Saturday, January 10, 2009
Full Moon in Cancer today, so that made it a perfect time for a house blessing for one of the women in my circle who's gone through a complete home renovation on Capitol Hill over the past year and a half. For many witches, home, a sense of place, a sanctuary, is important. And, I'm reading Derrick Jensen's interview with the philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore, who has quite a bit to say about the importance of "Place" in our lives:
Jensen: So what is the basis of our obligation to rives and marshes, if its not maximizing their instrumental value?
Moore: Obligations grow out of relationships, the philosopher Nel Noddings pointed out. She's right: we know what it means to care, and we value that. Just as we are connected to our families, and care about them, we are connected to the land, both emotionally and biologically. This is the starting premise: We are all members of a natural community of interdependent parts that includes rivers and wrens and children and stones. The relationships define us, sustain us, create us, full us with joy. And when we find ourselves alone and apart, our unhappiness becomes a longing close to grief.
If this is so, then to lead a moral life we have to acknowledge the depths and complexity of our ties to the natural communities [of which we are members], and acknowledge our own experience of caring -- acknowledge the value we place on caring -- and make a commitment to acts that flow out of love. Aldo Leopold says, "Sing our love for the land and our obligation to it, " and I am struck by how quickly obligation follows on the heels of love.
What is called for are not just acts of enlightened self-interest, but acts that flow from our connections and acknowledge the worth of what we care for so deeply. A right act isn't the one that makes us happiest. A right act is one that strengthens and reknits the web of relationships, and so it tends, as Aldo Leopold said, "to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty" of the community.
~From How Shall I Live My Life: On Liberating the Earth from Civilization by Derrick Jensen
What is your home trying to tell you? Your yard? Your neighborhood? Your wateshed? What is your obligation to listen?
~Picture found here.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
PRONOIA THERAPY FOR BEGINNERS
1. During an intense half-hour rant, complain and whine about everything that pains you. Get a sympathetic listener to be your receptacle if possible, or simply deliver your blast straight into the mirror. Having emptied all your psychic toxins in one neat ritual spew, you'll be able to luxuriate in rosy moods and relaxed visions for a while.
2. Locate or create a symbol of your own pain. Mail it to us at the Angst Incineration Crew, P.O. Box 150628, San Rafael, CA 94915, USA. We will then conduct a sacred ritual of purification during which we will burn that symbol to ash. While this may not banish your suffering entirely, it will provide a substantial amelioration which you will be able to feel the benefits of within a month.
3. Eat a pinch of dirt while affirming that you are ready to kill off one of your outworn shticks -- some idea or formula that has worked for you in the past but has now become a parody of itself.
4. Using crayons, paints, scissors, glue, collage materials or any other materials, create a piece of large-denomination paper money, good for making a payment on your karmic debt.
5. Kick your own ass 22 times.
6. Brag about yourself nonstop for 10 minutes. Record it so you can listen back to it later.
7. Perform a senseless act of altruism, for instance by giving an anonymous gift or providing some beauty or healing to a person who cannot do you any favors in return.
8. Deliver a concentrated stream of praise about someone, either to that person herself or to anyone who will listen. Extra credit: Force yourself to think a kind and loving thought about someone you don't like or from whom you feel alienated.
9. Conjure up an imaginary friend and have an intimate conversation with him and her for at least 15 minutes.
10. Build an altar devoted to beauty, truth, and love in one of the ugliest places you know.
11. With a companion, watch a blank TV while making up a pronoiac story featuring plot twists that are rife with happiness, redemption, and good times -- yet not boring. You may either speak this tale aloud or write it down.
12. Compose and perform a ceremony in which you get married to yourself.
13. While making love, imagine that your physical pleasure is a carrier wave for a spiritual blessing which you beam in the direction of some person you know who needs a supercharged boost.
~Picture found here.
Monday, January 05, 2009
It's Always Some Little Girl, Looking All Alone, Surrounded By Grownups, With Her Hair Done Up. But It's Different, This Time.
This morning, driving into work, coffee mug in hand, news radio on, I was informed that several of the streets that I normally take were blocked because the Secret Service was taking the lovely young daughters of President Elect Obama from the stately and patrician Hay Adams Hotel to Sidwell Friends private school, where they were beginning the new semester.
And, I'm old. In my own lifetime, I traveled the South with my family and walked past the Colored Bathroom into the Women's Bathroom, sat at lunch counters where "colored children" couldn't sit, watched my dad attend the March on Washington and the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King. In my own lifetime, the Misses Obama wouldn't have been allowed in either the Hay Adams (as guests) nor at a prestigious DC private school.
And so, on 20th St., N.W., DC, this morning, I just broke down in deep, gasping sobs. Sobs for Thurgood Marshall. Sobs for little Linda Brown of Brown v. Board of Education, who wanted to go to school with her white playmates, Mona, Guinevere, and Wanda. Sobs for all of those who gave so much to make America live up to her promise.
Today, two little African American girls traipsed off from one of DC's finest hotels to one of DC's finest schools. We routed traffic all around the city in order to make it happen (because George and Laura Bush are jerks.) And, for just a minute, I am proud of us. I am proud of how far we've come in just one lifetime. Go, America. You go, Girl. That was pretty cool.
Thanks to the folks at Eschaton who helped me find the pictures that I was remembering.
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Breaking the silence
that turns around
the double edge of seeing.
I have called you
into the night moon
because we have come
to learn the end of waiting.
Looking for nothing
to take us out of here.
A word that divinely
chains us to earth.
ramshackle house of our bodies
like a lizard
hiding under the blue tint
of English holly
as if the red berries
will sustain us
all the way home.
~Lynn Andrews in The Woman of Wyrrd
Art found here.
Kaspar Hauser's Song
He truly loved the purple sun, descending from the hills,
The ways through the woods, the singing blackbird
And the joys of green.
Sombre was his dwelling in the shadows of the tree
And his face undefiled.
God, a tender flame, spoke to his heart:
Oh son of man!
Silently his step turned to the city in the evening;
A mysterious complaint fell from his lips:
“I shall become a horseman.”
But bush and beast did follow his ways
To the pale people’s house and garden at dusk,
And his murderer sought after him.
Spring and summer and – oh so beautiful – the fall
Of the righteous. His silent steps
Passed by the dark rooms of the dreamers.
At night he and his star dwelled alone.
He saw the snow fall on bare branches
And in the murky doorway the assassin’s shadow.
Silvern sank the unborne’s head.
~Art found here.