Sunday, 16 November 2008

Strange Times

A huge thank you to everyone who has left 'get well' wishes for me in recent weeks, I really have appreciated your thoughts and intentions. I don't know where this 'bug' came from, really, but it's hit me for six, it really did take the legs from under me. I've been feverish, coughing, sneezing and generally feeling really very unwell. I'm also aware that I have passed it on to at least 5 other people, one being my partner, the rest being work colleagues! Guess who is not exactly Mr Popular around these parts at the moment?!?

This bug, which although called 'Man Flu' by some, really has been rather vicious, has managed to sap me of all my physical energy. I've worked through it, I've not taken sick leave, but when I've come home from work, I've just collapsed on the sofa and I've also been going to bed earlier and getting up later. Consequently, my spiritual practice has suffered somewhat, and whilst I'm not happy about that, there's been little, in any practical sense, that I've been able to do about it. This is another reason why I've not posted here in recent weeks - there's been little to say! I've felt in something of a spiritual backwater, and it's not been a comfortable experience, especially as so much exciting stuff was happening leading up to episode. I guess in a way I'm looking for meaning within it all, but I'm not seeing a clear picture at the moment.

My professional life has also been playing something of a key role in terms of my silence. I've had an a project delegated to me, which has arrived, as ever, on top of my current workload, and it's been taking up an inordinate amount of time. This project, as well as taking up physical time, over and above my normal working hours, has also been sapping me physically and emotionally, as well as having something of a psychological effect. In short - it's been a really tough time work wise! I don't want to go into detail, it would be wrong, unprofessional and indiscrete, but lets just say that the past few weeks haven't exactly been my most favourite period of my professional life! Admittedly, I've taken this project on whilst not feeling in the best of health, and the stress of this project has probably led to the length and indeed depth of this particular episode, so something of a vicious circle - not helped by one week when my manager and colleagues were all on annual leave!

I also have the worry of my father. Regular readers (and I hope there's still a few of you out there!) will know that my father has been poorly. Well, on Sunday 24 November I will be taking him to Bristol Royal Infirmary where he will be undergoing a triple, and possible quadruple, heart by-pass. This is clearly a huge ordeal, and at 76, it's an even bigger challenge. He has the actual operation on Monday 25 and I would appreciate all the thoughts, pagan prayers, healing incantations, protection, spells, anything and everything that your own spiritual practice affords. I know he is going through this operation because he wants to be able to experience more time with the love of his wife (my mother) and family, so I hope that intention is what will carry him through. As a devout Christian, he wouldn't appreciate the sincerity of the spiritual pagan, but I know we rise above such things, so please remember him, my mother, me and my wider family in your practice.

So that's about me at the moment. Whilst poorly I have read 'The Secrets Of Dr Taverner' by Dion Fortune, and, in the character of Rhodes in the stories, I can see something of my own spiritual development mapped out in front of me. This book is a collection of short stories, some perhaps twee, some dated, yet they all contain spiritual truth, magical teachings, admonishments and lessons to the wise. The last two paragraphs of the entire book contain, for me, a vision of where I want to be. It seems that so much is stacked up against me in this mundane world, at the moment, acting as something of a barrier to my own progress. However, the lesson for me here is how I negotiate this series of hurdles . . . yet another lesson, and I still don't feel I have the physical energy, as yet, to attempt this negotiation, but negotiate it I must.

I'll sign off by quoting the final two paragraphs, and I wish you love and blessings:

Above me on the hill the great granite cross cut the stars, a Keltic cross, with a circle of eternity superimposed on the outheld arms of renunciation. The mist had come up and blotted out the low-lying land towards Frencham till I seemed to be alone on a crater of the moon. Cut off from all human influences, high up on the stark heights of the moors, I met my soul face to face while the unseen life that rose like a sea drew back as if to give me room for my decision.

And I hesitated, longing to plunge into that wonderful life, yet dreading it; when suddenly something gripped me by the heart and pulled me through. I cannot describe it better than that. I had passed an invisible barrier and was on the other side of it. Consciousness steadied again, the world was unchanged, there above my head still loomed the great cross, and yet in all things there was a profound difference, for to me, they had suddenly become alive. Not only were they alive, but I shared in their life, for I was one with them. And then I knew that, isolated though I must always be in the world of men, I had this infinite companionship all about me. I was no longer alone, for, like Taverner, Marius, and many others, I had passed over into the Unseen.


Fox said...

I'm so sorry to hear how ill you have been and also how your father is doing. I will be keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.


Andy said...

Thanks Fox. I do feel that I'm finally on the way back, but I can't shake this horrible cough and I just feel . . . weak! I don't like it!

Thanks for your positive thoughts for my father. I am apprehensive about this surgery, as is he. Mother is trying to be positive, but I can see that she's anxious. Once we're all out the other side things will be so much better, but I think we're in for a bit of a journey on this one.

Fox said...

Having a loved one so ill is always difficult. I think it is even more so when they have reached the age that your father has. I just learned that my grandfather will be going in to have a heart catheterization done in early December, so I can empathize with you all.


Anonymous said...

Darling Andy, I'm so sorry you've been poorly. I haven't had time to keep up with anyone else's blogs. I will light a candle on my altar for your father on Monday, as I did the last time you asked for prayers for him. And tomorrow morning I will light one for you.

hen said...

Dear Andy,

I find it helps me to remember that it is mostly the bad times I am practicing for.

For example; If someone is punching you in the face, you are only going to be able to react, you're not going to be able to consider the most spiritually effective way to react in that moment.

That's why I practice when I'm not being 'punched in the face', so that my reaction is an habitual one in the moments when I can't consider what I'm doing.

You are dealing with many things all at once and to me it constitutes as a kind of 'punch in the face'.

I work hard at my spiritual progress when I can and then let what I have learned get me through the hard times. When the hard times pass, and they always do, then it is time for me to learn from my reactions and move onwards.

I am going wild camping this weekend and will be performing an outdoor, small ritual. Your family will be in my prayers.


Cloudia said...

Illness can oft be a heroes journey. We salute you. Aloha-

Anonymous said...

My prayers with you all. Bless you! You have definitely been through the wringer the past few weeks and I hope it lets up for you soon!

Love xxxx

Andy said...

I love your take on this, Hen.

You're all so kind, and I love and appreciate all you've been doing.

Please see my latest entry above, and the comments following the entry, as this is where I've updated on the situation.

Please - keep that energy coming, my dear old dad is not out of the woods yet!