What I Did This Summer.

Quote from the last post, April 23:

And really, it is. If all we ever wanted to do was pay the bills. We were young and naive when we bought this place. It’s not more than we can afford—it is exactly what we can afford, with just enough to save a bit. And by a bit, enough to keep us afloat whenever we have an extra medical bill or car repair, but no more than that. And what with life teaching us some (harsh, valuable) lessons in the past year we’ve realized that if anything truly catastrophic happened we’d be shit-outta-luck.

Ah, words of divine-knowing.

The good news is that we sold our house, very quickly, in May. We closed in the beginning of June, moved into an apartment and planned to keep waiting for a lot that we wanted to build on to pop up in the listings. It was a stressful time, to sell the house, to sell half of our stuff, to move/downsize, to be pregnant and have a toddler. But as we settled in I knew, J and I knew, that we had made the right decision.

On July 2nd I was at a good friend’s house (who is a part-time coworker of J’s), watching our kids knock around the backyard, when she got a phone call from work. And I knew. I just…knew. She looked at me and whispered, “Call J.”

I called him. But I already knew. His workplace was shutting down on July 31st. I laughed, at the time, because it was one of those things that was such a long time coming that you think it’s never really going to happen. But it did. We drank watermelon margaritas with good friends, and our children ran amok in the sprinklers. If you have to take news of catastrophic job loss, that’s the way to do it.

Soon after, my mom began telling me that my uncle, the one that helped my Mom and Dad with taking care of my grandma (their -only- help taking care of my grandma), was having a lot of pain. Long story short, he went into the hospital on July 4th. He left for the Otherside on August 9th. It was fast, and it was painful, and it was hard.

During this time, I was 36, 37, 38, 39…40…41…and finally, 42 weeks pregnant (again—I apparently have a very comfy womb). I rolled into the hospital on September 4th with my orders of induction and demanded to get this baby out of me NOW!

Which they did. In the midst of a lot of shit, I had the exact labor I wanted. It was beautiful, peaceful and short (comparatively–only 13 hours!)

I went home with a beautiful newborn. With two nights at Hospital Hotel under my belt I felt pretty refreshed.

And started feeling…weird once I got home.  Sweats. Cold flashes. Weird dreams about Eric Northman (no joke–and I haven’t watched True Blood for a year!). I had been home for one day, behaving all sorts of weird, when I finally decided I should take my temperature. 101.4. No way this is not happening can’t one thing just go right goddammit! I took it again. I took the blankets off (I was having chills at the time), drank some water (yes, I know, cheating the test) and…100.8. I called the doc. They told me to go back to the hospital, two days after being released.

I admit. I cried. Ugly cried. And eventually we cobbled together the help we needed to watch C, and J, Eleanor and I headed off to the hospital, again.

—–

I have been struggling this summer with expectations. Expectations of how life was going to happen and how it spectacularly did not turn out the way I imagined. This lesson began with my first miscarriage in March 2012. And continued with the second in September 2012. And the lesson continued, and continued, and continued. We, I, would make plans and they’d just blow up in our faces.

I don’t feel like I lived this summer really as much as survived it. I looked down in mid-June and looked up and it was September 21, the night before Autumn. And when I looked up again I had another child, a three-year old I’m not sure how to parent, an apartment (with not-a-yard! this is hard with a toddler!), my Uncle is dead, and our future, as a family, is uncertain. Will we move to Seattle, San Antonio, Houston, California, Virginia? Will we move in with one of our parents? Shit, are we going to go broke?

During all of this…chaos?…I have reminded myself to be thankful. We had some DIVINE good timing in selling our house. We made a nice profit which we are now living on (though we had plans for it to be a down payment on property–whatever, thankful we have it). Thankful that we have parents that would welcome us if things got dicey. Thankful that we don’t have debt, that we have friends who love us, that our marriage is strong.

But I’m not going to lie and say that I just feel so thankful-zen. I’m not. Most days, I work through whatever emotions I’m having. There’s gratitude, contentedness and a lot of happiness. The bitterness I felt in July has subsided into determination, which is much more pleasant and proactive than hating the world. But I’d be lying if I said that there aren’t some dark places, and dark days, when it feels like we’re on the edge of a chasm with no rope.

—–

I’ve thought a lot about what Paganism/polytheism/whateverlabel has to offer in times like this. It’s something that I’m interested in exploring in the coming months. Way too complex of a topic for this already-too-long post. Suffice to say sometimes I’ve found an abundance of wisdom, sometimes I’ve felt disconnected and cold. Mostly that’s just being human. But it’s a topic worth exploring—what is Paganism/whateverlabel when times are hard? Is there comfort from the gods? Should I expect there to be?

—–

It’s been six months and two full seasons since my last post. Spring and summer disappeared in a blur.

But now it’s Autumn. It even feels like Autumn, which is crazy for Texas. Usually Mabon is hot and muggy. This year it’s crisp and cool.

Autumn, even with its associations of harvest and dying, is a happy time for me. It’s a spiritually potent time, a time to lay to rest the previous year, a time to rest and recoup. I’m planning on enjoying it.  Honestly, I’m trying not to have any expectations of what life is going to bring. I’m just going to try to let it go, for now, and see what comes.

Fears are Dumb.

So, my previous post was about an award that was shared with me. When I saw that Thalassa had put that in my comments I grinned! I smiled! Someone reads my blog and likes it! It was so gratifying to receive it, and kind of her to share it with me.

The second step was trying to put together a post in which I shared the award with 7 others. I hemmed and hawed. Clicked on several blogs that I read often. Thought about how much I loved their blog, but how…man, I’d have to talk to them, right? Connect with them. Let them know that I hold their blogs and writings in esteem. I put it on the back-burner for a few days because…well…I was afraid. Afraid of what? Telling people I liked them? Letting them know that I admire their work? Beginning, perhaps, a relationship with the when I usually lurk in comfortable anonymity?

How silly. How human [in this age].

And this is why I’m still a solitary practitioner, let’s be honest. It’s not some high-minded philosophy about why solitary craft is better, it’s because I’m afraid of connection, in particular, with the pagan community. It’s not like the potential isn’t there–it’s everywhere, on the Internet, at Ancient Mysteries (our metaphysical store), on Meetup.com.

Why? I don’t know. It’s dumb. And it’s keeping me alone for Sabbats and etc., when I want to be with people who believe like I do, and have a good time, and talk, and share life with them.

Anyway, just something to think about on a Tuesday afternoon (during tea!). Why fear being…nice…to people? And maybe have them being nice in return?

A Dash of This, A Pinch of That

* I went to church today. Trinity United Methodist, for all you Austinites. And…they celebrated the Summer Solstice. No joke. With drums and a calling of the elements. They even talked about the Wheel of the Year. Yes, my circuits fritzed. Completely.

* I watched all four seasons of True Blood in two weeks. I’m not sure how it happened. I kind of hated it by the end. Like, Sookie? She’s annoying. Lafayette and the 3,000 year old dude (now encased in concrete…) were/are the only reasons to watch that show. Though, they are featuring witches for season 5. So that’s interesting. Seeing media portrayals of witchcraft and Wicca are always…interesting.

* For Father’s Day, J and I went out on a *real* date Friday night. Drinks and dinner. It was lovely. We had drinks at Péché and dinner at Congress. Both were terrific and a perfect way to celebrate. This morning, J woke up to a mimosa and crèpes with dulce de leche and whipped cream. Spoiled? Just a little.

* I have writer’s block. Intensely. I’m debating on giving up a story that I’ve worked on (on and off) for over two years. It’s just…I’m not that person who started the story, and as the story evolved it’s not really the original story anymore…I don’t know. It also has some major structural and plot problems, as well as just being an overall bitch to write. But when do you say when? Any writers have advice on this?

* To help with the writer’s block and generate ideas I’ve being drawing a Tarot card and just writing with it. Sometimes it’s a character sketch, a situation or a simple description. Anything to keep the juices going. If I take long breaks from writing I gather inertia so quickly. It becomes hard to even type. Gotta keep chuggin’.

* I have no idea what I’m doing for Summer Solstice. I’ve thought about Sun Salutations at dawn, which seems okay. But I’m also feeling this draw to do a magical working of some sort. I picked up a new book titled Embracing the Moon by Yasmine Galenorn. At first I was thrown off by the dated cover–a woman’s hands embracing a green-tinted moon (thank you, Llewelleyn). Turns out though, it’s a very good beginner book. While I’ve been researching this path a long, long time I still consider myself a beginner, especially with magic and energy working since (besides observing the Sabbats and occasionally the Esbats) I don’t actually do the stuff a ton. I think. I read. I contemplate. But doing…not so much.

Which, leads me to want to start doing. Going to church today also lit a fire under that desire. This leads me to…

* Fear. I have a lot of anxiety and fear stemming from a pretty creeptastic experience I had a few months ago. This could be a post on its own, and it might become one. Hmm. A Litha ritual to bring light into the places of dank, of fear? I don’t believe that shadow or darkness is bad, at all. It’s neutral like the light is. However, fear—fear and anxiety live in a dank, cold, awful place of the soul. A place that could use some warming light. Hmmm.

That’s all. Enjoy the week, everyone 🙂