Category Archives: spirituality

Disruption, Are You Rigid?

According to my dear friend Marilyn there are two kinds of people, those who prefer towers and the others which prefer caves, the former observers and the latter shelterers I would add that neither of these can hold off the ‘inconvenience’ of disruption.

The result of our cumulative experiences makes each of us shelter in uniquely different ways. Despite our protests we all have finely defined boxes, sometimes our boxes include massively built walls, which make us comfortable and ‘safe’. Entrenched in our comfort we grow ever less capable of being expansive. Our self-imposed exile of stability restricts our movement as surely as shackles might. Disruption is going to happen so I think it is prudent to recall Dr. Wayne Dyer’s words:

karma jpegBrainyQuotes image.

When we close ourselves off from disruption can be as small as the cap left off the toothpaste, or the toilet seat left up by a new lover, a guest in our home slicing a lemon differently or being a fresh air fanatic living in our homes with the windows thrown open (my hand is raised high here). Disruption after all is unsettling, upsetting, annoying and it is an enormous opportunity for growth.  The irony is, that if asked, those who are the most thoroughly entrenched truly believe that they are functioning in a state of expansive love, generosity and kindness – the truth is only on their terms.

Rigidity is not my friend, or yours. In the two years I spent as a digital nomad I have had ample opportunity to serve as ‘the disruptive force’, and I do mean “serve” in the truest sense of that word.

Lots is made of ‘being agile’ whether an organisation or an individual, embracing change, rather than fighting it, allows the best possible outcome to manifest. And yes, I really do believe that on our spiritual path in attaining at-one-ment with The Universe, or God, having our comfort zone pushed and pulled out of its normal shape is very good for us, necessary even. Disruption forces us to confront what we fear and let it lead us forward, or we can beat a hasty retreat from it returning to what makes us comfortable.

Recently I made a choice to help someone spend more quality time with their elderly parents prior to their departure on a rather long trip, but I needed to establish boundaries around my offer. Those parameters would allow me to be generous with my time and culinary talents but ensure that I didn’t bear an undue financial burden. We are always free to choose, but we are not free from the consequences of our choices. The response to my words came with consequences, disruption to the stability of my life and a hefty financial cost for the individual. Here is where personal responsibility kicks in, but it could be something ‘more’. I fully accept the karma of my choice but I have to wonder if The Universe was really using me as an instrument, or somehow protecting me (yet again). What if my words were meant to as an opportunity to help move this person dramatically away from the entrenched rigidity of their life? (my perception). Their subsequent choice denies their pets my love and companionship and their home security, and they will subsequently incur a cost of €50 a day for eight months while I am denied a measure of stability to write and conduct business. Quel domage.

Rigidity or resilience, how do you deal with disruption?

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

 

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A private, connected, chakra-coloured light show

magic coin“Magic is not so much something which you do occasionally behind closed doors or in the space behind your closed eyes, but a way of living your life — a way of approaching the world you move through and everything in it.” ~ Phil Hines

When we are little someone teaches us that if we press our fingertips to our eyelids (while closed) we will ‘see’ amazing colours; I have always thought this is rather like watching fireworks light a jet black sky on one of those ‘held forever’ memories of a warm summer’s night.

‘This’ is not about ‘That’. ‘This’ is (initially) about what I see in the state of orgasm, then it will be about something more.

dreamerAn orgasm. Oh sheesh don’t make that face, we’re not children and we should be able to talk about the subject without withering like an erection lost. (From a purely physiological perspective) an orgasm is defined as:

“a climax of sexual excitement, characterized by feelings of pleasure centered in the genitals”

A deep, delicious, shake-the-cobwebs-out, the quintessential make you shudder, laugh or cry from pure joy orgasm. Sigh. Giggle. Moan. Yes, they can be all that, but I have always believed that orgasms can (and should be) something more than the end result of falling into an uncontrolled, writhing state of passion with another human being, something much more than release and pleasure, more than the result of artful masturbation.  I believe with every hyper-stimulated nerve ending of my body (and yours) that an orgasm is another means of achieving connection to universal love, to the Divine, to God – however your belief system defines such – and a means to the attainment of a Higher Self.  Regardless of whether these are entered into as a solo effort or with a committed partner, my sexuality combined my sensuality – the gifts of awareness, expression, sensitivity and eroticism – all these are variables to this ascension within this heightened state and climatic end and this can only happen when our limbic systems are successful at communicating with the rest of our body.

In yogic theory, Kundalini is a primal energy located at the base of the spine – the root chakra – that, when ignited, travels up through the spine to the crown chakra touching and igniting each of the 7 chakras in turn – for the purpose of reaching spiritual enlightenment.  For those who see auras, or connectionpractice meditation or Reiki, those who have a baseline understanding of the various chakras and ‘tuning’ them with a knowledge of awakening Kundalini it is the colours associated with each chakra (green and violet tend to dominate my ‘field of vision’) that I see ‘behind my closed eyes’ during my heightened level of sexual stimulation ultimately resulting in (when I climax) being bathed in, and emanating, white light. While no prude (obviously as I am having this conversation with you) the truth is I have embraced celibacy for most of the last nine years because my expectations of coupling means that I will bring all of this spiritual practice to lovemaking – this does not make me an ‘easy lover’ (as the song goes).

One view of this video set to Enigma’s Temple of Love will confirm that something powerful exists beyond artful expression, of overt sensuality, or of the interplay of dance as a metaphor for the Tantric; like Ravel’s Bolero there is a poignant building to orgasm – unrealised – and so, as with any great art, we are left breathless and moved, and hungry for more.

Spirituality is derived from the word ‘breath’.  A Norwegian legend says that before a soul is put into a body it is kissed by God so that throughout our earthly existence the soul retains a dim, but powerful, memory of this blessing.  David Whyte  writes that beyond the busyness of our superficial working lives, there is a deeper world of vocation that “leads us to an older, intimate, and more human sense of belonging.”

There is lots to be said of endorsing the principle of  “use it, or lose it”. In practice, the human orgasm can lead us to that “older, intimate” connection where the kiss of God is actively remembered, carries us through our days slightly levitated and lighter (metaphorically and literally).  We are nicer with the regular practice of connectedness to the universal love – however such is achieved (and no, you won’t go blind).  Just as Cathars and Lutherans alike bypassed priests to have a direct conversation with God I am of the opinion that this ascension is what fundamentalists in all monotheistic faiths fear, to make a sin of orgasmic connection to Divine (pagan faiths) by debasing our sexuality is a means of controlling ‘the conversation’. With or without a partner I prefer to have my bedroom serve as a temple to universal love rather than a religion of any kind. Good luck with ascending to your own chakra light show!

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Unconditional love, be part of the stars

Sometimes writing feels like a moral imperative. It wakes you in the middle of the night. Beckons you from sleep, and your dreams, to rise, dress and pull a ‘blank sheet of paper’ from vibrational energyyour computer and capture the ephemeral. I am in that state now. You could argue this makes no sense – couldn’t it wait until the morning? Technically it is morning, it’s 2AM as I start this. I was soundly, peacefully asleep after two nights of dousing rains, lightning and thunder; the unique acoustics of the Adriatic and the surrounding islands and mainland of this peninsula of Croatia where I am living terrorizing me and playing my vibrational energy like a drumbeat. Everything has a reason.

With the differences in time zones between where I am, and where I am from, there is a duality to my existence at present – frustrating though it might be at times. To date I realise that I am neither fully here emotionally and spiritually, nor am I physically there. Resolution, I think, of this conflict inexplicably came at 1:35 AM in ‘just for a moment’ turning on my phone to check messages and Facebook in the place I left behind. Two things stood out in my newsfeed. First my friend Amy’s quoting Wayne Dyer:

“The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.”

I won’t even comment but leave you to consider how frequently our egos get in the way of truly understanding the full spectrum of information and interactions with other people we encounter each day.

The second was a blog posting, the blog being used by its author, Don Shapiro, to frame his forthcoming book entitled Life Is a Fork in The Road. There’s a lot to take away from this piece I ‘woke to’ and might have missed (had I not done as bidden) as I do not stalk my friends online presence. I highly encourage not only a thorough read but for you to bookmark the page and come back to it because what Shapiro writes of, unconditional love, is important to everyone.

“True unconditional love is not a choice.”

Shapiro’s story is one I have lived – the one “released” and the one releasing. My love remains unconditional for both men. I know the truth of this writing and the bitter-sweetness of knowing that these loves (and all our human life connections) are impermanent. Here’s something else I just realised in the middle of the night – both men have been ‘body guards’ to me. They have protected my physical being as well as my energetic one. Their connection to me, and mine to them, allows me (still) to ascend to my fullest potential. You MUST release attachments, you must grieve, but the truest path to our own heightened soul comes from embracing the gift of love as it touches us and as we gift it. Over, and over, and over again I am monsieur-ibrahimreminded of the charming French film starring Omar Sharif as Monsieur Ibrahim (from the French play Mr. Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran written by Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt) and Pierre Boulanger; not the least is the life lesson Sharif’s character imparts to his protégé played by Boulanger about the value of loving being a gift you give yourself whether or not the other person accepts that love. Our vibrational energy must be higher than our ego, our being must at least attempt to attain awareness beyond our physical wants so that we elevate in the state of loving – in spite of pain, in spite of human desire – that is unconditional.

Convegno by Antonio Ambrogio Alciati, 1918

And when, by the mere chance that the universe conspires to provide a connection so powerful energetically between yourself and another that you would travel to the ends of the Earth to test the connection, the reality of it, physically then you must also do this. You must explore and define the ‘star crossed’ aspect of such energy, take and give to it liberally and with every fiber of your being and then gift it back. Treasure what remains.  As human beings it is all too easy to cling desperately to the idea that we can alter the predestination of certain elements of our lives. We (as I am most likely to express) “hold the bouquet of flowers too tightly” and it withers and dies as result. To ‘love’ in such an environment is not love, it is fear. Love cannot flourish in the space where fear reigns. Love, the highest form, the universal love from which we are created, which we will return to when our physical being is no longer capable of sustaining (or containing) our souls, needs room – lots of it. When you connect energetically to another human being their presence in the same room isn’t necessary – although it is preferable from a human desire perspective to be sure. Our energetic connections are something truly magical. They transcend our limited physical existence and allow us, if only briefly, to reconnect with something higher than either party involved. We can give and receive pleasure as if the person were in the same room with us, even before we ever experience meeting them. And when we release, or are released, that universal love is part of us, it never dies, it goes on and on without the physical connection. It can nourish and sustain us, as well as provide for the other when you remain attuned to them.

Be part of the stars. Love as one ever-expanding cosmic force and do so without hesitation, light withinwithout encumbrance or tether, oh, do love unconditionally.
Namaste.

If you enjoy my blog please consider sending me the price of a cup of tea in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Not sleeping in Buffalo

It’s the second time I have woken this morning – a dream is responsible (more on that below). The first time was around 3AM, Seget Vranjica Croatia time, stars still dazzling the ink blue sky, Venus Paint the Sky - PRVIĆ - Šepurine & Lukadescending, the moon a silvery white sliver as it completes its latest transit. I drank water, had a piece of spirulina and oat superfood bar and went back to bed to reply to some emails and Facebook posts back in the United States, and then fell back into a soft cocoon of warmth that, unfortunately, did not involve sharing with the right man.

Buffalo snow

20 November 2014 Buffalo Central Train Terminal in background as record snows are cleared.

In my apartment back in Rochester NY I have a feather bed atop my mattress and box springs. Obviously, no matter how desirous of such comfort, I was not going to haul such a weighty and bulky thing with me, though as regular readers of my blog will recognise I did bring a queen size down comforter and one of my Anichini duvet covers along  with a mohair afghan purchased from Calzeat of Scotland many years ago with me. (Despite the body numbing of swimming in 17C sea water temperatures a pilgrimage of self discovery this might be but I am never going to be an ascetic.)    Thankfully my landlady also had outfitted my bed with a king size down and feather comforter (it weighs nearly as much as my feather bed back ‘home’ (though I am less and less sure about where home is these days). Hers is covered with two layers of satin brocade and then tucked into an equally heavy duvet of thick white cotton embroidered in white long the upper edge. There are matching cases for the dense feather and down filled pillows (which I use as a headboard, while I actually sleep on my own pillows). When I initially arrived two weeks ago I had folded hers in half and slept atop of it.   As those living in Buffalo NY (where I was born and lived for 29 years) know only too well, the weather can change dramatically in two days time. And so with temperatures dropping into the 40s at night (and no heat in the bedroom) I am now tucked inside the white one (sleeping bag style with all the pillows mounded above and around me) with my own down comforter over me and the mohair cloud with the colours of the Scottish Highlands holding my body heat in place. If I soft focus I can almost manifest the sublime joy of resting with “the he” in such an environment and fall asleep with the angels providing protection and sweet dreams.

Yesterday on Facebook an article appeared from  The Independent about how a woman has opened a “cuddling shop”, for $60 USD an hour she will hold your hand, stroke your hair, hug you and talk to you (without implications of sex). I thought about the loneliness so many experience (she received 10,000 emails of enquiry in her first week of business) and think she’s onto something. We, in the west, sleep alone. We do not sleep in a single room choke-a-block with 15 or more relatives. I think our isolation makes us hungry for touch – willing to pay for it to realise even an hours worth of connectedness with a complete stranger. While a tremendous economic opportunity for her what a sad commentary on the state of being in the United States.  I could have, or should have, cried in reading the article but I didn’t. While I might want to share my bed with the ‘right man’ I am not in need of sharing it with just any man. The truth is that I have not found a man I felt sufficiently ‘in comfort with’ to share my bed in more than twenty years. Want implies mutuality and a conscious decision to be vulnerable, to love unconditionally, to trust, to believe in the fullness of being which both partners bring to the intimate sanctuary of sleep. Whereas to need something (or someone) conveys desperation, an unquenchable hunger to possess that will ever leave the person demanding fulfillment void.

And so while nestled in my cocoon of sleep, just before I woke for the second time, a dream. I rarely remember these, I don’t write them down, and do not possess the skill to interpret their meanings, but this morning was different – this dream, ripe with messages stands out because for a couple of reasons.

I was sitting at a slatted wooden picnic table.  The light is from a campfire and a nearly set sun. There is a man sitting opposite me, his wife or girlfriend has just sat down in a chair to my right. Medieval Knights   On the table before me are silver spoons or slim decorative pieces each about 7″ in length – they are united in having a small scene at the top like old fashioned ‘souvenir of’ spoons.  Two I distinctly recall, one with a three petaled Trillium flower and the other with a group of men in Medieval clothing including chain mail on horses (knights?). The campfire is to the left of me, and a man appears there, speaks and then disappears. The woman gets a call, she has long hair and resembles a backup singer for a rock band the way she is dressed and is suddenly she is gone too. At the left of my hand there is a clutch of folded money, lots of it. The man opposite picks up the silver spoons/ornaments but leaves me with the Trillium and the Medieval men, Cardsand the money, saying only at his parting “it was foretold”. In a way that is true, my tarot cards were read on Halloween Eve (All Hallows Eve) my defining card at the centre being the Knight of Cups (more on this later). But in that reading, and as conveyed by three other friends within hours and days following was the same message – verbatim. I am protected by angels and guardians, human and Divine beings, I am surrounded by great love, that I must allow myself to release the energetic block I have toward wealth (rather than the spiritual and emotional abundance I enjoy, embrace and express gratitude for) and once I release the associate fear (of in having it turning into a world class jerk) I would have “all that I need” and more.  The universe is always sending us messages. I acted on a physical realm one this past Monday morning, and this morning, within a matter of two hours of waking, that action appears to be more than a possibility of becoming my new reality – and staying on indefinitely in Croatia (friends in the United States do not panic unduly I should be back by May to pack up and leave for good if this works out).

If you enjoy my blog please consider sending me the value of a cup of tea in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Re-learning to live with purpose

So much of our lives revolves around movement – and is usually not accomplished in the most ProstratingTibetanpositive of attitudes, by that I mean rushing. To languish over a task in our lives is somehow perceived as being lazy instead of purposeful. Think about the slow passion of a cellist drawing his or her bow across the strings – how achingly beautiful this is. Or how Buddhists prostrate themselves hands and knees sliding the length of their bodies along the Earth for hundreds of miles – with joy in their hearts – as they make their pilgrimage to the most holy sites of their faith. A kiss that is precious for its beginning, and its end.

Dawn 14 November 2014 CroatiaTo capture the special nuances of a pre-dawn breathe of air caressing your skin as your hands cut through the sea, and later, the sun glistening on water as sea birds lift into the expanse of blue. I call this mindful-sensualism. This is different from hedonism – this is awareness of self and environment without reckless abandon, without willful expenditure of obscene amounts of money (largely spent to ‘feel good’ which fades all too quickly). I am thinking about the pilgrimage of living well, in truth that is precisely what I am doing here in Croatia. I am relearning the art of absolute quietude.

On the balcony of the flat I am renting my down comforter hangs airing in after-the-storm morning sun and breeze. When you live next to the sea you come to have a new appreciation dscn9861for things not being damp and fully capitalise upon such weather as you have the opportunity to do so. In my adventures into Trogir yesterday I sat on something so also hanging outside is the freshly hand-washed sarong my girlfriend Jennifer brought back from Bangkok for me – its shades of aqua a brilliant contrast to the green-y blue of the sea and the lavender of my duvet cover. Across the mouth of the bay into Split there are two small islands (you can see them in the photo above), the larger has a lighthouse on it. Right now there is a small open boat tethered to the island and the lighthouse keeper or some intrepid and curious soul has claimed this small rocky space as their own. I see this person standing at the edge of the island pulling the rope in so as to gain the boat. A metaphor for tending – small, deliberate actions realising what we most require from life.

courtyardWhile exploring Grad Trogir Croatia yesterday afternoon I found a magical courtyard filled with living but absent of humans. UNESCO writes that “Trogir is a remarkable example of urban continuity.” No truer words. Shortly after having my breath catch for the simple beauty of laundry hanging in the open air an ancient, diminutive woman walked toward me, and as I smiled, nodded and said “Dobar dan” she gave me a breathtaking series of smiles in return, and five minutes of incomprehensible conversation. Admist the stones worn smooth from the footfalls of hundreds of generations of Croatians living in this warren of narrow alleyways one, perfect, semi-ruined detached house with a garden no bigger than the average American bathroom. Within its surrounding stone wall was a very old fig tree, a feral kitten, garbage, debris, weeds and a rose bush still lush with full pink blooms.  Wistfully imagining the possibilities (as I have done for nearly a year with every old stone house I have seen online in Croatia) a man in his eighties approached, plucked a rose from the vine and made a sweeping gesture in his gifting it to me. Someone very wise once wrote that music begins where language ends. I experienced this yesterday in adagios so sweet as to break the heart in ten thousand pieces.

As I walked away I realised the truth of Anaïs Nin’s words: rose

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”

We struggle against this growth instead of embracing such. If we remember we are connected to everything in the universe and the person standing beside us then the growth seems more organic and authentic. There is no end, no beginning there is only – now. Embrace what is before you. Let beauty find you and then dwell in it.

If you enjoy my blog please consider sending me the value of a cup of tea in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and please share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschi. To order my first book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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It’s a long way to Croatia (3 bags weighing 150+ pounds later)

As an American I recognise that we ‘take up too much space’.  We are also a largely enthusiastic society – we really believe all things are possible. Not that I would change anything about my Ugly Americanmixed European (German, Polish, French, Scottish, Irish, English) American heritage but sometimes our enthusiasm can be taken for being ‘too loud’. My cognition of these attributes and my self awareness makes me try a little harder to bridle my enthusiasm and blend in when abroad but that’s not always possible (because life should be lived abundantly and passionately). Still we have a reputation for being – ugly.

I arrived in Split, Croatia five days ago. It feels like a Mediterranean version of Scotland – which, frankly, is why I am here. I almost didn’t make it. Despite 12 months of thinking about it, being an awfully good at spatial relationships, arriving at the airport two and half hours before the first leg of my flight and being one of the (normally) least-stressed-out-about-traveling people you could ever meet (I am the person calming the woman about to throw up or pass out from fear about taking off or landing. I am the person walking your child up and down the aisle because you just can’t cope anymore. I am the person who rallies 400 people in playing word games whilst stuck on the tarmac in Aberdeen, Scotland for more than three hours.) BUT… gauging weight of luggage is not such a strong suit of mine. I figure if I can still lift it IT MUST BE in compliance with the airline allowances.

20141107_061951This is my luggage (and pillows, yes two – one tucked inside the pillow protector of the other and then both inside a single case) once I arrived in Croatia. For the record one of the least civilised things about travelling by air in the United States is the absence of these wonderful little trolley carts that Europeans and Brits understand are so sensible! What is also annoying as all get out is a complete lack of porters – where they would do the most good. And if you are traveling alone without one or the other, in the midst of a driving rainstorm, trying to get said luggage that does not possess wheels and weighs more than 150 pounds in total and contains three months of all kinds of weather and occasion clothing and provisions,  as well as a down comforter and duvet cover and spare pillowcases, and is not-water-repellent but handwoven Belgian tapestry with hardwood frames and solid brass locking mechanisms and suede trim that means a porter stand near the parking lot. Getting this into the airport to check in – reasonably dry – and to leave the car for your best friend in “the pre-designated spot” on your own is not possible. Rather it is TRULY impossible. Mine is the stuff of porters and tips. It is the stuff of a bygone era steeped in some measure of elegance. While utterly gorgeous, it is the least practical thing I own (of all the impractical things I own) and it weighs a freaking ton empty. So you can imagine with weight restrictions on luggage how this might be a problem waiting to happen – it was.

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Ziploc bags show a small portion of my tea haul.

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Tea bags, Kind, Odwalla and Abound bars that were also in the duffle bag.

Special kudos to the lovely couple nice enough to have lingered to kiss on the staircase as I tried the parking garage instead of leaving the car outside who helped me haul it into the terminal. And thanks also to the AMAZING United Airlines agent who patiently and politely let me stay at his counter with one bag on one scale and one on the other for more than fifty minutes moving items around the three bags to be in compliance with the fifty pound per checked bag weight limit. Note that the clock is ticking, fifty minutes has passed and I still have not cleared security. What remained was the tapestry duffle bag on the top of the pile, within  which could be found two boxes of Odwalla Super Food bars, bags of sea salted pumpkin seeds and garbanzo beans, golden flax seed, dark chia seeds, hemp hearts, and tea bags – lots and lots and lots of tea bags. (When I finally got to Munich the ever efficient and polite Lufthansa gate agent expressed astonishment that Rochester let me on the plane with it – they didn’t (actually couldn’t).)

You see because of the groceries I had packed in the carry-on I was subjected to both re-scans and wand-ing. And then unpacking and more scans, repeatedly. By the time I cleared TSA I had misplaced my passport and boarding ticket and all I recalled was my seat assignment but mistook that for my gate – meaning I went to the wrong terminal for boarding. Which in turn meant that I was paged – that has NEVER EVER happened before – not once but twice. And think about it, in this age of mobile phones when was the last time you saw a courtesy phone attached to the wall in an airport? I did find one. A maintenance guy rescued me and carried my bag to the opposite end of the other terminal. The United Airlines staff found me and walkie-talkied to the gate. They held the plane (or would have had to unload all the luggage so it was probably more expedient to do so). In finally getting onto the plane I HAD TO apologise to the whole plane – seething, ugly stares ‘greeted me’. Oh, and my tapestry duffle bag with the tea and Odwalla? Gate checked. Which was really very nice because it would have cost me $300 to check all three bags initially. Instead I just have bruises all over my arms and legs from wrestling it all the way to Germany and I didn’t pack the Arnica gel!

A final shout out to Chris, who was behind me in security and ultimately turned out to be my travel mate on the Rochester to Washington leg – he admitted he wanted to kill me in the security line (I was ‘taking up so much space’). He actually gave me a kiss goodbye at Washington Dulles.

Yes, I am here. Where I didn’t think it would be, the tether binding me to Rochester was really hard to break – cosmic interference that my girlfriend Nancy Lyn Cotter had forewarned me of, and felt (confirmed by phone earlier today – before I told her this story). Sometimes you have to REALLY work hard to make something happen.

If you enjoy my blog please share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book ‘all that I need, or live life like a dog with its head stuck out the car window’ below, thank you! 

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Tethering our lives to love

It might seem hard to process the concept of being grateful for starting your day in tears. To feel something, anything, so keenly that the only possible response is a clench of your throat, Staples-Mill-Pond-Dam-Break-2-bigfollowed by the flooding of your eyes where salted droplets spill as over a millpond dam. I am not particular in how this happens – only that it does. To feel this alive in sadness, in humility, in joy, in reverence, in gratitude, my truth is that I write best when I am so filled with emotion that the only outlet, after the tears have dried, is my keyboard.

I have been bouncing the concept of tethering around for a couple of days but suddenly it was the bonds of an impossible-to-hold-in-your-hand love that proved to be the greatest measure of tethering.  Tether is an Old Norse word. Traditionally, tether meant a rope, chain, or similar which binds an animal to a fixed object so as to limit its range of movement but it can also mean the utmost extent or limit of one’s ability, endurance or resources. It’s been commandeered by the tech community to refer to connecting one mobile device to another (such as phone to a laptop) to share the Internet connection of one with the other so as to sync mobile tethercontent and actions between the devices either by a wireless LAN (local area network) such as a Wi-Fi or by physical means such as a cable through USB ports. This post about tethering is not about technology… nor is it about animal husbandry, but it is about connection –establishing it, maintaining it and pushing the boundaries of our conceived endurance to be something more.

In just sixteen days I leave the (rather dull) surety of my life of the last six years for something unknown. To be honest the last six years have been the longest I have lived in any single place since marrying out of my childhood home 30 years ago. I am more gypsy than anything and Gypsybeing so planted has caused me to chafe just as any animal would tethered to a fence or a building.  It is a test of my endurance, my abilities and certainly my ability to perform superhuman (all legal) financial machinations, to do this. There is ABSOLUTELY no safety net (though I have listed my apartment on AirBnB and am selling some of my possessions on eBay in hopes of offsetting my collective expenses).  While I have leapt into the void in response to being pulled toward Croatia, I know that whatever awaits me is going to be trans-formative. That’s a good thing, to keep expanding and not to contract into some ever smaller portion of myself where fear rules and which can happen far too easily as we get older. But this action of mine is accompanied by a confluence of apprehension and exhilaration – the Swedes (bless them) have a word for this – Resfeber. With resfeber comes a totally illogical and travel anticipationunexpected need for ‘tethering’ myself with the familiarity of my pantry found in the packing of a duffle bag filled with teabags, Aztec Elixir Vosges drinking chocolate, dark Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, golden flax seeds, Odwalla Superfood Bars and a long discontinued, exquisitely scented candle (I admit to hording three of these from when they were reasonably priced) from the defunct Henry Slatkin & Co. It’s utterly insane as intellectually I know that foodstuffs are only too easily available to purchase, Split being one of Croatia’s major urban areas as well as having immediate access to the harvest that can be found from the sea literally 50 metres from the apartment I am renting. It is because I currently can’t read more than a half dozen words in Croatian and none of them relates to food that I have taken this action – a safety net of sustenance until I can purchase honey, olive oil, yogurt, butter, flour, sugar and fresh vegetables. Some part of me feels weak to need this tether  yet every nomad has carried provisions with them against uncertainty for tens of thousands of years.  I am managing resfeber with my tether of comfort – uniting the woman that I am in this moment and who I will become beginning the afternoon of the 6th of November – much as a child clings to its softie or binkie.

Earlier this morning the source of my tears was a video posted by a friend on her Facebook wall for two of her friends. Facebook (despite all the less than ethical machinations of the company) has developed something truly beautiful, likely on the success realised by Upworthy, called Facebook Stories. In this video (originally posted on Vimeo) a woman in São Paulo befriends a man who had been homeless for 35 years; a man, who but for the grace of God, who could be any of us. A man who bent by life still had the discipline to write his poetry every single day; this, kindness (2)perhaps more than the happy ending this woman brought about by her acts of compassion and kindness is what made me cry.  Our greatest selves are realised only in the extension of, being a vessel for, the amplification of the universal energy commonly known as love. His words expressed, her energies to empower those words. The connection to one another possible through social media that fostered a real community of support and an endless cascade of tears thousands of miles away; the pebble in the pond manifest, tethering ourselves to another (or a vast unknown collection of others) energetically.  We do as we have been done for – the coding of our DNA and the memories housed within the epigenetics of who we all are, our expectations, our will to survive or to create or to provide comfort it’s all “there” within each of us waiting to be connected, tethered to the rest of humanity. We can be envious, resentful and mean or we can take pleasure from the fact that what we give, who we are, is part of an endless ripple of love.

Friends have suggested that I am leaving them while also cheering my ‘bravery’ for doing this Croatian rentalwithout a plan, this action of mine isn’t either – it simply ‘is’. Life is shortened by each passing day – it is our duty to live it fully whilst we have power to do so, to embrace impermanence with passion and commitment. The recent death of the younger brother of my friend Deborah and  the discovery that both of my parents have been diagnosed with cancer served as the catalyst for booking my ticket. The 2″ square box of my parent’s entire lifetimes chafes at me even though we have not had contact in more than a decade of years. Facing such I recognised that I need to live more fully again. I also need to write again. Not sporadically but wholly committed to six to eight hours a day, every day for 88 days. My second book has no definition as yet but I know I will find it in salty tears at the edge of the Adriatic and the unexpected (but most welcome) kindnesses of people met as a result of social media who have become integral to my journey in this lifetime.

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