Saturday, November 06, 2010

Protecting Time in Nature

Writing about children, Richard Louv says:
It takes time -- loose, unstructured dreamtime -- to experience nature in a meaningful way. Unless parents are vigilant, such time becomes a scarce resource, because time is consumed by multiple invisible forces; because our culture currently places so little value on natural play.

What's true for children is, I think, true for all of us. It's difficult, for example, to head out to a park on just the Dark and Full Moons and expect to have a deep experience of nature. It's different if, in between the Moons, you've had what Louv talks about: time -- loose unstructured dreamtime -- to experience that same park in a meaningful way. Then, when you rush there from work on the Friday night of a Dark Moon, and hurry to the tree that you've come to know on a first-name basis, a few minutes of grounding may find you ready to practice your nature religion, to have a deep and meaningful experience with the object of your religion: nature, your landbase, your watertable, the Goddesses/Gods/Spirits of your place.
And as Louv says of children, we have to be vigilant about protecting our spiritual practice, about ensuring that we have loose, unstructured dreamtime out in nature. Otherwise, a million different "shoulds" encroach upon the time. Otherwise, you look up and realize that you spend hours a week watching tv and no time at all in nature. And the next thing you know, you say that you're practicing a nature religion, but you don't have a regular, intimate relationship with any specific part of nature, you just kind of like Capital-N-Nature in a vague, general way. Which may be OK, but it's a lot less than you're entitled to.

Picture found here

Saturday Poetry Blogging


To live at all is miracle enough.
The doom of nations is another thing.
Here in my hammering blood-pulse is my proof.

Let every painter paint and poet sing
And all the sons of music ply their trade;
Machines are weaker than a beetle’s wing.

Swung out of sunlight into cosmic shade,
Come what come may, the imagination’s heart
Is constellation high and can’t be weighed.

Nor greed nor fear can tear our faith apart
When every heart-beat hammers out the proof
That life itself is miracle enough.

~Mervyn Peake

Picture found here.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Pretty Much

Dark of the Moon, New Beginnings

Dark Moon tonight. New beginnings. Dark of the Moon, plant a seed tonight. Dark of the Moon. What we envision, will come to be in the Full Moon's light.

What new thing are you working on?

What do you envision that will come to be in the Full Moon's light?

My goals for the coming Moon are pretty prosaic: I'm going to add two workouts with weights a week to my now-already-pretty-well-established-daily treadmill walking. (I'm an old woman. Suddenly, that whole weight-training-can-fight-inflamation-and-thus-stave-off-arthritis-stuff (given the pain in my hands from knitting the last couple of cowls) is starting to sound pretty good to me.) If I don't show up this same time next month and tell you that I've done 8 sessions at the gym, well, now that I've made it public, no worries, I'll do it. I'm working, too, on a commitment that I made a while back at an important ritual: I'm going to get out more and do more "fun" stuff, even if it is getting cold and even if I do have a ton of get-ready-for-Winter stuff to do in my garden. (Yes, fun can be very important. Especially if you're the oldest-daughter-super-achiever-type-A-introverted Queen of the To-Do List.) This weekend, I'm debating between this, a trip to one of my favorite places, a browsing (and, OK, a yarn-for-Yule-projects-buying) trip to my favorite yarn store, and listening to Congressional staffers gossip about the new Congress at Hawk & Dove.

What would you do if you had promised to go do something just for fun?

Picture found here.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


Art, especially sculpture, has always spoken so deeply to my Younger Self. And I've long been a huge fan of Andrew Goldsworthy's work. Lately, I've been getting a lot of inspiration for things in my own life from two artists whose works contain echoes of Goldsworthy. One is Patrick Dougherty. Here's a short video about how he creates interesting spaces from tree branches.

Dougherty has an exhibit at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden that I'm itching to go see; like most sculpture, his work doesn't translate all the way into two dimensions.

The sculpture at BBG is woven from nonnative woody material that was collected from Ocean Breeze Park on Staten Island. The harvesting site was chosen by BBG's director of Science because of its proximity to the Garden and its large population of nonnative willow (Salix atrocinerea), which is designated an invasive species in New York State. Removal of saplings of this species helped protect the site's excellent assemblage of herbaceous plants. The park is owned by the City of New York and is targeted for restoration under the City's PlaNYC sustainability initiative.

. . .

When asked about some of the words that came to mind as he contemplated what he wanted to build in Brooklyn, Dougherty smiled and said "lairs; a place for feral children and wayward adults."

Maybe I can borrow G/Son and we can go one weekend this Spring.

The second is Sally J. Smith who blogs here. I especially like how Smith's work honors the changing seasons. Here's a short video showing some of her works for this time of year:

And here's another, with ice sculptures for the coming Winter. I love the way that Smith intentionally incorporates the Sun and Moon (yes, the real ones! and she's not alone) into her work.

What inspires you right now?

Picture found here.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

My New Name for a Blog

What Athenae Said.

So there's going to be a lot of ink expended over the next couple of weeks trying to figure out how this happened, as if it's a goddamn mystery. This economy blows goats, and instead of being out there every day yelling HEY WE TRIED TO FIX IT THOSE FUCKERS WOULDN'T LET US ALSO BUSH BAILED OUT THE BANKS NOT US, Democrats pretty much figured the midterms were gonna be a bloodbath and hunkered down and hoped it wouldn't hit them too hard. Because that works. That always works.

Here's the problem, you gutless fucks. You had majorities. And I KNOW, okay, but all America sees is that you had majorities and you wasted them. Because that's what the GOP told them, and you said, "buh buh buh" and couldn't point to anything you did right, not even with the unwashed hippies holding your arm up for you. You had majorities, and you had Harry Reid, refusing to be mean to Republicans by shoving stuff through. You had majorities, and you had Barack Obama acting like he was already an ex-president and could be gracious and social with these pricks. You had majorities, used them to do some stuff, and then sat back and acted like we should be grateful when we can fucking count.

We can fucking count, out here. We know what 51 means. We know what 257 means. We're not morons. And all the procedural whatsit you argue today, about ConservaDems and Blue Dogs, doesn't mean shit. You had it, and we worked hard to give it to you, and we see you calling things impossible which are just very hard, and we get fucking annoyed, because we don't get to get away with that shit. Not at our jobs and not in our lives.

Now, I'm not excusing the Party of I Hate You or these teabagging excuses for human beings who think education is vaguely homosexual in some sinister way, but I am saying that the lesson we're all going to take away from this is that America just isn't a Democratic nation and we should all tack to the right and us hippies should just die in a fire already, which is bullshit. The lesson we should take away from this is that America doesn't like [wimps], doesn't like whiners and it sure as fuck doesn't like parties that pretend to be able to do less than they can do just because they don't want to work that hard or have Chris Matthews call them mean.

You had majorities. You had power and you told us you were powerless. Why would anyone reward that with more power? Why would anyone think that's a good idea?

Go leave her some love.

Also, Rahm Emanuel and Tim Kaine better never run into me in a dark alley. Way to fuck up everything Dr. Dean did, you two worthless, dipshit, running-dog, mercenaries.



Remember that the real work of change is always going on—if not in Washington, then in thousands of towns and neighborhoods and communities, if not in the halls of power, then in the streets. Don’t be complacent, but don’t despair. All around us are allies working for more justice, more freedom, more ecological balance, more peace. This is not a time to fall back, but to step up, to be bolder, braver, louder, funnier, more inventive, more outrageous, more committed. Political winds blow back and forth—hold to your deepest values, and we’ll stay the course.


Finally, here's Digby, quoting Hillary Clinton, quoting Harriet Tubman:
I thought that Hillary Clinton had it right when she said at the Democratic Convention in 2008:
"My mother was born before women could vote, my daughter got to vote for her mother for President. This is the story of America, of women and men who defy the odds and never give up.

So how do we give this country back to them? By following the example of a brave New Yorker, a woman who risked her li[fe] to bring slaves to freedom along the underground railroad.

On that path to freedom, Harriet Tubman had one piece of advice:

‘If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If they’re shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop, keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.’

And even in the darkest moments. That is what Americans have done. We have found the faith to keep going."

Keep the faith. And anyway, what choice do we have?

Picture found here.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

But It Bends Towards Justice

The pessimist sees the problems in every opportunity. Whereas the optimist sees the opportunity in every problem

Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.

~Winston Churchill

Monday, November 01, 2010

Obstructing Traffic

Nov. 14, 1917. The Night of Terror. Women were to be "taught a lesson" for wanting to vote.

I suppose that, tomorrow, you can find the time to vote. Don't you owe it to these women?

I do.


Hat tip: Susie.

Also, just go read Dancing in the Streets by B. Ehrenreich.

I Sincerely Suggest That You Take Yourself to the Polls Tomorrow

No, I don't like all the choices that I've got. But I intend to exercise the choice that my dad preserved for me when, a kid right out of high school in a backwards, beet-farming, hick town in Colorado, he joined the Navy to make sure that Hitler and the Japanese Emperor didn't take away from working people (his one, true passion) the right to vote. I intend to exercise the choice that my foremothers won for me when they were jailed for demonstrating for votes for women outside the White House and were beaten, force fed, hung from their wrists all night, and forced to defend themselves against charges of being insane because they wanted women to have the right to vote. I intend to spend the 15 or 20 minutes that it will take to drive to my local community center, give my name to the registrar, go into the booth, and vote.

I shan't be gone long. You come, too.
Because I'm a woman. Because I'm a Witch. Because I'm a magic-worker. Because I can.

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.

I know that a recent study indicated that early detection via breast self exams might not be "cost effective." I'm not a scientist, but when I read those studies, they appear to be saying that sometimes women find a lump during the BSE that turns out not to be cancer. Those women have caused some expense and have gone through some discomfort in order to find out that the lump wasn't cancer. I don't know about you, but when that happens to me, as it has a few times since my first mammogram found a small, curable, cancerous lump, I go out and buy a new scarf, take myself out for a decadent lunch, call everyone I know, and declare it a good day.

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. If you have a deck, pick three cards and e-mail me at I'll email you back your reading. If you don't have a deck, go to Lunea's tarot listed on the right-hand side in my blog links. Pick three cards from her free, on-line tarot and email me at I'll email you back your reading.

Picture found here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010