I Hear Voices

Not all the time, but fairly persistently throughout my youth and adulthood, I wished for the ability to connect with higher voices. You may call it God or spirits. Mostly, I had no label. It was a yearning I felt in the space between thoughts or where thoughts tapered out…beyond myself. The place arising as sleep crept in where a whispered “are you there?” might garner an equally whispered response. Growing up and throughout my foray into adulthood, I harbored a deep-seated feeling that I was in the wrong place, the wrong life; a life that was not infrequently unbearable to consider living. Begging for a connection to a higher world was a way to find relief. Surely someone…or something…out there could give me hope, make sense of things where sense had completely failed me.

Somehow, I plowed on and, stumbling into my forty’s, I connected with the man whom I would marry. Gordy is steady and kind and seems to have an endless capacity to love me without judgment or rejection. That created new horizons for me. I found myself reaching, not for higher worlds, but for him, both physically and spiritually. That bond became my “go to” place for comfort and understanding.

Then, two things happened; bad, shitty things that have left dark footprints on my belief in the goodness of this world in general and my world in particular: I was diagnosed with breast cancer and, shortly thereafter, the 2016 election happened. I don’t know which was worse. Both felt personal.

I made it through the cancer. I lost a breast, but am just now recovering from a second reconstructive surgery which appears to have given me a very appealing stand-in. Advances in testing made me one of the lucky ones to avoid chemotherapy, but obligated me to long-term use of hormone inhibitors. That became its own battle, which I ultimately lost, when the accumulated effect of the drugs laid me low with crippling joint pain and disrupted my brain chemistry (which I previously wrote about in “Door Number Eight”). I am flying solo now, relying on a whole-food/plant-based diet, acupuncture, and other lifestyle changes to buffer me against the odds and mostly — mostly — I am at peace with the experience.

I have not made it through the impact of the election, not even close. Each new day brings more awareness of the cesspool we are in. Just by latest example, the State of Alabama spit out the most self-righteous, odious anti-abortion legislation possible, which angers and outrages me and causes me to ask what (and I cannot stress this enough) the actual fuck is wrong with these alleged members of the human race?*

*(taken from a meme posted on the Facebook Page “Stuff Women with Law Degrees Say” — get your game on and check them out right now)

So, with a deep breath, I tell you this: I have stopped listening for higher voices. I am tired of the struggle to make sense of the random and the calculated awfulness of life and my belief has been dulled that there is some place “out there” where the answers lie. Besides, I don’t want answers anymore; I want relief. And do you know where relief lies? Right here, all around me. Yes, I am that lucky. I have Gordy, who has patiently outlasted my roiling bouts of angst, waited for me to come back to the center, to us, and to dwell there more and more. I share space and breath with an unbelievably generous number of animals, any one of them capable of stilling my thoughts and touching my heart just by thinking of them. I do hear voices. They are not higher, they are here, now, with me on this physical plane.

I can hear Legs ask for one more ear rub before I leave him for the night.
I can hear Muppet express that being at the vet worries her and will everything be okay?
I can hear Marco say I will never go anywhere alone.
I could hear Gracie say she was finally ready to say
I can hear Giada say it may hurt now, but I will feel better soon.
I can hear Mya say thank you. Every day.
I can hear Cricket and Boo say, it will be time, but not now.
And I can hear the donkeys say food makes everything better.

So, truth be told, my wish has been granted. I do hear voices; the ones I am meant to hear, that I am wired to hear. I don’t need more than that. Well, I do need just one more thing…


This is Lola. She is a senior citizen, a wheaten mix of a dog, and her owner has left her. Lola needs a family. I wish we could be that family, but we are full-up, so I am doing the next best thing — I am trying to be Lola’s voice to ask for a family of her own. If you can hear Lola, if you can see a way to being what she needs, let me know. I will put you in touch with the dedicated people who are trying to make this happen. Peace.

Writing about what sings to me from a life made full with animals.

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