Clearly the past couple of months have been busy. And interesting.
And some things have happened that made me feel like this is not the thing I should be doing, and so I am going to stop doing it.
I’m going to begin dismantling this blog within the week or so.
Then we’ll see what happens.
In the mean time, I appreciate my time here. And I will see you around. And thank you for listening.
Or, starting a New Year when all the signs are “against” you.
About a week ago, i received a reading for the year from a dear friend testing out a shiny new tarot deck.
In general, the results indicate I have a lot of blocked paths to maneuver and steep mountains to climb before the year is out.
I’m being instructed to practice patience. I’m being informed to practice diligence. I’m being asked to be the kind of person I’ve spent more time envying or being suspicious of than actively working on being.
There have been blessings, but it’s been a trying year for us. And here, in the last hours, we’re surrounded by death and illness, by reminders of how widespread suffering is in the world.
And I start to wonder what is so great about Christmas.
Christmas is something my mother gave to me. Which is odd sounding if you happen to know how my relationship is with my mother these days. But once upon a time, it used to be her favorite holiday. And the famous figure of Santa Claus used to be her favorite part about it.
For me, the most holy dead are The Grandmothers. They can be many things to many people, depending on your nation and tradition.
In my own life, they had taken the shape of influential elder women I have met on either side of the veil.
Most are a strange mix, rarely presenting themselves as purely good or evil, failing as greatly as they accomplish, and having as many flaws and weaknesses as strengths.
But I love them, because they all are thoroughly and unapologetically themselves, sometimes gracefully and sometimes bitterly self-aware, with varying amounts of self-control. All have an overabundance of will and some kind of wisdom to share, won through painful experience.
We had a lean harvest this year. No peaches, no pears, no cherries–the cherries the birds got to before I could. We did have apples, though. And our neighbors did well with their corn. Our congregation did well with their corn, their gardens, and their cattle–probably the best in the county. I’m thankful for what we received. The weather has been strange. It wasn’t a good summer for fruit. And some of our farmers say the calves and lambs have been taking sick and dying. Some were even stillborn.
Such is the nature of our world. You have your good years and you have your bad. Growing up in agricultural and mining communities taught me rural life is rarely idyllic. It just is, very matter of fact and unapologetically.
On a more personal level, the difficult harvest reflects how I feel in my life. I hurt, to put it bluntly. I’m overwhelmed with hurt. I physically ache from what’s over the past couple years suspected to be an autoimmune disorder. I’m mentally exhausted from work and school and illness and misfortune–both mine and others’. I’m emotionally exhausted from what I’ve been working through the past few years, as well as what I keep uncovering from my more distant past.
There’s been a few posts going around social media sites taking a standing against compulsory forgiveness. They kind of extend things, though, into stating that holding grudges and refusing to forgive and forget actually keep them safe, because it makes them able to recognize toxic relationships and circumstances and avoid getting hurt again.
This is a version of a story my grandfather told me when I was a very little girl. One I’m happy to have remembered. The water panther has been on my mind lately.
There was once a great lake with a mud island in the middle. The people would cross the lake by circling far around the island. It took much longer, but it kept them safe from the great water panther, Mishepishu.
Two sisters from a local village were headed across the lake one day to attend a dance on the other shore. They were late, and the elder sister suggested they cross the lake right through the middle, dragging their canoe over the small island.