May 1, 2019 | Filed Under Devotions, Things I Think About | No Comments

A couple of years ago, we had our back yard cleared of the overgrown flora so we could replant and xeriscape.

A friend adopted the rose bush (that is, she spent an afternoon digging it up and moving it to her place).

Roots persist. This photo is from today.

Rose Bush


Poem: Love Sleeps in the Poet’s Chest ~ Federico García Lorca

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Love Sleeps in the Poet’s Chest
~ Federico García Lorca

You’ll never know how I love you
because you sleep in me and are asleep
Weeping I hide you—haunted
by a voice of penetrating steel

Law that shakes the flesh and a star
by now has entered my aching heart
and disturbing words have bitten
the wings of your stern self

People leap in the gardens
looking for your body and my death
on horses of light with green manes

But stay asleep—O my life—
Hear the violins sing my shattered blood
Do you see them watching us?


Poem: The Traveling Out ~ Lucile Adler

April 26, 2019 | Filed Under Poem for Hela | No Comments

The Traveling Out
~ Lucile Adler

I wonder, since we are both travelling out,
If we may go together? Thank you.

You may be sure you will be alone
And private as though I were no one.
God knows, I do not wish to increase your burden.
Naturally, these airports, blinding cities,
And foundry lights confuse you, make you
More solitary than the sight of one lost lamp
Across a bare land promising life there—
Someone over that field alone and perhaps
Waiting for you. That used to be the way.

Feel perfectly free to choose how
You will be alone, since we are going together.
Of course, I never move, I merely hold you
In my mind like a prayer. You are my way
Of praying, and I have chosen you out of hordes
Of travellers to speed to silently, on my own.
I will be with you, with your baffled anger
Among fuming cities, with your grief
At having lost dark fields and lamplight.
It is my way of moving, of praying—

Oh, not to give you someone like me,
That’s all over, impossible, I go nowhere;
And besides, nothing is given absolutely
Nothing and no one, only white sermons among
The white of a billion bulbs. No,
Sitting here behind my shutters at twilight,
I am stretching over the blazing lanes,
The dazed crowds jostled and razed
By light, only to join your mind and guide you
Gently, leading you, not, alas, to my own lamp
Across the fields of the world, or to a cozy last
Prayer of lamplight blessing the fields of the air,
But out into hordes of stars that move away
As we move, and for which your travelling
Prepares you to go out a little more boldly,
All alone as I am alone.


An Altarpiece for Ran

April 25, 2019 | Filed Under Altars, Devotions | No Comments
I found myself out shopping recently (not my favorite thing, but sometimes necessary), and found a new type of air-dry clay at the Japanese chain Daiso. Being unable to resist the possibility of a new medium in which to play, I acquired a box for testing.
The texture is very different from other polymer clays—it’s light and fluffy, and feels like styrofoam. It was fairly easy to work with, although getting clean, square edges was not as easy as with Das or Sculpey, so I decided to go with irregular shapes.
It dried *fast*. Most air-dry clays take around 24 hours to dry. This was set and ready to paint in about three hours. I hadn’t expected it to be so quick, and hadn’t planned to paint it that day, so it had to wait for the following weekend.
The finished piece is very light, and continues the styrofoam feeling. It seems sturdier than your standard styrofoam cup, however, although I wouldn’t put a lot of weight on a piece, and it’s not safe for use with water (it softens back to its original state) or heat (I didn’t even test it—the package instructions are quite clear about not using it with heat or flame).
It absorbed the acrylic paint easily, and rather a lot of it. However, the paint dried quickly because of that, so painting actually took less time than expected. I chose to paint it in varying shades of blue with spots of white, like the blue ocean waves flecked with foam. The inside is painted shades of sandy brown on the bottom, representing the ocean floor.
The piece contains a necklace of blue-and-purple beads with a silver sea shell, some small shells, and a shell with small pearls.
These items were previously loose on my altar, so it’s nice to have them collected in one place, and also reduces the number of times I accidentally knock one off the Goddesses altar when trying to light the candles. 
For a quick project that doesn’t require a lot of finish and won’t be used with water or flame, the Daiso clay is suitable. I’ll keep using the Das for my altarpiece work, though, as it’s still the best combination of workability and versatility I’ve found with the air-dry clays.
I don’t have a set prayer I use when working with Ran. I work with Her when I’m feeling emotionally blocked and need to get unstuck, or when I am feeling emotionally overwhelmed and need strength to process and channel my feelings. You can also call upon her for strength and confidence in reaching for what you want, although She has no qualms about taking what She wants—wrecking ships for treasures and companions—so you definitely want to temper that energy with consideration for others and for the highest good of all.



Poem: The Arrival of the Bee Box ~ Sylvia Plath

April 24, 2019 | Filed Under Poem for Hela | No Comments

The Arrival of the Bee Box
~ Sylvia Plath

I ordered this, clean wood box
Square as a chair and almost too heavy to lift.
I would say it was the coffin of a midget
Or a square baby
Were there not such a din in it.

The box is locked, it is dangerous.
I have to live with it overnight
And I can’t keep away from it.
There are no windows, so I can’t see what is in there.
There is only a little grid, no exit.

I put my eye to the grid.
It is dark, dark,
With the swarmy feeling of African hands
Minute and shrunk for export,
Black on black, angrily clambering.

How can I let them out?
It is the noise that appalls me most of all,
The unintelligible syllables.
It is like a Roman mob,
Small, taken one by one, but my god, together!

I lay my ear to furious Latin.
I am not a Caesar.
I have simply ordered a box of maniacs.
They can be sent back.
They can die, I need feed them nothing, I am the owner.

I wonder how hungry they are.
I wonder if they would forget me
If I just undid the locks and stood back and turned into a tree.
There is the laburnum, its blond colonnades,
And the petticoats of the cherry.

They might ignore me immediately
In my moon suit and funeral veil.
I am no source of honey
So why should they turn on me?
Tomorrow I will be sweet God, I will set them free.

The box is only temporary.


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