Every day is the first day: welcome to a whole ‘nother world!
Little did I know that it would take me this distance not only in the time it has taken to get here but also in the miles that I have traversed since a day in midsummer in El Valle de Anton, Panama when the last phase of RavensMedicine ended with a few generous donations that allowed me to get myself into a safe place to stay for awhile. My totally broke condition drew my attention to the fact that the dream of an Ecuador destination was right then out of the question, so the necessity was to put out a message on the local Yahoo network to make myself and my sewing machine available for revenue generating activity that would carry me onward at least as long as my 180 day visa held out.
That whole story is to be found as an Anotherword to the Journey of the Lotus.
By October 2015, thanks to a small donation from my brother of air fare from Panama, over a year later, the Lotus herself is to be found in Vancouver, Canada. I am including the country where I am because there is a large part of me that is not ready for the reality of being once again in the country of my birth.
It all comes under the category of a rude awakening to be faced with a grown up City of Vancouver, still cold and proper as it ever was, now even more glassy, cement paved and built into a forest of high rise buildings boasting astronomical rents for those many Asians from Hong Kong and others very able to afford sometimes as much as $10,000 a month for space in the penthouses.
The most in your face coping is with the crowds of women and men walking every street uptown determinedly on the way to work, dressed entirely in lint-less black wardrobe, black umbrellas spread against the nearly inevitable rain.
Needless to say, I still do not fit the profile but it’s a lot more than simply my virtually destitute financial condition.
For homeless people like me (and not at all like me) there are emergency shelters housing sometimes floating populations of younger and many older shabbily dressed men and women. I have described some of it in another piece called, Gimme Shelter.
Currently I am in the 4th such place where I have the luxury of a small private room and a negotiable stay of something perhaps close to 2 years. How I made it this far has been a day to day journey, a fantastic learning process assimilating myself once again to Canadian life.
Whoops! Here it is: the perfect day to grow up all over again!
Imagine that at almost 78 years of age, I am in the midst of an existential crisis! What is next? What is to be my fate? What kind of contribution will I be able to make? Who will be my friends? Where will I live? Will the Canadians ever decide to award me the pension that I deserve (I have both a birth certificate and a passport!) which relative pittance will give me scarce options for housing depending very much on senior subsidies and a lot of Divine Grace! I do not know what the Universe will deliver.
I am at odds with all the huge nitpicking craziness of the government game that has ensued for me as I apply for pension money, do the welfare stop gap show up monthly for a not quite $500 cheque game, do the living in emergency shelters game and still manage some kind of groundedness, somehow maintaining my becoming legendary sense of humor and quirky view of the absurd.
It is quite absurd, in fact, even though the quite blatant realities of living in down town east side cannot be easily cast aside. Thank the Great Goodness that has made me adaptable even in my 78th year on the planet.
As we say to each other in the halls here, I’m making it!
After this extended period where I was wandering around government offices working the nearly endless pension application process, and while I have had to pay close attention to my health issues centering on my long damaged lungs, working on the restoration of this blog is certainly a welcome focus of work. And, well, it’s been raining here in our neck of the woods most days since sometime in mid-October! There is really nothing much else to do here in shelter (heaven forefend the 24/7 assault of television!) except become gainfully engaged
I have been fortunate that a few fine friends have showed up including my lady Karen who is assisting me to redesign the site, bring it up to speed with a new spring wardrobe and a renewed plan for growth. During the many days of this truly dismal winter, even 6 weeks of icy snow on the streets, I have been here in my small room organizing and writing, just for you, dear and gentle reader! Let us welcome each other back.
As for the destiny part of this story, that will remain to be seen. As some of you remember, I have always paid attention to numerology and the cycle of 9 years that mark the path. Currently I am in a 5 cycle, just about ½ the way through the 108 month trek. End of July and August is a period available for what is called a ‘second planting.’
In the temperate zones where I have been gardening, that July-August period coincides with the perfect timing to seed winter vegetables into the dirt: it’s warm enough for good rooting and the young plants will show up well before equinox.
I know that your attention and comments will very nicely soothe the sting of the many changes that have come upon me in the past nearly three years. From what I can see from this vantage point, it will not be workable to relocate to Ecuador.
Every once in a while, I find it useful to stand in front of the mirror to remind myself, yes, Amraah, your next birthday in July is to be 78! Lookin’ gooooood!
There is to be much more to the story. This not being a ‘commercial’ blog, I will publish twice a week stories, anecdotes, observations, news and articles to elevate awareness and perception. The meek are getting ready!
Please send me your comments and any questions. Be assured that your generosity will be fruitfully and thankfully put to good use. I wish you all Great Good Fortune. Let us build the Peace together. Much Love, Amraah