A Cautionary Tale

Image result for Peter Pan grew up
 
There was a sudden realization yesterday that I let something happen. It was gradual, mindless, though deliberate. I allowed Peter Pan to grow up.
 
To explain, Peter Pan has been my idol since… forever. I loved the curiosity, the daring, the energy, the bravery, and the fact that he found magick and mystery in everything and everyone. I too was like this! (or so I thought).
 
My spiritual world was always there. The Otherworld was always right there – visible and tangible. I could hear/see/speak with all that I needed; creatures and beings of all sorts.
 
And then – it was gone.
 
I allowed the Nothingness, the Dementors of the mind, the Mundane world of being Responsible and Adult to creep in and over everything that sparkled. Creep in so thoroughly, until it snuffed it out.
 
I have been feeling very frustrated in life, but was not sure why. My life was improving, I was riding the waves of marriage better, my dog was even living well with the cat and my sons – well…. that’s for another post. So where had the sparkle gone? Why the frustration?
 
In our coven, we are reviewing/learning the “Castings” book, by Ivo Dominguez Jr.. Now, I read this nearly 20 years ago and have used it in a reference style ever since. But I had decided at lunch yesterday to reread it – starting from the Introduction on through. And bam – that was where it was shone. In the words of the Introduction, “When you took your first step onto your path of magickal and spiritual development, did you not long for the strange skies of the otherworlds, conversations with the Shining Ones, keys to the gates, or the smell of flowers in a Faerie glade?” …and I found I had tears silently falling as I read this.
 
Magick is still a part of me and around me — but I have not looked for it, lived in it, reveled in it in some time. Many know of a past that was shaken but that now has been nearly a decade ago and I’ve since put my feet back on the path. But I had not, however, stopped the actions and thoughts of the person that lived that life 10 years ago.
 
Work, responsibility, money, home, car, friends, perceptions, etc. …I’ve allowed these things to shove all of that light aside and put an overlay of grey over everything.  And the biggest distraction is …my damn smartphone.  I cannot go even a minute now without looking at it.  Image result for Dementors are my life

As this new adult (not like I wasn’t mature when I was 20 or 30) , I’ve developed ADHD — though not diagnosed officially.  My mind will wander from item to item in a frantic pace, afraid is missing out on something. Wondering what others are thinking of me, mainly. But also – who is doing something better.  FOMO – an acronym I really can’t stand, but there it is.  And instead of me taking joy in the energy and using it to be curious – I’ve been putting it to use like a bloodhound, sniffing out more work, more responsibilities, more things to do to be this super hero in life.  The truth is though, by trying to be a super hero – I’m now seeming more like some pushy know-it-all who is unwilling to flex or bend.  

Well, where in hell is the joy in that?

A few weeks, maybe even a month ago, I had for some reason chose a random book via Audible.com to listen to during my long drive to work.  This time, it was The Celtic Twilight by William Butler Yeats.  And as I listened to the words, the world shimmered. Something in my blood sang shimmered with it. It sent up a deep longing to be back in that mystical world again where wood and water, leaves and flowers showed their secrets — the joyful world that would make me smile and laugh.

I started noticing the hiccup of energy or the poke of the world that I was looking for attempting to be seen and felt.  I myself had been doing unconscious things as well in my own attempt to have the fey back in my life.  It all seemed so silly.  But I felt like there was no time.  No time for anything anymore.  And that’s when Peter Pan’s tale came Related imagebounding back into my life.  If you’ve ever watched Steven Spielberg’s version of Peter Pan, Robin Williams plays this middle aged man who (spoiler) IS Peter Pan, though he grew up! In this tale the crocodile clock and Captain Hook seems even more poignant than ever before.  They are adulthood. They are the symbol of aging, of time moving ever forward, creeping up on you.  First it takes a hand, then a foot, then bit by bit – you are swallowed whole. And you reside now in the belly of the masses.   You swim in the juices of peer interaction, flashy iterations of yourself, watching as you and your friends change over and over again to fit into the clockworks without getting squashed.

This weekend, as I spent some rare quality time with my wife, after a rather emotional experience from someone younger and unstable left me in tears and questioning everything I was working for that year, I asked us to go through yet another exercise.  Can each of us write down that thing that we miss? That thing that has been tapping politely at the back of our brains, trying to get our attention.  The purpose was first to see and name the thing. The second was to make space for it.

Now, I’m not a physics major having never taken a class ever — but I do know what happens when you try to pour too much of one thing into another.  Eventually things either overflow or you break the receiving object.   …And to tell you truthfully, I’m getting damn sick and tired of being broken.  Especially when the end result isn’t even something I was looking forward to in the first place!

The time is now to stop looking at the clock and the phone, and to start looking at the trees, the creeks, the tall grasses, and the clouds.  To find the magick again in the mundane. To find the faerie in the field; the gnome in the normal.

So take heed my friends, because the crocodile is lurking always nearby. You can hear it’s ticking. “[Peter] sat down on a large mushroom, and now there was a quiver in his voice. “Smee,” he said huskily, “that crocodile would have had me before this, but by a lucky chance it swallowed a clock which goes tick tick inside it, and so before it can reach me I hear the tick and bolt.” He laughed, but in a hollow way.

…The crocodile passed him, but not another living thing, not a sound, not a movement; and yet he knew well that sudden death might be at the next tree, or stalking him from behind.”
You can’t stop the clock, but you can start the magick at any time.  FIND IT!

Image result for secret entrance to the faerie realm

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Imbolc – Fire in the Head


Suil Linn a Bhrid! (Walk with us Brighid!)

Today Imbolc (Imbolg, Brighid’s Day) is a day we celebrate the fiery energy of Brighid – the Goddess and Saint.  Some will also celebrate tomorrow (February 2nd) which is also Candlemas and Groundhog day.

These things should give a bit of insight into what Brighid is known for:

  • Eternal flame
  • Firetending
  • Weather lore
  • Candles and the Catholic church

The information abounds beyond my simple page into the history of this venerated woman.  To me – she is The Lady of the Flame.

My path with Brighid is a very intimate story that I will share with you.  It is the basis of everything that drives me forward, all of the fears that lay in my heart, and the undying faith I have in Brighid — and the Flame.

Continue reading Imbolc – Fire in the Head

Rocking your own cradle

Nikolai Astrup, Interior with Cradle, probably 1925Everyone has had those moments in life where you wanted to go back and erase or change things.  Though you may not be able to physically do this (yet…but I’m sure science is working hard) you can go back and adjust things in your mind.

I recently had one of those aha moments where you say, this is not the life I was meant to have because the energies or emotions goes against everything that you feel in your core being.  When following the thread of my own life backwards, I can say that mine was from infancy.  The energy of being a baby that was loved, adored and given the vision of hope for a good life was just not there.  Often my siblings and I would recall very happy stories of our childhood, very happy indeed. And then there were those that were not so happy; that were quite life altering really.  It was in those moments that changes took place.  Those moments that planted an aura, a film of skin if you will atop my own that had me go through life in a very different way then what was intended.

I decided right there – in that new realized moment that I would change it.  And so I took a journey. Not through a time machine, but a mind machine.  I used the memories of my mind and recreated a very keen scene I selected with great care – and I changed it.  The adult me stepped into this memory, picked up the infant me in this memory and offered love, encouragement, whispered words of strength and blessings. I envisioned these words to be like the spells from fairy god-mothers of yore, whispered down onto the heads of their innocent charges. I held the infant child of myself and spun a new tale for her to believe.

These words would have no power over my past and what has been done but, it does have the magick to take away the power my past has over me.  From this new memory I can build up my new days with a memory of encouragement, hope, strength and profound love.

I was blessed to feel and offer this to my own sons as they were being raised.  Holding both or one or the other in my arms and whispering all of the joys I hope they get to experience one day. Love, a new job, a home of their own, travel, adventure and all of this in whatever manner that makes them the happiest.  I feel blessed to have my sons, and they continue to be a source of pride and joy even now when they are men.

My mother was truly overwhelmed by the time I came along.  I am the fourth child of seven, raised in a lower class family.  My parents had only just moved us all into the house I was to have as my childhood home, so there was tons of unpacking and such that needed to be done as well, and my father worked and worked and worked to pay for the simple things we had in our lives.   I’m sure she [mom] had very high aspirations at one time for all of us but those words were never shared with me if so.  In that vision I also took the time to see my mom for the woman she was at that time.  Tired, overwrought with emotion, overworked at home, inundated with the constant noise and movement of 3 ambulatory children and my preemie newborn self.  Her own mother offered nothing of assistance, but if she did it must have barely made a dent in the time my mom needed to regroup her own spirit.  And in that scene I offered my mom peace. In my last moments before I left, I put the sleeping baby in the crib, step over to my mom and her tired eyes and hug this woman who so desperately wants only to sleep.  It’s ok mom, sleep.  I got this now.

~In memory of my mom

False Starts and New Ones

puddlesToo often we make resolutions to change something about ourselves, and never do them. However – life has a way of pushing you over that cliff that you’ve been edging.

This year (actually it began in November) I resolved to accomplish many things – namely rebuilding me.

Yes, we all hear about mid-life crisis but what happens when you are in mid-life demolition/restructuring? There comes a time in your life where you look at everything …and I mean EVERYTHING with a finer toothed comb. Not innane things like what car you drive or even what job title you have – but more important things like, are you happy with your job? Does your work satisfy you at the end of the day? Is this what your plan looked like 5 years ago?

How about more philanthropic questions like: Are you doing enough for your community? Do you know who your neighbors are? What about the education level of your town? How many homeless do you have living there? etc.

And for me the deepest challenges – my faith: Am I practicing my faith daily? Do I seek activities that will expand my soul and do the work needed for the Greater Work? How am I being useful?

For me – life has had its moments of challenge and pauses. Deaths, marriages, relocation, unemployment, familial issues, etc. And I have been the good daughter, mother, wife, employee (sorta on that last one)…all of which have aided me in becoming the woman I am today. But now – my mother has passed on, my father is able bodied and living with siblings, my sons have moved out and are standing firmer on their two feet and my wife and I (now married as of May, 2013) are looking to enrich our lives. …and I am looking to enrich my own.

So in November I applied and was accepted into an Esoteric School to re-explore my faith and see it from a new perspective. I’m taking on challenges to grow daily and …to avoid my own lethargy.

I’m sorting out the parts of myself that were and should be but are not any longer and the parts the are and should be severed forever. This is a pretty big project. Its easy to see what you let go of while being a responsible adult. Its hard to see what you need to let go of that is holding you back.

At the Winter Solstice – I was delighted to attend the annual Yule Ritual with the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel (my old tradition). The feelings experienced were not ones of pain or sorrow, as had been my past – rather – it was one of shedding and opening new spaces for light and growth and hope! Hope. After that ritual, I’ve found a new vocabulary and blessedly, a new patience that I had been lacking. It has been immensely helpful.

And lastly – I’m writing my Bucket List. The official one (not one of those meme kinds). They even have a website for this sort of thing! http://www.bucketlist.net/ It’s kinda cool to think that others are attempting similar things in life. I’ve even set up a “tribe” to learn 2 languages!

2014 and new resolutions may be passé, but for me – its a chance to really try and make good on a few key promises my child self made to me long ago.

Let the jumping in the puddles begin!

Remain in ennui or …

What do you do when you find yourself day in/day out in ennui? 

en·nui

noun \ˌän-ˈwē\

Definition of ENNUI
: a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction : boredom

Examples of ENNUI

  1. <the kind of ennui that comes from having too much time on one’s hands and too little will to find something productive to do>

Origin of ENNUI

French, from Old French enui annoyance, from enuier to vex, from Late Latin inodiare to make loathsome — more at annoy

First Known Use: 1732
May I just say that in the year 2012 – ennui is alive and kicking.
So what do you do when your day is dragging. When your job is lacking that spark to keep you motivated and churning out data, paperwork, research, widgets, whatever?
No seriously – what do you do???
Presently – I’m stuck.  My to-do list for home is larger than it is for the office.
I’ve already asked my assistant if she is doing anything and unfortunately for her – she’s standing at the concession stand on this boat.
I’ve pushed pencils around on papers, I’ve checked emails a gagillion times (I think I busted the “refresh” button) …nothing is coming in!
I’ve posted my resume (yep – I’m going there) to a few more jobs.  With today being St. Joseph’s day (patron saint of workers) I’m hoping it helps.  My day here is extended as my commute is 3 hours from home.
Yes – 3 hours.
Which means 6 hours total a commute each day.
It really does suck.
I’m not the only one though in this insanity.  There are 10 0thers on my train with me working the same hours; commuting the same (if not more) distance to and from work each and every day.
See – we humans thought we were so clever.  Invent more machines to do this or that for you – quicker, faster, etc.
Well – we just clever-ered ourselves right out of localized work.
I have an hour to kill before my daily migration north begins.
I wonder how long I can stretch this one email out?

FREEDOM to say “I DO”!!!!

Today plays a very important part in the history of the State of Maryland.  Today, the General Assembly is listening to the proposed amendments to Bill 241 – the Civil Marriage Protection Act and if all the Readers have been read/voted out or in…a vote will come tonight.

This vote will change my life and the lives of other Marylanders forever.  It will give me the possibility and others who would like to be married to a same-sex partner the ability to do so.  If this Act is passed – Governor Martin O’Malley has promised to sign it into being, thereby approving my ability as a human being the right to marry whomever I wish. (so long as they be non-relative, above the age of a minor, are indeed a human being and a legal citizen of this country, etc. etc. etc.)

The proposed amendments that have been read thus far since 10am this morning have been humorous, audacious and a complete waste of tax paying citizen’s time and money.  I have heard mention of:

  • Baptism – wants the right for churches to turn away children of same-sex marriages for Baptism! (really???)
  • School curriculum (a mathematical word problem was referenced for a 2nd grader level that mentioned a mom and dad…the “fear” was that said school/publishing house would be sued for this as it was now non-inclusive.)
  • School curriculum was also referenced to some book that schools would now be required to have??? Good heavens!
  • Mother’s and Father’s day – it was a fear that these would be abolished in the state of Maryland and Family day used instead.  Just for the record – neither are Federal or State holidays but inventions of Hallmark. – Don’t worry mom, I still love you. ❤

Senator Simonaire specifically was going a bit off the charts with some of his proposed objections and amendments.

@EqualityMDon Twitter lovingly called him “Sen. Crazy” and I think I shall adopt this title for all politicians that seems be be off their rockers lately.

Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden – these countries have all approved Same Sex Marriage for their citizens! We the home of the Free are not as free as we would like to be, or as free as we advertise.

Senator Raskin is my new hero today. Yes Senator – I’ve been listening to your calm, patient answers amidst the crazy talk and I applaud you and say Thank you!

To the sponsors of this bill (by the way, my county’s [District 34 – Nancy Jacobs (R) ] senator was NOT one of them and so come election time – out she goes babe…bye bye) I want to personally thank you for putting your name to the page and then standing up for it today with your voice AND more importantly – your vote.

To The President of the MD Senate Thomas Miller (By Request – Administration) and Senators Ferguson, Forehand, Frosh, Garagiola, Gladden, Jones-Rodwell, Kelley, King, Kittleman, Madaleno, Manno, McFadden, Montgomery, Pinsky, Pugh, Ramirez, Raskin, Robey, Young, and Zirkin – THANK YOU!

Give my family the right to be.

Give me the right to love whomever I want and honor that commitment, that human bond that no one can should ever be allowed to vote against.

Vote for the passing of the Civil Marriage Protection Act and let our good state of Maryland sign it into being for October, 2012.

Tears of a Clown

Ah Smokey Robinson can really bring a delicate point to home can’t he?

Sometimes even in our attempts to make others happy – we make them sad.

Sometimes in others attempts to show they are sad – they become angry.

Sometimes I get angry and sad too.

What this all boils down to is I have a perpencity to do:

  • give too much
  • talk too much
  • show my love too much

And by doing these – I make others feel (shaking head in uncertainty here) …less about themselves, confused, upset, angry, sad…something that does not show up as positive.

And this reaction to me – doesn’t go over as well as I would like.

Sometimes I show my emotions and my confusion. How can someone being nice make another upset?  And sometimes I just shut up.

In those moments – the world is far far away from me.  I feel it to be uncompromising, unfeeling and controlling of me.

Now I’ve done some reading on this. I was in a failed marriage with one woman with whom I ironically attended our marriage counseling sessions – by myself.  The counselor thought it best I no longer attend after several months of seeing me. Her statement was, “you know Jen…this usually works best when there are two of you here.”

Well – from those sessions I have a small library of books that were recommended to me.

Please do not misunderstand me – I am in no way saying that I know what the hell I’m doing when it comes to relationships. Nope.  In moments of miscommunication, distance, emotional upheaval, etc. that occur in my relationships – when I start talking about Imago or David Schnarch – its only as a parrot or a student reciting a lesson.   I KNOW these methods are good to use …they even work! But at times….ya know….you just stop pulling the punches in your words or you stop listening or you stop …everything — sex, talking,  being in the same room together, recognizing there is another person there, etc..

I have to say in those moments…it sucks firstly…that’s a given.  But for me – I panic! I mean I absolutely panic.

Here is this person I love/adore/worship/care about/etc. and in that moment I do not like them at all.  All sorts of negative tongue lashings come springing into my nasty little mind.  Not to draw blood but to sting….really hard.

…And then…I breathe.

I remember my lessons. I recite my homework (edited and personalized a bit):

  • Speak through love.
  • Listen.
  • Wait.
  • Repeat.
  • Empathize.
  • Be honest.
  • Be you.
  • Let them be them.
  • Is it the past that is the problem or the present?
  • Learn.
  • Live through love.

I don’t always do these things gracefully.

Hell – sometimes I don’t even do these things well …or even at all!

But know this…if you feel at the end of a resolution that you’ve not said your fill, or you still have something nasty to say about the others behavior or comments, or you don’t feel like the other person or you are happy completely with the resolution …then you’ve resolved nothing and this bad boy is gonna come back and bite you in the ass in a day or two. Mark my words.  I have the teeth marks on my ass to prove it.

So when in a huff – don’t fly out of the room, don’t yell and scream, don’t use tears to get your way, and don’t insinuate what you don’t know…just breathe instead. Center yourself. And the next time you open your mouth – say it through love.

If they get it …good.

If they don’t get it….you have some decision making to do.

Oh and just for the record, so I don’t have ya’ll biting your fingernails or anything…my girl totally gets it. 🙂