Archive for the 'Flying and Dying' Category
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“No! Other way!”
I’m at full pelt along the corridor. “No” I shout back Ă˘âŹĹHeĂ˘âŹâ˘s Just told me your wrong!
The two security vultures looked shaken. Ă˘âŹĹYou ain’ t carrying any liquids, are yuh?Ă˘âŹâ snarled one preditor. Ă˘âŹĹNo! I scream back over my shoulder, shortcircuiting the double-negative. Ă˘âŹĹWell hurry then!Ă˘âŹâ, screeched the other scavenger with a fetid snigger .
Two things have become increasingly clear.
- No one ever (well hardly ever) puts a comment on one of my posts
- Yanks just cannot bear to be second place or wrong. Ă˘âŹĹNo Way Buddy!Ă˘âŹâ
click below and wait one minute for Japanese Translation ŮâÂĽŮĹÂŹĂ¨Úžâ
- As well as the manic ‘know it all’ airport appearance, there was one fateful cab journey in which the driver was so determined that he knew where our destination was (even though the dingbat didn’t) that he drove around fifty miles in the wrong direction, before he finally admitted defeat and consulted his controller on the radio. It’s just a thing about being the best; our cousins on the other side of the pond are convinced they’re right (even though we know they’re wrong) and we pretend we’re wrong (even though we know we’re right.) Same difference really.
But am I a tad miffed that no one who eyeballs my weekly missive can raise the motivation to tap in a few comments, observations or simple abuse?
ItĂ˘âŹâ˘s like the Universe you see. The Web that is. And my little Almanack thing is just a little particle of a speck in the black infinity of cyberspace, but if someone had the grace or pity to jot a little tad of wisdom under one of my laboured posts?
Special Screening - (in space no-one can hear you scream…)
Ă˘âŹĹWhy am I being stopped for a special search again?Ă˘âŹâ I ask the next preying mantis to lightly place her feeler on my upper arm and guide me to a glass interrogation compartment, where I am puffed and analyzed under the hollow gape of my security attendant/guard.
…Four return journeys from Hartford to Heathrow and three Ă˘âŹÚŠspecial-screeningĂ˘âŹâ˘ interrogationsĂ˘âŹâ˘ When I asked why I was being singled out, the response was a depressing Ă˘âŹĹOnce youĂ˘âŹâ˘re in the system…Ă˘âŹâ type of reply what system? What am I in? Missed flights, delays, headaches exhaustion and misinformation; it all seemed to confirm the foreboding question whispered by the spirit-ball in my dream. So even at quantity prediction level, my dream had earned itĂ˘âŹâ˘s cred’s Ă˘âŹâ the tingle of realizing that I was reading about locations in a book at exactly the same time as I was passing overhead, 35,000 feet above was a big bonus as the chances of that particular sequence of events and coincidences occurring was extremely minute. But the rest? Well it all depends how you look at it I expect.
Then there were a lot a little things; I knew my suitcase was the next one to appear on the baggage collection belt. “You’re next.” I thought and sure enough, round came the little grey suitcase that once was Christina’s. But it was still a fight; a fight all the way through each of the four trips. “Take the Skytrain to platform 8 you’ll get BA there”). The latest in the line of know-alls stood a tad over-straight in a none-specific uniform, with the face of a mustachioed Ernest Borgnine, “Yeah go on. Down the escalator, through the front entrance, across the road, up the elevator on the other side, third floor….You can’t miss it!” (that last statement of insane prediction almost inevitably sends me on an endless journey of mystery, misery and sheer panic!) Stupid Imperialist that I am - I assumed that the shouted “You’ll get BA there!” referred to British Airways. Oh No, you narrow soulMerlin…The BA in question referred to Buenos Ayres Airlines…How could I have been so wrong? I doubled back on my tracks and under the reliable instruction of a Brit. (a BA - yes a British Airways hostess, all dark stockings, hyper-blond hair and dehydration lines) I started to hurry back, heart thumping, legs aching and my lungs regretting my still-undefeated smoking battle.
Around then I knew I’d missed my flight - and I had rehearsals in High Wycombe the next day. Suddenly it didn’t matter. So what if I missed my flight? If I did, then my assistant would do just (well almost) as good a job as me. “Whatever you want.” I said to the roof of the corridor (I still personify ‘the force’ and I still look upward when I talk to Heaven). That’s really primitive - Or is it? You see, the lower end of the colour spectrum is red and the upper end is blue - there you have it Heaven (blue/high freq) and Hell (Red/low freq) Sort of a bit boring and limiting somehow and rather obvious; but it sums things up better than a book of religious philosophy. And so I slowed down.
On the Skytrain back to platform 7, I had a chat with a fellow traveller, who seemed to have been a JFK wanderer for several days. We looked at each other, each recognizing a kindred spirit - and smiled. A dog in a rucksack pretended not to notice, but my smile continued to grow. I sauntered up to the BA desk and was immediately put on the 8.30 flight (only two hours later) and upgraded to boot!
So I smiled most of the way home. And people smiled back and were pleasant and things went well enough (even with a further four hour delay).
So what about the prediction that I would see a North American Indian? Well I had discovered that Greg who plays the Snake Preacher in “Whistle Down the Wind” had a Great Grandmother who was an Indian squaw named Susanna Americana and I was struck by the Totem Pole appearance of the statue outside the theatre in Houston. Not very special really. Not like conclusive proof of a happy hunting ground - or a cloud, a harp and a nightshirt. (I wonder if they have more fun in Hell?)
well, I was just settling into my seat, when I looked across to my left and there, sitting and looking rather irritable, was an elderly Indian lady. Being English and naturally unfriendly, I decided to ignore her, rationalizing that she probably wouldn’t want to talk to me anyway. And so we sat for the next six hours. Suddenly near the end of the flight, she looked across and jabbed a finger towards the floor area underneath the seat in front of me. I looked and there was a 25c piece; I picked it up and on an impulse I pressed it into her palm, forming a handshake grip as I did so. Her face glowed as if she was seeing someone else she knew. I realised later, with an all over tingle, that it was the face I had seen in the spirit-ball vision.
Well, even Columbus mistook America for a part of India…No comments
Flying and Dying in Synchronicity
I was sitting in the aircraft, en- route from Houston to Blighty, reading a book I had bought just before I boarded the plane, when I realized that I was not only flying over the exact locations mentioned by the author, but also at the precise moment I was reading about them!
My fears about flying had receded somewhat since the sad event of the Phuket air disaster - I was after all, going home to England and not to Hartford; what I didnât at first realize, was that my flight-path went directly from Houston diagonally to the right, toward Hartford and Maine, before turning directly right toward home.
The book âHere if you Need Meâ a true story by Kate Braestrup, was immediately totally absorbing. Around ten years ago, Kateâs husband Drew, a Maine state trouper was killed by an out-of-control, oncoming driver. This tragedy caused Kate to re-examine her life and take on the future path her husband had chosen, which was to become a chaplain with the Maine Warden Service. This caused Kate to take up the studies her husband had decided to embark upon. She is now one of the first chaplains ever appointed to the Maine Warden Service.
I felt an immediate empathy with Kateâs need to care, wash and see her deceased husband right through to his cremation and to the final scattering of his ashes, by the lighthouse in Port Clyde. Then it struck me with a shock that I was reading about Port Clyde at the exact moment I was flying over it!
I had paused in my reading and had switched the video monitor screen to a map of the flightpath we were taking. Frankly up to that moment I had only a hazy idea of where Houston was (extreme left pin) and I certainly didnât know that Hartford was on route (second pin to the right) but the real shock came when I realized that I was thinking about how I scattered Christinaâs ashes along the Durham river banks and how I stripped off in front of folk (who didnât seem to notice) and swam to the middle of the River Wear, before letting the urn sink to the bottom, at the precise moment my plane flew over Port Clyde. (third pin)
I then realized that I was doing what the spirit-ball in my prophetic dream had asked: âHave you checked your route to Hartford?â
I read the book from cover to cover throughout the flight. Kate is a Universalist Unitarian minister, with a natural view of spirituality that resonates with the North American Indian and also the English Pagan/Druid âOldâ religious ways. She talks of honouring the dead by lining simple graves with flowers and by building mounds of stone to both commemorate them and also to keep contact through the active process of digging, tending and building. Kateâs spirituality goes beyond the tramlines of accepted religious practice, to an instinctive understanding of âThe Allâ.
I have seldom felt such an affinity with a writerâs beliefs. If this was âthe prophecyâ then all my fears about my journey were mistaken. Was it just by chance that I had picked up the book at the airport shop? (I have never bought a book in an airport to read on a flight before). Was it the spirit of Kateâs husband guiding me? Was it the spirit of my mother nudging me on?.. Or was it just chance?
I think that once a person decides to âtune intoâ the spiritual dimension, the spiritual dimension then reciprocates and begins to reach toward them. All that is then really needed is âacceptanceâ. It seems to be an active/passive process that is easily dispersed by intellectual resistance. âWantâ and then âAcceptâ and then âWaitâ seems to have been the process I have gone through and through which I still pass. I do not feel that the messages I receive should be of any great importance. It is enough that I now feel that I walk with my ancestors; that I am part of a process of Love that is passed on from generation to generation.
One thing intrigues me a little is a story near the end of the book: A young women left her dormâ room at St. Maryâs College in Waterford Maine, planning to drive to Portland for a dental appointment and then to meet her mother for lunchâŚShe was murdered as she crossed the campus car park. It did not escape me that the young womanâs name was Christina and that the surname of the detective who solved the murder was Love.
For me it is now like a living conversation. Events both simple and significant are offered to me, rather like in normal family life, where the stories of the day are related over dinner; for me to place any great meaning on them, would be to court sensationalism and self-importance.
It is enough that they happen and that I recognize them for what they are.
I have now returned to the US and Iâm writing this from Hartford. The weather is warm and sunny, like a wonderful Summer day in England - But the next journey from England to Hartford would prove to test me to the limitâŚ
Click on this link: Here if You Need Me
A little thought: âBeing Professional is about doing the things you love, on the days you donât feel like doing them.â - David Halberstam, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist who died in a car crash in April.1 comment
Flying and Dying (part three)
âŚâŚI awoke the following morning with the words âair disasterâ ringing in my ears â I had left the TV on â a bad habit of mine. The air crash had killed 89 of the 130 persons listed onboard; the plane had skidded off the runway and had broken into two, before bursting into flame at Phuket International Airport during a landing attempt in a monsoon.
Now get this: the emotion I felt at that instant was that of relief â followed a moment later by the guilt of knowing that I had thought of myself first â before thinking of the passengers who had perished. This initial reaction was the same as the man in the story of Death (previous entry â part two) and how he blundered and stumbled back to his house, without a thought for the others he was bumping into and possibly hurting through his selfish panic.
But I was relieved as I reasoned that the air-disaster must have been the cause of my feelings of foreboding the previous night. The fact that I was due to travel back to England the next day had given the bad news a veneer of good news. Iâm really sorry about this.
Is death good or bad news only when put in relationship with itâs hearer?
So that might have been the end of the story â except for an extraordinary series of linked events that happened to me during the flight homeâŚ
(to be continued in a day or soâŚ)
And now for a favourite poem
Life is an old man carrying flowers on his head.
Young death sits in a cafĂŠ
smiling, a piece of money held between
his thumb and first finger
(i say âwill he buy flowersâ to you
and âDeath is young
life wears velour trousers
life totters, life has a beardâ i
say to you who are silent.- âDo you see
Life? he is there and here,
or that, or this
or nothing, or an old man 3 thirds
asleep, on his head
flowers, always crying
to nobody something about les
roses les bluets
will He buy?
Les belles bottes â oh hear
, pas cheresâ)
and my love slowly answered I think so. But
I think I see someone else
there is a lady, whose name is Afterwards
she is sitting beside young death, is slender;
âtill the next time
Flying and Dying.
I am susceptible to vivid dreams, visions and premonitions, especially when Iâm tired and stressed-out. I also have a fear of flyingâŚ
You might therefore think that Iâm tempting fate with a title like âFlying and Dyingâ, especially as Iâm currently at somewhere between 30 and 40,000 feet over central America, on my way back from Houston-upon-Hell, to the green countryside of Warwickshire - and to my favourite oak tree. And even if the flight arrives safely, will I be extinguished in the coach taking me from Gatwick to Heathrow? And even if I reach the long-term car park and actually find my car, will I perish on the motorway? And upon arriving home, will I die of a heart attack brought on by all the worry about dying?
So why all this speculation about death?
Well, the night before last, I had a vivid dream, which woke me in the wee small hours and kept me from returning to peaceful slumber for a long whileâŚ
David and I were standing in a dimly lit octagonal-shaped room; on the floor was a white ball that kept rolling about and changing direction of its own accord. I remember feeling excited and âknowingâ that a spirit presence was moving the ball. David then remarked that he could see the shape of a person start to materialize. I looked and I could make out a dim smoky outline. I then recall approaching the ball and picking it up and finding it had an internal energy, like a gyroscope that resists a change of direction, or a bit like the plastic hamster exercise ball that Polo my pet hamster used to love whizzing around the house in and which my mam, in her last days, used to rescue from the deep groove leading into the cupboard below the stairs, where it used to get trappedâŚ. suddenly David and I were standing at Victoria Station in London and the American actors and performers were all there with us. I was delighted to show them how the ball moved by itself when I put it down and they all agreed that it was proof that a spirit or some supernatural force was moving the sphere. When I picked it up however, it changed into a face - a sad face. âHave you checked your flight to Dartfordâ was all it said.
Life has been very hectic the last few days and I have been gradually sleeping and eating less as my work-pace and stress levels have risen. Mystic and psychic people over the ages have functioned at a higher sensitivity when their bodies and minds are pushed beyond normal limits, when they find themselves in extreme situations. I find my developing abilities increase substantially under extreme âloadâ â my various neuroses also increase however, together with what seem to be hallucinations â so I am always careful to make and place interpretations on my dreams and visions, later when I am rested.
The next episode follows in around 24 hoursâŚ..(Iâve just got to catch up on sleep as Iâm going to Kingâs Lynn near Norwich tomorrow)âŚand involves a tight weave of co-incidental and highly improbably events that point firmly to the existence of pre-ordination.
Itâs good to be home
(if only for a few days)
(photos by soulMerlin)No comments
Flying and Dying
The Next Day
The next day, I decided to check my travel arrangements â just as well â I found I was booked to fly to Gatwick instead of Heathrow and also my flight time was very late -7.30pm. Well I checked and found that jets only fly out of Houston to Gatwick, meaning that I had to look forward to a trek across south London to the Houston-look-alike Heathrow airport, in order to pick up my car from the long-term car park (it takes one hour to find how to get there â a lady with a red jacket (BA?) told me she hadnât heard of it!) and drive up to Covâ about 110 miles north-westâish. Then I discovered that the only flights out of HuponH, were at 3pm and 7.30pm; that meant I had to look forward to almost a missed day, if you take into account the fact that HuH is six hours ahead of the ârealâ time. At least I was prepared for it all â I did consider changing my flight to the earlier 3.30, but I turned a little guilty because it would mean me missing the matinee and also because of the following story which I have re-written from memory. If you have heard or know of a different version of the tale, please write and tell me.
âOne day a rich man (sorry ladies, but youâll feel better about it as you read on) was browsing in a crowded market-place when he saw the figure of Death walking towards him. The man sensed that Death was looking for him and quickly jumped and hid behind a stall. From his hiding place, he squinted through a slit in the canvas at the side of the stall, just as death turned his head to face him. The man ducked and jerked backward â had Death seen him?
He peeked out again, but there was no-one â Death had passed him byâŚ
The man ran to his home as fast as he could, bumping and cursing people as he went â but he had to escape â that was all that mattered to him. He quickly packed a few essentials and took a train to the nearest large town. He was calm for a while, but then the fears began once again. Had Death seen him go to the station? Was Death now following him? He changed trains and doubled backâŚand then doubled back again and again, across the town. Finally after six crossings he was sure Death had lost him. But he knew he had to go on further to escape.
He decided to take a flight to the Himalayas and immediately bought clothing and equipment hired a guide, set off to the highest mountain.
He was about half-way up the mountain when he dismissed his guide; it had started to play in his mind that the guide could be in league with DeathâŚor maybe worseâŚ
The last part of the journey was treacherous; the man crawled and fell; crawled, slithered and gasped his way to the summit; falling on his face in total exhaustion, he gasped as a hard jolting pain penetrated his heart.
âI was surprisedâ
The man looked at the figure of Death above him. Slowly and firmly, Death held out his hand and the man knew he would have to take it
~ And so he did.
âI was surprised to see you in the market placeâ said Death, when I knew that I would meet with you on this mountain-top today â It must have been an enormous effort for you to be so punctual.â
(Death smiled â not unkindly)
I returned to my hotel room, feeling easier about the forthcoming journey; but something played around in my brain â All would be revealed to me the next morning.
(Part three follows in a day or so)No comments