Agency of Angels

Sunday, October 16, 2011 – Grandpa invited me to attend vespers over at the main building of their retirement community. Vespers is a late afternoon service put on by a chaplain. A chaplain can be a minister, priest, rabbi or even a Buddhist teacher. Vesper, by no small coincidence, is the name of James Bond’s secret co-agent in the book Casino Royale.

Neil stayed back at the house with grandma, while I walked over to the main building to attend vespers with grandpa. I walked alongside him, as he drove his wheel chair. Having played football in his college years at Yale, Grandpa had been afflicted with neuropathy, a gradual deterioration of the nervous system that began with numbness in one foot. As the disease progressed, Grandpa reluctantly accepted the support of a cane, then a walker, and finally a wheel chair.

We entered the Vail Room and were handed a copy of the vespers service program. The sermon, being delivered by Reverend Andrew Rosencrans, was titled “The Art of Recognizing Angels.” On the cover was an illustration of “Peter and the Angel.” The first bible reading cited Judges 6, the story about Gideon and an angel that came to tell him he had been commissioned by God to lead the resistance. The second bible reading cited Acts 12, the story about Peter and an angel releasing him from his chains and sneaking him out of the prison.

The stories of Peter and Gideon took place during dark times. Both men were acting against oppressive regimes, and in both instances angels stepped in to help. In both stories, these angels had not been recognized as angels until they vanished from sight..

The reverend stated: “Sometimes we come to moments of crisis when an angelic intervention is urgently needed – sometimes God is with us in ways we only recognize after the fact – and perhaps one of the ways God sometimes chooses to be with us is through the agency of something we call – for lack of a better term – a guardian angel.”

My ears perked up at the mention of the word “agency.” I pictured a secret agency comprised of angels, and I imagined God sending an angel down to help Peter escape.

The reverend went on to define angels as messengers and to identify Peter himself as an angel messenger. Then he stated “sometimes we are called to be the angels that bear God’s message of good news to people in their own times of darkness and in their own moments of crisis.” He concluded his sermon by exclaiming, “Be an angel; let your message of good news be the light that helps dispel someone’s darkness; because the way God chooses to be present in someone’s moment of crisis, is through angelic messengers like us. AMEN”

The vespers service had been held in the Vail Room. Playing the homonym game, I thought about the word “veil,” which means to conceal, hide or disguise. We often talk about angels, hidden beyond a veil, yet keeping watch over us.

I thought about all this as Neil and I took Yury’s limousine service back to the airport to fly home. The driver’s name was Theo. He was a Romanian, and no relation to Leo. Theo and Leo. Golly gee. Theology?

Higher Intelligence

Saturday, October 15, 2011 – As my son Neil, 15, and I walked through the airport toward the Baggage area, I pulled out my cell phone and dialed the limousine service my mother had given me – 847-852-0007 – and asked for Yury. The voice on the other end of the line asked me to look for limousine number “double-0 seven” outside of the terminal building.

Sure enough, we found a car with the number 007 attached to the windshield,. It pulled up just as we exited out onto the curb. The driver stepped out and introduced himself, with a heavy Russian accent, as Leo. It felt as if we had stepped onto the pages of a James Bond spy novel, written during the Cold War years.

Neil and I had flown to Chicago for the weekend to visit grandma and grandpa (my mom and dad). My parents liked using Yury’s limousine service to transport visitors back and forth to the airport. The last time they had ordered the service for someone, however, there was some confusion. My mother had given a woman, who had been helping her take care of grandpa, $50 to pay Leo. When the limo arrived at the airport, however, the woman got out of the limo and slipped away without paying, never to be seen again. To stay in the good graces of Yury’s limo service, my mother planned to pay Leo the $50 that was owed him when he dropped us off.

Neil and I settled into the back seat of the car, and the driver drove us out and away from the airport. As we sped off onto the interstate highway, I considered the facts of our situation and started to play with them… Double-0-seven. Secret Intelligence Service. Yury. Leo. My mom owing money. My mother’s name is Ellie… And then the seemingly random bits of information, jostling around in my head, came together and connected in my mind.

“Neil,” I said, “Ellie owes 50.”

“Huh?” replied Neil.

“Grandma owes Leo fifty dollars. Ellie owes fifty,” I said. Then I proceeded to lay out my wacky analysis, “Ellie is spelled LE in letter code.” I pulled out a scrap of paper and wrote some letters and numbers:

L E Os 50.

I continued explaining, “Our limo driver is named Leo. L E O spells Leo’s name, so Ellie owes $50 translates into ‘Leo’s $50.’”

Neil gave me a you-are-completely-nuts look, as I wrote the letters:

Y U R Y

I said, “Look. Yury is the name of the man who owns the limousine service. See the letters U and R between the two Ys? UR among the Ys, and then I wrote: You are among the wise.”

Neil looked at the paper and asked, “You’re nuts, Mom! How do you come up with these things?”

“I don’t know how,” I replied, “They just pop into my mind.” I thought back to third grade. My teacher, Mrs. Fribley, introduced our class to homonyms – words or word combinations that sound alike, yet have different meanings. She taught us a homonym game, and I became enchanted with the mystery of language, letters and numbers.

When we arrived at grandma and grandpa’s, Neil and I dropped our bags to hug grandma in greeting at the front door, and then she stepped out onto the driveway to pay Leo. Neil and I walked into the living room to greet grandpa, and then sat down on the couch across from where he was sitting. I looked down at the magazines stacked on the coffee table in front of me and gasped, not believing my eyes. The word “Spymasters” jumped off the center of the cover of the latest issue of grandpa’s Yale Alumni Magazine. Underneath, in slightly smaller letters I read, “Three espionage novelists on what it takes to write a thriller.” I held up the magazine for Neil to see, and he raised an arch eyebrow. Read more

Re Verse

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 – I directed an inquiry to the Assistant Rector of St. Luke’s, and he replied, “The Book of Ecclesiastes is an Apochryphal Book. It has never been included in the canon.” Apocryphal means of doubtful authorship or authenticity; hence fictitious or false. It is derived from the Greek word apokryphos, which means hidden, concealed, obscure. Perhaps the wide variations in text created the doubt in the book’s authenticity. Then again, the entire bible had always struck me as full of obscure meaning. Surely, the angels were enjoying this game with me.

“TRUST HIM AND HE WILL HELP YOU STEER A STRAIGHT COURSE AND SET YOUR HOPE ON HIM: ECCLUS 2:6.”

Providence. Providence is aptly defined as the foreseeing care and guidance, of God, or Nature, over the creatures of the earth. The word is derived from Providentia, the divine feminine personification of a virtue celebrated in the art and literature of ancient Roman culture. More specifically, Providentia represented “the knowledge of things that are good or bad or neither.” She was the embodiment of Wisdom.

This heaven-sent challenge of verse, word play and political intrigue prompted me to dwell upon a new order. I thought about the divine feminine and the gradual spiritual reawakening of our connection to Mother Earth. This idea of a new order embraces the process of breaking the hold of modern patriarchal systems of control – from John Brown and the King of England to the current industrial military complex – and overturning the prevailing economic worldview that disavows this sacred interconnection of all life and the free will of all individuals. So many people fear for the survival of Earth, as many of mankind’s large corporations continue to pollute the waters and deforest vast areas of land, all in the pursuit of world market dominance and false profits.

This is a dim picture of the world is slowly becoming more illuminated. The shedding of more light allows these dark problems to be seen, studied and corrected. There is great purpose in identifying, understanding and solving small problems and large ones. As people take positive, conscious and wise action in their spheres of interest and influence, collectively they will help Earth revert to a healthier more balanced state. As more and more people envision a kinder, more just and sensible order, the simple acts of imagining and engaging will tip the scales.

Reflecting on all this, I felt at liberty to pen my own pentameter verse of Ecclesiastes 2:6 for a new age.

Regardless of dogma and the authenticity of religious works, and regardless of God’s gender, faith is about trusting a higher power to provide for both Earth’s and Humanity’s collective well-being. On the one hand this relies on the ability to let go and let God, and on the other hand this relies on human being’s growing ability to connect with their angel guides’ higher levels of intelligence. Read more

Richly Dight

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 – Arriving at the church, I entered and went straight to the window at the back of the sanctuary. I examined the ship and its setting in detail. The bottom of the lower window panel had a bible verse, styled in Old English lettering, like an illuminated manuscript: “TRUST HIM AND HE WILL HELP YOU STEER A STRAIGHT COURSE AND SET YOUR HOPE ON HIM: ECCLUS 2:6.”

I stepped away from the window and walked down the left side of the sanctuary to visit my favorite series of windows, a triptych depicting a bucolic scene of heaven and earth. I studied the bible verses at the bottom of the left and right panels, also styled in Old English lettering: “THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S, AND THE FULLNESS THEREOF” and “THE WORLD, AND THEY THAT DWELL THEREIN.” (shown at the top of this page) I sensed a connection between the two windows that merited some investigation and decided to return home to do some research.

Comparing the Ecclesiastes verse from the Providence window to the verse in my Standard Bible, I was surprised to find the two versions were completely different. In my bible I read: “2:6 I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees.” It was followed by “2:7 I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house.”

The Rhode Island General Assembly purchased the sloop “Katy” in 1775 from John Brown, a wealthy merchant, slave trader and statesman, who lived in Providence. The “Katy” was commissioned to serve the Continental Army against the British and renamed USS “Providence.” It was one of first ships to form the U.S. Navy.

It struck me as a twist of irony, that the U.S.S. Providence served as a merchant vessel of a slave trader, only to be rededicated to fight the for freedom from the enslaving rule of England. The alternate verse drew my attention to this fact. I searched online and found a third version of the same verse, originally written about 200 years before Christ. “Believe God, and he will recover thee: and direct thy way, and trust in him. Keep his fear, and grow old therein.”

Keep his fear? Grow old therein? Puzzled by the turn of phrase, I thought about the words beneath the triptych window, “Dwell therein.” THEREIN. The words tumbled around inside my mind and my heart, settling into a different order. HIS FEAR… THE EARTH… THE WORLD… HIS SPHERE? And storied windows richly dight.

KEEP HIS SPHERE, AND GROW OLD THEREIN.

Take good care of this planet, and live a long life. Had I discovered a pun that had been intentionally laid there by angels overtime for someone to find… or had I created the pun of my own mind?

A pun is a literary device where a word is or similar sounding words are used in a manner to suggest two or more possible meanings. This is generally done to the effect of creating humor or irony, and make the reader have an “ah-ha!” moment.

I had stumbled upon the wide discrepancies in biblical verse and connected the bits of information, like the pieces of a puzzle, with a cryptic triptych. I sought more the Assistant Rector of St. Luke’s. Read more

Storied Windows


Wednesday, October 5, 2011 – The angel reply came back promptly, proposing a playful challenge.

The word dim sparked my curiosity, although I have no idea exactly why it was that word. I consulted Webster’s Dictionary, which listed the synonyms for dim as obscure, dark and mysterious, among others. Inserted among the longer definitions of dim, not luminous or bright, was a quote by John Milton ((1608-1674).

Milton was an English poet who lived during a time of religious strife. Bartlett’s book of Familiar Quotations devotes almost thirteen pages to quotes by Milton. I guessed that “storied windows” referred to the stained glass windows of churches, and in finding the section of verse in Bartlett’s, my guess was confirmed.

I had to flip through the pages of the dictionary to find the meaning of dightto arrange or put in order. I asked myself, “What is the pentameter of this piece of verse?”

Pentameter is a literary device that can be defined as a line in verse or poetry that has five strong metrical feet or beats per line. A metrical foot is a grouping of one stressed syllable with one to two unstressed syllables that repeats in a regular pattern.

Playing with pencil and paper, I altered the Milton quote into pentameter form with five double-syllable beats in each line:

Then I typed it into an email response:

While dispatching my response, the spiritual detective within me suddenly understood the intention of the words “when the ship sails in.” Without waiting to receive a follow-up reply, I left the house and drove a mile into downtown East Greenwich to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, on the hill. St. Luke’s has a magnificent organ and a sanctuary surrounded by a marvelous collection of stained-glass windows. From the top of the church steeple, one can watch boats sail in and out of East Greenwich harbor, and there, at the back of the sanctuary is a stained glass window depicting the ship Providence (shown at the top of this page)… Read more

Writing to Angels

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 – In the early afternoon I had a brief appointment with my friend Stan, who owns a promotional products business. I wanted to look at samples of small personalized pencils that children can keep in their pocket. Upon finishing my meeting, Stan commented how he had been having trouble sleeping and was waking at 2:00 every morning, with lots of ideas in his head. I acknowledged that this happens to me, too.

This is a widely-experienced phenomenon that happens in the liminal space that separates the end of the night and the beginning of a new day, sometime between 2am and 4am. A friend of mine once referred to this time as the Hour of the Angels. Could it be that this time of peace and quiet is the best time for the spiritual realm to download the answers to the perplexing questions that are in people’s heads as they settle into bed for the night?

Driving out of Stan’s parking lot, I turned on the radio and heard the words “you can’t sleep,” from Robert Palmer’s song Addicted to Love.

When songs on the radio align with my thoughts or experiences, I wonder if some musical angel has just whispered into the subconscious mind of the DJ. Recognizing and acting upon communications from angels through such cryptic means has become a game for me. This game was inspired by two characters, Sophie Neveu and Robert Langdon, in Dan Brown’s spiritual detective novel The Da Vinci Code. I associated with Sophie’s archetype as a cryptographer. Her parents were killed in a car accident when she was very young, and she was raised by her grandfather, an art curator. Her grandfather trained her to solve complicated word puzzles, and, before he was murdered, he had created a trail of clues, for Sophie to find and decipher. The story is a fine arts treasure hunt, in which Sophie and Robert must reveal the hidden meaning behind one masterpiece after another, in order to navigate to the final conclusion – a revelation about the Divine Feminine that could shatter history. My version of the treasure hunt game is a bit more whimsical and lighthearted. I play it with angels, and my husband dubbed it Story Walking.

Upon arriving home from Stan’s, I composed a playful query in rhyme and emailed it to my friend Anne, a collector of illuminated manuscripts who channels angel messages back and forth… between here and there.

I wondered if this would elicit a response. It did… Read more.

How Can Plants Create Music?

How often do you receive appreciation, positive feedback and gratitude for something you’ve written?

This morning I received this message: “I’m blown away by your depth of understanding and your ability to translate that to others. Thank you again…from the bottom of my heart!” In researching the “Music of the the Plants,” I brought one of my own house plants along on the interview, to see if my plant would play me some music… and I was blown away! Below is the text of the article published on page 34 in the newest edition of RI Natural Awakenings magazine.

Plant Pioneers Human-Plant Relations Movement

Plant Pioneers are a group of plant lovers dedicated to raising awareness about plant consciousness and the inter-connected mutual relationships humans have with all living systems. This organization explores intelligent plant activity using an audio synthesizer that gives plants a voice, making their electrical frequencies audible to human ears through musical sounds. The audio interface is called “Music of the Plants.” Two wires from a pre-programmed synthesizer are connected to a plant, one onto the plant’s leaf, the other in the soil to complete the circuit. The synthesizer is similar to a biofeedback device and the sounds emitted by the synthesizer are generated by the plant’s own electrical impulses. Each impulse is assigned a specific musical note, and the harmonic tones are mesmerizing.

This process of human-plant communication was developed by an international community of scientists living in the Damanhur, a Federation of spiritual communities located in Italy. Damanhur has drawn the interest of scholars, educators and researchers in the fields of art, social sciences, spirituality, medicine and alternative health, economics and environmental sustainability. In addition to communicating with insects, plants appear to be responding to animals, humans and other environmental activities in ways that call for further investigation.

Bonnie Kavanagh, a second generation nurse and community herbalist with over 35 years experience in health care, is a local educator for Plant Pioneers. She is a graduate of the Rosemary Gladstar Art and Science of Herbology Apprenticeship and teaches herbal and gardening classes at 7 Arrows Farm in Attleboro, MA.

Field and woodland explorations awaken the instinctual nature that is part of the human genetic blueprint. This blueprint holds the key for understanding Nature’s subtle language. The sensory experiences of listening and feeling, taught by the “Music of the Plants,” enhance the sensory interactions traditionally associated with the study of herbs and healing – sight, touch, smell and taste. Observing Nature with all of the senses allows for the rediscovery of indigenous and ancient ways of interacting with the environment.

Plant Pioneers are showing people how to open their channels to listening, how to become a participant in Nature’s living landscape and how to do so with reciprocal dignity, integrity and respect. As stewards for the Earth’s whole system, Plant Pioneers are teaching people to treat plants and trees as sentient beings that have a rightful place in the grand scheme of the world. Plants have a lot to teach to humans. Kavanagh states this clearly, “Plants are the most benevolent of beings. We cannot survive without them and they require so little back from us. People, especially children (the future), need to be connected to the peace and healing that Nature offers.”

Join the movement. Sponsor a Plant Pioneer event at a farm, organization, school or home. Experience the Music of the Plants at 7 Arrows Farm. For more information on workshops and presentations, contact Bonnie at 508-399-7860 or kavnurse@hotmail.com. Learn more at http://www.plantpioneers.org.

Location: 346 Oakhill Avenue, Seekonk, MA

Article from page 34 of https://issuu.com/mcary/docs/2019-05_rina