JANNET RESIDES IN THE PACIFIC BUILDING ON SW FIFTH AVENUE ON THE west side of downtown Portland near Pioneer Square; the downtown area, and the city, is divided by the Willamette River. The Pacific Building is exclusively a building for offices, shops, and businesses. It was through her association with an officer of the building’s corporation who helped Jannet negotiate a long-term lease on the 10th floor; the next floor above her floor is a roof garden. She was allowed to make some renovations to the very large space, with the plans preapproved by the building manager, to convert the space to living quarters. She did have to prepay a substantial deposit and to prepay the entire initial three-year lease. Thereafter the lease was annual though prepayment remained a requirement. During late weekday hours, weekends, and holidays, her only access to the building is through door #2 with her security card.
Jannet has lived in the Pacific Building since she was 29, that was five years ago. She values her privacy and alternates her life between a wide range of social contacts, mostly with the local new age community, and a part-time life as a type of reclusive mystic. During her earlier years at university and for a few years afterwards she maintained a constant connection within the LGBT community via the Portland State University, or PSU, Queer Resource Center. In recent years, Jannet has lamented her retreat from that community; a retreat prompted by her ever burgeoning mystic/psychic tendencies of which she had become increasing very discreet about. She also purposefully decided not to date, she prefers women, for a while and that was nearly two years ago.
Upon her return to Portland, Jannet writes in her journal: It is not a memory that draws one here. This city, Portland her home, is located on the convergence of two rivers. The Columbia, dividing two states and the Willamette, dividing the city into quadrants. There are actually five quadrants instead of four. A green metropolis, highly walkable, with a great inclination towards cyclists, public transportation, and parks.
But memories do manifest, eventually. Situated between the Pacific and the inland Cascades, it is marked by warm dry seasons of spring and summer, and wet chilly autumns and winters. A place of coffee, beer, & food trucks. A city of bridges and heavy industries. And a city of youth, music, and higher education. An urbanity of lively and interesting neighborhoods.
One day after returning to Portland, DHL delivers three parcels, it is a Tuesday. Jannet eagerly signs the paperwork for the driver, in the entry to her apartment, and as the driver departs, she searches for a pair of scissors or a knife. As she returns to her entry way, she notices that the three parcels are neatly stacked on the DHL driver’s two-wheel cart; he has left his cart. She removes the boxes, grabs the cart, and dashes for the freight elevator. Outside the building, on the Fifth Street side, she hails the driver who is perched in the front seat of his truck. Luckily she has caught the attention of the driver, who retrieves the cart, but she has also caught the attention of someone else, an old friend, Madelynn. Madelynn is not alone, she is accompanied by two other good friends, Terri and Jocelyn.
“I see that you have returned from your travels.” Madelynn states as she gives Jannet a light kiss on the cheek.
“Yes, it was a great trip to Spain, about seven weeks.” Jannet responds cheerfully.
“So do you live here, in an office building?” Madelynn inquires and edges toward the entry way to the building.
“Yes, the building is mostly offices and shops, but I have got a special lease agreement.” Jannet says as nonchalantly as possible.
“So, can we see it?” Madelynn suggests. And her friends promptly nod their heads in agreement and they spontaneously begin to walk arm in arm into the front door entry.
The group of four do enter the apartment, on the 10th floor, through the apartment entry door which is mostly glass, a frosted glass. There is a short hallway with a gigantic fichus tree at the end of the hallway. The tree is easily 9 or 10 feet in height. The interior of the apartment is similar to a loft space, although Jannet has created distinct zones by the type and arrangement of the furnishings. The zones include a kitchen/dining area, a bedroom area, and a living room area. There are two or three distinct seating areas with large couches and chairs and side tables in the living room area; there is another sitting area in the bedroom area. Also present is a separate TV viewing zone and a reading zone. No wall hangings or paintings are featured although she has a few well-framed posters, featuring Wolf Kahn’s marvelous Color Field work, which are leaned against a few of the walls, and a few antique wooden window frames, as well as two massive mirrors in two separate locations, which are also on the floor and inclined. There are two wall mounted fireplaces situated in two locations. No more plants, other than the giant fichus in the foyer but included are several terrariums, of various sizes, strategically placed about the large unit. The renovation work was focused on the creation of skinny kitchen/dining strip and the creation of an oblong bathroom/closeting area. The furnishings are a mix of large comfortable contemporary European-styled items, some industrial fixtures, and some mid-century American pieces.
Jannet conducts a tour of the generous-sized apartment and she then walks with the group one floor up to show them the view of the city from the roof gardens. Jannet does successfully hide her internal distraction by presenting herself as an amiable hostess to the three women but she subsequently hurries them off, as soon as can. She does have to promise to attend Madelynn’s periodic soiree this upcoming weekend, which will be on this upcoming Sunday morning.
Lastly, when her privacy has returned, she rushes to open her waiting parcels. She unpacks and closets all the contents, some of which are clothing and shoes from Las Rozas, the upscale designer outlet center in Madrid. She is intent on finding the missing letter and therefore she closely examines each of the boxes. There is no letter to be found therein.
On Thursday, three days after returning from Madrid, Jannet is poised within her bathroom, this is in the midst of last minute preparations before she leaves the apartment for a few hours. She is startled to see, the now familiar floating silhouette of a human figure, in her bathroom mirror. She turns 180 degrees and she gasps. The figure is behind her on this occasion; it is actually there. She sprints into the bedroom zone of her apartment and the figure is there ahead of her and it is changing. Every evasive maneuver by Jannet is answered by an immediate corresponding change of position by the hovering figure, so Jannet finally elects to acquiesce. Jannet thinks for few moments and then she decides to approach the figure in a few measured steps and she touches it with her hand. In response she is surrounded by a gust of electrical pinpricks all over her body. The cloud-like electrical sensations subside quickly. The figure, floating before her, gradually thickens, gains human skin color, develops distinct human features; such as fingers, toes, facial features, skin texture, hair, and other bodily definitions. Obviously this is not a ghost, especially in light of the fact that it has not been anchored to any one locale, and because it is slowly but surely becoming humanized right before her eyes.
In approximately 15 minutes or so, a completely nude woman, who looks somewhat similar to Jannet is standing in front of her. Jannet is 5 feet 6 ½ inches tall and biracial, her parents were an African American mother and a Hispanic father. They both died from heart attack episodes, one and half years apart, during her years at university. The newly created woman, standing before her, could be regarded as a family member because of her resemblance to Jannet. She is standing before Jannet with similar bodily, skin, hair, and facial features, only she is slightly taller, perhaps 5 feet 9 inches, and paler of skin tone.
“May I have some clothes?” An unfamiliar voice booms inside Jannet’s brain.
“Can you turn down the volume?” Jannet replies, a little bit startled and greatly alarmed.
“My apologies.” The woman, she, now softly states, inside Jannet’s head.
“Thanks, that’s better.” Jannet responds, as she slowly walks in a circle around the clothes-less woman, who is now mostly fully-formed, in order to examine her more closely.
“And the clothes?” Again a soft voice chimes inside Jannet’s head.
Jannet hands one piece of clothing at a time to the waiting woman. Basic panties and sports bra, then black leggings, a black t-shirt, a mid-thigh length navy blue silk skirt are placed on the body of the woman. The woman completes the dressing with a pair of Jannet’s military-styled boots, charcoal, and a long dark blue London Fog trench coat. Every item provided by Jannet seem to fit.
Once dressed, the woman approaches Jannet and touches her and examines her lightly. Jannet notices the woman’s features, hair, and body parts noticeably changing as if trying out different options. Jannet is surprised to realize that the woman does not have teeth or a tongue inside her mouth nor finger/toe nails or eyebrows but those omitted attributes soon correct themselves.
“We should go out now. A walk and perhaps we can have a drink of water.” Again a mental transmission from Jannet’s new female guest.
“Can you tell me your name first?” Jannet organizes herself to leave.
“I am Tess Aja-Conn. You can call me Tess.” She indicates simply. Jannet now provides a glass of water to the newly formed woman.
“Think of me as an older sister or cousin. Can I explain more as we walk?” She offers as she effortlessly maneuvers towards the front door of the apartment.
They will walk due east through the canyons of downtown Portland. They do eventually meet the river walk and then they walk due south. They walk in serene silence. It is mid-morning, in the late autumn. When they do speak, as the two women communicate, Tess speaks mentally while Jannet speaks vocally.
“I know your name but may I ask what are you?’ Jannet had begun after they slowly exit the building; it had started to drizzle.
Tess does not respond immediately. She is quite occupied with examining the surroundings. People, buildings, cars/buses, elements of nature, and everything is scrutinized comprehensively until she finally stops and takes a very deep breath.
“I am here.” She finally says and turning to Jannet. “I am a member of your family, not your biological family in this reality but your non-physical or your source family. Please be aware that I am using terminology and analogies that you are comfortable with. I suppose you can refer to me as your guide or mentor. And as you know the core non-corporeal aspect of yourself is not singular but it is a plurality. I am a member of that plurality.”
Jannet soon begins to feel an overwhelming affinity with this new being but she is naturally a little cautious and she decides to question her and to challenge her claims. “So how can I be sure of your authenticity?” Tess does not respond. The two are waiting at an intersection for the traffic light to change to green but when it changes to green they still wait.
“I could offer you copious amounts of validation about myself and about our source community but it would be unnecessary. Isn’t that true?” Janett nods meekly, especially since she is now actually absolutely clear, internally, about all that Tess has asserted.
“Ok, how about this? What is the purpose of being alive?” Jannet queries, she is a bit nervous, so she offers a much more generalized question.
“The purpose of being alive is to be alive. In order words, the quality and the authenticity of life experience is paramount. That is a universal for everyone and everything. Obviously there is a great deal more to explain but for now, we will begin with a short answer instead of a long answer to that question.” She replies succinctly and the two now start to cross the street.
“If you are asking about individual life goals then that is a more complicated answer because a person’s individual goals are a blend of personal aspirations within the context of a particular human culture and a blend of some elements of the goals/interests of a person’s source family.” She continues mentally.
“If you are asking about yourself, then an uncomplicated response to the question of your individual life goal or goals, you do have several, is that you are the teacher. You make yourself available to others, for their growth, by becoming present for them or by becoming attentive to them; and by your unconditional acceptance of them as individuals of significance.”
“Secondarily, you are charged with growing as an empath and as a synesthete which will require that you continue to cultivate those qualities through practice, risk-taking, and experimentation.” She continues to state mentally as Jannet listens carefully.
Is there anything about personal happiness?” Jannet comments with a large dose of curiosity.
“You will find the one who seeks you.” Tess responds without hesitation, albeit cryptically.
Although justly perplexed, Jannet pauses with Tess on the river walk. The east side of downtown rises elegantly across the Willamette River.
“Why are you here?” Jannet says. “I sense that you are not here simply for me, correct?”
“I have offered you guidance since you began your life. There have been and will continue to be other guides or mentors who are part of life’s journey. And although you need me less than perhaps the others, of our family, who are earthbound, I will always be present for you. However, to respond directly to your assertion, my primary aim is to spend time with the others.” Tess replies as she has stopped momentary to closely observe a voluptuous tree.
“Family members, of our source family, residing in different times and different places in your present space/time construct, I am here to visit them, each one. And you and I, we will see each other occasionally because I will be traveling frequently. And as a point of clarification, I travel by willing myself to where and when I need to go.”
Tess moves on from her tree observances. “As for you, you have all that you will need already within you, you just need to access it.” She adds with a tone of finality.
They continue south as they walk along the river walk area. As the two women walk Jannet naturally, and without her own awareness, transitions to speaking mentally to Tess.
“Were you ever physical, as you are now, at any time in my life?” Jannet asks and she has a sudden and definite realization that Tess has maintained some minimal form of peripheral presence in her life for her entire life.
“No, I was always as a holographic projection during the occasions when I would visit you. Other guides of our community have projected themselves into your life quite often. Very frequently and consistently we communicate through the mediums of dreams and of intuition. Do you remember the balloon game from your childhood?”
“I do. It perplexed my parents that there was a balloon floating around my little nursery, back and forth, for days on end. Did you provide it with locomotion?” Jannet asks.
“We both did. We willed the balloon to move, to remain inflated, and to float for long periods of time. It was a great learning experience for you, little cousin. And I should add that more than one family member, or guide if you prefer, has participated in that particular activity with you and with other activities, as well. There were other games or exercises, as such, over the early years of your lifespan. These games were for recreation and learning purposes.” As she finishes speaking, Tess stops abruptly and turns to face Jannet. Suddenly there is an air of melancholic parting; Jannet senses Tess’ imminent departure.
As the moment suggests that it is a time for goodbyes, the two women embrace each other. Jannet feels the sun shining briefly between banks of clouds and she is flooded with warmth. As the two embrace for a long extended moment, Jannet begins to hear numerous soft voices and to feel hundreds of soft bodies around her and these bodies do lightly brush against her. She turns her head slightly and discovers that she is in an undefined space of whitish light with no finite parameters. She instinctively recognizes that the voices and the bodies swirling around her are source family members. And that this family, at the moment, is resembling an ocean of light bodies that is gently surging around her.
A few moments later, the moment that Tess releases her, releases her from the embrace, the two woman are standing, facing each other on a street back again in downtown Portland. It takes Jannet a few minutes to reestablish her balance. It is late afternoon, they are in the shadow of the luxury condos on SW Harbor Way and there is now an accompaniment of a light drizzle.
Tess informs about the just finished event. “Some of the family wanted to meet you, as you are now; or they wanted to meet the version of you, who is a human person. I hope you did not mind? We projected to a space between our two dimensional realities. By the way, in the future, there may be other such projections.”
A stunned Jannet whispers. “It was a privilege, a disorienting experience, but a definitely humbling privilege.”
Tess incandesces slightly. “I have a few suggestions for you before I leave, ok?” And Jannet nods in the affirmative.
Tess offers her suggestions. “Return to Madrid in the early spring, March or April. Please stay in the identical apartment hotel as before.” Jannet nods affirmatively again.
“And secondly, whether you want to or not, please do attend your friend Madelynn’s social gathering this upcoming SundaywestENUE