Is All That We See Or Seem But A Dream Within A Dream? ~ Edgar Allan Poe
Musical representation Alan Parsons Project
The amazing Whiskers
Plush lions continued
The jealous lion
The Rob Nanninga lion quad
Caring for the lions
Cycling and seeing Rob
Rob in my dreams, role-play
Rob’s photo and the drawing I made
Magical realism, the lion ring of God
Rob’s music and Darkwood
Rob in my out-of-body and related experiences
Rob’s healing influence
Stats and “raps”
Rob Nanninga lion art in collaboration with Neural Painter
Exactly two years have passed since my last blog about Rob Nanninga, and it has been over two and a half years now since Rob passed on Dutch “Hemelvaartsdag”, Feast of the Ascension. Rob Nanninga, born on August 6, 1955, hence under the astrological sign of Leo, passed on May 29, 20141, not on May 30, 2014 as is stated in Wikipedia.
What took me so long? Ongoing writer blocks, thoughts and reflections about publishing this at all: self-restraint versus the need to express myself. In the past year, in my mind, these two apparent counterparts have been measuring each other up. To me, this is very dear and important. A true story that has to be told! Likes waves unstoppable, rushing to the shore.
The long hesitation has its upside too, now there’s more to tell. Consider this a book in progress; then you understand this lengthy blog. Even though I have tried to be as comprehensive as possible, I have left things out that I consider too private to tell; details with regard to intimate love. I am confident that observant readers can complete that part of the story for themselves.
Fact is some people don’t grasp my love for Rob Nanninga and I guess that shouldn’t surprise me, all unconventional circumstances considering. There is one simple and logic explanation though: it’s called “love”.
Rob is not out of my life. Over two and a half years after his passing to worlds beyond our true comprehension, yet, especially at night, as close as my own skin2, he is as much there as he ever was. He’s in fact much more here with me than he ever was. I still can’t prove it, nor the afterlife (that would be something, right?), and especially to myself remain painfully skeptic. But this is what I have experienced: so much love. Much more, better than Heaven itself, from what superlatives that even exists, like I often note in my diary,3 trying to describe what I feel when holding and cuddling my Rob plush lions. Way better than Heaven! It’s the only way I can ever try to describe the feeling of exciting, very tangible, immeasurable deep warmth and love radiating through these lions. It’s like they are charged with electrical waves of love, flowing right through me. I am not speaking in a metaphysical sense, I am talking about a physical feeling. It’s like feeling the extremely pleasant, physical body warmth, the warm touch of somebody’s hand or embrace, kiss, of somebody you love most. It’s more than amazing, it’s like impossible, but still, it’s exactly what is happening.
Especially at night, when I’m holding one or more lions for many hours on end, without ever letting them go, even when I’m in deep sleep, I feel utter bliss, ecstasy and extreme comfort, I would say: out-of-this-world-ecstasy and comfort. I literally hold sparkling love in my arms, feeling it sparkle even when I am in deep sleep, it’s there. I feel helpless by the shortcoming of language.
As you can see in the table of contents, this true story of Rob and me contains much more than my experiences with the plush Rob Nanninga lions, but it is certainly a central portion thereof.
I always did have this very special attachment to some dear plush animals in the past. I think it can be considered an omen that I was destined to have these experiences with the Rob plush lions later on.
As I describe in my biography, as a kid I was known to cry for days on end when I lost my plush bunny. It had to be returned or replaced with an identical one. It seems like I haven’t changed at all. But this predisposition has spread it wings and is now soaring in almost unimaginable but very real ways. With Rob and the lions, all of the past and present are coming together. The love I feel through the plush lions, is in the square of what I felt as a little girl. It’s pure magic. And there is not one bit of exaggeration in my statement. My heart would be ripped out if I would loose that feeling.
I accidentally burned another favorite plush partially: the plush Rooster I bought in East Berlin while the wall was still standing. I was there on a holiday trip with my Uncle Dries and we had been traveling in his old Volkswagen Beetle which, of course, we had to leave behind in West Berlin. I saw the communist Rooster in a warehouse for 18 Mark and my uncle bought it for me. I cherished it for many years, but during a freak household incident in Davis, California, I ruined him. I’d rather not talk about it, it’s a real trauma to me. If you would ever want to know how I did it, you had better ask my husband Jeroen.
– and then, being in Davis without any plush animal that could hold the loving feeling anymore, I started looking for and purchased several replacements, but no animal plush could bring back that loving feeling. I tried a new plush bunny, a couple of plush chickens (a chicken and a rooster to be precise) of the same size as my East-Berlin rooster, and, getting quite desperate by now, even purchased an expensive ($101.95) and quite unhuggable Hansa phoenix bird on February 8, 2012, but I felt literally nothing, holding them. Yeah, I did feel something: despair. The delightful feeling simply was gone. It’s like something inside me died because of it or maybe it was the other way around: something inside me had died, causing these course of events. I felt like the sun had gone down on me, I felt empty without a cherished plush.
A long episode of nothingness followed, then Rob passed away. Then, one lion at a time, Rob’s love carrying!, plush lion love came back to me, in a way that is exhilarating beyond any words even a Nobel Prize winner in Literature could come up with.
I just can’t tell you what is happening, but I’ll give it my best shot. You just have to keep on reading through the whole blog – book-in-the-making? – to find out what I mean by “It’s pure magic“. Again, this is a true story, keep that in mind. Everything I describe happened and/or is happening.
So what happened with Rob, the plush lions and me? I bought thirty-seven lions up till now since October 18, 2014, for a total amount of $1051.19 (just a tidbit, to me they are priceless). Eight new ones are missing in this overview photo:
In the meantime, after the making of this overview photo, two new ones (yellow-orange cubs) joined, two large lions and again, two small lions, and a medium size of the Master himself, read about the “Master” below. Oh, and at the eleventh hour of this blog: a mega huge Rob lion 51″(tail not included) was purchased by means of winning an eBay auction, but he hasn’t arrived yet and it’s unsure if he will: number thirty-seven.
A couple more photos of the pride:
Let’s start at the beginning. I purchased the first “Rob Nanninga lion” , the proverbial Dutch “Eerste schaap over de dam”: the first sheep to cross the dam, on eBay on October 18, 2014.
I love them all, but I do have cuddling favorites. The forth lion I bought (on eBay, August 3, 2015) and the sixth I purchased (on eBay, September 2, 2015) are definitely the two alma leos. Number six: the white-rimmed eyed one is the head of the family, the “Master”, being the more male one. Number four: the one with the big eyes, has a clear feminine side.
These were the photos the seller of the Master lion used:
And this how he arrived in Davis, California:
We have a lot of fun together, for example:
On the same day that he arrived, also this small lion arrived (photos below). He too became inner crew, very loved and cherished. With his innocent, disarming, crooked smile molded to perfection, he would crush even the cruelest heart. One day when I had all my lions airing in our backyard, as I often do, I looked at him, to find he suddenly was carrying a tiny blossom. Nature itself, unable to resist, had given him a tiny bouquet (photo three in the gallery pictures him exactly as I found him).
The eight lion, a direct purchase via the toy manufacturer’s website on December 19, 2015, became as important/ In this photo, he is pictured right, with the two alma leos. His story is to be told separately in a bit.
The amazing Whiskers
Number eleven, bought on eBay, February 4, 2016, touches my heart very deeply, with his small stature, but biggest and most joyful heart. He was sold with quite an impressing title, obviously being of noble birth: “Rare Cornish Lionhart Plush Lion 4.5″ Leonard Cheshire Cornwall Foundation MWT“. He deserves every bit of honor. He is extremely rare and indeed of finest birth! I couldn’t do without him. This small Rob Nanninga lion is the only lion with an official nickname, I gave him, it’s “Whiskers”.
Sir Whiskers is quite the remarkable lion and has this amazing acrobatic flair and bounce back which I discovered when something disturbing happened. It was nothing very serious, really, but clearly undesirable for a Sir of royal blood. I occasionally take him with me on cycling trips and I had stopped to take some photos of the amazing scenery in Vacaville. While being at it, Whiskers took a tumble of my bicycle luggage rack and I saw him fall. To my astonishment, and I swear this all happened, he made a somersault in the air and landed safely and neatly on his four feet. You might think this was some kind of random event, but it was not. I have seen him do it on several occasions: taking a tumble, then doing this astonishing somersault, or similar remarkable manoeuvre, to land very dignified on his four feet. Of course, there were a few times, Sir Whiskers was landing on his side, but these slightly unfortunate outcomes were rare. And I swear, every time he does his magic flip and lands safely on his four feet, he is seen laughing triumphant and reassuring: “Don worry, I’m okay!”
By all means, I have looked into this case of utmost importance and studied Sir Whiskers physical appearance, and I do conclude that his creator must be a very skilled designer with major understanding of construction, stability and weight distribution. It wouldn’t surprise me at all, if he or she was an engineer of important buildings, who, in his or her spare time, designed Whiskers. In some of these photos (for example see “aka Whiskers”: photo with blue background), you can see Whiskers’s front feet clearly: they are like sturdy little boots giving him lots of stability. But it must be something in his weight distribution that makes him so often flip towards a safe landing on his feet.
But then again, when you Google his name (“Cornish Lionheart Plush Lion Leonard Cheshire Cornwall Foundation MWT“), you come to some remarkable insights alright too. Leonard Cheshire was a Group Captain – “Leonard”, hence they must have thought to design a plush lion in his honor – and really of nobility which can be found in Wikipedia:
Group Captain Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire, Baron Cheshire VC, OM, DSO & Two Bars, DFC (7 September 1917 – 31 July 1992) was a highly decorated Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot during the Second World War and later philanthropist
He was founder of a charity supporting terminally ill and disabled people in the UK and all over the world. I have no idea if this Whiskers “acrobatic feature” is a coincidence in this regard, but considering the master he was named after, a skilled Royal Air Force pilot, it’s quite a remarkable coincidence, and that’s what it is. More coincidence still, I find in the fact Cheshire was married to a woman named Constance (Binney). She was twenty one years his senior and their marriage lasted for “only” ten years because the war had obviously estranged them.
The photos I made in Vacaville, where Whiskers was observed doing his magic flip:
Some more photos of Whiskers my cycling trips:
Whiskers has this very sweet, pouty muzzle, like he is offering his kiss all the time.
One very early January morning (January 6, 2017), while it was still dark, I found Whiskers like this, and I hadn’t positioned him like this! The rational explanation is that I at night must have touched him with my duvet, but the magical explanation is that Whiskers is certainly leading his own acrobatic and witty life:
Plush lions continued
Number twenty-nine, newcomer and twin (but not exactly, more about that, below) to number eight, purchased new through identical merchant direct order, June 5, 2016, quickly positioned himself next to the other favorites: (right in picture, next to his “twin”)
On October 1, 2016, I purchased another of these series, making it lion number thirty-two, so now a triplet, though each with a very unique character:
Together with the ultra inner crew, look for the “triplet”:
But wait, wait! The triplet has now become a quad! On the eleventh hour of this blog, on November 25, 2016, a fourth lion of this series was purchased and joined the pride for my birthday on December 2. Just keep on reading to find out more about this illustrious new Rob Nanninga lion.
Thirty-seven lions and counting, do they each have a name? Sure they do, it’s super easy! They all have the same name: Rob, or depending on Rob’s mood: Bor. Forgive me potential confusion when I mean one of the lions in specific and call him “Rob” or “Bor”. They all turn their head when you call them “Rob” or “Bor”!
There was this very noticeable moment with the lion with the big eyes, being one of the first I purchased. He sat to my left while I was lying in bed at night. One night I woke up, startled, with a surge of anxiety. It was August 19, 2015. This moment was about Rob and me, communicating through the barriers of me being here and him being there. I think it can be considered a turning point.
Rob had been observing me since his passing in May 2014, and he had seen what his passing had done to me. Finally, he fully realized what he hadn’t while he was still living on Earth: what he had meant to me all those years. That I had been thinking about him untenable almost every day since I virtually met him. And now Rob seemed in despair. He didn’t know how to proceed, being in the so-called hereafter. My involvement with him after his passing hadn’t diminished but instead, was rising to a new, high tide level. I was buying plush lions now, having dreams and out-of-body experiences involving him. And he was considering it all, and what to do next. He was pondering too, that maybe this thing between us two couldn’t be.
But then I woke up to this horror, it was like I picked up on what he was thinking and considering: that he and I maybe couldn’t make it after all. That he was considering to (astrally) leave me. But that idea of losing him again, I just couldn’t bear. I simply couldn’t digest it, it sank my heart. I woke up and looked him in the eye, reading his mind, through this plush lion. Like I had seen his thoughts about me and his indecision, he saw my ravine deep despair in response thereto.
I think it was about this time, that he made this life changing decision to stay, to try make this work, impossible as it may seem because of the barriers between here and there. And it did work out, in a revolutionary way, taking the hereafter communication and love to whole new levels. It was after this month, August 2015, that, in September 2016 and then since, my “raptures” with the lions really took off: the sheer and pure, exhilaration, ecstatic feeling when holding and cuddling them. When Rob wants something to work, he does the job with determination.
Number eight of the lions has a special story, and I’d like to think it’s told by Rob himself.
The jealous lion
As I mentioned earlier, I bought this Bor Lion on December 19, 2015, through a website direct order at the toy manufacturer’s. I won’t reveal their name, but if you can find these Rob and Bor lions on your own, you can have your own plush lion. Please take good care of them and leave some for me.
As it became clear, I didn’t know what kind of lion I would be receiving, because the lion pictured on their website doesn’t even resemble the one I received. The lion in the seller’s picture in fact resembles the Master lion with the white rimmed eyes. That was the reason I purchased this new one in the first place. He was not expensive for a new and jumbo sized (35 inch equals 89 centimeter, including tail) lion: $36.95 and I had to comb him through thoroughly due to some hair-loss. The same was the case with his “twin”: lots of beautiful mane, but a comb-through was necessary. The third lion of these, making it the triplet, didn’t have noticeable hair-loss, as was the case with the fourth. Fortunately, they all have this big hair volume so those few lost manes aren’t noticeable.
Quad number one arrived in quite the peculiar way. He was wrapped in a shipping box with no less than eighty-four, seven bags of a dozen, Christmas hats, and I didn’t order those, and I didn’t have to pay for them either!
I ordered him on December 19, 2015 and he arrived on Christmas eve, so I guess this was the seller’s idea of saying “Merry Christmas!”. Jeroen and I had a good laugh over it. I still have them and we use them at appropriate occasions.
Then I put him next to the other lions, not really cuddling him much, as he was kind of alien to me after the two alma leos whom I still cuddled most. He even looked kind of mean to me as the only lion in the pride having this half-half mixture of blond and black manes and these outspoken streaks above his eyes.
It’s only now as I write this blog, I find on Wikipedia that dark manes are considered to be an indication of health: (bold by me)
During agonistic confrontations with other lions, the mane makes the lion appear larger.
The mane of the adult male lion, unique among cats, is one of the most distinctive characteristics of the species. In rare cases a female lion can have a mane.The presence, absence, colour, and size of the mane is associated with genetic precondition, sexual maturity, climate, and testosterone production; the rule of thumb is the darker and fuller the mane, the healthier the lion. Sexual selection of mates by lionesses favours males with the densest, darkest mane. Research in Tanzania also suggests mane length signals fighting success in male–male relationships. Darker-maned individuals may have longer reproductive lives and higher offspring survival, although they suffer in the hottest months of the year.
In this photo, you can see this mixed mane clearly:
He wasn’t top of my list, so to say. But he kept staring at me with this very intense gaze, that felt jealous to me. As I was cuddling the other two a lot, it was like he was communicating telepathically: “Take me, take meeeee“. I wasn’t considering him very seriously, but he kept up the stare until I could’t take it anymore. Guilty-conscienced, I now occasionally picked him up, and then in my mind’s eye he was transformed in my favorite, the sixth lion, with the white-rimmed eyes. This metamorphosis of lion eight to lion number six (the “Master”) – in my mind’s eye that is – happened once during the day and once at night, when I groggily picked him up to cuddle him, thinking he actually was the white rimmed eyed one. I misinterpreted (as I now see it) him as a kind of intruder, like he was trying to seduce me, leading me away from the other two, by transforming in the other one; again, in my mind’s eye, that is. Though maybe this sounds far-fetched to some readers, I don’t I care enough about that to leave it out. This is a story that has to be told.
But then the strangest thing happened: he actually became my favorite cuddling lion. When you hold him, he lies perfectly to your chest, looking up to you with a glorified glance, like he is extremely pleased.
He’s very full maned and extremely pleasant to hold. They designed him very smart. All the other lions (except for his three quad brothers) are made in a straight body curve, this lion bends to one side, so he’s a perfect fit to your body. And when you see him sitting, it’s like he is addressing you very directly. Even when his face looks the other way, it’s like he’s looking over his shoulder, always watching you, like constantly jealous, or on guard, very protective, very much staring at you (me). It’s the way his head is positioned sideways in combination with his highly alert glance.
One sure could wonder: whom was he jealous of, considering all these lions represent Rob, so he had nothing to be jealous about? I think Rob wanted this lion to be my favorite, because of his smart design and alert facial expression, his great potential, the symbolism of his mixed hair: blond and black, being a symbol of a dipolar being: light and dark. Rob never did like it too sacharine. My plush lions are all extremely sweet and witty, but not corny, perish the thought! And maybe this lion was a little jealous of other lions on Earth, like my husband Jeroen.
I realize it is me “reading” all this in the lions (most, anyway). It’s me reading Rob through all these lions. They all represent him, certain aspects portrayed in one, other aspects again in the other. And this is the most magical part, It’s like I can see Rob through these lions. I am finding out about Rob, and I can see his emotions, thoughts and love shining through so very brightly. I am now totally hooked on the “jealous” lion. Still considering the big eyed and the white rimmed eyed lion as important, he is the one I hold most, next to his quad brothers, and of course the alma leo himself and for example Whiskers.
The jealous Bor now even looks different to me. Transformed in my mind’s eye, his jealous stare often is replaced by a very happy lion’s face. It’s as if he has finally found his peace. Now shining through what always was there: the very caring and protective sweet smile, so very, incredibly sweet.
Feeling justice is being served, being in his rightful position after all. Again, I realize, it’s all “reading” on my part, probably some one else will or cannot see it. These lions mean the world to me. To me, they are alive. I do not care much about readers who by now must think I am certifiable. These plush Rob and Bor lions give me the highest degree of love and support, it’s simply indescribable, but it’s real alright.
When I hold the plush lions and some in particular, instant warmth spreads out, love, comfort, a feeling of being deeply moved, and regularly: instant excitement. Latter lately occurs almost every dag when I go to sleep and start holding mostly one but up to three favorite(s) closely to my chest. It’s ὀργασμός energy. It may perhaps be understood in the extension of my books “Through The Window” and “Through The Gate”4: when you love somebody intensely, your body takes up the vibe immediately. It’s not a matter of choice really, it just happens.
In retrospect to my books: I would have written them differently now, less conclusive, more skeptical, trying to leave out or at least question what only can be assumed, not proven, but I do think they still are very interesting and hold some great truths to them.
Another, very noticeable effect when I hold the Rob lions is that often I hold them tightly, but the same is true in the reverse way. As impossible as it may seem, they can hold me as tight. Especially the fourth member of the quad is extremely remarkable in this way. It’s like two magnets pulling together in a very close fit. The lion then feels very solid, with real weight, even an almost human-like, warm and full body mass. Sometimes when I get up, for example to go to the bathroom, he holds on tight as if to say: “don’t go!” I feel real solid pressure, like a human hand holding me back firmly, but pleasantly. Or sometimes when I am using my iPad and a lion sits aside (I keep them as close as possible), I can feel this “clunk-effect” again, magnets pulling together, solid pressure, a real unison, extremely special indeed.
I discovered this side of Rob after his passing: how pleasantly he can hold you, so very warm, loving and rock solid, you simply don’t want to let go anymore, ever! Often, I indeed find it very hard to let go, even when I have held him through the lions all night and still adding more hours in the morning. It never quite seems to be long enough.
This jealous lion made me wonder: what would happen if I would buy another one of the same series? Would I receive another “jealous” Rob Lion?
This jealous Lion was one of the few I bought new and directly at the toy merchant who had them made in China. So I did exactly that, I bought another one (and two cubs), on June 5, 2016, and about a week later, found out. Again, I couldn’t see what I was buying, I’d just have to wait and see which one was picked for me from their stock. Like the jealous lion, I received his twin without choosing. The same lion arrived, but he was different! He didn’t have this jealous stare, but instead, a very peaceful one, extremely sweet, just the opposite of jealous. Maybe you can see the difference for yourself, I’m not sure.
As all these big-sized lions are hand finished and every one is unique.The way they are carried out – to name a few key elements: the angle of the head to the body, the eyes, muzzle, mouth and tail – is never quite the same, even though the size, material and weight are about the same. But even these factors show variations. The twin I received from the toy merchant has a slightly softer skin. So my question got a satisfactory answer, the Rob lion was transformed. This second one now is as dear to me as his precursor. It’s a hell of a love story indeed, and it just goes on and on! This second Bor has this incredibly sweet and reassuring smile. I have fallen for him, completely and madly in love! I cuddle these two, the jealous and the reassuring one all the time.
Left: “Extremely peaceful”, right: “(Not so) Jealous (anymore)”:
I think maybe even an outsider can see the difference in their facial expression, especially in the following photos.
People who don’t know me, or people who do know me for that matter (wink), may think I’m permanently high or something. If that would be the case, it would be high on love only, because I never used anything in that regard in my whole life.
Some more photos of lovely Bor:
And of course, after the question what/who would come after the jealous lion, and the twin offering a satisfactory answer, another question popped up: what/who would come after the extremely peaceful one? It would be a surprise. So I ordered a third. In the words of Rob’s favorite band, The Incredible String Band, “Be Glad, For The Song Has No Ending“.
Maybe you can judge for yourself, if the lion vibe has caught you too. He has turned out to be a real devoted lover-lion, being lighter in weight and more flexible than his quad brothers. Look at his perfect parting manes in this evening photo, after his first day in Davis in the fan. I guess Rob wanted to make a good first impression (again):
In this photo of the triplet, you can see the “jealous lion” (right) has its head turned more than the other two (I positioned them in the same manner), giving him his jealous, vigilant stare.
The Rob Nanninga lion quad
And yes, meanwhile, I got a fourth of these series too. I just can’t resist the love, joy, support! I got him for my birthday. The fourth of the quad Rob/Bor lions stands out by his very enjoyably, robust weight and pleasant hold. Because one of his front legs is very curvy, as you can see in the following photo, he holds on extra securely and firmly. He is in general a very firm hugger; his whole body’s holding on tight in an extremely pleasant manner. His skin is noticeable too, it’s ultra soft with this very nice soft-rugged pattern.
The reason I almost always hold one of the quad when I go te sleep, is that these plush lions are a perfect fit to my body. When I curl up, they exactly fit in my body curve and they disseminate this amazing, instant love and healing warmth. It’s almost like they are made for me. In my normal sleeping position, they rest with their back in my lab and chest and their head rests under my chin, so I can kiss them on the head. Going to sleep, I embrace them with both arms. I believe the proper word for this is spooning.😉 That makes me the spooner and these lions the spoonees.
The plush lions, especially those of the “quad” series, have other surprising features.They have these prickly whiskers. With these whiskers, they are able to touch nerve points in my back that send me flying to the ceiling with electrical strike impact. Especially in the beginning, the jealous Rob lion tended to do so, and when I accidentally discovered this, I deliberately positioned him in my back many times, wishing to be hit by lion’s lightning again. Not always he obliged, but surely often enough. Sometimes, Rob lion did his “pressure point magic” while I wasn’t expecting it, just by being positioned in a certain way. I was getting hit in the center of my nerves. These whiskers are used not only to get to the heart of things, but to seduce as well. Sometimes I feel them pricking on the side of my breast, or on any body part for that matter. This feels like seduction. Sometimes, to me it seems, real lion energy is coming through.
The Rob Nanninga Lion Quad
First: the very observant, jealous lover-lion
Second: the peaceful-reassuring lover-lion
Third: the devoted, young lover-lion
Fourth: the robust, very soft-skinned lover-lion.
Caring for the lions
As you might have noticed in the pictures, I keep the Rob and Bor lions very well tended to, brushing the ones that are my daily bed companions with a special German made Ambassador Hairbrush and, airing all lions out in the backyard regularly. Not long ago, when I installed them all in the backyard (I always put them on an Ottoman, rug or similar), I was standing in my bedroom, and heard two neighbor kids shouting while obviously peeking through the fence: “Wow, thousands of lions!” Whopping Thousands! At that time: to be precise: thirty-six plush lions. But seen through the eyes of a child that’s peeking through a fence, yeah… thousands of lions! Since then, to both my amusement and annoyance, they are trying to catch a glimpse of the lions while screaming enthusiastically and balancing on and hanging over the fence.
Beside airing them outside, I put them in the fan for hours on a regular basis. Their lion manes are kept in perfect condition because of it, as you can see in the photos. There’s no better hairdresser to these lions than a wooden hairbrush and a fan. It works magic all the way around! In the beginning, inexperienced as I was, I rinsed the first lions I purchased, using finest Dreft “Stage 1” detergent, as gently, as I could. Washing them with water however will just make them look old fast. My device is: wash them only if it’s really necessary. And in this case of course: no tumbling dry in a machine, only natural drying.
Surface cleaning is better and best is cleaning by brushing, airing and fanning only. When they have been outside, they feel clean and their manes are incredibly soft and fluffy again. I assume it’s a kind of natural washing machine by Mother Nature; as the dampness of the air gets in their fur, eventually it’s evaporated again, taking with it some grease, smell and so on.
You would be amazed at how much plush animals can be transformed by good care, especially the ones with long hair like my plush lions. When these lions arrive by mail, they are often irreverently wrapped and cramped in a plastic bag, and they look much smaller than they really are, looking quite inconspicuous because of it. They fully come into their own when they are well groomed and surrounded with love. I swear they look completely different after being treated well. See for yourself, yes, this is the same lion, number four of the quad:
Cycling and seeing Rob
As I mentioned briefly in my last blog about Rob, something is happening during my long cycling trips too. It has become some sort of a mind date. Every time I am cycling, I see Rob in my mind’s eye in varying images; some of them are reoccurring images with slight variations. It’s always about meeting Rob, and these mind movies and mental images are very pleasant, not seldom bringing me to tears. Sometimes, the image presents itself spontaneously, sometimes I create it, but then again, it’s never hard to come by.
They occur most on two parts of my cycling routes. The first location is between Winters and Lake Solano where whimsical olive trees shade the winding road:
The second is on the extended Russell Boulevard, from Winters to Davis (or vice versa, depending on the route you are taking): alongside long and uneventful stretches of nut and fruit trees. Right there, strangely enough, amidst oblivity, the cosmic action takes place. Maybe the long straight road alongside the fruit and nut trees is promoting a kind of a trance state of mind, enabling to feel Rob’s presence more clearly.
In latter track, the mind movie often involves the image of the hammock. Rob is sitting in the hammock and invites me to come over and sit with him, or we walk toward it together and then sit in it, having fun, embracing each other etc.. Sometimes it’s about Rob showing me something, for example a book, and then, when we huddle together like this, one thing leads to the another, like Rob embracing me from behind, kissing me, very gentle and peaceful as always.
This hammock gizmo has become something quite striking by now, because I have been stationing my lions increasingly in…. right: hammocks or hammock-like constructions. This had nothing to do with this vision of Rob and me in a hammock. It just turned out to be a very good solution to the question where to keep them all. But in the end: all comes together, even this. Rob lion is staying in his favorite sling, the hammock.
Rob in my dreams, role-play
In some dreams and astral events, Rob is there, posing as a figurant or as the “man next door”, as if he wants to be there with me, but doesn’t feel the need to get in the limelight, as would certainly happen in the moment I would easily recognize him. There’s always something funny about these dreams and events, and when I wake up or return to daytime consciousness, I think about them and conclude, it could or must have been Rob all along. Then, suddenly, the dream or astral event as a whole makes sense. In accordance with this shyness, Rob seemingly likes the opportunity of role-play.
In an earlier blog, I already told you about the astral event that Rob and I met on a train station while station speakers were blasting an Efteling amusement park commercial about the “World Of Wonders (Dutch) / World Of Wonders (English)”. This event was punctuated by love and humor. On May 28, 2016 I wrote in my diary that the dream I had that night was comparable in terms of magic to the Efteling out-of-body experience.
The dream went as follows. It was a sunny day and Jeroen and I were living in a big house not located in Davis, California, where we have been living since October 2011. Outside, some construction workers had been busy and now their foreman was standing at an open window, addressing me. He asked me if one of his men could spend the night in our house, his name was “Hans”. I responded reluctant, asking the foreman if this man, willing to spend the night, was trustworthy.
He said: “Are you kidding me, he’s been in loyal service for forty years, of course he is trustworthy!”
“Does he smoke?”, I asked, still not very enthusiastic about the whole idea.
“Yes, he does smoke”, said Jeroen, who had apparently had seen “Hans” smoking.
The foreman mentioned the fact Hans had been out there, waiting in the rain for quite some time.
I glanced out the window. There he was for sure. Blimey, he wasn’t unattractive at all, I thought (/said?). His hair was reddish, not very short and straight, he had a moustache and a goatee. Very patiently and casual, he was sitting on his hard suitcase, with one (or two) more suitcases next to him, without looking in my direction. The foreman had mentioned the fact that Hans had been in loyal service for forty years, but that seemed to be about the age of him too. That would have made him a loyal worker since the day he was born (grin). My mood and willingness to let the man spend the night were improving fast.
I woke up with a Bor lion tickling in my face. Being half in the dream still, I laughed, quite uncontrollably, like he had tickled me, so I was both smiling physically and dream wise.
The “construction worker” Rob, forty years of loyal service under the hood, had been waiting in the rain for a long time, on a sunny day, haha!
Of course you can spend the night, Rob, very much so. Later that night, I had this infinitely enjoyable, ecstatic contact with (the) Rob (lions).
On July 22, 2016, I had this strange dream which I still can’t explain. Maybe someone who knows more about the interior of Rob’s house or details about his life/past could In short, it boiled down to the fact that Rob was pushing me into a crawlspace under the bench he was sitting on and me lying there, uncomfortably. He had just explained something to me and it seemed we were living together now, but at this moment, I wasn’t even sure if he saw me or not. I just landed under this bench, like I was some object he had stowed away.
Yet another mysterious dream about Rob occurred on August 8/9, 2016. In it, I was watching TV and Rob was being interviewed by a rather giddy female tv host. Rob told her and the viewers at home, he was moving to a far abroad, because there, he would experience more freedom, sexually too. I was very happy to see and hear him and I was absorbing his pleasant, soft and confidential voice. He was using the strange word “Stahold” (English translation: “Stayhold”?) to describe a kind of sturdy fabric, like felt, that had this very thick and expensive quality. He demonstrated it with a doll made of that fabric. By rubbing over the fabric, you would get the feeling of a swimming pool (?). The female interviewer took the doll and rubbed it like he had suggested.
On August 27, 2016, I had an elaborate dream on the theme “insecurity”. It was about receiving a university bull, of which I wasn’t certain at all that I would receive it. Afterwards, still in limbo, I was looking for my personal belongings and, not being able to find them, I began to roam the unknown city disconsolately. But there he was, this rather tall and smartly dressed man who, just like me, had attended this university event. We started walking together, looking for a place to grab something to eat, because we both were hungry. Rob seems to make a case out of it in both my out-of-body experiences and dreams to always dress very smartly and thus appearing like a true gentleman. With him at my side, I suddenly didn’t feel so lost anymore.
In retrospect to this specific dream, it seems to me that Rob somehow noticed I was having a cramped dream and thought to at least join me there, so I wouldn’t be so alone anymore.
A dream that was making me very sad was occurring on October 7, 2016. To summarize the events, I was waiting for Rob, we were a couple now, but I still never had met him physically! I was waiting for a long time now, where was he? I went to the bathroom but felt I was going the wrong way, entering the wrong one. This bathroom was yellowish-brown with empty walls. Back in my own room, I saw some men, and one of them hinted me he had seen me in his bathroom and I felt very ashamed because of it, though he seemed cool about it. He told me he too got confused about this bathroom thing. He himself had wanted to go to the one in this house, but ended up in a movie theater, in the middle of a movie, much to his embarrassment. Our initial shyness after these odd confessions was overcome, and we both laughed our awkwardness away. But I was still waiting for Rob, and I had already waited for such a long time. I didn’t know the man I was talking to right now, but I thought later on: could he, again, have been Rob in disguise, role-playing once more, trying to make our “first” contact easier? I cried a lot of tears when I woke up.
To this topic of role-playing, I get the strong impression Rob likes this whole plush lion world “role-play” as much as I do, though, at times, it seems to humble him, even moving him to tears, when he is getting overwhelmed by all this attention. “Liking” the plush lion world is an understatement indeed, it’s exhilarating.
On November 20, 2016, I had this blazing dream about Rob’s father about whom I know nothing – like in: zero! – until very recently. Because of this strange dream I had asked Jan Willem Nienhuys, Rob’s friend who took care of the practical arrangements like Rob’s home and belongings after his death, about Rob’s father. He told me that Rob’s father died very young, at the age of twenty-six. While driving his 2CV, Rob’s father was hit and crushed by a truck driver who braked too late. Since then Rob had never driven a car anymore.
I dreamed that Rob’s father was a very jolly man (at least, at the moment I met him) and very different than Rob, much looser in terms of behavior. His outer appearance was darker than Rob’s, with curly hair, a fairly sturdy build and of fairly large height, with facial hair that partially covered his mouth. I couldn’t see his lips clearly, but to me it appeared they could be the same full lips as Rob’s. He seemed to have drunk some alcohol and coaxed me jovially. I tolerated more than I would have in other cases, because I knew it was Rob’s father and I was curious to learn more about both of them. He acted in a conspiratorial manner to show me something and I hope you can guess for yourself what it was, because I won’t be any clearer than this. I was shocked though very impressed all the same and I thought: this could tell me something about Rob as well. Moments later, he was in the adjoining room, talking to someone, where surely enough he looked curious and reflective in my direction, no longer wildly extravagant.
Rob’s photo and the drawing I made
I “see” Rob through this drawing I made of him too, not only through the plush lions. It’s on my bed room wall. I always look at it and kiss it too. I think the main reason that this drawing is such a powerful medium, is that I carefully, adamantly and intensely created it myself, reaching out to the rarely photographed Rob like this, trying to draw his personality in(to) the picture (and I feel I have succeeded in that intention). What may be helping too regarding the fact that this picture seems to be able to “transmit” between Rob and me, is that it is based on a photograph he himself sent to me, as I explained in my first blog about him.
Only recently, November 2016, it turned out, Rob had sent me a retouched version of this photo. I was very surprised to discover this, but in this November 2016 month, Rob’s earthly girlfriend Jolanda Hennekam – Rob was not married and they did not live together – had given Wikipedia permission to use this photo she made of him, and provided the original. On it, Rob is seen posing in front of the camera with another man, a Buddhist, named “Lama” Ole Nydahl, and this man has his hand resting on Rob’s shoulder. Rob obviously removed the man and his hand from the photo (or Jolanda must have done it). I don’t know what’s the story behind this and I am reluctant to ask Jolanda Hennekam. Rob didn’t tell me in the first place she made this photo and just wrote to me enigmatically: “Someone sent me this photo”.
And again, more magical synchronicities between Rob and me surfaced – see my previous blog about Rob too – because I knew I knew this “Lama” Ole Nydahl.
It took me some time, without actually thinking about it, but then the realization hit me on December 24, 2016, when I was brushing one of my two paramount lions (6 feet including tail equals 1.83 meters) with my hands, after all plush lions had been out in the backyard again that day. It suddenly dawned on me, when holding his sweet, huge plush lion head in my hands. Of course, I had seen and read about him before! And then it struck me how I knew him. With great interest I had read and saved an elaborate article about him and his wife in the Dutch “Paravisie“5 magazine of September 1990 in my out-of-body diaries (number I of V), hence twenty-six years ago (!).
It was among other things about physical “proof” or remainder in the form of a tiny red/bold spot on the crown in case of an actual out-of-body experience; in this article described as the exit of the consciousness out of the body. It so happened that in early 1990, I had this minor, but very bloody nonetheless, surgical procedure performed on the crown of my head where a small hair follicle lump inflammation was removed. The performing doctor showed it to me afterwards, it was shaped and as big as a small tropical bird’s i.e. a Zebra finch egg. This spot on my crown had been troubling me since about 1989. It had started out as a small, irritable bump, and just stayed that way too, and even though it was totally harmless, it frustrated me no end. When I had it removed, and much to my annoyance, in the years after, a crimson dash and later on, two inflamed spots on that same location were reappearing. And the couple of hairs never grew back, so I still have this tiny bold spot on my crown. It always makes me feel a little exposed at the hairdresser’s. It was of great coincidence that in exactly that year I read this article with Ole’s thoughts about the conscientiousness leaving the body through the crown and it’s physical effects. Hence the article was given a place of honor in my first big out-of-body notebook.
Rereading it after literally decades in December 2016, I discovered that even Jolanda Hennekam is being quoted in this Paravisie article, because she has been a lifelong practicing Buddhist and back then had met with and attended a course of this famous Buddhist teacher, hence this photo with Rob.
Magical realism, the lion ring of God
It was Rob himself who introduced me to the term of “magical realism” as I told in the blog that precedes this one. By the way, did I already mention Rob and I, in the years that we were in contact which each other while he still was living on Earth, were practically living on the same address in a different city? He was living on Westerkade 20 (Groningen), I was living on Weststraat 20 (The Hague).
Entirely in the style of these magic realism events surrounding Rob and me, something funny happend on August 19, 2016 in the evening, as I was looking on eBay. I was looking at lion rings for a change. I looked only for a couple of minutes and saw lion rings that didn’t agree with me at all, because they were cheap looking, mostly not even made out of Sterling silver and all had these ferocious lion heads. Then I stumbled upon one I did like, a much friendlier one.
The price was a little less likable, it was on discount from $175 to $140. The time frame left of its selling was about twelve hours, the eBay clock was counting down. You could make an offer though, instead of accepting the selling price. Without giving it much thought, and to be honest quite impulsively as I sometimes am, I offered $50 bucks. What happened next was quite hilarious. I immediately saw a green eBay message, next to my offer:
My offer was accepted, and no less than by God himself, as this was and is the name of the seller! Then my inbox suddenly looked like this, and it still makes me smile:
Against my usual eBay routine, I hadn’t even looked into the seller, seller’s name and his eBay reputation, so this one took me by surprise, as Rob often does. And fortunately, “God” on eBay turned out to have a real good reputation with a feedback score of 100% and eBay membership since 2002.
Always looking for evidence, being the skeptic myself, since Rob’s passing more than ever, these magic realism events tend to turn me around, to indeed believe: yes, this ís really Rob, causing all this love and all these happy lion events.
The lion ring of God
Rob’s music and Darkwood
Recently I started listening to Rob’s favorite band “The Incredible String Band‘, mostly in the morning hours, after years of relative silence in regards to music. I always was an avid music lover, especially as a teenager and after that as a student for eight years (I studied this extended period of time because I completed two degree programs), spending many hours a day listening to, recording, at singing along with all sorts of music, but in the last ten years, in accordance with my general lethargy, I had it let slip through my fingers. I discovered, and am discovering still, I really like Rob’s music. Rob sent me a wide cross-section from his favorite music through the Skepsis.nl server, as zip files. I am the proud owner of a Rob Nanninga Music Library, “24-OUD” and “40-NIEUW”: twenty-four albums of Rob’s past music favorites, forty albums of his new favorites.
Recently too, I uploaded fifty-two gigabytes of music to my Google Drive, including all the music Rob sent me. Long live modern times! I would provide you with the link if it would be legal, which unfortunately it is not. Publicly sharing music is bound to some strict rules.
But I in fact need(ed) Rob to personally lead me to and through the music again, which was not very well possible, while he still was on Earth. Now too, it seems difficult, but who knows. In this regard, I envied his earthly girlfriend Jolanda very much, because she was getting the lion’s share of all his (music) sharing. You could always ask me though.
My favorite band introduced by Rob is Darkwood. Some of the Darkwood albums I played over and over again like “Notwendfeuer” and “Schicksalsfahrt“. Not long before he passed away, on April 9, 2014, Rob sent me their latest album and quoted some text he really liked about one song. This song, Fliegergedicht, later-on, was used by Rob’s good friend Jan Willem Nienhuys in the wonderful in memoriam he wrote for Rob, me being the friend Jan Willem referred to in regard to this song. Jan Willem mentioned Fliegergedicht too in his cremation ceremony contribution and the full song text was quoted in the bereavement booklet. Jan Willem Nienhuys and I had been working together on it, trying to write down the German lyrics by listening to the song, because we couldn’t find it online.6 To this end, I even had contacted the lead singer of Darkwood, Henryk Vogel, asking him for the full German lyrics of Fliegergedicht which he, very friendly, provided on the same day I asked him. He granted us permission to quote the full text. When I googled Darkwood for this blog, I found that their song lyrics partially are online now too.
This was what Henryk Vogel wrote to me, when I had used their Badcamp contact form to reach out to him:
Liebe Constantia Oomen,
Das tut mir sehr, sehr leid, das zu hören, mein aufrichtiges Beileid.
Gern schicke ich umgehend den Text von Fliegergedicht zu, er basiert auf einem Gedicht von R.W Schulte.
Schön, dass unsere Musik solchen Anklang findet.
Viele liebe Grüße aus Dresden und bis bald,
Dear Constantia Oomen,
I am very, very sorry to hear that, my sincere condolences.
I am glad to send the text of Fliegergedicht immediately, it is based
on a poem by R.W Schulte.
It is wonderful that our music is so appealing.
Many dear greetings from Dresden and bye for now,
This is a small piece of Jan Willem Nienhuys’s In Memoriam for Rob Nanninga:
The Incredible String Band was his favorite, but he liked German neo-folk too. Not long ago he had found a song that he immediately shared with a circle of other music lovers (not me). It was Fliegergedicht on the CD Schicksalsfahrt of Darkwood. When you listen to it, or read the lyrics, you may think it strange that an atheist thinks that going to heaven is so great. But it is about a solo flyer, who would really like to fly to the stars, and who describes the feeling of getting – with some effort – above the storm clouds and then comes in a serene bright environment above the clouds and snowcapped mountains in the sunshine.
The song says:
Wir treiben kein leichtes, vermessenes Spiel,
Wir haben ein stolzes, ein köstliches Ziel:
Wir weisen den Weg aus Taumel und Tanz
In einsamen, ewigen, silbernen Glanz!
(We don’t play an easy or arrogant game / we have a proud and precious aim/ we point the way out tumble and dance / into lonely eternal silvery radiance)
This quote was picked out by Rob in an e-mail to a friend.
Rob in my out-of-body and related experiences
Rob’s passing triggered a great amount of out-of-body experiences in 2014, as can be read in my previous blog about Rob. In 2015 and 2016, the intense experiences continued, but shifted more towards experiences with the plush lions. I had dreams and out-of-body experiences in which I was looking for Rob, looking for proof too. Sometimes I got straight into panicking because the proof still seemed flawed or lacking or however you want to describe it. Sometimes I didn’t find him, but now and again I did, or he me. He was and still is shy about showing himself. Mostly, he didn’t and doesn’t. I will highlight some of my most notable astral experiences.
On August 17, 2015 I had a very weird and elaborate astral experience in his house, of which I suspect I it was his “Soul House”, a term I introduced in my book “Through The Window”.7 Even though a lot has happened since publishing my books, and becoming more skeptical and critical myself,8 I still feel the word is needed and justified to understand the course of events.
Rob’s “Soul House” was full to the brim with very particular objects and events, like knitting women at a very high level in the house where nobody could ever reach them without a ladder. They were just there, in a very high niche, knitting their rags, unmoved by the outside world. Two other women told me Rob had rented some of his space out to these women. His house was packed with extremities and magical events. Rob and I sat in his living room. He was wearing beige trousers and a checkered shirt. I discovered something very off with Rob’s left hand: his four fingers excluding the thumb were attached to each other, and they looked very “chewed off”, tortured. When I noticed this, I took his hand in mine and began to stroke it and I kissed it, even though Jolanda (his earthly girlfriend) was there, right next to us. Though, at first, she seemed unmoved, shortly after she did seem to get a little angry and she walked off. I asked Rob what he had done to his hand and he answered: “I don’t know”. A lot more happened, I will just highlight some of the events.
After some business attended in his living room, he suddenly jogged up the winding stairs like a consummate athlete, at an almost unimaginable pace. It instantly became clear to me, he had done this a million times before. I though it quite funny, and I went after him, but I couldn’t keep up. I thought about what fun times we would have together, chasing each other, among other things. But to my disappointment, he now had disappeared out of sight.
On September 22, 2015, I had this very special short astral journey. I again visited Rob’s “Soul House”, and to my surprise, he had one of his rooms packed with pictures of me on his walls. They were pictures of me of during all my life phases, with photos of me I didn’t even know of myself. He had put a lot of time, effort and love in it. And I astrally heard his voice for the first time, he spoke to me, I didn’t recall what he said, I was just listening to his voice
Since September 2015, my communication with Rob goes for an important part (but not exclusively) through the plush lions, intensifying to extremes.
On December 19, 2015, I suddenly saw Rob astrally, while I had just kissed a plush lion. He was “hanging” right above me, horizontally, in spirit. I exclaimed enthusiastically: “I can see you, Rob!”
December 25, 2015, I again saw Rob, a little different now from the few photos I know of him, in a very realistic way. He appeared to be around forty years of age, very sweet and handsome, without goatee or glasses. I felt he kissed me later on, my lips were moving in answering an almost physical pressure. This, by the way, happens more often lately: my lips moving as if Rob kisses them physically. It usually occurs spontaneously, when I am not thinking about it, so it wouldn’t be suggestion on my part. It even seems impossible to move your lips in such a manner, because the physical characteristic of being kissed is precisely that your lips move in a certain way and only like this by external pressure. To substantiate this: try to sort the effect as if your skin and flesh are pressed, without touching yourself; can you manage this? That would be some great achievement just by itself.
On February 13, 2016, Rob walked into of my nightly wanderings in spirit and we started French kissing. Eye-catching was his broad torso. He led me to a bed, and there, put a curly wig on my head and a large brimmed hat on top of it, and then continued kissing me.
On April 30, 2016, I was in a garden of a house I obviously lived in and again, it wasn’t located in Davis, California where I currently live. Separated by means of a not very dense hedge, there was the neighbor’s yard in which I heard and saw my neighbor who was with a child. I started sound taping them on my cell. This neighbor was a rather tall man with a normal build and, as I recall, wearing glasses. But then, much to my embarrassment, my phone suddenly started playing back the recorded sounds out loud and there wasn’t a way I could stop it. My phone just wouldn’t respond to any command, so the neighbor would discover soon enough I had secretly recorded him and his (?) kid. I already started thinking about (lame) excuses, like saying I was just testing my phone. But to my surprise, the neighbor, who had surely heard it all by now, didn’t ask me what I was doing, but just playfully started singing a well-known song, “Miss You Nights”: “All my secrets are a wasted affair… this miss you game“. When I returned to daytime consciousness directly after this, I thought: it must have been Rob…
An astral event with again playful elements and nothing less than a celestial ending and hints of Rob again entering my astral world, occurred on May 16, 2016.
This is the shortened version. I was riding my bicycle astrally, but as soon as I saw this immense gap appearing in the road I couldn’t possibly avoid, I started falling, falling, deep into it, but to my surprise, nothing painful happened, I never touched a thing. I returned to the room from which the astral journey had began, this, again, not being situated in Davis, California. The astral stage was chaotic, everything, like the furniture, was out of its normal position. I looked in the mirror and noticed my skin was very uneven and I was only wearing a bathrobe, which I had been wearing during the astral cycling trip as well, and pastel-colored socks with bows (hence almost childlike). I sat myself down on the bed.
A man with a cleaning trolley entered the room, but he wasn’t looking like your regular cleaning guy. He was all dressed up in a black and whites, like a butler in a very chic restaurant maybe, slender, charming.
“Oh, excuse me!”, he said, “I assumed nobody was in, I was just cleaning up in here”, while he involuntarily was looking at my legs and giddy feet wear.
I got the impression that to him, this was some enticing situation he just walked into. Embarrassed as any true gentleman would be, he retrieved himself from the room. Just before he entered the room, I had looked into the mirror again, but my face had suddenly been very even and attractive again, smooth like that of an angel.
In the distance I now heard a celestial male voice singing: “An Angel where our land is free”. I can still hear the tune in my head and I recorded it as well on my iPad. The male voice was one straight out of heaven, very powerful and pure, deeply touching my soul. It was like he was singing to and about me.
On July 12, 2016, I asked Rob telepathically to come up with something new. Then, in the early morning hour, I saw him, sitting in the corner of my bedroom, he was looking handsome and smartly dressed, in his thirties, smiling his sweet and handsome, familiar smile. Enthusiastically, I started kissing in his direction, but, as soon as I slipped into astral consciousness, I couldn’t see him anymore. For a short period of time, I did seem to find him by touch.
Something very spectacular happened in the night of September 1, 2016. I was experiencing a minor food poisoning and everything was spinning in my head. I saw the room sway to and from and I couldn’t get my mind to focus. In the long past, as a student, I had a food poisoning as well, and I now was experiencing about the same: the room was spinning, and when I stepped out of bed and started walking, the floor under my feet seemed to go up and down like a ship in rough seas. But there he was, Rob lion, bringing me back again. The plush lion seemed to be moving on its own, he was making astral movements as I was holding him. It was Rob’s face I was seeing. With his hand he was turning my face towards his, again and again, helping me focus again, putting his lips on mine while doing that, kissing me, soft and slow. I could really feel his face on mine, his facial hair, the feel of his face through that of the lion, turning my face again and again. This was not only helping me, it was very erotic too. The whiskers of the lion were playfully caressing and touching my face.
October 2, 2016, I again wasn’t feeling that well physically, this time I was experiencing an upcoming cold, but the two plush Rob/Bor lions, with their intense love and warmth, pulled me through the night. Something similar happened on October 6, 2016, still being ill, Rob was pushing me through the night with immeasurable love and erotic shared outbursts.
Ecstatic outbursts like these always happens with one or more of the quad plush lions, with their perfect bend bodies, abundant and very soft mane and wonderful-to-kiss faces. The erotic waves washing over me through the plush lions that I at first was only experiencing once in a while, were now starting to become a regular sensation. For some time now, almost every time I start holding one of these Bor/Rob lions closely to my chest while preparing myself to go to sleep, they wash over me. I never experienced anything like it before while just holding someone, in this case: the plush lions. I feel it must be the ultimate, mystic lovers sensation. I really need to explain this in more detail. It’s by all means not the regular sensation of increasing sexual arousal as in foreplay etc. It’s an immediate orgasmic outburst sheer by holding, not in my privy parts only, but much broader in my body, like a stone making several fanning circles in the water once it is thrown and touches the water’s surface.
Only days before finishing this blog, in January 2017, I felt it too, when I was holding a Bor lion sideways in the morning, already sitting up in bed, making notes in my diary, looking in my iPad, regular things I do after I awake. I felt this delicate and intense erotic outburst in my hand (!) that held the lion. Apparently, this lion’s love affair is really, really, hitting off. The firmer I hold the plush lion – but still as gentle as I possibly can – the more intense the sensation becomes. It’s a spontaneous outburst of orgasmic energy without ever going through the “trouble” of “achieving” anything.
Not an out-of-body experience, but a spontaneous and very witty mental image occurred when I was dozing off already, my mind starting to expand, on December 11, 2016. It was most hilarious, but at that time, I was too sleepy-headed to even think or laugh about it. The next day, I remembered it all the same. When I was cycling, the image reoccurred, and then I was snickering about it alright.
It must have been one of Rob’s magical jokes, I think he must have been feeding it to me, whispering it into in my ear. Jeroen and I often watch the American and Canadian TV Show Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den, about entrepreneurs presenting their business plans and asking for large amounts of money investments of five relentless “sharks” or “dragons”: business tycoons willing to invest in lucrative deals. The evening this image occurred, we hadn’t been watching it, but still, there it was. I saw my most gentle Rob Lion, the second of the quad, the one succeeding the jealous lion…the peaceful Bor, as a shark on the Shark Tank panel. He of all my plush Rob and Bor lions, the least likely Rob lion for the commercially shrewd job, serious-faced, next to the other sharks, something like this:
Rob’s healing influence
Finally, Rob is here, where I wanted him to be, with me, I missed him so much. This has a real sad side to it, because Rob and I never met physically. Our story is the weirdest, but most magical too. No, I can’t prove it, but for one, if change is proof, then Rob has proven he’s still here. Because I am changing, both mentally and physically. It’s like my brain picked up again after somehow falling into lethargy the last 10 years, returning to more mental sharpness like I had in my twenties. I have more sense of harmony too, no more big fights are occurring between Jeroen and me, and Jeroen is the one to notice, because he’s (the only one) living with me. I really don’t want or need to get into that anymore. It’s hard to explain, but it’s like Rob’s presence, through my plush lions too, has given me peace, more inner strength, and even more physical strength.
At first, after May 30, 2014, the situation of course was new and awkward, and, if the case of afterlife bears truth, especially to skeptic Rob. To me, the sadness about his passing was, and still is, tearing me apart. The soothing plush lions appeared on stage much later on. I bought the first one on October 18, 2014. My lion love has been growing steadily, then booming since September 2015, hence fifteen months after Rob passed away. I increasingly feel (or assume I feel) his presence through all these plush lions. It sure seems Rob knows how to come through now, by using the plush lions as an instrument. In my perception, Rob connects with the plush lions I purchase, some more than the other, but all are very able to accommodate his love. In my mind’s eye, my favorite lions regularly change into the one with the white rimmed eyes, the alma leo. It’s like Rob assures me it’s not all depending on one plush lion. In this unnameable place where he is right now, he’s rational and dependable (and possibly even as positively stubborn) as he ever was, building on solid ground only.
Waking up in the middle of loving lions, is an extra special event. Waking up from a bad dream, or just waking up in pure anxiety (as I sometimes do), to the sight of a Bor/Rob Lion very close by, watching me with his extremely observant and caring look, is a real eye opener. Regularly, to me, the alma Rob lion, the one with the white rimmed eyes, has a playful or slightly ironic, questioning facial expression. He truly seems to be my core Rob lion. I never saw any of my plush lions with an angry or bad expression; “jealous” being the only “negative” expression I ever noticed, but I hardly consider it to be negative, on the contrary, it’s extremely dear to me. I treasure this expression of the Bor lion. It’s like I see Rob through these lions, his expressions to me very powerful and unmistakable. And time and time again, I discover this extremely sweet, nurturing, caring side of Rob, in every situation.
Rob even encourages me in my cycling, because when I am moving, traveling, I feel closer to him. It’s like motion creates a bridge, a shared land, between this world and life beyond the threshold. This feeling of being close(r) to him while moving is not limited to cycling, I feel it when I’m driving the car also.
I am in much better athletic condition than I ever was in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands I was not active in sports at all. For example, I never went to the gym. Only in the last months before I left the Netherlands, I picked op on cycling, due to exceptional, “un-Dutch” great weather. It was like a parting gift from the Netherlands. I had weak arms, no endurance and no training at all, but in these last two years, and especially this last year, I have become increasingly sporty. This has been resulting in many cycling miles and dedicating my cycling miles of May 2016 to Rob Nanninga, when I completed the Strava Distance challenge of at least 1250K(ilometers) in one month:
You can read more about my cycling achievements in my upcoming update blog about Jeroen and me in the States.
Of course, in the Netherlands I had the benefit of youth, which I don’t have anymore. Adding years to oneself hardly ever improves anyone physically, except maybe when you start to workout. Then maybe you can hold the hand of time just a little.
In the past year I also changed my appearance a little: returning to a darker, reddish hair tone that seems to blend in with my personality much better than the blond I had for many years. My original hair color did have some reddish in it. It was between blond and brown with a touch of red as you can see in this photo of my High School Graduation Day.
I am wearing my hair loose again in public, for the first time in centuries. I had it in a ponytail or bun all the time. The only time I removed the elastic band, was at the Hairdressers and at night. I can’t prove Rob’s causing any of these changes, but it all comes together like this. Maybe he would have encouraged me to release my hair.
Last, but certainly not least, Rob has brought me to writing again too; because of the enormous impact of his passing, he inspired me to these blogs about him. In this very bittersweet way too, I refound myself, thanks to him.
As time passes by, Rob’s presence and personality become clearer and also increasingly convincing to me, in terms of proof that it’s really him, and contact is easier established. If this is really happening, he is increasingly skilled in getting through, and I, on the other end, am getting better in this contact too, this especially being the case since September 2015 (see graph), and reaching new highs in August 2016. My involvement with Rob has been intensifying, not diminishing. My experiences with the plush lions change too, even as we speak. Besides that, I keep adding details to this blog, things that to me seem important in order to complete this time around’s “Rob Nanninga jigsaw puzzle”. I am quite sure the next jig saw puzzle is already being configured. I must stop adding details at the moment I decide it’s time to publish. For this is what this Lion Hearts IV blog has been all along: a quest of and with a thousand jigsaw puzzle pieces.
So Rob and I never met physically, in this life, and that realization alone has brought tears to my eyes so many times and still does. All these missed chances: I should have called him, went to see him, and so fort, but I didn’t. And then: high tide, the ship sailed, the opportunity vanished into the horizon, the point of no return was there, unrelentingly.
But he is here now. Could it be life is that merciful after great sadness? Could it be, this was all meant to be?
With all these experiences, after Rob’s passing, it is, as he is living with me here now, in California. In another opportunity, a new chance, an added dimension.
Rob as I have come to know him since May 30, 2014, is an extremely caring person. He’s well symbolized in my “inner crew” lions – but, of course, in the rest of them to (I love them all): the two alma leos, the four quad lions, “Crook love lion” and Whiskers. He is extremely observant, witty, sometimes shying away behind other (lions), not wanting to be in the limelight all the time. He has this slightly ironic, but playful facial expression as well, figuring things out about you and everybody, before you do yourself. From everything I can see, he’s a champ in caring for others: when you need him most, he’s not only there, but much more: this is his moment, he’s there!, holding your hand, giving his back, showing his unconditional love, his support. Furthermore, just by his presence alone, you become yourself more each day, you’ll become wiser and smarter too (“You Get Brighter Everyday“, Incredible String Band). Furthermore, he is getting real expert in loving me, the greatest gift of all. Of course I noticed other things too: his interest in/love for (role-)playing, cozy-ing up in the hammock and our shared profound erotic interest.
Make Love Not War
So I think this is Rob’s specialty: caring for others, guiding them to their best self (again). But in my case, it’s more than “caring”, Rob is a champ in loving. How well I can feel that through the plush lions, my dreams and out-of-body experiences and related events, it’s beyond anything I ever thought possible. Let me clarify: it’s beyond everything I ever even not thought about, it’s a whole new dimension, a whole new lion’s world. It’s what he does best. It’s his element, his realm, his heart. It was this quality that made him editor in chief of the Skepsis website and the Skepsis magazine too. He did his skeptic work out of caring for his fellow human being. He truly is a lion heart, a ruler of this world and beyond.
Stats and “raps”
So what happened in my astral world?
Something new occurred (as you could/have read in this elaborate blog), somewhere starting at the end of 2014/beginning of 2015, after purchasing several plush lions. “Raptures” meaning intense, “better-than-Heaven-itself” contact with Rob, extreme physical (including erotic) and mental bliss when holding the plush lions:
|2015, OBE and related total amount, involving Rob Nanninga and “raptures”||OBE amount||of which about Rob||Separate from OBE: “raptures” (contact through plush lions)|
|2016, OBE and related total amount, involving Rob Nanninga and “raptures”||OBE amount||of which about Rob||Separate from OBE: “raptures” (contact through plush lions)|
I have now included these “raptures” in my general OBE overview, because, they too, are astral forms of contact.
|Explicitly journal stated “raptures” plush lions** First plush lion purchased October 18, 2014|
– 55 involving Rob
– Before he passed away: 4
– After he passed: 51
|(“raptures”counting from 2015)|
– 33 involving Rob
– 34 involving Rob
|1423 OBEs and related|
|AVERAGE PER YEAR|| : 31
|45.9 average per year|
|AVERAGE SPREAD||365 DAYS : =||(1 EVERY 8 DAYS)|
|JUNE 1 ’14
DEC 31 ’14 SINCE ROB’S
|63214 DAYS : 63
1 EVERY 3.4 DAYS
Meanwhile, a medium sized Master Jr. lion has arrived too… It’s lion number thirty-five. (Number thirty-six was the fourth of the quad).
And there was another purchase, of lion thirty-seven, on December 13, 2016. This one was unexpected (too). It was from a Chinese seller, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, as almost all plush lions are made in China. He has not arrived yet and I am not sure he will, because this seller had zero reviews and only five products for sale (now, for quite some time, he has none). It’s a very huge and expensive lion, normally ranging between $150 and $300 (often not even high shipping costs included):
Bidding started at $1.99 and free shipping. I offered $25, at that time, financially not willing to take it further. Only “private listing – bidders’ identities protected” were seen bidding on his items; these are often believed to be bids by the sellers themselves too, pushing their own items and not letting people win expensive items for just a fraction of their real worth. On eBay, sellers are allowed to shield buyer details. I thought: slight chance this seller will let me get away with it. But he did. So now I am waiting for this mega Rob lion. If he doesn’t come, maybe I start looking around to buy him one more time, because they are for sale with several Chinese sellers and they are on my Watch list. Stay tuned.
Rob Nanninga lion art in collaboration with Neural Painter
Artistic rendition of some of my Rob Nanninga plush lion photos by Neural Painter bot:
Click on image to progress through slideshow!
Amor, cuántos caminos hasta llegar a un beso!
Love, what a long way to arrive at a kiss!
* Dear reader, please note: All photos in this blog courtesy of and copyrighted by Constantia Oomen except when indicated otherwise. They can’t be used, or used and altered, without explicit permission of Constantia Oomen and Lion Hearts. *
 According to Jolanda Hennekam, Rob’s girlfriend, in an email to Constantia on 5/29/2015 2:44 PM, Rob passed away on May, 29, 2014, at about half past ten in the evening, and was found by his mother, the next morning, as he sat at his computer. Read more about this and Rob Nanninga in general here.
 Regarding this “worlds beyond our true comprehension, yet, especially at night, as close as my own skin”, see my four books on my nightly astral journeys: http://constantiaoomen.com/published_books. Note that my author’s name has been “Sten Oomen” for my first three books; “Sten” being my Dutch nickname.
 I’ve been writing diaries on a daily basis since I was eleven years old. Every day still, I write down my dreams, out-of-body experiences and related, and more. See also my biography.
 http://constantiaoomen.com/published_books. Door het Raam/Through the Window. In both books, “Through The Window” and “Through The Gate”,based on my own elaborate out-of-body and related experiences, I explained with numerous examples how astral encounters and events don’t leave your sexual being unperturbed and it’s definitely not something you choose yourself during these astral events. I’m certainly not the only who wrote about this aspect of astral experiences. Several known OBE authors did the same, for example Robert Monroe. It is still a difficult topic to publicly discuss, but it is a known phenomenon in the world of astral travelers. Many people, whether or not self familiar with astral experiences, continue to struggle with this issue, although it really can not be omitted if you really want to be comprehensive.
 “Paravisie” is a Dutch monthly magazine about spiritual and paranormal subjects. I have been in it myself on several occassions because of my books about out-of-body experiences. See http://constantiaoomen.com/publicity also.
 The reason Jan Willem Nienhuys asked my help in transcribing the German lyrics of “Fliegergedicht” was that he knew I am a Germanist: in September 1993, I graduated with honors in German Language and Literature from the Utrecht University. But Jan Willem Nienhuys proved himself a highly skilled transcriber/translator, not much needing my help anyway.
 See, in particular, the following sections in “Through The Window” (Dutch): Sten Oomen, Door Het Raam, Uitgeverij Schors, 2004: Gewijzigde en uitgebreide druk van de uitgave uit 2000 (Sigma Press), Amsterdam. “Waar geesten wonen” (“Where spirits live”), page 189, and “Waar geesten wonen I, II,III and IV” in Part II of the same book.
 From the same year, 2005, I virtually (and Jan Willem Nienhuys physically too) met Rob Nanninga and Jan Willem Nienhuys, who both were Skepsis Board members, I became very active in the skeptical field. It had considerable influence on my critical thinking. Later on, in 2012, I virtually met Pepijn van Erp as well, and also with him I had regular contact. The first occasion of shared interest with Skepsis (and hence with Rob) was, as I shortly explained in an earlier blog, Dutch self-proclaimed medium Robbert van den Broeke, about whom I have published an extensive blog in 2015/2016: Behind the scenes of Robbert van den Broeke (Dutch: “Achter de schermen bij Robbert van den Broeke“). My skeptical interest translated, and still translates, in the regular reading on their websites: skepsis.nl and kloptdatwel.nl, online and offline responding to their articles and even designing two fronts covers for their Skeptic magazine “Skepter“. I also attended several annual congresses of Skepsis as well as the reading of James Randi organized by Dutch Skepsis in 2010.