bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Month: June, 2012

Two birds, and a mysterious ‘fifth guest’

What a strange few days it has been.

Looking over things of the past few days, I’ve definitely come to wonder if Someone is trying to get my attention — again.

As I just wrote in my last entry, a few moments ago, I’ve been kinda lackidasical in the devotional department for the last few weeks, so I wanted to make note of these few things here:

It started the other night — on possibly Thursday or Friday night.   It peaked about the time of a short but heavy rainstorm that we had around 8PM.

The storm had been brewing up most of the day, but around 6 PM, the wind had picked up and the sky started to rain with big, slow-falling  raindrops which slowly drench everything that they hit.

And even though I hadn’t been doing any outdoor devotions as of late, I was standing outside, around 7:30, thinking about doing some –despite the slow rain — when I became distracted by a strange noise.  It was definitely the sound of a bird squawking, but nothing like the typical ones that I often hear.  So I looked up, scanning the one tree that we have growing in our yard, and then I peered out over the fence, and into the neighbor’s yard.

And what do I see but a flurry of white wings — and I notice that there is a large white cockatiel perched on the back gutter that edges alongside my neighbor’s roof.  Its crest-feathers were fully extended, brightly yellow in the gloom, and it was squawking louder and louder as the wind and rain further picked up.  Several dogs in nearby yards began barking, which I think further upset the cockatiel.  It flew over my head and into my yard, to perch on our back-gutters, continuing to squawk all the while.   My husband, V, must’ve heard it, because he came out to see what was up.   When he saw the cockatiel, he went back in the house, and returned with some crackers.  (I think, V — who has had birds before – agreed that the cockatiel seemed anxious and panicky.)   With the crackers, I think that he had hopes of luring it into our patio — to get it out of the rain and calmed down — until we could think of what to do to get it back to its owners, after the rain had stopped.

I was worried for it, as I watched it nervously pace and flutter along the peak of our roof, squawking loudly.

But then, it began eyeing us, and moving closer and closer to the open slider to our patio…

Unfortunately, one of our three cats, Oliver, came over the fence just then, to come inside, and startled it — enough for it to immediately fly off further away and unto the roof of the neighbors directly across the street from us.

I haven’t seen it since, and I do wonder if it made it through the storm, or if it ever got back to its owners.

I hope so.

~~~

And then, this morning, I woke up to have another surprising interaction with a bird.  V insists that it was a raven; I think it was perhaps a young crow, or a starling.

Anyway,  it was around noon, and V had been working in his office, located on the far side of the house, from the patio.  I was in the bedroom, which adjoins the patio.

Even though it is unusual for me to having slept so late, I had just woken up.

Suddenly I heard a squawking commotion on the patio.  I hear the front slider being opened, and the sound of V talking gently, as if he’s trying to coax something.

I immediately assumed that the cockatiel had found its way back to our patio somehow, and I felt relieved.

So I walked out into the patio to see, not the cockatiel, but a medium sized black bird, panic-stricken and bonking its head against one of the windows  in the far left corner of the patio, even though it was less than six inches away from a window to its right that was wide open.

Poor thing.

Of course, our dog had begun to go nuts, and our three cats suddenly wanted a piece of the action, but V had closed all of them off from the patio, as he was gently trying to lure the bird towards that nearest open window.

Despite V really trying to be so gentle and careful about it, the bird seemed to notice none of it, and began to screech and flutter helplessly against that same closed window.

I was worried that it was really going to hurt itself in its panic.

So I brought V a towel, and he scooped it up in the towel, and the bird settled down enough for V to gently carry it and release it outside.

Right after it flew away, V turned to me, amazed that once he put the towel around it, the bird actually sat quietly in his hand for a few moments.

“Look, the raven came to say ‘hello’ to you,” he grinned at me, excitedly.

I don’t know why he thought that the bird had come to see me.

But I have to admit, it seems unusual to have had not one, but two personal interactions with birds this week.

~~~

And the mysterious fifth guest…

Earlier this month, my oldest son graduated from high school.  (He also finished his first year of college, as he took part in a college-affiliated program, as well.)   As you can imagine, V and I are pretty proud of him, so we wanted to celebrate by taking him out to dinner.

But since my son also works full time now, it has taken these few weeks before we could coordinate schedules to make that happen.

Three days ago, V made reservations for tonight, for the four of us at our local Ruth Chris’ Steakhouse.

We called to confirm this afternoon, a reservation for four.

But when we got there, they set us up for a table for five, and seemed surprised when we told them they’d only be four of us.

The hostess even double-checked, and claimed that she’d actually written down a reservation for five.

And the waiter – the same great waiter whom we had as our waiter the last time when V and I were there 3 months ago – even asked where our fifth person was.

Nope, there’s only 4 of us in this family.

But we did spend a few moments wondering who our fifth guest was supposed to be.

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OK, I’ll admit it.

~~~

First, I’ll admit that, since coming home from Clearwater, I haven’t really been keeping up with my daily, or even weekly, devotions.

* Freyja’s gone two, possibly three Fridays without fresh flowers.  And my normally daily prayer to Her has become more of sporadic one.

* I used to spend at least a half-hour in meditation every morning, outside in the backyard.  Though, I couldn’t tell you the last time that I actually did that…possibly two weeks ago?  Hm.

*Lately, Loki’s gotten maybe three ‘mindful’ cups of coffee from me in the past two weeks.  Though I’ve shared more meals with him than ever….though still not as much as I would’ve normally liked.  And I lost the Sleipnir artwork that I’d been working on after Mother’s Day.  (I really wonder where that ended up…)

*Odin…well, forget it.  I’ve barely said ‘hello’, much less anything else, in that regard.

* Ancestors…oh, here’s the real shame: I totally dogged out on performing any Father’s Day devotions.  I went to read a poem to my Dad, and I totally forgot the words. I’m sorry, Dad.

~~~

But, on the upside:

* I’ve cleaned up my front garden, and I noticed that my flowers are all back to blooming like crazy — even the purple daisies – Freyja’s – that I thought had died.  And my rosebush is becoming positively gargatuan.

* I went to Daytona on the weekend of the 9th/10th, and I *did* do several devotions to Njord & Freyja (on Friday), and to Loki and His family (especially Narvi) (on Saturday).  I brought home a few seashells — they look like little teeth, actually — and put them on Loki’s altar Sunday night.

* I also sent some messages out to sea for my Dad, and thought much about him on Sunday.  My Dad  -a former sailor – was the one who first taught me about the beauty and power of the ocean, actually.  A visit to the ocean wouldn’t have been complete without at least a few thoughts and my thanks given to him.

So it’s been a mix.

Mired.

On one of the FB groups that I’m in, someone asked what relationships that people feel that they have with Loki. <-(No matter how I’ve tried to fix the grammar/structure of that sentence, it sounds awkward to me…)

So, awkward sentences aside, the question of relationships re: Loki has got me thinking about what my own relationship might be with Himself.

You see, I don’t know.

On some level, this bothers me, simply because I am the sort who is prone to over-analyze things, especially relationships.  And, on top of that, when people talk about their relationships with their God(s), I’ve always been especially curious and fascinated as to what their answers might be.

I could chalk it up to being raised by two lapsed and extremely disgruntled Catholics who became atheists and misanthropes in regards to how they saw themselves in relation towards Gods and towards people, in general.

So, I shouldn’t really be surprised at all if I am a mixture of wary and curious towards how others have relationships with/to their Deit(ies) of Choice.   Even as a small child, I wanted to have a relationship with/to God, but I didn’t exactly know how to go about having one.

But, my paternal grandmother told me that you could have a relationship with God through daily prayer.   She even taught me to pray — but I’ll be the first to admit that the ritual of prayer -kneeling, clasping hands together, followed by saying particular words and phrases in a particular order — seemed awkward and unfamiliar.  I had too many questions about when and how, and worst of all, why, that the poor woman was probably overwhelmed. (And then there was the concept of ‘being humble’ and ‘being respectful’ and how one should use the ‘right’ words, but I was never clear on how to go about that, either.  I do recall her telling me that I was doing it wrong, however…)

So, yes.  I still feel — a little bit — that I’m doing it wrong, even today.  I still don’t know if I’m even saying the ‘right’ things, showing respect the right way.  All I do is hope, really, that I’m being heard/understood.

Sometimes, I just sit and talk.  Sometimes I’m quiet, and I just let things run through my head.  It feels more natural, but I don’t know if that’s How One is Supposed to Do This.

I do ask for understanding from Those I’m attempting to pray to, along with the general hope that I’ll realize quickly if and when I’m being corrected.

And, I swear that I’m getting to the point of all this…

Really.  I swear this is all related somehow.

I don’t know what my relationship to Loki is, but I think that I’d have a better idea if I could remember my dreams somehow.  Because whenever I’ve asked, it seems like I’ve gotten the answer in dreamspace at some later point.

I wonder if that it’s the only way that the Gods have found to communicate with me, and yet, oddly enough, I have trouble remembering those dreams.

I mean, I remember bits and pieces, but nothing that makes much sense, most of the time.

And to think, a year or so ago, I had absolutely zero problem with remembering every little detail of every dream…and I dreamt several times a night.

But nowadays, I dream about Loki or Freyja or Odin…and  *poof* I know that They were there and They talked…and stuff was shown to me, or explained to me, or work was done…but waking up brings me only the vague memory of something happening/happened…but it’s gotten away from me somehow.

One dream that I had, weeks ago, I think it was Himself who actually stood in front of me, arms akimbo and whatnot, and said, Listen, I’m telling you right now….somethingsomethingsomething… do you understand?  I remember His eyes, so serious, intense, shifting through their colors, His jaw set with this extremely no-nonsense expression, and I was actually a bit nervous, and I was thinking, Shit, this is important.  I hope that I don’t forget this when I wake up.  Because that would suck….

But that is exactly what seems to have happened.  I wrote about it in my paper journal, hoping I could re-capture some details, but…nope.

ARGH.

So…  Do I know what is the nature of my relationship with Loki?

It’s buried in my subconscious brain somewhere.

And I think that the fact that I’m unsettled a bit by not consciously knowing that seemingly simple little answer is a lesson for me in and of itself.   Because I have trouble with the sheer volume of what I want to know and can’t know (it’s almost like frustration and/or lack of patience with myself vis a vis walking this particular portion of the path), so I’ve got to practice accepting and being patient, and stop questioning how things will unfold right now.

 

In the small hours.

An odd thing happened at the hotel between Friday night and Saturday morning:

We had gotten to the room about 1:00 AM. It didn’t take us long to settle down.  V fell asleep almost immediately — he had, after all, done all the driving throughout the day before – and I dozed off pretty quickly, too.

And just when I started to dream, the alarm clock went off.  It was a loud, surreal, jangling sound.  I almost didn’t know what it was.   I looked over at the clock and saw that it was 2:00 AM.

So I got out of the bed and went over to the clock.

Upon picking it up, I noticed that it had a slider switch, which seemed to allow the alarm to be set in one of four different sound settings.  I wondered how all four sounds could be going off at once, as the clock alternately buzzed, jangled, vibrated, and played snippets of music, as I held it in my hands.

It took me a good two or three minutes before my groggy brain could decipher how in the hell to shut it off.

But I figured it out.

And then…no matter how hard I tried, I could not get back to sleep.

As I lay there in bed, analyzing things,  I realized that I was pretty stressed about the class that V and I would be teaching in about six hours.

And here I was, unable to get my head to be quiet, much to my dismay.

Around 5 AM or so, I really began feeling… alone.  Or lonely for someone to talk to, anyway.

So I lay there in the bed, with eyes closed.  I was half-aware of the TV going through yet another rotation of the midnight news cycle, when a commercial burst loudly into my consciousness, blaring:

LOKI CARES! LOKI CARES ABOUT YOU!

I opened my eyes to see, albeit blearily, that this was nothing more than a commercial for a local used car dealership in Clearwater, Florida: a LOKEY dealership, actually.

The commercial continued on about how “LOKEY cares about the customer” and “LOKEY is all about customer service” and whatnot, followed by the repeated phrase: “Don’t forget! LOKEY cares!”

*grin*

*boggles*

Still couldn’t get back to sleep, but it was nice to know:

LOKEY CARES…about me.

Even if I’ve no interest in a low-interest rate for a used car.