1) What did you learn in 2017 – on a practical level? With all that was going on last year, it’s amazing I learned much of anything practical, but my studies in feline health and nutrition have deepened and I took an Introductory course in TCM, to augment my work with dogs, cats, horses, birds…. Herbal knowledge is always deepening! so I would say, just learning some Chinese veterinary formulations and how they compare and contrast with Western, as well as my Oxford diploma in feline studies, those two things. I learned a fair bit about the legalities of forcing a longterm tenant from their home, and how to stand up to a bad faith repossession, but I hope it’s not a skill I ever have to use again.
2) What did you learn on a spiritual level? Probably that I can withstand heartbreak and still thrive, that no matter how long one practises a spiritual path there is always more to learn (but I knew that) so perhaps, that as we cycle through our years we need to re-learn things, from time to time. I’m completing my second Saturn return, and grateful that I made it with the equanimity and grace I aimed for – more or less.
I also learned, from my dog Amara’s death, that an animal who basically drives you insane can also tear you to pieces when she goes. It’s not that I didn’t think I’d miss her, it’s that I had grown way too tired, and distracted by stress, focusing more on her endless defecating in the house and pathological level of gluttony than I did on her sweetness, sadness and beauty. Once I knew I was going to lose her I was flooded with emotion. There’s much more on Amara, but that’s all I can give words to at this time.
3) What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment of the year? Surviving the move, no question. For the last 16 months I was never really sure I would.
4) What did you struggle with most – and have you resolved that struggle, or are you carrying it into 2018? Taking care of my health, and no, I have not resolved it. I still treat myself as a machine, much as I know the damage that creates. Working on this is high priority in 2018.
5) What did you lose? My home of 12 years, which was more than a home, it was a cosmic landscape into which I was wholly, completely, spiritually embedded. All the plants and trees and animals and spirits that surround and inhabit it – teachers, friends, family, all. After that, everything else seems small, but also, I lost a huge piece of my history and so much money and time(career momentum).
And, my dog Amara.
6) What did you gain? An amazing house in an oak forest (MUCH better house, not comparable, really) a renewed sense of my own resilience and strength in the face of adversity, and in spite of all this, the best year financially on record (BY FAR).
7) Can you name your three best moments? Three worst?
Three best…hhhmmm. First court date when the judge threw the bogus repossession suit out, on a legality, there is a sweet, SWEET memory there Alex and I relive periodically. Second would be finding and renting this house, at a time we were so scared we’d have no place to go at all…and third, when the judge awarded a financial restitution to me (not nearly what I was due, and of course they never paid it, but something) after all the total shite we’d been put through. yeah..those three. 🙂
Three worst….leaving the Zoo. I hugged my trees, I cried and cried, I got drunk, I walked around in the bleak, smelly emptiness of what had been such a place of energy and Spirit and love. We just loaded all the animals in the two vehicles and drove away, from 12 long, powerful years, from so many “deaths and entrances”, from a place that was more than Home to me, it was Everything. It was totally surreal. Second, would be coming back in a couple of weeks, and seeing the garden overgrow, dried out, dying…all the negativity that remained once I had withdrawn the love and protection.. That was rough in ways I can’t articulate. And then…later… Amara’s death. There were a few other doozies in there, falling and breaking a rib whilst scrambling after a shrub, for example – but those three were the hardest of all.
8) How would you describe 2017 overall, in a few well-chosen words? Powerful…Challenging…Transitional….Determined… Triumphant. 🙂
9) What do you hope most for in 2018? On a personal level (because I can’t even start with the global) just continued good health for my family and myself, for Danny to be with me this time next year, for my work to continue to flourish.. the usual things, health and peace of heart and mind, the power to bring some good to the world, and a little pleasure in this strange and magnificent gift of Being Alive..
2017, in Images
Mallow and White Pine….
Gorgeous Goldenrod, I made salve and tincture right away
A very Happy and Blessed 2018 to all my friends. ..and the Wheel turns, and the story goes on.