Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Brisingamen was actually made of starfish

Around a certain area in the tree of life, one finds a lot of familiar names.


Brisingida -> Brisingidae (click on this picture) -> Brisinga, Brisingaster, Brisingella, Brisingenes, Midgardia, Odinella

Brisingida -> Freyelladae -> Freyastera, Freyella, Freyellaster

I’ve done literally nothing but watch a Let’s Play of Nier (an extraordinarily unhappy game, yet we both liked it, and liked the characters, and the loads of backstory you can find fan-translated online) lately because I have been so tired. That was most of my week. During my volunteer work, I almost fainted four times.

We’re moving on to another depressing game next.

Brand has been wikipediaing his family and mine in more relevant languages, when we haven’t been dead asleep while curled up together like cats. Team chronic fatigue syndrome, go!

And also we’ve been making plans for, having missed the full moon, after it starts waxing again, doing a highly awkward perambulation of the house (this house is attached to another house, so this perambulation will have to either start or end in the upstairs bathroom, and go down around the front, side, and back of the yard) to feed the landvaettir, and whomever might live in the house (I haven’t sorted that out yet), and ask them to protect the area.

I need to go down and feed the ones from my dream much sooner. As in, today. In the not-broad daylight when all of the screaming children from miles around are playing in front of the house.

Land Spirits, Sacred Marriage, or Whoops, You Married the Yard

Last night, I was very tired very early — I’ve been in very bad pain, and it’s exhausting — and I was thinking about how I needed to get to know the land spirits here properly because it had never been done, and he and I both seem to feel strongly about honoring and understanding them. I was considerably too tired to journey, or slip sideways, or even to sit up and finish my mantras for the day, which collectively disappointed me.

When I did fall asleep, I had strange dreams about being in the small backyard, having sex with the ground, the earth, and the spirit who belongs to/lives in the pussywillow, while various other spirits were dancing around me. Whenever I woke up and drifted back off, I went back into the dreams.

The extent of Brand’s commentary was, “Oh, yeah, I did that, too [had sex with the earth] — some weird thing of dad’s — but it wasn’t here. I guess you just got married to the yard. Whoops.”

I was still too tired when I woke up to try to talk to Freyr about it, or even poke at the internet, though I was awake for a few hours. I had the feeling that they would like some chocolate and some of the mead I brought Freyr, but, so much more than too tired to go do that in the middle of the night.

Salt is antiseptic

Waves crash against the cliffs near the azure ...

My old love found me, and we fell together like crashing waves falling back to the sea. Both of us a quarter of a year splattered to cliff-face. Enough tears for a small sea between us, pooling on our chests, getting lost in my salt-damp hair.

We spoke of Freyr, of course. He tells me he cannot possibly hope to compare to a god in any way, and recites the litany of this year. I did not go looking for a god, and as one of Brand’s friends said to him, there are not many people who are willing to let gods be people, and so I am interested in Freyr as a person, not a deity. If he must compare himself with someone, he is comparing himself with another person, who has their own flaws, like anyone does.

I spoke about him to Freyr, who said similar things, phrased very differently; how can he compare to someone I have loved for so long and so deeply that I married?

Somewhere in the middle of this, I was saying to both that they were not the same person and I did not feel the same way — of course I did not feel the same way — but why would I want to, and why would they want me to?

I have, in this month of courtship, fallen in love with Freyr.

I have loved R. quite literally since the moment I met him.

There were terrible problems with his son, and it’s all very complicated, but we did not see each other for a long time, and I was not certain at all if we would or could still be together.

The day after I realized I was in love with Freyr, R. found me.

I thought I would have to choose. It was agonizing. R. did not want me to choose; he said Freyr had been good for me, and he hated the idea of ruining anything that had made me happy at all. So, that end being simplistic (though I wasn’t sure if I believed R. was doing the right thing for himself), things were necessarily complicated with Freyr, who has never wanted to share me.

Brand talks about how immobile I am when I have made up my mind about something, how I dig my feet in so far that it would require dismemberment to move me, and even then I would not change my opinion.

I was insistent, despite all advice to the contrary. The warnings to the contrary. The pages upon pages regarding godspousery about how the destruction of non-deity relationships is inevitable. That my entire life would be destroyed if I did not do exactly what was wanted, how it was wanted, when it wanted.

I have never agreed to jump when someone said it.

“Figure out how to share,” was my weary recommendation.

Despite the predictions regarding my undoing, he did sort it out.

I spent last night with him, and heard a story of Byggvir working to become one of Njordr’s servants, and to be given to Freyr when he was young, and then to be taken with him when he went to set up his own household, and of his similar tenacity in pursuing his wife, whose father also did not approve of their pairing. It seems to be a theme, this disapproval of fathers, in the love lives of anyone from that place.

Lacking a father (or a family, at all — Brand’s has adopted me), I am spared any drama of the sort.

We had not gone down for dinner, and it was ultimately brought up, and the fire built up. It is still cold there at night, especially. He asked if his habit of meat-eating bothered me, with my habit of lacto-vegetarianism (I like cheese). It doesn’t; he and the people in his country respect the animals they kill for food. They are grateful. They know they are eating something that was alive, and real.

I went to sleep listening to him breathe, the firelight flickering on his skin and on the insides of my eyes. He does not get particularly cold, and I seem to get very cold when I sleep there, without more blankets than he needs. I am bundled up appropriately whenever I get tired.

My blood pressure is low here, my circulation is not good, and my body temperature is lower than average. It may translate.

No one kisses me in the same way. No one holds me in the same way. I come alive differently in different arms.

Brand thinks I am naturally very monogamous, but my life has not turned out that way.


My volunteer work became extremely busy and I decided to take a meditation retreat (in the city, coming home and returning) this weekend. I have come home and we have had no hot water, so I have had to take cold showers, and then slept, heavily.

My friend’s mother… is so much on the verge of terrible death, and as soon as things seem to get better, they get much worse. I started to cry today, reading his most recent update. Brand pulled together some practical advice on household issues he was having, being suddenly in charge of two thoroughly irresponsible girls whose friends are all drug addicts, a four year old, and his brother who seems reasonably human. Brand is very good at phrasing things for other people. Giving them scripts. To explain how these myriads of people can “help” when his refrigerator and freezer are stuffed and his little brother will not eat much of what people are making. Specific nonperishables (cereal the child will eat, whatever “breakfast foods” people will eat such as pop-tarts (not a food), canned chicken/tuna, etc), household needs like toilet paper, a list of what the child eats, a request for Amazon cards for bulk shopping that our friend does not have to do. Brand is helpful; I cry.

Though it was him today who fell apart about everything else.

And then I also cried because he had to take a cold shower when he was already feeling so very miserable. That was all before we were updated about our friend’s mother.


Our conversations have not been many and most have been short since I’ve been sick.

Last night, I walked with him in the evening light among his many gardens after sharing a meal. We were walking through a vineyard, and he put his hand on one of the gnarled trunks of the grapes. I mentioned that wine seemed an unusual fondness for him; he smiled one-sidedly and said that everyone gets bored of the same things all of the time for thousands of years.

Unlike here, there was a large full moon rising, in a harvest yellow, on the blue-purple horizon.

We’ve spoken about offerings a few times, and about my financial situation, and that I ran out of food stamps and was in an unpleasant bind. He decided that he liked the ginger lemon tea (stash) I bought for our bronchitis, with honey, and said that would be suitable, and also the green tea with lemon that I already had. The green tea without honey, for the sake of my preferences. And we would share all of the tea.

Most of his typical food offerings I cannot eat, handle, or prepare due to sensitivities, allergies, diseases, and other issues, and I am generally a vegetarian with vegan tendencies. Most of the time that I eat meat, it is because someone else has prepared it. There is a chicken, sweet potato, and apple stew downstairs that I would be a complete fool not to eat.

It isn’t dogmatic, but I lean that way religiously, or spiritually. He said that never troubled him.

He asked that I share some of my food, whatever it is, unless I were eating one of my truly dull staples, which aren’t very interesting. They are merely the cheapest way I can accomplish my most basic dietary needs.

I’m meant to try to rest. I have an unfortunately large amount of reading that I need to get through on Monday and Tuesday, and I started back into meditating this evening after having to take a break due to how sick I was.

Zombie Bronchitis.

Due to being woken up by one of us making a noise like moaning zombies whenever we exhale, Brand named this particular strain of viral bronchitis the above.

My life for the last few days has been dominated by zombie bronchitis. My chest hurt so badly that it reminded me of having had major surgery. The doctor said that the severe pain was likely caused by dehydration and that anyone with bronchitis needs to try to drink their weight in water every day to allow the body to have enough excess hydration to spare some for the bronchi, so the mucous in the lungs will become more fluid and coughing is more productive and less irritating.

She was right. My chest hurts much less today.

It was very windy yesterday and breathing the cold air was very unpleasant.

Freyr has been with me off and on. We had a long conversation on Monday about important things. Tuesday and Wednesday, I was a combination of very sick and then busy and very sick, so our conversations were limited to short things that were often about him telling me to do something to take better care of myself.

I’m now having a muscle spasm in my neck which is causing an intense migraine (and intense pain). I hope I can spend some time with him Friday.

The landvaetter.

They seemed pleased with their offerings and attention, though many were buzzing around me and still were when I came in and they stayed a while. When I came in, they asked for a candle and incense. Two things, at least, that exist in abundance.

Freyr told me specifically that I was to be their priest. He used the word more than once. And didn’t quite specify if by “area of land” he meant the area of land on this property or larger than that — I hope he meant on this property. It is enough that the woman downstairs shouts at me whenever I am in the yard, despite paying rent, without having to deal with other neighbors.

But no wonder they need it, when she exists, and she tears apart anything she does not like in the garden. A lavender bush that had been growing beautifully for six years or so, she had torn out while everyone was away and no one could stop or retrieve to try to replant.

I was also advised to stop using the cherry wood runes I had been using and get willow wood ones as soon as possible.

I took a lot of photos, and also have many photos Brand took for me, that I have not put up yet.


I have a cough that is getting worse and sounds very unpleasant. My chest hurts, as well.

This morning, after I finished meditating and was in the kitchen making myself something to eat, he said my name.

I turned to look at him; he took my face in his hands and tipped it slightly so that I would look at him. He is a few inches taller than I am, which is not that strange. I’m around 5’9″.

I expected him to say something, but he was quiet, just looking at me.

I felt emotion boil up inside me, turning into a flood, threatening to overwhelm all of my carefully constructed demilitarized zones and walls. I didn’t think I could control it and that frightened me.

I looked down, lowering my head, and feeling my shoulders curl up and in. I grappled with my emotions desperately, breaking them down and shoving them away, trying to get back to something in the range of neutral. Scared out of my mind.

“What would happen, if you let yourself feel?” he asked quietly.

I covered my face with my hands. He had not entirely let me go. I wanted to to retreat, hide, run. Futile; where can you hide from your own mind?

“Lose you, too,” I said into my hands.

A moment passed, while he was poised on the edge of saying something and then reconsidering it, and reconsidering other things. I could feel him thinking.

“You don’t believe in promises anymore.” It was a perfectly neutral observation, with no blame attached. There was a slightly wistful note to it.

I felt awful. I felt like I was wronging him. He was never done anything that made me think he did not mean what he was saying, even though I have doubted various portions of the important parts.

Completely miserable, I agreed with him.

His hands slid down my shoulders and then around my back. “There is nothing to do about that but time.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, wretched and guilty.

“If a man breaks your leg, and you cannot rise to greet me, is it your fault, or the man who broke your leg’s?”


“The only blame lies with those who broke it. If a man breaks his arm, and it is set properly, he will have use of it again in two months. I have never heard of a heart mending in two months. Or the ability to trust another.”


“Some people fall in love and everything magically gets better,” I said later.

“Is that mending, or distraction?”

“It depends the sincerity of it, I suppose.”

“How do they feel about the world outside of their beloved?” he pressed. “Do they love any others, have they compassion, warmth, openness to anyone else?”

I started to answer him and stopped, and started flicking through my rolodex of every thoroughly broken-hearted person I’ve known. “…No, not that quickly, if ever.”

He rested his jaw on his thumb and his elbow on his knee. His index finger ran along the side of his face to his temple and his other fingers were curled by his cheek. We were sitting on the bed. I’d woken up with my cough turned vicious.

I’m going to go to the doctor in the day, if they have any urgent care appointments. If not, then they should on Wednesday. 

He has lovely hands. I wish I could draw.

“And yet you have not stopped caring very deeply for others and have such compassion that it rends your heart in an entirely different way. I know you can’t trust them with yourself,” he said, slicing off my protest before it had finished forming. “But you don’t think they’re innately bad people. That isn’t why you cannot trust them.”

“It–” seems like I’m wronging them. “Seems very rude, to not trust people who haven’t earned distrust.”

“Are you actually told anywhere to trust everyone?”

“I… No, I don’t think… In the way I’m worrying about it. Though it…”

He waited patiently.

“I’m too sick. And I can’t remember everything. Even if I weren’t sick. But then maybe I would feel up to going through everything.”

“If–” He was very gentle, rather like the way the Grand Canyon was carved by water. “–you cannot recall everything you are supposed to be doing, then you may be incorrect about what you are doing wrong. And if you are doing something incorrectly, but you know it should be done differently, and you want to do it differently, but your psychological circumstances are overpowering you, did you not just read today that that did not make it a failure, and even if it did, that if you were failing, you are never to feel guilty about it?”

I suddenly understood why Brand finds it so aggravating at times that his father can pick everything he’s seen, read, or thought for eons right out of his head, and then weave the most incontrovertible arguments against anything. Even if that weren’t one of Loki’s innate specialties.

I wasn’t aggravated, but I did feel as helpless and foolish as the rock trying to argue against erosion. Stop eroding me! Stop it! I never said you could be here! Go away! You go away right now! While the water blithely runs along.


Without my doing anything that I was aware of, itunes opened and Remember How We Forgot by Shane Koyczan started to play.