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August 19th, 2010

10:17 am - Day 3 Gratitude (late)

Yesterday ran away with my time . . . again.  But, I was and am grateful for . . .

The Laundry-mat  where I washed everything we own to eradicate mold carried from "The Mouth of Hell" we recently moved away from
My son, who tried very hard to help with the laundry
Massage therapy. Gods, yes!
Ceiling fan
Kitten purrs
Happy daughter
Blue Roses Incense
My "skinny" jeans getting loose
"Julia & Julia"--sweet movie
Sleep coming early

What are you grateful for?


03:41 pm - slow and steady

About ten days ago I realized that if I kept driving myself at the pace I was going that I'd wind up really, really sick.  I've moved house twice in as many months.  Moved house.  With two kids and a lifetime's worth of belongings.  Moved house twice--I own appliances and furniture and heirlooms and toys and books and a piano ferchrissakes!  I had completely unpacked and set up the first place--even had all the curtains and artwork hung and the linens put away, altars built . . . . and then realized the place was a health hazard.  It should never have been rented for human habitation.  I'd moved into what amounted to a movie set--nice paint and props, but behind the walls and beneath the floors and above the ceilings lay mold and . . . . well, I'd rather not get into all that.  Uninhabitable sums it up.

Exacly three days after bringing the last load of moving boxes to the recylcing station, I started collecting boxes again and repacked.  I have been living with moving boxes in one of three places since April.  Since then, I've also travelled to Scotland, California and Denver and have attempted (and haven't succeeded very well, which is cause for anxiety) to teach about 6 online workshops.  This is all in addition to the regularly frantic pace of my life as a sole parent of two children combined with teaching.

So, yeah.  It became clear that this pace, this anxiety, this continual having to accomplish in 24 hours what most people can't accomplish in a week needed to stop.

So, I just stopped.

And then . . . friends came by and put me in the car and took over childcare and sent me away.  I spent one day sick in a hotel room.  As soon as I got away from the house, the boxes, the demands and yes, the mold invading everything . . . my body went into a kind of revolt.  So, I pulled the curtains against the light, unplugged the phone and clock and left the laptop safely in the car.  Even though I was ill, it was as close to heaven as I've ever been.  For 24 hours I belonged soley, utterly and completely to myself, the bed, the darkness and the blessed air conditioning. 

The next day, rested and quiet, I spent at the beach getting tumbled, cleansed, purified and polished by the Sea Goddess.  Salt air and sunlight can cure just about anything. 

One day at a time, I've been tackling the List of Things TO DO.  But, without panic or anxiety or pressure.  I can only do what I can do.  And I am purposefully doing little in comparison to how I normally operate. 

Today, I unpacked the Ancestor Altar.  Here is the empty Animal Cracker box--my Mom used to give a box to my daughter everytime she saw her.  In fact, no one else was "allowed" to give K. those cookies--they were Nana's signature gift .  And here are her crocheted-edged handkerchiefs--the cotton thinner than paper and yellow with age.  I took time to hand wash them in the sink and soak them in blueing.  They are forever stained in some places, but they are clean now.  And here are my Mother's ashes.  Here is my uncle's funeral card.  Here are all the photos.  Cora's Samhain poem with the black cat sketched on it.    Here is the tiny jar of pink-red Hawaiian sea salt from Victor that I use only a single grain at a time and only for Really Big Stuff.  These last were gifted to me by my teacher.  Here is a photo of D.  at my wedding.   Here are the plates for offerings and the candle . . . .  Everything is carried to the sink and washed or wiped down with salted water.  Everything cleansed with smoke and placed lovingly.  The candle is lit.  The coffee (Taster's Choice Instant for Mom) the tea (Lipton with a pat of butter for Victor), the pie (Cora), the jar of honey (a Great-grandmother of H's who takes an interest in me) . . . . these go to the shrine as well . . . .

If this is all I complete today, it is a day well lived and work well done.

Blessed Be Those who've walked before us.  We stand upon their shoulders.  I hear their footsteps and their voices approach in response to my prayers.  I see their gestures carried forth in the bodies of my own children.  I feel their wisdom pulsing in my blood and spilling forth from my own lips.

Thanks for reading.
May your own Beloved Dead bless your works and homes.
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