Nothing Really Matters was the sixth track from the “Ray of Light” CD – “Nothing really matters, Love is all we need, Everything I give you, All comes back to me”
On the morning of July 31, 2007, I drove Dolos to Tillamook, Oregon to begin his five-day “Spirit Quest” with the LightSong School of Shamanic Studies. The following Sunday, August 5, I returned to pick him up. I was supposed to pick him up at 3:00 PM, but I was so excited to hear about his quest that I arrived in Tillamook three hours early.
After eating lunch at a downtown diner, I drove out to where I dropped him off the week before, which was about fifteen miles outside of town. It was 1:30 PM when I drove through the second gate and onto the grounds where the quest was taking place. The actual camp was about a mile beyond the second gate, so I decided to stop at one of the small campgrounds to walk around and spend time in nature. I brought my camera so I could take photos.
After I parked beside one of the picnic tables, I got out of the car and walked over to the bridge which crossed a small stream. I took several photos from the bridge and continued to explore my surroundings. I eventually found a path leading down to the Trask River and decided to follow it for what must have been several hundred yards. Some of the trees along this path had to have been several hundred years old. They were covered in thick moss and just being in their presence felt a little spooky. I felt as though I was walking through a magical forest. As I continued down the path, a small garter snake crossed in front of me.
Snake offers the following wisdom: Elusiveness, Manipulates lightning, Transmutation, Exploration of the mysteries of life, Primitive or elemental energy, Protection from religious persecution, Goddess energy, Psychic energy, Creative power, Immortality, Connection to or forms the magic cord by which the shaman travels to the soul world.
It was around that time that I took the photo of the tree below.
I continued down the path until I came to an overlook, which extended over a large pool of water at the bottom of a short waterfall. From there the water ran down into the Trask River. I climbed down the bank and walked out onto the banks of the river. I couldn’t believe how clear the water was. The river was very healthy.
I then decided to climb back up the river bank, but this time on the other side of the waterfall. As I reached the top of the waterfall, I read a sign that read “Salmon Spawn Survey.” I realized that the large pool of water was a place where salmon came to spawn every spring. As I reached the top of the small waterfall, I paused for a moment and took in all of the natural beauty that was surrounding me. It was stunning. As I took my next step, I slipped and fell into the water. My expensive camera came from around my neck as I hit the ground and bounced across several rocks until it finally ended up in the water, right in the middle of the waterfall. Startled, I immediately jumped up, chased my camera down the waterfall, grabbed it out of the water, and removed the battery and photo discs. I knew at that point that I ruined my digital camera.
I began my walk back up the path to Dolos’ car, completely soaked and mystified as to what had happened. I thought more deeply about what had just happened, and for some reason didn’t get that upset about my camera. That was unusual for me. I’ve always been very protective of my camera. It was 2:00 PM and I still had another hour to pass before I was supposed to pick up Dolos, so I decided to drive across the bridge to move in just a little closer to camp. I passed the next hour working on my camera and airing it out with the car’s air conditioner. I thought if it dried out, it just might work again.
At 3:00 PM I drove down to where all of the questers and their supporters were. When I arrived, one of the questers was still sharing his experiences with everyone, so they smudged me and had me take a seat. I sat and listened to Nicodemus tell how he spent his four days on the river bank without food or water and all of the messages that he received during his quest. After everyone told their stories and the closing ceremonies took place, Dolos took me on a quick tour of the grounds. I had never seen him so excited about anything as he was about this experience. I could tell that a significant transformation had taken place.
While we were touring the grounds, Nicodemus walked by, and Dolos introduced us. Dolos then told me that Nicodemus had one of the most beautiful spots during the quest. Coincidentally, it was the very spot where I took the photograph of the tree. I told Dolos about slipping and falling into the water, ruining my camera, and how it felt like someone or something had grabbed my camera from around my neck and thrown it into the stream. I figured there was a connection between Nicodemus and me. Not only was I walking around the area where he did his quest, but I entered the camp while he was sharing his story. I realized at that point that my camera had become a sacrifice because I was treading on sacred grounds.
After Dolos and I helped clean up, we spent the next several hours catching up on everything. Our two-hour drive back to Portland went very quickly. As soon as I walked into my apartment, I immediately checked my disc to see if the last photos taken with my camera were still intact. All of the pictures were there. There was this one photo that stuck out. It was the photo taken after seeing the snake and right before losing my camera. When I opened the picture, I noticed something extraordinary and exciting. I saw an image of a very stern face on the trunk of the tree. The face resembled the face of a Native American chief. As I studied the photo even closer, I noticed what appeared to be an eagle headdress above the face. The two branches that stuck out on both sides looked like eagle wings on a totem pole. I shared the photo with the instructor at the LightSong School of Shamanic Studies and asked her to forward it to Nicodemus. I felt like the picture had an exceptional meaning, not only for me but for him. I concluded that losing my camera during this adventure was a sure sign that I had outgrown that particular camera, and perhaps there was some transformation right around the corner.
At this point in my life, I felt utterly mystified. The experience of loving Thaddeus and losing him to AIDS, coupled with the experience of being rejected by my family, but still finding the strength within myself to look beyond their rejection and love them unconditionally, all meant something. Add those experiences to the many unexplained adventures that my relationship with my mother brought about, such as the 1-2-3 messages, and the spider and the hummingbird, I was beginning to feel as though I was living in some dream, or fairy tale. (No pun intended!) After I arrived in Portland, several people told me that most people move to Portland on a whim, as if they receive a calling. I guess that’s what happened to me. Living in Portland certainly changed my life in many different ways.
Graceful Changes (Astrology Forecast) This influence represents an excellent opportunity for you to make changes in your emotional life and personal surroundings, such as your home. And you can make these changes without causing great problems and upsets, as might be the case at other times. Events may present you with opportunities to experience your emotions in a new way. You may begin a new relationship that will bring feelings you have never had before. A love relationship that begins under this influence will have a wonderful excitement that may be missing at other times. Existing relationships may also change so that they, too, allow you new emotional experiences. A situation may occur that brings up an event from the past so that you can examine it in a new light and change your attitudes toward it. By understanding the past differently, you will be able to change its effect upon you. For example, this may be an encounter with a female relative that clarifies and allows you to change your attitude toward something that happened in your childhood. You may have got into certain routines with friends and other people whom you see every day, with the result that you have not been experiencing them as they really are. Unconsciously adopted attitudes may have got in the way of seeing them clearly. This influence gives you the chance to recognize these attitudes and to change them. Consequently, you may experience your friends as new individuals. Take advantage of this opportunity to make graceful changes in your personal life. Now it will be easy to get rid of unconscious attitudes, habits, and routines that will be much harder to get rid of later on. | Copyright Astro.com
On August 7, 2007, the day before my father’s birthday, I experienced something utterly amazing. I don’t know if it’s tied to the spider and the hummingbird, or the drumming at Horsethief Butte, but my sister called to share some news with me about an experience she had with my brother’s new wife, Minni. Apparently, the two of them got wasted one night and Minni decided to share the fact that her baby brother was gay and had died of AIDS a few years back. I think Minni’s story really affected my sister. At about the same time, our Uncle Seth decided to make my sister the beneficiary of half of his estate. My sister called to tell me that she wanted to divide those proceeds in half, leaving half to her grandchildren and the other half to me. I assumed it was to make up for the things that happened back in the early 1980s. As she was explaining all of this, she apologized for being such a bitch and also apologized for treating me so badly all of the years in between. I knew how difficult it was for her to do this. I was speechless. I told her that it meant a lot to me to hear her say those words. I wondered if she had been drinking. It wasn’t like her at all.
I suppose there are people that live to be ninety years old and never get to hear the words “I’m Sorry” from a loved one that has wronged them, so I felt completely blessed to experience this with my sister. After I hung up the phone with her, I sat and cried for an hour. I couldn’t help it. I had finally heard the words that I had waited so many years to hear. I guess all of the unconditional love that I sent to her made it’s way back around to me somehow. Perhaps a part of me was crying because my sister had a change of heart and another part of me became emotional because I was finally, once and for all, ready to move beyond all of that emotional baggage from my past. I wrote my sister a letter the very next day, on our father’s birthday, telling her how much her words healed all of the hurt that I had carried around for so many years.
Lying on my desk was the birthday card that my sister had sent me a few weeks earlier and enclosed in that card was a photo of our mother, one we had never seen before. This photo was given to my sister while she attended the funeral of our Aunt Hena, our Uncle Seth’s wife. The picture fascinated me. My mother looked so happy and fulfilled in this photo. (See photo at the top of the page.) I guess it was no mistake that I received the picture the day after Dolos and I returned from our incredible drumming experience on HorseThief Butte.
On Sunday morning, August 12, just five days after my sister’s apology, I woke up from an intense dream. In my dream, I was riding a bus, and as I was looking out the window of the bus, I saw the house where I grew up as a child. I suddenly exited the bus and found myself standing in the front yard. I had no concept of how old I was in this dream, so age wasn’t an issue. I noticed lots of gifts on the front porch wrapped in really shiny paper and big bows. Somehow, I knew all of these gifts were for me. I ran to the front porch and started gathering the packages, and as I was standing there with both arms full, my mother opened the front door. She smiled at me and told me to bring everything inside. I followed her into the kitchen and began placing all of the gifts on the kitchen table. When I looked at her, she appeared just as she appears in the photo at the top of this page. As she was standing there beside the sink, she said, “How are you doing? You look terrific!” I said, “Mom, I’m doing great. Look, I have new teeth.” Then I smiled really big. She smiled back and it was at that point that I woke up. When I woke up, I was smiling. Coincidentally, I soon discovered that to dream that your teeth are gleaming signifies happiness and fulfilled wishes.
When I was very young
Nothing really mattered to me
But making myself happy
I was the only one
Now that I am grown
I’ll never be the same
Because of you
Nothing really matters
Love is all we need
Everything I give you
All comes back to me
Looking at my life
It’s very clear to me
I lived so selfishly
I was the only one
That nobody wins
Something is ending
And something begins
Nothing takes the past away
Like the future
Nothing makes the darkness go
Like the light
You’re shelter from the storm
Give me comfort in your arms