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And no, I'm in fact not in Kansas anymore. But even while I was in Kansas, it felt much more like OZ anyway. I had a lovely time last week despite the huge ass snowtorm. I left for KC Saturday morning instead of Friday as I'd planned. Even with a day to get the roads clear, it took me over 2 hours to get to Hannibal, MO where it usually only takes an hour from the farm. I drove across MO on US 36 and actually, by the time I hit Chilocothe, I couldn't really see evidence of snow any longer. On Thursday, when we were watching the weather channel down at the local tavern, they made it look like KC was completely socked in. You wouldn't have guessed it a day or so later though. At the farm, we got over a foot. I doubt KC got half that. Anyway, half way across MO, the roads improved immensely and I was able to get into KC before it got dark.

I went directly to Susi Lulaki's house where I was to spend the night that night. She gave me tea and fed me some really good soup and bread from the local bakery and made me feel at home. I wandered around her house admiring some of her art while we talked about ideas for her book project. After hashing some things out for awhile we drove down to the Blue Gallery to look at some of her recently hung new work. And then out to a new age bookstore where I browsed around and found a pretty good book on crystals and some nice animal totem cards.

Then it was back to the house for a little planning on the book. We finally narrowed her ideas down to rooting through her art and words to find everything pertaining to food. Yes, she is going to do a food book. Coffee table style book with lots of pictures and fewer words. Not so much a cook book. More like an ecclectic collection of thoughts on food. I think I got her off to a good start anyway. She has a natural tendency, like anyone on a book project to worry about everything at once. I more or less told her to worry about hte task at hand right now.

Later, she took me the the employee holiday party at the Nelson Atkins Museum. That was a treat. Strange food but I did get to meet lots of really cool people and engage in my favorite past time of people watching. Susi and I both had a good laugh at the expense of a very pompous Brit who disagreed that the new building addition felt empty and bereft of art. He enjoyed the negative space I think. He really didn't like Susi talking about how it looked like a Morton building from the outside.

At this point I need to say that the wole time I was in KS, threads kept appearing that tied everything together. It was those kind of threads that make you wonder if everything in the universe is not somehow connected.

A month before, my newfound psychic friend Bonny had shown me a picture of Joyce Ohmer (sp?), another gifted psychic in Kansas City. Then just before I left for KC, Bonny emailed me with Joyce's email addy and told me to try and look her up when I was in KC. I emailed Joyce and told her I would be in the area if she wanted to meet me. I got no repsonse so I figured she wasn't up for meeting a perfect stranger. But then Saturday morning, Susi got the bright idea to introduce us anyway and called Joyce to see if she was home. Sure enough, she had a few minutes to spare in between cooking a sizable meal for friends. So Susi and I tripped on over to Joyce's place. Joyce lives on the top couple of floors of a remodled hotel that is no longer a hotel. I found Joyce to be a thoroughly refreshing person. And I'd have about killed her to get the kitchen she has in that place. It was as if you were doing a set for a traditional cooking show on FoodTV and were given an unlimited budget to work with. A place for everything and everything in its place. She invited me to cook with her when I came back. I found out later, this is an honor she extends to very few people. Her cats really liked me. She told me all of them were Panther spirits and that really stuck with me for some reason.

Finally we went back to Susi's, wrapped up a few details on the book project and I was on my way down south to finally meet chimerae. On the way down, I stopped to get a few photos of nice old buildings like this old school house in Pleasant Grove, KS.

I got down to Strong City a little later than I'd wanted to and gave a big hug to chimerae. We started right into an amazing conversation about spiritual things and had some really good laughs along the way. She goes to bed and rises with the birds so she went to bed fairly early while I snuggled into her couch in her front room. I had a strange dream that night of my brother driving a tire truck and running over a neighborhood cat. The next morning, knowing I wanted to photograph some old buildings while I was there, she took me on a tour of Strong City and nearby Matfield Green. It was on a drive that much resembled a trip down the yellow brick road that we began to see the Hawks, heavy on messages from Spirit. Red-tailed Hawks everywhere we looked. chimerae admitted it was unusual to see so many. It was like they wanted us not ot miss the point of their presence. She showed me ruins of old houses and the ghost of a town that was long gone. I was paying no attention to how we got there so it might have been OZ for all I know. These were places she wanted me to come back to on my own when I had more time. Then we saw the Falcon. A handsome looking Peregrine diving and swooping and showing off for us. Part of the time he followed us and part of the time it seemed he was leading us but he stayed with us for several minutes. Emphasis on soul healing here. As we ended our loop through the countryside, we saw an imature bald eagel sitting on a branch near the road. He even stayed there as we backed up for another look. Something about the ability to see the overall pattern comes to mind here.

After the drive down the yellow brick road, we went back to Strong City to have lunch with her neighbors, Ross and Sal. Sal made the most delicious sweet rice, chicken, pecans and brocolli dish. Unfortunately, after the trip down, my stomach was not ready for so much food as I was given and I had to beg off finishing the whole plate. The conversation with them was fun and they made me really feel welcome as an outsider. After lunch, chimerae took me to a friend's farm/ranch out in the countryside. Lots of ancient buildings made for lots of really cool pictures like this one of my gracious host.

At the farm we found the foundation of an old stone barn, the wood long rotted away. It made a very interesting contrast to the barn right next to it which was still in use. And the arched doorways made marvelous frames for the late Autumn scenes beyond them. I could really get a feel for the people that had carved this place out despite the current state of ruin.

When we were in the first barn, a black Cat attached itself to us and became our familiar for the the rest of our explorations. It kept showing up all over the place. Even inserting parts of it's body into other pictures. Black has always stood for protection with me and it is one of Cat's attributes as well. There was something out there I was being protected from.

Shortly thereafter we met the Black Horse. Well two horses actually, a paint and a black. But there was the black theme again. Also Horse warns of possible danger. The black always tried to be in front of us for the rest of the time, as if to shield us from something.

The place we were was absolutely beautiful in it's ruin. Long stone walls, handstacked, seemed to stretch out forever. We didn't have to look far for artifacts. Clues to those who had gone before. Always our guardians were present.

Eventually we left the farm and ventured out to an old schoolhouse near Strong City. Turning onto the road we scared up a huge flock of Blackbirds scurrying about in the brush. A connection to journeying and protection of the family. Funny thing was with many of these animals, I was usually the first to notice them and had to point them out to my host. I think she was a bit befuddled because usually she sees things right away. At the school, I had chimerae take a picture of me since she was kind enough to have let me take one of her.

Then we went back to her house and sat around talking some more about our various experiences that day. She had made an appointment for me to go see her friend Julia Fabris McBride who is a life coach down in Matfield Green, KS. She wanted to give me an abbreviated session so I could see what she did. I found her to be a really nice lady but I think I confounded her a bit since I didn't seem to have anything that needed coaching or fixing. But I would reccommend her for anyone who finds themselves seriously questioning a recent life change or transition. She seems to know how to prod people in the right direction.

After saying goodbye to Julia, I stopped to photograph a ruined old gas station in Matfield. The sun was setting and was growing dark as I headed back up the road to Strong City. The last full moon of the year was rising against the rich tones of sunset. I stood outside my car for several minutes listening to a chorus of Coyotes that was picked up by new voices and echoed on the wind for miles around. My personal totem Coyote. Normally he reminds me to laugh at myself but that night his message was about shapeshifting. Something I'd not done in awhile but which would come to bear the next day.

Upon returning to my new home away from home, chimerae agreed to let me uncork a bottle of Eric's apple meade I'd brough along. Though a bit drier than his other flavors we found it an excellent catalyst to put in motion some really excellent and deep conversation. chimerae also agreed to give me a massage before I left and do some much needed energy work on me. After a few glasses of meade and conversation we drove up to the local diner where I'd promised to buy dinner. I love the consistency of roadside diners. You can almost always get a good chicken friend steak and homemade peach pie with ice cream. Yummy. Of course having a good friend with you just enhances the whole experience.

We followed dinner with a bit of conversation back at the house then my friend turned in for the night. I stayed up late reading and occasionally got flashes of the various spirits inhabiting her house. It was nice of them to stay up late and keep me company.

The next morning found me packing to leave but alos stopping to talk with my friend for long intervals. She got her massage area ready and asked me if I was ready for my massage. I was more than ready despite the activities of the previous day which had really energized me. She gives a good massage I'll have to admit and the energy work she was doing really helped me. She finally came to an area where it didn't feel right to her to proceed but felt I really needed to be worked on. I suggested sort of out of the blue that perhaps her friend Rachel, who makes a living running a spa and motel might be the one to do more work on me. This turned out to be a good idea because chimerae had really wanted to introduce me to her anyway. So at 1 pm I went on up and met with Rachel. She asked me how to say my last name and I told her and she made the comment that she'd dreamed the previous night of being in a small town and looking up to see my last name across the top of the local newspaper office. I told her she shouldn't be surprised to find out I had a journalism degree and used to run a small town newspaper. She thought it was really strange because she never dreams of clients before a session and indeed she didn't know she had a session with me until that morning. We talked for a bit about where I was in my life and the back spasms I had been expereincing lately. Then she was ready to start so I disrobed and climbed up on her table while she got supplies from another room. Then I relaxed while she chose a scented oil and heated it for me.

I've had good massages before but this one was different on so many levels. She was really able to work out many of my energy issues and get rid of a bunch of stuff I had clogging me up. But more than that, her work on certain areas caused me to have visions while lying there on the table.

It wasn't too much of a surprise when she were working on my back and I got a female vision. That of a woman changing into a black panther. Panther is a symbol of that which is feminine as well as death and rebirth and heavy on guardian energy. I think this means my female side is transitioning into protective mode. And I remembered the Coyote's message from the night before and all the black animals and Joyce mentioning the Panther.

In my neck, the vision I got was of a man changing into a water bird
like an egret. Heavy on self reliance, self confidence and safety in
spiritual travels. And I've felt this ever since I left Strong City that
day. I used to be unsure of myself on some levels in spiritual matters.
Often consulting books and other people rather than going with my inner
voice when people would ask me to read a certain situation. Now I feel
much more confident in knowing that the impressions I get are probably correct.

In my legs, I got the image of Catfish. Not too surprising when you
consider I'm a Pisces and for a water sign, a fish that spends all it's time near the bottom would be the perfect symbol for grounding. Also I noticed, a fresh water fish rather than salt water. Something to be said about the rightness of where I'm living.

From my right arm, I got a Shark. Back to the protective thing again.
Defender, guardian, but also another shapeshifter. So perhaps more to
come from there.

When she was working on my shoulders, I got Jellyfish. Sensitivity to
emotions, knowing when to let go during times of emotional stress.
Drifting past life's perils. And this is important for me because I
typically carry all my stress in my shoulders.

All this was for me I think but then when she was using just her fingertips on my back, I got the sense of a large spider and in my vision, I greeted Rachel as Spider Woman. Then on my lower legs, I got the sensation of lots of little spiders. That would have freaked me out had I not known it was part of the vision. All of this I think was for her more than me. Come to find out she's had several frightening Spider experiences lately so my seeing Spider really surprised her.

Near the end of the massage, I was lying on my back and she was working on my chest and I got a very strong image. I was underwater
and looking up through very clear water. I could tell I was in a frozen pond or lake. The water was not moving and I could see the edges of broken ice on the edges of my vision. I could look up and see a clear blue sky and the upper branches of a tree with white limbs, a sycamore perhaps. Then I saw Rachel lean down over the opening and look at me like she was telling me it was OK to come out from under the ice. I felt like this means I've finally transitioned into something new. I've been getting messages of transformation, death/rebirth from the animals for quite awhile now.

After putting my clothes on, Rachel and I talked for a bit about what I had seen and felt until she had to go do some chores. What I didn't realize at the time was the whole experience of the last few days had really opened me up and helped me transition and integrate the various aspects of me. ie Mark, Wander and StoneBear into one more cohesive person. It heightened my empathy and my psychic abilities much more than they were before. It also made me almost hypersensitive to changes in energy fields. I went back and said goodbye to my friend. We hugged and then I got back on the road. As I wound my way back up the backroads to Kansas City, my mind was spinng with all sorts of new possibilites. When I reached Overbrook, KS I decided to pull over and explore an abandoned farm I'd seen on the way down. I got my camera and got out of the car and almost immediately a wind came up as if warning me to go no further. Of course I ignored the wind, though I should have heeded the warning. Approaching the house I started to feel a nasty sort of forcefield the closer I got. Something was pushing me away. I circled the house, looking for a way in. The black hole of a root cellar did not look inviting at all. I thought to try the back door but instantly got a very vivid image of something that had happened in the past. This was one of those local "haunted houses." The kind all the kids dare each other to spend the night in. And during those overnight stays, someone inevitable pulls out a Ouija board or a copy of the Necronomicon or attempts to do a seance. Usually these things fall flat but ever so often, someone either pisses something off that was already there or calls forth something they don't know how to put back and then it makes trouble for everyone.

This is what had happened here and whatever it was was still lose and pissed off and did not want me going into the house. Seeing this only cemented the image of what had happened in my mind. So instead, I went off to explore the barn thinking the thing in the house was just in the house. How wrong I was. If anything, the feeling of dread I felt from the house was even worse in the barn. Plus I could see the shadow of something moving in the hay mow, mimicking my movements and watching me through the cracks between the boards. I took a few pictures, moving inside the barn and felt an immediate need to leave. I go exploring old places all the time so I'm not one to let my mind just run away with me. This feeling was pretty strong. So I said out loud, "Allright, I'm leaving, you can have the barn to yourself!"

Then I did somethingg I shouldn't have done. I turned my back on whatever it was and walked out. And I felt something land on me and crawl up my back. Instictively I reach back thinking it was a lizard or spider but my fingers found only empty air. I cursed loudly. Her I had just been through all this wonderful energy work and some little piece of negative energy decides to jump down my back. I took a parting shot of the barn and got back in my car.

I was wearing my Lack Tourmaline pendant so I wasn't too worried about whatever it was that jumped on me. Negative stuff is hard pressed to get past that stone. But driving down the road, I could feel something squirming around my upper back and between my shoulder blades. Finally it got really strong so I reached back and this time my fingers felt something. I grabbed it and it squirmed between my fingers trying to get lose. I seemed to hear it screeching and whining at being caught. I rolled down the window and tossed it out violently. I could imagine it bouncing down the road. Further down the road, I pulled over and washed my hands then used my fingertips to check for any wounds it might have left. Luckily I felt none and I drove on.

I got caught in KC rush hour traffic and ducked off on US 24 which runs right in front of my house though it takes it's time getting there from where I was. Still it was a nice drive. I had the road to myself and the moon was still mostly full, giving me an excellent view of the rolling hills in that part of MO. I made it to the farm around 11 pm and watched a bit of TV before curling up on the couch to go to sleep for the night.

The following day I returned to the city and prepared for my interview the next day. But that is a different story.




( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 13th, 2006 01:10 pm (UTC)
That was a nice way to start my morning, I thank you for the enjoyable story and pictures.
Dec. 13th, 2006 11:35 pm (UTC)
Glad to entertain you. Hope your day went well.

Dec. 13th, 2006 01:39 pm (UTC)
Great experience. I enjoyed the photos very much.
Dec. 13th, 2006 11:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks a bunch!

Dec. 13th, 2006 07:32 pm (UTC)
Neat trip and great pictures (as always)!

I saw a Red-Tailed Hawk perch on the holly tree outside my office window yesterday. I watched it dance around on top of the tree for a while before it flew off. I'd never seen one so close before.
Dec. 13th, 2006 07:40 pm (UTC)
And by yesterday I mean Monday. My brain hurts.
Dec. 13th, 2006 11:38 pm (UTC)
To me it's always whatever day it was when I woke up that morning if you know what I mean.

Dec. 13th, 2006 11:36 pm (UTC)
Perhaps it was trying to tell you something my dear.

Dec. 14th, 2006 03:07 pm (UTC)
"Look at me! I'm pretty! See my pretty feathery legs?" :P

I kinda got that feeling. It waited until everyone else went to give their exams before it showed up. (I said foul words about sitting in a room for two hours watching people write, so I had people turn their stuff in at the office.)
Dec. 13th, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing those photos! Glad you're okay after that barn incident.
Dec. 13th, 2006 11:37 pm (UTC)
I doubt it could have done much. It was more annoying than anything. Thanks though.

Dec. 14th, 2006 04:34 am (UTC)
I believe a place absorbs the vibes of whatever happens in it. I've had that feeling of "being watched" by the unseen a few times in my life. And bad feelings about certain places that you just want to get away from and it seems like the very place itself is watching you.

Glad nothing bad happened while you were there.
Dec. 14th, 2006 09:45 pm (UTC)
Nah, it was just some place to stay away from really.

Dec. 14th, 2006 04:34 am (UTC)
I hit send before I had a chance to say, glad you enjoyed your trip! and welcome back.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )