So, this past Saturday, my husband and I were invited to the home of the parents of my son’s (Peruvian) fiancee -to celebrate! 🙂
Much like Fourth of July in the US – Peruvian Independence Day is celebrated with much food, drink, and revelry in the form of dancing, music, and singing.
Yes, we drank and ate some great barbecue.
And, as it is a tradition in her family, both my husband and I were persuaded into not only singing karaoke, but dancing.
(As for anyone who has been following me for a while – the reason why this experience may fall under the auspices of an offering for Loki, is that I am prone to social anxiety. This sort of situation – a large social gathering that most non-socially anxious folks would consider an enjoyable party – is a one-way ticket to a panic attack for me. The added aspect regarding family and hospitality was a not-so-surprising feature of the day, and the importance of that was not lost on me as well. Besides, one might recall that I have been promising Him that I would dance and/or sing at a social event for years.)
And so, I finally did just that.
I danced several rounds and I sang not one but several songs, much to the surprise of my husband and children.
There was such an air of joyful celebration throughout the day.
My husband and I felt honored to be invited to share in that joy, and I can honestly say that the hours (yes, hours!) flew by.
It was truly an amazing day.
And one of the most delightful surprises of the day was in the traditional drinking of a particular cocktail – the Pisco Sour:
It consists of Pisco – a clear brandy made of fermented grapes which originate from Peru.
The traditional form of the Pisco Sour contains a shot and a half of Pisco, an egg white, a dash of simple syrup, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Or, in the case of a quick fix – a shot of high-quality Pisco, a splash of ginger ale, and a few lime slices.
It was rather tasty – and the ‘quick version’ as you might imagine, is deliciously similar to another of my favorite drinks -the Irish Buck 🙂
A Facebook friend posted this video in my feed today:
And it triggered a lovely memory that I have that is related to this song.
In April 2015, I went to small weekend-long Pagan sexuality event called Body Magick.
Though I attended by myself, I quickly got the impression that this event was geared towards couples.
I was one of only three other ‘singles’ that attended that weekend.
One of these singles – an older man named Kevin – left before the end of the first day when it became clear to him that Body Magick was not a ‘kinky poly swingers’ event that he’d been assuming that it would be. (I think the event organizers were somewhat relieved that he left on his own, as his attitude that colored the ‘first impression’ that he made during the introductory circle rubbed several folks in all the wrong ways.)
The other single – a young woman – seemed guarded and cautious. Though we did converse several times — simply for the fact that we were likely the only attendees with insomnia in the campsite who weren’t actively entertaining/engaging a partner in the late hours of Friday night into the wee hours of Saturday morning – I didn’t find out that much about her. She told me how she had recently experienced a rather lengthy and contentious divorce, and she sought to attend the event simply to recover herself and get back her spiritual bearings.
And then, there was me. Alone, and perhaps a bit lonely. (My husband – a non-Pagan – had chosen to stay home that weekend, and he had some prior work commitments, as well.)
But I must say – even though everyone I came in contact with was friendly, the event rituals were well-done, and the energy flow was welcoming and pleasant – I could not shake that dull achy feeling of being at loose ends throughout my weekend at Body Magick.
So there I was, on Sunday morning, sitting in a lawn chair outside the ‘mess hall’ with a belly full of breakfast pancakes, listening to music on my iPhone.
My earbuds had somehow become damaged, so I decided to listen to my Loki playlist on low volume, as I waited for my husband to pick me up.
As he wasn’t set to arrive for over an hour, I felt like I had some time to kill, so I half-dozed/meditated in the overly-bright April sunlight, with my iPhone in my lap.
And then this song came on.
The song had played about halfway through when suddenly I was shaken out of my reverie by a friendly voice.
What is this song? I love this song.
I opened my eyes, and I looked up to see a slight, older woman standing in front of me. She was smiling.
The sun was behind her, so I was grateful for the shade she created. I returned her smile. I couldn’t help it.
It’s Walk the Moon, I replied. It’s called, Shut up and Dance.
She laughed, Would you mind playing that from the beginning?
So I clicked back, and she settled down beside my chair, to listen. Thank you so much, she whispered.
I watched as she closed her eyes, and she smiled broadly as she listened, her face upturned towards the sunlight.
Again, the song reached the half-way point, and another person – a young woman, her arms loaded with camping gear – walked past. I guess she had been on the way to loading up her car.
Hey! I know that song! she blurted out, stopping short in front of us.
She dropped her heavy gear-bags at my feet with satisfied sigh, as if relieved for the sudden excuse to take a break.
She turned toward the woman on the ground, nudging her. Don’t you just love this song? she burbled.
The older woman opened one eye: Yes, she grinned broadly, looking up. They knew each other, so the older woman stood up to greet her with a hug.
And the young woman, unburdened by her gear, warmly embraced her friend.
After a few moments, they broke from their embrace, and the young woman started to sway.
Won’t you play it again, please, the young woman turned toward me, insistently, I feel like dancing!
OOh, dancing sounds like a great idea, the older women agreed.
So I did.
And I watched as they danced, the movement of their bodies mirroring each other. I admired the ease and joy of their dance – they seemed entirely unself-conscious and comfortable in their bodies as they were taken up by the rhythms of the song.
Then, they began to sing.
They both looked at me.
Doesn’t this song just make you want to dance? they asked me, during the first instrumental bridge.
The older woman motioned towards me, welcoming me to join them.
I demurred, too shy to dance.
But I did sing along with them.
Suddenly, these two women dancing and our combined singing drew the attention of several other campers on the way to loading their cars.
Next thing you know, a loose half-circle had formed right there in front of me.
Soon enough there was a crowd of twenty or so happy people dancing, singing, enjoying this song, in a spontaneous swirl of swaying color, sound, movement…and laughter.
And I must have played that song four more times in its entirety before our impromptu dance party ended.
I know, I know; I was going to post about yesterday’s concert, but I’m still processing.
Today I had the opportunity to visit with four friends whom Keegen and I have not seen in nearly two years. One of these friends even threw a sort of impromptu party for me, complete with all my favorite foods and drinks. As well, the four of us had two years of catching up with each other to do, so we spent most of the day cooking, eating, drinking, and most of all, engaging in some weird and wonderful conversation.
You know how it is often said that your true friends can go for long periods of time without speaking and yet, when you reconnect with them, the easy comfort of being together again seems as if Time had never passed at all?
Well, I realized today that these four people are *exactly* those sort of friends. We laughed until our sides hurt and we cried and we talked and we listened to each other until way past sunset. The hours just flew by and suddenly it was time to go our separate ways again.
But I do not feel the slightest bit frustrated or sad by the fact that the hours passed so quickly. As a matter of fact, not only was I was well-fed, had good company, and was wonderfully entertained for the day, I felt seen and heard and most of all, loved.
Today I did something that I haven’t done in over 15 years.
I went and got a manicure.
And then, I did something that I’ve never done.
I got myself a pedicure as well.
(I’d never done so because I’ve always felt sort of guilty. I’ve always been a service-oriented person. While I’ve given myself pedicures, and I have given others pedicures, somehow I’ve never gotten around to getting one myself.)
Technically, it wasn’t just a pedicure.
Much to my surprise, this encompassed a little more than simply someone else painting my nails. This particular salon offered their clients their pedicures in some swanky shiatsu massage chairs from Brookstone, and I got a 30 minute foot massage and my choice of over a dozen genres of music to listen to through headphones that were provided while I was getting said massage.
(And again, I’ve given many a foot massage, but I’ve never been on the receiving end of a foot massage myself, let alone one while sitting in such a comfortable leather chair listening to soothing music.)
I’m telling you, it was pretty swank…and a very welcome treat.
And I had a good hearty laugh when a woman sitting next to me – who was also getting a pedicure – leaned over and demanded to know why I was getting ‘special treatment.’
When the technicians asked her what she was talking about, she pointed to me and blurted out:
“Why does her chair have a vibrator and mine doesn’t?”
The technicians just looked at each other, and deadpanned, “Ma’m, we’re sorry but this is not that kind of salon.”
It seemed to take a moment for the woman to realize the meaning of their response, but I could not help myself and I burst out laughing. Then the technicians started laughing too, because I don’t think that they could help themselves anymore either.
It was rather funny, and I couldn’t help but think to myself that this was truly a superb moment of trolling worthy of Loki Himself.
I left the salon feeling relaxed, pampered and oh so…pretty thusly:
And in regards to Loki, I know that He would have been pleased to note that I engaged in some self-pampering today, as I see Him as a Deity Who – along with Freyja- teaches lessons involving reciprocity and recognizing our own self-worth.
He knows that it pushes me out of my comfort zone to receive attention and service from others at times, and Loki was there to remind me that I deserve to receive just as much as I give and I am worthy of the attention and service that I received from others today.
And I left the salon feeling pampered and pretty and most of all, worthy of the joy that I felt in receiving.
‘There is a secret about human love that is commonly overlooked: receiving it is much more scary and threatening than giving it. How many times in your life have you been unable to let in someone’s love, or pushed it away? Much as we proclaim the wish to be truly loved, we are often afraid of that, and find it difficult to open to love or let it all the way in.’
‘Is it so difficult?
And so I will tell you again what you must do:
Open up to love.
Let love consume you.
Let love engulf you in its joy.
You must trust in your love.
You must allow love to take hold of you.
You must allow yourself to feel.
You must forgive yourself and allow yourself
Love without condition,
Love without attachments,
Love without goals,
Love without agendas.
You must love for the sake of love.
Don’t you see?
You must allow yourself to be taken by joy.
Release yourself to love. Surrender yourself to joy.