Currently I am very sad and tired.
My very good friend (as in close enough she's family, like sister status) I found out today had been in the hospital. She'd been in a diabetic coma for 22 hours, brought on due to a nasty combination of factors including not enough food due to finances, heat, and her blood sugar monitor going on the fritz (much like the phones have been doing the past month now, but worse). Not only had she been in the coma, but she had been seizuring, died and they had to bring her back (defibrilators are something to be very thankful for).
Certainly not up to editing right now, though she does want the current chapters of Selkies' Skins to read. Faith and her family can use all the prayers that they can get right now during the recovery. Her health is getting increasingly fragile and she really needs to get to a better point. Her mate is also unable to work, which makes things very difficult.
I really hope I don't have to put an "in memory of" entry in that story once it is completed though. I went over, visited, and took some things to help with their situation, but I still wish that I could do more.
Any prayers, energy sent their way (she's not one of those allergic to Reiki), etc is welcomed. If anyone randomly feels generous enough to send them a little money (I killed what was in my slushfund to take them some of the things I knew they needed that I didn't have) you could ask me for their mailing address. I don't expect it, but one never knows.
One of the things that strikes deepest about priestessing, is that I am not only tasked to serve my deities. I am not only tasked to serve as a bridge between spirit and human experience/ humankind. I'm not only tasked to help out the random spirits that come knocking on my door at 3AM, or to deal with harmful spirits bothering someone else.
I am to minister. In some cases, it means providing a listening ear and a hug. In others, purifying someone's home, blessing a baby (which I love) or to officiate a someone's wedding, or some other milestone ceremony.
The hardest ones, though, are the funeral and memorial services. I can remember being a child, and when my friends and I would find a dead animal, we'd bury it and hold a memorial service, even though doing so meant that we would get in trouble if the teachers caught us. When home and playing in the yard, just myself and my spiritual guardian, and the trees, I can remember talking to them about what death was like, what happened, were different sorts of beings might go.
And I can remember deep grief when an uncle passed away of a heart attack, even though I "knew" where he went and that he no longer was dealing with a aging body. And I remember deeper grief as my grandfather, the only one I'd ever known at the time, passed away. I remember the burning anger that his last few years were not better, and that ultimately he'd died alone in a nursing home that always smelled of death when I visited. I remember it being deeper when my grandmother met the same fate. I was in high school at the time. I think this is when my path sealed. I plunged deeper into my studies with the knowledge that the path of a priestess was the one I was to walk, and that it would not be some "entry level lay person" calling. I also remember being challenged. And a terrifying ordeal it was, though I may not write exactly what transpired. I literally could not bear the thought of some other person having the level of pain that I did, and no one that they could safely turn to due to religious problems.
Later today, I will be performing a memorial service, for the pet/companion of a friend. Even though I did not personally know said rat, he was very dear to her. And I knew before getting up, that when I would check my messages, that I was going to find some sad news. The work of a memorial service is not so much for the departed, though it is for them and their journey onward. Mostly, it is about comforting and healing those left behind, or at least starting the process. I am glad that I can do this work, to provide for others, at least somewhat, the kind of comfort that was not available to me so long ago.
So let's see... let's try a morning post before homework eats me alive.
Yesterday, homework gave me a bug up my you know where due to a statement about the end of WWII that was untrue or misworded. So I ended up losing some time because I let myself wander off on a tangent, trying to figure out whether or not I could pull off taking kids to Ft Stevens, Oregon this summer. Family up in that area has indicated wanting us to drop in when/if we make it and a place to stay, which is good... less money to spend, which means a bit more I can do with kids. At the very least, less shiny white hairs to stick up and wave themselves around like antennae whilst stressing. Sooooo, it is now the saving of the gas funds (and being sure to keep enough set aside to take kids on the historic tours, even if grandpa can't be there with us). And there will hopefully be kite flying on the beach, which means mommy and merlin will have to bring rope to tie Athena to themselves with, as together the three of us should be heavy enough not to blow away.
Yes, I'm actually serious about the rope bit. Her kite is pretty big and should be able to generate some impressive lift if we aren't careful. One might say it's paranoid or overkill, but they've also not been blown across a college campus by the wind. I will never repeat that. Neither shall my child, unless we decide to go hanggliding, which will not be for at least several years.
See what I mean about tangents? Watch as I run along various mind trails like a rat in a maze... and someone steals my cheese.
Children and I also went to the store. They were good. Merlin actually surprised me by finding dish scrubbers for me (we needed new ones) while I was looking for the borax in the cleaning aisle. He was pretty proud of himself for helping and remembering one of the things he knew we needed to pick up. I was pretty proud of him for doing that without me asking, that he would, on his own initiative, bring me something for the house instead of just something that he wanted. He surprised me again when we stopped in the hygiene aisle, as he has apparently developed a preference for a certain shampoo that we'd only had in trial size before. If it means less fighting about The Washing Of The Hair, then I have no problem with him wanting one brand over another. Treats were administered as reward for good behavior.
Did not dream last night, that I am aware of. I think it was more of an "exhausted drifting, simultaneously mentally reaching out and touching in on several people including mate" night than "coherent dreams and travels" night. DID wake up this morning, having gone to bed alone, to find myself surrounded by literally everyone. Merlin and Lightning were sprawled on the bed taking up the room, Athena and Buckwheat, the kitty with cancer that we let sleep inside since its owners won't, were sprawled on the floor beside the bed. Ok, so Buckwheat was more curled up and drooling... At any rate, EVERYONE had decided to move into my room for some strange reason. I am apparently popular. XD
Body aches still, seemingly for no reason. And ovaries seem rather intent on the monthly "release of the egg, though there's nowhere for it to go and thus shall just end up reabsorbed, because this is what we do" thing. It's uncomfortable, I still feel that part much more than one would think I should, but I'd much rather deal with this than the mind killing cramps that I used to have and the bleeding problems that I used to have. So, with this not so random comparison between past health and present, it is heartening to know that I am at least doing better than I was.
Now, for a couple of people in my family to get over their current health concerns.
I seem to be in a rather vocal mood this morning. Maybe it has to do with the fact I put a little cinnamon and almond in my coffee, or perhaps it is the daffodils that are budding by the church where my son gets picked up for school, or maybe it is the fact that I've not done much in the way of journaling lately other than when I've written down my dreams. At any rate, onward! To victory against my school reading! Or at least getting a sizable portion done while waiting for it to be warm enough to take laundry down to be washed.
So... heater broke again last night. Out of the blue, after it had been recently repaired, it decided to suddenly go on the blink. No one had touched the thermostat, and yet no matter what I did, I couldn't get the bugger to do anything but suck in cold air from outside. So I shut it off and left a message down in the office.
Went to bed after three big huge bowls of hot soup, with all the blankets that I could find distributed onto everyone's beds. Athena, as I discovered this morning, was so cold she snuck my heating pad. Merlin decided it was cold enough that he went to sleep in what he was going to wear for school. Probably a wise move... no way on earth I'd want to strip out of warm PJ's and put on freezing clothes that take forever to warm up. I ended up doing the same.
I get rather tired of either not getting out of pajamas because it's too cold, or having to sleep in the next day's clothes. I honestly don't think it would be this bad if the walls were well insulated. I mean, seriously, I lived in a thin sided TRAILER during one of the coldest winters when I was single. I lived TWO winters in a trailer in fact, and I was a lot warmer then and not sleeping in long underwear, jeans, a couple layers of sweaters, and a heavy pile of blankets.
Then again, I also had several sweat suits back then, the nice heavy ones. I think it's definitely time to be buying a couple sets for myself, and some for the kids. Well, when there is some spare money, which isn't easy to sccrimp together.
I'm seriously thinking about getting nice thick decorative quilts and having the walls covered with those next winter. I was rather hoping to be able to do it this year to cut down a little on the heat loss.
Dang I want a house of my own, one with decent insulation, and that I can put weather stripping on the doors and have nice thick curtains over the windows and cover up the outside with plastic to winterize them properly. And a porch to store the bikes on instead of having to have them inside when not being used (seriously, I was reminded by management about this today, when I had them out on the balcony so I could get the living room pieced back together enough to VACCUUM because it needed it).
It least I have tea... had tea, need another cup... And now that I've vented... I can go write my dream entry and snuggle into those memories, because where I dreamed about was warm, pretty, had tasty fish (yes, I ate in my dream, I like food and at least I don't dream of it raining bacon cheeseburgers like when I was a kid), and I had great company.
So the kids and I spent the night at my brothers in case the power decided to go back out again, as it sometimes does during good storms. Athena played Go most of the day. Merlin was very happy to play with her, as were her cousins, and I played a couple matches myself (difficult to sit up that long).
It's quite cozy in the living room by the fireplace really.
I woke up this morning to get the kids ready for school... I went out to brush the snow off the windows and get the inside warmed up. I found a small hill where my Jeep once was. I brushed off snow as well as I could, and decided to see if I was going to need to go borrow a shovel. Strapping in I discovered that I did not need to dig out, as it backed up nicely. There is GREAT satisfaction in being able to back out of snow above your tires and get onto the road without having to dig.
It helped that it was nice light powder. This is competition snow, I really hope the people at the ski park are enjoying this. The ski gods smile upon the park, but laugh at me not being in a condition to go do the snow dance...
So after I got the Jeep out, I finished clearing windows, Backing out had caused what was on top to slide down over my windshield. Merlin was quite impressed with the amount of snow when I went back in to get him. To quote him, "Oh, pretty. I like snow."
I am also glad that I have a Jeep and have learned to drive in the snow, as several inches had piled on the roads since the last time the plow had gone through town. Athena was pretty impressed when it was her turn to go to school.
A fellow priestess made a post recently regarding the realization that she serves in more than one temple. I have recently come to face the fact that I am in a similar situation, so reading her post confirmed in me the fact that I am not alone. Other priestesses do, in fact, serve in more than one place.
Here is the reply (typos and all) that I had made to her post, partly because it is pertinent to the subject of this posting, and partly so that I don't lose it... so that I can look back at some future point while looking over my progress in realizations.
"Interesting thing is that I recently realized I've been serving in more than one temple, and trying to come to terms with the "is it one, or is it that I serve in more? Why do I feel trapped only offering particular services in one venue, and feeling flattened, but not daring to offer others that do not correctly take place in a Buddhist shrine? Is it ok if, to feel whole and to meet the mutual needs of myself and my deities, to choose other places as well, given that for space, time, and safety constraints the bulk take place in cyber space other than weddings/handfastings, and funerals?"
I didn't really have the need to look at this until in the last few months though, since before then I've served comfortably in my own home for the most part, with excursions to the outside for things the public called on me to do. Izanami and Izanagi are comfortable in the same homeshrine as Amaterasu, Kwan Yin, Shastayama, guardian kami, Seiryuu, Susanoo, and others. The bulk of things in the home take place at the same main kamidana, including the ancestral rites. When I found a place to facilitate some Buddhist meditations and take part in others, it catalyzed things because I had actually been looking for other Shinto practitioners to have regular interaction with besides my family.
Thank you for sharing your own realization. It's nice to know that I'm not alone, and not wrong in having a braided path."
Further thought, a temple is not necessarily the traditional "temple" that many think of. When I hear the term priestess, part of me still thinks of temples and shrines where the staff lives in, totally separated (ostensibly) from the mundane life. There are so many temples and shrines in people's own homes though. There is also the fact that "priestess" is more than being a link between gods and humanity. There are the issues of guidance, care, healing, and presence... embodiment... that I should re-examine, as well as my concept of what a "temple" actually is.
It feels a bit odd to go through paperwork, and finding a stray copy of mom and dad's letter to Southern Oregon University giving background into my character... I had nearly forgotten one thing that they mentioned in the letter; an award from Tandy Corporation (then a subdivision of IBM) in recognition of my math and science achievements.
Come to think of it, I don't remember ever applying for that, one of my teachers had recommended me and I got surprised when handed it...
They also mention a "zest for life" and always "studying and learning something new."
It just felt so odd to come across that in a folder where it didn't even belong, and to look at the photocopy of dad's signature...