Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pretend You're A River

It was such an amazingly lovely Autumn day, that I debated going to my class today. Yeah, I wanted to learn more about knitting, but the whole "sitting inside" thing tore at me. In the end, I went, and I was glad. I learned something new, sat in a circle with women (no one could have anticipated), and then had the joy of coming home along the Western side of the beautiful Potomac River. I love that river. It blesses my life every single day.

Pretend you're a river
Pretend you are the mist who falls so fine, so gentle, that nothing separates water and air
You are the rain who falls in sheets, explodes onto the ground to leave pocks and puddles
You are the ground who receives this water, soaking it up, taking it in, carrying it deep inside
You are the cracks and fissures where the waters accumulate, flow, fall to join more water and more
in pools and rivers who move slowly through cavities, crevices, pores
You are the sounds and silence of water seeping or staying still
You are the meeting of wet and dry, the union of liquid and solid, where solids dissolve and liquids solidify
You are the pressure who pushes water through seams
You are the rushing water who bubbles from the earth
You are a tiny pool between rocks
You overflow, find your way to join others who, like you, are moving, moving
You are the air at the surface of the water
the joining of substantial and insubstantial
the union of under and over, weight and not weight
You are the riffle, the rapid, the tiny waterfall who turns water to air and air to water
You are the mist who settles on the soil
You are the plants who drink the mist, and you are the sun who warms and feeds them
You are the fish who feed on insects, who feed on plants, who feed on soil, who feed on fish
You are the fish who become soil, who become plants, who become insects, who become fish, who flow down the river
You are the river who joins other rivers to become a new river, who is all the rivers, and something else
You are the river
You do not stop at the banks where liquid turns to solid
You reach into the sky, and into the soil
Water moves through rocks, comes up to form pools far from the fast flow where the rivers move together
seeps down to join still waters beneath the surface
waters who sleep and wake and sleep, and mingle with the stones who are the river too
You are the river who is married to the mountains you have known since they were young
who have given themselves to you, as you have given yourself to them
You are the canyons you nestle into, each year deeper than the year before
You are the forests who give you their fallen trees
the meadows you flood and feed
and they feed you back their fruits and fine insects
who fly to your surface to be taken in by the fish
who again with their owns bodies feed the meadows
You are the river who feeds the ocean
who feels the tides pushing and pulling against your mouth
the waves mixing fresh and salt
you are that intermingling, that is who you are
that is who you have always been
You are the river
You have lived with volcanoes and glaciers
You have been dammed by lava and ice
You've carried log jams so large and so old that they grow their own forests, with you running beneath
You have lived through droughts and floods
You are the river
You miss the salmon, you miss the sturgeon, you miss the ocean
you miss the meadows, you miss the forests, you miss the beavers, and otters and bears
you miss the humans
You are the river, you want them back
You want to feel the tickling of the sturgeon and the thrusting of the Salmon
You want to carry food and soil to the ocean
You want to cover the meadows as you used to
and you want to give yourself to them
and you want them to give themselves to you
as you have done forever and as they have too

Now, pretend you are a forest
You are the bark of trees and the hairy moss who hangs from them
You are the duff, who becomes soil, who becomes trees, who becomes seeds, who becomes squirrels, who become owls who become slugs, who become shrews, who become soil
You are the trees who cannot live without the fungi, who cannot live without the voles, who cannot live without the trees
You are the fire, who cannot live without the trees, who cannot live without the woodpeckers, who cannot live without the beetles, who cannot live without the fire
You are the wind who speaks through the trees, and the trees who speak through the wind
You are the birds who sing, and the birds who do not
You are the salamanders, the ferns, the millipedes
the bumble bees who sleep on flowers, waiting for the morning to warm you so you can eat and fly on home
You to have lived through drought and flood, hot and cold
and you too miss the salmon
you miss the owls, the bears
you miss the rivers
you miss the people, the humans
you want them all back
you need them back
or you will die

-Derrick Jensen.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Earth Talk

standing empty
once more

in the early morning chatter
of bird song and creek talk
the slow grinding whisper
of rocks, shifting
in the veiny fingers
of the earth

feeling it
come up through
word seeds
of love
of light
burst in the heart

catch me
in that shiny flow.

~Cathy Caser 1986, reproduced in the We'Moon 2009 Calendar

Art found here.

Prayer Vigil For The Earth

This weekend, if you're in DC, join in the Prayer Vigil for the Earth.

Join us for the Prayer Vigil for the Earth, held every autumn
on the mall near the Washington Monument.

Nestled near Native American Tipis
in the glow of a sacred fire, you are greeted
by the drums and rhythms of many nations...

The purifying sent of burning sage welcomes all
to this peaceful and prayerful space
to join in fellowship with new and old friends

At dawn on Sat. Oct 18, we will light the sacred fire that will burn throughout the Vigil.

Come anytime during this amazing weekend!

Families are welcome and there are activities
and blessings for children.

The website for the event says:

The Peace Village is designed in a circle to mirror the shape of our Earth.

A fire burns in the center of the circle like a fire burns in the center of the Earth. The circle and the fire symbolize life. They are sacred.

You enter the sacred Peace Village through the East Gate, place of the rising sun.

There are many activities going on in the Peace Village. There is an area for Silent Prayer for the Earth, a Children's Tipi, an Elder's Tipi, a chanting/singing tipi, a labyrinth, receive healing in Jyorei tipi, do prayers around the Hindu Yantra, a Tibetan stupa, Christian and African altars and a Jewish Sukkah. All of these can be visited. There is also a enriching program going on at the microphone.

Everyone you see has volunteered their time and talents.

Often there are children playing and adults talking quietly.

The entire community dances, chants or participates in story telling at periodic intervals.

Enjoy the wonderful evening programs under the stars with an opportunity to pray around the fire all night.
Everyone is invited to bring their musical instruments, songs, prayers, and chants on Sunday from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM as we create the sound of people in Celebration and Prayer for Peace on Earth.

Click here to see our schedule of activities for 2008.

The Prayer Vigil for the Earth has met annually since 1993 arising from a vision on how to bring harmony to the peoples of the earth. Each year we meet to:

Seek Unity where there has been Division
Understanding instead of Conquering
Honoring where the need to Covet has prevailed
We come together to do this to seek out that commonality which links us to each other, the earth and to that expression of highest principle, which each tradition recognizes and yearns to share with each other.

From the Native Peoples – “We are all related”
From the Christian tradition – “Where two or more are gathered in God’s name”
From the Jewish and Islamic traditions – “There is only one God”
And from all other traditions not mentioned – “Unity and Understanding”
At the 2008 Prayer Vigil we are asking everyone to do the following:

To raise the level of tolerance to pioneer in a new consciousness.
To leave the dogma and proselytizing behind.
To allow yourself the opportunity to stretch to see other points of view.
To do more than share your faiths, traditions and customs – take it to the next level of honoring diversity.
To stretch beyond our own comfort zones to participate in the grand experiment to practice tolerance and peace.
To listen.
To be respectful and honor others without judgment.
To focus on our commonalities.
To focus on our relationship with the earth.
To let go of differences and separateness.
To BE in the place we are CHOSING to co-create.
To invite and encourage youth dialogues.
To participate in interfaith, multi-cultural dialogue.

My favorite part is: Often there are children playing and adults talking quietly. The entire community dances, chants or participates in story telling at periodic intervals. You know, we need lot more of that.

I'm taking a knitting class in the afternoon and then planning to head on over. Join me there, won't you?

/hat tip to my madcap friend, R.

All Acts Of Love And Pleasure Are Rituals Of The Goddess

Atrios says:

I do hope one day a bigger chunk of this country's population can be comfortable with the simple idea that there's nothing wrong with teenagers - even teenage girls! - having healthy and safe sex lives if they're so inclined. I think we've actually gotten more hysterical about the whole thing since I was a kid, and I grew up in the "if you have sex you will die" era.

Turns out that there's another country where the population already is comfortable with the idea that there's nothig wrong with teenagers -- even teenage girls! -- having healthy and safe sex lives if they're so inclined. It's in Holland:

In 1950s Dutch society, most young people began having sex when they were in their 20s and were married or engaged. During the 1960s, unintended teenage pregnancies rose alarmingly. Seeing this, family physicians and clinics were quick to make contraceptives easily accessible to youth. Dutch teen pregnancy and abortion rates are now among the lowest in the developed world.

National surveys show that most Dutch parents accept that young people choose to have sex in committed relationships during their later teens. Research I conducted found that a majority of Dutch parents are even willing to permit such couples to spend the night together in their homes, but only when they see that they have formed a loving relationship, feel ready for sex and understand how to use contraception responsibly. By accepting teen sexuality within these parameters, Dutch parents can stay involved, monitor relationships and urge proper contraceptive use.

This shift from a "marriage-only" to a "love-only" sexual ethic happened because parents, aided by honest and informative public conversations about sex, grappled with how to marry their aspirations -- about the children they wanted to raise and the relationships they wanted to foster -- to times that were changing. The result is an environment in which young people receive support from parents and other adults as they learn about relationships and wise sexual choices.

Look, as a society, we've decided that it's worth the costs for companies to be able to use sex to sell their products. Maybe that's good; maybe it's shitty, but it's not changing any time soon. We've decided that it's worth the costs for ranchers to be able to pump their animals full of hormones and antibiotics that cause teens to mature earlier than ever before. Maybe that's good; maybe it's shitty, but it's not changing any time soon. We've agreed that preserving patriarchy is so important that it's worth making young women grow up in a society where "having a boyfriend" may be the ONLY sign of personal validity. OK, I KNOW that's shitty, but it's not changing any time soon.

And then we act appalled when teen-age girls have sex. And then we deny them the information and the tools (aka condoms) that could help to prevent teen pregnancy. And then we all pay the costs of teen pregnancy, although the teen mothers and their kids pay a disproportionately high share of those costs and the ad agencies, ranchers, and patriarchs pay a disproportionately low share of those costs.

They're a lot smarter in Han's Brinker's land of tulips.

Mavericks In Washington And On Wall Street Got Us Into This Mess

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Ancestors. At Samhein. No One Could Have Anticipated.

So, old news that on Wednesdays I get together w some other women, for ecstatic dance.

Last week and this week, we've been moved to do magic for America. It's one of the great blessings of my life that I get to live with these amazing women, to do magic and fix dinner and do laundry with them, to discuss driving voters to the polls with them.

This week, I've been worried about the racist shit that Palin's been stirring up and the real physical danger to Obama. And, so, that's where I've been directing my magic this week and it's where we dancers (how can you know the dancers from the dance?) directed our magic this evening.

Every morning, I drive past the Teddy Roosevelt Island, a wildlife sanctuary immediately across the river from Washington, D.C. (Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?) Every four or five months, I'm blessed to see, in the morning, the bald eagle who fishes snakes and fish and frogs out of the lazy estuary rivulet that forms the Eastern border of the island. (Oh body swayed to music, oh brightening glance) I saw the eagle soaring yesterday morning. It's a gift, it's Grace, it's god pouring god into god. That image figured in my working.

When I call North/Earth/Pentacles, I'm calling ancestors, bears, wolves, foxes, moose, caves, mountains, plains, stones, decomposing bodies, the power to be silent. What I learned, almost by accident, tonight, is that, if you call Obama's ancestors to come protect him, well, they will Show Up. No, really. They. Will. Show. Up. He can be protected from the racist hatred being stirred up against him. His ancestors -- from both sides -- will Show Up and deflect the danger.

I pass this along for others who are doing protective magic for him.

He stays safe through January 20th, when his own Secret Service, loyal to him, can take over. This is my will. So mote it be.

Photo found here.

Palin Manipulates Joe Sixpack

McCain Creates Palin To Preserve The Patriarchy

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Fundies, They're LAUGHING At You!

You can't trust anything about this bitch. She's a complete and total phony.

You'd think Americans would get sick and tired of being played for fucking fools.

Fundies, I'm lookin' at ya.

Hat tip to Firedoglake, with thanks to montag.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Things That Give Me Hope

There's an old Joan Baez song that begs:

Bring me a rose in the wintertime, when it's hard to find,
bring me a rose in the wintertime, I've got
roses on my mind.
A rose is sweet, most anytime and, yet,
bring me a rose in the wintertime and how easy we forget.

Bring me a smile when I'm far from home, when it's hard to find,
bring me a smile when I'm far from home, I've got
smiling on my mind.
A smile is sweet, most anytime and, yet,
bring me a smile when I'm far from home and how easy we forget.

Bring me some peace when there's talk of war, when it's hard to find,
bring me some peace when there's talk of war, I've got
peace on my mind.
Oh, peace is sweet, most anytime and yet,
bring me some peace when there's talk of war and how easy we forget.

Today was a terrible day to be following the news. Our economy doing the one thing we all knew it would do, but hoped that it wouldn't, after decades of deregulation and greed. The McCain campaign going completely negative on Obama in the hopes that what worked for Bush and Rove will work again. The environment in a tailspin and every fifty-year-old I know walking around with the dazed look of one who really groks that she will NEVER be able to retire.

And so, here's a rose for you in the wintertime, a short list of things that give me hope:

Dinner w a dear old friend whose pursuit of her own v, v, v advanced degree a continent away from where she lived convinced me that I could, too, go to evening law school. We drank and ate and traded gossip and talked politics and discussed our children and grandchildren and just being at a table next to her gave me strength and made me feel better. May you have friends like her.

Freeway Blogger doing what only he does and what all of us ought to do.

Barefoot College.

Nudibranches. Honest; this site keeps me going when everything else seems grim. How can you possibly have incorporated on the same planet as a nudibranch and give in to despair?

Obama is 12 points ahead in Virginia. Hello, Sarah, did you enjoy your little rally in Falls Church the other week? Bring it, bitch.

And, of course, Jeff Skilling is still in jail.

Photo found here.

Hail Powers Of The East, Hail Athena, Hail Columbia

Isaac Bonewits, yes, THAT Isaac Bonewits, runs a great group called Spells for Democracy.

Here's one of his latest posts:

We're coming down to the end of the campaigns and the actual voting.
Here's what we need to be doing in the next few weeks to assure a fair
and honest election. Pick one and get to work!

Do the mundane stuff: Make sure you and your friends and neighbors are
registered to vote and have not been accidentally-on-purpose purged
from the voting rolls (see previous blog post). Volunteer to work at
the polls. If you have a legal background, volunteer with the ACLU and
other groups keeping an eye on the process.

Do the magical stuff:

Continue with protection spells on the candidates.

Continue with revelation spells on the candidates and the White House,
so that everyone's true intentions are made public.

Find your local polling place(s) and do protection and honesty spells
on the buildings.

Do binding spells on election officials to force them to keep their
oaths of office.

Do binding spells on the warmongers in the White House and the
Pentagon to prevent any last minute "surprises" that would "justify"
postponing or canceling the elections.

Remember, if the spell you want to do would be ethical if done
physically, then it's ethical to do it magically.

There was some sick fundie troll over at Eschatontoday wondering if any "lie-berals" ever prayed for their country. And I thought: more than you know, Motherfucker, more than you know. I've been doing magic w/ women to save this country for a number of years.

I'm especially liking the idea of protection spells on my local polling place. Bet I can walk deosil around that building as many times as I want w/o anyone seeing anything except an old woman out for a nice bit of exercise in the Autumn air.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Jack 'O Lanterns

Inspiration for the OBAMA pumpkins found here.