erynn: Gaelic merman image (hazels)
Today we did an incubation at the caves at Kesh Corran. The day was beautiful and although the climb was steep, most of us made it up to the caves. Poor [livejournal.com profile] ogam didn't make it, as his knee was giving out, but he and Jhenah did work down in the field below the caves while the rest of us headed up the hill. Once we'd got into the back of the cave, we heard singing bowls starting up - they bracketed our incubation ritual perfectly, a couple of local folks doing ritual in the caves as well. Later tonight there will be a dream incubatino working, and now I have to head over to the table and have some dinner before we settle in to process things before preparing for the dreamowrk.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (hazels)
Today we did an incubation at the caves at Kesh Corran. The day was beautiful and although the climb was steep, most of us made it up to the caves. Poor [livejournal.com profile] ogam didn't make it, as his knee was giving out, but he and Jhenah did work down in the field below the caves while the rest of us headed up the hill. Once we'd got into the back of the cave, we heard singing bowls starting up - they bracketed our incubation ritual perfectly, a couple of local folks doing ritual in the caves as well. Later tonight there will be a dream incubatino working, and now I have to head over to the table and have some dinner before we settle in to process things before preparing for the dreamowrk.

At the b&b

Jul. 13th, 2012 08:20 am
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
Yesterday we had an eventful day at Knowth and Newgrange, though we didn't manage to find Trinity Well. We were nearby and the land had been bought by someone open to people visiting, but there was a lot of construction and some locked gates, so we were unable to actaually go onto the land and find the well itself.

Are up on a hill over Lough Arrow, with the ridge with Kesh Corran down below us. It's absolutely gorgeous here and I'm trying to figure out how to get photos on here from my phone. There's an LJ app for the phone but it wants to geotag my posts and I don't want it to, so it tries anyway and hangs instead of just posting anyway. I have posted a few photos n twitter, but I can't get my phone to work well with the Facebook app either so, for now, you'll need to be content with just my few words here and there.

from my perspective, things seem to be going pretty well and I'm having a lovely time. I'm so excited to be here and can hardly believe how lucky I am. Today we will be doing a short incubation ritual in the caves at Kesh Corran, and going down into Sligo Town to see Michael Quirke, a woodcarver/sculptor who is rather famous in these parts.

I'll update again when I can.

At the b&b

Jul. 13th, 2012 08:20 am
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
Yesterday we had an eventful day at Knowth and Newgrange, though we didn't manage to find Trinity Well. We were nearby and the land had been bought by someone open to people visiting, but there was a lot of construction and some locked gates, so we were unable to actaually go onto the land and find the well itself.

Are up on a hill over Lough Arrow, with the ridge with Kesh Corran down below us. It's absolutely gorgeous here and I'm trying to figure out how to get photos on here from my phone. There's an LJ app for the phone but it wants to geotag my posts and I don't want it to, so it tries anyway and hangs instead of just posting anyway. I have posted a few photos n twitter, but I can't get my phone to work well with the Facebook app either so, for now, you'll need to be content with just my few words here and there.

from my perspective, things seem to be going pretty well and I'm having a lovely time. I'm so excited to be here and can hardly believe how lucky I am. Today we will be doing a short incubation ritual in the caves at Kesh Corran, and going down into Sligo Town to see Michael Quirke, a woodcarver/sculptor who is rather famous in these parts.

I'll update again when I can.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (writy pooped)
Yet more things done today - I finished writing the closing ritual for the pilgrimage, revised the opening ritual, and dealt with a critical bit of personal paperwork that I need to go have witnessed and probably notarized tomorrow. I haven't heard anything back from the folks at Eight Winds, but I have a few days before I would really need to be concerned and, to be honest, if it comes right down to it I can buy stuff at a grocery store nearby and have somebody with a cooler store it for me. Not the end of the world if I don't have a menu for the food plan before I leave.

[livejournal.com profile] alfrecht was talking about possibly getting together with me after July 4th but before I leave for Ireland, which would be nice. I gather he's going down to the King Tut exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum. I'd love to go but I just don't have time right now. It'll be here until next year and right now I have other priorities.

Exhaustion is really starting to catch up with me. I haven't slept well for quite some time, probably at least in large part due to stress from all the "you must be an adult" I've been doing of late. Sleep is for the weak anyway, right?

In addition to dealing with paperwork tomorrow, I have to remember to get AAA batteries for my headlamp and an extra memory chip for the camera. I also have to expand upon the Airmed rituals and look over the incubation rituals again and expand them a little, as they are really primarily outlines at the moment. Not that I intend to script everything, but that it needs at least a little stage direction and whatnot.

I feel like I'm forgetting something. Y'all tell me if you know what it is, eh?
erynn: Gaelic merman image (fern spirals)
I went over to the drug store today to get TSA compliant containers for things like my green hair dye, which comes in a 4oz bottle, when they only allow 3oz, apparently. Bloody inconvenient fuckers, all of them. I got one of the proper-sized zip bags and have been stuffing it with things like toothpaste, tiger balm, hair dye, and other suchlike things that I'll need to carry with me. The hair dye really is the most important thing, because it will wash out over the course of a week or so, and trying to find a place to buy it wherever I happen to be would really not work too well. Dublin, maybe, but not most of the other places I'll be. Anyway, hair dye.

While I was walking to the store, I saw the first blackberry blossoms of the year. I stopped at a restaurant along the way for a late lunch and watched outriggers practicing their racing form. On the way back, I saw a dead mallard hen in the grass beside the road -- it had been there for several days, probably struck by a car, and someone had covered it with flowers.

I sent some stuff off as promised to [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm and stared at the closing ritual file without actually getting anything but cogitating done. Sadly, sometimes that's how these things go.

I did ritual that I'd been intending for some time to do, and had some success with it, though I'll need a while to process the results. I scribbled a couple of pages of notes, which was helpful. The ogams I drew for ritual results were Beith, Tinne, and Coll, so I figured things were going pretty well where that was concerned. This wasn't "was the ritual okay" but "what kind of results should I expect," and those are really good things to be expecting.

Because of all the writing and typing I've been doing lately, I've had episodes of fingers on my left hand going numb. I had to take my ring off because it was putting too much pressure on my finger. It's doing a bit better now, but I'm still having some trouble. I hope it'll be all right again soon, but that will require actually not typing and probably not using my left hand much at all, for that matter. The drive to California is going to put stress on my hands, but at least I won't be on a keyboard all day.

I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll have somewhat better focus and might be able to put together at least an outline for the closing ritual. Having a lot of pain in my hands is distracting at best.

Wednesday: shrinkage. Maybe Irish class if I'm feeling up to it. At this point I'm just not sure. I have to start arranging my packing for California and digging out some of the stuff I need from the garage, like my camp stove and camp chairs and whatnot.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (GONZO!)
I spent a lot longer in Seattle today than I had anticipated or intended, but it was a pretty good day. I met [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm at Travelers, where I had a chance to talk with Mary and Leon a bit. Allen was doing better but had a relapse and needed to deal with doctors again. Things continue to be difficult, but the Beacon Hill location is still going strong. They are hoping to be out of the Cap Hill space by I think the 28th of June. I'll be there again Wednesday after my VA shrinkage, but that will likely be my last visit to the space. [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm asked where I would hang out on the hill after my appointments and I answered probably the Elliott Bay Cafe or maybe Caffe Vita, as both are pretty much right there as well.

[livejournal.com profile] alfrecht and [livejournal.com profile] neo_lvx came by after we'd been talking for a bit. [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht gave me a book to deliver to [livejournal.com profile] blindwebster in Sacramento on my way down to Eight Winds in a couple of weeks, so I'll have that with me.

After Travelers, [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm and I proceeded down to Belltown to a travel clothing store. I picked up some things I needed there, then we wandered over to Ballard, where I stopped into Floating Leaves and talked with Shiuwen for a bit and got some new tea. I told her about the trip and she really wants to see photos from Europe when I return. She's been to Spain, but never northern/western Europe before and would like to see some of the places. So that'll be another stop when I return -- so many folks are excited to see all this stuff. She asked if we were going down to the Freemont Solstice Fair, which we hadn't realized was this weekend. We said no, we had other errands that we needed to run. After getting tea, we walked down to another travel store and picked up a few more things that I needed (socks for hiking boots -- most of mine aren't suitable). We then got on the road to the next place on the agenda.

I thought she'd said "Greenwood" and she'd actually said "Greenlake," so we ended up going in the wrong direction then getting caught in a ton of Solstice Fair traffic, then missed another turn because my brain was still saying "Greenwood" and finally got down to Greenlake, where we did a little more stuff. After that it was down 65th to her place, where I was going to come in for a cuppa tea and some toast and biff off home. Instead, I got invited to stay for dinner, which I did. I had a fantastic time, and we all talked for several hours about travel and the pilgrimage and a bunch of other things. [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm loaned me Under the Cloak: A Pagan Ritual Turning Point in the Conversion of Iceland, because it deals directly with incubatory ritual and references some of the Irish stuff. I've seen most of the Irish material it discusses, but the Icelandic material is less familiar to me, and it's directly relevant to one of the rituals I'm working on for the pilgrimage.

All in all it was a very fruitful and busy day. The food and the company were good and, although I'm tired, I feel like I got a lot done. I didn't get home to write as soon as I wanted, but having a chance to take some time after having to deal with special event traffic and (ugh) shopping, I figured I deserved it.

Tomorrow, Skype chat with Jhenah about the pilgrimage, and work on the incubation rituals.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Brighid's cross)
I called the VA office today and they said I needed to talk to the travel coordinator at the Seattle VA, which I will do next time I'm down at the hospital there. I might go down a few hours before my Irish class tomorrow and see if I can talk to someone in person. I tried calling the office, but the phone rang off the hook. There wasn't even a voice mail. Typical.

For several hours today, I felt very restless and anxious for no reason in particular. Nothing seemed to help much. It took a while for me to be able to focus enough to start working on pilgrimage stuff again - or anything else, for that matter. I printed out the notes for the opening and closing ritual and scribbled a few further notes on them. I took a look at Crossing the Circle at the Holy Wells of Ireland again and remembered why I have it on the foo shelf instead of the folklore shelf. *sigh* Way too much "Celtic tree astrology" crap in it.

I went over to the AFK for the Tuesday steampunk social, but was the only one in attendance. One person said he wasn't feeling well, and another who expressed some interest said it was a little far to go on short notice, so he'd probably be up next week. That was cool, because that meant I could spend my time there working on my notes. I did a fair bit of websurfing finding sites relevant to what I needed, and got a few texts from [livejournal.com profile] ogam, who wanted to know if there was going to be something next year at PantheaCon about the pilgrimage. I noted that [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm wanted to propose a panel on pilgrimage, which sent him into the happy bear dance, but leavened that statement with the fact that PCon would have to actually approve the proposal for it to happen.

Much of what I was dealing with this evening were sites regarding the caves at Kesh Corran, which have a fair bit of mythic resonance with some of the themes we're dealing with during our journey. I also looked at different traditions regarding ritual at holy wells that are outside of the specifically Christian context and found some useful stuff.

The email list for the pilgrimage group is up though only a couple of posts have gone up yet. I should probably ask if folks want to do the opening ritual at the more well-known Brigid's well in Kildare, or the smaller, original well. I'm kind of leaning toward the original one, though we'll obviously want to visit both. Notes and outlining for the opening ritual are going well, though I haven't got a formal outline or anything of a script as yet. It won't be long or anything, but I do want to have something to work from beyond the scattered notes when we get there.

One of the things I'm considering doing on the pilgrimage is a dream incubation ritual for those who want to, after we've done our incubation ritual at Carrowkeel. It wouldn't have to be long or involved, just a small ritual to ask for dreams to follow up on anything we might have got from the incubation ritual. I'm guessing it would have a fair chance of kicking more loose, particularly for those who might have been on the edge of something but not got clear material at the incubation ritual itself. Having a night to sleep on it in a ritual fashion would probably be very useful for everyone with an interest, and will likely give more depth to everyone's experience. I think doing some work with different types of incubatory ritual would also be a useful experience.

I ran into CJ at the AFK tonight; she used to work there. She said she'd moved in with her fiancee recently, which means she's now living in the same condos that I am, in one of the other buildings. I told her she should drop by some afternoon if she has time, and we could watch a bad movie together or something. She's working two jobs now and hasn't a lot of time, but seems pretty pleased with life.

And I'm much more tired tonight than I had expected, so I'm going to crawl off to bed shortly.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lotus)
Today was a group day down at the VA; I ended up waking an hour earlier than my alarm was set for, despite having gone to bed after 3:30am. It was sunny when I got up but didn't, sadly, stay that way. Group was good, and I talked to someone at the VA who gave me a phone number for an office in Kansas where I can deal with the travel compensation issue I've been having -- they're taking a $6 co-pay out of my check almost every time I go down there and, rated at 100%, the travel office is apparently Not Supposed to Do That. The woman I talked to is another disabled vet (tons of disabled vets work at the VA, unsurprisingly) said that they would probably send me back compensation for what I'd not been paid, as well, which might be at least a couple of years' worth of visits. At six bucks a whack, that could potentially be a few hundred dollars. I don't know if it will happen before I leave for Europe, but if it does, that would be spectacular. That said, it has to start with a phone call, which is not at all my strong suit. I'm not looking forward to it, but I'll probably try to call tomorrow sometime before 4pm their time, which means I will likely still be trying to kick-start the brain.

It turned out that the friend who had offered to do some massage work on me had another commitment today, so it's likely to be next Thursday before I get any work done, but that's certainly way better than not having it on offer at all. I'll be looking forward to getting pummeled.

The mail today brought the gift of a prototype for a larger féige find from [livejournal.com profile] chronarchy. Here's a photo, with the other one and a quarter for scale comparison. It's quite nice work, and I was surprised and delighted to receive such a ritual tool.

Féige Find 2 - prototype for large size

Travelers was quiet this afternoon and I managed to finish reading Brigid of the Gael, take some notes, and get a little work done toward the incubation ritual for Ireland, so I felt pretty accomplished with the whole thing. It was tempting to consider going over to [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor's place instead, but I really had to get things done today. She'll be up tomorrow night sometime, as she'll be having a game night at her place with some mutual friends, but I'll be spending tomorrow dealing with the Circle of Stones galley.

Bits of me are a little afraid to open the file and see what it looks like. This is the last opportunity to make any corrections or changes, though, before it goes to press, so it's important to actually get my anxiety under control and do it. I went over to Bartell's after I got home this evening to pick up a couple of ink cartridges for the printer, as I was out of black ink; if I think I need to print out the galley, I needed a fresh cartridge. At least that was done. I also picked up a knee brace. I haven't tried it on yet, but I will tomorrow.

In other news, [livejournal.com profile] unwoman posted a short trailer for her documentary on steampunk music, Beautiful Fish: Unwoman Plays Cello for Steampunks. Aside from the fact that she is, quite simply, fucking amazing, there's also a bit where [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and I appear, dancing in the audience at her SteamCon show, so watch for us!



I was pretty tickled, even though I don't feel like I'm particularly photogenic. [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor, however, is terribly hot and you should watch just to see her. ;) She's the dancer, I'm the awkward one.

So: tomorrow = working on Circle of Stones and more work on the incubation ritual to flesh out some ideas I had, provided I get through the galley with enough brain cells to work on something else.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Magical Sigils)
Today I hauled [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and M back to Seattle then met [livejournal.com profile] thewronghands and [livejournal.com profile] mimerki very briefly at Remedy Teas to deliver a copy of [livejournal.com profile] dpaxson's The Way of the Oracle (signed of course) to TWH. Immediately having done that, I headed back north to pick up [livejournal.com profile] ingvisson and a hard drive enclosure, which it turned out I didn't actually need, due to the fact that the drive I already have did in fact have a USB2 port on it and I had a cable in one of my boxes that I could use.

Stuff and things were transferred, but I haven't yet been able to move my old mail to my new computer. I've got the mailboxes, but none of the contents. The computer itself currently has two conflicting admin accounts, and the two are talking to one another only minimally, so I may have to erase the new computer entirely, transfer the information, and then reinstall OSX Lion and the extra bits that [livejournal.com profile] lwood had given me in order for everything to work together harmoniously and without two admin accounts snarking at each other across the great divide.

I got teriyaki chicken for the two of us while we futzed with things and poked at manuals, then I took the unused drive case I'd got in California back to the local Best Buy for my money back, and hauled [livejournal.com profile] ingvisson back to his place, whereupon I came home and synched the new phone with my iTunes so that it has everything on it that it's supposed to. I'll deal with synching the iPad tomorrow.

The cloud did in fact eventually download the email that I'd saved onto my iPad, so that bit works, but I'm still kind of flustered about the potential loss of all my other emails and the information in them. We'll see what happens. I still have the old computer here, deciding to hang onto it until the entire transfer is dealt with, then I'll give it to [livejournal.com profile] ingvisson, as it will be a fairly significant upgrade to his system.

I'm still busy trying to adjust the settings on this critter so that it does what it's supposed to. Some of the new OS's settings and habits are a little odd to me, but I'll adjust. I'm just glad I have some time to myself in the next few days. I am so entirely peopled out I can hardly handle it. Tomorrow is my flamekeeping shift. That should help me settle back in a little more. Getting back into my ritual routine should be a comfort. I need to do some work in the incubation chamber as well, as Himself noted to me during the Echtra, Immram and Aisling workshop. I didn't really get into journeyspace beyond being told to hit the incubation chamber when I got home; I was too distracted by the room and the people to try to go deep, but the workshop wasn't designed for folks like me, it was designed around beginners to journeying, and I think for that it did a pretty good job.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (10 ceirt)
I woke up today out of vague anxiety-soaked dreams and ended up spending the majority of the day fighting with the whole thing. Having that kind of heaviness in my chest, and that uncomfortable knot in my gut is never a pleasant thing. I used to have this problem a lot worse than I do now, and every time something like this happens, it reminds me how relieved I am that I'm not having panic attacks often enough to require keeping medications for them around the house. Being on the edge of panic for no reason for the better part of a day is challenging at best. I have to keep reminding myself that yes, they do eventually fade enough for me to be functional.

I did manage to get myself down to Seattle for my monthly shrinkage anyway, though it was hard to cope with the traffic due to the stress I was feeling. By the time I got through, I was doing a little better, but I was at least able to hang on through it and examine some of it to try and figure out what bits were being triggered by things, and what bits were simply free-floating anxieties. I skipped going to the travel office today in favor of doing it tomorrow after group. I've got a couple of weeks worth of group days to pick up, and today's appointment as well, though there are apparently some paperwork issues with Tracy's clinic at the moment that they are trying to work out, due to scheduling issues for her. It was complicated and I just wasn't up to dealing with it on any level.

I biffed over to Travelers for a dal bhat and a chai and by the time 6:30 rolled around, I was feeling at least a little more human. There is still some anxiety floating around, slightly aggravated by having to be around people for my Irish class tonight, but I got through it. Once I got home (after a brief detour through Central Market, where I dropped Charles off so he could catch a bus home and picked up a few necessary groceries), I was able to just sit in the quiet and absorb some peace and alone-time. That has been helping immensely. I'm still not where I'd like to be, but at least I'm not on the verge of hyperventilating now.

[livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor got information for me about the Victorian seance we're supposed to be going to in early March, and I've sent off an email about reserving a room at the place. It is called Manresa Castle and does have rather a castle-like aspect to it. It looks like it'll be fun, and a really beautiful location for the whole thing.

I didn't actually get to writing up my outline today, but I did do some reading and research and found an intriguing reference to Columba having done an incubation for seven years in a darkened chamber to write a particular hymn (though another version has it coming to him suddenly, while he was waiting for a bag of grain to be milled). I think it's pretty obvious that the whole seven years solid wouldn't have been spent in darkened, silent isolation, but it does offer an interesting perspective on what might have been meant by longer periods of incubatory isolation and darkness.

I did, however, have my major Sarasvati sourcebook with me, so I'm getting a little closer to the whole "actually sit down and deal with the outline" thing. Maybe when I'm not coping with an anxiety attack I'll be better able to focus.

Tomorrow is group at the VA. Friday I'll be going to the AFK to hang with Gary and the crew, and [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and Brianna will probably be there, too. Gary is talking about shuffling all his Fluxx decks together and seeing what kind of a game results from that one. I'm betting it'll be massively chaotic and probably hilarious. Lamb has been got for the haggisoid substance for our upcoming Burns Night.

And I am contemplating bed. Not sure if I'll be able to sleep, but I am at least contemplating the concept.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (writy typewriter)
I got up this afternoon at 1:30ish with a really horrible headache and my everything hurting. I'm still trying to recover from the march on Friday, and my muscles are stiff and really painful. There's not much I can do about it beyond just trying to get up and move every so often so they don't just freeze solid on me. It hurts every time I stand up and I really hate that. At least the headache mostly went away after a hot shower, lots of tea, and a bunch of tylenol with a hit of valerian.

I hadn't really intended to do anything today except maybe try to sleep, but I was in too much pain to stay in bed. I did, however, manage to focus enough to get a little writing done this afternoon and into the evening. I started out with about 1100 words in my Mandragora piece and am now at just under 1900. I'm currently talking a little about my incubation chamber work, though I'm not going into great detail. I do talk a bit about some of the various deities and other entities I work with in that context, with a little about why and what they bring to it. I'm just glad I managed to get enough focus to be able to put another 800ish words into the essay. My target is somewhere between 3000-8000 words and this will probably fall on the lower end of it, unless I get thoroughly inspired and just take off with it. I've expanded a little so far on topics where my beta readers expressed a desire to see more, as well as adding the aforementioned new sections. I've got the new bits off to [livejournal.com profile] finnchuill for his thoughts, though it will probably be a couple of days before he will be able to comment. By then, with any luck, I'll have some further material put together as well.

Next time I get down to Travelers, I have to remember to pick up some valerian and some feverfew for my headaches and muscle aches.

In the "this is next month" department, both the AFK Tavern's one-year anniversary and [livejournal.com profile] mimerki's Pie Fawkes Night are happening on November 5th. I am planning to go to both. How can I lose? Pie and geeks and gamer geeks! Not to mention a pretty damned decent dinner late in the evening at the AFK.

Next week looks like Wednesday at the VA for yoga, then pick up [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor to go to the schmooze planning meeting. I really need to get a few things done for the Samhain ritual by then, but am being frustrated by both body non-cooperation and by attempting to write to a deadline. Sadly, gotta get my arse in gear for the ritual stuff first. Anyway, she'll come up to Everett with me so that I won't have to swoop through Seattle to get her when I head out for Steamcon on Friday. Thursday we may be going to hang out with Charles for a bit to talk about Irish language lessons and such. There are plans afoot.

Friday to Sunday is Steamcon; we will probably go in about mid-day Friday and head back here Sunday after things chill a bit Sunday afternoon. I don't anticipate being gone later than early evening at best on Sunday.

I'm considering hitting the sack here shortly. I should probably do a bit of laundry tomorrow. Maybe I'll be less achy and miserable when I get up again.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Northwest forest)
This afternoon [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and I walked over to the park and sat in the shade under the trees for a while. It was breezier there than it was along the walk there, but I read a bit in the book I'd picked up on Austin Osman Spare at the Esoteric Book Conference as we hung out. There were frisbee golf players over on the other side of the access road who weren't having a very good time of it, at least in part because of the wind.

I found a passage in the editor's introduction to the two Spare works that describes something of the visionary aspect of being an artist, and I think it applies to really any kind of artistic endeavor, including creative writing and poetry. The introduction was written by Michael Staley (p. 12). He says:

Art is a collaboration between inspiration in the first instance, and the artist's articulation and development of that inspiration. An example here is Spare's process of automatic drawing. At first the line was a spontaneous eruption echoed by pencil upon paper. However, as Spare saw patterns emerging, so he elaborated upon those patterns. The "automatic" aspect was the beginning of the process, driven by inspiration. Thereafter, the current of inspiration was to a greater or lesser extent fashioned by the artist.


I think this is a lot of what happens with the process of poetic incubation. We open ourselves to the touch of something beyond ourselves -- that something being described as imbas in the Irish tradition -- and we take the tangled threads of that inspiration and work with it, crafting it into something expressible through poetry. In seeking vision, we are putting ourselves into a place where we can get the "automatic" image sparked and then refine and purify it into the draft and, finally, the finished body of a poem. I honestly think that all forms of visionary art, whatever their manifestations, work this way to some degree.

Actually, I should sit with this for a bit tomorrow and work it into the Mandragora piece I'm working on, because it's directly on the theme of the essay I'm drafting. I haven't been able to do anything with it in the past couple of days because of a variety of factors, being away from the house being a part of that. This, however, is sparking something; it's also a part of the theme of the joint presentation that [livejournal.com profile] finnchuill has proposed for PCon next February. I should start making notes for my part of that, though I have no way of knowing whether we'll actually be accepted for the schedule at this point.

If things go reasonably well physically (I've been in a great deal of pain lately), we might go to the park near the 128th St exit from I-5 and pick blackberries. It was much warmer today than I'd expected, but the breeze helped keep things comfortable when I did get out into it. We stopped at the Safeway on the way back from the park so that I could get some food for the DoDC+3, and later this evening we also went down to Central Market and got a few fresh organic things (including a Really Fucking Awesome organic peach) so that we could have something nice for dinner.

We watched Time Bandits this afternoon, which [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor hadn't seen before. She hadn't seen Buckaroo Banzai either, so I am giving her an education in quirky sf/fantasy movies and other more obscure stuff when she comes over.

There needs to be more reading. And more writing. And I need to ask her how things are coming with her stuff for Circle of Stones so that I can try to get that in to my publisher soon. Also? Review of [livejournal.com profile] brandywilliams's book.

Stuff. I have to do stuff. And things. And stuff and things. That, though, is for tomorrow. Now, taking some pain pills and heading for bed.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (writy fountain pen)
Aside from a potential but foiled kerfuffle with the bus ticket back to Vancouver, the young poet I was going to see today has come and gone. We actually had a lovely day together. I piled books all over him for him to take notes, we went for a walk over to the park by the lake and sat at a picnic table under one of the cedars in the rain and talked about poetry, life, environmental activism, about what makes something indigenous, language and perception, and Irish and Gaelic heritage and Paganism.

We went next door with my brother and had pizza together and talked about Irish tales and the three things that make a poet, though I really needed my notes to refer to more than what I had in my head. We talked about animals and their relationships and associations with various deities.

Sadly, I wasn't feeling terribly coherent today, but I think we were both pretty satisfied with most of the conversations. He's interested in possibly coming down for the CR schmooze meetings and talking to people. I promised him I'd write him a short blurb for his chapbook and he left me with a cd of some music he and friends had recorded. I did tell him he'd be welcome back anytime to come and talk poetry and Celtic things and writing with me.

I handed him a short stack of my poems and he seemed quite taken with them. He said that he's read a lot of poets and he finds parts of their work or their style that really speaks to him while other parts don't necessarily resonate quite so well, but he felt that my work was really very much of the sort he's striving for and that it was pretty much spot on for what he's been looking for in others. His emphasis is environmental and Pagan with a certain type of feel for words and rhythm -- I have to admit that I'd felt a fairly similar response to his work as well. So much of the stuff I've seen at readings has been focused very differently, in a much more bare, descriptive style. More William Carlos Williams and red wheelbarrows than Diane di Prima and the Loba under the ice, if you know what I mean.

Geordie's about 20 and strikes me as a very talented young poet. I gave him a copy of Robin Skelton's Spellcraft, given that it's still pretty much the only book out there that addresses poetry as magic in a practical manner, and I had three copies of it. My signed copy isn't going anywhere, but I still have one more that I'm holding back in case I have another situation like this, where I can see that one person in particular really needs it, and to read some of what it has to say.

He'd intended to come down for the weekend to see me and some friends in Bellingham, but ended up having to be back in Vancouver for work in the morning, so when he got here, he checked into when the busses left to go north. He got a ticket for the 9:25 and the website told him to pick up his ticket at the bus depot at 8:30. Sadly, the desk there closed at 6pm. He ended up having to have the driver call the Seattle office, where they confirmed that he had, in fact, purchased his ticket -- Seattle would print out a ticket and the driver could collect it when she got back to Seattle that night at the end of her run. It was, however, a somewhat tense 45-ish minutes between arriving at the depot and waiting for the driver to finish her phone call. Despite that time lag, we didn't actually have time enough to come back here to print out the confirmatory email. The bus would arrive before we'd get back, so we just had to wait and hope that the driver could sort it. This meant that the bus left a little late, but she was really quite kind about the whole thing.

Next time he comes back I need to remember to show him Datura.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
Tonight is the warrior return ritual vigil. I did some work in the incubation chamber yesterday. Most of what I got was stuff that wasn't unexpected. Some of it was about letting go of the spear in order to fly, some of it was about the geilt and bird-transformation motif, some was about working with the ally rather than wanting to let it do all the work. Useful reminders about expectations and desires not being reality. I need to think more on it before I post further about that particular topic.

I went to bed early last night (before midnight) though I read for a bit of Wodehouse before I turned off the light and went to sleep. In a few hours we'll be heading off to Redmond to set up the space and get things together before the rest of the folks from the schmooze arrive.

My grandfather's pocketwatch, finally returned the other day from the repairs, has had its minute hand fall off. The watch has been with the repair people since February. I understand that it's an antique (dates to 1906 so maybe it belonged to my grandfather's father before it got to him), but this is really bordering on the absurd at this point. I'm frustrated, but it's not the fault of the charming older woman who runs the booth -- this is an issue about the repair person she's hired. I'll take it back later this week. Their service has a one-year warranty, and it's only been two days. *headdesk*

Anyway, my pile of things needed for the ritual tonight has, for the most part, been gathered. I have some strictly ritual items (as opposed to practical items like a warm blankie) that still need to be gathered up, but for the most part I'm about as ready as I'm liable to get. Apparently this vigil gets a lot more questions than the warrior preparation vigil -- [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht says there's one about every half hour through the night watch. Needless to say, a notebook and pen among the supplies I'll be bringing. Probably should bring the head-lamp too, so that I can actually see to write. A candle would possibly do it, but I'm guessing three or more would be better for both enough light to write by and a better setting for ritual and meditation. I need to decide that before we pack up Garuda to go.

Food, though, should be happening shortly. At least I don't have to fast before we get into this.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
On the 18th I'll be doing the warrior return ritual that we've been talking about since we sent Arlen out to Iraq. (He's doing fine and will be home next month.) The place for it has been secured. Tomorrow I'll be having dinner with [livejournal.com profile] freyrboy and [livejournal.com profile] elvenstarstudio to get a new key and the code for the security system. I believe that [livejournal.com profile] herbmcsidhe and [livejournal.com profile] ravenmcsidhe will also be there, planning for their trip to Summerstar.

[livejournal.com profile] alfrecht has a draft of the ritual that he's bringing to the CR schmooze tonight for folks to go over. I know people had been hoping for a chance to do some practice, but so things go. I asked if there was anything I needed to do to prepare. He said not particularly but I suspect I'm going to be doing a little preparation on my own anyway. Wednesday I'll be seeing the shrink so I'll be talking a little about it and may ask to have a second session this month to do some deconstruction after the fact. That, and there are a couple of things that are weighing heavily on my mind at the moment anyway that I haven't been able to get sufficiently processed on my own.

I'm thinking perhaps Friday I'll spend some time in the incubation chamber to work on some things that came up during the road trip and to get some inspiration for the sacred poetry essay. Needless to say, I didn't do any writing yesterday. Exhaustion kept me in and out of bed most of the day. I'm also feeling rather grumpy about having misplaced my sunglasses. They have to be around the house somewhere. I don't think they're in Garuda, though I should look again, I'm sure. My desk is buried under about six months worth of paper at the moment and really needs to be dug out. They may turn up there. I can't imagine what I've done with the damned things.

Working up to Arlen's warrior ritual stirred up a bunch of stuff for me ahead of time. With this one, I'm not doing any of the writing or ritual creation, so I'm spared at least a little of that. My consciousness of the ritual coming up, however, has started to poke at things a bit. I have a rough idea of what to expect -- a vigil, three dunks in the water, a stone left at a cairn. What it does to me internally, though, that's weighing on me. This sort of ritual shakes a lot of stuff loose and there may be dangling ends for months afterwards.

I don't know if [livejournal.com profile] tedgill has time this weekend. [livejournal.com profile] martianmooncrab doesn't do well for road trips and I think has plans already anyway. I know that H&K will be down at Summerstar and so it may just be the schmooze folks and me. So it goes. Think good thoughts for me, eh?
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Failure TRex)
It happens to all of us now and then. I think the dried mushrooms I was working with were too old. I spent about three hours in the chamber with two separate doses and nothing happened beyond the usual sense of presence I get in ritual. The presence itself was a really good feeling, but certainly nothing like I was hoping for.

The most I got was a vague sense of the chamber breathing and the sense of one of my spirits sitting happily in my lap purring. As usual, he didn't say much. He's not terribly talkative. I got a few ideas for next time and spent a long time offering prayers, examining my expectations, singing, and chanting. My results with salvia have been much better.

I'm hoping that, at least, all the work I did tonight may show up in some dreaming but I won't be holding my breath. Divination showed a lot of effort going into journeying, but ultimately ceirt, frustration, reigned. It's only fair to write about my failures as much as my successes. Nobody has a 100% track record of success, so if you're running up against walls sometimes please know you're not alone.

The work is worthwhile even when the ritual doesn't work. It shows me where I need to focus my energies in the next set of attempts.

As for tonight, I'll be heading for bed soon to sleep, perchance to dream.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (19 edad)
I took a trip down into Everett today to check out the co-op. Picked up a few things and asked about membership. They're in the middle of a system revision and are temporarily not taking members at the moment but once they're up and running again they will have a reciprocal agreement with PCC, so I can use my card from that co-op with them. After that I headed over to [livejournal.com profile] agatheringgrove for a chai and to sit and read for a while. The day had got a little sunnier after raining earlier in the afternoon. Work for the night. )

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