a glimpse of my authentic life


JULY 2023


The Force of July


My goal has been to post on this blog twice a month, but for the last few months, this hasn’t been going so well. In May and June I only posted once, and not until the next to the last day of each month. And now, in July, I find myself in the same dilemma.

In part this happens when personal challenges — physical, emotional, mental/spiritual — come up with certain intensity, the consequences (and potential gifts, I tell myself) on a path of self-discovery. They inevitably lead to deeper insight and healing, but it can be a mess along the way, much beating of pillows, many heart-clearing tears.

Yet the deeper issue is that my intent for this blog is to present a glimpse of my authentic life, which means my authentic self, the highs and the lows, to write solely and soully from that truth.

So, what’s been going on with me lately? Everything. It feels like all my challenges have come up in my face, and body, this month.

Since last December, when I turned 76, I thought a lot about my mother’s death at 76. I knew uncomfortable feelings could surface when one reaches the age a parent was when they died. All year I was aware that this July 4th would be the 27th anniversary of my mother’s death. Because of this, she was in my thoughts a lot at the beginning of the month. I wished I was able to talk with her, now, after we have both grown so much in heart and spirit. I came across a poem I had written about the last time I saw her.

When I saw my mother last

her hair a new-grown inch of slate
and silver breathing on her wig-free head,
we said she looked like Yoda. She laughed
and hummed off-key, watered orchids,
pinched a withered leaf, stroked
a spray of fern.

Later, she worked on basket gardens
for the guests (I can’t imagine celebrating
one man for fifty years), nesting ivy, bright
caladium ears, whispering pothos —
all rooted in love, nourished with hope
she herself had lost.

I carried mine home, 800 miles in my arms,
placed it where the sun would gently light
its feathered leaves. And month by month
I watched it die with her.

I’ve been thinking a lot about death lately, although I’ve pretty much made peace with the fact of it, and that it may not at all be what we’ve been taught it is. Part of this for me comes from the profound wisdom I’ve received over many decades in conversations with non-physical beings, some of whom I’ve affectionately called “The Dead Guys,” teachers, guides, angelics, even extraterrestrials “channeled” through several “soul sisters” who have had that gift.

At this point I’m more afraid of living, of really living, than of dying. Since resurrecting my life and my writing back in February after a three year Dark Night of the Soul (see Being Happy For No Reason), I continue on my journey to discover who I am now, and what I want from here forward. It’s not been easy, especially at this  stage of my being, and it can be very tiring.

Moving through time, what I call aging, has also been on my mind lately. Time itself is whizzing by so fast that something new and unexpected and challenging seems to manifest inside and outside of my body almost daily. I’m not kidding. It has been very unsettling as well as frightening. I’m doing my best to accept whatever is happening, to love all of me, brown spots, red dots, old bones and all, but I haven’t been doing so well with that either. I remind myself that 76 isn’t even really that old these days, and that I’d never want to go back to being younger in terms of the wisdom I’ve gleaned. But part of me isn’t listening.

And one of my major projects has been sorting through and cleaning out old clutter in order to make room for the new, organizing closets, drawers, hard copy files, and computer files, including my writing documents over the decades. This month, I’ve started sorting through poems, unfinished novels, endless story revisions, saved emails, and other forgotten mental meanderings, all of which have instigated many emotional re-memberings.

One of the first things I came across in my doc files was a novel I’d called Ariel and Ethan barely begun in 2008, about the dissolution of my last intimate relationship in 2003. I’d totally forgotten about it, the writing not the relationship…well, maybe both. The story is narrated from the larger perspective, by what might be thought of as Ariel’s Soul Self or maybe Guardian Angel. The novel begins at the end of the story.

Chapter 1: How It Ended

        Love is not a random occurrence. It is choreographed before a human breath is ever taken. Things are decided upon, discussed, arranged. Agreements are made between souls who will touch each other’s lives in the deepest ways. And then, when the time is right, they will find, despite obstacles or circumstance, that their hearts are inexplicably drawn together.
        This is what happened to Ariel and Ethan. Yet, after eight months, Ethan became mesmerized by the tongue of fear, convinced to turn a deaf ear to the deepest yearnings of his own soul. (In the world of duality there is always free will.) And when a love that seems destined to flower is plucked before it has fully bloomed, the whole universe grieves.

As I re-read these first few paragraphs, I totally lost it. Tears came in a torrent of feelings. How, in my deepest heart, I had been more distraught about the way the relationship ended, than that it had ended — abruptly, through an email, right before plans to be together through the summer, with the only explanation being a feeling of fear that he said needed to be paid attention to. In many ways, I did feel that the relationship was “meant to be,” although I hadn’t been sure it was meant to be forever. It wouldn’t have been so devastating if it had ended differently, although we were eventually able to talk and heal and even visit a few times.

Anyway, reading the few chapters I had written, which included some of the amazing emails between us (he was a man of words), and all the notes I’d made at the end about things to include, tugged at my heart. He was my last physical partner for this lifetime, although I had a later six-year inter-dimensional relationship, which I wrote about in my memoir Rare Atmosphere: An Extraordinary Inter-dimensional Affair of the Heart. Since that resolved itself in 2012, my choice has been to continue on my own. Intimate relationships in this life, both physical and non-physical, often spanned dimensions and have been emotionally complicated.

For many reasons I won’t go into here, it was time for me to go on alone, to live what I believe my Soul Self originally intended for this lifetime — to find out who I am separate from old patterns of self-destructive liaisons. And I relish living alone, not having to share my time, my small space, my Talenti Coffee Chocolate Chip Gelato, or my bed with anyone. I understand why I’ve chosen this more solitary, and for me comfortable life, and yet I have moments of deep loneliness.

For eleven years I had my beautiful Ragdoll cat Michou, who I had to re-home after I moved into my current place in August of 2019. I begged my landlord to let me keep him in my new no pets allowed home. I had to promise that if Michou passed, I would not get another kitty.

It turned out, however, that the new place was difficult for both of us to adjust to, Michou prowling and unhappy, getting stuck in high places from which he couldn’t get down, banging cabinet doors, keeping me up all night. I had become exhausted, and a few months later, with much anguish and endless grieving, I felt it was best to re-home him. His new kitty daddy was wonderful, and Michou didn’t even fuss much, which made me even more upset, but I felt all would be well. Within a year, however, I found out that Michou had passed peacefully, as if he just decided it was time to go. I was destroyed.

For these last years, the memory of him has been heart-wrenching, and I found it difficult to even look at pictures of him. But in the force of July, I wanted to bring him back into my life and I set up my favorite photo of him as a desktop background picture on my computers. Now I look at him all the time, still teary-eyed, but for me, he’s the fastest route back into my heart.

As these words appear upon the page, I’m actually beginning to feel better, as if part of the heaviness is beginning to lift. Maybe that happens as I find the courage to share my humanity.

Oh, and as I was skimming through poetry, I found a few poems I think were written by Spankie, my lower self. Remember her? I offer one here.


Love is
Carlos Saura stomping
on your gut
Muddy Waters fingering
your heart
Albert Einstein firing
your brain. 

With artless grace, he flings
himself across the futon of your life
sporting peridot and fuschia, sucking
pomegranate, trailing
peelings and patchouli in his wake.

He makes a mess.

And when he’s had his day and ravished
every cell and made you speak
his name, he leaves
you spare and spent and oddly
grateful that he came.

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  1. Bobby Wallin

    How I love your writing—your gifted awareness and eloquence. “The Force of July” resonated deeply with me as I believe as we age it is only natural for thoughts of mortality to caw us awake in pre-dawn hours as we look for some sort of meaning and purpose to our existence. We were reminded of the brevity and caprice of life only last month when Richard’s sister was found dead of a heart attack in her Hendersonville apartment.

    I found such comfort in the first paragraph of your novel “Ariel & Ethan”. I merely substituted “Life” for “Love” whereupon the explanation unfolded:

    “Life is not a random occurrence. It is choreographed before human breath is ever taken…”

    I do not believe life is random or without direction. As for religion as a vehicle to reach a state of acceptance, I embrace them all and with them, their metaphors and music, totems and sacraments: from the gaudiest witchdoctors shaking feathered gourds to canticles floating upon incense to gilded domes.

    Thank you again dear Rachelle for sharing your amazing talent and grace.

    • Rachelle

      I’m so sorry to hear about Richard’s sister. Please send him my love.

      Thank you, yet again, dear Bobby, for your deep, expansive, and eloquent sharing. Yes, “love” can easily be replaced with “life,” and in essence it says the same true thing. We’ve so often been on the same page :))


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