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““Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” -Mary Oliver




Sunday, April 20, 2014

Exorcising Worry








“And somehow or other, the windows being open, and the book held so that it rested upon a background of escallonia hedges and distant blue, instead of being a book it seemed as if what I read was laid upon the landscape not printed, bound, or sewn up, but somehow the product of trees and fields and the hot summer sky, like the air which swam, on fine mornings, round the outline of things.”
― Virginia Woolf







Others have reminded me lately how poisonous worry is.  To be more correct, they have attempted to remind me, when in fact, I have never forgotten.  I do know how insidious it is, the easy way it finds a small room in your life, but very soon outgrows it, and begins its quiet quest to take over the house. Yes, I know worry well.  I used to see it as a nasty beast kept as a pet, which I fed my fears to, hoping to dispose of them. My hopes were not realized, but instead I was left with a very overfed, very large  insatiable monster.  

Now I see worry as an outcast, looking for a home.  Powerless in its own right, worry waits homeless until we either take it in or banish it.   I think we often confuse worry, the beast, with the food we feed it. In truth,  even if we do not feed worry, worry will remind us, delivering to us a new recipe suggestion in the middle of the dark night, a small hint that something is not right,  or that all that is good is not to last forever.  While it's true that conquering the fears and solving difficulties can diminish and weaken worry, its hunger will return again and again until we simply put it back out in the cold dark night for good.  The things we worry about are not the problem.  Worry, itself is the demon.

One day I gathered white rocks from the shore to use in healing.  It was not an easy search.  There were hundreds of rocks washed up that day, but very few were white. Still, I found enough.  I keep a couple on the nightstand.  When one or both of us wake up in the middle of the night feeding the beast of worry, we place one of them on our chest and breathe.  It's not long before we are both drifting off into a peaceful sleep.  Ocean rocks are connected with the ancient earth and the healing sea.  I find that they calm the waters of my sometime turbulent mind.  

-Aine

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Believing


 




outside the kitchen window
a tree is leaning 
naked, shivering
against a silent sky
in a moment 
she'll be dancing-in the morning
in a moment 
she'll be conjuring the day
upstairs the darkness 
lies tangled
in a ruffled bed at dawn
and the two am demons 
are slithering  away
 quickly disappearing
underneath the bedroom door
somewhere an artist 
splashes color on a sky
"it's good enough" he says
 while holding tightly
to the paint brush  in his hand







 Once upon a time, we didn't talk very much about religion.  I grew up in a place where most of the neighbors were Catholic.  The nearby ethnic communities were also Catholic.  I can't remember ever having a religious conversation except when I was in the Catholic School classroom.  Here's what we knew and what we did.  We all had a guardian angel.  We said our prayers before bed.   We dressed up and went to church on Sunday.  And that was that.

Nowadays ( ha! spoken like a real old person)  there is too much talk about faith, belief and spirituality.  And the talk seems to always turn to arguments, because of course, someone has to be right.  In my quest for religious tolerance, I have taken the vow of silence.  In my heart and soul I believe that everyone has a right to believe whatever he/she wants.  End of story.  But I also have the right to keep my beliefs private.  Now this sounds fair, but in real life it's not very easy to to.  
I have a person in my life right now who is dear to me, and I know that she has different spiritual belief than I and that's ok.  It's not my thing. She also believes, however, that because she had a revelation in her life, that she wants to give me "the gift" which of course, is also fine, but I do not want this gift.  Recently I had to figure out a way to explain this in the most non-privacy-invasive way. It's very hard to tell someone who believes strongly in only ONE way that you not only believe in another way, but you also believe that in the end all the ways are just another way of see the way.  (If you are confused, read that last sentence slowly and aloud.) 

Recently I believe I have found a label for my belief system - "omnism." LINK  The modern use of this label is mainly what I believe.  I believe in a nutshell, that the divine is felt and experienced differently but is the same energy. I also believe in everyone's right to express this the way they wish (with limits of course, and excluding violence, infringing on other's rights, etc.)  This really is a no-brainer for me, especially because I separate the belief system from the religious institution, and the way people decide to express or enforce their beliefs, but I know it's VERY hard for some others in more conventional religions to accept, mainly because of the teachings of their religion.  But enough about me.

There is a bigger reason for adopting this kind of spiritual thinking.  I just want us as humans sharing this planet to start getting along, and I want religions to stop instigating violence and war in the name of their God.

So, hopefully I have said, without hurting this person, that I appreciate the offer, but that I have my own way.    Has anyone else had this experience?  If so, how did you handle it?

-Aine


Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring




“When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.”
Mary Oliver

So we are about to enter the Easter weekend, and although there are many Pagan and non-spiritual practices associated with this time, most people consider this a Christian holiday.  Today, I watched a Christian minister on television talk about how it is also about resurrection, and renewal, which of course it is.  It is a celebration of all things associated with rebirth.  It is about Spring.  It is about things thought dead returning, blooming, and blossoming.  It is about regeneration, about reincarnation. It is about going to the depths and then rising again.  I'm sure most of us can relate to this theme.

We are all free to experience Easter in the way that we do.  Yes, please, let's come together, people.  Although Pagans typically celebrate Spring at the equinox, I like to celebrate my holidays as they happen in the place where I live.  You see, it does not look or feel or even hint at Spring here until - well about now.  So this weekend, when many people celebrate rebirth, resurrection, renewal, I, too, like celebrate it -  in my own way.  I know that many pagans base their celebrations on ancient Celtic rituals, but, even though I am of Celtic descent, I am not living in the land of my ancestors, and I like to keep it real  and stay in tune with the place and with the land on which I live.

Yes, I'm taking back Easter, with all the pagan symbols that it embraces - the eggs and the rabbits. While I don't believe literally in the Christian mythology about Easter, I do understand its mythic symbolism, so closely tied to the ways of nature and also to our life journey  And I must say,  never have I welcomed Spring in as enthusiastically as this year, after a truly long and difficult Winter.  It is now so easy for me to understand why my ancestors rejoiced at the return of the warmer weather and the brighter days.

So let's hunt for those eggs.  Let us rise from the dead.  Let's marvel at the Earth's sudden burst of fertility.  Let us be reborn, and feel renewed in our life, and in our souls, hopeful and optimistic because the wheel has now turned and a new season is upon us.

-Aine