~ from cats, dogs and nature to the flowering of body, mind and spirit ~

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Falling Into Fascination

Marion Woodman
One of my quirks seems to be that I fall suddenly into fascination with certain authors, both fiction and non-fiction. In the past, it's been with the marvelous and wise Jungian Marion Woodman (born in 1928, published her first book when she was 52) or with the evocative naturalist Terry Tempest Williams; I end up buying every single one of their books to read sequentially, and google articles, essays, and videos on them, just to obtain a more in-depth feeling for these people. It's sort of like falling in love:
"There was I, sitting at one side of a long table, quietly listening to a Geography lesson and doing (as they say) nobody any harm, when suddenly the world was filled with a wonderful and quite unaccountable light and warmth. Trying to make out where this radiance came from, I gradually realized that it centered on Daphne, who was sitting opposite. We beamed at each other."
The above quote was written (about a time when she was a child) by my new love, Mary Midgley, a philosopher born in 1919 (published her first book when she was 59), in her memoir The Owl of Minerva. I "met" Mary while reading a series of books on nature by Stephen Harrod Buhner; he mentioned Mary quite often and with every quote he shared, I fell more in love with her until the momentum carried me into getting as many of her books as I could. I've never ended up meeting any of my author-loves, and maybe I don't need to ... I hear their voices in my heart and head, almost as if they are happy to guide and bless me from afar like distant mentors.
Mary Midgley
As it happens, however, I don't fall in love only with writers, but also with topics or subjects, and when I do, then comes immersion within those as well. When I began to show dogs in my 20s, I read hundreds of books on canid behavior as well as those specific to training and breeding; almost 10 years later, I did the same with felines, and then came the energy medicines (homeopathy and flower essences) followed by Ayurveda in my fourth decade. All of these were built upon the continual scaffold-shifting that is my spiritual Self seeking the Divine. Thus, while my study of topics or subjects (or authors) is intense and immersive, I come up for air to explore my own intuition and imagination to apply these ideas in the context of my own life. 

So, what occasionally appears to be indecisive or waffling behavior is, rather, a whole-life view--the Big Picture--of what this all means to me instead of a reductionist approach in perspective. I dive deep but try not to become mired down, thus allowing my fascination or love to guide me, hopefully, into being a more loving, embodied, and empowered woman who is more at ease with the ebb and flow that is Nature.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


I wrote elsewhere a while back about my distress over my neighbor "mowing the woods" in front of my property because he thought it looked messy -- we live in a semi-rural neighborhood, it's why I fell in love with the place, it's supposed to appear chaotic and wildly gorgeous! Not only that, but the "messiness" is inherent in promoting a healthier environment:
"The industrialized eye, accustomed to suburban lawns and controlled gardens, generally sees such diverse, visually complex plant communities as chaotic. There appears to be no order or control, only wild, random growth. Regardless, plant communities have spent some 500 million years learning their craft; there is a reason for how they are structured. The more visually complex a plant community, the better it can respond to ecosystem demands and stressors. All ecosystems are dynamic over time in their drive to preserve this kind of 'wildness.' A suburban landscape, not continually forced into an orderly shape, will 'relax.' It will begin rearranging, reassembling, itself immediately; it will begin to look rather unkempt." ... "Disease outbreaks and heavily destructive insect infestations are extremely rare in these kinds of lumpy, visually complex, 'unkempt' ecosystems." ~ Stephen Harrod Buhner in The Lost Language of Plants
I have also been seen as messy or unkempt, especially once I passed my mid-thirties. Maybe that's part of why I protect the messiness of the woods; I feel it as kindred, as part of me.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


We have a possible new addition to the family - a kitten. Five days ago, I found a feisty little blond kitten in our garage, hiding in the under-carriage of my car. The kitten is skittish, for sure, but beginning to trust me. Now if I can just get the elder cats (14 and 17) to accept the kitten instead of chasing it!
I think I know who the kitten's momma is; ever since moving in, we've seen a tortie-colored adult once in a while and last year I saw her briefly with a kitten. The previous owners of the house had been feeding what they said were two strays, but left them behind and our cats aggressively chase them away. I don't know why momma-cat would have abandoned this little kit, though -- maybe she was killed or a Tom-cat separated baby and momma as soon as he was weaned? Haven't seen a sign of her, though, since the kitten's been with us.

This little one was terribly skinny so I've been feeding every few hours -- which is also helping him/her to trust me. Because of how thin it is, I'm thinking it may be a little older than I first thought. Will know more when I can get it into a vet's office without traumatizing it too much.

Needless to say -- for those who know me -- I'm already in love with this charming kitten.
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