Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Woodpeckers and general weirdness


Things aren’t right. I have that horrible sense of life sliding away in the wrong direction. As you know I look for signs all over the place. A dear friend, a Jungian psychotherapist and dream analyst, once told me that you should keep a beady eye out for the things that flirt with you – things that pop up and catch your eye. Sometimes they will be subtle – a colour, a shape, a pebble (Lixtroll!). Sometimes they will hammer themselves into your head as if you’re a stupid child who refuses to understand. However they arrive, they have a lesson to teach you.
The last few days it’s been a woodpecker. James and I were sitting in the living room chatting when we heard this strange tapping.
‘Is it Daddy?’
‘I don’t think so. Daddy doesn’t do DIY.’
‘Good point.’
‘I think it’s coming from the garden.’ And I walked towards the window to see a flash of black and white disappearing.
‘I think it was a magpie, tapping on the wheelbarrow.’
A few minutes passed and it started up again, more insistent this time. James crept over. ‘No. It’s a woodpecker.’
And so it was. A large one with bits of red. The wheelbarrow is leaning against the picnic bench and – don’t ask me why – but the daft bird is pecking it. Not the table, which might make some kind of sense, being wood. No, it’s the wheelbarrow, made of whatever it is that wheelbarrows are made of – some kind of metal for certain.

So, this woodpecker obviously had some kind of message and, as I do in these situations, I pondered what it might be. The woodpecker is associated with storms and thunder – it is said to give a particularly shrill call and become very active before storms and so can be an indication that a storm is on its way. Woodpeckers don’t only drum or hammer for food, as is commonly known, but they also use it as a form of communication – to tap out their territory, to attract a mate, to keep track of one another.
So I felt it was warning me – possibly of storms to come. And come they did. First we had shenanigans with James, not wanting to go to school, playing up, feigning illness. He loves his school and is very happy there but I do wonder if the uncertainty of the move and all is starting to get to him a bit. Or then again, maybe he just fancied a day at home. But when you balance your entire life like a pack of cards, it’s tough when one falls out of place. Then we started getting nervous about the move. Our buyer promised it would take a maximum of two weeks to sort out the issues that are holding up his own sale. Eight weeks have now passed and still no resolution is in sight. We are beginning to wonder if, once again, we have been suckered by this guy. Adrian has been uncharacteristically irritable. He’s been yelling at Jack (not so uncharacteristic, come to think of it) and stomping round using the Hoover like some kind of weapon (which is more unusual).
We had hoped that we would get some decent news today but no, nothing, nada.
I was so cross that I wrote a stiff email to our estate agent, warning that if he didn’t honour our exchange deadline (two weeks away now), we would pull out. In the past we have rolled over all too easily – this time we have to be tough.
Woodpecker can bode that we’re out of sync or out of step. I hope that’s not true. Sometimes its message is that we need to rest up, to pull together our strength. I know that’s true but it’s just not possible right now. At other times it – interestingly – is said to call people to the shamanic path. I have been fascinated with shamanism for many years and have done several trainings in it, including soul retrieval which is truly intriguing. I’ll tell you more about it another time as it’s quite involved. I based my children’s book Walker Between Words (which some of you are so kindly critiquing for me) on its practice – all the shamanic practices described in the book are based on fact. But in the last year or so I have stopped journeying (the shamanic technique for travelling to other realms for guidance and healing) so maybe the woodpecker is urging me to get back to that (it is supremely soothing, quite apart from anything else).
But then again, and I am clinging to this more than anything, Woodpecker can mean an uprooting, a change of abode.

26 comments:

Suffolkmum said...

Loads to comment on here. I really hope that the 'uprooting' call of the woodpecker is the right portent for you. It's so horrible when things go out of sync, it's often really hard to analyse the problem when 'everything' feels wrong. Yes, definitely be shirty with the estate agents, at least you'll feel like you are getting some power back. Maybe you should try getting back onto the shamanic path, interesting to note that it's clearly in your subconscious, whether or not it's got anything to do with the woodpecker. I found it quite bizarre reading this, as often seems to happen to me with your blogs, since we have been plagued (that's the wrong word, but can't think of the right one) by woodpeckers lately. One has even started tapping on the outside of our bedrooom wall! Your Jungian friend sounds fascinating, and a useful friend to have to boot! Hope it was just one of those days with James.

Suffolkmum said...

Sorry, forgot to say, I didn't have the first clue about avatars, but Jackofall came to the resue, he has uploaded the very easy steps on the technical page, if I can work it out, anyone can.

ChrisH said...

Hmn, waiting for something to happen certainly struck a chord with me at the moment. A fascinating blog although given the stress you're experiencing it's hardly surprising you're not sleeping. I hope you get good news soon. I'm off to read 'Walker' now.

Inthemud said...

Interesting , I'd not thought about a woodpecker trying to bring a message, being some sort of portent. You know so many interesting things.
Certainly it does sound as if things are out of sync for you as present, can't believe the problems you are having re estate agent and moving.
I'm now going over to look at Faith's blog, has she picked an angel card for you?

toady said...

No wonder you're feeling wrung out. Estate Agents and all involved deserve a massive kick up the arse,[scuse language]you get one bank holiday and they b****r off for a month. It'll come right in the end. Toady

bodran... said...

Or maybe the poor woodpecker identifies with you bashing his head against a brick wall[metal barrow]is a bit like dealing with estate agents...finally caught up with you again,good old adrian he came up trumps, remember if he needs any beer tasting up here "I am free".......was it the same saddo who emailed me from cl??? ..love walker and i'm getting nelly to read it...xxx are you going to the fairy festival if not i'll visit you anyway xxxxx

Milla said...

I'm with toady! the swine! More, the casual, maddening, angst-invoking *astards. xxxx

Julie said...

hello jane i hope it all turns out ok but im sure it will it is not nice time waiting we moved three times every one was horrible plus all the not sleeping makes it worse but soon you will be having a drink in your new home xx jep

Eden said...

ditto toady and Milla, not surprising you're feeling unsettled. that Estate Agent wants a boot in the backside. I hope the woodpecker's omen is that you will be on the move soon. Love the links -- clever girl.

ChrisH said...

Yes, it was a strange co-incidence wasn't it? Picking up things that attracted us. Ps no news yet - thats why the wait is driving me crazy.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Fascinating Blog Jane. I too look for signs and often get strange dreams that come true. Your woodpecker was trying to tell you something - not always obvious though is it. Tough time you are going through - we went through it last year . . . . Lixtroll and the Janitor were our buyers, but we had a lot of problems with land because of the new land act - a lot of the drawings have been re-done and frankly are wrong - but no-one listens - long story - got there in the end and have Matron and the Janitor as our neighbours

snailbeachshepherdess said...

When you are dealing with the estate agent think of the woodpecker and keep on hammmmmmering! One house sale we went through found me sitting with the buyer in a solicitors office REFUSING to move until it was all done. And we sat there all day ... he did it at 5;29! The b*****d!

elizabethm said...

all will be as it should be (not an excuse for sitting on your arse doing nowt) but things work out in my limited experience. nowonder james is feeling a bit fragile. homes are important things. will be thinking of you.

Frances said...

Everyone has already made versions of comments tapping on my mind as I read about the woodpecker.
So, I won't do much tapping on my keyboard right now.
It's late afternoon on a day off, and I will now read the next installment of Walker.
I promise comments afterwards.
xo

CAMILLA said...

Jane darling, your blogs are always so fascinating and full of wit. Although Jane I dont suppose you feel much wit about those Estate Agents, does this happen in Scotland I wonder, I know they seem to have a different set-up there. It seems ages re property move, they need to get a move on. I think that because everything has gone out of sync,this could be the reason for your sleepless nights too. It would be interesting to learn if the Woodpecker is a good omen for house move.Hope James is alright, perhaps he is worrying too, dear boy.
Camilla.xxx

snailbeachshepherdess said...

have just found your comment on my blog re name - I laughed and laughed --if I lived 2 miles up the road I could be 'Frogs Gutter' shepherdess or seeing as how I'm a 'Jane' as well - 'Frogs Gutter Jane' sounds like I have something far more exciting than sheep!

LittleBrownDog said...

Very interesting blog again, Jane, and in spite of my sitting-on-the-fence version of agnosticism, I too find myself attracted by notions of Jungian synchronicity, and again and again find messages and symbols in curious, unlooked-for places. Snailbeach's suggestion about the woodpecker hammering on with the Estate Agent struck a chord with me, however I think we all need to listen to our own messages, and what seems one way to one person is often quite different to another (if that makes sense!)
Thanks, too for your lovely message on my blog about my sister. It may not seem like much to wish someone well, but it really is a comfort to receive positive messages and thoughts, and I can't help feeling that it's all grist to the mill of a positive outcome. I'm sorry to hear about your friends, too - kind thoughts to them (and hold on to the fact that positive outcomes re breast cancer are much more common than they ever were).
You asked where I am - I'm in N Wiltshire and write mainly on the subject of interiors (although not for CL, you'll be relieved to hear!) however my bread-and-butter writing, I'm afraid, is more mundane still - very dry, factual web-based stuff - so I find this site a real blessing in contrast.
I had a quick peruse through your website a couple of weeks ago and I'm very interested in the kind of things you write about. Looking forward to hearing more...

Tattie Weasle said...

I think you need some sound advice from Piers! I spoke to him and roughly translated his advice was -"The stupid F***s" [verbatim quote] should be earning their money, so tell her to remind them of that fact!
"For God's sake, never push yourself into a corner and write down what you want from them before you speak that way you won't forget anything.
"Blast them, a good swift kicking never did any agent any harm."
I'm afraid he sounds a bit more aggressive than a woodpecker but as he used to be an agent I suppose he knows the best way of managing them...
Apart from that Piers also outlined a few more tricks...From what you wrote sounds like you haven't got to exchange yet - he suggests that you keep the house on the market and ONLY take it off at exchange he says thank god we're not like the Scots!
Secondly he suggests that the agent update you daily - he says this really annoys them so they'll go hell for leather to get everything sorted.
He says agents hate being bugged all the time they would prefer to take the money and run!
I hope this will help but there again you may have already done all this. Piers does tend to play hardball but we've taken jhis advice and strangely enough it has worked! And we have not upset the neighbours in the process either so to speak.
Sending you lots of good vibes from Suffolk....

Pipany said...

Far too much going on for you - I think that's the warning, though what on earth you're supposed to do about it I haven't a clue. I think these signs are meant top make us examine what we already know in our hearts, to stop and allow the thoughts space. So difficult when we all have such busy lives. By the way, thanks Jane for the double click comment - it seems to have worked! xx

countrymousie said...

Well I am worried by the woodpeckers now - I have a pair of green ones here permanently and a trio of spotted woodpeckers - now I have what you could call a surplus of peckers!You must keep on at the Estate Agents - they are working for you and do tend to forget this - ring them every day -really - they will not forget you then I promise. love mousie

JacquiMcR said...

Jane, I love your blogs because they always give me so much to think about. I'm all over the place just now as well (job, house extension blah, blah) and sometimes feel as if I'm just going along with life, rather than actually living it. You have so much going on just now, its no wonder that you can't sleep and are feeling uneasy.

You are always so good at advising the rest of us that maybe you should listen to yourself and trust your feelings.

Take care - Jacqui x

@themill said...

Perhaps you could redirect the woodpecker to knock on the estate agents head.

Hopping Moon said...

I think you are right about needing to be tough - you have to be clear sighted and hard nosed when buying and selling to make sure you get what you want. i hope it all works out and you can work out the true meaning of the sign for you.

Thanks for your kind offer re sending updated info on ME - that would be great if you come across anything.
i will try and get the book you mention on healing and prayer - it feels good .

Wishing you peace and clarity.

Grouse said...

Just to let you know, I'm back in full blogging speed now! I think the Woodpecker is reminding you to embrace the coming move as a rebirth and not just to get bound up in the stress. Keep your heart and mind open and your soul restful. Keeping my fingers crossed for a speedy resolution.

LittleBrownDog said...

So you were at Options? Wasn't that at IPC Towers? I was there between 1995 and 2005 - could we possibly have shared a lift?
LBD x

Pondside said...

I think everyone has said everything - not much to add except that you sound so very stressed out.
If you have to talk with the agent you might rehearse out loud first. I teach a course on Boundaries and always tell the class that it is always easier to say something a second time - the first time past your lips is the hardest when you're delivering a difficult message. good luck!