Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Between the Garden and the Glade

Life without internet has been somewhat unsettling since I haven't been able to connect with all my blogging buddies. I've enjoyed being disconnected from current events primarily because I know that when I'm finally in my new place and consistently connected to the internet, The World will still be fucked up. I'm sure my buddies will still be out there too. Meanwhile, I've been exploring new terrain: Inner Peace.

In point of fact, I've been exploring this terrain for over a year, but I finally seem to be getting somewhere which must be Thing of Beauty #56-101 (Explore Beauty - a challenge at realia). Exploring Ft. Tyron Park which is in Gigi's neighborhood has been central to my progress. I've discovered a lovely little glade at the top of the hill and the Heather Garden. The Heather Garden is between the subway stop and the Cloisters Museum. The glade is on the other side of the museum, which is actually closer to home for me, and between the garden and the glade is a particularly comfortable bar at a restaurant called The New Leaf.

You'd hardly know you were in the city at all, and this summer they're making a blackberry margarita filled with smushed fresh blackberries.  It's practically a smoothie.  The Heather Garden is very peaceful because nothing this far uptown is crowded.  I first went there because I needed to cure the essence Gwendolyn Holden Barry, the blender at Ancestor Aromachologie, made using earth I collected from the yard of the house where I lived when I was 15.  I got to mix up a bit for myself using the mother tincture she blended, and then she told me to sit in the sun for a while holding the essence and thinking about my healthy self and my healed shoulder and stuff like that.  It's a soothing meditative experience, especially in the garden.

Here's the garden:

I wasn't even trying to take a picture of the butterflies.  They play there all the time.  But I do think I'm going to paint my new bedroom the color of those flowers.  The walk up the hill to the garden is pretty amazing too - almost like walking on a road to a medieval castle since the tower of The Cloisters shows through the trees.  The city keeps Ft. Tyron park nicely maintained so once you get used to the idea that it's a little isolated except for the gardeners, it's a very pleasant walk.

A couple of weeks ago, Gigi went with me so I would learn the way, and the first time I walked it by myself, I was surprised to find that the the sidewalk is close to the parking lot of The Cloisters the whole time.  I was also surprised to be greeted by this tour bus:

I had to wonder if it had driven all the way from the mining areas in Appalachia, or if somebody was trying to name the company after Old King Cole and didn't know the difference.  Either way, it's another reminder that fossil fuels are fucking up the environment no matter where you go.  The next time I went up the hill to sit in the sun curring my Essence of Tricia (which in itself is so cool I can hardly stand it), I came upon this charming glade overlooking the Hudson.  Although people pass by fairly often, walking dogs or jogging, it's still pretty secluded and quiet for New York City.


Here's the view of the river through the trees.  Between the shade and the wind off the river, it's cool even when the weather is hot and steamy like it was last week.

With all this meditating on healing in this kind of scenery, my exile in Inwood is going very well.  I have to say, too, that although the book Mr. Wisdom suggested, Car by Harry Crews, was very disturbing in many ways, it wound up facilitating my healing because I realized the reason I was most disturbed was because I strongly identified with the little girls in the book who had been crushed to death in bloody accidents.  Once I realized that reading the book had activated a connection to my Wounded Child archetypal energy, I figured out that I was looking for some kind of corrective experience with Mr. Wisdom whose own archetypal energy is very much Father.  He's the only man I ever dated who radiated Father archetype.  Vampire I was very familiar with from that dang Narcissist.  Caroline Myss says in Spiritual Alchemy (and in Sacred Contracts, too, I think) that our personalities are a combination of about 12 archetypes, and all of us have Prostitute, Victim, Saboteur and Child (Wounded, Orphaned, Magical or the Nature Child).
I figure I was wounded in real life with the original trauma in early childhood, and then by the time of that episode with my uncle (who is now my aunt) when I was 15, the Wounded Child became fully Victim.   As it happens, the earth Gwendolyn used in the Essence of Tricia came from the house where my family lived when that episode occurred so it's particularly useful when it comes to restoring myself to my Self.  There's another Thing of Beauty for you (#57-101) the kind of healing where Emotional Led turns to Spiritual Gold.
Another thing I realized from reading that book by Harry Crews is that it's too bad for Mr. Wisdom that he's still stuck in a car wreck when I'm living at the intersection of Real Life and Fairy Tale.  I continue to believe it's significant, however, that I chose to establish a relationship with a man who is, for all practical purposes, a box.  My current contemplative life style has convinced me that I haven't been ready for a relationship for years - which is why none of the men have ever made it beyond the periphery of the Triciasphere.  As it happens, Mr. Wisdom is the only one who made it as far as Cafe Luxembourg, which has been my most favorite Safe House in New York.  Maybe one day, I'll let someone in as far as New Leaf.  It's really great right now because there are thousands of lightning bugs in the park at dusk.  So far, I've only been there with Gigi.
For now, I'm sticking with my policy of not even thinking about a man in my life until I'm settled in my new place which should be sometime in early August if things continue to progress steadily.  I have a feeling that I'm not going to be clear about the man thing until the leaves start to change.  I may have been focusing my energy on dating and a relationship for some years now, but I'm pretty sure that I've chosen unavailable men for the very reason that I don't want a man in my life really.  I like to feel attractive, and I like to be admired - but I don't like the idea of someone actually IN my life.  It all goes back to Buzz Kill, of course.  Now I realize that he and his camel toe were probably just as oppressed by that marriage as I was. 
It's a good thing I spent all that time in the rental apartment on West 156th Street studying my shadow.  In a Jungian, archetypal sense, it's facilitated both my healing and my quest to understand just WTF I'm doing with my Self - and it's also good because Peter Pan is one of my favorite stories anyway.  Unlike Peter, however, I never once lost my shadow.  I've taken a good look at it and found that it's not a bit scary at all.  In fact, Shadows are what you get when you find your Self standing in the Light.


Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Have you ever studied the link between autobiography and curriculum? My PhD advisor, Bill Pinar, did considerable work in the subject.
You write purdy gud fer a gurl...

July 10, 2012 at 3:47 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Funny, I was thinking about you today, wondering how you are. You sound really good. I'm glad you're having this time away from "it all." Glad you checked in.

July 10, 2012 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Beautiful!! All of this--pictures, peace, light. I loved reading your post.

July 10, 2012 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger intelliwench said...

I love that you found a peaceful haven in your new neighborhood and in your inner world, too.

July 10, 2012 at 8:26 PM  
Anonymous dissed said...

A shadow is cast. This implies something deliberate. I'll have to think about it.

July 11, 2012 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Tricia, I really enjoyed this post! It's good to hear from you, and I'm glad you are in a good place. That last line is so beautiful.

July 11, 2012 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Hi Friends - it's VERY nice to see you.

I am 100% sure that all this equanimity is a result of studying A Course In Miracles with my buddy Max for the past year or so. I look at the Course as what would happen if Jesus and the Buddha spent some time together in Eternity tripping. In the Course, Tripping Jesus would say that your life - or your autobiography - is the Holy Spirit's curriculum. The point of the curriculum is to develop our awareness of the One connection we all share with each other and with the Divine.
It's all that Be The Change stuff people talk about - and some folks actually do the work. For me, A Course in Miracles - which I came upon via a book called A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson - has made all the difference in finally shifting my perspective from Fear to Love. It's a tall order, and takes a lot of practice, but I really do believe making that shift is essential not just for individuals but for humanity as well.
As it happens, Max originally studied ACIM years ago in LA when Marianne was first starting out.

July 11, 2012 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

ps to dissed: Hadn't thought about it until you mentioned it, but casting a shadow IS deliberate. I took that picture on one of the last nights in my old apartment. The light came through my bedroom window from the Dawn-to-Dusk security lights in the court yard of the building across the street which houses not only the Hispanic Society but also the American Society of Arts & Letters which Vonnegut sends up in his last novel Time Quake. I still think it's major cool that looked out my window onto the setting of Vonnegut's last novel - and it was in that light that I came to love my shadow.

July 11, 2012 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

I've walked both of those walks. "I like to feel attractive, and I like to be admired - but I don't like the idea of someone actually IN my life." Ah, inner peace and understanding. Don't you forget it either.

July 12, 2012 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger VV said...

OMG, what a gorgeous spot! I especially love the shot with the purple flowers and the bridge way in the background. It makes me wonder about the beauty of this whole area before NYC was built. I wish I could take a time machine back and see it all in its natural form.

As for your shadow picture, I find it interesting that your shadow has her arms folded, protectively, keeping others out. Hmmm, pondering. :-)

July 12, 2012 at 3:49 PM  
Anonymous menopausal said...

Its one of the best blog i ever read, I like all of its post which describe the authors mind and provide us complete fantastic personal experiences. Thank i like this spot you describe where you walk its healthy environment. Keep it up.

July 15, 2012 at 3:39 AM  
Anonymous Verymissmary said...

Sweet! Sounds so good. I go to that restaurant all the time! Surprised I haven't seen you there, but I've also been at the bungalow alot, too..Wherever it's green and leafy...love your post and I will be catching up! XO

July 15, 2012 at 4:33 AM  
Blogger Mr. Charleston said...

Maybe you should make staying away from the internet a practice. Great post.

July 16, 2012 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Cali said...

It sounds like your time "adrift" is actually working out well. How great is that?!?

I think that sort of lavender color would be the perfect color for a restful, relaxing nest. I see lots of pillows of different shapes, sizes and densities, but united by color, that can be used to prop up your knees and support your back while you read, use a laptop or watch a movie.

The little restaurant in the park sounds lovely, too. Nothing better than good food and drink in a relaxing, "back to nature" sort of atmosphere. It's one of the things that makes the French Laundry so special and impossible to duplicate. (Now if I could only afford to go there.)

July 16, 2012 at 11:11 PM  
Anonymous Practical Parsimony said...

Okay, the name of your blog brought me here. Now, to read! Of course, I found you in my followers. I started a new blog because I am overweight and trying to save my life. I am not a stoner, never was, but the menopausal part--I get it.

August 4, 2012 at 8:13 PM  

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