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Monday, August 28, 2017

I Lost Him Twice

I lost Him Kathleen Carter Steeves

I came away to work some three hundred miles away when he turned two.We had the "first" moments together....we laughed we cried....we learned.....we blessed.Then the "US" was gone.
I cried into my pillow at nights for three weeks.I went to work everyday.
Over the next ten years a riff of separation seemed to develop, who know how or why its not important...thats life for some.
I felt like a stranger in his little world.He did grow closer to his dad over those years and his uncles.We brought him along with us in the summer and he loved it! Being close to  his dad was all he ever wanted.He grew up fast and hard on himself like so many of us.Not accepting that sometimes there are no reasons or answers life is just like that.He grew strong and lean.handsome like his dad before him.Sometimes he seemed to have a chip on his shoulder sometimes he seemed genuinely happy.He grrew to be kind to those who had less and not tolerant of those who had more, he knew how to share and did not suffer the fools who did not learn this art of sharing. He did not learn to live beyond his drinking buddy lifestyle.
he loved to work like his dad before him.He was what most men of his class would call a hard worker.
When his grandmother was dying in hospital he suffered her pain as well.He found healing and validation with the Native American Spirituality, he felt a closeness to the wolf.He went into the sweat lodges and prayer circles with the pipe-carriers. he moved to Oshawa, "The Crossing Place"
He fell in love with many false starts like his mother before him.Until this time we were not close.
Then I got a letter from him.He was in jail. We wrote for about six months.We began the road to US again.
We became friends.His Post Trama Stress disorder would flare up sometimes and not one word made sense, through the dark drug induced haze.Sometimes in the beginning I hung up then I learned to simply listen. Try the soft approach I thought, it worked for awhile.I only saw him cry once when his grandmother died.
I visited him once in Oshawa, when he was with his little family he helped raise.His woman and her two children.She lost the children when he went to jail one time.We had a great time Kentucky fried chicken on the lake park lawn.We laughed and he told stories that day he loved to tell stories like his mother before him and his grandfather.No woman could live up to the caring,kind saintly woman his grandmother had been.Who in reality was as four sided as we all are.
He would call me to brag or complain like his mother before him.
Sometimes I got a glimpse of a man who was carving out a life path for himself his own way, no top no bottom, no sides going no where in particular. Not flowing against nor for anything.he stayed his path by the suppressed values he had learned as a child from his grandparents, nature and his own powers of creation.
His letters were full of fun and games with the guards and other inmates. Mostly loss and gain stuff with those in authority.He hated anyone to lord a hold over him in any way.He walked his own way forward, a sweet soul,like his father before him.he loved to talk about how it was with his dad and me in the good ole days.We had many long talks about stuff I was amazed at remembering.
Then one day he called to say"Mom I'm dying, I have fourth stage liver cancer, the doctors give me a year to live".I was in shock for a month. Thank god for my support systems, music and writing.I went on a vision quest in Arizonia with the Sisterhood of The Sheilds for a week.
When he told me: all I could see was this scrawny little five pound baby boy laying there in my arms, fighting for his life.He was underweight and not growing as quickly as they would like.He had to have an operation on his sphincter muscle. he could not digest his food.The chances of having that were one in a thousand.Then the other side of me heard this strong mans voice saying something "dont worry mom I dont want you to worry, I can beat it, well for awhile anyway."
I know Nan is on the other side waiting to help me cross over.We laughed we fought we cried we came back together as we weathered the storm of fear of death together over the phone.Then on August 4th he was gone.
He got lucky he lived in that hell for only four months.He was gone as he slept in a deep comfortable peace in palliative care.
Over those months I learned to simply listen.
Then I got the call at 6am.After I hung up the phone I remembered the morning he was first placed in my arms again, and I remembered the prayer I silently spoke to the Creator.God help this little baby boy help me keep him safe.I need you to look over him because I dont have a clue how to do this"
I sat on the edge of my bed knowing I had to call the funeral home, but not able to move.I hung my head and just listened to the early morning silence."Be with us God" was all I could say,and  before the avalanche of tears I heard God wisper "Nothing real can be threatened, everything real is eternal.""What is eternal is already at peace."
I wept!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Prayer The Drum

Its ten to two Friday my second day there and I begin the walk to our meeting suite on the easst side of the complex just past the pool.Im walking in silence and appreciation of the day and the birds when like a sweet breeze from the left side of my mind I realize in my heart I have come home I realize why I have come, what has been missing from life. I hear the faint heartbeat of the Native drums.Five or six women are drumming us into our first meeting with our Teacher Lynn Andrews.We enter the room women are chanting dancing and drumming some hold rattles all are smiling and feeling the Unity of Spirit in the room.I decide to be a simple witness for today, so I sit off on the east wall with a few quieter like minded souls. Two other drummers are in the room and the sound of a low harmonious flute begins to flow out over the air in the room, its magical and very beautiful to feel a part of.This is my first time at a Joshua Tree ceremony. The women were dancing in a circle or trying to.There were at lest 100 of us in this small space. Thankgoodness for air conditioning !! lolol
It was a happy and cheerful beginning.My body began to relax yet my mind still wanted to compare this to other pow wow dancing which is slower and more orderly sacred and with a purposeful type of footing work.This could hve been in any nightclub downtown. I did not feel this a sacred ceremony, as many of the women did.
The music continued, the dancers swept by me, the flute allured me, then something exciting happened for everyone started shouting and giving hooray into the air.Lynn Andrews arrived and they love her!!!She took a seat at the front of the room then began our first lecture on dreaming.At one point she walked around us with a bowl of Christmas lights, its meaning was lost on me.I didn't get the drift of what was actually being represented in its ritual at that moment.Later on I was told the bowl of dreams would stay lite through out the event and our  prayer strings and ribbon's were placed beside it.The lecture covered the history of Josuha Tree and other house keeping notes with a few stories of her experiences.I never grow tired of her stories.They are true.Ive lived  long enough in Native American environments to understand the wonder and ancientness of what she says happened and that the Sisterhood of Sheilds is real.On this account I have utmost respect for her teachings and her work in healing addictions.Healing fear of fear, something that started a long time ago.
So this format was the first of six sessions where we would meet with Lynn and do visualization exercises .This event had the same feeling as a POW WOW . There is a feeling of the sacred with you,in you and around you.You know you are walking on holy ground and at times in the visualizations you can feel the transcendence of the Divine guiding you.At one point I was totally in the moment with a brown bear, my dreaming totem, we walk through a sunny meadow together.I was there! A few weeks before I was wondering about if the bear was my dreaming totem or not??I didn't know it was BROWN and this does have a meaning only to me.
Another time I was deep in meditation and saw my Celtic Grandmother a wonderful elder all dressed in green and woolen shawal.She knew me and smiled at me, I felt very good and uplifted my heart opened and I was filled with Divine light from somewhere in my soul and my mind was clear my body relaxed.
This is the heart and soul of Lynn's work for me.She , The Sisterhood of Shields ad her apprentices can invoke the Divine presence.The visualizations differ, the stories differ, but they all have one common purpose.We are all created in Divine beauty divine joy and love.We are all original teachers and students of this divine love and can tap into this grace,as we need it is our sacred birthright.From early childhood we are taught otherwise, so we need return to our original instinct and begin a shift in perception, then receiving this Divine protector and guidance.This is the journey one undergoes in the Mystery School and has a small experience with at Josuha Tree gathering.Living ones destiny you might say.
My experience throughout these meditations of visualizations was far greater than anything \i could have imagined.I hve been studying for three years online courses and have some experiences with her abilities.In person was far better.
The soft drumming took us off to the supper hour.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Prayer The Drum

At the Sky Harbor, Phoenix airport my ride is no where in sight of the pick up spot i was told about.
After borrowing a cell phone and waiting a half hour I step into an air conditioned SUV from terminal 4 and head for the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale.
"How come so many trucks and SUV'S here, you dont have snow "
"Well its kind of a cowboy thing here.The guys go up in those sand dunes you see in those hills over there and just house around." "Thats what they like to do here " That's would have made perfect sense to me when I was 12. I miss my little brown Fiat back home, in an after thought.
The ride in cost me 35.00 and the ride out on the Franciscan account cost me 20.
There are two lifestyles in Phoenix, the haves and the have nots. It took me a day or two to learn how to sidestep the hustlers the quick dough makers.I also met the kids in school and working.One little guy told me his grandpa gaving him a guitar and when he dont think life is so great he can sit and play and sing.We had a lot on common.
Im not at the desk of the Franciscan Renewal Center , when Im met by a cherrful smile and bright brown eyes of a lady named Colleen. The first wiff of Celticness since I left Nova Scotia!!!Refreshing!! We laugh and joke a bit then she sets me up with all I need for the four minute walk to my quarters.What a lovely place!!! A true oasis in the dessert of commercialism!! St Francis of Assisi would be proud of this glorious endeavor. I pass a temple, a pool,a kitchen,coolers,the most wonderful cedar trees I have ever seen and a rose bed! All kept immaculate by volunteers.
The facility was a paradise 6 or 7 hummingbirds played and frolicked outside my window the whole time was there filling my heart with Joy healing me to greet another very hot day, and rising.The meals were delicious and the staff were on the spot.I would return in a more winter setting just to visit this sweet and silently hillside casa .It is truly a spiritual gift to have been able to live for a week within its walls.
Cacti glore met my eyes at every they are majestic and wonderous at survival in the hot temperatures! Im amazed at their endurance!
My favorite spot was a circle of rocking chairs about 50 yard from my door, so at 5am I made my way there in silence, smudged with sweet grass, prayed, meditation, then off to breakfast.I felt safe and grounded in this little cicle of rocking chairs.It was as if I had been welcomed into a healing circle of ancestors, who knew I was comming and knew my every need.
Behind this grove was a small temple, the original built in 1784.I went here to meditate on my last day and thinking it was just a perfect place for the acoustics I sang my last prayer of worship!
As I was thinking about what to sing I sat in stillness and silence looking at a white dove pictured in the carpet,the sun shone through a stain glass window .I thought os how many prayers were already said in the holy place, I thought of my son, I thought of all the people who helped to bring me to this moment in time and I felt pride in who I had become as a woman.A song came from my lips that I have not sung in many years as a girl in church, and I sang it with gusto and tears streaming down my face in joy and some sorrow.I knew I was releasing my son from family commitments and leaving him to do his final soul work here on the earth.
    Oh Lord my God when I in awesome wonder
     consider all the world thy hands have made
    I see the stars I hear the rolling thunder
    Thy power throughout the Universe displayed
     Then sings my soul my savior God to thee
    How Great thou art How Great thou art............
I finished the song, gave thanks and left for my plane home.

The Prayer, The Drum

It's a dark ,cool June,3am morning in the underground garage where my daughter keeps her car.The one that has decided not to start for reasons we wont go into here .Im on my way to catch a flight to Phoenix Arizona for the 29th Joshua Tree  gathering with women from around world. Lynn Andrews is a shaman woman of renowned distinction , author or more than 20 books on the ancient teachings of The Sisterhood of Shields. She has a mystery school for self healing and a school for artists who are learning to write called Writing Spirit. For Lynn it all began with a dream and so like unfolds from our dreams.This pilgrimage, the vision quest from the shores of Nova Scotia to Arizona is a dream come true for me and Im not surprised the car won't start.Every good thing has a price.
If there is one person who believes in me its my oldest daughter Kelly. She gracefully wipps out her phone calls a friend cabby and Im off to the airport in style .I am constantly in amazement of her and she has become one of my best friends.
We are ordinary women with extraordinary skills most of which we have honed in the Great Mystery of life.These women who are hosting with Lynn are students of her mystery school. Im excited yet Im cam and sensible for I know not to place anyone on a pedestal and all gifts are equal to Great Spirit?God, Allah, Buddha, Higher consciousness of the Universe.
There is only one great death trap awaiting me in Phoenix which I have absolutely no awareness of. HEAT !!! Unbearable heat and a killer for someone a ignorant of dessert life as I am.
The plane is huge but seems small its over crowded and worn.
The trip to Toronto is without incident and I arrive in US customs where I take off my shoes to be inspected. That,s a first. You can smell fear everywhere.
We take off for Phoenix, the man beside me on the left is very afraid of flying and sleeps.\he is pale and I intuit he has taken pills to allow him some sleeping comfort while flying.The man on my left is talking about his philanthropic endeavors; of he and his wife, who is seated in the isle seat beside him.He speaks openly anout his money, his wife, his connections and all the goods he has shipped all over the world to third world countries.And make no mistake he owns it all. . He is a good man. His ignorance is that he beleives like so many the America is number one in the world, in abundance , in love, in goodness, in grace,in generosity etc. He cannot see the starving in the streets, he cannot see the lonely in the old peoples homes......he is as Jesus said poor in sight. So we listen to him then he turns to a movie and I meditate.
I can see out the window now all there is NOT for me to see.I who just left my beautiful eat Atlantic coast line of Nova Scotia.I see barrren dessert, no trees no hardwoods, no ocean or water at all,.I see sand craters and grid and grid of little houses with pools. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The young girl waited in the borrow for her horse, a white stallion of silken hair to come to her beating heart.. She was so excited to see him once again she ran all the way over the fields and the bridge at the edge of the farm. She ran past the witching tree and waved to the old woman who lived in the cracked wooden shack at he edge of the village.
Chalice had been wondering most of the morning over the green fields eating and  feeling strong in the wind of the north south.He watched the farmer bring in the vegetables from the fields, cabbages, carrrots, his favorite, and some of the last bits of hay another favorite of his. He was feeling lonely since his friend the mare had been sold off the farm last spring. he hoped Margaret would be at the burrow and they would go flying. he only knnew how to fly with Margaret on his back because she had a very special medicine of sky sound, and when she sat on his back they could fly out past the earth, the hemisphere and the Pleiades. This brought him great comport and seemed to be very healing and joyous for Margaret as well.
Sometimes they would land on an island star and drink for its regenerative waters and just breath in the holiness of the renewing air there.Then return to earth .he never knew how long they were gone from earth but then horses did not need to know these things anyway.
There she was all dressed in violet and yellow dress and hat waiting for him. She scooped up her skirt stepped off the rock and sat easily on Chalice's back.All the magical mindfullness her grandmother had taught her about seeking adventure and knowledge far out into the Universe came back to her and they lifted off for another adventure in the sky beyond mind.


Sunday, August 14, 2016


Growing up in the country side of New Brunswick with my grandpa and grammy in bed with me till they passed away;. seeing their faces every day and hearing laughter from any corner of the house or being lead from the house to a cousins house almost every day of the week Im not writting from the usual side of my self in this story, mostly cause I dont understand whats going on in this particular situation.However writting has alway been a activity that leands its-self to understanding or at least assists me in the here it is!!!
Two days ago I sat on my patio with a couple of co-workers you might say discussing how,, she, Margaret would be going to a nursing home for care, as she has dementia, and how some homes may allow her and her hubby of 63 years of marriage, Ralph to go with her! One of the most daunting counselling exercises of my lifetime.
I could leave it here and say how it all went very well or decide that its not nice to put out laundry on someone else's clothes line but I cannot!!!I value my presence of propriety and my countrywoman to much to just say this is a sleeping dog!!! let it lie!!!! The greatest problem in our counrty and its practises is we minimise what we dont have an answer for or we attract more fear and confusion because we have or feel we have no power over the situation.In this case its so simple.If only someone would step into the leadership role.These two elders are floundering.As, I sat there on my patio with my two old friends and Ralph  said "the family want me to put her in a home". Margaret's eyes watered as she looked at me and said for the hundredth time, "I took sick Caite"
I asked myself only one very wise question, what not in the picture? A son, a daughter- in law?? A doctor? a home worker? NOT!!!Margaret spoke openly about all the drugs she had been placed on over the years and how now she was olny taking 11 daily ones.Her daughter-in -law insisted she take them.She spoke with great pride about her daughter in law the nurse,and all her well placed grandchildren and how well they did at Harvard and in the international hockey league.I wondered if strangers would be the last faces these two old souls would witness here on earth.
We talked about how old fashion "HOMES" used to be and what they are like now.We talked about how Ralph could get a room next door and she could see him every day, I started to cry when she asked him would you still come take me out,could we still go out together?
 They like going to restaurants together. DATING in the final days of their lives had become her most precious gift and  she clung to it.
They talked about having to kick the 50 year old alcoholic son out on his own.They spoke about the woman in the office where they had been the superintendents of a apartment complex for over 20 years who had, had them made redundant without a pension.They mentioned in passing how difficult it has been these last six months on them to be poor.They talk about all their relatives of brothers and sisters who have gone now.They asked me if I liked where I was moving to."YES" I told them my daughter lives cross the street.Their eyes filled with new hope.
We had come to love and care for each other I was her hairdresser for 20 years.
I wondered if these two were old and worn or if our principles and values as a people were just plain old and worn out, broken in some distant way.??