What a great term my poet friend Bill used to describe my last blog and the Lorna Crozier poem I had excerpted: “Packing for the Future: Instructions.” I think the sacred complexity of the trickster has a lot to do with those “blessed contradictions” as he/she shows up at thresholds and boundaries as the mischief-maker of in-between. I’m going to call the trickster “they” as in all their forms, the trickster is a boundary-dweller and a boundary-crosser and I’ll bet is transgender, defying all prounouns.

At the boundary between here and there, pre-treatment and post-treatment, cancerous and cancer-free, I’m already realizing unexpected opportunities and gifts. The journal I usually write in has become more far-reaching with this blog. A virtual circle is occurring, full of mindfulness, compassion and wisdom thanks to the comments people are leaving and the emails they are sending me.

The gifts continue to come my way in the form of “kick ass care packages” as my friend Birdie calls them. Sarah has given me chocolate, tea and new books to take with me to Victoria. She leaves me love notes spelled out with Scrabble tiles on the dining room table.

There will be other gifts and opportunities in the days ahead as my friend Andrea Mathieson pointed out in a phone conversation we had recently. I’ll be away from home for radiation treatments, away from the usual routine. It’s an opportunity to recalibrate she says.

Andrea has honed her intuitive skills through a connection to Nature and a love of her own garden in Maple, Ontario. I started offering women’s writing circles in my Toronto living room in 1997 about the time Andrea started co-creating vibrational flower essences and began her business called Raven Essences. She became a friend and mentor and I’m pleased and grateful to say, all these years later, we have a loving, soul-full connection. Here’s a link to Andrea’s late-July blog entitled “Crossing the Threshold to Commune with Nature.”

The time I’ll be spending in Victoria and perhaps meandering through Oak Bay will be time to catch up with myself. It’s like those days of pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete to reboot and recalibrate in a way: a call to pause. In Andrea’s wise words, this will be a time of not just fixing; something will be made fertile. I will take care of my body in all the good ways I can.

So about that boundary dweller, the trickster: Hermes is the best known in the West as “the quintessential master of boundaries and transitions, “as Allan Combs and Mark Holland point out in their book Synchronicity through the eyes of science, myth, and the trickster (Marlowe & Company, 1996).

The trickster god is universal, known to First Nations people and Native Americans as Coyote. The Polynesian Islanders know the trickster as Maui and the old Germanic tribes of Europe know the trickster as Loki. Krishna is the trickster in the sacred mythology of India.

In the play of your life, the trickster would be at the edge of the stage, whispering sotto voce, to the audience: Wait until you see what happens next as they jump up and down with mischief and glee. And then the trickster would hop into the middle of an event or an interaction and turn it upside down because that’s what tricksters do.

Lewis Hyde, in his book Trickster Makes This World (North Point Press, 1998), says that “in every case trickster will cross the line and confuse the distinction. Trickster is the creative idiot, therefore, the wise fool, the gray-haired baby, the cross-dresser, the speaker of sacred profanities.” Hyde found out in the course of writing his book that trickster “creates a boundary, or brings to the surface a distinction previously hidden from sight.” I’ve highlighted that phrase!

I can’t help but think that the fact that our washer broke down yesterday was trickster’s way of letting us know we needed to lighten up. Sarah and I took our laundry to Busy Bubbles and had chai frappes at Serious Coffee. The washer is toast and the good news is, our landlord has already ordered a new one!