For the Future

I’m reading an excellent book right now called If Women Rose Rooted, by Sharon Blackie. Subtitled ‘The Journey to Authenticity and Belonging’. It’s an excellent book. Which means I’m reading it with a highlighter in hand, marking passages I want to remember.

‘To enter into any wood is to enter into a realm in which transformation seems inevitable…’

‘Before there was the Word, there was the land, and it was made and watched over by women.’

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‘To inhabit the remotest of places, to find its wildness reflected in myself. To find out what is left when those elements strip you down to the bone, and to let the rest fall away.’

‘Through all of this, I began also to understand the source of my anxiety. Early losses or abandonments, in whatever form they may come, or early failures of nurturing – all of these things make it difficult to trust: either people or the world.’

‘It wasn’t that I wanted to replace a male god with a female god; it wasn’t that I wanted to find a religion at all. I was simply looking for some sense that women might have worth. And I found it: there in the old stories of my own native land, I found it.’

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Those are a few of the things I’ve underlined.

Someone reading the book after me, might wonder at all the things underlined, at what was going through that poor woman’s head, that such a variety of things spoke to her enough that she highlighted them.

This is what goes through my head when words catch me enough to mark them bright yellow.

Wow, that really resonates with me.

YES!

Hey, that will work great in a story.

What if a character…

Hmmm…(insert name) should see this.

In a way, if the person reading the book after me, knows that I spend a lot of time in daydream stories, the markings might make sense. But if the person doesn’t make the connection to writing, all the highlighting will have no consistency, no theme, and could even worry the reader. ‘Geez, I never realized she was…’

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…so sweet?

So for the future friends or family, or whoever inherits all my books some day, don’t worry. I might have been thinking of you when I highlighted something. I might have decided a dark thought would work perfect for a specific character. I might have read something that triggered an idea for a story.

I’m there between all the pages, exposed by yellow marker.

Just remember it might not be what it seems.

Dreaming the Night Away

Halloween, or All-Saints-Eve, or Samhain, or whatever name you choose to call that time of year, is traditionally seen as when the veil between worlds is the thinnest. It may very well be; who am I to say?

But for me, the veil is the thinnest at the winter solstice, or Yule, or Christmas, or whatever name you choose to call this time of year. This shortest day. At least in our hemisphere.

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Now is when most of life has spiraled down into that deep sleep and into those deep dreams. Bears are hibernating (or should be; there’s a local guy who didn’t get the memo). Trees have slowed their respirations and sap has seeped into the roots.

The days have shortened to this moment, and now they turn on their spiral and slowly begin moving upward. In a few days the light will be called back and the days will lengthen in increments too tiny for us to notice yet, as we rush through our hectic lives. But that sleeping, dreaming, earth out there knows.

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This time of year has always been full of magic for me. From the younger days when I clutched my wooden nutcracker because I just knew he would come to life at midnight on Christmas Eve, to a parent telling a skeptical child that I choose to believe in magic at Solstice. And that those who turn away from the magic, whether you call it Santa or something else, will have lost something forever.

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His magic elements – the dog sneaking up on the toast and jam, the tea, multiple books, his Fat Cat, the afghan his aunt made for him, and the long wait ahead.

So why wouldn’t the veil be the thinnest right now, in this deepest of sleep, in this darkest of nights?

Why wouldn’t there be magic?

My Christmas tree has always been my memorial tree. The decorations are old and showing their age, but each one was touched by someone in our family now gone. Each one has a story. And each winter season I remember. And they feel closer to me than at any other time in the year. This year we will add a tiny green kayak.

So no matter how you celebrate this time of year, I hope you sleep deeply and dream, and in the dreaming, find what you seek.

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Do You Remember?

Do you remember the first car you drove that had the high beam switch on the steering wheel column instead of on the floor? Everyone wanted a new car so you no longer had the dilemma of which to do first – step on the brake or depress the clutch, or dim the headlights.

Do you remember the first television remote? How it came with a cord that plugged into the TV? You didn’t have to get up to change channels anymore, but you had to sit on the carpet in the middle of the living room floor because you only had the length of that cord to work with. Everyone had to buy new televisions that had holes to plug remotes into.

Do you remember when VCRs came out? You could rent movies and keep them a few days. Everyone had to buy VCR machines and new televisions that were compatible.

Do you remember when Hi-Fi stereos came out and how everyone had to buy new record payers and albums that were 33 1/3 speed instead of 75s? Or when 45s came out and everyone had to buy those little yellow plastic centers so the 45 would play on the record player? Oh, the grand day when those hard plastic pieces came out that allowed you to play a stack of 45s!

Do you remember when 8-track tapes came out? How you had to buy all your favorite albums again, in 8-track format. Plus the player. Plus a new radio for the car.

Do you remember when cassette tapes came out? How they were so much more compact than 8-tracks. How you could now record your favorite song off the radio. Everyone had to buy their favorite albums again in the new format.

And then CDs came out.

And then digital came out.

And then Kindle appeared.

Little did we know, back in the days of high beam switches on the floor, that we, as a society, were being trained to not just buy the next new thing, but to buy all the paraphernalia necessary to operate the next new thing.

Little did we know that we were being trained to become a throw-away society, and that repairmen were a thing of the past. That one day it would become cheaper to buy new than to fix.

Little did we know that we were being trained to forget how to exist without all the fancy new things. How to light a room without electricity. How to cook without an electric or gas stove. How to have warm scarves and mittens for winter without buying them.

An Amish man once told me that he had nothing against modern conveniences. He just didn’t like not knowing how to live without them.

I wonder what new technological advance is on the horizon, and what it will cause us to forget.