Food Happies

I know I’m sporadic about postings these days.  Trying to do too many things and something languishes.  Which is here and the podcast.  However, something is also fermenting in the background.  That’s right, my thoughts don’t sprout and grow, they putrefy or ferment.  Muwhahahaha.

I go through quiet stages when I’m evolving.  I like to think that’s what we’re all doing, or trying to do.  Not just exist, not just live, but evolve.  Become more.  Expand to the very edges of our skins and revel in our uniqueness and in love.

Universal love, baby.  It is where it’s at.  In all its nasty, decaying, looming, laughing, sparkling, dancing glory.  Because love has never been just Valentine’s love.  It’s always been cleaning dirty diaper love, on babies and on parents because that’s love.  Or should be love, but that’s an entirely different digression I choose not to make today.

Love has always been messy and painful, uplifting and clarifying.  It’s always been the worst torture and the only reason for existence.

Evolve.

To become One with Universe.  To be the Embodiment of Love.  To just get something done freakingly awesomely well.

Because that is all it takes.  Embrace the things that make you feel grand, completed, living a real and connected life in this crazy, fucked up world.  Do what you love and do it again and again and again and watch yourself getting better at that!  Revel in that.  It’s never been about where you get to, though that’s good too, it’s always been about how you get there.  In your time.  On the path that you need to take.  That leads you in a direction that refines you into Love.

So tonight’s meal is brought to you by sliding into the Land of Capable After All, past the City of And You Thought Living Like This Was Too Much Work and settling into the County of Being Really Connected To What I Do Makes Me Feel Great and Damn It’s Tasty Too.  It is a lot of work.  You have to love the results, desire, craze, long for the results.  Otherwise you’re only bothering because someone else told you it was good for you.  And even here Fake It Till You Make it works.  And so does accidentally trying new things until you find yourself in the position you never really considered yourself either capable of or simply not one of those people who did those kind of things.  I feel a bit like I’ve arrived and it’s good.

What I did is really no big deal for most people.  I made soup from scratch, shredded chicken and sprouted rice with quinoa soup (using homemade chicken stock) and desert is lemon blackberry jam swirled cheesecake on cocoa cookie crust.  Yes, I’d made the cookies previously too.

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And that’s what makes this so amazing.  I was a lousy or lazy or just non-existent cook growing up.  My tendencies combined with other cooking siblings and a family that at the time was not overly insistent about food in any extravagant way, made for one insipid avoidant cook.  Food was not inspiring to me growing up.  I had favourites but I felt no call to cook.

This means that I’d never made chicken stock before.  Hel, I roasted my first chicken less than 6 months ago.  And yes, the chicken stock was made from another chicken I roasted (because it really was pretty damn easy and sooooooooo tasty and I could buy a chicken that was free range, organic, etc).  And now I’ve made chicken and rice soup from it.  Even the rice wasn’t just rice!  It’s TruRoots sprouted rice and quinoia blend.  As to how have I never made even chicken noodle soup before?  Well, not big on soups and didn’t grow up with it all the time (sometimes we had homemade, many times we had Lipton) and well, I just didn’t see it on my list of easy capabilities or something.  I don’t know, k, it’s just weird.

This was, however, not my first cheesecake (I’m braver with baking than cooking, but not my all that much).  It was, however, the first one where my cookies became the crust.  They were really good cookies too, with extra cocoa, semi-sweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips, that were super soft and crumbly.  So I embraced the crumbly.  And the jam?  Well, that I didn’t make, but my friends did.  Lemon Blackberry jam and don’t doubt for a second that they picked every one of those blackberries.

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This was a full wholesome meal, made frame scratch.  With scratches in the scratch!  And I think it’s the scratches in the scratches that are making me feel pretty damn proud.  The realness of it all makes me feel connected and healthy.  And the gift from friends?  That just makes me feel loved.

Love to you All, too.

~The Abysmal Witch

p.s. I only cut my finger once and I’m so much faster at bandaging these days.  😀

p.p.s.  While starting to clean up from dinner I then have this absolutely happy moment and yes, I feel like I’m bragging, I’m just so damn happy about it!  And yeah, kinda proud too.

FB moment:  “That moment when you look at your wall of mead and think “shit, I’m going to have to start drinking some of this, I’m out of space and there’s almost no more storage in the closet”. And then you stop. Realize what you’ve just said to yourself. “Holy Fuck, I have a FULL WALL of MEAD!” That’s a good moment.

(To be fair, though, only 4 rows of shelves are mead, the other 3 are my magical library so it’s not as much mead as it may sound like. Oh, still a lot, just not *that* a lot. Which actually makes it harder, not many bottles left of any individual mead, so I can’t just drink them *casually*. Snort. I’m a hoarder, and in this instance I’m almost okay with it.)”

Wanna see?  Well, for now you get a Samhaine picture of it with poor lighting, an unsteady hand (it was really low light! lol)  and angle to really showcase it because the only other pic of it I have handy would be incriminating for friends of mine.  In appearance, only, mind.  😉  Someday I will have a better picture, but that!  That is NOT THIS DAY!  Happy trials!

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Have I lost my funny bone?

Lately I seem to find my sense of humour lacking.  Or perhaps it is that it switches off at the drop of a hat?  Or a pin?  Or some phrase that switches me from humour mode to serious mode?

I’ve become very good at serious mode.

Which are apparently actually things in the study of humour.  Many things have sparked this post, but in particular this article on humour done in analysis of appropriateness (or not) of rape jokes, which draws on a variety of studies regarding humour.

As I said, I’ve become most serious.  I’ve spent a lot of time in the past months studying (not intentionally, just following what has intrigued me) fat shaming, rape culture, sexism, racism, white privilege, thin privilege and essentially different facets of our society that aim towards disenfranchising one group for the benefit or amusement or some other unstated or stated reason of another group.

During this same time I was introduced to Cards Against Humanity, a game that is “as despicable and awkward as you and your friends” and very much enjoyed it.  Something of a contradiction to the rest of where I’ve been.  Mind you, I’m not sure I’d enjoy it if I played tomorrow.

I think I’ve become very aware of the humanity of the people on the other side.

Sure, people of walmart are shocking and head shaking and wtf, seriously? has to run through a person’s head as they look at those people.  Okay, doesn’t have to, but I bet it does for most of us ‘normal’ people.  Which just means the group of people who see those people as not-normal.  And maybe they’re okay with being laughed at.  Or maybe they don’t care.  Or maybe they seek the attention.

Or maybe they’re just another soul traveling on this planet.

I tend to figure that if you are dressed in a non-conformist way, ya gotta take your lumps.  I mean this for people who are clearly making a statement with their clothes.  If you are wearing fishnet stockings, a tutu and a hockey jersey, well, that’s a statement there and people will make comments on statements.  By making a statement you are in a sense inviting commentary.

But for those whose clothes don’t fit?  Or are ugly?  Or are a fabric/colour/style/cut/age/cleanliness/pattern that we find mocking worthy, these days I stop and wonder about it.  I wonder about the action I commit with mocking.  I wonder if it would be hurtful to do it to that person’s face.  The internet makes it so very easy to mock and to tease and to hurt others and to stay safely hidden on the other side of a screen and keyboard where the impact of that mocking and teasing and hurting doesn’t have to impact us.

Friends of mine this past week talked about humour and how it is always cruel at someone’s or something’s expense.  Let’s just accept that at face value.  Does it necessarily follow that all humour should be considered fair and equal?  Since it’s all cruel, does it matter who we are cruel against?

I think yes.

I think that when the humour goes after the weaker, the disenfranchised, the ones already struggling, the ones who are not privileged, that we may well be perpetuating imbalances, creating more pain, and saying through humour that it is okay to view these people as lesser.

I’ve told my share of racist jokes, less fat jokes (been fat, still see myself as fat), baby in a blender jokes.  I’m sitting here now and thinking of ‘your mama is so fat’ jokes and I think to myself ‘hmmm, you know, if that mama in question is thin, that probably wouldn’t bother me the same, but if the mama was fat then it would’.  Or perhaps it should all bother me. Or perhaps none of it.

That’s what I mean.  I’ve become quite serious.  Tell a joke and I can drop out of humour mode in an instant to react to it as a serious statement. ‘Do you really consider <x group> to be <y>?  Have you considered that…”

I don’t think I’m as much fun at parties.  I certainly put a damper from my little corner on my group’s demented humour rounds.  And I’ve always been a fan of demented humour.  I’m just seriously struggling with demented humour that comes at the expense of someone who can’t defend themselves.  Demented humour against things, against society, against corporations, against the Tea Party (let’s face it, they’re rather asking for it!), against the willfully stupid (when it’s a choice), that I think I still enjoy.  But when it’s against those who can’t stand up for themselves, those who are not in a position of power in the joke, in life, then it bothers me.  When it perpetuates stereotypes to the disadvantage of those stereotyped, it bothers me.  When it acknowledges the reality behind a stereotype, I can find that funny.

I’ve become very complicated and annoying in my humour.

Soon I shall be sitting along on my non-existent porch muttering about how rotten the world has become with a bunch of lemons puckering my face into nasty old lady face.  Did I just disenfranchise nasty old ladies?  But not all old ladies are nasty.  Oldness and ladyness neither separately nor together constitute nastiness.  But there is a particular Elvira Gulch stereotype out there.

See, and that’s why I fail at humour these days.  All analyzing, all the time.

But maybe it’s worth the hiatus from humour to find my way through it to where I understand where humour is fun and where humour hurts.  Because that’s what I want.  I want to enjoy a good joke that makes me laugh, makes me see the world clearer, differently, that challenges my beliefs.  I don’t want the easy laugh that comes at the price of someone’s pain.

Who needs a funny bone, anyway.

Tipping

It’s strange, being on the verge of crossing a threshold you’ve wanted to cross for years.  The desire to change my life has been building for a long time.  In the last couple of months it’s as if all of it has come to fruition almost at once.   

This is my second to last night in my home of 11 years.  It saw me through my maturation as an adult.  It feels now as if it was my chrysalis and I now emerge out of that old life, changed and perhaps ready to be the girl I always meant to be.

The tug to leave this place started some time ago but it was weak compared to my enjoyment of the place, the comfort I felt in its security.  Comforts, that’s all lot of what this place was about.  Then the balance of that, of my enjoyment and that pull, it started to tip.

The need to leave, to change, to become was outweighing the happy, the familiar, the expected.  Expected by me of myself as I let myself identify with the rest of the world, to let that part of me that is of the mundane reign and enjoy the enjoyable things in life.

I tip and I let go.

Second to last night in one of the two biggest markers of this chrysalis time.  And the other may be bigger, but lacks the dramatic thrust of this one to me.  Of the me-who-was. Her life.  It is a-changing.  The sail is set, the moorings pulled, the roller coaster tumbles down the far side in joyous abandon to gravity.  

Held framed in trust by all that I am, have become, blossomed into.  Trusting myself and in all that I am, no part left out, to do what I need, to manage and to dance.  

Dance the manage. 

Dance the tipping.

Dance the deepest, truest essence of who you are and She is there and He walks by your side.

It’s all about dancing, didn’t you know?

Old Lives

Today I visited someone I haven’t seen in years.  An old mentor, no pun intended.

I see now , my life changed, the branch in the road, and the freedom I have claimed.

In ten years she has spun into a dance with her antithesis, her nemesis in flesh.  A woman in opposition to all my old mentor holds dear.

The conflict has taken root in old losses, or so I believe, and it has flourished.  It nourishes in bitter twists of familiarity.  It is embraced for its definition of boundaries, its comfort in the emptiness.

It has become a core piece of her world, a focal point to be shared, the story of life to be told.

Is bitter comfort, not yet still comforting?  Does it matter what sees us through the night?

I believe it does.  Yet that belief is in degrees, to the best that we each can attain.  Always we can reach for more (and sometimes we need to sit on our heels and *reflect*).  We can be more, for always we are becoming.  Or we can settle into a pattern of predictability and certainty, an old pair of uncomfortable shoes that we have adjusted to as much as they adjust to us.

I am happier for the road I have taken.

Barefoot and dancing.  Sharp stones scrape my heels, my toes dug into soft earth.  Living.

Spin spin spun

Spin spin spun

World alight, flaming dark down

Drowning in the firelight

Ash sweeps by in a chill wind

 

Spin spin spun

Dropping spindles a plumbline

Into straight tiled lines

Quartered, I am drawn

 

Spin spin spun

Dervishly dizzy

Petals, twigs, scratching, petting

I am stroked into nothingness

 

I am spun

I am spun

 

I spin

An Invitation to a Great Working for the Planet

YOU are Invited

I and a few others have been challenged by our Ancestors and by our Gods to do what we can to stir up change in the world.

Our hope is that by breaking the current flow, the pattern of our cultures and societies that are destroying our food and our planet that is encouraging the worst in ourselves and towards others, by breaking this flow we hope that something better can arise.

We have started a Great Working towards change.

You are invited to join us in it.  Join by doing ritual.  Energizing, powerful ritual.  Ritual to a purpose.  Do it in your ritual space or in nature.  Do it in your own style.  Just join us in purpose.

The more of us who Act to create change, the greater the change will be.

If you are interested, all information including the first ritual outline is available at Dark Stars.

We have already begun  the Magick.  Join us if you so Will.

~Saturn

Question: Worth Recording the Bad?

If you’re around the internet much, you’ve probably seen the meme floating around of writing down the good things as they happen to you, putting them in a jar and then at the end of the year, pulling out the jar and reading about all the wonderful things that happened.

I think this a lovely idea and have written down a few things for this year (in case I decide to really do it, I want to be prepared, and if I decide not to keep going, well, it just cost me a few scrps of paper, some pleasantly-focussed contemplation and a few seconds of time).

It suddenly occurred to me this morning, and I will grant you that it may well be my cold-infested mind and body doing the thinking today rather than the normal almost-logical one, to wonder what would happen if I recorded the things that piss me off?  That anger me, make me snarl and growl and hate myself or someone else?

To be clear, I’m not talking about looking for every little annoying thing possible to record.  This would be for the things that I’m already not letting instantly go of.

Would I be amplifying the negative feelings?

Is that even possible if I’m already dwelling on them for periods of time?

Or would it take them outside of me?  Help me to let go more?

If I did both at once, would one jar outstrip the other?  Would I make conscious choices to focus on the positive?

What do you think?  Is this an experiment worth trying?