Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas.

It says "...freedom of...", not "...freedom from...".

"It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness. People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint." - Penn Jillette







Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hello, Bright Sun

This one's short - I'm getting dressed to head to the Ren Fest this morning!

Next weekend, the Fair ends for the year, and while it's been a blast, I won't be sorry to see it end.

I woke this morning to the Sun, peeking through K's living room window. When I stay here, I sleep on a futon mattress on the floor behind the couch, which you might think would cripple me (touchy back, you know?), but doesn't, and I like it because it's a bit like sleeping in a cave or Gypsy wagon or...I dunno...but it's comfortable.

I've had too little sleep for too many nights, so when I sleep well, it's a blessing. Last night, when I finally went to bed, I slept wonderfully...if not long enough. I need months more. Or at least, a few hours.

So there was the Sun, peeping through the window, almost apologetic, "I beg your pardon, Daughter Mine, but it's time to wake up and get moving. Time to join the Dance of the Day, the Waltz of the Hours, to sing and laugh and Be..."

He touched my foot with a gentle ray, smiled softly, and waited. When I squinted up at him and made to roll over, I swear...he winked. I figured I'd get up before he escalated - in a rise-and-shine situation, it's best not to test the Sun.

Hello, bright sun...beautiful, bright sun...thanks for the kindly waking.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Say What?

Another fun post about what brought people to Shade and Sweetwater...and while I was looking at these stats I noted you've come and visited over ten-thousand times in my short eighteen months - which may not mean much to the big-time bloggers, but to me? Holy carp!! Right, on with the fun...

Renaissance kiss lips fair: so renaissance doesn't like to kiss red lips, then, or tan ones...

Shade for dogs: plant a tree - it not only provides shade, but a place for dogs to...erm...you know...

Metaphysical meaning inchworm: Wow...I'm not touching this one with a ten foot...erm...worm...

What not to wear kissing wench: umm...anything that chaffs??

Kidney bob dead: I'm so sorry...poor Kidney Bob...he was one of the "fun with anatomy" Muppets, but he was always a little bitter about how much attention Testes Pete got.

Centrifugal skidmarks: What the heck did I write that would bring a hit on that? Seriously?? I may never write again...

Friday, May 29, 2009

After

Last night, I stood outside while talking on the phone.

A storm had rolled in - they'd been coming and going all day - and hunkered down in our hills. Brief strobes of lightning turned the piled-up-cotton-clouds peach, blue, and white, and thunder rolled around and around, my ears sipping and savoring the sound like auditory wine with a fine bouquet, something subtle, yet powerful, with hints of peace, summer, and potential in the afterglow.

The rain began to fall, a few plinks at first, building to a crescendo of rushing, downward falling waters. I stood in it, listening to the voice on the other side while the rain washed me, blessed me, touched my face with searching fingers and tapped my arms, head, bare feet in a kind of cool, wet, Morse.

I stood in it and listened to the voice, that good voice, that was under another, yet same, sky, his with moon peeking shyly down, and felt myself in two places, present in both, while the rain washed me.

It didn't last long, the downpour, just enough to give everything a good wetting and please the trees, the morning glory vines, the green and growing things. The clouds cracked open and hatched out the deep, dark, star feathered sky above my head, and I stared up and breathed in the damp air, the night around me, the light and the dark and the thunder still bumbling along its way.

Today, it's is well after the storms, and if you look outside, take a breath, feel the lightness of the air as it places a friendly hand on your arm, brushing you with a tiny breeze, you can tell it's after.

After the rain, it's all clean. No pollen, no dust, no copper tang, no weighty matters lingering, just clean. The sky is the blue you know so well, the blue of movies and television and paintings, deep, deeper, deepest, three-dimensional blue. Sharp blue, savory, I want to drink deep of this sky and quench my thirst with it.

In the woods, the leaves flutter, excited, new washed and delighted to find themselves brilliant, sun-dappled, cleansed. The rustle and whisper, shimmy and sigh, turn this way and that, admiring the occasional glint of sun from an unshed droplet.

The hawk is calling out, keeya, keeya, keeya, telling her own tales of the woods, the storm, the wet, the blue. Keeya, keeya, keeya, she calls, come and see what I have found, come and listen to what I am saying, come and feel the blood pounding in your ears and the wind in your face, and the wild stirring in your soul, keeya, keeya, keeya, come and fly, fly, fly with me.

After the storm, everything is more itself, as though the watering down actually made a distillate of Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Worth enduring, these storms, for the After.

Reaching Beyond

When I was a child, truly a child, I was deeply hurt by...events in my life. I won't go into what, or who, or why here, because that isn't the point. The point is, like any child, I reached into my resilience, bounced as best I could, and continued on with the business of life.

I've know heartache since those first deep wounds to the soul. I've known what it is to be infatuated and rebuffed, to think I loved and be denied, to long, to yearn for, something more than my solitary existence. I had to learn to look beyond, to reach beyond, what I knew. I had to find Faith, to find Hope, and cleave to them.

I always thought I would be married forever - that, although I carefully wrote my vows to say "...as long as love lasts..." and not "...as long as you both shall live...", I would not have to remind myself of that...clause. I thought...I hoped...that love would see us through the difficulties I knew were ours to face...if only because I have known depression, deep and abiding, for so long, I know what it throws at a relationship.

I have had to reach beyond the darkness, strive for the light, even if it was only the grey, uncertain light of level days and not the brightness of joy.

I've never broken my word - not once. I so rarely give it, and only when I am certain it can be kept. I do not take vows, oaths, lightly. I have had to reach beyond endurance to keep from becoming an oathbreaker, but I have managed...and I'm alive because of it.

I do not lie unless it is for the greater good. I won't lie to save myself a little grief...it stings my honor. I have had to reach deep into trust and love, hoping that they would help soften truth when I could not bring myself to speak untrue.

Tonight...technically, last night, I found another beyond. I found the place beyond love that is cold, dead, and unyielding. I went beyond endurance to a place where I cannot bring myself to care that my actions, my words, may wound and wound deeply, because my need for solace was greater than my need to be compassionate, forgiving, loving.

I am beyond tired of defending my honor at every turn because of a suspicious mind. I am beyond tired of defending my honor as I am called (direct or intimated, makes no difference to me) liar, cold-hearted, uncaring.

I am beyond tired of being blamed for what my heartfelt words have become, have engendered, have inspired.

Weary to the bone, to the heart of my soul, weary beyond all endurance, weary of T lashing out at me because he misread, misunderstood, misinterpreted...I reached beyond my here and now and asked for...contact.

Asked for and received.

I asked a friend to call, to speak, to reassure and give me an anchor point. Without hesitation, he answered, spoke, reassured, anchored - reached beyond his own needs and answered mine.

And now?

Now, I am reaching beyond reason, feeling my way blindly down roads never travelled, cloaked in darkness...reaching beyond guilt, blame, recriminations, anger, sorrow, and regret. I am done. I am reaching beyond, and believing...believing that I will find what I am reaching for.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Hammer Struck Three Blows

Last week, I was in Mass, at Camp Hi-Rock (oh, my goodness, it's a beautiful place!!), with a few hundred other pagans. The event was awesome, in so many ways thought provoking and uplifting. It was hilly, required a lot of walking, a lot of awareness of surroundings, gave plenty of opportunity for introspection.

Introspection and interaction.

Can't be in a remote campground for five days with several hundred people and not interact...even if it is huge site.

I had quite a few conversations, most of them light, desultory chit-chat, but three of them struck me to the core.

The first was with a woman who mentioned that her life was good, now, in part because she loved and was loved in equal measure for the first time in her life. Out of the blue, she mentioned this. It was a hammer blow to the heart. I had to follow her back to her booth and talk to her about...well...what was churning in my mind, in my gut. I told her my story, and she smiled so sweetly, so gently, and told me I was telling her once-upon-a-time...and now she's happy...so very happy...

The second was with a woman who was on the other side of the coin - she loved her husband, but he stopped loving her. It was a hammer blow to the heart. I had to speak to her, to learn her story. It hurt, she said, to know she loved him and he did not reciprocate, but she knew it wasn't any way to model a marriage, to model love, for her child. She is with a man who loves her, now. She's happy - happier than she'd thought she could ever be. So is he. They raise their daughter together, make decisions together, and are happy.

The third was with a man who shared our cabin. We talked about how differently people receive love, and how some people don't believe they deserve to be loved, to be happy, can't accept it. It was a hammer blow to the heart. He said everyone deserves love, even when they don't believe it. If only they could learn to accept the loving, they could know what it is to be joyful. I couldn't speak to him, only listen as my poor organ, the center of loving, shattered and fell in pieces before me.

The hammer struck three blows, and my stone heart was turned to dust.

What do you do?

I am home. Home. There's a word full of meaning.

Here at Casa de Crazy, we have been experiencing a full load of chaos, stress, and distress. I haven't written about most of it, because...why?

I teach a communications class at the track. The first thing I tell novice communicators is "Remember to breathe, oxygen is your friend." and then "Don't call the incident in until it's finished. Then, take a breath and key the microphone. You won't lose anything by doing that, and you'll be able to make a full report."

Good advice for life, too, it seems. Let things finish...breath...then key the mic, write the post.

So.

What's been going on here?

A marriage has been disintegrating.

It's nobody's fault, really. Or ever one's. I don't know. Mostly I think it's my fault, really.

For the last five years, I've struggled to hold onto it...to be a good wife, a good mother, to ride out what felt like some very rough, very lonely seas, hope for smoother sailing. I can't any more.

I am physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted.

I don't love my husband. Not romantically. Not the way a wife should. Something inside me broke, a while back, and I can't fix it.

Goddess knows, I've tried...

But you can't force love. I care deeply for him, although I think I may have given him cause to doubt that. I don't want him to go away, although I think he doubts that, too. I want him to be here for our son...but I can't pretend, any more, that I'm fine, that we're fine, that everything is fine.

I have no idea where to go from "I can't be your wife any more..."

What do you do when you wake up one morning and realize that you don't want to be married any more? What do you do when you realize that you don't have a choice, that love or no love, there's a child who needs his family to be whole? You suck it up and try very hard not to let the cracks show. You try to carry on, make repairs, fix it without letting on that it's broke.

Maybe you carry on for years. You try and try, and blame yourself, and hate yourself because you can't be the wife a good man deserves. You swallow your angry words, your disappointment, grip them in your teeth, chew them into fine powder and swallow them down. You wonder what the Hell is wrong with you, that you can't reciprocate. You don't tell him all the little things that drive you buggy, that help the erosion along. You try very hard to see the good, the beautiful, the joyful, and stuff the rest into your closet.

And maybe you manage, for a while, to keep it going.

But then...

What do you do when you wake up one day, years later, and realize that you've been deeply unhappy for a long time? What do you do when you realize that you are missing something you need ? Something at the root, something necessary? And it's...gone...

What do you do when you've told your husband this, and he asks if there's someone else? Accuses you of it, in fact...and calls you a liar...when all you've done is keep your word despite your pain, and been honest with him (if only lately) about that missing something?

And then...and then you DO meet someone...who makes you think...and wonder...and hope...

What do you do when you won't break your word, your vows, not matter that it costs you your own happiness?

Apparently...you break your marriage instead...all the while cursing yourself for a fool for not forcing yourself to love the man who loves you...or faking it, because if you're the only one who's unhappy, what does it matter?

What do you do?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Autopilot

I'm headed home.

I'm on auto-pilot, because long drives do that to me - if I'm driving, my mind unhitches itself from everything but my reflexes and begins to wander. I feel like I'm gliding along, floating just above the surface and flowing with the Great Traffic Current along the Tarmac River.

If I'm riding, I am trying not to doze, drift, fall into a deep, hypnotic trance and finally abandon the driver to their own thoughts while I sleep an odd, dreamless sleep that will cling to me long after waking.

Tomorrow, catching up, unpacking, cleaning, posting, reading e-mail, reconnecting to Mundania.

I've missed you.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Remembering

Photo found here and copied entirely without permission but not without respect.

I don't know if anyone I knew and loved fell in battle, but many of my family have served their country in the various branches. My brother was in the Army, but thankfully got out when yet another gopher hole tried to eat his ankle. Don't ask. My Uncle was in the Air Force, even flying Air Force Two for a while. My Grandfather was in the Coast Guard during World War II. I have a cousin in the Air Force. I have a friend who was in the Army during the Vietnam War (conflict, my ass!) - I never once resented the calls at three-o'clock in the morning; nightmares shy away from friendly voices, from reason and reassurance. Another friend was in the Army until it broke his back - literally. He survived, but not his plans for a lifetime in the military - they don't want broken people, no matter how useful or clever they are.

For a history of this day, go here. Or here. Or here. In a nutshell, Memorial Day is for remembering the fallen. Veteran's Day is for honoring the living. That's why they get two days, and so they should. Men and women stand up and make targets of themselves to maintain our freedoms every day of the year, so the least we can do is take two days to tell them "Thanks. Thanks for acting against human nature and protecting me and mine. Thanks for losing an arm, a leg, a life so that I don't have to."

It's not about the politics. I'm non-violent. I don't think war is ever a reasonable response to conflict. I won't forget, though, that people have laid down their lives so that I may stand on a street corner protesting (I never would) them, or denigrating (never, ever!) them for their service.

Perhaps one day, we won't have any new graves to decorate. Until then, I remember and (as best I can) I honor.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Father Fill Me

One of the somewhat new songs the band has been performing is called "Father Fill Me", and it's a song for/about the God. I wrote it in '07 and we began singing it last year. It's got a pounding, driving beat and it's becoming one of my favorites.

Since I'm at an event celebrating Spring/Summer, times more dedicated to the sun, heat, passion, the God, I thought it appropriate to post it here this week.

Sorry I don't have audio for this - just the words...for now...

Chorus:
Father fill me with your light
Heat, and power, joy and wisdom
Father fill me with your light
Burn in me, burn in me

Stag in the wood, king of the forest
Powerful, proud and strong
Mighty lord, with horns crowned
Spirit thund’ring through the trees

Chorus

Hawk in the sky, king on the wind
Keen eyed, swift, and sure
Graceful lord, feather crowned
Spirit soaring through the clouds

Chorus

Phoenix in the fire, king of the flame
Flick’ring, flaring, and glowing
Smold’ring lord, with fire crowned
Spirit burning in the night

Chorus

Salmon in the river, king of the water
Graceful, gentle, and wise
Shining lord, with scales crowned
Spirit glinting through the depths

Chorus

Thursday, May 21, 2009

How Does Her Garden Grow?

Not at all, to be honest.

I had the best of intentions - I was going to plant cucumbers, if nothing else, but Spring got away from me.

It's probably all for the best, though - with all the travelling I've been doing, the poor things wouldn't have stood a chance.

When spent the summers on Martha's Vineyard with Dad, Stepmum, and Stepmum's family, we had a huge garden. Well, her father did, anyway. I miss those days, but I had it easy - all I had to do was harvest veggies and remember to bring the compost over in the evening.

I would head down to the shore with a pig's foot and some string, fish up some blue crabs, dig 'taties from the garden, maybe cut some asparagus, gather salad greens, and dinner was on. It doesn't get any fresher than that, folks.

I believe in fresh, whole, as close to source as one can get foods. I believe in them...but I don't eat them as often as I could. Last year taught me one thing - I'm not ready for a full-on garden and its attendant issues yet, but I hope to be, soon.

There's something wonderful about growing one's own food. I don't know that I'll ever butcher my own meat again, but fruits and veg? I can do that...eventually.

How wonderful it would be to can my own jams and jellies, preserves, vegetables, relishes, see the jars lined up on shelves, glass pillars filled with beautiful jewels from the earth...

Oh, well...some day...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rites of Spring

Off we go, K and me, to the wilds of Massachusetts, for Rites of Spring. We've loaded her van to the gills, fired up the iPods, and gotten nowhere near enough sleep the night before a day-long drive. Yep, we're set.

I am a tad concerned about one thing, though - no Internet for a week. Yes, a whole week. I know! How will I survive?? How can I make it through the day without knowing what's going on in the Blue Nowhere, Blogopolis, my little alleyway of weirdness in Cyber Space??

Y'all are part of my daily life - I start my day with you, kind of like a giant, wordy, electronic cup of coffee, only better.

Also, I will have a ton of reading to catch up on when I get home - unless it's a slow blog week, but I read upwards of two-dozen blogs a day, so even a slow week means a huge lot of posts to enjoy...which is a good thing, because I will be going through serious withdrawal on this trip!

Still - I'll be among fellow pagans, in the woods, doing...well...honestly, I bet I sleep, read, and crochet a lot, but between times I'll be in the woods being a witch, feeding my spirit and probably wondering how I can get away more often and also how to genetically modify trees to provide Internet service.

Meanwhile, I think I need to win the lottery and buy and air card, or suffer through Internet Deprivation Syndrome until I get home.

Monday, May 18, 2009

What Say You?


The sign reads "If ye think my berries are big, wait 'til you see my banana!"

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Home, Home of the Strange

Back home we go.

Home, where the giant ants scurry across the Pergo, intent upon their business and probably wondering where all the giant, thundering, ant-smashing feet have gone. Or, you know, not, because they're ants.

Home to three cats who have probably been sleeping in the middle of the bed thinking "This is the life!" Although, I bet they miss curling up against their humans when we sleep.

Home to a mad rush of laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, pre-blogging, and generally prepping for my trip to Mass (yes, this time I mean the state) and some serious down time.

But first, we have to survive the return trip...

Mad About...

...heh...well, when it comes to crazy, I believe we've got the variety plate covered.

I adore this song...



Heading home...long weekend, long week coming...but life is beautiful, the Music is pulling me this way and that, and I feel a Song a-comin'. I hope it's a good one.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mass, Turtles, and Ice Cream, in One Post

We survived the mass. It was...erm...Catholic. Really, really Catholic. And I got a little peeved at the priest, truth be told, because he intimated several times that Aunt D wouldn't make it to heaven without prayers of intercession...and I loved her and considered her a wonderful person who more than answered the criteria for a pass through the gate. I actually thought "How dare he!"

Also, for some reason, when he mentioned that whole "I am the resurrection and the life..." part where Christ said people would never die? Yeah, umm...I thought "epic fail!" and nearly giggled. I managed not to, but it was a close one.

It was even harder when I noticed that the Christ on the crucifix was doing the Nixon peace-fingers thing while hanging up there...good grief...

I got a real workout, all that stand and sit and stand and sing and sit and pray and kneel and stand and sing and stand some more...whew.

We went to Uncle T's house after, met a number of folks, talked about Aunt D and how she could piss off my grandmother like a champ, and hold her own with my grandfather, and her time as a Brannif (sp?) stewardess, and her life and how well she lived it. It was nice.

After a while, I felt like it was time to go...probably because Bird wanted to swim in the pool and I didn't want him in there with no adults, sooo...we hugged and good-byed and promised to keep in touch...and maybe we will. I know I'll e-mail Uncle T, anyway.

We changed into casual things and headed to a turtle rehab center nearby with Aunt A (Mum's sister) and Cousin K (Aunt A's daughter). It was cool - they had a sort of museum room with shells, fossils, and turtle lore, and then outside were tanks with recovering turtles. Some of them were up for adoptions. We adopted one:

His name's Carlisle - isn't he cute? He's freakin' huge - the picture doesn't do him justice...I have a ton of photos of different turtles, but that's a post for another time.

We drove back towards the hotel, but decided to stop for ice cream. When I was a kid and we lived down here, we'd spend the whole day at the beach, out in the sun, in the water...and on the way home we'd get ice cream, and try to eat it before it melted all over us. The car windows were open because we didn't have A/C, and we'd get splattered by the droplets of melt-off as we rode and licked like mad.

This time, we ate inside the shop. It was Bird's first real cone, so of course I took pictures! This one was my favorite:

But I have many more, and...again...it's a post for another time.
Interspersed with all this hilarity are thoughts of my Uncle and cousins, of their loss and sorrow. I wish I could tell them what I know - that she made it through the gate and is raising hell up there, joking with Papa (my grandfather) and grinning like a fiend (she had a marvelous smile). I know she misses my Uncle - you could tell how much they loved each other when you looked at the pictures. Any time she was near him in a photo, she was grinning like a Cheshire Cat. I am worried about how he will miss her...and I hope that he'll look to the people still here, still loving him, when he feels low...
Meanwhile, life goes on, we honor the dead by living, and I intend to figure out what I need to do to smile like Aunt D did, love life like she did, and get on with it.

Mass Panic

Can't talk, going to mass.

Yep.

The witch is going to mass.

I can hear you laughing from here.

I'll let you know if I make it out alive.

Meanwhile...



G'bye, Aunt D...may you come swift 'round the spiral and return to we who loved you in this life and will love you in the next as well.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Music That Speaks

I know you know a song or three that speaks, either to or for you.

Yeah, me too.

I first heard this song on the Batman Forever sound track (by Eddi Reader), and found it lovely and poignant.

What songs give voice to your inner workings?

I'm Beachy

We visited with my Uncle for a bit this morning. We chatted about this and that, met some family we didn't yet know, and Mum and I showed Uncle T our tattoos. Cousin C (Aunt D and Uncle T's daughter) thought they were cool. I'm not sure if uncle T knew what to make of them...but I think...maybe...he was a little pleased. Eventually, we hauled the Evil Genius to the beach. He was keen to play in the sand and waves.

The trouble was, the beaches we remembered swimming and playing on weren't there any more - all condos and waterfront developments, now. We finally found some county beach...


...which looked lovely, and was quite nice...but we couldn't really swim. It seams the hurricanes of the last few years have done a number on the shore, and where one used to be able to walk out on silken sand and swim with ease, it's now quite stony and rough, with a number of break zones to provide chop.

We managed to have a lovely time, anyway - Bird helped Gramlin hunt for shells and played with us in the surf.

It was a beautiful day, windy, enough cloud to keep the sun from cooking us...

...and lots of treasures on the beach. in addition to several coconuts and a few million sea urchins, there were some corals and sponges to be found.

We've only been back in our room for a little while, and are heading out soon - we plan to have dinner before the visitation so we can stay for the whole thing if we want without worrying about the Evil Genius getting hungry.

My Uncle seems to be holding up well...he's surrounded by friends, kids, grandkids, and us weirdos, and I think he had quite a while to get used to the idea of Aunt D's passing...but I think he'll be lonely when we're all gone, and I'm hoping he will find something to sustain him when the house is once again silent.

Today, we spent some time living, and it was good.

What Say You?


A Brief PSA

Or should that be PeeSA? You decide...

Dear Fellow Travelers,

While I can appreciate that you may have concerns about the cleanliness of the toilet seats in the gas station loo;

And while I can appreciate that you may believe you could catch some terrible, life altering, hind-end disfiguring plague from the toilet seats in the State maintained, public, rest area bathroom;

And while I can appreciate the gymnastic abilities and contortive efforts it takes to use said pots without actually touching them to save yourself the an iota of fearful contact with the offending porcelain and press-board items within the WC;

Would you please be so kind, after you've finished your business in the secluded little chamber of horrors, as to wipe off anything you yourself may have left behind in an effort to be sanitary?

Some of us are not afraid of the biological battlefield that is a public restroom and would prefer to sit rather than hover, dance, balance on tip-toes and hope to hit the target. Some of us have arses of cast-iron and would like to rest comfortably on our thrones of choice, but we cannot because you have left your mark, your signature, your "Kilroy was here" in tiny little droplets of "Oh, good grief, why can't people clean up after themselves?" and we may, after all, draw the line at cleaning up after you and your filth.

Thank you, that is all.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Immortal

Sigh...love this song...

We Made It

Have to be quick - we're about to go get some dinner and the Evil Genius is bouncing off the walls...but of course, the first thing I had to do when we checked in was hook up to the Net.

I had to share this:

Now, off to dinner...

Long Haul

This is a pre-written post, because today? Today I'm spending ten hours in a van with my family. More importantly, I am spending ten hours in a van with a bright, active, inquisitive, active, sweet, active six-year-old Evil Genius.

The words "good luck and god speed" don't begin to cover it.

Y'all know that I love my little dude to distraction, would face down a tiger or rhinoceros or IRS agent for him...but this is going to test my endurance.

Luckily, we have books - he reads on his own, although he likes me to read to him because I do voices - and we have art supplies for the car. There's also the Didj, which Leap Frog?? Genius!!! The kid loves his Didj...I just wish the thing had a car adapter so we didn't have to go through so may batteries on the go.

Mum bought a travel DVD player recently and she's bringing it along. Clever Mum.

I may survive, after all.

I'll post tonight if I can - I am hoping the motel had wifi or dial-up or smoke signals or something.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Berry Stains

I was cutting fruit to take along tomorrow, to pack into a cooler so we would have cold, sweet things to sustain as as we drove.

Pineapple first, golden chunks so juicy and inviting, I had to take a morsel into my mouth and taste the sweetness, feel the sharpness.

Grapes next, no cutting but rather plucking them from the stems, seedless red globes like little juicy bullets, firm, near to bursting. One found its way into my mouth, so lovely.

Watermelon followed, dripping chunks cut smaller, bite sized. I like to suck on watermelon chunks, savor them slowly.

Finally, the strawberries. Succulent, scarlet, sweet and a little tart, I hulled them, sliced them in half, dropped the jewels into a container. Oh, how I wish I could transcribe the fragrance of fresh berries into words. My fingers were wet, covered with strawberry stains, and I had to lick them, one by one, inhale the scent as I did.

Food should be sensual, sensory, sacred. It had become habit, chore, something to be got done, of late...but I was reminded of what a wonder is fresh produce, of how fine it is to harvest and devour what nature has made perfect on her own, without processing, refining, or chemicals. How grand to have berry juice to suck from my fingers, sweet simplicity...

Hit the Reset Button

So many electronic devices have reset buttons - that little button one may push to start the whole thing over, turn it off and restart, undo something wrong.

Why can't life? Have a reset button, I mean. Make a mistake, no biggie - one may reset if one wishes, although one will lose everything to date, so it bears careful consideration.

Maybe I'd rather have a refuel button, one which allows me to refill my empty tank.

Next week, I'll be at an even called Rites of Spring, up in Mass. I've never been, but I'm keen to go, to relax and have no concert, no workshops, no obligations, just time to reset my spirit, reload it, refresh it, and maybe spend a little quality time with my Gods in the woods, getting some answers.

How do you reset/ refresh? Or do you need to? Am I alone in this?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Lemons. A dozen of them. Round, yellow, pungent.

I rolled them between my hands, waxy/rough in my palms, smelling of summer, of summers past, of promise.

I sliced them, watched as droplets of juice rolled down the cuts, hung on the edge of the peel, caught the light from my kitchen window and refracted it, dropped to my finger.

I tasted the drops, sharp, acidic, biting, fragrant, before twisting the halves to and fro on the hand-reamer, pushing as I went, eager to capture every bit of the liquid.

In my mind I chanted the spell, the formula, the brew, over and over as I squoze, a mantra of sorts, a focus, a song in motion.

Two parts lemon juice, one part sugar, twelve parts water. Two parts lemon juice, one part sugar, twelve parts water. Two parts lemon juice, one part sugar, twelve parts water.

Over and again, something to take my mind from weightier matters, a small, simple thing.

Mix, stir, shake, pour over ice.

I inhaled the scent, mellow and sweet, and took a sip. Spring builds into summer, and I taste it in this drink of sunlight in my glass.

God Bless Geekery

75% Geek

Created by OnePlusYou - Free Online Dating

Bring Out Yer Dead

Erm...or would that be "Undead"? Whatever. I found this in here and had to play because...uh...I had to.

67%

Created by OnePlusYou - Free Online Dating

:::snort::: I would have done better, but y'all know I don't do guns. Edged weapons, fine, but not firearms. Sigh. Oh, well...guess I'll have to shed some more pounds and get back into cross-country running shape (shut up - I could TOO run long distances...especially if there were doughnuts at the finish line!) to make up for the lack of firepower.

Thoughtfetti

I was watching an ant make its way across the floor yesterday afternoon, and I wondered about the single-mindedness of the creature...and its fellows. Wouldn't it be grand to be possessed of such focus at will? Imagine what we could accomplish.
~~~~~
I am going to Florida on Thursday, for Aunt D's service. The viewing is an oddity, to me - she's not in that husk, any more, so why stare at it? A bit like looking at an apartment after the tenants have gone - it's never pretty. *

Her service is on Saturday. She was Catholic. It's a mass. I'm still pagan. How long do you think it'll take for the roof to fall in?
~~~~~
Yesterday, overwhelmed with sadness about...well...life, the universe, and everything...I uttered softy "Oh, what am I going to do?"

The Evil Genius heard me, and asked what I'd said. I repeated myself. He cocked his head, thought a moment, and replied "I don't know Mommy, because I am not you."

Good grief.
~~~~~
This weekend, while I'm in Florida with my family, the Ren Fest is having Scots in Kilts days. Oh, fate, you are cruel, cruel, cruel...making me miss kilt days...groan...unfair, I say, unfair! I hope K takes lots of pictures for me to ogle.
~~~~~
I have been writing much, of late. There's a bitter laugh in this - I only write this well, this prolifically, when I am deeply unhappy. Medicate the misery, medicate the creativity, and I need to create more than I need to be happy. Today, for the first time in a long while, I told a friend I was proud of some of what I'd written. Now, if only I could get someone else to like it, publish it, pay me millions, and fund the rest of my dreams...
~~~~~
To that ends, I was delighted to find that a woman who like the band sent me several names and resources for publishing, and offered to answer any questions I may have about submitting work. I now have one of the key tools a writer needs - an already established author recommending them to a publisher/agent! Now to get off my forty-three acre ass and do something with my words... I'll keep you posted (because I know you're waiting with bated breath).


*edit - Mum called this morning to inform me that it's not a viewing but rather a visitation, which is something of a relief because I was a wee worried about attending a viewing for someone dead a week - I mean, I know all about the wonders of modern refrigeration, and all....but a week was worrisome.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Juxtaposed*

Yesterday was an odd sort of day.

I was happy to wake to a clean house and plans to walk the faire. The clean house was my Mother's Day gift, and better than flowers (they fade) or breakfast in bed (ugh, crumbs) or a piece of jewelry that isn't my style but I'd have to wear anyway because it was a gift. Walking the faire was something for the family to do as...well...a family.

I enjoyed trying on garb until I found a new outfit, and was delighted with the new, knee-high black boots with blue laces that will match my costuming. I felt like a kid again. I was a kid again, shopping for a costume with my Mum, playing dress-up in a way I never did as a child. We neither of us forgot, though, that sorrow was nibbling around the edges.

I loved seeing my son have fun, play games, win little prizes that are worth nothing and yet are invaluable because he smiled and smiled and laughed and his eyes twinkled and shone with a child's perfect light.

I was sad to think about my Aunt D, whom I loved from a distance. I was sad to think of her children, who (grown though they be, are still her children) losing their mother just before Mother's Day...a day they would be constantly reminded of other's joy and their own loss.

The sorrow and the pleasure were overlapping, juxtaposed, intertwined, inseparable.

How very like all of life, the bitter and the sweet mingling, so well blended that one may not be parted from the other.

*I seem to be thinking/using this word a great deal of late. What are the planets up to??

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Walking the Faire

Today I am walking the Faire with my family. I will, for the most part, simply be a witness to the Evil Genius and his delight, consternation, frustration, and joy. He will, for the most part, shape our experience. We will miss shows because he won't want to sit through them. We will pass shops we'd like to enter because he won't want to go in and is bored with shopping. Someone, likely me, will sit on a bench and watch him play in the children's area because that's where he will want to be most of the time.

I will try not to mind, and I will enjoy my Mum's presence during this escapade. It's another memory to place in the hoard for the empty days when Mum is gone and Bird has flown to his own life.

I will somehow manage to present Mum with the gift I made her, perhaps even cleverly.

In the end, I hope to manage some new garb, a few bags of henna powder, and a camera full of photographs, some of which I may even share.

Happy Mother's Day to all who bear the nurturing spirit of a mother or The Mother within them.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Aunt D

Last night my Aunt D slipped through the veil, surrounded by her husband, children, and grandchildren.

The moon was full and beautiful, and I am certain the Lady lit Aunt D's path. We'll miss her.

He said...

"Daddy, when you die can I have your wallet so when I have a little boy I can show him my daddy's wallet?"

"Mommy, I need to get ten-thousand dollars so daddy doesn't have to work and can do whatever he wants."

"There are twenty-eight ants in this house and I will get them with my sword because I am a Knight and I will protect you."

"Mommy, I can't be your date because I can't go on a date because I haven't found anyone I love more than you."

Friday, May 8, 2009

Beneath the Bright Moon

The moon is full and I am empty, but not empty. More, I feel empty in a place that was once full, and I am looking for what is lost, or may never really have been there in the first place.
~~~~~
Standing by the river, I watch it flow, swift, swollen, dark mysteries silver beneath the bright moon. I am silver beneath the bright moon. Alone and silver.

I wonder where you are, beneath this same bright moon. Are you in the deep wood, dancing with shadows? Or do you glide along pathways of light, beside this same river, across the water where I cannot see?

I miss you, Lord of my Desire, Lord of my Dance, of my Song, of my Inner Fire. From one life to the next have we been together, so where are you in this here and now?

I am waiting here, beneath the bright moon, her cool light against my fevered skin a blessing, a promise, but her whisper soft touch is not what I crave.

I crave you, Lord of my Desire, Lord of my Dance, of my Song, of my Inner Fire. I crave your fingers trailing liquid heat along my flesh, your kisses arousing and chilling me outward from my Center, your warmth along my length as we swim in the river, ardor briefly cooled by the silken caress of the sweet water beneath the bright moon. I crave you sliding along me, slick, wet, fitted to me so perfectly, half made whole beneath the bright moon.

I am lost here, beside the river, lost without you, able only to flounder in the shallows without you, alone and lost beneath the bright moon.

Hurry, Lord of my Desire, Lord of my Dance, of my Song, of my Inner Fire...hurry and find me again.

Psst...

...hey...look over there...to the right...a little lower...

Do you see it?

No?

How can you freakin' miss it?? It's bloody huge!

I sold out, and I don't even feel a little bit dirty about it. In fact...I feel kinda good...like I've been let into an exlusive club with just a few thousand other really special people.

BlogHer loves me!

World domnation is next, I just know it.

Closet

I have a closet, under some stairs, around a corner, through the darkling wood, overgrown with vines that sport glistening thorns that drip poison and reaching for poor unwary souls who wander too close...I have this closet where I put things that are true but do not belong here, in this place of shade, flowing wader, this place where I wanted less to voice my plaints and more to offer and find connection in the Blue Nowhere.

Swift, deft, I detach these pooling shades and fling them into the closet, slamming it shut before the moans of these abandoned, cloistered pieces of me can reach my ears, slow me, draw me into their clutches.

I'm in it tonight.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

School Daze

Today and tomorrow I'll be schlepping to the Ren Fest for School Days, the only two weekdays the fair is open so that area schools can have field trips there.

Did your school ever have a cool field trip like that? Yeah, neither did mine.

Anyway, for five-and-one-half hours a day, we'll be hawking our wares to several thousand school-aged children and the four chaperones with them. I've been told it's Hell in a corset, and given the knowledge I have of the kids in our local educational system, well...lets just say I'm glad I'll be armed, if only with my teeny cheese knife. Heh...I must remember to photograph my teeny knives...they're the silliest things I ever saw, but they're wicked sharp and legal to carry.

I am going to try and find some new boots or shoes so T can have his back...although, I should just keep his since he lost mine. And they look good on me. Really good. I seldom say that.

So wish me luck as I spend two days dodging future terrorists, spree killers, and politicians while attempting to sell them glass-art jewelry they can't possibly appreciate...except for the home-schoolers, who will, of course, be awesome. Not that I'm biased or anything.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo, y'all.

Umm.

Why are we celebrating five jars of mayonnaise? I mean, isn't that a little excessive? One or two jars, I could see...but five??

Now if it was five jars of garlic stuffed olives I could get happy about it. Or five jars of organic orange marmalade, or five jars of top-notch peanut butter and marshmallow fluff.

But mayonnaise?

Wait, what?

Aww, crap - it's about the fifth of May? And not Mayonnaise? Damn...someone better alert Hellmann's - I think they were planning something big. Also...anyone need some mayo?

OK, so really, it's a celebration of the victory the Spanish had over the French at the battle of Puebla, which didn't win the war but it did become a symbol of Mexican unity. It wasn't quite independence, but it was a start and worth noting.

Yeah, y'all knew I wasn't that fluff-headed, right?

Right??

Hello?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ink-A-Dink-A-Do and Aunt D

Whew, did I sleep last night! In bed by midnight, up at nine-thirty, nice.

Below are some photographs of the matching tattoos Mum and I got this weekend. We wanted to get a sort of memorial tattoo for Aunt D, who has inoperable pancreatic cancer and has been undergoing treatment for it. Aggressive treatment.

We decided on a design that reflects the things Aunt D loves ( besides her family, I mean). She loves to be out in the sun (something she's been denied for the last year or so because the treatment makes sun worship impossible), and she loves dolphins, so a dolphin leaping in front of the sun seemed a good idea. We decided on a Maori inspired design.

We wanted to have the tattoos done at FPG because the artist there did some work on me before and I like his work. It's also a little deeper than that - Atlanta is crawling with fine tattoo artists...but we wanted them done in a more spiritually energized arena, somewhere that the work was more than just ink...somewhere the artists knew it had deeper meaning and respected that. It's a bit difficult to put into words.

There were several artists available, and we ended up getting a young lady who was at her first FPG instead of the fellow we intended, a lass named Dana. She's relatively new to the tattooing game, which made us a little nervous, but she answered honestly and listened carefully and we decided to go with her work. Good choice. She was slow, meticulous, and keenly interested in getting it right.

We came home to a pile of e-mails, which I ignored until I could post a quick blog when I got home last night. Buried in the in box was an e-mail from Uncle T that Aunt D is done with treatment - not for the happy reasons. It seems old Mr. C has become resistant to the treatment. Aunt D's doctor suggested not subjecting her to the awful side effects of treatment and instead focusing on keeping her as pain free as possible.

Well, shit.

Here's to Aunt D and the hope that she either finds the resources within herself to kick Big C's ass or that she has an easy, painless transition from this life to the next.

Mum's tattoo, right arm.

My tattoo, right arm. Do you know how difficult it is to shoot a pic of your own right arm? In focus? Yeah, neither did I until I tried it.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Home

We began our trip with this:
Then we went here:
And saw these:

And this:


The Friday concert was a blast, although we (as usual) had some errors. Still we had lots of folks up dancing, and most of the crowd sang along - some of them throughout the three-and-a-half hours we performed! The Saturday concert was a "come and sing with us, be part of the music, informal and relaxed" sort of thing, and was awesome. We were delighted by a group of fans who even wrote a spoof of one of my songs that had me in stitches last night. I got the words this morning so I could sing it and giggle at will.

I cannot begin to tell you how odd it is to have actual fans. They sing, too - I expect they'll be on stage one day, themselves.

I'll tell you more about all of it tomorrow. Right now, I need to finish unpacking, love my Evil Genius, and put lotion on my new tattoo.

Oh, but I wanted to tell you...I came home to this:


Nice, huh? I had a fine time, but it's good to be home.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Clouds on the Lake

Clouds reflect in the water
Smooth, smooth surface
A mirror
Showing the sky where to blush
Where to dab
With powder-puff clouds

Clouds

Clouds on the lake

Clouds in the lake

My mind wanders,
sees strange birds swimming
in the blue
lake
sky
sky-lake

I wonder if the fish ever look upward
and find themselves confused
wondering why they can't swim
in the lake above them

Everything scatters
shattered
when the alligator
answers
philosophical questions
with his prosaic teeth.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Beltane

For last year's semi-entry, go here.

This year, I give you...poetry.

Dancers, Part One

Dancer, Woman
~~~~~~~~~~~
She is in the shadows
Swaying hips, swaying skirt
Eyes closed, lips parted, lost in her dance
I watch her from the ground up,
Gaze lingering at the curve of her leg
Where calf meets knee, wondering…

...what it would be like to touch her there…

Rising up the swell of thigh
Seen through fabric
Backlit by fire and moon
Soft, silken, my hands imagine
Gentle touch
The mystery of her shadow, wondering…

…what it would be like, to taste her there…

Hips slow gyration
Body in motion, swaying
Hypnotic
Strong back,
Proud bearing
,In the shadows, dancing, wondering…

…what it would be like to press my hands there…

Belly taut,
Anticipating every motion
I watch the play of muscle
Her breasts glisten
Nipples alert to my wandering eyes
Tracing the curves, wondering…

…what it would be like to caress her there…

The hollow of her jaw
Just behind her ear
Invites scrutiny
I see her lips
Velvet soft
They invite me closer, wondering…

…what it would be like, to kiss her, there…

Dancer, Man
~~~~~~~~~
Bold, powerful,
He leaps the fire
From darkness to darkness
A momentary glimpse

Consider…

Legs, strong,
Imagination wraps them around me

Eyes, smoldering intent
Imagination locks his gaze with mine

Lips full, firm, inviting
Imagination touches them to me

Arms muscular
Imagination holds me in them

Hands, graceful and strong
Imagination caresses me with them

And that which is hidden
But still seen, limned in the glow of fire
And moon

Consider…

The passion of the dance rises in him
Imagination answers his need with mine

He is
We are
In darkness dancing