Saturday, December 15, 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
So I feel pretty emotional right now, I know that's not a typical thing for me to say but there it is. I just got the tattoo in honour of Holle-Frija finished and for want of better words, it feels like an initiation has occurred, that it's more or less complete and that I only have to celebrate this change and start living anew now.
This whole month has felt 'initiatory' in nature and a lot of stuff has been tied up, I've been 'pulled' back to where I am supposed to be and new things have started.
Since getting the first part of the tattoo done, I've completed and submitted my paper on Holle's origins to Odroerir (which I oathed to do both to Frija and my community) and I've started my book on Seidr - in fact, I'm a sixth of the way through it now. I've come more back to the 'middle' of things, back to my roots and I'm no longer ashamed or embarrassed by the weird side of my practice. I am a woman that grew up on boggy moors, that has drummed and chanted and sung under moon and sun on burial mounds. I'm a woman that sees things that others do not and doesn't consider any of it to be supernatural, but rather very much natural. I don't think myself any more special than your average person. I am a woman that, a couple of years ago, came across a deity that changed everything and that has been studying her ever since. I'm also wife to the most amazing man on earth, friend to some great people, keeper of some crazy pets, Chorley-born gobshite and a jack of all trades. This is who I am and it's never going to change. This month has taught me that I could no more cut any of those things out than I could cut off my own arm (well I could, but I'd feel really fucking stupid in the emergency room and every time I tried to tie my shoelaces).
For want of a better word, I feel like some kind of priestess now, I would be lying if I said I didn't feel like a dick just for writing that, but it's true, I do. I have no idea what this will mean, but at the very least, I hope I encourage more people to take up spinning.
Before leaving the tattooist's today, I ended up giving a demonstration of spinning to the tattooists and a lady that wants me to produce something arty for an art show they're having in the local area, I couldn't think of anything more apt.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Sunday, October 7, 2012
The most striking thing to me so far is that this month of changes is going to be framed by blood at both the beginning and end. Last Tuesday (the second day of the month) I started my tattoo of dedication to Frija. Again, not really sure what else to call this tattoo, or how to explain just what it means to me. Language can be so clumsy, and wordhoards so unyielding, that I guess 'dedication' will have to do. I spent four hours in the chair, getting a tattoo that's big enough to be a half sleeve and need to go back to complete it on the final day of October.
The day after the tattoo was begun, I left my job, and my husband and I began the process of moving up north to a different town.
I couldn't be happier to get out of the place we were in. Quite frankly, it was *unhael*, the land itself felt angry, and it affected the people there. I have never lived around so many stomach complaints, or in so small a place with so many funeral parlours per head of population. For my own part, I had problems breathing, no energy and just felt depressed a lot. One day when sitting at the bus stop, this lady that was having a mental crisis came and sat next to me. She told me about how she'd lost her baby, how the father of the baby had left her, how she'd shoplifted some baby clothes that morning, how she wished her ex would talk to her and then she began ranting about how the village where we were was held together with pain and suffering. As logically unsound as all of that is, I really can't disagree with her.
The house we've moved to and the town we now live in is the polar opposite, not only does it feel *hael*, but strangely familiar in a way. I can feel something in the air here that is so familiar and exciting to me and that makes me happy. I can breathe better here, have more energy and feel more positive. Our animals are *much* happier and not just because of the garden.
Weirdly, all of our furniture and decor seems to match this house perfectly too, even though it was mostly bought on another continent. This place, even though we moved in two days ago, is already more home than the previous place was after a year. What's more, this place has wights, active ones that both my 'I'll ignore anything weird at all costs' husband and I have seen. One looks like a cat and the other is a previous resident that inhabits the workbench area of the basement. At first, he can be a little intimidating, but doesn't mean to scare people or animals. When I first went down there, I felt scared, but after muttering under my breath about creepy American basements and horror movies, the atmosphere changed, warmed up and now it's fine. When the cats arrived and we put them in the basement while we moved in, they hid under the workbench in the and had to be dragged out because they were so scared of being down there. I had a bit of a word, asked him to be nice to them and now they go down without any problems.
And as weird as this all sounds, as someone that grew up in a home in which things most definitely go bump in the night, this is far more homey and welcoming to me than a place with nothing there. Like the old place, or the soulless military housing before that.
So October is a time of changes, but I can't help but get the feeling that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
When we think of taboos, we often think in terms of what they prevent us from doing/having, or what they protect us from. Since instituting the spinning taboos that I keep, I've discovered that taboos can also give us things. Today when unwinding my spindle before starting a new week if spinning, I was amazed at the difference between what I can do now, and what I could do when I first started. The daily spinning has not only given me discipline, but a useful skill, and the wool I cleared from my spindle will go into some hand knitted mittens of my own design, then for sale. The taboo mandates that I don't spin at the weekends, or on festival days (unless roving has been set aside for spinning as an offering with other spinners), and this gives me a set time off from it. The more I spin and keep these taboos, the more I learn of Frîja and my foremothers. It's taken many years for me to get from being the tomboy that always fought with the boys with no interest in the fiberarts or goddesses. There was a time when I only ever offered to male gods. But then there was that one pivotal day on a frozen lake in Germany when everything changed. A week or so from now, that moment that changed so much will be commemorated in ink on my skin in a tattoo big enough to be a half sleeve. In a lot of ways, this feels like it's going to be an initiation of sorts, and perhaps it is?
To what though, only time will tell.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Pagans in the UK can be paranoid about not giving out too many details about themselves that can be used against them at a later date in a 'witch war'. For example, you would never tell people what measures you took to protect your home. If you had reason to think that you had enemies in a group, you would also never announce any great opportunities publicly. To rehash the old stereotype of Heathens/Pagans, if you thought someone was trying to get at you, you would *always* try to give the impression otherwise. That your life is hunky dory. That you are A-OK.
Most importantly, the adage of 'keeping silent' helped you to not look self-centred. We human beings, expecially when we're in tough spots socially, tend to imagine that things are aimed at us that aren't. This is advice that we could all take (including me), but sometimes it really is best to hold your tongue, do you research and then see how it all plays out before planning your next move.
Assumptions do nothing for us.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Now, a couple of decades, four languages and seven countries later, I think it's safe to say that I'm a very curious person and always have been. I have a passionate interest in this world, and the people in it.
This is something that has carried over into the online world too. I'm a compulsive 'multiple browser tab' person, each with its own search or conversation; everything from knitting patterns to academic papers, from news sites to texts in various languages, and blogs.
Oh and the blogs...
People might consider me a bit of an odd duck in that I don't just read the blogs of people I like and agree with, but also the blogs of those I dislike and/or consider to be fundamentally wrong. Maybe a part of this is the Sun Tzu-reading part of me that dictates that I not only know myself but my enemies too? But a large part of it is down to curiosity, and years of experience in having sometimes learned things from people that I don't like or think are mostly wrong.
So I often read the blogs of people that might be considered 'crazy' by mainstream Heathens, and 'godsbothered' by their peers. Among these blogs, are those of Galina Krasskova, Jalkr, Elizabeth Vongsvisith, and someone called Del.
And occasionally I do come across items of interest in those blogs, one example being Krasskova's discussion of the term 'miasma', and her bemoaning of the lack of that concept in Heathenry. To me, it sounded like 'unhaelu' from an AS perspective (which I've discussed at length before on this blog), and which those of us that incorporate the AS Magico-Medical traditions into our lives *do* consider and work with.
A few days ago, Krasskova posted about patronage, basically tying the mainstream views of the Heathen community regarding patronage to Protestantism. Now, after years of seeing and hearing the same 'YOU'RE LESS HEATHEN THAN ME AND THAT IS SOOOO CHRISTIAN' accusation being bandied around, I paid little attention to that. I was interested in how Swain Wodening would address Krasskova's use of one of his blog posts as a jumping off point for her discussion. Swain Wodening actually replied in the comments section of that post, and quite admirably (given their past history), both remained cordial throughout the ensuing discussion. However it was one phrase that Krasskova used in a comment to another that got me thinking:That "so few contemporary Heathens are devotionally aware".
This is something that I have been turning over in my mind, and which I have to say I disagree with for the most part. As for the part that I agree with, I agree, but not for the same reasons as Krasskova.
Firstly to the part that I agree with. I think there is nothing inherently wrong with the phrase that 'so few heathens are devotionally aware', but I disagree that we are a largely a group of people that stick our fingers in our ears and have these staid stances towards the gods, that we ignore anything that may be 'personal interaction' with them. If anything, I think there is a surfeit of people claiming these interactions and their only deficit of 'devotional awareness', is what they deem good enough to give as an offering. Offerings can be insulting in the same way that bad birthday gifts to friends or parents can be.
Now to the points I disagree with.
On the whole, I disagree that there is a lack of 'devotional awareness' among Heathens. I know plenty that take their offerings and relationships to their gods very very seriously, but happen to not articulate them online. I have a good friend that keeps a whole room in his house as a kind of ve room, in that ve room, he has a Thor wain that he was 'pushed' to create. He is, in my opinion a 'Thor's man' through and through. He takes the wain and his relationship with Thor very very seriously and has received many blessings from it - the most recent one being born around a week and a half ago. Another friend is more of an Odin's man, he wouldn't put it this way of course, but he is. He's felt pushed to do things for the Old Man and has done them gladly. Another friend thought he was a Thor's man, but then ended up pushed into making a Freyr grove on his property and now blots to both. He's one of the most devout Heathens I know and some of the most moving experiences I've had have been in that grove. As to whether patronage vs devotion is what is happening here, is anyone's guess, as none of them talk much about this, nor do they use the same kind of language about these things as the 'spirit worker' community would, but I do not, for one moment doubt the sincerity and piety of these people. For my own part, in spite of many many experiences and dreams, I would hesitate to say that Woden and Frija are my patrons, only because it seems like ginormous hubris to declare oneself to have been chosen by a god or goddess.
And that is a huge part of the resistance to those that do claim such things. It seems like utter hubris, and a lot of the time, the people that claim it quite simply just don't have that *vibe* about them.
Quite frankly, some of the claims made are nothing short of potty too. Why would Odin care how some human woman wears her hair, or bakes cookies? Why is it the humans that claim this are only of the unhinged variety? I'm not even talking about that cool 'wodnes'-type crazy in which a person is crazy but people can tell that they're 'touched', just plain crazy. Like they're adults with imaginary friends that they play 'kitchen' and 'afternoon tea' with. It really doesn't add to credibility, and let's face it, that's what is being railed against here: the lack of belief that others have in these *spirit workers*, and their purported special status.
Nope, sorry, there is no protestant sentiment here, just the good old-fashioned human disbelief of something that seems ridiculous that has been going on since the dawn of time.
Now of course, opinions may change with in-person interaction, but for the most part, we're all denizens of an impersonal electronic world in which we mostly don't know each other in person.
But the world turns, Heathens have dealings and relationships with their gods (regardless of what terminology is used for it), and does it really matter if strangers believe our subjective experiences?
Because that's what they are, *our* subjective experiences, and just like our relationships with the gods, need no outside arbiters of validity.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Before going to ECT, I read about a gathering that, to put it mildly, has been pretty controversial in the North East community, and ironically in the same blog, I found a link to a rant about hubris (and how modern Heathens that disagree with the author are full of it). The irony came in an account of the controversial event and how they’d been absolutely rained out, had to cancel rituals and how the possessory rite they’d had had been pretty damn negative.
Now generally speaking, I’m very skeptical about possessory rites in Heathenry; I’ve come across them before in other cultures, but I don’t believe they belong in Heathenry. Aside from that caveat of sorts though, whether you believe in it or not, the kind of going on that was described seems really *really* unlucky.
Now as a heathen, I look to omens surrounding rituals and if the omens are bad, then we’ve fucked up in some way, our gifts suck, or we’ve pissed off those we’re offering to. But there was no discussion of that in the account, which I find odd considering they are allegedly people that constantly preach doing what the gods ask of them. Being participants in *any* reciprocal relationship (with gods or humans), we have to make sure that the other party is still cool with us, for it’s often when we just take it for granted and no longer show that care that the relationships sour.
ECT was great as usual. We got to hang out with people that we’ve known for a few years now and meet more that were, until this past week, just internet faces. Many interesting conversations were had, a labyrinth was set up and we also set up a Ve for Frija.
The Frija Ve was awesome, we created a temporary well before the idol (which was veiled), the bonds were spun, items that had been blooded in her name were also included and it looked and felt amazing. Because of its position in the woods (in the wild, the outer yard), many people didn’t know about it and we didn’t announce it, but we received positive reports from people that had found their way there.
When it came time to take down the ve though, we had a not so pleasant surprise; someone had obviously unveiled the idol, placed a Thor’s hammer around the neck and then re-veiled her.
This still pisses me off to think about. It’s so disrespectful; would they do it to an Odin idol? Even beyond the disrespect to the goddess being worshipped, who was purposely veiled (and just *why* would you offer the symbol of another god to her?), what of the simple respect of not fucking with things that aren’t yours? I would also mention here that there was a sign saying to leave the offerings in front of the idol, but if the person came by in the dark, then he or she wouldn’t have seen it. Even a person that is new to Heathenry should be able to understand that. People have said that maybe it was a person that didn’t understand how wrong that was and was just trying to make an offering, but I’m still pissed. Especially seeing as no one came forward when asked (nicely…so we could nicely explain to someone that potentially didn’t understand – because that’s not a crime). Thankfully none of us got the sense that it had caused any major offense as we had a good omen in the form of a salamander taking up residence in the ‘well’. The hammer will be bogged.
To my way of thinking, this comes down to basic ve etiquette. The ves at an event like ECT are often the ves of a specific group or individual, with their own customs that need to be respected. Basic etiquette to me, is to approach the ve keepers and ask what is acceptable to them and their group with regards to their ve. If we are to be Heathens that think in terms of Heathenries, of groups with wide and varied customs as opposed to just an overarching singular Heathenry, then surely this would be a good place to start?
Friday, July 27, 2012
I'm now into week two of learning Mandarin and have decided to look for a course locally. Rediscovering my love of Chinese history and desire to learn the language has been quite interesting. The tones are hard, especially as someone that grew up with a non-tonal language in which tones generally confer emotion rather than meaning, but the characters and syntax are fascinating. Surprisingly, there are quite a few free apps on Droid to help figure out pinyin pronunciation that I've been using.
I'm about half way through reading Frederico Garcia Lorca's 'Bodas de Sangre', a tenth of the way through Sun Tzu's 'Art of War' (but in French because it was the only free version on Kindle) and have been listening to foreign language podcasts. It's beginning to feel like the passion I had for language and language learning that I had before going to university is coming back and I'm happy for it, it's like rediscovering an old friend. It also doesn't hurt that there are now websites like http://www.polyglotproject.com with lots of books in other languages and a handy dictionary widget so that you can click on any words you don't know and it tells you the meaning in English.
I've been so engrossed with the languages this past week that I actually forgot to spin on two days. I finished my spinning for the week and it's some of the best I've ever done, but I feel disappointed in myself that I actually forgot for those two days. The problem is that I never really agreed what the schild would be for forgetting, so other than feeling angry and disappointed with myself, I really don't know what else there is.
Tomorrow is an offering ritual of sorts for a few of us here and so the husband and I have been busy for the past hour or so making the bread for the offerings and pot luck. I'm rather nervous as there is one section of the ritual that I'm kind of leading and it's the first time I will ever have led before. I'm hoping it goes well.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
my blessed Dead
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Last night I had a very vivid dream in which I was making offerings to my ancestors and to dead that were disturbing a place I'd been called in to help sort out. Josh and I also moved into a new house in this dream, larger than the one we have now and I had changed my job (thankfully).
This morning I woke up with the feeling that something had been resolved, that in a lot of ways, it was a message of hope and that something that was lost might be recovered again. As of yet, I'm not really sure what that lost might be, but maybe we'll see? I don't know. I've had dreams of a precognitive nature, on one occasion, I described a place I'd seen in my dream, only to told that I'd just described a scene from a painting in someone's home that I'd never visited before. We'd sat apart and each drawn what we'd dreamed/had on a painting and they'd matched. Weird little details that I hadn't described when talking about my dream had matched too. Others that had been to that house also corroborated. So we'll see if this was anything precognitive or just an entertaining brainfart.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
|My mother's family on my aunt's wedding day.|
|My maternal grandfather (in the middle).|
|My uncle Ronnie trying to stop me from being a sulky puss at a family wedding. I really wasn't happy with having to wear a bridesmaid's dress and all the photos that came with that. I was such a cheeky little cow with the photographer.|
|My dad's family. From left to right, my paternal grandfather, my grandmother and my dad.|
Monday, July 2, 2012
All of this sounds pretty domestic, doesn't it? And it is. If you had told me ten years ago that ten years in the future I'd be married, living in the States and actually enjoying things like lace knitting and spinning, I would have laughed in your face; but I do. For one thing, I'd never planned to move to the States, ever. For another, my mother couldn't ever get me interested in knitting or sewing, or anything else house/home related. I was always that kid that was out in the yard helping her dad to mix up concrete, building walls, re-roofing sheds, fixing cars (I can't drive them, but I can do some jobs!) etc.
But life changes, people connect, the chips fall where they may, and jobs are allocated as they need to be done. At the moment, my husband works more than I do, so it's only fair that I try to keep on top of the cooking and cleaning.
I'm still no fan of housekeeping, it really doesn't come naturally to me and I think women that say they love it are probably mostly lying.
But still, I feel a push to try and keep on top of the cleaning to some degree, especially since becoming more of a Frija worshipper. In some ways, trying to keep on top of the cleaning has now become as much an act of devotion (I know we don't really do that kind of thing in Heathenry, but I'm not really sure what else to call it) as the offerings we make to our ancestors or the landwights, or the spinning I do every week night.
For me, doing these things have also become a large part of fighting to keep the place where we live hael. You see I don't like the land where we live, not America itself, but the area. There's something really off about this place. It's fine for animals and plants, but I've never lived in a place with as many people with bowel issues (although to be fair, this could be largely down to the American diet), or with as many funeral homes. The people here are strange too, known locally in the area as being so and we're looking at moving somewhere else when the lease on this place is up. You might be wondering why we moved here, but it's really not easy to find places to live when you're on another continent, and often, it tends to come down to a massive leap of faith that the place you're going to won't be full of crackheads. But in all honesty, I can't change the land here, whatever made it like this isn't something that can be healed by one foreign girl with good intentions, living here on a year lease. We're not taking land here, we're temporary, and really, how much of an effect could *we* have? I've considered adapting the Aecerbot for the land around our apartment, just to try and help things along a little in our little corner, but I'm not entirely sure yet. I guess I'll have to see. In the meantime though,
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Every single day, I forced myself to pick up the spindle and spin my allotted amount for the week and it *sucked*.
When I created this taboo, this promise to a deity, I knew there would be those days, in which spinning would be the last thing I wanted to do. But although I never so much as said it, I'd essentially made an oath.
As Heathens, we don't, or at least we *shouldn't* oath easily. American Heathens oath much easier than Heathens in other places, the oathed kindred model so prevalent here didn't take to the same degree in Europe. Instead, people have groups that they worship with, but there's no pretense of kin. Kinship takes years to build, it goes beyond friendship, it's family. Without that background, any oaths made around kinship are doomed to fail.
Ultimately though, the oaths that we tend to make are selfish in nature; maybe we need a push to do something that we'd otherwise slip from, maybe we've gotten into a rut or slipped. Oaths, with the public accountability they provide, are a perfect way for us to do those things.
Some weeks, completing my spinning is a close run thing. I'm like the limping runner, just making it over the finish line right before they take it down and pack it all away. I hate every second that I'm spinning. Other weeks I finish comfortably and love my work.
This past week, I loved my work. I loved the light brown corriedale that I spun up, the work is relatively even and it's just beautiful - the perfect preclude to a perfect weekend.
This weekend was the Oak Ridge midsummer blot. Oak Ridge is a Heathen fellowship based in NJ but that invite a core group of people to worship with them at the main tides. That worship involves swineblot. My husband and I feel so honoured and blessed to have been invited to both this and Yule, we love hanging out with the Oak Ridge, Laerad and other associated folks, there's a comfort there. Like we've all known each other for much longer than we actually have. We talk, we laugh, we debate and some of us bait each other like siblings. After a day of storms and further storm warnings for the weekend, the weather was perfect too. It was all very fitting. After days of preparation for things like our contribution to the feast, getting supplies for some of the activities we were planning, getting together our camping supplies and working on a stand of sorts for our Wodan godpost, we packed the car and were finally off.
The Oak Ridge Fellowship keeps and maintains an amazing grove on the land of their gothi, it's a place that has this most incredible sense of peace and holiness. The godposts stand tall, the wights are content. The whole area is so fertile and lush, inhabited by deer and bear. It is an honour every time we step foot in that grove.
And yes, there is also blood.
This swineblot was to Thor and it went very very well. The pig was nicely drunk and the kill was very quick and clean. Oak Ridge fellowship was officially brought into being and the posts and ourselves asperged. It's not an easy thing to do, to sacrifice in this way, just like oaths aren't easy to keep, but for those of us that do this and experience it, it's so very holy and we've all seen gains in terms of our luck.
After the rite was ended and the pig butchered and roasting, another devotee of Holle and myself spun an amount of yarn that will be offered to the waters of that lovely lady's bog. Spinning is also luck. We sat and talked about spinning, women in Heathenry and of course about the blot just gone. Another lady sitting there, had just experienced her first blot and whereas I have struggled to define what I feel at blot and how to convey it to people that have never experienced it, she nailed it. It's a huge welling of emotion that you can't really name. It's not sadness, hurt, anger or even happiness. It's literally no emotion you can name, and yet it is so strong and you feel it in every cell of your being. And the omens...this time they were so clear and quick in the coming.
Outside of the grove is an Odin godpost with a well before it and it's surrounded by mugwort. For me, one of the best moments of this weekend was seeing people realise this and collecting handfuls of mugwort to take home. More people seem to be getting interested in the Anglo Saxon and Continental Germanic traditions and it was so good to discuss things like the 9 Herbs Charm, the medicinal uses of mugwort and concepts like haelu.
There was also a 'Laeradnerok' with padded swords, kubb, American football and general shenanigans.
Oh and the pig was delicious :).
Monday, June 11, 2012
Of course, he used the examples of Skadhi and Gerd as being examples of members of the giant race that received worship. He pointed out that Skadhi was still referred to as a giantess where as Gerd wasn't. He talked about potential hieros gamos type rituals with Gerd and Freyr being the focus, and of course he talked about the term Mornir and the Volsi.
Throughout the entire paper, I couldn't help but shake my head at how he consistently ignored the simplest explanations for his observations. For example, the observation about Skadhi still being referred to as a giantess vs Gerd who doesn't seem to be after marriage.
For me, Skadhi is kind of like the cool aunt by marriage whose marriage didn't quite work out but things are still amicable and there is an alliance there. She maybe takes her maiden name again but still, she's considered family for all intents and purposes. Her actions demonstrate this, the family knows that this aunt is on their side, even if she's no longer technically family.
Gerd is simply the aunt that stays married. There is no ambiguity there, she's definitely family, she doesn't have that 'outer' aspect like Skadhi does.
And for me, the crux of this entire argument as to whether or not giants should be offered to, is right there: alliances, deeds and worth. Giants are simply another race that live in the outer-yard; like people, some are destructive assholes, some are good people, some are indifferent. Is the human world solely populated by 'good' or 'bad' people? Can we apply such a dichotomy to an entire race? No, we're all multi-faceted beings that fall somewhere along a spectrum, or potentially many spectra of 'good' and 'bad' (the terms 'good' and 'bad' are subjective terms, one man's 'good' is another's 'bad'). Why would we not assume that the plethora of wights and giants are also multi-faceted? As a Heathen, I judge a person by their deeds, why wouldn't I apply that same criteria to other beings? They are their deeds just as much as we are ours.
I've often heard the justification for offering to the more destructive giants as being that of appeasement. A kind of 'you'd better offer to ___ or you're going to have a rough time of it' sentiment. While I disagree with the sentiment, I can at least understand it. Folktales are full of examples of this kind of thing.
It's a little like the giant version of a Yakuza protection racket, but at least it's understandable from the POV of the worldview.
However I will *never* understand the sucking up to destructive giants thing. It's one thing to pay them off so that they'd leave your community alone, but it's quite another to try and gain some kind of favour. It's very reminiscent of Grima Wormtongue sucking up to Sauron in 'The Lord of the Rings'. Sauron doesn't care for Grima, Grima is just a tool for him to get what he wants and Sauron will use him accordingly. There is no reciprocal relationship, just exploitation, with Grima believing that he'll be elevated in status for his adherence to Sauron. These beings aren't misunderstood, the only misunderstanding that exists in this is that which leads to the kind of apologetics you often see online, the 'Oh, he didn't mean to do that', or the 'But the gods were sooooo mean to him and so that's why he conspired to kill Baldur'...ad nauseum. It's all apologetics for what essentially comes down to (at least in Loki's case), poor impulse control.
Although, having written that, I'm almost dreading coming across blog posts of 'UPG' that Loki has tourettes or autism and just can't help himself...
I grew up in a moorland area, where the hills often look like sleeping forms of giants, and as a kid it wasn't a huge leap to imagine those moors as being where you might come across a giant. Along with the myriad of other folktales I grew up with, it wasn't hard to image yet another type of being populating the wild fells along side the black 'demon' dogs, boggarts, Granny Greenteeth and barrow wights.
Giants have never been a problem for me, neither has living in a world populated by beings both seen and unseen. But I would no more seek out the destructive giants than I would a crack den, and that's all there is to it for me.
In other news, my breathing seems to have gotten better and I'm much relieved.
And the catalyst for this turnaround?
The inclusion of locally picked elderflowers in my iced green tea. The irony isn't lost on me either, that after all the medication, a plant that's linked to Frau Holle has helped me, a woman that worships Holle, turn the corner and get back on the road to health and haelu again.
I went running again for the first time in almost two months last week :).
Thursday, May 10, 2012
I'm really depressed about having asthma. The first attack I had, I figured 'Ok, I'll take this junk they give me and it'll be ok, I'll get on with life, run my 5k and do my weight lifting'. But last week, running was harder, after 3 minutes, I was gasping for air and taking my inhaler. It didn't help and I had to get off the treadmill. Today I ended up in Urgent Care again. Now I have more medication and a nebulizer to use at home. This just seems to be getting worse and it's so depressing to think that I'm kind of tethered to this medication in order to breathe. I've spent most of my life not being sick, being able to enjoy going outside and wandering in wild places. I haven't a clue how I'm going to fulfill my oath of running 5k, hell, I haven't even got a clue how I'm going to walk the half mile from the bus stop to work without having an attack. Moreover, I keep thinking about how my gran died of an asthma attack. Even now, after all the medication of the day, my chest is still a little tight, but hey, apparently you can cure this shit with meditation, or a vegan diet, or stopping yourself from 'overbreathing'(according to the Butekyo nutters), yes, because breathing too much is a chronic issue for asthmatics...that's right, just get used to having a diminished lung capacity and you won't notice the asthma anymore!
I hate living like this.
*Normal programming shall resume shortly*
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
I've struggled to clamp down on the perfectionist and just concentrate on production. Some of the wool I've spun is done well and some not so well. But that's not the point. The point is simply doing, actually practicing and not fearing the mistakes.
There have been days when I haven't wanted to pick up the spindle and spin, and this week, I'm worried that I assigned myself a little too much to spin for the week, life just keeps getting in the way, and unlike my forebears, I'm still terribly self-conscious of spinning in public. The perfectionist that stops me from doing so many activities if I'm not sure I'll do them perfectly (or as close to it as I can manage) steps in.
Once again, these are lessons from the spindle. The more I spin, the more I'm surprised by how much spinning can teach about life and the more I think I understand a little more of how spinning became its own mystery of sorts. It's not just about wool production, there is so much more to spinning... sisterhood, the transmission of stories and legends, a schooling of sorts, morality, taboo, heritage...
But back to that damn perfectionist streak. This perfectionist streak, which I don't often acknowledge or realise is most definitely there. It's what stops me from actually moving forward with writing my book, or the myriad of other stories I have in my head. It's what makes me edit and re-edit and re-edit again and again and again until I'm second/third/forth guessing my word choices and the mental picture I'm painting to the point that I can't write full stop (I'm already on my third edit of this blog post). It's the part of me that causes me to stop seeing the scene that I'm writing and to see only grammar tenses, punctuation and words. It's what stops me from moving on with my career, this all-pervasive fear of failure and not being that perfect person.
I'm only just beginning to realise these lessons, hopefully given time, and more spinning, they'll sink in and I'll actually finish that book and plant the seeds for that career I should be getting on with.