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Giving thanks…

It’s been a bit of a journey… 

Travel is indeed the best of times and the worst of times.

There’s the exhilaration of freedom and the deprivation caused by the absence of the familiar.  There’s the spontaneous joy in unexpected delights and the crashing disappointment when expectations aren’t met.

Because I’m writing a book about the transcendent experience, Mount Shasta just had to be on the itinerary. 

This is the epicenter of the metaphysical world where allegedly Lemurians and Pleiadians, roam the streets, though of course being extremely high vibrational beings they are invisible to dense, uninitiated people like myself.  They live inside the mountain.

The mountain is spectacular, so it’s easy to project magical wonderment onto its surface.  When we take ourselves out of our technological world for long enough we can’t fail to be astonished by the natural one.

But then humans get involved and turn a pretty logging town into Merlin’s back lot.  Now there are more crystals than groceries.  The high street is a hotch potch of pendulums, pentagles and pot – the pourri version, only infused with special powers.

Everything is imported.

It being freezing cold, I spent a lot of my time in the organic coffee shops meeting the locals. The question ‘What d’you do for a living?’ produced tarot readers, energy healers and light workers. The term ‘overfished pond’ came to mind.

One of the girls I questioned looked at me with disdain and said she didn’t DO anything as though that was the most absurd idea in the world – she was just BEING.  (The universe provides donchaknow).  She’d been just BEING for the past four years.  I wondered what her parents had to be DOING to support this lifestyle.

It didn’t help that I stayed in a horrible bed and breakfast with a cold lumpy single bed, where geriatric cats were treated as deities.  This meant they could pee wherever they decided while their owner fussed and fretted over them. She was obviously immune to the smell.

Needless to say I couldn’t wait to leave.  So much so that I managed to pick up not one but TWO speeding tickets.  I arrived in San Francisco to stay with my lovely friends John and Tony and immediately collapsed with a feverish virus.  It was as if my body said ‘You’re home, you can recover now.’

I slept for days, was fed soup, soaked my aching bones in the hot tub.  Friends are the most amazing thing in the world – they’re way better than mountains.  It was this thought that prompted me to recall the radio program on the long drive.  Because of the huge number of people who want to live alone, and can’t afford a normal sized flat, California are building micro housing units.

The times they are a changing.

In 1950 22% of Americans were single, today that number is over 50%.  That’s a lot of people unable to live with people.

Why is this?  The answer most single people give is that they need their space.  But people have always needed space.  In the old days they went off for a few days to the mountain, thought about stuff then came back down as happier, wiser people.  These days in an emotionally mature society it would look like this…

Person A  “I need some space”

Person B  “Great, that gives me a chance to go to the movies or learn to tango or drink a couple of vanilla lattes while reading the paper in Starbucks.”

Result – harmonious living together.

But at school all of us were taught to articulate our thoughts not our feelings.  We are perfectly happy talking about literature, politics, history and all the other subjects on the school curriculum, but we have no idea how to hold the more difficult conversations.  So the above scenario usually goes something like this…

Person A becomes silent (believing the other person will intuit the words ‘I need space’ without them actually being said.

Person B feels wounded (they don’t like me) or anxious (what have I done wrong).

Result – tears before bedtime.

Another reason for the great solo migration is the belief that there will be inevitable compromises and that these signify a great burden.  Parents live with compromise on a daily basis so have first hand knowledge of this myth.  After a long day at the office when they would prefer to collapse in front of the tv, they happily traipse off to see their offspring in school plays. The child’s joy becomes their joy.  If this is true for children surely we can extend the same principle to adults? Or are our hearts too small for that?

Friends keep us true. Without them we could easily become an isolated person who prefers the company of cats – or other creatures who don’t talk back, giving us the reality check we so desperately need.

The last reason for this new social trend is of course technology.  For many people the virtual world has become more real than the real one.  It’s a safe world as there are no difficult conversations, just buttons to push that say Delete or Unfriend.  Simples.  But it’s a very different sensory experience than the one experienced in ‘living’ environments.  Nature may not be as impressive but it’s alive in a whole different way.

I am as addicted to technology as the next person, but is this really the direction we want for evolution?  Will we become people with huge heads and tiny withered bodies like the aliens in science fiction movies.  Virtual information. Virtual friends. Virtual sex. Can’t we appreciate technology without becoming a slave to it?

The image of the San Franciscan micro climate makes me think of a beehive with thousands of worker bees in their individual cells – only they’ve lost their Queen.  In our masculine, left brain dominated world we’ve replaced her with the one true (masculine) God.  I am talking of course about iCloud.

Rant over.  It’s time for cooking and friends.  It’s my very first all American thanksgiving.

And for that I give untold amounts of gratitude.



  1. Sara says:

    So lovely to read your journey. Missing you though. Take care and know we give thanks for you too. Big love. S xx

  2. Jon Treanor says:

    WonderfulŠ.sorry to hear you have been illŠŠ.taking about friendsŠŠŠ.time to re connect xx

    From: Eleanor O’Rourke Reply-To: Eleanor O’Rourke Date: Thursday, 22 November 2012 16:06 To: Jon Treanor Subject: [New post] Giving thanksŠ Eleanor O’Rourke posted: ” It¹s been a bit of a journeyŠ Travel is indeed the best of times and the worst of times. There¹s the exhilaration of freedom and the deprivation caused by the absence of the familiar. There¹s the spontaneous joy in unexpected delight”

  3. I am with you in heart and spirit, Eleanor! Thanks again for sharing a wonderful piece of your journey with as honestly, brilliantly – and hilariously. Friends are truly the best gift in the world! I pray you have a warm, wonderful, friend-filled Thanksgiving!!

    • Eleanor O'Rourke says:

      Aw… Miss you Kathleen. Looking forward to hanging out in France next year! Have a fab day with your lovely family and big hug to Filip.

  4. jcaswell says:

    Somehow I could actually sense those cats! Brilliant as ever and enjoy giving thanks! Tell those Americans that we are kind of fine with them having it all their own way!

    • Eleanor O'Rourke says:

      Or as one could say…I’m thankful that no one has forced me to completely assimilate their culture and then celebrated by stealing my land and killing my people!

      However the Macy parade proves that no-one does a Broadway show like New Yorkers. Thankful for that. Would rather watch outrageously camp people dancing and singing in fab costumes than people drumming and chanting in eagle feathers.

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