It’s a Pale White Thing

This song has become a favorite if only because it stirs that lizard brain a bit. The singer is so fair as to be translucent. And I thought I was pale…

The words? Eternal in aspect. The Norse have a way about them and we ought to remember that “all the gods are one God and there is one initiator”. Why else the commonalities among all religions? I’ve always been comforted to find the similarities – a line of stories that wended its way through centuries and lands, hands and mouths, even if corrupted to meet the political needs of men along the way.

“The raven still knows if I fall.”  The Morrigan misses little. She has always been my mascot. A friend said they do not fear death but the dying – the unknown manner of farewell. That seems reasonable to me – I do know a few ways I hope to not experience. And I have dreamt a few so very intensely that I wonder, sometimes, whose death it was.

Ah, well, perhaps a somber post but not intended as such – rather, I am in a kind of…transition – the death of an old life and a rebirth, of sorts. It is an interesting section of this entire…journey.

The path to Hel

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Who shall sing me,
Into deathsleep sling me,
When I on the path to Hel go,
And this track I tread
Is cold, so cold, so cold.
I sought the songs,
I sent the songs.
Then the deepest well
Gave me tears so harsh
From the Slain-father’s pledge.
I know everything, Odin,
To whom you gave your eye.
Who shall sing me,
Into deathsleep sling me,
Whence I on the path to Hel go,
And this track I tread
Is cold, so cold, so cold.
Early or in the day’s end,
The raven still knows if I fall.
Once you stand at the gate to Hel
And when you have to tear free,
I shall follow you
Over Gjallarbrú with my song.
You will be free from the bonds that bind you,
You are free from the bonds that bound you!
“Cattle die,
Friends die,
So, too, must you die.
Though one thing
Never dies;
The fair fame one has earned.
Cattle die,
Friends die,
So, too, must you die.
I know one,
That never dies;
Judgement of a dead man’s life

Hope Springs…

Well, perhaps not eternal but at least there is damp portent of a possible rivulet. A job may be in my future! Well, there are a few that may be but this one at least has gotten in front of eyes of human beings who actually make decisions. Huzzah.

I have tried to keep my mind set on the facts and figures, the research performed, my little soliloquy of me at the ready, and the questions that one must have all printed out. And still…there is that little creature that huddles and frets. My dear friend who made this all happen offered her advice, “Balls OUT!” which put great courage in my soul. Tomorrow we shall see.

There is not much else to report, I’m afraid. Stasis. Which is far better than travail, to be certain. Breath held against the storm. Once things start in motion it will be a lumbering beast of gears and sprockets that will chew through anything that doesn’t move. Nothing will stop its motion – only activity can surpass its gain. If only I knew what to do.

0ce35-periwink-bmpI spoil myself with visuals, with songs, to distract from the lurching thing in the distance. Old days are pulled around me like a shawl, so familiar and comfortable and Over. Known. Yes, that happened, we didn’t die, and then we moved on. Oh, and yes, that happened, lived through it, too, and moved on. And again…so that in a few more years this will also be stitched into that shawl of days, pain faded, sharp edges burnished with tears and abrasion.

You must turn your mournful ditty to a merry measure. I will never come for pity, I will come for pleasure.

That, a remonstration from a courtly man to his courtesan, another who waited and wrote, but who in the end lost all but the words. From one side it seems a reasonable demand but from another a cruel denial. We all need pity for our pain, our mourning. An understanding of what stirs within, never-dying. Like cinders deep in the belly,  now cold but weighing us down. The only cure being a straight spine to fight the gravity, the grave.

Do you believe in reinvention
Do you believe that life is holding the clue
Any way to face the silence

Saturday’s Narration

I was running through the old music on the phone, tossing this and that from my Amazon app when I found oh so many perfect songs…and I thought, you know, this would be a fine place to store them all nice and neat.

I make a wrong turn, break it
Now i’m too far gone
I’ve got a siren on my tail
And that ain’t the fine I’m lookin for

In my perfect world you’re happy with me.
When I picture it, it’s all heavenly.
But this fairytale is just a story, see?
Life is such an unpredictable dream…

You’re so very special
I wish I was special

You know you didn’t understand me
I didn’t say it was a problem

What I am to you is not real

And I sigh your name
Across the empty water
You made a crazy dreamer out of me

I’ve got this feeling that there’s something that I missed

And they say
She’s in the Class A Team
Stuck in her daydream
Been this way since eighteen

Perfectly able to hold my own hand
But I still can’t kiss my own neck

Take your things, leave somehow
Blackbird song is over now

Tick Tick Tick

There is a metronome in my head that clicks along each day, counting the moments from hope to despair to chance and then to hope again. The days fly by no matter how I try to hold them back, buying time for myself. I have very little time, now, to plan, to make arrangements and yet – what can I do until the very last minute? This is the position he has put me in.

I wrestle to get away from it – the daily routine of apply, check applications, edit documents, tracking it all and then, when time allows, relearning the intricate skills lost to the years of thinking I was clear of it. Chart this, transition that, pivot the other…moving data in a swirl of 1’s and 0’s that is, in the end, so utterly pointless as to be laughable. On the grand scale of life – and the smallest of that of your own breath – it is all nonsense. And yet it has its place, its demands. So you try to meet them.

A dear friend noted a very nice role opening up and I have at least a foot in the door and my paper under the eyes of someone who can judge it as it stands rather than what some HR AI spits out. I pray to all the gods at this point – whichever one wants to step to the plate – to just give me a chance. A trial by fire – sit in a seat where I know nothing and no one and fight against the terror that I will not be good enough as I once did…it was a long time ago…but I still remember the trips to the bathroom, bent over and breathing deep to avoid the tears that show. It is an act, that competence and confidence.

At least the bone-weary exhaustion has lifted a bit. The last few weeks were very hard, indeed. I managed to get a 2k row in, some lifting, etc. yesterday. It felt good to stretch everything out. Everything’s a bit twingy now but I’ve been stretching so much lately – the kind a child does when it yawns – almost as though my body was trying to reassemble itself into a new shape. I thought I’d give it a bit more activity to see if that served the purpose. And it was quite nice. How I’d forgotten the beautiful feeling of the Garland Pose at the end. (She has a nice modern way about her…) I love feeling what the body can do, the musculature in a harmony…once upon a time I was rather serious about it all…and I looked quite nice. I had forgotten…

There is a sense of…futility in the activity of life. I am a pessimist, after all.  What good any of it if I cannot work? Why bother? But I remind myself of the agreement made on an October morning, the tree and I. Options. Paths. And yes, some of them meander into the woods where the fog hides your way. A plush purgatory of  loam and leaf. The tree understands this. The wolves, too, softly padding about the perimeter. An acceptance of fate once the battle is lost and the ravens have eaten the crumbs you left to find your way back.

my_tree_jan_2019

Time enough, I tell myself. Time is whipping around me, skirling and demanding. And nothing I do can hold it back. But if I grasp hard to the earth maybe I can slow it, make everything move to a different rhythm. Widdershins, widdershins, to spin it back. Buying time with little fragments of soul…

Get It Outta Here

You can take 2018 and flush it. Here’s to 2019 and a hope that it offers rather less drama.

As with all NYE’s I spend it home, quietly, and safely. Well away from the morons who are set on killing themselves on the roadway…I have generated some support with the Taylor Fladgate, bought for a special occasion and, now aged beyond its 10 years, it will suit. I am missing some Stilton to go with it but I will struggle through.

I do not allow myself much in the way of medicinal comfort. I have earned at least 3 months of Xanax-laden peace but I ignore that. Like much else…too easy to let it sugarcoat the truth so that you need not look at it. I have, more than anything, been trying so hard to be honest with myself about everything that has happened, and my part in it.

I think the utter shock at the news was a key to my understanding of it – one assumes a relationship has stages and you are wending your way through a shallows, snagging on old limbs. But you thought the vessel sound. Only to find that the craft is loose at the keel, all the boards trying to fly apart to create something new with itself, by itself. It is the shock that something so worthy can be so warped and you never knew.

So everything sinks to the bottom and you have to decide what to drag to shore. What is ruined and what can be salvaged and what you can never hope to get to a new place…it reminds me of the movie, The Piano, which is stunning.

I will choose what comes with me to the new year, the new life, the new home. And some things I will not be able to choose, they being beyond my ability to address. I wonder though…where it will be…what beach will I wash up on? What trinkets of the sea clinging like barnacles to my hair? When I was very young I thought I must have been a mermaid, so lost I was in the world of people. It seemed like I never quite belonged. There was a hauteur to my young soul, I will admit it. And maybe even now a touch of that remains. Pride…but it is the pride of survival. A chin raised against the blows. Teeth set and quite willing to snap at a foolish approach.

Sisu_Concept

I do not tempt fate. But I try to not bow to it, either. I have given it too much already.

I have surrendered enough.

Sunday Morning, Coming Down

It was a good day yesterday, against all odds…there was an inspection of the house in the AM and I had to take the dogs and get out early. And stay out. I gave one dog a Dramamine to help avoid the car sickness (it worked) and headed to Bastrop to a dog park that I’d seen before – always empty but if it had a fence and a place to hang out that’d be fine.

They settled in for the ride but I was surprised to see the park rather busy for a very chilly and windy morning. As soon as I parked they were both making noises I hadn’t heard from them before – the hoots and howls made me laugh. I got them offloaded, glad to have put the harness on Artik instead of relying on the collar. I made a circuit of the park, letting them smell through the fence and greet dogs with safety. And then it was into the Big Dog section which was, thankfully, empty. They ran, smelled, had a lovely time just getting tree-mail when the very fine shepherd arrived. Max was young but a perfect match in temperament for Artik.

They ran, fought, played, and she FINALLY was rolled, surprised at not being the dominant one. Take that, spoiled girl! Ranger, however, was not happy that someone was with his girlfriend. He tried to run, tried to dominate, but in the end I had to make him quiet down, his old bones no match for the youthful sport. We stayed for over an hour but I was getting hungry and I knew they would be, too. Off to Starbucks nearby.

We feasted on egg bites, wasting more time, before heading toward home. I assumed almost 2.5 hours would suffice. However, I found both the inspector and the buyers there. I wanted to put the dogs in the house and probably ought to have asked the agent to have them do the interior first. He said it’d be another 90 mins, the buyers saying he was an hour late. I put the dogs in the back bedroom, the buyers deciding they’d had enough and left with me. Another Starbucks run to just waste time and I got home to find he’d left the oven on (very unsat) and about 6 breakers off (WTF?). Not to mention having left the vent upstairs in the bathroom running. Honestly – how hard is it to return things to the way they were? I notified the agent just in case it was their recommendation vs. the buyers selection.

I will say this – our inspector was a piece of crap in comparison. Sheesh. I am betting they try to ding us for $20k of “issues”. We’ll see. But I am not yet feeling comfy with it…end of January is the closing.

I haven’t heard anything from any of the MANY applications and that is including about 6 manual labor/unskilled places. The latter is less surprising – they know it is a temp job until something better comes. But I had hoped to hear something between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Let’s hope the new year will bring new budgets and finally responses…

I keep looking out the window at the view and wondering what my next vista will be. Will it even be Texas? Or will I take the spoils of war and wander north? I think it a hazardous thing to up and go without a job so I’ve applications in but…there are so many little things that come up – as if the universe is saying it is time to do the wild things, the scary things that I’ve avoided for so long. To live my own life rather than in service to others.

I can remember a long time ago when I visited my sister in Arvada, CO – the very air there was intoxicating. I’d opened the window in the morning to as fresh a breeze as I’d ever known. Later, a friend of hers took me to Boulder Falls – this was back when they allowed you to climb above and beyond the falls. There is a steep mountain behind and as we lay on the rocks, watching the world, I saw a tiny movement near the top. It was then I realized it was a person and the scale made me suddenly dizzy – as though I were floating off the rock or falling down the ravine. I grabbed hold of the warm stone under my hands and clung to it. I have never forgotten that moment.

And then there were the days in Boulder after – many years later – and the one year alone. My word, I was so brave, then. Not only flying there but renting a car and driving in snow to the hotel, driving to the park and walking the heights alone. And then taking the steep steps and breath killing altitude to see Dream Lake. I found it surprising how quickly my system moved from No Air! to Ah, clean air. Just a brief picnic of cheese and an apple and in that space of time my body moved to an understanding of the place. I’d had to put my long johns on in the port-o-let, knowing that they’d be needed since I didn’t have proper snow gear. I was so thrilled….every view a painting…

I haven’t been back since. But I never forget the sigh of relief at the site of those flat irons – or the sadness that hits when the slip from view as you drive back to the airport, back to a world without walls, with a sky so wide…Oh, I have done my homework. I know Colorado is not for me. I have demands and one is no state income tax. Why leave here to take that kind of hit to a paycheck? Wyoming is still wild, still classic west. And that is the draw…a place where it might be a throwback to a place and people who hold similar views, appreciate the same things…and the snow…

I have a love of snow like an Inuit. The first icy grains to the thick and fluffy flakes, the deep squelch when your boot compresses it, the squeak when it is so cold that the compression seems to make an ice-cube underfoot. And the glistening skin of a rime on top in the moonlight, making it look like it was coated in diamonds or glitter. So like the sea in sunlight with the glinting, moving light. But I tell myself that is not all there is – there is also the gearing up just to walk the dog, the constant slush at the doorway, the car always covered in a crust of dirt and ice…It is not all fun.

The rational side says to just stay put – stay safe, and you can always fly to the snow, drive to the snow, you can visit it and walk away from it, take no risks for it at all. The safety is tempting. It is classic Me to stay as safe as I can, as predictable a path as possible. I had too much insecurity in my life and don’t seek to add to it. But you cannot help but wonder what might happen if you threw away safety and jumped headlong into risk. Is it too late for adventures? Too old for schemes and games? Or is it only me that takes on that mantle of crone? Just my mind telling me it’s all over – just another 20 years of drudgery and pain and then farewell to all that? Is that a lie suited to ensure the safety of the flesh against the hazard of the yearning spirit?

These are the things I consider as the rain falls on windows smudging a view I love, a view that I ache to replace with something as good or better. Who can blame me? Have I not paid my fare?