My man’s dead grandfather is calling him
Home to a farm in Minnesota.
A fleece of snow hides the scars of a tractor.
Ploughshare tracks of fate in his palm.
Ley lines, fey lines, bloodlines, ploughlines.
We lay in bed feeling the tug of the north.
The snowfall call of a land as mythical to me
As Avalon. The runes are cast,
This extradition will end. We will return to the soil.
Wergild has been paid, a homecoming is bought.
Light the heartfire and become who we are
Fated to be. Wolf and Goddess once more.
Posted by lahirondelle on July 21, 2008
My man’s dead grandfather is calling him
Posted by lahirondelle on July 17, 2008
ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THE NORTHLANDS: MARCH 10, 2007
I used to think it might be quite difficult to live with and love a Wolf, but now I know better I thought I would share with you my thoughts on this.
Wolves are easy to feed. They eat pizza, lots of it. And lasagne. They will eat Thai food too and look cute when they eat chilli and their nose runs.
Wolves live in the moment and although this is a wonderful thing is sometimes means you have to remember that the past and the future aren’t quite as real to them as it is to you. If you say you are stressing about something that might happen next month they may look a bit blank for a moment, until you explain.
Wolves like to drink beer in the evening but never dirty glasses because they drink out of the bottle. They don’t like beer in cans. It takes a while for wolves to find beer they like, but once they have found it they are happy and all the searching was worth it.
Wolf like snuggling, a lot; it seems you can never over pet a wolf.
Wolves look sad when you shout at them so you should try and not shout at them very often unless it is really necessary for your own mental health.
Wolves can sometimes be hard to wake up in the morning and sometimes you have to use unusual methods. Always try and have coffee nearby when waking up a wolf.
Wolves are willing to help around the house but don’t always notice when help is needed (tidying the house because the maid is coming makes wolves chuckle). It is ok to tell them you want help though, and they don’t think it is nagging. They feel bad if they forget to do something you asked them to do so this is the best time to ask them for a foot massage.
Wolves also like having their paws massaged and if you put your tongue between their toes their eyes roll back and they can’t speak.
Wolves sometimes get tears in their eyes when thinking or talking about people they love.
Wolves ask a lot of questions that don’t have answers – especially in shops, and when they are doing this to shop assistants it is best just to stand to one side and smile and then wait for them to finish. Example questions “Do you sell shoelaces? Why not, you are a shoe store, aren’t you? How can you not sell shoe laces? You sell shoes with laces don’t you? What happens if I buy shoes from you, and one of my laces breaks? Ok, where can I buy shoe laces? Why don’t you know? If you don’t sell laces yourself, you should at least know where I can buy them shouldn’t you? What do Thai ppl do when their laces break? Do they buy new shoes?” When they have finished asking questions it is best to take them to Starbucks for coffee and brownie before going to the next shop.
Wolves like to have part of their body touching your body at all times.
Wolves are outgoing and able to bond with ppl very quickly, and so you often leave them talking to a stranger and come back 2 mins later to find they are telling them stuff that you wouldn’t tell your best friend in the whole world unless you were both very very drunk.
No matter how bad it is, wolves can make it go away with a hug and a lick.
Posted by lahirondelle on July 17, 2008
ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THE NORTHLANDS: MARCH 4, 2007
Holy Sonnet XIV: Batter My Heart, Three-Person’d God
John Donne (1572-1631)
Batter my heart, three person’d God; for, you
As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow mee,’and bend
Your force, to breake, blow, burn and make me new.
I, like an usurpt towne, to’another due,
Labour to’admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weake or untrue.
Yet dearley’I love you,’and would be loved faine,
But am betroth’d unto your enemie:
Divorce mee,’untie, or breake that knot againe,
Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I
Except you’enthrall mee, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish mee.
I love John Donne. I once read a commentator state that his is ‘the most seductive spiritual poetry and the most spiritual seductive poetry ever written’. This sums him up pretty well. Born Catholic, after succumbing to pressure from King James To convert to Anglicanism he eventually became the Dean of St Paul’s, gave really cool sermons and obsessed about death in a very creative manner.
The reason I love him (apart from the fact that his poetry rocks) is that he really craved God. He ached for God with an intensity that shakes me. I can taste it in every line of this poem. I understand it. I feel the same, sometimes.
Yesterday Wolf and I were in a book shop and I saw Richard Dawkins‘ book The God Delusion. The title scared me, I leafed through it with ill-concealed hysteria and asked Wolf if he found the title sad or threatening. Wolf is grounded in his faith (unconventional, he is no monotheiest) and moves easily past naysayers. I fear contamination. A guy, a clever guy, a scientist, publishes a book asserting God is nothing more than a dangerous delusion and I linger, fearfully – wanting to read it, and yet not.
It is like passing the scene of a car accident, not wanting to look and yet wanting to. You want to look and see people ashen faced and trembling, lighting cigarettes and saying “what a relief I could have been killed”. You want to see survivors not corpses. I want to read The God Delusion and survive. I don’t want to be contaminated with even more doubt.
Like Donne I crave God, like Donne’s God, mine remains just beyond my fingertips. People who know God exists draw me, people who know He doesn’t scare me. The beauty of faith is in its struggle.
To protect myself from Dawkins the non-believer I call upon another love, Einstein, the pantheist – speaking in Hindu:
‘A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.’
So who’s deluded now? Thanks Albert I owe you one.
Posted by lahirondelle on July 17, 2008
ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THE NORTHLANDS – MARCH 4, 2007
Last night I awoke to find a man in my apartment. A strange one. Instead of waking Wolf, or screaming for help or reaching for the phone to call the police I got up and offered him a drink. After he had downed half a bottle of scotch I hit him over the head with something heavy (I forget what) and dragged his heavy unconscious bulk down two flights of stairs to the back yard, where I hanged him.
Although I had no problem finding a rope and looping it over the first (second to you Yanks) floor balcony railing, I couldn’t seem to find anything to tie it off. So I held it, held his full weight – struggling and twitching – while he died. I remember thinking it was a connection; that I was feeling him die, through the rope.
After, I discussed with Wolf what I would tell the police if they asked why a man, now dead, had been in my apartment. I was pretty calm though – all things considered. Later still I actually told my boss and he rolled his eyes (he does that a lot) and he scoffed.
“That is why when I took that self defense class I made sure they told me how to kill without leaving any marks.”
“You can kill without leaving any marks? Cool. Teach me?”
This conversation is only amusing if you have met my boss.
Dreams eh? You go for weeks without remembering a thing and then the good old unconscious mind throws you a real corker. I have killed several times in dreams, usually men – at least I don’t remember killing a woman. The first I remember when I was about sixteen and he was attacking my mother, the second was attacking me to I penetrated him with a machine designed for slicing bread. I think I get an odd pleasure from it. From not being weak, from triumphing. In one dream (my favourte by far) I gave up everything: my job, my family, my life as I knew it, in order to become a killer throughout eternity, because I realised – though I was making a huge sacrifice – I would never have to feel afraid again.
Dreams eh? They mean something I have heard.
Posted by lahirondelle on July 17, 2008
ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THE NORTHLANDS – FEBRUARY 28, 2007
My Dearest Body,
We have been together for 37 years now and I realise in all that time I have never said thank you or told you how much I love you. In fact when I have talked to you, it has been to grumble at or complain about your willful ways and your seeming disregard for my feelings. I resented you for not being taller and more willowy; criticised your ineptitude at sports; muttered on the rare occasions you became ill and whined when you grew tired performing simple tasks like climbing stairs. I even blamed you for shortcomings that were clearly not your responsibility like scarcity of sexual opportunity and poor fashion sense in my teen age years.
But I will be honest, you were always the loyal and loving one in our relationship and I was the neglectful and selfish partner. When we were young I skived out of gym class and usually made you take the less active positions in the sports we played together. I fed you junk food and forced you to snack when you weren’t hungry just because I was bored. As we grew older I surprised you with sudden dieting regimes that were as harmful to you as the uncontrolled binging that inevitably followed.
Worse was to come after taking you around the world and asking you to get used to a new climate and very different diet (which you did very well) I rewarded you by making you marry a man who loved you less than he loved me; a man who only agreed to be with you so that he could have me, and who found no joy in being with you and couldn’t hide that from you.
That was possibly the cruellest thing I did to you. I am so sorry.
Consequently we virtually stopped speaking to each other. Yeah, as I got older I realised your importance and I would take you swimming and feed you healthy food but I was rarely with you. I stopped trying to understand you and simply gave you what you needed for survival.
We might have gone on like that forever (as many people do) but then the most extraordinary thing happened. Together we found a man who could love us both equally. I know at first I didn’t believe he really loved you; I had grown suspicious of words, had I not? But your joy at his touch taught me to have faith. Though you and I barely spoke to each other and had long since stopped understanding each other I couldn’t help but be moved by the joy in your voice as you sang and danced with his body. If I retained my caution you believed from the moment you touched him that he was yours just as much as he was mine. The three of you (his heart, his body, and you – my body) gave me the courage to listen to that song, and join my voice to it.
And slowly (and I am sorry it took so long) I understood that if he could love you, maybe you were worth loving. You weren’t a poor creature to be pitied or to feel ashamed of. You were beautiful, yes beautiful… you had been mine so long I had lost touch with you. Yet this strange man, with his loud, confident heart and boisterous, bountiful body allowed us to reconnect – and for that I will forever be in his debt.
So here is my promise to you:
I will listen to your song, I will take pleasure from your touch and I will nurture your essence.
I will let you do things that are good for you and that you enjoy, and remain fully present with you rather than stand to one side and watch. I will never again feel ashamed of you or pity you, I will never forget you and I will hear and respect your opinion, because I have learned that you are just as likely to know what is good for me as I do. In short I will love you honestly, joyfully and unconditionally.
In return I ask one thing:
Stay with me for as long as you can, in order that together we might love him – the heart and the body of him – our guide who helped us find each other.
Posted by lahirondelle on June 26, 2008
The taste of an orange is an illusion;
All you have to do is catch a cold to know this.
Opinion is an illusion;
All you have to do is look within to know this.
Lines drawn on maps are an illusion;
All you have to do is see the world’s strife to know this.
The passing of time is an illusion;
All you have to do is fly over time-zones to know this.
The passing of a lifetime is an illusion;
All you have to do is look in the mirror and see your 70 year old face through your 20 year old heart to know this.
The value of money is an illusion;
All you have to do it is loose your life savings in an economic crash to know this.
Power is an illusion;
All you have to do is gain and lose it to know this.
Material success is an illusion;
All you have to do is walk through one of the poorer places of the world and see the inherent wealth in life of to know this.
Religion is an illusion;
All you have to do it open a newspaper to know this.
Self is an illusion;
All you have to do is fall in love to know this.
God is an illusion;
All you have to do is find Him to know this.
Everything you see, hear, smell, touch, taste and know is an illusion;
All you have to do is die to know this.
Love is real.
All you have to do to know this is raise a child with patience and understanding through an endless succession of good days and bad days, until one day they leave and start a journey of their own.
All you have to do to know this is say goodbye to your mother or father for the last time.
All you have to do to know this is watch your lover while they sleep.
Love is all that is real.
All you have to do is attain enlightenment to know this.
Posted by lahirondelle on June 22, 2008
Once upon a time there was a young prince who believed in all things but three. He did not believe in princesses, he did not believe in islands, and he did not believe in God. His father, the king, told him that such things did not exist. As there were no princesses or islands in his father’s domains, and no sign of God, the prince believed his father.
But then, one day, the prince ran away from his palace and came to the next land. There, to his astonishment, from every coast he saw islands, and on these islands, strange and troubling creatures whom he dared not name. As he was searching for a boat, a man in full evening dress approached him along the shore.
“Are those real islands?” asked the young prince.
“Of course they are real islands,” said the man in evening dress.
“And those strange and troubling creatures?”
“They are all genuine and authentic princesses.”
“Then God must also exist!” cried the young prince.
“I am God,” replied the man in evening dress, with a bow.
The young prince returned home as quickly as he could.
“So, you are back,” said his father, the king.
“I have seen islands, I have seen princesses, I have seen God,” said the prince reproachfully.
The king was unmoved.
“Neither real islands, real princesses nor a real God exist.”
“I saw them!”
“Tell me how God was dressed.”
“God was in full evening dress.”
“Were the sleves of his coat rolled back?”
The prince remembered that they had been. The king smiled.
“That is the uniform of a magician. You have been deceived.”
At this, the prince returned to the next land and went to the same shore, where once again he came upon the man in full evening dress.
“My father, the king, has told me who you are,” said the prince indignantly. “You deceived me last time, but not again. Now I know that those are not real islands and real princesses, because you are a magician.”
The man on the shore smiled.
“It is you who are deceived, my boy. In your father’s kingdom, there are many islands and many princesses. But you are under your father’s spell, so you cannot see them.”
The prince pensively returned home. When he saw his father, he looked him in the eye.
“Father, is it true that you are not a real king, but only a magician?”
The king smiled and rolled back his sleeves.
“Yes, my son, I’m only a magician.”
“Then the man on the other shore was God.”
“The man on the other shore was another magician.”
“I must know the truth, the truth beyond magic.”
“There is no truth beyond magic,” said the king.
The prince was full of sadness. He said “I will kill myself.”
The king by magic caused Death to appear. Death stood in the door and beckoned to the prince. The prince shuddered. He remembered the beautiful but unreal islands and the unreal but beautiful princesses.
“Very well,” he said, “I can bear it”.
“You see, my son,” said the king, “you, too, now begin to be a magician.”
From “The Magus” by John Fowles.
Posted by lahirondelle on June 21, 2008
In recent years I have had two very transformative experiences. The first was receiving my first (and so far only) reiki attunement, and the second was the more gradual, less defined, but intensely powerful transformation that came with a short but (then) regular yoga practice.
How is this about salvation?
Well I have always associated salvation with Christian Soteriology; being saved from something (delivered) or saved for something (redeemed). But it seemed to be such a passive experience. Something that is done to you, by God.
The attunement was a bit like that, you just offer yourself, make yourself available and ‘it’ is done to you. However the real transformation happens later, through what you do with what is conferred.
Yoga was, needless to say, far more active. In fact I thought it was all activity, until I started noticing more profound spiritual changes. This is why I am calling it salvation. It wasn’t just the increased energy / more positive outlook experienced by many who take up some form of regular exercise. It was more complex and powerful, a gradual changng of who I am.
I asked some friends who have a more ‘orthodox’ (i.e.Christian) experience of salvation what they felt and a selection of their reponses are as follows:
I remember closing my eyes in prayer and just feeling like things were so much better – they were right again. I have a hard time remembering the bad things in my past. Well maybe that’s not the right way to say it….its more like those things I held on to that caused me so much pain at the mere thought, they didn’t hold that power anymore.
I still get sad and am dealing with my emotional distresses but they don’t seem to hold the weight that they once did.
This experience was the consequence of quite a profoundly moving moment which was both physical and transforming (as the original moment of transformation was quite personal I chose not to quote it, but focused rather on the calming and stabalising after-effects). I personally had no such single moment of metamorphosis into a saved being, but there were a number of yoga sessions over a period of time where I had mini breakdowns and experienced tearful waves of elation and despair.
Another friend states:
Reading the bible and learning the things that Jesus did in his short ministry causes a person to emulate that. You become a kinder, more patient, giving, loving person.
Does something real happen when you accept Jesus as your saviour? A real “transformation”, so to speak? I believe so, yes. That your spirit – the real you (which is housed in your body) – is changed and becomes new. So, it does change you.
These two testimonies seem to me to be more theortical; faith rather than witness, and I am not knocking faith – I have a lot of respect for the faithful. However the Buddhist / Hindu journey I am on doesn’t leave much room for it; whereas Christian experience values is as much if not more than more concrete “evidence” of spiritual salvatation.
A former Latter Day Saint has an interesting take:
From an LDS perspective being saved is something that ultimately happens at the resurrection when everyone is assigned a kingdom of glory. any time before that you still have time to blow it (or salvage it).
This is theoretical in another sense, in that it doesn’t come from a position of faith but one of disenchantment or lost faith on the part of the speaker. There is distance, and this is “for information only”. It is forbiddingly absolute too, there is nothing to discover, no work to be done – or more properly the work is not in gaining the reward but in deserving (and holding on to) a reward that is freely given in exchange for love.
This feeling does change me as it opens my Sight both physical and mental to this that this world is alive and there is an ever present spirit here. It puts my life in perspective to see this subtle change and makes me think on if what I am doing will be positive effect to all of existence around me. All I think in that moment in time is, I hope so. Then I continue on my way with this beauty captured in my memory.
This is closer to my experience than any of the others, but then the testimony is from a rather mystical Christian who is, I believe, strongly influenced by both oriental and new age thinking.
Clearly I am too early in my journey to find answers. In truth I am hardly able to phrase question or know whether a question is an appropriate compass for for spiritual orienteering. I will instead finish with a statement of faith. Intentionally, that very faith I questioned in this post:
I believe salvation is a metamorphosis. A change that effects every sheath be it flesh, or spirit, or soul. There is I before and I after salvation and they are distinct if not different. The transition can be gradual or instantanious, for many it is painful. But the consequence is homecoming, affirmation and tranquility. It isn’t enlightenment but it is a cosmic confirmation that you are on the right path.
Posted by lahirondelle on May 6, 2008
My initial response to the concept of preservation is it’s like an N.R.A approach – be willing to take a life in order to protect one. I have always believed that is utter crap. I have argued this on The Northlands I won’t go into it again except to give this summary and link:
The reason I hate guns is if we have got them we use them. I have had really fucking awful days when the thought of a quick and painless end to it all would have been attractive. Thank God I didn’t have a gun. I have had fucking awful days when I could have cheerfully blown my husband’s head off and done a happy dance in his pooling blood. Thank God I didn’t have gun. I strongly believe people do not have the right to bear arms… no matter what is says it says in your constitution.
It is also (as in the image I chose to illustrate this post) an illusion. A rose pressed into a Bible like a blood stain. How can a dead thing be considered preserved? The simulcrum is all that remains; the mammoth in the ice, a damp fossil. Take the DNA, create a new beast and what have you preserved ? A sense of man as god? Or a faker? Magician or illusionist?
So is preservation ever worthwhile? I think it is a subtle power. Culture preserves a sense of self and Faith a sense of Soul. We should be willing to die for something. If not the right to bear arms then maybe the right to lay them down.
Posted by lahirondelle on May 5, 2008
I have been avoiding making this post for a month. The truth is when I said that I would post on the five themes I knew there was only one thing I could discuss under Destruction and eh, it is hard.
My Dad has cancer and I am afraid he is slowly dying.
Ok, that is that out in the open, so let’s delve a little deeper. I have this Hindu/Buddhist journey thing going on. My dad is an athiest. He says he believed in God when I was born but I think it had worn off by the time I had started school. So he faces death as the ultimate, no bullshit end. That’s it, it has been wonderful, drive safely, lights off, goodnight. I wish I were a proper Christian so I could say “no not that, this” (heaven etc.). Because although my dad could be a bit of a shit and in his day was a lot of a womaniser – he is a wonderful human being and would be the kind of guy God would love to have on his team. But I am the mess of faith and so I find myself believing something, but what? I have no idea. Suddenly my search for an answer has become more pressing, because my dad is on the edge of the abyss.
Aside from the desire to give my dad a convincing alternative to his spiritual nihilism I need the comfort myself. Wolf talks to his dead. I’m not sure when, or how often. But he communes… and sometimes (at least from the expressions on the cats faces I think this is the case) they drop by for a visit.
I guess this is why Faith is called Faith and not Knowing.
Incidentally, dad isn’t cashing in his chips yet. He is ready to fight and the weapon of choice is chemotherapy. Here I recognise Shiva’s dance – destroy to create. Just wish I could touch his hair one more time before the destruction starts.