Spring walk 2014

April 27, 2014

Woke up early after a harrowing nightmare as usual and found myself with time on my hands. I’m tired of reading, didn’t feel like watching a movie, and lo and behold the sun was shining even though it was supposed to be cloudy today. So I decided to go for a walk.

Special Nike walking shoes firm and snug on my feet, earbuds plugged into my iPod on one end and my brain on the other, I set off for the field across from Collins where I sometimes walk the track. But the sun was so yellow and the sky so blue that I decided I wanted more rich Gaia than I was getting trekking on the asphalt.

I headed off into the arboretum and that’s where I found my bliss. So many different beautiful species of plant. The flowers are bright striking color slashes against the new green and stinky mulch. There are so many flowering trees on campus it feels like a fairyland.

I love new leaves. They’re so delicate and soft and tender that I wish I were a goat. I just want to reach out with my prehensile lips and suck the leaves into my strong goaty teeth and ingest all that beauty and power so I can tap into it whenever I need it.

The birds were out in force and the streams were burbling happily along. And as fat and sludgey as my body feels, it held up at an athletic pace as I breathed in deeply through my nose and exhaled into the sweet spring air. I can feel my body coming out of hibernation, out of that tight, frozen grip I get into when I’m just so, so cold over the winter. The walk in the sun and the breeze loosens up the space between my bones and I feel more alert, more relaxed, more ready for living.

I came home and just sat in the backyard in the sun, listening to iTunes spin through Depeche Mode, Social Distortion, Frank Sinatra, Thievery Corporation, Rasputina, Bach, Eartha Kitt, Little Cow, Russian nuns, and more and more and more. I mostly just drank in the sun through this porous sensory envelope we call skin but sometimes opened my eyes to see what the wildlife were up to.

This is new to me—I’ve been tentatively moving into my yard more and more each year, staking my claim to the land. My trees. My slopes and hollows. My sweetspires. From the beginning, I wanted to create a place where wildlife would feel welcome. The suet keeps just about everybody happy and the bunnies are glad enough to ravage my shrubbery. That’s why bunnies are so cute—otherwise we’d kill them in a murderous rage.

There are a pair of doves that have taken up residence somewhere near my house. Today I watched one settle down beneath my ninebark bush and just chill. I was so still for so long that the robins came pecking within five feet of me, just going about their business. A squirrel limped in, favoring a hurt front paw, heading for the safety of the darkness beneath my back porch.

Long ago when I became a Witch, I chose to see the biosphere as sacred. Great Gaia living and dying in glory all through the eons. And I’m a part of that. I feel her energy pulsing through me always, but it’s more intense when my bare feet are pressed against her precious soil and I feel her gently pressing back. Equal exchange of force. Beautiful.

The main tenet of my faith is “Tiocfaidh an Samhradh”: Gaelic for “Summer will come.” No matter how cold the dark night of winter, Summer will come and spread her wings. I will revive. I will live again. And Spring is the start of that promise manifesting. We all stretch our limbs and remember all that is good in our lives.

Take a deep breath. Savor the flavor. Drink in Gaia’s sweet power. Bright Blessings.

Rick Karr and September 11th

April 27, 2014

I woke up when the second plane hit the World Trade Center. I worked nights then, so it was early in the morning for me. The psychic shhhhhhhhockkkkkk wrenched me out of bed.

I went to Daniel’s because he had CNN. We watched. We watched. People falling. People jumping. People holding hands and jumping. I thought of Anubis, ancient Egyptian god, holding your hand as he leads you through the Underworld after you die. Such a human gesture. “It’s okay. I’m here. You’re not alone.” That’s the message I would want as I stepped out the window.

My sister and I have talked about that, about whether we’d stay in the burning building or jump. She says she would stay because you never know when you might be rescued. I say I would jump because I want to go out under my own power. Maybe that explains why she’s suffocating in a loveless marriage, and why as soon as anything goes wrong my first solution is suicide.

I went to work as normal that day, hoping to make sense of it all. I had left frantic voicemails for my college friend Janet who worked in Manhattan and was settling in to the horrible waiting to find out if she was alive or dead.

I couldn’t stop listening to the news. I soaked it in, sucked it in, voracious appetite, just take it all in and somehow somehow make sense of this day.

And suddenly there’s a voice I haven’t heard in nearly 20 years. Coming from my radio is Rick Karr’s voice.

I’m catapulted to my sophomore year in high school. I am playing Maria in The Sound of Music. My parents’ dream role for me: the chaste nun. Rick Karr is playing Captain von Trapp. Rick is about 12 feet tall and 90 pounds so he’s all angles and bones and he has this large head with a shock of brown hair and he’s a punk rock singer and it’s my job to teach him how to sing Edelweiss.

“{glottal} E-{head bang}del-{head bang}weiss{gasp gasp}{glottal}E-{head bang}del-{head bang}weiss!”

“Okay, Rick, that’s a start, now let’s try it softer, gentler, more legato, sung lyrically.”

“Right, I’ve got it. {glottal} E-{head bang}del-{head bang}weiss{gasp gasp}{glottal}E-{head bang}del-{head bang}weiss!”

We are in the rehearsal where we are going to kiss. I am dating Dave Blake at the time, white, middle class Dave Blake who does not believe in ghosts, no sir, 2+2=4 and hair grows back! it’s a rational world Dave Blake. And I can’t kiss Rick because I feel like I’m betraying Dave Blake. So we go away from the cast into a classroom and Rick is so kind and so gentle and so genuinely good. He is endlessly patient with me. It takes me 45 MINUTES to get up the nerve to do the deed and as I go in I think, “Forgive me, Dave!” And I tilt my head back to receive one of the sweetest, purest kisses I will ever experience in my life. Bliss.

And on this most terrible day Rick Karr is a reporter for NPR in New York City and his job is to go from morgue to morgue to morgue, counting broken, splattered, burned corpses so we will have a body count. So we will know our losses.

“Bless my homeland forever.”


[See Ferrying the Dead for another September 11th story]