erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
I arrived in Redding at about 8:30, after a really gorgeous day on the road. It was extremely hot a fair bit of the way along. Probably from a little south of Eugene, and was still in the 90s when I checked in at the hotel.

There's a little Mexican place in the parking lot here where I grabbed some dinner. Wasn't vastly memorable or anything, but they seem to be all about the tequila, because they apparently have something like 500 varieties. Too bad I've never been into the stuff.

I spent the better part of two hours in Oregon City with [livejournal.com profile] martianmooncrab having lunch and schmoozing a little before I hit the road. I should get into Sacramento tomorrow probably mid-afternoon. Weather report for the weekend has the campsite in the mountains in the high 70s for the days and into the mid- to high-40s at night, so it'll be pretty much like the weather we ought to be getting in the Seattle area, rather than the continuing drizzle we'd been having until just a couple of days ago.

I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone again.

The sib texted me at about 7:30 from Butte, Montana, where he was staying for the night. He didn't quite have it in him to continue the rest of the way to Bozeman, where he'd intended to finish up. The papers he'd been waiting for hadn't even been sent yet, so he called the woman at the office and told her to send them to the base instead and he'd pick them up there. Really crappy of her to keep him hanging like that and not even to have sent them out yet when he'd called. I just hope it's not a sign of other problems to come.

For now, I'm going to try to get some sleep. The insomnigrackles got me last night and I managed to lay down for about two and a half hours, but sleep evaded me. I headed out about 8:30am rather than 9:30 as I'd intended, but I was just as happy to do the last bit of the trip into Redding before it got dark. I drove from Portland with the window down, getting the full effect of the roadside plant life, from blackberry blossoms to pine trees to sagebrush at various stages along the way.

Despite that I was more or less on the road for about twelve hours, I had a really awesome day. I actually managed to see Mount St Helens for a change. I think this may actually have been the first time I was able to see it clearly, because every other time I've gone down that stretch of road, it's been hazed over, snowing, raining, dark, misty, or fill-in-the-blank obscuring the mountain. I got Rainier, St Helens and Shasta all on this trip in the daylight. At several points I saw deer grazing next to the highway, as well. Glorious!
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 (Everything Hurts)
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the shrine today. I took [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht's gift along and he and his mom did arrive, so I was able to pass it along to him. As predicted, he was quite pleased with it. The gift was a small book printed in Ulaanbataar about Mongolian wolves, from wolf hunters and the history of wolves in Mongolia, to recounting folktales of them and their ancestral relationship to the Mongolian people. Also at the ceremony were [livejournal.com profile] mimerki and [livejournal.com profile] varina8, whom I will most likely see again Tuesday at dinner with [livejournal.com profile] thewronghands.

Part of the ceremony today was making mochi. I've been to the ceremony a couple of times but today was the first time I actually took a whack (literally) at helping with the work myself. It was fun, but my arms ached afterwards. Still, there's nothing at all like fresh mochi that you've just pounded the crap out of yourself. I stuck around long enough to get one from the second batch as well, which was made with mugwort. The taste is distinctive and I do like the flavor of mugwort mochi. It's very different than what you get in a grocery store (if you live in a place where you can get mochi at a grocery store at all).

I'd not slept very well last night, having got to bed about 4am. I rose around 9am to get my shower and pull myself together enough to drive out to the shrine. Bad weather had been predicted, though the rain was not nearly as heavy in my area as I had expected. The Pilchuck river, at the shrine, was in moderate flood stage and progressed to major flood stage by the end of the day (I was long gone by then), expected to crest and begin receding again by tomorrow morning. While the mochi making was going on, I saw at least half a dozen sizable logs and snags go zipping past on the current.

When I got home, I got some posole started, with blue corn and some chicken instead of lamb. I set it in the crock pot and let it go. I've discovered it makes a lot less mess if I tuck a toothpick between the lid and the edge of the pot so that the condensation has somewhere to go, otherwise I had tended to get a sizable puddle under the crockpot itself. When I got up at 7 this evening, dinner was ready and the place smelled wonderful. I stuck two portions that were left into the freezer for another day.

After I'd eaten, I lit up the altar for my flamekeeping shift. I had briefly considered giving it a pass, as I'm still feeling extremely exhausted, but the liturgy is short and I felt much better for having taken the time to actually do the ritual. Once that was settled, I dropped into SL for a little while and attended a poetry reading, where I read two poems. One thing that I find disconcerting is that even if I'm sitting at my computer with the mic on, I get the shakes when I read, just like I do when I'm on stage. It was so bad that the tremors in my hands made it a little difficult to scroll down the file I was reading from.

I really wish I didn't react that way, but it's part of the reason why when I've generally done performance (singing and whatnot) I've preferred to be part of an ensemble rather than a solo performer. Stage fright is painful. I get that to a certain extent when I'm speaking or teaching at conferences, as well, but I do feel that what I do is important enough to persevere through the difficulty. I can't say that I particularly have fun when I do those things, but I do enjoy singing, and I also enjoy sharing my work and my knowledge with others. It's just so much more comfortable for me when I'm in a small group of people I know than when I'm in a room full of strangers -- even if the room is a virtual one.

I've been reading more of Sharon Astyk's book today and got to the point where she's talking about population issues and how difficult they are to discuss with any rationality. Her writing on underground economies makes so much sense, given how much of it I see around me on a day to day basis. So many of my friends are un- or under-employed but still have to make ends meet somehow, and they participate in everything from making art to growing food to cleaning houses in order to keep body and soul together, without being a part of the tax-base.

It's fascinating reading, though I'm constantly asking myself what, aside from reduction of my direct energy needs and uses, I can do as a person with physical limitations that make it hard for me to do physical things on a regular basis. So much emphasis gets placed on "move to the country, grow a garden." I can't move to the country for a wide variety of reasons. I can grow a little bit in containers but even that sometimes is hard on me. The seal on the dishwasher is leaking again and I'm pretty much giving up in frustrating and going to move on to just doing a few dishes at a time by hand and sticking them in the disher to drip dry.

Monday I can take a down day, thankfully. Tuesday is VA group and dinner with [livejournal.com profile] thewronghands and her crew. Wednesday is shrinkage. Friday is Stian's birthday party -- I got the invite for that this evening.

I'll need at some point to call the vet and make an appointment to have the DoDC+3 examined. He was charging up and down the hallway again with his moose and it was a heartening sight, despite that he will likely always have part of his ribs sticking out a bit from his chest now. He's doing well and is pretty much back to his normal self.

Life goes on, despite everything humans do to mess things up.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Not the Same CR!)
[livejournal.com profile] wingedelf last night was talking in his LJ about his frustrations with the CR community, and its constant arguments about who is a Celt, and why language and culture are important. He said, and I tend to agree, that who is a Celt is the far less important question. I think it matters less to sort the who than to take up the practice and speak the languages at least enough for a good technical vocabulary.

Robert Aitken Roshi addresses the issue from the angle of Zen in Japanese and the larger Buddhist culture in his introductory essay in The Morning Star. I'm going to quote extensively here, so hold onto your hats.

got that hat? )

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