bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Month: May, 2015

Sacrifice.

Sacrifice is the practice of developing the habit of giving without expectation of immediate reward,
and cultivating faith in the larger generalized reciprocity of the universe.
It requires a leap beyond our fear of scarcity, our miserliness in the face of uncertain yields,
in order to let go of a little of what we find precious so that it may be shared.

Sacrifice cultivates the discipline of sharing. It does not require that we give up everything,
but it does require that we give.

Siegfried Goodfellow

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The Hypothetical Chicken Sandwich: a conversation.

Scene: A popular restaurant where I frequently have lunch.

(I am looking at the menu, and I realize much to my dismay that the restaurant no longer offers the version of chicken sandwich that I love.)

Me: (dismayed at the lack of my favorite chicken sandwich.)

L: But look!  There’s a new version of your chicken sandwich.

Me: I don’t want to try that new sandwich.  What if… I hate it?

L: Well.  Have you ever considered what if… you love it?

<trolls>Oh no…you just might! <trolls>

So.  I suggest that you try that sandwich.

Me: I might.

L: You should. *grins*

Me: (orders the sandwich)

L: ….

Me: OK.  I think…I think I love it.

L: *eyeroll* This is… My not-surprised face.

~~~Later~~~

Me: Hopefully, in my next life, I’ll be more easygoing and cheerful.

L: Tell Me why you couldn’t be more easygoing and cheerful in this life.

Me: It’s too late.

L: It’s never too late to decide to be happy.

~~~

So, this seems to have become a thing.

‘Hypothetical chicken sandwich’ seems to be our conversational shorthand for a moment when I refuse to adapt or choose to fight an inevitable change:

chicken_sandwich

 

 

Process, and projects.

So, as I mentioned a post or two ago, I have been working on several projects.

I have been making jewelry that mostly consists of beadwork and wire-wrapping.

I began last summer making necklaces and ankle bracelets, simply because I found that the process has become quite a meditative and calming activity for me.

I’ve made several pieces now, mostly for myself, as devotional jewelry, because most of the devotional jewelry that I’d purchased from retail was beginning to fall apart.

As well, I have been wearing an ankle bracelet 24/7 * for several years now, and I have found through experience that a lot of ankle bracelets (whether purchased retail or hand made by me) aren’t sturdy enough for such constant wear…or at least, the clasps aren’t.  I’m still trying to work out a means of clasp attachment – or a clasp/attachment combination – that will hold for longer than four months.  I’m getting there.

On the other hand, I switch out my necklaces a lot more often.  I have made several pieces each that are dedicated to specific Gods, and so I often wear those necklaces for shorter periods of time.  I might just phase out some of my older (retail purchased) pieces in favor of wearing exclusively handmade ones.

And, of course, there are times when I make something quick, thinking that I might wear it, and then I get the distinct impression that Someone likes it so much that I’ll end up just leaving it on Their altar…

Laufeynecklace

 

…as is the case here.

The beading cord is recycled hemp, which I’m not familiar working with, and thus the attachment point for this toggle clasp is probably not sturdy enough for wearing for any length of time anyway.

But I have come up with other ideas to expand upon this design, as I really love the earth-toned color scheme.

 

*Loki seems to appreciate that I have been wearing an ankle bracelet which has a design/color scheme that honors Him and His families.

~~~

I’ve also been working on an embroidery project that features all the Futhark runes.

When it is finished, I will be sure to post a picture of it, as it has taken me a while.  Certain runes seem to be a lot more difficult for me to stitch than others, and my perfectionist tendencies aren’t serving me so well in that department.

But as it is with beading, I find embroidery a very satisfying and meditative devotional activity.  I am guessing that there might not be too many people in this world who enjoy embroidering their altar cloths as much as I do, but I enjoy it very much.

I probably should switch out my altar cloths more often, or likewise, create more layers on the altars to showcase the ones I have finished.

I usually have one to three unfinished cloths at any given time, so I definitely have an altar cloth embroidery addiction, at the very least.  Ahem.

~~~

And finally, drawing.

I was puttering around DeviantArt the other day, and I realized that it has now been 3 years that I have had an account there, and yet I have never submitted any artwork.  Still.

(Still, a year or more after saying that I would.)

So, I was having a conversation – no, more like an argument, honestly – with an artist friend of mine yesterday.  In the course of our heated discussion, my artist-friend gave me all kinds of grief in regards to my obvious procrastination/aversion towards actually posting artwork, which led to his calling me out in his frustration, in a very Loki-esque manner:

You know what, Heathir?  

You need to stop talking about doing, and…f***ing DO.  

You need to either shit or get off the pot.

And it was a small thing, such a small thing, my not posting any artwork, you know.

I don’t know what I have been waiting for these past three years.  I’ve never had any excuse whatsoever not to post artwork…but I kept hemming and hawing, anyway.

And there was absolutely no reason to be afraid.

So, as soon as I got off the phone with him, I went to DeviantArt, scanned, and finally posted some artwork.

And the more that I scanned, the more that I wished that I’d keep my artwork in one place in a more organized fashion.

I scanned six pages from my sketch-book.  I started to wonder where I’d put some of the other sketches that I had done last summer.  I began looking through my notebooks, looking specifically for my vulture sketches, and all those face and figure studies that I did last month.

I couldn’t find a lot of what I was thinking to post on DeviantArt because I have been so disorganized in storing my artwork.  *sigh*

But, there’s actually artwork there now.

(There should be more, but I learned that my scanner doesn’t pick up my graphite sketches as well as I would have liked.  I’ll take that as a sign that I need to draw more confidently, ie; press down a little harder with the pencils, so the scanner will pick up the lines.)

 

In related news, I did a few more face studies, and one figure study yesterday in preparation for a t-shirt silkscreen project that I have been putting together:

Figure study 1

 

(Figure study #1: I am pleased with the leanness of the body, but I’m not as pleased with the face as much.  The eyes are fair to good (right eye is clear, left is not because of erasures), and I like the slightly raised eyebrow, but the mouth, nose, and facial hair need work.  And I realize that the hair on the head is all wrong.)

Face Study 1

(Face study #1: I love the hair, and even though it’s shorter than intended, I like the flow.  I like the left eye; too many erasures are muddying up the right eye, but the eye placement looks good to me.  The nose seems wrong somehow, and the mouth seems a bit too wide/too stiff of an expression.  Overall, He looks older than I intended, as well.)

Face Study 2

(Face Study #2: Facial feature placement seems good, but He still looks older than I intended.  Nose is better, and mouth is better.  Tried to keep the raised eyebrow.)

Face Study 3

(Face Study #3: Most of the time, I look at several photos of actual people and study their faces, and practice drawing the parts of the face several times before incorporating the details of several faces while I’m drawing one face.  This was a total freehand in that this face came together all at once, rather than incorporating the various details of several faces from studying photos.  This is the last, and oddly enough, the most simple face of the three that I drew.  I know that this one still needs work, but I really like that He doesn’t look so…middle-aged as He did in the other ones. )

 

Hail Loki, Fair of Face ❤

~~~

Spending time in the cheapest rooms.

The past few days have been so incredibly stressful/awful/what-have you.

This past Sunday being Mother’s Day did not help.  (For some context on that, you can read some here.)

And again, I am aware that some of it is my own damned fault…and yet some of it is not.

But I am reminded that only I can change myself, and only I can change my attitude about what’s been happening.

I cannot change anyone else, nor can I change their attitude.

 

But nonetheless, whenever I have the sort of time that I have been having – a time which seems damned near insurmountable some days – I get this song as a reminder:

 

And following that, I usually get the Universal poke to the head from Him, thusly:

Hafizcheaproom

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tangled Up in Blue

Concerning Petrarch, poetry, and a question from a reader:

I read a lot of poetry, and I listen to a lot of music.

Often these two habits will intersect in my life in strange and delightful ways, especially where and when my Gods are involved.

One particular song that I have always loved is Bob Dylan’s Tangled Up in Blue.

And I came to love it even more when the Indigo Girls released their cover of that song on their live album, 1200 Curfews, in 1995.

As you may or may not know, it was not until 1997 or so that I started getting specific spiritual nudges again.  And sufficed to say, this song came up a lot on the radio at that time, and as a result, I heard the Indigo Girls’ cover several times a day.

But as much as I knew the lyrics, there was one particular verse that always baffled me, however.

This one:

She lit a burner on the stove and offered me a pipe
“I thought you’d never say hello” she said
“You look like the silent type”
Then she opened up a book of poems
And handed it to me
Written by an Italian poet
From the thirteenth century
And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burning coal
Pouring off of every page
Like it was written in my soul from me to you
Tangled up in blue.

 

All I could think of was…what sort of words were those?  And even more so, who wrote them?

I mean, as a person who loves poetry, I could absolutely agree that poetry, in all its forms, is the highest form of word-alchemy.

As well, I would be the first to agree that good poetry certainly can and does transcend time.

But I had to, absolutely had to… find out who was that ‘Italian poet from the thirteenth century’?

And no, I don’t think that anybody really knows.

As far as I can tell, Bob Dylan has never identified any particular poet as being the poet that he references…so I began to wonder if Dylan was just simply trying to convey some universally profound fact about love and human relationships, as well as something similar to what I just wrote up there about poetry being word-alchemy.

~~~

Cut to three years ago, I was in a large retail bookstore chain, just browsing, as I often do.

If you must know, I wasn’t even in the poetry section.  Because, as much as I love poetry, I hardly ever buy books of it.

So it was more than likely that I’d been skimming a Kingdom Hearts graphic novel with my kid, or trying to choose between two or three sci-fi/fantasy anthologies, or whatever, when ‘Tangled Up in Blue’ came up on the in-store music system.

I remember looking up from the book that I had been browsing, to see that someone had left a copy of Petrarchian love sonnets on the floor.

…and that exact verse – with line about an Italian poet from the thirteenth century – was the verse that was playing when I noticed that book on the floor.

And no, I didn’t buy the book.   I brought it back to the poetry section and left it there.

If I bought anything, I probably purchased an anthology of short horror stories and a comic book for my kid.

But when I got home, I Googled ‘Petrarch.’   Having been an English major in college, I did know that Petrarch was an Italian poet… and just as any English major who studied poetry, I was familiar with the Petrarchian sonnet.

What detail that I didn’t know, or likewise remember, was that Petrarch wrote most of those sonnets about love and loss…in the 13th century.

In that next week or so, I hemmed and hawed about this whole thing being  a ‘universal sign’…

 

But eventually I did purchase a book of Petrarchian love sonnets a few months later.

 

So.

Yes.

You may take it however you will, but that book of Petrarchian love sonnets is on my altar because of one particularly sneaky incidence of pandoramancy coinciding with a misplaced book.

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

File under: A few of my favorite things.

I swear to Gods, I’m not a wreck all of the time.

But lately, one might think so, judging by how often I have chosen to write posts that detail my latest struggles.

So, in an effort to be more positive, I wanted to post something that makes me happy.

 

This is one of my Loki altars:

cropaltarpicMay7

This altar happens to be the first thing that I see every morning and the last thing that I see every night.  And, as you might imagine, it holds several devotional items that have come to have a lot of meaning for me lately.

First, there is the very large picture of Himself, a special commission that I had done (for my 43rd birthday) by talented Pagan artist, Kimberly Williams.   While this picture might not be everyone’s cup of tea – as some folks are of the opinion that He has a frighteningly voracious grin – but I find His grin tremendously comforting, if not downright friendly at the end of a particularly trying day.

Secondly, there are those lovely – and powerful! -Loki prayer beads purchased from Fiberwytch on Etsy.   I can’t say enough how much I love and heartily recommend Beth Lynch’s work.   The beads often reflect light with a lot of fire and flash whenever I use them, and the hematite and jackfruit beads are positively silky to the touch. The sleepy fox charm, on the other hand, comes across to me as more adorable than sneaky, and that’s just fine with me.

Overall, these prayer beads are a joy to handle and use.  I pack them whenever I will be away from home overnight.

Thirdly, is my latest purchase -also from Fiberwytch – a tinned candle with a wooden wick for Loki that is so strongly scented of espresso that my family often insists that I must be brewing a bottomless pot of fresh coffee in the bedroom. (Though I would imagine that He wouldn’t mind that one bit.)  As well, the wooden wick does crackle like a miniature bonfire – which also sounds and smells woodsy and wonderful – creating the perfect atmosphere for Lokean meditations.

And so there you have it -three of my favorite devotional items made by two talented Pagan artisans – both of whom I would highly recommend.

~~~

Perhaps tomorrow, I will post some of my own personal artwork, crafts, and offerings that I have been making to the Gods

 

 

….as well as the beginnings of my latest long-term fun project that I’m hoping to expand upon this summer.