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Archive for December, 2014

Monday Muse 29 December 2014

Posted by jackiepope on December 29, 2014

Monday Muse – ON MONDAY!!! OMG

Good morning friends, family, clients and those yet to make up their minds…

I had a brilliant Monday Muse all in my head on Saturday night. I went to sleep thinking ‘this is a cracker’. Of course it is completely gone, I cannot find a trace of it in my mind, all I know is that it was relevant, interesting (hopefully) and perfect for an after Christmas giggle.

And now it has gone. That will teach me to write things down as I think of them – is that a New Year’s resolution? NO! I do not do resolutions – because I always break them within 24 hours, so there is no point.

What does the New Year hold for us? How many of you sitting reading this look back on 2014 and tell yourselves that if you knew 2014 was going to be a year like this you would have stayed in bed and watched the whole series of LOTR and Outrageous Fortune back to back? And some of you will be looking back thinking ‘what an outstanding year – one of the best’. That is how life goes, the Wheel turns and sometimes we are at the top dancing in ecstasy and sometimes we are at the bottom scratching our heads wondering when the dark will end. Because it always does. It is the natural course of things – Winter to Spring to Summer to Autumn; New Moon to Waxing Moon to Full Moon to Waning Moon; Death to Birth to Growth to dying. Everything is part of that cycle (oh dear it is beginning to sound like The Seekers, I shall stop immediately).

I guess that is what I like about being a Druid, following that philosophy and knowing that the Wheel will turn, that there is a change; and of course for me the Wheel has already turned upwards, and life is starting to be that dance of ecstasy once more. I have people ask me if the big C changed my life or if it changed my outlook on life. Some people suddenly appreciate their lives all the more, and make great changes after the big C.

The answer is yes and no. It has not changed my life in the sense of how I live it; I will live it how I did before and during. I have a philosophy that I follow and sustains me, there is no need to change my life. I liked my life before, and I like it now. The six months in between – well you can shove that where the sun does not shine. In saying that I experienced the most wonderful kindness, thought and care. I did not realize how many people cared, and that was a truly humbling experience, and I thank the Goddess for that insight.

It has changed my life in a physical way in that I have one boob and clothes look odd, I have white hair growing, and I still get tired. I know that my veins are shot for the next 2 years, and I have a wonderful cocktail of pills for take for 5 years. So physically – yes my life has changed, but not in any other way.

I had a foreign body, it grew; I saw it on the x ray – it was like a beautiful flower, it was hard to grasp that something so beautiful was so lethal. The foreign body was excised and as a precaution I took on the chemo for a ‘limited time only’. I experienced the dignity and indignity of hospitals, clinics, doctors and nurses.

I was at times sick to my very soul, and one particular night my Father appeared in my hospital room and I asked him if he had come for me. It had been a dark night, my chemo had gone badly wrong and the woman in the room next door was dying and every time she slipped away her relatives would call her back. It was a very odd feeling – not quite in one world or the other. My Father said it was not my time to go and that my Mother would be furious if I went before she did, and he was there to tell me everything would be ok.

I drifted off for a few minutes then an older woman was by my bed, she said she was from next door; and she wanted to go but felt badly because her family seemed to need her so much. I told her she needed to do what she wanted. I had heard the family arguing in the corridor for three days over who should have done this, and who should have done that – it was so sad. It was not about her at all. She smiled at me and I drifted off again. Around 8am I heard a cry and tears, and she had passed. I felt her as she went by, she was smiling and she said loved ones were waiting for her.

I could not talk about this experience before, but today the time is right. The Wheel turns and life moves on; already we have had midsummer and are in the fullness of the season; and come March Autumn will turn the wheel again – and so on.

Life is so gloriously predictable and unpredictable. We have the cycles of birth, life and death in everything we do and touch; that is the pattern of life and we layer it with spirit, emotion, intellect and all the things that we humans are – and that is what makes it so interesting, so delightful.

I wish that you all dance in ecstasy for 2015 – I certainly am going to do so.

Monday Muse 15th December 2014

Posted by jackiepope on December 15, 2014

Monday Muse on Monday!

Good morning Christmas shoppers, boppers and scrooges – and those who have yet to make up their mind…

I am not sure where this muse will take us, I do have one thing to say and it might lead to other things…. And that one thing is… I am getting rather fed up with people stating the obvious or asking questions that really do not need an answer.
I am sure you have all experienced it. Many of you are photographers and there you are standing with thousands of dollars of camera gear and someone says ‘oh, so you are a photographer?’ – you know what I mean!

It is quite acceptable to state the obvious and to ask questions that have obvious answers; it happens, but it seems to be happening far too often as if it is becoming part of our language, our conversation. So what has started of this rant? An acquaintance came to visit; she has seen me since the Big C started, and she knew I was doing chemotherapy. I am wearing my beanie when she arrives; in she walks, smiles and says ‘Oh so you don’t have any hair?’ What sort of question is that?

You are holding your mobile phone to your ear, talking; and someone interrupts and says ‘are you on the phone then?’ and to make it worse they carry on the conversation with you as if you were not talking on the phone. You have to break off your phone conversation to ask the person to give you a minute to conclude your call. They look all put out and miffed, and give a big sigh. When you have finished your conversation you turn your attention to them and they say ‘who was that then?’ It was Santa  Claus and I was cancelling your Christmas order.

No really, I am being very grumpy and harsh this morning. I have had a blood test, I had to get up early and could not have coffee or food until the blood was taken. Hence I have to go early to the lab, and every man and his pregnant partner are there at that time of the morning. No I do not have anything against pregnant women; more power to them, I think they are brave and have no idea what they are letting themselves in for. Of course that is another thing that I disliked when I was pregnant and parading around with an 8 ½ month belly, and people would say ‘oh you are pregnant then?’ well no actually I am not; I am incubating a baby whale for Seaworld.

Sitting in the Oncology Clinic and someone asks ‘you have cancer then?’ I did reply politely, and said yes I did, and that I assumed she had cancer as well seeing as though we were in the Cancer Clinic. She replied yes she did and gave me her story. Which happens in the Clinic, people share their stories and sometimes it is comforting and sometimes not. Usually the latter.

Stories are wonderful things, I know I tell far too many of them. I give everyone I know full permission to tell me to shut up because I am telling stories of my chequered past and I am probably boring the pants off everybody! So please if I am rabbiting on – stop me. In saying that children love to hear stories of when their parents were young, in fact children love to hear stories about themselves when they were younger. It is all part of establishing their identity; of knowing where they came from and connecting with family, and having a perspective of the past, present and future.

We should all tell stories to our children about the things we did; the places we went. In this modern day of instant photographs, instant messages and instant memory making our children (regardless of their age – even our adult children) need to know there was a time when these things did not exist; and we did not text our boyfriends, but waited until they called us on the landline! That we had to choose between staying home to watch Ready to Roll with Pete Sinclair and going to the Dance because you could not record the programme or watch it On Demand. I only missed the Dance once and that was because Ray Columbus and the Invaders were appearing, and I did not want to miss it. I then found out that my best friend danced with my boyfriend and we had a huge falling out. And I can assure you it was not pretty – no texting or facebook catty remarks; it was out and out war…. And the Ladies Powder Room at the Longview in Howick made Sons of Anarchy look tame. Enough! I am rabbiting on again.

As a child my Mother talked about her childhood, and looking back I can see how her childhood shaped who she is today. If I was impatient she would tell me how she stood in a queue with her Mother to get sausages, and she had a ration book. That she had never seen an orange until she was 8 or 9; and her Mother would use her tea ration and give her cocoa. You tend to shut up and be patient when you hear that.  Looking back on those stories now I understand some of her habits that are still with her today. Especially around food; she always has extra tins of salmon and pineapple. There are always plenty of tins and packets in the cupboard. The one thing I did learn from her was to always have a couple of weeks food in the pantry and freezer; so that if I was unwell, or something happened there was at least enough food in the cupboard. I still do that today, and in the last few months it stood me in good stead.

Because when we tell our children about our past we are passing on wisdom such as food in the pantry. We are giving them the benefit of the lessons we learned. Mothers should tell their daughters stories about boyfriends and how they handled men; a girl needs to learn about self worth, self esteem – telling your daughter about the time you met a fab young man on the bus. He was a Survey Cadet, and quite cute. After weeks of smiling at him, wearing the shortest skirts to be noticed he asks you out! He says there is a Dine and Dance in Panmure and would you like to go. In those days that meant a posh frock, hair up in petals, and new make up. The dress cost a bomb all of $25.00 (My wages were $30 a week at that point), the hair cost $5.00 and make up from Rendalls $3.00. He picked me up in his Holden (Good man – one point for him). And started driving towards Panmure (I lived in Howick), he went to the KFC and got two dinner boxes. I figured he wanted a quick snack before we went – sometimes the Dine part of Dine & Dance did not start till 9.00pm. He parked at the Panmure Lagoon. Ate his KFC (I wasn’t getting grease on my new dress) and turned the radio on. After 45 minutes I asked when we were going to the Dine & Dance; he laughed, made a lunge for me and said KFC was the Dine and turning the radio on was the Dance! Needless to say I got out of the car and in full posh frock and platform shoes made it up to Panmure and the taxi rank. I told my daughter this story, the moral being a girl always had her taxi fare in her purse, and never trust quantity surveyors.

I really have waffled on… have a fabulous week. Don’t get too caught up in the hype, remember to tell your kids stories and don’t ask obvious questions such as ‘so you’re a tarot reader then?’

Blessings and eggnogs all round

Jackie