Tag Archives: Auðhelga

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.

Solstice.

Yesterday was a very bad day — I am scraping through the bottom of the mental health barrel — and we were not able to do what we had wanted for the solstice and mother’s night. But, barring a convenient Stonehenge (where it was raining and very dark, anyway) or Science, the exact solstice is difficult to determine and wanders each year, so I hoped shifting the majority of things to today would be all right.

We lit tealights for the important goddesses and women in our lives, as well as some who were very important to people we loved. Some were slightly generalized: Buddhist tradition says that the numberless sentient beings are all our mothers, and they have all been our children, at some point in time. We ended up with fourteen candles. Had some people not been grouped together, I think we might have gone through half the box. I felt terribly serious about it; I have never had a mother, and I have seen how the loss of his mother has torn B. apart and how much it hurts R., whose wife she was.

I was adopted by Brand’s mother, Auðhelga, and so was B.

Inadvertently (it was largely to do with emotional and physical exhaustion and what I could handle cooking), I made cream of rice for dinner, which is a comfort food (in the form of cream of wheat, which none of us can eat, now, but I’ve forgotten what the difference in taste was and so have they) for Brand and V., because their grandmothers made it for them all of the time.

I also made Freyr’s tea, because I was fortunate enough to find unfiltered raw honey at the grocery, which is the only sort of honey that he and some of my spirits are very willing to have put in things for them. He asked me in the beginning to eat a little raw honey every day, and I have not been able to do it because I haven’t had the food stamp space for a while now. It’s very good to be able to share his tea again.

It rained the past two days and it will rain all day tomorrow, and my shoes have holes in them. Nerthus asked me to go stand on the ground barefoot — it’s actually warmer right this second than it will be tomorrow (the high is rapidly dropping from the upper fifties to the mid twenties), but I am so very tired. And I want to bring something to the pine in the back yard. I am not entirely sure how to accomplish this without looking insane to the landlords. My logical reason for being in the backyard is taking the trash out. Perhaps I can ask V. to hold the offering cup for me since I am stronger than he is, as far as the trash is concerned (this is not saying much, to be honest: whereas he has lost all of his muscle tone to cfs, I’ve kept some because I’ve had to carry home groceries and so on).

I have flipflops, which will be less troublesome than my shoes with holes in them, for the purpose of standing on the ground (though one could argue I am always standing on the ground in those shoes…!).

I will try to get some sort of feel for what the pine would like out of the tea that we have.

Autumn and winter are the only times of the year that I feel especially comfortable, so the solstice is not about lengthening days and the passing of winter for me.

It is about the moon in an ice cold clear sky, shining on a field of snow.

It is about a moment of absolute silence filled with such shattering clarity that the only thing you can do is stare in wonder.

It is about a void that is anything but empty.

Bees and Dreams and Mostly Mundane Food

It isn’t a great surprise that I sign everything that comes up regarding the health and protection of bees. I’ve been doing it for years, though it has an additional level of meaning and importance, now. Please add your name.

I dreamt about a grocery store in which there were local people with small stands selling things from their own gardens inside it, and it was regulated/protected by an ancient Buddhist sect of warriors from some place that I am not certain exists on a map. I keep losing the name of it.

In it, I was a much younger boy, probably eighteen or nineteen at the most, who was there with a girl he had a desperate crush on, and someone who was a type of father figure to him (played by Jeff Bridges in his younger Tron days). The girl was more interested (by far) in the man, but hope springs eternal. I was running through the place at the end looking for mushrooms for her, because she had talked about how much she had liked them, and I was cursing myself for a fool in a myriad of ways for forgetting how much she liked mushrooms, when the woman (who was a witch; we somehow quietly acknowledged that we both knew this) I’d purchased two “pounds” (somehow three ordinary-sized bulbs each?) of garlic from was also selling shiitakes and button mushrooms. But by the time I’d run back there from the check out counter, the people selling things had disappeared and all of their booths were completely gone. I also couldn’t find any in the ordinary produce section, and I was running out of time, because they were both impatiently waiting for me and I was holding up the line (all of this being quite typical of things I would have an incapacitating panic attack over — inconveniencing other people seems to be one of my greatest fears, as sad as that is).

I wanted to spend more time with the garlic and mushroom growing witch-woman. While this was more than likely a stress-induced brain-cleaning dream, she stood out. She was a thin woman with short steel grey hair, glasses, and a face that had done its fair share of frowning at people in its lifetime, but she was not unpleasant to talk to at all. She was a little shorter than me, but I couldn’t tell if I had something like my own height or if I were a different height in the dream, so I’d cautiously put her in the 5’6 ‘average’ height range for white women. She was looking up at me when we spoke.

I think she’d likely had to struggle to be accepted in her community (the one in the dream, if nothing else) and that had caused a great deal of frowning and a mile-wide set of defensive fortifications, with a mix of walls, moats, and razor wire. But I had accepted and respected her, as well as the very high quality and vitality of her produce from the start — there was a woman beside her also selling mushrooms which I barely glanced at. Hers were… sort of limply generic, while the witch-woman’s thrummed with life. I had a feeling that I was getting an extra bulb of garlic in each of the sets of three for free, as well. Perhaps for respecting her and her skills.

I have dreams. Prophetic dreams, and all sorts of dreams. So I cannot help wondering if this were actually someone coming to meet me in an otherwise odd circumstance. If she sounds like someone to you, please let me know in the comments?

I do not comparatively have a lot of contact with female deities and spirits (Auðhelga and Beyla are the only people I see regularly), but I would like to change that.

We seem to have caught colds from the dinner at the restaurant. Impressive immune systems, all around.

My every intention for tomorrow was to buy groceries for us and for them, but I think their meal may be delayed until I have to go out again on Tuesday. Getting groceries for the mostly-human people in the house is very important, whereas I think they will be content with beverage offerings for the time being. There is some atrocious cinnamon schnappes that none of us would drink that Loki is happy with, though I’d love to uncover his cinnamon tea; I’m sure his son would enjoy partaking of it. Freyr likes honey-lemon-ginger tea, which I must partake of and do not mind at all. Odin seems to like coffee, though I don’t know how he takes it. He’s made it rather clear that he doesn’t share, aside from potentially the taste test to ensure it’s all right.

If he takes it sweetened, I don’t know the status of sugar in the house, but honey aplenty and we also have agave (and stevia, though somehow I think this would get some sort of world-shaking No).

As for cream, it’s just almond milk.

I don’t mind keeping a small amount of cream around. We all like whipping cream and it could get used up, especially if we made some minor excuse to procure maraschino cherries (Loki likes them! That’s a reason!). Or we could get soy creamer — Silk made a vanilla kind back in the early 2000s that appeased the coffee snobs around here very, very well, and I’ve still seen it on shelves. We’re not opposed to dairy, but V loves soy in all its permutations and Brand and I are almond milk people. Or at least I am, and he’s discovered his delicious it is.

We hope to begin making soy milk soon and using the leftover okara in various dishes, as its mainly fiber and protein and who couldn’t use more of that? Especially in place of rice in our standard beans with lots of garlic, red pepper, and jalapeno or habanero sauce. The added protein makes it even better for we veggie types (me).

V goes through soy milk at a rapid pace and I’ve read that you can cut down batches from $4-5 at the grocery to $1.50 or less. Plus you can make tofu, which is apparently much more delicious than anything you’ve ever tried, and then there’s the useful okara.

Honey went absolutely everywhere this morning and is still significantly present on the tv table we put this laptop on. There is a place that sells local honey that we brought home two mason jars full of. It’s listed as raw honey, but the jars were very hot when they were brought home, and I wonder if that was too warm for it to be considered raw, still, as it’s kept heated to make it liquid enough to be dispensed easily. It’s the transparent colour of most honeys. I’m used to the pale yellow opaque sort of raw honey.

I think I need to research the entire topic more. The raw honey I buy from the grocery is not local, but paid for with food stamps, which is a benefit. But local honey has its own benefits, particularly toward spring when we have tremendously unpleasant allergies.

I also need to find the time and energy to go to the greenmarket and see what sort of honey they have, these days, since the greenmarket also takes food stamps, and it is summer, and there should be lots of lovely things.