Thursday, September 10, 2009

Update on Hank

So, I moved out of my apartment a few months ago & before I left, I made sure, while cleaning, to keep Hank on my mind. I told him that, as much as I had come to like him, I thought it was an opportune time for both of us to move on & go our separate ways ~ this would be a good time for him to 'go to The Light'. I made a point of repeating this, inside my head, while I was removing everything from my old closet (where Hank typically 'hung out') & especially while I was cleaning the emptied room. I then sage smudged the whole apartment. I said an 'Our Father' out loud ~ it brought a few tears to my eyes. Then, I attempted to put Hank out of my mind & get on with my moving.

I've been inbetween places for a while now, traveling between cities, moving my stuff & I haven't noticed him lurking around any corners. Then a few nights ago, I was visiting a friend in SF ~ a Pisces who had *seen* Hank before, at my old place & he asked me about him. I was telling him this story & he said that he got an image of Hank in his 3rd eye while I spoke & Hank didn't look 'dead' anymore ~ he looked good & filled with a golden light. That was a very good sign! I am curious to see how my new closet will feel, in a new city.

image credit to Tom Vezo

Saturday, May 9, 2009


There is a ghost in my closet.

I call him Hank. I saw him once, but mostly I *feel* his presence & sometimes he speaks to me, inside my head. Some of my friends have noticed him, too & we all agree that he is a ghost ~ a spirit trapped on the earth plane. I have attempted to 'send him to the light,' but he responded, "You are the brightest thing I have seen." Flatterer!

My friend Brandon, who had much more experience *seeing* ghosts than I did, told me that Hank followed me home one day & has been hanging out in my closet, since. That was a few years ago & at the time, I had assumed that this is when Hank joined up with me. But recently, I've been thinking & it dawned on me that Hank has been with me for longer than that. He just went, mostly, unnoticed until then.

The one time I saw Hank, I was lying on my bed & I felt that someone had come into the room. I turned over, expecting to see my boyfriend, come in from the bathroom ~ but, instead, I *saw* Hank. He was dead ~ broken neck ~ long, dark, straggly hair ~ flesh falling off his skull, that was tilted, off to the side. As soon as I started to recognize what I was seeing, he faded away right in front of me. He wasn't really 'threatening,' just surprising & quite ugly. The fact that he looked 'dead' makes me think that he is a 'trapped spirit' aka 'ghost' & not just a visiting spirit (they seem glowing & in *perfect* health, in the mind's eye ~ I have more experience in this kind of thing, now).

Another friend of mine, tells me that Hank hung himself because he was upset about something that happened with his son ~ maybe Hank killed him? on purpose? by accident? My friend couldn't get any more details out of him, but suicide & regret line up with Hank being trapped here. Other details that I have been able to discern using my friends, are that his name wasn't really 'Hank' but he doesn't mind being called that & that it surprises him that we don't fear him & even seem to enjoy his company.

What can I say? I regularly hang out with a variety of 'shady' living people. I ride the bus. Some of my live friends have checkered pasts & some of my good friends have already died ~ I don't hold that against them. I tend to take in stray cats. Hank is welcome in my company, if only because he is interesting, but he has proven himself to be helpful, beyond that.

Let me be clear. I want him to 'go to the light.' I can tell that he is in pain & I can also tell that he is a bit of a drag on my energy. I know he 'feeds' off my energy. But until I can figure out a better way to 'send him to the light' than just telling him that & pointing him in The Direction, he may as well earn his keep by providing me with further inspiration to write about ghosts, spirits, the otherside, etc. & giving me more personal experience with the weirder things of this world.

When I'm picking out clothes, in my closet, I can *feel* Hank get into my head. My thought process, which should be fairly straightforward, at that point, picking out an outfit to wear for the day, starts to get kinda *fuzzy* & I become more easily frustrated ~ I can't find a certain sweater ~ it should be right here ~ fine, I'll wear something else ~ look somewhere else ~ no, these won't work ~ look back ~ the original sweater is right there, in front of me. I know the sweater didn't 'disappear' & 'reappear,' but I do think that Hank has the ability to *cloud* my mind in a way that alters my perceptions, a bit. He can convince me to 'not' see something right in front of me. This little exercise has taught me much about perception.

I have become accustomed to the fleeting, black shadow that I catch out of the corner of my eye, every once in a while. My interaction with him, tho somewhat 'dark,' is comfortable.

Each time I have moved, since I have become aware of Hank, I have burned a little sage & told Hank that it was time for him to move, also. I encouraged him to go to the light, but also said that he was welcome to travel with me, if he so desired. So far, he has desired.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rest In Peace, Nana

Less than a month after I wrote the last post, my last living grandparent died. After living a long & full life, her death was mercifully easy. Triggered by a failing heart, she slipped into a coma & died 3 days later ~ on Christmas morning.

I flew back East, to be with my family & attended her memorial service. It was good to see my whole family & I was happy to ring in the New Year with them, even if under these sad circumstances. It was cold outside & that seemed appropriate.

I have held off on writing anything about my Nana's passing until now because soon after I returned home from the East Coast, I had a dream:

I'm in the kitchen at my Nana's old house & she is there. She is confused & keeps repeating the sentiment that she must get ready for Christmas. I assure her that she is already prepared & that she has nothing to worry about. In the dream, I am aware that she has died. The phone keeps ringing & I keep answering it. I don't recognize the people on the other end, but they seem genuinely concerned about Nana. I tell them that I am her granddaughter, that I am helping her & that she will be fine.

I woke up feeling that I had *visited* with the spirit of my Nana. In the last few years of her life, she had developed a rather severe case of dementia. Most of her short term memory was gone & she was confused & upset on pretty much a daily basis. Her death was as painless as possible & I think that her *spirit* was still having a difficult time comprehending that she had died. I didn't think that she was in danger of becoming an 'earthbound spirit' (aka ghost), but I do think that she needed a bit of 'decompression time' after her physical death before she could move on.

I stayed respectfully quiet during that time.

I am writing this now because I've had a few more dreams of my Nana since then.

In the second one, we were still at her old house ~ but in the front room & there were other people there. She seemed to be going about her business.

I awoke from that dream feeling like she had made some progress in accepting her death, but she still hadn't 'crossed over'. It was comforting to feel like I was visiting with her, but even more comforting was the dream I had just about a week ago.

I dreamed that I was at a family gathering at my parents' house & as I walked into the family room, I saw my Nana standing there. At this point in the dream I realize that I know she is dead but that she may not & I am grateful for the opportunity to visit with her. She smiles & I notice the golden aura around her ~ she dissolves slowly & I transition back to sharing a meal with the rest of my family.

It seems to me that she has *crossed over* now & I feel very blessed to have been able to witness it, if only in my dreams.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

busy in the world of the living

So, the ghosts have been pretty quiet for the last year ~ but, I have been more engaged with the world of the living.  I moved twice, traveled to visit family & attended 3 weddings.  I'm just now feeling settled in to the new place & although I have *felt* visits from some of my deceased friends & relatives, I am wondering where all the ghosties are.  I suspect they are always around me & it is only me that changes, in various ways, to 'let them in' to my perceptual range.

love all-ways,

photo credit to Rev. Ralph Hardy

Monday, August 27, 2007

new ghost story

the other day, I was hangin' out inside my apartment ~ attempting to deal with my monthly visitor

and I overheard my landlord (a man with whom I have very little personal rapport) comment outside, rather off-handedly, to his friend that he didn't think anyone ever even came into his open carport, as he's never found anything missing or out of place in all the time he's lived here, unlike inside his house where stuff seemed to move around all the time......

possibly I was just bored & possibly being bored may help, too ~ but I was *hit* with this whole story/scenario that filled in much "background" & context on my landlord's lifestyle......

two little boy 'ghosts' (I don't really make the distinction between ghosts ~ earthbound, non-physical entities & spirits ~ non-physical entities who are not trapped, just visiting for whatever reasons; although I do think think that the distinction is 'real') are attached to my landlord & they 'play' with him ~ often winding him up, until he bursts into into passionate & somewhat heated debates/harangues with the neighbors (also sometimes overheard by my roommates & I) ~ the ghosts like to 'feed' off this energy & although I don't think that my landlord is consciously aware of these ghost boys' mischievous pranks & feeding habits, I do think that he has some inkling of his ghostly companions, as he tends to be somewhat of a reclusive eccentric ~ I'm guessing that he assumes most others won't "get" or accept him ~ it's kinda too bad that he ignores me, as I do *love* a good eccentric & he may be happily surprised by my uber-accepting attitude, but again, I digress....

I couldn't get these two ghost boys out of my head, once they got in. They seemed a little surprised that I noticed them & were a bit protective of their relationship with my landlord, but also kinda happy for the attention ~ ghosts are said to 'feed' on the energy of attention ~ usually fear energy, but in my case I think it was just novelty ~ over a period of a few hours, I was able to pull more details out of my ass & put together more of a story.....

I'm going to ask one of my roommates, when he returns from his current business trip, to try & confirm or dismiss some of these details from my landlord, as he has a better friendly relationship with the guy.

I think one of the ghost boys is a dead childhood friend (who died as a child), or a dead brother, or cousin.
The other one is more like an ancestor, but also a child ~ or a really immature adult ~ I *picture* him in old-fashioned clothes.
They aren't malicious, but still kinda annoying even tho they are happily connected to the landlord guy ~ they are pleased with the 'arrangement' & 'prolly help him out in odd ways, too. They psychically bat my landlord around like they were playing badminton with him as the shuttle-cock ~ he's not 'harmed' by this, but I'm sure that it frustrates him from time to time. They think it's funny to tease him ~ very much in that school yard way that elementary age school kids are prone to.

I've personally found that when ghosts 'hide' physical objects around the house on me ~ they don't necessarily have to actually move the physical object (that is said to take lots of energy for the ghost to accomplish, but is possible) ~ more often, they just mess with the 'corners' of my perception ~ veiling what I'm looking for, or counter directing my attention away from said object ~ clouding my mind, distracting me ~ much like a stage magician/illusionist does, only ghosts have better access to the inner machinations of our heads (a skill that would make Penn & Teller VERY jealous, I'm sure!).

Well, that's the bulk of it.
I'd be happy to answer any questions that people may have as the further discussion on the topic may help to spark more specific details for me & maybe this will help me break the ice with this guy, so that I can talk further with him :)

love all-ways,

update: I found out from my roommate that my landlord does, in fact, have a dead brother who died VERY young ~ but I still haven't gotten the chance to talk to my landlord about any of this, yet

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Mary Ellen Pleasant

I first heard about Mary Ellen Pleasant about 10 years ago, when I was living in San Francisco & dating a triple Pisces from New Orleans named Kirk Pleasant. Suffice to say, that a curious number of synchronicities all lined up & introduced the amazing story of this inspirational woman into my life......

Here are just a few highlights:

Mary arrived in rough an' ready San Francisco on April 7, 1852-- a place with about 40,000 people, 700 drinking and gambling establishments, and 5 murders every 6 days. There were six men to every woman. It was not a safe place, but Mary was up to the challenge. Once there, she was forced to use two identities to thwart capture under California's Fugitive Slave Act. Under this law anyone without freedom papers could be captured and sent into slavery. Mary had no papers. Still Mary, both as "Mrs.Ellen Smith" (white boardinghouse steward/cook) and as "Mrs. Pleasants" (abolitionist/entrepreneur) helped her people. As Mrs. Smith, she served the wealthiest and most influential men in San Francisco, and using their regard for her as well as the "LaVeaux model" of leveraging their secrets for favors, she was able to get jobs and privileges for "colored" people in San Francisco. It is said that for this they nicknamed her "The Black City Hall."

The reason she is not better known today is probably because of the scandals of the late 19th century which began by dragging her name through the mud in the courts over another person’s dishonored marriage contract. This court battle between Sarah Althea Hill and William Sharon smeared Mary Ellen badly, but the job was finished later when Teresa Bell, Thomas Bell’s widow, sued Mary Ellen over Thomas’ estate. The house Mary Ellen had designed for Thomas Bell and herself became known as the “House of Mystery” and the peculiar arrangements with Thomas’ farce of a “marriage” were exposed and paraded through the courts though they had nothing to do with the battle at hand. It does show you what a black woman and a white man thought they had to do in that time and place to have a life under the same roof.

The Hill/Sharon battle and Sharon’s newspaper allies, publicly named Mary Ellen as a Voodoo priestess (which she may have been) but went on to say that she was a baby stealer, a baby eater, a multiple murderess, a madam, a lying, conniving, cunning, schemer, and maybe, worst of all, hung the epithet of “Mammy” upon her. All the press from the 1880’s and beyond was extremely negative to an aging Mary Ellen. She was quoted on more than one occasion as saying, “DON’T call me Mammy!”, a request too often ignored by friend and foe alike.

A few years later, after the Civil War and the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Mary Ellen Pleasant was able to drop her White persona and let everyone know that she was, in fact, African American. She provided financial assistance for Black people challenging the Jim Crow laws in California, and fought a legal battle to guarantee Black Californians the right to testify in court. In 1868 she brought a lawsuit against two San Francisco trolley car lines whose conductors had refused to allow her to ride. Her suit went to the California Supreme Court, where she won the right for all African Americans to ride the streetcars.

As Pleasant grew in power and influence, she attracted the attention of the media and various detractors, who began to refer to her as “Mammy Pleasant” behind her back. There were many rumors about her, concerning the way she obtained influence over San Francisco’s richest families—learning their secrets through African American servants whom she had helped to obtain the positions, then blackmailing the families, was something that many people thought she did. She was also said to practice voodoo to control people, and people claimed she had “hypnotic powers”. She ran a boardinghouse for her young female “protégés” who socialized with the wealthy and powerful men who knew Pleasant through business dealings; some accounts referred to her as a madam. Rumors circulated regarding mysterious deaths of several people connected with her, but she was never charged with a crime. In 1935 a San Francisco newspaper reported that a family acquaintance of Thomas Bell, the banker, swore before he died that Pleasant had given Bell drugged wine and pushed him over a banister to his death. Afterwards, Bell’s house was said to be haunted.

In any case, Mary Ellen Pleasant was one of the most influential women in San Francisco’s early history. She increased her fortune through speculation on mining ventures and investment in other businesses. Pleasant died in San Francisco at the age of 89. While accounts of her life are full of controversy, there is no question that she was a major force in San Francisco’s early days, and was the first powerful person to fight for the civil rights of Black Californians.

Even though her house is no longer standing, the trees that she planted in front of where it stood are ~ I go & visit them, every so often.

love all-ways,

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The World's Worst Ghost Hunter

It's me!

So the other night I'm hanging out with the caretaker of the Redwood Mosque that is next door to where I'm staying & he tells me that this whole place is sacred Native American land. We are having a few beers by this 'natural' pool (it's now lined with cement ~ although fish swim in it & a turtle popped it's head out to say "hi") that was once the gathering place for many local tribes who came to celebrate the special healing waters here. My new friend, Manuel, says that down in the town of Fairfax, some of the locals told him that this whole place is supposed to be 'haunted' & Manuel finds it quite psychically "crowded" himself ~ he says that he can't walk outside after dark without *seeing* something spooky.

I've felt nothing "unusual" since I started staying here in December! Although, I guess I'm used to "psychically crowded" places already ~ like my old apartments & my head!

My parents once rented an old house in Newport, RI for the summer that was on the local list of "officially haunted houses" in the area ~ I spent a few weeks there & felt nothing "unusual" either ~ although the place spooked both my brother & aunt. I'm up in the attic, at midnight, with a candle ~ attempting to make contact & I think the "ghosts" just laugh at me! They then 'appear' to other members of my family who are a bit more 'startled' by the sight.....

Am I 'trying' too hard? I don't know how to do anything else.... I just happen to 'like' ghosts & I guess that makes me somewhat 'immune' to their shenanigans..... sure, I've had a couple of 'sightings' ~ but so has everybody! It's difficult to find anyone who hasn't encountered a few 'unexplainable' things in their life ~ even if they don't count these things as actual "ghosts".

I've been told on a few occasions that I have more than the 'regular' amount of spirits hanging around me & that my aura is 'unusually bright' (one person told me that I could guide ships into SF Bay!). My ghost friend (one of the few that I've *seen*) told me that I was the brightest thing he'd seen in a while, when I told him to "go to the light".... the flatterer!

But now I'm kinda annoyed! I feel 'welcome' here ~ no 'bad feelings' or anything ~ but we could use a bit more excitement up in these woods! It's like there's a party on my block that I'm not *seeing*!

love all-ways,