That first love

There’s a person out there who will always have a piece of my heart. We weren’t meant to be together, and the love faded in time, as happens when that’s the case. But he has always been someone that is incredibly special to me.

You see, we grew up together. We did stupid teenager stuff together. We got high together, we explored kink together, we spent hours and hours digging through the woods for rocks together. He lost his virginity to me. And as far as I know, he still has my name tattooed on his arm.

And he’s in bad, bad shape. He had a massive stroke a few days ago, and he seemed like he was doing better. Now he’s doing much worse. The swelling and bleeding in his brain has taken over, and from what I can tell, it looks like he won’t make it. I’m gleaning as much information from Facebook as possible from his wife and sister’s posts, so I only know so much.  I’m going to visit tomorrow.

He’s 40. We were supposed to live SO much longer than this. We were supposed to live forever, in fact.  What the fuck happened?
It’s been a long year of that.  Asking what the fuck happened.  I don’t have any answers.  I won’t get any answers.  It just is what it is.  The wheel turns, and our time has a limit.  It makes it tough to keep any faith that there is something better out there.  It’s nearly impossible to believe that the nearly constant loss will let up.  It’s the dying of the year, and it feels like my spirit is dying a little too.

I hope I don’t have to write another letter to put on the altar.  😦

 

Prom

Prom- was I really that young and thin?

 

 

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Samhain Altar

Samhain altar

Samhain altar

This is it! The only thing we have left to add is letters. I’m going to write a letter to my dad, and Bear and J might write letters to their loved ones as well. I’ll place them on the altar (behind everything), and then we’ll burn them on Samhain.

The incense also turned out really well. The patchouli didn’t come out as strong as I thought, but the cypress is DELICIOUS. It’s definitely worth making again. 🙂

Characterization and multiple personality disorder

I had a revelation today that shouldn’t have been a revelation. All of my characters are really part of my own personality. I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me before.

I mean, honestly.. Don’t ALL writers do that? Don’t we all take part of our consciousness and spill it out into a page in some way or another? And don’t we all end up writing facets of our own personalities?

In terms of an astrological chart, I think I’ve figured it out. Vine is my sun sign, Bear is my ascendant. Vesta is my moon, while Rowan is my Mercury and Trixie is my Venus. Liam is my Mars, June is Jupiter, and Aggie and Branwyn both share the dubious distinction of being my Saturn sides. As for the rest of the planets, I’m sure they’re there too.

I should really do an astrological chart for Vine. *ponders*

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What brought about this revelation is a short story that I began noodling out on my way to work today. I had a great line in mind, and I developed it as I drove. I think it’s kind of fabulous, and it really sums up how I’ve been feeling lately. In short, it’s negative, self-pitying, and all of those dark gooey things that we don’t like to admit to.

As I began to write it, I realized that it was an attempt to work some of that stuff out of my subconscious. And the only person who could have said these things was Aggie. It occurred to me that she’s my Saturn. She’s the limitations that I impose on myself and that life imposes on me. She’s the person who goes through all the personal tragedy and loss, and she’s one tough bitch because of it. But it hasn’t left her without a certain amount of bitterness.

And in this story, she’s experiencing yet another loss. She’s trying to make light of it with a messed-up metaphor, and it’s barely concealing the fact that she’s feeling helpless. But instead of crying and flailing, she tries to make a joke and drinks another sip of scotch.

I can really relate to it right now. And I think now that I know what I’m doing (as far as working out personal things through her), it will be helpful for me. I also think that having a drink or two while I’m writing it will help. It’s definitely a story that I need to relax into. My hope is that it doesn’t become a pity-fest, but that it becomes its own, fully-realized short story. We shall see.

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So here’s a goat for Aggie. And for me. And for all the shit that we’ve gone through.

Gathering ingredients for Samhain incense

My husband is lovely.  Simply lovely.  He truly is the best thing in my life.  And when I asked him yesterday if he would like to go to the cemetery with me to gather some ingredients for incense, he didn’t hesitate.  He was even a bit excited for another one of my cemetery adventures.

Cypress

A gravesite being taken over by a leaning cypress tree

He gave me space to meditate and commune with the trees to ask if I could use some of their materials for my incense, and he held what I had collected while I went on my mad search to find the next thing I needed.  Did I mention that he was sick and felt gnarly the whole time?  He’s lovely.

At any rate, I haven’t decided if I’m going to list my entire ingredient roster here, since I have a dream of one day hawking my incense wares on ETSY or some similar forum.  But I will show what I got on my collecting trip.

Ingredients

This is the stuff I gathered for my Samhain incense and altar

I got some graveyard dirt (and quartz and acorns and a shard of milk glass) to put into a small jar to keep on the altar.  I also got some leaves from a live oak, and cypress needles and bark.  The cypress smells soooooo good!  Those will all go into my incense.

Unrelated to the Samhain incense, I also got some lovely, crispy-dry hop flowers from an unnamed source.  Hops are great for anything having to do with sleep or relaxation.  They may find their way into a dream pillow at some point.

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On Figment a few days ago, there was a contest where you were asked to describe a totem in 33 words.  I seriously thought about it, and while I decided not to enter the contest, I did consider totems in my world, and which character would benefit from something of that nature.  Vine weaves charms into her dreadlocks as she moves along on her journey, and that was what sprang to mind immediately.  However, I began to think about some of the more peripheral characters, and dreamt up a short story for a character that’s dedicated to Cernunnos.  I’m feeling especially drawn to Cernunnos right now, probably due to the time of the year, and it seemed to write itself.  Now to type it out.  🙂

Pain and Tiwaz

Good news: I found my runes while looking through my old herb collection!
Bad news:  All of my herbs are waaaayyy too old and stale to use for anything.  They all smell like dust.

Good news: I found a great supplier who sells the herbs I need cheap on Ebay!
Bad news: I spent my last $20 getting some things I needed for a Samhain incense.  Should have been more responsible.

Bad news: Spent last night in the ER.  😦  Have been having some serious back pain, which escalated in a major way last night.  I was also having trouble breathing.  I was scared that I was having a heart attack.  Everyone else is doing it, I thought it was my turn.  😦
Good news:  They Xrayed my chest, and heart and lungs look good!  Also got an ultrasound, and my gallbladder and liver look good as well.  I was really nervous about 3 of those 4 things in particular.  My heart, for obvious reasons, my lungs because of all the lung cancer in my family, and my liver because that’s where the majority of the pain is centered.

Bad news: Still no idea where the pain is coming from then.  It’s mostly centered around my right rib cage, but my entire back is pretty fucked up as well.  I’m a little worried it might be something chronic.
Good news:  I pocketed a vial of my own blood that was just sitting there when I was released.  It’s going on the Samhain altar.

Good news: I’m making a Samhain altar.
Bad news: I don’t know where all my stuff is so I’m having to buy more.  I really should organize one day.

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This pain thing really has me in a weird headspace.  I’m kind of feeling like this is my karmic lesson for this lifecycle.  My great skill is endurance.  I endure pain and stress.  It’s pretty much the thing that I’m best at.

I’ve had chronic pain from my hip for most of my life.  I had a hip replacement and a hysterectomy when I was 31, and that alleviated most of my pain.  It was such a huge, welcome relief.  I hardly knew what to do with myself for those years that I felt good.

But it’s creeping back up on me.  Part of it is that I have a somewhat physical job.  I could handle it if it wasn’t for my hip, and the way my body/skeletal/muscular system was twisted (straightened, actually, but I was so used to being twisted from my bad hip that the straightening fucked everything up).  I sometimes feel OK, just a slight ache, and sometimes I feel like I’m being stabbed.  There also isn’t a single morning that I wake up where I’m not in pain.  It’s been a while since I’ve felt that way, but it goes a long way to robbing me of any joie de vivre I might otherwise be able to summon in the morning.

I’m just..  Tired.  Very, very tired.  All I want to do is sleep and hide from pain.  There isn’t a great way to do that and make a living.  If I move around too much (like at work), I hurt.  If I sit around here at the house, I hurt.  I can take ibuprofen and feel somewhat better, but if I took the dosage I need as often as I need it, my stomach would be a bleeding mess.  I’m going to switch to Naproxen and see if that doesn’t do the trick.

So, I just keep doing what I have to do.  I have to work to pay bills, etc.

Why am I bringing this up here, on my writing blog?  Because it’s yet another excuse for why I haven’t been writing.  You would think that writing would be just the thing to get me through all of this, but I find that I don’t have joy for much these days, except for Bear.  I’m going to try to power through, but it just is what it is.

Also, reading back at previous entries, I’m noticing a trend.  I come here to make excuses for why I’m not writing.  Maybe if I was a bit easier on myself, the stress wouldn’t compound like it does.  Because I’m 100% sure the stress is just making things worse.

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Anyways, enough whining.

As I was digging through my herbs, I found my runes!  I have been looking for them ever since I moved to this house, and I was SO happy to find them.  However, the paper I’d printed with the meanings wasn’t there.  That’s fine, I’ll make a new one.

Today I pulled Tiwaz.

Tiwaz

Tiwaz

According to this website;

Tiwaz:    This is the Rune of faith, truth, trust, loyalty and devotion, summed up by the old word “troth.”  You can expect justice, especially if you base your actions on well thought out plans.  The path to enlightenment may lead through self-sacrifice.  If you have dark corners, clean them out now.    If you need help to cleanse the corners, seek an expert.  Only then can the harvest ripen.  If you evidence “troth,” you can expect it in return.  This Rune may signify a scientist, philosopher or scholar.

Hopefully soon, I’ll dig out my tarot cards as well.

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I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos lately.  If you’d like to see my favorites, check me out over there at http://www.youtube.com/user/AmieRavenson

One of the things that really strikes me about some of these videos is the materialism of Wiccans and Pagans.  We do like to have our specific herbs/candles/oils/etc.  I’m guilty of this myself.  However, I definitely believe that you should be able to build an altar in your mind, and do a ritual with nothing more than your imagination.

I may make a video on that topic.  It’s one of those ‘maybe someday’ projects.  Along with a description of the difference between Wiccans and Pagans and why I don’t tend to call myself Wiccan.  *shrug*

Vine- Character sketch

VINE  (Capricorn)

Smells like: Rosewood

Patron deity:  It’s a surprise!

Color: Green, midnight blue, black

Music: World fusion

Food: Candy

Animal: Toad

Number: 8

Tree: Birch

Style: Colorful, crafty/punk, leather Domme when she dresses up

Eye Color: Grey blue → midnight blue

Hair Color: Blue → purple → iridescent black

Skin Color: Pale

Car: 1995 Jeep grand cherokee

House: Sprawling English manor, grey stone, lush gardens at the end of a long, gravel driveway

Distinguishing Characteristics: Dorky, sarcastic, fiercely protective of her family,

Job: Photography

Hobbies: Photography, watching horror movies, reading, brewing, gardening

Relationships: Partners are Bear and Trixie

Sexuality: Pansexual

Bad Habits: Candy, drinking, food as comfort, smothering people she cares about by trying to take care of them.

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This is one of my reference photos.  Click the photo for a link to the original page.

Vine- a reference picture

Vine- a reference picture

 

Throw about 10 years and 50 lbs on her, and you’ll be pretty close.  🙂

Other animal omens

I’ve also had quite a few other critters show up in my life.

First, the ant bite.  (I’m thinking about tattooing a small, pink dot there on my finger to commemorate the event.)  Ants, to me at least, represent industriousness and hard work.  They’re relentless when they’re pursuing their goal, and organize themselves to get it.  They also have that hive-mind mentality, which doesn’t really apply to me, but I think the industriousness definitely applies.

Second, I heard a fight between a hawk and two crows a few mornings ago.  I don’t know what it was over, and I didn’t actually SEE it, just heard it as I was waking up in the morning/afternoon.  (I’m a night person)  I don’t know exactly who won, but everyone flew off in different directions cawing or screeing depending on species.

Bear and I, (The Ravensons), are fighting something really big right now that I don’t want to talk about here.  We have this one huge, looming, terrible thing that we’re trying really hard to avoid.  I’m choosing to see the crows as us, and I’m choosing to believe that they chased the predatory hawk away from their home, or somehow defended themselves from the hawk.  That’s what works for me and my mindset right now, and dammit, that’s what it represents if I say so.  😀

I also found this sad little guy outside a drug store.  He was in front of a window, and I suppose he had flown into the window.  I thought he might be a parakeet because of his bright coloring, but then I looked up parakeet and realized that the beak was all wrong.  I also realized that I know virtually nothing about smaller bird species.  He (?) appears to be a small warbler or wagtail of some sort.

Image

Aside from the obvious symbolism of the death of something innocent and beautiful, or perhaps the dying of the year in preparation for winter, I don’t know what else this could symbolize.  It was just sad.  So, weirdo that I am, I took a picture.  *shrug*

Here’s something happier.