Archive | September, 2013

Tangled and Dark

29 Sep

Donato Giancola Eowyn082

I’m awaiting a lover. I have to be rent and pulled apart and live according to the demons and the imagination in me. I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again. — Anais Nin

Something in the air is changing me, a darkness there that wasn’t before. It’s as if I walk only by moonlight, completely alert only after sundown. In delving into the spiritual, I feel a deep dark ocean beneath me… unfathomable….. unknowable…  a murky warmth seaming the edges of inky indigo veil covering a vast expanse into which I will somehow dissolve. A need to understand why men are as they are and why I am as I am and why there is this deep pulsing anger in me at the thought of being worthy of masculine attention only if I am weak, only if I am a helpless woman.  As much as there is this darkly sensual feminine emergent now from my consciousness, one open in equal power to the masculine there is also a vicious evil queen who would encircle her consort within an iron band of condescension and dismissiveness. One invites, writhes for male energy. One scoffs and degrades it. And I know it is all within me, this battle to balance the masculine and feminine within my own psyche.

One of the readings for my class nearly pushed me over the edge this week.  An article by a Lieutenant Colonel Hernandez on female leadership *, identifying archetypes which women may use as models for success.  At the second page, my blood pressure went so high, I had to stop reading. My anger at his soft benevolent  yet condescending tone, his illogical assumptions, and stereotypical gender misconceptions about women and symbolic/mythic female figures made me want to be physically violent. Needless to say, it triggered my Shadow. For within me there must be this desire to be under a man, figuratively and literally. The Shadow wants ravishing. And I must find a way to come to terms with it.

The advice from this paragon of male leadership? Be beautiful, assertive, wise and little bit flirty while keeping your knickers firmly on and you’ll be a successful female leader. Seems to me that advice could be well served upon most modern male political leaders today as well as female. In other words, women need to deny their sexuality, “rein-in the Lover’s ‘oceanic’ exuberance and desire to transcend all limits in order to allow her energy its life-giving role without creating chaos in the realm.” Sexuality has a purpose it seems and only one purpose: to procreate. Women are tied to biology as the defining factor of sexual identity and a source of power.

Hernandez’ discussion of The Faerie as archetype triggered my anger the most, mainly for it’s inaccuracies, but also for its obvious cultural bias.  He describes faeries as predominantly “attractive, centrifugal energy”, classifying them as the twinkling airy princessy sort. They have no substance other than to provide Beauty and Inspiration (he links them to the Muses), giving their explosive energy away to the artist to appropriate into his own creative expression. “The Faerie is not just a Princess. She is the symbol of all that is fair and that is beautiful all that transcends material existence”. A symbol of beauty which denies her own subjective creative energy apparently.

But then, he did the unthinkable in my world.

 He aligned the Valkyries with the “virginal” Fae.

Now I’m not saying the Valkyries weren’t “maidens” (there is contention about that) but he misses the real point about their strength here. Leadership ….power ….isn’t dependent on virginity or maiden status, but on the ability to detect battle prowess. The Valkyries decide who will be chosen to fight the ultimate battle of Ragnarok. They choose the BEST warriors to join Odin in his hall. Now, even if this is viewed outside of the mythic ethos, dying Norsemen wanted beautiful tough maidens to take the bravest of them to the beyond to wait for the ultimate battle. These are no shrinking violets. They are badass women. Their fierce striking beauty is born of physical strength and the power of death. Not “stout maidens” as Hernandez portrays them, which makes them sound like the plain, practical, sturdy utilitarian sort. “Mopeds”, as the sexual expression goes. . . fun to ride but you don’t want your friends to see you on one.  The point is that they embodied knowledge of skill and assessment of courage, affirmed by Odin himself and this is the most important quality, in my opinion. After all they choose. He doesn’t send them with a list, as fetchers of souls.

Think of it:  A culture in which men believed that beautiful powerful women were the judges of the best of them, acting at their best.

In Hernandez’ world, leadership is tied to sexuality but about wielding it or withholding it, external to the self. I tire of a gender landscape in which the art of dangling a fertile carrot is the deciding factor in connection.  Perhaps my anger is at a system which denies the concurrent power of wisdom and sexuality at any stage of life in any gender.

So I look for patterns, for models. I search for ways of being in men. In becoming like them, I learn to understand them from the inside out. The kind of power that I see in admirable men: presence, assertiveness, ability to inspire and motivate is within me. A power that lies in voice and agency called from an internal power, such as Dr. Martin Luther King. That is the sword I want to hone, like a Valkyrie preparing for the field. My frame longs to wield sharp blunt power and feel a body connect in explosive passion. Then maybe the hard cold iron of my anger will be shattered and the warm soft velvet of incense laden feminine will spill out, turning into a great dark ocean wave. And I will know what the deep holds. I will sleep soundly again without the Universe pulling my hair with its stars.


A Full Plate

16 Sep

Have you ever been to a family reunion? Gingham vinyl covered tables are long and piled with homemade delectables so enticing that even though you scoop tiny bites of everything, there is still too much to fit on one plate. That has been my life since Maryland. My plate is overly full. . .so much so that I have been severely ill and struggling to sleep more than four hours a night. I am recouperating from walking pneumonia, an infection that began on the first day of school and lingered until last week.

I traveled anyway in obstinacy. I defied it. I refused to miss school more than a half a day. It laughed at me in its reaper-ish way and then, squeezed my lungs asking,

Howdja like that Wayfarin Lass? You’re taking antibiotics that cure plague for a reason Lil Miss Red.

I am learning quickly that my body has limitations and my drive, while admirable to some will end up hurting me if I do not learn to simply be.

“Give something up” is the message in this first month back to school. I’m faced with tough choices.

I gave up chastising myself about workout routines after going to TRX one evening mid-pneumonia. This was after I had walked a five mile trail in the same week.

My body said No. Stop. Enough. . .Rest.

It scared me.

But I feel soft now, lazy. Having never quite gained momentum back from the summer of traveling and exercise on the fly, I long for my hard leanness to the point of anger. I learned physical discipline, but what I must learn now is spiritual discipline. . .to let go. To balance.

I’ve been confused, musing. My students want more this year. Their skills are weak and I am angry their passiveness. They display a learned helplessness that sends my blood pressure over the edge. I have to learn to let them go and not save them. To let them reap what shallow digging sows, not much. I’ve been behind in grading perpetually because I take their assignments more seriously than they do. That has to end. Their excuses are a dish I can no longer endure.

Maryland was incredible, launching me down a path of retrieving my spirit. During bagpipe tunes and familiar Celtic songs, I had a moments of saying goodbye, watching my former love and my former self part and walk separate ways down a grassy road. I was able to say goodbye to a lot at the Renaissance Faire, and yet hello to much more. In reclaiming that space, I flowered again.

But upon my return, still ill and worried about where next to turn in this spiritual search, I found myself looking back into a program of studies I had started in 2010 at Hollins University. And there, on the list of courses was a Gender and Woman’s Studies class focused on spirituality, myth and the feminine. In less than 24 hours, I was re-enrolled and a student again with my first class only a day away. When the Universe answers, it does so like a lightening bolt. The world is becoming more complicated, yet more simple all at once.

So I face this blog now, after a weekend of confusion over VW bus financing and an aimless trek to see a Civil War Reenactment. Will I even write that novel now? It scares me that that path may have disappeared. I don’t know how, but this space needs to survive, but somehow shift. Changes are coming so quickly that perhaps I’ll only have time to share my observations on the many books I’ll be reading for my class. I still have stories to tell from the road. Like this weekend, when I practically lived out of my vehicle in the Outer Banks due to an AirBnB host who drove me insane with his intrusiveness and one-sided chatter. I had come to the Outer Banks for peace, to be alone with Clarence and to think, to write…to be silent. I paid only for a room, not to spend the weekend with a host who wanted to hostage me into being his “bff”. So I did something I never have before. I packed my car Saturday morning with no idea where to go, no place to stay. But I knew somehow I must find peace and figure it out on the fly. It should be no surprise where I ran, Ocracoke. And surely, it was meant to be. I ran into folks I haven’t seen since December and confirmed that someday the journey will end there, I’m sure.

The uncanny alignment of spiritual path, this class and returning to so many places of old is telling me something. Stay in the moment…do not look forward… do not look back.

Look within.

Remember, it is not September 2010.

It is not October 2011.

It is not December 2012.

This weekend proved that to me. I stopped to get Thai takeout at Thai Moon Restaurant before going back to the ferry and I sat outside at the café tables with Clarence, waiting. He was luring many to soften and chat with me all weekend. That’s his magic. After the AirBnB fiasco, I am now convinced I MUST find a VW bus and someway to pay for it, so that I will have a safe space to stay when I travel. Clarence must come with me. I want to write the stories of the road and of this journey of mine. I have to follow my bliss.

I’m going to put this out there right now to the Universe.

I wish for a VW camper bus so that I can continue writing and learning. I’m a single public school teacher with limited means. It’s my bliss. I have to find a way.

Moon, the owner of the restaurant, came out with my food and squatted to pet Clarence and he did his Clarence thing, lean. She stroked the white crown chakra spot on his head and began to talk in broken English.

“You know”, she said, “I Buddha and Christian, too. . .and I have dream where Buddha say to me that I live on an island and it make me happy…”

She told me an incredible story about how a divine dream revealed to her that she would live and be happy on an island. Her husband, then an alcoholic, found work on Ocracoke, made connections and recovered. Her cooking for everyone there flowered into a successful takeout business. It’s been fifteen years. Her smile shows me that the Universe indeed delivers what is meant “to be”. As I listened to her story and Clarence leaned against her knee, her hand stroked his head so softly as the light began to fade from a sunset over her shoulder in the distance. The knowledge that I was meant to be here at this moment tonight, to be learning these lessons didn’t escape me. I have found bliss: to travel, to learn, to listen to stories. So I will invest my time and money into this education, and a second interdisciplinary Masters degree where I will be able to blend creative and academic courses from a wide variety of interests and also in the road. A place where I have learned more about who I am and the world around me for the last nine months than I have in a lifetime.

I can’t promise that I will post regularly at all anymore, only when I have time or the need to share some tale of the road or my class. Perhaps I’ll need to share a milestone in this journey if I come to one. My little book is continually filling with musings, poem and now sketches. I hope to be able to paint soon; that is something the spirit needs to release in me again. You can follow me on Instagram if you want to know where I’ve been or what the road has delivered visually.Or Facebook via RSS where I regularly send out snippets of life or photos that don’t make it here. My Twitter feed (on the right) will still be active and my schedule of wayfarin will be up to date. I’m not signing off, nor saying goodbye. Only that I need some space on my plate. And I wanted you to know that silence sometimes means more than twice weekly posts. Stories might pile in half notation in my little book for the future, or I might tell you something via Youtube. I’ve been playing with the idea of a vLog. The Universe hasn’t decided yet what will come next…but as soon as I know, so will you.

Thank you for being here.

Thank you for giving me a reason to journey on.

Be Well.

Be Loved.

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