Saturday, May 26, 2012

Walking In The Grey Area - Confessions Of An Angel Demon

Art by Anne Stokes

"I believe there are angels among us, sent down to us from somewhere up above. They come to you and me in our darkest hours. To teach us how to live, to show us how to give, to guide us with the light of love. They wear so many faces, show up in the strangest places, and grace us with their mercy in our time of need. Oh, I believe there are angels among us." ~ from "Angels Among Us" by Alabama

Did you ever have a moment in your life when fear had a tight grip on you; a feeling where you couldn't see any way out, true hopelessness, complete failure wrapped itself around you and made you feel like you were suffocating, drowning, abandoned in the dark?  Unfortunately, I am rather certain we all have had that awful experience.  Yet, we are sharing this blog narrative, so we all somehow found a way to survive.  There was always something or someone that came out of the shadows and guided us to a brighter place.  That miracle, gift, helping hand or illuminated thought arrived just in time to rescue us.  I believe that rescue was no coincidence, because I believe in the existence of angels.   I also believe that angels are among us, perhaps we ourselves are angels.  Let me explain.

Art by Anne Stokes

Author, Dr. Doreen Virtue, has interesting ideas about angels.  A highly respected psychologist, Virtue believes she has proven celestial intervention and also developed theories about our own individual souls and life missions.   Although I am not certain about Virtue's theories, I do believe that our ability to share compassion and experiences with others is so strong, it can drive us to do amazing things for even strangers who need help.  Inside, we all have an inner angel.  Few I know can sit and endure someone in pain, be idle when we hear a cry for help or feel shallow coldness for someone who is suffering something we have survived.   Is that part of some grand divine intervention beyond our understanding?  Our humanity surely guides us, but why are acts of  kindess seemingly rare or only triggered in certain situations?  Is our own free will to blame for suffering, is there such a thing as karma and do we really get what we give?  I wonder.

Art by Anne Stokes

This whole angel thing becomes rather complex when I think back to when I was a child.  I confess, I think I may have encountered angels in my dreams.  Entities I did not know, offering advice and guidance through difficult times.  Whispers in my ear would come to me when I lacked the answer or reasoning to get through a sticky situation.  A bold sign or symbol would appear at exactly just the right moment to remind me of specific wisdom I needed when I was tested beyond my ability.  Where does all this come from?  Is there really some guardian behind me, following me in spirit, shielding me with invisible wings? I wonder if there is some poor soul indentured to serve me for some unknown exchange or that perhaps a beloved relative, passed over, protects me.  When I have discussed this with others, I find the most amazing confessions.  I have encountered all my assumptions and more.  It seems to happen to almost everyone.  That can't be coincidence on such a mass level.  With so much unexpected good around us, my beliefs have become even more solid that someone out there cares whether we make it or not.

Art by Anne Stokes

As my years grow in number and my experiences amass, I have found my inner voice directing me in unusual ways.  Like the story of the Miracle Worker, I find myself learning more by teaching others what I have already discovered.  I come, sometimes unwelcome, pouring out information to guide, heal, protect, inspire and more.  How did this come to pass, when did this change inside my conscience mind occur?  Have I survived enough tragedy, scars and nightmares to finally earn my status as a guardian angel on earth?  It may be possible.  I have met such individuals who absolutely convinced me they were angels on earth.  They were people who had experienced incredible horrors and somehow emerged into the light, intact. Amazingly, not all were silver haired elders, some where children, still others were peers and even pets.  Each entered my path when I was lost, all left a lasting memory and an impression on my heart so vivid they changed my life.  These souls surely must have been angels.

Art by Anne Stokes

I am, by nature, a creature of shadow.  I can't imagine myself, after all I have learned and experienced, being a golden or white beacon of angelic light guiding anyone.  After careful thought and extensive deliberation, I have decided that I am a grey guardian.  Like the legend of Amzer, I will always walk between light and dark so I think that is the kind of angel I am.  I always see the goodness around me when others see rebels and rockers, love to inspire and nurture unusual people and dark things to grow.  Using my divinatory abilities, I work to help people make better decisions by providing the knowledge of choices and healing those consumed by in-trepidation by giving them the ability to see beyond their immediate situation, instilling hope.  I mix potions to soothe a nightmare filled insomniac or ease a persistent cough.  Each day, I try to give a helping hand wherever I see opportunity to say or do something supportive or encouraging.  My black spirit wings spread behind me, I fearlessly walk among the monsters, embracing the feared and comforting the mad ones.  This kind of realm, I understand.  I dedicate myself to be a champion for those who dwell in the grey areas of life.  I am both Angel & Demon.  After all, what would heaven be for the tenebrous souls without a touch of shadow?

Art by Anne Stokes

Thank you Michael Stokes for being my inspiration!

Monday, May 21, 2012

May, Lilacs and Spiders

"The earth and our environment is all connected like a spider web or invisible thread. These webs are then connected to each other composing a multi dimensional pattern which illustrates life and all our surroundings. The web is so large and delicate, that any event on one part of the web can affect the whole." ~

I have acute fondness for the month of May!  As a child, May meant that the old lilac tree beneath my  bedroom window would faithfully burst into beautiful purple blooms and fill the air with their intoxicating fragrance.  I learned to love the heady scent so much that I would perilously dangle myself from the second story sill and breath as deep as I could.  Sometimes I would crawl under the shady boughs of gorgeous blooms.  The lilac is a wondrous shrub that not only allures humans but also an unending menagerie of all sorts of creatures.  It is from the lilac that I first developed my adoration for spiders.

A hopeless daydreamer and a sickly child, I would spend countless hours gazing out the large picture window in my second story bedroom.   Alone with my imagination, I could escape to anywhere, in my mind.  The window also served as my observatory, surveying the orchard, creek and porch roof.  The Victorian oak sill also allowed for lots of living space to all sorts of insects that would come visit the lilac below.  Moths, bumble bees, ladybirds, fireflies and spiders made an appearance when warm weather came.  Being a vampire fan, I favored the spiders.  I came to think of them as pets and would watch them spin their delicate webs from the flowers to the glass.  I observed all they did in their life span.  The intense labor of web spinning, the tragedy of rain and wind, their tedious dedication to rebuilding, the bait and capture of prey, the feasting and ultimately their demise all played out at my window.

Dreamer by Mystali on deviantart
"The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web." ~ Pablo Picasso

Spiders amaze me!  I am inspired by such a tiny creature fighting to survive alone, forced to consume its guests for survival and dying almost immediately after finally taking a mate.  The spider endures a tragic existance.  A misunderstood artist, a loner, a vampire, striking fear in those who do not or will not respect it makes the spider incredibly Gothique!   Besides being creepy, the spider also taught me that everything, no matter how obscure or tragic, has a purpose.

Spider by Kaeros Stock on deviantart

Spiders actually spend their lives trying to consume villains and pests, so like the famous Marvel hero, they save us daily, silently.  The insects they catch, mosquitoes, flies, and gnats, can make life intolerable but the spider dedicates itself to creating a peaceful balance in our environment.  In its tiny, hated existence, it manages to impact the cosmos.  It got me thinking about how people are the same.  Our own personal agendas have a ripple affect on everything surrounding us.  Many of us work unnoticed, under appreciated, yet are essential to the balance of everything!  We go about our daily activities, thinking we are individuals and that what we do alone has nothing to do with anyone else.  That is so untrue!  From the moment we open our eyes upon awakening, we begin to place our influence on the world.  Whether we are observed or not, we are all trying to survive and with each action or choice, we touch another life.

"It appears to me that almost any man may like the spider spin from his own inwards his own airy citadel." ~ John Keats

Like the dew on a spider's web, we are all interconnected.  Where we choose to live, shop for our needs, who we choose to speak to, work with, love and befriend all spins a web.  In this web, we hope to capture what we need to survive and become what we feel we should be.  Some of us are washed away by the storms of life, others spend our days in the sun.  Some are feared, others killed simply for their appearance. Still others perish from a lack of what we need to carry on.  Each of us searching, diligently working, often for no reward.  All of us clinging to whatever gets caught in our web.  Each one trying to manifest a miracle with what we have been given.  We are all spiders!

melancholic spider by giorgosmaravelakis on deviantart

Over the years, I have garnered so much respect for the arachnid clan.  They have taught me that even if I feel small, my existence has a big purpose.  I have learned that everything is connected, even if the threads that bind are diaphanous and transparent, they are still there.  I also realize that the mechanics of this great universe and its reality are no more complicated than a spider dwelling from the lilac bush to the window sill. Maybe next time, when you come across a web, you'll think before you swipe it away.  Before you destroy that tiny universe, at least be aware that it is a thread of your own.  At the very least, it may keep a mosquito from biting you tonight and it may give a fellow spider a reason to celebrate life like Cinco de Mayo.

 by Rafterman1 on photobucket