Swap details and Bella projects



It's me fairy Petal Elfwed and I'm here to tell you  we have had 11 fairies already sign up to swap wands in the spring wand swap. There's still space if you would like to join us.  Email  BLISS.WDA@GMAIL.COM

The details are here
And two projects for the Bella creation groups. A piece of  altered art using a jello mould, image of a faerie and a nest made from Spanish moss. 
and a ATC shrine. Yes it's an ATC.



When One Is Killed, We All Die A Little

“There's an aspect of human nature in which we want to think we're better than somebody else. They're a different color. They speak a different language. They have a different name for the Creator. Whatever it is, that makes it okay for me to hate them, to try to get some of their land or some of their resources."

~John Denver

If you didn't already have a grasp of what transpires in the religious (specifically Pagan) community chances are you wouldn't be reading this blog right now. We all know there is a great deal of religious persecution going on in the world, from Muslim women being required to remove their burkas for post 911 'security' reasons, to the hysteria a couple of weeks ago over some orthodox Jewish men wearing tefillin (a set of small black boxes containing Biblical passages that are attached to leather straps),to the recent firing of a Transportation Security Administration agent whose termination letter made mention of her practice of Wicca.

Most notable in the media in the last few days, however, are the human rights abuses arising as a result of the the spread of superstitions and lies leading to accusations of perceived  'evil' and wrong doing in regard to witchcraft in Africa. Indigenous people-some children- practicing their spiritual heritage are being wantonly attacked by those driven by fear and ignorance. Cunning folk, root workers, herbalists, shamen,witches and other types of occult practitioners (and some with no affiliation to the occult at all) have been brutally murdered by their neighbors. In many cases the perpetrators are known to the victims and even include members of their families. Their crime is the misunderstanding of the practice of their religion.

A staggering number of those killed have been disenfranchised elderly women of the community-those living in  poverty and poor health, frail and unable to defend themselves against the judgment that seals their fate or those who take their lives.They are beaten, burned and hanged by hysterical, angry mobs- and those fearing the actions of someone they perceive as able to commit malicious acts  that are a threat to humans, animals or crops, much in the manner attributed to the witches and sorcerers in past times. The fear is fueled by some evangelical or fundamentalist Christians, those of opposing African occult traditions,political gain, or by those who are just out to take land and  what few possessions owned by them.Just because they can.

This injustice must not be tolerated. The attacks and murders are escalating daily, and more likely than not we are only hearing of the more sensational of them and not getting a true idea of the scope of this persecution until the authorities are held accountable. Please consider joining the Touchstone Advocacy of the Pagan Rights Alliance in it's campaign to make the South African Human Rights Commission aware that the world community aware of these travesties. A letter which you can download and send to the SAHRC will be available tomorrow, March 29th, on their website. In the meanwhile spread the news- be proactive. There are stories and information on the site to help you become educated and suggestions of what you can do  mundanely and magically as an individual.
 
Remember, these are our spiritual brothers and sisters and when one single witch is killed, we all die a little.

Go to the Touchstone Advocacy website:
http://www.paganrightsalliance.org/30_days.html

The Spring Wand swap

The Spring wand swap is now full

Big Announcement
Calling all would be feaires to come share your wands, the spring magic is afoot.



Here's how it will work each participant will make a spring wand to swap with someone else. This is the time to go crazy , lots of sprinkles , dazzle and magic.  Embellish, embellish and when you think you have added enought add one more sprinkle..... be creative.

You can use any medium to make your wand. Don't make it too heavy or the handle to long for shipping.  The handle on the one I made is a chop stick and will fit into a A4 padded envelope.

Remember to add your moo card with your wand.
This is about a beautiful hand crafted wand so you don't have to send anything else.

I will take sign up until April 15th or until full.
To sign up email BLISS.WDA@GMAIL.COM with your name, mailing address and blog address.
I will email you with your partners details.  
All wands are to send on May  1st.


Please take the button to spread the word, invite your friends.




BACK TO WHAT I LOVE DOING




Playing with paper,glass and soldered. I love nothing more than soldering glass together to make something beautiful. I found the ovals at the antique market and they have been waiting for the muse to hit. 

Also I made this for a swap. The things with wings matchbox swap hosted by JoAnne at Vintage Dragonfly. Yes under all that, there's a matchbox.

 And this is what I filled it with.

and oh yes I feel a swap coming on... so watch this space.. and a giveway... I missed my blog birthday... details coming soon.

TAKE A WORD .......BLOOM


Take a word 

Bloom


WITH FLOWERS - South winds jostle them

BY

Emily Dickinson

South winds jostle them,
Bumblebees come,
Hover, hesitate,
Drink, and are gone.
Butterflies pause
On their passage Cashmere;
I, softly plucking,
Present them here!



Tulip image courtesy of Peggy at http://fridayfotocollage.blogspot.com






At last!




I've been waiting and waiting to show you the latest shrine made for a dear blogging friend Mina and at last it arrived at her home so I can show you it... Mina's blog is called The green witch with sprinkles which is a super cool name and so I made this. 



Goodies in the mail

It's been raining all day, thank goodness the mailman brought some goodies to brighten the day. A thank you gift for being the 200th follower at Bella creations, their site is charming and filled with lots of talented ladies who have welcomed me with open arms.







The button is on my side bar if you'd like to check them out . Thank you Lacee for the wonderful altered note book. Its needs to be filled with beautiful quotes and poems. Maybe one like this by Lord Alfred Tennyson


Flying here and there,
Birds' song and birds' love
And you with gold for hair!
Birds' song and birds' love
Passing with the weather,
Men's song and men's love,
To love once and forever.
Men's love and birds' love,
And women's love and men's!
And you my wren with a crown of gold,
You my queen of the wrens!
You the queen of the wrens —
We'll be birds of a feather,
I'll be King of the Queen of the wrens,
And all in a nest together.


Nursing Scrubs: Lessons Learned from Color Meanings

As I was studying the meaning of colors and how it can influence our emotions, the actions that we do, how we respond to various people and situations, I thought about the colors of uniform in some of our service-oriented industries. Take for example the color of nursing scrubs nurses use in hospitals and clinics before and how their kind has evolved over time. Before, I used to remember only

Why Wait Til Spring?

Lots of blogs about Spring cleaning this week, so I thought I might as well throw mine into the pot, too.
I am not a fan of housework ( raise your hand if you are so the men in the white coats with the nets can more readily identify you). Dust and my sinuses are not on friendly terms, but they do seem to get together to party every now and then, usually necessitating a trip to the doctor for something to take care of the resulting infection. If I were smarter at this cleaning thing, I would clean as I go-wiping off surfaces before they get dusty, vacuuming before there is an army of little bits of this and that on the carpet, giving the floor a swipe with a damp mop just because everyday.

But I'm not. I like to think that it's because I actually have credible activities in my life that prevent me from fussing-that I actually have a life- but the sad little fact is, nothing is preventing me from doing this bit of preventative maintenance.
It's been said that the clearing of physical spaces will ultimately affect the organization of your mind. Clutter is a terrible waste of space, especially if that space is supposed to be vacant. Staying in the mindset of the way I was raised however, space is there to put stuff in. That's why it's there. It's empty, you fill it. Simple, no?  I've tried to adopt the Japanese way of home decoration-creating empty space around specific items so they are more meaningfully showcased. The problem here  specifically is  that I wasn't raised in a Japanese household, I was raised by folks who went through the Great Depression and therefore saved everything.
The result of living through the Great Depression was that you kept everything that came your way because your literal survival might just depend on it one day. Everything that came through the door-particularly if it were free- was a real 'find', a gift from the gods of plenty. There was never enough of anything and everything was in short supply. Consequently, nothing was ever thrown away: it was wasteful and shameful and down right UnAmerican. Throwing away a perfectly good anything could get me an ass-whooping of epic proportion at my house. Even if you didn't need it now- you might in the future and you wouldn't have it- or someone else might have need of  it and therefore you could be a good neighbor by supplying whatever it was. It was actually prudent to think that way and has its merits...within reason.

My grandfather never turned anything down. Anything. And  he was damn proud to be able to produce whatever it was if someone else happened to be looking for 'it'. He was buddies with another elderly Sicillian man who owned the salvage yard, and on Sunday afternoons he'd go off and drink lemoncello, smoke rank stogies and bond over the fact that both their fathers " came over on the boat." And he would come home with some of the most remarkable things-old wooden doors, lengths of lead pipe, discarded two by fours, partial boxes of ten penny nails, rusty tools, odd packs of roofing shingles and homeless units of (formerly) built-in shelving....most of which were still taking up real estate in the basement when he died. Guess who got to sort through it to throw it all away after my Grandmother died and I inherited the house?
I realize that Pop was just trying to be a good provider and keep us from ever needing anything. Recalling the harrowing experience of shifting through his collection of basement treasures is not meant as criticism as much as issuing a warning: if  it's stored it, someday you will have to discard it. And it's easier to say "yes" than "no", so at some point you, too will be faced with the same task... and looking for an empty spot on the wall on which to bang your head as you try to figure out what to do with it.

No wonder that I always felt somewhat befuddled and confused when I was in my 20s and 30s. It took until my 40s to take to heart the lesson that if your world is cluttered, your consciousness is cluttered also. There was always a feeling of chaos in that house for me,and whenever I did a major cleaning I always felt as though I was throwing away a part of my childhood. And I was.There is a time and a place for everything, according to the wise council of Ecclesiastes:When no longer a child, it is time to put away the things of a child. I beg to differ with the council fully: Get ride of what you no longer need, but never surrender your wonder,curiosity or ability to be satisfied with something simple or revel in pure delight.
When you have created your own space, you feel much more comfortable with all the stuff you have to put up with from the rest of the world. Four years ago, when I was moving for the third time in seven years ( after having lived in the same house for 40 years) I became aware of how much stuff I had collected on my own and how much I had to weed out to go to the resale shop just prior to what my friends call The Great Southern Migration.


There was a lot. I had to give up a couple of the things  I truly wanted to keep- my great grandmother's book rack, an antique table from a church that I bought for $5 at a yard sale, three nearly new bookcases, the garden glider I was using as a couch in the living room. They were things that wouldn't fit into storage, and I was torn to loose them. The bright spot in this is that none of it is irreplaceable in the larger scheme of things, all could be replaced...someday...if I so choose. I am not a prisoner of my stuff and I realize that I couldn't keep it all. Besides, I still have the memories...I didn't give those away. I have more of an appreciation now for the few things I did keep.
Even more important than clearing out my material possessions is the fact that I have been able to develop a space for my personal awareness. I have begun to think about who I authentically am and the way I would like my life to be. There are subtle levels of being  that there was no room for before. There are things I know I will never have enough of-money and love being two in particular- but I'm working on it. I have faced the fact I will never be rich. Love is wherever it finds you. Right now there is enough for me to be comfortably satisfied, and it's all I need.

A rose by any other name



The Artful Bag Challenge

The theme for March in the Artful bag challenge is to Embellish it. For this challenge we take an existing bag and make it fabulous. It can be as simple as adding a pin or you can cover your bag with anything from vintage lace, rosettes, silk, felted and paper flowers.


I took one of my old bags sitting at the back of the closet unloved, lonely and turned it into this one of kind artful bag.. I like most of you have lots of those unloved bags who for no other reason than I am bored with them get tossed  in to the back of my closet...








All it took was some painted roses , some stamping, ribbon flowers ,some magic and my unloved bag is LOVED again. 
Hugs Wendy

I WANT A BANNER

As you know I been busy making five banner peices for Amy's banner swap but you know what it is like, if you make one why not make two so I made a banner for myself...


 I 'm loving the spring colours. Each one is different. There all have faeries folk and the last one a fearies dog.Well dogs like to have wings  too  The images courtesy of the land of nod... It is a fun way to bring some spring into your life, so go head make a banner today.... hugs Wendy


Ps I have entered my banner in the the Canvas Corp Banner Contest.

A English Rose

 Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor
1932 - 2011

Little April showers






Drip, drip, drop

Little April shower

Beating a tune

As you fall all around


Drip, drip, drop

Little April shower

What can compare

To your beautiful sound


Drip, drip, drop

When the sky is cloudy

Your pretty music

Can brighten the day


Drip, drip, drop

When the sun says howdy

You say goodbye right away


Drip, drip drop

Little April shower

Beating a tune

Ev'rywhere that you fall


Drip, drip drop

Little April shower

I'm getting wet

And I don't care at all


Drip, drop, drip, drop

I'll never be afraid

Of a good little

Gay little

April serenade






















Vector Girls Cartoon Free Best Wallpapers

Cartoon wallpaper

Beauty Girl Vector Image Free Best Wallpapers

Beauty Girl Vector Image Free Best Wallpapers

Clearing the decks

I started writing this post this morning and as I downloaded photos of all the wonderful things I had to show you . I got a message saying that I had used  all my space up. NO WAY! A blog without photos is like an ice cream cone without ice cream.... so wrong.

Little did I know the when I titled this post  "clearing the decks" that I would be clearing the decks of photos I had downloaded... so now I cleared space hopefully my photos will appear.  


 My post was going to be about me clearing the decks of swaps.







All five completed and ready to sent to Amy.



I also wanted to share goodies...

 from Kimberly. A pay it forward gift... Kimberly always finds really cool ways to wrap.... this time she wrapping it in a dress pattern packet.. and gift is even more cool a hanger made from the cover of a old book . How gorgeous is that. Thanks Kimberly I love it.  

and Trisha sent a gift. A necklace with the letter W.. beautiful.Thank you.  Okay back to sorting out the downloads.

Hugs Wendy

taKe a wOrd #21 aRcHITeCTUrE

When it came for me the think of the word Architecture only one building came to mind.

The  Eiffel Tower





Built by Gustave Eiffel in 1889 for the Exposition Universelle, the Eiffel Tower is 300 m/984 ft tall. At the time it was built, it was the world's tallest free-standing structure.


The Eiffel Tower stretches approximately 300 m (1000 ft) high. Including the 20.75 m (70 ft) antenna, the structure is 320.75 m (1070 ft) high, which is about 81 stories. Completed in 1889, the tower replaced the Washington Monument as the tallest structure in the world, a title it retained until 1930, when New York City's Chrysler Building (319 m/1063.33 ft tall) was completed (although the tower was still taller if the respective spires of the two structures were excluded). In 1902, it was struck by lightning, which caused builders to reconstruct 300 feet of the top later in 1902-3. The lights illuminating the tower also had to be replaced, due to short-circuiting.







The tower is the second-highest structure in France, after the 350 m Allouis longwave transmitter, built in 1930. The Eiffel tower is the highest structure in Paris. The second-highest structure in Paris is the Tour Montparnasse (Montparnasse Tower), at 210 m.






The iron structure of the Eiffel Tower weighs 7,300 tons, and the total weight is 7,300 tons. The number of steps to the summit has varied through various renovations: At the time of construction in 1889, there were 1665 steps to the summit platform at 300.65 m; after renovation in the early 1980s, there were 1920 steps; and today there are 1660 steps (although it is not possible for the public to reach the summit via the stairs—elevators are required beyond the second platform).






Depending on the ambient temperature, the top of the tower may shift away from the sun by up to 8 cm (3.25 inches), due to expansion of the metal on the side facing the sun.






Maintenance of the tower includes applying 50/60 tons of three graded tones of paint every seven years to protect it from rust. However, few people realize that the tower is actually painted three different colors in order to make it look the same color. The colors change from dark to light from top to bottom, but it looks the same because of the background (the sky being light and the ground being dark). On the first floor, there are interactive consoles hosting a poll for the color to use for a future session of painting.


I vote pink.

The images used are courtesy of Scrapbooking graphics.com and art-e-ology.


Supermoon Simply Irresistible Spell

Today, March 19, 2011, we'll be having a full moon. But aside from that, the full moon also occurs at the same time as the moon's perigee (the moon's closest point to our planet). Hence, it is termed as SUPERMOON which happens every 18 years. At the moon's perigee, there will only be a distance of 356,575km (221,575 miles) between the Earth and the moon. During the moon's apogee on March 6, the

The Onus of Elderhood

When someone says the word Elder, does the image of a wise and sagely man or woman immediately pop into your mind's eye? Who in your immediate community does come to mind? In the wider public arena, does your association with the word immediatly link to someone like Raymond Buckland or Laurie Cabot?

Any dictionary will include the following definitions for elder:" Someone who is wiser, or an influencial member of the tribe or community; one with superior knowledge or wisdom."

 Notice that the definition does not include someone who has been awarded any degrees within a magickal group, a  lengthy biographical resume,scholarly pursuit, curriculum vitae or educational pedigree, nor is it defined by the number of years one has been alive.

Being older does not necessarily make one wiser, although there is a natural tendency to make the assumption  that with each passing  year some knowledge would be gained. Being long in the tooth doesn't equate with being smarter. Age and tenure have nothing to do with it.  Claiming mastery of a discipline does not guarantee ascension to elderhood as a done deal, either. 

Prefixing your name with a title or adding a string of academic abbreviations does not automatically  make an Elder. In fact, our community has too many members with titles running about like so many rabbits. Lord and Lady, are pronouns of distinction awarded to those who are peers of rank, in other words, you earn them.They are otherwise not a part of a given name. Like wise High Priest/ess, which is more realistically descriptive of a designated role or degree ( in some traditions the third degree members  are called High Priest/esses). I am the High Priestess in my home circle: it's my elected office. It does not mean I am a High Priestess anywhere else- and it certainly doesn't mean I am an Elder. Any esteem in which I may be held by the members of my circle is seperate from respect they hold for the office.It seems to me that we have so many members of 'royalty' out there that we could create our own little principality, and after awhile the affectation gets down right silly. Let's face it. It's hard to keep a straight face and your sense of credulity intact when someone introduces him or herself as Lord Kissmyhinnie or  Lady Lookatme. ( Magus is just as bad-sorry.)It is not something you claim as a part of your given name, magickal or otherwise. It is a title of office bestowed by the coven, circle or grove.

So what does it take to become an Elder? What particular qualities do we look for? My answer would be that the individual in question has authentic wisdom that stands the test of time both in the past and for the future. Their experience and proficiency in a variety of areas far exceeds the ordinary. They are capable of teaching multiple age groups in  an appropriate manner, and a legitimate resource to the community.( By the way, being a great teacher doesn't necessarily mean you are cut out to be an Elder.)Finally, they are humble, mindful and sensitive to the abilities of others-and they are always open to learning and the ever changing landscape of their community. All of which is an incredibly heavy burden and takes much patience and skill. Not many of us are up to the task.

The presumption of proclaiming ones self an Elder within the community for the entire community is galling to me at the least and heretical in the extreme. Elders are made by recognition within and by their immediate community. Being an Elder in one community does not make that particular  individual an elder in the next community down the road.  The fondness for the Elder of one community by another community is a courtesy, not a requirement.

There is a great onus in being a true Elder.

Elders have not only earned the respect and reverance of their peers but of their community. But that alone is not enough. Through proven leadership and ability to contribute true wisdom, they are the shining example of what has gone before and the voice of what is yet to come.





  

The Ten of Wands are Stopping Me!


I was about to do my morning ritual (workout+ watch old DVD movie + play guitar + play drums + videoke + 1st meal of the day + shower then work) when I almost forgot to do a tarot reading. You see, last week, I let go of a VA job that I've been doing for a long time. I kept one part time VA job since I liked my tasks there and then I just went on investing in small ventures and mostly resting.

Playing with steampunk

The theme for April's ATC swap is steampunk and I can't blame anyone else for that decision ...I like to push myself as an artist and the ladies who take part in the Blissfull ATC swap so that why  I suggested it. But boy was I  worried...  a real departure from the faeries and whimsy.. but once I start checking it out. 

I realised I had seen lots of steampunk in movies . I just didn't know that is what I was looking at ... movies like the Golden Compass , Van Helsing, Wild, Wild west  and A series of unfortunate events...

So I started  playing with around with the digital art and came up with two steampunk inspired pieces.. 

Hugs Wendy

The spring Bunting swap

 It rained all day yesterday so a great time to work on swaps and get parcels ready to mail out. I am taking part in A spring Bunting swap hosted by the very talented Amy from http://rubymoonart.blogspot.com/

She still has some spots left so if you would like to join me. Please pop over to see Amy. The details are on her blog... I managed to get two done,  three to go . They  turned out really cute.





Have a great day
Hugs Wendy

TAKE A WORD..... GREEN

What A Wonderful World
Louis Armstrong



I see trees of green, red roses too

I see them bloom, for me and you

And I think to myself

What a wonderful world

I see skies of blue, and clouds of white

The bright blessed day, dark sacred night

And I think to myself

What a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky

Are also on the faces, of people going by

I see friends shaking hands, sayin', "How do you do?"

They're really sayin', "I love you"

I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow

They'll learn much more, than I'll ever know

And I think to myself

What a wonderful world

Yes, I think to myself

What a wonderful world

Oh yeah




























































In The Shadow of the Crone

Here I sit celebrating the evening of my 55th birthday drinking a homemade cappuccino,eating a so-so previously frozen crab cake and watching my Rock God muse Rick Springfield  live-streamed from the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville...and I'm happy. The concert is the frosting on the birthday cake I didn't buy or make myself, the link sent by a Facebook friend minutes before I was going to sign off  the computer out of boredom.Serendipity intervened once again, because I was going to finish my coffee and put the other half of the disappointing excuse for a crab cake into the fridge for later and go to bed.

I am happy- but have the gnawing feeling that I ought to be doing something other than stuffing my face and watching a video for my 55th birthday-what I don't know exactly. The world has become a very scary place in the last few days after a catastrophic earthquake in Japan and the resulting rupture of nuclear reactors. So many have died, and their confused spirits fill the air crying out, which is disconcerting  for this empath. What to do? Scaling Mount Everest is out of the picture. Spending time with my BFF Melinda would have been fun, but she's sidelined. Maybe I should have bought myself a bunch of flowers or something. I feel unsettled and I'm not sure why: 55 should be a milestone birthday.

When I am aware of my mortality, I know that the shadow of the Crone is stretching out over me. In a few years I will be old, provided the societal "they" don't move back the boundary of when we Baby Boomers cross out of middle age again. Right now I have the right to a free birthday  meal at Denny's and a membership in Elderhostel. Where are all those other senior discounts? I guess I need something to look forward to in the future.

My inner teenager is riveted to the computer screen as Rick Springfield jumps, spins and bounces his way through a litany of power pop/rock songs, stopping only to make self-depreciating remarks and raunchy jokes with the audience of women (and a few men) who are my age.Our age. We've grown up together, Rick and I; there is a vague feeling of recognition and sadness that I probably won't be spending my 60th birthday watching him in concert. The shadow of the Crone is lengthening over my girlhood hero, too,who is now in his 60's. Posting to his online blog the other day, his tone melancholy and  serious. Rick wrote:" I feel I will see my sweet Gomer( his canine companion of 14 years who died) soon...either he's coming back to me, or I'm going to him. Maybe I'm going to kick the bucket soon." That's not over-dramatic attention seeking on his part: it's the life long chronic depression Rick and I share talking. I have called mine The Darkness since my early twenties. It worsened when I was attacked a few years ago and had to start a long course of medication and therapy. Things level out for a period, then The Darkness finds a way back into my head and screws with me.And it enjoys every second of it, too. Compounding this is the fact that if I vocalize that I am feeling depressed to those around me, they instantly respond with some version of " Why? Look at what you have."

Oh, goody...depression and guilt. Yum...

By all accounts and my own admission, I've had an incredibly successful life. I've done nearly everything I set out to do and have had several careers in areas I am passionate about:teaching, healing and spirituality among them. I have not only met most all of the people I grew up admiring, I have been extraordinarily fortune to have nurtured deep relationships with several of them along the way. I in no way want to sound flip, but it was simply a matter of setting a goal and achieving it on my part. Those who I knew and loved-now gone- live on in me and through me as I continue the work we cherished together today. But the Darkness doesn't care about what I have achieved, it cares about the things that were passed over along the way, and it finds a crack in my armor, and sticks a bony finger in to probe the wound and make it bleed. Damn it!

The Darkness is poking at me tonight as I watch Rick and think about how a CD of his helped to break through the pall of hurt and anger after the assault  a few years ago.The songs on the album didn't relate, but the sonic vibe that was the undercurrent did. Rick and I bonded virtually in those evenings we were angry and pissed off together, driven by the atrocities of ourselves and others against us. It scared the hell out of my Darkness and  at the time it felt as if I'd sent the Darkness packing. At it least put a fair amount of distance between us so I could get around the corner out of sight. Momentarily giving the Darkness the slip was a major accomplishment on my part when all I really wanted to do was just curl up into a little ball until I disappeared, and I was pretty proud of myself for having the intestinal fortitude to pull it off. I was and am thankful that at least there was one other human being in the world who seemed to understood what I was feeling and who could articulate those emotions-and I had the opportunity to tell Rick in person face to face one day before a concert. I  know there are millions of others who suffer from the same feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness I do, but the intimacy of that connection through the music will always belong to RS, since coincidentally, he identifies his depression in the third person as Mr. D-the Darkness.

The concert is over and there are three of us sitting it  the room-the Crone, the Darkness and me.  They are on either side of me, and instinctively I want to reach out to the Crone for protection, but I am afraid the darkness will notice and poke me harder. Finally I decide to go to my altar and meditate. The Crone doesn't immediately follow but the Darkness does...Damn it again. It sits a few feet away picking at scabs and generally causing a disturbance as I battle what Buddhists call 'monkey mind', the inability to focus and release thoughts which inhibit the meditation process. My monkeys don't just create mind chatter, they swing from trees screaming. Finally I get up and go to the fridge in search of some wine for my ritual cup but end up filling it with milk, and I head back to the sacred space to meditate. The Darkness is curious and tries to come closer, but I have managed to focus on the scent of the milk and it's coolness, which allows the Crone to come in. The Darkness backs away and fades, and it's just the Dark Mother and me, and mortality.

" You're beyond the middle now, your life is more than halfway over," she whispers, "We don't know where the time goes, but it cannot be wasted." I try to think of something good and noble to plan, but nothing comes. The milk is good and comforting, and I can relax now that the Crone is standing between the Darkness and I.
I feel I should be doing something of some great importance that will make a difference to others but can't for the life of me fathom what that should be. I don't feel very heroic or existential at the moment. In fact, I feel like I did when I was 16 years old and was listening to Rick Springfield on my tiny AM radio, confused and unsure about what was to become of my life but awfully excited to be on the threshold non the less.

Maybe that's the right way to feel at 55, too...confused and unsure about what's next but eager and excited to open the door and step across the threshold to the rest of my life. The Crone nods and smiles; her shadow enfolds me and takes me in. I am now a part of her, a Crone myself. Instantly, I know what I need to spend the rest of my life doing...being me. That's all, just being authentically Kate and giving myself away to who and whatever has a need in the Universe. It is enough.
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