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Part III: My Tall Ship Escapade – A Fine Ship She Be.

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“When we believe what we imagine is true,
the universe conspires to acknowledge,
so we can believe even more.”

Janet L. Whitehead


Last year I got to climb the mast during a brief excursion on the Tall Ship “Lady Washington”. More recognized, perhaps, by it’s infamous role as HMS Interceptor on PIrates of the Caribbean

Preparing for Round 4 of chemo happened in bits and spurts and random check-ins with my Tall Ship.  Well, no, it’s not just about preparing for chemo and preventing allergic reactions. The random check-ins with my Tall Ship are about checking in with my body, mind and soul and feeling assured that the healing needed is happening.

But chemo is a strange thing…it’s unpredictable. This past 3 weeks was in many ways better than the previous rounds. Less tummy flu-ish feeling, and less ‘everything tastes like metal”  which is yucky. More weakness, some pain, definate lack of energy, and my mind can’t seem to think past my nose… but that’s all still more do-able than the yucky flu-ish stuff.

So, I am glad that over the years of my learning, one of my key beliefs is that the magic that can happen is soooooo much simpler than what is often taught in certain traditions.  Soooo much simpler. We are very very powerful beings. It does require us to know that. And it is through just noticing the signs, the feelings, the affirmations, the synchronicities,  over and over again… and finally giving credit where credit is due,  and then, trusting… that we can do this.

This was such an exhilirating, dream come true, event!

It doesn’t have to take years of learning. I hope my story helps others get there quicker, and affirms for those already there, that they are not alone. We all have the gift of what I call magic. Others may call it something different, but for me, it’s pure magic to have aha’s, epiphanies, the imagination, and witness the ‘so much more than we can see’ playing a part in our lives, our story and our ability to find intuitive answers.

Good thing I know this, because all I had energy for, or heck, the mind for, was the occasional random check-ins that happened by this past few weeks.  Peeking in on my ship, I saw the Masts spending a lot of time at the refitters… sanded, polished, stained, refreshed, renewed, reset, and carved with what looks like the faerie writing that appears on my pottery and paintings.  The Masts slept through all of this.  I had an aha moment around this when I realized I, too, was sleeping some 16 hours a day for a couple of days.  (By the way, for this to make any sense, you might want to read Tall ship Part I and Tall Ship Part II )

One day,  I came across an old painting of mine that, for whatever reason, was a ship without masts. It looked very lost in the storm it was placed in.  Likely, at the time, I wasn’t happy with the sails and had planned a redo.  It was set aside, though, until now, when it probably served it’s purpose: triggering a longing for my masts and sails. (I’ll post that painting sometime here. But for now, I give myself permission to do these posts imperfectly or they may never get done!)  I’ll add here though, another part that helps one recognize the magic around them is to know time is not linear. This painting done a long long time ago, was meant for now. If I spent time questioning the logic of that, I would not have recognized the importance of its presenting itself to me now.

And then one night as I lay in bed I wondered how the ship and the masts were doing. I opened my eyes, and noticed the framed photo on my wall… it had a gentle glow around it.  So that made it rather hard not to notice. It’s a photograph my daughter took in the Maritimes and framed for a Christmas present a few years back.

This one I AM posting here!

A very fine ship with amazing strong masts.

Do you know that feeling.. the momentary feeling that says “all is right with the world?”  I had that feeling.  The masts were back, strong, proud, aligned, ready to support their ship on any and all adventures.  Like a quick little movie, I had a peek at the process of crew, cranes, hub bub, hoists, and magical dust during the re-assembly.  Crew cheering. Ship aglow. Like the photo on the wall. Really. A glow.

See? The universe will do the wildest things to help you notice, perhaps even more so when your mind, body and soul are too tuckered to consciously do it themselves.

Me and Masts are going to be THIS HAPPY during kemo, we decided!

I went into round 4 of kemo.. (yes I like that spelling better) confident, and not feeling at all anxious. Yes, I was also drugged to the hilt with steroids and benadryl and ranitidine to prevent reactions.  But, then I do believe in the power of combining western and magical more ‘eastern’ medicine. After all, I’ve been  analyphylactic.. I’d have died without the western medicines when stung by wasps. (Although I’m starting to guess that I just might not be anymore, what with all that work going on on my Tall Ship. Whoo hooo.)  And I don’t yet have the ability, or shall I say the trust in the ability,  to remove a cancer by psychic surgery. I was downright delighted that a doctor could do that surgery.  I also don’t think my trusting some western medicine discredits my trust in magical healing.. and vice versa.  If you play in both methods, there are those who will say you are on the fence and not giving ‘eastern’ philosophies the chance to work. They will trash other traditions and techniques that don’t fit with their beliefs. But really? That’s just more things being taught to create both fear and limitations.  Oy. We are so much more than that. And so much more unique than that.

Okee dokee, that’s the steroids in process… definately hypes me up in my talking, and apparently my writing, with truly ‘didn’t mean to go there’ tendencies!!!

Anywayyyyyy… round 4 of chemo went well. No allergic reactions at all. One false alarm… leg pain.. and no doubt the nurses are quick to hit the emergency light given my history. Better safe than sorry.  It was rather entertaining when the doctor arrived, quickly assessed and said, with humour,  “Everybody step away  from the patient. She is fine. Not a reaction. Back away.”  Ha!

And today, my spirits are good, my body rightfully tired.  I know my Tall Ship is feeling whole and healthy and capable of managing this healing adventure well.

Phew. Life is good.

My life has been teaching me that all of these magical connections aren’t about making life ‘perfect’:  perfect health, no chaos, no tragedies, ideal financial flow…etc. etc.  Often those are goals for doing self-development and spiritual explorations.  But Life brings us challenges. Finding strength and wonder and curiousity and ‘what’s good’ in the process of making it through is what this all about, I think. And believe me, there have been times where this has flailed for me… for instance, when it’s someone I love affected, and then I struggle to truly feel the magic. I’m mentioning that, I think, so if this has happened to you, it doesn’t mean your ability to connect is gone. It’ll be back. ~smile~

Coreena McBurnie,  Mel Van Mol, Courtney… thank you for being my kemo buddies. I thought I’d do this last one alone, but you know, having one of you there.. well, the energy and comfort you’ve each  given me is as powerful as the drugs and the visualizations.  Love ya all.

The Ships sailed to Zazzle

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Tall Ship XIV  Janet L Whitehead ©2009

Tall Ship XIV Janet L Whitehead ©2009

The Ships sailed to Zazzle!  Originals, no.. but the opportunity to make quality prints and cards. 

The artist statement:  Janet L Whitehead  has been sketching, doodling, and etch-a-sketching Tall Ships since she was a preschooler.  
The fascination has been a mystery… but this is what she  knows:  In this reality they represent the adventurous spirit.  She also knows that in other worldly realms – the mystical, the heavenly – the Ships are a means of crossing over, and of connecting to the ‘more than what we see’.
Watercolour on Yupo. Original 11″ x 14″

WELL DARN I was trying to add a slide show here for you to see!
but alas it showed up but was as fleeting as a ship on the horizon.

Please go to*  (for canadians)
OR*  (for international and americans)

For Canadians, now there is  No longer will you have to pay extra shipping or wait for things stuck in customs. Hurray!

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