Temperance and the Devil Ebook, January, 2018
Winter brought a freeze to the shards of my heart with each piece frozen in time. Darkness dominated the evening hours while overflowing tears created a constant stream traveling down my face throughout the nights.
Any traces of Mr. Wonderful fell to the desert winds, none of us knowing what direction. His disappearance left no clues and his welfare was still a complete unknown. I was facing many questions, with few answers, and no communication. Given the ambiguous circumstances, of his sudden absence, the only option available to me was relinquishing loyalty to Mr. Wonderful as there was no sign of him returning to Joshua Tree.
Galaxy had been my most sacred comfort and each day his beauty and joyous disposition was my salvation. At the same time, I knew in my heart how much Galaxy missed Mr. Wonderful, though Galaxy was much more able to live in the moment.
A pivotal question kept crashing through my mind while lingering in constant conflict with my heart. How do I grieve with no specific about what I have lost? At this point, his absence and lack of contact indicated an indefinite end to our relationship. I reached inside myself searching the depths of my heart and soul for answers, but all I found was wide canyons and crude fissures of regrets and terrors.
One reality was certain, in each passing moment the man I loved was far out of my reach to an extent that was incomprehensible.
What I did have full knowledge of was the fact that he was not physically present, not within my reach, and not making contact with any of us. I was aware, of the folks fully present who would prove to be my strength. To survive the gaping hole left in my chest, I would have to embrace what and whom existed in my physical proximity. The Wisdom of the Infinite Galaxy was on its way carrying gifts.
Thanksgiving was soon to arrive while my car was malfunctioning beyond my financial means thus forcing me into an isolation turning my heartache into a deep cut stinging in the biting cold. Without my vehicle, I could not see my family and asking them to come and get me would need to be saved for Christmas.
At this point I was unaware that relief was on its way, bending my path sideways with ironic roots tracing back to Mr. Treeman dysfunction and Mr. Wonderful’s sudden disappearance. Finesse acquired the driving privilege of Mr. Treeman’s car to help care for his place since she considered it her responsibility since she had set up the arrangement for Mr. Wonderful which ended up falling apart. In a mere moment, this mutually beneficial agreement fell ruptured in the middle of our holiday rituals. Genie, a member of our tribe who I did not know as well as Finesse, invited an intimate few to her house for Thanksgiving, which was a small but distinct print in the desert sand on my long road to salvation. What seemed like lost wandering circles of events and subsequent emotions was actually a secure path forward, making a full circle back to me. mess.
Finesse, her boyfriend Peter Pan, Galaxy and I had been invited to Genie’s home for a Thanksgiving gathering. Since Finesse managed to commandeer Mr. Wonderful’s transportation, while my car was malfunctioning, she offered to give me and Galaxy a ride, so we could take part in Genie’s holiday meal.
The plot twists that would occur before we arrived at the Genie’s house, would set off a turn of events, reminding me that although my heart was in shattered ruins, it was still indeed beating.
Finesse needed to stop at the grocery store before going to Genie’s place. I was riding in my familiar passenger’s seat that I had shared with Mr. Wonderful, so I was able to notice a distinct problem. The vehicle alignment was rickety. Finesse examined the area around the tires as we got out of the car. The tread of the tire was completely worn, and the balding was so bad that wire was exposed. The sounds I heard as Finesse drove and applied the brakes was indicative of rotor and CV boot problems accelerating wear on the tire. Finesse wondered if the car would make it to Genie’s place and since it was so close we decided to join the gathering and figure out a solution before the end of the evening.
Despite this setback, It was a beautiful celebration, and I began to rediscover once again the spirited quality of our Joshua Tree connections, the same of which led me to Mr. Wonderful. I missed him so much and at the same time I wanted desperately to be fully present in these precious moments gifted to me that involved loved one’s still physically with me in Joshua Tree. A huge feast awaited us, though assuming it was a potluck, we brought food. We enjoyed several helpings of well-prepared dishes and desserts.
Genie brought out her stack of Motown records and we danced for hours. As any gathering with Finesse, several photos taken allowed us to savor so many of these moments. This chilly night was a baby step on the long road to mending my broken heart though at the time I was not cognizant of this subtle change. This was the evening when new things came to me that would fill the space cleared by such a painstaking void.
This night, though Thanksgiving not Christmas, manifested in several gifts that seemed to be created for me and Galaxy. When Genie saw the tambourine that Galaxy had acquired at our horse rescue, she brought out an infant toy version of a tambourine that was far better and designed for a bunny. The tambourine was one of Genie’s daughter’s baby toys and at this time a gift for my Galaxy.
Later that evening the Joshua’s Tree arrived. Joshua’s Tree, and I had connected with him on Facebook, as a long-time friend of Finesse and her family. In my darkest hours of desperately missing Mr. Wonderful another lucky star was not far from me and Galaxy. I asked Finesse about him once I had accepted his friend request and she assured me that he was “one of us” and part of the tribe. Joshua’s Tree arrived with his guitar and Finesse’s mother eagerly anticipated him playing for all of us. Genie turned off the Motown tunes as Joshua’s Tree tuned his guitar.
Joshua’s Tree reminded me of a human sized genome, living inside an old tree, with soulful eyes and a welcoming smile. His clothing was tattered, yet his talent was at such a high-caliber that he played in so many venues. The signature harmonic strums of Joshua’s Tree’s guitar mesmerized Galaxy touching his delicate ears like tiny angels.
Galaxy was on the couch between myself and Moreen and as Galaxy slammed his brand new tambourine in syncopation, as Joshua’s Tree played the song which to this day Galaxy favors. Joshua’s Tree guitar playing puts Galaxy in a trance and he still accompanies Joshua’s Tree on his tambourine to the same song and in the same style.
Before Joshua’s Tree left Genie’s house, a less convenient surprise of nature created a potentially embarrassing situation. I had not had a period for nine months and resigned myself to this stage of life being over permanently. In a moment, I was bleeding and made a beeline for the bathroom before leaving a stain on Genie’s couch. My light-colored pants had a visible stain I had to wash out in the bathroom sink as much as possible. I could feel a cold sting as the water ran pierced the joints of my fingers and the bones of my knuckles. This sensation boosted an unhealthy adrenaline speeding up my heart rate and accentuating the pain I was so desperate to forget. A sharp pain surged through my hands as I grasped my pants and the blood washed down the sink. A bitter, frustrated tear fell from my eye as I tried to breathe through the sharp pains in my chest. Even if the stain did not show, my pants were soaking wet. My house was close, but I was without the mobility to run home and change.
I put the wet pants back on hoping no one would notice and that the dry air of the fire would take care of the problem. As uplifting as this festive night was for all of us, our sudden lack of transportation was still unresolved.
Throughout the evening, I heard talk of a new friend of Peter Pan Finesse referred to as a “guy crush.” It was clear that Peter-Pan was better equipped to replace Mr. Wonderful with another bar buddy, then I was to replace the man who I loved. Peter-Pan ended up on the phone with his new friend, The Joey. After this conversation of which I was paying little attention, Peter Pan announced that the Joey was on his way over, and would give Finesse and Peter Pan a ride home. When I asked about me, Finesse said with full confidence that he would take me home too. Since they lived all the way out in Joshua Tree Park and I was in the opposite direction, it did not seem plausible. Could Peter Pan be friends with someone so kind and charitable?
The Thanksgiving Joey arrived soon after Joshua’s Tree departed. Moreen, Finesse’s mother had also left. I was introduced to the Joey as he walked through Genie’s door and I made a half-hearted gesture from the couch of acknowledgement. “Hi, nice to meet you. This is Galaxy.” The Joey’s eyes widened creating a flicker of hazel and green tones, as he noticed a real live rabbit on my lap seated atop the bunny blanket I was using to conceal my still soaking wet pants. “
Oh, hi Galaxy, nice to meet you too.” I could only respond with a poignant distance, given how embarrassing quality of my wet
pants, I was so desperate to keep concealed. I was also too deeply engaged in a multitude of thoughts. I was processing my emotions concerning my admission to Finesse about how much I missed Mr. Wonderful; I had not been sure she would empathize. Her father had passed away and she could not conceive of anything worse; my father had died more than ten years prior and the multitude of circumstances of Mr. Wonderful leaving me was so much more painful.
Shortly after his arrival, the Joey sat on the tile right by the warmth of the fire. He actually had a much longer history with Genie, so he had been invited to the gathering and as it seemed he must have been on the guest list expecting to arrive late. He had a subtlety macabre upbeat demeanor, with a sharp wit that snapped stronger than the crackle coming from the fireplace. He demonstrated his problem-solving skills as he offered ideas and suggestions about the tire on the car while committing himself to helping them once again in the following AM.
To my eye, The Joey looked like a snowboarder warming up by the evening fire in a log cabin wearing thick warm felted wool. I stared at his olive skin tinting from the fire dancing on his face. As an artist I naturally scan people and objects with my eyes until the whole picture is complete and clear in front of me. My investigation revealed his woolen winter clothes with Teva style sandals and no socks. I laughed to myself as I remembered all the times I bundled up for the cool and did not have the energy left to put on socks or wasn’t able to locate a pair of clean ones. I did not resist the urge to comment……
Charity begins at home: Treating your partner with respect, dignity, and love is a necessary microcosm of a healthy community. Humanity towards children is the microcosm of building a macrocosm of a new and better world….C.C. Silsbee
The love of my animals is the love of the infinite spirit world. C. C. Silsbee
Loving my animals is an investment of the infinite spirit world, for which I am a small part….C.C. Silsbee
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Continuing story of Temperance and the Devil Part 7
As a characteristic of late July and August, inland areas of the our bone dry California landscape are vulnerable to wildfires creating an insurmountable scare. This year the wildfires were burning thousands of acres close enough to see in the air and breath. It was orange outside and breathing was painful on the lungs. I was terrified of the fire spreading to Joshua Tree or fires starting in Joshua Tree.
I was in a panic mode given the fire that had destroyed my entire life years before and was I felt terrified of losing my home. The fact that I was starting an intimate relationship with someone wonderful made me feel almost guilty. How could I feel such love with so much devastation closing in on everyone including the two of us?
In my natural surroundings my beautiful baby Flycatcher tweets were transitioning out of their nest. The previous year the
chicks had left the nest one morning by the time I went out to see them. This year, I saw them test their wings for a couple of days first, as they called out to each other. There was a ringleader sibling among the four babies whom the other three chicks looked to for guidance. They made baby-flights out of the nest, within the Joshua tree, testing their wings gradually, talking with each other with every hop and flap of their tiny wings. It was bittersweet to watch, given how the firefighters were struggling to contain all the fires so close to us. Tracking the daily lives of these chicks was having a beautiful cathartic effect on me. Over several days I watched the adult Flycatchers build the nest with the familiar high desert debris with Galaxy’s fur shedding and wool from my house. I knew the babies had hatched when I heard their chirps coming from the nest and after a few days their tiny beaks poking out of the nest awaiting their next meal. With each day more of the birds could be seen from below the nest and I had a wonderful view from the latter that I positioned for filming their daily growth and activities.
My baby hatchlings fledging drew me out of a depressive episode and renewed my faith and hope. This hatching and infancy directly correlated with Mr. Wonderful and my developing feelings for each other.
Mr. Wonderful showed his appreciation within moments of my daily photo and video posts of my growing tweets which made me feel like he was part of the whole cycle. He also revealed his incredible connection to wildlife which I would experience first hand in many of our quality moments together. Mr. Wonderful was always just a step behind all of my posts of photos of Galaxy and the horses from the rescue ranch. His love for animals would be clear, endearing, and a well-defined path to the depth of my heart. His love for Galaxy filled my heart with an inexplicable joy I had never experienced from a man.
A couple of days after my conversation with Mr. Wonderful where I had retracted my cautionary actions to cut short our courtship, I got up and had my coffee. As the coffee and the cocoa enhancement were taking effect throughout my entire my nervous system, I went outside to check on my baby birds who had been testing their wings out of the nest. The outside was literally orange from the effect of the wildfires that now seemed as if these blazes were growing and closing in on the community and threatening my house. Another shift in the natural world was the baby flycatchers extending their wings further out of the nest. On this bizarre morning they were still testing their wings outside the nest and exploring life just outside the tree. I found them perched in different places in the tree and resting on the fence. They communicated with each other as the ringleader made the first daring flight outside the tree as the other three watched and prepared to follow. I was worried about how the wildfires might affect them in this transition, even more than I feared for my house and Joshua Tree as a whole.
Later that afternoon, Mr. Wonderful engaged me in a Facebook dialogue where I expressed my fear and how bad the air quality was affecting me. I told him how scared I felt, to which he replied “no please, don’t be scared” He let me know that the air was significantly better at his place. He invited me over and told me to bring Galaxy. He told me how the house was unfinished in detail which I merely skimmed since all I wanted was to see him, be close to him, and feel his arms wrapped around me. His location could have been anywhere and still exactly where I wanted to be.
I was excited and scared at the same time as I packed several bags with Galaxy’s toys, frozen water bottles, herbs, veggies, and hay. Considering the level of passion between us, I prepared to spend the night, while wondering if things might be moving too fast.
I arrived with the duffel bag style animal carrier Patricia gifted to us over my shoulder with Galaxy comfortable leaning against the side of my waist. I expected a passionate embrace filled with eager relief that had been anticipating our arrival with an anxious excitement. I had extended my heart past the safe zone by agreeing to abandon all doubts surrendering body and soul to him. I was there in his kitchen prepared to stay in person and for real. Instead, he let me inside and immediately went to the sink and filled a large dog bowl with water. Clearly, it was Star, the Tree Man’s dog bowl, but I had assumed Star was with Mr. Treeman. I was perplexed and felt the passionate, flowing whirlwind in my body turning into a frustrated stone.
“Is Star here?”
“This is for Galaxy”
My heart was warmed and the passionate whirlwind was once again creating a hurricane throughout my entire body. His immediate thought was the welfare of my rabbit which took priority over his passion for me making my love for him that much more powerful.
My rabbit was also his second thought. After he put the water bowl down in front of him, he went to the fridge and brought out the carrots. Galaxy was on the floor exploring the new place we were visiting. Galaxy always makes himself comfortable when we visit outside our own house, which is unusual for rabbits. Galaxy has a curious sense of adventure and adjusts immediately to new environments which makes it easy to take him everywhere.
Mr. Wonderful got down on the floor on the floor rug with the carrots and with an affectionate tone called Galaxy over to him. Galaxy responded by following the sound of Mr. Wonderful’s sweet voice and the smell of the carrots. Mr. Wonderful was encouraging with the gentle quality rabbits respond to in a positive way. He hopped over to investigate the smell of the carrots and Mr. Wonderful was equally enthused to be hand feeding him.
Mr. Wonderful showed me around the beautiful property pointing out every species of bird’s nests. It was abundantly clear that he loved animals with the same passion always have felt. I knew Galaxy loved him and his efforts to connect with him cast a spell on me that was more exhilarating than I had felt in a very long time. Mr. Wonderful’s feelings towards Galaxy went beyond appreciation. He was treating him as part of my package, as if he is my son, welcoming him into his home and making sure he was happy, feed, and had plenty of water.
As Galaxy decided where his designated spot would be in the corner by the wood-burning stove next to the glass door where he could see outside with his sighted, intact eye, Mr. Wonderful and I sat together on the couch. He could also hear our voices so he could make himself comfortable. I had also noticed a box full of pine cones that I knew he would eventually discover and investigate.
I rested the small of my back on the couch arm and asked Mr. Wonderful if I could put my feet on his lap, of which he responded. “Of course you can” He rested his hands on my feet and intermittently stroked them with his thumb and fingers. My contentment and comfort was almost overwhelming. It was hard to believe that I was exactly where I wanted to be with the person I wanted to be with; the same person I had endured a five-year dry spell for the purpose of finding a man like him. The relief of sexual touch deprivation overwhelmed my senses, all but took my breath away and made my stomach churn. I was enveloped and wrapped tight in the euphoria and the exquisite pain of being in love.
My house rabbits have filled the void of love in my life and have protected me from compromising my standards in relationships. I never suffer the longing for relationships, good or bad, as long as I have my house rabbits. A whole new level was obtained being with Mr. Wonderful. He was embracing not only me, but also fully embracing the most precious creature in my life, my greatest love. I was no longer the woman with a rabbit, but without a man. Galaxy was loved by both of us and thus he was our rabbit instead of my rabbit.
I turned my stretched out body around so that my head was on Mr. Wonderful’s lap and propped my feet on the couch arm, as Mr. Wonderful made sounds of pleasure and placed a hand on my cheek and the other was stroking my hair. We continued to talk and his hand continued to explore the parts of my body that were within reach.
The continuing story of Temperance and the Devil will be available as a complete Ebook May 30th, 2017. Meanwhile the story of the Desert Diva and her Galaxy will continue bi-weekly! Stay tuned for pictorial How We Met The Joey .Read more "Temperance & The Devil 8: Fire in The Hills"
“Bitterness and hatred changes me into someone I don’t want to be; I will let go of these toxic emotions, so I can attract positive things to
my life”……………Candice Silsby
“The pursuit, even of the best things, ought to be calm and tranquil.”……Marcus Tullius Cicero
“My first impulse is to those who have done the wrongs that have caused me so much pain and grief; I choose to forgive, so that I can be free“……Candice Silsby
“I look to the Galaxy, when I am faced with what scares me the most: uncertainty and fear that I will be harmed by someone
I love”…..Candice Silsby
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Affirmations From the Galaxy
The way we see is ever more important than how something looks…..Candice Silsby
One who is blind might see what so many can not……Candice Silsby
“With friends you grow wings
alone, you are a single feather
With friends you master the wind
alone you blow in all directions…”
“When seeking answers in darkness I look to the stars
the planets align my thoughts and free my soul to the infinite Galaxy
the light of the stars shines bright and some things become clear…
and if not the beauty of the universe in is in sight.”
Original by Candice Silsby
“Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth. Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures. ” Corinthians 13:7Read more "Affirmations From the Galaxy"
Today’s affirmations from the Galaxy come directly from Bunny Bunny Buddhism and are dedicated to bunny wisdom everywhere. These tidbits of bunny wisdom have cheered me up and provided insight for me through some difficult transitions and heartbreak.
“The wise bunny knows that which is real will be known when the various forms of illusion have ceased.”
“The path I have hopped is gone, and the path I imagine has not yet arrived.”
“The wise bunny knows life has no guarantees, only choices.”
For me, the greatest answers and joys come from looking to the GalaxyRead more "Affirmations from The Galaxy"
A step back is sometimes several steps forward…..Candice Silsby
My worth will never fluctuate; it remains high…Candice Silsby
When a man puts a woman on a high peta-stool, blind to her imperfections, down the long drop she will quickly and painfully fall from his favor, but she does not have to fall from her own grace….Candice Silsby
Altruism + Retail TherapyRead more "Affirmations From the Galaxy"
Affirmations From the Galaxy
“Hatred and vengeance is a trap that keeps us chained to the ones that hurt us; forgiveness is a sacred set of wings that carry us to freedom and closer to spirit.”
by Candice Silsby influenced by the Dali Llama
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