Archives for posts with tag: cougar sighting
The Face of Femininity

The Face of Femininity

“With the manipulation of abstract symbols, an artist can send you information without sound, change your feelings and,
sometimes, even beliefs. Artists convey the unspeakable.”
― Jonathan Culver


All night long the seals barked outside my window. By clicking on the words Seal Barking you will be able to listen to what I heard…for 10 hours though.

Seal Barking

It was a full moon and the sky was clear. Magical by anyone’s standards, but I was trying to shut nature out. So now it’s Tuesday and my  post is late. I am arguing with myself. I vacillate between being a thinking person who talks about Spirit, and being a Spiritual person who thinks before talking. As I wrestle with this, my vision deteriorates…literally. I last went blind when my younger daughter left home for University, in 2009, leaving me lost and without a vision for my new life. I hang so steadfastly to my stances and beliefs on life, that my body gives me very real, unignorable symptoms…until my will breaks and I allow the transformation to occur.

This post jumps all over the place, reflecting my experience.


I sat bolt upright in bed last Wednesday night, gripped by fear. It was 1:38 am. Breaking out in a cold sweat, with butterflies in my stomach, I held my breath, afraid of my own shadow.  Was I standing on the edge of a precipice? Or adrift in white water rapids approaching a waterfall? Was I being smothered by a boa? Or leeched of blood by a parasitic worm? Or was I just a crocus, braving a chilly spring day?

2 truths are apparent to me. I have periods of terror in my new life and the use of idioms and hackneyed cliches are inadequate and sound idiotic.

On Saturday, as I was getting ready to meet a new man whom I hoped might be emotionally available, I glanced outside at the tiny flowers in my garden, bravely pushing through the cold, damp earth to view the blue sky and feel the warmth of the day. This may seem odd, but I’ve taken to talking to my plants. I asked them if they felt fear when blossoming in February, when tomorrow might bring snow? Did they contemplate waiting for a month, when warmer weather would be a certainty? Wouldn’t it be more prudent, I suggested, to wait until all conditions for survival were perfect? And there it is! Nature as metaphor! Obviously, neither the tiny yellow flowers nor the purple, can think or feel or have a say in when they bloom. Some inner ‘knowing’ alerts these plants to begin their transformation from seed pod to bloom, intuiting conditions are ‘good enough’. This inner knowing must exist within me, but I forget to listen to this intuitive, spiritual guide, and get stuck in my mind that says “Better the devil you know…” 



My first encounter with this new man took place at a local coffee shop. I felt fairly confident in going to meet him as I had intuited from the previous 2 weeks of conversation on POF, that he was respectful and attentive. During our 3 hour date, C. remained alert and interested in me, even when I deliberately put him to the test, by acting like an Emotionally Unavailable Man…you know, talking on and on in a  self-centered monologue! His eyes did not glaze over once, nor did he interrupt or yawn. And in answer to those of you who suggested only homosexual men are Emotionally Available, I hope you are wrong! I thought C. was attractive, but not confident. Every day language works well in describing C.’s stylish shirt and jeans, but falls short when trying to describe his essence. Metaphors from nature might lend themselves more easily to concepts like vulnerability and fear by creating images that bypass the concretizing mind. I could describe him using sea-faring terms. ..he seemed recently set adrift from an ancient mooring. Although awakened by this sudden plunge into icy water, he feared he would sink into the depths of  the unknown and would much prefer a jaunty sail in a light wind. Hackneyed yes, but the imagery says more than a simple explanation could. For illustration purposes… C.’s long term relationship ended recently when his wife wanted a divorce… 

Below are some photos of my new garden. It is being built by Anthony, with assistance from Jane! 20 eagles were flying around the cottage as a seal had washed up on shore, a tantalizing, but tough skinned treat for the wildlife.

COUGAR MARY-  I am trying to understand her

Sightings of cougars are extremely rare, even when your back yard borders a cougar corridor as mine did in Bragg Creek. So having a cougar walk onto my deck(2008) AND tap on my window to get my attention is beyond explanation in our material world. Enter the world of Spirit, Myth or Fairy Tale and the significance of this event becomes more apparent. This cougar encounter was meant to remind me that I am a mammal, capable of discernment through intuition, instinct, touch, taste, smell and sight…not just my mind.

 I have had countless cougar dreams, in which I behave exactly as I did in my real life meeting. Enraged, I rant and wave my arms maniacally trying to frighten this intruding cougar, so that it will run away…like the cowardly cat I think it must be. Importantly though, on my deck and in all of my cougar dreams, the cougar is neither aggressive towards me nor frightened of me. Whether in real life or in my dreams, the cougar’s gaze towards me was the same. With her eyes never leaving my face, she beseeched me to settle within myself in order to hear her lessons. She is my wise teacher, attempting to bestow wisdom on a foolishly naive, and bewildered me …having faith that one day, I will open up to her and willingly see the beauty in her presence.

Aspirations for Week 34 of 52

Cougar Mary – Is She Between the 2 Marys?

Like a young cougar cub, learning through trial and error, I am beginning to claim my personal power, walking a solitary path into the heart of all that matters. I will trust my instinctual self knowing that when the weather changes, I can close my petals and find shelter behind a granite rock.

Taking Shelter in Inclement Weather

Taking Shelter in Inclement Weather


It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost for a while, looking for the psychic and soulful kinship one requires.

― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves

Raging Storms outside my Window

 The raging storm has passed. Weeks of grey water and sky now replaced by a melange of pinks, purples and blues. It’s 7am and the sun has risen. I too am experiencing the end of a stormy period, and feel the dawning of a colourful hue.

The flicker from the flame that is my soul… that is my heart’s desire…it is known to me now. This precious drop of life force resides in the core of my being. It has a potency that propels me out of bed, not because I should be up, but because I want to live. Just as the storm’s wind and water have dislodged the driftwood and the rocks to create a new beach in front of my cottage, I too will never be as I was. The path to oneself contains many periods of disruption and destruction, but I would willingly withstand any number of internal storms, to experience this passion and desire, this palpable wave of libido…life energy.

I am beginning to live the life I once saw only in my imagination. Even as a child, forced to comply with the expectations and rules of my parents, I had a sense that one day, my life would feel different…one day I would feel free of constraint. This ‘knowing’ has been my guiding light, my divining rod. I believe we all possess this tiny oft unheard voice that ‘knows’. The cages of childhood and marriage enslaved my spirit, cowed my joie de vivre. Be polite Be productive Be kind Be virginal Be available Be the best Be giving…  These commands do not serve the heart, the soul, the psyche. Never was it said to me, “And what is your desire?” but I have the power to say this to myself!

My Souls’s Desire is Chasing Rainbows

This week with men! 

Heeding the advice from my wise friend S, I asked 2 men from POF for their numbers, rather than reveal mine. She also suggested I use *67 so that my number remained hidden. Unfortunately, I impulsively phoned Peter, leaving my digits exposed. The virtual conversations with this highly educated man, were snappy and fun and very respectful of my thoughts and feelings. So too, was our hour long phone conversation, other than his creepy revelation that he had googled my phone number, so now knew where I lived… 21st century dating…protect your identity…lesson learned. Later that Saturday, a message came from Peter, asking to meet. I responded by saying that I wrote on Sundays and Mondays, so maybe Tuesday. His response;

Peter: We are complex personalities….unlike you,l do not make rules…it might be a deal breaker…

Me: I agree!

Peter: ohh????

This was followed by an immediate phone call from him, wondering what I meant. I simply responded from my intuitive and knowing self. I said writing was not a rule but a a desire for me, and that I would not be contained by a man.

 He then turned nasty and belligerent, barking like an enraged dog, ‘You are out of touch with reality and will never find a man. You’re a manipulative game player etc etc” Then he hung up! I was nonplussed by his reaction. Sir Gawain this man was not. Sovereignty over my life…not on offer with a man such as Peter. In my process over the last years I have discovered my own thoughts, feelings, morals, opinions and ideals, thus ensuring I will no longer allow anyone to compress my vivid energy! (I have let friends know where Peter lives, in case he continues his tirade)

In wonderful contrast, through sheer serendipity, I spent several hours that same day, in the company of 2 more balanced men.



In the fall of 2008, lost in thought while eating breakfast, a tap on the patio window drew my gaze. Shockingly, I saw the most staggering sight…a magnificent cougar was calmly sitting on her haunches, tapping on the glass, 15 feet(4.5m) from me. For several seconds, we started into each other’s eyes. I broke the magical moment with a frenzied adrenaline rush of ridiculous counter invasion antics. I flew from my chair, ran onto the deck like a crazed banshee, and attempted to shoo her away, brandishing BBQ tools that I pounded on a plastic pail…

Undaunted my my wild gesturing and high pitched shrieks, the graceful cougar, tilted her head my way, as if to say, “I’m not here to harm you but to remind you of your animal side… to tell you to allay your fears, and wrench open the bars of this domestic prison…run into the wild…rekindle your spirit and reclaim your instinctual self.”

Even as the literal person I once was, I knew the cougar visit meant more than a mere animal sighting. Even the scientifically minded Park Warden who visited me to garner cougar details said I should feel blessed, cougars being extremely elusive. Having recently survived 2 brushes with death(sepsis 2006 and life threatening anemia 2008)I began the process of seeking a less contained life. I needed to release my firefly from the jar, before the light of my spirit diminished permanently.

Captured Fireflies

The rigidity of my body, crippled by arthritis, indicated I had lost the flow of the sensual, the creative, the naturally instinctual aspects of woman. I needed to find my voice and use it, operating less from my head, and more from that place of deep ‘knowing’, within my core. Part by part, I have had to reclaim myself, disentangle myself from the static amalgam that was my marriage.

My maternal Grandmother, below, looks like a woman who had urges and desires, that begged to be expressed. Her enigmatic smile, like the Mona Lisa’s, has a depth, an inner knowingness. 

Look into her eyes and see the pulse of life!

And this a woman, who maintained her inner spirit, despite being contained by an ambitious husband, who believed in sowing his seed. A set of twins, my Mother and Uncle, followed after this photo was taken. A few short years later, my Grandmother died in childbirth, exhausted from this life.

Material Success Sublimates my Grandmother”s Lust for Life

I too have yearned to live the life of a free and expressive woman. For my Grandmother, and my Grandmother’s daughters, I will uncage my wild woman. 

So for week 18 of 52, I make a solemn promise to myself and to the women of my family who have been starched flat…I will yowl at the moon.

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