The Mane Tale

As I look out my window from my multi-leveled home in the Laurel district of Oakland, I see beautiful rainbow colored express ways! Many animals are driving shiny glittery, all glass vehicles. There are also some humans in some of transportation, like buses. One particular animal catches my eye, he is a medium-sized lion with a blue mane and purple eyes he reminds me of the ancient story I heard about back in the 21st-century called the "Lion King" one of the names of the main characters was a lion named Simba, he was a special kind of leader, full of fun and song! He had to search his demons, though and overcome them to become a true leader of all the animals in Africa.

As I reflect on this lion character, I am amazed at how our world has come such a long way, the year being 2220, in allowing animals to not only learn our human languages but to gain a place in our world full of respect, autonomy and power! As humans, we have also learned multiple animal languages. This enables better communication between species. Animals have been teaching us for a millennium about the power of instinct and to not be so wrapped up with our brains… in our heads, but to let our hearts and emotions guide us to unite and create community.

Last year, our family member, Zack ~ a shepard mix dog passed after 300 human years, he was a gentle spirit, loving and affectionate. He always taught me to be in the moment, to be free of mind chatter… When he knew his time of transition would be close, he telepathically beckoned me to come close to him in the middle of the night , he allowed me to enter his heart energy space, to see him wag his tail joyfully, to smile his biggest smile and then in the next moment his spirit gently floated away.

As humans, we are beginning to learn about entering energetic heart spaces…

After we cremated Zack, my son and I wanted to bury some of his ashes near the hiking trail up in the Oakland hills where Zack loved to run around. We chose a warm afternoon in May to go up to the Oakland hills. It always smells nice on the hiking trails, sometimes it smells like a combination of eucalyptus and bay leaf. As we were digging in the soil we found a beautiful piece of labradorite (it’s a magical crystal of Shamans, Diviners, healers, and all those who travel the universe for knowledge and guidance; it also helps to awaken one’s own awareness of inner spirit, intuition and psychic abilities).

When I touched the labradorite, a golden liquid flowed from it and began writing in the air, like it had a glass palate to write on and like a hologram: "You are now the proud owner of this precious stone that has the ability to write and communicate from different realms and other universes! There are many worlds within worlds in this universe and you have been chosen to begin learning about them." Not only does this labradorite have the ability to write, but it instructed me that if one holds it in the palm of a hand and place it over your heart area, it will envelope you into a transport cloud and take you to another dimension.

"You have been chosen to take this journey because of the love that you have demonstrated with all your family, friends and acquaintances. You have also been chosen because you need to heal some deep wounds and once you heal from them you will be able to affect more positive change in your world!"

I take the labradorite in the palm of my right hand and place it over my heart. I feel a strange whirling sensation and a rainbow cloud almost like a small tornado envelopes me and when I awake I am in the mountains of what I think is Tibet? Or, could it be India, of my childhood? I walk along the unmarked streets and it looks like many of the buildings have been damaged by an earthquake. I am still holding the Labradorite and so I ask in a whisper, where am I and why do all these streets and buildings look so damaged?

The golden writing begins again…. "this is a part of your psyche, you are in the Himalayas, in Nanital, India where a mental earthquake occurred in your mind-body-spirit. The first internal earthquake occurred when your father died…! Do you remember writing this poem?"


My Indian Father

I wish I could thank him,

For his simple ways of caring,

For his abeyant ways of showing,

Life is fullest for the daring.

He spoke to us of Gandhi,

To seek truth and to forgive,

To approach life intensely,

Using insight and wisdom,

Each day to live!

Although his many errors,

Were difficult to endure.

But, as a reflection of a mirror,

Understanding, was the cure.

I love him deeply,

And, hope my family understand,

For if one would search

The universe,

Few, would compare with this man.


I do remember writing this poem… the sadness that I felt and that is still present today at times. Labradorite, felt the sadness connected to Zack’s transition and wanted me to revisit the Golden Realm to fully understand and heal from my first real loss.





Samosas

The Labradorite stone asked, "Narissa, do you remember when you experienced your first real loss?" Ah… yes… I remember… It was 1969, and I was 12 years old, it was about 85 degrees out in Nanital, India. (Nanital is a provence around a lake a few hours outside of New Delhi in the Himalayan mountains. It is a place not easy to get to, one has to take a train, then a bus up a one lane road up the mountain.) I had just found out a few hours earlier from the doctor in the run down hospital in the center of the town that my father had passed.

There was a dark long corridor to the doctor’s office, and he sat behind a desk. The doctor said "your father died during the night." The doctor explained that my father would have needed surgery to remove his big toe this morning, due to infection, the gangrene. But he did not live through the night. The doctor asked me if I would like to see his body ? I said "no!" I knew very clearly that I did not want to see his dead body; I wanted to remember his smiling face. The doctor then asked me, what I wanted done with his body and without hesitation, I replied, I want him cremated! I remembered that is what my father would have wanted.

I began the long hike to our bungaloo; it was probably about two miles or more up the mountain. I needed to break the news to my sisters, Parvati and Susie, one eight and the other six years old. I picked up some samosas from a street vendor and halfway up the mountain I sat and looked down at the beautiful province of Nanital, (a place the British had built to escape the summer heat, during their occupation and rule of India.) There was a pristine lake and I sat and ate my samosas on a small stone wall area overlooking the city. It was beautiful. I knew, sitting on the wall, that I needed to put a stone on my heart, maybe take part of the wall with me…? I could not show sadness to my sisters. I had to be strong. I had to be like a stone…. As I finished my last bite of samosa, I wiped away my tears and resumed my hike. The comfort - this deep fried potatoe treat, samosa, gave me, would change my relationship to food for the rest of my life.

We had lived in Nanital, for several months now. Our father continued to do what he did best, which was business. Even on his death bed, he was buying and selling lovely, flowery plastic plates. On one of his business trips, he had stubbed his big toe. It became gangernous, the smell was awful, like a bowel movement. I could see the flesh was eaten away and I saw the tendons in his foot. He continued to take care of us three girls, the best he could, like making mango chutney for us to enjoy…, the corner of one of the rooms was piled high with green mangoes that he used for the chutney!

As I think back to this time, I realize what a warm and nurturing man our father was. I never doubted his love for me and my sisters, his heart was so big, so generous of love. This deep heart love energy was so penetrating and strong that it would sustain me for years to come. This love would also eventually lead to me connecting to his spirit from another realm. The realm when our bodies die, and our souls continue to flourish. This heart energy was in stark contrast to our Japanese mother who had her own cultural ways of instilling love.

When I came up to the bungaloo area after my long hike up the mountain to where we lived across from Sherwood College, I called out both my sisters names. They said I sounded different as I said the words "dad is dead" and they did not believe me, I said it again…The family that lived downstairs came up to our apartment. My sister Parvati remembers me going downstairs to get some snacks for everyone.

In the days that followed, I lit a candle and put some flowers near our father’s picture. Some local Sindhis came to our home (our father was Sindhi.) Sindhis are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group native to the Sindh province of modern day Pakistan. When my father was born near Karachi, Pakistan, it was India and he was a refugee. They told me that they would cremate his body and give him a proper Sindhi ceremony while his body was being cremated… (Sindhis, many times have their last name end in "ni", like my surname, Thadani and are connected to Sulfism.)





Becoming Disabled

After our Father’s death our cousin, Uncle Deku came from New Delhi to pick us up. Although he was a blood cousin, but we called him "uncle" since he was over 40 years old and we were all children! He hugged me, I felt my cheek against him slightly under his chest and the sense that my sisters and I would be taken care of.

We knew Uncle Deku because we had spent time in his home. Our father’s only sister Bobhi (a word reverence and respect, her name was Drepathi) and Uncle Deku’s wife, Rita, and their two children lived in New Delhi. As soon as we arrived from Japan in 1968, we had lived with them. We had left Yokohama, Japan and boarded a ship to Hong Kong, my father, two sisters and I had slept on the ship for a four night trip. It was a fun trip with lots of college students who had just graduated and were fascinated by my use of the Japanese language—I spoke as if I was a male, since I made friends with many boys while living in Yokohama. I did not know that it was improper for me to speak like a boy! I think the college students saw me, in a way, like a rebel, which amused and perhaps intrigued them!

When we got to Hong Kong, the college students snuck me onto their tour buses, so I got to see many beautiful sights in and around the city. I got to ride in a tiny boat, in which the crew member poked a large stick into the water and pulled up a large bug which he roasted on a small stove after dipping it in spices. I went to the country side of Hong Kong, and saw beautiful temples and monuments!

Our father had become very ill with his diabetes, so he stayed in the hotel room with my sisters except for an occasional walk outside to get some fried rice from street vendors.

The second big earthquake in my psyche…

Uncle Deku had established himself as a caretaker for our family and even more so once our father died . After my sisters left for America he would pick me up at the orphanage in Faridabad to take me back for weekends in New Delhi with his family. It was during this time, in the car and in his home, that he behaved in strange sexual ways.

He asked me to look at his private parts when we were in his car, later he would ask me to touch it. Then, I remember a time in his home he would take me into his bedroom while he was wearing his thin pajama pants and asked me to touch his private part, it was hard…at some point he asked me to ’"lick it like candy or a lollipop" I do not remember doing this…either while I was in the car or in his house. Perhaps I blocked this memory out ? It was so strange. Each time this kind of incident occurred, parts of my fingers dissolved, eventually a whole finger would be gone!

I didn’t know what to make of this situation, I told his daughter who was my age about his behavior and we both would kind of giggle since we really did not understand what was going on. At that time in India, we did not have television; we did not have the kind of education or exposure to sexual activities as we do in 2220. So we were quite perplexed. I use to wonder about Uncle Deku’s wife during these interactions, I wondered what kind of personal contact they had? With each incident, one of my fingers would dissolve off my hand, until I no longer had all five fingers on each hand. However, I did not feel any pain at the time.

How I wish for such a different memory for that 12 year old Narissa! I wish Uncle Deku could have brought me sweets and toys when he came to pick me up. I wish he could have given me a warm hug, letting me know that everything was going to be O.k. after our father died and my sisters left for America! That I would soon be reunited with my mother and sisters in America! That I would be protected, nurtured and loved. I wish Uncle Deku while in his home and family brought me books to read , and ensured that no harm came to me! I wish Uncle Deku took me to Indian films and then bought me magazines with the pictures of the actresses so I could cut them out and put them in a notebook. I wish he could have helped me with learning Hindi, possibly coaching me and giving me new words to learn. I wish he could have bought me records for the songs in the movies so I could enjoy them, learn them and treasure them!

I understand now that I need to nurture that Narissa who was mistreated, I need to let her know she is safe, give her things to explore her creativity, take her to places where she can learn something new. Nurture her in every way possible…

Uncle Deku’s attention felt like I was getting affection in a strange sort of way, I would not understand till much later in my life, around in my 40s the impact these activities had on my psyche.

It was during the time I signed up for an outpatient drug program to get off crack cocaine that my numbing activities were some how related to these early childhood experiences with loss and with Uncle Deku and his strange behavior. I also learned that many of my relationships with men would be colored with the Uncle Deku crayon.

The Uncle Deku crayon was a dark color, full of self hate, self loathing, and shame! The Uncle Deku crayon disconnected sex from love. The Uncle Deku crayon saw men as objects to be used and discarded, I was to be distrustful of all men! The Uncle Deku crayon was the color of Spock from the ancient T.V. show Star Trek, it was being uncomfortable with emotions and comfortable in logic, the mind and heart were large distances apart so I turned to my brain….The Uncle Deku crayon would make it difficult for me to commit in relationships and trust men. "Your disability, will become your strength one day little Narissa…let’s enter the next realm."



The Red Realm

The anger and underlying hurt culminated one night in the Red Realm (a psychic realm that allows for anger to be expressed in action, sometimes violence) for me.

It was around 8 pm, and dark outside. Uncle Deku came to Saint Mary’s convent in Faridabad to pick me up as he usually did each weekend. This time though, I looked at him with such disgust that he slapped her looking very hurt.

"I hate you!! … I hate what you have done to me!!

I have lost 3 fingers on each hand!"

I then took a knife that she had been hiding in my pocket and stabbed him in his lower abdomen with the only two fingers she had left in my right hand. Blood gushed out! He yelled "how dare you ungrateful child, I have taken you and your sisters into my house, and this is how you repay me?!!"

He grabbed a pocket knife he had in his pocket and slashed me across my chest, knicking my heart. It was extremely difficult for me to hold onto the knife since her fingers had dissolved away from his previous encounters. But before I lost consciousness I took one more stab at him. This time hitting a major artery in his chest.

When I awoke and he was on top of me and I still held the knife which was still lodged in his chest. He was unconscious. Still barely breathing. I pushed him off of me. I pulled the knife out of his chest and jammed it back into his chest, screaming, "this is what you deserve for maiming me like you have done!!!! "You should have been caring for me and my sisters after our father died, instead you took liberty with my body, making me touch your private parts, I cried gigantic tears …" Blood continued gushing, but then he awoke, I then felt horrified and began to run. He tried to chase me, staggering with weakness. He tripped over something on the floor, this time knocking him totally out, I stood over him and stabbed him over and over and over again.

Labradorite started writing again, it ss time to return to the present… 2220.

Narissa returns to the present time in Oakland 2220. She is bewildered by her recent experiences and asks the labradorite stone if she could have an explanation of these various realms that she can enter in order to heal her soul.The labradorite wrights in the beautiful gold … you must now go and seek the guidance and wisdom of the blue maned lion, Orunmila.

Narissa asks how she will be able to locate and contact Orunmila ? "You must send a telepathic message to him and he will find you." The following day, Narissa sits on her back porch, the scent from the lemon tree fills her nostrils, she sits peacefully and sends the message into the atmosphere with her mind. To her surprise, Orunmila responses immediately and says he will be there within the hour. Larissa returns into her home and enters her livingroom which has dark red walls, a couch, loveseat with glass coffee table and a standing lamp and many, many plants many of which are orchids. She wants to make sure the room is clean and tidy for when Orunmila arrives.

Within the hour she hears a knock on the door and Orunmila enters. He pulls up on his hind legs to offer her a place that’s a handshake "I am Orunmila and it is a pleasure to meet you!" I have been knowing that you would contact me for quite some time and so it is a pleasure to finally meet you. He settles back down on all four paws and enters her living room she had actually laid out a nice blanket on the floor which she just gestures to him to please feel free to be comfortable. "I am so curious about the various realms that the Labradorite stone has mentioned to me and I have been informed that you would be able to tell me about these realms." Orunmila asks Narissa to sit close to him and he says "of course" we will start with the Red Realm because I know you have recently entered it."

"It is the realm in which hurt and anger are expressed in movement sometimes this movement is violent because the body requires it to be expressed and removed from your nervous system in order to heal. Your nervous system is amazing in that all trauma and all joys are stored, sometimes even without our awareness in other words it is in our unconscious. When you enter the Red Realm you needed to heal from the trauma that Uncle Deku caused in which emotionally you lost fingers in your hand. His abuse, his inappropriate touching and talking to you had caused these traumas and so the hurt that you felt was expressed in anger towards him and it was a very violent meeting in the Red Realm." "Underneath the anger is many times, hurt."

Narissa was still a little confused on whether or not any of this actually happened but she continued to listen.

"The next realm that you will enter will be the Golden Realm and here you will resolve some of your feelings, first towards your Japanese mother and then your Indian father.

It is the realm in which tears, laughter and finding the humor in situations can heal but you will also need to uncover the history of your mother and father and perhaps even Uncle Deku. The other realms that you will enter will be the blue one here you will uncover some of your basic intimate relationships and go through five of the most significant ones as well as reflect on the many men that you have encountered in your past lives." Narissa is puzzled, "what do you mean past lives?" "You have been living on the planet earth for about 300 years, and every 90 years you have had to be reborn to a new body. "I see …" "Are you now ready to enter the "Golden Realm?" "yes" You will start with a conversation, a monologue to your Japanese mother.

Lay Down Our Broken Hearts ~ letter to Mom:

Mother, there are moments I cannot remember but still hold dear in my heart. I’m sure my three-year-old hand held yours many times on the ship from Yokohama, Japan to San Francisco. My father wanted a "better life for us" and perhaps to also separate us from his first Japanese wife, whom he was still married to. He sent you and me on a journey to this new country while he conducted business in Japan.

During our first years in San Francisco, I’m sure I had delicious Japanese food and spoke to you in Japanese. Those were the days when I went to the bilingual school: Morning Star, near Japan town in SF. This was before I turned five and then we moved to Cole Street, near Golden Gate Park and I had to go to an American school where no one spoke Japanese.

Most of the students at Andrew Jackson school were Black. There was only three of us that were not in my grade. One was my Filopino girlfriend, Lillie, and on Hispanic boy, Jose. We moved within a year to Oakland, where Dad bought a grocery store on Staftner. It was fun having a grocery store, lots of candy. I went to Emerson school for a few years then we moved back to San Francisco.

I remember the lemon meringue pies you used to make because we had so many leftover packages from closing that grocery store you and dad fought about in Oakland. You would bake yummy, moist yellow or chocolate cake, sometimes decorated with sprinkles, so I could have a piece after school. Making food was how you showed your affection and love!. It was the 1960s then, and I remember teaching you dance moves and watching you fix your hair in that ratted-up, poof style.

Then you left for Japan. I’m still not sure why you left-perhaps because of visa issues-but my life changed afterward. I got into trouble for shoplifting clothes. I was seeking attention and wanted to do daring and exciting things to see what I could get away with.

When you, Dad, and my sisters returned to America, Dad’s infidelity had finally pushed you to find your own happiness outside our family with a man from Okinawa. Dad had been unfaithful many times, but it hurt you the most when he slept with your younger sister, Saoko while she was staying with us in Oakland. You had been pregnant with my younger sister, Parvati at the time.

When you divorced him, he kidnapped my younger sisters and me. I remember the day my sisters and I stood by the ocean liner to wish him farewell as he was leaving for Japan. I became suspiciouscious when I saw that our half-brother, Sunjay had packed so many suitcases. I confronted my father after seeing that one of them contained our toys! He said that he was taking us with him because you had deserted us and were an unfit mother. I don’t remember how I felt then-perhaps Dad’s comments put a stone on my heart. We did not see or make contact with you for three years while we were in Japan and later in India with him. I do not remember thinking about you or missing you.

After Dad’s death in India, I returned to America because you found a sponsor family who let me live with them. We saw each other sporadically over the years. I know your husband could not take care of me and sisters, financially or emotionally. So, we stayed with American families who often did not understand us, personally or culturally. You cared for us through homemade California rolls, futomaki, tempura, gifts and money that you sent to us.

It was during that time that I began to put on weight as a teen. I hated my body, and you amplified my feelings by the shame and concern you displayed about my weight gain. You did not know it then, but an older cousin, Uncle Deku in India had molested me, crippled me emotionally and this also put another stone on my heart. It would take me years to recover. In fact, I am still recovering as I reach 160. I remember that when I told you, 30 years after it happened. You became very angry, not sure at who, perhaps Dad, Uncle Deku, the universe? Back then during my 20s, 30s, 40s, I dealt with the pain through drugs and food. I remember you visited one morning after I had been up all night free-basing cocaine. You were compassionate. Somehow it seemed like you understood my pain.

I know you experienced your own trauma-a fatherless childhood after 16 when your mother kicked your father out of the house for gambling, surviving World War II-that led you on journey like mine. I know what attracted you to father, a man from India with a warm spirit, beautiful and generous heart, but also a dark side that perhaps resonated with your own.

Since your stroke three years ago, I have seen you cry and ask for forgiveness from your three daughters. I know without a doubt that had you been given the love and support that you needed while you were growing up, you would have been a different mother to us. I know now that your daughters are loving, accomplished women because you never stop thinking about us, though you may have not been there physically. That spiritual connection was always deep. I truly forgive you as you lay down our broken hearts. And, I continue praying that you move towards light and love.



The Golden Realm

A large ornate golden door appears in front of Narissa, she enters and sees her mother. "It has been many years mom, since you died!"

"You look beautiful as ever", I love the lavender dress you are wearing and the smell of roses in this place!"

"This is the Golden Realm, Narissa, a place where my soul continues to learn on a journey to more wholeness. "Your letter was lovely, I am so sorry though, when I was in my body on earth that I was not more feeling towards all that you and your sisters had to go through. My struggles in the early 19th century Japan left me so scarred and unable to fully function as a woman, mother, sister and daughter." My own mother was so determined and cold, which left me feeling so lonely, lost and blue."

"She was a samurai blood, a warrior, and her strength was that she was able to let my father go due to his gambling addiction and she raised 7 children on her own, something not heard of in Japan at that time."

"In this Golden Realm, I have learned with the aid of my flower mothers to soften myself, feel again and also reconnect with my own mother, your grandmother. We both are healing from the traumas sustained back on earth, in Japan." "I am glad to see you here, my beloved child, first born daughter, I know you are here because you are very special and the universe is guiding you to heal." "please know that all of your ancesters are also guiding you!" "With each choice that you make consciously and unconsciously magical doors open and close and with each event a wound transforms, you either heal, remain the same or you reinjure yourself, so please be aware of your choices! As the great wizard, back in the early 2000s said "It is our choices that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities."