Monday, September 1, 2014

Scandal-less

Written during a waxing moon in the sign of Scorpio on a day ruled by the moon.



“Scandal is gossip made tedious by morality.”
― Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan
 

Most of us were told, from the time we were children, not to gossip. Most of us have broken the rules from time to time.  Many of us break the rules on a daily basis.

There is a lot of  friendly gossip here.  It goes around and around this small place until we are hopelessly tangled up inside its carefully rolled ball of yarn.  Most of it is not even told in whispers, but delivered as boldly casual small talk, the latest news in the everyday of this little town. But is there really any such thing as friendly gossip?

Gossip gets most of its bad reputation from the gossiper's tendency to stretch the truth. Otherwise it wouldn't really be wrong to talk about people, would it?  These are the thoughts I am having and questions I'm asking this morning after mulling on it during the night, thinking about various recent conversations with various people and realizing how much we tend to talk about others.  We hardly realize we are doing it.

Talk about positive news regarding other people is certainly ok, and even talk about sad news is as well, as long as it is done with compassion and sympathy, but negative opinions and stories about others is certainly not ok, and worse than that are the conversations that center around the (often negative and inaccurate) personality traits of others, then ones often said with authority and conviction.  "She is" and "He is one of those people who....."

But all rationalization and musing aside,  is it possible that we are, in general,  just talking and caring about the business of others too much?   Is this a back door way of engaging in another current popular past time, "All about me?" (stories " about me" will surely sound so much better when compared to the stories of another person's misfortune or shortcomings!) Is that the real secret to the popularity of  "reality" television shows?  Let's face it, after watching the mess some people call their lives, most of us can feel pretty darn good about our own situations.

 If I come off sounding like a person who never gossips,  doesn't enjoy hearing the stories of other people told through the filter  and  including the comments of others, I apologize because I certainly have participated in this activity more than a few times in my life. And in my defense, I really enjoy stories, true or complete works of fiction. But now, after pondering the insidious nature of this activity, I really want to find something else to talk about, something else to do with my time.   I want to "be the change (I ) want to see in this world." - Mahatma Gandhi.

But I suspect this won't be easy, because those who gossip crave an audience, and I'm not one of those people who walk around announcing my new philosophy, religion, or cause to everyone so that I can appear superior.  So I'm not going to stop gossip in mid story to announce "Oh, I'm sorry.  I'm no longer talking about others or listening to gossip" while handing him/her one of my personally created signs/pins/ bumper stickers created to clearly designate and promote "Gossip Free Zones."

Maybe I'll just change the subject.

-Aine




Friday, August 29, 2014

A Few Favorite Things

Written during a waxing moon in the sign of Libra on a day ruled by Venus


I watched a very good, little known movie yesterday called "Seeking a Friend For the End of the World."  Of course a movie like this makes one think more than a bit about what is really important, and what we love.

There are the big things, things that are part of relationships and spirituality, of course, by oh, the little things.  Since I watched this movie I have been noticing and appreciating a lot of little things.  By nature, I tend to pay attention to details, as I am an avid decorator and know how a simple change can make an enormous difference and create a change in mood and atmosphere, such as sheer curtains that dance with the wind coming in from the open windows, a small soft glow from a lamp in a dark corner of a room, illuminating a stack of old hardcover books.

Where does this love for things come from?  I suspect it originates early in life and we store the feelings in our memories associated with certain material things.  Windows get quite a bit of attention in decorating (requiring what we call "window treatments." )  Windows are the places where light comes in. Perhaps we remember sun shining into our childhood rooms, or watching a flurry of snowflakes that might promise a day off from school.  I have a strong fondness for darker rainy afternoons, the kind that require the lamps to be turned on, and so I love the look of a dim light in a window.  It looks particularly warm and welcoming when you are on the outside looking in.

Many people now are reevaluating their attachments to things.  Some want to disconnect with anything that isn't a necessity.  It's true that materialism has gotten out of control and we certainly could stand to moderate our consumption of unnecessary items, but some of these items (even the most unlikely ones)  grow precious with time.  They are vessels that hold warm feelings and happy memories, portals to another time and place.  When chosen and appreciated for good reason, these become part of home.  

Home is more than walls, and a roof over our heads, more than rooms full of furniture and modern appliances.  It's old china tea cups from tea parties with children, dolls and teddy bears, the special platter reserved for the Thanksgiving turkey, the old framed embroidered cross-stitch sampler that hasn't been hanging on the wall nearly as long as it was regularly held in the hands of a grandmother.

Sometimes, when the day is right, I open the window and turn on the little lamps.  I light candles with names like "Grandma's Pumpkin Pie" or "Cinnamon Toast" while the breeze through the window causes the delicate curtains to sway back and forth.  I stand back and take in the moment, in a way that doesn't require logical thinking, and enjoy the intoxication, a blending of emotion and memory, nostalgia and love, appreciation and beauty.  

During our lifetime we experience many pivotal moments. Photo albums are full of reminders of our rites of passage, but the simple times and treasured possessions are also part of our earthly experience. They provide inspiration for tales told by the fire, and become souvenirs of our long walk through the forest.

-Aine




Recommendations:  Seeking a Friend For The End of The World  LINK

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Regularly Scheduled Blogging

Written during a waxing moon in the sign of Libra on a day ruled by Jupiter.

Most days, I have an internet "routine" a group of sites, blogs and places that I visit.  Last night I had a little more time on my hands so I began to ramble down the never ending online path.  I decided to go to the Pagan Blog Project site and from there link to the bloggers who participate.  I was once one of these bloggers, but I couldn't keep up with the schedule and bowed out.  As I clicked on the various links to pagan blogs, I was surprised to find how many of these blogs no  longer exist. I thought maybe this list was simply added to every year and had not been refreshed in a while, but I discovered that this was only the list for 2014.  Needless to say after clicking on several sites in a row that we no longer in existence, I gave up this activity.  

Not before, I might note, I began to realize how broad the definition of "pagan" is. (but that's another story for another day.)

I suppose in this time of short attention spans, I shouldn't be surprised at the lack of commitment but I was.  Maybe it's simply a matter of motive.  I have been a writer all my life and I couldn't decide to give up writing if I wanted to.  (I've tried and failed, several times.)  When I was young, I had many diaries (all destroyed due to fear of discovery) and I sent long letters to my sisters who lived across the country, describing in great detail,  with all kinds of teenaged angst and comedy,  one hopeless adolescent life crisis after another. (My sister recently mailed me a copy of one, and I laughed and laughed and could not believe how adorable I was. )

So writing is something I do, must do, and want to do. Blogging was a wonderful discovery I made back in the day of Xanga (late 90's.)  But it's the writing part of blogging that I think makes one update their blog regularly, not community, education, or business (I think that to have a financially successful blog, one probably must love to write.)  

But let's get back to the Pagan part.  Again, I have to wonder how many of these well meaning contributors to the Pagan Blog project were just celebrating their new found hobby - Paganism, before they inevitably got distracted by some other activity.  Enough said.  Now I know I outwardly admitted that I too, bowed out of the PBP, but not until after getting through almost an entire year.  The commitment wasn't too much, however, I'm just not a fan of restrictions when it comes to writing.  What if I don't want to write about anything pagan today?  Wahhhhhh.  Yeah, I know. But let's put it this way - I wrote a lot of entrys under the PBP label, so I did give it the old college try. When the words that live in my head demand to be spelled out, they don't like being put on hold by a post whose title must start with the letter D.  Especially when I was going to write about  something that begins with W.  

Besides, my reader list is my very own Pagan (and other)  Blog Project. All my favorites are there.  


-Aine