Restoring a Stradivarius

I haven’t posted anything in a long while because, it seems, each time I have this year, someone has passed, and/or someone criticizes me for being too emotional. So I have turned to reading more, finding comfort in the words of others, and building stamina in the realization we are all together in this awareness of beauty and infinity. No one thing is a small thing. The following is a poem by one of my favorite authors, Iris Orpi… each time I read her work, I feel that kind of kinship — the observance of timeless joy in each thing, no matter if you can only touch it with words.

Rampant and Golden

Kiss me along the rays
of my inner sun.
Call your serenity after
the ocean blue of my soul.

Remind me again
that I am infinite.
I have cast my future
in faith and fever dreams.
I have a lithe spirit,
but the rushing of days
and the dragging of nights
have taken with them
parts of my song.
If you can please
sing it back to me so I can
remember the words.

Love me
to the limits of awakening.
Lay your head against the night
whose stars are my eyes,
whose fragile stillness borrows
from my dark, silver-edged fears.
Get lost again in the city
peopled by all the ways
I am beautiful.

And I promise to belong to you
like I have always belonged,
deeper than the skin
and larger than these four walls.
.

RedWind_MihaiDascalescu.
“Red Winds” by photographer Mihai Dascalescu

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Magic and Loss

This midnight is better than last year’s
This midnight is better than when you last appeared
This midnight’s better when that old friend disappeared
This midnight’s better because the spirits’ near and cuddling

And Lou sang:

*Magician, Magician take me upon your wings
and … gently roll the clouds away
I’m sorry so sorry I have no incantations
only words to help sweep me away
I want some magic to sweep me away
I want some magic to sweep me away”

Then Lugh says:
“You knew the two you loved most had to go”

And with the new dawn, I learn
grasping at the old fur, I awake
setting aside my brushes, I wash
and with one last cry, I know

The Midnight Angel taught me I can survive even the death of someone I feel I cannot live without, and so he showed me, moving out of the cat’s skin, leaving me behind with all my sobs and wails, to grow silent again.

When I stand, I hear Lou sing:

“I want to count to five
turn around and find myself gone
Fly through the storm
and wake up in the calm”

Before Isis can tell me: “It has been done, They have flown”

My dream unfolds, words have no meaning
two months flow away into nothing
a year and five days and he’s as if no one
but I exist and the story is mine telling, worth knowing
I have meaning and so has my love, I hold on to everything
let go of the ghost of it, hang on to the preciousness

Oshun told me once: “It doesn’t matter if we didn’t mean as much to those we loved, what matters is that we loved, and what mattered is your love had meaning for you.  You have to really love with everything you are, don’t let that be forsaken, especially by your self, because if somebody else didn’t think you meant anything, and you now think you don’t mean anything because what they think matters more — that’s two people’s worth of power overcoming the love you could have helping you survive.  You gotta live on your love.”

And so it came to pass, the cat’s spirit onward his mission
my best friend, grown too big for the body that housed him
and far too powerful for me to hold back, gone to bliss
the cat became part of the Great Mystery, I melt to wonder

When the cat body died I thought I heard a whisper of Lou’s song come out of him:

“Magician take my spirit
inside I’m young and vital
Inside I’m alive please take me away…”

Because the body, once dead, gave birth to the brave spirit
the death was the rejuvenation of the Angel, a welcoming
the receiving of Who He really was inside, but I felt lost
there was no joyful release for me, only the cold shell
what was I to do but bury the thing, now empty, that I held?

But when They — the Goddesses Bastet, Hathor, & even slithering Wadjet — reached for my friend, it was I who began to echo Lou’s lyrics:

“I want some magic to keep me alive
I want a miracle … I don’t want to die
I’m afraid that if I go to sleep I’ll never wake
I’ll no longer exist
I’ll close my eyes and disappear
and float into the mist”

Awake for days, the funeral complete
felt the wind answer “yes”
and heard the paws in the leaves
and the echoes of many voices in the woods
announce my friend’s acceptance into Beyond
and worries ceased
and prayers increased
and many strange eyes peeked

Asleep for days, one month since death
the wind still carries his cry
the silence continues to say my name
and the memories of our life built a blanket fort
home is where I am surrounded by You, little friend
and I no longer think about that guy
and I can finally rest
and only worry is ‘have I really let go?
or will I obsess all over again?’
sometimes I think it someone else’s fear
at times all I think about is the lonely things

Wadjet-Bastet hisses-whispers all the same to me:

“When will you be done with all this blubbering? We’ve given you a new day, time has come to wash away, a new skin has grown, can you not feel the underneath, the twitchering-feeling-slickery-flickering? Lick at it. Roll on it. Dance with it.  Take your beauty back. Heal.”

I do. I do!  I will.

And Lou sang:

“I need more than faith can give me now
I want to believe in miracles – not just belief in numbers
I need some magic to take me away
I want some magic to sweep me away
Visit on this starlit night
replace the stars the moon the light – the sun’s gone
Fly me through this storm
and wake up in the calm …
I fly right through this storm
and … I … Wake … Up … In … The … Calm”

And I know what he was meaning in the singing
but I know all the magic all the more for the loss
it’s been the story of the year
it’s been what I was given

all the wonder
all the pain

Lugh said:
“It’s also in your painting. Look closer at what you do. You don’t do anything without a reason. And you were never nothing.”

I see the spirits inside the cat who was my friend
I see him now in many different ways
again, I tell you, he taught me how to live
taught me I can live, survive, live through loss

the loss of someone I cannot live without has not killed me
it is the magic that has swept me back up into Me
I am still who I am without giving in to the
ostracization that made me think me lost
I did not need some role to fit in and
don’t need work for a man’s
approval when all along
all I need is just
home and cat
and love
my God
life
be
me

*———————*

*My favorite Lou Reed song is ‘Magician’ from the album ‘Magic and Loss’*
Lou Reed died on October 27th, 2013, same day as a friend of mine was found dead from apparent suicide. Lou’s music is now married to memories of this friend, especially echoing the last conversation I had with him.

This song especially speaks to me of the losses of life and friendship I’ve endured this year. I understand the pain and the death, but don’t know why we have to lose people we love in this world. I wonder at the magic of the other world… at what may be waiting beyond my wondering.*

*———————*

Coming up soon: So much to talk about! So much has happened! Exciting news, strange paranormal happenings, new friends, renewed vigor, and finally getting my act together as pieces of my puzzle come together. Wish I had all the time in the world to write it all down. Samhain 2013 marks a little milestone for me as I finish a playing card deck and start a new venture as a spirit medium and paranormal illustrator. Yes, you heard that right.

Plus, something adorable has brought joy into my life. I have a baby girl! Um, kitten. Her name is Miss Velvet Rose the Lady Monster. That story I have to save for next time.

Expect some changes around here as I celebrate my second year here at WordPress. Yay!

Some are Poets

“Some writers are too logical, so they write straight, are the stuff of strictly prose.  Some weep.  Perhaps a bit too much. I think I know who they are. Those are the poets.” — Valentina

Tonight is a night for poetry — reading, writing, reviewing, editing, poeming  — yes, you read that first from me, poeming.  I like the sound of it.  Poeming.  A verb, as in “to poem all about the place” and make poeming, even making love a poeming thing.  Or would that become a noun?  “They did a poeming upstairs.”  *giggles*  That sounds more like making a baby!  But, not really.  I can imagine writers getting it on as in a poeming, performing together to produce a “baby”, as in co-write a book, yet in this case it would have to be a book of songs without music.  Because is that not poetry?

Yet.

Yet…  Much of the time, in my spare time, which is all of my time, my songs are written alone, most comfortably written alone — a poeming alone just as passionate as sex, and as regular as dreaming, and not every poem that comes I remember to put down.  Now as I think on it, when a poem is written well, and I know it is delicious as I read it to myself, it is as real as orgasm shuddering through the body as cool as rivers of rain snake through parched earth when the clouds break.  It feels like it does when the last of my tears are breathed out and I suck in that salt-tinged relief — ‘finally, I’m done crying, I can work on getting rid of this headache now’ — and closing my eyes is like opening them.

When sobbing stops, singing begins.  First a hum, then a whisper, a whisper working its way into a kind of keening-come-yodeling-into-a-word, and that word may be someone’s name, or the name of a God, or no thing at all but a comforting sound that feels like mother or home.  Then the words take shape like those I slowly learned when I began to walk — when I began to walk the world with words — once with ‘hello’, another with ‘who’, and reaching out for ‘you’.  And I always poem with a ‘you’ even though I’m never really poeming about any one person but perhaps myself.

Every poet is a singer singing about their self and the tears between them and the world and all the figures that people it.  Poeming a totem pole of idiom and rhythm, verse and rhyme, til songs are louder than they existed, and songs become the anthems of nations, til poets fade into shadow’s poeming itself.  And my own poeming about poeming dissolves into a mad woman’s lonely howling under the Midsummer’s eve moon, like the tiny owl in my painting, formed with just dots of paint, made with water, a poem about myself, on a night when I thought of you, but not of you.  But maybe, just maybe, it’s all about you.

You’d understand if you be a poet, too.

Storm Serpent Dream Therapy: A Poem for a Sleepless Spring Night

one step, two steps, threes…

under blankets, I stirs and twitches from dreams
the seeds of me is not yet green and yet I feel the grow
I am pillows in the earth, dark, damp, deeps below
barely alive, buried like dead, humming in snores
I turns, twists, breathes… whispers my glows
I talk in shadows, only almost gone, naked like the branches
wind above me thunders wet and my toes slither slick
icicles in my heart breaking, bark cracks sap, tornado quick
I am crawling, coiled, uncoiling, heart thrashing, for you a swoon
draped with the white, the earth seems like the moon
my tail breaks ice surface, I stir the snows, roots out of wight
my long nights not yet over, my rivers still speak in rapture freezes
three feets of blankets to the winds whispers white in drifts
the serpent almosts wakes, pretends to wake, begins to dream agains-s-s
light candles and pray, keep the fires burning, beloved dears
I am keeping storms approaching, blackening, ripping powers
I am the secret lightning quickening, blizzard queen keeping you home
stay inside, hide in bed, bury yourself warm, let silents still
The She be all that out til dawn and dances tonight
all along the roads moon serpents rise and constrict, scrape
banshee songs sing my serenades over every landscape
this white lace curtain my bridal gown twinkling
the seeds of me glistens, I glitters, delights
beyond heavens, I rain crystals bright
dragon’s cloud bitter colds and awesome sight!

(from my original draft: fragile beginning 2-2-2011)

Postcard #50: A Walk in the Snowstorm

Snow-soaked.  Snow-washed.  Snow-bath. At every turn, within seconds, in each direction, no escape from the wild blast, yet so soft, gentle-wet, beautiful it lasted.  My journey out from bed — out from lonely thoughts that keep me down in nothing done — one look out the window and all the mesmerizing white sat me up and into motion as if a lost friend came knocking at my door.  “Come out!  Come out to play!”  The wind ushered me.  My heart leaped.  I needed out.  The snow called.

I dressed as if for a date, or a performance more like.  No, a little of both.  As I quickly layered on my make-up, skirts, dress, gathered up my patch-work cloak, and topped-on my headdress of coins and feathers, slid on my boots and almost tripped over my own toes, I made-believe — almost-believed I was going out to meet a lover out in the spiraling wild white snow.  I can never know yet who he could be, a woman must always put on lipstick at the very least, just to be sure, but he’d better be warm and carry me over the ice… and we shall dance ourselves into snow banks and laugh into tomorrows.

I hurried to get out the door.  Mine was a — who am I kidding? — mine is always a late start!  January days are dark in the north woods, and I tend to sleep like a black bear curled up in a cave, yes, caving in to the winter and wanting nothing to do but dream of better days.  Sometimes I do not come out at all.  I forget the days and nights.  Time means nothing but a series of whites, grey, and blacks.  In the dark, it’s not so bad, but this winter the seasonal sadness I tend to feel is so sharp and keen, I lie here, wounded in my dreaming, waiting for the pain to end.  But last Sunday, the wind was smooth and loud, a heavy whisper-kiss it was, and I was anxious for a snow bath.

A whole crowd of other people were out that day to enjoy the weather as if it were the height of summer. They gathered over the frozen lake all appropriately dressed in the layers one’s supposed to wear to outlast the cold. As for I? Um, not as wise. I glided through the snow in my patchy homemade cloak, dressed more for dream-play and dance. The storm soon soaked into me, weighing me down as I walked. Yet this did nothing to force me to turn back home and cut my time out short. I lifted my face up into the snow and sighed, letting the first gentle pelting breathe over me soon grow into the soaking-wet-sopping sensation that I can best describe as like getting a winter bath with your clothes on.

Along with the wash, comes the work out. Walking through the ankle-deep-soon-growing-into-calf-deep snow went from like walking into cake batter to trying to navigate through wet concrete. Each step I took meant shoveling a trail with my feet, and my heels are not light either. Each boot is heavy out of the snow, as if made to weigh me down during winter storms so I don’t blow away! My hour’s walk into the snow was a delightful torture. I pushed my little brick-hard black leather steel-like tiny feet as far as I could wish them.

It was not exhaustion that stopped me in my tracks for a break. The breath-taking-God’s-honest-truth-be-told reason for me getting out my door any day is beauty.  Overwhelmed by everything around me. I let myself sink into the snow. I love every sound, every bit of silence, every scene taking place all around me, I go into a numb smile and stare like a baby. I tilted my head onto a big comfy rock near a birch and would have napped there under a canopy of pine if it weren’t for my inability to close my eyes. I waved as smiling faces of folks slid by in snow-shoes and skis. Not a full yard away from me, a buck had been hiding. He gave a snotty-sneeze-like grunt when he attempted to gingerly walk through the mucky-muck of the snow on the trail and disturbed by a jogger in hefty hiking boots. Neither one of us had heard or would have noticed the other had it not been for the hiker and his sloppy-slappy boots trudging through the snow.

The swift thunder of the buck’s hooves as he seemed to fly through to the other side of the road made me think of all kinds of mythical creatures, wondering without much wonder how people have thought up such tall tales. When you see an animal do something amazing, like go from nearly standing still to suddenly springing into what seems like a supernatural action, it has a magic all its own, yet it inspires more magic out of one’s own head… The snowstorm’s roar created a kind of white noise that muffled the noise of the cars beyond the borders of the nature reserve. The wind even hid me in this pocket of whirling snow. I could not even hear the branches swaying all around me, yet I could see the trees dancing.

I did not meet any hot-blooded lover, however there were a lot of men on the trail, and all of them smiled at me, perhaps because I dressed like a silly person (but, hey, I’d rather make an interesting impression than a boring one). And, after taking some photographs for souvenirs, consequently sacrificing my camera to the storm, I came back home swooning like I just had a wild make-out session in the woods. I certainly looked like I did. As beautifully as I made myself up on my way out, once indoors, as I took my gear off, I had a good laugh at myself in the mirror! My headdress was half-off, my wet and roughed-up hair barely distinguishable from the feathers trailing from it, my eye shadow ran, and my lipstick was so smeared it looked as if a four-year-old slapped it on me.

Snow-soaked. Snow-washed. Snow-bath. The storm had its way with me. I stripped off my layers, gracefully exhausted now, I was free to swoon back down to bed, yet this time with smiling dreams again.

Postcard #49: Getting Lost is Part of Discovering Nothing is Lost

I am wondering and wandering, dreaming of places and people, my mind resetting itself, my moods resettling, hope is resurfacing. I still wish. It’s not a sin to wish. And it’s the wish that pushes me through the woods, out the back door, floats me to the top, the strength that sets me standing on my hands, holds me in the boat, cradles me in sleep, and guides me out of my dreams into a waking that is doing. I do not mind getting lost. It is a loss of time and space that takes me away from all the heaviness of the world — a loss I never mourn — I take time, I take space, I move at my will, have all of the wild at my pleasure, loosen the ribbons, slip off this gown of iron burden, and tramp along the shore to the destinations of all my imaginings. I want to lose being found. Go missing. Be kidnapped by goblins. Fall into rabbit hole. Seduced by faeries. Side-step into a mist, and yet, not be forgotten…

I stumble back into place. I do not want to lose myself. All the dizzy delight of getting lost can only go so far. The winter silence sends me wishing as it always does when there is not enough doing to be done. All there is is white stinging my eyes in the morning, and the afternoon snow is gray-slate-matte-boring.

Getting lost leads to wondering alone into being alone, lost alone, yet everyone’s alone in wandering alone lost. Is being lost mean having something to find? What if there is nothing to seek? I lose myself when I chase after what is missing, only to find myself waiting for me when I discover what was lost was always there inside, waiting, taking a reach into my own heart to pull out all the losing, loser gear I carried around with every sigh I thought I let out.

I don’t let the stranger me be strange anymore. She’s the spirit in flight with a base to land on. I am earth-bound and freedom-soaring, like Hawk-on-the-Wind that is my family name, my people’s crest, both my parents’ totem bird, a thing thought lost I did not know was there, only a thing of whisper, a meaning no one told me. Every time I asked for meaning, I was given questions. Irritating! Why were they forcing me to go on a journey? I don’t want to go anywhere! Give me the answer, NOW. But the meaning would not have the meaning it has now until I stepped away, ignored the path, rejected my purpose, and chased after someone else’s dream…

I am in love with my wishes now. Yet I have a new wish. Just one simple wish: don’t lose me when you decide to get lost.

Postcard #48: Is This How the World Will End?

Is this how the world ends… without you and me
in this space and time, empty and white, swiped
cut out, placed apart, singled, buried in silence
in years lost in between little deaths lined up
without funerals or celebration
no going-away parties
recognitions, torn in ribbons
covered in coats of snow, lumps of sorrow
unknown, gone without explanation, without story
if there is hint and talk, it is delusion-definition
signs of illness best ignored, abandoned
any stirring is disturbance, better left wounded
one person left hurt is best than others left disillusioned
‘we cannot let the world believe the world will not come to an end’
 
This is how the world ends, without belief in The End
without you and me participating
in this suffering-fighting-looking-forward
without you and me anticipating
damage and cracking-down, the fears
that separate us from
I and You loving

and will we ever love?
with all the stuff we throw down
people, too, between us, the tales
we tell to entertain at a truth, to serve
and sever-why’s we came apart, can’t be again
serving useless ways to burn the bridges over the rivers
waters that flow us into each other time over time anyway
where ever we leave we are part of each other, un-denying
the ends where roads lead to home and worlds begin.
 
Is this how the world will end… without us?
without enemy, envy, remorse-guilt-pitying me all the time
blaming and pointing out every flaw and searching for
means to make amends and ways to break things to fix
things all over again we collect to save, to feel, become the Hero
I want a world ending without need for Heroes
just you and I, friends, equals, playing, dancing
no picking or critiquing
longing for just the talk
the share of a drink
the joy of a walk
 
Let the world end
for all those who seek apocalypse
let those who feel lost save each other
my tears will end
when I’m out here
in the woods
with a friend.