Friday, December 11, 2009

Snakes and lunatics

Snakes, every night.  Or I should say morning, for I wake up with these dreams wisping from my mind like so many seeping fogs.  Complex situations wrapped in anxiety, with odd travels and social webs.  And snakes.  Every day for the last week there has been a snake in my dreams.  I live with snakes, four of them; they are not a fearful thing for me, so I take it for what it is... snakes are full of ancient history and symbolism.
I looked it up.  Transmution.  Change.  Creation.  Shedding your skin, getting out of a rut, change, flexibility.  Slither away... go with the flow... that's what snake tells you. 
There you have it.  It's wrapped up in anxiety because I am doing things in ways I know could be done better, and not living up to my potential.  In work and in life.  I know I could take excellent care of myself, but I find myself eating too much chocolate because of this reason and that... helpless and unable to stop... unwilling, perhaps, to change.  It makes me grumpy, makes me fat, makes me unhappy in the end; but the stress of a job that (here's the kicker) ALSO does not let me do things the way I know they can be done better... not living up to my potential in the way I was trained... makes me so stressed that I seek what little pleasures I can.  Mostly earthy, wine and chocolate and sleep.
So, snakes.  Transmute.  I have so much magic and potential and so much fear to use it and live up to it.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in the stress and depression of what others are doing, what I'm not doing, that it becomes difficult to shine.  People get angry and jealous when you shine; while you're shining it doesn't bother you, but boy when you slip a bit and they take you down it's easy to agree "yes, I suck!" because it makes people feel better when you aren't challenging the ruts they are in. 

And lunatics.  I don't mean movie- crazies, but people all around you that are so out of control in their own heads that they can't see straight.  People who have no idea of the havoc they wreak on others with their crazy behavior; or maybe they just don't care.  Most of the time you can let it go, until it puts a pressure on your own existance and you come up against it with the realization that there's no rationalizing with this person, no talking sense into, no conversation or action ever that can change this or bring some kind of relief.  And when this person is part of your livelihood- an essential part in fact- it becomes very depressing very quickly.  Sort of like those horrible Pavlovian experiments that show how one's spirit gives up; the one where he threw dogs into a pool with no way out and waited to see how long until they gave up and drowned?  That one.  I'm not drowning but I'm sure sick of irrational people having a measure of control over me.  I hate it, hate it with all my being.  Why and how do lunatics end up this far in life, with this much control over others?  This one was by chance, and it's a rickety unstable ride which makes me unsure how far it will go. 

So, transmute it.  How?  How!?  I can change myself, I do and often, and with great pride when I stride for the better.  As for the work, I will try in small ways to create what needs to be.  But this!  I can't transmute this. I can't change it.  I can't even protect myself, mostly.  I am at the fancy and whim of a lunatic, and I have to work especially hard not to slip slide into a depression rut filled with chocolate, self-loathing and bitterness.  That is the work to be done, not easy, not pleasurable, and maybe not even possible.  We shall see.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Watching the Wood wait for snow

The trees are all naked, except for the stubborn oaks who hold onto their oxblood leaves until nearly spring.  There are a few saplings who mysteriously held onto now fading green leaves all this time, as if no one told them the natural progression of things. 

Mostly, though, the Wood is all naked trunks and limbs, and you can see so much further in than even a month ago.  Things lay open and revealed, like that cottage that you didn't notice sitting now in plain view, the veil of green removed and only tender branches holding the secrets summer left behind.  This is the time to look at the trees, to really see them, to really pull in the twisted trunks, the amazing straight serenity rising so high into the sky.  Though it's more challenging in winter to name them when they no longer wear their leaves, it is also easier to see the silhouettes they show, the amazing textures of bark, the patterns of branches and their way of rising up from the ground.

Everyone looks so naked without a mantle of snow!  I am waiting for the snow, as they are; to soften hard edges, to cover the ground and make certain what is only tentative in this time of year- that yes, it is winter, or very nearly so.  Snow I love, snow which somehow makes all warmer and more welcoming, makes winter easier to bear and easier to love.  I, like the Wood, am waiting.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I doubted whether or not Reiki was real, true, or worked in any sense.  Although the concept of magic always made sense to me- manipulation of energy, matter is made of energy, therefore manipulation of energy is manipulation of matter and vice versa- Reiki had me doubting.

Why?  I don't know.  Even though it's an art that is ancient, and practiced by many, what I was seeing was a lot of soft New Agey types touting the powers of this energetic healing and it made me feel cynical.  I'm not your typical Neo Witch; I don't buy everything hook, line and sinker.  I like to question and feel for myself what something can do.

When I did choose to become attuned to Reiki I, I did it on a whim, figuring- it can't hurt.  It was free, at a festival, and there were 13 of us in a room, with an intense dude who is a Reiki Master, tattooist and uses both in Body Modification parties which apparently transform the hell out of any and all who participate.  I still didn't really believe.  We talked about energy, played with it, and then one by one sat in a chair and were attuned by the Master, at one end of the room.  I made sure I was 7th in line (being my favorite number).  All who sat before me came back buzzing, high, and wild looking.  Each person who returned was full of energy and passed it along; playing with energy balls with others who had been attuned, or sending shivers and shocks through the rest of it.

It was my turn, finally.  I was still figuring that I'd sit there and feel nothing.  He started tracing symbols about my head and back, whispering things to himself, all part of the opening of channels.  All of a sudden my teeth started chattering.  I felt as if I'd been plugged into the wall socket.  I had no control over the chattering of my jaw, and didn't bother to stop it. My whole body tensed and relaxed in cycles.  It was absolutely bizarre.  When he was done I felt energy flowing from my toes up through the top of my head and back down.  I joined the group on the floor and felt the subtelty of energy currents flowing from one person to another.  It was amazing, intense, and absolutely unbelievable- only, I finally did believe.

The concept of Reiki or the use of it is not new to me.  I have apparently been using it since I was a pre teen, I just didn't have a word for it.  In college I used to somehow be able to take away people's headaches, by concentrating and imagining a flow of liquid light going through the person's body and pushing before it the "soot" of pain, right out the crown of the head.  By the time I did this attunement, I'd been using Reiki reguarly for 15 years.  I just had no idea.

This attunement opened me up wide.  We were told we would experience intense changes, emotionally and otherwise, and healing of ourselves.  He was indeed right.  My life went topsy-turvy (this also coincided with my Saturn return, but intensified it.)  All was absolute chaos for a while.  It was exhilerating, and absolutely what I  needed.

Some time later, a friend came to a party quite upset.  She and her boyfriend had a harrowing experience with some cops, who were being excessive with them over speeding or some such inoffensive offense.  She was extremely shaken and unable to relax and enjoy the party.  I took her to a corner and helped her ground, with a grounding exercise I learned many years before.  My whole body heated up as I lead her through the grounding, with my hands on her knees as we sat cross legged in front of each other on the floor.  When it was through she was crying, and asked how long I'd been a Master.  I told her I was only Level I and she did not believe me, being a Master herself (I did not know that at the time.)  She then brought me up to Level II a short time after that, saying that I already had an intensity of energy and it would be safer to have the channels properly aligned to cut out some of the chaos I was experiencing.

Reiki II brings further changes, of heart and emotion.  That was indeed true.  So many changes, yet again!  Yet I did not feel it had opened the channels all the way.  A couple of years later, another friend and Master offered to re-do my Level II while we were staying in an amazing forest in Georgia.  At the time I was recovering from the brutal veterinary training I went through for 4 years, and felt an emotional train wreck.  I agreed.

In a beautiful ritual involving a labyrinth with an amazing old tree in the middle, I had myself attuned to Reiki II once more.  This time it once again felt right, and real.  Not the same intense buzzing as the first opening, but more of a feeling of being washed in a warm river.  For the rest of the day everything was more intense yet more detached- colors, sounds and smells.  I felt languid and right.

Since then, when I do perform Reiki it is a lot easier, and my hands and body heat up intensely.  More than once I have been asked how long I've been a Master.  Eventually I shall open all the way to Master Level.  The odd thing is that the symbols one uses have eluded me.  I cannot seem to remember them.  It doesn't seem to matter at all.  Some interesting things have happened which lead me to wonder if I am already open all the way.

My partner had too much to drink the night before.  He woke up feeling as if an elephant had sat on his head, and felt like his whole body was poisoned.  I offered to perform Reiki on him to see if it would soothe him.  He agreed, and I began; my hands got fiery hot (this does not happen every time) as I placed them on his belly.  After 5 minutes, he leaped up and ran to the bathroom to throw up.  This made him feel pretty terrible for a time; after that, however, he felt amazing.  He went on with his day as if nothing had happened.

I work with animals every day.  Reiki comes even when I do not call it.  Animals seek it out, ask for it, in subtle ways I'm not always keyed into.  I allow it when I know about it, and offer it to those severely infirm, scared, or prior (and during) euthanasia.  I find it smooths the way for those who are dying.  Horses especially are Reiki sponges.

Is Reiki real or not?  Well, my experiences seem to say yes.  Ask me in person and you'll see.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Magic and the power of thought

Ever since I first studied about witchcraft, Wicca and the art of magic, I've known and understood the power of thought. I understand that not just witches study this but neuroscientists, buddhists, hypnotists, and lots of other people from as many cultures and countries as there are in the world. There are lots of tales of folks who got better by positive thinking; placebo effect; not to mention ESP and other "paranormal" activity or studies.

First hand though, now that's another story. It's downright weird, and although I've always known to "be careful what you wish for" or "the Rule of Three" in magic, having it reliably happen with even casual thought is a bit disconcerting. As you will... so mote it be. Ha! Well, coincidence may be random or it may not. I believe there was some book everyone was obsessed about 15 years ago that addressed coincidence as not random at all? Anyway, it just so happens that more often than not, when I think something it manifests. It can be downright annoying; like thinking of one of my clients or patients, and within that day or the next, they will need me for something (often an emergency!) It's gotten so that I try very very hard to NOT think of my clients or my patients, because I don't want to wish them ill. If I find myself thinking on them, I start sending positive Reiki just to cover them! Or how about knowing that putting my comfy sweats on at night will invariably lead me to getting called for an emergency? Every single time. So I sit in my work clothes until 10 pm just to be sure.

It can be greatly beneficial, such as when I decide I need an apartment or a car, and almost immediately things line up and work out. My friends say, "you have the most amazing good luck!" I say, good? Bad? If you read back far enough you will see I lost my home and pets to a very bad fire. Nothing happens small in my life, it all goes big. Real big.

Magic is energy. Reiki is energy. People, things, sounds, thoughts are all energy. It makes sense to me, then, that if all things are made of energy (atoms, particles, whatever) and magic is the manipulation or bending of energy in a certain direction or way, that it can greatly affect other beings made of energy. It's never been a hard concept for me to accept. Even as a doctor, I see and feel the benefits of Reiki as I work. The animals are energy, and exquisitely sensitive to boot; they get it, they like it, no problem.

Using magic to manifest something one needs is not only possible, but in fact so effective you need to be absolutely certain it's what you TRULY need or want, and that it will in fact HARM NONE as a result. At least this is my reality, as what I manifest does come about, and I have to be clear and concise.

One thing I never understood when I was younger is that magic and manifestation can take time. Yes, things can happen quickly. That can depend on need, too! Things can also take a looooong time. I started wishing for a partner, a good, loving, partner that was suited for me... careful wishing, there... in May of 2007, shortly after the fire; it took me until October of 2008 to meet him, and spring of 2009 to start dating him. I put a lot of heavy, specific PLUS vague magic into it, with a lot of care and a lot of patience... and it paid off. I simply was not ready until 2009. Turns out, neither was he, and it takes two to tango!

What do I mean by specific plus vague? How can one be clear and vague all at once? Well, I find that if you put too many specifics on the universe, it becomes a task impossible to fill. I clearly wanted a partner who was creative, kind, loves animals, loves easily without smothering, manly without being aggressive, oh and tall would be nice... that's specific. To keep it vague I said, but I mostly want the man who is best suited to ME. The one I can appreciate, adore, and admire. I skipped out on looks, nationality, even religion. None of that could matter! Several rituals and a couple of years, and here I am with a man I love to love.

Being vague in a specific way helps the universe to help you fill what you need. For example, you have to be specific on the things that matter, but vague on the things you can be flexible with. It leaves you room to grow, and adapt... you may change, yourself, between now and manifestation!

Knowing the power of thought and of magic means taking great care on the path your thoughts take. After all you can as easily manifest negative as you can good. In fact if you're a negative person, and put a lot of energy into your enemies and wrongs, hurts and cheats, you are bound to manifest more of these as the universe is merely providing you with the things you are sending attraction to. I try to be careful and when things happen I try to see silver linings in them, or think back on how I may have called a situation to me. You can fix patterns this way, and find new ways to think so as to avoid allowing that pathway to be clear, big and well trodden. Making peace in your mind is necessary for healing, and necessary to discontinue to call in the negative vibes.

What next? What to manifest next? Flexing the magic muscles is fun and helpful. Not in a greedy sort of way, but in a way that sort of lubes the gears... getting done what needs to be done, with a little energetic push. Hmmm! How about manifesting healing on that old horse with strange symptoms? Give that one a try, and see that he gets better over the weekend. Why not.

Monday, November 16, 2009

And thus, the end of Tribe Blog.

I have successfully transferred over all the blog posts I think are interesting or important. I really have grown, changed and transformed quite a lot since I starting blogging there! Amazing. I'm sad I cannot recover the photos from there, I wish I could. It's reason enough not to kill the profile on Tribe.

I think I will be writing down my experiences in here, now. I really enjoyed my Tribe blog, not just as a way to jot things down but also because I had the feedback of my friends. Oh well! It is for me more than anything, a way to get my forest stories down... and so I shall have them witnessed here, for me, by me.

loving the unattainable

December 26, 2008
Ah, some of you out there will be able to fully relate to this... and the frustration it brings.

I have been learning so much of the heart and mind in my journey through love, with its myriad wants, needs and desires. Ever since I ended my last truly serious relationship in 2006, I fear I have not quite been the same. Something has gone a bit unbridled, wild... well, to be honest, I've fully come into my Self, my power and my beauty and frankly, it's made me quite undateable. I'm struggling to understand this, and I believe writing it out will help so bear with me (if you've chosen to read at all!) :-)

When I was younger I never believed I had beauty or any other seriously wonderful qualities, so I dated whomever seemed interested and was vaguely interesting themselves. That worked just fine; I actually dated some fine people, learned a lot- about assholes in the beginning, and about gentlemen as I began to "wake up". Through that time I learned what I like, what I don't like, and what I ultimately am seeking. While this was all going on, I sought to better myself- becoming highly educated, molding my body to my likeing, honing my wit and humor, and becoming the dancer and performer my heart cried out to be. This is the creation I have become... I have worked hard to become the graceful, funny, talented doctor I am now. I like what I have done. I'm proud of it.

And I can no longer accept "ordinary" as a match for myself. I have become especially multi-faceted and want nothing less from anyone I date. Why should I?

In my heart there is a man, pieced together from the wonderful qualities of all the men I have loved over the years- not just lovers but friends, as well. So many amazing qualities! And in my heart he is there, the Ideal Man, the absolutely unattainable man who likely does not exist. But why not? After all, I exist- smart, cute, talented, successful... why should there not be a match? And yet. Yet.

I'm torn between wanting this amazing man as a mate- the one I will settle with, and cherish; and wanting a little physical satisfaction in the here and now (I've got those needs to meet too... grrrr...) which doesn't need to be with an amazing guy. I just can't though. I have found I am really and truly no longer able to have a casual fling with anyone, because I want to be with someone of the caliber I present. I feel like a lot of guys just don't give a shit, don't put in the effort.

So here's the unattainable bit. (I bet you thought I was referring to the Ideal Man in my heart, didn't you? Yes, but there's more!) There are some pretty amazing guys out there, and I find them from time to time. When I do, they are always, for one reason or another, unattainable. Taken, married; gay; preoccupied; unwilling to date for some reason or another; living too far away; the list goes on and on. My heart has been smashed so many times these past few years for these reasons. It sucks, truly sucks. I know there's a pattern here, of course; isn't it "safe" to fall for a guy who will not even give you the time of day? Or who thinks you're good enough to roll around with but keeps the heart locked up tight?

The amazing thing is, the guys who I find to be of the quality and caliber I like, are always locked up tight somehow. Beautiful, creative, talented, smart, sensitive, energetic... and completely walled up. I would say there's a pattern except for the fact that I haven't met any that aren't in this way. The rest of the guys I've met that ARE available are ordinary, intimidated by me anyway, or so on.

The ones who have been available and seem to be amazing, have deal breakers... children, for one. That's a big one.


If there is a pattern, which I'm sure there is (it's safer to fall for someone who won't fall for you, right?) I find it irritating and wish to get over it quick, so I can enjoy a satisfying connection as well. It would be so lovely! All this love to give, locked up tight and wasted on my cats. Fri,

death of the deer

Fri, November 7, 2008
I never even saw him until he was already hitting the car. It's rutting season... he was likely headed out on a date... at 5:30 this morning. He never made it. I saw him as his shoulder hit the front passenger bumper of the car, and then he was hitting the side of the car and it was done.

I threw the car, very much damaged, in park and had the presence of mind to throw on the hazards. I jumped out and trotted in my gym shorts over to where he lay. Mostly I was worried that he had run off, injured, to die somewhere; but there he was, a beautiful, healthy until that moment young buck. He was a 3 point buck, just getting into his prime. I was crying before I even reached him, where he lay in agony. My heart was wrenching for him to see him lift his head every now and then, wanting to run from the pain and the death. I sad by his back on the pavement, crying, giving him Reiki, waiting for the cops a nice lady had called for me.

As I sat with him, heartbroken, I prayed to Epona and Cernunnos to take him home to the summer lands. What a waste of a beautiful animal. I talked to him and apologised, keeping Reiki hands on him gently until the officer came and ended the pain with a bullet. I felt so helpless... I am a veterinarian! I am in this business to help and to heal, not to kill with so much pain. So senseless. And I felt so helpless, knowing what I could do to end the pain and unable to as I had only my car, and a dull pocket knife in the glove box. Nothing worth using.

I tried to find out if I could at least use the meat, or donate it somehow. Use the hide and so on. There was no way to, with me unable to transport him. It is going to go to waste. And that to me is the saddest thing of all, to have taken a life and watch it wasted this way. I pray for him and for forgiveness for taking a life and not using it as it should be. I hate that the world works this way... he could have fed a family and his death would not have been in vain.

All I can do is shed tears for a life taken.

I am unhurt, but the car is likely totaled. Why not? It's already been a hard couple of years; I'm ruined, financially, between the fire, school loans and a job that doesn't pay me enough to make it to the end of each monthly paycheck. I know I will be ok, I always land on my feet as my friends point out... but I am stretched thin, and getting to where I may not be able to recover. This is a lot of stress that I didn't need. I am surrendering to the absurdity of it all, financial ruin to follow my dreams of being a healer. In the end, if I lose everything and can never pay for anything again, I will still be a healer and my body is sound... more than I can say for that poor young buck.

Blessed be, little brother, find the Summerlands and run free again.


Mon, October 20, 2008
I have been reading a series that Richard recommended these past few weeks- the "Dies the Fire" series by SM Stirling. It is about what would happen if in the space of a second we lost all our electricity and gadgets, all our higher physics in fact- no guns, no cars, no lights, no planes, phones, internet, nothing. Not even steam engines. No explosives. Rocketing human beings back to the bronze age, basically, without anyone being fit for truly surviving then. It's a grim thing, but eye opening... what would happen?

The things it makes me think about are how fragile our society really is, based as it is on the way we communicate, interact and commute. Hell, the *fact* that we commute is strange enough, really. What served to make life easier has only created a world where we are further and further apart, even when we live-literally- right on top of one another. I'd love to know some of my neighbors, to have a friend in this cold place, but everyone is immersed in their own lonely planet of schedules, work, tv shows and whatnot that it's easier to remain in your own shell rather than interact.

I've said this before and I still believe it; human beings are meant to be tribal. It's something we evolved to do and be, for so many reasons; safety, sharing of resources, raising of young, and so on. From a purely biological standpoint it makes sense. The way that things are now, though, we don't necessarily need to band together. Families are spread apart, people move around. The stress of working and needing money to function in this society means we spend long hours doing things we may or may not like, with people we may or may not like, and rarely see the families we try to provide for. It causes all sorts of rifts, odd behaviors and sociopaths...

Why is it that so many Americans are on mood altering drugs? Whether you talk about prescription drugs, like anti depressants, or ADD drugs, or self-medication like alcohol, food (sugar/ fat) and recreational drugs... it's all the same. It comes down to the same principle, the same reasons; we cannot cope in the way things are set up. It isn't natural, doesn't feel natural. This is not set up to make people feel relaxed and good, useful and healthy. We increasingly turn to outside things to make what we're doing OK, even if it isn't. What could be more alienating than coming home in your HumV to your solitary apartment, crack open a beer, order a pizza and watch TV until you fall asleep on the couch... only to get up, go to a 9 to 5 you hate, come home, do it again? Doesn't anyone else find this bizarre?

Anyway this series throws people back into the need to create clans, tribes, villages, and so on. They need each other to survive; they need each other's skills and knowledge, hands and minds. People are once again directly responsible for their own survival- the growing and acquiring of food, fighting to keep it (wish it wasn't that way), maintaining and building places to live and keep animals, and so on. Am I saying I'd love to be in the middle of all that hard work, which guarantees you die early? The lack of proper medicine? Not really... but the idea of a clan, a tribe, a village... that appeals to me. Maybe this is born out of the loneliness I've spoken of before, being stranded here in central Ohio with all my tribe far far away. I'd say that's the case except I've felt that way for a long time. Not that I don't appreciate my alone time, my solitude; I do. I just like having the people I admire, care about, and love close at hand. I enjoy seeing people I love, seeing them happy, looking at the things they've made and accomplished. It means a lot to me, since I'm so social. This isolation, this stark contrast to what we are meant to do is torture for me. A special kind of hell.

The other thing the series brings to light is that something not unlike that situation could very well happen. Perhaps not to that degree, not to that severity, but I can't see things continuing as they are. The ideas like Mad Max could certainly happen- ownership of resources like water, or the shortage of oil which will come to pass eventually. What will people do? People can all too easily collapse into violence and chaos, rather than the spirit of community... because of how things are now. Each for his own. What do I possibly owe my neighbor? Or anyone here? There is no feeling of allegiance, of any kind of kinship really. We live on the same soil, and there it ends. Odd. So, damn, odd.

flirting my way out

Sat, October 4, 2008
Well. If I am to be in exile, as it seems, with a long cold winter ahead, why not find a way to warm it? What better way to warm a chilly night than with a lover.

Yes, a lover.

Almost two years ago, I began wishing for love, real and deep and true. Although I have had some amazing experiences and frustrating situations since then, I am feeling like I need to put the whole idea on hold because I am not where I want to be (geographically speaking). I decided, then, to no longer entertain the idea of having just lovers (much to the chagrin of my favorite long standing lover, Richard...) but to wait patiently (or not so patiently, in my frustrated little heart) for the connection that would make my soul sing, my heart ring with joy. Well. That isn't going to happen here, in the flat and dry expanse that is Ohio. I do not feel called to settle here; I am here to learn, to hone my skills as a doctor to a fine point (or at least begin to) and then jump free of it to the warmth of California.

What then, of the winter? It has been hard enough to come home, day after day, to only kitties and my books, the internet and telephone. With only a simulated boyfriend for company when the darkness settles, and I wind my way down to sleep. Oh, believe me, I don't begrudge my synthetic boyfriends at all! I even have a new blown glass friend to keep me company... he's quite lovely, actually. It just isn't the same. I'm a sensual girl, and crave the warmth of flesh. It's in our blood to do so. Deprivation causes so many problems otherwise.

So... I will seek a lover. Casually, and without any serious hunting. Manifestation is usually key for me. I am relaxing the romantic ideas I harbor in my secret heart, to allow myself a dalliance that will at least let me find some comfort and laughter, pleasure and joy through the cold months, the months remaining here... in exile. After all, I *am* a witch. "all acts of love and pleasure are my rites". Indeed. I have never shied away from it until these past few years; and so I return to it, to better spend my time with laughter than with moping alone in my cute little apartment. Nothing heavy or cloying; nothing serious. Just fun, joy, pleasure. Safely, of course, I hear you my friends.

blessed be.


Wed, October 1, 2008
Some nights, I have a clear recognition that being here feels an awful lot like being in Panama. The parallel is weird. There, I lived alone in a little house, surrounded by people who were very nice and liked me a lot, but didn't understand me even slightly. I don't mean the language barrier, either; oh, we got along just fine in our conversations. (Except a few hilarious and notable language errors on my part... *blush*). I worked hard, doing what I was set there to do, and did a good job. But I was so alien, in looks, concept, behavior and so on that there was just a gap that could never be bridged. I was tall, blonde and fair, rode a horse with the vigor of a man (women do not typically ride there; I had two horses), and extremely educated. I never flaunted any possessions and worked at living as close to their means as I could. The differences, though, they just could not be reconciled.

Whenever I could I would go to the city to meet up with other volunteers, so we could speak English and just have each other's company. I never really connected with anyone of them either. It was good to be with them, but it never truly eased the loneliness I felt- this was long before I met any of my tribe and learned who I truly am now. I just felt as if I were in suspended animation, exiled, waiting for some epiphany to guide me towards where I needed to be, who I needed to be.

Now, I live in my little apartment, surrounded by people who seem perfectly nice but want nothing to do with me (or each other). I work hard, doing what I have set out to do; doing what they require of me, and more, so that I can be the vet I want to be, without complaint. People at work are nice, but they don't get me at all. I am often the butt of some very good natured teasing, but it is teasing based on things that seemed so normal where I came from and are now so out of place that people can't help but comment on it. My relationships to people are, therefore, based on being a mentor or mentee, held at arm's length and considered 'strange but sweet'. No one wants to get too close. To be fair, I have no real desire to be close to anyone I work with; but my life consists of work, work, and hang out at my apartment.

What a parallel. What an odd and aching parallel. I was very mixed in Panama, psyched to be there doing what I was doing, living the dream. But I was melancholy all the time, lonely as hell and wishing for my tribe, for company, for a kindred soul. And now here I am, a woman wiser and older, finding the same melancholic pall hanging over my shoulders as I find myself once again alone in exile. Yes, I put myself here as I placed myself in Panama. I am here to do what I am doing, and I am glad for it. Still, after four years of vet school sacrifice and loneliness brought on by long hours buried under books, I have forgotten what it is like to have a friend who just pops by for a visit. Wow! That would be so amazing.

It feels bittersweet now, but the winter is coming. Winter is always hard for me. When there is snow and free time, friends and blankets and hot chocolate, I manage just fine. I cross country ski, relish in the snow on the trees as I whoosh through the woods... but there is none of that here, not aplenty as there was in MA. There is not as much snow here, I am told. Just grey, and cold. I worry. I need some good friends.

I'm quite grateful for the friends I *do* have. The bonds have not weakened with distance; I have been able to speak on the phone, and via email to many. It warms my heart. I appreciate every thought that comes my way; I spend time when I am driving long hours thinking of those I have left up north. The wonderful women I am only just getting to know, and sadly have left. Oh! I can't reconcile it, it's too hard. Damn! I think sometimes.

Well, I chose this. I chose to be here, and dedicate myself to this year of study and work. I can go anywhere in the world as of next July, and I am called to warmer weather. And kindred folk who understand me. I want to be where it is not so odd to be vegetarian, to eat spinach, to drink smoothies everyday, to dance with fire, bellydance and be a witch. To be me.

missing the forest

Thu, September 11, 2008
It is dawn. The stars are out, not diluted at all by even a hint of the sun that is to come. The moon has long since set, hiding her face from me as absolutely as could be imagined. The air has acquired a chill in the last week or two... I feel this keenly as I walk briskly, warming up for my run.

Because, you see, I can't stop.

I began running as a way to connect with joy to the Wood I lived near in Massachusetts. It was an amazing way to weave the magic of that tiny plot of forest in and around my heart and soul. There were stories there, stories I coaxed out with every bounding stride, breath puffing in and out as I charged up and down tree lined hills, on paths softened by pine needles and loam. I felt free, alive and wild; my mind was loose and comfortable, sensing Stag Kings, wolves and imaginary steeds with every single run I had there.

Still I run. I run to keep my stamina, to keep my sanity in this sprawling confusion of urbanity thrust upon a rural people. There is no magic here, where I am able to run. In the early morning, before dawn even arrives, I run on the barren edges of the road, with only weeds to show the spirit of Mother Nature where she wishes to remain untamed. There is no Wood. No forest, no nurturing place of magic in the trees. Each day I run, I feel the burden of it as if it is forced upon me, another chore; this saddens me, that something so joyful could become this way in my heart. There are no stories when I run. Only me, and the dawn, and the cars- trying to survive long enough to make it home before the sun even stains the sky.

I did not realize quite how much that forest sustained my spirit until I no longer had it to run amok in. It may not have been very vast, or even very remote; but believe me, there was magic there- magic that spawned all the stories I have written here over the last few years. Here, things are not so. There are many planned 'communities'- sprawling villages of apartments and condos, rich looking homes lording over what was once farm or pasture land. The trees that there are, are planted according to someone's drawing. They stand stately and lovely in a very sterile way.

Luckily, there are the Metro Parks. I have discovered a few that boast some forest, forest that even retains a bit of wildness to it. However, it is not the same. I run there on weekends to remind myself of the wild joy I had when I began this habit- this habit of trail running... but there is still no room for stories and magic, as I compete for space among walking couples, other joggers, dogs and children who all seek to savor a bit of wildness that is so lacking here.

The only comfort I retain is that I may ride my pony when I am able. This brings me a great measure of peace. We have recently had to move, however; from a place that sported many wildflower fields to one of a place of rules, where horses may only be ridden in a proper ring, with one attired properly in a helmet and so forth. He is there, earning his keep as I could no longer afford to pay to keep him in the comforting chaos of where he was. While I do believe this will be good for him- think of it! LIttle girls riding him over jumps, which he loves, and even the prospect of seeing him go to some shows next spring! It is not nearly as magical for me, being bereft of fields of wildflowers to romp in, where I could once again capture strands of stories and keep it from feeling like work.

Ah, well. These are the sacrifices we make. These are the sacrifices I have made in order to become the doctor I imagine myself to be. I came here knowing it would not be nourishing for my spirit, but that it would bolster my confidence and make me an amazing veterinarian. I am learning so much I am fairly bursting with it. But! I am lonely... I miss my friends, my goddess sisters, my forest, and my boyfriend. I miss what I have not even had in the four years of vet school- that easy companionship and friendship where one can just drop by and hang out. Someday, someday! For now my life is one of on call every other day, lots of work and learning until I feel my head will pop. Challenges to my wit, my character, my knowledge and courage; I take it all in stride. Still. It is hard to do all this without the pleasure of fine company, without the lovely every day life that so many of my friends take for granted. One day! One day I too will have that back. For now, the kitties and I snuggle with wine, books and movies, and I find all the ways I can eat chocolate and remain healthy. Cheers.

broken truck, zombies and children of the corn

Wed, July 2, 2008
Despite the fact that mercury has gone OUT of retrograde, we are plagued by transportation issues. Well... it could be that we (the equine ambulatory service) are working for a large LARGE university, and saving money by buying or keeping crappy vehicles is the name of the game.

Anyway. This is my second week. I still don't have a truck, so on call time is rather tricky for me. I'm still riding with the others, however, so it isn't so bad. The doc I am riding with, a 5 foot tall spitfire of a woman with a wicked sense of humor, a self proclaimed bitchy attitude, and a mouth like a trucker, has managed to render useless three university trucks in the space of 2 days. Her vet truck is a piece of crap. It's brand new and has all these issues and is in and out of the dealer every couple of weeks. That one is now in the shop. Which means we are going to drive?

"That flaming pile, parked out back. Go get it." Yes- a POS white pickup with a cracked windshield, which shimmies at high speeds. We drove it yesterday, it sucked and stunk, but it was fine.
"Today, we are taking that other flaming pile." The vet truck the old intern used to drive. Well... they got it started, she got in it, drove it a little ways before discovering it has NO BRAKES, parked it and shut it off... and it would not start again. Truck # 2, out of commission, towed away.

So we took Flaming Pile today, "Hilljack" style as she called it- a cardboard box in the back seat next to the student, piled with the stuff we'd need for the day, but pitifully lacking in the basics you need for any vet emergency... oh well.

We were driving along, headed towards lunch. Suddenly all the warning and emergency lights came on, then some buzzers, and the truck was having some sort of seizure. She got all excited at it and started swearing... and then, it was gone. Blank. No controls (except that the F'N RADIO STILL F'N WORKED). She, all 5 feet of her, stood up on the brake pedal and steered that Flaming Pile with all her might towards the side of the road. We were all concentrating so hard on willing the damn thing to safety that we didn't notice where we were.

Somewhere in rural Ohio, on a backroad (yet one that has a 50 mph sign), past fields of corn... we managed to pull into a shady spot on the side of the road, where the grass helped stop its progress and it ground to a halt.

To the left, across the road, was a field of corn.

To the right... abandoned trucks and cars. And a great, big empty abandoned creepy house, overgrown with windows missing, completely shielded from view by the road by a row of overgrown shrubs and trees.


She went into a frenzy of calling everyone at the university to get us help. They were willing to call a tow, but NO ONE CARED ABOUT THE PEOPLE. "We can't help you with that, sorry."
"How about a cab? A groom? Someone?"
"No, sorry... can't help you..."

Are you F'n kidding me???

Mean while we had dissolved into complete hysterics (and hysteria) in the cab of the truck. Firstly, out of nowhere a little old man in a tiny Kia came out of the backyard (which was filled with abandoned cars). He entreated us to move the truck as he was on a very important errand to get pizza.


So we three women pushed that Flaming Pile up 5 feet to let the little car out. And the little elfin/trollish old man in it. It was really really bizarre, friends, truly. Where did he come from? We got curious. I said:
"You know, this is the part where the zombies come out of the house. Or the cult comes from the backyard and brings us to the shed in the back."
"yeah- pizza for WHO? The cult, or the voices in his head?"
Weird, people, really f'n weird.

All this time we have the passenger doors open, and the hazard lights on. Suddenly the truck went into a heart attack. The needles in the gauges all went wild, flipping up in a weirdly heartbeating rhythm; then the clicking of the hazards sped up (tachycardia! It's having a heart attack!) We dissolved once again into hysterics, screaming for the drugs we sadly did not have... and then FLATLINE!!! Yes, it actually made that horrific long drawn out beep, the needles lay down for the last time and the hazards then shut off forever.

She then starts flipping out-
"This F'n Flaming Pile is gonna catch fire, blow up, something! Let's get the crap out of the damn thing before it takes us and the expensive ultrasound with it!" So out of the truck we got, all our crap piled on the grass under the big creepy cedar trees...

I then went on to say:
"Ok, this is the part where it gets really dark and we are forced to go sleep in the creepy abandoned house, where the zombies eat our brains. BRAAAAIIIINNNNSSSSS...." So then she starts yelling at me (jokingly of course).

We were rescued eventually. Our lovely secretary sacrificed her LUNCH BREAK to come and get us.

As we packed her SUV with our crap, student and us and went to drive away, I looked to the right where the abandoned cars lay quietly in the grass and saw SEVERAL SMALL CHILDREN STARING INTENTLY AT US!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(please see My Photos for additional footage of this adventure.)


Wed, June 4, 2008
Once again I am awake at a very odd hour for me, because I cannot sleep. The storms here are incredibly powerful; I no longer have the sweet rolling hills of Massachusetts to temper their force.

I used to be paralyzingly terrified of thunderstorms. In the last few years I have slept through many storms... but now I am back where I was, ever the barometer, waking up at least a half hour before (if not sooner) and then forced to sit with fear while the storm rages outside. Was I numb these last few years, with exhaustion from vet school? Did the hostel wake up more than just my sense of wonder, but also my connection to the weather? I am pretty damn empathic and sensitive, and it has come back with a vengeance.

I became sensitive to storms as a very young lassie- I think due to a few wild and weird experiences with the poltergeist in our house and a few severe thunderstorms. These experiences were intense, and real (my mom experienced the poltergeist too, so it wasn't my own hallucination) and enough to give me a paralyzing fear.

Paralyzing fear- if you haven't got one, I'll explain: when the storm would start, I would be completely unable to move- frozen under the covers, eyes wide with terror, afraid that if I moved the storm monster or whatever would find me, see me, devour me somehow... I can't really explain. I would barely breathe.

When I got a little bit older, age 7 or so, I grew bold enough to wait until the roll of thunder passed, and I would sprint to my mother's bed and hide underneath. She always had a dust ruffle so I would make sure I was hidden, and wait out the storm there. Only when I was absolutely certain the storm had passed would I brave the trek back to my bed. I don't know if she knew I was doing that (I'm pretty sure she was sleeping) and she never brought it up.

This behavior came to a screaming halt one night (literally) when I was 12, ashamed and way too old to still be afraid and hiding under the bed. My stepdad, feeling bad for me, reached down to pet me... but his timing was horribly, horribly off. He reached down just as lightening lit up the room, so my worst fear came true- a hand! The lightening was going to get me! I screamed in fear and woke my mom up, who started yelling at me (out of her own fear, I'm sure). That was that. After that night I began to creep into my little brother's bed (that bastard slept like a rock, never EVER knew, don't you dare tell him) until the shame of that also grew too much to bear. So I began to wait it out alone again, paralyzed in my bed.

When I was 17 I moved into my first apartment in Sunderland, with Danielle. The first storm in my apartment came when she wasn't home. Dammit! I had graduated to being ok as long as other people were in the house. Well- I was alone in an apartment that (as it turns out) also had some spirit activity (faeries, we think, as things were constantly being misplaced and moved around.) That night I had a life changing experience. I got out of bed because I heard voices, and to my complete amazement, there were people yahooing and hooting, hollering, cartwheeling in the parking lot in the rain, shouting up to the sky as the thunder roared!

What a thought!

Emboldened, I went out onto the stoop and stood under the awning, huddled with my neighbors who didn't wish to get wet but still wanted to holler... with...

Yes, joy for the storm. I couldn't believe it. Since I always felt better with other people, I stayed on that stoop with my new neighbors and began to understand the joy of the storm. After that night, I turned my fear into fascination with an edge of excitement- that feeling you get when you are scared but somehow enjoying it. (I still feel better if someone is within reach though.) I began to be able to fall asleep more quickly after a storm; and in the past four years have even slept through some of them. A barometer no longer, so I thought.

The last few storms, though, I have once again been acutely aware. I'm no longer paralyzed but definitely tense when alone. I can't help it. Having the kitties around helps, since they were sleeping until that one loud and close crack...

Undercover Faeries from the Forest

Mon, June 2, 2008
Whirring of wings... tinkling glass in the gentle breeze... tittering laughter held by the branches, released into the sky... the sunlight dappled the soft sand path as the faeries gathered at the little dome, irridescent and rippling in the tender light that filtered through the canopy of leaves. They gathered and in a myriad of soft voices discussed the need for a scouting to the outside world.
"There are some supplies we need, someone must go!"
"I wish to see the great mother ocean again!"
"It is time once again to explore the human world and see what is going on! Our world is surrounded by humanity... we must always keep an eye to the border, see what must be seen!"
And so it went on this way for a time, running between the hilarity of what must be out there, to the silent fear of what must be faced.
Finally a brave group was chosen.

In the way of faeries, it took quite a long time for the scouting party to leave. The faeries, you see, had a few human things to help them to cope and blend with the outside world; but as time does not pass in the regular way in the Forest, and possessions do not have the same significance, it took quite some time to locate the keys to the cars the faeries kept, and to gather the entire party into agreement to leave at once.

In time, the faeries split up into two scouting parties and departed.

Two of the faerie women left by the long winding tree tunnel road. They giggled all the way to the car, as the enormity of what they were undertaking had not yet sunk in. Tittering they went, passing on silent bare feet under the sweet filtered sunlight to the car. In the car they giggled at the controls and the keys, until finally they settled into the seriousness of what was to be.
"ooh, the outside world! Can we really do this?" one of them exclaimed.
"We can! We must remember we are undercover!" the other replied.

And so they maneuvered the car down the long dappled road overhung with trees, the music of Faerie resounding in their ears, soothing their passage. Up ahead they saw the end of the tree tunnel, a giant upside-down U of bright light, with cars ripping through their vision at incredible speeds. They crawled the car up to the entrance and opened the gate. For a time they sat parked, facing the sunlight, as their vision was adjusted to the delicate sunlight of the Forest and not at all to the glaring bare Road with its bright bare light!
"oooh! wow!" they giggled as they sat.

Soon the other scout party roared by in their car, pulling over to wait. The parties were united on the road and began their trek to the Mother Ocean. Along the highway they went, their senses overwhelmed by the brightness and speed of all the things around them. Having lived under the trees in a place that does not care to keep time or a fast pace, they were shocked by how time passed, and by the sights around them. They squealed at the sights as they drove- flowers by the side of the road, shiny signs, people and fast cars everywhere.
"What stories we will have for them!"
"We must remember to act human when we get out of this car!"
"How is it we will manage?"

Finally they made it to the ocean. It was a wonderous place of salt, sand, and sea. It was a place where the trees appeared to have walked to the shore to die, becoming great monoliths of sculpture, beautiful pieces of art worn by the harsh elements there. The scouting party played and cavorted along the shore, climbing the great dead trees, splashing as merfolk in the lovely sea water.

After a time the faeries grew hungry and decided to scout for food. They drove once again on the human roads and decided to eat at a human eating place. This was perhaps the most strange experience they had, for they had to interact with people and remember how to act as one of them. Although they felt they were doing a good job, their keen eyes and ears picked up the resonance that perhaps they weren't blending quite as well as they could. At this they laughed, and took joy in causing confusion... why not?

Two of the faeries departed to fly a long way to the North, where their own clan lived. The rest of the scouting party returned to the comfort and safety of the Forest, reveling in the gentleness and timelessness of the place; in the good food, thankfulness and company there.
"Life is difficult for humans outside the Forest!" said one.
"Yes... scouting parties, they are so necessary, but I for one am glad to be home."


Wed, February 6, 2008
Dimly through the music playing in my ears as I practiced dancing with my poi I began to hear deep voices, laughter and the slam! slam! of a basketball on the other side of the divider. I kept dancing, ignoring the sound- I usually have the gym to myself, with just the runners on the track over my head. As I lay on the ground practicing my ground moves (plow pose, poi spinning above my ass) I suddenly realize there's a jarhead on the track above me shouting and grinning to whomever is dribbling on the other side. Laughter and shouts greet him, he's taking pictures of them with his cell phone, grinning like a maniac.

I finish dancing and go change into my track sneaks. I've been running on that second story track lately, to keep my stamina in preparation for spring running in the woods. As I get onto the track I realize that there is an entire pack of jarheads on the court now, booming laughter, pushing each other, general big dude mayhem as they organize their game. There's a smorgasboard down there, all races and colors, but they look like they've all come out of the same press mold. All roughly 6 feet tall, shaved heads or flattops, t-shirts tight across the pecs, shorts and sneakers.

They start their game. This is no ordinary polite game of pickup. They're screaming like monkeys, slamming each other into the walls, the floor, each other... they're out for bruises and blood. The game starts to heat up, primal screams and booming laughter, deep shouts echo off the walls as they start to really sweat. Every now and then one or another will watch me cruise by.

As they start to sweat, the heat and energy of their game starts to rise. If it had a scent, it would be fierce and pungent, with sharp teeth and intent. Suddenly I realize I am reacting to this, this invisible, ephemeral cloud of sweat and pheromones carrying up to the second floor track. You would never catch me giving my phone number to any one of these guys; alone, they are not attractive- but as a sweaty group, screaming and pushing and joyous, it is intoxicating. I am their captive audience, running around and around, the grin on my foolish face getting wider and wider. My stride lengthens, my energy rises, I am sweating along with them- stupid body, I was born to react to this even if I am intellectually uninterested. Biology. I start to ache for spring. Their screams make me laugh, I can't seem to help it. As soon as my time is up I get the hell out of there. Wow.

blood orange

Sat, January 19, 2008
I have a strange quirk. Ok, I have many, but this one seems to amuse people far more than it should.

I sniff my fruit before I buy it. If I can't smell it, it goes back. It's not just any sniff, but a deep inhale. Having a wonderfully unique nose, which I believe is designed for such a delicate and sensual task, I am sensitive to the scent of fruit and will not buy it if: 1. I cannot smell it and 2. if the smell is disagreeable to me. Such a habit appeals, also, to my sensual nature... everything must be artistic or romantic my heart for me to enjoy life. And I make it so.

So. A few incidences have happened in the local grocery around this odd habit which make me laugh (I am my own favorite clown.)

I walked into the grocery to buy a few things to prepare for my trip to Ohio. I always start in the fruit aisle, so that I can set the mood into food sensuality and obtain that sense of Zen I get when I shop there. (I cook in my head as I walk, that's how I roll). Sadly the pomegranates are gone (a definite seductive favorite of mine) and I moved on to look for something else fabulous to concentrate on.

And then I saw them. Oh! Blood oranges!!!! Inside I squealed like a little girl, a shiver running from my heart (which did, in fact, skip a beat) down to my toes, a blush coming into my cheeks. I know I had a smile of a mad woman, and dashed forward to bury my hands in the pile. Oh, the perfect one, let's start with the perfect one... just a little blush, the best scent, not too ripe, there it is, yes... oh yes... I pick up the fruit, bring it to the nose (just close enough to very nearly touch) and AAAAHHHHH.... gently held in the fingers, nice deep sniff. Then several small sniffs, eyes closed. Oh, I was right. It IS perfect, this is the one. Yes.

I open my eyes and look up, out. Straight into the eyes of a guy who was picking out some broccoli. He had the oddest look on his face, and if I was privy to his thoughts it would go something like this:
"That's fucking weird, man, but somehow sexy and I am confused as hell"
To me, of course, it was all as in a French film, at an outdoor market. Gorgeous.

Another incident was much funnier.
In March, I was beginning my rotations, completely unaccustomed to working at all much less being on my feet for hours and hours. After work one day I went to the grocery. And headed, as usual, for the fruit.

Pears were coming into season. Nothing smells just as extraordinarily like it tastes as a ripe pear. The scent will tell you when it's ripe, when it is ready and begging for your teeth. Oh yes. I went over to the bin and selected a Bartlett, after gently pressing its flesh with my fingers to find it firm but with some give... likely perfect... is it? Bring it to the nose, close the eyes...
Oh, but I am so tired... so tired........ I was falling asleep on my feet as it was and my head hung just a bit too low as I inhaled the fine scent of this likely specimen. My eyes stayed closed perhaps a bit too long and when I opened them I noted a person in my peripheral vision. Startled, I turned my head with a somewhat guilty expression on my face (as one would assume when gently kissing a clandestine lover at a train station, perhaps???) to look into the eyes of the intern on my rotation.
"good pear, is it?"
"heh, uh, yeah, I, uh, sniff fruit. I mean, I like fruit, I sniff it to pick the best ones. Um."

how in the world do you explain that? What a weirdo.

the Winter Wood

Mon, January 14, 2008
My heart is full to the bursting right now! I have not been to the Wood in weeks, and I had forgotten how it fulfills me, how it completely satisfies my senses, in so many ways.

We were let out early as the hospital was 'closed'- pared down to essential personnel, and as we had no appointments, we left. I went home, put on my black ski pants, bright green shirt, black fleece vest, long green elf hat... and... my SKIS!!!!

I skied on over through the cemetery to the Wood. It is amazing how the sound falls away as soon as I enter. Only the squeak and shush of snow beneath the skis as I whisk along. Though it has been many months since they've been on my feet, my body knows them well- I've been doing this for years now, years.

The magic of the wood came over me immediately, giving my thoughts stillness, and filling my heart with love. That's what I decided today- it is a deep sense of well being, of feeling enveloped and complete. Love. I love that place, deeply, and I feel such gratitude that it is there and that I can enjoy it like this.

Slowly I made my way to the Pine Grove. That is the heart of it, the place that holds the most magic and peace. I was careful as I went, careful not to disturb pine boughs hanging low and heavy with snow. Such perfection, in the path, deep white snow with boughs hanging in arches over the path. So breathtaking, so beautiful, amazing. Tracks everywhere- rabbits, deer, chipmunk.

I entered the Pine Grove and as I came around the bend I heard an owl. I went into the center of the Grove and waited. Beneath me is a little valley (a perfect 'jump' for snowmobiles and skis, as it is used for these days). The bowl was glowing in the afternoon light, that odd blue of perfect, untouched deep snow. No one had been here yet, the snow was completely undisturbed. I stood there for a long time drinking in that light and listening to the owl.

As I skied the road home, I was gifted the sight of the sky turning rose above Hayes Pond. I have no words, because I will say beautiful and amazing over and over. It is true, though, that is what I feel.

At last I feel some peace, like something that was missing was returned to me. I had not imagined how much I relied on the Wood, and on exercise in general, to keep my senses in line with who I truly am. There is no bitterness and anger in me as I travel there, it is impossible. There is only love and peace, and I need it as much if not more than I need the food I eat each day. If only there was room to keep me going there every day as I would wish. Someday soon! Someday I will have my life as I want it, and I imagine myself relaxing back into the oddly optimistic and cheerful nymph I know myself to be.

Tomorrow I will return, if I am out before the light fails.

Passing with Grace

Wed, January 2, 2008
I wish I could have been with every single person I care about for New Year's, but alas! I have not mastered the art of teleporting or cloning... so I had to make a tough choice of where to go, and committed myself to a grand adventure. NYC and CoSM.

I had a great time, danced myself into a lather... for hours and hours.

Ms Imani held an intention ritual, where we would think about the lessons we have learned in the past year, and things we want to let go of... followed by thoughts of what we wish to call in this New Year. Although I did something very similar for Solstice (thank you A and K) I found myself flowing with it, and let what needed to appear come forward.

I found that the vision of the fire still holds a lot of power for me. It was difficult to stand in the street watching it all burn. So during the ritual, a daydream began... a daydream, a vision, of how to heal and go beyond it.

I stood in the street watching the house burn. Looking up at the second story window, my bedroom window, with flames licking out and skyward. I was standing, naked... levitated up to the window, with an incredible sense of peace and calm. Naked, I walked through the window, as flames roared around me. Slowly, I walked through the room with my arms out, fingers out stretched, caressing the essence of all the dreams, hopes, wishes and magic held in the objects found there. Impressions of these things, links to my past, swirled around me in eddys, catching on my fingertips and whisping away. I did not try to hold onto anything, just looked objectively and calmly at all the objects burning around me.

I continued through the house and sought my cats. I found them with thought, in their final resting place; I did not go and see them, but sent them waves upon waves of peace and love. Calm. Sleep. It's alright, let go. I am with you.

Out through the kitchen, smoke, but nothing touches me but the essence of what was there. Plants- let them go... everything whirling gently around, almost indistinguishable from smoke, and whisping away. Out of the door I went, and came to the porch, stepped down and stood looking at the backyard. I was naked still, unharmed by fire or smoke, whole. Those things I touched were with me in memory but gone, as should be; let go.

This vision of naked-through-the-flames continued as I began to think of the trauma of some of this education; the humiliation and suffering caused by stress and striving. Naked, I let the yelling and suffering roll down my back and flow into the earth- grounded. Not a hair on me is harmed. Coolness, smoothness... I am whole. Let go.

I have my wishes, now, my intentions for the new year. I hold them inside, gently with cupped hands as one holds a lily; I will not squash my dreams but keep them from harm, anchored as one can be anchored by a feather.

It was only one day off, but I feel refreshed and ready to face this year. I am ready to let go of the trauma and suffering brought by 2007, the needless and endless fear of the future. It is what it is. Good things are coming.

I wish you all peace and fulfillment of your desires and dreams in the new year.
blessed be.

Stuck on the Train Tracks!

Fri, December 21, 2007
This sort of thing only happens to me, I swear. My life is a crazy jumble of misadventures... I truly, truly am the Queen of Chaos. This really happened, so sit back, laugh and enjoy.

It was cold when I stepped out of the house; I left a little earlier, sick of being late for morning rounds because I had so many patients to care for. Blearily I got into my car and started my short, one mile drive.

It was slushy, so I decided to go up to the light rather than through my usual shortcut (which is poorly plowed). As I got towards the light I saw a short little road that seemed to lead to the main road and avoid the light- a 15 foot shortcut! Wow, I wonder who plowed that? Well, fuck it, I'm taking it.

Uh, yeah.

I got about 7 feet in and was hopelessly, thorougly wedged. It was not plowed, it was an illusion. Oh, but it gets worse. I get out of the car to try and dislodge it myself (ha!) and suddenly I realize I have a clear line of sight... down... THE TRAIN TRACKS.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I tried to take a shortcut down the tracks that run through downtown Grafton. Brilliant.
Fucking brilliant.

Now, this is a tiny factory train that runs twice daily and goes about 5 MPH. But it's still a TRAIN!!!

So the guy that lives next to this particular stretch is watching me pace and curse; he tried to help me but it was hopeless- train tracks are slippery on the best of days.

I called AAA. They were panicked that I was stuck on tracks ("no, you don't understand, it goes 5 MPH, please just get me out of here"). They called Grafton Police for me to try to get me a truck sooner.

Here's the kicker.



someone is STUCK ON TRAIN TRACKS and they don't bother to show??? I mean, there's no crime here, someone speeds about once per month. what the fuck were they doing all morning?

It took two hours for a truck to come and get me. Meanwhile I was shaking, stressed, freaked out... hopelessly, horribly late on a day I was to be on time...

this shit only happens to me.

They called me Nell at school (who Dick Dastardly tied to the tracks) and I will never hear the end of it.


Thu, November 22, 2007
The fog of the morning burned away with the noon sun, and the gentle surprise was how warm it got. Out into the Wood I went, to run among the trees. I was not five minutes under the deep canopy when I realized it was warmer than I thought, so I stripped down to my tank top and let the delicious air sluice over my skin like water. This warmth made me so happy I was fleet of foot, running toes out with high steps. Lovely.

Throughout the Wood there are several footbridges. The Wood, on the whole, is very loved and well cared for, somewhat mysteriously. All of the bridges are clean, whole, and sturdy... all except for one, that is.

Thump! Thump! Thump! Over the first bridge I go, the surety of feet over water, my steps careless. Up the bank I fly, never looking back. These bridges are something, though; the streams in this place are nestled deep in gullies, so that the paths rush down at the bridge and back up with some pretty hearty inclines- so I am always flying down, arms out, and flying back up on my toes.

Through the Wood I go, over rocks and logs, slaloming from bank to bank on some of the river-carved paths. I passed on the edge of the Wood by a field, and came to the not-so-nice bridge. In fact- I use the word 'bridge' rather loosely here; several broken down palates, carelessly tossed there at some point to ward away the mud that collected there. Yes- it was not even a stream to note, just a place where water sometimes collected in stagnant pools and made the traveller inconvenienced for having to scramble over broken boards, slippery boulders and loose rocks. My strategy is to land square on the most whole of the wood, then onto the nearest boulder, and try to clear the whole mess in two strides.

I landed neatly on the palate, which made a distinct sucking sound from yesterday's melted snow. Off I sprang, onto a boul---
--and splat, right onto my ass, half in the mud and half in the bushes.

That was a rock that yelled at me, it was. No, it's (holy shit) moving, WTF???
The rock turned around, slowly, and glared at me. Not a rock. A troll (?). A rather small, but angry troll.

(Dunyan was not pleasant, as trolls go (and trolls are not known for their friendliness or hospitality, in general.) He'd spent his long life in the Wood, dealing with the fact that he was too small to have any of the real bridges- those all were taken by his bretheren. The others of his kind took every opportunity to remind him of his small stature; either by beating the crap out of him, or taunting him and his rat trap 'bridge' at every opportunity.

And now this. Some big cow clod of a girl, jumping on his head as if he didn't have enough of a headache. She sat there blinking at him, and he wanted to laugh, except that he was pissed beyond words.)

I started to pick myself out of the mud, unsure whether or not I should be afraid of the thing. Troll? Gnome? I though trolls were bigger.

"I'm sorry I stomped on you. I didn't see you. You, ah, blend in." He did; his hat and overcoat were the color of, well, mud; and he and the clothing were misshapen so as to look like- rocks. Yes, rocks. Muddy rocks.
"Sorry, eh? Yeah you and everyone else. You know, this ain't your woods; ain't mine neither but this IS my bridge and you ain't gotta be steppin on it, or me! I's just tryin to live, do my job here takin care of my bridge, and you an everyone else in this stinkin Wood always steppin all over me. People, dogs (don't get me started on dog shit, neither!), hell even the damn coons! No respet, none at all."
I just stared at him. Whatever I expected from my first encounter with a (troll? Gnome?) I knew it wasn't going to be pleasant, but certainly not a tirade like this.
"Yes, well, Mr.- uh, what is your name?"
"Dunyan. And before you ask I'm NOT a gnome, those simpering little garden farts."
"Right, I knew you were a troll. Had to be. Anyway, really, I am sorry."

heh heh

White Magic and the Stag King

Tue, November 20, 2007
The first snow, falling; I sat at my table, fidgety, wanting to go run and play. All morning I studied away until the anxiety over the exam and the need to burn off the adrenalin of fear became apparent... and finally the sharp desire to bounce into the cold won out.

It was cold, but I was somewhat bundled. Snow does something to me; excites me, and quiets me all at once. Fills me with a sense of magic and richness. It makes the winter bearable, wonderful...

And so I ran. I ran carefully, up on the balls of my feet, bouncing gently along the path. Going up hills, avoiding rocks now hidden not just under leaves now but under snow as well. This all I managed gracefully, sailing over fallen logs and small streams, rocks and gullies. Pure bliss. After a while I found my stride and felt my muscles relax, and felt I could go at that pace all day long- and probably could.

I came to the part of the forest dominated by pines, thick with green. This part of the forest is especially lovely; quiet, serene, covered in needles and so kind to the senses. When I leapt over the fallen stone wall the sharp scent of resin hit my nose, stronger than ever before, and this startled me to a stop in the middle of the bed of pine needles. There was something else mixed in with the strong balsam scent- something wild, something at once strange and familiar. It was so quiet, so very quiet- even still, I sensed rather than hear the movement off to the side of the clearing I stood in.

There, in the branches, I saw a face. I nearly leapt out of my skin; eyes peering into mine, aware, alive and oh so old. So very very old, yet young and beautiful all at once. He carefully stepped clear of the branches and I began to see what I missed when he was hidden in the pines- graceful antlers rising out of his thick hair... that, and he was not wearing all that much. Tall. So very tall, as the trees, and strong- a perfect visage of the humanesque hunter, but alien to it, a thing in itself.

The heat in my body from the run rose entirely up to my face. And to my thighs. One cannot look upon this kind of intense male beauty without feeling it call to the deepest core, the primal self. I stood there only breathing, just breathing- it was all I could manage. This face, this face- I could only gaze and admire, it had in it elements of every male I have ever loved, befriended, cared for- everything I have ever admired in that fine half of our species. And yet it held more, so much more; wisdom and experience, deep care and yet a frightening carelessness that I understood somewhere in my mind.

He advanced towards me, and I stood frozen as a doe on the soft powder covered needles. I was as unable to move as if I had been frozen there in time. It did not matter- I would never have moved for all the world. Those eyes, they never left mine; deep forest pools, green and blue and brown and yellow all at the same time, brighter than anything else in my vision. I could not speak, and he did not need to. When he was but a foot from me, the scent of him filled my lungs- pine, musk, wheat, wild, earth, snow- I am unable to say perfectly what it was. I could not bear to look at his face anymore, too much, longing filling my heart, and so I closed my eyes. The rest of me knew exactly how far away he was and how slowly he approached me. When he reached me, I felt a touch on my hand, lips on my face- right between my brows, on my third eye.

A howling filled my ears at that touch. Wings, whinnies, the scream of a wildcat. Hoofbeats, growls and cries I could not discern. The whole of animal kind filled my ears, my heart. I gasped aloud with the sheer weight of it- pain? I cannot say. The cries filled me and were gone, so fast. They were gone but I was filled with something, some sense... I opened my eyes and the Stag King was gone. I stood (alone?) in the clearing, facing the pond nestled in a gully nearby. The light, so odd, reflected off the pond and I felt incredibly alive.


Tue, November 13, 2007
I went for a jog today at 4:30 (got out early) in the woods, thinking it would be enough time for 45 minutes maybe before it gets dark. Uh, yeah. It's dark now and it isn't quite 5:30.

So I was way out (I cover a lot of ground) and no where to go but back out... through the woods... could barely see my hands, since the twilight in the forest happens far sooner. It's ok... I'm a good trailblazer, use the rest of my senses to guide me back out. Anyway, deep in the woods where the old stone walls lay crumbling, no where to go but back out... and came up with another tale. Enjoy.

We were loping along as fast as we could, my mare and I, through the tunnel made by the trees. Twilight was on us, that strange quality of light that tricks you into thinking you can see when really your peripheral vision is the only reliable source of information. I knew that the road lay a ways ahead, along with some form of civilization, and I was eager to reach it. There is something about the forest at night that never leaves me at ease, no matter how many years I have been a witch.

Suddenly the mare shied and snorted. She had some sense about her, though, and kept her head- and I saw what she was looking at. I gasped aloud- there, on the path, was a full grown gray wolf. It stood in the middle so we could not pass, looking calmly at us as we came to a rather ungraceful stop, all legs and rattling stones. Something was strange here; it kept eye contact with me, and I did not feel afraid after the initial shock had passed. I kept the mare calm and she steadied under my hand, against her every screaming instinct. The wolf stared into my eyes, and I felt something pass; it turned, started down the path, and looked back at us again. I had the keen feeling that we were to follow... and so we did. This somehow settled my mare, making her more than a little curious- we were not being chased, but doing the chasing? Strange.

It led us down the path and a little ways down, turned quickly off into a small side path, no wider than a deer's trail. It looked back to be sure we were following. We followed the wolf for another moment or two- it was so strange, I lost track of time- as the forest grew darker and darker. It was quite easy to follow it, the gray fur shining in the dark like snow does- illuminated almost from within.

The path ended and the wolf turned, looked at us, and stepped to the side revealing what was at the end. It then walked to a large oak a little ways away and lay down, watching. The tiny clearing the path led to had the strangest sight I had yet seen- a rose bush, in full bloom, and at this time of the year! My mare snorted, again uneasy- for the magic was thick here, and it unsettled her. This and the fact that the wolf was now near enough to smell- but she quieted again, realizing it was no threat, and I dismounted, tying her to a tree on the opposite side.

I walked over to the rosebush and the smell of it was overpowering even within a few feet of it. As I walked the wolf watched me, and I it; it was alright. Right when I was within touching distance of the amazing roses, I suddenly understood what this was, and why I was here. Remember who you are, your name, your magic... it is always here...

there may be more to this story, I don't know. The woods I have been running in seem to be full for me of stories and magic. I really love running there- I can't even describe how much, or what a balm it is for my soul.


Sun, November 4, 2007
Yet another fable I dreamed up; this one on today's jog. Enjoy.

Once upon a time there lived a spoiled young noblewoman... ok, most were spoiled, but this story pertains in particular to Nerina. Nerina was young and beautiful, accustomed to having whatever she needed or wanted at a mere pout of her pretty lips, or a snap of her delicate fingers. That is, until she became smitten...

Every Saturday she saw a particular young nobleman riding through the park with his brothers. Whenever he should ride by, she would swoon and giggle with her girlfriends. What great fun, to have such a crush! They engineered many ways that she should run into him; at balls, social teas and other such gatherings. He was always the perfect gentleman; always had a smile for the pert young miss, but no more- for his heart was already set on a dark haired lady in the next town.

Eventually she grew frustrated and tired of having her subtle hints ignored (for it was not proper to come right out and tell a man, not at her age and station.) She began to become somewhat surly at having no progress, and her girlfriends grew impatient with her. One day one of them finally suggested, why not go see the Witch of the Hill? Perhaps get a love spell, or some other such charm?

She was silent at this suggestion at first, but the light returned to her eyes and they huddled down together, all whispers and mischief- finally, there was something she could do!

Everyone in the town knew of the Witch. She was respected, feared and revered for many towns around. It was said that her spells were always incredibly accurate- even deadly so, as the rumors went. The witch was not one to be toyed with, however; she was to be paid finely, always respected, and avoided if possible.

And so their plan grew thick. One fine early autumn day, the young miss and her friends set out for the Hill. She brought for the witch a fine laying hen and a beautiful filigree barrette her uncle brought her from across the ocean. For good luck (and let's be honest, she feared the witch- and so, to ward off evil) she sewed a copper coin into her bodice. At the bottom of the hill they were flush with excitement, talking in low whispers and giggles; by the time they neared the top, their hearts were pounding and they were quite silent. The friends refused to go in, but assured her they would wait by the apple tree by the gate, watching for her.

She was afraid, but raised to believe that she could do no wrong, and that she was welcome wherever she should trod with her pretty slippers. Up to the door of the cottage she went, heart pounding but head held high. On to the porch she went; but before she could knock a voice in the garden made her start and clutch her throat.

"Good day, miss. Fine day for a walk, eh?"
She looked round, and saw a beautiful old woman standing among the herbs. This was not what she expected! At least a wart or two, perhaps, maybe a torn skirt? No, this woman was tall and willowy, with long grey hair escaping her kerchief, fingers stained green from working the herbs. Her face showed the beauty it once radiated when she was young, which had only grown more refined with the years. Somehow Nerina found this harder and more fearful.

"Good day. I was wondering if I might have...a... er... word? With you? Today?"
The woman smiled pleasantly and brushed off her hands.
"Of course! It was about time I had some tea, by the by. Why don't you join me?" She looked over at the apple tree, in time to see one rosey cheek disappear behind it. "And your friends... they would perhaps like some as well?" She said with a raised eyebrow, smiling wryly.

"Oh, no; they want to enjoy the sunshine; they didn't want to come with me but I convinced them, I'd rather let them be."

And so they went into the neat little cottage. There was lace on the windows, and the cups and saucers were fine, painted with forget-me-nots and filigreed with silver. This was not at all what she had imagined, laying in her bed last night.

"Now, tell me... what did you really come here for?"

"Ah, well. Well, there's this handsome young man, you see..."

"I see. One of those, eh? Before you go any further, let me say this- mucking about with a real love spell is not at all what you would dream up. Using magic against anyone's will only goes awry, every time. The only time a love spell genuinely works is when it was among the thousands of possibilities of occurring, and merely needed a push."

"Oh, it's meant to be, I just know it! He smiles at me, and takes the time to talk to me..."

"Yes, but his heart is set on another, am I wrong?"

"How did you know?" Nerina said, looking startled, the red coming up on her cheeks.

"That is always the way these things go. Now, again, I will say; love spells only work when it is meant to happen. It can go dangerously wrong! Very dangerously! I will ask you to forget this plan; go on your merry way with your girlfriends. You are a bonny girl, you will not have any trouble finding a suitable handsome man to wed. Forget this plan- so much that you cannot imagine can happen when you play with matters of the heart."

"I beg you! I have thought of nothing but him for months on end now! Every time I see him, my heart jumps, I feel sick inside; when he speaks to me it is as a bell in my heart. I cannot go on until he takes notice of me, until he pledges himself to me!"

And so this went on, the witch kindly trying to convince the young lass against the idea of manipulating anyone with magic. The girl would not budge, and insisted.

Finally, with a sigh, the witch gave in.
"Alright. I will give you a spell, but remember that I warned you; if it is not in the realm of possibility, it will fail and there may be consequences. Of course, the consequence may only be a belly ache, I cannot say... it could be far, far worse."

The girl watched in trepidation as the witch moved about her tidy kitchen, opening cupboards and muttering under her breath. Finally after some time, she set a cup of tea in front of the girl and bade her to drink it.
"Wait. First, you must tie this kerchief round your eyes. This is how the spell will work. Your girlfriends must lead you blindfolded until they find him. When you hear his voice, take off the kerchief- the man you are meant to love and marry forever; when he meets your eyes, he will fall in love with you and all will be well. Do not take it off until you hear his voice!" Not hearing the subtle warning disguised in her instruction, the girl eagerly tied on the kerchief and swallowed the tea in two gulps.

The witch took the payment, led her out to her friends and bade her farewell.
"I truly hope this goes as you wish, my dear."

Down the hill they set, giddy with excitement. They knew of the tavern the young man liked to visit on certain nights with his brothers to play cards; if they hurried, they could meet him outside before he went in for the evening. They gripped her arm, pulling her along, giggling and squealing in high spirits.

The young man was riding up the road with his brothers just as they came into town. They hurried her along, and when he drew up and dismounted, they pulled off her blindfold. One of them said good day to him; as he spoke, she opened her eyes, standing squarely before him... and...

"Oh, what has happened? I am blind! Oh, I am blind, I cannot see!"
"Miss, miss! Are you alright? Your eyes are open, has something happened?"
She began to breathe hard, panic taking over; she truly could not see, though her eyes were open wide.
"Are you looking in my eyes? Do they look different"
"Yes, miss! I am looking, nothing looks amiss! Brother, ride for the doctor, ride quick."

She began to cry, for this was not at all how she had imagined it to be. Not at all! She was blind, and he indifferent! Blind!

"Oh, what shall I do??? I am blind, blind!"

And so the girls led her home, and the doctor came, though he could not see anything. When Nerina's father found out what had happened he tried to rouse the town against the witch for causing blindness in the girl, but to no avail; the town loved and feared their witch. She, they were convinced, kept the crops healthy and the cows in milk; if some silly girl tried to dabble in this or that potion, she was meddling where she ought not.

She stayed in the house and would not go about the town any longer. For days and days she wept, both for the condition in which she found herself and for the man who utterly failed to fall in love with her. Her girlfriends kept her company day after day, doing up her hair and bringing over their knitting to keep her company. Several times they suggested returning to the hill to ask for a reversal but Nerina was much too distraught and distrustful for this.
"Jealous, she is, jealous! Because I am young and beautiful, and she an ugly old hag!"
Her friends merely sat and clucked over her, bringing her gossip from day to day and plotting how to get her back out into society once more.

And so the months wore on, winter came and went, and spring arrived with fresh air and the scent of plowed fields. The blindness did not abate in this time and her sullen mood prevailed.

One day, a man rode through town selling handcrafted swords and knives and such that he himself had forged. When he arrived at Nerina's home, the mistress of the house- her mother- welcomed him in; once a year he would come and his knives were of the finest quality. He would sharpen what knives they did have while he was there; and she was in the mood for a new pair of shears with which to cut the bolts of wool fabric the house produced each spring. This man had always admired Nerina, in her beauty and poise; but never cared much for the way she treated everyone around her. He was shocked, then, to see her in such a state- she was quiet, her eyes downcast, sitting with her hands folded and not adding much to the conversation the man had with her mother.

When her mother left the room to fetch the knives she needed sharpened, the man crossed the room and took her hands.
"Miss, what has happened to you, to render you into such a state? You were once so vibrant, and yet you seem so down and dreary."

Something in the timbre of his voice trickled into her subconscious, and she drew her head up, still not raising her eyes.
"I have become blinded because of my own foolishness."
"Ah. Magic, was it?"
His hands were warm on hers, and steady; she had felt so cold, so strange and lonely all the winter long. Suddenly she felt as if an arrow struck deep into her mind- she could *see* this man's character, really see it- the steadfastness, loyalty, the true heart and tender core.
"Yes. I asked for a love spell to make a hapless young man fall deeply in love with me, and it reversed itself on me because I was wrong. I tried to make another feel something he was not meant to feel."
"That never works, I know that; never. You can never change a person, you can never bring an idea into their heads as they weren't meant to have, that is the truth. The heart is what it is, and when it's right it is a stampede of galloping horses; when it is wrong, it will slip through your fingers like sand."

She raised her eyes, and if she had sight she would have met his. At that moment, however, something odd happened. A sound like a gong boomed in her mind, and the light that came then would have been blinding were she not already blind; she could *see* him, at the same moment he *saw* her; truly saw her, through the facade of spoiled child she once was, through the sadness she had nurtured all the months of winter. Slowly the light and pain abated in her head and she realized her vision was returning to her. This was the moment the thought went flitting through her head- "oh. That's what she meant. I have been such a fool."

His eyes were deep green, the skin about the edges crinkled just a bit from the sun; he was not fancy, not handsome in that creamy soft way that the noblemen were- but then, he was beautiful. Beautiful to her. She became sharply aware of his hands, his scent, his heat and nearness. He was shocked at what had just happened; both the strange sensation of wind sucking at his ears, and then realizing there was recognition in her eyes.
"What happened?"

"I don't know... I don't understand... I can see. I can see!"

And so you can imagine the rest, as it went from there.
If there is to be a moral, and once could be had here, it would be that love is blind... until it isn't.

When the Veil is Thin...

Thu, November 1, 2007
I floated in that strange and liquid place between sleeping and wakefulness, that place where deep magic can happen. That place where the conscious mind is not willing to let go completely- staying on duty enough to keep the body from sliding all the way into sleep, but fluidly making room for the subconscious to slide on in. And so it does, wielding a silver sword to sweep away the cobwebs of perceived reality to introduce the truth, as slippery and unreal as it may seem. Many times I have ridden here in this plane, and have had spells whispered in my ears, only to wake with the sound of a bell, or even the clear sound of my name being called... from within the mind.... not from without. This is the place where my magic solidifies; this is the place one tries to achieve in meditation, or with drugs. It is a place that is always available, should you know how to go there.

I floated there, on the night when the veil between the worlds is the thinnest, when the mind is most capable of connecting to other planes and piercing through to the truth. The thoughts came and went, ebbed and flowed, as I searched deeper and deeper into the rich loam of the lower parts of my mind- the place that feels the way that the earth smells when it is buried under decaying autumn leaves. Whispers in the mind, spells and visions floating past, but this is not what I came here for. I rooted deeper, pushing aside curled fronds of imagination until I brushed up against the disquiet, the rummaging in the underbrush that would not be still. Crouching there, I waited to see what would emerge. Still there were whispers caressing my ears, brushing my third eye; I sat still, waiting, that loam smell in my nose- in my mind.
what is it?
Ahhh... yes. Fear, it crouches there, tucked under the rotting leaves, waiting for the right times to sneak out and insinuate itself into the daily routine. I sat in the dirt and spoke softly to it, as if it were a frightened bird, uncomprehending except for the tone of my voice (spirt-heart) as to what my intentions are. Grown fat, it has, in the past years; given many reasons to glut itself as it hides, waiting. Touch this; rough- dirt- dark- trembling... it knows me and I it, but where do we part, where do we end? Then as I crouch I realize the error in this- and this is the magic; there is no separation. Fear is part of who we are, sitting with love and courage and hate and all the finer emotions that run the gamut over the years of our lives. Fear is not unlike the snake- as, or more, afraid of you as you are of it. To be handled with care, but handled frequently so as to not let it get too feral.

Sharp scent (sound? feeling?), and my head comes up. I merge into wakefulness and then the subconscious wins again, and I slide back down into the inbetween. What if you are worth infinitely more than you believe, and yet are never allowed to know this? That is what we all face. The dirt on my knees, then, keeps me humble. Would we rupture if we knew? That must be it; it would be impossible to dive fully into the dirty, earthy, scrumptious human experience if we knew we were all angels. If we knew we were all embodiment of light, and yet captured into the flesh in order to experience all the range of emotion, touch, smell and sound... and more than just that. I function in daily life, doing what needs to be done while my mind soars through the sky, runs through the forest and flows in the streams. And yet here, in this plane in which I sat, I am the spirit that lingers in the trees when I have gone home. The longing then, to return to this, becomes strong and I understand what it means to fully live and fully heal. The relaxation then is suddenly deep as the cool hands of my own light (being?) touch my (skin? soul?) and I understand I have crossed over, finally, into acceptance of the change of the season and the change of the pace I have been keeping.

When I do return, do wake, my senses are sharp. The forest mind lingers, because I have seen what lies beneath the leaves in my own lush and deep being. I can never fully know what I experienced in that plane... it is difficult even now to capture what took place in that hour and a half; yet, I feel more deeply seated, as I did years ago when I practiced magic almost daily. There now lies a patience in my heart that was not there for many many months- the franticness that took hold in the late spring with my loss has lessened its grip on me. I have gone deep and caressed the wounds there, though briefly; spoke the magic over the rifts and asked it to be still. I may now do what needs to be done, and gladly.

patterns in nature

Tue, October 30, 2007
I ran today in the crisp late afternoon and noticed how much the season is waning towards winter. The oak leaves have finally reached that wonderful color of oxblood leather, and everything is drying up to blend in dull golds and earth browns.

I have always noticed how much things in nature resemble one another but it is much more striking to me now that I am working closely with some amazing wild species. Is that a dried milkweed, or the feathers of an owl? Is that a leaf, or a chipmunk? A log- or a crouching bird? A vulture, or hawk, no... a bole in the fork of a tree...

With things becoming laid bare and visible with dropping of leaves, it is easy to become fooled by what you see. I ran at the hour just before dusk, when the sun was low and a liquid red. I reached the top of a rise in the woods where the sun hit an old stone wall and bathed it in light the color of cherry juice; I ran to the wall and stood on it, facing the sun to let my skin soak in the rose glow. I wanted to radiate that color, always. The forest I had just run through was unrecognizable, momentarily, swallowed up in this amazing light. Full of creatures imagined and real, all in stirring leaves and crooked branches, tumbled stones and twisted paths through the underbrush.

As I ran my periphery spoke of things running with me, running beside me... a wolf in a copse, a faerie hidden beside a leaf. Gnomes crouch by stumps, shy as I flash past. Sometimes at that hour I lose the path, and soar over the most amazing carpet of pine needles, certain in my sense of direction where the path may appear next; leaping over logs with imagined wolves at my heels.

The other day I was out a little later than I intended, and the light began to fail before I made it back out into the cemetery or the field, two of my favorite exits. Such little light, playing tricks on me under the dim canopy of pines who do not surrender to the season. Out of the corner of my eye I caught movement... leaf in the breeze? Wolf in the hedge? Who is to say? A little surge of fear, a tiny thrill of escape gave my feet wings and I flew through the copse to reach the field. There are no wolves here...
...or are there?

There is magic in the old woods of Massachusetts, surely as there is in my heart. This is why I run. It is for me like hiking, but faster; my brains have no time to keep up, there is only me, the crisp air and my feet. All my heart concentrates on what rock I must bounce to next, and not linger on what ails me. It is freedom, it is love, it is delight and desire all wrapped up in one. I am free, I am light, I am perfectly fluid, flying through the field of milkweed and queen of the meadow, with my hair flowing back from my face...ahhh.