Alec and the plants are getting along cheerfully, if non-dramatically. He’s not holding conversations with plant spirits or anything like that, but he’s drawn to the lau mafiafia in the sunroom. There are obvious enough reasons for that — it’s a beautiful plant, the flowers smell wonderful, and the sunroom is a pleasant place at this time of year — but when I pointed out that he makes an effort to sit by that particular plant when he’s out there, he looked a little surprised and embarrassed, shrugged, and said he just likes it. Relationships with spirits have started from less, and I can see an energy flow has already begun between them.
I regret all the more that the government says I’m too incompetent to use ‘ava safely, and they’ll deport me for having it. The reasons are so incredibly stupid, and based on crap science. I think ‘Ava-spirit would absolutely love Alec. But the warrior dead say he knows and will provide the path — and he certainly responded as if that’s true — so as much as I’d like him to get to know the plant spirits in the ways I know and understand best, this one is out of my hands.
And yeah, I did have that conversation with him. Sort of. But he still understood.
me: “This is the first time in my life I regret not having more time ahead of me.”
Alec: “Well, I love you, too.”
You know, because something Virgo in me isn’t capable of this, no matter how much I feel it:
I haven’t forgotten that I was told to enjoy all this, too. It’s easy to do. Tam and Alec are determined to deconstruct my orderly life a little when I’m in Glasgow — a lot of food eaten out of takeaway containers in bed, a multi-chapter ongoing failed attempt to explain the rules of cricket to me (leading directly to Tam’s existential cry — “Fucksake, you understand baseball!”), a tendency to send me home wearing one or the other of their shirts. I’m happy around them, simple as that.
Alec gave me a serious case of fuzzies by asking if the spirits’ rejection of pain work as a gate to them meant they were also going to be angry if we go on doing it for our own pleasure and exploration. I’ve had no sense of that, and I wouldn’t expect them to interfere in our relationship that way to start with. Not wanting to be contacted that way is one thing; telling us how to live would be another entirely. More people really should take hold of that concept.
And with the subject of people who try to force others to live by their rules firmly in mind, I decided it was time to go and see Louis and/or go see if the London-spirit wanted my help.
In spite of the situations that triggered the journey, I went into the Middleworld rather than the Lowerworld for it because the spirit of an existing city is alive, current, and very connected to the flesh world. That meant walking along the river when I reached the bottom of the levee, rather than crossing. I didn’t see Louis, but it’s very likely given his nature and what he does that I won’t see him anywhere other than the Lowerworld unless he also journeys and meets me elsewhere.
I started walking north along the river (in orientation to the flesh-world version of the place), but before I got far, north became south. That’s always been a Middleworld thing for me; the rules of this world often apply in odd or modified forms, and are just as often broken as the journey requires. I’d go north in the flesh-world place; but I need to go south from Inverness to get to London, so south I went, and never mind that the river I was walking along is in Colorado to start with.
I started out looking for the city’s skyline, but I quickly realized that was the wrong approach; I was looking for the spirit of the city, not for spirits that had left it. Almost the moment I realized that, I saw him sitting on a bench next to the river (which, I assume, was now the Thames as it appears in the Middleworld).
He looked younger than I expected, and was wearing a shirt that reminded me of a patchwork quilt. I’ve seen dress of that nature a few times on city-spirits, always on those of larger cities with clearly defined neighborhoods or districts; as a symbolic representation of a whole made of diverse parts, it’s lovely and effective. He looked like someone in the midst of hard grieving, which was hardly a surprise. He did notice me, though.
You aren’t one of mine.
No, but I come as a friend, to help if you’d like. May I do what I can?
I really wasn’t sure what to do beyond expressing sympathy. Can you do a soul retrieval for a spirit? That was a thought to think more about at another time, though. I was here, now, and this wasn’t the time for experimentation. I sat with him and did what I know works: I held my hands over his heart (or where it would be) and opened up to energy flow.
Not surprisingly, it works about a million times more easily and effectively on the other side of the veil. I was surprised when he took my hands and put them down on his chest. (I was holding them slightly away, as I do with anyone I don’t know well.) Had this been a human being I was working with, I’d have picked my hands up again; with him, I didn’t. Different rules of conduct, and safe space to make different assumptions (such as that he was doing what would make the work more effective, not setting me up for a lawsuit). We stayed there for a while — it’s also the nature of the Middleworld, where you can travel through time very freely, that time is wonky, so I don’t know how long — and then he picked up one of my hands and gently kissed it. I took that as a signal to move the other hand, too.
You’re welcome. If you know other things that would help, we can talk about them. Just tell me.
You’ll come back?
Whenever I sense I’m needed. You can call me over, too. It might not always work, but it usually does. I’m good at bird messages.
He actually smiled, which did my heart good. It was a little wavery, but it was there. I’m very good at pigeons.
That would be good. I don’t see many around my house. I have lots of other doves around, but feral city pigeons, rarely if at all.
My impulse was to hug him, but I thought even with the willingness to be touched, this was still London. A hug would probably be just a bit too American on first meeting. When he rose to help me up, he kept my hand a few moments longer than necessary, and gave it a gentle squeeze before he let it go and I went on my way.
I can send energy from this side, as well, through meditation and healing grids, and I’ll do that. I’ll also be looking out for unusual encounters with pigeons. For some reason, I smile like a goof every time I think of I’m very good at pigeons. I need to stitch that as the caption on a cross-stitch of the London skyline…which, actually, I have one of in my to-do stash.
When I first got involved with the guys, I was told through divination that one of the things they would give me (other than lots of happy orgasms) was a community to be part of and to serve, something I haven’t had for any real time my adult life. I thought that meant the two of them, but they quickly showed me there was a lot more to it. They’re part of a somewhat shifting group of a dozen or so friends who are a lot more like a family, or a tribe. Most of them (that I’ve met, at least) are artists. There’s a lot of shared living space, fluid and open poly relationships, pooled resources, and some very Uranian attitudes toward all of the above and about art’s place in society. In other words, I love being around them. That I’ve met so far, there’s two painters, a metal sculptor, a photographer, a potter, and Tam’s cousin who makes jewelry. (Tam’s a tattoo and body-mod artist; to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what Alec does. I suggested drug dealer because nothing ever seems to interfere with or have to be rescheduled because of work; Tam fell over laughing and said no.)
When I first started meeting them all, they made me feel really welcome, as a poet and as a healer. There was a lot of interest in what I do as a healer, and even some in learning it. I’ve started finding my way back in among them — the easiest way, through Tam’s bearhugging Viking metalsmith cousin, who said the interest is still there. And then he squished me and gave me a beautiful, teeny dragonfly earring I haven’t taken out since other than to sleep. It’s a lovely way to call on my oldest energy-focused ally, and a lovely welcome back.
(photo: everywhere there’s internet, apparently)