I can’t get away from death.
My former partner is an astrologer. When I was in my mid 30’s, she was a fledgling apprentice and looked at my chart.
“Oh my God, you have five planets in the 8th house (death and dying) and four of them are in scorpio!” Stunned she brought my chart to her teacher, the famous wizard of astrology, Steven Forrest. He declared:
“You were a doctor during the black plague and probably succumbed to the illness while trying to save others. It was Godzilla versus Bambi. It was not your fault.”
A few years later, as my 40’s approached and my former partner had deepened her astrological prowess, she decided to study my advance planetary aspects.
An hour went by. Gasps. Two hours. Heavy breathing. By hour three, the charts and books were gone.
The next day my bags were packed, leaning against the back porch. Go. Hurry. Quick hug. Best of luck. It was the ‘I’ve seen the future and you’re fucked’ farewell.
Yet discharging me from the premises was a sane move it turned out; any sensible woman would have done the same. Apparently my Uranus opposed itself. Who knew?! Spontaneous asteroid combustion immanent. Gamma Ray release likely. Mars was poised to suffocate Venus; Saturn square to retrograde Pluto. Alien brain implantation on the horizon. My former partner was a woman who needed stability. I was already a wildcard. And here the deck showed nothing but jokers remaining.
The facts were written in the stars no less but I tried for a last ditch relationship resuscitation.
“I was there when the vet put down your beloved Sharpei!” I pronounced. “Just remember that!” Oh, shit, what did I say? I was there? Euthanasia? Death?
The death dude, that’s me. I’ve seen more than my share of crucifixions.
Death, she’s been riding me of late. Which today means I’m some kind of human sled. Delilah Death, the Grim Reaper’s wife and no doubt the hidden power behind the man, has stepped on my back, put a tight harness around my neck and face, tethered to two large black stallions- each pointing in different directions.
“Step on it boys!”
Thanks Darling D.
Sometimes I feel like Lieutenant Dan from Forest Gump. You remember the classic scene. No legs, tied to the boat’s mast, a massive southern storm in full roar, he yells to death:
“I’m right here! Is that all you got!?”
Terry, my end of life client, a kind-hearted, sweet man, died Thursday morning at 2 am during a strong spring downpour. His wife could not hear his loud breaths on her baby monitor because of the pelting on the roof. When the squall was over, so was the breathing. They say souls often leave form mid-storm. I visited Terry’s wife for an hour. She was exhausted and running on adrenaline storage.
Then I stopped by the health food store, Staff of Life, a local institution. As I was checking out my friend appeared. Recently returned from an island trip, he told me how some Hawaiian healer had finally ended his Holocaust, past-life as a Nazi dentist guilt-complex–once and for good. Another death. I was truly happy for him.
On to the library, I discovered a freshly written blog about a 91 year old millionaire who still drives his own Porshe and exudes enough charm and finesse to lure 20-something beauties into conversation. If he was 40-70 years old: Creepy. Call the cops. But at 90-you’ve paid your dues in the death zone; you be running on borrowed time. He gets a free pass.
Though I’m not sure I should applaud, crack a wry smile or ask for a ride. I use to be impressed by a 91 year old Californian who could ride his bike 5 miles to pick up his new teeth. But this is New York; 91 there is an entirely different animal.
Horizontal mode beckoned- but before I could leave the library, The Reaper and his darling wife led me to an aptly-titled book-Last Breath: Cautionary tales from the limits of human endurance. (Of course the word ‘endurance’ is not in my dictionary-so it is a relative term open for interpretation.)
The deathly couple’s seal the deal moment came when they pointed me to the book’s cover quotation:
“UN-PUT-DOWNABLE stories of outdoor catastrophe and death, carefully and vividly told…”
I checked the book out and headed home, knowing full well that a ‘Ten Commandments dream delusion’ was brewing.
I’m in the Heston part, of course. Desert crossing, near death but playing God’s soldier, the Almighty’s right hand man–plus every 50-something’s dream oasis ending:
Water, figs and after a heroic beating-off of thieves and thugs—the reward: a dozen maidens all vying for my affection.
My expanded version crept in later.
I’m traveling 32 mph on my old Kestrel racing bike along a beautiful country road; then hiking the final steps to the summit of Mount Shasta with my cousin; moments later traveling nearly 50 mph down the Squaw Valley Ski Resort downhill course, KT-22, once again just ahead of my uncle.
How is it possible, I wander into lucidity.
A medicine man appears. He tells me that the India parasitic blood disease is destroyed; the Thailand tiger-bite virus-healed; the lyme-tick thingy- eradicated; and the liver has magically been restored from the sodium-fluoroacetate poisoning.
Then the nocturnal hallucination morphs–the medicine man says the ayahuasca-induced trance has ended.
I wake up. Rolling to my left side, grabbing my liver in pain, ready to puke.
The nausea is dancing with brain fog. I raise up, using all my energy, pausing to pick some debris crust from my eyes. I lean forward and gravity takes me to the tea kettle ‘on’ switch. I squat waiting.
Green tea rescue remedy.
The tea leaves soon begin to open. I take the cup to my yoga mat in front of the back meadow window.
The heavenly spot.
The early morning rays of sun dance across the grasses. I take a few sips, slowly moving from idle to low rev.
Basking begins. The rapture of wakefulness without thought. The space where human frailty and form doesn’t apply.
Silence. Gratitude. Love. Expanding. It is the Holy Presence. The natural state. There’s no Grim Reaper here, no dream at all, This is the bliss of being.
I don’t have to breathe. Even that is done for me.
And when the last breath comes, the body rental suit will lie still; the Breather will remain. God pays the mortgage, rent and decides eviction times.
Once Bliss is made your own, nothing can take you away. The direct perception of the Eternal ONE–Why would I ever leave THAT?!