Friday, October 28, 2016


So, it seems my social calendar has suddenly emptied itself out.  On Tuesday, I extended to a friend an invitation to my home for today, which at the time I thought was accepted.  So I had prepared to make a nice meal and even bake something nice for dessert, but upon touching base with my friend last night, she was no longer able to come.  I assume that in her mind, the plans were never finalized, since she had felt no need to advise me of the schedule conflict until I reached out.  I sometimes wonder what it is I do wrong to cause these misunderstandings to happen.  In any case, I am having a quiet day by myself today instead.  It's probably just as well; I was probably destined to be embarrassed by my clutter.

At literally the same time as I was finding this out, yesterday, I received a message from my sister-in-law to let me know she was not going to host a Thanksgiving celebration this year.  As a corollary, this means I am definitely not invited to her celebration, since she isn't having one.  She said she needed to find her "new normal" in her new life without her sister.  I said it was probably just as well; Thanksgiving was Jo's favorite holiday, and I doubt I will be feeling celebratory that day either.
(For some reason it does make me wonder if there is a larger context to it, and whether it's a sign, or a hint, that she and I might end up going our own separate ways after all.  I think the loss of her sister is incredibly painful for her, maybe the most painful thing that has ever happened to her, and if what I am is a reminder of what she has lost, then maybe that would be just as well too.)

I checked my email last night, and there was an email in the UU mailing list asking for another participant in the special Samhain service that the Earth-Based Spirituality (aka Pagan) group is doing this Sunday.  I replied and said I could do it.  Today there was another email that said they had filled the opening, with someone other than me.  I wonder what it is I did wrong when I tried to sign up for the Earth-Based group, that I wasn't included in the planning in the first place; I don't remember ever getting a message about it.  It's probably just as well though; I'm not even sure I want to go, so I'm not sure why I was volunteering for it, other than thinking that I'm a Witch and I am surely capable of helping with a Pagan service.
It's also probably just as well because the truth is, even though I've been asking about it at church, I've been having mixed feelings about sharing the details of my spirituality with other Pagans.  I guess I worry that it'll just end with a bunch of Wiccans trying to tell me all the ways I'm doing it wrong.  Which wouldn't change me, necessarily, but it would feel like yet another rejection.

I end up thinking, it actually might be just as well if I just plan to keep to myself for the most part.  I do have a lot of work to do if I'm ever going to actually get my home in order.

Of course, then the bad side of keeping to myself is the thing that Joanne was most scared of before she met me:  Now that I'm alone, if something bad happens to me, I rather expect nobody will notice until I fail to show up for work.

Saturday, October 22, 2016


I'm feeling very withdrawn and reclusive this weekend; other than a possible trip to the grocery store, I rather doubt I'm going to go anywhere.  Probably not even to Facebook.

When I think about it, it seems strange that I write here when I'm feeling more private, because since I never make public posts on Facebook, it is arguably far more private than this blog, which is fully accessible to anyone who finds it.  I think it comes down to the expectations; Facebook is a "social media" site, so when I put something there, there's the expectation that the social circle will see it and give it little 'thumbs up' or 'heart' symbols or maybe type a little comment.  I can put something here with the expectation that nobody but me has to ever see it; and if someone does find it, and read it, and hopefully get something out of it, there's still no unspoken 'obligation' for them to say anything to me about it (although they could if they wished).

It also seems telling to me that the times when I feel withdrawn and reclusive are also the times I feel the most spiritual--and following from that, it is very interesting to me that it seems the times I am feeling the most spiritual are also the times I am least likely to want to go to church.
I think it's because, for me, spirituality is a very personal and private thing; it's something I can only fully experience alone.  (I knew I had really found my one true soulmate when I realized that I was able to feel spiritual 'together' with Joanne.  Being with her was very much like "alone time.")  A spiritually fulfilling day for me is the day where I stay at home, light candles, put on my apron, put my Cauldron on the stove and get a big pot of chicken stock (or something) started, and just be in my Kitchen, and my Cottage, all day.  And it's the quiet times in the days like this when I feel like I can reach across to the other side, and have a conversation with my love, who is no longer here physically, but spiritually still is.

I suppose that, even though it sounds backwards, it's really no true mystery.  Going to church is a very social thing.  Even for a progressive non-dogmatic church like the Unitarian Universalists, going to church is religious, not spiritual.  You get together to share ideas about how to find your spirituality, or how to express it, or to join with others to do the positive things in the world that your spirituality draws you to do.  But you don't go there to be spiritual while you're there.  (Or at least, I can't.  Maybe there are people who can be social and spiritual at the same time; maybe those people get something different out of it than I do.)
So if I'm feeling the need to be spiritual, this weekend--the need to draw down the spiritual energy, to recharge, and once again become a Force of Nature--then that is what I will have to do, and then I can go back out into the world once I am ready again.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


According to the forecasts, in about six hours, there is going to be a big windstorm here, which is predicted to cause widespread power outages.  The news is being rather dramatic about it this time; they're even comparing it to the infamous-in-these-parts 1962 Columbus Day Storm, which supplied the region with wind gusts of up to 160 miles per hour.  (It was likely more than that, but many wind gauges were destroyed by the wind and stopped measuring things.)

I'm as ready as I'm going to be able to get for this time around; I have my kerosene cookstove brought in and set up, and all the non-electric lamps in the house are ready to go.  I took a go on Thursday at stocking up on some things that'd be easy to cook on the kerosene stove, like soups, pasta, and that sort of thing; unfortunately, as happens when you wait until the storm is announced like everyone else, the shelves had been picked over pretty well for things like canned goods and staples.
I don't necessarily expect to lose water service since I am on a public water supply, but I did fill my empty canning jars with water just in case they might come in handy.

So, I'm probably at least as prepared as anyone else around here.  But, I sit here this morning and think of all the ways I could have been even more prepared.  I haven't bought any kerosene for over a year, and I am down to about half of what I originally stocked; I could have had a better plan for keeping fuel in stock.  I have some canned proteins in the form of tuna and salmon, but it could have been nice to have canned my own chicken or ground beef to have in the pantry.  I could have a better plan for stocking emergency water, dry goods, etcetera.
And of course I could have had the tree service people out this summer so there weren't those one or two worrisome trees that have the potential to fall over onto the house.

None of that is meant to "beat myself up" for this time around, of course.  But, it sounds like a worthy and satisfying goal to work on after this current 'crisis'; it'd be nice to be able to know I'm well prepared for a power or water outage--all the time, and not just when the storm is announced--and just not worry.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

On Sexual Assault

My mind has been in a very odd place today.  Mainly it has to do with Donald Trump and the "Access Hollywood" footage heard-round-the-world, although I am going to do my best not to make this directly about politics.  Like everyone else, I found Trump's words--and even more than the words, the ease with which he said them--extremely jarring and unsettling.  But it wasn't until I found the tangent news story, about the author who started a movement of millions of women sharing their sexual assault stories, to put faces to the women--no, the victims--like the ones that this man was bragging about being able to "do anything he wanted" to, that my mind went to its dark place.

That particular dark place is there because, sadly, I was able to add an experience of my own.  If my love Joanne were here, she would be able to add hers as well.  I may be the only person she confided it to.

Before, when the story was just about the "hypothetical woman" that was the subject of the 'locker room talk', it was jarring, but at least it was over there.  But by taking me back to that place, now, suddenly, he is talking about me, he is talking about my Joanne.  Now I hear him say that he, through the power of his fame and popularity, can grab my crotch with impunity, and I would be powerless against him.

Unfortunately, experience tells me it's true; even with no more authority than being the children of the head of my church, my abusers had the hopefully-unwitting support of my parents, who at the time characterized my protests about going to evening church services as "the Devil trying to tempt me away from Jesus."  So I have no doubt that the then-celebrity really did have the impunity he believed he had.

I'm watching the debate tonight, and I can tell my point-of-view has been altered.  Where before, I might have seen a 'bully,' tonight I see an abuser, a predator.  I notice him interrupting, domineering, making sure to position himself behind Ms. Clinton, looming in the background as if to use his size and stature to intimidate.

It occurs to me that there's probably really no such thing as a "bully."  All that is is a 'cute' name for an abuser.  "Bullying" is just abuse that, by semantics, is being minimized into something less threatening.