bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: Loki

Tricksters and Shapeshifters

So the other day, my younger son introduced me to a podcast called ‘Lore’ by Aaron Mahnke and I have to say that I’ve become a little addicted to it.

I am almost ashamed to admit that I have listened to a good 20 or so episodes – in a row – over the last two days.

While I’ve gotten a lot of almost mindless tasks done – folding laundry, sweeping the floor, even making dinner – I was surprised to stop and focus on this one.

It is called Doing Tricks.

And as you might imagine, it discusses Tricksters, shapeshifters in folklore…and of course, it references Loki, Hermes, and Anansi – and the fascinating Nein Rouge – the Little Red Man/Red Dwarf…and some fascinating connections involving the folklore of Detroit, Michigan.

Fascinating.

P.S – Folks from Detroit/North Michigan may find the main story quite familiar.

 

Take a listen:

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Announcement.

According to Etsy, I have been a customer of various shops hosted there since 2010, and as much as I always intended to open my own shop, I never did.

But I have been making my own devotional jewelry – usually ankle bracelets and necklaces – since 2010.

As well, there are several altar items

– such as altar cloths, sculptures, and other various accessories –

that I’ve always made for myself, since I couldn’t always find what I wanted for my altars.

So after years of getting compliments on what I’ve made, I’ve decided to see how it goes…

Here is my Etsy shop,

CrowsKnot

where you will find some of the Norse-inspired

(and definitely Loki-inspired)

glass bead jewelry and altar items that I’ve made.

Thanks for checking it out!

 

UPDATE: For those interested, here is the WordPress blog that I’ve dedicated exclusively to my shop

Welcome to The Crow’s Knot

 

Month for Loki, Ninth: I love Your face.

In what has become sort of a tradition for this blog during the month of July, today’s post will feature some of my favorite artwork of Loki

First up, is a rather new favorite, ‘Loki in pencils’ by artist, Heidi Black on Tumblr:

I am amazed by this piece – look at those flames! – so effing bright that the subtle glow is reflected off the fur collar of His coat.

I just can’t even…*boggles*

I find these details especially impressive, considering that this stunning image is rendered in colored pencils.

(Personally, I find it damned near impossible to convey such crisp, clean lines in pencils myself….but she carries it off like a boss.)

Rock on, Ms. Black.

 

Next up is another example of stunning pencil work on tinted paper:

….from the incredibly talented Paige Carpenter, a depiction of Loki, titled ‘Balder’s Murderer.’

I love how His crown of mistletoe positively glows….and those eyes of His.

Haunting.

 

And speaking of His eyes…

Here’s ‘MythLoki’ by HaileyRenee, whose tumblr is here at Disturbingly Rendered.

 

And finally a delightful cartoon rendition of a playful Loki…

…by elreki-arts, on tricksterinthehedges on tumblr.

I love His grin.

I also love His stripe-y rainbow socks, the Burger King crown and the ridiculous  pun on His shirt.

LOL

 

Month for Loki, Sixth: Ritual (poem)

Last month, I began reading Elizabeth Vongvisith’s Be Thou My Hearth and Shield: Prayers in the Northern Tradition, an excellent collection of prayers and poetry she edited for Asphodel Press in 2009.

I’d read some of the reviews on Lulu, and as one reviewer put it, ‘This book is excellent! It sits at my bedside as I read the prayers daily…..

As I have found myself doing that very same thing, I could not agree with zir more.

This is an excellent book, one which I would highly recommend to anyone who seeks to connect to the Norse Gods, let alone Loki.

And today, for my sixth post, I’d like to share this heartfelt prayer-poem by April Ragan, which resonated with me deeply:

Ritual (for Loki)

What need have I for chants

When every rise of my lungs

Breathes for You

A hallowed hymn.

What need have I for music

When every beat of my heart

Drums for You

A sacred tattoo.

What need have I for dance

When every gesture of my being

Moves for You

In a rhythm of devotion

What need have I for magic circles

When every piece of my soul

Burns for You

In a consecrated ring of flame

What need have for these accompaniments

When the essence of my being

Is a life-long ritual to You.*

Loki, Kalari Stance, uploaded to flickr, shivarea31

~~~

*Elizabeth Vongvisith, editor, Be Thou My Hearth and Shield: Prayers in the Northern Tradition, (Hubbardston, Massachusetts; Asphodel Press, 2009) p. 125

 

Pandoramancy: Three.

Today is my Loki-versary.

Today marks three years since I made things official – three years since I made vows in front of witnesses and the like.

And yet since this past December – coming upon a little over two months now – my work regarding other things, as well as my working with Another has required Himself to step back a bit.

But I want to mark this day, and give Him some well deserved love and praise.

Hail Loki ❤

Post-ritual pandoramancy

This is a perfect example of pandoramancy.

I had never heard of this song before – and yet it was suggested on my recommended play list on YouTube – and because I’d left my playlist on autoplay, it played through without my having chosen it early yesterday morning.

But  it conveys certain aspects of my feelings quite well.

9 Days.

Beginning on Wednesday 31 August until Friday 9 September, I did Dagulf Loptson’s 9 day ritual, Breaking Loki’s Bonds.

I spent Tuesday collecting the supplies.

I bought a new red 8-hour candle, three white 4-hour candles, a bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey, and a thick red double-sided satin ribbon.

The other things needed – a fire-proof container, a Sharpie pen, a large needle for carving, and sharps/lancets – were items that I thankfully had on hand.

(Much to my dismay, I realized that I had misplaced the knife that I’d planned to use, and since I did not have a suitable knife on hand, I ended up purchasing a new one later on in the week.  Trust me, certain items – the knife especially – turned out to be something you need to trust in, whether or not you ever find yourself using it again.)

As well, this ritual, as it is written, involves a lot of rune writing/carving, so be aware of the runes.  While I don’t consider myself a rune-master by any means,  I am familiar with runes enough that I was able to spell out what I needed to.  You will be writing in runes on days 2-7.

(Here is a handy rune converter if needed.)

31 August: The First Meditation

The first meditation concerns asking.

On Wednesday night, I approached Loki, and invited Him to aid me in transforming my life.

By the way, I am terrible at guided meditations.  While I’ve no doubt a vivid imagination, I have especial difficulty in visualizing if I have to jump between reading a text and visualizing the effect, so I spent a good half-hour recording myself reading the text aloud so I could set the visuals of the first meditation in my mind that first night.

Though I feared that the first night would be excruciatingly intense, in retrospect, the first night was the easiest night of all.

And just after I finished the first meditation, I went to bed.

And just before I dropped off to sleep, in crazy-town (commonly referred to as my head post-ritual), I heard my name called out (loudly!) twice.

I couldn’t figure out if it was coming from inside or out.

Perhaps He wanted to talk…but I fell asleep. 😬

This was His question during the first night’s meditation:

Are you ready to claim responsibility for yourself and the fruit of your own actions? Are you ready to see yourself as you truly are?

~~~

1 September: The Second Meditation:

Sigyn: Look in the mirror. What do you see?

Loki: Who do you have bound here?

-I saw myself, my younger self – the other Heathir*

The one pinned against the wall, disassociating, feeling humiliated.  The one who is strong and creative who hides her light, dulls her shine, full of fear, feeling defeated. The one who waits in the dark.  The one who cries.  The one who has lost hope.  The one who was trapped by duty, trying to fill the void that did not originate in her/with her.

This realization – and those visuals – unhinged me to a great degree, but in retrospect, I should not have been surprised: I am the one who is holding myself back.

I wrote ‘the other Heathir’ – in runes -on the bottle of whiskey. (I also wrote that phrase – in English – above the runes, in case I forgot what I wrote.)

The whiskey represents the hidden ‘poison’ as it were, that is staining my life.  This is the truth I am hiding.

~~~

2 September: The Third Meditation:

What are your fetters made of?

I saw that the other Heather *is* bound in fetters.

Somehow I sensed that they were made of iron.

This is the strength of fear, the fear that holds in place, fear that seems insurmountable.  Also anger, despair, and hunger for freedom/understanding, but fear mostly.

So I wrote ‘Fear made of iron’ in runes on the red ribbon.

~~~

3 September: The Fourth Meditation:

Who holds the bowl for you?  Who are your allies?

Today, I see the box – with 9 locks! – where the weapon Lævateinn is kept.

K is my first ally: K.

K has always been my first ally.

Young and strong and full of love, K is the key and I am the door.

I fucked up.

I misread the ritual script, and I thought all 3 allies would show today.

So, after K, I immediately saw my father and then, I saw Loki.

I carved all three candles – easily enough –  but then I had trouble drawing blood from my fingers.

I hacked up first two fingers before realizing my left ring finger (finger I wear Loki’s ring) bleeds rather well.

So I blooded and galdr’d (spoke-sung aloud the rune names) for all three candles.

K’s initials.  My father’s initials.  Loki.

I unlocked the first three locks.

 

~~~

4 September: The Fifth Meditation:

I woke up this morning, and there were spots of blood all over my pillowcase.

Last night, I realized that I had made a mistake.

So I burned off the two rune sets off the two candles #2 (my father) and #3 (Loki) to re-set.

Set second candle.

Who is your second ally?

And I Immediately saw a Fox.

Bright green eyes and surreal red fur.

I could not shake that image from my sight.

I quickly realized that Fox is cunning and quick, and upon a closer look, I saw that this Fox wore three colors in the form of three threads twisted red, yellow and green, that twined down its back and around and around its tail.

The Fox had threads in its fur that are red and yellow and green.

As Fox licked my face, I asked if it would lead me out of the dark cave when it was time.

And Fox nodded.  As I prepared to carve the runes, I realized something important.

Do you know there is no letter X in runes? I learned that today.

Because I had to carve its name into the candle. F O K S

And when I had finished blooding and galdring those runes, Fox bowed again and licked my face, saying:

I will lead you through the darkness – my eyes are light in the dark. 

Trust me.  I am the spirit of Wisdom and Cunning that you must trust to help you. 

I am the Pathfinder! I will show the way, the secret way…soon enough.

And with that, Fox turned and ran off, making tiny silent tracks soft across the snowy field.

I unlocked the second set of three locks.

5 September: The Sixth Meditation:

Who is your third ally?

I spent quite some time in intensely deep meditation upon my 3rd ally.

It took some negotiation before the 3rd ally would finally come forward.

You see, my father didn’t come forward this time.   I think my father had said no. 😦

Then I heard someone mention that it should be (my older son) by name.  (I heard his name).

(I wondered if he had said ‘no’ too.)

Then I saw a woman cloaked in burnt red robes.  And then I saw an enormous raptor – a hawk – who was somehow Her too.

It seemed that my third ally is the far-seeing Hawk-woman.

(Just as the Fox seems likely to have been Loki, it seems entirely possible that the Hawk was a shapeshifting Freyja.)

She then told me that She can see far above and, like Fox, She would be another guide through the darkness.

She is strength and perseverance in the face of battle.

So I carved the runes to spell ‘Hawk’ on the third white candle, and I galdred them.

Then, as the ritual directed, I set the candles and began to chant the meditation again to thank each ally, as now I been approached by all three:

Thank you, K for your assistance.

(interruption!)**

Thank you Fox, for Your cunning.

Thank you, Hawk, for Your sight-gifts

_

Thank you, K for your faith.

Thank You Loki for Your help.

Thank You Freya for Your strength.

_

Thank you, K for your alliance.

Thank You my Beloved for Your Love.

Thank You My Lady for Your Guidance.

 

 

I unlocked the final set of three locks.

The ritual then directed that the three candles should be allowed to burn to socket.

Oddly enough, though the candles were labeled as having a 4 hour burn time, the ritual lasted about one half hour, all told.

But within the next hour, all three burned out completely. O.o

Powerful stuff!

~~~

6 September: The Seventh Meditation:

What is the source of your liberation?

Today the meditation focused on the blade which is the sword that was forged by Loki, Lævateinn

This day’s meditation had me opening the – now unlocked – box where Lævateinn is kept.

A word, concept or image will be revealed to me as appearing on the surface of the blade.

I chanted to Loptr to reveal to me the source of my liberation.

Suddenly, an image of a(n anatomically correct) heart flashed through my mind.

(As well, an image of the tear-stained face of my child-self also flashed briefly in my mind’s-eye. Her eyes were dark with tears.)

Suddenly, a thought flowed through my mind: Do you love her?

Suddenly I looked down at the blade and saw the word: Love.

Love was the source of my liberation.  My love for that other self, that other Heathir, would free her from her bonds.

So I wrote the word ‘Love’ in Futhark runes on both sides of the blade and blooded each rune as I galdr’d their names.

~~~

7 September: The Eighth Meditation:

This is the day that I will use Lævateinn

Tonight, it was difficult to visualize the cave.

I couldn’t see Them, but I could sense the sword in my hand.  It is rather heavy.

I feared that I would not be able to lift it high enough and get a good angle to cut His bonds.

My mind gets so hung up on such particular details, I suppose.

I started to think about what His bonds were made of vs. my own.

Earlier in the meditations, He had said that guilt kept Him bound – the guilt of not having been able to protect His children.

And I thought of myself, and how interesting to think that my fear was the means that I had been holding bound that other Heathir within myself.

Suddenly it made a weird kind of connection and I thought about how fear was at the basis of a lot of things in my situation, in my world – guilt and fear. Fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of the inevitable future. And the choices that are made because of the fear of loss.

And for a moment I could see His eyes and the weariness and pain in them, and I raised the sword.

I cut the bonds at His shoulders, and thought about fear of not being accepted, of not being loved or understood. (The fear that leads to hatred/judgment and misunderstanding) Fear of the past.

I cut the bonds at His pelvis and thought about fear of judgment, fear of failure, fear of pain. And I found myself sobbing at the difficulty, as I could see the face of that little girl, that other Heathir, my child-self, sobbing too.

I am tired of being afraid, I am terrified of being trapped here, her eyes seemed to plead….

I cut the bonds at His knees, and thought about fear of inevitable change, fear of loss, fear of what the future holds…

And I thought about love.

How I used to think that love dies in the presence of fear, but here, love was the means to overcome fear.

Then it was time to cut  away my bonds; to cut the ribbon I had made.

I momentarily entertained the fear that my own actual blade would be too dull to cut through the ribbon, but it flawlessly sliced through the fabric, into three pieces.

Then, as clear as day, I saw the vision of the other Heathir, bound there before my eyes…and just as it was with Loki, it took three strokes.

And with each stroke, I chanted my intent:

I see you.  I recognize you.

I know you. I value you.

You are free.  I am free. 

I told her:

You are safe.

You are strong.

You are powerful.

You are loved.  

I love you.  I love you. I love you. 

You have not failed. You are free.

There is no need to hide.

There is no need to punish yourself anymore.

There is no need to fear happiness or freedom or change.

 

And I allowed myself to cry and feel and know that I would never deny that – or her – again.

We are. We are. We are.

I am free.

We are both free.

 

~~~

8 September: the Ninth Meditation:

Today is the end.

Today He is free and so am I.

Today is about recognizing Him and recognizing myself.

Today I ritually burn the three pieces of the ribbon

As well, the bottle I put aside -that signifies the venom of the snake becoming the medicine – that was a powerful metaphor.  We are going to drink it in celebration.

(So do not forget to bring a cup to drink from on the ninth day! 🙂 )

They had a personal message for me, and I realized that I have traveled a long road to Them.

Their message for me was profound and personal and Their words meant everything to me. I was almost in tears all over again – tears of catharsis, tears of release.

This was such a cathartic and necessary ritual for me.

So I placed the three pieces of ribbon in the miniature firepit I created. His (Loki’s) candle threatened to go out several times throughout, as one is to use the flame of His candle to burn the ribbon.***

Wax was everywhere.  The scent of apple cinnamon candles, whiskey and burnt ribbon permeate my altar space, even now many hours later.

But it is done.  And it was definitely worth doing.

And I feel lighter in spirit and more connected to my Gods.

Thank you, K.

Thank You, Loki.

Thank You, Freyja.

~~~

~~~

~~~

*The second meditation was so intense and vivid that I dedicated a post to just the specific visuals here.

__

**K walked in right as I set his candle thanking him for his faith and steadfastness defense/aid.  He startled me.  And I felt disheveled for the rest of the meditation. O.o

K was the first ally and I had just finished saying- ‘thank you K—-‘

and I hear K—- say ‘Hello.’ 

I startled – and I looked up to see K is standing there, standing just within the doorway to my meditation area.

I didn’t even hear K knock.

‘I’m going to bed’ he says.

(K had mentioned that he had asked Loki for permission to enter the circle; K told me, and I quote, that Loki had given it, saying:

OK — but make it quick!

And that’s why K was there.

But GAH. I almost jumped out of my skin! 😬

__

*** The ribbon –  being satin and likely polyester – didn’t burn very well.  But again, I sat with it but it took a long time – with several re-lightings – for it to burn to ash.  But 20 long minutes later, it was done.  I hope I did it right.  What a perfectionist I am!

If I recommended this ritual to anyone, I would suggest using a ribbon that is made of paper or another fabric besides satin – that satin fancy shit doesn’t burn well and it smells awful. 😦

As well, again I didn’t read the ritual script as closely as I should have, and I poured way too much into the cup!  The protocol is to drink the entire contents in one draught while you [and They] watch your bonds burn.  So I am not the slightest bit ashamed to admit that I was pretty well lit by the time the ritual was over as  3 large shots’ worth of Jamesons’ will definitely fuck you up quick. LOL

Trust me, you’ve heard this all before.

I have been wanting to write and I promised to write – it was the reason for this month’s writing project (which was not so playfully named ‘Keeping it 100’*) – but as you might notice, I haven’t been keeping up with it this particular July/Month for Loki.

There are reasons, and I am trying to decide if I really want to get into all of them, because Heaven knows, I had plenty that I’d planned to write about, plenty that I’d promised to write about.

It’s more serious than usual in that not only had I promised myself that I’d carry the project through the whole month, I promised Him that I’d write about these topics and that I would carry it through by writing in this blog every day for a month.

We struck a deal of sorts, and I reneged in the sense that I did not follow through on my part.

I had promised to tell a story that I have not told.

It’s not that I had a shortage of posts, or that I never intended to tell the story.  As a matter of fact, I have enough posts sitting in draft as well as several other posts written that only require that I cut and past them from the file folder on my laptop where I’ve stored them.  They are in order, as I had planned.

You see, it is not that I stopped writing.  It is that I did write but I refused to post, and that was what I promised Him that I wouldn’t do.  I promised Him that I would share as much of the story as I could, no matter how uncomfortable things got, no matter how controversial the topics were….and yet…

I have not.

So what happened?

I got sick around the 15th of the month, as I may have mentioned in several of my latest posts.

A few of my friends pointed out that if I hadn’t been keeping up with my writing, of course that was understandable.

If I was ill – and I still am recovering from that double ear infection and sinus infection – that it stood to reason that I should rest and recuperate.

Several opined that I was being too hard on myself to think that He wouldn’t understand, that He would insist that I write anyway.

But I wrote every day.  The writing is not the hardest part.  It has never been the hardest part.   He knew (just like anyone else who knows me well) that the purpose of the project had nothing to do with a writer’s block or an inability to express myself.

In essence, what He asked for was that I stop censoring myself; that I stop hiding – privatizing posts, or posting my thoughts in my less-frequented blog.  He was asking for me to make my writing entirely public and highly accessible, to post ‘where it counts’ meaning where people could see and respond to my thoughts if they so chose.

He wanted me out of my comfort zone.  It was an exercise to force me out of my social anxiety.

And so, He wanted me to stop keeping secrets, to be authentic and unashamed of who I am and what I am and what I do — for one month.

Just for one month, and then I could go back to ‘hiding’ if I so chose.

He didn’t care (because, if you know me, you know that I argued with Him) if ten thousand other people had written about such things ten thousand times before I wrote about them, before I would write about them.

He wants His people to express themselves fully, and He doesn’t care if you’ve all heard the stories before; He places great value on self-expression.

Perhaps it’s more than that: It’s about self-knowledge.  It’s about fearlessness.

He wants us all to tell our stories….or at the very least, be fearless and unashamed about telling our stories.

~~~

*Believe me, you have heard this story before:

And yet, you’d better believe He never gets tired of hearing that story.

~~~

So, as you might imagine, I haven’t any VALID excuses.

 

 

Month for Loki, Day 19: in the deep

inthedeep

What struck me the most about this quote is that is unattributed except for

written by him

The Universe is funny.

When I saw this on my media feed this evening, it had all the earmarks of  a message as if it was written by Him.

For it is true, you know:

If you seek Him, you will find Him

in the depths between

All these places you’ve come to know

And all those places you’ve yet to go.

Month for Loki, Day 18: Lost…and found.

Since I am still struggling with several overlapping illnesses at this time – ear infection, sinus infection, and general malaise – you may that I haven’t had much of the wherewithal to write these past few days.

Hence the reason that I’ve gotten so behind in keeping up with my daily posts this July in the Month for Loki.

But I have been reading a lot – and this powerful post came across my WordPress feed today, concerning Loki as a God Who is rather popular with folks who have struggled with various forms of abuse, difficulty, and dysfunction in their lives.    I agree with her especially in this:

One of the biggest groups of people who tend to find themselves interacting with Loki are those who have been abused in some way. The ones who have lost themselves and need to be guided back – who need to learn who they are again. Loki teaches us that it’s okay to not be okay. He teaches us that it’s okay to be wounded and feel the wound so that it can heal properly.

While my experiences were not exactly the same as those of Ms. Kyaza, I can relate to a lot of her experiences, especially in regards to dysfunctional family relationships.

I can definitely identify with the ambivalent feelings that arise out of having suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of those whom I trusted most to love and respect me.

In fact, there were several occasions wherein I found myself dangerously close to tears while reading her post, as her description of her thoughts and feelings about her mother and their relationship so closely resonated with my own experiences so powerfully.

Reading her post made me feel a strange mixture of feelings.

I felt both a sense of exposure and a sense of triumphant relief in reading this post.

I felt an incredible sense of exposure and shame – as in reading her words, I was so acutely reminded of the immensity of my own desire to please my mother (and in turn, my siblings) who often rejected my efforts by responding with anger, ridicule or outright dismissal.  And yet, I remember that guilt, that shame.  I had grown up feeling that somehow, if I could just do better, work harder, love more – then finally, I would receive love; I would deserve love.

And yet, while reading, I also felt an undercurrent of strange relief – here was someone who writes so eloquently of navigating emotional landmines that I understand.

I felt understood.  I felt heard.

I am not alone in this pain.

I am not the only one.

You see, I have both loved and hated my mother and my siblings – and as a result, in turn, as a woman and as a mother, I have both loved and hated myself.  I struggled – and still struggle – with the emotional scars of my upbringing.  I crave to feel understood, to feel safe, to feel loved, and yet I have been skeptical of the existence of a relationship wherein I can feel understood, safe and loved.  Sometimes, I find myself skeptical of those who have tried to nurture me, so deeply ingrained was my belief that I did not deserve even my mother’s love, the love of my brothers and sisters.

It took me years to decipher that it was not my inadequacy or failing, but the lack of self-love and incapacity to receive love that my mother (and perhaps of those even further back) suffered with that continues this horrible chain.

It affects all of my relationships. I have tried valiantly to be the mother that my own wasn’t, and yet, I still find myself wondering if I’ve fallen short, if I’ve done a disservice to my children.  As a person, I have endeavored to be emotionally reliable, compassionate, and kind, and yet, sometimes, I am a victim of my own perfectionism and pessimism, and my own distorted habits and worldviews.

I am estranged from my family, even today.

But the truth is, I am no longer estranged from myself.  I am no longer lost.

I had to learn to break the cycle of the past.  It is daily work to remain mindful of my emotional responses and reactions whenever I interact with others.  (Is it kind? Is it necessary? Am I responding from a place of love and understanding rather than from fear or anger, for example.)

I have learned to be acutely aware of my own negative self-talk and self-limiting behaviors and beliefs.  I am learning to accept myself and recognize my strengths and weaknesses, as well as accepting and recognizing that everyone else also has their own struggles with similar issues, with similar emotions, behaviors and beliefs about themselves – and none of us are perfect.  Perfection is stagnation.

I am learning to allow myself …to feel vulnerable.  To feel angry.  To be open to my own emotions and not fear the emotions, reactions, or responses of others.  I am learning to be accountable.  I am learning to let go of what doesn’t work and focus on what does.  I am learning to let go and trust the process.  Trust Him and trust myself.

Loki taught me a lot of these things.  He has taught me to embrace imperfection, to confront fear of loss or change, to let go of the need to control outcomes, to work with what I’ve been given, and most of all, to allow myself, to open myself to love.

Love the process of living, love the process of learning.

Just…LOVE.

~~~

Hail Loki, God of the lost and…found.

Thank You for finding me.