Saturday, September 06, 2008

And, While We're On The Topic Of Horns

And, Speaking Of Trumpets

Weekend Trakl Blogging

Under the trimmed willows, where brown children
are playing
And leaves tumbling, the trumpets blow. A quaking
of cemeteries.
Banners of scarlet rattle through a sadness of maple
Riders along rye-fields, empty mills.
Or shepherds sing during the night, and stags step
Into the circle of their fire, the grove’s sorrow
immensely old,
Dancing, they loom up from one black wall;
Banners of scarlet, laughter, insanity, trumpets.

~George Trakl, trans. by Robt. Bly

I love trumpets.

The Rains Of September

It's been a v dry couple of last six weeks. Until Tropical Storm Hannah. We've gotten quite a bit of rain since yesterday evening and, in an odd way, it heralds Autumn for me. September is often a rainy month here in the DC area. Spout Run was as high as I've ever seen it this afternoon.

I'm inside, with a hot cup of tea, a lap cat, and a book of poems.

May it be so for you.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Pagan Pride

September is "Pagan Pride" Month and we're coming up on "Pagan Pride" week here in DC. I've been thinking today about the whole concept of the need for "Pride" week. Obviously, the Episcopalians and the Baptists don't feel the need for a "pride" week. White people don't need a "White History" month and men don't need "Men's History" month. Needing to have "pride" month is a sign of being a minority religion, one that is shunned and ridiculed by others.

And, that's us!

Paganism may or may not be one of the fastest growing religions in America, but it sure is one of the most defensive. And we've got a lot to be defensive about. It's still almost impossible for journalists to write an article about Paganism that doesn't include, often at the behest of the Pagan being interviewed, a disavowal of Satinism or of eating xian babies or of some some other disfavored tactic. The catholic church has adopted an anti-Pagan rhetoric -- Love the Creator, Not Creation! -- and, Goddess knows, we're not raking in the "faith-based" dollars.

So I still think that "Pagan Pride" weeks are good things. And I am proud to be a Pagan.

Join us, won't you?

Art found here.

Update: Saturday's Interpath Service has been cancelled. Lots going on all around the area, though, including Northern VA.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Glory Every Morning

I love morning glories. I love that they bloom in the morning and I love how profuse they are. Virginia, in fact, considers them an invasive species, but I can't help myself; I love them. I mostly grow Grandpa Otts, and I love them the best, but this year I tried a new variety called Carnivale. They're nice; not sure I'd grow them again, but they're nice.

The other morning, one of the squirrels was climbing up on the deck, rooting around in the morning glory vines, and very deliberately picking and eating the small "bulb" at the end of the finished flower that, uneaten, would go on to become the seed pod. Oddly, she ignored the rose hips to get to the morning glories. Are they psychotropic for squirrels? I don't begrudge her; I'll get hundreds of seeds and she's hungry, here, just before the acorns come in.

I Just Didn't Know This Was Going To Be So Hard

/Hat tip to Dave J. in comments at Eschaton.

She's apparently playing v, v well with the fundie base.

Monday, September 01, 2008

First Of The Month Bazooms Blogging

Ladies! Listen up! Detecting breast cancer early is the key to surviving it! Breast Self Exams (BSEs) can help you to detect breast cancer in its earlier stages. So, on the first of every month, give yourself a breast self-exam. It's easy to do. Here's how. If you prefer to do your BSE at a particular time in your cycle, calendar it now. But, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

And, once a year, get yourself a mammogram. Mammograms cost between $150 and $300. If you have to take a temp job one weekend a year, if you have to sell something on e-Bay, if you have to go cash in all the change in various jars all over the house, if you have to work the holiday season wrapping gifts at Macy's, for the love of the Goddess, please go get a mammogram once a year.

Or: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pays all or some of the cost of breast cancer screening services through its National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. This program provides mammograms and breast exams by a health professional to low-income, underinsured, and underserved women in all 50 states, six U.S. territories, the District of Columbia, and 14 American Indian/Alaska Native organizations. For more information, contact your state health department or call the Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER.

Send me an email after you get your mammogram and I will do an annual free tarot reading for you. Just, please, examine your own breasts once a month and get your sweet, round ass to a mammogram once a year.


My Hero


Discussing The Undiscussable

Mystical experience, the experience of the mystic, what it is that mystics experience -- that stuff is, almost by definition, idiomatic. It cannot be translated into any standard language, although it is possible that the language of exceptional music, exceptional art, exceptional poetry (over prose), may come close.

My deepest mystical experience -- and this is odd for a mammal, living in the flesh -- is observing bright, late-afternoon sunshine on leaves, grocking photosynthesis and the symphony inherent therein, being in a forest or a garden. Yesterday, I walked through the Brookside Gardens and sucked, as a hungry child suckles a breast, upon the amazing sight of sunlight filtered though deep forest shade. I see Fairies there, but I mean the word "fairie" in a scary and Earth-centered sense. I reminded myself that I can go on living.

On my way out, I sat by a bed of unknown blue flowers with scented leaves that was covered by a lacy and ever-undulating blanket of bees making inter-species love to the flowers. I wish that I knew what those flowers were.

I came home and, this morning, woke up to deep purple morning glories being penetrated, over and over, seriatum, by a fat buzzing bee. And, upon exiting from every flower, backing up, legs over legs, the bee left a scattering of golden pollen. I watched and watched and watched.

I don't know how to describe this. It's idiomatic. The poet Mary Oliver may have come close when she wrote, speaking of a different, native American plant:

And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in the dirt

swing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?

One morning
in the leafy green ocean
the honeycomb of the corn's beautiful body
is sure to be there.

I watched the bee, about whose people I have been so worried, make love over and over to one deep purple morning glory after another, and all that I could feel, here on the edge of Autumn and the season of hunger and cold, was:

Let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in the dirt

swing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?

One morning
in late summer,
the bee spread golden pollen
from one flower
all over the deep purple petal
of another.

I find myself content.

May it be so for you.

Photo found here.

Into The Woods

Do Not Go Into The Woods by George Trakl

The gingerbread house lures us
with walnuts, glace cherries, icing
but it is thatched with innocents' hair.

There are dark pools,
and bracken arching over lairs
of trapdoor spiders.

The witch slips a finger bone
into her apron pocket
before polishing a red apple.

Children, a god is watching you
from the saucer eyes of owls,
and your small lives are nothing to him.

I've been searching for another poet to feature in Sunday poetry blogging, ever since I posted almost of Anna Akhmatova's translated poetry. Today, I'm introducing George Trakl. More about him in coming weeks. For now, lean back and enjoy the words.

Art found here.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Calling A Tree "it"

Fuck That Shit

Sarah Palin is a beneficiary of the feminists who -- beginning with Abagail Adams and continuing on through Susan B. Anthony and Betty Friedan and Robin Morgan and bell hooks and on to Hillary Clinton -- fought, put up with ridicule, got jailed, got force fed, got arrested, got told by their own party to shut the fuck up, over and over and over again. Those women made it possible for Governor Palin to be a woman, hold elected office, exercise her own choices over her reproductive capabilities, be a working mother, and be selected to run for Vice President.

And Sarah Palin is a traitor to the cause of feminism. She is a cynical pick by a cynical man at the head of a cynical party that believes women really are too stupid to look at a bunch of grey choices and figure out which shade of grey is better for us.

Sarah Palin opposes a woman's right to choose. She opposes the rights of lesbians to get married. She supports the teaching of evolution in school. She fails to honor Mamma Gaia -- the first and most important step that this culture must make if it is to create a post-patriarchial world.

Am I going to like voting for Joe Biden? No. I remember Anita Hill. I've met Anita Hill. I like Anita Hill. I'm never going to forgive Joe Biden for what he did to Anita Hill. I'm also not going to forget what he did to working women and single moms with his bankruptcy bill that favored credit card companies over women without health insurance who run up large medical bills.

But I am going to VOTE for Joe Biden for VP and, if you're a feminist in anything other than the safest of safe blue states, so will you. I live in VA, a complete toss-up this year, and I'm going to pull the lever for Obama/Biden. Obama will, and, Goddess forfend, should anything happen to Obama, Biden will pick far better SCOTUS nominees than will McCain (or, seriously, Goddess forfend, Palin). They'll provide a better economy, which will help single moms struggling with debt and old women discriminated against on the job.

Sarah Palin isn't a feminist torchbearer. She's the Clarence Thomas of feminism: someone who benefitted from the movement and now wants to pull the ladder up behind her.

Fuck that shit.