Clean Slate

asperges me and crescent

Liber Usualis, Tournai: Desclee, 1959; forged iron crescent by Cody Dickerson

It is coming on the hollow of the year here in the Northern hemisphere. New resolutions, a clean slate. For some, the chance to experience pure snow (however fleeting the unbroken white blanket once it touches down). A good time to clean out, clean up inside and out. To reboot the mind and the spirit. To wash oneself.

There are many traditions of cleansing.

I can’t say that I, as a small Catholic girl, felt new and clean after our weekly confession ritual. More like guilty, since I did not really understand the process of sinning and reporting on same. After all, this was long before habit-tracking and bullet journaling, and who knows exactly how many times I disobeyed my parents in a given week? I made up a number that seemed reasonable, without the recursive self-awareness to report that I’d just lied, having no idea of how many times I did anything, good or bad. Well, the bad anyway. (There was no place to report on being good, so no need to keep track.) Continue reading

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The Reading

Manhattan in February. It’s pleasantly gray, misting off and on. I had scheduled just three hours between LaGuardia airport and my destination when I impulsively made a crazy overture that was crazily accepted. But now the rain has whittled those three hours down to barely more than one. Messages back and forth in the taxi, then at last–I arrive! I’m at the cafe we agreed on, one just a few blocks from my journey’s end. We have exactly one hour before I need to move on to the main purpose of my trip. One stolen hour for this delightful addition to my itinerary–to look at cards on a rainy late-afternoon with my teacher Enrique. Continue reading

In paradisum

Convoi funèbre au Boulevard de Clichy

Convoi funèbre au Boulevard de Clichy, Felix Buhot, 1887

It’s the time of year when the veil is thin. I think of my parents. I don’t pretend to know where they are now. I don’t pretend to know what I still need from my parents, much less what they need from me.

Although sometimes for an instant or two, I have a feeling. Continue reading

Let’s Go Home

kilmore carol (2)

Song of Jerusalem, one of the 16th century Kilmore Carols sung in the town of Kilmore, Ireland, during the twelve days of Christmas

This post is about the state of the world, and a song.

I’m the daughter of a singer. I used to sing rather well, I’m told, even earned money for doing so. I don’t sing much anymore. (It’s complicated.) But that’s not actually what I want to write about. I want to write about being struck dumb by Pandora’s ever-emptying box, and about how to express what’s basically inexpressible in any honest way.  Continue reading

Lughnasadh Reset

intro photo

My daily to-do lists this summer have been wild, and wildly unrealistic: Reorganize finances. Work on three poems. Chauffeur son. Post daily Tarot cards. Research 15th century woodcuts and college financial aid. Finish mixed media painting. Make all reservations for our trip to four different cities. (Yes, that was one day’s list and no, I didn’t check off every item that day.)

It’s all good stuff, stuff I’m longing to do during those long months when my day job swells up like expanding foam insulation in the hands of the unwary. But to be honest, I’ve got more exciting, disparate threads than my small mind can handle (or maybe too much foam expanding inside my own brain).  Frankly, I need a break from myself.  Continue reading

Two Lumps, or Three?

lump sugar

Heard a bit of discussion in the cartomantic world lately: 1)  What good are daily draws? and 2) What good are two cards together, as opposed to three? If you’re not card-crazed, it sounds like minutiae, I agree. But as sometimes happens with tiny, seemingly- loose threads, pulling on this one led to a tapestry of interlocking insights. Continue reading

Meat

 

sand mandala death ritual

 Kamal Ratna Tuladhar on WikiMedia Commons: “Newar Buddhists of Nepal make a mandala (sand painting) depicting the Buddha as part of the death rituals on the third day after death and preserve it for four days.”

Trigger warning for vegans, vegetarians, and people who will not occupy their current body forever: This post is about ingesting–and inhabiting–meat.

So this happened: I started to be aware that I would die someday. No, more honestly, I became aware of that deep-down, subtle snicker that says I am the inexplicable exception to this reality, universal but for me. Continue reading