During these exciting days of traveling alone through Russia, staying in hostels and meeting so many new people, I’ll bet that I’m recalling my roots a whole lot more than any of you! “Where are you from?” is the Hosteler’s stock in conversation trade.
I always report “Ya Americanka! …. from the U.S.A….Florida…..Clearwater!” Well, my Florida hometown is just a few miles from St. Pete (St. Petersburg), Florida, famous for being a beach community and a favorite senior citizen’s retirement center. It looks nothing like this Russian Saint Petersburg, artistically-famous and glittering city, home of the Czars. This European countryside is so very green because it rains every-other day.
And yes, they have the wonderful red, double-decker city sightseeing buses, here too, just like they have in London! My home here is beautiful Soul Kitchen Hostel. Very comfortable and welcoming. Full of new friends to share sightseeing with or to come home to after a hard day of glamour.
I’m transcribing my old journals onto my hard-drive and here’s an entry, written months ago, while I was visiting Sassha Lambert in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, January, 2016. I think I wrote an earlier blog about it, too. Because we’ve had so many requests to contact everyone’s dead pets, we are ending that personal psychic practice since it really isn’t the reason for this website. However, this beautiful testimony by Jack, The Golden Retriever, should set everyone’s mind at ease about how your pet feels now. They all say the same thing. Death feels very good and they are happy! Just rest assured!
Last year, Dakota’s beautiful, champion Golden Retriever, Jack (Sir Jack Maximilian) died of a brain tumor, and she sent a smiling, go-forward, direct eyes portrait of him looking just like my own grand-dog, Soda, in Denver, (below). She didn’t have any specific questions to ask, but hopes I can be a dog-whisperer to him.
Oh my Holy Spirit! With all this mention of Jack’s name, I’ll bet he has bounded up to You and stands, eager to be contacted. My question to him is the one I wish I could ask everyone who has been through Death. “Jack, what does it feel like to die? What’s it like to be where you are right now?” And, did you wait for your Mamma, Dakota, to return from her trip before your final seizure and departure?”
“We are right here with you. Do you feel Us near to you?”
No, I don’t. Sorry!
“I did not know how good it would feel! Ever since I died, I’ve been so happy-glappy, Up Here, that I had forgotten about earth joys. Ever since I have been here, I have been watching over my little family and I can split myself up now and be with each of them.”
“Ever since we go through this cavern – this operation called Death, we don’t exactly come back home, but we can be with them all of the time. It’s nice and clear and pure, Over Here.”
Does Death hurt to go through? None of us, humans, really understand it very well. What can you say to calm us down about it?
“Well, don’t worry in the least! When your body starts to fail, it is not your problem, anymore. There is nothing you can do to change it. It happens overnight. Like going to bed when it gets dark and waking up again when the sun comes up. It’s no more mysterious than that. Maybe, being an animal is actually very helpful, because we are not affected by controlling what happens to us. We just do what comes naturally and it’s all pretty wonderful when viewed from the inside.”
Sassha wonders if you waited for your Mom, Dakota, to return before you left the planet in death?
“It seems that I must have. I wasn’t refusing to go. I just needed to say goodbye, or even more simply, I just wanted to see her. Dogs don’t think about the future. We think about what we want …. “Right now!” And, that’s what we usually get! We did get to see her, and then, things just developed naturally; and before you know it, everything was all taken care of. Death doesn’t hurt, one little bit! Not in the least, and my condition didn’t result in a lot of blood or broken bones, like an automobile accident might have had pain attached.
Brain tumors are a part of the body, once they arrive, and when they do things from the inside of your head, it all feels normal. No matter how different it might look from the outside. I just felt that it was Me, doing natural things. I didn’t mind whatever my body wanted to do with itself.”
So, in your opinion, Jack, do we put too much drama into death?
“Yes, you do, but how would you know? You can’t remember when you went through it before in a former life. Your brain picks and chooses its memories and that’s not so different to when a tumor closes off parts of somebody’s brain but doesn’t kill them immediately.”
How do you feel about Elephants, Jack?
“Ohmigod! You’ve got to help these gals get more and more and more (many repetitions) involved with these African Elephants on Lake Victoria! It’s no accident that you are heading there in less than two years! My Mamma Dakota sponsors so many of these babies and we will all benefit. All on Earth will benefit from her involvement. Please go and visit them together. Oh, brother! I can’t wait to go with you!
Dogs have a shorter life than these massive elephant spirits do! Something has to be done, because African Elephants are mysterious Beings on this Planet Below! So, yes, yes, yes! Tell my Mamma that she’s on the right track and you will be, too! And, so will I when you get there!”
“Excuse Me! This is your Holy Spirit…. and this is The Great Creative Force! Get yourselves in gear! I mean it! We mean it! You are heading towards Africa, Linda Layli, for your 80th birthday, on September 10, 2017, already planned for Lake Victoria, in Kampala, Uganda. Now, your present roommate, Sassha and her sister, Dakota, are involved with saving elephant children, babies orphaned by the slaughter of the big bull elephants for their ivory tusks. Can you see something happening? You might be able to save some elephants too, or zero-in on their plight.”
I’m getting lots of Big Ideas, right now, centered around this large lake in Africa, whose name means “Victory!” to me. Somehow, these conversations, people, dogs, and events, feel connected. Can we actually pull our acts together into one big splurge by joining hands? Kenya = “I can, ken-ya?” (I can! Can you?) Can do Kenya!
Does that mean that Jack is in Public Relations? Is he cooking this Big Event up? How about that, Jack?
“Wonderful news! Dogs are not as old as elephants as a species, but we are very humanized, especially, we Golden Retrievers. I’m telling you something! There is nothing to stop any of you…. especially, when you get an idea like you have cooked up. Why did you chose this place, Linda?”
You mean, the big lake in Africa? I really don’t know. Because I don’t know Africa, at all. Victory = Victoria = Victory! Built-in success. Now, I’ve learned about another cause that I can help with…. preventing deaths of fishermen there,
and now, saving baby elephants, in the same general location.
More causes may show up as we look closer. It feels like something is unfolding here. And, Jack, believe me, I didn’t wangle this pet subject into your interview. I have to say though, that you are a pretty good Retriever! Here’s something you’ll appreciate about your fellow dogs. Huskies, and how they can make great pals with Polar Bears.
One of the true joys about staying in hostels is the social life. Hostel Euphoria in Tallinn has a Great Room, open to the public for Wednesday Night Open Mic and Sunday Night Jam Sessions.
The hostel owner, Jonathan Flack, has a band named “The Jingles” and there are musical instruments decorating the room, ready to be used during these evenings. Those who aren’t musical, like me, can tell jokes and stories; give short talks, or teach dance.
Now that Boogie-Woogie has come roaring back in style as an International Dance Craze, everyone is interested in what the original looked like ….way back in 1955, when I was in high school.
I’d never have guessed, back then, that I’d be taking steps learned sixty-one years ago at our weekly Teen Center dance nights, and sharing them to new generations in hostels all around the world. I might just do the same thing at the Soul Kitchen Hostel in St. Petersburg, Russia, later on this month!
Below, are some of our fabulous singers…. Dima, Trevor, and Tadeusch.