Monthly Archives: September 2013

Wheel turning

The Equinox is at 4:44pm local time. I could go to the ADF event at Central Park. It’s raining right now, but should clear up by afternoon.

My knee is bothering me, and the recent tendency toward frequent/constant stress-induced nightmares haven’t left me with much energy, but it would be good to be around people. If not, I hope I can go to the store to get the things to make bread. It does involve much less walking.

When Brand is feeling very bad or vulnerable, he likes to wrap the cord he had made around his neck loosely. I took the idea and looped ours, which still smells of the herbs it was washed in.

I do not know if I have “let” things get to me, or if this is a situation in which it is nearly impossible to avoid “letting” things get to me — that the issue of insecure housing, threats of physical violence, insufficient money to move right away, and everything else has thrown me into a form of survival mode where I seem capable of thinking about nothing else. It’s done it to everyone — I’m not the only one with nightmares — but I don’t want to solely be existing in this mode. I don’t want to be so full of stress that I sacrifice everything precious.

One of my mentors suggested using Green Tara’s mantra in times of difficulty, and I think it did help a great deal in getting to (I also got lost) and through a hearing about whether or not my benefits were being cut off (they aren’t). It’s also short and to the point. The difficulties one asks to be saved from sound like normal difficulties, like protection while traveling, but more relate to the general difficulties of samsaric existence and ignorance. And, goodness, couldn’t I use a lot of help with that.

Some of the leaves are falling here, or browning. Our unpredictable weather has interspersed periods of autumn with blazing summer. I wouldn’t rule out another period of 90 degree days, but it’s back to being cooler outside.

In a fragment of a dream I had, it was already time for frost, and frost was silvering the green leaves of the plants every morning. I don’t think I was in my ordinary dream locales; I think either Freyr or another person was with me. I was reminded in some vague way of the place where I grew up, though I couldn’t say why, now.

Brand is about to embark on a period of belonging to his sister. I need to settle myself, engage in daily meditation, and descend into the right portions of consciousness to learn more about this apprenticeship to Eir that’s being arranged around me and something similar with Frigga. Both things will need my attention.

In this moment of being split between seasons, it seems good to revive and set intentions.

Mine are:

– practice daily meditation

– practice mantra recitation

– spend time with my beloved

– pray

– pursue the invitations from Eir and Frigga

– follow commonsense approaches to improving these things — care for my plants and study herblore, clean my spaces, my altar, etc, and maintain them, cook and enjoy good food

White Tara

The wild change in the weather brought on a migraine. Not too surprising, but as always, they affect what I can do.

I was having a very difficult time settling my mind and frequently feeling panicky all day, which is not strange for the day, or with recent circumstances, and I could not find a rhythm for tonglen to keep it going for very long. It seemed like only about five or ten minutes. Five or ten minutes seemed like a terribly short period of time when I was thinking about people being trapped under metal and concrete, dying of thirst, burns, and other injuries. How time must have crawled for those people.

I wanted to do recitations with something I both already had memorized and had easily accessible to listen alongside to help me stay focused. What I had available turned out to be White Tara.

White Tara is often approached for longevity, but also during sickness, and she is said to be more compassionate toward our suffering than a mother is toward a beloved child.

Part of the training on compassion throughout Buddhism is that we need to be compassionate toward ourselves, forgiving toward ourselves, accepting of ourselves, and so on, so that we can be those things toward others. I needed to be compassionate toward myself and my limitations, remember that one second of thought for the benefit of other beings is priceless, and accept the efforts I was able to give as good.

This is something that I have constant trouble with.

I did not grow up with a loving mother, so it is very hard for me to imagine Tara’s compassion.

I did not feel well enough to get up to get my mala, but the recording has 108 recitations, and I went through them, drawing my mind when it wandered back to the topic at hand. I visualized a Buddha-field with white lotuses and clear water as an offering.

Something controversial, I think, in Buddhism and some other religions, is that you do not separate some people from who gets included. You do not think to yourself, no, the people who hijacked the planes cannot come to this Buddha-field and receive blessings from Tara, or sit among these lotuses, or listen to this water.

Among Orthodox Christians, it’s common to use the word ‘repose’ instead of ‘dead’ or ‘death.’ Sometimes it seems like a better word.

9/11

Tomorrow never stops seeming like a day that has detached itself from the timestream and remains outside of it, one foot aside, leaving a jarring hole like missing a step in the dark — as vertiginous and horrifying, full of animal visions of twisted bones and broken spines.

It “gets better.” The city “moves on.”

Signs about the missing, then PTSD, then sickness, then cancer disappear. Then there are no signs at all, except sometimes you stumble across a mural to a group of people, to firefighters, to all of them.

The victims’ families have become something of an embarrassment: they demand tribute every year to the fallen, demand that something be done, demand that it not get brushed under the rug of tourism and shining up the public perception of the city as Safe again.

It’s going to be in the upper 90s tomorrow, after days of pleasant weather. It’s going to be incredibly oppressive.

I’ll be at home, meditating on peace, making an offering to the dead, and an offering to the spirit and spirits of the city, themselves wounded grievously and much ignored. Maybe I will turn my practice to tonglen, and take their suffering, and give them love, empathy, acknowledgement. I see you.

I hear you.

And I am so very sorry.

Frigga, Eir; What Doesn’t Wear Off

This was written on Sunday in a letter to a friend, before we went to view an apartment, which although perfect in many ways, we did not end up getting.

 

After we were married, though I don’t know when it happened exactly, because I think I was too distracted, I began seeing/sensing/feeling a pair of silver rings on my upper arms and a ciclet made of silvery material that were always on me. The circlet is of a rather feminine style, with something in the center and either a piece of it that drops down or a jewel that does (I can’t see my own face, and Brand’s not terribly useful when it comes to tiny details about things that he hasn’t been looking at for very long periods of time).

I promise I’ve only read Lord of the Rings once, but the material it’s made of reminds me of the mithril alloy ithildin, which glows by moon or starlight, except this glows very softly in any sort of dim light or darkness, and isn’t necessarily hidden by the sun — I’ve felt/seen it all in broad daylight, though it is somehow less obvious, then, and looks like a duller sort of metal.

I saw it today when I couldn’t sleep and went to visit Freyr, who was on his horse, or a horse who was a golden yellow with a dark brown mane and tail. After flailing at the internet, I’ve discovered this sort of horse is described as a buckskin, although it did not have the black socks. And, of course, impossibly beautiful in a way the internet can’t provide. Today was literally the first time I have ever seen Skirnir.

So, I’ve some sort of royal regalia that doesn’t come off, now. And I’m being so much nudged toward Frigga that I’d call it a very polite shove. Am I meant to pick up sacred queen-er-kingship from her?

And I’ve been being thrust at Eir for weeks, now, and that doesn’t surprise anyone, and it’s mainly been waiting for me to have some peace and quiet to continue to explore.

Viewing an apartment.

Later today, we are going to look at an apartment. It is very affordable, the location sounds like it has all of the things we need nearby, it has a yard with a garden we are welcome to use, a wonderful view, and the commute to various places is not bad at all. Two cats live there, and we are welcome to bring ours.

It is in a very different part of the city, with doubtless extremely different vaettir, but I have felt peaceful looking at the pictures and thinking about it, and it overall seems to make more sense for me than where I am currently living.

Prayers are appreciated!

 

Elk with Willow Crown

1973 National Geographic image of an elk wearing a willow crown.