Wise are the mysterious promptings of the heart that sometimes cause us to make new connections in our thoughts, to say things to those we care deeply about, to finally find our own courage to stand by what we know as our own personal truth, and to let ourselves leap into the feared unknown so that we can find hope for ourselves and for others that we never knew existed before.
I have a nearly 20-year-old cassette tape Walkman with headphones that I use while I do my 45 minute near-daily jog. I only have two tapes that work in the player. I have tried all kinds of other ones, but I have decided that the bands that move the tape must be geared only to the exact weight of these two tapes — and nothing else. One is a Chet Atkins tape that is obnoxious to listen to — hard as that is for me to believe! The music is clipped and fakey to me, no matter how great the talent recorded on it.
The other one is a Stevie Nicks tape, The Wild Heart. I have listened to that tape throughout my jogs so many times I can’t count them. Yet suddenly yesterday, on my 59th birthday, there was one line from one song that leaped out not only into my ears, but into my heart, mind and soul so loudly that all other sounds on the tape completely disappeared. I can’t even say at this moment (until I do today’s jog and hear the song again) what the name of the song even is — but here is the line:
“I BLAME THE ANGELS!”
At that moment something changed inside of me — the greatest birthday present I could ever have been given. I can’t name or describe the change exactly, but I can feel it. For the first time in my life I can feel, sense and almost physically see that all the supposed empty space around me, around all of us here on this earth is filled not only with air — but also with angels!
There are actually so many of them that I don’t know how they fly around without bumping into one another! I guess they have their own version of traffic control, because “Oh, my GOLLY! There’s a whole LOT of them!”
And each of them is here to help all of us.
Well, I humbly must admit that I have to wonder how it could have taken me all the way through time to my 59th birthday to reconnect to something I so absolutely knew as a child on that mountain I had no question. I will try to scan in a photograph that my sister just sent to me that will (again, and hopefully more clearly) introduce you to the Angel on the Mountain that was my closest friend and companion during my abusive childhood.
(Give me a moment here. I have to dig through this pile of photographs for the one I am thinking of.)
This angel heard everything I ever said to her, but mostly in my misery I had no words, yet I knew she ALWAYS knew exactly who I was and what I felt. I knew she always watched over me and never left ‘my side’ — and never would.
I hope you can detect her up there. In my senses she was alive — and every time I looked up at her I was in a different spot, never exactly in the same one twice, so her shape changed subtly with my movements as if she, too, could move — though of course I never THOUGHT about these things.
I can look at this photograph my mother took probably in 1959 and there on the left in the back, at the end of the mountain range across from our Alaskan homestead where this picture was taken, I can see that angel up there as clear as day!
Her head is turned slightly to her right, and as a child I knew without ever thinking of it that she was looking at me, that she could see me just as clearly as I could see her. Her wings spread out to her left and right, her dress cascades down the mountaintop below her. In the summer she appeared as she does here. In the winter she donned her winter dress, her halo turned whiter and her wings grew in vastness along the top of the mountain’s crest.
Yesterday as I loudly heard the words of Stevie’s song, “I blame the angels,” it was like a veil was torn away that has kept me from feeling the presence of angels like I was able to with THAT Angel on the Mountain when I was small and so terribly hurting. I never knew I created that veil after I ‘grew up’. In fact, I have shrouded my entire feeling experience of my childhood under this same (or similar) veils.
These veils, or shrouds, have buffered me from the emotional memory reality of my childhood suffering, as well as from most of the dissociated specific facts of my childhood memories. I had to not only endure and survive my childhood, I ALSO had to endure and survive my adulthood!
Part of how I did that was to cast over my first 18 years of life a sort of cloak that not so much made it invisible as it did dim and obscure it from my awareness as I made my childhood so out-of-focus and obscure (like having a blindness, a terrible ‘vision’) that I could direct my attention elsewhere (at my adulthood).
The way my thinking works, all of this I am writing about seems closely connected to an experience I had within hours after my double mastectomy surgery in December of 2007. Nobody had told me prior to surgery what they told me afterward, and perhaps in part because of this I experienced the following:
I was given IV morphine for the first 20 or so hours after surgery. During that time I did one very important activity — I stretched! I sat up in bed, raised my arms as high over my head as I possibly could, and I stretched. I continued to move my arms in this wide stretch in all directions — yes as I think of it, not unlike a butterfly might stretch its wings when it first exits its cocoon (or a new angel). And as I instinctively performed this stretch without thought or intention, I could hear and feel (though there was no pain) a strange ripping, crackling, snapping inside my shoulders, across my chest and back.
I thought nothing of this until hours later when the surgeon stopped into my room and mentioned that many women experience a limitation in their range of motion due to this surgery. As she verbally described what this limitation would be like I naturally raised my arms and searched for this limitation within myself.
It wasn’t there.
I had broken through whatever that kind of limitation could have been even before anyone had told me of its possible existence.
I mention this now because in my thought connections I realize that I am again experiencing a related kind of ripping through limitation. Whatever veil-shroud I naturally created to obscure the pain, horror and reality of my infant-childhood of trauma and abuse — because I HAD to do it to survive my adulthood — ALSO numbed my ability to experience my ‘Angel Love’.
Some part of that veil was ripped away yesterday on my birthday as I jogged around listening to Stevie Nicks wake up and hone in her musical echos, my ‘angel senses’.
I realize now as I write that I am tired of words. As a child, back there within that veiled and shrouded world of trauma and trouble, I had very little use for words, and I certainly did not use them to think with. I was fully capable of thinking without words. In that state of being, I could simply BE with that angel, a fact that at this moment helps me know a broader sense of Shakespeare’s statement, “To be or not to be. That is the question.”
That is not an itty bitty personalized reality. It is as big as the creation all of us are a part of. I know myself well enough now to know I don’t think in terms of ‘faith’, and not even in terms of ‘belief’, either.
I didn’t have ‘faith’ in my intimate interrelationship with that Angel on the Mountain. I didn’t have ‘belief’ in her unending and absolute love for me. Both she and I were simply BE-ING. We existed. We were.
As I continue to stumble forward at this moment in my world of words I also know now that I can thank the fact that our family had no indoor bathroom for much of the assistance I received from my relationship with the presence of that Angel. Sooner or later, no matter what punishment my mother was at the moment engaged in regarding me, I had to use the outhouse.
Those moments I walked out the door of our strange canvas-covered abode into the open air of the wilderness I was both in those moments NOT in my mother’s presence at the same time I WAS in the presence of that Angel as if she and I existed together in an entirely different universe than the one my mother existed in.
Most of my childhood my beaten body and my broken heart bled tears. During the brief intermissions in abuse created by my having to go outside the ‘house’ into the air of wilderness freedom I was automatically blessed by the presence of that ever-present Angel on the Mountain who I understood without question knew everything about me and compassionately cared.
Yesterday I was reawakened to what that feels like not only to be so loved by an Angel but to be able to receive that love as naturally as I receive air. THAT angel was situated on THAT mountaintop and never left it (although her love felt like a physical presence as she expanded herself all the way across that valley to wrap me in it). What I received for my birthday gift yesterday is not only the reawakened sense and knowledge of what that love FEELS like, but also the knowledge that there are angels EVERYWHERE that are all full of that same love for humanity.
I have no desire to complicate this gift with thoughts about ‘proof’ or ‘religion’. These angels seem to be as much a part of this creation I am a part of as everything else is. They simply ‘BE’. I have greatly missed knowing this. No matter what else I have had to ‘forget’ about my childhood, I will forget the existence and presence of these loving, compassionate, caring angels no more — hopefully forever.
(I swear! I feel as though I am walking through ANGEL SOUP now and they don’t mind a bit!)
(The song lyric is from Stevie Nicks’ song “Wild Heart,” and literally is “Blame it on the angels.”)
CLICK HERE – TALKING ABOUT THE POWER OF LOVE