bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: gratitude

Four.

Ich liebe euch beide <3

A surprisingly recurrent theme.

I’m happy to report that, unlike past years, my Christmas/Yule holidays were surprisingly pleasant.

Usually the Yuletide season is both physically and emotionally difficult for me, as I have been usually prone to depression and physical illness in the final months of the year.

But not this year.

For that I am grateful and I’m trying not to overthink it.

~~~~

Another aspect of this Yuletide concerned abundance of gifts that involved a particular image.

And that was Yggdrasil…the Tree of Life.

It began my purchase of prayer beads from Beth Wodandis Designs:

treeoflifebeads

I’d had my eye on these prayer beads ever since they were posted.  Perhaps it was the color scheme (I love the earth toned palette and the feel of the madre de cacao wood beads*) but I vacillated on which I preferred — the silver or the goldtone tree pendant?

As much as I’ve always felt drawn to trees – and the concept of the World Tree especially – my brain has always wrangled with the concept of working with Odin/Woden.

Perhaps it is because I am a Lokean at heart, but I cannot deny that I’ve definitely felt drawn to the Tree.  I will not deny the connections that I feel with trees symbolically and spiritually.

So, these beads arrived on December 21st.

And surprisingly, the Universe seemed to answer to my tree connections – in spades – because I then received two other gifts that specifically featured trees – if not the Tree – outright:

A large gift basket from my oldest son – a ‘gourmet picnic basket,’  no less – that featured this frame among its various contents:

treeoflifeframe

Even my son pointed out that the inclusion of this little frame seemed random, as every other item in this gourmet picnic basket** was food/beverage related.

This basket contained a pair of wine glasses, a standard-sized bottle of red wine, a small assortment of gourmet cheeses, a cheese knife, a cutting board, two plates, a box of fancy English biscuits, a package of assorted organic wheat crackers, a pound of fine dark chocolate…and what we all thought was simply an elegantly folded pair of linen napkins, tied with a ribbon.

The frame was folded within the napkins.

The basket was store-bought and obviously pre-made.

It was definitely an unexpected, if somewhat odd surprise.

~~~

Then, a relatively new acquaintance — who knows very little of my spirituality, let alone my personal preferences — gifted me with this delicate ankle bracelet

treeoflifeankle

…featuring (yet another) Tree of Life.

 

Hmmm.

~~~

*My Loki prayer beads feature palm wood beads.

**And speaking of picnic baskets, watching the BBC’s Doctor Who Christmas episode, there was a delightful reference to

I kid you not

A picnic in Asgard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Other Side of Judgment and Fear

Another re-blog…but it is good and necessary food for thought today.

I highly recommend reading if you are prone to negative self-talk and worrying, (ie, ‘brain-weasels’)

Element

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Hello everyone, welcome ❤

I was trying to get caught up reading and commenting to posts the other day and I came to a one that dray0308 from Dream Big Dream Often reblogged. The title of the post was “Worrying About Nothing” This post was about questioning yourself, your choices and decisions rather than just living and enjoying your life.

It’s sad how often we judge ourselves. We suffer under the crushing fear that we can’t live the life we want because we aren’t doing enough, we aren’t good enough, we aren’t smart enough, we aren’t pretty or handsome enough. We just aren’t, right enough.

I’ve been to that dark place. I spent 10 years struggling with little to no self esteem and believing everything bad in my life was my fault, that there was nothing I could do right. I spared no judgment against myself. I saw my son, how we…

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Joy, and derailment.

From Wikipedia:

A derailment is said to take place when a vehicle (for example a train) runs off its rails. This does not necessarily mean that it leaves its track. Although many derailments are minor, all result in temporary disruption of the proper operation of the railway system, and they are potentially seriously hazardous to human health and safety. Usually, the derailment of a train can be caused by a collision with another object, the mechanical failure of tracks, such as broken rails, or the mechanical failure of the wheels.

Also:

In psychiatry, derailment  is a thought disorder characterized by discourse consisting of a sequence of unrelated or only remotely related ideas. The frame of reference often changes from one sentence to the next.

In a mild manifestation, [this] is characterized by slippage of ideas further and further from the point of a discussion. Some of the synonyms given… are used by some authors to refer just to a loss of goal: discourse that sets off on a particular idea, wanders off and never returns to it.  In some studies on creativity…it describes a similarly loose association of ideas, [but] it is not considered a mental disorder, or the hallmark of one; it is sometimes used as a synonym for lateral thinking.

~~~

 

From Thursday, 18 February 2015:

I was feeling good.  I really was.

I was feeling as if a fog had lifted.  I was feeling that I was being seen and understood.  Things were good.

And then my friend, Phil called, wanting to talk.  Phil said that he had been concerned about me and he simply wanted to ‘check in’ with me.

We ended up getting in an argument over the historical accuracy of the show Vikings.

Now I must wonder if Phil might not be as aware of my spirituality as I had assumed.  While I’d thought that Phil was somewhat aware of the fact that I am a polytheist and a Pagan, it occurs to me that he might not given it much thought beyond that.  He was flippant and downright condescending towards the spiritual beliefs and culture of pre-Christian societies, including the Vikings.

(I cannot seem to think of the concept that I’m trying to convey here – the belief that one’s ancestors weren’t as intelligent or spiritually developed as those living in the modern age.  Edited to add: Urdummheit.  The concept is called Urdummheit.)

He made several comments about the Eddas as ‘being a stupid bunch of poems,’ and that ‘the Havamal is a poem that has no basis in reality’ when I pointed out the cultural relevance of both in giving insight to Viking society.  When I brought up Tacitus- since he was trying to make his point that his belief is that there is no historical record of Vikings being anything beyond what he was saying that they were – that is precisely where our conversation truly degenerated into something that was more contradiction than intellectual discussion.

We were talking about history, and the next thing you know, we were getting defensive with each other about the legitimacy of each other’s opinions.

And it disturbs me when that happens.  Initially, I’d felt the need to defend my point, but then I realized that I’d lost all patience to do so.

I haven’t any patience to educate you on my opinions today.

~~~

In an attempt to cheer myself up and focus on things more positive, I thought about my upcoming flight to Atlanta to visit another friend over the weekend of March 6th-8th.

Earlier in the day, my friend had texted me concerning my plans.

I allowed myself to feel good when I read about how excited and pleased she was for the opportunity to see me, as we hadn’t seen each other in several years.

When I realized that I had missed some of her recent responses, due to my being on the phone with Phil, I returned her call.

And she didn’t answer.

I had to remind myself that it was OK.  I had to remind myself that I was just feeling defensive and put off energetically by my phone call with Phil.

~~~

He asks me what is wrong.  I can’t even articulate it.

~~~

A friend posted something today – and I responded to it, but I probably should not have.

It dealt with something that I could relate to that Loki had said, about joy being one of the only things that impresses Him; the sense of presence, the joy of being in the moment is all He’d ever seek.  How He seeks energy, energetic presence that is pure, unadulterated by shame or guilt or guile.

This reminds me of the words that He has often said to me:

Just feel.  Just be.

 Do you know what you are?

You are light.  You are energy.  You are electricity.  You are fire in a bottle, contained.  

Shine on.

But, as is a human habit, I get hung up in negativity, in conceits, in an inability to see the opportunity, to allow myself the experience of the raw joy of being.

We squander it, I suppose, spending all of our time in making comparisons and in competition with each other rather than feeling compersion, or allowing ourselves connection.

Maybe that is the lesson.

If I am ever going to love him

I should just love him

and stop thinking of how I could do it better

or more profoundly

or whatever

and just love him

Just letting the light of what I am –just letting that love flow out of me.

Just be.  Just love.

It sounds woo-hippy-crazy, I know.

But I don’t care.

It’s difficult – but probably not nearly as difficult as I am making it out to be.

Let go of fear and open to love.

 

 

Eleven.

 

Eleven months ago….

latefragment

 

 

Yes.  ❤

Thank You for asking.

 

Water, fire, love… and madness.

We survived the first week of school pretty well, so I cannot say that things are going as badly as they were.

As a matter of fact, I’m almost afraid to admit that things might be slowly moving towards ‘going well’ these days.

 

So, with that said, we went out this weekend.

We went grocery shopping on Saturday morning, and got enough groceries to re-stock the pantry.

We even remembered to get the supplies to square away the pool so that we could actually enjoy our pool more often.

And swim in it we did.

We spent the bulk of  early daytime Saturday skimming, cleaning, and chlorinating the pool…followed by assembling pool floats so that we could spend the rest of the daylight enjoying the heat of the day in the water.

By the time that we were ready to be done with the pool for the day, it was time to settle in to watch the much anticipated new episode of Doctor Who, followed by the pilot episode of that new BBC series, Intruders.

We ordered out for Chinese, so I wouldn’t have to worry about cooking.

But then,  I realized that I had a produce drawer full of the best pie apples, so I ended up baking an apple pie after dinner, while we watched Intruders.

~~~~

Intruders gave me something weird to think about in the first ten minutes, as there was that (heavily promoted) scene with that mysterious night visitor holding one of those yellow 45 rpm adapters… and as it turns out, that scene eerily played out so very much fucking closer to a very strange childhood memory of mine than I had previously expected…. that I very nearly had a full-on panic attack upon watching that scene.

*shudder*  GAH.

NOW, while I can’t possibly guess at who those mysterious strangers will turn out to be in the series,  there is a part of my psyche that was and still is both intrigued and terrified by the possibilities.

What if they turn out to be….?

O.o

But I am telling myself that if they do…I’ll just take it as yet another instance of Sneaky Ton of Bricks, simply on par with an extreme What is My Life Even Moment.

Perhaps, if things get really intense, my experience may reach levels at the Ratio of Several WTFs Per Minute.

*breathes*

Anyway….there was…. that yesterday.

~~~~

Today, we went to the Farmer’s Market, and I got my opportunity to pick up some locally grown cucumbers, tomatoes, and green peppers.

As well, I picked up 3 lbs of organic honey.

Do you know what time it is?

 

Why it’s mead-making time, of course ❤

 

 

(Though I still need to get some powdered milk if I’m ever going to make that honey candy that I have been meaning to make, as well.)

 

And then…I was lucky to find a great deal on a new firepit, and I’m no idiot, so I brought home that business.

 

It’s more like a steel fire-bowl with legs, like this:

firepit

But I am going to build a stone encasement around it, making it a more permanent structure in my yard, like this:

exterior-enchanting-idea-of-the-fire-pit-made-of-stone-on-stone-ground-shaped-into-round-theme-surrounding-by-modern-chairs-awesome-exterior-features-warming-up-for-cool-fire-pit-ideas-546x409

Of course, this means that I will likely be recycling the broken clay chiminea:

chiminea

(lovingly nicknamed ‘Dick’)

that I have been using for all my firepit ritual needs for the last several years.

Unfortunately, ‘Dick’ was gifted to me by my oldest kid five years ago, and as much as ‘Dick’ received a lot of use – when home, I wrote a letter to burn as an offering at least every other week or so — ‘Dick’ has always seemed to be a haven for spiders.

Yes, even despite the heat and you know, flames(!)… these fearless  spiders…still live there, and I am more than content to let them continue to do so.

I mean, these spiders risk being barbecued on a fairly regular basis, so I figure that they must be some pretty bad-ass spiders.

Bad-ass fire spiders.

That is why it is that I think it best to leave the bad-ass fire spiders alone and create a nice fire-pit well away from them, to keep everyone safe and happy.

(And besides, Someone seems to love the idea of a new fire-pit.

 *nudge* *nudge*

How about FIRE NAO?  I would LOVE FIRE NAO.)

~~~

Speaking of which, my Much Beloved….

This:

(Lyrics here)

Goodbye July: Leaving this final thought

So today is August 1st, and July 2014 was quite an intense month for me personally and emotionally, even if I didn’t blog about it as frequently as I’d intended.

It was definitely a Month for Loki, and it definitely involved several major lessons in my life.

And I woke up this morning with this song stuck in my head, only to find that Epix was playing Pink’s concert from February 2013, and this song was one of her encores:

 

So, with that in mind, I leave July

 

and begin August with a final thought

 

that no matter what happens, I must not forget —

 

Pretty, pretty please, don’t you ever, ever feel
Like you’re less than fucking perfect
Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel
Like you’re nothing, you’re fucking perfect to me

 

~~~

Point taken, Sir ❤

 

Month for Loki, Day 6: Five words.

Y’know, this would have been a better post for yesterday — since yesterday was the 5th and all – but, ah well, I saw this article posted again today.

 

As if to remind me.

 

So, here we are.

 

And yes, I do believe that the writer of this article is correct.

I’d seen this life-changing statement that answered the endless plea that I had made to the Universe regarding What I Should Do several months ago – yes, I had seen the article before, you know – but I wasn’t ready to see any of my relationships in this statement of just 5 words:

Only stay where you’re valued.

Yes.  That’s it.   Simple yet powerful, if you think about it.

There were no complex quizzes, no lists of questions that I should be asking myself when I thought about ‘Should I stay or should I go?’ or any of the other fence-sitting navel-gazing sort of circular musing that I am famous for engaging in at 4 AM while lying awake with insomnia.

This article asks one to consider just one very vital aspect of any relationship – especially personal relationships – and that is to think about the concept of value.

Not  ‘Are you needed?

Not ‘Are you happy?

Not ‘Are you paid attention to?’

or even

Am I loved?’

Or any of the other variations on the theme of  that last one that a worried brain who questions the status of their relationship can come to at 4 AM.

Why?

Because, if you follow along the premise as presented in the article, if you are valued in a relationship, and you value those who are in a relationship with you*, then all those other questions answer themselves.

(*Psst: hey, even if the relationship is with yourself, *this statement still works*.  Kinda sneaky ton of bricks, isn’t it?)

Seriously.

Go read it.

~~~

And with that, on the sixth day, I say,

Hail, Loki.

Thank You for the reminder, my Sweetest Friend ❤

 

 

Month for Loki, Day 2: Better late than never, I suppose.

So, July being the Month for Loki, I realize that I’m a little late to His party, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t anything to post about it.

As a matter of fact, I just returned from a sort of ‘mini-break’ from the Two Week Long Chain of Events That May Very Well Be the Most Excruciating Personal Changes to Ever Happen in My Life(tm).

And since my Sweetest Friend is very well known for having a penchant for nudging His folks towards making excruciating (and often necessary) personal changes, it seems rather fitting that I would end June 2014 with some well-placed explosions to my comfort zones.

(Besides, it beats what happened last July 2nd.)

My mini-break involved visiting the ocean with H., thanks to the generosity of a very dear friend.

anamariasunset

So, I spent a few days at a beautiful little beach house on an island, far from home, hanging with H and her kid.

We went swimming in the ocean in the day, and swimming in the pool at night.

We looked for parking, bought souvenirs, had some intriguing conversations, and ate some delicious food — including  really fresh seafood, and  the best key lime pie that I have ever tasted in my life thusfar.

There were also maple bacon doughnuts, salted caramel doughnuts, and sriracha peanut doughnuts, all courtesy of a delightful local bakery that makes them fresh, right in front of you.

~~~~

All in all, it was a welcome break from nearly a month of navigating personal emotional landmines, and making some of the most difficult decisions of my life.

And while there is still a lot of work to come, I am not alone.

I began my painful journey among friends a little less than a month ago, and I don’t know how I could have navigated any of it thusfar without their support, friendship, and love.

I am thankful for them, especially H.

~~~~~

 

And, of course, I am thankful for Himself.

 

Hail and Thank You, my Sweetest Friend!

 

Derailed

I had a post all prepared for today concerning how I’ve begun doing a particular daily devotional activity, but instead, I got derailed by this article that accompanies this photo:

Image

Well, this photo got me to thinking.

The father featured in this photo hopes for a day when a father just doing his daughter’s hair doesn’t come off as a big deal.

This father hopes for a day when any father doing this would not be considered unusual or even worthy of commentary.

Evidently some think that this photo should garner surprise or alarm or go as viral as this photo did on the Internet.

It’s a nice photo.  It evokes a lot of thoughts for me, but maybe they are not what you might think.

What does it make me think of?

The fact that I never learned how to do my own hair very well, and that had always made me feel like I was somehow less of a girl.

Sure, I had a mother and a sister, and a few close female friends, but no, no one ever really showed me how to do my own hair.

Some of them – the female friends in high school – would offer to do my hair for me, or, sometimes, rarely, let me watch them do theirs.

But, truthfully, the whole concept of hands-on skills of how to do braids or make evenly distributed pigtails or putting my hair up in a loose French twist with just a pencil (a trick that still delights and fascinates me, to this day) always eluded me.  Nobody really taught me the process of doing anything like that.

I’ve had three states of hairdo up to young adulthood: ‘long hair down’, ‘long hair in one loose ponytail with rubber band’, and ‘hair cut so short that I can’t do a ponytail.’

And then, when I was about 25 or so, I had a friend named Steve.

Steve took the time to show me how to braid my hair three different ways.  He also showed me the basics of pigtails, and how to take a ponytail and turn it into a bun and/or a twist.

He even knew how to make that loose French twist with a pencil trick that I love so much (but, I still never get much practice doing.)

And no, Steve was not a hairdresser.

He was just the father of one little girl, whom I imagine, always got to school with her hair done really nicely.

So, I look at this picture, and think about how grateful I am to a father of a particular little girl (who probably isn’t so little anymore), and it just makes me happy.

That picture makes me happy…and grateful that somebody’s dad taught me how to do my hair.

Thank you, Steve ❤