Why is everything I try to do coming out stilted and slow today? I blame you. The general, faceless you. The you who keeps telling me I need to be smaller, wittier, brief.
Move. Between justice and mercy, between nakedness and warfare, between all that you would not do and all you have done, unknowing...
We draw a line around what is sacred, to set it apart as special. We imagine the planet as a precious blue marble floating in space, so small and far away we cannot see the delicate contours of our own faces turned upwards towards the night sky, doing the imagining. We worship the lands that give us life, the earth that sustains us with its salty waters and wild winds, its mud and grit. We encircle the world in the darkness of outer space, and it shimmers all the brighter. But when we're not paying attention, the lines we draw around the sacred can cut us right through the middle.
Sometimes what I want is a wild fire. A fire that roars. A fire that beats at the air with its bright fists clenched. Sometimes I want prayer like a fire that claims everything it touches.
"There are two paths to transformation: the way out-beyond and the way deep-within. Either way will work. But it's no good to stay here wavering between the two, weighing which one asks the least of you." A leap day altar, and more excerpts from my altar-a-day challenge...
It takes a long time to understand why she left. She'd arrived one day with a burst of rain, a glint of sunlight on wilting ice. She'd come with mud and wind and trampled dogwood petals pressed into the cracks of the sidewalk, with quickened breath and light, with the smell of cheap wax candles burning well past midnight... And then one day, just as quickly, she was gone again.
The latest issue of the Alternative Religions Educational Network's newsletter just came out this past weekend, and I was excited to be included as one of those featured in an interview with the editor, Christopher Blackwell. We chatted about my background being raised in a liberal Catholic tradition flavored by my father's Irish heritage, and how that shaped my spiritual journey towards Druidry as I live and practice it today. It was great fun! One thing we touched on was the Oran Mór, or the Song of the World. Chris asked me to talk a little bit more about how this cosmological concept is reflected in my Druidry. You can read the excerpt here, or check out the whole interview.
In light of recent events and discussions, I wanted to share this essay as a robust defense of the sacred value of art, poetry and satire within both our theological explorations and our political discourse. It is my view that ambivalence itself can be sacred, for it opens us to authentic experiences of others which may be unexpected or challenging, and so we can appreciate this ambivalence and the art forms that express it as powerful and meaningful aspects of our relationship with the numinous, and with each other.
Today is the five year anniversary of my first date with Jeff, and the two-and-a-half year anniversary of our wedding. (Which means that, from this day forward, we'll have been married longer than we dated. Weird!) Recently I was looking back through old journal entries, when I found this poem that I wrote back in March 2010, one year after we'd met. As the French say, Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose... Happy anniversary, love!
As I continue to work at my on-going exploration of anthropocentrism and its influence on modern Pagan theology and ritual, time passes here in the damp and half-wild city of Seattle as winter slow-dances with spring. This past weekend, we were blessed with a dusting of snow, followed by the hushed drizzle of overnight rain. The daffodils in the front yard are lifting up their little green hands in prayer, and the neighborhood hummingbird perches as sentinel on the highest twig of the lilac tree, flashing his breast in the sun. And everywhere, the damp plush moss! It's that time of year when I am restless to be outside... and sometimes restlessness gives way to snark. So while I'm off wrestling the hobgoblins of cabin fever, dear reader, here is a touch of silliness for you to enjoy.