Elon has decided to sell the house basically "as is" and will list it starting in July. There will be some minor landscaping and interior cosmetic fixes, but he wants to sell fast and without investing much into it. So Jean needs to find an apartment and move out by the end of June. She could use help moving and needs to find a new home for her outdoor cat. LMK.
Saturday I had lunch with Elon and we talked extensively about the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, etheric sight, precognition, three souls, astral travel, dark matter, big bang, etc. Thing is it was completely a Feri discussion even with all the science thrown in. Victor, Elon and I used to have these kinds of chats a lot years ago. Of course Victor is gone, but in recent years Elon and I would talk quite a bit but could never manage to have these kinds of discussions. Fact is we mostly used to talk about Cora's healthcare and science fiction (I guess as a distraction). Plus talking to him one-on-one it is easier to stay on topic. If we ever write something together I have to make sure we meet for sushi each time.
I dropped off a copy of Childhood Memories to donate to the library at the Hayward Senior Center and spoke with a couple of people who remember Cora from the late 70s early 80s. They skimmed the book and suggested they use it as an example for a class they teach on autobiographical writing. If they use it it would be so cool for Cora's legacy because she wrote the bulk of her memoirs in an Autobiographical Writing track at nearby Chabot College and one chapter of the book describes her volunteer work at this same senior Center.
When M and I brought Cora into the hospital a few days before she crossed, we sat in the ER exam room for 9 hours while nurses and docs came by periodically. The nurse assigned to that room was from Nigeria and had a lovely bedside manner. At one point when I was pushing him to get her stronger pain meds he tried to explain why strong opiates would not the best course by telling the parable of the ostrich burying its head when attacked. Essentially he was saying I had focused on easing her pain by treating her head and not the whole body. There may be some truth to that that I am still processing, but I share the story because I thought it was cool that her nurse was someone who could talk in parable. He even knew Anansi stories :)
This is what I said at Cora's service:
From the first moment I met Cora, I knew I had met someone who was rare and special. When I was introduced she smiled at me with delight. Although I was nervous, her smile and manner immediately set me at ease. From that moment on she treated me like family. I have always felt welcome and at ease in her presence.
When I went to the house Victor would sit in his rocking chair and teach, answering our questions or talking about whatever it was he wanted to talk about that day. Cora would sit in her wheel chair quietly listening, occasionally nodding her head, or adding something to what Victor said. Occasionally she even corrected him. But for the most part she was content to let Victor have the spotlight, and he was content with this as well. Her knowledge of the craft was both broad and deep, but she felt no need to put it on display. She simply lived it. Her energy work was in her cooking. While she had a kala cup, she was just as comfortable using a glass from her cupboard and her athame was her kitchen knife. I was blessed to see Cora work magic on more than one occasion. When she did, the energy was palpable. It froze you in place and you would suddenly realize that you were holding your breath and needed to breathe. The first time I witnessed this, I worried that her expending so much mana would be harmful to her, but when she was done, she glowed. She was tired, but I could see she was well satisfied with her work and I remember thinking, if she can do this in her fragile, and frail condition, she must have blown folks out of the room when she was young and strong.
Because of her stroke and the fact that she was a bit older than Victor, most of us thought that she would pass first. We would worry about how Victor would handle it. But the Goddess is wise and takes who she will in her own time, regardless of what we think and worry about and she took Victor first. In retrospect, this was a blessing because of the two of them, Cora was the one whose strength and grace allowed her to go on without her beloved husband. I don’t know if Victor could have done the same. She missed him terribly and talked of him often. She dreamt of him and spoke with him in the small hours of the night. He was never far from her and she told me more than once that he was waiting for her. She told me of a dream she had where Victor stood and looked at her then looked at his watch without saying anything. I thought “that sounds like Victor, impatient as always.”
He is waiting no more. Cora is with him and they are both supple and strong and freed from bodies that would no longer obey their wishes. The morning after her passing I was sitting on my patio feeling sad and I heard her say “Michele, I am happy and free!” Later that morning I saw her running. Running hard and fast and gaily through the woods, with the skirt of her dress flying behind her. She was smiling and radiant and the joy was shining on her face. I immediately felt happy too. I know that if I call her, she will answer. She will always be my beloved teacher and she will always be in my heart. She taught me so many things, in her stories, in answering our questions, and just by being herself. I started to try to write some of her teachings for this service, but I didn’t know how. They were too many and too hard to explain. It was a “you had to be there” kind of teaching. However, when going over her wishes for today one thing she said sort of sums it up so I will share that with you:
A quote from Cora Anderson:
“I always tried to live the right life – on this earth, and everywhere else.”
I believe that she accomplished this.
We, her students, friends and admirers can endeavor to do the same, in this world and in all the worlds.
I feel I have been blessed to have known her in this life and I look forward to seeing her in the next.
Cora, “walk in beauty, run in freedom….”
Since Onyx is collecting eulogies and remembrances, here's a clip from my journal, just for posterity:
Cora Anderson taught by living and she taught in her dying. She taught by cooking, and watching, and listening. She taught by lying in bed and telling stories. She taught by asking for what she needed, when her body was failing. She wielded a wand as she used to wield a broom. She taught by intense love and sometimes by strong words. Cora taught with her whole life. May life continue to give us teaching, and may we continue to be open to the lessons that are in front of us. Every breath can teach us something, if we let it.
I was able to visit Cora only once. It was mid-May five years ago. I went with a group of students and some other Faery folk arrived to visit as well while we were there--and we brought cakes, pies and goodies. One of Francesca's initiates was taking care of Cora that day and had helped make her pretty for the day's visitors. I don't see auras as a rule but thinking of her sitting in her chair quietly talking and occasionally blessing the room with one of her smiles, I see her aura in my mind's eye as HUGE, blazing, incandescent.
There was a hint of mischief dancing in her eyes, and an undercurrent of quietly missing Victor. She told us how she was able to arrange to buy the house, and the day she had her accident at work, and she showed us many old photographs of herself and Victor. I also remember that she requested somebody to play a recording of a women's choir singing Gwydion's setting of Victor's poem "Song of Mari" for us and how the music and Victor's poetry filled the room.
We were afraid of tiring her and kept trying to leave, but she kept asking us to stay. Eventually, I think she started to doze off (Thom had moved her into her bedroom) and she then did agree to our departing.
I've never forgotten her amazing FORTITUDE and how cheerful and welcoming she was, despite the fact that she was clearly in some discomfort.
I remember that at a SeidhR after Victor passed, one of the Priestesses had a vision of him dancing merrily around and around, young and strong again and with all his prowess back, and I'm thinking now of him dancing Cora around and around the ballroom of the Gods while all their favorite songs play.