Monday, May 12, 2008

Moon Day

We're back home from the coast. Mario is out mowing the lawn. I'm cooking and watching TV. I've given myself an hour to watch junky TV. Yeah! We just got back from a two hour hike in the forest. It was our first time on the Falling Creek trail this season. Long time readers of Furious Spinner know it's our favorite place to hike. We usually go the first day it opens for the season, but there was so much snow that we haven't been able to go until today, six weeks from opening. It felt like coming home. Ahhhh

Do you remember from Counting on Wildflowers that we usually have seen hundreds of deer's head orchids by now. Today we saw fifteen deer's head orchids on the trail. Gorgeous, all fifteen of them.

We were on the trail alone for the most part. Lots of elk fumets along the trail. Squirrel midden piles everywhere, too. Don't know if that means there were more squirrels this past winter or they just ate more.

Saw some trilliums. A few blue anemones. Yellow violets. So many downed Douglas firs. Two hundred years old and more. Now they'll become nurse logs. The thing with trees in the forest is that even when they are dead, they are alive. I've seen trees that have been downed for years that sprout leaves and new branches.

I had fun on the coast. I walked on the beach for hours. Saw a bald eagle hanging out next to a group of harbor seals on the beach of an island across the canal. The bald eagle was so still that I thought s/he was a piece of drift wood. A great blue heron was on the other side of the harbor seals. I watched the tide come in, watched it flow into the harbor like a living thing. Sensual, sinuous. Of course the Old Sea is living. Alive.

Anyway, it was marvelous. I could see how people mistook seals for mermaids. Those eyes look so human—or something. And now when I see their tails, they remind me so much of mermaids. I lived with seals for four years; never noticed these things before.

I sat and hung out with the seals for a long while. They stayed around me as I sat on the sand. Whenever anyone else came by, they disappeared. Funny. Perhaps I had become Invisible. Or they just saw me for the Old Mermaid I truly am.

Last night was the first time Mario and I had been home together in ten days.

Tomorrow I go to the surgeon for my check-up. It's been two years now since the surgery. Knock on wood everything will be fine. I'm a little concerned because my sense of smell has been off for so many weeks—really since my mom died.

Mario had a grand time at his writing workshop. It wasn't so much about writing as getting published and learning how to do outlines and proposals. All of that is very different from what it used to be, so it's good to know what works now.

I am hoping he writes lots of books and gets them published and makes a good living. I am slowly letting it all go, the writing stuff. I haven't stopped writing, as I told you, but I have no interest in trying to get published any more or in writing novels. At least right now. If I could figure out how to put pdfs up on blogger, I would do that for all my unpublished novels, right now. They would be imperfect (just as my published novels are), but at least they would be available to people.

I got the ARC of Ruby's Imagine today. It is quite lovely. I hope lots of people read Ruby's story. It is very dear to me, especially since I wrote it for Linda.

People keep asking me how I did on Mother's Day. I'm sad pretty much all the time, so yesterday wasn't any different. It's a process, I suppose. I'll walk through it. I'm resting and reading. I'm reading Candace Pert's Molecules of Emotion. It's fascinating to me, especially since at one time I wanted to be a research biologist. I'm also reading Feeding Your Demons by Tsultrim Allione and rereading Medicine for the Earth by Sandra Ingerman. Sandy talks about not feeding those parts of us that are toxic (although she says it much better, by using a metaphor which I can't recall well enough to repeat) whereas Tsultrim Allione encourages us to feed our demons. All very confusing sometimes. I have been fascinated with the Chöd practice for years, which is essentially what this book is about. I've seen Chöd described as a form of self-sacrifice, but I don't see it that way; I think of Chöd as the Dakini blade cutting off the head of the ego.

Christianity, much of Buddhism, and even the Celtic shamanism I've studied has too much focus on self-sacrifice. That's not really my thing. In fact, I think we've got too many people running around with martyr complexes. To make ourselves sacred and to make what we do sacred is grand and wonderful. The literal meaning of "sacrifice" is to "make holy." But I believe that it is better for us if we live fully in this world and as fully in joy as possible. Sacrifice for the sake of suffering, for the sake of some whacked view that suffering makes one holier or better than others, is, to my mind, ridiculous. And if I believed in sin, I would say that was sinful.

Anyway, I'm reading those books. Also just got Thousand Mile Song: Whale Music in a Sea of Sound by David Rothenberg. I listened to his CD (which came with the book) where he made music to accompany whale songs last night. I was not impressed. I like just listening to the whales without the human stuff. I almost bought Pagan Visions For a Sustainable Future, but it's an antho, and I never ever read anthos when I buy them. Sometimes if I check them out from the library I'll actually read them, but not if I buy it. I tend to like to read books written by one person, with one vision. I am much more comfortable with pagan witchy philosophy and pagan spirituality than anything else. We revel in this world, in the sensuous. We want to celebrate life, not try and figure out a way to get dead to go onto another world. (How could anything be as cool as this planet?)

All right, time for a bath. I'll float in my part of the Old Sea. Mario is finished with the grass. I hope to spend the rest of the week working on my garden and getting my yard into shape. Won't that be fun? And catching up on my library work. Cooking.

Pretty cool, eh?

It'll be all right.


Anonymous said...

You have picked the best places for the negative ions you needs which are the seashore and pine forests. Both lovely in there own way.
Such great book recomends! Thank you! There is a new Emily Dickinson book out but I bet you know this already.

A Summer of Hummingbirds: Love, Art, and Scandal in the Intersecting Worlds of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Martin Johnson Heade
by Christopher Benfey

I plan to look into some of the one's you mentioned.

Kim Antieau said...

Oooh! No, I didn't know about that book. I must read it! Remember I sold over 1/3 of my books? Well, I guess now I'm filling in the empty spaces again. *sigh* Ah well. What better way to spend my "stimulus" money. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Yes, it looks like a lovely/dreamy book. It's at Amazon. Just published last month.
All my 7 huge boxes of books are boxed up in a closet...but I can certainly understand how weeding the book collection frees you a bit. But in reality makes space for more.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...While I consider myself a Buddhist, I've never thought much about self sacrifice or life after this one. I guess it depends on who you read and what you're looking for. Most of our "doctrine" comes from Buddhism Plain And Simple by Steve Hagen. It is indeed, plain and simple, and

Not that I'm trying to talk you into anything! I just was sort of surprised by your post and I think it is probably more my lack of delving into the matter than anything. But what we've found works beautifully for us and it is essentially called Buddhism although really, you don't need a name for it. I liked your post a lot. Thanks!

Kim Antieau said...

Hi Joelle! Yes, I lumped them all together since religions just blur together often for me. But I agree, the Buddhists don't talk about a life after death. Suffering is very much a part of Buddhism, though, I would argue. Although, it could also be argued that the acceptance that life is full of suffering is what the Buddhists are trying to convey. I've studied Tibetan Buddhism and been a part of many, many Buddhist ceremonies and empowerments, so there are obviously things about it that appeal to me.

But all the organized religions are at their core--and this is my opinion, you understand--all religions are sexist and misogynist at their core, including Buddhism. I am not religious for many reasons, but that's the biggest one. The other big one is that I don't believe in god. I believe in god in us (goddess) and the divine nature of Nature. I believe in the Invisibles, in the Spirit of Place, in Faeries and in Old Mermaids and in the right of everyone to find a religion, spirituality, pizza joint, coffee bar, spit of land, curve of river, or forest of trees where they can find solace, groundedness, and joy.

Big hugs,


All work copyright © Kim Antieau 2008-.