Tag Archives: cat

Finding Voices in Sunlight By Vanessa Anderson

When I was a child I spent a great deal of time alone, thinking, it was definitely a time when I was more mindful, less rushed by the expectations of life and the noise around me. It was certainly a different time, things appeared more black and white, complex issues seemed more easily digestible, those that weren’t were not a problem because I had more time to apply my mind to it.

Then we went into lock down and the hustle and bustle of normal life ground to a halt, suddenly I have more time to sit and think. It reminds me that I have always said I would love to be a cat, stretched out in the sun – a cozy warmth of sunlight blanketing me from the elements and life outside the window. As I sit here at my desk, a space that I have more suitably settled into now that my position on working from home seems more probable into the near and distant future – it occurs to me how cat like I have become. Seeking solace and finding my strength as I stretch my toes against the sun-drenched window pane.

It feels comforting to feel the silence creep across my thoughts and I wonder if this is what meditation feels like, something I cannot do very well as I tend to fall asleep. It is as if the constructed time and purpose of meditation renders itself moot unless I stumble across it when I least expect it – at least that is how it is for me. But give me sunshine and a warm spot to sit and my mind does a wondrous thing, it makes sense of it all, everything.

I remember lying cold against the paving in our backyard, a pre-teen, soaking in the sun, spending time alone, eyes closed but aware of the blue skies above and the clouds above my head. I remember reaching up, stretching as high as I could to reach the sky, I remember the feel of the clouds on my fingers, the subtle change of sensation in the atmosphere. I believed I could touch the clouds, I believed I was touching the clouds and I remember asking if this is real?

The answer, if that is what you would call it was an overwhelming sense of life, that this was what everything felt like, how it was all made up, time and space colliding, this was the meaning of it all, like some mathematical precision that I knew would never make sense if I opened my eyes, but for just that moment, at that precise time, it made sense. It could not be captured, or explained and even if it could – it would not make sense to anyone else because that translation was for me.

I have missed those moments, they have not happened often enough, definitely not since forever in my recent recollections. The world I live in is now ruled by time, deadlines and expectations and it has felt like my purpose has been in composing the chords of each of these elements, just right so that the song remains. But that balance depends on a constant, me, and if I can no longer feel safe and warm and have a sense of it all, then those chords will never stay on key.

I know this observation has flaws, I am not responsible for all the notes or all the chords and if I don’t take the time to hear, to really listen, then what am I really achieving. Everything else if white noise, meant to drown out the beating of your own soul, its meant to distract and refract our truth.

I have learnt something recently about music, something that upsets me and my analogy to ‘beating of your soul’, to the rhythm of life and to really listening are not a simple embellishment to help you walk the path I have paved, it is a link to this think about music that I have learnt.

In popular music, there is a tool that is used to enhance the listener’s acceptance of the song, to grab their attention, it is called ‘the hook’. You don’t have acknowledge it, you even like it that much, it is just there, lulling and coddling and you find yourself tapping your feet, singling along. It does not ask your opinion and it does not anticipate further exploration, in fact it doesn’t expect anything from you. That can be comforting in a demanding world, it can be downright welcoming, but it serves only to add to our own disenfranchisement.

I am hearing the same hook in many other places and it becomes more and more evident to me the more time I spend reading commentary on social media, that is lives there too. There are more and more people looking for that comfort in the validation of others, not taking the time taken research and read information themselves (I too have stopped myself from doing this time and again), looking for their answers in the opinion of others, using what other people think and feel to draft their own narrative and my question is, if we are all doing this – then who is writing the original narrative and why have we become so complacent in our acceptance of other voices?

We trusted our own voices once, maybe not so long ago for some as it was for me, but we did listen and we debated and reasoned and decided on a stance and we lived it or lived with it, without fear of public criticism or personal vindication. We embraced our own voices and kept our own council, honoring it amongst others. I can’t say I have never succumbed to the hook, be it in popular music or in the opinions of others but I am learning to sit back, stretch my toes in the sun and listen.

If it’s been a while, and this resonates with you, grab a pillow, make yourself comfortable and join me in the sunlight.

Perspective…

“What a beautiful kitten” I said to my daughter, “but we really can’t take in another cat. We already have two and with our family going separate ways in the future, how will another cat fit in?”

Kim 2

This kitten brought not only joy and understanding but guidance with much bigger lessons of courage that I could ever imagine.

It was a Monday like any other, my business prospects were slim, I was really so tired of trying, looking for clients, hoping and wishing, and in my heart of hearts, I felt the bitter odd idea of death. ‘What was the point’, I said to myself. I had left a corporate world with a large income, to forge ahead on what I believed was my life path. Journeying ultimately, to a place of peace and some understanding, in what seemed to be a mixed up and unconscious mind of people. Yet, here I was feeling as low as anything I could imagine and unable to even earn a small amount of money, to pay the bills.

I started the Monday like any other, moving about the usual chores and mundane tasks. Luna ran in and rubbed herself up against my leg, her early morning ‘hello’ ‘I am still here’ greeting. I must have ignored her to some degree, being caught up in my mind with thoughts racing backwards and forwards, feeling totally overwhelmed.

Kim 0Then I heard it, a shrill that filled the morning air. At first I had no idea what it was, but as I ran out of our front gate and into the street, the neighbour was coming towards me, “the cat’s leg” she cried! Her voice piercing my soul.

I looked across at their house. Panic and sadness rose in my chest. Luna was in fact hanging from the grey steal barred fence spike. She was writhing and squirming in absolute agony and her eyes were wide with fear. I felt the blood drain from my face. The spike had pierced through her groin area and out through her small body. It was in those moments that I made a decision between life or death, a decision between her life or death, and my life or death.

As I made the choice of life, I looked to the heavens screaming for help. It was a strange feeling that came over me, almost as if encased in a bubble of protection. I tried once, then a second time managing to lift the kitten off of the barbed spike. I felt the life slowly drifting from her.

A month went came and went. She was still in lockdown at the vet. The kindest place she could be in her condition, all the while healing and recovering. Due to her skin being weak and the position of her would, healing had to occur from the empty cavity, the nothingness. It had to occur from the inside, out.

As I watched this miracle, at the way nature was bringing back new from where there seemed to be emptiness. I felt the same conscious happenings within me. I felt life and true life begin to grow deep within my being. Each day as I watched this miraculous healing, I too felt the change, the realization that new life can spring from devastation, that new opportunities can arise from a seemingly traumatic occurrence, and that hope and faith remain eternal everlasting necessities.

Over the 8 month healing process, love and attention were paramount in Luna’s life. Today, I watch in awe and amazement at how she jumps, climbs and plays with ease, this from a kitten expected never to walk again, never to climb and certainly never to jump. My heart always does an extra leap of excitement when I come home and see her waiting for me. Not only did she give me hope, she taught me trust and above all courage. Sometimes not to just leap without looking deeper for more understanding, sometimes to take that extra leap of faith in spite of the fear. In our world where feeling overwhelmed may tear us down, making us feel small, remembering that we are part of, and one with, the greater consciousness that forms mountains, seas, organizes worlds and controls galaxies. We are those beings that have conscious attachment to all that is, we are not limited. In essence we are awareness and choice and we can choose life and life abundant.

Kim 1As our world around us seems to be falling apart, we can take a new perspective. Seeing it as a breakthrough to new life, newness, a more conscious way forward, where we are asked to leave behind that which no longer serves our soul, that which no longer serves our greater good and that which no longer serves mankind. In fact, we are asked to ‘become’ the beings we were always meant to be, as the new unfolds, starting from the inside out.

Kim Michelle Hewitt