Tag Archives: A Month for Freyr

A Month for Freyr: Bread and Honey

By necessity, the extent of what I had planned to do for our wedding has been trimmed back severely; however, we will still bake bread, and we will eat it with raw honey.

It must be the simplest thing, though bread for celiacs is never simple or cheap, that anyone can do as an offering, as a devotion, as a way of connecting. Even if the bread is store-bought. If it’s not pre-sliced, it probably works a little better, but he is ever understanding and rarely picky. The heart is what matters.

The grains of the land, the sun, the work, tending, tilling, hoping, waiting, harvesting, milling. Fields rippling in the wind.

(“Fields of Gold” unintentionally starts playing in my head.)

The bread mix and other things it needs, minus eggs, and the raw honey were ordered from Amazon, because I don’t seem to have half of my insurance anymore and the reason I would’ve gone downtown on Tuesday seems to be moot. Also, not having to carry all of it is a distinct bonus.

It will be good to resume the habit of eating raw honey every day, as he would like me to do.

The honey we’ve had has been called “raw” but it is filtered and looks like any other sort of honey, and I feel distrustful of it in terms of fulfilling his request.

I used to cook with sourwood honey when I lived in the south, and there is no source for sourwood up here (you can order it online, but I don’t know if anyone sells it raw), and when I told the man at the honey stand about my love of sourwood, he and the woman both gushed about it. I left with a large container of buckwheat honey, which has a depth and richness that is reminiscent of sourwood, and is overall very, very good. I will eat wildflower and clover honey if I have no other choice, but my preferences lie in the direction of things that are less overwhelmingly sweet.

I tasted honey made from tea trees, which is very expensive and was purchased for medicinal use for someone (facial application after electrolysis treatments), and thought it was intriguing in flavor, but the price point — goodness. Still, if some money lies around, it would be good to have on hand for medicinal purposes.

Making this bread for him, with him, and eating it together… that will be what binds us.

There will be fancy everything elsewhere, with his family. I think I may port my marriage cord over with me, so that we can use it where we both have a corporeal substance, and let his father have the honor of tying it.

Here, I may wind it about my wrist and hand, and the offering bread, the marriage bread.

I have, in recent days, been feeling softer and quieter. Both heavy and ungrounded. As if I am seeping into something, or vice versa. My chest aches over my heart. There is so little room inside the human body for a heart that is trying to become a mountain, a woodland, a lake.

There is a great deal of receptivity in the softness. Whatever is becoming me, or whatever I am becoming, the assent is total, and I drift slowly into a silent place that is like a grotto at the bottom of the ocean. Tide moves unstoppably. There is no argument in me against any of it; I accept it completely. Shifted by currents, and the vast oceans of the sea sweeping through me.

A Month for Freyr: Byggvir and Beyla

I associate Beyla with honey, more than her other etymological possibilities. Also the color of the firelight on the wood inside the house, which is a warm yellow-brown. She is very fond of cooking and taking care of people with food. I don’t need to eat elsewhere, but it troubles her if I don’t eat twice during any full length of day time when I’m there and I know she worries and fusses about it because she cares.

They both have a mild parental view toward me — since Byggvir said he’d been with Freyr for most of Freyr’s life, it makes sense that they would be vaguely parental toward both him and his lovers who stay in his home.

Byggvir was accused of being a coward in Lokasenna, but he’s behaved protectively toward me. I associate him (for some reason) with early spring/late autumn greens, like kale, which are resistant to cold weather and a rich, dark green, and I also associate him with iron. Particularly the smell of it.

I was having a fair amount of trouble with someone when I went there once, and he took me aside and told me that if I needed someone to deal with it for me, he would take care of it.

They are an important part of my life, though I do not see them as often as I think I should. I would like to set aside some time to get to know them better.

I am weary of the lack of space I have to do anything, here. And I am wondering if a virtual space would be better, until after we’ve found new housing. It feels strange, the idea of creating  a non-physical space for them and the other people I am getting to know, but the time I spend with them is non-physical, as well.

When I was idly looking at sea shells after coming across a website about sea hearts, I got a prodding that someone would like shells. I kept thinking it was Freya, but Frigga’s name kept popping into my head. It turns out that most shells are not that expensive, so whomever would like some nicer shells, I can hopefully make it happen eventually.

I did buy plants, despite the lack of space issues, while I was at the greenmarket on Tuesday. Three varieties of sansevieria, a type of moss, a striped aloe, an unknown plant in muted autumn colors, and another unknown plant that has white veins. They were all shockingly inexpensive.

I thought that, with the space problems, and the difficulty in burning candles in the summer because of the fans, the plants could be a living altar. Freyr, and all of the plant spirits. I feel better, even crowded in here with an entire wall full of someone else’s disorganized books and more shelves above the bed with the same.

I had a collection of sansevieria about four years ago, but while I was away, only one of them survived never being watered by the person I’d asked to look after them. I also lost the collection of spider plants that I had except for one, as well. But spider plants are not usually as expensive as sansevieria and that really was a lot of money. However, at the greenmarket, I replaced two of the species I’d lost and got one I’d wanted but never had, for something like $14. Two 4″ pots and one 6″ pot. It blows my mind. Maybe it is also a wedding present!

A Month for Freyr: Suspicious Business

Not very long after I posted the previous entry that was partially about R. needing to be out of town when I was getting married, he received a sudden message saying that his appointment had been rescheduled to the 28th. He hadn’t asked to have it rescheduled.

I have always felt strange about getting married without R. there, as he was my first lover, and we are still together, and he has been incredibly supportive about Freyr and me. Since I don’t know anyone who can host Freyr, my earthly wedding portion will mainly consist of a reception sort of thing and a meal for my family, Freyr’s, and the spirits.

Apparently he wants R. there, too.

A Month for Freyr: Alfheimr; Home

Things have been relatively calm, which is good, because I have not had it in me for very much stress. The amount of devotional things that I had wanted to do this month have been frequently put off because my health has been poor. I’ve substituted by spending more time with him at home, which has been easy due to the amount of rest my body has needed.

I know that with Loki, at least, people assume that everything is constant sex. I don’t know what people assume about spouses of Freyr, but it is also probably not as mundane as the truth can be.

He enjoys walking in the fields and the forests, the meadows, and visiting the streams, lakes, waterfalls, and rivers. This is much of what we do: we walk. The spirits of the places do not feel a need to take the form of anything, most of the time, or be visible in most traditional senses, but they are all very highly sentient and easy to feel. The places where the sun falls, where things are growing, have a feeling like a fat, happy cat laying in a sunbeam. They are well-satiated and feeling very glorious in the sun and with things on their surface growing so healthily and strong. The fields love him, and the meadows full of flowers and herbs and grasses do, too. Meadows are rather feminine, whereas fields are more masculine.

Forests have as many spirits as they do trees, it seems, though they do seem to have some that are in charge, for lack of a more appropriate term. Some of them are gruff, at least on the exterior, and suspicious of new people. But whether or not an ancient tree is looking upon me suspiciously, anything related to willows adores me. I’ve had saplings lean into my hands, and leaves rustle over my shoulders and arms. It’s very humbling, and charming at the same time.

Though it is seen as some sort of hippie foolishness, I have to wonder if there is, in fact, a very good reason to hug trees, and that is that they love people who connect with them, and express their love through touch, too. Trees on earth don’t have as much freedom of movement as trees elsewhere, so perhaps we should go to them, and lay our hands on them, embrace them, lean against them, and most of all, talk to them. It doesn’t have to be out loud; they’re perfectly capable of hearing what’s inside our heads, especially when directed toward them.

As much as it is a stereotype that elves love to live in forests, from Lord of the Rings to nearly any other story I can think of (excusing the drow of the Forgotten Realms D&D world, and so on), I can’t argue with it much: the alfar love the forests, and seem to choose them more than most other areas, though they live everywhere.

The water is as alive as anything else, and all of the stone. One of my favorite things to do is sit against a rock by a particular stream in a forest and listen to it, and the wind in the trees.

Around his home, there are many clear spaces for fields and though there are wooded areas, they are not forests, and so I’ve loved this traveling around we’ve done lately. Living in a city here, and being too ill to go the parks, it is such a gift.

A Month for Freyr: Truly Being Loved

I wanted to take this particular piece from the previous reblog by Jeanette Leblanc and post it separately, because it is both the secret of him and the secret of those of us who come to him.

Teach me how to be loved. Let me show you how to love me well. School me in the workings of your heart, in the language of your bones. Let my open palm memorize the shape of your face. Tell me the stories of your scars so I can trace them with the honor of understanding.

Do you see this fault line? It is where I was broken, over and over again, by the ones who came before you. Are you willing to take that in? My wide open eyes? My truth lives there, if you look for it.

I have been loved by those who didn’t care to discover all that I am. Will you be the one to see me whole?

A Month for Freyr: Thoughts on Frith and Lovingkindness

Reaching the messy end of friendships, of relationships, of other sorts of bonds that seemed inclined to last but have frayed apart recently, or currently are fraying, I’ve been trying to find ways of coping with things and with people that does the least harm while maintaining my own self to a reasonable degree — not putting myself into a situation where I will be devoured and have nothing left for Freyr, for the wights, for studying, for meditation, for my other friends and loved ones, or anything at all.

Buddhism approaches how one should protect oneself, or if one should protect oneself at all, differently depending on the school. But the interior attitude does not change, whether one takes steps, or what sort of steps, to remove oneself from harm or the potential for harm.

Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding. Even then you should train yourselves: “Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading these people with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with them, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.” That’s how you should train yourselves.

“Train” is an important word. Doing this is anything but easy, even in circumstances that are relatively pleasant much of the time. It’s both common and easy to have stray nasty thoughts about people who annoy you, when someone cuts you off driving, or cuts in line in front of you, won’t move when the light turns green, steps on your toes, bumps into you hard enough to make you stumble or drop something, etc. It’s basic Internet 101 on get enraged at the opinions of others, as well. And politics.

It’s unlikely someone will start sawing your limbs off, but you may find yourself subjected to a monologue about politics you find abhorrent (I know someone who is a great fan of Rush Limbaugh; I’m gay and passionately support women’s rights), from someone you can’t afford to seem rude toward, so you seethe inwardly and fantasize about sawing their limbs off.

It’s an accomplishment, and not a small one, to manage to be polite to people on the exterior almost all of the time. It’s very hard to create interior kindness, patience, and forbearance that doesn’t shatter as soon as someone sits near you and chews with their mouth open.

Peace, ultimately, comes from within ourselves. Especially the sort of peace that grows.

It’s said that what we hate most in others are things we hate about ourselves, and it’s a fact that most western people, when they try to do metta meditation, and have to start with genuinely wishing themselves happiness and freedom from suffering, have trouble doing it. We harbor a lot of self-loathing.

The advice is to start with someone easy, like your best friend, or your mentor, your lover, someone that your heart can embrace without any selfishness and wish for their happiness and their freedom from suffering. And then eventually work your way around to yourself. Some people find wishing themselves happiness even harder than wishing the “difficult person” happiness — someone you don’t like very much, but not necessarily someone you hate or someone who’s abused you, because dealing with those people is fairly advanced and you’d ideally want to not be alone in your practice when working with something so hard.

I realized that these things and people who are fraying away from me need, more than anything, a great deal of love and kindness — both toward them and toward myself — to loosen the attachments and let them go, and heal what’s left behind.

The image that I had was of uprooted trees, or partly uprooted trees. And i knew it would not harm them to finish uprooting them, to work from the bottom and fill in the soil with lovingkindness and gently push the trees out of the ground, instead of pulling from the top and ripping them out. With an intact root system, they can grow somewhere else. And I’m not left full of pieces of other people, inside my soulscape, with land that does not return to itself the way soil and plant matter does here without any human intervention. There are microbes and worms and plenty of other things that do that, largely invisibly. But I’m not full of helpful things tilling and aerating me until I’m full of rich black earth, ready to be filled with a garden.

I have to do it myself.