Monthly Archives: January 2014

Rearranging the altars

It’s a fairly common thing to color the water used in Buddhist offerings with saffron. Saffron is, of course, very expensive, and I haven’t been able to afford it, but V. bought me some while we were in the spice aisle at the store. I will make the saffron water when I can and start using it in daily offerings.

We had previously been to the dollar store, where we found an assortment of things that we thought would be good for the altars. Small wooden boxes, moss, stones, glass bowls and vases. I’ve wanted to make something for Freyr for a long time, because I don’t have much for him: really only a dark brown clay pig, aside from my jewellery.

Hela told Brand to rearrange the order that things are in, in terms of the shelves, which is reasonable and convenient. I need more room to use the offering bowls more effectively.

I will make something for Freyr and incorporate the pieces of the trees in the yard that offered themselves into the area. He is so intertwined with nature/land spirits for me that it seems like the right thing to do.

We bought a Christmas cactus, as well. Being past its flowering season, it was heavily marked down and in good condition. They blossom so beautifully.

Don’t let yourself lose me

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

― Rainer Maria RilkeRilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God

 

Aridity

I had been strongly considering participating in the PBP, but the first relevant word that came to mind for me was ‘Adoption’ and that peeled open a festering mess I wasn’t quite expecting.

I don’t have contact with any human family. It has been a painful mess since I was twelve and understood the depth of my father’s disinterest in my existence (I didn’t even know him, really — I saw him a couple of times when I was very, very young and never again after I was about five — but I knew where he lived, and I spent some time sitting on my bike across the road from his house, thinking about what would happen if I knocked on the door) and there were levels of increasing understanding of my mother’s hatred for me, starting with being told that I should have been aborted when I was four or five, to worse things and repeats of that and similar statements, until I was seventeen. I had already left home by then — going halfway across the country and working full time from the moment I was sixteen and living with awful people actually seemed better than living with her, and I’d already dropped out of school due to a nervous breakdown when I was fourteen — but during a phone call in either late 1998 or early 1999, she reminded me that not having had an abortion had “fucked up her life.”

I never stopped being depressed about it, or wounded. The best I could manage was ignoring it.

When Brand’s family found out about me, they were completely horrified by how neglected and hated I had been, and immediately decided that they would adopt me. He’s said before that there is nothing more important to the jotnar than family, but I didn’t realize that extended to adopting unwanted children to ensure they had family, too. That was probably a bit stupid of me, but I’ve internalized the idea that I am loathsome and unwantable by anyone very well (which I have to admit doesn’t do my romantic relationships any good, either).

I feel like a feral cat, haunting the edges of this civilization and scattering whenever someone looks at me or comes to close, and only creeping in when no one’s paying attention, or is busy elsewhere. I’m prone to raiding the trash for scraps because I can’t handle coming in to my place at the table. I don’t know how to come in. I can only tolerate it for a few minutes at most before I have a desperate urge to run away and be extremely alone. Alone is familiar; alone is what I know.

At our wedding, so many of his friends and family — and part of my brain was trying to consider the idea that they would think of me as part of their family also, while the rest of it was skittering away from that thought and relegating all of these people to his, his, his. No our anywhere involved. His house, his bed, his everything. What am I, exactly, inside my own mind? A doll that he felt sorry for. And decided to take home, try to clean it up, sit it around tea parties with other dolls and stuffed animals. But I don’t have a mouth. I do not know how to make sounds.

Meeting the trees.

I briefly spoke to the two evergreens in the yard early this morning when I went to take out the trash and the recycling. It snowed a little last night and was very cold.

One of them felt very old and there were several places on the trunk where the sap had bled out, resembling candle wax. It is next to the fence and the garage. It told me to take a piece of it, so I felt along one of the lower branches until I found something that felt right and broke it off. I was regretting having no thumbnails, but perhaps because of the cold, it broke very neatly.

The other is much younger and of a different species. It is the one that has been annoyed that I hadn’t properly said hello or spent time with it. When the wall of the building next door collapsed, I don’t know how the tree managed to avoid getting severely damaged, but it looks like it was fine.

It was still huffy but not in a bad mood — more like posturing, I suppose, at this point, because it had gotten what it wanted. On the ground, there was a piece that had three branches of needles, which it said I could have. I had to pry it out of the snow a little bit, but it doesn’t look like that damaged it. I could not stay long because my hands were very cold without gloves, and it is not shaped in a way that I could reach the trunk to touch it, like I generally would, but I touched some of the branches.

The older tree feels very masculine. It reminds me of an old veteran. The younger one, I’m not sure how to describe… it also feels male, but certainly younger. Almost like a young teenager, or one of my relatives when he was ten or eleven, and a little old for his age.

We will be having another winter storm tomorrow and Friday, both here and in New York City, so I am going to end up trying to clamber to appointments through 5+” of snow in the city, and have needed to arrange my travel dates to leave today and come back on Saturday. There will be 9-12″ of snow here. Since I cannot help shovel, I am worried about the car, since the city will tow any car that won’t move when they decide to plow. The landlord said he would help if we were out of town, but I haven’t been able to get ahold of him yet.

And I am very tired, very much not in the physical state to travel or to spend two days slogging through the snow and then traveling more. I fell asleep sitting up last night after I laid out this year’s runes. I have no idea what they even are — V. took a picture of them for me — and only remember that Raido fell out of the bag and into my lap, then showed up again, and that I pulled kenaz for December, but it fell out of my hand and back into the bag. I woke up around six, I suppose. I don’t know when I fell asleep. V. tried to get me to come to bed when he took the picture of the runes and as far as I know, the only thing I managed to do was put the runes back into the bag, and completely passed back out here. I think I got up and got into the bed around 4:45. I very clearly need more rest.

Ah, the landlord rung the doorbell to tell us the neighbors were moving and ask if we’d move the car up a few spaces so they’d have more room for the truck, so I was able to talk to him and give  him the spare key. Maybe I can panic a little less.

Blessings for the New Year

Well said.

Sarenth Odinsson's Blog

May the Gods be pleased by our offerings, hear us, and bless us.  May the spirits be with us and bless us.  May the Disir, Väter, and all our Ancestors be with us, and bless us.  May the Norns bless us with good fortune.    May we live in Gebo with our Gods, Ancestors, and spirits in the coming year.  May They bless us in kind for our Gebo.  May those who have suffered this year find peace.  May those who have struggled find resolution.  May those who have been ill be healthy.

Happy New Year everyone.  See you in 2014.  Blessings to you and yours today and in the New Year.  Ves ðu heil!

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