Archive

Hey there, so glad you popped by! I've moved to a new address, however, and you can find my new blog at: The Weaver's Apprentice as of Monday, January 26, 2015. I hope you'll come visit me there! See you soon! XOXO

Friday, February 07, 2014

Doors

In the attempt to embrace my Nine Words for 2014 (in this instance, Brave), here's another first for me... sharing something I've written with anyone other than my laptop or my cat.

Months and months ago I wrote a piece for a flash fiction challenge from Chuck Wendig over at terribleminds... If you've never encountered his writing, do yourself a favor and go introduce yourself to one of his books... you'll be glad to make its acquaintance.

Without further ado, here's the blurb I wrote for the prompt FLEA MARKETS. Enjoy! ^-^


Doors

Kat poked through the piles of junk, the tables full of treasures. She had no particular item in mind, but browsed the aisles piled high with anything and everything imaginable, searching for a special something. She would know it when she found it.

She wandered around for what felt like a terribly long time. As she was getting ready to give up her search, she found it. It being an old, slightly rusted door knob attached to a back plate with a large key hole. It also came with a skeleton key that weighed heavily in her hands. There was no price tag.

“How much did you want for this?” she asked the seller. The old woman raised bushy eyebrows and peered at Kat with her bleary, aged eyes.
“That? How did that get here? Hmm. I suppose I could give it to you for $5... if you're sure you want it. Although why anyone would need that many doors, I'm sure I don't know.”
Kat handed the woman the money and carefully placed her purchase in her messenger bag. She looked back up at the old woman.
“What did you mean, about the doors? This is only for one door.”
The old seller scrunched up her wrinkly face as she laughed. “Ah, young lady, that knob will lead you through more doors than you think, if you will it.”

With that, she turned away to help another customer. Kat left the woman to her next customer and walked back toward the bus stop.

As she sat on the bus, she thought about the old seller's words. They sounded like something out of a fairy tale. She thought how lovely it would be if life had fairy tale magic, but how it most certainly did not. At least not for someone like her, a college student working at a coffee shop, who could barely pay her bills. Yeah, she'd definitely welcome some fairy tale magic.

That night she couldn't sleep. She tossed and turned, then finally got up to take some NyQuil, hoping it would knock her out for a few hours. Around four in the morning she gave up and went to her kitchen.

She made some tea and toast, then sat down to more closely examine the doorknob. It was strangely heavy, just as the key was. She held it up to get a better look at the design etched onto the knob. She glanced through the keyhole and what she saw nearly made her drop it. She set it down on the table and took a deep breath. Maybe she'd taken more of the cough syrup than she'd thought. Because she was obviously hallucinating. She had to be, right? Yes, she decided, she had to be, because moonlit gardens simply do not exist in the key holes of old doorknobs.

She held it up again and purposefully looked through the keyhole this time. Sure enough, the garden was still there. “Through more doors than I think, if I will it,” she whispered to herself. She walked over to her kitchen wall and placed the knob against it. She let go and found that it held fast to where she'd placed it. Slowly, she turned the knob to the right. It didn't budge. It was locked.

Of course it was, she thought, that's why there's a key. She grabbed the key off the table and walked back over to the knob on the wall. Kat inserted the key, turned it, then turned the knob to the right again. The whole doorknob promptly detached from the wall and she had to scramble to catch it.

“What the hell...” she muttered.

She looked through the keyhole again and saw the garden was still there. Her eyebrows drew together as she replaced the knob on the wall. She inserted the key once again and turned the knob to the left. A door that hadn't been there seconds ago easily opened out of her wall. She gazed through it into the garden bathed in moonlight, smelling of sweet flowers and green, growing things. The warm Summer air enveloped her and fireflies beckoned her forward. She stepped through the doorway onto a dirt path and didn't look back.


Sunday, February 02, 2014

Wild Women (who run with wolves) and how I didn't forget Imbolc this year.

This is the first year that Imbolc hasn't snuck up on me and then zipped past with just the barest of nods while I'm still trying to figure out how I managed to miss most of the month of January. I am feeling proud of myself. ^_^

Back in January, I picked my One Word for 2014: Balance.

I've known that most areas of my life have not in balance for a long time. My health, my finances, my sleep or lack thereof, my spiritual practice and creativity (really, my lack thereof) just to name a few are what I've noticed the most as of late.

I want this year to see me find my balance with myself and the world around me. I want to learn that even though I might wobble a bit, this doesn't mean I have to topple completely. I want to find my balance, my center and learn how to re-find it when I wander off.

Several weeks ago I participated in a discussion on books and book suggestions. A friend of my friend suggested she read Women who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. My friends replied that that particular book was one of those kinds of books that you need to read at the right time, and I totally agree with her.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes is one of my favorite authors. She is an amazing story teller and listening to her read her own books for their audio book versions is pure magic. She has a voice and words that spear through, right to your soul. Right to wherever they need to go.

I'd tried reading WWRWTW twice before, but I just couldn't get into it. I'd been eyeing in on my bookshelf for a few weeks, thinking I ought to crack it open and see if it spoke to me this time.

Third time's the charm. Where I couldn't make myself focus before, and found myself having to re-read whole pages because my mind just wouldn't focus, I found laser sharp focus this time. Each word seems as if it was written for me, written to tell me what I need to hear right at this moment in my life.

I am having one of those times in my life where everything I read seems interconnected somehow. I remember the last time I tried to read WWRWTW I had just finished Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, and I had Wild Women on my mind, but the time just wasn't right yet.

The whole book is amazing, but one of the characters in Beauty Queens stood out the most to me. Her name is Mary Lou, and she wears a purity ring given to her by her mother because the women of their family are "cursed". Without the ring, they are all "Wild Girls" who like adventure and sex and aren't apologetic for it, which of course is deemed unacceptable by society at large.

This got me thinking about every woman's "Wild Girl/Woman" and how we're encouraged to beat her down, lock her up, medicate her into oblivion and most of all fear her.

This dovetailed perfectly with the few pages I'd managed to read and comprehend from WWRWTW, and it started me thinking about the kind of woman I was, currently am, and the kind of woman I want to be.

I started reading WWRWTW this third time, and realized that I had locked my Wild Woman away without even knowing it. But now that I know she's there, patiently (sometimes not-so-patiently) waiting for me to remove the debris from my most recent emotional/psychological cave-in, and all the ones I haven't cleaned up after before this, I have rolled up my sleeves and grabbed my shit shovel and have been shoveling away.

Another literary web strand I've found is from the Black Jewels trilogy by Anne Bishop, which I read as a teenager. At one point, the character Jaenelle has withdrawn from the world and is inside her mind, her psyche, rebuilding herself. She's putting back into place the pieces of a shattered chalice, one tiny piece at a time. She knows that if she goes too fast, it'll just crumble again, and therefore so will she. Slow work, deep work, hard work are what's needed to mend the chalice and make her whole again.

I feel that by allowing the imbalances I'm aware of in my life go unattended for so long, I've allowed the cracks in my Self to get bigger and weaker, and so when great stress was applied I almost collapsed in on myself.

So this year I'm striving for balance, and am learning how to ground and center myself. Last year's SouLodge journeys helped me learn how to go down deep into myself and how to listen to myself and to other guides in my life. I know that if I keep journeying, many of the troubles/blockages I faced while working through SouLodge in 2013 will no longer be there due to my current Self repair.

This year I'm learning what makes me happy, makes my soul sing, makes my spirit feel nourished and well-fed and then doing those things.

I was doing some reading on Imbolc since it's the holiday that I forget the most, and I'm always bothered that I forgot. One of the things I read from almost every single article was that Imbolc was a time to set intention for the rest of the coming year. It's time to not only start Spring cleaning your house, but your Self too.

Reading that same idea over and over again got me thinking. When we Spring clean our homes, we get rid of all the things we no longer need, scrub every nook and cranny and get into all the little spaces that we might not otherwise clean on a regular basis. Since we give this much time and attention to detail in our homes, why not devote the same kind of love and attention to ourselves?

Getting rid of things from the Self that we no longer want to claim can by much harder work, I think, than getting rid of a pair of jeans you no longer wear. I can be messy and painful and difficult, but I know that it's worth it.

I also think that when we get rid of shit we don't need to be part of our Self anymore, we have the marvelous opportunity to plant seeds of who and what we do want to be.

Veronica Varlow wrote a blog post on How to Become the Person You Want to Be in 2014. In it she outlines how she picks nine adjectives for how she wants to describe herself in the coming year. She also outlines the candle burning ritual she does to cement these words.

The past few years I've been a big fan of picking just One Word. It gives me a simple, attainable goal to strive for throughout the year. But this year I took her challenge and picked the nine adjectives that I want to embody in 2014. I feel like this year is going to be a magical year, full of change and fun and wonderment. A year of applying some good  ol' C-4 to my fears and what I let bind me or stop me from being the woman I want to be.

So this year my One Word turned into Nine Words, and I'm okay with that. I think I'm going to turn them into Nine Pages and do some art journaling. ^___^

Soooo... here are my Nine Words of what I am going to embody in this coming year:

Adventurous
Attuned
Balanced
Brave
Creative
Happy
Sensual
Wild Woman
Wise

I am going to be adventurous and try things I want to do, but have never done.
I'm going to be brave enough to do them, even though I'm scared.
I am going to be attuned to my body and my spirituality.
I am finding my balance and correcting imbalances so they don't get out of hand.
I am indulging in my creativity - whether that be dancing, singing, baking, spinning yarn or spinning poi, painting or general mess-making; whatever it means to me at that particular moment, I'm doing it.
I am going to revel in my sensuality, love my body and take better care of it.
I am going to free my Wild Woman and we're going to run and laugh and paint the town.
I am going to do all the things that make me happy.
I am going to learn and experience as much as I can, in hopes that I will gain wisdom.

I hope that whatever dreams and goals you've set for yourself this coming year are realized to their fullest. Blessed Imbolc my dearies!

XOXO

Saturday, February 01, 2014

About the day I ran away and joined the Circus

So last Sunday I ran away and joined the circus. Well, for a few hours I did.

I've been wanting to learn to spin (poi) for years. And years, and a few more years...

But I've always had excuses consisting of lack of time, money, someone to teach me, etc. On the 15th of this month, Britt and I went on a date to Vaudvillingham, and there on the table, next to the gigantic top hat where you put your admission donation, was a flyer for a poi workshop on the 26th.

I picked up a flyer and then watched the amazing show that night. I thought about how long I'd been wanting to learn to spin. About how the workshop was only $10. About how I always seem to find excuses for why I can't do the things that interest me...

So I committed to going, and I went. And I had the best three hours I've had in months. The instructor and his girlfriend/wife were amazingly knowledgeable and helpful. They were able to interact with all of the people who showed up, regardless of their experience level, and work with them on both existing and new skills.

Now, I am almost painfully socially awkward. I'm working on it, but I still don't fit into a crowd very well. ^_^

But I went anyways and found that everyone there was quite nice and very helpful. The idea with the workshop was that "Everyone is a teacher, everyone is a student", and that was amazing. Everyone helped everyone, whether it was teaching a new move, help in mastering something or just offering encouragement. Simply telling someone that they're going to get it and encouraging them not to give up even though they're frustrated was wonderful to hear.

Most of the attendees had been spinning for at least a little while, and I was one of two or three people who were totally new.

Well, I'd been practicing a little bit in my kitchen, but when I arrived I still wasn't able to spin both poi at the same time without smacking myself with one of them. Luckily Britt had bought me some soft(ish) vinyl poi with LEDs inside, so even though it hurts when I smack myself in the face, it's not too terribly and my glasses don't break. ^____^

Everyone was wonderful and helpful and I learned a lot of stuff.

I am really glad I went, and rather proud too, since I've been known to wuss out at the last minute when it comes to doing things I've never done with people I don't know.

But I've decided that I'm sick of being lame, so I'm going to go places and do things and meet new people and, god forbid, I might even make some friends while I'm at it.

So... as another first for me, here's a video of me practicing in our apartment complex parking lot. Britt says that my expression is "constipated looking". I'm fairly certain that I look like I'm concentrating on not smacking myself in the face, but whatever...

Enjoy! =D

XOXO



Eek! Sorry this is so dark! At least you can see the LEDs in my poi... lolz. Next time I'll have Britt help me take video while there's still some light outside... ^____^