Fortune breathed into my ear, mouthed a simple ode

I’ve been thinking of you. Like to know what I’ve been thinking?

Instant blush, hairline to collarbone. Hi, Alec. I wouldn’t have looked at my phone at all, not with Mark sitting right there across from me, but it doesn’t ring. Or chime. Ever. My airtime usage is about 15 minutes a month, and that’s mostly calls I make about immigration whatnot.

“Now, there’s a lovely shade of pink. Made a new friend?”

I just said sort of and left it at that. Mark’s a sweetie, and I’m only getting more fond of him as time passes, but we’re not in a place for that kind of chat. And texting away when you’re sitting with an actual human being is inexcusable, so it was a while before I got back to Alec.

Sorry, I was with the guy who has me face-down every Wednesday.

What, no video?

My phone’s too old. After which I explained.

Face down AND in pain. Do I have a rival? I want to see you. Will he let you up long enough?

If I ask politely.

And will you tell me where you are if I ask politely?

I’ve done nothing but miss him, even with all the recent adventures I’ve been having. I’ve tried to get around it, and to ignore it, but it’s still there: He’s who I want. Poet-me has known it all along, as the last few poems I’ve written make clear enough.

It did indeed rain finally. So I took the advice of the dead and found something else to do. Be aware of the ways masculine energy is manifested in my life? Oh look — there’s one!

Seriously, though, that is one kind, and he’s a hell of a jolt of it. And it does heal me to have him around me. He takes care of the energy problem very thoroughly, and the healing they spoke of is there, too. I know my self-image hasn’t been what it probably could be for a long time now. (Hello, Chiron return.) He gets in underneath that mess and starts fixing.

I’ve gotten better. I used to meet Let’s leave the lights on with Nononononofuckno. Now I can usually manage to meet it with If you insist. Alec finally had enough of that, I guess.

“Is the sight of me so horrifying?” (But never enough of being a wiseass.)

“You know better.”

“Aye. But I like seeing you. You’re beautiful.”

Sometimes only a snort will do.

“What? I’m sexy as fuck, and I look like I was hit by a train.”

I think I want to stitch that and hang it over my bed. There is literally no way for me to not have a ridiculously huge crush on this man. 🙂

“We all have flaws. Can nothing be beautiful if it’s not perfect?”

Of course it can. Flaws make some things more beautiful, even. But I’m not a quartz crystal, and a first 25 years spent hearing “Oh, you’d be so pretty if you’d just…” (which of course is the final word in passive-aggressively calling someone ugly) will beat you down.

“Maybe everyone has their voices to contend with, aye? Flaws aren’t what I see, you know. I see the funny wee face you make right before you come.”

Which of course meant that when that moment arrived, I got the giggles. Not a bad thing during sex, really. Especially during orgasm. He pretty obviously enjoyed it, too. 🙂

And he’s right, of course. No, not that I make funny faces, though that’s likely. That I’m far from alone in the world in having flaws. I have a hard time seeing past them, but obviously he doesn’t. He does my soul good. I like being around him, the sex is just ridiculously good, he makes me laugh until I snort, and for some reason being with him really does make me feel like I’m sexier. Go figure.

We managed to talk, too — about what went wrong, and about how things have changed. His way didn’t work out so well for us, so he’s willing to try mine: I need to be here, and he needs to be in Glasgow, so we’ll work around that. We’ll see each other when life lets us, let things unfold as they will, and not try to push this to be what it isn’t meant to be, especially given the recent insights I’ve had into why the picket fence thing doesn’t work so well for me.

He said he needed time to get his mind around the mistake he made — letting the voices that made his growing up so difficult tell him he didn’t deserve me, when those voices weren’t even real any more. I made a mistake, too; I gave up too soon on a man I very much didn’t want to give up on. That didn’t send him so great a message, either, did it? That’s cleared up, from both sides, and if he has to face those voices down again, I’ll help, not just mutely stand there and wait.

In the absence of going out this week, I decided to touch base about the work I’m doing, the playing I’m doing…my life in general, really. It’s all feeling very good to me; it will feel even better if the spirits say all is well. (And anyone who’s interested gets a peek into an actual houses reading for someone whose astrological info and life circumstances I’m of course thoroughly familiar with.)


*House 1 (identity, self-worth, self-awareness) Union
Getting it together at last; merging of the inner and outer life; being at the center; completion

*House 2 (money and security) Liberty
An emerging and powerful sense of personal freedom; release from limiting circumstances

House 3 (mind, intellect, communication) Angel of Science
Pure, abstract thought; objective, unemotional, unbiased thinking; mental speculation, exploration, meditation

House 4 (home, childhood, mother, women, emotions) Sublimity
A gift of love, especially in a relationship or marriage; finding happiness in hearth, home, and hospitality

*House 5 (fun, joy, pleasure, children, creativity) Magic
Outstanding opportunity for communication; creative tools and skills are available

*House 6 (healing and service) Stars
Renewal of hope and of connection with cosmic energies; doing your own thing, no matter what

House 7 (relationships, partnerships) Passion
Release of emotions that will carry you away; unlimited potential and wanting the situation to rise to it; vulnerability and openness

House 8 (sex, death, regeneration, basic life resources) Pleasure
Reunion; reforging of links and bonds; happy memories

*House 9 (higher education, philosophy, religion, travel, expansion, growth) Moon
Psychic insights; relying on dreams, intuitions, and instincts; exploring taboos, mysteries, and contradictions

House 10 (career, father, men, later life, social standing) Restriction
(see interpretation)

House 11 (friends, social activities, greater humanity, hopes and dreams) Child of Poetry
Seeking appropriate direction for self-development and creativity; looking for inspiration in your environment

House 12 (secrets, self-undoing, delusion, completion, inner self) Division
Feeling overwhelmed and unable to address a problem as a whole; a need to cut loose and find a new outlook; feeling divided

[The asterisks mark where major arcana fall.]

A lot of the spiritual work I’ve done in the past few years has been about getting the scattered parts of myself and my life together, and the 12/1* interchange here says I’m finally getting there — chasing down those last bits, pulling it all together, and making a coherent whole of it, especially my inner and outer lives. Hello again, Chiron return.

There’s a strong focus on the (opposed) houses of the mind; house 3 holds a lot of intellectual energy, which sits there naturally. There’s also a lot of higher-mind activity in house 9*, where it’s also naturally seated. That all ties in to a boost in creative energy shown in houses 5* and 11 (which are also opposed) — not only the energy itself, but looking outside myself for the inspiration to put it to use, then gathering my tools and getting to work.

But the cards want to talk relationships this time, and quite loudly. Security in freedom has become a theme in my life recently, especially on the emotional front, and it turns up strongly here (house 2*) as we’ve begun exploring the ground of a different kind of relationship. The cards are also touching on what’s happening now in other ways — reunion and reforging of ties (in house 8, with all its influences), a loving relationship seated in the 4th house of emotions (along with a warning not to pack up house again because of it), and passion and all that goes with it (emotional intensity, vulnerability, openness) in the 7th house of relationships.

Then there’s house 10 and the card seated there (which is in the photo above). I tend to pull this card in relation to Alec, and in this layout it usually falls in the 8th (sex) or 10th (men and power/authority, and by far my most activated natal house). This is where a personal relationship with a deck kicks in. The card has a negative standard interpretation, but I don’t feel it that way for myself. The man has tears on his face, but he doesn’t appear to be in pain or distress, or even struggling against his bonds. To me, he looks like he’s meditating or chanting, maybe even singing…or journeying. This is the voluntary restriction of the Hanged Man, not imprisonment. Others may not see that (and I would almost certainly offer someone else the standard interpretation first), but my life and nature make the positive and spiritual sense more prominent. The extended interpretation in the full text does explore that side of the image: “Or perhaps you are restricted by circumstances for the purpose of concentrating on spiritual matters. The closed eyes indicate a focus upon an inner reality.” The kink energies that flow between Alec and me tend toward that kind of engaging with the spirit through physical ordeal, which connects up with house 6*, where renewed connection with cosmic energy, likely in an unusual way, resides; that in turn connects up with the 12/1 focus on unifying the inner and outer. He and I have some happy to be, but we also have some work to do.


As I did the reading, iTunes reminded me that it has a sense of humor, and provided this entry’s song. But of course:

I found tiny dragonfly and crow cross-stitch charts that I think will make an appearance on my eventual casting cloth. The original design has the runes running down two sides, and I don’t want them there; they’re visual noise during casting. Strings of dragonflies and crows, on the other hand, works for me, and they’re good allies for divination. I’m also considering another free chart that would make most of the design structured around four large dragonflies. They’re old allies of mine, but their return now seems odd to me in a place where there are so very few.

(photo: card from reading, for illustrative purposes)


I veered a bit away from a prompt to write a poem based on numbers when I realized how many words there are for two of things, and how many others based on two things conceptualized together. Throw in a reunion and a baseball game, and a poem was born.


(for Alec)

I was younger when you got on the train. Only a couple of hours, and
So were you, of course, a gray hair more or less in your beard —
There, just below your lip — highlighted in the setting sun as you
Bend slightly over a spine-cracked paperback cradled in both hands,
Passing the time with a private detective who’s got a dilemma:
His duplex-mate might be a serial killer. Or he’s falling in love with her,
One or the other. You’ve got the ending sorted out two dozen pages
Before the big reveal, so you put it aside for someone else to finish.

I see it all as I laze on my couch watching the Twins.
Mauer hits an RBI double, bringing home a man
In the clarity of the midday sun, at nightfall here.


(photo: Wikipedia)

Sample Astrological Reading

(If you’re wondering what’s going on here, start with this entry.)

I use the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot for this reading the most often, because it balances the spiritual and the non-spiritual parts of life very well. It’s not a standard tarot deck, and I am in part an intuitive reader, both of which will be obvious shortly.

Asterisks denote major arcana.

House 1 – Aries (identity, self-worth, self-awareness) Ochosi
An abundance that must be used or preserved, or it will go to waste.

House 2 – Taurus (money and security) Azaka La Flambeau
Very difficult conditions; possibilities narrowed; do not give up hope

*House 3 – Gemini (mind, intellect, communication) Loco
Ambition; strife, conflict

*House 4 – Cancer (home, childhood, mother, women) Deluge
Unavoidable sacrifice; physical or emotional upheaval that leads to insight into the true self

House 5 – Leo (fun, joy, pleasure, children, creativity) Damballah La Flambeau
Natural force, strength, and energy are available for use; if opposition is shown to this house, it will be strong

House 6 – Virgo (healing and service) Shi-Li-Bo Nouvavou/Dan-I
The joy of the will being made manifest; the querent’s work reaches its fullness

*House 7 – Libra (relationships, partnerships) Les Morts
Change, flux, motion; ancestry may be an issue

House 8 – Scorpio (sex, death, regeneration, basic life resources) Legba la Flambeau
Victory, obstacles swept aside

*House 9 – Sagittarius (higher education, philosophy, religion, travel, expansion, growth) Marie Laveau
Connection is possible between diverse elements; deep and profound change

*House 10 – Capricorn (career, father, men, later life, social standing) Master of the Head
Union of love and will; assistance from someone or something perceived to be in a higher place or role

House 11 – Aquarius (friends, social activities, greater humanity, hopes and dreams) Gran Ibo
Harmony, and a marriage born of that harmony; plenty

House 12 – Pisces (secrets, self-undoing, delusion, completion, inner self) Madame La Lune
Orderly change leading to happiness and stability; a strong whole made of many parts


There’s a story here that was speaking itself even as I considered the cards’ basic meanings: A relationship that is vehemently opposed by the querent’s family, most likely with race or ethnic origin being at issue.

I usually begin with looking at the dynamic between the 12th house (inner self) and 1st house (expressed self). They show change leading to happiness, but that it’s an energy that must be acted upon or it won’t manifest. This is a call to the querent to take hold of his/her own destiny and not just sit and wait for the events in the reading to end on their own; passivity won’t work. It also suggests that the querent is the “active” figure in the reading (i.e., the reading is about the querent’s life, not about the effect of someone else’s life on the querent).

There is an enormous amount of conflict and turmoil in this reading, present in houses 2, 3*, 4*, possibly 5, and 8; there are also less direct or eventually-resolved conflicts in 7* and 9*). The vast majority of those houses hold major arcana, so the message is doubled and redoubled: The shit is going to hit the fan, and a lot of it.

What’s the problem? That’s where I begin looking at opposed houses and where the card interpretations closely match the house meanings; those positions give the theme of the reading. House 5 is the place to start because it’s one of the conflicted houses, and because the card speaks directly of opposition; the first step is to see if that applies, or if the more positive interpretation does. Its opposed house is 11, which holds a very positive card specifically speaking of harmony and unity; the opposition interpretation doesn’t apply.

Houses 4* (emotions), 9* (growth), and 10* (father/authority figures) all hold cards that fit naturally into their realms, which focuses the interpretations into those areas and away from other possible ones. I’ve bolded the interpretations the houses support in all of those, and in 5. This gives us an enormous, life-changing emotional upheaval that can be resolved with the help of a paternal or authority figure. 4* and 10* are opposed houses. 9* and 3* are opposed, with 3 again holding conflict.

What is the upheaval? For that, the houses that haven’t already been touched on, especially the ones with majors in them, can be of help. House 2 suggests financial support — and likely emotional support, as well — will be withheld over the conflict. House 7*, the only one remaining with a major-arcana card in it, is the key. It is the house of relationships, and ancestry as a specified point of conflict is present.

What I see here is a relationship the querent is in or will enter into that will cause a rift with his/her family because of issues of ancestry (almost certainly of race/ethnic heritage, though there are other possibilities for conflict, especially if the querent’s family is wealthy or has social position). The conflict is going to be emotionally explosive, and will lead to the family’s withdrawal of emotional or substantive support, or at the very least the threat of it. This is also where the 12/1 dynamic plays in; it will be in the querent’s family that the problems lie, not in the partner’s.

How can this be resolved? Look to the houses that contain cards that speak of resolutions, conclusions, and endings; and to house 12, which rules conclusions. House 2 says to not give up, first of all. Houses 5 and 10* say powerful assistance is available, through the father or other male authority figure. The 12/1 combination says the querent is going to have to seek out that help; the figure will not volunteer or step up without being asked to.

The outcome if the appropriate actions are taken? Houses 6 and 8 say that things will work out the querent’s way, at least in day-to-day life. Houses 4* and 9* show deep change in the querent him/herself; this is conflict that will end in growth. There’s also a marriage in the works, though the house this falls in (11) strongly suggests that the couple will be happier if they focus on their friends instead of family.

Where astrological information for the querent would be most helpful would be in determining the kind of help the father figure will provide, based on any planets the querent has in the natal 10th house. Mars, for example, would suggest arguing or even bullying the rest of the family into submission. Venus would suggest a diplomatic resolution. Saturn would suggest bringing the authority and respect the figure holds to bear; given Saturn’s rulership of 10, this would be the most effective way. Neptune would suggest secretly helping the couple, and the conflict not actually being resolved. Planets in house 9 would also help clarify what kind of changes the querent will go through: Mars means learning to stand up for him/herself more. Venus means a deepening of love with the partner. Saturn means growing up big-time, and probably a better relationship with the father figure. Neptune means withdrawal from the family, and secretiveness with them.


The cards really handed me an extraordinarily clear and detailed narrative to use as an example; readings aren’t often this clear, but the approach to them is mostly the same either way.

(photo: card from the reading, for illustrative purposes)

Astrological Houses Tarot Layout

I thought I’d share this tarot layout, which I use as a kind of life check-up instead of the Celtic cross. For me, the astrological houses work with more clarity.

I’ve found that decks that focus on just one aspect of life (entirely spiritual ones, usually) don’t work well with this layout. Choose one that directly addresses all aspects of life for the best reading.

In your mind, draw an imaginary equal-armed cross. The traditional astrological wheel has the 1st house on the left horizontal arm and counts around counterclockwise from there. Do whatever makes you comfortable; when I don’t have space, I just count out a stack of 12 cards and go to work.

The wheel looks like this (more or less; a diamond takes up a little less space):

The first house is the one with the blue stone next to it. (The deck shown is the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot.)

The (very) simplified meaning of the houses is:

House 1 – Aries (identity, self-worth, self-awareness)
House 2 – Taurus (money and security)
House 3 – Gemini (mind, intellect, communication)
House 4 – Cancer (home, childhood, mother, women, emotions)
House 5 – Leo (fun, joy, pleasure, children, creativity)
House 6 – Virgo (healing and service)
House 7 – Libra (relationships, partnerships)
House 8 – Scorpio (sex, death, regeneration, basic life resources)
House 9 – Sagittarius (higher education, philosophy, religion, travel, expansion, growth)
House 10 – Capricorn (career, father, men, later life, social standing)
House 11 – Aquarius (friends, social activities, greater humanity, hopes and dreams)
House 12 – Pisces (secrets, self-undoing, delusion, completion, inner self)

That’s a lot of information, but there are ways to organize it.

1. Look at houses where major arcana fall. They will often relate to one another, and will always be focal points for the period covered by the reading.

2. Look at the opposed houses; they are usually in dialogue in a reading. They are:
1 and 7: the individual / partnership
2 and 8: money, security / basic life resources, upsetting forces
3 and 9: intellect, early education, short trips / wisdom, higher education, long trips
4 and 10: home, early childhood, mother, women / career, later adulthood, father, men
5 and 11: fun, immediate pleasures, children / higher aspirations, hopes and dreams, friends
6 and 12: the practical and daily, health and healing / the mystical and dreamy, self-undoing

3. You can usually find the root theme of the reading by looking at houses 12 and 1 — the inner self and the outer/expressed self. Their interaction is often the frame the rest of the reading hangs on.

4. If you know some astrological information for the person you’re reading for, it can really open up this reading. The houses ruled by the person’s Sun, Ascendant, and Moon are nearly always important in readings. If you have a good chart for the querent, it can be very useful in this reading. My natal 3rd and 10th houses are very busy, for example, so they’re always worth extra attention. If you have some astrological knowledge, the Saturn return and Chiron return will have profound effects on this reading; I’ve found that if someone is in either of the returns, the reading will want to discuss that and little or nothing else. (Not up on those things? If the reading seems to want to harp and harp and harp on one issue in various forms and do nothing else, the querent is likely turning or has just turned 30 or 50 years old.)

Generally, the more you know about astrology and the natal chart of the querent, the deeper the reading will be. I’ve used it to read for a few people in their Saturn returns, and the information opened up was amazing.

(I asked the cards to give me a good sample reading with which to explain this layout. If anyone’s interested, I’ll dig into it in a separate entry as if it’s for a person for whom I have no astrological information.)

Happy Maman’s Day!

For US Mother’s Day, I thought I’d talk about the only mother in my life. (My mom passed in 1992.) My relationship with Maman Brigitte is strange from almost any angle you can look at it, but it works.

I knew her as Maman first, in New Orleans. Mari told me she was there with me, watching over me, and had been for a long time. She had an interest in me, but wasn’t calling on me to initiate (which she still hasn’t done). Mari also told me her story, including about her being the New World guise of Brighid. Not all traditions believe that, but Mari’s most certainly does.

Getting to know Maman was a slow, careful process; we were approaching each other in ways that were different for us both. She has never ridden me, as I’m not an initiate; and I’ve been unable to reach her through journeying. As far as I’ve been able to figure out, the place where the lwa live isn’t reachable by human beings, even through shamanic means. Dreamwork and divination have been the most effective ways for us, a kind of meeting halfway.

I’ve also come to know her as Brighid, especially after moving here. I am able to reach her shamanically in that form, as well as through divination. The two have their different realms of concern, but they overlap. Brighid’s presence is stronger where healing and creative work are concerned, but Maman is there, too; Maman is the stronger where working with and honoring the dead is concerned, but Brighid’s hand is on that work, as well.

This is where it all gets complicated. They are separate beings in that they can be engaged with individually, in different ways, and for different purposes — and yet, they’re the same. I think she’s what she’s needed to be by her devotees in the different places she’s taken hold, and as I have strong ties with both places, I’ve come to know both guises. They blend in some ways — Maman as I know her has a touch more decorum, and Brighid as I know her has a touch more rowdiness — but there’s no doubt that they are far from identical personalities. I still have a lot to learn about both, especially as my shamanic work becomes increasingly directly involved with the dead, one again mingling both guises’ realms. That seems to be the way she/they/we are meant to engage.

(photos: original work — They are cross-stitched versions of Maman’s veve and Brigid’s cross, done by me; they stand on my altar in a double frame. I modified the veve slightly so that it would be a symbol rather than a working tool, as a full veve is meant to call a lwa, and I use the modified version to represent her on my altar, not to invoke her.)

Cause he played ’til the break of dawn

I hadn’t reached the point of energy buildup yet where it becomes a matter of do something about it or boil over, but I was feeling like I wanted people around me for a while. That’s strange enough for me that it earns attention paid to it, so I went out and had a good meal I didn’t have to do dishes after, then went to the nearest pub, where I promptly discovered that ordering a boilermaker here gets you something very different than what I was expecting to get.

I tasted, it Did Not Do, and I pushed it aside and got ready to try again, with a description next time of what I had in mind.

“I’ll take that and buy you your next. I’m keen to see what it is you actually wanted.”

It turned out that what I wanted is a bomb shot. It also turned out that the curious man was thoroughly interesting. He bought me another — I think mostly because he enjoyed watching me drink it — and then I turned down the offer of a Bucky bomb because energy drinks are not good for me, because I’d had the word from Alec about Buckfast (“wreck the hoose juice”) and because I’d had enough of shots for the evening generally. I did take another beer, though, and we vacated to a table.

I have a severe weakness for men who are arresting looking — not usually standard handsome, sometimes even a bit on the scary side, but the kind you can’t quite look away from. Say ‘sexy’ to me, and I picture Lee Van Cleef; that ought to about sum it up. The guy sitting across from me wasn’t quite that extreme, but there was a good bit of the unnerving in the very intense eyes that never left me for more than a few seconds.

It always takes me a while to work out that yes, I am being hit on, even when most people would wonder how I can be so completely dense. Social cues and I aren’t friends. He gave me time, though — talked to me, asked questions, made me laugh a lot, until I started noticing the looks held a few seconds too long, the incidental contact that lingered until it wasn’t incidental any more. And when I finally did notice, he asked.

Wait until the last possible moment, when it’s about desperation and I don’t even care who, or go home with this man because I want to, and get the energy problem taken care of in the bargain. Why is it even a question? Guilt over wanting sex from a stranger? What is this, 1953?

Truth. I can do what I want. I’m all grown up. I’m not hurting anyone. And the flipside of the whole guilt thing — the idea that waiting until I’m desperate and then getting it from someone I don’t really want it from somehow makes it more pure — is very, very fucked up. I said yes.

And it was marvelous. The vibe I was getting from him all evening was very intensely masculine, but not in the macho-bullshit way. This wasn’t a guy who would ever speak the words “alpha male.” He’d be a lot more likely to go off in mad gales of laughter at the kind of skidmark who does say that, then finish up by leaving the idiot spitting teeth. The teeth are a lot less intriguing to me than the laughter. And all that energy translated in bed so very well. At some point, I bit him, he laughed and did what he was doing just a little harder, and all was right with the universe. Much better use of laughter and teeth.

And we swapped numbers, and he said he’ll call when he’s back in Inverness next month, and I am so very back in energetic balance. And if all those ands are what not having a “normal” relationship means, bring on abnormal, baby.


With all that made right, I took my shiny new National Trust membership out for an afternoon at Culloden. My goal was to find a place that’s likely to be quieter during the impending tourist season, but where contact is still easy. I was also paying more attention than I was the first time to the birds; if the warrior dead want to send me a messenger, I’ll see it there first, and three times in some notable way.

I also brought the runes along; these spirits seem to like them, which isn’t entirely surprising. That’s in many of their bloodlines, no matter how far back. The time isn’t really an issue with them. I’ve been thinking about stitching a casting cloth as a way to honor them by making something with my hands. I found a design I like on a cloth that’s being sold for £55. I figure I can make it for about £15 in materials plus the time, which I’ll enjoy giving. I believe this will be the next project on my stand.

I found a likely spot and sat down and decided to see what would happen with a casting there in the place rather than at my kitchen table. It finalized my decision to stitch the cloth; my makeshift casting surface doesn’t please me at all in those surroundings. I did still get a reading from the sitting:

A time is soon to come in which communication will be frustrated by the weather. Do not be upset by this; use it as a time of rest and preparation before taking action.

We wish to help and work with you. When you cannot come to us, pay heed to your dreams; we will come to you in them. We will raise the male energy — the warrior energy — that will help you to regenerate, heal, and strengthen yourself and others. Be open to and aware of the different ways in which that energy will manifest in your life.

Sometimes the dead are hilariously blunt. And sometimes they’re wonderfully practical. Yes, they felt they should remind me that it rains in Scotland. 😀 I suspect that sometime in the next couple of weeks or so, it’s going to be serious enough weather to keep me indoors when I have other ideas — and I like the rain.

The one thing that didn’t pan out was bird-sighting; there were none that caught my attention in any particular way. Maybe everything else was enough for one day, or maybe it isn’t time yet. Maybe it’ll even be something other than birds when/if it does happen.

So, I go in after the tattered bits of my own warrior nature, bring them out and get them all put back together and settled where they belong, just in time to start working with a huge wallop of that kind of energy, which I wouldn’t have been able to before. Maman/Brighid has stepped into the lead role, with her lwa/goddess combination of the power of the dead and a warrior nature. And most of my Chiron return material has been and will continue to be about self-image and self-assertion. It all seems like it’s weaving itself together now. I’m very ready for that.

(photo: movie still)

You feel like you’re falling, but it passes in time

It’s the ancestors who opened the door — at Maman’s behest, no doubt — so it’s the ancestors I turned to first to open discussions: If you want me, I’m here. But there have to be limits. It was Maman who answered, which I also was expecting. The ancestors are guides and guardians, but negotiations are going to be sent a little further up the line.

She seemed a lot more amused than upset by my wariness. Be open, be awake, be aware. You found dead you can honor, and they like your company. Offer it to them. Speak with them. Hear what they have to say; some of them haven’t been heard in a very long time. Things will unfold as they will.

As they always do.

I ended up seeing Cameron three times before he left. We didn’t do anything as dramatic as rescuing fainting shamans at battle sites — just some walking out in the city or some nearby pretty place, getting food, that kind of thing. No mischief; that just never seemed like it was going to happen. I was too busy feeling relaxed and soothed by his company, which I guess just isn’t what it takes to light either of our lamps. Either way, he was gentle on my nerves, and I’ll miss him.

Apparently, gentleness and regret both show. Mark the Shoulder Torturer spent ten minutes gleefully teasing me about being all mellowed out, and how I might have gotten that way. I told him it wasn’t nearly as exciting as he thought; I made a friend for a few days and now my friend is gone. He bought me a muffin with my smoothie. Fuck diabetes. Some days are muffin days.

He added another exercise to my set this week, and it was a wake-up call about how far I have to go yet. I’m doing 2 sets of 20 reps each of each exercise with 1 kg weights; the new one, I can only manage 2 sets of 15 empty-handed, and it’s hard work to do even that. He said it’s because the new one is meant to increase my range of motion, so I really am nearly starting from scratch with it. Don’t ever injure your rotator cuff, that’s what I have to say about it.

Just because she’s awesome, and this song…yeah. I need it sometimes.

(photo: Wikipedia)

The Way to Say It

A friend sent me a news clip of a schoolbus in Iowa, Louisiana nearly overturning when the driver unwisely tried to get it through high flood waters. It struck me that the newscaster, who wasn’t local, managed to correctly pronounce the name of the town, which wouldn’t have happened 99 times out of 100. I realized that I’ve lived in or near many places that no one would have bothered getting right — not until something terrible happened there. And a poem was born.

The towns in the poem are Lockerbie, Scotland (LOCK-er-bee); Carolla, North Carolina (kuh-RAH-luh); Iowa, Louisiana (EYE-o-way); Cairo, Illinois (CARE-oh); and Ely, Minnesota (EE-lee).


The Way to Say It

A silent arc of marble, a garden, a volunteer laundress,
In the wee town where the fuselage fell from the sky.
A sandspit dangling from the fingertips of a continent,
Where sturdy Banker ponies scatter ahead of a hurricane.
A yellow bus axle-deep in dun-colored spring runoff,
Tilting to the tune of the pattering rain beginning again.
A levee dynamited in the heartland, downstream farmers
Braced for the fate they’ll hear on the five-o-clock news.
A five-foot snowfall by November that would be Biblical
In proportion if the place were pronounced like the prophet.
But it isn’t, not tonight. This time the announcers will
Nail them all, the esoterica of articulation, the names they
Never say right until somebody, one way or another, is buried there.


(photo: Wikipedia)