Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!
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
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
My friend M (Gypsy Guru) has blond highlights in her hair...ribbons of gold from root to tip, framing her beautiful face.
The moon is golden, reflecting the sun, the atmosphere. Clouds, diaphanous wisps, trail in front of her, ribbons of gold tracing their way across the sky.
I am radiating light, sending it outward, loving, compassionate light, weaving into ribbons of gold unfurling into the world...
I owe Mum a huge thanks - she funded the fix, else I would be forlornly riding with bottles of frozen water (yes, that would be ice) in my armpits and between my getaway sticks - that's how I survived the summers in Clementine (first car, Chevy Malibu Classic with 305 v8, arrr, arrr, arrrrghhhh), who had no A/C and only two windows that opened. I loved that car... But it's not how I care to make my way along these days.
I buzzed home, got the roast started for tonight's dinner, loaded T and the Evil Genius into the now delightfully arctic van, and headed for the courthouse.
We hurried up and waited.
Bird played with the toys available outside the Family Legal Information Center (FLIC, for short). I remembered to bring some Origami paper in with me and made flowers and cranes that flap their wings, and T held down a rowdy bench so others waiting in line could sit as well. Bird appointed himself entertainment director and began racing cars along the carpet for our amusement, announcing the races as he went.
Finally, after watching others come and go, meeting an engaging toddler who played with Bird for a bit, and wondering if maybe I should have packed a picnic, or at least a pillow, we were brought into the tiny office, shown what to change, correct, or initial, and permitted to sign at the bottom, thankyouverymuch.
It wasn't over, though. Nope. Just the beginning. We then had to cart the papers to the Clerk of Court, three copies (I think I herniated something carrying it all), for a case number, then collect a Rule Nisi (and, lovely people in the clerk's office, it's pronounced Neesee, not Nighsigh, unless my Latin diction professor lied), go back up to the FLIC floor where the judges reside, collect a court date on the Rule Nisi, than back down to the clerk's office to file the Rule Nisi with the rest of the papers...
Up, down, up, down...seems about right...
After three hours, though, the end is in sight...we have only to take a class (and that's a topic for another day) and show up at our hearing, and the divorce will be final.
We left the courthouse feeling like yo-yos suddenly without strings.
So...twelve hours or so of paperwork, several courthouse walking marathons, a four hour class, and a few hours in court...and more than eight years is undone.
Hardly seems adequate, does it?
Yesterday was a long day, and I was looking forward to spending a quiet evening at home filling out papers (oy, don't get me started!) and enjoying the crockpot roast I started in the morning.
Alas, it was not to be.
You see, in the morning before I toddled down to the courthouse to file papers for the big D, I had to drop the van off for some minor work - the A/C hasn't been acting right, and I'm about to take a trip somewhere I'll want cooling down. After three-and-one-half hours sitting on a wooden bench, I found out there was more paperwork to do before I could file, and had to come home. Sigh.
Once home, Mum informed me that Rosie the Mule (my beloved Astro Van) needed a new compressor. Yikes!
In order to pick up the van in the morning, I needed to stay at her house overnight, so she could give me a ride...unless I wanted to walk the fifty or so miles. Umm...not so much.
So I rode up to the cabin with her...and it was lovely.
We had a nice dinner, watched some of her TiVoed shows, chatted a little while I filled out and corrected paperwork (As an aside - Dear Goddess, please let it be right and complete this time or T's head may explode, and I can't blame him. Thank you.), and then I talked with a dear friend on the phone as I wandered around Mum's yard snapping photos. I can think of worse ways to spend an evening.
The moon was lovely, her face clearer up here than at home.
Monday, June 29, 2009
North a bit from where I am rooted...
North a bit from where Sol and Luna glide in circles around my center...
...there is a lake.
It is a small lake, surrounded by forest and a few homes. Quietly it glints through the trees, reflecting their Summer greens and hinting at deep, cool secrets below its still surface.
In the daytime, careful eyes can see fish, tiny things, darting about, this way and that, silver and flint shadows in the shallows, swirling away at the smallest disturbance - leaf on the water, ruffling breeze, feet dangling down from an overhang - only to rally again after a few moments.
In the daytime, sunlight dances on the wavelets, leaping from ripple to ripple with a hot copper laugh before coming to rest in the forest where it scorches fallen pine needles and sends up the dusky perfume of the Summer wood.
In the daytime, picnickers find secluded places to spread their blankets, lie back and stare at the ever deepening sky, curl into each other and forget the world for a few hours.
But at night?
Oh, at night, it is a different place.
At night, only the wise and wary dare tread the pathways, the wooded places, the shores. Only the brave venture into the silken, black stillness of the lake.
At night...there be faeries.
Slipping through the woods they come, following where the moonlight leads them - down the gentle slope, out onto the ribbon of sand, and into the welcoming waters. They whisper, giggle, splash, float among the reflected stars, pale skin seeming to collect threads of moonlight and weave them into gowns glimmering with water-droplet jewels.
They brook no interference from mortal kind. Let them catch you watching, and they may disappear, wisps fog, vapour rising from the surface; or they may change, flashing lights, screeching calls, chasing you away, up to the road, where people belong after dusk marks the fay's time in this half-wild place. They could call you into the water, deeper, deeper still, down to where the Selkie lives.
Rarely do they welcome an interloper among them.
Rarely do they help the weary mortal out of her shoes, her skirt, her top, and into the blessed, healing waters.
Rarely do they let her float with them, soaking in the song of the night, hair drifting like water weed, limbs relaxed, drowsing.
Rarely do they bathe her in a distillate of moonlight touched with the remnants of the sun's warmth, pouring it over her, into her, at once invigorating, healing, and calming.
The wise mortal leaves behind nothing more than ripples when she climbs out, into her clothing, and back to the road...ripples, and perhaps a small, shiny gift, a sparkling thanks to the ones who truly belong - the faeries in the lake.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I give you The Ragbirds (these videos in no way do the band justice, but in the spirit of "Half a loaf being better than none at all", I'm posting them anyway):
Their website: TheRagbirds.com
Their MySpace: The Ragbirds
Both the website and the MySPace play their music from their albums, if you want a better listen. On MySpace I particularly adore Tarantella, Brave New beat, and How Can I Say.
Who are you listening to, lately?
Saturday, June 27, 2009
This happy combination of this-and-that has turned into one of my favourite summer meals. I haven't made it often, because it has a few things in it that T doesn't care for, and I'm too lazy to cook more than one meal at a time.
Last night, he had plans to spend the night with a friend, so I thought I'd make Slumgullion for dinner, and get a blog out of it, too!
The cast (to feed two folks...the recipe easily expands to feed more):
1/2 Summer sausage (or any kind of sausage-type meaty goodness)
2 medium Potatoes
1 Yellow Squash
2 -3 Campari (smallish) Tomatoes
Additional Players (optional):
Bell peppers, Mrs. Dash seasoning, fresh herbs, garlic, hot peppers, and just about anything you can pull from the garden that you think would go well in this mess.
Slice the suasage, as thick or thin as you like. Layer it on the bottom of a deep frying pan. Slice the potatoes and layer them on top of the sausage. Slice some onion, as much as you like, and layer it on. Next comes the zucchini......then the yellow squash... ... and finally the tomatoes. Dot with butter, a little salt and pepper......cover, and cook on medium-low heat until the potatoes are done, stirring only sporadically and very gently, if at all - sometimes, I just walk away from it and wait until the smell drives me crazy before I open the lid.
I know, it looks a mess...but trust me...mmm...
Serve with corn bread, or buscuits, or homemade bread, or just as it is. Yum!
Friday, June 26, 2009
I am delighted that you braved the wilds of Borders bookstore with three young girls. Kudos to you for encouraging literacy!
I'd like to point out, though, that while a bookstore isn't a library, it's generally thought courteous to keep the volume to a dull roar while inside the building. Also? Perhaps other patrons would like the opportunity to find tomes where they were originally shelved, and not where your delightful brood sees fit to place them when done giggling at the title, the dust jacket, or the contents, thumbing through the pages, and pre-bending the corners for the purchaser's convenience. I know I'm asking much of you, sir, and your children - walking those thirteen steps back to the shelf is so tiresome, such a boor, it almost seems wrong of me to ask it...and, after all, the employees of said store are paid to keep it tidy...
You may wish to instruct your young ladies that a stage whisper is as good as a shout, and if they find another Bookstore patron's appearance amusing or worthy of attention, they may wish to keep that to themselves or learn to communicate telepathically.
When leaving the store after having pawed through the bargain bins (consequently leaving them in complete disarray), you may want to have your gaggle precede you, so that you may retrieve the trail of liter they see fit to deposit on the floor, the sidewalk, and the tarmac rather than in the rubbish bins so inconveniently placed three feet from the exit. I know it's out of the way, but your fellow shoppers will thank you for taking the time and trouble when they don't step on bubble gum, cello-wrap, or price stickers peeled from newly purchases literature (although, I am loathe to call anything with Hannah Montana on it "literature").
Your inattention did have one unforeseen benefit, though - I burned an extra calorie retrieving the detritus of your passing and placing it in the trash, so I owe you thanks for that! Enjoy your reading material, girls...and next time, perhaps you'd rather patronize Barnes and Noble? I hear they don't mind your sort of behavior, there...
Shade and Sweetwater,
Dear Man with the Cell Phone Set on Stun,
Welcome to the public, sir!
I know I am always delighted when the inmates are give a day-pass from Arkum. Are you enjoying the weather? And how about that large blended drink you purchased in the cafe? Lovely, isn't it?
Comfy in that leather chair? Yes, it is rather nice, although I think you may find it more enjoyable if you actually sat in it rather than sprawled, legs spread, feet sticking out into the aisle between tables - but then, I have peculiar ideas about comfort.
I must say, I haven't seen headphones of that size or scope since the seventies - not that I speak from experience...ahem. Hi-Fi all the way, friend! Whatever you were listening to certainly had a solid bass beat - I could feel it all the way over in my little corner of paradise (also known at the Borders Cafe)!
Being a musician myself, I understand how a good tune merits one's attention, toe tapping, knee slapping, and occasional grunt. I would never wish to tell an avid listener that they should pay less attention to the audio art they're enjoying, and I'm loathe to draw attention to what can only have been an oversight on your part, but...
...it is only polite, sir, to turn down, or even off, your cell phone while in the store. I know, I know, you're waiting for a call from UNOS about your new kidney, and I am a heartless wench for even suggesting that receiving a call from your lass-of-the-moment is anything but vital. I shall have to live with the shame, I suppose. I'm selfish, that way.
If you are going to play your music so loudly that patrons in the Pych section think they're hearing voices...then please set your phone on silent, or better yet, turn it off. And, when it has rung and rung and finally garnered your attention, would it be too much trouble to ask you pause your aural assault on our senses, remove the headphones, and perhaps answer in a conversational tone that doesn't leave our ears ringing? I wouldn't dare remind you that it would be even better to take the call outside for the duration - that is, I know, beyond the pale.
Whatever language you were mumbling (and, sir, I would like to know how one may mumble at a shout, because that? Is a neat trick!), I wonder if the "F" word you used has the same meaning for you as it does the English speakers around you? Worth looking into, if only to save yourself the disgusted and annoyed glares you so unfairly received last night.
There's a Books-a-Million not far from where you sat, friend - may I suggest you try visiting their cafe next time you've got furlough?
Shade and Sweetwater,
Dear Woman With a Pile of Magazines,
Madame, frankly I am in awe.
Having seen photos of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, I recognized immediately your reconstruction of the same using glossy, colorful fashion magazines a your medium! Brava, madam artista, brava!
Leaving it behind for all to enjoy was the height of generosity, and on behalf of all the patrons who didn't want to read those magazines anyway, and the Cafe employees who keep the place tidy and are always happy to have something to busy themselves with, I wish to thank you. I'm sure no one wanted to sit at that table, anyway.
I hear that Barnes and Nobles encourages table art, should you desire to create another masterpiece...
Shade and Sweetwater,
Dear Woman With An Armload of Full Priced Books,
Bless you, ma'am!
Bless you for waiting so patiently in line to pay for your new library, and bless you for not even blinking at the fact they were full-priced. Bless you for not batting an eye at your total, and for helping stimulate the economy by paying cash rather than taxing the credit system even more with your purchase.
You were so sweet to decline my offer to go ahead of me in line, but I really didn't mind - after all, my two small paperback books were hardly an effort to carry, and you had at least a dozen hard-covers in that load. I really didn't mind, and I'm glad you finally, graciously, accepted. My arms were tired just looking at you, so you did me a service!
If I may offer a bit of advice, ma'am? I hear that Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million are full of rowdy teenage girls, magazine sculptors, and noisy young men, so I'd stick to Borders if I was you.
Shade and Sweetwater,
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Things I've Done (are in bold)(now with 30% more parenthetical commentary!)
1. Started your own blog (Three, in fact. Excessive much??)
2. Slept under the stars (Many times, and I intend to again.)
3. Played in a band (Still going, after all these years.)
4. Visited Hawaii (Not yet...but hope springs eternal...)
5. Watched a meteor shower (Many times...often while sleeping under the stars.)
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyworld/Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain (Several, but not lately...maybe need to remedy that)
9. Held a praying mantis (They are so cool!)
10. Sang a solo (I will not correct the grammar on a meme...I will not correct the grammar on a meme...)
11. Bungee jumped (I wouldn't mind...in about fifty pounds...)
12. Visited Paris (Avoid the taxis...if you want to live...)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (Several, in fact.)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning (Thank you, Campbell's Soup...)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables (And I will again, too...)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France (I never got to a single museum when I was there...thanks, Mimi...because art and history are so...passe...)
20. Slept on an overnight train (Atlanta to New Orleans)
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked (And I lived to tell the tale!!)
23. Taken a sick day when you were not ill (Spring Fever isn't an illness...who knew??)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb (Held, heck - I pulled it out of its mama!)
26. Gone skinny dipping (Sorry for the mental image...but it was totally worth it and I would do it again.)
27. Run a marathon (Yeah...about that...)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (Maybe in another life...)
29. Seen a total eclipse (Lunar and Solar...awesome...)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (And hope to have many more to enjoy.)
31. Hit a home run (Once, by accident, but I'm counting it!)
32. Been on a cruise (Several, going again in Feblueberry.)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person (I'd like to...about two-hundred years ago, before tourism trashed the joint)
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (Unless you mean before they came to the US, in which case...not yet.)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (Well...partly...I'm still learning Spanish and ASL...)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (I've had enough, and more than enough, and I'm fine with wanting from time to time if it means I get to keep my soul)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person (With my luck, it'd fall on me.)
39. Gone rock climbing (Not the kind with ropes and pitons and dangling over a precipice...but I have clambered up large stones before.)
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David (Only in pictures.)
41. Sung karaoke (And my knees shake every time. Go figure.)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (Several times - and likely will again. No one should go hungry if I have a dollar in my pocket or a can of beans in the cupboard.)
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance (Twice in my life, and if I never have that ride again, it'll be fine with me.)
47. Had your portrait painted (Well...caricature, anyway.)
48. Gone deep sea fishing (I liked the deep, and the sea...but the fishing was...meh...)
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain (Hope springs eternal...)
53. Played in the mud (Still do...)
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (No, but my Mum was.)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (And finished it, too.)
58. Taken a martial arts class (Threw a 200 pound man over my shoulder, too...cool...)
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (And I wasn't even a Girl Scout...or her Mum...either)
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason (Well...I sent them to myself...but that counts, right??)
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving (I'd like to do this, one day...)
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (Oopsie...)
68. Flown in a helicopter (I was all of six or seven, flew under the Mt. Hope bridge in Newport, awesome!)
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (I still have most of my stuffed animals from when I was a kid...and my barbies...and Legos.)(Is that sad??)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial (At least...I think I did...it's a little hazy...)
71. Eaten Caviar (Bleh. Seriously. Bleh!)
72. Pieced a quilt (Several.)
73. Stood in Times Square (I may have...I was in New York City as a child, but all I recall is the hotel was freakin' huge, the city was noisy, crowded, and busy, and we went up the Empire State Building in those terrifying elevators)
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been laid off from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (Several, including my skull. Whee.)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (It wasn't seeding, it was mostly coasting)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person (Some day...)
80. Published a book (Some day...I hope...)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (When I was six, for a school play. More recently, as part of an online, multi-media report on Solstice celebrations. Famous, me.)
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (I have raised, butchered, and cooked my own critters. Now, I shop at Publix.)
88. Had chickenpox (I had one pock. One.)
89. Saved someone’s life (Several times, and it never grows old.)
90. Sat on a jury (Not for lack of effort.)
91. Met someone famous (Several.)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit (Boring.)
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee (Three times in my life, all my own fault. Poor bees...)
So...play along, or not, it's all good. OCD satisfied, I can now get back to housework...whee...
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Bird hugged my arm, sighed, and said "Mommy, you'll always be my woman."
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
My nose is running like a faucet...the result of being out in Nature for a week then coming home to a house full of cats, A/C, and dust. Whee.
In two weeks, I'm taking a little trip, just for my selfish arse. Mum's going to watch the Evil Genius, and they'll probably run each other ragged. I'm going somewhere I've never been, bringing my camera to shoot everything that doesn't run away fast enough, meeting a friend for the first time, and looking to the future.
How does one little boy who wore almost no clothing for the last week produce so much laundry? Really - I'll be doing the wash for a week, at least!
Anyone want to come help me clean my house? I can't pay you cash, but there's homemade bread in the deal...
Monday, June 22, 2009
I woke one morning last week with a head full of happy thoughts and a body only slightly dinged, dented, and knocked about by the Evil Genius (we were staying at a motel and had to share a bed).
I woke, too, thinking of the morning glories, the pale blue, the deeper blue, and the dark, velvet purple ones that climb my front porch.
They start out at once hesitant and determined, fragile, heart-shaped leaved poking upward from the soil. A cold snap, a strong wind, a carelessly placed foot, and they are devastated, but they don't concern themselves with such matters. They are too busy growing.
They strive upward, seeking the light, the heat, the blessing of the sun's presence in their days. Inch by inch, undeterred by obstacles, they climb, their goal to finally reach him,wrap him in their vine-y embrace, cling to him while they bloom.
Up, then, they go, inch by inch, these morning glories, until they have no trellis, no porch rail, nothing left to bear them up. As they journey, they begin to change, to strengthen - from slender tendrils to hearty vines, they gain themselves. Buds begin to appear, popping forth almost audibly, nestled among the sheltering leaves.
Thirsty, they gladly drink in the rain, the dew, any water that blesses them with its cool presence.
The buds are tight, swollen, wrapped tightly around themselves, showing nothing of what lies within. Almost shy, they are waiting for some unseen signal, for that moment when they will burst, unrestrained, and blossom, greeting the sun with a shout of joy and a blaze of color.
I know...I think I know...just how they feel.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
So happy Father's Day, Daddy, and I'm bringing you a present, it's a lucky pebble I found here and it's for you.
I'm on my way home, today, but I am aware of the sun, of the presence of the God, the masculine divine.
I feel him, feel his bright, immolating presence. I'm tempted to immerse myself in that energy, to let it char me to ash so that I may rise up again, new, reborn.
Happy solstice, y'all...
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I can understand his need to make me hurt in equal measure. What he doesn't understand is...I already do.
So today, I will be packing. I've already done a little - laundry tidied away, some of Bird's toys and games contained in a bag for the trip home, food sorted through and eaten or given away or made ready for the pot-luck tonight.
An aside - at these long events, we have a "please don't make me take this food home" potluck. Everyone brings their leftovers, the stuff the could bring home but don't want to, and we all have a feast. I try to burn all my remaining charcoal and wood chunks, because I don't want to bring them home. There's always more than enough to feed a small army...even if it's a hungry pagan one.
As much as I've enjoyed this place, this time...there are things need taking care of at home. I've spent most of this week worrying about those things at odd moments, trying to be here, to enjoy the music, the people, but...niggling in the corners, in the shadows, are these...concerns...and I'll be glad to get home and face them.
Meanwhile, I am packing out today, and heading home to you, my dear friends in the Blue Nowhere...and I can't wait...
Friday, June 19, 2009
Arrive, set up, make a nest to roost in, figure out where I have to be, and when, and get on with it. I enjoy the down time, when I have it. I enjoy activity, when I have it. I try to be fully in each moment, not worrying about what's next in the day.
There comes a point at each event, though, where I hit the wall.
At a two-day event, it's usually right about when I'm packing to come home anyway, so it's fine - I just plod on with the packing and get on home.
At these longer events, though...it's usually Wednesday. Halfway through, I'm exhausted (although in a good way, it's still exhausted) and ready to be done, but I'm only halfway. Something inside me whimpers - it wants to be home again. Home.
Home is where the heart is.
Where's my heart?
I have hit the wall, smacked right into it, hard. I'll start packing tomorrow evening because I always start a little early, because I want to be on the road as soon as possible. If I can, I'll have everything ready to load into the trailer before I go to bed tomorrow night.
Even better, I could start tonight...
But maybe I'll head down to the drum circle instead...be here, present in these moments. Because I've hit the wall before, and will again, and I know I will get past it and move on down the road.
And I do have a destination in mind, this time...I'll give you a hint...it isn't a wall...it's a thing with feathers...
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
This event is clothing optional. Lest you suddenly feel the need to wash out your mental eye, no fear - I opt. I am wearing knee-length shorts and the usual style top, and that's as exposed as I care to be in public. Actually, truth be told, it's a bit more exposed than I like - I haven't worn shorts or anything above the ankle in more than a decade. Yeah, I'm a party girl.
There are quite a few folks, though, who shed their clothing like an old skin and joyfully spend their time here in varying states of undress. Being human, I look, curious about bodies and their varying shapes, sizes, forms. Also...there are some beautiful people here, and I appreciate beauty.
There's the young woman who walks, hips swaying, loose and easy, graceful, every step a dance, who wears no more than a loincloth. She has a lovely figure, and she's pregnant, about halfway along so her belly shows a little, her breasts are swelled a little, and she is radiant. Her grace is unconscious, as natural as breath. When she passes, I notice her, and watch. She is comfortable in her skin, and it shows.
There is another young woman, tall, lean, but a little soft, too. She wears a loincloth, too, and has something of the Amazon about her - I can see her with a spear, or a bow, a little wild, a little fierce. She walks with purpose, determination, and confidence. I enjoy seeing her go along - she, too, is radiant, but more with youth, and she too is comfortable in her skin.
There is a man, an older gentleman, who lopes more than walks. I see, in my mind, a caveman, or perhaps a bigfoot, slope-shouldered and loose-limbed, walking along at a ground-eating pace. He is older, although not old, and his skin is loose on his frame. He has a pot belly, sagging pectorals, and he's hairy. I try no to look up when he approaches me and I'm sitting. Some views are more than I care to see, really, some things better viewed at a distance.
Young, old, fit, unfit, so many bodies - and in this context, it is not shocking. More a surprise are the ones who are overdressed, wearing khakis, button-down shirts, docksiders. Mundane clothing is more out of place in this half-fey, half-magical, entirely pagan setting.
It was nesting in our cabin, where the roof met the wall.
It would peek over the edge of the nest, probably thinking "Nobody's home, go 'way!"
Each morning, it would flit from bunk to bunk, checking us all out, then it would dive out the door and fetch back breakfast, usually a nice wriggly grub. I was often alone in the cabin, and the bird would watch me move about, cocking its head this way and that, sometimes chiding me for making too much noise. I tried to move quietly so I didn't disturb it too much.
I had a nest of my own at Rites.
With the tapestry rolled down, I had a blue cocoon.It was a little cramped, but not too bad. I do wish the bunks had a little more clearance to them - I couldn't sit up and read under there, or sit on the edge of the bed to chat.
I was the only one who didn't get a morning inspection by our feathered friend, because it couldn't figure out how to pop inside and visit. That may be why it was so keen to see what I was up to in the morning.
Given the chorus of snores in the cabin, I wouldn't be surprised if the bird thought a tribe of bears had taken up residence. Strange, hairless bears.
It was a sweet little bird, and I'm glad to have met it...
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Yes, I know it's Tuesday...but since I posted about Sunday on Monday, I thought I'd continue the trend.
I spent the morning writing, online, and talking to passers-bye. Folks here aren't shy about chatting, even if one is on the computer, and it's nice. They don't mind that my attention is divided.
The Evil Genius had terrific fun at childcare and is looking forward to more hours of play. He made several friends who played near our booth while I cooked dinner tonight.
I'm doing my usual meals - everything cooked on the grill at night, cold stuff during the day. It got hot, today, and had I not agreed to help with a chant workshop, I would have napped the afternoon away in a sweaty stupor. As it was, I hiked my sorry butt down to one of the places in the woods where workshops are held - and I was glad of it.
The woods were lovely and cool, and there was enough of a breeze to keep them that way even in the hottest part of the day. I could probably have lived without the deer flies, especially when they figured out how to fly up my skirt. Ouch!
The music was lovely, though, and I picked up a couple of new songs. I enjoy sharing music with others....
It got warm, in the afternoon, but not so hot that we couldn't move, couldn't breathe, couldn't think...just warm enough to make some cold fruit a delight, cold water a blessing.
Our evening was relatively uneventful, punctuated by dinner, chat, laughter, and stories for Bird. I spent part of the early dark up the hill, sitting under the trees, watching the fireflies blink their songs, their calls, watching bats swoop overhead, listening to crickets and distant drums.
I haven't gone down to the drum circle yet...I like hearing them from afar, going to sleep to their lullaby.
It's morning, now - Bird woke me early, and we colored and chatted while he ate breakfast, then headed for child care. He's playing in the sand, getting filthy, and happy. There's a shower in my near future, and a nap. And, of course, more notes and observations, more little pieces of the days here to write down and share later.
Not exactly burning up the wires with anything amazing, but sometimes the ordinary is just fine with me.
Monday, June 15, 2009
I wrote some thoughts I wanted to share, things from yesterday, but never blogged them last night - so today, it is!
There was music, yesterday. Throughout the day, music. The Birembau in the morning. A man strolling the road along the Merchant's walk, playing a jaunty little tune on his concertina.
A woman stopping by our booth, two little girls in tow, offering to take Bird along with them to play. I didn't know her name, nor she mine, but I let him go, because...well...youd have to be here, part of this odd, annual community, to understand. I did introduce myself to her, at least. Bird walked away with her two girls, holding hands with the youngest, a happy little boy. He came back for dinner and was just fine.
After dinner, he stood beside the road outside the booth, blowing bubbles. He offered lessons to anyone who wanted them, and asked all passersby "Hey, would you like to blow some bubbles?" He stopped a pod of pirates (Is that what a group of them is called? If it wasn't before, it is now...) and chatted with them in the middle of the road. They were game. Bless 'em. No one is a stranger, to him, and here? Everyone is a friend. Adults intent on some business or another still stopped, talked to him, and an astonishing number of them paused and blew a few bubbles.
After he went to bed, I wandered to the cafe and plugged in, linked up, and talked with my friend for a couple of hours. In the distance, the drums were pounding, people were singing, dancing, enjoying the fire. I was enjoying the beat, the rhythm, and the solitude of the dark cafe. While I sat and typed, people wandered by and chatted, moved on, sat, left, came back, ebbed and flowed. One of the farm cats paid a visit and hung about, hoping for pets and food. A raccoon waddled across the stage in the corner, intent upon the trash cans to one side and hardly paying us a glance.
Eventually, I unplugged, chatted a while longer, and went back to camp - hours later than I'd intended, but that seems to happen here. The cat followed me, and I believe she would have slept with me if I'd let her.
This morning I woke to the sound of happy singing and the truck that comes to clean the port-a-potties, another odd juxtaposition.
Bird has been enjoying his first morning of child care, and I'm about to go collect him. As I typed this post, a good dozen people have stopped to chat. It has taken me more than an hour to write this, but I don't mind.
I wish you were here...somehow, writing about it just doesn't express the oddity, the beauty, the grace of being in a community so free, so loving, so welcoming...and I wish you could be here to understand...to grok, as it were...but since you can't, I'll keep trying to capture bits and pieces and send them along the wires to the Blue Nowhere and my online community, Blogopolis.
black and white
why do you insist
to my face?
why do you insist
why do you insist
Sunday, June 14, 2009
I've found a place to plug in, sit, and type, connected again to my electronic world.
While it's no bad thing to be disconnected from the Blue Nowhere on occasion, this is not one of the times I relish the distance.
I am connected to my Blue Nowhere, and I am in my annual Summer Community, connected to the land here by time, habit, history, and Song. Last night, I slept deep and well, if not over long - I'm surrounded by morning people (I wish they were connected to my need to sleep late), but I have hopes of naps during the day to sustain me...and if none, well...no worries, I can sleep next week.
The connection to this community is a good one - we all seem to fall into an easy camaraderie, as if a year had not passed between our last meeting and this one. Although the event is a different one, many of the same people are here, so the energy, the feeling, is much the same.
The community supports my connection to it, and to them ,and...and helps me reconnect with my spirit and my Song. So long out of touch, so long distant from my own spiritual source, my spiritual life, I have felt bereft - and now I am recharging. Rites of Spring was a good start, but...it was a new community, a new connection, one I could not lean on, lean into, for strength and support as I can this one. I will, I hope, come home the stronger for having been here.
Here where I sit, I am surrounded by people laughing, enjoying their morning meal, reconnecting with each other. There's a man playing a berimbau at the next table, and the moon is visible in the clear blue sky before me. Trees reach upward, the smell of coffee drifts through the air, and the camp is slowly coming awake, coming to life, connecting to itself and the day.
I'd promise to use my powers only for good...but we all know better!
I've had a long day of setting up camp and am now going to sleep...but I'll sleep better knowing you're here, dear Internet...
Saturday, June 13, 2009
When I chance to go outside during the day, I feel my skin tighten, reminded of long-ago burns that peeled away and left me tan and new in a few days. Sweat prickles my scalp, gathers, rolls down my back, sides, even legs, doing little to cool me as the sun, relentless, beats on.
I want a sprinkler to run through, water chilled during its underground journey to my pipes, little droplets sending shivers right through me as I dance through rainbows in the spray.
I don't tolerate heat well. Oh, I endure, but enjoy? No...not often, anyway. Sometimes, the heat is a pleasure, baking my bones, melting my flesh, releasing my spirit to ride the shimmering waves to other places in thought, other places in time. For the most part though, I hug the coolth of the air-conditioned house and wait for evening, for the heat to break and flee the coming dark, before I brave the outdoors again.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Ten hours in the van with the Evil Genius? No worries - we have Mum's DVD player, books, music...and there's always Kiddie Valium. Umm...we did remember the Kiddie Valium, right??
Thursday, June 11, 2009
There are these things called "Ted Talks". I can't explain 'em as well as the website can, but I can say they're awesome. And Mike Rowe did one! Squeee!
It's all about...erm...ah...hmm...I have no idea. Every time I start to watch it, I get distracted watching Mike (I can call him Mike, right? I mean..."Mr. Rowe" seems so formal, and we have something special...don't we??). So I guess you'll have to watch for yourself.
For your viewing pleasure:
And here's a link in case you want to see some of the other talks...although...they don't involve Mike Rowe, so why would you??
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Someone once told me that thoughts follow pathways, and the more we think in a certain way, the easier it is to continue thinking that way. If one tends toward anger, one will respond with anger first. If one is joyful, then with joy.
When one tends toward sorrow...it's so easy to fall back into it. It's a mess, but it's a familiar mess.
I am trying. Really. I am.
But when T yells at me, as much as tells me I am stupid, he doesn't trust me, I am a liar...and then yells at our son because the boy misheard something and didn't do as he was asked...and then storms out of the house...well...
It's so very easy to fall into that hole. To shoulder the blame, swallow my own pain as inconsequential, allow fear to blossom...
I know he's hurting...but I can't allow him to take his anger at me out on Bird...the boy is already unhappy about the state of things in this house. I don't want him feeling like Daddy's anger is his fault. Bird's hiding in his room right now, unwilling even to talk to me, because he's crying and unhappy. I won't force him out...but oh, my heart aches. My heart aches for my little boy who just heard hard words, ugly words, from his father, words seemingly calculated to make the boy's pain worse.
I don't want to go to Ohio.
Maybe I shouldn't.
Maybe I should, for the first time ever, cancel my part in a performance I've committed to, tell the band I'm sorry, let them down...and stay here.
Somehow, the idea of being gone for ten days while T is here, in this house, able to wreak havoc if he wants...is unappealing. I know that's me not trusting him...
I can't help wondering, though...he's implied and said outright that he doesn't trust me and he thinks I'm a liar, and incapable of watching out for myself (despite the fact that I managed nicely without him before we met) or our son (Have I mentioned that I know how to kill someone with a chopstick? And would do so without hesitation of they so much as tried to harm my Evil Genius? Because...yeah...). I've often been told, and observed, that people accuse others of behaviors they themselves enact. Is that what's happening? Am I being called these things (falsely, I may add) because he knows he's guilty? Or is he lashing out, trying to hurt me in equal measure because I can't love him in equal measure?
Oh, I have so much to do, so much to think about, and right now? All I want is to fall back into that old, easy groove, hide from the world behind my darkness, set this new misery aside for the old, comfortable one.
But I can't.
I need to finish this sewing - a friend's business (and, not inconsequentially, her mortgage) depends on me following through, keeping my word. I need to go to this performance, because the band will benefit from this exposure, and the Evil Genius is so looking forward to using his new tent, playing in the sandbox, and being a wild thing for the week. What I want, what I need, doesn't matter right now.
Maybe later, I'll have time for the easy groove...but right now, I guess I'll suck it up, make my lonely way on down the road, and hope for the best.
*Edit - of course, this is just my perspective, and obviously I am flawed and have a skewed viewpoint...
Well...maybe I can type a little.
I am sewing, sewing, sewing like crazy today. I have twenty shirts to make, and they're the ones I loathe doing. Sewing and urning little tie-straps/shoulder straps...grrr...annoying, tedious, and sometimes painful (when the safety pin I use for turning the straps opens mid-turn and jabs me). The easy shirts, I can do one every three minutes. These strappy shirts? Maybe three an hour, if I'm really in the zone.
So I'm taking a wee break to bitch about them before I get back to making them.
Oh, and also? I still haven't made the grocery list for the trip, or the pack list, pulled the trailer up to the house and cleaned it out, packed, or even finished doing laundry. And I'm leaving Friday.
Hello, Captain Chaos? Yeah, right over here.
It's OK, though...I know it'll all get done, somehow. I may not get any sleep until Friday, but it'll all get done.
What're you up to today, Internet? What's going on in your corner of the Blue Nowhere??
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Given the state of my home life of late, the chaos I've been surfing, sometimes floundering in, head barely above water, I'm hardly surprised that it found me this afternoon as I sat at my sewing machine, singing along with the iPod.
Suddenly, I was sad.
I was lonely.
I was missing...something. Someone.
Bird was napping, sweet, limp little boy sprawling on my chair. I kissed his forehead, his nose, his chin, and smiled at the ketchup and mustard streaked on his cheek from his lunchtime hot dog. My heart lifted, sank again, but not as far as before.
I took a break from the sewing - fourteen shirts and ten caftans done, twenty more shirts to go. Whew. My back ached, so I stretched, logged online, potzed about a little. I opened a file and stared at some pictures I'd been sent last night...and there was the sweetness.
Slow, warm, gentle, it suffused my spirit, a song...a heartsong...bolstering my flagging spirits...
It may be cold in my heart's hearth, but there's a fire waiting for me somewhere...and I have hope to help diffuse the shadows until that flickering light blesses me with its presence...
Sweet melancholy...I can live with that...
In the last three months I have been away every weekend and more than a few weekdays. I've been down to Florida and up to Mass, and am going to Ohio soon. The days I'm home, I have band rehearsals, sewing, errands, laundry from the trips I've taken, cooking and dishes to do, cat boxes and toilets to clean, and a marriage that has ended and needs cauterizing and tidying up.
After Ohio, I am done for a while, traveling only if I want to - and there is one trip I am longing to make but can't...won't...discuss just now, because it is still a nebulous "perhaps" and not concrete...and I don't want to jinx it.
When did I get so busy? When did I get a life? And where can I return it for quiet days by a pool with people I love, evenings cooking on the grill or splashing in Suwanee fountain, nights sitting out front watching fireflies flash and singing along with the peepers?
Anyone else suddenly find themselves living in the midst of their chaos??
Monday, June 8, 2009
What I had for dinner tonight was about as Italian as apple pie...which is to say...not very.
It was fairly tasty, though. I had a photo, but it seems the camera resents being used to take trashy pictures, because I can't seem to make it load. Oh, well.
1 can Campbell's Chunky Rigatoni with Meatballs soup
Open can, dump soup in casserole dish.
Sprinkle liberally with oregano. Add dusting of garlic powder and salt. Cover with enough mozzarella to choke a goat. Yes, that is too a real measurement...look it up! Bake at 350 until golden and bubbly. Try not to think too hard about fat, sodium, calories or carbs while enjoying it.
I'm thinking of adding peperoni, next time, or sausage...or maybe making a healthier, from-scratch version with Italian sausage and ricotta, and...umm...excuse me, I think I need to go stand on the scale until I regain my senses...
In my mind, I had a post written.
It was beautiful, lyrical, evocative, complete, each word tucked into its sentence just so, each sentence placed where it could best bear up the castle of words. The paragraphs rose up, great stone walls of words, words, words, openings carefully crafted to let the reader in, lead them along, show them the contents of the place and make them gasp with wonder, delight, in awe.
In my mind, I had a post that shone with beauty, with grace.
I should have risen, as soon as it was build, and commit it to paper. Or file. Or post. I should have at least made the outline, a rough sketch of verbosity to show me the way I wanted to build it when I woke.
Instead, I fell asleep. Up late again, I lay in bed and thought words, rolled in them, wrapped myself in them, and drifted into deep slumber. Sleep took my post and unraveled it, knocked it down brick by brick until nothing but a few lone adjectives dusted the ground whereon I had built this amazing post. Adjectives, a verb, a lonely little noun that sleep missed, and the memory that I had, in my mind, a post written that gave me goose-bumps...
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I'll miss the characters, truth be told, but I'm worn slap out and ready to have weeks where I am not packing, unpacking, doing laundry, and planning menus and travel.
After this, I have one more performance, in Ohio at an event from June 13 - 22, and then? Then I am home, blessed peace and quiet, home, unless I choose to travel for pleasure.
But before I look towards the future (and there's fodder for a few hundred posts), I am spending this last weekend at the Ren Fest, enjoying myself. I'm wearing a new costume, as long as it doesn't rain and get mucky, and I plan to have fun and be in the moment.
If I manage to get a photo or two that I don't entirely hate, I may do the previously unthinkable and post them. Or...you know...not...
Friday, June 5, 2009
How is it that the strobe of light, playing across the windows, shattering and scattering fragments from rain-bedecked leaves, puddles, crystal-beaded grass, is unseen until the storm flickers its well-established presence once, twice, signaling an invitation to come out, to dance?
How is it that the rain holds back its hushing sigh, its caress, its kiss, until the clouds have settled in place, great gray sheets of batting unrolled across the sky, liquid silver falling sweetly down, a benediction, an embrace much longed for, a cleansing of the spirit even as it is a nourishing of the earth, the heart?
The thunder rolls, and the rain falls, and I am in it and of it...and it is good.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Familiar, in some ways, but peculiar none the less.
I feel myself straddling a line between two worlds, two lives, equaly in both, fully in neither. I've been here before, mind - the days when I am dazed, feeling displaced as I often do, wondering why I am in this house, with these people, living this life, when they are not mine. My life is elsewhere, elsewhen. I don't live in Georgia...I live in the mountains out west. Not in a house, in a cabin. I don't have a child, I have a garden. I know this feeling.
And yet, it is different. The line I straddle now is the border between what has been and what may be. What is and what could be. What I have and what I want. What I know and what I hope for.
Feet planted on either side, I am anchored by one and yearn toward another and so am balanced on a razor-thin edge, careful of how I go lest I slip and am cut to ribbons.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
EG: Mommy, are you ready for Animal Show?
(Aside - Animal Show is when he clambers into the bed and we pretend to be animals and wrestle for a bit.)
Me: Sure, Little Dude.
EG: OK - you be a hermit crab and I'll be a stingray.
EG: Uh...Mommy? What's a stingray?
Me: Remember the teacher in Nemo? He's a ray, a Manta, and a stingray is kind of like that.
EG: Oh. OK. But I'm no ordinary stingray...
EG: Yeah - I'm David Hasselhoff!!
Monday, June 1, 2009
I spent many summers living with my grandparents in Little Compton. When I was a bit older, I would bike all over town - down to the beach or the harbor, to Wilbur's general store, or up to Walker's roadside stand (best.corn.ever.), but before that...before I could ramble and roll mile after mile down Swamp Road, to Lloyd's Beach, South Shore beach or down Taylor's lane...before that, I played in my grandparent's yard.
Back then, they kept a horse and a pony stabled in the side yard, housed in a small barn with a paddock to wander in. I loved that horse, and even liked the pony (despite his being an ill-tempered beast), and would feed them corn husks and apples and pat then fondly on the neck when they'd let me.
I would play in the trees, a grand arc of them sweeping around the drive and stretching high into the heavens. Beneath their boughs, I had a pine-scented playhouse like no other, and could keep hidden for hours if I wanted.
Sometimes, my cousins would come to stay, too, and we'd play together. In the Spring and Summer, we would go out into the yard, plop down into the grass, and go about the serious business of being children. We'd pluck the green blades and try to make whistles out of them. We'd chew the grass meditatively, and make little wreaths out of it. We'd blow Dandelion fluff into the breeze and watch it float along. And...we'd look for buttercups.
Sweet little blossoms, yellow and shiny, they grew in clusters here and there. I don't know who taught us the game...it stretches so far back in my memory's thread, it may just as well have been there when I was born, spun into being when I was. We'd pick one of the friendly flowers and hold it under our chins. Do you like butter? If your chin turns yellow, you do...
A pointless way to pass time, but we spent hours at it.
Not long ago, I was thinking about Buttercups. I haven't seen them in may years, and I wondered if they even exist any more. No one wants yellow in their green, so fertilizers, weed killers, mowers, and trowels could well have wiped them out. I wondered if anyone played the game, held them under expectant chins and giggled when the reflected yellow light showed a penchant for dairy. I felt sad, thinking that children today are inundated with electronic media...but don't know the simple joys of Dandelions and Buttercups.
Imagine my delight when I saw them, then, sheltering beneath K's portable cot at the camp in Mass. There they were, a little cluster of the happy fellows, nodding and inviting fun. I didn't pick one, but I did shoot a few pictures - who know when I'll see them again? - and looked at them fondly.
I am thankful for the reminder of simpler times, simpler pleasures, of easy days uncomplicated by bills, concerns, turmoils. The world could use more buttercups...
not easily yielding to pressure - because I can't afford to acquiesce just to maintain the status quo...can't give an inch or I'll lose miles, can't show emotion or compassion or it's misconstrued or manipulated, so I get to be the uncaring bitch and suffer in silence
difficult to bear or endure - recent and near future days to be gotten through, somehow, with nothing but the slender, delicious hope that it won't always be so...
lacking consideration, compassion, or gentleness - from the outside looking in, I'm sure this is how I appear, but I do care, deeply
callous - if I am, it is only because I have been worn, scraped, rubbed the wrong way for so long, I have toughened
harsh, severe, or offensive in tendency or effect - can't be helped, although I don't have to like it...but I will defend myself against falsehood, false assumption, and the constant assault on my defenses
resentful - and becoming more so by the day...
strict, unrelenting - I must be, or end up back at square one...but it doesn't come easy or natural
intense in force, manner, or degree - yes...
unyielding - if I must be...I may never be pliant again, which makes me sad...
difficult to accomplish or resolve - I've had easier times parsing out Death, Life, the Universe, and Everything...
difficult to comprehend or explain - not for lack of effort, but when someone doesn't want to know, won't listen or hear, it's fruitless
having difficulty in doing something - which isn't stopping me...just wearing me down, the slow erosion of a soul...