bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: personal

A mysterious Goddess?

Last night I dreamt of making statues of a olive skinned goddess who wore purple and green and blue clothing.
Her headdress was blue – with Her dark hair peeking out from beneath Her headdress – and I recall purple and green ‘stripes’ or mottled batik designs on her clothing.

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In the dream, I was supposed to bring her an offering of some sort.

I remember she seemed friendly with dark eyes and a calm smile.

She was patient.

She was associated with dogs and roads and the nighttime sky, especially stars.

****

When I woke up and Googled ‘Goddess associated with the night, roads and dogs’  — I came up with Hecate.

Hmm.

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Indeed

There’s an interesting game going around Twitter

– and now the Internet –

that involves writing your autobiography using predictive text feature on your phone:

 

Have you played it?

This is what I got:

“I was born in the middle of a lesson but i think its not the same thing that ties into my head from the past.”

O.0

Heh.

Born in the middle of a lesson, indeed.

 

Pandoramancy: Lost.

There is nothing wrong, and yet I have been rather socially-avoidant today, just fumbling through the hours.

It happens.

But then a notification came through my email: an old acquaintance of mine wrote a post on zir blog little while ago, and damned if it didn’t give me a bittersweet feeling of nostalgia:

You see, I too, have had Him come to me as Peter Pan, and yet oddly enough, I was an adult – with adult responsibilities such as a job, bills to pay, and a child of my own – so I didn’t understand the meaning of His usage of that particular face during His visitation at that time.

And yet…

I believe that it was a sign, a marker of sorts – meant to remind me of the part of me I hid, that part that I never really allowed to be- the part of me I’d chosen to tuck away from my everyday awareness.

Perhaps it is a cliche – the playful attitude, the sense of wonder – but I will not deny its importance.

I was a serious child with a vivid imagination and if anything, I’d always thought someday, I would come back to that part, I would allow myself one day…

To remember the boy who waited at the edge of those bad dreams…

The young man who lived in the woods

whose face I drew incessantly

whom I was half in love with

before I even could have known what love was.

As He was – and yet He was not – Peter Pan, but it was not until I realized much later that the face of Peter Pan was a convenient and rather apt metaphor for what I had pushed away from myself.

Come find Me, He said.

You know where.

Month for Loki, First: Prayer

Welcome to the first day of July!*

So here I am again, facing another July with an ever-evolving devotional practice that includes Loki… and Odin.

To that end, a week or so ago, I ordered a pair of gorgeous prayer cards from Wyrd Curiosities on Etsy so you can imagine my delight when they were delivered this morning — just in time for the first of the month:

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((left): Loki prayer card, artwork by Grace Palmer; (center) Loki note card, artwork by W. McMillan; (right) Odin prayer card, artwork also by W. McMillan)

 

While Wyrd Curiosities sells several different prayer cards for Loki, I’d chosen this particular one mostly because it features Grace Palmer’s beautiful artwork as well as including one of my favorite prayers to Loki, written by F. Arismendi:

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Lovely.

As well, I was delighted to see that the two cards I’d purchased were enclosed within a gorgeous notecard created by Dionysian Artist, featuring another stunning portrayal of Loki by Wayne McMillan…so that was an unexpected but pleasant surprise ❤

~~~

*As you may know, many Lokeans around the country celebrate the month of July by writing;  that’s 30 days of devotional posts for Loki.

 

 

This blog is not dead.

This blog is not dead.

However, my devotional practice has definitely changed, as nearly six months ago, I started working with Odin too:

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(Altar figures (l-r) Loki, Odin, ceramic, by artisan Dmitriy Kushnir from The Slavic Way on Etsy)

But maybe I am not.

As it has occurred to me that perhaps what I believe to be Odin could be simply another face of Loki….

But damned if it doesn’t feel different.

the more you know

I love Brene Brown…even when she is throwing out some hard truths.

So you can gather what I am talking about, you might want to watch the video.

Y’see, I , too, am a ‘blamer.’

It’s true of me that when something bad happens, my first thought is often whose fault is this? – and, more often than not, I twist it in my head until I’ve found a reason for whatever happened.

I need to know why.  I am a person that needs to know why.

Even if -more often than not – I end up blaming myself for whatever it is that happened in some way.

Yeah.  I know that that’s unhealthy.

Yep, I thought that that was holding myself accountable.*

This mindfulness and this desire to hold myself accountable for myself and my reactions to bad things happening is often the way that my thoughts go.  And I’ve had enough therapy to know that I’m only doing half the work, too, when I stop and actually think about it.

Why is it only half the work?

Because the full work would be the realization and implementation of the fact that some bad things happen because they are random.  Sometimes there is no reason.

Yes, it’s true that sometimes bad things happen because someone wasn’t mindful of themselves or others – and I include myself in that – and rash decisions get made.   Things get broken, or feelings get hurt, or what have you, and often emotions fuel those decisions.

But the key is – the process of thinking that there has to be reason somewhere.  That there has to be a reason, there has to be a fault.  And that there has to be this endless overthinking and wasting of time and resources trying to figure out why something is, why something happened, or what led to this or that result.

As Brown points out, the fault-finding and blame is a discharge of discomfort and a desire for control of the situation, including getting control of one’s emotions and reactions.

And that gets me to thinking about my zen Buddhist therapist who speaks a continuous refrain of how I need to work on letting shit go, learning that the only person one can control is oneself and one’s reactions to the world, and the constant reminder that the only moment is the present moment.  He talks endlessly of the fact that the present is the only moment in which we can live, and how when one has realized this, and one focuses on mindfulness and control of oneself in the present moment, only then can one create inner peace and happiness.

Oh yes, it gives me a headache sometimes…this zen business.  The letting go, the reactive vs. proactive paradigm, the mindfulness — so much jargon.   I cannot deny that this all feels exhausting sometimes, and I’ll admit that I fall back upon ingrained reactive habits and value judgments, and and and….*sigh*

I wallow in self-blame, another waste of time.

So.

Yes.

I seek control.

But the only control I seek in the end is self-control.

~~~

*This video opens my eyes to the mistake I’ve made concerning what accountability is.

 

 

 

Food for Thought.

I was talking with a friend about an hour ago, regarding an article that someone else had posted concerning how – theoretically – if one were to consider structures in nature as ‘order’ (the natural order of things in a system) then attempts by humans to impose their own concepts or systems of ‘order’ upon natural structures by other means (by sorting, categorizing, or classifying) is therefore a form of ‘disorder,’ because such imposition is creating artificial (unnatural) systems:

I  this graphic. Artificial order imposed upon systems *is* chaos because they’re useless to anybody BUT those utilizing the artificial order system.

To the greater system itself? It’s meaningless. Piles? Columns? Sorting by type? That’s all concessions to the limitations of our cognitive systems.

Sure, our cognitive systems are natural too – even the artificial/natural distinction isn’t “quite” right.

But in the greater scheme, the one where humans are optional, those piles and sorting is chaotic and meaningless.

kennerhudutchaosvsorder
~~~

I’d never thought of order or disorder as being defined this way, and yet, I have been thinking of the relation between the concepts of ‘order’ and ‘disorder’ a lot lately.  It began, as most things do, with a simple conversation in a Rokkatru group concerning someone’s UPG of the Aesir representing ‘order’ and ‘civilization’ in the cosmos while the Rokkr represent ‘nature’ and a ‘natural sort of disorder.’ Of course, there was discussion of how nature has its own sense of ‘order’ – but how, from the point of  view of ‘civilization,’ nature’s sense of order is random and therefore,  considered by civilization to be ‘disorder.’   As well, others discussed the concepts of open and closed systems and how a closed system eventually falls apart because it can’t self-sustain and whatnot, and things quickly became rather meta.

And being a Rokkatru group, of course, this discussion wound its way towards discussion of Ragnarok, and the role of Loki, Fenrir, and Surtr in bringing on the end of the world.  The world is a closed system and the role of the Rokkatru is to bring about the destruction of this closed system in order to make way for a new (and perhaps more open) system.

And so, it’s odd but not surprising to me that that conversation gave me a headache…because chaos theory usually does.

~~~

But then, there I was again tonight, having a conversation about order and disorder again, but this time, it was on a smaller scale.

I was talking to my friend about how Loki has laughed at me concerning my OCD need to arrange the items in a specific configuration on His altar, or my habit of overthinking that is a hallmark of my social anxiety, or my inability to let things go and/or trust the process.

I have no problem admitting that I am sort of control freak regarding several aspects of my life and practice.  And my friend agreed that she has some of those issues too.

And then, she said a funny-strange but interesting thing that hit me like a ton of bricks:

She said that her life as a child was hellish and the only way that she could have control over her environment was to draw. The only world that she could control could be found at the end of a pencil.  So she drew pictures and created stories.  She created worlds.  She told me how Loki told her that her best artwork seemed to come when she experienced personal turmoil.  How He has asked her why she would draw, and she told Him it made her happy.  But the truth was that she was often unhappy/angry/miserable while drawing.  (And, of course, He noticed that.)

Well, that reminded me of my own artistic coping strategies.

Honestly, I suppose that it’s nothing new, but I wrote and drew my way through a miserable childhood…and adolescence…and fuck, I *still do.*

And yeah, that realization, of how I tried to make sense of confusing experiences by filling up notebooks, and drawing my imaginary friends, and how much it shocks me to think that it wasn’t just me being escapist.

That art was …that art is a rather dysfunctional coping mechanism for me.

I don’t make money with it.

It doesn’t make me happy.

Things still pile up in my head, and writing them, drawing them doesn’t serve to make me any more sane or stable.

And it sure as hell doesn’t help me or my loved ones to understand me any better than before.

It’s just another method I hide behind. (Funny -autocorrect suggests that the word ‘method’ should actually be ‘met God’ over and over.  No, I’ve never met God by writing or drawing. Psht. I should be living.)

Perhaps my incessant writing and drawing are what I do to keep myself from meaningfully engaging with others.

who knows.

Storm.

This past Saturday, the area where I live experienced some pretty crazy weather.

First, it rained.

Then it hailed.

Then the wind picked up.

The combination of these three weather phenomena caused a lot of damage in my neighborhood and the surrounding area.

Though the NOAA refers to Saturday’s weather as simply a ‘wind event,’ my husband V and I watched as this ‘wind event’ uproot a 15-year old tree in our backyard, which then twisted and smashed through two panels of the wooden fence behind it:

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The only reason that the tree didn’t hit the back of the neighbor’s house is that the lower branches snagged on one of the broken fence posts.

The wind also tore shingles off the roof, cracked the rain- gutters, tore off several of the gutter pipes, and two more fence panels further down the fence-line.

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As you can see, the rain flooded the backyard and that white stuff in the foreground is… the accumulation of hailstones.

The hail ranged in size from peas to navy-beans:

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Hail pelted the storm windows for about 40 minutes, tore holes in many of the window screens, cracked the glazing, and scratched and/or pockmarked the glass of several windows.

This ‘wind event’ also blew off most of the foliage on our hedges, and destroyed a good portion of the smaller plants in our front garden.

The rest of our neighborhood didn’t do so well, either, between all the flooding, wind-damage, and debris that battered pretty much all of the houses in our neighborhood.  Shingles, deadfall/debris, and broken fence panels are strewn throughout everyone’s yard.  It would seem that nearly everyone in the immediate three-mile radius suffered some sort of damage during Saturday’s storm 😦

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~~~

The adjuster from the insurance company and a roof inspector came today to discuss the replacement of the roof of both our house and our patio, as well as the repair of the fence.

My biggest concern was the water damage to the interior ceilings, as there is now a single crack in the plaster of the ceiling in the kitchen that  now requires a bucket to catch the thin but steady leak of water when it rains.

But we are grateful.

Things could have been so much worse, and we are grateful that only the roof and the fence were the only damages.

Thankfully, insurance has offered to cover most, if not all, of the required repairs.  Anything that was damaged is certainly replaceable.

We were shaken, but we are OK.

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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Lessons.

Anythinglessons

(taken from The Open Mind  (with Dana Bowles) on Facebook)