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Everywhere but here

I seem to have been posting everywhere but here. Photos seem to end up on Facebook, because it's so easy to post there. I've been writing about weaving on my blog at and yet I've been missing the connections with the people who are here.

I'm still unpacking boxes and readjusting to rural life. Things are different when you live on a mountain top. Errands take planning, because it's ten miles to the nearest anything--a gas station in one direction and a wonderful greener-than-thou grocery co-op in the other direction. If I want to go into town, that's another 10 miles. I find I don't want to spend very much time in town. I stop for groceries on the way home from the office, a couple of times a week. I'm learning to eat what's on hand, whether I am in the mood for it or not. I am reconnecting with the joy of driving on country roads.

I have found a local sangha in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. I can go to kirtan at Kripalu Center, and I am looking forward to meeting the local pagan community at summer solstice. These three spiritual traditions keep me whole. I've given up thinking that I have to choose one, because I have drifted out of balance every time I have tried.

I'm still recovering from the years in the city. It was toxic for me, and it was a testament to my stubbornness that I survived it for so long. I have a lot of support on my healing journey. There are three fox kits that play in my meadow. A phoebe is nesting in my eaves. The chipping sparrows glean the seeds that other birds drop from the feeders. There's a small lake nearby, and early on weekend mornings, I am likely to be gliding my kayak across it's rippling mirror.

One sign that I am making progress is that I am listening to music again, and even streaming some public radio programs. Toward the end of my time in the city, I lived in total silence at home. There was so much external noise, and so much public chatter, that I couldn't bear to hear another sound.

in bliss

Life on Sparrow Hill

Sparrow Hill. I think that's the name of this place that will be my home for the next couple of years. There's no doubt about the hill; it's in the name of the road and then there's my own hill, with its long and winding driveway. There's no doubt about the sparrows either. They aren't the cheeky urban sparrows who eat bread crumbs. These are the sparrows of country meadows and fields, the song sparrows with a whole note proudly displayed on their streaked breasts.

I have been here for five weeks now, and I am still in awe of having my own clothes line. There is nothing better on earth than sleeping under a freshly aired duvet.

I am still in awe of having a red fox run through my woods to her den, and of having a huge patch of trout lilies spring into bloom this morning.

Life is good.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

chilled by randomly parallel memories

I have been a bit cut off from the world, what with moving, unpacking and embarking on a different variation of my career. Yesterday, my DSL was installed, and of course I was catapulted into the media storm surrounding the terrorist bombings in Boston. How strange to look back and realize that on 9/11, I had just moved to the NY area, just embarked on a previous career variation, and had my internet installed that morning.

I am not in Boston, but not that far away. I know so many people who are there. Thankfully, they were not among the direct victims.

My heart goes out to all the people in Boston. This kind of attack leaves behind emotional wounds, even for people on the periphery. I know, because I still carry shadow scars from 9/11. The only advice I have is to turn away from the media. Do not let it play as an endless loop in front of you, for this will burn a pattern into your consciousness. Focus instead on the support of family and friends, and whatever professional support you may need.

in lovingkindness,
All that delicious anticipation? It was for the arrival of Magic.


This is Grand Champion Pixydust's Hogwarts' Magic of Voijer, aka Magic, the newest member of my family. She's 2 1/2 years old and has retired from a career of being a show cat and a very brief career as a mom cat. Edelweiss and she get along so well, which is no surprise because they both come from wonderful catteries where the cats are raised underfoot, with lots of love.

Do I believe in Magic?  YES!
China blue, pewter, silver, white. No wonder the treetops are shivering with delight, when they face such beauty in the sky.

This morning, I feel the presence of my mother so intently. She's in a loving and approving mood, as I sat at the writing desk that was once hers, writing notes of thanks and sending gifts of appreciation. "Exactly," she is saying, "that's the way we have always done it." I remember her sending gifts from the exact same chocolatier the week after she retired from her business. Now, it's my turn.

You see, I am starting my journey a couple of years sooner than I originally planned.  I will no longer go to that office across the river, I have stopped being a hurricane refugee and gotten on with my life. It is frightening and exciting all at once. I am not sure exactly what comes next. When I know, I'll tell you all about it. The possibilities are endless, and I am eager to move further north and begin anew. A small town somewhere in New England is my destination. I'm not being vague.  I will know it when I see it.

The icon that I selected for this journal entry is part of a collage I made when I was leaving a small town somewhere in New England and heading to my present location. I had my reasons. Most of them were fulfilled and I've made peace with the ones that were not meant to be. It's time once again to go home, not walking in my own shadow, but running toward the sunrise.
Mercury goes retrograde on Feb 23 through March 17. During this time, people are more likely to misunderstand each other's intentions, contract negotiations may falter, and electronic devices may fail.
My trusty radio was eager to get an early start. After sixteen years, it decided that it wanted to be HEARD. The volume, usually set at a modest 9 or 10, jumped up to 50 and refused to be silenced.  My apologies to all in the surrounding towns who heard WFUV blasting forth this morning. Don't blame me; it's all Mercury's fault!

I could get all wistful about this, but the reality is that radio, heard over the air, is a relic of a past time. When I was a child, I remember the joys of being allowed to stay up late into the night in the summer, to listen with my father to radio broadcasts from far away.  We had to do this in the night, listening to Europe awakening before the sunrise and static of our neighbors' power usage sent the words and songs far away into the mist. Today, everything is streamed online and I can listen to radio from Morocco and Tunisia anytime I desire.

the return of the meme

It's good to have an occasional meme, especially when it is short and mostly thoughtful. 

via  seaivy:

1. How do you know if someone is genuine?
Body language is revealing. Genuine people look you in the eye. Their body moves in the same direction as their words. They don't make excuses. They seldom miss their trains.

2. What do you do when you wake up in the morning?
Feed the cats, make a cup of tea and go online to see what the world has done while I was asleep.

3. Why do you use an online journal?
It seems like the right venue for thinking aloud in public. Also, I have a small circle of people I only know through LJ and this is the way we keep in touch. My blogs tend to be more thematic and less personal. Facebook annoys me, though I have a presence there to keep in touch with some really talented weavers.


Imbolc blessings

Blessings, my dear sisters on the day where we awaken and realize that we are moving forward on the continuum between thought and action. Stirrings and motions mean that something is moving and stretching beneath the frozen earth. The spring bulbs are starting to awaken and making the first, tentative movements toward blossom. 

There was a time when my mother and I went outdoors and blessed the earth with a pail full of milk. Something has shifted within me. This isn't my land.  Not really. I hold it in common with my community, but I am slowly letting go of the sense that it is mine. I am ready for it to be not mine. I am focused on the journey. It's no longer ahead of me. It surrounds me.

Today, I spent time just weaving

Tonight, I will preparing a simple meal of fresh baked biscuits, dripping with butter, cheese and fruit. Maybe a glass of wine with that. These are the foods of winter.

In my own way, I am celebrating Imbolc.

Gratitude for the letter W

seaivy as given me the letter W for the gratitude meme.

If you would like a letter, please comment.  This isn't the kind of meme where I tag you. You have to tag yourself.

Wonder Both the verb and the noun). Tonight we are in a delicious state of wonder. Edelweiss knows SOMETHING is up, but it doesn't add up to anything familiar, so she is wondering what. I think I know what, and when, and even why, but we ar waiting an wondering or something magical to happen. Sing along with us, "Do you believe in Magic?" and share in our gratitude that a sense of wonder can lift the spirits and make grown women and sensible cats giggle.

Weaving If you have been following along a http://www,tromp-as-writ ou know that I am filled with joy and gratitude for having a long black warp on the loom. It has been a long time coming, and it makes so many things right.

Winter Every season, I tell you that THIS is my favorite season. Winter really is. I am fortunate to have a snug Aerie, a purring cat, and a lofty duvet to keep me warm. There's just a dusting of snow in the garden, and the first stirrings of life are taking place in secret in the garden beds. 

Water Elixir of life. Steaming cup of tea. Pounding waves. We bow to the water at the end of our meditations because we know water is life.

Wool Apart from weaving it, there is the joy of spinning, and I am filled with gratitude for all the placidly grazing sheep who produce it. 

Weaving the winter along.

I suppose my winter project is weaving, but it may be more important than that. The journey begins here. I don't have to wait until I get to the next way station to start working on things that are important to me, like spinning my own yarn and weaving fabric for my own clothing.  Why deny myself the pleasure? Why arrive near-naked and shivering when I can have a trunk full of warm clothing, gently worn but not worn out? Why be content with weaving the odd scarf or shawl, when I can make real fabric that becomes real clothing. 

I am exploring this in more depth on my blog a

This is not unlike the historical image of a young woman setting out into marriage with her trunk full of clothing and linens. I will be a mature woman setting out into a simpler, rural life, with my trunk full of warm woolens and practical household furnishings--hand spun and home made.


Athena Grey

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June 2013


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