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On the news this morning, the anchor said there was an update on the passing of Popeye Conprince. There was an in-depth report about the circumstances of his death, and apparently, drugs were involved.

I paused for a moment. He said it as if this was a public figure, one whom we all should know.

Maybe he’s royalty from another country?

Am I so out of the loop that I don’t know this person? Should I Wiki him?

I wrote down what the anchor said and parsed out the words. Oh!

Pop Icon, Prince! For Goodness’ sake.

In a previous post, I wrote about the time I heard a radio program on NPR about noted Tejano politician, Juan Seguin, and I thought they were saying, “Once Again.”

Is it my hearing? My synapses short-circuiting? Information overload?

It may well be that we’re all so used to doing several things at once that we’re never fully paying attention to anything.

There was a commercial for a cooking spray years ago, and when I heard it, I thought for a moment it might be an incendiary device. The announcer said, “get Nuclear Pam, today!” What he really said was, “get New, Clear Pam, today!” Well. That’ll put a kick in your souffle!  More heat than Sriracha!

Maybe life is really a game of Password, with someone feeding us clues as we try to figure out what the right answer is.

I wonder how often the true meaning of words actually gets through all of the static in our lives.

One of the more light-hearted examples of misinterpretation is the story of “Scary Lucy.” A sculptor was commissioned to make a likeness of Lucille Ball, and his finished product looked more like the zombie version of our favorite redhead. He said it was his twist on the episode of I Love Lucy in which Lucy pretended to be a statue. Fans were outraged, and another sculptor crafted a much more pleasant version of Lucy.

As for me, I’m going to make a concerted effort to really listen this week. Maybe if I stay fully plugged in, I’ll hear what the world is saying!

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2007-07-06 16.27.44

Suddenly in the middle of the kitchen, there was a speedbump. I hadn’t put it there, mind you; it was in the shape of a perfectly life-like feline, sitting serenely as I prepared my coffee. It was my cat, looking at me, waiting for some scrap of sustenance in a dog-eat-dog world!

I hadn’t expected KitKat to be there, and was really startled.

“Oh!” I said. KitKat’s mouth formed an “O” as well.

My eyes got wide. KitKat’s eyes opened to maximum capacity. Like two big moon pies.

I pulled my head back in reflex. KitKat’s ears went all flat. Like Napoleon’s hat.

Then it occurred to me. He was reacting to my energy.

“Oh, it’s only you,” I said, nodding reassuringly, and went back to preparing my coffee. KitKat went back to his normal, Trying to Give a Heck facial setting, and moseyed over to his bowl to scout the offerings. Later, he’d stretch across the couch by the window, scoping out upstart squirrels and tracking the flight patterns of rogue birds. You know, his day job.

So much of life is about energy, isn’t it?

Last month, I tried to put a bell on KitKat so I wouldn’t be surprised by his sudden cameo appearances, but the ringing drove him crazy. Not just his ears, but his whole energy flattened. He ran around the house low to the ground, tail tucked, trying to escape the infernal noise.

You can see – and feel – energy interactions everywhere you go.

Once at a drug store, the pharmacist had apparently gotten into a heated argument with a customer. My son and I were joking around as we walked down the aisle, into this moment of friction. The customer turned his head abruptly and glared, thinking that we were laughing at him. He realized that we were just talking to each other and turned back to shoot daggers with his eyes at the pharmacist.

Energy is also malleable. At times, even fluid.

Last week, I got a package in the mail. KitKat sat nearby, on his default setting: bored/nothing-to-see-here-keep-it-moving. I tossed the box aside and in a flash, KitKat had climbed in and curled up contentedly, forming a furry ball. This is the life! his energy said, as he settled in, purring, for a nice afternoon nap. To some, it might seem like a standard-issue box. But if you read the energy meter right, you’ll see it’s really a cat-condo filled with creature comforts. Not bad for a former street-cat!

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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