Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Letter to My Dad on Father's Day

Dear Dad,

I'm sorry I can't be there to give you black licorice, Superman socks and a pair of Groucho Marx glasses (you looked so good in them!), but I wanted to tell you these 8 things I love about you.

1.) You respect everyone...
No matter who it is, you always look at someone and nod at them in acknowledgment when you pass by. I think of this every day when I get on the elevator in my apartment building and feel someone avoiding my eyes. We walk through each other like there's no one else there, even when we're inches away. It's what we do.

But then I see that gentle, expectant look on your face when you greet someone you may or may not know. Doesn't matter--it's the same look. (I've caught you doing it to the neighbors' dogs, which makes me love you even more.). So I think of you and say "Good night" or "Have a good day"  when I get off the elevator. I kinda mumble so they may think I'm talking to myself, but I promise to keep working on it.

2)…even commonly mispronounced words
Yup, you're one of the few people I know who actually says the second "e" in vegetable and the "a" in comfortable, showing me not to overlook the little things in life. And let's not get started on "berserk!"

3) You don't talk trash about people.
It occurred to me the last time I saw you that you don't say bad stuff about ANYONE.    I think the worst I've heard you say is that someone's a "freeloader" or a "wise guy," but with all that practice, it's like you probably couldn't even insult someone if you tried.

I think this means I have to forgive you for writing that really nice letter to George Bush. : )

4) You have great skin.
93 and STILL NO WRINKLES! Seriously, folks. I think it's directly related to #3. And maybe #7.

5) You still do whatever it takes to make us feel at ease.

Oh, Dad. I know it upsets you when you can't remember things.  First of all, it doesn't matter--everybody forgets stuff. And second of all, I'm on to you. I see how you make jokes to make us feel better about it, and how you keep finding new ways to anchor yourself in the present. You'll talk about the cardinal-red flowers that have just started to bloom, or the birds who have visited our backyard that day. That's what a good dad does, and you're only getting better with age.

6) You taught me how to tie a tie, shine my shoes and keep score at a baseball game.
All of these things take a little extra time and care. And darned if I don't know a 6-4-3 double play when I see one.

7) You have ice cream every day and always give IHOP a little treat during dinner (and lunch, and, well, probably breakfast, too).
Life is to be enjoyed. Why not with caramel sauce and maraschino cherries?

8) You have great taste in women.
Barbara told me that she recently found you looking at the beautiful photograph hanging near the fireplace of you and mom on your 50th wedding anniversary. "She was such a good person," Barbara heard you say out loud. Yeah, you're right about that : )

Enjoy your day. Can you feel the big hug I'm sending you?

Daughter #5, Kid #6
(Hair still pink)

P.S. Meet you back here next Father's Day for 8 more reasons!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Either Aura

Warning! Unicorn Alert: This post contains content that has not been scientifically proven. Aura photography! Spirit guides!  Oh, and a Fresh Prince of Bel Air video…

This March I had a picture of my aura taken during a visit to Kripalu Institute. I'm pretty sure it employs Kirlian photography, named for the electrical engineer who discovered the technique, which he believed to depict a life force or energy field surrounding living things. The sweet photographer Heidi set up this tripped-out, willy-wonky, Wizard of Oz-y contraption, and I had to put my palms into hand-shaped panels with little electrode-y points for the finger tips. I normally don't like having my photo taken because my nose tends to come out looking like it has its own zip code, but this was one photo in which you just couldn't hide…

Although I had a stray thought that it'd come out rotting and covered in black mold, I was surprised-but-not-surprised at that pop and snap of beany green. [Note: This is a photo of my photo I took with an iPhone, and you can't really see everything I'm gonna write about. Hopefully you get the general gist.]  According to the handout clipped to the photo, the colors on the subject's left (what you see on the right in the photo) represent the vibration coming into your being. The colors on the right are the energies being expressed, what others most likely see and feel. And the color over the subject's head is the color that best describes that person. According to the handout:

Primarily Green Photos: These individuals are strongly connected to the heart chakra and are most often balanced, giving people…The keywords here are love and service.... Green in a photo may also be an an indication of a growth opportunity or change, and is a good indication of a positive state of overall health. Green individuals will show a tendency to periodic burnout caused by their unceasing engagement in trying to help others and right the wrongs of the world. Being connected to the source of Perfect Love, they don't realize their own limitations and push this to the extreme point where they save little for their own needs.  (Acck, just rereading this, I don't like that last sentence--there are few things worse than someone who is stingy with herself!).

Along with the green I got a little bit of Oy G. Biv going on, with those fruit stripes of orange ("childlike, playful, creative, living life from the gut") and yellow ("cerebral and intellectual, with strong abilities in logic and number-based thought processes"). Uh, not sure about that last one…tell that to all the people I ask to check my calculations 'cause I've forgotten how to subtract..I panic and overcompensate when it comes time to cross out a zero and carry the 1. And I'm so beyond grateful for that juicy grape of "inspiration from things divine" to my left.

And the 6 green dots? [Gaak, you can't see them in my photo.] Those are spirit guides. Heidi said that 6 was on the high side, and I think I know why. This was taken right when I was coming out of a period of deep mourning when my mom died, so I needed all the help I could get. One of those is my mom for sure, and Bing and Paloma, and my mom's mom, too. I didn't know her well, but my Grandma was a kindred spirit. She used to sneak out of the house to go dancing when she was young, and knew there was nothing that chocolate couldn't fix.

Science will tell you that what's captured on film is the corona discharge (I think that can be simplified to "electrical field") between the object photographed and the high-voltage plate used in the photography set-up. And even more Boring Bettys will tell you that the actual colors are impacted by stuff like oils, sweat, bacteria and ionizing contaminants. No way, just… no way. The secret of one's spiritual state cannot come down to what kind of deodorant you wear. (Though I have to state here those crystal rocks don't work too well.)

P.S. I asked Heidi if she'd taken any aura photographs of animals. Yes, she said, a German shepherd. He had to stand on his hind legs and put his paws on the hand sensors. The photo came out all purple--for an individual "very closely tied to a high level of spirituality, those who tend of carry a lot of natural healing ability and may feel they are on a special mission for the benefit of humanity at large." I got chills when Heidi told me he was a service dog.