CHAPTER INTERLUDE FIVE
The Romantic Life of Clara Branon as Chief Communicator:
Epifanio or Steve or ... Clara Alone or with a Partner
August 22, 2016
My birthday today: 62. I now am older than my father ever gets to be, older than many of my friends and relatives who pre-decease this age. Puts me in a strange, bittersweet, grateful emotional state, taking stock.
Physically: I am in relatively good health, although a bit stiff in the mornings and needing to swim, walk, dance more often. Bursitis, arthritis, other age- and old- injury-related muscular aches and joint pains aside, I am mostly fine. Healthy appetite, only slightly overweight these days (which many say is good for my bones). Swimming, stretching and walking regularly (but not as much dancing as I wish I were doing).
Thinning hair, but still have it. White and grey stripes appearing. I like them. I earn them. No hair dye for me.
I don't sleep through the night but I don't mind waking up: this frequent consciousness during sleep helps me remember my dreams. After I get up to pee, I turn the fan on or off, re-arrange my pillows and pick up or discard a blanket. Then, I either meditate for a while or I immediately go back to sleep...when I am alone.
Professionally: I am the Chief Communicator of Earth, liaison to the Many Worlds Collective since December, 2012. I live on the main Campus on land in the former California of the former United States of America. I help administer the Excellent Skills Program and OverSeers officers' training. I still receive supervision and training in regular visits from The Band, often combining my training and supervision sessions with those of Moran Ackerman, my nephew, who is the Chief OverSeer.
Esperanza Enlaces is the Chief Media Contact for me and Earth, my assistant and great friend.
I convene the Global Unity Leaders' conferences annually every June. I attend other local and global meetings and meet with the InterGalactic Council off-planet or with holograms as needed during this Transition of Earth's membership into the Many Worlds Collective, which officially ends in late December, 2018.
I am crazy-busy most days, but do all right in these roles, so far.
Personally: I am a sweet shade of lavender, from the Tinting. I am either alone—too often—or partnered or married.
For that: I am with Epifanio Dang, Steve Jasny, or, in some timelines, I'm temporarily with one of several others, depending on which 'line and Re-Set we're in. There is one alien of indeterminate gender I sometimes see myself being with, but I'm not sure how physical we get. There are possibly three humans, two women and one other man, with whom I have relationships at some point in some timelines.
My son, Zephyr, and his spouse, Kayla, provide me with a wonderful granddaughter, Kendall, in June of this year. Many of my extended family members are living on or near this Campus due to their own or their children's enrollment in the ESP training.
I am now personally friends with at least six aliens and several Earth animals. A few humans join or remain in my social circle as well during this Transition.
This spring, I attain the highest Level in the Excellent Skills Program training and continue to improve. I meditate and train daily.
I don't get to play the piano or sing nearly enough, and I have almost no time to read “for pleasure,” but mostly, I am fortunate and happy.
I dedicate all the merit I achieve and attain in the future to the benefit of all beings, vowing daily not to harm and to avoid harm while striving to bring as much benefit as I am able.
I'm “in a mood,” sometimes.
The title of this chapter has the word “romantic” in it, and that makes me want to gag. Romantic? What in the multiverse is romance?
I bring these types of questions to Lama Sangyay. As usual, he scolds and he laughs. Here are some of his responses, recently, to my queries:
LAMA SANGYAY: Clara, why do you make yourself miserable with these musings? Many times I explain to you: if you want to plant the seeds of happiness, focus on helping others be happy. If you want to plant the seeds of your own suffering, focus on yourself. Here you go, focusing on yourself, again. Trees of misery and suffering are flowering within you. Why do you do this? There are much prettier trees to plant...
Then, more wisdom (while ignoring my question's topic, notice):
LAMA SANGYAY: “Romance” is a Western, modern concept designed to perpetuate desire, pride, jealousy and ignorance. Whatever it is, it is not generating benefit and is causing much harm. Why do you pursue this? Stop it, Clara.
And, my personal favorite, from this morning, on my birthday (still ignoring my question):
LAMA SANGYAY: Clara, whether you are un-partnered or with a lover doesn't actually matter much. You are never actually “alone.” You know this. Oneness is. Why do you forget this? Breathe. Rest in awareness. Keep doing it. Return to awareness again and again. Only that. There is only one thing happening: absolute truth. Rigpa is. Keep breathing. I highly recommend it.
Thanks so much, dear Lama. His comments are facilitative, as in, for my meditation and personal practice, yet not palliative, that is, for my personal suffering, as usual.
That last part was not at all sarcastic, in case you're wondering.
I hold my lama in the utmost reverence and respect.
Okay. Maybe I am responding a tad sardonically.
Reminder to self: I am an extremely capable, feminist, multiverse leader. I am also a senior citizen, a long-time meditator and an advanced ES practitioner with much success in those areas.
However, also noted: I am as pathetic as any teenager when it comes to love, relationships and romance: obsessive in my yearning, hoping, wishing, desire.
I wake up today, on my birthday, alone in this large bed.
In this timeline, no lover today.
I timult to find out if I am involved romantically with anyone this week or month or year: not usually. Sometimes, Epifanio appears. Sometimes, Steve. Blurry on the others.
It shouldn't matter, but it does. My heart aches, when I have time to tune in to feel it, which isn't often.
We have “bigger fish to fry” (apologies to any actual fish; not frying any real ones, I promise) due to the ongoing problems Fraggers and the remaining Trenchers are causing. Officially, the Psi Wars are over, but there are lingering problems: pockets of resistance, disagreement, even actual conflicts.
Over a year ago in this timeline, we find out about and name the Reverters. They are the cause of most of the current problems on Earth these days. I need to focus on my work, not my love life (or lack thereof).
To add pain to my sorrow, the increase in political and social resistance to Earth's membership in the MWC and aliens' presences on Earth occur partly because my dear Epifanio—although he is not “my” Epifanio in this 'line—agitates the Fraggers and Reverters right here on this Campus.
I have to deal with that, with him.
Espe and I are meeting today with Moran, Mick and Led to discuss next steps and best strategies. I suggest we include Eli Kriegsman, temporarily letting him out of his Re-Education program, to advise us.
No response on that, yet, from Moran or Led. The former leader of the Psi-Defiers could be an excellent source of information and recommendations for us. However, I am not up-to-speed on Eli's progress and it's only been about two years; it may be too soon to involve him, for his own sake.
Led arrives, hovering in front of me, then zooming around my room in his blue-grey holo ball form.
“To what do I owe the honor of your unheralded visit, Led?” I stand up to get today's clothes and enter my bathroom and dressing area, which has an opaque and mostly soundproof door. I do like a bit of privacy now and then.
Led responds, sending his voice both aloud and telepathically: “Happy Birthday, Clara. We know this day is meaningful to you, so I bring all of The Band's greetings and good wishes.”
“That is so sweet! Thanks to you all!” I send back. I am touched.
“On this usually happy day of your birth, why are you not very happy, Clara?” Led inquires.
I contemplate my response as I dismiss the waste I deposited into the composting toilet. Washing my hands, I then muck them up by adding defrizzer and leave-in conditioner to my overly dry hair, then running my fingers through my almost-curly locks, attempting to pep up the curls.
“Well,” I send, slowly, arranging my thoughts as carefully as I squinch my curls, “I am feeling somewhat lonely, Led. I know I'm not supposed to focus on myself or my personal life and it brings me no happiness to do so these days. However... on my birthday, I can't seem to help it. I miss having a close companion.”
*POP* *POP* *POP* *POP*
The rest of The Band appear in their colorful holo forms, filling my suite.
Calling out my greetings, I move quickly to finish my ablutions. I wash my hands, then my face and neck. Since I swim in the late afternoon, most days, and plan to do the same today, prior to whatever birthday bash dinner thing is happening, no shower until later. Brushing my teeth, flossing, checking for and removing stray facial hairs are the completion of my grooming on such “at-home” mornings.
I dislike personal appearance fussiness: no make-up, no difficult hairdos. I don't shave anything, I don't use a hair dryer, I don't primp, beyond trying to get my hair to look less like the Bride of Frankenstein's and more like the younger Shirley Temple's.
I can hear The Band conversing but not make out the words while my water is running. They aren't sending.
Teeth brushed, face washed, body aromatically prepared, hair arranged, daytime clothes on, I venture out again, cautiously.
Usually, when they all appear like this, unannounced, I'm in some sort of trouble or need advice I don't yet know I need. They don't usually talk among themselves while in my presence, either.
Curiouser and curiouser.
Janis—Diana's holos sidle over and brush against me. Still surprises me that I can feel that when they're not actually here. When the holos make bodily contact, I usually find it is reassuring and comforting, but today, I'm wary.
What are they all up to?
Of course, they receive that and respond. “Why are you suspicious of our motives, Clara? We come to wish you 'Happy Birthday,' as usual. Don't you believe us?”
Mick pipes up: “Yes, Clara. Happy Birthday! We are so glad to celebrate with you today! We are...”
“Mick! Not now!” Ringo interrupts.
“What?” I demand, curiosity piqued. “You are...?” I prompt Mick.
Led bounces over between me and Mick and prevents Mick's response. “Nothing, Clara. We are … here to greet you on the anniversary of the day of this body's birth. Isn't that what human Earthers do? Do we provide the cake, candles, balloons, gifts right now? We can do that.”
I laugh. “No, Led. We don't usually do all that the first thing in the morning, although some do. I prefer the dinner meal-type celebration, with cake and whatever singing and gifts are involved to occur after the main meal.”
I walk over to open my shrine. I do this by filling the water bowls, re-arranging the items, lighting the candle, adding a few fresher blooms to the shrine's tiny vase from a side table's bouquet someone has left for my birthday.
Mentally saying my Refuge and Bodhichitta prayers, I dedicate this day, all my efforts and my life for the benefit of all beings. It is important to start every day, project, or idea with the most positive, altruistic motivation. “Good beginning, good middle, good end,” is the Buddhist aphorism that reminds us how important motivation is throughout every endeavor. I do standing prostration and other symbolic gestures as I say these prayers.
The Band respects my rituals with silence.
Breathing in awareness and spaciousness, I inwardly prostrate to Lama Sangyay and all enlightened beings, Bodhisattvas [Returners] and teachers.
I am glad still to be in this body. Much gratitude.
I then turn to address The Band: “BPC, I have an entire 'birthday week' during which I go out for a meal, or a hike and a picnic, or a movie, concert or other fun encounter at least once each of those days. Having one event each day is great because it allows me to have personal time with a different friend or family member to celebrate my birthday, catch up, enjoy them. This week culminates in whatever we do on my actual birthday or other selected day, usually with a larger group or my immediate family. I like that week-long celebration tradition, but being the CC makes it impractical.”
“Also,” Mick manages to insert, “we have a surprise.”
“But, not yet!” Ringo insists, moving over to air-whack Mick's holo head-part with one of his six appendages as punctuation for “yet.”
Mick's holo glides away from the seeming impact, making laughing noises. “All right, all right. I surrender. Not yet, Ringo.”
“What surprise?” I move over to Mick and stand right in front of his form, looking up about five feet to watch the blinking lights on his head-part. “I sometimes like surprises, but not always. Tell me, so I can be sure I like it.”
Logic usually works well on Mick. His lights start blinking rapidly, indicating he wants to talk, but Led interrupts, again.
“Clara, you have to wait, as Ringo indicates. We produce the surprise after your dinner meal, as you request.” Led flies over to hover between me and Mick, blocking my view of Mick's head-part and reducing my influence.
“Fine!” I flounce back to my favorite chair and flop heavily into it, as when I am about seven years old. “Be that way.” I pout, deliberately behaving like a young child.
Janis—Diana glide over and stop in front of me, oozing sympathy and caring. “Clara, don't be upset. You like this surprise. We promise!”
I sit up and comport myself more as my 62-year-old self, again. “Sure. Thanks. I'm just messing with you all. I appreciate the greetings, good wishes and whatever you come up with for tonight, but you really don't have to do anything else. You're wonderful to remember my birthday at all!”
Ringo comes over to stand behind the pair. Because he's so tall, I can see his orange head-part above their greenish pickle shapes. “We also know you're feeling a bit... lonely. Our surprise helps with that.”
“No inflatable dolls, all right?” I grumble: “I'm not Lars.”
I snicker, knowing the film-allusion joke is lost on them.
I get up and move toward the door. “Gotta run. Meetings.”
“Sure, sure. We see you later.” Led agrees.
What could they possibly concoct for me that both celebrates my birthday and assuages my loneliness? I am intrigued....
They each *POP* out as I shut my door.
Ringo sends: “You find out soon enough, Clara!” as he departs.
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