n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Saturday, January 15, 2011

the moon year

New Years 2010--2011So far it's been a pretty a-ok year. I started it out the right way by going to Hidden Beach with my friends... we camped out on the spit in 15-degree weather - bundled and wrapped in about as many blankets as we could carry. Also, we took about 2 loads (times 4 people) of firewood.

Though freezing, the day was completely blue-skyed before, during and after, and the lights both at twilight and dawn converged orange to purple to red. Stars were out all night, the trains were sneaky (one tried to mow us over... normally they whistle coming around the curve, but this one didn't and there were a few scary moments as T ran out across the tracks to catch her girlfriend's dog... with the train swooping up behind her). The birds noisy and the fireworks off in the distance just a slight smudge of colors along the rim of the water.

New Years 2010--2011N came out for a couple of hours with her friend Sean. We've been having nice visits lately, for which I am grateful.

She is still sad about her girlfriend, and I can see her processing too much - she talks about it all the time and I worry for her that she's etching these monologues onto the skin of her brain like a tattoo that traces her future. It seems too familiar, and considering how hard I've been working to keep my head full of excitement, happiness, adventure, forgiveness, light, and forward thoughts... I get scared that she's making her future a little bit darker. I guess it's never easy to let go of love... to say goodbye to the ideas you had of your partners. Poor girl.

But she came out to the point and sat with us around the fire, shared hot dogs and chili and conversations and rants. I liked her friend, who was the person who really stepped in when she was in AZ and showed up for the mornings and evening hours when her pain was worst, and held her hand. Reminds me of how, though I usually like to be by myself when I am sick or sad, some of my friends have been there -- almost uncannily -- during those moments I needed them to be near me. Sis and Brolaw to play air hockey and pool during the year I was so damn sad. Louie when I got sick in Chicago, making me soup and telling me long fishing jokes until I fell asleep. Receiving a postcard and CD from Ellen on exactly the day after my heart got split right open. SP, loving me when I felt all emptied out. Curling up to SS when we both just needed someone to be next to. Whiskey and bagels on the balcony. More more and more. For some reason, all of this came to me when I first met NM's friend and I felt this instant appreciation... like I already knew who he was in a way I'll never get to know firsthand. I gave him a big hug.

New Years 2010--2011And so, we all sat by the fire, some singing, K and SP took very very cold dips in the freezing bay the next morning while Herald and I looked on bemused. The birds were everywhere... all different kinds, eagles, loons, cormorants, ducks, herons, etc. The loons kept calling out during the early morning. Between them and the trains, I felt very tucked in by sounds.

Anyhow, a very good way to spend the New Years... not wandering around the dance halls looking to make out, not lonely and unsettled at home. But assertively adventurous. I enjoyed walking N back up to the trail that lead to her car, then slowly walking back in the dark... holding Herald next to me when the train came, listening to its screeches and creaks, gritty wind.

New Years 2010--2011I did a Tarot reading; I usually only do one for myself a year, although sometimes other ones if I'm feeling confused or inspired. But as for Year of 2011 for J, only one: Everything seemed right on rockin', and then I was startled by the last card. So here goes.

The past for me, the past from which this year is emerging, is one that was characterized by being overburdened, full of various and overwhelming pressures, and fraught with much striving and new problems. Um, yes.

As for the present (this year), it is influenced and held in place by two elements: aspiration and grounding. The grounding card was the same damn card I almost always draw in every one of my self-readings: The Queen of Chalices. I see her so much, I've come to greet her with a smirk and a wink. Chalices are the instrument of emotions and the overflow energy of life -- including its spirit and light. Thus, the Queen is a maternal, devoted character of love and gentle poetic hearts. She is intelligent, particularly with emotional intuition, and her gift is of vision and sight. I rather think that having her as my root card suggests I stay mindful and in touch with who I am capable of being. As far as aspirations or guiding lights, it was an odd one: judgment, suggesting that this year leans towards the type of rebirth and rejuvenation that comes from owning up to and facing my past errors, and also reaping the rewards I might have earned as well. Rather than judgment of others, this card is about personal atonement, and coming into a new life through recognition and consideration of the past.

New Years 2010--2011Here's the strange development, which I didn't read until the end... the present, i.e. this year rooted and illuminated by the above elements. I pulled the Moon. Sounds nice, right? Except that in the tarot tradition, the moon is a warning card, a sign of danger and recommendation of caution. It indicates a moment when arrival could occur through movement forward in the dark, but also a time when everything can be completely and utterly lost. The main characteristic of the card is deception, as the world can unclear under the moonlight, the light cast by the reflection of the sun onto the earth. The moon suggests fertility (sometimes over-fertility) of imagination, and the worry is that one can follow the wrong path, misguided by reflections, mirage and shadow. The main caution is to not rely on vision, but instead intuition and inner light.

However. The future card was the second one I read, and it suggests the possibility of a positive outcome... peace, tranquility, due achievement, and the presence of community. Phew. I'm glad I read that before reading the moon.

I've always liked Tarot because it is not about what is, but about what could be. About likely paths, likely issues, likely reasons. Possible futures, possible ways to re-interpret what it is you are feeling. It asks that we take what is known and see it in a way that comes from the unknown, instead of always churning around in the same information you've always turned to. Good stuff.

New Years 2010--2011In addition, I shall say what my New Years Resolutions were, because I like traditions and omens, rituals and chaos:
Resolution 1. To strive to put a Sock on Herald's nose at least once a week.

Resolution 2. To drum up at least one new Adventure.

Resolution 3. To pursue intellectual, artistic, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being with Rigor and Vim.
I have been incredibly successful with my first resolution, I might note. And in light of the 3rd, I have been adhering to 30 minutes of elliptical work-out and 15 minutes of Yoga stretches a day so far... with hopes to up that as I go. Plus, I'm trying this new thing where instead of holding a grudge (I hold a mean grudge), I send out a li'l bit of affection and good karma whenever I think of someone who pissed me off. We'll see how long that one lasts. Heh.

Let's see.

My creative writing class appears to be going fine. My nightmares about teaching it poorly have slowly tapered off, and I think I might be doing okay on my proclivity to assign too much reading and not allow enough free space for the students to wander productively. I like the students -- a couple of seriously talented people, a couple of gentle little hearts. A lot of science fiction buffs, and interestingly, when I had the students place themselves in special reading groups, the science fiction group was all male. Like, lots of guys. And I behaved a bit weirdly, and took the gay guy out of that group and instead gave him his third choice - poetry; I feel a little naughty about it, but he seems like a tender sweetheart, and I couldn't see him thriving with all those slightly self-interested boys talking about their two books, eight chapters, unique universes, etc. His letter of introduction indicated an interest in writing a musical, and I really like the other people in the poetry group, so I just lifted him from one group to the other. Is that prejudiced of me? I suspect it will work out for the best regardless of whether it is or not.

I went to see a band called The Head and the Heart on Thursday... N traveled up from Seattle again just to see it at a smaaaaaaall local pub, and apparently not only were they sold out, but they had also sold 40 tickets more than capacity. Fortunately for all concerned, SP came with us and she knows the pub owner. What a smoozer she is!! I sometimes wish I had her ability to talk to anyone and everyone and make everyone adore me. But the rest of the time, I'm glad I am a quiet, observant friend of people like SP. The band was better in person, and there were precisely 1.75 of those moments I like so much at live concerts... when everyone in the room -- musicians, audience, bartenders, soundboard person -- just leans in, tilts into the sound of each other................. We had that for one full song and most of another, and the other songs were pretty darn good too.

Not much else. We had snow and then we had rain. It is raining now. I am less than fond of rain during the winter... it makes it seem eternally dark around these parts. But, I am pleased that every day includes just a few more minutes between sunrise and sunset, and pretty soon it will be time to order my seeds, and then it will be time to mulch, and then time to plant my seeds, and then time to start plants in the greenhouse, and before I know it, the winter will be over and another school year over, and another summer begun. Can't believe how fast it goes.

Oh, and another of my friends just had a baby. A friend who lives in Seattle, which means I can go and dandle this one from time to time. My dreams of the writing class have changed into dreams of babies. Last night there was one with an amazing shock of hair across his face, and I was climbing ladders and playing cards to find him.

Happy New Year, all.

New Years 2010--2011
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