In October 2010 (when I first began Mystic Marks Blog) I wrote a blog post entitled Ichabod's Night Life telling the story of an enlightening experience I had in Galway, Ireland. Now...in April of 2013...Ichabod has returned as he obviously has some work to do.
I begin by giving you the blog about Ichabod's first appearance. Following that I describe how he has come back into my life.
Ichabod's Night Life
It was a windy night in Galway, Ireland. I was visiting my daughter Rachel who is on sabbatical there and I was sleeping in her guest bedroom. Rachel’s apartment house is located on a peninsula on Galway Bay. It sits literally in the middle of the harbor and, if you look outside of her window, you can see sailboats of all sizes lined up and moored to the docks.
On this particular evening I was awakened by the sound of someone apparently working on a boat in the middle of the night. There was a persistent clanging, actually two different clangings…and it felt like one was agitating the other. My daughter had told me earlier that she slept with earplugs because of the harbor noises, but I didn’t feel a little background sound would make a difference to me. I was wrong.
That night I tossed restlessly for hours, growing a strong frustration that vibrated every time I heard another sound. I could hardly believe that someone had decided to work on his boat at this hour. The logic was beyond me. I went to the window of the bedroom and parted the curtains. The boats were sitting in the water, magically illuminated by the mooring lights. The scene was breathtakingly beautiful…and there was no one to be seen working in the area. Confused, I looked further and discovered that the wind was willfully whipping the branches of a very tall tree against the night sky.
So, I thought…it’s the wind I have to deal with and decided I would try to use my consciousness to slow it down. (I had read on a couple of occasions that it is possible to move a cloud so I thought I would try changing the wind speed.) I was finally able to slow it down enough so that I could get some sleep but decided I needed a better plan as I am not yet practiced in the art of cloud/wind transport.
We checked the anticipated wind speed for the next night and, sure enough, a very windy evening was in the offing. I decided to see what resources I could call up because I did not want to go the ear plugs route.
Remembering a very important lesson I had learned from a book called Courageous Dreaming by Alberto Villoldo I decided that I had to change my story about the clanging. The first night it had represented a series of constant intrusions into my night of peaceful sleep. Now I decided to call up my imagination and create a new story. In this scenario the clanging actually was coming from a phantom sailor called Ichabod. I was asleep on the lower deck of a boat with several sailors. Every night the phantom Ichabod made an appearance on the top deck and proceeded to adjust the masts and moorings, clanging away as he worked. Everyone on the boat knew Ichabod and held a great affection for him. Ichabod’s appearance each evening signaled that all was right with the world…and with the clanging reminder of his presence, everyone slept soundly. Including me.
The next morning I ecstatically celebrated the beautiful way I had been able to “dream” myself into a peaceful place.
Telling myself a new story has become for me a new way to deal with the challenges that present themselves in my life. And it’s not always easy. And sometimes I forget to do it. But, oh, when I can remember this lesson and make it happen, I am overjoyed with the knowledge that I can change the way I perceive my reality. I was over the moon about Ichabod. Rachel, too. She has even adopted him as a guest in her harbor home.
In creating this story I followed Villoldo’s advice to create my story (or dream) by flying to the level of eagle which is spiritually based. I framed the sound as a peaceful resonance and that is what it became.
If you have a story in your life that is bringing you suffering, I invite and encourage you to call on your power to paint a picture that will soothe and comfort you, delighting your soul and bringing you the peace of Ichabod.
The Return of Ichabod April 2013
Today I am realizing that many kinds of "clanging" can appear in our lives.
Last week I injured myself significantly during a near-fall. I am not even sure what happened but I think I missed a step off a very small ledge (about 3 inches) or somehow stumbled in the garage while carrying out bags of trash. I never actually fell but I was propelled forward faster and faster for several steps and stopped myself from falling by thrusting my hands on the garage wall.
The fallout from this experience was significant to my body. I was afraid I could not make it back into the house but after a little while I was able to do this. My body shook for nearly an hour and the pain has been very well-defined.
Several days later I am still dealing with the physical (and emotional) repercussions of the experience which seem to be substantial. My muscles have been jolted and traumatized and the experience has awakened the memory of an automobile accident I had over a year ago.
Each morning I look to my writings for guidance on how to deal with the challenges of the day. This morning I remembered that just yesterday I had posted the Ichabod blog in one of the groups I belong to on Linked In.
This, I believe, is no coincidence.
I thought of Ichabod yesterday and posted his story because I needed to connect with his peace.
What is important now is to change my story about what happened to me from being the victim to finding a way to make myself the hero...to fly to the level of eagle in the face of this "clanging"...the pain, fear and anxiety.
In my first blog I recognized Ichabod as a beloved figure whose appearance signaled that all was right with the world. Now, as I recall the role Ichabod played for me, I recognize that
Ichabod is the manifestation of God's love for us and His encouragement and support through the challenges we face in life.
My beloved Ichabod, The Divine Sailor, is waiting on deck...connecting with me by way of my memory and intuitive impulses through the stormy seas of my "adventure".
And adventure it truly is...and THAT is the new story that is creating itself for me as I write.
The state of BARDO (when we are in extreme distress or pain) presents us with the opportunity to access parts of our subconscious not ordinarily available to us.
I now see that the state of "BARDO" IS the adventure and its many gifts reveal themselves to us when we recognize and accept the opportunity to "see" beyond the usual lens with which we view the world.
Even while I feel the physical impact of my condition, I am seeing where I have resisted the wisdom that has been trying to present itself to me.
I obviously have work to do...but I am not alone.
Ichabod, the Divine Sailor, sails the seas of my journey with me and, for that beautiful awareness, I am so very grateful.
Yesterday, as I watched a program on Oprah's television network, I heard her discuss the question she asks herself each day: Hòw may I serve? Today, I feel the answer to that question for me is to tell you my (eagle-inspired) story.
sailor image from superiorlabels.com