P.O. Box Earth

To Whom It May Concern,

Some time ago, which seems now, almost an eternity, the post mistress received a box, addressed, well to nobody in town. The name says Mickey Richardson, but there isn’t one person anyone of us knows by that name. I’m sure you probably can’t imagine that a town this small, it is downright impossible for anyone to not be known, not to mention that we wouldn’t have an actual post office, but believe you me, we don’t. Our mail gets delivered to Carol Ann’s store. It’s a little store, but it has just about everything, even the town library, on a few shelves in the back aisle. So besides being our go-to place for all our necessary needs, it’s our place we pick up our mail.

But that’s not what I am writting about here. See we received this box, like I said, wrapped in brown paper. You should see all of the stickers and stamps on it. I swear, it sure seems like this little box has been around the world.

Everybody in town has been wondering, who is this Mickey Richardson? And why is he getting mail to him in our town? You know what I’m talking about. In such a small town, who has anything more to talk about than the next new mystery to be solved. So we all trickled into Carol Ann’s store, as our time to pick up our mail comes around.

Oh, that just makes me think of Arlo Guthrie, how he did his live Alice’s Restaurant shows, strumming his guitar, and says, “I’m just waiting for it to come around again,” you know to where the song can begin. That’s so funny. It is my mom’s record.

But anyway, like I said, we all stop in at the store, and pretty soon there’s a whole group of us just standing around looking at the box, guessing who it is really for. We even each took a turn at guessing what was in it. It’s not the largest box in the world.

In fact, just let me tell you the story about the biggest box that ever came in. It was to Steve, our local D.J. and this box was major big. I mean, a man of six feet tall could lay down inside of the box, is how big it was. Can you imagine? And Steve takes it home in his truck, with the help of Bernie, his brother, who he’s just found out was his brother after like almost 30 years of life. Imagine that? So they get this big box to Steve’s house, which, by the way, is a pull trailer. He lives on a lake. Well, not on the lake, but, you know, on the bank of it. Just gorgeous. So, they get this big old box home to his house, and pry it open, and oh my gosh and golly, there was a real live dead body in it! It was a friend of Steve’s and a whole other story. That must have been the weirdest mail that’s ever come into our little town.

So, we have this next weird box, that isn’t at all as big, but seems to have some stuff rattling around in it. But we can’t open it. It’s not really legal to open somebody else’s mail, you know. But it just makes us all the more curious to know what it’s all about. Finally our doctor comes in, to pick his mail up, and we tell him about it, and he looks at it, and rattles it, and we still can’t figure out what it is. Gosh we have fun all coming up with what is in there.

Did I mention that the mail comes by way of airplane. Yes, it’s a little bush plane, I think they call it. Our own Peggy O’Riley is a real live pilot, and the plane comes into this field outside of the main part of town. So Peggy was the first to have it and just delivered it right smack into Carol Ann’s hands, and that is when it all began, this guessing game we’re having.

We figure if we can’t actually open it, and let me tell you, there is some arguments back and forth between those of us who want to open it and those of us who think it’s none of our business, and not allowed, anyway.

We figured the Doc would come to the rescue, sort of. Being a doctor, he’s got an x-ray machine in his office, but he says it’s illegal to tamper with mail. Well, it’s not actually tampering if you peek inside without opening it. Right? But he wouldn’t budge. That’s old Doc J. Just one stubborn cuss, if you ask me. But Peggy, she outsmarts him by going to get it x-rayed over at the airport security in a real airport she goes to where she gets the mail headed here. When she brings the x-rays back even Doc J, grumbling, allows us to look at them on his x-ray light thingy. We all tramp over there, which is just down the block, not like anybody has to get into cars and make a funeral like procession through town or anything.

We gather around the light thingy on his wall to look at what the pictures show might be in there. Well, let me tell you, there’s such a bunch of stuff that from this side of the x-ray makes no sense, so guess what we do? That’s right, we all sit around pointing to the picture calling out what we think it is. Some people were really funny with some of the ideas that came up.

But still, that doesn’t really help us with the whole problem of what to do with the box. Carol Ann decides, it’s time for a town meeting. Everybody meets up at the church later that night and we all talk about if it is right to open it, or not. Sally actually is the one who runs the meeting, being the former mayor’s almost wife, cause their not married, but almost have been a lot of times.

Doc J still holds out that its not legal to open it, but Steve he says let’s do it, and Peggy says she’ll take the risk of opening the package. Good ole Peggy. Cause, well, I was for it all along. Steve, he kind of forces the whole issue by getting up and giving this way long speech about the price of knowledge. I don’t understand it much, but it did the trick, and everybody finally decided it was okay to open the package.

Everybody was happy, and there was dancing in the streets… Okay, no dancing in the streets. But Now I get to tell you what was in the box. It was so interesting because like everything in it had, on the surface, no connection, right? See there were maracas, and there was a boomerang, some wooden shoes and sunglasses, and some Chinese coins,  and lots of other things that were all passed around and we all got to take a look at them. It became an even bigger mystery than when we didn’t know what was in it.

But also in the package was a letter! Uh huh. In fact guess who the letter was from? Okay, well I’ll just tell you. It was Mickey Richardson! Oh my gosh and golly, can you even imagine how strange that was. It was dated May 24, 1998, which was pretty much before I was born, but that is what history is like. It happens before you’re born sometimes. Mickey was eight years old when he wrote this letter, and mailed out the package. See, Mickey sent out this package to go where he could not since, well, he was only eight years old. So he asks anyone who receives this package to please put something of their own in it and then to mail it back out to someplace far away!

Well the mystery of the box is solved, but now all of us are left to decide what we should put in it. It wasn’t as big a problem as deciding if we should open it, but it sure took a lot of ideas what would be the best thing to put in. Now, here in town, we have our own local film maker, who isn’t all hollywood, if you know what I mean. He’s just making his way writing and filming. His name is Jesse, and he suggests we put a video tape, but not of his movie, no, of copy of “Casablanca.” Jesse likes old movies. But there’s also the cook from Hole In The Wall, a restaurant in town, his name is Jimmy Bear, who wants to add morel mushrooms from his yard. Carol Ann, herself thinks a moose wood carving is good, and Peggy likes the idea of a plate with a picture of a the state bird on it. But in the end, we all decide there’s one thing that everybody has at one time come into contact with, and that’s old Doc J’s thermometer.

So we all agree and we ask Jesse to pick a place, by him stopping the spinning globe resting on Carol Ann’s counter. So our happy little package, now all wrapped up, and holding our own addition to the box, plus the letter from Mickey Richardson, is addressed to Mickey and is heading for Pune, India. I sure hope one day Mickey gets this back so he knows all the places he went in his space ship of the imagination.

So, I’m writing this letter to you, who ever you are who gets it, to try my own experiment and see if my letter can go all around the world too, and see if it might one day, maybe when I’m as old as Carol Ann, sitting in my rocking chair on my porch, and get a letter back that tells me about all the places it went and all the stories about how the people in your town figured out the reason for this letter. I just ask that you don’t throw this away but mail it to my name in a place far away from your own home town. Maybe you can put a stamp from your home town inside the envelope.

Sincerely yours,

Carinda Chelsea Adamson

Chasing The Dragon

Standing at the entrance to my destiny, I look at the rough hewn stone pillars, that I want to touch, to make it real. My fingers brush over them, a sense of how the journey might unfold. The way is blocked by two hinged iron gates. The middle of each depicts a dragon’s head, yellow against the black of the gate.

I feel a sense of having arrived, yet I’m still standing outside. I’m transfixed by the piercing eyes of the great beast. The golden hue is compelling, powerful, like the energy of the sun, and exudes a distinct Yang principle. It, indeed, embodies the sun’s life-giving, generative powers. The sun rises and sets from and to the darkness of the unknown, bringing in the yin quality of intuition. As well, it signifies illumination and dissemination. Yellow represents warmth and motion and is generally considered an auspicious color. I know yellow shares some of its symbolic nature with gold. It is used to protect against evil, denoting courage. It also represents the element Earth, the time of transition between seasons, and the center direction.

Pleased with my ability to call upon the knowledge of some years of study, I reach out and place my palm upon the smooth inset face, feel it’s cool against my warm skin. I have the sudden urge to place my other hand upon it’s mate on the other side, and say, “Open Says Me.” That childish part pulls back inside. This is real. It’s not child’s play. Not any more. This is not Kwai Chang Kane standing at the gates of his Shaolin Temple. It’s not some story told on television.

Pushing, the gate swings slowly open and I step inside, turning to close it, then in a continued about face, I gaze down the tree lined pathway that leads into the grounds where I hope to spend many years. I stand like The Seeker, one simple bundle, with all I own in the world, held within.

There is such serenity here. The scent of, perhaps, cherry or orange blossoms is carried on a breeze that washes over me. That feels auspicious, being cleansed by the element of the East, the place of beginnings. I breathe in deeply and begin walking further into the beautifully landscaped campus. A line plays through my mind, from a noble man I shared words with: “New awareness is finally breaking the old making room for what is not, yet.”  It is so palpable, this sense of waiting to enter the space of what is to come, what will evolve. My heart beats faster for a few moments, then the calm settles back onto me.

My steps are not measured. Rather, I move, stop, breathe in, look about, and remember to keep going when I feel I’ve communed with the moment, and can release it, for what the next will bring. It seems odd to me, just walking in, nary a person around, as If I’ve stumbled upon some alternate universe, where I am the sole student to millennia of ancient wisdom. No outside sounds can be heard, nor any inner comings and goings of residents who reside here.

The road continues, turning, revealing, twisting, unfolding in a universe which feels to be made of my own imagination. I can see, up ahead, the peak of a roof, the graceful architecture of Asian construction. The next curve of the pathway gives me a view of the front of a temple, across a pond, against a backdrop of mountains. My breath catches, as I find I stand within reach my destination. I can see a bridge, narrow, wooden, spanning the pond to the doors.

My foot steps make a soft patter as I cross to the few steps which lead to the entryway. I can feel desire welling up within, to be inside, to stand alone in the silence, perhaps hear the echoes of thousands of years of other disciples who have come to ask admittance to a personal mystery school. Twin pillars rise up on either side, at the first step,  each carved with exquisite artistry, the sinewy body of The Yellow Dragon. The work is like nothing I’ve seen before, the detail beyond real. I could swear I saw the body swell as if a breath was taken. My eye follows the line to where the wing is pulled in, flat against itself, and on to the head, bent down from an elegant curved neck. The eyes are as golden as the body, with a dark slit. It blinks!
I step backwards two steps, my head tilted back. For a long moment, I wait, but it does not reoccur. It must have been a trick of my eyes, my wild imagination.

Several minutes pass before I move up onto the top step and reach for the handle of the door. While, a heavy door, it moves silently and easily at my pulling to open it. I step inside, just barely, drinking the simplicity of the chamber; high, arching ceilings, shining black marble floors, reflecting back the glow of a row of lit candles, leading, like an airport runway down the aisle. I don’t know where to go. I see no obvious welcoming party. I move forward. The walkway seems to continue into an abyss, but I reach a pedestal finally. It rises up, and while it does not impede further progress, I feel it must hold information. An open book rests upon the stand, a fountain pen resting in a lip. At the top of the page, it instructs, simply: “Sign in.” I comply, writing my name across the first empty line below a list of names.  I look at the entry above mine. It is written in what looks like Chinese Caligraphy. Next to the name is a space for the date. This, on the line above, is written in a numerical printing I can understand: “05 – 01 – 1915. I squint at it, thinking I’m not reading it correctly. But it is exactly as I read it. The last person here signed 100 years to the day!

I look at the line above that. The signature of the person is written in a language I do not recognize. The date reads, 05 – 01 – 1815.

What have I gotten myself into?

Hanging Out With The Cards

A new day dawns. Time to rise and shine! Though there is not so much shining as flickering. Age takes its toll upon my ability to reach the shining point any faster than perhaps a turtle, these days. Like the saying goes, “everything happens at the pace at which it happens, no faster, no slower.”  The house is quiet. I am the first one up. I love this time of day. It’s new, with no mistakes in it yet. I know that is not the actual quote, but I don’t care. Poetic license, and all that.

The way through, to where my books and cards are, is the soft carpeting beneath my feet. It is late Spring, the time when I prowl the house barefoot, loving the sense of freedom. I pad down the stairs, and press the button on the Win7, then return to the main floor.

My work station is quiet. A new adventure begins. Opening the laptop, I start it. I want it ready.  Looking around, I spy them. “Ah, there you are. Good morning Your Majesty, Builder of my Soul. And to you, La Curandera, my great role model. And to you, little girl lost.” I take each card as I greet them, and slip them into the book which holds meanings; old traditional meanings. I call them ‘memory’s little helpers.’  The lined notebook, along with the velvet bundle, are the last items I pick up before I head back toward my reading room.

Mmmmmmm, the lovely scent of the unlit candles, not too strong, just a pleasant smell. Oh, the sun is shining in. Sam can eat, but I don’t want to wake my sleeping husband. I shrug and place my books and bundle upon the table.

Setting up is part of my ritual. I find a moving meditation in my actions, and focus on each movement. The drum, I lift off the table to a side desk. I look at the stones, a circle, with the largest surrounded by the smaller ones. Carefully, I pick each up and place them into the abalone shell, sitting at the northeastern corner. I move the small double pronged wand to it’s place by the Southeast edge.  The books are placed upon a second computer I have in here, after retrieving the cards, which I set next to the velvet pouch, center table. Unfolding the pouch feels like unwrapping a gift, and it is. Lastly, I retrieve the fireplace lighter from its holder, and flick it to life, a little blow torch whooshing out, which I touch to the wick of my current candle just beyond my reading cloth, among a collection of personal artifacts. The stage is set!

The cards are nicely organized, no reversals here, my three sentinels slipped, each into a random spot, within. I don’t read reversals. There are enough shadow cards within the deck itself, that reversals are not necessary. The stack is face down, now, to my left. My hand sits atop, and I fan the cards out, so they arc across the tabletop, 78 cards in all.

Taking up my spirit stick, double pronged wand, I sit, both hands holding the wooden tool, feeling the ribbons and feather with my thumbs, as I close my eyes. Breathing in deeply, I feel the energy begin to flow down, grounding me, letting everything seep into the earth. My shoulders follow suit, and I take a second breath, my mind concentrating only upon my inhale, and exhale.

After the third breath, I  welcome my Guides to walk with me on this daily reflection, through divination with the Gaian Tarot. I seek wisdom, to see with greater insight the message which the cards bring me today.

The words fade and I open my eyes, gathering the cards in my hands, holding them momentarily, feeling the possibilities therein. What I call my long shuffle commences. The first three cards I lay down across the top, then three across the bottom, and two in the middle. The rest of the deck is placed randomly in piles. I repeat the question, “What do I need to know today?” as I keep pulling cards off the top, dropping them onto the table.

The last card falls onto a pile, and I choose one, and then a second and holding them so each hand has the top facing right, and the bottom facing left, weave them together. Choose, choose, shuffle, shuffle, as I repeat the traditional dealer’s technique until there are just two piles, and then there is one single pile. I am habitual, as I hold them and do a flip, flop, drop, drop motion, back and forth. Finally, I place the deck on the cloth, and use my left hand to cut the cards, once, right to left, placing the right pile on top of the left. The cards are ready.

I grab the lined notebook and open to the next blank page, where I write the date, and note the deck “GT” with the words, “Daily Reflection,” between, on the top line. I finish by finish by jotting down my question, “What do I need to know today?”

They say, ‘Position is everything in life, and so it is in Tarot. My daily reflection has four of them.  THEME is the first card over, left to right.

“The theme for my day is The Ace of Air.” I smile as I write the name of the card next to the word THEME, and turn my attention back to the image. I see a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, upon the branch of a tree, flowers surrounding it. I study the image for a moment, and write, “Clear my thoughts to receive new ideas, and have an  orderly mind. Think before speaking, and listen to the whispers of the wind. The teachings can be transformative if I let them be, if I am open to new and different ways.”

I skip a line, and print the next position. “GUIDE,” drawing the card from the top of the deck. “My Guide is Six of Fire!” I write this and let the thoughts about this card flow out through my pen. “Community is important. Continue to search for a Red Tent Temple within the Realm of this day; follow the wildness and energy of the day. Use music and dance as my connection to Spirit, and keep in tune with this week of celebration!

The next position, MEDITATION,  I print on the suceeding line and pull from the deck  “THE WHEEL.” As I write it down, I include the number 10 in parentheses, to indicate this is a Major Arcana card. I continue, within a second set of parentheses to reduce this number “(1+0=1) – The Magician is the foundation.” *Happy dancing in my heart* “Feel the turning of the Wheel, and find the same energy within. Contemplate what this transition from Spring to Summer can teach me. In this phase two days past the New Moon, what is emerging? This season can bring me great wisdom for my own inner Summer. My Solstice draws near.”

In the fourth position, which is my special addition to the typical three card reading, I print, “HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE:” and pull the fourth card from the bottom of the deck. “Ten of Earth.”  I gaze at the placid scene, feel the serenity in the image, and write. “A cycle in the Earth’s flow is in flux. Pay close attention to the changes and ready myself for the turning – the transition – from one season to the next.”

Each card, now face up, rides the upper edge of my reading cloth, a straight line. Looking at the group, studying the placement, I begin to write again.

“The Flow. As the new time is upon us, prepare for the next turning. Transition. The Wheel, and The Hidden Factor strengthen this.”

My attention is drawn back to the pictures. Three of these four cards are founded in The Magician. I write, “NUMBERS, and then “Ace and Tens, the realm of moving forward, the realm of action dwells in movement.” I am happy. I love The Magician, the drummer who brings the rhythm of motion. Six is a connection to The Lovers, and is a final aspect of the second triad, the psychological aspect.”

Another scan of the cards and I see where the Elements play their part. “Fire, Air, Earth and ?” Majors are a bit of a conundrum. So many different thoughts about the influences on an elemental level. Still I see The Magician as Fire. My call.

Not for nothing, I write, “Remember, two hawks flew from North to South.” Just saying. I sit drinking in the sense of the reading, the direction it indicates. It feels good to me. The Wheel is change. Change is ever present. I nod, as if in agreement.

Sliding the cards together, I slip them between the pages of the book, placing it upon the written pages of my journal. I put my deck back into the velvet sheath, and rest it, as well, upon the books.

Taking up my wand, I close my eyes, draw in three deep breaths, focusing on only the inhale and exhale, and I thank my Guides for walking with me on this daily reflection through divination with the Gaian Tarot. “May we walk in peace and power through this day, and through this night, to the place betwix and between, where today meets tomorrow. Blessed Be!”

Blowing out the flame, I take my books and cards back to the living room and greet my husband who sits in his chair drinking his coca cola with lemon.

Another successful reading!

A Buffalo, A Lamb, and A Mouse Walk Into A Bar

Story A Day: May 18 – Limits: Third Person, Omniscient


Fluffy looked around. This wasn’t THE island. “Ms Mouse, is this our island?” she asked.

“Well, I think it is. Why else would we be here?” Still, Ms Mouse did look to each side and at the edge of the island they thought was “their” island. “Now that you mention it, Fluffy, I don’t think this looks at all like our island.”

“Hee hee.” Both Fluffy and Ms Mouse heard the deep, annoying laugh of Tonk. “Stupid lamb. Stupid mouse.”

“What?” Fluffy hollered. “Who’re you calling stupid, you dumb buffalo!” Geez, he could be a pain.

“You two. Don’t even know we moved.” Of all the kitchen guardians I been stuck with, these two take the cake.

“Hey!” Ms. Mouse exclaimed. But, now that I think of it. If I don’t recognize this place, then maybe he’s right. Oh, that’s pretty bad when Tonk was right. “Fluff? Did we move, like he said?”

“Oh, that’s right! We were in the other house just last night. I remember being able to see that old grump just across the way, on the sink. But now I don’t see a sink.” I wonder if I’m sleeping, dreaming this? If I am, then this is a nightmare, since I usually dream nice dreams of pretty green fields, and grazing, and… hmmm. I’ve never been in green fields. “Hey Ms. Mouse, have you ever been in green fields?”

The little mouse thought for a moment. Why no, she couldn’t think of being in green fields not even once.  “No Fluff. I haven’t. I mean, I am stuffed, you know. Like you and him.”

“hee hee.” Tonk laughed. “You sure are stuffed. Someone is gonna mistake you for a turkey and put you in the oven and….”

“Hey you mean old buffalo. You watch your mouth,” Fluffy yelled out at him. Where is that buffalo anyway? She couldn’t see where he’d been sent to guard.

A loud thud broke into the argument. Clomping of shoes, someone coming up the stairs.

“Hey, shhhhh. Someone’s coming.” Fluffy said.

Each of them became inanimate, as the two humans who owned them entered the kitchen of their new house, putting the groceries they’d bought on the counters.

Wasteland

Day 16: Story A Day; Prompt – write in the second person point of view.

____________________________________________________________________

You walked down the long, lonely stretch of road, a weary traveler. There was too much to think about. It drove you from your home. It made you live alone, eeking out a living just to make it from one day to the next. Your steps faltered upon the caked, cracked earth, and the sun burned into your brain. You did not mind, it seemed. Your fate was captured from that dream; the one where you looked at your hollow eyes, and your reflection saw no mirth.

You could no longer remember the life you led, in the town without a name. You were simply moving along, one step at a time. You had crawled a stretch not so far back, and you slid between the dusty ground, and the rusted out skelaton of the an old chevrolet. Your sleep was restless, and you saw glimpses of broken bodies, bloated in death. You wished for the same. But you knew there would be no end. Your’s was the eternity of living while others bled, the sand soaking up the red.

You watched the creatures scurry from your approach, none dared come near. You were not granted even a cloak, nor a dagger, only old boots to carry you day to day. Your fate was written upon the scars of a land, barren and unable to birth anew. For your hand in this ragged dying world, was the last turning of the screw.

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