Tag Archives: Brand

Fibro Flare

I’ll not do a F is for Fibro Flare PBP post, but I’m having a rather bad one. The very cold weather and 20″ of snow we had around the weekend kept up with another inch or two of snow, and we had icicles longer than my arm hanging from the roof by our kitchen window.

When I went out yesterday to get my ride to the train station, I slipped on a large patch of ice and fell on my back. Then I had to walk around NYC all day carrying a very heavy bag: I decided to buy wine from Trader Joe’s, because the TJ here does not have a wine store, and TJ sells very good wine at obscene prices; I picked up five bottles of red for about $20, and got a bottle of ice wine as an anniversary gift for V and Brand, which was itself $20.

Ice wine is made is extremely small quantities and it is mind-blowing. I am sure Freyr and Freya will both love it passionately and I think Eir also will. So would Sigyn, undoubtably. If you are very close to Sigyn or Freya, it might be worth looking into. It can be ordered online, and you can ask around at local wine shops.

I didn’t know that V strongly prefers white wine. I don’t know where I gathered the idea that, like the two of us, he preferred red, especially when the only wine I can ever remember him buying has been white (he typically purchased sake, because there was a convenient shop with an excellent selection when we lived in the city).

There’s a place that will do local delivery for only $5. And they have mead, which I have none of here!

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What do you do?

What do you do when you persistently experience something extremely important regarding your god that runs counter to the experiences of everyone else?

The majority of the advice I’ve found says that it likely means that this bit of UPG is wrong, and I should try to readjust my vision/ears/memories. It is not completely personal, but I often find “peer-corroborated” things highly questionable as a verification when the peers are close to each other.

I do not, in any way, experience or know Freyr as a god who dies or is sacrificed at the harvest or for the blessing of the earth, or who was at one point or another to end a terrible famine, or someone who is dead for three days and returns.

I also do not experience him as someone who changes very much from season to season, though for lack of a better word, he does seem to “glow” brighter in the summer, and the ways in which he connects to the earth (in the sense of the ground, the things that grow or lie dormant in it, in whichever place) shift in ways that seem in line with how people themselves used to change, and how animals change. There are different things to do; there is time to plant, to grow, to gather, to rest.

He is, to a certain extent, quieter in terms of energy and activity. In the summer, he was always doing something; he was outside all of the time, going off to visit people, riding his horse [at terrifying speed, to me] through field and meadow, and laughing with the pure pleasure of it.

He is most often at home, these days, and people come to him, or he spends his time with those closest to him, such as his family. There is more meat and heavier foods, root vegetables, and things that can be kept for the winter, on his table, than the large amounts of green vegetables and fruits of the summer, and the breads and squashes and other things in the autumn.

His apparent death and rebirth are what everything to do with him these days seems to revolve around — it is the central point of his entire modern mythos and cultus. There is nothing more important, in the eyes of the people who revere him.

And it doesn’t even exist for me. It doesn’t happen. It feels deeply wrong to me.

I’ve spent the last several months feeling like I should not or could not talk about anything to do with him, because either I was wrong about everything, or whether or not I was wrong about everything, anything else I said would be valueless because if I am insisting that water is not wet, why would anyone pay attention if I said it was snowing?

I’m either insane or my perceptions are so warped that they should all be discarded whole. There’s little point in trying to sift out something that isn’t crazy or completely wrong that happens to come out of my mouth.

“Well, say,” Brand offered, flopping down on my blanket, “that if it is Really Really For Extra Real for the entire rest of the multiverse, including him, is it impossible that your version of him doesn’t, because one must not.”

The nature of the multiverse is such that everything is possible and everything exists, somewhere — for every choice you make, another universe springs into existence where you made the other, etc, and so there are infinite varieties of everything. This is not the same as thinking that all gods are manifestations of one ultimate god, or something like that; there is no One True You in the multiverse; there are infinite yous. This may or may not be true of gods — while it may be for some, I know it isn’t for all; I know at least one god who absolutely only exists once and exists simultaneously in all universes (this god is not the God of Everything, for the record), and know of others who seem to have multiple versions from different universes.

“You need an apologetic bumper sticker that says SORRY, STRING THEORY JUST WORKS FOR ME,” Brand said. I don’t know how to drive, but apparently that is not an impediment to needing a sticker.

“I think that may actually just make everything worse.”

“Why? The Everyone already believe gods have myriad faces that they show their followers as they deem convenient or desirable.”

“Those are faces that one singular-unto-itself god possesses,” I said.

“And their worlds would end if there were actually many of that god?”

“Probably. Witness the massive kerfluffle over your father, and how desperately people have tried to rationalize why they or why some people insistently see him as resembling Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. Ultimately, they decide they’re all the One True Loki, wearing his face or guise or using Marvel to lure them in, and so on. ”

He grinned. “Which is always worse and more offensive than people finding him through Neil Gaiman or other people who’ve written about him, isn’t it? Anyway — this isn’t about my father or any other Loki, and neither is it about the actual fact that I know alternate universe versions of people, or, you know, anything that I don’t feel the need to get upset about whether or not someone else believes or understands.”

“Despite that, you’ve been extremely clear that this world/this universe has one Loki, and that one is your father.”

He stretched, looking as absolutely unconcerned as a cat. “Yes.”

“Which Freyr belongs to this world/universe?” I said miserably.

He waved a finger at me. “That is for you to angst over while you waste your time trying to figure out how to delete a WordPress journal, because you have an opinion that other people will find upsetting.”

“I don’t have the energy to fight about it, or to be called names for it. I don’t want to be called a fake or be told that everything I believe is a lie. I don’t want to be told that my marriage is what doesn’t exist and hasn’t actually happened.”

“What do you want?”

I sighed. “Fewer great big bloody sacrificial messes that people make more important than anything else to do with him or about him — it’s just like how Everything has to be about his cock, and even when he gets killed, it’s always emphasized that he has a massive erection at the time. If they want to sacrifice something, maybe they should learn how to humanely sacrifice animals and then eat the animals and use all of their parts, or as many of them as possible, for things. Which was what actually happened… in my warped, insane view of the universe.”

“Great big animal sacrifice thingy?”

“They had a feast, yes. I was only around to bless it afterward for its own sake, to help it achieve a fortunate rebirth.”

“Getting your Buddhism all up in the mix.”

“He wanted me to. He thought it was important.”

“What did they feed you, and where were you? You never even told me about it.”

“In his room. Feeling weird, like always when there’s a major event going on nearby and you’re the only one left out, even if you’re left out because you chose to be, or have to be, or need to be. There were some herbed potatoes and carrots that she cooked separately, baked apples with spices, and seed bread with butter and honey that had been mixed together. I don’t know what the seeds were; they tasted like sunflower seeds.”

Oh. ‘In Germany, it is mixed with rye flour to make Sonnenblumenkernbrot (literally: sunflower whole seed bread)…’ From the pictures, that is what she gave me, though I think she must have used something other than rye — I’ve come across a recipe that uses barley, and some that just use wheat — because it didn’t have the intense bite that rye does. I don’t know what bread made with barley tastes like, and, having celiac, can’t find out. I suspect I would probably like it, though, if I could eat it. I can only remember having barley in soup, for which I’ve yet to find a properly satisfying celiac-friendly substitute.

“And,” Brand said, “just to rule out the potentially obvious objection: you don’t think he goes around not-dying because it might upset you.”

“Why would he? I expected it to happen. I thought it would right up until it didn’t.”

He laughed. “It’s probably a lot kinder of a way to disabuse you of the notion that Everyone knows half as much as they think they do than what dad did with me.”

“If it were genuinely something important for him to do, he should. Whether or not I like it is extremely superfluous when I’m not being forced to participate. Plenty of gods die. For fuck’s sake, you’ve died twice because of your father and you’re currently supposed to be human.”

“Would you have watched if he’d asked you to?” he said, suddenly solemn.

“…of course. What is there to a marriage if you are unwilling to go through difficult things beside each other, or if you are unwilling to go into dark places to find each other, or unwilling to even do something discomfiting. If you love someone, you stand beside them, whether through the worst of all things or the best. Bad things are a guarantee in life, and good things are a blessing to rejoice in. You can’t just choose the fun parts about a relationship or a person and throw out the rest and claim any kind of real love.”

What I believe is complex, and possibly overall completely stupid. I don’t know. I feel terrible, conflicted, extremely unhappy. Utterly miserable, hopeless, and forlorn. The only reason I haven’t deleted everything and disappeared is because R. asked me not to, and so did Brand. They think conflicting opinions are important, and that, due to having one, I should talk about it, rather than getting rid of any evidence of it outside of my own head.

The only thing I request about having made all of this public is that if we are to discuss it, we do it calmly.

If you would like to speak to me in private, my email address is shannon dot kotono at gmail.

I have to travel this week, so my replies may be a little slow, but I will get to them as I can.

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.

Non-human friends.

I woke with a vicious migraine yesterday and spent a while leaning against V., who was working on hammering out the general anatomy and proportions of a species of being we all know several of, and Brand and I would like to have pictures of some of them, but can’t draw as well as V. can. We all know a fairly wide variety of types of people, who are often bipedal, but often put together very, very differently from each other (a digitigrade stance is slightly more common than a plantigrade stance, but that is about it). There are some mild similarities between some of them — enough so that the mental image can get a little garbled, and hence the collective hammering. Mainly about legs.

Brand suggested, “What about a cat leg, if you made it able to actually function upright?” and that was more or less the ticket, here, to start working out the right shape.

It was nice. These people we love so much, and have never had any real visual reference for, and no matter how clear one’s elsewhere vision is, it’s never perfect. I’ve always had a tremendously difficult time seeing their legs, perhaps because my human brain such as it is, could not latch on to any frame of reference for them other than ones that were incorrect, and so, because I knew it wasn’t right, I just didn’t see anything, in particular.

All good thoughts appreciated.

We are going to see another apartment today. This time, in the city. Very convenient to a grocery that accepts food stamps and a bus route that, with one transfer, will get us to/from the train station, that also serves as the place MegaBus runs between Albany and NYC (often less than half the price of the train, with the trade-off that you have to stand around waiting on the sidewalk in NYC for it).

Similarly, the same bus plus one transfer will take me to the Albany location of the main Buddhist center I’ve been associated with.

Also, the bus costs $0.75 for disabled people, though it doesn’t seem like they do free transfers. I could be wrong. Even if they don’t, a two-bus trip would be $1.50 and it’s $1.25 in NYC for two buses and/or one bus and infinite trains.

But the bus doesn’t have a Metrocard sort of thing that you can pre-pay for trips on unless you’re buying weekly or monthly passes, and definitely not the version where you can have your Metrocard ding your bank account for each trip and never have to refill your card. Which is terribly convenient, I must say. But an extremely minor annoyance when the rent is literally half of a one bedroom in NYC ($650 versus an average of $1200). Farther away from Albany, you can get two or three bedrooms for $550-$650, no problem. In NYC, you can’t typically get a bedroom in a shared apartment for less than $800.

I’m very tired and this has been very hard, and been very hard to be firmly optimistic that something will work out and everything that matters to us won’t be lost, somehow. Brand is much better at that sort of thing, because if it won’t work, he will make it work, and we will have a safe fucking place to live if I have to build it myself sort of thing.

But I am clinging to my beloved, who is hope and light and fulfillment.

Migraine Delay.

When I woke up and became increasingly incapacitated by a migraine, and wondered aloud, “What do you do about a migraine on your wedding day?” Brand responded with, “It’s like miGRAAAAiiiiAAAANES on your wedding day, it’s a free RIIIIeeeeIIII–” Except not nearly as loud as it sounds.

He and his father are, at times, extremely related.

I may be having my here-wedding tomorrow, instead of today, and my elsewhere-wedding today as planned, because sleep seems to be the most rational plan.

The Demigodspouse Edition

Brand’s parents, both being gods, seems to, according to the sort of genetics we learned in middle school, mean he is also one, but he is profoundly uncomfortable about the idea, and I sometimes refer to him as a demigod to aggravate him. It worked too well, here, for a title to go for the sort of politeness one would expect when discussion my best friend/lover/husband/twin.

I helped with the ceremony for Brand and V., and had my first (in my opinion, extremely awkward, but no one shares my opinion) foray into being a priest for other people.

They were there, very much.

It’s very silence-inducing, at least in the afterward, feeling them so strongly here, in such a way that I am confused by people who do not believe in any form of divine, or other, or at least more than we can know.