Otis, my cat is a cruel mistress. Often, I wonder if she overhears my grumbles that the fridge is empty again and this is one of the reasons she presents me daily with a couple of shrews (often in shoes) and on special occasions, like summer solstice, a bat. Imagine that. Strategically placed at the side of my bed ensuring when I arose for sunrise to welcome in the longest lightest day my first step was upon a symbol of death. Poetic that.
‘There’s evil in the air and there’s thunder in the sky,
And a killer’s on the bloodshot streets.’
Bare toes and dead bats at dawn might to most of felt like a “bad omen,” but I couldn’t help but get curious about such a symbol. Why are we so quick to demonise the dark and distract ourselves from depth? We’d sooner socially scroll ourselves to spiritual death than face our own shadow nature, or that sobering fact, one day we will physically die.
Otis is many things, and a zen master might just also be one of them for her gift on summer solstice presented a timely, tangible, synchronistic reminder of the nature of duality. For within each pristine white light lives a speck of darkness and inside the bleakest winter a beam of hope, it’s a tightrope we walk, the yin and yang. That bat was about integration.
‘But when the day is done and the sun goes down,
And the moonlights shining through.’
The spirit world communicates with us through symbols so when Otis deposited a baby mole mortally wounded, I was poised for the pearl. All I could muster were a few soft words shielding it’s tiny body. What happened next took me quite by surprise! A sphere of light popped out of his side whilst white smoke spiralled from his back, twenty seconds later the jerking ceased, and the mole was dead. This creature no more than the size of half my little finger had thee brightest light dance from his body, his soul was free. Imagine what exists in us.
‘Oh, baby, you’re the only thing in this whole world
That’s pure and good and right.’
Have you ever held anyone as they transition from matter to spirit? Grateful was I to experience such a thing through my first feline Jemimah whose passing in the early hours was so brutal and quick all I could do was hold her through the violence of it all. After she gasped her last a large rectangle of orange, red and white at least five times the size of her somewhat small yet plump body lifted through us both. There was even a distinct sound to the process, a vacuum. WHOOOOOSH.
‘But I gotta get out, I gotta break it now,
Before the final crackle of dawn.’
At the time of writing the world heard the news Queen Elizabeth II exited the earth school leaving her son Charles to be our new sovereign ruler. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE the pomp of it all (especially the songs) and although I’ll always ‘vow to thee my country,’ I soon sobered up when I thought about what the word sovereign actually means; ‘to possess a supreme and ultimate power.’ Read that again. Now recall footage the 74-year-old man who threw a tantrum over an ink well whilst signing the proclamation never mind the loss of temper over a leaky pen days later in Ireland.
“Nothing ever grows in this rotten roll hole
And everything is stunted and lost.’
Sovereignty isn’t a concept that is based around external, expensive demonstrations of pageantry and palaces by those with titles and wealth. What I allude to carries a very different kind of currency. It’s the type that really begins to accumulate once we understand we are both the created and creator. To rediscover yourself anew will plunge you into the unknown but we pay a far greater price when we give our sovereignty, our power, away to external sources for the sake of convenience and comfort.
‘And nothing really rocks and nothing really rolls
And nothing is ever worth the cost.’
To be sovereign means to live in a ‘self-governing state,’ so let’s unpack what that could mean. When we live in a state that is self-governed (and I don’t mean geographically) we live in accordance with our own truth and integrity and, yes ironically that is the royal ‘we.’ This new ‘state of being,’ one in which your actions and intentions are inwardly driven is directed by your souls own unique song. The alternative: hijacked by a culture which continues to hold our attention captive with bright lights and big tech. Distraction is the basis of the current human condition.
‘And my skin is raw, but my soul is ripe,
No one is gonna to stop me now,
I’m gonna to make my escape.’
On the whole humans are a loving and collaborative bunch of beings and the vast majority want to live in harmony so why do we continue to outsource our lives to outdated, corrupt and criminal systems? Centuries ago, Demonax the Cynic said this: Probley all laws are useless; for good men do not need laws at all and bad men are made no better by them.
I don’t pretend to have the answer just curiosities about new ways of breathing and being. Although there is still one question that keeps me somewhat seemingly baffled by the sheer and bizarre logistics of it all! ‘How on earth does a cat even catch a bat anyways?!’ Cruel mistress, mole slayer, zen master and perhaps.. ninja?
‘And I think somebody somewhere must be tolling a bell.’
Lyrics from Bat out of Hell By Jim Steinman