Chapter 17 Flickers of Fantasy.
Excerpt from ‘Licking Honey Off a Razor Blade’ by Valerie Grimes, CHt
A book on alcohol dependency and alcohol addiction and hypnosis
Freeing myself from the negative aspects of that relationship allowed new positive occurrences to move into my consciousness. People gave me books. I began noticing patterns in nature. I was invited to join a Goddess Path group; new friends appeared, the world looked brighter, sounds were more harmonious. The world was becoming a new place to discover. And then there were the stars, the moon, and the coyotes.
But about three months after he left Dallas, he asked if we could meet at a halfway point. I agreed and suggested a camp out.
On the morning he was to depart, he couldn’t find his keys, reported he had no money for gas and had a headache. “Dammit, he tricked me again,” I said out loud as I hung up the phone. The reality that I was heading to a campsite alone was only slightly disappointing (a good sign). In the back of my mind, I knew he would do this and was prepared, almost relieved that he wasn’t coming. I felt it was time for a spiritual awakening but didn’t realize the spirits were already waiting for me at Mother Neff State Park. As I entered the park, I felt an immense amount of internal energy and power and I couldn’t stop smiling.
It was late in the afternoon so I quickly set up camp next to a group of families wearing, ‘Camp Jesus’ t-shirts. Swell. Wonder what they’ll think of my sage and rattle? It was the only spot left as I arrived on Saturday, while all others had arrived on Friday. My spot was close to the park road but at the end of the park so no one was to the north of my tent, I was the last tent on the road leading to the trails.
I had never camped alone before and made certain it didn’t look that way. Even though I could have turned around and driven back to Dallas, I was feeling very strong about accomplishing this.
I only had a few hours of daylight left, so after the tent was set up, I could have either prepared food or hit the trails. I chose the trails. Exercise was more important than a hot meal, besides, I rationalized, the Cliff bar and banana would be a great dinner.
There were three choices at the trail head, one led to the tower, one to the basin, and the third to the prairie. I chose the upper most one that meandered out to the prairie area of the park. It was open and flat with great views of the surrounding area.
At dusk I returned to my camp and to the sounds of fires crackling and the smells of campfire cooking. The ‘Camp Jesus’ appointed one came over and was clearly worried about me being alone, “Please join us for hot dogs and s’mores.”
“Oh, how kind of you to offer, but I am really tired from my hike (liar) and will probably just get to bed early, but thank you again.”
He wasn’t leaving. “Are you sure you are okay out here all alone?”
Taking the cue from his shirt I said, “Well none of us are really ever alone are we?”
He replied, “No, the Lord is with us.” That statement seemed to be affirming for him as he walked back to his family and the s’mores.
It was 4:30 AM when the storm rolled in, coyotes were gathering, the half empty pint of Jack resting near my head and the rose quartz and leopard skin jasper necklace that the shaman made for me to restore the energy taken from me was around my neck.
I stirred, Whoa something is happening out there! I need to get out of this tent.
I slipped on my pants and shoes, took a swig of Jack, unzipped the tent and stepped out into the dark. There seemed to be millions of stars, and right then a shooting star falls and a minute later another one, my first and second sighting. Something was stirring.
I remembered how mom taught me that the stars were bright, beautiful, and infinite and that compared to them we feel insignificant. What? At that moment I questioned the idea, “You know what stars? I bet you are up there looking down on me saying, ‘Wow what is that bright light down there’?”
“Oh, that is Valerie, a unique and bright spirit; we are in awe of her,” a wise star answered.
I like that version better.
Just then the lightning showed its power to the south in an attempt to match mine, the coyotes responded with their call. I felt strengthened, excited, stirred and compelled to walk up to the tower to watch the sun rise, it was now 5:00 AM. I had an hour. I headed to the trailhead. I walked only by moonlight, feeling totally energized and intrigued; my pace quickened. The sounds of coyote, frogs, crickets, those soothing sounds of a night in nature and the sound of my breath, filled and soothed my ears as I walked quickly up the hill to the tower.
The sun was bright and flooded the tent with light. I opened my eyes and searched for my phone. It was 8:30 AM. I can’t believe I slept so long. I never sleep past 6:30. Wow that is great, but what a strange dream.
I slipped off to the bathhouse, passing other campers with sleepy faces and messy hair, carrying bags containing toothbrushes and what ever else they needed to awaken themselves. In the mirror, with daddy long legs at each of the upper corners, I noticed I looked refreshed; my eyes were brighter, then a feeling of regret. Where is my necklace? I know I had it when I went to sleep. The gemstones were secured on a very sturdy leather rope and ‘bomb proof’; according to its maker, Miguel, it was indestructible. But where was it? Back at the tent I started to look for it, but then noticed bruises on my legs. I thought of the dream again and reached for my journal began to write.
I was walking along a path the moon was bright, and I heard coyotes. Not sure where I was going, but I wasn’t afraid in spite of having no idea where I was going and didn’t have a flashlight. All that was around were trees, stars and the waning moon. Then there was a tower with a circular staircase on the bottom step was a ring, a simple black and white plastic ring, I picked it up and said, ‘thank you spirit for the gift, I will return to you a gift as well’. At the top of the tower there were two Indian guides that greeted me, we talked, it was peaceful, they were giving me important messages, I was once an owl, I could fly, I wanted to fly again and in the dream I tried but couldn’t get off the ground…the bruises?
I wrote faster.
They asked for a gift in exchange for the ring, I gave them my necklace.
I needed to get to the tower, grabbing my pack, a black and white plastic ring fell out. My heart quickened. This time I jogged there. In a trance I passed the site of the Indian burial ground on the way to the tower (okay that makes sense). I couldn’t find the tower. Even though the sign on the trail pointed ‘this way,’ it seemed to be disappear off the trail. Finally, I found it. I wanted to go up to the top to see if my necklace was there, but what if it was? What if it wasn’t? I was frightened. I didn’t want to know. I turned around and ran back to camp.
I was scheduled to stay another night and began to wonder about that decision as I realized it was Sunday and all the other campers were leaving. I moved my site closer to the bathroom, a little out of convenience, but also a little out of fear. I didn’t want to be alone at the edge of the campsite. Why was I staying? I wanted to call the Indian spirits in and find out what happened. At around 4 PM that afternoon the urge for more alcohol came up strong, and I drove thirty miles round trip to buy bad wine. It would take the edge off the thought of spending the night as the solo camper in the park. As I returned, calmness settled over me: two RVs that had arrived. Good, I’m not alone. I realized at that point how frightened I had been.
I had never had a supernatural or natural experience before, and I was both intrigued and frightened. That evening I wanted to understand the meaning to my experience, although I also felt it was unexplainable. I applied some aspects of dream interpretation to the event, and it provided an aspect that made a little more sense.
Being chosen by the Indian spirits to receive a gift gave me the feeling of being important, being chosen. The symbol of the owl was a connection to my wisdom (although mostly detached from it) reminded me it was there to take flight again.
It was also a confirmation that the spirit world exists and that I am not alone, I have guides. I felt spending more time in nature will be the way to connect to more of those messages.
On a late afternoon hike, I saw faces in all the trees; rocks seemed to be breathing; colors were more vibrant as I now saw the natural world in a brand new way. I felt more awake and alive, as if all the cells in my body were joyful.
Many important lessons were presenting themselves to me with him out of the way. My new fantasy could be my new way to ‘be’ in the world. And to fully be there were some old beliefs and habits that I needed to transform.