bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Month: July, 2012

Autocorrect

OK, before I forget all the little things that I’ve been meaning to post — most of which makes me look sideways and grin to downright feeling a mixture of awe while simultaneously fighting the urge to flail — here’s one thing that just delights me:

 

I have a friend who is driving down from Atlanta tomorrow.  We are texting back and forth this evening, about how excited we are to be seeing each other tomorrow.  She is making me laugh with her turns of phrase, and whenever I try to type ‘LOL’

…..autocorrect changes it to ‘LOKI’

Her: <insert funny/flirtatious turn of phrase>

Me: LOKI!

Her: ?

Me: autocorrect!  I meant LOL!

Her: Oh OK.  🙂

 

And that happened a two more times after that…

 

🙂

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A sneaky ton of bricks.

“Are you the new person drawn towards me?”

Walt Whitman,  1819–1892

Are you the new person drawn toward me?

To begin with, take warning, I am surely far different from what you suppose;

Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?

Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover?

Do you think the friendship of me would be unalloy’d satisfaction?

Do you think I am trusty and faithful?

Do you see no further than this façade, this smooth and tolerant manner of me?

Do you suppose yourself advancing on real ground toward a real heroic man?

Have you no thought, O dreamer, that it may be all maya, illusion?

~~

I love this poem.

And there is actually a reason for my posting it, which I’ll get to in a moment.

~~~

But first, I wanted to express my consternation at being very near the halfway point of the month, and yet, my intention of writing a daily devotional to Loki here, obviously, has not happened.

Though it hasn’t been for lack of material – though I did worry/panic a bit at the possibility that I would run out of things to post, and yet, surprisingly, that is not a problem — but it is entirely due to my inability to actually commit to sitting in this chair each day to actually post something.

And that is a problem.

Because now my brain is sorta backed up with stuff, and I have this wild ADHD-fueled desire to Post All The Things(!!).

But, with the help of some deep cleansing breaths, I’ve realized that I can commit to, at the very least, posting today about this poem.

Well, because, you see, this poem kinda snuck up on me, in a very specifically strange and delightful way, and I figured that finding this poem this morning was a sign that maybe I should talk about this poem.

Today.

In a post.

Right now.

~~~

Being a native New Englander, I am somewhat familiar with Walt Whitman, as Whitman is often lumped in with Longfellow, Thoreau, Frost, and other poets/writers of that time period….and Longfellow, Thoreau, and Frost are definitely associated with New England in a lot of ways. (Even though I was somewhat surprised about 20 minutes ago to re-discover via Google that Whitman is from New York. Hmm. I don’t consider New York as being New England, so that seems a bit off, but I digress…)

So, I would even say that I somewhat like Whitman’s poetry, and I considered myself familiar with a lot of his poetry, too.

But, mind you, Walt Whitman is certainly not enough of a favorite poet of mine that I maintain a digital collection of his poetry or anything.

But this particular poem?

I’d never seen it before.

And I almost typed ‘…until today’ but if I said that, it wouldn’t make any sense, really, because I found the poem this morning saved to my ‘Favorite Bookmarks’ list.

Now how could that be if I say that I never knew that this poem existed until today BUT it was somehow added to my Favorites list previous to this day?

Because it so seems to have been.

And yet, I don’t remember ever adding it to my Favorites, and this is my laptop, and no one else uses this laptop but me, and yet, it was obviously added before this day, because there are several entries before and after it that I do remember adding.

So.

What does it mean?

I don’t know…and yet, here is this poem that speaks to me today about something that has been on my mind for weeks, concerning authenticity.

I don’t know what this poem does for you — and feel free to let me know how it strikes you — but I know what this poem did for me this morning.

It got me to thinking about Loki’s ‘face’/’facets (and my own, too, of course.).

It caused me to think about how each face/facet exists alongside the other faces/facets, and how these faces can be ones that are intentionally shown, or they can be ones that are intentionally hidden, or even faces that one doesn’t realize are being shown/seen or hidden/known until one is ready to see/know them….

Hmmm…there are so many of them, aren’t there?

And it’s funny how this poem seems to have shown up on my Bookmarks suddenly, and its words hit me like a ton of bricks.

This poem is, in my opinion, a sneaky ton of bricks.

But then, again, it strikes me as definitely a poem about approaching. Approaching someone whom one wants to know, or one thinks that they know, and this poem can serve as a little introductory interview.

Ah….I see what you did there.

How so very… Loki of you.

Loki and Sigyn image

This is the Carl Gebhardt print, Loki and Sigyn, 1896.

It hangs over the bed in my bedroom.

Loki Tangles the Threads

The same logic can be used for other elements of the late Loki traditions: In

Iceland and the southernmost Danish islands, Loki is associated with tangles that

appear when sewing or spinning, but in such differing forms that the one can

hardly have been borrowed from the other. This tangle-Loki can easily be explained

from the Vatten (see § 4.1.2).

Today, I decided that I would work on some embroidery on the altar cloth that I’d been using on my Loki-altar. 

  Previously, I’d had all sorts of ideas for these complex designs that I was going to embroider onto the fabric.

 But then, I couldn’t find my finer needles.  Anywhere.

 So, with the one needle that I did locate, I decided to stitch something simple…like maybe ‘Loki’ spelled out in runes on one corner.

That’s just 4 runes, I thought.  How hard can that be? 

I’d figured that the whole process would take me maybe twenty minutes, a half-hour, tops. 

Evidently…not.

Four runes, each about 1/2” in height/width, took nearly an hour to complete.

The thread kept tangling.  Or downright knotting up.

I had trouble trying to make a simple chain-stitch.

Several times, I had to double-back on the previous stitches just to get them to show…that is, when I didn’t find that a previous stitch didn’t catch, only to see the last two stitches unravelling or pulling out altogether when I pulled things tight.

It was silly.

I’ve never had so much trouble with an embroidery project before.

My goodness.

I know that it might be my perfectionism, but really…

So I was not surprised to have found that quote about a particular Icelandic/Danish folk belief (see above) in Eldar Heide’s Loki, the Vatten, and the Ash Lad while I was reading this afternoon.

😉

Holding the bowl

Yesterday, my offering was to hold the bowl for Sigyn.

(I try to hold the bowl for at least 15 minutes, or longer, if I can.)

Usually when I am in the space, holding the bowl, I think about many things, but mostly about what it must be like to be in the cave with Them.   The space that I use is somewhat small, and I keep it dark, or mostly so, sometimes with only the light of Their candles on the altar.

So, I think about the dark, as I begin my mental wandering:  Is it cold? Is it wet?  A desolate, gray place…

Sometimes, I visualize things – long shadows in the flickering light, the flash of reptilian eyes and movement above me…sometimes, I can almost see Loki’s face.  Almost.

Sometimes, I think about the sounds:   Ragged breathing.   The hollow echo of water.   The soft hiss of venom hitting the bowl.  Fshht. Fsssht.  Teeth grinding, the muffled gasp upon the sharp intake of pain…

Mostly I think about how it must feel:  the tight twinge in muscles shifting,  the weight of the bonds,  the sweat of effort beading down the back of the neck…but most often, Their fathomless grief and loss that mingled with the fatigue of time.

But yesterday, I found myself feeling something entirely new.

Now usually I eat before doing this ritual, as I often make offerings of a portion of whatever I had for dinner, for Them.  Sometimes, I’ll put them on the indoor altar, if there’s room, or I will leave the offering for Them on the outside altar, much earlier in the evening.

But, yesterday, in my hurry, I did not bring the food offerings to either altar before I began, even though I had eaten, and I had set aside a portion, as usual.  (There was also the bread, beer, and fresh water that I’d meant to bring to the indoor altar – but I’d forgotten that, too in my haste yesterday.)

So, there I was holding the bowl, and oddly enough, within a few minutes, I was suddenly hit with an overwhelming wave of hunger.  My stomach knotted and rumbled, and even though I had eaten a full meal less than a half hour before, I felt struck with hunger pangs as if I hadn’t eaten in days.

And then it quickly dawned on me.  Here was a situation that, strangely enough, had never really occurred to me before:  The incredible level of hunger and thirst that They must have felt while in the cave.  Perhaps I was feeling a brief portion of Their hunger…?

So, I’m almost ashamed to admit that I broke off from the devotion after only ten minutes…but when I did return, moments later, I was certain to bring all the offerings, including the bread, the beer, and the water before I took up the bowl again.

Hail Loki!  Hail Sigyn!

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A Strange Dream

(Actually written 22 June 2012 in my personal [read: paper notebook] journal)

Once we arrived at the campsite, we were tired, but we didn’t lay down until very late in the evening.

So I was laying there, thinking about how devoutly I wished that sleep would come.

Then, I began thinking about how out of touch I felt with spiritual things.

I found myself wishing again, that I could talk to the gods in my dreams.

I wanted an explanation of sorts; I wanted something to explain as to whether or not…I was being noticed(?)

Something tense, sad, and dark was bubbling up within me, within my thoughts.

And so began a seemingly mundane dream, interspersed with wildly shifting images, shapes and faces, concepts and colors.  These then became rapidly cycling mental impressions and imagery of my siblings and parents, and I looked around to find myself sitting by myself at a Formica table, in a mostly empty diner.  What I saw around me seemed something out of Hemingway’s short story, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.

The atmosphere struck me as both peaceful and yet a little bit melancholy, as I was surrounded by muted voices from people with drawn, insomniac faces, lit under bright, flourescent lighting.

And then it came: Like a narrative voice-over in a movie scene, a young boy’s voice rang out clear in my head, loud and close to my ear, and he said:

Even though my Father doesn’t mind (doesn’t like?*) you talking to him, I think that you should know that…you have a spider on your face!

The boy’s voice sounded caught, breathless, as if the presence of the spider was a sudden and unexpected interruption, and he’d actually meant to tell me something else entirely; there was something meaningful that he’d come to explain…

But I suddenly awoke, my face tingling, to find myself swatting from my face an actual spider.

It was a little grey spider, with bright red points on its legs and back, and I’ve no doubt that it actually had been crawling on my face.

I watched as the spider skittered away over the rumpled sheets, disappear over the edge of the mattress, and unto the ground.

The spider was real.

And I am left wondering, now.

Who is the boy?  And more importantly, who is his father?

~~~

* The boy’s voice, though rather loud, seemed to swallow a word there, and I couldn’t tell if he said ‘mind’ or if he said ‘like.’

It bothers me, as that particular word in that sentence seems to be the most important word of all to have understood in order to understand the overall meaning of the sentence, in my opinion.

Part of me wants to believe that it was mind and not like, simply because, whomever it may be that the boy was referring to, it hurts my ego to think that “(his) Father” is bothered by my talking to him!

*sigh*