Sunday, July 29, 2012

I Can Rune Your Life - August

the rune for August is Isa.

Isa is the rune of isolation, hibernation, healing through sleep and contemplation. Isa is the protective shield we put around ourselves to keep away the outside influences. With Isa we let the world pass by, in it’s natural cycle, while we rest and relax and live off of the past – which could be monetary or physical. Rather like resting on our laurels.

Isa is the Water of Earth. Endurance and patience, held and comforted within our home nest. Or cave. Let the slings and arrows of frantic change whistle harmlessly past us. No need to do new and exciting things, no need to strive or break new ground. Through this time of contemplation and observation, we will strengthen and refresh.

Isa - May the healing protection of isolation serve you and strengthen you, that you may better serve and strengthen yourself and those you love.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Enlightenment is Awesome - Housework

Am I alive or dead is irrelevant. I am here. In this space and in this time. In this moment. In this reality. Right here. So this is the moment, the time, the energy I need to concentrate on. I need to, WANT to, do my best at whatever it is I am doing here. Which, today, is laundry and dishes and sorting through the paperwork. Making a grocery list. Laughing at the squirrels. Letting the pounding of the reroofing (shingling?) pass over and away without annoyance. Without affecting me. Why should it affect me? It has nothing to do with me.

Did the women of the fairy tales whistle while they worked because that was their nature? Because they were making the best of things? Because they hoped day after day for an improvement? Or did they learn to be exuberant in their daily grind because every moment is an opportunity to do one’s best?

There’s rose colored glasses, and then there’s the cleared glass, seeing everything as what it is, accepting it, embracing it.

Easy for me to type. I am not abused, ordered around, treated like a slave. I chose to be the housekeeper for the next little while. But there is a difference between abuse heaped on by others, and abuse heaped on by self. Which, in a way, is what griping about difficult tasks appears, to me.

I make something harder by dreading it and bitching about it and stating all the reasons I don’t want to do it. I can, instead, choose to let it flow over me, either embracing the good points, or simply not let it affect me at all. What does affect me when I’m housecleaning? Singing. How well I do something. Being careful and aware about the various chemicals and where the cat is. The timing of the laundry. Finishing one project before starting another.

So what can I concentrate on? When I’ve finally found the proper pressure to scrub something clean, when I’m folding the laundry as I’ve done a hundred times before?

I can pay attention to how I’m standing. Use a ballet position, or a yoga one. I can pay attention to where my feet are placed, which hand is holding the scrub brush, how my shoulders hunch or don’t.

Keeping the stomach tucked in is healthy for more than health reasons. Because the core of one’s strength, one’s balance, one self is the diaphragm. Tucking it in, sucking it in, is good for strength as well as the waistline.

I can concentrate upon my breathing - though yoga type breathing may not be most appropriate for cleaning the toilet.

I can appreciate the texture of the clothes I’m folding, evaluate the cleanliness of the dishwater, notice the change in smells and even the energy of the room I’ve cleaned. Hmm. There’s many opportunities for wonderment in housecleaning.

I am the only person who decides how I do things. And I realize this philosophy doesn’t fit all situations, yet. Or does it? Shrug. The housework is what is before me today. Let us embrace the opportunity to practice acceptance. (sounds so high falutin, doesn’t it? But that makes me happy too.)


Monday, July 9, 2012

Brave - a movie review

For me, watching Brave was like that moment in Love Actually when Emma Thompson opened her Christmas gift expecting exquisite jewelry and found a CD instead.

It’s a very nice CD. Humorous moments, interesting characters, gorgeous scenery. The landscape was as alive as the people, a lovely tribute to the British Isles.

But the story itself left me wanting more, and feeling a little betrayed.

I have always admired Disney’s heroines – the spunk, the endurance, the growth of them. When the Brave protagonist rode across the screen, I was ready for a new obsession. The mythological treasure trove of the Celtic culture; the wild hair and the wild ride; the bear rearing in the mist and the tagline about changing Destiny – I was ready to love this movie and extol it to everyone.

But the heroine wasn’t heroic. She had wits, thought on her feet, and was good with a bow. She stood up for herself in the contest, but that wasn’t unexpected. She cared for her mother in the wilderness, which seemed more fun than hardship. And running, or riding, headlong through the woods and back again was obviously nothing new in the life of this Celtic princess.

In fact, I was a bit surprised to find the Celtic Queen so very decorous. The ships, the blue paint, the tartans – all these suggested to me a nebulous historical time before the clans became separate countries. A time that could have been part of the matriarchal belief system. A time when women were strong and brave and able to shoot bows and swing swords. A time when the Merida’s destiny should have been to be a strong leader.

Regardless, what did she do that was so Brave?

She fought a bear. So did everyone else.

She stood up to her father. Um, and what was that about, psychologically? And when did she learn to use a sword?

She changed her mother (literally) and changed her back. Okay. She admitted to a mistake and did her best to rectify it. That is brave.

But did she change her destiny? In my opinion, she followed her own inclinations, threw a tantrum, and got what she wanted.

If anyone changed their destiny, or met it, it was the mother – the decorous Celtic Queen – who, in a strange and fearsome form, having spent a miserable day trying to survive far outside her comfort zone, still had the foresight to see how her daughter chaffed at the bonds of tradition. It was the mother who declared a break with that tradition. The mother grew. The mother was strong. The mother was brave.

It was not the daughter.

I think Brave was a good movie for young girls and their mothers. I think it might have been written by a young girl and her mother. I was pleased to read that Brave was being attributed to the Pixar studio, because it lacked the depth Disney usually provides for it’s adult audience. And I do not think Merida lived up to the hype or to the glorious tradition of Disney princesses. Maybe she should have worn some pink. Or tried braiding her hair.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Rune Your Life - July 8th

Today’s runes are Eihwaz R, and the blank rune. A very long and twisty blank rune.

It’s obvious we don’t always know what’s coming up, what’s happening, what will affect us and what won’t. With the chaos of the world, with everything changing with every breath, even predicting our own reactions is a difficult thing.

So let us take some time here to focus on the now. To focus on ourselves. To simply deal with this moment and this place and this time. Even the next breath is unimportant until it is breathed. If we want a better now in the future, it must be built on an excellent now of the present. So let us focus on the purity, strength and excellence of the blocks we’re creating now, and not necessarily on the shape of what we’re building.

Eihwaz R and the Unknowable. Focus on now and let the future take care of itself.