THE LAST WEEK OF JUNE, JANNET SPENDS TIME ON HER OWN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. She does have committed mornings of consultations. She maneuvers one or two Skype sessions with Mari Belen during the week. And she wanders. One day, during the last week of June, Jannet is wandering about Holladay Park near the Lloyd Center, the east side of downtown, when she unexpectedly encounters Tess.
Tess is blocking the middle of the pathway and as soon as Jannet is near her, she turns to walk away, with Jannet trailing behind her. The summer climate has been perfect, at least Jannet thinks so, with temperatures in the low to mid-70s for nearly two weeks. The two women speak mentally to each other as they walk in silence throughout the park. Jannet questions Tess about her whereabouts and activities during the past several weeks. Tess responds in her typical cryptic fashion. But soon Tess abruptly changes the topic of discussion. Tess mentions Grace.
“I believe she is important, Grace. Is that correct?” Jannet now speaks aloud to Tess, without preamble. “Will she be important in the same manner as the Deckers?”
“The Deckers and Grace are part of, for lack of a better phrasing, part of the Next Wave. That movement, which should likely materialize in the not-too-distant future, is about a renewed push for authentic and unifying humanistic and spiritualistic values. It will potentially be a significant worldwide movement or series of movements. However, the Deckers’ and Grace’s roles will be different roles within this future upsurge of new humanism and spiritualism.” Tess mentally explains. “And by the way, it is good of you to tolerate the Deckers’ overzealousness. They will have a future opportunity to understand the value of balancing ambition with consideration and thoughtfulness.”
“And yes, before you inquire, Grace is like you.” Tess continues mentally with a soft whispering tone. “The empath side of her is mostly dormant but it will wake soon. You may have already felt her minute psychic nudges without realizing that it was her tentative and initial attempts. Please remember to put up your filters around her especially because younger people have a natural curiosity and a natural desire for exploration and because they are youthful and inexperienced they may easily overlook boundaries. The best service you can provide her, time permitting, is to listen to her and to acknowledge her. She does have a great future potential and many great future options for becoming an important teacher of persons who have exceptionalities.”
“And Mari Belen?” Jannet petitions; Jannet is curious of Tess’ opinion.
“Obviously it is not necessary to respond to what is apparent. However, since you have asked my opinion, my response is that you have encountered your new family, Mari Belen and her associates and her relatives in Madrid, and although a few members of this grouping are lukewarm towards you at present, you are truly in the presence of your new family. Additionally, your family of friends and associates and relations in Portland will likely continue to be part of your life, for the next great while, but perhaps within the context of smaller quantities of time annually.” Tess states, as the two women continue to stroll through Holladay Park.
Gradually the park environment segues into something else, and Jannet is not observant, at first, of the unassuming transition. But her attention catches up to her.
“Did I mention that the family wants a visit?” Tess mentions nonchalantly. “Just relax and you will be fine.” Their new location is the once visited white atmospheric space with no discernible parameters. Human-looking beings of male and female configurations, whom Jannet realizes are not actually human, materialize nearby her. Jannet’s physical self is still in the park in NW Portland but her non-physical self is projected to a location that is not part of the physical universe. This second visit is, of course, in a somewhat familiar setting with somewhat familiar circumstances, nevertheless Jannet begins to experience a psychological reaction of anxiety although technically this condition is a form of a phantom reaction. “Relax little cousin, this is family. Just pretend you are floating in a warm ocean.”
“But you know that I cannot swim.” She is making a weak joke in an attempt to calm herself. And Jannet is speaking aloud although technically she is not physicalized.
“This will not be an ocean of water but an ocean of warm bodily forms, warm voices, and warm intentions.” Tess coaches her mentally. The family’ presence washes over Jannet as if they are waves in a lotion-like ocean. Jannet closes her eyes, which are not actually physicalized, and floats on the sumptuous experience. A few minutes later, as the sensations subside, Jannet is readjusting herself. She is now again in the park. She wonders mentally about where she has been. Tess, who is next to Jannet in the park, is nonchalant about that recent location. “It is a pocket reality in a liminal region between dimensionalities.” Jannet is readjusting and she is thoughtfully reflecting as she turns her eyes to the monolith that is the Lloyd Center that is just beyond the perimeter of the park.
During the last week of June, Mari Belen and Carlos Jon and Umberto are attending some advance trainings on evidence collection and court procedures. The trainings are at the National Police training academy in Avila, northwest of Madrid. Top-notch legal attorneys, judges, and university professors are conducting the various seminars. There is a great emphasis on the increasing importance of the use of electronic recording and digital documentation of crime scenes. This does include a lively and ongoing discussion of police vehicle cameras and uniform police with body cameras. The three investigators and a newly installed team legal counsel are staying at the Hotel Don Carmelo, which is a few miles from the training academy. The new legal counsel is a woman and she shares a room with Mari Belen. Mari Belen occasionally retreats to a quiet corner of hotel’s lounge, at night, between 9.00 pm to 10.00 pm to participate in Skype sessions with Jannet in Oregon.
The last Sunday in June, the 30th of June, Jannet starts to pack and to prepare for the Tanglewood Music Festival trip with Madelyn, Terri, and Jocelyn. A trip for culture and friendship, this is a bi-annual tradition for the four women. The group of four immediately will fall into a comfortable and familiar pattern of closeness and camaraderie as soon as they arrive to Lenox, MA.
They will arrive on July 1st and attend a Boston Symphony Chamber concert that same evening and they will eventually attend their last BSO concert on July 12th. In between there is all manner of music performances, and conversation, meals, a side-trip from Lenox to Cambridge @ four hours round trip, theatre, galleries, and so on. They will return to Portland on Monday, July 14th, which will be two days before Jannet’s return flight to Spain. July 15th will be Jannet’s 35th birthday.
Obviously, the classical concerts are the main reason to attend the Tanglewood festival. The two venues, the hall and the shed as they are often reference to, are top quality for acoustics and aesthetically pleasing for musical performances. The Boston Symphony Orchestra presents top-tier performances and the chamber music concerts are exquisite. There are actually two occasions, during a chamber music performance, when Jannet begins to change color, her hair and eyes and skin color, because of the moving tenor of a particular performance. An alert Madelyn simply places a thoughtful hand on Jannet and the empath becomes normative again.
The other highlights, for the women, includes a pop concert by James Taylor on July 3rd; his July 4th concert was already sold out. And the great event of the festival is the official opening night with soprano Renée Flemings.
During the identical time period: on the same day of the 30th of June, as Jannet was packing for Tanglewood, in Spain Mari Belen was in a van with her sister and nieces and they were motoring to Toledo. There was church in the morning and an elaborate mid-day meal, at her parents’ house. In attendance were her parents, her sister and nieces, her brother with his small family, and an unexpected guest. The guest was her ex-husband to whom she was married for four or five years when she was in her mid’20s; they had actually spent a total of 8 or 9 years together. Her parents extoled his availability and his success during the mid-day meal. In truth Mari Belen did feel that her ex-husband seemed to be quite changed and generally more amicable. However, Mari Belen remained purposefully polite and removed in regards to the unexpected although familiar guest diner. This was because she was secretly counting the days, 16 days to go, in her mind; 16 days before the return of Jannet to Madrid.
On July 15, 2014, her birthday, Jannet spends the day packing for Spain and spends the day having last minute conversations, on the phone or via Skype, with Portland friends. She makes a special point to call and to engage in a long chat with Becka. Becka announces to her that she will take Jannet to the airport. However, Jannet graciously declines and she indicates to Becka that she actually wants to take an airport shuttle instead. A short time later, Sara Jean pops up to her apartment and two women have a takeout lunch. Sara Jean produces a cupcake with one small candle on it and she lights it for Jannet. Jannet blows out the candle and she thanks Sara Jean for her thoughtfulness. They then have an extended discussion on various aspects of PAG operations and event planning.
Jannet deliberately takes the time to check in with a few of her cousins by phone. She catches up with their lives and she shares her back and forth plans for the upcoming months. She now has a different perspective on her parents’ estrangement from their respective families due to her recent interactions with her cousins. She does commit to a December holiday visit, later in the year, to the cousins on each side of her family.
In the early afternoon Jannet drives down to a coffee shop in SE Portland near Grace’s neighborhood. She has coffee and conversation with Grace. Jannet continues to promote an ongoing list of suggested reading materials for the teen. The women take a quick drive south onto SE Water Avenue and they land near the museum complex, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. They locate a green pleasant strip of trees/bushes and greenery next to the large building structure, there is lovely riverside walkway area outside the west side of the complex that overlook the river, and they talk.
“Why have you committed so much time and energy, and money, to PAG? Was it because of your experiences in Boulder and at Naropa University?”
“My two years in Colorado did inspire me. My Boulder friend, Elena Ronaldi, was an important mentor for me. It was there that I came to understand the central and vital importance of ritual, ceremony, mythology, and so on; and of other tribal and traditional practices. We should realize that our essential nature is not a human one, however when we do incarnate within physical reality and on this planet, we obviously express our essential self through the vehicle of humanity. And it is tribal and traditional practices that reiterate the human individual connection with our human/natural community. However, it is also important to translate or to reinterpret these traditional practices for our contemporary society and our contemporary times.”
“So tribal practices incorporate secular and sacred values.” Grace continues with her questions.
“Yes, those practices honor both sides of our human communities. Also I do have a private concern that with the increasing sophistication of our tools, despite creating more ease within our lives, that these tools or technologies will distract us from these necessary practices. We have to maintain and to enhance our connections to our surrounding community, whether it’s a human community or an environmental community.”
“I have another question and that is related to the concept of spirit or spirituality? Is what we are doing, with our practice, sacred or somewhat religious in nature?” Grace presents her questions with complete seriousness and gravity.
“In general the terms, the sacred or the divine, refer to a religious or a spiritual experience of an ultimate reality and of an ultimate being within a personified universe. However, what we are involved with, with our New Age practices, is connecting to our individual source or source family and we are concerned with broadening our understanding of ourselves. When we refer to spirit we are referring to the non-physical aspect of ourselves, there is usually no sacred or religious connotation implied. Our notion of the universe, or universes, is a non-personal one.” Jannet checks Grace for signs of comprehension. The teenager has a dual countenance of equal parts clarity and confusion.
“Ok, we can discuss this a bit more in the future especially since this is conceivably a new and radical perspective for you. But you should take-away the concept of the individual human self as a part of a much larger non-physical source community. In simpler words, we are much more than we realize.”
Jannet deliberately changes the flow of the present narrative. She initiates and conducts a type of training exercise, with Grace, a tree recognition ritual. Jannet is privately hopeful that Grace remembers to continue to develop/solidify some form of grounding protocol with people and with nature as part of her lifelong learning process.