Sunday, September 28, 2008

Joke of the Week...after E

Too funny...almost as good as the real thing...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Autumn Equinox

I know I've written a bit my struggles with religion on a personal level. It's been difficult for me to figure out how and what I want to worship, I think, because of what I study. I know that I have a desire for religion in my life and I was very clear about what was out (any kind of Christian Evangelicalism). What I really wanted was to go back in time to Neopaganism but alas we can only simulate time machines not actually be them. I couldn't go back to practicing Neopaganism the way I had when I was twenty. However, I'm finding that I can work Neopaganism into the person I am now. It is of course taking a little trial and error.

Having purchased Star Hawk's book Circle Round, I was giddy with plans to introduce my children to Goddess' rituals. This has not been the case. I bought the book in March and have yet to implement any of the rituals into our lives. We've talked a lot about goddesses, Wicca, etc but haven't really done anything. Right now it just seems like a lot of work with everything else going on in my life. Since I'm a perfectionist I want everything to go according to this model inside my head. This means having just the right material, doing the perfect circle, etc. When I don't have the things I feel like I need, I scrap everything.
I knew Autumn Equinox was coming so I just decided this was going to be our first official ritual. I made plans and a list of things I needed. And naturally the weekend up just being entirely too hectic for me to get what I needed. I didn't have an altar and really had no idea what was going to be the altar. I didn't have the right color candles, no gourds to decorate with, etc. So when Monday came, i felt really bummed out. I talked to the kids throughout the day about autumn, and we talked about what we liked and didn't like about the season changing. We made plans for some for fun fall things to do (apple picking, picking out pumpkins, etc). As I was handing out candy caramels for dessert after lunch, I suddenly realized my kids had never made caramel apples. What a perfect "fall" thing to do. I didn't see it as a ritual really until my friend Amber said "That's what it's all about." And I realized how right she was.

Getting wrapped up in having all the right material was way too much like my formal religion days. What had attracted me to Wicca was that it was the complete opposite in so many ways of formal church. Rituals could be fun or serious. They could be about simple things like making candy apples, or working through some anger. The group I was in certainly had formal rituals complete with candles, altars, and ceremony but in my private devotion things were not always so formal. I found that just being open to different things could turn something as ordinary as a walk into a sacred moment. And really that was one i wanted from religion. Despite my family's grand talk of religion being everyday, and blah blah, most of them practice Xianity on Sunday. And the rest of the week was totally devalued of any kind of sacredness. They might pray everyday but there was no religion in simple movements through life. What I want for my children is that they appreciate the sacred in being together and in the small things that make life breathtaking wonderful even if only for a moment.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Obama Rally

More on politics later. I want to write a thoughtful post but have loads of correcting and reading to do. Bottom line: we went to an Obama rally today. Umberto is crazy about Obama and we had a chance to see and hear him talk so we went. Here's some of the pictures:
This is about half of the line at 10:30 (they started letting people into the rally area at 11).

Us walking...the line is still three blocks away!

Waiting in line...initially they were awesome and excited;P
Some other participants walking to the end (very far away) of the line.

'Cause you know that Obama supporters are all going to hell. I figure vote for Obama to annoy the Jesus people. Of course this is nothing on them later when they hauled their "aborted baby" pictures out and yelled "Obama serves Satan!" H and I are planning a protest when McCain/Palin of dead children from U.S. bombs along with photos of the animals killed and skinned by Palin. H thinks we should chant "McCain serves Satan!"
Dragons for Obama!

The crowd...we were right in the middle so we couldn't see crap but it was cool to be around so many excited, energized people. Umberto in the crowd...waiting not so patiently for Obama.

Camille cheering with the crowd.

Umberto's picture of the man. This picture has such a cool story. I was holding up Umberto but I was still too short to get Umberto over the heads of the crowd. Add to this that the kid weights like 60 something pounds, and we weren't having much luck. I kept having to put him down . One tall guy was holding up his teenage daughter, and when done, turned to me: "Does he want to see Obama?" I said yes, and he lifted up Umberto , and then the guy next to me helped him so that Umberto was basically sitting on their hands. They held him up until he got his picture. Umberto was glowing!

The line as we were LEAVING the rally. It was still about a mile long, and he was half way into his speech.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Oven Mitted Life

Edited: I wrote this a few years ago....didn't realize it had posted as yesterday.

For the last twenty three years, I've been depressed off and on. There were temporary breaks. These breaks were almost painful. They were moments of lucidity in an otherwise murky world. I remember the first break came the second time I did acid. I remember thinking to myself over and over..."This is what pure joy feels like." It only happened once on drugs even though I spent some time trying to recapture that moment. Reality was bitingly harsh after that moment. I felt happy sometimes but it was like there was damper over everything I did....that black cloud. Another break came when I meet Horacio, and we were falling love. The moment is captured for me the day we were having a water gun fight...silliness but joy. But it was fleeting that joy, and even though I have known more happiness with him than anyone, I still felt that damper.

I have spent my life seeking out an intensity of emotion that out weighs the depression. Usually it was sex and/or falling in love again and again. I suspect my friends thought I was slightly nuts at the easiness in which I fell in love but you see those first few months of love were intense...just intense enough to ease the cover off of my emotions. To bring a bit of light into the darkness to use a cliche. But of course it was always so disastrous as falling in love at the drop of a hat can be. I used to think I could fall in love with just about anyone. It was desperation but not really desperation for love. I realize now that my life has been blessed with love: the love of friends, my family (no matter how fucked up they may be). No my desperation was for intensity and emotion.

Two years ago I had a summer that was pure joy. I don't know what it was about that summer but it was beautiful. I can still remember how the simplest things made me want to dance or laugh. I remember how the smell of the sun on my children's hair sent me swooning. The days were lazy and spontaneous--parks and pools, bookstores and eating out. For the first time, I felt that my love for Horacio and my children was unbarred. There was nothing dampening the emotion. And then it ended.

Have you ever tried to do anything with one of those mitten like oven mitts? They're a useful tool for handling hot pans but they make doing anything else nearly impossible. You lose all fine motor control. You can't handle anything with delicate precision. All you can do is fumble through the big things. That's my life.

So yesterday I finally called the school health clinic. I have avoided drugs for this my whole life. Over the last few months, I have come to realize how much depression cripples me. It is not a creative outlet like I used to imagine. Depression destroys my ability to function. I sleep during the day because it is the only thing I feel like I can do. I can't write. I can't read. I can't play with my children. I can't feel anything. I feel crushed and destroyed. Every moment is a moment waiting for it to all come apart. So I picked up the phone and made an appointment. I need to see the psychiatrist. I am depressed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Snapshots of Home

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Chilly morning air under gray sky but no rain. Only a taste of autumn because tomorrow it's going to be 80 again. Sometimes she misses New England with its crisp guarantee of cool fall weather and glorious leaves. Sometimes she misses feeling this seasonal melancholy while walking through leaves. But mostly she realizes that the restlessness feels the same whether here or there. It's not a place feeling. It's a wandering feeling that goes travels with you.

Today she sits, pondering why she always loses weight in the winter when she should be storing fat for the cold. She can hear children laughing and playing across the road. Her own child sleeps, curled like a cat on a sofa pillow. She knows this absurd thought process only masks the stirrings of something deep within her...something scary and a bit primitive. She tries to keep it at bay through silly thoughts, useless actions, domestic chores. She wonders if all women feel this a calling from Lilith not Eve with her goody goody Adam, falling for the oldest trick in the book, sweet talk from a snake.

"Maybe," she thinks, "I'll get a pumpkin spice latte on my way to scoop up the other children."

Monday, September 15, 2008

More Surfacing

Still not unpacked. I lost my energy sometime midweek, and while I managed to clear all but one box out of the dining room everything else is a mess. I manage to keep my kitchen clean and clothes washed but everything else just feels like its too much. And my insomnia has returned. I finally get into my own home, a nice bed, and I can't sleep. Go figure.

The autumn is a time of restless for me. I distinctly remember not only feeling restless but writing about it last year about this same time. Perhaps it's just that I feel so dreadfully overwhelmed by life. At this time, it all too often feels like everything is coming apart. This is the time when I began to second guess my whole life (minus H and children, I'm still pretty ok about them). This year it's felt like the support I had at school has fallen away. Couple this with just feeling like the whole MA in Religious Studies feels amazingly self-indulgent. But there is still a part of me that loves what I do and wonders if I'd love anything else as much. Plus there's that stupid thesis...written and hidden away on my hard drive. The thesis I literally have not looked at in almost six months. I know I need to face that demon.

And this is all just making me feel like I want to run away. But it's awfully hard to run away when you're a grown up.

I am feeling like writing again but I have no time. Until I have time, I'm going to post pictures of Mexico. I'll start with the beginning of our journey...a step backwards into memory.

Friday, September 12, 2008


After a long summer, I am finally really connected to the Internet. And I am in my own space with utilities! Right now there are still many boxes piled in the dining room but most of our stuff is out. Books are definitely out and on the shelves. My kitchen was the first room done because it is vital for me to have a fully functional kitchen. The kids' room was next as it seemed important for them to have some stability. Our room will be done this weekend, and the attic rooms are covered in toys but hopefully will be organized by Sunday. I am still in love though, and being in this space only makes me feel more like I am finally home. Of course I have these acute moments when I feel totally out of place as if I am only playing at house. For some reason these feelings are stronger in this place. I am not dealing well with being a grown up:)

And mingled with all this joy of having space finally, and making that space more and more us, I am stressed. I still have a thesis to write. I am teaching my own class this semester. H finds totally submerged into this job. The kids are in school yes but this means lots of volunteering, running them back and forth, and dealing with a very lonely Piper. I'm afraid my blog is becoming a casualty of this stress.

But things will calm down. I have faith. There is so much to write about...stories from my past, notes from my reading, and of course, the political situation in the U.S.

Right now I find myself deeply disappointed in the political situation. I was listening on NPR to a woman who had once supported H. Clinton rallying for Palin, and I felt sick to my stomach. Having a vagina does not make one a feminist. Palin is a far right conservative, who supports taking choice away from woman, bans books from libraries, and use cronyism to fire people she doesn't like. She has very little experience, to the point where she has never left the country. Her own support of abstinence in sex education obviously didn't work so hot in her own family. I'm just stunned that McCain would pick someone that totally alienates anyone with a liberal bent. While I wasn't so hot on Obama's choice of Biden, I could totally see that it was a choice towards the middle.

But right now I have to shower, load kids up in the car, and head to school where I'll be energized by singing silly songs with Mr. Artie.