bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Ephemeral.

I was looking for something else when I stumbled upon this video tonight.

Though I’ve always loved this song, I didn’t have any expectations as to how it might sound acoustically:

The subtle tones of the keyboard, the change in time signature and stripped down vocals of this performance have given me a new appreciation for this song.

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Month for Loki, 6: Trickster (poetry)

A lovely poem about Loki by Sophie Oberlander:

 

Trickster

by Sophie Oberlander

“I never sought You.
Those places deep within my heart were far too burned and scarred
To let You in, hard like misshapen stone.
Or so I thought. But I gave much
The first time I hung on that Tree.
Not enough, by far, but just enough to shatter that wall of stone
The barest fragment breaking free.
I heard Your whisper, but turned aside my face
You could not be speaking to me.
I felt Your gentle touch cradling my wounded spirit
As You cradled Odin,
His body bloodied, His spirit on fire beneath that Tree
Long before I climbed its branches.
Was it through Your laughter that You taught me to love You?
Or through the tenderness of Your caress?
I have seen a face of You that few bother to see.
I have felt Your burning passion, gentle and tender beneath the Tree.
Brother, Lover, Friend,
No image of God quite prepared me for You.
You eased away my terror with Your wicked cavorting,
Making a broken child laugh by playing the fool.
I have seen Sigyn’s quiet contentment,
And the love behind Your games.
I no longer understand the trepidation in which others call Your name.
I have seen Your other face too,
When You took me to Your daughter’s realm.
I have seen You, locked in ecstasy,
Summoning up Her wards and wights for me.
My heart’s stone did not so much break
As melt beneath Your flame.
I have tasted Your rage, Your fury at my hurt,
Reveled in the darkest glee
With which You opened the gates of Niflheim to defend me.
No one told me how much You cherish Your children.
I have seen You, Trickster, weeping in anguish
Every one of Your children’s’ wounds piercing Your heart.
And I have seen You in battle, Odin’s equal,
Though Yours a far darker art.
I have heard Your song,
Far sweeter than I ever knew it could be,
As You took my hand, and led me from that Tree.
If it Your stories I cherish most, as we walk Bifrost bridge,
Dancing patterns amongst the stars.
You placed my hands upon the web, and taught me songs to weave.
As I hung for Asgard, through You, for Hella’s realm I reached.
I know how You are feared, or mocked, or thought long bound.
But I know too, it was Your hand guiding me
Through my darkest despair and pain.
And how can I fear Your deepest love,
When it is the freedom of my heart I’ve gained?
Loki, now it is Your burning that I seek.
Let us mingle songs beneath the Tree,
For I adore the flame you have ignited in me.”

Month for Loki, 5: Knife-Thrower

This is such a beautiful description of – and quite possibly the most apt metaphor for – working with Loki that I have ever read.

From an excellent Tumblr blog – see, they do exist! — here is coldalbion’s reply to an anonymous question, “Do you have any advice on working with Loki?”

(from coldalbion.tumblr.com)

===

“Advice, anon…? Not per se. I do have something for you, which may help:

Ah. Loki.

Oh, Loki.

What to say here? Loki’s like a whirling dervish; an expert knife-thrower all shining steel and flame-flicker.

And you’re his assistant.

You may or may not be blindfolded at first, and sometimes that’s better, despite the fact that you can hear those knives whistling towards your head with deadly precision.

With the blindfold on, you can at least recall his charming smile, the wicked quirk of his scarred lips, sly and arch and smooth. How he led you there with honeyed words and soft touches; how the tales of wonder and excitement thrilled you, all bright colours and exotic new adventures. How he picked you up and, somehow, for some reason decided to give you the benefit of all of him – how he blazed with a kind of Light that had nothing to do with vision, and everything to do with existing without reference to anything else.

And the more time you felt his presence, the more you began to know that his darkness was like his Light, a thing in and of itself. The full sense of his presence illuminated you, made you feel like you were the only thing in the worlds. He took your pain and scars and ran himself along them with a kind of knowing, a sense of recognition that generates a seemingly ever-present resonance.

So it’s the most natural, thrilling thing in the world when he asks you to do something for him, to put on a special costume, take his hand and step into the ring for this little act he does, purely for fun.

Charmed, beguiled, feeling the pull of nerves, you do it. You listen to his patter, his introduction as you stand there in the spotlight, surrounded by a audience shrouded in darkness. You’re his glamourous assistant, the absolute necessity to his act.

He smiles at you as he blindfolds you, as he raises you up to the board. Your heart begins to race as he binds you, secures you tight so you can’t move. You’re helpless, waiting, praying.

When the first knife whistles through the air, you stiffen. The wind of its passing plays across your skin – the impact into the board is shockingly loud. You can’t help but gasp, the board vibrating with the force of that blow. You imagine the audience’s intake of breath, but you can’t hear it over the noise of the knives that suddenly seem to come in from all directions.

Again and again and again. When one buries itself scant millimeteres from your face, you realise that you can feel the cold of the metal against your cheek. You flinch, and realise that the buried blades surround you. Your body is ringed by steel. There is nowhere else to go.

The act must be over now, mustn’t it? Surely it must!

So why is it that you can hear more knives coming? What kind of insane game is this – is this madman actually trying to kill you?

You think back to what he told the audience – that you are an absolute necessity to his act. Is it possible he lured you under false pretences, that you are some kind of sacrificial animal, and that one of those knives will be your doom?

No wonder you might be afraid!

And when the blows come, you can feel the edges bite, sharp against your flesh. This is it. You’re going to die. What a fool you were to do this, to let this motherfucker lead you on.

But..wait a minute. You’re still here. Everything is suddenly silent, way too quiet. Heart hammering, you gingerly attempt to move, and, to your surprise, you realise that your bonds, after a moment of snagging, seem to have fallen away.

With trembling hands, you pull down the blindfold, and are momentarily blinded – the house lights have come up and you stumble away from the board a liittle. When your vision returns, you’re in for a shock.

Because there’s no-one there. The vast ranks of seats are empty. The audience have gone, even though you didn’t hear them leave. Maybe they were never even there to begin with…

Maybe you’re still bewildered when a voice tells you to Think fast! and you jump back as a knife suddenly comes out of nowhere and buries itself in the sawdust at your feet.

The unseen voice tells you to pick up the blade. Go on, just pick it up. So you do, and suddenly he steps out from behind the board with a little, courtly, mocking bow.

Turnabout is fair play, he drawls.

It’s your turn. Without thinking, the knife leaves your hand, aiming at his head. But he’s not there.

He’s behind you, lips against your ear, hand on your arm, guiding you through the arc of the throw. The knife hits the board, straight and true, in a way you’d never have known how to do before.

And then? Then he’s dancing and you have an endlesss supply of blades. He weaves and curves, eels and dives in ten thousand intricate movements; a shining, glittering impossibility. Without thinking, you fall into a rhythm, and later you realise the strangeness of this – for you and he are acting together in the space between heartbeats. You’re part of the same dance, the same ebb and flow and weave.

There’s no telling how long it goes on for, or why it stops. Maybe he becomes bored, or maybe you send steel singing so close that it leaves a line of blood along his cheekbone.

Who can tell? Because suddenly, the knives you throw are suddenly plucked from the air by nimble hands, and turned back on you. Lost in the rhythm, you struggle to evade the most lethal, but manage it. But you do not remain unscathed – your shining costume is cut from you swifter than lightning, until you stand naked and nicked in the sawdust.

Your nerves sing – the cuts are not deep, after all, but the endorphins are called into your blood, as surely as someone summoned an army. A single droplet of blood falls in slow motion, splashing on the shaved wood, blossoming and swelling and staining the ground of the ring.

When you look up again, he’s smiling, eyes sparkling with ancient wisdom and dark mirth. Not bad, he says. Let’s go again.

Steel sings and you feel the air move against your skin.

And you smile in return, and you move.

It’s time to dance.”

(Artwork: ‘Jester’ by MuYoung Kim)

jester

Month for Loki, 4: Explosive

This is what it looks like when you’re trying to get pics of fireworks – and the mortar blows up in the tube

O.o

explodingfireworks2019

 

(We were OK though. )

Happy Fourth of July!

Month for Loki, 3: I wanna rock your gypsy soul…

This song brings to me connections of Loki and Odin nowadays…perhaps on Their way to – or on Their way back from – the island of Samsey —

We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun….

And I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And magnificently we will flow into the mystic

Print

Month for Loki, 2: the smallest gifts

“And the Bastard grant us, in our direst need, the smallest gifts: the nail of the horseshoe, the pin of the axle, the feather at the pivot point, the pebble at the mountain’s peak, the kiss in despair, the one right word. In darkness, understanding.”

— from Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold

photo by Jim Sauchyn

Month for Loki, 1: You better get this party started

Welcome to the month of July!

 

Let’s get the party started, shall we?

~~~

QOTD: Life is amazing. And then it is awful.

One of my favorite quotes ❤

Sometimes I just need poetry.

~~ The Journey~~

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.~

~Mary Oliver

A strange thing that leaves me speechless.

I keep having this … recurring thing.

I do not know how to describe it.

It’s a visual thing.

A repetitive vision?

A visual thought?

~~~

All I can say is that it began as a dream I had a little over a week ago.

I woke up last Sunday (the Sunday that came before the day before yesterday, mind you) from what seemed like an extremely vivid portion of a dream….but I wasn’t quite awake and I wasn’t all the way asleep.

I know this because the volume of a program on the television in my bedroom had gotten really loud – loud enough to awaken me enough to wonder in a split moment or two if the sound was loud in my dream or if it was reality – but I had not opened my eyes yet.

But then the sound went entirely away and I heard a loud ‘click’ – and I assumed that the sleep timer on the television had just gone off.

So I rolled over and started to fall back asleep, feeling thankful that my husband had thought to set the sleep timer (rather than letting the television blare all night as he sometimes does, unfortunately.)

I was aware of the possibility that it might have been early in the morning because I recall laying there in bed, with eyes shut, but sensing the light in the room.

And that’s when it happened.

Though I had lain there in silence – newly aware that the silence existed because the tv had shut off and feeling tired on the edge of returning to sleep again – I was acutely aware of the fact I was dozing off, and I felt pleased about it.

And the visuals that bloomed before my eyelids were the typical blobs of color that I’ll usually see as I am dozing off and I watched as they slowly formed into different abstract shapes, as that slow process is how eventually, I allow myself to fall asleep.

But then as clear as day – suddenly I saw a sharply defined image of an older woman – as clear as a photograph – in my mind’s eye. I could not place her – she did not look like anyone I knew. And I was a little shocked – because if it was the beginning of a dream, it came on pretty quickly and I felt a little concerned.

You see, the woman was crying loudly.

She wanted some soup. She was asking me for soup.

Please make me some soup, she wailed, please give me some soup! Please Pleeeeeeaaaasssseee….Why won’t you? Why won’t you?

And it was very strange! I was awake and aware enough to have a rapid string of thoughts, such as that I was in bed, and I would have to get up and most importantly, did I have any soup to give her?

I didn’t think so.

I recall actually rolling over and saying aloud, I’m sorry! I don’t think I have any soup and I recall that my mouth worked fine, my voice was clear and I was fully awake then…so much so that I opened my eyes and looked around the room.

You see, the sound of my own voice answering this dream-visual woman had woken me up.

And on that Sunday, I was certain that I had just had a rather vivid dream.

And so, I forgot about it.

~~~

And then this past Tuesday, I was sitting in front of my altar just as I was beginning to meditate, and I saw the same visual…of that same older woman again.

And the memory of that vivid vision of her and her wailing request for soup came rushing back.

To my surprise, I even felt a wave of nausea and guilt, as if I had broken a promise.

(But at the same time I also felt a bit foolish for feeling guilty. I mean, that whole thing had just been a dream, right?)

But as much as I tried to meditate, I couldn’t focus.

~~~

Wednesday into Thursday, another short interlude of that woman interrupted another dream I was having.

In the dream, I was walking down the street, in the midst of a conversation with someone else. I don’t even recall what that person and I were talking about, I just know that suddenly I felt a hand pulling on my clothes, and I looked behind me and there she was.

That same old woman standing in the middle of the sidewalk, trying to get my attention

And she was still crying, wailing those same words, that same request

Please make me some soup.

Please give me some soup!

I didn’t know what to say to her, but her sudden appearance in my dream was enough to shake me awake.

On Thursday afternoon, lunch-time, I found myself looking in my pantry-closet.

And though I was there to look for something else, it occurred to me that I should see if I had any soup.

Turns out I have a two cans of chicken noodle, and one can of beef stew.

I wonder what kind she wanted – broth or stew?

Who knows?

~~~

I was watching T.V. on Saturday, involved in watching a film I’d seen before, a comedy I enjoyed. I was laughing, focused on the dialogue.

And then, I was suddenly overcome with a thought of the old woman!

The vision of her just floated through my mind.

I can guarantee you that I wasn’t thinking of her even a moment before, but then I was.

I don’t know why the thought of her – complete with that same vivid image in my mind’s eye of her tear-stained face, and me watching helplessly as her wrinkled mouth opened and closed, as she choked over each word, her voice clogged by emotion that dragged over the long insistent vowels of please and why.

It occurred to me that when the vision of her comes, I cannot seem to shake it away.

And though her tears, her insistence affect me deeply, I feel helpless to speak to her.

I feel this wave of guilt and nausea when I see her, and though I feel those feelings, I don’t know where they come from when they come.

That probably doesn’t make much sense.

I feel a bit haunted, to be honest.

I don’t know what it means or who to ask about this strangely repetitive thing.