Glastonbury, Mud and Lotus Flowers

English: Glastonbury festival 2007 THE MUD!!!!!!!!

English: Glastonbury festival 2007 THE MUD!!!!!!!! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pilton Festival (or  ‘Glastonbury’ as non-locals call it) is fast approaching.  This is evidenced by huge flotillas of lorries carrying banks of portable toilets and other necessities past my little cottage, which lies on the main route to Worthy Farm.

The passing of portaloos is not the only effect this event is having on my cottage.  The scaffolders refuse to attempt erecting scaffolding during Pilton week – quite understandable, given the time it would take to get there, with the whole area gridlocked, and the disruption the work would cause to the already choked road.
It makes little difference – my roofers are all off to the festival in any case.

Unless the weather changes dramatically over the next week or so, mud shouldn’t be a problem at the festival this year, but my preparations for moving into Lime Cottage have seemed, over the last few weeks, to be mired in lashings of the stuff.

Embarrassing really.

This is supposed to be an uplifting tale of small but significant miracles.  I’d grown so used to everything magically manifesting as I needed it that the petty delays, crossed wires and minor problems that – in fairness – thwart just about every house renovation took me rather by surprise.

Had my LIME (Life Is Miracles Expected) magic deserted me?

Was I losing my boundless optimism?

It all reached a peak on the day I’d redoubled my efforts to make the place habitable and put my back out in the process.  I crawled back to my comfortable, weatherproof, rented haven in town feeling grim and miserable and decided it was time to take stock.


Louise Hay When I create peace, harmony, and b...

What would Louise Hay say about that?

Lack of support.

Tell me about it.

Luckily, I soon came to my senses.  I realised that however heroic it felt to be attempting everything single handed, it was time I enlisted some help.

As if by magic, my rented house was sold that day, and the landlord happily agreed to release me from the contract that could have had me paying rent here until December.

I decided to use the money I’d save employing a firm to deep clean the cottage, an old friend who is a decorator to finish stripping the wallpaper and paying extra to the removal company to pack all my gear before they move it.  What luxury!

Peace, harmony and balance were restored.

The next day my new copy of Cygnus Review arrived through the letter box, with a beautiful photo of a lotus flower on the cover.

The picture linked to an extract from a featured book: Practising Peace of Mind by Thich Nhat Nahn.

The article started by talking about bodily pain – a subject I could relate to very well, still being in considerable discomfort with my back.  This section caught my eye:

Lotus flower

…when we look deeply we see that suffering and happiness inter-are, just as the mud and the lotus interpenetrate each other. A lotus can only grow in mud. If there were no mud, there would be no lotus flower.

– See more at:

What very wise words.

Now I’m happy (well, y’know, relatively happy) to wade through the mud for a few weeks longer, knowing that I’ll be able to appreciate the perfection of the lotus flower when it surfaces.

Any remaining challenges are simply Life working out the way ‘I’ – at some level – have chosen, to prove to myself that I can play this game and have this particular adventure.

And meanwhile, here’s me, getting the cold shoulder

Cold Shoulder

Cold Shoulder (Photo credit: smkybear)

I’m not sleeping.

Well, I say that.  Obviously some sleep goes on.  I’d estimate 2-3 hours a night – 4 on a really good one.  That isn’t deep, refreshing, all-at-once sleep, though.  I doze off for 40 minutes or so and then there’s the painful awakening.  I writhe and twist, gyre and gimble (Lewis Carroll, Jabberwocky – I’m a massive fan) and vainly attempt to get some relief from the pains that are shooting down my back, my arm and up into my neck and head.

Eventually I get up and wander off to the bathroom or pace around the house for a while, before collapsing back on to the bed and waiting for the discomfort to return to a sleep-throughable level.  That can take hours; it usually does.

I have, I’m told, a ‘frozen shoulder‘.  It’s the most ridiculous ailment; even the doctor admitted as much.  The information sheet he gave me reads like something Lewis Carroll himself might have penned.  For reasons no one can discern, the shoulder becomes increasingly painful and stiff over a period of months.  This is, apparently, the ‘Freezing Stage’.  Seriously.

Mobility may be affected, it says.  My shoulder has definite and ever-expanding no-go areas.  They include behind and up.  Stray into them by mistake and the pain starts small and takes up to five minutes to develop a vice-like intensity that has me gasping for breath.

The pain is frequently worse at night, it says.  Hell, yeah.  As described above.

So what do I have to look forward to?  Apparently next comes the ‘Frozen Stage’.  I can expect less pain but the same level of stiffness and lack of movement.  That, it tells me, will typically last between 18 months and 3 years.  After that – you’ve guessed it – there is a ‘Thawing Stage’.  A year or two more for it to subside and disappear as quietly as it arrived and I will be back to normal.  Physiotherapy and painkillers are offered, more to placate the GP’s feelings of helplessness than to make any difference to the condition, he agreed.

I’ve already tried deep tissue massage and acupuncture, to no avail.  Since there’s no medical reason, and since I tend towards the Louise Hay view of dis-ease in any case, I opted for some Reiki.

Now this is where it gets seriously weird.

Reiki symbol1

I went to a Reiki practitioner I’d only met a week or two before.  She knew very little about me and I knew very little about Reiki.  I sat for a long time listening to pleasant music while the healing took place.

When she’d finished, she came to sit with me, looking rather shocked and puzzled.

“I saw a face,” she told me.  “He was right here.”  She motioned the front of my shoulder.  “He was looking straight at me.”

Like I say, this lady didn’t know me well, or any of the people in my life.  I asked her if she could describe the person she’d seen.  As she did so, I started to realise who it was.

I went to fetch a photo.  “Is this the person you saw?”

She gasped and nodded.  “The hair was a bit different, but that was exactly the face.”

Well that made sense.  The photo is about five years old.  It’s of someone who has played a huge part in my life; someone I helped, mentored and loved for many years.  And then, little by little, he moved out of my life and stopped responding to letters, calls and emails.  He’s given me, you could say, the cold shoulder…


Of course, as I’ve said many times before in my blog, I don’t believe others cause us pain.  I believe we allow ourselves to feel pain in response to the way they act.  My Guide explained it to me in this way:

What if I stick a knife in someone.  Surely then I will hurt that person – cause their pain?
And what causes the pain?

Fortunately, my Reiki healer had another strategy for me.  She told me to smile into my body – giving a smile of love and gratitude to each part of my body in turn – and to linger on that shoulder, giving it extra love.

English: Smile

Oh how right she is!   I don’t intend to wait years for my shoulder to thaw.  I’ll see if that smile, and any others I can collect, can defrost it.

All smiles gratefully received 🙂