The Merry Old Land of OZ, on to Platform 9 and ¾ and Dealing with Difficult People: Ducks! Ego versus Essence

Dealing with people who think they're a mother duck!
Dealing with people who think they’re a mother duck!

From the other side the view is different—back to Kansas.  Kansas, the land of traffic jams, double turning lanes i.e. “Get in the far right lane to turn left!  — What?”  But first things first!  My body is black and blue and every muscle seems to ache and if I drop one more thing on my foot…. Well, the physical part of moving is heavy-duty!  How we got it all in a truck that was a few sizes too small, that’s a miracle in itself.  A van and two cars in addition were filled to the roof tops, including the trucks.  Ahhh, the joy of moving!  And I’ve still a good deal of boxes to open but for now I can find the important things and my office is assembled and so my shop is open so-to-speak.

I’m taking the time to write this blog post since my air conditioner has gone out and I’m waiting for the maintenance man to show up—perhaps it’s the way the “universe and I” are forcing a rest.  In this summer heat, it is no time to increase body heat by opening boxes and doing heavy lifting.  The mood of the moment goes like this:  stay cool!!!  So blogging requires the least amount of effort.

There have been quite a number of surreal moments since last Saturday—move-in day.  Every day this week was filled with either clients or kicking, pushing, pulling boxes out-of-the-way.  One dreamlike moment was yesterday when my daughter and I went to the pool—something I’d not have done on my own but with the air conditioner out and her insistence, I took the plunge!  A very pleasant experience that was!  When we got back, the air conditioner was working but that was only for a few hours then it went out again.

I love the trees just beyond my balcony and can almost reach out and touch them—glorious maples mixed in with a few other unknown varieties.  From my bedroom window as well as the sliding glass door I can watch the birds hopping along in the branches and many will lite on the balcony railing from time to time.  I don’t have to imagine too hard that I am a bird myself!

A peculiar moment during the first reading that I did here had to do with those trees. And before you think it, this part does sound a little bit ‘mashugana’ (crazy)–I’ll admit it.  My experience is what it is—mashugana or not.  In my old place (back in the ‘Merry Ole’ Land of OZ’) I would look out the window when doing readings.  Now you may not understand this next part or it may be perfectly understandable to you (dependent upon your own level of consciousness I suppose).  I draw informational energy from between the branches and leaves of trees.  I’ve always realized this and in fact once cried special tears for the loss of a beautiful hemlock who was a muse for my work.  They (previous landlords) cut her down, but I kept a small cut branch in memory of her—actually it sits on the balcony mixed in with other foliage right this very moment. 

Anyway, in the maiden reading that I did here, I found myself looking at the blank wall for a moment or two during the first part of the reading and it was exactly like the expression used when no information comes, “Drawing a blank”.  Suddenly, I realized that my gazed was fixed upon the white wall in front of me.  When I switched my eyes to looking out the window, all kinds of information seemed to come through the trees! 

So being at a pool while knowing that this is not a motel but I actually live here—that was a bizarre moment.  Having dinner with my daughters a few doors down yesterday evening was another dream-like moment too.  All very positive.  🙂

PacmanYet, talk about an awakening!  Traffic!  It feels a little bit like playing that old video game, Pacman.  Duck and dodge and drive like a NASCAR driver to avoid the hungry ghosts that seem to come out from every corner—how can I watch all 12 possible directions from which cars can come all at once!  It didn’t take long for me to realize that I’d have to ‘resolve or make peace with’ the fact that I will have to trust that people will stay in their right places while I manage to do what is necessary in my own little corner of the chaos.  Total overstimulation! 

I’ve lived in small towns out in the country for the past 20 years and big city driving is something I’d nearly forgotten how to do.  Driving like a speeding bullet or like I’m some NASCAR driver like Toni Stewart or Junior is going to take more than a day!  My daughter kept saying, “Mom, you have to keep up with traffic.  Go faster.”  Rome wasn’t built in a day and this too may take a while.  I will say that toward the end of the day I felt proud of myself.  Maybe I can do it in a day after all.  I was whipping in and out of traffic with the best of them but my heart was in my throat and it took all the concentration and focus that I could muster! But talk about pure adrenalin! (see my last blog post in reference to adrenalin)

I just need to learn to trust other drivers here the way I used to trust other drivers back in the mountains to stay in their own lane on those single-lane, hair-pin, switch-back curves!  Yeah, it’s that middle path isn’t it?  Trusting other drivers and then driving defensively while at the same time intuitively! 

Whew!  It’s getting hot in here and it’s just after 8 AM.  Do I really want another cup of hot coffee?  Excuse me while I go and get a fan to plug-in! [pause].

Okay, that’s better.  Now to the telephone adjustments!  Back in the Merry Ole’ Land of OZ, we didn’t dial an area code when calling a local number.  I had a Twilight Zone moment this morning when I realized that it is “not necessary to dial a 1” but it IS necessary to dial the area code even if the number your calling is the person next door!  Go figure! 

That one took me longer to figure out than the “get in the far right lane to turn left” did.  I have to feed my daughters’ cats next week—they are all going out-of-town together.  Two of my girls live here but one is several Interstate Exit’s away and the directions to and from her place include, “Whatever you do Mom, don’t miss this exit because it’s too hard to get back on if you do.”  So, it’s that and it’s get in the left lane to turn right in some places and the right lane to turn left in others.   Wish me luck! 

When I moved to the Appalachians it was very much like “You’re not in Kansas anymore Dorothy” and it seems that as soon as I’m comfortably infiltrated and merged with that culture (and it took 15 years!), now I’m back in Kansas i.e. the land of traffic and humans galore!  It’s a nice switch and an exciting one at that.  And I’ll be fine as long as I keep saying my “Jesus, Mary and Joseph”’s while I’m driving.  I’ve lived in bigger and busier cities than this!  I can do it!  I will not be intimidated!

My office and living room need more tweaking in the décor departments but that can’t be done until the rest of the boxes are unpacked.  Those and also the kitchen boxes are still piled in a corner but considering my work, I’ve accomplished a good deal this week.  O and yay! The maintenance man is here about the air conditioner—seems the fan relay goes out and then the unit forms ice and freezes and whatever.  Anyway…

Most of the time I pretend not to live in either Kansas or OZ–neither one!  Truth be told and I’m a truth-teller, I’d much rather prefer to pretend that I’m a bird up in one of those trees that are only a few feet from my balcony!

Well, turns out we have a few hours to wait before the air conditioner can be turned back on; the ice has to melt.  I get a little frosty myself (so there may be a connection) when relating to the duck in the rental office here!  But that’s another story for another day if at all.  Some things are best left unsaid or in this case un-typed.

Meanwhile, I release those frustrations and offer them up to The Protectors which has become frequent on certain days—but it’s all ‘part of the path’ and ‘spiritual grist-for-the-mill’ as they say.  Then I go back to the trees and the birds, becoming ONE with that energy.  Human lower-mind consciousness can then fall back; the connection to bias, opinion, resentment, preferences and judgments dissolve and peace is restored. 

Boy O boy this coffee is good-tasting today!  Same coffee, same coffee pot, prepared the same way each day—but today is the first day that I’ve actually slowed down and relaxed enough to enjoy it! 

In 38 Days my life has changed a great deal.  I’m back to the future again in so many ways–back with the kids and back with mass humanity.  I’ve come down from my hermitage.  There’s a whole new set of challenges, experiences and adventures in this new setting.  Appalachia is like being on another planet, in another galaxy—far, far away.  Yet, I’m only an hour or so from the Appalachian Mountain top from whence I came. 

The vibe here is great really and the outdoor Buddha on my lattice-work balcony with the tree branches reaching toward the statues and plants, including my Angel statues, is actually much prettier than my house in the mountains.  My granddaughter pointed out a vine coming from the closest maple branch that has heart-shaped leaves–she points that out like they are growing especially for me.  I’m so glad I will have more time with her.  My mother’s favorite flowering tree was a Rosebud tree which has HEART shaped leaves–I taught that to my little granddaughter and now she notices the shapes of leaves.  She wanted to show me something special about the apartment that only she noticed. 🙂

 I’ve heard no human sounds from neighbors and I’m on the other side of the parking area, so do no hear the sounds of cars either.  My apartment is on the end and so this, too, is conducive to more quiet.  It feels very good here all-in-all.  I have sage and sweet grass to burn to cleanse the place, but do not feel the need.  The energy of my daughters and grandchildren were here before my presence to decorate with “welcome home” signs and stock the refrigerator and pantry, etc. infused the vibe in here with love!

Previous tenants were from India as many residents here are and I feel a special connection to that country and their people.

Well, its late enough in the day now to contact clients for appointment-scheduling so I’d best stop typing and move along in that direction.  The maintenance man who was very nice and apologetic about a burnt relay switch will be back in an hour or so to check on the melting ice on the central air unit and to replace the cover.  It will be back to unpacking boxes later today between clients, once things cool down a bit more in here. 

 Just a final thought.  It was 44 days ago that I inquired about an apartment here and am now actually here in one of those apartments typing this blog today!  I moved in on Day 38.  Here on Day 44,  looking back at everything that was achieved in order to pull-this-off seems miraculous! 

Getting all my ‘stuff’ around the back of this brownstone and up the stairs was another miracle that my daughters made happen!  They called it “Operation Move-Mama-Bear” in their text messages and each car driving up the mountain to get me and my things was assigned a unit number for the ‘mission’! 

I couldn’t be happier or feel more loved by my children!  O and PS, a while ago I heard a lawn mower out back and smiled one of those inner smiles realizing that I no longer have to mow the lawn but can, instead, go in the pool to swim for my exercise.  At least that’s true for the summer months anyway!

One last thing—I’d like to turn to the i-ching to ask for guidance for how to handle the issue of resentment and attitude that I have with the duck in the rental office here.  I have very few ‘issues’ with others and in this case it seems that I get to review how to deal with difficult people—or at least my perceptions around that person.  Maybe we have a past life to resolve or maybe I just need to get over myself!  Or maybe it’s just a reflection of my own issue with authority figures generally and/or the representative of the “Lords” of the land, landlords. 

 I would like the i-ching to give me guidance and advice about how to handle this or what I should consider in regard to that duck situation.

Duck versus non-duck amounts to

Black-and-white, quack-quack-quack  rule-follower


Get-real , able-to-see the-grey,  anti-establishment rule-breaker (that’s me)!

So what do you say I-ching oracle?  Okay, it’s Kua 10, called “TREADING”.  It is also called “WALK YOUR PATH”.  That alone—just those kua titles—gives you the idea that my connection with the duck is to be a part of my spiritual path, just as I said.  But then again—everything is! 

In the Wu Wei Book of Answers this kua is depicted as “treading the tail of the tiger”, meaning a powerful person can cause you harm.

  Yeah, I get that! 

 This person is in a position that can hold some “Kansas” power and this person knows it and flaunts it–or so goes my perceptions.  This is why the oracle brings up the treading issue. 

When I see or perceive what seems like insincerity in another human,  I have to ask myself if this is something within myself which I deny on some level?  Yes, in a perfect world all humans would be sincere and authentic; this is what I liked about most mountain people–they are. 

Mind games, power plays and ‘putting on airs’ was not—well, let’s just say that most mountain people are earthy and honest and that’s how I’d like to see myself too.  Not so with the duck in power and in question.

Anyway, this kua indicates that I know how to behave properly around people who could cause me harm.  It goes on, “Pleasant manners win over bad-tempered people”. 

Ego Consciousness versus Essence Consciousness:

In my other I-ching book we have sharp contrast of human conduct emphasized.  One conduct acts from essence and the other conduct arises from ego.  I think we could say that people who are “fake” or “inauthentic” or “insincere” or are not of-the-earth or ‘put on airs’ are working from ego-driven consciousness.

When working from essence-consciousness there’s no putting on of airs and one relates to others with awareness and sensitivity to all variables in play and to the demand of the moment.  Therefore, grey areas are visible and thus possible to integrate. When you act from essence-consciousness you understand that marching to the beat of your own drum is not a contradiction.  Every orchestra needs the sound of an oboe! 

Essentially, I need to tread the waters with these understandings as I relate to the mother duck around here who wants all the tenants to fall in line behind her!  O, that image really makes me want to laugh.   Mama Bear versus Mama Duck! 

  The Merry Ole’ Land of OZ has gone bye-bye.  Back to the Future includes playing those duck games again.  A small price to pay in order to play and work in my tree house and be near my family! 

By the way, the “Platform 9 3/4” reference connects to a blog from the first Days that I began blogging about my committment to move. 

At the moment of COMMITMENT – the Universe conspires to assist you! 

O, and did I mention that dinner with my daughters yesterday was great!?