot and he falls down… dead. I am running so fast… and I kneel to feel his breath… I kiss him and kiss him and he does not breathe…. He does not take a breath… I kiss him like we used to… I don’t want to lose him… But he is gone… I shot him… kissing him does not do anything and I cry. I’m angry with him. I scream: ‘Why did you run away? I gave you everything! Why? Why did you make me shoot you? Now I have lost you!’ I leave my purse with him; it’s too late now… I would have given him anything – my god, I loved him so… And I cry so hard, holding him while his blood soaks my clothes… I don’t care… I don’t care… there’s nothing to care about anymore… I could die right now with him…”
“A different memory?” I suggested.
Sonia was suddenly introspective. “Wait!… There’s more… My clothes!” she said with surprise, “I see my clothes… they’re not what I usually wear…”
“… in what way?” I asked to let her know I was taking it in.
“They look like old fashioned clothes,” she said. “It feels so real… We have slaves… My husband and I have a sugar cane plantation… My husband is never home… I am in love with one of our young slaves. He is strong, always singing… he never looks down… We make love often in the afternoon… I give him everything…”

(soon to be published in a collection of shorts called CONSTELLATIONS)

Fiction exerpt: Watching the Seeds Dance

He was throwing the seeds to the winds and watching them swirl around and fall where they would. He was laughing joyfully at this, seeing how the winds danced with the seeds and the seeds let themselves be danced with. Then his mother came and raised her voice: “Son,” she said sternly, “we are not that rich that you can waste the seeds as you do! You need to learn to put them in the ground so they will grow so we can feed ourselves and feed the village. That is our responsibility! If you don’t learn this, you will never amount to anything and I will have failed as your mother!”
When his father came home for supper, the mother told him: “Your son wasted the seeds again…”
“Son!” The father said, “I am worried about you. You are a headache to your mother and me! You are a dreamer and that won’t get you anywhere… You cannot just live randomly! You need structure and discipline and hard work to make a living! We are farmers! That’s what we are! That’s what you are! So do as your mother says… learn your trade or else you’ll never make a living!”
The little boy went to his room feeling very alone and scared that he would never amount to anything, that his parents were right, that he was such a disappointment to everyone… and he felt much shame within him. He fell asleep crying and asked Life to give him the strength to be a good boy, to make his parents proud. He always talked to Life like other people talk to God because he could touch life, he could touch the seeds, feel the winds, he had a connection with it.
The following day he went to the fields and promised his mother he would do as she said. He was filled with a sense that it would not be so hard to plant the seeds as his mother told him and as his father wanted. He was filled with the kind of resolve that made him feel he was a good boy and he would make his parents proud. So he started planting the seeds as he was told, dutifully and carefully, saying caring words to each one. He would say to one: “You will grow strong and tall and soothe the hearts of many people!” Then he would cover it with dirt and say out loud: “Dirt! Be good to the seed, she has so many people to love.” And to another: “You will be so beautiful that no one will eat your fruit, but everybody seeing you will be blessed with happiness!’ And he continued like this feeling content. Suddenly, his mother called him and raised her voice: “Son! Don’t you see that all this time you are taking is just a waste of time? How many seeds have you planted so far? How many do you have left to plant? You’ll never amount to anything! You’re just a waste of my time!”
The little boy went into the woods and started to cry feeling hopeless. He had done his best and he was still a disappointment to his mother. He’d envisioned so much pride in her and it was not happening. He was feeling like a horrible little boy and was filled with shame. He lost track of time and arrived late for supper. His mother told him there was no supper for him because he was late. She sent him to his bedroom. She said he had a rebel streak in him and he needed to learn a lesson. The little boy did not say a word. He went to his bedroom. He did not even cry. He was numb. And his heart was heavy. He did not even think to talk to Life like the previous night.
In the morning, he had a hard time waking up. His mother yelled at him a few times to get up and then gave up. When he got up, he gave himself breakfast and went out to the woods and walked aimlessly, alone. He did not even come home for lunch. When he got home for supper, he was silent. His mother yelled something about worrying her all day. His father told him if he could not follow a simple task they could no longer help him.
Many days passed and nothing much changed. The little boy no longer felt the seeds in his hands, and no longer talked to them. He no longer laughed watching how the winds danced with the seeds and the seeds enjoyed being danced with before they fell softly on the ground, giddy with love. Many days passed alone. Not even alone, just empty, like he did not have a self anymore; nothing.

(soon to be published in a collection of shorts called CONSTELLATIONS)

 

Fiction exerpt: In My Constellation

Ann looked up. No clouds. The moon was bright and full. Ann never tired of looking at the moon.
Jack had left the day before on a business trip. That’s what they told the kids, Mary and Jeffrey, 7 and 5 years old, respectively.
Ryan was the end point of that business trip, somewhere in Kansas. How do you explain that to a 5 or a 7 year old?
*  *  *
The moon seemed like a soothing face. Ann noticed the stars, each one alone and each one reflecting light from millions of years ago, some of these stars perhaps long gone and yet… present to her now. She saw the Great Bear by the horizon.  She thought: “What if, from far away, human beings too were seen as lights? Each one unique and reflecting one’s truth, and groups of human beings seen as constellations.” She wondered which constellation she belonged to. In that moment, magically, she knew that she and Jack belonged to two different constellations.
Ann’s cell phone rang. She did not pick up. She was taking a walk on her lunch break. Some falling leaves brushed her face. She looked up. The light was piercing and bright through maple tree branches and leaves. As Ann moved her eyes down, still out of focus, she saw it all as a painting and noticed that the pattern of shapes and colors all belonged perfectly together. Stars and Autumn leaves filled her heart. She knew she belonged to a constellation of people. She did not yet know which one, but she knew it would come to her and she no longer was scared to be alone.
On her way back to work she checked her cell phone. At noon she had a call from school. She needed to pick up Jeffrey. It was about his dad. He’d been screaming and the counselor had spent much time with him. She had tried to remind him that his dad had gone on a business trip as he had before, and Jeffery told her she was lying. Ann took time off from work to spend the afternoon with her son. She’d never done this. She’d been so devoted to work like others are to their church… and now she felt so disinterested… she just belonged somewhere else.
When Ann picked up Jeffrey, he’d already calmed down. The counselor was trying to explain that he had been very agitated, unmanageable, that she had to call… Ann smiled, took her hand in hers, and looked into her eyes: “Jeffrey is right! We lied to him… We lied because we did not think he could take it… but really it was because I could not take it… We did not tell you either. I was not ready. I did not think you needed to know right away. I am sorry. I am truly sorry about what happened this morning and what you had to deal with. Can you forgive me? I need to go… I’d like to spend some time with Jeffrey.”
The counselor was stunned. Her mind was still trying to argue that she could not explain how Jeffrey had calmed down so suddenly. Her mind was processing the new information. And then she realized she needed to answer Ann’s question: “Sure! Sure! You need to be with Jeffrey! We’ll talk some other time!”
“Mom?” Jeffrey asked, “Mom? Can I have some ice cream? I missed lunch…”
“Are you hungry?” Ann asked him, “We can go out and get a bite?”
“No, just ice cream!” Jeffrey said.
“Ice cream then!” Ann said, “And then we’ll go to the play ground at the park.”
“To the play ground!” Jeffrey said smiling.
They drove to the ice cream store. As Ann finished parking her car, Jeffrey told her he loved her and gave her a hug. Ann felt tears coming to her eyes. “So you know your dad is not on a business trip?” Ann whispered in her son’s ear.
“Yes,” Jeffrey whispered back.
“How did you know?” Ann said softly.
“Because.” Jeffrey said as softly. And releasing the embrace he added in a normal voice. “Can we have ice cream now?”
Jeffrey’s self assurance took Ann by surprise and she smiled: “C’mon!”

(soon to be published in a collection of shorts called CONSTELLATIONS)

 

Fiction exerpt: The Eulogy

The minister took a deep breath, looked to his left where an Asian man was sitting in a wheelchair, and started talking.
“Karl Park, here, asked me to read this eulogy for him. Some of you may know Karl. Here is what he wishes you to know.
“Jerry was playing cards all day, in silence, a cigarette burning his lips and eyes permanently squinting, which served him well at poker. He read silence like no one I knew. Not only did he detect a player’s bluff a mile away, he could tell his cards before they were laid down. He had little use for words. Also, I never saw him use a match or a lighter as he always lit his first cigarette from the flame of the gas stove in the morning, and then each cigarette from the previous one after that. Starting around 12, he was stealing Marlboro’s from uncle Tits. He switched to Camel’s when he could buy his own. He learned to play cards in the Korean War and then on the job, in the Northwest Territories, with other gold or diamond miners. There rarely was much else to do after work, aside from going out to town once a week. He said no woman would live with an old man who’d been a bachelor all is life. Not one bit of bitterness mind you. I think he was just content, set in his own ways, and he liked his quiet space; he wouldn’t want anyone to disturb that, not even a woman.
“I didn’t know Jerry from his talking except for one story. Jerry’s uncle’s real name was Dick for those of you who didn’t know. Dick wasn’t married so his teenage nephews joked about his manhood. Jerry called him Tits one day and the name was disclosed openly by accident and it stuck. Of course later Jerry understood better about being a bachelor and that it did not mean anything about one’s manhood, but it was too late.
“As some of you know, for the last three years Jerry has invited me home with him. But perhaps very few of you know how that happened. He was very private and perhaps laughed inwardly at the rumors that came of it.

(soon to be published in a collection of shorts called CONSTELLATIONS)

Fiction exerpt: Rih Al Khamsin

A Spiritual Tale
“How did you get here?” She asks.
Our camels – dromedaries really, but everyone calls them camels here – walk us across the infinite sand. Our companions fled when we were warned of bandits. She had told us we were safe despite appearances. The bandits did leave us alone. Life has become unpredictable to me. It did not use to be this way. Everything was so easy until I tried to be true to myself.
“Don’t you already know my story?” I ask.
She felt familiar to me when I first saw her. I had a tingly sensation in my chest and a feeling … an experience of recognition like meeting an old friend, or was it a long lost lover? Since we dressed in desert clothes, including a veil, I could draw no more hints from her looks to help me remember her. Only the sound of her voice teases my curiosity. Imagination, like mirages, plays with my mind. I imagine her in ways I would not want her to know, at least not without being more acquainted.
“I like the sound of your voice,” she says.
Hmmm… Is she flirting with me?
“I was married,” I start, “I had a good paying job, then I lost everything, and went bankrupt.”
 “I cannot feel you in what you are saying! I want to know you, not your circumstances …”
I don’t understand and shut down.
“You’re not used to people being interested in you, are you?”
“… guess not!”
“We could make love right now and then you would trust me enough to open up, or you could just trust me.”
Before I can tell her of my thoughts, she continues, “… of course, once we make love, you’ll stop seeing me as I am … You’ll dream of making love again, and you’ll start being scared of losing me. Trust wouldn’t last.”
I think of Le petit prince and The Alchemist.
“… so why don’t you just trust me and avoid all this drama.”
Her earnest ways disarm my entangled thoughts.
“Who are you?”
“Mary Magdalene.”
And so I trust her. “When I lost everything, I first felt freedom. I had a new chance at finding meaning in life. I saw a therapist to find out who I am. She listened. One day she told me I should stop therapy, get back to my former line of work and to my former wife. Every fiber of my being screamed that she did not know me. I did not know how to tell her my truth. I did not know how to say she had gotten me wrong when I did not know what was right.”
“I like it… Continue…”
“You like what?”
“You are on your journey. It’s all good, don’t be scared!”
“So I went to see a psychic. What I remember the most is he said people don’t know me because I don’t know myself …”
“You only think you don’t!”
“I am still lost!”
“Only in your mind!”
“?”
“… not in your heart!”
“?”
“Listen to your words! When the therapist urged you to return to your meaningless life you knew she did not speak to your truth, so you weren’t lost! She gave you back to yourself.”
“I don’t think she intended that!”
“Does it matter?”
“Is that water ahead?”
“No! Not for another hour!”
“How do you know? Are there signs?”
She chuckles. “I know this path!”
Time passes. Suddenly, I scream: “How did you do that?”
“Do what?”
“You changed me into a woman!”
“Child! You did it! You wanted to see life as a woman!”
“But when I had thoughts like this before they never came true!”
“Would you stop asking why, and just experience? What’s new?”
“Well … I have lost my lust for you!”
“Ha! Ha! What else?”

(soon to be published in a collection of shorts called CONSTELLATIONS)

Fiction exerpt: Hallelujah

A woman, dressed, barely, talks with the driver of a Mercedes Benz. The license plate reads Hank Jr. They take off toward the church and the abandoned house at the end of the street.
A painter sketches the scene from the sidewalk. He includes the hooker, blurred, in the foreground. In the background, he sketches the church, well cared for, but unattended, and the abandoned house next to it, vibrant with life due to vines and other growths. A few feet from him, his four year-old son uses ice cream on his face like an abstract painter uses paint on canvas.
*  *  *
A businessman shares a table with a woman in business attire, just enough make-up, and subtly died hair dropping to her shoulders. She compliments him on his tie, not an uncommon one. He acknowledges the compliment, taking his time looking at her, and decides on the Scampi, she, a Caesar salad with extra anchovies.
Later he will call her to let her know she got the job. He will ask her out to dinner. She will hesitate … to change the power dynamic.
“Am I too forward?” he will ask, not unlike playing ping-pong, throwing her a spin.
“No,” she will say. Her return has no spin and is floating.
“You are a delightful woman! Would eight o’clock suit you?” throwing her an overhand.
“No … to both your offers,” she will correct with a backhand slice.
“I am afraid we have a misunderstanding,” he will say, off-guard, missing the ball.
“I guess we do,” she will say, leaving her paddle on the table. “Thank you for the call!” she will add and hang up. The phone will ring again. It will echo in her empty apartment. She will have already stepped out for a walk in the evening breeze.
*  *  *
They first met in astronomy class. During a break Elianne complimented Frederick on a question he’d asked the teacher. They enjoyed talking and went out for dinner. After, they walked each other home. First to her apartment; then to his, a couple of miles away. They ended up walking back to the university campus where they sat on a bench to watch the night fall.
“Have you ever fallen asleep looking at the stars?” he asked her.
“Once,” she said while another dialogue was taking place within her. Her heart was telling her mind how much she loved this man; his freedom, his nonchalant disrespect for common practices – no … not disrespect – just no compulsion to follow them. She admired that. Where did he come from?
“Where are you from?” she asked him.
“A planet in the Pleiades.”
She laughed. Ask a silly question, get a silly answer, she thought.
“Where do you come from?” he asked.
“My mother’s womb.”
“… and before that?”
“That’s where it all started.”
“Perhaps, yes,” he conceded. “What attracted you to astronomy?”
“How about you answer first?”
“I was born on Earth like you, from human parents. But I really come from the Pleiades. I am married there with two teenage boys. I was asked to take a vacation on Earth. Astronomy was a natural choice.”
“You are married and you left your wife and sons behind? Did you guys divorce?”
“No! Marriage here is a contractual affair and, once married, people try to control and change each other. People say my husband, my wife, or mychildren. At home, we don’t think that way. Being married means to align oneself in support of the other on his or her path. Giving birth to children means accepting the responsibility to support them on their path. It is not about guiding them, educating them, or raising them.”
“So you have a life there and you chose to live a parallel life here?”
“Seems odd, I know.”

(soon to be published in a collection of shorts called CONSTELLATIONS)

Fiction exerpt: Awakening

Sandy was driving. The traffic light was green. Everything is quiet. We’re not moving. We must have had an accident. I can’t open my eyes or extend my arms, or move anything. I feel nothing. I hear nothing. I only have my thoughts. What happened to me?

* * *

“Any signs at all?” Sandy asks the nurse.

“No Ms. The EEG is normal: activity, sleep, dream … but his body is not responsive.”

Sandy enters the room and sits by the body. She puts her purse on the edge of the bed and she ignores that it falls on the floor.

“I’m so sorry sweetie!” She says, choked up in tears, “I’m so sorry.”

She holds his hand; it feels relaxed and warm enough. The EEG shows no difference as she talks to him.

“Randy … It’s me, your sandy beach! You must think I’m a bitch! That truck came out of nowhere. I tried to turn away. It was too late. By the time … You must believe me. Please forgive me.”

“Ms?”

“Yes.”

“He can’t hear you. See the EEG isn’t reacting to your words. He is in his own world.”

“He’s gotta come back to me.”

The nurse leaves shaking her head.

Sandy looks around and slips her hand under the sheet, finds the top of his thigh and tries to arouse him.

“Randy … remember … you used to like this.”

She cries.

(soon to be published in a collection of shorts called CONSTELLATIONS)