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Devil Town

Picasa is not working for me right now and not loading my pictures for my Mabon post.

That’s okay.

Because I have a back up topic. I tried to write on it yesterday but I couldn’t make the words fit.

So, I love the TV show Friday Night Lights. It’s really a beautiful show, full of great writing and acting. The most striking thing about that show though is how they evoke such a true sense of place. I’m from small town Texas, and it’s so accurate that it’s creepy. I can name the analogous person from my high school/town to each character on the show. I know those situations, those people.

On the first season of the show they use a song called Devil Town, and when I heard it I got goosebumps.  More than FNL that single song summarizes my high school experience.

What happened in high school, the sum of so much….craziness…plays a huge part in who I am today emotionally and spiritually. It set me on the trajectory to be married to the man I’m married to, to be in this place in life, basically, to be who I am today.

I hate to say that about high school, but it’s true. In high school I learned about the naiveté of first love, how darkness can consume people, the mysteries of sex and power, pain and purity, the glamor of self-medication in so many different forms, the amazing abilities of people to change…and to stay the same.

I was in high school when I first decided to not eat. I was in high school when I first decided to cut. I was in high school when I decided to stop going to church, to become LIBERAL and VEGETARIAN!!!!, when I fell in love for the first time and had my heart broken. When I broke others’ hearts carelessly and cruelly.

All of this, of course, is my story. But so much of the place I’m from—small town Texas, with all of it’s religion, conservative values, football, wariness, warmth and general fucked-upness–exacerbated the problems. Fed it with enthusiasm.

Stay here. Feed the cycle.

The association between place and who we become has been on my mind for awhile. It has always interested me how people react to their hometowns. Many of my high school friends went away to college and went back. Some moved to other parts of Texas, like myself, and still go back regularly. I only know of a select few who moved far, far away never to look back.

All of it is a reaction to the place we’re from. *Town is the epitome of a devil town. My only friend from *Town that I still have…we agree that there is something especially subversive and sick about the town we’re from. As much as it epitomized small-town Texas it was also more of everything, especially more fucked up.

Agh! This post is ending up like last night’s, where I just pontificate on an on without getting to my point.

I guess the point is that I haven’t come to a conclusion about coming from *Town. Though I feel that place affects all of us it seems that most of the people from *Town seem to be more influenced by it than any other place I’ve met people from. No one seems to be able to quiet let go about what happened, especially when I was in high school. There were so many deaths, so many pregnancies, so much drug use, sex, depression, deception, partying, so many enmeshed and enabling relationships that braided a rope that almost hung as all.

I think the turning point in my life was when I realized that I was a part of it. That I had a choice and I was choosing to hurt, deceive and manipulate. I was choosing to hate and harm myself.

Realizing that was when things began to change in my life. And after realizing that, I had to leave. Lucky college was only a few months away.

I leave you with the lyrics:

I was living in a devil town
Didn’t know it was a devil town
Oh Lord, it really brings me down
About the devil town
And all my friends were vampires
Didn’t know they were vampires
Turns out I was a vampire myself
In the devil town
I was living in a devil town
Didn’t know it was a devil town
Oh Lord, it really brings me down
About the devil town

[I know this is a go-nowhere post. But now if I add to the subject in the future there is at least a cornerstone piece to refer back to.]

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Druidry?

So…

Druidry.

Can someone explain to me the difference between AODA, OBOD and ADF?

And, I’m reading a preview of  John Michael Greer’s The Druidry Handbook on Amazon right now. I’m intrigued. I love his honesty (on the first page, anyway).

I had another post, but while finishing it I drank too much wine and completely lost my train of thought. Maybe later this week.

Autumn is a subtle season in Central Texas. I went on a morning walk/jog on Saturday and found a field of sunflowers going to seed. Green acorns from the oak trees crunched under foot and the purple clouds brought a slight spattering of rain and a cool—almost cold—breeze. I bought an ‘Autumn in the Country’ cookbook as I really can’t resist Autumn based kitsch and will celebrate Mabon on Wednesday with cider and the planting of my fall garden (really…it’s going to happen!)

Welcome, Autumn! I am excited that you are here!

Intention

Last night Claire went down for a nap and Jonathan and I took a few minutes to clean up. At the time I was annoyed and irritated (just those vague feelings that usually accompany a lack of sleep or something you’re neglecting in your life). As I mopped I thought about what was irritating me.

I realized that before Claire, as I mopped I would think about cleaning out negative energies and thoughts, “throwing away” bad behaviors and making my home a more hospitable place. I thought about those things with ANY chore, because I hate chores and it made them feel more tolerable. Over time I actually began liking to do housework.

Last night, I mopped with a singular intention: finish before she wakes up. Midway through I realized that I wasn’t doing a good job, I was just becoming more upset and…well, if I’m just going to end angrier than I began, what’s the point?

So, I slowed down. I began to “mop up” those thoughts. When I finished I felt good. I felt like a small piece of myself had been restored.

If that’s all the spiritual work I have time for these days, then that’s fine. I have to accept that.

In other news, I’m excited for Mabon. I didn’t have the energy to give Lughnasadh more than a passing thought, but with corn and pumpkins growing in the back and I’m sowing beets, carrots, lettuces, parsnips and turnips today…Yes, harvests are in full swing and autumn is coming.

More thoughts on motherhood and spiritual walks later—I’ve been thinking a lot about pursuing a divergent (from my family) spiritual path and what that means for Claire. Lots of conflicting thoughts. Any comments or advice to consider would be greatly appreciated!

1. I chopped off my long, long hair (July 27)

2. I was in a car wreck (July 28)

3. I was overdue for a long, long time (August 3-August 16)

4. I started labor in a birthing center (August 13)

5…and I gave birth in a hospital…(August 16…yes, for real).

6. Our hard drive crashed (August 30)

7. The seasons began to change (September 1)

Claire!

Yes, that is the title of a Bones episode. But it fits!

As in, the garden has ended:

The Empty-For-Now Garden

Last weekend my parents came to help us out before the baby. Mom and I spent some time pulling up all of the spent vines and all of the buggified vines. It was sad, in a way, but also left me with a great feeling of accomplishment. I had finished a garden season, from preparing to planting to harvesting to giving the vines back to the earth in the form of the compost bin.

But even as that part of the garden ended, yesterday Jonathan planted corn and pumpkins for the fall. In six weeks, after Claire, the kitchen garden will start again with spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, leeks, lettuce, carrots…It’s not that far away.

However, the more present beginning on my mind is having a baby.

I like the idea of having a Lughnasadh baby. Claire and I have been on a journey together since Samhain, followed through a dark winter into Imbolc, and with Beltane and the Summer Solstice I really began to accept motherhood and the changes that would follow. It just seems so perfect that I’d have her around harvest and that we’d become more acquainted as the sun waned again towards Mabon and Samhain.

Anyway. There’s not much to say besides that. I’m definitely in a period of waiting. I’ve been full term for two weeks now and have another three to go before any sort of drastic measure might be taken. I’ve had “signs” but “signs” don’t mean much, so I’m just here waiting.

Happy Summer Solstice/Midsummer/Litha, everyone!

I intended to wake up this morning to watch the sun rise. Instead, I woke instead at 7:38, precisely 10 minutes after the official solstice time in my time zone.

Alas. Such is the value of sleep to a 8-month pregnant woman.

So today I have been taking photos during my errands of things that seem ‘solstice-y’ to me and making notes in “that journal”–the one that’s not my main one, but I don’t know what to call it yet.

Hope you enjoy.

Solstice Breakfast: biscuits and honey, watermelon and blueberries, eaten while observing the early-morning garden

Some lily in our yard. I love the vibrant orange color.

Solstice tomato: our tomato plants are doing well and beginning to blush in earnest.

Cucumber blossom. I mainly took this picture for the lovely spiral...creeper thing.

Sunflowers at the Natural Gardener

Another sunflower at the Natural Gardener

I added lemon verbena into my iced tea this afternoon. It smells like the sun.

Getting ready for our own harvest ;): cloth diapers and accoutrements.

Musings:

It’s been interesting to pregnant along with the Wheel of the Year. I’ve seen a lot of images of heavily pregnant women for Litha and it’s…well, it’s encouraging. Being heavily pregnant has been difficult. It’s easier to focus on the pain-in-the-ass parts of pregnancy (which are many and hard to ignore) instead of enjoying the body’s capabilities.

As I look out at my garden I’m reminded that this is a time when ‘Nature’ is doing an extraordinary amount of work as well. The resources even a small garden like mine takes (and the garden only provides 50%, maybe, of our spring-summer produce) are astounding. The soil, the fertilizer, the water, the time, the materials—and we’re not even doing it well. We’re bumping along in our first season.

Today has reminded me to be grateful for the work the (literal) earth does for me, for my family. It reminds me to be grateful for my body, which through its stretch marks and contractions, pains and indignities, is preparing for an amazing event.

Driving around to all of my various errands I also thought about what summer meant to me as a kid. How days spread out, endless in possibility, hot and boring, and to quote an Iron & Wine song summer held “our endless numbered days”. School would start back…eventually…but there was a liminal quality to summer, a caught-in-between-ness. My summers were filled with sno-cones in unnatural colors (split pina colada and margarita, flat top, double cream), the beach, books (books, books, books), trips to the library, sleeping in and the Beach Boys.

Now that the demarcation of school has passed, summer, especially July and August and September, is more of an annoyance. The time of year when the you can never get cool, when energy bills rise to extreme levels, ice tea is consumed by the gallon, your car is a hellacious oven of doom.

But today…the beginning of summer…also marks, ironically, the beginning of its end. The days grow shorter now as we edge towards Lughnasadh, and then Mabon and then Samhain. In Central Texas Lughnasadh is the last of our harvest, when we set our gardens and fields to rest throughout the relentless eat of August and the beginning of September. On the holiday of Mabon we’ll start again, planting cool-season crops to bring us through the winter months.

So really…it’s not that far away. Time won’t stop. The garden will die–in only a few weeks. The baby will come—only a few weeks after that. Then it will be time to start anew.

Enjoy your longest day everyone! Thanks for sticking with this wandering post 🙂